Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition Classes

From PlayItHardcore

General Information

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition added several new kits to toy with, all of which are pretty good to borderline overpowered for a Hardcore run. They are listed here, separate from the other kits, so that players do not mistakenly believe that these are available in the original BG2.

Progression Charts can be found here.


Dwarven Defender (Fighter)


  • May use Defensive Stance once per day, gaining an additional use every 4 levels.
    • DEFENSIVE STANCE: For one turn, the Defender gains +50% resistance to all forms of physical damage, +2 saving throws, and suffers 50% movement rate penalty. (Does not stack with the Hardiness HLA)
  • Gains 5% resistance to crushing, slashing, piercing and missile damage every 5 levels to a maximum of 20% at level 20.
  • Rolls d12 for Hit Points.


  • Race restricted to dwarf.
  • Limited to High Mastery (4 slots) in axes and warhammers
  • Can only Specialize (2 slots) in all other weapon types.


Ever want the HP of a Barbarian and the heavy armor/weapon proficiency of a Fighter? Now you can. For solo-class fighters wanting to be unkillable monstrosities without the aid of their own self-buffing magic through multi-classing, there's officially a new king in town. Only available to Dwarves, the Dwarven Defender kit is pretty absurd. Before we even get to talking about the upsides, let's get to the downsides. You can only become good in axes and warhammers, cannot gain Grandmastery in anything, and you have to be a dwarf. This downside is nearly nonexistent. Axes are good weapons with a number of standout cases, and Warhammers have a place in BG1, but when it comes to proficiencies

All the upsides to DD should leap out to Hardcore enthusiasts. Defensive Stance gives you a great "Oh shit" button for engagements you know you're going to have to take a hit or two from non-magical sources. It basically lets you get up close and personal with engagements where melee is a bad idea simply because even when you get hit by that Adamantium Golem/Dragon/Whatever, it doesn't inflict a whole lot of damage. The +2 saving throws it gives you, on top of the shorty constitution bonus of being a dwarf, is pretty great against wizard fights too. The movement rate penalty is kind of a drag, but the point of the kit is for you to make a guy who can run in, draw the aggro, then just sit still as enemies break against his shield. Great kit. Highly recommended.

Blackguard (Paladin)


  • Immune to level drain and fear.
  • Changes Turn Undead to Rebuke Undead as Paladin of equivalent level.
  • May use Absorb Health ability once per day
    • ABSORB HEALTH: Deal 2 HP magical damage per level to an enemy, healing for the damage done. Range=sight.
  • May use Poison Weapon ability once per day, gaining additional uses every 5 levels.
    • POISON WEAPON: Each successful hit within the next 5 rounds will inject poison into the target. Each target can only be affected once per round. The amount of poison damage depends on the character's level:
      • 1st Level: 1 poison damage/second for 6 seconds (save vs. death at +1 negates).
      • 5th Level: 2 poison damage per hit (no save), plus 1 poison damage/second for 12 seconds (save vs. death negates).
      • 9th Level: 4 poison damage per hit (no save), plus 1 poison damage/second for 12 seconds (save vs. death at -1 negates).
      • 13th Level: 6 poison damage per hit (no save), plus 1 poison damage/second for 12 seconds (save vs. death at -2 negates).
  • May use Aura of Despair ability once per day starting at 3rd level, with effect improving based on level.
    • AURA OF DESPAIR: Targets all enemies within 30 ft. with effects that improve based on the caster’s level. There is no saving throw for any of the effects:
      • 3rd Level: -1 penalty to hit and damage rolls and a -2 penalty to Armor Class for 1 turn.
      • 6th Level: -2 penalty to hit and damage rolls and a -2 penalty to Armor Class for 1 turn.
      • 15th Level: -4 penalty to hit and damage rolls and a -4 penalty to Armor Class for 1 turn; causes fear in enemies of level 8 or below.
      • 20th Level: -4 penalty to hit and damage rolls and a -4 penalty to Armor Class for 1 turn; causes fear in enemies level 18 or below.
  • Unlike Paladin, Blackguard cannot become Fallen (with the exception of companion Dorn).


  • Alignment restricted to evil.
  • May not cast Detect Evil.
  • May not cast Protection from Evil.
  • May not use Lay on Hands.


The only issue with Blackguard is that the new NPC Dorn is already one and you'll probably want to use him if you're running with an evil party. That said, I wouldn't even blink if someone rolled their own. Basically you're a paladin who trades in a couple points in starting reputation for the ability to never have the option to lose your powers (Blackguards can totally go up to 20 reputation and keep their powers.) You also give up Lay on Hands for Absorb Health which might not be as reliable, but it's offensive AND you still get a move that restores HP while other paladin kits give up Lay on Hands period. You have immunity to fear and level drain, two amazing immunities and the best parts of the Cavalier and Undead Hunter kits (you will face fear effects throughout the entire series and lvel drain all throughout BG2).

The real kicker is Poison Weapon, which was rebalanced in v2.3 to be significantly less overpowered. It's still vicious, allowing you easy pickings against many spellcaster foes especially in BG1. Great ability, and don't hesitate to use it against harder fights and especially casters. The nastiest part about it is you can apply it with ranged weaponry, so make sure you pick up a point or two in Crossbows or Longbows. It's totally worth giving up the free Protection from Evil spells, which have a shelf-life anyways. That being said, the Enhanced Edition's Poison Weapon was extremely nerfed (this is the exact same ability as the Assassin kit) due to the existence of Assassin enemies in Siege of Dragonspear. While the listed damage says it will do 1 poison damage per second for 12 seconds, this is actually only 6 or 7 poison damage depending on the round-timer, and the on-hit poison damage only applies to an enemy once per round (so you cannot apply it 10 times with 10 APR).

Paladins are most notable for their use of Carsomyr, but as a Blackguard you have access to the slightly-less-useful Ir'revykal, which has the most important effect of Carsomyr (the on-hit level 30 Dispel). Also important to note that as an Evil class you have access to all Evil equipment like Soul Reaver, Human Flesh, and the EE-exclusive Silver Dragon Scale. While not Blackguard-exclusive they are specifically Paladin-exclusive because of their alignment lock.

And while it's not listed, another benefit to Blackguard is a lower base Charisma value. It's a lot easier to get good rolls now without having to make your guy as stupid as a brick.


Priest of Tempus


  • May cast Holy Power once per day. Gains one use at level 1 and an additional use every 5 levels thereafter.
  • May cast Chaos of Battle once per day. Gains one use at level 1 and an additional use every 10 levels thereafter.
    • CHAOS OF BATTLE: Chaos of Battle applies bonuses to all allies and penalties to all enemies within a 60-ft. radius of the caster. The spell lasts 1 turn and will randomly affect the targets' Armor Class, Hit Points, THAC0, saves, or luck. The magnitude of the effect starts at 1 (5 for Hit Points) at level 1 and will improve by 1 (5 for Hit Points) every 6 levels of the caster, up to a maximum of +5/-5 (+25/-25 HP) at level 25. This spell bypasses magic resistance and will not stack with itself.


  • Alignment restricted to any Chaotic or True Neutral.


This kit was originally released for Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition but has been ported to the Baldur's Gate EEs as of patch 2.5. With its two class abilities, the Priest of Tempus prefers to wade into the fray and personally kick some ass with Holy Power, giving it 18/00 Strength, Fighter THAC0, and some extra HP, while simultaneously buffing allies and debuffing enemies in a 60 ft. radius. It is well-suited to the horde fights of Icewind Dale and will serve equally well in Siege of Dragonspear and Throne of Bhaal, but it's worth noting that this ability's unreliability kills its potential for most of the fights across the series. Looking at the table below it's easy to see that some stuff won't matter: AC and THAC0 don't matter against mages, and most of the save penalties either won't matter (you aren't going out of your way to use a wand in Throne of Bhaal) or don't have any reliably on-hand methods to attack it.

As a Cleric kit this can also be used to dual-class, but it doesn't synergize well with Fighter or Ranger who won't use Holy Power after a time. Thief may still get benefit from this, but Mage is definitely not going to be in the fray casting Chaos of Battle just to see what saves he can possibly get a minor bonus against. Even with the EE Character Level calculation averaging both classes that still means you only advance the magnitude of Chaos of Battle by 1 singular point every 12 levels.

The probability of Chaos of Battle affecting a certain stat is as follows:

Stat Probability
AC 25%
THAC0 25%
Max HP 15%
Luck 10%
Saves 5% for each individual saving throw
(Death, Wand, Poly, Breath, or Spell)

Priest of Tyr


  • May cast Acclamation once per day every 5 levels (starts with 1 use at 1st level).
    • ACCLAMATION: By touch, the caster removes the effects of fear, sleep, feeblemind, intoxication, berserk, and confusion. In addition, the recipient is protected against spells and abilities that cause these effects for 1 turn.
  • May cast Divine Favor once per day every 10 levels (starts with 1 use at 1st level).
    • DIVINE FAVOR: This spell grants the caster +1 to hit and damage rolls every 3 levels of the caster. The spell lasts for 2 rounds.


  • Alignment restricted to Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral.


This kit was made officially available with the release of patch 2.2 and Siege of Dragonspear, though mods exist to make it selectable in older versions of BG2EE since it was still in the game's files. The Priest of Tyr is comparable to the Priest of Lathander, as they both have special abilities which grant them a bonus to attack and damage. The Tyrran's Divine Favor doesn't last as long as the Dawnbringer's Boon of Lathander, but it can get up to +6 attack and damage. Divine Favor can stack with itself but given its short duration its hardly worth attempting, while Boon of Lathander can last much longer and stacks with itself for additional attacks leading to superior damage output. What sets the Priest of Tyr apart is its Acclamation ability. While there are spells that protect against Confusion, there are few ways to dispel it without having to cast Dispel Magic on the affected party member, tearing down any buffs they have on them in the process. Acclamation cures it and immunizes a party member against many mind-affecting effects for 1 turn. Overall, the Priest of Tyr is slightly more support-oriented than the Priest of Lathander and is a good alternative to it.

As far as Cleric kits go, this is an extremely good kit for dual-classing. Divine Favor is just a flat damage buff that synergizes with Fighters and Thief Backstabs, and Acclamation actually allows for an unorthodox playstyle that can actually use the +3 cursed berserking weapons with impunity. Additionally, remember that in the Enhanced Editions Character Level is calculated off the average of both of your classes, so even though it takes 6 levels you will still be advancing the THAC0 and damage bonus of Divine Favor.


Shadowdancer (Thief)


  • +10 to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently
  • HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT: A Shadowdancer can hide in shadows even while in enemies' sight range.
  • Gets access to an ability called Shadowstep. Gets one use per day at level 1, and every 5 levels thereafter.
    • SHADOWSTEP: The character steps into the Shadow Plane and may move for 7 seconds while others are frozen in time. The caster cannot attack or cast spells while in the Shadow Plane.
  • SLIPPERY MIND: +1 bonus to all saving throws.
  • Unique high level abilities (see below)


  • Cannot be a lawful alignment.
  • Only gets 20 skill points per level and 30 at level 1.
  • Cannot use traps (including HLA traps).
  • -1 to Backstab multiplier and caps at x4.

Backstab multiplier

  • Levels 1-4 = x1 (no backstab)
  • Levels 5-8 = x2
  • Levels 9-12 = x3
  • Levels 13+ = x4

High Level Abilities:

Shadow form.png SHADOW FORM: For the next 5 rounds, all physical attacks directed against the Shadowdancer deal only 50% of their normal damage. During this time the Shadowdancer is also under the effects of Improved Invisibility and cannot be directly targeted by spells.

Opinion: This is actually pretty good since it basically turns your thief into a tank and is great against spellcasters. Its probably the best of the Shadowdancer-exclusive HLA's.

Shadow maze.png SHADOW MAZE: All enemies within 10 feet of the Shadowdancer must make a saving throw vs. spells at a -4 penalty or become trapped inside a shadowy labyrinth, as per the Maze spell.

Opinion: Unfortunately by the time you get this enemies are likely to have really low saving throws. The -4 helps a lot but for a hardcore run you are taking a big gamble by relying on a save or nothing spell. I'd pass on it for hardcore runs. Even in a regular run the best you can hope for is to have to wait for enemies to appear again, and without another thief or bard in your party to set down traps I don't see what makes this ability so useful.

Shadow twin.png SHADOW TWIN: This ability creates an almost exact duplicate of the Shadowdancer for 2 turns. The duplicate is created at 60% of the level at which the Shadowdancer is currently on. It has all the abilities that the Shadowdancer would have at that level. It also has 60% of the hit points of the Shadowdancer. The duplicate is fully under the control of the Shadowdancer.

Opinion: An excellent ability. You can use this and Vhailor's Helm at the same time, giving you potentially 3 different characters that can use HLAs like Shadow Form to tank enemies. Otherwise its great because of Use Any Item. You can take advantage of this to use any rare scroll or item with a charge you'd like, provided its your twins using the item/scroll.


Shadowdancer is a class that on the surface looks weaker since it gets less Backstab and skill points than a Thief. That said, this kit is great for a hardcore run. Thieves are less bulky than most other classes, but Shadowdancer has the ability to get out of almost any situation. Their stealth ability being usable in-combat means that every single round for the entirety of the series they can be using stealth. Even with all the invisibility potions and spells in BG1 and BG2 this is invaluable. That's free stealth, that's an eventually guaranteed stealth in broad daylight in eyesight of an enemy, and unlike other pure Thief kits you aren't reliant on an ally casting the spell in the middle of combat when they need to be contributing more. Shadowstep is a defensive-only Time Stop available from level 1 that says "I don't want to be here right now." For 7 seconds (yes it is slightly more than 1 round) you can move wherever you want with all other creatures frozen in-place. You can stealth, initiate combat with a backstab, then 'teleport' away. If you fail a stealth check and need to get out ASAP, you have Shadowstep. If you see an AoE spell coming towards you, you can Shadow Door. No other Thief kit has an ability like this that can keep them alive. Additionally, Shadowstep has an added advantage: while it is active you can still use Detect Traps/Illusions. This will activate on your character's turn even in the localized Shadowstep "stopped time". No other class is capable of dispelling illusions as well as Shadowdancer. Even the True Sight/True Seeing spells and abilities only activate once a round and if you are not on the 'tick' of time that it activates an enemy could use the round-counter to continue killing you and/or your party. Shadowdancer is the only class in the game that can dispel illusions effectively instantaneously.

If you are going to use this kit then I highly recommend you set your character to be using the "Thief Controlled" script. You will automatically enter stealth whenever you aren't in the line of sight of an enemy. It just makes it so you won't have to micromanage quite as much, though to get the most out of the kit you will still have to micromanage quite a bit. In BG2EE once enemies start being able to see through your invisibility, which is common in Throne of Bhaal and a number of the more difficult monsters in Shadows of Amn, you'll need to change up your strategy.

Its bonuses to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently mean that it will actually be slightly better at stealth for the first few levels. It helps at least mitigate the cost of having only 20 thieving skills a level. But it comes at the cost of having no backstab damage for the first four levels. By BG2EE the penalty for getting only 20 points/level won't be as obvious, but in BGEE since you'll want to put a lot of points towards Hide in Shadows and Move Silently you are going to find it has an impact. You really are going to want to put as much as possible into your stealth skills with this kit. In the case of BGEE having as close to 150 in both Hide in Shadows and Move Silently is ideal (try to get up to 200 each in the case of BG2EE). In terms of race, you probably want to avoid being a dwarf if you are going to take this kit, just because of the lack of dexterity and penalties towards stealth. Halfling is going to be good for the stealth though you do take a hit with the strength being 17. An elf is probably your best bet here.

The loss of traps ends up being a huge penalty for the kit depending on how you want to play. For all the micromanaging Shadowdancer utilizes, it's at least something to do in combat. Traps can only be set out of combat, and can end up trivializing the entire game, especially with the Spike Trap HLA. If you're looking for the most powerful Thief, don't pick Shadowdancer, but if you're playing modded (like SCS) or just don't want to sit outside combat waiting to plop down seven traps to just automatically win then Shadowdancer is an upgrade.

One very useful item for this kit to get is the Cloak of Non-detection. It will allow your thief to be undetected by enemy spellcasters, including those who cast True Sight and True Seeing. This can allow you to force enemies to waste all their invisibility detection spells very quickly and at the same time it prevents them from detecting your thief when you want to remain hidden.

As a Thief kit this is prime for dual-classing. Fighters being able to stealth in-combat literally every round of combat in the entire series will give you infinitely more backstab opportunities than any amount of spells or potions. Clerics and Mages having a panic button to get out of any situation is invaluable to staying alive and avoiding any and all incoming area-of-effect attacks. And every class in the game appreciates that -1 bonus to all saves.

Dragon Disciple (Sorcerer)


  • Gains +25% innate fire resistance every 4 levels, up to 100% immunity at level 16.
  • Gains a -1 AC bonus at levels 1 and 5, and then every 5 levels thereafter, to a total of -5 at level 20.
  • Gains +1 Constitution at levels 5 and 15.
  • Gains access to a Breath Weapon at level 3.
    • BREATH WEAPON: The character breathes a gout of flame up to 30 ft. long, inflicting 3d8 points of fire damage to all creatures caught within the 140-degree cone (no save). The flames deal an additional 1d8 points of fire damage at level 6 and every three levels thereafter, up to a maximum of 8d8 total damage at 18th level.
  • Rolls d6 for hit dice.


  • May cast one fewer spell per level, per day.


Basically the Dragon Disciple is a beefier version of the sorcerer. It sacrifices the number of overall spells it can cast in order to gain better defense (both AC and Fire Resistance), more health, quicker access to health regeneration (20 Constitution), and a fast-casting special cone attack. The good thing about the breath attack is that it bypasses magic resistance. This makes it invaluable against difficult enemies that have high amounts of magic resistance (but aren't resistant to fire).

In both BG1EE and BG2EE you won't notice too much of a difference between a regular sorcerer and the kit. Since you can only cast one spell per round anyways, the increased health is probably going to be the biggest difference. Even with the penalty to the number of spells you can cast, you'll still start out with more castings available than a specialist mage, though over time the difference will be minimized. The disadvantage will become more apparent in BG2EE when you gain access to Level 9 spells and HLAs. But at that point you are going to have at least 5 spells castable for levels 1-7 (4 in the case of level 8 spells), plus access to all the same spell triggers and contingencies. Since (unlike, say, a specialist mage) you get access to all the same spells the actual difference between the two classes offensively will be minimal, but the sorcerer will still come out on top. In general I would go with the Dragon Disciple if you are looking for a more defensive sorcerer and go with the regular sorcerer if offense is your concern. Either way you are going to be very powerful.


Sun Soul Monk


  • 2nd level: May cast Sun Soulray once per day.
    • SUN SOULRAY: The Sun Soul Monk projects a blast of light from his open palm, dealing 1d8 damage every 2 levels to a maximum of 5d8. This ability does an additional 6 damage vs. undead.
  • 5th level: May cast Flaming Fists once per day.
    • FLAMING FISTS: The Sun Soul Monk channels their inner light into their unarmed attacks, turning their fists into flaming weapons that deal an additional 2d6 fire damage per hit for the next round. The duration increases to 2 rounds at level 9, 3 rounds at level 12, 4 rounds at level 15, and 5 rounds at level 25. This special ability automatically modifies normal attacks; no weapon-switching needs to be done.
  • 6th level: Gains an additional use of Sun Soulray.
  • 8th level: May cast Greater Sun once per day.
    • GREATER SUN: The Sun Soul Monk wreathes themselves in flames that act as a Fireshield (Red), granting the Monk 50% Fire Resistance and protecting them from attacks made within a 5-ft. radius. An opponent that hits the Monk with any weapons or spells within this radius suffers 1d8+2 points of fire damage.
  • 10th level: Gains an additional use of Sun Soulray.
  • 13th level: May cast Sun Soulbeam once per day.
    • SUN SOULBEAM: The Sun Soul Monk emits a dazzling burst of light that strikes at all other creatures within a 30-ft. radius. The Sun Soulbeam does not automatically hit all targets, but makes a melee attack using the Monk's current THAC0 (+3 to hit vs. undead). Struck creatures suffer 9d6 points of damage (9d6+3 if undead), unless they save vs. Spell for half. In addition, all creatures except the Monk must save vs. Spell or be blinded for 2 hours.
  • 15th level: Gains an additional use of Sun Soulray.


  • Alignment restricted to Lawful Good.
  • May not use Stunning Blow ability.
  • May not use Quivering Palm ability


Without question this is easily the worst class in the entire game. And luckily all EE players will have access to Rasaad to see how bad this is. Fire damage is the most commonly resisted element in the entire game. This kit gets, at most, 4 uses of a 5d8 fire ability. It can be used against undead for a whopping +6 to damage. That's an average of 28.5 damage, at best, against one single undead, 4 times a day. Flaming Fists is an ability better suited to another game. At best, off-handing an APR weapon a Monk can get 4 attacks for 5 rounds, which translates to 140 additional fire damage if every attack hits. But by the time this ability hits 4 rounds you will be fighting enemies resistant or immune to fire on a regular basis, and Monks on the frontline tend to die horribly from their lack of Warrior CON HP. Fireshield isn't a bad ability, but Sun Soulbeam is. It is not party-friendly. It can and will blind your own frontliners and you will not be using a Monk to frontline, so at a minimum this will have to hit one ally.

Dark Moon Monk


  • Perception: +2 bonus to Saving Throws vs. Illusion spells.
  • Can put points into Detect Illusions.
  • +10 bonus in Detect Illusions
  • May cast Frozen Fist once per day every four levels (starts at 1st level with one us
    • he Dark Moon Monk’s unarmed attacks deal an additional 2 cold damage per successful attack.
  • Can cast various spells once per day
    • 1st level: May cast Blindness
    • 3rd level: May cast Blur
    • 7th level: May cast Vampiric Touch
    • 11th level: May cast Mirror Image


  • Alignment restricted to Lawful Evil.
  • May not use Lay On Hands ability.
  • May not use Stunning Blow ability.


With access to Blur and Mirror Image, this is by far the most defensive form of monk. This is absolutely a better choice than the original monk. Losing Stunning Blow is unfortunate but the chances of an enemy saving against it eventually become very high. With access to Blur so early this gives it a rather large advantage over other monks. Also, the ability to put points towards Detect Illusions makes it a very helpful character to have in a group, particularly against mages and thieves. The biggest downside is that all their spells are only usable once per day. Stealth was frankly never that great for monks anyway because they can't do backstab damage, and the ability to find traps was also useless since Monks can't disarm them.


Class Features

  • Rolls d8 for Hit Points.
  • Advances in levels using the Mage/Sorcerer progression table.
  • May not dual- or multi-class.
  • Alignment restricted to Neutral Good, True Neutral, or Neutral Evil.
  • Ineligible for any stronghold (BG2EE SoA only).
  • May only wear leather, studded leather, and hide armor.
  • May not equip shields larger than bucklers.
  • May only use the following weapons:
    • Dagger, Club, Spear, Axe, Quarterstaff, Darts, Sling, and Shortbow.
  • May only become Proficient (1 slot) in any weapon and weapon style.
  • May use the Detect Illusion skill, starting with 20% at level 1, + 4% per level, up to a maximum of 100% at level 20.
  • May cast Druid spells.
    • Does not automatically learn all spells of a given level as Druids do. Instead, like Sorcerers, Shamans select new spells to learn at each level (until level 20) which they can cast daily without memorization.
    • Does not gain bonus spells per day for high Wisdom.
  • Gains immediate access to a unique Shaman spell for every spell level which can be cast like any other (see below, this is automatic upon leveling and in addition to the new known spells Shaman gets to choose).
  • Draws from the Druid's list of HLAs (except Greater Elemental Summoning) and has unique HLAs of its own.
  • May use Shamanic Dance at will (modal action, like bard song).
    • SHAMANIC DANCE: Shamans can summon spirit allies by performing a ritualistic dance. While dancing, the Shaman takes a -4 penalty to AC and cannot attack, cast spells, use special abilities, use items, or perform any other activity including movement. The spirits disappear if the Shaman stops dancing or if they leave the Shaman's visual range. The spirits cannot be directly controlled but they will attempt to stay within the Shaman's visual range.
    • Each round while the Shaman dances, there is a 35% chance, plus 2% per level, that a spirit will answer his call. The type and number of spirits that can be summoned at one time depend on the Shaman's level. The type of spirit summoned is randomly determined from all the ones he can summon. For example, a 12th level Shaman can summon a Minor Animal spirit, a Major Animal Spirit, or a Minor Nature spirit, but cannot choose which one appears.
Level Max
1 2 Minor Animal Fox, Hound, Snake
6 3 Major Animal Bear, Panther, Boar
12 4 Minor Nature Lesser Air
Lesser Earth
Lesser Fire
18 5 Major Nature Air, Earth, Fire

Comments: Shaman is a new class added by Siege of Dragonspear's release, reminiscent of the Spirit Shaman from Neverwinter Nights 2. I have played one from the beginning to the end of the BG saga and I have to say that it is a lot to take in all at once. It is quite interesting, though it loses some of its utility once BG2 comes along. Shamans can easily replace a druid but they still can't compete with a cleric's spell selection. It is a well known fact that Druids' spell selection sucks, but you will at least able to choose the spells that ARE helpful (the Cure Wounds line, Iron Skins, Insect Plague) and you are able to cast them a certain number of times per day, sorcerer style. The lack of wisdom-based bonus spell slots is a huge hit to their viability - Priests supplement their marginally less powerful spells compared to Wizards by having many more daily uses. Shamans lose out on the most valuable part of playing a Druid in order to gain sub-par summons.

The main draw to the Shaman is that it is able to summon an unlimited number of creatures that you can send forth as cannon fodder. Positioning yourself is very important since you cannot move or do anything else while dancing. Well, you CAN move and do things, but each round a script fires off to see if you're still dancing, similar to the bard song, and if you aren't dancing at that moment in time, all of your spirits will be unsummoned. Every spirit has 50% physical damage resistance and is immune to backstab, poison, disease, mind-affecting spells, Mind Flayer brain-drain, psionics, and paralysis/hold effects. Each spirit also has its own unique effect that it inflicts upon scoring a critical hit. You will find these immunities to be incredibly helpful when dealing with certain enemies, but their HP is pretty low and they have no magic resistance at all. The Air, Earth, and Fire spirits (both minor and major) also have a 50% weakness to electricity, acid, and cold, respectively, although the fire spirits are immune to fire. The spirits' THAC0 is pretty meh, but the point is to use them to overwhelm an enemy since you can just keep summoning spirits if one dies. The enchantment bonus of the spirits' attacks also count as +1 per category (that is, minor animal spirits attack with +1 weapons, major animals +2, minor nature +3, major nature +4), so you will also find that some spirits will be completely ineffective against certain enemies which need well-enchanted weapons to damage.

Totemic Druid's summons contain similar immunities, but as they only summon their best creatures. The main problems with Shamanic Dance come down to the fact that even in Throne of Bhaal you will be summoning useless garbage 50% of the time. And unlike Turn Undead, Find Traps/Detect Illusion, and Bard Song, Shaman must remain rooted in-place to summon and the second they move that automatically de-spawns all of their spirit summons. Inferior summons, inferior spells per day, some lackluster class-exclusive spells, and the inability to get any strongholds at all in BG2 really shows how tacked-on this class is, especially since the class itself just references Druid tables for HP, saves, and spells, while referencing Sorcerer's tables for spells per day and spells known. It's not terrible (it has Druid spells) but if you're looking to play with Druid spells, play Druid. Shaman will only give you the same experience but worse and with less BG2 quests.

Shaman Exclusive Spells and HLAs

Spirit ward.PNG Spirit Ward

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
1 Abjuration Touch 3 rounds/level 1 1 creature None

Description: This spell surrounds the recipient with a magical barrier at a distance of one foot. Spirits, fey creatures, elementals, and spectral undead receive a penalty of -2 to hit when attacking the protected creature. In addition, the recipient gains a +3 bonus to Saving Throws against all spells that belong to the Enchantment school. This spell cannot be cast on spirits, fey creatures, elementals, or spectral undead.

Comments: Basically a Protection from Evil, except it works against spirits instead. It also has this nifty side-effect of giving a +3 saving throw bonus vs. Enchantment spells, so it's good to throw on your melee fighters to keep them under your control against enemy mages.

Writhing fog.PNG Writhing Fog

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
2 Conjuration 30 ft. 1 turn; 1 round 2 30 ft. radius Death Partial (see below)

Description: This spell conjures a cloud of writhing fog that chills and hinders anyone within its area other than the caster. Creatures in the fog take 1d3 points of cold damage per round. In addition, there is a 20% chance that they must save vs. Death or be slowed for 1 round. Creatures immune to cold damage do not suffer any adverse effects from this spell.

Comments: Pathetic damage cloud spell since it does hardly any damage at all, even if it doesn't affect the caster. 20% chance to slow may as well be 0% chance. At best this can interrupt enemy spellcasters who aren't outright immune to it.

Spiritual clarity.PNG Spiritual Clarity

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
3 Abjuration 40 ft. Instant 9 1 creature None

Description: With this spell, the shaman strengthens a creature's spiritual resolve and purges the creature's mind of negative influences. The spell removes the effects of fear, charm, confusion and feeblemind from a single creature.

Comments: Very nice but the casting time is really long, so you'd better have a plan in case you lose control of one of your pivotal combat party members while casting this in the meantime.

Spirit fire.PNG Spirit Fire

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
4 Conjuration 40 ft. Instant; 1 turn 4 30 ft. radius Spell Partial

Description: As the Shaman casts this spell, energies gather together from the spirit world and form a pale blue sphere. The Shaman can throw the sphere so that it explodes into a burst of ghostly, azure flames, which deliver 1d4 points of magical damage per level of the Shaman (up to a maximum of 10d4). There is also a 33% chance that every enemy within the area of effect will be afflicted by the Doom spell (-2 penalty to Saving Throws and attack rolls for 1 turn). A successful Save vs. Spell halves the damage and negates the Doom effect. Spirits, fey creatures, elementals, and spectral undead take double damage.

Comments: A fireball that does less damage to most creatures but as a rarely resisted damage type. Its casting time is a smidgen too long for my taste but it's decent enough as far as offensive Druid spells go for this level. The Doom effect being only 1/3 chance makes this a terrible spell, by the time you'd land the Doom you could have just cast Doom and a better fire-damage spell.

Recall spirit.PNG Recall Spirit

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
5 Necromancy Special Instant 9 1 dead party member None

Description: The shaman calls back a deceased person's spirit if it still lingers near the body. By casting this spell, the Shaman reconnects the spirit to its body and restores the person to life with 1 Hit Point. Natural healing or curative magic can restore the rest of the target's vitality.

Comments: Since Shamans cast their spells spontaneously, having this spell available with several uses is very handy - not that you'll be needing to use it too often.

Spiritual lock.PNG Spiritual Lock

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
6 Enchantment 40 ft. 1 turn + 1 round/level 6 1 creature Spell Negates (-2)
Spell Negates (-4 for spirits,
fey, elementals, spectral undead)

Description: The target of Spiritual Lock must Save vs. Spell with a -2 penalty or have its mind temporarily sealed away within the spirit world. During this time, the victim is unable to perform any actions that require conscious thought such as attacking, using items, or casting spells. Spirits, fey creatures, elementals, and spectral undead Save vs. Spell with a -4 penalty instead of -2. Spiritual Lock is blocked by spells and abilities that protect against feeblemind effects.

Comments: Having access to a temporary version of Feeblemind is pretty neat, because if you can get it to land by using mages to reduce enemy magic resistance and saving throws, its guaranteed death.

Ether gate.PNG Ether Gate

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
7 Alteration Touch 5 rounds 3 1 creature None

Description: This spell transports one creature, chosen by the caster, to the Ethereal Plane. The creature vanishes for the spell's duration, at which point it returns to the physical world in the exact same spot where it was before. While in the Ethereal Plane, the victim cannot interact with anyone or anything that resides on the Prime Material Plane. There is no saving throw against this spell, though it is subject to magic resistance. Friendly creatures can lower their magic resistance so that the shaman can target them with this spell. In addition, Ether Gate is blocked by spells and abilities that protect against maze effects.

Comments: Its Maze, but with a set duration instead of the duration being based on the victim's Intelligence score, which can potentially last longer than the Mage's version. Pretty fast-casting but you still have to get up close and personal to make it work.

Ethereal retribution.PNG Ethereal Retribution

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
7 (HLA) Conjuration 40 ft. 3 rounds; 5 rounds (STR drain) 8 30 ft. radius Spell Partial

Description: Ghostly figures called by the Shaman swirl around the battlefield, tormenting the Shaman's adversaries. All enemies within the area of effect take 3d8 points of magic damage per round for the next 3 rounds (no save). In addition, all living enemies (undead and constructs are unaffected) must save vs. Spell or lose 2 points of Strength every round for 5 rounds. The Strength loss is cumulative, but this spell cannot reduce the Strength of a creature below 1. May only be taken once.

Comments: Underwhelming since it doesn't last long and its damage is meh (though it is magical). It is party-friendly and the strength drain is nice, but you should not expect to seriously cripple melee fighters with this.

Spirit form.PNG Spirit Form

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
Innate (HLA) N/A Self 5 rounds 1 Caster None

Description: The shaman  slips into a space between the spirit world and the material plane, rendering them partially incorporeal. For the next 5 rounds, all physical attacks directed against the shaman deal 50% of their normal damage. During this time, the shaman is also under the effects of Improved Invisibility and cannot be directly targeted by spells. May be taken multiple times.

Comments: The exact same thing as the Shadowdancer's Shadow Form HLA, so you should use it under the same circumstances.

Favored of the spirits.PNG Favored of the Spirits

Level School Range Duration Casting Time Area of Effect Saving Throw
Innate (HLA) N/A Self 1 hour 9 Caster None

Description: This powerful rite shields the Shaman from death for 1 hour or until discharged. While under the protection of this rite, the Shaman is immune to all forms of death magic. In addition, if the Shaman is reduced below 10% Hit Points and the rite is active, the Shaman instantly receives the benefit of a Heal spell. The rite's protection (including the immunity to death) is completely discharged once the Heal spell is triggered. Requires: Spirit Form. May only be taken once.

Comments: Excellent ability. Due to the way the spell works, it effectively makes you unkillable through HP loss until the Heal spell is triggered. It also provides immunity to petrification, disintegration, imprisonment, and Power Word: Kill. This is the first HLA you should be working toward as a Shaman as it allows you to face-tank in a pinch and protects your CHARNAME from a Game Over through most conventional sources while it is active.

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