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Dark moon monk playthrough, some questions

(Long intro, just some background that is not really relevant to my questions. Can skip, just thought I'd explain a bit)
Being a huge fan of the original games, I finally picked up the enhanced editions during the Steam sale. So far I'm glad I did, the quick-loot and the ability to switch between two handed weapons and sword and shield/two weapons alone make the game much more friendly to play.
Having always played good aligned mages in the originals, I want to try something different. Playing psychotic evil never really appealed to me, nor did it seem to make sense storywise. So the Blackguard was out, interesting as the class may be otherwise. Not really interested in thieves (save maybe the shadowdancer), monks seem interestingly different from the other classes. Because I was going to play evil I made a Dark Moon Monk. As I found as early as the first dream sequence, it seems doable to roleplay a guy that starts out neutral but slowly grows into the evil role; "As you stare at the murderer of your foster father, one thought coalesces in your mind: you will have such power as this. Whatever it takes, you will have all that he does, and more." That makes the headcanon work for me; my character is a physically gifted guy who trained endlessly with monks because he found it interesting and challenging, not necessarily to prepare for combat. He found he has an affinity for the shadows and investigated that, even if he doesn't fully buy into the church of Shar he learned from their teachings. He loved Gorion and wants to avenge him. To do that he needs power, that may come at a cost he's willing to pay. (I'm just hoping the writing allows me keep this headcanon going).
Following @Southpaw 's guide "I punch Dopplegangers" I managed to get through the first few levels with relative ease. Having cleared the Nashkel Mines and most of the southern areas I'm now at level 4, have an AC that is pretty much the same as that of everyone else in my party, the best ranged thac0, stealth should become possible now that I have some items to help out whit that, and I am also capable of doing melee (carefully). Even though it's still early game, I think its an interesting character to play with.

Okay, intro over. Now for the actual questions;
1. Do you get more uses of your special abilities, other than Frozen Fist? I'm guessing not, which seems like a bit of a shame. Won't the illusion spells just get dispelled the second you enter combat against a capable mage?
2. Does Frozen Fist only work when you're unarmed? What happens when you're wielding a weapon in your off hand but nothing in your main?
3. Is the Claw of Kazgaroth worth getting? It's bloody expensive for what seems like something only moderately better than a regular ring of protection, yet I've seen it mentioned a few times. Am I underestimating how much the save bonuses help?
4. Originally I was planning to have mostly the canon party, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, and rotate some some of the evil and neutral companions in the other spots just to get a taste of them while still having the BG2 start make sense. I intended to keep Viconia and Edwin out of my party because you'll meet them in the next game anyway, and it seemed a bit too convenient that they just happen to show up in Amn as well (not having been kidnapped). Because I'm playing with Spell Revisions (and Item Revisions), I found Jaheira is not as great at healing during combat. So I went and got Viconia anyway. Since I also have SCS installed I'm expecting the mage battles to become rather challenging. I'm planning on dualing Imoen, but is one mage going to be enough for the later battles? Or should I go and get Edwin too? Part of me wants to get him into a party with Alora, supposedly it shows a nicer side of him.
5. Speaking of Edwin, can you get him to join even if you rescue Dynaheir first (again to make the BG2 story work)?
6. Is Dorn worth keeping on, both from a story and a gameplay perspective? So far he does tonnes of damage in combat, but is also much more vulnerable than I'd like. He'd be my pick to get the boot if I have to pick up Edwin. From a roleplay perspective, his powerful entrance made him intriguing to my character, his quest for vengeance relatable. But if he's going to be a completely unlikeable bastard in this game or the next (or worse, someone that steals my spotlight :tongue: ), he'll have to go.
7. Rasaad; I heard there are some good items for my monk in his BG2 quest. Is there anything really worth getting in his BG1 quest (items or story), or can I leave him for a future neutral or good playthrough?
8. Jumping ahead all the way to ToB; the monk's HLA's. The regular fighter HLA's are fine I suppose, but with the limited uses of his other special abilities I'm worried he'll start to feel like any other fighter, with maybe even fewer options than most. Would you recommend using a mod that adds some different HLA's? Like Monk Overhaul (if that still works), Subtledoctor's Refinements, or anything else?

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032
    1. No. Illusion spells could be dispelled by a mage, though a solo mage will struggle to cast anything against a full party attacking (and if you're facing a powerful group you probably don't want your PC up front attacking).
    2. Frozen Fist will still work with a weapon in the off hand, but remember that monks can't eliminate the penalties from dual-wielding.
    3. It's a great item. It's arguably better than the Helm of Balduran and certainly worthwhile for those that can't wear that. You can wear it with a ring of protection. It's greatest benefit is in BG2 where it helps get saving throws down low enough to have no chance of failing, but it's still useful in BG1.
    4. I haven't played that much with spell revisions and normally play solo rather than with a party, so I don't have a lot of experience with your situation. Mage battles could indeed be challenging and 2 arcane users could be an advantage for you - though I suspect that's more likely to be a factor in BG2 where the SCS buffs become more intense. Personally I'd be more worried about the SCS thieves - a critical backstab on your PC could be deadly at pretty much any stage of the game.
    5. I can't remember the exact requirements, but I'm pretty sure he will join later if you kill Dynaheir.
    6. I've not used him a lot, but he has some useful special abilities. You could give him the gloves of dexterity to make him a bit more durable.
    7. There are a couple of items that could be useful, but I wouldn't have thought they would be worth you changing your proposed party for them.
    8. I know plenty of people don't like the use of fighter HLAs for monks. Personally I think they are fine and don't feel the need to mod them. In terms of options, the ability to use whirlwinds means using weapons becomes viable - while hardiness and lower AC makes it possible to melee slightly less cautiously.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovSatrhan
  • SatrhanSatrhan Member Posts: 72
    Thanks for your reply.
    1. That is too bad, seems like after lvl 13 you don't get anything new to do except punch harder. Could still be fun, will have to see. From what I remember from my last playthrough with SCS mages and priests they cast true sight pretty regularly, so that would reduce their usefulness substantially.
    2. Well that is what the 'weapon styles for all' tweak is for :wink:
    3. I didn't realize you could combine it with a protection ring, nice. That does sound useful indeed, glad I got it.
    4. I'd forgotten about the thieves, but just ran into a party that used them pretty effectively, ouch.
    5. I'll give it a go by rescuing her first, see what happens.
    6. Yeah some more AC would help him.
    7. Well I was planning on rotating some members a bit, just to see what they are like.
    8. I agree that they'll work for the monk. I don't care that an ability is called Smite and not Tiger strike or something, it's still him punching something so hard it flies away. Just think it would be nice if he could do some thematic things that other fighters can't do. Anyway, I have some time to think about it.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    edited July 2018
    At high level, the monk still has a huge avantage over a regular fighter, that is a very good magical resistance, which is definitely useful in later parts of the game.
    I don't know if magical resistance helps against crowd control area of effect spells, but if it's the case then it's good

    Edit : Of course fighters also have avantages, like access to good weapons and gear (and grandmastery)

    Edit2: Immunity to charm and poison is cool (monks)

    Post edited by Yann1989 on
  • SatrhanSatrhan Member Posts: 72
    Yes those are some nice perks the monk has, no doubt about it. Running around picking off mages and archers while shrugging off most of the worst the enemy can throw at you, and being able to hold your own in melee as well sounds nice. Thing is, at level 7 I'm already doing most of that (sans the magic resistance of course). The only new thing to look forward to is quivering palm, a once a day ability that is cool if it works, and totally wasted if the enemy makes a save.

    Breaking my no magic resolution I am trying a different class, one that I always thought was rather silly, the fighter/mage/thief. A different beast, but some similarities (at least in BG1);
    *Can cast the same spells, but more often.
    *No armor (mostly), mitigated by spells rather than natural progression.
    *Sneaking in to take out spell casters (but now with backstab multiplier).
    *Not a frontliner at first, but can hold his own with proper preparation.
    I'm playing him a bit like a witcher. Not the strongest fighter maybe, definitely not the strongest mage, but when properly prepared a force to be reckoned with. I'll get him to the same point as the monk, then I'll see which one I'd like to take further.

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