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    Ultimate Powergaming Party FAQ by egervari

    Version: 1.21 | Updated: 03/10/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                   Icewind Dale 2: Ultimate Powergaming Party FAQ
                                 by Ken J. Egervari
                    Game..........................Icewind Dale 2
                    Guide...........................In-depth FAQ
                    First Published.............January 26, 2003
                    Last Updated..................March 10, 2003
       Table of Contents
       1. Introduction
          1.1 - About This FAQ
          1.2 - Credits/Thanks
          1.3 - Updates and Revisions
       2. The Party's Development
          2.1 - Striking Perfection & Balance
          2.2 - Enter The Humans
          2.3 - Tradeoffs & Stuff
          2.4 - A Note About Sorcerers
       3. The Party
          3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)
          3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)
          3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)
          3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)
          3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)
          3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)
       4. Last Words
          4.1 - Contact Info
          4.2 - Copyright Info
          4.3 - Coming Soon
       1. Introduction
       First, I'd like to say thank you for reading my FAQ and I hope that it aids
       you in building the best possible party the game can offer (well, without
       cheating of course).  
       Next, I'd like to talk about myself a bit so you can learn a bit about my 
       credentials.  I've written several other FAQs for Might & Magic 7 & 8 and
       Diablo 2, Starcraft and Warcraft III.  I might have written others in the 
       past, but they don't come to mind.   I'm also a veteran IE gamer, playing 
       all 5 IE games to date.  I'm also a big RPG and Strategy gamer fan as well.
       In terms of my career, I'm a software architect who developers in J2EE and 
       .NET mostly although I've been doing programming for several years in other
       platforms prior.  I'm also a co-author on three published books:
       * Professional PHP4 Programming
       * Professional PHP4 XML
       * Professional PHP Web Services
       I can't help but give me a shameless plug:  Please purchase these books if
       you find these topics interesting.  I, as well as the other authors, would
       really appreciate it.  These books are some of the best on PHP after all.
       Be sure to check your local stores and amazon.com!
       Anyway, needless to say, I'm an accomplished writer and a logical 
       thinker - two things that I believe are important to writing FAQs =)  
       1.1 - About This FAQ
       The purpose of this FAQ or Guide is to cover one question and one question 
          "What is the most powerful party?"
       If there is any question asked by new and veteran players alike, this is it. 
       In a nutshell, every section of this FAQ is committed to either showing you 
       exactly how to build your characters throughout the game and to help you 
       understand the decisions behind them.  To give this party a name, we have 
       dubbed it the "Ultimate Powergaming Party" or the "UPP" for short.
       It's hard to say if this FAQ can be understood by new players or not.  It's
       been a long time since I was introduced to D&D rules, so everything is very
       well developed in mind.  Have no fear though!  I have made every effort
       to ensure that I explained the "whys" whenever it was appropriate.  I dared
       not assume that you know anything about the game and the D&D 3E rule set in
       general.  I hope that you don't feel that this undermined your intelligence,
       but this was done to ensure that you understood the party and could make the
       most of it while you played the game.
       I also would like to comment that if you don't understand D&D rules very
       well, you should simply use one of the pre-made parties distributed with the 
       game.  These are pretty easy to use, are effective enough to beat the game 
       and you don't have to worry about multiclassing and stat allocation - you 
       can just enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played.  You should only 
       play HoF mode if you really like the game and want to get the most of out it.
       HoF mode is probably the most enjoyable aspect of the game actually.
       A Secondary Goal:
       The lesser goal of this FAQ is battle and character strategies.  Many times
       we'll look into spells in an in-depth manner (since no other FAQ does this)
       and we'll give you some great tips to finishing tough battles with these
       characters specifically.  
       In the "Alternate Character Choices" sections, we'll discuss other builds
       that you might consider trying.  These are builds that didn't make the cut
       as far as the UPP was concerned, but they can help you build other 
       characters.  Overall, if you read this FAQ from start to finish, you should
       gain the skills to building powerful characters, casting the right spells
       at the right time and knowing the inner workings of the game as well as
       we do.
       A Note To Role-players:
       The last thing I would like to mention is that if you are a role-player at
       heart, please don't read this FAQ or even email me stating that I'm promoting
       powergaming and that I should die (or something along those lines).  Before
       reading any further, make sure you personally feel comfortable and support
       the idea of powergaming before reading this FAQ.
       Before you go off saying that CHA 3 or INT 1 are unrealistic stats, keep in
       mind that they are chosen that way because they have no effect on the 
       characters whatsoever.  The game doesn't have any rules stating: Int 3 
       characters do not realize their own existence or even can't hold a sword.  
       Since the game doesn't have these restrictions, I see no reason to impose 
       some made-up restrictions on these characters.  If you want to create 
       meaningless biographies and warriors of 18 Intelligence and Charisma, go
       right ahead - no one is going to stop you.  The whole point is that BIS
       developed the game to enjoy and I believe it's up to each individual to
       decide how they would like to enjoy the game.  For some reason, they fail 
       to understand this and push their "belief systems" on us :/
       Although the realism of these characters might be shattered if you apply
       some common sense, it's still possible to enjoy the real 'role-playing' 
       aspects of the game.  I like doing quests and selecting different dialog
       options.  I wish there were more actually and some random encounters like
       Baldur's Gate 2 has.  Oh well, needless to say I still got a lot out of the
       game and I'm not sure why there is so much hostility between the two crowds.
       I can't see how a character with 15 intelligence would make these aspects of
       the game any more or less enjoyable.
       Writing the FAQ:
       It only took me a little over a week to write this entire FAQ, so if you were
       thinking a becoming an author, it really isn't that much work and you can
       draw some satisfaction from unlocking all the aspects of the game and trying
       to help people.  I still can't believe this thing is above 50 pages and over
       3000 lines, so you printer-happy people are warned in advance =)  I think I
       finally wrote over 500 pages of published material this year.  That's
       a personal record =)
       You will find the most up to date version of this FAQ at:
       This FAQ looks best in a fixed-width font, such as Courier New.  I personally
       like to use Lucida Console since it isn't so dark and I have terrible eye
       sight.  Anyway...
       1.2 - Credits/Thanks
       Since I'm not the sole author to the party's construction, I'd like to say
       that there were many others that were involved in developing this party over 
       a period of 2 weeks.  One of these individuals is named High Cleric and he 
       was responsible for spearheading the initial development of these ideas and 
       party itself.  After that point many people collaborated and developed what 
       you see here (I was one of them, wee!).
       These are the individuals who contributed in some way and are in no 
       particular order:
       High Cleric  - Spearheaded Initial Idea and Main Contributor
       Dark Meadows
       Nevryndar    - Consistent sound advice throughout the entire process
       koz-ivan     - Consistent sound advice throughout the entire process
       Kwyn         - Insight into Dwarves being better than Half-Orcs and Proofing
       Mithrandir   - Suggestions to remove Blind-Fight, Dash and other feats in
                      exchange for others.  Other ideas also implemented in 
                      version 1.1
       Dorlan       - Shades actual spell stats
       1.3 - Updates and Revisions
       Version 1.21 - March 10, 2003
       * I finally got a little time to add a minor adjustment to the faq.  I added
         a notice that you must choose a male Drow in order to avoid the experience
         penalty for the Rogue/Wizard character (since female Drow have a favoured
         class of Cleric).
       * Fixed some spelling errors in the Rogue/Wizard section.
       Version 1.20 - January 29, 2003
       * Added additional information on the "Shades" spell
       * Fixed Morninglord's Feats.  We took a feat that already existed with the
         Paladin level (Doh!).  We replaced it with Discipline.
       * Added that the player should take non-lawful alignment when choosing
         their fighter at character creation.
       * Added an option for the player to take a Half-Orc instead of a Shield
         Dwarf (although I personally don't recommend it)
       * Added a note that the Paladin level is optional on the Morninglord of
       * I added an explanation on why we chose a Human Morninglord rather than an
         Aasimar Morninglord to clarify our reasoning for this decision
       * Changed Tiefling Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x) to Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x).  This
         has been something that we have been discussing for a great deal over at
         the BIS forums.  The idea evaporated until Mithrandir mentioned it again.
         After some more consideration and a set of stats I came up with, we all
         decided it was for the better.  I added an explanation and comparison to
         the Tiefling and I fixed all the areas of text that referenced the 
         Tiefling specifically (so that it will make sense as far as a Drow is
       * Added a note that the player should not lower the Rogue/Wizard's Strength
         score because of the Chain of Drakkus
       * Added a section on why we didn't choose more than 1 Wizard
       * Fixed various typos
       Version 1.10 - January 26, 2003
       * Fixed Minor spelling mistakes & inconsistencies
       * Re-assessed the Rogue/Conjurer's feats.  Removed Precise Shot, re-ordered
         Spell Focus feats and added Iron Will
       * Removed Blind-Fight feat from Shield Dwarf Barbarian/Fighter, pushed back
         Extra Rage feats and added Lightning Reflexes
       * Removed Blind-Fight and Dash feats from Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus
         and added Discipline and Iron Will
       * Removed several feats from Morninglord of Lathander class.  Added Martial
         Weapon, Long Sword feats and Iron Will, Great Fortitude and Lightning
       * Made Morninglord of Lathander(x)/Paladin(1) official.  This was an idea
         long discussed and was buried for awhile.  I brought it back to life and
         provided an explanation
       Version 1.00 - November 5, 2003
       * Start of the project
       2. The Party's Development
       As we started building the "Ultimate Powergaming Party", we went through many 
       changes.  Many times we said, "That's it!  We aren't going to do any better 
       than that!".   After about 10 revisions and countless hours of play testing, 
       we said that statement few times too many :)
       The party is ideal for good or neutral alignment players and is meant to be
       taken into HoF mode - the ultimate challenge that the game has to offer.  It
       is a six person party that is heavily based on spell casting over melee, 
       which we found produced the best results.
       Others have mentioned soloing as evil Sorcerers or Clerics of Bane were more 
       powerful than what you will see here, but we wanted to focus on building a 
       'party' rather than a single character because that's too boring for our 
       tastes.  You could take any one of these characters and adapt them to solo
       play if you really wanted to.
       The idea was to create a powerful 'party' that was meant for skilled players
       who especially wanted to have fun, have a good variety and be able to win 
       every fight without reloading ever :P
       The 4 items that we are going to talk about in this section are:
       * Ensuring a nice balance of party abilities
       * An analysis of the Human race and why they rock
       * A list of various tradeoffs that were made to ensure maximum efficiency and
       * Another analysis comparing Human and Aasimar Sorcerers and the reasons
         why both races were chosen (as opposed to one or the other).
       2.1 - Striking Perfection & Balance
       As we built the party, we paid careful attention to how each character was 
       designed, to ensure they worked synergistically with the others that we had 
       in mind.  By doing this, we believed that we created a party with a perfect 
       balance of melee (which is just a splash), divine and arcane spells as well 
       as the necessary rogue skills to complete the game.
       We also made sure that each character was very powerful in the party and uses
       multiclassing and races to good effect.  Thus, you'll notice that we choose
       many Humans over other races and did not make heavy use of ECL races either.
       Another thing you'll notice is that you'll have a more fighter-centric
       party at the beginning of the game but have a more magic-based party as the 
       game goes on.  This serves both environments rather well, so you don't have 
       build your guys up 20 levels just to get the effect you want (like those BG2 
       days).  A large part of the thanks goes to the 3e rule set.
       2.2 - Enter The Humans
       As good players should already know, many of the ECL races don't exactly
       add up to the efficiency of an ordinary Human.  This is quite different than 
       any of the previous Infinity Engine games (such as Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 and 
       Icewind Dale) since Humans were regarded as 'underpowered' and not practical 
       for powergaming goodness when min-maxing various attributes.  In these 
       previous installments, Humans were typically good for playing Paladins and 
       Monks as these classes really had no choice but to be Human.  Obviously, this 
       has now been changed in Icewind Dale II using the 3rd edition rule set.  
       Now, Humans are actually one of the more efficient races to use in the game. 
       With no inherit disadvantages such as leveling or attribute penalties, they 
       are best used for classes that don't require 20 Strength, Dexterity or 
       Constitution, as these are the attributes that Half-Orcs, Elves and Dwarves 
       specialize in, respectively.  Thus, Humans are well suited for a variety of 
       classes such as Rogues, Monks, Clerics, Druids, Bards, Sorcerers, etc.
       Looking beyond pure classes, Humans are excellent when trying some very 
       daring multiclass combinations that would otherwise yield experience 
       penalties.  In a game like Icewind Dale II where the power of your character 
       is proportional to your current level, you can't afford to simply give up 
       experience.  For instance, in the UPP (Ultimate Powergaming Party), we had 
       an interesting build for a Paladin/Fighter/Sorcerer that does not receive 
       any XP penalty throughout the game.  I suppose a Wild Elf would achieve the 
       same thing, but it misses out on a lot as well.  Let's look into the bonuses
       of the Human race:
       * Humans receive 1 extra feat at level 1
       * Humans receive 2 extra skill points at level 1
       * Humans receive 1 extra skill point every level after Level 1
       Any and all of these extra racial traits remain solid from the beginning to 
       the very end of the game.  As you are probably aware, you still get these 
       benefits even if your Intelligence is at a minimum of 3.  That means 
       that you can receive 6 skill points (1*4+2=6) at level 1 and 2 skill points 
       each additional level with 3 intelligence, leaving you with 7 ability points 
       to allocate to more important stats.  This works out for characters that do 
       not need intelligence - namely everything except Wizards, Bards and Rogues.  
       If I recall, even Deep Gnomes only receive 6 extra ability points and they 
       have an ECL of 3.  Humans still lack the ability to have 20 in any ability 
       score, but this is still a fairly significant advantage.
       When looking at all these benefits, many of the ECL races and even standard 
       races simply don't match up in most cases.  There are a few notable 
       exceptions, like an Aasimar Paladin/Fighter, but the UPP only uses one 
       Aasimar character.  That is not to say they are not effective, but after 
       careful analysis and consideration, they often don't make the cut.
       I'm sure all this information is pretty straightforward and well-known to 
       most players, but I thought I would mention it nonetheless.  From my 
       experiences from being a leader, I learned that it is never wise to assume 
       that your audience knows everything, even if it really is obvious (which I'm 
       not stating that these facts are; I'm just making a point).  Thus, expect a 
       lot of explanations in this FAQ to ensure this document is understood by 
       What was the point about this small section?  I simply wanted to let you know 
       the reason why there are a few humans in the party as well as the alternate
       character considerations.  This ensures that a lot of people don't put the 
       effort into emailing us saying that Duergar and Drow make the best 'whatever' 
       and so on.  I can think of only a few times in the game where those extra 
       levels in spell casting would go unnoticed.  Seeing as 5 of the 6 characters 
       in the UPP possess some type of spell casting ability, you should probably 
       see how these ECL races could become a major problem as well.  Anyway, I'm 
       glad we are on the same page :)
       2.3 - Tradeoffs & Stuff
       Whenever deciding the abilities of a character or even the attributes of the 
       entire party, it's important to make various tradeoffs.  In order do that 
       effectively, you need to "know what you want".  In our case, we wanted the 
       ultimate party, meaning every decision should contribute somehow to that 
       final goal.  
       Conversation Skills:
       When we were first constructing the party, we decided that negotiation skills 
       were unimportant (and they really are for the most part).  We constructed
       several parties that allowed us to build characters that weren't very good at
       striking effective conversations and this allowed us to push the limits.  
       However, after deciding to include two sorcerers in the final version of the
       UPP, it made a lot of sense for one of them to maximize conversation skills
       as it didn't produce any negative consequences.  So in the end, it finally 
       went in there although it very well could have been left out just as easily.
       This is the ultimate party after all and we managed to get it in =)
       If you want to build a party with fewer Sorcerers, don't be afraid to neglect
       Diplomacy, Bluff or Intimidate skills.  Who cares what BIS recommends in 
       those messages as you are loading a new area - you will never "die from not
       being able to communicate" or lose any special items.  If anything really
       bad happens, it was probably be your own damn fault =)
       Another interesting advantage to ignoring your conversation skills is that 
       some are class and race specific (which makes it hard to control or predict) 
       and many of the dialogs are forced.  Even with the ultimate negotiator, 
       you'll never get to use them 50-75% of the time in these situations anyway. 
       I also noticed that there is nothing to gain from these forced conversations 
       to begin with.  It's purely a role-playing thing - and who cares about that 
       in a hack'n'slash game =) [okay, that might have pissed a few people off :)]
       Intelligence & Skills:
       Another tradeoff to get added power was to lower the Intelligence scores of
       many characters.  This didn't exactly produce many negative results and you
       could even build a strong case that moving Intelligence up or down doesn't 
       'balance' anything.  The only negative consequence to this is that you will
       only get 1 skill point/level for any non-human character and 2 skill 
       points/level for human characters.  Thus, we had to keep several of the 
       character's skill selections to the bare essentials.  In reality, these are 
       all the skill points that a character would ever need anyway unless you were 
       diluting the character with useless conversation skills (see above) or 
       chaff like Animal Empathy.  
       One thing that was essential in most IE games was to have an adequate thief 
       to disarm traps, open locks and pick someone's pocket on occasion.  Anything 
       more would be considered a specialized thief character (like single-classed 
       swashbuckler or backstabbing thief).  In Baldur's Gate 2, it was possible to 
       get by with a character named Imoen (she was a Level 6 Thief I believe) 
       without any major difficulties, although she did require many thief 
       enhancing equipment.  In Icewind Dale 1, you could easily get by using a 
       Fighter/Thief or Cleric/Thief as many people did, so you never had to take 
       a single-classed thief.
       In Icewind Dale 2, the thief has become even less important; you can now 
       actually play the game with no 'Rogue' class at all because of the way 3E
       skills work.  If you played the game already, you'll notice there are very
       few opportunities to pick pocket and the number of traps is really low in
       comparison to Baldur's Gate 2.  This allows you to make sacrifices 
       considerably when it comes to constructing a party.  Thus, is was a 
       conscious decision to avoid a full or half thief and accept the fact that 
       sneak attacks weren't going to be one of the features in the UPP.  In other 
       words, we focused on two things when it came to thievery:  Open Locks and 
       Disarm Traps.
       We constructed a Drow with 1 Rogue level that also had 20 Intelligence.  
       This allowed us to max out all the appropriate thief skills and 'then 
       some' easily.  Now which class works with 18 Intelligence? - A Wizard :)  
       Essentially, we created our Rogue class while enjoying an almost pure class 
       Wizard in the process.  As you will soon find out, this character could max 
       out his arcane skills, pick up some misc. skills and continue to raise Open 
       Locks and Disarm Traps throughout the game, only being a few points behind 
       a single-classed Rogue.
       Alchemy & Knowledge (Arcana):
       Since many of our characters had low intelligence, we either had to neglect
       these skills entirely or give them to a high Intelligence character (the 
       Rogue/Wizard).  Incidentally, both these skills fit the role of this
       character perfectly.  We originally made no promises to put them in, but
       somehow the game's rules made it quite easy for us.  That is, during the
       transition of becoming a Wizard from a Rogue, there were times were you 
       could not increase certain stats because they were maxed out and you didn't
       have enough cross-class skill points.  We took these opportunities to
       increase Alchemy a bit (since you need it to complete a quest in the
       Underdark anyway).  As the character gained more Intelligence through
       leveling, it didn't take too long to max out Knowledge (Arcana) either.  I
       guess it turned out that no tradeoffs really had to be made, however you
       won't get the full benefits of Alchemy this way (and who really cares).
       So as you can see, these tradeoffs or at least conscious decisions allowed 
       us to engineer a very effective and cohesive group that plays well to being
       an ultimate powergaming party that it is.
       2.4 - A Note About Sorcerers
       The only race choices that make the cut in the UPP are Humans and Aasimars, 
       but it's difficult to tell for sure which of the two races is more 
       powerful.  At one point in the game (sometime through HoF mode) the Human 
       Sorcerer’s advantages (the extra skill points and the bonus feat) will not 
       be as noticeable, although there is still something to be said for having 
       these things from the beginning.
       It really comes down to a few things.  First, the Aasimar can put up to 20 
       points into Charisma to start off, thus he'll get 2 extra spells when 
       compared to the Human Sorcerer.  These spells will be in levels 3 and 6 at 
       the beginning of the game and this will only get better as the Charisma 
       increases when the Aasimar levels up.  The thing to remember, however, is 
       that both characters will gain Charisma throughout the game, so the Aasimar 
       will, at most, have 2 extra spells at all times due to their Charisma 
       Although the Human Sorcerer doesn't have this extended Charisma bonus, he 
       makes up for it by leveling faster.  Thus, when the Human Sorcerer 
       reaches an odd level, he will have 1 more spell than the Aasimar version, 
       and this spell is always a higher level one than either of the extra 
       spells the Aasimar receives.  So the tradeoff is this:
          1 More powerful spell vs. 2 Lesser spells
       It's really up to you to decide which is better, since it really depends on 
       the spells you are comparing.  Remember though, this extra level also gives 
       you better BAB scores, more hit points, extra save bonuses and possibly 
       another feat earlier among other minor things.  So let's just say for the 
       moment that they are at least equal and the Human probably stacks better with 
       the varied benefits.
       The next point is that Aasimars receive the following:
       * +2 to Wisdom and +2 to Charisma
       * Acid, cold, and electrical Resistance: 5 points
       * Sunscorch 1/day
       * Darkvision
       Now, the best of these is the extra ability points and the elemental 
       resistances while the others are helpful to have (Sunscorch can get rid of 
       trolls later in the game and Darkvision isn't a bad thing to have, but it's 
       not anything to write home about either).  
       But before you think, "Wow! Aasimars have the upper hand here!", there is 
       something else you should be aware of.  First, any Sorcerer must have 
       Spellcraft AND Concentration.  Without these skills, you'll miss out on some 
       great feats and you'll have a pretty tough time casting those spells in a 
       battle, even with 18 Constitution (which gives you a +4 to Concentration 
       checks).  In order to get these skills, the Aasimar Sorcerer must invest 12 
       ability points into Intelligence while our Human Sorcerer only had to invest 
       3.  This nets our Human Sorcerer with a whopping "9" ability points to 
       allocate elsewhere, namely Dexterity and you can put some in Strength and
       Wisdom too.  Let's take a look at the ability scores for both the characters
       side-by-side to see what happens:
                   Human Sorcerer                    Aasimar Sorcerer:
                   --------------                    -----------------
                   Str: 9  <-                        Str: 8
                   Dex: 18 <-                        Dex: 12
                   Con: 18             vs.           Con: 18
                   Int: 3                            Int: 12
                   Wis: 10                           Wis: 10
                   Cha: 18                        -> Cha: 20
       As you can see, the only area that our Aasimar excels at is in the Charisma 
       category.  Our Human Sorcerer can still can max out his Concentration and 
       Spellcraft skills with an Intelligence of 3 because he is Human.  Since
       we already determined that the Human could compensate for the bonus charisma
       points, it is easily shown that the extra strength and dexterity could be
       very helpful.
       Now, you have to ask yourself, does the Aasimar really receive +4 ability 
       points?  The answer is "No".  The human actually gets 5 extra ability points 
       over the Aasimar because of the min-maxing.  This isn't a matter of adding up 
       all the points and seeing which total is higher, it's investigating the worth 
       of where your points are spent.
       Now, remember the Aasimar's elemental resistances?  Ask yourself, do these 
       resistances compare to an overall +4 to AC and +4 to reflex 
       saves the Human Sorcerer receives?  If you think about it, acid, cold, and 
       electricity resistance only comes into play at specific times in the game.  
       The bonus to your AC and reflex saves will be with you the 'entire' game.  I 
       think a permanent advantage is always better than a selective advantage, so 
       that was one of the many reason why Human was chosen over Aasimar.
       This leaves the Aasimar with the remaining Darkvision and Sunscorch 
       abilities.  As I said earlier, Darkvision is not critical and Sunscorch is 
       just a spell that clerics of any kind can cast.  In this party, there are 2 
       clerics in total, so if you really need Sunscorch, you won't be of short 
       supply.  I also found that the 'single' Sunscorch was annoying as the game
       went on because I didn't want to dedicate an interface slot for it since
       I never used it all that much.  You can only have 6 or so spells on there at 
       once, so why waste it on Sunscorch?  These aren't anything to write home
       The last point to mention is that the Aasimar receives a +1 DC when casting 
       spells, which makes all your spells harder to resist.  You could argue that a 
       +6 to +7 DC, for instance, isn't much of a difference. Honestly, if you think 
       of all the +1 bonuses that you think are worth getting (such as +1 to AC or 
       Will Saves, etc.), the advantage can be appreciated.  So in truth, it's 
       really difficult to argue that the Human Sorcerer has something else that 
       remotely compares to this other than the additional feat you get at first 
       level in combination with all the other areas the human scales better on.
       So what is the recommendation?  If you really think the +1 to your DC is 
       critical to your success, then choose an Aasimar Sorcerer.  Otherwise, if you 
       think you'll appreciate faster access to more powerful spells and the other
       benefits to early leveling, then choose the Human Sorcerer.  After a great
       deal of playing this game, I come to appreciate the Human Sorcerer a lot
       more while playing the game for the first time.  There is something to be
       said when you get "Sunfire", "Disintegrate", "Finger of Death" and 
       "Horrid Wilting" a few areas sooner than later.  The impact is really
       significant since you level up really slow when you get access to these 
       spells (which could be several hours of game play).
       As you progress to HoF mode, you'll notice that the fast-access advantage 
       isn't as important any longer since the Aasimar Sorcerer will have all the
       spells available to them.  Recall that the Aasimar will get 1 more spell in 
       the long run and will have a better DC, so eventually the Aasimar will come 
       out on top.  The Aasimar will also be allowed to gain 1 more level than the
       Human Sorcerer, which puts it over the top if you are willing to play
       the characters that long.
       In either case, you'll end up with a winner - and if you pick both (like we 
       did), you'll have the best of both worlds in normal and HoF games.
       3. The Party
       Now that we've discussed some important design decisions and the goals of 
       the UPP, let's actually look at each member in detail.  In these sections 
       we'll specifically cover:
       * The Character's Race and Class
       * The Ability Scores (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) w/ Explanation
       * The Specific Class Skill and Feat Choices w/ Explanation
       * Weapon Preferences
       * Individual Spell Selections w/ Explanation
       * Explanation of Several Strategies on How to Play the Character Effectively.
       * An Analysis of Alternative Character Choices
       Also to refresh, here is a list of the six characters in the UPP in the 
       order they are discussed in this FAQ.  If you do a text search for the item 
       index (i.e. 3.1) or even the entire character description (i.e. "Shield Dwarf 
       Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)"), you will be able to jump to the appropriate 
       section in the FAQ.
       3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)
       3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)
       3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)
       3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)
       3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)
       3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)
       Lastly, as you read these sections, keep in mind that you can skim the text 
       and simply copy down the race and class information, the ability scores, the
       list of skills and feats to take as well as the spell information without 
       actually reading the commentary text - it's only there to increase your
       comprehensive but it's certainly up to you if you want to read it or not.  I
       would recommend that you do though :)
       3.1 - Shield Dwarf Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x)
       The first of the characters is the Shield Dwarf Fighter/Barbarian.  In this
       particular party, he is the only pure tank, meaning the rest of the 
       characters rely on divine or arcane magic to either engage the enemy or to 
       create party support.
       The main use for this character, like all tanks, is to deal a devastating
       amount of melee damage to vanquish your foes and to protect many of the
       weaker characters in the party, such as the two Sorcerers and the
       Rogue/Wizard and the Cleric of Lathander.
       I find that Two-handed weapons work really well in this game, especially with
       characters that possess 20+ strength.  A neat thing about Shield Dwarfs is
       that you can lower there Intelligence to 3 and the Charisma score to 1, so
       you actually get an extra 2 points when using a Shield Dwarf (as with some
       other races as well like the Half-Orc).
       The main reason for taking 4 Fighter levels is to get Weapon Specialization
       in your two-handed weapon, gain some extra bonus feats and lastly to get
       that third pip in Armor Proficiency, which will allow the character to wear
       heavy armor instead of medium armor.
       NOTE:  When you first create this character, make sure you give him any
              non-lawful alignment so you can choose Barbarian.
       NOTE:  Some people have commented that this character 'shouldn't use great
              swords or other large weapons because it looks silly.  Well folks,
              this party is all about power rather than aesthetic concerns.  If 
              it really bothers you, don't do it - it's your game.  However,
              large weapons are integral part of this character.  If you remove
              them, you will weaken the party.
       Why Not Half-Orc?
       Although a Half-Orc Fighter(4)/Barbarian(x) is still extremely effective,
       it doesn't quite stack up to the benefits that you receive from the Shield
       Dwarf.   First off, you can build a Half-Orc in the same way as a Shield
       Dwarf, but you get 20 Strength/18 Constitution instead of 
       18 Strength/20 Constitution.  The main difference here is that the Half-Orc
       will get +2 to damage and +1 to attack roles while the Shield-Dwarf will
       receive an extra 30 hit points by level 30.  I think most of you would 
       choose the hit points.
       Even further, the Shield Dwarf gets several other bonus that the Half-Orc
       doesn't receive.  While most of them are nothing to brag about, at least
       they add some extra.  You'll find that "a" is very enticing.
       a) +2 to Saving Throws vs. Spells and Spell-like effects.  This is truly 
          remarkable when you think about it.  Essentially, it's Lightning
          Reflexes, Iron Will and Great Fortitude in one!  I guess, in a way, you
          get 3 extra feats at first level with Shield Dwarves.  This is fairly
          powerful considering tank types really need will and reflex saves.
       b) Another +2 to Saving Throws against poison.  I'll admit, this is really
          useless, and with a constitution score of 20 and the best fortitude saves
          in the game, it's not likely that you will be poisoned ever.  However, 
          the Half-Orc doesn't have this bonus, so.. :)
       c) +1 to damage and attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids (bugbears
          included).  At least in the beginning of Heart of Fury, he will be equally
          as strong as the Half-Orc would have been :)  This isn't much, but it's
          just icing on the cake.
       d) +4 AC vs. Giants.  There aren't many giants in this game, and the ones
          that do appear die quite easily to disintegrate and other will saving
          spells.  Generally, they are pretty easy to kill but what the heck, we'll
          take it.
       As you can see, the Half-Orc's extra 2 points in Strength during the game
       really doesn't compare to the bonus 30 hit points and the +2 bonus to Saving
       Throws (among the other stuff).  Thus, Shield Dwarves make the best possible
       tanks.  I never liked the Half-Orc or Barbarian sound sets anyway :)
       NOTE: One person suggested that Half-Orc was still better regardless of the
             Dwarf's benefits.  He suggested that over the span of many combat
             rounds, that the extra +2 damage would add up to double digits.  While
             I don't see how a distributed +2 damage over many attacks at many
             enemies makes a big difference (especially in a spell casting party
             rather than a melee party).  With respect to HoF mode, those 30 hit
             points can be mean life and death (waiting out for Mass Heal to be 
             cast for instance) and the extra will saves can prevent the character
             from charm, domination, fear, hopelessness, etc. (let's not mention
             the bonus to reflex and fortitude saves too).
             I'm throwing out the option that you might value this over +2 saving
             throws and an extra 30 hit points.  So, in a nutshell, it's your call.
             I won't speak of it any further in the FAQ.
       Str: 18 
       Dex: 16 
       Con: 20 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 18 
       Cha: 1 
       As you can see from these ability scores above, you can manage to get 
       perfect scores in all the stats that matter.  I say perfect because you don't
       need a dexterity higher than 13, but I put 16 in it anyway in case you
       wanted to wear some lighter armor (some are actually quite good in IWD2).
       Don't worry that this character has hardly any intelligence or charisma - 
       you won't ever require it.  Just make sure this character doesn't engage
       anyone in conversation and you should be fine.  Even then, it's not really 
       as bad as the role players would lead you to believe.  These attributes 
       don't help you become a better warrior anyway.
       I wanted to give this character a Wisdom score of 18, and with the bonus
       to will saves, I wanted to ensure he wouldn't get charmed, confused, held or
       something stupid like that.  It still happens on occasion (that's what
       Chaotic Commands is for), but it's better to increase your chances this way
       at no cost to you.
       As you level, you'll want to increase your Strength entirely, since you'll
       need a quite a few points to get into those higher 20's.  Strength is
       an important ability with 2-Handed weapons, you are best to increase it.
       Also, with the combination with the Barbarian's high hit points and 20
       Constitution, you shouldn't don't die too easily.
       Character Development:
       When you first create the character, you'll want to start him off as a 
       Fighter first (to get feats early).  I'd recommend a pretty balanced leveling
       scheme that improves both classes initially until level 8, perhaps something
       like this:
       Level 1: Fighter(1)
       Level 2: Barbarian(1)
       Level 3: Fighter(2)
       Level 4: Barbarian(2)
       Level 5: Fighter(3)
       Level 6: Fighter(4)
       Level 7: Barbarian(3)
       From this point on, it's important that you level up in Barbarian for the 
       rest of this character's career.  You could just have easily did 4 straight
       Fighter levels and then switch to Barbarian.  Quite frankly, it really
       doesn't matter :)  I liked to use my Barbarian abilities at the beginning of
       the game so I didn't get bored.
       Here are the skills and feats you should take for this character:
       Skills: Concentration (cross-class for Maximize Attacks)
       Feats:  1- Fighter(1):               Power Attack,
                                            Martial Weapon, Great Sword (WF)
               3- Barbarian(1)/Fighter(2):  Cleave,
                                            Simple Weapon, Mace (WF), 
               6- Barbarian(2)/Fighter(4):  Martial Weapon, Great Sword (WS)
                                            Simple Weapon, Mace (WS)
               9- Barbarian(5)/Fighter(4):  Maximized Attacks
              12- Barbarian(8)/Fighter(4):  Improved Critical
              15- Barbarian(11)/Fighter(4): Dirty Fighting
              18- Barbarian(14)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
              21- Barbarian(17)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
              24- Barbarian(20)/Fighter(4): Extra Rage
              27- Barbarian(23)/Fighter(4): Lightning Reflexes
              30- Barbarian(26)/Fighter(4): Iron Will
       As I mentioned earlier, I think it's important that you select Great Swords,
       Axes (for 2-Handed Axes for 3x criticals) or another two-handed weapon for
       this character, so it only makes sense that you get the Weapon Focus and
       Specialization feats for these weapons.  I also thought there was an
       abundance of high quality maces in the game, and since you need to master 2
       weapons to get Maximized Attacks, it's a good idea to take those feats too.
       Why I took maces:  As you might already be aware, all the golems in IWD2
       require blunt weapons in order to damage them (spells aren't too effective
       and slashing/piercing weapons are none too good either).  The flame maces 
       are especially good for killing trolls as well and it's very convenient 
       for a high-BaB character to use the Mace of Disruption +2 to get rid of any
       pesky undead.  Between turn undead and this weapon, you shouldn't have a
       single problem with them and can probably mop up the floor with these two
       characters alone.
       Initially, I thought Greater Cleave was a must.  On paper (and in Neverwinter
       Nights), cleave was a very good feat to take and you could really see the
       impact it had on your character's fighting skills.  The same is not true in
       IWD2, however.  As you play the game, pay attention to the information box
       that lets you know exactly what's going on during a battle.  I'll bet that
       you won't even see the word "Cleave" appear that often, never mind seeing 
       it twice.  Actually, the first time I really noticed it was when the jellies
       were splitting into two in the River Caves.  I started to notice it more when 
       I faced enemies in big groups - the text goes really fast so that makes it 
       harder to see.  I think it's worth it to take Cleave initially since it
       makes battles a little faster (especially after a Sorcerer just got done
       make everyone "Almost Dead", but it's just not worth taking its greater 
       counterpart since I find it doubtful that you will kill a second enemy during
       your initial cleaving - unless it's tremendously weak of course - and in 
       that case, who really needs Greater Cleave anyway?
       Other than that, there isn't too much to say about this character in terms
       of feats.  I think Dirty Fighting is an obvious feat for any melee
       character.  I thought ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting would be 
       interesting options for this character as well (using maces), so you might 
       want to take those in higher levels if it suits your fancy - you have the
       Dexterity to do so.  I decided against it since I wanted to get the 
       remaining Extra Rage feats at Barbarian level 15 when Greater Rage is simply
       amazing.  I decided to get Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes as my last feat
       to improve my Will Saves a bit more (not like it matters too much at this
       Moving on to skills, the only one we chose for the Barbarian/Fighter was 
       Concentration so that we could get the Maximized Attacks feat.  Many 
       beginner players jump to Intimidate or Wilderness Lore because they are 
       primary skills to the Barbarian class while they believe Concentration is a 
       spell casters skill.  It would have been better if Icewind Dale showed the 
       relationships between the skills and feats visually, but I guess you can't 
       ask for everything.
       Remember, when gaining Barbarian or Fighter levels, you will only be able to 
       increase the skill level of Concentration every second level since it is a 
       cross-class skill.  Thus, you carry over a skill point every second level as 
       well.  It takes a bit longer to put points into it, but it's better than 
       spending 12 points in your intelligence score.
       Once you reach 4 ranks in Concentration, you can work on another skill of
       you’re choosing.  This will happen at level 6 I think.  You could put more
       points into Concentration but it's pointless and you won't be able to add 
       any more to it when you reach 10 ranks.  Simply choose between Intimidate 
       and Wilderness Lore and put points into one of those.  I would recommend
       Intimidate as it probably has more value than Wilderness Lore does.  You
       should already know the path in Fellwood since you completed the game after
       all =)
       Character Strategies:
       Click, Point, Die.  Repeat =)
       In all seriousness, there isn't much to this character.  Since no matter how
       high your AC is (you still managed to get hit quite a bit), it's important
       that this character has some kind of way of protecting itself.  This is 
       kind of ironic since this is the character that is meant to protect your 
       weaker characters.  Ensure that this character has stone skin on him at all 
       times (this is quite easy to ensure) and he will come out of most battles
       with only a few scratches.  
       Use the Rage ability whenever you come across large groups or boss fights 
       and watch the fun begin.  This character will usually draw a lot of enemy
       fire and will leave ample room/time for your spell casters to get the job
       You'll notice that this character receives approximately 35-40% of the 
       character kills throughout the game (in normal play).  In HoF mode, however,
       his effectiveness will drop considerably.  He's still a reliable team member
       though and you should keep him around to draw attention away from your more
       important characters.
       Boots of Speed is also a good item to have on this character as he can pick
       up stuff off the ground quickly and have enough carrying capacity to store
       everything without micromanaging too much.  I like to have this character
       in the number 1 position for this reason alone.  Whenever I can initiatate a 
       dialog with someone, I consciously select the 6th character slot.  It's wise 
       to get into the habit of doing this.
       Alternative Character Choices:
       When deciding the right mix of melee characters as well as the particular 
       builds that we wanted to use, this character was almost a no-brainer and was 
       one of the very few we could all agree upon - It's effectively a staple in 
       any player's arsenal.  Other tank builds were discussed, such as:
       - Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1)
       - Fighter(x)/Paladin(2)
       - Paladin(x)/Fighter(4)
       Any of these choices would be effective tanks, as it's ultimately up to each 
       individual's play style.  For the Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1), we all thought 
       that the extra feats that the Fighter(x)/Barbarian(1) brought to the table 
       didn't compare to the unique and high-level abilities of the Barbarian class 
       (namely the 6+, un-winded Greater Rages per day, the extra damage reduction, 
       the high amount of hit points that you get at level 20 - amazing).  There 
       are just not that many game-breaking feats that you can take after your first 
       6 six selections anyway.  Feats like toughness don't really compare to the 
       Barbarian's massive hit points; many others produce mediocre results. 
       Also, with 16 Wis and 18 Con is more than enough to save against a variety of 
       spells and attacks you'll encounter.
       I want a Paladin:
       If you are absolutely certain that you do not want to use a Barbarian, I'd
       recommend an Aasimar Paladin(x)/Fighter(4).  It levels up a bit slower than
       the Barbarian version, but the benefits of saving throws, fear protection,
       smite evil, lay on hands and the use of holy avenger are really worth it.  
       I wouldn't recommend that you take any more than 4 Fighter levels (same as 
       the Barbarian version), since there aren't that many good feats to take in
       the first place.  Here are the stats I would use for such a character.
       Str: 16
       Dex: 10 
       Con: 18 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 13 
       Cha: 20 
       I would use the best plate armors that don't offer any dexterity bonuses.  
       That way, you don't have to put any more than 10 points into dexterity.
       You won't need a lot of Wisdom since your bonuses to Will saves will be great
       and the Paladin naturally gets high will saves anyway.  You'll notice that
       you are 3 points shy of casting the highest paladin spell levels, but don't
       worry - the holy avenger will increase your Wisdom by a single point and
       later you find a stone in the underdark or a ring at the severed hand that 
       will provide you with +2 to your Wisdom score.  Lastly, I would put your 
       bonus points into charisma as you level up, as this will improve your turn 
       undead and smite evil abilities and will increase the bonuses to all your 
       saving throws.  Be sure to pick up the Fiendslayer feat to help you out 
       in the Severed Hand and in the final battle.
       Alternatively, you could make your Paladin a Human.  You wouldn't have as 
       many ability points to work with, but you will be able to get 2 skill points
       per level instead of 1.  This means that you can increase Diplomacy and
       Concentration so that you may acquire the Maximized Attacks feat (which is
       pretty solid).  I'll leave that up to you.
       I want a Monk:
       Another choice is to select a Shield Dwarf Monk that has the following stats:
       Str: 16
       Dex: 18 
       Con: 20 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 18 
       Cha: 1 
       Since the Monk is a Shield Dwarf, you can expect him to level up really fast
       and you'll still have enough skill points for maxing out Hide and Move
       Silently as well.
       From the lack of personal experience, I'm not sure how effective this 
       character is, but I would assume it would be powerful enough if you applied 
       the same strategies from any fighter to this character.  I believe it would 
       be more effective than a Deep Gnome Monk considering you are 3 levels higher 
       and only lose out on a +2 modifier to your AC and magic resistance in
       exchange.  One the plus side, you have more hit points and strength to boot
       than Deep Gnomes can usually provide.
       I would choose this character if you really want to be a Monk, but it's not 
       going to be 100% "ultimate".  However, if you like Monks and it suits your
       play style, it's something you might want to consider trying.
       3.2 - Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus(x)
       The next character in the party is a Battleguard of Tempus, which is a tank-
       oriented cleric.  He doesn't seem like a tank in the beginning of the game,
       but as he progresses in power, he'll be very close to the Barbarian/Fighter
       with a ton of cleric spells to boot.  Frankly, 3/4 attacks per round + spells
       is much better than 4/5 attacks per round with nothing.  Since the
       Battleguard of Tempus gets 2 pips in Martial Weapon, Axes right off the bat,
       he's geared to melee in the very first portions of the game automatically.
       This makes him the best choice for tanking out of all the cleric domains
       since he doesn't have to spend 2 feats to get him ready for it.  Axes are
       also one of the best weapon types in the game since you can use one-handed
       and two-handed axes as well as throwing axes.  The actual special abilities
       on various axes in the game are also quite good in comparison to other
       weapon types.
       Although this wasn't a deciding factor in taking this character, dwarves are 
       good characters to have around in the Prologue and first chapter of the game
       because they have combat bonuses when fighting goblins and bugbears (both of
       which appear almost entirely in these areas).  So don't be afraid to use 
       this character for meleeing even in the beginning of the game - that's what 
       he is there for.
       Actually, the main reason I selected a Dwarf was because of the increased 
       Constitution score, which helps your hit points and more importantly
       your concentration checks.  As we'll talk about this later, being a dwarf 
       works out well because we only need to advance a single skill (as opposed to 
       two skills like many human characters are designed to do).  Also remember
       the Dwarf has many cool benefits that we discussed in the Barbarian/Fighter
       Since you kind of need 2 tankers for a big portion of the game, I wouldn't
       recommend that you pick any other domain for the second character spot as 
       the Battleguard of Tempus is the best pick.  I wouldn't recommend that you
       choose 4 fighter levels either since you will severely weaken the character's 
       spell casting capabilities.  I sure know that I welcome Animate Undead, Iron 
       Skins, Heal, Defensive Harmony, etc. as fast as possible.  These spells 
       alone will more than make up for the +2 extra damage with your axe and a few
       extra feats, which may or may not be that useful in the long run.
       The last thing to mention is the Battleguard receives a pretty decent set of
       Domain spells, but it's nothing to write home about either.  In comparison to 
       the other Cleric domains, I would say the Battleguard of Tempus's domain 
       spells are slightly above average.  The Power Word spells are really 
       effective in normal mode, but they lose their punch in HoF since the enemies 
       have more hit points (which is a requirement for these spells to work 
       properly).  You'll find yourself using the regular cleric spells more often. 
       As for the others, they work well in the beginning areas of the game but 
       since they are just standard cleric spells like Prayer, Animate Undead, 
       etc., you aren't getting anything special (as opposed to the Clerics of 
       Selune, Talos or Lathander).
       Let's take a look at this character's ability scores.
       Str: 18
       Dex: 16
       Con: 20
       Int: 3
       Wis: 18
       Cha: 1
       Like the Shield Dwarf Barbarian/Fighter, this character has no use for
       Intelligence or Charisma either.  Sure, Turn Undead requires Charisma to 
       work effectively, but who cares (the other cleric can do that).  This cleric
       is a melee-style cleric and needs all the Strength, Dexterity and
       Constitution he can get along with a high Wisdom score for spells.
       Since the stats are so similar to the Barbarian character, you'll notice
       that this character is a very effective tank.  The high dexterity score 
       allows you to select feats like Dirty Fighting, Blind-Fight, Ambidexterity
       and so forth and also allows you to take advantage of armors that allow
       AC bonuses.
       A low intelligence is very helpful to this character since the only skill
       you need is Concentration anyway.
       Some people think they are smart by only choosing a Wisdom score of 13 or so
       because there are many +2 Wisdom (Incandescent Blue Ioun Stone, found in the
       Underdark) and +5 Wisdom (Every God Ring, purchased from Nathaniel in
       Kaldahar and another in the Severed Hand) items that you can come across in
       this game.  I believe that if you are only willing to do the bare minimum,
       you are seriously going to inhibit the potential of your character and will
       lose out on gaining bonus spells at the highest levels.  I also like to keep
       the ring slots free if I can help it too, but Every God Ring is worth keeping
       on to.
       Note: You can actually equip the ring, memorize your spells and then de-equip
             the ring afterwards.  Unless you un-memorize those extra spells, you'll
             always have those copies memorized.  If you really want to cheat, you
             could do this after each time you gain a level and still have 2 free
             ring slots left.  This is obviously a bug in the game and I never
             exploited it.  It also works with the latest 2.01 patch.
       Another thing to point out is that this character will have the highest
       reflex, fortitude and will saves than any other character in the UPP.  This
       is not to say that a Paladin is worse (because it isn't), but it's an 
       interesting fact nonetheless as far as this particular party is concerned.
       One of the underlying reasons for this is the Racial +2 Saving Throw bonus
       that Dwarves naturally receive.
       Your main objective is to increase wisdom all the way as you gain levels so
       that you can cast more spells (and consequently improve your will saves).
       This is the only way, IMHO, to make your cleric as powerful as possible.
       Character Development:
       Leveling a Battleguard of Tempus is pretty straight-forward since there is 
       no strange multi-classing going on.  The only skill you need to increase is
       Concentration, and as mentioned before, this is possible with 3 Intelligence.
       In case you aren't aware, Concentration helps you cast spells successfully 
       while being attacked by enemies.
       Skills: Concentration
       Feats: Battleguard of Tempus(1): Combat Casting
              Battleguard of Tempus(3): Power Attack
              Battleguard of Tempus(6): Cleave
              Battleguard of Tempus(9): Subvocal Casting
              Battleguard of Tempus(12): Improved Critical
              Battleguard of Tempus(15): Dirty Fighting
              Battleguard of Tempus(18): Two-Weapon Fighting
              Battleguard of Tempus(21): Ambidexterity
              Battleguard of Tempus(24): Discipline
              Battleguard of Tempus(27): Lightning Reflexes
              Battleguard of Tempus(30): Iron Will
       As you probably know, Concentration is very important to melee-style clerics
       since they will be in the thick of the battle while casting some spells.  
       Hence, I like to take Combat Casting to technically give my character a +4
       level advantage in his Concentration checks.  With this bonus ensured, I 
       never miss out on casting a spell, which is really important in dire 
       situations if they should arise.
       Like the Barbarian/Fighter, the Battleguard takes combat-oriented feats like 
       Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Critical, Dirty Fighting and Blind-Fight.  
       These should be fairly obvious.  The Improved Critical is really nice
       for this character since Axes do triple damage on a critical hit. Thus, the
       Battleguard's critical range is 19-20 (x3) rather than 19-20 (x2), as you
       will see in the character weapon information window.
       One of the questionable feats that I have taken is Subvocal Casting, which
       prevents the caster from being silenced.  Although there aren't that many
       places in the game Silence your casters, it does happen and it’s pretty 
       annoying as you are not prepared and end up waiting it out (which sucks).  
       Since there aren't that many feats to acquire anyway, taking Subvocal Casting 
       isn't going to hurt you.  
       To get my Cleric's attacks to 5/round, you can opt to get the Two-Weapon 
       Fighting and Ambidexterity feats to duel-wield axes.  There are plenty of 
       good axes in the game so this option is worth pursuing.  Between all the 
       defensive buffs, a shield really isn't required and by the time you reach
       level 21, your BaB will be high enough to sustain 2 weapons and hold out for
       Lastly, I select Lightning Reflexes since Reflex Saves are the poorest of 
       the Battleguard's saving throws (not that they were that bad with 16 
       Dexterity, but whatever).  Iron Will helps out with Will Saves and Discipline
       further strengthens your Concentration checks.
       Character Strategies:
       Although this character is a melee character, it's also a cleric, which makes
       this character very interesting throughout the game.  Rather than providing 
       simple healing or buffing, this cleric focuses on using more spells for 
       individual gain in comparison to the Cleric of Lathander, but has a good 
       measure of defensive and offensive buffing spells too for good measure.  
       It's not uncommon to use spells like Draw Upon Holy Might, Iron Skins or
       Divine Shell to improve this character's value in melee combat - it's pretty
       much routine.
       Spell Selection:
       Throughout this FAQ, I will use rounded brackets with an integral number 
       shown as (X) to indicate that you should only select a maximum of X spell 
       slots for that particular spell.  If there is no bracketed value, just 
       assume that you either max it out or do whatever you like.
       Level 1: Bless
       Level 2: Draw Upon Holy Might
       Level 3: Animate Dead(4), Prayer
       Level 4: Defensive Harmony, Recitation
       Level 5: Iron Skins, Spell Resistance
       Level 6: Divine Shell, Heal
       Level 7: Greater Shield of Lathander, Holy Word
       Level 8: Holy Aura, Symbol of Hopelessness
       Level 9: Gate
       The real winners here are Animate Dead, Iron Skins, Holy Aura and perhaps
       Symbol of Hopelessness.  You should be very happy when this cleric gets
       access to these spells since they have a great impact on your character's
       Animate Undead:
       Despite the fact that BIS decided to tone the spell down, it is still quite
       amazing and makes the game very easy at times.  When all else fails, use
       Animate Undead.  Sorcerers and Clerics could probably solo most aspects of
       the game if this spell.  Hence, not only does your Battleguard of Tempus 
       have 4 copies of the spell, the Cleric of Lathander and your Human Sorcerer
       will also get it - it's that good!
       In normal mode, it is simply a godsend.  The thing that makes it so great is
       that both the Zombie Lords and Greater Boneguards have massive hit points, so
       they are extremely hard to kill.  It happens to be really powerful until the
       end of chapter 5, where you'll notice enemies will be able to dispatch of 
       them in a few hits.  In these cases, they still make effective body bags -
       at least your own characters aren't getting hit and that's exactly what you
       want to avoid seeing as it's the number 1 cause of reloading and resting
       (spells is the second frequent cause).  You'll most likely be relying on 
       newer tactics at the end of normal mode.
       At the beginning of HoF mode, this spell is completely rejuvenated!  Since
       everything is harder to kill, deals more damage, etc., these same bonuses
       apply to your summons.  So once again, Animate Undead plays a key role in
       your supremacy over the creatures of Icewind Dale for quite some time more.
       At this point, you'll notice some other summoning spells to become more
       powerful, but Animate Dead is always a staple.
       Note:  Make sure you cast up to 6 of these at all times where you need them.
              Casting 1 or 2 might help a bit, but you won't get the full 
              experience :)  That's why this party is geared to be able to replenish
              them over time.
       More Offensive Spells:
       The cleric becomes a more offensive spell caster at divine spell levels 7
       through 9.  At this time, he receives the Power Word Blind, Stun and Kill
       domain spells and the Holy Aura and Symbol of Hopelessness spells (as well 
       as other symbols, which are less effective in HoF mode).  
       The 9th level spell list is really weird since it only has 2 spells (I 
       didn't believe it when I saw it) and both are kind of crappy.  Gate is the
       more powerful of the two but you have to cast Magic Circle Against Evil
       (which is a level 3 spell) in order to protect yourself from the Demon's
       attacks.  I couldn't find the room to memorize a few on the Battleguard of
       Tempus, so I made sure the Morninglord of Lathander took a few.  You will
       have about 3 of them by the time you can even cast Gate, so all is well.
       I would only cast Gate when Animate Dead produces poor results.  For 
       instance, Zombie Lords and Greater Boneguards die very quickly to Trolls,
       but Gelugons (that is this particular demon's race) kill them very easily.
       These demons have 3 attacks per round I believe and they deal slashing, cold
       and other damage types.  They also cast spells like Ice Storm and Cone of 
       Cold randomly as well and have *a lot* of hit points, so they make pretty
       good summons.
       Note: Since you have more copies of Gate than Magic Circle Against Evil,
             don't hesitate to cast several of these baddies at once.
       The only problem with this spell is that you can't control them.  So once 
       they vanquished all the enemies in the area, they just stand there attacking
       each other (if you summoned more one).  It's funny to see them casting
       their most powerful spells at each other but if you are close by they can
       even harm your party.  That is a pretty big drawback, so only cast them when
       you have to.  It's amazing that Animate Dead continued to be a strong and
       useful spell while only being a level 3 spell.
       Note: All this information on the Gate spell applies to the next character
             (Morninglord of Lathander) as well.
       Common Principle When Building Clerics:
       If you are using a Cleric domain that needs both Concentration and
       Spellcraft, you should take a Human because of the advantage you get with
       skill points for characters with 10 or less Intelligence (meaning you can
       set it to 3).  Some Clerics don't benefit from Spellcraft, so this allows
       you to take Dwarves to gain their fantastic racial bonuses and still have an
       Intelligence score of 3.  Essentially, these are the principles that we used
       to create the Battleguard of Tempus and our next character, the Morninglord
       of Lathander.  I hope that this principle helps you build other powerful
       3.3 - Human Morninglord of Lathander(x)
       The next character also happens to be a Cleric, but this time he's a
       Morninglord of Lathander.  This class is more geared towards casting 
       offensive spells, healing and protecting party members, and casting 
       defensive buffs in the same way all clerics behave.
       What makes the Morninglord of Lathander a unique and powerful class is the 
       offensive domain spells, such as Fire Storm, Meteor Swarm and Flame Strike.  
       By taking the appropriate feats, you can become a great support caster to 
       your Sorcerers if need be while maintaining the best attributes of a standard 
       cleric (Healing, Buffing).  As High Cleric puts it, In essence the 
       Morninglord of Lathander is a "solid, well-rounded master healer 
       extraordinaire and a very, very powerful blaster with Spirit of Flame and 
       Greater Spell Focus: Evocation feats".
       Another neat attribute to the Morninglord class is his innate "Lathander's 
       Renewal" ability, which works similarly to "Lay on Hands".  This ability 
       heals 2 hit points every level of the caster to any target.  So if your 
       Cleric were level 30, you could *instantly* heal a party member 60 hit 
       points.  It's not as powerful as Lay on Hands, but it's a welcome insurance 
       Unfortunately, the Morninglord's implicit Improved Turning feat isn't 
       anything to brag about since there are few undead in the game.  Even worse,
       Turn Undead isn't effective in HoF unless you have 16 or 18 points in your
       Charisma score.  Thus, you'll have to ignore this bonus since it's not worth
       sacrificing other abilities on the account of Turn Undead.
       The main reason for choosing a second Cleric is to have a "pure" cleric that
       melee's on occasion (since Clerics make good warriors), but also sits back 
       in heavier fights and supports the party by casting offensive spells, buffs 
       and healing as needed.  In a sense, he's plays more like a traditional 
       The second reason is that you want to double up on various Cleric spells. 
       For instance, Animate Dead is awesome enough that each Cleric should 
       memorize up to 5 instances of that spell, allowing you cast it 10 times after 
       you rest.  In other cases, you will want to have a wider variety of the best 
       divine spells since one Cleric simply can't memorize them all.  Hence,
       the Morninglord can memorize multiple copies of the "Heal" spell while the 
       Battleguard can memorize multiple instances of the Divine Shell spell.  
       These are both excellent spells that you shouldn't be able to get enough 
       of =)
       The last reason for introducing a second cleric into the mix is that there 
       are many pieces of equipment (rings, stones, etc.) and a potion found within
       the game that increases your Wisdom ability score.  Obviously you can't use 
       them all on a single character, so why let them go to waste?
       Why Not Aasimar?
       Some people have mentioned that choosing an Aasimar would be beneficial since
       they receive a bonus to their Wisdom score at the cost of ECL -1 basically.
       While this is true, you have to consider what you are doing.  As you 
       may already know, the Morninglord of Lathander needs to max out Concentration
       and receive 14 points in their Spellcraft skill.  If you take an Aasimar,
       you won't have the skill point advantage that Humans do.  With this in mind,
       it comes down to this:
       - Humans will miss out on level 1, 5 and 9 spells because they will only have
         34 Wisdom by the end of the game instead of 36.
       - Aasimars will be 14 points behind in their Concentration compared to the 
       If you know the game well enough, it should be pretty obvious which one is
       better.  But just to be sure, let me explain:
       Concentration is one of those 'must-have' skills for spell casters. Without
       it, you'll be sure lose one too many battles in HoF mode.  On the other side
       of the coin, the Cleric's best spell levels are 6 through 8. Thus, a Wisdom
       score of 36 isn't going to do us much good anyway.  As we will discuss,
       Gate is not a very good spell and anything below level 5 will be in great
       supply.  For these reasons, I advocate that you take a Human instead of
       Aasimars unless you have a very good reason otherwise.
       Single Paladin Level Notes:
       This next bit is optional, since it really depends on your play style.  Thus,
       if you want to take an extra level of Paladin, you can, but you certainly 
       won't come across any negative consequences by not doing so either.
       Since we don't have a full Paladin in the party, you still might want to take
       advantage of the Holy Avenger (both normal mode and HoF versions).  We made
       this possible by having the Morninglord of Lathander take a single level of
       Paladin at character level 18.
       This is really convenient since we will have all 9 spell levels, perfectly
       rounding out our spell book.   We'll also have a very high Wisdom score
       at this time as well, which provides us with many extra spells.  Needless 
       to say, gaining levels in Cleric won't be a priority any longer since the
       extra levels gained won't provide us with as many benefits as they used to.
       In fact, the Cleric's 30th level will only provide us with 2 additional
       spells, so I thought the ability to use Holy Avenger instead would be an
       excellent exchange.
             IN ALIGNMENT!  
       Now, let's look the ability points for the Morninglord of Lathander
       Str: 18 
       Dex: 16 
       Con: 18 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 18 
       Cha: 3 
       Like any Human Cleric, it's important that you maximize your Wisdom score 
       to 18 - pretty obvious I would think =)
       We gave this character a Charisma score of 3 because, as mentioned earlier, 
       Turn Undead is a useless skill in HoF mode - you'll be hard-pressed to turn
       even the simplest of Zombies.  If you are only going to play the normal 
       mode, I would suggest putting no more than 10 points into it anyway.  I 
       found through play testing that an average Charisma score of 10 usually kills
       most of the undead enemies you will be facing.  I think the developers made 
       a conscious decision to allow players to benefit from an average Charisma
       score.  There are only a few areas with undead in the game anyway, so I
       wouldn't go crazy over this.   You or the Barbarian/Fighter can always use
       the Mass of Disruption +3 and the Moonblade of Selune to finish off the
       undead quite easily.  This is a good strategy to use in Kuldarhar's Pass.
       Since we dumped the Charisma score to 3, this Cleric is also pretty good in
       melee.  But the real bonus is in the offensive spells that come with the
       Morninglord class.  No mace that I know of can do 500 damage in a just few
       rounds :)
       A Dexterity score of 16, 15 and 14 is also very good considering Cleric's can
       wear Full Plate Mail and will not receive any AC modifiers beyond +1.  To
       bonus reflex saves will also be a good help against some spells.
       Ability Score Tips During Play:
       I'd like to point out that using the "Potion of Clear Purpose" is a bad idea.
       This potion is found in one of the huts on a hill in the Andora village (the
       one with the rangers, druids and wolfs just before the Ice Temple).  This 
       potion will grant one character a +1 Wisdom bonus in exchange for -2 to your 
       Constitution.  Since you are losing an ability point in the swap, this 
       isn't exactly a fair exchange.  Constitution is important to clerics since 
       this character makes a good 3rd fighter and Constitution also helps 
       Concentration checks too.
       On the other hand, you can and *should* use the "Potion of Holy Transference"
       obtained at the Battle Square in the Ice Temple to increase this character's 
       Wisdom.  You'll notice that we created this character with a dexterity score 
       of 16 for this reason alone =)  That way you won't lose any AC bonuses in the
       Like the Battleguard of Tempus, your goal is to increase your Wisdom ability 
       score as you level up exclusively.  After you consume the Potion of Holy
       Transference, your Dexterity will go down to 15, which means you'll lose a +1
       modifier to your reflex saves.  I consider that to be a better exchange since
       those extra spells and the Saving Throws DC bonus far outweigh that 
       Dexterity bonuses.  You can use the same potion again in HoF mode to get an
       even higher Wisdom score, so I would suggest that you do so.  In this event,
       your Dexterity score will drop to 14 and you won't receive a single penalty.
       Also keep in mind that there are several Wisdom-enhancing items in Icewind
       Dale 2.  In the Battleguard of Tempus discussion, we talked about the 
       "Every God Ring" that you receive in two areas in the game (Kuldahar and
       the Severed Hand).  When you get the first ring, I would equip it on the
       Morninglord of Lathander.  You should have the +2 Wisdom Ioun Stone from the
       Underdark at this time, so you can give it to the Battleguard of Tempus
       (Wisdom bonuses do not stack unfortunately).  
       It's not unnatural to have 34 Wisdom by the end of the game (with gives you 
       a +12 Wisdom Modifier.  This is simply god-like as you will have up to 6
       copies of Mass Heal or Firestorm, 7 copies of Heal, up to 8 copies of Flame
       Strike and so on.  This is certainly a sight to see.
       Character Development:
       Leveling a Morninglord of Lathander is as straight-forward as leveling the
       Battleguard.  It's important to upgrade both your Concentration skill (for 
       obvious reasons) and your Spellcraft skill (to acquire Spirit of the Flame).
       At the first level, you won't have enough skill points to max them both, so
       you can only place 3 skill points in each one.  Thus, you'll be a single
       level behind throughout the game.  Since you only acquire a new feat every 3 
       levels, this doesn't affect your game at all.  
       However, you do have a -4 Intelligence modifier and this will cost you 
       somewhat.  Since Spirit of the Flame requires that you have 10 in your 
       Spellcraft skill, you'll need to put 14 points into Spellcraft to compensate 
       for that negative modifier (i.e. 14 - 4 = 10).  Thus, you can only acquire
       Spirit of the Flame at level 12 instead of level 9.  This isn't such a big 
       deal if you look at your long term goals.  You don't acquire the best 
       flame-based, offensive spells until level 15.  You'll have to use an 
       underpowered Flame Strike in the meantime.
       Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft
       Feats: Cleric of Lathander(1): Combat Casting
                                      Simple Weapon, Mace (WF)
              Cleric of Lathander(3): Subvocal Casting
              Cleric of Lathander(6): Spell Focus: Evocation
              Cleric of Lathander(9): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
              Cleric of Lathander(12): Spirit of Flame
              Cleric of Lathander(15): Improved Critical
            * Cleric of Lathander(17)/Paladin(1): Martial Weapon, Long Sword (WF)
              Cleric of Lathander(21)/Paladin(1): Discipline
              Cleric of Lathander(23)/Paladin(1): Lightning Reflexes
              Cleric of Lathander(26)/Paladin(1): Great Fortitude
              Cleric of Lathander(29)/Paladin(1): Iron Will
       Note: The * means that a Paladin level is chosen at this level.  If you do
             not want to choose this build, I suggest leveling up as Morninglord
             of Lathander and picking another Simple Weapon type.
       Like the Battleguard, you need to take Combat Casting and Subvocal Casting.
       Unlike the Battleguard, you'll need to add another pip to the Simple 
       Weapon, Mace feat so you can achieve Weapon Focus in it to improve your
       melee abilities at the beginning of the game.
       Spell Focus Evocation & Spirit of the Flame:
       Since the Morninglord uses many evocation spells, you can improve their 
       effectiveness by taking the Spell Focus: Evocation and Greater Spell Focus:
       Evocation feats.  After you acquire these, you can get Spirit of the Flame at 
       level 12, which is an integral feat for this class.  Considering almost all 
       your domain spell slots are fire-based, Spirit of the Flame will improve the 
       overall damage of these spells.  Coincidently, they are also evocation 
       spells too, so you can enjoy the benefits of all the feats you acquired 
       during levels 6 through 12.
       Here is a list of spells that you should be using with the Morninglord of 
       Lathander to maximize the benefits of Spell Focus: Evocation and Spirit of 
       the Flame.  As you can clearly see from the chart, all of them are from 
       domain slots and some of them can be chosen in your standard divine spell 
         Spell Name              School     Fire-Based?    Standard?    Domain?
         ----------            ---------    -----------    ---------    -------
         Sunscorch             Evocation        yes           yes         yes
         Aganazzars Scorcher   Evocation        yes           yes         yes
         Holy Smite            Evocation        no            yes         yes
         Flame Strike          Evocation        yes           yes         yes
         Sols Searing Orb      Evocation        yes           yes         yes
         Fire Storm            Evocation        yes           yes         yes
         Sunbeam               Evocation        no            no          yes
         Meteor Swarm          Evocation        yes           no          yes
       Since Flame Strike, Fire Storm and Meteor Swarm deal between 50 and 100 
       points of damage to multiple targets, you'll want to squeeze out an extra
       5-10 points of damage per target whenever possible.  In some cases, this can 
       net you an extra 50 points of damage in total if there are several enemies 
       bunched up in a group (which happens a lot in this game).  Thus, don't be 
       surprised if your cleric deals out 500 points of damage in a single casting.
       Other Feat Choices:
       Once you get the Spirit of Flame feat, there aren’t too many other feats to
       choose from.  I decided that improving the character's melee skills would be
       the next priority.  I took Improved Critical since it's probably the best
       of the melee feats and doesn't require the Cleric to actually deliver 
       killing blows in order for the feat to be useful like Power Attack/Cleave.  
       I was also planning on using the "Heart of XYZ" sword (the HoF long sword
       found in the Targos shop) and the Holy Avenger with this character to
       complete the character's training.  This is made possible because at
       character level 18, you will have taken that level of Paladin that we talked
       about earlier.
       Lastly, I focused on the three saving throw feats (Lightning Reflexes, Great
       Fortitude and Iron Will) to round out the character's magic defenses.
       Weapon Preferences:
       Belib's Ever Lasting Touch is an excellent weapon for this character for
       most part of the game, dealing 1d6 bludgeoning damage, 2d6 fire damage and
       a 10% chance to deal another 1d10 fire damage.  Club of Disruption is also
       a vital weapon to use during the caves near Torak in HoF mode and in 
       When you reach level 18 and gain your Martial Weapon, Long Sword feat, be
       sure to start using the Holy Avenger against enemies that can be hurt by
       slashing attacks and only switch to your maces as the situation calls for it.
       Spell Selection:
       Level 1: Bless
       Level 2: Bull's Strength, Delay Poison(1), Silence
       Level 3: Animate Dead(4), Magic Circle Against Evil
       Level 4: Defensive Harmony, Restoration(2)
       Level 5: Chaotic Commands, Flame Strike
       Level 6: Heal
       Level 7: Destruction, Impervious Sanctity of Mind(2-3)
       Level 8: Fire Storm, Mass Heal
       Level 9: Gate
       The real winners here are Animate Dead, Chaotic Commands, Flame Strike,
       Heal, Destruction, Fire Storm and Mass Heal as well as several of the higher
       domain spells mentioned earlier.
       Dispel Magic:
       I chose not to memorize Dispel Magic since it hurt me rather than helped me 
       9 out of 10 times.  I find that using Exaltation or Chaotic Commands is 
       more effective rather than wiping out all my buffs (Mass Haste, Recitation, 
       Stoneskin, etc.)  This why I the Rogue/Wizard will memorize one.
       Isair and Madae Tip:
       I would take 1 copy of Banishment at level 6 when you face Isair and Madae
       since there will be a Wizard that produces many summoned creatures.  This
       will take off the heat and let you focus on the Isair and their useless cult 
       brothers and sisters :)
       Off-Topic: Negative Effect Protection Spells:
       A spell often not talked about is Exaltation, which removes fear, confusion,
       sleep, feeblemindedness and several other negative effects on a target 
       character and further protects them from these effects for the next 10 
       rounds.  Essentially, it's a weaker version of Chaotic Commands, but its 
       also a level 3 spell (so you should be able to memorize many of them).  
       I found these to be fairly helpful in Dragon's Eye, fighting the Guardian 
       and in several other areas where these negative effects can make the area 
       frustrating.  I find it better than using "Impervious Sanctity of Mind" in 
       some instances, which is a level 7 divine spell that only targets the 
       castor.  Also, since you have 2 clerics, you can cast Exaltation on each
       other as well, eliminating it's drawback that you can't cast it on yourself.
       Here are the three effect-protection spells matched up.  "---" indicates
       that this effect is not protected/negated by the spell.  I did this so it 
       would make it easier to compare them and look back and see which spell you 
       need in order to protect yourself against a particular negative effect 
       that you might come across (aren't I nice?):
       Exaltation (3):       Berserk, -----, -------, Confusion, -------- ------,
                             Fear, Feeblemind, Sleep, -------, ----, Hopelessness,
                             Intoxication, Unconsciousness
       Chaotic Commands (5): -------, Charm, Command, Confusion, Dominate Person, 
                             ----, ----------, Sleep, Symbols, ----, ------------,
                             ------------, ---------------
       Impervious Mind (7):  Berserk, Charm, Command, Confusion, Dominate Person, 
                             Fear, Feeblemind, Sleep, Symbols, Hold, Hopelessness,
                             ------------, ---------------
       Now, obviously Impervious Sanctity of Mind is superior, but you can only 
       cast it on yourself.  Since Exaltation allows you to "dispel" the negative
       effects rather than prepare in advance, it has that keen advantage over
       Chaotic Commands and Impervious Sanctity of Mind.  It's by far the most 
       useful spell against the Guardian (other than Disintegrate I suppose :P).
       Anyway, I'm sure this was pretty helpful and will provide a small resource
       to look back to while you play.
       Note:  Don't get me wrong, Exaltation is pretty crappy, but it gives you
              that last fighting chance in situations that arise from time to time.
              It's better to do it right then to reload :)  Just scribe 1 or 2.
       Alternative Character Choices:
       You may consider using a Druid character in replacement for this slot.  
       Although I don't think a Druid is more powerful or is at least better suited
       to exist in the UPP, it is possible to build an effective 
       Human Druid(x)/Ranger(1).  In my play testing, I created a level 1 Ranger 
       with the following attributes:
       Str: 16 
       Dex: 18 
       Con: 18 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 18 
       Cha: 3 
       As the character leveled, I put 3 ability points into Wisdom giving a grand
       total of 21.  I then use the "Every God Ring" to give a +5 bonus to the 
       Wisdom score (now totaling 26).  Afterwards, I gave the character 2 
       Dexterity to give this character a +5 AC modifier.  This was useful so that 
       I could dawn the "Zuvembie" leather armor that you find in Dragon's Eye 
       (when using this armor, you get +11 AC).  Afterwards, I would recommend 
       that you continue to pump Wisdom in HoF mode.
       The selling point for this character is that you can use the free 
       ambidexterity and two-weapon fighting feats from the Ranger class acquired 
       at level 1 with your +11 AC leather armor.  Thus, you'll be equally 
       protected as your best fighter with a Mithryl Field Plate Mail and be able 
       to dual Long Swords and Scimitars (which the game has many excellent weapons
       in this category with special abilities, such as Dispel or Energy Drain, that
       scream the use of dual-wielding).
       I would take the following skills, racial enemy and feats for this 
       Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft
       Racial Enemy: Trolls
       Feats: Ranger(1): Combat Casting
                         Simple Weapon, Long Sword (WF)
              Ranger(1)/Druid(2): Subvocal Casting
              Ranger(1)/Druid(5): Spell Focus: Evocation
              Ranger(1)/Druid(8): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
              Ranger(1)/Druid(11): Spell Focus: Transmutation
              Ranger(1)/Druid(14): Spirit of Flame
              Ranger(1)/Druid(17): Spell Focus: Transmutation (Greater)
              Ranger(1)/Druid(20): Scion of Storms
              Ranger(1)/Druid(23): Aqua Mortis
              Ranger(1)/Druid(26): Spell Focus: Enchantment
              Ranger(1)/Druid(29): Spell Focus: Enchantment (Greater)
       As you begin to create this character, be sure to pick 2 Wilderness Lore and 
       4 Concentration ranks at first level (don't split them 3 and 3).  Afterwards,
       equalize Concentration and Spellcraft skill ranks.  If you've done this
       properly, by level 4 they should both have the same value.  Do this until 
       Spellcraft is 14 and then start to max out your Concentration skill since 
       higher Spellcraft ranks will not benefit the Druid in any way.  You could 
       even start upgrading Wilderness Lore if you wanted to or work on another 
       skill entirely (including the 2 ranks at first level if you want, it doesn't
       really matter).
       Why this character was not chosen:
       One of the problems with this character is that the Heal and Mass Heal spells
       are in low supply since they are both at levels 7 and 9, respectively.  
       Simply put, the Morninglord of Lathander will have three times the amount
       of quality healing spells at his disposal.  This will force your 
       Battleguard of Tempus to memorize Healing spells, which can potentially 
       weaken the party's overall strategy and the at the very least, make your
       Battleguard of Tempus focus on the wrong aspects of his character.
       Another fine point to mention is that the lower-level Druid spells aren't
       that effective in HoF mode.  Sunscorch is an adequate troll killer and 
       Barkskin can put your AC to 33 or 34 quite easily, but several of the 
       offensive, transmutation and summoning spells are near worthless.  At least
       the cleric's lower-level spells have value in the later game.  
       Another problem that you might be too heavy on evocation magic.  With 2 
       Sorcerers and a Druid, you'll find that you won't end up using it all - In
       other words, your offensive magic will probably out-live your healing and
       protective magic.  This will force you to rest anyway.  The value of a 
       Druid in this situation isn't so great.
       Lastly, I hope you understand how valuable Heal and Mass Heal are.  
       Coincidently, levels 7 and 9 are some of best divine casting levels for your
       Druid and you'll be forced to choose healing over the spells that probably
       "define" what it means to be "Druid".  If you don't choose your Druidic
       spells in the later levels, then you aren't getting the full use out him or
       her.  In that scenario, you are definitely better off with the Morninglord
       of Lathander.  This is even truer spoken since many of the key spells that 
       the Druid is able to cast are available to the Morninglord (i.e. Fire Storm,
       Flame Strike, etc.) - they simply appear at a level higher in the same way 
       Healing spells appear in later levels for the Druid (they are opposites).
       My advice is simply this:  If your play style doesn't include Healing and
       the use of Symbols, you might want to take this character instead.  However,
       I think most players after taking a good look at the advantages and 
       disadvantages will see that the Morninglord is far superior and also fits
       the UPP's party concept much better.  
       The reason I have mentioned all this is because several people have got in
       contact with me saying, "What's an ultimate party without a Druid?".  I'm 
       not sure if it's nostalgia from the Icewind Dale 1 days (when Druids ruled)
       or the perception that they level faster (and, thus are more powerful) as 
       they once did in the D&D 2E rule set.  I do know that they are not as 
       effective as the character we outlined here.  Hence, it didn't make the
       Other Choices:
       In any case, let's look at some other potential character options.  Some
       players might want to take another Cleric Domain over Lathander.  There is
       nothing wrong with that if you take one of these:
       * Talos:  Focuses on offensive lightning, weather and death magic.  Is 
                 equally comparable to the Morninglord of Lathander.  Great Spells 
                 include: Fire Storm, Acid Storm, Whirlwind, Wail of the Banshee, 
                 Horrid Wilting and many other useful lighting-based spells.  This 
                 is an excellent Domain for evil Clerics and great fun to play.
       * Selune: Focuses on elemental conjuration and offensive magic.  Great spells
                 include: 4 Planar Binding/Ally Elementals, Elemental Legion, 
                 Prismatic Spray and Divine Shell.  Not as good as Lathander or 
                 Talos perhaps, but an interesting mix of spells that has a 
                 distinct personality.  This one might work if you are a Druid
                 fan that loved the elemental summoning since it definitely has a 
                 more druidic feel to it.
       * Bane:   Focuses on enemy debuffs and control.  I personally don't like 
                 this one much.  Many of the spells are arcane, hence they could be 
                 casted by the two Sorcerers or the Wizard.  In fact, our 
                 Rogue(1)/Wizard(x) uses this strategy, but is probably better
                 suited for it.  The only reason why I added Bane here is because
                 others on the BIS forums think this cleric domain is god-like, but
                 I don't share the same opinion.  In fact, these are the same 
                 losers in the Legion of the Chimera that you beat up on from time
                 to time.  Why side with the losers? =)  In all seriousness, I don't
                 think this character fits the UPP's philosophy very well.  However,
                 this character will probably find its way in other parties where
                 the characters need one such as this.
       3.4 - Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer(x)
       Our next character is our Rogue - well, maybe not so much.  Many parties
       that include single-classed Rogues use multiclassed variants where the 
       levels are equally distributed among the two classes.  When you pick the 
       Rogue class in this manner, your goal is usually not to open locks and 
       disarm traps, but to exploit the Rogue with his other abilities, such as 
       taking advantage of evasion abilities and backstabbing enemies (including 
       all the feats that help in this area).  
       Although sneaking up behind someone and nailing them for 100 damage is 
       'cool', it's usually not the most 'efficient' method to getting rid of a
       creature.  In terms of power, why not just use Finger of Death for instance?
       As you can see, although the Rogue makes for an interesting class to play
       (and some would say extremely fun), it's not very powerful with respect to
       being 'ultimate'.  
       We also have no use for any weapon finesse characters with light weapons
       (two-handed weapons and high strength are better) and we also have no need
       for the pickpocket ability as well.  Since our goal was to make the ultimate
       party, we decided to include a Rogue that was a bit different.
       In the UPP, we decided that a single level of Rogue was enough to search,
       disarm traps and open any locks in the entire game.  Now, that doesn't
       mean 4 ranks in these important skills is enough (because it's not), this
       just means that we won't be advancing the character in Rogue level during 
       the course of the game after we have created the character.
       The Wizard Aspect of the Character:
       When deciding which class to take, we wanted one that would best compliment
       the Rogue's ability points, namely Dexterity and Intelligence.  When you 
       take a look at the available classes, there aren't many options.  Thus, we 
       made an obvious choice: a Wizard.  This is the best choice for HoF mode 
       seeing as spells are always powerful while melee classes start to weaken.
       As for the type of Wizard, we wanted to go with a specialist to gain access
       to the bonus spells.  This works out great since we already have 2 Sorcerers,
       so no matter which school we specialize in, it won't really be a 
       disadvantage.  We decided that Conjurer (or Enchanter) would be the most 
       efficient class because we don't need Evocation spells considering our 2 
       Sorcerers and the Morninglord of Lathander's domain spells can handle this 
       requirement quite well.  This helps the party to become more organized.
       Note:  Some people tell that us that 2 or 3 Rogue levels would benefit the
              characters defensive abilities (Evasion and Uncanny Dodge).  Also,
              they mention that the extra skill points gained at these levels will
              ensure they don't fall behind in the character's Rogue development.
              While these benefits are fairly nice in some scenarios, we simply 
              can't afford to miss out on the important Wizard levels - Not only can
              we benefit from extra spells, but we also gain extra feats in the 
              process.  Also, uncanny dodge isn't so important since this character
              will not melee and stays in the back row casting spells or using a
              crossbow, making the feat less desirable.
              As far as the skill points' argument is concerned, you shouldn't have
              any problems searching, disarming and opening locks anyway throughout
              most the game.  If there is a trap you can't disarm, it's rarely
              life-threatening anyway.  For those of you that have played BG2,
              you know what it's like for a character to die due to a trap.  That 
              just doesn't happen in IWD2.   I've managed to keep all 3 of these 
              skills equally balanced and only 4 or 5 levels behind the Wizard 
              skills and this is more than adequate to beat the game.
       Note:  Some other people might take the opposite view, saying that taking
              one Rogue level will inhibit the class's spell growth.  This is quite 
              silly actually for several reasons.  With a single level of Rogue, 
              we won't hurt the Wizard aspect of the character since you won't 
              find the scrolls fast enough in the game anyway.  In other words, 
              we wouldn't be able to make use of this extra Wizard level.  Secondly,
              you'll still have lots of spells due to your high intelligence score 
              and the fact that you are a specialist Wizard will give you a sheer 
              number of spells that the one level shouldn't be a problem.
       Character's Race:
       With respect to the character's race, we decided on Drow for the obvious
       reason that 20 Intelligence and 20 Dexterity would greatly improve both
       the Rogue skills as well as the Conjurer's bonus spells and saving throw DC.
       Since our Rogue skills will be a few levels behind throughout the game, an
       initial +5 to the Dexterity modifier goes a long way to improving them.
       Now, because the character is Drow, expect him to lack some power in the
       beginning chapters.  Most likely he'll be using low-level enchantment spells
       to support the group (like Sleep, Charm, Blind, etc.)  The character will
       really start to shine by chapters 5 and 6 in the normal game, and will be
       incredibly strong by HoF with level 9 spells.  In the end, the character 
       will be at level 30 like everyone else and the ECL -2 will make no 
       dfference whatsoever.
       The Drow have several abilities that make them very adept Wizards (and 
       an enemy Wizard's worst nightmare).  Let's look at the most important 
       * +2 to all saves against Enchantment spells (which is usually will saves)
       * +2 to will saves against spells and spell-like effects (like Dwarves)
       * +2 to Search checks (good bonus considering this is our Rogue)
       * Spell Resistence 11 + 1/level.  By the end of the game, the character will
         resist almost half the spells thrown at him entirely.
       Now, there are a few things to be said here.  Spell Resistence only works
       with spells that actually target the character, so if the enemy uses spells
       like Delayed Blast Fireball or Lance of Disruption, you can consider yourself
       an unlucky target.  Spells like Magic Missle or Finger of Death, on the other
       hand, are very resistable.
       Another powerful thing about Spell Resistence is that it's so damn high! Even
       at the beginning of HoF, you'll be at ~30.  Essentially, you will have
       the spell "Spell Resistence" cast on you at all times.
       The last interesting note is that a maximum of 16 Constitution is not really
       a penalty since it was inconvenient to put 18 into this ability score anyway
       (as you will soon see when we look at these scores).
       Other Races Considered:
       The other powerful option was Tiefling.  At first we thought an ECL of -1
       was acceptable, but an ECL of -2 was not.  I'm not sure how we came to that
       conclusion because in the end, you'll want the most powerful character 
       possible - how you get there doesn't matter.  By the time you beat normal
       mode, the Drow becomes much more powerful than the Tiefling due to the added
       Spell Resistence and extra saving throws.  The Tiefling just doesn't match 
       up with his cold, fire and electrical resistences.  
       Also, the +2 to Search checks is actually quite useful to this character
       where as the bonus to Bluff and Hide checks doesn't benefit the character 
       at all.  This character won't be initiating dialog and we can use Improved
       Invisibility if we need to be a bit stealthy (and it's much better than
       hiding anyway).  
       When comparing ability scores, the Drow can't put any less than 5 points
       into Charisma, so this can work to the Tiefling's advantage depending on
       how we decide to spend our ability points.  When comparing both characters
       side-by-side, the Tiefling will have 10 Wisdom instead of 8.  However,
       knowing the Drow receives a +2 bonus to Will saves, this loss in Wisdom is
       unimportant (since it'll be like having a Wisdom score of 12).  So it's
       easily shown that the Drow still comes out on top despite the loss in ability
       One small advantage the Tiefling has over the Drow is the innate Blindness
       ability (which is better than Farie Fire, but we don't care about any of
       these in HoF mode really).  The other advantage (and probably the most
       important one)  is that you don't have penalties in daylight.  To be honest,
       I never found the -1 to attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks to be a
       problem.  I guess the worst of these is the -1 to saving throws, but even
       then the Drow gets many bonuses to offset this.
       Other than these differences, both characters are the same in that they will
       have 20 Intelligence and 20 Dexterity.  It should be quite clear that the
       bonus to saving throws, spell resistence and +2 to search checks make the
       Drow much more powerful in HoF mode, and thus a better character for the
       NOTE:  In earlier versions of the FAQ, we did in fact promote the Tiefling.
              However, we've been on the fence for some time.  Rest assured, a Drow
              is the most powerful race for this slot and we fully recommend it.
       We also considered being a Human as well, seeing as they would be the third
       most powerful choice for this character.  After reviewing the list of feats
       and realizing that this character will receive 5 bonus feats through the 
       Wizard class and the fact that there are not that many good feats to take
       to begin with, the bonus feat at level 1 is less appealing.  Also, the bonus 
       skill points are irrelevant since a score of 20 Intelligence yields the exact
       same skill points and many other essential benefits to the Conjurer (or 
       Enchanter) class (which the Human simply can't provide).
       Let's take a look at the character's ability scores.
       Str: 11
       Dex: 20 
       Con: 16 
       Int: 20
       Wis: 8
       Cha: 5
       First off, I think it's fairly obvious why we maxed out Intelligence and
       Dexterity to 20 (or going through all the discussion about choosing a Drow
       itself would have been pointless :P).
       As for Strength, it is very, very important that you understand why you need
       a score of 10+.  This will give you a maximum of 70lbs carrying capacity.
       Normally for Wizards, you wouldn't need it to be this high (50lbs is usually
       adequate), but in this case we need to make an exception.  
       In the last chapter of the game, you'll come across a chain mail called
       "Chain of Drakkus", which is an ideal armor for this character since it will
       allow you to cast Wizard spells and use your Thief skills while wearing the
       armor.  Even further, it will provide you with a +7 AC bonus and there will
       be "no limit" to how high your Dexterity modifer improves your AC!  So if 
       you have 26 Dexterity, you'll actually get a bonus of +8 to your AC
       (this results to a total 25 AC without considering deflection or other
       bonuses) - pretty neat, eh?
       The armor itself weighs 30lbs, so you will have carrying capacity problems 
       if your Strength is any lower than 10.  So please, whatever you do, DO NOT
       LOWER YOUR STRENGTH SCORE.  I'm glad you understand =)
       The Dexterity and Intelligence bonuses will give us a +5 bonus to the 
       Search, Open Locks and Disarm Traps skills.  This character also uses a 
       crossbow, where the Dexterity modifier is used to determine his attack 
       bonus.  It's imperative that you understand that this character cannot 
       melee - it's not a Rogue, but a Wizard - and people with good sense know 
       that you shouldn't melee with your Wizard!  In any case, the +5 to your AC 
       should help out with the lack of armor for the majority of the game in normal
       mode, but with spells like Improved Invisibility, Mirror Image, Stoneskin, 
       you shouldn't be concerned with your AC.
       With 20 Intelligence, there are lots of skill points to satisfy both Rogue 
       and Wizard skills.  You will have no problems maxing out your three Wizard
       skills and keeping up with Rogue skills as we've mentioned earlier.  In fact,
       there is no need to gain extra Rogue levels to compensate either, as
       mentioned earlier.
       We chose a Wisdom score of 8 simply because there were no points to
       allocate to Wisdom (unless we swapped them with Constitution, but that
       wouldn't be a very smart idea).  At any rate, Wizards have very good innate
       will save bonuses, and with the Drow's +2 bonus to Will saves and +2 bonus
       to Enchantment spells, a -1 modifer to will saves shouldn't be anything to
       worry about.  
       A Constitution of 16 will also give you a good sum of hit points as well,
       despite the fact that the Drow can't have any more than this.
       Since this is a Wizard, you will have no need for a high Charisma score.
       Thus, I cranked it down to 5, which is the lowest it can go since we have
       chosen a Drow.
       As you gain levels, you should upgrade the character's Intelligence score 
       from 20 to 22 in the first 10 levels.  When you reach level 15, upgrade your
       Dexterity score from 20 to 21.  This is important since you'll be at the
       Severed Hand and you'll get those +5 Dexterity slippers on the second floor
       from under the bed :)  This will give you a total of 26 Dexterity and a +8
       Dexterity modifier, improving your AC, crossbow accuracy and Rogue skills.
       I don't think you can argue with that.  Afterwards, you should continue to
       pump ability points into your Intelligence score to further increase your
       spell's DC and number of bonus spells.
       Character Development:
       Skills: Disable Device, Open Lock, Search, 
               Concentration, Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft
       Note:  Now, before I talk about allocating these skills specifically, I 
              would like to politely let you know that you shouldn't email us
              about taking extra Rogue levels to gain more skill points and things
              like that.  I've already had to reiterate to many people on why we
              did this (although the reason exists right here in the FAQ), but they
              refuse to believe us for some reason.  If you are really concerned,
              play the character we outlined and you'll really see that it works.
              Any more than 1 Rogue level is really a waste, especially with an
              ECL of -2.
       At first level, you'll have 36 points to allocate to several skill 
       categories, namely because the Rogue acquires a great number of skill points
       and you have 20 Intelligence to start off.  Thus, you can pretty much put
       points into everything we listed above as well as Alchemy, Hide and 
       Move Silently.  Since some quests actually use Alchemy but do not need a 
       high skill, a rank of 2 plus your Intelligence modifier will suffice.
       Believe it or not, a Hide and Move Silently skill of 4 + your Dexterity 
       modifier will be enough to have a very successful Hide ability although you 
       might not be able to retain it (not a huge problem since we don't care 
       about these skills anyway).  Since you'll have a +7 Dexterity modifier from
       the slippers, Hide and Move Silently will actually be at rank 11.
       Now, let's take an in-depth look at where to spend your skill points during
       the first 9 levels of your character development.  It's important to look
       at these levels individually since don't follow any specific pattern and
       are hard to explain verbally - it's best just to show them in the manner 
       that we selected them.  After level 9, a pattern emerges for the most part
       of the game, so we can stop there.
       Rogue(1) [36 points]: Alchemy: 2 (cc)
                             Concentration: 2 (cc)
                             Disable Device: 4 
                             Hide: 4 
                             Knowledge: Arcana: 2 (cc)
                             Move Silently: 4
                             Open Lock: 4
                             Search: 4 
                             Spellcraft: 2 (cc)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(1): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                         Concentration: 4 (+2)
                                         Disable Device: 4
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 4 (+2)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 4
                                         Search: 4
                                         Spellcraft: 4 (+2)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(2): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                         Concentration: 6 (+2)
                                         Disable Device: 4
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 6 (+2)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 4
                                         Search: 4
                                         Spellcraft: 6 (+2)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(3): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
       (You receive +1 INT)              Concentration: 7 (+1)
                                         Disable Device: 5 (+1, cc)
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 7 (+1)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 4
                                         Search: 4
                                         Spellcraft: 7 (+1)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(4): [6+1 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                           Concentration: 8 (+1)
                                           Disable Device: 5
                                           Hide: 5
                                           Knowledge: Arcana: 8 (+1)
                                           Move Silently: 4
                                           Open Lock: 5 (+1, cc)
                                           Search: 5 (+1, cc)
                                           Spellcraft: 8 (+1)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(5): [6 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                         Concentration: 9 (+1)
                                         Disable Device: 6 (+1, cc)
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 9 (+1)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 5
                                         Search: 5
                                         Spellcraft: 9 (+1)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(6): [6+1 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                           Concentration: 10 (+1)
                                           Disable Device: 6
                                           Hide: 5
                                           Knowledge: Arcana: 10 (+1)
                                           Move Silently: 4
                                           Open Lock: 6 (+1, cc)
                                           Search: 6 (+1, cc)
                                           Spellcraft: 10 (+1)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(7): [7 points]: Alchemy: 2
       (You receive +1 INT)              Concentration: 11 (+1)
                                         Disable Device: 7 (+1, cc)
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 11 (+1)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 7 (+1, cc)
                                         Search: 6
                                         Spellcraft: 11 (+1)
       Rogue(1)/Conjurer(8): [7 points]: Alchemy: 2
                                         Concentration: 12 (+1)
                                         Disable Device: 8 (+1, cc)
                                         Hide: 5
                                         Knowledge: Arcana: 12 (+1)
                                         Move Silently: 4
                                         Open Lock: 7
                                         Search: 7 (+1, cc)
                                         Spellcraft: 12 (+1)
       For character level 9 and on, you always increase a rank in Spellcraft, 
       Concentration and Knowledge (Arcana).  Now you'll have 4 points left to alot
       to Rogue skills.   When selecting these skills as you level up, simply cycle
       through Disable Device, Open Lock and Search as I've done so far for the rest
       of the game - and make sure they are always even.  
       Note that when you reach level 9, you will only get 7 skill points every 
       level for a long time because your Intelligence should be 22 and 23 for a
       large portion of the game.  As you become more Intelligent, upgrading your 
       Rogue skills should become easier, but for now you can only upgrade Disarm 
       Device, Open Locks and Search once each every 2 levels.
       You should see that this build gives you the same skill benefits as any 
       other Wizard with some Rogue skills in the mix.  Don't be tempted to upgrade
       your Hide and Move silently skills, because they'll be pretty descent with 
       4 ranks and your +7 dexterity bonus (as discussed earlier) and Improved
       Invisibility is actually far superior.  By following the guide in this
       manner, your Rogue skills will only be a few levels behind that of a pure
       Rogue, which isn't so bad considering you basically have a full-fledged
       Here are the feat selections for this character.  Notice that Wizards
       get feats every 5 Wizard levels, so that means the Rogue/Wizard will get 
       bonus feats at the "effective" character levels: 6, 11, 16, 21 and so on 
       in combination with the feats that he gets every 3 character levels: 1, 3, 6,
       9, 12, etc..  Because of this, expect to gain feats quickly and also
       expect some to overlap to get two feats at a single level up.   This allows
       the character to rapidly acquire the Spell Focus and Penetration feats before
       the Sorcerers and makes that character all that more dangerous.  
       For this class, I actually included the effective character level in addition
       to the class levels to make it easier to see when this character receives
       their feats.  Also, I used the "-" symbol to indicate if it's a level feat
       and a "+" symbol to indicate a class feat.  This is to easily show why they
       get this feat at a particular level.
       Note: Since the Mage loses out on the Find Familiar ability that is normally
             gained a level 2 as stated in the D&D 3E rules, BIS decided to give the
             Wizard an extra feat instead at level 2.
       Feats:  1-  Rogue(1):              Simple Weapon, Crossbow (WF)
               2+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(1):  Spell Focus: Enchantment 
               3-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(2):  Spell Focus: Enchantment (Greater)
               6-+ Rogue(1)/Conjurer(5):  Spell Focus: Necromancy
                                          Spell Focus: Transmutation
               9-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(8):  Spell Focus: Transmutation (Greater)
              11+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(10): Spell Focus: Necromancy (Greater)
              12-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(11): Combat Casting
              15-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(14): Spell Penetration
              16+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(15): Spell Penetration (Greater)
              18-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(17): Subvocal Casting,
              21-+ Rogue(1)/Conjurer(20): Improved Critical
              24-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(23): Dodge
              26+  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(25): Lightning Reflexes
              27-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(26): Iron Will
              30-  Rogue(1)/Conjurer(29): Great Fortitude
       Everything here is fairly standard.  I really suggest that you get Weapon
       Focus in crossbows to make the "Dragu's Hell Bolter" more effective (to be
       discussed later).  This will make your Rogue/Conjurer one great ranged 
       As for Spell Focus feats, Enchantment, Transmutation and Necromancy cover 
       all of your chosen spells except for Shades (which is Conjuration, so you
       can't improve it anyway).  We took "Spell Focus: Enchantment" first because
       at the early levels, Sleep and Charm Person are quite effective and you 
       might as well get as much out of the character as you can.  This will also
       serve to make more powerful spells like Chaos and Mass Dominate more 
       powerful as well.  Next, we selected the first pip in "Spell Focus:
       Necromancy" and in "Spell Focus: Transmutation" because at level 6, we'll
       have access to the Horror, Skull Trap spells as well as the Slow spell, 
       which are from the Necromancy and Transmutation schools, respectively.  At
       levels 8 and 10, this character receives the Greater Spell Focus versions of
       these schools to further improve Disintegrate, Finger of Death, Horrid's
       Wilting and Wail of the Banshee.
       I chose combat casting since this character might need to get close to the
       enemy to cast spells like Chaos in order to maximize the effectiveness of the
       spell's radius.  Later on, Combat Casting is quite useful with Wail of the
       Banshee and Mass Dominate.
       At levels 21 and up, the feat selections gets rather poor.  I chose Subvocal
       Casting since this is the time in HoF mode that various enemies attempt to
       Silence your spell casters.  Improved Critical increases the deadliness of 
       your crossbow attacks, so why not?  
       The last few picks try to keep in character with your Rogue role by making
       you harder to hit and improving your other saving throws.  Nothing really
       out of the ordinary that needs discussing.
       Weapon Preferences:
       You want to be sure to get the "Dragu's Hell Bolter" crossbow, which gives
       you 4 Attacks per round at +3 attack bonus!  You will find this most
       excellent prize in the River Caves by talking to Dragu in the Durbar
       Fortress).  All you have to do is talk to him with your Rogue/Wizard (since
       he has a very high Intelligence score) and help him make the perfect
       crossbow.  In exchange, he will give you a copy of the prototype.
       Combine these 4 attacks with your +7 Dexterity modifier and +5 bolts or 
       the elemental bolts (i.e. lightning), this will make your Rogue/Wizard a very
       effective ranked attacker doing 60-70 damage per round.  Essentially, this 
       is a built in Mordenkainen's Sword - so you can't argue with that.
       Spell Selection:
       Since this character specializes in Enchantment, Transmutation and Necromancy
       spells, his main responsibility is to control and manipulate the enemy as
       well as cast Necromancy spells for offensive power since the character lacks
       the ability to cast evocation spells.
       Level 1:
       We chose Identify to complement Knowledge (Arcana) and also chose it because 
       nothing else is worth taking at these higher levels.  In the beginning of 
       the game, you might want to take a few copies of Grease, Sleep and Charm
       Person and other spells since they might be helpful in the earlier portions
       of the game.  
       Level 2:
       Spell level 2 mainly consists of defensive spells like Mirror Image and 
       Blur, which will help ensure the character doesn't die from a few quick 
       melee attacks (very easily done in HoF mode).  See Invisibility is used
       occasionally and should be memorized during Chapter 5 before you fight the
       Lich.  You might as well keep the spell around for convenience sake.  Horror
       is another good spell in the earlier portions of the game.
       Level 3:
       By level 3, we start getting into spells that actually affect the enemy.  
       Slow is an excellent spell since it reduces a creature’s number of attacks,
       attack and damage rolls, AC and saving throws.  This is a great spell to
       apply on bosses and tougher opponents like the Knights of Xvim in the Severed
       Hand since they don't come in high numbers but are very difficult to kill
       in melee (they resist most Necromancy magic).  Since you are specializing in
       Necromancy magic, Skull Trap is another very good spell and gets more 
       powerful as you rise in level (unlike other spells that become capped).  
       It'll be your main offensive spell for awhile and it also allows your 
       Sorcerers to get their Evocation spells without being concerned with Skull
       Trap early.  Lastly, you should take one Dispel Magic as an reset button.
       Sometimes you will get unlucky and everyone will be charmed, confused, etc..
       A single Dispel Magic can reset the battle and allow you to actually win 
       without having to reload :)  This also frees up your Sorcerers from having
       to waste a slot on it and allows your Clerics to use more important spells
       like Animated Dead or Prayer for instance.  We didn't choose Ghost Armor 
       since deflection bonuses are quite easily earned through equipment, which 
       makes the spell less effective.  Haste also looses its effectiveness as your 
       characters' BaB scores are high enough anyway - it's not the spell it used 
       to be.
       Level 4:
       At level 4, we chose Confusion and Malison.  Confusion is a good spell since
       it affects multiple enemies, which is great for large groups and is probably
       the best way to control enemies with a spell of level 4 or lower.  Malison
       also helps get off spells that would normally allow will saves since it
       lowers the target creature’s bonus by 2 (such as Confusion).  This spell is 
       also cumulative as well, so you can cast it several times to ensure your 
       precious spells work.  Once you get a spell called Chaos, you'll want to
       remove your Confusion spells and put all the points into Malison since Chaos
       is the upgraded version of the same spell.
       Note: People have mentioned that Emotion Despair is better than Malison since
             it provides a -2 to attack bonuses and damage as well as will saves.  
             Although this is a good thing on the surface, it only last for 5 
             rounds, which isn't very long with respect to game time.  Malison 
             actually last 2 rounds/level, so you lower the will saves of several 
             targets for up to 60 rounds!  Also, although I'm not 100% certain,
             Emotion: Despair does not stack with multiple castings.
       Level 5:
       Since there aren't that many good spells at level 5, your Sorcerers will
       have roughly the same spells as the Rogue/Wizard.  No need to worry however,
       as one character will cast more of one spell than the other.  At this level,
       you'll want to focus on Chaos, which is a very powerful spell to confuse your
       enemies and make them wonder around a lot.  It generally works very well in
       HoF mode with your "Spell Focus, Enchantment" feats and all creatures are
       forced to make a Will Save at -4.  Basically, with your high Intelligence,
       Enchantment feats, character level and this -4 bonus, your enemies will find
       it very difficult to resist to this spell using their Will Saves.  Spell 
       Resistance doesn't matter either since it doesn't actually target a 
       single victim either.  Add in a casting of Malison or two, and you'll see 
       that herds of creatures will submit to your influencing greatness =)  Lastly,
       also take a few Lower Resistance spells to allow your Sorcerers to bombard 
       them with Evocation and Necromancy attacks on single creatures where it 
       would not be possible.  You don't want your Finger of Death to fail, do you?
       I would suggest taking 1 or 2 copies of the spell since your Sorcerers won't
       have it (It's better left to a Transmutation expert).
       Level 6:
       Level 6 is another level with mediocre spells - well for the most part.
       Since you are Necromancy specialist, it's important to look out for good
       Necromancy spells.  Sadly, there aren't any.  As for the Transmutation
       school, Disintegrate is an obvious choice, so I would suggest that you take 
       a few copies of Disintegrate.  Conveniently, you'll have "Greater Spell
       Focus, Transmutation" at this time so your Disintegrate spell will be 
       working very nicely for you.  The great thing about Disintegrate is that it
       still damages the creature 5-30 points if it doesn't work, so all isn't 
       lost.  This spell is great when getting rid of the Guardian and other 
       tougher opponents, which makes a very difficult fight only last a few 
       seconds :)  The only drawback to this spell is that it takes 6 rounds to
       cast, so that's as long as these boss fights usually last =)
       As for the summon elementals, they are somewhat weak and will actually 
       attack you if you don't protect yourself using Magic Circle of Evil.  The
       best of the four elementals is the Earth Elemental, but it's only helpful in
       the beginning levels of HoF mode and summoning six Animate Undead remains to
       be more convenient and powerful here.
       Interestingly enough, there is spell called "Shades" that is actually quite
       powerful and does become more powerful than Animate Dead by the time you get
       to HoF mode.  During normal mode, you'll get pretty crappy creatures coming
       out of this spell - in the same way Animate Dead gives you fairly weak 
       skeletons in the first few chapters.  However, as you gain new levels, 
       you'll get access to Red Abishais (pretty good), Frost Giants (hope that you
       don't get them) and Greater Werewolves (these guys really rock since you 
       have many attacks per round AND are tough to kill).  At level XX, you'll
       start to get demons (i.e. Glabrezus) and devils (i.e. Cornugons) that you
       would normally get through the Fiend and Gate spells.  It's quite hard to
       believe that you receive all this in a 6th level spell.
       Here is a chart indicating the creatures that are summoned at particular
       casting level, nicely provided by Dorlan.  This is important information
       because the spell description says, "They get more powerful depending on the
       caster's level", which doesn't tell us anything.
                   Level       Creatures
                   -----       ---------
                   1-11        Salamander, Yeti 
                   12-16       Cyclops, Scrag, Umber Hulk 
                   17-21       Frost Giant, Greater Werewolf, Red Abishai 
                   22-26       Greater Feyr, Remorhaz 
                   27+         Cornugon, Glabrezu 
       Another spell that people like to take at 6th level is Tenser's
       Transformation, but would you want to stop casting spells and take
       unnecessary risk getting in the line of fire?  Your are even more likely to
       be affected by your own allies' spells - this is a spell casters' party 
       after all.
       Note:  After you get many copies of Finger of Death, you might want to forego
              Disintegrate and memorize Shades entirely.  It's better to have a
              variety of spells at your disposal and the Shades spell will be very
              powerful throughout HoF mode.
       Level 7:
       Once again, level 7 is another disappointing spell list in terms of variety.
       Finger of Death is your best spell to take and is probably a better spell to
       use instead of disintegrate (although you should use both of course).  It's
       a little faster in that it’s casting time is only 5 instead of 6 and it does
       a little more damage if the spell should fail.  
       Although some of the Power Word spells look pretty descent, they are from 
       the Conjuration school, so you won't get a +4 DC to these spells.  Even
       further, they don't work well in HoF where creatures have extremely high hit
       points, so you *might* only stun or kill a single creature.  It's better just
       to ensure that we kill at least once creature using Finger of Death, don't 
       you think?  Power Word, Stun is worth memorizing in the normal game, but even
       in the Severed Hand you'll see it's usefulness slip away :/  
       Cacofiend is probably the next best spell if you want to take it, but I like
       to have as many Finger of Death's as possible.  It's better than the Air and
       Fire Genies at this level.  In order to use it, you have to protect yourself
       from evil as he deals between 20-42 damage with 2 attacks per around I
       believe.  He also teleports, making his ability to go from one enemy to the
       next very useful, and can also cast lightning spells which deal around 60-70
       points of damage (but he only casts them randomly).  The Field spell at the
       next level is the same creature, but he gets an extra attack per turn.
       Outside of these spells, there aren't any good spells left to choose from.
       Note:  Don't get me wrong, even though levels 6 through 7 don't exactly
              have a good variety of quality spells, Disintegrate and Finger of
              Death are among some of the best spells in the game.  These spells
              are very important to this character's offensive power.  Without them,
              this character would sit around and do nothing :)
       Level 8:
       Within this spell level, things look a little brighter.  The first spell
       you should get is either Horrid Wilting or Power Word: Blind.  Horrid Wilting
       does an insane amount of damage to many foes, so it'll be in your spell book
       from the time you get it until the end of your HoF adventure.  Unlike the
       other Power Word spells, Power Word: Blind isn't as bad since it will always
       do something, regardless of the amount of hit points your enemies have.  Even
       in the first situation, every creature will be stunned between 2-5 rounds.
       This will give you some time to either regroup or cast spells (since most 
       spells can be cast within 2-5 rounds easily).
       Level 9:
       Lastly, this level gives you the best control spell in the game: Mass 
       Dominate.  This spell is just like its counterpart, Dominate, but it affects
       multiple creatures within a 20-foot radius.  The only drawback to this spell
       is that it takes 9 turns to cast - sometimes that's just too many.  I would 
       suggest that your other members cast a few summons as bait in order to 
       ensure a proper casting while your allies don't lose any HP.  Also, Wail
       of the Banshee and Aegis are two other good spells at this level that you
       might consider choosing.  The two Sorcerers in the party will definitely 
       carry Wail of the Banshee early, so it's up to you to decide if you need
       3 arcane casters to memorize it or only two.  Essentially, it's Finger of
       Death on steroids, affecting everything near the caster (so make sure your
       allies get the hell out of the way - summons are a good spell to keep the
       creatures near you as well as protect you).  You can kill up to 30 creatures
       in a single casting with this spell.
       In the end, you have a very focused and powerful support Wizard for your
       Sorcerers.  To summarize, here is a list of spells you should memorize:
       Level 1: Identify
       Level 2: Mirror Image, See Invisibility(1)
       Level 3: Slow, Skull Trap, Dispel Magic(1)
       Level 4: Malison
       Level 5: Chaos, Lower Resistance(2)
       Level 6: Shades
       Level 7: Finger of Death
       Level 8: Horrid Wilting, Power Word: Blind
       Level 9: Mass Dominate, Wail of the Banshee
       Shades Analysis at Level 17:
       Originally, I thought many of the Wizard's summon spells were pretty crappy
       or at least had annoyances I wasn't willing to deal with.  For instance, you
       are penalized when casting area-effect spells like Delayed Blast Fireball
       with Djinnis or Efreetis (Genies) because they will attack you and you have
       forced to case Magic Circle of Evil before summoning elementals and so on.
       Other spells like Carrion Worms, Invisible Stalker, Summon Shadow and
       Vipergout are just terribly useless.
       But as I decided to try Shades in HoF mode, I was actually excited that I
       unlocked yet another cool secret from the game.  Could it really be true 
       that "Shades" actually gets better than Animate Undead?  
       I had the 3 different Shades go one-one with the 2 types of Undead.  Here is
       a table illustrating who won the battle and how injured they were when the
       battle was over.  
                            vs. G. Boneguard         vs. Zombie Lord
                            -------------------      -------------------
       Red Abishai          Won, Barely Injured      Won, Almost Dead
       Frost Giant          Won, Hurt                Lost, Zombie = Almost Dead
       Greater Werewolf     Won, Badly Wounded       Won, Barely Injured
       To summarize the tests, it was found that the Shades did very well against
       the animated creatures.  Although the shades disappear after several rounds,
       they appear to have more HP, faster attacks and better resistances (the
       Frost Giant was the only one with no resistances, but I would gather that
       it had the most HP).  The Red Abishai and Greater Werewolf have very good
       resistance to slashing, piercing and some elemental attacks as well.
       I can only surmise that Greater Werewolf is the best of the three summons
       while the Red Abishai is the next best, leaving the Frost Giant to
       be the least desirable.
       Since Shades only gets better as your spell caster gains levels, Animate Dead
       no longer is the "ultimate" summoning spell in HoF mode.  The only real
       disadvantage with this spell is that they disappear after 20+ rounds
       (depending on your caster's level), so if you want your summons to stick
       around until you leave the area, Animate Undead is still your best choice.
       I just thought I would share this pretty cool discovery with you.
       Alternative Character Choices:
       3.5 - Human Sorcerer(x)
       I love Sorcerers.  With respect to Wizards, they are far superior in 
       comparison.  You essentially get all the best spells, you can cast them
       more often and you don't have to put up with any of that "Spell failed to
       write into your spell book" crap, which just causes frequent reloads -
       spellcraft just doesn't do its job it seems.  I had a spellcraft of 33 once
       and Minor Mirror Image (a level 1 spell) failed to scribe not once, 
       but twice in a row!  Yuck.
       They also make better party leaders and you don't have to micro-manage the
       spells you memorize.  Most of all, they are simply more fun to play!  You 
       also don't have find scrolls to make use of them either.  This is important 
       because you can cast spells like Horrid Wilting and Finger of Death several 
       areas earlier than if you had to find the correct scrolls for a Wizard.  
       It seems all the Arcane scrolls are placed in areas that are further in the 
       game than when your characters are actually capable of casting them.  All 
       this does is make players frustrated since they can cast level 7 spells but 
       only have level 5 scrolls at best.  The only exceptions to this rule are some
       level 9 spells like Aegis or Wail of the Banshee, but your Wizard won't be 
       able to cast those until Heart of Fury mode anyway (which is the time your
       Sorcerers will be able to cast them at the very beginning of Chapter 1).  
       Hence, the Wizard has no advantages in terms of acquiring spells faster 
       compared to the Wizard in any practical manner in a 6-member party.
       Hence, for all these reasons we decided that two sorcerers would be more 
       than adequate for the UPP.  The first Sorcerer is a human while the 
       second is an Aasimar.  Be sure to look to Section 2.4 of this FAQ to learn 
       more about the tradeoffs between these two characters.
       Note:  The only drawback to playing a Sorcerer, at least in the way that we
              build it, is that you can't get the elemental feats that early (you 
              get them at level 12 instead of level 9).  If you're planning for 
              HoF (which is what we hope you plan to do and is the purpose of this 
              guide), then this doesn't matter in the long run.
       Others will also say that Wizards are more versatile, but in most spell 
       levels, you'll be hard pressed to find more than 5+ spells that are actually
       useful or are even powerful enough to contend with the challenges in HoF 
       mode within any given level.  Even if there are some spells that you think 
       you will miss out on, that is why there are 2 Sorcerers in the UPP - so that
       you can maximize the number of spells available to you.  Given the party's 
       entire context, you'd be pretty hard pressed to make a case that 3 wizards is 
       better than 1 wizard and 2 sorcerers as it is currently.
       Note:  Some people have mentioned that we should take more Wizards instead of
              two Sorcerors, but that's absolutely suicide!  Answer this question to
              yourself: "How many duplicate scrolls have found or purchased to make
              make more than one Wizard worthwhile?"  The answer?  Not very many.
              You'd actually have to go through the game twice in order to have 2
              full spell books, so why bother?  Two Sorcerors will be able to cast
              more spells all the time and you'll also be able to make sure of 3
              arcane casters no matter if you are in normal mode or fighting the
              final battle in HoF mode.  So if your reasoning skills are working,
              you'll know that there is no practical reason for choosing more than
              the Rogue/Wizard in this particular party (or probably any other party
              for that matter).
       Note about Paladin(1 or 2)/Sorcerer(x) combination:
       Many players realize that the Paladin's prime ability score is the same as
       the Sorcerers, so they think, "How can we multiclass these two classes
       together to get an advantage".  After looking at the Paladin's lists of
       innate abilities, it should be fairly obvious that Divine Grace would improve
       the Sorcerers will, reflex and fortitude saves greatly - but at what cost?
       Many players take the Paladin level early without actually realizing how
       much it cripples your Sorcerer in the long term.  One of the disadvantages
       Sorcerers have to Wizards is that they access the next arcane spell level 
       one class level behind.  This means that if you had a Sorcerer and a 
       Wizard using the same stats and race side-by-side, the Wizard could, for
       example, have access to "Horrid Wilting" one level before the Sorcerer. 
       Normally, this isn't a huge problem - we accept this to get the benefits of
       the Sorcerer that we deem to be more advantageous to us.  
       Now, what happens when we add-in an Aasimar?  Now our spells become 2 levels
       behind the common Wizard.  What about throwing in a level of Paladin? - Now
       we are 3 levels behind.  I really hope that you can start to see where this 
       going (and that isn't going up-hill :P)
       When building a Sorcerer, you really have to ask yourself, "What the hell is
       the point?"  Why is it important that we get Horrid Wilting, Finger of 
       Death, Delayed Blast Fireball and all the other goodies as quickly as 
       possible and with as much *variety* as possible?  The answer to these 
       questions is simply this: Because that makes our Sorcerer’s STRONG, and 
       strong IS NOT some early saving throw bonuses.  What good is a character who
       can save against anything but can't even damage the enemy?  I guess the 
       principle you have to internalize is: "Offense is the Best Defense", because 
       that is so true with the Sorcerer.  As long as you stick to the core 
       principles when building this class, you really can't go wrong.
       However, looking back at Divine Grace, it really would be nice if we could
       take advantage of it somehow.  Now, you might be saying to yourself, "But I 
       thought you just told me NOT to multiclass to a Paladin?!" - Well, that's 
       partial correct.  When building your Sorcerer, if you really want to take 
       advantage of Divine Grace, wait until Sorcerer(21) where you will have a 
       very complete spell book at your disposal.  At this point in the game, you 
       won't be looking forward to the "next killer spell" because you already have 
       them all more-or-less.  At this point, you should multiclass to Paladin at 
       effective character level 22.
       When you really think about it, this is a smart move.  By level 22, you are
       well deep into HoF mode where saving throws are much more important than
       at levels 1 through 3 for example.  By taking the Paladin level later, you
       give your Sorcerer the benefits when they really need them while ensuring
       your character develops quickly.  If you can't live without the saving throw
       bonuses that sit on characters usually in the back row during most of normal 
       mode, then you might want to adjust your play style first :)  Make sure you 
       keep a few copies of Chaotic Commands ready to act as your temporary 
       "Divine Grace".  This is just sound strategy to begin with.
       Key Note: Whatever you do, make sure you do not take more than one Paladin 
                 level as it will probably set you back more than it will help.  
                 The Aura of Courage - although a nifty ability - isn't really 
                 needed since your characters should be strong enough to resist fear
                 anyway.  Resist the temptation and steer back to Sorcerer levels 
                 the rest of the way.
       About this Sorcerer:
       There isn't much difference between the two Sorcerers’s on the surface.  The
       main focus of these classes is one-to-one and one-to-many combat with the 
       essential defensive spells (Improve Invisibility, Mirror Image, and
       Stoneskin) as well as a few utility spells thrown in for good measure.  
       We chosen two Sorcerers for the sheer numbers of spells obtained during the
       game as well as having the ability to specialize in different schools and
       elements at the same time.  The Human Sorcerer focuses more on Lightning and
       Fire evocation spells while the Aasimar (to be discussed next) takes up on
       Acid and Fire evocation spells.  Both characters will then broaden out into
       other areas as they level, but these spells will be there main role for a
       majority of the game in both normal and Heart of Fury mode.
       The typical strategy for the Sorcerer is to destroy everything and then some.
       You should constantly be using spells to damage or weaken the enemy.  Before
       a fight, you'll use summons and buffs to strengthen your chances to win.  
       It's really as simple as that and it's one of the most effective strategies
       in the game, period (especially in HoF mode).
       Let's see how we allocate this character's ability points.
       Str: 9
       Dex: 18 
       Con: 18 
       Int: 3 
       Wis: 10 
       Cha: 18 
       First off, Sorcerer’s don't need many skills - only two in fact.  Since we
       are a Human, we can afford to drop the Intelligence of the Sorcerer to 3 to
       take advantage of the human's 2 skills points as discussed in the section,
       "Enter the Humans".
       The most important ability scores for a Sorcerer are:
       a) Charisma: Quite obvious I would think, as it provides bonus spells and
                    saving throw DC
       b) Dexterity: Improves your AC, complements Mirror Image and Improved 
                     Invisibility, increases your Base attack bonus with ranged
                     weapons and increases your reflex saves (which are weak for 
                     the Sorcerer class).
       c) Constitution: To get as many hit points as possible, be resistant to enemy
                        Finger of Death, Wail of the Banshee, and so on, and to
                        increase your Concentration score.
       A Strength of 9 is adequate since this character won't be engaged into melee
       battles.  Even with ranged weapons, you'll receive a -1 to your total damage,
       so it's not so bad - you should be casting spells most of the time anyway 
       since even the low level ones will do more damage then your bolts/bullets
       will most of the time.  Also, you should use Mordenkainen's Sword in the
       event that you cannot use other spells.  A strength of 9 also allows your
       Cleric to cast Bull's Strength to better effect.  This isn't an
       earth-shattering advantage, but half the time you'll get another +1 modifier
       because your Strength is 9 rather than 8, so you might as well take it.
       We decided to use a Wisdom value of 10 since the Sorcerer’s natural Will
       Saves are quite good out of the box.  We basically converted these points
       into Dexterity since it improved many more aspects of the character using
       a single ability score.
       As your character levels up, it's important to increase your Charisma all the
       way.  This only makes sense that you should improve the number of bonus
       spells as much as you can, because that is what really makes this class
       shine.  The extra DC is very helpful for ensuring those Wail of the Banshees
       and Finger of Deaths work correctly.
       Upgrading your Charisma is also even more important since I've only found 
       one +1 Charisma item and one +2 charisma item in the game, so don't expect
       any more massive Charisma bonuses.  There are also many other excellent
       robes, bracers, rings, necklaces, etc. that you will want to wear as well,
       so sometimes you'll have to choose between a Charisma bonus and some other
       cool stuff.
       Character Development:
       Skills: Concentration and Spellcraft (Spirit of Flame, etc) 
       Feat: Sorcerer(1): Spell Focus, Evocation,
                          Spell Focus, Evocation (Greater)
             Sorcerer(3): Combat Casting
             Sorcerer(6): Spell Focus, Necromancy
             Sorcerer(9): Spell Focus, Necromancy (Greater)
             Sorcerer(12): Spirit of the Flame
             Sorcerer(15): Scion of Storms
             Sorcerer(18): Spell Penetration
             Sorcerer(21): Spell Penetration (Greater)
             Sorcerer(24): Dash
             Sorcerer(27): Aegis of Rime
             Sorcerer(30): Aqua Mortis
       Since Sorcerers don't really get in the thick of battle, many people think
       Combat Casting is a poor feat to take - I seriously disagree.  There are
       times where the AI will specifically target your spell casters - so much 
       that they want to ensure your precious spells will fail.  Now, I know there
       are Improved Invisibility and Mirror Image to help in this area, but the
       truth is that HoF creatures strike 80% of the time regardless of what your 
       AC is.  Sure enough, your duplicates will dissipate in a matter of seconds
       and your Sorcerer will die after a few hits - or at the very most, you'll 
       get away without casting your important spell.
       Normally, this is a dead situation but if you are casting Wail of the Banshee 
       for instance, you will really want that spell to succeed seeing as it will
       destroy most of the immediate threats around you and will give you some 
       valuable time to re-cast Mirror Image and seek out a cleric for healing.
       Other times, you'll actually want to get around a group of enemies to cast
       Wail of the Banshee or Horrid's Wilting for maximum effectiveness (as
       discussed in the strategy section).  Hence, Combat Casting is essential
       for a Sorcerer’s survival, and more importantly, gives you some offensive
       strategies that will really boost the power of your group.
       Since this Sorcerer is going to use a lot of evocation spells, it only makes
       sense that we would want to improve them with the Spell Focus, Evocation
       feats.  You can cast many evocation spells at every spell level basically,
       so it's important to acquire these feats early.
       The Spell Focus, Necromancy feats are also essential to take since it will
       improve your Finger of Death, Horrid's Wilting and Wail of the Banshee 
       saving throw DC tremendously.  Although you don't have many lower-level
       spells to take advantage of these feats, it's best to get them early since
       you can't acquire the elemental resistance/damage bonus feats until level 12
       unfortunately (explanation for this is in the "Morninglord of Lathander"
       Now that you've reached level 12, you should acquire the elemental-based
       feats that help improve your spell list the most.  Since we stated earlier
       that this Sorcerer uses Fire and Lightning magic, we'll pick up the Spirit 
       of the Flame and Scion of Storms feats, respectably.
       At this point, there aren’t a lot of good feats to take.  Spell Penetration
       was the next on my list as magic resistant creatures are more deadly in
       HoF mode, so be sure to pick those.  Dash is helpful when you cast a 
       critical spell but have many enemies grouping on you - you'll be able to get
       away quicker and outrun them.  I chose Aegis of Rime and Aqua Mortis for the
       resistance bonuses and nothing more really.
       That's pretty much for feats; Sorcerers really aren't that complex to build.
       Weapon Preferences:
       Crossbows and Missile Weapons
       Spell Selection:
       Here is a complex spell list that this Sorcerer should take as he levels.
       The spells are in the order that he should take them.  I also listed the
       spells that benefit from Spirit of the Flame and Scion of Storms, so you have
       a good idea which spells you'll want to take advantage of.  After the spell
       list, I'll take a look at the various reasons why certain spells were not
       acquired and will look into some spell strategies to help you play this
       character effectively.
       Note:  If you print anything at all from this FAQ, I would (at the very
              least) print out the spell lists for both Sorcerers as you will
              constantly be referring to them throughout the game and these lists
              are not very easy to memorize (unless you took some memory programs
              like I have :P).
       Level 1 
       Magic Missile 
       Chromatic Orb 
       Burning Hands                   (Spirit of Flame)
       Ice Dagger
       Charm Person
       Ray of Enfeeblement 
       Level 2 
       Mirror Image 
       Aganazzar's Scorcher            (Spirit of Flame)
       Protection from Arrows
       Melf's Acid Arrow
       Cat's Grace
       Level 3 
       Flame Arrow                     (Spirit of Flame)
       Lightning Bolt                  (Scion of Storms)
       Fireball                        (Spirit of Flame)
       Invisibility Sphere
       Skull Trap 
       Lance of Disruption 
       Dispel Magic 
       Level 4 
       Improved Invisibility 
       Mordenkainen's Force Missiles
       Emotion: Hope
       Fireshield (Red)                (Spirit of Flame)
       Level 5 
       Sunfire                         (Spirit of Flame)
       Animate Dead 
       Cone of Cold
       Ball Lightning                  (Scion of Storms)
       Lower Resistance
       Level 6 
       Chain Lightning                 (Scion of Storms)
       Mass Haste 
       Globe of Invulnerability
       Level 7 
       Mordenkainen's Sword 
       Finger of Death 
       Delayed Blast Fireball          (Spirit of Flame)
       Mass Invisibility
       Seven Eyes 
       Level 8 
       Horrid Wilting 
       Symbol of Hopelessness
       Summon Fiend
       Power Word: Blind
       Level 9
       Wail of the Banshee
       Mass Dominate
       Meteor Swarm                    (Spirit of Flame)
       Some Common Explanations:
       This section won't cover everything because there are just so many spells
       to comment on.  I'm going to talk about a few spells I took and why.  That
       doesn't mean these spells are better than the ones that weren't mentioned,
       it just means I had questions about these picks in the past and would like 
       to explain myself to avoid confusion.
       Since our caster is a Necromancy expert, I figured Horror might be a good
       spell to pick for crowd control reasons and to try to produce a tactical
       advantage in a quick and cheap manner.
       I found lower spells like Grease, Charm Person, etc. can be taken by your
       The Rogue/Conjurer if you really want them, since there is no penalty for
       Wizards to take these spells early.  The Sorcerors on the other hand have
       to live with these decisions through HoF mode, so it was important to choose
       the spells wisely.   There is no need to plague your Sorcerer with these
       spells over others like Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb, etc., which are helpful
       early on and throughout most of the game.
       The Sorcerors didn't focus much on Illusion spells (Invisibilty spells), 
       but we did take a few.  Improved Invisibility is really the only one worth
       taking, and even that spell isn't as useful as Stoneskin is during normal
       Since we had a character that maxed out Knowledge (Arcana), we had no need
       to go for the Idenfity Spell - The Wizard can take care of that if the skill
       isn't high enough anyway.  The Sleep spell is actually really good in the
       first few chapters of the game, but it's definately not a HoF spell.  Thus,
       it's best to memorize this spell on the Rogue/Conjurer (once again) so you
       aren't penalized for taking it.
       As for level 2 spells, someone said that taking Snilloc’s Snowswarm is a
       "great" choice because it's a "poor man's fireball".  Well, we concentrated
       on taking spells that actually work well in later parts of the game and this
       isn't one of them.  Fireball will always do more damage and it works in
       unison with the Spirit of Flame feat.
       As for level 8 spells, we focused on the most devastating ones while keeping
       to the essentials (we only have 4 picks here).  Most of the Symbols are not
       that helpful in HoF mode, so we only chose Symbol of Hopelessness, which has
       the best one.  In normol mode, you can have your Clerics take a few of the
       other ones if you find them important to your strategy.
       Since creatures in HoF mode have extremely high HPs (like 300+), all the
       Power Word: XYZ affects only affect 1 or maybe 2 creatures at the most.  
       Sometimes it won't affect any of them.  You are better off using Finger of
       Death or Disintegrate.
       In level 9, I thought Black Blade of Disaster was a huge ripoff.  Compared
       to Wail of the Banshee, I'd really like to know how this spell found its
       way into Level 9.  It's not even as good as Mordakanen's Sword and the
       Disintegrate effect is at +4?  Only really weak enemies would actually die
       from this effect and Wail of the Banshee can easily take them out.
       Some say that Fiery Cloud is an excellent choice because it is a fire-based
       spell (and I guess that means we are supposed to take "all" fire-based
       spells).   I found that this spell is very slow because it only damages 
       10-20 hit points to each member in a group every round.  Granted that over
       time, this could add up to 1000 hit points in total damage to a group of
       creatures, it needs one minute to do its magic and doesn't even total up to
       150 damage on a single creature.  This means it probably won't kill anything.
       Even worse, it affects your own party members as well.  This is just a
       terrible spell.  I'd rather cast a Delayed Blast Fireball and get 80-90
       damage per enemy right after the spell is triggered - it's just more
       Using Stoneskin:
       Probably the most frequent tactic with this character, as well as the Aasimar
       Sorcerer, is to buff your team with Stoneskin and Improve Invisibility.  In
       normal mode up until chapter 5 or 6, Stoneskin is really the 'broke' spell.
       Most enemies don't deal more than 10 damage per attack, so your melee
       combatants will be virtually immune or resistant to a variety of attacks.
       Remember, until 150 damage is actually taken by your character, you'll have
       Stoneskin for many minutes.  With 10/+5 damage reduction, it is doubtful that
       you will receive 150 damage in several battles.  I would suggest that you 
       put Stoneskin on your first 3 characters, since they will be in the fray for
       a majority of the game.
       Improved Invisibility:
       In HoF mode, Stoneskin loses its power since most enemies will deal 30+
       damage at a time.  Since Stoneskin only resists a total of 150 damage,
       it's not going to protect you before you probably die.  Hence Improved
       Invisibility + Stoneskin are a better combination.  This at least makes
       enemy attacks outright fail and you'll have enough copies memorized
       to put 3 copies of Stoneskin and Improved Invisibility on all your melee
       warriors (of course, melee isn't so frequently anymore, but you will need
       to melee every now and then).
       Note: Make sure that when you apply buffs to a character, you cast Improved
             Invisibility last.  This is because your spell casters cannot target
             invisible characters.  Only spells like Mirror Image that the caster
             doesn't target himself continue to work.
       Mirror Image Strategies:
       Another thing to keep in mind is that you should cast Mirror Image on your
       caster at all times, no matter if you are in Chapter 1 in normal mode or
       at the end of the game in HoF mode.  This spell will make 8 duplicates of
       yourself.  In order for the enemy to hit you, they must first 'kill' the
       8 duplicates (each image only takes one attack or spell to destroy it).
       The advantages of this are really compelling - this is not just a simple
       defense spell (although it obviously is).  This spell allows you to go
       into the heat of battle, cast a spell and then get the hell out of there
       without being hit.  Once the spell is cast and you see that most of your
       images are gone, you can simply cast it again.  Since the casting time is
       extremely low, you'll be up to full defenses immediately.
       Sorcerer’s Twiddling His Thumbs:
       Another commonly used strategy is to use spells like Mordenkainen's Sword,
       Chain Lightning and Finger of Death in areas where party unfriendly spells
       are not strategically viable.  You should probably use Mordenkainen's Sword
       as your primary weapon instead of your ranged weapon.  Even with the best
       ranged weapon and +5 bolts/bullets/arrows, Mordenkainen's Sword will always
       do more damage and will hit more frequently.  Since the sword is completely
       virtual, your Sorcerer can safely stand out of harms way.  Even with 2 or 3
       attacks per round, this spell is very deadly at 19-27 damage per attack and
       the spell lasts for a good length of time.  
       Note: Be sure to re-equip your ranged bolts/bullets/arrows since the engine
             un-equips them for some reason.
       Wail of the Banshee Strategies:
       Probably the best strategy for both Sorcerers is to cast Stoneskin, Mirror 
       Image and Improved Invisibility and walk in to a new area where they are 
       20+ enemies.  It's best to do this with a group of summons - treat it as you
       are there "invisible" commander if you will.  Once all the 20 enemies are
       focused on your summons, cast Wail of the Banshee and watch the fun begin!
       Conveniently, the undead will not be affected and will be there to 
       a) protect you against the creatures that saved the Wail
       b) kill off any remaining creatures
       At this point (if it is safe) you can send in the remaining party members 
       to clean up.  You can beat most of the chapters using this strategy in HoF
       mode (since you acquire Wail of the Banshee on both of your Sorcerers in
       Chapter 1.  As you will see, Wail of the Banshee is probably the best spell
       in the game and very few people resist it.  If only there was a spell to
       reduce fortitude saves...
       Speaking of fortitude saves, many creatures in HoF mode won't be killable
       in HoF mode.  This is because they have very high Constitution scores.  Here
       is a list of creatures divided by chapter to help you plan ahead (so that 
       you try to cast Wail of the Banshee and get poor results):
       Chapter 1: Troll, Hardened Fire Troll, Hardened Ice Troll, 
                  Half-Goblin Hordling, Worg Rider Captain 
       Chapter 2: 
       Chapter 3: 
       Chapter 4: 
       Chapter 5: 
       Chapter 6: 
       * If you have information to add in this section, please go to the contact
         information section and email me your findings as well!  I would really
         like someone to go through the entire game and cast Wail of the Banshee 
         and come up with a detailed list since I simply don't have the time. 
         Everyone will love you for it! =)
       Note: Not all spell strategies are listed here, just the most important ones.
             If you would like to submit a "HoF-worthy" strategy with a Sorcerer
             like this, email it to me and I'll put it here or in the Aasimar
       Alternative Character Choices:
       3.6 - Aasimar Sorcerer(x)
       After inspecting the characters so far, we haven't come across one that is 
       both smart and charismatic, making a perfect party leader.  Our last slot 
       is devoted to this purpose, as well as making another capable Sorcerer (since
       the Charisma benefits of the Sorcerer overlap nicely with the leadership
       Note: This section is going to be short since many of the character 
             strategies and reasoning from the Human Sorcerer apply to the Aasimar
             as well.  If you want Aasimar specific information, it'll be here, but
             all the generic Sorcerer information is in the previous section.
       With the Aasimaar Sorcerer, we also focus on evocation spells since they are
       simply the best spells for a large chunk of the game.  Our prime schools will
       be fire (since they are always useless, are not resisted very often and occur
       more than any other element) as well as Acid spells (which are useful troll,
       zombie, etc. killers and have nice area affect spells).
       Str 8
       Dex 8 
       Con 18 
       Int 18 
       Wis 8 
       Cha 20 
       In order to fit in all the Sorcerer’s required skills as well as dialog
       skills, we had to pump the Intelligence to 18.  This caused some sacrifices
       to be made in Dexterity and Wisdom, both being at 8.
       This causes a few problems.  One is that you must keep this sorcerer away
       from the battle if you can.  Because of the low Dexterity, lack of armor and
       naturally low hit points of the Sorcerer class (and being one level behind),
       this character is vulnerable until you acquire spells like Mirror Image,
       Stoneskin and Improved Invisibility.  Once the character gains several
       levels, these disadvantages will soon fade away.
       It could be possible to create a character with less Intelligence and when
       choosing skill points, cycle and add ranks to the dialog skills in the same
       the Rogue(1)/Wizard(x) does with thief skills, but I'm not entirely sure how
       this will affect bonus quests since I haven't took the time to compare my 
       current skills the with the ones required for each important conversation in
       the game.
       In any case, we do have 20 Charisma to help with these dialog skills too, so
       if we get some data we might be able to lower Intelligence and add some much
       needed Dexterity.  On the plus side, 20 Charisma will make this Sorcerer a
       force to be reckoned with at high levels.  Spells like Wail of the Banshee
       will be far more successful in comparison to the Human Sorcerer since the 
       Saving Throw DC will be at a +2 advantage.  This is important because 
       Charisma boosting items are rare in the game and are sometimes inconvenient
       to use.
       A low Strength doesn't bother this character and you can even stuff all the
       quest specific items on her without having problems with weight if you want
       When you level up, I would put every single bonus ability point into
       Charisma, to further enhance the number of your spells and Saving Throw DC.
       This is the only way to take advantage of the +1 Charisma modifier that you
       can get from your Aasimar race.  This is really what makes this character
       'tick' and is the sole reason why we included her.
       Character Development:
       Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Concentration
       With 18 Intelligence, you should have enough to max out 4 out of the 5 
       skills that are required for this character.  Intimidate is the only skill
       that you can't max-out completely since it's a cross-class skill.  Thus,
       you can only put a rank in it every two levels.  This has lead me to select
       Bullheaded at level 1 to offset this disadvantage.  Again, if it can be 
       proven that the extra Intimidate score has no effect on dialog choices (i.e.
       a non-Bullheaded version could receive the same dialog options), then we
       would remove this feat entirely.
       Dragon's Eye Quest:
       There is a quest in Dragon's Eye that forces you to have a semi-high
       Intimidate skill since we sure don't have 15 points in the Alchemy skill 
       on any of these characters =)  Intimidate has many other uses in the game as 
       well during the game, so be sure to use it to get those advantages.
       Let's take a look at this character's feats:
       Feats: Sorcerer(1): Bullheaded
              Sorcerer(3): Spell Focus: Evocation
              Sorcerer(6): Spell Focus: Evocation (Greater)
              Sorcerer(9): Spirit of Flame
              Sorcerer(12): Spell Focus: Necromancy
              Sorcerer(15): Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
              Sorcerer(18): Aqua Mortis
              Sorcerer(21): Spell Penetration
              Sorcerer(24): Spell Penetration (Greater)
              Sorcerer(27): Aegis of Rime
              Sorcerer(30): Lightning Reflexes
       As you can see, but not taking human, you set your feats development back 3
       levels and with the Bullheaded feat, you get set back even further.  This
       makes initial development frustration, but by level 15 you will be in a
       nice position.
       I think Bullheaded is an important feat because it puts out will saves back
       to a standard value that we would normally have with a Wisdom score of 10.
       This is also helpful since intimidate is a cross-class skill, so +2 in 
       intimidate helps and this is technically 4 skill points.  With +5 to all
       negotiation skills, you'll have a +3 advantage in Intimidate over a Human 
       Sorcerer with 18 Charisma and no Bullheaded feat.
       Note: Bullheaded is supposed to work for Humans and Dwarves, but the Rule
             Engine allows the Aasimar to take it as well.  I guess it thinks that
             an Aasimar is Human too.  Regardless, it works so I'm not complaining.
       Like the Human Sorcerer, we take feats Spell Focus: Evocation, Spell Focus:
       Necromancy, Spirit of the Flame, Aqua Mortis, Aegis of Rime, and Spell
       Penetration for all the same reasons.
       For the last feat, I selected Lightning Reflexes since the counterbalance the
       terrible reflex saves this character has.
       Weapon Preferences:
       Crossbows or Missile Weapons
       Spell Selection:
       Level 1 
       Magic Missile 
       Chromatic Orb 
       Burning Hands                  (Spirit of Flame)
       Ice Dagger
       Protection from Petrify
       Level 2 
       Mirror Image 
       Melf’s Acid Arrow              (Aqua Mortis)
       Eagle’s Splendor 
       Aganazzers’s Scorcher          (Spirit of Flame)
       Snilloc’s Snowswarm
       Level 3 
       Fireball                       (Spirit of Flame)
       Lance of Disruption 
       Skull Trap 
       Flame Arrow                    (Spirit of Flame)
       Dispel Magic 
       Level 4 
       Improved Invisibility
       Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles 
       Fireshield (Red)               (Spirit of Flame)
       Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere 
       Vitriolic Sphere               (Aqua Mortis)
       Level 5 
       Sunfire                        (Spirit of Flame)
       Cone of Cold                   (Aegis of Rime)
       Lower Resistance 
       Animate Dead 
       Level 6 
       Disintegrate                   (Spirit of Flame)
       Acid Storm                     (Aqua Mortis)
       Globe of Invulnerability
       Acid Fog                       (Aqua Mortis)
       Power Word: Silence 
       Level 7 
       Finger of Death
       Delayed Blast Fireball         (Spirit of Flame)
       Mordenkainen's Sword 
       Prismatic Spray 
       Level 8 
       Horrid Wilting 
       Summon Fiend
       Symbol of Hopelessness 
       Power Word: Blind
       Level 9
       Meteor Swarm                   (Spirit of Flame)
       Wail of the Banshee
       Mass Dominate
       Alternative Character Choices:
       4. Last Words
       Well, I hope you enjoyed reading the FAQ and learned something from it.  I
       enjoyed poking away at the secrets of the game, trying to find best builds
       myself as well and writing this FAQ was a good way to assert my knowledge 
       and help people who don't have time to do all the work we did.
       4.1 - Contact Info
       If you have any suggestions to improve or fix the content in the FAQ, please
       contact me (Ken Egervari) and I'll add them to the next version.  I will, of 
       course, give you full credit for your addition, and be eternally grateful 
       to you (as well as the other readers that benefit from your information).
       If you are going to email me about this game, please put 
       "Icewind Dale II: UPP" as your email subject along with the version number 
       of the FAQ that you are looking at.  If you don't do this, I might not
       reply seeing as you didn't take the time to respect the wishes of the
       If you ask me generic questions about the game, I may or may not respond.
       I only have so much free time and I obviously can't respond to everything.
       I really tried to convert my knowledge about this game into the written 
       work that you see here, so if it concerns the UPP, it's probably here 
       As a last thought, please read this FAQ in its entirety before you ask
       questions.  I've received questions like:
       * Why don't you use 4 levels of fighter on your Battleguard of Tempus? 
         That's not very ultimate (this was explained specifically in the FAQ)
       * Why is there no ranged specialist?  You should really consider 
         abc(4)/xyz(x)! (this is strange because there actually is a ranged
       * What is min-maxing? (should probably learn D&D rules first)
       * You should use a Druid instead of a Cleric, it's better! I can't believe
         you didn't know this for being a FAQ writer (with no explanation as to
         why this is true while I had an entire section illustration my entire view)
       ... and so on and so on.
       All these questions were answered in the FAQ, so be sure to read the ENTIRE
       thing before you contact me.  I can't stress this enough.  I spent a lot of
       time making your life easier, I would only ask that you help me make mine
       a little better to.
       Email addresses:
       Here is a list of people and email addresses that made the FAQ possible.  If
       you are one of these contributors, send me a private message through the BIS
       forums and I'll add you here if you wish it.
       Ken J. Egervari (Egervari) - ken@extremephp.org
       High Cleric                - ariesburns@hotmail.com
       UnDyMaKinG                 - martin_a_petersen@yahoo.dk
       Chris Ellis (Dark Meadows) - rad_jr@hotmail.com
       4.2 - Copyright Info
       This Document is Copyright 2002 by Ken J. Egervari.
       Icewind Dale II and all related marks are copyrighted and trademarked by 
       their respective owners.  I had nothing to do with the development of
       the game and I am not affiliated with them in any way.
       This FAQ may be posted on any site so long as NOTHING IS CHANGED in part
       or in total AND you EMAIL ME telling me that you are posting it.  You may 
       not charge for, or in any way profit from this FAQ.  If you would like to 
       me write articles and FAQs for you, email me and we can work something 
       You are welcome to download the FAQ, print it out and even give it out to 
       friends (although I'd prefer that you give them the proper gamefaqs.com URL).
       4.3 - Coming Soon
       Expect future updates to this FAQ as people, like yourself, contribute new
       ideas and material.

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