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    Character Tips by JDragontamer

    Updated: 07/08/02 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    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    _definately_ not be published in future editions of this FAQ.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.