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Character Creation Guide


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#1 Bluenose

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:18 AM

Part 1 - Arcane spell-casters.

The four classes of arcane spell-casters have a wide range of spells and feats to choose from. Those choices are critical to the effectiveness of your spell-caster, and need to be made with some idea of your strengths and weaknesses. There are several ways that you can contribute, but it isn?t possible to be good at everything.

The classes.

Bard: Bards are true Jack-of-all-Trades. Their spell list includes some spells not available to wizards and sorcerers, and others are available at lower levels. They don?t cast as many spells as the other classes, nor do they gain high level spells as quickly.
Warlock: Warlocks are extremely specialised in what they do. Their main ability is the Eldritch Blast, and most of their other abilities modify it. While they can keep using it indefinitely, there really is very little else they are good at apart from that.
Sorcerers and Wizards: sorcerers and wizards use the same spell list. The difference is that a sorcerer can cast their spells more often and without preparation, but will only know a relatively small number of spells. A wizard can eventually learn all the spells, but they have to decide which ones to use and can?t change this without resting. They do gain high level spells slightly faster than a sorcerer, and they can prepare specific spells that are appropriate for what they will face whereas a sorcerer is stuck with what they already know. Wizards also have extra feats, which they can use to expand their abilities.

Races for Spell-casters.
Humans can be very effective in any class. Sun elves make especially good wizards, though they are more fragile even than most other casters. If you are willing to accept the level adjustment penalty, Aasimar make good sorcerers and tieflings can be capable wizards. Drow can be effective in any of the classes, but their level adjustment means they will always be behind casters from other races. Wood elves are not suited to be wizards; tieflings, shield and grey dwarves and deep gnomes make poor sorcerers and bards; half-orcs are not usually well suited to arcane spell-casting.

Spell-caster Roles.

The Blaster.
One of the more traditional roles, the blaster relies on spells that deal direct damage to enemies. Most of their spells have some effect even if opponents make a saving throw. At their most efficient a blaster can eliminate or seriously weaken a group of enemies before they can do any damage to you. At their worst, their spells do as much damage to you as to your enemies. Sorcerers are good blasters owing to their ability to repeatedly cast the same effects and it is the only things warlocks are good at, while bards have too few damaging spells to be effective in the role.
The best feats for blasters are ones that increase their ability to do damage. Empower spell is extremely useful, Maximise spell is less so but still worthwhile. Spell Penetration and Greater Spells Penetration make it much more likely that your spells will affect powerful creatures which might otherwise resist your spells. Spell Focus will probably be in Evocation if you select it, as most of your spells are Evocations. Avoid the Combat Casting feat, as if enemies are close enough to damage you most of your spells will also affect you.
There are some useful spells at every level. Try to make sure that you don't deal the same type of damage with all your spells, as creatures immune to that sort of damage will ruin your day. At 1st level Magic Missile is a good choice, and Endure Elements cast on your allies will help them survive a misplaced spell. At 2nd level Gedlee's Electric Loop is effective at damaging several enemies, and Web can hold enemies in place for more spells to affect them. At 3rd level you can learn Fireball, but Dispel Magic is probably even more useful for most casters. At 4th level the most useful spell is Greater Invisibility, allowing you to cast from safety against enemies who lack True Seeing, while Ice Storm does both cold and bludgeoning damage. At 5th level Firebrand is effective against any creature vulnerable to fire damage, and Lesser Spell Mantle lets you cast with some degree of safety against enemy spells. At 6th level both Chain Lightning and Isaac's Greater Missile Storm are very effective offensive spells which are worth using with Empower Spell at higher levels. At 7th level Delayed Blast Fireball and Prismatic Spray are both slightly erratic, and Energy Immunity will make your allies happier with you. At 8th level Horrid Wilting is a very useful Necromancy spell, and Polar Ray does a lot of cold damage very quickly. At 9th level Meteor Swarm can end some fights with one casting, and Weird is capable of killing a group of enemies.
Good invocations include Draining Blast and Eldritch Spear; Eldritch Chain; Chilling Tentacles, Devour Magic, and against spell resistant enemies Vitriolic Blast; Retributive Invisibility and Eldritch Doom.
The Booster.
Boosters concentrate on spells that improve the efficiency of their allies and/or reduce the effectiveness of their enemies. A party that has been carefully enhanced is much more likely to win a fight while suffering little damage, whereas one that charges in without preparation will end up suffering more damage even if they are victorious. At the same time it's sometimes wasteful to expend spells on an easy fight. The best class for a Booster is bard because they also gain from their bard songs and inspirations, while warlocks have few useful effects.
The best feats for a Booster are those which increase the amount of time they can keep allies enhanced for. A bard shouldn't be without Extra Music and Lingering Song, and any Booster should take the Extend spell feat. A bard can also look at Augment Healing to make their healing spells more effective. If you concentrate on spells to weaken enemies then Spell Penetration is worth consideration. Since you often find yourself casting spells close to a melee, Combat Casting may be worthwhile.
The effective boost spells at 1st level are Enlarge Person, Magic Weapon and Expeditious Retreat, while Balagarn?s Iron Horn or Ray of Enfeeblement are effective against enemies. At 2nd level, Bull?s Strength is probably the most useful enhancement spell for wizards and Heroism for bards, with either Silence effective against spell-casting enemies. At 3rd level Haste and Displacement are useful boosts, while a bard can use Crushing Despair against a group of enemies and Slow is also valuable. At 4th level Greater Invisibility is valuable for all, while Bards gain War Cry and Wizards gain Stoneskin and Bestow Curse. At 5th level a bard can cast Greater Heroism and Mind Fog, while sorcerers can cast Lesser Mind Blank on warrior allies. At 6th level bards can continually weaken groups of enemies casting Dirge, while wizards have access to Greater Stoneskin. At 7th level Energy Immunity is valuable against some enemies, while at 8th level Mind Blank protects a whole group against mind-affecting spells.
The Enchanter.
Enchanters concentrate on turning enemies against each other to reduce the amount of fighting necessary. They can start fights among enemy groups, compel powerful creatures to fight for them, and cause chaos in enemy ranks. Their spells tend to be either fully effective or useless, and sometimes bad luck will make them totally ineffective. There is also a risk that others actions will break any control they have over an opponent. All arcane casters apart from warlocks can cast the most useful spells. For bards the spells are often lower level, but their slower spell progression means they rarely cast them before a wizard or sorcerer can.
The best feats are Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Enchantment. Spell Penetration is also useful, though most creatures with that can resist spells also have high saving throws. A wizard should also prepare a few scrolls or possibly wands with damage spells in case things go wrong.
Bards can select Charm Person, Sleep and Tasha?s Hideous Laughter at 1st level. At 2nd they can use Cloud of Bewilderment to halt groups of enemies, and also have access to Hold Person. At 3rd level they have both Confusion and Deep Slumber. Their 4th level spells include Dominate Person and Hold Monster. Mind Fog reduces Will saving throws and is essential for any enchanter, and Song of Discord is another valuable 5th level Bard spell. At 6th level they can select Mass Hold Person.
Wizards or sorcerers should select many of the same spells as bards for the role, though they are often higher level when cast by wizards. There are a few additional spells that are useful and aren?t available to bards. Color Spray is a useful 1st level spell, and Feeblemind is very good against other arcane spell-casters. At high levels Mass versions of Charm Monster and Hold Monster are available, as well as Dominate Monster. When successful these last spells are very powerful.
The Summoner.
Some wizards and sorcerers rely on summoned creatures to do their bidding. Unlike enchanters you don?t rely on taking control of creatures already present with the risk that this won?t work. Instead you summon controllable allies. Unfortunately there are spells such as Dismissal and Banishment that can remove large numbers in one casting, and sometimes your creatures aren?t powerful enough to do the job. Bards can cast summons, but their lower spell-casting level means that they often are overpowered, and Warlocks are restricted to summoning undead. Since summoners often end up casting the same spell repeatedly, sorcerers can be more effective than wizards.
The most valuable feats for a summoner are Extend Spell and Augment Summoning. Spell Focus (Conjuration) will be necessary for Augment Summoning. Spell Penetration is less valuable to a Summoner than to most other wizards and sorcerers, since they rarely attack enemies directly. A wizard may want to have Craft Wand, as some spells are repeatedly useful.
A dedicated summoner will get value from learning the relevant Summon Creature spell at every level. They may find a variety of boosting spells useful, or spells that weaken enemies. Area attack spells are likely to damage their own summoned creatures, which makes them less useful. The Planar Binding spells are useful, and Mordenkainen?s Sword resists many spells that can otherwise be effective against your creatures. Gate at 9th level is comparable to Summon Creature IX, and which is more useful depends on the situation.
The Tactical Controller.
Stopping your enemies doing what they want to can be more important than doing what you want to. If you can control the battlefield then you have a big advantage over your enemies. Wizards and sorcerers have a wide range of effects that help them do this. Badly placed, these effects severely restrict their own side?s actions.
Quicken Spell is one of the most valuable feats, allowing you to get an effect off when you need to stop something urgently. Your spells draw from a wide range of schools so Spell Focus is less valuable.
At 1st level the Grease spell can make it much harder for enemies to reach you. Web at 2nd level is possibly your most valuable spell, and Cloud of Bewilderment is also useful. At 3rd level Stinking Cloud is a useful spell, while at 4th you have both Evard?s Black Tentacles and Wall of Fire. Cloudkill and Mind Fog are useful in different ways, with the latter especially helpful for casters with enchantment spells available. Acid Fog is useful because very few creatures are resistant to acid, so forcing them to move or be injured. Bigby?s Grasping Hand controls the movement of a single powerful creature, while Incendiary Cloud is especially valuable against creatures vulnerable to fire such as most undead.
The Warrior:
Few spell-casters want to risk getting into melee and without multi-classing few are capable in the role. Both wizards and sorcerers have low attack bonuses, few hit points, cannot wear armour effectively, and have a limited selection of weapons. Bards and Warlocks are not a great deal better. However, there are ways to can compensate for this to a degree. Many of the spells useful for boosting other party members can also be cast on the mage.
For a bard or warlock, Battle Caster lets them fight in medium armour and if they gain proficiency in medium armour then it?s a very useful ability to boost their armour class. Toughness is valuable for all characters, as are Extend Spell and Combat Casting. Craft Magical Arms and Armour should be part of your repertoire. Still Spell avoids the risk of spell failure.
At 1st level Mage Armour and Enlarge Person increase your hitting power and armour. The combination of Blind Sight and Darkness is helpful for reducing damage, while False Life adds some free hit points, Ghoul Touch is useful offensively, Mirror Image reduces injury, and Protection from Arrows is useful against enemies lacking enchanted missile weapons. Displacement is probably better than Improved Mage Armour, and Vampiric Touch regains hit points for you while damaging enemies. Polymorph Self may sometimes be more effective than attacking in your own form, and Elemental Shield means enemies attacking you will damage themselves in the process. Ethereal Visage is more effective than Stoneskin since it also protects you from some spells, while Stone Body has useful effects. Shadow Shield adds to your armour class and makes you invulnerable to many dangerous effects. Iron Body and Blackstaff are effective in different ways, and at 9th level Shapechange makes you the equal of most warriors.

Prestige classes for arcane spell-casters.

Several prestige classes exist which either require the ability to cast arcane spells or which add to your ability to cast arcane spells. Some of these are more suited for certain types of caster. Warlocks gain very little from them, as none improve their Eldritch Blast ability.

Arcane Archer:
Restricted to elves and half-elves only, and with relatively easy entry requirements. This class doesn?t increase your spell-casting abilities, so it?s most useful for someone who doesn?t intend reaching high levels as a spell-caster. The main roles usable with this class are warrior and tactical controller, with elements of both being useful. A bard has several advantages over wizards and sorcerers when it comes to entering this class.
Arcane Trickster:
This class requires at least 3 levels in a class with sneak attack, probably Rogue. If you have these levels then the skill requirements are quite easy to reach. It increases your spell-casting at every level unlike any other prestige class, and you gain better saving throws and more skills than a wizard or sorcerer. There are also several special abilities gained. However, you have low hit points and your spell-casting is 3 or more levels behind that of other casters. A summoner gains the advantage that they can carry out powerful sneak attacks on opponents engaged with their creatures, but the low hit points make this a risky manoeuvre. The practised spell-caster feat can wipe off the penalty to your caster level, but you still won?t have as many or as powerful spells. Probably your most effective role involves casting boosting spells.
Eldritch Knight:
Entering this class is as simple as being able to cast 3rd level spells and having martial weapon proficiency. The first will happen for any character seriously interested in being an arcane spell-caster, but the second requires either use of a feat or multi-classing into a warrior class. This class has slightly better hit points than a sorcerer or wizard, advances spell-casting on nine of it?s ten levels, and is much better at attack rolls. They still aren?t as survivable as a full warrior, but their spells can make up for that. It probably would appeal most to someone in the Warrior role. With two levels of fighter, eight of wizard, and ten of this class a character can cast 9th level spells and attack four times/round.
Harper Agent:
Harper agent is a relatively easy class to enter for a bard, but the requirement for 8 ranks in diplomacy will make it difficult for other arcane spell-casters. It improves spell-casting on four out of its five levels, and gives a variety of other slightly useful features. It lacks any particularly powerful abilities but doesn't reduce your ability in other areas as most perstige classes do.
Edit: It turns out that Harper Agent is rather more versatiles than I realised. It increases the spellcasting and spell-like abilties of any caster-type. So as well as bards, sorcerers and wizards it adds to the spellcasting of Divine casters such as cleric and to the arcane blast and other abilties of a Warlock. So there's quite a few extra options with it.

Pale Master:
Easy to enter for an arcane spell-caster who isn?t good. This class improves your spell-casting at every other level, so you will never reach the highest level spells if you go far in it. Your hit points are marginally better than those of a sorcerer or wizard, and the special abilities improve your chance of survival. You can be effective as a summoner, and several necromancy spells are useful to you.
Red Dragon Disciple:
Only open to sorcerers and bards, who require 8 ranks in lore. This class has excellent hit points and good saving throws, and has a better attack bonus than a sorcerer. The special abilities are also powerful. However, you gain no spell-casting ability as you advance in the class so you will never gain the most powerful spells. It?s most suited to a warrior-type caster, and probably to one who has several levels in a combat-oriented class. A bard would be more effective than a sorcerer,.

Edited by Bluenose, 21 April 2007 - 04:50 AM.

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#2 Tempest

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:35 AM

Good analysis, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of points:

Warlocks are actually a very good class for the main character, from my experience. They are wonderful if you're in a module or area where you're facing diverse enemy types, and you need the ability to switch damage types on the fly-warlocks offer pure magical damage by default (which few enemies are resistant to), and can later add cold, fire, acid, and negative damage to their repetoire. They can also add some good debuff effects to their blasts (beshadowed blast comes to mind) while still doing consistent damage-a warlock never has to worry about not having the right spell memorized. Eldritch spear is great for sniping back-row enemies, while eldritch chain and eldritch doom are great for bombarding groups of enemies at will. They also gain an array of useful support abilities if they so choose, which they can cast an unlimited number of times per day. Their infinite supply of spells is really their strongest ability-in the endgame areas of the official campaign, and anywhere else where resting is difficult, the warlock will keep blasting away where the other casters fall useless.

The Red Dragon Disciple, despite it's requiring a level of bard or sorcerer, should not be considered a caster prestige class. It is purely for other classes that have picked up a level of bard. A Fighter 9, Bard 1, RDD 10 is a vicious melee combatant. And it's fun from a role-playing perspective.

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#3 Bluenose

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:45 AM

Good analysis, but I have to disagree with you on a couple of points:

Warlocks are actually a very good class for the main character, from my experience. They are wonderful if you're in a module or area where you're facing diverse enemy types, and you need the ability to switch damage types on the fly-warlocks offer pure magical damage by default (which few enemies are resistant to), and can later add cold, fire, acid, and negative damage to their repetoire. They can also add some good debuff effects to their blasts (beshadowed blast comes to mind) while still doing consistent damage-a warlock never has to worry about not having the right spell memorized. Eldritch spear is great for sniping back-row enemies, while eldritch chain and eldritch doom are great for bombarding groups of enemies at will. They also gain an array of useful support abilities if they so choose, which they can cast an unlimited number of times per day. Their infinite supply of spells is really their strongest ability-in the endgame areas of the official campaign, and anywhere else where resting is difficult, the warlock will keep blasting away where the other casters fall useless.


I do think they're a lot less versatile than other spellcasters. There are advantages and disadvantages to them, but I don't think a group where the only arcane spellcaster was a warlock would have as many options as one with a sorcerer or bard, let alone a wizard. I certainly agree that their ability to keep blasting away constantly is very valuable.

The Red Dragon Disciple, despite it's requiring a level of bard or sorcerer, should not be considered a caster prestige class. It is purely for other classes that have picked up a level of bard. A Fighter 9, Bard 1, RDD 10 is a vicious melee combatant. And it's fun from a role-playing perspective.


I really only included it for completeness, since it does require sorcerer or bard levels. I'll probably write something more about it when I do a section on warriors. The build I favour actually goes Barbarian/Sorcerer/Red DragonDisciple, perhaps with levels of Frenzied Berserker too. Shield becomes a very useful spell, and with a 2-handed weapon all the strength increases really help damage.

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Like RPGs? Like Star Wars? Think combining the two would be fun? Read Darths and Droids, and discover the line "Jar Jar, you're a genius".

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#4 Kellen

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 11:16 AM

It should also be noted Warlocks don't count for spellcaster levels. And there is the Arcane Trickster which I did not see. As it is a rather spellcasting class as well as a roguey class it could go here.
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#5 Lord Ernie

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 01:50 PM

Decent enough analysis, but I'd like to add some remarks.

Firstly, an enchanter is powerful and can turn some fights into cakewalks, as well as having the very handy ability of being able to fling his spells into an on-going fight (most enchantments target only enemies). Regrettably, an enchanter is a bad choice for the OC, because at high level, you'll only be fighting undead, who will be immune to mostly anything you can fling at them. Next to undead, dragons and constructs are also immune... enchanters are often a risk to play. In fact, I always picked enchantment as a forbidden school when playing wizards in the OC.

For the Arcane Trickster, I recommend downloading one of the many spell fix mods around the Vault, to make sneak attacks work on ranged touch spells. That is how the trickster is supposed to work... fire off a Melf's Acid Arrow while invisible, and enjoy that juicy sneak attack damage if you hit. Actually, I'd recommend a spell fix mod tout court; Obsidian left a lot of bugs in there.

For the Blaster: take Wail of the Banshee as a level 9 spell, rather than Weird. Wail only requires the enemy to miss one Fortitude saving throw to knock them off, Weird requires them to miss both a Fortitude and a Will saving throw. Also, sorcerers arguably serve better than wizards in this role, not only since they pack considerably more volume, but they can also cast metamagiced spells without the need to specifically prepare them - two very powerful effects for a Blaster.

More generally, it is often perfectly viable to mix and combine the archetypes. A summoner, for example, only gets one summoning spell per level, so combining him with a blaster makes for one hell of a powerful caster. It takes dedication to get to Augment Summoning, yes, but this combination is viable with a wizard (through their bonus feats), or a human sorcerer (which happens to be the best race for sorcerer anyway). Granted, this works better in P&P, where you can pick your summons to adjust them to your spells (fire elementals + fire damage spells = nice).

Also, I'd argue against playing a Warlock, especially in the OC. A Warlock is powerful when you have long drawn-out fights, where other casters tend to run out of gas. The ease with which the OC allows one to rest nullifies this perk. Worse, Warlocks only get the ability to attack multiple enemies reliably at later levels, and their largest impact remains a 20ft-burst, whereas other casters can deal damage to a lot more enemies at once. Lastly, their damage potential isn't that great when going up against straight spells - a level 15 warlock deals 8d6 damage per blast attack, while a level 15 Wiz/Sorc armed with, say, Firebrand, deals 15d6 damage to just about every enemy in the area, and I'm not even counting Empower Spell.

Edited by Lord Ernie, 28 March 2007 - 01:51 PM.

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#6 Bluenose

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:56 AM

Decent enough analysis, but I'd like to add some remarks.


It's always interesting to hear other people's opinions.

Firstly, an enchanter is powerful and can turn some fights into cakewalks, as well as having the very handy ability of being able to fling his spells into an on-going fight (most enchantments target only enemies). Regrettably, an enchanter is a bad choice for the OC, because at high level, you'll only be fighting undead, who will be immune to mostly anything you can fling at them. Next to undead, dragons and constructs are also immune... enchanters are often a risk to play. In fact, I always picked enchantment as a forbidden school when playing wizards in the OC.


It is a problem in the OC, and a sorcerer or bard heavily invested in enchantment will suffer because of it. At lower levels though it's really valuable, especially because few of the creatures you face have good saving throws. Personally I'm more willing to drop Evocation, since there's plenty of spells in other schools which give you good damage effects.

For the Arcane Trickster, I recommend downloading one of the many spell fix mods around the Vault, to make sneak attacks work on ranged touch spells. That is how the trickster is supposed to work... fire off a Melf's Acid Arrow while invisible, and enjoy that juicy sneak attack damage if you hit. Actually, I'd recommend a spell fix mod tout court; Obsidian left a lot of bugs in there.


It's certainly a good idea, though they are gradually removing them in various patches. I don't feel justified in suggesting that tactic based on what's in the game as it is. Though if Scorching Ray was available in it's PnP form I might make an exception.

For the Blaster: take Wail of the Banshee as a level 9 spell, rather than Weird. Wail only requires the enemy to miss one Fortitude saving throw to knock them off, Weird requires them to miss both a Fortitude and a Will saving throw. Also, sorcerers arguably serve better than wizards in this role, not only since they pack considerably more volume, but they can also cast metamagiced spells without the need to specifically prepare them - two very powerful effects for a Blaster.


I think Wail has a limit to the number affected though, which Weird doesn't. Either is a good choice, but Wail is completely useless against undead whereas Weird may have some efect.

I agree that Sorcerers are better than wizards at this. In fact I'd suggest that any really specialised arcane caster idea would work better with a sorcerer than with a wizard. The wizard's advantage you bring out in your next point.

More generally, it is often perfectly viable to mix and combine the archetypes.


It's much easier to do this with a wizard. The bonus feats make a huge difference to your capabilities, and in my opinion make a wizard more effective all round than a sorcerer.

A summoner, for example, only gets one summoning spell per level, so combining him with a blaster makes for one hell of a powerful caster. It takes dedication to get to Augment Summoning, yes, but this combination is viable with a wizard (through their bonus feats), or a human sorcerer (which happens to be the best race for sorcerer anyway). Granted, this works better in P&P, where you can pick your summons to adjust them to your spells (fire elementals + fire damage spells = nice).


Or combining a tactical controller and blaster :).

Also, I'd argue against playing a Warlock, especially in the OC. A Warlock is powerful when you have long drawn-out fights, where other casters tend to run out of gas. The ease with which the OC allows one to rest nullifies this perk. Worse, Warlocks only get the ability to attack multiple enemies reliably at later levels, and their largest impact remains a 20ft-burst, whereas other casters can deal damage to a lot more enemies at once. Lastly, their damage potential isn't that great when going up against straight spells - a level 15 warlock deals 8d6 damage per blast attack, while a level 15 Wiz/Sorc armed with, say, Firebrand, deals 15d6 damage to just about every enemy in the area, and I'm not even counting Empower Spell.


Warlocks are only really powerful early in the game, in my opinion. Their blast isn't so outclassed in damage potential when a sorcerer's magic missile is doing 1d4 and can't be done more than a few times. Their advantages don't show up well. No save is good, and the blast types are especially useful against some enemies since an effect can be applied freely. I don't think they're a powerful class compared to others. :(

Back from the brink.

Like RPGs? Like Star Wars? Think combining the two would be fun? Read Darths and Droids, and discover the line "Jar Jar, you're a genius".

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
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And took their wages and are dead.


#7 Bluenose

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:20 AM

Part 2 - Warriors


There are five classes in Neverwinter Nights 2 that rely mainly on their combat prowess. This isn?t to say that other classes can?t fight, but they usually have other things that they do as well. These five classes are warriors first and foremost.

The classes

The fighter is the simplest class in the game in some ways, as they don?t do much but combat. They have few skill points, a limited range of class skills, their saving throws other than Fortitude are poor, and they have few abilities which members of other classes can?t duplicate. What they do have is a huge number of bonus feats, which allows them great versatility in developing fighting techniques. They are also the only class which can gain the weapon specialisation, greater weapon focus, and greater weapon specialisation feats. Because of this wide range of feats it?s often possible for them to develop more than one effective fighting technique. Most fighters should consider either multi-classing or selecting a prestige class to increase their versatility.

The barbarian is the wild version of the fighter, doing more damage but also taking more. They have more hit points than any other class, and they have more skill points and a marginally more useful skill list than a fighter, though they share the poor saving throws. Their signature ability is their rage, and employed at the right time it makes them extremely effective for a short period while in melee. The Frenzied berserker prestige class is an interesting option.

The paladin is a lawful good warrior with several special abilities and a limited amount of spellcasting. While their saving throws are the same as a fighter or barbarian, their divine grace class ability means they will usually have better saves in practice. Paladins are very effective defensively with good hit points and the ability to wear heavy armour, and they can heal themselves effectively too. They lack the offensive power of a raging barbarian and the wide range of feats that a fighter can use to enhance their combat power. Most of their class abilities are gained quite early and although they improve at higher levels prestige classes and multi-classing are nore unreasonable options.

The ranger is a warrior at home in the wilds as much as the city. They have more skill points and a wider range of skills than other warrior classes, good fortitude and reflex saves, a choice of favoured enemies that makes them much more effective against some creatures, a choice of combat styles, spellcasting, and other useful special abilities. They have less hit points than other warrior classes, and the Toughness feat they gain as a bonus doesn?t quite make up for this. Since they are also restricted to using light armour if they wish to use their combat style feats they are rather more vulnerable than other warriors, and they have a weak Will saving throw. The style of most encounters in NWN2 doesn?t suit ranger?s abilities, as they are most effective in a hit-and-run style rather than a straight fight. Some valuable ranger abilities aren?t gained until high level, so taking levels in other classes is not advisable.

The monk is an unusual warrior class that doesn?t use armour and often won?t use weapons. They have excellent saving throws and gain a wide range of special abilities. They have relatively few hit points compared to most warriors, and at low levels they have poor armour classes. At most levels they do less damage than other warriors do as well. They also have an inferior attack bonus to other warrior classes. Where they shine is killing arcane spellcasters, as their excellent saving throws and class abilities together with their high mobility make it quite practical for them to engage and kill such enemies. At high levels their special abilities make them exceptionally hard to kill. No multi-classing or prestige classes are worth considering, since monks carry on gaining useful abilities up to 20th level.

Races for warriors

Humans can be good warriors in any class. Dwarves make tough warriors due to their high constitution and have a prestige class unique to their race. Moon, Wood, and drow elves make good missile combatants with their dexterity bonus, but are also vulnerable because of their constitution penalty. Half-orcs and wood elves have a strength bonus that is certainly an advantage for any melee warrior type. It?s best to avoid any race with a strength penalty, and races with a constitution penalty should try to avoid being the main party fighter.

Roles for warriors

A major decision for warriors is whether they wish their main role to be defensive melee, offensive melee, or missile. This is something that needs thinking about every time they enter a fight, though only fighters are likely to be able to do all three roles effectively.

Defensive melee warriors.

A defensive role means getting between the enemy and weaker members of your party, and then letting the enemy come to you. It?s most useful when the fight looks tough, either because of numbers or the power of your enemy. If you have lots of ranged combat power from spellcasters or missile users, they can damage an enemy that refuses to approach you.
The commonest way to fight defensively involves wearing heavy armour and using a one-handed weapon with a shield. Alternatively you can rely on the parry skills and wear relatively light armour. In either case the Toughness feat is worth selecting to improve your hit points. In the first case Combat Expertise is an excellent feat, and a paladin should look very seriously at Divine Shield. In the second, Improved Parry and Skill Focus (Parry) are both worthwhile. Knockdown and Improved Knockdown set enemies up for attacks by other characters close by.
Magic items that improve your armour class and will saves are a priority. Because a one-handed weapon generally does less damage than a two-handed one, it?s probably better to select weapons with bonus damage over ones with a higher bonus. For the same reason Weapon Specialisation (and Greater Weapon Specialisation) are useful to you if you have enough fighter levels.

Offensive melee warriors.

In this role you?ll be moving towards your enemies. When your enemies are more effective at range than your party then you either do this or retreat quickly. Watch out for enemies that bypass you to attack weaker characters at the rear of the group.
You are probably better of not using a shield if you are fighting offensively. With a two-handed weapon you?re relying on doing lots of damage with each attack, and a high strength bonus is ideal. If you elect to use two weapons then you?re relying on volume of attacks to deal with your enemies, since you won?t be able to do as much damage with each attack. A monk may use flurry of blows for a similar effect. For two-weapon wielders a source of bonus damage is helpful, including barbarian rage, paladin?s smiting, rangers favoured enemies and rogues sneak attacks.
Again Toughness is a useful feat. Dodge, Mobility and Spring Attack are useful for moving around near enemies. Power Attack and especially Cleave are exceptionally useful, though Great Cleave is unlikely to come into play often. If you have a favourite weapon then Improved Critical with it is a good idea. Monks should take Circle Kick as soon as they can.
Weapons with a high bonus to hit are more useful than ones with bonus damage. Items that increase your mobility and hitting power are good choices.

Missile warriors.

Most warriors will only engage in missile combat at the start of a fight, switching to another role later on. Enemies who have difficulty approaching your position are the best targets, or single powerful enemies that you need to weaken before melee. Rangers who have selected the Archery combat style are an exception to this, and they can be moderately effective in a hit-and-run style by moving forward stealthily to attack isolated enemies and then retreating and drawing them towards the rest of the party.
Rapid Shot and Improved Rapid Shot are the most effective feats, and Called Shot targeting enemies legs can give you more time to shoot at them. People using crossbows might wish to select Rapid Reload to gain the advantage of multiple attacks. While Zen Archery looks like an effective feat for clerics, druids, and possibly some monks all three classes are short of feats and others are more advantageous. Since you are likely to find yourself in melee on some occasions, you will probably find Dodge and Mobility useful if you have feats to spare.
Your equipment needs to be selected so as not to reduce your attack bonus. Enhancement bonuses to dexterity are your best choice. Items that increase your mobility are very valuable, and items which prevent enemies restricting that mobility even more so. A high bonus on your weapon is useful and keeping missiles with several different types of bonus damage is preferred. Whatever happens don?t run out of missiles!

Prestige Classes

Arcane Archer.
This class is restricted to elves and half-elves only. It requires that you be able to cast arcane spells, but is otherwise easy to enter. It?s ideal for a missile specialist since your arrows automatically improve as you gain levels. The 2nd level ability to fire three arrows each day that burst as fireballs gives you an area attack ability few other warriors will share. The class skills make it especially useful for rangers who have selected the archery combat path. It?s my personal opinion that bards are equally as well suited to the class, since their music benefits and a useful range of spells and skills make them mobile and effective combatants.

Blackguard.
A good choice for evil fighters who don?t gain useful saving throw bonuses, spellcasting and summoning abilities without having any onerous requirements other than the 5 ranks in hide which will be almost totally useless to anyone wearing heavy armour. Some combat oriented rogues may find it useful and easy enough to enter, and some of the abilities are useful to them.

Divine Champion.
A class that most warriors should be able to enter quite easily, which gives useful paladin-like benefits. Paladins will benefit from it because of the bonus feats, which will allow them more versatility in deciding how they will fight, and many of the class abilities benefit from a high Charisma which is usually a priority for paladins. Fighters benefit from the improved saving throws but unless that already have a high Charisma in few other ways. Other warrior classes may find that the class abilities they gain at high levels are more valuable than any they gain from this class.

Duelist.
For a warrior who seeks to fight without armour the duelist is an essential class. It?s easiest to enter for a character with levels in bard or rogue as well as a warrior class, and a high intelligence will help you defensively. The good reflex save will be useful for a character that has gained the evasion ability, though Duelists have the common warrior weakness of poor Will saves. Emphasising your parry skill is sensible, and a high level duelist will be very hard to kill while parrying. The class has good hit points, but an emphasis on parrying and defense means that some of the offensive abilities are likely to be used less.

Dwarven Defender.
Restricted to dwarves, a dwarven defender is the toughest class in the game. No class gains more hit points, and unlike most warriors they also get good Will and Fortitude saves. Their main class ability is the defensive stance, where they become even harder to knock out of a fight. They gain a few other abilities including damage reduction, while giving up little offensive power. For even more defensive power a dwarven paladin has a number of advantages over a fighter. Don?t forget to have a Dexterity of 13 so you can take the Dodge feat.

Frenzied Berserker.
Both more lethal offensively and more vulnerable defensively than a barbarian, a Frenzied Berserker is a supremely effective offensive melee character. That though is all they can do, and despite all their prowess high level spellcasters will be doing more damage. Look for items that regenerate hit points to keep them in the fight longer, and it may be advisable to avoid the Extend Rage feat as a target they can?t kill quickly is one they probably shouldn?t be fighting at all.

Red Dragon Disciple.
You need a level in Bard or Sorcerer to enter this class, and 8 ranks in Lore. Neither of these requirements is difficult to reach, and the benefits are significant. You gain good hit points and both Fortitude and Will saves. The class abilities are particularly suited to melee combatants, as you gain natural armour and receive significant boosts to your strength and smaller ones to other ability scores. The weakness for a warrior is that your attack bonus will be lower as a result of taking levels in this class and in bard/sorcerer. The bard version has the benefit of bardic music enhancement while the sorcerer has some useful spells, but neither will be as effective as casters while you wear armour.

Weapon Master.

With six feats among the requirements, you will almost certainly have to take several levels in Fighter before you can enter this class. Fortunately it?s a strong choice for a fighter who has a preferred weapon. All the class benefits relate to the preferred weapon you select when you enter the class, which must be one you have weapon focus in. Whether you prefer to have a two-handed weapon such as a greatsword, fight with a shield and one-handed weapon, or wield a pair of weapons you can gain significant benefits if you select it for this class. It is a poor class to choose for the official campaign as many of your benefits relate to critical hits, and late in the campaign most of your enemies are undead and immune to criticals. You will need both Dexterity and Intelligence scores of 13 or more, which does mean that some of your other characteristics will suffer.

Back from the brink.

Like RPGs? Like Star Wars? Think combining the two would be fun? Read Darths and Droids, and discover the line "Jar Jar, you're a genius".

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.


#8 Bluenose

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 04:40 AM

Part 3 ? Divine Spellcasters

There are two major and two minor types of divine spellcasters. They are generally powerful classes with a wide range of abilities, and at least one should be in any balanced party of adventurers.

The Classes

Clerics vary significantly depending on which deity they elect to worship. The domains you select will have a significant effect on the magic available to you, and the special abilities you gain can also make a difference to you. All clerics can be competent fighters in the front line of a party, owing to their proficiency with heavy armour and shields. They don?t have quite as much power offensively as most fighter or barbarians because of their limited range of weapons, their lower attack bonus, and their usually lower strength scores. While their spells can make up for this, it?s usually preferable to cast spells such as Bull?s Strength on the better warriors first, as they are more likely to benefit from the attack bonus and damage bonus. A cleric?s spellcasting is usually not as destructive as that of arcane casters, unless you are fighting undead, until you reach very high levels. Clerics are extremely capable against undead due to their turn undead ability and many of their spells. Their turning ability is also used with a few special feats, and some domain powers make it more effective.

Druids are less effective defensively than clerics owing to their generally lower armour class. They lack the ability to convert their spells spontaneously into healing magic, but they can convert them into summoning spells. They also have a much wider range of damage-inflicting spells compared to a cleric, and aren?t far short of an arcane caster in this respect. Their most unique ability is Wild Shape, which allows them to transform into an animal. There are feats that use wild shape to grant improvements to a druids defence. It?s essential for a druid who expects to use Wild Shape regularly to take the Natural Spell feat so that they can cast spells while in animal form.

Paladins add a limited amount of spellcasting and the ability to turn undead to a warrior character. They can gain several useful feats which rely on their ability to turn undead and which grant them temporary bonuses to their combat abilities. Their spells are less useful and it?s worth limiting them to the spells that your main casters aren?t memorising, since they are generally less efficient than a primary spellcaster. The one exception to this is Holy Sword, which is sufficiently useful to be worth memorising more than once.

Rangers also add some spellcasting to a warrior. They are also less efficient as casters, but their lack of the paladin?s special ability to heal means that they probably need to memorise a few healing spells themselves. Otherwise it?s again most sensible to have them memorise spells which you use less often. For a ranger specialised in archery, spells such as entangle and spike growth are valuable tools to stop enemies closing.

Races for divine spellcasters.
In general races with a level adjustment are less effective in spellcasting classes than those without such an adjustment. The one exception may be aasimars, whose bonuses to Wisdom and Charisma and lack of any penalties to ability scores make them extremely effective at turning undead and better in other cleric roles. In most respects there aren?t any other races with particular benefits when it comes to being clerics or druids, though humans always benefit from their bonus feat and extra skill points.

Roles for divine spellcasters

Warrior

Both clerics and druids can make effective warriors. Neither class is quite as capable as a warrior. Clerics can make up for this with spells such as Divine Favour, Divine Power, and Righteous Might. Druids make up for it with Wild Shape. Druids also benefit from spells such as Stoneskin and Barkskin, while clerics are heavily armoured in any case and can improve that with the feat Divine Shield and increase their offensive power with Divine Might. Either class benefits from Combat Casting as they will often be casting spells within reach of opponents, and they should maximise their Concentration skill for the same reason. Clerics will also benefit from casting Inflict spells, which will do more damage at low levels than the weapons they are likely to be using. For a cleric it may be worth considering Martial Weapon Proficiency to give them access to a wider range of weapons, though a morningstar is a solid choice without that. Ranged weapons are less useful than melee ones as most clerics, druids, and paladins have low dexterity scores. Rangers are the exception to this, usually having good dexterity and often being skilled at ranged combat. Magic weapons are obviously useful, but druids benefit less from magic armour than from other items that increase armour class as they spend significant amounts of time in another form and don?t gain any benefit from their armour.

Bane of Undead


Clerics are generally extremely competent at fighting undead, and paladins are only a little behind them. Clerics have numerous spells that damage undead and others that protect against their most dangerous abilities. They also have good saving throws against the sort of effects most common with undead such as diseases, level drain, and fear effects. A cleric or paladin specialised in fighting undead should have the extra turning feat, and may benefit from Sacred Vengeance too. The best domain is Sun, which grants Greater Turning. Magic items that increase charisma are valuable, as are ones that protect against level drain and disease.

Healer.

One of the main tasks of divine spellcasters is healing the party. This does not include just loss of hit points but also other damage such as poison, level drain and disease. It?s worthwhile for a cleric, druid, and perhaps paladin to memorise at least one use of Restoration all the time, unless you have some other means of restoring lost levels such as scrolls. Disease is less common and it?s not necessary to memorise curing spells most of the time, but it is useful to have some means to neutralise poison available. For general hit point damage a cleric with the ability to cast Cure spells spontaneously makes it less necessary for other characters to memorise such spells, and one of each level is easily sufficient. However, the Heal spell is much more powerful than other curing spells and is not cast spontaneously so at high levels a couple of uses of this should be memorised. If you lack such a cleric then other healers should memorise more spells, probably no more than two of each level. A cleric with the Healing domain is useful but can be slightly overkill at most levels. If your main healer is not a cleric then the feat Augment Healing is probably a good idea. It?s probably also worthwhile obtaining a wand of Cure Light Wounds, even if you have to make it yourself.

Support caster

It?s possible for druids and clerics to be effective casting spells in support of the party. They have access to many of the same spells that an arcane caster would use to buff the party such as Bull?s Strength, as well as some unique ones. A druid should also use summoned creatures to help the party fight enemies, and for that reason would usually benefit from the feat Augment Summoning so that the creatures they summon are more powerful. Extend Spell is also valuable to increase the effect of buffing spells, and a cleric may also want to use it on powerful summons where a druid would take advantage of their frequent use.
The other way druids and sometimes clerics can support the party is by casting damaging spells on enemies. Low-level clerics have few spells that can do actual physical damage at range compared to druids and are significantly inferior to arcane casters at this. Even at high levels only a few spells compare to the most effective ones of other classes. There are a few domains that grant useful spells with Air being probably the best. Druids are much better provided with even at low levels and Call Lightning or Ice Storm are useful, though they generally lack the variety of damaging effects available to a Sorcerer or Wizard. Backing up the party wizard with spells that do a different type of damage is helpful. If you?re really dedicated to casting damaging spells the Spell Penetration and Empower Spell should be considered, but a sorcerer or wizard is better at this.

Prestige Classes

Obsidian made the decision to leave out several of the prestige classes they had been working on, and divine spellcasters suffered quite badly. The only prestige remaining that advances a divine spellcaster?s abilities is Warpriest. Compared to a cleric the warpriest has superior fighting skills and gains useful special abilities especially when operating as part of a group. There is one difficult requirement in that you need 5 ranks in Spot, which is a cross-class skill for a cleric and uses up some of the clerics already small number of skill points. The big disadvantage is the limited spellcasting progression, as you only advance at every other level. For a cleric who finds him/herself operating mostly as a warrior and healer it?s a reasonable sacrifice to make, but others will find their spellcasting too limited. For a druid you not only give up spellcasting levels but also any improvement to your Wild Shape ability, and these are probably too valuable to sacrifice.

Back from the brink.

Like RPGs? Like Star Wars? Think combining the two would be fun? Read Darths and Droids, and discover the line "Jar Jar, you're a genius".

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.


#9 Bluenose

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 06:10 AM

Part 4 ? Tricksters


Some classes are most effective at subterfuge and trickery. Rogues are the most obvious, but bards, rangers, and even monks are capable of many of the same tricks. A sneaky character is usually less capable in combat than a warrior and lacks the magical power of specialist casters. Being successful requires a different approach. It?s probably true that this type of character, especially a rogue, will do best in a module specifically designed to suit their abilities. In the NWN2 official campaign they are probably the hardest characters to use.

The Classes

The rogue is the main character class to rely on subterfuge. Rogues are relatively weak in combat compared to warriors, and they have no spellcasting to help them out. A rogue has a wide range of skills and also has the ability to sneak attack enemies who are fighting someone else or who haven?t seen the attacker. You also gain a few special abilities, which are often most helpful defensively. However, while other classes may not be able to match your range of skills and won?t match the number, they can do many of the things you do, even if they aren?t as skilled. It?s also the case that sneak attack is not effective against certain types of enemies such as undead and in the OC it won?t be of much benefit late on.

Bards combine most of a rogue?s skills with a moderate amount of spellcasting and their bardic music abilities. While they aren?t exceptional at any of the things they do, they do have a wider range of abilities than any other characters. In many ways the biggest weakness of bards is that they are too capable at too many things, while still not being the best at any of them. Being better at fighting than a wizard and better a spellcasting than a fighter just means that you have to use cunning to make sure you?re using the right abilities against the right enemies.

Rangers are quite capable in battle, but they have more skills than other warriors. They also learn several abilities that make them useful as scouts, and are especially effective outdoors. A ranger generally needs to fight with a more subtle style than other warriors, as they aren?t usually as powerful.

Monks are also capable in battle, and they usually have fewer skills than other classes that rely on cunning. Their exceptional mobility and good stealth skills mean that when scouting they can often get further in advance of the group than other characters might, as they are fast enough to make it back quickly.

Races for tricksters
.

Most races have advantages and disadvantages as rogues. There is enough variety in the class that you can probably use the abilities your race gives you to gain you some advantage. Half-elves are exceptional when it comes to acting as the groups ?face?, halflings are exceptionally stealthy, and tieflings have useful racial abilities and bonuses to important stats. Humans gain their bonus feat as well as even more skills than other rogues.

Roles for tricksters.

Party Face.

There are opportunities in the NWN2 OC and in some modules to use persuasion and deceit rather than fighting your way through an encounter. Both rogues and bards have access to the skills needed to persuade people to do what you want, either with Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate. While it isn?t always possible to talk your way out of a fight, doing so can avoid a lot of difficulties. If you have these skills and a moderate to high Charisma, it?s often worth trying them since the rewards are usually quite significant. It?s probably enough to have two of these skills at a high level, since it?s relatively rare for only one to be useable. Appraise is also a valuable skill of especial use at merchants. If you intend using these skills a lot the Silver Palm feat is worthwhile, and for half-elves this is a very valuable role.

Ruffian.

Some tricksters can be effective warriors. It?s quite easy for monks and rangers, whose abilities run this way anyway. For a rogue or bard it takes more effort. With less hit points and lower armour classes than most front-line warriors, they should try to avoid being the main target for enemies. A rogue attacking an enemy already engaged with someone else can do lots of damage very quickly, thanks to their sneak attack ability. The parry skill is valuable as is tumble both to avoid attacks of opportunity and for its small bonus to armour class. The combination of the bluff skill and the feint feat is an effective way to increase your damage, and if you have a high enough intelligence it should be taken, especially since Combat Expertise also helps with your generally low armour class. Since you?ll be making use of sneak attack and moving around near enemies a lot, you will almost certainly benefit from Spring Attack (and therefore Dodge and Mobility).
It?s also worth gaining levels in a tougher fighting class, whether as a fighter or in a prestige class such as Duellist. The most useful normal armour is a chain shirt, which provides sufficient protection to be useful while not restricting you too badly.

Scout.

Having most of the party halt in a secure location while your trickster scouts ahead is a legitimate technique. It allows you to investigate what lies ahead and decide what tactics your party needs to use to overcome the enemies. It is also helpful to disarm traps that the party might otherwise move into. In some circumstances it is possible for a scout to attract part of a group of enemies and draw them into a position where other party members have an advantage. It?s also sometimes possible for a sufficiently stealthy character to move into a position where they can kill dangerous enemies before they?re aware of your presence. You should try to keep your Hide and Move Silently skills as high as they can be, and avoid armour that reduces your skills, which generally means nothing heavier than leather.

Combat Trapper.

Placing traps in an area close to your enemies, then giving them a reason to move through that area, is an effective trick for a rogue or ranger, and possibly for other classes. Both are competent at crafting and setting traps, and both are stealthy enough to get close to enemies without being noticed. You can recover traps if your disable device score is high enough, but you can also use the crafting areas found around the game to make specific traps, if your skill is high enough and you have the right materials available. While the most lethal traps are harder to create, they are also effective ways to deal with groups of enemies.

Backup spellcaster.

The key skill involved here is Use Magic Device. While it isn?t totally reliable, a serious emphasis on this skill will make it possible for Rogues and Bards to use most of the wands, scrolls, and other magical equipment found in the game. It?s even possible to make items specifically with this idea in mind. A rogue or bard who can consistently operate wands of Cure Light Wounds and Fireball makes it less necessary for other spellcasters to prepare these spells, and is also available to cast them when the spellcaster is injured or casting others spells. Skill Focus in use magic device and a high charisma are desirable, especially at low levels where you have fewer ranks in the skill.

Making the most of Sneak Attack

A high level rogue making one or more successful sneak attacks can make a difficult battle into an easy one. Even at lower levels it can be effective against most enemies. There are several things to consider if you want to make it more effective. Firstly, if there is a spellcaster available who can cast Greater Invisibility on you, they should do so. The only person who benefits as much is the spellcaster themselves, as it makes them nearly impossible to target for attacks. Greater Invisibility is a 4th level spell for bards, sorcerers and wizards. Secondly, two-weapon fighting gives you extra attacks and that?s a bigger advantage than the reduced chance to hit is a disadvantage. It?s possible to sneak attack at close range with a bow, and if that?s your preference then Rapid Shot is almost essential. Thirdly, you really need to ensure that the attacks hit so take advantage of the high dexterity most rogues have and use the Weapon Finesse feat and use weapons that can take advantage of it. You should also try to get weapons with high bonuses rather than damage bonuses, as most of your damage is inflicted with sneak attack anyway. Avoid taking more than a few levels in classes that don?t advance your sneak attack damage, as only a few other abilities are as valuable.

Prestige classes for tricksters.

Arcane Trickster
An arcane trickster combines rogue skills with arcane magic. While most who enter this class will combine rogue with wizard/sorcerer levels it?s also practical to be a rogue/bard. While the first option has more powerful spells, the second has skills more compatible with a trickster?s usual role. Arcane tricksters don?t gain as many skill points as other tricksters, but a rogue/wizard will probably have a high intelligence to make up for that.

Assassin
Assassins add some benefits to a normal trickster. The death attack ability functions much like a sneak attack, though it has some advantages. You also gain a few spells that you can use once/day, of which the pick is Greater Invisibility. The most useful ability is Hide in Plain Sight, which makes it possible to repeatedly attack enemies then withdraw and hide without getting out of range. However, you have relatively few hit points and less skill points than you might want, and assassins are vulnerable if trapped in melee.

Both Divine Champion and Duellist are possible classes for tricksters. Divine Champion is an interesting choice for a bard, as several of the abilities depend on charisma. Both add significant fighting ability, without advancing their other skills much.

Harper Agent
Harper Agent is a good choice for a trickster character, as you gain several useful special abilities and advance your spellcasting. It?s probably most effective for multi-class characters, and one option that looks viable involves a using it in combination with arcane trickster to get high level spellcasting with a good range of skills.

Shadow Thief of Amn
A shadow thief isn?t very different from a normal rogue. The advantages are mostly to do with negotiation, though you also gain a few bonus feats. The main disadvantage is the choices you have to make to become a member of the organisation, which probably preclude certain alignments. You also have less skill points than a normal rogue.

Shadowdancer.
Shadowdancer is an excellent choice for a rogue, and possibly for other tricksters. The most useful ability is Hide in Plain Sight, which you gain with your first level in this class. The skill requirements are ones that most rogues and bards will reach anyway, and aren?t too difficult for rangers and monks. Dodge is also a likely feat choice, and while Mobility is less useful it?s a requirement for the extremely valuable Spring Attack feat. Most shadowdancers will use this ability to repeatedly enter and leave combat, doing sneak attack damage as they return while using stealth. The other abilities you gain are also available to rogues, and in some cases you?ll be duplicating things you already have.

Back from the brink.

Like RPGs? Like Star Wars? Think combining the two would be fun? Read Darths and Droids, and discover the line "Jar Jar, you're a genius".

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.


#10 -Domi_Ash-

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:36 AM

I have a question: If a priest with Animal Sphere/a Druid becomes a Warpriest, does his familiar level up when he levels up as a Warpriest, or does it only ;levels up when he goes up as a priest?

#11 Kellen

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:51 AM

I'm pretty sure that a PrC does not level up Familiars nor Animal Companions, nor any other specifically class abilities.

Edited by Kellen, 19 April 2007 - 05:51 AM.

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#12 Lord Ernie

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:03 AM

Nope. Just like the Arcane PRC's do not advance the character's familiar, so Warpriest doesn't advance the Cleric's/Druid's animal companion. The price you pray for the prestige, since especially in the Arcane case you'd get an almost strictly better sorcerer if you'd take, say, Eldritch Knight (a wizard, with the bonus feats, is debatable), otherwise. As stated in most PRC's (well, in the books, I'm not sure about the game right now), they don't advance most class-related special abilities, like familiars and turning undead.

Short answer: nope, no advancement :).

Edited by Lord Ernie, 19 April 2007 - 06:04 AM.

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#13 -Domi_Ash-

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:07 AM

Well, so much for being called a war*priest*, I suppose. I mean it would make sense to me if they leveled at the same rate as they gained the spells, because they still gain clerical spells....

#14 Lord Ernie

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:22 AM

Yeah. The Warpriest and the Pale Master for arcane casters are arguably the worst spellcaster PRC's in there. Their advantages aren't that hot (especially the warpriest's ones suck), and having your spell progression halved simply hurts like hell. The best use of a warpriest is perhaps doing a level 16 Druid or Cleric combined with 4 levels of Warpriest - it gives you level 9 spells, albeit less than pureclass, and one extra point of base attack, thus an extra attack.

I'm hoping for a good Cleric PRC in the expansion pack.

Edited by Lord Ernie, 19 April 2007 - 08:24 AM.

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#15 Kellen

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:09 AM

Same here. But first I'm looking to finish my game once.
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#16 -Domi_Ash-

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:15 AM

I'm hoping for a good Cleric PRC in the expansion pack.


I'm hoping for Wychlaran PrC, but it makes little sense for the outsider PC. Oh, well, maybe PC's mom will turn out to be Rashemi or something.

#17 Bluenose

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:03 AM

Yeah. The Warpriest and the Pale Master for arcane casters are arguably the worst spellcaster PRC's in there. Their advantages aren't that hot (especially the warpriest's ones suck), and having your spell progression halved simply hurts like hell. The best use of a warpriest is perhaps doing a level 16 Druid or Cleric combined with 4 levels of Warpriest - it gives you level 9 spells, albeit less than pureclass, and one extra point of base attack, thus an extra attack.


That's probably the best use of Warpriest for someone who is going to be mostly a cleric. It works best for someone who's going to be a front-line melee fighter with spellcasting as a secondary thing, but even there the requirement for casting 4th level spells means you need at least 7 levels of cleric for it to work. Actually, you could try it from paladin levels to some effect as well. You could get somewhere with a cleric/harper agent perhaps.

Pale Master is awful though. I can't see any reason to include it, other than it was in NWN1 and probably relatively easy to implement.

I'm hoping for a good Cleric PRC in the expansion pack.


Considering that the 2da files contain references to the Contemplative, Sacred Fist, and Mystic Theurge classes, I suspect you'll get your wish. :D

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#18 SConrad

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 05:12 PM

I think this should be pinned. :)

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#19 Kaeloree

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 06:22 PM

Seconded.

#20 Kellen

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:08 PM

Done
"She could resist temptation. Really she could. Sometimes. At least when it wasn't tempting." - Calli Slythistle
"She was a fire, and I had no doubt that she had already done her share of burning." - Lord Firael Algathrin
"Most assume that all the followers of Lathander are great morning people. They're very wrong." - Tanek of Cloakwood

we are all adults playing a fantasy together, - cmorgan



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