View Full Version : First-play character build suggestions
Fri, 8th Dec '06, 11:34pm
I have the game but haven't installed it yet (I'm about to build a compatible system). Let's assume I'm only going to play it once. I'm looking for suggested character builds that will allow me to experience as much of the game as possible (accessing areas, opening the most interesting dialogues), rather than just build an uber-powerful killing machine (and there are already threads with those kinds of characters). Granted, I'm also hoping for someone who has enough firepower to get through the tough battles without a dozen reloads.
My initial thought was something including a Sorcerer/RDD combo, but that's more of a fleeting thought than anything else. Ideas?
Edit: The other factor would be complementing the NPCs I'm likely to get into my party.
Sat, 9th Dec '06, 12:37am
If its the campaign your after, then know that you can finish it with any class. Due to the NPC's available, your never wanting for a class to do something for you, nor will you be overpowered in more than one specific fight.
My basic suggestion would be to chose whatever class interests you, but make sure they have points invested in one, two, or all three speaking skills (this is where you would miss stuff!).
Sat, 9th Dec '06, 6:28am
Unfortunately, the game is definitely geared towards a Lawful Good tank, i.e. a Paladin. There are numerous situations in the game that force your character upfront into a conversation that inevitably leads to a fight. There are also a few fights you're forced to solo. It's certainly do-able as a wimpy Bard or Wizard but it's a pain to be forced to tank while your henchmen stand behind you. Also, most of the evil options are kind of lame and immature.
Most fights aren't that challenging and you get lots of henchmen you can level up as very good killing machines allowing you to play a conversation skill-focused character just fine. A Bard or Rogue-type would do well as it will open up the most conversation options and about half the game is talking. Such a character would struggle during the tougher fights, but you'll survive.
Don't bother with the crafting skills and feats as your henchmen can craft just fine and you get so many that it's no trouble to make one of the mages or the bard the dedicated crafter.
I would not recommend a Sorc/RDD. Worst. Build. Ever. I had a blast with a pure sorcerer but failed every conversation skill check (with zero ranks invested -- I figured his Charisma would be high enough but not so). Bard, Harper Scout or Shadow Thief of Amn would be a great conversation-focused character.
Sat, 9th Dec '06, 9:14am
I can recommend playing a druid. They can handle themselves and have fun spells like firestorm, earthquake and similar, and they have Diplomacy as a class skill. They also have some nice feats.
The only drawback is the lack of interesting prestige classes for druids. There is the warpriest, but no option feels really tempting.
One other minor drawback is their neutrality issues.
It is a bit of a challenge to stick to the right track, but as long as you are prepared to role-play a druid then I strongly recommend giving it a go.
I chose a Wood Elf to get the extra weapon proficiences, but there are good druid weapons in the game, so any race would suit just fine.
Sat, 9th Dec '06, 9:27am
I'd agree with that. My first playthrough was with a druid\warpriest and i had a good time of it. The character could talk herself out of any situation with her diplomacy skill (you'll need boosting equipment in order to succeed in most cases), buff herself up and lay it on the enemy via spells and melee and as for special feats, there is oaken resiliance and elephant hide - the former gives immunity to knockdown and critical, etc, while the latter gives a huge boost to AC.
I found that the neutrality restriction wasnt that great of issue. While its hard to judge where you stand alignment wise (no visible counter that i saw anyway), I enjoyed being able to be the chaotic type once in a while - keeps things from getting bland.
Sat, 9th Dec '06, 6:01pm
I would suggest a dual-classed rogue of some sort, not only for the fun of it (love the Arcane Trickster), but you'll have enough rouge-skills yourself, and won't be obligated to bring along an NPC thief (who's, IMO, quite annoying indeed). I'm play as 4 Rogue/5 Wizard/X Arcane Trickster. I guess this class is more if you want to micromanage, sneak attack, buff yourself, and just backstab around (trickster-wise).
Alot of people seem to enjoy playing as good-aligned characters, mostly Paladins, and also Druids. I've never enjoyed playing as good. I always seem to end up with either Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil. Either not caring about anything, or just looking after my own benefit. It feels good to role-play in that way.
I'd say just look through the diffrent classes and prestige classes and pick whatever feels right for you, not the game itself.
I've got some points in bluff and diplomacy, though as my character views the world, any loot from a corpse is better then talking yourself out of it. This is just my style of play.
Anything goes, don't go with the flow. I'd say that the game experience is maximazed if you enjoy playing your class and feel fine about it through-out the whole game, not specific encouters and such.
Tue, 12th Dec '06, 5:58am
LOL, thanks for the unqualified recommendation against the RDD. I just liked the wings.
Good warning about the Rogue NPC. I kind of like the idea of a multi-class rogue type, and being able to avoid an annoying NPC is a big plus. I also like to cast spells, without being a delicate flower who can't handle a couple rounds of melee, so a buffed druid is definitely an option. My preferred alignment is Chaotic Good, but I can go neutral in a pinch (I usually avoid Lawful or Evil alignments, though).
I'm a few days away from having a working machine, so I'm still listening if there are more suggestions.
Tue, 12th Dec '06, 2:26pm
RDDs don't get wings in NWN2, so yet another reason not to make a Sorc/RDD. :)
Tue, 12th Dec '06, 9:29pm
The character I'm trying to work on right now is a wizard with 16str/17int/16Dex 10(11) all other stats going with martial weapon prof and two weapon fighting. (could be 18 str/int and 10 other stats and no two weap fighting though), and it's awesome. I can't believe how fun it is to aggro a mob with magic missile, burning hands it, then charge into the melee frenzy with Khelgar!
The character is going to have weak diplomacy/intimidate because of no charisma and cross-class skills, but I figure it doesn't matter since I have skill points to spare with high int.
Tue, 12th Dec '06, 10:33pm
I had no diplomacy/intimidate at all and everything turned out OK.
Tue, 12th Dec '06, 11:50pm
I had no diplomacy/intimidate at all and everything turned out OK. That sounds pretty crappy. So there's no point at all in taking those skills? What a waste of time. Having those skills should have some impact, otherwise, it's stupid.
Wed, 13th Dec '06, 2:00am
The conversation skills help with some things. You can talk your way out of a fight, for example (sometimes netting more XP than if you had fought) and it helps when influencing your companions in some cases.
Other skills get used in conversations as well, such as Appraise, Spellcraft, Perform and even Spot. But ultimately the game turns out the same regardless. There is a big defending-your-life trial in the game which gives you about a million conversation options and angles but in the end it doesn't really matter how well you do or how much you flub it, win or lose the end result is always the same and the game moves forward.
NWN2 is like a massive row of dominoes; each one must fall in turn or the entire game breaks. So you may be given three options but they all end up being some form of "Okay, I push the domino over."
Wed, 13th Dec '06, 3:39am
Right. Like I lost one of the miners for my keep because I had no ability to keep him through conversation, but I didn't really need him in order to win the game.
So if you have those skills, it does matter, but they are not necessary to win the game. There were many, many conversations where I could attempt diplomacy or intimidation, but I would always fail, so eventually I just stopped choosing those options.
Wed, 13th Dec '06, 4:45am
It's hard having them at (level + 3) / 2 as well. But nonetheless I think they're worth having. I plan on intimidating Torio with my uber melee/caster eldrich knight!
Wed, 13th Dec '06, 9:24pm
I am enjoying playing a paladin/divine champion. Decent fighter, ok spells, excellent interaction stats (Diplomacy, Taunt, etc...) My Diplomacy is so high, I won my trial!!! :D
Anyway, I like pallys, I always play them first, then a halfling rogue, then a dwarf, then a wizard, etc...I want to try the eldritch knight.
Thu, 14th Dec '06, 6:34pm
that seems to be my first character through a game everytime as well Bel.
Fri, 15th Dec '06, 12:27am
I just tend to think that no matter the game or module, so long as it's 3E and well made, you do well to have good CHA and INT at the same time, for talking skills. Unless you really don't want them. For example, I generally go for Diplomacy alone, so I'm perfectly fine with just it.
Fri, 29th Dec '06, 12:24pm
Aasimar Paladin-Fighter was an irrresistible temptation for me. Good offensive power coupled with supreme defense in a tank.
Perfect talking head for a party, too. Only drawback is that giving it a prestige class will be a tough choice.
It's so long since I played IWD2 that I forgot what stat-monsters Assimars are, or Tieflings for that instance.
Fri, 29th Dec '06, 3:53pm
BTA wrote: I had no diplomacy/intimidate at all and everything turned out OK. Wow! Just like my real life! :lol: :grin: :spin: :roll:
[Corrected the missing "my" typo :lol: -BTA]
[ December 29, 2006, 20:44: Message edited by: Blackthorne TA ]
Fri, 29th Dec '06, 4:15pm
Perfect talking head for a party, too. Only drawback is that giving it a prestige class will be a tough choice.If you already take 4 levels of fighter, you may as well forget paladin spellcasting already (caster level is properly halved and spells are nerfed) and just get a PrC or even two - Divine Champion and Neverwinter Nine seem to work for people.
I guess I'll just still go plain pally the first time through. And with even the nerfed spells.
Fri, 29th Dec '06, 11:45pm
I have just discovered the half-orc barbarian with a greataxe ... using the monkey grip feat ... :holy:
Sat, 30th Dec '06, 2:04am
I've the completed the game with a Wood Elf Fighter(12)/ Weapon Master(7)/Neverwinter nine(1). Used a scythe, intimidate, taunt and lore to my advantage. Won the court case easily with both lore and intimidate. Lore also has other uses besides identifying items, a book in particular later in the game and some conversation skills. And I like the taunt options in conversation more than others. After the court case you engage in a fight and some of the taunt options are dead funny.
I agree with sir fink about crafting. Other characters can do this for you but it's a definite need for the game as many powerful items are crafted from recipes found. I even guessed a powerful recipe for enchanting armour from comparing these recipe books. Also there are items in the game that enhance crafting and conversation skills.
Sun, 31st Dec '06, 4:38pm
I had no diplomacy/intimidate at all and everything turned out OK.
Wow! Just like my real life!
[Corrected the missing "my" typo -BTA]
[ December 29, 2006, 20:44: Message edited by: Blackthorne TA ]
Wish I had mod skills...Rat bastard! ;)
Happy New Year!
Mon, 1st Jan '07, 10:10am
It doesn't really matter what class you use, strictly speaking, the game is designed so that all classes can win the game, some just have an easier time at it than others. If it's a first-play character, take whatever looks good. Sure, you could probably shoot yourself in the foot and stuff-up your character something shocking, but, it's only your first run through, so it's okay.
On Speech skills; Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimdate
You don't actually need them to win the game, but, it makes it a fair bit easier in some situations. As previously mentioned, it's quite possible to run through the game as a Half-Orc Barbarian (low INT/CHA I assume) and still have a fun time.
Lore and Appraise are fairly useful too.
It feels almost like cheating to me, as you can make a few quite powerful items fairly early in the game when you're about level 10 or so...In PnP games, if you could russle up a +5 Longsword that could do +2D6 vs. Evil and Elemental Damage on top of that...At level 10, you would...Well, you'd soil yourself.
The PC in NWN II doesn't really need crafting skills, your friends can do it instead.
Prestige Classes are pretty fun - if you know what you're doing. The duelist seems pretty crappy on paper, but, it's actually quite good...Except it's bugged to poop. Hopefully that gets fixed. RDDs are still good - even if they don't get wings.
My first character went something like this;
Sun Elf; Rogue (2) / Wizard (x)
Get a whole bunch of skill points at the start of the game, max out Search and Disable Device - which are both INT skills. Take whatever speech skills you like. Take a few points in Tumble for the AC bonus. Then Wizard all the way, and as you gain INT, you can put more points into your Rogue skills. Plus at Rogue (2) you get free Evasion, it's win-win! And, if I didn't have enough ranks in DD, I just got Khelgar to run through the trap (The game has a stupid approach to 'dying'...It doesn't even matter)As for locks, I had a fair few points in Open Lock and my DEX bonus wasn't too bad. If I couldn't open it, there were plent of Thieve's Tools sets around. I also bashed open locks too. Except things got broken sometimes.
HOWEVER; Major Magic Items (i.e; Not just 'Longsword +2') and Key Items never get broken.
Human; Druid (x)
I like Druids, always have. Except Jaheria...Errrgh! Body of the Sun is fun!
Human; Fighter (x) / Rogue (x)
By far the easiest time I had, but, that could possibly be due to the fact that I'd run through the game twice by this point.
Rogue gives a lot of skills, and Fighter gives a lot of feats. He could talk, he could fight, he could scout, he could do pretty much do everything except Spellcast - and even then he could Use Magic Device on some scrolls. Sneak Attacking with Greatswords! Go team!
Now I might try going through the game with a multiclass Warlock (I've heard that the NWN Engine doesn't let them work the way they do in PnP though)...Just haven't figured out what. It seems to me that a Warlock's strength is NOT in it's Eldritch Blasts...But in his/her ability to Spam Darkness spells and such. A rogue who can cast Darkness and Invisibility - at will, and as many times a day as s/he like - sounds pretty 'fun time' to me.
Anyway, hope that helps.
[ January 01, 2007, 11:01: Message edited by: Cheesegear ]
Mon, 1st Jan '07, 11:01am
Ok... I played the game with a Bard and he owned things just as good as the assortment of "other" damage dealers available in my "party". Honestly you can make even the Wizard class a powerful melee fighter in this game, simply because of all the feats/skills/item/spells options available in the game. Anyway it's not like you need to make one though.
IMO though the Rogue Class would probably have the most access to all the game's options, as befits it. But I don't recommend you making one unless you actually *like* playing a Rogue. :p
Just go with a Sorc like you mentioned - you won't regret it even if you've been playing sorc since NwN1 there are a lot of new stuff to play with. I hear Druids are great too, and Clerics. There's also the Warlock class - I've never played one and so I really don't know how good it is. So far more experienced people seem to be avoiding him though.
Mon, 1st Jan '07, 12:05pm
I personaly go alright with a pure wizard or sorcerer, I'm sometimes a sorcerer/RDD (Don't ANY of you say a word about that!) and I love tieflings.
Say, would anyone here know how you can give your tiefling character a tail?
Mon, 1st Jan '07, 1:59pm
A note on Rogues; Their Sneak Attacking ability takes some getting used to. It requires you to move around a LOT. Dodge/Mobility and at least 10 ranks in Tumble is a must.
One of the most annoying things about Neeshka (The Tiefling who gets a tail for some reason) is that she hardly ever got Sneak Attack damage.
Bards are also pretty neat. A Bard/RDD make a pretty good character (Not as good as a Sorcerer/RDD though). Making them a Battle Caster significantly improves their usefullness and survivability.
On the Warlock note, they're bugged and they don't work like they're supposed to. That's why the experienced players stay away from them. But, I'm convinced that a Warlock's strengths in NWN-II lie in it's invocations other than Eldritch Blast.
They would be a lot better if Eldritch Blast worked as a continuous attack, instead of having to seperately cast it every round like normal attacks. Once you get Word of Changing though, the game should be cake.
Maybe Fighter, Rogue or Bard (4) / Warlock (x)
Tue, 2nd Jan '07, 4:43am
A fun char is this one: Strongheart halfling str 13, dex 18, con 14, int 14, wis 8, cha 10 - starting as a fighter, then adding ranger levels, archery style.
At lvl 18 the char has finesse, specialisation and naturally focus in short swords and short bows, dodge, mobility, spring attack, power attack, cleave and expertise, maybe whirlwind attack - not to mention the special ranger feats like toughness, rapid shot, many shot etc.
One could go so far and eventually add weapons master prestige class to max out the melee ability. That would make for an outstanding melee and ranged fighting character.
Only, that then the x-cap is so close that it hardly makes sense ;)
Should be easily be able to get through the game. High dex allows for light armor and also helps archery and melee skills. Ability-wise this sort of char should be easiest to make. To improve the char first invest in dex, and then beef up either wis or int, depending on wether you prefer more skill points or better saves and spells.
One could also use a tiefling for such a char but the halfling wins out IMO, just like when compared to the elf, because of that extra skill point, the bonus feat and no xp malus in case of the Tiefling.
[ January 02, 2007, 05:00: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Wed, 3rd Jan '07, 12:48pm
Human Fighter & Weapon Master
str-18++, dex 13, con 16, int 14?
falchion WF, WS, GWS, GWF, improved crit, power crit
power attack, cleave, great cleave
dodge, mobility, expertise, spring attack, whirlwind attack
Thinking about it, he's fighting in late medieval German style. Let's call him Johann Lichtenauer, for he is wielding a Großes Messer ;)
Fri, 12th Jan '07, 8:44am
For my first try I used a rapier wielding Duelist 10/Rogue 9/Shadowdancer 1. You are weak at first but eventually you are virtually untouchable in melee combat. Also, you can handle most of the locks/traps and have the skill points to invest in conversational skills so it is a pretty well rounded character.
For my second time through I am thinking of trying a Fighter 8/Weapon Master 7/Divine Champion 3/Frenzied Berserker 2. I maxed diplomacy and appraise last time so I figured a maxed intimidate and taunt build would be a good change.
Sat, 13th Jan '07, 11:15pm
I'm playing as a Bard and its going pretty good... I ussually switch out Elanee & Qara as blasters, because I find that Casavir and I are good enough healers.... But I've also been looking at a Sorcerer game (Talon Sorcerer :evil: ) there isn't much chance for Arcane with the Companions.
Thu, 25th Jan '07, 4:10pm
I feel intrigued by two paladin builds: A paladin-divine champion would be a poor undead turner, but he'd have good saves and would be quite good in melee. For that build I recommend to choose human to get as many feats as you can get. Aasimar or human paladin with cleric level(s) in the sun domain. Sun domain powers compensate for the pally's lower turning level. A lvl-10 pally + lvl-1 Cleric would have TL 7 + 1, whereas with sun-domain he'd have effectively TL 9 + 1. Also nice is that the cleric's and pally's abilities stack nicely. You can focus on concentration, diplomacy, lore and heal uninterrupted.Have fun.
Wed, 31st Jan '07, 8:47pm
it's impossible to fully experience the game by just going through once, because dialogue and events change depending on what members are in your party
also, if you want to experience romances you need to play as male and female char, so twice minimum
i'd recommend a cleric/druid or sorcerer/wizard kind of char and make sure you take diplomacy because that's the most used dialogue skill
although in reality you can just take any char you want because NPC's who join you are very powerful in this game
Wed, 7th Feb '07, 8:11pm
This is my first run through the game (well...second...but I abandoned my Wizard at Fort Locke) and my character is a Rogue 6/Assassin 10/ Fighter 4...dualweilding the Astral Blade and a crafted dagger +1 with fire damage enchantment...pretty awesome so far (I'm a lvl 6 Rogue)...
I just sneak into a room, hit the big bad guy for a ton of sneak attack damage and then run for it, leading the enemies into my own crafted traps (mostly fire and spike traps as of now) at the end of which Khelgar is waiting with the Bone Phoenix and Elanee with her spells...
Mon, 5th Mar '07, 4:27pm
I haven't played for the entire february, and have just started yet another conversational lvl-2 rogue/ lvl-4 fighter, this time wielding a bastard sword. Just finished the Fort Locke quests.
IMO it's better to replay altogether than just reload an old savegame - I feel like I'm out of it. It's no fun anymore.
Sat, 16th Feb '08, 10:42am
I started the game with a Sorcerer (my class of choice), which I intend to take through Mask of the Betrayer, too. And I didn't decide exactly how am I going to build it. First, he's a drow, because it is one of the only two races (beside Aasimar) which have bonus on charisma; and the Magic Resistance bonus that improves with level is way too nice to resist. My skill points are going into Bluff, Concentration, Spellcraft, Lore and Craft Alchemy. I would've used Diplomacy instead of Bluff (Bluff makes my character Chaotic, and he has Lawful Good alignment), but it's not a class skill, so I'm sticking to Bluff for the moment; Lore was chosen more because of the roleplaying value (I think there are some dialogues that could benefit from this skill) than of its usefulness. Also, maybe Craft Alchemy wasn't such a good choice... but there was no other class skill that could fit my needs. So, I picked up this one. Any sugestions on skills are welcome.
I'm planing to focus mainly on Evocation spells and make my Sorcerer the spellslinger of the group. Neeshka is a must for the party (from what I've read on the message boards, I understand that you can't romance her, which is a pitty), Khelgar or a Paladin (that I understand I'll meet later in the game) will cover the front melee and Elanee or some other Cleric will take care of the support, healing and the summoning spells. Sugestions on party members are also welcome.
However, my main concern is multiclassing. I'll not pick another level in other default class, since a Sorcerer needs all the levels he could get to become really powerful. But, once I hit level 20... Should I stick to just being a Sorcerer until level 30? If not, what prestige class is the best suited for this style of gameplay? Is Red Dragon Disciple a good choice? What other options are there for an offensive spellcaster?
Mon, 18th Feb '08, 3:11am
I had a good boy palie for my first character. He was more for getting the feel of the game. And didn't even reached Fort Locke. Right now, I'm playing a Rogue (2)/Fighter (5)/Deulist (1), a dexterity-based rapier/dagger dual wielder. Right now, he's doing a lot of Sneak Attacks, so I'm planning on adding a few more Rogue levels later to enhance that department and getting some evasion skills.