Best Three Member Party

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snoopyofour
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Best Three Member Party

Postby snoopyofour » Tue May 23, 2006 12:22 pm

All two member teams tend to suck because it requires the player to multiclass his characters (which I hate, they will almost always be inferior to any single class in terms of battle effectiveness). I started thinking about what the smallest, functional, highly effective party would be. My first two members are already decided: a barbarian and a shapeshifter. But I'm having trouble deciding my last character. A mage would really come in handy but there were so many times the last time I played through that I would have killed for a few spike traps. On the other hand, maybe a skald would be the way to go, they get the traps and the wizard spells that I like the most not to mention the invaluability of the bard song. I just thought I'd see what your imput is. Might help me make up my mind.
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Cwell the fine
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Postby Cwell the fine » Tue May 23, 2006 5:15 pm

A) You're out of your mind. If you have ToB installed, multiclass characters are far and away better than single classed characters.

B) I've tried a Cleric/Ranger, Sorcerer, and Fighter/Thief party, and they were unstoppable. The game got too easy.

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kmonster
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Postby kmonster » Tue May 23, 2006 5:19 pm

Doesn't any bard get a bard song as HLA which is better than the skald song ?
Maybe another bard kit would be better.

Muliclass characters get their HLAs as fast as single class characters, so a gnomish thief/illusionist could select even more spike traps.
Since level-dependent mage spells are capped at level 20 he would also be the more effective spellcaster.

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Raven_Song
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Postby Raven_Song » Wed May 24, 2006 4:08 am

Doesn't any bard get a bard song as HLA which is better than the skald song ?
Maybe another bard kit would be better.


The Rogue Rebalancing Pack and Song and Silence (hosted at Gibberlings 3) mod both vastly improve bards (IMHO), using these in combination the Jester kit actually becomes worth playing. If your looking for bard varients might be worth chacking out. :)

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Coot
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Postby Coot » Wed May 24, 2006 4:44 am

Blades are very good at a lot of things and can hold their own in melee very well.
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Lord Tansheron
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Postby Lord Tansheron » Wed May 24, 2006 4:38 pm

"smallest, functional, highly effective party" - You do realize that you can very easily solo this game (umodded)?

Well, solo is not exactly a "party" so a 2-member party would be the smallest actual "party". Try Kensai->Mage with Berserker->Cleric for example. Or Fighter/Mage/Thief with Ranger/Cleric. Quite impressive. Heck, 2x Sorceror would be awesome too.

The more mods you install, the harder it gets of course. Unmodded, the game is too easy to actually talk about the topic.
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Postby Denethorn » Wed May 24, 2006 8:35 pm

Unmodded, the game is too easy to actually talk about the topic.


I wouldn't say so. Depends how much you powergame. Soloing can be easy if you use quirks and know how...
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Postby Nimiety » Thu May 25, 2006 10:24 am

A barbarian and a shapeshifter?

OK - that gives you one fighter / tank-type, and one druidic tank.

I would suggest one that needs to hang back a bit more, like one of the thief kits - you can work around most traps, but doing that can really slow down the game. Besides, a thief can always be your ranged weapons guy (short bows) and get in there for a little backstabbing, too.

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snoopyofour
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Postby snoopyofour » Thu May 25, 2006 11:02 am

Cwell, the cleric ranger might be a worth while bet in T0B (but only if supplemented with a real fighter), what with the usefulness of whirlwind attack but the fighter thief is useless. His only purposeful function is to detect illusion. I've played one and I'm well aware of how cool they seem at first, but once you get to ToB, they lose much of their charm. As a fighter he has too few hitpoints and not enough attacks per round making him pitifully helpless in larger fights. Anyway, I'm more interested in having a team that can do the summon thing but also function well in those fights that there are no ways to prepare for. I've done the multi-class thing and I was pretty dissappointed. Every fight was a big deal. Then I started a barbarian, I will never go back. A cleric/ranger I can tell you would have no prayer in some situations a barbarian can handle solo. Try taking on seven fire giants single handedly. A fighter/theif might get an advantage from a backstab but it wouldn't do that much good considering his life is gone in five to six hits. As for a sorceror, nothing less than time stop, with improved alacrity and robe of vecna would get you out of that fight alive. You can think of it that way or you can consider the fact that in single combat none of those characters (except possibly the sorceror) could take out a barbarian of equal level. It just wouldn't happen. Now maybe your team works out alright together but I disagree completely with your belief that multiclassed characters are "far and away better than single classes".

And whoever said it was easy to solo, I know you are not going from start to finish with a brand new character solo. And if you have please explain to me how you beat the fire temple, and please don't say "by hiding in the shadows"
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Postby Coot » Thu May 25, 2006 12:39 pm

[QUOTE=snoopyofour]And if you have please explain to me how you beat the fire temple, and please don't say "by hiding in the shadows"[/QUOTE]Why not? Backstabbing isn't a viable option in a lot of situations, but I found that the Temple, of all places, is perfect to get a lot of backstabbing done.

Also, IMHO the fighter/thief is one of the most versatile classes there is. He can backstab and then stick around to melee quite well. I understand what you mean about the hitpoints, but I'd compensate for that with a good ranged weapon.

I can also see why a barb would be more effective than a cleric/ranger, but only in very [i]few[i]situations. A cleric/ranger has it all: melee power, sneaking, all priest spells in creation, he can use almost all armor and almost all weapons.
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snoopyofour
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Postby snoopyofour » Thu May 25, 2006 1:54 pm

If I'm not mistaken, cleric/rangers can only use weapons restricted to the cleric ethos. that means blunt weapons only and except for crom faeyr, they're mostly second rate. And while they might "have it all", they have it all in very limited supply. Sneaking ability has to be enhanced with various cloaks and boots before it is reliable at all and his melee ability is pitiful when you compare it to the things that can be achieved with a greater werewolf (not to mention the superiority of druids when it comes to fighting spellcasters). The greatest advantage I'd say that the cleric/ranger might have is that he is able to cast greater restoration. The only problem with that is that when the party you're aiming for is only three people, it loses almost all of its effectiveness. And while the cleric/ranger can cast animate dead, so can a bard while also putting improved haste on my barbarian and werewolf putting their number of attacks to 7 and 10 respectively and singing improved bardsong. You haven't seen unstoppable until you've a werewolf with an armor class of -20 (I might be able to get that even lower with the ring of gaxx) that has a six round whirlwind attack in effect. It gets crazy.

As for your love for fighter thieves, I can understand it. After all, if your at all worth your salt, you've discovered the joys of combining critical strike with a backstab (using crom faeyr in left hand and good katana in right I could do around 250 damage in a single strike). But there are simply too many battles where hiding in shadows is either impossible or simply inconvenient and his melee skills aren't that impressive. When I pit him against my barbarian, the barbarian won with roughly 2/3 of his hp intact. There's just no way around it, a barbarian is the better choice for any situation that involves really powerful melee enemies.
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Postby Lord Tansheron » Thu May 25, 2006 2:16 pm

Fighter/Thief is a decent melee class. Not the best, but decent. What makes this class so interesting is in fact its versatility. Thief skills on a warrior body are very good for low-member play, better than a Barbarian meat tank that can do little more than stand there delivering/taking blows.

As for Cleric/Ranger, it's similar. Versatility over Power. I myself prefer Berserker->Cleric, but R/C is not much worse. The enhancing spells Clerics get are very good and certainly not comparable to the low arsenal of Bards.

"Seven Fire Giants single-handedly": Unmodded, that is in fact not hard at all. Mages can summon and use things like Timestop + multiple Horrid Wilting. Thiefs can plant traps (time + multi spikes for fun fights). Not that hard at all, if you know what to do and even easier for the cheesy powergamers.

Beating the Fire Temple solo: Fighter/Mage/Thief anyone? Breeze through that place in no time. The only trouble I have is the Amelyssan fight at the very end, tough to do for a solo. F/M/T has access to so many unfair combinations, everything but the boss fights will not make you sweat. Timestop + Greater Whirlwind. Spike Traps. Horrid Wilting. Planetars and friends. Backstabs. Basically, you can do anything you like and enemies fall like leaves.
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Postby Coot » Thu May 25, 2006 3:17 pm

@Snoopyofour:
- About the c/r weapons: I stand corrected.
- Sneaking has to be augmented by boots or cloaks: yes, that's true, but if it wasn't, sneaking - and therefore backstabbing - would seriously unbalance the game.
- The melee power of a c/r pitiful? I strongly disagree. Unbuffed, he can hold his own quite well. When buffed, he's close to being unbeatable. Not only against melee, but also against magical attacks. A barbarian is a little more vulnerable that way. He can only swing his weapon, while a c/r has so many different attacks and defenses the main problem is which spells or skills or abilities to use!
- Druids are - or can be - great while fighting spellcasters, but so are the cleric/rangers - in their own way. I don't see the druids superiority there. Druids can cast a few spells that disrupt spellcasting, but so can the c/r - and don't forget: he has the raw fighting power to follow up on that.
Besides, spells can fail and when that happens, the druid generally stands there gnashing his teeth until the next round, but the c/r is busy busting heads.
IMHO druids can do nothing the c/r can't do. Single class druids get the more powerful spells more quick, but in a small party that really doesn't make that much difference.
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snoopyofour
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Postby snoopyofour » Fri May 26, 2006 9:29 am

Coot, thank you for your well-though lucid response.
Here's where I disagree. I don't know if this is what you meant but you made it sound like you believed rangers can backstab...they can't, only stalkers can do that. Which is why I don't see the point in sneaking at all. Yes I could scope out the situation with a r/c or I could just run in and make stew out of everyone. Plus, the slots you use in order to make yourself adept at hiding in shadows could be better filled with protective cloaks and boots of speed. As for spells, I'm not aware of any clerical spells that actually reduce the damage of spell based attacks. In fact, the only useful spell defenses a cleric has are negative plane protection and death ward (which is admittedly an extremely useful spell). But a barbarian rage functions as both of these as well as a charm and confusion block and a melee enhancer. And I'm not sure if this is something inherit to the class or a glitch, but somewhere along the line my barbarian gained these really high resistances to all forms of physical damage. I'm not about that one though. As for vulnerability to spell casters, like I said a barbarian has death magic handled, petrification is the only thing he has to worry about and that rarely kills anyway. As for other offensive spells, the r/c is actually much more vulnerable due to his lack of hp. I haven't found a mage in the game that was capable of killing my barbarian (i am of course excepting beholders). By the end of the game, there was no single enemy the barbarian couldn't kill single handedly, in two rounds or less (except the dragons in ToB, all they do use wing buffet when I get in close, hate that move).
As for druids, you are right that they can't move between fighting and casting spells as easily as a r/c can. But thats what the barbarian is around for. And one thing that clerics cannot do is cast the insect summonings (spells that were, for me, useful until the very end) however, as a werewolf a druid is a much more effective combatant than a c/r. I mean, I'm surprised you aren't convinced of that after what I wrote already about them. They also have 40% magic resistance and like 80% elemental resistance or something nuts like that. They're really good man, don't take my word for it. play one yourself.
Tansheron, while the timestop whirlwind thing sounds pretty cool, I don't believe for a second that you beat Amylessan with a f/t/m and yes, the seven fire giants were easy, thats the point. But unlike your strategy which involves lots of planning and pre-fight casting and laying of traps, a barbarian just walks in a finishes the job. Plus after the fight my barbarian just needs a heal spell or some potions while a thief or mage has to rest. Not to mention that your game plan as a thief or mage is dependent on your being able to run away from the bad guys which just isn't how I do things.
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Coot
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Postby Coot » Fri May 26, 2006 3:12 pm

When I was talking about backstabbing I meant fighter/thieves.
As for the rest: I can see we're only going to agree about not agreeing with each other :) ;) . But still...

I never warmed up to Werewolves, Greater or not. They can buff, but can't wear armor and they certainly can't wield weapons. IIRC the Shapeshifter Werewolf's claws count as +1 weapons and the Greater Werewolf's as +3. I do like the Shapeshifter from a roleplaying perspective, though.

The c/r does have access to insect summoning spells, c/r does have access to druid spells to some extent.

Also, c/r can cast Silence 15' radius, Miscast Magic, Zone of Sweet Air, Rigid Thinking, Magic Resistance, True Seeing, Chaotic Commands, Shield of the Archons and maybe some others I forgot. All useful against magic attacks - although one more than the other.

I wouldn't say c/r suffers from a lack of hp. It just that a barb has more. But then again, he really needs them because a) a barb can't cast Armor of Faith, Protection from Fire/Ice/Acid/Electricity/Fear/etc. and a lot more and b) in addition, c/r can wear far better armor than the Barb - almost all armor, in fact.
Barbarian Rage has a lot of advantages, including protection against some serious stuff. But it doesn't last that long. The c/r can make variations in his spellbook as much as the situation warrants. All in all, the c/r can protect himself much better.

All of that notwithstanding, my first pc was a Barbarian. He's still one of my favorite classes :) . I like that 'Get out of my way here comes the lawnmover' attitude. I wish I could solve things that way in RL.
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Postby snoopyofour » Fri May 26, 2006 3:51 pm

I've always felt that not being able to wear the best armor wasn't really that big a deal since most of the later enemies can hit you with just about any armor class, figured that hp always comes in handy. I really suggest you play a shapeshifter. I mean, I don't understand your aversion to their inability to wear armor (they actually can wear black and white dragon scale, little slip up in the game) but when he shifts to gw he has a natural -12 armor class. I've never gotten that low with regular armor on any character. And thats not including the stuff you can put on him to decrease it further. I really think you ought to play one man. you'd have fun. except in the fire temple, a druid doesn't have much luck in that place. but anyway, give one a shot, after all you've said about c/r I think I'm going to reinstall the game and put one in my party.
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Cwell the fine
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Postby Cwell the fine » Fri May 26, 2006 4:35 pm

[QUOTE=snoopyofour]Cwell, the cleric ranger might be a worth while bet in T0B (but only if supplemented with a real fighter), what with the usefulness of whirlwind attack but the fighter thief is useless. His only purposeful function is to detect illusion. I've played one and I'm well aware of how cool they seem at first, but once you get to ToB, they lose much of their charm. As a fighter he has too few hitpoints and not enough attacks per round making him pitifully helpless in larger fights. Anyway, I'm more interested in having a team that can do the summon thing but also function well in those fights that there are no ways to prepare for. I've done the multi-class thing and I was pretty dissappointed. Every fight was a big deal. Then I started a barbarian, I will never go back. A cleric/ranger I can tell you would have no prayer in some situations a barbarian can handle solo. Try taking on seven fire giants single handedly. A fighter/theif might get an advantage from a backstab but it wouldn't do that much good considering his life is gone in five to six hits. As for a sorceror, nothing less than time stop, with improved alacrity and robe of vecna would get you out of that fight alive. You can think of it that way or you can consider the fact that in single combat none of those characters (except possibly the sorceror) could take out a barbarian of equal level. It just wouldn't happen. Now maybe your team works out alright together but I disagree completely with your belief that multiclassed characters are "far and away better than single classes".
[/QUOTE]
Disagree if you like, but you're totally wrong IMO.

A Fighter/Thief is useful for a few more things than just detecting illusion. They're great scouts, handle every lock and trap in the game, start every combat off in a good step by backstabbing, and handle themselves just fine in melee afterwards (you even say yourself that come ToB, most monsters hit you anyway). Add the BEST HLA pools to choose from, and you've got what might be the most powerful character in the game.

A Cleric/Ranger is better than a Barbarian all the time, from the second Irenicus lets you out of the cage 'til the end. They have almost as many hit points, can cast Ironskin (who cares about damage reduction when you don't take any), and have DuHM as a spell the whole game, which is much better offensively than Rage. Since you don't need the defensive bonuses from a Rage often, memorizing a few Chaotic Commands should easily handle the situations.


No offense, but your argument makes it seem like you really don't have much knowledge of this game.

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Cwell the fine
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Postby Cwell the fine » Fri May 26, 2006 4:37 pm

[QUOTE=snoopyofour]If I'm not mistaken, cleric/rangers can only use weapons restricted to the cleric ethos. that means blunt weapons only and except for crom faeyr, they're mostly second rate. And while they might "have it all", they have it all in very limited supply.[/QUOTE]
The Flail of Ages is one of the best weapons in the entire game, from the moment you assemble it through the end of the game with it's improvements.

And yes, great blunt weapons are "in limited supply," but how many do you need?

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Postby fable » Fri May 26, 2006 4:42 pm

Guys--and this isn't aimed at any one specific person--tone down the rhetoric. I'm seeing those little red danger flags with the emblem "How can you be so wrong?" enscrbied across them. Take 'em down, now. The articulate discussion's great, but if you want to continue it, please do so by adding to your own arguments, without shouting negative slogans at your opponent's. Thanks.
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Postby Coot » Sat May 27, 2006 6:03 am

Snoop: I've had Cernd in my party 'til ToB only once so I'm not really an expert on Shapeshifters and I don't consider myself an expert on gamemechanics anyway. For instance, I wouldn't have thought you'd be able to get a Shapeshifter's AC so low.
I probably would have tried playing a Druid before if I didn't think their balance philosophy wasn't so silly.

I haven't played BG for some time now. When I start another game, I'll want my pc to be something I haven't played before and after all this I'll seriously consider the Shapeshifter.

Until then, maybe we could start a thread about Sorcerors vs. Wizard Slayers? :laugh: ;)
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