I always played a class that wears heavy armor, but now I decided to create some kind of assasin build, focusing on backstabbing etc. However I'm not sure which thief abilities should I invest to make this build useful. I know stealth will be a priority, but is silent move important - is it even passive or active skill ?

I'm mostly asking, what would be the best combination of race/subclass to assasin like build.

  • You may need to clarify this question, specifically which game you are playing. I doubt you need all 3 of those tags. I played BG and BG2, but I'm not familiar with Enhanced. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 15:44
  • @ChargingPun I asked about Baldur's Gate 1 (Enhanced Edition) sorry for misunderstanding. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


Stealth is an ability used by thieves, rangers and their kits. It has two uses. First, while the character is hidden, they are invisible. Second, an attack they make while invisible will be a backstab and receive a damage multiplier. For an assassin, this goes up to x7.

Hide in shadows and move silently both contribute to your stealth. Most evidence I can find suggests that your stealth is equal to (Hide+MS)/2. It's also hypothesised that hide in shadows benefits the initial check and move silently has a greater effect on checks to remain hidden. If you want stealth, invest in both equally. Since it's a % chance, 100 in each is enough.

The rest of your thief abilities depend on whether you have another thief in the party. Having at least one character with Find Traps is vital in some areas. A character with high Open Locks is also recommended- you can replace them with a character with massive strength or a wizard with knock but you will miss out on loot this way. You can completely ignore these by having Imoen use these skills instead and ignoring stealth.

Pick Pockets is not necessary. It provides alternate solutions to some quests but involves a lot of reloading when you fail and turn entire towns hostile.

Set traps is interesting and is typically an all or nothing investment. The damage and number of uses scale with level so it's not really worth using in BG1 (especially since you don't have the spare points). Late game, traps can end certain encounters before they start if you can put all of them on top of each other.

See Illusions is another interesting point-sink once you've maxed out your stealth. It gives you a flat chance to automatically remove illusion effects from enemies.

  • 1
    Rangers don't get backstab by default. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:27
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz I was referring to them also getting stealth. Thanks for the clarification though. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:38

To add to the above.

You get penalties based on light-rating of an area.

Being in a shadow in a well lit area has a less penalty then not being in a shadow.

Night time has a lesser penalty than day time (if outside).

Night-time (Outside) in a Shadow gives the lowest possible hiding penalty.

Being in a shadow requires standing in a shadow until your character's sprite darkens. if it does not, then the shadow is probably too small or you aren't standing in the sweet spot.

Failing a check to stay hidden by more than 10 points results you immediately becoming visible instead of it fading after a round like a normal failure.

In BG1, the Armor of Shadows and Boots of Stealth can both be acquired very early if you know how, and give a sizable chunk to hide/MS when used together, and can ease your hunger for points in the early game and let you get some other useful utility skills. (in original BG1 the two together gave +50% Stealth (since Hide and MS were one skill in that game), but it's only about ~+35 total in BG:EE and BG2)

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