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I played through BG1 last week and it became one of my favorite games ever. I have heard of people playing through the game with one character. To what degree is this do-able for a noob like me? What combination of class, race and skills are excellent for a solo-playthrough? After a while i grew very fond of Xzar's fireballs and the destructive melee-strikes of my fighter. Is fighter-mage a good combo? It sure would be fun to attempt this kind of playthrough! And also, should i use the original or EE?

I will of course play through BG2 first, but it's nice to gather some info so i'm prepared :)
Post edited January 23, 2014 by Random_Coffee
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Random_Coffee: I played through BG1 last week and it became one of my favorite games ever. I have heard of people playing through the game with one character. To what degree is this do-able for a noob like me? What combination of class, race and skills are excellent for a solo-playthrough? After a while i grew very fond of Xzar's fireballs and the destructive melee-strikes of my fighter. Is fighter-mage a good combo? It sure would be fun to attempt this kind of playthrough! And also, should i use the original or EE?

I will of course play through BG2 first, but it's nice to gather some info so i'm prepared :)
Fighter/Mage is a fine class choice. More importantly, it's an interesting class choice that's fun to play, which is the biggest requirement for any attempt to solo the game.

As for whether to use the EE or the original, I'd say go with the original. Most of the functional differences between the EE and original game can be replicated by modding if you actually care about it, so the only real gains are a couple additional NPC's and their story arcs. Obviously that's not a big deal if you're planning on solo'ing.
When you say fighter/mage, incidentally, are you planning to dual or multclass? Dual (F>M) is probably the better choice, especially if you're continuing to BG2. Your early game will be harder, and you'll find yourself having to grind to get some power back while doing the dual, but you'll end up with a much more powerful character in the end.
Post edited January 23, 2014 by pi4t
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pi4t: When you say fighter/mage, incidentally, are you planning to dual or multclass? Dual (F>M) is probably the better choice, especially if you're continuing to BG2. Your early game will be harder, and you'll find yourself having to grind to get some power back while doing the dual, but you'll end up with a much more powerful character in the end.
Yes, i plan to dual-class the character. I will optimize the character for importing into BG2 as well.

Slightly off-topic: what does it mean that my strength is 18/49?
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Random_Coffee: Slightly off-topic: what does it mean that my strength is 18/49?
A strength score of 18 is a little weird. Every character with a strength score of exactly 18 has a second number from 1-100 indicating their relative strength compared to other people with a strength score of 18. So you'd be weaker than someone with 18/70 but stronger than someone with 18/20. You can look up the exact benefits in the strength tables included in the manual.

If you raise your strength to 19 (for instance, with a magic item), then none of this matters.
Note that certain buff spells will raise your strength by, say, /50 to a maximum of 18/(1)00 if it's at 18 currently.

I do have a minor correction from what Darvin said, though irrelevent for your playthrough: only warrior type characters (fighters, rangers, paladins, and barbarians and monks with BG2) get the 'slash value'. All other characters just get a normal 18, which is worse than any 18/xy. They'll still be boosted to the same level if they go up a point, though.
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Random_Coffee: Slightly off-topic: what does it mean that my strength is 18/49?
The figure after the base 18 is referred to as exceptional strength, and can only be gained by warrior classes. This exceptional strength is on a graduating scale and grants bonuses to THAC0, damage adjustment, carry weight and door bashing abilities. The scale goes from 1-100, with 18/00 being the highest (00 is regarded as 100). The bonuses are as follows:

01-50 ... +1 THAC0, +3 Damage, 220lb carry weight, 25 to open doors.
51-75 ... +2 THAC0, +3 Damage, 260lb carry weight, 30 to open doors.
76-90 ... +2 THAC0, +4 Damage, 280lb carry weight, 35 to open doors.
91-99 ... +2 THAC0, +5 Damage, 320lb carry weight, 40 to open doors.
00 (100) ... +3 THAC0, +6 Damage, 400lb carry weight, 45 to open doors.
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Hickory: The figure after the base 18 is referred to as exceptional strength, and can only be gained by warrior classes.
Just wanted to highlight this as Darvin made a small error when he stated 'Every character...'.

*edit* Oh, and it probably should be noted that this applies only at character creation, so if a character dual classes from (for example) Cleric to Fighter and has 18 STR, there is no roll to get exceptional STR when you dual class. Your STR will remain at 18.
Post edited January 23, 2014 by Coelocanth
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Hickory: The figure after the base 18 is referred to as exceptional strength, and can only be gained by warrior classes.
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Coelocanth: Just wanted to highlight this as Darvin made a small error when he stated 'Every character...'.

*edit* Oh, and it probably should be noted that this applies only at character creation, so if a character dual classes from (for example) Cleric to Fighter and has 18 STR, there is no roll to get exceptional STR when you dual class. Your STR will remain at 18.
I'd already pointed the first thing you said out :P

I'm also not sure why you'd want to dual class into a warrior. As I assume you're aware, though other people reading the thread may not be, warriors get much of their ability in their early levels. In particular, you only gain large amounts of hp for your first ten character levels, so if you take the weak hp mage to level 7 and then dual to a fighter you'll only get 3 rolls' worth of good hp to add to that, and will end up with a pathetic fighter. Also, dual classing out of a spellcasting class is almost universally a bad idea, since the spells you do have access to become gradually less and less useful as you gain levels and normal spellcasters use higher and higher level spells.

The only reason I could see someone sensibly dualling out of a caster could be some low level cleric>mage, for higher hp, and a few low level buffs/heals.
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pi4t: I'd already pointed the first thing you said out :P
Apologies. I missed that.
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pi4t: I'm also not sure why you'd want to dual class into a warrior. As I assume you're aware, though other people reading the thread may not be, warriors get much of their ability in their early levels. In particular, you only gain large amounts of hp for your first ten character levels, so if you take the weak hp mage to level 7 and then dual to a fighter you'll only get 3 rolls' worth of good hp to add to that, and will end up with a pathetic fighter. Also, dual classing out of a spellcasting class is almost universally a bad idea, since the spells you do have access to become gradually less and less useful as you gain levels and normal spellcasters use higher and higher level spells.
I never said it was a good idea, but if one were to do it, it's important to know that you'll not get the benefit of the exceptional STR roll.
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pi4t: The only reason I could see someone sensibly dualling out of a caster could be some low level cleric>mage, for higher hp, and a few low level buffs/heals.
I could actually see someone considering dual classing from a Thief to a FTR, perhaps once you've got all the Thief skills to the level you want.
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Coelocanth: I never said it was a good idea, but if one were to do it, it's important to know that you'll not get the benefit of the exceptional STR roll.
I know. I just thought I should point it out in case someone read your post and thought it was a common dual!
After you've finished BG2 take a break.

Since you've already played BG1 before you can switch to EE for a change.

You're already playing a fighter, if you play a fighter/mage dualclass afterwards you'll have the same class again for most of the time since you'll have to wait some time with dualclassing to get noteworthy benefits from the fighter class.
A fighter/mage multiclass solo will be superior to a dualclass almost all of the time, especially in BG2 when you get more high level abilities.

But I recommend playing a sorcerer if you play EE, it's the most fun and most powerful class.
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kmonster: After you've finished BG2 take a break.

Since you've already played BG1 before you can switch to EE for a change.

You're already playing a fighter, if you play a fighter/mage dualclass afterwards you'll have the same class again for most of the time since you'll have to wait some time with dualclassing to get noteworthy benefits from the fighter class.
A fighter/mage multiclass solo will be superior to a dualclass almost all of the time, especially in BG2 when you get more high level abilities.

But I recommend playing a sorcerer if you play EE, it's the most fun and most powerful class.
Already played through EE, although I own both the original and EE. Haven't played the original yet though, but it seems that hardcore fans of BG consider it to be superior to the EE.

So, should i go for a fighter/mage-multiclass?
Post edited January 24, 2014 by Random_Coffee
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Random_Coffee: Already played through EE, although I own both the original and EE. Haven't played the original yet though, but it seems that hardcore fans of BG consider it to be superior to the EE.
It's not so much that either are superior, more that it's not really worth buying the game twice. The EE is generally better for a more casual consumer who doesn't want to muck around with mod installation, and provides a straightforward stand-alone package. The advantage of the original is that you have a wide selection of mods that provide the same benefits as EE, provided you're willing to jump through some hoops to install them.

If you already own both games, then it's really up to your own preference.
So, should i go for a fighter/mage-multiclass?
This is my favorite approach to the F/M. It's not quite as powerful as the dual-class variant, but it's a smoother ride.
You'll have trouble with some of the TotSC content without a thief, though. Just to warn you. I doubt that sacrificing even more xp (or fighter powers) for thief abilities is worth it though.