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 Baldur's Gate - Party Creation Guide

Baldur's Gate - Party Creation Guide

             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       v 1.8


This FAQ only covers _Vanilla_ BG/ToTSC.  I now have a separate, Enhanced
Edition-specific version of this guide, also at

The officially latest (as well as latest, official) version of this FAQ/Guide
can be found at

Table of Contents                                                          *---
A word on navigation: to jump to a specific section, simply use the 'FIND'
command (CTRL-F or Apple-F) and type in the key next to the section (doing only
the characters after the asterisk will probably send you to a random section of
the guide).

Note that if you ever want to navigate back to the Table of Contents, search
for (with an asterisk in front) '---'.

The pattern behind section character codes is simple:  three characters for
the main section (the first three) followed by a colon and then the next three
characters for each subsection.  If three character isn't enough to guarantee
uniqueness, then it keeps going on.
    Thoughts on playing Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast, Wherein
        It is a 20th Century Game in a 21st Century World   *000
    Introduction   *INT
    Races   *RAC
        1.  Human   *RAC:HUM
        2.  Half-elf   *RAC:HALFE
        3.  Elf   *RAC:ELF
        4.  Dwarf   *RAC:DWA
        5.  Gnome   *RAC:GNO
        6.  Halfling   *RAC:HALFL
    Single Classed Options   *SIN
        1.  Fighter   *SIN:FIG
        2.  Ranger   *SIN:RAN
        3.  Paladin   *SIN:PAL
        4.  Cleric   *SIN:CLE
        5.  Druid   *SIN:DRU
        6.  Thief   *SIN:THI
        7.  Bard   *SIN:BAR
        8.  Mage   *SIN:MAG
    Multi/Dual-Classed Options    *MUL
    NPCs   *NPC
        1.  Good-Aligned NPCs   *NPC:GOO
        2.  Neutral-Aligned NPCs   *NPC:NEU
        3.  Evil-Aligned NPCs   *NPC:EVI
    Arcane Spells   *ARC
        1.  First Level   *ARC:FIR
        2.  Second Level   *ARC:SEC
        3.  Third Level   *ARC:THI
        4.  Fourth Level   *ARC:FOU
        5.  Fifth Level   *ARC:FIF
    Divine Spells   *DIV
        1.  First Level   *DIV:FIR
        2.  Second Level   *DIV:SEC
        3.  Third Level   *DIV:THI
        4.  Fourth Level   *DIV:FOU
        5.  Fifth Level   *DIV:FIF
    General Pointers   *GEN
        1.  Issues/Notes   *GEN:ISS
        2.  Enemies   *GEN:ENE
        3.  Party Harmony   *GEN:PAR
        4.  Charts/Tables   *GEN:CHA
    Appendix   *APP
        1.  Special Thanks   *APP:SPE
        2.  History   *APP:HIS
        3.  All Works     *APP:ALL

Thoughts on playing Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast, Wherein
    It is a 20th Century Game in a 21st Century World                      *000
It's 2011 as I'm writing this, and yet I'm creating another guide for Baldur's
Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast.  Why?  Well, it's not like I'm completely alone
on this--other guides on gamefaqs have been updated in 2010, plus there's still
an active modding community at gibberlings3, so I'm not alone.

The point of this is partly to create a solid, updated, detailed guide (which
has been lacking and I'll touch on in my intro).  The other point of this is
to be an advocate for something in particular.

You'll frequently hear me make references to other Infinite Engine games,
especially Baldur's Gate 2 (BG2), Icewind Dale series (IWD, IWD2), but more
importantly to something called BGTutu.  These comparisons aren't just there
for show:  a popular new way to play the original Baldur's Gate has been to
use a community-made product that transfers all the original BG data into an
installation of BG2.  By doing this, you gain all the benefits of the newer
engine, can directly continue your character on into BG2, and also play BG2
kits in vanilla BG.

I strongly disagree with this approach.  Yes, you get some nice changes,
probably the biggest are fixes for a few annoying problems with the engine in
BG: characters can bump past each other (which is the main reason why the
pathfinding in BG/TotSC was heavily criticised; it's no better in BG2 and IWD2
but it's _much_ less painful since characters will just push past each other);
the annoying bug where characters with AI scripts would sometimes stop casting
a spell for no good reason in particular is gone; and even just being able to
stack projectiles into larger piles (40 arrows/bolts instead of 20) is nice.

However, one things that I've noticed is that Bioware actually doesn't know how
to make a well-designed game.  It took me a while to come to this conclusion
(and if you look at my BG2 thief guide, which was written many years ago, you'd
get a very different impression).  They can make a great story, they can make a
fun experience, but the best of Bioware was when they were adhering the closest
to AD&D rules.  With each successive release of the BG series, Bioware showed
that they were more interested in listening to petulant fans than building
a solid, balanced game (contrast with Black Isle who eventually made the most
resilient, well-designed implementation of D&D in the Infinite Engine via
Icewind Dale 2).  I submit to you a timeline of increasing errors in decision
(this is just a small sampling of criticisms I have):
    Tales of the Sword Coast
        Unbalanced healing by maxing out Cure Light Wounds.
        Heavily nerfed Improved Invisibility for no good reason than it seems
            that Bioware listened to players who thought that a level 4 spell
            being used by enemies in a game with an 89,000/161,000 experience
            cap shouldn't be as powerful as a level 4 spell _ought_ to be
            in such a situation.
        Nerfed aoe spells by having characters be able to run out the explosion
            (that's what reflex saves simulate!).
    Baldur's Gate 2
        Countered their earlier aoe nerf by making most explosions act much
            faster (pretty much admitting their balance mistake without
            reversing it).
        Broke combat mechanics by making the game pause while in inventory
            (no more swapping out armor), which negatively impacts bards and
            mage multiclasses; though this is debatable since it more
            accurately depicts the time it takes to put on/take off armor.
        Refusing to implement race-specific level caps (which existed in AD&D
            as an important balance mechanic) basically screws humans out of
            one of their main strengths and makes all non-humans much more
        Humans can no longer dual class _into_ a specialist mage.
        Pointlessly nerfed fighters' advanced weapon specialization.
        Unbalanced druids by capping them at 14 without giving them their
            normal progression.
        Totemic druids scale very poorly at lower levels.
        Shapeshifter druids have many, many broken elements.
        Bard song isn't designed to scale, so non-Skald bards scale pretty
        Seriously nerfed all summon spells while leaving some horrendously
            broken.  This means Beastmaster ranger is incredibly weak, but
            anybody who can spam Fire Elemental is great.
        Thieves become essentialized by having many, many game-important locks
            or fatal traps without providing a reasonable thief NPC (almost
            the exact opposite problem of BG).
    Throne of Bhaal
        Pretty much every high-level ability, but especially...
        Divine/Arcane high-level abilities are incredibly out of balance.
            Whereas warriors have to build up their uses of Whirlwind, for
            example, the moment a mage hits level 18, a priest 22, or a druid
            15, they can get the most powerful spell and use it as many times
            as they can memorize it.  On the flip side, divine/arcane
            high-level abilities scale very poorly as levels go up.  Fighters
            can get increasing uses of Whirlwind (Deva for Paladins) with each
            level up, but a caster can not increase the number of level 9
            (arcane) or level 7 (priest) spell slots they have, so there is
            almost no point to getting really more than 2 or so high-level
            abilities for them.  This is especially bad for priests who get
            many, many, many level 1 and 2 spell slots, but have _very_ slow
            progression for their top level spell slots.
        Bard's Improved Bard Song high-level ability throws every bard kit
            completely out of balance.  Completely cancels out the Jester,
            obsoletes the normal Bard and Skald, and makes the Blade incredibly
        Rogues' Use Any Item is incredibly unbalanced and obviously was not
            thought through very well as it allows you to use even NPC-specific
        Wild Mage is _incredibly_ unbalanced.  Their special level 1 spell
            lets them cast the most powerful spells in their spellbook with
            the cost of a wild surge, which can frequently just be in your
            favor already.
        All Throne of Bhaal combat degenerates essentially into repeated uses
            of Planetar/Deva, Whirlwind, and Time Stop/Improved Alacrity.  If
            you want to mix it up, you can toss in a bard with Improved Bard

I could go on, but I think it's important to note that Icewind Dale II, which
was built on top of BG2's engine, doesn't implement many of the BG2 combat
mechanics, almost assuredly because Black Isle realized how unbalanced they

So essentially, I'm a purist.  I think Bioware got it really close to right
with BG and it's been downhill since then.  I even used to go so far as to
refuse to install TotSC, since even those minor changes weren't worth the
cosmetic and convenience upgrades (namely auto-stacking stackable items).  But
it appears it's getting increasingly harder to find a copy of BG that isn't
bundled with TotSC, so I've had to soften my stance.

But anyway, if you're picking up this game, I _strongly_ urge you to not use
BGTutu.  In some ways it'll be more annoying (no "Rest Until Healed" option for
example).  Frequently though, it'll be more annoying because the game will be
harder.  That's fine.  The game _ought_ to be hard.  You'll get a much greater
sense of accomplishment when you beat a battle even while having to juggle
Antidote potions through an unpaused inventory screen.  BG shouldn't be just a
stop on the way to gettting to BG2, you should play BG to enjoy BG itself,
rather than running around with a Totemic Druid summon at level 1 and
slaughtering an entire town.

Introduction                                                               *INT
Baldur's Gate/Tales of the Sword Coast is, by even generous measures, an old
game.  However, people still play it, but the problem is as people have gotten
savvier about playing games, guides for BG/TotSC have not really been updated
to reflect this.  So there's a lot of outdated analyses out there, and even
the most up to date ones are debatable for their standalone-BG merits
(playithardcore, for example, generally considers BG from the perspective of
importing your character to BG2).

This guide is intended to address that gap.  Alot of updated analyses, some
errata that no other guide has ever discussed, and some general strategies
for a more civilized time.

Some minor notes.  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, there are a few things you should do to fix some issues
with the game.  The first is to install the game text/bug fixes from either
Baldurdash (google it) or dudleyville's baldur's gate fixes (google it).
These correct typos and some general missed bugs in the game.

Second, you need to address the horrible pathfinding.  If you have Tales of
the Sword Coast installed (or you installed the 3 CD Original Saga), just
open up the configuration application and set Pathfinding Nodes to 400000.
If you just have vanilla BG, open up Baldur.ini with a text editor like
Notepad for Windows, for Mac OS X, or vim for linux/Mac OS X.
Under "[Game Options]" add an entry or modify the existing entry (if there)
to set "Path Search Nodes=32000" (32,000 is the highest value for BG; 400,000
is the higher value allowed for all other versions).

Third, and this is optional, I like to do "Cheats=1" in Baldurs.ini and in the
game do Ctrl-Tab and "CLUAConsole:EnableCheatKeys()".  BG/TotSC features a lot
of backtracking which can get tedious after a while.  I use Ctrl-J (once cheat
keys are enabled) to teleport to areas I've been to before (though I _only_
use it if I've been to the area before and I can draw a line from where I
currently am to my destination without crossing any unrevealed area).  It'll
take some of the tedium out of the game and make it a lot more fun.  Please
don't use any of the other cheat keys, though; it'll just make the game

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:
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 should be.  It
matters less for NPCs since their stats are already set in stone.  Though for
NPCs, being a Human with the right stats is a plus since it enables

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.
1.  Human                                                              *RAC:HUM

Overall Rating:  4/4
Available Classes:  All
Special:  dual-classing

Humans are the best all-around race in the game.  They can play any class in
the game, 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; a half-elf can also be a bard (unlike the more restricted paladin) and
since you can't dual-class a bard, you are better off making a half-elf bard

Note that if you plan on being a pure single-class, you are way better off
being a more specialized race than a human.  Otherwise, even just adding one
level of fighter to your class has a nice payoff.
2.  Half-Elf                                                         *RAC:HALFE

Overall Rating:  1/4
Available Classes:  All single classes except paladin, abjurer, illusionist,
    invoker, necromancer; all multi-class combinations except cleric/thief.

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 is so rare as to be
pointless.  Half-elves do get better pick-pocket though than humans.
3.  Elf                                                                *RAC:ELF

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  fighter, ranger, cleric, mage, diviner, enchanter, thief;
    can multi-class as fighter/thief, fighter/mage, mage/thief,
Special:  +1 dexterity, -1 constitution, +1 THAC0 swords and bows

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.
4.  Dwarf                                                              *RAC:DWA

Overall Rating:  2/4
Available Classes:  fighter, cleric, thief; can multi-class as fighter/thief or
Special:  +1 constitution, -1 charisma; special saving throw bonuses

Only use a dwarf if you're making a fighter type 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).
5.  Gnome                                                              *RAC:GNO

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  fighter, cleric, illusionist, thief; can multi-class as
    fighter/thief, fighter/cleric, illusionist/thief, fighter/illusionist,
    cleric/illusionist, cleric/thief
Special:  +1 intelligence, -1 wisdom

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).
6.  Halfling                                                         *RAC:HALFL

Overall Rating:  3/4
Available Classes:  fighter, cleric, thief; can multi-class as fighter/thief.
Special:  +1 dexterity, -1 strength, -1 wisdom; +1 THAC0 with slings

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).

Single Classed Options                                                     *SIN
Most classes are considered from the perspective of what your PC should be.
For specific NPCs I rate them holistically as a combination of other factors
(race, stats, alignment, specials), 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.  Either AD&D or Bioware had some implementation problems that
        severely cripples this.
1.  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 future versions of the Infinite Engine would irrevocably nerf advanced
weapon specialization, in Baldur's Gate/TotSC advanced weapon specialization is
awesome.  You'll never get up to 5 proficiency points in any weapon (even with
TotSC), but even 4 is awesome (+3 to hit and +3 to damage on top of an extra
1/2 attack).  Arguably as good or even better than any extra abilities Rangers
or Paladins get for losing the ability to go higher than 2 proficiency points.
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.
2.  Ranger                                                             *SIN:RAN

Overall Rating:  1/4
Prime Stat:  Constitution

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?

Even if you want to create an archer-type character, you're better off rolling
a Fighter.  Plus, if you really want a Ranger, you can just get Minsc or Kivan,
both of whom are pretty good, partially by cheating (Minsc has Berserk and an
18/93 strength).

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.
3.  Paladin                                                            *SIN:PAL

Overall Rating:  4/4
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), a minor 'heat map' of a
spell in Detect Evil (4 + once per level per day), and a +2 class bonus to all

Lay on Hands is really good, and starting at level 2 becomes the best heal you
can cast - on average starts becoming comparable to similar priest heals, but
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 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.

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.
4.  Cleric                                                             *SIN:CLE

Overall Rating:  3/4 for the only one (PC), 2/4 if you plan on having more
    than just the PC be a Cleric.
Prime Stat:  Wisdom

Pretty good.  Decent melee-ing abilities, backed up by powerful buffs
(especially under TotSC).  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).  Ohterwise, the best way to summarize the cleric is to contrast
it to the druid in the next section.

I penalize having multiple clerics due to the redundancy, but I don't penalize
it as harshly as having a druid, simply because clerics are more versatile.
5.  Druid                                                              *SIN:DRU

Overall Rating:  3/4 for the first two priests (PC Druid + an NPC
    Cleric/Druid), 1/4 if you plan on having two NPC priests already
    (especially if one of them is a Druid).
Prime Stat:  Wisdom AND Charisma

You'll be forgiven for thinking that the Druid is hopelessly underpowered.
This is certainly the case for the vast majority of Baldur's Gate 2, but in
Baldur's Gate the verdict is less clear.  Perhaps the best way to approach
discussing the Druid is by comparing it against the other priest class: the

First, the weapons.  The Druid can only use a subset of Blunt Weapons (clubs
and staffs), Polearms (spears), Small Swords (daggers, throwing daggers), and
Missile Weapons (slings and darts).  The situation in TotSC is slightly better
with the access of Large Swords (scimitars).  While the cleric can't use bladed
weapons at all, it does have the advantage of using one of the best one-handed
weapons in the game (the War Hammer +2 off Bassilus that does 2d4+2, +1
electric damage, though it's nerfed in TotSC).  The Druid, by contrast, has
proficiency in plenty of weapons that don't get very good magical upgrades,
save for some nice daggers.  Proficiency with scimitars helps a bit, but you
don't get magical scimitars until TotSC areas.  Though, if you have no problem
with being sinister, you can kill Drizzt for his Frostband, scimitar +3, which
is one of the best weapons in the game and the best weapon a druid can use (but
only in TotSC, otherwise a druid can't get Large Weapon proficiency).

Second, the armor.  The Druid can only use leather, studded leather, and Ankheg
Plate Armor (I guess it's made of the 'natural' shell of an Ankheg).  In TotSC,
it can use Hide Armor.  In terms of shields, the Druid can only use bucklers.
In practice, this means that the Druid is comparable, but will always be
slightly behind the Cleric when it comes to AC (no non-magical AC 1 source like
Full Plate Mail for combining with Ring/Amulets of Protection; nor a magical
shield until TotSC).

So far, the Druid seems worse than the Cleric.  Slightly less AC potential and,
aside from some specialized or conditional weapons (TotSC+Drizzt killing, some
daggers) generally worse 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, the Druid
tends to miss out on many of the neat spells but in turn gets a few
Druid-specific ones:
        Charm Person or Mammal (2nd level)
        Goodberry (2nd level)
        Call Lightning (3rd level)
        Hold Animal (3rd level)
        All 5th level spells (TotSC level cap only)
More details in the spells section later on, but Charm Person or Mammal is
a good early Mental Domination.  Goodberry is decent early on.  Call Lightning
is god-like in its power.  Hold Animal is meh at best.  Some of the spells that
Druids give up include:
        Draw Upon Holy Might (2nd level)
        Animate Dead (3rd level)
        Mental Domination (4th level, TotSC)
Before TotSC, it's a bit iffy, but Druids seem to do better on spells early on,
but then peter out a bit later in the original game as Draw Upon Holy Might
becomes better and more big fights take place indoors away from Call Lightning.
On the other hand, with TotSC, the Druid actually gets access to casting 5th
level spells, which is infinitely better than the Cleric, who gets stuck
with 4th level spells.  So, on the whole, the Druid is a better spell caster.
But this is in part related to something else...

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 BG (cap of
89,000), Druids are level 8 and Clerics are level 7, which means Druids get
a wee bit more extra spells and an extra weapon proficiency.  By the end of
TotSC (cap of 161,000), druids are level 10 and Clerics are level 8, which
means Druids get access to 5th level spells and 2 lower THAC0.  Not to mention
that in both cases Druids have more health.  This actually helps compensate for
the fact that Druids excel naturally on the lower levels but then need a bit of
extra help as the game progresses.

Shapeshifting.  It's debatable as to its merits; it's nowhere near as good as
in Icewind Dale I/II, so it's more of a nice-to-have than something crucial.
Getting 18/00 strength plus 3 attacks and 18 constitution (but effectively 16
for a pure Druid) from being a Bear is pretty neat if situational.  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 BG/TotSC 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.  So it's not as nice
as Turn Undead but again fulfills a very different niche.

So, in conclusion, the Druid is far from underpowered.  Most deficiencies are
made up for in other respects, and especially in TotSC they begin to shine over
anything the Cleric can do.  Ultimately it boils down to play style (Druid will
never be able to do melee tanking like a Cleric with Draw Upon Holy Might), but
I'd give the Druid a very, very slight edge over the Cleric.  They get a few
nice spells and generally have the same important spells as a Cleric (like most
of the Cure spells).

I penalize additional Druids; having two (your PC plus another) is great since
you can double up on the healing, the Call Lightnings, and the Animal Summoning
spells, even if you also plan on having Clerics.  However, more than that and
your party begins to significantly lack necessary diversity; you won't be able
to take on bigger enemies that require intense melee damage without a lot of
6.  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.
7.  Bard                                                               *SIN:BAR

Overall Rating:  3/4 for just the PC, 2/4 if you plan on getting Garrick or
Prime Stat:  n/a

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 giving up a skilled specialist to
put in a generalist where only a specialist will do.

That being said, the Bard has a diverse weapon selection, can wear up to
chainmail (though not cast spells while wearing armor), can use magic wands of
all types (most notably Wand of Frost and Wand of Fire), has an insanely high
Lore (being able to identify most items by midgame), a Bard Song (good early on
as an extra buff, good later on when the Bard can't do anything helpful),
Pickpocketing (lots of useful moments for this), and limited Arcane
spellcasting.  Ironically, because the Bard has a really fast experience
progression table, while you won't be able to cast as many or as high-level
spells as a Mage, you'll be able to cast whatever spells you are able to at a
much higher power.  In other words, the Bard will get more Magic Missiles, do
more Fireball damage, have longer Mirror Images, etc.

Thus, with some quick fingers, 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 throwing weapons, firing bolts, plunking arrows, or even just charging
in.  Need extra buffs or spells?  Take off that chainmail and cast away, or
just start laying waste with the (somewhat overpowered) Wands of Frost/Fire.
Need some items identified?  Drop 'em in the Bard's inventory and right-click.
Fighting enemies that the Bard isn't helpful against (like a monster immune
to ranged weapons when the Bard only has projectiles, or an undead when the
Bard only has enchanting spells)?  No problem, switch on a Bard Song and
everyone gets buffed with +1 to rolls and a bonus against fear, so your party
still benefits from having an (otherwise useless) Bard in the group.  Some
neat items in a store or you know someone has an item in their inventory but
can't afford the cost?  Take off that armor and 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 if you're using BGTutu, the Bard gets a bit worse (interestingly)
because the new combat system in the BG2 engine pauses the game when you have
the inventory open _but_ prevents you from changing armor.  This is, in my
opinion, a worse decision by the designers.  With the BG engine, you can open
inventory and spontaneously take off or put on armor for the Bard, adapting the
Bard to the situation at hand (spellcasting or no); the slight cost is that you
have to be aware of what might be happening as you click around in the game
8.  Mage                                                               *SIN:MAG

Overall Rating:  3/4, get a specialist instead.
Prime Stat:  Intelligence

    Abjurer:     4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Wisdom
    Conjurer:    4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Constitution
    Diviner:     4/4, Additional Prime Stat:  Wisdom
    Enchanter:   3/4, 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

Mages are great.  They may start off really week, 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 (somehow) for the few parts of the game, as you might find it
difficult to complete a single battle (though then again, two waves of 6
simultaneous castings of even a spell like Larloch's Minor Drain will probably
deal with the early assassination attempts).

There's a weird fluke about the BG spellcasting system:  a _lot_ of spells
are classified as Evocation, whereas in BGII and IWD/II they are classified as
other spells (like Conjuration).  That means Enchanters miss out on a lot of
spells (though they still get important ones like Sleep and Charm).  Similarly,
giving up Illusion magic (Mirror Image) and Enchantment magic (Sleep, Charm,
Hold, Confusion, and Domination in TotSC) is also pretty steep a cost to pay,
so Invokers and Necromancers get docked a point compared to the other

Another benefit to playing vanilla BG/TotSC and not BGTutu:  starting in BG2,
due to a weird quirk of the engine, you can't dual-class _into_ a specialist
mage, though by AD&D rules this is perfectly reasonable.  The only thing you
have to keep in mind is that specialist mages have another primary stat in
addition to intellect, which means you need to have a score of atleast 17 in
two different target stats.

Multi/Dual-Classed Options                                                 *MUL
1.  Fighter/Mage

Dual-Class Rating:  5/4 (!!)
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.  Don't forget that you
can also qualify to be a Specialist Mage so long as you have 17 in the
appropriate Specialist stat.  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.
2.  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.
3.  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.
4.  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.
5.  Thief/Mage

Dual-Class Rating:  4/4
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.
6.  Thief/Cleric

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

Meh.  Thief/Cleric don't mesh well due to backstab complications (Thieves need
sharp objects) and armor complications (wearing heavier than studded will
block thieving abilities).  Still, if all you need is a lockpicker, this may
be handy.
7.  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 Dispel Magic once/day.
8.  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, though you won't miss out on any
special Druid spells.
9.  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.
10.  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 week in
11.  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.

NPCs                                                                       *NPC
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, even if they're not in your party.
For the most part I ignore this _except_ with proficiencies and thieving
skills.  Next to them I list the related PC level to trigger the relevant
changes.  Note that this does not necessarily translate directly into what the
upgraded NPC level would be (in general the PC level requirement is lower than
the NPC level that would be generated for that level).
1.  Good-Aligned NPCs                                                  *NPC:GOO

Ajantis, Lawful Good Human Paladin
    17s 13d 16c 12i 13i 17ch
        2xLarge Swords, 1xBlunt Weapons, 1xBows
        +1xSmall Swords (PC level 3)
        +1xSmall Swords (PC level 5)
    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
        1x Missile Weapons, 1x Small Swords
        +1x Bows, -1x Small Swords (wtf!!) (PC level 5)
    Thieving Skills:
        80ol, 40st, 20ft, 80pp
        100ol, 40st, 20ft, 100pp (PC level 5)
    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

Coran, Chaotic Good Half-Elf Fighter/Thief
    14s 20d 12c 14i 9w 16ch
        3x Bows, 2x Large Swords
    Special:  That 20 dexterity!
    Rating:  8/10
    Location:  first Cloakwood area
    Notes:  Coran is a beast of a thief or archer, because he has a rocking
        20 dex (cheater!).  Still not as great as a pure Fighter due to a lack
        of advanced weapon specialization for multi-classes, but pretty
        versatile nonetheless.

Dynaheir, Lawful Good Human Invoker
    11s 13d 16c 17i 15w 12ch
        1x Missile Weapons
        +1x Blunt Weapons (PC level 5)
    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
        1x Bows, 1x Small Swords
        +1x Blunt Weapons (wtf, PC level 3)
    Thief Skills:
        25ol, 30st, 30ft, 25pp
        25ol, 40st, 40ft, 25pp (PC level 2)
        25ol, 60st, 60ft, 25pp (PC level 3)
        25ol, 80st, 80ft, 25pp (PC level 5)
    Special:  Can dual-class into a Specialist 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!  Plus, because she has at least 17 in dexterity,
        she can actually dual class into a Specialist Mage (specifically an
        Illusionist or Transmuter).  Too bad she's so darn annoying.
            By the way, if you plan on using Imoen, definitely don't let her
        hang around by herself at a high enough level.  The game will 'upgrade'
        her with a new version of herself that has Blunt Weapon proficiency,
        which is inanely stupid for a thief to get (why not Large Swords,
        Bioware?  C'mon!).

Khalid, Neutral Good Half-Elf Fighter
    15s 16d 17c 12i 10w 9ch
        2x Large Swords, 1x Axes, 1x Bows
        +1x Large Swords (PC level 3)
        +1x Bows (PC level 5)
    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.

Kivan, Chaotic Good Elf Ranger
    18/12s 17d 14c 10i 14w 8ch
        2x Bows, 2x Spears
        +1x Large Swords (PC level 3)
        +1x Large Swords (PC level 5)
    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
        1x Axes, 2x Large Swords, 1x Spiked Weapons
        +1x Small Swords (PC level 3)
        +1x Small Swords (PC level 5)
    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.

Yeslick, Lawful Good Dwarf Fighter/Cleric
    15s 12d 17c 7i 16w 10ch
        2x Blunt Weapons, 2x Missile Weapons
        +1x Spiked Weapons (PC level 4)
    Special:  Dispel Magic 1/day
    Rating:  7/10
    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.  He also gets a extra casting of Dispel Magic, so you
        essentially free up a level 3 spell slot.
2.  Neutral-Aligned NPCs                                               *GOO:NEU

Branwen, True Neutral Human Cleric
    13s 16d 15c 9i 16w 13ch
        1x Blunt Weapons, 1x Missile Weapons
    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.
            Branwen actually upgrades at player-level 5 but is missing a
        proficiency that she should have.  Either get a fix from Dudleyville or
        make sure to get her early.  When she levels up normally, though,
        you'll get that missing proficiency back.

Faldorn, True Neutral Human Druid
    12s 15d 11c 10i 16w 15ch
        1x Blunt Weapons, 1x Missile Weapons
        +1x Spears (level 4)
    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 missile weapons or throwing daggers, only pulling her out when you
        need to Flame Blade some undead or feel like being exotic with

Garrick, Chaotic Neutral Human Bard
    14s 16d 9c 13i 14w 15ch
        1x Missile Weapons, 1x Small Swords
        +1x Bows (level 3)
    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 a permanent +1 to attack rolls
        for your party.

Jahiera, True Neutral Half-Elf Fighter/Druid
    15s 14d 17c 10i 14w 15ch
        2x Blunt Weapons, 2x Missile Weapons
        +1x Small Swords (PC level 3)
    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.

Quayle, Chaotic Neutral Gnome Cleric/Illusionist
    8s 15d 11c 17i 10w 6ch
        1x Missile Weapons, 1x Spiked Weapons
        +1x Large Swords (PC level 3)
    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, 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
        1x Missile Weapons, 1x Small Swords
        +1x Spears (PC level 3)
    Thieving Skills:
        50ol, 15st, 25ft, 20pp
        70ol, 15st, 45ft, 20pp (PC level 3)
        90ol, 15st, 65ft, 20pp (PC level 5)
    Special:  Charm Animal 1/day
    Rating:  4/10
    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.

Skie, True Neutral Human Thief
    11s 18d 15c 15i 8w 13ch
        1x Bows, Missiles, Small Swords
    Thieving Skills:
        45ol, 45st, 30st, 50pp
        55ol, 55st, 40ft, 60pp (PC level 5)
    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 Skie 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!

Xan, Lawful Neutral Elf Enchanter
    13s 16d 7c 17i 14w 16ch
        1x Small Swords
        +1x Missile Weapons (PC level 5)
    Special:  Moonblade, a +2 sword of sorts
    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
3.  Evil-Aligned NPCs                                                  *NPC:EVI

Edwin, Lawful Evil Human Conjurer
    9s 10d 16c 18i 9w 10ch
        1x Blunt Weapons
        +1x Small Swords (PC level 5)
    Special:  One extra first and second level spell/day, minus one amulet
    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
        1x Bows, 1x Small Swords
        +1x Spears (PC level 4)
    Special:  Create 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 (15 constitution).

Kagain, Lawful Evil Dwarf Fighter
    16s 12d 20c 15i 11w 8ch
        2x Axes, 1x Blunt Weapons, 1x Missile Weapons
        +1x Axes (PC level 3)
        +1x Axes (PC level 5)
    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
        2x Missile Weapons, 2x Small Swords
        +1x Axes (wtf, PC level 3)
    Thief Skills:
        25ol, 50st, 10ft, 35pp
        25ol, 60st, 10ft, 45pp (PC level 2)
        25ol, 80st, 10ft, 65pp (PC level 3)
        25ol, 100st, 10ft, 85pp (PC level 5)
    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
        2x Large Swords, 2x Small Swords
        +1x Missile Weapons (PC level 3)
        +1x Missile Weapons (PC level 5)
    Special:  n/a
    Rating:  8/10
    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.

Tiax, Chaotic Evil Gnome Cleric/Thief
    9s 16d 16c 10i 13w 9ch
        1x Blunt Weapons, 1x Missile Weapons
        +1x Spiked Weapons (PC level 3)
    Thief Skills:
        35ol, 25st, 30ft, 25pp
        45ol, 35st, 40ft, 35pp (PC level 3)
        55ol, 45st, 50ft, 45pp (PC level 5)
    Special:  Summon Ghast 1/day
    Rating:  1/10
    Location: southwest Baldur's Gate
    Notes:  Cleric/Thief is already pretty bad, especially since being a gnome
        he's missing out on the best part of being one (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
        1x Blunt Weapons, 1x Missile Weapons
        +1x Spiked Weapons (PC level 3)
    Special:  50% magic resistance, -2 reputation everytime she joins, +2
        reputation everytime she leaves
    Rating:  8/10
    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.  Magic
        resistance is a bit of a wildcard, though (it affects friendly spells,
        too) so be sure to plan in advance before you're left hoping that a
        Slow Poison will affect her before another tick of poison takes away
        her last point of health.

Xzar, Chaotic Evil Human Necromancer
    14s 16d 10c 17i 16w 10ch
        1x Small Swords
        +1x Missile Weapons (PC level 5)
    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.
1.  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.

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 few seconds while the flame effect occurs (TotSC
removes the stationary component).  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).
    Note that another benefit of using BG/TotSC instead of BGTutu is that all
charm effects got severely nerfed after the original game.  You can't talk to
charmed creatures (so no NPC reaction benefit), and you don't have fine-grained
control over their actions (such as picking weapons or casting spells).

Chill Touch (Necromancy) - 3/4
    Not bad.  Creates a pseudo-weapon that has a +3 to hit bonus (probably to
compensate for casters who won't have Blunt Weapon proficiency, which this
uses).  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.

Chromatic Orb (Evocation) - 4/4
    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.

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.

Friends (Enchantment) - 3/4
    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.

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).

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.

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) - 1/4
    Super duper great at level 1 since it's 5.5 average damage guaranteed
(most of any spell he or she has) but quickly becomes outclassed by every other

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 BG/TotSC,
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
2.  Second Level                                                       *ARC:SEC

Agannazar's Scorcher (Evocation) - 3/4
    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.  Maybe free up
your spell slots for something else.  Unlike what it appears and what Icewind
Dale/II do with it, things between you and your target don't take damage.

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

Detect Evil (Divination) - 1/4
    Let your paladins and priests use up time or spell slots to do an enemy
heat map for you instead.

Detect Invisibility (Divination) - 3/4 in vanilla BG, 1/4 in TotSC
    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.  Bioware should've really thought about the fact that an enemy casting
a 4th level spell in a game with an experience cap of 89,000 or 161,000
_should_ be horrifying instead of a mere one-turn distraction.

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). Uses Blunt Weapon
proficiency, has a +3 bonus to hit to help compensate for silly people who are
using this without the proficiency; your PC will get this for free as the third
or fourth Bhaal power if your reputation is below 10.  Great on classes with
good THAC0 (hint hint).  Does no damage on its own though, so don't use this on
a fighter with 18/00 strength and 2 attacks/round.

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) - 2/4
    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.
Unlike BG2, you're not giving up any experience by not picking locks yourself,
so nothing lost by using this.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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 the mage itself as a
pre-melee buff for more fighting-inclined (like Xan with his Moonblade).

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).
3.  Third Level                                                        *ARC:THI

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

Dire Charm (Enchantment) - 2/4
    Worse than Charm Person because first, it takes up a third level spell slot
which is filled with good things, and second berserking a creature isn't
actually better than simply controlling them, especially when you charm an
enemy spell caster (being able to get free Hastes off a charmed mage is

Dispel Magic (Abjuration) - 4/4
    Heavily nerfed in BG2/IWD/2 because it is decidedly game-breakingly
powerful.  Basically destroys any enemy mage because it ends all their
protections.  Also saves your own guys from bad magical effects.  Treat this
like Resist Fear:  try to have everyone who can use this have one copy for
redundancy's sake.

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 if you plan on
using Minor Globe of Invulnerability offensively, Wands of Fire aren't
blocked by it (which is true for enemies, too), so use memorized Fireballs
before charging in with a Minor Globe of Invulnerability mage.

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 in TotSC 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 enchantment
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

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.

Monster Summoning I (Conjuration) - 4/4
    Stronger than Animal Summoning I.  Enough said.

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
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 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.

Skull Trap (Necromancy) - 4/4
    With the low level cap in BG/TotSC, 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.

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 TotSC.  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.
4.  Fourth Level                                                       *ARC:FOU

Confusion (Enchantment) - 4/4
    Awesome.  Crowd control at its finest in BG/TotSC.  Turn any painstakingly
developer-scripted enemy encounter into a gibbering mass where you can pick off
enemies one at a time.

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 [TotSC only]
    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.

Greater Malison (Enchantment) - 3/4 [TotSC only]
    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?

Improved Invisibility (Illusion) - 4/4 in vanilla BG, 2/4 in TotSC
    Really powerful in vanilla.  Enemies can't see you even after you start
attacking, which means only certain AI scripts will be able to make much
sense of what's happening.  Also horrific to have done against you, as the
targeting circle doesn't show up.  Certain AI scripts can still target the
enemy, but normally this meant holding onto a Detect Invisibility or
Invisibility Purge in case an Ogre Mage decided to show up.
    In TotSC, the spell gets nerfed significantly.  Essentially it becomes a
casting of Invisibility that gives you a slight boost to AC after you make an
attack.  You still can't be affected by direct spells, but in this regard
Minor Globe of Invulnerability is better.

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.

Monster Summoning II (Conjuration) - 4/4
    Better than Animal Summoning II.  Noice.

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

Polymorph Self (Alteration) - 1/4 [TotSC only]
    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 [TotSC only]
    Save this for priests.  Oh yeah, except even priests shouldn't burn a spell
slot memorizing this.

Spirit Armor (Necromancy) - 3/4 for vanilla BG, 2/4 for TotSC
    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).  However, in vanilla the spell
selection is really minimal and using this on an arcane caster expecting to mix
it up in close quarters is really good; it slows down how quickly your Mirror
Images go away, essentially.  In TotSC, memorize one of the new enchantment
spells (if you can) instead.
5.  Fifth Level                                                        *ARC:FIF

Animate Dead (Necromancy) - 3/4
    Gets a downgrade only because priests do this better.  Monster Summoning
is going to be a generally better choice since you get 1 HD per level here
but Monster Summoning gives you a flat 8, 12, or 16 HD.

Chaos (Enchantment) - 4/4 [TotSC only]
    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 Entangle them (Sleep/Web/Stinking
Cloud/Hold are less useful simply because if you disable them that way you
don't need to waste a Cloudkill to finish them off).  Being able to memorize
a few is great!  Gets weaker as the game goes on and monsters get tougher,

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

Feeblemind (Enchantment) - 1/4 [TotSC only]
    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 [TotSC only]
    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
    Summons 16 hit die of allies.  The best summon spell in the game.  That's
almost the equivalent of 2 high-level fighters.  Abuse this.

Shadow Door (Illusion) - 4/4 in vanilla BG, 1/4 in TotSC
    Heavily nerfed by the Improved Invisibility nerf in TotSC.  Now, why would
you waste a fifth-level spell slot on an effect that's barely improved on top
of a second-level spell?

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.
1.  First Level                                                        *DIV:FIR
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1a. Cleric-Only Spells

Command Word:  Die - 3/4
    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.

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
    It's like Invisibility, except you can also cast spells on yourself, and
it's available as a level 1 spell!  Not bad.  Only downside is the slightly
longer casting time (4 versus 2), which means that in the case of an emergency
you may stand a higher chance of getting a rude interruption.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1b. Shared Spells

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 - 3/4 in vanilla BG, 4/4 in TotSC
    There's no "Rest until fully healed" option in BG/TotSC, so from Candlekeep
until the fat lady sings, you'll need this.  This doesn't mean it's that good,
it's just that you've got no better option than something that heals on average
4.5 health (and has the scary possibility of healing for 1 in the heat of
combat).  Pray to eventually have the wealth to have an endless supply of
Potions of Healing/Elixirs of Health instead.
    Cure Light Wounds gets a decidedly unwise (in terms of game balance) buff
in ToTSC, so it always heals a full 8 health.  I consider it unbalanced simply
because no other healing effect was similarly buffed (Larloch's Minor Drain,
Goodberry, etc), so it again seemed like Bioware just succumbed to a few whiny
players rather than making sane judgments.  Sigh.

Detect Evil - 2/4
    Actually has a use.  Good way to see if you have evil respawns in the area
(in BG2 its limited to visible range, though).  Also is good to see if your
Protection From Evil spells are going to be useful, in case you can't remember
whether or not something you're fighting is evil (and unlike BG2 not everything
you fight is automatically evil).

Entangle - 4/4
    Not bad, compared to what some people think.  Sure it gives enemies a +3
bonus to save, but what do you expect for a level 1 version of Web?  OK OK, it
doesn't "Hold" enemies like Web or Stinking Cloud do, so they can still attack
anything in range.  But then again, Entangle doesn't affect your allies, and
only needs to hit once (instead of effectively giving enemies a chance to
escape every round).  This means that after you've split up and ensnared the
enemies, you can actually send your melee in to help pick up the scraps without
worrying about screwing yourself over.  Note that also unlike Icewind Dale/II,
you can cast this indoors without any problem.

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 - 3/4
    Unbeknownst to either the manual or most guides out there, Shillelagh
actually provides a +3 to hit bonus, not a +1.  Might have been fixed in BG2,
but definitely not BG/TotSC.  The +3 to hit might have been a side effect of
trying to compensate for characters who won't have Blunt Weapon proficiency,
which this uses, but if you do have Blunt Weapon proficiency, you'll benefit
quite a bit.
    Not bad for priests early on.  2d4 damage and +3 to hit is better than a +1
club (which doesn't exist), dagger, quarterstaff, spear, or scimitar.  Does
less damage against larger-than-man-sized creatures in TotSC, though.  Clerics
have less use; a simple +1 mace, morning star, or flail is probably better than
this (unless you're aching for that extra +2 to hit).  In either case, Flame
Blade completely outclasses this in most situations (even against
fire-resistant creatures it still has a massive +4 to hit instead of +3).
2.  Second Level                                                       *DIV:SEC
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2a. 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 BG/TotSC, 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 - 3/4 in vanilla BG, 2/4 in TotSC
    Heals on average better than Cure Light Wounds (5 berries versus 4.5
average healing).  It's not as fast, since 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.
    Goodberries get relatively worse in ToTSC, because Cure Light Wounds heals
a full 8 health while Goodberry still only gives you 5 berries (the exact
average of the 2d4 it's supposed to give you) instead of 8.  So, it'll heal
less than simply casting Cure Light Wounds.  Again, it's useful early on when
all you need to do is top off a few characters, so there's less 'waste'.  The
only other thing in Goodberry's favor is that there are no other healing spells
for druids at the second level.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2b. 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 BG/TotSC 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 in TotSC 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

Spiritual Hammer - 1/4
    Unless you get three free castings by being Branwen, it sucks, unless
you're in bad need of THAC0.  You get a +3 to hit bonus on top of any magical
enchantment you get off the hammer itself, possibly to compensate for
characters who won't have Blunt Weapon proficiency, which this uses.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2c. 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 for clerics, 4/4 for druids
    I don't know why this spell isn't more popular.  Sure, it gets outclassed
by the time you play BG2, but in BG/TotSC, Flame Blade is literally the best
possible weapon a druid can use and the best possible weapon a cleric can use
against undead.  An undocumented treat is that Flame Blade also has a +4 bonus
to hit (hits as a +1 plus a bonus +3 probably to help compensate for
characters, especially clerics, who won't have Small Sword proficiency).
    So, ordinarily, the best one-handed weapon a druid can use in TotSC is a
scimitar +2 (or a dagger +2 in vanilla, which is worse).  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) with a +2 to hit.
Similarly, in vanilla the best one-handed weapon a cleric can use is the
warhammer +2 off of Basillus, which does 7 damage plus 1 electric with a +2 to
hit.  In TotSC the warhammer gets nerfed, so a cleric has the Staff Mace to
look forward to, which has average 7 damage and +2 to hit.
    Against non-undead or fire-vulnerable enemies, Flame Blade already does 6.5
average damage and a +4 to hit.  This is already better than anything a druid
can do.  It's not as good for priests, especially since priests can't get Small
Sword proficiency, so the +4 to hit becomes a +1 to hit.  But it still beats
any +1 magical weapon a priest can get and is still comparable to the end-game
Staff Mace.  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) and comparable against even the cleric's best, either
vanilla +2 warhammer or TotSC Staff Mace, giving up a bit of to hit to do
extra damage.
    Again, even despite what Icewind Dale/II do for this spell, Flame Blade
uses Small Sword proficiency, not Large Sword/Scimitar.

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.
    While the game mentions that this pause won't interrupt spell casting, I've
definitely had some longer spells stop.  I'm not sure if this was just the
periodic AI glitch or if Find Traps screwed it up, but be aware.

Know Alignment - 1/4

Resist Fire and Cold - 2/4
    Concentrated fire and especially cold damage is rare in BG/TotSC.  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 losing the battle after miss-aiming a Fireball).
    Note that there is an undocumented feature where casting Resist Fire and
Cold on yourself provides a higher resistance bonus than casting it on
someone else.  This may be an error, since the third level version of this
spell explicitly says it does, but doesn't actually.  Point being, if your
divine caster uses this on him or herself and also has the Ring of Fire
Protection (or some similar source of 50% or less fire resistance), that person
will have enough resistance to actually _heal_ from fire damage.  Try it out!
Since both druids and clerics are pretty decent at tanking a bit of damage,
they can serve as effective decoy-type characters.  Buff them up with fire
resist, run into a crowded area, and then unleash with Fireballs, Wands of
Fire, and Amulet of Missiles.

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.
3.  Third Level                                                        *DIV:THI
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3a. Druid-Only Spells

Call Lightning - 5/4 (!!)
    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 BG/TotSC 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.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3b. Cleric-Only Spells

Animate Dead - 4/4
    It's comparatively weak (though better than the mage version since you get
this much earlier on), since each individual skeleton has only 1 hit die,
though you do get a lot of them.  However, you get this early on and has good
staying power.  Just be sure not to switch on Turn Undead as a good cleric as
you will either fear them or worse, abolish them.

Dispel Magic - 4/4
    Great for all the same reasons that Dispel Magic is great for arcane

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.

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 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).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3c. Shared Spells

Invisibility Purge - 3/4 in vanilla BG, 1/4 in TotSC
    One of the reasons why I prefer vanilla BG.  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, 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.  However, for some reason,
maybe the way BG/TotSC round off damage, the 80% damage resistance to fire is
more like 100%.  Try it out yourself:  cast it on anybody, and then lay waste
with Necklace of Missiles, Potions of Explosions, Wands of Fire, Fireball, etc
and at no point will your character ever take damage.  For this reason it's
worth using this spell if you can do some advance party prep (knowing whom to
cast this on, having diverse sources of area fire damage, etc), 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.  Like
Resist Fire and Cold, stack this with some other form of fire resistance (like
the Ring of Fire Resistance) and the character will _heal_ from fire damage
(evidenced by negative damage).  It doesn't appear to be significantly more
healing than Resist Fire and Cold, but watch in awe nonetheless 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.  Compare with Resist Fire and Cold which
doesn't say anything like that but actually does do different things.  Bioware?
4.  Fourth Level                                                       *DIV:FOU
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4a. 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 [TotSC only]
    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).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4b. Shared Spells

Animal Summoning I - 4/4
    Good amount of cannon fodder who will soak up damage and even occasionally
dish it out, too.  Slightly better than Animate Dead since you get more bang
for your buck.  Heavily nerfed in BG2.

Cure Serious Wounds - 4/4
    Massive healing, 17 health is nothing to cough at.  No Potions of Extra
Healing in BG/TotSC unlike BG2/IWD/2, so this is the best healing you can get.

Defensive Harmony - 3/4 [TotSC only]
    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.

Neutralize Poison - 4/4 in vanilla BG, 3/4 in TotSC
    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).
    Gets worse in TotSC because of the silly buff to max out Cure Light Wounds
healing.  This spell still heals a bit more and has a much faster cast time,

Protection From Evil, 10' Radius - 3/4 [TotSC]
    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

Protection From Lightning - 1/4 [TotSC]
    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).
5.  Fifth Level                                                        *DIV:FIF

Note that only druids will ever be able to memorize fifth-level spells, the
other spells are either effects you can purchase (like Raise Dead) or available
in alternate forms.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5a. Cleric-Only Spells

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

Chaotic Commands - 1/4 [TotSC]
    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.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5b. Shared Spells

Animal Summoning II - 4/4
    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.

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.

General Pointers                                                           *GEN
1.  Issues/Notes                                                       *GEN:ISS

AI Ignores Summons/Charms When No One's In Range
    While the AI is somewhat smart enough to do something if someone out of
their visual sight hits them with a Fireball, if no one is in visual range and
you've got summons or a charmed enemy attacking, they won't respond at all.
This is a _very_ cheesy way to kill Drizzt.  Summon some skeletons (since they
last a really long time), send them to attack Drizzt and immediately pull your
party members away.  Drizzt will just stand there and mindlessly take damage.

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.

    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.

    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
        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.

Pausing Breaks Spellcasting
    There's an unintentional issue where pausing the game will sometimes cause
NPCs to stop whatever they are casting.  It's absolutely stupid but also
cheezy.  Now that you know about it, try your best not to pause during enemy
casts so as to not render all mage battles completely trivial.

Party AI
    If you assign custom scripts to your party members (which you should at
least do to set them all to Fighter Aggressive so you don't have to micro-
manage them), there is an issue where those who are casting spells will
occasionally stop right before they complete to go attack someone.  I'm not
sure why this is, it might be a forced AI script check at periodic intervals
(it doesn't overlap with the beginning or end of rounds).  For this reason,
if you're casting crucial spells, hit 'A' to disable AI temporarily.

    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

    Enemies respawn aggressively in BG/TotSC.  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

    Starting in TotSC, you get heavily penalized when you try to Hide in
Shadows when you're outdoors and not actually in shadows (and it's not night).
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, 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.

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, Stealth and Pick Pockets are skills you should theoretically want to put
higher than 99%.
2.  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.  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.

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
        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 not only can hit them, but does so with a +4 bonus.
Give her a strength-boosting potion to make quick work of them.  Don't send
her in alone, though, their attacks are pretty severe.  It's worth using melee
fighters without 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.

    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, though (it's 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.
3.  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.
4.  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             Ghoul Touch
    Chapter 5       Slow Poison             Ghoul Touch
    Chapter 6       Draw Upon Holy Might    Vampiric Touch
    Chapter 7       Draw Upon Holy Might    Vampiric Touch

If you're 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 gives you a +2 penalty to your 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.
    I wasn't able to find data for Hide Armor (it's in TotSC, but it's not
even mentioned in the manual for TotSC), 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    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   Cle   Dru   Rogues   Mages
    0xp         20    20        20    20    20       20
    1,000xp     20    20        20    20    20       20
    2,000xp     19    20        20    20    20       20
    4,000xp     18    19        20    20    19       20
    8,000xp     17    18        18    18    19       20
    16,000xp    16    17        18    18    18       19
    25,000xp    16    16        18    18    18       19
    50,000xp    15    15        18    16    17       19
    75,000xp    14    14        16    16    17       18
    100,000xp   14    14        16    16    17       18
    130,000xp   13    14        16    14    16       18
    161,000xp   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
1.  Special Thanks                                                     *APP:SPE 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.
2.  History                                                            *APP:HIS

2013.08.08 - Version 1.8 completed (minor).
    Changing "Other Works" to "All Works" and updating.

2013.02.18 - Version 1.7 completed.
    Adding Hide Armor data.
    Adding section on Greater Wolfweres to the Enemy pointers section.

2013.02.07 - Version 1.6 completed.
    Syncing some new content from the Enhanced Edition version of this guide
        (THAC0 tables, discussion on Invisibility).

2013.02.04 - Version 1.5 completed.
    Fixing up Alora's missing Lucky Rabbit's Foot and the note on Thieving
        Skills (similar to the Enhanced Edition version of this guide).

2012.12.14 - (minor)
    Updated note for Enhanced Edition, making it easier to see upon first load.

2011.10.28 - Version 1.4 completed
    Added note for Enhanced Edition.
    Updated related guides.

2011.10.28 - Version 1.3 completed
    Added note or Charm Person/Mammal that some late game mammals area actually
    Correction for Resist Fire and Cold - doesn't do what I said it did, it
        actually varies between whether its cast on the caster or someone
    Clarification for Protection From Fire - doesn't actually vary between
        caster or someone else.
    Improved spacing in APP.

2011.10.27 - Version 1.2 completed
    Fixed date in history for version 1.0 (was 2011.11.01).
    Added missing section on "shorty" saving throws.
    Fixed Nondetection rating to be on scale of 5 not 4.
    Minor correction in RAC:HUM to "half-elf bard" from "half-elf paladin".
    Added special thanks in APP:SPE to playithardcore.
    Extra spacing in GEN:CHA headings.
    Formatting for find shortcuts in APP.
    Random typos

2011.10.26 - Version 1.0 completed
    At last!
3.  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

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