Baldur's Gate: Dual and Multiclassing

From PlayItHardcore

Basic Information

Dual and Multiclassing can be VERY powerful if used right in Baldur's Gate. Playing the game hardcore can be a lot easier if you dual or multiclass, as they have abilities of both classes with the only drawback being that you do not reach as high of levels. Also, if considering the entire Baldur's Gate saga as a whole, dual-classing allows for the most overpowered, broken, and downright cheap meta-gaming characters possible.

Dual-classing favors starting with your primary class as the combat oriented class, and then dropping into a spell-casting class. Casters scale better later into the game, and this way you maximize the early game health and thac0. Fighter should always be the first class for any potential fighter dual-class, and thief should be the primary class for thief/mages.

This information applies only to Classic BG games
Dual-classing at a specific level locks the character's abilities from that class to that specific level forever.
This information applies only to Enhanced Edition BG games version: 2.0+
The game calculates the player's caster level for spell-like abilities as max(level1, (level1+level2)/2), where level1 is the original class' level, and level2 is the level of the second class. This only affects abilities' power, not uses per day.

For example, a Priest of Lathander dual-classed to something will eventually start gaining additional rounds of duration for Boon of Lathander. However, this also means that a dualed Bounty Hunter will eventually be stuck with Otiluke's special snares for a long time.

This changes the dual classing dynamic significantly, take that into consideration when choosing to dual class.

Fighter Multi-Class Options

Fighter makes the most universal dual- and multi-classing option because it offers something every other class wishes they had: HP and thac0. They hit harder and can absorb more punishment than any other given class meaning your squishy thief who couldn't ever land that backstab suddenly has twice the HP and rarely misses from the shadows, or your mage suddenly has more survivability than he would have enjoyed at max level just by dual-classing at level 8.


Very powerful solo class and great for hardcore runs, as sanctuary is basically a free 'get out of trouble' card. Draw Upon Holy Might can eventually cap all of your physical scores at 25, Armor of Faith increases your physical damage resistance and as a Fighter you can stack this with the Hardiness HLA in BG2 and the Defender of Easthaven as an off-hand weapon. That allows you to eventually get a whopping 85% damage reduction, that's enough to passively heal through any fight with regeneration items. F/C gets a total of 1 APR from Fighter levels 7 and 13, and 0.5 APR from having two points in a weapon. The loss of bladed weapons due to Cleric isn't a big deal, you have access to the Flail of Ages and Defender of Easthaven, the definitive go-to "equip and forget" duo.

  • Strengths
  1. Divine Spells and therefore healing
  2. Sanctuary allows easy, safe navigation of the battlefield
  3. Some of the best buffs in the game
  4. Highest possible combined saving throws in the game (especially ludicrous when combined with a high CON dwarf)
  5. Excessive amounts of spellcasting with high WIS.
  • Weaknesses
  1. BG1 only: Will only reach 4th level spells by level cap
  2. Fighting abilities progress slowly due to splitting experience, although this is mitigated somewhat by the ability to self-buff.
  3. Limited weapon selection
  • Dual or Multi?
Multi-classing is preferred for a BG1 only character, as the early game survivability matters without sacrificing much potential end-game power. However for those planning on playing the character through the entire saga, dual-classing to cleric at level 13 of fighter will maximize the attacks per round fighters get over typical clerics while still allowing you to reach level 38, a whole two levels shy of the default cleric level cap. Berserker is the only viable kit to dual-class into a cleric because heavy armors are a must in order to utilize the unique tanking ability fighter/clerics fulfill. Additionally, multi-class fighter/clerics are limited to Specialization in any given weapon type but a dual-classed fighter/cleric, even if he dual-classed at level 2, can obtain Grandmastery in any given weapon type.
  • Choosing which Fighter Kit
    • Berserker is the best, and arguably only good, kit to dual from. As explained on the class page, Enrage is a blanket of immunities that replaces the need to ward yourself with Chaotic Commands or Negative Plane Protection.
    • Kensai's tradeoff of damage-for-armor is terrible for this class because you do not get any off-hand APR-boosting weapons like Belm or Kundane, and not having a helmet means you can die easily to critical hits.
    • Wizard Slayer is just a solid "no". Their Miscast Magic is worsened by a lack of APR-boosting bows for ranged Wizard control and off-hand APR weapons and in exchange for a minor amount of Magic Resistance they lose access to most of the best equipment in the game, like the Amulet of Power, Amulet of the Seldarine, Ring of Gaxx, Improved Cloak of Haste, etc. The only saving grace is a Wizard Slayer-> Cleric is allowed to equip their holy symbol they get when they hit level 25.
  • Choosing which Cleric Kit
For those wanting to go Cleric->Fighter they have more options than a Fighter->Cleric at the tradeoff of Cleric spells, and Cleric kits are all direct upgrades to Cleric so there's never a loss of anything by picking one. Important to note is that while your daily uses of said abilities will never increase after dualing, the duration of abilities functions off your average level so it will continue to increase.
  • Priest of Lathander is arguably the best kit for a Fighter to benefit from. Their Hold Undead ability is irrelevant in the long run but Boon of Lathander grants +1 APR and level drain immunity. Since you get one use at level 1, and another use every 10 levels after, it's only worth it to dual-class at levels 2 or 11. 21 is at almost 3 million XP, but that is an extremely long time to be playing a low-level Fighter in BG2 where everything can and will kill you.
  • Priest of Talos's abilities don't synergize that much with a Fighter, but they're by no means bad. Lightning Bolt from Priest of Talos is not a spell, so it can be used while silenced, and Storm Shield grants immunity to fire, cold, and electricity. The interesting thing about Storm Shield is that it has a minimum duration of 10 rounds, only gaining 1 round per level at level 11 and onwards, so if you aren't terribly invested in long dual-class downtime you have more cheap-and-easy breakpoints you could opt for. At Priest of Talos 2 you can just leave the class and become a Fighter with a handful of 1st level Cleric spells and a daily use of Storm Shield and Lightning Bolt. At level 3 you can get Draw Upon Holy Might and still benefit from bonus spells from high WIS, and at 5 you can get 3rd level spells and another Lightning Bolt, all while still being able to finish your dual-classing before the end of BG1.
  • Priest of Helm is slightly more kitted for dualing to Fighter, but it's mostly due to having a built-in set of training wheels in the form of True Seeing and Seeking Sword. Seeking Sword is a Magical Weapon that they get from level 1, it lasts 1 round per level and has a built-in 3 APR at base. For reference, most weapons have a base APR of 1. Longbows, Shortbows, and Throwing Daggers have 2, and Darts have 3. This is extremely powerful in BG1, it may only do 2d4 damage, but it has a -4 bonus to THAC0 and strikes as a +4 weapon, so it will hit anything in the game, and it benefits from Strength bonuses to damage. This is not a long-term weapon, however.
  • Choosing a Multi-class Race
The only races which can even roll Fighter/Clerics are Dwarves, Gnomes(BG1EE), Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. Half-Orcs are obviously only playable in BG1 if you install BGtutu or BGT or are playing on the Enhanced Editions.
  • Dwarves fulfill this class's needs perfectly as they have saving throw bonuses that will eventually render them immune to most spells (remember than natural 1s on saving throws do not exist in Baldur's Gate).
  • Half-Orcs get bonuses to STR and CON while giving up the mostly useless INT stat. The STR and CON bonuses aren't phenomenal in the long run since Draw Upon Holy Might is available in plentiful supply for any cleric, but it's still better than nothing.
  • Gnomes might get a bonus to saves, but the tradeoff of 1 WIS is painful given how powerful WIS-stacking is on divine casters. For reference, every other race in the game can hit 24 WIS. For a divine caster, the difference between 23 WIS and 24 WIS is two bonus 6th level spells. Gnomes are effectively losing two of the second-highest spell slots for their class.
  • Half-Elves effectively have no bonuses to this class, but no penalties.
  • Recommended stats
Max Wisdom, Strength, and Constitution, regardless of total stat roll. On a roll of 93 a player can max 5 stats and dump 1, and it's a toss-up whether you want to dump Intelligence or Charisma.
  • Proficiencies
In the long run Flails/Morningstars are the best proficiency, but in BG1 you'll want to have two points in either Warhammers then two points in Slings as they're your only ranged weapon. Then invest in Flails/Morningstars. Only invest 2 points into Two-Weapon Style in BG2 where you'll be able to get good off-hand weapons like the Defender of Easthaven.


Fighter/Thieves are capable of significant damage output. They give up the ability to tank on the same level as a raw fighter because they lose some health, but they can hold their own. If you are focused on thief skills you'll want to stick to light armors, making them less sturdy, though detect traps and illusions will work in heavy armor. Thieves have the added ability to use certain wands, which is very useful. A dual-classed kensai/thief who manages to hit epic levels in BG2 and unlocks Use Any Item is one of the most devastating melee fighters in the game. They are very slanted toward end-game content, however, so they are not typically very good for hardcore runs as a main character. Swashbuckler/fighters are also very powerful, while multi-class characters have excellent power right from the start of BG1.

  • Strengths
  1. Thief abilities on a character who can actually take a hit if he misses spotting a trap or fails a disarm roll.
  2. Better THAC0 and damage from fighter weapon mastery means bigger backstabs that miss less often.
  3. Borderline broken damage capabilities at epic levels once importing to BG2.
  • Weaknesses
  1. Splitting experience means both fighting capabilities and thieving skills progress slowly.
  2. To maximize damage potential requires ranking hide in shadows early, which slows more important survival thieving skills.
  3. Tanking ability of a raw fighter is lessened if you want to backstab a lot.
  • Dual or Multi?
Dual-classing is much more beneficial than multi-classing. The power of a Fighter is slightly mitigated by the fact that a Fighter/Thief cannot use thief skills while wearing heavy armor (though they can Detect Illusion in-combat to remove enemy illusions while still maintaining low AC), and Backstab only applies to the weapons that a single-classed Thief could wield, so you cannot backstab with greatswords or flails. Additionally, Thief doesn't take that much XP to level up. Dualing at level 9 allows a character to get Grandmastery with a weapon and two points elsewhere. Fighter-> Mage is notoriously easy because Mages can grind XP solo by scribing and erasing spells, but it's worth mentioning that Thief only requires a paltry 160,000 XP to hit level 10. That's a handful of quests turned in to instantly regain your abilities, and you might even stockpile XP and not level past Thief 3 to stockpile proficiency points to drop into one weapon all at once.

A multi-class character will be much stronger through BG1 and the early-mid part of BG2 as it will only slightly lag in levels early on and not have to deal with an inactive class at any point. Multi-class characters will also receive both rogue and fighter HLAs. Both options have strengths depending on your focus.

  • Choosing which Fighter Kit
Thieves get a lot more out of dual-classing from Fighter than some other classes, namely from much better backstabs. Additionally, even while wearing heavy armor you can have Detect Traps/Illusions active which allows you to automatically dispel illusions while auto-attacking (You must issue the order to attack, then activate the Detect skill for this to work. Any subsequent non-movement orders cancel Detection).
  • Berserker may be a little boring to dual to Thief, but it's still one of the best. Enrage gives a +2 damage bonus which multiplies on a backstab and of course gives a laundry list of immunities, so if you're not committed to the restrictions of the other two kits Berserker is best. Ranged combat stops being a thing the moment you're in BG2 so losing the ability to put points into them doesn't matter.
  • Kensai's THAC0 and damage bonuses are incredible on a Fighter->Thief. The damage multiplies on a backstab and will turn massive damage into insta-kills a lot earlier than any other kit, and their bonus THAC0 is appreciated given the THAC0 of a dual-classed Fighter stops growing.
  • Wizard Slayer is a very painful dual-class. They lose out on the ability to use any Thief potions, Thief-skill-boosting rings, etc. Even Monk can heal up with a Ring of Regeneration. Wizard Slayer->Thief requires spells to heal. The only good thing is that once they hit 3 million Thief XP they can take Use Any Item and immediately turn into a normal Fighter->Thief with a slight boost to Magic Resistance.
  • Choosing which Thief Kit
Alternatively a Thief->Fighter might dual class from a thief kit. The advantage here is the ability to only take whatever Thief skills you want, then gain the THAC0, proficiencies, APR, and HP of a Fighter (minus their large Hit Dice and CON bonuses). Thief->Fighter shares the same limitations as Fighter->Thief: you still can't use Thief skills (other than Detect Traps/Illusions) while wearing heavy armor, and you can't backstab with non-Thief weapons. The Swashbuckler and Bounty Hunter kits are the most useful choices here, as the Assassin does not have significant lower level advantages. Thieves get improved traps at levels 6 and 11 and stop rolling for health at level 10, so it is recommended you dual class at one of these points to take full advantage - though Swashbuckler advantages also make levels 5, 10, and 15 good options.
  • Bounty Hunter is an odd case. It doesn't necessarily synergize with Fighter, but Bounty Hunter is implicitly built for dual-classing depending on what you want from it. At level 11 a Bounty Hunter will have 170 Skill Points to play with (assuming you put 60 into Set Traps and use DEX boosts to hit 100) giving them the highest damage Set Special Snare and three uses of Set Snare and Set Special Snare per day. They have enough skill points to max Detect Illusion, and they can distribute enough points between Find Traps and Open Locks to use the skill-boosting rings for each skill.
  • Assassin deserves a lot of flak for being a sub-par dual-classing kit for Thief. It gets too few skill points to matter, Poison Weapon is just an okay ability, their -1 to THAC0 and +1 to damage is irrelevant, and as stated on the class page their backstab multiplier doesn't surpass the normal Thief multiplier until level 16. However, for a paltry 10,000 XP you can reach Assassin 5, which gives you the x3 backstab multiplier of a Thief and 100 skill points to play with. That's enough to max Detect Illusion and still reach the BG1 Fighter level cap, and if playing solo that means you can be a Fighter who can remove his armor and drink potions to disarm traps. Poison Weapon is there, like the bonus to THAC0 and damage, and in the long run you're trading about 35 total HP in exchange for a handful of situational-yet-good abilities, especially since poison helps stop spellcasters from casting and Fighter THAC0 and APR means you'll actually land the poison, possibly on multiple enemies in a fight. It's not great, but it's an option to add a little spice to a Fighter.
  • Swashbuckler. For some reason everyone loves dual-classing Swashbuckler to other classes. All it gains is -1 AC at level 1, and -1 AC, THAC0, and +1 damage at every level divisible by 5, plus the ability to put 2 points into a weapon proficiency, including 2 points into Two-Weapon Style. In exchange, they lose Backstab which means there's no reason to put points into Stealth. At level 5 you'd have -1 THAC0, -2 AC, +1 damage, and 140 Skill Points to play with. If you try to dual at 10 you get a total 265 skill points, and another bonus to AC, THAC0, and damage, but now none of your Hit Dice are Fighter HD, so you don't get that juicy HP boost and your CON bonus to HP never increases anything at all. In BG2, you are not going to care about AC. Even if you use every AC-boosting item possible and swap the belts that increase AC vs. different damage types, you will still be getting hit about half the time. -3 AC won't matter. HP will. THAC0 won't matter, so all you're left with is skill points to be a party Thief (while not wearing heavy armor) and +2 damage. Even Assassin can multiply it's pathetic +1 damage with backstab and gets poison damage. Like before, if you're set on this kit take no more than 5 levels and use it to max Detect Illusion so you have a thief skill you can use in heavy armor.
  • Choosing a Multi-class Race
First, look at the thief class page and the racial bonuses to thieving skills. Remember that your character can get +1 DEX from the Manual of Quickness of Action, +1 DEX from the Machine of Lum the Mad, and you can also get +1 from the STAR card from the Deck of Many Things. If you're playing hardcore no-reload "back to Candlekeep if you die," this card isn't worth trying to go for, but if you're either willing to break that rule for the bonus or just playing normally that's a total +3 DEX to your character's starting score. Original BG2 also has a +1 bonus to DEX from one of the Hell trials, but this was a bug that's fixed by mods and the Enhanced Edition. That means that everyone who isn't a Dwarf can count on a +20 minimum to each Thief skill other than Detect Illusion.
  • Half-Orc starting with 19 STR comes out of the gates of Candlekeep capable of smashing in heads with a nice +7 to damage on a backstab that has a -3 THAC0 bonus. Slightly lower Thief skill bonuses just means it takes a level or two to make another skill reliably usable. You may want to invest in Stealth early to maximize those "Surprise! You're dead!" backstabs. A Half-Orc Fighter/Thief can safely invest 59 Skill Points into stealth skills and not end up with wasted skill points. Alternatively if you want to use your character as the party trapfinder/lockpicker you can use heavy armor to frontline and just remove it when you need to search for traps or open locks. Their penalty to INT literally does not matter since they don't need WIS at all.
  • Gnomish saving throw bonuses and second-highest skill point total make them extremely good Fighter/Thieves. They don't get a bonus to Save vs. Death but that can be overcome with items while Save vs. Spell is harder to obtain. They also get a skill bonus to Detect Illusion, for what it's worth.
  • Halfling has the highest skill point bonus from race, plus the ability to start with 19 DEX. This means they are able to be the party Thief right out of the gate and as a Fighter/Thief can reliably hit enemies with ranged attacks. 17 STR at the start of the game sucks, and the +1 book only boosts it to 18, no percentile STR allowed. That means until you get to the Machine of Lum the Mad or an evil choice in one of the Hell trials, your STR is at "don't even think about it" levels. That said, a Halfling Fighter/Thief can just be an archer and a skillmonkey in the backline until they get the STR necessary to kill. But don't discount the frontline halfling completely, you're still a Fighter with CON bonuses to all your Hit Dice, and you have the saves of a Dwarf.
  • Dwarves are good thieves too. They start with 20 in Open Locks and Find Traps, and even though they start with 1 less DEX than every other race that's still good enough to start the game as the party thief. They also have Percentile Strength, the max CON bonus to HP, and saves from level 1. Dwarves basically sacrifice some skill points compared to Gnome for the ability to reliably not die to poison and/or carry less antidotes.
  • Elf has similar advantages to Halfling. 19 DEX to start means they're going to be able to be the party thief at the beginning of the game, and their ranged attacks will be extremely likely to hit. While they don't have the Halfling save bonus, they will have 90% resistance to Charm and Sleep which is more useful in BG1 than BG2 but still sees use, and they start with Percentile Strength meaning they're capable of getting backstabs. They're not going to have Half-Orc backstabs until you get the STR book but they'll be an option. A -1 CON penalty isn't a frontline dealbreaker since BG1 is more about stacking AC, and you'll still be getting to 18 with the CON book which is available in Chapter 1 of BG1.
  • Half-Elf is easily the worst on this list. They have +10 Pick Pockets, +5 Hide. That's literally it. They have 30% resistance to Charm and Sleep, but as short-lived as that is for Elf it's infinitely less useful for Half-Elf because it's just unreliable. And again, no save bonuses like short people, no higher-than-other-races starting stats.
  • Recommended stats
A roll of 90 is good enough to start with maximum STR, DEX, CON, and CHA for every race, plus having enough points to start with 15 INT which is enough to read the BG1 INT book and hit 16, the threshold to take 3 hits from Mindflayers and not die. Gnomes can achieve 4 hits with a 94 and the two INT boosts from BG1 and BG2. Since 90s are relatively easy to roll for you could very reliably re-roll for higher percentile strength for an even easier BG1 experience.
  • Proficiencies
Backstab has a limitation of only being possible with a weapon that a normal Thief can use. That means you will never backstab with the Flail of Ages, and you can't backstab with weapons like the Monk-only Ninjato of the Scarlet Brotherhood even with Use Any Item. When it comes to picking weapons Baldur's Gate 1 is a little anemic in weapon supplies. Katanas have a d10 damage die, meaning it's the best weapon for backstabbing, however since the only Katana in BG1 is a +1 with no special abilities this is a bad proficiency to take early on. For multi-class characters I advise putting two points into Longswords and 2 points into either Crossbows or Shortbows. The reason for this is that Longswords have a couple really good options in BG1 (The Burning Earth and Varscona) and in BG2 ranged weapons are both terrible and Longbows lack a +4-ammo-generating weapon, so they're not a good investment. Ranged weapons are busted in BG1, mainly bows with the Arrows of Detonation and Arrows of Dispelling. After that you have some options: Quarterstaves are a good choice since the Staff of Striking exists in BG1 and is the best BG1 backstabbing weapon, while BG2 has both this staff and the Staff of the Ram later on as the best backstab weapon. On the other hand, in Siege of Dragonspear there is a really good Katana and in BG2 early on you can get Celestial Fury, a katana that is +3 and will stun enemies which just wins fights, backstab or not. You may also with to put two points into Two-Weapon Style (never the third point, it's useless) so you can frontline with a good off-hand weapon without missing attacks.
For dual-class characters, focus on reaching Grandmastery in whatever weapons you choose. Preference is given to backstab weapons, obviously, since they can end fights and multiply your grandmastery damage.


Fighter/Mages are excellent targets for buff spells. They utilize mage self-buffs better than a single-class mage would, and can use Touch spells (like Vampiric Touch) to greater effect because of their increased thac0. Plus, it alleviates a lot of the downside of playing a single-class mage in that you'll have significantly better hit-points and saving throws. Lastly, they can equip armor. This is usually a bad thing as nearly every armor also negates the ability to cast spells but there are a few pieces which do not and therefore make you fairly tanky. (They are all BG2 equipment.) The only major downside is the inability to pick a specialist wizard class for the bonus spells. For extra cheesy tactics feel free to buff yourself with spells like Stoneskin and Mirror Image before putting on armor and frontlining.

  • Strengths
  1. Significantly increases survivability of your mage, who is already one of if not the most important character in your party
  2. Improved thac0 means better use of Touch spells
  3. Fantastic target for buffs
  4. Can frontline with maximum APR while being completely untouchable due to buffs like Mirror Image, Stoneskin, and Protection from Magical Weapons.
  5. Kensai dual-class specific: Can still equip robes in chest slot.
  • Weaknesses
  1. Inability to pick specialist mage class (except for Gnomes)
  2. Multi-class splitting XP significantly reduces the overall effectiveness of your mage powers.
  • Dual or Multi?
Multi-classing is already a great choice here, however dual-classing is really where this combo shines. A Fighter/Mage multiclass can hit level 24/20. That is by no means bad, that is still an extremely powerful character, since Mage is the most powerful class in the game. However, Mage continues to progress and get more and more spell slots of higher levels all the way to level 29. Dual-classing allows you to get the most important stuff from Fighter (Hit dice, grandmastery instead of just specialization) and still progress Mage to get more spell slots of higher levels. And I cannot stress this enough, Fighter bonuses to THAC0 and HP are nowhere near as powerful as high-level Mage spells.
  • Choosing which Fighter Kit
    • Yet again it must be said that Berserker is always a safe choice for dual-classing to Mage. Mages have some spell protections they can't protect against everything that requires a saving throw. Berserker's Enrage says the enemy has to kill you with direct damage and in order to do that they need to get past your ability to resist it, and protect yourself from being debuffed at all with Spell Immunity: Abjuration.
    • For decades the consensus was that Kensai->Mage was infinitely better than Berserker->Mage. The idea is you become an armored Kensai, wearing robes instead of armor and thus you're a Fighter with all the Kensai bonuses. The problem is, those bonuses are nowhere near as plentiful or useful as Enrage. Enrage gives you a CVS receipt of immunities. Kensai gives marginal THAC0, damage, a short-lived ability to maximize damage rolls, and you still lose your gauntlet slot.
    • Wizard Slayer is a hard "no." Don't do it. Wizard Slayer's list of restrictions is one giant rap sheet of "you can't" that's so long it would require its own dedicated wiki page to explaining all the things everyone else can do with their equipment slots that Wizard Slayers can't do. Specific to Wizard, you can't use the Ring of Acuity or Reaching Ring for bonus spell slots; you can't use Potions of Genius or Mind Focusing to boost your INT to auto-succeed scribing scrolls (which on a hardcore run can destroy the scrolls you need to beat the game); you can't use the Amulet of Power. And as a reminder, Wizard Slayer only gets 1% Magic Resistance per level up until level 20 when every even-numbered level adds 5%. That means that there's no point to even dualing from Wizard Slayer to Mage since Mage gets infinitely better magical immunities long before Wizard Slayer gets to the double-digits of MR. There are items that give the bonus to MR that Wizard Slayer wishes it had.
  • Choosing which Mage Kit
Don't do this. There are legitimate strategies to picking another class and dualing to Fighter as opposed to the standard one-way Fighter-buffs-other-class strategy to dual-classing. But Mage is by far the worst for this strategy. Extremely low-level duals are effectively the only good way to dual from Mage to Fighter, and even then they aren't that good. Fighter mostly benefits from defensive spells, but unlike Cleric these aren't as plentiful, can't be cast while wearing armor, and are split up by levels of spells that expire quickly. The best defensive spells are Protection from Magical Weapons, Stoneskin, and Mirror Image. You are not getting PfMW, it's a 6th-level spell that requires 750k XP to get. Stoneskin might be a 4th level spell, but it's not that much better since it requires 6 levels of mage, 60k XP to get access to, and because of that you can't reach Fighter 7 before the end of BG1, meaning the dual-class doesn't finish before the end of BG1, all for the weakest possible Stoneskin casting (remember it's one 'skin' per 2 levels so that's 3 skins, 3 attacks). 3rd level Mage spells lack any Fighter synergy. Mirror Image is a great 2nd level spell, but it creates 2 + 1-per-3-levels images, so yet again low caster levels hurt. Turn (10-round) durations really carry Cleric->Fighter duals, Mage suffers too much for this to be extremely viable, especially when the benefit is, at best, a paltry handful of blocked attacks from spells that will automatically be dispelled by any enemy casting Dispel or Remove Magic.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
    • Half-Elf is strangely better than Elf here. Despite the fact that it doesn't get any meaningful bonuses to being a Fighter/Mage, that alone keeps it from being at a deficit.
    • Elf losing 1 CON is unfortunately detrimental here. They trade a number of very needed hitpoints in exchange for a bonus to DEX when Fighter/Mage is about using magic to not get hit and stacking AC isn't a thing when you don't wear armor. A minor boost to ranged attacks also doesn't matter because Mage damage comes from spells. The only good thing here is that Fighter/Mage is less reliant on HP than other classes. It's worse than Half-Elf, but not by much.
    • For some baffling reason Gnomes were seen as some all-powerful race for decades due to being able to multi-class the Illusionist class kit. The problem here is that it's Illusionist. Mage damage comes from Necromancy (read: Skull Trap and Horrid Wilting). Illusionist also loses Death Spell, which, while inconvenient, can be substituted for Death Fog. Gnomes lose these in exchange for one more spell per level per day, and a saving throw penalty to Blindness, Deafness, and Spook. The bonus they get on Save vs. Spell is nice, but Mages have so many "I am immune to this" spells that saving throws aren't as impactful on them.
  • Recommended Stats
You need at least 15 strength and 17 intelligence to even dual-class in the first place, so make sure you have at least that. Maxing dexterity and constitution is obviously important, with intelligence closely behind. I wouldn't worry about maxing strength too much though clearly it's preferred if at all possible, simply because you can bolster your strength to workable fighter levels with the level 2 mage spell "Strength" and various higher level spells which are even more beneficial. Plus, there's a lot of gear which can supplant your strength skill entirely. Charisma and wisdom are dump stats. Attempt to keep wisdom above 11 so you can utilize Valygar's armor in vanilla BG2.
  • Proficiencies
Mutli-class Fighter/Mages are probably going to want two points in Shortbows or Crossbows, and two points in a BG1-accessible weapon like Longswords or Bastard Swords. Leveling in BG1 you'll either want to put two points into Two-Weapon Style or start investing into the BG2 weapon proficiencies like Flail/Morningstar or Katana. Dual-class characters will want to start going for grandmastery in the more long-term weapons, most likely Bastard Swords for BG1 use and then Flail/Morningstars after dual-classing.


Fighter/Druids are one of the funkier multi-classes in the game but are well worth rolling. The difference between a fighter/druid and a fighter/cleric comes down to less self-buff spells, more disables, and better summoning. Plus, it's the only way to give decent armor to a druid.

  • Strengths
  1. Druidic summon spells are superior to cleric summoning spells, giving you extra artillery as you whomp on people.
  2. Plenty of buff spells to roid out your punching powers.
  3. Slightly more offensive spellpower than a Fighter/Cleric.
  4. Iron Skins, Insect Plague, Creeping Doom.
  • Weaknesses
  1. Misses some of the most significant buff spells clerics possess, such as Sanctuary and Draw Upon Holy Might.
  2. Limited Weapon Selection (though you can still use Scimitars).
  3. Forced into a high base charisma, limiting dump stats.
  4. Companion Jaheira is a Fighter/Druid. She is available for 100% of the entire Baldur's Gate series, so the multi-class Fighter/Druid experience is already available to everyone.
  • Dual or Multi?
Dual-classing is infinitely more preferable to multi-classing but MAKE SURE YOU DO IT AT LEVEL 13 OR EARLIER because it takes a bajillion years as a druid to get from level 14 to 15. Ideally, do it at level 10 because you will exactly hit the level cap as a fighter 10/druid 30. (Max druid level is 31 and they quit gaining new spells per level at 25 anyway.) Multi-classing still works but to a lesser extent because splitting the level difference between two classes means that leap from 14 to 15 is going to be even that much more significant. Obviously neither of these come into play for just BG1 proper. Worth mentioning is the fact that a dual-class Druid->Fighter loses the restrictions on armor and can wear metal armor, but still only has the ability to wield Druid weapons. Fighter/Druid multi-class characters get the same ability to wear metal armor too.
  • Choosing which Fighter Kit
  • This is the last time you'll have to read that Berserker is the best Fighter kit. I promise. Even more advantageous is the fact Druids' only ranged weapons are Darts and Slings, two weapons with no reason to specialize in.
  • Kensai's not bad here. It can substitute armor with Barkskin and/or Iron Skins, which is at least passable. Not as good as Berserker, but you've read this before.
  • Wizard Slayer is mostly the same here as Cleric. You don't get a holy symbol, but you do get to use APR-boosting weaponry at least. It's still nowhere near a good justification to pick Wizard Slayer. The restrictions are just too harsh, in addition to all the best gear that everyone can equip you lose the Heartwood Ring, the only druid-specific ring in the game that gives them a bonus 6th and 7th level spell per day. One weird quirk of Wizard Slayer is that because Miscast Magic applies to any attacks, even with Magical Weapons, a Wizard Slayer->Druid casting Fire Seeds applies Miscast Magic to all the enemies hit by the explosion. Still not a good reason to pick it.
  • Choosing which Druid Kit
For only 300,000 XP the Druid is able to hit level 12. That's leveling faster than Thief and Bard on a class that's a full caster. That's so good it is extremely difficult to justify taking less than 12 levels of Druid. One less level of Druid would only give one more level of Fighter and that is nowhere near worth it. Assume Druid 12 when dualing. Nothing particularly synergizes with Fighter, but at the same time if you have 5th and 6th level spells you have all the best stuff Druid has to offer; 5th level Insect Plagues and Iron Skins, bonus spells of 5th and 6th level, and 6th level Wondrous Recalls to get back your Insect Plagues and Iron Skins.
  • Totemic Druid takes the spot as the number 1 Druid kit and there is absolutely no competition here. They lose shapeshifting, which is admittedly not that good given how powerful equipment is, even less useful for someone dual-classing to Fighter. In exchange they get Summon Spirit Animal which gives them the ability to summon creatures that are tankier than anything else in the game. At level 10 they have more immunities than a Berserker. They're not used for damage, but that's what you're there for.
  • Avenger is terrible. If your intent is to be a Fighter, your intent is not to pick a class kit that lowers your maximum Strength by 2 in exchange for spells you will never cast and shapeshifting forms that will be inferior to your Fighter weapons.
  • Shapeshifter is even worse than Avenger. Shapeshifter can't cast spells while in werewolf form and even the level 13 greater werewolf form doesn't have the ability to hit every enemy in the game. Sub-par on its own, made better by mods, still going to be inferior to a fully-equipped character.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
You are limited just to half-elves here, sadly.
  • Recommended Stats
To successfully roll a dual-class fighter/druid, you need at least 15 strength, 17 wisdom and 17 charisma. You're going to want maximum WIS and maximum physical scores. On a roll of 92 you can max every ability score except CHA which can sit at 17 INT which can sit at 3. Like WIS on non-divine casters you can use a cursed scroll to boost it to 6, then the BG1 book to get to 7 so you at least alleviate your Lore penalty from -20 to -10. You get all the benefit out of CHA at 20, so with the +1 book and either Algernon's Cloak or the Nymph Cloak you still hit max CHA and you only need that benefit when shopping.
  • Proficiencies
A multi-class Fighter/Druid will want to start with 2 points in Slings and 2 points in either Scimitars or Daggers. BG1 has a good number of scimitars worth using, namely Icingdeath, one of Drizzt's +3 scimitars (Twinkle can only be used by Good characters, and all Druids must be True Neutral). On the other hand the Dagger of Venom is busted and will kill just about anything in the game with poison. After that there's really no debate, Daggers become the best weapons for Druid due to (magical) throwing daggers' built-in +1 APR. Meanwhile, Clubs suck forever with only Blackblood being a +3 acid weapon, the others all suck and aren't worth mentioning, and the Club of Detonation actually requires you to get rid of a Ring of Fire Resistance to upgrade it from +3 to +5 and lower its chance of an AoE fireball. Scimitars have very few options too, with their only +4 option being Spectral Brand, which requires clearing 3 floors of Watcher's Keep and gambling with the Cambion.

Other Multi-Class Options

The other four multi-class options all offer something extremely unique just to them. Also, there are conveniently four other options not with "fighter" in the name so it works out to a nice, round parsing. Yay, parsing!


Mage/Thieves do not have quite the same durability a Fighter/Mage has, nor the combat prowess. However, it's still beefier than a straightforward wizard, gives you the ability to disarm traps, and gives you an escape mechanism should you manage a way to break line of sight and drop into stealth.

  • Strengths
  1. Allows your mage to disable traps
  2. Can forego leveling open lock for quite some time, relying on the level 2 spell "Knock" instead
  3. More durable than straight mage
  4. Can use invisibility spells on self to supplement backstab attempts
  5. Can use Detect Illusion skill in place of spells to dispel illusions
  • Weaknesses
  1. Slower leveling of spells and thieving skills
  2. Not quite as thick as a Fighter/Mage combo could be
  3. BG2, which accounts for most of the trilogy, has not one but two Human Thief->Mage dual-class characters. Your character could really only differentiate themselves with the same build by dual-classing at a different level.
  • Dual or Multi?
Dual-classing is often preferred as you never really need much more than 8 or 9 levels in thief anyway, at least for the important stuff. Even though you can go all the way to level 13 as a thief and then dual-class to mage to maximize overall potential without running into XP cap issues, it's generally not worth going to such an extreme level because it takes a really long time to get your thief skills back.
  • Choosing which Thief Kit
Depending on if you want Backstabs or not, and how long you want to be a Thief. If you're going to utilize everything Thief->Mage with a level 13 dual has to offer you can pick whichever kit you want because you have the skill points to max almost everything worthwhile. If you're going for a lower-level dual then you will most likely want a kit that gives the most skill points instead of an ability.
  • Bounty Hunter is a great candidate for dual-classing. Traps can only be set while no enemies can see you but the special traps can be thrown at a range to initiate fights like tossing a Skull Trap just out of detection range, and their special traps will slow or hold enemies, which is extremely useful since melee enemies that are held are enemies who never get a chance to fight. This is basically a Mage with extra sources of damage each day.
  • Assassin gets a little hampered by its own lack of skill points. You never get the Backstab multiplier of an Assassin, so all you get is Poison Weapon and a +1 to attack and damage rolls. That said, Assassin's Poison Weapon applies to any and all weapon attacks. That means that you can apply it to Melf's Minute Meteors.
  • Swashbuckler gives you hardly anything worthwhile. It gets more skill points, but level 13 Thieves have enough skill points with some optimization to do almost anything, and always have potions to fall back on. So Swashbuckler getting 60 more skill points doesn't really affect anything. They get -2 to Attack, +2 Damage, and -3 AC which is useless since you're a Mage and defense comes from spells, not numbers. If you want more damage, pick literally anything else. Bounty Hunter gets infinitely more damage from traps, even the Assassin kit gets more damage due to Poison Weapon applying to MMM.
  • Choosing which Mage Kit
Dual-classing from Mage to Thief is a lot like dual-classing from Mage to Fighter. Only single-classed Thieves aren't a good class on their own, and in the long run no Mage kit really contributes to Thief because Thief gets Use Any Item. As with Mage->Fighter there is some merit to dualing at Level 2, especially since you'll be getting the saving throw bonus on any items you gain access to through Mage, and UAI is 3 million XP away.
The STAR card of the Deck of Many Things is useless for Mages but for Thieves it will increase your thief skills, meaning you will gain a bonus of +5 to all Thief skills other than Hide and Move Silently (which both get +2) and Detect Illusion (which gets no DEX bonus). If you're going for the STAR card, plan for that bonus of 24 skill points.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
Just like Fighter/Mage you're limited here to Elf, Half-Elf, and Gnome.
  • Gnome is really good. Illusionists losing the best damage spells is bad, but an Illusionist/Thief is going to have the best damage spell in the game, Spike Trap. It's not as instant as a Chain Contingency'd barrage of Horrid Wiltings but since it's not a spell, it isn't affected by Magic Resistance. So in the long run Illusionist/Thief gets a bonus to Save vs. Spell and a really large bonus to Thief skills plus an extra spell per day compared to their elven counterparts.
  • If you're not willing to part with Necromancy (which is 100% acceptable), and you're okay without a saving throw bonus vs. spells, Elf gets the ability to start with 19 DEX so they have more skill bonuses from DEX so they'll basically be able to omni-skill everything without equipment bonuses a little earlier than gnomes.
  • Half-Elves yet again suffer from their lack of flavor. The other two have bonuses, Half-Elf doesn't.
  • Recommended Stats
Dexterity and Intelligence should be maxed, no exceptions. Constitution needs to be at least 16, though gnomes should max it if possible. Beyond that, nothing is terribly important. You can get away with lowering strength to 10 because it's easy to self-buff to 18/50 utilizing the Strength spell. Ideally you should aim for 18 dexterity and 11 wisdom so you can use Valygar's armor in BG2, because it's amazing. It's possible this could be your charisma monkey. There is no need to raise it beyond 14 because you can just use Friends to get the big money discount.
  • Proficiencies
Sword swords are probably best in terms of speed and damage at least through Baldur's Gate 1. BG2, Katanas should rule the day for a mage/thief. I would also recommend daggers if only for returning throwing daggers. If you don't go daggers, take up archery over using a sling, simply because there are some supremely powerful short bows in BG2.


Cleric/Mages essentially give up top-end spells in either class as a single endeavor for a huge overall pool of spells between the two. Combining so much of your spellcasting into a single character has a lot of significant advantages in it's easier to set up neat combos (protection from fire as a level 4 divine spell and then making your entire 3rd level mage spell list fireballs, for example) but the slower growth and inability to reach the highest ranks of spells by the end of BG1 hurt slightly. Still, it is probably the "best" solo class.

  • Strengths
  1. Huge amount of castable spells per-day between both classes
  2. Decent selection of equipment, and ability to use any and all scrolls and wands
  3. Basically every buff in the game.
  4. Dual-classed Specialist Mage->Clerics get their Saving Throw Penalty on spells of their chosen school cast by both classes
  • Weaknesses
  1. Unable to equip armors without losing arcane spellcasting
  2. Lowish HP
  3. Takes a while to really get rolling
  • Dual or Multi?
Unlike just about every other multi-classing option, this one really is best left as multi-class. If you do decide to dual-class, the reasons would be to have up to however many spells in a given class without sacrificing the other class. Should you do this, cleric is probably the better bet to begin with, and you'd want to dual-class at level 11. This gives you a second casting of your innate roid spell for whichever cleric kit you took, and you'll only miss out on level 7 divine spells, while only losing two possible levels of mage at the XP cap. Should you want all 7 levels of divine spells, you'd have to go all the way to level 14 first and if you're going that far into cleric you may as well simply multi-class.
  • Choosing a Mage Kit
The primary function of a Specialist Mage->Cleric dual-class is the application of the Saving Throw Penalty on spells of the chosen school cast by Cleric. The good thing is that Specialist Mage only sends positive vibes - Cleric never loses any spells of the Specialist Mage's opposing school. That can be handy since a Diviner loses Conjuration spells like Symbol, Stun but can still regain those via Cleric.
  • Choosing a Cleric Kit
The question isn't "Should I dual?" but rather "What level should I dual?" and the answer is pretty easy: 11. Mage is still the most powerful class in the game, and your goal is to get to level 29 to get that last 8th-level spell slot. That leaves enough XP to get 11 levels of Cleric, which is enough to get 6th level spells (and thus all your WIS-boosted spell slots). It's 675k XP, and for a Mage using scroll-scribing they need 900k XP to get Cleric online again. That's a little bit of work, even with scroll-scribe XP, but it's extremely doable. Level 11 is a great level to dual at because most kits get 3 uses of their lesser ability and 2 uses of their greater one, plus an acceptable duration for caster-level-based durations.
  • My money is on Priest of Talos. Storm Shield frees up a significant amount of spells slots you'd normally devote to anti-damage buffs, plus it gives you a few free castings of Lightning which is always nice. Priest of Talos can use Storm Shield to set its Fire/Cold/Electricity resistances to 100, then use Armor of Faith to increase them further so elemental spells get absorbed and heal you. This also means your own Lighting Bolts will heal you as the bounce around the room, and you don't need to use spells to make yourself immune to elements.
  • Priest of Helm is a solid choice purely because of True Sight. True Seeing as a 5th level Cleric spell competes with Chaotic Commands, 6th level True Sight for Mage competes with Mislead, Pierce Magic, and Protection from Magical Weapons. Priest of Helm says "Hey guys, there's no need to fight. Let me carry that for you" and gives you three True Sights letting your spellbooks breathe a sigh of relief. Seeking Sword is a great ability that basically clears BG1 for you with little need to do things like think, just toss a weapon in the off-hand and enjoy 4 APR in BG1 with no dual-wielding penalties on a character with Draw Upon Holy Might.
  • If you would rather roid your character out with buff spells, Priest of Lathander is not a bad choice as Boon of Lathander syncs well with Tenser's Transformation and other high-level mage buffs. Also it only affects you, so you can't use this in place of Negative Plane Protection for other party members, but at least you can free up the Amulet of Power or Mace of Disruption for another companion. Hold Undead exists, and if it works, it works. It's not a spell you'd ever prepare, but since you have it for free you're gonna use it.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
We have a whopping two choices for Cleric/Mage: Half-Elf and Gnome. Between Quayle and Aerie you can only really make a Cleric/Mage who's slightly better than they are. Gnomes get better saving throws and an extra arcane spell slot but lose arcane Necromancy spells. Half-elf doesn't lose anything, even if it gains almost nothing by comparison. Your choice of race depends on whether you want more arcane casting (and saves) or more divine casting.
  • Recommended Stats
Max dexterity and at least 16 constitution are musts (try for 18 constitution if you're a gnome). Max intellect is also a requirement. Try to keep at least 12 strength for carry capacity purposes and for the ability to wield hammers and maces, and dump the rest of your stats into Wisdom (aim for at least 15). Charisma will likely be decimated.
  • Proficiencies
Having cleric is nice as it opens up the possibilities for equipment a little bit. Warhammers are nice as a melee weapon and slings are the obvious choice for ranged. Ranks in cleric allow you to equip a shield which helps significantly with your lousy armor class otherwise. It's worth noting you can swap on some heavier armor should you deplete your arcane spells, and you'll be able to equip elven chain or Valygar's armor should you meet the stat requirements.


Cleric/Thief is probably the oddest possible combination of classes. The only weapons you can still backstab with are clubs and quarterstaves (the latter being your weapon of choice, by the way) but you only really give up using heavy armors. Plus, cleric and thief both level up faster than any other class out there meaning the split to XP doesn't really bother overmuch.

  • Strengths
  1. Divine Spellcasting on a thief provides strange opportunities (Sanctuary doesn't break upon opening chests, allowing you to steal without fear of having the cops come attack you)
  2. Can actively find traps without needing to concentrate on it because of Find Traps spell
  3. Combines two essential survival classes into one
  4. Backstabs with Draw Upon Holy Might, plus THAC0 bonuses from other like Bless and Chant to help overcome THAC0 deficiencies.
  • Weaknesses
  1. Extremely limited weapon selection to make use of all facets of both classes
  2. Cannot wear heavier than elven chain if you plan to make use of thief abilities in battle
  3. Very little synergy between the two classes beyond buffing backstabs, possibly using Draw Upon Holy Might to increase DEX to raise thief skills in a pinch.
  • Dual or Multi?
Thieves really do not benefit a whole lot from going beyond level 10, so dual-classing is a good option for people heading into Baldur's Gate 2. Multi-classing is limited to Gnomes and Half-Orcs, the former having a penalty to Wisdom and the latter only being selectable in BG2.
Lower-level duals are more than acceptable but given how little these two synergize and how much they can gain by leveling to these levels before dualing to become a much much more potent version of their base classes (both of which lack the raw shock-and-awe powers of Fighter or Mage and the Win The Battle power of Insect Plague) it's worth it to work through the dual-class hurdle.
  • Choosing which Thief Kit
Most of this information is similar to previous dual-class builds, but because there's so little synergy between Cleric and Thief they more function like two separate people jammed into the same body. Since Cleric doesn't get invisibility spells aside from Sanctuary you may want to invest points into stealth skills in addition to your lockpicking and trapfinding. Set Traps is a great pick for any kit since Cleric's damage spells are a bit lacking or nonexistent.
  • Bounty Hunter actually contributes a lot for once, it wins out on the dual-class front. Cleric can't backstab that well since its best backstab weapons are staves and you don't get good backstab staves for a while in BG1, and in BG2 a lot of creatures can just see invisible creatures, not to mention bosses being immune to backstab. Bounty Hunter traps, however, give some damage to Cleric that it doesn't otherwise have. Cleric lacks blaster-casting and has to rely more on summons like Aerial Servant or status effects like Symbol, Stun. Bounty Hunter will give your cleric regular traps for damage and special traps for damage and slow/hold, and it's not like a Cleric isn't going to want to set traps outside combat when they're already going to be buffing the party outside combat.
  • Assassin doesn't add much here. Poison Weapon unfortunately doesn't make a lot of friends in this dual-class. The only spells Cleric has that can synergize with it are Sol's Searing Orb, Harm, and the HLA spell Energy Blades. It takes forever, but it's actually a pretty useful ability after you finally finish your dual-classing.
  • Even if you dualed as late as 14 on a Swashbuckler you still would only get a pathetic -3 AC, -2 THAC0, +2 damage, and you'd only have the ability to put two proficiency points into Clubs and Quarterstaves which you wouldn't even be able to backstab with. Putting two points into Two-Weapon Style would be a boon if it weren't for the fact you aren't frontlining, even after dual-classing to Cleric.
  • Choosing which Cleric Kit
Even though they function mostly separate from Thief, the kits are still straight upgrades to Clerics.
  • As stated before, Priest of Talos gets access to elemental immunities combined with Armor of Faith and Lightning Bolts for the ability to stay fully healed in tight corridors while enemies die from bolt bounces. The good thing is, since Priest of Talos can be Evil it can wear the upgraded Human Flesh, which is the best Thief armor in the entire game. Enjoy having the save bonus of an 18 CON Dwarf on a human.
  • Yet again it must be said Priest of Helm is the Chad class, it gives you the Seeking Sword for speedrunning BG1 and True Sight so you can use your 5th level spells for Chaotic Commands or even Righteous Magic since you can synergize Righteous Magic with a backstab to ensure you multiply the maximum damage dice roll. Priest of Helm can be Evil in the Enhanced Editions, so it can also wear the Human Flesh for insanely good saving throws.
  • Priest of Lathander sees slightly more use with a Thief than a Mage, but one point of damage from Boon of Lathander is effectively Assassin's bonus. You still have Hold Undead and the level drain immunity of Boon of Lathander, so you're still pretty good at surviving the Shadows of Amn vampires.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
You are limited to just gnomes and half-orcs. Half-orcs are the logical choice for a character more focused on bruising. Gnomes are still worth picking, if only for their bonus saving throws alone. Keep in mind you can't get 18 wisdom with them but considering there are 3 tomes of wisdom in Baldur's Gate 1, it's hardly the worst punishment in the world. Saving Throws are nice but you'll have access to spells like Remove Fear and Chaotic Commands to get rid of or prevent a lot of status effects.
  • Recommended Stats
Max dexterity, constitution, and wisdom. Gnomes should max CON for bonus saving throws while Half-Orcs should max it for access to innate regeneration through 20 CON. Strength should be no lower than 15. Keep INT above 10 if possible, and dump Charisma into the mud.
  • Proficiencies
For Cleric/Thieves you'll definitely want to start with Slings and Quarterstaves. You need those backstabs to hit and early on you do not need a +3 nonproficiency THAC0 penalty. After that put a point into Two-Handed Weapon style for maximum backstab potential. Then do Warhammers or Maces then Flails. For Cleric->Thieves since you're just a Cleric to start you play like a Cleric, Slings and Warhammers/Maces, then Flails, then pick Clubs and Quarterstaves. When you dual-class to Thief, pick Shortbows/Crossbows and a backstab weapon like Katanas, filling out proficiencies for non-Cleric weapons until you get Cleric online to get your other proficiencies back. For Thief->Clerics, start with Quarterstaves and Slings, then 2-handed style, then clubs and finally Single-Weapon Style. When you dual to Cleric pick Flails and Maces, then Warhammers, then Two-Weapon Style and finally Sword and Shield Style. When you finish up your dual-classes in these manners you'll have all your proficiencies filled out for Thief->Cleric, and Cleric->Thief will be close to being able to use any weapon without penalty.


The Cleric/Ranger is essentially a half-elven Fighter/Cleric. (Or, I suppose, another alternative for a human to dual-class.) While ranger progresses slower than fighter in terms of leveling up and dual-classed grand masteries for weapons, this has a significant advantage over fighter/clerics when it comes to raw spellcasting because it magically unlocks all druid spells for the cleric to use, even at spell levels beyond 3. If you want a slightly more spell-oriented Fighter/Cleric, think about trying this combo instead.

  • Strengths
  1. Access to every divine spell
  2. Maintains the bulkiness of a warrior-class
  3. Extra divine spells for levels 1-3 due to stacking of classes
  • Weaknesses
  1. Can't drop below 8 reputation without gimping yourself forever
  2. Can't go beyond two ranks in any given weapon when dual-classed, unlike fighter/cleric dual-classes who can still obtain grand mastery
  3. Limited weapon selection
  4. Dual-classing from a kit hinders your ability to tank
  5. Rangers level up slower than Fighters
  • Dual or Multi?
Rangers are like Fighters, you get everything out of them by level 13 (with one exception). Meanwhile, more Cleric levels = more spells, which includes Druid spells. The thing to remember is that Ranger 13 takes 1.5 million XP, and that's 250k more than Fighter. Cleric 14 will take 1.35 million XP to get Ranger back online, and since Cleric doesn't have any APR-boosting weapons and Ranger doesn't get Grandmastery, you're seriously pressed for APR boosts. You need that level 13 boost.
  • Choosing which Ranger Kit
The best part about the two Ranger kits is that each one changes the way you play.
  • Stalker adds backstabs to the mix. You lose the ability to wear heavy armor, and in exchange you get +20 to Hide and Move Silently, the ability to Backstab, and you add the spells Haste, Protection from Normal Missiles, and Minor Spell Deflection to your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells. This persists after dual-classing. At level 17 backstabbing hits x4 which is the max. That takes an astounding 2.7 million XP. That lowers your maximum Cleric level to 31, but oddly enough the only thing you lose out on Cleric-wise is two 7th-level spell slots. Even though Cleric levels faster than Ranger, that's still 2.25 million XP to get your Ranger levels back. By that point you may as well go for Ranger 18 at 3 million so you get a daily use of the Hardiness HLA since you're going to lose Ranger effectively forever. I don't recommend this at all. Backstab x4 just isn't available for Stalker->Clerics, don't even try it. Stick to dual-classing at level 13 unless you're sadistic.
  • Archer is actually a lot better than people give credit for. In addition to getting -1 THAC0 and +1 damage every 3 levels (which applies to any ranged weapon, not just bows) their Called Shot gets insanely good as they level up. It's still capable of killing enemies outright via strength drain and can soften up a target for a follow-up spell if they haven't died already. but you can only do this with darts and slings.
  • Beast Master is absolutely terrible. Lowering Animal Summoning from being level 4, 5, and 6 spells down to 1, 2, and 3 is absolutely useless. These spells would barely function in Baldur's Gate 1. They summon crap. Animal Summoning I summons War Dogs and Dire Wolves. Level II summons Black Bears, Brown Bears, and Cave Bears. Level III summons Cave Bears, Mountain Bears, Lions, and Winter Wolves. You can legitimately spam these summons to clear out BG1. But that's it. You can do with spells what everyone with access to the Wand of Monster Summoning can do. And you dedicated your entire character to it. And these animals will be completely useless the second you set foot into Baldur's Gate 2. They might even be useless in Siege of Dragonspear that's how bad they are. The only decent thing a Beast Master has is Find Familiar, which they can at least cast once in BG1 and once in BG2 for a +30 to their total HP.
    • In exchange you have completely neutered your character. You cannot use any weapons other than Clubs, Quarterstaves, and Slings. You have the second worst ranged weapon, the worst two-handed weapon until you get the Staff of the Ram at the very end of the trilogy, and the worst one-handed weapon. You cannot even wear dragonscale armors, you are absolutely locked to only leather, studded leather, and hide armor and any variants of it. So White Dragon Scale is available, Red Dragon isn't. Shadow Dragon Scales can be used, Blue Dragon Scales can't. You have less equipment options than a Wizard Slayer dual-classed to Cleric. Just ponder that for a moment.
  • Choosing which Cleric Kit
Never, ever do this. There is literally no reason whatsoever to go from Cleric to Ranger. There is zero reason to. Ranger cannot get Grandmastery. Rangers level slower. Ranger Favored Enemy just doesn't make up the THAC0 and damage bonuses from Grandmastery which apply to everything. Charm Animal is situational in BG1 and useless in BG2. The one benefit of Cleric/Ranger and Ranger->Cleric is getting Druid spells on a Cleric. When you dual-class from Cleric to Ranger, you never get Druid spells and you give up Wisdom-based bonus spell slots.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
The only race who can pick this combo up is half-elf.
  • Recommended Stats
Anything you'd do on a fighter/cleric, you'd want to do on this character. Max strength, dexterity and constitution and aim for high wisdom. If you want to dual-class, it's worth noting the prerequisite stat for rangers is constitution, meaning you would need at least 15 STR, 15 CON and 17 WIS to make the switch.
  • Proficiencies
Your proficiencies will differ based on your build.
  • Multiclass Cleric/Rangers will want 2 points in Slings and 2 in Warhammers or Maces. Then put two points into Flails, Clubs, and Quarterstaves. May as well go for the APR boosts of two points since you start with 2 in Two-Weapon Style.
  • Dual-classed Stalker->Clerics will actually want two points in Quarterstaves and Slings so they have a backstab weapon. After that they'll want 2 in Maces or Flails. After dual-classing they'll want to put individual points into Two-Handed Weapon Style and other weapons like Warhammers, Clubs, and Single-Weapon Style, then finally Sword and Shield Style so as not to lose proficiency points. Once Stalker is active again they can cap all their weapon proficiencies at the 2nd point before grabbing the last points of the various weapon styles.
  • Dual-classed Archer->Clerics are a little simpler. 2 points in Slings, then grab melee Cleric weapons in the order of Mace->Warhammer->Flail, then whatever. Due to their lack of specialization Archer->Clerics will cap their proficiencies very early on.
  • Do I even need to address Beast Master->Cleric?

Triple Class Options

Obviously you cannot triple class a "dual" class so this refers to the options presented for multi-classing. Triple-classed characters level up extremely slow compared to any other character, but make up for it in versatility. Fighter/Mage/Thief is great; Fighter/Mage/Cleric is significantly less so.


F/M/T is THE quintessential 'Solo Run' class. Because of how many interesting builds there are I highly recommend trying a solo run as F/M/T. If you play with a party you'll just feel underwhelmed.

  • Strengths
  1. Can do literally everything but heal themselves
  • Weaknesses
  1. Splitting experience three ways means that your level caps are lower and you get less overall out of each class. It will take a long time for F/M/T to get good at anything.
  2. In Baldur's Gate 1 you will get 3rd level spells at best, while Mages will have 5th level spells. In Baldur's Gate 2 their max Mage level is 17, one level shy of being able to cast 9th-level spells (You can still cast these from scrolls, though without Simulacrum cheese these are limited).
  3. This means that they will only ever get the bonus 6th, 7th, and 8th spell slot HLAs. And since Fighter HLAs are so underwhelming compared to Thief, they're mostly going to be grabbing Thief HLAs.
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
You can only choose elf or half-elf. And as usual, Elf is objectively better. Even though you're a Warrior, as a triple-classed character you just don't have frontlining capabilities, so the CON loss is acceptable. More importantly, you are splitting XP three ways. You don't need the bonuses to skills from 19 DEX to get more Thief skills, you need it to keep your Thief skills above water.
  • Recommended Stats
19 Dex, 17 CON, 18 INT. Favored stat after that is strength, which you want at least 15. Wisdom and Charisma are not needed.
  • Proficiencies
Treat this as a multi-class Fighter/Thief, two points in Shortbows, two in a backstabbing weapon, most likely Longswords. Since you can frontline in BG2 feel free to invest 2 points in Katanas some time after character creation so you can both backstab and frontline with Celestial Fury. Once you have that, you will definitely want two points in Flails if playing solo just because Flail of Ages and Defender of Easthaven are the best main-hand and off-hand weapons in the game. You really only need one backstab weapon, so you'll want points in other ones like Bastard Swords for Foebane.


Fighter/Mage/Clerics are not as versatile as Fighter/Mage/Thieves despite having divine spellcasting. There's no pressing reason to throw Fighter into the mix of the already-viable Cleric/Mage. Clerics have ways of boosting strength and THAC0 to fighter levels through spells, so splitting the experience with a third class may not be worth it. Only half-elves can take this triple class.

  • Strengths
  1. CON bonuses to HP and a slightly better Hit Die, combined with access to Find Familiar.
  • Weaknesses
  1. No significant advantages over picking just a cleric/mage, all while dealing with splitting XP three ways
  2. 5 important stats leaves little room for dump stats and bad rolls
  3. No massive increases in versatility, unlike Fighter/Mage/Thief
  • Choosing a Multi-Class Race
Only half-elves can choose this triple multi-class.
  • Recommended Stats
Max intelligence is a must, as is 16 CON. Because you require so many different stats to be viable, it may be worth dumping DEX down to 7 and relying on the Gauntlets of Dexterity to bolster it. This allows you not to skimp on STR or WIS. There is no way your charisma will be above 3 on this character.
  • Proficiencies
Despite being a Fighter, you will only ever get ten proficiency points for this class. That's it. Like any Fighter/Cleric, you want to start with two in Slings and two in Warhammers or Maces. Put two points into Flails after that, because you will want Flails in BG2 and you don't gain enough points fast enough to really work towards weapons after the fact. Then put two points into Two-Weapon Style to help your anemic THAC0. You basically function like a Fighter/Cleric with less proficiency points. You won't miss Clubs, Quarterstaves, or the inferior weapon styles.

Back to Baldur's Gate.

Back to Baldur's Gate: Classes and Kits.