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I have recently gotten this game (and the throne of baal expansion) after hearing many good things about it. After looking through some of the faqs, i have decided to make a dual class kensai/mage (at level 13). I gave up on my previous character (elven archer) after a few hours of play as i got a little bored with him and wanted some magic.
The problem i have is that i am not too familiar with the stats and exactly how useful each one is, so i am confused as to exactly how to distribute the points. All I am certain about is that I want 18 int and high con and str values. My current plan looks something like:
Seeing as dex only affects a few ac points, I decided to take some off of that. Would wis or cha be a better stat to neglect?
thanks for the help.
For a kensage Wis and Cha are worthless. As soon as you get out of the dungeon go do the circus tent, you get the ring of human influence which sets cha to 18 anyway, and as far as Wis goes... only divine spellcasters and I think druids spells work off it. So go with an 18/XX (try for 18/00 or near 18/92-99 for the best bonuses) in Str and basicly set Dex Con and Int as high as possible (dex being the least needed). But you should be able to cap all of them or come close. But make sure at least Str and Int are at 18 for the real power.
And remember! Have fun.
Thanks for the advice.
But as for wis, i think i read somewhere that there are some nice spells that require 16 wis, so is it worth investing the extra points? Also, it affects saving throws, (and I'm not totally sure how important that is... ~.~).
I was also debating between doing this class and a conjurer mage, and can't really come to a decision (I often have this problem with rpgs). I know most of the differences between them, so i guess it really comes down to personal preference, but if anyone could offer me advice on that too, I would greatly appreciate it.
Bear in mind that your stats there total 91 which is quite hard to get for a human fighter. I would aim for 18 in each of str, dex, con and int and put whatever is left in the other two. You should also take a look at the tables in the manual regarding stats. You may notice for example that (unless you are a thief) there is no functional difference between 7 and 14 dex. Knowing these things can help you optimise your stat distribution. Wisdom is used in the Wish spells but you can chug one of the numerous Potions of Insight when you want to do this. I will also add that if you are with a party then dualing your kensai at 13 may lead to you finding the game duller than with your archer.
Wis is definitely useful for a kensage. 16 wis gets you the best Limited Wish results. I'm not sure if more than 16 is needed for Wish, but maybe.
Cha is next to useless thanks to the ring, and the fact that you almost never need more than one character with good Wis.
16 Str is fine. Once you get Str-boosting items it's pretty much irrelevant, but don't be too stingy here, because you'll be really shooting yourself in the foot before then.
More dex is nice but far from essential. More con will net you a few more hitpoints (18 con for 9 more hp, I think). Not too critical but it might save you once or twice.
Incidentally, divine casters do not need high wis. That is a big fat lie. High wis gets them a few bonus lowish-level spells. Yay. It's not useless, but essential either. For arcane casters, wis nets you some really amazing abilities via (limited) wish.
It's not a big fat lie then now is it? Because I meant it was only needed for divine spellcasters for more spells... And as our friend above states, the potions of insight can be used to overcome the wisdom loss. And yes, Dex gives you bonus AC so it's helpful for those not wearng armor like the kensai and the mage. (though the bracers of defense AC 3 makes the Dex bonus not that important... but that's later. And he should max out his Str because the Crom Faeyr and the other strength items should go to others, maybe a belt of storm giant strength for your main.
Also, dual at 9, it'll make things easier on you in the long run... And you'll still be a powerhouse.
A high Wis for divine casters isn't that big a deal in BG2, but it helps a bit at the beginning and in BG1 the advantages are massive.
I would also like to add that while there are eventually enough Str enhancing items for everyone I still like to have the PC with 18 str (unless he's a mage). Reason being is that NPCs need Str enhancing items too. For example if you have Keldorn and Valygar as your warriors then they could both really do with a belt at well. Although there are two Str enhancing items available early (not including Mauler's Arm because its not that good) there are other items I would prioritise buying before the Hill Giant Belt and the Planar Sphere may not be suitable for low levels.
Thanks for the replies guys. I guess it would be a good idea to take off a few from wis and cha then...
And what exactly do you mean by "if you are with a party then dualing your kensai at 13 may lead to you finding the game duller than with your archer. "? Would being a kensai for that long be worse than being an archer? Or do you mean will it be difficult to regain kensai abilities?
i think i read somewhere that there are some nice spells that require 16 wis, so is it worth investing the extra points? Also, it affects saving throws, (and I'm not totally sure how important that is... ~.~).
The only spell that requires a high Wisdom is the Wish spell, and like other posters have said there are tons of potions of insight (which set Wisdom to 18) which will work whenever you want to cast Wish. Truly though, a kensai/mage is better off using Timestop than Wish. (Although you can get a double length Timestop with Wish... but it is too random as to whether or not you get that particular wish or not.)
As for wisdom bonus to saving throws, that is supposed to happen according to PnP rules, but it was never implemented into BG. Wisdom does absolutely nothing for any class that is not a divine caster. There are a few wisdom related dialogues that only pop up with a high wisdom, but they are all non-essential flavor.
Seeing as dex only affects a few ac points, I decided to take some off of that.
Very bad idea taking points off Dexterity. AC is relatively hard to come by. Your three biggest sources of AC are armor, shield, and dexterity. (There are helms and rings of protection that add minor AC as well.) A kensai/mage is probably going to dual-wield, so you lose one of your biggest AC sources there (the shield) and if you lose out on dexterity you have lost two of your biggest AC sources. Very bad in my opinion. Dex does not effect only a few AC points like you said... and 18 dex gives you a +4 bonus to AC which is very significant especially in the early stages of the game. Dex is the one stat that should always be maximized in my opinion.
And what exactly do you mean by "if you are with a party then dualing your kensai at 13 may lead to you finding the game duller than with your archer. "?
The longer you wait to dual, it becomes exponentially longer for your second class to reach one level higher than your first class (which is when your first class is reactivated). If you wait until kensai 13 to dual, then you won't reach mage 14 until near the end of SoA if you are in a full size party. This means you will play the beginning 20% of SoA as a pure kensai, the next 70% of SoA as a pure mage, and then the last 10% of SoA as the uber kensai/mage.
The trade off is simply not worth it. If you play with a full size party, dual at kensai 9.