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Hey there, finally coming back to BG series after more than 10 years. As my char I chose Cleric, but here's the thing - I have no idea how to build him and no idea if he's going to be a pure cleric or fighter/cleric dual-class. Playing the regular edition, not EE. Any suggestions? Thanks for anything!
Do whatever you please, it doesn't matter. Here's the thing: if you take other peoples' advice, and there *will* be plenty, you will not be playing *your* character but somebody else's. It's an RPG, so go and role play.
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ghaand: Hey there, finally coming back to BG series after more than 10 years. As my char I chose Cleric, but here's the thing - I have no idea how to build him and no idea if he's going to be a pure cleric or fighter/cleric dual-class. Playing the regular edition, not EE. Any suggestions? Thanks for anything!
First question: Is he Human? If not, he's going to be pure cleric, period. Non-humans have to choose all their classes at character creation.

Second question: Does the human cleric have the stats to dual into Fighter? If not, he's going to be pure cleric, period. To dual from cleric into fighter requires at least Wis 15 and Str 17.

Third question: What are you looking to do with this character? From a power perspective, spell casting generally gets stronger at higher levels, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to dual from cleric to fighter. Fighter is more front loaded, so it makes a little more sense to dual from Fighter to Cleric (requires Str 15 and Wis 17). If you started as a Cleric, just continue as a Cleric.
I can tell the main differences and you can decide accordingly.

Pure Cleric.
+ No class restriction.
+ Wider spell range.
- Can only have 1 star (proficient) in Weapon Proficiencies.

Fighter Cleric (multiclass)
+ Slightly better Thac0
+ Can have 2 star (Specialized) in WP. This gives a 1/2 attack per round which I think makes big difference in BG1. Also +1dmg and +2 Thac0
- Your cleric wont progress as fast meaning fewer spells.
- Can not be Human. Humans can only dualclass which I find complicated and annoying for new people.

If you are a powergamer, I found that Half-ORC Fighter/Cleric is too powerful, making the game a lot easier even in the hardest difficulty.

STR:19
DEX:18
CON:19
INT: 9
WIS: 18
CHA:whatever remains.

I noticed that I can solo even the hardest encounters.

However, like Hickory said, the game is easy enough if you know what you are doing so feel free to do whatever you want.
You will get bored with a pure cleric. They don't get many attacks and their spells will leave you a bit unsatisfied. You can try a dual fighter/cleric to get the extra attacks or a multiclass fighter/cleric or ranger/cleric to get the druid spells too;)
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Engerek01: I can tell the main differences and you can decide accordingly.

Pure Cleric.
+ No class restriction.
+ Wider spell range.
- Can only have 1 star (proficient) in Weapon Proficiencies.

Fighter Cleric (multiclass)
+ Slightly better Thac0
+ Can have 2 star (Specialized) in WP. This gives a 1/2 attack per round which I think makes big difference in BG1. Also +1dmg and +2 Thac0
- Your cleric wont progress as fast meaning fewer spells.
- Can not be Human. Humans can only dualclass which I find complicated and annoying for new people.

If you are a powergamer, I found that Half-ORC Fighter/Cleric is too powerful, making the game a lot easier even in the hardest difficulty.

STR:19
DEX:18
CON:19
INT: 9
WIS: 18
CHA:whatever remains.

I noticed that I can solo even the hardest encounters.

However, like Hickory said, the game is easy enough if you know what you are doing so feel free to do whatever you want.
I cannot create a Half-Orc. I am not playing the Enhanced Edition.
It also depends on your planned party. If your cleric will only be in support role, single class will help with spells right from the start. However, you can make your cleric the best tank in the game, and in this case dualing from a fighter will give you the benefit of more HP and better THAC0.
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ghaand: I cannot create a Half-Orc. I am not playing the Enhanced Edition.
My bad. It's been a long time since I played the original. Now I only play BGT, which lets me play BG1 with BG2 engine. So you don't really need EE to be able to play Half-Orc but still you are correct.
If you are playing vanilla BG1 then *DEFINITELY* get the mods from the "Conservative" sticky thread, that way you'll get a lot of fixes plus some gravy such as higher-level characters. That'll remove some of the worry about being "one level behind" on spellcasting.

A Dwarven Fighter/Cleric is perfectly sensible and viable. Lots of metal armour, and something big & heavy to clobber the unbelievers with.

If you want a slightly different play flavour, Half-Elf Cleric/Ranger. Obviously you won't be the tank due to lighter armour, but you still get the "two star" weapon progression as you would for a split-class fighter. Plus you get racial enemies, mammal charm, and stealth if you stick to leather/studded leather. And a few bonus spells later on. The good news is there is really decent set of leather armour, with a stealth bonus, available relatively early in the game in a shop - if you're willing to save for it.

The first is the stronger combat monster, the second might be the more fun to play. Your game, your mileage...
Post edited August 16, 2017 by Darth__KEK
If you dualclass I recommend taking 3 fighter levels and putting all proficiency points into missile (for sling) and hammer before dualclassing and the first two points after dualclassing elsewhere (they don't stack).

You can dump int to 3 for normal BG1 without negative consequences, try to maximize at least 4 of the other 5 stats.

Drawback at dualclassing is that you'll have quite some time without cleric levels in the beginning and if you want to import into BG2 the 3 fighter levels will be less useful than a priest kit.

BG can be played unmodded quite well, no need to install anything.
I'm not sure what Darth is talking about as far as lighter armor, a Ranger/Cleric can use full plate, it just prevents them from using stealth. If you just REALLY wanted them to be a scout you could swap out armor before a big fight. Or cast sanctuary.

I'll agree with him that the best options in my book are multiclass Dwarven Fighter/Cleric or multiclass Half-elf Ranger/Cleric. Clerics get plenty of spells even multiclassed. That's my personal preference though. Dwarf gets more CON, Half-elf gets more DEX, the major difference for me is shorty saves vs Druid spells and stealth. And as a Dwarf there are no NPCs you can romance in BG1.

If you do go single class I think a lot of people like halflings. Bonus to hit with slings, 19 DEX for even better ranged Thac0, shorty saves... oh and kit up, there is no real reason no to with clerics.
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GoatBoySteve: And as a Dwarf there are no NPCs you can romance in BG1.

If you do go single class I think a lot of people like halflings. Bonus to hit with slings, 19 DEX for even better ranged Thac0, shorty saves... oh and kit up, there is no real reason no to with clerics.
He isn't playing EE, and he apparently isn't playing with either of the two mods that put BG1 in BG2. No kits and no romances, period.
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kmonster: BG can be played unmodded quite well, no need to install anything.
It can be played quite well. No need to install anything.

But the mods from the "conservative" sticky are godlike. The game is just *so* much better. Vanilla BG1 is being a 30 year old man and winning a primary school egg & spoon race whilst breathlessly singing a Culture Club song; modded BG1 is winning the 100m at the Olympics whilst writing a paper that will win you a Nobel Prize for Physics.


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GoatBoySteve: I'm not sure what Darth is talking about as far as lighter armor, a Ranger/Cleric can use full plate, it just prevents them from using stealth.
My bad. I'm confused as I'm from a 1st & 2nd edition P&P background with extra confusion layered on by playing Temple of Elemental Evil.

Tank Rangers are certainly part of the BG-verse and of course you can quickly change in and out of light armour to do a bit of scouting.
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Darth__KEK: But the mods from the "conservative" sticky are godlike.
No they aren't, they are just one forum poster's idea. Also, they are anything *but* "conservative".
Post edited August 17, 2017 by Hickory
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Darth__KEK: But the mods from the "conservative" sticky are godlike.
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Hickory: No they aren't, they are just one forum poster's idea. Also, they are anything *but* "conservative".
Not just one forum post, they are the most widely-used mods with many, many fans. And they are conservative as they keep the flavour of the original game.

A non-conservative mod would be, and this is a real one, a mod that gives the PC a dragon-form ability. That's not conservative.

Changing the resolution for modern graphics, fixing spelling and grammatical errors; the Unfinished Business, Mini Quests, Herbs & Potions (plus Thalantyr item upgrade); they are all *DEEPLY* conservative - to the point a new player wouldn't IN THE LEAST notice them as being distinct or different from the main game.

And the big one, the Tweak pack, is bit-by-bit optional, but fantastic. Bigger stacks, higher levels, fixing the 2-handed attack animations, all brilliant and viable.

There are some tweaks I wouldn't use - they make the game too easy - but they're optional.