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Xzar and Montaron

I picked them up early because without them that assassin at friendly arm inn would slaughter me.

Since my char is good, I should really dump them at some point. However question is when? Montaron is great with his sling and xzar is a Mage. My main concern is losing a Mage. I currently building up my party before we hit the Nashkel Mines and I've seen quite a few recruitable NPCs, but any recommendations to replace Xzar?
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Comments

  • AristilliusAristillius Posts: 809Member
    You should meet another mage once you get to Beregost (and wander around a bit in the city) =)
  • ajwzajwz Posts: 3,730Member, Beta Tester
    I'd recommend Neera or Xan. You'll come across them both fairly early
  • MadhaxMadhax Posts: 1,416Member
    Mages are nothing special in BG1, honestly. Having one is nice, having two is overkill.

    Pre-Nashkel, you'll have the option of grabbing Neera, or teaming up with Minsc and getting Dynaheir. Edwin is also available and noticeably more powerful than Xzar, but he's also evil. You could also simply do Nashke Mines without a Mage, it's not like they're powerful enough at such a low level to really matter much.

    Montaron is a solid NPC, but hardly unique. There are TONS of thieves throughout the game, and unless you ditched Imoen, Montaron brings nothing unique to the table.
    n0class
  • TressetTresset Posts: 3,014Member, Moderator, Beta Tester
    Madhax said:

    Mages are nothing special in BG1, honestly. Having one is nice, having two is overkill.

    ...


    Wut? Mages are great in BG1! If what you are doing is comparing them to what they can do in BG2 then I can see why you would think that. But they have plenty of pluses in BG1. Such as having 75% of the offensive spells in the game and 95% of the good offensive spells in the game. They also have about 30% of the defensive spells in the game but about 75% of the really good defensive spells in the game. Sure they may not be as powerful as warrior classes but they certainly have the advantage over all the other classes in BG1. Clerics and, even more so, druids on the other hand have very little to offer other than healing.
  • mjsmjs Posts: 742Member
    i'm rolling around with quayle and dualled imoen atm. quayle for damage and imoen for buffs/debuffs

    it's incredibly effective
  • BomburBombur Posts: 5Member
    Neera is DLC on iPad so I don't get her out of the box.

    I was planning to get Minsc as he seems to be popular, so sounds like I should seek out Dynaheir as well.
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Posts: 3,649Member
    If Neera is out, Dynaheir is the way to go. I personally like Xan a little better, but that is because I find his dialogue more entertaining. You couldn't recruit him before going to the mines. I'd recommend to keep the party: you, Montaron, Xzar, Jaheira, Khalid, Imoen for the way to Nashkell, so you don't get killed by monsters on the way. In Nashkell, you ditch the evil pair and grab Minsc and Dynaheir and have an all-good party (or at least, no-evil, since Jaheira is neutral).
  • HadrianBlackwaterHadrianBlackwater Posts: 108Member
    If you need mage, like powerfull mage and you dont roll mage, choose Edwin. Inteligence 18 and cons. 16 is best what you can get, and also more spells for you because his stuff on neck.(and he is evil :D )

    Neera is useless, sorry but its right, with low HP and Inteligence 17 is not so good, and also 5% chance that spell what she used will be disaster(trust me 99% is) like enemy demons, or kill all of your parry or slow you ect.

    Second best choice is Dynatheir, int 17, con 16 and bonus Minsc with Boo. And I have to disagree with OP mages in BG1. 1 good archer with magic arrows(fire or frost enough) and your mage go to hell.
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Posts: 3,649Member
    edited January 2013
    Edwin is out for being evil. If that wasn't the problem, the OP could just keep Xzar. Yes, Edwin is a better mage than all the good and neutral ones and even the one a player can roll, but there is no way to change his alignment. (Unlike other classes who can wear helms, including the one changing his alignment.) If you don't want to bother with reputation management, a mixed party is the last thing you need. For a good party, Dynaheir is the way to go.

    Also, Dynaheir has Slow Potion. That frees a spell slot for the cleric, which makes up a bit for having fewer spells than Edwin. She can cast the most important things at that level, unlike Xan. And let's face it, for a pretty long time, it doesn't really matter if Edwin has 1 magic missile more or less; he will run out of spells like every other mage before a longer battle is over and has to use sling or quarterstaff. His high con is the real advantage on lower levels (compared to the squishies Xzar and Xan). And Dynaheir has the same con, so nothing is lost.
    Post edited by KidCarnival on
    JTM
  • MattysekMattysek Posts: 24Member
    "I know of dragons with feet like rabbits, 'tis true, I swear."

    Take Xzar, just for banter, also he can be useful as mage/cleric (tome of wisdom) ...also clerics can wear helmets ;)
    Oxford_GuyTJ_HookerQuartz
  • ErgErg Posts: 1,415Member

    1 good archer with magic arrows(fire or frost enough) and your mage go to hell.

    A level 7+ mage can cast Stoneskin + Mirror Image and laughs at the archer.
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Posts: 3,688Member, Beta Tester
    Mattysek said:

    "I know of dragons with feet like rabbits, 'tis true, I swear."

    Take Xzar, just for banter, also he can be useful as mage/cleric (tome of wisdom) ...also clerics can wear helmets ;)

    My favourite Xzar quote is: "I wanted infravision like the elves, but tis' more than just taking their eyes"
    KidCarnivalMattysekTJ_HookerQuartz
  • DinsdalePiranhaDinsdalePiranha Posts: 414Member
    Xzar is awesome. Montaron is awesome. they're pretty much the coolest chars in BG1, both banter-, personality-, and interaction-wise. if you're not playing your char in the stupid kind of good way, take 'em, they're heroic sociopaths anyway.
    (beware, tvtropes! you only have yourself to blame if after clicking, few hours of your life suddenly disappear)

    for added fun, bring Jaheira and Khalid with 'em [diabolical laughter]
    (no, don't. it'll end... badly, and carrying around those two useless sacks of meat makes no sense)

    mages are also buttclenchingly powerful all throughout the Baldur's Gate saga, and you're best off with 2 on them - Edwin is a nice addition, so is Neera. powerwise, it looks something like this: Edwin > Neera > Xzar > anyone else > retarded gibberling > Dynaheir.
    Oxford_Guy
  • SirK8SirK8 Posts: 525Member
    Warning: Dynaheir cannot use conjuration spells IIRC. Wands can solve some of your summoning problems, but for this reason alone, I usually take Edwin instead, depend on your play style though
  • DinsdalePiranhaDinsdalePiranha Posts: 414Member
    edited January 2013
    SirK8 said:

    Warning: Dynaheir cannot use conjuration spells IIRC. Wands can solve some of your summoning problems, but for this reason alone, I usually take Edwin instead, depend on your play style though

    apparently, in BGEE she can... but the lack of conjuration spells were always only a minor problem, the bigger one is the fact she cannot use (no matter which version) *enchantment* spells.

    translation: no sleep. no emotion. no chaos. (and that sounded like some bullshit movie slogan) to a lesser degree, no charm person, dire charm, or domination. basically all the best spells in BGEE *are enchantment spells*.

    long story short, Dynaheir is fucking useless.
    Post edited by DinsdalePiranha on
    SirK8
  • ErgErg Posts: 1,415Member

    Dynaheir is fucking useless.

    She is not, if you have at least a second mage in the party to take care of enchantments.
  • DinsdalePiranhaDinsdalePiranha Posts: 414Member
    Erg said:

    Dynaheir is fucking useless.

    She is not, if you have at least a second mage in the party to take care of enchantments.
    that works with, say, conjuration spells... actually, it pretty much works with anything except enchantment or evocation. problem is, when you want to knock out/frighten/confuse/fry your enemies, you really want to make sure it hits, and that next to no one is left standing - and that *can't* be accomplished with a single mage. some guys will make their save, and will come at you with a vengeance. not good, and can seriously bite you in the ass if the one left standing is, for example, a mage... casually aiming a confusion spell at you. point is, you really need two mages flinging shit at the enemy.

    another major problem is the fact that lvl 4 has two good offensive spells, confusion and emotion, and both are - you guessed it, enchantment. same goes for lvl 5.

    I'm sorry, but with her opposition school and ye olde butcherede englishe, there is little that can be done for poor little Dynaheir.
    SirK8
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Posts: 3,649Member
    edited January 2013
    All the things Edwin and Xzar have going for them, it doesn't change the fact that they are evil and will leave a good party if the rep gets too high. I personally like to run with both and find it pretty hard to find arguments against them. But - "I want an all good/neutral party" is a really convincing point. That Dynaheir can't summon isn't so bad if you have a cleric or druid, who can either summon animals or raise dead. I'd say that Xan is harder to use efficiently for a beginner and Dynaheir is easier because the spells she starts with pretty much explain themselves. Xan's selection is more for players who already know their strategy and how to *make* him useful. (Neera, no idea, haven't had her longer than it takes to grab her gem bag.)
    Post edited by KidCarnival on
    DinsdalePiranha
  • DinsdalePiranhaDinsdalePiranha Posts: 414Member
    @KidCarnival: Neera has the power of a specialist (+1 spell each level), without any opposition schools, and... well, a random chance of stuff blowing up/petrifying/money loss/other fun stuff. also, her caster level is all over the place (-5 to +5 modifier with each cast), but that generally shouldn't be a problem in BGEE, only spells that it majorly affects are fireball/skull trap and chromatic orb. (and I love it when the strength spell suddenly has double duration)

    Xan is actually pretty easy to use imho, he has all the important stuff (skull trap instead fireball... or, y'know, use slow), only thing missing is chromatic orb. for a good aligned party, I'd also stick to Imoen as a mage, though the lack of specialization for dual classes (at least in BGEE) is a shame.
  • SirK8SirK8 Posts: 525Member
    @DinsdalePiranha - didn't know about the change in BG:EE cause I let her rot in the stronghold. For now I have Neera, who I dislike, but keeping her around for the romance option cause it's new content. I was thinking of dumping her for another mage, but I've already put too much time/scrolls into her. For now I plan to finish the game with the three new NPCs.
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Posts: 3,649Member
    @DinsdalePiranha - I agree that Xan is playable and not hard to use, but a new player doesn't immediately think "Oh can't cast Fireball? I take Skull Trap then!" For Xan, you first need to know the workarounds for his school. Dynaheir has more spells that instantly make sense to people who aren't familiar with the game yet.
    That said, I usually play evil, so there is no question what mages I use. I don't think I ever completed a game with Dynaheir or Xan, so I can only speak in theory and from looking at their schools and abilities. (Neera sounds pretty unreliable in theory, though entertaining.) I just know that I wouldn't recommend a beginner to play a mixed alignment party because managing reputation is something that does spoil the first run. I remember how frustrated I was when Kagain just left in my first game somewhere in chapter 5 and I had no clue why, if I could get him back or where to get a new tank.
    DinsdalePiranha
  • ErgErg Posts: 1,415Member
    edited January 2013

    Erg said:

    Dynaheir is fucking useless.

    She is not, if you have at least a second mage in the party to take care of enchantments.
    that works with, say, conjuration spells... actually, it pretty much works with anything except enchantment or evocation. problem is, when you want to knock out/frighten/confuse/fry your enemies, you really want to make sure it hits, and that next to no one is left standing - and that *can't* be accomplished with a single mage. some guys will make their save, and will come at you with a vengeance. not good, and can seriously bite you in the ass if the one left standing is, for example, a mage... casually aiming a confusion spell at you. point is, you really need two mages flinging shit at the enemy.

    another major problem is the fact that lvl 4 has two good offensive spells, confusion and emotion, and both are - you guessed it, enchantment. same goes for lvl 5.

    I'm sorry, but with her opposition school and ye olde butcherede englishe, there is little that can be done for poor little Dynaheir.
    @DinsdalePiranha

    I believe it is just a matter of play style.

    For instance, I don't rely so much on enchantment spells. Actually never liked the school and the only reason I use enchantment spells at all is that they are insanely overpowered in BG, but even so I mostly use just sleep at the lower levels.

    About the 4th level spells, I think there are so many good alternatives (Stoneskin, Fireshield, Polymorph Self, Improved Invisibility, etc.) and too few spell slots to memorise all of them. Yes, they are all defensive spells, but I don't see anything wrong with that, you will still have plenty of offensive spells from the other levels to choose from.
    Post edited by Erg on
  • MadhaxMadhax Posts: 1,416Member
    Tresset said:

    Madhax said:

    Mages are nothing special in BG1, honestly. Having one is nice, having two is overkill.

    ...


    Wut? Mages are great in BG1! If what you are doing is comparing them to what they can do in BG2 then I can see why you would think that. But they have plenty of pluses in BG1. Such as having 75% of the offensive spells in the game and 95% of the good offensive spells in the game. They also have about 30% of the defensive spells in the game but about 75% of the really good defensive spells in the game. Sure they may not be as powerful as warrior classes but they certainly have the advantage over all the other classes in BG1. Clerics and, even more so, druids on the other hand have very little to offer other than healing.
    You're still usually better off with warrior classes, and there's no shortage of them. BG1 mages never gain enough spells to constantly cast them without liberally resting, which means that a class that should be a swiss army knife is instead delegated to situational casting and mostly auto-slinging. A solid warrior wielding a bow is much more useful than a mage in most encounters.

    That's not to say mages are useless. Far from it, and I would never consider running a party without one. I'm mostly speaking to the OP's apparent feelings that mages are some sort of overpowering force that should never be left behind. Xzar is a perfectly serviceable party member, but he's nothing uniquely special, especially since you get him at level 1.
  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Posts: 2,290Member
    Mattysek said:

    "I know of dragons with feet like rabbits, 'tis true, I swear."

    Take Xzar, just for banter, also he can be useful as mage/cleric (tome of wisdom) ...also clerics can wear helmets ;)

    So that's what he says. I've been using him in my current playthrough and could never make out what he was saying, other than the "'tis true, I swear" part.
  • DarkDoggDarkDogg Posts: 556Member
    edited January 2013
    Bombur said:


    Since my char is good, I should really dump them at some point.

    In Nashkel and take Minsc there to rescue Dynaheir (go for the quest).
    She is your only choice of good alignet vanilla mages. (Edwin and Xzar are the best mages in the game and both evil...)

    And if you're new to the game, I highly DON'T recommend to take Xan - you will probably be dissapointed in mages, he has no magic missile, fireballs, chrom orbs and more MAIN attacking spells. It doesn't meant that he is a bad or weak npc - he is a debuffer. No pew pew!
    Post edited by DarkDogg on
  • SgthawkerSgthawker Posts: 27Member
    edited January 2013
    TJ_Hooker said:


    So that's what he says. I've been using him in my current playthrough and could never make out what he was saying, other than the "'tis true, I swear" part.

    You can turn on subtitles in the options, gameplay, feedback, I have all 6 messages options checked, but it might be the miscellaneous one to have each quote written out to read.
    Post edited by Sgthawker on
  • SgthawkerSgthawker Posts: 27Member
    edited January 2013
    DarkDogg said:


    She is your only choice of good alignet vanilla mages.

    She is, in fact, not a vanilla mage, but a specialist mage, she is an Invoker.
    Post edited by Sgthawker on
  • HadrianBlackwaterHadrianBlackwater Posts: 108Member
    Erg said:

    1 good archer with magic arrows(fire or frost enough) and your mage go to hell.

    A level 7+ mage can cast Stoneskin + Mirror Image and laughs at the archer.
    He can laugh 2-4 round. Imagine BG1, 7lvl is ending contest, so Ranger Archer with 4-5 points in long bow, some frozen Arrows and your mage should be lucky cast one of this spells. Oh and stoneskin dont protect you against elemental attacks.
  • ErgErg Posts: 1,415Member

    Erg said:

    1 good archer with magic arrows(fire or frost enough) and your mage go to hell.

    A level 7+ mage can cast Stoneskin + Mirror Image and laughs at the archer.
    He can laugh 2-4 round. Imagine BG1, 7lvl is ending contest, so Ranger Archer with 4-5 points in long bow, some frozen Arrows and your mage should be lucky cast one of this spells. Oh and stoneskin dont protect you against elemental attacks.
    @HadrianBlackwater

    My comment was not to be taken too seriously.

    Nevertheless, I still believe that you're largely underestimating the mage potential in BG1/BGEE, especially, as you say, in ending contest.

    Don't let fool yourself by how weak are the enemy mages, at least in vanilla BG1 or BGEE. That's because of limitations in the AI scripts. There are mods that make fighting mages much more challenging even in BG1. Moreover, a mage controlled by an experienced user that knows when and how to use the appropriate spells, that's a totally different matter.

    However, it would be pointless, and even a bit childish, to discuss the outcome of a hypothetical challenge between a mage and a archer, because it will depend on too many factors (build, gear, etc.), the most important being imho the chance related to the roll of the dices.
    DinsdalePiranha
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
    KidCarnivalQuartzErgTJ_Hooker
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