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So I'm playing BGT (Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod), and I've decided that I will probably use Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc and Dynaheir (with Xzar and Montaron substituting for the last two until I finish Nashkel mines). I am playing as a Cleric / Ranger.

I'm wondering what I should do with Imoen, both in terms of dual-classing (or not) and weapon proficiencies:

1. What is the best level to dual class Imoen to mage? Lots of people seem to do it at level 6, although default BG2 starts her at thief level 7+ mage level 8.
2. If I dual class her to a mage, will I regret the temporary (but long) lockout of thief skills?
3. Does BGT have the bug where Imoen's thief skills reset to the thief level 1 starting values once she gets high enough mage level to regain access to her thieving abilities? I've seen multiple people mention this bug.
4. What weapon proficiencies should I pick? BGT starts Imoen with one level each in short sword and short bow, while default BG2 gives her dagger+staff+shortbow+dart. This is where I'm actually stuck right now, as she just hit level 4.

Thanks!

Edit: I might be willing to entertain the notion of grabbing, say, Kivan and some other thief (suggestions?) NPC until late in BG1 when Imoen regains her thief skills.
Post edited October 19, 2012 by HunterZ
This question / problem has been solved by TrollumThinksimage
1. What is the best level to dual class Imoen to mage? Lots of people seem to do it at level 6, although default BG2 starts her at thief level 7+ mage level 8.

I'd get her thieving skills to Find-Traps and Pick Locks both at 100 (I think that takes until level 7 but I'm not sure) (Stealth can use magic/potions so is less necessary and pick-pocketing can use potions of master -thievery).

2. If I dual class her to a mage, will I regret the temporary (but long) lockout of thief skills?

Yes but it's worth it in the end for BG2 (though on my current playthrough I've kept her as a thief but I dualled her last time and the extra higher level mage was an asset). Mostly you'll miss the 'find and disarm-traps' function - you can use Jaheira's druid spell 'find-traps' but not disarm them.

3. Does BGT have the bug where Imoen's thief skills reset to the thief level 1 starting values once she gets high enough mage level to regain access to her thieving abilities? I've seen multiple people mention this bug.

I'm using BGT and haven't seen this bug appear

4. What weapon proficiencies should I pick? BGT starts Imoen with one level each in short sword and short bow, while default BG2 gives her dagger+staff+shortbow+dart. This is where I'm actually stuck right now, as she just hit level 4

I'd stick with short-bows and short-swords as your main weapons for her - that way she can use short-bow of gesen and short-sword of the Mask in BG2 (also have a point in single-weapon style to avoid the ac-penalty when wielding short-swords in melee). There are a couple of useful throwing daggers in BG2 so if you get an extra point in the future then add that.
Having said that - some people rave about backstabbing with Staff of the Ram for great damage (or even Staff of the Magi, which gives you invisibility on equip for multiple backstab easiness)

Edit: wait, she's already got her point in SS and SB? Ok, then I'd add dagger next and staff later simply because of the availability of such. Darts are ok but I gave those to Dynaheir who can't use bows
....Hmmm, maybe Imoen can't use bows while her thief skills are disabled? In that case, get her darts first too so she can stay out of melee while being a mage unless someone knows a returning throwing dagger in BG1?
Post edited October 19, 2012 by TrollumThinks
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HunterZ: 1. What is the best level to dual class Imoen to mage?
2. If I dual class her to a mage, will I regret the temporary (but long) lockout of thief skills?
3. Does BGT have the bug where Imoen's thief skills reset to the thief level 1 [...]
4. What weapon proficiencies should I pick?
1. I think level 6 is allows you to get (almost) perfect 2 skills and it's enough considering that there are items in BG2 that increase those skills to make up for the few extra difficult lock. I did (iirc :/) 95 traps and 85 locks. You will have access to boosting items before coming across traps/locks that need those. Also keep in mind that in vanilla BG2 she might be level 7 thief but has the total skill amount of a level 6 thief, due to oversight.

2. If she's the only thief in the party of course you will have trouble. But in BG1 there are sop many thieves that I end with 3 on my latest runthrough (Imoen, Safana and Coran). If you want to stick to the canon party then you might need to use some metagaming knowledge to do quests that don't involve traps.

3. The only time I saw something similar was when I was experimenting with a certain dual class build and I kept pumping XP to my char, getting in the level up screen to see what level that would get me and then backing out and adjusting XP on and on. So maybe if you levelup without backing out you can avoid it? Not sure.

4. I would go staff and short bow. I use Imoen as a straight mage that can handle traps and locks so I never have her backstabbing, so staves can give you daily abilities to use from afar. Even if you go backstabbing for the x3 damage, staff is still the better choice with Staff of Striking and Staff of the Ram. I don't think you'd miss anything that a short sword or a dagger would give. I won't even comment on darts. Of course short bow is a no brainer.
Thanks for the replies!

I've been peanut-buttering her thief skills around a bit, with emphasis on picking locks. It sounds like I may want to use a save editor or something to move more points back from pickpocket and stealth to pick locks and find traps though...

Is there a non-evil thief NPC that would be natural to pick up around the time that I'd be dualing Imoen to a mage?


I'm torn about weapon proficiencies:

I'm tempted to stick with short swords/bows for party balance, as Jaheira comes with 2 points in quarter staff already and I don't think anyone else in the canon party is a natural fit for short swords/bows.

On the other hand, Imoen can't use short swords while her thief skills are locked out, so she'll probably end up using a staff (or dagger?) anyways...
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HunterZ: Is there a non-evil thief NPC that would be natural to pick up around the time that I'd be dualing Imoen to a mage?
I'm not sure where you'll be in the game when you dual Imoen, so here's a list of non-evil NPCs that have Thief levels:

***Warning: Very Minor spoilers (alignment and location of NPCs)***










Alora: Thief Chaotic Good (she's in Baldur's Gate).
Coran: Fighter/Thief Chaotic Good (Cloakwood)
Safana: Thief Chaotic Neutral (Lighthouse area)
Skie: Neutral (Baldur's Gate)




***End Spoilers***
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HunterZ: I've been peanut-buttering her thief skills...
Don't forget that a thief starts with a base score on all the skills, which depends on race and dexterity. An easy and fast way to find out what that would be for Imoen is to start new game and create a human thief with 18 dex and take note of the starting scores. You don't need to finish character creation.

Non evil thieves in BG1: Coran (fighter/thief) CG, Alora CG, Skie TN, Safana CN.
Of those only Safana is reachable before chapter 4, Coran in chapter 4 (after Naskel mines) and Alora and Skie in chapter 5, when you have access to Baldur's Gate. On top of that Skie requires Eldoth in your party or joining dialog won't even appear.
All this if you play with no mods that alter starting location of NPCs, namely SCS and BG1NPC. If you do, it's slightly wider the selection.

As for the weapons, there are plenty of staves for both Imoen and Jaheira to go around. But in general don't sweat it. If you think short swords fit better with the image you have for her go for it. As you said when you dual class you'll have to put that pip somewhere to complete the levelup. Might as well be staff.
Also since thieves and mages can put maximum of one pip in each weapon, they end up with too many proficiencies anyway.
There are lots of ways this can be played, from playing Imoen as a pure thief to level 10 and recruiting someone else to be the mage, to dualing her at level 2 and recruiting someone else to be the thief, and lots in between. Which is best depends largely on one's own preferences.

That said, I usually like to dual Imoen at level 5. That's high enough to get decent skill with the bow and to max out find traps for Durlag's tower. I then recruit Coran for lock picking and stealth (in the original Baldur's gate he starts with skill in both; not sure how it is in BGT).

Level 6 is the highest level you can dual at and still get to mage level 9 by the end of the game (the maximum possible). If you dual at thief level 7, you'll still be able to get to mage level 8 before hitting the BG1 level cap, but that will take a long while.
Is it important to get either traps and/or locks to specific skill values before having Imoen dual to mage? She just hit level 6 and it looks like I could indeed hit AndyBuzz' numbers of 95 and 85, respectively.

Also, I managed to have Imoen steal Drizzt's scimitar using a potion of master thievery, so I'm thinking of having Jaheira go sword'n'board with a scimitar and shield (which makes it easy to switch to sling+shield and back) and have Imoen transition from sword swords to staves (starting with the quarterstaff +1 that Jaheira was using).

Edit: I should also ask for advice on which starting spells to pick for Imoen. She gets to choose 2 level 1 spells out of a list of 22. I've saved every mage spell scroll I've encountered so far so that I can dump those on her right away, so it would be good to know if there are any useful ones that are hard or expensive to acquire as scrolls.

P.S. +1 rep to every post in this thread for everyone being helpful! Solution went to TrollumThinks for an excellent and insightful first reply, but every post so far has been much appreciated.
Post edited November 03, 2012 by HunterZ
Considering BGT i think it is worth to keep Imoen as a thief for the entire BG run and dual her only in BG2... i´m currently doing a new run with a Elf Fighter/Mage multiclass as the main char, Imoen, Jaheira and Minsc (i use the BGT tweak to allow Khalid and Dynaheir to be left behind) - it should give a significative level to Imoen (i want to get 100 in Open doors, Find traps, create traps and pickpocket - in that order) and i can use Jan during the dualling period in BG2 until Imoen gets her thief skills back.
Used shadowkeeper to move Imoen's +staves (which I had given her previously) to be a ++short bows before dual classing, as I didn't realize that all of your 1st class proficiencies get locked out until you regain that class' abilities later via leveling. I will probably give her either +dart or +dagger at some point as well (thoughts?).

Also moved Jaheira's +2h weapons (which I had given her previously) to be a +scimitars.

For spells, I picked a couple that looked like they might be BG2-only spells: protection from petrification (useful because there are basilisks in BG1) and I think reflected image. The third option was Spook, which sounded like the most mediocre spell.

I picked up the chaotic neutral thief from the lighthouse area (can't remember her name). I like that she has +crossbows, as nobody else in my party does, and I like diversity. Her thief skills are not exciting, but she's only level 4 or so.
Post edited November 07, 2012 by HunterZ
If you use the BGT (Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod), does Imoen continue as you had her in BG1, meaning if you left her a thief only she will be a thief in BG2? Or does she switch to the way she was made for BG2?
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jnorton8: If you use the BGT (Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod), does Imoen continue as you had her in BG1, meaning if you left her a thief only she will be a thief in BG2? Or does she switch to the way she was made for BG2?
With BGT, the characters continue from BG1 into BG2 so yes, if you leave Imoen as a thief then she'll stay as a thief.
(Stat boosts from tomes, and any other dual-classing or whatever you did, also carry over).
You just lose the items they were carrying.