Ultimate Powergaming Party FAQ by egervari

Version: 1.21 | Updated: 03/10/03 | Printable Version

               Icewind Dale 2: Ultimate Powergaming Party FAQ
                             by Ken J. Egervari

                Game..........................Icewind Dale 2
                Guide...........................In-depth FAQ
                First Published.............January 26, 2003
                Last Updated..................March 10, 2003

   Table of Contents

   1. Introduction
      1.1 - About This FAQ
      1.2 - Credits/Thanks
      1.3 - Updates and Revisions
   2. The Party's Development
      2.1 - Striking Perfection & Balance
      2.2 - Enter The Humans
      2.3 - Tradeoffs & Stuff
      2.4 - A Note About Sorcerers
   3. The Party
      3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)
      3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)
      3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)
      3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)
      3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)
      3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)
   4. Last Words
      4.1 - Contact Info
      4.2 - Copyright Info
      4.3 - Coming Soon

   1. Introduction

   First, I'd like to say thank you for reading my FAQ and I hope that it aids
   you in building the best possible party the game can offer (well, without
   cheating of course).  
   Next, I'd like to talk about myself a bit so you can learn a bit about my 
   credentials.  I've written several other FAQs for Might & Magic 7 & 8 and
   Diablo 2, Starcraft and Warcraft III.  I might have written others in the 
   past, but they don't come to mind.   I'm also a veteran IE gamer, playing 
   all 5 IE games to date.  I'm also a big RPG and Strategy gamer fan as well.

   In terms of my career, I'm a software architect who developers in J2EE and 
   .NET mostly although I've been doing programming for several years in other
   platforms prior.  I'm also a co-author on three published books:

   * Professional PHP4 Programming
   * Professional PHP4 XML
   * Professional PHP Web Services

   I can't help but give me a shameless plug:  Please purchase these books if
   you find these topics interesting.  I, as well as the other authors, would
   really appreciate it.  These books are some of the best on PHP after all.
   Be sure to check your local stores and amazon.com!

   Anyway, needless to say, I'm an accomplished writer and a logical 
   thinker - two things that I believe are important to writing FAQs =)  

   1.1 - About This FAQ

   The purpose of this FAQ or Guide is to cover one question and one question 

      "What is the most powerful party?"

   If there is any question asked by new and veteran players alike, this is it. 
   In a nutshell, every section of this FAQ is committed to either showing you 
   exactly how to build your characters throughout the game and to help you 
   understand the decisions behind them.  To give this party a name, we have 
   dubbed it the "Ultimate Powergaming Party" or the "UPP" for short.

   It's hard to say if this FAQ can be understood by new players or not.  It's
   been a long time since I was introduced to D&D rules, so everything is very
   well developed in mind.  Have no fear though!  I have made every effort
   to ensure that I explained the "whys" whenever it was appropriate.  I dared
   not assume that you know anything about the game and the D&D 3E rule set in
   general.  I hope that you don't feel that this undermined your intelligence,
   but this was done to ensure that you understood the party and could make the
   most of it while you played the game.

   I also would like to comment that if you don't understand D&D rules very
   well, you should simply use one of the pre-made parties distributed with the 
   game.  These are pretty easy to use, are effective enough to beat the game 
   and you don't have to worry about multiclassing and stat allocation - you 
   can just enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played.  You should only 
   play HoF mode if you really like the game and want to get the most of out it.
   HoF mode is probably the most enjoyable aspect of the game actually.

   A Secondary Goal:
   The lesser goal of this FAQ is battle and character strategies.  Many times
   we'll look into spells in an in-depth manner (since no other FAQ does this)
   and we'll give you some great tips to finishing tough battles with these
   characters specifically.  
   In the "Alternate Character Choices" sections, we'll discuss other builds
   that you might consider trying.  These are builds that didn't make the cut
   as far as the UPP was concerned, but they can help you build other 
   characters.  Overall, if you read this FAQ from start to finish, you should
   gain the skills to building powerful characters, casting the right spells
   at the right time and knowing the inner workings of the game as well as
   we do.

   A Note To Role-players:
   The last thing I would like to mention is that if you are a role-player at
   heart, please don't read this FAQ or even email me stating that I'm promoting
   powergaming and that I should die (or something along those lines).  Before
   reading any further, make sure you personally feel comfortable and support
   the idea of powergaming before reading this FAQ.

   Before you go off saying that CHA 3 or INT 1 are unrealistic stats, keep in
   mind that they are chosen that way because they have no effect on the 
   characters whatsoever.  The game doesn't have any rules stating: Int 3 
   characters do not realize their own existence or even can't hold a sword.  
   Since the game doesn't have these restrictions, I see no reason to impose 
   some made-up restrictions on these characters.  If you want to create 
   meaningless biographies and warriors of 18 Intelligence and Charisma, go
   right ahead - no one is going to stop you.  The whole point is that BIS
   developed the game to enjoy and I believe it's up to each individual to
   decide how they would like to enjoy the game.  For some reason, they fail 
   to understand this and push their "belief systems" on us :/

   Although the realism of these characters might be shattered if you apply
   some common sense, it's still possible to enjoy the real 'role-playing' 
   aspects of the game.  I like doing quests and selecting different dialog
   options.  I wish there were more actually and some random encounters like
   Baldur's Gate 2 has.  Oh well, needless to say I still got a lot out of the
   game and I'm not sure why there is so much hostility between the two crowds.
   I can't see how a character with 15 intelligence would make these aspects of
   the game any more or less enjoyable.

   Writing the FAQ:
   It only took me a little over a week to write this entire FAQ, so if you were
   thinking a becoming an author, it really isn't that much work and you can
   draw some satisfaction from unlocking all the aspects of the game and trying
   to help people.  I still can't believe this thing is above 50 pages and over
   3000 lines, so you printer-happy people are warned in advance =)  I think I
   finally wrote over 500 pages of published material this year.  That's
   a personal record =)

   You will find the most up to date version of this FAQ at:


   This FAQ looks best in a fixed-width font, such as Courier New.  I personally
   like to use Lucida Console since it isn't so dark and I have terrible eye
   sight.  Anyway...

   1.2 - Credits/Thanks

   Since I'm not the sole author to the party's construction, I'd like to say
   that there were many others that were involved in developing this party over 
   a period of 2 weeks.  One of these individuals is named High Cleric and he 
   was responsible for spearheading the initial development of these ideas and 
   party itself.  After that point many people collaborated and developed what 
   you see here (I was one of them, wee!).

   These are the individuals who contributed in some way and are in no 
   particular order:
   High Cleric  - Spearheaded Initial Idea and Main Contributor
   Dark Meadows
   Nevryndar    - Consistent sound advice throughout the entire process
   koz-ivan     - Consistent sound advice throughout the entire process
   Kwyn         - Insight into Dwarves being better than Half-Orcs and Proofing
   Mithrandir   - Suggestions to remove Blind-Fight, Dash and other feats in
                  exchange for others.  Other ideas also implemented in 
                  version 1.1
   Dorlan       - Shades actual spell stats

   1.3 - Updates and Revisions

   Version 1.21 - March 10, 2003
   * I finally got a little time to add a minor adjustment to the faq.  I added
     a notice that you must choose a male Drow in order to avoid the experience
     penalty for the Rogue/Wizard character (since female Drow have a favoured
     class of Cleric).
   * Fixed some spelling errors in the Rogue/Wizard section.

   Version 1.20 - January 29, 2003
   * Added additional information on the "Shades" spell
   * Fixed Morninglord's Feats.  We took a feat that already existed with the
     Paladin level (Doh!).  We replaced it with Discipline.
   * Added that the player should take non-lawful alignment when choosing
     their fighter at character creation.
   * Added an option for the player to take a Half-Orc instead of a Shield
     Dwarf (although I personally don't recommend it)
   * Added a note that the Paladin level is optional on the Morninglord of
   * I added an explanation on why we chose a Human Morninglord rather than an
     Aasimar Morninglord to clarify our reasoning for this decision
   * Changed Tiefling Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x) to Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x).  This
     has been something that we have been discussing for a great deal over at
     the BIS forums.  The idea evaporated until Mithrandir mentioned it again.
     After some more consideration and a set of stats I came up with, we all
     decided it was for the better.  I added an explanation and comparison to
     the Tiefling and I fixed all the areas of text that referenced the 
     Tiefling specifically (so that it will make sense as far as a Drow is
   * Added a note that the player should not lower the Rogue/Wizard's Strength
     score because of the Chain of Drakkus
   * Added a section on why we didn't choose more than 1 Wizard
   * Fixed various typos

   Version 1.10 - January 26, 2003
   * Fixed Minor spelling mistakes & inconsistencies
   * Re-assessed the Rogue/Conjurer's feats.  Removed Precise Shot, re-ordered
     Spell Focus feats and added Iron Will
   * Removed Blind-Fight feat from Shield Dwarf Barbarian/Fighter, pushed back
     Extra Rage feats and added Lightning Reflexes
   * Removed Blind-Fight and Dash feats from Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus
     and added Discipline and Iron Will
   * Removed several feats from Morninglord of Lathander class.  Added Martial
     Weapon, Long Sword feats and Iron Will, Great Fortitude and Lightning
   * Made Morninglord of Lathander(x)/Paladin(1) official.  This was an idea
     long discussed and was buried for awhile.  I brought it back to life and
     provided an explanation

   Version 1.00 - November 5, 2003
   * Start of the project

   2. The Party's Development

   As we started building the "Ultimate Powergaming Party", we went through many 
   changes.  Many times we said, "That's it!  We aren't going to do any better 
   than that!".   After about 10 revisions and countless hours of play testing, 
   we said that statement few times too many :)

   The party is ideal for good or neutral alignment players and is meant to be
   taken into HoF mode - the ultimate challenge that the game has to offer.  It
   is a six person party that is heavily based on spell casting over melee, 
   which we found produced the best results.
   Others have mentioned soloing as evil Sorcerers or Clerics of Bane were more 
   powerful than what you will see here, but we wanted to focus on building a 
   'party' rather than a single character because that's too boring for our 
   tastes.  You could take any one of these characters and adapt them to solo
   play if you really wanted to.

   The idea was to create a powerful 'party' that was meant for skilled players
   who especially wanted to have fun, have a good variety and be able to win 
   every fight without reloading ever :P

   The 4 items that we are going to talk about in this section are:

   * Ensuring a nice balance of party abilities
   * An analysis of the Human race and why they rock
   * A list of various tradeoffs that were made to ensure maximum efficiency and
   * Another analysis comparing Human and Aasimar Sorcerers and the reasons
     why both races were chosen (as opposed to one or the other).

   2.1 - Striking Perfection & Balance

   As we built the party, we paid careful attention to how each character was 
   designed, to ensure they worked synergistically with the others that we had 
   in mind.  By doing this, we believed that we created a party with a perfect 
   balance of melee (which is just a splash), divine and arcane spells as well 
   as the necessary rogue skills to complete the game.
   We also made sure that each character was very powerful in the party and uses
   multiclassing and races to good effect.  Thus, you'll notice that we choose
   many Humans over other races and did not make heavy use of ECL races either.

   Another thing you'll notice is that you'll have a more fighter-centric
   party at the beginning of the game but have a more magic-based party as the 
   game goes on.  This serves both environments rather well, so you don't have 
   build your guys up 20 levels just to get the effect you want (like those BG2 
   days).  A large part of the thanks goes to the 3e rule set.

   2.2 - Enter The Humans
   As good players should already know, many of the ECL races don't exactly
   add up to the efficiency of an ordinary Human.  This is quite different than 
   any of the previous Infinity Engine games (such as Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 and 
   Icewind Dale) since Humans were regarded as 'underpowered' and not practical 
   for powergaming goodness when min-maxing various attributes.  In these 
   previous installments, Humans were typically good for playing Paladins and 
   Monks as these classes really had no choice but to be Human.  Obviously, this 
   has now been changed in Icewind Dale II using the 3rd edition rule set.  
   Now, Humans are actually one of the more efficient races to use in the game. 
   With no inherit disadvantages such as leveling or attribute penalties, they 
   are best used for classes that don't require 20 Strength, Dexterity or 
   Constitution, as these are the attributes that Half-Orcs, Elves and Dwarves 
   specialize in, respectively.  Thus, Humans are well suited for a variety of 
   classes such as Rogues, Monks, Clerics, Druids, Bards, Sorcerers, etc.

   Looking beyond pure classes, Humans are excellent when trying some very 
   daring multiclass combinations that would otherwise yield experience 
   penalties.  In a game like Icewind Dale II where the power of your character 
   is proportional to your current level, you can't afford to simply give up 
   experience.  For instance, in the UPP (Ultimate Powergaming Party), we had 
   an interesting build for a Paladin/Fighter/Sorcerer that does not receive 
   any XP penalty throughout the game.  I suppose a Wild Elf would achieve the 
   same thing, but it misses out on a lot as well.  Let's look into the bonuses
   of the Human race:

   * Humans receive 1 extra feat at level 1
   * Humans receive 2 extra skill points at level 1
   * Humans receive 1 extra skill point every level after Level 1
   Any and all of these extra racial traits remain solid from the beginning to 
   the very end of the game.  As you are probably aware, you still get these 
   benefits even if your Intelligence is at a minimum of 3.  That means 
   that you can receive 6 skill points (1*4+2=6) at level 1 and 2 skill points 
   each additional level with 3 intelligence, leaving you with 7 ability points 
   to allocate to more important stats.  This works out for characters that do 
   not need intelligence - namely everything except Wizards, Bards and Rogues.  
   If I recall, even Deep Gnomes only receive 6 extra ability points and they 
   have an ECL of 3.  Humans still lack the ability to have 20 in any ability 
   score, but this is still a fairly significant advantage.
   When looking at all these benefits, many of the ECL races and even standard 
   races simply don't match up in most cases.  There are a few notable 
   exceptions, like an Aasimar Paladin/Fighter, but the UPP only uses one 
   Aasimar character.  That is not to say they are not effective, but after 
   careful analysis and consideration, they often don't make the cut.

   I'm sure all this information is pretty straightforward and well-known to 
   most players, but I thought I would mention it nonetheless.  From my 
   experiences from being a leader, I learned that it is never wise to assume 
   that your audience knows everything, even if it really is obvious (which I'm 
   not stating that these facts are; I'm just making a point).  Thus, expect a 
   lot of explanations in this FAQ to ensure this document is understood by 
   What was the point about this small section?  I simply wanted to let you know 
   the reason why there are a few humans in the party as well as the alternate
   character considerations.  This ensures that a lot of people don't put the 
   effort into emailing us saying that Duergar and Drow make the best 'whatever' 
   and so on.  I can think of only a few times in the game where those extra 
   levels in spell casting would go unnoticed.  Seeing as 5 of the 6 characters 
   in the UPP possess some type of spell casting ability, you should probably 
   see how these ECL races could become a major problem as well.  Anyway, I'm 
   glad we are on the same page :)
   2.3 - Tradeoffs & Stuff
   Whenever deciding the abilities of a character or even the attributes of the 
   entire party, it's important to make various tradeoffs.  In order do that 
   effectively, you need to "know what you want".  In our case, we wanted the 
   ultimate party, meaning every decision should contribute somehow to that 
   final goal.  
   Conversation Skills:
   When we were first constructing the party, we decided that negotiation skills 
   were unimportant (and they really are for the most part).  We constructed
   several parties that allowed us to build characters that weren't very good at
   striking effective conversations and this allowed us to push the limits.  
   However, after deciding to include two sorcerers in the final version of the
   UPP, it made a lot of sense for one of them to maximize conversation skills
   as it didn't produce any negative consequences.  So in the end, it finally 
   went in there although it very well could have been left out just as easily.
   This is the ultimate party after all and we managed to get it in =)
   If you want to build a party with fewer Sorcerers, don't be afraid to neglect
   Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate skills.  Who cares what BIS recommends in 
   those messages as you are loading a new area - you will never "die from not
   being able to communicate" or lose any special items.  If anything really
   bad happens, it was probably be your own damn fault =)

   Another interesting advantage to ignoring your conversation skills is that 
   some are class and race specific (which makes it hard to control or predict) 
   and many of the dialogs are forced.  Even with the ultimate negotiator, 
   you'll never get to use them 50-75% of the time in these situations anyway. 
   I also noticed that there is nothing to gain from these forced conversations 
   to begin with.  It's purely a role-playing thing - and who cares about that 
   in a hack'n'slash game =) [okay, that might have pissed a few people off :)]

   Intelligence & Skills:
   Another tradeoff to get added power was to lower the Intelligence scores of
   many characters.  This didn't exactly produce many negative results and you
   could even build a strong case that moving Intelligence up or down doesn't 
   'balance' anything.  The only negative consequence to this is that you will
   only get 1 skill point/level for any non-human character and 2 skill 
   points/level for human characters.  Thus, we had to keep several of the 
   character's skill selections to the bare essentials.  In reality, these are 
   all the skill points that a character would ever need anyway unless you were 
   diluting the character with useless conversation skills (see above) or 
   chaff like Animal Empathy.  

   One thing that was essential in most IE games was to have an adequate thief 
   to disarm traps, open locks and pick someone's pocket on occasion.  Anything 
   more would be considered a specialized thief character (like single-classed 
   swashbuckler or backstabbing thief).  In Baldur's Gate 2, it was possible to 
   get by with a character named Imoen (she was a Level 6 Thief I believe) 
   without any major difficulties, although she did require many thief 
   enhancing equipment.  In Icewind Dale 1, you could easily get by using a 
   Fighter/Thief or Cleric/Thief as many people did, so you never had to take 
   a single-classed thief.

   In Icewind Dale 2, the thief has become even less important; you can now 
   actually play the game with no 'Rogue' class at all because of the way 3E
   skills work.  If you played the game already, you'll notice there are very
   few opportunities to pick pocket and the number of traps is really low in
   comparison to Baldur's Gate 2.  This allows you to make sacrifices 
   considerably when it comes to constructing a party.  Thus, is was a 
   conscious decision to avoid a full or half thief and accept the fact that 
   sneak attacks weren't going to be one of the features in the UPP.  In other 
   words, we focused on two things when it came to thievery:  Open Locks and 
   Disarm Traps.

   We constructed a Drow with 1 Rogue level that also had 20 Intelligence.  
   This allowed us to max out all the appropriate thief skills and 'then 
   some' easily.  Now which class works with 18 Intelligence? - A Wizard :)  
   Essentially, we created our Rogue class while enjoying an almost pure class 
   Wizard in the process.  As you will soon find out, this character could max 
   out his arcane skills, pick up some misc. skills and continue to raise Open 
   Locks and Disarm Traps throughout the game, only being a few points behind 
   a single-classed Rogue.

   Alchemy & Knowledge (Arcana):
   Since many of our characters had low intelligence, we either had to neglect
   these skills entirely or give them to a high Intelligence character (the 
   Rogue/Wizard).  Incidentally, both these skills fit the role of this
   character perfectly.  We originally made no promises to put them in, but
   somehow the game's rules made it quite easy for us.  That is, during the
   transition of becoming a Wizard from a Rogue, there were times were you 
   could not increase certain stats because they were maxed out and you didn't
   have enough cross-class skill points.  We took these opportunities to
   increase Alchemy a bit (since you need it to complete a quest in the
   Underdark anyway).  As the character gained more Intelligence through
   leveling, it didn't take too long to max out Knowledge (Arcana) either.  I
   guess it turned out that no tradeoffs really had to be made, however you
   won't get the full benefits of Alchemy this way (and who really cares).

   So as you can see, these tradeoffs or at least conscious decisions allowed 
   us to engineer a very effective and cohesive group that plays well to being
   an ultimate powergaming party that it is.

   2.4 - A Note About Sorcerers

   The only race choices that make the cut in the UPP are Humans and Aasimars, 
   but it's difficult to tell for sure which of the two races is more 
   powerful.  At one point in the game (sometime through HoF mode) the Human 
   Sorcererís advantages (the extra skill points and the bonus feat) will not 
   be as noticeable, although there is still something to be said for having 
   these things from the beginning.

   It really comes down to a few things.  First, the Aasimar can put up to 20 
   points into Charisma to start off, thus he'll get 2 extra spells when 
   compared to the Human Sorcerer.  These spells will be in levels 3 and 6 at 
   the beginning of the game and this will only get better as the Charisma 
   increases when the Aasimar levels up.  The thing to remember, however, is 
   that both characters will gain Charisma throughout the game, so the Aasimar 
   will, at most, have 2 extra spells at all times due to their Charisma 

   Although the Human Sorcerer doesn't have this extended Charisma bonus, he 
   makes up for it by leveling faster.  Thus, when the Human Sorcerer 
   reaches an odd level, he will have 1 more spell than the Aasimar version, 
   and this spell is always a higher level one than either of the extra 
   spells the Aasimar receives.  So the tradeoff is this:

      1 More powerful spell vs. 2 Lesser spells

   It's really up to you to decide which is better, since it really depends on 
   the spells you are comparing.  Remember though, this extra level also gives 
   you better BAB scores, more hit points, extra save bonuses and possibly 
   another feat earlier among other minor things.  So let's just say for the 
   moment that they are at least equal and the Human probably stacks better with 
   the varied benefits.

   The next point is that Aasimars receive the following:

   * +2 to Wisdom and +2 to Charisma
   * Acid, cold, and electrical Resistance: 5 points
   * Sunscorch 1/day
   * Darkvision

   Now, the best of these is the extra ability points and the elemental 
   resistances while the others are helpful to have (Sunscorch can get rid of 
   trolls later in the game and Darkvision isn't a bad thing to have, but it's 
   not anything to write home about either).  

   But before you think, "Wow! Aasimars have the upper hand here!", there is 
   something else you should be aware of.  First, any Sorcerer must have 
   Spellcraft AND Concentration.  Without these skills, you'll miss out on some 
   great feats and you'll have a pretty tough time casting those spells in a 
   battle, even with 18 Constitution (which gives you a +4 to Concentration 
   checks).  In order to get these skills, the Aasimar Sorcerer must invest 12 
   ability points into Intelligence while our Human Sorcerer only had to invest 
   3.  This nets our Human Sorcerer with a whopping "9" ability points to 
   allocate elsewhere, namely Dexterity and you can put some in Strength and
   Wisdom too.  Let's take a look at the ability scores for both the characters
   side-by-side to see what happens:

               Human Sorcerer                    Aasimar Sorcerer:
               --------------                    -----------------
               Str: 9  <-                        Str: 8
               Dex: 18 <-                        Dex: 12
               Con: 18             vs.           Con: 18
               Int: 3                            Int: 12
               Wis: 10                           Wis: 10
               Cha: 18                        -> Cha: 20

   As you can see, the only area that our Aasimar excels at is in the Charisma 
   category.  Our Human Sorcerer can still can max out his Concentration and 
   Spellcraft skills with an Intelligence of 3 because he is Human.  Since
   we already determined that the Human could compensate for the bonus charisma
   points, it is easily shown that the extra strength and dexterity could be
   very helpful.

   Now, you have to ask yourself, does the Aasimar really receive +4 ability 
   points?  The answer is "No".  The human actually gets 5 extra ability points 
   over the Aasimar because of the min-maxing.  This isn't a matter of adding up 
   all the points and seeing which total is higher, it's investigating the worth 
   of where your points are spent.

   Now, remember the Aasimar's elemental resistances?  Ask yourself, do these 
   resistances compare to an overall +4 to AC and +4 to reflex 
   saves the Human Sorcerer receives?  If you think about it, acid, cold, and 
   electricity resistance only comes into play at specific times in the game.  
   The bonus to your AC and reflex saves will be with you the 'entire' game.  I 
   think a permanent advantage is always better than a selective advantage, so 
   that was one of the many reason why Human was chosen over Aasimar.

   This leaves the Aasimar with the remaining Darkvision and Sunscorch 
   abilities.  As I said earlier, Darkvision is not critical and Sunscorch is 
   just a spell that clerics of any kind can cast.  In this party, there are 2 
   clerics in total, so if you really need Sunscorch, you won't be of short 
   supply.  I also found that the 'single' Sunscorch was annoying as the game
   went on because I didn't want to dedicate an interface slot for it since
   I never used it all that much.  You can only have 6 or so spells on there at 
   once, so why waste it on Sunscorch?  These aren't anything to write home

   The last point to mention is that the Aasimar receives a +1 DC when casting 
   spells, which makes all your spells harder to resist.  You could argue that a 
   +6 to +7 DC, for instance, isn't much of a difference. Honestly, if you think 
   of all the +1 bonuses that you think are worth getting (such as +1 to AC or 
   Will Saves, etc.), the advantage can be appreciated.  So in truth, it's 
   really difficult to argue that the Human Sorcerer has something else that 
   remotely compares to this other than the additional feat you get at first 
   level in combination with all the other areas the human scales better on.

   So what is the recommendation?  If you really think the +1 to your DC is 
   critical to your success, then choose an Aasimar Sorcerer.  Otherwise, if you 
   think you'll appreciate faster access to more powerful spells and the other
   benefits to early leveling, then choose the Human Sorcerer.  After a great
   deal of playing this game, I come to appreciate the Human Sorcerer a lot
   more while playing the game for the first time.  There is something to be
   said when you get "Sunfire", "Disintegrate", "Finger of Death" and 
   "Horrid Wilting" a few areas sooner than later.  The impact is really
   significant since you level up really slow when you get access to these 
   spells (which could be several hours of game play).
   As you progress to HoF mode, you'll notice that the fast-access advantage 
   isn't as important any longer since the Aasimar Sorcerer will have all the
   spells available to them.  Recall that the Aasimar will get 1 more spell in 
   the long run and will have a better DC, so eventually the Aasimar will come 
   out on top.  The Aasimar will also be allowed to gain 1 more level than the
   Human Sorcerer, which puts it over the top if you are willing to play
   the characters that long.

   In either case, you'll end up with a winner - and if you pick both (like we 
   did), you'll have the best of both worlds in normal and HoF games.

   3. The Party

   Now that we've discussed some important design decisions and the goals of 
   the UPP, let's actually look at each member in detail.  In these sections 
   we'll specifically cover:

   * The Character's Race and Class
   * The Ability Scores (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) w/ Explanation
   * The Specific Class Skill and Feat Choices w/ Explanation
   * Weapon Preferences
   * Individual Spell Selections w/ Explanation
   * Explanation of Several Strategies on How to Play the Character Effectively.
   * An Analysis of Alternative Character Choices

   Also to refresh, here is a list of the six characters in the UPP in the 
   order they are discussed in this FAQ.  If you do a text search for the item 
   index (i.e. 3.1) or even the entire character description (i.e. "Shield Dwarf 
   Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)"), you will be able to jump to the appropriate 
   section in the FAQ.

   3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)
   3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)
   3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)
   3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)
   3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)
   3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)

   Lastly, as you read these sections, keep in mind that you can skim the text 
   and simply copy down the race and class information, the ability scores, the
   list of skills and feats to take as well as the spell information without 
   actually reading the commentary text - it's only there to increase your
   comprehensive but it's certainly up to you if you want to read it or not.  I
   would recommend that you do though :)


   3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)

   The first of the characters is the Shield Dwarf Fighter/Barbarian.  In this
   particular party, he is the only pure tank, meaning the rest of the 
   characters rely on divine or arcane magic to either engage the enemy or to 
   create party support.

   The main use for this character, like all tanks, is to deal a devastating
   amount of melee damage to vanquish your foes and to protect many of the
   weaker characters in the party, such as the two Sorcerers and the
   Rogue/Wizard and the Cleric of Lathander.

   I find that Two-handed weapons work really well in this game, especially with
   characters that possess 20+ strength.  A neat thing about Shield Dwarfs is
   that you can lower there Intelligence to 3 and the Charisma score to 1, so
   you actually get an extra 2 points when using a Shield Dwarf (as with some
   other races as well like the Half-Orc).

   The main reason for taking 4 Fighter levels is to get Weapon Specialization
   in your two-handed weapon, gain some extra bonus feats and lastly to get
   that third pip in Armor Proficiency, which will allow the character to wear
   heavy armor instead of medium armor.

   NOTE:  When you first create this character, make sure you give him any
          non-lawful alignment so you can choose Barbarian.

   NOTE:  Some people have commented that this character 'shouldn't use great
          swords or other large weapons because it looks silly.  Well folks,
          this party is all about power rather than aesthetic concerns.  If 
          it really bothers you, don't do it - it's your game.  However,
          large weapons are integral part of this character.  If you remove
          them, you will weaken the party.

   Why Not Half-Orc?
   Although a Half-Orc Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x) is still extremely effective,
   it doesn't quite stack up to the benefits that you receive from the Shield
   Dwarf.   First off, you can build a Half-Orc in the same way as a Shield
   Dwarf, but you get 20 Strength/18 Constitution instead of 
   18 Strength/20 Constitution.  The main difference here is that the Half-Orc
   will get +2 to damage and +1 to attack roles while the Shield-Dwarf will
   receive an extra 30 hit points by level 30.  I think most of you would 
   choose the hit points.

   Even further, the Shield Dwarf gets several other bonus that the Half-Orc
   doesn't receive.  While most of them are nothing to brag about, at least
   they add some extra.  You'll find that "a" is very enticing.

   a) +2 to Saving Throws vs. Spells and Spell-like effects.  This is truly 
      remarkable when you think about it.  Essentially, it's Lightning
      Reflexes, Iron Will and Great Fortitude in one!  I guess, in a way, you
      get 3 extra feats at first level with Shield Dwarves.  This is fairly
      powerful considering tank types really need will and reflex saves.
   b) Another +2 to Saving Throws against poison.  I'll admit, this is really
      useless, and with a constitution score of 20 and the best fortitude saves
      in the game, it's not likely that you will be poisoned ever.  However, 
      the Half-Orc doesn't have this bonus, so.. :)
   c) +1 to damage and attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids (bugbears
      included).  At least in the beginning of Heart of Fury, he will be equally
      as strong as the Half-Orc would have been :)  This isn't much, but it's
      just icing on the cake.
   d) +4 AC vs. Giants.  There aren't many giants in this game, and the ones
      that do appear die quite easily to disintegrate and other will saving
      spells.  Generally, they are pretty easy to kill but what the heck, we'll
      take it.

   As you can see, the Half-Orc's extra 2 points in Strength during the game
   really doesn't compare to the bonus 30 hit points and the +2 bonus to Saving
   Throws (among the other stuff).  Thus, Shield Dwarves make the best possible
   tanks.  I never liked the Half-Orc or Barbarian sound sets anyway :)

   NOTE: One person suggested that Half-Orc was still better regardless of the
         Dwarf's benefits.  He suggested that over the span of many combat
         rounds, that the extra +2 damage would add up to double digits.  While
         I don't see how a distributed +2 damage over many attacks at many
         enemies makes a big difference (especially in a spell casting party
         rather than a melee party).  With respect to HoF mode, those 30 hit
         points can be mean life and death (waiting out for Mass Heal to be 
         cast for instance) and the extra will saves can prevent the character
         from charm, domination, fear, hopelessness, etc. (let's not mention
         the bonus to reflex and fortitude saves too).

         I'm throwing out the option that you might value this over +2 saving
         throws and an extra 30 hit points.  So, in a nutshell, it's your call.
         I won't speak of it any further in the FAQ.

   Str: 18 
   Dex: 16 
   Con: 20 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 18 
   Cha: 1 

   As you can see from these ability scores above, you can manage to get 
   perfect scores in all the stats that matter.  I say perfect because you don't
   need a dexterity higher than 13, but I put 16 in it anyway in case you
   wanted to wear some lighter armor (some are actually quite good in IWD2).

   Don't worry that this character has hardly any intelligence or charisma - 
   you won't ever require it.  Just make sure this character doesn't engage
   anyone in conversation and you should be fine.  Even then, it's not really 
   as bad as the role players would lead you to believe.  These attributes 
   don't help you become a better warrior anyway.

   I wanted to give this character a Wisdom score of 18, and with the bonus
   to will saves, I wanted to ensure he wouldn't get charmed, confused, held or
   something stupid like that.  It still happens on occasion (that's what
   Chaotic Commands is for), but it's better to increase your chances this way
   at no cost to you.

   As you level, you'll want to increase your Strength entirely, since you'll
   need a quite a few points to get into those higher 20's.  Strength is
   an important ability with 2-Handed weapons, you are best to increase it.
   Also, with the combination with the Barbarian's high hit points and 20
   Constitution, you shouldn't don't die too easily.

   Character Development:
   When you first create the character, you'll want to start him off as a 
   Fighter first (to get feats early).  I'd recommend a pretty balanced leveling
   scheme that improves both classes initially until level 8, perhaps something
   like this:

   Level 1: Fighter(1)
   Level 2: Barbarian(1)
   Level 3: Fighter(2)
   Level 4: Barbarian(2)
   Level 5: Fighter(3)
   Level 6: Fighter(4)
   Level 7: Barbarian(3)
   From this point on, it's important that you level up in Barbarian for the 
   rest of this character's career.  You could just have easily did 4 straight
   Fighter levels and then switch to Barbarian.  Quite frankly, it really
   doesn't matter :)  I liked to use my Barbarian abilities at the beginning of
   the game so I didn't get bored.
   Here are the skills and feats you should take for this character:
   Skills: Concentration (cross-class for Maximize Attacks)
   Feats:  1- Fighter(1):               Power Attack,
                                        Martial Weapon, Great Sword (WF)
           3- Barbarian(1)/Fighter(2):  Cleave,
                                        Simple Weapon, Mace (WF), 
           6- Barbarian(2)/Fighter(4):  Martial Weapon, Great Sword (WS)
                                        Simple Weapon, Mace (WS)
           9- Barbarian(5)/Fighter(4):  Maximized Attacks
          12- Barbarian(8)/Fighter(4):  Improved Critical
          15- Barbarian(11)/Fighter(4): Dirty Fighting
          18- Barbarian(14)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
          21- Barbarian(17)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
          24- Barbarian(20)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
          27- Barbarian(23)/Fighter(4): Lightning Reflexes
          30- Barbarian(26)/Fighter(4): Iron Will

   As I mentioned earlier, I think it's important that you select Great Swords,
   Axes (for 2-Handed Axes for 3x criticals) or another two-handed weapon for
   this character, so it only makes sense that you get the Weapon Focus and
   Specialization feats for these weapons.  I also thought there was an
   abundance of high quality maces in the game, and since you need to master 2
   weapons to get Maximized Attacks, it's a good idea to take those feats too.
   Why I took maces:  As you might already be aware, all the golems in IWD2
   require blunt weapons in order to damage them (spells aren't too effective
   and slashing/piercing weapons are none too good either).  The flame maces 
   are especially good for killing trolls as well and it's very convenient 
   for a high-BaB character to use the Mace of Disruption +2 to get rid of any
   pesky undead.  Between turn undead and this weapon, you shouldn't have a
   single problem with them and can probably mop up the floor with these two
   characters alone.

   Initially, I thought Greater Cleave was a must.  On paper (and in Neverwinter
   Nights), cleave was a very good feat to take and you could really see the
   impact it had on your character's fighting skills.  The same is not true in
   IWD2, however.  As you play the game, pay attention to the information box
   that lets you know exactly what's going on during a battle.  I'll bet that
   you won't even see the word "Cleave" appear that often, never mind seeing 
   it twice.  Actually, the first time I really noticed it was when the jellies
   were splitting into two in the River Caves.  I started to notice it more when 
   I faced enemies in big groups - the text goes really fast so that makes it 
   harder to see.  I think it's worth it to take Cleave initially since it
   makes battles a little faster (especially after a Sorcerer just got done
   make everyone "Almost Dead", but it's just not worth taking its greater 
   counterpart since I find it doubtful that you will kill a second enemy during
   your initial cleaving - unless it's tremendously weak of course - and in 
   that case, who really needs Greater Cleave anyway?

   Other than that, there isn't too much to say about this character in terms
   of feats.  I think Dirty Fighting is an obvious feat for any melee
   character.  I thought ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting would be 
   interesting options for this character as well (using maces), so you might 
   want to take those in higher levels if it suits your fancy - you have the
   Dexterity to do so.  I decided against it since I wanted to get the 
   remaining Extra Rage feats at Barbarian level 15 when Greater Rage is simply
   amazing.  I decided to get Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes as my last feat
   to improve my Will Saves a bit more (not like it matters too much at this

   Moving on to skills, the only one we chose for the Barbarian/Fighter was 
   Concentration so that we could get the Maximized Attacks feat.  Many 
   beginner players jump to Intimidate or Wilderness Lore because they are 
   primary skills to the Barbarian class while they believe Concentration is a 
   spell casters skill.  It would have been better if Icewind Dale showed the 
   relationships between the skills and feats visually, but I guess you can't 
   ask for everything.

   Remember, when gaining Barbarian or Fighter levels, you will only be able to 
   increase the skill level of Concentration every second level since it is a 
   cross-class skill.  Thus, you carry over a skill point every second level as 
   well.  It takes a bit longer to put points into it, but it's better than 
   spending 12 points in your intelligence score.

   Once you reach 4 ranks in Concentration, you can work on another skill of
   youíre choosing.  This will happen at level 6 I think.  You could put more
   points into Concentration but it's pointless and you won't be able to add 
   any more to it when you reach 10 ranks.  Simply choose between Intimidate 
   and Wilderness Lore and put points into one of those.  I would recommend
   Intimidate as it probably has more value than Wilderness Lore does.  You
   should already know the path in Fellwood since you completed the game after
   all =)

   Character Strategies:
   Click, Point, Die.  Repeat =)

   In all seriousness, there isn't much to this character.  Since no matter how
   high your AC is (you still managed to get hit quite a bit), it's important
   that this character has some kind of way of protecting itself.  This is 
   kind of ironic since this is the character that is meant to protect your 
   weaker characters.  Ensure that this character has stone skin on him at all 
   times (this is quite easy to ensure) and he will come out of most battles
   with only a few scratches.  
   Use the Rage ability whenever you come across large groups or boss fights 
   and watch the fun begin.  This character will usually draw a lot of enemy
   fire and will leave ample room/time for your spell casters to get the job
   You'll notice that this character receives approximately 35-40% of the 
   character kills throughout the game (in normal play).  In HoF mode, however,
   his effectiveness will drop considerably.  He's still a reliable team member
   though and you should keep him around to draw attention away from your more
   important characters.

   Boots of Speed is also a good item to have on this character as he can pick
   up stuff off the ground quickly and have enough carrying capacity to store
   everything without micromanaging too much.  I like to have this character
   in the number 1 position for this reason alone.  Whenever I can initiatate a 
   dialog with someone, I consciously select the 6th character slot.  It's wise 
   to get into the habit of doing this.

   Alternative Character Choices:

   When deciding the right mix of melee characters as well as the particular 
   builds that we wanted to use, this character was almost a no-brainer and was 
   one of the very few we could all agree upon - It's effectively a staple in 
   any player's arsenal.  Other tank builds were discussed, such as:
   - Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1)
   - Fighter(x)/Paladin(2)
   - Paladin(x)/Fighter(4)

   Any of these choices would be effective tanks, as it's ultimately up to each 
   individual's play style.  For the Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1), we all thought 
   that the extra feats that the Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1) brought to the table 
   didn't compare to the unique and high-level abilities of the Barbarian class 
   (namely the 6+, un-winded Greater Rages per day, the extra damage reduction, 
   the high amount of hit points that you get at level 20 - amazing).  There 
   are just not that many game-breaking feats that you can take after your first 
   6 six selections anyway.  Feats like toughness don't really compare to the 
   Barbarian's massive hit points; many others produce mediocre results. 
   Also, with 16 Wis and 18 Con is more than enough to save against a variety of 
   spells and attacks you'll encounter.

   I want a Paladin:
   If you are absolutely certain that you do not want to use a Barbarian, I'd
   recommend an Aasimar Paladin(x)/Fighter(4).  It levels up a bit slower than
   the Barbarian version, but the benefits of saving throws, fear protection,
   smite evil, lay on hands and the use of holy avenger are really worth it.  
   I wouldn't recommend that you take any more than 4 Fighter levels (same as 
   the Barbarian version), since there aren't that many good feats to take in
   the first place.  Here are the stats I would use for such a character.

   Str: 16
   Dex: 10 
   Con: 18 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 13 
   Cha: 20 

   I would use the best plate armors that don't offer any dexterity bonuses.  
   That way, you don't have to put any more than 10 points into dexterity.
   You won't need a lot of Wisdom since your bonuses to Will saves will be great
   and the Paladin naturally gets high will saves anyway.  You'll notice that
   you are 3 points shy of casting the highest paladin spell levels, but don't
   worry - the holy avenger will increase your Wisdom by a single point and
   later you find a stone in the underdark or a ring at the severed hand that 
   will provide you with +2 to your Wisdom score.  Lastly, I would put your 
   bonus points into charisma as you level up, as this will improve your turn 
   undead and smite evil abilities and will increase the bonuses to all your 
   saving throws.  Be sure to pick up the Fiendslayer feat to help you out 
   in the Severed Hand and in the final battle.

   Alternatively, you could make your Paladin a Human.  You wouldn't have as 
   many ability points to work with, but you will be able to get 2 skill points
   per level instead of 1.  This means that you can increase Diplomacy and
   Concentration so that you may acquire the Maximized Attacks feat (which is
   pretty solid).  I'll leave that up to you.

   I want a Monk:
   Another choice is to select a Shield Dwarf Monk that has the following stats:
   Str: 16
   Dex: 18 
   Con: 20 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 18 
   Cha: 1 

   Since the Monk is a Shield Dwarf, you can expect him to level up really fast
   and you'll still have enough skill points for maxing out Hide and Move
   Silently as well.
   From the lack of personal experience, I'm not sure how effective this 
   character is, but I would assume it would be powerful enough if you applied 
   the same strategies from any fighter to this character.  I believe it would 
   be more effective than a Deep Gnome Monk considering you are 3 levels higher 
   and only lose out on a +2 modifier to your AC and magic resistance in
   exchange.  One the plus side, you have more hit points and strength to boot
   than Deep Gnomes can usually provide.
   I would choose this character if you really want to be a Monk, but it's not 
   going to be 100% "ultimate".  However, if you like Monks and it suits your
   play style, it's something you might want to consider trying.

   3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)

   The next character in the party is a Battleguard of Tempus, which is a tank-
   oriented cleric.  He doesn't seem like a tank in the beginning of the game,
   but as he progresses in power, he'll be very close to the Barbarian/Fighter
   with a ton of cleric spells to boot.  Frankly, 3/4 attacks per round + spells
   is much better than 4/5 attacks per round with nothing.  Since the
   Battleguard of Tempus gets 2 pips in Martial Weapon, Axes right off the bat,
   he's geared to melee in the very first portions of the game automatically.
   This makes him the best choice for tanking out of all the cleric domains
   since he doesn't have to spend 2 feats to get him ready for it.  Axes are
   also one of the best weapon types in the game since you can use one-handed
   and two-handed axes as well as throwing axes.  The actual special abilities
   on various axes in the game are also quite good in comparison to other
   weapon types.

   Although this wasn't a deciding factor in taking this character, dwarves are 
   good characters to have around in the Prologue and first chapter of the game
   because they have combat bonuses when fighting goblins and bugbears (both of
   which appear almost entirely in these areas).  So don't be afraid to use 
   this character for meleeing even in the beginning of the game - that's what 
   he is there for.

   Actually, the main reason I selected a Dwarf was because of the increased 
   Constitution score, which helps your hit points and more importantly
   your concentration checks.  As we'll talk about this later, being a dwarf 
   works out well because we only need to advance a single skill (as opposed to 
   two skills like many human characters are designed to do).  Also remember
   the Dwarf has many cool benefits that we discussed in the Barbarian/Fighter

   Since you kind of need 2 tankers for a big portion of the game, I wouldn't
   recommend that you pick any other domain for the second character spot as 
   the Battleguard of Tempus is the best pick.  I wouldn't recommend that you
   choose 4 fighter levels either since you will severely weaken the character's 
   spell casting capabilities.  I sure know that I welcome Animate Undead, Iron 
   Skins, Heal, Defensive Harmony, etc. as fast as possible.  These spells 
   alone will more than make up for the +2 extra damage with your axe and a few
   extra feats, which may or may not be that useful in the long run.

   The last thing to mention is the Battleguard receives a pretty decent set of
   Domain spells, but it's nothing to write home about either.  In comparison to 
   the other Cleric domains, I would say the Battleguard of Tempus's domain 
   spells are slightly above average.  The Power Word spells are really 
   effective in normal mode, but they lose their punch in HoF since the enemies 
   have more hit points (which is a requirement for these spells to work 
   properly).  You'll find yourself using the regular cleric spells more often. 
   As for the others, they work well in the beginning areas of the game but 
   since they are just standard cleric spells like Prayer, Animate Undead, 
   etc., you aren't getting anything special (as opposed to the Clerics of 
   Selune, Talos or Lathander).

   Let's take a look at this character's ability scores.

   Str: 18
   Dex: 16
   Con: 20
   Int: 3
   Wis: 18
   Cha: 1

   Like the Shield Dwarf Barbarian/Fighter, this character has no use for
   Intelligence or Charisma either.  Sure, Turn Undead requires Charisma to 
   work effectively, but who cares (the other cleric can do that).  This cleric
   is a melee-style cleric and needs all the Strength, Dexterity and
   Constitution he can get along with a high Wisdom score for spells.

   Since the stats are so similar to the Barbarian character, you'll notice
   that this character is a very effective tank.  The high dexterity score 
   allows you to select feats like Dirty Fighting, Blind-Fight, Ambidexterity
   and so forth and also allows you to take advantage of armors that allow
   AC bonuses.

   A low intelligence is very helpful to this character since the only skill
   you need is Concentration anyway.
   Some people think they are smart by only choosing a Wisdom score of 13 or so
   because there are many +2 Wisdom (Incandescent Blue Ioun Stone, found in the
   Underdark) and +5 Wisdom (Every God Ring, purchased from Nathaniel in
   Kaldahar and another in the Severed Hand) items that you can come across in
   this game.  I believe that if you are only willing to do the bare minimum,
   you are seriously going to inhibit the potential of your character and will
   lose out on gaining bonus spells at the highest levels.  I also like to keep
   the ring slots free if I can help it too, but Every God Ring is worth keeping
   on to.

   Note: You can actually equip the ring, memorize your spells and then de-equip
         the ring afterwards.  Unless you un-memorize those extra spells, you'll
         always have those copies memorized.  If you really want to cheat, you
         could do this after each time you gain a level and still have 2 free
         ring slots left.  This is obviously a bug in the game and I never
         exploited it.  It also works with the latest 2.01 patch.

   Another thing to point out is that this character will have the highest
   reflex, fortitude and will saves than any other character in the UPP.  This
   is not to say that a Paladin is worse (because it isn't), but it's an 
   interesting fact nonetheless as far as this particular party is concerned.
   One of the underlying reasons for this is the Racial +2 Saving Throw bonus
   that Dwarves naturally receive.

   Your main objective is to increase wisdom all the way as you gain levels so
   that you can cast more spells (and consequently improve your will saves).
   This is the only way, IMHO, to make your cleric as powerful as possible.

   Character Development:
   Leveling a Battleguard of Tempus is pretty straight-forward since there is 
   no strange multi-classing going on.  The only skill you need to increase is
   Concentration, and as mentioned before, this is possible with 3 Intelligence.
   In case you aren't aware, Concentration helps you cast spells successfully 
   while being attacked by enemies.

   Skills: Concentration
   Feats: Battleguard of Tempus(1): Combat Casting
          Battleguard of Tempus(3): Power Attack
          Battleguard of Tempus(6): Cleave
          Battleguard of Tempus(9): Subvocal Casting
          Battleguard of Tempus(12): Improved Critical
          Battleguard of Tempus(15): Dirty Fighting
          Battleguard of Tempus(18): Two-Weapon Fighting
          Battleguard of Tempus(21): Ambidexterity
          Battleguard of Tempus(24): Discipline
          Battleguard of Tempus(27): Lightning Reflexes
          Battleguard of Tempus(30): Iron Will

   As you probably know, Concentration is very important to melee-style clerics
   since they will be in the thick of the battle while casting some spells.  
   Hence, I like to take Combat Casting to technically give my character a +4
   level advantage in his Concentration checks.  With this bonus ensured, I 
   never miss out on casting a spell, which is really important in dire 
   situations if they should arise.

   Like the Barbarian/Fighter, the Battleguard takes combat-oriented feats like 
   Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Critical, Dirty Fighting and Blind-Fight.  
   These should be fairly obvious.  The Improved Critical is really nice
   for this character since Axes do triple damage on a critical hit. Thus, the
   Battleguard's critical range is 19-20 (x3) rather than 19-20 (x2), as you
   will see in the character weapon information window.

   One of the questionable feats that I have taken is Subvocal Casting, which
   prevents the caster from being silenced.  Although there aren't that many
   places in the game Silence your casters, it does happen and itís pretty 
   annoying as you are not prepared and end up waiting it out (which sucks).  
   Since there aren't that many feats to acquire anyway, taking Subvocal Casting 
   isn't going to hurt you.  

   To get my Cleric's attacks to 5/round, you can opt to get the Two-Weapon 
   Fighting and Ambidexterity feats to duel-wield axes.  There are plenty of 
   good axes in the game so this option is worth pursuing.  Between all the 
   defensive buffs, a shield really isn't required and by the time you reach
   level 21, your BaB will be high enough to sustain 2 weapons and hold out for

   Lastly, I select Lightning Reflexes since Reflex Saves are the poorest of 
   the Battleguard's saving throws (not that they were that bad with 16 
   Dexterity, but whatever).  Iron Will helps out with Will Saves and Discipline
   further strengthens your Concentration checks.

   Character Strategies:
   Although this character is a melee character, it's also a cleric, which makes
   this character very interesting throughout the game.  Rather than providing 
   simple healing or buffing, this cleric focuses on using more spells for 
   individual gain in comparison to the Cleric of Lathander, but has a good 
   measure of defensive and offensive buffing spells too for good measure.  
   It's not uncommon to use spells like Draw Upon Holy Might, Iron Skins or
   Divine Shell to improve this character's value in melee combat - it's pretty
   much routine.

   Spell Selection:
   Throughout this FAQ, I will use rounded brackets with an integral number 
   shown as (X) to indicate that you should only select a maximum of X spell 
   slots for that particular spell.  If there is no bracketed value, just 
   assume that you either max it out or do whatever you like.

   Level 1: Bless
   Level 2: Draw Upon Holy Might
   Level 3: Animate Dead(4), Prayer
   Level 4: Defensive Harmony, Recitation
   Level 5: Iron Skins, Spell Resistance
   Level 6: Divine Shell, Heal
   Level 7: Greater Shield of Lathander, Holy Word
   Level 8: Holy Aura, Symbol of Hopelessness
   Level 9: Gate

   The real winners here are Animate Dead, Iron Skins, Holy Aura and perhaps
   Symbol of Hopelessness.  You should be very happy when this cleric gets
   access to these spells since they have a great impact on your character's

   Animate Undead:
   Despite the fact that BIS decided to tone the spell down, it is still quite
   amazing and makes the game very easy at times.  When all else fails, use
   Animate Undead.  Sorcerers and Clerics could probably solo most aspects of
   the game if this spell.  Hence, not only does your Battleguard of Tempus 
   have 4 copies of the spell, the Cleric of Lathander and your Human Sorcerer
   will also get it - it's that good!

   In normal mode, it is simply a godsend.  The thing that makes it so great is
   that both the Zombie Lords and Greater Boneguards have massive hit points, so
   they are extremely hard to kill.  It happens to be really powerful until the
   end of chapter 5, where you'll notice enemies will be able to dispatch of 
   them in a few hits.  In these cases, they still make effective body bags -
   at least your own characters aren't getting hit and that's exactly what you
   want to avoid seeing as it's the number 1 cause of reloading and resting
   (spells is the second frequent cause).  You'll most likely be relying on 
   newer tactics at the end of normal mode.

   At the beginning of HoF mode, this spell is completely rejuvenated!  Since
   everything is harder to kill, deals more damage, etc., these same bonuses
   apply to your summons.  So once again, Animate Undead plays a key role in
   your supremacy over the creatures of Icewind Dale for quite some time more.
   At this point, you'll notice some other summoning spells to become more
   powerful, but Animate Dead is always a staple.

   Note:  Make sure you cast up to 6 of these at all times where you need them.
          Casting 1 or 2 might help a bit, but you won't get the full 
          experience :)  That's why this party is geared to be able to replenish
          them over time.

   More Offensive Spells:
   The cleric becomes a more offensive spell caster at divine spell levels 7
   through 9.  At this time, he receives the Power Word Blind, Stun and Kill
   domain spells and the Holy Aura and Symbol of Hopelessness spells (as well 
   as other symbols, which are less effective in HoF mode).  

   The 9th level spell list is really weird since it only has 2 spells (I 
   didn't believe it when I saw it) and both are kind of crappy.  Gate is the
   more powerful of the two but you have to cast Magic Circle Against Evil
   (which is a level 3 spell) in order to protect yourself from the Demon's
   attacks.  I couldn't find the room to memorize a few on the Battleguard of
   Tempus, so I made sure the Morninglord of Lathander took a few.  You will
   have about 3 of them by the time you can even cast Gate, so all is well.

   I would only cast Gate when Animate Dead produces poor results.  For 
   instance, Zombie Lords and Greater Boneguards die very quickly to Trolls,
   but Gelugons (that is this particular demon's race) kill them very easily.
   These demons have 3 attacks per round I believe and they deal slashing, cold
   and other damage types.  They also cast spells like Ice Storm and Cone of 
   Cold randomly as well and have *a lot* of hit points, so they make pretty
   good summons.

   Note: Since you have more copies of Gate than Magic Circle Against Evil,
         don't hesitate to cast several of these baddies at once.

   The only problem with this spell is that you can't control them.  So once 
   they vanquished all the enemies in the area, they just stand there attacking
   each other (if you summoned more one).  It's funny to see them casting
   their most powerful spells at each other but if you are close by they can
   even harm your party.  That is a pretty big drawback, so only cast them when
   you have to.  It's amazing that Animate Dead continued to be a strong and
   useful spell while only being a level 3 spell.

   Note: All this information on the Gate spell applies to the next character
         (Morninglord of Lathander) as well.

   Common Principle When Building Clerics:
   If you are using a Cleric domain that needs both Concentration and
   Spellcraft, you should take a Human because of the advantage you get with
   skill points for characters with 10 or less Intelligence (meaning you can
   set it to 3).  Some Clerics don't benefit from Spellcraft, so this allows
   you to take Dwarves to gain their fantastic racial bonuses and still have an
   Intelligence score of 3.  Essentially, these are the principles that we used
   to create the Battleguard of Tempus and our next character, the Morninglord
   of Lathander.  I hope that this principle helps you build other powerful

   3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)

   The next character also happens to be a Cleric, but this time he's a
   Morninglord of Lathander.  This class is more geared towards casting 
   offensive spells, healing and protecting party members, and casting 
   defensive buffs in the same way all clerics behave.
   What makes the Morninglord of Lathander a unique and powerful class is the 
   offensive domain spells, such as Fire Storm, Meteor Swarm and Flame Strike.  
   By taking the appropriate feats, you can become a great support caster to 
   your Sorcerers if need be while maintaining the best attributes of a standard 
   cleric (Healing, Buffing).  As High Cleric puts it, In essence the 
   Morninglord of Lathander is a "solid, well-rounded master healer 
   extraordinaire and a very, very powerful blaster with Spirit of Flame and 
   Greater Spell Focus: Evocation feats".

   Another neat attribute to the Morninglord class is his innate "Lathander's 
   Renewal" ability, which works similarly to "Lay on Hands".  This ability 
   heals 2 hit points every level of the caster to any target.  So if your 
   Cleric were level 30, you could *instantly* heal a party member 60 hit 
   points.  It's not as powerful as Lay on Hands, but it's a welcome insurance 

   Unfortunately, the Morninglord's implicit Improved Turning feat isn't 
   anything to brag about since there are few undead in the game.  Even worse,
   Turn Undead isn't effective in HoF unless you have 16 or 18 points in your
   Charisma score.  Thus, you'll have to ignore this bonus since it's not worth
   sacrificing other abilities on the account of Turn Undead.

   The main reason for choosing a second Cleric is to have a "pure" cleric that
   melee's on occasion (since Clerics make good warriors), but also sits back 
   in heavier fights and supports the party by casting offensive spells, buffs 
   and healing as needed.  In a sense, he's plays more like a traditional 
   The second reason is that you want to double up on various Cleric spells. 
   For instance, Animate Dead is awesome enough that each Cleric should 
   memorize up to 5 instances of that spell, allowing you cast it 10 times after 
   you rest.  In other cases, you will want to have a wider variety of the best 
   divine spells since one Cleric simply can't memorize them all.  Hence,
   the Morninglord can memorize multiple copies of the "Heal" spell while the 
   Battleguard can memorize multiple instances of the Divine Shell spell.  
   These are both excellent spells that you shouldn't be able to get enough 
   of =)

   The last reason for introducing a second cleric into the mix is that there 
   are many pieces of equipment (rings, stones, etc.) and a potion found within
   the game that increases your Wisdom ability score.  Obviously you can't use 
   them all on a single character, so why let them go to waste?

   Why Not Aasimar?
   Some people have mentioned that choosing an Aasimar would be beneficial since
   they receive a bonus to their Wisdom score at the cost of ECL -1 basically.
   While this is true, you have to consider what you are doing.  As you 
   may already know, the Morninglord of Lathander needs to max out Concentration
   and receive 14 points in their Spellcraft skill.  If you take an Aasimar,
   you won't have the skill point advantage that Humans do.  With this in mind,
   it comes down to this:

   - Humans will miss out on level 1, 5 and 9 spells because they will only have
     34 Wisdom by the end of the game instead of 36.
   - Aasimars will be 14 points behind in their Concentration compared to the 

   If you know the game well enough, it should be pretty obvious which one is
   better.  But just to be sure, let me explain:
   Concentration is one of those 'must-have' skills for spell casters. Without
   it, you'll be sure lose one too many battles in HoF mode.  On the other side
   of the coin, the Cleric's best spell levels are 6 through 8. Thus, a Wisdom
   score of 36 isn't going to do us much good anyway.  As we will discuss,
   Gate is not a very good spell and anything below level 5 will be in great
   supply.  For these reasons, I advocate that you take a Human instead of
   Aasimars unless you have a very good reason otherwise.

   Single Paladin Level Notes:
   This next bit is optional, since it really depends on your play style.  Thus,
   if you want to take an extra level of Paladin, you can, but you certainly 
   won't come across any negative consequences by not doing so either.

   Since we don't have a full Paladin in the party, you still might want to take
   advantage of the Holy Avenger (both normal mode and HoF versions).  We made
   this possible by having the Morninglord of Lathander take a single level of
   Paladin at character level 18.

   This is really convenient since we will have all 9 spell levels, perfectly
   rounding out our spell book.   We'll also have a very high Wisdom score
   at this time as well, which provides us with many extra spells.  Needless 
   to say, gaining levels in Cleric won't be a priority any longer since the
   extra levels gained won't provide us with as many benefits as they used to.
   In fact, the Cleric's 30th level will only provide us with 2 additional
   spells, so I thought the ability to use Holy Avenger instead would be an
   excellent exchange.
         IN ALIGNMENT!  

   Now, let's look the ability points for the Morninglord of Lathander

   Str: 18 
   Dex: 16 
   Con: 18 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 18 
   Cha: 3 

   Like any Human Cleric, it's important that you maximize your Wisdom score 
   to 18 - pretty obvious I would think =)

   We gave this character a Charisma score of 3 because, as mentioned earlier, 
   Turn Undead is a useless skill in HoF mode - you'll be hard-pressed to turn
   even the simplest of Zombies.  If you are only going to play the normal 
   mode, I would suggest putting no more than 10 points into it anyway.  I 
   found through play testing that an average Charisma score of 10 usually kills
   most of the undead enemies you will be facing.  I think the developers made 
   a conscious decision to allow players to benefit from an average Charisma
   score.  There are only a few areas with undead in the game anyway, so I
   wouldn't go crazy over this.   You or the Barbarian/Fighter can always use
   the Mass of Disruption +3 and the Moonblade of Selune to finish off the
   undead quite easily.  This is a good strategy to use in Kuldarhar's Pass.

   Since we dumped the Charisma score to 3, this Cleric is also pretty good in
   melee.  But the real bonus is in the offensive spells that come with the
   Morninglord class.  No mace that I know of can do 500 damage in a just few
   rounds :)

   A Dexterity score of 16, 15 and 14 is also very good considering Cleric's can
   wear Full Plate Mail and will not receive any AC modifiers beyond +1.  To
   bonus reflex saves will also be a good help against some spells.

   Ability Score Tips During Play:
   I'd like to point out that using the "Potion of Clear Purpose" is a bad idea.
   This potion is found in one of the huts on a hill in the Andora village (the
   one with the rangers, druids and wolfs just before the Ice Temple).  This 
   potion will grant one character a +1 Wisdom bonus in exchange for -2 to your 
   Constitution.  Since you are losing an ability point in the swap, this 
   isn't exactly a fair exchange.  Constitution is important to clerics since 
   this character makes a good 3rd fighter and Constitution also helps 
   Concentration checks too.

   On the other hand, you can and *should* use the "Potion of Holy Transference"
   obtained at the Battle Square in the Ice Temple to increase this character's 
   Wisdom.  You'll notice that we created this character with a dexterity score 
   of 16 for this reason alone =)  That way you won't lose any AC bonuses in the

   Like the Battleguard of Tempus, your goal is to increase your Wisdom ability 
   score as you level up exclusively.  After you consume the Potion of Holy
   Transference, your Dexterity will go down to 15, which means you'll lose a +1
   modifier to your reflex saves.  I consider that to be a better exchange since
   those extra spells and the Saving Throws DC bonus far outweigh that 
   Dexterity bonuses.  You can use the same potion again in HoF mode to get an
   even higher Wisdom score, so I would suggest that you do so.  In this event,
   your Dexterity score will drop to 14 and you won't receive a single penalty.

   Also keep in mind that there are several Wisdom-enhancing items in Icewind
   Dale 2.  In the Battleguard of Tempus discussion, we talked about the 
   "Every God Ring" that you receive in two areas in the game (Kuldahar and
   the Severed Hand).  When you get the first ring, I would equip it on the
   Morninglord of Lathander.  You should have the +2 Wisdom Ioun Stone from the
   Underdark at this time, so you can give it to the Battleguard of Tempus
   (Wisdom bonuses do not stack unfortunately).  
   It's not unnatural to have 34 Wisdom by the end of the game (with gives you 
   a +12 Wisdom Modifier.  This is simply god-like as you will have up to 6
   copies of Mass Heal or Firestorm, 7 copies of Heal, up to 8 copies of Flame
   Strike and so on.  This is certainly a sight to see.

   Character Development:
   Leveling a Morninglord of Lathander is as straight-forward as leveling the
   Battleguard.  It's important to upgrade both your Concentration skill (for 
   obvious reasons) and your Spellcraft skill (to acquire Spirit of the Flame).
   At the first level, you won't have enough skill points to max them both, so
   you can only place 3 skill points in each one.  Thus, you'll be a single
   level behind throughout the game.  Since you only acquire a new feat every 3 
   levels, this doesn't affect your game at all.  
   However, you do have a -4 Intelligence modifier and this will cost you 
   somewhat.  Since Spirit of the Flame requires that you have 10 in your 
   Spellcraft skill, you'll need to put 14 points into Spellcraft to compensate 
   for that negative modifier (i.e. 14 - 4 = 10).  Thus, you can only acquire
   Spirit of the Flame at level 12 instead of level 9.  This isn't such a big 
   deal if you look at your long term goals.  You don't acquire the best 
   flame-based, offensive spells until level 15.  You'll have to use an 
   underpowered Flame Strike in the meantime.

   Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft
   Feats: Cleric of Lathander(1): Combat Casting
                                  Simple Weapon, Mace (WF)
          Cleric of Lathander(3): Subvocal Casting
          Cleric of Lathander(6): Spell Focus: Evocation
          Cleric of Lathander(9): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
          Cleric of Lathander(12): Spirit of Flame
          Cleric of Lathander(15): Improved Critical
        * Cleric of Lathander(17)/Paladin(1): Martial Weapon, Long Sword (WF)
          Cleric of Lathander(21)/Paladin(1): Discipline
          Cleric of Lathander(23)/Paladin(1): Lightning Reflexes
          Cleric of Lathander(26)/Paladin(1): Great Fortitude
          Cleric of Lathander(29)/Paladin(1): Iron Will

   Note: The * means that a Paladin level is chosen at this level.  If you do
         not want to choose this build, I suggest leveling up as Morninglord
         of Lathander and picking another Simple Weapon type.

   Like the Battleguard, you need to take Combat Casting and Subvocal Casting.
   Unlike the Battleguard, you'll need to add another pip to the Simple 
   Weapon, Mace feat so you can achieve Weapon Focus in it to improve your
   melee abilities at the beginning of the game.

   Spell Focus Evocation & Spirit of the Flame:
   Since the Morninglord uses many evocation spells, you can improve their 
   effectiveness by taking the Spell Focus: Evocation and Greater Spell Focus:
   Evocation feats.  After you acquire these, you can get Spirit of the Flame at 
   level 12, which is an integral feat for this class.  Considering almost all 
   your domain spell slots are fire-based, Spirit of the Flame will improve the 
   overall damage of these spells.  Coincidently, they are also evocation 
   spells too, so you can enjoy the benefits of all the feats you acquired 
   during levels 6 through 12.
   Here is a list of spells that you should be using with the Morninglord of 
   Lathander to maximize the benefits of Spell Focus: Evocation and Spirit of 
   the Flame.  As you can clearly see from the chart, all of them are from 
   domain slots and some of them can be chosen in your standard divine spell 

     Spell Name              School     Fire-Based?    Standard?    Domain?
     ----------            ---------    -----------    ---------    -------
     Sunscorch             Evocation        yes           yes         yes
     Aganazzars Scorcher   Evocation        yes           yes         yes
     Holy Smite            Evocation        no            yes         yes
     Flame Strike          Evocation        yes           yes         yes
     Sols Searing Orb      Evocation        yes           yes         yes
     Fire Storm            Evocation        yes           yes         yes
     Sunbeam               Evocation        no            no          yes
     Meteor Swarm          Evocation        yes           no          yes

   Since Flame Strike, Fire Storm and Meteor Swarm deal between 50 and 100 
   points of damage to multiple targets, you'll want to squeeze out an extra
   5-10 points of damage per target whenever possible.  In some cases, this can 
   net you an extra 50 points of damage in total if there are several enemies 
   bunched up in a group (which happens a lot in this game).  Thus, don't be 
   surprised if your cleric deals out 500 points of damage in a single casting.

   Other Feat Choices:
   Once you get the Spirit of Flame feat, there arenít too many other feats to
   choose from.  I decided that improving the character's melee skills would be
   the next priority.  I took Improved Critical since it's probably the best
   of the melee feats and doesn't require the Cleric to actually deliver 
   killing blows in order for the feat to be useful like Power Attack/Cleave.  

   I was also planning on using the "Heart of XYZ" sword (the HoF long sword
   found in the Targos shop) and the Holy Avenger with this character to
   complete the character's training.  This is made possible because at
   character level 18, you will have taken that level of Paladin that we talked
   about earlier.

   Lastly, I focused on the three saving throw feats (Lightning Reflexes, Great
   Fortitude and Iron Will) to round out the character's magic defenses.

   Weapon Preferences:
   Belib's Ever Lasting Touch is an excellent weapon for this character for
   most part of the game, dealing 1d6 bludgeoning damage, 2d6 fire damage and
   a 10% chance to deal another 1d10 fire damage.  Club of Disruption is also
   a vital weapon to use during the caves near Torak in HoF mode and in 

   When you reach level 18 and gain your Martial Weapon, Long Sword feat, be
   sure to start using the Holy Avenger against enemies that can be hurt by
   slashing attacks and only switch to your maces as the situation calls for it.

   Spell Selection:

   Level 1: Bless
   Level 2: Bull's Strength, Delay Poison(1), Silence
   Level 3: Animate Dead(4), Magic Circle Against Evil
   Level 4: Defensive Harmony, Restoration(2)
   Level 5: Chaotic Commands, Flame Strike
   Level 6: Heal
   Level 7: Destruction, Impervious Sanctity of Mind(2-3)
   Level 8: Fire Storm, Mass Heal
   Level 9: Gate

   The real winners here are Animate Dead, Chaotic Commands, Flame Strike,
   Heal, Destruction, Fire Storm and Mass Heal as well as several of the higher
   domain spells mentioned earlier.

   Dispel Magic:
   I chose not to memorize Dispel Magic since it hurt me rather than helped me 
   9 out of 10 times.  I find that using Exaltation or Chaotic Commands is 
   more effective rather than wiping out all my buffs (Mass Haste, Recitation, 
   Stoneskin, etc.)  This why I the Rogue/Wizard will memorize one.

   Isair and Madae Tip:
   I would take 1 copy of Banishment at level 6 when you face Isair and Madae
   since there will be a Wizard that produces many summoned creatures.  This
   will take off the heat and let you focus on the Isair and their useless cult 
   brothers and sisters :)

   Off-Topic: Negative Effect Protection Spells:
   A spell often not talked about is Exaltation, which removes fear, confusion,
   sleep, feeblemindedness and several other negative effects on a target 
   character and further protects them from these effects for the next 10 
   rounds.  Essentially, it's a weaker version of Chaotic Commands, but its 
   also a level 3 spell (so you should be able to memorize many of them).  

   I found these to be fairly helpful in Dragon's Eye, fighting the Guardian 
   and in several other areas where these negative effects can make the area 
   frustrating.  I find it better than using "Impervious Sanctity of Mind" in 
   some instances, which is a level 7 divine spell that only targets the 
   castor.  Also, since you have 2 clerics, you can cast Exaltation on each
   other as well, eliminating it's drawback that you can't cast it on yourself.
   Here are the three effect-protection spells matched up.  "---" indicates
   that this effect is not protected/negated by the spell.  I did this so it 
   would make it easier to compare them and look back and see which spell you 
   need in order to protect yourself against a particular negative effect 
   that you might come across (aren't I nice?):

   Exaltation (3):       Berserk, -----, -------, Confusion, -------- ------,
                         Fear, Feeblemind, Sleep, -------, ----, Hopelessness,
                         Intoxication, Unconsciousness

   Chaotic Commands (5): -------, Charm, Command, Confusion, Dominate Person, 
                         ----, ----------, Sleep, Symbols, ----, ------------,
                         ------------, ---------------
   Impervious Mind (7):  Berserk, Charm, Command, Confusion, Dominate Person, 
                         Fear, Feeblemind, Sleep, Symbols, Hold, Hopelessness,
                         ------------, ---------------

   Now, obviously Impervious Sanctity of Mind is superior, but you can only 
   cast it on yourself.  Since Exaltation allows you to "dispel" the negative
   effects rather than prepare in advance, it has that keen advantage over
   Chaotic Commands and Impervious Sanctity of Mind.  It's by far the most 
   useful spell against the Guardian (other than Disintegrate I suppose :P).
   Anyway, I'm sure this was pretty helpful and will provide a small resource
   to look back to while you play.

   Note:  Don't get me wrong, Exaltation is pretty crappy, but it gives you
          that last fighting chance in situations that arise from time to time.
          It's better to do it right then to reload :)  Just scribe 1 or 2.

   Alternative Character Choices:
   You may consider using a Druid character in replacement for this slot.  
   Although I don't think a Druid is more powerful or is at least better suited
   to exist in the UPP, it is possible to build an effective 
   Human Druid(x)/Ranger(1).  In my play testing, I created a level 1 Ranger 
   with the following attributes:

   Str: 16 
   Dex: 18 
   Con: 18 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 18 
   Cha: 3 

   As the character leveled, I put 3 ability points into Wisdom giving a grand
   total of 21.  I then use the "Every God Ring" to give a +5 bonus to the 
   Wisdom score (now totaling 26).  Afterwards, I gave the character 2 
   Dexterity to give this character a +5 AC modifier.  This was useful so that 
   I could dawn the "Zuvembie" leather armor that you find in Dragon's Eye 
   (when using this armor, you get +11 AC).  Afterwards, I would recommend 
   that you continue to pump Wisdom in HoF mode.

   The selling point for this character is that you can use the free 
   ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting feats from the Ranger class acquired 
   at level 1 with your +11 AC leather armor.  Thus, you'll be equally 
   protected as your best fighter with a Mithryl Field Plate Mail and be able 
   to dual Long Swords and Scimitars (which the game has many excellent weapons
   in this category with special abilities, such as Dispel or Energy Drain, that
   scream the use of dual-wielding).

   I would take the following skills, racial enemy and feats for this 

   Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft
   Racial Enemy: Trolls
   Feats: Ranger(1): Combat Casting
                     Simple Weapon, Long Sword (WF)
          Ranger(1)/Druid(2): Subvocal Casting
          Ranger(1)/Druid(5): Spell Focus: Evocation
          Ranger(1)/Druid(8): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
          Ranger(1)/Druid(11): Spell Focus: Transmutation
          Ranger(1)/Druid(14): Spirit of Flame
          Ranger(1)/Druid(17): Spell Focus: Transmutation (Greater)
          Ranger(1)/Druid(20): Scion of Storms
          Ranger(1)/Druid(23): Aqua Mortis
          Ranger(1)/Druid(26): Spell Focus: Enchantment
          Ranger(1)/Druid(29): Spell Focus: Enchantment (Greater)
   As you begin to create this character, be sure to pick 2 Wilderness Lore and 
   4 Concentration ranks at first level (don't split them 3 and 3).  Afterwards,
   equalize Concentration and Spellcraft skill ranks.  If you've done this
   properly, by level 4 they should both have the same value.  Do this until 
   Spellcraft is 14 and then start to max out your Concentration skill since 
   higher Spellcraft ranks will not benefit the Druid in any way.  You could 
   even start upgrading Wilderness Lore if you wanted to or work on another 
   skill entirely (including the 2 ranks at first level if you want, it doesn't
   really matter).

   Why this character was not chosen:
   One of the problems with this character is that the Heal and Mass Heal spells
   are in low supply since they are both at levels 7 and 9, respectively.  
   Simply put, the Morninglord of Lathander will have three times the amount
   of quality healing spells at his disposal.  This will force your 
   Battleguard of Tempus to memorize Healing spells, which can potentially 
   weaken the party's overall strategy and the at the very least, make your
   Battleguard of Tempus focus on the wrong aspects of his character.
   Another fine point to mention is that the lower-level Druid spells aren't
   that effective in HoF mode.  Sunscorch is an adequate troll killer and 
   Barkskin can put your AC to 33 or 34 quite easily, but several of the 
   offensive, transmutation and summoning spells are near worthless.  At least
   the cleric's lower-level spells have value in the later game.  

   Another problem that you might be too heavy on evocation magic.  With 2 
   Sorcerers and a Druid, you'll find that you won't end up using it all - In
   other words, your offensive magic will probably out-live your healing and
   protective magic.  This will force you to rest anyway.  The value of a 
   Druid in this situation isn't so great.

   Lastly, I hope you understand how valuable Heal and Mass Heal are.  
   Coincidently, levels 7 and 9 are some of best divine casting levels for your
   Druid and you'll be forced to choose healing over the spells that probably
   "define" what it means to be "Druid".  If you don't choose your Druidic
   spells in the later levels, then you aren't getting the full use out him or
   her.  In that scenario, you are definitely better off with the Morninglord
   of Lathander.  This is even truer spoken since many of the key spells that 
   the Druid is able to cast are available to the Morninglord (i.e. Fire Storm,
   Flame Strike, etc.) - they simply appear at a level higher in the same way 
   Healing spells appear in later levels for the Druid (they are opposites).

   My advice is simply this:  If your play style doesn't include Healing and
   the use of Symbols, you might want to take this character instead.  However,
   I think most players after taking a good look at the advantages and 
   disadvantages will see that the Morninglord is far superior and also fits
   the UPP's party concept much better.  
   The reason I have mentioned all this is because several people have got in
   contact with me saying, "What's an ultimate party without a Druid?".  I'm 
   not sure if it's nostalgia from the Icewind Dale 1 days (when Druids ruled)
   or the perception that they level faster (and, thus are more powerful) as 
   they once did in the D&D 2E rule set.  I do know that they are not as 
   effective as the character we outlined here.  Hence, it didn't make the

   Other Choices:
   In any case, let's look at some other potential character options.  Some
   players might want to take another Cleric Domain over Lathander.  There is
   nothing wrong with that if you take one of these:

   * Talos:  Focuses on offensive lightning, weather and death magic.  Is 
             equally comparable to the Morninglord of Lathander.  Great Spells 
             include: Fire Storm, Acid Storm, Whirlwind, Wail of the Banshee, 
             Horrid Wilting and many other useful lighting-based spells.  This 
             is an excellent Domain for evil Clerics and great fun to play.

   * Selune: Focuses on elemental conjuration and offensive magic.  Great spells
             include: 4 Planar Binding/Ally Elementals, Elemental Legion, 
             Prismatic Spray and Divine Shell.  Not as good as Lathander or 
             Talos perhaps, but an interesting mix of spells that has a 
             distinct personality.  This one might work if you are a Druid
             fan that loved the elemental summoning since it definitely has a 
             more druidic feel to it.
   * Bane:   Focuses on enemy debuffs and control.  I personally don't like 
             this one much.  Many of the spells are arcane, hence they could be 
             casted by the two Sorcerers or the Wizard.  In fact, our 
             Rogue(1)/Wizard(x) uses this strategy, but is probably better
             suited for it.  The only reason why I added Bane here is because
             others on the BIS forums think this cleric domain is god-like, but
             I don't share the same opinion.  In fact, these are the same 
             losers in the Legion of the Chimera that you beat up on from time
             to time.  Why side with the losers? =)  In all seriousness, I don't
             think this character fits the UPP's philosophy very well.  However,
             this character will probably find its way in other parties where
             the characters need one such as this.

   3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)

   Our next character is our Rogue - well, maybe not so much.  Many parties
   that include single-classed Rogues use multiclassed variants where the 
   levels are equally distributed among the two classes.  When you pick the 
   Rogue class in this manner, your goal is usually not to open locks and 
   disarm traps, but to exploit the Rogue with his other abilities, such as 
   taking advantage of evasion abilities and backstabbing enemies (including 
   all the feats that help in this area).  
   Although sneaking up behind someone and nailing them for 100 damage is 
   'cool', it's usually not the most 'efficient' method to getting rid of a
   creature.  In terms of power, why not just use Finger of Death for instance?
   As you can see, although the Rogue makes for an interesting class to play
   (and some would say extremely fun), it's not very powerful with respect to
   being 'ultimate'.  
   We also have no use for any weapon finesse characters with light weapons
   (two-handed weapons and high strength are better) and we also have no need
   for the pickpocket ability as well.  Since our goal was to make the ultimate
   party, we decided to include a Rogue that was a bit different.

   In the UPP, we decided that a single level of Rogue was enough to search,
   disarm traps and open any locks in the entire game.  Now, that doesn't
   mean 4 ranks in these important skills is enough (because it's not), this
   just means that we won't be advancing the character in Rogue level during 
   the course of the game after we have created the character.

   The Wizard Aspect of the Character:
   When deciding which class to take, we wanted one that would best compliment
   the Rogue's ability points, namely Dexterity and Intelligence.  When you 
   take a look at the available classes, there aren't many options.  Thus, we 
   made an obvious choice: a Wizard.  This is the best choice for HoF mode 
   seeing as spells are always powerful while melee classes start to weaken.

   As for the type of Wizard, we wanted to go with a specialist to gain access
   to the bonus spells.  This works out great since we already have 2 Sorcerers,
   so no matter which school we specialize in, it won't really be a 
   disadvantage.  We decided that Conjurer (or Enchanter) would be the most 
   efficient class because we don't need Evocation spells considering our 2 
   Sorcerers and the Morninglord of Lathander's domain spells can handle this 
   requirement quite well.  This helps the party to become more organized.

   Note:  Some people tell that us that 2 or 3 Rogue levels would benefit the
          characters defensive abilities (Evasion and Uncanny Dodge).  Also,
          they mention that the extra skill points gained at these levels will
          ensure they don't fall behind in the character's Rogue development.
          While these benefits are fairly nice in some scenarios, we simply 
          can't afford to miss out on the important Wizard levels - Not only can
          we benefit from extra spells, but we also gain extra feats in the 
          process.  Also, uncanny dodge isn't so important since this character
          will not melee and stays in the back row casting spells or using a
          crossbow, making the feat less desirable.

          As far as the skill points' argument is concerned, you shouldn't have
          any problems searching, disarming and opening locks anyway throughout
          most the game.  If there is a trap you can't disarm, it's rarely
          life-threatening anyway.  For those of you that have played BG2,
          you know what it's like for a character to die due to a trap.  That 
          just doesn't happen in IWD2.   I've managed to keep all 3 of these 
          skills equally balanced and only 4 or 5 levels behind the Wizard 
          skills and this is more than adequate to beat the game.

   Note:  Some other people might take the opposite view, saying that taking
          one Rogue level will inhibit the class's spell growth.  This is quite 
          silly actually for several reasons.  With a single level of Rogue, 
          we won't hurt the Wizard aspect of the character since you won't 
          find the scrolls fast enough in the game anyway.  In other words, 
          we wouldn't be able to make use of this extra Wizard level.  Secondly,
          you'll still have lots of spells due to your high intelligence score 
          and the fact that you are a specialist Wizard will give you a sheer 
          number of spells that the one level shouldn't be a problem.

   Character's Race:
   With respect to the character's race, we decided on Drow for the obvious
   reason that 20 Intelligence and 20 Dexterity would greatly improve both
   the Rogue skills as well as the Conjurer's bonus spells and saving throw DC.
   Since our Rogue skills will be a few levels behind throughout the game, an
   initial +5 to the Dexterity modifier goes a long way to improving them.

   Now, because the character is Drow, expect him to lack some power in the
   beginning chapters.  Most likely he'll be using low-level enchantment spells
   to support the group (like Sleep, Charm, Blind, etc.)  The character will
   really start to shine by chapters 5 and 6 in the normal game, and will be
   incredibly strong by HoF with level 9 spells.  In the end, the character 
   will be at level 30 like everyone else and the ECL -2 will make no 
   dfference whatsoever.

   The Drow have several abilities that make them very adept Wizards (and 
   an enemy Wizard's worst nightmare).  Let's look at the most important 

   * +2 to all saves against Enchantment spells (which is usually will saves)
   * +2 to will saves against spells and spell-like effects (like Dwarves)
   * +2 to Search checks (good bonus considering this is our Rogue)
   * Spell Resistence 11 + 1/level.  By the end of the game, the character will
     resist almost half the spells thrown at him entirely.

   Now, there are a few things to be said here.  Spell Resistence only works
   with spells that actually target the character, so if the enemy uses spells
   like Delayed Blast Fireball or Lance of Disruption, you can consider yourself
   an unlucky target.  Spells like Magic Missle or Finger of Death, on the other
   hand, are very resistable.

   Another powerful thing about Spell Resistence is that it's so damn high! Even
   at the beginning of HoF, you'll be at ~30.  Essentially, you will have
   the spell "Spell Resistence" cast on you at all times.

   The last interesting note is that a maximum of 16 Constitution is not really
   a penalty since it was inconvenient to put 18 into this ability score anyway
   (as you will soon see when we look at these scores).


   Other Races Considered:
   The other powerful option was Tiefling.  At first we thought an ECL of -1
   was acceptable, but an ECL of -2 was not.  I'm not sure how we came to that
   conclusion because in the end, you'll want the most powerful character 
   possible - how you get there doesn't matter.  By the time you beat normal
   mode, the Drow becomes much more powerful than the Tiefling due to the added
   Spell Resistence and extra saving throws.  The Tiefling just doesn't match 
   up with his cold, fire and electrical resistences.  
   Also, the +2 to Search checks is actually quite useful to this character
   where as the bonus to Bluff and Hide checks doesn't benefit the character 
   at all.  This character won't be initiating dialog and we can use Improved
   Invisibility if we need to be a bit stealthy (and it's much better than
   hiding anyway).  
   When comparing ability scores, the Drow can't put any less than 5 points
   into Charisma, so this can work to the Tiefling's advantage depending on
   how we decide to spend our ability points.  When comparing both characters
   side-by-side, the Tiefling will have 10 Wisdom instead of 8.  However,
   knowing the Drow receives a +2 bonus to Will saves, this loss in Wisdom is
   unimportant (since it'll be like having a Wisdom score of 12).  So it's
   easily shown that the Drow still comes out on top despite the loss in ability

   One small advantage the Tiefling has over the Drow is the innate Blindness
   ability (which is better than Farie Fire, but we don't care about any of
   these in HoF mode really).  The other advantage (and probably the most
   important one)  is that you don't have penalties in daylight.  To be honest,
   I never found the -1 to attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks to be a
   problem.  I guess the worst of these is the -1 to saving throws, but even
   then the Drow gets many bonuses to offset this.

   Other than these differences, both characters are the same in that they will
   have 20 Intelligence and 20 Dexterity.  It should be quite clear that the
   bonus to saving throws, spell resistence and +2 to search checks make the
   Drow much more powerful in HoF mode, and thus a better character for the

   NOTE:  In earlier versions of the FAQ, we did in fact promote the Tiefling.
          However, we've been on the fence for some time.  Rest assured, a Drow
          is the most powerful race for this slot and we fully recommend it.

   We also considered being a Human as well, seeing as they would be the third
   most powerful choice for this character.  After reviewing the list of feats
   and realizing that this character will receive 5 bonus feats through the 
   Wizard class and the fact that there are not that many good feats to take
   to begin with, the bonus feat at level 1 is less appealing.  Also, the bonus 
   skill points are irrelevant since a score of 20 Intelligence yields the exact
   same skill points and many other essential benefits to the Conjurer (or 
   Enchanter) class (which the Human simply can't provide).

   Let's take a look at the character's ability scores.

   Str: 11
   Dex: 20 
   Con: 16 
   Int: 20
   Wis: 8
   Cha: 5

   First off, I think it's fairly obvious why we maxed out Intelligence and
   Dexterity to 20 (or going through all the discussion about choosing a Drow
   itself would have been pointless :P).

   As for Strength, it is very, very important that you understand why you need
   a score of 10+.  This will give you a maximum of 70lbs carrying capacity.
   Normally for Wizards, you wouldn't need it to be this high (50lbs is usually
   adequate), but in this case we need to make an exception.  
   In the last chapter of the game, you'll come across a chain mail called
   "Chain of Drakkus", which is an ideal armor for this character since it will
   allow you to cast Wizard spells and use your Thief skills while wearing the
   armor.  Even further, it will provide you with a +7 AC bonus and there will
   be "no limit" to how high your Dexterity modifer improves your AC!  So if 
   you have 26 Dexterity, you'll actually get a bonus of +8 to your AC
   (this results to a total 25 AC without considering deflection or other
   bonuses) - pretty neat, eh?
   The armor itself weighs 30lbs, so you will have carrying capacity problems 
   if your Strength is any lower than 10.  So please, whatever you do, DO NOT
   LOWER YOUR STRENGTH SCORE.  I'm glad you understand =)
   The Dexterity and Intelligence bonuses will give us a +5 bonus to the 
   Search, Open Locks and Disarm Traps skills.  This character also uses a 
   crossbow, where the Dexterity modifier is used to determine his attack 
   bonus.  It's imperative that you understand that this character cannot 
   melee - it's not a Rogue, but a Wizard - and people with good sense know 
   that you shouldn't melee with your Wizard!  In any case, the +5 to your AC 
   should help out with the lack of armor for the majority of the game in normal
   mode, but with spells like Improved Invisibility, Mirror Image, Stoneskin, 
   you shouldn't be concerned with your AC.

   With 20 Intelligence, there are lots of skill points to satisfy both Rogue 
   and Wizard skills.  You will have no problems maxing out your three Wizard
   skills and keeping up with Rogue skills as we've mentioned earlier.  In fact,
   there is no need to gain extra Rogue levels to compensate either, as
   mentioned earlier.

   We chose a Wisdom score of 8 simply because there were no points to
   allocate to Wisdom (unless we swapped them with Constitution, but that
   wouldn't be a very smart idea).  At any rate, Wizards have very good innate
   will save bonuses, and with the Drow's +2 bonus to Will saves and +2 bonus
   to Enchantment spells, a -1 modifer to will saves shouldn't be anything to
   worry about.  
   A Constitution of 16 will also give you a good sum of hit points as well,
   despite the fact that the Drow can't have any more than this.

   Since this is a Wizard, you will have no need for a high Charisma score.
   Thus, I cranked it down to 5, which is the lowest it can go since we have
   chosen a Drow.

   As you gain levels, you should upgrade the character's Intelligence score 
   from 20 to 22 in the first 10 levels.  When you reach level 15, upgrade your
   Dexterity score from 20 to 21.  This is important since you'll be at the
   Severed Hand and you'll get those +5 Dexterity slippers on the second floor
   from under the bed :)  This will give you a total of 26 Dexterity and a +8
   Dexterity modifier, improving your AC, crossbow accuracy and Rogue skills.
   I don't think you can argue with that.  Afterwards, you should continue to
   pump ability points into your Intelligence score to further increase your
   spell's DC and number of bonus spells.

   Character Development:

   Skills: Disable Device, Open Lock, Search, 
           Concentration, Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft

   Note:  Now, before I talk about allocating these skills specifically, I 
          would like to politely let you know that you shouldn't email us
          about taking extra Rogue levels to gain more skill points and things
          like that.  I've already had to reiterate to many people on why we
          did this (although the reason exists right here in the FAQ), but they
          refuse to believe us for some reason.  If you are really concerned,
          play the character we outlined and you'll really see that it works.
          Any more than 1 Rogue level is really a waste, especially with an
          ECL of -2.

   At first level, you'll have 36 points to allocate to several skill 
   categories, namely because the Rogue acquires a great number of skill points
   and you have 20 Intelligence to start off.  Thus, you can pretty much put
   points into everything we listed above as well as Alchemy, Hide and 
   Move Silently.  Since some quests actually use Alchemy but do not need a 
   high skill, a rank of 2 plus your Intelligence modifier will suffice.
   Believe it or not, a Hide and Move Silently skill of 4 + your Dexterity 
   modifier will be enough to have a very successful Hide ability although you 
   might not be able to retain it (not a huge problem since we don't care 
   about these skills anyway).  Since you'll have a +7 Dexterity modifier from
   the slippers, Hide and Move Silently will actually be at rank 11.

   Now, let's take an in-depth look at where to spend your skill points during
   the first 9 levels of your character development.  It's important to look
   at these levels individually since don't follow any specific pattern and
   are hard to explain verbally - it's best just to show them in the manner 
   that we selected them.  After level 9, a pattern emerges for the most part
   of the game, so we can stop there.

   Rogue(1) [36 points]: Alchemy: 2 (cc)
                         Concentration: 2 (cc)
                         Disable Device: 4 
                         Hide: 4 
                         Knowledge: Arcana: 2 (cc)
                         Move Silently: 4
                         Open Lock: 4
                         Search: 4 
                         Spellcraft: 2 (cc)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(1): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                     Concentration: 4 (+2)
                                     Disable Device: 4
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 4 (+2)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 4
                                     Search: 4
                                     Spellcraft: 4 (+2)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(2): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                     Concentration: 6 (+2)
                                     Disable Device: 4
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 6 (+2)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 4
                                     Search: 4
                                     Spellcraft: 6 (+2)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(3): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
   (You receive +1 INT)              Concentration: 7 (+1)
                                     Disable Device: 5 (+1, cc)
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 7 (+1)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 4
                                     Search: 4
                                     Spellcraft: 7 (+1)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(4): [6+1 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                       Concentration: 8 (+1)
                                       Disable Device: 5
                                       Hide: 5
                                       Knowledge: Arcana: 8 (+1)
                                       Move Silently: 4
                                       Open Lock: 5 (+1, cc)
                                       Search: 5 (+1, cc)
                                       Spellcraft: 8 (+1)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(5): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                     Concentration: 9 (+1)
                                     Disable Device: 6 (+1, cc)
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 9 (+1)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 5
                                     Search: 5
                                     Spellcraft: 9 (+1)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(6): [6+1 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                       Concentration: 10 (+1)
                                       Disable Device: 6
                                       Hide: 5
                                       Knowledge: Arcana: 10 (+1)
                                       Move Silently: 4
                                       Open Lock: 6 (+1, cc)
                                       Search: 6 (+1, cc)
                                       Spellcraft: 10 (+1)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(7): [7 points]: Alchemy: 2
   (You receive +1 INT)              Concentration: 11 (+1)
                                     Disable Device: 7 (+1, cc)
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 11 (+1)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 7 (+1, cc)
                                     Search: 6
                                     Spellcraft: 11 (+1)

   Rogue(1)/Conjurer(8): [7 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                     Concentration: 12 (+1)
                                     Disable Device: 8 (+1, cc)
                                     Hide: 5
                                     Knowledge: Arcana: 12 (+1)
                                     Move Silently: 4
                                     Open Lock: 7
                                     Search: 7 (+1, cc)
                                     Spellcraft: 12 (+1)

   For character level 9 and on, you always increase a rank in Spellcraft, 
   Concentration and Knowledge (Arcana).  Now you'll have 4 points left to alot
   to Rogue skills.   When selecting these skills as you level up, simply cycle
   through Disable Device, Open Lock and Search as I've done so far for the rest
   of the game - and make sure they are always even.  

   Note that when you reach level 9, you will only get 7 skill points every 
   level for a long time because your Intelligence should be 22 and 23 for a
   large portion of the game.  As you become more Intelligent, upgrading your 
   Rogue skills should become easier, but for now you can only upgrade Disarm 
   Device, Open Locks and Search once each every 2 levels.
   You should see that this build gives you the same skill benefits as any 
   other Wizard with some Rogue skills in the mix.  Don't be tempted to upgrade
   your Hide and Move silently skills, because they'll be pretty descent with 
   4 ranks and your +7 dexterity bonus (as discussed earlier) and Improved
   Invisibility is actually far superior.  By following the guide in this
   manner, your Rogue skills will only be a few levels behind that of a pure
   Rogue, which isn't so bad considering you basically have a full-fledged
   Here are the feat selections for this character.  Notice that Wizards
   get feats every 5 Wizard levels, so that means the Rogue/Wizard will get 
   bonus feats at the "effective" character levels: 6, 11, 16, 21 and so on 
   in combination with the feats that he gets every 3 character levels: 1, 3, 6,
   9, 12, etc..  Because of this, expect to gain feats quickly and also
   expect some to overlap to get two feats at a single level up.   This allows
   the character to rapidly acquire the Spell Focus and Penetration feats before
   the Sorcerers and makes that character all that more dangerous.  

   For this class, I actually included the effective character level in addition
   to the class levels to make it easier to see when this character receives
   their feats.  Also, I used the "-" symbol to indicate if it's a level feat
   and a "+" symbol to indicate a class feat.  This is to easily show why they
   get this feat at a particular level.

   Note: Since the Mage loses out on the Find Familiar ability that is normally
         gained a level 2 as stated in the D&D 3E rules, BIS decided to give the
         Wizard an extra feat instead at level 2.

   Feats:  1-  Rogue(1):              Simple Weapon, Crossbow (WF)
           2+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(1):  Spell Focus: Enchantment 
           3-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(2):  Spell Focus: Enchantment (Greater)
           6-+ Rogue(1)/Conjurer(5):  Spell Focus: Necromancy
                                      Spell Focus: Transmutation
           9-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(8):  Spell Focus: Transmutation (Greater)
          11+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(10): Spell Focus: Necromancy (Greater)
          12-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(11): Combat Casting
          15-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(14): Spell Penetration
          16+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(15): Spell Penetration (Greater)
          18-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(17): Subvocal Casting,
          21-+ Rogue(1)/Conjurer(20): Improved Critical
          24-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(23): Dodge
          26+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(25): Lightning Reflexes
          27-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(26): Iron Will
          30-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(29): Great Fortitude

   Everything here is fairly standard.  I really suggest that you get Weapon
   Focus in crossbows to make the "Dragu's Hell Bolter" more effective (to be
   discussed later).  This will make your Rogue/Conjurer one great ranged 
   As for Spell Focus feats, Enchantment, Transmutation and Necromancy cover 
   all of your chosen spells except for Shades (which is Conjuration, so you
   can't improve it anyway).  We took "Spell Focus: Enchantment" first because
   at the early levels, Sleep and Charm Person are quite effective and you 
   might as well get as much out of the character as you can.  This will also
   serve to make more powerful spells like Chaos and Mass Dominate more 
   powerful as well.  Next, we selected the first pip in "Spell Focus:
   Necromancy" and in "Spell Focus: Transmutation" because at level 6, we'll
   have access to the Horror, Skull Trap spells as well as the Slow spell, 
   which are from the Necromancy and Transmutation schools, respectively.  At
   levels 8 and 10, this character receives the Greater Spell Focus versions of
   these schools to further improve Disintegrate, Finger of Death, Horrid's
   Wilting and Wail of the Banshee.

   I chose combat casting since this character might need to get close to the
   enemy to cast spells like Chaos in order to maximize the effectiveness of the
   spell's radius.  Later on, Combat Casting is quite useful with Wail of the
   Banshee and Mass Dominate.

   At levels 21 and up, the feat selections gets rather poor.  I chose Subvocal
   Casting since this is the time in HoF mode that various enemies attempt to
   Silence your spell casters.  Improved Critical increases the deadliness of 
   your crossbow attacks, so why not?  

   The last few picks try to keep in character with your Rogue role by making
   you harder to hit and improving your other saving throws.  Nothing really
   out of the ordinary that needs discussing.

   Weapon Preferences:
   You want to be sure to get the "Dragu's Hell Bolter" crossbow, which gives
   you 4 Attacks per round at +3 attack bonus!  You will find this most
   excellent prize in the River Caves by talking to Dragu in the Durbar
   Fortress).  All you have to do is talk to him with your Rogue/Wizard (since
   he has a very high Intelligence score) and help him make the perfect
   crossbow.  In exchange, he will give you a copy of the prototype.
   Combine these 4 attacks with your +7 Dexterity modifier and +5 bolts or 
   the elemental bolts (i.e. lightning), this will make your Rogue/Wizard a very
   effective ranked attacker doing 60-70 damage per round.  Essentially, this 
   is a built in Mordenkainen's Sword - so you can't argue with that.

   Spell Selection:
   Since this character specializes in Enchantment, Transmutation and Necromancy
   spells, his main responsibility is to control and manipulate the enemy as
   well as cast Necromancy spells for offensive power since the character lacks
   the ability to cast evocation spells.

   Level 1:
   We chose Identify to complement Knowledge (Arcana) and also chose it because 
   nothing else is worth taking at these higher levels.  In the beginning of 
   the game, you might want to take a few copies of Grease, Sleep and Charm
   Person and other spells since they might be helpful in the earlier portions
   of the game.  
   Level 2:
   Spell level 2 mainly consists of defensive spells like Mirror Image and 
   Blur, which will help ensure the character doesn't die from a few quick 
   melee attacks (very easily done in HoF mode).  See Invisibility is used
   occasionally and should be memorized during Chapter 5 before you fight the
   Lich.  You might as well keep the spell around for convenience sake.  Horror
   is another good spell in the earlier portions of the game.

   Level 3:
   By level 3, we start getting into spells that actually affect the enemy.  
   Slow is an excellent spell since it reduces a creatureís number of attacks,
   attack and damage rolls, AC and saving throws.  This is a great spell to
   apply on bosses and tougher opponents like the Knights of Xvim in the Severed
   Hand since they don't come in high numbers but are very difficult to kill
   in melee (they resist most Necromancy magic).  Since you are specializing in
   Necromancy magic, Skull Trap is another very good spell and gets more 
   powerful as you rise in level (unlike other spells that become capped).  
   It'll be your main offensive spell for awhile and it also allows your 
   Sorcerers to get their Evocation spells without being concerned with Skull
   Trap early.  Lastly, you should take one Dispel Magic as an reset button.
   Sometimes you will get unlucky and everyone will be charmed, confused, etc..
   A single Dispel Magic can reset the battle and allow you to actually win 
   without having to reload :)  This also frees up your Sorcerers from having
   to waste a slot on it and allows your Clerics to use more important spells
   like Animated Dead or Prayer for instance.  We didn't choose Ghost Armor 
   since deflection bonuses are quite easily earned through equipment, which 
   makes the spell less effective.  Haste also looses its effectiveness as your 
   characters' BaB scores are high enough anyway - it's not the spell it used 
   to be.

   Level 4:
   At level 4, we chose Confusion and Malison.  Confusion is a good spell since
   it affects multiple enemies, which is great for large groups and is probably
   the best way to control enemies with a spell of level 4 or lower.  Malison
   also helps get off spells that would normally allow will saves since it
   lowers the target creatureís bonus by 2 (such as Confusion).  This spell is 
   also cumulative as well, so you can cast it several times to ensure your 
   precious spells work.  Once you get a spell called Chaos, you'll want to
   remove your Confusion spells and put all the points into Malison since Chaos
   is the upgraded version of the same spell.

   Note: People have mentioned that Emotion Despair is better than Malison since
         it provides a -2 to attack bonuses and damage as well as will saves.  
         Although this is a good thing on the surface, it only last for 5 
         rounds, which isn't very long with respect to game time.  Malison 
         actually last 2 rounds/level, so you lower the will saves of several 
         targets for up to 60 rounds!  Also, although I'm not 100% certain,
         Emotion: Despair does not stack with multiple castings.

   Level 5:
   Since there aren't that many good spells at level 5, your Sorcerers will
   have roughly the same spells as the Rogue/Wizard.  No need to worry however,
   as one character will cast more of one spell than the other.  At this level,
   you'll want to focus on Chaos, which is a very powerful spell to confuse your
   enemies and make them wonder around a lot.  It generally works very well in
   HoF mode with your "Spell Focus, Enchantment" feats and all creatures are
   forced to make a Will Save at -4.  Basically, with your high Intelligence,
   Enchantment feats, character level and this -4 bonus, your enemies will find
   it very difficult to resist to this spell using their Will Saves.  Spell 
   Resistance doesn't matter either since it doesn't actually target a 
   single victim either.  Add in a casting of Malison or two, and you'll see 
   that herds of creatures will submit to your influencing greatness =)  Lastly,
   also take a few Lower Resistance spells to allow your Sorcerers to bombard 
   them with Evocation and Necromancy attacks on single creatures where it 
   would not be possible.  You don't want your Finger of Death to fail, do you?
   I would suggest taking 1 or 2 copies of the spell since your Sorcerers won't
   have it (It's better left to a Transmutation expert).

   Level 6:
   Level 6 is another level with mediocre spells - well for the most part.
   Since you are Necromancy specialist, it's important to look out for good
   Necromancy spells.  Sadly, there aren't any.  As for the Transmutation
   school, Disintegrate is an obvious choice, so I would suggest that you take 
   a few copies of Disintegrate.  Conveniently, you'll have "Greater Spell
   Focus, Transmutation" at this time so your Disintegrate spell will be 
   working very nicely for you.  The great thing about Disintegrate is that it
   still damages the creature 5-30 points if it doesn't work, so all isn't 
   lost.  This spell is great when getting rid of the Guardian and other 
   tougher opponents, which makes a very difficult fight only last a few 
   seconds :)  The only drawback to this spell is that it takes 6 rounds to
   cast, so that's as long as these boss fights usually last =)
   As for the summon elementals, they are somewhat weak and will actually 
   attack you if you don't protect yourself using Magic Circle of Evil.  The
   best of the four elementals is the Earth Elemental, but it's only helpful in
   the beginning levels of HoF mode and summoning six Animate Undead remains to
   be more convenient and powerful here.

   Interestingly enough, there is spell called "Shades" that is actually quite
   powerful and does become more powerful than Animate Dead by the time you get
   to HoF mode.  During normal mode, you'll get pretty crappy creatures coming
   out of this spell - in the same way Animate Dead gives you fairly weak 
   skeletons in the first few chapters.  However, as you gain new levels, 
   you'll get access to Red Abishais (pretty good), Frost Giants (hope that you
   don't get them) and Greater Werewolves (these guys really rock since you 
   have many attacks per round AND are tough to kill).  At level XX, you'll
   start to get demons (i.e. Glabrezus) and devils (i.e. Cornugons) that you
   would normally get through the Fiend and Gate spells.  It's quite hard to
   believe that you receive all this in a 6th level spell.

   Here is a chart indicating the creatures that are summoned at particular
   casting level, nicely provided by Dorlan.  This is important information
   because the spell description says, "They get more powerful depending on the
   caster's level", which doesn't tell us anything.

               Level       Creatures
               -----       ---------
               1-11        Salamander, Yeti 
               12-16       Cyclops, Scrag, Umber Hulk 
               17-21       Frost Giant, Greater Werewolf, Red Abishai 
               22-26       Greater Feyr, Remorhaz 
               27+         Cornugon, Glabrezu 

   Another spell that people like to take at 6th level is Tenser's
   Transformation, but would you want to stop casting spells and take
   unnecessary risk getting in the line of fire?  Your are even more likely to
   be affected by your own allies' spells - this is a spell casters' party 
   after all.
   Note:  After you get many copies of Finger of Death, you might want to forego
          Disintegrate and memorize Shades entirely.  It's better to have a
          variety of spells at your disposal and the Shades spell will be very
          powerful throughout HoF mode.

   Level 7:
   Once again, level 7 is another disappointing spell list in terms of variety.
   Finger of Death is your best spell to take and is probably a better spell to
   use instead of disintegrate (although you should use both of course).  It's
   a little faster in that itís casting time is only 5 instead of 6 and it does
   a little more damage if the spell should fail.  
   Although some of the Power Word spells look pretty descent, they are from 
   the Conjuration school, so you won't get a +4 DC to these spells.  Even
   further, they don't work well in HoF where creatures have extremely high hit
   points, so you *might* only stun or kill a single creature.  It's better just
   to ensure that we kill at least once creature using Finger of Death, don't 
   you think?  Power Word, Stun is worth memorizing in the normal game, but even
   in the Severed Hand you'll see it's usefulness slip away :/  
   Cacofiend is probably the next best spell if you want to take it, but I like
   to have as many Finger of Death's as possible.  It's better than the Air and
   Fire Genies at this level.  In order to use it, you have to protect yourself
   from evil as he deals between 20-42 damage with 2 attacks per around I
   believe.  He also teleports, making his ability to go from one enemy to the
   next very useful, and can also cast lightning spells which deal around 60-70
   points of damage (but he only casts them randomly).  The Field spell at the
   next level is the same creature, but he gets an extra attack per turn.
   Outside of these spells, there aren't any good spells left to choose from.
   Note:  Don't get me wrong, even though levels 6 through 7 don't exactly
          have a good variety of quality spells, Disintegrate and Finger of
          Death are among some of the best spells in the game.  These spells
          are very important to this character's offensive power.  Without them,
          this character would sit around and do nothing :)

   Level 8:
   Within this spell level, things look a little brighter.  The first spell
   you should get is either Horrid Wilting or Power Word: Blind.  Horrid Wilting
   does an insane amount of damage to many foes, so it'll be in your spell book
   from the time you get it until the end of your HoF adventure.  Unlike the
   other Power Word spells, Power Word: Blind isn't as bad since it will always
   do something, regardless of the amount of hit points your enemies have.  Even
   in the first situation, every creature will be stunned between 2-5 rounds.
   This will give you some time to either regroup or cast spells (since most 
   spells can be cast within 2-5 rounds easily).

   Level 9:
   Lastly, this level gives you the best control spell in the game: Mass 
   Dominate.  This spell is just like its counterpart, Dominate, but it affects
   multiple creatures within a 20-foot radius.  The only drawback to this spell
   is that it takes 9 turns to cast - sometimes that's just too many.  I would 
   suggest that your other members cast a few summons as bait in order to 
   ensure a proper casting while your allies don't lose any HP.  Also, Wail
   of the Banshee and Aegis are two other good spells at this level that you
   might consider choosing.  The two Sorcerers in the party will definitely 
   carry Wail of the Banshee early, so it's up to you to decide if you need
   3 arcane casters to memorize it or only two.  Essentially, it's Finger of
   Death on steroids, affecting everything near the caster (so make sure your
   allies get the hell out of the way - summons are a good spell to keep the
   creatures near you as well as protect you).  You can kill up to 30 creatures
   in a single casting with this spell.

   In the end, you have a very focused and powerful support Wizard for your
   Sorcerers.  To summarize, here is a list of spells you should memorize:

   Level 1: Identify
   Level 2: Mirror Image, See Invisibility(1)
   Level 3: Slow, Skull Trap, Dispel Magic(1)
   Level 4: Malison
   Level 5: Chaos, Lower Resistance(2)
   Level 6: Shades
   Level 7: Finger of Death
   Level 8: Horrid Wilting, Power Word: Blind
   Level 9: Mass Dominate, Wail of the Banshee

   Shades Analysis at Level 17:
   Originally, I thought many of the Wizard's summon spells were pretty crappy
   or at least had annoyances I wasn't willing to deal with.  For instance, you
   are penalized when casting area-effect spells like Delayed Blast Fireball
   with Djinnis or Efreetis (Genies) because they will attack you and you have
   forced to case Magic Circle of Evil before summoning elementals and so on.
   Other spells like Carrion Worms, Invisible Stalker, Summon Shadow and
   Vipergout are just terribly useless.

   But as I decided to try Shades in HoF mode, I was actually excited that I
   unlocked yet another cool secret from the game.  Could it really be true 
   that "Shades" actually gets better than Animate Undead?  

   I had the 3 different Shades go one-one with the 2 types of Undead.  Here is
   a table illustrating who won the battle and how injured they were when the
   battle was over.  
                        vs. G. Boneguard         vs. Zombie Lord
                        -------------------      -------------------
   Red Abishai          Won, Barely Injured      Won, Almost Dead
   Frost Giant          Won, Hurt                Lost, Zombie = Almost Dead
   Greater Werewolf     Won, Badly Wounded       Won, Barely Injured

   To summarize the tests, it was found that the Shades did very well against
   the animated creatures.  Although the shades disappear after several rounds,
   they appear to have more HP, faster attacks and better resistances (the
   Frost Giant was the only one with no resistances, but I would gather that
   it had the most HP).  The Red Abishai and Greater Werewolf have very good
   resistance to slashing, piercing and some elemental attacks as well.

   I can only surmise that Greater Werewolf is the best of the three summons
   while the Red Abishai is the next best, leaving the Frost Giant to
   be the least desirable.

   Since Shades only gets better as your spell caster gains levels, Animate Dead
   no longer is the "ultimate" summoning spell in HoF mode.  The only real
   disadvantage with this spell is that they disappear after 20+ rounds
   (depending on your caster's level), so if you want your summons to stick
   around until you leave the area, Animate Undead is still your best choice.
   I just thought I would share this pretty cool discovery with you.

   Alternative Character Choices:

   3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)

   I love Sorcerers.  With respect to Wizards, they are far superior in 
   comparison.  You essentially get all the best spells, you can cast them
   more often and you don't have to put up with any of that "Spell failed to
   write into your spell book" crap, which just causes frequent reloads -
   spellcraft just doesn't do its job it seems.  I had a spellcraft of 33 once
   and Minor Mirror Image (a level 1 spell) failed to scribe not once, 
   but twice in a row!  Yuck.
   They also make better party leaders and you don't have to micro-manage the
   spells you memorize.  Most of all, they are simply more fun to play!  You 
   also don't have find scrolls to make use of them either.  This is important 
   because you can cast spells like Horrid Wilting and Finger of Death several 
   areas earlier than if you had to find the correct scrolls for a Wizard.  
   It seems all the Arcane scrolls are placed in areas that are further in the 
   game than when your characters are actually capable of casting them.  All 
   this does is make players frustrated since they can cast level 7 spells but 
   only have level 5 scrolls at best.  The only exceptions to this rule are some
   level 9 spells like Aegis or Wail of the Banshee, but your Wizard won't be 
   able to cast those until Heart of Fury mode anyway (which is the time your
   Sorcerers will be able to cast them at the very beginning of Chapter 1).  
   Hence, the Wizard has no advantages in terms of acquiring spells faster 
   compared to the Wizard in any practical manner in a 6-member party.
   Hence, for all these reasons we decided that two sorcerers would be more 
   than adequate for the UPP.  The first Sorcerer is a human while the 
   second is an Aasimar.  Be sure to look to Section 2.4 of this FAQ to learn 
   more about the tradeoffs between these two characters.

   Note:  The only drawback to playing a Sorcerer, at least in the way that we
          build it, is that you can't get the elemental feats that early (you 
          get them at level 12 instead of level 9).  If you're planning for 
          HoF (which is what we hope you plan to do and is the purpose of this 
          guide), then this doesn't matter in the long run.
   Others will also say that Wizards are more versatile, but in most spell 
   levels, you'll be hard pressed to find more than 5+ spells that are actually
   useful or are even powerful enough to contend with the challenges in HoF 
   mode within any given level.  Even if there are some spells that you think 
   you will miss out on, that is why there are 2 Sorcerers in the UPP - so that
   you can maximize the number of spells available to you.  Given the party's 
   entire context, you'd be pretty hard pressed to make a case that 3 wizards is 
   better than 1 wizard and 2 sorcerers as it is currently.

   Note:  Some people have mentioned that we should take more Wizards instead of
          two Sorcerors, but that's absolutely suicide!  Answer this question to
          yourself: "How many duplicate scrolls have found or purchased to make
          make more than one Wizard worthwhile?"  The answer?  Not very many.

          You'd actually have to go through the game twice in order to have 2
          full spell books, so why bother?  Two Sorcerors will be able to cast
          more spells all the time and you'll also be able to make sure of 3
          arcane casters no matter if you are in normal mode or fighting the
          final battle in HoF mode.  So if your reasoning skills are working,
          you'll know that there is no practical reason for choosing more than
          the Rogue/Wizard in this particular party (or probably any other party
          for that matter).

   Note about Paladin(1 or 2)/Sorcerer(x) combination:
   Many players realize that the Paladin's prime ability score is the same as
   the Sorcerers, so they think, "How can we multiclass these two classes
   together to get an advantage".  After looking at the Paladin's lists of
   innate abilities, it should be fairly obvious that Divine Grace would improve
   the Sorcerers will, reflex and fortitude saves greatly - but at what cost?

   Many players take the Paladin level early without actually realizing how
   much it cripples your Sorcerer in the long term.  One of the disadvantages
   Sorcerers have to Wizards is that they access the next arcane spell level 
   one class level behind.  This means that if you had a Sorcerer and a 
   Wizard using the same stats and race side-by-side, the Wizard could, for
   example, have access to "Horrid Wilting" one level before the Sorcerer. 
   Normally, this isn't a huge problem - we accept this to get the benefits of
   the Sorcerer that we deem to be more advantageous to us.  

   Now, what happens when we add-in an Aasimar?  Now our spells become 2 levels
   behind the common Wizard.  What about throwing in a level of Paladin? - Now
   we are 3 levels behind.  I really hope that you can start to see where this 
   going (and that isn't going up-hill :P)

   When building a Sorcerer, you really have to ask yourself, "What the hell is
   the point?"  Why is it important that we get Horrid Wilting, Finger of 
   Death, Delayed Blast Fireball and all the other goodies as quickly as 
   possible and with as much *variety* as possible?  The answer to these 
   questions is simply this: Because that makes our Sorcererís STRONG, and 
   strong IS NOT some early saving throw bonuses.  What good is a character who
   can save against anything but can't even damage the enemy?  I guess the 
   principle you have to internalize is: "Offense is the Best Defense", because 
   that is so true with the Sorcerer.  As long as you stick to the core 
   principles when building this class, you really can't go wrong.
   However, looking back at Divine Grace, it really would be nice if we could
   take advantage of it somehow.  Now, you might be saying to yourself, "But I 
   thought you just told me NOT to multiclass to a Paladin?!" - Well, that's 
   partial correct.  When building your Sorcerer, if you really want to take 
   advantage of Divine Grace, wait until Sorcerer(21) where you will have a 
   very complete spell book at your disposal.  At this point in the game, you 
   won't be looking forward to the "next killer spell" because you already have 
   them all more-or-less.  At this point, you should multiclass to Paladin at 
   effective character level 22.

   When you really think about it, this is a smart move.  By level 22, you are
   well deep into HoF mode where saving throws are much more important than
   at levels 1 through 3 for example.  By taking the Paladin level later, you
   give your Sorcerer the benefits when they really need them while ensuring
   your character develops quickly.  If you can't live without the saving throw
   bonuses that sit on characters usually in the back row during most of normal 
   mode, then you might want to adjust your play style first :)  Make sure you 
   keep a few copies of Chaotic Commands ready to act as your temporary 
   "Divine Grace".  This is just sound strategy to begin with.

   Key Note: Whatever you do, make sure you do not take more than one Paladin 
             level as it will probably set you back more than it will help.  
             The Aura of Courage - although a nifty ability - isn't really 
             needed since your characters should be strong enough to resist fear
             anyway.  Resist the temptation and steer back to Sorcerer levels 
             the rest of the way.

   About this Sorcerer:
   There isn't much difference between the two Sorcerersís on the surface.  The
   main focus of these classes is one-to-one and one-to-many combat with the 
   essential defensive spells (Improve Invisibility, Mirror Image, and
   Stoneskin) as well as a few utility spells thrown in for good measure.  
   We chosen two Sorcerers for the sheer numbers of spells obtained during the
   game as well as having the ability to specialize in different schools and
   elements at the same time.  The Human Sorcerer focuses more on Lightning and
   Fire evocation spells while the Aasimar (to be discussed next) takes up on
   Acid and Fire evocation spells.  Both characters will then broaden out into
   other areas as they level, but these spells will be there main role for a
   majority of the game in both normal and Heart of Fury mode.

   The typical strategy for the Sorcerer is to destroy everything and then some.
   You should constantly be using spells to damage or weaken the enemy.  Before
   a fight, you'll use summons and buffs to strengthen your chances to win.  
   It's really as simple as that and it's one of the most effective strategies
   in the game, period (especially in HoF mode).

   Let's see how we allocate this character's ability points.
   Str: 9
   Dex: 18 
   Con: 18 
   Int: 3 
   Wis: 10 
   Cha: 18 

   First off, Sorcererís don't need many skills - only two in fact.  Since we
   are a Human, we can afford to drop the Intelligence of the Sorcerer to 3 to
   take advantage of the human's 2 skills points as discussed in the section,
   "Enter the Humans".

   The most important ability scores for a Sorcerer are:
   a) Charisma: Quite obvious I would think, as it provides bonus spells and
                saving throw DC
   b) Dexterity: Improves your AC, complements Mirror Image and Improved 
                 Invisibility, increases your Base attack bonus with ranged
                 weapons and increases your reflex saves (which are weak for 
                 the Sorcerer class).
   c) Constitution: To get as many hit points as possible, be resistant to enemy
                    Finger of Death, Wail of the Banshee, and so on, and to
                    increase your Concentration score.

   A Strength of 9 is adequate since this character won't be engaged into melee
   battles.  Even with ranged weapons, you'll receive a -1 to your total damage,
   so it's not so bad - you should be casting spells most of the time anyway 
   since even the low level ones will do more damage then your bolts/bullets
   will most of the time.  Also, you should use Mordenkainen's Sword in the
   event that you cannot use other spells.  A strength of 9 also allows your
   Cleric to cast Bull's Strength to better effect.  This isn't an
   earth-shattering advantage, but half the time you'll get another +1 modifier
   because your Strength is 9 rather than 8, so you might as well take it.

   We decided to use a Wisdom value of 10 since the Sorcererís natural Will
   Saves are quite good out of the box.  We basically converted these points
   into Dexterity since it improved many more aspects of the character using
   a single ability score.

   As your character levels up, it's important to increase your Charisma all the
   way.  This only makes sense that you should improve the number of bonus
   spells as much as you can, because that is what really makes this class
   shine.  The extra DC is very helpful for ensuring those Wail of the Banshees
   and Finger of Deaths work correctly.

   Upgrading your Charisma is also even more important since I've only found 
   one +1 Charisma item and one +2 charisma item in the game, so don't expect
   any more massive Charisma bonuses.  There are also many other excellent
   robes, bracers, rings, necklaces, etc. that you will want to wear as well,
   so sometimes you'll have to choose between a Charisma bonus and some other
   cool stuff.
   Character Development:

   Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft (Spirit of Flame, etc) 
   Feat: Sorcerer(1): Spell Focus, Evocation,
                      Spell Focus, Evocation (Greater)
         Sorcerer(3): Combat Casting
         Sorcerer(6): Spell Focus, Necromancy
         Sorcerer(9): Spell Focus, Necromancy (Greater)
         Sorcerer(12): Spirit of the Flame
         Sorcerer(15): Scion of Storms
         Sorcerer(18): Spell Penetration
         Sorcerer(21): Spell Penetration (Greater)
         Sorcerer(24): Dash
         Sorcerer(27): Aegis of Rime
         Sorcerer(30): Aqua Mortis

   Since Sorcerers don't really get in the thick of battle, many people think
   Combat Casting is a poor feat to take - I seriously disagree.  There are
   times where the AI will specifically target your spell casters - so much 
   that they want to ensure your precious spells will fail.  Now, I know there
   are Improved Invisibility and Mirror Image to help in this area, but the
   truth is that HoF creatures strike 80% of the time regardless of what your 
   AC is.  Sure enough, your duplicates will dissipate in a matter of seconds
   and your Sorcerer will die after a few hits - or at the very most, you'll 
   get away without casting your important spell.
   Normally, this is a dead situation but if you are casting Wail of the Banshee 
   for instance, you will really want that spell to succeed seeing as it will
   destroy most of the immediate threats around you and will give you some 
   valuable time to re-cast Mirror Image and seek out a cleric for healing.
   Other times, you'll actually want to get around a group of enemies to cast
   Wail of the Banshee or Horrid's Wilting for maximum effectiveness (as
   discussed in the strategy section).  Hence, Combat Casting is essential
   for a Sorcererís survival, and more importantly, gives you some offensive
   strategies that will really boost the power of your group.

   Since this Sorcerer is going to use a lot of evocation spells, it only makes
   sense that we would want to improve them with the Spell Focus, Evocation
   feats.  You can cast many evocation spells at every spell level basically,
   so it's important to acquire these feats early.

   The Spell Focus, Necromancy feats are also essential to take since it will
   improve your Finger of Death, Horrid's Wilting and Wail of the Banshee 
   saving throw DC tremendously.  Although you don't have many lower-level
   spells to take advantage of these feats, it's best to get them early since
   you can't acquire the elemental resistance/damage bonus feats until level 12
   unfortunately (explanation for this is in the "Morninglord of Lathander"

   Now that you've reached level 12, you should acquire the elemental-based
   feats that help improve your spell list the most.  Since we stated earlier
   that this Sorcerer uses Fire and Lightning magic, we'll pick up the Spirit 
   of the Flame and Scion of Storms feats, respectably.

   At this point, there arenít a lot of good feats to take.  Spell Penetration
   was the next on my list as magic resistant creatures are more deadly in
   HoF mode, so be sure to pick those.  Dash is helpful when you cast a 
   critical spell but have many enemies grouping on you - you'll be able to get
   away quicker and outrun them.  I chose Aegis of Rime and Aqua Mortis for the
   resistance bonuses and nothing more really.

   That's pretty much for feats; Sorcerers really aren't that complex to build.
   Weapon Preferences:
   Crossbows and Missile Weapons

   Spell Selection:
   Here is a complex spell list that this Sorcerer should take as he levels.
   The spells are in the order that he should take them.  I also listed the
   spells that benefit from Spirit of the Flame and Scion of Storms, so you have
   a good idea which spells you'll want to take advantage of.  After the spell
   list, I'll take a look at the various reasons why certain spells were not
   acquired and will look into some spell strategies to help you play this
   character effectively.

   Note:  If you print anything at all from this FAQ, I would (at the very
          least) print out the spell lists for both Sorcerers as you will
          constantly be referring to them throughout the game and these lists
          are not very easy to memorize (unless you took some memory programs
          like I have :P).

   Level 1 
   Magic Missile 
   Chromatic Orb 
   Burning Hands                   (Spirit of Flame)
   Ice Dagger
   Charm Person
   Ray of Enfeeblement 

   Level 2 
   Mirror Image 
   Aganazzar's Scorcher            (Spirit of Flame)
   Protection from Arrows
   Melf's Acid Arrow
   Cat's Grace

   Level 3 
   Flame Arrow                     (Spirit of Flame)
   Lightning Bolt                  (Scion of Storms)
   Fireball                        (Spirit of Flame)
   Invisibility Sphere
   Skull Trap 
   Lance of Disruption 
   Dispel Magic 

   Level 4 
   Improved Invisibility 
   Mordenkainen's Force Missiles
   Emotion: Hope
   Fireshield (Red)                (Spirit of Flame)

   Level 5 
   Sunfire                         (Spirit of Flame)
   Animate Dead 
   Cone of Cold
   Ball Lightning                  (Scion of Storms)
   Lower Resistance

   Level 6 
   Chain Lightning                 (Scion of Storms)
   Mass Haste 
   Globe of Invulnerability

   Level 7 
   Mordenkainen's Sword 
   Finger of Death 
   Delayed Blast Fireball          (Spirit of Flame)
   Mass Invisibility
   Seven Eyes 

   Level 8 
   Horrid Wilting 
   Symbol of Hopelessness
   Summon Fiend
   Power Word: Blind

   Level 9
   Wail of the Banshee
   Mass Dominate
   Meteor Swarm                    (Spirit of Flame)

   Some Common Explanations:
   This section won't cover everything because there are just so many spells
   to comment on.  I'm going to talk about a few spells I took and why.  That
   doesn't mean these spells are better than the ones that weren't mentioned,
   it just means I had questions about these picks in the past and would like 
   to explain myself to avoid confusion.

   Since our caster is a Necromancy expert, I figured Horror might be a good
   spell to pick for crowd control reasons and to try to produce a tactical
   advantage in a quick and cheap manner.

   I found lower spells like Grease, Charm Person, etc. can be taken by your
   The Rogue/Conjurer if you really want them, since there is no penalty for
   Wizards to take these spells early.  The Sorcerors on the other hand have
   to live with these decisions through HoF mode, so it was important to choose
   the spells wisely.   There is no need to plague your Sorcerer with these
   spells over others like Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb, etc., which are helpful
   early on and throughout most of the game.

   The Sorcerors didn't focus much on Illusion spells (Invisibilty spells), 
   but we did take a few.  Improved Invisibility is really the only one worth
   taking, and even that spell isn't as useful as Stoneskin is during normal

   Since we had a character that maxed out Knowledge (Arcana), we had no need
   to go for the Idenfity Spell - The Wizard can take care of that if the skill
   isn't high enough anyway.  The Sleep spell is actually really good in the
   first few chapters of the game, but it's definately not a HoF spell.  Thus,
   it's best to memorize this spell on the Rogue/Conjurer (once again) so you
   aren't penalized for taking it.

   As for level 2 spells, someone said that taking Snillocís Snowswarm is a
   "great" choice because it's a "poor man's fireball".  Well, we concentrated
   on taking spells that actually work well in later parts of the game and this
   isn't one of them.  Fireball will always do more damage and it works in
   unison with the Spirit of Flame feat.

   As for level 8 spells, we focused on the most devastating ones while keeping
   to the essentials (we only have 4 picks here).  Most of the Symbols are not
   that helpful in HoF mode, so we only chose Symbol of Hopelessness, which has
   the best one.  In normol mode, you can have your Clerics take a few of the
   other ones if you find them important to your strategy.

   Since creatures in HoF mode have extremely high HPs (like 300+), all the
   Power Word: XYZ affects only affect 1 or maybe 2 creatures at the most.  
   Sometimes it won't affect any of them.  You are better off using Finger of
   Death or Disintegrate.

   In level 9, I thought Black Blade of Disaster was a huge ripoff.  Compared
   to Wail of the Banshee, I'd really like to know how this spell found its
   way into Level 9.  It's not even as good as Mordakanen's Sword and the
   Disintegrate effect is at +4?  Only really weak enemies would actually die
   from this effect and Wail of the Banshee can easily take them out.

   Some say that Fiery Cloud is an excellent choice because it is a fire-based
   spell (and I guess that means we are supposed to take "all" fire-based
   spells).   I found that this spell is very slow because it only damages 
   10-20 hit points to each member in a group every round.  Granted that over
   time, this could add up to 1000 hit points in total damage to a group of
   creatures, it needs one minute to do its magic and doesn't even total up to
   150 damage on a single creature.  This means it probably won't kill anything.
   Even worse, it affects your own party members as well.  This is just a
   terrible spell.  I'd rather cast a Delayed Blast Fireball and get 80-90
   damage per enemy right after the spell is triggered - it's just more

   Using Stoneskin:
   Probably the most frequent tactic with this character, as well as the Aasimar
   Sorcerer, is to buff your team with Stoneskin and Improve Invisibility.  In
   normal mode up until chapter 5 or 6, Stoneskin is really the 'broke' spell.
   Most enemies don't deal more than 10 damage per attack, so your melee
   combatants will be virtually immune or resistant to a variety of attacks.
   Remember, until 150 damage is actually taken by your character, you'll have
   Stoneskin for many minutes.  With 10/+5 damage reduction, it is doubtful that
   you will receive 150 damage in several battles.  I would suggest that you 
   put Stoneskin on your first 3 characters, since they will be in the fray for
   a majority of the game.

   Improved Invisibility:
   In HoF mode, Stoneskin loses its power since most enemies will deal 30+
   damage at a time.  Since Stoneskin only resists a total of 150 damage,
   it's not going to protect you before you probably die.  Hence Improved
   Invisibility + Stoneskin are a better combination.  This at least makes
   enemy attacks outright fail and you'll have enough copies memorized
   to put 3 copies of Stoneskin and Improved Invisibility on all your melee
   warriors (of course, melee isn't so frequently anymore, but you will need
   to melee every now and then).

   Note: Make sure that when you apply buffs to a character, you cast Improved
         Invisibility last.  This is because your spell casters cannot target
         invisible characters.  Only spells like Mirror Image that the caster
         doesn't target himself continue to work.

   Mirror Image Strategies:
   Another thing to keep in mind is that you should cast Mirror Image on your
   caster at all times, no matter if you are in Chapter 1 in normal mode or
   at the end of the game in HoF mode.  This spell will make 8 duplicates of
   yourself.  In order for the enemy to hit you, they must first 'kill' the
   8 duplicates (each image only takes one attack or spell to destroy it).
   The advantages of this are really compelling - this is not just a simple
   defense spell (although it obviously is).  This spell allows you to go
   into the heat of battle, cast a spell and then get the hell out of there
   without being hit.  Once the spell is cast and you see that most of your
   images are gone, you can simply cast it again.  Since the casting time is
   extremely low, you'll be up to full defenses immediately.

   Sorcererís Twiddling His Thumbs:
   Another commonly used strategy is to use spells like Mordenkainen's Sword,
   Chain Lightning and Finger of Death in areas where party unfriendly spells
   are not strategically viable.  You should probably use Mordenkainen's Sword
   as your primary weapon instead of your ranged weapon.  Even with the best
   ranged weapon and +5 bolts/bullets/arrows, Mordenkainen's Sword will always
   do more damage and will hit more frequently.  Since the sword is completely
   virtual, your Sorcerer can safely stand out of harms way.  Even with 2 or 3
   attacks per round, this spell is very deadly at 19-27 damage per attack and
   the spell lasts for a good length of time.  
   Note: Be sure to re-equip your ranged bolts/bullets/arrows since the engine
         un-equips them for some reason.

   Wail of the Banshee Strategies:
   Probably the best strategy for both Sorcerers is to cast Stoneskin, Mirror 
   Image and Improved Invisibility and walk in to a new area where they are 
   20+ enemies.  It's best to do this with a group of summons - treat it as you
   are there "invisible" commander if you will.  Once all the 20 enemies are
   focused on your summons, cast Wail of the Banshee and watch the fun begin!
   Conveniently, the undead will not be affected and will be there to 
   a) protect you against the creatures that saved the Wail
   b) kill off any remaining creatures
   At this point (if it is safe) you can send in the remaining party members 
   to clean up.  You can beat most of the chapters using this strategy in HoF
   mode (since you acquire Wail of the Banshee on both of your Sorcerers in
   Chapter 1.  As you will see, Wail of the Banshee is probably the best spell
   in the game and very few people resist it.  If only there was a spell to
   reduce fortitude saves...

   Speaking of fortitude saves, many creatures in HoF mode won't be killable
   in HoF mode.  This is because they have very high Constitution scores.  Here
   is a list of creatures divided by chapter to help you plan ahead (so that 
   you try to cast Wail of the Banshee and get poor results):

   Chapter 1: Troll, Hardened Fire Troll, Hardened Ice Troll, 
              Half-Goblin Hordling, Worg Rider Captain 
   Chapter 2: 
   Chapter 3: 
   Chapter 4: 
   Chapter 5: 
   Chapter 6: 

   * If you have information to add in this section, please go to the contact
     information section and email me your findings as well!  I would really
     like someone to go through the entire game and cast Wail of the Banshee 
     and come up with a detailed list since I simply don't have the time. 
     Everyone will love you for it! =)

   Note: Not all spell strategies are listed here, just the most important ones.
         If you would like to submit a "HoF-worthy" strategy with a Sorcerer
         like this, email it to me and I'll put it here or in the Aasimar

   Alternative Character Choices:

   3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)

   After inspecting the characters so far, we haven't come across one that is 
   both smart and charismatic, making a perfect party leader.  Our last slot 
   is devoted to this purpose, as well as making another capable Sorcerer (since
   the Charisma benefits of the Sorcerer overlap nicely with the leadership

   Note: This section is going to be short since many of the character 
         strategies and reasoning from the Human Sorcerer apply to the Aasimar
         as well.  If you want Aasimar specific information, it'll be here, but
         all the generic Sorcerer information is in the previous section.

   With the Aasimaar Sorcerer, we also focus on evocation spells since they are
   simply the best spells for a large chunk of the game.  Our prime schools will
   be fire (since they are always useless, are not resisted very often and occur
   more than any other element) as well as Acid spells (which are useful troll,
   zombie, etc. killers and have nice area affect spells).

   Str 8
   Dex 8 
   Con 18 
   Int 18 
   Wis 8 
   Cha 20 

   In order to fit in all the Sorcererís required skills as well as dialog
   skills, we had to pump the Intelligence to 18.  This caused some sacrifices
   to be made in Dexterity and Wisdom, both being at 8.

   This causes a few problems.  One is that you must keep this sorcerer away
   from the battle if you can.  Because of the low Dexterity, lack of armor and
   naturally low hit points of the Sorcerer class (and being one level behind),
   this character is vulnerable until you acquire spells like Mirror Image,
   Stoneskin and Improved Invisibility.  Once the character gains several
   levels, these disadvantages will soon fade away.

   It could be possible to create a character with less Intelligence and when
   choosing skill points, cycle and add ranks to the dialog skills in the same
   the Rogue(1)/Wizard(x) does with thief skills, but I'm not entirely sure how
   this will affect bonus quests since I haven't took the time to compare my 
   current skills the with the ones required for each important conversation in
   the game.

   In any case, we do have 20 Charisma to help with these dialog skills too, so
   if we get some data we might be able to lower Intelligence and add some much
   needed Dexterity.  On the plus side, 20 Charisma will make this Sorcerer a
   force to be reckoned with at high levels.  Spells like Wail of the Banshee
   will be far more successful in comparison to the Human Sorcerer since the 
   Saving Throw DC will be at a +2 advantage.  This is important because 
   Charisma boosting items are rare in the game and are sometimes inconvenient
   to use.

   A low Strength doesn't bother this character and you can even stuff all the
   quest specific items on her without having problems with weight if you want

   When you level up, I would put every single bonus ability point into
   Charisma, to further enhance the number of your spells and Saving Throw DC.
   This is the only way to take advantage of the +1 Charisma modifier that you
   can get from your Aasimar race.  This is really what makes this character
   'tick' and is the sole reason why we included her.

   Character Development:
   Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Concentration

   With 18 Intelligence, you should have enough to max out 4 out of the 5 
   skills that are required for this character.  Intimidate is the only skill
   that you can't max-out completely since it's a cross-class skill.  Thus,
   you can only put a rank in it every two levels.  This has lead me to select
   Bullheaded at level 1 to offset this disadvantage.  Again, if it can be 
   proven that the extra Intimidate score has no effect on dialog choices (i.e.
   a non-Bullheaded version could receive the same dialog options), then we
   would remove this feat entirely.

   Dragon's Eye Quest:
   There is a quest in Dragon's Eye that forces you to have a semi-high
   Intimidate skill since we sure don't have 15 points in the Alchemy skill 
   on any of these characters =)  Intimidate has many other uses in the game as 
   well during the game, so be sure to use it to get those advantages.
   Let's take a look at this character's feats:

   Feats: Sorcerer(1): Bullheaded
          Sorcerer(3): Spell Focus: Evocation
          Sorcerer(6): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
          Sorcerer(9): Spirit of Flame
          Sorcerer(12): Spell Focus: Necromancy
          Sorcerer(15): Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
          Sorcerer(18): Aqua Mortis
          Sorcerer(21): Spell Penetration
          Sorcerer(24): Spell Penetration (Greater)
          Sorcerer(27): Aegis of Rime
          Sorcerer(30): Lightning Reflexes

   As you can see, but not taking human, you set your feats development back 3
   levels and with the Bullheaded feat, you get set back even further.  This
   makes initial development frustration, but by level 15 you will be in a
   nice position.

   I think Bullheaded is an important feat because it puts out will saves back
   to a standard value that we would normally have with a Wisdom score of 10.
   This is also helpful since intimidate is a cross-class skill, so +2 in 
   intimidate helps and this is technically 4 skill points.  With +5 to all
   negotiation skills, you'll have a +3 advantage in Intimidate over a Human 
   Sorcerer with 18 Charisma and no Bullheaded feat.

   Note: Bullheaded is supposed to work for Humans and Dwarves, but the Rule
         Engine allows the Aasimar to take it as well.  I guess it thinks that
         an Aasimar is Human too.  Regardless, it works so I'm not complaining.

   Like the Human Sorcerer, we take feats Spell Focus: Evocation, Spell Focus:
   Necromancy, Spirit of the Flame, Aqua Mortis, Aegis of Rime, and Spell
   Penetration for all the same reasons.

   For the last feat, I selected Lightning Reflexes since the counterbalance the
   terrible reflex saves this character has.

   Weapon Preferences:
   Crossbows or Missile Weapons

   Spell Selection:

   Level 1 
   Magic Missile 
   Chromatic Orb 
   Burning Hands                  (Spirit of Flame)
   Ice Dagger
   Protection from Petrify

   Level 2 
   Mirror Image 
   Melfís Acid Arrow              (Aqua Mortis)
   Eagleís Splendor 
   Aganazzersís Scorcher          (Spirit of Flame)
   Snillocís Snowswarm

   Level 3 
   Fireball                       (Spirit of Flame)
   Lance of Disruption 
   Skull Trap 
   Flame Arrow                    (Spirit of Flame)
   Dispel Magic 

   Level 4 
   Improved Invisibility
   Mordenkainenís Force Missiles 
   Fireshield (Red)               (Spirit of Flame)
   Otilukeís Resilient Sphere 
   Vitriolic Sphere               (Aqua Mortis)

   Level 5 
   Sunfire                        (Spirit of Flame)
   Cone of Cold                   (Aegis of Rime)
   Lower Resistance 
   Animate Dead 

   Level 6 
   Disintegrate                   (Spirit of Flame)
   Acid Storm                     (Aqua Mortis)
   Globe of Invulnerability
   Acid Fog                       (Aqua Mortis)
   Power Word: Silence 

   Level 7 
   Finger of Death
   Delayed Blast Fireball         (Spirit of Flame)
   Mordenkainen's Sword 
   Prismatic Spray 

   Level 8 
   Horrid Wilting 
   Summon Fiend
   Symbol of Hopelessness 
   Power Word: Blind

   Level 9
   Meteor Swarm                   (Spirit of Flame)
   Wail of the Banshee
   Mass Dominate

   Alternative Character Choices:

   4. Last Words

   Well, I hope you enjoyed reading the FAQ and learned something from it.  I
   enjoyed poking away at the secrets of the game, trying to find best builds
   myself as well and writing this FAQ was a good way to assert my knowledge 
   and help people who don't have time to do all the work we did.

   4.1 - Contact Info

   If you have any suggestions to improve or fix the content in the FAQ, please
   contact me (Ken Egervari) and I'll add them to the next version.  I will, of 
   course, give you full credit for your addition, and be eternally grateful 
   to you (as well as the other readers that benefit from your information).

   If you are going to email me about this game, please put 
   "Icewind Dale II: UPP" as your email subject along with the version number 
   of the FAQ that you are looking at.  If you don't do this, I might not
   reply seeing as you didn't take the time to respect the wishes of the

   If you ask me generic questions about the game, I may or may not respond.
   I only have so much free time and I obviously can't respond to everything.
   I really tried to convert my knowledge about this game into the written 
   work that you see here, so if it concerns the UPP, it's probably here 

   As a last thought, please read this FAQ in its entirety before you ask
   questions.  I've received questions like:

   * Why don't you use 4 levels of fighter on your Battleguard of Tempus? 
     That's not very ultimate (this was explained specifically in the FAQ)

   * Why is there no ranged specialist?  You should really consider 
     abc(4)/xyz(x)! (this is strange because there actually is a ranged

   * What is min-maxing? (should probably learn D&D rules first)

   * You should use a Druid instead of a Cleric, it's better! I can't believe
     you didn't know this for being a FAQ writer (with no explanation as to
     why this is true while I had an entire section illustration my entire view)

   ... and so on and so on.

   All these questions were answered in the FAQ, so be sure to read the ENTIRE
   thing before you contact me.  I can't stress this enough.  I spent a lot of
   time making your life easier, I would only ask that you help me make mine
   a little better to.

   Email addresses:
   Here is a list of people and email addresses that made the FAQ possible.  If
   you are one of these contributors, send me a private message through the BIS
   forums and I'll add you here if you wish it.

   Ken J. Egervari (Egervari) - ken@extremephp.org
   High Cleric                - ariesburns@hotmail.com
   UnDyMaKinG                 - martin_a_petersen@yahoo.dk
   Chris Ellis (Dark Meadows) - rad_jr@hotmail.com

   4.2 - Copyright Info

   This Document is Copyright 2002 by Ken J. Egervari.
   Icewind Dale II and all related marks are copyrighted and trademarked by 
   their respective owners.  I had nothing to do with the development of
   the game and I am not affiliated with them in any way.

   This FAQ may be posted on any site so long as NOTHING IS CHANGED in part
   or in total AND you EMAIL ME telling me that you are posting it.  You may 
   not charge for, or in any way profit from this FAQ.  If you would like to 
   me write articles and FAQs for you, email me and we can work something 

   You are welcome to download the FAQ, print it out and even give it out to 
   friends (although I'd prefer that you give them the proper gamefaqs.com URL).

   4.3 - Coming Soon

   Expect future updates to this FAQ as people, like yourself, contribute new
   ideas and material.