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I dont really know how, but someway my account got credited with this Geneforge series. I dont know how, but it happened.

Ive never played these games but they look a lot like Baldur's Gate and judging from the description, have party combat.

I was going to ask the big question I always ask when I get into a party based game. What is more powerful with regards to weapons?

Now usually I like to play games like this and go with melee if it works. If it doesn't work as well, I go ahead and go with ranged weapons, taking down enemies from a far. I want to know what is predominantly more powerful, melee or ranged weapons before I pick my class.
The melee classes are a little tougher to play as until you get to Servile.

I would say party combat with custom meatshields. Try to stay in the back and rely on spells and ranged weapons. The games are tough, and hit points are scarce.
Calling it like Baldur's Gate does not do the series justice. Don't expect pretty graphics and special effects, and you'll find yourself engrossed in a really cool fantasy sci-fi setting.