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Author Topic: Baldur's Gate - what does a non D&D-er need to know?  (Read 1395 times)
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Teggy
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« on: November 03, 2009, 02:48:48 AM »

I've installed Baldur's Gate for the umpteenth time and am going to give it another go. Something I remember from the last time I played (learned from someone on the forum) is that Magic Missle is really important because it will interrupt a caster. I assumed that this is just something that I missed in the manual, but I have looked through it, and this information is not there. So I figure that this is because I have never played D&D. Is there anything else D&D related I need to know? I don't want spoilers, but I am wondering if there are just some things about the rules of D&D that I should know if I am going to succeed in the game.
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 03:03:09 AM »

considering how much the underlying mechanics rely on D&D rules, you really have to know surprisingly little in the beginning to enjoy the game.  just give the manual a quick read, start playing, and you'll come to understand the whole system pretty quickly with a little experience.  the game is more than long enough for you to figure things out early before you really need to work on fully taking advantage of the ruleset.  just start playing and have fun...it's a great game icon_cool
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 03:07:06 AM »

IIRC, the manuals for both BG 1&2 were quite extensive and should give you a detailed breakdown of the mechanics.  Between that and studying the actual dice rolls (which you can enable if they aren't on by default), you should be able to get a good feel for what is happening.

For BG2 I actually went out and bought a hardback copy of the D&D 2E Monster Manual.  There are a lot of little tidbits that are important to know when fighting certain monsters that the game didn't do a great job at conveying.  However I think that had more to do with the relatively high level enemies in BG2.  For BG1 you shouldn't need that. 
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 03:19:29 AM »

The key thing to know about magic missile in second edition is that it never misses. A noob mage can hit a dragon with magic missile. The dragon will eat him shortly thereafter, but he'll get a hit in. slywink
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 03:34:29 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on November 03, 2009, 03:19:29 AM

The key thing to know about magic missile in second edition is that it never misses. A noob mage can hit a dragon with magic missile. The dragon will eat him shortly thereafter, but he'll get a hit in. slywink

LMAO
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 04:25:05 AM »

In the original Baldur's Gate you want to use ranged weapons a lot.  You're low-level so it won't take much to kill you.  Damage from a distance will be your best friend.

Also send Khalid off by himself to die so you can keep Jaheira.  She's great, he's not.

Always have Minsc in your party.  Always.  Minsc is Bioware's single greatest accomplishment.
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 04:33:06 AM »

I decided to play as a Paladin. If I act all Paladin-like and don't steal money out of peoples dressers will I still get enough gold? Although I am unsure if taking a gem out of a barrel is considered stealing.
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2009, 04:43:17 AM »

Boy if you're completely new to these games I'd skip BG1 and go straight to BG2. BG2 is a much more evolved version of BG1. In BG2 you don't have to walk and walk and walk from zone to zone, and it's just much more refined.

Oh, and one thing to know about these games is that if party members disagree with each other, they can and will leave the party for good. On my first play-through of BG2 I learned that right at the end when a character I had worked on the entire game decided to leave just before the final battle(s).
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 05:08:28 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on November 03, 2009, 04:43:17 AM

Boy if you're completely new to these games I'd skip BG1 and go straight to BG2. BG2 is a much more evolved version of BG1. In BG2 you don't have to walk and walk and walk from zone to zone, and it's just much more refined.

I don't know, I kind of liked the exploration aspect of BG1.  Makes it stand out from it's sequel a bit.

I'd also recommend playing BG1 just to familiarize yourself with AD&D if you aren't already- Otherwise jumping into BG2 is a bit like jumping into the deep end. 
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2009, 05:54:58 AM »

Quote from: warning on November 03, 2009, 04:25:05 AM

Always have Minsc in your party.  Always.  Minsc is Bioware's single greatest accomplishment.

And make sure you don't try to take his miniature giant space hamster. He doesn't like that.

"Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads. Swords for EVERYONE!"

Just don't expect what he says to make sense half the time. biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 11:20:56 AM »

Quote from: warning on November 03, 2009, 04:25:05 AM

In the original Baldur's Gate you want to use ranged weapons a lot.  You're low-level so it won't take much to kill you.  Damage from a distance will be your best friend.

Also send Khalid off by himself to die so you can keep Jaheira.  She's great, he's not.

Always have Minsc in your party.  Always.  Minsc is Bioware's single greatest accomplishment.

See, I can't do that. It's good advice, but you should be playing BG for the story and characters, not the number-crunching. So don't kill Khalid, unless you're a chaotic evil guy off course smile
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 12:15:12 PM »

Live by the sword; live a gooood long time!
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2009, 03:30:54 PM »

Quote from: warning on November 03, 2009, 04:25:05 AM

Also send Khalid off by himself to die so you can keep Jaheira.  She's great, he's not.

Always have Minsc in your party.  Always.  Minsc is Bioware's single greatest accomplishment.

There are other benfits to having Jaheira all to yourself  icon_twisted

(and yes, keep Minsc in your party at all times)

Playing through BG, the expansion, BG2, and that expansion was one of THE top gaming experiences I have ever had. If you have the time to play all of these I would highly recommend starting at the beginning and playing your character all the way through. 
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2009, 05:05:10 PM »

Quote from: fyedaddy on November 03, 2009, 03:30:54 PM

Playing through BG, the expansion, BG2, and that expansion was one of THE top gaming experiences I have ever had. If you have the time to play all of these I would highly recommend starting at the beginning and playing your character all the way through. 

And get the mod that allows you to combine BG1 and BG2 into one absolutely giant game (and thus run BG1 with BG2's engine). It'll make the BG1 experience better in the end. Yeah, it's a bit more work, but...
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2009, 05:06:48 PM »

Just remember: you must gather your party before venturing forth slywink

For a non-D&D'er, there will be some acronyms, numbers, and weird spells that don't make much sense.  However, you don't need to "power game" or min/max to finish and have fun so I wouldn't sweat the small stuff unless it's something you're especially curious about.
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2009, 05:24:43 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on November 03, 2009, 05:05:10 PM

Quote from: fyedaddy on November 03, 2009, 03:30:54 PM

Playing through BG, the expansion, BG2, and that expansion was one of THE top gaming experiences I have ever had. If you have the time to play all of these I would highly recommend starting at the beginning and playing your character all the way through. 

And get the mod that allows you to combine BG1 and BG2 into one absolutely giant game (and thus run BG1 with BG2's engine). It'll make the BG1 experience better in the end. Yeah, it's a bit more work, but...

There's such a thing?   icon_eek  I may have to do this in the spring.
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2009, 06:04:28 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on November 03, 2009, 05:24:43 PM

Quote from: Destructor on November 03, 2009, 05:05:10 PM

Quote from: fyedaddy on November 03, 2009, 03:30:54 PM

Playing through BG, the expansion, BG2, and that expansion was one of THE top gaming experiences I have ever had. If you have the time to play all of these I would highly recommend starting at the beginning and playing your character all the way through. 
And get the mod that allows you to combine BG1 and BG2 into one absolutely giant game (and thus run BG1 with BG2's engine). It'll make the BG1 experience better in the end. Yeah, it's a bit more work, but...
There's such a thing?   icon_eek  I may have to do this in the spring.

Oh yeah. Opens up the extra classes in BG2 (the kits, or whatever they're called) and the game is pretty smooth as far as levels go (so you've more or less hit the same level by the time you get to BG2 that you would've gotten there by just starting the game). I think the players even made a new area that's a 'connecting land' between the two games so it isn't so abrupt.
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2009, 06:04:53 PM »

There are a couple of different mods.  BG Tutu will allow you to play BG1 with the BG2 interface and rulest but it's still a separate game.  Then there is another mod that does that while also stitching it into one seamless experience (BG Trilogy maybe?).  
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2009, 06:09:54 PM »

Seeing as (I hope) this will be my first time actually finishing the game, I'd like to experience it like someone who was first playing the game when it came out. The exception being I would like to play widescreen, but it appears that unless you use the BG2 mod, the earliest game the widescreen mod works with is the Tales of Sword Coast expansion.
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 06:15:17 PM »

You should be fine with the Tutu mod- it's more of a usability improvement.  There are tons of mods out there that will change actual content but basic Tutu just makes BG1 a more pleasant game to play while retaining the same content. 
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2009, 06:17:05 PM »

gods - I need to play this again... Thanks for the great tips on the mods guys...
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2009, 06:22:49 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 03, 2009, 06:15:17 PM

You should be fine with the Tutu mod- it's more of a usability improvement.  There are tons of mods out there that will change actual content but basic Tutu just makes BG1 a more pleasant game to play while retaining the same content.  

But what if I want to know how unpleasant it was to play Baldur's Gate when it first came out? smile

Oh, one thing I need to look up is some graphical corruption I am seeing. When I look at the description for gear, the transparency on the picture doesn't seem to be working right. Also I'll see black blocks around certain things like weapons on the equip screen and some enemies. I tried toggling the in-game settings, but that didn't work. There are a lot of FAQs and stuff on the Bioware site, so I imagine it's a known issue.
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2009, 06:25:07 PM »

Well you can certainly try it.  I didn't find it unpleasant in 1998 but times certainly change.  But I would categorize the base level Tutu stuff as the same level of change as the widescreen mod. 
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2009, 06:48:32 PM »

It just occurred to me that I played BG and BG2 on a Dell P2-333 with around 192-256M RAM.  Gah!
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2009, 08:07:23 PM »

If you want to make BG 1 easy and such just give everyone a ranged weapon.
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« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2009, 08:09:13 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on November 03, 2009, 08:07:23 PM

If you want to make BG 1 easy and such just give everyone a ranged weapon.

Of course, the character I made. Paladin tank with a sword icon_neutral
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« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2009, 08:11:34 PM »

You can lose your entire party and proceed.  It's not recommended, but possible.

If you die, it's game over.
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« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2009, 04:09:29 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on November 03, 2009, 08:11:34 PM

You can lose your entire party and proceed.  It's not recommended, but possible.

If you die, it's game over.

Technically, you can solo the entire game. It's not easy at all, and it's highly not recommended, but it can be done if you're absolutely insane. biggrin
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« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2009, 11:07:40 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 03, 2009, 06:22:49 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 03, 2009, 06:15:17 PM

You should be fine with the Tutu mod- it's more of a usability improvement.  There are tons of mods out there that will change actual content but basic Tutu just makes BG1 a more pleasant game to play while retaining the same content.  

But what if I want to know how unpleasant it was to play Baldur's Gate when it first came out? smile

Oh, one thing I need to look up is some graphical corruption I am seeing. When I look at the description for gear, the transparency on the picture doesn't seem to be working right. Also I'll see black blocks around certain things like weapons on the equip screen and some enemies. I tried toggling the in-game settings, but that didn't work. There are a lot of FAQs and stuff on the Bioware site, so I imagine it's a known issue.

This can be fixed thru adjusting some of the effects from within the game. I can't remember which one but it is a matter of turning something on or off, a very easy fix.
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« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2009, 11:09:48 PM »

BG is the greatest game ever. BG2 is the logical sequel to the greatest game ever.

You don't really need any experience with D&D rules to enjoy the game, just improve your armour and weapons. Your first time thru use a full party of six. You will like having a thief and mage with a few tanks.

Explore everywhere. Open everything. Save often.
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« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2009, 12:01:48 AM »

Quote from: Scuzz on November 04, 2009, 11:09:48 PM

Explore everywhere. Open everything. Save often.

And do plenty of buttkicking for goodness. biggrin

Additionally, keep this in mind:

1) Lower numbers for AC is better. Don't ask why. It's complicated.
2) Wizards/Sorcerers can't wear any armor without serious spell failure chances. Or you just can't period. I've forgotten the AD&D specifics.
3) Clerics on the other hand can. Druids can as well, but they're far more limited than a Cleric is.
4) If you intend to cast a spell, make sure you're not on the front line - you'll lose the spell you're casting if you get hit during the spell's 'warmup' period (when your character is chanting away).
5) It's recommended for your first run of the game that your character (the one you get to make) is some sort of melee class - the game likes firing off battles just after conversations, and your character is the one that's always talks to said people. So you'll end up on the front lines as battle starts. This is bad if you have poor AC and/or HP.
6) The game immediately ends if you (your character) ever dies. Period. Another reason why #5 is so bad.

If you have any questions on the game, its specifics, or anything else, do post. GT has a lot of BG and BG2 fans here. biggrin
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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2009, 12:13:31 AM »

I still have BG2 installed. I am sometimes tempted to set aside, oh, 200 or so hours and give it another go.  icon_lol
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2009, 04:03:53 PM »

With Dragon Age, I really want to go play the IE games again.  The only one I didn't play was IWD2.

I remember hearing something about a patch which allows widescreen enhanced resolution for the IE games, anyone know about it.used it?


EDIT - Found it

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php?topic=26379.0
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« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2009, 04:07:22 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 03, 2009, 08:09:13 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on November 03, 2009, 08:07:23 PM

If you want to make BG 1 easy and such just give everyone a ranged weapon.

Of course, the character I made. Paladin tank with a sword icon_neutral

No worries . He can still ujse a bow just fine. I had 2 fighters, a ranger, a rogue, a cleric and a wiz. Igave everyone but the cleric and wiz a bow and gave them slings. It works great for a good long while. Just explore slowly and have everyone shoot the same monster..rinse and repeat.
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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2009, 09:49:37 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on November 05, 2009, 04:03:53 PM

With Dragon Age, I really want to go play the IE games again.  The only one I didn't play was IWD2.

I remember hearing something about a patch which allows widescreen enhanced resolution for the IE games, anyone know about it.used it?


EDIT - Found it

http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php?topic=26379.0

I will probably be playing IWD2 next...i am itching to but Golden Age but I think I will wait and see how the general consensus is after some people finish it.
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