Author Topic: Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?  (Read 1217 times)

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:08:25 pm »


               

So I want to play SotU and HotU all the way through, and am thinking about playing as a Half-Elf Shifter.


 


If I do play one, I can't decide between a Pure Shifter or a Shifter with levels in Monk to get some unarmed fighting bonuses.


 


A pure shifter build means pouring all my stats into Wisdom, take the shifter class ASAP, and go for the dragon form later. A shifter build with a few levels in Monk means I'll sacrifice some shifter levels and epic forms later, but I'll get unarmed combat bonuses that translate well into most shifted forms. Most shifter guides say it works best if you level up in increments of 4 by level 20 to get max BAB in "epic" levels. Which means that by level 20:


 


Pure Shifter: 12 lvls Druid, 8 lvls Shifter.


Shifter/Monk: 8 lvls Druid, 4 lvls Monk, 8 lvls Shifter.


 


They each have +/- 


 


Pure Shifter: means I'll need to pour all my available stats into Wisdom so I can become a Dragon down the line (Hey, if I'm going to go the "pure" route, might as well go for broke.) The downside to is my regular form will have bare minimum STR, DEX and CON for the first 12 levels as a Druid, and probably some time after. Which means I'll be a sitting duck, pitiful in combat, and have to load up on the strongest armor and items to keep from dying every few steps. On the other hand, I'll have decent points leftover for "social skills" to talk to other characters.


 


Monk Shifter: Taking a few levels in Monk means I'll need to invest enough points in STR, DEX and CON to get decent unarmed feats (like Cleave) but sacrifice the extra Wisdom and extra forms later. It also means I might not be able to invest in enough levels, feats or attributes to get some of the spectacular forms later. So I'll be a better all-around fighter, but won't be as neat a shifter.


 


So, what are your thoughts? Should I go for the Pure Shifter or Monk Shifter?



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Riverdaleswhiteflash

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 11:12:36 pm »


               

Does the permanent Mind Blank thing still work in a Shifted form?



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 11:31:36 pm »


               

I can't give much advice about Shifters, but I can tell you that SoU wiill only take you to about level 13. If you plan to take this character into HotU, that will bring you to about level 28. To get all the way to level 40, you would need to follow HotU with a custom campaign like the Sands of Fate series. All of these are high-magic environments, which you should keep in mind when designing your build.


 


The first level of Monk will give you Cleave for free without any pre-requisites.


 


The Epic Character Search Engine


The NWN Epic Character Builders Guild



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 12:08:50 am »


               


Does the permanent Mind Blank thing still work in a Shifted form?




 


I don't know. I've never played long enough to actually become a shifter or experience the Mind Blank.


 


What does it do? Should I be afraid of it? Do a lot of enemies use it in this game?


               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 01:20:18 am »


               


I can't give much advice about Shifters, but I can tell you that SoU wiill only take you to about level 13. If you plan to take this character into HotU, that will bring you to about level 28. To get all the way to level 40, you would need to follow HotU with a custom campaign like the Sands of Fate series. All of these are high-magic environments, which you should keep in mind when designing your build.


 


The first level of Monk will give you Cleave for free without any pre-requisites.


 


The Epic Character Search Engine


The NWN Epic Character Builders Guild




 


Thank you, this was legitimately helpful. I won't worry about maxing out shifter levels then.


 


I just want to play through SotU and HotU with a class I like, but built well enough that I won't get killed every two steps. It happens to me way too often in games, and it's really frustrating. Unfortunately, Shifters are also very hit or miss. If you build them and use them right, they can be pretty good. If you build and/or use them poorly, they're TERRIBLE!


 


So if we only get to about level 13 in SotU and 28 in HotU, as you said, I won't torture my character with minimal stats all through SotU, or play so many levels in classes I don't even like, just to be fairly good toward the end of HotU. That won't do any good if I've long quit in frustration during Act 1 in SotU.


 


Eh, to make things less complicated I'll probably just keep fairly balanced stats so I'm not completely helpless through SotU, do my 8 levels of Druid, maybe 1 level in Monk, then all Shifter levels through SotU. If I took said Monk level, I might do my extra three levels in Monk early in HotU to get that increment of 4 BAB bonus by Lvl 20, then go back to Shifter through the rest of the game. 


 


Anyway, thank you for the links. I'm reading them now. ^^



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Riverdaleswhiteflash

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 02:12:42 am »


               


I don't know. I've never played long enough to actually become a shifter or experience the Mind Blank.


 


What does it do? Should I be afraid of it? Do a lot of enemies use it in this game?




Mind Blank is a wizard spell that blocks all Mind-effecting spells. Monks don't actually have this. What they have is a permanent passive ability that does the exact same thing a Mind Blank would do for them, with the added bonus that it can't be dispelled. They only get this at level 20, so unless you're planning to play your Shifter/Monk to way past level 21, it's moot for you.


 


As for being afraid of enemies who have this, I don't really use anything it blocks apart from Weird or Phantasmal Killer. Though the enemies that are immune to mind spells also tend to have other less than convenient abilities.


               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 02:43:17 am »


               

There is one more thing: Druids can get Dragon Shape without Shifter.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 03:16:17 am »


               

Thanks for the advice, but it might be moot now. I don't plan on playing the monk past level 4, if I play it at all. =(


 


I also don't really want to become a Dragon for its own sake so much as you can become a Dragon as a Shifter and I figured since I would become a Shifter anyway, might as well go all out. Since it requires WAY too many sacrifices, preparation, and likely earlier game frustrations (as I would have to have very low stats in everything to get that Wisdom up to 30 by the epic levels), I might pass.


 


Thank you for the suggestion though. I might actually look up Druid Shifts.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 10:52:00 am »


               

In the Epic Character Builders Guild I linked earlier, there is a guide about Druids and a guide about Shifters, and a guide about the basics of character building. This should help, too: NWNWiki.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_MannyJabrielle

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 03:39:26 pm »


               

HotU only takes you up to level 28.  You won't be able to get dragonshape with that limitation.  The *best* you'd be able to do is 29 wisdom (which is still a point short of dragon shape, and no extra feats for actually taking dragonshape even if you had the 30 wisdom).


 


HotU's also a rather high magic campaign, so I  would say don't worry TOO much about maximizing your pre-epic BAB. I would even consider a druid/fighter/shifter combo... 4 fighter instead of that 4 monk, get 4 APR, weapon specialization if you decide to focus on a specific shape.


 


Or you could do a magic-shifter....  You can pick up outsider shape for 25 wisdom.  Also take maximize spell or empower spell (or both!) and with rakshasa shape, you'll have unlimited empower and/or maximized ice storms.  Rakshasa's also immune to 8th level spells and lower, so you only gotta worry about a very small number of spells being thrown at you in the last part of the campaign.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 11:54:25 pm »


               

Like I mentioned earlier, if you follow HotU with the Sands of Fate series, it will take you the rest of the way to level 40. I also have had The Gods Themselves reccommended to me for after HotU, but I have never tried it because it is only for evil characters.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Riverdaleswhiteflash

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Pure Shifter or Shifter With Levels In Monk?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 03:12:53 am »


               

http://nwvault.ign.c....Detail&id=2976


 


Here's another good one for Epic Characters, although I wouldn't recommend it for anything with a limited number of uses of their abilities per day. (You only get to rest once, and it's 1/3 of the way through. So, since I think Shifters can only do their thing a few times a day...)



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2014, 06:48:54 pm »


               

Thank you all so much for your links and advice.


 


This is getting overwhelming quickly though. I don't want to get to epic levels like 40 for its own sake. I just want to play through SotU and HotU without dying every two steps, or not being able to land a single hit. Before, I did not know how far I could actually level up though because no guide I ever read actually said how far you can get in the NWN expansions.


 


Knowing that I'll only get to 13-ish in SotU and 28-ish in HotU changes things drastically. If I won't make it to epic shapes like Dragon or Construct, I won't have to worry about pouring every last available stat into Wisdom (thus being useless in everything else) just to reach it near the end. Knowing that most enemies will be magic-users(?) in HotU, I won't have to worry about taking levels in classes I don't like just to get extra BAB later. Especially since most guides I read recommend 12 levels in non-shifter by level 20. That basically means going through all of SotU as a non-shifter (12 druid or 8 druid + 4 second class), which kind of defeats the purpose of being a shifter if I spend the vast majority of SotU not being one.


 


The Shifter class has a few shifts that are especially good against magic and magic-users, so I'll just focus on strengthening them.


 


My only issue now is getting the game to play at full screen instead of a little box surrounded by black, which I confess is a huge damper on getting started.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_MagicalMaster

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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2014, 07:23:21 pm »


               

Might need to lower the resolution -- the game UI doesn't really scale up properly.  I play at 800 x 600 for that reason despite having a 1680 x 1050 monitor.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Faerunner_*

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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2014, 10:27:38 pm »


               

The resolution is as low as it can possibly get, and the screen is tiny. I just want to make the game screen bigger so I can see what's going on in that game world. (I can't see enemies, chests, read text screens, etc. because they're way too small.)