Author Topic: Campaign/Expansions Build - The Bearded Battlewitch  (Read 853 times)

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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Campaign/Expansions Build - The Bearded Battlewitch
« on: April 17, 2016, 04:10:53 am »


               

Hello Bioware forums! I don't know why I haven't discovered you until now.

 

I recently had the compulsion to go back and play the single player campaign and expansions, solo, on Very Difficult, and see how I fared. Given the silly difficulty setting, my thinking was that my chosen character would best be a munchkin powerbuild, and it would need to be strong from beginning to end. I've played NWN online for about 10 years, but never really concentrated on Single Player.

 

Given the apparent lack of definitive spreadsheet-style build guides for single player campaign characters, I thought that I'd share this one. I have made a fair few characters on level 40 persistent worlds, and whilst this character performs well throughout the original campaigns, its abilities peak in the late 20's, and don't get much better from there. It would, IMO, lack the spell casting and melee power to be much of a threat in a level 40 scenario.

 

That said, the OC typically ends around 17ish, SoU around 13ish, and HoTU around 27ish, depending on how dedicated one is to completing side quests and/or experience farming. The build plan below goes up to level 28.

 

There's a fair few spoilers in this thread now, and also an item/play guide at the end of this post. I'll give plenty of alert and space for those not interested in the spoilers, and for those that wish to try playing around with the Battlewitch for themselves.  

 

There are also now 3 versions of this build in this thread! #1 below, #2 [human, OC focused] and #3 [Dwarf, Sou/Hotu focused with a few tweaks from 1].

On replay, #2 and #3 have been optimised for their respective campaigns, and so are overall the better builds to take to each.

I still like the concept of #1 though, so I've decided to leave all 3 up.  '<img'>

 

So here it is. It's a tanky wizard. With a halberd.

 

 

 

 

"An only child in a wizard's tower left to her own devices, the little dwarf has always had access to toys to play with and time to experiment. Years of relative isolation have shaped her into an unorthodox combatant with an aptitude for both magical and physical combat, albeit at the expense of social skills, grooming and personal insight. A loner, scientist and master combat strategist, to her, everything is just a game.

No one knows her name, no one knows her true nature, no one really likes her, but she doesn't seem to care. To the rest of the world, she is simply known as:

 

 

 

The Bearded Battlewitch."

 

 

 

Race: Dwarf or Human depending on version.

 

Alignment, Skills and Feats: Dependant on version. See below.

 

Specialised Spell School: Illusion. The main reason for this is to gain access to the extra spell slot per level, without copping too much of a penalty from having a prohibited school. Illusion prohibits Enchantment, which mainly concerns will-based mind spells, for which there are alternatives in other schools.

 

Weapon Choice: Halberd, because it suave, and there's some nice halberds throughout the campaigns. That said, this build could potentially specialise in any two handed weapon. Other choices I would recommend are Greatsword, Heavy Flail, Scythe [would require WP exotic] and Greataxe.

 

Familiar: Faerie Dragon to start, then Pixie. See below for more details.

 

Face: Bearded [Yes, there is a bearded Dwarven Female, and it's fierce].

 

 

I personally play this build like a buffed melee character in its early stages, and then branch out into spells once it has a bit of a repertoire. The Battlewitch was designed with 1.69 in mind, which I realise includes many spells and skills not normally available in the Original or Shadows of Undrentide campaigns [appraise and tumble from SoU, and then many useful level 1 spells, Bigby's Hands and Isaac's Greater Missile Storm from SoU, and the weapon buffs and additional damage shields from HoTU].

 

It is certainly harder to play the Original and SoU campaigns without these spells/skills, but it is not impossible, and I recommend trying it without the added spells for a challenge. Lists of what not to cast/train to be found on nwn wiki.

 

 

http://nwn.wikia.com...s_of_Undrentide

 

http://nwn.wikia.com...f_the_Underdark

 

 

 

Contents of Below:

 

 

Build Information for #1, #2 and #3. [no spoilers here]

General Build Info [spoilers from here on]

Spells

Offensive and Defensive Strategies

Item Guide

General Campaign Tips Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERSION 1: Dwarf, Spellcasting Focused, [OC and SoU/HoTU]

 

 

 

Wizard(23), Fighter(4), Assassin [or Harper Scout] (1), Dwarf

 

 

Alignment: Evil for Assassin, non-evil for Harper Scout. Assassin is a little stronger in melee.

 

Abilities:

 

STR: 16 (18)

DEX: 12

CON: 16

WIS: 8

INT: 16 (22)

CHA: 6

 

 

Feats:

 

01: Wizard(1): Weapon Proficiency Martial, {Scribe Scroll}

02: Wizard(2)

03: Wizard(3): Weapon Focus: Halberd

04: Wizard(4): INT+1, (INT=17)

05: Wizard(5): Extend Spell

06: Wizard(6): Knockdown

07: Wizard(7)

08: Wizard(8): INT+1, (INT=18)

09: Wizard(9): Maximize Spell. I like to get maximised ability buffs to start, and free up level 4 for extended haste.

10: Wizard(10): Empower Spell

11: Wizard(11)

12: Wizard(12): INT+1, Spell Penetration, (INT=19)

13: Wizard(13) [SoU ends about here].

14: Wizard(14)

15: Wizard(15): Improved Knockdown**, Greater Spell Penetration

16: Wizard(16): STR+1, (STR=17). FOR ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN, INTELLIGENCE. (INT=20)

17: Wizard(17) [OC ends about here]

18: Fighter(1): Power Attack**, Improved Critical: Halberd

19: Fighter(2): Cleave**

20: Wizard(18): STR+1, (STR=18)

21: Wizard(19): Epic Weapon Focus: Halberd**

22: Assassin(1)**

23: Wizard(20): Epic Spell Penetration

24: Wizard(21): INT+1, Epic Spell: Epic Mage Armor, (INT=20)

25: Fighter(3)

26: Wizard(22)

27: Fighter(4): Weapon Specialization: Halberd, Epic Weapon Specialization: Halberd [HoTU ends about here normally]

28: Wizard(23): INT+1, Great Intelligence I, (INT=22)

 

 

Hitpoints: 222

Skillpoints: 183

Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 16/14/11

Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +9, Poison: +2

BAB: 15

AB (max, naked): 22 (melee), 14 (ranged)

AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 16/27

Spell Casting: Wizard(9)

 

 

**This is the feat and class selection for an OC character, or an evil character in SoU/HoTU. One could potentially swap Power Attack and Cleave for 2 others, but I personally like the additional melee offense. For a non evil variety, one can take:

1. Alertness at level 15 instead of improved knockdown,

 2. Iron Will at level 18

3. Improved Knockdown at level 19

4. Different skills at level 21 [see below],

5. Harper Scout at 22, with the bonus feat being Epic Skill Focus: Concentration.

 

Skills: Differ for each campaign.

For the OC I would recommend:

 

Appraise 10(15), Concentration 21(25), Heal 9(8), Lore 13(20), Persuade 8(6), Spellcraft 20(25), Tumble 10(9).

 

W         01: Appraise(2), Concentration(4), Heal(4), Spellcraft(4), Tumble(2),

W         02: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W         03: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         04: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W         05: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         06: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W         07: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         08: Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(3),

W         09: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         10: Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(3),

W         11: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         12: Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(3),

W         13: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         14: Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(3),

W         15: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

W         16: Concentration(1), Lore(1), Persuade(2), Spellcraft(1),

W         17: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Tumble(1),

F          18: Concentration(1), Lore(2), Persuade(2).

 

 

 

For the SoU and then HoTU campaigns [assuming the use of the same character] I would recommend:

 

 

Appraise 8(14), Concentration 31(34), Heal 9(8), Hide 8(9), Move Silently 8(9), Persuade 8(6), Spellcraft 29(35), Tumble 25(26), remaining skillpoints 25. Spend the remaining on whatever suits.

 

W            01: Appraise(2), Concentration(4), Heal(4), Persuade(2), Spellcraft(4),

W            02: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W            03: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Heal(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1),

W            04: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W            05: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Heal(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1),

W            06: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(2),

W            07: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(1),

W            08: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(5),

W            09: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(5),

W            10: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9),

W            11: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9),

W            12: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(13),

W            13: Appraise(1), Concentration(1), Persuade(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(13),

W            14: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(17),

W            15: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(21),

W            16: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(25),

W            17: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(29),

F              18: Concentration(1), Save(34),

F              19: Concentration(1), Save(39),

W            20: Concentration(1), Save(44),

W            21: Concentration(1), Hide(8), Move Silently(8), Save(17), **

As           22: Tumble(25), **

W            23: Spellcraft(6),

W            24: Concentration(3), Spellcraft(1), Save(3),

F              25: Concentration(1), Save(9),

W            26: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(2), Save(13),

F              27: Concentration(1), Save(19),

W            28: Concentration(1), Save(25),

 

 

** These are the skills for the evil version of this build. For a non evil version, I would take:

1. At level 21, take Discipline 4 [earlier if you're worried about skillpoints], Lore 6, and Search 4, instead of 8 hide and move silently.

2. Take Harper Scout at level 22, and stick with 25 Tumble points.

 

 

 

 

 

VERSION 2: Human, Multiclassing Focused [OC]

 

 

 

 

 

Wizard(15), Fighter(2), Rogue(1), Human
 
Alignment: Any.
 
STR: 16 (18)
DEX: 12
CON: 14
WIS: 8
INT: 16 (18)
CHA: 8
 
Human: (Quick to Master)
01: Wizard(1): Power Attack, Cleave, {Scribe Scroll}
02: Fighter(1): Weapon Focus: Halberd
03: Wizard(2): Knockdown
04: Wizard(3): STR+1, (STR=17)
05: Wizard(4)
06: Wizard(5): Empower Spell, Extend Spell
07: Wizard(6)
08: Wizard(7): STR+1, (STR=18)
09: Rogue(1): Great Cleave
10: Wizard(8)
11: Wizard(9)
12: Wizard(10): INT+1, Blind Fight, Maximise Spell (INT=17)
13: Wizard(11)
14: Wizard(12)
15: Wizard(13): Improved Knockdown
16: Wizard(14): INT+1, (INT=18)
17: Wizard(15): Spell Penetration
18: Fighter(2): Improved Critical: Halberd, Greater Spell Penetration
 
 
Hitpoints: 122
Skillpoints: 135
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 10/8/8
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +4
BAB: 9
AB (max, naked): 14 (melee), 10 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 13/24
Spell Casting: Wizard(8)
Alignment Changes: 0
 
 
Skills: Concentration 21(23), Heal 21(20), Lore 21(25), Persuade 12(11), Search 12(16), Spellcraft 20(24), Tumble 10(11), UMD 11(10), remaining skillpoints 7.
 
 
W 01: Concentration(4), Heal(4), Spellcraft(4), Save(12), 
F 02: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(16), 
W 03: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(2), Save(18), 
W 04: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(21), 
W 05: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(24), 
W 06: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(27), 
W 07: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(30), 
W 08: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(34), 
Ro 09: Heal(1), Persuade(12), Search(12), Tumble(10), UMD(11), 
W 10: Concentration(2), Heal(1), Spellcraft(3), 
W 11: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(3), Spellcraft(1), 
W 12: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(3), Spellcraft(1), 
W 13: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(3), Spellcraft(1), 
W 14: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(3), Spellcraft(1), 
W 15: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(3), Spellcraft(1), 
W 16: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(4), Spellcraft(1), 
W 17: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(3), 
F 18: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Save(7), 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERSION 3: Dwarf, Multiclassing Focused [SoU/Hotu]

 

 

Wizard(23), Fighter(4), Assassin(1), Dwarf. Evil Only.
 
 
STR: 16 (18)
DEX: 12
CON: 16
WIS: 8
INT: 16 (22)
CHA: 6
 
Dwarf: (Darkvision, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Stonecunning, Hardiness vs. Poison, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Offensive Training vs. Orcs, Skill Affinity: Lore)
01: Wizard(1): Power Attack, {Scribe Scroll}
02: Fighter(1): Weapon Focus: Halberd
03: Wizard(2): Cleave
04: Wizard(3): INT+1, (INT=17)
05: Wizard(4)
06: Wizard(5): Knockdown, Extend Spell
07: Wizard(6)
08: Wizard(7): INT+1, (INT=18)
09: Wizard(8): Empower Spell
10: Wizard(9)
11: Wizard(10): Maximize Spell
12: Wizard(11): STR +1, Spell Focus: Necromancy, (STR=17)
13: Wizard(12)
14: Wizard(13)
15: Wizard(14): Improved Critical: Halberd 
16: Wizard(15): INT +1, Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy, (INT=19)
17: Fighter(2): Improved Knockdown
18: Wizard(16): Craft Wand
19: Wizard(17)
20: Wizard(18): STR+1, (STR=18)
21: Wizard(19): Epic Weapon Focus: Halberd
22: Assassin(1)
23: Fighter(3)
24: Fighter(4): INT+1, Weapon Specialization: Halberd, Epic Weapon Specialization: Halberd, (INT=20)
25: Wizard(20): Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy
26: Wizard(21)
27: Wizard(22): Epic Spell: Epic Mage Armor
28: Wizard(23): INT+1, Great Intelligence I, (INT=22)
 
 
 
Hitpoints: 222
Skillpoints: 183
Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 16/14/11
Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +9, Poison: +2
BAB: 15
AB (max, naked): 22 (melee), 16 (ranged)
AC (naked/mundane armor/shield only): 16/27
Spell Casting: Wizard(9)
Alignment Changes: 0
 
Concentration 31(34), Heal 23(22), Hide 8(9), Move Silently 8(9), Persuade 2(0), Search 9(15), Spellcraft 31(37), Tumble 25(26), remaining skillpoints 19
 
 
 
W 01: Concentration(4), Heal(4), Persuade(2), Search(2), Spellcraft(4), <--- Persuade ONLY on 1st level.
F 02: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(3), 
W 03: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(2), Save(2), 
W 04: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(4), 
W 05: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(4), 
W 06: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(6), 
W 07: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(6), 
W 08: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9), 
W 09: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(10), 
W 10: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(13), 
W 11: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(14), 
W 12: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(17), 
W 13: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(18), <--- Spellcraft 16, stop adding points and save instead!
W 14: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(22), 
W 15: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Save(24), <--- Search 9, stop adding points and save instead!
W 16: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(28), 
F 17: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(32), 
W 18: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(36), 
W 19: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(40), 
W 20: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(44), <--- Heal 23, stop adding points and save instead!
W 21: Concentration(1), Hide(8), Move Silently(8), Save(17), 
As 22: Tumble(25), 
F 23: Concentration(2), Save(4), 
F 24: Concentration(1), Save(10), 
W 25: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(12), Save(4), <--- Spellcraft again for Epic Mage Armour and Saves!
W 26: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9), 
W 27: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(14), 
W 28: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(19).
 
The saved points from 25 onwards are probably best spent on lore, to quickly identify all the shinies in Chapter 3.

 

 

 

Spoilers and tips below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Build Information [with answers containing potential spoilers].

 

 

Why dwarf?

Because dwarves get a few little goodies to start with, namely +2 saves vs spells, +2 constitution, +2 lore and +2 search. This character could benefit more later on from being human from the extra skills and feat available. That said, in the fledgling stages, where IMO it is most difficult, dwarves are hard to beat for all-round tankiness.

Edit: Version #2 is now a human, focused on the OC.

 

Why Faerie Dragon or Pixie?

Because they can cast spells, either on the player character or enemies. Faerie Dragon Gets Improved Invisibility at level 1 [ which is frankly ridiculous], and confusion bolts at level 5. 

Pixie gets Improved Invisibilty at level 5, and I usually switch to Pixie around this time. On top of the ability to cast Improved Invisiblity on the player, pixies are masters of search, disable trap and open lock. They're terrific for detecting secret areas [HoTU Chapter 1], removing deadly [100+ damage] traps, and clearing rooms full of locked and armed chests. They are can also sometimes unlock objects that otherwise can't be destroyed [hint hint OC Chapter 1 Finale].

CASTING SPELLS AS A FAMILIAR: Possess the familiar, then navigate through the radial menu's special abilities until you find the spell list. For Improved Invisibility: right click on familiar, then select: left, top left, then right options.

 

Why no multi-classing early on [Version 1]?

Personal preference. IMO, the earlier one has access to spells, the more options one has to kill things. One could start off as a fighter and get armour and weapon proficiencies and strap on a full plate, but then there'd be no Ghostly Visage at level 3 or ability to cast in the middle of a fight.

Edit: Version 2 & 3 both multiclass early on, gaining early access to Heavy Armour Proficiency and Cleave.

 

Why no UMD?

Again, personal preference. I honestly didn't find a use for it in HoTU, so I didn't bother with it on the Assassin level. Wizards can use scrolls, Sequencer Robes, and Dragon Slippers. There is use for it in the Original Campaign [Thieves Hood and Robes of the Dark Moon come to mind], but again, I wanted the spells earlier. It is of course possible to use these in the original campaign with a rogue/bard/assassin level chucked in.

Edit: #2 has UMD, mainly for the monk items the OC. 

 

Why no Discipline?

Again, never found much of a use for it. In the campaigns, there are not many enemies that will attempt knockdown on the player if their AC is high enough. There are also Dragon Slippers in the OC [and Prismatic Dragon Boots in HoTU] which can be worn if necessary, combined with Extended Haste or another haste item.

 

Why lots of skills in single digits?
Persuade is in there for SoU and the OC, not so much for HoTU. Heal skill is very handy early on for the OC, but once the player has plenty of HP and access to regeneration items, their usefulness mid-combat wanes significantly. In SoU and Hotu it is definitely more useful, as it is a lot harder to come across heal potions and regen items.

Search is boosted by intelligence and is useful in all campaigns, particularly Chapter 1 of HoTU. Hide And Move Silently are for prestige class tumble dump.
 

Why no spell focus?

Because I like to gear this build with immunity/resistance/regeneration gear over intelligence gear, and because there are plenty of damage/crowd control spells with no save. That's not to say one can't cast spells that still have a save: Unfocused Color Spray and Fireball are not to be underestimated.

Edit: #3 now includes Spell Focus in Necromancy for the mega-kablooie spell Wail of the Banshee in HoTU.

 

Can this Ponce Mage actually hit anything with its' big stick?

Prepare to be surprised! Most single digit level monsters have less than 20 AC, which is low enough for a multi-talented mage to consistently hit. There are also a lot of buffs available to wizards that help increase attack and melee damage, and by the time these spells start to level out in the teens, high level spells kick in. Additionally, wizards have plenty of crowd control up their sleeve, and in HoTU there's the Forge of Dramatic Music which you can use to generate a superweapon.

 

Can this Ponce Mage actually survive direct melee confrontation on Very Difficult?

 

I'll put it this way:

 

At level 4, wee Battlewitch can cast: Magic Weapon, Mage Armour, Shield, Protection from Alignment, Ghostly Visage, Flame Weapon and Bull's Strength on themself, many of which can be learnt from scrolls. With a Faerie Dragon, she also has access to Improved Invisibility by possessing it and getting it to cast it on her via the Radial Menu. Additionally, Cat's Grace and Barkskin Potions can be found or bought.

Naked, defense wise: 18 AC or potentially 22 with potions. There's also Damage Reduction 5/+1, 50% concealment and Mind Immunity vs Evil things [e.g. Mummies and Devourers]. 

Plain Halberd, Buffed, Attack Wise: Assuming bull strength hits 4 or 5 [i.e. 20 or 21 strength], 9 AB. For damage, 1-10 + 7 + 1 physical damage and 1-4 +4 flame weapon damage, totalling 2-14 + 12 or 14-26 [average 20] damage per hit.

Then after that throw in Color Spray for crowd control for #1, and then Cleave [extra attack!] and the option to wear a cheap Splint Mail (+6 AC, so 24 AC without potions) for #2 and #3.

And she hasn't got haste yet.

 

Fast forward to level 15, and with a now relatively developed buff procedure, add in Empowered Cats Grace, Haste and Shadow Shield [Damage Reduction 10/+3, which most opponents in SoU and the Original campaign cant pierce]. Naked AC stands around 30 [low 30's with monk sun soul boots], with Negative Energy Burst and Interposing Hand on standby if another 12 or so are needed. Strength can usually be maxed out by this point, so AB is in the low/mid 20's.

Even with only 3 attacks per round with haste, the combined physical/flame weapon damage is about 40 a hit [120 a round without critical hits or extra attacks from cleave], with a buffed and keened halberd doing two types of elemental damage [Fire, plus Sonic/Ravager or Acid/Talona's]. 

And then there's Darkness, Forceful Hand, and extended damage shields.

 

Fast forward again to level 24, and now the Battlewitch has the scrooge tumble dump level, pushing AC [with gear] potentially into the 40's. AB in the 30's, with half a dozen true strikes pushing it into the high 40's for short bursts, and a superweapon on the way. 

Plus level 9 wizard spells.

 

She does ok. '<img'>

 

 

 

Spells!

 

 

Given the ability to use scrolls, and the abundance of scroll merchants throughout the campaigns, one should aim to cast everything they can. There are multiple ways to approach a difficult fight, so the more variety available the better.  A handy tip: it is worth buying whatever scrolls you can, even if you are unable to cast them yet, to select other spells on level up that are otherwise unavailable. For e.g. in the OC Chapter 1: Bulls Strength, Darkness, Fireball and Haste can be bought from Eltoora, freeing up spells that are selected on level-up for the likes of Ghostly Visage, Flame Weapon, Ultravision, Keen and Greater Magic Weapon.

 

Remember too that you get metamagic feats, which allow for more powerful versions of earlier spells at other levels. This can be used to free up entire levels for spells.

For e.g. Extended Haste is Level 4, Maximised Bull's Strength is Level 5, Empowered Isaac's Greater Missile Storm is Level 8. Also, Mage Armour and Shield can be extended as level 2 slots, potentially freeing up all level 1's for True Strike.

 

 

Here is a list of the core spells I consistently used. There's a notable lack of summons spells [besides Summon Creature IX for HoTU, has a very specific use for one map!], mainly due to the desire to solo and get maximum experience for things.

 

 

Level 0: You get everything, but Ray of Frost and Light deserve mentions.

 

Level 1:

Start: Color Spray, Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armour, Magic Weapon, Shield, True Strike. Wizards receive Protection from Alignment and Magic Missile for free as scrolls at level 1.

Wizard 2: Identify, Grease.

 

Level 2: Ghostly Visage, Flame Weapon, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Darkness, Ultravision, Endurance, Fox's Cunning, Death Armour, Melf's Acid Arrow. There is no Continual Flame in this list, and IMO if one wants to exploit this spell, they may as well just gift themself gold via console commands and save the time.

 

Level 3: Haste, Fireball, Greater Magic Weapon, Keen Edge, Protection From Elements, Negative Energy Burst, Flame Arrow, Gust of Wind.

 

Level 4: Improved Invisibility, Elemental Shield, Ice Storm, Lesser Spell Breach, Evard's Black Tentacles [recommend having Freedom and Visage/Shadow Shield on before using these], Stoneskin.

 

Level 5: Firebrand, Lesser Mind Blank, Bigby's Interposing Hand, Cloudkill, Mestil's Acid Sheath, Lesser Spell Mantle, Energy Buffer.

 

Level 6: Bigby Forceful Hand, True Seeing, Isaac's Greater Missile Storm, Chain Lightning, Greater Spell Breach, Legend Lore, Acid Fog, Undeath to Death. Ethereal Visage should also deserves a mention, though it doesn't last for long.

 

Level 7: Shadow Shield, Bigby's Grasping Hand, Spell Mantle, Delayed Blast Fireball, Finger of Death.

 

Level 8: Greater Sanctuary, Horrid Wilting, Incendiary Cloud, Premonition, Sunburst.

 

Level 9: Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Time Stop, Shapechange, Wail of the Banshee, Summon Creature IX.

 

 

 

 

 

Offensive Strategies [i.e. killing]:

 

 

Melee + Combat Feats/Spells: The bread and butter, aka hitting stuff. Not many attacks per round overall [enough base attack to sneak in a 3rd attack for HoTU], but the high damage output is enough to knock over most small to medium opponents in a couple of swipes until at least the teens.

 

Magic Weapon is available from level 1, and Greater Magic Weapon increases in power from levels 6 - 15 wizard. Flame Weapon is available from level 3 wizard, and turns the humble halberd into an oversized lockpick. Knockdown is picked up soon after, with the improved version picked up in the teens. A very useful feat and effective against many, especially spellcasters. 

 

Invisibility [cast from familiars early on] can be used to take enemies by surprise. Closing in whilst invisible and opening up with Knockdown on a unsuspecting enemy can turn a potentially difficult fight into a hilarious walk in the park.

 

True Strike is lethal, even with limited attacks per round, and can make a huge difference in boss fights at all levels. True Strike + Knockdown is plain old silly, and to make best use of it I'd recommend using the knockdown at the end of the round's attacks [in the event that you have more than 1], just before the true strike runs out. Power Attack + True Strike is also a nasty combo, even at level 1 with a dagger!  '<img'>

 

Focused Single Target Damage: Ray of Frost and Magic Missile to start, followed by Melf's Acid Arrow, Flame Arrow and finally, Isaac's Greater Missile Storm. The latter, appropriately aimed to hit one target, in maximised form, is gamebreaking.

 

Spontaneous Area Damage: Available in lots of varieties, including Fireball, Ice Storm, Firebrand, Chain Lightning, Delayed Blast Fireball, Sunburst and Horrid Wilting. Don some elemental resistance/immunity gear or spells, get everything to surround you, and aim at the ground beneath your feet. FOR SCIENCE.

 

Persistent Area Damage: Evard's Black Tentacles, Cloudkill, Acid Fog and Incendiary Cloud. They stack, and with Visage/Shadow Shield, an appropriate elemental resistance item and freedom, one can essentially stand in these for as long as they like. Soup's up.

 

Death Magic: Cast spell, thing fails save, thing dies. Against creatures that cannot make the save it is quite silly, though if the save succeeds they're little more than pretty lights. Phantasmal Killer and Finger of Death for single targets, Wail of the Banshee for the Hordes [literally] of the Underdark!

 

Damage Shields: Probably the most smug way to kill opponents: stand still and let them do the work. Combined with damage reduction spells and/or healing equipment, this is pretty foolproof in melee, though I personally didn't really adopt these regularly until the mid teens, when I had Shadow Shield and plenty of spell slots available. Polymorph Self and Shapechange can add some extra flavour to this tactic as well, just remember to cast haste. '<img'>

 

 

 

 

Defensive Strategies [i.e. preventing being killied]:

 

 

Long Term [at least 1 minute per level] Buffs: And lots of them! There's ability buffs of all flavours such as Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace (which can be empowered or maximised), plus all manner of spells providing immunities [e.g. Lesser Mind Blank], special sight [e.g. Ultravision] or AC [e.g. Mage Armour]. Damage Reduction spells are very useful, in particular those from the Illusion school with no damage soak limit and spell immunities, namely Ghostly Visage and Shadow Shield.

 

Short Term Buffs: Haste is the big one until a permanent haste item comes around, and there are a few others such as Ethereal Visage which can be useful in bursts. Spell Mantles are very handy for mage battles.

 

Compared to a standard Combat Cleric, the battlewitch has around the same number of long term buffs, and so has a bit of a procedure to go through upon waking up. However, she has far less short term buffs [no divine favour every couple of minutes], which means she spends comparatively less time faffing around pre-fight with spells, and also should not have to rest as often.  '<img'>

 

Crowd Control: I.E limiting the number of active opponents at any given time. Color Spray is useful at the very beginning [particularly SoU, sleeping kobolds are easier to manage], as is Grease. Darkness + Ultravision is where the crowd control silliness kicks off, due to the increased attack and effective AC vs blinded creatures, and admittedly dumbfounded AI [I feel a little guilty using it for this reason]. Bigby's Hands come next, in attack-lowering and disabling varieties, the most notable probably being Forceful Hand. The highest level of crowd control is of course Time Stop, aka the Humble Mage's God Button.

 

Escape: Expeditious Retreat is good during no haste, particularly for running to a safe resting area. Invisibility can be used to run away as well as close in on enemies, as can Greater Sanctuary.

 

Dispelling and Breaching: Always useful against buffed or spell resistant opponents before engaging. I prefer breaching over dispelling for the lowered spell resistance, that is until Mordenkainen's Disjunction comes along.

 

Indirect AC increase via AB removal: Negative Energy Burst [Make sure you're immune to ability drain first], and Bigby's Interposing Hand.

 

Area Spell Removal: Gust of Wind or Dispel, fired at the spell in question. Gust of Wind works best as it has no check vs opponent's caster level.

 

For #2 and #3: Heavy Armour!

 

In the early stages, Heavy Armour is awesome to have combined with the AC buffs that a wizard gets [Mage Armour + Shield + Splint Mail = 24 AC at level 2!]. That said, wearing Heavy Armour incurs a spell failure penalty, and cannot be switched out in combat.

Thus, it loses its application once you can cast quite a large number of spells, and whilst wearing Heavy Armour it is only really reliable to rig your spellbook with buffs. That said: True Strike and Darkness both have no armour casting penalty. Don't forget about these two beauties whilst jogging around in plate and swatting things.  '<img'>

 

For #3, I personally stuck with Heavy Armour until level 11 wizard, when Forceful Hand became available. I didn't bother with still spell, as I found that by the teen's, AC was consistently high enough from the robes available. #2 can use Robes of the Dark Moon, which I switched to at the beginning of Chapter 2. More on that below.

 

 

 

 

Items!

 

 

There is fun in exploring different gear combinations, and I definitely recommend trying stuff out before looking here. Here's what I kept a lookout for.

 

 

 

Original Campaign

 

 

Gold: Plenty of it in the Original Campaign. Don't be afraid to spend!

 

Magic Items: The Rod of Frost is gold, hang onto that one. Wand of Sleep is handy early on as well, as are any scrolls that you can learn. Cat's Grace and Barkskin Potions are handy for tough melee fights early on, such as against Gang Leaders.

 

Healing Items: Everything you can find! Heal kits are cheaper than potions, so buy them first. Heal potions can be bought in Chapter 2 and are worth it once you have the money [which you should do pretty quickly].

By Chapter 3, one can use a Ring of Power [1 regen], Greater Amulet of Health [1 regen] and craft a Ring of Regeneration from a spell tome [4 regen] for a total of 6 regen. Which is silly, and makes most healing items obsolete.  '<img'>

 

Weapon: A plain halberd from the dwarven merchant at the start [#2 will have to wait a little while to use it and make do with a quarterstaff or dagger]. After that, a Ravager Halberd, crafted by the dwarven forgemasters in Chapters 1 and 3. I recommend completing the Peninsula area first [not too many tricky opponents to fight, mainly just melee until the Devourer], where a +1 weapon can be obtained from the Devourer's Chamber. Dragon Blood can be found upstairs in the Silver Sails Company building at the Docks. After that it appears in several places throughout the campaign.

 

Robe: The fire resistance robe is good for starters, and there's the Greater Battle Robe and Armour of the Stars for sale in Chapter 2 at Eltoora the Wizard and the Blacksmith respectively.

#2 has 10 UMD points and Heavy Armour Proficiency. Splint Mail can be found in the Prelude. In Chapter 2, there's Robes of the Dark Moon in Chapter 2, and Shining Hand +5 in Chapter 4.

 

Helmet: Thayvian Circlet. Found in Chapter 2 on the Ogre Mage at the bottom of the Goblin caves. For #2, there's Thieves Hood in Chapter 1 if needed. Golden Circlet also deserves a mention [Chapter 2 from Eltoora or looted], though wizards can potentially mind blank themselves.

 

Gloves: Gauntlets of Lesser and Normal Ogre Power. Available from Blacksmiths in Chapters 1 & 2.

 

Cloak: Cloak of Movement. This is for sale in Chapter 1, and should be the first expensive item that you buy. Freedom rocks. If you have a Ring of Power, this can be sapped out for a Cloak of Fortification +3 or Cloak of Protection +5 in the later stages of the Campaign.

 

Belt: Sash of Shimmering, then Strength Belts. Sash can be bought from the auction at the Docks. Strength belts range from +3 to +5, and a +3 belt can be found on level 3 of Mutamin's challenge in the southern area with the many locked doorways. +5 belts are found in loot.

 

Ring 1: Anything with regeneration. Boddyknock's quest item ring is available from level 7, after a 10 minute life-story exchange and a swap for a Bread Recipe. There's a regeneration ring [+2] in Chapter 2 Finale on the guard outside of the Wizard's Tower Entrance. With a rakshasa eye, Fenberry and Melf's Acid Arrow Spell [Tome of The Ring can be found in Moonwood], a better Ring of Regeneration [+4] can be crafted in a Wizard's lab in Chapter 3.

 

Ring 2: Ring Of Elemental Resistance. This is available at the end of Chapter One as a Magical Item reward from the Helm's Hold Guardian, who can be conversed with after banishing the Chanonion Vrock. It is also available in random loot. Once you hit Chapter 3, Ring of Power is for sale at temples, which has a teeny bit of regen.

 

Amulet: Lesser/Normal/Greater Amulet of Health. For sale from temple merchants in chapters 1-3. Dire Spiders can f*** off.

 

Boots: Reflex [+3 are a reward from Ophala in Chapter 1], then Speed. Speed Boots are available from Chapter 3 from the temple, and if you're lucky they can be looted after level 11 in Chapter 2. Keep some Dragon Slippers handy if you find them.

 

For #2, there Boots of the Sun Soul for added AC, up to +3 can be worn with 10 UMD [more is needed to wear +4 and +5, which would require another rogue level]. Just before the Final Chapter, it may be worth switching back to Boots of Speed [can only be bought in Chapter 3], and switch the Dark Moon robe out for a Shining Hand +5 robe, which CAN be worn using 10 UMD.

 

 

 

 

Shadows of Undrentide

 

 

Gold: Comparatively scarce, it is worth saving it for key items. Namely, Cloak of Movement in Chapter 1, Boots of the Shifting Sands in the Interlude, and whatever scrolls you can get your hands on. Sell what you don't need.

 

Magic Items: Cat's Grace and Barkskin Potions are good for a short defense boost. Eagle's Splendor Potions can be bought from the Herbalist, which can be handy for a few early conversations. The Lens of Detection in Kel Garas' Tomb is a nifty little item too, recommend holding onto that.

 

Once again, scrolls are your friend. Szaren and the Hermit sell up to level 3 scrolls in Chapter 1, some of which can bought to free up spell selection choices on level up. The Ao Encampment merchant sells a Bigby's Grasping Hand scroll; buy it when you can, but don't learn it. It may come in handy later on, if you decide to take out a certain high level spellcaster, and attempting to do so is 'bugging' you.

 

Healing Items: Heal Kits! Can bought bought or looted, and don't provoke and attack of opportunity in combat. There's also Heal Potions for sale in Chapter 3, albeit expensive ones. 
If you have a little coin left over from buying the Cloak of Movement at the end of Chapter 1, you can purchase Greater Restoration scrolls from the Herbalist or the Fortune Teller in the Interlude. Save one, all the way until Chapter 2 of the Hordes of the Underdark Campaign, and you can place it inside an Isaac's Sequencer Robe for a once per day heal! '<img'>  

 

Weapon: For #1, Practice Sword right at the start in Mischa's chest, and then a halberd once you've reached the smith. After that, there's Talona's Strike off of the Stinger Officer in the Interlude.

#3 has to pretty much work with a dagger until reaching the smith. True Strike/Power Attack, Ray of Frost and Color Spray are your friends! 

 

Robe: I completed this expansion swapping between being naked for buffing and spellcasting, and Heavy Armour for tanking. A Splint Mail can be bought from the smith at the start for ~300 gp, and Blackguard's Full Plate can be found in the Interlude, which I used regularly until I could start casting level 6 spells [Forceful Hand > Boss Monsters]. I concluded the game using Robe of Vecna off of the Shadow Lich.

However, if you'd like a robe earlier on, there's Robe of Energy and Mage's Battle Robe available from the Hermit in Chapter 1, and Greater Adventurer's Robe from Ao Encampment in the Interlude.

 

Helmet: Helmet of Discharge, which can be found in Kel-Garas' temple in the Interlude. 

 

Gauntlets: Concentration Gloves can be found near the Hill Giant in Chapter 1, and Lesser Ogre Power can be bought or found in Chapter 1.

 

Cloak: Cloak of Movement. This is for sale in Chapter 1 from the community hall. Save those pennies, this item is quite useful in the Interlude!

 

Belt: Belt of Hill Giant Strength can be obtained in Interlude in the Valley of the Winds, by tugging on one of the chains.

 

Rings: Not many to be found in SoU. Ring of Scholars is nice to start, and any ring with Universal Saving Throw boosts [Resistance, Commanders] is always handy.

 

Amulet: Amulet of Health can be found in the Stinger Caves [Interlude], and Greater Amulet of Health [Regen at last!] can be found inside of the Book chapters in the Great Library on a corpse near the Succubus horde [Chapter 2]. 

 

Boots: Boots of the Shifting Sands, available from the Ao Encampment in the Interlude.

 

 

 

Hordes of The Underdark

 

First off: All of your old SoU items! Found at the end of Chapter 1 in a black Drow Chest.

 

Gold: Abundant throughout, though there is a gold cap on merchants in each Chapter that grows as you advance through the game, and then lots of ways to spend it in Chapter 3. It is therefore worth saving the most expensive items until the end to sell for the highest price if you can, so have a few bags handy! As a general rule: If you don't know what your most expensive items are, find a merchant who sells at a low price, and see if items there still sell for 10k. These are the ones to keep. 

In Chapter 2 also, there are some ridiculously expensive poison bolts and arrows to be found. To make the most of these, sell them in small batches [groups of 5-9] for under 10k per batch, to either of the Duergar Merchants in the Chapter. 

 

Magic Items: The Djinni Bottle in the first Chapter, for his nifty portable shop, plus the many unique plot items found within HoTU and from the old SoU stash.

For those fond of using wands, the Djinni sells the Magic Electrifier in Chapter 1, and Bone Wands are sold in Chapter 1 from the wizard merchant in Waterdeep. I grabbed 2 [one for Evards and one for Lesser Spell Breach], and then kept them continuously charged through looted wands [missiles, fireball, etc] consumed via the Electrifier.

 

Healing Items: Heal kits for the first 2 chapters, and whatever Heal Potions you can get your hands on. In Chapter 3, Gru'ul sells unlimited heal potions, so stock up!

 

Weapon: The drow dagger once you've woken up, which when buffed is powerful enough to kill the Elite Drow in the first fight [where LOOOTS of xp can be gained]. After that, grab a +2 Halberd from Agarli.

The Ogre Mage [Undermountain North] and the Chest behind the Guardians [Undermountain South] will drop a nice halberd, which after level 17 will probably be Dragon's Breath. I recommend using this until Chapter 3 and saving your gold until then, as well as holding off selling as many expensive items as you can [i.e. ones that will sell for over the GP cap of Chapter 1 & 2 merchants respectively].

Once into Chapter 3, find Rizolvier's Ghost, flog off your expensive items for a higher price, buy a halberd +6, and pimp it out with +10 enhancement, acid damage, haste, regeneration, and spell resistance. 

 

Robe: Sequencer Robes! The standard Sequencer is available in Chapter 1 from the Waterdeep wizard merchant [whom I usually bindstone and port back to throughout to sell stuff]. Isaac's Sequencer can be bought in Chapter 2 from the Djiini merchant.

Sequencers cast spells at their SCROLL LEVEL, meaning that storing level dependant spells such as damage shields in them is a bit of a waste of time. They can, interestingly, also store spells cast from scrolls.

I basically used mine as a panic button, and my spells were as follows: Haste or Premonition [Sequencer], then Time Stop, Greater Spell Mantle and Greater Sanctuary [Isaac's Sequencer]. If you've saved a Greater Restoration scroll from SoU, this can be sequenced too! [I'd replace Greater Spell Mantle with this] 

In Chapter 3, Balpheron's Robe may come in handy, particularly once you have Epic Mage Armor.

 

Helmet: Headband of Intellect +6, off of the Drow Sub Commander in Chapter 1. If you'd like more regeneration late game, there's the Crown of Thorns for sale from the Quarry Boss in Chapter 3, which might be useful to switch to whilst it is necessary to shift into different forms [shifting removes intelligence gear = lost spell slots].

 

Gauntlets: Ogre Power from Agarli. There's also Epic Gloves of Concentration found in Chapters 2 & 3.

 

Cloak: Cloak of Movement from your old gear stash. In Chapter 2, the wizard merchant has a Cloak of Fortification +5, and in Chapter 3 there's plenty of others to choose from.

 

Belt: Belts of Agility to start. Once you have freedom from another item, Strength Belts are the go. +5 can be obtained from Sabal on the island with the Strange Town, and +10 can be bought in Chapter 3 from Gru'ul.

 

Rings: Ring of Power can be bought from the Djinni in Chapter 2, and Ring of Clear Thought +6 from the High Wizard in Chapter 2. There's lots of rings in Chapter 3, keep in mind a slot has to be free for the Puzzle Ring however.

 

Amulet: Greater Amulet of Health from a sarcophagus in Chapter 1, Epic Amulet of Health in Chapter 3.

 

Boots: Boots of Speed can be found on Stoney in Chapter 1. There's also Dragon Slippers from random loot, Prismatic Dragon Slippers from the surrounds outside the undead/beholder/mind flayer lairs in Chapter 2 on a pile of bones, and +10 striding boots in Chapter 3. Once you have a superweapon with Haste, any of these can be worn instead [recommend the Prismatic Slippers for the Dexterity and KD immunity].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, some general campaign play tips/strategies:

 

First off: QUICKSAVING. This can be bound to a key, Use it.

 

Original Campaign [Build #2]

 

Despite being primarily wizard: This build works best as a self-buffing melee character. Don't forget to talk to NPC's; LOTS have sidequests in the original campaign!

 

Spellbook should be primarily buffs to start, cast without armour on upon waking up or charging in to fight. I recommend quickslotting your armor to make it easy to take on and off. Example level 7 wizard spellbook: Greater Magic Weapon, 2 Ghostly Visages, Bulls Strength, Flame Weapon, Mage Armour and Extended Shield, and the rest of spells as Expeditious Retreat, Haste and Extended Haste. Extended Ultravision and Darkness can also be slotted in at level 3.

 

This character has low HP to start, so it helps to get Ghostly Visage ASAP. Beggars Nest is the safest of the 4 zones to start, but has some nasty monsters within its depths. Clearing out the first level and surrounding houses [without delving too deep into the Cult House or Warehouse] should get your character to level 4.

After that, I recommend heading BACK through Peninsula [easiest overall to start], then Docks, Beggars and Blacklake. True Strike and Knockdown are useful throughout for boss fights. Remember to rest next to Fenthick in the Finale, as you cannot rest in the final room containing Desther. Darkness is your friend up there.

 

Once into Chapter 2, there's robes of the Dark Moon, so hastes and retreats can be replaced with other spells. Darkness, Fireball and Evard's Black Tentacles are useful complements to buffs and Great Cleaving everything. Recommended play order: Port Llast Mines/Green Griffon Inn [North], Neverwinter Wood [East], Charwood [South].

 

In Chapter 3, spells start to play more of a role as the character has some more slots to play around with, though melee still works fine. True Strike and Extended Damage Shields are awesome to have against bosses such as Dragons, and Shadow Shield + the newly available regeneration gear is a must have. Recommended Play Order: Coldwood [North], Uthgardt Tribes and Fort [South], Moonwood [West]. Moonwood has lots of dragons in it that can potentially be murdered for experience or sport.

 

Chapter 4 is fairly straight forward. Heal Potions can be sold at the temple, and Time Stop scrolls are sold at Eltoora. Probably the most tough opponents to fight are Siege Golems, though these can potentially be melee'd or Chain Lightning'd to death.

The sector with the two guardian dragons is the last resting point in the game, so don't forget to rest here. Morag's Protection Minions can be sniped from afar, and of course no one is immune to time stop.  '<img'> 

 

 

Shadows of Undrentide [Build #3]

 

Again, despite being primarily wizard, the build works best throughout as a self-buffing melee character. There's lots of puzzles in SoU and I shan't provide answers to them; there's plenty of guides that already do that. This will mainly address character playstyle. 

 

I played this build similarly to #2 in the Original Campaign, though I wore Heavy Armour for a little longer as there were no Robes of the Dark Moon available [Boots of Shifting Sands instead fills this role]. Buffs + True Strike + Darkness + Melee should see you through most encounters, just don't forget to buff pre-fight without armour on. After attaining Forceful Hand in Chapter 2 [level 11 wizard, level 12 character level], I switched back to robes. 

 

This build has a bit of a tricky start solo'ing, as it cannot use armour or martial weapons until level 2, after which time there's been a few fights. You want to get to level 2 as quick as you can. For the first fight beside Drogan: True Strike + Power Attack [with your trusty dagger] can potentially see you killing a couple of kobolds. Ray of Frost is good for pesky rats, and Color Spray is great provided that opponents don't make the save. The couple of persuade points + an Eagle's Splendor potion [Herbalist] at the start can help with a few quests within the town to begin with, pushing that early experience a teeny bit higher.

 

If you're feeling morally deficient [which character wise is feasible, being evil], the several neutral animals and NPC's throughout this expansion can be removed for extra experience. This includes the Ranger outside of the Elven tomb [Chapter 1], the Dragon's 'food stash' [Chapter 1], and the Sphinx [Interlude]. If you decide to fight the Formian Queen in the Interlude, I would suggest doing so under the cover of darkness [her minions are also tough], and I would try breach her [from a spell not a scroll as it is quicker, so you might have to do this naked] and then score a hit with a Bigby's Grasping Hand scroll [bought from the Ao encampment].

 

For Chapter 1: Visit the dragon first [North of the Elven Tomb] and negotiate with him to kill J'nah [South of the Elven Tomb, though at the Northern end of that sector], for which he'll grant you some special powder. Use the powder on J'nah, and after smashing her and her minions she'll have a special 'Phylactery of Ice', that will transform you into a giant to help battle the dragon after returning to him. Dragon Fighting Strategy: Quickbar flame weapon and phylactery. Buff self and cast haste, then select flame weapon as a spell to cast but do not cast it [have it ready on mouse cursor]. Use phylactery to transform, THEN cast the flame weapon on self. You are now a hasted giant with a flaming sword.

Remember to sell up and try and get a Cloak of Movement from the priest in the main hall before giving Drogan all the required items.

 

For the Interlude: It is worth saving items to sell to the merchant in the Ao Encampment at the end of the Chapter.

There are quite a few acid paralysis traps in the Stinger lair. Cloak of Movement and Pixie Familiar are your friends.

Kel Garas doesn't like Fire Damage, and if you end up negotiating with him he will grant you Jergal's Claw, which is an expensive dagger than can be sold at the Ao Encampment. 

Remember to rest before entering the portal in the Excavated Ruins; there's no opportunity to do so until a little way into the next Chapter.

 

For Chapter 2: You can potentially hold off selling expensive items in this Chapter, and instead waiting until HoTU to sell them to a better merchant. Rusted Items and Mouldy Books sell for nothing, so try to avoid picking them up [they'll need to be identified to see what they are]. All 3 'wind' areas are around the same difficulty, though the Great Library [East] has a Greater Amulet of Health near the end [the only regen item in the game!], so I usually head there first. The end of this Chapter is not terribly melee intensive, so switching to robes for spellcasting is a good idea. Forceful Hand works against pretty much everything, including Heurodis herself.

 

 

Hordes Of The Underdark [#3]

 

Experience from killing monsters in Hordes of the Underdark is artificially altered throughout the game. At level 13, monsters can be worth thousands of xp each, and at level 28, every creature is only worth 40xp [so basically the game expects the player to level no further than 28]. There is a lot of experience granted for completing quests and objectives, and also for exploring areas and completing dialogue with NPC's. I recommend exploring and talking to as many people as you can. 

 

You can cast Level 9 Spells in this expansion! Time to be a proper-ish wizard! I only used robes throughout, though early on, again, it helps to primarily smash everything. To start with though, all you really have to smash things with is the teeny Drow Dagger, and you can get a silly amount of experience from the first fight. If you can, try and stab the 3 Elite Drow to death with your flamed and greater magic'd dagger [they'll be standing in front of the downstairs door as soon as the fight breaks out]. Combined, they should give you another level worth of experience.

 

After that, you can level up and get Shadow Shield, then travel outside to Waterdeep and buy a more respectable weapon and robe. It's a good idea to set one of the merchants [usually the wizard] as a Bindstone setting on your Relic, to return to and sell gear throughout the First Chapter, particularly after you retrieve your SoU gear from the black drow Chest. Save the most expensive items for subsequent Chapters if you can [e.g. weapons and armour +4 or higher], where items sell for more money. One can potentially spend 1 million on a superweapon and a couple more million on True Names in the final Chapter, so the more dosh the merrier.

 

Undermountain: Lots of Secret Areas, 2 main bosses, 2 ways of progressing downstairs. Use Detect Mode frequently and try to find all the shinies! 

 

In Chapter 2: There's a little side quest in town involving some drow politics. Once you've headed beyond the walls to the west, the Valsharess will decide to attack the city, so I recommend completing the areas reached by boat first, and selling to either of the Duergar Merchants [Maker Island and Undead Castle] or the Djiini. Recommended Play Order: Strange Town/Shaori, Maker's Island, Beholder Cavern, Mind Flayer Cavern, Undead Castle.

 

Chapter 2 Boat:

For the Wizard's Tower in the Strange Town: Cast damage shields outside, then melee everything inside if you can. Occasionally some spells still work. The Balor Lord has Vorpal, so high fortitude might help against him. Spamming heal kits whilst the Slaads kill themselves on your shields is a good tactic.

For Talona's challenge: The left hand chain is a Ghoul Ravager, which is the easiest opponent to hit. Recommend just fighting these, then after completing the challenge, murdering the priest as sweet revenge for his silly game. 

For the Maker's Sanctum: You can potentially kill both golem clan leaders for extra experience. Downstairs, the Mithral Golems f***ing hurt. Be very careful. The Maker is a tough old bastard, but he has no magic damage resistance. IGMS might be a bit too modern for him.

 

Chapter 2 West:

Have a bit of an explore in the surrounding area before entering any caves: There's a few neat items to be found [notably Prismatic Dragon Slippers].

For the Beholder Caverns: Beholder Gaze sucks. Try to snipe them from afar with IGMS; they seem less inclined to gaze at people far away from them. 

For the dead magic zone: ELEMENTAL SUMMONS AND PIXIE! Once you have found the ancient device, you can open the door using a knock spell [or use the pixie to open it], unsummon your pets, disable the obelisk, and get your wizardy goodness back. If you're overencumbered, drop your heavy items at the beginning of the sector and pick them up later on.

For the Mind Flayer Cave: Lesser Mind Blank, then Rampant Genocide. Freeing the slaves in the Slave Pen yields quite a bit of experience. Power Attack for the Elder Brain!

For the Undead Castle: Remember to rest before entering Vixthra's Chamber as it is a no rest zone. He's not too difficult, but he does regenerate a lot. Recommend killing all his regenerations for maximum experience before heading out the back and whacking his Phylactery.

 

Chapter 2 Final Fight: REST BEFORE ENTERING TOWN, you cannot rest for the remainder of the Chapter. Your buffs will be periodically removed via cutscenes, though weapon buffs will not. I recommend slotting at least 3 sets of buffs, and not buffing until the beginning of each fight. Most important are: Maximised Bull's Strength, Lesser Mind Blank, Shadow Shield, Improved Invisiblity. Clouds and Tentacles in front of the gates, Wail of the Banshee inside the city, Mordenkainen + Forceful for the Valsharess.

 

Chapter 3 is basically a parade of shiny expensive toys as far as items go. Collecting Velox Berries and using 3 on a pile of debris will allow your character to rest. The persistant cold damage shouldn't be an issue if your character is wearing a Ring of Power.

 

There is less focus in this Chapter on large groups of small enemies, and more on small groups of tanky enemies, most with high health and Fortitude, so damage area spells and Wail of the Banshee become less effective. That said, fire damage spells work nicely against a lot of things. As it is required to use the Puzzle Ring and Sensei's Amulet throughout this Chapter, it is harder to retain spellslots, so I usually don't bother with intelligence gear and go the regen/resistance route. Also once you have a +10 superhalberd, melee becomes quite silly for the rest of the game.

 

The fight against Grimgnaw and his companions is tricky, as they tend to overwhelm you quickly. Remember that you can rest up before talking to Grimgnaw; use this time to rearrange your spellbook. Slot in a couple of timestops, a mordenkainen's disjunction and a few bigby forceful/grappling hands. Balpheron the Lich will open up the battle by timestopping and buffing himself, and is wearing a Cloak of Epic Spell Resistance. After he has done this: Time Stop yourself, fire a mordenkainens and a forceful at Balpheron, then more hands at the others. Darkness will also help here.

 

By comparison Mephistopheles is probably less difficult, though he is quite tanky and has magic resistance. However, doesn't like hearing his True Name, and he also doesn't like Acid Damage.

 

 

 

 

 

The End! Enjoy!


               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 05:23:50 pm »


               

I only play Bio campaign at hardest cuz they so easy so am thinking you make good choice there.  Just know that all creature get more crits and roll 20 much more than what real dice would do on normal server or mods.  If enable combat debug you will see wut I mean.


 


Am thinking prolly better Ftr 3/ Asn 1/ Wiz 16 pre-epic to get earlier Tumble at Lvl 17 before EMA, one Ftr at lvl 2 saves Martial feat n +1 BAB help sum (but still only 3APR/4 haste).  Also, why not UMD?  Monk gear very sweet for Wiz n also can use divine scrolls/wand to help AB which pretty bad for melee.  HotU have lots of good cleric/druid scroll to use. True Strike waste many rounds so mostly use for end boss not for mobs.  Campaigns all pretty easy with no-limit resting cept in couple small areas.  Under beholder cave is very tough for wiz who could use traps there with set skill but this toon has no trap skill. '<img'>


 


Ummm... you missing Blind Fight which bad for any melee vs. shadow or other conceal types.  Should be automatic on build like this.


 


Then use Ftr 4 for WS/EWS asap in epic with late Ftr 5 Discipline dump else just keep Disc wen do Ftr4 (pretty good with Emp Bull cast). Yah, I like Disc more than Conc in Bio campaign cuz no Taunt ever happen and won't lose weapon when disarm tried or get KD by dragon too easy.   Maybe can get IC earlier in pre-epic cuz halberd good dmg but crit range very bad so it help a lot.


 


Thing is: If just do campaigns, toon never get past Lvl 28 for SoU/HotU or OC/HotU.  Playing OC/SoU/HotU together is bad idea cuz SoU will be stupid easy even at worst diff... else OC will be stupid if do SoU first.  That mean last two fighter never happen even with good ECL from OC helping.  If use any party at all (familiar/summon/hench) a lot in combat, never even reach Lvl 28. Figure -10 to -15% XP /each extra party.


 


High CON good idea with 3 dmg shields up for wiz since campaigns give full heals.  Not many server have them, tho.  Pixie is what I like too cuz very good to make invis and do all recon for traps/locks and can get dagger GMW'ed/Flame'd for lots of damage before wiz show up to finish and not lose XP this way.  It only pal with weapon that not creature type so can buff good.  Only stoneskin help other pals.


 


Note sure why think Alertness good feat for Bio campaigns cuz AI never do stealth in them. Just for shifter mainly.


 


Only use points in Appraise with some spare skills cuz can just save/reroll at merchant to get better deals.  In HotU so much loot for gold really make no matter by then.


 


That wut I do with dwf wiz I am thinking.


 


If u like to get many builder to give ideas of your idea should visit http://nwnecbguild.forumer.com/ if not visit there b4.  They can build all toons, not just epic ones.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 01:34:01 am »


               
I only play Bio campaign at hardest cuz they so easy so am thinking you make good choice there.  Just know that all creature get more crits and roll 20 much more than what real dice would do on normal server or mods.  If enable combat debug you will see wut I mean.

 



 


Yeah, it's certainly harder on the hardest difficulty, especially being critical hit. I don't know about the dice rolls though...


 


Am thinking prolly better Ftr 3/ Asn 1/ Wiz 16 pre-epic to get earlier Tumble at Lvl 17 before EMA...

 



 


The problem with taking that many non-wizard levels pre-epic is that Epic Mage Armour has to then wait until 27 [ need 21 wizard to get it], and the 2nd chapter of HoTU is the point when the average NPC weapon can regularly pierce Shadow Shield, so AC starts becoming necessary for swarms [particularly drow].


 


 ... one Ftr at lvl 2 saves Martial feat n +1 BAB help sum (but still only 3APR/4 haste).  Also, why not UMD?  Monk gear very sweet for Wiz n also can use divine scrolls/wand to help AB which pretty bad for melee.  HotU have lots of good cleric/druid scroll to use. True Strike waste many rounds so mostly use for end boss not for mobs.

 


Someone didn't read the questions section much.  '<img'>


 


It costs a feat to go all wizard with a halberd for the campaign, but the payoff is the spellcasting power, which is my personal perference. I like the anticipation of accruing spells as early as possible. 


 


I mentioned that one could just chuck in a fighter level early for proficiencies and/or a umd class level for the OC items; that's not to say this can't be done. A Human Wiz 15 Ft 1 [taken at 2 or 3] Rogue 1[taken at 8 or so] in the OC is probably overall a stronger build in the end, it'd just have less spells.


 


The melee AB is actually not much of an issue for the campaigns. I like the idea of UMD for Divine Power Scrolls in HoTU, but I don't think a merchant sells any. I suppose if one gets lucky and finds some, a bit of UMD wouldn't hurt.


 


I used true strike mainly once I'd hit the teens, against high AC opponents like dragons.


 


Under beholder cave is very tough for wiz who could use traps there with set skill but this toon has no trap skill.  '<img'>

 



 


I like the idea of traps for that one map, that map is a pain for spellchuckers.


 


Ummm... you missing Blind Fight which bad for any melee vs. shadow or other conceal types.  Should be automatic on build like this.

 



 


This helps a bit against Shadows and Spectres and not much else in the campaigns, and I never really found them enough of a problem to warrant spending a feat on them. On a PW with lots of PvP, one would be stupid to miss out on Blind Fight.


 


Then use Ftr 4 for WS/EWS asap in epic with late Ftr 5 Discipline dump else just keep Disc wen do Ftr4 (pretty good with Emp Bull cast). Yah, I like Disc more than Conc in Bio campaign cuz no Taunt ever happen and won't lose weapon when disarm tried or get KD by dragon too easy.   Maybe can get IC earlier in pre-epic cuz halberd good dmg but crit range very bad so it help a lot.

 



 


Again, more non wizard = later epic mage armour. Earlier damage could be a good compromise though.


 


For the dragons that like KD, I usually just put on Slippers and cast haste on myself if it's necessary. Saves having to spend points on discipline, which may not be enough anyway for the times that it's required. That, and basically no creatures use called shot or disarm.


 


I didn't really worry about the crit range, the base damage is high enough, and this isn't a Dev Crit build. Larger criticals also mean the potential to hit 3 digit numbers, which are pretty.


 


Improved Critical requires a base ab of 8, which is why it is taken quite late. Could also throw in fighter levels to take it earlier, but again, that means less spells damnit! NEED MOAR SPELLS! 


 


Concentration is for spellcasting. It's a wizard, who fights in melee. It's nice to have.  '<img'>


 


Thing is: If just do campaigns, toon never get past Lvl 28 for SoU/HotU or OC/HotU.  Playing OC/SoU/HotU together is bad idea cuz SoU will be stupid easy even at worst diff... else OC will be stupid if do SoU first.  That mean last two fighter never happen even with good ECL from OC helping.  If use any party at all (familiar/summon/hench) a lot in combat, never even reach Lvl 28. Figure -10 to -15% XP /each extra party.

 



 


I've heard of people getting to 30 in HoTU from xp farming, but I've personally never got above 28 either. I just included that in the plan for the sake of it.


 


Edited: Build now goes to 28! Cheaters can figure the rest for themselves.  '<img'>


 


SoU is meant to be started from level 1, otherwise yes it'd be very easy. The build has 2 separate pathways and different skills for each pathway; one for the OC, and one for SOU and HoTU. 


 


I never used familiars or summons in combat. I just used them to cast stuff/pick locks/shoot confusion at tanky things, and then promptly unsummoned them.


 


High CON good idea with 3 dmg shields up for wiz since campaigns give full heals.  Not many server have them, tho.  Pixie is what I like too cuz very good to make invis and do all recon for traps/locks and can get dagger GMW'ed/Flame'd for lots of damage before wiz show up to finish and not lose XP this way.  It only pal with weapon that not creature type so can buff good.  Only stoneskin help other pals.

 



 


High con's kinda necessary for a melee wizard. D4 isn't much to go on.


 


Pixies rock, agreed.


 


Note sure why think Alertness good feat for Bio campaigns cuz AI never do stealth in them. Just for shifter mainly.

 



 


They're there as pre-requisites for Harper Scout [the only other prestige class with tumble], in the event one would like to make a non-evil version of this character. I personally prefer the evil [assassin] version, has a bit more offense.


 


Only use points in Appraise with some spare skills cuz can just save/reroll at merchant to get better deals.  In HotU so much loot for gold really make no matter by then.

If u like to get many builder to give ideas of your idea should visit http://nwnecbguild.forumer.com/ if not visit there b4.  They can build all toons, not just epic ones.

 


 


Will throw in edits when I think of them. Might edit out appraise at some stage and stick in set trap and a little UMD for scrolls.  Will need a bit of testing first.  '<img'>


 


 


Will check the forum too! Looks like lots of ideas there.


 


Thanks for the feedback!  '<img'>



               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 04:18:28 am »


               

About pixie combat.


 


I kill Drawl very easy @ lvl 4 wiz w/possess pixie going round corner thru 2 doors after getting buff full w/MW, FW, all ability pots and last is speed pot.  Just b4 dead, quick fly out then heal pixie rinse rebuff speed pot until Drawl almost dead.  Then unsummon, get Death Armor, buff w/same pots as pixie then wiz run to finish Drawl with buffed mundane wpn and no XP lost.  Almost never take dmg from Drawl this way and sometime he kill himself on DA '<img'>  Same trick work with Loxar who is tuff for low HP toon sometime.  Sword coast zombie easy to kill with bolts but can use pixie same way if too tuff.


 


This work for many bosses that not do dispels to make pixie attack very bad.  Drawl or Loxar never dispel so no worry.


 


One bad place for low Disc in HotU is where Eldath knock your Halberd away with ImpDisarm very easy.  No boots to help for that NPC.


 


Another bad wiz place in HotU where only normal attack work is wild magic Wiz tower in Shaori land.  HotU Green slaad on top level use Mestil sheath so need acid ring for that if doing melee.


 


I still am thinking wasting feat to get lvl 2 spells on level earlier not smart.  Will have same total 18/2 pre-epic and in OC Ch4 Eltoora sell Wilting, Gtr Breach & TS scrolls so wut else you need from Lvl 17 spell in OC?  Battle with lizards always done with scrolls anyway if smart.  Not sure why that not enuf to make end battle very easy for Lvl 16 mage.  Get Cleave at 18 that way to start HotU off with in first drow battle.  It nice that hench don't count for XP penalty so more kills by wiz is very high XP fast start to new campaign.


 


Ppl who farm XP just lame.  Why waste time doing boring things just for XP in SP?  Use console if wanting to exploit poor module design. It faster but still prove nothing.  I get Lvl 20 in OC once when doing stupid NG build that get both arcane and druid test with really good ECL.  But it silly to build that way I am thinking since toon always weaker that way.  Designer make module for challenge so why nerf challenge?  Make no sense to me.  You play PW so know how much SP help to play on-line if it hard enough and with DM there to make sure challenge stays high only best builds work.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 06:12:39 am »


               
I kill Drawl very easy @ lvl 4 wiz w/possess pixie going round corner thru 2 doors after getting buff full w/MW, FW, all ability pots and last is speed pot.  Just b4 dead, quick fly out then heal pixie rinse rebuff speed pot until Drawl almost dead.  Then unsummon, get Death Armor, buff w/same pots as pixie then wiz run to finish Drawl with buffed mundane wpn and no XP lost.  Almost never take dmg from Drawl this way and sometime he kill himself on DA  '<img'>  Same trick work with Loxar who is tuff for low HP toon sometime.  Sword coast zombie easy to kill with bolts but can use pixie same way if too tuff.

 



 


Interesting trick, very creative.  '<img'>  I usually visit the Peninsula first. The main threats I had were Gang Leaders and the Half Orc near the end, neither of which liked Color Spray, Concealment or Confusion Bolts very much.


 


With Cats Grace, Barkskin, Mage Armour, Shield and Haste, this character can get 26 AC at level 5, with 50% conceal to boot, and does 40 damage a round with a flaming Swiss Army Pole. Can toe to toe pretty well in bursts!


 


 



One bad place for low Disc in HotU is where Eldath knock your Halberd away with ImpDisarm very easy.  No boots to help for that NPC.


 


Another bad wiz place in HotU where only normal attack work is wild magic Wiz tower in Shaori land.  HotU Green slaad on top level use Mestil sheath so need acid ring for that if doing melee.


 



 


Nothing Maximised Missile storm can't fix dear fellow.  '<img'> Pretty sure I didn't have any problems with the slaad, might've just drank some potions or ran in with energy buffer.


 


I still am thinking wasting feat to get lvl 2 spells on level earlier not smart.  Will have same total 18/2 pre-epic and in OC Ch4 Eltoora sell Wilting, Gtr Breach & TS scrolls so wut else you need from Lvl 17 spell in OC?  Battle with lizards always done with scrolls anyway if smart.  Not sure why that not enuf to make end battle very easy for Lvl 16 mage.  

 


It does look bad on paper yeah, and again, it's just a personal preference. The main downside I see to going pure Wizard is missing out on UMD and thus Robes of the Dark Moon in Chapter 2. Melee and AC wise, it's pretty sweet.


 


Feat wise, there isn't really anything that this character needs pre-epic after it's attained spell penetration, metamagic, weapon feats and knockdown. After that they're just bonuses that aren't noticed much.


 


There are scenarios where it is handy to have that teeny little spell level edge. Ghostly Visage [level 3] for the start of Chapter 1, and Haste [level 5] for the Peninsula lower levels and the Devourer, for example. Also Forceful Hand [Level 11] for most of Chapter 2, and then Shadow Shield [Level 13] for Luskan.  And level 9 spells at the end never hurt, though as you said they aren't necessary.  '<img'>


 


You should try it! It's fun!  '<img'>


 


Get Cleave at 18 that way to start HotU off with in first drow battle.  It nice that hench don't count for XP penalty so more kills by wiz is very high XP fast start to new campaign.

 



 

 


I use the SoU character for HoTU, who usually starts at 13, as per the storyline. If one were to choose the OC character for HoTU, then cleave would be useful at the beginning yeah.


 


 


Ppl who farm XP just lame.  Why waste time doing boring things just for XP in SP?  Use console if wanting to exploit poor module design. It faster but still prove nothing.  I get Lvl 20 in OC once when doing stupid NG build that get both arcane and druid test with really good ECL.  But it silly to build that way I am thinking since toon always weaker that way.  Designer make module for challenge so why nerf challenge?  Make no sense to me.  You play PW so know how much SP help to play on-line if it hard enough and with DM there to make sure challenge stays high only best builds work.

 



 


Pretty much. It detracts from the challenge, and if one wants to exploit there's always the console commands.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_LoA_Tristan

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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 05:55:10 am »


               No one is ever going to convince me that those beggar's nest mummies aren't hilarious. Most recently, they even inspired me to roll a druid (which I NEVER play). Yep, giant pile of 50 mummies, versus naked druid with call lightning. SCIENCE.


I am kind of in awe of the decision not to take fighter early. The loss of BAB and feats, versus the loss of a level's worth of buffing spells... such high prices! It makes me want to rack my brains over how to "do both." I guess there's always the dm/darkfire cleric on that front. But that doesn't count as a bearded battlewitch.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 06:23:12 am »


               
No one is ever going to convince me that those beggar's nest mummies aren't hilarious. Most recently, they even inspired me to roll a druid (which I NEVER play). Yep, giant pile of 50 mummies, versus naked druid with call lightning. SCIENCE.

 



 


Yeah I think I tried that and got from like level 5- 11 in 5 minutes with a character at some point. It's fun at least once, I'll give you that. '<img'>



 


I am kind of in awe of the decision not to take fighter early. The loss of BAB and feats, versus the loss of a level's worth of buffing spells... such high prices! It makes me want to rack my brains over how to "do both." I guess there's always the dm/darkfire cleric on that front. But that doesn't count as a bearded battlewitch. 


 



 


 


 




Edit: 2 new versions in first post.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_LoA_Tristan

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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 06:30:33 am »


               Yeah that build would be everyone's first instinct. That's why I thought your build featured such a momentous decision. It gets the spells sooner, as you say.
 
':wizard:' Everything has its price!
               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2016, 06:47:43 am »


               

I actually first made this build as a human with a full plate/scimitar in mind and started it with 1 fighter level, based off of a spellsword I'd made on a level 40 server. Then after about 15 minutes of playing it I basically thought: this is another tank, and I want a spellcaster, may as well just try it all wizard, should be ok in a robe.


And given no shield, make the thing 2 handed.


And it might be a bit of a twig, so maybe a dwarf.


 


And it worked. I told my instinct to rethink its' priorities.  '<img'>



               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2016, 08:36:13 am »


               

Yah, I play OC with pure class in long ago cuz not much time to multi in 18 lvls.  It work okay for learning class but can be much easy with just one rogue dump (Wiz/Asn INT synergy also very sweet with wiz cast so much Darkness for DAs).  I never play dwarf wiz, tho, cuz I use CoT for spellsword for good saves instead for ftr cuz wiz fort so bad even with hi CON.  I use either gnome, human or elf when doing pure wiz (never like sorc cuz evoc spells sux vs imp evasion foe and sorc mostly use evoc spells).


 


Like #2 build much better cuz monk gear so sweet for wiz and trap skill make OC ver easy.  If not use robe must take Still then can use shield if want to with s/s.  Can't do halberd with gnome but elf work fine and keen search is also a sweet racial.  Spell pen feats not needed in OC cuz almost no SR in campaign creature.  HotU have drow, though but by wiz 20 can beat SR 21-40 (avg bout 30) w/o any Spell Pen.  Am thinking highest SR in HotU is 32 so maybe +2 Spell Pen help if u not very lucky, but really not needed.  Am thinking SpF: Necro better wiz bonus.


 


Easy way to drop SR to make roll more lucky is by breach scrolls which get sold all over HotU & OC.


 


Reason why OC so easy for all caster cuz Bioware never rebalance for all new spells (like IGMS, Bigby) & PrClasses (like PM).  No matter wut diff play it, will always be too easy less some ppl make redesign with hi-SR enemy all over but it prolly never happen with so much PW around.


 


SoU/HotU is best combo cuz SoU has more new balance.



               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 09:30:46 am »


               
Yah, I play OC with pure class in long ago cuz not much time to multi in 18 lvls.  It work okay for learning class but can be much easy with just one rogue dump (Wiz/Asn INT synergy also very sweet with wiz cast so much Darkness for DAs).  I never play dwarf wiz, tho, cuz I use CoT for spellsword for good saves instead for ftr cuz wiz fort so bad even with hi CON.  I use either gnome, human or elf when doing pure wiz (never like sorc cuz evoc spells sux vs imp evasion foe and sorc mostly use evoc spells).

 



 


Fair enough. 


 


The INT synergy for death attacks wouldn't do much; combat needs to not be occuring for paralysis to work, which means sitting in darkness and waiting for 2 rounds hoping that nothing spots you. Kinda more a stealth thing.


 


I considered a gnome with a scimitar, but I liked the extra strength and saves that dwarves get. Plus larger weapons = more base damage early on. 


 


CoT would get around the multiclass pen for a human, and also grant a little bit more saves than fighter. This build doesn't really get many non-wizard levels though, and favoured dwarf class is fighter, so stuck with fighter for the extra feat.


 


I don't like sorcerors for the OC because they don't have the spell selection that a wizard does.  Makes them basically one trick ponies for half the campaign, using the same couple of buffs and offensive spells over and over. 


 


I wouldn't do an evo sorceror either. Ice Storm and IGMS [no saves] make that pretty redundant..


 


Like #2 build much better cuz monk gear so sweet for wiz and trap skill make OC ver easy.  

 



 


Yeah I imagine having haste robes for Chapter 2 would be nifty. When I played it I was lucky enough to find a pair of Boots of Speed at level 11 in a boss chest. The robes are definitely more reliable than chance, although if one was diligant they could reload for alternate chest loot once they hit 11, which is kinda cheating.


 


Once I had elemental resistance and plenty of HP and freedom/regen/immunity gear, I just tanked all the traps.   '<img'> Though I like the idea of using traps to kill the spiders in HoTU, might add that in later.


 


If not use robe must take Still then can use shield if want to with s/s.  Can't do halberd with gnome but elf work fine and keen search is also a sweet racial.  Spell pen feats not needed in OC cuz almost no SR in campaign creature.  HotU have drow, though but by wiz 20 can beat SR 21-40 (avg bout 30) w/o any Spell Pen.  Am thinking highest SR in HotU is 32 so maybe +2 Spell Pen help if u not very lucky, but really not needed.  Am thinking SpF: Necro better wiz bonus.

 



 


I like the idea of still spell, but it limits the amount of metamagic one can cast without auto still feats, and I didn't want to detract from the spellcasting. No Maxed Ice Storms or IGMS if you're wearing a full plate! 


 


Would maybe take focus for wail of the banshee yeah. Though I never had a burning need to use it when I played; Maxed Ice Storm/IGMS worked fine.


 


I liked having spell pen for the 32 SR enemies, worked well in combo with breach or mordenkainen.


 



Reason why OC so easy for all caster cuz Bioware never rebalance for all new spells (like IGMS, Bigby) & PrClasses (like PM).  No matter wut diff play it, will always be too easy less some ppl make redesign with hi-SR enemy all over but it prolly never happen with so much PW around.


 


SoU/HotU is best combo cuz SoU has more new balance.


 



 


Yeah it never got rebalanced, hence why I suggest to try doing the OC without those spells [which its possible to do, even get a +4 halberd for Chapter 3 haha]. 


 


I think SoU was a little unfair on pure magic users personally, what with all the 'dangerous areas' and mobs of spell resistant enemies. There wasn't any equivalent hindrance for say, a paladin or cleric, who can also buff themselves to the brink but can still melee once out of things to cast.


 


The melee addition to this build certainly helped that pitfall.   '<img'>



               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2016, 02:08:21 pm »


               

sry. dupe post. '<img'>



               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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Campaign/Expansions Build - The Bearded Battlewitch
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2016, 12:50:47 am »


               

So! Version 1 build was made off the cuff without much prior knowledge of the campaign. #2 was concoted to make use of monk items in the OC, and after playing SoU/HoTU again, I found out a few things:


 


 


Persuade was useful for a few initial conversations in SoU [e.g. setting up Szaren's shop], but was never high enough to become consistently useful later on, by which time the Battlewitch was better at solving problems with her halberd.


 


Taking a fighter level at the beginning allows room for heavy armour proficiency and cleave, which both rock.


 


I visited the dragon first, negotiated with him for the powder and then smashed his 'food' under the cover of darkness. Then visited J'Nah and threw powder in her face, and went back to wallop the dragon using the Phylactery.


Pro dragon fighting tip: Quickbar flame weapon and phylactery. Buff self and cast haste, then select flame weapon as a spell to cast but do not cast it [have it ready on mouse cursor]. Use phylactery to transform, THEN cast the flame weapon on self. 


You are now a hasted giant with a flaming sword and knockdown. Not broken.


 


Spell Resistance is a bit of a pain, but not really enough to warrant getting feats for considering Mordenkainen's and Breach spells. Wail of the Banshee on the other hand is quite hilarious in some sections.


 


Spellcraft didn't get much of a look-in in SoU/HoTU, as a lot of traps that triggered 'spells' didn't benefit from the additional saves granted. So I pushed back taking as much spellcraft until the end of HoTU to make room for other skills.


 


Appraise is overrated, ditched that.


 


Heal Skill is actually quite useful in HoTU, so I figured that deserved more points, as did Search.


 


I took a bit of UMD, and still found no consistent use for it in HoTU other than Dove's Harps. There aren't many merchants that sell many divine scrolls in HoTU. There are some to be found as random loot, but I tended to forget about them. So I figured why bother, and just stuck with taking a solely tumble dump level later on.


 


Once I hit Chapter 2 of HoTU I visited the Strange Town [Shaori] first, then the Maker, then back to town for the mid Chapter cutscene. After that, Beholder Caves, Mind Flayer Caves, and the Undead Castle. These 3 were all done before returning to town, as once you return from completing one of these quests, the battle for the township starts. As such, goods had to be sold along the way mostly. The Duergar merchants on the Isle of the Maker [upon arrival, later he attacks you] and the one outside of the Undead Castle give the best prices out all the merchants in Chapter 2 anyway, so not much of a biggie. Twas also good to split poison arrows and bolts into groups of a few or so, that then sold for under 10k.  '<img'>


 


AC can be reached quite high without Epic Mage Armour, thanks to Shadow Shield [+5 natural], Fortification Cloak [+5] and Isaac's Sequencer Robes [+7]. So I took Weapon Spec earlier for the damage.


 


In Shaori Land, The Balor Lord I found to be more of a pain than the Slaads thanks to his giant Vorpal Sword. Damage shields can be cast outside of the tower though [and be used to beat the slaads at their own game], and occasionally some spells still work inside. 


 


The Drow that supposedly likes to use disarm didn't like a Forceful Hand being shot at him before he had a chance to lift a finger, so I never got to figure out what fighting without a weapon was like. 


 


The beholder spider cave! So there's no trap merchants in HoTU, only components sold for traps.


In order to use traps then for that one pesky map, this build has to take points in set and disable trap, and then either use recovered traps from about the module, OR spend extra points on Craft Trap and make their own.


Alternatively, one could summon an elemental [Summon Creature IX, or for those that haven't got that the High Wizard in town sells Summon Creature VIII scrolls] and pixie upstairs, then head down and watch them beat everything to a pulp.


Whilst not technically solo'ing, I like the latter more.  '<img'>


 


 


And so now there's a Version #3 for SoU/HoTU! Have fun!



               
               

               
            

Legacy_AndrueD

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Campaign/Expansions Build - The Bearded Battlewitch
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2016, 02:00:20 am »


               


Spellcraft didn't get much of a look-in in SoU/HoTU, as a lot of traps that triggered 'spells' didn't benefit from the additional saves granted. So I pushed back taking as much spellcraft until the end of HoTU to make room for other skills.


 




Traps not saves vs. spells.  Trap saves separate like saves vs. poison.  Spellcraft only help vs. spells that have saves.  Immune for MA does work vs. some trap effect, tho.


 



 


The spider cave! So there's no trap merchants in HoTU, only components sold for traps.In order to use traps then for that one pesky map, this build has to take points in set and disable trap, and then either use recovered traps from about the module, OR spend extra points on Craft Trap and make their own


 



 


Yah.  HotU only have many trap in Ch 1 not many after so crafting a very good idea.  I use over 100 trap outside where drow and duergar try to get thru door and near dock where they try to get to Seer.  Hardly any ever do.


               
               

               
            

Legacy_The Flying Rodent

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Campaign/Expansions Build - The Bearded Battlewitch
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2016, 04:30:33 am »


               
Yah.  HotU only have many trap in Ch 1 not many after so crafting a very good idea.  I use over 100 trap outside where drow and duergar try to get thru door and near dock where they try to get to Seer.  Hardly any ever do.

 



 


Fair enough, yeah that'd do the trick. 


 


Area spells work well too. A couple of well placed Wails along with some Ice Storms, both outside and inside the city, sends them packing in a couple of minutes. Also due to the No PvP zones, the ground in front of the gate can be littered with clouds and tentacles and your allies won't care. The first battle in particular can be turned hilariously quickly by placing lots of tentacles behind the first gate.


 


I found that part annoying, as there isn't much indication of the massive fight about to take place then and there if you were returning from killing the undead/beholders/flayers, so if you wanted to both sell items and kill everything you could only do it via the Djinni or the Duergar outside the Undead Castle. And there's the cutscenes removing all your buffs.


 


To make up for that, you had to rest before entering the city or quickly Relic teleport to the gatehouse within the city, have at least 3 of each major buff handy [namely maxed bulls strength, improved invis, shadow shield and mind blank, the weapon buffs seem to stay], and then ration offensive spells between fights. You also had to buff up at the beginning of each fight sequence.


 


With a bit of preparation though, fairly smooth sailing. Saving prior to entering the city is a good idea too, in case a few things have been stuffed up.  


 


 


 


Here she is, all grown up, pre-Mephistopheles fight. Her quickbar and spell selection are a bit off, but she had plenty of Acid Sheaths.   '<img'>


 


Chapter_3_0003.jpg