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I'm preparing to start a game of BGEE with a Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple and I'm looking for advice on a few aspects of character creation. I'm NOT trying to "optimize" my character; I just want to avoid making choices that I might come to regret. Also, I have no plans at the moment to continue on into BG2 (and if I ever do, I'll most likely roll up a different character for variety), so anything related to that game is irrelevant.

Question #1: Which is a better spell to take, blindness or sleep? Sleep has a greater effect on more targets, but I'm concerned that it might become obsolete at higher levels. Related questions:

- Is it possible/easy to obtain wands of either spell in the early game? (I'm not asking *where* to find such items, only whether they're available and how soon.)

- Will I be facing a lot of enemies that are immune or resistant to either spell? (No specifics, please!)

- Are there other factors I'm overlooking that would have a bearing on the decision?

Question #2: Shield or armor for my second spell? Shield gives a much greater bonus to AC, armor lasts longer. Again, are there wands or other items which would quickly make one or the other obsolete?

Question #3: I pick ability scores that match my character concept, rather than min-maxing, but at the same time I'd like my scores to actually make a difference and not just be window dressing. So I looked up stat tables to see what the actual effects are for the different scores. Based on that, I figure I should aim for a Dex of 15+, Int and Wis at 15 (for the Lore bonus), pump Charisma as high as I can, and keep Str and Con average. According to the table, Str 10 and Str 11 are functionally identical, but at Str 12 you get a boost to carrying capacity.

So my question is, are there Str-boosting items easily available which would make it worthwhile to put starting Str at 11 with the intent of raising it to 12 later on, or would I be better off dropping it to 10 and putting the extra point somewhere else? Likewise, if I start with Int or Wis at 14, are there items available that would allow me to boost the score to 15? (Again, I'm not asking for spoilers on where to find these items, only how soon they're available, and whether there are enough of them to make it worthwhile using them on myself, or is it better to give them to NPC companions who would get more benefit from the increase?)
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marees:
1. For BG1 it's Sleep. It's THE crowd control spell for the first game. Blindness is only relevant for single heavy hitters, which are few and far between.
You cannot get a wand of Blindness. You can get a wand of Sleep fairly early, IF you have the coin -- it's not found.
All enemies have saving throws vs. Sleep -- Paralysation/Poisoning. You will be facing enemies who are immune, but more who are not.
Sleep does not become irrelevant in BG1, except for the above.

2. Shield. The Armour spell quickly becomes obsolete, moreover, Shield also provides a bonus to saving throws. There are no wands or items for either, though there is a VERY expensive piece of clothing late game.

3. Sorcerers do not have a primary stat in the same way that other kits do, so the only stats to be concerned about are DEX (for AC), CON (for HP and combating fatigue), INT (only for the ability to use magical items). DEX and CON are paramount, all others as you please.

See my reply to question 3 regarding your last point.
You cannot get a wand of Blindness. You can get a wand of Sleep fairly early, IF you have the coin -- it's not found.
How much coin are we talking about? (If you can remember.)
Shield also provides a bonus to saving throws.
Really? There's nothing in the spell description that mentions that.
Sorcerers do not have a primary stat in the same way that other kits do,
I know that; it doesn't have anything to do with my question.
INT (only for the ability to use magical items).
How is that affected by Int? Are you talking about the bonus to Lore, or something else?
DEX and CON are paramount, all others as you please.
I'm not interested in what's "paramount" -- as I said, I want stats that fit my character concept, not just whatever scores are deemed "optimal", but I *do* want the scores to matter. I appreciate the information about spells, but none of what you said addresses my last two questions, which were:

- If I start with a Strength of 11, will I have an opportunity to raise it to 12 later on (so I can carry more), or would I better off dropping it to 10?

- If I start with Int or Wis at 14, will I have the opportunity to raise it to 15 so that it actually does some good?
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marees: How much coin are we talking about? (If you can remember.)
Seven thousand five hundred.

Really? There's nothing in the spell description that mentions that.
My mistake; I was thinking of another spell. Shield gives you complete protection from Magic Missile.

How is that affected by Int? Are you talking about the bonus to Lore, or something else?
You need minimum of 9 INT to use wands.

- If I start with a Strength of 11, will I have an opportunity to raise it to 12 later on (so I can carry more), or would I better off dropping it to 10?
Late game.

- If I start with Int or Wis at 14, will I have the opportunity to raise it to 15 so that it actually does some good?
Late game.
Thanks!

P.S. What's the spell that improves your saving throws?
Post edited May 02, 2015 by marees
I'm currently playing a Dragon Disciple in BG:EE, in Chapter 5 of 7.

1) Sleep is by far the best level 1 spell. Definitely pick it. If you happen to find a wand of sleep early (possible in chapter 1) you'll want to give it to another party member. Even boss monsters fell asleep.
Don't bother with blindness, Glitterdust is a party friendly mass blindness spell which even works on invisible creatures.

2) Shield. The armor spell gets totally useless when you find a robe or bracers which grant AC6 or better. There's an item which can cast the shield spell but I picked it nevertheless.

Be aware that items casting spells have limited charges and you have sell and rebuy those items to recharge, so each use costs quite some gold.

3) Sorcerers are instinct driven, their casting neither depends on intelligence nor wisdom. 9 int for being able to use scrolls and 3 wis are already perfect, more is useless.
Lore is useless for your character. Sorcerers only get +1 Lore per level, quickly outclassed by thieves (+3 per level), wizards and bards. Lore is only used for identifying items in inventory, which can also be done with the identify spell or by paying merchants.

18 cha is nice to have for cheaper shop prices, friendlier dialogue and better quest rewards. 18 instead of 17 cha does make a difference in the prologue already. Since 15 is the class minimum you might as well invest three points more.

Low strength is painful to play unless you love spending your time shuffling around inventory or leaving stuff behind. Even with the strongest NPC in the party I'm still glad I took 18. High strength also increases sling damage (you'll be using one a lot in the beginning when you have only few spells per day) and melee damage in case monsters get close.

Since you're playing a vulnerable class 18 dex for the +4 AC bonus and 16+ con for +2 HP/level helps a lot. Since you're a dragon disciple (+1 con at level 5) starting with 15 con will already yield the max HP bonus on the long run. If you start with 18 con you might be able to raise it to 20 and get HP regeneration (which is comfortable) during the game.

You're playing one character in a party of 6 so the overall difficulty won't change too much. But it's your decision if you want to play the vulnerable wimp hiding in the back or be able to stand your ground somewhat.

For most fun I would start with

str: 18
dex: 18
con: 18
int: 9
wis: 3
cha: 18

That's a roll of 84, with a roll of 92 you can even put both int and wis to 10 in case you have low number phobia.

For each stat you might find an item which raises it by 1 but you'll always have another party member which benefits as well.
Post edited May 02, 2015 by kmonster
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marees: P.S. What's the spell that improves your saving throws?
I was, for some unfathomable reason, thinking of the +3 save vs spells from Spirit Armour. If you're looking specifically for saving throw bonuses, try Luck.
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marees: So my question is, are there Str-boosting items easily available which would make it worthwhile to put starting Str at 11 with the intent of raising it to 12 later on, or would I be better off dropping it to 10 and putting the extra point somewhere else? Likewise, if I start with Int or Wis at 14, are there items available that would allow me to boost the score to 15? (Again, I'm not asking for spoilers on where to find these items, only how soon they're available, and whether there are enough of them to make it worthwhile using them on myself, or is it better to give them to NPC companions who would get more benefit from the increase?)
A sorceror doesn't need INT or WIS, and while you might normally want to raise them anyway if you were playing without a kit, the Dragon Disciple is clearly designed to take advantage of the fact that a sorceror can pump physical abilities at the expense of intellectual ones. I would go for high STR, DEX, and CON and play the character as a sort of fighter-mage, personally -- though I'm not entirely sure how well that would work out with the set of spells available in BG1. It's something I'm really interested in trying someday when I get EE.
By playing a Dragon Disciple you sacrife the fun of casting an extra spell per day and level for better AC and more hitpoints.
Since spells per day are more useful than attribute points creating a dragon disciple with low dex (bad AC) or low con (low HP) is pointless.
I think you need 18 Int to cast level 9 spells
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Skoobaba: I think you need 18 Int to cast level 9 spells
No. You are confusing the rule that prevents mages from *learning* level 9 spells, if they have less than 18 INT. There is even a way around this: drink a potion that ups INT score.
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Skoobaba: I think you need 18 Int to cast level 9 spells
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Hickory: No. You are confusing the rule that prevents mages from *learning* level 9 spells, if they have less than 18 INT. There is even a way around this: drink a potion that ups INT score.
You are correct. I remembered that bit wrong.
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marees: P.S. What's the spell that improves your saving throws?
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Hickory: I was, for some unfathomable reason, thinking of the +3 save vs spells from Spirit Armour. If you're looking specifically for saving throw bonuses, try Luck.
There is also Blur since it gives +1 to all saving throws.
This seems like a good thread to borrow :P

Have started a new game, and went with an Elf Sorcerer. Rolled 87, and was pleased with that as I was tired of rerolling.

str 10
dex 19
con 16
int 18
wis 14
cha 10

Reading above in this thread, looks like all those points in int and wis were wasted, but I thought I needed them despite being a sorcerer. Picked high wisdom also because I seem to remember you needed that to take good advantage of the limited wish spell.

This possible blunder aside (though I like the attributes from a roleplaying perspective), I chose Sleep and Magic Missile from the start. Maybe should have picked Armour or Shield instead? Think I can only have 5 level 1 spells, so which ones should I pick in addition to the already taken sleep and magic missile?

Shield?
Identify? Or let somebody else do that.
Protection from Evil?
Reflected Image?
Chromatic Orb (better with levels, isn't it? not used it before)? Something else? Find Familiar worth it? I happened to choose Chaotic Good, which I noticed afterwards could lead to a decent familiar.

I'm thinking Shield next - it wouldn't be useless due to high DEX, would it? Apart from magic missile protection.

Can sorcerers cast spells from scrolls? I would think so, which would be good whenever I can locate a Find Familiar scroll.
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Pangaea666: This seems like a good thread to borrow :P

Have started a new game, and went with an Elf Sorcerer. Rolled 87, and was pleased with that as I was tired of rerolling.

str 10
dex 19
con 16
int 18
wis 14
cha 10

Reading above in this thread, looks like all those points in int and wis were wasted, but I thought I needed them despite being a sorcerer. Picked high wisdom also because I seem to remember you needed that to take good advantage of the limited wish spell.

This possible blunder aside (though I like the attributes from a roleplaying perspective), I chose Sleep and Magic Missile from the start. Maybe should have picked Armour or Shield instead? Think I can only have 5 level 1 spells, so which ones should I pick in addition to the already taken sleep and magic missile?

Shield?
Identify? Or let somebody else do that.
Protection from Evil?
Reflected Image?
Chromatic Orb (better with levels, isn't it? not used it before)? Something else? Find Familiar worth it? I happened to choose Chaotic Good, which I noticed afterwards could lead to a decent familiar.

I'm thinking Shield next - it wouldn't be useless due to high DEX, would it? Apart from magic missile protection.

Can sorcerers cast spells from scrolls? I would think so, which would be good whenever I can locate a Find Familiar scroll.
I believe Armor and Shield stack with Dexterity in the Infinity Engine games (unlike in, say, Dungeon Hack). For a Sorcerer, I recommend Shield if you are going to take one of these spells; Sorcerers can recast it more easily.

Identify on a Sorcerer is a nice convenience, as it means you don't have to rest and change your spells just to identify something. It is not necessary, however.

Protection from Evil is better handled by Clerics, who get a long lasting area version.

Larloch's Minor Drain is a surprisingly good choice, as it gives 4 HP regardless and the effect can be stacked (unlike Vampiric Touch), plus it is ranged.

Spook is good at higher levels, but fear is one of the most annoying status ailments, regardless of whether it hits an ally or enemy. (I personally think the game would be better without that status ailment.)

Sorcerers can cast spells from scrolls if INT isn't too low. (I think the requirement is something like 10.)

To take full advantage of Limited Wish, you need to have 16 Wisdom; without it, you can't use it to regain low level spells. Taking full advantage of Wish requires 18 Wisdom, but by then you could just cast Project Image and have the image drink a Potion of Insight before casting Wish.