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I am currently building a modded saved game for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced edition (using EEKeeper) to play when patch 2.0 releases later this month. Because I just want to play it for the story and not for a challenge, I want to make my character as strong as possible before really getting started with the game. I will also be playing this in Story Mode (which is why I'm waiting for patch 2.0).

I have already set all my stats to 25 (which I understand is on the level of the strongest deities), but I also want some gear to go with it. However, since Baldur's Gate has a large assortment of equipment, I'm having trouble picking out the optimal items for highest damage output. What doesn't help is the fact that, as an Archer, I can go for multiple weapon archetypes: longbows, shortbows, composite longbows, crossbows, slings,... and each of them is calculated separately. They also use different types of ammo, but only bows have a quiver that gives an unlimited amount of ammo.

Assuming I want to go for bows in general and limit ammo to the Quiver of Plenty so I don't run out of ammo halfway through a dungeon, what gear gives me the highest damage output?


The current set I got:

Helmet: Helm of Balduran;
Armor: Shadow Armor +3;
Gauntlets: Legacy of the Masters;
Ring: Rabbits Foot;
Ring 2: The Guard's Ring +2
Amulet: Periapt of proof against poison;
Belt: Belt of inertial barrier;
Boots: The Paws of the Cheetah;
Cloak: Cloak of Reflection.
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There's a few factors to consider here from a pure damage perspective:

  • arrows, which provide your base damage dice
  • the bow, which provides a damage bonus

Since you said you were going to use the Quiver of Plenty, that means +1 arrows (1d6+1) as your base damage. You can upgrade the Quiver to give you +2 arrows (1d6+2).

There was a bug where the +2 damage for those arrows wasn't applied in BG2. I don't know if that bug made it to BG:EE or was fixed. If it is still in BG:EE, upgrading the Quiver is actually a damage downgrade (although the to-hit bonus still applies, so it's probably still worthwhile).

Bows are the fun part.

Most of the interesting and powerful unique bows aren't available until BG2. The Dead Shot, a +3 longbow, is probably what you want for just Baldur's Gate 1. It adds +2 damage.

However, if you're going to play through into Baldur's Gate 2, the Gesen Bow is probably the most damaging, adding 2 piercing and 1d8 electrical. As an Archer you can achieve the grandmaster proficiency in longbows and shortbows, and you'll eventually get enough points to do so for both types, but not until you're pretty high level.

Grandmastery gives you +5 bonus damage, and you'll start with four points to spend at level one, so you can get there pretty early. If you want to be more powerful early on, focus on long bows and The Dead Shot. If you want to be more powerful in the long run, suffer through BG1 with the Short Bow +1 at Grandmastery and get Gesen's Bow as soon as you can.

You may also be interested in this thread on Archer damage calculations, although it is based on BG2.


As for other gear, there's not much that you can do that's going to be better than your current load out (even if you weren't forcing stats to their cap of 25 without gear bonuses). There isn't much (any?) great that adds +damage, and only a few pieces that increase damage output through improved stats (and most of those do it by setting a stat to a fixed value like 18/00 or 19, which you're already exceeding).

You've picked the same helm, armor and gauntlets I'd suggest.

The Greenstone Amulet provides a check against a wider variety of status effects, but must be used to to do (whereas the Periapt provides a passive immunity). The Periapt is supposed to only be in BG2, but I guess it ended up in BG:EE via the back-porting processing. Likewise the Belt of Inertial Barrier. If that is an issue for you, I'd suggest swapping the Periapt for the Greenstone Amulet and the belt for any of the other three belts that offer protection against piercing/slashing/blunt weapons. Possible all three as per the situation, because why not?

The Rabbit's Foot isn't that good, sure it's got an AC bonus but you shouldn't be in the thick of it. It's technically only supposed to be usable by Alora. You might consider replacing it with the Ring of Free Action because being immobile is bad for you.

The Ring of Protection +2 is a good choice. If you want an opportunity for more damage early on, when you don't need to be so concerned over your saving throws, the Ring of Energy is a cheap attack. But your bow will likely out-damage it quickly, and be easier to use, so I'm not sure what else to suggest there.

The Boots of Speed are a great choice, but they can make you dash ahead of your party members which is both annoying and can make you more vulnerable, since you won't be behind your tank wall. If that becomes an issue, try the Boots of the North, of Grounding, or of Avoidance instead for some extra protection.

The Cloak of Reflection seems situational. Certainly useful for casters spamming lightning bolts, but otherwise maybe not so great? Consider the Cloak of Balduran for the saving throws, or the Cloak of the Shield for some more AC bonuses.

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  • Oh right, you're editing your save. I guess in that case you may be able to give yourself the bow and factor out any concerns over how long it takes to get items normally. – user6789 Mar 18 '16 at 23:16
  • Searching the EEKeeper itembrowser for quiver only returns Quiver of Plenty +1 for BG:EE saves. I think the +2 quiver is for BG2 only. Also, playing through into BG2 is the intention, although the intent is to go into SoD in between. Finally, my concern was not just weapons, but also the other slots. – Nzall Mar 18 '16 at 23:34
  • @Nate Kerkhofs Not sure how much opportunity there is for damage output from the other available gear slots, which is why I didn't research any, but there are at least a few good utility or indirectly-damage-boosting things out there; I'll update when I can. – user6789 Mar 18 '16 at 23:39
  • in case it helps, I added my current setup based on what I could personally find. I disregarded anything that altered attributes since those those cap out at 25 anyway. – Nzall Mar 18 '16 at 23:40
  • Hm, well mostly that's what I'd suggest except for a few items you're using that you "shouldn't be able to." I added some notes but I think that's the best my current/stale knowledge can really offer. – user6789 Mar 19 '16 at 0:38

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