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I have beaten BG 1 and 2 unmodded several times. Finished ToB with a swashbuckler (thanks to "use everything" ability dual wieding chrom fayr and something else in a full plate) and failed several times at draconis (crazy monk dragon)

I want to play BGT and I don´t want to use a thief again.
I played as thief because later in BG2 only Jan Jansen levels up as thief and he has low HP and hit chance.

I want to play a ranger/cleric or a fighter/mage
Is it better to multi class or to dual class this when you play from beginning to end in BGT?
If dual, I will play a fighter or ranger until level 9 in BG2.
Kensai -> Mage is most powerful but a Kensai in BG1 is too limited so it will be a standard fighter.
If I take fighter/mage, a gnome would be the best choice, I guesss. Thoug losing finger of death and horrid whilting is not so great, getting more int and spell slots is.
For ranger/cleric, there is only one possible race for each dual or multi.

extra question:
I want to keep Imoen a pure thief in BG1.
Will I get problems when I get her back if I change her to mage at the beginning of BG2?
Going through the whole saga is most optimum dual classing, since you can maximise the important aspects of your fighter or ranger (attacks per round and grand mastery in weapons for example). Multi-classing is best if you are playing BG1 only.

You will have no issues with Imoen. BGT makes everything seamless.
Post edited October 25, 2013 by Hickory
If you want to dual class, you must regard the alignment and the stats.

I think you must have 15 in the primary stats of your old class and 17 in the primary stat of your new class.
fighter: str
ranger: str, dex
Thief: dex
cleric: wis
druid: wis, cha
Mage: int
I think other classes cannot dual/multi class

Could somebody confirm this table.

Edit: Rangers/clerics get all cleric and all druid spells, no matter if they dual or multi class, right?
Post edited October 25, 2013 by Mad3
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Mad3: If you want to dual class, you must regard the alignment and the stats.

I think you must have 15 in the primary stats of your old class and 17 in the primary stat of your new class.
fighter: str
ranger: str, dex
Thief: dex
cleric: wis
druid: wis, cha
Mage: int
I think other classes cannot dual/multi class

Could somebody confirm this table.
In essence, yes. Here is a detailed breakdown of requirements, the first (and of utmost importance) is that ONLY humans can dual class:

Fighter >> Mage: 15 STR / 17 INT
Mage >> Fighter: 15 INT / 17 STR

Fighter >> Thief: 15 STR / 17 DEX
Thief >> Fighter: 15 DEX / 17 STR

Fighter >> Cleric: 15 STR / 17 WIS
Cleric >> Fighter: 15 WIS / 17 STR

Thief >> Mage: 15 DEX / 17 INT
Mage >> Thief: 15 INT / 17 DEX

Ranger >> Cleric: 15 STR, 15 DEX / 17 WIS
Cleric >> Ranger: 17 WIS, 17 STR / 17 DEX (Good alignment)

Mage >> Cleric: 15 INT / 17 WIS
Cleric >> Mage: 15 WIS / 17 INT

Thief >> Cleric: 15 DEX / 17 WIS
Cleric >> Thief: 15 WIS / 17 DEX

Fighter >> Druid: 15 STR, 17 WIS / 17 CHA (True Neutral alignment)
Druid >> Fighter: 15 WIS, 15 CHA / 17 STR

Edit: Rangers/clerics get all cleric and all druid spells, no matter if they dual or multi class, right?
That is correct.
Post edited October 25, 2013 by Hickory
Going through the whole saga multiclassing is better. Dualclassing at level 9 will make you single class for more than half the saga and at the end you'll only get HLAs for one class.

Multiclassing will give you both classes during the game and access to more HLAs.
Post edited October 26, 2013 by kmonster
Thanks Hickory

Since you posted all combinations I want to add something for those who read this and do not know much about this game.

When you dual class, take a fighting class first and a caster class second.

This means: Fighter -> Mage, Fighter -> Thief, Fighter -> Cleric, Thief -> Mage, Ranger -> Cleric,
Thief -> Cleric, Fighter -> Druid NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND

Dual Mage and Cleric is a bad idea, I guess.

The fighting class will give you the ability to use weapons (and master specialisation in case of fighter), Armor and many hit points. But they get not much at higher levels except a high hit chance. Casters get more spells from beginning to end.

I have read somewhere, that a Fighter -> Mage is a Mage with many hit points and a Fighter/Mage is a fighter with good protection buffs (mirror image, stone skin, . . .). Is that correct?

I just tested, that the only difference between Ranger -> Cleric and Ranger/Cleric is, that the dual class version can spend 3 points in 2 weapon style. (in unmodded character creation).
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Mad3: Dual Mage and Cleric is a bad idea, I guess.
Dual class M > C is not such a good idea -- terrible, actually -- but not multi. Nobody could say that Aerie is a weak character.

I have read somewhere, that a Fighter -> Mage is a Mage with many hit points and a Fighter/Mage is a fighter with good protection buffs (mirror image, stone skin, . . .). Is that correct?
Yes, but be wary of which school you specialise in (if you do), if you intend to use your mage class primarily as a buffer. As with many builds in BG/BG2, a fighter/mage is mediocre in BG1, but really comes into his/her own in late game.

I just tested, that the only difference between Ranger -> Cleric and Ranger/Cleric is, that the dual class version can spend 3 points in 2 weapon style. (in unmodded character creation).
Not quite the only difference. In BG1 you are going to spend virtually the whole game as just a ranger as Ranger -> Cleric, and a looong time catching up with your primary class later. But in essence, you are correct.
I never used Aerie. Just looking at her hit points and hit chance made me fear the dies by just seeing an enemy. Same goes for Jan Jansen. But since I never used them, I can´t tell how powerful they are.

My standart party was: BG1: Me, Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir, Adjantis, Branwen (Jaheira and Khalid are really going on my nerves after some time)

In BG2: Me, Anomen, Keldorn, Minsc, Imoen (Yoshimo or Nalia in the meantime) and Jaheira (I replaced her with Sarevok later)

Ok, I must admit I am a bit (very much) fighter orientated.

I´d like to have Edwin and Viconia in my group, but my reputation goes up so fast. Should I kill some innocents every once in a while? About Viconia, her spell resistance made it almost impossible to heal her, she looks so fragile (low con and str). Whats a cleric who can´t carry a full plate.

I don´t like arcane casters very much in all DnD games. They are very fragile in the beginning. Later they are very powerful, but they get useless again when they have used their spells and you cannot rest.

Ok, I must admit I am very biased in that case.

I have decided to make a gnome Fighter/illusionist If I play this again (there are so many other good games). It will be my first step to an arcane Char. Buff yourself, say hallo with a fireball and when they come close, attac them with sword and shield (or is dual wielding better? just found out you can spend 3 points there). More spell slots are better than necromancy I guess, since necromancy is offensive and want spells for buffs and there are other damage spells. It would be my first multi class char too (had already fighter -> thief dual).

I played NWN2 a lot lately. Just to make sure: In the DnD2 rules (such as BG) gnomes and halflings can use weapons in the same way as humans.
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Mad3: I´d like to have Edwin and Viconia in my group, but my reputation goes up so fast. Should I kill some innocents every once in a while?
I haven't tried it myself, but according to a number of sites, in BG1 each time you remove and add Viconia to your party, your reputation decreases by 2, so you can just do that if it gets too high. Don't send it too low, though, or you'll begin suffering from villain's markup on prices and in extreme cases guards may begin attacking you.
When you look at Aerie you are viewing her stats from a biased angle -- by your own admission you prefer fighters, and fighting style. Aerie is weak physically, but there are items to help there: Crom Faeyr will bring her strength rocketing up to 25, and hammers is one of her proficiencies. For her low constitution you can get potions to boost that to 18 if she needs to go melee, either with Crom Faeyr or the Staff of the Magi. Mostly though you will have her backlining with a sling, and doing what she does best... and because of her multi class, she does it superlatively well.

I´d like to have Edwin and Viconia in my group, but my reputation goes up so fast. Should I kill some innocents every once in a while? About Viconia, her spell resistance made it almost impossible to heal her, she looks so fragile (low con and str). Whats a cleric who can´t carry a full plate.
Don't go killing innocents, else you'll find yourself continually battling entire towns (guards). All you need to do to lose reputation is to get caught stealing, but do it in areas that you won't return to, because everybody in sight will turn hostile permanently.

As for Viconia's spell resistance, have her heal herself, because it bypasses her resistance. Again, Viconia's strength can be upped with either one of the belts that add a strength bonus, or the Gauntlets of Ogre Power. In BG1 give her the Ankheg armour found in Nashkel, or the Mail of the Dead found in the Gullykin area.
Post edited October 26, 2013 by Hickory
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Mad3: I´d like to have Edwin and Viconia in my group, but my reputation goes up so fast. Should I kill some innocents every once in a while?
Providing your not romancing Viconia, you can just drop her from your party & then take her back, losing 2 points of reputation each time.

You can boost her stats with belts & gauntlets, or spells, & later with Crom Faeyr.
Usually I do not give weapons like chrom fayr or other physical stats booster to casters, but to fighters. The ones with the most attacs per round get the best weapons. A pure caster will always have one attac per round unless you find a special item or use haste. And the casters hit chance is lower, even with a good weapon. Imoen (and other casters) usually use a ranged weapon, if possible one with infinite ammo. All chars have a ranged weapon in their inventory (and quick slot if possible) anyway.

Anomen is the kind of cleric I like. First you buff, than you hit hard (usually he gets the fail of ages).

When you fight many enemies at once, there are not much party friendly AOE damage spells (horrid whilting is a great exception) and powerful enemies will usually resist all status affecting spells.
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Mad3: I want to play a ranger/cleric or a fighter/mage
Is it better to multi class or to dual class this when you play from beginning to end in BGT?
If dual, I will play a fighter or ranger until level 9 in BG2.
Dual classing requires a lot of preparation beforehand to get the most out of it. But I believe the greatest drawback to it, is losing access to the class that you dualed from until exceeding the level with the new class. Depending on how high a level you dual your class at and how many characters you have in your party, you could spend a lot of time feeling pretty useless.

At level 9 though and you should be about level 8 after BG1, you should find that dual classing is fairly painless as you will only struggle for a small part of BG2 (especially if you keep your party small). Once you hit level 10 with your second class and regain your first class abilities things will become a lot easier and as BG is experience capped rather then level capped. Because of this you will not lose many levels of the new class you dualed into.

For Example:
Fighter 9 / Mage 30 (the maximum level for a mage is Level 31). Level 31 does not grant any more spells to your spellbook so a Fighter 9 / Mage 30 can cast exactly the same spells as a Level 31 mage except he has way more HP and is pretty handy with a melee weapon...

or...
Ranger 9 / Cleric 39 (out of a maximum of 40 levels) all spells granted, more HP then a straight Level 40 cleric However The cleric's chance to hit is higher then the ranger class, so by default the highest Thac0 is used which is from the clerics class. you do get the bonuses that come with being a ranger, and by dual-classing at level 9 you will get an extra 1/2 an attack a round vs a straight cleric and you can become specialized in a weapon unlike the cleric giving you an extra 1/2 an attack so that you can attack twice a round. Dual-wield and you get a third attack.

Dual-classing also allows you to take advantage of the specialization fighter classes like the Beserker and Kensai.
While I'm not familiar with the Beserker, the Kensai gets bonuses to his/her armour class (-2AC) as well as an increased chance to hit and damage (+1 to hit, +1 to damage every 3 levels) and their initiative increases with a weapon as well so that they might swing that big weapon a bit quicker then the enemy might in a round (-1 to weapon speed every 4 levels). Finally they get an ability called 'Kai' which maximizes the damage dealt by a weapon for 10 seconds (every 4 levels this increases the amount of times you can use this per day).

As a fighter/mage you cannot use armour without disabling your spell casting (with a few rare exceptions), so the Kensai's bonus AC is a welcome addition. Finally, your Hit Dice HP/level drastically reduces after level 10 (+3HP/level) so having a Level 24 Fighter/Level 20 mage wont grant you much more HP as at first would appear then say a Level 13 Fighter/Level 28 mage. Fighter chances to hit also cap out at Level 21 (Thac0 is 0 at the lowest), so Fighter Levels 22-24 are a bit of a waste on a multiclass character.
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Mad3: Kensai -> Mage is most powerful but a Kensai in BG1 is too limited so it will be a standard fighter.
Is this the GOG version you are playing or the remake? Mod's would enable you to play the Kensai class in BG1, normally you cannot choose to be a Kensai in BG1, only a fighter. Having imported my Fighter from BG1 into BG2 you can then choose to convert him/her to a specialist fighting class (so my standard armour wearing fighter became a Kensai).
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Mad3: If I take fighter/mage, a gnome would be the best choice, I guesss. Thoug losing finger of death and horrid whilting is not so great, getting more int and spell slots is.
For ranger/cleric, there is only one possible race for each dual or multi.
As an illusionist you do lose a few good spells over a standard caster, however you have available an extra slot with some very powerful debuff/buff spells that might of been overlooked. Power word blind (no save unlike horrid wilting - so will hit all enemies every time (except magic resistance of course)), Maze also no save. Don't forget spell trigger, 3 instant cast spells up to level 6 that you can memorize. And if you want to break the game, I'll take my Project Image over finger of death any day (make a projection of yourself that can cast all your spells), create 3 projections have 3 free mages with your entire spellbook at your command there is some good info on this website *EDIT: you can only cast one projection at once as you are basically held, sorry for the misinformation*
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Mad3: extra question:
I want to keep Imoen a pure thief in BG1.
Will I get problems when I get her back if I change her to mage at the beginning of BG2?
Imoen will be dual-classed to mage at the beginning of the game regardless (Level 7 Thief, Level 8 Mage). She isn't imported into BG2 with the dual class you may of chosen for her (I went pure thief for her in BG1 which bought her to Level 8 after TotSC, but low and behold she lost a level and decided on becoming a mage).

I apologize for the insanely long post. I think i'm on a bit of a BG2 nostalgia buzz.
Post edited November 02, 2013 by Jamie.monro
Thanks for the answer.

I want to play BGT (baldurs gate trilogy) which means you play bg1+2 with the same char in a row with the rules of BG2 like it is one game.
That means you cannot use a fighter in bg1, import him to bg2 and make him a kensai at the beginning of bg2. No armor and no ranged weapons in bg1 is very hard.

In BGT it was also added that all chars that exist as party member in bg1+2 will be tranfered from bg1 to bg2 like they are at the end of bg1 when they are in your party at this moment. I think these are Imoen, Minsc, Edwin, Viconia and Jaheira. So when Imoen is a lv10 thief at the end of bg1 and she is in your group when you change from bg1 to 2, she will be a lv10 thief with the same stats and skills at the beginning of bg2.

more questions:
-Do fighters, rangers, paladins and barbariens gain +1/2 attac every 7 levels (lv 7, 14, 21) or is this only at lv 7?
I think my fighters had quite a lot attacs at the end.
-Does (fighters stop Thac0 increase at lv 21) only count for base value? That means strengh bonus, weapon specialisation and magic equipment come on top of that. Its been a long time since I played this but I believe my fighters Thac0 was far in negative range.

I take the gnome fighter/illusionist because I never used a multi class char before, I never used an arcane caster before, I never used a gnome before and I like warriors.
Since he is well protected with all his mage buffs, dual wielding would be the best choice, I guess.
When I played before, I played a single-class character. I've been trying out different types of players this time but haven't gone too far into the game. My question is, if I dual, can I just not level up after say Level 7 until I get enough points to dual? At least you would have a level 7 Player at the end rather than a weaker dual class character not yet with sufficient levels to gain back the old skills. Is that considered against the spirit of the game or does the game wipe the points out before transferring to BG2?

Bob