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Help me pick party members for an Evil party

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate (Classic)' started by Valrog, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Valrog Gems: 1/31
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    These are the members I want in my party:

    1. Edwin - Fastest-leveling mage, with the most spells and best spell selection (Conjurer).
    2. Kagain - The Incredible Hulk w/ gauntlets of ogre power. His godly constitution, regeneration, grand mastery and the ability to use bladed weapons and any armor makes him able to carry a party by himself. He can even rest anywhere and would still be at full health when "ambushed".
    3. Eldoth - Deadly archer/wizard slayer with gauntlets of dexterity (poison arrows & spells)
    4. Tiax - Full fledged thief (for BG1 standards). He can find traps with "Find Traps" spell and scout with "Sanctuary". So, all his thieving skills can be put into Open Locks. And after that, he still has other Cleric spells and can turn undead. And his "Summon Ghast" ability is awesome - a Ghast with 18/00 strength ("Strength" spell) can massacre almost anybody and is immune to effects like petrification.

    That, unfortunately, leaves me with only one more companion!:

    Xar (great RP, decent mage)
    Montaron (great RP, decent fighter/thief)
    Viconia (nice cleric + 50% magic resistance, but only a single-classed cleric who can't fight)
    Shar-Teel (fighter with girly constitution, but can be dual-classed to thief)

    Out of these four, I would really love to pick Xar and Montaron who are great for RP. But I can't pick both! At the same time, I can't bear to part with Edwin, Kagain, Eldoth or Tiax :(

    That leaves me with only 3 choices:

    1. Sacrifice either Edwin, Kagain, Eldoth or Tiax.
    2. Kill either Xar or Montaron (which would be less satisfying).
    3. Take either Viconia or Shar-Teel (giving up both Xar and Montaron).

    None of which truly appeals to me. I would love some suggestions from you guys to help make up my damned mind.
     
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  2. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent

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    Out of the four you definitely want, I'd probably dump Eldoth and then take Xzar and Monty. Xzar has the potential to become one of the greatest spell-slingers in the whole game, if you sink a Tome of Wisdom into him and dual him to Cleric when he reaches sixth level; "I am become death, destroyer of worlds!". Montaron is a simply fantastic backstabbing bad-ass, and an asset to any evil party. Is there a particular reason you want Eldoth? I honestly find him irritating and would imagine his poisoned arrows can't get through Protection from Normal Missiles (I haven't tested this), which is exactly where you'd want them to go!

    EDIT: This is making me want to go and make an evil BG1 party now. :)
     
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  3. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Why not play two evil games? One with Montaron and Xzar and one without them? That's what I plan to do when I get around to playing.
     
  4. Paracelsi

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

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    Objectively speaking Eldoth fits the party very well, considering level/spellcasting power scaling in BG1. Bards make excellent nukers until the mage gains enough levels to actually be a dangerous nuker, and when that happens they simply switch spellcaster roles. The whole time you get a competent archer, at-will protection from fear, extra level 1 spell slots (no need to memorize Identify) and a character with pickpocket/stealing.
    I hate Eldoth's personality though. He's almost exactly like BG2's Anomen except evil and better-than-thou instead of morally-challenged and holier-than-thou.

    I suggest you get either Shar-Teel or Faldorn. Shar-Teel is a great fighter while Faldorn is evil (the character sheet is obviously lying), can cast level 5 spells, has animal forms (that bear form can do a lot of damage when Hasted) and comes with a free summon undead wolf skill. Shar-Teel can help keep the nasties off of the squishier party members (there are 3 atm, possibly 4 counting the PC) especially when Kagain is busy, while Faldorn complements Tiax's spellcasting (so you can memorize useful cleric spells instead of healing spells) while offering summoning, damage (via Flame Strike wand/Call Lightning outdoors) or melee support as needed.
     
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  5. Valrog Gems: 1/31
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    You're right. Eldoth's poisoned arrows aren't considered enchanted. I was thinking along the lines of hitting the caster with a quick arrow before he could get his protections up, which would then result in him suffering poison damage every tick of the clock, preventing him from casting even spells with a casting time of 1. But I think you've sold me with the option to dual Xar to a cleric - I think that would fit him perfectly - a Necromancer summoning legions of skeletons. I think Montaron could substitute Eldoth nicely, especially if I give him a poisoned melee weapon.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 15 minutes and 19 seconds later... ----------

    Kagain is more than enough to carry the party. I've rested out in the wilderness where those Ogre Berserkers spawned a couple of times in a row and he mopped the floor with them single-handedly. And my PC is just as tough. I'm not at all impressed with Shar-Teel as a fighter. Sure she tanks better than Edwin and non-fighters, but so what? I already have much better people in that role. Plus, she's very annoying. Faldorn's neutral, despite her evil attitude and would leave if things got too evil. And, as a single-classed druid she's far less useful to me than Jaheira would be. Thanks for the tips on using bards.
     
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  6. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Remember, it takes a while to find a book that rasies Wisdom. You might want to stick exclusively to the story-line to get your hands on one asap if your are planning to dual Xzar to cleric.

    Faldorn does not leave you for being a nasty little bugger. She is quite the versatile character once she gains her shapechange abilites. Sub-par prior though.

    If you are playing the vanilla game, which is what questions in this thread are exclusively about, not many mages get protections up in the vanilla game. Eldoth becomes quite the sniper with his poisoned arrows, even more so if you give him the Gauntlets of Dexterity. Modded games are another matter.

    Most people overlook Safana, one of my favs. She is a treasure hunter and fits in well with an evil party as she is self-absorbed. Plus, look for dual-combos with her as well.

    I prefer to give Kagain the GoD and have him drink Str potions when needed. Or cast the Strength spell on him, as it has some lasting power and 18 Dex makes him a virtual one man army with his Large Shield +1 and Full Plate. Give Monty the GoOP and backstab away.
     
  7. Paracelsi

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

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    I'm pretty sure a good fighter can carry a party in BG1 given the right items/buffs, but BG1 has a way of forcing you into fights that start with your party surrounded by hostile forces. It could be an ambush, a random respawn, etc. Having at least 2 frontliner types is ideal. Only one of them has to be a true tank.
     
  8. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There are only a couple of instances where that actually happens. Wands of Monster Summoning are the answer. I make it a priority to sell the first one I find and rebuy with full charges. A F/m or Bard with Mirror Image/Blur effects up and running also alleviates the pain.
     
  9. Paracelsi

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

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    There are only several encounters that start with your party completely surrounded, but battles that start with hostiles attacking from the front and from both sides are common. Standard fare for end of chapters battles iirc.
    Having one or two extra characters to keep your squishies safe helps a lot, so your squishies can focus on doing what they do best. I too tend to save Wand of Monster Summoning charges/defensive spells spam for emergency situations, like those several encounters above or if the tank takes two consecutive critical hits or gets held/confused/etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
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  10. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent

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    Certainly a reasonable strategy, but after that one poisoned arrow (which certainly could miss) you have an arcane spell-caster with far less spells (although a higher spell-casting level) than a specialist mage like Xzar, an instant Protection from Fear that sadly prevents him from taking any other combat action for the duration, and a much worse Thac0 than, say, a fighter-thief such as Montaron. Also, if you want Eldoth's armour class to be half-decent you have to waste a Magic Missile slot on Armour - he can't wear the Robe of the Archmagi! (Although, thinking about it, with two Evil Mages in the team you'd always be left with one who can't wear the Robe, which is slightly sucky.) Plus, until you find Tiax, your team would be sorely lacking a thief. (I could be wrong, as you haven't detailed the specifics of your PC.)

    Montaron is not really a substitute for Eldoth, as he essentially fills a rather different role. And by the way, I'm not trying to knock Eldoth too badly: he's a pretty powerful character if used correctly, but kinda niche notheless. Incidentally, to clarify, there are 3 Tomes of Wisdom in BGTotSC, and the easiest one to obtain early is
    that in Durlag's Tower: top floor at the altar in the northeast, if I recall. Just send in Monty hidden in the shadows, and he can sneak past all the battle horrors and other nasties.
    No problemo!


    See the spoiler above for an alternative ToW.

    Never actually tried out Faldorn, she always struck me as too self-righteous and generally annoying: "Help me or I'll kill you!"; so I generally killed her as soon as I met her.

    He's certainly decent, I guess I just prefer the combo of Monty and Xzar. More versatile, plus starting a mage fight with a backstab is surely a lot more useful than with just a single poisoned arrow.

    She's like an evil, sexy twin of Imoen. :D
     
  11. Paracelsi

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

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    Inaccurate.

    You only need to be singing the bard song during the exact moment that "Horror" or similar spells are cast. Unless you're using a mod and plan to fight dragons in BG1 (ie, persistent fear effect) then the bard song is an incredibly useful counter to fear effects most BG1 casters use at the beginning of combat. You can simply begin combat with the bard using the bard song and start attacking/casting spells as soon as the enemy mage wastes his Horror spell. If you expect fear spells to be cast mid-battle, then you're fighting a high level party and so you should have other means of fear protection.

    "Much worse" THAC0 and spellcasting is incredibly inaccurate especially at low levels. This is because bards enjoy thief leveling progression, which means they gains levels (and thus THAC0/spells per level) faster than a plain mage. Consider, for example, that until around fighter level 5 the difference between fighter and bard base THAC0 is a single point. Also consider that before mage level 5, the only difference between the spellcasting progression of the specialist mage and the bard are two spell slots (1 level 1 slot, 1 level 2 slot). The tradeoff is better spells, a character with good THAC0, two attacks per round with a longbow, better HP, access to medium armor after he/she runs out of spells, at-will fear protection (and removal, for worst case scenarios) and access to better items for the whole party thanks to the bard's steal ability (which is the equivalent of a pure thief dedicating all thieving points per level into pickpockets). And seriously, what's a single Armor spell compared to not having to memorize Identify spells anymore?
    From a purely objective standpoint the bard is easily one of the strongest classes in the game early on and this is the main reason it should be considered a party slot.

    It's at higher levels that the bard starts to fall behind single class characters. Luckily, it remains useful thanks to all the extra features of the class - they can use wands (the most OP items in BG1), they can take over buff/debuff spell memorization duty at higher levels while the mage focuses on nukes (reversing their low level role), they remain to be competent archers thanks to their good THAC0 and the presence of powerful special ammo in the game, and they have potentially better survivability overall than other single class casters thanks to arcane defensive spells.
    Thieves can start battles with a backstab, a bard can start a battle with the wand of paralyzation. The latter has a -4 penalty to saving throws, works with doom/malison, and works on every baddie in the game (yes, even Sarevok). It even works on Drizzt.
    All things considered you can even begin battles with a double Fireball (from both mage and bard) and if something survives just nuke it again. Against powerful groups you can equip two other characters with copies of the Necklace of Missiles and do double quadruple-fireballs.

    Montaron, being a multiclassed fighter/thief, only has a mere 2 point base THAC0 advantage over Eldoth at end game, and will actually have roughly the same base THAC0 as Eldoth for most of the game.
    The only thing wrong with bards in BG1 is its representatives: both Eldoth and Garrick have depressingly low Int scores, and neither has stats anywhere near as decent as their BG2 counterpart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  12. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You can't switch armour in mid-battle....
     
  13. Paracelsi

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

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    Of course you can't. Does that change how the bard can choose to don medium armor once he runs out of spells? He still has his wands.

    I wish I could say that I normally rest as soon as my arcane casters run out of spells, but I don't. I usually keep going until my divine magic users run out of spells.
     
  14. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent

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    Fair play, you did more research on this than I did. My bad. I guess by your argument a PC Bard is the best choice. I'm even right now considering the possibilities with the following party: PC Half-Elf Bard, Kagain, Viconia, Edwin, Xzar and Montaron. Some serious fire-power in that team.

    I can't remember: where in BG2 can you find Eldoth?

    So do I! It feels like cheating otherwise. Except maybe right before big boss battles. Currently doing a really fun IWD1 Insane playthrough, however resting at suitable times is proving a pain in the butt...that's for another forum, though.
     
  15. Paracelsi

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

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    Definitely right before big boss battles.

    Eldoth doesn't appear in BG2, I just meant that compared to Haer'Dalis his (and Garrick's) stats are horrible. Granted HD has above-average stats, but in BG1 bards don't need strength and wisdom. All they really need is good dex and int, and yet only Garrick has decent dex. One fellow pointed out that unless you keep chugging potions of genius both bards are close to unplayable unless you keep switching difficulties when memorizing spells.

    A PC bard would indeed be ideal.
     
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  16. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I love bards, they're great in BG since they can get the most of their spells by the end of the game. The only issue with having Eldoth (or Garrick for that matter) in the party is that bards require more micromanagement. They truly shine if you're controlling them which makes them a very good choice for a main character.

    The same is true of thieves. The way backstabbing works in this game you'll have to control the character so he/she can shine and I don't know about you but I like to spend most of my time playing the main character instead of making sure Montaron is hiding like I told him to.

    That's why I'm enjoying my current Tutu game with an evil Cleric/Thief (with better stats than Tiax but as much as I like Tiax he is not very useful because you only get him late in the game at least not without a mod). A Cleric/Thief can free some spots in your party so you don't have to worry about traps and locks and the extra casting is very useful. The only drawback is the number of attacks but in some ways spellcasting makes up for it.

    As far as an evil party is concerned I'd say Korgan and Shar Teel are great additions as fighters they only require you to point and click. Shar Teel can be turned into a Thief if you really want to (it takes only a few levels to get her ready for trap duty) but she won't be able to wear heavy armours without compromising her thieving abilities so she may be better as a fulltime warrior.

    Edwin and Xzar should have enough arcane power once they get third level spells.

    Viconia is a great character to have around. With an Ankheg plate and a shield she gets a pretty low AC and her magic resistance is useful. She won't be dealing much direct damage but she will make sure that the fighters can get the job done (something that allows my main character to focus on nasty spells instead of going for healing and party buffing).

    The only drawback is that such a party doesn't have a good archer. Sure you could take Eldoth but he is no Kivan (or no Coran for that matter). Bows and arrows are really powerful at this stage and magic arrows are very common (not to mention things like the overpowered arrows of detonation).

    So a main character with a bow could be very effective in such a party especially a fighter type for extra attacks (either multiclass or dualled at the beginning of BG2).
     
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  17. gothicangel Gems: 1/31
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    *walks inside the room enjoying each others talks*

    Nice strategies you got going on! To me it depends how you want to roll with it in the game. Speaking of Class.. Here is my thought about the Thief skills. I remember playing it on ddo years back before the major screw up updates and one of them was theives.

    I remember being told the high dexterity, strange is on here wouldn't let me open locks. Same with the Thief girl in the team. I did some testing before going forward with the game trying to wrap my head around it. I have 17 on dex plus the open locks would be 56, and still can't open it! O_o

    I over heard by someone outside of this place it should be 100 or something?! Can someone explain it to me because I know that is kind of false of having it way high, but to me it is impossible.
     
  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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    DDO uses 3/3.5 edition D&D, while Baldur's Gate uses AD&D rules.

    In Baldur's Gate you improve a rogue's thieving skills manually. You get an extra 25 points every level, so reaching 100 or so points in a thieving skill later on in the game is very possible. These points are not the same as the "skill points" used in 3/3.5 edition.

    Thieving skills are affected by your dexterity. Many locks in BG1 can only be opened with high Open Locks. In BG2 you will need 100 or better in Open Locks.
     
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  19. gothicangel Gems: 1/31
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    Thank you so much!! I was so wondering what core book was used in ddo because I knew it was the later one! :D
     
  20. IdaGno Gems: 1/31
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    When finding myself w/a duo I would like to split up, I simply abandon the party member I do not want in the empty building just W of the Thunderhammer Smithy in Beregost. Tho it may be mods I am running that allow that game mechanic, I don't think so. Anyway, quick method of disposing of Montaron while retaining Xzar.
     
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