Replaying Baldur's Gate

Thanks, I can never remember which is which.

So what is with not being able to access Neera’s inventory? She is a new character so maybe that has something to do with it?

And I had also forgotten how annoying Khalid was. :)

Multi-class is for non-humans, and you share experience between all the classes picked at birth. Dual class is human only, where you choose a second class that you fill some requirements for when leveling up and level that only, losing all abilities (but not stats) of the first class until it catches up.
I haven’t played the mechanics enough to say for myself, but, per discussions online, it’s not that simple that one is better. Cannonically, Imoen duals as a wizard, which is seen as a good idea. Dual Kensai/Mage is ridiculously overpowered.
either way, caster/caster is not great.

I don’t see any benefit to dual classing over multi-classing. See here. There’s some simulation in dual classing of real learning experience: once you switch class, you can never advance in that old class again (ok, this part really sucks); if you use your old skills before you’ve gotten good enough with your new class, you get no experience (slipping back into old ways kinda thing). You’re focusing entirely on the new learning experience. It’s an ok system, except for the part where you can never advance in your old class, so if you were a 2nd level warrior before you dualed, you’ll be that forever. And then you have this amazing multiclass power that’s generally far better since you’re advancing on all fronts. It’s like it’s from a different game.

I guess dual-class is a decent (read: the only) way to bypass the mage/thief armor restrictions from multi-class. Cleric doesn’t give you enough limitations to be worth bypassing. Still sucks to be stuck at a certain level, unless you’re willing to climb all the way up to whatever endgame level is in one class and then switch to another.

Let me know if I’m missing something.

OK here’s a source that’s simliar to what you said. So basically, it mostly has to do with XP gain. Fighter->mage makes sense at higher levels, since you catch up fairly quickly, and multi-classing’s XP split slows you down (though just by a factor of 0.5). But you’re very vulnerable while you’re catching up.

Yeah, something like that, improving your long-term HP/THAC0 and what not. But, yes, boring and mostly fighter/ something.
I would disagree about survivability though, a 6 person party can grant a lot of cover. Either way, there are only a few cases where more than one class is good… but the average NPC stats kind of point to not obsessing too much, just change the difficulty.

I should note that my mini-review above of the game was too harsh. The detailed combat system is clearly the star here, and it’s excellent, even if it took 22 years for it to grow on me. I now think RTwP is the best system for an RPG if it provides some crucial services, such as zooming out (so you can see what’s happening everywhere at once) and automatic pauses. I would have liked better mouse-overs as well – it’s really hard to see who’s got what effect in the heat of battle. But the D&D magic system makes for some very fun battles. And at least it’s over quickly when you fail. In Dark Sun 1 (which was turn-based), I gave up on beating the final battle (which was super duper hard) because I couldn’t stomach the time it would take to make another attempt.

There’s also a laudable attempt to make the environments feel natural and realistic. The sense of scale of Baldur’s Gate, as well as the other towns, is impressive. In fact, I’d say that’s also the main fault of the game: scale. Too many wilderness areas with too little content; too many NPC options for your party. Instead of going for depth of NPC party members, they made more of them, when realistically you just don’t want to switch your party members out. I feel like much of the game’s content is stuff I won’t see since I didn’t bother to take all these NPCs with me. Nevertheless, it’s a good first attempt.

Dual classing is for high-level shenanigans, because XP costs to level up grow exponentially. So your Fighter 9 / Mage X is basically a Mage X with Fighter hit points and grandmastery in a weapon. (This is silly.) And whatever kit nonsense from Berserker or Kensai, obviously. (This is sillier.) At BG1 XP levels, though, it’s a total waste.

Alternatively, Fighter 2 / Whatever X is pretty strong. Two levels of Fighter HP, plus a bunch of weapon proficiencies/specialization, at basically no cost once you get to level 4 or so. This is also reasonable.

Multiclassing is for bosses who want to be the boss of everything, because a Fighter 9 / Thief 11 is like a million times more awesome than a Fighter 12. Similarly a F3/T4 at BG levels, or what have you.

Yes, indeed, Fighter/X is generally the way to go. Mage/Thief is very tricksy, true, but really isn’t much more interesting or powerful than straight Wizard.

True heroes are Fighter/Mage/Thieves, because being invisible basically at will while backstabbing with quarterstaves for 60+ (at low levels) to 200+ (at boss levels) damage is pretty strong.

That was my plan with that character. I was also thinking of doing it with another thief, but I think I will just go as far into thief as I can with that character. Now I need to a real tank and then a real mage. I already have a 6 person party but several of them will have to get switched out.

Dual-classing in BG1 is…very limited because the level cap is too low. Most people that dual-class do so in BG2 where it is totally viable with more levels.

What? You have that reversed.

Dual Classing is best because you get the benefits of both classes, with none of the restrictions - you have to do some planning (i.e. if you want to be an Assassin/Mage, figure out what level you are going to advance to in your first class and ensure you are able to advance to a higher level in your second class, which is when you get access to your abilities). It sounds “bad” that you don’t get access to your first class until you surpass the level you achieved in your 2nd class, but in practice, because of the experience point requirements, you are only delayed for the same period of time as it would take to advance again in your original class anyway, and you retain the hit points of your original class the whole time.

If you’re only going to play BG1, it’s not worthwhile Dual Classing. But if you’re going to play the series, you can make a much more powerful thief/mage, mage/fighter, thief/fighter dual classed character – being able to hide in shadows and get backstab damage as a high level fighter in full plate mail armor is extremely powerful. Or a Mage/Fighter can create clones that are wearing plate armor and are melee combat terrors while still casting defensive or offensive spells. You can advance to higher levels than you can as a multi-class character because of the AD&D level limits for multi-classing.

But if you’re just going to play BG1, multiclassing is o.k.

You’re not that vulnerable, because you retain hit points of your first class (although not abilities), so if you Dual class into a mage you won’t have a lot of offense briefly, but you won’t be as vulnerable as a new mage would be – and because of the exponential XP requirements for leveling, you can catch up in the same time as it takes the other characters to gain a single level.

I dug around in my closet last night and found my original 156 page Baldurs Gate Game Manual and map. Man, how great were the old days when they included stuff like that with the game. I have those for the expansion as well as for BG2, TOB and both IceWind Dale games.

I am unable to access the inventory or stat screens of the character in my 6th slot. Anyone else having that trouble? I thought it was Neera but it has happened with Minsc as well.

Are they not under your control? Like held or charmed?

It turns out that there is a known game glitch where the characters in the 6th spot are not accessible. I found something on a Steam forum that gave a way to fix it, although it appears to have resolved itself. Supposed to be some problem with the game and a Windows command or app. Re-starting the game seems to have solved the problem, although I had tried that already. So who knows.

Finally beat this, though it took a lot of work. Got myself a summoning wand, and I had to make sure to remove any Free Action enchantments before taking Oils of Speed. Arrows of Dispel on the mages; fire and lightning resistance on everyone; and eventually I triumphed. Too bad they don’t let you do anything after beating Sarevok. Onwards to BG2!

I am about to hit the mines near Nashkell.

Also known as…The Nashkell mines. Are you still level 1 or did you level up already doing side-quests/exploring? In any case the mines can be cleared with a level 1 party and usually brings your party to level 2.

Congrats. The wand of summoning is a major help. Giving your party time while the enemy explodes a group of low level monsters can be crucial even if it just a few seconds.

I forgot one of the critical elements: I magic shielded my tanks. It meant no wands for them either, but it allowed them not to be hit by fear or confusion while they wailed on the mages. I actually had to give Minsc a genius potion first so he could even use a magic shield scroll.

My party is now a mix of lvls 2-3. I have been clearing out the areas west of the main road. I have played BG many times, but it has probably been at least 10-15 years since the last time. It is nice not to have to switch out discs several times a session. :)