Author Topic: Need help with builds for the Original Campaign. Details inside.  (Read 360 times)

Legacy_Motrax85

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               I posted this on the Epic Characters Builders Guild forums, but I thought I'd also post here in order to get the most help as quickly as possible. Hoping to play tonight, but I can't do that if I don't know what I'm doing in terms of build. In any event, here's the post.  Oh, I have the Diamond edition if that is important.

So, I'm clueless. What I'm hoping for is a brief guide that tells me
what my stats need to be at creation, my class at creation, my feats at
creation and then tells me what to do, level by level until level 20.
Which I believe is the cap for the OC?

As yet, I don't know what I want to be, but I have narrowed it down to two possible combinations.

First,
is something I've never considered or thought about. That alone
interests me greatly. I don't know anything about this build or what
this small forum posts means, but it sounds fun. There are two quotes
below of two posts. One is a suggestion, the other is an
acknowledgement.

Fighter/ Weapon Master
Scimitar + Shield
dev crit
done


Yeah,
that's a good one. Focus strength, get a keen scimitar and end up with
10-20/x3 crits. Even before epic brings devastating critical into play
that's still a ton of damage. Go dwarf, always; half-orc isn't worth it
even for a strength build, and the int requirement for Weapon Master
makes it even worse.

And yes, do keep the shield and stick with a
one-hander. There is no animated shield property in NWN and the AC
bonus of a magic shield makes a big difference.


Would this build work? I like the idea of serious criticals.

The
second possible build for me is something I am more familiar with. I
have some experience with D&D and Sorcerer is something that ha
always appealed to me. This mysterious suggestion looks extremely
curious. I'm picturing some spell blasting.. ninja.. thing. I'm probably
way off, but maybe you guys know.

Sorcerer 18+/Paladin 1/Monk 1. Best build in the game bar none.


So, having said all that, I'd love to hear your guys thoughts on this.
Hell, if you guys consider the above two suggestions worth putting out a
build for them I would love to see both. I don't want to sound greedy,
but I may just play through twice just to experience the vast difference
that I imagine these builds would be.

Can't wait to hear from you!
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Motrax85, 09 mars 2012 - 12:21 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_WhiZard

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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 02:51:56 am »


               

Motrax85 wrote...
First,is something I've never considered or thought about. That alone
interests me greatly. I don't know anything about this build or what
this small forum posts means, but it sounds fun. There are two quotes
below of two posts. One is a suggestion, the other is an
acknowledgement.

Fighter/ Weapon Master
Scimitar + Shield
dev crit
done


Works extremely well.  You should try for at least 16 strength,  13 intelligence, and 13 dexterity, then put the remainder in constitution.  On level up up strength. Do not worry much about the other stats as you will likely be going with full plate.

Your level split should be something like 12 fighter, 7 WM, 1 Barbarian (for a strength buff and faster movement)
Feats:
Blind fight
Power Attack
*Dodge
*Mobility
*Weapon focus
*Spring Attack
*Expertise
*Whirlwind attack
Knockdown
Cleave
Improved critical
Weapon specialization
Improved expertise (or great cleave)
Improved knockdown

The second possible build for me is something I am more familiar with. I
have some experience with D&D and Sorcerer is something that ha
always appealed to me. This mysterious suggestion looks extremely
curious. I'm picturing some spell blasting.. ninja.. thing. I'm probably
way off, but maybe you guys know.

Sorcerer 18+/Paladin 1/Monk 1. Best build in the game bar none.


Charisma should be at least 16 intelligence is best at 12 or 14.  Constitution is best at 14.  Rest goes to dex/wisdom (since monk can turn wisdom into AC).

Feats
Extend Spell
Silent spell (or still spell)
Empower spell
Maximize spell
Spell focus
Greater spell focus
(Expertise, Improved expertise) or start another spell focus and greater spell focus
               
               

               


                     Modifié par WhiZard, 09 mars 2012 - 02:58 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Motrax85

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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 01:07:08 pm »


               That's excellent. Thank you!

In regards to the second build, when should I take the monk and paladin levels?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 02:49:40 pm »


               Keep in mind that you will not get Devastating Critical (or Overwhelming Critical) in the OC; it's an epic feat and the OC doesn't get a character that far without insanely dull XP farming. You will probably get to roughly level 18 by the end, so any feat or class benefit that only shows up after that is one that won't see that much use. (There are ways around that, of course, but the OC isn't hard when played normally and boosting levels artificially really deflates the challenge.) And, anyway, Dev Crit requires strength of 25 or higher, which would be a little tricky to work into an OC build with weapon master levels (though it's doable).

Regarding the pre-epic Exalted Sorceress, I would suggest taking the paladin level fairly early so that you get better weapon selection and a nice bonus to saves. There isn't too much point in waiting on the paladin level, since it doesn't bring access to skills that you really need and the saves will help through the whole campaign. Then take the monk level at level 7 or 12, which are good points to maximize tumble skill to benefit AC but not too late to get some use out of monk robes, which you can still wear while casting.

These builds will tend to be most powerful if you take the "minor" class (e.g. Paladin and Monk) levels as late as possible, in order to get the most out of skill dumps. But, it's more fun to get the toys early enough to play with them. Of course, you might decide to take your OC character through an epic module later (e.g. Aribeth's Redemption), in which case taking those classes toward the end of the OC might make sense...
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Motrax85

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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 10:48:09 pm »


               I was hoping to take the character through the expansions , SoU and HoTU. Is it possible to import them and continue their adventures?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Malagant

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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 11:02:18 pm »


               

Motrax85 wrote...

I was hoping to take the character through the expansions , SoU and HoTU. Is it possible to import them and continue their adventures?

You can, but SotU is designed for a new character and you run into storyline issues in SoU being a highly experienced student just leaving school and HotU when people start talking about the Hero of Neverwinter and don't seem to realize that it was you. While the latter isn't that big of a deal unless something like that would bother you, the former would make playing through SotU fairly tedious given that you are some 16-18 levels above what you should be.

The reason for this being that SoU and HotU are intended to go together with one character.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Malagant, 09 mars 2012 - 11:03 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_HipMaestro

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 02:44:51 pm »


               

Motrax85 wrote...
I was hoping to take the character through the expansions , SoU and HoTU. Is it possible to import them and continue their adventures?

Pay close attention to the previous comments about the INTENDED design of the OC campaign and the expansions.  Besides the obvious roleplay/storyline concerns, each campaign was modeled to provide an interesting progressive challenge level as one ventures into and through each chapter.  The character levels for each are important in order to experience the content the way the designers anticipated.  [i.e. OC: 1-18, SoU:1-14, HotU:15-28]  (Check the respective ReadMe files of the game installation for details.)

Now, as far a building a toon for a specific module vs. building one for a Persistent World, well... it is completely different.  Most ECB or pre-set max level builds are designed to attain the best performance of the build at the end so that once your toon has fully "matured" the capabilities can be firmly predictable.  But during the gradual development of these optimized builds, they can be rather weak and sacrifice ease at earlier levels for the sake of the final proficiency.  That is why the dump levels would be quite different to plan for/play a static module like the OC than on a server... what's the point of waiting until the last batlle of the campaign to achieve the goal?  Probably little.

Also, keep in mind that the OC uses the old ECL experience method which means that fighter types will end up with a significantly lower final level than, say, a rogue/wizard or other multiclass combo.  (For more on ECL, check here.)  For example, a solo Rog7/Wiz6/Dru7 combo can achieve level 20 by the end while a solo Mnk16/Src1/RDD1 will reach no higher than18.  Fighter-type builds may have difficulty even reaching 17.  There are also a number of class-specific quests (OC, again) which will dramatically alter experience opportunities.   In addition to all these factors- henchmen, familiars and summons will drain experience during combat.  Figure about -10% XP per party member for that issue.

As far as any DevCrit build, even planning on one using SoU/HotU will reach no higher than level 28 so the main use of DevCrit won't happen until the end of the last chapter of HotU.

So it comes down to choosing a class combo that you enjoy playing or is facinating to you, selecting abilties and feats that allow you to experience the content as you like best and then managing the selection sequence to maximize your ENJOYMENT rather than the final build potential.

But it is YOUR choice, naturally. '<img'>

P.S. A half-orc Fighter/WM will afford the best attack/damage potential through the OC but I would limit WM to 7 levels with either a late rogue or monk dump late to max tumble and perhaps UMD but beware of the XP penalty (and alignment restriction when dumping with monk).
               
               

               


                     Modifié par HipMaestro, 10 mars 2012 - 02:54 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Empyre65

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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 09:15:40 pm »


               One possibility would be to play SoU first, then the OC, then HotU. The OC attempts to compensate for a too-high character so it wouldn't be broken too badly, and you would start only a few levels too high in HotU.
A better plan would be play the OC with one build, and then use another build to play SoU, a bridge module like The Nether Scrolls, HotU, and then the Sands of Fate series to bring your build all the way to level 40.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Dante2377

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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 10:04:32 pm »


               

HipMaestro wrote...

In addition to all these factors- henchmen, familiars and summons will drain experience during combat.  Figure about -10% XP per party member for that issue.


For me, the XP penalty seemed to be about 21% per summon or henchman, just basing on per-kill basis (e.g. i saved, killed a creature for 19xp.  reloaded, summoned skeleton from animate dead, killed same creature.  Got 15 xp instead.  Tried a bunch of other creatures and always seemed to be ~20-22% less xp per kill when with 1 henchmen or summon.  

This is on NWN Diamond.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Dante2377, 15 mars 2012 - 10:05 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_MrZork

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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 02:11:44 pm »


               The penalty isn't linearly proportional to number of henchmen. My recollection is that the party size penalty is that your XP per kill is penalized by (n–1)/(n+3), where n is your party size (yourself plus your associates). So, having one associate means a 20% penalty (1/5), two associates is a 33% penalty (2/6), etc.

Keep in mind that, if your summons, henchies, familiars and so on are already in your party when an encounter spawns, there will usually be more and/or tougher opponents in the encounter, so the extra XP from that can offset the party size penalty. That doesn't help in cases where you start out alone and scout ahead for enemies and then come back and summon an associate, but it makes a difference when your have essentially the same number of associates the whole time you are playing. Unfortunately, in the OC, many of the battles are fixed, so that the number or difficulty of opponents (particularly bosses) doesn't always change with your party size. Because of that, my experience is that keeping a couple associates in the party throughout will result in being a level or two lower at the end of the campaign.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_HipMaestro

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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 07:22:50 pm »


               

MrZork wrote...
The penalty isn't linearly proportional to number of henchmen. My recollection is that the party size penalty is that your XP per kill is penalized by (n–1)/(n+3), where n is your party size (yourself plus your associates). So, having one associate means a 20% penalty (1/5), two associates is a 33% penalty (2/6), etc.

I also wonder whether ECL factors into this, MrZork.  Like a fighter-type build with just a few caster levels to increase the meat shield count. vs. a relatively pure caster  Not sure about that, but ECL pops up many places where one wouldn't expect it to.

Also, the penalty depends to a certain extent on when certain types of creatures are encountered.  For example, all those creatures that have a CR to produce a paltry 4 XP should yield only 3 XP with an extra party member, but the penalty is definitely NOT a set 25%.  So if the CR is high enough that the calculation doesn't consistently get rounded down, those encounters will more closely approximate the penalty algorithm.  This means that where one decides to gather their sample has a lot to do with the findings over all 7 modules.  It varies a lot.

I used to keep track of these things for an entire game with various builds, SP & MP alike, and stand firmly by my estimate of about 10% reduction per party member for the full OC regardless of the specific situation.  The total also takes into account all the static XP rewards from quests.  Actually, if I dug all them up I believe it was more like 12% but the days of shuffling through brittle, yellow diary pages of numbers has past.  me by.

How all this XP banter relates to building for the OC is that since it is a targeted build, a build that is optimized at level 18 or 17 or 16, or whatever is reached, is not necessaily the best way to take advantage of the threshold points in the campaign, hence skill dumping must be treated differently.  Fortunately, the challenge level of a learning campaign like this one is low enough that optimization is unnecessary to just have fun and dominate the challenges.

If the penalty does become annoying or prohibitive, just move the slider a bit. '<img'>
               
               

               


                     Modifié par HipMaestro, 16 mars 2012 - 07:26 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_WhiZard

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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 07:24:29 pm »


               

MrZork wrote...
Keep in mind that, if your summons, henchies, familiars and so on are already in your party when an encounter spawns, there will usually be more and/or tougher opponents in the encounter, so the extra XP from that can offset the party size penalty. That doesn't help in cases where you start out alone and scout ahead for enemies and then come back and summon an associate, ...


I am often guilty of doing the opposite,  summoning as many associates as possible, and then dismissing them after I trigger an encounter, resulting in a larger amount of XP when I finally kill them all off.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2012, 12:09:24 am »


               HipMaestro, ECL is a factor in XP awards for the OC, but not directly as part of the party size penalty, as far as I know. It changes the initial "base XP" value of the creature, which is allegedly determined by looking up the PC's level and the creature's CR in xptable.2da. The OC's use of ECL changes (raises) the CR for creatures killed by characters with ECL bonuses (basically most non-fighters at low-mid levels). However, I don't claim to understand the full details of XP calculation, so there could easily be other issues in play.

Also a possible factor is that the XP calculation appears to be a floating point one until the end. Or at least the XP table has floating point values. So, a creature that gives n XP when killed with a lone PC in the party might have gotten that value by rounding down from n.99 XP or somesuch. So, killing that same creature with associates in the party may not round quite as expected. For example, if a creature's pre-rounded and pre-party-size-penalty XP value is 4.6, then a lone PC will see 4 XP from that kill (4.6 rounded down). But, that PC wioth two henchmen would see 3 XP (4.6*4/6 = 3.07 rounded down), which is higher than the 2 XP we would would expect if the nominal lone PC value were 4 exactly (where we would expect the PC-with-2-associate value to be 2.67 rounded down). Anyway, I don't know if that explains any descrepancies in XP or party penalty calculations, but it may be part of the mix.

WhiZard, that's an interesting idea fto grow a larger XP farming crop. ;-) I had run into that before on my second playthrough of the OC when my wizard PC had just taken a level of rogue and was doing a lot of sneaking and scouting to see what the enemies were and then coming back to rest and buff before going to fight them. After a while, it was seeming that some of the encounters were significantly more challenging that I recalled from the first time through. I eventually noticed I would sometimes not recast my summons after resting, so my party size had shrunk since the scouting had triggered the encounter. I hadn't thought to use it systematically, though I sometimes unhired the henchie outside the map so that I could fight a few bosses on my own and reap a better XP reward. I guess even with level 1 summons scrolls (Summon Creature I and Shelgarn's Persistent Blade), one could cheaply increase the XP value of encounters pretty significantly over the course of a module. Nice trick!
               
               

               


                     Modifié par MrZork, 17 mars 2012 - 12:09 .