A class, chosen during character generation, defines a character's role and profession.
There are four groups of classes: warriors, priests, mages and rogues. Classes in each group, with few exceptions, follow the same basic rules and access to similar high-level class ability pool.
A character's class affects nearly all aspects of the rules: the weapons and armor they may use, whether they may cast spells, and which spell books they use. The class also grants the character special abilities, passive effects, defines which benefits they gain with level.
Some classes have strict requirements and are available only to characters of particular races or alignments, but all require minimum in certain ability scores. Many characteristics of classes are further altered by class kits, which are modified versions of the basic classes.
Class group Edit
|Warrior||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.|
|Priest||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.|
|Wizard||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.|
|Rogue||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.|
- * in versions of the game which have class kits, barbarian and mage specializations are treated as kits.
- † available only in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Editions.
- ‡ available only in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Editions.
Class kits Edit
After picking a single class in Baldur's Gate II and Enhanced Editions of the games, 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.
Mage specializations are treated as mage kits from Baldur's Gate II, Barbarians are treated as a fighter kit in Enhanced Editions. This Table only reflects the state after EE version 2.0.
|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 abilities, but less skilled in weapons.|
|Barbarian||Trade armor restrictions with natural resistances, use Enrage.|
|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 specialize 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||Specializes 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 defense bonuses.|
|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.|
|Shaman||Shaman||Base Class. Don't need to prepare spells, use Druid spell pool, summon spirits.|
Non-human races may choose to multi-class at character creation, advancing in two or three unkitted classes simultaneously. Multi-class characters gain the advantages and abide the limitations of every class, they divide their experience points among their classes, so their progress in levels are much slower than single class characters. Any XP gained are stored in total, the in-game XP values for each class are rounded down numbers after total XP is divided by the class number for display purpose, there’s no XP loss.
Valid multi-class combinations Edit
- HP, see Multi-class HP
- Weapons, Armor restrictions from every class apply. eg: a fighter / mage may use weapons and wear armor that are otherwise not allowed for mages, but they are unable to cast spells while wearing leather armor or above due to mage restrictions. Likewise, a fighter / thief may not use thief abilities while wearing other than Leather, Studded leather, or Hide armor.
- Proficiency Points, Saving Throws, THAC0: Only the better value will be used. Multi-class fighters may only achieve specialization (2 points), with the exception of two-weapon style in weapon proficiency.
- HLAs will be gained from every class
Humans may not MULTI-class, but can instead DUAL-class, starting from a kitted or a unkitted Level 2 class. By doing so, they cease to advance in their current class and start to develop a new, unkitted class from its Level 1. Once they have changed to a second class, they cannot go back to the first. 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.
IMPORTANT: The experience cap in Throne of Bhaal is 8,000,000, experience points from both the exact XP requirement of the first class level and the total XP of the second class count towards this total. Please make sure that there're sufficient points left available to progress high enough in the second class.
Valid dual-class paths and requirements Edit
|Current class||Class dualed to||Min. natural scores & requirements|
|Fighter (excluding Barbarians)||Cleric||Strength 15, Wisdom 17|
|Druid||Strength 15, Wisdom 17, Charisma 17, must be True Neutral|
|Mage||Strength 15, Intelligence 17|
|Thief||Strength 15, Dexterity 17, can't be Lawful Good|
|Ranger||Cleric||Strength 15, Dexterity 15, Wisdom 17|
|Cleric||Fighter||Wisdom 15, Strength 17|
|Ranger||Wisdom 17, Strength 17, Dexterity 17, must be Good|
|Mage||Wisdom 15, Intelligence 17|
|Thief||Wisdom 15, Dexterity 17, can't be Lawful Good|
|Druid||Fighter||Wisdom 15, Charisma 15, Strength 17|
|Mage (excluding Wild Mages)||Fighter||Intelligence 15, Strength 17|
|Cleric||Intelligence 15, Wisdom 17|
|Thief||Intelligence 15, Dexterity 17, can't be Lawful Good|
|Thief||Fighter||Dexterity 15, Strength 17||Dexterity 15, Charisma 15, Strength 17|
|Cleric||Dexterity 15, Wisdom 17||Dexterity 15, Charisma 15, Strength 15,|
Wisdom 17 for Shadowdancer
|Mage||Dexterity 15, Intelligence 17||Dexterity 15, Charisma 15, Strength 15, Intelligence 17 for Shadowdancer|
- Weapons, Armor restrictions of first class, even if inactive, apply to the current class. eg: A Cleric dualed to Ranger may not use slashing or piercing weapons at any time, however, the game will let you put proficiency points into bows, daggers, etc while the cleric class is inactive, but you will not be able to equip them. You may use any armor allowed by either class, once the former class becomes active again. Some passive effects, like Use Any Item, Wizard Slayer’s magical item restrictions remain effective even if the class is inactive
- Proficiency Points, Saving Throws, THAC0 will reset to new class's values until first class becomes active again, then only the better value between the two classes will be used. eg: A fighter that puts 3 proficiency points into staffs then dual classes to a Druid and then puts 1 point into staffs while the fighter class is inactive, will only have 3 points (not 4) in staffs once both classes become active. 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. Fighters dualed to other class may continue to advance in proficiency up to 5 once they regain their abilities.
- HLAs will only be gained from the current active 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:
Notable 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).
Notable 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 .
Notable 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.
Archived content Edit
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.
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: a level 9 fighter with constitution of 18 has 126 HP dualed into mage; even at fighter (lv9) > mage (lv9) s/he still has 126 HP; but once s/he reaches fighter (lv9) > mage (lv10), the HP goes to 132 and the character starts to gain HP as a mage now. As Warrior class group gains most HP at low levels than any other class groups, they're generally recommended to be taken first for a greater HP sum.