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Duelist Guide by dutman

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 04/23/07

| DUELIST CLASS GUIDE		     |			v1.1

I have written this not in spite, but to bring the potential of the duelist
 class in Neverwinter Nights 2 to the full realization to all. There are 
some people who go against this class claiming it is not as good as some
 of the other melee classes, when truth is that this class can be amazing 
if played right or even used as a great multiclass option.

| TABLE OF CONTENTS|		quick find codes

0.	Table of Contents		[you're already there]
1. 	Introduction 			[intro]
2.	Weapons				[weap]
3.  	Attributes			[att]  
4.	Skills				[Skills]
5.	Feats				[feat]
6.	Game play			[game]
7.	Races				[race]
8.	Multi-Classing			[mc]
9. 	Sample Builds			[builds]
10.	FAQ				[FAQS]
11.	Version History			[vers]
12. 	Copyrite			[copy]

|  INTRODUCTION  |			[intro]

{This is more or less the description of the duelist class from the game}

The duelist is a nimble, intelligent fighter trained in making precise 
attacks with light weapons, such as the rapier. They always take full 
advantage of their quick reflexes and wits in a fight. Rather than 
wearing bulky armor, a duelist feels the best way to protect themselves
is not to get hit at all.

Duelists are most often fighters or rangers, but rogues and bards are also
 common. Wizards, sorcerers, and monks make surprisingly good duelists 
due to those classes’ lack of reliance on armor. They benefit greatly 
from the weapon skill the duelist offers. Some paladins and barbarians 
who deviate a good deal from their archetypes become duelists. 


• Base Attack Bonus: +6
• Skills: Parry 5 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks
• Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse.

Class Features

• Hit Die: d10
• Base Attack Bonus: High
• High Saves: Reflex
• Weapon Proficiencies: Simple and martial weapons
• Armor Proficiencies: None
• Skills Points: 4 + Int modifier

• Class Skills: Bluff, Craft Weapon, Listen, Parry, Spot, Taunt, and Tumble.

Canny Defense: When not wearing armor or using a shield, the duelist adds 
their intelligence bonus or Duelist level (which ever is lower) to their AC,
 with a maximum bonus equal to their Duelist level.{ gained at level 1}

Improved Reaction:   At 2nd level, the duelist can improve their speed and 
reaction time,  triggering the equivalent of the haste spell as if cast by 
a sorcerer of the duelist's class level. This ability can be used once per 
day at 2nd level, three times per day at 4th level, four times per day at 
6th level, five times per day at 8th level, and six times per day at 10th 

Enhanced Mobility: At 3rd level, the duelist gains an additional +4 dodge 
bonus to AC gainst attacks of opportunity provoked by movement. This bonus
stacks with that granted by the Mobility feat.

Grace: At 4th level, the duelist gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves.

Precise Strike: At 5th level, the duelist's skill and precision allows them 
to inflict much more grievous wounds than their weapon might suggest. Whenever
 the duelist attacks with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, they adds 
1d6 to their damage. This bonus increases to 2d6 at 10th level.

Flourish: A 6th level duelist can make an impressive, flashy attack with a 
light or one-handed piercing weapon that catches their foe off guard. This 
attack deals 2d6 additional points of piercing damage. There is no limit 
to the number of times per day the duelist may use this ability, but a 
30-second "cool down" period is required between uses.

Elaborate Parry: At 7th level, the duelist masters the art of defense with
 their blade. Whenever they wield a light or one-handed piercing weapon, 
they add their duelist level to Parry checks.

Deflect Arrows: A 9th level duelist gains Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat 

The duelist is a prestige class, so you wont be able to choose it until you
 have the requirements, and then you need to level up once more.

The descriptions can be a little misleading so just so you know you'll be 
using a light or piercing weapon for this class and you cannot wear any 
armor, or hold a shield/ offhand weapon. If this doesn’t suit you then I
would suggest you rethink what class you wish to become.

Now I know what you are thinking, how will I win fights missing so much?
That’s the beauty of the duelist class they can really put a hurt on someone 
in a 1v1 fight even while lacking soo much.
Deception is a key here and it opens the locked box of the 
duelist class.

|  WEAPONS  |		[weap]

Here is a list of all the weapons that you can use to make the most out 
of the duelist class.

Rapier : probably the best one possible, decent dmg, good size, amazing 
         crit rating.
	 You can’t go wrong with it.

Dagger: really undersized, sub-par dmg, average critical rating, not your
         best choice but it is   YOUR choice at the end of the day.

Short sword: like the dagger but slightly better, still not as good as 
		the rapier.
Your Bare Hands: yes I know I put it in here; I'll go into details in 
			the builds section

| ATTRIBUTES  |		[att]
Now as a duelist you’ll need high dex, high int, decent STR and con, with 
	a low wisdom and cha

This translates into approximately

Beginning stats
str	12
con	14
dex	16
intel	16
wis 	10 or 8 if you can stand having a negative modifier
cha	10 or 8 if you can stand having a negative modifier

Of course these are subject to change depending on what you plan to 
do with the class.
As for the skill points you gain during the game (by leveling up) dex / int 
should be your main area of focus to increase.

Feel free to change things around if you feel it fit, this is just a guide
 after all. 

|   SKILLS	 |		[skills]
In order to achieve this class you must have a Parry of at least 5, and tumble
 of at least 5 These two skills are essential for your survival as a duelist 
so keep leveling them up. Aside from those there really isn’t anything needed 
for a duelist however in the builds section There are a few multiclass build 
latter in the guide and in them I list the other skills needed for success.

|  FEATS      |			[feat]
As a duelist you are required to have: Weapon Finesse, Dodge, and Mobility.

Some of the best feats to pick are:

Weapon Focus (name your weapon)	can’t go wrong with it as long as you pick
 		the right weapon your set
Improved Crit (name your weapon)	same as weapon focus can really 
		help you out

Improved Parry	This is your bread and butter; boost one of your best skills
		 so take this one for sure. This is by far the most important 
		skill other than the required ones.

Combat Expertise	on its own not so great but it leads to-> feint

Feint	amazingly effective if you choose to multiclass with rogue, 
	assassin or anything with sneak attack. As this feat will get you 
	a sneak attack when activated during combat and you are attacking
	(i.e. not in parry mode)

Other Helpful feats
Toughness   extra hit points makes jonny a happy boy {to the reader: 
		I'm sure people other than jonny will be happy with this, 
		but feats are a rare thing to come by so pick carefully}

Cleave	  as good as it is you need POWER ATTACK, and that just aint 
	the duelist style, feel free though to drop a couple feats 
	and get this.

Disarm/ Improved disarm   can be very useful, but they require a decently 
			sized weapon (rapier) nice bonus is that with improved 
			version you get to keep the disarmed weapon and sell 
			it for gold.

Now a duelist specializes in 1vs1 combat, so when it comes to the official
 campaign there might be a shortage of those. A few good strategies will 
be explained in this section to help you get through the swarms of enemies
 you’ll encounter on your journey both effectivly and while enjoying yourself.


Tank and Sneak: 	This strat is a common one for rouges/ assassins, and 
			it involves you sending in your party to attack first 
			then you follow of choosing individuals to pick off with
			sneak attacks/ attacks of opportunity until the opposing 
			force is eliminated.

			Another variation of this is to go in first in stealth
			mode and kill the main enemy with your super sneak attack
			then when the other baddies focus on you use parry or 
			Hide in Plain sight.
			If you use parry have the rest of your party flank the
			mob while you sit back with drink in hand parry-ing 
			yourself to victory. And then once the enemies attack you
			focus on your allies sneak attack them. 
			Should you use Hide in Plain sight
			and it works, feel free to target the next strongest enemy
			and sneak attack them, rinse and repeat ftw.

Parry:		This is a true duelist style. You run into the middle of the 
		opponents, activate your parry mode grab some snacksand let the 
		counter attack party begin. Beware this style works so much 
		better if you have a high parry skill, and the improved parry 
		feat. It will be better to avoid this in the early levels 
		because your skills will not be high enough to pull it off 
		without getting hit.

Bow and Arrow:	The beauty of this strat is that it makes use of your already 
		high dexterity. Using a bow you hit the one enemy that you wish 
		to fight that enemy will charge at you now. Switch to your weapon
		and have some fun. Alson really fun in a pvp server when someone
		sees you with a bow dressed in clothing thinking easy kill charges
		at you then you bust out your sword at teach him the "point" of 
		your build (pun intended)

Trap and Bow:		This is more of a rogue thing to due, but it works out 
			if you take rogue levels before duelist and get some set 
			trap skills. First you set a couple traps (while in 
			stealth mode). Position your self so the traps are 
			between you and the enemies. Then using a bow attacks 
			a couple enemies and they will charge at you going into 
			the traps. Now this one is a little long, but it’s 
			amusing for a while.

|   RACES   |		[race]
This section will go through the races you can chose from in the game 
and how effective they are at being a duelist.

As a duelist they do very well. Best advantage is that they don’t have 
any disadvantages. Bonus skills points and an extra feat at creation are 
good as well.

One of the better choices for duelist, +2 dex and +2 intel are really helpful. 
They do experience a small level penalty, but they get other skills that make 
up for it.

Good if you are multiclassing, and if you must use them for role-playing 
reasons then do so. However I always found they were underpowered by the 
game designers.

Avoid this one, if you are tempted to be a half orc you’d be better off 
choosing barbarian, and then frenzied berserker as your prestige class.
Although i have seen some Half-orc wizard builds that made me laugh
then throw up, and then curse at the computer when i tried them.

They are decent if you chose to take rogue or assassin levels, because 
they will help with your stealth. Stronghearts get a bonus feat at level one 
like humans, and lightfoots get lucky (+1 to all saving throws) but lucky cant
 be erased by taking luck of the hero at the 1st level.

My personal favorite race, they get a lot of bonus attributes and spells that 
can really boost your duelist potential. However they come with a +2 level 
penalty and the light sensitivity penalty.

Moon Elf / Sun Elf
Decent race to choose, but they are better suited to being other classes

Wood Elf
Not so great, they get +2 dex but -2 int and the negative intelligence will 
really hurt you in the AC section.

Deep Gnomes
Considered one of the most powerful races in the game, why else would they 
have that huge -3 level penalty? There is a build in this guide later on that
 will use the deep gnomes to their most.

Other races
They are not recommended but if you wish to use them do, but you just might 
cripple your duelist more than you think.

|  MULTICLASSING  |			[mc]
Now as a Prestige class you must use one of the base classes to get the 
requirements to be a duelist.This section will explain which classes are 
better than others.

Barbarian:	Not your best choice because they rely on str and rage to do 
		well in combat, you on the other hand will be using dex 
		and intelligence in a fight. No tumble either. Rage will 
		actually be ok on its own becasue youll be moving/ 
		attacking more.

Bard:	If you wish to use the bard class to earn your duelist class be sure 
	to boost up your charisma as well as put some points into the perform
	 skill. This option will give you inspirations provided you take enough
	 bard levels.

Cleric:	Does not have tumble as a class skill, so you will be able to reach 
	duelist through this class but it will take twice as long.

Druid:	see cleric.

Fighter:	Probably the best to use, in order to gain a combat oriented 
		prestige class,	They get many feats, and have a high BAB, can’t
		 go wrong here, but they don’t have tumble as a class skill.

Monk:	Actually does very well as a duelist, I will post a build using them as 
	a duelist latter on. Furry of blows + precise strike is too much fun.

Paladin:	If you chose to be a paladin you might want to consider going 
		pure ( ie all paladin) By taking any other class you take away 
		from your casting abilities, but it is still possible.

Ranger:	A rather interesting class to choose, however you must choose between 
	two weapon fighting or archery style, and neither of these is how the 
	duelist plays. I mean you could take ranger then switch to duelist but 
	why waste all those skills you gained for your combat style. 

Rogue:	Among the better choices, sneak attack + precise strike is devastating, 
	however you cant dual wield so this takes away from the number of sneak 
	attack you can land before your enemy turns around.

Sorcerer:	A duelist is not a spell casting class, however some spell 
		casting can be beneficial.They don’t have parry or 
		tumble as class skills, and they have really low hit points 
		which is not favorably with a melee class.

Warlock:	Taking duelist levels will handicap your Eldritch Blast skill, 
		so you may want to avoid this choice.

Wizard:	You get to summon a fury little bunny, need I say more?...What I do..
	 Ok well low BAB, no tumble or parry as class skills, and by taking 
	duelist you will lose some of your more powerful spells. But you'll
	end up a decent fighter with some average spells.

That takes care of the base classes now for the prestige classes. And rather
 than listing them all I will only put in the ones that are useful.

Assassin:	Boost your sneak attack, and makes it stun enemies, very nice. 
		You get Hide in Plain sight, which is a good skill if you 
		like to stealth. This is probably best for those who took 
		rogue as their base class.

Duelist:	No wait never mind your already that…

Neverwinter Nine:you must chose the path of good when you reach Neverwinter.
		These skills are beautiful when your party isn’t far off.

Pale Master:	This is a part of a caster build that I will speak of latter. 

Shadowdancer:	Many useful skills, including shadow evade, works well as 
		support to a rogue's stealth, Hide in PLain sight at lv 1.

Shadow thief of Amn:	Interesting choice, more sneak attack, and some bonus 
			feats. Requires you took the evil path when you reach 

Weapons master:	The best choice for those who took fighter as their base class,
		continues the high BAB, as well as all the special WM feats 
		will really boost your damage output.

|   SAMPLE BUILDS      |		[builds]
WARNING BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, the builds section is mainly comprosed of
builds that theoritically will work, i have not tested all of them yet, and
hope to in the near future (hard to find time with school, and i start new
job this week)

Another note is that im not sure if i used all of the skill points availible to 
you at character creation, and as such add in any extra points where you see


fighter 6/ duelist7/weapon master 7

Race: human
Alignment: any
Weapon: rapier

Important skills: parry, tumble, and intimidate (4 needed)

Important feats: dodge, mobility, weapon finesse, combat expertise, 
		spring attack, whirlwind attack, weapon focus rapier

Ability scores					Useful items
STR 10 maybe 12				head band of intellect +8	
Dex 16 +3					belt of agility +8
Int 16 +2
Con 14
Wis 8
Cha 8

+ Good hit points			- Non versatile
+ Weapon Master Criticals		- A lot of feats required, 
+ The important Duelist/ WM feats        so it is hard to customize
					- no spell casting

This build turns you into a front line damage dealer, the weapon master feats 
give you better Criticals, and more often. Combine that with the steady damage 
of a duelist as well as parry and you’ve got a winning combination. 


rogue 4/ fighter 4/ duelist7/shadow theif of amn 5

alignment: any
any weapon 

important skills (atleast there values): bluff 3, intimidate 3, hide 8 ,
		move silently 3, tumble 5, parry 5.

important feats: weapon finesse, dodge, mobility, stealthy, combat expertise,

Ability scores
STR 10 or 12
dex 16 or 17
int 16
con 14 or 12
wis 8
cha 10

This build is an extension of the sneak attack ability, fighter class is in
here to raise your BAB to gain duelist levels. Take Rogue lvls early to get rid
of your required skills and start concentrating on the skills you want. Also
get weapon finesse a.s.a.p. becasue of your low str you need it to deal decent
damage so upon character creation is good.

A variation of this build involes dual weilding at the cost of the Precise 
Strike skill.


Rogue 5/ Assassin 8/ Duelist 7

Race: human
Alignment: any evil

Level progression

Rogue 1->5
Assassin 6->10
Duelist 11->17
Finish assassin

Important skills: hide, move silently, tumble, parry, and bluff

Important feats: weapon finesse, dodge, mobility, weapon focus, improved parry,
			 combat expertise, feint.

Ability scores:
STR 10 or 12
INT 16
DEX 16
CON 14

This build brings in a lot of sneak attacking, and is used in an attempt to
 bring a rogue into the front lines of combat and get them on the road to 
becoming more of an offensive threat. Keep hide/ move silently maxed, as well
as parry to fall back on once you’ve revealed your position.
Hide in Plain sight is amazing for after you've already scored your first sneak
attack. You can just hide again and repeat.


Monk 5/ Wizard 5/ Pale Master 3/ Duelist 7    

[this build originally written By Snipercon on gamebanshee.com]

Race: Drow or Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin)
History feat: Devout

Level progression:			feat(s) to get
1.	monk				Luck of the Heroes	
2.	wizard	
3.	monk				Weapon Finesse
4.	 wizard				+ DEX			
5.	monk				
6.	wizard				circle kick			
7.	monk				
8.	 wizard				+DEX
9.	monk				Dodge
10.	wizard				Spell Focus Necromancy
11.	Pale Master		
12.	 Pale Master			Mobility, +WIS
13.	Pale Master
14.	Duelist
15.	Duelist				Greater Spell focus Necromancy( or 
					Improved parry depending on your
					playing style)
16.	 Duelist				+WIS				 
17.	Duelist									
18.	Duelist				Toughness
19.	Duelist
20.	 Duelist				+DEX

Important Skills: Parry, Tumble, Spell craft, Concentration, Move silently/Hide 
		   diplomacy if you are a Drow. 

This build is really fun to use, you get some 
nice spells to use from necromancy (pale master), some of the sweet monk skills
 and the duelist stuff that you really need. Your bare hands are considered 
finesse-able weapons and you should get the extra damage from precise strike 
with them. Now a good addition to this build is to get the Ring of Might which 
will give you some free feats for powering up your fists.


Rogue 2/ Fighter 6/ Duelist 7/ Neverwinter Nine 5


choose good path when you reach neverwinter

Level Progression:

1	rogue
2	fighter
3	fighter
4	fighter
5	fighter
6	fighter
7	rogue
8	Duelist
9	Duelist
10	Duelist	
11	Duelist
12	Duelist
13	Duelist
14	Duelist
15	Neverwinter 9
16	Neverwinter 9
17	Neverwinter 9
18	Neverwinter 9
19	Neverwinter 9
20	Fighter

Feats to get: Dodge, Mobility, weapon finesse, weapon focus, 
		weapon specialization improved parry,
		spring attack, improved critical

Skills: Parry, Tumble (10/20 for +1/+2 ac)

Ability scores
str	12
dex	16
int	16
con	14
wis	8
cha	8

any extra points put into dex/int, unless you want to get rid of the
negative modifiers.
Points you get form leveling up should go into dex/int

Spring attack is really useful when you are running around in combat for 
avoiding attacks of opertunity. This build gets a small sneak attack bonus,
a good BAB from from duelist/fighter/neverwinter nine. For this build dont 
rely too much one your sneaking abilities becasue only rogue has hide/ move
silently as a class skill.

Rogue 4/ Fighter 6/ Duelist 10

STR: 10
DEX: 17 (+5) 
CON: 14
INT: 16
WIS: 9
CHA: 10

1. Rogue 	Able Learner; Luck of Heroes
2. Fight 	Weapon Finesse
3. Fight 	 Mobility; Dodge
4. Fight   	 +DEX
5. Rogue	 Evasion
6. Rogue	Weapon Focus 
7. Fight	 Weapon Spec 
8. Duel		Canny Defense - +DEX
9. Duel 	Improved Reaction; Improved Critical
10. Duel 	 Enhanced Mobility
11. Duel	 Grace
12. Duel	Precise Strike 1d6; Improved Parry
13. Duel	 Flourish
14. Duel	Elaborate Parry
15. Duel	Skill Focus: Parry or other choice 
16. Duelist	Deflect Arrows
17. Duel	Precise Strike 2d6
18. Fight	Power Crit. or toughness
19. Fight	Blind Fight or other choice
20. Rogue	 Uncanny Dodge

A lot of good skills/feats, decent ac, and increases your weapon damage.

More of your straight forward fighter turned duelist, you get a small sneak
attack bonus as well.


Ranger 11/ Duelist 9
Race: Drow
Alignment: Any

Starting stats:
Str - 12
Dex - 16/17
Con – 14/13
Int - 16
Wis - 14
Cha - 10

Class	       Feats
Ranger 1 - Dodge, Favored Enemy Human (or your choice)
Ranger 2 - 2 Weapon Fighting Style 
Ranger 3 - Weapon Finesse
Ranger 4 - Dex +1
Ranger 5 - Favored Enemy Undead
Ranger 6 - Mobility, Greater Two Weapon Fighting (Ranger Feat)
Ranger 8 - Dex +1
Ranger 9 - Two Weapon Defense
Ranger 10 - Favored Enemy Outsiders
Ranger 11 - Improved Two Weapon Fighting (Ranger Feat)
Duelist 1 - Improved Two Weapon Defense, Int +1
Duelist 4 - Improved Parry
Duelist 5 - Int +1
Duelist 7 - Your Choice
Duelist 9 - Int +1 or Dex +1 

Final Stats:
Str - 14
Dex - 18
Con - 13
Int - 19
Wis - 14
Cha - 10

Important skills: Parry, Survival, Tumble, listen or spot, Bluff.

This build is pretty good, however since you dual wield you don’t get the 
bonus damage from Precise Strike. Some people say that the bonus from Precise
Strike is not worth single wielding, so this is where this build comes in. 
Another modification to this build is to make duelist only lv 7, and add in 
Rogue lv 2 for sneak attack. If you choose the Archery style its still fun, 
you’ll just be a good archer with the ability to fight hand to hand when the 
enemy gets close.

Swift tracker is an amazing feat, so keep your survival skill maxed and you'll
know where every enemy is on the minimap.


Fighter 1 / Wizard 5/ Eldritch Knight 7/ Duelist 7


str 14
dex 15 (+5) 
con 14
wis 8
int 16
cha 8

Important skills: Parry, tumble, Concentration, Spell craft.

dodge, mobility, weapon finesse, two weapon fighting, two weapon defense, 
empowered spell, improved two weapon fighting, improved two weapon defense, 
greater two weapon fighting, weapon focus.

You get a lot of spells with the ability to fall back on your hand to hand 
combat skills should you need it. But it removes the Precise Strike damage.
You could always modifiy it so you dont need dual wielding.Instead of taking:
two weapon fighting, two weapon defense, improved two weapon fighting, improved
weapon defense, and greater two weapon fighting you could take feats like:
improved critical, disarm/ improved disarm, or get luck of the hero at level 1
and push everything back by one.

Another option for this build is to only go to lv 6 eldritch knight, and go to
level 2 figher which ill give you one more feat at the cost of some spells.

|    F.A.Q. s     |		[FAQS]

Q:   Is it true that the duelists class wont work properly I you dual wield 

A:   The class will still work, the only problem would come with the Precise 
	Strike feat which only works if you are wield a SINGLE one-handed 
	piercing weapon and no shield.

Q: All of your builds seem kind of the same.

A: That’s not a question, but this is because the duelist class is a combat 
	class and must use a light piercing weapon. This takes away from their 
	casting abilities, and restricts the damage output. Feel free to use 
	your own builds though this is only a guide after all.

Q:    Precise Strike or dual wielding? 

A:   This all comes down to your preference. From a role playing perspective 
	precise strike with a single handed weapon, but from say a 
	powergamer’s (a.k.a. statistics whore's)
	perspective then dual wielding will win out.

Q:  In the race section you put in -3 penalty for Deep Gnomes, and a +2 for Drow
	what do they mean?

A: The answer is basically, the races with experience penalties are considered
	more powerful, becasue they get either more stat boosting (ie +2 Int)
	or Spell like abilities (ie cast darkness). All the experience penalty
	is that it will take your character to reach a level than a race with a
	lesser penalty, or no penalty at all. 

	Say you party has A drow, a human, and a deep gnome; if the human is
	level 5, then the drow is level 3 and the deep gnome is lv 2.

Q: Do you have any cheats for this game?

A: If you are going to use cheats then you dont need a guide so click back on
	your web browser.NO.

Q:  I have questions not posted here any help for me?

A: You might want to try the message boards at some NWN 2 sites and if all 
	else fails google them and you might get your answer.

The base for this guide was created including all the sections except this one

Added in the Version section because i relised i had a few mistakes
-fixed weapons choices (morningstar is not finesse-able)
-fixed some gramatical and spelling errors
-some additions/ edits to builds section
-edited shawdow dancer in multiclass section (they dont get S.A.)
-added to FAQs
-added information to race section

|   COPYRITE    |		[copy]
All the material written here is copy of myself and will not be used 
without permission from me.  
© Dutman April 2007

Thanks to Gamebanshee.com, and Gamefaqs.com to whom I found my self 
referring back to many times to sort something out. And to Snipercon 
on the gamebanshee site for his build contribution.

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