With the OP on everything but #3. Love the epic start. Will be nice to grow a character from once forced to run from dragons and mind flayers to one that can go toe to toe with both.
But yeah, giving a +1 to the HP bloat. There's no reason to have a wizard in the party.
On barrelmancy, ashamed to say I've started using it to take out the main goblin boss. Largely because I can't handle the hang that goes on when the AI is "planning next move" and the whole temple goes hostile. Something is wrong there -- I have a stable overclock of 4.2 with temps that never go above 70. And it's not GPU either, my GPU doesn't go above 60 percent usage when the "planning " message hangs.
This time I noticed that the script even expected barrelmancy -- if you create a lake of fire you kill not only the bosses but the tadpole.
I loved DOS2, got a number of plays out of it each time playing on harder and harder difficulty. But D&D is something different. I mean what are these barrels of oil for? What use does one have mineral oil for in a fantasy medieval setting -- and if it is for sieges, 'boiling oil' and the like why aren't barrels locked up tight?