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How would you do a 3-4 characters party?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition' started by Sloty, May 15, 2015.

  1. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    All of the stats which I put at 10 or less, could be reduced to the absolute minimum on those characters without negative side-effects.

    You can also drop the F/M/T's strength to 15 if you must, but not lower because then she won't be able to use the best bows.

    Also read this wiki page for general stat recommendations for each multiclass.

    Nah, since he's a cleric he can't use bows anyway.

    The Kensai kit is totally worth it for him, as the bonuses it gives synergize well with his priest and mage buff spells, and make him a more powerful melee warrior.

    The "no ranged weapons" penalty isn't a problem as long as it only affects a minority of your party members, andf as long as you still have a good bow wielder.

    Even though it can sometimes be very beneficial?
    And fun?
    :p

    Better backstabbing, slight thac0/damage bonus, Poison Weapon ability. See the manual for details.

    The ones listed in the first row of "weapon combos" in my party build pic. But don't cheat too much, otherwise the game will become too easy by the end :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  2. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    Does a mage get bonus spells for high intelligence or is it only for learning spells from scrolls?

    Is it beneficial to put 3 points in dual-wield or are 2 points enough?
     
  3. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    INT only affects spell learning, not spell casting. Details on page 356 and 357 in the "IWDEE - Mastering Melee & Magic.pdf" manual.

    Note that you can temporarily increase your mage's INT using potions to learn more spells (and once learned, he'll never lose them again), but those potions aren't too plentiful.
     
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    Which races would be the best/coolest for them 3 if all races were possible?
     
  5. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Elf is perfect for the F/M/T wielding long bow and long swords, because Elves get a thac0 bonus with those weapons, and also because they can put 19 points in DEX (which is great for a bow wielder).

    For the other two I don't have a strong preference; just avoid races that prevent you from putting 18 points in an attribute where you want put 18 points. ;)
     
  6. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    You can also use the AHK rerolling programthat automatically rerolls to get the best roll possible - does it much faster then you can by hand, and no more accidentally skipping over a high roll because you're pressing the button too fast.

    Truth be told though, no way would a DM in tabletop allow you to reroll your stats hundreds of times, and you could as well use EEkeeper to just simulate a 90-95 roll, but still. :rolleyes:
    can be found on the beamdog forums here :
    http://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/10937/utility-ee-autoroller
     
  7. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    wouldnt a halfling be good for the berserker/druid because of the bonus to slings and he doesnt get 18 Strength anyway?

    Again: Is it beneficial to put 3 points in dual-wield or are 2 points enough?

    What are the disadvantages of an assassin?
     
  8. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Halflings get +1 dex, -1 str, -1wisdom to their max stat scores. That means you can only get 17 max str (which is a lot of damage/thaco to give up compared to 18/xx or 19)
    with str 17 you get a thaco adjustment of +1, anything above 18/50 is +2, 19 is +3.

    You can get by with 2 pips in two handed style, removes the penalty from your main hand weapon, and gives you -4 penalty on your offhand weapon.
    3 pips doesn't give you a bonus on your main hand weapon, so nothing changes there, but it does reduce the penalty on your offhand's weapon from -4 to -2. not a huge change, but if you have the proficiency to spare, you should get it.

    The disadvantage to assassins is that they only get 15 points to spend into thief skills at level up, instead of the usual 25 a regular thief gets. shouldn't be much of a problem if you just focus on the most important thieving skills, i.e. find traps/pick locks/hide in shadows. you won't be able to raise them a high as a pure thief, but high enough to get by.
     
  9. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    Thanks!
    Which one kit would you give to a Fighter/Mage/Thief if you could take any kit you wanted?

    Is there a strength requirement for longbows?
     
  10. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Depends on what you want really.. kensai's kai is nice, but giving up the gauntlet and armor slot is quite a big hit, also remember that a kensai cannot use ranged weapons.
    the thief kit Swashbuckler is an option, compared to the kensai you'll a better AC bonus, though a little less damage/to hit bonus - swashbucklers get +1 ac at 1st level, another +1 ac every 5 levels, and can still wear armor/gauntlets. kensai just gets +2 AC at level 1, and can't wear armor/gauntlets.
    The Swashbuckler gets +1 bonus to damage and to hit rolls every 5 levels, kensai the same but every 3 levels.
    All you're missing out on is the move speed bonus and the kai ability. swashbucklers also cannot use backstabs.
    I wouldn't take a specialized mage with a small 3-4 man party simply because you lose out on an entire spell school without a second arcane caster. wild mage is an option, but again not the best since you don't have many other party members to fall back on if you do get a bad surge.
    Having your own spell surge and getting hit by a fireball or entangle can spell certain doom for you and your party. Having your caster polymorphed into a squirrel doesn't help either.

    Longbows require 12 strength, composite longbows require 15.
    The (arguably) best longbow in the game, Long Bow +4: Hammer (+5 thac0, +1 ac, 4 attacks per round) requires 12 strength and 17 dexterity.
     
  11. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    So would you prefer a swashbuckler or an assassin for the thief part of the Fighter/Mage/Thief?
     
  12. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    For me personally, i would go with the swashbuckler. reason being that i'm just not a big fan of the whole playstyle of backstabbing, running away, hiding, then backstab again.
    Besides, to make that tactic work you need to haste your thief or give him kaylessa's boots of speed, which you get pretty late in the game.
    Otherwise you're going to find your thief swarmed as soon as he pops out of hiding every time he backstabs.
    I'd rather have the bonuses swashbuckler gives me and forego backstabbing.
     
  13. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    Is there a button to highlight containers?
     
  14. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    He's also a mage though, so he can handle that. Besides AC buffs (Spirit Armor etc.) and combat protections (Mirror Image, Stoneskin, etc.), he'll also have "get out of jail free" cards like Expeditious Retreat (level 1) and Mislead (level 6).

    Backstabbing is definitely viable in this game. For example, in the aforementioned party my Fighter/Wildmage/Thief took out most of the mages in the Orc cave in the prologue using backstabbing; same with the nasty poison-bolt shooting snipers in Upper Dorn's; etc.

    And an Assassin will be even better at it than an unkitted thief, whereas a Swashbuckler can't backstab at all (that's his kit penalty).

    Also, the AC bonuses of the Swashbuckler are only really useful if the character fights in melee a lot. In my party, the F/M/T ended up using her bow most of the time when she wasn't backstabbing (or forced into melee by being surrounded).
    The thac0/damage bonuses of the Swashbuckler are nice of course. (Although I'm not 100% sure if they properly stack with the base stats of the F/M/T which are derived from his Fighter class.)

    In the end, the choice between Assassin and Swashbuckler comes down to whether you enjoy the backstabbing combat mechanic. It can definitely be powerful, but also requires a lot of combat micromanagement, so some people just don't like it.

    Although note that the EE has added the option to replace backstabbing with "3rd-edition D&D Sneak Attack", so anyone who dislikes traditional Infinity Engine backstabbing might want to give that a try instead. From the manual:

    "Sneak Attacks and Crippling Strikes
    If “3E Sneak Attack” is enabled in the Gameplay Options menu, backstabs (see below) are replaced with sneak attacks and crippling strikes. When sneak attacks are in effect, any time a Thief or Stalker attacks an opponent from a flank or rear position, they can do additional damage once (and only once) to that opponent. A sneak attack does not require the attacker to be hidden or moving silently in order to work (although these skills can help them get into position). Critical hits do not double sneak attack damage.

    Successful sneak attacks also cripple opponents, reducing their to-hit and damage rolls. Creatures affected by these crippling strikes regain their normal to-hit and damage rolls one turn after being struck.

    Sneak attacks and crippling strikes improve based on level and kit. See the kit descriptions for more details.
    "​

    I haven't tried it myself yet, but it sounds like a possible alternative for people who don't like the traditional backstabbing mechanic.
     
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    I realize backstabbing is viable, especially for a mage/thief combo. Like i said, picking the swashbuckler over the assassin is just my personal preference, since i dislike the backstab mechanic.
    You could say the same for a bow-using thief though, they're only going to get limited use out of backstabs. even though you can protect yourself, from getting ganged up on after a backstab, you generally want to stay out of the fray as a ranged user.
    It's fun to chunk enemy casters with at the start of a battle, but not a necessity, mages get access to spells that will help a great deal in keeping mages disabled and out of the fight. with hide in shadows, you should be guaranteed to be able to get one of them off as the battle starts.
    Also, if you take a Berserker/druid along, you should get access to Insect Plague and Creeping Doom as well to disable enemy casters with.

    So yeah, it comes down to how much you enjoy backstabbing. if you can live without it, don't want it, or don't plan on using it, go with a swashbuckler.
    If you love it, or want to be able to use the sneak attack mechanic, go with the assassin. :)

    Alternatively, shadowdancer might be an option -
    +1 to all saving throws
    -1 to backstab multiplier (not too bad of a loss)
    no set snare ability (who cares)
    You get the shadowstep ability (1 use per rest at lvl 1, +1 use every 5 levels), which is basically a poor mans timestop. - you can backstab someone, then use it to relocate and pelt the rest of the enemies with your bow. seems to me like you get the best of two worlds here.
     
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    While I don't think that I would use it on a three person party but in a 4 person party I actually do think that a bard has some use in a smaller party. Personally the best song in IWD (assuming EE uses these songs) is the song that gives regeneration since it allows you to heal your party to full after every combat without resting. This can be invaluable in many areas in the game where resing is unavailable. They will also level very fast which will give you decent spells while you wait for your F/M/T to get mage levels.


    As for the swashbuckler if you don't like back stabs (or just find it not that helpful in this game which is what I find due to fights in IWD being more like army campaigns) remember it is the best thief archer class. Yea it can't get specialized in bows but it does apply its damage and accuracy bonus to bows.
     
  17. The Magpie

    The Magpie Balance, in all things Veteran

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    For a 4-character run-through in any 2nd Ed IE game, I normally start with a Cleric/Mage and Fighter/Thief, and then add 2 characters that best suit the game I'm playing. One of them pretty much has to be a tank. You might have your favourite kit, I find Paladin works well -- Undead Hunter for IWD:EE, Inquisitor for BG2, Cavalier for BG:EE.

    The next character is usually chosen dependent on what works best in the specific game. Generally, I go for Ranger (Archer) for BG1, Bard or Sorcerer otherwise, based on your preference. Personally, I find the bard songs available in IWD:EE too tempting to pass up. Bards & Druids also get some opportunity for extra roleplaying XP in IWD, as do Paladins.
     
  18. Sloty Gems: 5/31
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    So i am having so much fun with my small party on "insane" mode!
    They are a little cheatet but I like it that way:

    Berserker/Cleric multiclass, halforc is the hitpoint girl with clubs right now, will dual wield later and didnt use the rage much till now...

    Fighter/Mage/Kensai multiclass, dwarf, is the very best in melee, the best I have ever seen in Icewind Dale!
    Uses A mace and a flail dual right now and gets better and better at it!

    Fighter/Mage/Assassin multiclass, is only ranged fihter till now, will eventually use 2 longswords and/or daggers, has low hitpoints,no good defense buffs and crappy armor so is very fragile right now. Also didnt use the backstab till now.

    So thats my party and I really want to finally finish this game this time around.

    Can you give me some tips on how to use my party better and make it even more stronger?
    I would like to hear some tips on spell tactics for such a small party and also for the use of backstab....
    Also which items do you reccomend to buy in Kuldahar and later villages?
     
  19. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    you're probably going to end up with 11/12/12 in levels for your multiclass characters at the end of a normal difficulty playthrough, keep in mind this means you won't get to cast spells beyond lvl 6 (1 lvl 6 spell slot at lvl 12) so plan accordingly.

    Also remember to return to orrick in kuldahar after each act, he adds items to his shop a few times during the game when you do, but as far as i know you might miss out on some if you don't return to refresh his shop so to speak.

    you can buy the Amulet of Metaspell Influence for an extra lvl 2 spell slot at orrick.
    Also, if you plan to stick with clubs you will probably want to buy the +2 one from conlan in kuldahar, it's the best one you're going to come across for a long while.
    conlan also sells the giving star flail+3, though you can get both a flail+1 and mace+1 in the vale of shadows if it's too expensive for you.

    personally i would keep your assassin/mage ranged, focus on learning the damaging spells on him so he can cast them safely from the back - your kensai/mage is already going into melee range, so focus on learning buffs and defensive spells on him.

    backstab is useful for initiating fights and getting rid of squishy but dangerous enemies like enemy mages - since you have the assassin class, just switch to a melee weapon(single, not dual) backstab someone, then use your shadowwalk to get away from the enemy and switch back to your bow so you can keep attacking from safety.
     
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    Thanks alot!

    Do you have some tips on the best druid and cleric offensive spells?

    And perhaps also the mage ones that are useful even late in the game and hopefully heart of fury?

    I also made a BIG mistake in posting my party!
    Its actually a Berserker/DRUID not Berserker/Cleric...

    "shadowwalk"? Whats that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015

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