Bioware Archive V2 > Shadows of Undrentide Official Campaign

Should I Play a Ranger or Shifter?

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               I've never finished SotU and want to do it now, but can't decide between two classes.
1) I love playing elven rangers, and it seems the character will be able to shine in SotU since there's a fair amount of wilderness exploration. Plus, the henchmen don't seem very meaty, and I've played rangers that did well with a sorceror, rogue, or bard companion.
My only issue is rangers have NO social skills, which bothers me since I play for RP and not combat.
2) I've always wanted to try a Half-Elf Shifter. I can play rangers in many other games, but can only play a shifter here. It's going to be difficult though since the class is needlessly complicated and glitchy. On the other hand, there's a form for every combat situation and I can gain new abilities for each form. (Spells, poison, fire damage, natural ranged weapons, etc.) On the other hand, they all have different strengths and weaknesses, and I'll need a list to remember everything.
On the other hand, Shifter start off as druids, who can learn SOME social skills (diplomacy), which would be better for RP.
What do you think?




               Shifters are pretty weak in general (by default) except for very low magic modules -- they don't really have a form for every combat situation, more like they sometimes have a form that makes you immune to a particular type of attack.
However, being a Druid/Shifter will give you access to Persuade.  But only Persuade.
On the flip side, you could do something like a Ranger/Ranger hybrid (though an elf would get an XP penalty unless you kept the levels even) or a Ranger/Purple Dragon Knight hyrbid (avoids the XP penalty) so you could do Persuade dumps every few levels.
So I suppose the question is, how important is being able to Persuade people for RP?  Is it worth the cost of giving up the RP of a pure ranger (better tracking skills, better animal companion)?




               I don't know, you tell me. Are there many situations where social skills would come in handy?
For example, near the start of Act 2 of Neverwinter Nights 2, you get framed for the slaughter of a village and need to gather evidence in your defense, then testify on your behalf in court. Without the social skills, gathering witness testimony and refuting the prosecutor is difficult/not going to happen. There are many other random encounters in the game where having extra social skills of any kind (deplomacy, bluff, taunt, etc.) can help spruce up conversations and encounters with various enemies. It's not required by any means, but it can make it that much more fun, open up minor quests, gain more loot, etc.
Granted, I know there's probably nothing that elaborate in SotU and HotU, but if there are conversations, encounters, quests, etc. where having some points in charisma (at least 12) and at least one social skill would make it that much better, I would hate to miss out by being the socially awkward ranger.




               I don't think there's anything where actual Charisma matters, but there are a few points where having Persuade would make something better outside of simply getting an extra reward.
It's never a problem for the overall plot, though, that would simply be unfair (since it would leave Barbarians/Fighters/Rangers/Sorcerers/Wizards out in the cold which is nearly half of the base classes).  It's also possible to find situations where having Persuade doesn't help -- you need Intimidate or Bluff.  So if you're seriously worried about missing out on that stuff then you'd need a class that has all three social skills as class skills.
I'd simply suggest you play the class that appeals to you more.




I'm not sure. I've always loved playing rangers, but on the other hand I've always been interested in trying out a shifter because I love the idea of someone who has no form to call their own, who feel a stronger sense of "self" the more they shift because their soul remains constant underneath.
Meh, I might end up just playing a ranger, then maybe again as a shifter if I have another playthrough in me.




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