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In defense of the wee folk


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This really isn't a mod topic, but I wanted to get other people's input/take on this.


I've read a lot of forum threads/game reviews that give Mazzy Fentan & Jan Jansen low marks as NPCs. I quote on poster as saying "Jan Jansen is the sort of character you eventually bring along just to prove you can still beat the game, despite his presense." To be honest, I really don't understand why.


Here me out................


Mazzy has the potentional to be the greatest warrior in the game.


1. As a single-classed fighter, she has the most rapid THAC0 progression in the game, only Korgan (or a single-class fighter PC) can match her.


2. As a single-classed fighter, she can attain grand mastery (in fact, comes with grand mastery with the bow). Again, this is a feat only Korgan (or a single-class fighter PC) can match. These two points mean she has a higher to hit probability than anyone in the game expect Korgan (has an edge with his strength bonus).


3. She has those nifty custom innate abilities (lay on hands, haste, strength & remove fear).


4. She has 18 dexterity (which gives her an edge over Korgan in defense/AC).


As I see it, she has two drawbacks..................


1. Her strength, remedied with Gauntlets of Ogre Power or a Girdle of Giant Strength (granted, Gauntlets of Dexterity can even the defensive/AC playing field for Korgan as well).


2. She comes with profiency in short sword and short bow. There aren't any good short swords in the game for her. Sure you can give the Sword of Backstabbing or Cutthroat, she can use these without penalty, but these were clearly created with a thief in mind). You still have to find those swords anyway. I've solved this problem by shifting her focus to flails, the Flail of Ages to be exact, she is doing quite well with it.


With a little help, she can match/excede any warrior in both defense and offense capability. She deserves at least an A-.


Now about Jan Jansen.


OK, I admit he's damned annoying, but he many vital skills/abilities...................


1. Unmatched as a thief, the only one in the game (besides the PC, if applicable) who can advance as such and improve his skills. Imoen is quite adequete through SOA if you give here rings of danger sense and lockpicking. There are a few traps/locks she still can't handle. Jan is the only one who has the potential to handle ALL traps/locks in the game. Imoen proves inadequete in ToB.


2. His special equipment gives him some 4 levels of thief abilities, he's even more awesome.


3. Flasher master bruiser mates (who thought of that name?) are quite useful against low-mid level opponents.


4. He's the only one (besides the PC) who can become proficient at setting traps, an invaluable skill as I've learned.


5. A specialist mage, giving him a bonus spell for every level, giving him an edge in shear spell volume. Granted, he won't get to the super-high (8th and 9th) level spells in the course SOA, but he still has a useful repetoire of spells to call on.


On the minus side....................


1. He's useless in combat. But really, any more so than others of his type (Imoen, Nalia, Edwin)? His FMBMs and trap-setting skill mitigate this to an extent.


2. Inferior spell progression. No argument there, that's the price you pay for the multi-class option. I really view his main role as a thief, the spells enhance his usefulness. I don't rely on him as a primary mage (either PC is a dual-class mage or I bring Imoen or Nalia).


3. Crummy stealth skill. That's why I take Valygar or Minsc, I usually find it best to divide the stealth and trap/lock skills between two characters anyway. Stealth skill can be worked on, but it will never be that good, perhaps adequete though.


4. Low hit points. This is a real problem, he is one of the most vulnerable characters in terms of AC and HP. He remains vulnerable to power word: kill for a long time. Definitely a drawback against liches, elder orbs and high-level mages. I have no fix for this but to keep him away from such foes.


He has drawbacks to be sure (much more so than Mazzy), but he does have vital uses as well. Deserves at least a B.


So whaddayall think?

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I never played with Mazzy, but it's more that she came rather late in the game, and I tend to stick to the NPCs I got first (unless I took them with me only to fill space, like Zcar and Montaron in BG1). Jan I rather liked, especially his quest is something that makes me rather attached to him, actually. - Up to the point were he starts some of his really.. strange banters with other NPCs, where I think - "Did he just say that?".. Still, for Imoen being gone half of the game and Yoshimo sort of, too, Jan was my choice in my first playthrough. (Yes, I finished the game without Imoen, which I first suspected to be a shapeshifter when she approached me in ID.)

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I often play with Mazzy, and consider her to be the best fighter. To be honest, I switch her from the bow to dual-wielding bastard swords, put a dragon plate on her, and she is an unstoppable force. Jan Jansen is the only thief in the original game that I like (Nalia and Imoen are not among my favorite creatures, and Yoshimo never grew on me the way he did on other folks.) Both Mazzy and Jan were in my very first party to go through the entire BG2. Only with the emergence of Amber I had a dilemma on my hands as to which thief to take. :( To tell you a dirty secret, I have been writting Mazzy's romance on and off for a while now.

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One can't be of use in fight when their height is but 3' and their weight is but 70lb (isn't it too high still). Yes, I'm a racist, FR wise at least, and am proud of it.


In SoA thac0 is of no importance and in ToB every swing hits regardless of AC, meaning that Mazzy doesn't really have an edge here. Minsc can do just as fine as an archer, melee hardhitter, sneaker, and he can even cast something as well. And of course in ToB nobody can match Sarevok in any fighting aspect.


And Jan, well, powerwise he's okay, but after hearing that noise of him the guy was dismissed faster than he could link.

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Oh, it's nowehere near ready. If I ever finish writing it, then I'll look around for the ways to implement it. But yeah, I won't advise anyone to hold their breath. It's just I really like Mazzy, and the dialogues are pretty amusing since I am making it as a short-folk special.

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@Domi: http://www.shsforums.net/index.php?showforum=237, although it's clearly hopeless (the author has even declared it as "on hold, but not yet dead").


@topic: Imoen can pick traps and locks enough to finish ToB with the various rings and amulets (including the one in the Marching Mountains), and for other thiefly tasks a Fighter/Thief is better (backstab's godly) or a Cleric/Thief (half cleric is enough for your healing needs and doesn't lag behind single classes) - Jan's mix doesn't work as well (Mage requires quick level progression).

Mazzy is a nice warrior, but, in BG2, a combatant's class is second to weapon proficiency selection and further abilities - Keldorn might lose in an 1v1 match vs. Mazzy (and not by much, since grandmastery is nerfed and thac0 is irrelevant starting from half SoA), but Keldorn is still a better party member because of his abilities.


That being said, any of the core classes, kits, multiclasses and NPCs has his own special abilities that will contribute something special to the party. However, in some cases (like plain Fighters, Jan or Mazzy), the stuff left behind is more important than the stuff added.

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well, I often have both Jan and Mazzy in my party, because... well, I just like them). Earlier I tended not to take Mazzy because of her late appearance in the game, but once I took her, just to try, she became one of my favorite characters. I don't switch her proficiencies or anything like that, usually she is a backup fighter wth short bow/short sword. Maybe not very efficient, but who cares. Jan is mostly a second mage, I don't really use his thieving abilities besides trap disarming and lock picking. Somebody's got to shoot all the wands, right?

Anyway, I think they're fun, so definitely worth including into party.

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Jan is just awsome. :( I don't change Mazzy's profs around, I just add them, and as the points accumulate, well, she gets the bastard swords, 'cause they are awsome in DW situation. I generally get everyone to DW by the end just to use all the cool bonuses on the weapons.

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Guest Guest_Ayce_*

Kundane? Am I missing something? It's only a +2 weapon (leaving a lot of things she still can't hit), hence my issue with there being no "good short swords." The speed factor of 0 seems a very minor bonus.


Anyway, backstabbing for Jan is yet another advantage for Jan I hadn't thought about.


Clarification, I didn't change Mazzy's proficiencies, I've just started adding flail points since she joined the party, which again has worked out well for me.


THAC0 irrelevant? From half way through SOA? I'll grant, there are a lot of encounters where it's immaterial, but all the way through 3/4 of the game (expansion included)?


Also, it's not just THAC0, grand mastery also enhances damage rolls, combined with gauntlets or girdles, she packs quite a wallop. Even without strength enhancing items, she can match most characters inthis regard.


Come to think of it, I did find THACO relevant even at the end of SoA. My 1st character was a half-elf Fighter14/Mage14 and I found level 18 Keldorn (with girdle of frost giant strength) was much more reliable in melee combat. Also, much as I like Cernd, I found him useless in ToB due to his comparative lousy THAC0, he couldn't seem to hit anything when I really needed him to. Anyway...


As for Keldorn, I took him with me my first two times. Gotta say, I loved having him in the group (I almost felt guilty with how easy he made it to defeat liches and mages). His comparative low strength and lack of grand mastery to present issues for me though. I also hate that inquisitors can't cast spells, but that's another issue.


Again, there ARE a few traps/locks Imoen can't handle in SoA, just a few. Never took here through ToB, but my PC swashbuckler need some pretty impressive stats to handle some of them himself.


A Mazzy romance? Well, I don't like her THAT much.....................lol

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THAC0 irrelevant? From half way through SOA?
Yes, that's what I'm certain of. I often played as F/M and yet had no much trouble even before reachinghigher levels.


The speed factor of 0 seems a very minor bonus.
That depends, really. I once was luring wolfweres out of their hideout in Spellhold into a larger room and one of them got chunked along the way. Yoshimo (i had TS installed) stood nearby and stabbed the beast to death while it was running near him.
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Yep, bastard swords should not be dual-wieldable, but they are, so WEEEE! besides, there is that rule, at least in P&P that the magic weapons manage to resize themselves one size down ie from a 'normal' creature to a 'small' one, so the human magic bastard swords should resize for the halfling no problem. And if they were forged by a smaller race, why then... no problems at all. BTW, I also found the THAC0 irrelevant by the end of SoA. 2Ed mechanics are pretty straitforward. It's in the 3Ed when it becomes a a nightmare.

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