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June 19th, 2014, 23:38
Hello!

So, after finishing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, I've decided to try Baldur's Gate. I have some questions to help me better understand the game as I'm new to the Baldur's Gate series.

1 - Is there any point to holding on to gems? Gem crafting, maybe?

2 - Are there re-spawning enemies or random encounters?

3 - How about non-enchanted rings and amulets. Any purpose for these?

4 - Is there a time limit to the game?

5 - Is it recommended to pick up every generic piece of loot to sell, or should I just focus on the good stuff?

6 - Are the maps generally empty? And is it recommended to clear an entire map of fog?

7 - Do weapons break? Can they be repaired?

8 - Do deadlier creatures spawn at night?

That should be all for now but I'll post more as I think of them. Thanks!

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June 19th, 2014, 23:58
Honestly… I think you're better off just playing the game a bit first and experiencing it for yourself rather than being told so much about it. Some of your questions would indicate that you haven't even started playing it yet.

Just roleplay, and stop worrying if everything you do is the best way to do something.

Basic weapons can break (it's story-related), and they can't be repaired, but it doesn't matter much as you won't be using them for long. The day-night cycle affects some NPCs but it doesn't change anything for creatures. Normal gems, rings, and amulets are only for money. No, there's no time limit. Enemies only respawn in a few select places.
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June 20th, 2014, 00:04
Thanks for the answers!

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June 20th, 2014, 00:14
There are random encounters. Even years later you will hear, "You have been waylaid by bandits and must defend yourself."

Also, I would recommend that you clear every map. There are usually several surprises in each map. They aren't always amazing, but the extra experience comes in handy.
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June 20th, 2014, 16:00
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Just roleplay, and stop worrying if everything you do is the best way to do something.
While I don't consider myself a hardcore "min-max" kind of guy, I find that these older games tend to be more unforgiving when it comes to certain things. I'm always a bit wary of starting a game like BG only to find out I rolled my character wrong some 10 hours later or something. I guess it makes me a bit overly cautious.

General impressions from a Baldur's Gate noob

This might be the slowest paced game I've ever played. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just very different from games I grew up with on consoles and games I have played recently.

I'm enjoying myself quite a bit for one big reason - The nerd is strong within this game. Juicy stats, thick character sheet, tons of character classes and hand-crafted lore make it an interesting game for me.

I like the lore that items have. You'll find a unique belt and it has some lore written about what it is and where it's from. That sort of touch goes a long way with me.

Inventory management is a bit of a nightmare but I quickly realized that I don't need to pick up every dagger or short sword I find. If I focus on just keeping the good stuff, it becomes more manageable.

Did I mention the unique loot? I've already found a handful of unique items. Love that.

Played a few hours and it started to grow on me. It's definitely a role-playing game and it takes some investment to get into, but I think it will be worth it. I love playing these old games for the first time and discovering new worlds.

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June 20th, 2014, 16:54
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
I love playing these old games for the first time and discovering new worlds.
I'm jealous.
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June 20th, 2014, 21:44
There are some speed doubling boots in the game that should make exploring the vast empty maps a bit less of a pain.
--
I'd just like to interject here and point out that I'm not going to say anything to spoil the mood, Chief. I'll just float here and watch. Don't mind me, just sitting here, floating and watching, that's me.
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June 20th, 2014, 22:35
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
While I don't consider myself a hardcore "min-max" kind of guy, I find that these older games tend to be more unforgiving when it comes to certain things. I'm always a bit wary of starting a game like BG only to find out I rolled my character wrong some 10 hours later or something. I guess it makes me a bit overly cautious.
So, what did you roll?

Also, are you playing enhanced edition?

PS. Sell all the non magical rings, ammys and gems. (maybe keep 2 emeralds? I forget if they were needed for the quest I'm thinking of.)
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June 20th, 2014, 22:59
Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
There are some speed doubling boots in the game that should make exploring the vast empty maps a bit less of a pain.
Cool, I'll keep my eyes open for them.

I did notice the maps seem a bit empty but I did find a few interesting things on a couple of them so I will continue to fully explore them all.

Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
So, what did you roll?

Also, are you playing enhanced edition?

PS. Sell all the non magical rings, ammys and gems. (maybe keep 2 emeralds? I forget if they were needed for the quest I'm thinking of.)
Playing the Enhanced Edition. I rolled a Ranger with Long Sword and Longbow proficiency. Most stats are 14-15. Right now I am duel-wielding long swords. I usually roll Ranger classes in RPGs when I can.

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June 20th, 2014, 23:08
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Cool, I'll keep my eyes open for them.

I did notice the maps seem a bit empty but I did find a few interesting things on a couple of them so I will continue to fully explore them all.
There's a button to hold down which shows all the interactive objects, like chests or doors or tiny little holes in tree trunks. Tab or Z? I forget. It's almost cheating to use it but there's a lot you'll miss if you don't.

Originally Posted by Fluent View Post

Playing the Enhanced Edition. I rolled a Ranger with Long Sword and Longbow proficiency. Most stats are 14-15. Right now I am duel-wielding long swords. I usually roll Ranger classes in RPGs when I can.
Yeah, rangers are good. I always found bows to be an excellent weapon in D&D early levels then they became a bit useless by the time your wizard can cast fireball. And the same is true for BG. Get everyone equiped with a bow or sling and you can take weak monsters out super quickly with a volley of 6 arrows. I don't think you can have duel wielding going while also having a bow in your quickslot though.

I think for your stats… STR is damage and chance to hit (thac0, lower is better, same as AC- limited by your armour type I think) with weapons(can always use belt of ogre strength), DEX is chance to hit with arrows and AC, CON is hitpoints, Wis needs to be 10+spell level to cast spells (which won't happen in BG1, I don't think)
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June 20th, 2014, 23:26
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
I'm jealous.
No kidding.

Fluent, have a blast. And try no to be overwhelmed once you get to the city proper. You don't have to go in every house looking for side quests, but if you do be prepared for lots of blanks, plus a few goodies.
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June 20th, 2014, 23:45
I was also a Ranger the first time I played BG.

I wasn't aware that they introduced dual-wielding into the EE version. I still haven't done a full playthrough since that was released.

The maps are far from empty. They're just a little more realistic than some games.
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June 20th, 2014, 23:53
Originally Posted by SirJames View Post
There's a button to hold down which shows all the interactive objects, like chests or doors or tiny little holes in tree trunks. Tab or Z? I forget. It's almost cheating to use it but there's a lot you'll miss if you don't.



Yeah, rangers are good. I always found bows to be an excellent weapon in D&D early levels then they became a bit useless by the time your wizard can cast fireball. And the same is true for BG. Get everyone equiped with a bow or sling and you can take weak monsters out super quickly with a volley of 6 arrows. I don't think you can have duel wielding going while also having a bow in your quickslot though.

I think for your stats… STR is damage and chance to hit (thac0, lower is better, same as AC- limited by your armour type I think) with weapons(can always use belt of ogre strength), DEX is chance to hit with arrows and AC, CON is hitpoints, Wis needs to be 10+spell level to cast spells (which won't happen in BG1, I don't think)
Thanks for all that, appreciate it!

The button for viewing everything is TAB, btw. Works great and helps quite a bit.

Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
No kidding.

Fluent, have a blast. And try no to be overwhelmed once you get to the city proper. You don't have to go in every house looking for side quests, but if you do be prepared for lots of blanks, plus a few goodies.
I'm afraid that I DO have to go in every house looking for side quests . Or should I say, that's what I usually do in RPGs; completely scour the area/map/town for everything I can find, quests or otherwise. Hopefully it's not too overwhelming (Arcanum was a bit overwhelming in this regard. The first major city you get to has so many districts and buildings to enter, it's nuts! I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed.)

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I was also a Ranger the first time I played BG.

I wasn't aware that they introduced dual-wielding into the EE version. I still haven't done a full playthrough since that was released.

The maps are far from empty. They're just a little more realistic than some games.
Yeah, I wouldn't say they are empty, either. The few I've explored have had one thing or another to find on them.

And yeah, dual wielding is pretty sweet. I'm not usually a dual-wielding character, but I figured since I wanted to go the long sword + bow route, it wouldn't hurt to wield 2 long swords at the same time . So far, so good.

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June 21st, 2014, 09:56
In BG1 ranged weapons are very powerful, especially in the beginning. If you equip most of your party members, with bows, crossbows or slings, enemies will go down quickly.

Later on and of course in BG2, tanged weapons get less powerful. So it's a good strategy to have ha ranger who can use the bow in BG1 and switch to dual whielding melee later.
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June 21st, 2014, 16:47
Thanks for the advice, Morrandir.

I have a few more questions, if you guys don't mind.

9 - Can magic spells only be cast a certain amount of times per day, or per 8 hours?

10 - Is there any way to increase the amount of spells that one can memorize?

11 - Is it normal for Neera the Wild Mage to only be able to memorize 2 spells and cast each one once? (I take it she will get more powerful later.)

12 - Does fatigue occur because I am carrying a heavy weight limit?

13 - Is there any way to eventually raise my character stats? I found a bow I'd like to use but it requires 18 strength and I only have 14 or 15 strength.

14 - Also, is it normal to meet your demise at every turn? It seems I'm exploring these maps but most of the unique encounters are way too difficult for me to win right now. Should I just level up some and come back later?

15 - How do I split stacks of items?
Last edited by Deleted User; June 21st, 2014 at 17:04.

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June 21st, 2014, 18:12
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Thanks for the advice, Morrandir.

I have a few more questions, if you guys don't mind.

9 - Can magic spells only be cast a certain amount of times per day, or per 8 hours?
You memorize spells - and you get more spells for each level - and the higher your primary attribute is (INT for Mages, WIS for Clerics, etc.)

Divine spells (Clerics, Paladins, etc.) don't need to be memorized - but you're still limited to a certain amount. This amount will seem very low if you're used to other RPGs.

The concept of spells in D&D/AD&D is that you need to be tactical and that there's a pretty big arsenal of magic available. So, there's also quite a bit of strategy involved in picking the right Arcane spells before a fight.

Personally, I MUCH prefer this to spamming fireballs every two seconds - but that's me.

10 - Is there any way to increase the amount of spells that one can memorize?
Beyond maximising the mentioned attribute, you can find rings and stuff that will grant you additional spells.

11 - Is it normal for Neera the Wild Mage to only be able to memorize 2 spells and cast each one once? (I take it she will get more powerful later.)
Yes, mages tend to start out weak and end up the most powerful in the early iterations of D&D (AD&D 2nd Edition in this case).

12 - Does fatigue occur because I am carrying a heavy weight limit?
In the PnP rules you get penalties for going over the limit - but I think BG just has you walk slower. Not sure, though.

13 - Is there any way to eventually raise my character stats? I found a bow I'd like to use but it requires 18 strength and I only have 14 or 15 strength.
You can find magical items that will raise your stats - but you really need to start out with the right stats for the right characters, if you intend to powergame.

That said, it's very common to find gloves/gauntlets that will take your strength beyond 18. But I think they come later on in BG.

14 - Also, is it normal to meet your demise at every turn? It seems I'm exploring these maps but most of the unique encounters are way too difficult for me to win right now. Should I just level up some and come back later?
If you go exploring without following the story, expect the first few levels to be very harsh if you're not familiar with the system. It's a very common problem with D&D games that you have so few hitpoints at first, that you'll die very frequently - if you're not being careful.

Once you reach ~3-4th level, you'll no longer die to stupid stuff - and you'll start having to blame your own lack of tactics

15 - How do I split stacks of items?
Hmm… I believe it's either CTRL, ALT or SHIFT left or right click One of those combinations, but I don't really remember right now. Are you playing EE? Then I think they added a button or something.

But, I'm not sure - sorry.
Last edited by DArtagnan; June 21st, 2014 at 18:30.

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June 21st, 2014, 23:26
Thanks for all that, Dart! Appreciate it.

Baldur's Gate - Impressions From Noober

I'm having a love/hate relationship with this game thus far.

On one hand, it's super nerdy D&D and appeals greatly to me for that reason alone. It's got all the races, stats, classes, monsters, etc. that you could want.

On the other hand, sometimes it's a little too "hardcore nerdy". There is a bit of micromanaging and tedium in the mix that makes it a challenge to play at times.

I find myself being very engaged by the world. The maps are great and I quite enjoy the writing and dialog. It's got a sort of Old World feel to it. I'm digging that.

For every positive, something negative occurs. The journal is a mess and very difficult to keep track of for me. Also, it needs more clues since there are no quest markers (and the quest-giver clearly gave me clues, my character just didn't write them down .)

All in all, I feel it's a mixed bag so far.

I still have to figure out how to properly utilize a mage. I understand that memorizing spells is important and I need to take the time to memorize/rest/use spells/repeat. I tend to want to just memorize my best offensive spells and use them over and over, but it's not like that. The system they use is definitely cool and it adds some strategy, but it means my mage feels useless because I'm not utilizing them properly.

Also, I wish I could keep a party of 12 characters . There's too many characters I have to leave behind and I find myself wanting to take everybody I meet!

Also, the overwhelming factor is pretty high in this game. Exploring every inch of every map and every house, tent, etc., is taxing. I have to relax a bit and just take it all in stride rather than feeling that I HAVE to explore every nook and cranny.

The maps themselves are done well and I do enjoy exploring them. I just save often because I know death is right around the next corner .

Inventory management is a bit of a pain but I do appreciate the more hardcore approach to inventory space and weight limit. It makes me think twice about picking up every piece of trash I find and I like that.

The atmosphere is great. The world is great. The characters great. I'm going to soldier on and hopefully my "RPG OCD" doesn't get the best of me and make me quit in frustration .

Wish me luck!

Edit - OMGosh, I've just discovered AI Scripts! Very nice addition. Now that should keep my mage alive a little longer (some of the tedium I experienced is constantly finding a temple to raise her from the dead .)
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June 22nd, 2014, 09:59
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
I still have to figure out how to properly utilize a mage. I understand that memorizing spells is important and I need to take the time to memorize/rest/use spells/repeat. I tend to want to just memorize my best offensive spells and use them over and over, but it's not like that. The system they use is definitely cool and it adds some strategy, but it means my mage feels useless because I'm not utilizing them properly.
As DArtagnan said, mages are really weak at the beginning and are more burden than help in combat. Just make sure you equip them with a sling (which isn't a weak weapon early on).
Also you could use some help from spell guides, e.g. here and here. The latter one has a description and a rating for each spell, which for me have always been very useful. The first one gives a better overview.

Also, I wish I could keep a party of 12 characters . There's too many characters I have to leave behind and I find myself wanting to take everybody I meet!
Yeah, that's one of my "problems" as well.
Best way to play BG and BG 2 imho is too play with a good or evil party (considering the alignment) first and some time later play again with the other alignment. This way you can enjoy most of the companions and have homogeneous parties. (Especially in BG2 it may happen that you have to chose between 2 companions because they won't accept the other one in the same party).
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June 22nd, 2014, 11:19
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Yes, mages tend to start out weak and end up the most powerful in the early iterations of D&D (AD&D 2nd Edition in this case).
To the point that if you play as a mage in BG 1, the difficulty curve of the game will be inverted. The game will start hard, but as long as you have not done something stupid along the way, will become easier and easier as you level up. BG2 semi-fixes this, as some of the enemies in that game can't be harmed with magic.
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June 22nd, 2014, 14:58
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Also, I wish I could keep a party of 12 characters . There's too many characters I have to leave behind and I find myself wanting to take everybody I meet!
Fwiw, the "canon" party would be the PC, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc, and Dynaheir.

Having or not having those characters doesn't change the game in any way though.


Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
To the point that if you play as a mage in BG 1, the difficulty curve of the game will be inverted. The game will start hard, but as long as you have not done something stupid along the way, will become easier and easier as you level up.
I wouldn't consider that to be inverted for an RPG. Imo, most of the games in this genre are harder in the beginning than they are in the end.
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