================= Weapon Master ================= Neverwinter Nights 2 Weapon Master Guide Version: 1.0 (Last updated 2008-05-14) by Wazat (aka Dan Hale) See the Contact section below for an e-mail address. Copyright 2008 Dan Hale This guide is meant for players of both the NWN2 Original Campaign (OC) and Mask of the Betrayer (MOTB) expansion. ================ = Introduction = ================ For those of you who do not relish in playing as the dumb fighter who does nothing but "HULK SMASH AAARGH!", but instead want a smart and effective combat character with some cool features, this may be the class for you. Weapon Masters have above-average intelligence and dexterity, and a knack for critical hits. Instead of merely hitting an enemy really hard, they hit an enemy where it really hurts. This leads us to the great strength of the class. The Weapon Master (from here on known as WM) is the ultimate critical hit expert. He gets criticals much more often, and deals more damage with them. This is devastating against many enemies, especially if you toss in Power Attack and other modifiers because their damage bonus multiplies during a critical. For example, a WM with 22 strength and a falchion +5, and having learned Greater Weapon Specialization and Improved Power Attack could do 100-130 damage per critical, without even counting other damage boosts he might have. And he will critical *often*. However, the weapon master's great flaw is his focus on criticals. He offers precious little else in the 7 levels you'll be taking. Many enemies are completely immune to critical hits, including spirits, undead, elementals, constructs, and some bosses. Some of these enemies (such as undead and elementals) are common just about wherever you go, and some campaigns (like MOTB), are saturated with critical-immune enemies. Bringing a weapon master up against a swarm of undead isn't suicide -- he'll kick butt just like a fighter or any other combat character. However, those 7 levels of critical hit focus are a bit lost on such creatures, given the effort you put into meeting the WM requirements. The second problem with WM is the stiff requirements. You need no less than 6 feats to unlock the class. Granted, weapon focus, spring attack and whirlwind attack are extremely useful feats... but if they weren't on the menu already, some builds will struggle to grab up all the requirements and still get any of the other feats they wanted. The Weapon Master path also delays its real bonuses until levels 5 and 7, so it's fairly late in starting to perform compared to some prestige classes. You also need to put in all 7 levels to get the real benefit. Cutting short at level 6 or less is a bad idea considering what you paid to get this far. The third and final limitation is that a weapon master chooses a single weapon and focuses like crazy on it. If you're not worried about limiting your weapon selection, or you're already going to get weapon focus, improved critical, and/or weapon specialization, etc then this will not be a problem for you -- in fact, the WM will further enhance the focus. Just note that if you focus in falchions and then find a truly awesome greatsword, using it instead of a falchion will prevent you from getting the WM bonuses. Those caveats aside, the WM kicks ass when he's used correctly. Without criticals he's still a potent fighter... And when he can critical an opponent he criticals frequently and violently. His requirement feats are not throwaways either, and will serve you well. What's more, great cleave and whirlwind attack both allow critical hits with each of their attacks, so you can spread the joy all around. The weapon master has a very notable Achilles’ heel when fighting critical-immune enemies, but is a very worthwhile class to invest in for any combat-oriented character. And this guide is meant to help you get the most out of him. ===================== = Table of Contents = ===================== Section I Class Features Section II Class Requirements Section III Ability Scores Section IV Races Section V Base Classes Section VI Other Classes Section VII Weapons Section VIII Skills Section IX Ye Olde Feat List Appendix A Understanding Critical Hits Appendix B Sample Builds Appendix C Acronyms and Definitions Section X Credits Section XI Contact Section XII Copyright Section XIII Changes ============================= = Section I: Class Features = ============================= The weapon master's class feats are the reason for taking the class. The d10 hit die is nice, and he has high BAB growth, but the feats are the true prize. Hit Die: d10 Skill points: 2 + Int modifier Class skills: Craft Weapon, Intimidate, Lore, Parry, Taunt No added proficiencies High BAB (base attack bonus) progression High Reflex saves Low Fortitude and Will saves BAB Notes: * Your base attack bonus is important for increasing your attacks per round, increasing your attack roll, and qualifying you for feats. You gain an additional attacks at BABs 6, 11, 16, 21, and 26. * High BAB means the class adds 1 to your Base Attack Bonus per class level. * Medium skips the first of every 4 class levels (levels 1, 5, 9, etc), but gives +1 on all other levels (giving approximately 3/4th high BAB growth). * Low only gives +1 only on even class levels (half that of high growth). ----------- Class Feats ----------- Note that these feats ONLY apply to the weapon of choice you picked when selecting weapon master. The purpose for taking WM kicks in at levels 5 and 7, where your weapon's multiplier increases by 1 and then its critical threshold increases by 2, making you hit harder and more often with critical hits. Weapon of Choice ---------------- This feat doesn't actually do much, it's just a way for the player to pick which weapon to apply the Weapon Master abilities to. You should keep in mind that the other abilities won't apply to any other type of weapon. When you choose a weapon with this feat, you can only select the weapon(s) you have Weapon Focus for. Ki Damage --------- You gain this feat as soon as you start taking levels, and you can use it once per WM level per day. It's not all that great, however. Look at the other feats offered for the real prize. You attack an enemy normally with each use of this ability. If the attack hits, it automatically inflicts your weapon's maximum damage. This means a falchion's 2d4 will deal 8 damage, and a greatsword's 2d6 will do 12 damage (plus any other damage modifiers, which are not maximized). This ability does allow critical hits, but only one multiple of the weapon's damage appears to be maximized (it's weird). Mithdradates tells us: "Unless this has been changed from NWN, Ki strike only maxes the roll on the weapon damage once, i.e. if you have an x3 multiplier with a falchion and you critical with ki strike that gets converted into 8+4D4 instead of 24." The maximum damage does not apply to magical damage bonuses on the weapon, such as +1d6 fire damage (only the weapon's base damage is affected). If early on a creature's damage reduction is giving you problems, this ability may help you deal enough damage to get a bit past it. The Weapon Master class has much more than this to offer though, so read on. Increased Multiplier -------------------- Level 5 is where the WM starts to shine. Your weapon's critical multiplier increases by +1. This means if you're using a falchion, which has a x2 multiplier, it becomes a x3 multiplier. Likewise x3 becomes x4, and x4 becomes x5. Gained at 5th level. See the Understanding Critical Hits section for more info on what this means. Superior Weapon Focus --------------------- This adds another +1 to your attack roll. It's like another Weapon Focus that stacks with all the weapon focus feats (greater and epic included). Also gained at 5th level. Ki Critical ----------- At 7th level, you become a critical hits god or goddess. This feat increases your weapon's threat range by 2. For example, a falchion normally has a threat range of 18-20, but with this feat it threatens on a 16-20. The Keen property or Improved Critical feat will stack with this (though it doubles the 18-20 not the 16-20), producing a falchion that threatens on 13-20. See the Understanding Critical Hits section for more info on what this means. ================================== = Section II: Class Requirements = ================================== Abilities --------- Dexterity: 13 Intelligence: 13 Base Attack Bonus: +5 Skills ------ Intimidate: 4 Feats ----- Weapon Focus in a *melee* weapon Combat Expertise Dodge Mobility Spring Attack Whirlwind Attack ----- Notes ----- Weapon Focus must be taken in a melee weapon, so nothing ranged will qualify (bows, throwing axes, etc). Unfortunately, unarmed attack doesn't work either. :( Note that you have to have weapon focus in a weapon to select it as your weapon of choice. You can't get weapon focus in one weapon and then use a different weapon for your Weapon Master's weapon of choice unless you have weapon focus in it too (and for a weapon master, taking weapon focus in two weapons is usually fruitless). 4 ranks in intimidate is an easy requirement to meet. Even if it's a cross-class skill, you can reach a rank of 4 by level 5. The feats, on the other hand, may present a challenge. Fighters are the most equipped for this hurdle because they get a bonus feat on the first level and every even level afterwards, in addition to the feats normally gained by all classes. Thus, a level 6 fighter has gotten at least 7 feats by level 6, allowing her to start taking WM levels as early as level 7. Human fighters will have gotten 8 feats. Other base classes will only gain a feat every 3 character levels (1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18), and every odd level once they become epic (21, 23, 25, 27, 29). Thus a non-human barbarian would have to wait until a minimum level of 16 to take his first level in WM, assuming he spent his feats on nothing else. This is not a great strategy for characters not meant to enter epic levels (above level 20) because you need to get all 7 WM levels for the class to pay off. Generally, taking at least 2 levels of fighter is the best way to satisfy the feat requirement when you're not going to build an epic character and put off WM until later levels. This tends to be easy since most races that work well for WM also have fighter as a favored class (see the Races section below). A non-human barbarian could start taking WM levels at level 10 this way. Being a human or Strongheart halfling is another option, because they gain 1 extra feat at level 1, and you can start taking WM by level 13. A human barbarian who takes only 2 levels of fighter and times them strategically can start taking WM levels as early as level 7, just like a pure fighter (see the Sample Builds section). Remember that the Base Attack Bonus requirement for both Weapon Master (+5) and Spring Attack (+4) will prevent you from taking WM levels much earlier than level 7 (in this case you will finish the 7 WM levels on level 13). Don't be in too much of a rush to start into the class if doing so causes you problems, as your base class should be holding its own on the way. The ability requirements should not be too hard to satisfy, and are quite helpful (unlike a high wisdom or charisma bonus on a character that won't use them for anything else). Getting Dexterity and Intelligence to 14 (for the full +2 bonus) will cost you 12 points out of 32 on the point buy system in NWN2 (more or less depending on your race), but the extra 2 AC and 2 skill points gained from these stats can be very beneficial. Even better, they will qualify you for more feats (such as Improved Knockdown) that can be helpful to you. =============================== = Section III: Ability Scores = =============================== A Weapon Master has the following minimum ability requirements: Dex 13, Int 13. These requirements come not from the class, but from the feats that it requires. Dodge needs 13 dexterity, and Combat Expertise needs 13 intelligence. As long as you meet those requirements you're off to a good start, though you don't have to meet requirements at level 1, since you can increase them as you level. Remember, you'll get 5 additional points (levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20) plus an additional 2 when you become epic (levels 24 and 28). So even if you skimp a little on some abilities at level 1, you can even them out over time. If you do this, just make sure you have enough time to meet those requirements by the time you want to start learning the feats that depend on them. If you want to start taking WM as soon as possible, I recommend you have 13 in Dex and Int at level 1. Beyond satisfying class requirements, you'll want to make sure your ability scores support your build's focus as much as possible. Here are my thoughts on each: Strength The strength modifier gets added to your attack roll and your damage roll. Characters holding their weapon in both hands get 1.5x this bonus in the damage roll, so they have even more incentive to focus on this. It's also important for increasing your carrying capacity, resisting knockdown, and a few other uses. Most combat characters want their strength to be as high as possible because it helps their accuracy and damage. Notable exceptions include Dexterity and Intelligence characters who use Weapon Finesse and Combat Insight to take strength more-or-less out of the picture (Weapon Finesse moves your attack roll to Dex, Combat Insight does the same for damage roll using Int), or characters relying on artificial boosts to their damage. Unless you are doing something tricky like that, you'll probably want at least a 14 or 16 in this stat to start with, if not much higher. Some builds can get away with lower, and you can certainly compensate with items, but make sure you know what you're doing. I generally pour all my future points from leveling up into strength, though sometimes I boost constitution a bit or even out other abilities (to get their full bonuses) too. Dexterity You need a minimum of 13 here to learn required WM feats (dodge, mobility, spring attack), and will probably want more. Note that Mithril Full Plate armor give a maximum dexterity bonus to AC of 3, so up to 16 works fine even for the fully armored rampaging fighter. That said, if you don't have access to mithril, or you want to spend your points elsewhere, 13 - 14 should be fine for most WMs. I recommend doing 14 so you get the full +2 bonus, if you can spare the points. It will be higher for a character using two-weapon fighting, rangers who cannot equip the stronger armors while dual-wielding, or anyone using high dexterity instead of strength (using weapon finesse to compensate). Constitution Another important stat for combat characters, Con is a big deal because it increases your health. Constitution can be lower for more evasive or sneaking characters. I would say go no lower than 12 or 14. Go even higher if you wish to qualify for Epic Damage Reduction (which requires 21 before you can start taking it). Note that multiple uses of Epic Toughness is a good way to compensate for low HP once you hit epic levels. Intelligence You need a minimum of 13 here. I recommend you add another point to reach 14 and a +2 bonus. Besides qualifying you for the necessary WM-required feat Combat Expertise, Intelligence also increases the number of skill points you have. If you are building an Intelligence + Dexterity build (using combat insight), and/or taking levels in Duelist or Invisible Blade this probably should be considerably higher. Wisdom Unless you're a ranger, paladin or cleric, this is a very viable dump stat. Rangers & Paladins need up to 14 wisdom to cast their 4th-level spells (if they are taking enough levels to get to 4th-level spells), though they can wear an item to compensate (Periapt of Wisdom, for example). Clerics need even more. Otherwise, all this stat will do for a combat character is increase their will saves slightly. An 8 or 10 will do for most fighters who are terrible at will saves anyway. You can compensate with an amulet of will if you're really hurting. Charisma If you want a dump stat, here it is. Charisma has little or no combat relevance for a warrior. Role-playing folks may not like their character being ugly and unsexy, and anyone using dragon breath (RDD) or arcane spellcasting for boosts will want it slightly higher, but of all the stats available this is the best to neglect. ===================== = Section IV: Races = ===================== Weapon masters tend to like Strength for combat purposes, and they require above average Dexterity and Intelligence to meet feat requirements. This makes some races significantly better than others. Penalties like -2 Constitution or level adjustments are also very important to consider. Here I'll give my thoughts on each race as a potential candidate for a WM. ----- Human ----- Score: 5/5 Humans are an all-around good choice. While they have no ability bonuses, they gain an extra feat and extra skill points and do not face any ability penalties. The extra feat helps reach the WM requirements quickly too. Another really nice feature is the favored class: any. Whichever base class is the highest level becomes your favored class, which can really help with avoiding an XP penalty when you have multiple base classes in your build. If you are unsure of what race to take, go with human. ----- Dwarf ----- Dwarves have naturally high Constitution, but supposedly they're ugly as sin because their Charisma is penalized. From a purely combat perspective, this is a winning trade-off. Roleplaying characters may resent the drop in attractiveness, and characters doing a little arcane spellcasting for boosts may have problems with it, but the average weapon master probably won't be hurt. Fighter is also their favored class, which helps if you need to take two base classes. Dwarves can also be dwarven defenders, if that's a class you wish to combine with WM. Shield Dwarf ------------ Score: 5/5 I recommend the Shield Dwarf for the +2 Con. The -2 Charisma is not hazardous to a WM at all, and unlike some other races there's no level adjustment for shield dwarfs. Gold Dwarf ---------- Score: 3/5 I don't care for the gold dwarf when making a WM. The -2 intelligence is a step backward. That said, the -2 can be overcome if you really like the constitution boost and don't want your charisma penalized. Gray Dwarf ---------- Score: 3/5 (maybe more) The gray dwarf adds some nice things like immunity to poison and paralysis, but has a slight level adjustment so be aware of that. +2 Con is welcome, and the -4 to Charisma doesn't hurt much in combat unless you're starting as a bard, combining with some other arcane spellcasting for boosts, or intending to use the Red Dragon Disciple's breath attack. --- Elf --- Elves tend to suffer in the Constitution area, but many of them give nice bonuses to other stats that will matter to WMs. Moon Elf/Sun Elf ---------------- Score: 3/5 While a -2 Con hurts, both the moon and sun elves help you toward either your dex or int requirement. If elves appeal to you, these are a solid option. Unfortunately the wizard favored class isn't terribly helpful to most builds. Wood Elf/Wild Elf ----------------- Score: 4/5 Both of these trade a penalty in one of your required ability scores (int) for a bonus in the other (dex). If you're going to put extra points into Dex for an AC bonus then these may be a really good idea. Wild Elf does not have the -2 Con if lower HP and feat requirements concern you. Wood Elf adds +2 Str in exchange for -2 Con, which is nice in many WM builds. Wood elves want to be rangers as a favored class and wild elves favor sorcerer, curiously enough. Sorcerer is not particularly useful for most WMs, but some builds do benefit. Drow ---- Score: 4/5 First off, the +2 level adjustment hurts... That said, drow add +2 to both dex and int (as well as charisma), and they have *massive* spell resistance. They could easily be a good choice for a WM because of this. Be aware of the wizard favored class, however, since it won't help most builds. You do NOT want to combine the +2 level adjustment with a multiclass XP penalty, as you will level very slowly indeed. -------- Half-Orc -------- Score: 4/5 While the -2 intelligence hurts, it can be overcome. The +2 strength is worth-while, and the -2 charisma is generally unimportant. The favored class of barbarian can be helpful to some builds. ------------ Planetouched ------------ The planetouched races all have a +1 level adjustment. This hurts a bit, but not a lot. The ability bonuses and other perks to these races can make them very attractive. Charisma is usually the ability that takes a penalty, which works well since most WMs treat it as a dump stat. All planetouched have some sort of elemental resistance, and fighter is a common favored class, which is a big plus to many multiclassing builds. Tiefling and Air Genasi ----------------------- Score: 4/5 Both these races add +2 to int and dex, your two requirements. This lets you boost those stats further if desired, or gives you more points to pour into other stats. The air gensai can use the equivalent of casting gust of wind once a day to knock over enemies, and tieflings can cast darkness. Tieflings get more elemental resistance and don't have a wisdom penalty, if that matters to you. Earth Genasi ------------ Score: 4/5 I personally hate how the females of this race look, but that's frivolous. You gain a +2 bonus to str and con in exchange for -2 to int and charisma. The -2 to int is not terrible, but not exciting either. Merge with stone doesn't seem like it would be useful in later levels. The fighter favored class and +2 con adjustment can make earth gensai preferable to wood elves and barbarians, depending on your focus. Fire Genasi ----------- Score: 3/5 Fire adds +2 Intelligence, and an aura of flame once a day. This isn't spectacular, but it isn't bad either. Water Genasi ------------ Score: 2/5 You get +2 to Con in exchange for -2 to Charisma and a +1 level adjustment. Other compensations include a shrouding fog which adds concealment, but I still think there are better options (such as shield dwarf). Aasimar ------- Score: 1/5 Their bonuses include +2 to Wisdom and Charisma (neither of which are helpful to a typical WM), and paladin as a favored class. Unless you are doing something special like using paladin or cleric to start your WM, my personal recommendation is to skip this one. -------- Halfling -------- Halflings offer a small size bonus to AC and attack, and they all trade strength for dexterity. This penalty to strength hurts most combat oriented characters, but some may be able to turn that around. Lightfoot Halfling ------------------ Score: 1/5 You're trading a -2 to strength for +2 in dexterity. This is usually not a good idea unless you're using weapon finesse and combat insight. In my opinion, strongheart are better in that case. Strongheart Halfling -------------------- Score: 3/5 Stronghearts are a fairly average race -- they're not horrible, but they're not extremely good either. While they take a hit to strength, stronghearts do get more than just +2 dex. They also get a bonus feat, similar to humans. They do not get the human's bonus skill points, however. As small creatures they are good at hiding, and their Rogue favored class lends itself further to a sneaky build. If you're building a weapon master from this race, one path you could take is a dual wielder with high dexterity and intelligence, using weapon finesse and combat insight to take strength out of the picture. However, this is certainly not necessary, as a -2 to strength is not extremely devastating in melee combat (you can compensate). Keep in mind that your carrying capacity and weapon selection will shrink with this race too. ----- Gnome ----- Gnomes are not natural combat characters. If you want to be small, Strongheart Halflings are better. Unless you're doing something special with your WM that gnomes will lend themselves to, consider other options instead. Rock Gnome ---------- Score: 1/5 The +2 Con does not compensate for the -2 Str. If you're going to be a Dex & Int focused character with weapon finesse and combat insight, halfling are much better for this. Deep Gnome ---------- Score: 1/5 These guys get a huge spell resistance, +2 Dex, and the small size can be handy for the AC bonus. However, they pay dearly for these perks with a +3 level adjustment, -2 strength, and limited access to weapons because of size. Not a prime choice for a WM. -------- Half-elf -------- Score: 2/5 Both the half-elf and half-drow are less potent versions of either humans or elves. They have no ability penalties or level adjustments, but no ability bonuses either. They also do not get the bonus feat, bonus skills, or spell resistance of humans or drow. The few elven bonuses and the favored class of any can be handy, but they really aren't spectacular compared with what else is available. ---------- Conclusion ---------- Human, Shield Dwarf, Tiefling, Air Genasi, Earth Gensai, Wild Elf, Wood Elf and Drow are all very good picks. Other races can do quite well based on your focus (especially if you're interested in role-playing, not just combat effectiveness), but be sure to not pick something that will severely hamper you. If you're not sure of what to pick, I recommend you go with humans. =========================== = Section V: Base Classes = =========================== Level 7 is the very earliest you can start putting levels into weapon master, so you'll have to have at least 6 levels in another class first. You'll also need to take 7 levels of WM, probably no more and certainly no less. This means you may want to take a class that won't be too hurt by giving up those 7 levels. Once you've unlocked WM or other prestige classes (such as Red Dragon Disciple or Frenzied Berserker), you might choose to not even put levels into this base class anymore. Whether your base class is merely a place to start, or the primary companion to Weapon Master, here are a few suggestions. As always, you can combine multiple base classes when it suits your needs (such as fighter with barbarian), so long as you don't incur an XP penalty. Fighter ------- As the Requirements section above explains, Fighter has the easiest time satisfying the requirements for WM. All the required feats are in the fighter bonus feats list, and a fighter gets lots of them. The bonus feats come at the first fighter level, and every even fighter level after that. A level 6 fighter has gotten 7 feats, or 8 if he's human. Fighters will continue to gain extra feats as you take more levels, so you won't have problems gaining the other feats you were interested in besides the WM requirements. Intimidate also comes as a class skill. If you are not building a character that will go above level 20, consider putting at least 2 levels into fighter to get some of the required feats out of the way. With a little tricky ordering of levels you can actually use those two fighter levels to line yourself up for Weapon Master by level 7 (See the Barbarian(11) + Fighter(2) + WM(7) in the Sample Builds section for an example). One final bonus is fighters have access to weapon specialization, and the greater and epic versions of both weapon focus and weapon specialization. Focusing on a weapon this heavily is a good idea since your WM levels have already started you on this path, and the specialization bonuses will multiply during a critical. Barbarian --------- The barbarian is a nice alternative to fighter if you're willing to take fewer feats (and have a slightly harder time qualifying for WM). He gets more skill points, the Rage ability, faster movement, and a few other nice perks. Ranger ------ Rangers naturally do well at sneaking and dual-wielding builds, and you get Perfect Two Weapon Fighting for free at level 21 regardless of what your dexterity looks like (not to mention the other two-weapon fighting feats). This frees up a lot of ability points for your other abilities like Strength. You need to remember though that you cannot equip medium/heavy armor if you want to use the dual-wielding feats, and so you'll be relying on dexterity and enhanced equipment to keep your AC up. Not all rangers are archers or dual-wielders, however, so these armor restrictions need not apply to you if you're going to use two-handed weapons or a sword and shield. Another major advantage to rangers is the damage bonuses they offer against favored enemies will multiply in a critical hit. This means the +4 damage against your favorite victims can multiply out to 12 or more in a critical. See the description for Favored Power Attack for even more damage amplifying fun. This means a ranger doesn't need to be a two-weapon fighter to become an extremely effective WM build. Rogue ----- While sneak attack does not multiply with critical hits (see the Understanding Critical Hits section), rogues can be a fine choice for a sneaky WM with focus on dual-wielding kukris. They also add tumble and use magical device as class skills, improved evasion and crippling strike, and a host of other perks. Note that rogues do not get martial weapons for free, but a couple levels in fighter will fix that as well as help you get the feats needed for WM. #Keep in mind that because enemies that are immune to critical hits are also immune to sneak attacks, rogues have the same weakness as weapon masters against critical-immune creatures. In epic levels they can learn the Epic Precision feat though, which allows half sneak attack damage (but doesn't give critical hits). Cleric ------ A few levels of cleric open up some handy spellcasting, and the Time domain can let you cast haste. Divine spells also do not face spell failure from armor, so you can gear up pretty heavily without worry. However, this class adds Wisdom as a needed ability score, and to some extent Charisma (for turning and some other abilities), and you'll need to pour a lot of levels into it before you can unlock WM or get to more powerful cleric spells. Clerics make a good supporting class to put a few levels into and get some minor spellcasting, but perhaps don't use them as a major class in your build. The spell levels and DC lost by taking WM levels may hurt quite a bit unless you can make up for them in epic levels. Paladin ------- For similar reasons as clerics, paladins can be a hard sale for WM. However, paladins have better BAB growth and do not suffer quite as much from giving up 7 or more levels to other classes like WM. Paladins also do not gain very high spell levels (same as ranger), so their wisdom requirement is not as imposing. Perhaps the greatest benefit to paladin is that Smite Evil multiplies in a critical hit. Since smite damage is based on character level instead of paladin level, at level 20 you'll be doing 20 damage per smite, and the damage continues to increase in epic levels (up to 30, and some feats can increase it further). This gets nasty when a smiting Weapon Master criticals, multiplying the smite damage by x3 or higher. Just keep in mind that you can only smite a few times per day, while abilities like Power Attack and Greater Weapon Specialization can be always active. Bard ---- While bard may seem like an odd choice for a combat character, it does open up access to the Red Dragon Disciple class, which can provide some major ability boosts. +8 Strength and +2 Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma is nothing to sneeze at, not to mention the other free feats like blind fighting and dragons breath, immunity to sleep and fire, etc. A bard's medium attack bonus and d6 hit die may be a bit unattractive, but bard makes a solid base for some very effective builds (I usually do either 1 or 5 levels of bard for my RDD builds). As an added bonus, putting 3 points in perform will let you use Inspire Courage, an inspiration which can be passively affecting your party all the time. This adds a minimum of +1 to all attack and damage rolls of you and all nearby allies, and the bonus increases with your bard levels and multiplies during critical hits. All this makes bard a surprisingly decent base for WM, especially if you want to pursue other prestige classes like RDD or Duelist. ============================= = Section VI: Other Classes = ============================= The seven levels of WM, and a minimum of 6 levels of fighter and/or more in another class to reach it, will leave up to 7 more levels to fill with other classes for non-epic characters, and 17 for epic characters. Many builds won't be taking WM until late levels and may take something other than the base class until then, such as another prestige class. If you want to branch away from the class that opened up WM for you, here are a few suggestions. I have some examples in the Sample Builds section. Frenzied Berserker (aka FB) ------------------ FBs add more than just the Rage ability. They give Enhanced Power Attack at level 5, which means if you are using Improved Power Attack and a two-handed weapon you'll do an additional +20 damage with every attack! May I remind you that power attack damage multiplies during a critical... Frenzy and Supreme Cleave are excellent abilities as well. Supreme cleave lets you smack 2 enemies per cleave, and Frenzy adds a minimum of +6 strength and gives an extra attack as though you were hasted, in exchange for an AC penalty and 6 damage per round. Frenzy also stacks with barbarian Rage (though the bonuses cap at +12). Just 5 levels of FB are an excellent investment. I suggest you use a two-handed weapon for the biggest benefit, and get your Con modifier up a bit so your rage lasts for more than a few rounds. The added bonuses from strength and power attack can produce insane damage output, with or without critical hits. And know that your WM levels will amplify the damage through critical hits like crazy. :) Red Dragon Disciple (aka RDD) ------------------- A strength-focused WM would do well to look into Red Dragon Disciple levels. RDD adds +8 Str and +2 to Con, Int, and Cha, several nice feats (like blind fight and dragon breath), bonus AC, and immunity to fire, paralysis, and sleep. The only requirements are a level in bard or sorcerer (I suggest bard) and 8 ranks in lore. This means you can start taking RDD levels by level 6. It's an excellent class for a combat build to invest in as long as it can afford to devote 5 or 11 levels (1 in bard/sorc + 4 or 10 in RDD). These ability score boosts are permanent too -- they count toward feat requirements and do not count against the maximum +12 ability boost from magical and bonus effects, so you can also add another +8 or +10 strength with a belt or other item you craft or buy (or with rage/frenzy) for an insane strength total. The ability score boost has another use in a WM build. Some characters will start out at 12 intelligence, take RDD early, and by the time they can take weapon master levels their intelligence has risen to 14 to satisfy the requirements for Combat Insight. Typically, you will want to take either 4 levels in RDD (for +4 str, +2 AC and dragon breath), or all 10 levels for the full benefit. Check the Sample Builds section for more info. Dwarven Defender ---------------- Only if you're a dwarf can you take this class. If you want to move around a lot in combat then you may not get the most out of this class... but for a character who likes to plant himself solidly in one spot and *dare* the enemy to come at him, Dwarven Defender is a nice choice. You gain 4 extra AC, damage reduction 6/-, Improved Uncanny Dodge (don't lose dexterity AC bonus, and hard to sneak attack), and the Defensive Stance feat which works similar to an immobile barbarian rage. Plus you already have the required Dodge feat from your WM levels. Invisible Blade or Duelist -------------------------- I've made a few builds that were dexterity and intelligence focused, and used weapon finesse and combat insight to take the focus off of strength. The Weapon Master plays well with this, since his dex and int are already above average and a focus on kukris can be deadly. Such a build benefits massively from levels in either Invisible Blade (IB) or Duelist. Since you've mostly taken strength out of the picture, your dexterity and intelligence scores can be quite high indeed (especially with proper item crafting, which can add another 8 to Dex and Int through a helm and belt). - Invisible Blade is excellent for a dual-wielding character. You might already have weapon focus in a kukri for your WM levels. It adds bleeding wound and up to +5 AC from your intelligence bonus. Note though that bleeding wound is pretty useless against creatures with damage reduction. :( - Duelist is best for WMs when focused on a Rapier. You'll need to hold it one handed (not duel-wield) and not carry a shield to get the full benefits of the class. The duelist excels at Parrying if you're into that. It also gives some nice feats like Precise Strike and Flourish, and adds up to 10 AC from your intelligence modifier (though you'd have to be at 30 intelligence to get the maximum, so 22 Int plus a Headband of Intellect +8 would do it). Sadly, Precise Strike is blocked by critical hit immunity just like the WM's mass criticals and rogue sneak attacks (because it targets vulnerable or critical parts of the body to deal more damage). However, the damage is pretty steady when it does work. Mithdradates and Countless tell us that due to what appears to be a bug or quirk in its implementation, Precise Strike apparently multiplies in a critical hit (despite being variable damage), and Flourish may too. So, if you're not fighting critical-immune creatures the automatic +2d6 damage goes well with WMs. Bard, Wizard or Sorcerer ------------------------ Combat characters can benefit greatly from a few spellcasting levels, especially in a low-magic world where enhancements and damage bonuses on weapons and other equipment are rare! Bull's Strength (+4 strength), Bear's Endurance (+4 constitution), and Cat's Grace (+4 dexterity) are 2nd level spells (requires at least 3 levels in the spellcasting class), and Haste, Keen Edge, Improved Mage Armor, Heroism, and Rage (spell) are 3rd level (requires at least 5 levels in spellcasting class). If any of these appeal to you, consider a few levels of wizard or sorcerer. Bards have slightly different progression and will take longer to reach some spells (and simply will not gain others), but they get some nice inspirations and songs that may be a good trade off. Many races have wizard as a favored class, making it easier to add a few levels of wizard without incurring a nasty XP penalty. Keep in mind that caster level can be a problem in beating an enemy's saves or spell resistance, so try to avoid attack spells. Your caster level will also affect the duration of your spells, so try to select spells that have 1 minute/level or preferably 1 hour/level, rather than 1 round(6 seconds)/level. Haste, for example, is an incredibly useful 3rd-level spell that will disappear in just a few rounds when your caster level is low, so be mindful of that. Another caveat to be aware of is Base Attack Bonus. Wizard and Sorcerer have low BAB, and thus may deny you the full 4 attacks at 16 BAB (6 attacks for epic characters at 26 BAB), or drop your attacks even lower. Arcane spells also conflict with armor and shields. To avoid spell failure you'll either have to take your heavy armor off before boosting yourself (which you cannot do during combat), or you will have to wear no armor at all (which some builds do well with, such as dex-focused dual wielders or invisible blade/duelist). Arcane spellcasting relies on the Charisma stat, which is typically a dump stat for combat builds. You'll need 12 charisma to cast 2nd-level spells, 13 to cast 3rd, and so on. Because of the lost levels, lowered BAB, and the charisma requirement, it's always better to have a fellow party member who's dedicated to spellcasting be your arcane support instead of doing it yourself, unless you don't have that option. Don't dilute your build if you don't need to. Harper Agent ------------ Haha, just kidding... ======================== = Section VII: Weapons = ======================== Because a weapon master is inherently focused on a single weapon, it's important to know which one will be most beneficial to choose. While there are oh, so many weapons in NWN2, some are much better than others for a WM. Remember Your Goal ------------------ I was once told that any weapon master that doesn't take a falchion, scythe, scimitar, kukri, or rapier as his chosen weapon is cheating himself. Remember that the WM is heavily focused on milking those critical hits to their maximum. The falchion, scimitar, rapier and kukri focus on getting a critical hit as often as possible, while the scythe hits as hard as possible when it does critical. In theory the falchion and scythe do nearly the same damage in a WM's hands on average, but the falchion will produce a more reliable stream of criticals when you need them. A scimitar is a nice alternative to the falchion since it has a high critical threshold and its base damage isn't much lower, it's used two-handed by default, and you can equip a shield off-hand when you want to. I strongly recommend you pick one of the weapons above (depending on what you want the weapon to do). You can certainly pick something else (like a greatsword), but you won't be getting as much use out of the weapon master's advantages. Play to Your Strengths ---------------------- The falchion and scythe are large, and thus two-handed weapons. This allows you to use 1.5x your strength bonus when doing damage. Note that medium weapons will do the same if you are not holding a shield, so a scimitar gets the same bonus as a falchion. The difference in base damage between a large and medium weapon usually isn't very significant (2-8 damage vs 1-6 is tiny... as we'll demonstrate later in the guide). A scimitar also has a huge added advantage because you can equip a shield off-hand anytime you need to, trading the 1.5x strength bonus to damage for a bunch more AC. When you remove the shield, the scimitar goes back to being two-handed automatically. On the other hand, other builds are dual-wielders. A kukri is a light weapon, making it ideal for two-weapon fighting (and sneak attacks if you're going down that route). The kukri's focus on criticals makes it much better for a weapon master than a short sword or dagger. Rapiers are another weapon with a wide critical threshold, so consider them too. Keep in mind though that Power Attack won't work for a light weapon, and you lose half of your strength bonus with your offhand weapon's damage roll. You make up for this by getting many more attacks per round when dual-wielding. Keep Your Priorities Straight ----------------------------- Don't sweat the base damage. Even though there are many weapons with a higher base damage than these, I strongly recommend that most Weapon Masters take one of the big 3 in frequent criticals: the falchion, the scimitar, or the kukri. These are best suited to play to a Weapon Master's interests -- criticals. Scythes and Rapiers can work too, depending on your focus. Remember, power attack, weapon specialization, a weapon's enhancement bonus, and a number of other damage bonuses will easily out-perform the weapon's base damage, and most damage bonuses multiply in a critical hit to produce immense damage. Because of this, the weapon's base damage isn't nearly as important compared to its threshold and multiplier, and the other damage modifiers you're dishing out. The difference between a falchion's 2d4 and a greatsword's 2d6 isn't much compared to a +4 from greater weapon specialization, +12 from using improved power attack, and/or +5 enhancement bonus on the weapon, all of which are multiplied during critical hits. The same goes for the difference between a falchion and a scimitar (2d4 vs 1d6). What's your Focus? ------------------ Ultimately, these are my recommendations for the big 3 types of builds: a) For a sword and shield combination, the scimitar is a great weapon. Other weapons like falchion or scythe become available if you get Monkey Grip, but you'll take a -2 penalty to attack (which isn't really worth it). b) For a two-handed fighter who wants the 1.5x strength bonus, a falchion or scimitar works best. A scimitar is also a good idea if for some reason you choose a halfling (and there are reasons) and can't equip large weapons. A scythe comes in as a close second since it hits hard when it does critical (though I prefer frequent criticals myself). c) For a two-weapon fighter (or other light weapons and dexterity-focused builds), kukris will serve you very well IF you can get martial weapon proficiency without problems (some dual wield builds do not get it naturally). Rapiers are another nice option. Just remember that you can only focus fully in one weapon, so you want weapons you can hold in each hand when dual-wielding without major penalties. A scimitar in each hand, for example, comes at a nasty cost to your attack roll. Remember that because a medium weapon like the scimitar automatically becomes two-handed when your offhand is free, it lets you switch between the sword and shield style and the two-handed style interchangeably. When you need AC more than the 1.5 strength bonus, you can equip a shield. Then you can remove it when you want more damage. I highly recommend the scimitar (even over the falchion), for this reason. MOTB Special ------------ (this section contains some minor spoilers on creature types and a couple of special weapons found in MOTB) In MOTB many enemies are immune to critical hits. However, the player is able to obtain (through sidequests) two weapons with the "Ruin" feat. One is a Rapier named "Elemental's Ruin", and the other is a Falchion named "Transcendent Edge". Transcendent Edge doesn't have much else on it that would prevent you from enhancing it further with your party's mages (+8 enhancement bonus etc), and the Elemental's Ruin rapier, while already fully enhanced, isn't bad. Since elementals and spirits are common, players may want to find these weapons. But what does the Ruin feat do? Well, it lets you use critical hits and sneak attacks against a creature type that's immune to them! For example, you usually can't use critical hits against an elemental because they're immune, but the Elemental's Ruin feat makes it so you can. The weapon named Elemental's Ruin has the feat of the same name, which affects all elementals (such as those summoned by enemy mages, or found throughout the game... it should also include druids using Elemental Shape). Transcendent Edge has the "Spirit's Ruin" feat, which affects all spirits (generally the telthors, but undead may qualify sometimes as well because of the way MOTB is done). This makes these weapons desirable for a weapon master who wants to be getting critical hits like crazy, since MOTB's most common creatures are critical-immune. If you're playing a Weapon Master in MOTB and have focused in either Rapier or Falchion, look for these weapons. ***Minor/Moderate SPOILER*** The falchion can be obtained from the Ice Troll Lodge. You can choose to either complete the sidequests there (twice), or simply challenge them all to a fight. Whatever works for you. :) Just know that fighting them all at once can be quite the challenge... I had a blast when I tried it (as a level 22 Frenzied Berserker/Red Dragon Disciple/Fighter), and almost didn't survive. Just note that there are several sidequests (and thus XP) that you'll miss out on if you wipe them out too early, so I recommend you do the sidequests they give you instead. IndyAnna tells us that Elemental's Ruin can be found in the barrow at the beginning of the game (thanks! I had completely forgotten where it was!): "I think the weapon is in the middle barrow. It's either in the area with the ice creature or in one of the side areas in a chest." The fact that it's available so early in the game can be a big advantage. ***END SPOILER*** There are apparently three other Ruin feats, Death's Ruin (which affects undead), Builder's Ruin (which affects constructs), and Nature's Ruin (which I'm not sure about... perhaps magical beasts). These feats could be placed on a weapon by someone building their own campaign, but only the two weapons mentioned above have been placed in the MOTB campaign. Luckmann tells us that a hackpack should make it possible to give these feats directly to a player (instead of just putting them on an item) as part of the module's storyline or sidequests, such as from an NPC who is helping you fight an undead army. I'm guessing this would be a history feat such as "Dragon Slayer" etc. It may even be possible to set up a crafting system that lets you put the ruin feats on a weapon. Again, however, this does not happen in MOTB and you should not count on seeing it. :) ======================== = Section VIII: Skills = ======================== Lucky you: You're not playing a brainless brute that smashes enemies with his forehead. You're playing a weapon master, who has at least above-average intelligence. This translates to extra skill points, especially for a Human (who gets 5 skill points per level with 14 intelligence). I have listed a few below I wanted to mention as skills that are very handy for many WM builds, including some that many players don't normally think of. More specialized skills like Hide and Move Silently are more up to you to consider, since you know your build better than I do. Note that if you want to take a lot of cross-class skills, or some of the skills you like switch back and forth from class skill to cross-class depending on which class you're leveling up at the time, you may want to take the Able Learner feat to conserve your points and your sanity. This is described in the feats section. ------------------ Recommended Skills ------------------ Intimidate You need at least 4 ranks here to qualify for WM. Further points will aid you in conversations, if you prefer to talk (or rather, shout and threaten) your way through situations. Powerful combat characters often don't though, when doing so reduces their XP gained and opportunities to crush enemies for fun and profit. - Parry Some people don't care for parry, while others swear by it. Your above average intelligence boosts parry checks, and when focused on properly (with improved parry etc) the parry mode becomes pretty effective at blocking enemy attacks, even when you're surrounded. NOTE however that there is a major bug in parry to be aware of. When a character has multiple attacks per round, NWN2 clusters these attacks into 3 groups at the beginning, middle and end of the round. For some reason parry doesn't block more than 1 attack per group, so a character with more than 3 attacks will start bypassing your parry with ease. When enemies start getting 6 attacks or more (epic characters, greater flurry, two-weapon fighting, haste, etc), this gets nasty! Against normal enemies this usually isn't a problem, but some enemies and most higher-level players do get more than 3 attacks per round. I have seen extremely well-crafted parry builds (including duelists) torn to pieces because of this flaw in the game's handling of the parry mode. Granted, parry doesn't exist in DnD (they made it up for NWN and NWN2) so they're free to implement it as they please, but the fact that the description gives no indication of this weakness has led most people to conclude that it's a bug. - Heal Healing kits are plentiful in the OC and MOTB, and they cure diseases. I recommend about 5-15 points in this skill if you want to use them instead of relying on another party member. Anytime you're facing undead swarms, you can count on getting yourself and much of your party diseased repeatedly throughout whatever quest you're on. Healing kits are your first line of defense against this (though clerics, druids, and others do quite well too). - Tumble Note that tumbling itself is useless for a WM since you are getting Spring Attack. However, tumble is still an *excellent* skill to pour points into because every 10 ranks gives you +1 base AC. Thus, put either 0, 10, 20 or 30 points into it. No more, no less (non-multiples of 10 are wasted). Only the base ranks (before your dexterity modifier is added) will count toward the AC bonus, so what you see on your level up screen is what you get. Keep in mind that epic characters can only reach up to 16 (which you should round down to 10) and normal characters can only reach 11 (again, stop at 10), if you do not put at least 1 level into a class that favors the skill (such as rogue or bard). - Spellcraft Spellcraft isn't just for spellcasters... It's helpful for combat characters as well. Every 5 ranks gives you +1 to saving throws against spells (including those nasty mind-affecting or paralysis spells that exploit a weak will save). Thus, put 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 points into it. Amounts that aren't multiples of 5 are wasteful, so don't stop at 13 for example. As with tumble, you can only get as high as 11 or 16 (which you should round down to 10 or 15) if you never take a class that favors it as a class skill. - Use Magical Device Should you have extra points, here's a nice spot to dump them. 10 ranks here should open up a lot of equipment to you. You can add even more to gain access to some of the really special items (you'll need a lot more in MOTB). It's so nice having the ability to use paladin-only gear, haste-casting lutes, and scrolls, for example. ----------- Iffy Skills ----------- Appraise If you have extra points, this can get you more money at the shops by lowering the price of items and increasing the money you get back when selling. Sadly, having party members like Neeshka put points in Appraise doesn't work... it has to be you that does it. - Craft Weapon Unless you have a party member with you who can craft an alchemical silver or cold iron blade of choice for you (such as in the OC or MOTB), this can be really nice. Martial weapons like a cold iron greatsword are easily crafted with only 10 points in this skill (including your intelligence modifier). Unfortunately, you'll probably still need a party member to enchant the weapon with a decent enhancement bonus etc. If you aren't interested in crafting your own weapons, this isn't going to be very interesting to you. - Craft Armor As with craft weapon, craft armor can benefit you when you don't have party members that can do it for you. Craft Armor can give you the much coveted Mithril Full Plate if you get it up to 15 (and it's boosted by your intelligence modifier), and you can have a caster buddy enchant it from there. If you're not interested in crafting your own stuff, or you don't have a party member to enchant it, probably skip this. - Lore Once again, it's easy to just pass items to an NPC ally that has a high lore skill. However, if you want to do it yourself and you have the points for it, go ahead and max your lore skill. - Taunt Unlike in NWN1, Taunt in NWN2 seems like it would be helpful against enemies. If the enemy fails a will save, he loses 2 AC and 2 concentration. This makes it useful against both warriors and mages, especially since fighters and other combat characters tend to have low will saves. However, the real bonus comes in you hit 5 ranks in the the skill because it starts affecting all enemies in an area. More points in the skill increases the area of effect, and the DC of the taunt (5 + taunt skill). Taunt can also occasionally be used in conversations. Unfortunately, taunting in battle provokes an attack of opportunity, and taunting multiple times doesn't stack. I haven't personally used this skill, but I'm told the -2 AC is helpful. - Diplomacy or Bluff Sometimes it's best to have a diplomatic touch, such as to persuade an NPC to give better rewards when you finish a quest, or to talk your way out of a dangerous situation. Bluff is handy for anyone who wants to lie through situations and isn't worried about morals, while diplomacy is more for the peacemaker or negotiator. If you don't like the idea of using Intimidate in these cases, these skills are a fine alternative. Bard, Paladin and Rogue are good sources of diplomacy (as a class skill), and some will give you bluff as well. Keep in mind though that you will need a reasonable level in a conversation skill to get a good use out of it, especially in some parts of the storyline where the NPC's DC is quite high. ================================= = Section IX: Ye Olde Feat List = ================================= There's an awful lot of feats in the game. Here's some notes on a few that are great, okay, or worth avoiding entirely. -------------- Required Feats -------------- As discussed in the Requirements section above, there are 6 feats you need to access this class. Since they are not throw-away feats (and will instead serve you very well), they're worth describing here. Weapon Focus ------------ You get a +1 to the attack roll with your chosen weapon. This is especially nice early on when your BAB is pretty low. Make sure you focus in the weapon you intend to take as your Weapon of Choice as a weapon master, since you can only select weapons in which you have taken weapon focus. If you get weapon focus in multiple weapons (which I really don't recommend for a WM), you'll have multiple options for a weapon of choice. Combat Expertise ---------------- Turning on this mode trades a -3 to attack rolls for a +3 in AC. This can occasionally be useful against swarms, or against large easy-to-hit enemies that you want avoid taking damage from. I tend to not use it, however (I prefer power attack if I'm taking a hit to my attack roll). Dodge ----- You gain a +1 to AC against the enemy you are currently fighting or last fought. This is the enemy you are attacking or last attacked (if you are running away etc), so it doesn't work against other enemies that are attacking you from the sides and behind, but whirlwind attack is great for dealing with those. Mobility -------- This gives you an automatic +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity. Nice for when you need to drink a potion or run away when combat gets too hot. Spring Attack ------------- Never again will you provoke an attack of opportunity from moving around in combat. If you need to run past some enemies, run into a melee, run away to escape death.... or just run circles around your enemies to piss them off.... they don't get to smear you for it. Whirlwind Attack ---------------- You get to make an attack at full base attack bonus against all enemies in melee range around you, and criticals can happen with each of these attacks! For me it's proven to be an excellent attack against swarms, especially if you can provoke your enemies to surrounding you when you use it. The attacks are made with your primary hand weapon, with whatever attack bonuses you get with it. Thus, high-strength (or otherwise high-accuracy) characters will do the best at hitting and smearing their enemies. Note that this is a full-round action, meaning you trade all your attacks this round for one whirlwind attack. So, don't use it when your normal attacks will be more effective (only fighting one or two enemies, etc). --------------- MUST HAVE Feats --------------- These are feats that are so useful for a WM they might as well be required, though you don't *have* to take them if you don't want to so simply don't have enough feats to do it. **Improved Critical** This feat actually stacks with the WM's own critical threshold boosting, so it's a great one to take to further milk a WM's critical hit focus. I strongly recommend getting this one, unless you prefer to use a mage ally's Keen Edge spell. If for some reason will always have the Keen property on your blades you can skip this feat, though the feat is more effective because then you can put other properties (like more damage) on your blade when crafting and/or you don't have to rely on a mage ally to boost you all the time. Don't combine all the above though (keen + Improved Critical or Keen Edge), since Keen won't stack with this feat and multiple instance of keen don't stack with each other. Ki Critical's +2 bonus to threshold is added after the threshold multiplies, so a falchion would have a critical threshold of 13-20 (40% chance to threaten a critical on every hit). ----------------- Recommended Feats ----------------- Luck of Heroes You can only take this feat at the first level, so it could delay your progress toward WM if you're hoping to hit it early (by level 6) and don't have the feats to spare. That said, this feat gives you +1 AC and +1 to all saving throws. This is one of the best defense feats in the game (beating out two weapon defense, armor skin, etc). If you can spare the feat, this one comes highly recommended. - Power Attack Improved Power Attack This adds damage at the cost of some attack bonus. The boost is pretty good when holding a weapon in one hand, and becomes excellent when using a two-handed weapon (+12 damage). A Frenzied Berserker makes the boost awesome at level 5 (Enhanced Power Attack, which boosts the bonus to +20 damage), if you're investing in some FB levels. Power Attack also doesn't care if the enemy is undead, construct, spirit, or any other creature that's immune to criticals, so it could help round out your character. The damage bonus also multiplies during a critical hit, which can be devastating to enemies! That said, you take a hit to your attack roll, and power attack is not helpful if you can't hit your enemy with it. Power attack gives a -3 penalty to attack, and improved gives a -6, so remember to turn it off when an enemy gets too evasive. Power Attack also will *not* add damage to a light weapon (but you still take a penalty for having it active). If you're running a dual-wield build or otherwise using light weapons, don't get this feat. - Weapon Specialization Greater Weapon Focus Greater Weapon Specialization Epic Weapon Focus (Epic) Epic Weapon Specialization (Epic) These feats add to your attack rolls (weapon focus) and damage rolls (weapon specialization). Higher accuracy and damage are a must for a combat character, and a WM benefits greatly from this (especially since he is already focused on a weapon). Another nice point is that critical-immune creatures, like the undead, spirits and elementals, cannot block this damage upgrade with said critical immunity. This is important since a WM relying heavily on criticals to succeed may have a harder time against these creatures, or at least be more annoyed by them. Likewise, low-strength characters that aren't compensating with lots of elemental enhancement on their weapon or feats like Combat Insight could benefit from a +4 to damage. Weapon specialization gives you a good, stable base damage that will be there even when you have a bad damage roll, and it helps when enemies have damage reduction and the like. Weapon Focus helps considerably when fighting those evasive enemies that just don't want to take a hit, and a higher accuracy also increases the chances of confirming a critical. It's a win-win for a weapon master. Weapon Specialization's damage bonus (including that of the Greater and Epic versions) also multiplies during a critical hit, which is really powerful (see the Understanding Critical Hits section) in WM hands. Unlike power attack and smite evil, these bonuses are active at all times without penalties or limits on uses per day. These feats also apply to all creature types, unlike the damage bonus gained from ranger favored enemies. That said, this large lump of feats is only available to those who get their fighter class high enough. Normal Weapon Focus is available to everyone, but you need 4 levels of fighter for Weapon Spec, 8 for Greater and Epic Weapon Focus, and 12 for Greater and Epic Weapon Spec. Since Fighter is a natural class of choice for WM because of the bonus feats, this is an excellent bunch of feats to take when you're willing to pour more levels into the class. - Two-Weapon Fighting Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Greater Two-Weapon Fighting Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting (Epic) If you're playing a dual-wielder, you'll probably want to get as many of these feats as possible. This requires some extra dexterity (especially for the epic feat, which requires 25), so your choice of race and ability point distribution will be affected heavily by this focus. Weapon Finesse is a good idea for a two-weapon fighter, since you'll need 15, 17, 19, or 25 Dexterity depending on how many of the feats you take, and weapon finesse will use that high dexterity to hit enemies (if it's higher than your strength). Rangers, of course, can gain the equivalent of these feats for free at class levels 2, 6, 11 and 21. They can use the feats so long as they are wearing light or no armor. It doesn't matter what your dexterity is, you still get the feats (though a high dexterity is good for the AC gained, since you can't wear medium or heavy armor and still use the feats). The ranger feats also count toward the requirements for classes and other feats. For example, Invisible Blade requires Two-Weapon Fighting, and the ranger feat satisfies this. - Cleave Great Cleave Cleave gives you a free attack against a nearby enemy whenever you kill an enemy, but only 1 per round, while great cleave lets you keep doing this until you stop killing or there's nothing left to kill. This is extremely useful in the OC where swarms of smaller enemies are common, but MOTB turns the tide and suddenly it takes a while to take almost any opponent down. Cleave may help in either case, but consider what types of enemies you'll fight before taking great cleave. That said, Weapon Masters add more reason to take great cleave because they can get so many critical hits. It's fun seeing a string of critical hit great cleaves tear right through the enemies surrounding you. Power Attack and other bonuses work quite well in boosting the damage both for normal cleaves and those that critical. Frenzied Berserkers require these feats, and actually make great cleave an extremely deadly weapon even when enemies are too big to take out in a single hit (because you cleave twice per kill, and two free attacks can be really nice). With the right support, cleave and great cleave can be absolutely deadly. Abfinz says: In my opinion cleave is a must for high damage melee characters, unless you plan on fighting one enemy at a time. Also, Great Cleave can be useful even when it takes a few hits to take your enemies down, particularly when you get to higher levels and have plenty of attacks to spare each round. Simply put, if you can take out 2 or more enemies in a round, seriously consider this one. - Great Strength (Epic) Great Constitution (Epic) Both these feats are extremely handy if you run out of other things to take during epic levels. They'll improve the corresponding ability by 1 and can be taken multiple times. You get a minimum of 5 epic feats by level 30 (more if your base class hits epic levels and gives bonus feats), so you'll probably have extra slots you want to fill with something genuinely useful. Another reason to take these is to qualify for other feats. Epic Damage Reduction requires 21 Constitution, and one or two uses of Great Constitution can help accelerate you to that point. - Epic Damage Reduction (Epic) Assuming you are willing to meet the 21 Constitution qualification, this is a pretty nice feat. It can (and probably should be) taken multiple times, giving you first 3/-, then 6/-, then finally 9/- damage reduction. This means all physical damage will be reduced by that amount, and there's no way to bypass it (such as cold iron or darksteel). A nice feat for beefcake characters with already-high constitution. Note that a character focused on barbarian gets damage reduction 5 at level 19, and 8 by level 28. This feat gives even better than that, and stacks with barbarian damage reduction if you have it. I assume the same is true for the 6/- damage reduction gained by Dwarven Defender. Fighters will have an easy time grabbing this one as it's in their fighter bonus feat list. - Epic Toughness (Epic) If you already have Toughness and you want even more HP, this is the feat to take. Each time you get it you gain 30 HP. This is especially nice for low-HP characters wanting to compensate the loss, and this feat has no requirements other than Toughness and a level 21 character. ---------- Iffy Feats ---------- Able Learner This feat makes cross-class skills cost only 1 point, just like class skills. It doesn't remove the maximum level of cross-class skills (half your class skills' maximum), but once you've taken a level in a class that makes something a class skill, that maximum goes away for good. I'm particularly fond of this one, because it lets me spend my skill points on cross-class skills with ease. Fighters and WMs don't get many useful class skills, and I love putting points in Tumble and Spellcraft for the AC/Saving Throw bonuses. Because you already have a high Intelligence as a requirement for WM levels, you might as well put those extra points to good use. This is also nice for Parry players, because many other classes you may branch into don't support Parry as a class skill, and you'll suddenly be paying double to build it up without this feat. That said, if you don't care about cross-class skills, or aren't that interested in skills in the first place, skip this one entirely. - Power Critical I've been told that one should take this feat only when they have nothing else to take that interests them. It adds a minor boost to your chance of confirming a critical -- See the Understanding Critical Hits section for more information. Just know that a high-strength (or dexterity with weapon finesse) class already has a pretty good chance of confirming a critical, and a +4 bonus to this is not quite so helpful. That said, a class with accuracy problems may benefit a great deal from the +4, because confirming their criticals could be rare. It's your call. - Epic Prowess This gives another +1 to your attack roll. It's especially nice if you miss out on greater weapon focus from not taking fighter levels, so take it if you can afford it. Otherwise it's arguably less important than other feats since you've already got plenty of attack bonuses from other sources. - Disarm Improved Disarm You incur an attack of opportunity to try to take your opponent's weapon. This does two things: you get to keep the weapon, and they get to fight unarmed. That said, you can only steal the weapon from enemies that are marked as disarmable by whoever created the campaign (and I'm not sure how many qualify in the OC and MOTB). Plus, the chance of success is pretty lousy if you're not using a medium or large weapon. Take with caution. - Weapon Finesse Combat Insight (Epic) I have a few two-weapon fighting builds that forgo Strength for Dexterity and Intelligence. Since a weapon master already has 13 in each of these, you might consider boosting them further and taking that route. In this case, Weapon Finesse and Combat Insight are your friends. Keep in mind that finesse will only work with a light weapon (such as a kukri) or rapier, so no scimitars or falchions for you... though you're probably not two-weapon fighting with them anyway. ;) Keep in mind that Combat Insight is epic and requires Epic Prowess, so you'll have to wait until pretty late to get it (level 21-23 at the earliest). - Knockdown Improved Knockdown Knockdown can be very handy when it works. It attempts to knock an enemy into a prone position, which gives melee attackers a bonus to accuracy against them (but has the opposite effect on ranged attackers). It was far more effective in the original NWN1; in this game, it's quite under-powered. It's a full-round action and it does not do damage when it connects, and even if your touch attack hits they have a chance to resist the knockdown itself (with a strength check). Fortunately it's still handy, especially in a party situation where knocking an enemy down lets your whole party beat the crap out of it. Mages and other characters with low strength also make excellent targets. If you have extra feats, go for both Knockdown and Improved Knockdown. Improved knockdown increases the success chance by increasing your size bonus during the calculation. You already have the INT score to qualify for the improved, so go for it. - Favored Power Attack This doubles your power attack damage against favored enemies. When using a two-handed weapon, it triples. I'm not sure how this combines with Improved Power Attack, or Enhanced Power Attack (frenzied berserker) because I haven't taken the time to test it thoroughly, but the consensus is that the damage bonus is huge. If you're a ranger using a two-handed weapon instead of dual-wielding, consider getting this. - Toughness If you want extra health, especially from Epic Toughness, then this is a great feat to take. It's basically the bonus you'd get from adding +2 to your Constitution. Note that if you're also going to take Frenzied Berserker levels, you'll get this for free. - Blind Fight Fighting invisible/concealed enemies or being blinded by darkness or other effects can be a real drag. Blind fight helps with some of these problems by protecting you from some of the invisible enemies' bonuses, and giving you a better chance to hit that enemy. Grab it if you think it'll be useful, and you have a feat to spend. Note that Red Dragon Disciple gets this one for free, if you're going down that route. - Two-Weapon Defense Improved Two-Weapon Defense These skills each provide +1 bonus to AC while dual-wielding. The bonus stacks for up to +2 AC. However, I prefer other feats like Luck of Heros, because it also adds 1 to my saving throws. Another problem is dual-wielding builds tend to not have many spare feats available for these, since other many feats serve the character better. ------------------- Feats Best to Avoid ------------------- Monkey Grip This allows you to equip a two-handed weapon in one hand. If you're a small race (gnome or halfling), it lets you equip large weapons you couldn't normally use. Unfortunately, doing either of these comes at the cost of -2 to your attack roll. This negates the accuracy bonus you're gaining from both weapon focus and superior weapon focus combined! If you're trying to use a falchion with a shield, maybe focusing on scimitar would be better. Whatever you do, don't use this to dual-wield large weapons. Just.... don't. You'll be taking a huge penalty to attack, and there are much better ways to put dual-wielding to good use. - Overwhelming Critical (Epic) The huge requirements and poor performance of this feat make it largely undesirable. You gain +1d6 damage on critical hits for a weapon with a x2 multiplier. Each increase to the multiplier adds an additional +1d6 (+3d6 at x4 etc). Sadly, this damage is not further multiplied during the critical hit, so you don't gain a huge bonus at all by taking this feat. A flat +2d6 damage on a critical that's already doing 50-100 damage minimum just isn't worth taking this feat for. You have so many other epic feats that would be oh, so much better than this. Overwhelming nothing... it's just disappointing. =========================================== = Appendix A: Understanding Critical Hits = =========================================== Since you're playing as a Weapon Master, a class that's almost entirely focused on critical hits, it's a good idea to know exactly how they work and when they'll happen. The 4 steps to critical hits are Hit, Threaten, Confirm, and Multiply. These are described in detail below. ---------------------------------------- A) Determining if you get a critical hit ---------------------------------------- 1. Check if the attack has any relevance to criticals. Some abilities like Whirlwind Attack, Power Attack and Cleave can do critical hits, while others can't. Attacks of opportunity also get critical hits, as do any spells or abilities that deal damage and use a melee touch attack or ranged touch attack. If the targeted creature has immunity to critical hits (construct, undead, spirit, elemental, etc), there's no chance. The game will still attempt a critical hit and inform you that the creature is immune, so you know not to count on them. 2. Run the attack roll. This means roll a 20-sided die and add any modifiers to attack (such as base attack bonus, weapon focus, strength bonus, etc). If you beat your opponent's AC, you hit him. Otherwise, quit out because you have to hit in order to do a critical. 3. Check for the critical threat range. Check the 20-sided die you rolled. If it landed within the critical threat range, you have just threatened a critical. If it fell below this range, you will not get a critical hit for this attack. The critical threat range is the first number (or number range) in the weapon's critical description. For a Greatsword this is 19-20, for a Scythe it's only 20, and for a Kukri, Scimitar or Falchion, it's 18-20. This means a Falchion (for example) gets a critical hit if 20-sided die roll (before adding modifies) was an 18, 19, or 20. Improved Critical or the Keen property will double this range (17-20 for Greatsword, 15-20 for Falchion), and the weapon master's Ki Critical feat adds an additional two after that. So, a falchion could have up to 13-20, or a 40% chance to threaten. 4. Confirm the critical. Threatening to critical is not enough. You now have to confirm that you have the accuracy to hit the vital spot of the target that would give the critical hit. To do this, you must make *another* attack roll (with all modifiers) against the target. This isn't a second attack, it's a second attack roll to confirm that you get a critical hit. If this attack roll beats the enemy's AC too, you get a critical hit. Otherwise you get a normal, non-critical hit and do normal damage. The Power Critical feat comes into play here, adding a +4 modifier to the confirmation roll ONLY. If your attack bonuses are already huge, that +4 may not help all that much because it only affects the confirmation (not the threat). Remember, you have to threaten first, then confirm. ---------------------------------------------- B) What happens when you do get a critical hit ---------------------------------------------- 1. Find the Multiplier First you need to know the critical multiplier of your weapon. For a Greatsword, Scimitar or Falchion, this is x2. The scythe gets a whopping x4 (though its threat range is smaller). The weapon master's Increased Multiplier feat adds 1 to this, so you get x3 with a Falchion/Scimitar and x5 with a Scythe! 2. Find what multiplies. Second you need to know what kind of damage your character does, as most of this will be multiplied by the critical. -What gets multiplied: a) Base damage of weapon. For a falchion or scythe this is 2d4, 1d4 for a kukri, and for a greatsword it's 2d6. b) Enhancement bonus of weapon (+5 enhancement gives +5 damage). Magical enhancement counts (such as Greater Magical Weapon spell or Stormlord's Enhance Weapons feat). c) Strength bonus (which is x1.5 when holding the weapon two-handed, or x0.5 for the weapon in your offhand when dual-wielding) d) Other constant (non-variable, i.e. not 1d6) damage bonuses including Weapon Specialization, Power Attack, Bard's Inspire Courage, Enlarge Person, Divine Might, Sacred Flames, etc. e) Some variable damage bonuses like Precise Strike (Duelist), though these are usually flukes or weird exceptions in the way Bioware implemented them. -What does NOT get multiplied (these instead get added after the multiplication): a) Sneak attack damage. b) Damage that only occurs on critical hits (i.e. Overwhelming Critical, or weapons that say +1d10 on critical hits). c) Elemental damage bonuses on weapon (+1d6 cold damage, +2d6 damage vs evil, +2 fire damage, etc) d) Most other variable damage bonuses, such as +1d6 anything 3. Now do the following formula: damage = (damage that gets multiplied)*(weapon multiplier) + (damage the doesn't multiply) NOTE: Want to see this first-hand? filaminstrel from the bioware.com forums told me how. The "EnableCombatDebugging 1" command (while in debug) will give a more detailed description of what's being multiplied in the damage roll. Some things tend to be bunched together though, like the Bard's Inspire Courage and the weapon's enhancement bonus. Most things though are specifically listed (like power attack, weapon specialization, etc), so you can see exactly how they are affecting your damage. To use this mode: 1) Open the console by hitting the ~ key (usually below Escape, by the 1 key on most keyboards). 2) Type "DebugMode 1", without the quotes, and hit enter. 3) Type "EnableCombatDebugging 1" and hit enter. You can use the same commands with a 0 instead of a 1 to turn them off. --------------------- Critical Hit Examples --------------------- Example 1 ---------# A 7th-level WM with 22 strength, Improved Power Attack, and Greater Weapon Specialization is packing a Scythe +5 with 1d6 acid damage and 1d6 cold damage. He makes a critical hit, and wants to know how much damage he could do. His formula is this: 5*2d4(base damage) + 5*6*1.5(strength x1.5 for two-handed) + 5*5(enhancement) + 5*4(Greater W.Spec) + 5*12(Imp.Power Attack) + 1d6(acid) + 1d6(cold) This simplifies to: 10d4 + 45 + 25 + 20 + 60 + 2d6 Combining all constants we get: 10d4 + 150 + 2d6 Thus, if he is really lucky (max damage): 40 + 150 + 12 = 202 damage If he is really unlucky (min damage): 10 + 150 + 2 = 162 damage As you can see, the base weapon damage and elemental damage on the weapon are minor players compared to the other damage sources here. Example 2 --------- A falchion (with its lower multiplier but higher threshold) would deal about the same damage on average over many hits (actually a little more than the scythe), but would get critical hits more often and deal the damage more evenly and reliably. Imagine the above scenario with a falchion instead, all other things being equal. 3*2d4(base damage) + 3*6*1.5(strength x1.5 for two-handed) + 3*5(enhancement) + 3*4(Greater W.Spec) + 3*12(Imp.Power Attack) + 1d6(acid) + 1d6(cold) = 6d4 + 18 + 15 + 12 + 36 + 2d6 = 6d4 + 81 + 2d6 max: 24 + 81 + 12 = 117 min: 6 + 81 + 2 = 89 #Even though the falchion's damage is lower, it will critical MUCH more often. With 7 levels of WM and the Improved Critical feat, a scythe has only about a 4/20 (1/5 or 20%) chance per attack to threaten a critical with every hit. On the other hand, a falchion or scimitar has a 8/20 (2/5 or 40%) chance to threaten with every hit. Thus the falchion is twice as likely to threaten, and in this example gives just over half as much damage during those criticals as the scythe. Needless to say, in either example a weapon master can deal unholy amounts of damage to enemies that are not immune to criticals. ============================= = Appendix B: Sample Builds = ============================= Non-Epic Builds --------------- Fighter(13) + WM(7) This is a pretty straight-forward build. Your fighter levels will give you early access to WM, and will ensure you have plenty of feats (12 normal and 6 fighter bonus feats). You also gain full access to Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization, which are extremely handy for further enhancing your weapon of choice. These feats also ensure that critical-immune creatures still get smacked hard by your attacks. Below is an example for a Human. By level 13 this build gets its full potential in critical hits, and all levels after that can be spent in any way you want. I take able learner because assuming 14 intelligence, you'll be getting about 5 skill points per level and it's nice to be able to make good use of them. You might even toss in a level of Bard or Rogue at level 2 to get full access to Tumble, Use Magical Device, and other handy skills. 1 F1 Able Learner, Luck of Heros, Weapon Focus (Falchion) 2 F2 Dodge 3 F3 Mobility 4 F4 Combat Expertise 5 F5 6 F6 Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack 7 WM1 8 WM2 9 WM3 Weapon Specialization 10 WM4 11 WM5 12 WM6 Improved Critical 13 WM7 14 F7 15 F8 Greater Weapon Focus, Power Attack 16 F9 17 F10 Cleave 18 F11 Improved Power Attack or Great Cleave 19 F12 Greater Weapon Specialization 20 F13 - Barbarian(11) + Fighter(2) + WM(7) This barbarian can use greater rage 3x per day, and the two levels of fighter add two extra feats for reaching WM more easily. A human can start doing WM levels by level 7 with this build, though he can certainly put WM off until later if he prefers more barbarian levels early. The big trick with this example build is taking the two barbarian levels at first, so you can time the fighter bonus feats properly. Remember, Spring Attack requires a Base Attack Bonus of +4, so you'll have to spend a fighter feat on something else if you use it on level 3 (which would push off the WM levels to level 10). Example Human 1 B1 Weapon Focus (Falchion), Dodge 2 B2 3 F1 Mobility, Combat Expertise 4 F2 Spring Attack 5 B3 6 B4 Whirlwind Attack 7 WM1 8 WM2 9 WM3 Improved Critical 10 WM4 11 WM5 12 WM6 Power Attack 13 WM7 14 B5 15 B6 Cleave 16 B7 17 B8 18 B9 Extra Rage or Great Cleave 19 B10 20 B11 - Fighter(8) + Bard(1) + RDD(4) + WM(7) This build gains +4 Strength, +2 AC, and Dragon Breath from the RDD levels. Fighter adds the option of Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus, to further enhance your weapon of choice. This build also gets all 4 attacks because of its BAB of 18, despite the medium BAB growth of RDD and bard. The example build below also gets great cleave early to make use of a high strength character (further enhanced by the RDD levels). I recommend a two-handed weapon in this case. Both Cleave/Great Cleave and Whirlwind Attack will start getting lots of critical hits once your WM levels finish. Make sure you get your Perform skill to 3 (and remember that your charisma modifier affects it), so that you can use inspire courage for an additional +1 to attack and damage. If you take this build into epic levels later on, finish the RDD path for another +4 strength and a bunch of other really nice bonuses. This leaves 4 more levels for fighter if you want to pursue epic weapon specialization etc. There is an example of this in the epic examples section. Example Human: 1 F1 Weapon Focus (Falchion), Power Attack, Cleave 2 B1 3 F2 Dodge, Mobility 4 F3 5 F4 Great Cleave 6 F5 Spring Attack 7 F6 Whirlwind Attack 8 RDD1 9 RDD2 Combat Expertise 10 RDD3 11 RDD4 12 WM1 Weapon Specialization 13 WM2 14 WM3 15 WM4 Improved Critical 16 WM5 17 WM6 Toughness 18 WM7 19 F7 20 F8 Greater Weapon Focus - Fighter(8) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7) See the Fighter(18) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7) build below for more info, as the build can be either epic or non-epic and the description in the epic section gives some good information. Epic Builds ----------- Fighter(12) + Bard(1) + RDD(10) + WM(7) RDD gives a huge bonus to strength, and a whole lot of other perks. This build combines a large strength bonus and two handed weapon (falchion) with either Improved Power Attack or Epic Weapon Specialization to ensure it always deals a lot of damage, even against the critical-immune. When it does get a critical hit (and it does often), it deals triple damage, including the huge 1.5x strength bonus, power attack, weapon specialization and other damage bonuses. This build also adds epic damage reduction 9/-, a huge constitution score, and a Dexterity of 16 (+3 dex bonus to AC fits perfectly with mithril full plate armor, which is easily crafted and enhanced to your liking). You're not just a king of damage, but a king of defense as well. Note that because of RDD, the ability scores grow extremely fast between levels 1 and 20. This is worth putting off the WM levels for. Then once you get the final WM level, you'll start getting critical hits like crazy and they'll hit hard. Ability Lv1 Lv20* Lv30 Str 15 24 26 Dex 15 16 16 Con 16 21 22 Int 14 16 16 Wis 8 8 8 Cha 8 10 10 How this is done: Start with the stats in the Lv1 column. From levels 1 to 20, put 1 point in strength, 1 point in dexterity, and 3 points in constitution (in any order you like). The RDD levels will take care of the rest. After level 20, put a point in constitution to round it off. You can then put a point in strength and take great strength, or do the same with constitution. Human Example 1: 1 F1 Able Learner, Luck of Heros, W.Focus (falchion) 2 B1 3 F2 Dodge, Mobility 4 F3 5 F4 W.Specialization 6 R1 Spring Attack 7 R2 8 R3 9 R4 Combat Expertise 10 R5 11 R6 12 R7 Improved Critical 13 R8 14 R9 15 R10 Whirlwind Attack 16 WM1 17 WM2 18 WM3 Power Attack 19 WM4 20 WM5 21 WM6 Epic Damage Reduction 3/- 22 WM7 23 F5 Epic Damage Reduction 6/- 24 F6 Epic Damage Reduction 9/- 25 F7 Power Attack 26 F8 Greater W.Focus 27 F9 Improved Power Attack 28 F10 Epic W.Focus 29 F11 Great Strength 30 F12 Greater W.Specialization Human Example 2: In example 2 the reason I take 5 levels of WM before level 21 and then take the last two at the end is so that all my last fighter levels happen before level 29 so I can get Epic Weapon Specialization. Unfortunately this little timing trick had to happen because I would miss a feat at the end otherwise. If you don't care about the extra 2 damage from epic w.specialization then you can finish WM by level 22 as with example 1, which is extremely beneficial. 1 F1 Able Learner, Luck of Heros, W.Focus (falchion) 2 B1 3 F2 Dodge, Mobility 4 F3 5 F4 W.Specialization 6 R1 Spring Attack 7 R2 8 R3 9 R4 Combat Expertise 10 R5 11 R6 12 R7 Improved Critical 13 R8 14 R9 15 R10 Whirlwind Attack 16 WM1 17 WM2 18 WM3 Toughness or Power Attack 19 WM4 20 WM5 21 F5 Epic Damage Reduction 3/- 22 F6 Epic Damage Reduction 6/- 23 F7 Epic Damage Reduction 9/- 24 F8 Greater W.Focus 25 F9 Great Strength, Epic Prowess, Toughness, or Power Attack 26 F10 Epic W.Focus 27 F11 Great Strength, Epic Toughness or Improved Power Attack 28 F12 Greater W.Specialization 29 WM6 Epic W.Specialization 30 WM7 - Bard(5) + FB(8) + RDD(10) + WM(7) This build gives you some really nice strength boosts, both from the Red Dragon Disciple and from the Frenzied Berserker's frenzy. The weapon master's criticals will amplify the strength bonus and power attack really well. I definitely recommend you focus on a two-handed weapon like the falchion, and get improved power attack (which the frenzied berserker boosts like crazy). Improved Power Attack multiplies in critical hits, and helps against undead and other less evasive creatures that are immune to criticals. This build also offers insane great cleaving, Greater Frenzy, up to 5 attacks per round (6 when using frenzy), and a huge critical threshold and damage output. This build should also have enough charisma and points in perform to get the most out of the 5 bard levels (including inspire courage). A higher charisma will also make the RDD's dragon breath more effective. Be sure to take the required feats (with a * next to them) in the order given or you may be unable to take the FB or WM levels that come next. I've placed a + next to feats that I highly recommend, and the rest are entirely up to you. Ability Lv1 Lv20* Lv30 Str 16 29 32 Dex 14 14 14 Con 14 16 16 Int 14 16 16 Wis 8 8 8 Cha 12 14 14 1 B1 Power Attack*, W.Focus (falchion)* 2 B2 3 B3 Dodge* 4 B4 5 B5 6 R1 Mobility* 7 R2 8 R3 9 R4 Spring Attack* 10 R5 11 R6 12 R7 Combat Expertise* 13 R8 14 R9 15 R10 Whirlwind Attack* 16 WM1 17 WM2 18 WM3 Cleave* 19 WM4 20 WM5 21 WM6 Great Cleave* 22 WM7 23 FB1 Improved Critical+ 24 FB2 25 FB3 Improved Power Attack+ 26 FB4 27 FB5 Extra Rage or Epic Toughness 28 FB6 29 FB7 Great Strength 30 FB8 - Ranger(23) + WM(7) This is a decent Two-Weapon Fighting build, but it can also go with two-handed weapons. Your dexterity doesn't have to be as high as you normally need it to be for a dual-wielder since you get the feats for free, but you can certainly get it higher for the AC bonus (since you won't be wearing very hefty armor if you dual-wield). For a dual-wielder, the WM can focus on Kukri, and the high BAB of the build gives you 12 attacks because of Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting (14 with haste). If you have a party member who can do some enhancement for you, you'll be able to add up to 20d6 damage to each kukri, but remember that this damage doesn't multiply like a +8 enhancement bonus. As a ranger, you have a few support spells of your own as long as you give yourself 14 wisdom (whether by natural stats or using a necklace to boost wisdom). Rangers can instead use two-handed weapons if they don't care about dual-wielding (there's nothing that says you can only dual-wield just because you get it for free). If you do this, definitely consider investing in Favored Power Attack and boosting your strength to a high level. Using a two-handed weapon also lets you wear armor, since you don't care about losing use of the two-weapon fighting feats. Without fighter, you do not get weapon specialization or greater weapon focus etc. However, you do get about 5 favored enemies and a +5 to damage against them, which multiplies with critical hits. Depending on the campaign you're playing, I recommend you choose undead, elementals, and constructs (all are immune to criticals). I also strongly encourage you to choose fey if you're playing MOTB. This will allow you to deal your favored enemy bonus damage to enemies that are always immune to critical hits, so you can compensate for the lost advantage. - Fighter(18) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7) This two-weapon fighting build is meant for a character with a heavy focus on Dexterity and Intelligence. I'd say by level 30 you'll want at least 20 Intelligence (for the full AC bonus from IB and damage from combat insight, though item enhancements will work) and 25-26 Dexterity (for perfect two-weapon fighting). You will also need Combat Insight, Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting and the Improved and Greater upgrades to it, and all the required feats for IB and WM. With all those fighter levels this still leaves some room for feats of your choice. You may want to get Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus as well, since the fighter levels open them up (and specialization will spam damage really well in a two-weapon fighting build). I also recommend Able Learner to help get the skills you need as class requirements, and the skills you want. This build reaches a grand total of 22 feats with all those fighter levels. About 14-15 of these (which I've marked with a *) are either required for IB and WM, or are fairly necessary to get the most out of the build's focus. The rest (which I filled with greater/epic weapon focus and specialization) are up to you. Below is an example Air Gensai build where I assume I'll have party members to craft/enhance items to give a +8 to intelligence and dexterity, and make some ultimate kukris, as well as other spiffy equipment. Remember: two weapon fighting with two kukris that each have +8 enhancement (maybe only +5 enhancement for a non-MOTB module) combined with heavy critical hit focus and weapon spec makes for some pretty nice damage output! This build should get all 12 attacks with Perfect Two Weapon Fighting, or 14 when hasted, and many or most of those will be critical hits. Another option to the extra fighter levels is 10 levels of Assassin, if you want to do sneak attacks and death attacks. Shadowdancer is another fine choice for its Hide in Plain Sight at level 2. Note that the build could literally stop at level 20 and do fairly well if you don't want to make an epic character. Starting Abilities: Str: 12 Dex: 20 (should be 25 by level 20) Con: 14 Int: 16 Wis: 6 Cha: 6 1 F1 Weapon Finesse*, Weapon Focus (kukri)* 2 F2 Dodge* 3 F3 Mobility* 4 F4 Combat Expertise* 5 F5 6 F6 Spring Attack*, Whirlwind Attack* 7 WM1 8 WM2 9 WM3 Two-Weapon Fighting* 10 WM4 11 WM5 12 WM6 Feint* 13 WM7 14 IB1 15 IB2 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting* 16 IB3 17 IB4 18 IB5 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting* 19 F7 20 F8 Improved Critical* 21 F9 Epic Prowess* 22 F10 Combat Insight* 23 F11 Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting* 24 F12 Weapon Specialization 25 F13 Greater Weapon Focus 26 F14 Epic Weapon Focus 27 F15 Greater Weapon Specialization 28 F16 Epic Weapon Specialization 29 F17 Great Dexterity/Intelligence 30 F18 Anything you want - Fighter(12) + Bard(1) + Duelist(10) + WM(7) This build lets you take the Duelist and WM levels just about whenever you please. Level 6 is the earliest you can start, and from there it's up to you which direction you go first. By taking a level of bard and getting the Able Learner skill, you can put lots of points into skills like tumble that would have been hard to grow much otherwise. Bard also adds the Inspire Courage inspiration, which you can use as long as your total Perform skill (including charisma modifier) is 3 or more. I recommend you focus in kukri so your WM levels will cause mass criticals, then find or craft some kukris that have major enhancement bonuses. Remember to grab feats like Improved Parry, Improved Critical, Skill Focus (parry), Weapon Specialization, etc depending on the focus you're going for. You have a lot of feats you can take with this build (12 natural + 7 fighter bonus = 19 total), and the 12+ fighter levels unlock the full weapon focus & specialization path if that interests you. - Bard(13) + Duelist(10) + WM(7) This build is more challenging because of the absence of fighter bonus feats, but you get a few more levels of bard spells etc. If you want to start taking WM or Duelist levels sooner, or want to have more total feats to work with, consider trading some bard levels for fighter. The bard adds some nice inspirations, support spells, and even songs if you want to trade out some feats for them. Note that all the feats that are required (marked with *) are taken before epic levels, so you'll get 5 epic feats of your choice. Combat Insight and Improved Critical come at high recommendation though (marked with +). 1 B1 Weapon Finesse* 2 B2 3 B3 Weapon Focus (kukri or Rapier)* 4 B4 5 B5 6 B6 Dodge* 7 B7 8 B8 9 D1 Mobility* 10 D2 11 D3 12 D4 Spring Attack* 13 D5 14 D6 15 D7 Combat Expertise* 16 D8 17 D9 18 D10 Whirlwind Attack* 19 WM1 20 WM2 21 WM3 Epic Prowess+ 22 WM4 23 WM5 Combat Insight+ 24 WM6 25 WM7 Improved Critical+ 26 B9 27 B10 Improved Parry 28 B11 29 B12 Skill Focus (Parry) 30 B13 ======================================== = Appendix C: Acronyms and Definitions = ======================================== There's a lot to know about the DnD 3.5 game mechanics. NWN2's rules are simpler in many places, but there's still a lot to know. I've included a bit of information here that's relevant to this guide, and I recommend you read your manual or visit http://nwn2.wikia.com for the rest. Abilities/Ability Score The six abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. These are important for determining your character's strengths and weaknesses (typically combat worthiness), allowing the use of some actions (such as casting spells), and qualifying you to take various feats. Ability score typically refers to the amount in each ability (which you see on the level up screen), before modifiers from artificial sources (items, spells, etc) are added. Attack This can refer to two different things depending on context. The first is one of your attacks per round, or may even generically refer to any feat or action that attacks an enemy. The second is the Attack Roll, defined below. Attack Roll This is how the game checks if you hit your opponent. You basically roll a d20, add your base attack bonus and all modifiers, and check if the total beats the opponent's AC. BAB (Base Attack Bonus) Your BAB rises with your class levels. High BAB-growth classes add 1 per class level. Medium growth classes skip the first of of every 4 levels (gain 0 BAB on class levels 1, 5, 9, etc). Low growth classes only add 1 on even class levels. BAB is used to qualify you for feats and prestige classes. It also gets added to your Attack Roll and Base Class These classes are available to anyone, so long as their alignment allows them. Base classes are the starting point for any character, and from there the player can continue in the base class or expand out into other base or prestige classes. These classes are counted toward your Multiclass XP Penalty, however. Cha: Charisma See also: Abilities Confirm a Critical When you threaten a critical hit, you must make another attack roll to confirm it. If this attack roll beats the target's AC, you get a critical hit. See the Understanding Critical Hits section. Con: Constitution See also: Abilities Critical Hit When you threaten and then confirm a critical, you get a critical hit that multiplies the damage you would have dealt by some amount (x2, x3, x4, etc). See the Understanding Critical Hits section. Critical Threat Range/Threshold A weapon's Critical Threat determines how likely it is to threaten a critical when you make your attack roll. See the Understanding Critical Hits section. Critical Multiplier This is the multiplier on the weapon such as x2, x3, etc. It determines how many times you multiply the damage on your weapon. See the Understanding Critical Hits section. d20, 2d6, etc These figures represent die rolls. d20 means roll a 20 sided die. 2d4 means roll two 6 sided die and add the totals. Damage Roll This is how the game determines how much damage you deal once you have hit your enemy. Basically you roll a d20 and add all damage modifiers such as strength bonus, power attack, magical effects on the weapon, etc. Dex: Dexterity See also: Abilities Dual-Wield Also known as two-weapon fighting, where you hold a separate weapon in each hand. Favored Class Your favored class isn't counted when determining whether you take an XP penalty (or how much you take). Favored Class of "Any" means your highest-level base class becomes your favored class, and your favored class will change if another class exceeds it. FB: Frenzied Berserker One of the prestige classes in the game. Int: Intelligence See also: Abilities Multiclass XP Penalty Whenever you have taken levels in multiple base classes, the base class with the highest level is compared against your other classes to determine if you have an XP penalty. For each base class that is more than 1 level lower than your highest base class, you take a 20% penalty to the XP you gain. Prestige classes and Favored Classes do not count in these calculations. Prestige Class These classes are special in that they have much harder requirements for accessing them. Once you've unlocked a prestige class, you can take levels in it without concern of incurring a multiclass XP penalty (as they do not count). These classes tend to be much more powerful than base classes, and usually only allow the player to take 5-10 levels in them. RDD: Red Dragon Disciple One of the prestige classes in the game. Skill Rank/Skill Points/Skill Level Your skill's level is the total amount in that skill, including all modifiers (such as your dexterity modifier, or bonuses through feats like Stealthy or Skill Focus). In contrast, your skill rank is the value you see next to the skill on the level-up screen. This is the skill's level before any modifiers are added to it. Skill points refers to the points you are given at each level for leveling up a skill. Str: Strength See also: Abilities Two-Handed Holding a weapon with both hands. This occurs automatically for large and medium size weapons as long as your offhand is free (and a large weapon must always be held in both hands). Wis: Wisdom See also: Abilities WM: Weapon Master One of the prestige classes in the game. This guide is dedicated to building an effective weapon master, so this is one of the most common terms you'll find here. ====================== = Section X: Credits = ====================== While I doubt I could give credit to all the sources of knowledge that have allowed me to write this FAQ, there are some that I do remember well enough to include here. Editor in Chief --------------- Abfinz, aka Pete Kuhlman Many thanks to Pete for reading this guide repeatedly, even in its early and more misinformative stages, and correcting my silly mistakes in spelling, grammar, and sanity. :) Pete also offered a number of suggestions and gave some good feedback on feats that I was giving too little credit to (such as great cleave). Forum Helpers ------------- (nwn2forums.bioware.com) SirSpiff, BrianMeyer, Torgo0079, Mithdradates, Countless, Thrasher91604, Raider, and filaminstrel all helped me immensely by assisting me in determining the list of feats and effects that multiply during a critical hit. Without them, this FAQ would be so filled with atrociously misleading errors and misinformation that I'd be embarrassed to have written it. ;) IndyAnna for information on where to find the Elemental's Ruin rapier. Luckmann for information on putting the Ruin feats on weapons, and integrating them into modules and hakpacks so that players can obtain them directly (history feat, etc). Websites -------- gamefaqs.com One of my favorite sources for game help. The FAQs here were undeniably valuable. It's why I'm writing such a comprehensive FAQ and submitting it there. nwn2.wikia.com The Neverwinter Nights 2 wiki offers a wealth of data on just about any subject in NWN2 you can think of, especially obscure game mechanics and other critical information that's a little vague in the manual. At some point I mean to update their info on critical hits though, as at the time of this writing it's a little sparse. www.gamebanshee.com/neverwinternights2/ This was a very handy resource for looking up weapons and other items. ======================= = Section XI: Contact = ======================= I would love it if you e-mailed me about this FAQ. Comments, suggestions, helpful information, and constructive feedback are all welcome. However, spammers are not welcome. There are a lot of automated bots combing internet sites looking for anything that looks like an address... and I can only tolerate so many sleazy hucksters screaming "BUY THIS BUY THIS NOWWWW!!!!!11!!". As more sites post this guide, the more it gets ravaged by web bots. That is why I have to be a little sideways about posting my e-mail address... Primary Address Secondary Address --------------- ----------------- static_void Wazat1 @ @ hotmail gmail .com .com Just assemble the addresses from the columns above. That should *hopefully* throw off most of the spam bots. Hopefully. One last thing: please make sure you put something like "NWN2 Question" or "Comments on your gamefaqs guide" in the subject line (in case my spam filter nabs it), or your email may get lost amongst the spam and be deleted. I get a *lot* of stuff in my spam folder, and I can't go through them one by one looking for vague hints of legitimacy in the title anymore. There are a lot of spam mails with a subject of "Hi There!" or "Question for you", so please be specific. I've actually missed out on a few important e-mails that way... :( If you have trouble reaching me, you can also find my contact info on Gamefaqs.com under the username Wazat. ========================== = Section XII: Copyright = ========================== This guide is copyrighted 2008 by Wazat, aka Dan Hale. You may post it or link to it from your site as long as NO contents are changed and I am properly credited for it. If you do have my guide on your site, I also ask that you stay up to date with new versions as they are posted (to gamefaqs), or provide a link to gamefaqs (which will be more up-to-date). If you use information from this guide in your own guide or article, please credit me for it and provide a link to this guide on Gamefaqs.com. I will likely be adding some information from this guide to some sites like nwn2.wikia.com, and in that case I'll reference this guide to make it clear that's where the info came from. Please do the same when you use info from this guide, whether in a wiki page or blog post or elsewhere. I want to encourage the spread of information across the web (hey, that's how I learn cool stuff too)... but I have considerable disrespect for thieves and other people who take credit for someone else's work. Please be honest & responsible. If you have questions or comments about this, e-mail me at the address found in the Contact section, or look me up on Gamefaqs.com. ========================= = Section XIII: Changes = ========================= Version 1.01: Made some minor spelling fixes and reworded some things for clarity. Added this changes section. :D