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Hello,

I've played a couple RPGs in the past like Divine Divinity and Diablo II, and have just downloaded Baldur's Gate from GOG. So far the mechanics of it seem somewhat different from what I've played in the past, and my main problem is I don't seem to level up and keep dying.

For example, I have a party of four including my character, Imoen, and the two evil guys you encounter right out of Candlekeep. And they all keep getting killed almost immediately by the ogre on the way to Friendly Arm Inn, or the assassin at the inn. I feel I can't even get off a shot since they kill me in one shot.

I have autopause turned on with ranged weapons, but even then I keep missing and they slash right through my party......

Am I doing something wrong or is it supposed to be this difficult (/impossible?!)?

I'd appreciate any tips you can give to a complete newbie. Thanks!!!
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RUN!

The way I handled the early fights was to use one fighter to run back and forth in front of the second fighter who is using range weapons. If the second fighter is attacked because the bad guy gets too close (and Wolves are real fast so they can be a problem), then he becomes the bait running back and forth, while the other fighter shoots. Until you get decent armor, letting the bad guys get too close is deadly. I usually have a party of two until Friendly Arms but the technique should lend itself to a party of four.
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penyuan: Hello,

I've played a couple RPGs in the past like Divine Divinity and Diablo II, and have just downloaded Baldur's Gate from GOG. So far the mechanics of it seem somewhat different from what I've played in the past, and my main problem is I don't seem to level up and keep dying.

For example, I have a party of four including my character, Imoen, and the two evil guys you encounter right out of Candlekeep. And they all keep getting killed almost immediately by the ogre on the way to Friendly Arm Inn, or the assassin at the inn. I feel I can't even get off a shot since they kill me in one shot.

I have autopause turned on with ranged weapons, but even then I keep missing and they slash right through my party......

Am I doing something wrong or is it supposed to be this difficult (/impossible?!)?

I'd appreciate any tips you can give to a complete newbie. Thanks!!!
First, don't take on the Ogre until you pick up Jaheira and Khalid -- you must learn fast (in BG) that not every enemy should be tackled right away. There will be times when it's better to run; come back later, better equipped and/or prepared.

Second, learn to use available help, ie. the FAI guards will help take down the assassin.

Baldur's Gate 1 is unforgiving on new parties, and rightly so -- you are a fresh-faced kid, just out of schooling... etc. Don't approach it like you own all of Faerun.
Early on, when both you and enemies have few hp, getting an early attack or two in can make all the difference. For that reason, early on you should get everyone ranged weapons, and use them. Let the enemy come to you, through a hail of your missiles, rather than vice versa. Yes, this even applies to your tanks, but it looks like you'd figured that one out?

Regarding the assassin encounter: yes, in my experience it's one of the harder fights in the game, given the level you're at when you have it. I forget exactly what spells he casts, but if you can injure him while he's casting he may lose his concentration. Failing that, if the spell is targetted at an area rather than a player (like a fireball, though that's too high level for him) then you can always run out of the way when he starts casting. This can also work if you manage to get out of range of targetted spells, or better yet leave the area, I think.

If you don't mind using a rather cheap tactic, you can dodge into the temple just to the right of the assassin when he begins his attack. Do it before he finishes his cast, and his first (and probably strongest) spell will be wasted.
At the Friendly Inn I use the nearby Temple to duck into to avoid the assassin.. Wait until the guy's defense wears off. (Or, if I'm feeling brave duck in and out so his missiles are expanded. And if he hits, I'm in the Temple for a quick cure.) The guards won't attack the assassin if I'm not in the combat area (unless he has already attacked the guards.), but that's fine by me since I want the points in the coup de grace. Don't know if it is considered cheesy but it works for me. I figure if I survive, that's the point.

I get the Ogre with my bait and switch running routine. But Imoen is quick on her feet.
At the very beginning, BG is indeed very difficult, particularly before one can build a balanced party - if you play a spellcaster or rogue, the challenge is even greater at the very start.

I quite like this as it is quite empowering to be able to return to "impossible" foes and give them what they had coming!

I also by the way pick the evil guys along just to have enough manpower to tackle the Friendly Arms Inn assassin that at that level is still pretty hard.

I normally wander in wilderness for a bit, picking off wolves and other low level creatures until I level up one level at least. Ogres are not one of those for sure! Even if you are given the high level story arcs as you play with mission critical locations, never feel obliged to rush into them immediately - the gameplay is non-linear in this regard. If you visit first the buildings in the court-yard, you might find suitable side quests to help you level up - or elsewhere in the game-world for that matter.

As mentioned in other posts, leading the monsters away to give ranged combat a chance is very helpful. And "remove fear" is one of the spells I tend to trow in for good measure per default, btw. Mind affecting spells, even low level, can just decimate your party!

As you progress, pay careful attention to party balance: healing magic, protective spells, strong ranged combat and summoning of creatures give your melee characters nice latitude of action.

Edit: remove repetition.
Post edited November 16, 2013 by TStael
The ogre can be delayed until you have a bigger party and better equipment.

The assassin in front of the friendly arms inn is the most unbalanced battle in the whole game. Try to make sure he gets interrupted trying to cast his mirror image. Imoen has a wand of missiles you can use for this and Xzar has a damage dealing spell with a casting time of 1.

The battles are easier if your character has good stats (maxed str, dex, con and specialization in bows).
Man this game is HARD!
But thanks so much for the suggestions, I will definitely give them a try. If things work out well I will report back. :)
Thanks again!