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    Feat Guide by mikesmgame

    Version: 1.0.1 | Updated: 05/28/05 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Icewind Dale II guide to feats version 1.0.1
    
    by Mike Marshall
    
    This guide describes the effect of each feat, the prerequisites, and how
    useful it is based on gameplay experience. I found some feats were more or
    less effective than the description suggests, and decided to write a guide
    to help other gamers avoid these problems. I hope you find it useful. I
    have sorted first by what area of play the feat affects then mainly by the
    alphabetical order, but feats that link heavily with each other I have
    placed adjacently. If anyone notices a mistake, has suggestions or
    disagrees with me, then e-mail me at ihave2manynicknames@hotmail.com, I
    have used some abbreviations and technical terms here which I assume
    everyone is familiar with, but please contact me if unsure. I am aware
    that some feats are in more than 1 section, but that is because I feel
    they should be mentioned in both.
    
    The following websites have permission to use this guide:
    
    www.gamefaqs.com
    
    www.neoseekers.com
    
    www.supercheats.com
    
    dlh.net
    
    Spellcasters' feats
    
    Elemental feats
    Requires:       can cast 4th level spells, spellcraft of 10+
    Benefit:        gives 5 resistance to that element, and 20% increase to
                    damage of that element dealt.
    These are very useful, a spellcraft of 10 is not that high a requirement
    and they can increase the quality of some spells and weapons considerably.
    It's is worth taking 2 of these as if you have a low Int then the
    requirements are quite steep. Also you are likely to use at least 2 types
    of elemental spell regularly, so it's worth taking full advantage unless 
    your character needs virtually every feat. The resistance is small on its
    own but if you have other increments to increase this then it helps, 
    especially for casting area-effect spells on your other characters that
    are surrounded.
    
    Aegis of rime
    Affects the element, cold. There are several good cold weapons throughout
    the game, but not many spells. If you use the spells or virtually only
    these weapons, this is worth taking, especially if you're taking another
    anyway; the least useful of these feats.
    
    Aqua mortis
    Affects acid damage and resistance. There are hardly any effective acid
    weapons, but the few spells are brilliant, these few spells can do a lot
    of damage anyway and the increase makes it even greater. 3rd best.
    
    Scion of storms
    Electrical abilities can be increased greatly by this. There are a few 
    good weapons and many good 3rd level+ spells that do electric damage so
    this is very useful and vital to a Stormlord of Talos. This is the 2nd 
    best elemental feat.
    
    Spirit of flame
    Fire, fire, fire. The fire spells are the best area-effect spells you 
    get, for both arcane and divine castors, and there are useful weapons 
    throughout the game that cause fire damage. The cleric order of Lathander
    has many fire spells. This is vital for any spellcaster that attacks in
    any way.
    
    Combat casting
    Benefit:        +4 concentration when injured
    This is a reasonable feat but many people seem to ignore the words, 
    "when injured", so this is only useful to castors who get injured 
    regularly not otherwise, so the enemy gets the first hit at against a 
    noticeably lower concentration. It is useful, but virtually useless for 
    arcane castors, unless they're part tanker, so don't give this to your 
    wizard or sorcerer. It is very important for clerics however, as they 
    are likely to be running up to your tankers to cast healing spells in the 
    middle of combat, so are likely to become slightly injured.
    
    Courteous magocracy
    Benefit:        Increases diplomacy and spellcraft skills by 2.
    If you have a bombardier who is also your diplomat then this is vital,
    don't bother otherwise, this is not worth getting if you are only going to
    use half the benefit, as +2 is not that significant, even to a character
    with low Int.
    
    Discipline
    Benefit:        +1 to Will saves and +2 to concentration.
    This is useful to all castors, especially arcane. Wizards, sorcerers and 
    bards generally have a low Wis and thus a low will S.T., and concentration
    is vital for all castors. This gives a small benefit to 2 of the most
    vital abilities for castors. This should be taken by any castor, though it
    is less important for divine castors.
    
    Spell focus
    Benefit:        +2 to DC of S.T. against chosen type of magic. Can be
                    taken twice to gain +4 DC.
    This is an extremely useful way to make your main type of spell even
    better. Certain orders of cleric have one vital type, especially as that
    cleric will be chosen by someone who likes that style of play. This is
    brilliant but which is all personal choice. I would take 3 or 4 ranks
    overall spread over 2 schools. I use very few enchantment spells; over
    half used by my wizards and sorcerers are evocation; I find the high level
    necromancy spells brilliant; there are several useful spells in the school
    transmutation. Morninglords of Lathander require evocation, Stormlords of
    Talos use mostly transmutation.
    
    Spell penetration
    Benefit:        +2 bonus to beat spell resistance. Can take twice.
    Sounds good? It isn't. Enemies either have such a low S.R. that your
    castor will get through it, or such a high one that they won't with this,
    there are hardly any that this would have a good effect against. All it
    does is increase the chances of damaging your own characters when you are
    casting an area-effect spell near them. Avoid this feat.
    
    Sub-vocal casting
    Benefit:        You can still cast spells when silenced.
    This is reasonable, not many enemies actually cast silencing spells, but 
    it is very annoying when they do and I prefer to avoid risking the loss of
    my spellcasting ability, even though this has only helped me 3 times in
    the game, I still like it. It won't be wasted but there are other, more
    useful feats.
    
    
    Combat feats
    
    Ambidexterity
    Requires:       15+ Dex
    Benefit:        reduces penalty for off-hand weapon by 4.
    If you use 2 weapons simultaneously most of the time then this is a vital 
    feat. Simple decision.
    
    Two-weapon fighting
    Benefit:        reduces penalties for each hand by 2.
    Again, depends on how you're using weapons. Simple. Take this before
    ambidexterity as then until you get that you can at least use your main
    weapon effectively instead of neither.
    
    Armour proficiency
    Benefit:        removes penalty for wearing armour untrained.
    This is not worth having, classes all get the level of armour they should 
    be using anyway, only a druid might want this.
    
    Armoured arcana
    Benefit:        reduces casting failure when wearing armour by 5%/point
    This is almost vital for arcane castors, as this enables them to use 
    increasingly good shields, they shouldn't have 2-H weapons anyway, so 
    should boost AC as much as possible.
    
    Blind-fight
    Benefit:        removes advantages for invisible enemies when attacking
                    you in melee.
    This is pretty useless, there are very few invisible foes, and there are
    more important things to worry about than their small benefits in melee
    attack. Don't bother.
    
    Power attack
    Requires:       13+Str
    Benefit:        you can move some from your to hit bonus to give an extra
                    damage bonus.
    This is very useful for tankers when against large numbers of weak 
    enemies. It is worth taking for your tanker(s).
    
    Cleave
    Requires:       power attack feat. Can take 2 points in this.
    Benefit:        if you kill a something then you get an extra attack that
                    round as long as you don't move.
    The 1st point in this is reasonably helpful, as when you kill an enemy you
    can do extra damage to the next one when surrounded, which your tanker is
    likely to often be. The 2nd point is useless though as that would require
    you to kill another enemy with the 1st cleave, extremely unlikely and
    means that you don't need it anyway because they are so weak. 1 point is
    worth taking for your main tanker, any more is a waste of a valuable feat.
    
    Expertise
    Requires:       13+ Int
    Benefit:        to hit bonus can be placed in AC
    This is useless to tankers as they will be using power attack instead, 
    but this should be taken by your wizard once you get your to hit bonus 
    above 3. Don't adjust ability scores to get this though.
    
    Deflect arrows
    Requires:       13+Dex
    Benefit:        +1 AC against missile weapons.
    This feat only works when you have a free hand, so is thus useless for 
    any character except monks, who get it free at 2nd level. Other characters
    will either be using a 2-H weapon, 2 weapons, or a shield, so this would
    have no effect.
    
    Dirty fighting
    Requires:       13+ Dex, 2+ BAB
    Benefit:        on a critical hit character either blinds or slows
                    opponent for 5 rounds unless F.S.T. is made.
    This is a poor feat, blindness and slow aren't that useful, and on the
    rare critical hits you don't care if they have these effects on them as
    they are likely to be dead, almost dead, or resistant to those effects.
    Don't bother.
    
    Dodge
    Requires:       13+ Dex
    Benefit:        +1 AC
    This is quite useful as AC is very important, but a +1 bonus is quite
    small and this feat should not be taken until you have all the important
    feats for the character. A good filler feat though.
    
    Weapon proficiency and specialization
    Requires:       4 levels of fighter to take 3rd point
    Benefit:        1 point removes penalties, 2 gives +1 to hit, 3 gives +2
                    damage
    If you don't have 1 point the weapon anyway then, with the exception of 
    a bastard sword, you are using the wrong weapon. Equipping a bastard sword
    and a 1-H axe will deal a lot of damage with these feats and will lead to
    a large amount of damage. The 2nd point is only worth taking on the way to
    gain the 3rd, as it gives little significance. A 3rd point makes your main
    weapon brilliant. You should have your main tanker with 4 levels of 
    fighter, and you get 3 bonus feats with those levels of fighter, so 
    maximize in 2 weapons to gain....
    
    Maximized attacks
    Requires:       W.S. in 2 weapons, 4 concentration.
    Benefit:        all attacks do maximum damage for 10s, can be used once a
                    day.
    This requirements are steep but your main tanker should take that anyway, 
    and this is a great bonus once you get it. This is vital for your main 
    tanker, whether dual-wielding or using a 2-H weapon.
    
    Heretic's bane
    Requires:       1 level in divine castor class, 4+ BAB
    Benefit:        Character gains +1 to hit and +1 damage against enemy
                    priests
    This is certainly worth getting as there are many priests that you have 
    to fight, don't add a mix-in just to get this though. But this is great 
    for paladins and tanker oriented clerics and druids.
    
    Heroic inspiration
    Requires:       1 level of barbarian, paladin or bard.
    Benefit:        When you have less than 1/2 HP character gains +1 to hit,
                    +1 damage, and +1 S.T.
    This is worth taking for barbarians and paladins, but a bard doesn't have
    the HP to make this useful, it only helps during the long battles but is
    extremely helpful in them. Not that important, but good filler.
    
    Improved critical
    Requires:       8+ BAB
    Benefit:        criticals occur on a roll of 1 lower than normal
    This is absolutely vital for your tanker, it increases chances of rolling
    a critical greatly. This should be taken the moment you can. One of the
    best combat feats.
    
    Improved initiative
    Benefit:        weapon speed and casting time reduced by 1
    This feat doesn't work, it would be good if it did, but it doesn't, the
    most useless feat.
    
    Precise shot
    Benefit:        reduces close range penalty from -8 to -4.
    This is useful for your archer, but not vital as you shouldn't end up
    firing from very close.
    
    Rapid shot
    Requires:       13+ Dex
    Benefit:        1 extra attack/round with ranged weapon. Works at highest
                    BAB but the attacks suffer -2 penalty. Doesn't work with
                    crossbows.
    This is vital for your archer and is the reason not to use crossbows. Wait
    until you have at least 2 attacks before taking however.
    
    Shield proficiency
    Benefit:        can use a shield without extra penalties
    Only rogues. monks, wizards and sorcerers don't get this. You shouldn't
    need to take this except possibly for a rogue-wizard combination.
    
    Stunning attack
    Requires:       13+ Dex, 13+ Wis, 8+ BAB
    Benefit:        Forces enemy to make F.S.T. to avoid being stunned for 1
                    round. Stunned opponents lose Dex bonus to AC, and
                    attackers get +2 on attack rolls against stunned
                    opponents.
    This is a monk feat, they get it automatically, and there is little point
    giving it to other classes. The damage done is that of an unarmed attack
    by that character, so is weak for other classes, and all bonuses gained
    through the round are cancelled by the initial reduced damage. It make
    monks much better and they get it anyway but has no point for other
    classes. Poor.
    
    Weapon finesse
    Requires:       1 W.P. in small blade, 1+ BAB
    Benefit:        when attacking with 1 small blade you can use Dex modifier
                    instead of Str on attack rolls.
    This is useless. Attacking with 1 small blade does little damage and if 
    you carry a shield then you get its armour check penalty to the attack 
    rolls. Avoid.
    
    
    Saving throw and speaking feats
    
    Bullheaded
    Requires:       Human or dwarf
    Benefit:        +1 to W.S.T. and +2 to intimidate
    This is okay as a final filler feat or is useful for your diplomat. 
    Otherwise useless.
    
    Courteous magocracy
    Benefit:        +2 to diplomacy and +2 to spellcraft
    If you have a bombardier who is also your diplomat then this is vital, 
    don't bother otherwise, this is not worth getting if you are only going to
    use half the benefit, as +2 is not that significant, even to a character
    with low Int. Also okay as a filler for your diplomat.
    
    Discipline
    Benefit:        +1 to Will saves and +2 to concentration.
    This is useful to all castors, especially arcane. Wizards, sorcerers and
    bards generally have a low Wis and thus a low will S.T., and concentration
    is vital for all castors. This gives a small benefit to 2 of the most
    vital abilities for castors. This should be taken by any castor, though it
    is less important for divine castors. It is also useful for tankers,
    especially when trying to get maximized attacks.
    
    Great fortitude
    Benefit:        +2 to F.S.T.
    This is useful for any character with low F.S.T., such as wizards, and,
    like all feats that increase S.T., a good filler.
    
    Iron will
    Benefit:        +2 to W.S.T.
    This is useful for any character with low W.S.T., such as tankers and
    wizards, and, like all feats that increase S.T., a good filler.
    
    Lightning reflexes
    Benefit:        +2 to R.S.T.
    This is useful for any character with low R.S.T., such as priests, and,
    like all feats that increase S.T., a good filler.
    
    Luck of Heroes
    Requires:       human, aasimar or tiefling
    Benefit:        +1 bonus to all S.T.
    This is useful to boost S.T. up, is just a good filler feat.
    
    Resist poison
    Requires:       gray dwarf or half-orc
    Benefit:        +4 to F.S.T. against poison, can only be taken at 1st
                    level.
    This is useless, you are very rarely attacked with poison and those races
    have high Con, and thus high F.S.T. anyway. Avoid.
    
    Snake blood
    Requires:       human
    Benefit:        +2 to F.S.T against poison and +1 to R.S.T., can only be
                    taken at 1st level.
    This isn't dreadful as R.S.T. are important, but the bonus to S.T. against
    poison is pointless. There are much better fillers available, that you can
    take when you are filling in feats. Don't bother.
    
    
    Class feats
    
    Rogue
    
    Arterial strike
    Requires:       1 rogue level, 4+ BAB
    Benefit:        can sacrifice 1d6 sneak attack damage to inflict bleeding
                    wound that causes damage over many rounds.
    This is poor. It is okay against the strongest enemies as then you do more
    damage in total, but it doesn't work against most enemies, as you want to
    finish them off quickly. Poor filler feat.
    
    Crippling strike
    Requires:       10 rogue levels
    Benefit:        reduces Str by 1 for every die of sneak attack damage the
                    character inflicts.
    This is a reasonable feat, as by the time you can get this the Str
    reduction will be -5. Not bad but there are better feats.
    
    Envenom weapon
    Requires:       8+ alchemy
    Benefit:        1st attack with weapon causes F.S.T. or target loses 1d6
                    Con. This happens once/round for 10 rounds.
    This feat is poor, as the enemies which are strong enough to be worth
    damaging over time generally have high S.T., and anything with enough Con
    for this to have good effect is certain to. Dreadful.
    
    Hamstring
    Requires:       3 rogue levels
    Benefit:        character can sacrifice 2d6 sneak attack damage to reduce
                    target's movement to 1/2 for 10 rounds
    This is another poor rogue feat, reducing enemies movement is unimportant
    and of little use. If you really want to then there are spells that do
    this to large numbers of enemies instead of a mere 1. The damage loss is
    noticeable. Virtually useless.
    
    Improved evasion
    Requires:       10 rogue levels
    Benefit:        if rogue fails reflex save then (s)he only takes half
                    damage.
    A brilliant rogue feat, this is almost worth taking 10 levels of rogue
    for. This should certainly be taken if you can.
    
    Slippery mind
    Requires:       10 rogue levels
    Benefit:        if a character fails a W.S.T. then can attempt S.T. again
                    1 round later.
    This is a reasonable feat, though you should aim to have high enough S.T.
    to avoid needing a 2nd try. It does help sometimes, but I would prefer to
    boost my S.T. rather than take a 2nd chance.
    
    
    Barbarian
    
    Extra rage
    Benefit:        can use rage 1 extra time a day
    This is worth taking, but only at higher levels as generally you should
    have enough before a rest. Only if you find that you are regularly resting
    to replenish this should you consider this feat. This could be taken to
    full once you have greater tireless rage though, as then you'll be using
    the rage ability almost every battle.
    
    Heroic inspiration
    Benefit:        when you have less than 1/2 HP character gains +1 to hit,
                    +1 damage, and +1 S.T.
    This is worth taking it only helps during the long battles but is
    extremely helpful in them. Not that important, but good filler.
    
    
    Druid
    
    Extra wild shape
    Requires:       3 druid levels
    Benefit:        can change shape 1 extra time a day
    This is of some use as it saves on healing spells, but shape-shifting
    regularly is ineffective for most purposes. This is for personal
    preference.
    
    Wild Shape, Boring beetle
    Requires:       5 druid levels
    Benefit:        can shift into boring beetle
    This is a pointless feat, you naturally have much better forms to shift
    into and this is worse in almost every way, slower, weaker, not great HP.
    Avoid.
    
    Wild shape, Panther
    Requires:       5 druid levels
    Benefit:        can shift into panther
    This is slightly better, the panther is reasonable, but you get a dire
    panther later, and you should be taking spell focus and S.T. feats before
    this one. Don't bother.
    
    Wild shape, Shambling mound
    Requires:       8 druid levels
    Benefit:        can shift into shambling mound
    This is the only extra shape that can be worth taking. However all the
    elemental shifts are much better and spell focus or defensive feats are a
    much better investment, as are the elemental feats. Can consider, but
    wouldn't advise.
    
    
    Paladin
    
    Extra smiting
    Requires:       2 paladin levels
    Benefit:        can use an extra smite evil each day.
    Because you need many of your characters to be evil to protect against
    blasphemy at the end, this ability is poor. This should be avoided unless
    you have no evil characters, which makes the end of the game almost
    impossible. If you use the ability you should still have enough anyway.
    Avoid.
    
    Extra turning
    Requires:       3 paladin levels or 1 cleric level
    Benefit:        can turn undead 1 extra time a day
    Turn undead is of little use in this game, as most of the undead in this
    are ones you have summoned. I wouldn't use the ability anyway, and even if
    you do, then you shouldn't need more times. Avoid.
    
    Fiendslayer
    Requires:       8 paladin levels, W.F. in large or great swords
    Benefit:        gets +1 to hit and +1 damage against chimeras, demons,
                    dragons and half-dragons
    There are very few of these creatures and the requirements are steep as
    paladin levels beyond 3 are of virtually no value. Not worth it.
    
    Heroic inspiration
    Benefit:        when you have less than 1/2 HP character gains +1 to hit,
                    +1 damage, and +1 S.T.
    This is worth taking it only helps during the long battles but is
    extremely helpful in them. Not that important, but good filler.
    
    
    Cleric
    
    Extra turning
    Requires:       3 paladin levels or 1 cleric level
    Benefit:        can turn undead 1 extra time a day
    Turn undead is of little use in this game, as most of the undead in this
    are ones you have summoned. I wouldn't use the ability anyway, and even if
    you do, then you shouldn't need more times. Avoid.
    
    
    Bard
    
    Lingering song
    Requires:       1 bard level
    Benefit:        bard song lasts 2 rounds after bard stops playing
    This is vital if you take a bard. It allows the bard to cast quick spells
    and have the song effects at the same time. If you can take this then do.
    
    
    Miscellaneous
    
    Dash
    Benefit:        character moves 15% faster than normal.
    Barbarians and monks are naturally faster than others, this can be taken
    as a filler feat for a tanker or decoy, but has little other use. Don't bother.
    
    Forester
    Benefit:        +2 to wilderness lore.
    Wilderness lore is only useful in the Fell Wood maze, and that is the only
    point in the game. It is the 2nd most useless skill and makes this one of
    the most useless feats.
    
    Mercantile background
    Requires:       human, aasimar, tiefling, deep gnome, or gray dwarf.
    Benefit:        5% store bonus on buying and selling
    Money is of little issue in this game, except initially; those that want
    to save every penny however can give this to a character only if they are
    a human with 18+ Cha, otherwise it is wasted. Deep gnomes and duergar have
    Cha penalties which cancels this out anyway so this is useless there. I
    wouldn't bother.
    
    Strong back
    Benefit:        can carry 50% more weight.
    This can be worth taking if you have a character with a Str below 12 who
    needs armour. But you should really be aware when creating this character
    to give him/her extra Str. Shows bad planning. This only benefits
    characters with 10-13 Str, otherwise the increase is small, and 14+ Str
    should be plenty. This is poor.
    
    Toughness
    Benefit:        +3 HP, can take up to 5 times
    This is pretty poor, if you have 14+ Con then HP shouldn't be a serious
    issue, and below that is dreadful for all characters. Tankers get hit a
    lot so need high HP and F.S.T., so should have high Con anyway. Castors
    have low HP and need concentration so should have high Con anyway. 3 HP is
    not worth a feat anyway and 15 HP is certainly not worth 5 feats. I would
    only consider a feat that gave HP if gave at least 10, otherwise I'd add
    in a level or 2 of barbarian.
    
    I have gained most of this information from gaming experience and the
    manual, but I tested several points because I saw a mention of them in the
    guides by: Jukka Mikkonen, Mike Malone and Kaichern Tee.
    
    This guide is copyright 2005 by Michael Marshall. Icewind Dale is
    copyrighted by the companies who developed it. I am not associated in any
    way with any company or person involved in the creation of this game. This
    may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private
    use. It may not be placed on any website or otherwise distributed publicly
    unless you e-mail me a request and recieve a reply giving permission. Use
    of this guide on a unpermitted website or as part of any public display is
    strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.