the ultimate party (so far that is)

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the ultimate party (so far that is)

Postby egervari » Sun Apr 15, 2001 1:04 pm

I would like to give some info on how to create the ultimate party for icewind dale (not HOW since I don't own it). I see the parties that you had up there and I took a little different approach.

Basically it consists of fighters, but I don't do as much dualing like everyone else. I believe this party did extremely better than my all out human dual classed party. I tried to maximize weapon slots to take advantage of most weapons in the game. All charcaters were chaotic good in alignment except for the druid, obviously, which is true neutral.

I took fighters of demi-human races because of the benefits. No point of them being human when I don't plan on dual classing. Obviously the elf fighter takes swords because elves get the +1 bonus to them. The dwarf was the perfect character to wield axes as Loadstone Road cut the hoards to shreds.

I took the elven fighter/thief because I didn't need the thiefs skills to max out quickly. There is more than enough experience to get proficient in finding traps, opening locks and pick pocketing. I though hiding in shadows was worthless in IWD compared to Baldur's Gate since there is far too many creatures to face in this game to make backstabbing effective. Hence the use of the cross bow (Heavy Crossbow of Accuracy is outstanding) instead of using a weapon. There's many great Long Swords in the game so that was also his backup weapon (again, receiving the elf's bonus). The elven theif is also great since you can get 20 Dex by the Severed Hand, find the potion that decreases strength for an increase in dexterity. With a crossbox, you're not going to need that strength. This complements another +5 bonus to theiving abilities to the already +5 from being an elf with their dex bonus. Again, making this multiclass very efficient. Obviously you can use bows as elves receive bonuses to that as well.

The fighter/cleric is a powerhouse and is very good with all the undead in the game. I took the obvious choices when I specilized in weapons, taking maces and flails at +3 in each.

The fighter/druid is also a great character to have. It helps to have a non-good character in the party so you can use different armors and weapons that the other characters can't use. Druids get powerfuls spells in the game and with a the nature's staff of unlimited charges of entangle and flame strike, it's very sickining. I think druids could have been better in this game, but the staff, plus the usage of scimitars, make this character quote strong. The summoning spells are also quite useful. Get the +1 crown, and she'll reduce prices a good amount for the party.

Lastly, I took a Human Fighter/Conjurer. Since they can learn all the spells and get +1 to memorizing a spell in all levels, they are the most efficient class in magery. There is a +1 to Intelligence dagger just before you get out of dorn's deep + the super ring of wizardry. this makes the mage very capable. 19 Intelligence will allow you to learn max spells and learn without failing to often. it's quite good.

My party consists of

Elven Fighter
Str: 18/94
Dex: 19
Con: 17
Int: 7
Wis: 8
Cha: 17

Specializes in Long Swords +5 and Great Swords left over

Dwarf Fighter
Str: 18/91
Dex: 17
Con: 19
Int: 7
Wis: 16
Cha: 7

Specializes in Axes +5 and Hammers left over

Elf Fighter/Theif (Multiclass)
Str: 18/01
Dex: 20
Con: 16
Int: 8
Wis: 11
Cha: 8

Specializes in Cross Bows +2, Long Swords +2 and Bows +2

Human Fighter/Cleric (6/X)
Str: 18/35
Dex: 18
Con: 16
Int: 9
Wis: 18
Cha: 9

Specializes in Flails +3 and Maces +3 (there is so many good for each that I decided to be good in both)

Human Fighter/Druid (6/X)
Str: 18/63
Dex: 16
Con: 7
Int: 3
Wis: 18
Cha: 18

Specializes in Long Swords +3 (Scimitars) and Staffs +2

Human Fighter/Conjurer (3/X)
Str: 16
Dex: 18
Con: 18
Int: 18
Wis: 7
Cha: 3

Specilizes in Bows +3 and Daggers +2

If you have any comments or suggestions about my party, mail me at


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Postby Kayless » Sun Apr 15, 2001 3:14 pm

I went for versatility when I created my party. It consisted of a dwarven fighter, a half-elven ranger/cleric, a halfling thief, a human paladin, an elven druid, and a human mage. This way I was prepared for virtually any situation that might spring up as well as having an efficient combat unit. The paladin and dwarf fighter made excellent tanks (particularly the dwarf), the cleric/ranger and druid were effective support personnel, while the halfling and the mage worked excellently in the specialist perspective (particularly the mage, with whom I’ve developed some devastating tactics, stated elsewhere on this board). But above all remember, it's not who you choose, but how you use them that determines victory or success ;)
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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Postby egervari » Sun Apr 15, 2001 10:41 pm

I'll post another party within a few days.. i have to modify this one a bit. It was *very* effective.. a little too effective; but I think I can make it better. I ranger/cleric is a very good character. I do want to have a ranger/cleric dual but that means that pretty much I can have a level 8/11 or so by the end of the game. If you don't play HoW, it almost seems like a huge waste as you won't get to enjoy it for very long. I think having a fighter/cleric and a fighter/druid was better. I considered this before and that's why I made the decisions above. There is also a ring that gives priests +2 to memorizing spells at level 1 through 4 spells. Combined with infinite entangles and flamestrikes, you get a powerful spell caster. Not to mention the druid gets to level 12 by the time your cleric gets to level 9. This means 8 level one spells instead of 6, and 7 level two spells. The bonuses that early are way too good.

I was thinking of having a plain elven ranger specializing in axes, halberds and spears would be much better (there is so many good axes in this game). The Spear in the frost salamanders is quite good and there is many large halberds to use as well. Having a racial ability against undead would have been another handy thing to have in my party above as well as someone improving in stealth. Elves with high dex and the ring of stealth for rangers + boot of speed can make this a good sneak character. I still wouldn't trade this for a solid fighter however.

I would definately keep the 2 fighters. There is many large swords and great swords for a character to use. The dwarf fighter was good since axe specialization is crutial to success I believe in terms of hack'n'slash. Two solid fighters with 4 support characters is ideal for this game. The fighter/cleric and fighter/druid were often front line characters as well.

I thought the fighter/druid was better than the fighter/cleric overall. There is many ways to enhance druids in this game though I should not have specialized in scimitars and went clubs instead (scimatars are terrible and good clubs are in HoW). Perhaps I wasn't playing my fighter/cleric properly, but I found many of the cleric's spells didn't give my party a huge advantage from the general makeup of a fighter-heavy party as it was.

I think the elven fighter/thief was good, but I'd be interested in finding another combination of thief instead. He was often the most likely person to get hit and I never used this character much in melee combat. He was completely a ranged fighter. I'm starting to think a human dual classed fighter/thief with +3 in crossbows would be much better though I'd miss that 20 dexterity that's helped greatly, I'm sure.

I still totally agree that human dual classes fighter/conjurer's specializing in daggers and bows is very good. The Dagger of Auril is great to get 19 Intelligence for your specialized mage. With the increased weapon specialization and hit points, a gnomish illusionist doesn't compare at all (in terms of power that is).

I'll post something in a days. Until, any feel free to give some criticism.

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Postby jeremiah » Tue Apr 17, 2001 10:33 am

Isn't that dagger of Auril you get from Kontik cursed (i.e. that is you can't unequip it or switch weapons with it)?

Do you find that a good tradeoff? Or do you just equip it and then cast remove curse when you don't need it?

I am taking a veteran party (one that completed IWD/HoW in normal to hard difficulty for the HoW portions) thru a new game in HoF mode.

Paladin (who can resist pale justice?) after large swords take your pick of further weapon specialization. Went with axes and flails.

NG Fighter/cleric dual from level 9 (Pretty good buffing spells. Have you used recitation/prayer and checked the party THAC0 after that? Not to mention judiciously using shield of lathander. The fact that the fighter/cleric can make full use of the constitution bonus from draw upon holy might?)

TN halfling fighter/thief (very good saving throws plus helm of the trusted defender, deadly with sling and equips a shield and can use ring of dwarven bone plus gauntlets of ogre power)

NG half-elven bard (they rock and had to have someone using the crossbows in the game, specifically the repeating heavy crossbow IMO better than the heavy crossbow of accuracy and spellcaster until the fighter/mage dual levelled). I recommend using shimmering sash (good only item though) and rogue's cowl.

NG fighter/mage dual (bowmaster and great swords mastery) also recommend shimmering sash (this party is going through a second time so purchased one again)

Half-elf druid (great healer until the fighter/cleric levelled up and awesome level 7 summoning spell Summon Stalker but you have to wait until very late to get a good armor and shield for the character).
Life is an adventure

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Postby egervari » Wed Apr 18, 2001 2:59 am

I think this be a much better party now that I've played more and tested some other things out. I personally think my fighter/cleric wasn't as good as the fighter/druid, period. Also, I think a dualed ranger(level 8 or 9)/cleric is way too slow since you basically have to go through 80% of IWD to make this possible. Seems stupid. I guess there is always HOF mode to abuse it. But, I'll make a multi-class for right now. I figured you'll get a much better fighter gaining more levels in the ranger (much better than a level 3 or 6 fighter when making a cleric) and still become an exception cleric (and better since you have druid spells). Just the experience of having the druid spells at level 8 isn't too bad. At least I won't have a terrible cleric at the end of the game :) I would go with this party next time through (I also included various items from HOW too and did not list any random items which are sometimes better than these).

Elven Fighter
+5 Great Swords (Cairn Blade, Hand of the Gloomfrost)
+X Long Swords (Long Sword of Action +4)

Dwarf Fighter
+5 Axes (The Celebrant's Blade, Young Rage)
+X Hammers (you might use it..)

Half-Elf Cleric/Ranger (Use 2 weapons at same time, racial enemy should be some type of undead)
+2 Maces (Morning Star +4: Defender, Pestilent Dawn, Three White Doves)
+2 Flails (Misery's Herald, Flail of Mae)

Human Fighter/Druid (6/X)
+3 Spears (Spear of Kerish, Slayer)
+3 Clubs (Debian's Rod of Smiting, Sceptre of Tyranny)

Elf Fighter/Thief
+2 Bows (Messenger of Sseth, Kaylessa's Bow)
+2 Long Swords (Kinda needed to use Flaming Long Sword +2 against trolls that occur in 2 areas of the game and can use Long Sword of Action +4)
+2 Axes (Like before plus Faith Killer, Throwing Axe +2, etc. Lotsa good, early obtained axes)

Human Fighter/Conjurer (3/X)
+3 Cross Bows (Heavy Crossbow of Accuracy, Daisy)
+2 Daggers (Breath of Auril)

2 Tanks (+2 capable fighters)
2 Range fighters
2 Best Priests in the game possible (though I guess the dual classed ranger/cleric would better, but I'm not patient enough)
1 Thief (dedicated)
1 Mage (Not enough scrolls for 2 IMO and quite frankly, you don't need it).

I think this more efficient. Comments.

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Postby egervari » Wed Apr 18, 2001 9:10 am

Well, I re-thought the party even more :) This is what I came up with and why :)

My all improved party ready for IWD & HOW. I'm to construct and restart in a few days (obviously all at level 1, no cheating):

Elf Fighter (+5 Great Swords)
- Cairn Blade, Aumanator's Fury

Human Fighter/Thief Level 6/X (+3 S-Sword, +3 L-Swords)
- Blood Iron
- Long Sword of Action +4

Human Ranger/Cleric Level 8/X (+2 Maces, +2 Flails)
- Morning Star +4: Defender, Three White Doves
- Misery's Herald

Human Fighter/Druid Level 9/X (+5 Clubs, +2 Spears)
- Debian's Rod of Smiting, Sceptre of Tyranny
- Spear of Kerish, Slayer

Human Fighter/Conjurer 9/X (+5 Axes, +2 Bows)
- The Celebrant's Blade, Young Rage,
- Messenger of Sseth, Kaylessa's Bow

Half-Elf Bard (+1 Long Swords, +1 Crossbows)
- Heavy Crossbow of Accuracy, Daisy
- Whatever long swords

I took out the dwarf fighter in favour of a bard. I figure the crossbow of accuracy and 18 dex will make the bard, at the very least, good at firing crossbow darts. I think the pick-pocketing will come in handy as well as identifying items, special bard items, and magery backup. This character will be well ready for HOW.

I gave the mage access to axes, but I'm not too sure of this. This basically leaves him to throwing axes (the +2 and the other one)

I know the +1 thac0 bonus is helpful with elves. I pondered this but I'd really really like to have my main fighter using great swords as that long sword of action +4 is one of the only really good long swords in the game (pale justice is good too but paladin's only). There is some others as well, but nothing my thief won't be able to use effectively until I get the blood iron. It's better for backstabs with the thief than the fighter in my opinion. Since the elf is a fighter, I'd basically distribute +1 back and forth until they get up to +5 each.

I compared the fighter/cleric with the ranger/cleric with exact stats (18/00, 18, 18, 8, 18, and the best weapon I could give them with respect to maces: mourning star of the gods & The Giving Star). The Giving Star was a truer test since its speed factor was 4 and not 6 (exactly like the 3 doves mace). This seemed to not improve the number of attacks at all. So with the utmost, unbiasness, here are the results:

- Ranger/Cleric: 8 in Ranger/15 in Cleric w/ exp cap
Fighter/Cleric: 9 in Fighter/14 in Cleric w/ exp cap

- Both had 146 HP

- Ranger can dual at 150,000 experience while Fighter must wait until 250,000 experience points. It's a small bonus in terms of time.

- Ranger/Cleric had one extra level 4 and level 5 spell from being level 15 instead of 14 (every three levels is big bonus for cleric)

- Ranger/Cleric had all druid spells as well as cleric

- Ranger/Cleric has racial enemy + hide in shadows

- Fighter/Cleric had 5 stars in maces and 2 in flails compared to Ranger/Cleric having 2 stars in maces and 2 in flails. This gives the Fighter/Cleric a +2 bonus to thac0 (5 with the weapon instead of 7)

- Both base thac0's were identical (base 12).

- Both received 3 attacks per round with either weapon

- Both had identical base +1 to hit and +2 to damage

Conclusion: I think Ranger/Cleric 8/15 is much more efficient and adaptable. You get so much more advantages while all I can see is the fighter/cleric getting an extra +2 to thac0.

Finally, I think my weapon specializations are a bit wacked.. I would hope someone could help out. I want a powerful fighter to use Long Sword of Action +4 (and probably the elf should use this). Then I want the thief to use the short sword (since axes or something isn't good with backstabs). I think the bard using crossbows and the fighter/conjurer using bows is effective. The druid with clubs/spears is good for beginning and end game and through HoF mode. The ranger/cleric already seems supped up as well. I dunno where I can fit in great swords wielder and a long sword wielder while still maintaining the effeciency amount classes and races. Ideas?
Comments with all of this appreciated :)

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Postby jeremiah » Wed Apr 18, 2001 5:11 pm

I do believe they changed the rules for ranger/clerics in HoW.

Am using MULTICLASS half-elf cleric/ranger and she could only cast the druid spell when her ranger side reached the necessary level to cast them. I imagine the same for the dual class one. Are racial enemies and extra attack a round without a shield worth it just to have a cleric that can cast level 1 druid spells if you dual at level 8 (entangle and sunscorch are pretty good though)?

I imagine the fighter/cleric if you GM one meelee weapon (I love the mace) gives better THAC0 by one for the selected weapon type and increase in damage rolls makes them slightly more attractive then. I also found that it was a heck of a lot more attractive to have the fighter/cleric have a shield especially in the later stages with those enemies that do significant crushing damage on a successful hit (remorhaz, golems etc.) in conjunction with entropy shield negating the extra attack enjoyed by fighting without one. I found that casting entropy shield, draw upon holy might, protection from evil and defensive harmony it is possible to get your shield bearing cleric AC down to the -20s for a short while (usually long enough for most battles). The enemy could hardly touch the character so I guess I favor the fighter/cleric to the fighter/druid (but as I stated before I love the druid spells) for meelee. Don't forget recitation and prayer to make their fighting prowess better as well.

As for paladins, I think they are okay. They have pretty good saving throws (then so do dwarves :D ) though they do fail at times at lower levels and they are immune to disease (handy when fighting some kinds of creatures though admittedly rare). Smite evil is a pretty nifty new ability and should be used more (I certainly found it more useful than tracking).

Anyway just my thoughts. You are entitles to your own opinions.
Life is an adventure

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Postby egervari » Fri Apr 20, 2001 2:53 am

In that case, it's much better to go fighter/cleric and fighter/druid and get +5 in Maces and use a shield. I got another party in the works and will post it under a new topic after I'm done with it.

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Postby VWzealot » Fri Apr 27, 2001 11:20 am

most of these groups have conjures as there mages. isn't the oposite school of magic divination? how do you go through an whole game without casting identify?
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.

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Postby jeremiah » Fri Apr 27, 2001 1:36 pm

Originally posted by VWzealot:
<STRONG>most of these groups have conjures as there mages. isn't the oposite school of magic divination? how do you go through an whole game without casting identify?</STRONG>

In HoW, the opposition school for conjuration now includes evocation. Conjurors created before installing HoW can keep the spells they learned already though.

However, with evocation as an opposition school, conjurors can not cast magic missile. I think that is as bad or worse than not being able to cast identify.
Life is an adventure

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Postby Heimdall » Tue May 01, 2001 11:13 am

I think the Bard is the best character i IWD after HOW. the bard song you get at level 11, gives you great combat bonuses but more important you can regenerate 2 hitpoints pr. round.