I just picked up Garrick for my party, filling a 5th slot (still early in the game, my first playthrough). Ugarte (me, Thief) Imoen (Thief/Mage) Khalid (Fighter) Jaheira (Fighter/Druid) Garrick (Bard)
I've played through BGII and have first-hand experience using Jaheira, Imoen, and Ugarte (actually re-making my thief from BGII). Khalid, no gimmicks there, just a fighter. Bit confused on how Garrick works. Ok, so he has good *lore* for identifying and can also pickpocket. Can't cast any arcane spells right now, but since his spell book is *open* I suppose he learns them later. I haven't got a clue as to what the battle song does, though. I see it is a buff for my party, but what is it actually doing? Also, it seems like when I tell him to play it, he stops and begins shooting enemies with his crossbow again. Frustrating.
If you give him an AI script that tells him to attack enemies on sight, he'll keep cancelling his song to attack them. I get the same problem with thieves searching for traps; best solution is to disable AI for a bit and manually control your chars until you're done with the bard song.
His song, AFAIK, improves saving throws or something, but at least is better in BG for overriding fear/horror, so he might see some use against enemy mages (or at least Tarnesh or something, though you're already past him). I usually treat bards in BG like ghetto fighter/mages; some extra mage spells can be useful, when you start getting them. Plus he's slightly hardier and has better combat ability than a regular mage (however little), which can be useful in the low level game. --- Is that it is snowing only this paradise? The paradise was already Alice's playground.
Garrick should start with arcane open right away, shouldn't he? You're probably equipping him with armor, and preventing him from being able to cast. You can only cast with Mage Robe, or Elven Chain (BG2, lategame only). If he has even leather on, he can't cast.
^^ They aren't THAT bad, haha. Give him a good bow or crossbow and stock him up on disabling spells. That way your main Mage can spam damaging spells.
OR make him cast defensive spells and give him a good 2hander. Halberd +1/+2 are good choices, and the +1 version is easy to get early on. --- Currently Playing - Baldur's Gate, Solo Half-Elf Avenger Trawl - 80 Undead Warrior, Meriph - 80 Human Paladin; Moon Guard
Bards are one of the easier classes to solo with, IMO. They can cast a bunch of defensive spells, melee pretty well, and use wands. Most of your offensive spell damage will come from wands, and your spell book will be filled with stuff like Shield, Ghost Armor variants and Mirror Image.
--- Currently Playing - Baldur's Gate, Solo Half-Elf Avenger Trawl - 80 Undead Warrior, Meriph - 80 Human Paladin; Moon Guard