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Best ranged weapons

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Cecily Griselda, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    It's bugging me that I don't know whether ranged weapons add DEX to damage in 3E or not.. I know to hit accuracy is boosted, but is damage? From memory, ranged damage is often resisted entirely by enemy DR, so probably no.
    Either way, that modded bow is the only one that gets x1.5 STR bonus to damage, making it a lot stronger.
     
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    It's not. You have to jump through some serious hoops to get Dex to damage and even when you do, it's still a bad option compared to everything else you could be doing.
     
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  3. Cecily Griselda Gems: 3/31
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    OK, what could I do with rogue1wizardX, pure sorcerer or wizard and a pure bard
     
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    Don't use ranged weapons. :p
     
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    So, spells only?
     
  6. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Pretty much. As you get access to lvl 7 spells you get mordenkainens sword, for your ranged combat needs.
     
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    At least in the mid-game. Early on, you might want to have them use a crossbow or whatever missile weapon is handy to save on spells. Don't invest much in it, just give them whatever they are proficient in that nobody else is using. Although you really want to give him the crossbow that you pick up at the docks if you don't go buy weapons for everybody since you will not have many spells at that point.

    Once you've finished the ice fortress, you should generally have enough spells not to need to use missile weapons much. It should NOT be your primary attack, but have them shoot a normal bolt or throw a dart, or use a sling whenever they are not casting spells. Save the expensive magic stuff for enemies that can't be harmed with normal projectiles.
     
  8. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    crossbows and slings are simple weapons; everyone has a basic proficiency. elves are even proficient in bows. unless you plan to rest for EVERY minor encounter, to replenish spells, using a ranged weapon is a good way for a mage to still contribute.

    most mages can still retain decent DEX, so ranged.weapons are a viable option, and may be worth investing a Rapid Shot feat on.
     
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    If by contribute you mean "waste turns", then yeah, I agree. :lol:
     
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    Better than standing around doing nothing, and they DO contribute when fighting the goblins and orcs in chapters 1 & 2. Mages should generally not be in melee unless they are finishing off helpless foes. However, if you manage to get a bunch of baddies paralyzed, you can get your fighters to engage the still active foes, while your mages move in and finish off the helpess baddies, keeping them out of danger while making an important contribution of ensuring the baddies don't become active again when the spell wears off.

    When selecting ranged weapons for mages, go for accuracy over anything else. A crossbow of accuracy that gives +5 to hit but no damage bonus is desirable for a mage over a heavy crossbow that is +1 to hit, +8 to damage.
    This is the opposite of fighters.
    Every little bit of damage helps, and after the Ice Fortress, the mages should only be using their weapons when they are not casting spells. If they are just going to stand there, they might as well take pot shots with crossbows, slings, and darts. Elvish mages can use bows, but look at who else is using bows before you give one to your mage. Remember, BAB/to hit bonuses are more important for mages than damage.
     
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    It's been years since I've played IWD2, but I don't recall it being any different from other IE games. That is to say, you should have more than enough consumables to occupy your turns while you're not casting spells. Literally anything is better than having your caster attack enemies with a ranged weapon unless you have absolutely no other choice. The exception might be very early game, probably until the goblin fortress, if that.

    Also, if an enemy is disabled, you should finish it off with your warriors, not your casters. Your casters and summons should be the ones focusing on active foes until the cleanup crew can engage them. I don't know what kind of D&D you've been playing, but it sounds incredibly inefficient. You wouldn't last a session at my table. :p
     
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    Yeah, though IWD 2 can be a little lighter on the items that allow you to cast abilities, since a good amount of them only drop as random loot and a lot of the better wands only start showing up in shops around chapter 4.
    Initially you're only able to get the wand of horror and grease. And a lot of the wands in the game are not available in shops at all - they're either only carried by one or two specific enemies, or have to drop as randomized loot.

    That said, the charged items/wands you do find on your way to the goblin fort , as well as the duplicate scrolls you find should tide you over pretty well, enough to ensure you have things to throw at the enemy even if your spellcasters burn through all of their own spells from that point onward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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    We aren't talking about P&P, we are talking about IWD2. In P&P I would have somebody finish off helpless enemies with a coup de gras. Even the mage can do so.
    I have played 2nd edition AD&D.

    As for inefficient, that is the opposite. The mage only has a limited number of spells per day, and my DM did not permit us to rest after every battle, he had them rest at the end of the day or when the area was secure. Then again, in 2E it took longer to refresh spells. 15 minutes per spell level per spell.

    So conserving spells made sense. The mages would shy away from melee combat, but needed to do SOMETHING to contribute other than stand around helpless. Using slings or darts and slipping in when it was safe to deliver a coup de grace made sense.
    The mage would NOT deliver a coup de grace if there were active enemies nearby that could close and attack them.

    But that is P&P where "I wouldn't last a round at your table". We're talking IWD2, where the enemies do not suddenly change targets if the mage darts in to attack a helpless foe. You do not get an instant-kill against helpless foes, but instead merely an automatic hit.
    Once you've cast all the spells you intend to cast, if any of the enemies have been paralyzed, stunned, or otherwise made helpless and easy hits with no other foes near them, having the mage who isn't doing much but taking pot shots with his crossbow switch to a melee weapon and attack that helpless foe for an automatic hit makes sense and is more efficient, as the characters with better chances to hit and deal better damage can concentrate on the active foes.

    Otherwise, using missile weapons is better than doing nothing.
     
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    The same tactics apply to IWD2, i.e. you're doing it wrong as far as I'm concerned. :p
     
  15. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    Not really. Sorcerers are mostly SAD, so if you invest heavily into their other abilities, they make reasonably capable combatants when buffed. Since I almost always duo IE games, especially the IWD series, my caster is frequently on the front line and I'm quite used to making similar builds. But it takes a lot of investment before you're even remotely efficient with a ranged weapon.

    Using ranged weapons in 3E is frankly one of the worst choices you can make. Even when you're good, you still suck. :shake:
     
  17. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    i never thought of making any unit a primary ranged attacker, but it's a great alternative for special situations. if you don't want to waste spells or potions on healing, a wounded unit can fall back and offer ranged support. it's also the easiest way to tackle the wisp lights; all units must switch to ranged.
     
  18. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bards have medium BAB progression (wizards and sorcs have low BAB) and they get a lot of bonuses from buffs and songs. They also have a lot of illusion, disabling and summoning spells. This makes them ideal ranged weapon/utility specialists.
    A bard should be using one of the stronger ranged weapons (eg. two-handed throwing axes) or at the very least, a powerful two-handed weapon so you get both reach (limited, but at least you'll be standing behind the tank) and damage.
     
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    What are two-handed throwing axes? Is that an IWD2 thing? :aaa:

    Also, 3E bards are uniquely qualified for secondary melee and midline caster roles in PnP. No idea how that translates to IWD2 though. I can't say that I've ever played a bard.
     
  20. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes, its an IWD2 thing. Think all bells and whistles of two-handed weapons + strength bonus + Power Attack + everything else, combine that with range and ranged attack perks like Rapid Shot (don't ask) and the fact that IWD2 mob AC at higher difficulties doesn't scale anywhere near as well as their HP.
    Add bardic AB and luck (a stat that basically shifts die rolls in your favor) to the mix and you get a lot of high damage attacks. Many of them will be crits.
     

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