Baldur’s Gate 2 – Hints and Tips (Part II)
Baldur’s Gate 2 is an immense game, and when you find that one of your character’s weapons is not up to par, it often takes a lot of time and effort to locate a suitable replacement. Fortunately, with the right armaments you will not have to worry about those annoying “target is immune to damage” messages… at least not as much. The skills appear in the order that they are listed in the game. The recommendations are geared towards fighter characters; class restrictions may limit your choice of proficiencies. Chances are you’ll have a cleric with mace skill, a druid with quarterstaff skill, and so on.
Bastard Swords (Not Recommended)
It’s not difficult to get your hands on a bastard sword, but there are better weapon types that offer more power and versatility.
Long Swords (Highly Recommended)
|Blackrazor||1d8+3||+3||2||Regeneration: 1hp per 5 seconds; immunity to Charm and Fear; 15hance to drain 4 levels, heal 20 hp, grant haste for 20 seconds, and grant +3 STR for 20 seconds|
|Equalizer||Varies||Varies||3||Counts as a +3 weapon; bonus to hit and damage increases the further the target is from True Neutral alignment (up to +3/+6); immunity to Charm and Confusion|
|Dragonslayer||1d8+2||+2||3||Regeneration: 1hp per 10 rounds; immunity to fear; casts Detect Invisible (1x day); double damage vs. dragons|
Longsword is one of the best proficiencies in the game. These popular weapons are moderately powerful and easily available. You should take a single longsword character so that you can use the Dragonslayer, if for no other reason.
Blackrazor: Easily one of the most powerful weapons in the game, but it appears way too late to be a consideration when you choose weapon skills. Once you reach the Five Trials, take the evil path for Greed and you’ll get this weapon.
Equalizer: Cromwell, a smith that resides at the Docks, will forge this along with other powerful artifacts. A gem, hilt and blade are needed to construct this weapon. Search the large bedroom in the first dungeon for the pommel jewel. Acquiring the other two pieces is trickier, and you can’t find them until Chapter 5 (in the Underdark). When you embark on a quest to retrieve the blood of a powerful creature, you’re given three options-make sure that you complete all three. The Equalizer’s blade can be found on the body of the first Elder Orb in the Beholder Dungeon. The fight is simple and features only the Elder Orb and a regular Beholder. If you have the Cloak of Mirroring (see below), give it to your frontline fighter and he can single-handedly defeat large groups of Beholders.
Once you have the blade, head over to the Mind Flayer Dungeon, and make sure to keep a backup save. There’s little doubt that this is among the most annoying and frustrating areas in the game, and you may feel that it simply is not worth the effort to get the Equalizer. Mind Flayers cast Confuse and Charm on a regular basis, but that is the least of your worries. Try to use as many ranged weapons and summoned creatures as possible, because Mind Flayers can kill any character with a mere touch. Grab the Hilt of the Equalizer off the table in the room immediately east of the Gladiator Arena. Take all three parts of the Equalizer to Cromwell as soon as you finish with the Underdark and he will repair the weapon.
Dragonslayer: It’s obvious why the Dragonslayer is an important weapon. Don’t fight any dragons without this weapon, as it makes the fights much easier. Dragonslayer lies in the northeastern section of Firkraag’s Domain. Refer to the “Holy Avenger: Carsomyr +5” quest for details on the Dragonslayer.
Short Sword (Not Recommended)
Generally short swords just don’t compare to the more powerful weapons. If you are in need of a short sword, however, the Cutthroat +4 is almost automatically acquired late in the game, when you return to the dungeon under the Graveyard in Chapter 6 (slow route to power, indeed). Just make sure to search the last couple of rooms.
|Azuredge||1d6||N/A||1||Additional 1d6+4 damage vs. undead, plus save vs. death (-4 penalty) or death; returns to wielder if thrown|
|Battle Axe +3: Stonefire||1d8+3||+3||4||+2 fire damage|
|Battle Axe +3: Frostreaver||1d8+3||+3||4||+1 cold damage, +1 acid damage|
Powerful axes are easy to come by, but the best axes are not as powerful as the best weapons in some other categories. Axe proficiency is among the best if you want the quick path to power, but you may have difficulty when you can’t get access to a weapon with immunity to Charm or Confuse. You can purchase Azuredge and Battle Axe +3: Stonefire from Bernard in the Copper Coronet.
Check out his wares to get your hands on these weapons. If you prefer to find weapons instead of spending money on them, look for Nalia de’Arnise in the Copper Coronet. She will approach you with an easy quest that shouldn’t be a problem for any party. If you accept, travel to the de’Arnise Hold and clear out the trolls. As you near the center of the hold, make sure to have your thief check for traps. You need to travel through a series of secret doors, one of which will lead to a group of golems. Unless you feel up to killing them, stand five of your party members by the exit and send one hasted fighter in to loot. Grab everything from the three statues and you’ll get the Battle Axe +3: Frostreaver.
Two Handed Sword (Highly Recommended)
|Holy Avenger: Carsomyr +5||1d12+5||+5||5||50% magic resistance; casts Dispel Magic (3x day); +5 damage vs. Chaotic evil; Dispel Magic on successful hit; Paladin only|
|Silver Sword||1d10+3||+3||10||25hance to kill target (save vs. death, -2 penalty)|
|Lilarcor||1d10+3||+3||8||Immunity to Charm and Confusion|
Every party should include at least one character specialized in two-handed swords. These weapons offer the widest range of abilities, plus several good ones are available at the start of the game. Paladins are the best characters to use two-handed swords because they are the only class that can use the omnipotent Carsomyr.
Holy Avenger: Carsomyr +5: One of the first quests you can obtain yields the Carsomyr, but it will be far too difficult for most parties to complete the final stage early in the game. It’s a good idea to build up some levels by completing quests before attempting this one, but try to get the Holy Avenger by chapter two or three. Seek out Lord Jierdan inside the Copper Coronet to initiate the quest. Two simple, barren areas must be traversed before you can reach your goal, the Domain of the Dragon. Simply head east through Windspear Hills and the following dungeon. Once you’re inside the Domain, you need to find eight items: six burial mask pieces, a chapel key, and the Book of King Strohm III. Refer to the map for their locations. Reaching the Dragonslayer (blue marker) is your immediate goal. Once you acquire all the items, equip the Burial Mask on a front line character.
There is an invisible fire elemental blocking the path to the Dragonslayer; the Burial Mask will allow you to see him. Save your game when you get to the Dragonslayer, because your team will be ambushed. Make sure you have the fighters blocking the door; the battle shouldn’t be a problem if you’re strong enough to best Firkraag. Once you have the Dragonslayer you’re ready to enter the beast’s lair. Two important (yet easy) fights impede your path to Firkraag.
For every dragon encounter, you should follow a few simple rules. First, never allow them to engage you through dialogue. Instead, force the attack to get the upper hand. Use every defensive and aid spell you have to boost your team’s abilities, and summon creatures. Most of them won’t last long, but they make good distractions. If possible, use the priest spells Protection from Evil and Gate immediately. A good pit fiend should be able to survive most of the fight. Be warned, though-pit fiends have a nasty fireball attack that they cast on top of themselves, so if you aren’t prepared to defend against the fire damage, don’t summon one. Most offensive spells will be ineffective, but Magic Missile can often break through his defenses. Don’t expect to be victorious on your first attempt. It’s definitely worth spending some time to beat this fight, as you’ll be rewarded with the Holy Avenger and the Red Dragon Scale (see “Platemail Armor”).
Silver Sword: A powerful weapon that is easy to assemble, but you can’t complete it until chapter six. After the Asylum Dungeon, take up Saemon on his offer and he’ll give you the first piece of the sword. Once you can finally return to the Adventurer’s Mart, you’ll get the other half when you encounter a group of Githyanki. Although it doesn’t match the power of the Holy Avenger, the chance for a deathblow is quite handy.
Lilarcor: The Copper Coronet has a pair of secret doors, one of which leads to the sewers. Search the sewers for four items (depicted on the map): Vallah’s Hand, the Lover’s Ring, the Shaman’s Staff and the Friend’s Blood. Search the grate in the left room for the hand and pull the ring off the skeleton on the wall. Once you’ve done that, kill the peaceful kobolds and loot the shaman’s corpse, then kill the peaceful carrion crawler for the blood. Walk to the pipes and use them in this order: 3, 1, 2 and 4. Carry the Lilarcor with you for the entire game. It doesn’t have the raw power of the Holy Avenger, but sometimes you need the immunities.
Katana (Highly Recommended)
|Celestial Fury||1d10+3||+3||1||Casts Lightning Strike (1x day); casts Blindness (1x day); Booming Thunder every hit (Stun, save vs. spell); 5hance for Shocking Blow (+20 lightning damage)|
Despite the in-game warnings against taking katana skill (because they are rare), this is one of the better weapon choices available. Try to give at least one character katana proficiency. Celestial Fury is an awesome weapon-one of the best in the game. It does the damage of a +3 two-handed sword, plus it offers a good selection of abilities. Additionally, you can acquire the Celestial Fury early in Chapter 2, as the quest is extraordinarily simple (but not easy). The “Slave Lords” quest is one of the most rewarding in the game, and it only involves two fights. Head over to the Temple District and enter the Guarded Complex on the right side of the map. A pair of magicians will greet you and tell you to leave, but if you continue forward you will have to fight a host of summoned creatures.
Although difficult for a low-level party, this fight is nothing compared to the upcoming battle. Defeat the creatures and head back to an inn for rest. When you’re prepared to take on the Slave Lords, spell up your team by the stairs. Make sure to use every beneficial spell you know, especially haste and defensive cleric spells. The upper floor is filled with strong, unique enemies. Koshi is a good first target, as he holds the Celestial Fury (and another weapon) and will be inflicting significant damage on your party. Don’t move into the room (it is littered with traps), and make sure to cast resist fear. If you have an Assassin on your team, this is a relatively easy fight. Simply use poison weapon with a bow, and then shoot each enemy once. The poison will interrupt most of their attacks and spells.
This fight poses a problem for teams that are weak in melee combat, since it features some of the strongest melee fighters in the game. Despite this, it’s a good idea to make this your second quest, right after you get your hands on a little equipment to round out your team. A powerful katana is not the only reward you’ll get, as there are multiple suits of magical platemail (and full plate) spread throughout the room and on the corpses.
Scimitar (Not Recommended)
|Scimitar +5, Defender||1d8+3||+3||2||+2 AC|
Simply put, the selection of weapons available for scimitar users is inadequate. Drizzt’s Defender is an excellent weapon, but you can’t keep it for long under normal circumstances. Don’t worry about finding Drizzt… he’ll find you.
Dagger (Not Recommended)
|Fire Tooth +3||2d4+3||+3||1||1d2 fire damage; returns when thrown|
You would be better off choosing other weapons instead of daggers, but if you do take daggers the Fire Tooth +3 is surprisingly strong for its weapon class. Buy it from the Ust’Natha (Drow City) Bazaar.
Warhammer (Highly Recommended)
|Crom Faeyr||2d4+3||+5||1||Sets STR to 25; Slays Stone Golems, Clay Golems, Ettins and Trolls in one hit; additional lightning damage (not shown in stats)|
Ah, yes… the almighty Crom Faeyr. One of the most difficult artifacts to build, but its power is undeniable. Equipping this warhammer in the off-hand of a character with two weapon style can be incredibly effective, especially if you equip a Celestial Fury or similar weapon in the primary hand. Having that 25 STR hit/dam bonus applied to your weapons boosts damage significantly. This is also an excellent weapon to pair with the Dragonslayer sword. Because the Crom Faeyr is so powerful, warhammers are one of the best proficiencies in the game. Cromwell the smith needs four items: the Hammer of Thunderbolts, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Girdle of Frost Giant Strength and the Crom Faeyr Scroll. One of the reasons the Crom Faeyr is so powerful is because it requires you give up multiple good items to build it, instead of the worthless pieces that make up the other artifacts.
Hammer of Thunderbolts: When you travel to the Temple District, you’ll witness some events that show the formation of a new cult. Speak to the priest that approaches you and accept his quest. He will give you a key. Open one of the many sewer grates to travel under the city on the first step of your quest for the Crom Faeyr. Use “find traps” and search the east side of the northern wall. A secret door leads to a Mind Flayer Dungeon. This dungeon is simple and straightforward-just follow the path until you reach the final room. Take the Hammer of Thunderbolts from the center of the room.
Gauntlets of Ogre Power: First, you must unlock the Umar Hills area. Head to the City Gates and speak to Delon, then travel to the Hills. Seek out the cabin in the northwest corner, and get Valygar to join your party. He is the key to the Planar Sphere. Once inside, enter the left room, slay the golem and loot the keys from a nearby chest. This grants you access to the north door. Just to the left of that room you’ll find a large pack of rabid halfings; kill them and check the loot. Entu is carrying the gauntlets you need.
Girdle of Frost Giant Strength: On the “creature’s blood” quest in the Underdark, travel to the Kuo-Toan Dungeon on the left side of the map. Once inside, head to the room in the far southeast. Stand before the massive gorgon statue and summon a creature. Moving the creature to the statue will release five powerful Demon Knights. Defeat them and reap the rewards, including the Full Plate +3: Armor of the Hart.
Crom Faeyr Scroll: This final item is not easily obtained. In the Ranger’s Cabin in Umar Hills you’ll see a note lying on the floor. Read it to get a new location on your map, the Temple Ruins. Travel to the Ruins and head to the northeast corner, activate the mirrors and descend into the dungeon. Hordes of shades will beset your party, but they should pose no real threat. Once you’re in the dungeon, enter the first room and get Amauna’s Bones from the table. Proceed north and speak to the statue, then answer his questions 2, 3, 1. Speak to him again and answer 3, 1, 1. You must talk to him yet again, this time answer 1, 3, 2, and he will give you the Sun Ray Symbol. Search to the south and grab the Sun Gem from the pedestal.
Depending on how strong you are, the next phase will be a welcome change of pace… or it will be a series of aggravating battles. Either way, two liches await you, but fortunately you don’t fight them at the same time. They’ll also bring of host of undead to aid them, including greater mummies. Try leaving any clerics behind to keep them out of danger. After the second lich there’s an optional puzzle. In order to cross the floor, start in the lower right corner and work your way to the middle square at the other end. Step in the wrong place and a flamestrike will hit you. Of course, the reason this puzzle is optional is because a well-equipped warrior can walk right across without taking any damage. Check the wall in the right room for a small panel, and the final piece of the symbol, which grants you access to the final room.
Liches have a nasty range of spells, but they aren’t quite as strong as the next obstacle-a Shadow Dragon. That is, unless you’re high level and dragons no longer pose a threat (liches, on the other hand, always have death spells). Rather than initiating dialogue, you should surround the dragon and attack him in force. Keep your mages and clerics as far back as possible to protect them, and make use of whatever summon spells you have as distractions. Protection from Evil and Gate is an excellent combination, as the pit fiend that appears will distract the dragon for a long time. Although you can fight the Shade Lord after the dragon, there is really no challenge in that fight (considering what you had to go through to get there). When you return to Cromwell you’ll get your rewards for completing some of the best quests in the game-the Crom Faeyr and the Shadow Dragon Scale (see “Leather Armor”).
Club (Not Recommended)
There are a few decent clubs available throughout the game, but there really isn’t much reason to choose them over other weapon types.
Spears (Not Recommended)
|Spear of Withering +4||1d6+4||+4||6||+4 poison damage|
You can purchase the Spear of Withering +4 from the Ust’Natha (Drow City) Bazaar.
|Halberd +4: Wave||1d10+4||+4||5||15hance to do +15 damage; Slays Fire Elementals, Efreeti and Salamanders|
Cromwell will assemble the Wave if you bring him the blade and the shaft. Finding the blade is simple-kill the Sahuagin Prince in chapter five. Getting your hands on the shaft requires a bit more work. Go to the Sewers under the Temple District and search for secret doors on the north wall. Take the one to the left of the center. That leads to Mekrath’s Tower. Work your way through that area and complete the quest offered at the Five Flagons Inn, and upon its completion you will be given another question that takes you to the Astral Prison. Kill the Warden to get the shaft.
|Flail of Ages +3||1d6+4||+3||4||+1 acid damage, +1 cold damage, +1 fire damage|
Flail proficiency is an excellent choice for secondary fighters. One of the first quests you should undertake (de’Arnise Hold) yields the Flail of Ages +3. Speak to Nalia de’Arnise in the Copper Coronet, and then take her quest. Within the Hold you’ll collect three flail heads (one of them guarded by golems), take the three heads to the forge on the west side to make the Flail of Ages +3.
Mace (Not Recommended)
|Mace of Disruption +1||1d6+2||+1||2-12+4 damage vs. undead, plus they must make a saving throw (-4 penalty) or be destroyed|
|Skullcrusher +3||1d6+4||+3||4||+2 damage vs. humanoids|
Mace of Disruption +1: Great for killing undead. Check in the dungeon under the Graveyard District.
Skullcrusher +3: Goldander, one of the residents of the Svirfneblin Camp in the Underdark, will give you the Skullcrusher +3 as a reward for completing his quest.
Quarterstaff (Not Recommended)
|Staff of the Woodlands||1d6+4||+4||1||+3 AC; Barkskin (AC 3); Summon Shambling Mound (1 charge); Enhanced Charm Animal; Druids only|
|Staff of Rynn +4||1d6+4||+1||1||N/A|
Staves are another weapon type that you should generally only choose when you have no other option. The Staff of Rynn +4 is available at the Adventurer’s Mart (it’s pretty expensive, though). You will automatically acquire the Staff of the Woodlands when you complete the main quest in chapter seven.
|Light Crossbow of Speed||+1||+1||4||+1 attack|
Crossbows are a good option if you have two ranged attackers; otherwise you don’t really need one. A good stock of lightning bolts in a Light Crossbow of Speed can deal out damage fast, but you won’t get as many attacks as you would with a short bow. Purchase this weapon from the Bernard in the Copper Coronet.
Longbow (Not Recommended)
Normally longbows would be a good choice, but there are not many good longbows in Baldur’s Gate 2. Choosing longbow skill won’t hurt you, but it won’t help you much either.
Short Bow (Recommended)
|Tuigan Bow +1||+1||+1||5||Three shots per round (skill can increase it beyond three)|
Surprisingly, short bow is probably the best missile proficiency you can take. Tuigan Bow +1 is available early in the game and it offers a high rate of fire. To acquire the Tuigan, travel to the Copper Coronet and explore the eastern region of the facility. You’ll need to free some slaves to complete the quest, but all you need to do in order to get the bow is travel to the southeastern section and slay the Beastmaster (and then snatch the bow from his corpse).
Definitely not the most powerful weapons around, but slings are often the only missile weapons that your spellcasters can use.
|Shadow Dragon Scale||1||+50% acid resist|
|Human Flesh +5||3||+4 saving; +20% magic resist; evil characters only|
Leather armor is surprisingly good, primarily because of the Shadow Dragon Scale, which allows you to have the armor class of full plate on your thief. Refer to “Warhammer: Crom Faeyr Scroll” to learn how to reach the Shadow Dragon. As for the Human Flesh +5, evil parties receive this as a reward in Chapter 5.
|Chain Mail +5: Crimson Chain||0||N/A|
There’s nothing particularly special about chainmail. If you have any character that uses chain, make sure to buy the Crimson Chain from the Adventurer’s Mart after you return from the Underdark.
|Red Dragon Scale||-1||+50 0.000000ire resistance; not considered magical (doesn’t conflict with magic rings/amulets)|
|Full Plate +3: Armor of the Hart||-2||N/A|
|Plate Mail +4: Gorgon Plate||-1||+15 0.000000ire and acid resistance|
A good suit of full plate mail can drastically boost a character’s defensive capabilities. Give plate armor to as many of your characters as possible.
Red Dragon Scale: Defeat Firkraag, the Red Dragon, and take his scales to Cromwell. This is the best armor in the game because it is not considered magical (thus you can wear a ring of protection +2 at the same time). See “Two Handed Swords: Carsomyr” for details on Firkraag.
Full Plate +3: Armor of the Hart: Dropped by the Demon Knights in the Kuo-Toan Dungeon. See “Warhammers: Girdle of Frost Giant Strength” for details.
Plate Mail +4: Gorgon Plate: Good parties will receive this armor at the end of Chapter 5.
|Boots of Speed||Increased movement speed|
|Gauntlets of Dexterity||Sets DEX to 18|
|Cloak of Mirrors||Reflects spell damage|
|Ring of Gaxx||+2 AC; +2 saving throws; +10% magic resistance; immunity to poison and disease; regenerates 1 hp every 3 seconds; Invisibility (1x day); Improved Haste (3x day)|
Boots of Speed: When you’re inside the Asylum Dungeon in chapter four, you’ll find a token machine. There are about 20 tokens spread throughout the level. Putting tokens in the machine gives you an item. What you receive depends on how many tokens you put in-every 5 tokens give you a different item. Place 15 tokens in the machine to get the Boots of Speed.
Gauntlets of Dexterity: This item is important if you take a team of NPCs, as they often have poor DEX. To get the gauntlets, take the “Unseeing Eye” quest in the Sewers under the Temple District. In the western region of the Cult there is a hidden door past the Shade Lich that goes to the Rift Dungeon. Once inside, kill the Empathic Manifestation by targeting it with heal spells. Speak to the Avatar and Sassar and you’ll be directed to Tad, who opens up the passage to Ghoul Town. Find the lich in Ghoul Town and loot the bones to get the Gaunlets of Dexterity.
Cloak of Mirrors: Considering how powerful this item is, getting your hands on it is an extraordinarily simple task. When you’re in the Sahuagin City, travel to the center of the map and kill the Priestess. You’ll loot this cloak from her corpse. From this point on, any encounters with Beholders or other monsters that rely on damage spells will be easy.
Ring of Gaxx: This is the best ring in the game, and for a good reason. You need to fight the hardest monster in the game-a demi-lich-in order to get it. If your party is strong enough to kill the demi-lich, then you can probably swat dragons like flies. Before you can fight the demi-lich, you have to complete a serious of mini-quests.
Search the houses by the water on the south side of the Bridge District. One of them has a cellar. Use the tomb in the cellar and the Elemental Lich will appear and fight you. Get the Golden Torso after you slay the lich. Look in the Cult of the Unseeing Eye for the Shade Lich. Try to enter the Cult peacefully and they’ll give you a key that will grant you access to the lich. Defeat him and take the Golden Arms & Legs.
Kangaxx, the final lich, rests in the cellar of a locked house in the middle of the Docks District. A minotaur trio stands guard, so you’ll know if you’re in the right place. Free him and you’ll have to defeat a lich that will transform into a demi-lich when it dies. Breach, pierce magic, ruby ray, improved haste and scrolls of freedom will all definitely come in handy. It’s quite possible to slay the demi-lich without running into any trouble, but if you give him time to build up he has several deadly attacks that you cannot defend against. A Carsomyr-wielding Paladin makes a great asset in this battle.