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
(jeditalon@rocketmail.com). 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_definately_ not be published in future editions of this FAQ.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.