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iwd anti-powergaming party

I'm thinking of playing IWDEE again, this time with an anti-powergaming party. Some rules:

1. No kits (with the exception of Wizard schools, which were in the original IWD).

2. Only one score per character of 18.

3. No Half-Orcs; no monks, barbarians, or sorcerers.

My one concession to power-gaming: a multi-classed thief. I just can't seem to swallow a single class.

A question, though: Which is less power-gamey: A cleric or a fighter/cleric? I've played the game with a single-class cleric before, and she wiped up the Undead in the Severed Hand single-handedly. Boring. I was hoping that multi-classing her might slow her down a bit.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Grond0ArctodusQuartzKenji

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,884
    since im a power gamer extrodinaire I know exactly what you need to not power game :)

    #1 no class mixing whatsoever with fighter in it, so that includes your fighter/cleric, no fighter/mages, no fighter/thieves, no fighter anything, and no dual classing with fighter period, having those fighter levels mixed in with classes that don't get those extra attacks per round and the good to hit really help bring up the power level of those secondary classes

    #2 if you must have a multi class thief, just make sure again it's not a fighter/thief, fighter/thieves are pretty damn great especially an elf fighter/thief using longbows, complete carnage, if you must multi-class or dual for that matter, try out the cleric/thief, only gnomes can be cleric thieves for a multi class ( half-orc can to but you said no half-orcs ) so the only other option is human dual classing

    #3 make a team of six, if you make a smaller team, then you are going to sky rocket in levels comparatively, unless you don't mind that

    #4 also, what you could do it take the premade IWD team that comes with IWD EE, their stats aren't optimized to power game levels ( they only have the odd 18 here or there ) but they do have some class kits ( like the bersker and undead hunter ) so for those two classes you can just remake them and make one a fighter ( perhaps dwarf ) and one a paladin

    #5 don't bring along any druids or bards, the bard songs in IWD are A LOT better than their BG counterpart and druids have even more amazing spells in IWD than their BG counterpart as well, these two class types are very VERY strong in IWD

    for a team idea, mayhaps you could go with something like this:

    1- human paladin
    2- dwarf fighter
    3- half-elf ranger ( or possibly even elf )
    4- (any race) cleric ( although halflings and gnomes only get a max of 17 to their WIS )
    5- gnome cleric/thief
    6- elf mage or elf enchanter or human mage or human ( specialist mage )

    Grond0Arctodus
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 466
    I would say come up with some interesting characters and match the stats to what suits them, I think if you apply a realistic score and even choose weapons and spells that fit the character rather than what works you'd end up with not only a non power gaming setup but an interesting party to play with.

    lost1thespace
  • AltairAltair Member Posts: 127
    I must say I don't really see the point of anti-power gaming for these kinds of games... are you also going to equip the worse weapons and armors that you can find? I love challenges but I find much more rewarding to build the best character possible (without any cheat of course) and to try and beat the game at the highest difficulty possible with it. It took me ages to finish IWD on Heart of Fury mode starting from level 1 (first time with a party, and then again solo), but it was great fun every step of the way and deeply satisfying at the end.

    semiticgod
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,884
    I think the reason why people don't want a power gaming party is because it makes the game easier to the point where it is a cake walk, especially in bg1 for example, when I make teams 75% of the time I always make my own team of 6 instead of using joinable NPCs and my own team of 6 is noticeably stronger than an NPC team is, and I slice and dice through baddies no sweat without a worry or care, even on insane difficulty with double damage on

    so making a non power gaming party in IWD gives it the feel that you are using joinable NPCs instead of just pregenerated children of the gods that will raze destruction across the land

    ArctodusDJKajurulost1thespace
  • AltairAltair Member Posts: 127
    Try the Heart of Fury or Legacy of Bhaal modes starting from level 1 and we will see if you still find it a cake walk :-)

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,884
    Altair said:

    Try the Heart of Fury or Legacy of Bhaal modes starting from level 1 and we will see if you still find it a cake walk :-)

    yup, with 5 fighters and 1 swashbuckler, although it wasn't a cake walk, it was do able, although I find the HoF and LoB modes to be very boring, giving enemies bajillions of HP isn't really my idea of a fun time

    MortiannasubtledoctorQuartzThe_Reverend
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    Who doesn't start on HoF from level 1 it's the only way to play icewind dale. Every other mode is just too easy.

    ShikaoAltair
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    Best way to use a cleric multiclass is to create a dwarf FC. Efficient tanks and not as overpowered as Ranger/Clerics or single class cleric.

    OTOH, best way to use a thief is to make him/her a dual-class. After they reach level 13 (assuming a game played on normal), after finishing up Uper Dorn's Deep, there are no more traps to be had, so dual-classing is best done then, as there are plenty of quests (especially in Wyrm's Tooth Glacier) to recover thieving skills in no time. My favorite is dual-class Thief/Specialist Mage. Possible unfortunately only in the original non-baldurized version of the game.

  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 104
    This reminds me of the lackluster kit party (wizard slayer, beast master, jester, etc). Sounds like fun!

    Quartz10Bazza11
  • KenjiKenji Member Posts: 247
    edited December 2017
    Altair said:

    I must say I don't really see the point of anti-power gaming for these kinds of games... are you also going to equip the worse weapons and armors that you can find? I love challenges but I find much more rewarding to build the best character possible (without any cheat of course) and to try and beat the game at the highest difficulty possible with it. It took me ages to finish IWD on Heart of Fury mode starting from level 1 (first time with a party, and then again solo), but it was great fun every step of the way and deeply satisfying at the end.

    HoF mode with lvl1 party quickly got boring for me as most of the time it was just summoning minions, send them in, use ranged weapons and a shower of arrows, bolts, and bullets to finish off the monsters with ridiculous hp.

    I then reverted back to playing Hard difficulty but with gimped classes such as Fallen Paladin and pure class thief, cleric, and specialized wizard. The game was no longer a tedious chore, but now, again, an immersive adventure.

    Post edited by Kenji on
    sarevok57subtledoctorQueegon
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 104
    Oh yeah... here's my old post on a non-optimal party (but it uses kits... you can adjust to remove them, but it might make your party stronger):
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/706846#Comment_706846

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,135
    Try six monks. That should be about the least optimal party you can get. Although, if you last long enough, they should become a pretty sneaky ambush party by the end!

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 780
    How about the old school run? Out of game roll 3d6 six times, see what characters you can make of those rolls, and iron man as best you can...

  • RastRast Member Posts: 11
    sarevok57 said:

    #1 no class mixing whatsoever with fighter in it, so that includes your fighter/cleric, no fighter/mages, no fighter/thieves, no fighter anything, and no dual classing with fighter period, having those fighter levels mixed in with classes that don't get those extra attacks per round and the good to hit really help bring up the power level of those secondary classes

    This is the best answer in the thread, by far. Getting to mix a fighter with a support class is almost like having two characters. Doing it with human dual class is even more broken.

    My next run (after I finish my two ongoing runs) is going to be all single class non-warriors:
    Bard
    Monk
    Swashbuckler (Thief kit)
    Cleric
    Shaman (spontaneous casting Druid)
    Sorcerer


  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,135
    Rast said:

    sarevok57 said:

    #1 no class mixing whatsoever with fighter in it, so that includes your fighter/cleric, no fighter/mages, no fighter/thieves, no fighter anything, and no dual classing with fighter period, having those fighter levels mixed in with classes that don't get those extra attacks per round and the good to hit really help bring up the power level of those secondary classes

    This is the best answer in the thread, by far. Getting to mix a fighter with a support class is almost like having two characters. Doing it with human dual class is even more broken.

    My next run (after I finish my two ongoing runs) is going to be all single class non-warriors:
    Bard
    Monk
    Swashbuckler (Thief kit)
    Cleric
    Shaman (spontaneous casting Druid)
    Sorcerer


    Shaman isn't available until the next patch. You can goof around with the beta version for play testing if you want but constant switching me out of HOF mode made it unplayable for me personally. If you don't do HOF it should work fine for you...

  • ElendarElendar Member Posts: 831
    edited July 3
    Dwarf Dwarven Defender
    Dwarf Berserker
    Dwarf Fighter/Cleric
    Dwarf Fighter/Cleric
    Dwarf Fighter/Thief
    Gnome Fighter/Illusionist

    Members of a Dwarven clan with an adopted gnome. Alternatively, you could make the clerics and thief not multiclassed if thats too "power-gamey" for you and drop the Gnome for another Dwarf fighter type. Though a fighter/mage isn't really THAT powerful in IWD with the lack of available scrolls. A sorcerer is far more powerful simply because they can choose what spells they want rather than waiting to find something useful.

  • The_ReverendThe_Reverend Member Posts: 17
    edited July 3
    This is a really solid idea, and one I've been thinking of trying for a while. Some of the devs have discussed that both kits and the inclusion of dual-wielding break the challenge of the original IWD, no matter how fun they are to use.

    Were I to start another game, I'd probably avoid using kits or any classes from BG2 along with no dual-wielding. With that in mind, my party would probably look like:

    Dwarf Fighter
    Human Paladin
    Elf Fighter/Thief
    Elf Druid
    Half-Elf Bard
    Gnome Illusionist/Cleric

    Reasonably well-rounded without having to dual-class, and allows full access to class-specific quests and dialogues.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,772
    I really like this idea.

    @sarevok57 had some great advice (as usual). If you're going for vanilla IWD flavor, you're doing it right. If you're looking for a challenge somewhat at the expense of vanilla flavor, you might consider (as others have hinted) using some of the more lackluster kits available. For instance, un-kitted Bards in IWD are very powerful due to their large repertoire of songs. Jester, on the other hand? Not so great. Instead of a Ranger take a Beast Master. That sort of thing.

    I understand why an un-kitted single-class Thief is unappealing to you. In IWD they're just not needed because you'll find yourself rolling in extra thieving points you don't need and they'll seemingly plateau in effectiveness fairly early on. I agree that if you want something more useful without being overpowered, you should go for a Gnomish Cleric/Thief. Sanctuary + Find Traps is a neat ability without being OP, should make for some fun.

    I wish I had a good suggestion for Mage kits. I tend to stay away from those in IWD due to the whole "two opposition schools" deal. In IWD 1.0 they functioned just like in Baldur's Gate, and that's what I played for yeeeeaaaars so I just can't wrap my head around it.

    sarevok57
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,135
    How about six shadowdancers? I know you said no kits but this actually sounds kind of fun (after you grind your way to level 6 or so, tedious until then I'd gather). You'd really have to plan out their skills and weapons and at high levels they'd be hard to beat, but they'd have to be highly micro-managed until then. I'm suddenly considering giving this a whirl!

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 324
    If you're looking for a challenge, you should also think seriously about limiting what you do in-game. No resting except in town, no items except for those you loot from quests/foes, and no consulting guides/tables to "rig" the game's RNG are three that come to mind right away, though there are probably others.

    Quartz
  • The_ReverendThe_Reverend Member Posts: 17
    edited July 7
    A lot of good ideas here. As an addendum to what I wrote above, you could also consider making a party with only one warrior (e.g. fighter/ranger/paladin/barbarian) type-character and single-classed non-warrior characters for the rest of the party. I'm currently running a new game with:

    Dwarf Barbarian (Axe/Sword + Shield Style)
    Half-Elf Blade
    Half-Elf Avenger
    Dwarf Cleric of Lathander
    Gnome Assassin
    Human Invoker

    In my previous IWD games, I've had at least 3 fighter-type characters that made the game way too easy after a while. Since the original game wasn't balanced around dual-wielding, a half-orc barbarian equipped with two weapons that offer either damage resistance or bonus APR (no matter how fun that could be) was an express ticket to easy mode. Certain kits like Dwarven Defender or Archer also seemed to tip the balance a bit too strongly in my favor.

    With this new party, I have to tailor party tactics in ways distinct to each encounter. Which has added a new element of challenge and makes the game a lot of fun.

    ETA: I'm also keeping difficulty at "normal" setting to avoid any bonus XP.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,401
    marcos said:

    Only one score per character of 18.

    Mush_Mush said:

    I would say come up with some interesting characters and match the stats to what suits them, I think if you apply a realistic score and even choose weapons and spells that fit the character rather than what works you'd end up with not only a non power gaming setup but an interesting party to play with.

    These are two really good pieces of advice right here.

    I've always viewed IWD as a sort of spiritual prequel to BG1, so I always try to keep my party members' stats in line with those of BG1 NPCs.

    Here are a few characters from my most recent IWD playthrough.

    A barbarian with low (no HP bonus, except when raging) con:

    My party leader, I use her mainly as an archer and a flanker, occasionally raging and rushing head-on into combat only as necessary.


    A cleric with low wisd:

    One of my favorite character creations, he uses the non-verbal male voice-set. Outside of casting spells, he's fervently devoted to combat, and the rest of my (rather unscrupulous) party members are only too willing to allow him to walk at the head of the party and draw arrow fire.


    A thief (multi) with average dext:

    The most physically powerful (str and con) member of my party, this is counterbalanced somewhat by her armor restrictions as a thief.

    StummvonBordwehrAerakarBelgarathMTH
  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,691
    My latest playthrough in IWD was a non-optimal party called 'The Blue Blades'. They were most restricted compared to regular playthroughs of mine by their Stats. There was only one character who had 18 for an ability, the Dwarven Cleric that served as a tank, but he was limited in having the lowest total stats of the whole party, just 70 points (his WIS was 13, granting him no bonus spells and though he had CON 17, his DEX was just 10, so he got no bonuses there). The party was most hampered by the lack of good DEX/CON combinations, making them very squishy. The best combi was DEX 15/CON 15 for the Fighter I made party leader.

    Ultimately, at the entrance of the Dragon's Eye I quitted as because of their squishiness, I failed to survive the battle at the entrance of the Dragon's Eye cave system and gave up after several retries.

    My first IWD 2.5 party will have better stats hopefully, though I intend to use the IWD NPC party and that's not exactly power-gaming, to use a euphemism. My greatest concern is that it's adviced to make your PC the party leader for the triggering of banters but the combination of classes is such, that a cleric is the one best fitting in and I don't like a cleric to be party leader, so maybe I'll go for a fighter-cleric.

    GusindaBelgarathMTH
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,970
    @jsaving: Are there actually tables for RNG in IWD? I've never heard of RNG manipulation in an IE game before.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 324
    edited July 8
    Indeed there are.



    Unfortunately, some of the game's most powerful items are only available with a lucky roll and you'll never even know you missed them if the roll doesn't go your way. Because of this, people often consult FAQs/tables to see where those drops are and then use an editor to ensure they get the most desirable item. (Or alternatively, there are various mods that just give you the best item or let you choose which item to get.)

  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 57
    I think my next play through will be 5 multiclass characters and a vanilla IWD bard, nobody dual weilding. Party gets to avoid the possibly unbalancing effects of the BG2 kits and engine, without feeling like it's missing out by deliberately ignoring options.

    Going to play with whatever initial stat array is given at character creation. Party should be okay once xp starts really climbing, but the initial stretch of the game should feel pretty rough.

    Gusinda
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,970
    @jsaving: Oh, I see. I thought you meant RNG manipulation, rather than save scumming to change loot results.

    If we had data on how the game calculated random numbers, then RNG manipulation could theoretically let us control attack rolls and saves and such.

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