Creating the Perfect Party in Throne of Bhaal
Perfect Party #6

General party layout

I wanted to complete SoA and ToB fast and efficiently, and at the same time getting the most out of the equipment offered in the game. Since most of the cool stuff is made for fighter having plenty of them in the party made sense to me. This turned out to be rewarded hansomely, especially in ToB where may monster are resistant or indeed immune to magics. Since I like playing casters i did choose both a sorcerer and a bard. The bard does have the ability to support the figthers with his song - so he fits nicely into the party. Best figther race? - No doubt Orc, with both 19 in STR and CON they make formidable tanks. The Carsomyr sword just begs for me to include a paladin too, and since I needed someone with high CHA to lead the conversations i picked a human paladin.

Healing potions are, to say it the least, ABUNDANT in ToB. My only regret is that I choose a Figher/cleric and not a pure fighter for one of my tanks. Clerics aren't really that usefull. I only used their buffs rarely and their offensive spells are not even close to matching those of the wizard. Heal and Ressurection does come in handy now and then. But these can both be provided by items (Potionss, Rod of Ressurection and Blessed Bracers). I have equipped each of my tanks with regenrations items - this makes the cleric even more useless and saves time (and potions) with healing. I really hate the slow movement of the characters in the game. So I got my Boots of Speed ASAP. Speaking of hating stuff, level drain annoys me a lot: It can kill your chars really fast, requires you to remomorize spells, makes your clerics tired and is generally annoying. My party layout reflects this, must characters (bard being only exception) uses equipment that gives protection from level drain.

As mentioned in other articles on this site AC is not that cool in ToB. Off course its nice to have armor when tanking small mobs. But when it comes to the boss monsters resistance is the stuff you want - especially magic resist. My choice of equipment off course reflects this.

Human Paladin (Undead Hunter)

This characters main role is to slay spellcasters and provide the main tanking ability. I choose the undead hunter since he, in my opinion, has the best special ability: Immunity to level drain. The level draining monsters, in Watchers keep are quite annoying. The cavalier has only limited use, there are not THAT many dragons and demons in the game - allthough the lay on hands does come in handy. Iquisitor seems a tempting choise, however, the dispel magic ability can be aquired from the Carsomyr and true seeing spells can be supplied in abundance by the sorcerer (and fast because of Robe of Vecna)

The equipment for this character focuses on having high magic resistance. Often my paladin would be able to take on mages and liches single handed and I would keep the other character out of spell range.

STR: 18 (22 with Girdle of Fire Giant)
DEX: 17 (19 after watchers keep and armor bonus, had to sacrifice one in hell)
CON: 18 (19 after watchers keep)
WIS: 18 (keep high for better saving throws)
INT: 4 (really doesnt matter, only useable with mind flayers)
CHA: 17 (18 after watchers keep)

Equipment: Shurukkaks Plate, Blessed Bracers, Vhailors Helm (2 of this char is great), Amulet of Seldarine, Ring of Gaxx, Ring of Free action, Cloak of the Sewers (more AC), Boots of Speed, Girdle of Fire Giant Strength, Carsomy, Ravager +6 (for variety), Dragons Breath (nice for Chromatic demon and other monster not harmed by ordinary weapons)

Abilities: 1 Summon Deva (for support if mage or cleric is down), 2 hardiness, Greater Whirlwinds

Notes: With the bonuses gained in Hell, from Watchers keep and from equipment this char has a magic resist of 85%

Half-Orc fighter/thief

I just love those half-orc for their great tanking stats (+1 STR and +1 CON). This character does most of the scouting ahead of the party and adds some serious backstab damage during fights with larger enemies. I did not use traps until late in the game, but dont bother about pumping this chars set trap ability - the bard can do the trapsetting with his abilities (he has no other use for them). Focus on hide in shadows and move silently once your detect trap and pick lock skills are at 100 (which is sufficient for the game)

STR: 19 (20 after watchers keep, could have been 21 if lucky in Deck of Many things)
DEX: 18
CON: 19
WIS: 18
INT: 9
CHA: 3

Equipment: Grandmaster Armor +6, Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization, Wong Fei's Ioun Stone, Cloak of Elvenkind (Piwafi Cloak would probably have been better), Boots of Elvenkind, Belt of Inertial Barrier, Ring of Fire control, Ring of Earth Control, Flail of the Ages +5, Celestial Fury, Spectral Brand, Celestial Fury (stun is nice for hard hitting enemies)

Abilities: 2 hardiness, 2 assisination (great for maxing damage output with haste), Greater Whirlwinds

Half-orc Barbarian

With his fast speed and lots of hit point this character is very versatile. His ability to get into barbarian rage ensure that no hold, charms or mazes stop his tanking ability. I could have chosen a pure fighter instead but found that the speed and hits points easily offset the advantages of improved specialization. The restriction to no plate mail armor really isnt a disadvantage. In the early game you can use shadow dragon armor and later go for the white dragon armor. Somehow the game considers the Red Dragon SCALE armor to be a platemail.

STR: 19 (22 with Argurvadal)
DEX: 18
CON: 19 (20 with axe of unyielding)
WIS: 18
INT: 9
CHA: 3

Equipment: White Dragon Scale (Shadow dragon before that), Gloves of Healing, Helm of Balduran, Periapt of Proof Against Poison, Ring of Regeneration, Ring of Fire resistance, Cloak of Displacement, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Blundness, Axe of Unyielding, Angurvadal +5, Blackrazor (secondary, when resist fear is great (dragons))

Abilities: 2 hardiness, Greater Whirlwinds

Notes: Very high constitution, Axe of Unyielding plus ring of regen makes for very fast regen. This guys is normally the last to fall.

Half-Orc Fighter/Cleric

STR: 19 (25 with Crom Faeyr)
DEX: 18
CON: 19
WIS: 18 (19 after watchers keep)
INT: 11
CHA: 5

Equipment: Red Dragon Scale (later Blue Dragon), Bracers of Blinding Strike, Helm of the Rock, Sensate Amulet, Ring of Regenerationm Ring of Anti-Venom, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Piercing

Abilities: Summon Deva (or fallen deva), Quest spells, Greater Whirlwinds

Note: One good use of a cleric is to make him evil and use his turn undead to control the undead monsters you encounter.

Elf Sorcerer

I normally like to play mages a lot and keep many of them in my party. Looking at the items in the game however, it is quite clear that only one pure spellcasters can be properly equipped. The equipment chosen is based on getting as many spells as possible. This characters main role is to dispel protection on enemy spellcasters (Using Ruby Ray, Breach, True sight and Dispel magic) and provide extra firepower once only enemy tanks are left. Elf is the natural choice for sorcerer because of the high DEX giving a bonus to AC.

Since most of my tanks are allmost completely resistant to fire, casting fireball and delayed blast fireball into the crowd does not hurt them much. Abi Dhazin Writhing is off course a nice option too, but often I would have used too many Ruby Rays of Reversal to have 8th level spells left. The sorcerer gets so much more powerfull at higher levels than the specialized wizard. And not having to memorize spells all the time really speeds up the game.

With both the robe of Vecna and the Amulet of power spellcasting is really fast.

STR: 9 (19 with belt of Hill Giant Strength)
DEX: 19
CON: 16
WIS: 16 (for good wishes)
INT: 18 (19 after watchers keep)
CHA: 10

Equipment: Robe of Vecna, Bracers of AC3, Circlet of Netheril, Amulet of Power, Ring of Wizardry, Ring of Acuity, Improved Cloak of protection +2, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Hill Giant Strength, Staff of the Magi, Sling of Seeking +2 (nice with 19 in STR). Sling of Everad +5 (for use on demiliches)

Spells: I choose allmost the same spells as suggested in the "Soloing sorcerer strategy" on this site. Instead of spell trust at 3rd level I picked dispel magic which comes in quite handy if group members are charmed.

Abilities: Choose all 10th level spells first, after that - extra spells.

Human Bard (consider Skald as kit)

I choose a pure bard here - with the new bard song the skjal might have been a better choice. This character is here primarly for the bard song. Pick pocket ability and backup (dis)spellcasting is used when i engage many mages. When not casting breach, true seeing and dispel magic, magic missilies I keep this char out of melee combat and hit the opponent with ranged weapons. The bard has some pretty useless abilities to choose from (once you have taken use any item and Improved Bard Song). Somehow bard can take trapsetting, so i make this character my trap master.

STR: 12 (19 with girdle)
DEX: 18
CON: 19
WIS: 18
INT: 9
CHA: 3

Equipment: Aslyferund Elven Chain +5, Bracers of Archery (Wonderous Gloves is better choice, but I could not find them), Helm of Brilliance, Amulet of Cheetah speeds (this chars need to get out of melee combat fast), Ring of the Ram, Ring of Fire Resistance, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Stone Giant strengt (A cloak would have been nice, Montolios comes to mind), Staff of the Woodlands (use any item :-), Firetooth +5

Abilities: Use any item, Improved Bard song, Spike and exploding traps

General Strategy of party

I use Spellcaster attack script on all my tanks. This normally makes sure they behave as I want them to. The backup spellcasters (bard and sorcerer) use ranged weapon script - I like being in control of my spells.

Most of the time I just let my tanks do the hard work and maybe cast one or two Fireballs or Abi Dhazims Writhing. Resting is not necessary very often. The regeneration of all the characters normally has them up to full health before next fight. At low levels save your whirlwinds for the boss monsters, and use 3rd level spells (fireball and lightning) to clear out hall trash if necessary. At later stages use your high level spells for big summons, time stop, Improved alacrity, dragon breath, abi Dhazims, and other powerfull weapons of mass destruction - don't waste time with buffing your party members. Generally dont use mid level spell unless its for countering effects (like True Seeing, Ruby Ray, Pierce Magic and Breach). Its allways nice to take down enemy casters before they get off their Time Stop (and believe me, they WILL cast it)

With 4 tanks and their whirlwinds most boss monsters fall very fast. Demogorgon, Sendai and Balthazar all went down in the first try (make sure spellscasters cast breach). Abazigal had me reload once. Just be prepared for those nasty lightning attack (resist buff comes to mind) and even Abazigal is a wimp. Melissan was surprisingly easy, only forcing me to reload once. Just keep your tanks close to her and the whirlwinds and dispel magic from the Carsomyr will make you own her and attain godhood.

Overall a great and challenging game which I have really enjoyed playing. Black Isle and Bioware have really set the standard for all online roleplay games to come.

Submitted by: Thomas