Soloing Baldur's Gate II

1. Creating your Archer

1.1 Race

I recommend an elven archer, for the 19 dex and +1 to hit with bows.

1.2 Abilities

STR 13 : you don't need more than 13, because you can purchase the girdle of hill giant strength quite early in the game. The only reason you need such a girdle is to be able to use some of the better long bows, such as the Strong Arm +2 and the Heartseeker +3.

DEX 19 : +3 to hit with ranged weapons, -4 AC.

CON 18 : hitpoints are not very important for an archer, because you should always avoid melee combat, but I would pump CON anyway.

INT, WIS, CHA : this is up to you. WIS is the most important of the three because of the saving throw bonus (at 15+).

1.3 Racial Enemy

I recommend vampires as your racial enemy, because you will be using the Mace of Disruption +2 to combat vampires (immunity to level drain), and thus you will appreciate the THAC0 bonus.

1.4 Proficiencies

You must choose between short bows and long bows. The only bows in the game which require no ammo are both short bows, but their damage is inferior to that of the best long bows. Also, if you have ToB installed, you will be able to acquire a quiver which makes its own +1 arrows, as well as an ammo belt. Therefore, I recommend long bows if you have ToB, and short bows otherwise.

Grand master your bow of choice, and place one point in maces. Since rangers cannot wear the Amulet of Power, you may want the Mace of Disruption +2 to combat vampires, as it confers immunity to level drain. Later I would put one point in slings, so you can use the awesome Sling of Everard +5, which will be necessary in order to kill Kangaxx the Demi-Lich before you set sail for Spellhold.

2. Equipment

2.1 Weapons

If you have chosen long bows, I would recommend either the Heartseeker +3 (+2 damage) or the Strong Arm +2 (+3 damage). For short bows, you have three good options: Tansheron's Bow +3, the Short Bow of Gesen, and the Tuigan Bow +1 (3 shots per round).

2.2 Other

Shadow Dragon Scale armor, Helm of Balduran or Helm of Charm Protection or Vhailor's Helm, Bracers of Archery or Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise, Ring of Gaxx, Ring of Earth Control or Ring of Free Action, Kaligun's Amulet of Magic Resistance, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Hill Giant Strength (use the Girdle of Frost Giant Strength to assemble Crom Faeyr; the 25 STR it confers is great for opening locks), Cloak of Mirroring.

3. Strategies

3.1 Opening Locks

You will need to force some locks open, so cast Draw Upon Holy Might or drink a potion of Giant Strength (Roger the Fence in the Temple District Sewers has good potions). Once you assemble Crom Faeyr, you will never have to worry about locks again, because it confers 25 STR.

3.2 General Combat

You will need to do a lot of running around to avoid being hit, thus you should get the Boots of Speed as soon as possible. You will also need a summoned creature to avoid being swarmed by monsters. The Staff of Air +2 is excellent, because it allows you to summon a Lesser Air Elemental once per day, without wasting charges! Both the Boots of Speed and the staff can be found in the Astral Prison.

The Astral Prison is a bit difficult for a low level archer, especially the first ambush, but if you prepare yourself adequately, it is quite possible. First of all, buy a Potion of Magic Resistance from Roger the Fence in the Temple District Sewers, as well as a Potion of Defense, and an Oil of Speed. Drink the whole lot, and step through the gate. If you have the Horn of Valhala, summon the berserker on top of the mage (you will need to drink a Potion of Magic Resistance to avoid the maze trap on the chest with the horn). Killing the priest and the fighters should be quite simple with all the protections you have. Once they are gone, the mage should be quite easy to take down, especially if it wasted all its most powerful spells on the berserker.

Once you get the Boots of Speed and the Staff of Air +2, your job as an archer will be infinitely easier. Even dragons will easily fall to your arrows, if you use hit and run tactics. When fighting liches, I would recommend casting a Scroll of Protection from Undead, as you have no spells to protect yourself from its powerful magics. When facing Kangaxx, I would cast a scroll of Protection from Magic, and use the Sling of Everard +5.


Submitted by: ajpc