I usually have Minsc equipped with two handed swords (Lilicor - ugh, until I get the Silver Sword) and halberds (Wave Halberd and Ravager) during SOA and after finishing Watcher's Keep, switch him to dual wielding Crom Fayer and the Axe of Unyielding. Lots of decapitations from Minsc!
I ran into a situation in Saradush. I took my party up on the wall and had those equipped with ranged weapons that do not require ammunition start killing the obscured Fire Giants. I had everyone go through a level-up cycle and then left to run an errand. I came back about 40 minutes later and the game was telling me that my main character had died. Tried again later and with no warning, the game removed everyone, my party and the militia from the wall and once again, I was informed my main character was dead.
Is there some kind of random insta-kill feature installed here to discourage grinding? If so, it's a cheap shot and would have been better to just remove the out-of-sight Fire Giants.
I have a dirty trick to deal with Amelissan in the third fight. My normal party includes Imoen, Nalia, and Aerie. I use two spells, Simulacurum and Skull Trap. I have all of my mages memorize five Skull Traps and one Simulacrum. Before I cut off her Bhaal Essence, I have Aerie, Imoen, and Nalia cast Simulacrum and have their simulacrums cast all their skull traps where Amelissan will appear. Then, I have the real Aerie, Imoen, and Nalia cast their Skull Traps, for a total of 30 Skull Traps!
Then I cut off her Bhaal Essence and the fight begins. She then teleports into a minefield of 30 Skull Traps! KABOOM!!! It even breaks the Aerie romance script!