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Old Sun, 8th Jan '12, 11:31am   #1
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Default Killing Drizzt

Up to yesterday I used to think about Drizzt as of a monster, swatting half-gods like flies, unbeatable w/out some heavy cheese.
But yesterday I killed him in a fair fight (hmm...I just called 6 people surrounding him and beating to death fair...) on Normal and I'm thinking about a party that would be able to kill him with fair reliability on the hardest difficulty.
The plan goes like this:
Me: Human fighter(7)/thief(8)
Shar-Teel, fighter(7)/thief(8)
Montaron
Khalid / Coran
Kagain
Quayle

Rationale:
-the more warriors the better.
-mages are needed to haste the party and to get a few blows
-human fighter(7)/thief(8) has better THAC0 than a pure fighter at the expense of some HP and I want to kill Drizzt fast, not to

Questions:
-Can you backstab Drizzt?
-Does damage multiplier increase to x3 in BG1?
-Does the +10 dmg from Staff of Striking get doubled / tripled on backstab?

From my calculations, the Staff of Striking backstab and 1 other are enough to kill him with x3 multi. Or 3 other backstabs. Or 2 other backstabs and a regular hit. So if the answer to all my questions is 'yes', there's a pretty high chance of killing him before he even moves and if it doesn't work you can just finish him off.
Alternative strategy:
Surround him with thieves only, backstab, drink a potion of invisibility, repeat. 4 people are enough to immobilise him.

Actually even w/out backstab the party should be able to defeat him, though not so reliably. The invisiblity strategy should work, just take longer to execute.

Thoughts?
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Old Sun, 8th Jan '12, 1:59pm   #2
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"Alternative strategy:
Surround him with thieves only, backstab, drink a potion of invisibility, repeat. 4 people are enough to immobilise him."

That sounds like some stinky cheese to me.
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Old Tue, 10th Jan '12, 10:32pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMermaid View Post
"Alternative strategy:
Surround him with thieves only, backstab, drink a potion of invisibility, repeat. 4 people are enough to immobilise him."

That sounds like some stinky cheese to me.
Well, I certainly consider it less cheesy than forcing AI to switch targets...anyway, neither is needed here.

I checked some things:
You can backstab Drizzt for 3x damage with a lvl 8 thief. I didn't check the staff, but I think it should work OK, in BG2 people recommend it.
So 2 F/Ts should be enough to kill him.

So I decided to take a bigger challenge, create a team that will be able to kill both Shandalar and Drizzt. They are 2 extremes, require entirely different parties. Drizzt can be killed only with physical damage and Shandalar - practically only with magic. I did some calculations and tests for Shandalar fight too:
- normally you need 28 magic missles to kill him
- 25 seems like a reasonable luck manipulation
- you can do 2 full attacks before he puts up his defences with a trick: start far away, shoot, move to him for 5 seconds, attack again. Thanks to the Doppler effect, the time between the salves hitting gets shorter this way.
- A mage fires 5, cleric-mage - 4 per round. You can get 4 wands of magic missiles for the other party members for a total of 13 per round or 26 before he even gets started. Enough.

As you can see, to kill both one needs really just 4 specific people and 2 fillers of any kind. So I decided to design the strongest generic party with the following goals:
-can defeat any enemy w/out cheese and with reasonable number of trials.
-in general, performs all tasks with ease
-and does so at all points in game, no periods of being weak

My initial design:
-Me, elf F/T (half elf?)
-Coran
-Edwin/Xzar
-Quayle
-Korgan
-Minsc/Kivan/Shar-Teel

I'm considering Xzar and Kivan/Shar-Teel to avoid having to go for Dylanheir and to have Quayle faster this way. You can get Coran before going for her and do it in time before Edwin leaves (guess that Minsc too), but it requires a big rush.

BTW, it's not related to this party, but did anybody turn Xzar to a cleric? You just need to do a quick trip to the Durlag tower for a book of WIS. It's not an idea for this party, I just analysed all NPC dual classing options and found that it should be possible and reasonably easy.
Thoughts?
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Old Sat, 14th Jan '12, 8:44am   #4
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There's an easier trick to kill Shandalar: use Wands of Paralization. He has really good saving throws, but at that point in the game you should have found like 5 of these so that should be enough. I'll show it in part 149 of my LP. Once paralyzed just hack away at him and he goes down quickly.



I did try to do it with magic missiles but I just couldn't conjure enough before he casts Globe of Invulnerability. It is cheese, but Shandalar doesn't play fair at all. Shandalar doesn't really cast spells, he's scripted with "ForceSpell" commands:

Code:
IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",0)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(Myself,WIZARD_GLOBE_OF_INVULNERABILITY)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",1)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",1)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_CHAOS)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",2)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",2)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),RED_FIREBALL)
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",3)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",3)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_FLESH_TO_STONE)
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",4)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",4)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",5)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",5)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_FLESH_TO_STONE)
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",6)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",6)
THEN
	RESPONSE #50
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),RED_FIREBALL)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",7)
	RESPONSE #50
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_MAGIC_MISSILE)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",7)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",7)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_CHAOS)
		ForceSpell(NearestEnemyOf(Myself),WIZARD_LIGHTNING_BOLT)
		SetGlobal("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",8)
END

IF
	See(NearestEnemyOf(Myself))
	Global("ShandalarBehavior","GLOBAL",8)
THEN
	RESPONSE #100
		ForceSpell(Myself,DRYAD_TELEPORT)
		ActionOverride("Shandal2",DestroySelf())
END
So he casts them uninterruptably and without delay (as if with Improved Alacrity).
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Old Sat, 14th Jan '12, 9:19am   #5
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Thanks for the tip, I'll try both tactics.
I started the game already, but I have so little time...I only got to Nashkel
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Old Fri, 20th Jan '12, 12:26am   #6
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Drizzt is actually ridiculously easy to fight one-on-one with a fighter/mage.

Drizzt has -5 THAC0 and -16 AC. He wears chainmail which has an innate penalty of +2 AC vs blunt weapons, so that means blunt weapons are the best way to fight him.

A fighter/mage can get his AC to -20.

Base AC = 10
Spirit Armor spell = 1
Dex 18 = -3
Large shield+2 = -6
Helm of Baludran = -7
Cloak of Balduran = -8
Ring of protection+2 = -10
Improved Invisibility spell = -14
Blur spell = -17

That's a generic AC of -17. Drizzt's scimitars are slashing, so wear the golden girdle for an additional -3 AC vs slashing and you will have -20 AC total vs slashing.

Since Drizzt has -5 THAC0, he has to roll a 15 or better to hit you.

A fighter/mage can get a -4 THAC0 with blunt weapons.

Fighter level 7 base = 14
Potion of power (sets to 80% of base) = 11
Potion of storm giant strength = 5
Bassilus' warhammer+2 = 3
Weapon specialization proficiency = 2
Weapon specialization gauntlets = 1
Helm of Balduran = 0
Improved Invisibility = -4

So since Drizzt has a -14 AC vs blunt, you have to roll a 10 or better to hit him.

You have a much better chance of hitting Drizzt than he does of hitting you. Also you can use Mirror Image to block any successful hits he does get.
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Old Sun, 22nd Jan '12, 4:17pm   #7
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Interesting. You could also use a mace +2, I wonder which one would be better. If he's immune to electrical damage, the mace would do more damage. Also, after drinking the potion of STR you could cast DUHM pump STR up to 25. Though there's still too many spells / potions to use for my liking, they'll start to run out extremely quickly. You already listed 5 and there's haste needed too.
Also, Luck would further improve accuracy a bit.
He gets 10 attacks/round and you - 3.5 (or 4?) with haste, so you'll get the average of 1.75 hit/round and he - 3. Mirror images...how many do you get? 1 per level? 1 per 2 levels?
I think 1 per level, so you'll end up with 7. That's good, you'll be able to recast them faster than they will be destroyed.

---------- Added 19 hours, 21 minutes and 5 seconds later... ----------

Another small improvement, Claw of Kazgaroth would give you another -1 to AC. With this and DUHM, you'd end up at -19.
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Old Sun, 29th Jan '12, 10:23pm   #8
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The mace is 1d6+1 and the warhammer is 1d4+1 so the damage difference is merely only a single point of damage on average. It really does not matter much. Most of your damage is set damage from modifiers like strength and proficiency. Only a small portion of the damage is random. I just prefer the warhammer because it is easier to obtain, and you can get it near the beginning of the game.

As for stacking DUHM with a giant strength potion, that works in vanilla BG but it is a bug and I believe the fixpack fixed it. A storm giant potion gets you 24 strength and the difference between 24 and 25 strength is only +1 THAC0 and +2 damage. Nothing too major.

Yes, it is a lot of buffing spells to use, but it isn't a problem if you use the long duration spells first so that they don't expire as quickly. Giant strength potions last for 10 turns, and remember that 1 turn = 10 rounds, so that is a very long time. An oil of speed is actually better than the Haste spell because the oil will last for 5 turns. Spirit Armor lasts for 10 turns as well. Those all have very long durations.

Drizzt does not have 10 attacks per round. Where do you even get the idea that he has 10 attacks per round? Its not even close. 5 attacks per round is the absolute maximum you can have, and the only two ways to break that rule is with either the Whirlwind HLA or the Improved Haste spell, and neither of those exist in BG1. Drizzt has 4 attacks per round. You can have up to 3 attacks per round (1 base + 1/2 for specialization + 1/2 for fighter level 7 + 1 for Haste = 3 attacks per round). So Drizzt has only one more attack than you.
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Old Mon, 30th Jan '12, 8:31pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gafgorkion View Post
The mace is 1d6+1 and the warhammer is 1d4+1 so the damage difference is merely only a single point of damage on average. It really does not matter much. Most of your damage is set damage from modifiers like strength and proficiency. Only a small portion of the damage is random. I just prefer the warhammer because it is easier to obtain, and you can get it near the beginning of the game.
That particular hammer has +1 damage from electricity. If Drizzt is immune to the effect, the mace is slightly better. Otherwise, the hammer is probably better because of Drizzt's 30% physical damage reduction. Yes, that's little.

Quote:
As for stacking DUHM with a giant strength potion, that works in vanilla BG but it is a bug and I believe the fixpack fixed it.
I didn't know this. Thought that's just the way it works.
Quote:
A storm giant potion gets you 24 strength and the difference between 24 and 25 strength is only +1 THAC0 and +2 damage. Nothing too major.
Sure. Your scenario was already very good, you left only very tiny things to optimise.

Quote:
Yes, it is a lot of buffing spells to use, but it isn't a problem if you use the long duration spells first so that they don't expire as quickly. Giant strength potions last for 10 turns, and remember that 1 turn = 10 rounds, so that is a very long time. An oil of speed is actually better than the Haste spell because the oil will last for 5 turns. Spirit Armor lasts for 10 turns as well. Those all have very long durations.
I always cast spells in the right order when I have many of them, but still usually they start to fade away quickly. Though I didn't check durations of these particular ones, so it may not be a problem.

Quote:
Drizzt does not have 10 attacks per round. Where do you even get the idea that he has 10 attacks per round? Its not even close. 5 attacks per round is the absolute maximum you can have, and the only two ways to break that rule is with either the Whirlwind HLA or the Improved Haste spell, and neither of those exist in BG1. Drizzt has 4 attacks per round. You can have up to 3 attacks per round (1 base + 1/2 for specialization + 1/2 for fighter level 7 + 1 for Haste = 3 attacks per round). So Drizzt has only one more attack than you.
http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/show...&postcount=142
Dr Asik claims to have checked it in game files. I didn't check it myself.
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Old Thu, 2nd Feb '12, 6:57pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsisi View Post
http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/show...&postcount=142
Dr Asik claims to have checked it in game files. I didn't check it myself.
Dr Asik is completely wrong. Nobody in BG1 ever had 10 attacks per round. Nobody. It is a hard rule that it is even impossible to get more than 5 attacks without using either the Whirlwind HLA or Improved Haste spell, and those only exist in BG2.

I have checked Drizzt for myself by using the Ctrl+Q cheats to add him to my party.

Drizzt has -5 THAC0, -16 AC (although the chainmail penalty effectively makes it -14 vs blunt weapons), and 4 APR. I am not sure about his saving throws, physical resistance, etc but Dr Asik was definitely wrong about everything else.

Also he is wrong about Sarevok. He says Sarvok has 285 hit points. He doesn't have anywhere near that many. He has about 150 hit points. A thief can kill him in two or three backstabs.

He also claims that Sarevok is backed up by several high level mages, and he is even wrong about that. Sarevok's party consists of Tazok, Semaj, and Angelo. Tazok is a half-orc fighter. Semaj is a human mage. Angelo is a human fighter/mage. However, the only spell that Angelo casts is Dispel, and after that he just acts as an archer using arrows of detonation. Semaj is the only real mage in that fight. There aren't several mages at all. Dr Asik clearly has no idea what he is talking about.
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Old Thu, 2nd Feb '12, 7:46pm   #11
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Dr Asik is completely wrong ... Dr Asik was definitely wrong about everything else ... he is wrong about Sarevok ... Dr Asik clearly has no idea what he is talking about.
Not much a people person are you? Next time try not to beat around the bush so much and just tell us how you really feel....

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Old Thu, 2nd Feb '12, 8:18pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T2Bruno View Post
Not much a people person are you? Next time try not to beat around the bush so much and just tell us how you really feel....



True, I don't like people much and don't talk much either. Look at my post count. 43 posts since I joined in 2000, and four or five of those posts are in this thread alone. The scary thing is I am like this in real life too. I just am not a "people person." I much prefer to keep to myself.

Its just when someone is so blatantly wrong like that guy was and yet claims he knows what he is talking about it really gets on my nerves. 10 APR is impossible in BG1. Anyone who actually knows the game knows that is true.
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Old Fri, 3rd Feb '12, 8:15am   #13
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Why in God's name do you have QUAYLE of all people in both your epic hero-killing team?
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Old Fri, 3rd Feb '12, 10:45pm   #14
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Quote:
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Why in God's name do you have QUAYLE of all people in both your epic hero-killing team?
He is one of the best NPCs. Seriously.
Not much worse cleric than Jaheira (IIRC not worse at all unless you give them tomes of wisdom), easily sufficient for this role and a formidable mage, better than i.e. Xan.
All other clerics suck at whatever second thing they do. (With a possible exception of Tiax, I never had him) and those that don't have the second thing are just as bad IMO.

---------- Added 2 hours, 39 minutes and 41 seconds later... ----------

I'd like to correct my previous statement. When talking about clerics that can double as sb. else I forgot about 2 who can be about as good as Quayle, at least theoretically. Dylanheir and Xzar. Though the builds are hard to make and not worth it IMO, so I never tried to use them this way.
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Old Fri, 3rd Feb '12, 11:06pm   #15
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Even on regular BG1 Quayle is pretty powerful. Spell saves are not attribute-dependent in BG so his stats are forgivable. Regular BG1 clerics also can't cast level 5 spells, so there's very little incentive to go pure. I think this is why the developers gave Branwen and Viconia powerful innate abilities. As far as mage spells go the best ones are level 3, so single-classed mages are, more or less, on the same boat. Edwin makes up for this with his amulet and Xan is just as great if you can get over the fact that he will never learn the Fireball spell. The only noteworthy thing about Xzar though is that you get him early, while Dynaheir starts with Fireball if you get her late. Druid have the most incentive for going pure. Single-classed druids can cast level 5 spells, and they gain levels much more quickly than other casters.

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Dr Asik mentioned he was playing BGTuTu.
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Old Sat, 4th Feb '12, 3:36pm   #16
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Tutu only changes the engine to that of the BG2 engine and nothing else. It doesn't magically give people more attacks per round. You get the added BG2 things like higher resolutions, kits, dual-wielding and such, but that is all it changes.

Regarding Xan, he can use Fireball with a fire wand. There a lot of fire wands in loot in the game, so you don't really need to worry about running out. In fact, Sorcerous Sundries sells unlimited quantities of every wand.
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Old Sat, 4th Feb '12, 5:54pm   #17
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I'm pretty sure it does a few other things to balance the game a bit, or he might have installed other rebalancing mods. BG2 engine characters are a lot more powerful than their BG1 counterparts, and some kits (eg. Totemic Druid) are downright gamebreaking. My point is that while he might have exaggerated on details, he was also playing a modded game.

Indeed, if one can get over the fact that he will never learn the Fireball spell himself he's a pretty powerful NPC. And yet for many people (even today) Xan remains to be "that NPC mage who can't cast Fireball".
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Old Sat, 4th Feb '12, 9:06pm   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paracelsi View Post
Indeed, if one can get over the fact that he will never learn the Fireball spell himself he's a pretty powerful NPC. And yet for many people (even today) Xan remains to be "that NPC mage who can't cast Fireball".
Technically speaking, all mages in BG1 except for Edwin, Imoen, Safana and Quayle are very similar. Power gaming-wise the only noticeable difference is specialisation. No wonder that nobody likes Xan, he does nothing better than others do. And his personality is not something that many like either.
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Old Sat, 4th Feb '12, 10:28pm   #19
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He is the only mage who can hit for 4-11 melee damage (without strength bonus, with the strength spell he can hit for 7-14 damage) and who can survive being fireballed repeatedly with a single casting of Resist/Fire Cold (level 2 druid/priest spell), because of his Moonblade. He will actually heal from fire damage if you give him items like the Robes of Fire Resistance or use the more powerful Protection from Fire spell (level 3 druid/priest spell). A favorite tactic of mine is to casually send an invisible, buffed Xan in the middle of a random higher level enemy group and have him (and the two or so other arcane casters in my party) repeatedly cast fireball, centered on Xan.

Since he's an enchanter he can't cast most direct damage spells, but the flipside is that you usually load him up with enchantment/alteration spells. These spells usually negate the target's dexterity bonus to AC or directly reduce the target's AC, offsetting Xan's low mage THAC0.

Finally, the way BG1 works powerful enemies are of three types - those with obscene magic resistance, those with ridiculous saves, and those with neither. Xan's fire resistance makes him very useful against the third type, while his Moonblade means he is unmatched when dealing with enemies of the first type. He only loses to Edwin when it comes to enemies of the second type, because of the sheer amount of Magic Missiles Edwin can cast. Xan's main weakness is his low HP, which means that he can be a burden to parties without low AC characters.

I know many people who loved Xan's personality. In fact, one of the earliest BG2:SoA mods I encountered was one that added Xan back to your party.
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Old Tue, 7th Feb '12, 8:27am   #20
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As far as I have seen/heard Xan is a beloved character in BG (heck he is the one npc mentioned by name in IWD).

I am still partial to the finding/buying a bunch of summon monster wands/spells and just summoning monsters until he falls while firing missile weapons at him. Not cheesy but not very sporting either. Granted Drizzt was the guy who said "where did you get the notion that I would fight fair?".
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Old Wed, 8th Feb '12, 12:06am   #21
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Beloved? Surely you jest... I couldn't get his whiny ass killed fast enough.
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Old Wed, 8th Feb '12, 6:42am   #22
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I've actually agreed with the people that Xan isn't that different enough from Dynahir, Xar, or Edwin. As such, I took it upon myself to use Sword Coast Keeper to change him into a Fighter/Mage. I liked the moonblade idea, but his lack of THAC0 and HP meant that trying to take advantage of it nearly always got him killed for little benefit. Making him a fighter/mage solves that, as I also gave him the maximum HP for a fighter of the appropriate level with such a low CON. Making him a fighter/mage with such low stats also makes the strength spell VERY useful, along with mirror image and blur.

I know, I'm talking about a modded game, but it made it more fun and put more variety into the NPC mages. IMHO, having fun is what counts the most in a computer game.

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Old Wed, 8th Feb '12, 8:38am   #23
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Beloved? Surely you jest... I couldn't get his whiny ass killed fast enough.
Lol I found his banter hilarious as does my fiance. She even quotes him at opportune times. Still different strokes for different folks. Oddly I find characters like Anomen more annoying (at least pre romance).


I do agree that making him a fighter/mage would have been thematic and would make him unique. Heck he would still have a weakness in his low con but I would still use him.
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Old Wed, 8th Feb '12, 3:30pm   #24
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Xan is quirky. There are hints of sarcasm in some of his quotes, and his competence is a complete contradiction to his pessimism. He's definitely worth bringing along if only to make your BG1 no-banter-packs ride more interesting, though the novelty may wane depending on how you play. Personally I've heard him say "I'll do what I can... but expect very little" right before a perfect Sleep/Slow/Blindness casting or "I'm beginning to think we have a chance" right after landing a critical, critical hit with his Moonblade to not develop some sort of bias towards the character.

A combination of good party management and enchantment/alteration spells helps offset his low THAC0/HP. Basically if you have someone who is really good at holding the enemy's attention then Xan should be just fine, unless you're fighting wolves and their random target AI. Most enchantment/Alteration spells either negate and penalize the target's dex bonus to AC or directly lower it's AC by some amount, allowing even a mage like Xan to hit as often as if he were a fighter. In BG2 I would dual-wield daggers on my solo mage so he can kill held/paralyzed/sleeping targets faster.

Once we consider popular low level priest spells like Command, Hold Person and Entangle then you should only be worried about Xan's THAC0 in modded games. Invisibility is a very important spell that can keep Xan alive in some encounters (eg. the fight against the spider abomination) and allows you to reposition him or block incoming monsters.

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Old Wed, 8th Feb '12, 9:54pm   #25
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I'm sad to see all the Xan hate, he was one of my favorite RPG characters.

"Around you I'm ALMOST feel like we have a chance!"

Sure he was a pessimist but he was fun
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