It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

I thought intelligence was the relevant ability score for Wizards... I started with 18 intelligence. My wizard can only cast 2 level 1 spells for some Did I make a mistake? I thought intelligence improved wizard powers, charisma was for sorcerers, and wisdom was for clerics. (Although if it's anything like Neverwinter Nights the clerics benefit some from charisma too..)

I seriously think the meager amount of melee damage he's done over his career so far may have outpaced his spellcasting damage, as sad as that is.

Why does he get so few spells per rest? it's ridiculous. I remember getting way more in NWN, which iirc is based on similar D&D system.

I know wizards in general tend to be pretty weak early in the game but this is getting kinda ridiculous. I half expect to end the game relying almost entirely on squadmates with this kind of damage output.
Post edited January 29, 2023 by temps
No posts in this topic were marked as the solution yet. If you can help, add your reply
Wizards in D&D are quite weak in the early game. According to the manual, Intelligence is important to mages for better success scribing scrolls, affects the maximum level spell they can scribe, and affects the maximum number of spells of a given level that can be scribed. It makes no mention of being able to memorize more spells as a result of higher Intelligence. Your complaint is insufficient memorization slots. Memorization slots will go up with character level. In my opinion, even the maximum number of memorization slots will leave you with insufficient capacity to cast as freely as you may expect from more combat focused games, such as Diablo.
This is precisely how it is in the Advanced Dungeons nad Dragons second edition, on which Baldur's Gate is based (NWN is based on D&D 3rd edition). Wizards start with 2 slots to memorize level 1 spells - in this system each spell counts (small hint for early game - Sleep spell is very powerful at the beginning) you're not meant to spam spells left and right, though with getting more levels your spell arsenal will widen. The very early part of your journey in BG is pretty brutal, especially for wizards. That's why getting a party of companions is crucial for survival and the game was designed with having a party in mind.
Post edited January 29, 2023 by Tuthrick
Or if you are starting a solo run, be sure that your wizard has additional skills to fall back on by giving him levels of other classes.
i mean its kinda ridiculous that my clerics in the party seem better at spellcasting than my pure wizard even though the wizard has a substantially higher intelligence score than the clerics wisdom lol

on the point about party being essential, yes, ive been looking for some of the more "tanky" squadmates but its a bit problematic because some of those (like Dorn) are evil and im a good-aligned wizard.

should I replace Jaheira and Khalid in the party with something else?

I've made it to Cloakwood bandits area so it's not like I'm stuck but it kinda sucks because I wanted to blast some guys with magic and this wizard is a bit of a dud despite really high intelligence

the character is pure wizard no multiclass, which makes his lack of spellcasting ability even more ridiculous
Tuthrick: This is precisely how it is in the Advanced Dungeons nad Dragons second edition, on which Baldur's Gate is based (NWN is based on D&D 3rd edition). Wizards start with 2 slots to memorize level 1 spells - in this system each spell counts (small hint for early game - Sleep spell is very powerful at the beginning) you're not meant to spam spells left and right,
Ok I'll try sleep out soon.
Post edited January 29, 2023 by temps
Yeah, in early editions of D&D (1st and 2nd Ed), Mages are really weak at early levels. The key is knowing which spells at which levels are the real potent gamechangers and making sure to play to your strength. For example, while you might be thrilled by the idea of shooting Magic Missiles at foes or roasting them with Burning Hands, the true king of 1st level spells for low-level play is Sleep (or Grease), which can instantly take out 1-4 enemies and turn that dangerous battle vs 6 Bandits into a cakewalk where your Fighters just charge and mow down the 2 Bandits that didn't fall to the spell, and then you just coup-de-grace the sleeping 4 bandits afterwards. Similar spells like Web, Horror, Stinking Cloud etc. pepper most of the spell levels.

Around 5th level is when you can really start turning your Mage into the traditional "spell blaster", because that's when you get access to dangerous AoE spells like Fireball, and your level is now high enough that single-target damage spells like Magic Missile are now potent attacks. As you get higher level to around 9th or 10th level, that's when you start getting the truly mighty spells in your arsenal like Cloudkill or Death spell (save or die spells are the hallmark of high level spell battles).
Post edited February 04, 2023 by Zaxares
The philosophy behind these older Bioware RPG's is not only that it is a party-based game, but basically everyone who isn't fighter ethos exists primarily to support your fighters. Pure thieves, clerics, and mages aren't good at fighting. Which is why the powergaming meta revolves around maximizing the number of fighter ethos in your party. You don't play a cleric, you play a fighter/cleric multiclass. Etc.

That is not to say people haven't soloed these games with all sorts of whacky combinations, just pointing out that it is kind of intentional the different classes are imbalanced when it comes to combat. Whether that is good game design or not, who knows.

I'm surprised haste isn't mentioned btw. Even at higher levels, your mage isn't best utilized as a damage dealer. One fireball does ok AoE damage, but casting haste on 2 or 3 warriors results in far more damage overall. Both in that fight, and any additional fights they take if haste is still active.

You are likely past that point already, but just to add Jaheira is fine. You'll want to equip her with the 18 DEX bracers if she is your primary tank, but she should be able to fill that role well enough. There is a large difference between 0 AC (which everyone gets) and -6 AC along with items which further reduce specific damage types (boots of avoidance +5 vs missile). Make sure you invest into her more than just equipping a basic plate armor.

I prefer Khalid as an archer. Archers are op in BG1 and he is a fighter so he can still switch out to a longsword for certain fights and still do well. Jaheira will never be a dps powerhouse, so leave the tanking to her.
AS MAmeluxen wrote, mages are mostly for support in BG1. On the other hand, in BG2 your mage can pretty much take over every single battle once you get to very high level spells (Lvl 7 and above). And you start feeling the opposite that warriors are underpowered.
AD&D is simply a different system than D&D3.

It does some things better than any successor, like dualclassing and multiclassing are huge fun.

Other things are ... odd.

Only reason I always give my sorcerers Cha 18 is because I give all my main characters Cha 18. The game just sort of expects you to have Cha 18 on your main character, and plays a lot differently (and inferior) if you dont. People give you less rewards, you get worse prices in the shop (though that actually maxes out with Cha 20, not 18), etc.
in BG1 and 2 its the cha of your party leader that matters talking or shop discounts not the main character... unless of course that person is also the party leader

as for the op, yes you do get extra spells for high Intel [just not at those low levels] and you also get a bonus to scripe spells if you are playing at a level of core or above
Why yes.

The character on top of the list is the one who gets the most XP.

So thats where my protagonist goes ... or rather: never leaves.

BG fully supports this, actually. There are two versions of the Zigzack formation, which is most of the time what I use: one with the leader in front, one with the leader in 4th position.

So when I play Paladin I'm in front, when I play Sorcerer I'm in 4th position.

Besides there is NO NPC in BG1 which has Charisma 18.

I mean you could pick up Ajantis and give him the upgrade from the Gnollhold, but thats kind of a waste. I'd rather raise my protagonist to to 19.
ussnorway: as for the op, yes you do get extra spells for high Intel [just not at those low levels]
As I read wiki: Intelligence, higher INT allows a mage to scribe a greater number of scrolls, but has no effect on the number of memorization slots available. (The phrasing is a bit confusing here, because it says "memorize per level", then turns around and says "this only applies when the spell is to be scribed.") The Wiki goes on to explicitly state that mages "do NOT gain more spellslots from higher Intelligence." Is the Wiki wrong on this point? The game manual "Adventurer's Guide" also seems to say this is only for scribing, not casting.
Geromino: The character on top of the list is the one who gets the most XP.
As I read wiki: Experience Tables, this is technically correct, but misleading. It states:
Experience rewards are by default divided as equally as possible amongst the party members. Any remaining experience is granted in party order.
Therefore, while the leader may get the most, it will only ever be as a result of remainder experience after the otherwise equal division.
Geromino: Besides there is NO NPC in BG1 which has Charisma 18.
True, but Imoen starts with 16, which is still quite good. She is very easy to recruit, and hard to lose.
No its not misleading. The character at the top of the list gets the most XP. What you write is a more detailed explanation but doesnt contradict what I said, instead confirms it. Also I was aware of these details already. Sorry if my explanation was apparently not detailed enough.

It gets even more complicated with multiclasses, because a double multiclass can only accept even XP rewards, and tripple multiclasses only XP rewards divisible by 3.


If you want details, yes technically Charisma 16 (as well as 17) is kind of supposed to be good on paper, but the game treats you a lot like you have average charisma if you dont have the absolute maximum possible, 18.

Pretty much like the game (or rather AD&D) treats you like you're basically average clumsy unless you have at least Dex 15, otherwise you get no bonus. And as if you have no strength unless you have at least Str 16, and even then the bonus is minimal compared to 18/xx.

In AD&D you usually want 18 or bust. For example a fighter with Str 17, Dex 17, Con 17 is far worse than a fighter with Str 18/xx, Dex 15, Con 18, even if by pointbuy thats the exact same number of points. Though that also depends a lot upon the xx in 18/xx, too. You want 18/91+ or ideally 18/00, really, but at very least 18/76+.

Well, except in some cases its different - non-warriors dont benefit from constitution scores above 16, for example. Unless they are shorties, then they at least get +5 on their respective saves from Con 18. But no extra hitpoints.

AD&D is horribly complicated.


So back to Charisma specifically.

Namely you want a reaction score of 15 from the start, which is considered the "friendly" reaction score.

Reaction score is 10 + charisma modifier + reputation modifier.

Charisma modifier is +1 for 13, +2 for 14, +3 for 15, +4 for 16, +5 for 18, +8 for 19, +9 for 20, and another +1 for every additional point until the maximum of +14 for 25. Also -1 for 9, -2 for 8, -4 for 7, and another -1 for every additional point less, until a minimum of -8 for 3 and -10 for 1 (Dwarves only, and only the EEs actually allow to lower Dwarf charisma to 1. Dont ask why, I have no clue, the original AD&D rules as far as I'm aware definitely always allowed Charisma 1 for Dwarves).

Reputation modifier differs between the originals and the EEs. In the originals you get -1 for 8, which is why you wouldnt want to start as chaotic evil in the originals. Again the game treats you like you wouldnt have any charisma at all. The EEs lowered the penalty for low reputation by one step, so picking chaotic evil is fine now.

Positive reputation modifiers start at +1 for 14, then +2 for 16, +3 for 18, +4 for 20. So even with reputation 20 you still would need Charisma 13 to actually archieve positive reaction scores.

OTOH the highest negative you can get in the EEs from reputation is -7, which you can compensate with the +12 from Charisma 23. Which is kind of funny. The originals gave -20 for reputation 1.


How you personally play is obviously your perogative, but I prefer having Charisma 18 on my protagonists.
1 the wiki is correct [more or less] and as long as you have at least intel 9 you can use magic items which is important for scrolls or wands reguardless of class

2 scribe or cast "arcane spells" from a scroll is a mage skill so a mage with scrolls could keep casting any number, there are also bonus slots from specially, spell triggers and contingency which add to the number of spells possible to cast but the point of having high intel is to "know" more spells since you can only put a spell you "know" into these triggers and contingency slots

clerics, sorcerers, Druids can only cast from a scroll but not learn it and all classes can only use a scroll of their allowed type so Edwin still can't learn identitfy because that spell is not allowed by his class

Bard & sharman have special rules in EE so it matters which build you play for them

learning scrolls is a % chance that changes with the selected game diff-level so if you play on core or above your chance to waist the scroll is higher