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 email@example.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.