* RANGER/CLERIC SOLO GUIDE *
Copyright 2005 Steven de Rooij
Version 1.02, last updated 28 may 2006.
I played Baldur's Gate: Shadows of Amn and the Throne of Bhaal
expansion with patchlevel 2.6.498 (the latest patch), and the
Baldurdash FixPack v1.21 installed. I used Core Rules difficulty. If
you do not have Throne of Bhaal installed, some but not all of the
information in this guide will still be valid, so use this guide with
care in that case!
Baldur's Gate II is copyright 2000 by Bioware/Black Isle/Interplay
BG2: Throne of Bhaal is copyright 2001 by Bioware/Black Isle/Interplay
I am not affiliated with Bioware, Black Isle, Interplay or anyone who
had anything to do with the creation of this game. This guide may be
reproduced however you like so long as you:
(1) make no changes,
(2) do not charge money or anything else for it,
and, when you decide to make it publicly available, you should also:
(3) send me email
(4) make an honest attempt to keep your version up-to-date.
Please send comments, suggestions for improvement or questions to
Steven de Rooij, email: rooij at cwi dot nl, where you should replace
the words "at" and "dot" by "@" and ".". Please use the word "faq" in
the subject of your message. Worthy input will be rewarded by
honorable mention in the credits section. Unworthy input will be
I will use the following abbreviations for some lengthy phrases that I
need to use very often.
AC = Armor Class. A lower AC makes you harder to hit.
THAC0 = To Hit AC 0. A lower THAC0 makes it easier to hit enemies.
HLA = High Level Ability, extra abilities that you obtain as you reach
very high levels.
GWW = Greater Whirlwind, an important HLA.
XP = eXperience Points
HP = HitPoints
Q: Why read this guide?
A: It provides information to help you decide whether or not a
ranger/cleric is the character you like to play, and it will make
you understand the fundamental strengths and weaknesses of such a
Q: Is this FAQ useful if you don't want to solo?
A: You'd have to read it and judge for yourself. I didn't have larger
parties in mind when I wrote it, but you might still learn
Q: Where should I find all this brilliant equipment you keep
A: Look it up in another guide.
Q: Is it even possible to solo the game? How do you handle traps,
locked doors, powerful monsters, etc.?
A: It is not much harder to solo the game than to play it with a
larger party, provided that you know a little bit about what
equipment and what monsters you will encounter in the game. In many
ways it is even easier: you gain more XP for killing monsters since
you don't have to share it with your other party members, so you
get very powerful very fast. You also get more money since you will
find a lot of equipment that you cannot use and can thus
sell. Finally you get good equipment more quickly since you don't
have to share it and you can go straight for the stuff that you
need (if you know where to find it). - Traps: you can detect them
with Find Traps, but you can only disable them by setting them
off. There are almost no traps in the game that will instantly kill
you if you (1) have a lot of hitpoints and (2) have good saving
throws. (Maze traps are deadly without proper precautions, but
there are only very few of those.) - Locked doors and chests: you
can bash most of them if you have sufficiently high STR. Carry
potions, use Draw upon Holy Might, wield Crom Faeyr, ... -
Powerful monsters: these may require some planning. See below for
easy strategies for some of the worst ones out there!
Q: Which druid spells does a ranger/cleric receive?
A: Other than in official AD&D rules, you get ALL druid spells.
In addition to cleric spells, you receive:
1st Level: Entangle
2nd Level: Charm Person or Mammal, Goodberry
3rd Level: Call Lightning, Hold Animal, Summon Insects
4th Level: Call Woodland Beings
5th Level: Insect Plague, Ironskins, Pixie Dust
6th Level: Conjure Fire Elemental, Dolorous Decay, Fire Seeds
7th Level: Conjure Earth Elemental, Creeping Doom, Nature's Beauty
Particularly the Insect Plague and Ironskins spells are extremely
Q: Can rangers dual at all?
A: In contrast to what is stated in the manual, rangers can dual to
cleric or vice versa, if they have the appropriate stats (to dual a
ranger to cleric, you need 15 STR, 15 DEX, 14 CON and 17 WIS).
It is pointless to dual a cleric into a ranger: after having
reached a high cleric level, you will never be able to achieve an
equally high ranger level since rangers level so much more
slowly. As a consequence, a cleric/ranger character will be very
much like a handicapped single class ranger, regardless of when you
decide to dual. This is no reason not to try this character of
course, but it is a little too weird to be covered in this guide.
Q: Do you ever get ranger high level abilities if you dual class
before they become available?
A: No. This is bad because it means you won't get GWW if you dual
class. As such you will be a much weaker warrior than a multi class
Q: So, should I multi class or should I dual class?
A: A multi class ranger/cleric eventually reaches ranger level 21 and
cleric level 25. This is both a strength and a weakness: ranger
THAC0 does not improve after level 21, so a level 21 ranger is
about as powerful as a level 40 ranger. And level 25 is just high
enough for the cleric to be granted her holy symbol. But a level 25
cleric has 7 level 6 spells and 3 level 7 spells rather than 8
level 6 spells and 7 level 7 spells, which is what a level 40
cleric gets. This is a serious drawback since most powerful
offensive spells are level 7, so with the Holy Symbol equipped only
four rather than eight of those can be memorized. A dual class
ranger/cleric should dual class at ranger level 12: at that level
you get an extra proficiency point, and it allows you to reach
cleric level 38, which means that (after equipping the Holy Symbol)
you can memorize all 8 level 7 spells! Compared to a single class
cleric or druid, this character is pretty powerful: you can
memorize as many spells from the combined druid and cleric pools
as possible, plus you get many more hit points and some fighting
skills to boot. Disadvantages compared to multi class: after
dualling you will have a hard time until you get your ranger
abilities back, and your warrior skills will not be really strong
by level 12.
In conclusion, the multi class option is much easier for a solo
character. The dual class option will result in a somewhat more
powerful caster, but a much weaker warrior. If you want to dual
class, also consider playing with a berserker/cleric (unless you
feel that that would be too much of a strain on the imagination
from a role playing point of view!)
Q: I'm a powergamer. How does a ranger/cleric compare to a
A: Advantages for a ranger/cleric:
- You get all druid spells (including the extremely useful Iron
Skins and the really nice Insect Plague)
- You get two free proficiency points in two weapon style
- You get a racial enemy
- You get stealth (but you will usually want to use heavy armor)
- You can obtain some ranger abilities such as Tracking and Charm
Animal (both not really important)
Advantages for a fighter/cleric:
- Fighters level up faster than rangers so you will be able to get
more levels and/or get the same levels somewhat sooner.
- A dual class fighter/cleric can choose the berserker kit.
- A dual class fighter/cleric can achieve weapon grandmastery and
thus get 1/2 extra attack per round and somewhat better THAC0.
Conclusion: a multi class ranger/cleric is decidedly more powerful
than a multi class fighter/cleric. If you want to dual class the
berserker/cleric is probably somewhat better.
Q: How many proficiency points can a ranger/cleric assign to two
A: As a ranger, you get two free proficiency points in two weapon
style. If you go multi class, then initially you cannot assign more
points: you have to gain some more levels first. But at some point
you will obtain new proficiency points one of which you will be
allowed to put into two weapon style.
If you dual class, you can put a third point in two weapon style
from the start.
Q: How many high level abilities will I get and from which pool?
A: A multi class ranger/cleric eventually reaches ranger level 21 and
cleric level 25. A multi class character does not receive fewer
high level abilities: while the usual rule is that you receive high
level abilities from 3,000,000 XP onward, strangely this is not the
case for the multi class ranger/cleric. You get the first high
level ability, strangely from the ranger pool, as soon as you reach
cleric level 13 (at 2,250,000 total XP - way too early). The next
time you level up as a cleric, you can choose from both pools. When
leveling up as a ranger, you only start getting abilities from
level 15 onwards (which is at an almost double XP level). Weird
isn't it? It is as though the game, when deciding whether or not to
grant you an HLA, mixes up the level/XP tables for ranger and
cleric (which are listed at the end of the guide). Anyway, in total
you get 25-13+1 = 13 abilities leveling up as a cleric, and 21-15+1
= 7 abilities leveling up as a ranger, summing to 20 high level
abilities, instead of the 21 a pure cleric receives or the measly
15 you get with a pure ranger. This means you can, and should, get
tons of GWWs! A dual class ranger/cleric with ranger level 12
eventually reaches cleric level 34. She starts getting high level
abilities from cleric level 21 onwards, thus she eventually obtains
16 high level abilities. However she doesn't need many for she can
only pick from the cleric pool.
Race: Human / Half elf
Alignment: Any good alignment
STR: 13-15 (15 to dual. Boost with items later)
DEX: 18 (15 to dual. For lower AC and better ranged skills)
CON: 18 (14 to dual, 18 is good for extra HP)
WIS: 18 (17 to dual)
Multi class: put two points in Maces, two in Flails/Morningstars,
one in Slings and one in Warhammers. Add an extra point to two
weapon style as soon as it is allowed. The other points you get
are best put in Clubs, Warhammers, Clubs, Slings in that order.
Dual class: add one point to two weapon style, put one point in
flails, and max maces and war hammers and clubs as you get the
opportunity to do so. After dualling to cleric, again put one
point in flails so that you can continue to efficiently use the
Flail of Ages, and one point in slings.
Demonic/fell (many of the tougher monsters in the late game are demons)
High level abilities:
The following high level abilities are available to ranger/clerics:
Ranger pool Cleric pool
Critical Strike Aura of Flaming Death
Deathblow Elemental Summoning
Greater Deathblow Energy Blades
Greater Whirlwind Globe of Blades
Power Attack Mass Raise Dead
Resist Magic Storm of Vengeance
Smite Summon Fallen Deva
Tracking Summon Deva
On the cleric side, you might want to learn Summon (Fallen) Deva,
Implosion, Storm of Vengeance, Energy Blades and possibly Globe of
Blades and Elemental Summoning.
On the ranger side, you will mostly want lots and lots of Greater
Whirlwinds. Hardiness is also somewhat useful.
See the FAQ section for more information about when you will start
receiving HLAs and from which pool.
Since you will be selling lots of equipment that your character cannot
use, you will soon accumulate lots of money. So, don't worry about
shop prices (use the Ring of Human Influence only while you are still
doing your initial shopping in Athkatla). In your first few levels,
when money is still important, use the following strategy to maximize
your profits: (1) always wear the Ring of Human Influence when buying
or selling (2) sell all items of the same type in one go: if you split
up the items then the shopkeeper will offer you less for the second
batch. The best way to do this requires a bag of holding, which you
will not acquire until after money stops being a concern. If you
always keep everything that is worth selling in a Bag of Holding
throughout the game you may end up a millionaire (but there is really
no reason to bother).
You will need a high strength throughout the game if you ever want to
melee. However, you cannot afford to put too many attribute points in
STR: you need those to max out WIS, DEX and CON. It is impossible to
raise WIS and CON high enough with items alone. You can raise your
DEX with the Gauntlets of Dexterity, but then you cannot use other
gauntlets such as the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialisation, so
that is not a good option. So either you max STR and have a low CON or
DEX, or you get a decent CON and DEX and raise STR through an item. In
my opinion, the latter option is the better. There are three ways to
- Using a Girdle of Giant Strength (buy one at the Adventurer's Mart)
- Using the Gauntlets of Ogre Strength (in the planar sphere)
- Using a weapon such as Mauler's Arm or Crom Faeyr.
Each method works, but you will probably want to use the Gauntlets of
Ogre Strength as an ingredient for Crom Faeyr eventually. There are
also very nice belts that you cannot use if you need a strength belt,
so perhaps it is best to just use Crom Faeyr in the off hand.
In your main hand, always use the weapon that deals the most damage or
has the best effects upon a hit. You probably not only have better
THAC0 in your main hand but you also get many more attacks per
round. (Of your attacks per round, exactly one is always executed
with your off hand.) In your off hand, put the weapon that carries the
good mods. More concretely, put Crom Faeyr in your off hand (for the
25 STR) unless you fight the types of Golem that it kills, and put the
Flail of Ages in your main hand.
If you are playing solo, being charmed, dominated, turned to stone,
mazed, imprisoned, petrified, ... means instant death, while being
frightened, stunned, confused, paralyzed or held are other experiences
that you probably will not survive.
You can protect yourself from specific effects using items (of charm
protection, free action, etc) or by building up generic
defenses. Generic defenses are magic resistance (MR) and saving
throws. While both protect against more or less the same attacks, MR
is better (negates rather than reduces the damage of many spells), but
saving throws are easier to get to a high level. Look for equipment
with saving throw bonuses such as: rings/cloaks/amulets of protection,
the Helm of Balduran, the Ring of Gaxx, good shields, anything. Check
your saving throws in the character record every now and then. Saving
throws are usually more important than AC or resistances! They are
also useful when setting off traps (since there is no other way to
disable them than by tripping them). Having low saving throws is also
very convenient when fighting Mind Flayers or Umber Hulks. Keep in
mind that you get no saving throws vs. Maze and Imprisonment so you'll
have to think of another way to avoid those. Also see the Armor
Apart from healing spells, you can recover hitpoints by (1)
polymorphing into a Troll using the Cloak of the Sewers, (2) by using
a Ring of Regeneration or a Ring of Gaxx and (3) by casting Draw upon
Holy Might before resting: this raises your CON which in turn
increases your regeneration. Over a period of eight hours this will
allow you to recuperate most if not all your lost hitpoints.
(Strictly speaking this is a cheat: spell duration is not computed
To open locks, increase your STR to insane levels, and force them. For
some locks you need maximum STR to have a decent chance. Some you will
not be able to bash at all, but bashing will work for the important
ones. The best ways to raise STR are (1) to wield Crom Faeyr, (2)
drink a Potion of Somekinda Giant Strength (Roger the Fence in the
Temple sewers has very good potions), or (3) you can use Draw Upon
Holy Might. Try to bash the lock about 5-10 times, if that does not
help then you might as well give up.
The hardest phase of the game will start the moment you dual class. It
is all but impossible to defeat level 12 monsters with a single level
1 cleric! Therefore, you should prepare thoroughly beforehand. A good
way to do this is by completing the hard part of quests but delay
collecting the reward. For instance you will want to free Hendak so
you can get Mauler's Arm, but it is better not to speak to Hendak
after killing the slavers. Your quests will remain in your open quest
log so there is no danger that you might forget on which quests you
can still collect. As another example, you might want to go to
De'Arnisse keep but refrain from speaking to Nalia after killing the
trolls. You will not be able to do a lot before you reach ranger level
12. It is also wise to collect items which your cleric will be able to
use offensively even without having reached high level, such as
potions, the Spider Figurine, the Horn of Walhalla, etc.
Tip: pay Gaelan Bayle his 15,000 GP as soon as possible to get the
Ring of Protection +2 and the Amulet of Power from Aran Linvail.
Excellent value for money!
Items are always listed in order of decreasing preference, unless
Deciding which armor is best at which stage of the game is
complicated: the best choice is not always just the armor with the
lowest AC. Roughly speaking, throughout the game, the importance of AC
decreases, while saving throws remain important. However, going from
poor to reasonable saving throws is a larger step than going from good
to brilliant saving throws, so at some point a further improvement is
not all-important any more. I distinguish three phases of the game. In
the first phase you have lousy saving throws and you have not yet
received your holy symbol. In this phase you should wear Full Plate
Mail armor and the Ring of Protection +2 which gets you reasonable AC
and good saving throws. After that you will want to wear your Holy
Symbol and the Ring of Gaxx, so you need to switch to the Cloak of
Protection +2. This combination actually remains a good option
throughout the game. However, by this time your saves will be so good
that you can consider sacrificing the Cloak of Protection for a
magical armor with better AC and/or other good mods. By the end of the
game, AC has become more or less useless so by that time the mods of
the armor are about all that counts. The following table shows armors
in order of decreasing quality of mods, disregarding AC. So that would
be my order of preference by the end of the game. But in early and
mid-game, the AC should be weighed in your choice.
Armor AC Stealth? Other mods
Human Flesh 3 + +4 saving throws, +20% MR [EVIL!]
Red Dragon Scale -1 50% fire resistance
Armor of Faith 1 +1 saving throws [precludes Mace of Disruption]
Aeger's Hide 3 + 15% to FR, CR, AR. Confusion immune.
Studded leather 6 + can use Cloak of Protection +2
Full Plate 1 can use Cloak of Protection +2
Aslyferund 0 + free action (no use if you have FoA +5).
Enkidu's Full Plate -2 5% MR, immune to backstab
Shuruppak's Plate -2 20% FR, +1 DEX
Darkmail 2 ? 20% FR
White Dragon Scale -2 + 50% CR, cone of cold
Grandmaster's armor 1 + fast movement (frees up your boots)
Blue Dragon Plate -1 90% ER
Gorgon Plate -1 15% FR, AR
Shadow Dragon Scale 1 + 50% AR
Skin of the Ghoul 4 + +3 to saves vs. paralysation/poison
Orc Leather 4 + 10% resistance to missile attacks, -1 CHA
In the end game I found myself swapping between different armors,
depending on what elemental resistance was most important at the time.
Usually the Red Dragon Scale was most useful.
Amulet of Power, Amulet of Seldarine, Amulet of Spell Warding. I rate
the Amulet of Power over the Amulet of Seldarine only because without
it I found I got level drained a lot in Throne of Bhaal. If you know
that you will not get level drained in a certain area, the Amulet of
Seldarine actually provides better protection.
The Helm of Balduran is the best helmet almost the entire game. The
Helm of Defense is also very good. It trades THAC0 and AC (both of
which decrease in importance as you progress) for elemental
resistances. I find this preferable in the later stages of the
game. Use the Helm of Defense rather than the Dragon Helm because of
the former's bonus to saving throws. The Helm of Charm Protection is
useful when you forgot to memorize Chaotic Commands. Finally, you may
want to buy Vhailor's Helm: who knows if it might come in handy in
exceedingly hard battles.
Best are the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization; before you
get those you can use the Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise or the
Gauntlets of Weapon Skill.
Ring of Gaxx, Holy Symbol, Ring of Protection. Other rings can be
considered before you get these: rings of Fire Control, Holiness,
Energy, Human Influence, the Ram, Earth Control, ...
In your main hand, hold the Flail of Ages or the Runehammer or Mace of
Disruption +2. By the way, I was unable to upgrade the Runehammer with
Cespenar because the necessary ingredient is locked in a chest in
Sendai's forest and I could not bash it. But it works well enough even
without an upgrade. In your off hand, hold Crom Faeyr. When you don't
have these weapons yet, you might settle for Mauler's Arm in your off
hand and any reasonable club, mace, flail or morningstar in your main
hand. Options include but are not restricted to The Sleeper,
Blackblood, Ardulia's Fall, Wyvern's Tail, Skullcrusher, Ice Star,
Storm Star, Gnasher, ... Keep an ordinary flail in your backpack for
creatures that Protect from Magical Weapons and Magic Golems.
You should not really have to use ranged weapons a lot, but you should
nevertheless carry two slings: the Sling of Seeking (to maximize
damage - use it together with a STR boosting item), and the Erinne
Sling or Sling of Arvoreen for the best chance to hit.
Carry the Shield of Balduran with you for encounters with beholders.
Beyond that, keep hold of all shields with interesting mods for those
special circumstances in which they may come in handy. (Shield of
Harmony can be useful.)
Cloak of Balduran (if you have imported it from a BG1 game), Cloak of
Mirroring (there are mods to disable the annoying graphic), Cloak of
Protection +2, Cloak of Displacement, Cloak of the Sewers (-1 AC and
polymorph into a troll to regenerate HP)
Boots of Speed. If you are wearing the Grandmaster's Armor, you get
the movement rate for free, so you might go for the Boots of Avoidance
or possibly the Boots of the North. But there are better armors than
Either wear a belt of Somekinda Giant Strength if your STR is not
high already, or preferrably wear the Belt of Inertial Barrier. Under
some circumstances a girdle of piercing, bluntness, etc. might come
I have split general strategy into three subsections:
I. Raising your defenses,
II. Mounting a melee attack and
III. Mounting a magical attack
General strategy I. Raising your defences:
Depending on the monsters you will face, you might need to put up
defences of the following kinds:
- Elemental resistances: depending on your enemy, you might need to
improve your elemental resistances (for instance, Firkraag -> fire,
Draconis -> acid and fire, Abazigal -> cold and electric, etcetera.)
You can do this with spells, scrolls, potions or by swapping items.
- Beholder rays: for beholders and the like, make sure you are immune
to their rays: wear the Shield of Balduran or the Cloak of Mirroring
or use a Scroll (not Potion) of Protection from Magic.
- For vampiric creatures, you need negative energy protection as
provided by the Amulet of Power, the Mace of Disruption +2, the
Runehammer and by the spell Negative Plane Protection (but it is
better to do it using items.)
- For hard hitting monsters, you need Ironskins (but cast Ironskins
even if the monsters don't hit hard to enable you to get your
spells off reliably.)
- Elder Orbs, Demiliches and some mages cast Maze or Imprisonment on
you: you're dead unless you have Shield of the Archons up and
running. You can also use a Protection from Magic scroll. For
liches, a Protection from Undead prevents them from seeing you,
which is extremely effective but it does not work for Kangaxx
because he needs to talk to you before he turns into his demilich
- If an enemy might gate in demons, immediately cast Protection from
Evil on yourself and the demon might end up fighting your enemy. In
fact, Protection from Evil is a good spell to cast before any battle
with evil foes (i.e., almost all battles)
- Armor of Faith is pretty good too.
- Use a decoy: summon a Deva, an Elemental or a couple of Skeleton
Warriors, depending on circumstance.
General strategy II. Mounting a melee attack:
First, you need to counter your enemies' protections to make your hits
- Some creatures can only be hit by magical weapons of sufficient
enchantment. Make sure your weapon is powerful enough (the Flail of
Ages +5 will hit everything that lurks out there though.) The one
exception is the Magic Golem that can only be hit by normal
weapons. Carry a normal flail or pick one up before you have to face
- Enemies may cast Protection from Normal / Magical Weapons. Pick up
the other type of weapon to hit them OR dispel their protection
using Dispel Magic.
- Enemies may cast Stoneskin or Ironskins. Either just use Greater
Whirlwind and bash them all off, or use Dispel Magic.
- Enemies may cast Mantle, Improved Mantle or Absolute
Immunity. Mantle can be breached with +3 weapons and better,
Improved Mantle with +4 weapons and better, and Absolute Immunity by
+5 weapons or better. If your weapon is not good enough, you can
either spend some time casting useful spells until it runs out (it
takes 4 rounds = 24 seconds for each of them) or try to dispel it
using Dispel Magic.
- Enemies may cast Fire Shield (red/blue), Blade Barrier or Globe of
Blades. Again, you can try to dispel it or if your resistance to the
damage type of the protection is high enough you can ignore it and
keep on hitting.
When Meleeing, there are some additional preparations that you can
- It may help to cast Righteous Magic to do more damage in less time
- When wielding a weapon that can affect enemies unless they make a
saving throw (such as Ardulia's Fall, Wyvern's Tail, Crom Faeyr, or
most importantly, the Mace of Disruption), you can Doom them first
to increase the probability that they're affected. Handy when
meleeing greater mummies with the Mace of Disruption.
After all this prepping, the simple but effective strategy is
basically to use GWW and bash them to death with the most appropriate
weapon (see the equipment section above). When preparations are right,
you can kill an amazing number of powerful enemies using this very
general plan of attack!
General strategy III. Mounting a magical attack:
Again, you first need to counter your enemies' protections. This can
get quite complicated. You need to check that your spells are not
nullified by any of the following defenses:
- Magic resistance. The only way to reduce enemy MR is to cast the
spell Magic Resistance, which sets the enemies MR to 40%, or twice
your level if it is lower than 20.
- Saving Throws. You can weaken enemies' saving throws by casting Doom
- Tough opponents might have special native immunities to particular
spells. In this case you will need to use other spells (read:
higher level spells).
- Foes might cast illusions (Invisibility, Shadow Door, Mislead, ...)
after which they become impossible to target. Use True Seeing.
- Finally enemy casters will erect magical defenses. There are a
large number of magical defense spells, many of which can be
dispelled using Dispel Magic if your level is high enough. If you
fail to bring down the magical defense, you could consider meleeing
or simply waiting out the storm until they become vulnerable again.
Most spells in your arsenal are useful in particular circumstances,
but I have listed only the spells that I found so useful that I kept
them memorized most of the time. Notice that even though there are
only 16 spells that are specific to druids, the two most useful
spells are among them (Insect Plague and Iron Skins)!
- Armor of Faith: becomes more and more useful as you level up, and
since it is a level 1 spell it doesn't harm you to spend a few
slots on it.
- Doom: extremely effective: makes creatures vulnerable to spells
against which they can otherwise save.
- Protection from Evil: cast this one when an enemy gates in a fiend
or just as a generic protection against evil foes (which
is to say, most of them).
- Remove Fear: one would expect this to be useless for a solo
character since once you're scared, you can't cast it, but it
also serves to prevent fear! Cast this a lot, before battles,
especially when your saving throws are bad.
- Find Traps: slightly useful if you don't remember exactly where they
were but I usually end up tripping them anyway.
- Draw Upon Holy Might: this one is great when you need STR to bash
locks, or to improve your fighting skills, or to increase
regeneration (through improved CON) before resting. It also
gets better as your level increases.
- Resist Fire/Cold: important preparation spell
- Animate Dead: one of the better summoning spells: from level 13 you
get a skeleton warrior which has nice magic resistance and
does pack a reasonable punch. Good decoys.
- Dispel Magic: keep this memorized at all times to dispel enemy
protective magic. It is not effective against level 30+
enemies though, unless you are dual classing and your cleric
level is higher than 25.
- Holy Smite: an area effect spell that scales with caster level, has
short casting time, only affects enemies, does not occupy a
high level spell slot and not all damage can be saved
against. Great! In ToB, even weaker foes often do not get
damaged by this spell, I haven't figured out why they don't
get hit though.
- Protection from Fire: important preparation spell
- Free Action: important preparation spell
- Protection from Electricity: occasionally important prepping spell
- Insect Plague: this is one of your best spells. It affects multiple
enemies, even when invisible, they can't save against it and
it makes it impossible for them to cast spells! It is almost
as effective as Insect Swarm without taking up precious level
7 slots. When cast at mages, the spell might be cancelled if
they trigger some illusion. Try to find a target that is not
likely to disappear, even if your real target is a mage
standing next to it!
- Iron Skins: this is another extremely good spell. Due to the very
long duration there is no need ever to walk around without
Iron Skins active. Due to the short casting time you can
summon new skins as soon as the previous ones expire in
battle. With Iron Skins you can usually cast in the middle of
- True Seeing: you need this against spellcasters, most of whom will
use illusions to defend themselves against attack.
- Flamestrike: it is better to carry a wand for this one! Sell the
wand to a shopkeeper and buy it back to give it 100 charges.
- Magic Resistance: the only way to lower an enemies' magic
resistance. It will set it to twice your cleric level, capped
- Blade Barrier: useful when meleeing groups of enemies. You won't
have enough level 7 slots to memorize Globe of Blades, but
there are hardly any useful level 6 spells so memorize this
one instead. Be careful not to hurt allies (deva, Drizzt, ...)
- Bolt of Glory: theoretically powerful, but it is difficult to use
successfully due to the long casting time. There are not many
situations in which this is more effective than just hitting
- False Dawn: you'll have no trouble with undead anyway. But memorize
one since there are so few good level 6 spells. Memorize two
when you are about to face a lich or a group of vampires.
- Harm: I've read good things about it but not used it much. The
advantage for a ranger/cleric is that you have good THAC0 so
you will almost always hit.
- Finger of Death: this spell can instantly kill that pesky dragon for
you. Only use this on creatures that are hard to kill, in
combination with Doom.
- Implosion: better than Finger of Death if you don't expect to be
able to actually kill your enemy.
- Shield of the Archons: important preparation spell.
This catches terrible stuff like Maze and Imprisonment. Cast
it when facing powerful foes!
- Sunray: extremely effective against undead. Memorize a few before
facing troublesome liches.
- Storm of Vengeance: low damage but otherwise nice area effect spell.
- Summon Deva: the Deva is a pretty powerful summon. Summons are good
when you are soloing! Have it cast Globe of Blades to make it
- Elemental summoning: I didn't try elemental summoning, but they are
supposed to be pretty good, so why not give them a try.
Specific monster strategy:
For some monsters I have more specific strategic tips, those are
Casting a Protection from Undead scroll is really handy: they will
just stand there and take your hits until they die. This is NOT
effective against Kangaxx, not because the scroll does not work, but
because he cannot die while the scroll is in effect (because it
prevents him from talking to you). A Protection from Magic scroll is
more effective when battling Kangaxx. The three liches you have to
battle to get to Kangaxx all fall easily to the Mace of Disruption +2,
so it is handy to assemble it before you take on Gaxx. Once you are
high level you may be able to Turn liches, but I never managed to. If
you want to damage it with spells Sunray may be the most
effective. For further strategy see Spellcasters.
SPELLCASTERS (such as Irenicus or liches):
Wear the Cloak of Mirroring and the Belt of Inertial Barrier. Prepare
by casting Resist Fear, and if they are powerful, throw in the Shield
of Archons and why not pre-cast True Seeing. There are a number of
important spells in your arsenal to take it down once the fight has
- Start off with Insect Plague! This alone often suffices to
bring them down. Try to cast it on someone near the mage, who is
not likely to create an illusion.
- Even Stoneskinned mages are hurt by the elemental damage of the
Flail of Ages. Thus you can knock of their Stoneskins and interrupt
their spellcasting using that weapon.
- If you didn't think of it beforehand, cast True Seeing. They will
almost certainly pull some illusions on you, so you will need to do
this eventually anyway.
- Cast Dispel Magic to bring down any Fire Shields, Stoneskins,
etc. Be careful that you don't dispel your own protections, and I
guess that you should also keep in mind that you may accidentally
dispel your own Insect Plague.
- Use (Greater) Whirlwind and melee them whenever you can hit
them. If you cannot hit them, start casting spells to either bring
down their defences or raise your own. Summoning spells may help
(Deva, Skeleton Warrior). Bring a nonmagical weapon along for when
they cast Protection from Magical Weapons (no need to dispel that
BEHOLDERS (Gauths, Elder Orbs, Hive Mothers, ...):
This is easy. Just get the Shield of Balduran. Or, use the Cloak of
Mirroring (less effective because it doesn't mirror.) Make sure that
Elder Orbs do not imprison you. The safest and easiest precaution is a
Protection from Magic scroll.
Mostly, follow one of the general strategies as outlined above. Don't
forget your elemental resistances! If you decide to mount a magical
attack, you should consider that they usually have high MR and saving
throws, so after raising your own defenses cast Magic Resistance on
it, followed by (a) Doom then Finger of Death or (b) Nature's
Beauty. The latter blinds the dragon allowing you to kill it with
ease. I found it hard to pull off though.
Deal with spellcasters first (first mages then priests), your Iron
Skins should protect you from the rest while you are doing this. Use
Insect Plague (target someone near the mage, not the mage herself),
Blade Barrier, area effect spells such as Holy Smite and melee what's
Turn undead while they approach. Weaklings will die, and intermediate
monsters will run away, giving you the opportunity to kill the hard
ones first. Consider casting Doom on them before taking them on with
the Mace of Disruption. You can cast False Dawn, Bolt of Glory or
Sunray if it is helpful. I have never felt the need to use Repulse
WATCHER'S KEEP THIRD SEAL:
Turning the key that unlocks the third seal summons six different,
powerful foes. You have to make some preparations to counter some of
their attacks. Nalmissra is a Tanar'ri which will level drain you, so
make sure you wear the Amulet of Power. Also make sure you have
sufficient fire resistance. Furthermore don the Cloak of Mirroring to
be able to resist the Hive Mother's beholder rays. Finally buff up
thoroughly before opening the seal. I found it easy to run south,
luring some enemies along, and close the large doors. A weird fact is
that monsters never open doors in Baldur's Gate, so if half of your
enemies followed you through the doors and half didn't, then you have
separated the army and you can beat it in two separate battles. Divide
and conquer! If you consider this cheating, you'll have an even harder
battle on your hands. Anyhow, I think the easiest order in which to
take out available enemies is the following: Xei Win Toh, Amerilis
Zauviir, Y'tossi, Nalmissra, The Huntress, Hive Mother.
Use a melee attack. Ignore the Mariliths!
A ranger/cleric is ideal to take on Sendai: most of the battle can be
won easily by meleeing, but you can also dispel the magical defenses
she or her statues occasionally pull up. Do memorize a couple of
Dispel Magic for that purpose.
This is a hard fight, but by alternating hitting hard and running
around drinking potions you will drop him eventually.
This battle is not easy, but nor is it particularly difficult.
However, it is extremely LONG. And you cannot rest. So the advice
would be to (a) save after each minibattle and (b) really try to
reduce usage of your most important spells (Ironskins, Greater
Whirlwind, Summon Deva, Dispel Magic). In the last batch of monsters,
kill the Fallen Solar first (it is easy to kill but very dangerous
while alive.) The Mariliths cast Stoneskins, and they recast it if you
Dispel Magic. I summoned a Planetar to help me and bashed through it
(expending a number of precious GWWs... but I found no other way.)
Level Cleric Ranger
1 0 0
2 1,500 2,250
3 3,000 4,500
4 6,000 9,000
5 13,000 18,000
6 27,500 36,000
7 55,000 75,000
8 110,000 150,000
9 225,000 300,000
10 450,000 600,000
11 675,000 900,000
12 900,000 1,200,000
13 1,125,000 1,500,000
14 1,350,000 1,800,000
15 1,575,000 2,100,000
16 1,800,000 2,400,000
17 2,025,000 2,700,000
18 2,250,000 3,000,000
19 2,475,000 3,300,000
20 2,700,000 3,600,000
21 2,925,000 3,900,000
22 3,150,000 4,200,000
23 3,375,000 4,500,000
24 3,600,000 4,800,000
25 3,825,000 5,100,000
26 4,050,000 5,400,000
27 4,275,000 5,700,000
28 4,500,000 6,000,000
29 4,725,000 6,300,000
30 4,950,000 6,600,000
31 5,175,000 6,900,000
32 5,400,000 7,200,000
33 5,625,000 7,500,000
34 5,850,000 7,800,000
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