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    Ranger Guide by DarthMuffin

    Version: 2.2 | Updated: 03/29/07 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                    NeverWinter Nights : Hordes of the Underdark
                                     Ranger Guide
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    By DarthMuffin aka Dark_Coffee and many muffin/coffee names  |
    E-Mail : See Contact Info Section                            |
    Started on : December 25, 2003                               |
    Posted on : May 8, 2004                                      |
    Last Update : March 29, 2007                                 |
    Version : V2.1                                               |
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    “If you bring a Ranger with you, it is well to pay attention to him [...]”
    -Gandalf the Grey, The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring by 
    J.R.R. Tolkien.  
    
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    |                            A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR                         |
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    My guide will soon celebrate it’s 2nd anniversary (it is crazy how fast time 
    goes on).  As I am writing this, it has in fact been exactly 2 years since I 
    started to write this guide.  To celebrate this happy happening, I have added 
    three small sections and done some correcting and editing (see the What’s 
    New? Section for additional details).  The most noticeable part of the update 
    is that it essentially “cleans” the guide; I previously added a lot of 
    information about everywhere which resulted some rather incoherent passages.  
    
    Like you probably know if you read any previous version, I hate to see people 
    labelling their guides as “final”.  So even after two years, I will still 
    respond to any questions or comments sent to me and will update the guide if 
    some corrections are to be made.  I would also add builds or strategies from 
    readers, but (believe it or not) it is really a time consuming thing to do 
    and I often wonder if it is really of help to anyone.  Can’t say people 
    really help me; few use a correct subject (and since I have 3 guides up, my 
    inbox can turn in a mess).  
    
    Why am I writing all this right at the start?  Well, this is probably the 
    last update for a long time.  The truth is that I seldom play NWN anymore.  
    Not because it is old (Baldur’s Gate is still my favourite game, and I enjoy 
    playing it at least once a year), but because it is flawed.  Yes, flawed.  I 
    know it is weird to say that after writing a 75+ pages guide (I do not regret 
    doing this though), but most of you already know what I think about the 3.0 
    DnD rules.  While a good game, I never considered NWN to be one of the best 
    RPG for it is time.  After playing it so much, I really know the ins and outs 
    of the system; I am as such aware that it is a really imbalanced game (this 
    is partly due to the DnD rules).  
    
    Anyway, I am sure you are not here to read my little rant.  I just wanted to 
    thank everyone because, let’s face it, if you are still looking at NWN 
    guides, you are probably a very dedicated NWN or Ranger fan.  NWN survived 
    because of it is strong community.  
    
    So thanks everyone for reading my work; it has been a really great experience 
    for me to write this (and I did notice an improvement in my English because 
    of this guide).  I hope you find something useful in here.  Do not hesitate 
    to contact me via e-mail for any Ranger-related questions!
    
    *** POSSIBLE RANGER GUIDE FROM ME FOR NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2 ***
    
    Those of you who have “followed” my guide since its early days might 
    remember that I said on multiple occasions that I would write a Ranger guide 
    for NWN2 as soon as possible.  
    
    I definitely intend to write one eventually, but I cannot give a clear 
    estimate.  The reason?  University started for me in September, and it’s 
    taking a lot of my time.  More so than I had expected, to be honest.  And I 
    actually plan to spend the little “computer gaming time” I have to play the 
    actual game rather than look at Microsoft Word for more long hours.  
    
    I guess most of you simply don’t care, but since I had pretty much promised 
    a NWN2 guide, I figured I should add a note to set things straight.  Also, 
    there seems to be already a ranger guide up, and it appears that the author
    keeps it updated. I have not read it, and probably won’t, but I think I 
    might do as I did for the first game and wait for an expansion before
    joining in the fray. 
    
    For those of you who will jump to NWN2 right away, don’t forget to create a 
    Ranger (and make use of the nice Wood Elf race with favoured class in 
    Ranger) as soon as possible!
    
    -Patrick B. a.k.a. DarthMuffin
    
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    |                                     NOTES                                 |
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    -I do not PvP unless I am forced to.  You won't find any good strategies 
    regarding duels in this guide.  Besides, Rangers are not the top duellers 
    around.  
    
    -Please note that English is not my primary language, so there are probably 
    some (many) spelling/grammar mistakes here and there, and even some typos.  
    Feel free to correct them if you want to, but I am sure that my guide is 
    perfectly understandable.  
    
    -Finally, I would like you to read the introduction section before the rest 
    of the guide, just for the heck of it.  
    
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    |                                  WHAT'S NEW?                              |
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    V2.2
    
    Minor edits. 
    
    V2.1
    
    See the note at the end of the “Word from the Author” section above.  
    
    V2.0
    
    Pretty small update, though I give it the 2.0 version number because I do 
    think this is the first “archive” version.  NWN’s golden age has passed, and 
    there won’t be many new pieces of information for me to add.  
    
    Like I previously said, this is by no mean a “final” version.  
    
    a) I added a new section, Blasphemies and Myths of NWN, in which I list some 
    concepts and ideas that are commonly accepted by the community, but that are 
    not really true when you give it some thinking.  
    b) As some of my previous readers probably know, I am more of a single 
    player.  However, I rarely play the same adventure more than two times (i.e. 
    it is been quite some time since I even considered playing the official 
    campaigns).  I added the section DarthMuffin’s Favourite Modules, in which I 
    obviously list the (in my opinion) best modules out there.  Also, these 
    modules were played with a Ranger build of some sorts (usually a dexterity 
    build, most of the time the one outlined in the Favourite Build section).  I 
    hope some of you find this list useful.  
    d) I read the whole thing again, correcting minor issues, and sometimes 
    dropping bits of wisdom.  I also “cleaned up” the whole thing.  I am 
    especially proud to say that my guide is now free of the word “stuff”, which 
    I now realise is really pitiful (some people use it in their mails though; 
    that’s not my fault!).  This is still, after all, the flagship of my work 
    concerning games, so I need to polish it whenever I can =).  
    
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    |                                 INTRODUCTION                              |
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    I wrote this because I realised that many people underestimate Rangers.  I 
    saw some horrible topics with "Rangers SUCK" as the subject.  At first, you 
    may think it is true... When you look at what they get, you can think that 
    favoured enemies are not worth the loss of the fighter's weapon 
    specialisation, the barbarian's rage or the paladin's saving throws.  Also, 
    you have to stay in light armour if you want to use their Dual Wield feat, 
    which is actually Ambidexterity and Two Weapon Fighting all in one.  The 
    catch is that even if your Ranger does not meet the requirements for these 
    feats (and Improved Two Weapon Fighting at level 9), he will still get them.  
    As for the favoured enemies feats, they helped you to kill the tougher 
    enemies (if you chose them, and you should have).  Do not forget that the 
    bonuses are cumulative, and at level 20 you would do +5 against each of your 
    favoured enemies.  
    
    Light armour is not really a problem.  If you play an Archer or a 
    Dexterity/Finesse Ranger, you'll have a great AC.  If you play a strength 
    Ranger, you can easily boost it with Bracers of Dexterity or your second 
    level spell Cat's Grace.  
    
    With the coming of Epic Levels, your Ranger continues to gain favoured 
    enemies each five levels.  So at level 40, you have a +9 against hated 
    enemies.  Also, once you reach level 21, you will be able to choose the Bane 
    of Enemies feat, which allows you to deal 2d6 extra damage against them.  And 
    what's even better is that every three levels past 20, Rangers get a bonus 
    feat, in which Favoured Enemy is.  As a consequence, you can potentially have 
    nearly every enemy in the game as a favoured enemy... That's GREAT.  That 
    means that you can do the usual +9 and the additional +2d6 against everything 
    you run into!
    
    In this guide, I will try to do my best to explain the possible builds and 
    gameplay strategies I used.  Of course, feel free to send any good 
    information you know about Rangers.  Just be sure to check the e-mail section 
    at the end.  
    
    Finally, I have to say that I make a lot of references to role-playing and 
    powergaming.  I am not a very good role-player (but I try to!) because it 
    really bugs me to pick useless feats because of role-playing reasons.  The 
    same thing goes for attribute spreading.  However, being a pure Ranger fan, I 
    have some kind of grudge against powergamers who multiclass every single 
    character to get bonuses here and there.  I will try to stay general in my 
    builds, but this is not a guide for those who like to multiclass.  Also, if 
    you're a hardcore role-player, please do not get on me if you think my builds 
    are too much geared for powergaming (like I said before, I can't stand 
    raising charisma because it gives nothing good to my Ranger).  
    
    Note 1 : when I write "thief", I, of course, mean "Rogue".  I am just 
    used to the old 2nd Edition DnD rules.  Sorry if any Rogue players are 
    offended :).  
    
    Note 2 : Some people told me that I was one heck of a Lord of the Rings 
    addict.  Some liked this, others did not.  I can’t deny the fact that LotR 
    does have a lot of influence over the choices I make in NWN, but I do believe 
    that (at least as of this 2.0 version) I am more objective about everything.  
    Let me tell you this however : DnD exists because of LotR.  
    
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    |           NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO DnD ROLLS (Table of Content follows)          |
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    Those who understand the DnD system should go to the Table of Content right 
    away.  
    
    I wrote this section because I did not understand crap about the Attack 
    and Damage rolls when I first played NeverWinter Nights.  In my opinion, the 
    game manual does not give a simple breakdown of these rolls, and there are 
    probably many people out there who do not understand.  I will keep this VERY 
    simple, just to make sure you understand the basics.  If you want to learn 
    more about all the rules, I would suggest reading a specialised guide 
    (DSimpson's great guide is available here at gamefaqs).  
    
    First off, you have to understand what those dX mean.  "d" stands for "die".  
    The number following the "d" is the number of sides the die has.  Normal dice 
    are d6, or dice with 6 sides.  In NWN, all the rolls are made with a d20 (20 
    sides die).  Thus, you can roll from 1 to 20.  Some weapons use 2d6 to 
    calculate their damage; 2d6 means that you roll a d6 (6 sides die) two times.  
    As a consequence, the minimum roll would be 2 and the maximum 12.  
    
    Ok, lets get started with the attributes.  
    
    At character Creation, you have to spend your 30 attribute points in the 
    desired sectors.  Note that it is possible that you only end up with 27 
    points at creation; that means that your class needs a specific number of 
    points in a certain attribute.  In the case of the Ranger, the game 
    automatically sets your wisdom to 11, since you need at least 11 in wisdom to 
    cast your first level spell (you can't lower it).  
    
    Now, we were saying that you had to spend your 30 points.  Since the coming 
    of the really crappy (personal opinion here) 3rd edition rules, you can't 
    just pump a crazy amount of points in one attribute.  As you add more points, 
    the cost for each point goes up.  For example, a human who wants to raise his 
    strength from 13 to 14 will cost him 1 point.  If he wants to raise it again 
    from 14 to 15, it will cost two.  Here's how it works :
    The 6 first points cost 1 point each
    The 7th and 8th points will cost 2 points each
    The 9th and 10th points will cost 3 points each
    The 11th and 12th points will cost 4 points each
    Et cetera.  
    This table works for any race.  For example, an elf starts out with a 
    dexterity of 10; raising it to 16 will cost 6 points, and 10 points to 18.  
    Elves also start with 6 constitution; raising it to 12 costs 6 points, while 
    raising it to 14 costs 10.  
    At levels 4,8,12,16,20,24,28,32,36 and 40, you get to raise one attribute by 
    one point.  If your strength is at 19, you can raise it directly to 20 when 
    you hit one of these levels.  That being said, it is better to raise many 
    attributes at character creation and then pump points in one attribute than 
    raising a single attribute at the beginning and spreading the points you get 
    when you level up in the others.  
    See the end of the section for an example with a sample character.  
    
    Right next to the number of points you have in an attribute, you'll see 
    another number with a "+" or a "-" in front of it.  An attribute with 10 
    points in it has a "+0".  Any attribute over 10 has "+X", and any attribute 
    under 10 has "-X".  This is the ability modifier.  This the number used to 
    calculate the various rolls.  You DO NOT get any modifier for an odd numbered 
    attribute.  Here's a breakdown :
    6 --- -2
    7 --- -2
    8 --- -1
    9 --- -1
    10 --- 0
    11 --- 0
    12 --- +1
    13 --- +1
    14 --- +2
    15 --- +2
    16 --- +3
    17 --- +3
    18 --- +4
    Et cetera.  
    
    Now, it gets interesting.  How do I know if I will hit my enemy?  You'll have 
    to check your Attack Bonus (if any) in your character sheet.  What the hell 
    is an attack bonus?  Simply put, it is your ability to hit with a certain 
    weapon, and it is calculated with your ability modifier and special feats 
    (weapon focus, two weapon fighting).  For example, you have 14 strength and 
    weapon focus in short sword : your attack bonus would be 2 (14's modifier) + 
    1 (weapon focus) = 3 + base attack.  Your base attack goes up as you level in 
    a certain class (you can get these attacks in the tables at the end of your 
    manual).  A level 1 cleric, who has a 0 base attack, with 16 strength and no 
    feats would have an attack bonus of 0 + 3 + 0 = 3.  Again, see the end of the 
    section for an in-depth example.  Keep in mind that melee weapons use the 
    strength modifier to calculate the rolls (except if you chose the weapon 
    finesse feat.  In that case, the "finessable" weapons (dagger, short sword, 
    rapier etc.) will use the dexterity modifier) and ranged weapons (bows, 
    crossbows) use the dexterity modifier.  
    
    To succeed in hitting an enemy, your roll (a d20 in NWN's case) + your attack 
    bonus must beat the enemy's AC.  It is as simple as that.  For example (yes, 
    I 
    like examples), lets say you roll a 12 : add your attack bonus (we'll keep 
    the cleric with 3) = 15.  If your enemy has an AC lower than 15, you hit.  An 
    AC of 15, you hit.  An AC higher than 15, you miss.  Also, a roll of 20 is an 
    automatic hit, and 1 is an automatic miss.  
    
    Weapons also have critical thread range.  Let's take a short sword, with a 
    thread of 19-20/x2.  If you roll a 19 or a 20, your next attack will do 
    double damage.  Axes, with a thread of 20/x3, will critical only on a 20 
    roll, but will do triple damage.  
    
    For the damage rolls, it is even easier.  First, check your weapon's base 
    damage.  Let's take a short sword, which has a damage potential of 1d6 (1 to 
    6 damage points).  Weapons use the strength modifier to calculate the damage, 
    so lets say that our character has a strength of 14 (+2).  The damage 
    potential would be :
    1 to 6 + 2 = a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8.  
    Two handed weapons (Great Sword, Great Axe et cetera) use your strength 
    modifier multiplied by 1.5.  For example, a fighter with 14 strength wielding 
    a great sword would do :
    2d6 + (2 x 1.5) = 2 to 12 + 3 = min of 5 and max of 15 damage.  
    Feats like the fighter's weapon specialisation add to the damage.  The same 
    fighter with weapon specialisation in great swords would do :
    2d6 + (2 x 1.5) + 2 (w.spec.) = 2 to 12 + 3 + 2 = min of 7 and max of 17 
    damage.  
    Finally, off-hand weapon only takes one half of your strength modifier.  For 
    example, if you have 14 (+2) strength and you dual wield short swords, your 
    damage would look like : 
    1d6 + 2 = 3 to 8 (main hand)
    1d6 + 1 = 2 to 7 (off-hand)
    
    Now, you know the basics.  Lets have an example with a sample character.  
    
    Bob is a level 4 human fighter.
    His attributes are : 
    STR 16 (+3) --- 6 x 1 + 2 x 2 = 10
    DEX 10 (+0) --- 2 x 1         = 2
    CON 16 (+3) --- 6 x 1 + 2 x 2 = 10
    WIS 10 (+0) --- 2 x 1         = 2
    INT 12 (+1) --- 4 x 1         = 4
    CHA 10 (+0) --- 2 x 1         = 2
    Total                         = 30
    
    He has, among others, the weapon focus and weapon specialisation feats in 
    long swords.  
    
    His attack bonus would look like :
    4 (base attack) + 3 + 1 (focus) = 8
    
    His damage would look like :
    1d8 + 3 + 2 (spec) = min of 6 and max of 13.  
    
    I hope that those of you who did not understand now have a better idea.  Like 
    I said before, it is a great idea to read a guide on the DnD rules (there's a 
    really good one at gamefaqs.com); you'll learn a lot, and will enjoy the game 
    much more.  Ah... I miss the 2nd edition rules so much...
    
    Of course if you do not understand anything, BioWare's "the higher the 
    better" (quoted from the manual) will do fine.  Now, lets get started with 
    the Ranger...
    
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    |                               TABLE OF CONTENT                            |
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    Section A : The Ranger>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SATR0:
    1 – Why a Ranger? ................................................... :SATR1:
    2 – Ranger versus Other Fighting Classes............................. :SATR2:
    3 – Ranger Pros and Cons............................................. :SATR3:
    
    Section B : Types of Rangers>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SBTR0:
    1 – Strength Ranger.................................................. :SBTR1:
    2 – Archer........................................................... :SBTR2:
    3 – Finesse Ranger................................................... :SBTR3:
    4 – The 3.5 DnD Edition Ranger....................................... :SBTR4:
    
    Section C : Creating your Ranger>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SCCR0:
    1 – Race............................................................. :SCCR1:
    2 – Abilities........................................................ :SCCR2:
    3 – Skills........................................................... :SCCR3:
    4 – Feats............................................................ :SCCR4:
    5 – Animal Companion................................................. :SCCR5:
    6 – Favoured Enemies................................................. :SCCR6:
    
    Section D : Divine Spells>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SDDS0:
    1 – Level One Spells................................................. :SDDS1:
    2 – Level Two Spells................................................. :SDDS2:
    3 – Level Three Spells............................................... :SDDS3:
    4 – Level Four Spells................................................ :SDDS4:
    
    Section E : Equipment>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SEEQ0:
    
    Section F : Multiclassing>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SFMU0:
    1 – Core Classes..................................................... :SFMU1:
    2 – Prestige Classes................................................. :SFMU2:
    
    Section G : Ranger Archetypes>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SGRA0:
    
    Section H : Playing Tips>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SHPT0:
    1 – General Tips..................................................... :SHPT1:
    2 – Concerning Archers............................................... :SHPT2:
    3 – Concerning Finesse Warriors...................................... :SHPT3:
    4 – Being a Ranger................................................... :SHPT4:
    
    Section I : Reader’s Submissions>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SISR0:
    
    Section J : Favourite Build>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SJFB0:
    
    Section K : NeverWinter Nights Official Campaigns>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SKOC0:
    
    Section L : Blasphemies and Myths of NWN>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SMBM0:
    
    Section M : DarthMuffin’s Favourite Modules>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SNFM0:
    
    Section N : Conclusion>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :SLCO0:
    1 – Contact Info..................................................... :SLCO1:
    2 – Copyright ....................................................... :SLCO2:
    3 – Versions......................................................... :SLCO3:
    4 – Self Promotion................................................... :SLCO4:
    5 – Thanks........................................................... :SLCO5:
    
    Navigation : Copy (ctrl-c) the code at the end of each line, use the find 
    command (ctrl-f) and paste (ctrl-v) the code to quickly jump to a specific 
    part of the guide.  Please let me know if one of the does not word.  
    
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    |                           SECTION A : THE RANGER                   :SATR0:|
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    1 – Why a Ranger? ----------------------------------------------------:SATR1:
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    Well, I have to say that I have my reasons.  First off, I am a huge Lord of 
    the Rings fan, and Aragorn is my favourite character.  In case you did not 
    read the books (or see the recent movies), Aragorn is a Ranger.  My second 
    reason is that I think Rangers are cool, plain and simple.  You got to like 
    those skilled warriors of the woods, who can fight many enemies or hunt down 
    a specific target.  
    
    As far as role-playing is concerned, you need to have a good reason to play a 
    Ranger.  Also try to write his story : why did he become a Ranger?  Is it 
    because he's fleeing the law?  Or was he raised by Druids or other Rangers?  
    For you powergamers out there, you'll probably want to have every single 
    enemy in the game as your favoured enemy.  I guess that's it.  
    
    Rangers are good warriors, with a d10 for their hit points and the 
    traditional warrior base attack bonus.  Their special abilities are : 
    
    -Limited Divine Spellcasting
    -Favoured enemies
    -Dual Wielding (Light Armour only for ambidexterity and two weapon fighting; 
    improved two weapon fighting, at level 9, can be used even in heavy armour)
    -Animal Companion
    -Animal Empathy as a class skill (beside the Druid, the Ranger is the only 
    class who has it)
    -Some class feats, such as trackless steps
    
    Also, Rangers get the most skills of the warrior classes (equal to 
    barbarians), and their class skills include Heal, Discipline, Hide, Move 
    Silently, Craft Traps, Set Traps and the usual Craft Armour and Weapon.  
    Craft and Set Traps are really great skills.  Since the coming of SoU, you 
    can create your traps, which helps since you do not have the Thief's Disable 
    Traps to recover traps.  
    
    Bane of Enemies is now fixed (it was broken).  Rangers are now officially the 
    best damage dealers in the game!
    
    It is also important to clarify something straight at the beginning : rangers 
    are not normal warriors.  They’re supposed to be the “professionals”.   
    Therefore, a ranger focussing on archery is not your traditional soldier in 
    uniform who’s releasing an arrow when the commander shouts.  Also, rangers 
    are traditionally self-reliant, and do not rely on others.  That’s why they 
    are skilled in many domains, and are usually ranged/melee hybrid warriors.  
    
    It also requires a certain state of mind to play a ranger (on the role-
    playing side, that is).  The DnD system of classes really gave roles to each 
    person in a party (in my opinion anyway).  For example, the paladin is the 
    leader, the barbarian is the thick guy who bashes everything, etc.  The 
    ranger is more of a support class; one who will fight, use skills and share 
    bits of wisdom once in a while.  Therefore, a Ranger is not a class for 
    someone who likes to be the one in charge, or the centre of attraction in the 
    party.  You’ll find me obsessed (and it is partly true) by the Lord of the 
    Rings, but I will give Aragorn in the first half of Fellowship as the 
    traditional Ranger (before Gandalf “dies”).  In fact, the Ranger class exists 
    in DnD because of Aragorn in the first place.    
    
    If you're still not convinced on how Rangers are nice to play, I highly 
    suggest that you go to nwvault.ign.com and download the really good 
    modules "Kale's Rangers" by gwhicker.  Those modules will show you how 
    versatile Rangers are, and how to use their skills.  Before playing these, I 
    thought that animal empathy was the worst skill in the game, but I changed my 
    mind...  And these modules are perfect to play your first Ranger, also.  Be 
    warned that the author has most likely stopped playing NWN, so the 3rd and 
    final (?) chapter of the series will never come out.  
    
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    2 – Ranger versus Other Classes --------------------------------------:SATR2:
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    Some elements to compare Rangers to the four other warriors (Fighter, 
    Paladin, Barbarian, Monk).  I will also drop the very few tips I have on 
    duels here.  That being said, I must say that, unlike any other information 
    found in this guide, my duelling tips are completely based on mathematics and 
    theory.  In other words, I would be lying if I said that I once tried these 
    strategies in duels.  What can I say?  I do not like killing other players.  
    
    Versus Fighters : 
    
    It is easy here.  Fighters get more feats and Weapon Specialisation.  That's 
    all.  Weapon Specialisation is not THAT great.  If you're a fighter, you'll 
    obviously pick it, but it is not a must for the other classes.  If you 
    really, really, really want it, wait for epic levels so that you can pick up 
    both Normal and Epic Weapon Specialisation.  As for the additional feats, 
    they get so many that it will become a pain to pick feats that give bonuses 
    to your build.  Of course it is great to have them, but do not forget that 
    your Ranger has Favoured Enemies, an Animal Companion and some Spellcasting.  
    You also get your Dual Wielding feats for free.  On the long run, I do think 
    it is better to stick with your favoured enemies; they’ll prove to be better 
    than specialisation.  
    
    I have read many posts saying that there's no reason to level a Ranger beyond 
    9 for the dual wielding feats.  In my opinion, it is exactly the contrary.  
    Fighters give you feat... and only feats.  Unless you want to create some 
    kind of crazy warrior specialised in all the weapons, there's no point in 
    levelling a fighter beyond 10 or so.  Ranger levels will give you those nice 
    favoured enemies and a pretty strong animal companion; I think that's a LOT 
    better than taking Improved Power Attack and Blind Fight as your fighter's 
    bonus feat (the list is not that long, you know).  Of course if you're a 
    thief who wish to dual wield, 1 or 9 Ranger levels will suffice, but what I 
    am saying is that you should really limit fighter levels in your build.
    
    Duels against fighters should be rather uneventful.  Most fighters will run 
    to you and swing at your head.  Getting as many arrows as you can in their 
    belly while they close up is crucial.  For that reason, called shot is 
    extremely useful for both slowing them down and reducing their attack and 
    damage.  When they are right in front of you, get that (those) sword(s) out 
    and hack away.  Do not forget to buff up your pet.  I suggest either the bear 
    or wolf for general use or the panther if you are sure that the fighter will 
    focus on you.  
    
    Versus Barbarians : 
    
    Barbarians get more hit points per level, can rage and get uncanny dodge.  
    Their only weakness is that they can't wear heavy armours, but it can be 
    easily obtained by multiclassing.  Surprisingly, adding some Barbarian levels 
    to your ranger is a really good idea.  You get some additional hit points and 
    uncanny dodge, which is useful since you stay in light armour.  Personally, I 
    consider Barbarians superior to fighters in many ways.  If you're looking for 
    powergaming, I encourage you to multiclass to Barbarian (if you’re melee, 
    that is), but try not to sacrifice too much your Ranger levels to keep a 
    decent animal companion.  
    
    In short, Barbarians are much like Rangers (role playing wise).  As a matter 
    of fact, it is not difficult to role-play a multiclass Ranger/Barbarian.  
    
    Comparing a 3.0 Ed. Ranger to a Barbarian is quite difficult.  Both of them 
    get the same amount of skill points, so one of the Ranger’s biggest advantage 
    is off (but the Ranger’s class skills are still more useful that the 
    Barbarian’s).  I will have to stick with the Favoured Enemy and Animal 
    Companion bonuses to glorify Rangers again.  Of course an enraged barbarian 
    with high strength and constitution is very dangerous, but so you are if 
    you’re hiding in the shadows, ready to shoot one of your favoured enemy with 
    a huge composite longbow.  
    
    Duels against barbarians should be similar to those against fighters, except 
    that they are really more durable.  I must emphasise the use of called shot 
    again.  
    
    Versus Paladins : 
    
    Paladins are also much like Rangers, in some ways.  They are the fighting 
    version of the Clerics, just as Rangers are the fighting version of the 
    Druids.  Paladins usually stay in heavy armour, and are much like fighters.  
    They have some nice abilities, such as immunity to fear, divine grace and lay 
    of hands.  They also get Turn Undead, which is very nice.  However, past 
    level 3 or so, they do not get anything special beside upgrades to Turn 
    Undead and Lay of Hands (which are great abilities, and they’re worth the 
    focus on Paladin).  It could be a good idea to get immunity to fear and 
    divine grace by multiclassing, but it is not THAT important.  Also, your 
    charisma will probably not be very high (probably 8 or 10).  As for role-
    playing, Lawful Good Rangers are rare (but everything is possible).  Being an 
    old school BG fan, I think it is a bad idea, for role-playing reasons, to 
    multiclass paladins.  
    
    Paladins can add their charisma modifier against evil creatures through Smite 
    Evil.  Your ranger has a constant bonus against his favoured enemies.  And it 
    applies all the time.  In my opinion, Favoured Enemies are better.  I said 
    before that paladins are much like Rangers; the main difference is that 
    Paladins are more defensive (shield, saving throws, Turn Undead, etc.) and 
    Rangers are more offensive (favoured enemies, dual wielding, animal 
    companion).  
    
    For duels, the same strategy as for fighters applies.  If, for some extremely 
    odd reasons, you are an evil ranger, get ready for more trouble.  
    
    Versus Monks : 
    
    Monks are a very special class, and it is hard to compare them to others.  I 
    am not even sure if they can be considered as a warrior class.  Just to 
    glorify the Ranger once more, I will add that they get more hit points (and 
    the usual Favoured Enemy, et cetera).  
    
    Even though they have less hit points than fighters, Monks have that nasty 
    deflect arrow feat, so you will probably end up fighting in melee more than 
    shooting.  
    
    Versus Clerics : 
    
    Clerics are really overpowered in NWN, with great spellcasting and melee 
    abilities.  Fortunately, Rangers have an advantage over fighters when dueling 
    clerics : the dexterity modifier to armour class applies to save against 
    harm, the dirtiest and most imbalanced spell in the game.  Remember that 
    archery and dual wielding are great for disrupting their spells.  
    
    Versus Druids : 
    
    In many ways similar to Clerics, they will have a slightly lower Armour Class 
    than clerics but have a pet with them.  Be careful if it is a panther.  Stick 
    to the usual strategy for the rest.  
    
    Versus Rogues : 
    
    They can’t backstab you if you face them.  An outnumbered and backstab-less 
    rogue can’t do a lot.  Watch out for dirty rogue/shadowdancers.  
    
    Versus Bards : 
    
    With a mix of arcane casting and brawling, bards are the jack of all trades.  
    Most Bards will probably have multiclassed into something else, like fighter 
    or rogue.  They will probably start by casting some buffs (and perhaps a few 
    offensive spells) and then melee you.  I guess that trying to disrupt them at 
    the start is the way to go.  
    
    Versus Wizards/Sorcerers
    
    The way I see it, the outcome of a duel against an arcane caster is 
    determined right at the start.  If the mage gets around casting his 
    protective spells, then your chances of winning are slim.  Once again, spell 
    disruption should be the priority.  Against an arcane caster, arrows should 
    be the way to go.  All the better if you have access to magic arrows that add 
    some damage over time (acid damage).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 – Ranger Pros and Cons ---------------------------------------------:SATR3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Pros : 
    - Rangers use d10 for the hit points
    - Rangers use the warrior's BAB progression, i.e. BAB equal to level
    - Rangers get Dual Wielding feats for free
    - Rangers can cast some nice spells
    - Rangers can summon an animal companion
    - Rangers have lots of skill points, and a nice set of class skills
    - And, best of all, Rangers have favoured enemies
    
    Cons : 
    - Dual Wielding works in light armour only – Actually, that's not really bad
    - Rangers get their Animal Companion at level 6
    - Rangers only get to cast 4 levels of spells (oh come on, it is a fighting 
    class, alright?)
    - NeverWinter Nights does not like archers
    
    As you can see, the Cons are not really bad...  In the end, it all comes down 
    to your playing style.  To enjoy your Ranger, you'll have to understand that 
    you're not a Barbarian or a fighter, neither a thief (and that’s very 
    important to catch).  You'll have to use your Traps sometimes, if you cannot 
    beat a certain monster.  Read my personal rant (Being a Ranger) in the 
    Playing Tips section.   
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                         SECTION B : TYPES OF RANGERS               :SBTR0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The following sections will provide you with good "skeleton builds".  Even 
    though they are perfectly playable, it is always great to personalise your 
    Ranger the way you like.  If you want an example, look at the "Favourite 
    Builds" section to see what I did.  
    
    The type you will choose here is focusing on a particular weapon.  Keep in 
    mind, however, that Rangers are typically ranged and melee hybrids.  So most 
    melee build should also carry a bow, and archers should have a longsword or a 
    shortsword ready.  
    
    -=Strength builds versus Dexterity builds=-
    
    I recently witnessed yet another topic on the BioWare forums about Rangers.  
    The discussion quickly turned in a Str vs Dex debate, each side having some 
    representatives.  However, as usual, strength seemed to be more popular than 
    dexterity for the obvious reason : strength allows you to deal more damage.  
    This is just another proof of what I am saying in my “Being a Ranger” rant in 
    the Playing Tips section : NeverWinter Nights is all about damage.  Anyway.  
    I added this small discussion to list the pros and cons of each style of 
    play, and, of course, give my opinion along the way (though I am sure that 
    anyone who has already read my guide knows where my choice lies).  
    
    Strength Builds
    Pros
    -More damage
    -Kill enemies faster
    -Can carry more equipment (...)
    Cons
    -Less AC (we assume that a Ranger will stay in Light Armour)
    
    Dexterity Builds
    Pros
    -Higher AC
    -More important for skills
    -Allows the successful use of a bow (or any other ranged weapon)
    Cons
    -Less damage
    -Slower at dispatching enemies
    
    For many people (well, most people actually), the single fact that a 
    strength-based ranger will do more damage is a seller.  Overall, yes, 
    strength is better for a melee Ranger.  However, dexterity builds are viable, 
    unless you play in a high magic world, which is full of ridiculously powerful 
    items (but then, you should also have overpowered weapons to break damage 
    resistance).  
    
    The main argument in favour of dexterity builds is the added AC.  It is, of 
    course, a great asset.  But we must not neglect the fact that many skills 
    useful to a Ranger are based on dexterity.  Furthermore, every Ranger is 
    meant to wield a bow once in a while, and dexterity gives the upper hand.  
    Finally, dexterity builds will usually dual wield, granting them 2 extra 
    attacks.  
    
    Conclusion : 
    
    Generally, strength is indeed better, because of all the flaws of NWN.  
    However, from a role-playing side, dexterity is, in my opinion, the way to 
    go.  Rangers are meant to be, since the coming of the 3.0 rules, finesse 
    warriors and archers; better to be prepared right away for the change to 3.5 
    in NWN 2, in which Rangers have fully matured in the ways of dexterity.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – Strength Ranger --------------------------------------------------:SBTR1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The Strength Ranger will obviously focus on his strength and damage.  You 
    have two choices : you can ditch your Dual Wielding feats, and pick up (or 
    multiclass for) the Heavy Armour feat (you can also just stay in medium; more 
    appropriate, in my opinion) OR you can stay in light armour and Dual Wield.  
    I will discuss both forms separately.  
    
    A – Single Weapon -----------------------------------------------------------
    
    This Ranger does not care about Dual Wielding.  He will find the best armour 
    available to him (probably between medium and light armour).  Why not create 
    a fighter instead?  Well, true to say, I think it is useless to level a 
    fighter after level 4 or 6. If you really want, you can start as a fighter 
    and then take ranger levels.  Also keep a good composite bow (Cat's Grace 
    will give you the dexterity you need to shoot) to add your great strength 
    modifiers to the damage.  This is, in my opinion, one of the most simple 
    Ranger build available, though it does not really represent a DnD Ranger.  
    
    B – Dual Wield --------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Who said you had to be a dexterity based Ranger to use your dual wielding 
    feats?  Light armour is not really bad, you know.  It will let you use your 
    hiding skills, which is great.  Also, Rangers look better in light armour 
    (just imagine a guy living in the woods with a full plate on O_o).  You will 
    need a higher dexterity score than with the Single Weapon Ranger, and that's 
    why I recommend being an elf.  With cat's grace, your AC will be fine.  You 
    can choose any weapons you want; some people will say that wielding two 
    medium weapons gives you too important penalties, others say that the –4 will 
    barely bother you at higher levels.  Just mess around with builds and see 
    which one you like the most.  Beware, however : the –4 penalty is not that 
    bad *at higher levels*; you still have to live your way to those high levels, 
    and I can assure you that a –4 penalty is crazy at lower levels.  Also keep a 
    good bow!  We’re getting closer to a real Ranger here.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Archer -----------------------------------------------------------:SBTR2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Like it or not, but the traditional Ranger _is_ the Archer.  In every game 
    besides DnD, Rangers are archers.  Think Robin Hood.  
    
    Archers will want to find a good composite bow, so that they can add some of 
    their strength to their damage (you need that if you are not an Arcane 
    Archer).  You’ll probably want to be Elven, to get your dex as high as 
    possible.  If you want, you can easily become an Arcane Archer by taking some 
    Wizard levels (wiz is Elf’s favoured class, also).   
    
    Since they fixed Bane of Enemies (in the last patch), pure Rangers are now 
    better at dealing damage with a bow than Arcane Archers (unless you play a 
    X10/AA30 build).  Of course you’ll need to use some magical arrows to pierce 
    through damage resistance and your attack bonus will be lower than an arcane 
    archer, but it is just another proof that rangers are not a useless and 
    underpowered class.  
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 - Dexterity/Finesse Ranger -----------------------------------------:SBTR3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This is another great build, since it lets fight in melee and shoot enemies 
    with your bow.  This Ranger will focus on his dex, but will have a good 
    strength and constitution as well.  You will stay in light armour to get the 
    Dual Wielding feats and your AC will be great because of your high dexterity.  
    This build will do less damage than Strength ones, because, of course, of the 
    strength.  You will not get feats such as Devastating Critical, but you can 
    get Blinding Speed (in case you play on a PW where the cheesy Boots of Speed 
    are prohibited).  In short, you sacrifice damage for AC and better ranged 
    attacks.  Many people consider this one the real Ranger.  
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 – The 3.5 DnD Edition Ranger ---------------------------------------:SBTR4:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    What the bloody hell is that??
    
    NeverWinter Nights is based on the Third Edition Dungeon and Dragons Rules, 
    or 3.0 DnD for short.  3.5 DnD are, you guest it, the newer rules.  
    
    There has been a lot of changes, and the general rule is that 3.5 is better 
    than 3.0.  Because of the very strict Aurora engine (and the laziness of the 
    people at BioWare’s... but they’re doing a great job anyway :) ), 3.5 rules 
    will never be officially incorporated in NWN.  However, you can download 
    files that change (with the content available in NWN) the rules to 3.5.  I 
    did not bother downloading the whole thing; I just downloaded the files for 
    the Ranger.  You can get this by searching “3.5 Ranger” or “3.5 Rules” (if 
    you want the whole thing) at nwvault.ign.com.  
    
    Note that you probably won’t be able to play online when you have these files 
    in your folder (I haven’t tried it myself).  You just need to take back the 
    files and everything should be fine.  
    
    Here is a brief overview of the official 3.5 Ranger :
    
    I will only list what I think is relevant.  Note that I do not own a 3.5 
    handbook, so there might be some mistakes here.  Info comes from my own 
    research, mostly from gaming boards.  
    
    -Hit Die : d8
    -Skill points at character creation : (6 + Int Modifier) * 4
    -Skill points per level : 6 + Int Modifier
    -No longer has set trap as a class skill (in my opinion, this is the only 
    real downside of the 3.5 rules.  And it does not make any sense either.)
    
    -Weapons and Armours proficiencies : All simple and Martial weapons, light 
    armour and shields.  
    
    -4 levels of spells
    
    -BAB equal to character level
    
    -Saves : Reflex and Fort good, Will weak.  
    
    -Feats (at different levels) : Favoured enemies, Track, Wild empathy 
    (replaces animal empathy skill), Combat Styles (archery or two weapon 
    fighting), Endurance, Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Evasion, Camouflage, 
    Hide in Plain Sight
    
    As you can see, the 3.5 is a lot better (well, for archers and finesse).  
    
    And here’s what you get by downloading the files (I use those by Avyne) : 
    
    -Hit Die : d8
    -Skill points at character creation : (6 + Int Modifier) * 4
    -Skill points per level : 6 + Int Modifier
    
    -No longer has medium armour proficiency at character creation.  
    -Combat Style at level 2 (2 files included : archery (Point Blank Shot) and 
    two weapon fighting (Ambidexterity and two weapon fighting)).  
    -Improved Combat Style at level 6 (archery : Rapid Shot and dual wielding : 
    improved two feapon fighting)
    -Evasion at level 9
    -Hide in Plain Sight at level 17
    -Discipline as a class skill (though this was fixed with HotU)
    
    It is still better than nothing!
    
    As you can see, an archer or dexterity/finesse Ranger is the way to go here.  
    Strength builds are far less effective because of the lower hit points and 
    the loss of medium armour.  
    
    For the Lord of the Rings fans out there, let’s look at it with some 
    examples...
    
    Advanced DnD and 2.0 DnD Ranger --> Aragorn
    3.0 Ranger --> Movie Aragorn (dual wield sometimes)
    3.5 Ranger --> Legolas (movie or books, depend if you’re dual wielding or 
    not)
    
    Legolas is not a Ranger, but he’s the closest character in LotR to a DnD 
    Ranger (excluding the tracking skills).  
    
    For those who do not know what LotR is (O_o), think Kevin Costner in Robin 
    Hood : Prince of Thieves.  
    
    Of special note, I would like to mention the very friendly Disney movie (TV) 
    Princess of Thieves.  Keira Knightley, who plays Robin Hood’s daughter, 
    perfectly represents the look of a Ranger (by this I mean the way she’s 
    dressed).  It is not an awesome movie (and it is obviously for young kids), 
    but I just think that you can get a pretty good look at the traditional 
    "Archer-Ranger".  And I do care a lot about the look of my characters :)  
    
    For the BG fans, think Kivan.  
    
    Some people like these changes, others do not.  True to say, greatsword 
    fanatics are probably crying now (well, maybe not crying, but you get my 
    point).  I personally happen to agree with these changes (gasp!), though this 
    is just my opinion.  See my personal rant in the Being a Ranger part of the 
    Playing Tips section.  
    
    Conclusion on the builds : 
    
    The game really tells you that the typical (DnD) Rangers are the 
    Dexterity/Finesse Rangers.  While it is probably true (in most cases), 
    Strength Rangers (and Archers!) are also really fun to play.  
    The breakdown is actually really simple : 
    
    Great melee damage, all around build : Single Wielding
    Good melee damage, more attacks : Strength Dual Wielding
    Crazy ranged combat : Archer
    Average melee damage, good ranged potential : Dexterity/Finesse
    
    Finally, the 3.5 Ranger is beefed up a little, and is perfect for Finesse or 
    Archer builds.  
    
    Keep in mind however that being a Ranger, you will have a higher Dex than 
    other fighting classes so basically, almost every build can effectively use a 
    bow (do not forget cat's grace!).  Some builds are more bow dependant, others 
    use their bow as a backup.  If you are not playing a heavy armour/12 or 10 
    dexterity ranger (and in that case you have a serious problem), you should 
    always have a good old bow in your inventory (just to show people that you 
    are proud of being a Ranger :D).  Also, having a bow in your hands looks a 
    lot better than the over-the-shoulder two hander animation (the dual wielding 
    animation is not that great either...).  In case you were wondering, I do 
    like bows (very much ^_^).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                     SECTION C : CREATING YOUR RANGER               :SCCR0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    I will assume that you can choose a gender yourself, as well as a name, etc.  
    
    For the portraits, however, those that come with NWN are not that great for 
    Rangers.  You should check on the vault for more appropriate pictures (there 
    are, in the hall of fame, two extremely great portraits for elven rangers).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – Race -------------------------------------------------------------:SCCR1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Human :
    
    Human is the most basic race.  Simply put, you can't go wrong with human.  
    They do not have any bonuses to attributes, but they do not have any 
    penalties either, which helps to make a well rounded character.  The extra 
    feat at first level is really nice, especially if you're not a fighter.  The 
    extra skills are also nice, and often underestimated.  Finally, you can 
    freely multiclass a human, which is nice when you want to do crazy class 
    configuration.  
    
    Elf : 
    
    Elves are cool.  They have a bonus to dexterity, but a penalty to 
    constitution.  In the Ranger's case, this is not a really bad trade-off, 
    since you need a high dexterity for your armour class, and it will let you 
    use your bow also.  The favoured class can be a problem, but if you're like 
    me and do not like to multiclass your characters, it is not a problem.  Keen 
    senses is good bonus to have, and immunity to sleep and resistance to 
    enchantment is really helpful.  Finally, their racial weapons give some 
    quality weapons to classes who do not get martial proficiencies.  
    
    Elf is probably the best choice for any pure Ranger build (or Arcane Archer 
    build).  
    
    Yes, I know.  I am obsessed by elves.  Since I read LotR and saw the movies, 
    I just can’t play anything else than an elf...  Sorry for the biased 
    information :).  I can assure you, however, that elves are truly among the 
    top choices for most ranger builds.  
    
    Half-Elf : 
    
    Half-Elves are actually Humans who give up the extra feat and the extra 
    skills for some various elven bonuses.  In my opinion, it is not a bad trade-
    off, but powergamers generally avoid half-elves.  If you are like me and 
    can't stand being a puny mortal (Tolkien... Tolkien...), this is a good race 
    to take if you can't stand the elven attributes.  Unfortunately, the game 
    uses human models, so you're stuck with an obese character (Human male models 
    are *horrible*).  
    
    Dwarf :
    
    Dwarf may sound like an odd choice for a Ranger, but since the coming of the 
    3rd Edition Rules, they have a penalty to charisma instead of dexterity.  
    Their bonus to constitution is welcome, and charisma is not important for a 
    Ranger anyway.  Their special abilities are always welcome.  Finally, you 
    would have to keep multiclassing with fighter only, which is not really bad 
    since you will probably play a strength ranger with a dwarf.  Interesting 
    option : try a Dwarven Archer (O_o), just for the heck of it.  
    
    Half-Orc :
    
    Half-Orcs are ugly and stupid.  Their bonus to strength is obviously nice for 
    Strength Rangers, and charisma is not important anyway.  Intelligence, 
    however, is more important because of skills, and having a penalty here is 
    not welcome; you should keep it at least at 8.  The Barbarian favoured class 
    is nice, because as I said before, Barbarians levels can surely help your 
    Ranger.  
    
    Gnome : 
    
    Gnome is not a good choice for a Ranger because of the penalty to strength.  
    Also, being a small race, they cannot wield the big and bad weapons we want 
    (no longbow >_<).  Leave the gnomes, they won't help you for this class.  
    
    Halfling :
    
    I never liked Hobbits.  The bonus to Dexterity is nice, but the penalty to 
    strength is bad.  Once again, halflings are small creatures and cannot wield 
    big scary weapons.  Halfling might be a fine choice for a dexterity/finesse 
    ranger, but Elf is really better (Halfling + dual short swords = -4 penalty, 
    so you would have to use short/dagger or dagger/dagger).  
    
    Ok, so here are the races I recommend for each build (in no real order).  
    
    Strength – Single Weapon Ranger : Human, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Elf, Half-Orc
    
    You will want either to stay with general stats, of to buff your strength or 
    constitution.  Half-Orcs have a penalty to intelligence, and therefore will 
    have less skills.  While it is not crucial, it can hurt.  Personally, I think 
    that powergamers should go with either Dwarf or Human, and role-players will 
    want humans or Half-Elf (or Dwarf and Half-Orc, since, after all, role-
    players do anything they want).  Elf is more if you want a better AC, but 
    you’ll have to live with the lower hit points.  
    
    Personally, I usually play Half-Elf since I can't stand being a mere mortal 
    (LotR persona shows up!).  
    
    Strength – Dual Wielding Ranger : Elf, Human, Half-Elf, Dwarf
    
    I do not recommend Half-Orc here, since this build is more skill dependant 
    (you may need to use your traps and hiding).  Dwarf will have his usual Con 
    bonus, and Cha is not important unless you want an extensive use of Animal 
    Empathy.  Elf will get a bonus to his AC, which is good since you use light 
    armour only.  Humans and Half-Elf are the basic choices.  Personally, I think 
    the four races are good, but I would go for elves.  
    
    Archer : Elf, Half-Elf, Human
    
    Elf is obviously the best choice, because of Dex bonus.  Half-Elf is an 
    alternative, tough powergamers will want to stay with Elf.  Both races can 
    become Arcane Archers, though you may not want to sacrifice your favoured 
    enemies for Arcane Archer levels.  Human is a decent choice (more skills and 
    a feat), but you can’t become an Arcane Archer.  Good if you want to 
    multiclass to rogue.  
    
    Dexterity/Finesse Ranger : Elf, Human, Half-Elf, Dwarf
    
    The same as for Strength Dual Wielding, though I recommend Elf or Human.  If 
    you want to fight enemies in close combat more, go with a Human so that you 
    can have a higher constitution.  If, however, you want to use your bow, take 
    an Elf.  Personally, I usually pick Elf (I like Elves!) but either choice is 
    good.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Abilities (Stats) ------------------------------------------------:SCCR2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    ***Note : Lately, I have discovered the wonders of Intelligence.  Raising Int 
    to 12 or 14 gives more skill points, and that is really great.  Also, I 
    consider Rangers to be smart people (they fight with strategy), so it helps 
    on the role-playing side.  I did not list the new abilities (except for the 
    Archer and finesse), so you’ll have to do the work yourself (!).  But 
    intelligence is more important for archers and finesse anyway.  ***
    
    Strength – Single Weapon Ranger
    
    Human and Half-Elf
    STR : 16 + levels
    DEX : 14
    CON : 14
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    This is a good, solid build.  I kept DEX at 14, since you will probably want 
    to keep medium or light armour (if you want heavy, then lower it to 12 or 
    even 10).  Personally, I prefer keeping it like that to be able to 
    effectively use my bow (I like bows :D).  
    
    Dwarf
    STR : 16 + levels
    DEX : 12
    CON : 16
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    Pretty much the same build, except that we sacrifice CHA in favour of CON, 
    which is quite good if you do not mind about Persuade or Animal Empathy.  Not 
    much to say here; try this build if you want some change from the usual 
    Human.  If you want to stay in medium armour, lower CHA to 6 (O_o) and raise 
    DEX to 14.  
    
    Half-Orc
    STR : 18 + levels
    DEX : 12
    CON : 14
    INT : 08
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    I do not have much experience with Half-Orc, so I will keep this easy.  It is 
    still the same build, modified by the obvious Half-Orc's abilities 
    adjustment.  For you powergamers with a "Damage RULZ" motto, this is the 
    one.  Same thing as for the Dwarf for the CHA/DEX spread (I wouldn't touch 
    INT though).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Strength – Dual Wielding Ranger
    
    Human and Half-Elf
    STR : 16 + levels
    DEX : 14
    CON : 14
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    As you can see, we still have the same original build.  It might be a good 
    idea to add some points in Dex because of the armour requirement (must be 
    wearing Light Armour).  I admit that I only played once with this build, so I 
    do not have much experience here.  I guess it would work fine though.  
    
    Dwarf
    STR : 16 + levels
    DEX : 14
    CON : 16
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 06
    
    This one is your typical ugly Dwarf (but can a Dwarf really be ugly?).  Once 
    again, it is the exact same build with more DEX instead of CHA.  For advanced 
    players, I guess.  
    
    Elf
    STR : 16 + levels
    DEX : 16 + levels
    CON : 12
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    This is the one I recommend for Strength Dual Wielding.  With Cat's grace, 
    your AC will be great, and the lower hit points are not really a problem.  
    What I usually do is to drop two points into DEX so that I can take full 
    advantage of heavier light armours (like the 3/4 armours).  This way, I am 
    not dependant on cat's grace for my AC.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Archer
    
    Elf
    STR : 14              STR : 14              STR : 16
    DEX : 18 + levels     DEX : 16 + levels     DEX : 16 + levels
    CON : 12              CON : 12              CON : 12
    INT : 10              INT : 14              INT : 10
    WIS : 14              WIS : 14              WIS : 14
    CHA : 08              CHA : 08              CHA : 08
    
    Raising DEX after 18 at character creation, is, in my opinion, a waste of 
    points.  As you can see, there are a lot of different builds for archers.  
    The first one is the straight build, focusing on Dex.  The second one gives 
    more skill points, which is great.  The last offers more damage via Composite 
    Bows.  I usually play the second build (my new favourite Ranger build).  
    
    Half-Elf and Human
    
    I just do not know what to do with Half-Elves (and Humans).  Might as well 
    stick with elves for Archers.  If you have some good point distribution, send 
    them in.  I might come up with something on my own though.  Half-Elf (Human) 
    would be more for role playing value, and more emphasis on CON or STR than 
    DEX.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Dexterity/Finesse Ranger
    
    Human and Half-Elf
    STR : 14
    DEX : 16 + levels
    CON : 14
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    This time, we put more emphasis on DEX.  With the Weapon Finesse feat, you 
    will be able to fight in melee, and a great DEX score also means that you can 
    be a good Archer.  I would put all additional attribute points in DEX.  
    
    Dwarf
    STR : 14
    DEX : 16 + levels
    CON : 16
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 06
    
    An odd choice for a DEX based character (I am used to the old 2nd Ed., where 
    Dwarves had a penalty to DEX), the Dwarf is actually a good choice.  You get 
    more hit points, and CHA is not that useful anyway.  
    
    Elf
    STR : 16                 STR : 14
    DEX : 16 + levels        DEX : 18 + levels
    CON : 12                 CON : 12
    INT : 10                 INT : 10
    WIS : 14                 WIS : 14
    CHA : 08                 CHA : 08
    
    This is the best Finesse Ranger build (IMO), because it combines both a melee 
    fighter and an archer.  You have two choices here : either drop everything in 
    DEX, or boost your CON by two points and then everything else in DEX.  Both 
    way works fine, but I personally prefer focussing on DEX (at worst, you can 
    still take Epic Toughness or Great Constitution later).  The second build is 
    an alternative, with a slightly lower damage for a higher attack bonus.  You 
    might want to raise INT for much needed skill points.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 – Skills -----------------------------------------------------------:SCCR3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Like I said before, Rangers are the most skilled of the warrior classes.  
    Every Ranger should make good use of their skills : they get a good amount of 
    points, and some of them are really useful and will save your life more than 
    once.  
    
    Animal Empathy (Class Skill) : 
    What you think I am going to say : this skill is useless, do not pick it.  
    What I am actually telling you : It is a great skill.  Really.  No sarcasm, I 
    swear!  You see, sometimes it is just nice to get some extra help, and 
    animals are found almost everywhere (especially outdoors!).  Also, if you're 
    getting overwhelmed by an amazingly high amount of animals, a successful 
    check on that big bear can turn the tide of the battle.  It is not a crucial 
    skill, but it is sure nice to have.  
    
    Concentration (Class Skill) : 
    Skip this one.  The few spells you have will almost always be cast before 
    combat.  It *could* help to cast a healing spell during combat, but you're 
    not a cleric.  Also, you do not get many useful healing spells...  Alright, 
    it also helps you to resist taunts...  Can anyone send me a screenshot of a 
    monster taunting a character?  Thanks.  
    
    Disable Trap (Cross-Class Skill) :
    It is generally a bad idea to choose cross-class skill, and you're not a 
    thief.  I would skip this one, since there are more important skills to get.  
    Of course it would be nice to have an "infinite" amount of traps for your set 
    traps skill, but since it is a cross-class skill, you would have to waste too 
    many precious points to make it useful.  I do like to drop a point here in 
    party situations, since it lets me flag the traps I spot (only a single point 
    is needed).  
    
    Discipline (Class Skill) : 
    A great skill.  It helps you to resist knockdown and other nasty special 
    attacks, which is nice.  However, I must say that I rarely see enemies who 
    are using knockdown non-stop (and I told you I never PvP).  Take it if you've 
    got nothing better to take, or if the PW you play on has scripted monsters 
    spamming knockdown and disarms.  Remember : a Ranger is not an AC god.  A 
    single knockdown can ruin your day.  
    
    Heal (Class Skill) :
    Another really great skill.  Healing Kits are cheap to buy and can heal great 
    amount of hit points (way more than potions, except Heal potions, of course). 
    Do not forget that it is linked to WIS, and you should have 14 WIS.  Max this 
    one, you never know when you need healing, and sometimes there's no cleric 
    around.  
    
    Hide (Class Skill) : 
    If you're in Heavy Armour, forget this one.  If, however, you stay in medium 
    or light armour (and you should, in my opinion) this one is great.  Ok, you 
    won't be able to backstab like a thief, but you can scout ahead to spot 
    possible enemy locations and then position yourself to attack.  This is one 
    of the skills I would max.  
    
    Listen (Class Skill) : 
    I am not a fan of Listen.  Frankly, I do not remember a single situation 
    where I wished to have some points in listen.  I would skip it and leave it 
    to thieves.  I heard, however, that it lets you see enemies behind closed 
    doors.  If that’s true, then it is useful (and quite cool).  I usually pick 
    it for the sake of role-playing, and to see annoying hiding thieves.  
    
    Lore (Class Skill) : 
    This is an average skill.  It helps you to identify items, and sometimes help 
    to read some special inscriptions and the like.  Shops can identify for a 
    small (100 gold) fee.  I never saw any other use of lore outside BioWare's 
    campaigns.  I would dump a couple of points in here only for the OCs, and 
    perhaps if you're playing in a heavy role-playing/story PW.  Otherwise, skip 
    it; your intelligence is not really high either.  
    
    Move Silently (Class Skill) : 
    Same as hide.  Max this one if you're in light or medium armour.  
    
    Open Lock (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    You're still not a Thief.  Forget this one; you can always bash chests and 
    doors open.  
    
    Parry (Class Skill) : 
    I just do not know about this one.  Some say that it sucks, others say it is 
    good.  First off, you can only parry the number of attacks you have each 
    round.  So if the enemy has more attacks (more levels), you're screwed.  
    Also, there's the old saying "the best defence is to attack".  
    
    I tried it recently, and found it decent.  It is nice when you’re surrounded 
    by enemies (and the animations are great if you dual wield).  
    
    Perform (Forbidden) : 
    N/A
    
    Persuade (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    First, it is a cross-class.  Second, your charisma will not be high.  
    However, role-playing wise, most Rangers are supposed to be reclusive, so you 
    could create a really interesting character by putting points in persuade (a 
    social Ranger!).  Personally, I prefer to leave this one to Paladins, Clerics 
    and Sorcerers.  
    
    Pick Pocket (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    This one is for Thieves.  You're a Ranger, so you actually have some honour.  
    And I doubt that pick pocket will give you loads of cash either.  
    
    Search (Class Skill) : 
    Not bad.  If you're Elf, you can get the full bonuses even when running.  
    It is usually nice to see traps before you run into them.  Also helps to see 
    hidden doors and the like.  I would drop points.  
    
    Set Trap (Class Skill) : 
    With thieves and assassins, Rangers are the only other class to get this one 
    as a class skill.  Since you do not have remove trap, you'll have to buy your 
    own traps or craft them.  This one can be quite useful, but if you play in a 
    party, I would leave this to thieves.  If you're soloing, it might be a good 
    bet to drop a few points here.  I generally take this one in multiplayer as 
    well, just in case.  
    
    Spot (Class Skill) : 
    As for listen, I do not think this is really crucial.  You still have a bonus 
    against your favoured enemies, and that's enough, in my opinion.  Some 
    modules have scripted events for Spot checks, so I usually pick it.  But for 
    the OCs, it is not really good.  
    
    Taunt (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    I am not sure, but I think that taunted creatures get a lowered AC.  It is a 
    cross-class skill and it is useless (actually, I never really bothered trying 
    it).  Leave this one.  
    
    Use Magic Device (forbidden) : 
    N/A
    
    Appraise (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    There are better skills out there, plus it is a cross-class skill.  Remember, 
    you're not a thief with ungodly amounts of skill points.  Also, if you fail 
    the appraise check the first time you visit a shop, you cannot roll a new 
    check until you raise the number of points you have in the skill.  Finally, 
    there's plenty of ways to get gold in NWN, and it is a bad idea to waste 
    precious skill points for a small discount.  
    
    Tumble (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    I actually wished this was a class skill.  The AC effect is the best, in my 
    opinion.  Since it is a cross-class skill, I wouldn't really recommend it, 
    but if you have points to waste (you shouldn't), I would drop them here.  
    Humans might want to use their bonus skill into this (or set trap).  
    
    Craft Trap (Class Skill) : 
    Great, since you do not have unlimited traps via remove trap.  If you do not 
    care about using traps, this one is, of course, useless.  Also, it is not 
    supported in every PW, so be careful.  
    
    Bluff (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    Just leave this one.  If you really want a diplomatic ranger, take persuade 
    instead.  
    
    Intimidate (Cross-Class Skill) : 
    See bluff.  I would leave these to Barbarians.  
    
    Craft Weapon (Class Skill) : 
    Great for role-playing, but not that useful.  It lets you customise your look 
    and create some basic weapon.  I would avoid this one, since it is not 
    crucial.  But it is nice to create your own weapons...
    
    Craft Armour (Class Skill) : 
    See Craft Weapon.  
    
    Conclusion on Skills : 
    
    While you have the most skill points of the warrior classes, keep in mind 
    that you're not a thief.  Your limited skills should be placed exclusively in 
    useful/crucial skills, except for role-playing purposes.  
    
    Here are the skills I usually take : 
    
    Hide
    Move Silently
    Animal Empathy
    Heal
    Set Trap
    Search
    Listen
    Spot
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 – Feats ------------------------------------------------------------:SCCR4:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Since you do not have the fighter's bonus feats, you need to carefully choose 
    them.  Depending on your build, you have to take the most important feats 
    only.  Also plan your epic levels feats, so that you do not mess up your 
    stats (if you want to take Great Attributes feats).  Like for the skills, I 
    will list all the feats, giving my opinion on each of them, and then 
    recommend specific ones at the end.  
    
    Alertness : 
    The bonuses are not worth a feat.  
    
    Ambidexterity : 
    You get this one for free at level 1, though it only works if you stay in 
    light armour.  
    
    Armour Proficiency Light : 
    You get this one for free at level 1.  
    
    Armour Proficiency Medium : 
    You get this one for free at level 1.  
    
    Armour Proficiency Heavy : 
    Take this one if you are a more fighting Ranger.  Keep in mind that your DEX 
    will be higher than the other classes, so you may be better to stay in medium 
    or light armour.  You can also multiclass for this one.  By no means a must 
    (and a heavy armour Ranger is weird).  
    
    Called Shot : 
    Since the last version of my guide, I completely changed my opinion on this 
    one.  It is really great, especially for archers.  With Leg Shots, you can 
    slow down enemies _a lot_ and then just shoot them to death.  Arm Shots are 
    useful against bosses, so that they hit you and your buddies a lot less.  Do 
    not forget that they’re cumulative.  I would get this one if you’re an archer 
    or a Finesse Ranger.    
    
    Cleave : 
    Get it if you're going to fight in melee.  This one is really great.  The 
    free attacks really helps when you're being surrounded.  
    
    Combat Casting : 
    You're not a Cleric.  Read my skill description of concentration for more 
    information.  Also, the small bonus is not worth a precious feat.  
    
    Deflect Arrows :
    Too many prerequisites.  Leave this one to monks.  Deflecting a single arrow 
    per round is no big deal either...
    
    Disarm : 
    The 13 INT requirement hurts.  I would leave this to fighters or thieves.  
    Might be good for a Ranger/Thief multiclass.  I saw some discussions on this 
    one on the Internet.  Most people seem to think it is useless, others say it 
    is useful.  It does sound cool for sure to disarm your enemies, but I would 
    leave it for other classes who can afford the INT requirement.  Actually, 
    even if you get 14 INT, I would go for Called Shot instead.  
    
    Dodge : 
    A good feat.  Gives an extra point to AC against the enemy you're fighting.  
    Nice to have around.  It is negated if you get flanked, but if you multiclass 
    to get Uncanny Dodge I, it does not.  
    
    Empower Spell and Extend : 
    You're not a Wizard.  Besides, I do not see the use of an empowered or 
    extended level 1 Ranger spell.   
    
    Extra Turning : 
    Paladins and Clerics only.  
    
    Great Fortitude : 
    Your fort saves are already good.  Leave this one.  
    
    Improved Critical : 
    Excellent Feat.  Take it with your weapon of choice.  Makes you critical more 
    often with the chosen weapon by doubling the critical thread.  If you use a 
    rapier, it does get interesting indeed.  
    
    Improved Disarm : 
    See disarm.  
    
    Improved Knockdown : 
    In my opinion, knockdown is enough.  I would leave this one.  Also, a 
    requirement of 13 INT is hard to get, since Rangers already need some 
    specific attributes.  If you already have the high INT for Disarm, it might 
    be worth it.  
    
    Improved Parry : 
    I never used Parry.  A +4 bonus is not much for a feat either.  
    
    Improved Power Attack : 
    The only reason I pick Power Attack is to get cleave.  A –10 penalty to 
    attack rolls is too heavy, and a +10 damage is not that much considering that 
    your attack will most likely miss.  
    
    Improved Two Weapon Fighting : 
    You get it for free at level 9.  It also works in heavy armour, unlike the 
    others (but I guess it is some kind of bug).  
    
    Improved Unarmed Strike : 
    Leave it to monks.  You get martial proficiencies, use them!
    
    Iron Will : 
    Will saves are really important, and a bonus is always welcome.  Take it if 
    you have a feat to burn.  You could also just wait for the epic version, but 
    a +2 is nice to have anytime.  
    
    Knockdown : 
    Not crucial, but useful.  When you use it, it is a bargain; you either get 
    many free attacks on the enemy if you succeed, or get screwed if you have a 
    bad roll.  Not a must, but it can help.  Not for bow-heavy Rangers.  
    
    Lightning Reflexes : 
    Reflex saves are nice to have.  Take this one or Iron Will.  Picking up both 
    would hurt though.  I would go for Iron Will.  
    
    Maximise Spell : 
    Guess what?  You're still not a wizard!
    
    Mobility : 
    Not bad, but you may want to keep your few feats for more crucial bonuses.  
    It can't hurt, however.  
    
    Point Blank Shot :
    For Archers.  Those who do not depend on their bows should skip this one.  It 
    think it also makes you do more damage, but I am not sure.  
    
    Power Attack : 
    Get it for Cleave.  Otherwise, it is only useful for bashing containers like 
    chests or killing high HPs and low AC enemies.  Also helps Finesse Rangers 
    when they need to do heavy damage, to break physical resistance for example.  
    
    Quicken Spell, Silent Spell, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration and Still Spell : 
    No comments.  
    
    Rapid Shot : 
    For Archers, once again.  Skip it if you do not depend on your bow.  
    
    Shield Proficiency :
    You get this for free at level 1.  
    
    Skill Focus : 
    Even though your skills are important, it is not worth wasting a feat on 
    them.  
    
    Stunning Fist : 
    Leave it to monks.  
    
    Toughness :
    40 free hit points.  Take it as soon as possible; it is like a free modifier 
    in constitution.  
    
    Two-Weapon Fighting :
    You get it for free at level 1.  
    
    Weapon Finesse :
    The "must have" feat for Dexterity/Finesse Rangers.  It allows them to make 
    their attack rolls using their DEX modifier.  Archers can take it to use 
    small weapons as a backup.  In my opinion, the best weapons to use are 
    Rapiers or short swords.  Do not forget that while rapiers can be finessed, 
    they still count as medium weapons.  In other words, dual-wielding rapiers 
    will net you a –4/-4 penalty.  And please note that scimitars are *not* 
    “finessable”, and also count as a medium weapons.  One can wonder how that 
    Drizzt can hit a thing.  
    
    Weapon Focus :
    Take it for your weapon of choice, which should be the same you picked 
    improved critical for.  
    
    Weapon Proficiency Martial :
    You get it for free at level 1.  
    
    Weapon Proficiency Simple : 
    You get it for free at level 1.  
    
    Weapon Proficiency Exotic :
    Not a must, but do not forget that you can use you Dual Wielding feats with 
    Double Bladed Weapons.  Powergamers might like to dual wield kukris.  
    
    Weapon Specialisation : 
    Fighters level 4 only.  Not a must.  Get it if you multiclass as a fighter, 
    of course.  You could also wait for epic levels to take both normal and epic 
    specialisation.  More damage is never a bad thing.  
    
    Arcane Defence : 
    Wizards only.  
    
    Artist :
    You're not an actor...
    
    Blind Fight :
    This one can actually be useful.  Fighting against concealed enemies is quite 
    irritating, but I think that you should spend your precious feats elsewhere.  
    
    Blooded :
    The bonuses are not worth a feat.  
    
    Brew Potions : 
    While having some cat's grace potions wouldn't hurt, there are better feats 
    out there.  At later levels (30+), it is possible that you have all the feats 
    you want.  In that case, I think it is better to take feats like Epic 
    Toughness (and keep your bonus feats for favoured enemies).  
    
    Bullheaded : 
    I do not like those lvl 1 only feats... the bonus are not that good.  
    
    Circle Kick : 
    Leave the unarmed combat to monks.  
    
    Courteous Magocracy : 
    Not really useful for a Ranger.  
    
    Craft Wand : 
    You can't even select this one.  Or can you?  I forgot.  The same thing as 
    for Brew Potion applies.  
    
    Curse Song : 
    You're still not a Bard.  
    
    Dirty Fighting :
    I can't believe how this feat is useless : you sacrifice ALL of your attacks 
    for a very small amount (1d4) of damage.  An OK feat in IceWind Dale 2, I was 
    stunned when I realised how sucky it was in NWN.  
    
    Divine Might : 
    For Clerics and Paladins only.  
    
    Divine Shield : 
    Same here.  
    
    Expertise : 
    There has been some debates on this one.  5 bonus to AC is really great, and 
    it is possible to live with a –5 to attack rolls.  However, I heard somewhere 
    that parry was better, and I do not like parry.  Also, there is a requirement 
    of 13 INT, which is hard to get (depending on your build; mine get it 
    easily).  I would leave this one, unless you really want Whirlwind Attack 
    (which is not THAT great, compared to the BG2 version; actually I think it is 
    pretty bad in NWN).  You should also note that the +5 AC / -5 attack is 
    “fixed”; you can’t choose to have +2/-2 or +3/-3 like in other DnD games.  
    
    Extra Music :
    You can't even take it.  
    
    Extra Stunning Attack :
    Monks only.  
    
    Great Cleave : 
    I am undecided on this one.  The feat itself is not that great (it is useful, 
    but not a must), but it gives access to the powerful (and overpowered) 
    Devastating Critical.  Personally, I wouldn't take it, but if you want it, 
    you do not have to hurry since Devastating Critical will take a while to 
    appear.  Finesse Rangers should skip this one.  
    
    Greater Spell Focus and Greater Spell Penetration :
    No comments.  
    
    Improved Expertise : 
    See expertise.  Though I think that a –10 is starting to hurt bad.  If it 
    works with bows (never tried), it might be worth it for Arcane Archers.  
    
    Improved Initiative : 
    I like initiative checks.  I would take this one, if you have nothing better 
    to get.  It can help; sometimes, having the first attack makes the difference 
    between life and death.  
    
    Lingering Song : 
    Not for a Ranger.  
    
    Luck of Heroes : 
    In my opinion, this is the only worthy level 1 only feat.  +1 to all saves is 
    nice, but I think that there are more important feats out there.  
    
    Rapid Reload : 
    Keep your good ol' bow.  Crossbows are weapons for those who do not have the 
    strength to wield the noble elven weapons, a.k.a. bows (ok, I got carried 
    away).  
    
    Resist Disease :
    Not worth a feat, in my opinion.  
    
    Resist Poison : 
    Same here.  
    
    Resistance to Energy :
    Nice, but I would stick with Epic Energy Resistance.  You do not have many 
    feats to burn before Epic levels.  
    
    Scribe Scroll : 
    You won't cast enough spells to make it useful.  
    
    Silver Palm : 
    Another level 1 only.  And the bonuses are not nice for a Ranger.  
    
    Snake Blood : 
    Same here.  
    
    Spring Attack : 
    Not bad, but there are better feats out there.  Also, 2 feats as 
    prerequisites is quite hard to get.  Might be useful if you are running away 
    from angry ogres...
    
    Stealthy : 
    With your DEX score, your skill points in hide and move silently and your 2nd 
    level spell camouflage, you do not need a small +2.  
    
    Strong Soul : 
    Not worth it for a Ranger.  I prefer to buff my Saving Throws with "Epic 
    Throws" feats.  
    
    Thug : 
    Not worth it.  
    
    Whirlwind Attack : 
    This one can be useful, but I do not really like it.  There are many 
    prerequisites, such as INT 13, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Cleave and DEX 
    13.  I think that's too much for a Ranger.  You have to take it if you want 
    to become a Weapon Master, but I do not like multiclassing.  Too bad it is no 
    longer like the Baldur's Gate version.  
    
    Zen Archery : 
    In most cases, your DEX will be equal or higher than your WIS.  Leave this 
    one alone.  And if your DEX is lower than 14, you probably do not give a crap 
    about ranged attacks anyway.  
    
    Epic Feats
    
    Armour Skin : 
    +2 to armour class.  That's nice, take it as soon as possible.  
    
    Automatic Silent, Quicken and Still spells : 
    You're a Ranger.  
    
    Bane of Enemies : 
    Wonderful.  +2 to hit and +2d6 damage to all your favoured enemies.  Take it 
    as soon as it hits the list.  If only they had included Death to Enemies as 
    well...
    
    Blinding Speed :
    If you're a DEX based Ranger, you won't be able to take Devastating Critical.  
    So this one might be worth it if your module/PW does not have the cheesy 
    boots of speed or other haste items.  
    
    Construct, Dragon, Undead and Outsider Shape :
    You're not a shifter.  
    
    Damage Reduction : 
    Really nice, but the CON requirement of 21 is too heavy, unless you're a 
    Dwarf.  Anyway, I usually prefer to pump STR (or DEX if I am finesse).  
    
    Devastating Critical :
    This is probably the most overpowered feat in the game.  It is wonderful.  
    It is crazy.  It is ungodly.  Take it if you're STR based.  Beware the 
    requirements: STR 25, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical and 
    Overwhelming Critical.  And do not forget that many servers have it disabled 
    or prohibited.  
    
    Energy Resistance :
    Quite nice.  I would take it in fire and/or lightning if I have a feat to 
    burn.  
    
    Epic Dodge :
    Requirements too hard.  Plus you would have to multiclass for the feats.  
    
    Epic Fiend : 
    Blackguard only.  
    
    Epic Fortitude, Reflexes and Will : 
    Quite nice.  A +4 is welcome, especially on Will saves.  
    
    Epic Prowess : 
    +1 to all attacks.  Quite worth it, in my opinion.  Especially if you dual 
    wield.  
    
    Epic Reputation : 
    Does not really help your Ranger.  
    
    Epic Skill Focus : 
    Like for Skill focus, I would leave this one to other classes.  
    
    Epic Shadowlord : 
    ShadowDancer only.  The summoned shadow is not nice either.  
    
    Epic Spell Focus and Epic Spell Penetration : 
    No comments.   
    
    Epic Toughness : 
    Great.  When you do not know what to take, this is the one.  20 free hit 
    points is always nice.  
    
    Epic Weapon Focus : 
    Take it with the weapon you use.  Always nice to have around.  
    
    Epic Weapon Specialisation : 
    If you multiclass to fighter, then take it.  Like for normal specialisation, 
    it is by no means a must.  
    
    Great Attributes : 
    Not that great.  Quite handy if you want to reach some feat requirements 
    (Devastating Crits) or if you want crazy attack bonuses (archers), but there 
    are better feats out there.  
    
    Improved Combat Casting : 
    You won't be casting many spells during combat.  
    
    Improved Ki Strike : 
    Leave this to monks.  
    
    Improved Sneak Attack : 
    Thieves only.  
    
    Improved Spell Resist : 
    Would be nice, but it only gives +2 per feat.  I would not take it.    
    
    Improved Stunning Fists : 
    Monks only.  
    
    Improved Whirlwind Attack : 
    You need 23 DEX, and all the feats you needed for Whirlwind.  Not worth it, 
    except for DEX based chars who can't take Devastating Crits.  I wouldn't take 
    it though (finessable weaps do not have great range).  
    
    Lasting Inspiration :
    You're not a singer.  
    
    Mighty Rage : 
    Leave this to your friends the barbarians.  
    
    Overwhelming Critical :
    Not that great, but gives access to the all powerful Devastating Crits.  Take 
    it as soon as possible (if you want Dev Crits, of course).  
    
    Perfect Health : 
    
    CON 25+ is hard to achieve.  Very hard.  I would leave this, though Dwarves 
    may want to take it.  You would probably have to leave Devastating Crits if 
    you choose this one.  
    
    Planar Turning : 
    Clerics and Paladins only.  The requirements are crazy, also.  
    
    Self Concealment :
    Really nice, but you would have to multiclass.  Since I hate multiclassing, I 
    leave this to thieves.  
    
    Superior Initiative :
    I am usually fine with Improved Initiative.  Not worth it, in my opinion.  
    
    Terrifying and Thundering Rage :
    Barbs only.  
    
    Conclusion on feats :
    
    Feats are the most important part of your combat skills.  These choices are 
    really important, and will make your character either good or bad.  Since you 
    do not have an ungodly amount of feats like fighters, the choices are 
    crucial.  
    
    When you get to epic levels, your Ranger will get a bonus feat every 3 
    levels, in addition to the usual feat every 4 levels.  The bonus feats are : 
    
    Bane of Enemies
    Blinding Speed
    Epic Toughness
    Epic Prowess
    Epic Weapon Focus
    Improved Combat casting (no comments)
    Favoured Enemies
    
    Since you get 6 bonus feats (23, 26, 29, 32, 35, 38), you can get six 
    additional favoured enemies.  Even though these do not add to your damage, it 
    lets you apply your bonus to more enemies, and thus making you a better 
    damage dealer than a fighter.  Of the other bonus feats, the useful ones are 
    Prowess, Focus, Bane and toughness.  I would suggest getting these as your 
    "normal" feats, to leave you more favoured enemies feats.  
    
    Overall, these are the feats I recommend (in no particular order) :
    
    Strength Ranger :
    
    Power Attack (for Cleave)
    Cleave
    Improved Critical
    Knockdown
    Toughness
    Weapon Focus
    Great Cleave (if you want Devastating Critical)
    Iron Will (if you're Human)
    
    Armour Skin
    Bane of Enemies
    (Overwhelming Critical)* 
    (Devastating Critical)*
    Epic Prowess
    Epic Weapon Focus
    Epic Will
    As many Favoured Enemies as you can
    
    *Watch out for server rules; not very RP-friendly.  
    
    Archer Ranger :
    
    Point Blank Shot
    Rapid Shot
    Weapon Focus
    Toughness
    Improved Critical
    Called Shot
    Iron Will (Human)
    
    Armour Skin
    Bane of Enemies
    Blinding Speed
    Epic Prowess
    Epic Weapon Focus
    Epic Will
    Great Dexterity?
    As many Favoured Enemies as you can
    
    Dexterity Finesse Ranger : 
    
    Power Attack
    Cleave
    Weapon Focus
    Toughness
    Weapon Finesse (a must have)
    Knockdown (or Iron Will)
    
    Armour Skin
    Bane of Enemies
    Blinding Speed (if you can't get boots of speed or another haste item)
    Epic Prowess
    Epic Weapon Focus
    Epic Will
    As many favoured Enemies as you can
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5 – Animal Companions ------------------------------------------------:SCCR5:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Animal Companions are one of the nice bonuses for playing a Ranger.  While 
    they look like very "normal" summons, you can use the 3rd level spell Greater 
    Magic Fangs to make them more powerful.  It also lets them deal magical 
    damage, bypassing the frustrating damage reduction.  Here are the choices :
    
    Badger : 
    
    Who does not like badgers?  Does cute little animals are unfortunately not 
    that good in NeverWinter Nights.  While nice to look at (I like badgers :D), 
    it is not a good choice for your Ranger.  
    
    Wolf : 
    
    Your traditional wolf.  A nice little companion that can help you in many 
    situations, but I do not understand how someone could choose this one over 
    the Dire Wolf (aside from role-playing reasons, of course).  
    
    Brown Bear :
    
    Yah!  I huge bear comes to bite your enemies!  This is the most damaging pet, 
    and it is also the one with the most hit points.  Unfortunately, its AC is 
    painfully low.  For balance reasons, I guess.  This is one of my favourites.  
    
    Boar :
    
    I never really like these wild pigs.  I might as well pick up a charismatic 
    badger instead (I really like badgers :D).  An average companion.  
    
    Hawk :
    
    A pretty cool pet.  He flies around, doing its pitiful damage to enemies 
    around.  It also has Disarm, but I do not remember seeing it using the feat a 
    single time.  If you multiclass, however, and that you do not keep many 
    levels of Ranger (below 30-35), any pet you choose will be too weak, so this 
    one might be actually a good idea, since you can just use it to scout around.  
    
    Panther :
    
    A long time favourite of Wizards and Druids, this one's main bonus is the 
    backstab, which allows it to deal the most damage of the pets when it 
    backstabs (and when fighting against sneakable enemies).  A nice pet to have 
    around, though I must admit that I've never been a huge fan of panthers.  
    
    Giant Spider : 
    
    This small-sized Shelob has interesting immunities (spell, if I remember 
    correctly).  However, it has a low AC, low hit points and low damage (though 
    it has poison attacks, but I am not sure (never tried it :P)).  Not a really 
    good companion, in my opinion.  
    
    Dire Wolf : 
    
    A nice solid performer.  The dire wolf is the basic animal companion, 
    combining, a good AC, nice hit points and a fine damage.  There's not much to 
    say here, beside the fact that if you do not know which companion to take, 
    this one might be a good choice.  
    
    Dire Rat :
    
    I never tried this one.  Though I do not really like the idea to have a rat 
    following me around, he might be a fine companion.  Advises are welcomed.  
    
    Conclusion on Animal Companions :
    
    Your Animal Companion is your best friend.  He will follow you everywhere and 
    do whatever you command him to do.  With the Greater Magic Fangs spell, he 
    can become a powerful ally.  Always summon him before resting, so that you 
    can summon him again if he dies in combat.  
    
    I usually choose from the Dire Wolf, the Brown Bear and the Panther.  I 
    recommend either the brown bear or the dire wolf to dexterity or archer 
    Rangers, and Melee Rangers may like the panther's backstab.  Personally, I 
    like the bear :).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6 – Favoured Enemies -------------------------------------------------:SCCR6:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Favoured Enemies are the most important part of your Ranger.  They are the 
    reason why Rangers are the best damage dealers in the game.  
    
    Before the coming of epic levels, Favoured Enemies weren't that great.  Well, 
    they were useful, but they only gave a +5 damage, and that was against 5 
    types of enemies in the game.  Now, if you go pure, it is a +9 and you can 
    have nearly all the enemies in the game as your favoured enemies.  Also, the 
    Bane of Enemies feat gives you an additional +2d6 (2 to 12) damage.  That's a 
    lot.  
    
    You have to plan your Favoured Enemies carefully.  At lower levels, a small 
    +1 or +2 is not a big dead, but it can help (since you want all the damage 
    you can get at lower levels).  In the end, you want to have : 
    - The most dangerous enemies
    - The most common enemies
    - Enemies with Immunities (Criticals, or Sneaking if you take thief levels)
    
    Here are the racial groups : 
    
    Aberration*
    Animal*
    Beast*
    Construct*
    Dragon*
    Elemental*
    Fey
    Giant*
    Dwarf*
    Elf*
    Gnome
    Goblinoid
    Half-Elf
    Half-Orc*
    Halfling
    Human*
    Monstrous humanoid*
    Orc*
    Reptilian humanoid
    Magical beast
    Outsider*
    Shapechanger
    Undead*
    Vermin
    
    Your Ranger has 9 Favoured Enemies, and you can take 6 additional via epic 
    bonus feats.  That's a total of 15, and there are 24 racial groups.  As I 
    said before, the choices you make are crucial.  If you take the maximum 
    number of Favoured Enemies, you will end up with only 9 groups of enemies who 
    are not favoured.  The groups with an "*" are the ones I would take.  
    
    The only additional advice I can give is to start by taking the most common 
    enemies, and then move on to the more dangerous.  You also have to adapt 
    yourself to the module/PW you play; if it is full of rats, you should 
    definitely take Vermin.  
    
    Generally, I like to start with undead.  For some reasons, people seem to 
    like to put loads of undead in their modules/PWs at both lower (zombies) and 
    higher (liches) levels.  Humans are also plentiful.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                         SECTION D : DIVINE SPELLS                  :SDDS0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Rangers, like Paladins, have spells from the first four levels of Divine 
    Spellcasting.  They get some unique spells, but most of them are from the 
    level 1 – 4 Druid spells.  Some will say that they are not really useful, but 
    about 4 of them are really great to use, and will make your Ranger stronger 
    in many ways.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – Level One Spells -------------------------------------------------:SCCR1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Summary : Camouflage will make you stealthy, magic fangs will help your 
    animal (and therefore you).  Grease and Entangle are also worth mentioning.  
    
    Cure Light Wounds : 
    Might be useful at the beginning, but when you get it, it won't be enough.  I 
    prefer to use medical kits anyway.  
    
    Entangle :
    Quite nice to use.  However, most enemies will save lather on, so it is only 
    useful at the beginning.  
    
    Grease : 
    Almost exactly like Entangle, this one will also slow enemies, even if they 
    save.  So, in a sense, it is actually better than Entangle since even if the 
    enemies save, your spell will have helped you by slowing them.  
    
    Summon Creature I : 
    At the level when you'll get your first spell, the charismatic badger will 
    not be able to do much damage.  Actually, your "normal" summons will never be 
    really good, so you should just stick with your animal buddy.  
    
    Camouflage : 
    Gives you a +10 modifier to your hide checks.  For a level 1 spell, this is 
    really great.  Actually, you should stick with this spell for your level 1 
    slots.  
    
    Magic Fangs : 
    Gives more power to your animal companion.  Always nice to use until you get 
    the greater magic fangs, which is a lot better.  When you've got some 
    trouble, cast this and your animal should be able to cut through damage 
    reduction.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Level Two Spells -------------------------------------------------:SCCR2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Summary : The great Cat’s Grace is most likely the highlight of this level.  
    One with the Land and Resist Elements also deserve to be memorised.  
    
    Cat's Grace : 
    Gives you a bonus to dexterity.  Really nice to use when you need more AC 
    and/or more to hit with weapon finesse or a bow.  Especially useful for 
    Dexterity/Finesse and Archer Rangers.  
    
    Hold Animal : 
    It paralyses an animal.  Bleh.  I usually prefer risking a animal empathy 
    check, and there are better level 2 spells anyway.  
    
    Resist Elements : 
    Resistance to elements is always nice to have around, especially against 
    mages who like to use spells like fireball.  It would be a good idea to keep 
    at least one, just in case.  
    
    Sleep : 
    Might be good against crowds, but I prefer grease.  Most enemies will save 
    anyway.  I remember using it so much at the beginning of BG1 with my 
    fighter/mage...  nostalgia...
    
    Summon Creature II : 
    Same deal as for Summon I.  The Boar will not be good enough when you'll 
    summon him.  
    
    One with the Land : 
    +4 bonus to animal empathy, Hide, Move Silently and Set Trap checks.  Wow.  
    That's four of your most important skills.  A really great spell.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 – Level Three Spells -----------------------------------------------:SCCR3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Summary : Two useful spells here (blade thirst and greater magic fangs) as 
    well as a couple of occasional spells.  
    
    Aid : 
    The bonuses are not that good, in my opinion.  Besides, there are much better 
    spells at this level.  
    
    Cure moderate wounds : 
    It won't heal enough when you get it.  Stick with medical kits.  
    
    Invisibility Purge : 
    Not bad.  You could keep one just in case.  But generally, you won’t know 
    about stealthed enemies before they attack you, and that would be too late 
    anyway.  Useful to cripple shadowdancers.  
    
    Neutralise Poison : 
    Once again, I would stick with medical kits.  You should have spent points in 
    heal, so use them.  
    
    Remove Disease : 
    Same deal again (med. kits do cure disease, right?).  
    
    Summon Creature III : 
    A dire wolf is not bad, so if you're in deep trouble you might want to try 
    it.  
    However, there are better spells here.  
    
    Blade Thirst :
    Gives a +3 enhancement to a slashing weapon.  Really excellent, until you get 
    a better enhancement (but that won't be soon).  Use it to cut through damage 
    resistance.  
    
    Greater Magic Fangs : 
    Way better than the first one.  Always cast it before heavy battles.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 – Level Four Spells ------------------------------------------------:SCCR4:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Summary : Probably the least useful spell level.  You do not get anything of 
    real power here.  Only Freedom of Movement has some merit.  
    
    Cure Serious Wound : 
    It actually heals a fine amount of damage, but it is just not significant 
    enough to rely on it for healing.  Also, unless you wasted loads of skill 
    points in concentration, you would have to cast this one out of combat.  So 
    you might as well stick with medical kits.  Could be useful of you’re out of 
    cash, or if the modules / PW you play on does not have merchants that sell 
    healing items.  
    
    Freedom of Movement : 
    Not bad.  Since there are not many good spells at this level, it might be a 
    good idea to keep one, just in case.  
    
    Polymorph Self : 
    I never really tried it.  The forms are not really appealing, if you ask me.  
    I would leave this one alone.  Perhaps changing in a troll to regenerate your 
    hit points would be a good idea...
    
    Summon Creature IV : 
    I never really liked spiders, so I never used it.  It is your call.  Anyway, 
    the summon will be just too weak to do anything but distract the enemy for a 
    round or two.  Rely on your animal buddy to help you in combats.  
    
    Mass Camouflage : 
    Same as the first one, except that all allies in an area get the bonus.  Not 
    useful unless you play multiplayer.  Thieves will probably like it, as well 
    as shadowdancers who like to hide in plain sight.  
    
    Conclusion on spells 
    
    Unlike Paladins, Rangers do not have a wide selection of useful spells.  I do 
    think BioWare should have tried to do a little more here.  Anyway, spells are 
    not that important for a Ranger.  But some of them are great.  Here are the 
    ones I recommend : 
    
    Level 1 : Camouflage, Grease, Magic Fangs (until you get the greater's)
    Level 2 : One with the Land, Cat's Grace, Resist Elements
    Level 3 : Greater Magic Fangs, Blade Thirst
    Level 4 : Mass camouflage, Freedom of Movement
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                           SECTION E : EQUIPMENT                    :SEEQ0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Note : Most of the information here is based on role-playing multiplayer PWs.  
    In case you never played these, let me specify that "ultra-uber" items do not 
    exist (or are just plainly unavailable at the levels I’ve played).  That's 
    why I keep this section really simple : in most serious PWs, you are just 
    glad to get a weapon with a single bonus early on.  If you just play the 
    campaigns, you'll want the most crazy items available, and then upgrade them 
    in the underdark with the smith.  
    
    I will keep this simple, as items are not as important as in other games 
    (Diablo 2, anyone?).  In NWN and most DnD games, your character is more 
    important than the sword he wields (and I think that's better than games like 
    D2).  Of course if you have a normal (non-enchanted) armour and a crappy 
    sword when you face a Dragon you'll have a really hard time, but most of the 
    time, as long as you can damage the enemy and stay alive, everything is fine.  
    
    Rangers will either use slashing (Great Sword, Long Sword) or piercing (Short 
    Sword, Arrows) weapons.  There's really nothing special to say here.  Get the 
    best you can find, and do not forget Blade Thirst if you have a slashing 
    weapon.  Archers should look for Composite Long Bows (the Elven Ceremonial 
    Bow is quite good) to add some damage.  
    
    For armours, you will generally stay in Light Armour or Medium Armour (Single 
    Weapon).  Do not forget Cat's Grace if you can't take the full advantage from 
    your armour's dexterity bonus.  Also, dexterity-based characters (18+ at 
    creation) may prefer to use no armour at all.  Just try to keep your AC as 
    high as possible, and keep your eyes open for interesting modifiers.  
    Dexterity fanatics (especially archers) should keep their eyes open for 
    bracers of armour or dexterity.  The same goes for the belts, though the 
    Greater Swordsman Belt are really popular.  
    
    For the rings and amulet, get what you think is good.  Just use some logic, 
    and adapt yourself to the monsters in your PW/module.  Full of spellcasters?  
    Get Spell resistance and Elemental reduction.  Full of smelly Orc Barbarians?  
    Damage Reduction would help for sure.  If you do not see any predominant 
    enemy creatures, just get what you think is best.  
    
    The same goes for boots.  If they exist in your PW, you may want to get the 
    boots of speed.  
    
    As for the helms, I never wear them.  They make your character look ugly.  If 
    you like helmets, the same general rule applies : look for mods that you 
    like!
    
    Finally, an elven cloak will do nicely to aid your hiding skills.  If you 
    do not need this, pick up any mod you want.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                         SECTION F : MULTICLASSING                  :SFMU0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Bleh... I hate multiclassing...
    
    The way I see it, multiclassing, in the 3rd Edition Rules, is an elegant way 
    of powergaming.  
    
    Just think of it for a second : why do one wants to multiclass?
    
    The answer is simple, really.  You want to get something your class does not 
    have.  
    
    How many times have you seen Paladin 1 / Sorcerer X?  What the bloody hell is 
    this class combo?  It is just to get better saving throws and some 
    immunities!  
    
    With the 2nd Edition Rules, you cannot multiclass with any class you like.  
    There were heavy ability requirements, and multiclassing (or dual classing) 
    needed to be planned to be effective.  I do not know what they were smoking 
    when they created the new rules...
    
    Also, having a character that can do everything, from picking locks to 
    casting spells, from fighting hordes of enemies to scouting, completely 
    screws the whole class system of the game.  Your character has a job : he’s 
    supposed to stick to it.  
    
    Anyway, we're stuck with those new rules and we have to work with that.  
    Alright... But why do you want to multiclass anyway?  Do not you think a pure 
    Ranger is nice to have?
    
    If the answer is yes : you're cool and you can skip this section.  
    If the answer is no : well, we're gonna try to get something good out of this 
    crap... Read on.  
    
    Some people wrote and asked why I hated multiclassing that much.  The reason 
    (it is not a very good one, but anyway) is that the new system pisses me off.  
    The class I used to enjoy the most was the fighter/mage.  Now, it is almost 
    impossible to get something good out of it.  You could say I boycott the 
    multiclass in 3.0 :).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – Core Classes------------------------------------------------------:SFMU1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    We'll get started right away, just so that I can move on from this crappy 
    section of my guide...
    
    Be careful when multiclassing with core classes.  Your character will get an 
    experience penalty if you do not keep the classes balanced.  Races get 
    favoured classes, which do not count when determining experience penalties.  
    Be very mindful of these, because it really sucks to loose experience.  Here 
    are the favoured classes for each race.  
    
    Human : Any (i.e. your highest level class)
    Half-Elf : Any (like humans)
    Elf : Wizard
    Dwarf : Fighter
    Gnome : Wizard (illusionist, but the game does not seem to bother)
    Halfling : Rogue
    Half-Orc : Barbarian
    
    Subraces have different favoured classes, but the people at BioWare were 
    visibly too lazy to include them.  NWN2 is *supposed* to have subraces.  If 
    they do not include Wood Elves (fav. Class : ranger), I will be mad.  Expect 
    a rant in the next guide :).  
    
    Fighter : 
    
    Like I said before, Fighter levels will give you feats.  Only feats.  Yes, it 
    would be nice for your Ranger to have a couple of more feats to mess with, 
    but no, they are not needed.  However, since you are probably one of those 
    hardcore powergamers if you are reading this, I will say that adding enough 
    fighter levels to get both weapon specialisation and epic weapon 
    specialisation will make you the absolute best damage dealer in the game.  
    Throw in some (7) weapon master levels and you'll do ungodly damage on 
    criticals.  Dual wield kukris for even more fun.  
    
    If you –must- multiclass to fighter, be either Human, Half-Elf or Dwarf, and 
    try to wait until epic levels so that you can take both specialisation and 
    epic spec. at the same time (if your server gives access to epic levels), 
    with the less fighter levels possible.  4 levels is all you need.  
    
    If all you want are the extra feats, then I suggest trying Champion of Torm : 
    it gives you as many feats and much better saves, at the expense of weapon 
    spec.  And it does not count in experience penalty, also.  Check the CoT 
    section for more info.  
    
    Barbarian : 
    
    Barbarian levels can actually improve your Ranger, and it is not that 
    difficult to role-play this multiclass.  Barbarian levels will give you the 
    much needed Uncanny Dodge I feat (earlier than Rogue) and more hit points 
    without hurting your attack bonuses.  Do not forget that it will slow down 
    your favoured enemies progression.  The Rage can be useful, though you can't 
    take full advantage of it unless you take more levels in Barbarian than in 
    Ranger.  
    
    If you must take barbarian levels, then I would say take 2 levels for uncanny 
    dodge, or more if you want a better rage and more hit points.  Barbarians are 
    your brothers of the wilderness : you have to like them.  
    
    Bard : 
    
    I never really liked bards.  It might be because I am a really bad actor 
    myself, and I am more the scientific and rational type of guy.  Anyway.  I do 
    not really see anything good out of this good, except for the Bard Song, 
    which (I heard) gives some really great bonuses.  Do not forget that your 
    charisma shouldn't be high, so you might not be able to get the most out of 
    this one.  If I wanted some arcane spells, I would multiclass to wizard 
    instead.  
    
    Cleric : 
    
    Might work because of your wisdom.  Some domain abilities might be useful, 
    also (war domain spell).  Taking Cleric levels will slow down your skills and 
    favoured enemies, and you will only get some low-level spells.  I would leave 
    clerics alone.  If you really want divine spells, I would take Druid levels 
    as they fit better with your character.  
    
    Druid : 
    
    Druids are much like you.  Actually, they're the spellcasting version of the 
    Rangers.  You share some of your abilities with them, also.  I personally 
    think that it is better to have more druid levels than Ranger levels to get 
    the most out of this multiclass.  Ranger levels will bring quality feats, 
    better BAB and more hit points.  With the wide selection of Druid buffs, you 
    can make something quite interesting.  For a minor multiclass, you might want 
    to look for the resist nature’s lure special feat and the various low level 
    buffing spells (barkskin, bull’s strength...).  
    
    Monk : 
    
    Would help your AC because of your wisdom.  Might be good for Dexterity / 
    Finesse Rangers.  You could wear no armour and let your Dex and Wis 
    do the job.  It would be, however, a weird multiclass (monks have to be 
    lawful, and Rangers tend to be chaotic).  Also, many servers do not allow 
    monk to multiclass.  However, should you decide to go this way, you can use 
    the Ranger’s free feats to build a quite insane kama monk.  If I remember 
    correctly, kama are slashing weapons so blade thirst would work.  Pick weapon 
    finesse for more fun with cat’s grace.  Of course such build only requires 9 
    Ranger levels (I would go for ten, to get at least a third favoured enemy).  
    
    Paladin : 
    
    That would be quite a strange multiclass.  You would have to pump your 
    charisma to make it useful though.  Now that I think of it, it might actually 
    make a nice role-playing multiclass, but anyway.  The attribute spread would 
    be quite hard to get correctly, since paladin already need a high charisma 
    (which is the least useful attribute for a Ranger), high strength and medium-
    high constitution.  Paladin levels would be better for strength Rangers 
    (gaining the heavy armour proficiency and fear immunity).  On the other side, 
    a paladin has no reason whatsoever to take levels in ranger.  
    
    Rogue : 
    
    Probably one of the most known multiclass.  There are tons of rogue players 
    who get 1 Ranger level for the dual wielding feats.  I never really liked 
    rogues, so I usually avoid playing as one.  The sneaking, combined with your 
    hitpoints and attack bonus, should be quite nice.  As with the barbarian, you 
    can get the very useful uncanny dodge I feat.  For extreme power, pick a 
    shadow dancer level for hide in plain sight.  If we keep the ranger as the 
    major class, I would take something like 5 rogue levels : you would end up 
    with 4 attacks per round, a solid animal companion, good hit points and BAB 
    and the rogue’s sneak attack upgrades only at odd levels (so at five, you end 
    up with 3d6).  
    
    Sorcerer and Wizard : 
    
    Those do not generally multiclass well.  The wizard variant is slightly 
    better since you get spells faster, and you should have a higher intelligence 
    than charisma.  Again, the attribute spread would be quite hard to get, and 
    your attack bonus and hit points would get quite hurt.  Works fine if you 
    want an arcane archer.  
    
    If you want to try a Fighter/Mage (made famous in Baldur's Gate II), Ranger 
    levels instead of Fighter levels might be a good idea.  Make a traditional 
    Dexterity based Ranger and add Wizard levels according to what you want (more 
    spells or more fighting).  Cat's grace will improve your attack bonus and AC 
    (you'll probably end up wearing robes).  Favoured enemies will also help you 
    damage those enemies.  The DC of your spells will not be high, so you would 
    have to stick with buffs.  This build should not be tried by new players, as 
    it is quite difficult to play as a warrior/spellcaster class in NeverWinter 
    Nights.  
    
    Since I spent most of my Baldur’s Gate time with a fighter/mage, I of course 
    created several templates in NWN.  The basic level spread that includes 
    Ranger would be Ranger 15 / Wizard 5.  You end up with 4 attacks and up to 
    level 3 spells.  The ideal skeleton build would be a dexterity/finesse 
    ranger.  At the beginning, I suggest taking ranger levels until you get a 
    second attack per round (i.e. at level 6).  Then add some wizard levels, and 
    come back to ranger when you want more attack bonus.  At lower levels, I 
    suggest wearing a leather armour (arcane spell failure 10%), which is not 
    that bad.  My typical spell sequence is Mage Armour, Cat’s Grace, Bull’s 
    Strength, Magic Weapon and Flame Weapon; With the 10% failure, I would miss 
    only one of those 5 spells about 1/6 of the time I cast the sequence.  Not 
    that bad, and it is certainly a better idea than removing the armour every 
    time you want to cast.  
    
    All in all, this warrior/mage build is quite decent.  Of course it is no 
    longer as it was in BG, but it is still fun to play such a character.  Of 
    course this analysis is a little pointless with the coming of epic levels, 
    since the BAB progression becomes the same for all classes, and you can take 
    automatic still feats.  
    
    By the way, this build is meant to be a melee character, in case you haven’t 
    figured by now.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Prestige Classes--------------------------------------------------:SFMU2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Arcane Archer : 
    
    For Archer Rangers.  You get enchanted arrows and crazy attack bonuses.  
    Do not forget that with Bane of Enemies, your Ranger will actually do more 
    damage (unless AA 30).  That being said, Arcane Archer levels will help your 
    Ranger with the enchanted arrows.  Do not forget that you have to take 
    Wizard, Bard or Sorcerer levels before getting Arcane Archer.  I suggest 
    taking wizard levels for 3 reasons : one, wizard is the elf’s favoured class; 
    two, they get their spells faster than the other two; and three, if you 
    followed my advice, you should have 12 or 14 Int already.  
    
    Since I am a fan of Warrior / Mages, this is the only ranger multiclass I 
    allow myself to take (but I am kind of crazy about all this, and you know 
    it).  
    
    Assassin : 
    
    In my opinion, one of the worst mistake of the 3rd Edition Rules is that 
    Rangers can be evil.  Originally, they were like Paladins, but they could 
    choose neutral and chaotic good as well.  An evil Ranger just does not make 
    any sense to me.  However, if you want to be an assassin, Darkness + 
    Ultravision = Death Attacks galore.  Would be a decent replacement for rogue, 
    if you’re evil.  But I do not think the huge skill points loss is really 
    worth it.  A valid alternative for elven rangers who fear the experience 
    penalty of a rogue multiclass.  
    
    BlackGuard : 
    
    Same thing as for Assassin.  The sneak attack, while keeping the good hit 
    points and attack bonus, sounds really nice.  Ranger is also the fastest way 
    to Blackguard (you need points in hide), so if you want a pure BlackGuard, 
    (BG 30) as soon as possible, you should start with Ranger levels.  
    
    Champion of Torm : 
    
    Really great.  Gives you some feats like fighter levels, but also pump your 
    saving throws, which is always nice.  Actually, I think this one is way 
    better than Fighter, so you might pick this instead of fighter levels.  
    Probably one of the best multiclass for melee Rangers (especially Strength), 
    but do not forget that some of their abilities are charisma-based.  The 
    saving throws bonus is crazy though.  Once again, no experience penalty is a 
    great boon.  
    
    Dwarven Defender : 
    
    For Dwarven Rangers, this one is quite nice.  You have to be lawful though.  
    More hitpoints and the defensive stance is quite nice, and you get some nice 
    bonuses (cannot be flanked at level 6).  A nice class, but not very 
    appropriate for Rangers (these dwarves are better for the front lines).  It 
    is, however, a unique prestige class that makes Dwarven rangers more... 
    special.  
    
    Harper Scout : 
    
    Probably the class that people on the Internet hated the most, until the 
    discovery of Harper Knights.  Only useful for Paladins and Sorcerers, in my 
    opinion.  They get favoured enemies, but you already get them (and yours are 
    even better; those of the harpers do not upgrade as yours).  For role-
    playing, however, harper "scout" goes well with Ranger.  
    
    Pale Master : 
    
    You would need to take wizard levels, you need to be evil, and you get a 
    weird undead arm.  Not really cool, in my opinion.  I would leave this one.  
    
    Red Dragon Disciple : 
    
    Same thing as for Pale Masters, except that you get ungodly attribute 
    bonuses.  Looks quite nice to me.  What bugs me is the spellcasting 
    requirement, but I guess it is for balance reasons.  Might be fine with a 
    Ranger/Sorc (like if you want a warrior / mage).  
    
    Shifter : 
    
    You would need to pick Druid levels.  Not a good one, in my opinion, since 
    you need to pump wisdom like crazy to get the better forms.  Of course I 
    never really analysed the shifter, and I have no idea whatsoever how the 
    different forms work.  You better check a specialised guide.  
    
    ShadowDancer : 
    
    The only good point here is tumble as a class skill and Hide in Plain Sight 
    (commonly referred to as HiPS).  Rangers get Hide in Plain Sight in 3.5 
    rules, but that will never (officially) happen in NWN anyway.  Too bad.  You 
    could pick one level to get Hide in Plain Sight if you want to "play" a 3.5 
    Ranger though.  Beware that some PWs have raised the HiPS to higher SD 
    levels.  Other than that, I would stick with rogue levels if you want to go 
    the thief’s way.  
    
    Weapon Master : 
    
    So you want a cheesy build?  I will give you one.  
    
    Pick a few Ranger level, then switch to weapon master.  After you get weapon 
    master 7, switch over to champion of torm.  Do not forget to pick Bane of 
    Enemies and Devastating Critical.  
    
    Voilà.  You’re now officially the best damage dealer in the whole damn game.  
    Have fun.  
    
    Conclusion on multiclassing
    
    Ah!  It is finally over!  Here are the classes I recommend : 
    
    Rogue – For a more sneaky Ranger who wants to multiclass
    Weapon Master – For damage happy Rangers
    ShadowDancer – For those who want to play a 3.5 Ranger.  
    Arcane Archer – For Archers
    Druid – For those who want some buffs
    Wizard – For a possible warrior/mage
    
    Of course the best class combo is Ranger 40, but that's just my opinion :).  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                        SECTION G : RANGER ARCHTYPES                  SGRA0|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    In this section, I will give brief advises and the general guideline to build 
    a specific type of Ranger.  These can be considered as more “RP friendly” 
    names for the builds mentioned in the previous sections.  If anyone finds 
    other archetypes, feel free to send them in.  
    
    -=The Archer=-
    
    This one is developed exactly like the build in this guide.  I did include 
    him here because Rangers are often seen as Archers.  
    
    Attributes : Dexterity is obviously the most important, followed by Strength 
    (for damage via mighty), Intelligence (more skill points) and Wisdom (for 
    your few spells).  Constitution does not need a lot of points, since you’re 
    doing something wrong if you’re in melee.  Finally, Charisma should be 
    neglected unless you have some role playing problems with it.  
    
    Skills and Feats : Your stealth abilities are the most important, followed by 
    anything you want.  For the feats, you want those like point blank shot and 
    rapid shot.  Weapon focus can also help.  
    
    Equipment : A good composite Long Bow and leather armour.  Keep your eyes 
    open for Bracers/Belts of Dexterity and Bracers of Armour.  Keep short swords 
    or long swords as backup weapons.  
    
    Animal Companion : The Brown Bear provides a good meat shield for you to stay 
    safe.  If you do not need it, the raven fits well with an archer character 
    (in my opinion).  
    
    Multiclassing : Arcane Archer is the obvious (and the only good) option.  
    
    -=The Tracker=-
    
    The tracker is a Ranger who focuses on finding, then killing specific 
    enemies.  The ideal skeleton for this build would be the Dexterity/Finesse 
    Ranger.  You could also call this one a “Bounty Hunter”.  
    
    Attributes : Dexterity, followed by Strength and Intelligence.  Wisdom should 
    also be raised for the access to spells.  Constitution is also important, but 
    charisma can and should be neglected.  
    
    Skills and Feats : Obviously the stealth abilities and the Set Trap skill, 
    followed by Search, Spot and listen.  For the feats, you must decide if you 
    want to go ranged, melee of a mix of both.  The ideal would be the mix.  
    Choose your feats accordingly to your play style.  Weapon finesse is most 
    likely a must.  
    
    Equipment : A composite Long Bow, two short swords, some traps.
    
    Animal Companion : The panther fits well with this Ranger’s style, but the 
    dire wolf would also do great.  
    
    Multiclassing : The Rogue fits well with the tracker theme.  Be sure to 
    maximize disable trap and tumble if you choose to multiclass.  
    
    -=The Scout=-
    
    The scout is a Ranger who focuses on finding the location of the enemies.  He 
    is kind of like the tracker, but he focuses less on eleminating particular 
    targets.  
    
    Attributes : Same as the tracker.  
    
    Skills and Feats : Stealth, Spot, Listen and Search.  Set Traps could also be 
    developed, as well as animal empathy.  This Ranger should generally be more 
    of an archer, so the Point Blank and Rapid Shots should be taken.  Dual 
    wielding as an alternative is also a great idea.  If you go melee, weapon 
    finesse is a must.  
    
    Equipment : A composite Long Bow, one or two short swords or daggers.  
    Leather armour makes more sense.  
    
    Animal Companion : The raven makes sense if you want to create a scout-type 
    of character.  
    
    Multiclassing : Once again, the rogue is a good choice.  ShadowDancer is also 
    a decent option.  Arcane Archer might be interesting for scouts who like 
    their bows.  
    
    -=The Warrior=-
    
    The warrior would be a Ranger who focuses on his physical abilities.  You can 
    either dual wield of go for a two hander.  This is your usual Strength 
    Ranger.  
    
    Attributes : Strength, Constitution and Dexterity are the most important.  
    Wisdom should be raised for the spells, and intelligence can be neglected to 
    a certain degree.  Charisma is not really important.  
    
    Skills and Feats : Discipline is the obvious skill here.  Other points should 
    be distributed as you see fit.  Melee feats such as power attack, cleave and 
    toughness are the most important.  If you go for a two hander, you can wear 
    medium armour.  
    
    Equipment : Either a greatsword, a long sword / short sword combo or two 
    short swords.  Medium armour for the two handers, and the heavier light 
    armors for the dual wielders.  
    
    Animal Companion : The bear or the dire wolf fits best with your style, 
    though a panther with sneak attacks would be more effective.  
    
    Multiclassing : Barbarian expends the whole “warrior of the wild” notion.  
    
    -=The Protector=-
    
    This one would be a fanatical Ranger who protects his forest(s) at all costs.  
    
    Attributes : Dexterity, Constitution and Wisdom.  Intelligence might be 
    useful.  
    
    Skills and Feats : Stealth, animal empathy and set traps.  Being a protector, 
    you use your traps to kill those who invade your territory.  Animal Empathy 
    is crucial, since you actually protect animals.  For the feats, you must 
    decide if you want either an archer or melee ranger.  Choose accordingly.  
    
    Equipment : Bow or sword(s).  If you multiclass to druid, watch out for 
    druidic oaths (RP, generally no metal equipment is allowed).  
    
    Animal Companion : Anything you want.  A Wolf would be the most decent 
    choice, but choose according to your build.  
    
    Multiclassing : Druid makes your Ranger a forest fanatic.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                          SECTION H : PLAYING TIPS                  :SHPT0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – General Tips -----------------------------------------------------:SHPT1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    I hope I am going to receive many tips from readers for this section.  I will 
    cover the basics, and all the tips that comes to my mind right now.  I will 
    probably extend the section later on, when I get more experience with 
    Rangers.  Anyway, your tips are welcome.  
    
    Know how to use your skills : 
    
    I will say it again, you are the most skilled warrior class (Barbs usually 
    have low-intelligence :P).  So use your skills!  Stealth is perfect when you 
    need to do some scouting or to position yourself for a first strike attack.  
    If you find a particular fight too difficult, examine your environment : 
    could you lay some traps and then lure the enemies in them?  Are there any 
    animals you could get on your side?  These are some of the questions you 
    should ask yourself.  When someone is wounded, and there's no cleric around, 
    heal them!  You have some good wisdom and probably some points in heal so 
    help your allies!  
    
    In multiplayer... : 
    
    If there's no thief around, you're probably be the scout of the group.  
    Actually, even if there's a thief, you can help him with mass camouflage.  
    Also, he might be glad someone with more hit points and more attacks come 
    with him, just in case it gets dirty.  
    
    If your party is full of heavy hitter fighters and dumb barbarians, it might 
    be a good idea to stick with your bow and cause some havoc to enemy 
    spellcasters and archers.  If your dexterity is painfully low, use cat's 
    grace.  
    
    A Ranger is also supposed to be able to track enemies.  Since we can’t get an 
    official tracking system in NWN, we have to fake it!  Use your listen and 
    spot checks to see behind doors and to spot enemies that are hidden.  If you 
    already have some experience with the PW you’re playing on (and know which 
    monsters will spawn for your party’s level), you can tell your team to beware 
    for monster X, because you’ve seen tracks.  Of course that’s a little cheap 
    (and hardcore RP servers may not like this), but you *should* have tracking 
    after all.  If there’s a good DM around, you might be able to ask him to do 
    some kind of spot check roll to fake tracking.  
    
    Make good choices : 
    
    Be careful with the choices you make with your favoured enemies and animal 
    companion.  Basically, you should try to find out what kind of creatures are 
    in the module you play.  I know it is hard, but ask around (if you're in MP) 
    to higher level players.  You can even do it in character with no difficulty 
    at all.  The general rule is that people like to put a lot of Undead, so it 
    might be a good choice for your first favoured enemy.  Actually, Undead will 
    cover many creatures (both low and high level), so it is one of the best 
    group to take.  
    
    For the animal companions, it is usually a good idea to pick either the bear 
    or wolf first.  If you see you can handle most enemies without its help, try 
    to switch to the animal you want (the panther comes to mind).  
    
    If you decide to pick weapon focus, consider the availability of the weapon 
    you want first.  Some servers or modules do not offer lots of different 
    weapons, and it might be hard for you to find your weapon of choice.  
    Generally, both short and long swords are safe values.  Bows, of course, can 
    be found just as often as the swords.  
    
    For combat : 
    
    For most Rangers (i.e. except for those with low dexterity and heavy armour), 
    the general strategy is the very simple : 
    Shoot arrows, switch to sword when the enemy is near.  
    
    Be smart, however.  If you're facing many archers, it might be a good idea to 
    kill some of them with your bow first, especially if they can backstab.  On 
    the other hand, you get a good bonus when in melee against an archer without 
    point blank.  Your call.  
    
    If a fight is too much for your Ranger in melee (and all your other tricks 
    have failed (i.e. your companion died, you have no traps and there are no 
    nearby animals)), consider the very cheap yet effective hit and run tactic.  
    Get that bow out from your backpack, shoot, run, shoot, run et cetera.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Concerning Archers and Finesse Warriors --------------------------:SHPT2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -=The Damage Problem=-
    
    In NeverWinter Nights (and especially IceWind Dale 2), damage dealt via 
    ranged weapons seems to be quite messed up.  It is kind of low when compared 
    to melee damage, if you do not use magical arrows, which cost quite a lot, 
    not to mention that they are kind of rare (and the damage is still not high).  
    Some will think that it is not worse than finesse dual wielders, but if you 
    use 2 weapons, you get 2 additional attacks (if you have the feats, and 
    Rangers do), and the critical ranges are higher.  Others will say that it is 
    not worse than a paladin with 14 or 16 Str wielding a longsword and focusing 
    on charisma (a popular build), but longswords are single handed, so you can 
    have a shield.  Paladins also have Divine Might to augment their damage (and 
    they get bull’s strength and a crap load of useful buffs too).  That’s why 
    most archer builds were fighter/rogue, to maximise the damage with sneak 
    attacks.  When the Arcane Archer came out, the problem was “solved” because 
    of the upgrading damage.  
    
    The purist in me does not like to be dependant of a prestige class to deal 
    the damage, so for me, the problem is far from being “solved”.  
    
    Now, I am gonna say something that many RPG fans will hate.  Beware.  
    
    If there’s one thing that Diablo 2 handled well, it must be the Strength/ 
    Dexterity spread.  Let’s face it : to hit an enemy, either with a bow or a 
    sword, Dexterity should be used.  A dwarf can lift that huge axe, but if he 
    does not have any agility/dexterity, he won’t be able to bring it down on the 
    enemy’s head.  In Diablo 2, Dexterity was used to hit the enemy, and strength 
    for the damage and requirements for various items.  When using a bow, 
    dexterity determined the damage.  That’s a *lot* better.  That way, bow users 
    actually stand a chance against melee characters (and the amazon’s overpower-
    ness comes from overpowered items (buriza, EH, WF) and other factors, *not* 
    because of the dexterity).  If you think it is not realistic to have the 
    dexterity improve the damage, let’s say a dextrous archer knows where to hit 
    the enemy to hurt him (in the throat versus in the arm).  If you think of it 
    for a second, there’s no reason for strength to augment the damage.  There 
    should be strength requirements for bows (like in BG2), but having strength 
    modify the damage (for ranged attacks) is, in my opinion, plain stupidity.  
    An archer needs strength to pull the string.  Being able to pull a string is 
    more of a requirement...  Anyway, the rules are designed that way and we 
    can’t do anything about that.  
    
    That being said, I seriously hope that Dragon Age (the upcoming BioWare RPG) 
    will be better balanced with archers (since it is not based on the crappy 3.0 
    DnD, everything is possible!).  
    
    But let’s get back to the problem at hands.  If you want to play a high level 
    archer with decent damage (i.e. how it is supposed to be), then I suggest 
    playing an arcane archer.  By high level here I mean the epic levels.  You do 
    not have to do the universal Ftr9/Wiz1/AA30.  Rangers also make extremely 
    good Arcane Archers (even more if you play 3.5).  
    
    If you play lower levels (as low as 1 and as high as 20), a classic Ranger 
    archer should do it.  The damage is fine (low level is where the game is the 
    most balanced after all), and you should only have trouble against huge, 
    scary, regenerating monsters.  Be sure to pull out a decent strength score 
    (damage via mighty!) and pump your dexterity to be sure you hit and it should 
    be fine.  If you play in a party, then it is perfect (especially because you 
    can scout and set traps as well).  
    
    I personally never made it to epic levels outside the very hack and slash 
    Hordes of the Underdark campaign.  But after testing, I came up with the 
    conclusion that the damage (and the general effectiveness) of a pure Ranger 
    archer will slow down at very high levels, though it is still playable.  
    However, if you do get to epic levels, then I guess you’re in for extreme 
    damage builds.  
    
    It is quite possible that you experience some difficulty at very low levels 
    (1-4).  Actually, it is going to be touchy until you get your animal 
    companion.  Also, for some very odd reasons (which I can’t mathematically 
    explain), it looks like you’ll miss more often with a bow than with a 
    longsword even if you have a higher dexterity.  I just do not understand 
    this, and probably never will.  So until you get a higher BAB, an archer is 
    best played like a melee fighter (a shield would help, even though it is very 
    un-rangerish).  Of course using your bow works too, but you’ll have to do hit 
    and run all the time.  
    
    Some people argue that fighters make better archers than Rangers (of course 
    we’re talking pure here).  The main argument is that fighters get weapon 
    specialisation.  To tell the truth, I just do not understand what the fuss is 
    all about when it comes down to weapon spec.  A +2 damage is not that much, 
    yet everybody seems to think that every “warrior” character has to multiclass 
    to get it.  On the long run, Rangers will end up doing more damage to their 
    favoured enemies, and fewer (well, -2) against everyone else.  In my opinion, 
    the bonus represented by weapon spec can hardly be considered as a valuable 
    argument.  Add to this the fact that a Ranger will have an animal companion 
    (think of a bear with greater magic fangs), stealth aptitude and the ability 
    to set traps.  I would like to see a fighter compete with this.  Here’s a 
    more structured argumentation :
    
    -=Why Rangers make better archers than fighters=-
    
    -Rangers get more skill points.  Skill points are useful to dexterity builds 
    because they do not do as much damage as the melee builds.  Therefore, it is 
    always nice to have some other tricks to turn the tables in your favour.  
    
    -Speaking about skill points, rangers get stealth aptitudes and can set 
    traps.  While you won’t be able to backstab enemies like a thief, you can 
    position yourself to launch an attack from the perfect spot.  It also helps 
    to scout ahead, and therefore get a hold on enemy positions and numbers.  
    Traps are also very useful for archers, since you can easily lure enemies in 
    them with arrows.  
    
    -Rangers get some buffing spells.  While they’re not excellent, cat’s grace 
    helps you to hit enemies with that bow (especially at lower levels).  Others 
    include some bonuses to skills and resistance to elemental damage, which is 
    always useful to have.  
    
    -Rangers get favoured enemies, which are very useful to help damage the 
    enemy.  Fighters do get specialisation (and epic for a total of +6)...  But 
    at epic levels, the ranger will do from +5-9 + 2d6 to favoured enemies, which 
    can eventually cover most creatures/races you’ll encounter.  
    
    -Rangers get an animal companion.  Archers like to have something between 
    them and the enemy, so they can shoot in peace.  The animal companion, who 
    has the potential of becoming a killing machine with greater magic fangs, is 
    every archer’s dream.  
    
    -Fighters get more feats so they can also specialise in a backup melee 
    weapon?  Well, rangers will still do their full favoured enemies damage with 
    any weapon they get their hands on.  No need for additional feats.  
    
    -If you want to take Arcane Archer, then ranger as the base class makes more 
    sense, because you need intelligence to supply your wizard spells.  Fighters 
    do not get a lot of (useful) class skills, and therefore ranger levels make 
    the intelligence more valuable.  
    
    For the above reasons, it is safe to assume that Rangers make more effective 
    archers than fighters.  
    
    As a final note : if you start playing with a pure archer, you may be 
    disappointed.  You will get in trouble, and you’ll think that your character 
    is weak.  I say give it a try.  Keep playing, and build your levels.  As soon 
    as you can get your animal companion and a second attack per round (level 6), 
    things will be better.  Try it out.  
    
    Conclusion : 
    
    If you plan on playing high level hack and slash modules or PWs, *and* you 
    like your character to be ungodly, then you should go Arcane Archer.  
    
    If it is RP and lower levels, you should be fine with a pure Ranger.  
    
    If it is high level hack and slash with scary, regenerating and damage 
    resistant / immune monsters, and that you do not want / can’t take Arcane 
    Archer because of server restriction, then I wish you good luck, and try to 
    find a good party to take the hits.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 – Concerning Finesse Warriors --------------------------------------:SHPT3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    There has been a lot of debates on Dex-based characters using weapon 
    finesse.  The general rule is that strength is better.  However, two classes 
    can effectively use weapon finesse : Rangers and Thieves.  Thieves will do 
    crazy damage to the common enemies due to their backstab.  Rangers will do a 
    little bit less damage, but it also applies on Undeads (immune backstab) and 
    those big nasty enemies (such as construct).  Any other classes are not as 
    good because they only depend on strength to deal their damage.  Fighters 
    would come in second, as their specialisation adds +2 and epic adds +4.  
    
    -=Why Rangers make better finesse warriors than fighters=-
    
    The same reasons as for the archer apply here, since both the finesse and 
    archer builds are played similarly.  Actually, both of them are the same 
    build, except that one focuses more on the bow, while the other focuses on 
    finesse weapons.  
    
    If you try your builds in the Hordes of the Underdark official campaign 
    (start at clvl 15) or any other "Halls of Training" modules, do not 
    get a normal weapon to see if the damage you do is fine.  For example, lets 
    say you start the HotU official campaign.  You're clvl 15 and you get one of 
    those short swords in the armoury.  When you'll attack the drows downstairs, 
    you will do a pitiful 5-10 damage.  Get a weapon with an enchantment (say a 
    +2) and you should do in the high 10s.  Do not forget that at level 15, you 
    would normally have at least a +1 weapon, but the campaign does not give you 
    one to start with.  
    
    Pumping DEX to ridiculous levels can be both a good and a bad thing.  Your 
    attack bonus will become higher, but you'll eventually end up having to wear 
    clothes so that you do not limit your DEX bonus to AC.  However, since you do 
    not have Uncanny Dodge I, it might get dangerous to use only Dex for your AC.  
    When you reach the maximum DEX bonus for leather armours, for example, you 
    might want to start tossing your points in STR to get some added damage.  On 
    the other hand, you could at that point pick up some wizard levels and wear a 
    powerful robe.  It is your call.  
    
    Finally, you might want to carry a big scary weapon (greatsword) in your 
    backpack to break physical resistance.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 – Being a Ranger ---------------------------------------------------:SHPT4:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    There’s a lot to say here.  It mostly applies to those who play Rangers as 
    close to fighters as possible.  
    
    In some of the E-Mails I received, and in the rare Ranger-related topics on 
    the BioWare boards, people see Rangers as Fighters.  They dual wield bastard 
    swords, and go heavy armour with greatswords.  I originally thought that 
    people understood what a Ranger was after all, but it looks like I was wrong.  
    
    Let’s look at each of the warrior classes : 
    
    The Fighter
    Definition : The fighter is the basic guy with a sword and possibly a shield.  
    Role : Go on the front and bash enemies.  
    
    The Paladin
    Definition : The paly is a holy warrior with a sword and a shield.  
    Role : Party leader and enemy bashing.  
    
    The Barbarian
    Definition : A guy who likes to inflict pain.  
    Role : Skull bashing.  
    
    The Ranger
    Definition : A cunning, skilled warrior of the wilderness.  
    Role : Scout, opportunist, and ranged attacker.  
    
    Start to see a pattern?  I hope so.  
    
    Notice the words “cunning”, “skilled”, “opportunist” and “ranged”.  What does 
    all that crap mean?  A Ranger * is not supposed to be a front liner *.  Best 
    example?  Kivan from BG1 : this guy is the typical Ranger.  
    
    Even as I type, I can hear you think “Huh?  What’s this guy talking about?”
    
    The answer is simple, really.  
    
    The Ranger is a smart warrior.  He will not rush into combat unprepared (the 
    exact opposite of the barbarian, actually).  He’s an opportunist : if he’s 
    melee, he will wait for the meatshields (aka the fighters, barbs and palies) 
    to be engaged with the enemies.  Otherwise, he will shoot with his bow.  
    Think Legolas from The Lord of the Rings (I know he’s not a Ranger, but we do 
    not get to see Aragorn’s “Ranger side” in the movies, and since most people 
    haven’t read the books...).  
    
    Of course the ranger (if he’s melee) can take the role of a tank without too 
    much problems, but that should be the case only if there are not enough 
    fighters and co. to hold the lines.  
    
    The problem is that NWN does not encourage you to play such characters at 
    all.  NWN is all about damage.  You need *heavy* damage as *fast* as 
    possible.  Or better yet, you want to kill enemies in one shot with your 
    Devastating Criticals.  Skills do not have a good place in the game.  
    Throughout my guide, I put a lot of emphasis on animal empathy and set traps.  
    I did this because these are traditional Ranger skills, yet most people do 
    not use them because “it does not do enough damage”.  The Ranger is a 
    versatile class, and he needs to use everything he has if he wants to be as 
    dangerous as your average fighter.  
    
    The other problem with NWN is the not very complex area system.  Generally, a 
    fight in a forest or in a plain should not be the same.  In NWN, the only 
    difference is that there are trees in the forest.  A Ranger is not supposed 
    to best a fighter in your traditional big battle on the plains.  However, a 
    fighter is no match for a Ranger (same level, of course), in a wilderness 
    setting.  There’s no way a full plate mail fighter can follow a ranger 
    running in a thick forest and swimming across a river.  In NWN, every battle 
    is the typical “battle in the plains”.  Therefore, Ranger’s have a hard time 
    being as effective as a fighter.  A similar problem also applies to Paladins 
    : they do not get their mount, which is their trick to be on par with a 
    fighter who has many different feats.  
    
    Conclusion : 
    
    So please, think twice before creating a “tank” Ranger.  You’re missing what 
    the Ranger class is all about, and then you’ll go whine over the net that 
    your friend’s barbarian is a better tank than your Ranger, and that therefore 
    Rangers suck.  
    
    Like Corwin the Brute said in his great Diablo 2 : LoD Bowazon guide 
    (available here at gamefaqs.com) : 
    “Using the well-known “Diablo2 suckiness reciprocity principle” (‘If they are 
    better than me at what they do, then I must suck or Blizzard should nerf 
    them’)”.  
    
    In a general form : “If the other class is better at his job than me, then my 
    class sucks”.  
    And in NWN terms : “Since the barbarian is a better tank than my Ranger, then 
    Rangers suck”.  
    So be smart, and use your brain.  Please.  
    
    And finally, an exclusive and juicy rant fresh out of my humble mind : 
    
    Note : This mostly applies to archers, though it is also true for finesse 
    Rangers.  
    
    Like I previously said, NWN is not generous at all for Rangers, and thus 
    archers may (notice the use of “may”) not be able to be on par with other 
    classes.  Just check the official Wizards of the Coast website for the feats 
    they should have gotten...  I mean, come on.  they get 2 (two) archery 
    feats...  Where the heck is Many Shots? Precise Shot? Not mentioning the 
    improved versions...  And in the last expansion, BioWare gives devastating 
    critical and whirlwind attack to melee STR fighters.  How in the nine hells 
    are archers supposed to compete with this??  “But Devastating Critical works 
    with bows too!”  Yeah right.  You need to get 25 strength for that, not 
    mentioning all the useless-for-archers required melee feats like cleave, it 
    is greater version and whirlwind attack.  “But you Dex-based guys can get 
    improved whirlwind attack!”  Of course we can!  And now, we will destroy 
    everything in our path by using the amazingly HUGE range of finessable 
    weapons (of course we did not get the opportunity to get the “real” version 
    of weapon finesse, so we’re stuck with short swords and daggers).  BioWare 
    obviously wanted to target the vast Diablo 2 audience by making a game where 
    “damage is king”, to take an old D2 saying.  Even bloody thieves are all 
    about damage now with their sneak attacks.  Wizards and Sorcs?  They only 
    spam maximised Isaac’s Greater’s.  Needless to say, I seriously hope that 
    Dragon Age will be the “spiritual successor” of BG and KotOR, but *not* of 
    NWN.  
    
    And while we’re at it, I hope that we will get some good archery feats in 
    NeverWinter Nights 2 (I am not sure if I like the idea of a NWN2, but 
    anyway...).  
    
    All right, I got carried away a little...  But I do feel better now.  Thanks 
    for reading my personal mess.    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                      SECTION I : READER’S SUBMISSIONS              :SISR0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Here I will post every mail I received from readers.  Basically, I do not 
    change anything in the mails.  I did, however, add some spaces (to make them 
    easier to read and to insert my comments).  In some cases, I also scraped 
    some parts of the original mail because it contained mistakes that were 
    corrected in a second e-mail.  
    
    Like I said in the E-Mails section (which you should have read if you sent me 
    something), I did not post the authors’ E-Mail addresses to keep their 
    privacy.  If you want your address to be posted, just drop me a message.  
    
    The name of the author will be displayed like this : -=Name=-
    Notes from me will be presented this way : ***Note : (text) ***
    
    So here we go!
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Jan Eric Martinsen=-
    (first mail)
    
    Hello there, Muffinman!
    
    My compliments on your ranger guide - it was an interesting read. :-) I have 
    some thoughts I would like to share with you and hopefully get some feedback 
    on.
    
    First off you should know that I am a very serious roleplayer as well as a 
    powergamer, I always play on a strict RP server (persistant world)... and 
    that I enjoy multiclassing rangers with rogues. :-)
    
    Intelligence: I always raise intelligence to 14. It means having one less 
    point in DEX, and two less points in either STR or CON, but it is definately 
    worth it to me. With a +2 modifier in intelligence I get 40 additional 
    skillpoints by level 20, and I like using half of these on raising tumble up 
    till 20 (I raise tumble when levelling as a rogue, when it is considered a 
    class skill). 20 tumble means +4 AC as well as avoiding getting hit an awful 
    lot of times, and the modifier for tumble is DEX which is my favored skill. I 
    think that's really worth sacrificing 1 DEX and 2 STR or CON for.
    
    ***Note : This is just so true.  For all characters, actually.  You do not 
    have to be a wizard or a rogue to enjoy the benefits of high intelligence.  
    ***
    
    Skills: Always playing an elf, I love taking full advantage of always being 
    in full search mode, so I raise search, spot and listen (always maxing 
    search). Spot and listen are very valuable skills to me as they allow me to 
    take vengeance upon the thieves foolish enough to try pick pocketing me, and 
    also helps me spot hidden monsters and such. Using 20 skillpoints in tumble 
    leaves me with 20 more to spent in addition to the extreme number of 
    skillpoints I get when levelling as a rogue, so I am able to pretty much max 
    out all the useful skills you recoomend in your guide (I dont bother with 
    thief skills like pickpocketing, always being good characters).
    
    Feats: Unless playing a fighter, when its worthwhile taking weapon focus for 
    weapon spec, and later the epic spec, I avoid taking the focus spec. Getting 
    only +1 chance to hit is not worth a whole feat, in my opinion. I prefer 
    taking increased critical in both rapier and longbow instead, as I tend to 
    use both. I love ranged attacks, especially since I always end up with an 
    extreme dexterity, and I would be a fool not to take advantage of the three 
    free dualwielding feats of the ranger. Multiclassing as a rogue I get uncanny 
    dodge and evasion, which makes me very hard to hit combined with the dodge 
    feat, tumble skill and high DEX. Other than dodge and the two increased 
    crits, I always take weapon finesse and toughness. Called shot and rapid shot 
    are also favourites of mine.
    
    ***Note : Mr. Martinsen’s view on weapon focus is an interesting one.  When 
    you think of it, a small +1 is really not much.  Of course with epic levels 
    you can get a total of +3, but epic is hard to reach most (all?) of the time.  
    I do still think it is a good idea to pick it, because +1 is still welcome at 
    lower levels, when it can make the difference between hit and miss, and 
    therefore between life and death.  ***
    
    ***Note : Mr. Martinsen also provided his build, but he made a mistake in it.  
    So I scraped this part, since the correct build is included in the second 
    mail.  ***
    
    (second mail)
    
    On the server I play on, City of Arabel, I am required to select a subclass. 
    Wood Elf, Moon Elf, Sun Elf and Wild Elf all have ability modifiers, like the 
    Wood Elf getting +2STR, +2DEX, -2CON, -2INT and -2CHA. For some reason the 
    wood elf gets harsher penalties than the other elven subraces (the others get 
    one +2 and one -2), but i have decided to go with it anyways. The favored 
    class of wood elves is ranger, which means I wont get the 20% XP penalty when 
    multiclassing a ranger/rogue. My new final ability scores will be:
    
    STR 16 +3
    DEX 16 +3
    CON 12 +1
    INT 12 +1
    WIS 12 +1
    CHA 08 -1
    
    Since I get +2 in STR and CON as a wood elf, I figured I should put them both 
    at at least 14 to begin with, so that the +2 bonuses give me +8 points (since
    raising above 14 costs 2 points per increase). I couldnt afford to put any 
    other ability above 14 to begin with, so unfortunately CON and INT ended up 
    at 12. I probably should have gone with 6 CHA to get 14 WIS, but as a 
    roleplayer I really didnt want to RP someone with such a low CHA. At lvl 12 I 
    will put a point in WIS to gain 3rd level spells, and I doubt I will get any 
    higher levelled than that for a loong time. +20 skillpoints for the INT 12 
    will still be enought to let me max tumble.
    
    Oh and in the last mail I sent you, I forgot to mention the excellent sneak
    attacks I get whenever attacking someone not focusing on fighting myself. 
    They really make a huge difference. Also, that starting with a rogue level 
    will give me 28 skillpoints at creation rather than 14. :-)
    
    ***Note : Sneak attacks are the main reason why people multiclass to rogue 
    when making archers.  It is great for sure, but it is possible to stomach the 
    normal damage.  ***
    
    Here's something you probably did not know about rapiers... even though they 
    are medium weapons, they are treated as small weapon when it comes to Weapon
    Finesse. Do not ask me why. Check out the description in the Weapon Finesse 
    feat, and you'll see it mentioned. Also, a guide i read also stated that they 
    are considered small weapons when dual-wielding... I need to check up on this 
    at the forum. I will let you know what I find out. If not, I will use short 
    swords instead. :-)
    
    ***Note : This is obviously a mistake, which he corrected in his third mail.  
    ***
    
    I will probably get my first feats in this order:
    
    Weapon Finesse
    Dodge
    Mobility
    Imp.crit longbow
    Imp.crit rapiers
    Toughness
    Rapid shot
    Blind fighting
    
    ***Note : A small mistake I noticed – you need point blank shot in order to 
    qualify for rapid shot.  I would take it instead of mobility.  ***
    
    I might make some minor changes though.
    
    That's it for now. Thanks for your feedback. :-)
    
    ***Note : Mr. Martinsen also sent a third mail, though I did not include it 
    since it only confirmed the fact that rapiers will give –4/-4 penalties.  I 
    would like to personally thank him though, because he’s actually the first 
    one who sent me a mail, and his ideas are very interesting also.  Thanks!  
    ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Beno=-
    
    Aiya, fellow ranger! Here, now you can't say nobody e-mails you about your 
    Ranger guide for Neverwinter nights:) First of all, let me say it is a great 
    guide, lots of examples here (we do like examples, do not we?), as well as 
    lots of explanations why some things are as they are, not just writing 
    "Ranger rules." Great job also on the D&D rules (stat points, attack rolls, 
    AC, races, rangers vs. other classes), and, by the way, your English is 
    GREAT, and typos just happen to all of us:))) But I am forgetting my manners: 
    my name is Urban, but just call me Beno (provided you'll write back) and I am 
    also a fan of LoTR and Rangers. Who wouldn't like those woodland guys (and 
    girls!), with that bit of mystery... 
    
    The only D&D game I haven't had a Ranger in my group was Icewind dale 2, 
    since I really found them a bit weak. 
    
    ***Note : Many people think so...  The reason is that the rules are badly 
    implemented.  They do not get animal companions, their favoured enemies are 
    horrible, and, worst of all, the ranged combat is completely broken (the only 
    way to deal extra damage is to use magical arrows, which are not found 
    everywhere.  Also, ICW2 is almost completely about dungeon lurking, so 
    there’s no huge city where you can stock up on weapons and arrows).  So even 
    at higher levels, an archer will deal a little more than 1-6 if he’s lucky, 
    while the melee warriors go in the 20s and 30s.  Why am I writing all this?  
    Well, many people think that ICW2 rangers are the same as NWN rangers, 
    because both games use the same ruleset.  But if you look closely at it, the 
    rules are really different. 
    
    Just to show how pitiful it was, let me give you this example.  The first 
    time I played ICW2, it was right after years of BG (1 and 2) and I had 
    absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about the 3.0 rules.  Therefore, my first 
    party wasn’t all that great.  I had, among others, a pure Ranger (moon elf) 
    focussing on long bows and a pure halfling thief.  Since I was used to the 
    2.0 rules, I had my halfling thief dual wield two longswords, without the 
    ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting feats (since he wasn’t one of my 
    “tank”, I did not bother).  Not only this is illegal (halflings are small 
    creatures, and must wield longswords with both hands), but the little bugger 
    actually had more kills than my ranger.  And do not forget that he had all 
    the penalties from dual wielding (and large weapons at that), and was a thief 
    (75% base attack).  ICW 2 is, in my opinion, completely butchered (the more 
    fun I had with it was soloing an elven sorceress O_o).  If only game 
    designers implemented the rules correctly...
    
    Anyway, I got carried away a little... yet again.  Let’s get back to Beno’s 
    mail.  ***
    
    It all changed with Baldur's gate 2 and the appearance of the new weapon: 
    KATANAS! These things just slash anything to pieces, and with two of tose 
    babies a Ranger is...well, brutal:) 
    
    ***Note : Indeed, but I maintain that such a build is better for fighters. In 
    BG2, you did not have to bother about a light off-hand weapon, so dual 
    wielding katanas was an obvious choice. Also, as far as computer games are 
    concerned, bastard swords are exactly the same as katanas.  ICW2 had bastard 
    swords.  ***
    
    Just two comments about your guide. OK, three. Animal companions: the bear is 
    a powerhouse and can take a lot of damage, the only problem is, that it is a 
    large, slow beast and not really suitable for some cramped dungeon. I prefer 
    the panther: true, it does not have the largest amount of HP and the AC is 
    criminally low, but the Sneak attack makes it all worth while. 
    
    ***Note : Yes the bear is large, but I never found that to be a problem.  And 
    he’s not any slower than the others (not from my experience anyway).  For his 
    build though, the panther is better since he’s a melee ranger.  ***
    
    Animal empathy: why DO you like it so much? Sure, getting an extra ally is 
    always good, but the animals really are not that powerful. Early in the game, 
    why not, but later you get the Greater swordsman's belt anyway, so you're 
    almost invulnerable. But hey, if you like it... 
    
    ***Note : It is not really a matter of having a powerful animal at your side.  
    It is more getting an extra meat shield, and reducing the enemy numbers.  And 
    as far as the power go, you can’t argue with a dire bear (it is still better 
    than nothing!).  Turning cleric and mage summons against their masters is a 
    load of fun also.  People should just try the skill; it is useful, as long as 
    the module you play is not extreme, pure and stupid hack and slash to death 
    (i.e. à la Diablo 2).  Animal Empathy is even useful in the HotU OC, a rather 
    action oriented module.  But as I’ve stated before, I play in lower level 
    modules more than anything else (never went epic outside HotU).  ***
    
    Helmets: one word - stupid. I mean, you try making your character kinda nice 
    to look at (or give him/her a crazy haircut in wicked colors), and then you 
    spend the rest of the game with a pot on your head! Not that they're useful 
    for non-casters ayway... Sure, there's the Stag helmet with those nice horns, 
    but it still looks stupid. The only cool helmet I've seen so far is Eyes of 
    petrification (Shadows of Undrentide, shop in Waterdeep), but the Doofus 
    award goes to Paladin helmet (Hordes of Underdark, in a cave near the Drow 
    city). Put that one on and die laughing! 
    
    Just one last thing (everybody's a critic!): in the Divine spells part, you 
    forgot the Endure elements at level 1. As for the end, what can I say? Lots 
    of good stuff, a bit of bad stuff, and a bunch of dead elves. Um, orcs. Er, 
    whatever we kill anyway:)))
    
    ***Note : Beno also sent a second mail, acknowledging with what I replied to 
    him.  He also pointed out how great the greater (pun intended) swordsman belt 
    was.  It is hard to disagree with him.  I do not think it is very useful to 
    include this mail here though.  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Gabriel Sharp=-
    
    liked your ranger guide it actually helps me.  but,
    however, you dont seem to like anything.   i have a
    ranger/druid and the ranger abilitys helped make me a
    strong fighting character since ive adjusted with AC
    bonuses and haste and powerful weapons.  the druid
    part has some of the most powerful spells and best
    helping animals.  i dont use the animals so much to
    fight but to distract and use strong allies to do
    melee damage.  i agree totally with the use of your
    skills and feats and i use parry only when my group is
    low on hp and i need to heal.  so i hope you look to
    ranger slash magic characters and see some of the
    benefits.  there are weaknesses as with any character
    but its fun to have a character able to kick ass and
    chew bubble gum.
    
    ***Note : This is the mail that made me think again about multiclassing.  The 
    Ranger/Druid combo is a really nice one, actually.  Since my guide is really 
    centred on pure Rangers, I did not want to encourage multiclass, but it does 
    help a lot sometimes.  For me, the Druids/Ranger would be better if there 
    were more Druid levels (a couple of Ranger levels would bring important 
    weapons (though roleplayer might not want to break those Druidic oaths), 
    better attack bonuses and more hit points.  Favoured enemies can’t hurt 
    either.  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Kryptik=-
    
    Hey,  
           I am currently reading your ranger's guide off GameFAQs.com.
    First off, its pretty good. Good job on writing a pretty complete
    guide and showing all those ranger-haters out there what's what.
            Secondly, I would like to run an idea by you. I just picked up
    HotU the other day and have been playing it for a bit (just got to act
    two, first thing i did was go after the quest on the island w/ the
    flying elfs, halfway through that) and the build i decided to go with
    was a Ranger / Rogue, using a strength-based dual wield (light armor)
    scheme. This has worked wonders for several reasons.
           First: as you stated, Rogues get the uncanny dodge line, so you
    do not have to worry about your dex bonus and reflex saves.
           Second: the sneak attacks are fantastic! I think i took my
    rogue lvl to like... 7 or 8 so far (i bleive my Ranger is like 11 or
    12) and i currently have, i believe, a +3d6 sneak attack. With
    dual-wielding longswords (with both weapon focus and improved crit)
    and haste (I am using that inteligent longsword from act 1, and had the
    drow merchant in act 2 add haste to it) I am ripping through combat (my
    other is the flame tongue from the ogre mage in act 1). I also have a
    rediculous strength (started with base of 14, put all 4 pts i've
    gotten so far into it, so i have base 18, and have two +3 str items
    (ring and belt) for a total of 24) so even on creatures with damage
    resistance/absorbtion or that are not affected by crits (i took undead
    as a favored enemy aswell) my damage is pretty high.
           Thirdly: rogues have tumble as a class skill. Now, for every 5
    pts you put into tumble it gives you a +1 dodge bonus to your ac, and
    with uncanny dodge, you can never be denied this dodge bonus. So what
    i like to do is put a lvl in rogue every couple ranger lvls, and drop
    5 pts into tumble for the extra point of ac. I also like putting
    points into persuade which they have as a class skill, just incase i
    need it durring conversation (although i havn't found much use for it
    in HotU, not nearly as much as there was in the OC and in SoU... but
    I am hoping it will pay off sometime), and also pick pocket just for
    the fun of it when i have extra points.
    
    So there you have it. I am having SO much fun with this build right
    now, its incredible. I do not even bother with a bow, cause i also
    picked up dodge / mobility / spring attack so i just run to the back
    to get to the spellcasters or whatever. My previous build (in SoU)
    wasn an arcane archer, so i do appreciate the wonders of the bow...
    but i've yet to need it (i also played a monk to lvl 20 in the OC...
    oye are they powerfull... too much so, not even fun to play that game
    at the end). If you want them, i believe my starting stats were:
    str: 14, dex: 14, con: 12, int: 14, wis: 14, cha: 10 
    oh, and I am an elf
    
    if you want to know any more about my build (what current skills /
    feats i have, etc.) just lemmie know. I am at work right now, else I would
    list it off for you here, but i do not remember them off the top of my
    head. take care and thanks for your time!!
    
    ***Note : Very interesting information for a special ranger/rogue combo.  The 
    attributes spread is also really great, in my opinion.  Thanks!  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Josh Grandell=-
    
    Hello, i was checking out ur ranger guide and read the stuff about Forgotten 
    Realms.  First, ur FAQ is good, almost did the same thing.  As a fellow RPG 
    fan and fantasy reader, i was wondering what ur problem with forgotten Realms 
    is?  The LoTR is kick ass, but I feel Tolkein left a shit load out, like 
    there was gonna be another book, but he never wrote it.  sorry, just puttin 
    my 2 cents in.  Also, If uve read, WHo do ya think would win, Aragon, or 
    Drizzt??  What got me hooked on Rangers is That loveable Drow, Drizzt.  sht, 
    o well, just thought id let u know someone liked ur FAQ 
    
    Peace
    
    ***Note : One of the many reasons I included more info about my opinion on 
    the FR.  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=zergirl=-
    (first mail)
    
    Hi! I've read your guide and it was really cool! Respect. 
    Please, what can you tell me about this Ranger multiclass for levelcap 20 
    (Ranger(15)/Fighter(4)/Assasin(1))? 
    
    First of all - it is pure PvP char, also thief-catcher. 
    
    1) starting attributes: 
    
    race - elf (i like them and also they have +2 spot/listen) 
    
    STR 16 - cause it is strength=based char 
    DEX 14 - if you cast "Cat's Grace" you'll get 18 - max for the most 
    protective of light armors 
    CON 10 - it is a little, but this char is going to kill FAST, so he will do 
    it )) 
    WIS 14 - hmmmm, to cast ))))) 
    INT 14 - for skill points and improved knock 
    CHA -8 - ))) nooo, I am not a powergamer )) 
    
    all bonus attributes i put to strength 
    
    ***Note : 10 Con is kind of too low, in my opinion, for such melee oriented 
    character.  ***
    
    2) levels: 
    
    at first 4 fighter to get 3 free feats (including specialization) 
    next 7 ranger 
    next 1 assasin (to put 15 in tumble and get "Death attack" (maybe with low 
    DC, but sometimes it will work) 
    next all ranger 
    
    so we get free two-weapon fighting feats, as a weapon i take two-bladed sword 
    (cause it suits fine fow two-weapon fighting, it is Slashing - so you can 
    cast ranger's +3 enchant, and, of course, it looks COOL) 
    also 4 favorite enemies (halflings, dwarves, humans and elves) 
    
    ***Note : Because it brings a d8 damage balanced off-hand weapon, the two-
    bladed sword is the best choice for heavy damage.  ***
    
    3) feats 
    
    1.  Blooded (+2 spot/initiative), Exotic profiency 
    2.  Focus on two-bladed sword 
    3.  Knock 
    4.  Specialization on two-bladed sword 
    5.  - 
    6.  Improved initiative (to do knock) 
    7.  - 
    8.  - 
    9.  Improved critical on two-bladed sword 
    10. - 
    11. - 
    12. Improved knock 
    13. - 
    14. - 
    15. Awarness (+2 spot/listen) 
    16. - 
    17. - 
    18. dont' know, maybe Dodge 
    19. - 
    20. - 
    
    4) skills 
    
    For first four fighet levels discipline only, keep skillpoints 
    For seven ranger levels max discipline, max spot/listen, put 1 in Animal 
    Empathy (you always can get two rings +12), and hide/move silently to 8, keep 
    rest skillpoints 
    For assasin level put 15 in tumble 
    For all left ranger levels max discipline, max spot/listen, and all rest put 
    to hide/move silently (they will be 6-7 points less)
    
    ***Note : Some great information for a special multiclass.  Thanks!  ***
    
    (second mail)
    
    
    Hi! Thank you for your answer. Is your new version of the guide comming soon? 
    ;) 
    
    ***Note : It has been some time, but it is out!  ***
    
    I've thought once more and decided not ot take even one assasin level. +3 
    bonus to AC is not worth 20% penalty to experience... As to say about Death 
    attack, on the first level it has DC 12 (which is very bad) and on the 10-th 
    assasin level - 22 (which is not much better, as almost all players have 
    their fortitude saves near 20 if they are fighters, etc., or have Freedom if 
    they are casters - only thiefs are vulnerable to this...). 
    
    ***Note : Assassin does not count when determining the XP penalty.  ***
    
    Uncanny dodge is not very useful for this build as it has maximum DEX bonus 
    of 4. 
    
    I take 4 fighter levels to get specialization 3 free important combat feats: 
    focus, critical and specialization in two-bladed sword... :)) only for this 
    :) and 20% penalty to xp is not too big to say the truth. Mor efighter level 
    are not needed, as I've got all feats I want :) 
    
    About HiPS: on most game-servers it is moved up to 4 level of ShadowDancer, 
    so :((((  it is not worth it. Also it requires 2 extra feats, which is not 
    good (I am not a pure fighter with dozens of feats :)) 
    
    And in the end of all about CON 10 - yes, you are right. It is low. Maybe two 
    points from STR, I do not know. 
    
    And what do you think about Parry skill? 
    
    ***Note : I do not know what to say about parry.  The one time I found it 
    useful was when I was surrounded (because the animations were great :p).  I 
    am not sure it is really worth it.  ***
    
    )) gl
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Rob Crawford=-
    
    Just wanted to say I like the ranger guide you wrote up.  A couple things -- 
    I always play rangers (elf).  I play them from the NWN prelude all the way up 
    through Hordes.  I hardly ever multiclass (although the current guy is a 
    Ranger 11/Rogue 10) but I do try to take a few ranks in rogue skills.  I play 
    rangers in the pencil/paper game.  I have played other character classes, but 
    the rangers always end up being the best, so I was suprised to read that 
    people do not like playing them.  I do not know why; except for what I 
    consider to be a weakness in the spellcasting area, I think they're probably 
    the single most versatile class there is.  Besides, spellcasting and brawling 
    are not what they're built for.  As you pointed out, if the player will learn 
    the strengths of the ranger and work with them, they can be successful.  
    There's nothing wrong with a low AC if you never get hit. :)  Anyway -- 
    thanks for the read.
     
    Rob
    
    ***Note : Finally someone who shares my views!  Rob also sent a second mail, 
    but I see no real use of posting it here; we only discussed a bit more the 
    people’s conception of Rangers.  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Anssi Niemi=-
    
    First things first:
    The world needs more insane LOTR-fanatics like you, pal.
    
    ***Note : Way to go!  ***
    
    Seriously. The FAQ is probably the best of all the NWN class FAQs at
    GameFAQs - it is detailed, clear, informative, and full of your own
    opinions while still stating the facts.
    Would you mind doing a Druid one? (Or, improve on the Sorcerer one for
    basic NWN - it sucks )
    
    ***Note : Sorry, but I am done with NWN :)  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=ThiefOfNavarre=-
    
     Also like Rangers (LOTR Inspired) and have found that Ranger/BARD!/AArcher 
    is a good multiclass as you gain access to a meger bard song (same as bless 
    at low perform lvl...around 4) and the invaluble tumble skill as a class 
    skill.
    Try a Dex based 28/2/10 or with more lvl's in AA and less in ranger for a 
    devasting combo, but no bard before 4th lvl otherwise dont have pre-req for 
    spells
     
    Str 14
    Dex16
    Con12
    Int12
    Wis14 
    Cha11
    
    ***Note : Nice build for an AA!  But I do thing wizard is better for the 
    builds, especially because of the really low charisma.  ***
    
    =============================================================================
    
    -=Damon=-
    
    First, let me congratulate you on a fine Ranger Guide; well done! 
    
    I just wanted to comment on the feat "Empower Spell".  With the lack of any 
    outstanding (IMHO) 4th level Ranger spells, those slots could easily be 
    filled with an Empowered Cats Grace; giving you a Dex boost of 5-6 (although 
    occasionally I have to cast it twice if the first cast rendered something 
    measly like 3).  Obviously, you would only take this feat at later levels (15 
    or 18). This allows me to start with high strength while I am still a young 
    inexperienced Ranger and boost my Dex as I mature for a well rounded Ranger.
    
    ***Note : VERY interesting tip.  I will be sure to check this out.  ***
    
    If you were into multi-classing, you could take Harper Scout (sort of ties 
    together) and the Harper Scout "Cat's Grace" stacks with the Ranger 
    "Empowered Cat's Grace" (possible Dex boost of 12 (I think)). But you have to 
    burn a lot of feats for that combo. 
    
    ***Note : I do think this is a bug of some sort.  So I would steer away from 
    it.  ***
    
    That’s it!  Thanks to everyone, not forgetting those who did not send any 
    builds!  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                         SECTION J : FAVORITE BUILD                 :SJFB0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    As you may have noticed, I now favour dexterity builds.  I kept my original 
    favourite build (just after my new one) for those who still play and like 
    Strength Rangers. 
    
    Race : Elf (this time I have a good reason : the build is an archer/finesse) 
    
    Attributes : 
    
    STR : 14
    DEX : 16
    CON : 12
    INT : 14
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    As you can see, I decided to spread out the points at character creation.  
    While experimenting with different builds, I concluded that it is a better 
    idea to raise many attributes at the beginning; it is more cost effective 
    this way.  
    
    If I feel like playing a more charismatic character, I cut Int to 12 and toss 
    the two points in Cha.  I prefer Int 14 / Cha 8 though.  With all the skill 
    points I get from a high intelligence, I can afford to “loose” some points in 
    the cross-class persuade.  
    
    Bonus Points : They generally all go in Dex.  Sometimes, I add 2 points to 
    Str for more damage.  A small +1 is no big deal though, but if I plan to 
    reach high levels, it might be worth it.  
    
    On the other hand, I do not get to very high level outside high magic / hack 
    and slash worlds, in which strength enhancing items are found everywhere 
    (HotU, for example).  
    
    Skills : 
    
    Hide
    Move Silently
    Animal Empathy
    Set Traps
    Heal
    Discipline/Search/Listen/Spot (depending on module and situation)
    
    The same as for my original build.  I can sneak, get animal buddies, heal 
    myself and people, set traps and I have decent Listen and Spot checks.  
    Listen and Spot can be useful in some situations, and it helps to define the 
    Ranger’s tracking abilities (which are sadly not implemented in NWN (BG2 had 
    one, and it was great...)).  
    
    Feats : 
    
    The feats I listed before apply here.  I will take this moment to talk about 
    Called Shot.  It is an extremely great feat for archers.  Finesse also like 
    it, but archers really shine when using it.  Generally, you will want to 
    shoot the leg, so you can land more arrows on the target before it gets to 
    you.  If you’re playing with a party, you probably have a couple of dumb 
    half-orcs holding the lines.  You can then aim for the arm to lower the 
    enemy’s attack bonus.  Against bosses, everybody will like you if you slow 
    them down, and then make sure they can’t hit anything.  Just do like Legolas 
    did to the cave troll in the FotR movie : cripple him.  
    
    For all those reasons, Called Shot is a nice feat.  Of course you have to 
    beat a discipline check, but it generally works.  Beware Monks and their 
    Deflect Arrow (the animation is... special to look at O_o).  
    
    When I play offline (downloaded modules), I usually install the 3.5 Ranger 
    (see 3.5 Ranger section).  When I use it, I pick the archery files so I get 
    Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot for free instead of Dual Wield.  This leaves 
    me more place for feats like Iron Will and Great Fortitude.  And no, I do not 
    consider this as cheating; it is just to make things more fair.  I still 
    think it is better to do this than building a kukri master with dev. 
    critical, or one of those lame overpowered cleric builds.  
    
    Favoured Enemies : 
    
    I pick Undead first, and then go with the usual most common / most dangerous 
    enemies.  Humans are also a safe bet.  
    
    Animal Companion : 
    
    As an Archer, I like to use the bear because of the very high hit points.  
    The Dire Wolf is also a decent alternative, with a better AC.  I would 
    recommend against others (including the popular panther), because you need a 
    strong animal at your side.  For role playing reasons, I like to pick the 
    Raven because it fits well with the archer theme (in my opinion).  In that 
    case though, you should be playing with a party or with a henchman.  
    
    Spells : 
    
    As usual, I take camouflage, One with the Land, Cat's Grace and Greater Magic 
    Fangs.  Camouflage helps a lot when scouting.  One with the land gives a nice 
    bonus to your important skills, Cat’s Grace gives a welcome bonus to your 
    dexterity and Greater Magic Fangs gives your animal enough power to damage  
    resistant creatures.  I also like to keep a Blade Thirst memorised, just in 
    case.  
    
    Equipment : 
    
    I actually carry three sets of weapons : 
    
    -Long Bow
    -Long Sword 
    -(Short Swords)
    
    The Long Bow is the obvious weapon here.  I keep my eyes open for the 
    composite version, so I can actually do a little more damage.  
    
    The Long Sword is to break physical resistance by using the blade thirst 
    spell.  Rangers being warriors, they can wield a longsword even if strength 
    is not the primary attribute (see the blasphemies section).  The two short 
    swords are for melee combat.  While the point blank shot feat negates the 
    penalties for using a ranged weapon in melee, it does not help you against 
    attacks of opportunity (hardcore rules only).  For this reason, having a 
    backup melee weapon is crucial for archers.  Of course this onlt applies if I 
    play with the “default” NWN Ranger.  With the 3.5 files, I do not have dual 
    wielding to start with, and picking up three feats for a backup weapon would 
    be a huge waste.  Also, my 3.5 Ranger would only carry the longsword since 
    picking up weapon finesse for a measly short sword is a bit extreme.  A valid 
    alternative would be to go for a rapier, but remember that it does piercing 
    damage and that blade thirst has thus no effects on it.  Therefore, the 
    longsword (or greatsword, if you are a fan of strangely oversized weapons) is 
    mandatory.  
    
    A common mistake done by players is to assume that you can’t use effectively 
    a long sword if you do not focus on strength.  Yes, the attack bonus will be 
    lower, but that does not mean you won’t be able to hit a thing.  Remember : a 
    ranger is, before anything else, a warrior.  He can therefore use any weapon 
    he finds (except exotics, of course; but you get my point) effectively 
    because he has a base attack equal to his level.  Read the blasphemies 
    section for more information.  
    
    For the rest, I just take whatever I like.  I favour dexterity and strength 
    enhancing items, then items that adds to skills such as hide.  Those damage 
    resistance belts (Greater Swordsman) are quite nice to have, though a little 
    bit too powerful.  
    
    Well, that’s it.  I always use this build when I play NWN now...  or a wizard 
    sometimes...
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This is my original favourite build.  I no longer play it, but it is a fine 
    build for those who like Strength Rangers.   
    
    I will start by writing the choices I made, and I will explain the build 
    after.  
    
    Race : Elf
    
    Attributes : 
    
    STR : 16
    DEX : 16
    CON : 12
    INT : 10
    WIS : 14
    CHA : 08
    
    As you can see, it is one of the build I mentioned in the Strength Dual 
    Wielding section.  
    
    Bonus Points : 
    The 2 first go into STR to give me more damage and attack bonus with melee 
    weapon.  Then I drop the next two in DEX to get the full DEX bonus from my 
    armour without using cat's grace.  Also helps my bow.  All the others go into 
    STR.  
    
    If you want to use leather armour instead of studded leather (it gives more 
    AC in total), you might want to drop 2 more points in DEX.  You would end up 
    with something like 22/20.  Alternatively, you could go 20/22 if you want 
    full advantage from the leather armour without using cat's grace (but that 
    would hurt your ABs).  
    
    Skills : 
    
    Hide
    Move Silently
    Animal Empathy
    Set Traps
    Heal
    Discipline/Search/Listen (depending on module)
    
    Those skills give a lot of versatility to my Ranger.  I can use stealth with 
    no problems, I can heal myself and others, set traps and convert animals.  
    Search and others are more for occasional uses, and sometimes I just drop 
    them from the list.  
    
    Feats : 
    
    The general feats for Strength apply, except for Devastating Critical, which 
    I think is clearly overpowered.  Why do they give this one and keep Death to 
    Enemies? *sight* It looks like BioWare does not want to help us Rangers...  
    Anyway.  
    
    Favoured Enemies : 
    
    I always start with Undeads, since they are really common and resistant to 
    critical strikes.  Also, for some very odd reasons, module builders like to 
    put lots and lots of crypts and undeads in their modules.  I usually then go 
    with the most common and then the most dangerous enemies.  
    
    Animal Companion : 
    
    Like I said before, I usually start with the Dire Wolf or Bear, since they 
    are the most rounded companions.  I usually stick with the bear, but if I 
    need some sneaking I pick the panther.  
    
    Spells : 
    
    I stick with camouflage, One with the Land, Cat's Grace, Greater Magic Fangs 
    and Blade Thirst.  These are the only spells that are worth casting, in my 
    opinion.  
    
    Equipment : 
    
    The general equipment applies for this build.  However, for the weapons, I do 
    something different.  This build is my favourite because it kinda takes all 
    the best part of being a Ranger into one character.  In the above info, 
    everything is covered except for the weapons, so here's what I generally do : 
    
    I carry 2 sets of weapons : 
    -Long Sword / Short Sword
    -Long Bow
    
    The Long Sword / Short Sword combo give me the good AB of a light off-hand 
    weapon, and the long sword is a source of slashing damage (blade thirst), 
    which helps to break physical immunities.  
    
    The Long Bow is for ranged support, of course.  
    
    That's it for now.  I might modify this if I get some more ideas, but I think 
    it is a pretty good build.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |             SECTION K : NEVERWINTER NIGHTS OFFICIAL CAMPAIGNS      :SKOC0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    I originally did not plan to include such section, because I wanted my guide 
    to cover the “general aspects” of the Ranger.  
    
    Most of the E-mails I received were from people who played the OCs.  I knew 
    that single player was more popular than multiplayer, but I thought that the 
    OCs did not have a great replay value.  I proved to be right, since I got 
    bored in chapter 2.  I did add the beginning of SoU since the last version, 
    but things will probably stay the way they are, since my addiction in NWN has 
    lowered in the last months.  
    
    Note : This is not a real walkthrough.  I just write my impressions here, and 
    I outline the important parts.  However, the main point of this mini-guide is 
    to take you through the campaigns the way I played them, so I try to keep it 
    decently precise.  
    
    -Shadows of Undrentide Official Campaign-
    
    Build used is the archer outlined in the favourite build section.  Played on 
    DnD Hardcore Rules.  You have to be careful with the Hardcore rules, because 
    enemies will get attack of opportunity on you when you use your bow at close 
    range, even with point blank shot (it only scraps the penalty).  So it is 
    really important to carry a longsword, or it is shorter version.  
    
    Chapter 1
    
    I did not use any henchman for this chapter.  I can’t stand either of the two 
    available.  
    
    I will skip all the crap that happens at the beginning because it is just 
    irrelevant.  Just make sure to do all the quests in Hilltop to get all the XP 
    available.  Just talk to everyone, and you should be fine.  Of particular 
    note would be to talk to the druid’s animal companion to find the location of 
    Ranger / Druid only gloves with a bonus to animal empathy.  They are actually 
    very useful for now, since there are plenty of wolves and bears for you to 
    convert once you’re in the wilderness.  
    
    When you venture outside Hilltop for the first time, you’ll get in that big 
    area which is like the centre of chapter 1.  It is a great place for Rangers, 
    since you are actually tracking the kobolds and they leave tracks.  Of course 
    the tracks are triggered at certain places only, so it is absolutely not 
    interactive (how sad), but it is still great.  
    
    You’ll run into a fellow Ranger who wants to find and kill a stag named the 
    Shadow Hart.  As a Ranger yourself, you’re the best class to complete this 
    quest.  As you venture everywhere around this area, check all the tracks that 
    appear (if you have points in spot, they should appear as soon as you 
    approach the correct place).  Keep the TAB button pressed, and you’ll 
    eventually find the Shadow Hart.  Shoot it down, take it is horns and heart.  
    Bring the horns to the ranger, and you can create a lesser amulet of health 
    (immunity : poison and disease) with the heart in Drogan’s room.  
    
    I went in the Elven Crypt next.  Really easy.  I cleared everything, and did 
    the quest given by the spirit to get an elven cloak from the puzzle on the 
    first level.  Do not forget to activate the trap to kill the kobolds, since 
    it makes your job so much easier.  Once you’re done, get back to Drogan’s 
    place and give the mummy hand to the harper lady.  
    
    In the central area, there is a bear you can talk to and heal.  Gives some 
    XP, if I remember correctly.  Always nice to do since you’re supposed to 
    protect animals.  
    
    Next I decided to go to the High Forest.  I cleared everything without going 
    in the caves yet.  Those caves are in the centre of the area, and the round 
    area around them quickly became my favourite place to practice the hit and 
    run tactic when I was outgunned, which happens a lot since a) I only have one 
    attack per round, b) I do not have my animal companion and c) I do not have 
    called shot.  Should you find yourself in trouble, just run around this 
    place, occasionally shooting behind you.  It is cheap, but it works like a 
    charm.  I entered the central caves from the left; I was greeted by a couple 
    of gnolls.  I highly suggest that you just exit and run around the cave like 
    I said before.  When they were dead, I went through the right side.  There 
    are a couple of wolves attacking a polar bear.  I killed the wolves and used 
    animal empathy on the bear.  You can either kill it, to get some XP, leave it 
    there, or bring it with you.  I left it there, for sentimental reasons 
    (awww...).  
    
    To the far left of the area is another cave with bandits inside.  I shot 
    everyone, avoided the pressure plate, killed the leader (do not forget the 
    hit and run around the central cave!).  Some nice loot and a key to get.  The 
    key opens the central room of the central cavern (!).  Inside, there’s a 
    mummy (run!) and a coffin.  If you get the sash of shimmering from it, four 
    skeleton warriors will appear.  I fled, and killed those who followed me 
    outside.  
    
    At the north-west is the hermit in his house.  I have absolutely no idea 
    what’s his purpose is.  Sure there’s this item recharger, but I never found 
    it to be really useful.  At the north-east are two more caves.  In the first, 
    you’ll meet some wyrmlings.  The white ones are quite easy, but the red are 
    kind of vicious.  I recommend fighting them outside.  
    
    Finally, the last cave is the gnoll’s cave.  There’s an artifact in there, so 
    you better prepare for a bigger cavern.  
    
    The area is rather large, so I recommend to do it step by step.  Venture in 
    the tunnels, kill the enemies you see and go back outside to rest if you need 
    to recover your hit points.  In the eastern section you’ll find a prisoner in 
    a lone cage.  Free him, and choose to escort him outside (if you do not, 
    he’ll get killed even if the area is cleared).  Anyway.  In the north-east, 
    you’ll find some bears in a pen.  Kill the guard and take his horn.  Should 
    you decide to kill the gnoll leader, open the left cage and sound the horn to 
    get the bears on your side.  In the north-west, you’ll find the captive 
    kobolds.  They can be “persuaded” to help you against the gnoll chieftain.  
    In the centre, you’ll find some slaves.  Free them, and offer the escort.  
    They’ll decline, but you get some alignment points.  In the northern room, 
    you’ll find that damn leader/chieftain I keep talking about.  You can either 
    kill him, or turn him on your side.  Hell, you do not even need a persuade 
    check.  I suggest to turn him, since the battle downstairs can be quite tough 
    (and if, like me, you chose not to take a henchman, you need all the meat you 
    can get).  Open the door in the back, and go to the lower level.  
    
    Between all the areas I can remember in the three official campaigns, this is 
    the one I hate the most.  Not that it is really hard, but I just hate it.  
    The point is to pull the lever, and then only follow the corridors that are 
    lit in the colour you chose.  Some pesky little demons are in your way.  When 
    you get to the final room, you’ll face a boss.  Kill it, then go back to the 
    central room, change the colour, start all over again.  Once you’re done with 
    the 4 colours, the door opens.  
    
    -Hordes of the Underdark Official Campaign-
    
    Build used is the archer outlined in the favourite build section.  Played on 
    DnD Hardcore Rules.  Like I said before, be careful for attack of 
    opportunity.  
    
    The only equipment piece I will comment on is the weapon.  For everything 
    else, I just put on what’s best, focusing on dexterity items.  
    
    You’ll notice that this guide is not as deep as the SoU one.  The reason is 
    that HotU involves more enemy bashing than anything else.  Few people would 
    need help on this.  I will comment the hard fights though.  
    
    Chapter 1
    
    Not really hard.  I actually found it easier than with my paladin.  
    
    My first weapon was the Long Bow +2 found in the armory at Durnan’s Inn.  The 
    battle against the drows downstairs was quite easy.  I just pulled back from 
    the mess and activated rapid shot.  
    
    When the inn was cleared, I ventured in Waterdeep.  Killed the duergars quite 
    easily.  This is one of the place where animal empathy really shines.  You 
    know those summoned dire bears?  Well I could convert them at the first try 
    80% of the time.  Too bad you can only have one at a time...  Anyway, with my 
    2 bears and deekin at my side, I could shoot down everyone with ease.  
    
    I checked the shops around the place to stock on arrows and healing kits.  
    Since all the available armours were too expansive for me, I crafted one.  
    Later, I found out it was useless, because you can find enchanted leather 
    armours quite easily in Undermountain.  Anyway.  
    
    I cleared everything in Undermountain level 1 without too much trouble.  I 
    got an Elven Ceremonial Bow from the chest after the little “puzzle” 
    involving the statues and the exploding skeletons.  The +3 Mighty bonus gives 
    me +2 damage...  That’s great, I guess.  I also used Daelan along with 
    Deekin.  
    
    Level 2 was rather uneventful.  I found a North Wind Bow somewhere; it has 
    the same bonus as the Elven one, but also gives 20 to cold resist.  Helps 
    against Ice Storm-loving mages.  
    
    Level 3 had a hard fight : in the big room with all the drows and the 
    commanders.  Fortunately, I had help from the formians.  Actually, they did 
    not do much.  I entered from the back, since I followed the formians in their 
    shortcut.  Killed everything they threw at me.  Hardest were the simili-
    commanders who could fight and cast spells.  Called shot made them slower, so 
    I could land more hits before the closed on me.  A tough fight, but certainly 
    manageable for my Ranger.  
    
    Level 4 wasn’t really hard either.  I used Nathyrra’s shortcut, and I killed 
    everyone without much problems.  
    
    Level 5 is a different story.  This boss fight *is* hard.  Fortunately, I had 
    Daelan, Deekin, Nathyrra and my trusty bear at my side.  At the beginning, 
    most of the melee fighters will close on you.  They’re not tough, so you can 
    take them down easily.  Then the commander and her goons will attack, and the 
    marksmen will shoot you from the hills.  This is where it gets tricky.  I 
    focused on the commander’s henchmen first.  When they died, I shot down a 
    marksman but realised that I was outgunned on this one.  I ran to the other 
    side of the room, and shot the commander.  She used the heal spell (or 
    potions) at least three times... the bugger...  When she died, I was about to 
    finish up the marksmen but realised that both Daelan and Nathyrra were dead.  
    So I just bashed the stones.  
    
    Chapter 2
    
    I chose to take Deekin and Nathyrra as my buddies.  Deekin because he’s fun, 
    and Nathyrra because I heard you could have a simili-romance with her (BG2 
    nostalgia...).  The tiefling guy may be better for an archer, but I am doing 
    fine with the others.  Anyway.  
    
    I went straight for the smith guy who over-empowers your weapons.  I sold all 
    the crap I had (i.e. all the magical armours, weapons, and items I had 
    collected in undermountain).  I had more or less 105 000 gold.  I used 100 
    000 to give my North Wind Bow unlimited +5 arrows.  However, this kind of 
    equipment is not found everywhere.  So it sounds a little like cheating to 
    me.  I decided to dust off my Elven Ceremonial Bow, and use it now.  I will 
    only use the (now officially overpowered) North Wind Bow if I am in serious 
    trouble against damage resistant monsters.  Another reason for me to use the 
    Elven Bow instead is that it will make my job a lot harder to use a “normal” 
    weapon, and thus bring a valuable argument to my “Rangers do not suck” 
    hypothesis.  
    
    Like I said at the beginning, I got really bored by the campaign, yet again.  
    I just do not understand how people can play it over and over again.  Anyway.  
    The chances for this mini-walkthrough to be ever completed are slim.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                  SECTION L : BLASPHEMIES AND MYTHS OF NWN          :SMBM0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    I noticed that there are quite a lot of concepts that are commonly referred 
    to as true by the community.  By giving it some thought though, I realised 
    that some of these are not so true.  I do not claim that what I say is a 
    universal truth, but I believe that there is some reason behind what I say.  
    Of course this section relates to Rangers in some way.  
    
    1. Weapon Specialisation is a must for warrior classes.  
    This one is the flagship of the NWN myths.  How many times have you read on 
    the forums “also pick four fighter levels for weapon spec.”?  Of course a 
    bonus to damage is welcome, I can’t deny that.  But think about it for a 
    minute : will a small +2 really save your day?  And this comes at the cost of 
    four levels of fighter (which represents 10% of the available “level space” 
    of a character).  The same analysis can be brought to weapon focus.  However, 
    you do not have to “waste” a multiclassing for this one, which makes it more 
    valuable to me.  
    
    2. Single classes are not good.  
    Most people (if not everyone) will always recommend some kind of 
    multiclassing, in order to get some bonuses elsewhere.  This is not quite 
    true.  And trust me, I am not saying this because I like pure Rangers; it is 
    the truth.  Most of the classes do very well when pure; to my mind, only the 
    fighter does not gain much by staying pure (in NWN; I heard that there are a 
    lot of interesting feats to take in the PnP version of DnD).  
    
    3. Archers have trouble in melee.  
    An archer will obviously have a high dexterity.  With weapon finesse, an 
    archer will hit as often as a fighter focusing on strength.  One could say 
    that the strength fighter will do more damage.  It is true.  But the archer 
    could cripple his strength and dexterity with called shot, and then swing a 
    keen rapier or two short swords with deadly grace.  
    
    4.  A character who is not focusing on strength cannot wield a long sword or 
    great sword.  
    Bob is a level 20 human fighter.  His initial strength score was 16, and he 
    put his 5 points there, which gives him 21 strength at level 20, for a +5 
    modifier.  The attack bonuses for his four attacks with a normal longsword 
    will be : 
    25/20/15/10
    Gildor is a level 20 elven ranger.  His initial strength score was 14, and he 
    poured his points in dexterity, which gives him a +2 strength modifier.  The 
    attack bonuses for his four attacks with a normal longsword will be : 
    22/17/12/7
    Conclusion : a +3 difference.  Not that bad.  In the Ranger’s case, Blade 
    Thirst fixes this.  The warrior classes (Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger) 
    can technically wield any weapon effectively.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                SECTION M : DARTHMUFFIN’S FAVOURITE MODULES         :SNFM0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    ***NOTE*** Several people have mailed me about this list. Obviously, it’s
    incomplete. Very incomplete. The chances of it being completed/updated are
    very slim at the moment, so you may simply forget about it. 
    
    Anyone paying attention to what I write (being able to read between the 
    lines) probably know by now that I personally favour the single player mode.  
    Many people on various gaming forums will tell you that multiplayer is the 
    way to go.  Well, I do think there are a number of valid reason to prefer 
    single player : 
    - I have not always had an Internet connection at my disposal 24 hours a day, 
    seven days a week.  It is thus normal for me to have developed some means of 
    enjoying the game while staying offline.  I suppose other people have 
    experienced similar situations.  
    - I have had bad experiences online in the pass in both NeverWinter and other 
    RPGs.  I can’t say I enjoy hearing people shouting parts of the human anatomy 
    in public channels for a non-educational purpose (and I would not be 
    surprised if most of these people are not even able to properly explain the 
    physiology behind all these organs).  In NeverWinter, I can’t stand players 
    using the various “uber” builds, such as Pal1/ClrX/CoTY, simply because it 
    just upsets the game balance.  On the other hand, I do not see the fun in 
    spending hours pretending to have a serious conversation in-character with 
    another player just to receive 150 XP from a Dungeon Master (what usually 
    happens in heavy role-playing worlds).  
    - While rare, good single player modules are generally superior by far to 
    anything you can find that supports multiplayer, since SP exclusive modules 
    allow advanced scripting that would not work for multiple players.  
    - There’s just something good about being alone and minding your own 
    business, not being disturbed by others.  
    - Since there are no other players, you can’t compare your build to those of 
    the other players.  This is extremely good for your morale (trust me on this) 
    if you use an underpowered build.  
    
    All the modules in this list were played with a pure Ranger of some sorts 
    (unless otherwise specified), generally the build outlined in the Favourite 
    Build section.  Please note that the modules are not organised in any 
    particular order; they are listed in the order I remember them.  I generally 
    play with either DnD Hardcore Rules or Normal NWN Rules.  
    
    Note : If you ever get stuck in one of these, or experience any kind of bugs, 
    please do not bother me.  Use the board system of the Vault itself to seek 
    help.  I won’t reply to anything referring to these modules.  
    
    These modules can all be found at the NeverWinter Vault :
    www.nwvault.ign.com
    
    - Kale’s Rangers – 
    Part I and II; Part III probably cancelled.  
    
    These are quite simply awesome modules to play with a Ranger, partly because 
    they are especially made for Rangers, sporting various item combinations to 
    make traps and a limited tracking system.  Also has a nice story and balanced 
    gameplay.  No word has been heard from the author for a long time, he closed 
    the discussions of the first two parts and stopped updating his website.  As 
    such, it is reasonable to say that it was probably cancelled, which is quite 
    sad.  
    
    - ShadowLords/DreamCatcher/Demon -
    Multiple modules in SL and DC; Demon is a single module.  Should all be 
    played with the same character.  
    
    The famous series by Adam Miller is considered by many as the best modules 
    available.  Since they are quite balanced, also featuring a great storyline, 
    henchman interaction and unique features, it is easy to agree with the common 
    trend.  It should be noted that the modules of ShadowLords are quite old, and 
    do not really include advanced scripting.  The later modules are more 
    impressive by far, though I was personally disappointed by Demon (by the 
    story; scripting and custom content is excellent).  
    
    - AL1 : Siege of Shadowdale and AL2 : Crimson Tides of Tethyr -
    Storylines not related; can/should be played with different characters.  
    
    While the storyline is the seller for the first module, the second also 
    boasts nice features and custom content.  From what I can tell, they are also 
    pretty balanced.  
    
    - Aielund Trilogy -
    
    Great modules that support the CEP (Community Expansion Pack) and some nice 
    scripting.  The story, set in a unique world is also quite good.  
    
    - BlackGuard Trilogy -
    Three modules.  
    
    Must be evil and must be blackguard.  Let’s not forget that Ranger is the 
    fastest way to blackguard.  While I generally do not like playing as an evil 
    character, these modules are just too good to ignore.  
    
    The list is short, I know.  If there’s one section that I will probably 
    update again, it’s this one.  I have other modules in mind that I have played 
    and loved, but I will have to check them out again to write the small review.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |                           SECTION N : CONCLUSION                   :SLCO0:|
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Well, I hope that you did find some good information about Rangers in this 
    guide.  And most importantly, I hope that I did convince you of playing a 
    Ranger (pure, if it is possible).  I did my best to show that Rangers are not 
    an underpowered class, and I think I did succeed.  In any way, just play one 
    to see if you like the gameplay.  Like the saying goes, give it a try!
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 – Contact Info -----------------------------------------------------:SLCO1:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    My E-Mail address is : dark_coffee@msn.com
    
    Please use NWN Ranger guide V2.0 as the subject.  Please, please, please do 
    so.  It is not hard.  Just “NWN Ranger 2.2”.  That’s 2 words and 2 numbers.  
    It really makes my job easier.  
    
    I should reply/add your ideas in the next version of the guide as soon as I 
    read the message (which may, in some cases, take some time.  Personal 
    reasons.).  Please note that I will not reply to stupid messages, including 
    flames and insults.  I am open to mature criticism though.  No personal 
    questions either please (I will *not* reply to questions such as “what other 
    games do you play?”, etc.).  If you’re asking me for permission to use my 
    guide on your website, be sure to include the URL.  
    
    Also, be sure to say if you want to be credited, and under which name.  By 
    default, I will credit you as the name from whom I receive the message, but I 
    will not include the address unless you ask me to.  
    
    Special Note : I will not include in this guide any info submitted about 
    minor Ranger multiclass (i.e. multiclass with less Ranger levels than an 
    other class).  This is, after all, a Ranger guide and I want to encourage 
    people to play pure Rangers.  Basically, I do not consider a character with 
    one Ranger level for dual wielding as a real Ranger.  I am sure you agree 
    with me.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 – Copyright --------------------------------------------------------:SLCO2:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    This document is copyright (c) 2007 to DarthMuffin.  
    
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any
    other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited,
    and a violation of copyright.  
    
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by
    their respective trademark and copyright holders. 
    
    The NeverWinter Nights : Hordes of the Underdark Ranger Guide by DarthMuffin 
    is available for free on the following websites : 
    GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com)
    Neoseeker (www.neoseeker.com)
    Sorcerer’s Place (www.sorcerers.net)
    GameSpot (www.gamespot.com)
    DLH (http://dlh.net)
    
    The last version of this guide can always be found at GameFAQs.  I will only 
    “manually” update at GameFAQs.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 – Versions ------–--------------------------------------------------:SLCO3:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    V2.2 – Minor edits. 
    
    V2.1 – Small note added to the Word from the Author section concerning a guide 
    from me for NWN2.  
    
    V2.0 – Added two new sections, Blasphemies and Myths of NWN and DarthMuffin’s 
    Favourite Modules.  Some corrections and editing to “clean” the guide for 
    this first archive version.    
    
    V1.4 – Small update to add a Dex vs Str debate and a quick navigation system.  
    
    V1.3 – Added the mails I received from readers, some fixing in the spells 
    section and some general formatting.  I also decided to say what I do not 
    like in Faerun (see introduction), since I received a surprisingly high 
    number of mails about it.  This is probably the last major update.  
    
    V1.2 – Added information on 3.5 Edition Rangers, a Ranger Archetypes section, 
    a Self Promotion section, a NeverWinter Nights Official Campaigns section, 
    bits of additional information here and there as well as the mails I received 
    from readers.  
    
    V1.1 – Added a "What's new?" section and some information about a possible 
    Ranger/Wizard build.  Improved the feats section a bit, and various bits of 
    info here and there.  Also corrected minor mistakes and typos.  
    
    V1.0 – First version.  Includes everything.  Will be updated if I receive 
    enough mails from readers, if I discover major mistakes, if there's a new 
    patch that dramatically changes NWN or if I have enough time to write some 
    more in some sections.  
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 – Self Promotion ---------------------------------------------------:SLCO4:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    You can see all the guides and reviews I have written on gamefaqs.com. 
    
    http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/23429.html
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5 – Thanks -----------------------------------------------------------:SLCO5:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -Thanks to me for writing this (!)
    -Thanks to BioWare for another great game, though not as good as BG or KotOR
    -Thanks to you for reading this
    -Thanks to all of you who sent me their builds and ideas
    -Thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien for giving us The Lord of the Rings.  Also thanks 
    to Peter Jackson for giving us awesome movies.  
    -Thanks to Cironir for writing a Ranger guide, a couple of years ago, for 
    Vanilla NWN.  Being disappointed by the class after my first time through the 
    OC (the good old days!), it was his guide that made me experiment with the 
    Ranger class again.  Even though I was motivated by The Lord of the Rings, I 
    wouldn’t have tried to work with Rangers again in NWN if his guide had not 
    convinced me first.  So thanks, and I hope we still share a common interest 
    in Rangers.  
    -Thanks to the few people who defend Rangers on the forums!
    -And thanks to the people who think that pure Rangers are nice, if there are 
    any.  
    
    Semi-Useless Trivia : The Baldur’s Gate logo (skull in a circle) can be seen 
    on the side of some books in the in-game bookcase model. 
    
    

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