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Character Tips by JDragontamer
NEVERWINTER NIGHTS CHARACTER TIPS INDEX 0) The Legal Stuff 1) Races & Multiclassing a) The Races b) Notes on Multiclassing 2) Classes & Recommendations a) Barbarian b) Bard c) Cleric d) Druid e) Fighter f) Monk g) Paladin h) Ranger i) Rogue j) Sorcerer k) Wizard 3) Ability Scores & In-Game Effects a) Strength b) Dexterity c) Constitution d) Intelligence e) Wisdom f) Charisma ZERO - The Legal Stuff Neverwinter Nights and all associated products are the property of Bioware and Wizards of the Coast. This FAQ, however, is MY property, copyrighted to me 2002, me being JDragontamer. Theft or use without permission will not be tolerated. The information presented in this guide is the result of much roleplaying and familiarity with the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules. The classes presented here have been extensively playtested by myself as well as my comrade in arms, Loki. Any original tips and strategies can be sent to my e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be warned: if the e-mail is not well-written, with spellcheck and good grammar, it will probably be deleted as spam and _definately_ not be published in future editions of this FAQ. ONE - Races & Multiclassing A) The Races There are a total of seven playable races in NWN - humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs & halflings. (None of these have true subraces in the single-player game, but multiplayer modules can be made to support them.) Each race has advantages and disadvantages. Humans are the most common, and as they have an extra starting feat as well as extra skill points, they are a good choice for beginners and the best all-arounders. They have no racial ability adjustments, no special abilities and can favour any class. Dwarves are born warriors - this is reflected in their racial adjustments (+2 Con, -2 Cha) as well as their favoured class (Fighter). They have several special abilities: Stonecunning, Darkvision, Hardiness vs. Poisons & Spells, Offensive Training vs. Orcs & Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, and a Skill Affinity for Lore. Elves are the most graceful of the races, but this agility comes at the cost of sturdiness (+2 Dex, -2 Con). They have a natural affinity for that highest of arts, magic, and favour the Wizard class. Their special abilities are Immunity to Sleep, Hardiness vs. Enchantments, bonus weapon proficiencies (longsword, rapier, shortbow & longbow), Skill Affinities for Listen, Spot & Search, Keen Senses and low-light vision. Gnomes are a jovial breed that delight in pranks - as such, they also favour the Wizard class and are rather hardy (+2 Con, -2 Str). Their special abilities are Small Stature, Hardiness vs. Illusions, Offensive Training vs. Orcs & Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinities for Listen and Concentration, Spell Focus (Illusion) and low-light vision. Half-elves, the offspring of humans and elves, sit somewhere between their parent races as might be expected. They have no racial ability adjustments and can favour any class like humans, but they possess some of the elves' special abilities: Immunity to Sleep, Hardiness vs. Enchantments, Partial Skill Affinities for Search, Spot & Listen and low-light vision. Half-orcs are another hybrid race, this time born of humans and orcs. This race is often overlooked or underappreciated, but they make some of the best Barbarians you'll ever find - which is why they favour the class. They are strong, but somewhat stupid (+2 Str, -2 Int & Cha), and have a single special ability - darkvision. Halflings are much like gnomes, except while gnomes gravitate towards magic, the halflings have an affinity for the life of a Rogue, their favoured class. They are small but agile (+2 Dex, -2 Str) and have the following special abilities: Small Stature, Skill Affinities for Listen & Move Silently, Lucky, Fearless and Good Aim. B) Notes on Multiclassing The best thing to do when it comes to multiclassing is - don't. Many classes, such as druid and monk, gain special abilities upon reaching 20th level that are unobtainable by any other method. But, if you absolutely must multiclass, do three things: use your race's favoured class to your advantage, plan ahead, and beware the XP penalty for having 2 unfavoured classes more than 1 level apart. TWO - Classes & Recommendations FORMAT -) CLASS NAME Recommended Races: Recommended Mode: Single-player (SP), multi-player (MP) or either Recommended Mode: Most Important Ability Scores (MIAS): Primary, secondary, tertiary Class Abilities: Ability Name (level gained) Tips: Multiclasses Well With: A) BARBARIAN Recommended Races: Human, half-Orc Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Rage (LV1), Fast Movement (LV1), Uncanny Dodge (LV1, improves), Damage Reduction (LV11, improves) Tips: You're a berserker, so act like one. With the highest hit die in the game (a d12!) and the Str & Con boost you get from Rage, you can wreak some real havoc up on the front lines - choose a hard-hitting weapon like a greatsword or greataxe, or sacrifice a feat or two (even better, multiclass to Ranger) for dual weapons and carve through the enemy like a hot knife through better. You actually have a decent amount of skill points, so put one or two in Discipline and have fun with the rest. Try to wear armor that negates your AC penalty while Raging, but is still light enough not to give you too much of a check penalty. Multiclasses Well With: Ranger, Fighter B) BARD Recommended Races: Human, half-elf, elf Recommended Mode: MP MIAS: Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Bardic Knowledge (LV1), Bardic Music (LV1, Perform-based, improves) Tips: A bard is the best and most versatile support money can buy; with your Bardic Music, any multiplayer party benefits from the cumulative bonuses you provide. Even though you have the highest hit die of the arcane spellcasters (a d6) you are definately not melee material - invest some feats in a good bow/crossbow and snipe opponents from a distance. Because you're an _arcane_ spellcaster, though, most types of armor interfere with your casting ability - stick to the lightest of the armors available, and be ready to run away fast if an enemy breaks through the front line. Because of your Bardic Knowledge, you can safely ignore the Lore skill - put your skill points into more useful slots, like Pick Lock. Multiclasses Well With: Sorcerer/Wizard, Rogue C) CLERIC Recommended Races: Any Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Wisdom, Charisma, either Strength or Dexterity Class Abilities: Spontaneous Casting (LV1), Turn Undead (LV1) Tips: Somewhere between a true spellcaster and a true fighter, you usually assume a role as healer but can easily substitute for a front-liner in a pinch. Although you aren't as flexible as a bard, you are the backbone of the party nonetheless; even the most badass fighter needs his wounds healed, after all. With a decent hit die (a d8) and divine spellcasting, you can wear decent armor and take a goodly amount of damage before you are forced to retreat. When you face undead, you can really shine; Turning is an underestimated ability. Pick your domains with care, pay attention to your spellbook and get both melee and range weapons, and you're a force to reckon with. Skill points are few, but make sure you put one or two into Spellcraft. Multiclasses Well With: Ranger, Druid D) DRUID Recommended Races: Human, elf, half-elf Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Nature Sense (LV1), Animal Companion (LV1), Woodland Stride (LV2), Trackless Step (LV3), Resist Nature's Lure (LV4), Wild Shape (LV5, improves), Venom Immunity (LV9), Elemental Shape (LV16, improves) Tips: You are three-fourths spellcaster and one-fourth fighter - maximize this combination by choosing good armor and a decent weapon among those the druids are allowed. Stay away from the front lines unless necessary; your animal companion, summoned creature and henchman make a good screen and allow you to concentrate on spellcasting. Don't underestimate the power of Wild Shape, either. Your available forms improve as you gain levels, and since you can't cast spells while in a Wild Shape, take the chance to move up to the front line and cause some damage. Multiclasses Well With: Cleric, Ranger E) FIGHTER Recommended Races: Any Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Bonus Feats (every 2 levels), Weapon Specialization (exclusive feat, LV4) Tips: A fighter is exactly what it sounds like. You are the standard by which every other battle-oriented class is judged - with a good hit die (d10) and the most feats in the game (up to 19!) you have the most options open. Must-have feats are Power Attack, Cleave, and Weapon Specialization; everything else, you're open to decide on your own. You have free proficiency with everything except exotic weapons, so choose some good armor (not too heavy, or it'll negate your Dex bonus) and a good weapon, and you're ready to face anything. Multiclasses Well With: Barbarian, Ranger F) MONK Recommended Races: Any Recommended Mode: SP MIAS: Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom Class Abilities: Bonus Feats (LV1-6), Specialty Weapon (LV1), Wisdom AC Bonus (LV1), Flurry of Blows (LV1), Evasion (LV1), Monk Speed (LV3), Purity of Body (LV5), Wholeness of Body (LV7), Improved Evasion (LV9), Ki Strike (LV10), Diamond Body (LV11), Diamond Soul (LV12), Quivering Palm (LV15), Empty Body (LV18), Perfect Self (LV20) Tips: With the best attack bonus in the game and an array of class abilities, you are a force to be reckoned with from early on. However, although you can hit often, you can't hit very hard; your life is all about speed attacks and choosing your moment. Your Evasion abilities rival a rogue's, and although you could conceivably replace one in the multiplayer game, there are too many cons to make this option worthwhile, at least without multiclassing. Because you add your Wisdom bonus to your AC as well as your Dex mod, you can afford to go without armor; forget armor proficiencies and buy a crossbow or some shuriken to back up your kama. Multiclasses Well With: Rogue, Fighter G) PALADIN Recommended Races: Human, half-elf, dwarf Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Strength or Dexterity, Charisma, Wisdom Class Abilities: Divine Grace (LV1), Divine Health (LV1), Lay on Hands (LV1), Aura of Courage (LV2), Smite Evil (LV2), Turn Undead (LV3), Remove Disease (LV3) Tips: You are your god's divine messenger - not of peace, but war. Like the ranger, you have some spellcasting ability, but the majority of your skills are geared toward combat. You have a good hit die (d10), a wide selection of armor and weapons, good saving throws thanks to Divine Grace, and the ability to Smite Evil, to wade into combat without fear. Because your spells cast are divine, feel free to wear good armor, and put a few of your feats into your weapon of choice - you'll be using it a lot. Multiclasses Well With: Fighter, Ranger H) RANGER Recommended Races: Human, elf, half-elf Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Dexterity, Strength, Wisdom Class Abilities: Trackless Step (LV1), Favoured Enemy (LV1, LV5, LV15 & LV20, improves), Bonus Feats (LV1 & LV9), Animal Companion (LV6) Tips: You are the best class to wield two weapons - namely because you get all the relevant feats for free, which frees up some precious feat slots for things like Improved Critical. You have a few spells, but don't underestimate their value - Summon Creature, although restricted to the lower-level versions, adds a valuable fourth member to your SP group, and Resist Elements/Protection From Elements comes in handy more often than you think. Stick to light armor and choose your weapons carefully (don't forget to buy a good bow - hey, it's tradition!) Multiclasses Well With: Druid, Paladin I) ROGUE Recommended Races: Halfling, gnome, human Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma Class Abilities: Sneak Attack (LV1, improves), Evasion (LV2), Uncanny Dodge (LV3, improves), Rogue Special Feats (LV10, LV13, LV16 & LV19) Tips: Stealth, silence and thievery - this is your life, the life of a rogue. You are best put either on the rear lines, waiting to Sneak Attack an enemy while he's engaged with another member of your party, or else way out front scouting, disabling traps and picking locks as you go. Rogues have the most skill points of all - 8 every level, PLUS your Int bonus. As least two or three of these points should go toward Disable Trap & Pick Lock; multiplayer rogues might also want to have a few in Set Trap. Although your armor choices are rather limited, you are surprisingly good with a ranged weapon, so don't neglect the crossbow or bow. Multiclasses Well With: Monk, Bard J) SORCERER Recommended Races: Human, half-elf, halfling Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Summon Familiar (LV1) Tips: Some say that sorcerers are the descendants of dragons, and for all you know, this may be true. It is certainly, true, however, that sorcerers gain their arcane talents from within themselves - you practice the Art with imagination and an inborn talent that even wizards sometimes envy. As a true arcane spellcaster, you have very little combat ability and are best placed on the back lines, where you can cast spells without hindrance. Although you have a very limited selection of spells, you can cast more of them, and whenever you level up you can switch them around. Armor is not your strong point; you can't wear even the lightest of them without spending a precious feat, but with a decent Dex mod and certain spells you can make up for this somewhat. Multiclasses Well With: Bard, Cleric K) WIZARD Recommended Races: Elf, gnome, human Recommended Mode: Either MIAS: Intelligence, Dexterity, Constitution Class Abilities: Summon Familiar (LV1), Wizard Bonus Feats (every 5 levels) Tips: Your spellbook is your lifeblood - neglect it and you doom yourself. Your style in the Art comes from long practice and a studious discipline that allows you to use metamagic feats with ease. Like the divine spellcasters, you choose your spells ahead of time and have a wide variety of them to choose from - you just can't cast them quite as often as the sorcerer. Combat is not your forte, so stay off the front lines. You have a limited selection of weapons and no armor, and since you're not suited to melee, a ranged weapon is the way to go. Multiclasses Well With: Bard, Cleric THREE - Ability Scores & In-Game Effects NOTE: NEVER sacrifice a stat below 10 to boost another higher. Penalties are bad, and for some stats they have both combat and role-playing effects. A) STRENGTH One of the most important abilities in the game, Strength adds to your melee attack bonus. Although all characters except true spellcasters and 'finesse fighters' use Strength, there is such a thing as too much. Don't neglect your other stats just to give yourself a high attack bonus. Outside of combat, Strength determines how much stuff you can carry. B) DEXTERITY Another important ability, Dexterity governs your Reflex saves, adds to your AC and gives a bonus to ranged attacks. Many in-game skills are tied to Dexterity as well; having a Dex bonus is essential for _any_ character in the game. The feat Weapon Finesse is also a must-have for the 'finesse fighter,' especially if your Dexterity is significantly higher than your strength. Outside of combat, Dexterity adds to the majority of rogue-related skills. C) CONSTITUTION Your character's health and stamina relies on Constitution - it's the ability tied to Fortitude saves, the mandatory spellcaster skill Concentration, and the number of extra hit points you get. Outside of combat, Constitution has only role-playing effects; in the single-player game, there are multiple points where your Con score affects where the subplots go. D) INTELLIGENCE The key arcane spellcasting ability for wizards, Intelligence is the guage for how much knowledge you have. It also affects how many skill points you get per level. Outside of combat, Intelligence determines how well you speak and interact with others. E) WISDOM For divine spellcasters, Wisdom is the most important ability. Your Wisdom score describes your character's willpower, common sense and perception, rather than knowledge. Your Wis mod is also tied to your Will saves. Outside of combat, Wisdom gives you Insight options while interacting with others. F) CHARISMA Your character's force of personality and ability to lead (not to meantion his or her looks) is dependant on Charisma. Sorcerers and bards require a high Cha to chast spells, while a good Cha mod affects paladins' saving throws and clerics' abiloty to turn undead. Outside of combat, Charisma has many roleplaying effects; depending on how high it is, rewards for quests completed will change, and Charisma is also tied to the Persuade option while interacting with others.