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Best Voghiln build and items?

I haven't had a Bard in my party so far and I've wanted to have one, so I added Voghiln, but he's got a level-up with a new proficiency, so now I have to decide what the best build is, and that requires knowing what the best items are for Bards in SoD.

I typically use the two-column, three-row formation. He certainly won't be in the front row, and I'm debating whether to put him in the second row or the third. Typically I like first row to be offensive combatants that rush out with boots of speed and engage the enemy in melee. Then the second row I like to be support combatants that are excellent at ranged attacks but can also use two-handed weapons with reach to attack in melee from the second row. The third row are the casters that rely on spells and fall back on ranged attacks, running for help from the better fighters if the enemy gets too close.

The problem with Voghiln is his proficiencies are Bastard Sword, Axe, Sword-and-shield, and Two-weapon. So he's not set up for the two-handed ranged and melee weapons I'd prefer in the second row. He comes with +1 Throwing Axes -- how viable are those compared to missile weapons?

His proficiencies also favor the use of shields, but that would exclude using the Reed of Echoes. But it does look like either way, he's going to want to focus on one-handed weapons. How would proficiency in Slings work for him vs. Axes (I do have the +2 Throwing Axe that returns).

And what can he wear that won't prevent him from casting spells?? Is there any elven chainmail in SoD?

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,208
    If you play BG1NPC Project there's a nice armor for bards from Garrick's quest.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 123
    edited January 31
    Prior to Troll Claw Woods, my lineup was my Cleric/Ranger, Minsc, Glint, Corwin, Dynaheir, and Safana. Now after reaching TCW, it is currently my C/R, Jaheira, Glint, Corwin, Voghiln, and Edwin. I could have kept Minsc and Dynaheir instead of Corwin and Edwin, but the latter two have quests, and are better at their respective ranged attack and casting roles.

    Assuming I put him in the third row and have him carry a shield, sing, cast spells, and make ranged attacks, should I consider using a sling instead of the +2 Throwing Axe? But that would give me five slings in the party, which seems unbalanced. Perhaps I should have kept Safana instead of Glint -- they both have quests -- but I like having four divine casters because there are four party buffs they can cast at the start of a fight.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,479
    Can anyone throw darts? There's a really good returning +2 dart of acid in SoD that could replace one of your sling users. Personally, I try to keep no more than 2 sling users since there's so much overlap otherwise and less good slings available for them other than generic +1/+2 slings, as well as, good enchanted bullets.

    So, in your case without knowing about the darts, I'd keep him on axes (though as said above, not actually throwing any). Not sure why you feel you should switch him to slings, but if it's the shorter range of thrown axes you are thinking about, I wouldn't worry so much about it.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,086
    edited January 31
    The range should be the same. (at least, how you see it in-game) Both slings and throwing axes get +damage from STR and -THAC0 from DEX, so they're quite similar.

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,479

    The range should be the same.

    Well, I'm usually not prone to argue versus one the most knowledgeble guys there is about BG, but thrown daggers and axes has as far as I know shorter range than slings/bows/x-bows. Without reading through files in nearinfinity like the masters of BG does, I'd say it's about half.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,086
    Skatan said:

    The range should be the same.

    Well, I'm usually not prone to argue versus one the most knowledgeble guys there is about BG, but thrown daggers and axes has as far as I know shorter range than slings/bows/x-bows. Without reading through files in nearinfinity like the masters of BG does, I'd say it's about half.

    My must mix it with darts. Throwing daggers, hammers and axes have the same range as slings/bows and x-bows. Darts, though, have shorter range.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,479

    Skatan said:

    The range should be the same.

    Well, I'm usually not prone to argue versus one the most knowledgeble guys there is about BG, but thrown daggers and axes has as far as I know shorter range than slings/bows/x-bows. Without reading through files in nearinfinity like the masters of BG does, I'd say it's about half.

    My must mix it with darts. Throwing daggers, hammers and axes have the same range as slings/bows and x-bows. Darts, though, have shorter range.
    OK, how odd that I remember so wrongly.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,086
    edited January 31
    Skatan said:

    Skatan said:

    The range should be the same.

    Well, I'm usually not prone to argue versus one the most knowledgeble guys there is about BG, but thrown daggers and axes has as far as I know shorter range than slings/bows/x-bows. Without reading through files in nearinfinity like the masters of BG does, I'd say it's about half.

    My must mix it with darts. Throwing daggers, hammers and axes have the same range as slings/bows and x-bows. Darts, though, have shorter range.
    OK, how odd that I remember so wrongly.
    With further investigation, I see old threads on other sites where users said throwing daggers had the same range as darts. Maybe the longer range of throwing daggers, hammers and axes is an EE thing.

    Edit: the NearInfinity shows range 100 for arrows, bolts and bullets, while only 30 for throwing daggers, hammers and axes. Darts have a 20 range. But in-game I have never noticed that you need a closer distance to attack with throwing weapons.

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,479
    edited January 31

    Skatan said:

    Skatan said:

    The range should be the same.

    Well, I'm usually not prone to argue versus one the most knowledgeble guys there is about BG, but thrown daggers and axes has as far as I know shorter range than slings/bows/x-bows. Without reading through files in nearinfinity like the masters of BG does, I'd say it's about half.

    My must mix it with darts. Throwing daggers, hammers and axes have the same range as slings/bows and x-bows. Darts, though, have shorter range.
    OK, how odd that I remember so wrongly.
    With further investigation, I see old threads on other sites where users said throwing daggers had the same range as darts. Maybe the longer range of throwing daggers, hammers and axes is an EE thing.

    Edit: the NearInfinity shows range 100 for arrows, bolts and bullets, while only 30 for throwing daggers, hammers and axes. Darts have a 20 range. But in-game I have never noticed that you need closer distance to attack with throwing weapons.
    Just because I am curious, on what zoom level do you play nowadays? I almost always play on max zoom level and I seem to recall there being a range difference, but I can't say for sure that I remember correctly. I have been known to be wrong in the past ;)

    Edit: What I meant is, playing on max zoom level makes it more obvious if a bow user can attack an enemy from a far and a dagger-thrower have to move in closer since you can see and target enemies from longer ranges. Sure, your vision is the same but if your fighters are a bit ahead of your ranged units it affect your vision/field of view.

  • PaulGreystokePaulGreystoke Member Posts: 63
    My initial advice for this thread was to have Voghiln stick with axes, since the returning axe is a good option. But then I recalled that axe throwers do have to stand closer to the enemy to attack. I recall allocating the returning axe to the goblin shaman in SoD & having her suffer additional attacks due to being a bit ahead of the party. I think I never really noticed this as a problem previously because I usually had the returning axe allocated to a tank character - particularly a Cavalier, for whom throwing weapons are the only real ranged option. Obviously a tank in full plate ("& packing steel!") & large shield out in front the party drawing additional attention is a good thing - but a bard perhaps not so much. So if this concerns you, switching Voghiln to another ranged weapon makes sense. But I would probably just have him focus on singing - as a Skald, his bard song is excellent.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 123
    edited January 31
    I just ran a test, and it does look like throwing daggers and bows have the same range, but throwing axes have a bit less range -- roughly the difference between the first and third rows in a two-column, three-row formation. So throwing axes should work equally well for a front-row fighter, but a back-row bard will have to move up a bit.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 123
    edited January 31
    Yeah in my test in SoD, I used the returning Throwing Axe +2 from BG1, so it does look like returning throwing axes have a shorter range.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,086
    The more we play the more we learn! Thanks for testing, @Skatan. Hope the promote will urge you test all throwing weapons from BG2 and ToB :)

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,208
    I know an awesome way to make Voghiln very useful to the party:

    1) Go to any party member Character Screen

    2) Click on Reform Party

    3) Click on Voghiln's portrait

    4) Click on Remove

    5) A pop-up will appear. Confirm the Remove instruction

    6) Click on Done

  • sluckerssluckers Member Posts: 280
    edited February 2
    In regards to the different ranges between arrows (100) and daggers (30), they appear to be the same during gameplay because the character using the weapon only has a sight range of 30, and cannot attack beyond line of sight even with a spotter. So if arrows do in fact have a range of 100, 70 of it is wasted, same as with spells that also claim to have a range beyond a value of 30 in their descriptions. Axes probably have a range in the 20s somewhere, if you're finding your axe thrower standing ahead of the group (never run tests myself, so I'm just speculating here). Unless that's changed since v2.2. I've not finished SoD or BG2 in v2.2 yet. Burning holes on my HDD though...

    I think I remember that Korgan in 1.3 BG2 never had issues with ranged axes and was always able to strike at the same distance, (ex: from the edge of webs and cloud effects) as the arrow shooters (like mazzy). Only had issues with my dart throwers walking onto webs or into stinking clouds/cloudkills to strike disabled enemies.

    It shouldn't be an issue with Vogilhn, though. In the brief time that I had him, I made him sing. If he's getting too close to the front, try using him in another way. The low APR of throwing axes and the shorter range (as per @Skatan 's test) makes him suited not for frontline work with your tip-of-the-spear NPCs, but for chucking the odd ax at whatever damaged enemy makes it through your front line on a run for your spellcasters. Range is not an issue there, since he'll be attacking flankers which always happens at shorter range.

    Must confess... I've not played very far into Dragonspear, just up to right after you get him. Had a bit a baldur's gate burnout and needed to stop. But...

    Based on the bard specific items I saw in only the first portions of the game, it seems the best way to use him is to sing, chuck the occasional axe and sling a spell or two. But always be singing and shuffling. The bard songs and spell counts get nice item-based boosts in SoD, so I would take it as a hint-hint nudge-nudge about what to do with him.

    His only other purpose, I suppose, is to have a charmingly crude alcoholic tag along.

  • FluentFluent Member Posts: 64
    Best Voghiln build is clearly to have him stand there while singing his song, decked out with the Bard Hat (extra spells), the Reed Flute thing (the song lingers for 2 rounds after finishing, which at least can help if as a last resort he needs to bust out a weapon of some sort) and so on. I gave him explosive potions for the occasional fireball toss and whatever armor he could wear (Elven chain mail is cool) to help him stay alive and that's about it. Perfect Voghiln build, guaranteed. :lol:

    JK, by the way. But that stuff does help. That Skald Song is nasty!

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