Flail of Ages vs. Axe of the Unyielding

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Revi
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Flail of Ages vs. Axe of the Unyielding

Postby Revi » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:34 pm

My PC is currently tanking everything with Flail of Ages. Considering the fact she already has High Mastery (****) in Flails and FoA provides a Slow on my target, is it still worth getting Axe of Unyielding and spending proficiency points on it? Does the AC and Con on it make it a better tank weapon than FoA?

She's a pure fighter, so it's not like she has a severe lack of proficiency points. I just prefer not to spend them on something she won't use.
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Postby NocturneN » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:02 pm

From my experience thus far:

There are two types of tanking in BG2; Avoidance tanking and Endurance tanking. Before I start; Having good AC is, although certainly beneficial, ultimately not that important. In my party, Minsc, with his poor AC of -3 is often a better tank than Anomen with his AC of -12 (not counting modifiers) solely because of Hardiness. And that's what I like to think of as "Endurance tanking" - when you're using abilities to reduce damage taken. Anomen is by no means a bad tank, and with his Armor of Faith and Draw Upon Holy Might he can take quite a beating aswell. Though ultimately, what makes Minsc much more effective at tanking is the sole fact that due to his much higher damage reduction (65% with Hardiness and AoF up), he is much more durable which also makes it easier to predict when you need to heal him.

Then we have my Fighter/Mage here which utilizes Stoneskin and PfMW. She takes no damage at all, and that's what I'd like to call "Avoidance tanking". With Stoneskin consuming hits, and PfMW effectively making her invulnarable, there is often no need to heal her at all, and she can often wade through entire battles unscathed. She is possibly (and ironically) probably the best tank out of all. The problem with Avoidance tanking is that when those protections do run out, she will suddenly be taking massive spikes of damage, and suddenly EVERYONE needs to focus heals on her...

What I'm trying to get at, here, is that AC really isn't that important. Yes, it helps, but even with awesome AC you will still take damage (and that damage will be spiky without reductions, often casuing you to heal too late and the char dies), not to mention that it does not matter at all vs magic etc. So if you use the Axe, then use it because of the extra CON and regen, not the AC. :)

EDIT
Also, I forgot; Are you using the "True Grandmastery"-mod? Without that, High Mastery and Grandmastery is generally not worth the points - the extra point for High Mastery only nets you -2 speed reduction (determines how fast in the round your character can attack, I've never noticed any difference on a character with high speed reduction and one with low speed reduction), and Grandmastery gives you just an extra +1 damage. The most important proficency slot is the 2nd (specialized) one because it gives you an extra 1/2 attack. On characters with not-so-great thac0 I usually spend the 3rd (mastery) point aswell for an extra +1 hit. But without the aforementioned mod there really isn't much point in going higher than 2 or 3 slots; it's generally better to spread the points out and become good at more weapons.
ENDEDIT

I'd say the axe is the best choice. Yes, Slow is a good effect to have on your side when tanking, but keep in mind that FoA's slow will only affect one target at a time. Depending on how many mages you have in your party you might want to simply have them cast slow (After Greater Malison) and slow whole groups, instead, negating FoA entirely. The trump card of the axe is, ultimately, the 10% instakill chance - If the target is dead, you need not even bother tanking it, aye? ;)

Sorry for the long post, and, I repeat that my knowledge of the game is limited, having not beaten ToB yet. This is just what works for me; it might not necessarily be the best route for you. Try both the weapons out and simply use that which you like best, or dualwield them! Good luck! :)
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Postby Revi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:51 am

I'm still not sure. It's true that mages can cast Slows as well, but FoA still has the advantage of a lot of elemental damage, which goes straight through immunities and Stoneskins etc. That's what really matters on most hard enemies (dragons and other bosses). On the other hand, the instakill ability as well as the added CON and AC are awesome, too. A difficult choice. I think I'll get Grandmastery in both and just see what works.

B.t.w. I am aware of what you call endurance and avoidance tanking. I'm currently endurance tanking with my main character. She doesn't have AoF but has a boatload of HP to compensate for it, plus she levels faster than a paladin or ranger, which means I get enough Hardiness charges to keep it going indefinitely. The lack of AoF will hurt in late ToB but I think I'll live. So far it's been working out fine for me.

A pure classed Fighter/Berserker is generally regarded as a weak tank build, but it has its own unique advantages which make me enjoy it a lot.

- Plenty of Berserk charges, you are pretty much immune to CC throughout the entire game. Since most of my deaths aren't from lack of avoidance or endurance, but from getting crowdcontrolled (feared, stunned, charmed), this is my main reason for loving the berserker.
- BG1 ends before paladins gain AoF, which gives the Fighter/Berserker an edge over paladins (but not over rangers) in terms of endurance on the Sarevok fight.
- Compared to a dualclass this character can tank through the entire game, no period of running around gimped while waiting to regain your fighter class.
- Can grandmaster in multiple weapons of choice and has amazing THAC0 and ApR throughout the game.
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Postby NocturneN » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:21 am

Revi wrote:I'm still not sure. It's true that mages can cast Slows as well, but FoA still has the advantage of a lot of elemental damage, which goes straight through immunities and Stoneskins etc. That's what really matters on most hard enemies (dragons and other bosses). On the other hand, the instakill ability as well as the added CON and AC are awesome, too. A difficult choice. I think I'll get Grandmastery in both and just see what works.

B.t.w. I am aware of what you call endurance and avoidance tanking. I'm currently endurance tanking with my main character. She doesn't have AoF but has a boatload of HP to compensate for it, plus she levels faster than a paladin or ranger, which means I get enough Hardiness charges to keep it going indefinitely. The lack of AoF will hurt in late ToB but I think I'll live. So far it's been working out fine for me.

A pure classed Fighter/Berserker is generally regarded as a weak tank build, but it has its own unique advantages which make me enjoy it a lot.

- Plenty of Berserk charges, you are pretty much immune to CC throughout the entire game. Since most of my deaths aren't from lack of avoidance or endurance, but from getting crowdcontrolled (feared, stunned, charmed), this is my main reason for loving the berserker.
- BG1 ends before paladins gain AoF, which gives the Fighter/Berserker an edge over paladins (but not over rangers) in terms of endurance on the Sarevok fight.
- Compared to a dualclass this character can tank through the entire game, no period of running around gimped while waiting to regain your fighter class.
- Can grandmaster in multiple weapons of choice and has amazing THAC0 and ApR throughout the game.


Actually, elemental damage is only really useful against "mage enemies" i.e. those who slap on Imp. Mantle, to interupt their spells. PfMW ignores elemental damage, I think, but due to a bug you can damage them with weapons that do "extra damage" like the Daystar or Crom Faeyr (I think). I have had problems hitting through PfMW at all; usually the only option is to dispel it. Furthermore, even though FoA does lots of different types of damage, it does this extra damage at the same time, instantly when it connects to the opponent, which means +1 cold damage will do the trick just as well. Dragons, I think, cannot be interupted, anyway, and usually Liches and such are easy enough to beat if you just dispel their protections quickly enough and hit them with PW:Silence or similar. I repeat that Grandmastery isn't really worth it in the vanilla game.

Aye; I just wanted to lay it out in a uneasily readable format. ^^ Sometimes people don't understand what the hell I'm raving about, so I tried to lay it out simple - I didn't mean to sound condescending or something like that. :) Besides, I love discussing BG, so sometimes I get too fired up. :D

I don't see how anyone in their right mind could think a Berserker would make a weak tank, I certainly don't. :) Immunity to CC is as awesome as it gets, being immune to stun must be a godsend, and you don't have to bother with the anti-leveldrain equipment. My next char will be either a dual Berserker/Thief or a multiclass Berserker/Thief. ^^

I'm unsure when Rangers and Paladins start gaining Divine Spells, but I think Minsc was level 13ish when he got it...I could be wrong, the guide I was consulting is outdated. Either way, since you had the Axe of Unyielding I thought you were in ToB consid-- Hmm, but oh.. that's right - WK is accessible from SoA aswell, my bad. As WK is ultimately ToB content I never bothered with it in SoA and got it into my head somehow that you must be in ToB - that is why I mentioned HLAs and stuff to begin with. :P

If we're talking SoA, here, then you're probably right in that Rangers makes better tanks than Paladins if they do indeed get their spells faster - I thought they'd start gaining Divine casts at the same time, or even that Palas got them earlier since Palas get more slots and higher level overall. However you must consider that Paladins also get Draw Upon Holy Might which boosts your HP quite nicely.

The only difference in thac0 due to proficencies are +1 for fighters. As I said, in vanilla SoA/ToB you really don't need more than 2 ** in weapons. Both Fighters and Rangers/Paladins gain their final 1/2 attack at level 13; Fighters never get more APRs.
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Minsc- Pirate Lord? Such a name does not conjure images of righteous behavior. Stand still a moment and let Boo have a look at you.

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Postby galraen » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:41 pm

Dragons, I think, cannot be interupted, anyway


You are correct, most of their spell casting is scripted, same is true for quite a few other monsters too. Detect invisibility by script is one of the most annoying things in the game, hopefully something BG2.EE will address, but Im not hopeful. There are so many things wrong with SoA and ToB I doubt they'll be able to correct all of the mistakes.

The most important aspect of a Berserker's enrage for me is the immunity to Imprisonment it grants*, as well as level drain. I also fail to understand how anyone can consider a berserker a weak tank.

* Minsc's enrage doesn't confer any protection from Imprisonment, which is why if ever I take the [expletive deleted] along I always turn him into the Bererker he should have been from the start. I guess Black Isle/Bioware's problem there was that the berserker wasn't available in BG1, he should still have been a fighter though as he doesn't come close to having the attributes for a Ranger, and he doesn't have enough wisdom to be able to cast divine spells. Does anyone know if they've corrected Minsc in BG.EE?
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Postby Revi » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:10 pm

Thomas Brorsson wrote: If we're talking SoA, here, then you're probably right in that Rangers makes better tanks than Paladins if they do indeed get their spells faster - I thought they'd start gaining Divine casts at the same time, or even that Palas got them earlier since Palas get more slots and higher level overall. However you must consider that Paladins also get Draw Upon Holy Might which boosts your HP quite nicely.


Rangers gain their first level 1 spell at level 8. Paladins get their first level 1 spell at level 9. This has little effect on SoA, since both probably gain their first AoF while still in Irenicus' dungeon, but my argument was based on the maximum level attainable in Baldur's Gate I + Tales of the Sword Coast. I play most of my characters through the entire saga from beginning to end, and I was talking here about the Sarevok fight (BG1 endboss). I use the Baldur's Gate Tutu mod to play BG1 and TotSC. In addition to offering various interface improvements, this also allows me to use a kit starting from level 1.

Paladins are indeed better divine spellcasters, they gain access to 4 levels of cleric spells, while rangers do not go beyond 3rd level druid spells. Cavaliers also make much better tanks than Rangers, especially in the early game (BG1 and early BG2), because they are immune to many forms of extremely annoying CC (as well as getting the +2 bonus to saves that all paladins enjoy).

I think that if you wish to build a perfect endurance tank, a human barbarian dualclassed to thief is probably the most powerful choice. This is possible with the "Expanded Dual-Class Options" component of the Gibberlings Three BG2 Tweak pack and is in line with AD&D 2nd edition rules. Barbarians gain a total of 20% resistance to all physical damage at level 19. If you then dualclass this barbarian to thief and have him wear Jan Jansen's Adventure Wear (possible via the HLA Use Any Item), he will gain another 25% resistance to physical damage. Finally, give him the Defender of Easthaven from Joluv (the bonus merchant in the Copper Coronet) and he gains another 20% resistance to physical damage. This yields a total of 65% resistance to physical damage even without even using the Hardiness HLA. That said, I wouldn't be caught dead playing this build myself, because it involves a very long wait to recover your primary class (the reason I don't like dualclass builds much in the first place).

If you feel the expanded dualclass options component is a cheat (it's not, it's in line with AD&D 2nd ed. rules) or just hate dualclassing in general, barbarians are still a very good choice when it comes to soaking damage. In a game version which doesn't allow you to dualclass them, halforc is clearly the best race to pick for a barb. A halforc barb gets crazy CON and STR and is still able to attain 40% resistance to physical damage (Innate 20% + 20% from Defender of Easthaven) before Hardiness. Hardiness will raise it to 80%. The fact that you do not have access to plate armor isn't a big deal when you have access to White Dragon Scale.

Thomas Brorsson wrote: I repeat that Grandmastery isn't really worth it in the vanilla game.


Yes, I use the Gibberlings Three BG2 Tweakpack, and I do have the True Grandmastery component installed.
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Postby koz-ivan » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 am

i have a real soft spot for the flail of ages, in all my runs through the game, somebody is using it as a primary weapon at all times.

a. of the "power" weapons it's the easiest to get.
b. utility wise, it's blunt so it's still good against stuff like clay golems, the elemental damage kills trolls, and it blasts through stone skins.
c. it does a lot of damage in general.even the +3 version does d6 +4 +3 elemental
d. that slow effect. i remember running a series of test battles between different npc's and the key factor was always who had the flail of ages.
e. ease of use, it's a great weapon for any ftr type main pc, or for a cleric / ftr (or ranger) dual / multi, or a ftr / mage. (ftr thief can use, but no backstab)

the axe is nice, but since it arrives much later on i usually don't have it as the focal point of my main or an npc (though i can see korgan going to town with it)

a. regeneration, having everyone in a melee themed party self heal over time is a definite bonus and much less micro manage than healing toons using cleric spells.
b. the ac & con bonus are nice, but neither really ends up meaning a whole lot.
c. damage wise not as good as foa, but does have instakill (i don't recall how useful the instakill is vs bosses and tougher monsters, i always suspected many of those things were immune to instakill effects)
d. it lops off heads, that is cooler than just slowing stuff down.
e. usewise, needs to be a warrior type pc/npc, or ftr + thief or mage. as with the foa, not backstab capable.
f. arrives later on in game, the +3 version i suppose is gettable later on in soa, but is a very weak version vs the foa +3 which is far more capable for all of soa.
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Postby Stworca » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:34 pm

When it comes to fights with higher difficulty (SCSII on Insanity, and so forth) the flail is godsend. A slow effect with no save (good luck getting someone slowed down the regular way), coupled with side-elemental damage that breaks spells through mirror image and stoneskin, makes it an amazing weapon.

It's also the number one way of killing extremely phys. resistant enemies in mods and otherwise, without the usage of cheese.. Like Yaga (Ascension Yaga even more so).

The axe, while upgraded in late ToB, is vastly superior due to its "I-WIN" proc, but similarly to the Ravager and Gith sword, never-to-be-seen when you use mods, or against enemies that matter.

Lastly, we have the fact, that flails are available and useful from the very beginning, and AoU is an end game weapon. FoA coupled with DoE and Hardiness / AoF (both if warr/cleric duo) / barbarian resistances makes for the single best character build for attempting late game fights with improved AI (that ignores targets immune to damage).

I don't think that i have ever passed on flail of ages, outside of solo sorcerer runs.
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Postby Blomdor » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:56 am

I prefer the flail for two main reasons, which I will explain in detail below. My apologies if I am ungodly long-winded about it.

1. It is obtained much earlier. The axe is found deep within Watcher's Keep, which you might not enter until relatively high levels, and does not reach its full power until well into ToB. The flail, on the other hand, is guarded by a mob consisting mostly of basic trolls, can be reached almost as soon as you get out of the starting dungeon, and is easily one of the most powerful weapons in SoA even at +3. IMO, the ease and speed with which it can be acquired is a huge plus. Even one of the extra flail heads can be obtained relatively easily, being found earlier in Watcher's Keep than the Axe as I recall.

2. The advantages of the flail are a little more practical IMO. To begin with, one of BG's quirks is that arcane casters are by far the best physical tanks due to a combination of ludicrously overpowered protective magic and the way AC and THAC0 work. AC is quickly outpaced by enemy THAC0 such that melee fighters have a hard time dodging the really dangerous attacks by the later stages of SoA e.g. dragons and demons, and in ToB you'll be hard pressed to find anything that really cares much about it. I could be wrong about this for extremely low AC, but I've gotten down to -12+ (-?) in the Underdark and was personally quite unimpressed with its reliability. The point of this tirade is that one AC is of very little significance; you likely will find it difficult to tell the difference between -12 and -13. If you need someone to tank without taking damage, use one of the party's arcane casters. You'll get more mileage out of a few castings of Stoneskin and/or PfMW than you will ever get out of AC.

In addition to the AC, you also get a point of constitution while wielding the axe. This, too, is fairly insignificant. I remember working out a way for barbarians to reach 25 CON using the upgraded axe, which IIRC has some peculiar advantages, but the difference between, say, 18 and 19 CON for a level 18 barbarian is just 9 HP. It might let you take an extra hit against some things, but it's not a very noticeable difference. Furthermore, one problem with this is that, IIRC at least, you must be actually using the axe to receive this benefit, so if you switch to a bow or change your melee weapon in certain situations, e.g. to fight clay golems, you will lose the CON and the extra hit points until you re-equip the axe and heal. This is possibly not a big deal, but it bears mentioning.

The other powers of the axe are regeneration and a 10% chance to OHKO. The former isn't exactly amazingly powerful (3 hp per round as I recall, a tiny fraction of what anything in ToB will do to you in a round of melee even if you aren't playing on higher than core difficulty), and the latter...I leave it up to you to judge. Personally, I dislike instant death magic and rarely use it either from a spellbook or as a weapon effect, but that's just one of several silly, self-imposed rules of mine. I haven't experimented with vorpal hits in this game, so I can't provide an informed opinion on how useful that aspect of the weapon is. I imagine most bosses are immune to it.

The flail, on the other hand, is a more offensively powerful weapon. It has the advantage of doing damage through Stoneskin, which is very useful in a game filled to the brim with arcane casters. The type of damage it does, bludgeoning, is the most reliable and is helpful for dealing with SoA's rather common clay golems. The fire and acid damage kills unconscious trolls, which is mostly just a convenience but may save you some magical ammo. The most important thing, however, is the slow effect; it's very useful in almost any situation, cannot be saved against, and seems to work on almost, if not every creature in the game.

One other nice thing about the flail is that clerics can use it. Cast DUHM and you'll have the extra AC and CON you'd get from the axe as well as the damage and slow from the flail and the advantages of whatever offhand weapon or shield you decide to use, if any.

I never got around to using the upgraded Foebane, but I always thought it sounded like a good weapon for a damage-soaking tank.

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Postby NocturneN » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:26 pm

I honestly can't say that I found much stuff in WK hard. Maybe the statues on the first floor and the final battle before the endboss. Yes, that fight was quite tough. But the endboss was a complete pushover. Furthermore, I thought that the game adjusts the difficulty of monsters based on your party? Wouldn't a lowlevelled party be fighting easier monsters? As for the Axe being hard to get, yes, you find it on the 4th floor, but to forge it you just need Baalor's Claw (or w/e that's called) and I think you find that fairly early in WK. Honestly, the forging in ToB has been a huge dissapointment for me. All the good weapons are in WK. Then you just grab the other piece you need which is often found in the very same dungeon, or in some obvious spot along the mainstory's missions. They don't cost much to forge either, and gold is obscenely easy to aquire in ToB. You can get FoA earlier, but not easier, honestly.

AC in BG is a bad concept overall, no denying that. I'm not sure if it's the 2nd ED ruleset which is notoriously bad at this, or just the games' interpretation of it. -12 or -13 AC really isn't that high though, honestly. To see any noticable difference against ToB monsters you need ~ -20. With such AC I've been able to dodge quite alot of blows from quite tough opponents. I think we can all agree, though, that AC doesn't really matter in this game. But saying "it's just -1 extra AC" doesn't fly with me, because you combine that AC with Helm of Balduran and its -2. Count in modifiers and it's -6. With the Ring of Gaxx and Ring of Protection it's -10. So it's not just 1 extra AC if you think like that, since everything counts you can actually get really insane AC.

HP is by far the best stat as far as tanking goes. Sarevok, as a fighter/thief currently has 176 hp when wielding that axe. Combine that with +15hp Ioun Stone and he has 191. That's quite a ridicilous number, considering he has some 12 more levels to go before maxed. HP is universal, it protects against ALL kinds of damage, not only physical, so imo every little bit counts.

As far as regeneration goes, 3hp/round is the highest you can get. Having a regen effect on your char can save your butt many times, when it comes down to just those extra hitpoints or death. Not to mention that not having any regen effect on a melee fighter (who consistently takes damage) is a complete pain. :)

The Vorpal hit doesn't work against bosses, but it works against most other, pesky enemies, like Hive Mothers or Mariliths, or all manner of nasty Demons. In fact, the final battle before the WK battle is one tough cookie...until Minscs walks up with the Ravager and instagibs 3 monsters in no time at all. I actually thought that was cheesy as hell and redid the fight with another weapon. Just saying that, yes Vorpal hits are powerful. Overpowered, if you ask me.

Neither Clay Golems or Trolls are particularly tough enemies. Any decent melee fighter with a staff should beat them down easily enough. And by the time you get Imp. Haste or Whirlwind, Stoneskin really shouldn't be a problem for you, either. Most Mage battles in SoA can be won by 1. Cast Breach 2. Cast Power Word: Silence, honestly. Or just use the Daystar, or FotN which goes right through Stoneskin and interupts casts aswell.

The only thing the FoA has going for it, imho, is the Slow effect which is undeniably really good. Not being able to Save against it is a huge bonus. I can see how FoA is a great boss-weapon solely for this. But does it ignore Magic Resistance? I'm not sure if it does, and that would be a real downed honestly since most bosses are immune or highly resistant to magic.

I'm not saying FoA is bad; it's not. It's a very nice wep. I prefer the Axe, though.

Foebane is probably the single best weapon in the entire game. :)
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Postby galraen » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:56 pm

As I recall A/C was capped at -10 in 1st and I think 2nd Ed AD&D, I've often wondered if that is in fact implemented in BG but they never bothered telling anyone!
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Postby Blomdor » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:02 pm

I'm much more familiar with a horribly mutated and modded installation where, for example, all random encounters are as tough as they can be regardless of level, and enemy mages are utter abominations that instacast 12 lines of dialogue worth of protections as soon as they see you, so my experiences probably don't line up with the original game entirely.

I agree about Watcher's Keep, actually, right down to the main fight I would consider to be a problem (the statues; in my games there are two very high level mages there and the others are quite powerful either at range or in melee). The fifth floor also has a difficult fight against a hive mother and some evil adventurers (?).

The Baalor's Claw is in Yaga-Shura's lair, which is in the middle-ish of ToB's storyline. Most of the game's over by the time you get if you consider the series as a whole. However, I went through ToB with an axe wielding fighter/mage and he was my most reliable melee tank even before then, not only because of PfMW but because of the wonderfully reliable Stonefire/Frostreaver combo that works well from SoA well into ToB. I'm not dissing axes ;) , they're probably my most-used weapon choice; I just have a major soft spot for the flail because it's an elemental damage-dealing +3 to +5 blunt weapon that you can get right out of the starting dungeon. Hits liches, goes through stoneskins, damages golems, slows things down, and all at an early point in the game when such details are important. I've played SoA about 20 times more than ToB (The former more times than I can really count, the latter exactly once) so when considering what weapons to take I just think more about the former than the latter.

When my fighters took too much damage, I just whacked them with a revive stick and recharged it at some town or another or simulacrum'd it. Cheesy cheesy, I know.

Always been curious: 19 con barbarian, Foebane in main hand, Axe in the other, CON book from BG1, rage for 25 CON and slap things with Foebane for constant healing with all the hp-increasing items you can get your hands on. Alternatively use the Defender of Easthaven for damage reduction. Throw down Hardiness. How tough would it be? I tried basing a character around it once, but got bored waiting for her to reach her full potential.

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Postby galraen » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:31 pm

Just checked 2nd Edition Handbook & DMG, and yes A/C is capped at -10; now I'm very interested to know if that was implemented in BG!
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Postby Claudius » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:06 pm

Interesting, galraen. My BG1 character already has -5 AC and not into Neshkhal yet haha. And that's not including modifiers from slash/pierce/blunt of the platemail and the -3 girdle of piercing.
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Postby Stworca » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:20 pm

galraen wrote:Just checked 2nd Edition Handbook & DMG, and yes A/C is capped at -10; now I'm very interested to know if that was implemented in BG!


It wasn't.
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Postby galraen » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:23 pm

Are you sure, it would explain why so many people can't spot the difference at times. Ah well, just another thing they got wrong!
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Postby NocturneN » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:30 pm

galraen wrote:Are you sure, it would explain why so many people can't spot the difference at times. Ah well, just another thing they got wrong!


I'm fairly sure that it doesn't, my MC with -8 from items, -11 with Blur, -15 with Spirit Armor/Barkskin, -17 with Defensive Harmony, finally -21 (-17 everything else) with a girdle of bluntless tanked some ~20 Monks in Amkethran without taking a scratch. OK, I honestly can't tell if she even got hit at all (unlikely; there must've been some crits in there), but I was more busy with keeping my casters away from the melee. Regardless, her HP barely budged.

Tanked 1 "Favored of Cyric" assassin who's only hits where from backstabs, everything else he did, missed. So in my opinion: AC isn't pointless, but only if you can consistently reach ~ -20, which is attainable by "normal" fighters with some of the later armors and their modifiers. AC really is worthless against most bosses, though, they seem to have downright ludicrous thac0. Though I did notice that Abazigal was quite hesistant to attack my fully buffed mainchar or Sir Anomen, he preffered to attack the casters, whenever he was close. Quite annoying.

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Postby roller1234 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:02 am

These weapons arent competing against each other. The Flail is a primary weapon. The Axe is a off-hand weapon. Use appropriately.


The Flail has powerful on-hit effects like protection penetrating damage and slow, using it in an offhand is pointless. The Axe has static effects, HP and regeneration, which benefit the character simply from being equipped. using it in the main hand doesnt make these effects stronger. 10% vorpal.. i dislike vorpal, too luck based, lots of immune enemies, a bit cheesy if works.

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Postby Philos » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:34 pm

Galrean,
I can confirm what Stworca and Brorsson said. Just had a fight where the opponents could hit my paladin carrying Carsomyr (AC-10) with a 19 or 20. But I replayed the fight and I switched to the FoA and the shield Saving Grace (my PC was now AC-14) I only got hit once by the same opponent with a 20 which in 2nd edition is an auto-hit anyhow. The roll info showed that the opposition did "roll" a few 19's and missed.

One benefit of the FoA slow ability that I didn't see directly mentioned (if I missed it in one of the posts my apologies) is that this slow ability works on "any" opponent and completely disregards magic resistence. I have slowed many an iron golem and adamantine golem. You can't do that with a slow spell unless you have a huge number of lower resistence spells.
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