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Help me pick a specialized party, please *spoilers*

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by gscie, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. gscie Gems: 1/31
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    Hi all,

    I am soon finishing my 4rth playthrough of SoA and am trying to figure out a party that will make me want to do a 5th playthrough. I would greatly appreciate your ideas. The general concept for my party is that they need to make my life easier and each of the NPCs should excel in some of the different kinds of situations I 'll be facing.

    My favorite party this far has been:

    1) Charname (berserker 9/mage) dual wielding katanas (celestial fury and Dak'kon's blade)
    You probably all know how strong and flexible this is. Wears amulet of power, cloak of reflection and ring of gaxx.

    2) Korgan (berserker) with axes or Keldorn (Paladin Inquisitor) with Carsomyr
    Both very strong, but I usually go with Korgan because I love his personality and banters. Keldorn is also an awesome fighter, but a bit boring. Korgan also sometimes gets the shield of balduran to take on the beholders.

    3) Jaheira (fighter/druid) situationally a) dual wielding that +3 club and belm or b) wielding club with shield against confusion or c) supporting with the sling of seeking. Very flexible character, she is also extremely valuable as a 2nd fighter while charname is trying to reach mage level 10 or as a third fighter when we are overwhelmed by numbers. Sometimes she tanks first against very hard hitting opponents due to her good AC. One of the two companions who wield a blunt weapon to take on clay golems. She wears the 18/00 strength item.

    4) Anomen (fighter/cleric) wielding mace of disruption, the dragon shield, and the +5 sling. Viconia is a better cleric, but Anomen is good enough and he is a much better fighter. He usually sits back helping with his sling. In addition, he takes on undead with charname and clay golems with Jaheira. Wears the sensate amulet and the dexterity gauntlets.

    5) Jan Jansen (thief/illusionaist) wielding his crossbow.
    I need a thief and Jansen is the only competent thief that will stick with me from near-beginning to end (too bad, because I love Joshimo's personality). Plus, he supports my main mage (coming up!) by fireballing, slowing or glitterdusting my opponents. He gets the thieving items and ring of acuity.

    6) Edwin (mage conjurer)
    Extremely versatile and powerful mage. I love his personality and voice too. I tried Nalia instead once, but it soon was obvious to me that I was just making my life hard, even though I also had Jansen and my berserker/mage. Also, I don't care much about Nalia's personality. Edwin gets the ring of wizardry and robe of vecna.

    The big question is: How can I possibly *improve* on the above? Or, if that's not possible, how can I have a different kind of party that is just as strong?

    For my charname I have tried half-orc barbarian (but was not as much fun as berserker/mage) and kensai/mage (but I prefer the berserker's immunities).

    I have tried Viconia instead of Anomen. She is much cooler, but I find Anomen to be much more useful overall. I have also tried Aerie instead of Anomen, but Aerie levels up very slowly and cannot really substitute a real cleric.

    I have also tried the Joshimo/Imoen duo once instead of Jansen. But I kind of like the fact that Jansen sticks with me to the end.

    I was thinking of trying a Skald for my charname while substituting Jaheira with Keldorn. But then all my charname will be doing is sit back and sing, which is not very exciting gameplay, right? Any other ideas?
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Taking a blade instead of a skald can work. Edwin can take over as primary mage, and the blade is still an arcane spellcaster.

    A Swashbuckler instead of a second bezerker can provide needed thief skills, just put all your points into open locks, find traps, and pick pockets then dual at level 8 or 12. If you go this route or stay with the bezerker->mage, you can try taking Haer'dalis for your secondary spellcaster instead of Edwin. You lose some spell power but gain some melee. Haer'Dalis is better played taking a different set of spells, geared to enhance his melee combat.
    It can be fun to experiment with the buff spells and touch spells like ghoul touch. Until you get that elfin chain, jester's chain, bladesinger chain, or melodic chain, those "useless" armor spells like ghost armor or spirit armor are extremely useful, along with mirror image.
     
  3. gscie Gems: 1/31
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    Slick, thank you for your input! It made me do some thinking, which I am grateful for. I do have some objections however. Let's see:

    About the Swashbuckler
    So, I 'll be dropping the berserker immunities of charname, which is OK since I will have Korgan. But what am I getting in return? Jansen covers thieving nicely, well, everything except for stealth. So I am not convinced that I am getting something of real value.

    About Haer'dalis
    I would definitely try Haer'dalis (eg, instead of Jaheira) if he were a Skald. Unfortunately, he is not. Edwin is too freaking powerful to drop without losing a lot of power, so I am not too keen on that. The group I have described above already has more than enough melee power (charname, Korgan, Jaheira, Anomen), so it does not look like Haer'dalis will offer real value.

    Having said all that, you got me thinking of trying the (swashbuckler+Haer'dalis) thing, substituting (berserker/mage+Jaheira) just to try something different. In this scenario, Haer'dalis is going to be the magically buffed guy (as you mentioned) instead of charname. It does seem however that the party is going to be weaker, unless the swashbuckler proves much more useful than Jaheira (which I doubt).

    But at least I have something to try if I don't come up with something better!
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    A swashbuckler/mage is giving you thief skills in exchange for only a small loss in combat power. Thus you do not need to take Jan with you. The loss is less than any of the other thief kits, but still less combat power than a bezerker/mage. The advantage of the swashbuckler over say an assassin or bounty hunter is that you aren't really losing THAC0 compared to a fighter kit.

    The thief skills and the ability to specialize in short bows or crossbows the only advantage over a bezerker, but a swashbuckler still gets fewer attacks per round than any warrior type (fighter, paladin, or ranger and their kits). Hence why it is weaker. At low levels the difference is minimal, but after level 7 the bezerker gets the advantage of 3/2 attacks per round, and at level 13 the bezerker gains 2 attacks per round. Also the bezerker can get up to five pips in melee weapons, gaining an extra attack per round from those.

    Also, don't underestimate the blade. It's one of the most popular kits on here. Defensive Spin makes the blade virtually invulnerable to melee attacks while it is engaged, although he cannot move once started. Offensive spin is quite the damage dealer. I have no clue what the difference between the blade's bard song and the standard bard song is, but by Throne of Bhaal, taking "enhanced bard song" right away makes it irrelevant. Buff the blade with his spells and send him into battle and he can cut your enemies to ribbons.

    Also don't forget that the Jester's Chain, Meldoric Chain, bladesinger chain, and elfin chain mails all allow a bard type to cast spells while wearing it. Most work for fighter/mage or thief/mage (and of course F/M/T) as well. Useful for your bezerker/mage or swashbuckler/mage.
     
  5. Bjourtra Gems: 1/31
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    You could try making a party of user-created characters vs. the NPCs. In addition to the following list, I like to keep my party below 4 characters. It is easier to control fewer characters, is more challenging, and they level up faster than a party of 6.

    options for user-created characters:
    1) Blade (as mentioned above). Great all around character. In addition to what was mentioned above, when you get enhanced bard song you can then cast mislead a few times and have each of those images sing while you fight. Your stats will be SUPER high (AC of -21, THACO of 21)

    2) Avenger dual classed into fighter (at level 15 or 18 or 20). It plays like jaheira, but you get a few more offensive spells (lighting bolt, chain lightning, chromatic orb, improved invisibility, chaos). These spells make you a better damage dealer and also protect you a bit more. Plus, you get to change into a sword spider with poison damage. All you have to do is hit a mage once and he will be helpless to cast, even if he is protected by stoneskin.

    3) swashbuckler dual to cleric (at level 25). You get thieving abilities, a great fighter, great buffs from the cleric spells and some good damage spells, AND you can dual wield long swords or use carsomyr. The thief high level ability, 'use any item', allows you to use items that normally are forbidden to a cleric. The high level ability whirlwind will make you a stronger fighter. This is a very versatile and fun class.

    4) Wizard slayer dual to thief (at level 13 or so, maybe 18). you can get 100% magic resistance with gear. And at level 25 thief you can 'use any item', which removes all restrictions for the wizard slayer. Plus, you prevent mages and dragons from casting spells when you hit them 1-2 times. And you can backstab with grand mastery in club or quarterstaff. A good weapon combo is to carry Carsomyr (grand master in 2handed swords + staff of ram). Switch back an forth between them for backstabbing or fighting. An alternative is to use a Kensai or a berserker instead of the wizard slayer.

    5) Dual class a stalker into a cleric (at level 13 or so). It plays like jaheira, but you can backstab and you get cleric spells in addition to the druid spells

    6) play a monk. they get to 100% magic resistance, run fast, and fight well. They play surprisingly fast.

    (note: 100% magic resistance not only makes you immune to spells, it also protects you against beholder rays and the paralytic stare from demons)
     

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