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Run with trio of Necromancer, Imoen, and Viconia - first time playing SoD

LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
I’m getting back into this wonderful game after a lengthy hiatus (good grief it's been over three years) and looking forward to playing SoD for the first time. I've only just started out from Candlekeep, having just done a few side quests and haven't even visited the Nashkel mines yet. At least for the BGEE (BG1) portion of the adventure I plan to use just a Necromancer, Imoen (who will remain a Thief), and Viconia. But since I'm really enjoying this Necromancer thus far, I may end up taking him all the way through to ToB. Pretty sure I will eventually dual this Necromancer to Fighter. I created him with abilities for that, so I'm sure I will dual even if he is fun to play just as a Necromancer.



So my first question is, in your opinion what is the sweet spot for when to dual the Necromancer to Fighter for the whole saga? With SoD factored in to the entire saga, and the additional XP and levels from it and whatnot. I don't have any mods installed.

When dual classing, I'm normally not a big fan of starting over with a new class at level 1 from a high level of the original class. But here I may might make an exception. Pretty sure that I want access to some fairly high level spells for at least half of BGEE 2. He won't start getting HLAs until he reaches level 18 (and then I forget how many levels it takes to max out on those). So I guess I could wait until he has every wizard spell he can get. But to me that is such a long and painful climb back to those wizard spells from Fighter 1!

The second question is one that hopefully you can respond to generally without spoiling me. Can alignment and role playing concept for the character be creatively put to use in SoD? Please no specifics because I have yet to play the expansion portion of the game! But this Necromancer is a little offbeat conceptually. He is TN, not evil at all really. He just is fascinated by the role of death magic and its relationship to life, the balance of life and death energies in the Weave, etc. I know this may be a little hard to answer until I actually begin the SoD portion. But if it can be factored in I think I'll enjoy the game more!

A few general comments to share about the trio: For the BGEE section I'm mostly just power gaming for now. But I do have a self-imposed rule to memorize at least half of the Necromancer's spell slots with Necromantic spells which I plan to continue all the way through the saga. Which I have to say, early on has been a total blast. Early on the Necromancer is meleeing with Chill Touch most of the time--so satisfying when it hits and actually freezes an opponent. He's also using spells like Color Spray and Burning Hands, as this is a mage who isn't afraid to melee.




Imoen is having to melee a lot too (after backstabs), which she is doing a surprisingly good job at. I got her the Dagger of Venom right away. But at least for BGEE Viconia will be the party's tank. I won't be dualing Imoen, as I'll need her thieving skills for as long as I have her until she eventually leaves and rejoins.

I think I have found that sweet spot for now for difficulty. The battles are hard won. But as a party of three they will level quickly and unfortunately the battles will get easier. Not using SCS the first time through.

Anyway, I'm sure I have a lot of great content in store for me in SoD, and very much looking forward to it. This run is shaping up to be really fun thus far. Absolutely loving the close battles thus far with this strategy of using 50% Necromancy spells, meleeing with the Necromancer (quarterstaff and touch spells), and just Imoen and Viconia. Good times!

I think with a party of three I should be able to get the Necromancer to level 10 by the start of SoD. So by then 50% of the time the Necromancer will be using Horror, Ghoul Touch, Skull Trap (that'll be tricky), Vampiric Touch, Contagion, Spirit Armor, and Animate Dead. I'm going to guess that Chill Touch won't even tickle SoD's opponents. Similarly, it will be interesting to see of Larloch's Minor Drain with its casting time of 1 continues to be effective by way of disrupting enemy spell casters as I reach progressively higher levels. I guess maybe Death Spell is possible to have by the start of SoD, but I don't think I've ever made it to level 12 by the end of BG1 other than by soloing (which I've only done a handful of times). I usually run a party of six, so I honestly can't recall.

Post edited by Lemernis on
Grond0JuliusBorisovbob_vengArctodusdstoltzfusAerakar

Comments

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    edited June 2017
    Oh also--I have never gotten the Rabbit familiar before, lol! Wth? Can the creature do anything useful but pickpocket? (A pickpocketing rabbit...) I mean, yes he can attack but it's not like it has a berserker special ability unless I'm missing something (as totally awesome as that would be):

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    dstoltzfusAerakar
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    Actually it just occurred to me that I probably can EE Keeper the Rabbit familiar to give him a Berserker special ability, not that I would risk using it often.

    dstoltzfus
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    edited June 2017
    Moved this from SoD forum to BGEE forum because I haven't actually gotten to SoD yet. I'll move it back when I reach and SoD! I'm mostly asking about when to dual for the entire saga, but with SoD factored in.

    dstoltzfus
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    i think you should dual at level 14. you'll have enough lvl 7 slots to be a functional necro.

    dstoltzfus
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    edited June 2017
    @bob_veng Thanks, yeah maybe that is about the right spot.

    Dual at level 14 - Level 7 Necromancy spells: Control Undead, Finger of Death,
    Dual at level 16 - Level 8 Necromancy spells: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting
    Dual at level 18 - Level 9 Necromancy spells: Energy Drain, Wail of the Banshee

    It's been a long time since I played... I can't really recall how far into BGEE 2 Finger of Death continues to be effective. By late BGEE2 and into ToB I'm guessing it'll work on the frontline grunts only.

    I like Horrid Wilting and Wail of the Banshee, but I don't think I want to wait all that time to get the spells back if I dual at level 16 or 18.

    After he reaches Fighter level 15 there will be a period where he actively casts spells as he melees. But eventually those spells up to level 7 won't work on the higher level opponents. And he'll just be wailing away with powerful magical weapons. Finishing out with Fighter HLAs.

    That's fine I guess. If I really wanted to have my cake and eat it too I should have created an elf or a half-elf multi-class fighter-mage. But as it stands with the Necromancer-Fighter there's the fun of playing with the Necromancy specialization. And there wouldn't be the fun difficulty factor of playing a meleeing Necromancer from levels 1-14.

    dstoltzfus
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,626
    edited June 2017
    Since you said you will dual this character, have you considered Cleric instead of fighter? Clerics have plenty of Necromancy spells and you get your Necromancer saving throw bonus on your divine spells as well. I plan to run such a character soon in fact.

    Quartz
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    i think that the finger of death with -4 save will be useful throughout. you won't be instantly downing some major bosses but it's rarely just a single immune boss in a fight

    ThacoBellLemernis
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    edited June 2017

    Since you said you will dual this character, have you considered Cleric instead of fighter? Clerics have plenty of Necromancy spells and you get your Necromancer saving throw bonus on your divine spells as well. I plan to run such a character soon in fact.

    I do enjoy cleric-mages (usually as a multi) as one of my favorite classes, actually. I think I may try what you suggest one day.

    But actually what I was going for here with the dual-classing from a Necromancer to Fighter is the fun difficulty factor of starting out as a meleeing mage that uses many specialization school spells that have to be cast up close and personal. And the Necromancer has a lot of them. Perhaps the most of any specialization? Chill Touch, Ghoul Touch, and Vampiric Touch are the big three. And that is at an early stage of the whole saga when the Necromancer is still fairly vulnerable.

    Although even now as I have the Necromancer at level 5 now side-questing a bit between the Nashkel mines and the Cloakwood mines, the trio is fast getting to the point whether they can easily mop up any opponent. About the only thing I lack equipment-wise is the Robe of the Neutral Archmagi and I'm not far off from raising the cash needed for that. I'll probably get the robe before completing chapter 3.

    I guess I'll do the ToSc quests this time through since I want to dual at level 14. So he'll also have the Staff of Striking. And The World's Edge for when he becomes a Fighter 1 if I make it to level 14 in SoD.

    Dualing to Cleric is something I will continue to think about, though. But I like the idea of using a combination of spells during melee as a fighter.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    dstoltzfus
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
    edited June 2017
    Just a quick addendum to what I stated above: now with the party at level 7 (each of them) and still in chapter 3 with more areas to explore, and the whole downstairs of Durlag's and the other two ToSc quests remaining, they have the top of the line gear at this stage.

    I think I may be able to get the Necromancer to level 10 by the end of BGEE and start of SoD.

    But sure enough, they just rip right through nearly all enemies now. The nail-biting level of difficulty seems to be over. They still get themselves into deep water occasionally, e.g., if one gets held or the enemy interferes with their mind (Rigid Thinking, Mental Domination, Confusion, Chaos, etc.). But from a powergaming vantage the Green Stone amulet is an easy answer to that.

    Durlag's Tower and the final battle of Werewolf Island will present some tough challenges. The caves at the very end of the Candlekeep catacombs, fifth floor of the Iron Throne, and Duchal Palace battle and should still all be tough, or at least I expect them to be. And of course the final battle with Sarevok and his minions.

    I'm impressed that Chill Touch has proven to be a much more effective spell than I ever gave it credit for. It seems to hit more than Ghoul Touch, actually. It occasionally freezes the target which I never knew it could do. But I'm a little disappointed that Ghoul Touch isn't paralyzing more often than it does.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
    dstoltzfus
  • dstoltzfusdstoltzfus Member Posts: 280
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,309
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