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I'm about to start my first playthrough ever for BG2 and I wanted to know what's the most fun class to play... I guess in terms of keeping combat entertaining.
A top 3:

1) Personally I like playing a mage/thief.
A spellcasting class combined with the trap setting/backstabbing of a thief can be quite entertaining.

2) A Druid can be fun too, as it's really a class of its own. Spellcasting/fighting/being a treehugging zealot :P

3) A cleric/ranger combines the spellcasting of a druid with the hardiness of a cleric, so it's ok, but for some reason I prefer the druid. Maybe because of the Druid kits.

Clerics and Bards are more of a support class with a bit of healing/casting, a bit of fighting and turning undead/singing. Handy to have, but not for the protagonist imho.
Fighters are the most straightforward and dull.
Everything in the game keeps combat entertaining - once you begin to learn how not to die frequently! And even if that's never learned, the game still finds a way to suck players in regardless! Eh?

Gromuhl, I tend to think Clerics & Bards are as much protagonist material as any other class, friend. (NWN SPOILER ahead:) Why, in Neverwinter Nights' official campaign, many have come to the conclusion that those two classes are the most efficient in order to discover, infiltrate, & ultimately destroy the secret society that decided to pick on the protagonists' of those classes. ;oD

Even in my BG 1 & 2 playthroughs, my protagonist is a frontlining Bard, and the spells my party in total seem to cast the most are the divine ones, including the Bard's innate cleric spells developed throughout the course of BG1 as the protagonist.
Post edited September 16, 2011 by bladeofBG
Well, Im not sure whether you're into multi classing or not.

But if you're class greedy (like me), I would recommend either Ranger/Cleric, Figther/thief or Cleric/Mage. And even Figther/thief/mage if youre really looking to be a jack of all trades, the leveling is slow. But if you like tossing about, doing unthinkable quests for every poor farmer in all of Faerún, it should be well worth it in the end.

The Ranger/Cleric is what many people consider "the most powerful". You get access to the best armor, decent figthing skills, while having full array of both cleric and druid spells up to a full level 7. (Progressing as you level, of course :P) The 5th level druid spell ironskin will absorb quite a few melee attacks fully before vanishing. Making it the perfect antidote against malicious mountain giants, who would otherwise have bashed your skull in by gentle poking its index finger along your temple. Using touch attack spells such as "Harm" will come in much more handy, which can occansionally be nifty enough. Also you will have healing nearby. Not having to wait for your devoted-yet-chronically-ill healer (Cough*Aerie*cough) to sneak all the way up to you without dying in the blast, can more often than not be a life saver worth the mention. If youre looking for a tank-like character, this one is highly recommended.

To be honest I dont remember much details on the Figther/Thief, since its been years since my last playthrough. I did enjoy it alot though. It can get a bit to much hack-and-slash at times, but hey, some people are really into that! You basically get all the handy subskills of a thief. (Pick lock, spot/remove traps, pick pocket ect.) With the enchanted fighting skills/ THACo of a figther. The backstab damage you can do with this combo is insane, although it do require an active hide-in-shadows(which will only work on first encounters), invisibility potion or a mage from your party casting the spell at you. On the flip side you would be somewhat forced into wearing leather armor. But then again, everything comes with a prize, dosent it?

If youre into spellcasters you should try my personal favorite, the Cleric/Mage. Alot of people would properly disagree with me though. And if you pick up Aerie (Im not obsessed with her!) In the beginning of the game, which is a likely act for a good aligned character, It'll be downright pointless. The class, however, have full access to all spells, except for those of the druid. At higher levels you'd be a spellcaster of legends.

A backstabbing Figther/thief/Mage with improved invisibility is a true device of destruction, As mentioned before, its very slow leveling though.

Hope this helps! Even if you should choose the weakest class in the game, Im almost certain You'll have fun anyway. Atleast if Youre into marvelous games, with tons of stimulating/witty/incomparable-to-anything-seen-to-this-date (except for maybe Planescape:Torment) interactions.
Post edited September 16, 2011 by rielfen
For a first playthrough I'd play a male human fighter with high constitution. It allows you to do real damage with your chosen weapons & romance Viconia.
Viconia is a good Cleric (well not good exactly) & Jahiera is a Druid with "Harpers Call"
And you can find a thief anywhere.

But I'm sure it will be the first of many playthroughs.
First Playthrough is best to stick with the basics of a Fighter or Mage

I personally love Fighter/Mage.
I'd say the most fun is wild mage, especially in Multiplayer.
You just never know how any encounter is going to play out with surges :D
To be honest I don't know if messing around with multi or dual classes is the best course of action for the first playthrough. More stuff to keep track off and you will be confused enough already. Can't see it being very compelling for the first game.

It's not easy to decide what you would find most entertaining though. The "first playthrough" changes things a bit.

Usually a good advice is to play a fighter type the first time through, as they are easy to get the hang of, straightforward and effective. Play style is rather plain though as you basically just whack stuff with your sword and sometimes use abilities granted by kits. On the other hand, as a fighter you will be able to use most of the cool armors and weapons you find, and BG II has a great variety of loot, so that keeps things pretty interesting. Many weapons even come with their own abilities !

If you go that route one of the paladin kits is a good choice, as they get more resistances and abilities than plain fighters and can use the best two handed sword in the game. Alternatively, a barbarian or berserker is a good choice if you want to keep things simple. You get many proficiency points so you can experiment with different weapon types.

Another option is a swashbuckler, which is a thief kit. They get substantial bonuses to their fighting capabilities (including ability to put three points into dual wielding which makes it worth it) so they can hold their own in a fight and you get access to all thief skills. So you can fight on the frontlines and also do useful stuff like disarming traps, sneaking around, stealing, setting your own traps etc. The game is actually rather short on thieves (they are either multi or dual classed so their skills are a bit stunted) so it's pretty decent choice overall. You can fight decently but also have other options.

If you want to dabble with magic a bard is actually quite good - if you choose the Blade kit. Like swashbuckler it gives you ability to invest in dual wield which you should do, otherwise you will be stuck with 1 attack per round. Blades get access to mage spells up to 6 level. You use spells to buff up your character. You also get offensive and defensive spins which respectively significantly improve your attack or defense stats for a short while. As a bards, Blades also get to use couple of items only usable by bards. Overall, Blades get a lot of tricks up their sleeves, but require some micromanagement to keep them effective and you will need to figure out which spells are most useful. I find all that pretty entertaining myself.

If it wasn't a first playthrough I would throw in a Wild Mage. Extremely unpredictable and hilarious but probably a bit annoying for a newcomer. Sometimes you want to just cast a fireball without a cow falling on you out of the sky, your character morphing into a woman and turning yellow.

I will end this post by saying that you should probably just ignore my advice and all advice in this thread and just choose a class you personally find cool. You will probably restart the game couple of times to check out different characters anyway. Check out this guide for tips on basic gameplay so you don't gimp yourself accidentally and you're good to go.
Obviously you can gather that which classes are fun is ultimately quite subjective. I personally love playing a Paladin. Sure, you're limited by the demand to remain Lawful Good, but you get the benefits of being a strong fighter capable of wielding (almost) all weapons while at the same time you get to dabble in spells a bit.
Two words:

Wild. Mage.
Glad to see people saying Wild Mage. It is a damned shame nobody has followed through with it in games since. I'd be inclined to buy a crappy fantasy RPG if they tried to have a similar class.

Post edited September 27, 2011 by Taleroth
Some friends and I have started a multiplayer game and I'm playing the Wild Mage.

As an idea of the fun to be had, I've opened a gate to hell on two separate occasions. Once in the mephit room of Irenicus' dungeon summoning one Nabassu and a second time in Watcher's Keep summoning two demons.

Amazingly, we lived both times until the spell expired. It makes multiplayer a lot of fun, but it might not be the best choice if youve never been through BG2 before.
I enjoyed playing Cleric/Mage for it's huge arsenal of spells.

Cleric/Fighter and Thief/Mage are also fun combos.
Post edited September 28, 2011 by gnarbrag
Sorceror. Rocketh.

But seriously you need to read

before even thinking about it. But once you've achieved at least Level 12 skill in BG 2 Spell Selection, ( :) ) you become a one character army, able to lay waste to entire dungeons of monsters, with your trusty followers watching in open mouthed awe.

Come to think of it, I haven't played pure Sorceror in a long time... :P
For a first time player, if you want to try out arcane magic, a Fighter/Mage might be easier to get to learn how to use effectively than a pure mage. A Wild Mage has already been discarded in above posts as a good choice for your first playthrough, but the same holds true for a sorceror: if you haven't got experience in battle yet, in all spell levels, you won't now what spells are good and as important, what most fits your style of doing battle. And as a sorceror, once you choose spells, you're stuck with them, you can't swap a less effective spell for a more useful place in the space you've got. They're powerhouses, true, but only for those who know the game.

A fighter/mage multiclass (it's best to pick the elf race for that character, because of the race bonusses) has only half as much spells to cast, roughly, as a true mage, but he or she wont be as frail and can use almost all item's available in the game, as he may use fighter-only weapons and armour as well as mage & bard-only magic items like wands. What he can't do though, is casting magic while wearing armour: you'll need to equip him with bracers, robes, rings etc. for protection (low Armour Class=good) and/or use protective spells like armour, ghost armour, stoneskin, blur, shield and at higher levels protection from normal weapons and protection from magic weapons.

But most of all: find out what it is you like best. And it may be you'll start more than one game before you've found out. And if you like BG, you'll be playing the game again, and again, and again with different party combinations