===============================================================================
             C h r i s    L e e ' s

B a l d u r ' s    G a t e    P a r t y    C r e a t i o n    F A Q

         E n h a n c e d    E d i t i o n                                 v1.17
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
The officially latest (as well as latest, official) version of this FAQ/Guide
can be found at www.gamefaqs.com.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Table of Contents                                                            !-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To navigate to the different sections, simply use the shortcut key sequence to
the right of each section/subsection in whatever "find" mechanism you're using
in your browser or text editor.  Section references later on in the text ignore
the '!' so that you don't end up jumping to the middle of a random paragraph,
so always be sure you start with a '!' when jumping around.

The pattern behind shortcut key sequence is simple:  the first three letters
(more, if necessary to be unambiguous) of each related section, separated by
commas, beginning with a ! and ending with -.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes on BG Enhanced Edition    !not-

Introduction    !int-

Races       !rac-
    Human       !rac,hum-
    Half-elf    !rac,halfe-
    Elf         !rac,elf-
    Dwarf       !rac,dwa-
    Gnome       !rac,gno-
    Halfling    !rac,halfl-
    Half-orc    !rac,halfo-

Single Classed Options  !sin-
    Fighter                 !sin,fig-
        Berserker               !sin,fig,ber-
        Wizard Slayer           !sin,fig,wiz-
        Kensai                  !sin,fig,ken-
        Dwarven Defender        !sin,fig,dwa-
    Ranger                  !sin,ran-
        Archer                  !sin,ran,arc-
        Stalker                 !sin,ran,sta-
        Beast Master            !sin,ran,bea-
    Paladin                 !sin,pal-
        Cavalier                !sin,pal,cav-
        Inquisitor              !sin,pal,inq-
        Undead Hunter           !sin,pal,und-
    Cleric                  !sin,cle-
        Priest of Talos         !sin,cle,tal-
        Priest of Helm          !sin,cle,hel-
        Priest of Lathander     !sin,cle,lat-
    Druid                   !sin,dru-
        Totemic Druid           !sin,dru,tot-
        Shapeshifter            !sin,dru,sha-
        Avenger                 !sin,dru,ave-
    Thief                   !sin,thi-
        Assassin                !sin,thi,ass-
        Bounty Hunter           !sin,thi,bou-
        Swashbuckler            !sin,thi,swa-
        Shadowdancer            !sin,thi,sha-
    Bard                    !sin,bard-
        Blade                   !sin,bard,bla-
        Jester                  !sin,bard,jes-
        Skald                   !sin,bard,ska-
    Mage                    !sin,mag-
        Wild Mage               !sin,mag,wil-
    Sorcerer                !sin,sor-
        Dragon Disciple         !sin,sor,dra-
    Monk                    !sin,mon-
        Dark Moon Monk          !sin,mon,dar-
        Sun Soul Monk           !sin,mon,sun-
    Barbarian               !sin,barb-

Multi/Dual-Classed Options  !mul-

Black Pits Addendum     !bla-

NPCs                    !npc-
    Good-Aligned NPCs       !npc,goo-
    Neutral-Aligned NPCs    !npc,neu-
    Evil-Aligned NPCs       !npc,evi-

Arcane Spells       !arc-
    First Level         !arc,fir-
    Second Level        !arc,sec-
    Third Level         !arc,thi-
    Fourth Level        !arc,fou-
    Fifth Level         !arc,fif-

Divine Spells       !div-
    First Level         !div,fir-
    Second Level        !div,sec-
    Third Level         !div,thi-
    Fourth Level        !div,fou-
    Fifth Level         !div,fif-
    Sixth Level         !div,six-

Familiars      !fam-

Spirit Animals      !spi-

General Pointers    !gen-
    Issues/Notes        !gen,iss-
    Enemies             !gen,ene-
    Party Harmony       !gen,par-
    Charts/Tables       !gen,cha-

Appendix            !app-
    Special Thanks      !app,spe-
    History             !app,his-
    All Works           !app,all-
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Notes on BG Enhanced Edition                                              !not-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I never thought it would happen.  Baldur's Gate - repackaged with new content
on modern platforms.  I personally use an iPad to play this (which may date
this guide ten years from now), and it's delightful to use touch navigation to
control characters I've been been playing with since the 90s.

BGEE (as it shall be known) is several things:
        - Baldur's Gate plus its expansion Tales of the Sword Coast.
        - Repackaged (using BGTutu) into the Baldur's Gate 2 engine.
        - A series of various tweaks and mods to fix outstanding bugs.
        - New content and characters, including items.
As such, it's a fundamentally different beast in many ways from Baldur's Gate.
So, if you compare this to my vanilla Baldur's Gate Party Creation FAQ, you may
find a lot of similar structure and similar text, but there have been many
revisions and editions, as befitting BGEE.

And yes, if you've seen my other Party Creation FAQ (for vanilla BG/ToTSC), a
lot of my gripes about ToTSC/BGTutu still stand.  But BGEE is the best way to
play Baldur's Gate now and it's so different now that really it's not the same
game anymore, so some of my gripes aren't as relevant.

As of this writing, BGEE is still a bit buggy.  Beamdog has been working hard
to fix these issues, but where necessary I will make mentions of critical bugs
that impact certain ratings or analyses.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Introduction                                                              !int-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you're new to Baldur's Gate and are looking for a walk- through, don't use
this.  Use DSimpson's guide or google for dudleyville Baldur's Gate (which is
an excellent per-area guide).  This is about how to build a party, how to best
use spells, etc.

Also, if you're new, be careful to note whether you're reading my "Baldur's
Gate Party Creation FAQ" or my "Baldur's Gate Party Creation FAQ:  Enhanced
Edition."  This guide is for the Enhanced Edition.  Otherwise, you may get very
confused very quickly as to why I'm talking about things that don't exist.

You'll also note that I spent a lot more time in this version making
comparisons to BG2.  I do that to help contextualize a lot of the discussion,
because a lot of the changes in BGEE are because Beamdog effectively recreated
BG using BG2's game system.  So, some decisions that made sense in BG2 don't
make as much sense in BG/EE.

Lastly, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, don't hesitate to
get in touch.  I try to be responsive to emails (as anyone who has emailed me
about my much older other guides can attest), but no guarantees.  Simply pop
me an email with the subject beginning "BG Guide: " to:
    s___i_m___u_l__c_r_a@uchicago.edu
WITHOUT the underscores (that's just to prevent auto-parsers for grabbing my
email for spam purposes).
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Races                                                                     !rac-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All races are considered from the perspective of what your PC (player
character) should be.  It matters less for NPCs since their stats are already
set in stone.  Though for NPCs (non-player characters), being a Human with the
right stats is a plus since it enables dual-classing.

Rating scale:
    4/4 - Amazing.  Almost no drawbacks, you can't go wrong here.
    3/4 - Good, not perfect.  More drawbacks but not shabby if you don't want
        to be a cookie-cutter.
    2/4 - Some problem or is a specialty choice.  May be handy if you want to
        try something different, but you'll run into more difficulties.
    1/4 - Avoid.  Either AD&D or Bioware had some implementation problems that
        severely cripples this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Human                                                                 !rac,hum-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Available Classes:  All (except Dwarven Defender)
Special:  dual-classing

Humans are the best all-around race in the game.  They can play any class in
the game (well except for Dwarven Defender which was introduced in build 2014),
and they can also dual-class, which is way better than multi-classing could
ever be.  Simply put, the only area where they don't excel is in being a bard,
barbarian, or sorcerer; other races can be those classes and since you can't
dual-class them anyway, you might as well be another race.

Note also that with the availability of kits, humans become even more amazing.
You can dual-class from a kit into a standard class, not vice versa, but the
fact that you can combine a kit with any class is far better than any other
race.  For example, no other race can do the fabled Kensai/Mage multi-class.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Half-Elf                                                            !rac,halfe-

Overall Rating:  1/4
Available Classes:  All single classes except Paladin, Monk, and the following
    Specialist Mages:  Abjurer, Illusionist, Invoker, and Necromancer.
Multi-Class Combinations:  All except Cleric/Thief.
Special:  30% resistance against charm/sleep effects and infravision.

The only reason to be a half-elf is to be a Bard or if you really, really want
to be certain multi-class combinations (especially the triple-class options).
Infravision is pointless otherwise, and enemy sleep effects are so rare as to
be pointless.  Half-elves do get better pick-pocket though than humans.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elf                                                                   !rac,elf-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  Fighter, Ranger, Cleric, Thief, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Mage,
    and the following Specialist Mages:  Diviner and Enchanter.
Multi-Class Combinations:  Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Mage, Mage/Thief, and
    Fighter/Mage/Thief.
Special:  +1 dexterity, -1 constitution; +1 THAC0 swords and bows; 90%
    resistance against charm/sleep effects; and infravision.

Great for ranged choices (thanks to the +dex and +THAC0).  Also makes for
a great thieving race (comparable to halfling for best) thanks to both a
possible 19 dexterity and beneficial thieving skill treatment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dwarf                                                                 !rac,dwa-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Available Classes:  Fighter, Dwarven Defender, Cleric, Thief, and Barbarian.
Multi-Class Combinations:  Fighter/Thief or Fighter/Cleric.
Special:  +1 constitution, -1 dexterity, -2 charisma; special saving throw
    bonuses; +2 bonus for Save vs Rod/Staff/Wand and Save vs Spell; and
    infravision.

Only use a dwarf if you're making a fighter type (or want to play as a Dwarven
Defender) so you can benefit fully from a potential 19 constitution.  In
addition to giving you a copious amount of extra health per level, one Manual
of Bodily Health will put you into auto- regeneration territory, which
basically means you never have to worry about healing this character before
rest or before travelling.

Dwarves benefit from what playithardcore designates as 'shorty' saving throw
bonuses (see tables in section gen,cha-).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gnome                                                                 !rac,gno-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  Fighter, Cleric, Illusionist (no normal Mage), Thief, and
    Barbarian.
Multi-Class Combinations:   Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Illusionist/Thief,
    Fighter/Illusionist, Cleric/Illusionist, and Cleric/Thief.
Special:  +1 intelligence, -1 wisdom; special saving throw bonuses; +2 bonus
    for Save vs Rod/Staff/Wand and Save vs Spell; and infravision.

A perfect candidate for a mage class.  Gnomes are forced into being
illusionists, which limits single-class choice, but gives gnomes an amazing
edge for multi-classing.  Bonus to intelligence means gnomes potentially never
have to worry about not memorizing a spell, but the penalty to wisdom means
that you should never roll a gnome priest.

Gnomes benefit from what playithardcore designates as 'shorty' saving throw
bonuses (see tables in section gen,cha-).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halfling                                                            !rac,halfl-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  Fighter, Cleric, Thief, and Barbarian.
Multi-Class Combinations:  Fighter/Thief.
Special:  +1 dexterity, -1 strength, -1 wisdom; +1 THAC0 with slings; +2 bonus
    for Save vs Paralyze/Poison/Death, Save vs Rod/Staff/Wand, and Save vs
    Spell; and infravision.

A perfect candidate for a thief class.  A thief doesn't really need 18 strength,
and not only can halflings get 19 dexterity, but they also get favorable
treatment for thief skills.  Despite the fact that they can be clerics or
fighters, please never roll one since they get screwed out of an essential stat
for either.

Halflings benefit from what playithardcore designats as 'shorty' saving throw
bonuses (see tables in section gen,cha-).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Half-orc                                                            !rac,halfo-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Available Classes:  Fighter, Cleric, Thief, and Barbarian.
Multi-Class Combinations:  Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, and Cleric/Thief.
Special:  +1 strength, +1 constitution, -2 intelligence

In many ways better suited for fighter-types than Dwarves are; Half-orcs get
the constitution bonus _and_ a strength bonus.  Dwarves still get many shorty
saving throw bonuses that Half-orcs don't get, so ultimately it boils down to
what you think is more important.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Single Classed Options                                                    !sin-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most classes are considered from the perspective of what your PC (player
character) should be.  This is because for NPCs I rate them holistically as a
combination of other factors (race, stats, alignment, specials) and not just
their class, though generally a class with a high score here means that an NPC
of that class will have a higher score, too.

I also list "prime stats" because these are the stats that are relevant for
human dual-classing.  To dual-class you need at least a 15 in the prime stat(s)
of your starting class, and at least a 17 in the prime stat(s) of your target
class.  Note that some classes have multiple prime stats; you need to have
15/17 in all of them.

Rating scale:
    4/4 - Amazing.  Almost no drawbacks, you can't go wrong here.
    3/4 - Good, not perfect.  More drawbacks but not shabby if you don't want
        to be a cookie-cutter.
    2/4 - Some problem or is a specialty choice.  May be handy if you want to
        try something different, but you'll run into more difficulties.
    1/4 - Avoid.  AD&D, Bioware, or Beamdog had some implementation problems
        that severely cripples this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter                                                               !sin,fig-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Prime Stat:  Strength

If you don't know what to create, you can't go wrong with rolling a fighter.
Able to wear all armor and use all weapons, this guy is tough as nails.  Plus,
while other versions of the Infinite Engine would irrevocably nerf advanced
weapon specialization, BGEE maintains the power level of Advanced Weapon
Specialization.  You'll only be able to get up to five proficiency points in a
weapon AND a weapon style _only_ if you single-mindedly invest in a specific
weapon, but it's so brutally powerful as to be worth it.

Plus, Fighters have a faster experience progression than Rangers or Paladins,
so they'll always have an edge when it comes to health or THAC0.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Berserker                                                         !sin,fig,ber-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Kit Changes:
    + "Rage" once/day per 4 levels (starts with one use at level 1):
        For 10 rounds (60 seconds), +2 to hit/damage, -2 AC bonus, immune to
            charm, confusion, fear, feeblemind, hold, imprisonment, level
            drain, maze stun, sleep, and +15 bonus health (which are taken away
            as damage when the Rage wears off).
        After Rage wears off, -2 to hit/damage, +2 AC penalty.
    - No more than one proficiency point in ranged weapons

Rage is not as powerful an effect as in BG2 (where you could go and take on
Kangaxx the Demilich pretty much from the start), but it's still pretty good.
I mean, it's effectively the same ability that Minsc gets for free once/day, so
it's nice.  Even though you have to give up ranged weapons, so long as you
aren't trying to build a Berserker Archer, you're fine.

Basically:  Berserker is great, but not so great as to be get a rating of 4/4.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wizard Slayer                                                     !sin,fig,wiz-

Overall Rating:  1/4
Kit Changes:
    + Each melee hit adds 10% (cumulative, additive) spell cast failure on
    target.
    + 1% Magic Resistance per level.
    - Cannot use magic items other than weapons and armor.

Alas, mage fights are nowhere near as brutal in BGEE as they are in BG2, so
being so anti-magic is not that great of a perk.  Plus, at such low levels the
1% Magic Resistance per level is barely noticeable.  Finally, because BGEE is
such low level combat, you _really_ need those extra magic items to help get
your combat skills to feasible levels.  Weapon and armor alone just don't cut
it, especially given how much slower you accumulate them in BGEE vs BG2.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kensai                                                            !sin,fig,ken-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + -2 AC bonus.
    + +1 to hit/damage every 3 levels.
    + -1 to Speed Factor every 4 levels.
    + "Kai" once/day per 4 levels (you do not start with any uses):
        All attacks in the next 10 seconds do maximum damage.
    - Cannot wear armor.
    - Cannot use missile weapons.
    - Cannot wear gauntlets or bracers.

The absolute worst part of this class is that you basically don't get any
benefit until level 3.  Until then, you're basically a naked Fighter who can
occasionally use an OK ability (and it's not that great because your THAC0
isn't noticably better than a mage anyway at such low levels).  By the end of
the game, you'll be noticeably better, but the lack of armor, bracers, and a
distinct lack of Shield Amulets (compared to BG2) will make it hard going.  Not
as bad as a Wizard Slayer, though.

On the other hand, if you are planning on dual-classing a Kensai into a
Kensai/Mage, then by god, this class becomes great.  You won't be able to wear
armor anyway, you'll have a -2 AC bonus to start, you'll do more damage, and
you'll also have spells to back you up in your defense (read:  Mirror Image).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dwarven Defender                                                  !sin,fig,dwa-

Overall Rating: 4/4
Kit Changes:
    + Use d12 hit die instead of d10.
    + "Defensive Stance" once/day per 4 levels (start with one use at level 1):
        For 1 turn (10 rounds), gain +50% resistance to physical damage, +2
        bonus to saving throws, but move at 50% normal rate.
    + 5% resistance to crushing, slashing, piercing, and missile damage every 5
    levels (starting with 5% at level 5).
    - Can only be a Dwarf.
    - Can only get High Mastery (four points) in Axes and War Hammer.
    - Can only get Specialization (two points) everywhere else.

Obviously, you make this guy with a 19 Constitution since you're a dwarf.  That
means bucketloads of health.  Combined with "Defensive Stance" (tied with the
Blade's "Defensive Spin" as the best defensive skill in the game, maybe even
better since "Defensive Stance" *still lets you move*), this guy can go toe to
toe with virtually any hard-hitting boss in the game.

The restrictions aren't actually that bad because there are enough decent
magical Axes and War Hammers such that you won't really miss being able to
effectively use anything else.  Plus, it'll be a _long_ time before you'll be
able to get that fifth proficiency point, and by then, you'll have so much
extra health and potential damage resistance that you probably won't miss Grand
Mastery that much.

In short, a much hardier early game than the vanilla Fighter warrants a solid
boost to 4/4, even if you do end up missing out on potential Dual Class or
Multi-Class possibilities.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ranger                                                                !sin,ran-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Prime Stat:  Constitution

I give the Ranger an extra 1 point over my vanilla BG rating of 1/4 because
the Ranger gets two free specialization points in Two-Weapon Style.  This
basically makes up for the fact that they are otherwise gimped fighters since
two free specialization points is _dramatic_ in BGEE, since you are at low
enough levels but have many more categories of weapons to worry about.  But of
course, two free points in Two-Weapon Style doesn't help you if you want to do
a different weapon style.

And the costs are still the same as in BG:  you give up the Advanced Weapon
Specialization and faster experience progression of a Fighter for Stealth (no
backstab though), Racial Enemy (+4 to hit and damage against an enemy type but
-4 to reaction), and periodic uses of Charm Animal (once per two levels per
day, rounding up).

Charm Animal isn't that great past the early game (when Bears and Wolves can
terrorize you).  Stealth is good for scouting _but_ requires you to be wearing
studded leather armor or less.  That's very bad, and you don't even get to
backstab to boot!  Racial Enemy can be potentially very good if you pick a
decent enemy; the consensus is that Spiders are probably the best choice,
though there are also some harder Hobgoblins later on in the game and are
pretty prevalent, too.  But do you really want to give up on a potential for an
additional +2 to hit and +1 to damage (from 4 points of weapon proficiency)
against _all_ enemies (including tough bosses) to get a situational +4 to
hit/damage against an enemy type that you'll probably be able to eventually
ravage anyway?

WARNING - going too low in reputation will strip you of ranger abilities and
turn you into a lame fighter.  This does _not_ apply to NPCs.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Archer                                                            !sin,ran,arc-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + +1 to hit/damage with missile weapons every 3 levels.
    + Can put five proficiency points in Longbows, Shortbows, and Crossbows.
    + "Called Shot" once/day every 4 levels (you do not start with any uses):
        All successful ranged attacks within the next 10 seconds have the
        following cumulative effects based on the level of the Archer:
            4th level (initial): -1 penalty to target's THAC0
            8th level: -1 penalty to target's Saving Throw vs Spell.
            (Other levels are unattainable in BGEE.)
    - Cannot wear metal armor (splint, etc).  Note that Ankheg Armor does not
    count as "metal armor" (as of build 2012).
    - Can only put one proficiency point into melee weapons.

An absolutely brutal kit.  Basically like a Kensai for ranged attacks, except
you can still wear some armor (in fact, Ankheg Armor basically lets you
circumvent the penalty). Plus, being really good at ranged attacks negates
defensive penalties anyway since you'll be slaughtering enemies from afar.
Also, by being able to attain Grandmastery in ranged weapons, you remove one of
the downsides of being a Ranger instead of a Fighter.  Sure you can't use melee
very well (thus cancelling out the effectiveness of two free points in
Two-Weapon Style), but ranged weapons are still king in BGEE.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Stalker                                                           !sin,ran,sta-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + +20% to Move Silently and Hide in Shadows.
    + Can backstab at 2x damage (other levels are unattainable in BGEE).
    = (Extra spells are unattainable in BGEE).
    - Cannot wear armor heavier than studded leather.

Basically you become a weirdly crappy backstabbing Thief.  Even if you'd have
better THAC0 and health, a Thief will get a better Backstab multiplier.  Most
of the perks of being a Stalker don't kick in at the lower level cap of BGEE
versus BG2, so... yeah.  At best you're still a half-decent fighter.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Beast Master                                                      !sin,ran,bea-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + Start with "Find Familiar" as a special ability, once/day (though you
    only really need to cast it once).
    + +15% to Move Silently and Hide in Shadows.
    + At 8th level, may cast Animal Summoning I as a first level spell.  (Other
    level perks are unattainable in BGEE.)
    - Cannot use metal weapons.
    - Cannot wear armor heavier than studded leather.

Most of the abilities don't matter for BGEE, and it'll be _very_ late in the
game before you get your first truly good ability (Animal Summoning I).

However, the boost that the Beastmaster gets comes from having a Familiar.
Alas, ever since the familiar nerf in build 2014, this is no longer much more
than a health boost, regardless of your alignment.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paladin                                                               !sin,pal-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Prime Stat:  n/a

Awesome.  Gives up the Advanced Weapon Specialization and faster experience
progression of a Fighter in exchange for a nice set of abilities:  Lay on
Hands, virtually at-will Protection From Evils (well, once per level per day),
Turn Undead (at two levels less than the Cleric), and a +2 class bonus to all
saves.

Lay on Hands is really good, and starting at level 2 or so becomes the best
heal you can cast - even if a bit weaker to similar-level priest heals, it has
a casting time of 1, making it amazing for emergency heals and for ensuring
that you don't face any interruptions.

Turn Undead isn't as great as on the Cleric - pretty much the best part of
Turn Undead is being able to instantly wipe out or dominate all the undead,
and the Paladin will be so much less effective than the Cleric that you'll
never really reach this point.

On the whole, the only downside to rolling a Paladin instead of a Fighter is
if you want to play an evil character (but now you have the Blackguard kit) or
if you ever plan on dual-classing or multi-classing.  The Paladin doesn't do
quite as much damage as a Fighter, but definitely makes up for it in hardiness
and utility.

Note:  compared to my vanilla BG guide, I've downgraded the Paladin from a 4/4
to a 3/4.  That's because the kits are just so much better that the relative
quality of a Paladin is not that much significantly greater than a Fighter, and
is probably comparable to a Barbarian or Berserker kit.  In addition, the
Paladin's "Detect Evil" ability uses the BG2 version, not the BG version, which
means that instead of doing a map-wide reveal of what evil enemies await you
(handy for detecting respawns or preparing spells), all it does is highlight
evil enemies within the Paladin's visual range, thus making it a lot worse.

WARNING - going too low in reputation will strip you of paladin abilities and
turn you into a lame fighter.  This does not apply to NPCs.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cavalier                                                          !sin,pal,cav-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + +3 to hit/damage against fiendish/draconic creatures (very rare).
    + Can cast Remove Fear once/day/level.
    + Immune to charm, fear, poison, and morale failure.
    + 20% resistance to fire and acid.
    - Cannot use missile weapons.

The vanilla Paladin is amazing.  This kit is an even better Paladin with
virtually no downside.  Sure you can't use missile weapons, but two of four of
the advantages of this kit are _absolutely amazing_ in BGEE:  Remove Fear
basically at will and immunity to charm, fear, and poison (all of which are
both deadly and prominent in BGEE).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Inquisitor                                                        !sin,pal,inq-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + Dispel Magic once/day per 4 levels (start with one use at level 1),
    except cast it with Speed 1 (like Magic Missile) and using twice the
    Inquisitor's level).
    + True Sight once/day per 4 levels (start with one use at level 1).
    + Immune to hold and charm.
    - Cannot Turn Undead.
    - No Lay on Hands.
    - No priest spells (only matters at very high levels).

Absolutely brutal in BG2, but the lack of aggressive mage fights means that
losing Lay on Hands (one of the best heals in BGEE) in exchange for two very
situational abilities is pretty bad.  Fortunately, immunity to hold and charm
is very good, and you still can never go wrong with free Dispel Magic, all of
which bumps the Inquisitor up from a vanilla Paladin to a 4/4.

(Note that if you want the Inquisitor just for the Dispel Magic, you can pick
up Yeslick instead who has a Dispel Magic that _always_ succeeds i.e. he uses
the vanilla BG version instead of the BG2 version of Dispel.)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Undead Hunter                                                     !sin,pal,und-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + +3 to hit/damage against Undead.
    + Immune to hold and level drain.
    - No Lay on Hands.

Undead aren't as devastating as in BG2 (think Liches and Vampires galore), so
having that combat bonus against them isn't as nice.  Level drain is also
really not around BGEE at all (save for a couple fights in Durlag's Tower), so
you basically just have immunity to hold there, which is nonetheless supremely
useful against Undead (surprise) and Carrion Crawlers, amongst others.  Bottom
line: still a solid Paladin-type, just a bit more specialized.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Blackguard                                                        !sin,pal,bla-

Overall Rating:  5/4 (!!)
Kit Changes:
    + Immune to level drain and fear.
    + Rebuke Undead instead of Turn Undead.
    + "Absorb Health" once/day:
        2 points of damage/level against an enemy, healing an equivalent to the
        Blackguard.  Save vs Spell negates the effect.
    + "Poison Weapon" once/day per 5 levels (starting with one use at level 1):
        Each successful hit in the next round will poison the target for 2
        points of damage/second with no save for one round.  If the target
        fails a Save vs Poison, they will take an additional 1 point of damage
        per round for 4 rounds.
    + "Aura of Despair" once/day starting at level 3, with increasing effects:
        3rd level:  Nearby enemies get -1 penalty to hit/damage and +2 penalty
            to AC.
        6th level:  Nearby enemies with a -2 penalty to hit/damage and +2
            penalty to AC.
    = Must be evil (though nothing is stopping you from getting a Reputation of
    20).
    - No Detect Evil.
    - No Protection from Evil.
    - No Lay on Hands.

Absorb Health is almost as great as Lay on Hands, except you can also try to
kill enemies with it.  Poison Weapon is basically the Assassin ability, and is
a nice damage boost.  Actually, even better than an Assassin, since the Paladin
will have a fighter's THAC0 and will actually be able to hit enemies with it.
Aura of Depair is generally OK, basically like a "Protection from Evil" spell
for everyone nearby, except the enemies don't have to be Evil.  Immunity to
fear is also way excellent.

In short, on top of a solid class, the Blackguard has taken some of more niche
utility abilities and made them even better.  Sure, you lose Detect Evil and
Protection from Evil, but you get some great (generally better) alternatives.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleric                                                                !sin,cle-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Prime Stat:  Wisdom

Pretty good.  Decent melee-ing abilities, backed up by powerful buffs
(especially under BGEE).  Good healing, too.  Plus, by the end of the game,
turn undead becomes a way to annihilate undead (or mass charm/dominate, if
you're evil-aligned).  Ohterwise, the best way to summarize the cleric is to
contrast it to the druid in the next section.

NOTE:  None of the cleric kits have any downsides, so there is literally no
reason to be a vanilla Cleric.  That's why I've dropped it a point from the
original 3/4 rating in my vanilla BG party creation guide.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Priest of Talos                                                   !sin,cle,tal-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Kit Changes:
    + "Lightning Bolt" once/day per 5 levels (starts with one use at level 1).
    + "Storm Shield" once/day per 10 levels (starts with one use at level 1):
        Lasts 1 round/level, grants immunity to lightning, fire, cold, and
        normal missiles.
    = Requires evil alignment.

The bonuses are good enough that this cleric gets no penalty for having a bunch
of other clerics in the party.  Lightning Bolt is nice and so is Storm Shield,
but Storm Shield suffers from the same problem most defensive spells have: very
hard to predict when you need it.  Fortunately, normal missile protection is a
beast in BGEE, it's just you'll very rarely ever get to use it (since you only
have one use per day).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Priest of Helm                                                    !sin,cle,hel-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + "True Sight" once/day per 5 levels (starts with one use at level 1).
    + "Seeking Sword" once/day per 10 levels (starts with one use at level 1).
        Creates a sword that is automatically equipped and cannot be dropped
        that counts as a +4, deals 2d4 damage on a hit, has three
        attacks/round, and a +1 THAC0 bonus (undocumented).  While the spell is
        in effect, you cannot cast spells.  Lasts 1 turn (not 1 round/level).
    = Requires neutral alignment (lawful neutral, neutral, chaotic neutral).

True Sight is a bit too esoteric for most of the game, so it's not that great
to have.  Seeking Sword is much, much better and is basically an "I Win Combat"
spell, especially if you precede it by casting Draw Upon Holy Might.  Basically
lets you convert your cleric into a powerful fighter at will and shames the
low-level Shillelagh/Flame Blade/Spiritual Hammer weapons.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Priest of Lathander                                               !sin,cle,lat-

Overall Rating:  3/4 for the only one (PC), 2/4 if you plan on having more
    than just the PC be a Cleric.
Kit Changes:
    + "Hold Undead" once/day per 5 levels (starts with one use at level 1).
    + "Boon of Lathander" once/day per 10 levels (starts with one use at level
    1):
        For 1 round/level, the caster gains +1 to hit/damage/saving throws and
        an extra attack/round.  Also grants immunity to level drain.
    = Requires good alignment.

Boon of Lathander is potentially great, but the duration is horribly short at
low levels (you'll barely notice an improvement).  Hold Undead is probably more
generally useful than the other "minor" abilities that the Cleric kits get.
Alas, none of the two abilities are enough to take away the fact that multiple
clerics can get redundant.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5.  Druid                                                             !sin,dru-

Overall Rating:  3/4 if you are able to get level five Divine spells, 2/4
    otherwise (such as due to multi-class or a poorly-designed dual-class)
Black Pits Rating: 4/4 (see BUG?! note)
Prime Stat:  Wisdom AND Charisma

BUG?! (as of build 2014):  druids appear to have the wrong progression table in
Black Pits, being able to go past level 10 and learn level 6 divine spells (in
addition to better THAC0 and health).

Perhaps the best way to approach discussing the Druid is by comparing it
against the other priest class: the Cleric.

First, the weapons.  The BGEE Druid has a greater diversity of possible
weapons, if only because they officially use Scimitars and there are actually
now Scimitars other than Drizzt's and before the ToTSC part officially begins.
The cleric also no longer has a monopoly on the best divine weapon (the
electric hammer uses the ToTSC-nerfed 1d4 base damage instead of the vanilla
BG-powered 1d8 base damage).

Second, the armor.  The Druid can use leather, studded leather, and Ankheg
Armor.  In BGEE, it can use Hide Armor.  In terms of shields, the Druid can
only use bucklers.  In practice, this means that the Druid will only be
slightly behind the Cleric when it comes to AC, since the Ankheg Armor is
pretty good and the addition of a +1 Buckler in BGEE puts the Druid at
near-parity with the Cleric.

So far, the Druid seems a bit better than the Cleric.  Only slightly less AC
potential and comparable weapon selection.  But let's continue on to
spellcasting.  Both priest classes get access to Divine spellcasting (which
allows for casting with armor), but they get slightly different spells to
choose from.  This is partially an artifact of the AD&D casting system for
priests, as Divine spells have 'domains' and various priests get varying levels
of access to different domains (major or minor).  It's not really talked about
much in the manual, which may lead to some confusion.

Regardless, while the Druid gets Call Lightning (a powerful level 3 Divine
Spell), Clerics now have access to Holy Smite, which takes away some of the
spellcasting edge that Druids had.  Moreover, due to how many of
weapon-creating spells function now, Druids no longer get the early-game
advantage of being able to conjure up a Flame Sword that has a massive THAC0
bonus.  So Druids now fare poorly in the early-game spellcasting competition,
but Druids also now get access to some powerful new level 5 Divine Spells.  So
here, it's a bit of a wash - Call Woodland Beings and Iron Skins are really
powerful spells, but so is Holy Smite (which is also available sooner).  But,
this is all related to one thing that Druids do have a clear advantage in:

Better experience progression.  The Druid has a much faster ramp up speed after
level 4 (which Clerics can get to faster).  This means by the end of BGEE,
(experience cap of 161,000), druids are level 10 and Clerics are level 8, which
means Druids get access to the aforementioned 5th level spells and gain 2 lower
THAC0.  Not to mention more health.

Lastly, there's shapeshifting.  In vanilla BG/ToTSC, it had some (limited) use.
Getting 18/00 strength plus 3 attacks and 18 constitution (but effectively 16
for a pure Druid) from being a Bear is pretty neat against a fragile enemy
caster that you need to plow through Mirror Images against.  Wolf form
basically only gives you slightly faster run speed; it also gives you cold
resist, but when was the last time an enemy in BGEE did a lot of cold
damage to you?  There's no way to improve the default AC of the shapeshifted
forms, nor do either have really good THAC0 (the bears have 19 base, +3 from
strength for a net of 16 before an item like Gauntlets of Weapon Specialization
is considered).  So a bear is good at destroying a mage and eating through
their Mirror Images, but pretty bad against a tough Ogre.  Alas, with the wider
options in BGEE, even this niche use case is meh, so shapeshifting is less
good, though the level five Divine spells more than make up for this.

So, in conclusion, the Druid is far from underpowered.  Most deficiencies are
made up for in other respects, and especially at higher levels come to their
own.  Ultimately it boils down to play style:  a Druid will never be able to do
melee tanking like a Cleric with Draw Upon Holy Might, for example.  In vanilla
BG/ToTSC I'd give the edge to Druids, but in BGEE Clerics and Druids are pretty
close, varying in power level only by time.  Ultimately, I'd give the Cleric a
really tiny edge over the vanilla Druid:  Druids are a bit less versatile and
the early game is comparatively more important than the late game.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Totemic Druid                                                     !sin,dru,tot-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Black Pits Rating:  4/4 (see BUG?! note in sin,dru-)
Kit Changes:
    + "Summon Spirit Animal" once/day per 4 levels (starts with one use at
    level 1):
        Summons either a Spirit Bear, Spirit Wolf, Spirit Lion, or Spirit
        Snake.*  These summons get stronger at caster level 3, 5, 7, and 10.
        See section spi- for more details.  Notably, at level 10 all spirit
        animals gain immunity to non-magical weapons.
    - Cannot shapeshift.
*NOTE:  Unlike in BG2, using the ability does not immediately summon the
    animal.  Instead, your toolbar at the bottom prompts you to select the
    specific animal you want to summon, which you then click/press and then
    click/press on the map where you want them to appear.

Shapeshifting is the most meh of Druidic abilities and you get to replace it
with something that is super useful, starting at level 1 no less (instead of
level 7 for shapeshifting).  Pretty good, and good enough that you shouldn't
penalize the rating for this kit if you plan on getting another priest.

Note:  refer to section spi- to see the various stats for the Spirit Animals.
Do _not_ rely on information gleaned from BG2 as the Spirit Animals have been
re-balanced to be more low-level appropriate.  Notably, Spirit Bears/Lions tend
to be more fighting-oriented, while the Snake and Wolf are a bit weaker
melee-wise but have tricks up their sleeves (Snakes have a poison effect,
Wolves have a hold effect starting at level 3 and at level 10 can level drain
the enemy).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shapeshifter                                                      !sin,dru,sha-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + "Shapeshifts Werewolf" once/day per 2 levels (starts with one use at
    level 1):
        Sets Strength to 19, Dexterity to 16, Constitution to 15.  Claws do 1d6
        damage and attack twice/round.  Sets Magic Resistance to 20%.  Base
        Armor Class is set to 1.
    = (Greater Werewolf is unattainable in BGEE.)
    - Cannot wear armor (but can still equip Bucklers and Helmets).
    - No other shapeshifts.

Most of the perks of being a Druid except you also get the brutally powerful
Werewolf form, starting at level 1.  You can just leave yourself in this form
all day long and slaughter the early game with no problem.  The only major
downside is that you lose all your spell hotkeys when you shapeshift, which
makes it annoying to shift in-and-out of Werewolf form.

Not being able to wear armor is a pretty severe penalty, but fortunately Druids
get Barkskin in a pinch and did you see the part about how Werewolf form gives
you a Base Armor Class of 1???  That's like being able to put on Full Plate
Mail at will.  When you're not in Werewolf form, stay back with a Sling and
cast spells.  When you're in Werewolf form, none of it matters.  Note that you
can still equip a buckler and a helmet, which will still give you AC boosts
(though only if you have the Helm of Balduran or similar helm).

Unfortunately, in the late game Werewolf form is not as good - you never get
better fists and you can't tangibly improve the form with items (since it
_sets_ all your stats instead of just modifying them).  But still, a Werewolf
is better than any other non-fighter-type at fighting.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Avenger                                                           !sin,dru,ave-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Black Pits Rating:  4/4 (see BUG?! note in sin,dru-)
Kit Changes:
    + Additional shapeshift forms:
        1.  Sword Spider
        2.  Baby Wivern
        3.  Fire Salamander
    + Adds the following mage spells to the Druid's spell book (cast as Divine
    spells):
        1st spell level:  Chromatic Orb
        2nd spell level:  Web
        3rd spell level:  Lightning Bolt
        4th spell level:  Improved Invisibility
        5th spell level:  Chaos
        (6th spell level is unattainable in BGEE.)
    - Cannot wear armor better than Leather.
    - After character creation, a -2 penalty to Strength and Constitution.

A Druid that is more of a Mage.  The extra shapeshift forms makes Shapeshift
actually kinda decent (namely Sword Spider form with its myriad attacks).  All
the extra spells are nice, filling in eventually obsolete spell circles with
decent spells (like Chromatic Orbs instead of numerous Cure Light Wounds; Webs
instead of Aids).  Plus, the Druid's faster experience progression means that
they'll eventually be able to cast the unbelievably brutal Chaos spell.

The downsides are not that bad.  Yeah, you can't use better than Leather, but
Mages can't use armor at all, so let's count our blessings here?  The penalty
to Strength and Constitution is severe and essentially means you won't be
dallying into melee combat much unless you're shapeshifting into one of your
better forms (which _sets_ your physical stats).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thief                                                                 !sin,thi-

Overall Rating:  1/4
Prime Stat:  Dexterity

You might be shocked at my score for a Thief.  "Surely Chris," you say,
"thieves are so important that you need to have one in your party!"  You're
right.  They are important!  But they are so important the designers behind
Baldur's Gate have basically made it irrelevant to ever needing to roll one
yourself.  There are so many NPC thieves of various stripes, able to do all
sorts of roles, whether it's backstabbing, pickpocketing, trap detection, or
just plucking away with a bow.  The only reason why you'd need to roll one
yourself is if you wanted a specific multiclass, and even then there are
Fighter/Thieves, a Cleric/Thief, and Imoen can dual-class into a Mage.

Note that arcane casters of the proper alignment can potentially get a familiar
that has many thieving skills.  All the more reason why a Thief in BGEE isn't
that great of a class for your main character.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Assassin                                                          !sin,thi,ass-

Overall Rating:  1/4
Kit Changes:
    + +1 to hit/damage.
    + "Poison Weapon" once/day per 4 levels (starts with one use at level 1):
        Each successful hit in the next round will poison the target for 2
        points of damage/second with no save for one round.  If the target
        fails a Save vs Poison, they will take an additional 1 point of damage
        per round for 4 rounds.
    = (Higher backstab multiplier does not apply to BGEE.)
    - Only 15 skill points per level.

"One step forward, one step back" is this kit.  The extra hit/damage and Poison
Weapon abilities are nice, but the severe drop in skill points means that
you're going to have to focus really hard on your competencies.  Poison Weapon
also has the problem that you have very few uses of it, and your THAC0 at low
levels means that you're going to be unlikely to hit in the next round, making
it a waste.  At least in the end game you'll be better at backstabbing than
anyone (due to the +1 damage bonus, which gets multiplied).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bounty Hunter                                                     !sin,thi,bou-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + +15 to Set Traps.
    + Can lay special traps.  Gained at the same rate as normal traps and they
    have the following abilities depending on character level (not cumulative):
        1st:  Deals out damage and enemies must make Save vs Spell with -4
            penalty or be slowed for 5 rounds.
        (Other levels are not attainable in BGEE.)
    - Only 20 skill points per level.

I wrote an entire guide on thieves and extolled the virtues of the Bounty
Hunter at
http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/470765-baldurs-gate-ii-throne-of-bhaal/faqs/27550,
so why then do I give it such a low rating?  Well, you never get high enough
level to get the best special traps, and while having a trap you can throw is
nice, the Bounty Hunter still suffers from the problem of being a mostly
redundant class (there are too many other thieves out there).  The penalized
skill point gain hurts, but is at least partially made up for by the initial
bonus to Set Traps.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Swashbuckler                                                      !sin,thi,swa-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + -1 AC bonus at 1st level, an additional -1 AC bonus every 5 levels after
    that.
    + +1 to hit/damage every 5 levels.
    + Can specialize in any Thief-valid melee weapon.
    + Can place 3 proficiency points into Two Weapon Style.
    - No Backstab.

Better than a normal thief.  Sure you can't backstab, and sure the perks of
being able to specialize in weapons is counteracted by the fact that thieves
have very few proficiency points to begin with, but the AC bonus and to
hit/damage bonus are extremely helpful and better than any NPC thief can do.
With the BGEE level cap, you'll eventually have a total -3 AC bonus and a +2
hit/damage bonus.  At the very least you'll be an excellent backup archer.

NOTE:  you may be protesting my low rating.  A large part of why the
Swashbuckler had a high rating in my thief guide is because of the availability
of Black Dragon Armor in BG2, Leather Armor that had AC 1.  There is no such
amazing leather armor in BGEE, so a Swashbuckler's AC bonus will only kind of
help it get to AC levels that an actual fighter-type/Cleric can get to from the
start of the game.  In fact, a Fighter/Thief will do a better job at being a
Swashbuckler than a Swashbuckler, since a Fighter/Thief could wear Drizzt's
Mithril Chain Mail +4, which is an AC 1 armor that doesn't disable thieving
abilities.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shadowdancer                                                      !sin,thi,sha-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Kit Changes:
    + Can Hide in Shadows even when seen by an enemy.
    + "Shadowstep" once/day per 5 levels (you do not start with any uses):
        Freezes time for 7 seconds, but you cannot attack or cast spells.
    + +1 bonus to Saving Throws
    = No lawful alignment
    - Backstab multiplier growth is much slower, starting at 1x (no backstab),
      then reaching 2x at level 5, then 3x at level 9.
    - Only 15 skill points per level, but still get 30 at the start.

With a recent nerf to give the Shadowdancer no backstab multiplier until later
in the game, the Shadowdancer is not quite as good as it once was.  That being
said, it still is a class that (once you seriously invest in hiding) offers a
great tactical benefit: going invisible at will (well, with one attempt/round).
You are basically never in a disadvantageous position, being able to cancel
enemy spells, never being in a dangerous position, etc.  Plus, you will still
eventually get a 2x (and then eventually 3x) backstab multiplier.  Even without
one, your first attack will still get the +4 THAC0 bonus.

The main downside is that because of the way stealth works in BGEE versus
vanilla BG, your stealth skills will really suck early on (since it's just the
average of your Hide in Shadows and Move Silently skills).  You will need to
focus single-mindedly on one of them and hope to get the Studded Leather Armor
that boosts your hiding skills even more.  So the ability to suddenly escape
any danger or gain the upper hand in battle will be really inconsistent at low
levels (especially in daylight).  It's too bad you don't start with Shadowstep,
as that would fill in the gaps of this kit.

Tip:  spend most of your adventuring at night.  You won't be so severely
penalized in hiding and won't have to worry about jumping from shadow to
shadow to stay hidden.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bard                                                                 !sin,bard-

Overall Rating:  3/4, but 2/4 if you plan on getting an extra Bard (like
    Garrick) _and_ don't have Elven Chainmail for your PC
Prime Stat:  n/a
NOTE:  Beamdog has changed the functionality of the Bard Song in BGEE.
    Previously it was suppossed to offer a +1 luck bonus to THAC0, Saves, and a
    +2 bonus to Morale.  Now it functions as a Protection From Fear effect, and
    when you first begin singing it removes any existing fear and restores all
    Morale.

A party is never hurt by having one Bard.  More than one and you weaken the
overall composition.  This is because a Bard excels at being versatile and
filling in whatever role is necessary at the time.  However, if you have more
than one Bard, in all likelihood you're using a generalist when only a
specialist will do.

Even though a Bard is never going to go toe-to-toe with a specialist, I have to
go through the various perks to emphasis this class's versatility:
        1.  Can wear up to chainmail.  Can't cast while armor, but eventually
            Elven Chainmail will enable this (and kick up the power level of
            the Bard).  A Bard can also use Drizzt's Mithril Chain Mail +4,
            which basically gives him/her a comparable AC to a Fighter.
        2.  Can use magic wands.  This is huge.  With a ready supply of Wands
            of Fire/Frost/Sleep, you might not even need a dedicated mage.
        3.  Has high Lore.  Saves you identify scrolls and money in the early
            game.
        4.  Can do Bard Song, a good niche ability.
        5.  Automatically has skill points in Pick Pockets, which lets you
            steal good items early on and even some powerful items later on
            (like Algernon's Cloak or Drizzt's weapons).
        6.  Gains limited Arcane spellcasting.  And even though the Bard won't
            get as many spells or as high-level magic as a mage, because the
            Bard has a faster experience progression, the spells the Bard _can_
            cast will be more powerful (more Magic Missiles, more powerful
            Fireball, etc).
Thus, you can get the Bard to fill in whatever spot role you need it to.  Need
extra weapon power?  Put on that chainmail and start flinging missiles or
charging in.  Need extra buffs or spells?  Use some wands or take off that
chainmail and cast away.  Need some items identified?  Drop 'em in the Bard's
inventory and right-click or long-press.  Some neat items but can't afford the
cost?  Steal it!  The only role a Bard can't fill is that of a healer (though
if your PC is good you'll still get two Cure Light Wounds to use).

Note that because BGEE is based on BGTutu, the Bard is a little worse than in
vanilla BG/ToTSC because you can't change armor in the middle of combat.
However, if you have Dorn Il-Kahn enabled, then you now have a suit of Elven
Chainmail available to you, which lets one lucky Bard have armor _and_ cast
spells at the same time.  This is a dramatic boost in power level.

NOTE:  to get Elven Chainmail, you need to recruit Dorn Il-Khan and complete a
quest related to him in Chapter 5 (south of Nashkel Mines pretty much).  It
comes a bit late in the game compared to the availability of Robes of the
Good/Neutral Archmage, but it's still a dramatic improvement over vanilla BG
when Bards didn't have Elven Chainmail and had to basically make tradeoffs
between casting, AC, or having their wrist slots free (instead of using Bracers
of Defense).

NOTE 2:  because of Beamdog's changes to the Bard Song, it becomes less of a
general purpose combat buff (though according to some sources it was mostly
broken/buggy anyway in vanilla BG) and more of a specialized weapon.  In
effect, you can save your party members from any fear effect, even natural ones
like morale break.  In fact, it might be a good idea to just leave the song on
at the start of every mage fight, just to counter any initial Horror effect.
So in the end, you lose a bit of generality to the Bard Song, but at least now
you have a clear use for it.  So the impact of the change evens out.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Blade                                                            !sin,bard,bla-

Overall Rating:  4/4, 3/4 if you plan on getting another Bard
Kit Changes:
    + Can put three proficiency points into Two Weapon Style.
    + "Offensive Spin" once/day per 4 levels (starts with one use at level 1):
        For 4 rounds, movement rate doubles, +2 to hit/damage, and an extra
        attack/round.  All attacks do maximum damage.  The Blade cannot be
        affected by Haste/Improved Haste spells (though Potions of Speed still
        work).
    + "Defensive Spin" once/day per 4 levels (starts with one use at level 1):
        For 4 rounds, cannot move (though Free Action allows movement) and gain
        -1 AC bonus per level up to a total of -10 AC bonus.
    - Half normal Lore value.
    - Half normal Pick Pockets score.

You give up one of the best parts of being a Bard (being able to identify
pretty much everything by mid-game), but you gain some very good "oh shit!"
abilities.  Defensive Spin works well for casting-mode, as what's almost as
good as wearing armor while casting is having an incredible AC bonus while
casting (and of course it becomes more amazing defensively if you have Elven
Chainmail).  Defensive Spin also works well as a temporary tanking maneuver,
when you need someone to hold off a powerful Battle Horror or some such while
everyone else plows in.  Offensive Spin is a decent "need to kill this Ogre
Berserker now!" ability, at low levels giving the Bard comparable THAC0 and
better damage output to a similar fighter.

The Two Weapon Style perk is decent, but like many similar kit advantages,
non-fighters have so few proficiency points to spend to begin with that you
basically need to pick one weapon type and stick with it.  In fact, starting at
level 1, you'll only be afford to become proficient in one weapon and then get
one point in Two Weapon Style--the rest of your character levels will pretty
much be spent putting points into Two Weapon Style.

Note that if you plan on making your Blade focus more on fighting than casting
(and you're willing to go through the massive reputation hit/potential cheese
neessary to kill Drizzt), using Mithril Chain Mail +4 can significantly
increase the power level of this kit.  Mithril Chain Mail +4 and Defensive Spin
can basically make the Blade untouchable.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jester                                                           !sin,bard,jes-

Overall Rating:  3/4
Kit Changes:
    + Instead of your normal Bard Song, you get one that forces enemies within
    30 feet to Save vs Spell at +2 once/round or be confused for one round.
    (Higher level effects are unattainable in BGEE.)

All the normal perks of being a Bard except you arguably have a better Bard
Song.  Note that this can affect pretty much anyone, as the confusion effect is
distinct from the spell effect of Confusion.  Also, unlike BG2, because you're
at much lower levels, the fact that enemies get a +2 bonus to their saves
matters less because they have crappy saves to begin with.  Because enemies can
still theoretically attack you while confused (one of the possible behaviors
under confusion is for the creature to attack the nearest body, which may be
the party member it is already attacking), this song is most effective against
larger groups (so that there are many more "nearest body") or casters (since
"attack nearest enemy" excludes any spell casting).

Unfortunately, unlike the other variants the Jester has no ability to help out
with super hard "boss"-type fights; the Blade atleast has spins and the Skald
can sit back and sing his or her powerful song.  Tough single-enemy fights tend
to involve a foe with great saves or full-on immunity to confusion, so the
Jester doesn't get a boost to a 4/4 rating (though because his or her song
doesn't overlap with any other Bard in the game, there's no penalty for wanting
to pick up another Bard).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Skald                                                            !sin,bard,ska-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + +1 to hit/damage.
    + Instead of your normal Bard Song, you get one that grants a +2 to
    hit/damage bonus and -2 AC bonus to everyone in your party.  (Higher level
    effects are unattainable in BGEE.)
    - One quarter normal Pick Pockets score.

If the strongest part of a Bard is spell-casting and using wands, the Skald
basically improves every other part of the Bard.  The bonus to hit/damage isn't
quite as good in short-run bursts as a Blade's Offensive Spin, but is generally
better in the long-run since you're not reliant on a sporadic ability.  Because
of the nature of the bonus, while it helps the Skald all the time, it works
best with weapons that Bards traditionally use, ie high rate-of-fire ranged
weapons (Bows, Light Crossbow of Speed, Throwing Daggers, and especially
Darts and even Melf's Minute Meteors).

The Skald's song, however, is the stuff of legend.  When you're up against a
hard enemy with a monstrous AC and THAC0, would you rather have six party
members all missing and dying OR five party members who actually hit on
occasion and avoid dying in a single round?  In case you haven't followed my
leading question, in tough fights giving your party a +2 hit/damage and -2 AC
buff--even at the expense of an extra combatant--is just what the doctor
recommends.  In fact, if you're bad at multi-tasking, you could probably just
leave your main character on singing the Skald's song all the time and you'd
still do pretty well throughout the game.

One caveat though:  the Skald's song works best in a party that has lots of
physical attackers, not one that has lots of casters.  Though the Skald's song
also works really well anytime you create summons (they get affected by the
song, too).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mage                                                                  !sin,mag-

Overall Rating:  2/4, get a specialist instead
Prime Stat:  Intelligence

Specialists
    Abjurer:     3/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Wisdom
    Conjurer:    4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Constitution
    Diviner:     4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Wisdom
    Enchanter:   4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Charisma
    Illusionist: 4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Dexterity
    Invoker:     3/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Constitution
    Necromancer: 3/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Wisdom
    Transmuter:  4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Dexterity

Specialist-specific Bonuses
    + +2 bonus to saves against their specialized school.
    + +15% to chance to learn spells of their specialized school.
    - -15% to chance to learn spells of any other school.

Mages are great.  They may start off really weak, but even just after the first
level they become immense monsters of destruction.  Almost any party is
strengthened by having yet another mage--the only exception is having a party
of 6 mages early on as you might find it difficult to complete a single battle
(though then again, six simultaneous castings of even a spell like Larloch's
Minor Drain will probably deal with the early assassination attempts).

Alas, because BGEE is based off the BG2 engine, you can no longer dual-cast
_into_ a Specialist Mage.  The additional prime stats are just listed here for
historical reference.

I give varying scores to the different specialist schools because of their
opposition schools.  Notably, I've changed a few of the scores from my vanilla
BG party creation guide because some spells have been recategorized and
opposition schools tweaked.  Notably, Conjurer gets a bump because so many
spells aren't Evocation anymore.  Also, the addition of Wild Mage and Sorcerer
makes the normal Mage much worse (which is why I've dropped it down to 2/4 from
3/4 in vanilla BG).

Lastly, there's been an undocumented aspect to specialist mages since the
original Baldur's Gate - specialists get bonuses to save against and learn
spells from their chosen school, but are penalized to learn schools from
everywhere else.  I've long suspected something like this (the bonus/penalty
for learning has especially been noticeable over decades of playing), but it
has finally been officially confirmed.  With this official confirmation, I've
bumped the Enchanter to a 4/4 since +2 against many potentially game-ending
effects (Hold, Charm, Domination, Sleep) is quite good.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wild Mage                                                         !sin,mag,wil-

Overall Rating:  4/4
Kit Changes:
    + Automatically start with "Nahal's Reckless Dweomer," "Chaos Shield," and
    "Improved Chaos Shield" in your spellbook.  (Careful!  You can still erase
    them and you'll never get them back if you do.)
    + Treated as a specialist (memorize extra spell per spell level) but no
    prohibited schools.
    - Every time you cast a spell, your effective caster level is modified
    from -10 to +10 (though the distribution favors -5 to +5).
    - 5% chance of incurring a Wild Surge everytime you cast a spell.

The Wild Mage is both hilarious and powerful.  Let's break it down.  The
variable caster level averages out in the long-run to being an average caster
level adjustment of 0, that is, on average it doesn't matter.  However, on the
balance this is actually a penalty to the kit; in the long-run, adding more
variance favors the enemies, not the player.  This is because games are
designed so that the (human) player will triumph over the (non-human) enemies,
or else the game would be impossible.  Random variation hence provides
short-term possibilities where the enemies can triumph over the player.  In
other words, getting a +5 caster level  to your Fireball is great, but you were
generally expected to win the fight anyway (you'll just win it a bit faster).
Getting a -5 caster level to your very-crucial Magic Missile to break down and
interrupt a Mage with Mirror Images, however, can result in your cataclysmic
failure.

The rest of the kit features revolve around "Wild Surges," and it bears some
explaining.  Whenever a Wild Surge happens, a d100 is rolled, with any special
modifiers added to it (explained a bit later).  The final value is looked up on
a 100-value table, where each number corresponds to a specific effect.  Lower
values tend to be worse (a roll of 17 for example, destroys all your gold)
while higher values tend to be better.  Notably, a roll of 100 or higher casts
the spell without any alteration.  Of the 100 possible outcomes, only about 10
involve the spell casting without significant alteration.  That means the other
90 are either bizarre transformations of your spell (a roll of 48 changes your
target randomly) or a completely different effect (a roll of 7 instead changes
the sex of the caster).  Some of these alternate effects can be better than
your intended spell--for example, trying to cast Magic Missile on an enemy but
then rolling a Wild Surge of 93 will instead hold the Target.  Some of these
effects are not better, and some are indeed catastrophic (a roll of 16 turns
the caster into a Squirrel).

Nahal's Reckless Dweomer, Chaos Shield, and Improved Chaos Shield all provide
bonuses to your Wild Surge roll.  If by default you only have a 10% of a spell
casting somewhat normally under a Wild Surge, the +15 bonus from Chaos Shield
will increase that to 25% (since rolls of 100-115 will just cast the spell
normally).  With Imp Chaos Shield and at maximum BGEE level, you will get a
total +33 to your Wild Surge roll per use of Nahal's Reckless Dweomer (or +25
if you just have a normal surge), which is just shy of coin flip odds in
getting your spell to cast semi-normally (or 1/3 chance for a normal surge).

Nahal's Reckless Dweomer is a special spell:  it's a level 1 spell, but when
you use it, you immediately get prompted to select another spell in your
spellbook.  After you do, that spell is immediately cast with a Wild Surge -
truly a desperate measure.  This results in crazy things happening, but every
once and a while you will end up casting your spell semi-normally.

Notably though, Nahal's Reckless Dweomer lets you pull _any_ spell out of your
spellbook (including Improved Chaos Shield, which is a level 7 spell and
normally unattainable by BGEE levels) and does so even if you've already cast a
spell that round.  Also notably, because higher rolls on the Wild Surge table
are "helpful" in that they do bad things to the target, if you're running low
on spells, a strategic move to make is to do a Nahal's Reckless Dweomer with an
offensive spell on a target;  the result will hopefully either be your spell
cast normally OR a helpful surge that does something bad to the target (such as
a roll of 88, where a cow falls from the sky onto the target.)

So, the Wild Mage offers a lot of potential for excitement and randomness in
your life.  In terms of actual power, the Wild Mage gets extra spells per level
and has no prohibited school - the Wild Surge mechanic is their effective
downside.  But, as I've said, there are ways to try and turn the Wild Surge to
your advantage.  If you choose this for your PC and also pick up Neera, your
game will become certainly unpredictable.  Pro tip:  save often!  Bad Wild
Surges will happen eventually!

NOTE:  An earlier version of this guide incorrectly suggested that Chaos Shield
and Improved Chaos Shield stack.  They do not.  Only the first one cast will
stick, so generally it's a good idea to just use Chaos Shield (instead of
trying to get lucky by Nahal's Reckless Dweomer-ing an Improved Chaos Shield).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorcerer                                                              !sin,sor-

Overall Rating:  4/4

You sacrifice some of the versatility of the wizard to cast a smaller selection
of spells more often.  In general, this is more actually what you want.  So you
can't go wrong here.

Note that because the Sorcerer learns spells slower than a Mage can, you
will ever be able to cast fifth-level spells with a Sorcerer.  This, however,
is more than made up for the fact that for the other 95% of the game the
Sorcerer an outcast the Mage.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dragon Disciple                                                   !sin,sor,dra-

Overall Rating:  5/4 (!!)
Kit Changes:
    + Use d6 hit die instead of d4.
    + 1st level:  +1 bonus to AC
    + 3rd level:  "Breath Weapon" once/day:
        3d8 fire damage in a cone in front of the caster.
    + 4th level:  25% Fire Resistance
    + 5th level:  +1 bonus to AC and Constitution
    + 6th level:  "Breath Weapon" does 4d8 damage instead
    + 8th level:  50% Fire Resistance instead
    + 9th level:  "Breath Weapon" does 4d8 damage instead
    (Other levels are not attainable in BGEE)
    - One less spell cast per spell level per day

One less spell per day isn't that much of a loss since you still are
on-par with a Specialist Mage's casting ability but have no prohibited school,
and in return you gain an insane amount of good abilities, including an
alternate weapon ("Breath Weapon"), crazy amounts of health (d6 hit die and +1
Constitution), built-in Fireball frenzy potential, and incredible AC bonuses.

BUG (as of build 2014):  Interestingly, the in-game kit description is wrong
about the penalty; the Sorcerer learns the same number of spells, just loses
one spell cast per day.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monk                                                                  !sin,mon-

Overall Rating:  2/4

In effect a crappier version of the Kensai at the start (less AC bonus though
some supplemental skills).  Eventually the Monk becomes a bit handier,
gaining many attacks per round and having decently powerful fists in addition
to a whole suite of abilities (e.g. half-decent thieving abilities, Lay on
Hands, or more than one use of Stunning Blow) - this is pretty much the only
reason why the Monk avoids a 1/4 rating.  Note, however, that even at level
cap, two attacks with 1d10 fists is not that much better than one attack with a
decent weapon, since a decent weapon gives you a bonus to THAC0 and benefits
from Single Weapon style (which boosts both your AC and your damage output).

However, the early game is going to be rough - your THAC0 is worse than a
fighter (because you can't get the 18/* strength a fighter-type can), you can't
specialize in a weapon, you can't wear armor, your hit die is worse, etc.  If
you really want the Monk experience, try recruiting Rasaad first and see if you
can handle what a low-level Monk is like (and also keeping in mind your PC
won't have starting access to Rasaad's boots of -2 AC bonus).

One thing to note since it isn't clear from the game docs, especially since
this is actually a difference between how BG2/BGEE implement the Monk versus
how the Monk is actually established in 3e D&D (where it's from):  the Monk
uses a fighter's THAC0 (-1 per level), not a priest's (-2 per 3 levels).  So
eventually, even when you use your bare fists (and thus don't have weapon-based
to-hit bonuses), you'll still have a decent hit rate, especially given the
higher attack rate of being unarmed.

Given the above, as a general tip about playing with a Monk, early levels are
probably best suited to brandishing a magical weapon and a set of Bracers of
Defense AC 6.  Later in the game (when you gain two attacks per round), it
makes more sense to be unarmed and use Gauntlets of Weapon Mastery instead of
Bracers of Defense - among other things, Stunning Blow becomes a lot better
when you have multiple chances per round to trigger it.

Note:  Stunning Blow actually works even when you're not using your bare fists.
This makes the early game a little bit better since you can gird the Monk with
a half-decent weapon and still stun enemies.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dark Moon Monk                                                    !sin,mon,dar-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + +2 bonus to Saves against Illusion magic
    + "Chill Touch" once/day per 4 levels (starting with one use at level 1).
    + 1st level:  "Blindness" once/day.
    + 3rd level:  "Blur" once/day.
    + 7th level:  "Vampiric Touch" once/day.
    (Other level is not attainable in BGEE)
    = Can only be Lawful Evil.
    - Cannot use Lay on Hands.
    - Cannot use Stunning Blow.

Another "one step forward, one step back" kit.  The bonus against Illusion
magic is very, very meh as the only Illusion spells that needs saves
in BGEE are Blindness, Deafness, and Spook, i.e. spells that aren't commonly
cast by enemies.

The extra spells are handy, but Chill Touch gets obsolete very quickly.  Having
only one cast of Blindness starts to lose its luster mid-late game.  Vampiric
Touch, while good, comes rather late and is a sorry replacement for completely
missing out on Stunning Blow (which was the vanilla Monk's main saving grace
early on) and only really serves to cushion the blow of losing a personal Lay
on Hands.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sun Soul Monk                                                     !sin,mon,sun-

Overall Rating:  2/4
Kit Changes:
    + 2nd level:  "Sun Soulray" once/day:
        1d8 damage per two levels (max 5d8) to target.  An additional 6 damage
        to undead.
    + 5th level:  "Flaming Fists" once/day:
        An additional 2d6 fire damage for one round, two at level 9.
    + 6th level:  "Sun Soulray" twice/day.
    + 8th level:  "Greater Sun" once/day:
        Basically Fireshield (Red) except only 1d8+2 fire damage to enemies.
    = Must be Lawful Good.
    - Cannot use Stunning Blow.
    (Quivering Palm downside is not applicable to BGEE.)

This kit significantly improves the vanilla Monk, but not _quite_ enough to
bump the rating to a 3/4.  Sun Soulray is a more consistent alternative to
Stunning Blow, and Flaming Fists will let you pump out a decent amount of
damage.  Greater Sun is quite good, since a monk is (alas) going to get hit a
lot in BGEE (though I imagine Greater Sun will actually get worse in BG2EE
because the monk will get progressively harder to hit).

In return, you give up Stunning Blow, but like I said, Sun Soulray is a more
consistent alternative.  Not quite as potentially good (like stunning a hard
enemy and slaughtering him with a party of 6 in one round), but less prone to
long periods of failure (like much of the time early on with Stunning Blow
where you'll just miss).

However, none of these extra boosts in power are enough to compensate for the
fact that the Monk still has a crappy early game, with terrible AC, terrible
melee prowess, and a low hit die for soaking up front-line punishment.  Still,
if you can beeline to Rashid and steal his +2 AC bonus equipment, you might
stand a better chance...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Barbarian                                                            !sin,barb-

Overall Rating:  3/4

In some ways not quite as good as fighter: no Advanced Weapon Specialization,
and restricted to splint mail or less.  In some ways, better than a fighter:
biggest hit die in the game (d12) and the ability to Rage (in many ways better
than Berserker's Berserk ability).  In the end, the Barbarian doesn't have
enough going for him to be a Paladin-caliber fighter-type, but the Barbarian is
still solid.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Multi/Dual-Classed Options                                                !mul-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Mage

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4, 5/4 (!!) if dual-classing from a Kensai
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4, 4/4 if gnome

One of the most brutally powerful multi/dual-classing options.  If you're dual-
classing, you can ensure that you switch over from a Fighter early enough that
you can get all the spells as a Mage you're entitled to.  You could probably
take on the entire game by yourself as a properly Dual-Classed Fighter/Mage.

The multi-class option is not as powerful, since you prevent yourself from
getting access to the top-end spells as well as full-fledged Advanced Weapon
Specialization.  The gnome option, however, largely makes up for this since the
gnome defaults to multiclassing as an Illusionist.

I've dropped the rating for a dual-class from the astronomical 5/4 to 4/4 since
you can no longer dual-class _into_ a Specialist Mage, but the option for doing
a Kensai/Mage is still powerful enough to be a 5/4.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Thief

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4

Makes up for alot of the deficiencies of just having a vanilla Thief.  You can
never have too many fighters and one that can backstab too is pretty great!
Multi-class suffers again from lacking the ability to go past 2 proficiency
points and from less control over levels.

Note, too, that this combination can wear Drizzt's Mithril Chain Mail +4.  This
is by far the best armor you can wear that still allows you to use thieving
abilities.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Cleric

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4

Another brutally powerful dual-classing option.  Like the Fighter/Mage, you can
dual in such a way to ensure that you don't miss out on any top-end spells.
Plus, combining Advanced Weapon Specialization with a high-powered Draw Upon
Holy Might is a sight to behold.

Similar to Fighter/Mage, multiclassing is not as powerful since you miss out on
top Cleric spells and advanced weapon specialization.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Druid

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4
Multi-Class Rating: 2/4

While not as outright powerful as a Fighter/Cleric due to a lack of Draw Upon
Holy Might, removing the armor restrictions on a Druid is very nice.  Multi-
classing is not nearly as effective, though, because you negate one of the
Druid's signature advantages over a cleric: a rapid progression chart that
eventually enables 5th level spellcasting.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thief/Mage

Dual-Class Rating:  3/4
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4, 4/4 if gnome

Not nearly as powerful as the Fighter/Mage, but being able to cast (Improved)
Invisibility and backstabbing is pretty great.  For that matter, a Gnome
Thief/Illusionist does pretty well, too, at the cost of missing out on some
top end spells.

I've dropped the normal dual-class rating from 4/4 to 3/4 since you can no
longer dual-class _into_ a specialist mage, and dual-classing _out_ of a
specialist mage isn't that great.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thief/Cleric

Dual-Class Rating:  2/4
Multi-Class Rating: 2/4

Meh.  Thief/Cleric don't mesh well due to backstab complications (the only
blunt weapons a Thief can backstab with are staffs and clubs) and armor
complications (wearing heavier than studded will block thieving abilities).
Still, if all you need is a lockpicker, this may be handy.

If you're willing to put in the effort/cheese/reputation loss to kill Drizzt,
this multi-class combination can get a bit better with Mithril Chain Mail +4,
which still allows for thief abilities but can't be worn innately by thieves
(so the cleric part of the class lets them wear it).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleric/Mage

Dual-Class Rating:  2/4
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4, 4/4 if gnome

Lots of spell casting!  This is probably the only case where doing a straight
up human dual class is not as good as you might think, as you essentially have
to choose which type of spells to neglect in favor of another.  At least with
multiclassing you get even progression between both (even if neither can get
to the upper echelons of power), and a gnome benefits again by being able to
be specialist on top of it.  Keep in mind Quayle is also a Cleric/Illuionist,
but also has the special ability to cast Invisibility once/day.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleric/Ranger

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4

Surprisingly powerful due to a quirk in the game:  by being a Cleric/Ranger,
you get access to Druid spells, too.  This means Call Lightning mayhem!  Again,
a straight up multiclass weakens the effect (since you just need the minimum
two levels of Ranger to trigger both the dual class and the Druid spells),
though you won't miss out on any special Druid spells due to a Cleric's slower
experience progression.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Mage/Thief

Dual-Class Rating:  n/a
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4

I'm generally not a fan of the three-way multiclasses, but this is one of the
stronger variants.  The Mage will be comparable to a Bard in spell access, the
Thief will get away with putting their points into one specific ability, and
the Fighter rounds everything out.  Powered backstab backed up by invisibility;
not bad.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Mage/Cleric

Dual-Class Rating:  n/a
Multi-Class Rating: 3/4

Lots of spellcasting... but much less effective than a straight up Mage/Cleric.
Moreover, you don't gain much by adding a Fighter to it because you're not
going to gain that much from meleeing with a character so otherwise weak in
melee.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighter/Thief/Cleric

Dual-Class Rating:  n/a
Multi-Class Rating: 2/4

Probably the worst of the 3-way multiclassing.  Cleric and Thief don't get
along too well to begin with, and adding a Fighter just weakens whatever
potential the Cleric had and minimizes the benefit of adding thieving skills.

This combination can potentially become better with the
effort/cheese/reputation loss put in to kill Drizzt, as the Fighter/Cleric part
will let the PC wear Mithril Chain Mail +4, which is AC 1 armor that does not
disable Thief skills.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Black Pits Addendum                                                       !bla-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With Black Pits in BGEE now offering you a chance to build a complete party
from scratch (well, without cheesily doing a multiplayer game by yourself), it
bears mentioning some slight changes into how various classes work when you no
longer need to consider them solely from the perspective of your PC.

The major deviation between Black Pits and vanilla BGEE is that instead of
having a specific experience cap (161,000 xp in BGEE) you are instead capped by
level (cap of level 10).  Honestly, I don't know why Beamdog took this approach
as it heavily favors certain classes over others.  What this cap means is that
each class is capped by an amount of experience necessary to get them to level
10.  Rogues are the most hamstrung by this rule, as they were able to get to
level 10 in BGEE anyway, so their experience cap is unchanged.
Paladins/Rangers get the most help, as for this new rule means they effectively
get an experience cap of 600,000, the most in the game.

This level cap functions a bit differently when you go into the realm of multi-
and dual-classing.  For multi-classing, the experience cap is equal to the
class that has the highest; e.g. a Ranger/Cleric has the highest experience cap
by consequence, 600,000 split between the two classes, and all the Fighter/x/y
triple classes get 166,666 for each of the classes (500,000 divided by three).
For dual-classing, the experience cap is equal to the class that you dual-class
*into*.  Thus, dual-classing into a thief yields the lowest experience cap
(unchanged from the 161,000 cap), while dual-classing from a Cleric into a
Ranger (not that that would be a good idea) would give you a total experience
cap of 600,000.

BUG?! (as of build 2014):  Druids appear to use the Cleric experience
progression table for determining their cap, which means they are actually able
to go level 11 instead of stopping at level 10.

BUG?! (as of build 2014):  Clerics have an experience cap of 250,000 instead of
the 450,000 needed to get them to level 10.

Due to a quirk in how the Black Pits level cap works (you are capped at level
10 rather than any specific experience), multi-class roles are now slightly
favored (though it is unlikely for you to get the full benefit unless you do a
lot of repetitive grinding), so consider single/dual-classing comparatively
weaker.  Though don't forget that only single/dual-classed Fighters can get
Advanced Weapon Specialization (no cheating with Coran anymore!).

Ironically, even though you no longer have a bunch of thieving NPCs to use,
thieves still don't get a bump in rating because Black Pits isn't like Durlag's
Tower, i.e. filled with locks to be picked and traps that _really_ need to be
disarmed.  Similarly, Pick Pockets is less of a thing to care about for Bards.

Otherwise, as long as you have some form of healing and some form of arcane
casting, the ratings for various classes/kits above generally hold true.  For
full reference, I would break down the party composition like this:
    1.  Fighter-type
    2.  Fighter-type
    3.  Healer-type
    4.  Wild Mage/Sorcerer/Specialist Mage
    5.  Misc.
    6.  Misc.

Note that in the tables to follow, there are no ties - if two classes have the
same rating, the one that comes first is the one that is still better than the
one that come second.

Anyway, for Fighter-types, the kit/class rankings above 2/4 are:
    Blackguard                      5/4
    Cavalier                        4/4
    Inquisitor                      4/4
    Dwarven Defender                4/4
    Undead Hunter                   4/4
    Berserker/Cleric                4/4     (see note 1,2)
    Fighter/Cleric                  4/4     (see note 2)
    Fighter/Druid Dual-Class        4/4
    Beastmaster/Cleric Dual-Class   4/4     (see note 3)
    Ranger/Cleric Dual-Class        4/4
    Berserker                       3/4
    Barbarian                       3/4
    Fighter                         3/4

For Healer-types, the kit/class rankings above 2/4 are:
    Berserker/Cleric                4/4     (see note 1,2)
    Fighter/Cleric                  4/4     (see note 2)
    Fighter/Druid Dual-Class        4/4
    Beastmaster/Cleric Dual-Class   4/4     (see note 3)
    Ranger/Cleric Dual-Class        4/4
    Priest of Helm                  4/4
    Cleric/Illusionist (gnome)      4/4
    Totemic Druid                   3/4
    Shapeshifter                    3/4     (see note 4)
    Avenger                         3/4
    Priest of Lathandar             3/4
    Priest of Talos                 3/4
    Cleric/Mage Multi-Class         3/4

For Misc roles, these are the kits/classes I would recommend (with a rating
higher than 2/4, an asterisk denoting a rating change just for Black Pits):
    Skald                           5/4* (see note 5)
    Jester                          4/4* (see note 5)
    Archer                          4/4
    +1 pure Arcane caster           4/4
    Totemic Druid                   4/4* (see note 6)
    Fighter/Mage Dual-Class         4/4* (see note 7)
    +1 Fighter-type                 3/4
    Shadowdancer                    3/4
    Bard                            3/4
    +1 Healer-type                  3/4
    Blade                           3/4* (see note 8)

1:  Fighter/Clerics get called out specifically because you have much more
    control over your party's development, so you can advantageously dual-class
    into a Cleric without compromising your party's overall composition.
    Moreover, the minor cost of losing a fighter for a while pays off when you
    can Draw Upon Holy Might and destroy everything.  Even Multi-Classing fares
    well, as while your overall development slows down, you gain the benefit of
    being able to a level 10/10 Fighter/Cleric instead of being hard-capped at
    110k experience (due to a quirk of how Black Pits dual-classing works).
2:  Berserker/Cleric gets called out additionally because you'll virtually
    always have a Rage ready, making it clearly better than a straight up
    Fighter/Cleric.
3:  Beastmaster/Cleric Dual-Class gets a special call out because you gain
    access to a familiar but _only_ if the Beastmaster/Cleric is the first
    character you create.
4:  Because each of your party members should be specialized in their role, it
    is less relevant that a Shapeshifter can be a decent fighter.  Moreover,
    the experience gain and magical item accumulation in Black Pits is so
    accelerated that the Werewolf doesn't have much time to dominate.
5:  Don't get more than one Skald or more than one Jester, though mixing them
    both can lead to some fun results.  Both get a bump in rating because you
    can more accurately control party composition to make best use of them
    (creating a heavily melee/summoning party around a Skald or making sure
    your Jester doesn't overlap with any other party member's capabilities).
6:  Totemic Druid gets a bump as a Misc-type simply because when it comes to
    summoning, Totemic Druids give you the most bang for your buck without
    hitting the five summon limit, so having a couple Totemic Druids tossing
    extra Totemic summons, followed up with back up Animal Summoning spells or
    Call Woodland Beings can be quite powerful.
7:  Kensai/Mage no longer gets a special callout because when you can control
    the development of your entire party (and not just your PC), you no longer
    need a one-shop destination in the form of a Kensai/Mage.  Better to
    specialize; do you need better spellcasting?  Add another Specialist/Wild
    Mage or Sorcerer.  Do you need more ranged power?  Add another Archer.  Do
    you need another melee attacker?  Add another Fighter/Cleric instead.
8:  Blade gets a downgrade because when it comes down to being able to create a
    full party from the get-go, you might be better off with a pure
    Fighter-type, a pure arcane caster, or a Fighter/Mage instead.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
NPCs                                                                      !npc-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE:  This section is very much a work in progress; I do not have data dumps
for the new NPCs in BGEE or even the updated ones for old NPCs using the new
BGEE character system, so feel free to email/link me more specifics.

I use a different rating system here than for classes, simply because I don't
want to invite direct comparison between NPCs and the classes (eg why did I
give X NPC a lower score than the class?).  NPCs are judged on their usefulness
in a party, not for individual merits per se.  So instead of out of 4, I do
them more broadly out of 10.

Many NPCs 'upgrade' with your PCs level if they're not in your party.  This
means that every once and a while they'll gain more proficiencies and (if
they're a thief) more thief skill points.  Note that I use to have this data
listed here but no longer have it for BGEE, so be warned:  wait too long to
recruit someone and they may pick up proficiencies or invest in skills you did
not want them to, though they tend to invest their proficiency/skill points
appropriately (i.e. they won't suddenly decide to pour all their points into
Detect Illusions).

NOTE:  with many of the tweaks in BGEE, creating an evil party is _definitely_
a good move.  All the perfect-10 NPCs are evil:  Dorn, Kagain, Baeloth, and
Edwin (two of which are BGEE-only additions).  Toss in a a Viconia or Shar-Teel
(both of whom are 9/10s, both as a result of a BGEE tweak that helped them
out), create a complementary PC, and you can have an obscenely powerful party.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good-Aligned NPCs                                                     !npc,goo-

Ajantis, Lawful Good Human Paladin
    17s 13d 16c 12i 13i 17ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Bastard Sword, 1x Two-handed Sword, 1xLongbow
    Special:  none
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  Farm north of Friendly Arm Inn
    Notes:  Any good-aligned party will benefit strongly from having Ajantis,
        not necessarily because he's anything special (mediocre dexterity means
        he gets hit alot), but because Paladins are just great in general.  Be
        sure to pick him up early before he wastes his proficiency points on
        small swords.

Alora, Chaotic Good Halfling Thief
    8s 19d 12c 14i 7w 10ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Dagger, 1x Shortbow, 1x Two Handed Weapon Style
    Starting Thief Skills:
        Focuses on Open Locks and Pick Pockets.
    Rating:  6/10
    Location:   Hall of Wonders in west Baldur's Gate, at night
    Special:  Has a Lucky Rabbit's Foot, which provides a -2 bonus to AC and
        saves, at the cost of a Ring slot.
    Notes:  Not bad a thief on paper, due to high dexterity, being a halfling,
        and her Lucky Rabbit's Foot.  However, by the time you get her, you're
        in the final third of the game which means a:  most thief-required
        situations have already been resolved and b:  Alora starts off high
        enough level that there's not a lot of room for flexibility in
        development, which is bad since she puts so much of her points into the
        decidedly-less useful Pick Pockets.  She is _contagiously_ cheery
        though.

Coran, Chaotic Good Half-Elf Fighter/Thief
    14s 20d 12c 14i 9w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Long Sword, 3x Longbow (!!)
    Thief Skills:
        Focuses on Open Locks and Move Silently (but not Hide in Shadows)
    Special:  That 20 dexterity and 3x Longbow!
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  first Cloakwood area
    Notes:  Coran is a beast of a thief or archer, because he has a rocking
        20 dex (cheater!) and in BGEE three proficiency points in Longbow
        (cheater!!!).

Dynaheir, Lawful Good Human Invoker
    11s 13d 16c 17i 15w 12ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Sling
    Special:  Pairs with Minsc
    Rating:  7/10
    Location:  Gnoll Stronghold
    Notes:  If you didn't roll a mage, you certainly want to pick up someone
        like Dynaheir.  She's an Invoker so she misses out on a few handy
        spells, but still maintains access to the big guns.  Her one special
        trait is that she's a pair with Minsc, but that's not bad since Minsc
        is pretty hot stuff himself.

Imoen, Neutral Good Human Thief
    9s 18d 16c 17i 11w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Shortbow, 1x Short Sword
    Starting Thief Skills:
        35lock 40find 25pick 35move 15hide 0illusion 5set
    Special:  Can dual-class into a Mage
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  You can't miss her.
    Notes:  If you need a great thief, Imoen fills the job (though no strength
        bonus to help with backstab).  If you need a great mage, Imoen also
        can fill that job!  Too bad she's so darn annoying.  Also too bad that
        in BGEE she can no longer dual-class into a _Specialist_ Mage.

Khalid, Neutral Good Half-Elf Fighter
    15s 16d 17c 12i 10w 9ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Long Sword, 1x Axe, 1x Longbow
    Special:  Really low morale, runs away easily; pairs with Jaheira
    Rating:  2/10
    Location:  Friendly Arm Inn
    Notes:  While otherwise decent stats and an OK fighter, his low morale is
        really bad for any decent party.  He's going to be taking a lot of
        damage by the very fact that he's a front-line fighter (and has meh
        dexterity), so the fact that he runs almost at the drop of a hat
        severely harms his potential.  Can work well if you have a Bard with
        the standard Bard Song or a Cavalier as your PC.

Kivan, Chaotic Good Elf Ranger
    18/12s 17d 14c 10i 14w 8ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Halberd, 2x Longbow, 2x Two-Weapon Style
        +1x Long Sword (PC level 4)
        +1x Long Sword (PC level 6)
    Special:  n/a
    Rating:  5/10
    Location:  High Hedge
    Notes:  A decent strength and dexterity, which is a rare combination.
        Lackluster constitution, but he makes for a good archer.  You can do
        worse, but he's not that big of a standout otherwise.

Minsc, Neutral Good Human Ranger
    18/93s 15d 15c 8i 6w 9ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Two-Handed Sword, 1x Mace, 1x Longbow, 2x Two-Weapon Style
    Special:  Berserk 1/day, pairs with Dynaheir
    Rating:  8/10
    Location:  Nashkel
    Notes:  A perennial favorite among fans.  He has god-like strength for an
        NPC (and even for a PC, unless you're super patient).  His constitution
        and dexterity scores aren't great.  He's also a Ranger, which isn't
        the best he could be.  He sort of compensates for that by having the
        very handy Bersker (aka Enrage) ability, which makes him into a handy
        powerhouse, it's only too bad that he may attack allies while under
        the effect.  So it's a bit of a double-edged sword.
            He pairs with Dynaheir, making a pretty solid team.

Rasaad, Lawful Good Human Monk
    16s 16d 14c 11i 14w 14ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Katana, 1x Scimitar/Wakizashi/Ninjato
        +1x Sling (PC level 4)
    Special:  Has Moonlight Walkers, boots that give -2 AC bonus that any good
        or lawful human mage or monk can use.
    Rating:  5/10
    Location:  Nashkel
    Notes:  Has a hard time staying alive early in the game, even with his
        special equipments.  That's the problem with Monks.  But he's also just
        an interesting companion to have.

Yeslick, Lawful Good Dwarf Fighter/Cleric
    15s 12d 17c 7i 16w 10ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x War Hammer, Mace, 2x Sling
    Special:  Dispel Magic 1/day, using the vanilla BG-style Dispel mechanic
    Rating:  8/10
    Location:  level 2 of Cloakwood Mines
    Notes:  Pretty great.  You won't be able to get either Neutralize Poison
        or Cure Critical Wounds, but he's got great Constitution which gets
        even better when he uses Draw Upon Holy Might to become a godly
        fighter.
            Most importantly, Yeslick gets an _extremely_ powerful version of
        Dispel Magic, one that automatically dispels everything (essentially,
        it's the vanilla BG dispel instead of the BG2-style dispel).  This
        gives him a rating bump over his vanilla BG counterpart.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Neutral-Aligned NPCs                                                  !npc,neu-

Branwen, True Neutral Human Cleric
    13s 16d 15c 9i 16w 13ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Warhammer, 1x Sling
    Special:  Spiritual Hammer 3/day
    Rating:  7/10
    Location:  Nashkel Carnival, petrified
    Notes:  One of only two pure Clerics in the game, which is a special
        distinction.  OK stats, nothing to write home about.  Spiritual Hammer
        is really great early on when you don't have much in the way of
        magic weapons (you can hit those damn mustard jellies after Nashkel
        Mines!), but gets dwarfed when you do.

Faldorn, True Neutral Human Druid
    12s 15d 11c 10i 16w 15ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Club, 1x Spear, 1x Dart
    Special:  Summon Dread Wolf 1/day
    Rating:  7/10
    Location:  third Cloakwood area
    Notes:  Horrible stats loosely made up for by the fact that Faldorn gets
        a free summon spell that's not half bad.  Will eventually get out-
        classed when you can do Animal Summoning I/II, but has way better
        staying power than, say, Spiritual Hammer.  Keep her in the back with
        a darts, though with some Ankheg Armor she can do decently with a
        magical spear.

Garrick, Chaotic Neutral Human Bard
    14s 16d 9c 13i 14w 15ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Short Sword, 1x Crossbow
    Special:  n/a
    Rating:  8/10 if you don't plan on having another Bard, 4/10 otherwise
    Location:  Beregost
    Notes:  Free identifies is almost worth it on its own.  He's a decent
        ranged attacker otherwise, and you can happily do all sorts of other
        Bard-stuff, like give him Wands of Fire to toss around.  Mediocre
        intelligence isn't bad so long as you're patient with trying to learn
        new spells.  At the very worst he's an unlimited Remove Fear effect.

Jahiera, True Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Druid
    15s 14d 17c 10i 14w 15ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Club, 1x Quarterstaff, 1x Sling
    Special:  Pairs with Khalid
    Rating:  5/10
    Location:  Friendly Arm Inn
    Notes:  Decent constitution, but bad at casting priest spells and is a
        Fighter/Druid, which ain't exactly a winning combination.  Plus, you
        have to either be mean (get Khalid killed) or have to put up with
        a cowardly Fighter.

Neera, Chaotic Neutral Half-Elf Wild Mage
    11s 17d 14c 17i 10w 11ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Quarterstaff
        +1x Sling (PC level 6)
    Special:  Starts with Neera's Staff +1, which has a 10% chance that either
        the target or wielder takes 1 point of fire damage.
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  Beregost, towards the northeast of town.
    Notes:  Doesn't have the problem that so many other specialist mage NPCs do
        of being unable to not cast important spells, since Wild Mages have no
        opposition school.  You'll have to get used to Wild Surges, but it's
        sure to add a lot of spice to your life.  Personally, I'm not wild
        about her voice actor--doesn't fit in as well with the existing NPCs as
        well as Rasaad does.

Quayle, Chaotic Neutral Gnome Cleric/Illusionist
    8s 15d 11c 17i 10w 6ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Club, 1x Sling, 1x Sword and Shield Style
    Special:  Invisibility 1/day
    Rating: 6/10
    Location:  Baldur's Gate Bridge
    Notes:  Don't ever expect him to get into the thick of things (especially
        now that his updated proficiencies really only mean he could go
        attacking with a dinky wooden club), and he has a horrible wisdom, so
        his support ability is lacking.  He has plenty of casting at his
        disposal though thanks to his multi-class, and the ability to cast
        Invisibility at will once/day greatly can greatly increase your party's
        survivability.
            Also be warned you could end up with a Quayle who puts his first
        proficiency point in something useless (Large Swords) if you are high-
        enough level and don't have a corresponding fan patch.

Safana, Chaotic Neutral Human Thief
    13s 17d 10c 16i 9w 17ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Scimitar/Wakizashi/Ninjato, 1x Dart, 1x Single Weapon Style
    Starting Thief Skills:
        Generally even distribution, heavy focus on Open Locks.
    Special:  Charm Animal 1/day
    Rating:  5/10
    Location:  Lighthouse area
    Notes:  Half-decent as a thief but has trouble winning the straight-out
        competition with Imoen.  Also, you can give her a tome of intelligence
        to try and dual-class her, but then again Imoen can dual-class into
        a mage without using up a tome.  Charm Animal is meh in general, so
        don't go out of your way to get it, however much bears may seem to
        slaughter you at level 1 or 2.
            She gets an upgrade compared to vanilla BG/s 4/10 rating because
        she has the remarkably rare feature (for an NPC at least) of starting
        with a weapon style.

Skie, True Neutral Human Thief
    11s 18d 15c 15i 8w 13ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Shortbow, 1x Short Sword, 1x Dart
    Starting Thief Skills:
        Balanced development with minor focus on Pick Pockets.
    Special:  Pairs with Eldoth
    Rating:  6/10
    Location:  northwest Baldur's Gate
    Notes:  Still loses the competition with Imoen, though has an 18 dex (which
        Imoen-pretender Safana doesn't).  Comes with Eldoth, so if you want
        Eldoth you could just sub in Skie for whatever thieving purposes you
        have.  If at all possible, though, try to get to Skie fast, because
        otherwise the game will level her up and very stupidly put points into
        pick pockets.  Why is it stupid?  Because Eldoth is a bard with
        naturally high pick pocket.  D'oh!
            That being said, unlike Imoen, Skie gets more out of Buckley's
        Buckler (a new BGEE buckler at the Friendly Arm Inn that provides +1
        Constitution), both because of her constitution (15) and her point in
        Dart (though you could also give Imoen a point in Dart).

Xan, Lawful Neutral Elf Enchanter
    13s 16d 7c 17i 14w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        Dagger
    Special:  Moonblade, a +3 dagger that does 1d8 base damage
    Rating:  5/10
    Location:  Nashkel Mines
    Notes:  I personally have a soft-spot for the fatalistic fellow.  He has
        a really great Moonblade which, coupled with Mirror Image and Strength,
        makes him a pretty decent fighter in a pinch.  Unfortunately, as Mages
        go, he's at the bottom of the barrel due to being an Enchanter.  Still,
        you don't _need_ Fireball if you have Wands of Fire, and Enchantment
        is still a great spell school.  He's the closest thing you can get to
        a Fighter/Mage NPC (well, aside from dual classing Imoen into a
        Thief/Mage).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Evil-Aligned NPCs                                                     !npc,evi-

Baeloth, Chaotic Evil Drow Sorcerer
    12s 14c 14d 19i 12w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Quarterstaff
    Special:  50% magic resistance, comes with a Robe of the Evil Archmagi,
        extra spell casts per day, minus one ring slot, that 19 int (though it
        has no effect for a sorcerer)
    BUG?! (as of build 2012):  Baeloth knows more spells than a sorcerer
        should.  But it's possible that since Baeloth is a powerful person from
        the Black Pits side-adventure in BGEE, this could just be another perk
        Baeloth gets.
    Rating:  10/10
    Location:  Larswood, by the tower in the south of the map, but your PC has
        to be at least level 5 and in chapter 3.
    Notes:  Ridonculous.  Create an evil party with Baeloth and Edwin and you
        can destroy everything.  Because he starts off as such a high-level
        Sorcerer, you won't be able to customize his spells much, but
        fortunately for you Baeloth comes with a few key favorites:  Magic
        Missile, Spook, Mirror Image, Fireball, Haste, and Dire Charm.

Dorn Il-Kahn, Neutral Evil Orc Blackguard
    19s 16d 14c 10i 15w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Two-Handed Sword, 2x Two-Handed Style
    Special:  Starts with a Greatsword +1 that becomes +2 after killing
        someone.
    Rating:  10/10
    Location:  Friendly Arm Inn, then enter Nashkel Mines
    Notes:  19 strength is a beast, even if it is a completely legitimate stat
        for a Half-orc.  You pretty much don't need to concern yourself with
        anything else, he could have 3 constitution for all it matters, he'll
        just slaughter everything.  Being a Blackguard is fun, too.

Edwin, Lawful Evil Human Conjurer
    9s 10d 16c 18i 9w 10ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Quarterstaff
    Special:  One extra first and second level spell/day, minus one amulet
        slot.
    Rating:  10/10
    Location:  Nashkel
    Notes:  Another perennial fan favorite.  Great intelligence, good
        survivability from constitution, and lots and lots and lots of
        devastation you can bring upon the world.  You can't go wrong with him.

Eldoth, Neutral Evil Human Bard
    16s 12d 15c 13i 10w 16ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Scimitar/Wakizashi/Ninjato, 1x Spear, 1x Longbow
    Special:  Create 5x Poison Arrows 1/day, pairs with Skie
    Rating:  7/10 if you don't have another Bard, 3/10 otherwise
    Location:  third area of Cloakwood
    Notes:  On the balance I prefer Garrick as he has better dexterity and
        doesn't require another NPC.  You might like being able to create
        poison arrows, but it's not a lot and you'll plow through them very
        quickly.  Eldoth is tougher though (16 strength and 15 constitution).
            The poison arrows do 1d6 damage plus an additional 1 per 2 seconds
        for 40 seconds (for a total of 20 damage) if the target fails their
        save. This is different from Arrows of Biting, which do 30% of target's
        maximum health as damage over 20 seconds.  For Arrows of Biting to do
        as well as a poison arrow, you'd have to hit an enemy with 67 health;
        for weaker enemies like mages poison arrows will do way more damage.
            In fact, the best way to think about Eldoth's ability is that
        once/day you can create a serious anti-arcane-caster weapon.  Just swap
        them in whenever you see a caster in combat and let Eldoth pelt at
        them; not only will the repeated damage interrupt spells, but enemy
        mages have so little health than one or two failed saves is all you
        need to kill them.

Kagain, Lawful Evil Dwarf Fighter
    16s 12d 20c 15i 11w 8ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Axe, 1x Flail, 1x Crossbow
    Special:  That 20 constitution!
    Rating:  10/10
    Location:  Beregost
    Notes:  That 20 constitution, in additioning to meaning boat loads of
        extra health per level, means Kagain regenerates 1 health every 6
        rounds.  Might not sound like much, but it means every time you go
        to a new area or rest, Kagain is guaranteed to get fully healed up.
        He's also a fighter that's half-decent, and getting advanced weapon
        specializing in Axes is a Good Thing(tm).

Montaron, Neutral Evil Halfling Fighter/Thief
    16s 17d 15c 12i 13w 9ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        2x Short Sword, 2x Sling
    Starting Thief Skills:
        25lock 10find 35pick 45move 35hide 0illusion 0set
    Special:  Pairs with Xzar
    Rating:  7/10
    Location:  Shortly after meeting Imoen
    Notes:  Not bad in terms of being a fighter or a thief.  Can make for an
        effective archer, backstabber, or what have you, and even progresses
        with a high Move Silently skill.  He's a bit fragile early on, so
        make sure you try use bows when not skulking about.
            If you leave him alone for a while, he very stupidly picks up an
        axe specialization.  Not bad if you want to use him exclusively
        as a fighter, but you can't backstab with axes :/

Shar-Teel, Chaotic Evil Human Fighter
    18/58s 17d 9c 14i 7i 11ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Long Sword, 1x Dagger, 2x Two Weapon Style
    Special:  n/a
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  east of Temple
    Notes:  A fighter with great dexterity and strength.  Terrible constitution
        though.  And it's not something you could even fix with a tome, it's
        just an astonishingly low 9.  At least Potions of Fortitude would do
        something for this NPC.  Would make for a decent archer if it weren't
        for the fact that she doesn't start with a ranged weapon proficiency.
        17 dexterity means she can dual-class into a compelling thief.
            In BGEE, she gets an additional point bump from 8/10 because she is
        one of few NPCs who have points in a weapon style.

Tiax, Chaotic Evil Gnome Cleric/Thief
    9s 16d 16c 10i 13w 9ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        Quarterstaff, Sling, and Two-handed Weapon Style
    Starting Thief Skills:
        Evenly distributes skills.
    Special:  Summon Ghast 1/day
    Rating:  1/10
    Location: southwest Baldur's Gate
    Notes:  Cleric/Thief is already pretty bad, especially since he's missing
        out on the best part of being a gnome (automatic illusionist).  Summon
        Ghast barely makes up for the fact that his wisdom is crappy and that
        his thief skills are everywhere (especially since a stealth thief is
        pointless when you can't use backstabbing weapons).  He's pretty much
        an inferior sling swinger who can occasionally cast a couple of spells.
        He's really amusing though, and is the star of the credits music video.

Viconia, Neutral Evil Drow Cleric
    10s 19d 8c 16i 15w 14ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Mace, 1x Sling
        automatically gains 1x War Hammer at higher PC levels
    Special:  50% magic resistance, -2 reputation everytime she joins, +2
        reputation everytime she leaves
    Rating:  9/10
    Location:  Peldvale
    Notes:  The other pure cleric in the game, and she's a doozy.  Great dex
        and 50% magic resistance.  Sure you suffer reputation, but you might
        want it (if trying to keep other evil characters on board) and if you
        don't, the game gives you plenty of ways to raise it back up.
            Viconia got a bump up to 9/10 because Magic Resistance no longer
        affects friendly spells in BGEE.

Xzar, Chaotic Evil Human Necromancer
    14s 16d 10c 17i 16w 10ch
    Starting Proficiencies:
        1x Dagger
    Special:  Pairs with Montaron
    Rating:  7/10
    Location:  Shortly after meeting Imoen
    Notes:  Doesn't have the penalty of being unable to cast Enchantment (like
        Dynaheir), but gains the penalty of being unable to cast Mirror Image.
        Agh!  Oh well, he's still a mage, and you can't go wrong with that.
        Only pick him up if you also want Montaron, as Edwin is a far better
        evil mage.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Arcane Spells                                                             !arc-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rating scale:
    4/4 - Amazing.  Memorize multiple copies of this.
    3/4 - Good, not perfect.  Still worth memorizing regularly.
    2/4 - Some problem or is a specialty choice.  I describe those situations
        where you may need this.
    1/4 - Avoid.  Either AD&D or Bioware had some implementation problems that
        severely cripples this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First Level                                                           !arc,fir-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Armor (Conjuration) - 3/4
    Useful until you get one of the AC 5 robes, Bracers of Defense AC 6 or
better, or if you're a Bard who's using a different set of bracers.  Lasts
pretty much as long as you need it to, aside from any travel.  Doesn't get the
special AC adjustments for actually wearing scale mail, however.

Blindness (Illusion) - 2/4
    The effect is great - easier to attack, harder for the target to attack,
and the effect pretty much shuts down the AI.  Too bad you've got better
choices at this level, though for disrupting enemy archers and casters you
can't do much better than this level one gem.

Burning Hands (Alteration) - 3/4
    Can do potentially insane damage (1d3+20 for a level 10 bard, save for
half), but the only problem is that you have to run up to the enemy and then
you're stationary for a second or two while the flame effect occurs.  Makes it
bad for interruption and puts your spell caster in a vulnerable spot.

Charm Person (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Awesome.  Essentially a low-level domination mixed with a bonus to reaction
spell.  Fun fact, you can actually use it to get extra information out of
characters in certain situations (as if you had top NPC reaction).
    Thankfully, even though BGEE uses BG2's engine, Beamdog retained vanilla BG
behavior for Charm effects, so you still have fine-tune control over their
actions _and_ can still talk to charmed effects.

Chill Touch (Necromancy) - 2/4
    Not bad.  Unlike in vanilla BG, BGEE's version creates a weapon that
has no proficiency bonus/penalty, though you do now get a +4 touch attack THAC0
bonus (so BGEE's version is actually better).
    Every non-undead you hit gets a nice penalty to THAC0 (which doesn't stack
as far as I can tell).  Too bad it requires a save.  Good to use when Magic
Missile or Chromatic Orb are too underpowered.
    Note that as of build 2014, touch attacks now do 1d2 (plus Strength) impact
damage.  Not enough of a plus to get this to a 3/4 rating, though.

Chromatic Orb (Evocation) - 3/4
    Early on it's pretty dumb--a sling can do more damage--but as levels advance
not only does it do decent damage but also has fun effects.  I'm not sure what
'weakness' is, and paralyzing is sometimes bugged, but stunning is great for
sure.  Not completely reliable for interruption since the enemy can save.
    I downgrade this from vanilla BG, because by far the most powerful aspect
of Chromatic Orb are the extra effects, and BGEE uses the BG2 version that has
no save for the damage, but a brutal +6 save bonus against the extra effects.

Color Spray (Alteration) - 2/4
    Only use this if you're a specialist mage who has given up enchantment so
that you can't use Sleep.

Find Familiar (Conjuration) - 4/4
    You only ever need one casting, and you get a permanent ally and permanent
boost to your health.  Depending on your alignment, your new pet can have some
thief skills, though since the penalty of a dead familiar is pretty severe
(loss of 1 point of Constitution), it may be best if you just hid the familiar
in your pack.  There are some exceptions though, see section fam- for details.

Friends (Enchantment) - 2/4
    Decent for making things cheaper.  A few quests require you to have high
charisma to get a pay off.  Just remember that you only get the discount
at stores based on the charisma of the _leader_ of your party, not the person
talking to the storekeep.

Grease (Conjuration) - 1/4
    As far as crowd control goes, this is the worst.  Slowing down enemies
rarely ever amounts to much unless you have an all-archer party.

Identify (Divination) - 2/4
    Get a bard or pay the 100ish gold to pay someone to identify for you. Can
be handy to have if you _have_ to know right then and there which girdle is
cursed and which girdle is beneficial.

Infravision (Divination) - 1/4
    Roll a particular race or, you know, not give a damn since everything is
pretty easy to see at night anyway.

Larloch's Minor Drain (Necromancy) - 3/4
    Decent for interruption, and great for particularly low-constitution mages
as it could potentially double or at least substantially increase their
current/maximum health.  One less person to worry about healing.  Don't use it
much otherwise since that since the damage is so low and doesn't scale.
    Because BGEE uses the BG2 variant which _always_ does 4 damage/heal
(instead of 1d4), Larloch's Minor Drain is actually better than Magic Missile
up until level 3, and is roughly comparable to it until level 5.

Magic Missile (Evocation) - 4/4
    Sucky early on, but scales well and becomes a powerhouse for damage (1d4+1
times 5), interruption (fast projectiles, fast cast), and eating up enemy
Mirror Images (though it takes two missiles to eliminate one image).

Nahal's Reckless Dweomer (Evocation) - 2/4
    Basically lets you force a random effect with a small chance of being able
to cast any spell from your spell book, regardless of spell level or whether or
not you still have any castings left.  Early on this small chance is
super-small, roughly 10%.  Combined with a high level and Chaos Shield, you
could inflate this to a roughly 1/3 chance (up to almost a coinflip chance if
you used Improved Chaos Shield instead).  Which means virtually limitless
Cloudkills for all!

Protection From Evil (Abjuration) - 2/4
    Handy if you want to free up effort from a priest or don't have a paladin
since mages can get a Ring of Wizardry to get more level 1 spells than you can
shake a stick at.

Protection From Petrification (Abjuration) - 2/4
    Petrification is really rare and the game pretty much announces when you're
about to fight a Basilisk (either by quest or by statues of other victims), so
you'll never be surprised.  Still, because you have advance warning, it's worth
keeping in your spellbook just so you can memorize it when the time comes.

Reflected Image (Illusion) - 1/4
    You'd think it's like Mirror Image, but only one hit of protection isn't
really that great, even in the early game.  Also, in the early game why spend
one of few spells you can actually cast per day on a weak-ass defensive spell?
Plus, once you do get Mirror Image, why also have Reflected Image?  At that
point, your caster can't do much else other than protect him/herself.  Use of
the many better first level spells instead.

Shield (Evocation) - 2/4
    Good emergency spell if you don't have Mirror Image, but you're better off
keeping your mage out of danger in the first place.

Shocking Grasp (Alteration) - 2/4
    Super duper great at level 1 since it's 7 average damage on a hit, plus
Strength (likely the most of any spell he or she has at the time).  Unlike in
vanilla BG, this gains a damage bonus based on your level, but you now have to
actually hit your enemy (albeit with a +4 touch attack THAC0 bonus).  Best
suited for casters with half-decent Melee (Bards and Fighter/Mages).
    Note that as of build 2014, touch attacks now do 1d2 (plus Strength) impact
damage.  Not enough of a plus to get this to a 3/4 rating, though.

Sleep (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Ridiculously good.  Most enemies in the game, even as you start pushing
into the later parts, will qualify as being under 4+3 hit die.  In BGEE,
sleeping enemies don't wake up when you hit them, so this is basically a mass
Hold Monster.  Not to mention that all enemies get a penalty to their saves.
God!  It's so good.  Probably the best at this level, probably the best in the
game.

Spook (Illusion) - 3/4
    Not shabby crowd control for level 1.  Not as generally useful as other
crowd control here (and the duration is short), but there is a pretty nice
scaling penalty to the enemy save.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Second Level                                                          !arc,sec-

Agannazar's Scorcher (Evocation) - 2/4
    Does a high amount of damage, though it doesn't scale upwards as you become
stronger (unless you count casting more of these per day as more power).
However, the major downside of actually bothering to memorize this is that
Wands of Fire are relatively common and can do this at will.
    Note:  BGEE uses a version of Aganazzar's Scorcher that does damage to all
targets in the path of the stream of fire.  This actually docks this spell a
point from 3/4, as it becomes very difficult to use this spell in the thick of
combat.  The worst thing that can happen is you tagging an enemy with this, and
the enemy ends up running around your party, catching everyone on your side in
the flames.

Blur (Illusion) - 2/4
    Meh, too short to be effective.  Loses against a comparison to Mirror
Image.

Chaos Shield (Abjuration) - 2/4
    Only useful when you're about to go on a Nahal's Reckless Dweomer binge.
Otherwise Wild Surges are too unpredictable to protect yourself from ahead of
time.

Deafness (Illusion) - 2/4
    Worse than Miscast Magic or Silence, but it's the only Arcane option for
this.

Detect Evil (Divination) - 1/4
    Now that Detect Evil uses the visual-range-limited BG2 nerfed version
instead of the semi-useful map-wide-range vanilla BG version, there is less of
a reason for your arcane casters to use this.

Detect Invisibility (Divination) - 1/4
    As mentioned in the priest spell Invisibility Purge, this used to be great
when enemies casting Improved Invisibility was a horrific experience.  After
the nerf because casual players whined so much, this spell has lost a lot of
point.

Ghoul Touch (Necromancy) - 3/4
    Being able to hold at will is great, too bad unless you're a bard or a
dual/multi-class mage that trying to do this by the time you're advanced in the
game to cast second level spells may not be the best use of your time
(especially since a pure mage's THAC0 will be so low).
    In BGEE, this no longer creates a pseudo-weapon that requries a proficiency
to use well.  In addition, you get a +4 touch attack THAC0 bonus.
    Note that as of build 2014, touch attacks now do 1d2 (plus Strength) impact
damage, meaning that Ghoul Touch no longer will be a damage-less debuff
applier.  Not enough of a plus to get this to a 3/4 rating, though.

Glitterdust (Conjuration) - 3/4
    A good debuff _and_ a combination Detect Invisibility?  Not bad.  Only
downside is that the duration is short and the area of effect small.

Horror (Necromancy) - 4/4
    One of very few party-friendly crowd control spells in the game, and it's
not shabby.  Short duration, but anything you can cast at point-blank range
is worth something.  Note that enemies won't always run away in a panic,
sometimes they'll get scared but stick around and even attack a bit.

Invisibility (Illusion) - 3/4
    Really handy for two big reasons:  protecting someone in the middle of
combat and for general scouting.
    For the first, if you've got an ally that's taking a lot of punishment
or--especially--has gotten held by a Ghast or some such, use this as a
fast-casting escape spell.  Any enemies attacking that character will find a
new target, any spells being cast will be cancelled, and so long as you're wise
enough to turn off party AI right before this is cast, your party member will
stay hidden until negative effects wear off or the situation is much safer.  In
fact, I would say that if you have a party member get held by any effect,
Invisibility is the fastest protection you can toss up (and then that buys you
time--if necessary--to cast something slower like Remove Paralysis).
    For the second reason, which is actually semi-related to the first,
Invisiblity makes for a great scouting tool, especially on a thief type.  The
main reason is that unlike stealth, doing personal things like "Find Traps,"
"Disarm Traps," _even using self-targetting potions_ do not break invisibility.
So you could basically send off one thief to disarm every trap in a dungeon
without ever being worried that any creature will detect him or her.
    There are extra side perks to being invisible, ones that are mentioned in
the spell description for Sanctuary but not mentioned anywhere else.  Invisible
(but not stealthed) characters can feel free to use personal potions and can
even cast certain spells without breaking invisibility; see gen,iss- for more
details.  Which means that if you used Invisibility to hide a party member in
danger, they can take a few rounds to safely quaff some Potions of Healing.
And, like stealth, the first attack made while being invisible gets a +4 bonus
to its to-hit roll.
    Despite having a really long duration, Invisibility still isn't worth the
full 4/4 because when cast on anyone other than yourself, you still have to go
through the effort to walk up to the party member and then cast the spell, so
it's still not a perfect escape/tactical spell.  Plus, it requires a lot of
pre-planning and coordination to _really_ get your money's worth out of this
spell.  In other words, it's great, but not on par with Mirror Image great.

Knock (Alteration) - 2/4
    Potentially really useful if you don't have a thief good at opening locks.
In BGEE, you _do_ get experience for picking locks, but not a lot (on the order
of 10-20 per lock), so you don't miss out on much.

Know Alignment (Divination) - 1/4
    Shoo, useless spell!

Luck (Enchantment) - 1/4
    Would be _really_ great if it had a remotely reasonable duration.  Luck
actually modifies rolls, so a person under the effect of Luck will never
critically fail (since 1s are re-rolled as 2s) and will critically hit twice as
often (19s are re-rolled as 20s), not to mention do more damage (with weapons,
not spells), receive more healing, and take less damage from spells.  Again,
the duration is super short so as to make this largely useless.

Melf's Acid Arrow (Conjuration) - 3/4
    Meh damage, but good at interrupting, especially since each recurring hit
also can interrupt the mage.  It's also damage that can't be really prevented
in any easy (for the AI) way.  Note too that because the follow up damage is
effectively like a poison, Melf's Acid Arrow can be a good way to interrupt a
mage with plenty of Mirror Images; the initial hit might get absorbed by a
Mirror Image, but the follow up damage will happen directly.

Mirror Image (Illusion) - 4/4
    Everyone who can cast this should at least have one copy in reserve, just
as an emergency safety spell.  Bards and fighter-blends can get good mileage
out of this, using it before plowing into melee combat.

Power Word: Sleep (Conjuration) - 2/4
    20 hit points is a really low threshold, even if there is no save.  Still,
there are worse options at this spell level.

Ray of Enfeeblement (Enchantment) - 2/4
    Semi-decent at weakening powerful enemies, but there are better forms of
crowd control.

Resist Fear (Abjuration) - 3/4
    Not bad, but really let your priests take care of this.  Use this only if
you have some other pressing needs for your priests' spell slots or you have
only have one other party member who can do some kind of fear dispel.

Stinking Cloud (Evocation) - 3/4
    Situationally better than Web in that Spiders and Ettercaps aren't immune
to it.  Good crowd control if you've got ranged backup or other spells to clear
out the now unconscious enemies.  Note that even monsters without respiratory
systems seem to get affected (ie Undead).
    The one major downside to Stinking Cloud versus Web is that you can't
combine Stinking Cloud with Free Action-based shenanigans.  Pretty much the
only way to run through a cloud yourself is with the help of some kind of magic
immunity, whether a potion or Minor Globe of Invulnerability.

Strength (Alteration) - 3/4
    Most NPCs that can melee (and even you unless you were quite lucky during
dice rolling) will have less than 18/50 strength.  So this is a nice buff that
also lasts a long time (a high level Bard can get this to last pretty much
for as long as you need it).  Great to use even just for a Mage him or herself
as a pre-melee buff for the more fighting-inclined (like Xan with his
Moonblade).  Plus, targets who already have at least 18/50 strength will get
upgraded to 18/00, which is pretty nice.  Obviously, don't cast this on targets
with higher than that strength.

Vocalize (Alteration) - 2/4
    Keep exactly one copy in the slot of a crucial caster.  You can cast
Vocalize while silenced, so that's what it's good for.

Web (Evocation) - 3/4
    A great crowd control spell if you can use it right.  Like a mass hold
except it tries to hold targets again every round!  Except it's a mass hold
that gives all its targets a chance to save every round...  Good use of ranged
attacks, spells, and choice melee with Free Action is key here.  Unlike
Stinking Cloud, gives a -2 penalty to saves, but notably has several creature
types that are broadly immune to Web (mostly Spiders and Ettercaps).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Third Level                                                           !arc,thi-

Clairvoyance (Divination) - 1/4
    Useful to make an entire map available.  That is, if you find that useful.

Detect Illusion (Divination) - 2/4
    Detect Invisibility will take care of the most pressing need for this
(Improved Invisible or otherwise hidden enemies) without wasting a precious
third-level spell slot.  However, Detect Illusion will get rid of Mirror
Images, which can be pretty handy in a mage fight.  Handy enough to carry
around regularly?  Maybe, maybe not.  If you have more than one mage (and thus
more third-level spell slots to spare), keeping a copy of this around might be
handy.

Dire Charm (Enchantment) - 3/4
    Slightly worse than Charm Person mainly because it takes up a third level
spell slot which is filled with good things.  Ignore the rest of what the spell
description says, in BGEE it is functionally identical to Charm Person.  The
one improvement over Charm Person is that it no longer gives a +3 bonus to the
enemy's saving throw.  There are probably better choices at this level, but if
you really love taking over people, this will keep you satisfied until
Domination or Mental Domination (for a priest) roll around.

Dispel Magic (Abjuration) - 3/4
    In a more nerfed form than it used to be in vanilla BG.  Still has a good
chance to destroy any enemy mage because it ends all their protections.  Also
saves your own guys from bad magical effects.  Still a good idea to try to have
everyone who can use this have one copy for redundancy's sake.
    Note that Yeslick has the vanilla BG version of Dispel Magic (which always
succeeds), so consider that when thinking of your spell options and possible
party members.

Fireball (Evocation) - 4/4
    Awwwwww yeah.  Immensely powerful, will clear the area quite quickly.
Only thing is though that Wands of Fire can cast Fireball at will, so you
might not want to spend a spell slot here.  Be warned that Minor Globe of
Invulnerability doesn't block Wands of Fire-produced-Fireballs, so if you plan
on using Minor Globe of Invulnerability in an offensive manner, you _do_ want
to spend spell slots here.

Flame Arrow (Conjuration) - 3/4
    Pretty outclassed by Fireball in terms of total net damage, though it's
useful in close quarters.  Damage scaling is terrible though (only the bard
gets much scaling out of it and only _very_ late in the game when they hit
level 10).  Great when you first can cast it, though.

Ghost Armor (Conjuration) - 2/4
    Decent protection save for the fact that Mirror Image _completely_ stops
attacks and doesn't use up a precious third level spell slot.  Plus, unlike
first level Armor, it has a short duration.  However, if you have illusion
as a restricted school or haven't found copies of Mirror Image yet, cast away!
Better protection than Shield and lasts way longer.

Haste (Alteration) - 4/4
    Ridonculous.  On all but a party of 6 frail mages, this will let you
mow through the enemy like... a lawnmower!  To give you an idea of how powerful
this spell is, it got a huge nerf in BG2 (only one extra attack instead of
a full-fledged double-initiative round) and it was still one of the best spells
you could cast.

Hold Person (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Clerics can cast it sooner, but it's good.  Again, a failed save by anyone
(and even tough assassins and some bosses aren't immune) is pretty much the
end of the fight right there.  Even Xzar can kill a tough fighter who's been
held.

Hold Undead (Necromancy) - 3/4
    Not quite as good as Hold Person, but still decent.  Still, maybe you
should let a Priest of Lathander take care of this instead.

Invisibility, 10' Radius (Illusion) - 3/4
    All the reasons why the second-level Invisibility is a great spell, except
now it has an area of effect.  Unfortunately, it doesn't get a full bump up to
a 4/4 because now it takes a lot longer to cast (casting time of 1 round or 6
seconds instead of casting time of 2 or 1.2 seconds), so it works less well as
an escape spell.  Be sure to disable party AI before you do this, or you may
have silly NPCs immediately dispelling their own invisibility.

Lightning Bolt (Evocation) - 2/4, 4/4 if you're good at aiming
    Really unpredictable.  Has a good range, so is more of a linear Fireball,
though enemies rarely actually approach in such a fashion.  It bounces like a
ball in Breakout! (ie at a mirror angle to its initial approach), so if you're
really good you can try and get Lightning Bolt to bounce through the same
enemy multiple times.  In all likelihood, this spell is more of a freebie when
enemies cast it, as I can't count the number of times I've had enemy mages
kill themselves by casting a Lightning Bolt that I move my party members away
from and that ends up bouncing back through them, bounce off a wall behind them
and then back through them again for double damage.

Melf's Minute Meteors (Evocation, Alteration) - 4/4
    Amazingly good, basically on-par with a Fireball; sure it does less overall
damage, but you can basically guarantee no caster will get off a spell PLUS
it's safe to use in close quarters.  Put this on someone with a decent THAC0
(Bards and Fighter/Mages).  Be warned though - there is only one scroll in the
entire game (Sorcerous Sundries), so non-Sorcerers will have to rely on this
one spell and getting lucky in scribing it into their spellbook.

Minor Spell Deflection (Abjuration) - 2/4
    If you can make sure whomever is most likely to be seen first by an enemy
mage has this memorized, then you can make the initial part of all magic combat
painless - 4 spell levels of deflection basically means cancelling out the
first two to four spells of combat, generally the worst since the AI likes to
front load all their chaos at the start.  Of course, that's a big "if."  You
can help this out by having someone likely to go toe-to-toe with a mage keep
one memorized and use it when the enemy mage starts off with Mirror Image.
Think of a melee Bard, a Fighter/Mage, or a Stalker/Cleric.
    Of course, enemy mages are still a bit less common than in BG2, so even if
you got all this down, it's still not generally useful enough to be a 3/4.

Monster Summoning I (Conjuration) - 3/4
    Stronger than Animal Summoning I.  As of build 2014, no longer crippled by
the five-summon limit since it now uses BG2-style summons (quality over
quantity), but BG2-style summons are still weaker than vanilla BG summons
(since part of the point of the change in BG2 was to nerf them).

Nondetection (Abjuration) - 1/4
    The only time I've _ever_ had a use for Nondetection mechanics in any of
the Infinite Engine games is:
        - in BG2 to protect a backstabbing thief from the only person who
        does 'Detect Illusions' (the thief skill) in the game.
        - in Icewind Dale 2 off a cloak of non-detection to make sure I don't
        lose Mirror Images or Improved Invisibility in super-hard Heart of Fury
        mode.
Everywhere else, Nondetection is pretty much a waste of time.  Even the cloak
of non-detection is mostly a waste of inventory room.

Protection From Cold (Abjuration) - 1/4
    Cold damage is super rare and it's only 50% protection.  Pass.

Protection From Fire (Abjuration) - 3/4
    80% fire protection.  Used to be that you needed a Druid/Priest to create a
Fireball-absorbing decoy.  Now you just need a mage and a Ring of Fire
Resistance (fairly common).  Once you have those in place, you can use Wands of
Fire and Fireballs at point-blank range without any worry.

Protection From Normal Missiles (Abjuration) - 3/4
    Potentially really good, as fragile arcane casters are the most vulnerable
to being repeatedly peppered by arrows and darts.  Later archers will have
very magical arrows, though.

Remove Magic (Abjuration) - 3/4
    Like Dispel Magic except it only affects enemies.  Great for getting rid of
enemy protections, but no good if you're trying to cure yourself of effects
(like confusion or charm).

Skull Trap (Necromancy) - 4/4
    With the low level cap in BGEE, this spell has a hard time coming out
from Fireball's shadow (which it eventually does in Icewind Dale II or BG2,
since the damage scaling is uncapped).  It's about as good (with a triggering
range) as a Fireball, though it makes up for any finicky aiming mechanics by
being able to prepare with lots of skull traps if you expect an ambush (two
skull traps going off at once is pretty much game over for the enemy).

Slow (Alteration) - 4/4
    Not quite as great as Haste but still really good.  A side effect of BG's
spell casting mechanics is that slow effects actually slow down spell casting,
too!  The actual graphic of casting (the colored sphere that indicates what
school is being cast) finishes on normal time, but then the caster still makes
hand-wavey motions for twice the time before the spell is released.  -4 penalty
to save pretty much guarantees widespread fun.  Also view it as party-friendly
crowd control, as its pretty easy to run circles around enemies moving at
half speed.

Spell Thrust (Abjuration) - 2/4
    By far the best part is getting rid of enemy Minor Globes of
Invulnerability, which become common against Ogre Mages and other end-game
fights.  Of course, Wands of Fire also bypass those, and do you really want to
keep a spell memorized for like 2% of all fights (even in the end-game)?

Vampiric Touch (Necromancy) - 4/4
    Really good, plus evil characters get up to two castings of this as part of
their Bhaalspawn powers.  Bards with their fast progression get the most out of
this, able to do 5d6 (average: 17.5) damage with no save and heal an equivalent
amount at level 10 in BGEE.  Mages still get a nice benefit from this anyway.
Good alternate way to view this is as a fast cast heal (beat only by Neutralize
Poison).  Having no save also makes up for the fact that it can only hit one
target at a time.  Be warned that multiple Vampiric Touches don't stack in
terms of bonus health, even if you've taken extra damage; you have to wait for
the effects of the first to wear off.

Wraithform (Alteration, Illusion) - 2/4
    Basically an emergency defense spell to get you out of a tough spot.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fourth Level                                                          !arc,fou-

Confusion (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Awesome.  Crowd control at its finest in BGEE.  Turn any painstakingly
developer-scripted enemy encounter into a gibbering mass where you can pick off
enemies one at a time.  Note that compared to Emotion: Hopelessness (which is
another mass crowd control spell) Confusion bestows a -2 penalty to enemy
saves, which seems like a change made just for BGEE.

Contagion (Necromancy) - 1/4
    At no point in any of the Infinity Engine games has this been a good spell.
A 4th level spell that performs minor stat adjustments and a permanent slow is
a waste of a 4th level spell slot.

Dimension Door (Alteration) - 2/4
    Useful for speed runs.  Can be handy if your mage is stuck near the enemy.
Otherwise, the fact that it's limited by sight is really hindering.

Emotion:  Hopelessness (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Screw Confusion - this is way better once you can get it.  Once you can
regularly use this, you might wonder why developers even bothered to give the
enemy an AI.

Enchanted Weapon (Enchantment) - 3/4
    Unlike in BG2, +3 weapons are hard to come by.  Chances are you'll have to
rely on a Sorceror to get access to this spell, but outfitting your party with
+3 weapons is never a bad thing (so long as they use Long Sword, Short Sword,
Mace or Axe proficiencies).

Farsight (Divination) - 3/4
    Surprisingly good.  Basically combine this spell with Wands of Monster
Summoning or other ways to create baddies, and you can send in your personal
army to attack distant targets (as normally you can't order your summons to
walk into unrevealed fog of war).  This is perhaps even better than in BG2
considering that thief levels are so much lower, so trying to have a stealthed
thief (to perform the same task of revealing fog of war for your summons) that
can stay hidden successfully for the same duration is much, much harder.

Fire Shield (Blue) (Evocation, Alteration) - 2/4
Fire Shield (Red) (Evocation, Alteration) - 3/4
    Works best on someone who's bound to get hit and can survive being hit.
Think melee Bards and Fighter/Mages.  Pairs sinfully well with Stoneskin.  The
Red Fire Shield is slightly better in that its protection is also kind of
useful (pair with a Ring of Fire Resistance and you can let loose with
Fireballs and Wands of Fire).

Greater Malison (Enchantment) - 3/4
    Not as good as it ends up being in BG2 or IWD2 simply because enemies don't
get so high level as to really worry about their saving throws.  Plus, you
have so few casts at these levels, do you really want to use up at least one
just to make your rest very slightly better in certain situations?

Ice Storm (Evocation) - 2/4
    Potentially insane damage output (8d8 area over 4 rounds), but it's very
hard to keep enemies in place for 4 rounds.  Aure you can use a disabling
spell, but if you've disabled them, you don't really need to cast this spell.
Unless you're playing Black Pits, you probably need to rely on a Sorcerer to
get this spell (no scrolls).

Improved Invisibility (Illusion) - 3/4
    In BGEE, the spell retains its ToTSC/BG2 nerf.  Essentially it becomes a
casting of Invisibility that gives you a slight boost to AC and saves after you
make an attack.  You still can't be affected by direct spells, but in this
regard Minor Globe of Invulnerability is probably better since that also
protects you from area of effects.
    Despite the fact that you get extra perks above Invisibility, this still
doesn't get a 4/4 bump because the casting time is slower _and_ the duration is
much, much shorter, which harms its ability to be a scouting tool.

Minor Globe of Invulnerability (Abjuration) - 3/4
    Really nice.  Lets your arcane caster run through Webs and Fireballs with
impunity.  Short duration though, so do some planning ahead to be reckless with
nasty spells.  Be warned though that the Fireball effect from Wands of Fire
is _not_ a third-level spell, so the globe won't protect against that.  If
enemies use this, the best way to deal with them is to summon a lot of monsters
or animals in their face or use a Wand of Fire.

Minor Sequencer (Evocation) - 4/4
    Super amazing.  Lets you cast two spells for the price of one - think two
Magic Missiles, two Melf's Acid Arrows.  Works even better for hybrid
Cleric/Mages, since they can also pull from Cleric spellbook (insta-cast Chant
is not something to shy away from).

Monster Summoning II (Conjuration) - 4/4
    Stronger than Animal Summoning II.  As of build 2014, no longer crippled by
the five-summon limit since it now uses BG2-style summons (quality over
quantity), but BG2-style summons are still weaker than vanilla BG summons
(since part of the point of the change in BG2 was to nerf them).  Still, you
start to get some decent enemies at this level.

Otiluke's Resilient Sphere (Alteration) - 2/4
    Only decent if you've got no other choice for crowd control.

Polymorph Self (Alteration) - 1/4
    Druids get shapeshifting without having to burn a spell slot and even then
it's kind of a niche ability.

Remove Curse (Abjuration) - 1/4
    Save this for priests.  Oh yeah, except even priests shouldn't burn a spell
slot memorizing this.

Secret Word (Abjuration) - 1/4
    If you want to get rid of an enemy's Minor Globe of Invulnerbility, the
third-level Spell Thrust does the same thing.  Or you can just use Wands of
Fire/Frost/Monster Summoning.

Spider Spawn (Conjuration) - 4/4
    If you like quality over quantity, go for this over the Monster Summoning
variety.  The fact that your spider(s) can poison enemies is a wonderful plus.

Spirit Armor (Necromancy) - 2/4
    Only the most marginal improvement on top of Ghost Armor (AC 1 instead of
2 and a slight bonus to saves), and you use up a very valuable fourth level
slot and risk taking damage to yourself (2d4).  Memorize one of the new
enchantment spells (if you can) instead.

Stoneskin (Alteration) - 4/4
    In some ways worse than Mirror Image (doesn't protect against spells), in
some ways better (faster cast, less ways to dispel, consistent defense, longer
duration).  Regardless, it's amazing and works especially well for casters who
are prone to fighting in close quarters.

Teleport Field (Alteration) - 3/4
    Really good for archery-heavy parties, as this spell can basically make it
impossible for melee enemies to ever engage your party (and will reset their
initiative rounds, which means that enemies with slower weapon speed will
basically never be able to land a hit).  Also, in case it isn't obvious, this
spell _doesn't_ affect your party members, so you can use it at point-blank
range.

Wizard Eye (Alteration) - 3/4
    Serves similar purposes as Farsight, but better and worse in certain ways.
Better because it's mobile.  Worse because of a shorter overall duration.  On
the balance, I favor Farsight, but Wizard Eye works well if you've given up
Divination as a prohibited school.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fifth Level                                                           !arc,fif-

Animate Dead (Necromancy) - 2/4
    Gets a downgrade only because priests do this better (they don't burn a
fifth-level spell slot to use this).  With BGEE's five summon limit, Animate
Dead gets a bit worse.  Even though the spell has been revised to give you one
or two decent undead instead a swarm of weak undead, the spell's best part was
being able to have a horde of 1 HD skeletons that you could buff with spells
like Bless or a Bard Song.

Chaos (Enchantment) - 4/4
    All the greatness of Confusion except low-level monsters get no save and
everyone else takes a catastrophic -4 penalty.

Cloudkill (Evocation) - 3/4
    The early scrolls you find in BG are pretty much game-winners.  You slay
a lot of enemies instantly, and those who stay alive have to save or die or
take a lot of damage, especially if you can ensnare them.  Being able to
memorize a few is great!  Gets weaker as the game goes on and monsters get
tougher, though.

Conjure Lesser Air/Fire/Earth Elemental (Conjuration) - 3/4
    There are so many downsides to using one of these (the three rounds of
being out of action, the chance of the elemental going hostile), but
pound-for-pound these guys are the most efficient summon in all of BGEE (with
the possible exception of the Totemic Druid's pets).  All of them are
unaffected by +1 weapons or lower, attack as +4, and can be charmed in a pinch
if you fail the mind battle.
    Of the three, the Air Elemental is the worst and the Fire Elemental is the
best; the Fire Elemental features extra fire damage per attack as well as a
personal immunity to fire.
    Note that I cannot recall ever seeing scrolls of this spell in normal BGEE,
they may only be available (outside of random drops) in the Black Pits side
adventure.

Domination (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Basically a charm with a save penalty.  Good because it's a charm and it
has a save penalty.

Feeblemind (Enchantment) - 1/4
    I honestly don't know how Bioware decided to add spells to the game.  May
have been useful in pen and paper version of D&D, but this is severely under-
powered for a fifth-level spell (would _you_ cast a priest Miscast Magic as
a fifth-level spell?  I didn't think so).

Hold Monster (Enchantment) - 4/4
    A hold spell that has the astounding trait of targeting every type of
non-undead monster in the game.  Nice!

Monster Summoning III (Conjuration) - 4/4
    One of the best summon spells, but ultimately high-level Druids are better
summoners in BGEE.  As of build 2014, no longer crippled by the five-summon
limit since it now uses BG2-style summons (quality over quantity), but
BG2-style summons are still weaker than vanilla BG summons (since part of the
point of the change in BG2 was to nerf them).  Still, this is probably the best
a mage can do in BGEE.

Oracle (Divination) - 1/4
    Dispels virtually every time of Illusion magic that you'll have problems
with in BGEE, save for Blindness and Deafness.  Alas, that's a very specialized
and limited effect for a spell level that comes very late in the game and is
enjoyed solely by Mages and Specialist Mages.

Sunfire (Evocation) - 2/4
    Works best for solo-ers or for a caster you wouldn't mind sending off on
their own regularly.  The explosion is bigger than a Fireball, though you won't
really be able to take advantage of the higher damage cap (15d6 versus 10d6) at
BGEE's lower levels.

Shadow Door (Illusion) - 2/4
    Heavily nerfed by the Improved Invisibility nerf in BGEE.  Now, why would
you waste a fifth-level spell slot on an effect that's barely improved on top
of a second-level spell?  Plus, you can no longer target other people _and_ the
duration is even shorter than Improved Invisibility.  There are way better
choices here.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Divine Spells                                                             !div-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rating scale:
    4/4 - Amazing.  Memorize multiple copies of this.
    3/4 - Good, not perfect.  Still worth memorizing regularly.
    2/4 - Some problem or is a specialty choice.  I describe those situations
        where you may need this.
    1/4 - Avoid.  Either AD&D or Bioware had some implementation problems that
        severely cripples this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First Level                                                           !div,fir-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleric-Only Spells

Command Word:  Die - 4/4
    In a pinch, you can use this to counter an enemy's spell cast.  Also,
unlike future versions of the Infinity Engine, sleeping enemies don't wake up
immediately when you hit them.  So this also effectively acts as an instant,
unsaveable, one-turn Hold, which may be enough for 6 party members to destroy
almost anything.
    Note that in BGEE, higher-level enemies _do_ get a chance to save.  Even
with that nerf, this spell is still pretty bonkers for level 1.

Magic Stone - 1/4
    Does less than a comparable Mage spell (like Magic Missile or even
Larloch's Minor Drain) _and_ you have to roll to hit.  Leave the direct damage
to the wizards and memorize something else instead.

Protection From Evil - 3/4
    Decent defenses against some of the potentially really difficult enemies
in the game.  Just be sure you actually are fighting something evil, or else
you just wasted a turn (hint:  Detect Evil is a good way to tell).

Sanctuary - 3/4
    Like a clerical version of Invisibility.  Not quite as good because you
can't cast it on other people and the casting time is slower, which makes it
riskier to use as an escape spell.  Still, you get this as a level 1 spell,
which is pretty bonkers.
    Note:  you _cannot_ Bless yourself without breaking Sanctuary, despite what
the game says.  You can do other bonkers stuff, such as casting Sanctuary, then
Chant or Draw Upon Holy Might without breaking Sanctuary.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shared Spells

Armor of Faith - 1/4
    Super minor protection so as to be a rounding error.  It gets better at
level 5, but 10% means shrugging off 1 damage out of a 10 damage attack.  Only
if you have 80 health would this make Armor of Faith equivalent to a Cure Light
Wounds.

Bless - 3/4
    A +1 to hit rolls is no laughing matter.  The morale boost against fear may
help Khalid on occasion, but you're better off using Remove Fear when actually
faced with fear.  Note that unlike in Icewind Dale II, this only lasts for 6
rounds rather than for many, many tens of rounds.

Cure Light Wounds - 4/4
    Thanks to BGEE's inclusion of "Rest until healed," you no longer need to
stock up on this like a mad man.  Still, it gets buffed to heal a full 8
health, which makes it still pretty important as a mid-combat heal.

Detect Evil - 1/4
    Used to have a use in vanilla BG, where it had map-wide range and could be
a good way to detect respawns and provide an early warning system for certain
types of enemies.  Now that it uses the BG2 version, which is limited to visual
range, this spell is mostly useless, especially since now that most enemies are
evil now, whereas in vanilla BG it was less clear that spells like Protection
from Evil would do something.

Doom - 3/4
    A pretty decent buff.  Against a single, tough boss, works better than
Bless.

Entangle - 2/4
    Not nearly as good as in vanilla BG.  This spell is no longer a one-time
shot that holds things in place, now it's more like Web that constantly tries
to re-snare people every round.  While this sounds like it makes the spell more
useful, it doesn't.  The best part of vanilla BG's Entangle was being able to
aim it well to block off some approaching melee monsters and then later taking
them on one-by-one without entangling your own guys.

Remove Fear - 4/4
    Always have one memorized on every person who can cast it.  You want a lot
of redundancy, because the last thing you need is a badly-timed Horror or
morale failure in a difficult fight.

Shillelagh - 1/4
    Pretty heavily nerfed now that you no longer get an extra THAC0 bonus due
to proficiency shenanigans.  2d4 damage and +1 to hit is better than starting
priest weapons, but do you really want to burn a precious spell slot (when
early in the game you have so few) on a marginal damage/hit bonus?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Second Level                                                          !div,sec-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Druid-Only Spells

Charm Person or Mammal - 4/4
    Druids won't ever get Mental Domination, but this is a good early
substitute.  Charming is really powerful in BGEE, as it means you either
have a fully controllable ally, or an NPC with massive reaction boost.  This is
just like the similarly powerful Charm Person for wizards, except it takes a
bit longer to cast but lets you also charm mammals.  There aren't many that
worry you once the game gets into the middle and later stages, but pulling over
a bear to your side isn't a bad thing.
    Note that in the end-game, there are some high-level wolves that are
actually undead instead of mammals.

Goodberry - 2/4
    Each berry requires an individual round to use (like any other item, it
qualifies as a spell-like effect).  Makes it really inappropriate to use in
the heat of combat, unless you have someone who isn't taking damage very
quickly and you make sure you use-and-attack so you don't blow a turn.  What
Goodberry is very good for is that it lets you patch individual bits of damage:
like if you have one party member who has two damage and another with three,
you can use one Goodberry instead of two Cure Light Wounds.  It also is great
because the berries themselves last 24 hours, which means any left over can be
held on to until later.
    Eventually though, you may get impatient enough and wealthy enough that you
can just go for Potions of Healing or Elixirs of Health instead.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleric-Only Spells

Aid - 3/4
    A combination one-person Bless and Cure Light Wounds.  Half-decent again
because healing options are limited at this level.  Only major downside is that
instead of Bless-ing one person, you could be spending the round to Bless _all_
your party members.  Bonus hit points are never bad though, but Aid is not
really the best bang for your buck as a second level spell.

Chant - 4/4
    The best buff in BGEE and continues to be a great buff in all other
Infinity Engine games (slightly worse in Icewind Dale II though).  Doesn't
actually show up as a bonus in your to hit rolls or some such, basically any
body who is affected by Chant will get all their rolls modified by +1 and all
rolls against them modified by -1 (so enemies don't have to be in range).
Lasts only 5 rounds though, one less than Bless, so if you're going to do both
buff Bless first and then Chant.

Draw Upon Holy Might - 4/4
    Early on it's not very impressive (unless you have 18 strength and at least
14 con), but once you get a +2, and then eventually +3 to strength, dexterity,
and constitution, your cleric will become a brutal killing machine.  Toss in
some fighter/ranger levels and you can probably take on any melee challenge in
the game.  (Having fighter/ranger levels also has the side effect that a
constitution boosted past 16 will actually do something.)

Hold Person - 4/4
    A fabulous control spell.  It's available earlier than for Mages.  A failed
save by a target is pretty much game over for them.

Silence, 15' Radius - 3/4
    The steep save penalty pretty much guarantees that you'll be able to shut
down casting in the area, doubly useful since some of the early mage battles
are imbalanced against you (read: very difficult), especially the assassination
ones.  It might even be worth using this with extreme prejudice, since enemy
casters tend to carry a copy or two of Hold Person and even one use is close
to a mandatory reload (until you can stomach paying and travelling to get a
resurrection).

Spiritual Hammer - 1/4
    Horribly nerfed by the fact that in BGEE, you no longer get an additional
+3 to hit bonus to help with characters who wouldn't have War Hammer
proficiency; this spell now simply creates a weapon that requires no
proficiency (with the side effect that it also does not benefit from any
proficiency).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shared Spells

Barkskin - 2/4
    In theory not so bad for druids, since it starts off being as good as the
best mundane druid armor and keeps getting better (on top of bonus to save vs
spells).  In reality, you can either be a Fighter/Druid (who can wear anything)
or find some Ankheg Plate Mail early on before this spell has a chance to be
anything more than plain studded leather armor.  You can cast this on arcane
casters in a pinch, though honestly mages can wear some great late-game robes
and bards can put on chainmail or cast Armor, which gives comparable protection
except for 9 hours.

Flame Blade - 3/4, 2/4 for Clerics
    This spell used to be a lot better in vanilla BG, but BGEE mechanics have
nerfed this somewhat.  Still decent, and I still don't know why this spell
isn't more popular.  Sure, it gets outclassed by the time you play BG2, but in
BGEE, Flame Blade is one of the best possible weapons a priest can use, and
it's available very early in the game.
    So for a druid, the best one-handed weapon a druid can use in BGEE is a
scimitar +2.  This is ignoring Frostblade off of Drizzt's corpse, since not
everyone wants to go through that moral challenge.  So anyway, the likely best
average damage a druid can pump out is 6.5 (4.5 average from scimitar, +2
damage bonus).  Similarly, the best one-handed weapon a cleric can
use is a non-war hammer +2, which is also 6.5.
    Against non-undead or fire-vulnerable enemies, Flame Blade already does 6.5
average damage though lacking one in to-hit.  Against undead or fire-vulnerable
enemies, Flame Blade deals 8.5 average damage and becomes hands-down the best
druid weapon in the game (better even than Frostbrand), though you sacrifice
some to-hit bonus.
    In short, the moment you get this, casting it is an upgrade to your current
damage output.  Clerics get a potentially better use of their time in Draw Upon
Holy Might, but Druids can still get good mileage out of this spell.

Find Traps - 2/4
    Situational.  Use if you've got a thief that hasn't invested in Find Traps
(which is odd since Find Traps is also used to disarm them).  Still, many
traps can be circumvented by either wandering around them or by prebuffing with
magic resistance, fire resistance, or Minor Globe of Invulnerability.  And even
if you do have a thief with decent Find Traps, you can wander around with this
on and leave your thief stealthed, bringing him out only to disarm or backstab.
Only downside is that, the priest who cast this will periodically pause in
their tracks to do a mini-echo of the original cast to reveal any traps.  Can
be annoying when trying to fight or explore.

Know Alignment - 1/4
    Useless.

Resist Fire and Cold - 2/4
    Concentrated fire and especially cold damage is rare in BGEE.  So that
means you either have to know in advance when you're going to be facing a foe
with a propensity to use this (which isn't good since this has such a short
duration), or you have to use this as advance protection for your own Fireballs
(which isn't good because this only gives 50%, which isn't going to save you
from a Fireball frenzy).

Slow Poison - 2/4
    Antidote potions are unwieldy to use in the heat of battle (I don't know
about other people but my quick slots tend to be filled with other stuff).
Just be warned that using this on yourself instead of a fellow party member
might be tricky since some poisons like to work every second, which means you
have a margin of about .4 seconds after one tick of damage in which you can
cast this without getting it interrupted by a following tick of damage.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Third Level                                                           !div,thi-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Druid-Only Spells

Call Lightning - 4/4
    One of the most insanely damaging spells in the game.  Does way more damage
than a Fireball can ever be capable of (a level 8 druid does 10d8 or average
45 damage to one enemy).  Very slow to act though since after the first
lightning bolt, the next one occurs ten rounds later.  Not bad for hard fights
(that may span at least ten rounds), also not bad for dense outdoor areas where
you'll likely be in another fight at some point in the next minute per level.
Even if those aren't true, just one cast is still way better than a single
Flame Strike, and this is available as a third-level spell!  Only cost is that
you have to be outside, which in BGEE is far less of a downside than you
might think (similar to Icewind Dale II).

Hold Animal - 1/4
    Uhhh... by the time you can cast third level spells, most animals are not
going to be much concern for you.  Unless for some reason you're expecting to
have 5 bears bearing down (ha!) on you, skip this one.

Summon Insect - 2/4
    Casts extremely slowly and the rate of damage is pretty pathetic.  Its main
advantage in BG2 was its ability to completely mess up enemy casters, but enemy
casters aren't nearly as common or as deadly in BGEE.  Basically, this is just
for druids who are underground and thus can't use Call Lightning.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleric-Only Spells

Animate Dead - 3/4
    It's comparatively weak as summons go (though better than the mage version
since you get this much earlier on).  However, you get this early on and it
scales better than most.  In addition, this spell has been tweaked in BGEE to
give you less undead but of better quality, which helps circumvent the five
summon limit.  Just be sure not to switch on Turn Undead as a good cleric as
you will either fear them or worse, abolish them.
    I still give this a ratings downgrade from vanilla BG because by far the
best part of Animate Dead was being able to create an absolute horde of
skeletons to serve as cannon fodder that can be Hasted into competence, not
create one or two still-weak allies.

Dispel Magic - 3/4
    Good for all the same reasons that Dispel Magic is great for arcane
casters.
    Note that Yeslick has the vanilla BG version of Dispel Magic (which always
succeeds), so consider that when thinking of your spell options and possible
party members.  In fact, if you're considering what spells for _Yeslick_ to
memorize, just skip over this one since his special ability is strictly better.

Glyph of Warding - 3/4
    A cleric version of Skull Trap, except reduced damage (1d4), longer casting
time, and a save negates all damage instead of half.  Electrical damage is less
frequently resisted than fire, though.  But that might be a negative if you
like stacking fire resists on decoys.

Holy Smite - 4/4
    For good parties, this is basically a party-friendly Fireball that also
blinds.  Even for evil parties, it's on par with a Fireball.  The only thing is
that since the level cap in BGEE is so much lower than BG2, Holy Smite never
gets a chance to really take advantage of its uncapped power scaling
(eventually doing 20d4 party-friendly damage with a chance to blind).  Still,
it's a really good Cleric alternative to the Druid's Call Lightning.

Remove Curse - 1/4
    Unless you've played the game a lot before, you shouldn't ever put on
a magical item you haven't identified.  If you haven't figured out what potions
look like, you should always right click (or long-press) them to see if they
have something iffy about them (odd color, funny smell).  So, this should never
be necessary.

Remove Paralysis - 3/4
    One way to get around those frequent Holds, whether from enemy mages or
from undead.  Takes a long time to cast, though (6) so hopefully whoever got
held has the health to withstand some automatic hits.

Rigid Thinking - 2/4
    Druids still can party around with Charm Person or Mammal, but clerics have
to use a version of Confusion that gets rid of its main strength, the area
of effect?  Use only if you're feeling daring and original.

Strength of One - 3/4
    Can be very good based on your party composition, since very few NPCs
actually have 18/76 or better strength (in fact only Minsc does) and you as a
PC are unlikely to unless you were really lucky with your rolls.  If you've
got a lot of melee, this is basically like Bless on crack.  Only works on your
party, won't buff summons (it might be overpowered otherwise).

Unholy Blight - 1/4
    The evil version of Holy Smite.  Not nearly as good, simply because how
many good enemies are you going to face off against?

Zone of Sweet Air - 1/4
    Way too situational and with too many good other spells to worth wasting a
spell slot here.  And as the BG2 spell reference at sorcerers.net mentions,
"Stationary area damage is easily turned against your enemies because of your
vastly superior tactical insights...  Right?  Be grateful when someone casts
Cloudkill, do not get rid of it."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shared Spells

Cure Disease - 1/4
    Very rarely ever needed.  Pass.

Cure Medium Wounds - 2/4
    Decent healing, but there are much better spells at this level, spells that
turn your divine caster into something more than just a healer.

Invisibility Purge - 1/4
    This used to have a great use, since Improved Invisibility made it very
difficult to attack enemies (since they would remain completely invisible).
Then it got a huge nerf in TotSC/BG2/BGEE, so you can still see enemies under
Improved Invisibility as long as they start doing something.

Miscast Magic - 2/4 for clerics, 3/4 for druids
    Silence is most likely going to be much better since the penalty is steeper,
affects an area, and is guaranteed to stop casting instead of mostly
guaranteeing it (80% failure).  For druids, however, this is their only way
to shut down enemy casters, so it becomes pretty decent then (and gets around
any Vocalize shenanigans, though I don't remember the AI using it ever).

Protection From Fire - 3/4
    Most of the weaknesses of Resist Fire and Cold, slightly counter balanced
by having a higher boost (80%) and higher duration.  If you complement this
with some other source of fire resistance (note that unlike in vanilla BG, the
80% is not enough to block all Fireball damage), it's worth using this spell
since you basically turn one person into a decoy for enemies to group around as
you flame them all to death.
    A side effect of using this on a decoy-type character is that the character
will get all enemy spells flung on them.  High-level enemy mages love to use
Flame Arrow, so this helps that character survive for a bit longer.  Stack this
more than 20% other fire reistance (like the Ring of Fire Resistance) and the
character will _heal_ from fire damage (evidenced by negative damage).  Watch
in awe as you wipe out entire enemy parties while your sole decoy regenerates
health.
    Note that while this spell says it works differently based on whether its
cast on the caster him or herself or someone else, the spell doesn't actually
appear to do anything different.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fourth Level                                                          !div,fou-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Druid-Only Spells

Call Woodland Beings - 5/4 (!!)
    This spell was already good in BG2's higher power curve, and it's even
better in BGEE's tamer environment.  Instantly ramps up the Druid's power
level.  Only catch is that the Nymph's AI script can be a bit faulty at times.
    Even if you're not big on summons, the Nymph that is summoned has a casting
of Mass Cure, which makes this spell worth it on its own.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleric-Only Spells

Free Action - 2/4
    By this point you've got a Ring of Free Action on whomever might be running
into a Web-splattered area. Otherwise, it gets rid of Haste (and Haste does a
better job of getting rid of Slow) and only affects one person if you're trying
to be rid of Hold effects.

Mental Domination - 4/4
    Clerics finally get a version of Charm Person or Mammal.  Slightly better,
too, since it casts ever-so-slightly faster and incurs a penalty to save vs
spells.  However, a charm effect as a fourth-level spell for a priest may not
be as great as you may think (think of the other great spells at this level).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shared Spells

Animal Summoning I - 3/4
    Good amount of cannon fodder who will soak up damage and even occasionally
dish it out, too.  As of build 2014, no longer crippled by the five-summon
limit since it now uses BG2-style summons (quality over quantity), but
BG2-style summons are still weaker than vanilla BG summons (since part of the
point of the change in BG2 was to nerf them).

Cure Serious Wounds - 4/4
    Massive healing, 17 health is nothing to cough at.  No Potions of Extra
Healing in BGEE unlike BG2/IWD/IWD2, so this is the best healing you can get.

Death Ward - 1/4
    No one casts any of the spells this protects against in BGEE.

Defensive Harmony - 3/4
    Great buff spell counterbalanced by the only fact that it does nothing
against mages and that there are other great spells here and clerics in
particular are wanting of spell slots.

Farsight -  3/4
    Good for the same reason that Farsight is great for arcane casters.

Holy Power - 3/4
    In some ways better than Draw Upon Holy Might, in some ways worse.  If your
strength is too very low, then Holy Power is great because it sets your
Strength to 18/00 instead of merely boosting.  Holy Power also gives you
temporary hit points, which can serve as healing (whereas the constitution
bonus from Draw Upon Holy Might is merely temporary, and may not do anything if
it boosts your constitution past a point of usefulness e.g. higher than 16 if
you're not part fighter).  Holy Power may also boost your THAC0 significantly,
though dual/multi-class Clerics should beware.  Only reason why Holy Power gets
a 3/4 is that there is comparatively better stuff in this level of spells.

Lesser Restoration - 1/4
    Level drain is _very_ rare, so there's literally no reason to keep this
memorized.

Negative Plane Protection - 1/4
    Level drain is _very_ rare (I can only think of a fight or two in Durlag's
Tower), so no sense packing this spell.

Neutralize Poison - 3/4
    Heals less than Cure Serious Wounds, but also cures all poison _and_ has
a near-instantaneous casting speed (only 1).  When it comes to tough fights
against enemies hitting a lot, speed and inability to be interrupted is much
more important.  Plus, 10 health of healing is still way better than any other
comparable healing (Potion of Healing, Elixir of Health, and definitely Cure
Light Wounds and Goodberry).

Poison - 2/4
    This potentialy nice BG2 spell doesn't really get a chance to shine at
BGEE's lower level cap.  Let the arcane casters worry about direct damage.

Protection From Evil, 10' Radius - 3/4
    Lasts a long time compared to other buffs that priests have.  Pretty much
obsoletes Protection From Evil, though there is plenty of competition at this
level.

Protection From Lightning - 1/4
    Um, can you name anyone who uses lightning off the top of your head?
Thanks.  Only useful if you love to use Glyph of Warding and want to do the
same fire resist/fireball trick except with that (note: combine with Boots
of Grounding for hilarious results).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fifth Level                                                           !div,fif-

Note that only druids will ever be able to memorize fifth-level spells, the
other spells are at-most effects you can purchase (like Raise Dead) or
available in alternate forms.

Note that in Black Pits, single-class clerics have a higher experience cap and
will eventually be able to memorize fifth-level spells, hence the occasional
reference to cleric casting.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Druid-Only Spells

Insect Plague - 4/4
    Really baller.  Six rounds of 1 damage every 2 seconds translates to 18
damage to six targets.  That's on par with a level 10 Fireball (assuming the
enemy saves), except Insect Plague is also party friendly (so you can cast it
in mixed combat), the damage happens periodically (which messes up enemy
animations and their ability to fight), spellcasting is 100% likely to fail,
_and_ there's no save for any of this.  Plus, there's an extra fear effect
(that enemies do get a chance to save against).  Druids' ability to cast fifth
level spells really pays off here.

Iron Skins - 4/4
    It's like Stoneskin except available on a character more likely to engage
in close-quarters with enemies.  Wrap this on a Fighter/Druid or Shapeshifter
and you're pretty much set.

Pixie Dust - 2/4
    Basically the divine version of Invisibility 10' Radius.  Why do I rate it
worse than the arcane version?  Because by the end of the game, Druids will
only be able to memorize two fifth level spells (three with 18 starting Wisdom
and three Tomes of Understanding), and do you really want to waste a slot on
this when there are so many other powerful options?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cleric-Only Spells

Cause Critical Wounds - 2/4
    May actually be worth memorizing.  The damage is actually severe, and
though you still need to do a separate attack roll to make it connect, you get
a +4 touch bonus to your THAC0 roll, and the damage will exceed anything you
can probably do on your own.

Champion's Strength - 1/4
    Uh, giving up the ability to cast is one of the worst penalties you can
take on.

Chaotic Commands - 1/4
    Suffers from similar problems of other protection spells:  you're rarely
ever going to have advance notice if the particular spell is going to be
unleashed in a fight.  The duration is decently long, but not long enough.

Flame Strike - 4/4
    Less damage than a Call Lightning, but can be used indoors.  It's only
going to be available as a scroll or some such, so it's not like you'll be
'wasting' a spell slot here anyway, so it's worth the turn you spend using
the item or whatnot.

Raise Dead - 3/4
    It's too bad you can't memorize this, as this would basically remove the
need to do a lot of different Load Game operations.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shared Spells

Animal Summoning II - 3/4
    Druids luck out here.  Essentially at this point they become master
summoners.  Makes up for the fact that Animal Summoning I becomes steadily
weaker as you go up against end-game fights, these guys are a bit more durable
and pack slightly more punch.
    As of build 2014, no longer crippled by the five-summon limit since it now
uses BG2-style summons (quality over quantity), but BG2-style summons are still
weaker than vanilla BG summons (since part of the point of the change in BG2
was to nerf them).

Cure Critical Wounds - 4/4
    27 healing is amazing.  Druids basically become better healers than clerics
at this point, which is kind of unsettling when you consider that clerics are
traditionally the healers and druids the more offensively-oriented priests.

Magic Resistance - 1/4
    Its main use in BG2 was to cheesily reduce the resistances of
otherwise-impregnable enemies without making them hostile.  Otherwise, it's too
situational (like most other protection spells).

Mass Cure - 4/4
    Druids basically can become the best healers in the game thanks to
memorize-able access to this spell.  1d8+level heal basically translates to
healing on-par with Cure Serious Wounds on _everyone_ in the party.

True Seeing - 1/4
    True Seeing is the divine version of True Sight.  There are several kits
that feature this as a free class ability, and it's still not that great thanks
to how much weaker mage fights in BGEE are versus BG2.  Save one of your
precious fifth-level slots for some of the others spells here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sixth Level                                                           !div,six-

Note that only druids will ever be able to memorize sixth-level spells and only
in Black Pits.  Because this is such a limited use case, I will be brief with
spells.

Animal Summoning III - 3/4
    Even better than Animal Summoning II but pales in comparison to the other
goodies here.  Exhibit A:  Fire Elemental.
    As of build 2014, no longer crippled by the five-summon limit since it now
uses BG2-style summons (quality over quantity), but BG2-style summons are still
weaker than vanilla BG summons (since part of the point of the change in BG2
was to nerf them).

Conjure Animals - 4/4
    Better than Animal Summoning III.

Conjure Fire Elemental - 4/4
    The best summon spell in the game.  Immunity to normal weapons, too!

Dolorous Decay - 2/4
    Potentially really good damage with spellcasting interruption, but
otherwise the saved effect is kinda crummy, especially given the better choices
here.

Fire Seeds - 3/4
    Like a combo between Melf's Minute Meteors and Fireball.  Decent damage
potential, but your aim has to be pretty good.

Harm - 4/4
    :D

Heal - 4/4
    :O (isn't it ironic that Druids are absolutely destroying clerics in
healing effectiveness?)

Physical Mirror - 2/4
    Decent if you can take advantage of it, but heavy archer fights in Black
Pits aren't that common.

Wondrous Recall - 3/4
    Good if you can plan for it pretty well and bring back Iron Skins or Insect
Plague.  Really crappy if you don't plan for it well and end up bringing back
two castings of Goodberry.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Familiars                                                                 !fam-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Familiars are relatively more powerful in BGEE than in BG2, so it bears some
quick discussion on the various familiars, as well as collecting their
information into one place.  Special thanks to Ilya for bringing this stuff to
my attention (I had just been using them as health boosts).

Rating scale:
    4/4 - Amazing.  Almost no drawbacks, you can't go wrong here.
    3/4 - Good, not perfect.  More drawbacks but not shabby if you don't want
        to be a cookie-cutter.
    2/4 - Some problem or is a specialty choice.  May be handy if you want to
        try something different, but you'll run into more difficulties.
    1/4 - Avoid.  Either AD&D or Bioware had some implementation problems that
        severely cripples this.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note that as of build 2014, most familiars have been nerfed and no longer use
BG2 stats.

Unless noted otherwise, all familiars have 12 hit points, 35% magic resistance,
two attacks per round at 15 THAC0 for 1d3 damage, and an immunity to level
drain, sleep, and petrification.

Alignment       Familiar            Rating      Special Stats

Lawful Good     Pseudo Dragon       2/4         AC 0; regenerate 1 hp/round
Neutral Good    "
    Can use Blur once/day.  Combined with a low AC and the built-in
    regeneration, the dragon can be handy early in the game to give you an
    extra hand in simple fights, but otherwise the Pseudo Dragon should stay in
    your inventory.

Chaotic Good    Fairy Dragon        2/4         AC 6; only 25% magic resist,
                                                only 1d2 damage per attack
    Can cast Mirror Image (for 3 images) once/day.  Can no longer do
    Invisibility 10' Radius, alas and its combat stats are pretty weak; coupled
    with an AC of 6, the Fairy Dragon is no longer the party support/tanker it
    once was.

Lawful Neutral  Ferret              3/4         AC 2; 50pick 25stealth 20find
    Only familiar that can actually disarm traps.  The only downside is that
    its Find Traps skill is so relatively low.  The decent pick-pocket does
    mean you can go and rob Drizzt of his nice equipment with relative ease.

True Neutral    Rabbit              2/4         AC 3; 50find 30stealth; only
                                                1d2 damage per attack
    Can find traps, not disarm them, though 50 Find Traps isn't bad.

Chaotic Neutral Cat                 1/4         AC 2; 15pick 65stealth
    Functions as a scout, but not much else.

Lawful Evil     Imp                 3/4         AC 4; only 9 HP, 15% magic
                                                resist, and one attack at 17
                                                THAC0 but 1d6 damage; 100%
                                                resistance to fire, cold, and
                                                electricity
    Can cast Polymorph Self once/day.  Notably, the Mustard Jelly form is
    pretty much an unstoppable tank and anti-mage weapon.  However, the Mustard
    Jelly moves really slowly, the Imp can only cast it once/day, and when
    you're not taking advantage of the Imp's polymorph ability, you are left
    with a familiar that gives you less of a health bonus (4 instead of 6).
    However, amidst the other nerfs that hit familiars, the Polymorph Self
    ablity becomes more significant, giving this fellow an upgrade from 2/4 to
    3/4.

Neutral Evil    Dust Mephit         2/4         AC 8; only 10% magic resist and
                                                1d2 damage/attack; 35% resist
                                                to slashing, pericing, and
                                                missile damage and 100% resist
                                                to fire; regenerate 1 HP/round.
    Can cast Glass Dust twice/day.  Nerfed from being able to use Glitterdust,
    and even with the damage resists and health regen, the piss-poor AC means
    that this guy belongs in your pack.

Chaotic Evil    Quasit              4/4         4 AC; only 15% magic resist but
                                                1d6 damage/attack; 100% resist
                                                to fire, cold, and electricity;
                                                regenerate 1 HP/round.
    Can cast Horror once/day.  In light of all the other familiar nerfs, the
    Quasit remains relatively unscathed retaining its signature crowd control,
    but also gaining some valuable elemental resists and health regen.
    Fireball/Lightning Bolt decoy anyone?
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Spirit Animals                                                            !spi-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
They would've been absolutely broken if the pure BG2 versions were transplanted
to BGEE without alteration.  As it stands, they are still pretty good (probably
the best and most consistent quality summons you can get) and they get stronger
as your Totemic Druid levels up.  Special thanks to Ilya for giving me this
info.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Caster Level 1

    Spirit Bear
        Stats:      16 HP, Str 16, AC 6, THAC0 17
        Attack:     1d4, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      15death 16wand 16poly 16breath 17spell
        Resists:    Cold 25%
        Immunities: Fear, Berserk, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack Panics for 8s if target fails
                        save vs death at +4.

    Spirit Lion
        Stats:      12 HP, Str 16, AC 5, THAC0 16
        Attack:     1d4+1, Speed Factor 1, twice/round
        Saves:      15death 16wand 16poly 16breath 17spell
        Resists:    Electricity 25%
        Immunities: Charm, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +11

    Spirit Snake
        Stats:      8 HP, Str 14, AC 3, THAC0 16
        Attack:     1d4, Speed Factor 2, once/round
        Saves:      14death 16wand 16poly 16breath 17spell
        Resists:    Poison 100%
        Immunities: Stun, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack poisons for 2 damage/second for 3
                        seconds unless target saves vs death at +3.

    Spirit Wolf
        Stats:      8 HP, Str 14, AC 3, THAC0 16
        Attack:     1d1 + 1d3 cold, Speed Factor 2, once/round
        Saves:      14death 16wand 16poly 16breath 17spell
        Resists:    Poison 100%
        Immunities: Stun, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +8
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caster Level 3

    Spirit Bear
        Stats:      32 HP, Str 17, AC 5, THAC0 16
        Attack:     1d6, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      15death 16wand 15poly 16breath 16spell
        Resists:    Cold 50%, Electricity 25%, Poison 25%
        Immunities: Fear, Berserk, Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack Panics for 8s if target fails
                        save vs death at +4.

    Spirit Lion
        Stats:      23 HP, Str 17, AC 4, THAC0 14
        Attack:     1d5+1, Speed Factor 1, twice/round
        Saves:      14death 16wand 15poly 16breath 16spell
        Resists:    Electricity 50%, Cold 25%, Poison 25%
        Immunities: Charm, Fear, Berserk, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +11

    Spirit Snake
        Stats:      15 HP, Str 15, AC 2, THAC0 14
        Attack:     1d6, Speed Factor 2, once/round
        Saves:      13death 15wand 14poly 15breath 16spell
        Resists:    Cold 25%, Electricity 25%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Stun, Polymorph, Petrification
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack poisons for 2 damage/second for 3
                        seconds unless target saves vs death at +3; permanent
                        Free Action.

    Spirit Wolf
        Stats:      19 HP, Str 14, AC 3, THAC0 15
        Attack:     1d2 + 1d4 cold, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      13death 15wand 14poly 15breath 16spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 50%, Poison 50%
        Immunities: Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification
        Special:    Movement Speed +10; attack holds for 3 seconds unless
                        target saves vs death at +5.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caster Level 5

    Spirit Bear
        Stats:      48 HP, Str 18, AC 4, THAC0 14
        Attack:     1d6, Speed Factor 2, thrice/round
        Saves:      12death 14wand 13poly 14breath 15spell
        Resists:    Cold 75%, Electricity 50%, Poison 50%
        Immunities: Stun, Fear, Berserk, Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack Panics for 12s if target fails
                        save vs death at +4.

    Spirit Lion
        Stats:      36 HP, Str 18, AC 3, THAC0 12
        Attack:     1d5+2, Speed Factor 1, thrice/round
        Saves:      12death 14wand 13poly 14breath 15spell
        Resists:    Electricity 75%, Cold 50%, Poison 50%
        Immunities: Stun, Charm, Fear, Berserk, Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +11; permanent Free Action and Death Ward.

    Spirit Snake
        Stats:      23 HP, Str 16, AC 1, THAC0 13
        Attack:     1d6, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      11death 13wand 12poly 13breath 14spell
        Resists:    Cold 50%, Electricity 50%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Polymorph, Petrification
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack poisons for 2 damage/second for 5
                        seconds unless target saves vs death at +1; permanent
                        Free Action.

    Spirit Wolf
        Stats:      28 HP, Str 15, AC 2, THAC0 13
        Attack:     1d2 + 1d4 cold, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      11death 13wand 12poly 13breath 14spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 75%, Poison 75%
        Immunities: Charm, Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level
                        Drain
        Special:    Movement Speed +10; attack holds for 3 seconds unless
                        target saves vs death at +4.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caster Level 7

    Spirit Bear
        Stats:      72 HP, Str 18/37, AC 3, THAC0 12
        Attack:     1d8, Speed Factor 2, thrice/round
        Saves:      10death 12wand 11poly 12breath 13spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 75%, Poison 75%
        Immunities: Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Fear, Berserk, Polymorph,
                        Sleep, Fatigue
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack Panics for 20s if target fails
                        save vs death at +3.

    Spirit Lion
        Stats:      54 HP, Str 18/68, AC 2, THAC0 10
        Attack:     1d6+2, Speed Factor 1, thrice/round
        Saves:      10death 12wand 11poly 12breath 13spell
        Resists:    Electricity 100%, Cold 75%, Poison 75%
        Immunities: Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Charm, Fear, Berserk,
                        Polymorph
        Special:    Movement Speed +11; permanent Free Action and Death Ward.

    Spirit Snake
        Stats:      34 HP, Str 17, AC 0, THAC0 11
        Attack:     1d8, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      9death 11wand 10poly 11breath 12spell
        Resists:    Cold 75%, Electricity 75%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue,
                        Petrification
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack poisons for 2 damage/second for 5
                        seconds unless target saves vs death at +1; permanent
                        Free Action.

    Spirit Wolf
        Stats:      42 HP, Str 16, AC 1, THAC0 11
        Attack:     1d2 + 1d6 cold, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      9death 11wand 10poly 11breath 12spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 100%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Charm, Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level
                        Drain
        Special:    Movement Speed +10; attack holds for 5 seconds unless
                        target saves vs death at +3; permanent Death Ward.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caster Level 10

    Spirit Bear
        Stats:      96 HP, Str 18/83, AC 2, THAC0 10
        Attack:     1d10, Speed Factor 2, thrice/round
        Saves:      8death 10wand 9poly 10breath 11spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 100%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Charm, Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Fear, Berserk,
                        Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level Drain,
                        Normal Weapons
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack Panics for 30s if target fails
                        save vs death at +3; permanent Free Action and Death
                        Ward.

    Spirit Lion
        Stats:      72 HP, Str 19, AC 1, THAC0 8
        Attack:     1d8+2, Speed Factor 1, thrice/round
        Saves:      8death 10wand 9poly 10breath 11spell
        Resists:    Electricity 100%, Cold 100%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Charm, Fear, Berserk,
                        Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level Drain,
                        Normal Weapons
        Special:    Movement Speed +11; permanent Free Action and Death Ward.

    Spirit Snake
        Stats:      45 HP, Str 18, AC -1, THAC0 9
        Attack:     1d8, Speed Factor 2, twice/round
        Saves:      7death 9wand 8poly 9breath 10spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 100%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Charm, Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Fear, Berserk,
                        Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level Drain,
                        Normal Weapons
        Special:    Movement Speed +8; attack poisons for 2 damage/second for 6
                        seconds unless target saves vs death; permanent
                        Free Action and Death Ward.

    Spirit Wolf
        Stats:      56 HP, Str 16, AC 0, THAC0 9
        Attack:     1d4 + 1d6 cold, Speed Factor 2, thrice/round
        Saves:      7death 9wand 8poly 9breath 10spell
        Resists:    Cold 100%, Electricity 100%, Poison 100%
        Immunities: Charm, Feeblemind, Confusion, Stun, Fear, Berserk,
                        Polymorph, Sleep, Fatigue, Petrification, Level Drain,
                        Normal Weapons
        Special:    Movement Speed +10; attack holds for 7 seconds unless
                        target saves vs death at +1; attack does level drain
                        unless target saves vs death at +5; permanent Free
                        Action and Death Ward.
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
General Pointers                                                          !gen-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Issues/Notes                                                          !gen,iss-

Death by Cold Destroys Items
    There's a "flavor" issue where enemies that die from cold damage will
freeze and then afterwards shatter.  Fun, but any non-gold item they have will
be lost, including any powerful magical items.  Not sure if quest items get
destroyed, but hopefully not.

Dual-Classing
    As mentioned in the Human section, once you hit level 2, you can dual-class
your character.  You must have 15 in your primary class's prime stat(s) and
17 in your target secondary class's prime stat(s) to be eligible.  Once you
dual, you essentially start over as a level 1 character, though you retain
your hit points (so starting off as a fighter and then dualing gives you
advantageous health).
    Once your secondary class attains one level higher than your primary class,
you get all your abilities back from your primary class but only continue
gaining experience in your secondary class.  You abide by all the rules and
restrictions of a multi-class of the same type (in terms of armor/weapon
usage).  However, it's important to note that you do _not_ stack the benefits
of your primary or secondary class, you simply use whichever is the best.  So
if you had a level 3 fighter/level 5 mage, you use the THAC0 of the level 3
fighter instead of the level 5 mage.  Same thing with saving throws and
weapon proficiencies.  So dualling a level 2 fighter isn't strictly the best
thing to do, as even a high-level mage will get comparable THAC0.  But then
again, even just doing a level 2 fighter/* multi-class will get you weapon
specialization and an early boost to your health.

Five Summon Limit
    In an effort to nerf summons in BG2, the BG2 engine added a global five
summon limit.  That means you cannot have any more than five summons at a time.
BGEE picks up this nerf, _but_ does not recieve the BG2-style adjustment to
Animal Summoning/Monster Summoning spells that made them summon fewer but
stronger creatures.  As a result, not only can you no longer create a vast army
of summons, but potentially one casting of any of these spells (or a use
of a Wand of Monster Summoning) will actually fail to create all the summons
your are entitled to, resulting in an immediate warning that you've hit the
five summon limit.

Invisibility
    Invisibility from potions and spells is different from stealth (which is an
ability).  Notably, doing modal abilities (such as Bard Song, Find Traps,
Disarm Traps) does not disable invisibility.  Using potions that are
automatically self-targeted also does not disable invisibility.  Interacting
with the environment (opening doors, looting--even if you don't pick up an
item--any thing on the ground, etc) _does_ still disable invisibility.
When you make an attack (and not the random swings that your character always
does in combat, but an actual THAC0 roll), you still break invisibility, though
you get a +4 bonus to your THAC0 roll.  Importantly though, you can cast
certain types of spells without breaking invisibility:
        1.  Untargetted hostile (red icon) spells that have an area of effect do
            not break invisibility (not many of these in BGEE).
        2.  Untargetted non-hostile (blue/white) spells do not break
            invisibility.
        3.  Targetted non-hostile (blue/white), non-area of effect spells that
            are aimed directly at the caster do not break invisibility.
        4.  Spells that create a weapon do not break invisibility, though when
            you attack with them you still break invisibility normally.
There is a small exception to #1:  Sunfire still breaks invisibility, probably
because internally it's treated as a targetted hostile spell that simply has
the caster at its center.  There is also an exception to #3:  Otiluke's
Resilient Sphere still breaks invisibility.
    So as examples, casting Chant won't break Sanctuary, healing yourself is
fine, casting Melf's Minute Meteors won't hurt Invisibility, and you can even
prepare for a fight by doing Sanctuary and then Draw Upon Holy Might.  However,
you can't cast a Fireball, nor cast Strength on an ally, nor use a Potion of
Explosions, nor can you even Bless yourself (despite the game and manual
explicitly saying you can).
    Improved Invisibility (which is also provided by Shadow Door) functions
like Invisibility, except when you would break Invisibility, you instead merely
become partially visible, which means you can't be directly targetted by _any_
spell (friendly or hostile) and any attacks against you are made at a -4
penalty and you get a +4 bonus to saves.

Multi-Classing
    Similar to dual-classing.  The way BG handles hit points, though, is that
you roll a hit die as you level up but then halve it (or third it for a triple
multi-class).

Respawns
    Enemies respawn aggressively in BGEE.  They won't, however (or at
least try not to) if one of your party members are in sight range of the spawn
point.  This is handy in particular areas (thinking of Ulcaster Ruins or
Cloakwood Mines) where respawning is very aggressive.  Respawns also occur
when you load the game, as a form of 'punishment' for saving/loading a lot.

Scrolls of Protection From Magic
    These block not just magic effects but pretty much _all_ effects in the
game.  In other words, don't chance on being able to use potions while under
the effect, as while they'll look like they visually activate, nothing will
happen.

Stealth
    Both "Hide in Shadows" and "Move Silently" serve almost the exact same
purpose.  The two scores are averaged to determine your "Stealth" percentage
(which Rangers just use straight-up), so effectively each point in Hide in
Shadows and Move Silently contributes a .5% chance of success (i.e. stealth% =
(hide in shadows + move silently) / 2).
    If you're outdoors and not actually in shadows, your stealth rate is
halved.  If you're indoors and in a brightly lit area, your stealth rate is
reduced by a third.  This is really annoying because the check is applied every
round, so when exploring you would do best to try to jump from tree to tree (or
avoiding internal lights), only running on when you succeed the next check.
Though, because of how low level you are for much of the game, your stealth
skill may be so low so as to limit your hiding to only a couple rounds of
consistent use at a time.
    "Move Silently" allegedly increases the time it takes for you to become
visible after you break stealth (by doing something instead of failing a
stealth check), though there has been no independent confirmation of this.
Because of this potential, though, and since a point in Move Silently is
otherwise identical to a point in Hide in Shadows, it behooves you to put
points in Move Silently first.

Thieving Skills
    While the game says you get capped to 99% if you go higher than that, you
do get penalized on your thieving skills based on factors like armor, light
level (for stealth), and for pick pockets what you're trying to steal.  As
such, Hide in Shadows/Move Silently and Pick Pockets are skills you should
theoretically want to put higher than 99%.  Open Locks/Find Traps are
hypothetically handy to have higher than 99%, but in BGEE no lock/trap has such
a high difficulty.  None of the remaining skills benefit from having higher
than 99%.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enemies                                                               !gen,ene-

(Greater) Basilisk
    They are always forecast in some way (via advance warning in a quest or
petrified statues of other people).  Don't try to get by with just using
summons, as Basilisks can petrify at will, meaning you either have to output
a crap load of damage or have a high number of summons.  Also, Basilisks'
petrify is separate from their attack.  If you have anyone out of melee range,
Basilisks will easily try to petrify them independently of attacking whoever
is in range.

Drizzt Do'Urden
    Killing this guy is quite an accomplishment.  The rewards are a severe hit
to your reputation, but also three of the best items in the game: Mithril
Chain Mail +4, Frostbrand Scimitar +3, and Defender Scimitar +5.  The chain
mail has great AC but also is wearable by thief-y types (and Rangers) without
disabling thief abilities.  Frostbrand is the best scimitar a non-good aligned
character can wield (and the best druid weapon).  Defender is the best overall
weapon in the game, doing the equivalent of a +3 scimitar, but also providing
a -2 AC bonus.
    I don't think I've heard of a legitimate (read: non-cheesy) way to beat
this guy.  I'll be honest and say I used the undead trick to kill him, which no
longer works with BGEE's improved AI.  I've also heard that you can glitch out
his pathfinding by using ranged weapons from across the lake in the area he's
in.  If you _do_ try him legitimately, you'll probably need a lot of summons, a
lot of strength potions, and a crap- load of healing potions.  He has high
(perhaps impregnable) magic resistance.
    Note that with a decent Pick Pocket score, you can trivially take Drizzt's
weapons.  Even if you don't have a decent Pick Pockets score or a Ferret
familiar, so long as you have a Bard or a Thief of some kind you can just quaff
a couple of Potions of Master Thievery (they stack) and get a decent success
rate.  Only way to get Drizzt's armor is to kill him, though.

Greater Wolfwere
    There are two that I can recall, one on the island with the Balduran
shipwreck and one when you get back.  They have the special distinction that
not only do they have insane regeneration (5 hp/round), but they can only be
hit by literally only four weapons in the game:
        1.  Werebane, the dagger that's +4 against Lycanthropes
        2.  Sword of Balduran, a bastard swords that's +4 against Lycanthropes
        3.  Flame Tongue, a long sword that has a +2 against regenerating
            creatures
        4.  Bastard Sword +1, +3 vs Shapeshifters (self explanatory)
Not even Melf's Minute Meteors (which count as +6 weapons) can damage them
otherwise.  Even if you do have characters who can use these items (and you
have the items to begin with), you still need to surpass their health
regeneration in order to make a dent.  In all likelihood, you need to do some
combination of:
        1.  Buffing up the strength of your weapon-wielders to help them
            outpace the Greater Wolfwere's health regeneration.
        2.  Using a hold effect to help accomplish the above.
        3.  Using a lot of Wands of Fire/Frost at once to do a lot of damage at
            once (and they have 50% elemental resistance to boot).
Tough fight, so make sure you're prepared before you go to Ulgoth's Beard
(though you get weapons 1 and 2 as a part of the quest that leads up to the
Greater Wolfweres).

Mustard Jelly (outside of Nashkel Mines)
    Part of an encounter with a slime mage, these guys can easily wreck you
since you're likely to be very low level.  Branwen (from Nashkel Carnival) has
Spiritual Hammer which can hit them.  Neera, if you've recruited her before,
starts with a magical staff that she can use to hit them.  Give them
strength-boosting potions to make quick work of them.  Don't send them in
alone, though, their attacks are pretty severe.  It's worth using melee
fighters even if they don't have magical weapons just so that you can soak up
some damage.

Ogre Mages
    The moment you see these, either launch an Arrow of Slaying or start
casting Magic Missile/some other 1-speed damage spell.  Ogre Mages invariably
start with something that's very annoying (generally Improved Invisibility or
Mirror Image), and you definitely want to prevent that.

Sirines
    The bane of all BG parties, basically low-level Mind Flayers.  By far the
best approach is to send in a single fighter with a Protection From Magic
scroll used on them.  They may still get confused even if they avoid the Charm
spell (the confuse is a per-hit effect they have), so have some decent AC on
them.  Failing that, a berserking Minsc will still get charmed but may still
attack the Sirines.  Failing that still, you may get by with one heck of a
backstabbing thief with Boots of Speed.  Run away after you backstab and try to
hide once you're out of range.  Your thief may still get charmed, but by being
hidden and away from everyone they may not do anything.

Tanar'ri (end of Tales of the Sword Coast)
    By an order of magnitude the hardest enemy in the game, requiring very
special preparation to take on.  The worst part about this guy is a special
Gaze Attack, where once it hits a party member, they will explode a couple
rounds later (irrevocably dead, unless you are on a lower difficulty setting)
and turn into a Ghast.
    You also need to get rid of all the Cultists who, despite being motionless,
can only be hit by magical weapons.  If you don't, then when you kill the
Tanar'ri, it will simply respawn thanks to the assitance of a Cultist.
    The quickest way to ramp down the difficulty is to give everyone potions of
Mirrored Eyes, which provides immunity to the Gaze Attack.  The second quickest
way is by using a Wand of Paralyzation.  You'll probably need several party
members using them and possibly even the help of Greater Malison, but simply
repeatedly stunning the Tanar'ri while you take time to wipe out the cultists
can simplify things drastically.  Even without the help of Wands of
Paralyzation, you can try and use an endless amount of summons cast right next
to the Tanar'ri to try and draw the Tanar'ri's attention away from using its
gaze attack on your party members.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Party Harmony                                                         !gen,par-

The following characters won't get along with each other (meaning they will
eventually come to blows):
    Montaron & Xzar and Khalid & Jaheira
    Kagain and Yeslick
    Edwin and Minsc & Dynaheir

Moreover, as everyone knows by now, evil characters will leave once you get to
19 or 20 reputation.  Viconia can be useful for managing this, as if you drop
her, you'll gain 2 reputation (but not past 20), and have her rejoin, and
you'll lose 2, which means the moment you hit 19 you can juggle her to push
yourself back to 18.  Kind of cheesy.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charts/Tables                                                         !gen,cha-
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bhaalspawn Powers

    I didn't know where to put this, but shortly after the beginning of each
chapter, there is a chance that when you rest you get a dream sequence and
gain a Bhaalspawn Power (accessed via "Special Abilities"), based on your
current reputation.  There are a total of 6 that you can get.  The first two
are level 1 spells (divine for >=10, arcane necromancy for <10), the second
two are level 2 spells (same spell alignments), and the final two are level
2 spells for good, level 3 necromancy for evil.  Here they are:

                    Reputation >= 10        Reputation < 10
    Chapter 2       Cure Light Wounds       Larloch's Minor Drain
    Chapter 3       Cure Light Wounds       Larloch's Minor Drain
    Chapter 4       Slow Poison             Horror
    Chapter 5       Slow Poison             Horror
    Chapter 6       Draw Upon Holy Might    Vampiric Touch
    Chapter 7       Draw Upon Holy Might    Vampiric Touch

If you're not trying to role play your character, it's worth being of neutral
alignment, so you can easily adjust your reputation so you can mix and match.
By far my favorite combination is to do the first 3 as good and the latter 3 as
evil (Vampiric Touch on melee classes is really good).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Special Armor AC Bonuses

    In addition to the base AC wearing armor bestows you, all armor types also
have specific AC bonuses/penalties to specific types of weapon attacks.  For
some reason, most guides don't make much note of this, but this can be _very_
important to your survivability to pay attention to.

                    Base AC     vs Slashing     vs Piercing     vs Bludgeoning
    Leather Armor   8           .               +2              .
    Studded Leather 7           -2              -1              .
    Hide Armor*     6           .               +2              .
    Chain Mail      5           -2              .               +2
    Splint Mail     4           .               -1              -2
    Plate Mail      3           -3              .               .
    Full Plate      1           -4              -3              .
*Hide Armor also provies a +2 penalty to AC against missile attacks.

Of note is the vs Piecing, as most ranged weapons are considered piercing.
That means that even if you have Leather Armor +2, normal Studded Leather is
probably going to be a much better choice, as otherwise you'll get constantly
peppered with ranged weapons.  Similarly, Splint Mail can be better than Plate
especially against Skeletons who like to use a combination of ranged weapons
and warhammers.  Being aware of this is handy--putting Boots of Avoidance on
someone stuck with Leather Armor can be much more helpful than putting it
elsewhere.  Ponying up for Full Plate and putting it on someone who isn't
using a shield can greatly help their survivability against an army of
Kobold Archers.
    If you like micromanagement, it might be worth keeping spare armors.
Knowing in advance that Gnolls like to use Halberds, you may want to switch
people off of Splint Mail and onto Chain Mail when arriving at the Gnoll
Stronghold, for example.
    Armor, so use at your own peril.  Also, none of the spells that replicate
AC effects don't replicate these per-weapon AC bonuses, so getting AC of 1 from
Spirit Armor isn't as good as actually wearing Full Plate (no massive -4 or -3
bonus to AC).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"Shorty" Saving Throw Bonuses

    The shorter races get a bonus to their saving throws based on their
constitution.  Special thanks goes to playithardcore for this, as I'd never
heard of this before I read their wiki.  Note that these are only computed
at level up, so if you boost your constitution with a tome, you won't see
any benefit until you level up (keep that in mind so that you're not already
at experience cap before using it).

                    Bonus to Saves
    con 3           n/a
    con 4-6         +1
    con 7-10        +2
    con 11-13       +3
    con 14-17       +4
    con 18-25       +5
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THAC0 Progression

                Warriors/Monk Priests       Rogues        Mages
    Level 1     20            20            20            20
    Level 2     19            20            20            20
    Level 3     18            20            19            20
    Level 4     17            18            19            19
    Level 5     16            18            18            19
    Level 6     15            18            18            19
    Level 7     14            16            17            18
    Level 8     13            16            17            18
    Level 9     12            16            16            17
    Level 10    11            14            16            17

Note that because each class has different experience progression tables, a
straight level-by-level chart is not useful if you want to compare relative
power.  So here's one based on experience earned:

                Fig  Pal/Ran  Monk  Cle  Dru  Rogues  Mages
    0xp         20   20       20    20   20   20      20
    1,000xp     20   20       20    20   20   20      20
    2,000xp     19   20       19    20   20   20      20
    4,000xp     18   19       18    20   20   19      20
    8,000xp     17   18       17    18   18   19      20
    16,000xp    16   17       16    18   18   18      19
    25,000xp    16   16       16    18   18   18      19
    50,000xp    15   15       15    18   16   17      19
    75,000xp    14   14       14    16   16   17      18
    100,000xp   14   14       14    16   16   17      18
    130,000xp   13   14       13    16   14   16      18
    161,000xp   13   13       13    16   14   16      18

As you can see from the above chart, the relative slower progression of
Paladin/Rangers vs Fighters and Clerics vs Druids weakens their combat prowess.
In fact, Clerics get particularly hurt as they end up having a THAC0 no better
than a less-combat-heavy Thief/Bard (though they do get Draw Upon Holy Might to
help things along).
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
Appendix                                                                  !app-
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special Thanks                                                        !app,spe-

gibberlings3.net for keeping the fan community alive.  Even if I disagree with
some of your work, I appreciate what you do nonetheless.

DSimpson for getting me really into writing guides in the first place.

dudleyville's excellent walkthrough.  Saved me a lot of wandering aimlessly.

playithardcore for documenting some interesting data.

Beamdog most of all for putting together all the disparate mods, revamping BG,
and giving it a new life.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History                                                               !app,his-

2014.02.13 - v 1.17
    sin,thi,sha-:  adjusting for balance changes.
    sin,mag-:  adding specialist mage bonuses, adjusting Enchanter score.
    arg,fou-:  removing redundant note about 5-summon limit for Spider Spawn.

2013.08.26 - v 1.16
    sin,ran,bea-:  downgrading since familiars have been nerfed.
    npc,neu-:  adding Safana details, upgrading.
    all arc sections:  adding notes where appropriate since in build 2014 touch
        attacks now do impact damage.
    arc,fif-:  removing obsolete note about Entangle for Cloudkill.
    div-:  removing disclaimer.
    div,fir-:  upgrading Command Word:  Die.
    all arc and div sections:  upgrading summons as appropriate now that they
        use the BG2 versions.

2013.08.19 - v 1.15
    div,fif-:  adding note that only single-class clerics in Black Pits can
        memorize fifth-level spells.
    div,six-:  fixing reference to "fifth-level" spells.
    fam-:  updating with new familiar stats (don't know when these were
        changed, whoops).
    npc,neu-:  adding Skie details, fixing shortcut (was goo,neu-), fixing
        entries that didn't list quantity of proficiency points.
    npc,evi-:  adding extra note to Eldoth.
    gen,cha-:  removing erroneous no-hide armor data note.

2013.08.08 - v 1.14 (minor)
    Changing "Other Guides" to "All Works" and updating.

2012.07.01 - v 1.13
    npc,goo-:  adding Dynaheir proficiency, removing "DATA INCOMPLETE" note.

2012.05.28 - v 1.12
    sin,bard,jes-:  updating Jester description and note with tweaks in build
        2014.

2012.03.12 - v 1.11
    div,six-:  adding sixth spell level section for Black Pits.

2012.03.12 - v 1.10
    sin,dru-:  upgrading for Black Pits, fixing shortcut key.
    sin,dru,tot- and sin,dru,ave-:  upgrading for Black Pits.
    bla-:  clarifying note about experience caps, adding two bug indicators.

2012.03.11 - v 1.9
    Fixing various typos and grammar errors from the v 1.8 update.
    sin,sor-:  adding note about getting fifth level spells.
    bla-:  downgrading Shapeshifter and adding note.
    arc,fou-:  adding Enchanted Weapon, Ice Storm, and Wizard Eye.
    arc,fou-:  note about Confusion's save penalty.
    arc,fif-:  adding Oracle.
    arc,fif-:  adding all the Conjure Lesser Elemental spells.

2012.03.07 - v 1.8
    rac-:  adding various notes about Dwarven Defender kit.
    sin,fig,dwa-:  adding new kit.
    sin,ran,arc-:  removing bug about ranged weapon attacks/round, fixed in
        build 2014.
    sin,thi,sha-:  adding new kit.
    sin,sor,dra-:  adding new kit.
    sin,mon,dar-:  adding new kit.
    sin,mon,sun-:  adding new kit.
    bla-:  adding new kits to the mix.

2012.02.20 - v 1.7
    Exanding bla-.
    sin,bard,ska-:  adding note about Melf's Minute Meteors.
    gen,ene-:  adding note about the Tanar'ri.

2012.02.18 - v 1.6
    Modifying various notes to indicate that Level Drain _can_ occur in BGEE.
    Adding various pointers to indicate that Yeslick has a killer Dispel Magic.
    New minor section: bla- (just some minor notes for Black Pits).
    arc,thi- div,sec- div,thi-:  Removing discussion on rounding errors (BGEE
        is more robust with partial damage versus vanilla BG).
    div,fou-:  adding missing Cleric spells (Holy Power, Lesser Restoration,
        Farsight).
    div,fif-:  adding missing priest spells (though really only for Druid since
        only they can cast fifth-level) spells (Cause Critical Wounds, Insect
        Plague, Magic Resistance, Mass Cure, Pixie Dust, True Seeing).
    gen,ene-:  adding section for Greater Wolfwere.
    gen,cha-:  adding information for Hide Armor.

2012.02.06 - v 1.5
    arc,sec- arc,thi- arc,fou- arc,fif- and div,fir-:  upgrading rating for
        Invisibility and Sanctuary, adding extra notes for all Invisibility
        effects.  Adding note for Sanctuary that the game example of casting
        Bless doesn't actually work.
    gen,iss-:  adding details on what breaks invisibility effects.
    npc-:  making a note that an evil party is really good now.
    npc,evi-:  adding Baeloth.
    arc,thi-:  upgrading Detect Illusion and adding extra notes.
    arc,thi-:  upgrading Dire Charm and adding extra notes.
    arc,fif-:  downgrading Animate Dead.
    div,thi-:  downgrading and tweaking Animate Dead note.
    gen,cha-:  fixing Monk THAC0 progression, adding experience-based chart.

2012.02.04 - v 1.4
    sin,bard-; sin,bard,bla-; sin,thi,swa-; mul-:  adding notes about Mithril
        Chain Mail +4.
    sin,bard- and gen,iss-:  adding notes about Drizzt's weapons trivially
        pick-pocketable.
    sin,pal-; arc,sec-; and div,fir-:  clarifying that Detect Evil now sucks in
        BGEE.
    npc-:  cleaning up Eldoth, Shar-Teel, and Xzar of various (formatting)
        mistakes.
    arc-; div-; and gen,iss-:  docking a point from all vanilla BG summon
        spells due to the BG2-style five summon limit, discussing it in
        gen,iss-.
    arc,sec-:  downgrading Agannazar's Scorcher and discussing the damage it
        does to intermediary targets.
    arc,fou-:  adding Contagion, Farsight, Secret Word, Spider Spawn, and
        Teleport Field.
    arc,fif-:  adding Sunfire.
    div,fir-:  clarifying the BG2-style saving throw.
    div,thi-:  adding Cure Medium Wounds.
    div,fou-:  adding more notes to Call Woodland Beings, adding Death Ward,
        Negative Plane Protection, and Poison.
    npc,goo-:  adding information for Alora, correct missing info about Lucky
        Rabbit's Foot.
    npc,evi-:  adding information for Tiax and Viconia.

2012.01.30 - v 1.3
    Cleaning up references to ToTSC.
    sin,bard,bla-:  Defensive Spin also works great when not casting btw.
    sin,mon-:  adjusting some notes; Monks get a fighter's THAC0.
    sin,wil-:  some text clarification.
    npc-:  cleaning up various "????" where they shouldn't be.
    npc,neu-:  adjusting Garrick to reflect Bard Song changes.
    npc,neu-:  incorrectly referenced Skie instead of Safana in the discussion
        about Skie's merits.
    arc-:  updating spell schools, removing section note.
    arc,fir-:  changing Nahal's Reckless Dweomer to reflect that Chaos Shields
        do not stack.
    arc,sec-:  adding Ray of Enfeeblement.
    arc,sec-:  modifying Melf's Acid Arrow to reflect its ability to interrupt
        casting.
    arc,sec-:  Stinking Cloud has the downside that Free Action doesn't pair
        well with it.
    arc,thi-:  rewording Fireball spell description (was awkward before).
    arc,thi-:  Ghost Armor description changed to reference "illusion" not
        "enchantment."
    div,fir-:  fixing reference in Detect Evil; most enemies are now evil.
    gen,iss-:  updating "Stealth" note with actual mechanics of "Hide in
        Shadows" and "Move Silently."
    gen,iss-:  removing the issue with pausing breaking spellcasting.
    gen,iss-:  removing reference to +4 THAC0 bonus in Mustard Jelly note.

2012.01.28 - v 1.2
    Correcting version number.
    Updating some NPCs with updated numbers and a few minor revisions for
        analysis.  Importantly, Yeslick gets an upgrade because his Dispel
        Magic ability is based off of vanilla BG dispel, not BG2-style dispel
        (in other words, it automatically succeeds).
    Updating Knock:  you _do_ get experience from picking locks.
    Updating parts of Wild Mage analysis.
    Adding Summon Insect to div,thi-.
    Downgrading Holy Smite to 4/4, updating Cleric/Druid analysis as a result.
    Adding ratings for Familiars.
    Updating various notes to reflect that the electric hammer (Asheena?) uses
        the ToTSC model (1d4 base, not 1d8 base damage).
    Updating various notes to reflect that various weapon-creating spells no
        longer use proficiency (which is both a plus and minus).

2012.01.18 - v 1.00
    New bug note for Archer.
    Updating spells analysis (still need to confirm the existence of various
        priest spells).
    Updating some Familiar analysis.
    At this point, the guide is "complete enough" to warrant a 1.0 blessing.

2012.01.16 - v 0.98
    Updating various bug notes and class descriptions with the 2012 build of
        BGEE.  In particular, Bards and Archers have had their caveats tweaked
        thanks to the fix for Ankheg Armor and the inclusion (at last) of Elven
        Chainmail.

2012.01.07 - v 0.97
    Including mention of a buckler for the Shapeshifter.
    Mentioning level five Divine spells more explicitly in Druid discussion,
        downplaying shapeshifting compared to vanilla BG.
    Altering druid rating to be more reliant on access to level five spells
        than other factors.  Removing mention of Flame Blade.
    Nerfing Flame Blade spell.
    Nerfing Call Lightning.
    Adding Call Woodland Beings and Iron Skins to divine spell list (more
        complete revamp of BGEE spells coming soon!).

2012.01.03 - v 0.96
    Several changes thanks to Ilya Nemetz:
            1.  Correcting Bhaalspawn power to Horror.
            2.  Upgrading Beastmaster, Familiars are way better (relatively) in
                BGEE than BG2.
            3.  Upgrading Priest of Helm due to Seeking Sword duration.
            4.  Downgrading vanilla Paladin to 3/4, Cavalier to 4/4, upgrading
                Blackguard to 5/4.
            5.  Listing out the Spirit Animals for the Totemic Druid (new
                section spi-).
            6.  Specifics on some familiar quirks in BGEE (in new section
                fam-).
    Mentioning that Monk's Stunning Fist actually works with weapons.
    Adding on to Monk analysis to clarify the 2/4 rating.
    New section to list out familiars.

2012.12.14 - v 0.94
    Updating bug notes to reflect that issues are not yet fixed in the latest
        build (2011).

2012.12.11 - v 0.92
    After talking on the forums, Totemic Druid isn't bugged after all!

2012.12.09 - v 0.9
    Revising Races section (rac-) to also include new classes and new shorty
        racial bonuses.
    Revised class analyses; some ratings got adjusted.
    Significant re-working of the Bard section (sin,bard-).
    Fleshed out more of the NPC section, revised the scope.
    More accurate spell list, with updated analyses.

2012.12.08 - v 0.8
    Initial release.  Still missing some data, but important to get out there.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All Works                                                             !app,all-

1999 Mode Guide (Bioshock Infinite)
Clash in the Clouds Guide (Bioshock Infinite:  Clash in the Clouds DLC)
Heart of Fury Guide (Icewind Dale 2)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate)
Party Creation Guide (Baldur's Gate:  Enhanced Edition)
Populous II Guide (Populous II)
Thief Guide (Baldur's Gate 2)
Ultimate Analysis (System Shock 2)
Ultimate Oblivion FAQ (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion)
===============================================================================



===============================================================================
The Stinger
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "There are two reasons I pound this pick against these rocks. First because
I imagine this rock to be my captor's skull. Second, because the meager spark
that leaps from my attempt is all the light I'll ever know again. If you be a
new slave like I once was, you shall learn these simple truths soon enough."
            - Andarsson
===============================================================================