Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance II Feats FAQ Version 1.04 Copyright 2004 Written by juffowup Changes from Version 1.00 to Version 1.04, 2/02/04: -Added IGN.com as a hosting site for this FAQ -Corrections/clarifications on a few skills compliments of some helpful individuals who took the time to email me with corrections (and verified either independently by myself or through the GameFAQs message boards). Updated skills include all Cleric Buffs, Stunning Blow, Ransack, and Vampiric Touch. Changes from Version 0.95 to Version 1.00, 1/29/04: -Added missing information for upgrade skills for all five characters -Corrected Section IV with correct information to obtain upgrade skills -Amended some of my notes/tips for some skills to account for new information -Corrected some minor spelling/grammar errors -Updated section VI with FAQs and updated my last remaining task for this FAQ -Extended Rank Effect descriptions to Rank 10 to account for bonuses to skill ranks gained through equipping certain magical items. Only a few skills have been found to be augmentable through the magic item customization system in BGDA2, but it has been shown that certain specific combinations of gems can lead to effects that are different than the sum of the separate gems' effects. If and when those gem combinations are discovered, I will extend the affected skills up to Rank 10, but for now I will only post information on those skills that have been verified as having a skill-boosting counterpart in the magic item creation system. **************************************** Table of Contents I..........Introduction II.........Legal Mumbo Jumbo III........Beginning Stats & Available Feats IV........."Upgrade" Feats by Character V..........Feat Descriptions and Costs VI.........Unanswered/Frequently Asked Questions VII........Contact Information VIII.......Thanks **************************************** I. Introduction I am a long time user of GameFAQs, but have never had the opportunity to contribute much to this excellent site besides helping where I could on the message boards. I don't like trying to plan out my RPG characters without knowing the nuts and bolts of things, so I thought I'd try my hand at this Feats FAQ. I hope you find it useful! I also dislike wordy FAQs, so let me zip it and we shall move on. **************************************** II. Legal Mumbo Jumbo The vast majority of the information on this FAQ has been taken directly off my TV screen as I played Baldur's Gate - Dark Alliance II (which I shall refer to as BGDA2). Needless to say, the numbers and data I pulled off the screen are not really mine to copyright, feel free to use it however you wish. However, I put some time and effort into formatting everything and collecting the data, so please don't be a tool and "copy/paste" things directly out of this FAQ into some document of your own (unless of course it is for personal use, or if you get my permission first). I am only giving GameFAQs.com and IGN.com the permission to post this as of this time. If you would like to post this on your site just send me an email at the address in section VII and we'll talk. As always, all trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders. 'Nuff jibber-jabber, on with the FAQ! **************************************** III. Beginning Stats and Available Feats There are five "main" characters and two unlockable characters in BGDA2. So far I have only been able to collect data on the main characters; I will update the unlockable characters' information as I come across it. The five "main" characters include: Dorn Redbear, Human Barbarian Vhaidra Uoswiir, Dark Elf (Drow) Monk Ysuran Auondril, Moon Elf Necromancer Borador "Goldhand", Dwarven Rogue Allessia Faithhammer, Human Cleric of Helm All the main characters shall be referenced in the future by their race/class, (i.e. Human Barbarian, Dark Elf Monk, Moon Elf Necromancer, Dwarven Rogue, and Human Cleric). Below I have listed each character's beginning stats, equipment, and available feats. ---Human Barbarian--- Health 17 Energy 8 Armor 10 Base Attack 4 Damage 4-5 (1-2) Strength 16 Dexterity 10 Constitution 14 Intelligence 10 Wisdom 10 Charisma 11 Beginning Weapons: Shoddy Handaxe (1-3, 13gp, 5lbs) Shoddy Short Sword (1-3, 22gp, 3lbs) Beginning Armor: Cloth Boots (0, 0gp, 3lbs) Cloth Bracers (0, 0gp, 1lbs) Beginning Feats: Armor Proficiency (Rank 2) Barbarian Rage (Rank 1) Sprint (Rank 1) Feats Available: Accuracy Armor Proficiency Barbarian Rage Cleave Combat Reflexes Death Blow Dodge Endurance Great Fortitude Great Weapon Focus Hand Weapon Focus Hero's Arm Hero's Mantle Improved Critical Iron Will Long Weapon Focus Power Attack Sprint Sunder Toughness Two-Weapon Fighting Willpower Upgrade Feats: Animal Friendship Bale Arm Barkskin Heart of the Bear Heart of the Wolf Resist Elements ---Dark Elf Monk--- Health 14 Energy 12 Armor 19 Base Attack 3 Damage 5-9 Strength 12 Dexterity 17 Constitution 10 Intelligence 10 Wisdom 10 Charisma 10 Beginning Weapons: None Beginning Armor: Cloth Boots (0, 0gp, 3lbs) Cloth Bracers (0, 0gp, 1lbs) Beginning Feats: Armor Proficiency (Rank 1) Sprint (Rank 1) Unarmed Combat (Rank 1) Feats Available: Accuracy Armor Proficiency Combat Reflexes Crushing Blow Death Blow Deflect Missiles Dodge Diamond Body Endurance Evasion Great Fortitude Hand Weapon Focus Improved Critical Iron Will Piercing Strike Long Weapon Focus Spinning Strike Sprint Stunning Blow Sweep Attack Toughness Two-Weapon Fighting Unarmed Combat Willpower Upgrade Feats: Arterial Strike Crippling Blow Hail of Knives Poison Stealth ---Moon Elf Necromancer--- Health 11 Energy 35 Armor 13 Base Attack 1 Damage 1-4 Strength 10 Dexterity 12 Constitution 10 Intelligence 17 Wisdom 10 Charisma 10 Beginning Weapons: Dagger (1-4, 13gp, 1lbs) Beginning Armor: Cloth Boots (0, 0gp, 3lbs) Cloth Bracers (0, 0gp, 1lbs) Beginning Feats: Life Drain (Rank 1) Shield (Rank 1) Feats Available: Accuracy Alchemical Lore Animate Dead Armor Proficiency Chill Touch Clarity Contagion Dark Possession Empower Enchant Item Endurance Enervation Fear Flame Arrow Ghoul Touch Great Fortitude Hand Weapon Focus Haste Hold Iron Will Life Drain Long Weapon Focus Melf's Acid Arrow Ray of Enfeeblement Shield Shocking Grasp Slow Sprint Vampiric Touch Willpower Upgrade Feats: Claws of Darkness Shadow Conjure Shadow Shield Shadow Spray ---Dwarven Rogue--- Health 16 Energy 10 Armor 16 Base Attack 3 Damage 5-8 Strength 11 Dexterity 15 Constitution 16 Intelligence 10 Wisdom 10 Charisma 10 Beginning Weapons: Shoddy Short Sword (1-3, 22gp, 3lbs) Shoddy Crossbow (3-6, 39gp, 2lbs) Beginning Armor: Cloth Boots (0, 0gp, 3lbs) Cloth Bracers (0, 0gp, 1lbs) Beginning Feats: Armor Proficiency (Rank 1) Ransack (Rank 1) Feats Available: Accuracy Armor Proficiency Combat Reflexes Dodge Endurance Evasion Forge Lore Great Fortitude Hail of Bolts Hand Weapon Focus Improved Critical Iron Will Long Weapon Focus Precise Shot Ransack Smokepowder Bolt Smokepowder Bomb Smokepowder Satchel Sprint Stealth Toughness Two-Weapon Fighting Willpower Upgrade Feats: Cleave Death Blow Dwarven Warsong Great Weapon Focus Shield Bash Shield Expertise Sunder ---Human Cleric--- Health 13 Energy 22 Armor 12 Base Attack 2 Damage 2-4 Strength 12 Dexterity 11 Constitution 12 Intelligence 14 Wisdom 12 Charisma 12 Beginning Weapons: Shoddy Lt. Mace (1-3, 11gp, 6lbs) Beginning Armor: Cloth Boots (0, 0gp, 3lbs) Cloth Bracers (0, 0gp, 1lbs) Wooden Shield (2, 56gp, 5lbs) Beginning Feats: Armor Proficiency (Rank 3) Cure Wounds (Rank 1) Divine Strength (Rank 1) Turn Undead (Rank 1) Feats Available: Accuracy Armor Proficiency Bless Clarity Cure Wounds Divine Resilience Divine Strength Dodge Empower Endurance Flame Strike Great Fortitude Great Weapon Focus Hand Weapon Focus Iron Will Long Weapon Focus Protective Ward Purity Sanctuary Spiritual Weapon Sprint Toughness Two-Weapon Fighting Turn Undead Willpower Upgrade Feats: Cleave Combat Reflexes Death Blow Improved Critical Power Attack Shield Bash Shield Expertise Smite Evil Sunder ---Drizzt Do'Urden--- ***Coming Soon*** ---Artemis Entreri--- ***Coming Soon*** **************************************** IV. "Upgrade" Feats by Character One major difference in BGDA2 versus the first BGDA is that each character can "upgrade" their list of available feats by completing a series of class- specific quests. Below you will find detailed information on each character's upgrade quest (who you must speak to, where you must go, what you must kill) in order to obtain the upgrade feats. Many people are of the belief that you must complete the NPC's "Money" quests (wherein you donate amounts of 2k, 4k, 8k, and 16k to the characters respective NPC in order to obtain experience) in order to access the upgrade quest, but my testing has proven that this is NOT the case. All characters will be offered their upgrade quest by their respective NPCs at any time after the start of Act III, regardless of the status of your other quests. Human Barbarian Speak to Randalla, who will send you to the Druid Allana. Speak to Allana for the quest and also to receive your Upgrade Feats. You must locate and destroy an evil Green Dragon that is terrorizing Allana's woods. His upgrade feats include a selection of skills given to him as he realizes his connection to the earth and nature; thus they are mostly of druidic or animalistic origin. Drow Monk Speak to Ulua, who will tell you of a monastery where the assassins who killed Vhaidra's family are housed. In order to avenge your clan, you must slay Draezen the Direhand, the master assassin. After doing so, you must return to Ulua who will give you the Dark Raven scrolls that contain the assassination techniques of the very assassins you just decimated. The skills Vhaidra learns are therefore of the sneaky, assassiny, backstabby variety. Elf Necromancer Speak to Omduil (you MUST have paid him his "Money" quests in order to access the Necromancer upgrade quest, unlike the other characters) and he will tell you about Zarad's Clock Tower, where Ysuran lost his memories. Zarad was Ysuran's mentor and helped Ysuran create the dark spell book that he carries. After confronting Zarad in his innermost sanctum and learning Ysuran's dark secret, return to Omduil in order to decipher the dark spells written in the back of Ysuran's spell book. As these spells are Zarad's most powerful Shadow Magic, all the new spells Ysuran learns will be based on Shadow Magic. Dwarf Rogue Speak to Durbem and he will tell you of a long lost mine called Gandam's Hold. According to Durbem, a mighty basilisk roams the halls, which makes it difficult for their clan to recover the once legendary mines. Guess who gets to kill the basilisk? Most annoying boss EVER. <sigh> Anyway, once it's dead, go back to Durbem and he declares you a true Dwarven Hero. As befits his new heroic stature, Borador now has access to several Hero-sized combat Feats that round out his hand-to-hand combat capabilities. Human Cleric Speak to Huros the Priest of Helm (in the Church of Helm, go figure) and he will speak to you of a cleric of Cyric named Goreth Vileblack who is raising an army of skeletons in order to invade the town of Asbravn. You must enter his mausoleum and defeat him in order to eliminate the threat to the town. After disposing of the long-winded Mr. Vileblack, return to Huros and he will name Allesia a knight of the temple, imparting on her a handful of excellent combat abilities and a decent unique feat, Smite Evil. **************************************** V. Feat Descriptions and Costs Below you will find the main part of this FAQ, the Feat Descriptions and Costs. Feats are listed alphabetically and will be displayed in the following format: Feat Name Description: Skill Point Cost: Energy Cost per use (active skills only): Feat Effects, Rank 1: Feat Effects, Rank 2: Feat Effects, Rank 3: Feat Effects, Rank 4: Feat Effects, Rank 5: Notes and Tips: Note that some skills can be pushed up to Rank 10 by equipping certain gems into weapons, armor, and other equipment. In those cases, the Feat Effects will extend to show the effects of increasing those skills by use of magic. Please see TheMarvin's excellent Item Upgrade Guide on GameFAQs for information on creating those items. If you have any requests as to further types of information you would like to see in the Feat Description, please contact me and let me know, and I will do what I can to accommodate your request. Feat Descriptions: Accuracy Improves the accuracy and damage of ranged attacks Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 to hit and +1 to damage Rank 2: +4 to hit and +2 to damage Rank 3: +6 to hit and +3 to damage Rank 4: +8 to hit and +4 to damage Rank 5: +10 to hit and +5 to damage Notes: Accuracy seems to be most useful for the Dwarven Rogue, as he is the only class that seems to be able to make the best use of the crossbow. However, keep in mind that bows and crossbows can make excellent backup weapons for the Necromancer when he wishes to conserve Magic Energy. Alchemical Lore Allows you to change potions from one type to another Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 per use Rank 1: Transform potions Notes: Doesn't seem horribly useful given that potions are plentiful in this game, but then again, there's only 1 rank to purchase, and it's dirt cheap at that. Animal Friendship Allows you to charm animals Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 6 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 6 seconds Rank 2: 12 seconds Rank 3: 18 seconds Rank 4: 24 seconds Rank 5: 30 seconds Notes: As with Dark Possession, this skill works best as distraction/crowd control. Not only does it work on the traditional "animals" such as wolves, dogs, birds, bats, etc., it also works on things like Rust Monsters. Basically anything that is not Humanoid (walks on two legs), Inanimate (table and chairs; don't ask), or Undead can most likely be controlled via this spell. Animate Dead Summon undead aid, higher ranks give stronger pets Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: varies Rank 1: Summon an ally Rank 2: Summon an ally Rank 3: Summon an ally Notes: Only 3 ranks to purchase for this Feat, but unfortunately it is hard to judge Energy cost and damage potential, as zero information is given anywhere onscreen about the pet. Energy costs and the Damage/Health of the pet seem to increase each character level (and not by Rank Level, as one might expect). Generally considered more useful in the Single Player campaign, where the summoned ally works well as a distraction to keep the enemies off you while you magic them to death. Note that while the skeleton does little actual damage, it appears to have quite a bit of health, and is very resistant to many weapons, poison, acid, fire, etc. Also note that the Necromancer will have access to a much stronger pet in Act III, the Shadow Conjure. That pet is much beefier than the skeleton you get with Animate Dead, but Animate Dead is still very useful for a solo Necromancer in his early levels (plus it is a very cheap skill). Armor Proficiency Allows you to equip heavier armor for better defense Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: Equip leather and padded armor Rank 2: Equip scale and chain armor, and shields Rank 3: Equip half plate and plate armor Notes: Even characters that begin with zero ranks in this skill should probably invest in at least Rank 1 in this skill. Not wearing armor is a good way to get killed extremely quickly for a 10 Hit Point Necromancer, and there don't appear to be any penalties for casting magic while wearing *any* armor, up to and including full plate. Arterial Strike Wound enemies to inflict gradual loss in Hit Points [weapon equipped and in Stealth state] Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 5 damage per second for 3 seconds Rank 2: 10 damage per second for 6 seconds Rank 3: 15 damage per second for 9 seconds Rank 4: 20 damage per second for 12 seconds Rank 5: 25 damage per second for 15 seconds Notes: Not nearly as useful as Crippling Blow, this skill adds a "bleed" effect to any melee attack (not fists, see description for Crippling Blow). Unfortunately, for the same reason that Poison-based skills are pretty useless, the "bleed" effect is pretty weak. Killing 'em softly (or is it slowly?) is for Bards and their flowery songs, not for evil Drow assassins bent on revenge! To top off the uselessness of this skill, Undead critters are immune to the "bleed" effect (Why? Because they have no blood, of course!). Bale Arm Allows you to hurl two throwing weapons at the same time Skill Point Cost: 6 Energy Cost: 3 Rank 1: Hurl two weapons Notes: This skill allows you to throw two thrown weapons at the same time. Due to the barbarian's massive melee output, by the time you get this skill it's not likely you'll be using it for much more than perhaps a change of pace. Barbarian Rage Enter a state of barbaric rage. While enraged, you will be unable to block Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * (Rank Level +1) Rank 1: +2/1-6/-2 attack/damage/AC Rank 2: +2/2-12/-4 attack/damage/AC Rank 3: +3/3-18/-6 attack/damage/AC Rank 4: +4/4-24/-8 attack/damage/AC Rank 5: +5/5-30/-10 attack/damage/AC Rank 6: +6/6-36/-12 attack/damage/AC Rank 7: +7/7-42/-14 attack/damage/AC Rank 8: +8/8-48/-16 attack/damage/AC Rank 9: +9/9-54/-18 attack/damage/AC Rank 10: +10/10-60/-20 attack/damage/AC Increase ranks by adding both Coral and Ruby gems to Armor/Helms/Shields Notes: Invest some skill points in skills like Dodge to offset the AC penalty. The AC penalty is applied to YOUR character, not the opposing enemy. Between the AC loss and the inability to block, be prepared to heal damage quickly. This is a very powerful damage-increasing ability, but the usefulness of blocking may be too much for some people to lose. Barkskin Makes your skin as tough as bark Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 6 + (2* Rank Level) Rank 1: +3 to Armor Class Rank 2: +6 to Armor Class Rank 3: +9 to Armor Class Rank 4: +12 to Armor Class Rank 5: +15 to Armor Class Notes: An armor boost never hurts, but this skill doesn't provide that big a boost, unfortunately. Not a bad use of skill points if you've got them laying around, but don't worry about purchasing this right away. Bless Increases the combat abilities of you and any allies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: +1 to hit and +1 to damage for 25 seconds Rank 2: +2 to hit and +2 to damage for 30 seconds Rank 3: +3 to hit and +3 to damage for 35 seconds Rank 4: +4 to hit and +4 to damage for 40 seconds Rank 5: +5 to hit and +5 to damage for 45 seconds Rank 6: +6 to hit and +6 to damage for 50 seconds Rank 7: +7 to hit and +7 to damage for 55 seconds Rank 8: +8 to hit and +8 to damage for 60 seconds Rank 9: +9 to hit and +9 to damage for 65 seconds Rank 10: +10 to hit and +10 to damage for 70 seconds Increase ranks by adding Diamond gems to Boots/Rings/Amulets Notes: Some of the Cleric's skills really shine in co-op play, and this is one of them. Cast this spell when you're up against bosses and other hard-to-hit enemies. This spell also affects summoned or controlled allies. It doesn't appear that this buff is affected by the Cleric's Empower ability, but I'm not 100% sure about that at this point. Any independant verification would be appreciated Chill Touch A freezing touch attack against a single enemy Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 1-6 additional cold damage Rank 2: 2-12 additional cold damage Rank 3: 3-18 additional cold damage Rank 4: 4-24 additional cold damage Rank 5: 5-30 additional cold damage Notes: Cold damage can be quite useful, as it sometimes freezes enemies a bit, enough to slow them down to a certain degree. If you get in a bind, try using this spell to slow enemies down while you run away and attack from a distance. Also be aware that "Touch" spells such as this will work whether you use a melee or ranged weapon to deliver the spell. This can be useful if you want to freeze critters at long range. Clarity Reduces the casting cost of your spells Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: 10% reduction in cost Rank 2: 20% reduction in cost Rank 3: 30% reduction in cost Notes: This skill is a *MUST-HAVE* for the Necromancer. Period! The Cleric can take it or leave it, unless you are the type that casts enhancement spells every ten seconds or you cast Flame Strike on anything that moves rather than relying on your trusty morning star... Claws of Darkness Attack with claws of deadly shadow that freeze and weaken your enemies Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +7-12 damage, weaken by 8% Rank 2: +14-24 damage, weaken by 16% Rank 3: +21-36 damage, weaken by 24% Notes: This feat basically makes all of the touch spells much more effective. The damage from this spell stacks with the damage from other touch spells, and you use touch spells with melee or ranged weapons, so the versatility this spell adds to the Necromancer's repertoire is pretty nice. I'd say max out Vampiric Touch along with this spell, as the combination of the two is probably the best between all the different "touch" spells. Cleave An attack that strikes all enemies in front of you Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1 damage Rank 2: +2 damage Rank 3: +3 damage Rank 4: +4 damage Rank 5: +5 damage Rank 6: +6 damage Rank 7: +7 damage Rank 8: +8 damage Rank 9: +9 damage Rank 10: +10 damage Increase ranks by adding Sapphire gems to Weapons/Gloves Notes: This Feat seems somewhat underpowered, until you realize that this is the closest thing that the Barbarian will ever come to an area-effect attack. It may only add a tiny bit of damage, but if you hit 3-4 enemies at once, you are effectively tripling or quadrupling your damage output in one attack. The reach of your weapon also affects the effectiveness of this skill, as you can potentially hit more enemies with a two-handed great axe than you can with a tiny dagger. I would recommend that you simply purchase one rank in this skill, as the extra bit of damage is hardly worth the extra energy used for higher-rank skills, and the area-effect capability is the same at all Ranks! Combat Reflexes Increases the speed of your attacks Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: Speed Increases Rank 2: Speed Increases Rank 3: Speed Increases Rank 4: Speed Increases Rank 5: Speed Increases Rank 6: Speed Increases Rank 7: Speed Increases Rank 8: Speed Increases Rank 9: Speed Increases Rank 10: Speed Increases Improve rank by adding Moonstone gems to Weapons/Gloves Notes: Of course, they don't say by how *much* your attack speed increases, but more speed is definitely good for any character class, and it is essential for Melee-centric types like the Barbarian and Monk. This skill at Rank 10 is blindingly fast, and will allow you to carve a batch of enemies down in no time at all. Contagion Curse your enemies with the plague Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 * (Rank Level +1) Rank 1: 2 poison damage to 1 target Rank 2: 3 poison damage to 2 targets Rank 3: 4 poison damage to 3 targets Rank 4: 5 poison damage to 4 targets Rank 5: 6 poison damage to 5 targets Notes: I don't really get why anyone would want to slowly poison their enemies to death, when you can suck all the life out of them in an instant with Life Drain and Enervation. If anyone has any creative ideas for this spell, please let me know! Crippling Blow An attack that slows the enemy [weapon equipped and in Stealth state] Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 9 second duration Rank 2: 12 second duration Rank 3: 15 second duration Rank 4: 18 second duration Rank 5: 21 second duration Notes: The Monk is unfortunately a bit short-changed when it comes to her Upgrade Feats. If you've been concentrating on unarmed attacks, there are hardly any worthwhile feats available after the upgrade. The reason for this is illustrated perfectly with Crippling Blow: This feat only works when you are using a melee weapon (and fists don't count!). Like Stealth's sneak attack damage, Arterial Strike, and Hail of Knives, if you've been going unarmed, it's time learn yourself some assassinating skills using a sword or an axe or a throwing knife or what have you. Fortunately, this skill actually quite good for a stealthy, assassin-type, as it conveniently slows them down so you can run away if your first attack doesn't take the enemy out. Crushing Blow Adds damage to unarmed attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +2 damage Rank 2: +4 damage Rank 3: +6 damage Rank 4: +8 damage Rank 5: +10 damage Notes: If this were a passive skill it would be worth it. As it is, you should go with one of the other Unarmed Feats such as Stunning Blow or Sweep Attack for extra damage (in addition to crowd control and area-effect features). One possible benefit of this skill is that it seems to be unblockable, and it can be helpful in taking out block-crazy enemies. Cure Wounds Heals yourself and any allies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: +10 Hit Points Rank 2: +20 Hit Points Rank 3: +30 Hit Points Rank 4: +40 Hit Points Rank 5: +50 Hit Points Notes: As with Bless, this skill really shines in co-op mode, although otherwise this skill is not that much better than a handful of healing potions. Using this skill as a replacement for Healing potions won't accomplish too much, as you will need to carry Rejuvenation potions to make up for all the extra energy you're converting into Hit Points. Also note that this spell does take a second or so to cast, and it is not instant like the potions. If you are going to use this spell as a replacement for healing potions, you should seriously consider investing in Sanctuary so you can sit back and heal yourself up without being interrupted. Empower does NOT increase the amount of damage healed! Dark Possession Control humanoids and lesser undead creatures Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * (Rank + 1) Rank 1: 6 seconds, +100% damage Rank 2: 12 seconds, +200% damage Rank 3: 18 seconds, +300% damage Notes: This skill is useful, but it's not really for dealing out damage. This Feat is a great crowd-control spell, and in my opinion is slightly more effective than Animate Dead for distracting enemies. Cast this spell on the first enemy of a pack and watch it turn around and start hacking up its friends. As the pack is busy dealing with the traitorous scum, you can amble on in and mow them all down with your spell of choice. Generally, the enemies will target your controlled creature before they will come after you, thus leaving you open to create magical mischief. Death Blow Increases the damage inflicted by a critical hit Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 damage Rank 2: +4 damage Rank 3: +6 damage Rank 4: +8 damage Rank 5: +10 damage Notes: Pretty worthless, considering that even with a full 5 ranks in Improved Critical, you only crit 1 out of every four hits. Considering that you have to spend 30 skill points to achieve an extra 2-3 average damage per attack, I'd suggest going elsewhere for extra hitting power. Deflect Missiles Gives a chance to automatically block missile attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: 5% Rank 2: 10% Rank 3: 15% Rank 4: 20% Rank 5: 25% Notes: This is a pretty nice skill, considering how many archers can be found in the game (note that this skill does apply to creatures with built-in ranged attacks as well, such as the four-legged creatures in Bloodmire Manor) Diamond Body Resist the effects of poison and acid attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: 1 less damage per tick Rank 2: 2 less damage per tick Rank 3: 3 less damage per tick Rank 4: 4 less damage per tick Rank 5: 5 less damage per tick Notes: Not one of the Monk's more important skills, but still semi-useful when fighting against any poisonous or acidic creature (or casters/archers with poison abilities). Divine Resilience Temporarily boosts your Great Fortitude Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + Rank Level Rank 1: Improved regeneration for 5 seconds Rank 2: Improved regeneration for 10 seconds Rank 3: Improved regeneration for 15 seconds Rank 4: Improved regeneration for 20 seconds Rank 5: Improved regeneration for 25 seconds Notes: Would probably be most useful as an emergency back up in case you are trying to conserve healing potions, but otherwise not horribly useful, IMHO. I'm not sure if this spell is affected by Empower, as it does not list how much the Cleric's regeneration is improved. Divine Strength Temporarily boosts your Strength Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +2 for 35 seconds Rank 2: +4 for 45 seconds Rank 3: +6 for 55 seconds Rank 4: +8 for 65 seconds Rank 5: +10 for 75 seconds Notes: One of the Cleric's better buffs, at Rank 5 this spell will increase her carrying capacity by 150 lbs, her to hit by +5, and her damage by +5 for well over a minute, more than enough for a couple of fights at a time. You should always cast this before boss fights where you will be fighting hand-to- hand. Combine Rank 5 Divine Strength with a Rank 10 Bless spell, and for 70 seconds you will be +15 to hit/+15 to damage. Empower WILL increase both the strength boost and the length of time this buff lasts! For some odd reason, the strength boost does NOT increase your carrying capacity. Dodge Enemies are more likely to miss in combat Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +1 to AC per piece of armor worn Rank 2: +2 to AC per piece of armor worn Rank 3: +3 to AC per piece of armor worn Rank 4: +4 to AC per piece of armor worn Rank 5: +5 to AC per piece of armor worn Notes: The only problem with this skill is that the class that would benefit the most from it (Necromancer) doesn't have access to it! Otherwise, a good passive skill to invest in, as at Rank 5 it can add up to 25 AC (+5 AC each for helmet, gloves, boots, chestplate, and shield). Obviously, in order to make the most of this skill, you should have at least Armor Proficiency Rank 2 to make use of a shield. Dwarven Warsong Bellow to temporarily increase combat ability Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: +1 to hit, +1 to damage Rank 2: +2 to hit, +2 to damage Rank 3: +3 to hit, +3 to damage Rank 4: +4 to hit, +4 to damage Rank 5: +5 to hit, +5 to damage Notes: A pretty nice little buff for the Dwarven Rogue, especially when you start treating him like the warrior that he is, rather than some silly little treasure-hunting-sneak-thief type. Empower Increases the effectiveness of various spells Skill Point Cost: 4 * Rank Level (Necromancer), 3 * Rank Level (Cleric) Passive Skill Rank 1: 15% damage Rank 2: 30% damage Rank 3: 45% damage Notes: Another *MUST-HAVE* for the Necromancer, this skill will boost even the Necromancer's weakest skills into deadly territory. The Cleric may get to purchase it at a cheaper price, but keep in mind that this skill only affects a couple of damage spells, and a handful of her buff spells. If you use Flame Strike, Turn Undead, or Smite Evil a lot, you should definitely invest in this skill. Enchant Item Decreases the cost of creating and breaking down magic items Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: -15% workshop costs Rank 2: -30% workshop costs Rank 3: -45% workshop costs Rank 4: -60% workshop costs Rank 5: -75% workshop costs Notes: Notice the skill description says magic "items" which means the cost reduction in the workshop only applies to magical trinkets like rings and amulets, not weapons or armor. Still, being able to create magic rings and amulets for dirt-cheap prices can be very useful, especially for a class that doesn't really make much use of either weapons or armor (generally!). Obviously, this skill will help a LOT in Extreme Mode, where you can create up to +15 rings and amulets (for a hefty price tag). Endurance Increases your carrying capacity Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +15 more pounds Rank 2: +30 more pounds Rank 3: +45 more pounds Rank 4: +60 more pounds Rank 5: +75 more pounds Notes: Not all that useful in my opinion, as you can wear Strength enhancing equipment and get the same effect (not to mention an increase in to-hit/damage) and once you get Recall potions, selling excess inventory becomes very easy. Enervation Channel death energy at nearby enemies in your front arc. Affects one additional enemy per rank. Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 6 * Rank Level (per second) Rank 1: 3-9 damage per half second while button is held Rank 2: 6-18 damage per half second while button is held Rank 3: 9-27 damage per half second while button is held Rank 4: 12-36 damage per half second while button is held Rank 5: 15-45 damage per half second while button is held Notes: Does much more damage than Life Drain, although Life Drain is useful because it heals you at the same time. One viable tactic would be to use this spell as your main attack spell, then switch to Life Drain if you need healing. Needless to say, without Clarity, you will need to carry around a lot of Rejuvenation potions. This skill is weaker than the Necromancer's upgrade Feat Shadow Spray, but keep in mind that Shadow Spray is an auto-targeted spell, while Enervation just sucks the life out of anything in the nearby vicinity. Evasion Aids in damage reduction from certain magical attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +10% reduction Rank 2: +20% reduction Rank 3: +30% reduction Rank 4: +40% reduction Rank 5: +50% reduction Notes: While there aren't hordes of magic-users in this game, the ones that you'll run into will usually take a serious chunk out of your hide. This feat can help offset that damage. Fear Enemies closest run away for a limited duration. Additional rank increases targets and duration of the spell. Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (4 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 1 second, 1 target Rank 2: 2 seconds, 2 targets Rank 3: 3 seconds, 3 targets Rank 4: 4 seconds, 4 targets Rank 5: 5 seconds, 5 targets Notes: Only somewhat useful, it's main use would be if your Necromancer gets caught in a corner surrounded by enemies. Otherwise, you can probably skip this spell (it's pretty annoying to chase down fleeing enemies anyways, right?) and go with Slow. Flame Arrow Summons magical flaming arrows Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (2 * Rank Level Rank 1: +2-11 damage, 1 arrow Rank 1: +3-12 damage, 2 arrows Rank 1: +4-13 damage, 3 arrows Rank 1: +5-14 damage, 4 arrows Rank 1: +6-15 damage, 5 arrows Notes: This can be quite a powerful spell, but with one caveat: the arrows fan out from the necromancer in an arc, so the farther away an enemy is, the less likely it is going to get hit by more than one arrow. For best effect, get right up close to the enemy and cast the spell; the combined damage from 5 arrows (in addition to extra damage from being caught on fire) can be quite devastating. Be careful with fire-resistant enemies though! Shadow Spray pretty much makes this skill obsolete except for fire-weak enemies. Flame Strike Holy Fire called down on your enemies Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 4 * (Rank Level +1) Rank 1: 7-48 fire damage Rank 2: 8-60 fire damage Rank 3: 9-72 fire damage Rank 4: 10-84 fire damage Rank 5: 11-96 fire damage Notes: The Cleric's main offensive spell, the only major drawback is the wide damage spread. It's pretty awful doing 11 points of damage when you know you can top out at 96! Still, with points in both Clarity and Empower, you could be doing 19-168 damage for only 17 Energy, which is not bad for a "support" magic caster. Forge Lore Decreases the cost of creating and breaking down magic weapons Skill Point Cost: 3 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: -15% workshop costs Rank 2: -30% workshop costs Rank 3: -45% workshop costs Rank 4: -60% workshop costs Rank 5: -75% workshop costs Notes: Like the Necromancer's Enchant Item feat, this feat only applies to specific workshop projects. In the Dwarf's case, his feat applies to magical weapon creation only. In co-op games, have the Rogue create all magical weapons to save on creation costs. Ghoul Touch A touch attack that paralyzes a foe Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 1 poison damage Rank 2: 2 poison damage Rank 3: 3 poison damage Rank 4: 4 poison damage Rank 5: 5 poison damage Notes: Utterly worthless spell, in my opinion. Damage is negligible, and if you really want crowd control, go for Slow instead. As with Chill Touch, you can use melee or ranged weapons to deliver the effects of this spell. Great Fortitude Increases your Hit Point regeneration rate Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 HP per minute Rank 2: +4 HP per minute Rank 3: +6 HP per minute Rank 4: +8 HP per minute Rank 5: +10 HP per minute Rank 6: +12 HP per minute Rank 7: +14 HP per minute Rank 8: +16 HP per minute Rank 9: +18 HP per minute Rank 10: +20 HP per minute Increase ranks by adding Ruby gems to Rings/Amulets/Boots Notes: Unless you like sitting around waiting to heal, just chug a potion and be done with it. This skill is generally pretty worthless. Great Weapon Focus Increases your ability to fight with two-handed great weapons Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 to hit and +1 to damage Rank 1: +4 to hit and +2 to damage Rank 1: +6 to hit and +3 to damage Notes: This may seem at first glance to be pretty pricey for very little benefit (+3 damage??) but the game fails to mention that this feat unlocks the highly useful combo attacks for all great weapons. RTFM (pages 21-24) for details on combo attacks. Note that Barbarians using Hero's Arm must train in Two-Weapon Fighting for their combo attacks. The bonuses to hit and damage still take effect when using Hero's Arm, however. For best results, train this skill, Two-Weapon Fighting, and Hero's Arm for maximum damage potential. Hail of Bolts Allows you to fire multiple bolts at once Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 2 bolts Rank 2: 3 bolts Rank 3: 4 bolts Rank 4: 5 bolts Rank 5: 6 bolts Notes: This might have been more useful had it been a passive skill, or if there were some way to reduce the energy cost, which can be prohibitive for the Rogue. If you're making a Rogue Archer, this is a decent skill, but be aware that you will be chugging Rejuvenation potions like crazy using this skill. Also, like the Necromancer's Fire Arrow spell, the bolts fan out, so being up close to your enemy is a must if you want to connect with more than one bolt. As this skill almost requires you to be up close to do any additional damage to your enemy, you should probably invest in excellent armor (or perhaps in Sprint so you can run away from retaliation!) With the Dwarf's new warrior-like skills (after upgrade) this spell increases in effectiveness (especially with Improved Critical). Hail of Knives Allows you to throw multiple knives at once Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (1 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 2 knives Rank 2: 3 knives Rank 3: 4 knives Rank 4: 5 knives Rank 5: 6 knives Notes: This is actually an excellent skill choice for any Monk, as it provides a high-powered ranged attack to a lightly armored melee character. Make sure you invest points into Accuracy as well, and you should be lining them up and knocking them down in no time. Note that throwing knives use Strength for bonuses to damage, so make sure to pump that up as well. Hand Weapon Focus Increases your ability to fight with one-handed weapons Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 to hit and +1 to damage Rank 1: +4 to hit and +2 to damage Rank 1: +6 to hit and +3 to damage Notes: As with Great Weapon Focus, this skill unlocks combos for one-handed weapon types. Very, very highly recommended to characters using the Sword and Shield or Two-Weapon Fighting styles (except Barbarians with Hero's Arm). Haste Increased speed for you and your allies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * (Rank Level + 1) Rank 1: 6% increase, 8 seconds Rank 2: 12% increase, 11 seconds Rank 3: 18% increase, 14 seconds Rank 4: 24% increase, 17 seconds Rank 5: 30% increase, 20 seconds Notes: A useful skill, although the short duration of the spell makes it less useful that it could have been. This is the Necromancer's most important co-op spell, as it ensures that the other character can attack with great speed. Some people have claimed to use this spell in conjunction with powerful melee weapons to make a decent Melee-oriented Necromancer. Heart of the Bear Increases your hit points Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +10 Rank 2: +20 Rank 3: +30 Rank 4: +40 Rank 5: +50 Notes: Better than Toughness, but by the time you have access to this skill, it's not likely that the difference in Hit Points will make much difference. Heart of the Wolf Increases your running speed Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +10% Rank 2: +20% Rank 3: +30% Rank 4: +40% Rank 5: +50% Notes: Getting around quicker is always a good thing, and combined with a Rank 10 Sprint Feat, you can watch your Barbarian running around imitating a pinball by bouncing off the walls. Seriously though, this is a nice skill to have, especially if you hate how slow everyone moves in this game. Hero's Arm Allows you to wield great weapons in only one hand Skill Point Cost: 15 Passive Skill Rank 1: Allows you to wield great weapons in only one hand Notes: Combine this with Great Weapon Focus, Two-Weapon Fighting, and a couple of high-powered Great Axes, Hammers, or Swords for insane damage, Barbarian- style. IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!! - DO NOT TAKE THIS SKILL IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE USING GREAT WEAPONS AS TWO-HANDED WEAPONS!!!!! Once you take this Feat, you will never again be able to equip a Great Weapon as a Two-handed weapon. (Meaning of course, one weapon held with two hands, rather than two weapons, one in each hand). Hero's Mantle Resistance to physical damage Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +5% damage reduction Rank 2: +10% damage reduction Rank 3: +15% damage reduction Rank 4: +20% damage reduction Rank 5: +25% damage reduction Notes: Add this to your Barbarian's skill set, as it is very useful indeed. As it is based on a percentage (not a static number), the more damage the enemy does, the more damage is taken off by damage reduction. One of the few skills that actually provides better benefits as the game progresses. Hold Stuns creatures in front of you Skill Point Cost: 3 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (8 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 1 second, 1 target Rank 2: 1 second, 2 targets Rank 3: 1 second, 3 targets Rank 4: 1 second, 4 targets Rank 5: 2 seconds, 5 targets Notes: Only particularly useful in co-op mode, as 1 to 2 seconds of a boss not beating on your teammate can be helpful, but if you want single-player crowd control, consider Slow instead. Improved Critical Increases your chance of a critical hit with melee attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +3% Rank 2: +6% Rank 3: +9% Rank 4: +12% Rank 5: +15% Rank 6: +18% Rank 7: +21% Rank 8: +24% Rank 9: +27% Rank 10: +30% Increase rank by adding Pearl gems to Weapons/Gloves Note: You should probably invest skill points first in skills that increase your general damage level and ability to combo, and then in Improved Critical to get the occasional extra damage. +30% critical rate translates into double or triple damage every 3 or so hits, which at the highest combo levels pretty much guarantees a critical with every combo! Iron Will Increases your Magic Energy regeneration rate Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: 125% Rank 2: 150% Rank 3: 175% Rank 4: 200% Rank 5: 225% Rank 6: 250% Rank 7: 275% Rank 8: 300% Rank 9: 325% Rank 10: 350% Increase ranks by adding Emerald gems to Rings/Amulets/Boots Notes: As with Great Fortitude, skip this skill and chug a Rejuvenation potion instead. Life Drain Drain Hit Points from enemies to restore your own. Affects one additional enemy per rank Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 6 * Rank Level (per second) Rank 1: Drains 2-5 per half second Rank 2: Drains 4-10 per half second Rank 3: Drains 6-15 per half second Rank 4: Drains 8-20 per half second Rank 5: Drains 10-25 per half second Notes: Probably one of the Necromancer's best skills, as it can be a potent weapon early in the game, as well as a useful healing spell later in the game. Clarity and Empower will also highly increase the effectiveness of this spell. (Up to 18-44 per half second on up to 5 creatures at once at a cost of 21 Energy per second). At the highest ranks, this spell can pretty much replace the Necromancer's stash of healing potions. Note however that this spell does not work on undead creatures (kind of hard to drain life out of something that's already dead, no?) Long Weapons Focus Improves your ability to fight with staves, spears, and halberds Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +2 to hit and +1 to damage Rank 2: +4 to hit and +2 to damage Rank 3: +6 to hit and +3 to damage Notes: Again, as with the other Focus feats, this skill will unlock the combo attacks for staves, spears and halberds. See Feat Description for Great Weapons Focus for more information. Melf's Acid Arrow Summons a magic acidic arrow Skill Point Cost: 4 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 8-18 Damage Rank 2: 13-23 Damage Rank 3: 18-28 Damage Rank 4: 23-33 Damage Rank 5: 28-38 Damage Notes: A bit of a toss-up between this and Flame Arrow, as Flame Arrow has higher damage potential, but also requires you to get up close and personal for highest effectiveness. This spell allows you to get good damage potential while keeping your skin in one piece. At higher difficulty levels you should probably avoid using this skill. Piercing Strike Reduces your enemy's Armor Class Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: Rank Level + 2 Rank 1: 4 Armor Class reduction Rank 2: 8 Armor Class reduction Rank 3: 12 Armor Class reduction Rank 4: 16 Armor Class reduction Rank 5: 20 Armor Class reduction Note: Not that great a skill, only marginally useful if you're having real problems landing a hit on a boss or something heavily armored. Even so, equipping some Strength-boosting items for a +to hit bonus works just as well (if not better). I've gotten some testimonials from other players that this skill and Sunder not only seem to make enemies easier to hit, but also less damage resistant, which may increase the usefulness of this feat against bosses or heavily-armored enemies. Poison Inflicts additional poison damage on attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 2 poison damage for 6 seconds Rank 2: 4 poison damage for 12 seconds Rank 3: 6 poison damage for 18 seconds Rank 4: 8 poison damage for 24 seconds Rank 5: 10 poison damage for 30 seconds Notes: If you don't know how I feel about poison attacks in this game by now... Somewhat useful if you like sneaking around backstabbing opponents, otherwise you can probably skip it. Power Attack Inflict additional damage upon enemies with any melee weapon Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 Rank 1: +2 damage per hit Rank 2: +4 damage per hit Rank 3: +6 damage per hit Rank 4: +8 damage per hit Rank 5: +10 damage per hit Rank 6: +12 damage per hit Rank 7: +14 damage per hit Rank 8: +16 damage per hit Rank 9: +18 damage per hit Rank 10: +20 damage per hit Increase ranks by adding Sapphire gems in Armor/Helms/Shields Notes: Only a marginally useful skill, one of its saving graces is it's super- low Energy requirement, which is good for the Energy-poor Barbarian. Most useful at the early levels or for getting through the defenses of an enemy in blocking mode (this feat ignores blocks) Precise Shot You can make more accurate, damaging shots with a crossbow. Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1 to hit and +15% to damage Rank 2: +2 to hit and +30% to damage Rank 3: +3 to hit and +45% to damage Rank 4: +4 to hit and +60% to damage Rank 5: +5 to hit and +75% to damage Notes: By far the ultimate feat for your Rogue Archers out there. The +75% to damage combined with a high-damage crossbow will result in some nasty, nasty damage. Fortunately, the Energy cost for this skill is fairly low, well within the Rogue's limits. Although many people like Hail of Bolts, I still think this skill is better on both energy usage and damage avoidance reasons. Protective Ward Creates a protective aura around you Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +4 to Armor Class for 30 seconds Rank 2: +8 to Armor Class for 40 seconds Rank 3: +12 to Armor Class for 50 seconds Rank 4: +16 to Armor Class for 60 seconds Rank 5: +20 to Armor Class for 70 seconds Notes: Not the best buff in the world, but useful for boss fights or when you find yourself surrounded by a small horde. This buff is actually affected by increasing the Cleric's Empower skill (both AC and duration). Purity Temporary poison and acid resistance; resist some status effects at higher ranks Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + Rank Level Rank 1: Resist 1 acid/poison damage for 25 seconds Rank 2: Resist 2 acid/poison damage for 35 seconds, Immunity to Curse Rank 3: Resist 3 acid/poison damage for 45 seconds, Immunity to Sunder Rank 4: Resist 4 acid/poison damage for 55 seconds, Immunity to Enfeeblement Rank 5: Resist 5 acid/poison damage for 65 seconds, Immunity to Slow Notes: Basically a castable Diamond Body buff, it is mainly useful for encounters with poisonous or acidic critters. The skill description mentions it protects against other status effects, but no further information is given. If anyone figures out what status effects are protected against by this spell, please let me know (update: I could just read the manual. <sigh>). I don't know if the Immunities are retroactive (Is Rank 5 immune to just Slow, or all of the above?), but I believe they are. Ransack Knock additional loot out of enemies Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 1-6 damage and 13% chance of additional treasure Rank 2: 2-12 damage and 16% chance for additional treasure Rank 3: 3-18 damage and 19% chance for additional treasure Rank 4: 4-24 damage and 22% chance for additional treasure Rank 5: 5-30 damage and 25% chance for additional treasure Notes: This is a weird skill in that it seems like it would be great for extra damage and loot purposes, but unfortunately, the to-hit probability when attacking enemies with this skill seems very low. However (adding to the weirdness) the true usefulness of this skill isn't even mentioned in the skill description: You can use Ransack to open treasure chests and urns/pots, and the % chance for additional treasure still applies! A good skill to get for looting treasure chests and urns/pots, just don't expect any major damage benefits when attacking enemies with it. It's been pointed out to me that this skill does work, but you only get *ONE* chance per creature to Ransack. Additional attempts to Ransack will fail. Apparently, when it works, it causes the creature to spit out three or four things (gold, items, etc) rather than just one or two. Ray of Enfeeblement Reduces an enemy's damage output Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 10% damage Rank 2: 20% damage Rank 3: 30% damage Rank 4: 40% damage Rank 5: 50% damage Notes: This is an excellent skill for fighting bosses or melee powerhouses. The % damage is a damage reduction; the description should say "-10% damage", etc. Also, I'm not sure if there is a duration to the effect or not. Resist Elements Aids in elemental damage resistance Skill Point Cost: 3 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 6 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +10% elemental damage resistance Rank 2: +20% elemental damage resistance Rank 3: +30% elemental damage resistance Rank 4: +40% elemental damage resistance Rank 5: +50% elemental damage resistance Notes: Probably the best Upgrade Feat for the Barbarian, this skill allows the Barbarian to wade through a crowd of mages without dying in the first two seconds. Strangely, the Basic Evasion spell of the Rogue is much more useful, in that it protects you from all magic, not just fire/ice/lightning/acid spells. Sanctuary Enemies will not attack you unless you attack them Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + Rank Level Rank 1: 5 seconds Rank 2: 10 seconds Rank 3: 15 seconds Rank 4: 20 seconds Rank 5: 25 seconds Rank 6: 30 seconds Rank 7: 35 seconds Rank 8: 40 seconds Rank 9: 45 seconds Rank 10: 50 seconds Increase rank by adding Jet gems to Rings/Amulets/Boots Notes: A very useful spell when engaging a large number of enemies, this spell will allow you to concentrate on one enemy at a time (attacking an enemy will only cancel the Sanctuary effect for the enemy being attacked, all other enemies within range will still ignore you during the spell's duration). Also nice for giving you a breather when things get chaotic. Cast this real quick, heal up, recall back to town, restock on potions, and return to battle completely refreshed! I'm pretty sure this spell is not affected by Empower. Shadow Conjure Summon a shadow ally, higher ranks improve the pet Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: varies Rank 1: Summon a shadow ally Rank 2: Summon a shadow ally Rank 3: Summon a shadow ally Rank 4: Summon a shadow ally Rank 5: Summon a shadow ally Notes: An upgrade to the Animate Dead spell, it has all the benefits of Animate Dead, in a much, much deadlier package. This is actually a useful damage-dealing spell in its own right and highly recommended for any Necromancer. Shadow Shield Shield spell that auto-blocks some attacks Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 * Rank Level Rank 1: 10% absorb, +6 Armor Class, 3% Chance to Block Rank 2: 20% absorb, +7 Armor Class, 6% Chance to Block Rank 3: 30% absorb, +8 Armor Class, 9% Chance to Block Rank 4: 40% absorb, +9 Armor Class, 12% Chance to Block Rank 5: 50% absorb, +10 Armor Class, 15% Chance to Block Notes: An upgrade to the Shield spell, this version is a bit more powerful (and of course, more useful). You should replace your old Shield spell with this one ASAP. Shadow Spray Inflict damage to nearby enemies with ribbons of shadow. The caster fires one ribbon per rank Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (3 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 4-12 damage per ribbon Rank 2: 8-24 damage per ribbon Rank 3: 12-36 damage per ribbon Rank 4: 16-48 damage per ribbon Rank 5: 20-60 damage per ribbon Notes: This is a sick, sick spell. Absolutely recommended to all Necromancers, upgrade this spell as soon as you are able to, as it does crazy damage at Rank 5 (especially with Empower and Clarity at full power). Shield Magic Shield that improves armor Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 10% absorb, +6 Armor Class Rank 2: 20% absorb, +7 Armor Class Rank 3: 30% absorb, +8 Armor Class Rank 4: 40% absorb, +9 Armor Class Rank 5: 50% absorb, +10 Armor Class Notes: More useful for the damage absorption than the bonus to Armor Class, but it's still not that useful a spell, as your job as Necromancer generally keeps you away from enemy attacks. Still, it doesn't hurt to be careful. Also, the description does not provide a duration, so your guess is as good as mine. This spell is basically made obsolete by Shadow Shield, which provides more benefits than Shield, like blocking. Shield Bash A short dash forward that damages and stuns your enemy. Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 4 * (Rank Level + 1) Rank 1: Stun target for 1 second, inflict 4-9 damage Rank 2: Stun target for 2 seconds, inflict 7-14 damage Rank 3: Stun target for 2 seconds, inflict 10-19 damage Rank 4: Stun target for 3 seconds, inflict 13-24 damage Rank 5: Stun target for 3 seconds, inflict 16-29 damage Notes: It's not the best damage in the game, but it's still a fairly nice option for the Dwarf and Cleric to add to their library of monster-mashing skills. This skill also gets through enemies in block mode, so feel free to shield bash anything hiding behind a shield, as it were. Shield Expertise Gain additional armor bonus and physical damage resistance from your shield Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +3 Rank 2: +6 Rank 3: +9 Rank 4: +12 Rank 5: +15 Rank 6: +18 Rank 7: +21 Rank 8: +24 Rank 9: +27 Rank 10: +30 Increase rank by adding Coral gems to Armor/Shields/Helms Notes: An excellent defensive skill for the weapon/shield-using Dwarf or Cleric, this skill adds Armor Class and Damage Reduction to the user's shield, although the game does not display the amount of damage reduction, it does seem to actually provide an additional measure of defense. It's possible that the + modifier may actually indicate the value for both Armor Class and Damage Reduction percentage (thus at Rank 5 it would be +15 to Armor Class and +15% damage resistance) but that's just a guess. Shocking Grasp Your touch electrifies enemies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 2-9 electrical damage Rank 2: 4-18 electrical damage Rank 3: 6-27 electrical damage Rank 4: 8-36 electrical damage Rank 5: 10-45 electrical damage Notes: Decent damage, but it requires you to get up close and personal, something Necromancers shouldn't be doing. Unless, of course, you are using a bow or crossbow to deliver the spell effect to its target. Slow Slows down enemies Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: 10 seconds, 1 target Rank 2: 20 seconds, 2 targets Rank 3: 30 seconds, 3 targets Rank 4: 40 seconds, 4 targets Rank 5: 50 seconds, 5 targets Notes: A good crowd-control alternative to Fear, I prefer it as it still keeps enemies coming to you and not running away. The Slow effect lasts much longer than Fear and also affects the enemies attack rate as well. Smite Evil Inflict additional damage and can disrupt undead Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1 damage, 8% chance to disrupt undead Rank 2: +2 damage, 11% chance to disrupt undead Rank 3: +3 damage, 14% chance to disrupt undead Rank 4: +4 damage, 17% chance to disrupt undead Rank 5: +5 damage, 20% chance to disrupt undead Notes: Basically a melee-centric version of Turn Undead, this is an excellent skill when fighting undead creatures, but only an okay skill when fighting anything else. It should become a standard attack for your Cleric when fighting undead, although it's too bad you don't have this available on the quest that you undertake to unlock your upgrade feats (Undead Central!). If you combine this skill with a +5 weapon imbued with 16 Diamonds, you will have a grand total of 95% chance to instantly destroy undead enemies. This is, as you can see, an unbelievably powerful combination when fighting undead. Smokepowder Bolt Fire a burning bolt with your crossbow Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1-5 fire damage Rank 2: +2-10 fire damage Rank 3: +3-15 fire damage Rank 4: +4-20 fire damage Rank 5: +5-25 fire damage Notes: You can skip this feat entirely in favor of Precise Shot in my opinion. A damage multiplier is always better than just straight up additional damage. The only reason you may want to take this is for use against Fire-weak enemies, but you could just take SP Bomb or Satchel for that. Smokepowder Bomb Hurl an explosive bomb at your enemies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (2 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +5-10 fire damage Rank 2: +10-20 fire damage Rank 3: +15-30 fire damage Rank 4: +20-40 fire damage Rank 5: +25-50 fire damage Notes: Better than SP Bolt, but still not quite as good as SP Satchel. More damage than SP Bolt, but can still miss the target. Smokepowder Satchel Place and later detonate an explosive satchel charge Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 4 * Rank Level Rank 1: 35 damage, explosion radius 3 feet Rank 2: 70 damage, explosion radius 6 feet Rank 3: 105 damage, explosion radius 9 feet Rank 4: 140 damage, explosion radius 12 feet Rank 5: 175 damage, explosion radius 15 feet Notes: Much more useful than the other Smokepowder Rogue skills, this skill has plenty of uses for the more tactical player who likes setting up pins and bowling them over (so to speak). Find a nice narrow doorway, plant a satchel charge, lure some enemies through the doorway and detonate at your leisure. The radius and damage are pretty impressive at Rank 5, although the Energy costs are bit high for the Rogue. Still, it is an excellent area-effect attack for the Rogue. Spinning Strike A devastating staff attack that strikes all enemies around you Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (4 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1 damage Rank 2: +2 damage Rank 3: +3 damage Rank 4: +4 damage Rank 5: +5 damage Notes: Only useful if you're building up a staff-wielding Monk, as it is the only multi-hit spell effect for that character build. Even then, you should just take one rank to have access to the multi-strike feature of the skill. The bonus to damage is not worth the energy increase for higher ranks. If you're not using a staff, leave this one alone. Spiritual Weapon Summon the avatar of Helm's sword, "Ever Watchful." Higher ranks give stronger summons Skill Point Cost: 2 * Skill Level Energy Cost: Varies Rank 1: Summon an ally weapon Rank 2: Summon an ally weapon Rank 3: Summon an ally weapon Rank 4: Summon an ally weapon Rank 5: Summon an ally weapon Notes: Summons a magical floating sword to attack your enemies. As with Animate Dead, it is hard to judge Energy cost and damage potential, as zero information is given anywhere onscreen about the pet. Energy costs seem to increase each character level (and not by Rank Level, as one might expect). One difference with Animate Dead is that this Feat has 5 ranks, not 3. Pretty much the only reason to invest in this is for distraction, as the weapon has very little damage potential that I've been able to see. Sprint A quick burst of running speed Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: Rank Level Rank 1: 66% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 2: 99% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 3: 132% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 4: 165% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 5: 198% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 6: 231% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 7: 264% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 8: 299% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 9: 332% increase in speed for 1 second Rank 10: 365% increase in speed for 1 second Increase rank by adding Moonstone gems to Rings/Amulets/Boots Notes: Only useful for two things: Running away, and running through cleared out areas a bit quicker. You can probably get by with 1 or 2 ranks in this at most. This skill combined with Heart of the Wolf makes for a lightning-fast Barbarian! Stealth Allows you to avoid enemies and make Sneak Attacks Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 per second (continuous drain while in stealth mode) Rank 1: +2-6 damage to Sneak Attacks Rank 2: +4-12 damage to Sneak Attacks Rank 3: +6-18 damage to Sneak Attacks Rank 4: +8-24 damage to Sneak Attacks Rank 5: +10-30 damage to Sneak Attacks Notes: You must use this skill while being unobserved. If an enemy has spotted you and you try to stealth, you will not go into Stealth Mode (you will see the Monk/Rogue get translucent if they successfully enter Stealth Mode. If an enemy has spotted you, try running away or duck behind cover and then activate the skill. As near as I can tell, the sneak attack damage bonus only applies to melee weapons, so unarmed monks will NOT get a damage bonus for punching someone from stealth mode. One last tip: Stealth + Smokepowder Satchel = Carnage! Stunning Blow A powerful attack that damages and stuns your enemy Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: Stun for 1.50 seconds, 4-10 damage Rank 2: Stun for 2.00 seconds, 7-16 damage Rank 3: Stun for 2.50 seconds, 10-22 damage Rank 4: Stun for 3.00 seconds, 13-28 damage Rank 5: Stun for 3.50 seconds, 16-34 damage Notes: Excellent for crowd control, although the damage listed is *not* in addition to your regular unarmed damage. It's also useful for breaking a blocking enemies' defense. Sunder Reduces your enemies Armor Class with every successful attack Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 2 + Rank Level Rank 1: -4 Enemy Armor Class Rank 2: -8 Enemy Armor Class Rank 3: -12 Enemy Armor Class Rank 4: -16 Enemy Armor Class Rank 5: -20 Enemy Armor Class Rank 6: -24 Enemy Armor Class Rank 7: -28 Enemy Armor Class Rank 8: -32 Enemy Armor Class Rank 9: -36 Enemy Armor Class Rank 10: -40 Enemy Armor Class Increase rank by adding Sapphire gems to Rings/Amulets/Boots Notes: Has the same problems as Piercing Strike, spend some money on Strength boosting equipment and forget about lowering the enemy's Armor Class! (See note for Piercing Strike for additional information). Sweep Attack An unarmed attack that strikes and knocks back all enemies before you Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (4 * Rank Level) Rank 1: +1 damage Rank 2: +2 damage Rank 3: +3 damage Rank 4: +4 damage Rank 5: +5 damage Notes: An excellent crowd control skill for the unarmed Monk, the real reason to get this skill is for the area-effect and knockback action, not for the extra damage. As such, you would do well to invest only 1 rank into this skill. Toughness Grants you extra Hit Points Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +6 Hit Points Rank 2: +12 Hit Points Rank 3: +18 Hit Points Rank 4: +24 Hit Points Rank 5: +30 Hit Points Notes: If you've got a skill point or two sitting around, you could do worse than get more Hit Points. Turn Undead Repels and damages nearby undead Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 3 * Rank Level Rank 1: 15-28 damage Rank 2: 20-36 damage Rank 3: 25-44 damage Rank 4: 30-52 damage Rank 5: 35-60 damage Notes: Excellent crowd control and damage, but limited only to Undead creatures. As the Cleric later gets Smite Evil (damage plus chance of an instant kill on undead), you should perhaps consider saving your skill points until you have access to Smite Evil. Two-Weapon Fighting Improves your ability to fight with two weapons at once Skill Point Cost: 3 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +90%/+30% primary/off-hand damage Rank 2: +100%/+40% primary/off-hand damage Rank 3: +110%/+50% primary/off-hand damage Rank 4: +120%/+60% primary/off-hand damage Rank 5: +130%/+70% primary/off-hand damage Notes: The "+" on the damage percentile is misleading; it really shouldn't be there. At Rank 1, your primary weapon (highlighted in Green on the inventory screen) will only do 90% of its listed damage, and your off-hand weapon (highlighted in gray) will do only 30% of its listed damage. Obviously, if you're going the Two-Weapon Fighting route, you should absolutely increase this skill to max Ranks ASAP. Also, you should always, always, always keep the more powerful of your two weapons on the primary hand, and the less powerful weapon on the off-hand (thus maximizing your 30% primary weapon damage increase and minimizing your 30% off-hand weapon damage reduction). Note that the first three ranks of this skill will unlock Two-Weapon Fighting combos that will override any other combos you may have unlocked (If you have Hand Weapon Focus and Two-Weapon Fighting, and you equip two long swords, your combos will be the Two-Weapon Fighting combos, not the Hand Weapon Combos). Unarmed Combat Improves your ability to fight bare-handed Skill Point Cost: 2 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: 4-8 to damage, chance to stun Rank 2: 7-14 to damage, chance to stun Rank 3: 10-20 to damage, chance to stun Rank 4: 13-26 to damage, chance to stun Rank 5: 16-32 to damage, chance to stun Notes: This should be your primary skill point focus as an Unarmed Monk. As with the Weapon Focus Feats, this skill unlocks the Monk's unarmed combo attacks. At max Rank, the Monk can pull off a 6-hit combo! Some people have reported not being able to pull off a full 6-hit combo before getting interrupted by the enemy being attacked (or by his buddies). One tactic I like using is to start a fight with Stunning Blow (stunned for 3.5 seconds) and THEN follow up with a devastating 6-hit combo. The only problem you might have then is that the enemy may not live through the first 3 or 4 hits, let alone 5. Vampiric Touch A touch attack that steals life from enemies Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Energy Cost: 1 + (4 * Rank Level) Rank 1: 3-18 damage Rank 2: 5-30 damage Rank 3: 7-42 damage Rank 4: 9-54 damage Rank 5: 11-66 damage Notes: Unless you also plan on investing in Claws of Darkness, there is absolutely no reason why you should waste your time with this spell when Life Drain is a ranged, multiple enemy hitting version of this spell. If you have Claws of Darkness and Vampiric Touch maxed out, it is nearly impossible for enemies to damage you faster than you can suck the life out of them. Otherwise, skip it and spend your points on Life Drain. Remember, as with Life Drain, this doesn't work on Undead. One new note on this skill (and all touch skills, in fact) is that any effects or bonuses from the weapon you are using to deliver this spell will also take effect when you hit the enemies with the weapon in question. As MirkenKoV pointed out to me, you can use that fact to essentially tailor your attacks as you see fit (combine Vampiric Touch with a flaming weapon for trolls, cold weapons to slow enemies down, etc) in addition to adding the weapon damage to your attack as well. Willpower Grants you additional Magic Energy Skill Point Cost: 1 * Rank Level Passive Skill Rank 1: +5 Rank 2: +10 Rank 3: +15 Rank 4: +20 Rank 5: +25 Notes: As with Toughness, this is an okay skill if you have extra points lying around, but you can just as easily equip Intelligence boosting items for a much better effect. **************************************** VI. Unanswered/Frequently Asked Questions The only missing thing I have left to put in this FAQ are the two unlockable characters, Drizzt Do'Urden and Artemis Entreri. I will post that information as I find it (yes, I realize the information is already posted elsewhere, but I will add the information as I unlock it for the sheer sake of completion, okay?) :-) I've received a couple of questions more than a few times, so I'll include them here, even though they are not really skill-related. FAQ #1: What's the deal with the Gold in co-op mode? Why is gold being taken from both of us when one of us buys something? Is this a bug? Answer: Unfortunately, no. It is a "feature" of the co-op game that the same pool of gold is shared between the two characters. Of course, for some reason, the gold displays on both characters' info screens, so it looks like they each have the same amount. Just remember that the gold is a pooled resource, and you'll do fine. FAQ #2: Where the heck do I sell stuff!?!?!?! Answer: The one and only merchant (I think) is located in Baldur's Gate, directly across the street from the door of the Purple Wyrm Inn and Tavern. Unfortunately, the camera angle there is pretty poor, so you have to be practically on top of the guy to see him. Add that to the fact that there is nothing to call your attention to him (You'd think he'd at least have a stand or a wagon or something, perhaps even an Exclamation Bubble over his head like other important NPC's do) and it's no wonder that so many people miss him! **************************************** VII. Contact Information Please feel free to contact me at the address below with any questions, complaints, suggestions, comments, criticisms, kudos, disagreements, or errors that you may have found and I will do my best to respond to everyone. Anything I include in the FAQ itself will of course be duly credited. Email juffowup at: bgdaiiskillsfaq(insert"at"here)yahoo(insert"dot"here)com I will also be lurking around the PS2 and XBOX Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance II message boards on GameFAQs, so feel free to contact me there as well. **************************************** VIII. Thanks I'd like to thank the following people/entities: My wife For patiently waiting for me to finish the FAQ so we could play BGDA2 together! Also for helping me get to Act III so I could access the Upgrade Feat information. Thanks, hon! CjayC For creating and maintaining GameFAQs.com, best game-related website on the Internet! GameFAQs.com Of course, for hosting this FAQ. Interplay, Black Isle, Wizards of the Coast, Vivendi Universal, and Hasbro For making this game (even though Interplay killed BI, shame on you!) TheMarvin (a.k.a. Ben W.) For allowing me to use some of his Item Upgrade information for this FAQ. Check out his Item Upgrade FAQ on GameFAQs.com! offdutyninja (a.k.a. Bob P.) For sending me valuable information regarding the Piercing Strike and Sunder skills and for correcting my assumption that those skills were useless. Marcus M. For providing some useful information regarding Animate Dead and Flame Arrow. Jasani, Avatar (a.k.a. Mychyl K.) For providing EXCELLENT information regarding the upgrade skills of both the Necromancer and Monk. owebro (a.k.a. Owen G.) For pointing out some speling and grammer misteaks. :-P Onehappyelf For pointing out to me that Empower DOES affect some of the Cleric's buffs. kwoodloc (a.k.a. Kuro) For clarifying that Stunning Blow does not *add* damage to the monk's attacks, but rather supplants it. Hayden M. For clarifying that Ransack is a one-shot deal on any given monster! MirkenKoV (a.k.a. Chad) For pointing out that touch spells do not override weapon effects, but rather combine with them to form potentially limitless weapon effect combinations. **************************************** The End!