Author Topic: Deekin - bard or RDD?  (Read 1987 times)

Legacy_NRieh

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« on: October 28, 2013, 12:16:33 pm »


                I'm playing through NWN addons for the first time.
My char is a lv13 half-elf rogue (double weapon combat), and I can't make up my mind about what to spec Deekin into. Duriing SoU I used him as a crossbow bard, and it worked well. I think I like him to be a ranged buffer-supporter-controller. I did not play RDD myself, but it looks more like a direct damage-combat class, right?  
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 06:21:43 pm »


               Deekin can be a somewhat more effective melee character with those RDD levels, but many people preter him in bard mode, doing ranged damage and helping the party with spells and his bard song.

Note that HotU allows your to equip Deekin with decent gear, including daggers and maces that you can upgrade at the smithy. However, I don't recall that Deekin ever takes many useful combat feats, so he might be stuck with WF: Light Crossbow, even if you tell him to go RDD. As I recall, the game chooses crappy feats for Deekin (and maybe all the henchies). Does he even take Curse Song? I recall that he picked some marginal feats even at epic levels.

At first glance, it may seem that Deekin would be a better tank with more RDD levels, since he will gain more HP and his AC will continue to improve with RDD levels. And, having a tank would be a nice benefit to your toon as a sneaker. However, a stronger bard song is likely to overshadow any RDD benefits after RDD level 10. I suspect that there may be a sweet spot for his level split, where he gets a strong bard song (maybe bard level 16) and still benefits from his draconic armor.

The one thing I would suggest for Deekin is that you micromanage his level advancement so that ends up at either 8 bard / 12 RDD or 12 bard / 8 RDD at character level 20. If you don't do that, he can end up 2 AB lower as the game will split his levels poorly.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 06:47:55 pm »


               RDD boosts Deekin's melee combat ability.  He can actually wind up being very useful in melee (more useful than ranged) due to the more powerful melee weapon enhancements.

But yes, the game gives horrible feats in general -- so you want to compensate.

Note that you cannot get him to be 8 bard/12 RDD since you can't go past 10 RDD pre-epic.  Ideally you'd get him to 12 bard/8 RDD but otherwise get him to 16 bard/4 RDD.  At that point have him go RDD until level 10 then have him switch back to bard.

This will boost his base strength up to 14 -- then give him a shield, 1H weapon, and strength items and you have a moderately effective melee character with a bard song buff.

Note: he'll only wind up 1 AB lower if the game splits his levels poorly.  15 BAB is his ideal but something like a 10/10 split or 9/11 or whatever gives 14 BAB.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 09:12:25 pm »


               If you want a hard fight try using one of the toons that come with the game, or even better let the game level you up.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Shadooow

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 09:14:59 pm »


               

MrZork wrote...

Does he even take Curse Song? I recall that he picked some
marginal feats even at epic levels.

Yes he gets it but vanilla AI is unable to use it. I dont know if Tony K allows this but Community Patch does...
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 09:30:43 pm »


               

Westan Willows wrote...

If you want a hard fight try using one of the toons that come with the game, or even better let the game level you up.


Interestingly enough if you go pure fighter the default build isn't too terrible for a default fighter.  Basically every other class is awful, though.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_NRieh

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 09:37:07 pm »


               

Does he even take Curse Song?

Had never seen him using one in Sou ( ended it with level 13 char, and did not check for it in HotU).

Thanks for the  advice, I don't feel like taking him into melee or tanking, actually. AC boost looks good, but I'd rather have stronger bard song. Shame we had no DAO-style AI control macros back then...*sigh*. I think I'll just let him be my faithful bard. He's good at it. ))
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Nrieh, 28 octobre 2013 - 09:37 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 09:37:39 pm »


               I have let to see a henchman use knockdown or any other feat. Note. I have had it use against me.
I let Deekin do his thing.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 09:52:46 pm »


               His Bard Song won't really improve after level 16 -- and at that point he won't even have enough Perform skill to get the full powered song.

Do what you'd like but he's useless with a crossbow but mildly useful with a dagger and shield.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_HipMaestro

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 01:06:39 am »


               My choice: A puny Bard.

Deekin won't use Curse Song with vanilla even if the level-up package assigns it to him (which it never has for me).

His starting class spread determines the level-up sequence.  If he has at least one RDD level when you start HotU, the feat choices will be different than as a pure bard.  One way (can't remember which is which anymore... sry), he'll eventually get Lasting Inspiration. That feat makes a big difference, especially for the wild-magic or dead-magic areas that seem to have no effect on bard song boosts (possibly a bug?...dunno).  If he takes Lingering Song for the extra 5 rounds, he won't get Lasting Inspiration (and vice versa).  At least, that's been my experience.  His bard song 16 is fine.  It gives the maximum boost possible to AB, damage & AC.  Higher songs are just +HPs & +skills. 

If you have enough gold and the applicable weapon proficiency to craft him a +10 weapon, you may have some success with him in melee, even without RDD levels.  Problem is, his weapon focus is in light xbow so he's already handicapped a bit with any other weapon.  But I've found he still needs to be micromanaged much more in melee to the point of distraction. You may have better luck handling his melee habits or speak reptile better than me.

Where Deekin's song really shines (IMO) is in the massive war battles at the end of Ch 2, especially if he has the 5-hour song by then. Your toon, your henchies and most of the army will gain some power quickly. I also like his skill boosts for locks, traps, searching... skills that I may not have invested heavily into.  

My strategy with Deekin has always been the same.  Give him any range weapon (his xbow is as good as anything) and set him to avoid spellcasting.  If allowed to cast spells, he'll spam that Iron Horn (or whatever that blasted spell is), that will knock your own toon prone in the middle of combat if you are near his target and do not have high Fort.  If you force him to expend his spells as pre-buffs, you can avoid most any errant spells like that (just like any other spell caster hench).  If you give him offensive wands, he'll spam them until they are used up.

Once he gets Lasting Inspiration, I let him train in RDD for the last few levels since he already has most all of his arcane buff spells and can help lug around loot better. '<img'>
               
               

               


                     Modifié par HipMaestro, 29 octobre 2013 - 01:09 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_WhiZard

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 06:44:12 pm »


               For lasting inspiration you will need bard 26 (first bard bonus feat will be curse song, 2nd will be lasting inspiration).  Which means you will have minimal investment in RDD.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par WhiZard, 03 novembre 2013 - 06:50 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Malifaun

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2014, 03:14:50 am »


               To get him as pure bard (no RDD levels), I start with a level 14 character and talk him into levelling bard before I hit level 15. If done this way, he picks up lasting inspiration as his level 24 feat.

With the gear available in Hotu you can certainly turn him into an effective RDD tank, but pretty much every other hench is going to be better in that regard (even Nathyrra).
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WhiZard

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 06:09:26 am »


               

You got that to work? The game gives a bard package and an RDD package for leveling Deekin (the OnPlayerLevelUp module event accesses these packages 72 and 117).  Both packages use the same feat package that is packftbard6.  For this package, lasting inspiration is listed as number 47, just after curse song (number 46).  There are too many general feats with trivial prequisites (including bard song of all things) to expect that normal leveling would get even close to line 46 with just general feats alone.  If the function is configured incorrectly (and I don't see how it would be) it would instead resort to package 1 which would use packftbard1 in which lasting inspiration would be toward the highest precedence.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_WhiZard

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2014, 02:48:27 am »


               

I have playtested, and found Malifaun's directions to produce lasting inspiration the quickest (level 23 actually).  What happened is that Deekin levels up as bard under his intended package (72), but under certain circumstances (very likely to occur if his bard level is significantly higher than his RDD level) if he is told to level up as "only bard" that one option (of the three leveling options) can produce him trying to level up as bard with the RDD package which the game will take as an error and instead give him the standard bard package (package 1).  This error can occur with all the HotU henchmen as the script omits an important line to update which package is being used.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Jugonshi

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Deekin - bard or RDD?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 01:28:20 pm »


               

I say let Deekin take 10 levels of RDD class as soon as possible. The ability boosts will make him at least a descent melee warrior. The sooner, the better.


 


The difference between Bard 14/RDD 6 and Bard 16/RDD 4 is just a +1 BAB and not a big deal. Also, the former gives him slightly better Fort save and that is usually better than having slightly better Ref save.


 


Also, there is a known bug in regard to henchmen's ability score boosts from RDD class and Great XX epic feats. When the game loads a henchman with such boosts, the amount is doubled. I mean, +8 str from RDD class becomes +16, for example.


 


IIRC it happens when you revive Deekin at the beginning of Chapter 3 in HotU. In my current game, nearly finishing chapter 3, level 26 Deekin has unmodified Str of 26. 38 with gears and spells. With a morningstar enchanted by Rizolvir, he is a more than capable melee warrior.