The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 7: Baldur's Gate (In Progress)

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

^Wait, I can pay to ID something?

#missingsomethingobviousyetagain

100 GP at any temple or merchant. Click the ? icon in the market UI.
Some mods change this so identification ability for an item becomes tied to the merchant's Lore value.

You cannot everywhere and not everyone will ID everything, but a lot of merchants will have a "?" icon at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will let you have them ID stuff for 100gp (can be lower based on party rep).

Feldpost's in Beregost does most non-weapon stuff and the "Thundersmithy" does weapon and armor in Beregost. Temples will ID some stuff as well. The temple in Nashkel does wands IIRC.

Armor vs. Shield: Armor lasts for 8 hours; Shield lasts for much less time but provides a greater AC benefit. So, you could use Armor when you enter a map and be confident that it will stay up for the whole time (unless you rest), but would probably want to use Shield in battle.

I've been using Identify a lot, mostly because as a low-level Fighter / Mage, it's better for me to wear armor than to get one or two spell slots, which would probably be used to cast Armor anyway.

On to chapter 6, left a lot of stuff in the city unfinished, decided to move on though.

Anybody know the optimal time to make Imoen Duel-Class? I have her at a level 5 thief at the moment, but nobody else has thieving skills. I'm not sure I want her to lose them while her mage skills level up.

Edit: Progress update. The Nashkel Mines are all cleared and other than finding a certain captain I seem to have completed most of chapter 2. I'm decked out in some fairly serious equipment now and up to level 4 mostly (Dynaheir lagging a bit)

Playing this game is like finding that really old pair of comfortable slippers in the bottom of a cupboard, putting them on and realising that despite how old they are, they are still the best damn pair of slippers you ever owned. Preferably before your dog gets to them.

Sorbicol wrote:

Anybody know the optimal time to make Imoen Duel-Class? I have her at a level 5 thief at the moment, but nobody else has thieving skills. I'm not sure I want her to lose them while her mage skills level up.

Edit: Progress update. The Nashkel Mines are all cleared and other than finding a certain captain I seem to have completed most of chapter 2. I'm decked out in some fairly serious equipment now and up to level 4 mostly (Dynaheir lagging a bit)

Playing this game is like finding that really old pair of comfortable slippers in the bottom of a cupboard, putting them on and realising that despite how old they are, they are still the best damn pair of slippers you ever owned. Preferably before your dog gets to them.

Nice work! I'm a bit behind you, as I haven't cleared most of the Chapter 2 side quests yet. I can never seem to understand the directions I get. "Mountains south-southwest of the Beregost"? I go where I think that means and there is nothing there. "Just to the west of Beregost"? Again, not where I thought it was. I figure I'll stumble onto things soon enough.

We were talking about Imoen earlier in this thread at one point, and I was reading about Imoen last night on a different forum too. The conversation I found last night said "after Level 6" because she'll still be able to reach Level 9 as a mage, and you'll have been able to get her pick locks and detect traps skills up high enough before converting her.

Nice description on the slippers!

I have a week trip coming up tomorrow, so I hope to be back at this on Friday evening.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Nice work! I'm a bit behind you, as I haven't cleared most of the Chapter 2 side quests yet. I can never seem to understand the directions I get. "Mountains south-southwest of the Beregost"? I go where I think that means and there is nothing there. "Just to the west of Beregost"? Again, not where I thought it was. I figure I'll stumble onto things soon enough.

Directions in this game are a bit moot to be honest, "North, South, East & West" are fairly evident, but another more complex direction might mean anything from "one down and two to the right" to "Three down and one to the left". It depends a little on what side you exit a map to get some areas to appear as well. Just keep exploring. You'll find who you are looking for eventually!

Sorbicol wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Nice work! I'm a bit behind you, as I haven't cleared most of the Chapter 2 side quests yet. I can never seem to understand the directions I get. "Mountains south-southwest of the Beregost"? I go where I think that means and there is nothing there. "Just to the west of Beregost"? Again, not where I thought it was. I figure I'll stumble onto things soon enough.

Directions in this game are a bit moot to be honest, "North, South, East & West" are fairly evident, but another more complex direction might mean anything from "one down and two to the right" to "Three down and one to the left". It depends a little on what side you exit a map to get some areas to appear as well. Just keep exploring. You'll find who you are looking for eventually!

Yep! I'll keep at it. There is another one that says "in the Cloakwood", but there are I think four areas named Cloakwood. And then every time I come back to the inn the guy is like, "Dude, you find my thing yet?" And I'm like, "Dude, I haven't even found your whole area yet. Chill."

Sorbicol wrote:

Playing this game is like finding that really old pair of comfortable slippers in the bottom of a cupboard, putting them on and realising that despite how old they are, they are still the best damn pair of slippers you ever owned. Preferably before your dog gets to them.

This is the second time the slippers metaphor has come up in this thread!

Baldur's Gate. The only game that keeps your feet warm as you play.

The wait until September, 24th, is like a hidden floor to Durlag's Tower.

Sorbicol wrote:

Anybody know the optimal time to make Imoen Duel-Class? I have her at a level 5 thief at the moment, but nobody else has thieving skills. I'm not sure I want her to lose them while her mage skills level up.

After reading a bunch, I saw a lot of debate on this one. Some advocated for level 5 (extra die for backstab) and some level 6 or even higher. I switched her at level 5 without another thief in the party, and there were points where it was a bit of a slog with traps. *But* I got her thief abilities back a lot sooner, which I think is a bit better than having to wait much later in the game. The caveat there was that even by the time I got her thief abilities back at level 6 mage, I discovered I hadn't invested enough in her detect traps skill for the late game, so without a perception potion for a boost, she still misses a lot of stuff unless I do a lot of standing around. I forget the distribution, but I think I had about 100 in pick locks (which has turned out great), but more like 75 in find traps.

I had to have Jaheira supplement Imoen's lack of find traps by having her use the cleric spell Find Traps. In Durlag's Tower my main (a fighter/cleric) also had one of those memorized. Otherwise there would have been so much standing around and random lightning. What was maddening was when I could find the traps but Imoen could not pick them :/ So I would say you want as much pick locks as you can get because there are alternatives to finding traps but none that I am aware of for actually dealing with them.

I'm slowly but surely slogging through the Nashkel mines. Right now I'm on the south side of the 3rd floor, have dealt with some spiders, and am closing in on the way down. I'm hoping to be done with the mines, and chapter 2, within the next day or two.

Dynaheir hit level 2! But my main character is still a few XP off level 2 as a fighter, and a few hundred more away from level 2 as a mage. I think once I clear the mines, I'm going to do some more exploring before pressing on with the story.

ubrakto wrote:

After reading a bunch, I saw a lot of debate on this one. Some advocated for level 5 (extra die for backstab) and some level 6 or even higher. I switched her at level 5 without another thief in the party, and there were points where it was a bit of a slog with traps. *But* I got her thief abilities back a lot sooner, which I think is a bit better than having to wait much later in the game. The caveat there was that even by the time I got her thief abilities back at level 6 mage, I discovered I hadn't invested enough in her detect traps skill for the late game, so without a perception potion for a boost, she still misses a lot of stuff unless I do a lot of standing around. I forget the distribution, but I think I had about 100 in pick locks (which has turned out great), but more like 75 in find traps.

I think might duel-class her now then before she gets too much more XP. There are some useful spells Dynaheir can’t use - (Sleep and a few others) that presumably Imoen will.

I primarily use Imoen as a backup archer to my main (who is lethal with a bow. I need to find a magic one soon though) however that does lead me to an extremely ‘noob’ question:

How do you get her to backstab?

I haven't used the backstab mechanic much in Baldur's Gate, but it looks like backstabs are limited to thief melee weapons.

LastSurprise wrote:

I haven't used the backstab mechanic much in Baldur's Gate, but it looks like backstabs are limited to thief melee weapons.

But including this bad boy.

A productive evening I'm going to regret tomorrow seeing as I probably should have been in bed an hour or so ago. The bandit camp has been cleared, Imoen is now a duel-class thief/mage (at level 6 -I was a bit far past to start at level 5) and I've basically been going around clearing up remaining quests and tackling some of the harder areas - The Sirens, The Basilisks (man I've forgotten what a pain the butt they were) and Ulcaster's school. I'm now rocking some serious gear (I got Dynaheir the archmage robes), but forgot what to specialise in really, I've been selling a lot of +1 weapons I'm not proficient in, and a couple of named ones too.

I'll carry on tiding up and getting Imoen leveled (currently at mage level 3, it didn't take long) and then head off to Cloakwood.

Wrapped up Nashkel Mines and everyone (Dorn, Kaghain, Garrion, Imoen) is either lvl 2 or 3. I had Edwin but he left the party due to us "taking too long" literally the moment we entered the Gnoll Keep map. Sigh.

Mark me down as finished, GB!

Got to the end last night. Took a few tries and a bit of kiting to beat that final encounter (even on standard difficulty), but I finally sent the big bad down to his just reward. (Party all finished at level 7 or 8. No one made 9.) Interesting that the EE takes you right into Siege of Dragonspear without having to do anything, which is a nice way to handle that.

I've said as much already, but this was a lot more fun to go back to than I expected. The following, at worst, are light spoilers, but I'm marking them as such just in case.

Spoiler:

It starts to feel a little too rushed once you get to Baldur's Gate proper, I think. I suspect I missed out on a fair bit of city stuff, because there's a conversation with the Flaming Fist that sends you immediately to Candlekeep. Once you do return to the city, the status quo has changed so much that I think you lose out on some things. Certainly, it's harder to just roam around, something I wished I'd remembered from my original playthrough way back when. Unfortunate, but not a deal-breaker. I'd just say to take your time when you reach the city and not rush off to the next part.

yeah, absolutely - that last point is worth mentioning outside a spoiler actually for those playing through for the first time...

To reiterate : when you get the option to return to Candlekeep, maybe consider that a soft "point of no return" because of how the story advances from there!

ubrakto wrote:
Spoiler:

It starts to feel a little too rushed once you get to Baldur's Gate proper, I think. I suspect I missed out on a fair bit of city stuff, because there's a conversation with the Flaming Fist that sends you immediately to Candlekeep. Once you do return to the city, the status quo has changed so much that I think you lose out on some things. Certainly, it's harder to just roam around, something I wished I'd remembered from my original playthrough way back when. Unfortunate, but not a deal-breaker. I'd just say to take your time when you reach the city and not rush off to the next part.

Spoiler:

I totally agree that the pace changes drastically, for the worse, once you get to Baldur's Gate. There's a lot to see and do there but it is all tucked away in a sprawling metropolis that the main story kind of drives you away from as well as hustles you through, since there is relatively few steps to the main plot in the city.

One thing I did was to not finish Chapter 5 by talking to the duke immediately after dealing with the Iron Throne. Instead I did a bunch of side stuff and even went out and finished some stuff in other areas outside the city.

Finishing Chapter 5 and Candlekeep, coming back t the city is just a pain trying to navigate around the city surface. The sewers are useful in that regard but don't go everywhere.

ubrakto wrote:

Mark me down as finished, GB!

Got to the end last night. Took a few tries and a bit of kiting to beat that final encounter (even on standard difficulty), but I finally sent the big bad down to his just reward. (Party all finished at level 7 or 8. No one made 9.) . . .

Congrats!

It's funny to hear you mention kiting. The one single strongest memory I have of my original Baldur's Gate playthrough is of the final fight. My main character was focused on archery, and I remember picking off all the end boss's minions, watching all my companions die, then chugging potions of speed and zipping across the boss chamber while I sniped away.

I think the first time I finished it I used a huge number of summon monster wands to keep a constant wall of monsters up between me and the enemy! (But then at some point they patched it to limit the number of monster spawns you could have at once. Boo!)

Yeah, my "winning" strategy (such as it was) involved splitting my party up on two sides at the back of the location, summoning a monster group (via wand) to the middle, and then activating the encounter with my PC (wearing the speed boots). It wasn't even entirely planned, but somehow I ended up peeling off just one of the mages and was able to deal with him before the rest of them came out to dance. Just that one little subtraction was enough to make the rest of the fight (barely) manageable. Wand of the Heavens is a handy item, btw.

But here's a thing, I just realized: I completely missed Ulgoth's Beard on the map, so there's a chunk of content there that I skipped over. Would be so nice if you could continue to explore the world after that fight, but oh well. I'll need to decide if I want to go do that and then repeat the last fight or just skip it. I know loot doesn't port into BG2, but it does port into Siege and I'm still short of the experience cap. . . decisions, decisions. Anyone know how much fun I'd be missing by not exploring that content?

Oh, a note for those who plan on going on to Siege:

Spoiler:

Imoen drops from your party before you get any control over anything. Not sure how long that lasts for, but if she's holding something you want to keep, better move it to another party member.

wrong thread! nm

pyxistyx wrote:

Boo!

Squeak!

Slow progress through cloakwood

Spoiler:

Spiders! Spiders everywhere!

I have no memory of this part of the game apparently, almost everything happening is a surprise. I'm just starting to turn over my first level 6 fighters (Kalid) so relatively happy with the progress so far.

In the end, Lemmy Kilmister and Imoen were standing, Sarevok was dust. Minsc, Dynaheir, Ajantis and Branwen will be remembered for their valiant sacrifice.

In other words, put this one in the finished column for me.

ubrakto wrote:

But here's a thing, I just realized: I completely missed Ulgoth's Beard on the map, so there's a chunk of content there that I skipped over. Would be so nice if you could continue to explore the world after that fight, but oh well. I'll need to decide if I want to go do that and then repeat the last fight or just skip it. I know loot doesn't port into BG2, but it does port into Siege and I'm still short of the experience cap. . . decisions, decisions. Anyone know how much fun I'd be missing by not exploring that content?

It ties in to three little side areas, An island off in the Sea of Swords, a mage-prison and the big one, Durlag's Tower, with the main quest for that starting and finishing here. If you don't plan on replaying it again any time soon then it's probably worth checking out right before the final boss fight. If you DO plan on replaying, then it's worth saving that for the next time I think.

Oh, a note for those who plan on going on to Siege:
Spoiler:

Imoen drops from your party before you get any control over anything. Not sure how long that lasts for, but if she's holding something you want to keep, better move it to another party member.

Post BG1, Imoen isn't a hirable NPC again until Shadows of Amn.

I think her items

Spoiler:

are in the chest in her room after the first area? Or maybe it is only your own