Jump to content

Introducing Gavin


Gavin's strength  

26 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

Go with your gut. I voted 17 because I'd want to be able to put heavier armour on him to compensate somewhat for the dex. I'd also tend to use a cleric as a fighter most of the time. (buff, throw a spell or 2, then melee madness :) ) Although, I also like the idea of 16 initially then 17 in SoA.

Link to comment

I voted for 16 in the poll, but after reading what you had to say about him I'd like to change my vote to 17. (I'm not sure if I can do that technically, so just put me on the record as having said 17.)


My parties tend to be extremely haphazard, thrown together based on which personalities I like best, and I end up with way too few melee fighters way more often than not. And, well... It's only one point's difference, really.

Link to comment

Thanks! I've made a mental note to subtract one from 16 and add one to 17, and I'll have your post as a reminder.


I myself tend to use clerics in melee, sometimes as frontliners, for the exact reason you state: party composition. Especially at low levels, their spell selection is a bit limited, and a good cleric, especially one played consistent with his alignment, needs to save a lot of those slots for cure lights. Plus, their rate of fire with a missile weapon is always going to be low, so it makes sense to let what hits they do get count more.


But I'm trying to keep an open mind. Not everyone uses clerics the way I do.

Link to comment

I've cast my vote for 16 STR, primarily for one reason: Dual-classing. Regardless of how useful a pureclass Cleric can be, a Cleric->Fighter can always be more so, and Gavin will be no exception. The temptation will be there, so you must take it into account. Banters are the trickiest: Making a reference to Gavin providing medical help will fall pretty flat if his Cleric half is still buried in the Dual.


With 16 STR in BG1, The only options to Dual Gavin to Fighter will be by giving him the only STR tome (thus "wasting" it on a character other than the PC), or waiting until getting well into Watcher's Keep. So you'll be free of having to worry about Gavin becoming a Fighter for a little while, at least.


And don't worry about how Gavin compares with Yoshimo. That's like making a new kit, and thinking it's too weak because it's not as good as the Swashbuckler or the Archer. :)

Link to comment

I just did a very slight bit of playtesting a level 7 Cleric of Lathander with Gavin's stats (Str 17) in Irenicus' dungeon. (Don't have Tutu installed atm.) I gave him profs in War Hammer, Sling, and Sword and Shield Style.


With full plate mail, large shield +1, and a RoP +1 his AC is -2. Equipped additionally with Bracers of Dexterity AC is -6.


His unbuffed THACO is 15. Equipped with Ashideena (War Hammer +2) it is 13 (unbuffed).


Without the proper spell buffs, he's going to miss most of the time. I initially had him (at level 7, remember) swinging away with a mundane war hammer against the goblins and mephit in the sewer golem room, and he missed again and again. He improved somewhat when equipped with Ashideena, Gauntlets of Weapons Skill: that reduced his THACO to 12. But even when equipped with the likely gear for such a character to get, he is in no way, shape or form, an offensive powerhouse with 17 St. To the contrary, he will miss more than he will hit.


Things get a little better after buffing with a combination of Holy Power, Draw Upon Holy Might, and Boon of Lathander. Equipped with Ashideena and Gauntlets of Weapons Skill, he after those buffs he has Str 20, Dex 13, Con 18, THACO 7, and 2 attacks per round. With the Ashideena and Bracers of Dexterity THACO is 8, but Dex is 20, and with the above mentioned equipment AC is -6.


I know that's a lot to digest in the abstract. But suffice it to say he begins to approach respectable Warrior ability when (at level 7) buffed and in heavy gear. Not great, but decent. And in no way shape or form (that I can see) will the 17 Str render him anything even remotely resembling a juggernaut in BG1.


If he is to function as a meleer, high Str will be essential so that he can be heavily armored. I would definitely put the Bracers of Dexterity on him, and suit him up in full plate and large shield. He won't be doling out damage very often, but he will draw enemy attacks; and at AC -6 he should sustain little damage.


Now whether a heavily armored, bruiser type of 'meat shield' who slogs away with a war hammer, mace, or flail, is what you had in mind is really the question. This is the sort of person who will be engaged in brutal combat on a nearly daily basis, mano a mano. He'll be decked out in full battle gear, and functioning essentially no different than a warrior. He sounds like the sensitive type, so how will his personality handle that? Etc.

Link to comment

Lemernis, that was a very thoughtful and comprehensive analysis, and invaluable.


It is also the best argument I've seen so far for a lower strength.


ATM, I think a 16 is going to be the way to go. He's very strong, but he does not want to be a fighter. So he'd keep most of his capacity as a pack mule, but would not be able to dual to fighter.


Also, after reading his banters and thinking about his personality, I think I might bump his intelligence up to 11. He's no great thinker, but he is fairly articulate. And that's still average.


Thanks for all the feedback.


This mod is still months away from being done. There is still time for revision, so don't hesitate to add further comments one way or the other.

Link to comment

For kitted clerics, I think the basic Lathander kit is already pretty impressibe. That Boon of Lathander is nice.


OK, his THACO is pretty bad, but BG1 doesn't have the monster ACs that BG2 has. He should be all right.

Link to comment

I've been using Gavin as a PC with STR 16, DEX 11, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 17, CHA 12, and it's been tough going in the early part of BG1.


I do have SCS installed, though, so that makes a difference. And it is *not* a powerful party.


Got my but kicked by Tarnesh. It took 3 or 4 reloads to get through that alive. The party at the time was Gavin, Imoen, Xzar, and Montaron. I think Imoen had the best luck, until she ran out of arrows.


Picked up Jaheira and Khalid, the new front-line. Did all right with the hobgoblins north of the FAI, and made it to Beregost without incident. Figured I'd recruit Finch while there. Decided to take on Silke, but not recruit Garrick. Probably not the best idea ever. Silke wasn't as bad as I feared, but Karlat in the Red Sheaf was too much. Xzar died almost immediately. Finch went down pretty quickly, which was annoying, because if she dies before joining, she's gone. Then Imoen died. Gavin's armor was destroyed, and one of Khalid's swords broke. At this point, things were looking bad for our hero, but Khalid got in a lucky shot and we survived. I figured I'd rather use our measly gold reserve to buy more healing potions and replace Gavin's armor, so I used CTRL-R to resurrect Imoen and Xzar. Which left the problem of Finch. Again, I cheated and consoled her in, which took a couple of tries, because I kept creating the CK version before I figured out what I was doing wrong.


With that fight out of the way, I realized that we needed more fire-power. So I gave J&K enough experience to bring them up to 4th level. More cheating! Not a good plan. As a legit alternative, I would suggest recruiting Minsc, Ajantis, Shar-Teel, or Kivan as early as possible. You need a tank.


So, with a current party consisting of Gavin, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid and Finch, we went to Nashkel. We did not recruit Minsc immediately, because I didn't think we were ready for the gnoll stronghold.


Greywolf took about 10 tries to defeat, and it was a close call, even then, with the deciding factor being simultaneous critical hits from Jaheira, Khalid, *and* Gavin in the same round *and* Imoen with a good dose of Oil of Speed. Note to self: rethink installing the NPC potions component of SCS. The Nashkel mines were nigh impossible. Swarms of Kobolds everywhere, and we were repeatedly flanked. Finch kept dying. And her armor broke. Khalid's sword broke again, but I consoled in a new one because I was sick of reloading. On the third level, we picked up Mur'Neth, but he and Gavin got in an argument, and Mur'Neth left before they made it to level 4.


The final battle with Mulahey went better than I thought it would, even though Imoen died early on. The party fought their way into the room with Mulahey and Gavin, Finch, and Jaheira kept him too busy to summon more creatures while Khalid blocked the entrance, picking off kobolds and skeletons and guzzling healing potions. That little bug that Mulahey still has where he buffs the entire party in addition to his own allies was handy. After Mulahey was dead, Jaheira replaced Khalid, who was in bad shape by this point, and Finch and Gavin did some healing on J&K and helped out with some sling work. Picked up Xan and headed back to Nashkel.


After that, we went back to Beregost, but that was as far as we've gotten. Gavin is now level 3, so we're going to head down to Nashkel, say goodbye to Xan, and pick up Minsc. Then off to get Dynaheir, which will mean no more Finch. She's lovely, but she is not butch enough to cut it in this party with this installation.


The verdict is that Gavin is never going to be a stand-alone NPC. He will be all right as part of a well-balanced party, but he is just too weak to survive in a party whose composition resembles the one we had between the FAI and the completion of the Nashkel mines.


I'm considering the possibility of giving him a little help, either with a +1 to THACO or possibly slightly higher XP. Neither appeals, but I am not crazy about the moans I will hear if Gavin can't pull his weight. You'll notice I made abundant use of cheats to get this far.

Link to comment

Just a thought. I often see debates regarding the pnp merits of a new NPC, without any consideration for the typically non-pnp enemies. Enemies use incorrect natural AC values (usually too high), THAC0 (usually too high), saving throws (usually too high), incorrect equipment for their class/race (usually more powerful), force casting, bypassing of spell memorization, non-interruption, and so on, yet you are trying to make a 'fair and balanced' NPC. Thus you are on an uphill path.


I think this may contribute to why new NPCs often have better than average stats, along with the idea that they are a 'hero' and heroes usually are in better shape than the average person.


(Edit, and posts like the one above are part of the reason I don't add "challenge increaser" mods. Just having pnp-compliant creatures, party and spells should provide plenty of challenge without having to resort to powergamer tactics and design.)

Link to comment

Yes, Smoketest, you are undoubtably correct. A PnP NPC is no match for CRPG challenges.


I've never had this problem using SCS before, but I've usually run with a more powerful PC.


Had a wacky idea, and it just might work. You can only dual class once, right?


I think I might go ahead with the 17 strength and have him start life as a fighter dualed *to* cleric, but at first level. He would be able to justify that by saying that while his religious conviction was very real, he started his career as a soldier, but discovered quickly that he could better serve his god as a cleric. "I tried being a soldier, but I developed a distaste for it. I can better serve Lathander as a cleric, and I'm happier this way."


He would be slightly more useful to the party, but he has already exhausted his dual-class options, so he will remain a cleric. When he hits second level, he would be able to use the better fighter THACO, but that is as good as it will ever get. Even with the bonuses of the higher strength and improved thaco, he isn't going to be a powerhouse.


I don't want to have to force someone to reload 15 times and wind up dropping Gavin because he can't keep up.


There is always the possibility that someone will change his class with SK, but that could happen anyway. I am as guilty of that as the next person. I always SK Xan to straight mage.

Link to comment

SCS makes the game a whole lot tougher, especially with parties that aren't geared toward power play. You might want to playtest Gavin without SCS installed.


Edit: Just about a month ago now I completed my first SCS game with a wild mage, Imoen (thief), Minsc, Xzar, Tiax, and Finch. Hardly a power group! I had a to reload a fair bit for the tougher battles, but that was due to SCS. It's a matter of tactics.


Bear in mind that Branwen does a respectable job as a meleeing cleric in vanilla BG1, though as a pure cleric she won't ever come close to matching a warrior.


Anyway, if you want him to be a better meleer then you're on the right track with fighter-cleric. The problem is that if you eventually want to develop him as a BG2 NPC, a Fighter1/Cleric 7 will probably seem awkward.

Link to comment

Gavin is good aligned, so wait until he gets into BG2 around true (not misflagged) undead. All you have to do is Turn Undead and about one round later the entire room full of undead will explode. He'll even be able to destroy liches without raising his weapon. I've done this with Anomen in the party (as passing his test) and it's fun to watch.


Oops, forgot to comment on pre-dualclassing. I don't mind it a bit since I've yet to bother dual-classing on my own. Anomen is dual-classed and he serves nicely. I disagreed with Imoen being dual-classed, but that's another matter and my personal opinion. (I made her a pure thief for one run through BG2 and it was a lot of fun, just like old times.) Your story is partly what dual-classing was made for, along with giving human characters a chance to 'multi-class' instead of always being just one class. (I'm going to get NWN2 this weekend; it lets you attain up to four different classes per character.)


Anyway, I'm thinking I'll hang on to the BG series to try Gavin out later on. All my favorite mod NPCs so far have been female (Saerileth and Yasraena to give you an idea), so it'll be a nice change having a guy around.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...