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Kill firebead elvenhair in prologue inn. Import-export, repeat. Until you reach max xp/level, or gain a few levels under your belt to feel comfortable. Or load the ToSC saved game, import your character there by deleting a premade one, have him wear whichever items pick your fancy from the premade ones, export and import into a new, single or multi game. If you combine both methods, then you begin your game with endgame XP and equippment. Also, joinable NPCs' level scales accordingly to yours. After all this is said and done, you will have to TRY HARD in order to die in battle. Ever, again...
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KiNgBrAdLeY7: Kill firebead elvenhair in prologue inn. Import-export, repeat. Until you reach max xp/level, or gain a few levels under your belt to feel comfortable. Or load the ToSC saved game, import your character there by deleting a premade one, have him wear whichever items pick your fancy from the premade ones, export and import into a new, single or multi game. If you combine both methods, then you begin your game with endgame XP and equippment. Also, joinable NPCs' level scales accordingly to yours. After all this is said and done, you will have to TRY HARD in order to die in battle. Ever, again...
You will also have to try hard to have any fun with the game. Might as well just watch a Let's Play at that point. :^)
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DavitosanX: Hello! I'm relatively new to BioWare's old school RPG's, and I think I need some advice. I've played RPG's for over 20 years now, but mostly JRPG's and some western ones like Elder Scrolls. I've played some Might and Magic, and discovered Realms of Arkania right here in GoG. But I find Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment very different from those games.

I'll focus on Baldur's Gate. My main gripe with this game is the death of my characters. I don't know if I'm playing out the battles wrong, or picking my routes the wrong way, but I usually find myself in tough battles that end with two or three of my characters characters dead. To resurrect them, I have to go all the way back to a temple (and hopefully have the money for it)

I would think that maybe characters in this game are a little more expendable than in other games, but that couldn't be so, since I seem to need all of them in order to survive the battles.

Any tips as in how to approach this kind of games for a newcomer?
Coelocanth told you almost everything you need to know... the only thing I can add is this: find the Baldur.ini file and add at least a couple of zeroes under the "Path Search Nodes" value. It helped me immensely by allowing the AI to be more reasonable whith character movement; the number was quite low due to processing power of PCs in the late '90... now we can afford to increase it a lot, making the overall experience more enjoyable, IMO.
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Enebias: Coelocanth told you almost everything you need to know... the only thing I can add is this: find the Baldur.ini file and add at least a couple of zeroes under the "Path Search Nodes" value. It helped me immensely by allowing the AI to be more reasonable whith character movement; the number was quite low due to processing power of PCs in the late '90... now we can afford to increase it a lot, making the overall experience more enjoyable, IMO.
Oddly enough, I didn't notice much change in the AI when I increased the Path Search Nodes, so some of it is likely just due to the AI being poorly programmed in general. Not sure if it will actually help, but it certainly can't make it worse.
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Enebias: Coelocanth told you almost everything you need to know... the only thing I can add is this: find the Baldur.ini file and add at least a couple of zeroes under the "Path Search Nodes" value. It helped me immensely by allowing the AI to be more reasonable whith character movement; the number was quite low due to processing power of PCs in the late '90... now we can afford to increase it a lot, making the overall experience more enjoyable, IMO.
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Jonesy89: Oddly enough, I didn't notice much change in the AI when I increased the Path Search Nodes, so some of it is likely just due to the AI being poorly programmed in general. Not sure if it will actually help, but it certainly can't make it worse.
Really? I thought it helped a lot, especially in tight places like the Ulcaster dungeon. Before changing the number, my characters wandered around like headless chickens, and after doing it they were following a more reasonable path (even if it still remained quite a pain! You surely are right when you say the AI is not the best).
Post edited December 21, 2013 by Enebias
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Jonesy89: Oddly enough, I didn't notice much change in the AI when I increased the Path Search Nodes, so some of it is likely just due to the AI being poorly programmed in general. Not sure if it will actually help, but it certainly can't make it worse.
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Enebias: Really? I thought it helped a lot, especially in tight places like the Ulcaster dungeon. Before changing the number, my characters wandered around like headless chickens, and after doing it they were following a more reasonable path (even if it still remained quite a pain! You surely are right when you say the AI is not the best).
Yes, the AI node count does help, but it certainly does not cure the root faults of the 'less than perfect' Infinity Engine pathfinding.
I will try this with out giving you any real spoilers...

that party is kind of a mixed bag... while Imoen is a great fun character in people's hearts, along with her ablity to dual class to a mage later, which becomes very powerful. The fact is she was added to the game at the very end of development, and has almost zero interaction with any other NPC in the game. So if looking to power game, she isn't all that bad, but takes forever to be really useful. But if you want the interaction, and story, there are many characters that are much better before she shines at the very end of the game.

dump her, and pic up kagian, He is in beregost in a shop on the left side of the map. he is an incredible early tank, and stays that way the whole game. (just go back to the cross roads for his quest,.. (if you are doing freindly arm quests, you will most likely pass through again anyway.. But if you did them you might not. he will leave ya, so just go north one map, listen to him mumble and do what ever you want next... that said, Many characters have quests you need to do or they are gone)

Kivian is another great character you can replace Imeon with as well. He is a great sneak for mage spotting, deadly with his bow, He is at the high-hedge map.. along with being a map you can level up a bit. (that map is west of beregost, plus you can buy spells there, for later use... (if you wan't another mage outside of xzar, save spells for latter learning.. as they are limited.

Also, learning a spell is by chance, so for the best chance, use those potions of +INT you find.. If you are really short on money, and just have to have that spell, Save the game, and try learning.. if you fail, reload.. while some say this is cheating, others, have less issue.. It is totally up to you.

(saving before leveling up, is the same thing, as your HP rolls are important, especially on fighters.. For me personally, the first few levels i try to get max, or at least half... after that i let the game play what it rolls.. If you have a few fighters, that get +1 HP on the first few levels, you just upped difficulty 20 fold especially for a first timer. the Flip side, is it gives you more reasons to dump characters later for better auto level'd characters..

When you have a character join your group, they auto level to close to your level.. So if you grab someone at levle 4 or 6, then that new character is much closer to you. the game does a decent job of leveling them nicely. So often dumping that character that got bad rolls is a good thing later game to try a new comer.

Dying is part of BG, and the main thing that tells me that is the sheer number of characters you can have join your party. You will want to use many trust me.. it just makes the game much more fun.. But if you do drop a character for a long time, you most likely won't wan't them back as it takes to long to get them up to speed.

Here is a great strat for spell use. what you can do is use a thief/ranger, to sneak forward, and spot for magesNow your mages can cast spells at a much father range using the thief to site so you can at least cast spells, before they know what hit them... no this is not cheating, it is Dungeons and dragons game play! So while people say timing is a huge part of entangle.. if you have a theif hiding in shadows, it becomes no big deal at all.. then use the ranged fighters to pick off who is left, Or just fire away at the entangled monsters.. Now if they are ranged monsters, spells with holds, or sleeps are much better as entangle does nothing to stop ranged attacks.

Sleep is a great one, as they do not agro when you cast it. Firing off a few sleeps can knock out a whole group. Or use mulitple holds, or stacked webs.. Use Free action spells on your own fighter to wade through the goowy web, while the monsters stay held, at least till they pass a saving throw. ... Later spells like color spray or chromatic orb are awesome.

using Summon monsters is also another key thing.. Sleep, then summon monsters to take care of the ones that are down.. Sleeping NPC/monsters can also be instant killed in one shot by a thief coming out of the shadows for back stab.

For a first time through.. it is better to stick to the main path, at least till you get to the nashkel mines.. then on your way back, stray one map over from the main road.. You may try to try your hands at the lower west corner maps, if you pick up edwin, or minsc., though they are a challenge under level 4-5, but do-able. for a well skilled player, they can be a good thing to get you a bit more powerful for your trek onto the later chapters.

If not, follow the story, and basically follow it to the main city.... once their you get all sorts of quests sending you back to all those maps that are, 2 maps off the center road..

I hope this helps ya.. and did not really spoil anything for ya.. well outside of a few names.. :)

Lastly, save often.. Save often, save often!!! also.. i like to save before i enter any building.. there is a crash bug that hits semi often.. and nothing is worst in this game than having to go back and replay something that you just spent the last hour playing perfectly only to get crashed cause you entered a store.. or cave or what ever..


lastly, a bard is a pretty tough class for your first time.. they are really underpowered in BG1, but fixed a bit in BGII.. A fighter or a fighter/cleric is a great way to experience the game for the first time... being so early in your game, it may not be a bad idea to restart.. But if you keep going, know that you just played BGI on a much harder setting.. :)
Post edited December 26, 2013 by JeCy
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JeCy: while Imoen is a great fun character in people's hearts, along with her ablity to dual class to a mage later, which becomes very powerful. The fact is she was added to the game at the very end of development, and has almost zero interaction with any other NPC in the game. So if looking to power game, she isn't all that bad, but takes forever to be really useful. But if you want the interaction, and story, there are many characters that are much better before she shines at the very end of the game.
If you plan to carry right on to BG2, though, she has a...more significant role in that game, and so you may well want to keep her with you for that reason. There isn't that much difference anyway: NPCs in BG1 tend not to interact with each other as much as in BG2 at all.

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JeCy: (saving before leveling up, is the same thing, as your HP rolls are important, especially on fighters.. For me personally, the first few levels i try to get max, or at least half... after that i let the game play what it rolls.. If you have a few fighters, that get +1 HP on the first few levels, you just upped difficulty 20 fold especially for a first timer. the Flip side, is it gives you more reasons to dump characters later for better auto level'd characters..
If you must use that form of cheese, then you may as well save yourself some time. Switch to normal/easy difficulty just before levelling, and switch back to your original level (if higher) afterwards. At least in BG2, that'll give you max hp on level up.
BG2 has the auto level to max HP.. BG one doesn't.. My only point was, the game is vastly different if your main tank/tanks has 18 hit points at level 4, Or 50 or 60 for a high con fighter..... For a new player, that can make the game Hugely frustrating, which comes back to the... main complaint in the post... deaths in BG.. :)

some people might enjoy their wizard having more HP's than their tank... Other's not so much.. in BG1, this happened way more often than not after a few levels of bad rolls.. fun for purists i suppose.. but then gain. playing purist D&D, most of the times you never made it end of the module, let alone the game...

Play with a no reload ever in BG1 makes this game very very hard.. So much random instant death in the game.. even if you know what is coming.. Death spells, stone, crit hits ect.. there are tons of ways to die instantly even if you do everything right... Of course you then have to consiter that most people that play the hard core, no reload plays.. also, use lots of cheese tactics to level up., use the best gear, ext.. which completely goes against the purist idea of RPG's.

that is D8D, but for someone that never played, make it one of the hardest games around.


but you are right, NPC's in 1, have less interaction.. But they still have some great ones.. I can think of many triangle banters that crack me up.. Or the 2 v 2 banters.. So they do have some effect.. besides, if you dump imeon early, it makes BG2 beginning make a lotta since.. who are you?? :)
Post edited December 26, 2013 by JeCy
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JeCy: Play with a no reload ever in BG1 makes this game very very hard.. So much random instant death in the game.. even if you know what is coming.. Death spells, stone, crit hits ect.. there are tons of ways to die instantly even if you do everything right...
To be fair, a lot of that is inherent in AD&D 2E. That said, Bioware could have just as easily started the PCs out at level 3 to give them a fighting chance, which they managed to do elsewhere *cough*Torment*cough*. Furthermore, BG adds in difficulty that wasn't present in the original P&P game, namely that failure to memorize a spell didn't result in the scroll being consumed, but only required you to wait until you got your next level to try and learn it again; here, you fail your roll, and you can kiss that rare scroll goodbye. This gets especially bad in BG2 where there are certain vital spells that only have one scroll (iirc), including breach, which is one of the very few things that reliably allows you to hurt enemy magic users.
Post edited December 26, 2013 by Jonesy89
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JeCy: Play with a no reload ever in BG1 makes this game very very hard.. So much random instant death in the game.. even if you know what is coming.. Death spells, stone, crit hits ect.. there are tons of ways to die instantly even if you do everything right...
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Jonesy89: To be fair, a lot of that is inherent in AD&D 2E. That said, Bioware could have just as easily started the PCs out at level 3 to give them a fighting chance, which they managed to do elsewhere *cough*Torment*cough*. Furthermore, BG adds in difficulty that wasn't present in the original P&P game, namely that failure to memorize a spell didn't result in the scroll being consumed, but only required you to wait until you got your next level to try and learn it again; here, you fail your roll, and you can kiss that rare scroll goodbye. This gets especially bad in BG2 where there are certain vital spells that only have one scroll (iirc), including breach, which is one of the very few things that reliably allows you to hurt enemy magic users.
Yea, that is true... BUT,, i will say, being this a computer RPG, you most likely have your int at 18 if you are playing a wizard..

If you were truly playing dungeons and dragons, the way to create a character is you first Roll your dice one time for your ablities, and then you choose your class.. the old school way was to roll 3d6, and place in order. than you got to pick your class. Later people adopted it, with 4d6, or groups of 4d6x7, drop the lowest, and place where you want. but even then you did that before picking class... But i digress.

You can buy those +int potions, i think there are +3? Plus spells to increase your chance of learning i think. Doesn't luck come into play? Perhaps not.. But still there are other INT boosters, and potions with +5 int. (at least one i know of, which i always save) Then when it comes time to learn all those spells i have been saving, I Buff up INT as much as possible and then you rarely fail on learning. In BG II, you have much more money, so buying those potions is not such of a big investment. But sure, sell some loot, buy a potion for when you are going to learn spells.

All that said, not doing things like reloading, and going with your character rolls, can really increase your fun/challenge of the game for later replays. It is just not something i would recomend from the get go your first time playing.. It just is not fun to learn that way.

But later it is something you can self imposse that really does make this game shine on the 3rd, 5th, 10th play's.. I personally never made it through on a no reload game.. Eventually my main character would get disintegrated somewhere down the line.. I did make it to the city of baldur's gate a few times trying.. :) Most of it was me being to daring with my main character, after all they are the hero.. Kinda cheesy if you just protect them the whole time and not take risks right?

But another fun self imposed rule, is to never rez any fallen character,.. if the character dies, pick up the loot, and find someone to replace.. If you are playing a bit fast and loose, you can go through a good portion of the NPC's before all is said and done.. :)


the other side of scroll use, is sometimes instead of saving those key spells and you use them for a battle because that was the final resort.. Having a playthrough, with out some key spells, really makes you play the game a lot different. Never using fireball for example, Or a no summon game, outside of single use scrolls.. You know, something that makes the next play something vastly different than power gaming the game.. Some of my most fun games, where games i never finished, but had a hoot playing till i gave up on um.
Post edited December 26, 2013 by JeCy