Author Topic: "Undead lord build" ?  (Read 394 times)

Legacy_Neeuh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« on: June 04, 2011, 08:02:27 pm »


               Hello.

Figuring since  I couldn't find any topic about this certain build from the forums, I was wondering if this build is still useful at all?

http://nwn.bioware.c...undeadlord.html

Also, if it isnt, or if you have better suggestions to a pale master build that crushes her enemies from melee range, I would be interested in hearing them.

Yeah, it would also have to be playable from 1-40 without unbearable difficulties.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Shadooow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7698
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 09:24:10 pm »


               Builds are environment affected.

But this one is really crap, harsh to exp, no power and demilich as summon might be fun but most lvl 40 mosters crushes him in one blow.

suggestions:
bard 20 bg 4 pm 16 - best bard/pm combo imo
bard 20 rdd 10 pm 10 - boxing bag but can survive a lot
cleric 20 bard 4 pm 16 - this build is really imba
barbar 26 bard 4 pm 10
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Neeuh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 12:43:35 pm »


               Is there some sort of a leveling plan for any of these? I have no clue what feats to take.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_SmkNThDrkNght

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 05:17:37 pm »


               And as always you can look here for builds with similar level splits, that have leveling up guides with them.






'Image
               
               

               


                     Modifié par SmkNThDrkNght, 05 juin 2011 - 04:18 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Neeuh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 01:28:36 pm »


               

SmkNThDrkNght wrote...

And as always you can look here for builds with similar level splits, that have leveling up guides with them.






'Image


I have no clue which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones. In each of the topics I hear alot of debating which of most of it don't make sense to me.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Shadooow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7698
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 01:59:49 pm »


               Well basically all are goods unless you dont want "power-build" which is built specifically on spoilers/know-how.

For any singleplayer you will be just fine with any build on this search engine however I woudnt even recommend one since they are mostly built at lvl 40 and thats not reachable in 99% single player modules. So just play what you like, just be warned that adding Pale Master levels early makes you very weak from start cos you gain almost nothing.

If you want power-build you must know what you can expect. Basically if you know that there is majority of undead in module then you will make paladin or cleric. Also if you are making a ranger then knowing what you will face later in game is essential so you setup the right favored enemies and so on.

Builds are extremely environment dependant so deciding whats good and whats bad is not possible for "global builds" as they cant be ever power-builds.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Kail Pendragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2011, 02:13:17 am »


               To research builds try here and here
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Kail Pendragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 02:15:09 am »


               

ShaDoOoW wrote...

Well basically all are goods unless you dont want "power-build" which is built specifically on spoilers/know-how.

For any singleplayer you will be just fine with any build on this search engine however I woudnt even recommend one since they are mostly built at lvl 40 and thats not reachable in 99% single player modules.

A very ignorant statement. I'm not surprised considering the source.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Shadooow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7698
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 11:47:18 am »


               Please next time when you say "BS", "ignorant", "you're wrong" etc. add also explanation to your post, since without it the usefulness value of such post is next to zero.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Kail Pendragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 405
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2011, 12:03:29 pm »


               

ShaDoOoW wrote...

Please next time when you say "BS", "ignorant", "you're wrong" etc. add also explanation to your post, since without it the usefulness value of such post is next to zero.

The usefulness of your misinformed and ignorant statements i sinstead below zero, since it brings negative effects to those seeking information. Educate yourself first, then talk. Your quoted statements are unsupported by facts, so next time you state something get your facts straight. Otherwise, you'll keep on looking like the fool you are, as you have already proven countless times. Goodbye.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WebShaman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 01:22:05 pm »


               I would recommend the Melee Mage - however, it appears that the bookmark is no longer working.  Should be one available on the ECB link, however.

Crud, it looks like it is not on the WoG page, either!  The link goes to a white page!
Me not happy.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Shadooow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7698
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 01:39:34 pm »


               

Kail Pendragon wrote...
...

If you got problem with me, then don't bring it into topics where peoples needs help. The OP want to hear others opinion, I gave him one. You did not and instead you pointed my opinion as a BS based only on personal feeling/hate about me. ':sick:'

If you think the 30PM build is so good, then say it is and dont bring down other's opinions.
If you think the 40lvls builds from ECB are perfect for playing OC or majority other modules then say so.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Guest_Lowlander_*

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 432
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 02:09:28 pm »


               

Kail Pendragon wrote...
]The usefulness of your misinformed and ignorant statements i sinstead below zero, since it brings negative effects to those seeking information. Educate yourself first, then talk. Your quoted statements are unsupported by facts, so next time you state something get your facts straight. Otherwise, you'll keep on looking like the fool you are, as you have already proven countless times. Goodbye.


Seriously?

You did nothing but insult, with no actual content at all.

This is what is killing this community.

If we still had moderation like on the old (and greatly missed) forums, this nonsense wouldn't fly.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WebShaman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2011, 02:13:20 pm »


               Thanks, Google!

   Melee Mage
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 03:22PM
Awhile ago, I suggested that a Wizard could be a better Fighter of the same level at beginning levels, and after much testing, I believe I have somewhat managed to optimize the build. The Melee Mage is a fascinating way to play a Mage, and is a rather non-traditional method, needing some re-thinking of how and what a Mage is good at.

The starting stats are not only necessary to consider, but are crucial to the build - make a mistake here, and the Melee Mage will just not be effective. Aside from the primary casting stat Int, the next stat to be considered must be CON. This is very important, as will become apparent later. The other stats to invest points in depends on the the focus of the Melee Mage - are you going the Strength route, or the Dex route?

Note that a Melee Mage is a pure Mage build. It is not one that multiclasses, and has full Spellcasting power. This is the real secret of the build, and it is immensely powerful.

Beginning Build

Humans, Gnomes, and Dwarves make great Melee Mages. Humans, because of the amount of skill points, and the extra feat, and Dwarves and Gnomes because of the additions to Con. I consider it a toss-up between Dwarves and Gnomes as to which is better. I prefer Dwarves.

I shall consider the Strength build first, as it is one that I have tested the most. As I prefer Dwarves, this will be with Dwarf as a Race.

Melee Mage

Dwarf Wizard

Str: 14
Dex: 10
Con: 16
Int: 18
Wis: 8
Cha: 6

Some may wish to reduce the Int and add to Str - I don't prefer to, but some may.

The first Feat I normally take is Martial Weapon Proficiency. If Human, I would suggest that and Toughness.

For your skills, DO NOT ignore Discipline!! You will not be getting values near that of a pure Fighter, of course, but to ignore such will be a mistake, IMHO. If your PW/Mod incudes items that prevent Knockdown, then you may wish to skimp on Discipline, but I would not recommend it. There is still Disarm to be concerned about!

The next thing is to decide what Specialist Wizard you wish to be. I would suggest being a specialist, as this gives one more spells (which is also the reason for the high starting Int) - I normally take Necromancy, as those spells lost normally can be found easily enough (True Sight) and Premonition is mostly useless by the time one gets it.

After choosing a school, then choose your spells. This is very, very, very critical! The first level of your Melee Mages life will depend on your selection. I recommend Protection from Alignment, Mage Armor, Shield, Magic Weapon, Grease, Sleep, and any others that one sees fit. It is very important to remember, that you want spells that increase combat effectiveness in Melee, over those that have an offensive nature, and ignore melee effects.

Next, choose a Familiar. This is also crucial for the first starting levels! Choose a Familiar, that will survive combat! The Mephits are good, as is the Imp. I would suggest taking one of them.

You will be engaging in combat alongside your Familiar. You will find out that with your buffs and high hps (starting of 7), you should be able to hold your own pretty well, for the first couple of battles, until the Buffs wear off. If you cannot rest after that happens, and you are out of spells, then hang back, and let your familiar fight, use a crossbow or bow. Do not forget, you still have slots for Ray of Frost (a nice cantrip for first level). If you get into trouble, or your familiar dies, RUN!! That is very important. You will be wanting to add Expeditious Retreat to your spell reperatoir to aid in doing this, unless there are perma-haste items available early on (or potions of speed).

When you finally hit 3rd level, your worries are mostly over. Select that Ghostly Visage and Flame Weapon!! Now you have excellent defense, and can deal the damage like the best of Fighters! You will want to pick up Bull's Strength, as well, and if possible, Cat's Grace. You will want to pick up Invisibility sometime.

Upon reaching level 5, select Greater Magic Weapon and Keen Edge if your PW/Mod does not have keen weapons available. If such are available, Haste. If perma-haste is available, then I would suggest Negative Energy Burst, because not only is it offensive in nature, but it drains Strength as well! You might wish to consider Displacement, as well, though it is of rather short duration.

Feats - You will have 11 feats to fill in to level 20. As a Human, you will have 12. Start with Martial Weapon Proficiency (add in Toughness as a Human) I would choose Toughness as the next feat (Weapon Focus or Power Attack, dependingly as Human), then go Still, Extend, Empower, and Maximize. Add in Weapon Focus (I normally go a two-handed weapon, but if you like getting crits alot, go with Scimitar), Power Attack along the way, either a Spell Focus or Spell Penetration, Cleave, and either a Greater Spell Penetration or Greater Spell Focus.

Then you are ready for Epic Levels. You will of course be wanting Great Cleave in there, somewhere, along with Epic Warding (and maybe Epic Mage Armor, if you can squeeze it in there). Increase your Int as high as you can.

Spells

1st level
Mage Armor
Protection from Alignment
Shield
Grease
Magic Weapon
Expedious Retreat
Ray of Enfeeblement

2nd level
Flame Weapon
Ghostly Visage
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Fox's Cunning
Cloud of Bewilderment
Endurance
Invisibility
Ultravision
Darkness
Death Armor

3rd level
Greater Magic Weapon
Haste
Keen Edge
Negative Energy Burst
Displacement

4th level
Elemental Shield
Improved Invisibility
Stoneskin
Wall of Fire
Ice Storm

5th level
Mestil's Acid Shealth
Bigby's Interposing Hand
Energy Buffer
Firebrand
Cone of Cold
Lesser Spellmantle

6th level
Greater Stoneskin
Ethereal Visage
Tenser's Transformation (but only the PnP version, NOT BIOWARE's!°!!)
IGMS (of course).
Bigby's Forceful Hand

7th level
Shadow Shield
Bigby's Grasping Hand
Mordenkainen's Sword (But only the PnP Version, NOT BIOWARE's!!!)

8th level
Greater Sanctuary
Mass Blindness/Deafness
Mind Blank

9th level
Bigby's Crushing Hand
BBoD
Mordenkainen's Disjunction
Shapechange
Time Stop

Ok, so now you have your build, but how does one go about actually putting it to use? The most important thing to remember is to KEEP THE BUFFS UP! - so use your meta-magical feats to make sure that your buffs will last until the next planned rest. At beginning levels, this will be harder, but then, you don't have all that far to the next level, either. Using your low-level buffs and your Familiar will get you to 3rd level, and having Ghostly Visage and Flame Weapon will take care of the rest, most of the time. Don't forget to run, if things get hectic. You can always come back later. Use your spellslots wisely (optimize spellslot use with metamagic feats - for example, the 2nd level spellslots are normally only good for putting 1st level metamagic in - for you will want your buffs from those spells to last/be powerful, so they will either be Extended, or Empowered/Maximized. So put some stilled MM or Grease in there. Don't foerget to always have a reserve slot for an escape spell, like Invis, Improved Invis, Greater Sanc, or Time Stop, for example.

The Melee Mage's main strength is to hack it's way through the m0bs, saving most of the offensive spells for the End Boss. This allows the Melee Mage to conserve it's spells, and it really becomes a Solo Machine of Destruction, a Great Party asset (put Greater Magical Weapon, Flame Weapon, and Keen on their weapons!), Stoneskin buffs, and Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, and Owl's Wisdom, for those Monks. Don't forget the Improved Invis and Extended Haste (if perma haste is not around).

For really tough Bosses (like Dragons, etc), Do your Death Armor, Elemental Shield and Mestil's Acid Shealth buffs, and Shapechange into an Iron Golem and let him kill himself on your shields, or if your PW/Mod has the PnP version, do a Mordenkainen's Transformation and hack the Boss to pieces! For really tough Bosses, I suggest either the Greater Sanctuary-BBoD combo (cast a Haste right after the summons, as you are hasted, to haste the BBoD without worrying about it being disrupted!) - It should hack the Boss to death. If your PW/Mod uses the PnP version of Mordenkainen's Sword, then buff that baby up to the Max!! Bull's Strength, Flame Weapon, Greater Magical Weapon, Keen Edge, Haste, and let it decimate the Boss.

C&C is appreciated.
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
Lauren J Darkbloom
Game Owner
Profile: Lauren J DarkbloomNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 13 Apr 2005    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 04:12PM
Hello Webshaman,

I think your build includes just about every piece of information about mages that has been presented on these boards.

I have exactly one question--you really don't care about True Strike?

L
 Profile: Lauren J Darkbloom   Send Message To: Lauren J Darkbloom
Edmonds10101
Game Owner
Profile: Edmonds10101NWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 11 Jan 2005
From: Yorkshire, England    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 04:40PM
you should add this to the NWNWiki. like, in the wizards section. this is invaluable stuff WS. i think if you put both you're minds together, you and the Wax could take over the world.

If it was my world, this would get a sticky...but it's not, so

great work though, keep on it.

Eddie

PS, i would reccomend melf arrow as a level 2 needed spell, as it is invaluable... you are doing up to 2-12+3 damage per round, with 1-2 +1-2 elemental from the familiar, +1d6 acid means this is an excellent addition to the repetoire.
_________________
Dwarves hate to be mistaken for Gnomes. Even Gnomes hate to be mistaken as Gnomes. They prefer people to think of them as small, effeminate Dwarves.

www.Zogonia.com
 Profile: Edmonds10101   Send Message To: Edmonds10101
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 05:22PM

   Quote: I have exactly one question--you really don't care about True Strike?


As surprising as this may seem - no, I don't care much for Truestrike. Now, why is that? First of all, a Melee Mage doesn't get that many attacks a round - so the use of True Strike is very limited - you cast it, then try to get as many attacks in before it runs out. For a pure Wizard, that is not going to result in much. Second, if you need that + 20 to actually hit, then you either have underestimated the foe (and I would resort to spell use or flee), or you should be using Spells to demolish whatever it is. I view Truestrike as a spell that is best used by multiclassed Spellcaster/Other hybrids.

There is a build where True Strike does have a use with a Melee Mage, but I haven't gone into that Build yet - the Dex route (Dual Wielder).

   Quote: PS, i would reccomend melf arrow as a level 2 needed spell, as it is invaluable... you are doing up to 2-12+3 damage per round, with 1-2 +1-2 elemental from the familiar, +1d6 acid means this is an excellent addition to the repetoire.


Although Melf is not a bad spell, it has a few problems inherent in the spell itself. First of all, it does not "stack", meaning that you cast it once at the creature. True, damage does continue further, and I have had some moderate success with this spell against Casters, for example (continual damage causing a Concentration check for spellcasting) - but at low levels, it takes up a space more appropriate for the important buffs, and at later levels, it is relatively useless against the m0bs, where Grease still retains its usefulness, as does MM. Also, it is a single target spell, which isn't all that useful, really. As a Melee Mage, you want to concentrate on your Buffs (increasing your Melee Capability) and spells that do lots of damage to many at once (for clearing those guard m0bs from the End Boss, for example). I just don't see Melf's as being a "must have" spell.
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 06:56PM
Continuing on, I present you with the Dual-wielding Melee Mage. This build may still need some tweaking, but so far it has served me well.

Dual-wielding Melee Mage

Elf

Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 12
Int: 18
Wis: 8
Cha: 8

Very Important - take Toughess as your starting Feat!! That will give you a total of 6 hps to start with. Also, you will not be engaging in melee the first couple of levels - use a Bow instead, and let your Familiar Melee, until you get to around 3rd level. At that point, you will be able to melee effectively.

3rd level Feat : Weapon Finesse! Yes, that is critical. Now you can begin to lay the smack down...with a rapier.

5th through to 10th - the normal metamagical Feats.

12th again changes - TWF!! Now you can use both a Rapier and Dagger. Put GMW and FW on them and go to town!

15th - Take Ambidexterity, and Spell Penetration.

18th - The long awaited Improved TWF.

20th - GSP.

The build is a pretty interesting melee character (with Haste, 5 attacks/round - now it is worth using Truestrike to attack with) and the AC is very, very nice. Even though an Elf, you still have decent hps. Have fun!!
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
Countess Terra
Game Owner
Profile: Countess TerraNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 03 Jul 2003
From: My money bin swimming of course.    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 09:23PM
How is the issue of miniscule Attack Bonus resolved (if at all)?

Assuming a fairly balanced module, a Fighter-type should never have a 100% chance to hit a enemy reasonably well-matched to the Fighter-type's level. A 75-85% chance is far more likely. Every two levels of Mage-type you acquire puts you 5% below the Fighter-type so by level 20 the Mage should be a full 50% behind the Fighter-type putting accuracy in the 25-35% range. Assuming an empowered Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace will give +7, that's an additional 15% in the Mage-type's favor however even so that's still only 40-50% chance of hitting.

For a Strength-based Melee Mage as you've suggested this means that 50-60% of the Mage's 2 (or 3 with Haste) hits will miss. 1 attack per round landing on an enemy doesn't exactly make for an effective melee presence.

Of course, this is all assuming a balanced module where AC's are well-matched to the character's level. If the Melee Mage is played in a module where such is not true and enemies routinely have low Armor classes, then the Melee Mage's effectiveness goes way up due to the large damage output from Flame Weapon.

~Terra~
_________________
When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty.
I only think about how to solve the problem.
But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
 Profile: Countess Terra   Send Message To: Countess Terra
KaiCZE
Game Owner
Profile: KaiCZENWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
Mass Effect PC


Joined: 04 Dec 2004    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 10:11PM
Thats exactly what I was wondering about as well

The build is very interesting but the AB must suck bigtime
 Profile: KaiCZE   Send Message To: KaiCZE
Mr_Raider
Game Owner
Profile: Mr_RaiderNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
SW: KotOR PC
Jade Empire:SE
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ
Mass Effect PC


Joined: 24 Apr 2004
From: Montreal, Canada    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 10:26PM
AB is irrelevant when your enemy has been green hand holding his a** down.
 Profile: Mr_Raider   Send Message To: Mr_Raider
Grizzlegut
Game Owner
Profile: GrizzlegutNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 27 Jun 2002
From: Boise, Idaho, USA    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 11:41PM
Interesting build and probably fairly effective against most things. I have only 2 thoughts about the build (either one).

1) As has been brought up, the AB is going to be low. Though, as WebShaman pointed out, you're going to be meleeing the common stuff not the bosses (who he's said you reserve your offensive spells for), so this may not be an issue. I find that the 'yard trash' up to a main boss character is usually not that difficult to deal with, and you do have the familiar in there attacking as well (usually has a much better AB than the wizard). With Haste, you'll have that last attack at full AB which will help and your defenses should help you keep going through the 'miss miss miss' rounds you will occasionally get. I would definitely not dual wield with this type of character though; the AB can't really handle getting any lower.

2) Speaking of the familiar, part of the build includes use of the familiar to assist in attacks (and I'd recommend a summon or two if necessary and you're not as concerned about the xp hit). The main problem here, though, is that the build has several AoE spells listed, including Grease. On any setting above Party PvP, these spells will affect your character and the familiar. Now with Grease, general idea is to knock down opponents at a distance and peg them with a crossbow. Unfortunately, your familiar is going to rush into combat ... and be affected by the spell. This then causes the familiar to turn on you. Bad. Very Bad.

So, lots of telling the familiar to stand around while you use those spells, which, if you're like me, gets annoying fast. I'd stick with direct damage AoE spells and ignore the Grease, Cloud of Bewilderment, etc. line, and the lingering Damage Over Time AoE spells. Its far easier to set up an accurate Fireball than constantly keep your familiar (and/or summon) out of your Cloudkill.

Overall, for most places, this is going to be a fun build that works for most places. Nice thing is that the character is a pure Wizard. So, if you run into a section of the module / PW where your tactic isn't working, nothing to stop you from rearranging your spellbook so that you're the pure nuker, or defender, or whatever you need to get by. Then go back to the melee aspect afterward.

Oh, one last thought actually. Remember that if you do go Necromancy, you can't get True Sight which is very useful; Premonition is nice, but Greater Stone Skin with Shadow Shield works just as well. Hopefully you can find something that will give you either See Invisibility or True Sight (preferable) from an item; you won't be able to use any scrolls of this you find. As such, I'd recommend Blind Fight as a feat for the build, especially if non-scroll versions of these two spells are virtually non-existent.

--grizz
_________________
I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, poor heart, unceasingly;
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A truth and noonday light to thee.

-- Ellen Sturgis Hooper
 Profile: Grizzlegut   Send Message To: Grizzlegut
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Monday, 26 December 2005 11:48PM
Greater Magic Weapon is one of the keys here. Up to +5 AB factor here, and of course you have your Buffs like Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace, adding in still more.

If you think about it for a minute, it comes out pretty well. Normal Fighter Bab is 20 at level 20, right? Now, the AB will be somewhat higher, counting in Strength, Weapon Focus, and any pluses to the Weapon itself.

The Mage has a 10 Bab at level 20. Add in some Greater Magic Weapon, and that becomes 15. Now add in some bonuses from either Bull's Strength or Cat's Grace - and you are looking at another +5 to that - so, 20 AB. You can get that a bit higher, but that is about the height of the AB curve at level 20. Still, that is sitting up there pretty good, all things considered on a low magic PW/Mod.

The interesting thing is at lower levels. GMW is +1 per 3 levels up to a maximum of + 5, meaning it tops out at level 15. If we compare level 15 Melee Mage with a Fighter of the same level, some interesting things come out.

Melee Mage - AB 7 + 5 = 12 add in some Strength of 14 + 6 for Some Empowered Bull's Strength, for example for another +5, and you have 17 total.

Fighter - AB 15 + 1~2 (maybe 3, depending) weapon max is 18 max, with Strength of a maximum of 22 (23, really, but that doesn't help) for a Half-Orc giving a +6 for 24. The Melee Mage is behind, but not by all that much (and that is a max Fighter build). Enough for the m0bs. And that is all that matters, for most Bosses will be done with spells (you got a horde of them to use on the Boss now).

For the Dexer, he actually has much better AB, but due to Dual-wielding, that suffers some penalties (but gets more attacks, which is then useful with Truestrike). My Dexer had an AB of 18 with a normal Rapier and Dagger combo (with GMW cast on it). I consider that acceptable. Note that that will go up the moment that the dagger gets put away by +4 - that is an AB of 22, which is only 2 behind the best Fighter build!!

On a High Magic PW, of course, things will be more slanted in favor of the Fighter - due to GMW not being useful - as higher "+" Weapons become available, the advantage of GMW shrinks, accordingly.

And that is how the Melee Mage hits. And does it pretty well. Remember, this is for the m0bs, and is not meant for Bosses! For the Bosses, use your spells!

Any environment is going to require changes to the builds, accordingly. I think that most realize this, and modify the build in question to respond to such challenges. Obviously, if one is playing on a PW or in a Mod where the level is set higher than Party PvP, then some changes have to be made for spell selection, especially if one is going to be journeying with Familiar, Summons, and Party!

Edited By WebShaman on 12/26/05 23:54
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 12:21AM

   Quote: Posted 12/26/05 21:23:42 (GMT) by Countess Terra

   How is the issue of miniscule Attack Bonus resolved (if at all)?

   Assuming a fairly balanced module, a Fighter-type should never have a 100% chance to hit a enemy reasonably well-matched to the Fighter-type's level. A 75-85% chance is far more likely. Every two levels of Mage-type you acquire puts you 5% below the Fighter-type so by level 20 the Mage should be a full 50% behind the Fighter-type putting accuracy in the 25-35% range. Assuming an empowered Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace will give +7, that's an additional 15% in the Mage-type's favor however even so that's still only 40-50% chance of hitting.

   For a Strength-based Melee Mage as you've suggested this means that 50-60% of the Mage's 2 (or 3 with Haste) hits will miss. 1 attack per round landing on an enemy doesn't exactly make for an effective melee presence.

   Of course, this is all assuming a balanced module where AC's are well-matched to the character's level. If the Melee Mage is played in a module where such is not true and enemies routinely have low Armor classes, then the Melee Mage's effectiveness goes way up due to the large damage output from Flame Weapon.

   ~Terra~


As I have pointed out, the Attack bonus is not miniscule. Also, I would hate to see a Mod or PW where normal m0bs have ACs set at 75% Fighter AB!! What do the poor 3/4 Bab builds do? Swing away, hoping for that ever-elusive 20? Most Bosses are set to 75% - meaning the Fighter has a 25% chance of hitting - much better. M0bs are normally 50% - which makes the Melee Mage very nice (around 60%, all in all). About equal to the 3/4 AB classes, but with incredible protections, so most damage just gets absorbed, not to mention a nice AC.

No, the Melee Mage will not hit as often as the Fighter (it just doesn't have 4 attacks, nor that high of an AB), but it does have 2 at high AB, which has a very good chance of hitting at least once per round - and combined with Strength, +5 GMW and Flame Weapon damage, that is going to be enormous damage dealt. For the Dual-wielder, it has 5 attacks, 3 of which are at high AB. A bit less Strength damage, but that is not as important here, as the extra half a hit makes up for it with GMW and Flame Weapon damage.

The Fighter with 50% for the first attack, will have degenerating hit chances for the other 3. Let us say 2 attacks per round, realistically will hit on average, to the Strength MM's 1, and the DWMM's 1 1/2.

So, figure in Damage. The Fighter has a bit of elemental damage on the blade (a d6, maybe), will be lucky if the "+" is an enhancement bonus, say +1~2, add in Weapon Spec for + 4, and the Strength for around +6 for a total of 1-6 + 2 + 4 + 5 = 13~18 total. Multiply by 2 for 26~36 a round. Note that Cleave and Great Cleave have not been figured in here. Also, if the Fighter in question wishes to use a Two-Hander, his AC plummets (damage taken will rise). If the Fighter does go THW, then add in the 1.5 Strength for 3 more.

The Melee Mage does 10+1d4 of Fire, + 5 from the GMW, plus Strength of + 7 (THW) for a total of 23~26 a round. One now begins to see that one hit from the MM is almost equaling two hits from the Fighter.

The DWMM looks even better, due to the extra "half hit". True, the Strength is less (10 + 6 is going to be a +3 bonus to damage on the main hand, and the off-hand will be +1). So the Strength damage will be less, of course (around +4 average per round), But the other Damage will be Higher! 15+1d6 of Fire, +5 GMW, +4 strength for 25~30 damage a round!

Here is the Feat slots for building with :

1st level is a normal Feat - Martial Weapon PRof.
3rd level is a normal Feat - Toughness
5th level is a normal Feat - Still spell
6th level is a normal Feat - Extend spell
9th level is a normal Feat - either go metamagic with empower, or do some optimizing, and take Power Attack here.
10th leve is a Wizard Feat - Empower or Maximize (depeinding on if one is going to go Cleave/Great Cleave or not).
12th level is a normal Feat - Weapon Focus (I take Greatsword).
15th level is a normal Feat and a Wizard Feat - if going the Cleave route, take Cleave, otherwise Power Attack here, and either Maximize or spell focus/spell penetration.
18th level is a normal Feat - either Great Cleave, or Cleave
20th level is a Wizard Feat - either Spell Focus/Penetration of Greater Spell Focus/Penetration.

Edited By WebShaman on 12/27/05 00:47
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
Lauren J Darkbloom
Game Owner
Profile: Lauren J DarkbloomNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 13 Apr 2005    Posted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 05:35PM
Hello Webshaman--

I see what you're saying, but I wanted to mention that you kind of got part of what Terra was saying backwards. She was saying that a pure Fighter in a properly balanced mod should have a 75% or so chance to *hit* mobs, not to miss.

Anyway I actually have something constructive to add to this thread. (Everyone says, "yeah right", and leaves.)

When I was first experimenting with the idea of a melee mage it helped to always summon a creature too. This made the idea more intuitively trustworthy to me. Because at first I just thought--this will never work.

But especially by the time I could get that Wolf, it all started to make sense. I had a little army, and it was much easier to flank enemies, etc., or at least it was easier to keep from getting flanked.

So I would suggest to people who are interested in the idea that they start off using both a summon and a familiar until the idea starts making sense from experience. Also, at very early levels, it's easier for me if I have two allies, because then I run when one dies, and there's still another one still distracting my enemies.

L
 Profile: Lauren J Darkbloom   Send Message To: Lauren J Darkbloom
Dae-Glyth
Game Owner
Profile: Dae-GlythNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2


Joined: 30 Jul 2004    Posted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 05:49PM
I'm not sure about the discipline issue.

To really be safe from KD or disarm spam at level 40 you'll need somewhere around 70-80 discipline, minimally.

And even if you completely CC discipline that's 21 ranks, with skill focus +3 and Epic Skill focus +10 that's still only a 34 discipline even if you got up to 30 something strength that's only about +10-15 from your str mod so you're seeing around 40-50 discipline, most fighters can break that in their sleep at level 40.

So unless you're getting like +30 or upwards from gear or items that grant immunities... I don't know.
 Profile: Dae-Glyth   Send Message To: Dae-Glyth
WebShaman
Game Owner
Profile: WebShamanNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds    Posted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 08:44PM
Ah, 75% to hit - yep, I missed that. Thanks for correcting my understanding.

As for Discipline - a pure Melee Mage is never going to be safe from Knockdown and Disarm specialists (unless immunity to knockdown is present, and that still leaves Disarm) - and most builds are not 100% safe against these type of specialists, anyway. When fighting against such, I would suggest the Damage Shields/Iron Golem route. It normally works very well, as one Cleric who tried it on my Melee Mage found out very fast. True, he could knock me down. But due to my shields, and my rather high hps (which he had badly miscalculated), he ended up dying before I did.

I once got Disarmed, as well. So, out came the Iron Golem. That solved that. One very dead Disarmer. The nice thing about it was, I only lost a normal Greatsword. So what.

For normal m0bs, they won't be spamming knockdown - the AC is too high, I have found out, for the AI to spam it. Same goes for Disarm attempts.

There is one Boss I know of, that rips melee builds to shreds (level 42 with dual wielded Katanas + 5, on a PW that goes to level 20) - I took it down with ease. How? GS and BBoD.

As I have suggested, for Bosses, use your spells. That is what they are there for. That is why the MM does not multi-class. Your Melee capability is only for getting you to the Bosses, with most of your offensive spells still available and is not meant for the Bosses themselves.

Also, there a lots of PWs that tend to stretch out an area, where no rest is available, to restrict a Mage's effectiveness. The MM build allows one to overcome these types of areas with impunity. I also know a lot of PWs that find ways to do away with Invis/GS protections, which causes quite the problem for most solo Mages.

Note that I am not suggesting the MM to everyone, nor do I think that a Mage should be played this way all the time. It is just a very interesting variant - a new, possibly exciting way to play a Mage.

As we all know, there is no "perfect" build. The MM has weaknesses - buffs being dispelled, Knockdown Specialists and Disarm Specialists being some of them. But the MM does have ways to at least deal with the situations, if they have time to prepare. Also, I believe the MM has limited effectiveness on Moderate to High Magic PWs/Mods.
 Profile: WebShaman   Send Message To: WebShaman
G_u_s
Game Owner
Profile: G_u_sMass Effect PC


Joined: 05 Oct 2005
From: Europe    Posted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 08:50PM

   Quote: Posted 12/27/05 20:44:29 (GMT) by WebShaman

   It is just a very interesting variant - a new, possibly exciting way to play a Mage.


not exactly new, and the approach is very similar to the Cleric's. but it is indeed a very exciting way to play a Mage, especially considering all the good advice givenin this thread.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WebShaman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Karma: +0/-0
"Undead lord build" ?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2011, 02:14:19 pm »


               Thanks, Google!



   

   
   Melee
Mage[/b][/b]


   


  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 03:22PM

Awhile ago, I suggested that a Wizard could be a better Fighter of the
same level at beginning levels, and after much testing, I believe I have
somewhat managed to optimize the build.  The Melee[/b] Mage[/b] is a fascinating way to play a Mage[/b], and is a rather non-traditional method, needing some re-thinking of how and what a Mage[/b] is good at.

The starting stats are not only necessary to consider, but are crucial to the build - make a mistake here, and the Melee[/b] Mage[/b] will just not be effective.  Aside from the primary casting stat Int, the next stat to be considered must be CON.  This is very important, as will become apparent later.  The other stats to invest points in depends on the the focus of the Melee[/b] Mage[/b] - are you going the Strength route, or the Dex route?

Note that a Melee[/b] Mage[/b] is a pure Mage[/b]
build.  It is not one that multiclasses, and has full Spellcasting
power.  This is the real secret of the build, and it is immensely
powerful.

Beginning Build

Humans, Gnomes, and Dwarves make great Melee[/b]
Mages.  Humans, because of the amount of skill points, and the extra
feat, and Dwarves and Gnomes because of the additions to Con.  I
consider it a toss-up between Dwarves and Gnomes as to which is better.
I prefer Dwarves.

I shall consider the Strength build first, as
it is one that I have tested the most.  As I prefer Dwarves, this will
be with Dwarf as a Race.

Melee Mage[/b][/b]

Dwarf Wizard

Str: 14
Dex: 10
Con: 16
Int: 18
Wis:  8
Cha:  6

Some may wish to reduce the Int and add to Str - I don't prefer to, but some may.

The first Feat I normally take is Martial Weapon Proficiency.  If Human, I would suggest that and Toughness.

For
your skills, DO NOT ignore Discipline!!  You will not be getting values
near that of a pure Fighter, of course, but to ignore such will be a
mistake, IMHO.  If your PW/Mod incudes items that prevent Knockdown,
then you may wish to skimp on Discipline, but I would not recommend it.
There is still Disarm to be concerned about!

The next thing is
to decide what Specialist Wizard you wish to be.  I would suggest being a
specialist, as this gives one more spells (which is also the reason for
the high starting Int) - I normally take Necromancy, as those spells
lost normally can be found easily enough (True Sight) and Premonition is
mostly useless by the time one gets it.

After choosing a school, then choose your spells.  This is very, very, very critical!  The first level of your Melee[/b] Mages life will depend on your selection.  I recommend Protection from Alignment, Mage[/b]
Armor, Shield, Magic Weapon, Grease, Sleep, and any others that one
sees fit.  It is very important to remember, that you want spells that
increase combat effectiveness in Melee[/b], over those that have an offensive nature, and ignore melee[/b] effects.

Next,
choose a Familiar.  This is also crucial for the first starting levels!
 Choose a Familiar, that will survive combat!  The Mephits are good, as
is the Imp.  I would suggest taking one of them.  

You will be
engaging in combat alongside your Familiar.  You will find out that with
your buffs and high hps (starting of 7), you should be able to hold
your own pretty well, for the first couple of battles, until the Buffs
wear off.  If you cannot rest after that happens, and you are out of
spells, then hang back, and let your familiar fight, use a crossbow or
bow.  Do not forget, you still have slots for Ray of Frost (a nice
cantrip for first level).  If you get into trouble, or your familiar
dies, RUN!!  That is very important.  You will be wanting to add
Expeditious Retreat to your spell reperatoir to aid in doing this,
unless there are perma-haste items available early on (or potions of
speed).

When you finally hit 3rd level, your worries are mostly
over.  Select that Ghostly Visage and Flame Weapon!!  Now you have
excellent defense, and can deal the damage like the best of Fighters!  
You will want to pick up Bull's Strength, as well, and if possible,
Cat's Grace.  You will want to pick up Invisibility sometime.

Upon
reaching level 5, select Greater Magic Weapon and Keen Edge if your
PW/Mod does not have keen weapons available.  If such are available,
Haste.  If perma-haste is available, then I would suggest Negative
Energy Burst, because not only is it offensive in nature, but it drains
Strength as well!  You might wish to consider Displacement, as well,
though it is of rather short duration.

Feats - You will
have 11 feats to fill in to level 20.  As a Human, you will have 12.
Start with Martial Weapon Proficiency (add in Toughness as a Human) I
would choose Toughness as the next feat (Weapon Focus or Power Attack,
dependingly as Human), then go Still, Extend, Empower, and  Maximize.  
Add in Weapon Focus (I normally go a two-handed weapon, but if you like
getting crits alot, go with Scimitar), Power Attack along the way,
either a Spell Focus or Spell Penetration, Cleave, and either a Greater
Spell Penetration or Greater Spell Focus.

Then you are ready for
Epic Levels.  You will of course be wanting Great Cleave in there,
somewhere, along with Epic Warding (and maybe Epic Mage[/b] Armor, if you can squeeze it in there).  Increase your Int as high as you can.

Spells

1st level
Mage[/b] Armor
Protection from Alignment
Shield
Grease
Magic Weapon
Expedious Retreat
Ray of Enfeeblement

2nd level
Flame Weapon
Ghostly Visage
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Fox's Cunning
Cloud of Bewilderment
Endurance
Invisibility
Ultravision
Darkness
Death Armor

3rd level
Greater Magic Weapon
Haste
Keen Edge
Negative Energy Burst
Displacement

4th level
Elemental Shield
Improved Invisibility
Stoneskin
Wall of Fire
Ice Storm

5th level
Mestil's Acid Shealth
Bigby's Interposing Hand
Energy Buffer
Firebrand
Cone of Cold
Lesser Spellmantle

6th level
Greater Stoneskin
Ethereal Visage
Tenser's Transformation (but only the PnP version, NOT BIOWARE's!°!!)
IGMS (of course).
Bigby's Forceful Hand

7th level
Shadow Shield
Bigby's Grasping Hand
Mordenkainen's Sword (But only the PnP Version, NOT BIOWARE's!!!)

8th level
Greater Sanctuary
Mass Blindness/Deafness
Mind Blank

9th level
Bigby's Crushing Hand
BBoD
Mordenkainen's Disjunction
Shapechange
Time Stop

Ok,
so now you have your build, but how does one go about actually putting
it to use?  The most important thing to remember is to KEEP THE BUFFS UP!
- so use your meta-magical feats to make sure that your buffs will last
until the next planned rest.  At beginning levels, this will be harder,
but then, you don't have all that far to the next level, either.  Using
your low-level buffs and your Familiar will get you to 3rd level, and
having Ghostly Visage and Flame Weapon will take care of the rest, most
of the time.  Don't forget to run, if things get hectic.  You can always
come back later.  Use your spellslots wisely (optimize spellslot use
with metamagic feats - for example, the 2nd level spellslots are
normally only good for putting 1st level metamagic in - for you will
want your buffs from those spells to last/be powerful, so they will
either be Extended, or Empowered/Maximized.  So put some stilled MM or
Grease in there.  Don't foerget to always have a reserve slot for an
escape spell, like Invis, Improved Invis, Greater Sanc, or Time Stop,
for example.

The Melee[/b]
Mage's main strength is to hack it's way through the m0bs, saving most
of the offensive spells for the End Boss.  This allows the Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
to conserve it's spells, and it really becomes a Solo Machine of
Destruction, a Great Party asset (put Greater Magical Weapon, Flame
Weapon, and Keen on their weapons!), Stoneskin buffs, and Bull's
Strength, Cat's Grace, and Owl's Wisdom, for those Monks.  Don't forget
the Improved Invis and Extended Haste (if perma haste is not around).

For
really tough Bosses (like Dragons, etc), Do your Death Armor, Elemental
Shield and Mestil's Acid Shealth buffs, and Shapechange into an Iron
Golem and let him kill himself on your shields, or if your PW/Mod has
the PnP version, do a Mordenkainen's Transformation and hack the Boss to
pieces!  For really tough Bosses, I suggest either the Greater
Sanctuary-BBoD combo (cast a Haste right after the summons, as you are
hasted, to haste the BBoD without worrying about it being disrupted!) -
It should hack the Boss to death.  If your PW/Mod uses the PnP version
of Mordenkainen's Sword, then buff that baby up to the Max!!  Bull's
Strength, Flame Weapon, Greater Magical Weapon, Keen Edge, Haste, and
let it decimate the Boss.  

C&C is appreciated.  'Image
  'Image



  Lauren J Darkbloom[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 13 Apr 2005
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 04:12PM

Hello Webshaman,

I think your build includes just about every piece of information about mages that has been presented on these boards.

I have exactly one question--you really don't care about True Strike?

L  'Image
  'Image



  Edmonds10101[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 11 Jan 2005
From: Yorkshire, England
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 04:40PM

you should add this to the NWNWiki. like, in the wizards section. this
is invaluable stuff WS. i think if you put both you're minds together,
you and the Wax could take over the world.

If it was my world, this would get a sticky...but it's not, so 'Image

great work though, keep on it.

Eddie

PS,
i would reccomend melf arrow as a level 2 needed spell, as it is
invaluable... you are doing up to 2-12+3 damage per round, with 1-2 +1-2
elemental from the familiar, +1d6 acid means this is an excellent
addition to the repetoire.
_________________
Dwarves hate to be
mistaken for Gnomes. Even Gnomes hate to be mistaken as Gnomes. They
prefer people to think of them as small, effeminate Dwarves.

www.Zogonia.com  'Image
  'Image



  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 05:22PM

Quote: I have exactly one question--you really don't care about True Strike?

As surprising as this may seem - no, I don't care much for Truestrike.  Now, why is that?  First of all, a Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
doesn't get that many attacks a round - so the use of True Strike is
very limited - you cast it, then try to get as many attacks in before it
runs out.  For a pure Wizard, that is not going to result in much.  
Second, if you need that + 20 to actually hit, then you either have
underestimated the foe (and I would resort to spell use or flee), or you
should be using Spells to demolish whatever it is.  I view Truestrike
as a spell that is best used by multiclassed Spellcaster/Other hybrids.

There is a build where True Strike does have a use with a Melee[/b] Mage[/b], but I haven't gone into that Build yet - the Dex route (Dual Wielder).

Quote: PS,
i would reccomend melf arrow as a level 2 needed spell, as it is
invaluable... you are doing up to 2-12+3 damage per round, with 1-2 +1-2
elemental from the familiar, +1d6 acid means this is an excellent
addition to the repetoire.

Although Melf is not a
bad spell, it has a few problems inherent in the spell itself.  First of
all, it does not "stack", meaning that you cast it once at the
creature.  True, damage does continue further, and I have had some
moderate success with this spell against Casters, for example (continual
damage causing a Concentration check for spellcasting) - but at low
levels, it takes up a space more appropriate for the important buffs,
and at later levels, it is relatively useless against the m0bs, where
Grease still retains its usefulness, as does MM.  Also, it is a single
target spell, which isn't all that useful, really.  As a Melee[/b] Mage[/b], you want to concentrate on your Buffs (increasing your Melee[/b]
Capability) and spells that do lots of damage to many at once (for
clearing those guard m0bs from the End Boss, for example).  I just don't
see Melf's as being a "must have" spell.  'Image
  'Image



  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 06:56PM

Continuing on, I present you with the Dual-wielding Melee[/b] Mage[/b].  This build may still need some tweaking, but so far it has served me well.

Dual-wielding Melee Mage[/b][/b]

Elf

Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 12
Int: 18
Wis:  8
Cha:  8

Very
Important - take Toughess as your starting Feat!!  That will give you a
total of 6 hps to start with.  Also, you will not be engaging in melee[/b] the first couple of levels - use a Bow instead, and let your Familiar Melee[/b], until you get to around 3rd level.  At that point, you will be able to melee[/b] effectively.

3rd level Feat : Weapon Finesse!  Yes, that is critical.  Now you can begin to lay the smack down...with a rapier.

5th through to 10th - the normal metamagical Feats.

12th again changes - TWF!!  Now you can use both a Rapier and Dagger.  Put GMW and FW on them and go to town!

15th - Take Ambidexterity, and Spell Penetration.

18th - The long awaited Improved TWF.

20th - GSP.

The build is a pretty interesting melee[/b]
character (with Haste, 5 attacks/round - now it is worth using
Truestrike to attack with) and the AC is very, very nice.  Even though
an Elf, you still have decent hps. Have fun!!  'Image
  'Image



  Countess Terra[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 03 Jul 2003
From: My money bin swimming of course.
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 09:23PM

How is the issue of miniscule Attack Bonus resolved (if at all)?

Assuming
a fairly balanced module, a Fighter-type should never have a 100%
chance to hit a enemy reasonably well-matched to the Fighter-type's
level.  A 75-85% chance is far more likely.  Every two levels of Mage[/b]-type you acquire puts you 5% below the Fighter-type so by level 20 the Mage[/b]
should be a full 50% behind the Fighter-type putting accuracy in the
25-35% range.  Assuming an empowered Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace will
give +7, that's an additional 15% in the Mage[/b]-type's favor however even so that's still only 40-50% chance of hitting.  

For a Strength-based Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
as you've suggested this means that 50-60% of the Mage's 2 (or 3 with
Haste) hits will miss.  1 attack per round landing on an enemy doesn't
exactly make for an effective melee[/b] presence.

Of course, this is all assuming a balanced module where AC's are well-matched to the character's level.  If the Melee[/b] Mage[/b] is played in a module where such is not true and enemies routinely have low Armor classes, then the Melee[/b] Mage's effectiveness goes way up due to the large damage output from Flame Weapon.

~Terra~
_________________
When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty.
I only think about how to solve the problem.
But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.  'Image
  'Image



  KaiCZE[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
Mass Effect PC


Joined: 04 Dec 2004
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 10:11PM

Thats exactly what I was wondering about as well

The build is very interesting but the AB must suck bigtime  'Image
  'Image



  Mr_Raider[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
SW: KotOR PC
Jade Empire:SE
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ
Mass Effect PC


Joined: 24 Apr 2004
From: Montreal, Canada
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 10:26PM

AB is irrelevant when your enemy has been green hand holding his a** down.  'Image
  'Image



  Grizzlegut[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 27 Jun 2002
From: Boise, Idaho, USA
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 11:41PM

Interesting build and probably fairly effective against most things.  I have only 2 thoughts about the build (either one).

1)
 As has been brought up, the AB is going to be low.  Though, as
WebShaman pointed out, you're going to be meleeing the common stuff not
the bosses (who he's said you reserve your offensive spells for), so
this may not be an issue.  I find that the 'yard trash' up to a main
boss character is usually not that difficult to deal with, and you do
have the familiar in there attacking as well (usually has a much better
AB than the wizard).  With Haste, you'll have that last attack at full
AB which will help and your defenses should help you keep going through
the 'miss miss miss' rounds you will occasionally get.  I would
definitely not dual wield with this type of character though; the AB
can't really handle getting any lower.

2)  Speaking of the
familiar, part of the build includes use of the familiar to assist in
attacks (and I'd recommend a summon or two if necessary and you're not
as concerned about the xp hit).  The main problem here, though, is that
the build has several AoE spells listed, including Grease.  On any
setting above Party PvP, these spells will affect your character and the
familiar.  Now with Grease, general idea is to knock down opponents at a
distance and peg them with a crossbow.  Unfortunately, your familiar is
going to rush into combat ... and be affected by the spell.  This then
causes the familiar to turn on you.  Bad.  Very Bad.

So, lots of
telling the familiar to stand around while you use those spells, which,
if you're like me, gets annoying fast.  I'd stick with direct damage AoE
spells and ignore the Grease, Cloud of Bewilderment, etc. line, and the
lingering Damage Over Time AoE spells.  Its far easier to set up an
accurate Fireball than constantly keep your familiar (and/or summon) out
of your Cloudkill.

Overall, for most places, this is going to be
a fun build that works for most places.  Nice thing is that the
character is a pure Wizard.  So, if you run into a section of the module
/ PW where your tactic isn't working, nothing to stop you from
rearranging your spellbook so that you're the pure nuker, or defender,
or whatever you need to get by.  Then go back to the melee[/b] aspect afterward.

Oh,
one last thought actually.  Remember that if you do go Necromancy, you
can't get True Sight which is very useful; Premonition is nice, but
Greater Stone Skin with Shadow Shield works just as well.  Hopefully you
can find something that will give you either See Invisibility or True
Sight (preferable) from an item; you won't be able to use any scrolls of
this you find.  As such, I'd recommend Blind Fight as a feat for the
build, especially if non-scroll versions of these two spells are
virtually non-existent.

--grizz
_________________
I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty.
Was thy dream then a shadowy lie?
Toil on, poor heart, unceasingly;
And thou shalt find thy dream to be
A truth and noonday light to thee.

-- Ellen Sturgis Hooper  'Image
  'Image



  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Monday, 26 December 2005 11:48PM

Greater Magic Weapon is one of the keys here.  Up to +5 AB factor here,
and of course you have your Buffs like Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace,
adding in still more.

If you think about it for a minute, it
comes out pretty well.  Normal Fighter Bab is 20 at level 20, right?  
Now, the AB will be somewhat higher, counting in Strength, Weapon Focus,
and any pluses to the Weapon itself.

The Mage[/b]
has a 10 Bab at level 20.  Add in some Greater Magic Weapon, and that
becomes 15.  Now add in some bonuses from either Bull's Strength or
Cat's Grace - and you are looking at another +5 to that - so, 20 AB.  
You can get that a bit higher, but that is about the height of the AB
curve at level 20.  Still, that is sitting up there pretty good, all
things considered on a low magic PW/Mod.

The interesting thing is
at lower levels.  GMW is +1 per 3 levels up to a maximum of + 5,
meaning it tops out at level 15.  If we compare level 15 Melee[/b] Mage[/b] with a Fighter of the same level, some interesting things come out.

Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
- AB 7 + 5 = 12 add in some Strength of 14 + 6 for Some Empowered
Bull's Strength, for example for another +5, and you have 17 total.

Fighter
- AB 15 + 1~2 (maybe 3, depending) weapon max is 18 max, with Strength
of a maximum of 22 (23, really, but that doesn't help) for a Half-Orc
giving a +6 for 24.  The Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
is behind, but not by all that much (and that is a max Fighter build).
Enough for the m0bs.  And that is all that matters, for most Bosses
will be done with spells (you got a horde of them to use on the Boss
now).

For the Dexer, he actually has much better AB, but due to
Dual-wielding, that suffers some penalties (but gets more attacks, which
is then useful with Truestrike).  My Dexer had an AB of 18 with a
normal Rapier and Dagger combo (with GMW cast on it).  I consider that
acceptable.  Note that that will go up the moment that the dagger gets
put away by +4 - that is an AB of 22, which is only 2 behind the best
Fighter build!!

On a High Magic PW, of course, things will be
more slanted in favor of the Fighter - due to GMW not being useful - as
higher "+" Weapons become available, the advantage of GMW shrinks,
accordingly.

And that is how the Melee[/b] Mage[/b] hits.  And does it pretty well.  Remember, this is for the m0bs, and is not meant for Bosses!  For the Bosses, use your spells!

Any
environment is going to require changes to the builds, accordingly.  I
think that most realize this, and modify the build in question to
respond to such challenges.  Obviously, if one is playing on a PW or in a
Mod where the level is set higher than Party PvP, then some changes
have to be made for spell selection, especially if one is going to be
journeying with Familiar, Summons, and Party!Edited By WebShaman on 12/26/05 23:54  'Image
  'Image



  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 12:21AM

Quote: Posted 12/26/05 21:23:42 (GMT) by Countess Terra

How is the issue of miniscule Attack Bonus resolved (if at all)?

Assuming
a fairly balanced module, a Fighter-type should never have a 100%
chance to hit a enemy reasonably well-matched to the Fighter-type's
level.  A 75-85% chance is far more likely.  Every two levels of Mage[/b]-type you acquire puts you 5% below the Fighter-type so by level 20 the Mage[/b]
should be a full 50% behind the Fighter-type putting accuracy in the
25-35% range.  Assuming an empowered Bull's Strength/Cat's Grace will
give +7, that's an additional 15% in the Mage[/b]-type's favor however even so that's still only 40-50% chance of hitting.  

For a Strength-based Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
as you've suggested this means that 50-60% of the Mage's 2 (or 3 with
Haste) hits will miss.  1 attack per round landing on an enemy doesn't
exactly make for an effective melee[/b] presence.

Of course, this is all assuming a balanced module where AC's are well-matched to the character's level.  If the Melee[/b] Mage[/b] is played in a module where such is not true and enemies routinely have low Armor classes, then the Melee[/b] Mage's effectiveness goes way up due to the large damage output from Flame Weapon.

~Terra~

As
I have pointed out, the Attack bonus is not miniscule.  Also, I would
hate to see a Mod or PW where normal m0bs have ACs set at 75% Fighter
AB!!  What do the poor 3/4 Bab builds do?  Swing away, hoping for that
ever-elusive 20?  Most Bosses are set to 75% - meaning the Fighter has a
25% chance of hitting - much better.  M0bs are normally 50% - which
makes the Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
very nice (around 60%, all in all).  About equal to the 3/4 AB classes,
but with incredible protections, so most damage just gets absorbed, not
to mention a nice AC.  

No, the Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
will not hit as often as the Fighter (it just doesn't have 4 attacks,
nor that high of an AB), but it does have 2 at high AB, which has a very
good chance of hitting at least once per round - and combined with
Strength, +5 GMW and Flame Weapon damage, that is going to be enormous
damage dealt.  For the Dual-wielder, it has 5 attacks, 3 of which are at
high AB.  A bit less Strength damage, but that is not as important
here, as the extra half a hit makes up for it with GMW and Flame Weapon
damage.

The Fighter with 50% for the first attack, will have
degenerating hit chances for the other 3.  Let us say 2 attacks per
round, realistically will hit on average, to the Strength MM's 1, and
the DWMM's 1 1/2.

So, figure in Damage.  The Fighter has a bit of
elemental damage on the blade (a d6, maybe), will be lucky if the "+"
is an enhancement bonus, say +1~2, add in Weapon Spec for + 4, and the
Strength for around +6 for a total of 1-6 + 2 + 4 + 5 = 13~18 total.  
Multiply by 2 for 26~36 a round.  Note that Cleave and Great Cleave have
not been figured in here.  Also, if the Fighter in question wishes to
use a Two-Hander, his AC plummets (damage taken will rise).  If the
Fighter does go THW, then add in the 1.5 Strength for 3 more.

The Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
does 10+1d4 of Fire, + 5 from the GMW, plus Strength of + 7 (THW) for a
total of 23~26 a round.  One now begins to see that one hit from the MM
is almost equaling two hits from the Fighter.

The DWMM looks
even better, due to the extra "half hit".  True, the Strength is less
(10 + 6 is going to be a +3 bonus to damage on the main hand, and the
off-hand will be +1).  So the Strength damage will be less, of course
(around +4 average per round), But the other Damage will be Higher!  
15+1d6 of Fire, +5 GMW, +4 strength for 25~30 damage a round!

Here is the Feat slots for building with :

1st level is a normal Feat - Martial Weapon PRof.
3rd level is a normal Feat - Toughness
5th level is a normal Feat - Still spell
6th level is a normal Feat - Extend spell
9th level is a normal Feat - either go metamagic with empower, or do some optimizing, and take Power Attack here.
10th leve is a Wizard Feat - Empower or Maximize (depeinding on if one is going to go Cleave/Great Cleave or not).
12th level is a normal Feat - Weapon Focus (I take Greatsword).
15th
level is a normal Feat and a Wizard Feat - if going the Cleave route,
take Cleave, otherwise Power Attack here, and either Maximize or spell
focus/spell penetration.
18th level is a normal Feat - either Great Cleave, or Cleave
20th level is a Wizard Feat - either Spell Focus/Penetration of Greater Spell Focus/Penetration.Edited By WebShaman on 12/27/05 00:47  'Image
  'Image



  Lauren J Darkbloom[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU


Joined: 13 Apr 2005
'ImagePosted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 05:35PM

Hello Webshaman--

I see what you're saying, but I wanted to
mention that you kind of got part of what Terra was saying backwards.
She was saying that a pure Fighter in a properly balanced mod should
have a 75% or so chance to *hit* mobs, not to miss.

Anyway I actually have something constructive to add to this thread. (Everyone says, "yeah right", and leaves.)

When I was first experimenting with the idea of a melee[/b] mage[/b]
it helped to always summon a creature too. This made the idea more
intuitively trustworthy to me. Because at first I just thought--this
will never work.

But especially by the time I could get that
Wolf, it all started to make sense. I had a little army, and it was much
easier to flank enemies, etc., or at least it was easier to keep from
getting flanked.

So I would suggest to people who are interested
in the idea that they start off using both a summon and a familiar until
the idea starts making sense from experience. Also, at very early
levels, it's easier for me if I have two allies, because then I run when
one dies, and there's still another one still distracting my enemies.

L  'Image
  'Image



  Dae-Glyth[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
'ImagePosted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 05:49PM

I'm not sure about the discipline issue.

To really be safe from KD or disarm spam at level 40 you'll need somewhere around 70-80 discipline, minimally.

And
even if you completely CC discipline that's 21 ranks, with skill focus
+3 and Epic Skill focus +10 that's still only a 34 discipline even if
you got up to 30 something strength that's only about +10-15 from your
str mod so you're seeing around 40-50 discipline, most fighters can
break that in their sleep at level 40.

So unless you're getting like +30 or upwards from gear or items that grant immunities... I don't know.  'Image
  'Image



  WebShaman[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageNWN
NWN: SoU
NWN: HotU
NWN 2
NWN 2: MotB
NWN 2: SoZ


Joined: 26 Feb 2003
From: The Happy Hunting Grounds
'ImagePosted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 08:44PM

Ah, 75% to hit - yep, I missed that.  Thanks for correcting my understanding.

As for Discipline - a pure Melee[/b] Mage[/b] is never
going to be safe from Knockdown and Disarm specialists (unless immunity
to knockdown is present, and that still leaves Disarm) - and most
builds are not 100% safe against these type of specialists, anyway.  
When fighting against such, I would suggest the Damage Shields/Iron
Golem route.  It normally works very well, as one Cleric who tried it on
my Melee[/b] Mage[/b]
found out very fast.  True, he could knock me down.  But due to my
shields, and my rather high hps (which he had badly miscalculated), he
ended up dying before I did.

I once got Disarmed, as well.  So,
out came the Iron Golem.  That solved that.  One very dead Disarmer.  
The nice thing about it was, I only lost a normal Greatsword.  So what.

For
normal m0bs, they won't be spamming knockdown - the AC is too high, I
have found out, for the AI to spam it.  Same goes for Disarm attempts.

There is one Boss I know of, that rips melee[/b]
builds to shreds (level 42 with dual wielded Katanas + 5, on a PW that
goes to level 20) - I took it down with ease.  How?  GS and BBoD.

As
I have suggested, for Bosses, use your spells.  That is what they are
there for.  That is why the MM does not multi-class.  Your Melee[/b]
capability is only for getting you to the Bosses, with most of your
offensive spells still available and is not meant for the Bosses
themselves.

Also, there a lots of PWs that tend to stretch out an
area, where no rest is available, to restrict a Mage's effectiveness.  
The MM build allows one to overcome these types of areas with impunity.
I also know a lot of PWs that find ways to do away with Invis/GS
protections, which causes quite the problem for most solo Mages.

Note that I am not suggesting the MM to everyone, nor do I think that a Mage[/b] should be played this way all the time.  It is just a very interesting variant - a new, possibly exciting way to play a Mage[/b].

As
we all know, there is no "perfect" build.  The MM has weaknesses -
buffs being dispelled, Knockdown Specialists and Disarm Specialists
being some of them.  But the MM does have ways to at least deal with the
situations, if they have time to prepare.  Also, I believe the MM has
limited effectiveness on Moderate to High Magic PWs/Mods.  'Image
  'Image



  G_u_s[/b]

Game Owner
'ImageMass Effect PC


Joined: 05 Oct 2005
From: Europe
'ImagePosted: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 08:50PM

Quote: Posted 12/27/05 20:44:29 (GMT) by WebShaman

It is just a very interesting variant - a new, possibly exciting way to play a Mage[/b].

not exactly new, and the approach is very similar to the Cleric's. but it is indeed a very exciting way to play a Mage[/b], especially considering all the good advice givenin this thread.