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First playthrough, entire series, one character: Dual class or multiclass Fighter/Mage?

jtthjtth Member Posts: 171
I'm new to this whole thing. I'll be playing the enhanced editions. My favorite kind of character is a mage fighter. (Really a mage fighter tamer, a la Ultima Online.) I plan to play through everything as the same character.

Here's what I'm not sure about: should I play as a multiclassed elf fighter/mage, or should I try dual classing as a fighter first, then switch over at level 9 as people recommend, to a mage? Can I do that within BG1:EE? I've heard dual-classing like that required the changeover to happen nearly toward the end of BG1 or in BG2. That doesn't really seem like playing the same character in both games, growing more and more powerful throughout.

I'm not new to power play in games in general, but I am new to the series. For maximal enjoyment of the plot and environment, while still playing to the kind of character I'd like, how would you recommend I play? Thanks.

I don't want to be absurdly overpowered (which I hear the dual-classed Kensai/Mage is), but I also don't want to miss out on neat end-game spells or potential, which is why I'm conflicted. I plan on playing with a party throughout.

Comments

  • craymond727craymond727 Member Posts: 208
    Are you planning on wading into melee frequently, using buffs and casting to supplement your character, or do you prefer more of a pure caster with better HP and weapon abilities than a single-class mage?

  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 421
    Fighter7/Mage (you must be Human)
    you are a Fighter the First Half of the game and a mage the other , and at the very End you are a Fighter+Mage !

    Fighter9/Mage (you must be Human)
    you are a fighter for the whole of Baldurs Gate 1 , a Mage for like an Hour in BG2 and then what you Want to be for BG2+ToB

    Fighter/Mage Multi (you Must be Elf/ Half-elf /gnome)
    You are what you want to be right of the Bat , a Fighter who can Cast Spells, the only time you will notice a downside is mid SoA then pure or dual mages get their big fancy spells while you still have around lvl 5-6 ones (what is no problem since the good buff spells are all mid range anyway)


    you can finish the game with all of these without any problems.

  • PhilhelmPhilhelm Member Posts: 473
    You'd probably be better off as a dual-class. Fighter 7 is a good break point, since you get an extra 1/2 attack at level 7 (just remember that you only get 161,000 xp in BG1). The thing about magic users is that many of their spells benefit from the caster being a higher level, since the damage and duration of some spells are based upon the caster's level A Fighter/Mage multiclass would sacrifice Mage levels for additional Fighter levels that are probably unnecessary. With a dual-class, you could take, say, seven levels of Fighter in exchange for one lost level of Mage (I think Mages cap at level 34, but I don't quite recall).

    On the other hand, Warriors will eventually get High Level Abilities, such as Whirlwind and Improved Whirlwind, which confer a temporary ten attacks per round. The multi-class would be able to take those HLAs, but the dual-class would not, since you would only be leveling your Mage levels after making the transition.

    Those are some things to think about. At the very least, you wouldn't want to do a Mage to Fighter dual.

  • PK2748PK2748 Member Posts: 381
    You should be a gnome Illusionist/Fighter. More spells and a full range of HLAs. Plus, shorty saves!

  • PhilhelmPhilhelm Member Posts: 473
    PK2748 wrote: »
    You should be a gnome Illusionist/Fighter. More spells and a full range of HLAs. Plus, shorty saves!

    Yeah, but then there's the problem that you're a gnome...

    Gnome sayin'?

    ArdulDaevelonthespace
  • PK2748PK2748 Member Posts: 381
    Yeah, I know. It's overpowered... Some people just can't respect the power gaming munchkin

  • Tad_Has_A_Cold_OliveTad_Has_A_Cold_Olive Member Posts: 183
    I think an elven Fighter/Mage would work just fine for your first runthrough. My first game was with a Gnome Fighter/Illusionist, and it was a blast.

  • jtthjtth Member Posts: 171
    Are you planning on wading into melee frequently, using buffs and casting to supplement your character, or do you prefer more of a pure caster with better HP and weapon abilities than a single-class mage?
    I'm not entirely sure. Ideally both, I guess. I'd be able to hold my own in melee, but be casting a good bit from melee.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    For a first runthrough, I would suggest the multiclass, as the dual-class will probably have an annoying span before you get your Fighter abilities back (especially without some metagame knowledge to get a burst of XP). You will probably have an NPC or two in your party that can take advantage of high level spells when you reach that point, but no NPC in the game can leverage the synergy of a multiclass F/M.

    jtth
  • jtthjtth Member Posts: 171
    Kaigen said:
    For a first runthrough, I would suggest the multiclass, as the dual-class will probably have an annoying span before you get your Fighter abilities back (especially without some metagame knowledge to get a burst of XP). You will probably have an NPC or two in your party that can take advantage of high level spells when you reach that point, but no NPC in the game can leverage the synergy of a multiclass F/M.
    That's what it's starting to sound like to me. If I did dual class I'd basically be playing a fighter the entirety of BG1, which isn't something I want to do.

    Thanks everyone!

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Multclass for sure and also have a look at the amazing FMT multi!

    ArdulDaevelonEadwyn_G8keeper
  • jtthjtth Member Posts: 171
    Multclass for sure and also have a look at the amazing FMT multi!
    That's more of what I played in UO, but it seems like with the XP caps you'd be so far behind, especially in the later portion of games? 

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @jtth Not really. You're only really behind in mid game,  but even then you're not really behind just different. It is an amazing class to play and highly recommended. 

  • thelovebatthelovebat Member Posts: 218
    edited March 2016
    jtth said:
    Kaigen said:
    For a first runthrough, I would suggest the multiclass, as the dual-class will probably have an annoying span before you get your Fighter abilities back (especially without some metagame knowledge to get a burst of XP). You will probably have an NPC or two in your party that can take advantage of high level spells when you reach that point, but no NPC in the game can leverage the synergy of a multiclass F/M.
    That's what it's starting to sound like to me. If I did dual class I'd basically be playing a fighter the entirety of BG1, which isn't something I want to do.

    Thanks everyone!
    Yeah a multiclass character can be a more simple way to start things.  If you were starting as a Thief then dual classing to something else, that would be more viable without metagame knowledge since you could dual in the first game and get your old class abilities back in BG1, and with enough Thieving abilities to do well with your party through both games.

    As a Fighter/Mage combo, you'd definitely want to choose a kit if dual classing, but it can be hard to know which one you want and which would be best long term cus the two common ones to dual class into mage have ranged weapon restrictions, and one also has armor restrictions.  And since the best point to dual class as a Fighter into Mage like that is around level 9, that means you won't dual class until the sequel and it takes a bit of time to get your old skills back.  Most of the time that you dual class, you definitely want to pick up a kit and it can be hard to know which one to pick for a first playthrough (my first playthrough was with an Archer kit and that was a blast though).

    An Elf Fighter/Mage is always a good combo, as would be an Elf Fighter/Mage/Thief if that seemed interesting.  Gnomes are great for multiclassing too, cus you get some extra spells each level and the additional Intelligence means you can have every spell you want in the spellbook with 19 Intelligence.  They also don't get any relevant penalties to any important stats, and get saving throw bonuses with Constitution which is nice.  So you can have a higher Constitution and higher Intelligence as a Gnome compared to an Elf.  All while the Elf is more savvy with ranged weapons, 90% resistance to Charm/Sleep, small thaco bonus for long swords/short swords, and is one of the two races that can be a Fighter/Mage/Thief.  Both would be good and have their good traits.  The only thing I think the Half Elf would get over either of those two is more potential romance options, and no Constitution penalty like the Elf.  Generally it's better to go with the races that give you some stat bonuses since those play a big part of how your character develops.

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769
    Philhelm said:
    Those are some things to think about. At the very least, you wouldn't want to do a Mage to Fighter dual.
    There is a build where Mage to Fighter is viable. Dual at 2nd level. This gives you a fighter who can use wands and scrolls while in full armor. 

    FinneousPJillathidjtth
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