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I'm planning on playing baldur's gate 1 for the first time this week. I tried baldur's gate reloaded and I found it very difficult.

I know nothing about the dungeons and dragons rule sets or have
experience with pen and paper games.

Since this is my first attempt at playing a game of this type I would appreciate any advice the BG comunity has to offer?
I plan on following the pinned mod guide to ensure I play the most up to date version of BG.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Posted from Galaxy S4.
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auroraparadox: I plan on following the pinned mod guide to ensure I play the most up to date version of BG.
Then, quite honestly, you will not be playing BG1. The best tip for any first time player is to play vanilla at least once (your first time). Any enhancements you add (mods) will completely spoil the spirit of the game. I cannot stress it enough: you will not be playing BG1 if you follow that guide.

As for strategy in BG1: bows are your saviour early game. 'nough said.
Best advice I can give is ranged weapons. Make sure all your party members have a ranged weapon option and use them. A lot.

Don't be afraid to run away, as you'll easily get into situations where the mobs are too powerful for your party, especially at early levels.

Make sure your character has a high score in his prime attribute (STR for warriors, DEX for thieves, INT for spell chuckers, WIS for clerics/druids). As well, make your scores high in DEX and CON (16 CON for non-warriors, 18 for warriors). High CHA helps for the main character as well, if you have the points to spare.

Collect party companions asap so you don't get killed so easily. You can boot ones you don't like later on if you want (be aware that some come in pairs and will not stay without their partner if you kick one of them out).


*edit* And I agree with Hickory in that I'd advise playing the vanilla game first before tweaking. Once you've been through vanilla, it's much easier to figure out what tweaks you want to add to the game.
Post edited October 21, 2013 by Coelocanth
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Coelocanth: Best advice I can give is ranged weapons. Make sure all your party members have a ranged weapon option and use them. A lot.

Don't be afraid to run away, as you'll easily get into situations where the mobs are too powerful for your party, especially at early levels.

Make sure your character has a high score in his prime attribute (STR for warriors, DEX for thieves, INT for spell chuckers, WIS for clerics/druids). As well, make your scores high in DEX and CON (16 CON for non-warriors, 18 for warriors). High CHA helps for the main character as well, if you have the points to spare.

Collect party companions asap so you don't get killed so easily. You can boot ones you don't like later on if you want (be aware that some come in pairs and will not stay without their partner if you kick one of them out).

*edit* And I agree with Hickory in that I'd advise playing the vanilla game first before tweaking. Once you've been through vanilla, it's much easier to figure out what tweaks you want to add to the game.
Thank you both for the advice. I usually use swords for my main character but I'll make sure I buy a bow as well.

I plan on following the conservative modders guide posted on GOG. The only rule tweak I might make is to increase HP gain on level up.

EDIT: Is there a specific character build you would recommend that I follow for my first play through?

EDIT 2: Should I consider using EasyTuTu to run BG1 on the BG2 engine?
Post edited October 21, 2013 by auroraparadox
I've hit a snag installing the unfinished business mod.
I placed the the files in my main BG directory in their own folder. When I try to start setup-bg1-ub the command prompt window appears for half a second and then disappears. I add the .exe file extension to setup-bg1-ub and started it again.

This time it indicated that it was installing the mod. However, the installer has been going for ten minutes now. About how long does it usually take?

The only other mods I have installed so far are the widescreen and GUI mods.
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auroraparadox: I've hit a snag installing the unfinished business mod.
I placed the the files in my main BG directory in their own folder. When I try to start setup-bg1-ub the command prompt window appears for half a second and then disappears. I add the .exe file extension to setup-bg1-ub and started it again.

This time it indicated that it was installing the mod. However, the installer has been going for ten minutes now. About how long does it usually take?

The only other mods I have installed so far are the widescreen and GUI mods.
The mod does not go into it's own folder. It must go into the main BG folder, so you have in the main folder:

bg1ub [FOLDER]
setup-bg1ub.exe
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auroraparadox: EDIT: Is there a specific character build you would recommend that I follow for my first play through?
For a first time player I recommend Fighter, with (to start) a couple of stars in bows. Fighter because as a first time player you will want all the HP you can muster, and that means Fighter. Bows because the start of the game is brutal, and bows give you the edge... and 2 attacks per round.

EDIT 2: Should I consider using EasyTuTu to run BG1 on the BG2 engine?
Not for a first time playthrough, no. You owe it to yourself to experience what BG1 is all about. Then think about mods.
Post edited October 21, 2013 by Hickory
Thanks Hickory.

I placed the folder bg1ub in my main BG 1 folder and moved the file setup-bg1ub.exe into the main BG1 directory.

The setup is running now. I'll post if its still going after ten minutes.
Is the Fighter class able to learn healing spells at some point?
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auroraparadox: Is the Fighter class able to learn healing spells at some point?
No. Fighters cannot use magic at all. However....



*****Slight spoiler******










If your character is of good alignment, over the course of the game, you will receive as a special ability, the ability to cast a couple cure wounds spells.



*****end spoiler*****
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auroraparadox: Is the Fighter class able to learn healing spells at some point?
Not a pure fighter, no, but a Ranger begins learning Druid spells from level 8 onwards, and can reach 3rd level caster, but they can't master weapons -- only 2 slots, and level progression is slower than pure fighter.
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auroraparadox: Is the Fighter class able to learn healing spells at some point?
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Coelocanth: No. Fighters cannot use magic at all. However....

*****Slight spoiler******

If your character is of good alignment, over the course of the game, you will receive as a special ability, the ability to cast a couple cure wounds spells.

*****end spoiler*****
Good to know. Is neutral good acceptable?

@Hickory: I'll have to look into the ranger class. Have you ever tried using a fighter/ranger build using dual classing?
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Coelocanth: No. Fighters cannot use magic at all. However....

*****Slight spoiler******

If your character is of good alignment, over the course of the game, you will receive as a special ability, the ability to cast a couple cure wounds spells.

*****end spoiler*****
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auroraparadox: Good to know. Is neutral good acceptable?

@Hickory: I'll have to look into the ranger class. Have you ever tried using a fighter/ranger build using dual classing?
There are also Paladins. They get a variety of special abilities right out of the gate that increase in number of uses a day (Detect Evil, Protection From Evil) and they have access to Lay On Hands (provides nigh-instant healing in an amount which scales with level), not to mention +2 on all saving throws and the ability to Turn Undead (albeit as if they were a Cleric 2 levels lower, so it's not that great). They *do* also get access to a few Priest spells eventually, but that's not until level 9, which is a long ways off (might not even be possible until BG 2 if the XP cap is still in place).

Best yet, the game doesn't make you Fall the moment you do something it considers "Evil"; instead, you only Fall once your Reputation drops below 6 (as opposed to a Ranger Falling after their Reputation goes below 4). It's a little artificial, but on reflection it beats the alternative of the game playing the part of an exceptionally dickish DM who forcefully tries to force their own interpretation of Good onto you, which usually starts with a debate on the ethics of a particular act and then blows up into the DM asserting a Deontological view because they said so (well, in a P&P game, at least; with software, it might lead to severe modding or ragequits).

As an alternative, if you are looking for a class with lots of healing spells and which can still be good at combat, it might be worth creating a Cleric/Fighter; Clerics get a good number of spell slots per level but don't great Hit Dice or THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0; you want this and your AC to be as low as possible) progression per level, whereas fighters get larger HD and better THAC0 adjustments per level as well as the possibility for Exceptional Strength (that's a whole other post on its ow; tl;dr, high strength gives you additional damage and better THAC0, and ES gives you even more of those benefits). The only downside there is that you will have XP split between 2 different classes, so the level for each class will be a bit behind that of the party.
Post edited October 23, 2013 by Jonesy89
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auroraparadox: @Hickory: I'll have to look into the ranger class. Have you ever tried using a fighter/ranger build using dual classing?
You cannot have a Fighter/Ranger. The only class that a Ranger can dual into is Cleric.
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Coelocanth: No. Fighters cannot use magic at all. However....

*****Slight spoiler******

If your character is of good alignment, over the course of the game, you will receive as a special ability, the ability to cast a couple cure wounds spells.

*****end spoiler*****
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auroraparadox: Good to know. Is neutral good acceptable?
It's actually dependent on your reputation at the time - if you play a generally good character (helping people and such) you'll get the 'good' abilities, even if you're alignment is evil.
First, I agree with using the conservative mod guide for your first game.

Second, I apologise for the length of this post, but I think I'm going into the right level of detail for a first-timer. There are no spoilers here, fear not.

For your starting character I suggest a Fighter, Paladin, Cleric or Fighter/Cleric, because those classes can wear all sorts of armour without penalty and can take a decent amount of damage (clerics a bit less than the others). Most classes in the game (and all the essential party roles) are represented by decent, and in some cases excellent, NPCs, so you can build a good party around any main character, but at the very beginning of the game, for an inexperienced player, the ability to survive is the most important thing.

I won't go into detail on the different abilities of the classes - you can easily look them up online - but briefly, fighters (but not multi-class fighters) can take the highest degree of weapon specialisation (which gives them strong bonuses with their preferred weapons), paladins are very nearly as good in combat and have some useful abilities like minor healing, and clerics get a decent variety of spells, most importantly healing, and can do a tolerable job in combat (though clerics and fighter/clerics can use only blunt weapons).

As to fighter/clerics and multi-class characters in general, note that if you are multi-class you will take longer to gain levels, because your experience points are divided between your classes. This isn't much of a hindrance in BG1 (unless you take three classes), but if you plan to import your character in BG2 it may significantly limit how far you can advance in that game. (But there's no reason why you shouldn't create an entirely new character if you decide to proceed to BG2; in fact you may well prefer to, given the great variety of new classes and class variants available.)

Note at this point the difference between mutli-classing and dual-classing. Multi-classing means starting with two (or three) classes and staying that way; every race except humans can do it (though not all can take all combinations of classes). Dual-classing means starting in one class, then changing to another and eventually getting back the abilities of the first as well, though you can't advance any further in the first; only humans can do this. As this is your first game and you're not familiar with AD&D 2nd Edition, I do not recommend dual-classing; it calls for long-term planning which takes some experience with the game.

That being the case, if you're playing a fighter, cleric or fighter/cleric I advise being either an elf or a dwarf, as each has some useful benefits; again, look up the details. If you want to be a paladin then you have to be human.

Now, stats. The game lets you re-roll as many times as you like, so you can keep going until you get a nice high total if you like. Some brief detail on each stat:

Strength: if you're a fighter, fighter/cleric or paladin this should be as high as possible, as it improves you chance to hit in melee combat and your damage. For a cleric it doesn't matter except that the best armour and shields are quite heavy and a decent strength will avoid encumbrance. 14 is plenty, and you can probably get away with 12.

Dexterity: as high as possible. It improves your armour class and chance to hit with ranged weapons.

Constitution: as high as possible, as it gives you extra hit points, except that classes other than fighters, paladins and rangers (and fighter/clerics etc.) get no benefit from a CON over 16.

Intelligence: for these classes, doesn't really matter.

Wisdom: for a cleric (or fighter/cleric), as high as possible, as you get extra spell slots. Otherwise, not important.

Charisma: as high as possible if you can spare the points; a high CHA gives you a slight discount in shops and affects some characters' reactions to you.

Pick whatever alignment you like best role-play wise. Note that certain classes have alignment restrictions, e.g. paladins must be lawful good.

That's all I have to say about character creation. As for the game proper, a few tips:

For a first-timer the tutorial-type things in your starting location of Candlekeep (the green-robed monks' advice and the combat practice offered to you by certain characters) will be quite useful.

In Candlekeep, and indeed elsewhere, talk to everyone (but save before doing so just in case). You may get useful information and minor quests whose completion may get you items, gold, reputation points and experience points. Such rewards will be small at first, but they add up.

When travelling in the early part of the game, your basic route for the core plot will be the Friendly Arm Inn, then Beregost, then Nashkel (with perhaps some backtracking between them). In the wilderness areas in between, stay on the road until your characters get a little stronger and better equipped and/or you recruit more NPCs. If you stray from the road, or into other map areas, you may encounter enemies that will be far too strong for you at the beginning. An exception is the immediate vicinity of the Friendly Arm; the enemies there aren't too strong. But once your party is a little stronger it's well worth exploring more widely.

Most importantly, save often!
Post edited October 27, 2013 by ydobemos