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Classes

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IntroductionEdit

A class, chosen during Character Generation, defines a character's role or profession. A character's class affects nearly all aspects of the rules: the weapons and armor they may use, whether they may cast spells (as well as which spells, and how many), how many hit points they gain each level, and access to special abilities. Some classes have strict requirements and are available only to characters of particular races or Alignments, and all require minimum scores in certain Character Abilities. Many characteristics of classes are further altered by class kits, which are modified versions of the basic classes.

Available classes Edit

There are four groups of classes: warriors, priests, mages and rogues. Classes in a group follow the same basic rules (with some exceptions) and require high scores in the same Abilities. The available classes are:

Group Primary Abilities Classes Notes
Warrior Strength
Constitution
Fighter Masters of combat, able to use the widest range of weapons and armor. Very limited access to magic; most classes have only a few special abilities (though Rangers and Paladins can cast Priest spells at higher levels). High hit points.
Paladin
Ranger
Barbarian
Priest Wisdom
Charisma (Druids only)
Cleric Have some combat ability and cast spells, including healing. May choose to prepare any spells on their list, which varies greatly between classes. Restricted access to weapons and armor. Medium hit points.
Druid
Shaman
Monk
Wizard Intelligence Mage Focus on casting spells. Can only prepare spells scribed into their spell book. Very limited in combat, with few weapon choices, and may only wear cloth armor. Low hit points.
Specialist Mage
Sorcerer
Rogue Dexterity
Charisma (Bard only)
Thief Reasonable combat abilities and weapon selection, but limited to lighter armors. Have access to special skills: detecting traps, picking pockets etc. Thieves can backstab enemies for additional damage, while Bards have access to magic. Medium hit points.
Bard
† available only in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition.
‡ in versions of the game which have class kits, mage specialisations are treated as kits.

Class kits Edit

After picking a single class when creating a character in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal and Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, you can choose a class kit. Class-kits modify the base class by adding bonuses, replacing special abilities, and balancing these with penalties. Some class kits have restrictions that differ from those of the base class.

All eight original classes from Baldur's Gate have class kits available, as do monks and sorcerers. Barbarians do not have class kits. Mage specialisations from Baldur's Gate are treated as class kits.

Base Class Kit Description
Fighter Berserker Similar to a barbarian; may go into a Rage to increase fighting prowess but suffers fatigue afterwards.
Wizard Slayer Makes spell failure more likely for mage enemies, and has magic resistance. Can't use many magical items.
Kensai Similar to a monk; focuses on melee offence and speed, but may not wear armor or use ranged-only weapons.
Dwarven Defender Dwarf-only warrior with better defense abilties, but less skilled in weapons.
Barbarian Note: Beamdog's V2.0 Release creates barbarians as a fighter kit and a new class was added instead
Ranger Archer Expert marksmen. Gain bonuses with missile weapons and the Called Shot ability. Can't wear plate armor.
Stalker Scouts and spies who gain some thief abilities and some Wizard Spells, but are restricted to light armor.
Beast Master May summon a dragon companion and other animals to fight alongside her. Can't use metal weapons and armor.
Paladin Cavalier Classic knight in armor. Gains advantages against demons and dragons and some resistances.
Inquisitor A hunter of evil mages. Can Dispel Magic and cast True Sight, has some magic immunities. Loses Turning and Lay On Hands.
Undead Hunter Bonuses to attack undead creatures, and some useful immunities. Cannot cast Lay On Hands.
Blackguard A Paladin who has fallen to Evil. Has evil versions of Paladin abilities - Absorb Health instead of Lay On Hands, Rebukes instead of Turns Undead, etc.
Cleric Priest of Talos Serves the evil god of storms. May cast Lightning Bolt and Storm Shield, but must be evil.
Priest of Helm Serves the neutral god of watchers. May cast True Sight and Seeking Sword, but must be neutral.
Priest of Lathander Serves the good god of renewal. May cast Hold Undead and Boon of Lathander, but must be good.
Priest of Tyr Serves the god of Tyr
Druid Totemic Druid Gives up shapeshifting to summon totem animal.
Shapeshifter Gives up normal shapeshifting to transform into a werewolf.
Avenger Additional shapeshifting options, and access to some mage spells. Strength and Constitution penalties, and cannot wear heavier armor.
Mage Specialist Mage May choose one of the eight schools of magic (with some restrictions, based on race), and cast an extra spell per level from that school. Gives up access to specific opposing school or schools.
Wild Mage Casts an additional spell per level, and access to three unique spells, but may experience a "Wild Surge" with good and bad effects, and effective spell level varies up and down.
Thief Assassin Attack bonuses, improved Backstab (though only at high levels reached in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and can use poison. Gets fewer thief skill points.
Bounty Hunter Set Traps skill bonus, and Set Special Snare ability. Gets fewer thief skill points.
Swashbuckler Attack and Armor Class bonuses, and can specialise in thief weapons and two-weapon style. Cannot Backstab.
Shadowdancer Improved stealth, Shadowstep special ability, and saving throw bonus, but Backstab ability is diminished, and they get fewer thief skill points. Cannot be Lawful.
Bard Blade Specialises in Two-Weapon Fighting, and can use Offensive and Defensive Spin special abilities. Has reduced Lore and Pick Pockets skills.
Jester Song can confuse, slow or knock out enemies instead of helping allies.
Skald Improved combat ability, and modified song improves combat prowess of party. Limited ability to pick pockets.
Sorcerer Sorcerer Base Class. Similar to the Mage, but does not have to prepare spells in advance. The downside is that the array of spells is limited.
Dragon Disciple Has draconic lineage; learns fewer spells, but gains breath weapon and dragon-like immunities and defence bonuses.
Shaman Shaman Base Class - Added in Siege of Dragonspear
Monk Dark Moon Monk Followers of the dark goddess Shar. Replaces some Monk abilities with access to dark magic.
Sun Soul Monk Lawful followers of good gods. Replaces some Monk abilities with access to sun magic.

Multi-class Edit

Non-human races may choose to multi-class at character creation, effectively choosing two (or possibly three) classes. A multi-class character gains the advantages and limitations of both classes; for example, a fighter/mage may use weapons and wear armor not usually allowed for mages, but they will be unable to cast spells while wearing restricted armor. Likewise, a fighter/thief may not use thief abilities while wearing heavy armor, and may not choose a Lawful alignment.

Multi-class characters divide their experience points between their classes, so they progress much slower than single class characters.

The multi-class options available to a character vary depending on the character's race, and only classes from different groups may be combined. The available options are:

Dual-class Edit

Humans may not MULTI-class, but can instead DUAL-class, starting from Level 2. During their career, they may choose to stop advancing in their original class and choose a new one. Once the second class is picked, the first class ceases to advance. In addition, the abilities of the first class become unavailable until the second class reaches one level beyond the level where the first class stopped.

HP will be locked at the value it was at when you choose to dual class until you regain use of your first class. After that you will gain additional HP according to your second class. [Ex: (Assume 18 con) a level 9 fighter has 126 HP that then dual classes into mage; even at 9 fighter/9 mage it still has 126 HP; 9 fighter/10 mage goes to 132 HP and gains HP as mage now.](Fighter and Ranger strongly recommended to be taken first if being utilized for this reason.)

Weapon restrictions (and kit specific restrictions) of first class (even if inactive) apply to active class [Ex: Cleric that dual classes to Ranger may not use slashing or piercing weapons at any time](Caution, the game will let you put proficiency points into bows, daggers, and others while the cleric class is inactive, but you will not be able to equip them.)

Proficiency Points, Saving Throws, and Thac0 will reset to new class's values until first class becomes active again. Once both classes are active, the better value between the two classes will be used. [Ex: A fighter that puts two points into staffs then dual classes to a Druid and then puts one point into staffs while the fighter class is inactive, will only have two points (not three) in staffs once both classes become active again.](There is no in-game indication as to where your inactive class has proficiency points so it is advisable to write these down before dual classing)

Once both classes are active again you may use any armor allowed by either class and put as many proficiency points in any weapon as allowed by either class. (Ex: A fighter/druid may put up to 5 points in scimitars, and a ranger/cleric may put 2 points into flails)

There are some restrictions on the choice of second class when dual-classing:

  • All resulting class mixes must be viable multi-class combinations as well (Ex: fighter/druid and ranger/cleric are valid multi-class combinations, but other combinations with druid or ranger are not valid multi-class options). This also means that Bards, Paladins, Barbarians, Shamans, Sorcerers and Monks cannot dual-class or be dual-classed into.
  • The character's alignment must comply with any restrictions of the second class (e.g. a Lawful Good character may not dual-class as a Thief, and a Fighter must be True Neutral to dual-class into a Druid).
  • Your character must have scores of 15 or higher in the prime requisites of your current class and scores of 17 or more in the prime requisites of the class you wish to change to. Druids, Rangers have two prime requisites, and the Shadowdancer thief kit has three. Ex: A cleric attempting to dual-class into a ranger must have 15 Wisdom, and also 17 Strength, 17 Dexterity, but does NOT need to meet the ranger's minimum constitution score of 14 in order to dual-class, as that is not a prime requisite to dual into the ranger class. This is why Imoen may dual-class as a mage (and canonically does so by Baldur's Gate 2), since her Dexterity of 18 meets the requirement for a Thief, and her Intelligence of 17 meets the requirement for a mage.
  • If attempting to dual-class to a Specialist Mage , the character must also meet the extra minimum statistic requirement for that particular kind of Specialist. This can only be done in the very original Baldur's Gate when specialist mages were separate classes and not mage class kits. Imported characters from BG1 to BG2 or to any Enhanced Edition will have their specialist mage kit stripped if it was their second class.  

Dual-classing is recommended only for advanced players with a good knowledge of the mechanics of the game. There are two main strategies for dual-classing:

First class Advantages Disadvantages
Low-level
  • Can use the abilities of both classes earlier, since it will not take long for the second class to reach the low level of the first class.
  • The second class can be developed to a high level.
  • The first class will only ever grant low-level abilities.
High-level
  • The first class can grant better, higher-level abilities.
  • The second class will level up quickly, because of the higher experience points gain later in the game.
  • Able to use the abilities of both classes only in the last chapters of the game.
  • Risk of not being able to use abilities of both classes if not managed carefully.

Noteable breakpoints for Fighters:

  • Level 7: 1.5 attacks base (THAC0 14).
  • Level 9: Last d10 health increase and warrior Constitution health bonus, 7th proficiency point (THAC0 12).
  • Level 13: Two attacks for base attack rate not including proficiency bonuses (THAC0 8).

Noteable breakpoints for Druids (to fighters):

  • Level 12: The druid's unusual experience table causes them to level rapidly from levels 7 to 12, even faster than thieves. Level 12 only requires 300,000 XP (allowing 38 levels of fighter to follow) and grants access to useful level 6 spells (many of them with high wisdom)! Only go to lvl 13 if the Shapeshifter class kit was chosen (may still reach 37 levels of fighter). Primarily chosen if wanting Fighter's melee HLA over the druids magical HLA .

Noteable breakpoints for Rangers (to clerics):

  • Level 3: Gains a whopping 7 proficiency points and gives many bonuses while not hindering Cleric progression in any noticeable way (Excellent if playing in BG1 or preferring a large party where individual XP is lower).
  • Level 9: Last d10 health increase and warrior Constitution health bonus. Increased back stab multiplier for Stalker ranger kit (an extra half attack was also gained at level 7).
  • Level 12: Stalker class kit gives mage's spells and Beast Master gives Animal Summoning spells at reduced caster levels. Clerics may cast these wonderful spells dozens of times a day with high Wisdom. May still reach level 38 Cleric (If considering 13 levels of Ranger for more melee damage, consider Ranger/Cleric MULTI-class as it gains High Level Abilities from the Warrior classes as well as Priests classes resulting in superior melee).

Cleric, Mage, and Thief are not recommended to be taken first due to extreme power of high level priest/mage spells, as well as the Thief's High Level Ability Use Any Item and large Backstab multipliers and skill investment needs.

NotesEdit

See also:

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