Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer - Paladin Guide

By: DonJarlaxle
1/25/2008
Version 2.03
Game Version 1.11

====================

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

I. Introduction
II. Selecting Your Race
III. Stats: Or Looking Good and Killing Things
IV. Making the Most of Your Skill Points
V. Planning Ahead: Your Epic Tale
VI. The Science of Feat Selection (or Where's Battle Blessing?)
VII. Spelling Out Your Divine Gifts
VIII. When the Straight and Narrow Isn't Enough
IX. Single-class Paladin Example
X. Multiclass Paladin Sample Builds
	A. Mystran Dragon Knight
	B. Inspiring Holy Swordsman
XI. Contact Info
XII. Version History
XIII. Permissions and Copyright

====================

I. Introduction

First, a disclaimer. This FAQ assumes that you've already read the manual and
have at least a base understanding of the way character creation and levelling
works. It also assumes that you at least have a base knowledge of how the skills
work, how the feats work, and the benefits of each character race. If you don't
have such basic knowledge, read the manual, read another FAQ (such as a
beginner's guide or walkthrough), or just play the game some and learn that way.

Now with that part over with, you're checking this FAQ out because you have the
urge to play the typical knight in shining armor, who wanders the lands on his
mighty steed (had Obsidian given him one) in search of evil to smite and fair
damsels to rescue.

====================

II. Selecting Your Race

Races that make effective Paladins are a very select group, in part because of
the multiple-ability dependence (MAD) of the class. Races that provide bonuses
to Strength, Wisdom, and/or Charisma are obviously something to look at. You
want to avoid, like cooties, any race that takes a penalty to any one of the
above stats (any Dwarf minus Gold, Half-Orc, Deep Gnome).

Best Paladin Race:

- Aasimar: And, quite frankly, by a landslide. Forget the level adjustment
of +1, which is not that big of a deal. And forget looking at his racial spells
or resistances, which are just gravy. Instead, look at his +2 to both WIS and
CHA. CHA is one of the two big stats for the Paladin. And the WIS bonus allows
him to get up to 16 WIS at the start on a 1-for-1 point buy. But the thing is,
you only need a 14 WIS to cast all Paladin spells, so instead you take those
two free points from WIS and put them into STR. The Aasimar will qualify for
the epic Paladin feats the most easily by far because of this. Add to this that
Paladin is the Aasimar's favored class, making multiclassing easy should you
wish to do it, and you've got the deluxe package.

**EPIC NOTE*** It should also be noted in the specific Aasimar vs. Human
comparison that to qualify for Epic Divine Might (as you'll see in detail
later on), the Aasimar has to take *2 LESS* Great Strength or Great Charisma
feats than a Human. Which means that the Human so-called advantage of the extra
1st-level feat is not only made up for, but it is actually *ECLIPSED.*

Other Races Worth a Try:

- Human: His lone advantage over the Aasimar is 4 extra skill points at 1st
level and one extra skill point per level afterwards (assuming the same
Intelligence scores). Still makes a solid, if not rather unspectacular,
Paladin.

- Drow: Yes, it's weird, having a typically evil race being a champion of order
and goodness (even the few good Drow are still chaotic, including Drizzt and
Elistraee's followers), but the Drow gets a +2 CHA bonus, along with bonuses to
DEX and INT. Since those stats typically aren't high priority for a Paladin,
you put those free points into STR. Spell Resistance and his racial spells are
quite a boon. He would be almost as effective as the Aasimar, were his level
adjustment not +2. The Aasimar's +1 isn't such a big deal, but +2 is on the
push point. Light blindness is also an annoying weakness.

- Gold Dwarf: Does not suffer the CHA penalty of his Shield and Gray cousins.
Still retains all the useful racial bonuses against certain enemies and use of
the Dwarven Waraxe for free. The CON bonus makes him particularly durable.
Prestige classing to a Dwarven Defender is also a worthwhile option to
consider, assuming you can get his Dexterity high enough.

====================

III. Stats: Or Looking Good and Killing Things

As mentioned before, Paladins are what is called a MAD (multi-ability dependent)
class, a label that gets applied to a class with features that depend largely
on more than simply one or two key stats. Paladins also can't really afford a
stat with a negative modifier, either, making a stat line even more precarious
to draw.

Strength: One of the two really important stats for a Paladin. STR should be no
less than 14 to start, and should be higher if at all possible. Try to aim for
no less than 18 STR by Lv. 20. You do have to hit things, you know, and that's a
function entirely of STR (except for Smite Evil, but that's too situational).
Plus with Epic Divine Might as an option at epic levels now (much better than
Great Smiting, if you ask me), it will pay to devote attention to STR as well as
CHA, as you'll need a natural 21 in both.

Dexterity: This is the Paladin's least important stat, since he'll be wearing
full plate whenever he can. If you MUST take a stat with a negative modifier,
make it Dexterity. Ideally, you won't have to unless you're a Gold Dwarf. You
really want this at 10.

Constitution: You don't want a negative modifier at all, and you want a positive
modifier of some sort if you can spare it at all. That said, a 12 in CON is
typically adequate. The benefits of a CON higher than that are slightly
overrated and not worth giving up stat points in other key areas. Although if
you find yourself able to take this to the highest score you can in a 1-for-1
point buy (14 for most races), with everything else satisfied, go right ahead.

Intelligence: The second least important stat for a Paladin, but you never,
NEVER want a negative modifier here. Paladins are starving for skill points as
they are. 10 is the bare minimum to take this stat down to. If, somehow, you can
squeeze a 12 out of this stat, do it (don't sacrifice STR, CHA, or a positive
CON modifier to do it, though).

Wisdom: 14. No more, no less. It will give you access to the Paladin's entire
array of spells. If you plan on only taking 4 Paladin levels or so, you can
obviously leave this at 12.

Charisma: The other really important stat for a Paladin. CHA powers just about
all of a Paladin's important abilities that set him apart from a plain ol'
Fighter or Fighter/Cleric. Don't start with any less than a 14 in this stat.
However, boosting CHA exclusively and ignoring STR is *NOT* recommended. And
before you bring it up, Great Smiting is *NOT* recommended (at least not for
single-class Paladins ... more on that shortly).

Here are some sample starting stat lines. Obviously, you can adjust these to
taste and necessity, but these typically follow the principles I outlined above:

Aasimar: STR 16, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 18
Human: STR 15, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 16

====================

IV. Making the Most of Your Skill Points

Paladins don't get many skill points, only 2 + INT modifier per level. Thus,
judicious spending of skill points is crucial.

Must-have Skills:

- Concentration: Several of a Paladin's key buffs are short-term round/level
spells, making casting in the middle of combat a necessity. Concentration helps
prevent the Paladin's attempts to buff from fizzling out.

- Diplomacy: Especially in the OC, or in modules that are centered around 
role-playing and conversation.

Take-if-you-can Skills:

- Heal: Not so much in the OC, but in certain modules or persistant worlds with
rest restrictions and limited numbers of healing potions, this is an important
skill. Can even replace Diplomacy to an extent if you have to.

- Lore: Instant identification of items is nice, plus it opens up some
additional conversation options.

- Craft Weapon: Always handy. Especially since a Paladin can convert a standard
alchemical silver longsword into an instant devil-slayer with a mere
spell.

Interesting Options (Cross-Class):

- Spellcraft: 4 ranks allow you to qualify for the Practiced Spellcaster feat.

- Spot: Take 5 ranks, along with 8 ranks in Diplomacy to qualify for Warpriest.

====================

V. Planning Ahead: Your Epic Tale

With the introduction of epic levels and epic feats (up to 30 levels), once
again many of MotB's builds will revolve around the eventual selection of a
powerful but hard-to-get feat. Paladins have two such capstone feats -- 
Great Smiting (which was in NWN1) and the new Epic Divine Might.

Great Smiting requires CHA 25, as it did before. It simply multiplies your
Paladin levels when determining Smite Evil damage, as it did before, and it
can be selected multiple times.

Epic Divine Might requires STR 21, CHA 21, Power Attack and Divine Might, and
it simply sets the durations and damage bonus equal to TWICE your Charisma
modifier.

--------------------

Keep in mind that unless you're taking a certain prestige class (more on that),
you're gonna have to choose whether to pursue Epic Divine Might or Great
Smiting. It's unlikely you'll qualify for both with only 30 levels to work
with -- and if you do, you probably won't be good at both, as Great Smiting
is really only worth it if you can take it multiple times.

--------------------

Also, keep in mind that regular feats are granted every TWO levels in epic
levels (21, 23, 25, 27, 29). Pure Paladins also get three bonus feats in 
addition to those (at 23, 26, 29)

***NOTE*** Unlike in NWN1, these pure-class epic bonus feats are NOT
limited to a class-restricted list. These pure-class epic feats can
be used just like any regular feat.

Multiclassing aside, an Aasimar with the following starting stat line:

STR 16, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 18

can get:

- Great Smiting at Lv. 23 (CHA 23 at Lv. 20 -> Great Charismas at
Lv. 21 and 23 -> Great Smiting with the Paladin bonus feat at Lv. 23).

- Epic Divine Might at Lv. 25 (STR 21, CHA 18 at Lv. 20 -> Great
Charismas at Lv. 21 and two more at 23).

--------------------

A Human with the following starting stat line: 

STR 15, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 16

can get:

- Great Smiting at Lv. 25 (CHA 21 at Lv. 20 -> Great Charismas at
Lv. 21 and two at 23 -> CHA increase at Lv. 24).

- Epic Divine Might at Lv. 27 (STR 18, CHA 18 at Lv. 20 -> Great
Strengths at Lv. 21 and two at 23 -> CHA increase at Lv. 24 ->
Great Charismas at Lv. 25 and 26).

--------------------

In NWN1, Great Smite-based Paladins had that "all-or-nothing" and
"one-trick-pony" quality about them. They had to boost their CHA entirely
and neglect STR altogether, resulting in a Paladin that could certainly
put a hurtin' on the Big Bad Evil Guy (BBEG), but was stunningly mediocre 
otherwise.

It appears the new kid on the block, Epic Divine Might, is the clear winner.
The maturation process of an EDM Paladin may be slower compared to a Great
Smiter, but the fact remains that you are improving your STR, which means 
more consistent and non-buff-dependent damage and higher all-purpose attack 
bonus. And instead of one great spike of situational damage, EDM gives you
a substantial damage bonus that lasts much longer than one limited-use hit.
Plus, it's not alignment-dependent. It can punish the BBEG and the mobs
alike.
 
====================

VI. The Science of Feat Selection (or Where's Battle Blessing?)

Now with the capstone epic feat discussion out of the way, time for the other
feats:

Paladin feat selection is fairly easy. You don't have the feat count of a
Fighter, but with enough planning, you can get most of the feats you want and
still be plenty effective in combat. And a great deal of the feats a Paladin
will select are pretty standard. In fact, if there's any gripe tastewise about
Paladins, it's that they all tend to look the same, as opposed to Rangers or
Fighters who actually have some in-class variance.

Absolutely Essential Feats:

- Luck of Heroes: Can only take at 1st level. This is THE defensive feat to
take. Period. If you're going to take ANY defense-boosting feat at all,
make it this one. And really, you should take it.

- Blind Fight: An essential feat for all warriors. A lifesaver of a feat against
Rogues and any other dangerous enemies that can hide or cast invisibility.

- Power Attack: The gateway to selecting the equally-as-essential Divine Might
and Epic Divine Might. Power Attack is great in its own right as well. In most
mundane fights where a shield just isn't necessary, tuck it away, take that 
longsword (or whatever) in both hands, click on Power Attack, and start the 
killing.

- Divine Might: Adds your CHA bonus' worth of divine damage to your attacks for
a number of rounds equal to your CHA bonus. Obviously, this is huge, and just
one of many sources of extra damage this class gets. This feat really takes off
after Lv. 10, when you're getting three attacks per round. It's also a great way
to put those Turn Undeads to good use against things that, well, aren't undead.
And, obviously, you need it for Epic Divine Might.

- Great Charisma: You'll most likely need a few selections of this to get Epic 
Divine Might.

- Great Strength: Ditto above.

- Toughness: Just gained a whole lotta importance thanks to Epic Resilience
(see below for why that's important). You can delay taking this until Epic 
levels if you like (the feat itself has a bigger impact there, anyway).

Epic feats of note besides the capstones:

- Epic Toughness: Must take Toughness to qualify. The +30 HP is nice, but a 
bigger deal is that it opens the door for ...

- Epic Resilience: Because nothing is more frustrating for a Paladin than
having potentially the best saving throws in the game and being all but
immune to anything requiring a save ... then rolling a 1 for auto-failure.
Take this feat, and never worry about that crap ever again.

- Epic Prowess: A cheap, permanent +1 to attack bonus. Why not?

- Epic Fortitude: Requires Great Fortitude. +4 extra to Fortitude save. But
more importantly, it unlocks ...

- Last Stand: Epic Prowess, Great Fortitude and Epic Fortitude required. 
Grants 20d10 extra hit points (average 110) to you and all your allies for a 
number of rounds equal to your CHA bonus. Useable once per day. Pretend 
you're William Wallace or that guy from 300 who yells "This is Sparta!" Yeah,
good times. Anyway, this feat is better than usual in a Paladin's hands, as
he'll have the Charisma to put it to good and long use in the epic fight 
against the BBEG and his army. It's nothing I'd give up Epic Divine Might 
or Epic Resilience for, though. Multiclass builds have a better chance of
getting this feat in.

Background Trait Feats (for 1st level):

- Devout: One of only two a Paladin should consider, both character-wise and
effectiveness-wise. A free +1 to Will saves alone is worth it. In comparison,
the Diplomacy penalty of -1 is hardly debilitating to your use of that skill,
since your high CHA will more than make up for it.

- Flirt/Ladies' Man: The other Paladin-worthy background trait. You won't do
much Intimidating, as it's not a class skill for you, so the penalty there
is moot to consider. It plays to your strength of Diplomacy.

Other Useful Feats:

- Practiced Spellcaster: This feat helps some of your buffs last longer and 
makes them more difficult to dispel by virtue of a +4 to your caster level. 
Remember  that Paladin caster level is as it is in PnP now, a la half your 
Paladin level. The +4 from this feat, however, is not divided by two; thus, a 
Lv. 20 Paladin with this feat casts his spells at a caster level of 14. Which 
means, for example, that Holy Sword lasts an additional 4 rounds. Must dip 4 
ranks into Spellcraft to unlock this.

- Extend Spell: The only metamagic feat Paladins should even consider. It's
a good choice though. Your 2nd-level spell slots actually become useful with
this feat, thanks to Extended Divine Favors and Bless Weapons.

- Divine Shield: Not as essential as its offensive cousin, Divine Might, but
still quite useful, especially as your Charisma rises into the 20s, increasing
both duration and AC bonus. It's a good first effect to activate before charging
in and/or activating your offensive buffs. If nothing else, it'll make a few
attacks miss that otherwise would've hit.

- Improved Critical (longsword): The necessity of this feat depends. If you have
a Wizard in the party that can cast Keen Edge, then you can drop this feat for
something else you may want (and Improved Crit does not stack with Keen in this
game). Otherwise, go ahead and take this. FYI, the in-game Holy Avenger is not a
Keen weapon. Improved Critical doesn't help one bit against creatures immune to
criticals (undead, constructs and elementals, mainly).

- Cleave and Great Cleave: Not as essential as some will have you believe, but
far from as worthless as others will have you believe. It's in the middle.
Also, some misunderstand how Great Cleave works. It does not necessarily require
you to kill every enemy in one hit to get any use out of it. It simply removes
the once-per-round limitation of Cleave. Say, you are a Lv. 16 Paladin with 4
attacks per round. On your first hit, you kill an enemy, so you Great Cleave an
adjacent foe. You do not kill that foe with the Great Cleave, but you kill him
with the second attack in your normal routine, which follows. You get to Great
Cleave again. If you didn't have Great Cleave, you would not get another Cleave
Attack after you killed that second enemy. As is evident, the hits can add up
over time and make some battles against rather dangerous enemies easier. Another
benefit specific to the Paladin for taking Great Cleave is maximizing the
efficiency of your offensive buffs, since you're getting tons more hits against
the mobs while Divine Might, Holy Sword, et al are activated.

***MOTB CAMPAIGN NOTE*** If the expansion campaign is your primary concern,
I'll go ahead and tell you that Cleave and Great Cleave are not worth it.
The significance of these feats diminishes severely when even the "scrubs"
can survive flurries of hits doing 35-40 points of damage each.

- Weapon Focus (longsword): Doesn't necessarily have to be a longsword, but
for the purposes of the OC it is the best for the Paladin. Not super-essential,
but every little bit of AB always helps. This is an essential feat if you plan
to take the Divine Champion prestige class (a very good decision).

- Extra Smiting: A note on taking the Divine Champion prestige class: Extra
Smiting adds two smites per day both to the Paladin's Smite Evil AND the DC's
Smite Infidel. So a Paladin 15/DC 5, for example, would have 6 Smite Evils plus
3 Smite Infidels for a total of 9 smites per day. Nice. This is a good feat if
you plan on using your smites a lot.

- Extra Turning: Extra turn attempts mean extra uses of Divine Might and Divine
Shield. Not truly essential, especially if you get some serious CHA
enhancements, but always nice to consider if you can spare it in your build.

- Great Fortitude: Required for Epic Fortitude, and by extension, Last Stand.
You can delay this until Epic levels to make room for your earlier offensive
progressions.

Interesting Option:

- Combat Casting: ONLY select this if you want to qualify for Warpriest.

Iffy:

- Armor Skin: Permanent +1 natural armor bonus to AC. Weak for an epic feat,
especially when Luck of Heroes can be gained at 1st level and does a lot more.
It stacks with Luck of Heroes, true, but there are many better epic feats to
get.

- Knockdown and Improved Knockdown: These feats were once hideously broken.
Now, with the expansion, they're barely even worth considering anymore. I
suppose that's a good thing, though. The expansion versions of these feats
require an attack roll, and moreover, have a cooldown timer of 12 seconds
(2 rounds) between uses.

Feats in Particular to Avoid:

- Divine Resistance: 5 points of resistance to elements is nothing compared to
spells that the same Paladin alone can cast, never mind Clerics.

- Sacred Vengeance: Absolutely worthless. Bless Weapon does the same thing, and
for a million times longer.

- Overwhelming Critical: Previously known as the feat you had to take to get
the uber-broken and (thankfully) now-dead Devastating Critical. Now it'll be
known as the feat that nobody should take. Because it sucks. An extra 3.5
damage on average per critical, and only criticals, with a longsword would be
a hard sell at any level, never mind epic levels.

====================

VII. Spelling Out Your Divine Gifts

First thing to note: The proper D&D method of calculating Paladin caster level
is in NWN2. Meaning, caster level is now half your Paladin level, as opposed to
the full Paladin level a la NWN1. With that factored in, Paladin spells are, in
a large part, inferior versions of the same spells that Clerics can cast a lot
more of. In fact, that's almost all they are.

Paladins also got cheated of all the nifty spells they receive in the Spell
Compendium. Meaning, no Deafening Clang, no Find the Gap, no Strength of Stone,
no Angelskin, no Zeal, no Divine Sacrifice, no Lawful Sword, no Righteous Aura,
no etc., etc., etc., etc. All of which would help the Paladin avoid redundancy
with the Cleric and allow the two classes to work together more efficiently.
MotB did not change this one damn bit (the two new spells Paladins got are both
Cleric spells as well: one of them is only situationally useful, and the other
is garbage).

Hopefully, Obsidian will put the rest of the Paladin's (and the Ranger's as
well) spells back in in a future patch or expansion.

--------------------

Paladins have 3 good spells that save their list from being completely 
redundant half-baked Cleric stuff:

1) 1st-level Divine Favor: A caster can only cast it on himself, thus why it's
not redundant with the Cleric who can also cast it. Gives +1 to hit and
damage per 3 caster levels, up to a maximum of +3. Paladins with Practiced
Spellcaster will get the +3 maximum at 10th level; without it, they'll get it
at Lv. 18.

NOTE: This spell used to do a lot more in a Cleric's hands. Before errata the
PnP cap was +6; official Wizards of the Coast errata and the more recent
Player's Handbook printings reduced it to +3. NWN2 didn't follow suit on the
PnP errata +3 cap until patch 1.10. As of that patch, the spell is finally 
correct. Clerics and Paladins have the same ceiling on this spell now; Clerics
just hit it earlier.

2) 1st-level Bless Weapon: +2d6 damage to undead is nice. But an overlooked
feature is that it makes your weapon good-aligned, thus granting your weapon
the ability to bypass DR of x/good (important against evil outsiders). Lasts
1 minute per caster level.

***MOTB CAMPAIGN NOTE*** The good-alignment feature becomes VERY important in
MotB. You cannot craft Holy weapons in the expansion. AT ALL. (Not without
cheating, anyway.) And forget about importing weapons from the NWN2 OC or
elsewhere, because you'll never see those again, either. This means that Bless
Weapon is one of the very few ways in the game to obtain the means to bypass DR
of x/good. Now don't you feel special?

3) 4th-level Holy Sword: Turns any weapon you hold into a +5 weapon that, in
addition, also does an extra +2d6 divine damage against evil enemies. Lasts
only 1 round/level (hint: that's why you take Practiced Spellcaster). Like
with Bless Weapon, you also gain the ability to bypass DR of x/good with Holy
Sword.

--------------------

So with a Cleric in the party (and why wouldn't you have one?), a Paladin's 1st
and 4th-level slots should be entirely filled with those respective spells. Have
the Cleric cast Bless, Aid, and Prayer on the Paladin. Sadly, the Paladin's
2nd and 3rd levels are still weak and redundant with the Cleric, a problem that
the Compendium spells would have solved.

If you have Extend Spell, fill your 2nd-level slots with Extended Divine Favors
and Bless Weapons. They'll come in handy, and that way you'll make those slots
useful.

Should a Cleric be absent by chance, spells at each level worth noting are:

1st level:

- Bless
- Protection from Alignment
- Lionheart (new for MotB)

2nd level:

- Aid
- Aura of Glory (only if you're not wearing a CHA enhancement of at least +4)
- Bull's Strength (only if you're not wearing a STR enhancement of at least +4)

3rd level:

- Prayer
- Magic Circle against Alignment
- Greater Magic Weapon (and then ONLY if you have Practiced Spellcaster)

4th level:

- Death Ward
- Freedom of Movement (which any other caster, including the Ranger, can cast,
so you should not have to memorize this otherwise useful spell.)

***MANUAL ERROR NOTE***

This is about the 4th level spell Lesser Visage of the Deity, new for MotB. Yes,
you read correctly: LESSER. The MotB manual gave Paladins a false ray of hope by
erroneously mentioning the Greater Visage spell in their list, normally a 
9th-level Cleric spell that would've been nice. Nope, in reality they get this
Lesser version, which is actually a rather crappy spell.

====================

VIII. When the Straight and Narrow Isn't Enough

Ironically, Paladins are best multiclassed either at around Lv. 4 (when they
get their divine defense abilities and Turn Undead, and thus access to Divine 
Might) ... or at Lv. 15 or higher (4th-level spells).

For low-Paladin-level multiclasses, remember to save your 4th level for a
character level where you actually get a feat (say, 6th level) so you can
take Divine Might. Consider:

- Sorceror: Relies on CHA for spellcasting, and opens the door for
Eldritch Knight and Red Dragon Disciple.

- Eldritch Knight: With 30 levels of play, 4 Paladin levels can be the bare
minimum while still possibly hitting 9th-level spells.

- Red Dragon Disciple: The only way to be able to qualify for both Epic
Divine Might and Great Smiting, if you want to go that route. But it's
probably better to just be a hulking all-out STR build with just enough
CHA to get Epic Divine Might. RDDs get the all-important Blind-Fight at 5th
level for free, which saves you a feat on any worthwhile melee build.

- Favored Soul: Relies on CHA for spellcasting, again making for good synergy
with 4 Paladin levels. Note that WIS score, not CHA, determines spell DCs.

- Fighter/Divine Champion: 4 Paladin levels set the foundation, the Fighter
feats and the Divine Champion feats and abilities take over from there. Makes
for a good spell-less Paladin feel (although you'll still get one 1st-level
spell with a 12 WIS). You still get a great buff in Divine Wrath, which with
the Paladin's high CHA will be long-lasting and effective. Plus Smite Infidel
to handle enemies which may not be evil (yes, they exist).

For high-Paladin-level multiclasses, two prime choices exist:

- Divine Champion: Free feat selections of Blind Fight and Improved Critical go
well with any Paladin. And remember, take Extra Smiting and you get two extra 
uses of BOTH Smite Evil AND Smite Infidel, for FOUR extra smites overall.

- Warpriest: With the level cap raised to 30, this prestige class -- which is
arguably a liability for Clerics -- just became a lot more attractive for 
Paladins, for several reasons. Namely, you no longer have to worry about 
qualifying for Lv. 4 spells early so you can squeeze in that all-important
6th level of Warpriest (Battletide). You can now leave WIS at 14, allowing a 
Paladin/Warpriest build to focus on STR and CHA as any other Paladin would and
should. And you still get that all-important full BAB.

====================

IX. Single-class Paladin Example

Race: Aasimar

Starting Stats:

STR 16
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 18

Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Spellcraft (dip 4 ranks for Practiced
Spellcaster, cross-class skill)

Background: Devout

Level progression (all Paladin):

1) Luck of Heroes
2)
3) Blind-Fight
4) STR +1 (17)
5)
6) Power Attack
7)
8) STR +1 (18)
9) Practiced Spellcaster
10)
11)
12) Divine Might, STR +1 (19)
13)
14)
15) (Dealer's choice here. I'd recommend either Extend Spell, Divine Shield
    or Improved Critical: Longsword.)
16) STR +1 (20)
17)
18) (Dealer's choice here as well. Same recommendations as at 15.)
19)
20) STR +1 (21)
21) Great Charisma (CHA 19)
22) 
23) Great Charisma x2 (regular + bonus) (CHA 20, 21)
24) CHA +1 (22)
25) Epic Divine Might
26) Epic Prowess (bonus)
27) Toughness
28) STR +1 (22)
29) Epic Toughness, Epic Resilience (bonus)
30) 

Final stats (no gear/buffs):

STR 22
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 22

Saves (no gear/buffs): F 25, R 17, W 20

AB (w/ non-enchanted longsword, no buffs): 37/32/27/22/17/12

HP (no gear/buffs): 390

====================

X. Multiclass Paladin Sample Builds

A. Mystran Dragon Knight (Paladin 9/Sorceror 1/Red Dragon Disciple 10/
Divine Champion 10)

I chose to focus on the longsword, but you can obviously change that.
Most of the Divine Champion levels are held until Epic levels. In Epic
levels, DCs get to use their bonus feats to select the following pertinent
Paladin-build feats: Epic Toughness, Epic Prowess and Great Smiting.
Most of your DC feats will go toward Epic Toughness for extra durability.

I went the all-out Strength route (better Attack Bonus = better overall 
fighter), getting just enough Charisma to qualify for Epic Divine Might at
Lv. 21, which is a piece of cake with this build. He also fits Last Stand
into his repertoire quite easily.

Race: Aasimar

Starting Stats:

STR 16
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 18

Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Lore (8 ranks to qualify for RDD)

Background: Devout

Level progression:

1) Pal 1 - Luck of Heroes
2) Sor 1 - True Strike, Identify, Beetle Familiar
3) Pal 2 - Power Attack
4) Pal 3 - CHA +1 (19)
5) Pal 4
6) RDD 1 - Cleave
7) RDD 2 - RDD STR +2 (18)
8) RDD 3 - CHA +1 (20)
9) RDD 4 - RDD STR +2 (20), Weapon Focus (Longsword)
10) DC 1
11) DC 2 - Improved Critical (Longsword)
12) Pal 5 - Divine Might, STR +1 (21)
13) RDD 5 - Blind Fight (RDD bonus)
14) DC 3
15) RDD 6 - Toughness
16) RDD 7 - RDD CON +2 (14), STR +1 (22)
17) RDD 8
18) RDD 9 - Great Fortitude, RDD INT +2 (12)
19) RDD 10 - RDD STR +4 (27), RDD CHA +2 (22)
20) Pal 6 - STR +1 (27)
21) DC 4 - Epic Divine Might, Epic Prowess (bonus)
22) DC 5
23) DC 6 - Epic Toughness (bonus), Epic Resilience
24) Pal 7 - STR +1 (28)
25) DC 7 - Epic Fortitude
26) DC 8 - Epic Toughness (bonus)
27) Pal 8 - Last Stand
28) DC 9 - STR +1 (29)
29) DC 10 - Great Strength (30), Epic Toughness (bonus)
30) Pal 9

Final stats (no gear/buffs):

STR 30
DEX 10
CON 14
INT 12
WIS 14
CHA 22

Saves (no gear/buffs): F 38, R 21, W 30

AB (w/ non-enchanted longsword, no buffs): 38/33/28/23/18/13

HP (no gear/buffs): 494 (524 w/ Beetle summoned)

--------------------

B. Inspiring Holy Swordsman (Paladin 6/Fighter 14/Divine Champion 10)

Again, you can change the Weapon Focus/Specialization to taste.

Leveling up with Fighter and DC levels in Epic gets pretty tricky. Unlike
the bonus feats from staying pure class, the Fighter and DC bonus feats
ARE restricted. Epic feats that can be selected using the normal Fighter
and DC feats are Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus (must
have Greater Weapon Focus, Ftr 8 to take) and Epic Weapon Specialization
(must have Greater Weapon Specialization, Ftr 12 to take).

The 30th-level build gets all of Epic Divine Might, Epic Resilience, and
Last Stand.

Race: Aasimar

Starting Stats:

STR 16
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 12
CHA 18

Skills: Diplomacy (up to a point), Heal, Intimidate

Background: Devout

Level progression:

1) Pal 1 - Luck of Heroes
2) Ftr 1 - Weapon Focus (Longsword)
3) Pal 2 - Power Attack
4) Ftr 2 - Cleave, STR +1 (17)
5) Pal 3
6) Pal 4 - Divine Might
7) Ftr 3
8) Ftr 4 - Weapon Specialization (Longsword), STR +1 (18)
9) DC 1 - Great Cleave
10) DC 2 - Blind-Fight
11) Ftr 5
12) DC 3 - Toughness, STR +1 (19)
13) DC 4 - Improved Critical (Longsword)
14) Ftr 6 - Power Critical (Longsword)
15) Pal 5 - Divine Shield
16) Ftr 7 - STR +1 (20)
17) Ftr 8 - Greater Weapon Focus (Longsword)
18) DC 5 - Great Fortitude
19) Ftr 9
20) DC 6 - Extra Turning, STR +1, (21)

21) Ftr 10 - Great Charisma (19), Epic Toughness (bonus)
22) DC 7
23) DC 8 - Epic Resilience, Epic Weapon Focus (Longsword) (bonus)
24) Ftr 11 - CHA +1 (20)
25) Ftr 12 - Greater Weapon Specialization (Longsword) (bonus),
             Epic Fortitude
26) DC 9
27) DC 10 - Epic Prowess (bonus), Last Stand
28) Ftr 13 - CHA +1 (21)
29) Ftr 14 - Epic Weapon Specialization (Longsword) (bonus),
	     Epic Divine Might
30) Pal 6

Final stats (no gear/buffs):

STR 21
DEX 10
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 12
CHA 21

Saves (no gear/buffs): F 37, R 20, W 22

AB (w/ non-enchanted longsword, no buffs): 40/35/30/25/20/15

HP (no gear/buffs): 390

--------------------

(More to come in the future)

====================

XI. Contact Info

E-mail: elbrigadier@comcast.net. Suggestions, contributions, rebuttals, etc.
to this FAQ should be titled, "ATTN: NWN2 Paladin FAQ."

====================

XII. Version History

Version 2.03 - Adjusted the Mystran Dragon Knight build.

Version 2.02 - Update on Knockdown and Improved Knockdown.

Version 2.01 - Minor typo fixes.

Version 2.00 - Bumping up a full number for all MotB-compatible editions.
	     - Added a few notes here and there.
	     - Gave a little more detail on the spells section.

Version 1.00 (MotB) - First full MotB-compatible edition.

Version 0.98 (MotB) - Tentative revision for the upcoming expansion pack.

Version 1.05 - Took Practiced Spellcaster (fixed for patch 1.04) into
	       account.

Version 1.04 - Moved Version History to the end. Why? Because I don't think
	       too many people care to read it.
	     - Updated for game patch 1.04.
             - Some clarification of STR vs. CHA.

Version 1.03 - Commentary about Knockdown and Improved Knockdown in Feats
               section
	     - Feat changes to the Mystran Dragon Knight (removed Knockdown
               and Improved Knockdown)

Version 1.02 - Edited Stats section
	     - Added example of single-class Paladin
	     - Gave multiclass builds their own section
             - Added an extra multiclass build

Version 1.01 - Added a Sample Paladin-based Builds section
             - Edited Feat Selection section
             - Added Permissions and Copyright
             - Fixed a couple of typos

Version 1.00 - First edition of the Paladin Guide.


====================

XIII. Permissions and Copyright

This FAQ will be hosted on the following sites:

GameFAQs
1up.com
MyCheats.com

Permission to reproduce this FAQ must be granted by me, and will be granted on
a case-for-case basis.

(c) Drew Garcia, 2006, 2007