Cleric Guide for Neverwinter Nights 2. -------------------------------------- IMPORTANT NOTE! This is an OUTDATED version of my guide. The newest version that I keep somewhat updated is in the Mask of the Beholder area. The new guide location is: It has all the new MOTB stuff, as well as error corrections, etc. --------------- Welcome to my guide on Clerics for Neverwinter Nights 2. Clerics are one of the most powerful classes and I was surprised no guide already existed for them. Although clerics did lose some power relative to NWN1, so did several other classes. They picked up a few nice abilities to partially compensate, and thus they remain a strong class. Clerics are one of the original hybrid classes. Although there are an amazing amount of warrior/mage prestege classes in pen and paper(pnp) D&D, clerics already handle this role quite nicely. Unlike paladins/rangers and even bards, they have full spellcasting power with 9 levels of spells but still retain adequate fighting capability. This guide covers some concepts of healing, as well as two distinctly different builds for playing your cleric to its maximum potential. Table Of Contents: I. Role of Healing II. Role of the Cleric III. Defensive Casting Analysis IV. The Caster Cleric a) Races b) Stats c) Domain Choices d) Feats e) Skills f) Weapon Selection g) Spells h) Multiclassing Considerations V. The Warrior Cleric a) Races b) Stats c) Domain Choices d) Feats e) Skills f) Weapon Selection g) Spells h) Multiclassing Considerations VI. Conclusion/Copyright/Contact Info. ------------------ I. Role of Healing ------------------ For those who have played other games, especially massive multiplayer online games (mmo's), the role of healing in D&D/NWN2 may surprise you. In fact, healing in combat is RARE and not very useful most of the time. In MMOs, healing during combat is very necessary for parties for two reasons: a) Max HPs are low, compared to monster damage. An unhealed warrior can die within 10 seconds if he has all the mobile monsters(mobs) attention. An unhealed warrior is pretty much guaranteed to die during the course of an entire fight. In NWN2, this is not really the case. Party members are generally unlikely to take enough damage to die during a typical encounter. Healing is used more after combat to prepare for the next fight. b) Healing per unit time is much stronger than damage. In other words a single healer can do enough healing to the party to negate most if not all monster damage for a while. Basically the healer's mana-bar extends the party's effective HPs. In Magic the card game, lifegain is twice as powerful as damage. In World of Warcraft, a healer can crank out three times the healing as a damage based character. In NWN2, healing is just not effective enough. At level 7 for example, a cleric can cast a 30 point Cure Critical Wounds, but a Warrior can hit twice for 25, a rogue can sneak for 20, and a mage can toss a 7d6 fireball that affects everyone. A high level mass cure moderate wounds spell does NOT negate 2 or 3 chain lightings to say the least. The upshot is that a cleric will NOT be a full time healer in combat. Occasional heals may be needed, but there are actually very few that are worth casting in combat. ----------------------- II. Role of the Cleric ----------------------- The cleric's usual percieved role is to buff the party and support the party by offensive, defensive, and healing spells. As discussed, most of the healing usually occurs at the end of combat, and even then is performed by first aid kits moreso than spells where rest is limited. As most MMO players can tell you, the best thing for a hybrid is to specialize. Otherwise, you are so-so at everything. It is better to have a specialty that you are good at, and also retain a decent ability to perform the other roles as needed. There are several ways of doing so. Like all characters, feats and attributes are the primary method. Clerics gain a choice of two Domains that give them certain spells and abilities, which provides a powerful additional method of customization or specialization as we will soon see. Note that it is very possible to play a middle-of-the-road cleric, and be quite successful. This is more of a testament to the power of the cleric than anything however. Therefore, my guide covers two distinct styles of play... the Caster Cleric and the Battle Cleric. The battle cleric does not use hardly any offensive spells, and uses magic to buff self and party and heal as needed. Such a cleric is basically a second rate warrior. However, this is actually not the case, as the buff power of a cleric is very impressive, and provides a large amount of defense as well as offense. (various immunities, elemental damage reduction, AB, etc). In particular, there are 3 key spells (and 1 honorable mention) that transform a cleric from 2nd rate warrior, to very mighty in melee. These are (for lvl20): -persistent divine favor (+5ab/+5dmg for 24 hours) -extended Battletide/Haste(Haste effect = +1ab,ac, 1 bonus attack for up to 4 minutes.) -extended Divine Might (BAB jumps to 20 from 15... bonus attack and +5ab bonus for 4 minutes max.) -honorable mention to Stoneskin (10 damage reduction per hit, max of 150 HP reduced for up to 20 minutes) The caster cleric is wholly devoted to offensive magic. They act as a wanna-be wizard. Although lacking some of the diversity for offensive spells, the caster cleric is still quite powerful and has several notable advantages. Chief among these are full plate + shield, double the base HPs, healing ability, and much better melee capability, as well as more spell slots than an equivalent wizard. The emphasis is on a very high DC for all spells, a large number of bonus spells, and metamagic feats to extend the offensive punch and versatility. This cleric has limited healing spells and carries fewer buffs. It turns out that the caster cleric has a very obvious choice for spell focus that provides damage, stun, and insta-death spells. Because these two paths diverge and are so different, I devote two separate sections for discussing each playstyle. Really quick note: When making a new character, you MUST click the CUSTOMIZE button when it gives you the option of several character builds such as "default cleric", "battle cleric", and so on. This gives you control over your initial feats, skills, domains. ---------------------- III. Defensive Casting ---------------------- Ok, I wanted to toss in this interesting sidenote that is important to all clerics. One new choice is whether to use Defensive Casting mode or not. The short version is: Leave defensive casting on at high level, otherwise keep it off unless surrounded by several opponents. Defensive Casting lets you avoid any attacks of opportunity when casting a spell. However, it forces a concentration roll of 15 plus the spell level. Casting without it in melee gives all baddies a free attack of opportunity against you. For each one that hits, you will take damage and force a concentration roll that is likely to be pretty high. (The DC increases as more damage is taken) The best way to do it is toggle it on and off as needed. The trick is... whether it is needed or not. And also, when is it correct to use. I will try to answer this with the following chart. For each level below, it gives the percent failure chance for casting the highest spell level. I make several assumptions: - no attribute mod (Constitution), positive or negative. - no concentrate focus feats or anything. - Uses maximum allowable concentration skill (i.e. character level +3) - Assume no multiclassing, so that casting level = character level. - Always casting the highest possible spell level. - Gains 1 new spell level every 2 levels (sorcs,bards, and multiclassing will lag behind a bit from this. So this is worst-case scenario. In that case, subtract 5% per non-cleric level class) The formula remember is 1d20 + concentrate skill has to equal or exceed 15 + spell level. NOTE: A 1 is NOT automatic failure, so 23 concentrate = automatic success always. 1: 55% 2: 50% 3: 50% 4: 45% 5: 45% 6: 40% 7: 40% 8: 35% 9: 35% 10: 30% 11: 30% 12: 25% 13: 25% 14: 20% 15: 20% 16: 15% 17: 15% (max of 9th lvl spells = 24DC) 18: 10% 19: 5% 20: 0% This chart has several modifiers: 1) Every 2 CON past 10 including buffs and items gives a -5% chance to the whole chart. 2) Every point of Concentration from items (i.e. gloves of concentration) gives -5%. 3) The Skill Focus: Concentrate feat gives -15% as it is worth 3 skillpoints. 4) The Combat Casting feat gives -20%. Examples: A cleric with 14 CON and a bear's endurance has -20% to the chart. At level 14, they can use defensive casting with no chance of failure, so they just leave it on all the time. The same cleric with Combat Casting feat can start leaving it on at level 10. Conclusion: If you are under level 10, you will probably never want to use Defensive Casting. Once you hit a high enough level such that the chance drops to 0% , you will always use defensive casting and leave it on. Otherwise, if you are surrounded by 3 or more baddies, you will probably use defensive casting if the failure chance is under 20%. Else, you will likely take your chances and hope the attacks of opportunity miss. --------------------- IV. The Caster Cleric --------------------- Welcome to the Caster Cleric section. Playstyle is pretty similar to a wizard and you have similarly powerful spells. You want to maximize Wisdom at all costs. At lower levels, an Owls Wisdom gives you a +4 pump which = +2DC to all your spells. Use it, but careful with rearranging spells as it gives bonus slots temporarily that you cant keep. At higher levels, you should be able to find an item that adds wisdom. One major downside is that the typical +WIS item is an amulet. This happens to be the ONLY slot available for Natural AC pumps, which is bad. You wind up with lower AC and getting beat up, or good AC with a weaker DC and fewer spell slots. Hence, any non-amulet WIS source is very important, unless you have access to SpiderSkin/Barkskin somehow. (rod, clickey item, druid/mage buddy, stack of wizard scrolls with UMD, etc) Your second weakness is that you have no damage mitigation spell. Wizards rely heavily on ghostly visage, stoneskin, premonition, etc to cushion blows and reduce concentration checks. You do not really have any such luxury and rely on your higher AC to avoid being hit. Look for things such as Rod of the Ghost and other items that allow such spells, as a double-buffer. Playstyle wise, once mobs bunch up you can use a Hammer to disable several of them then start chain casting damage spells to take out most of them. You can Divine Favor and melee out nearly dead stragglers, unlike wizards. Another approach is to use BlindSight buff and then cast Darkness on yourself. This gives you 50% concealment while the melees attack you, while you spam damage spells. A late game strategy is to Deathward yourself (depending on if needed due to pvp settings) and use your DC38-ish Implosion on yourself to slaughter surrounding mobs. Note: you cant really cast bad spells targeting yourself via the portrait, but CAN zoom way in and target right at your feet. It's kind of a pain though due to the autotargeting "feature".. especially if the monsters are large. Example Diagram: O is you, X are enemies. xx xOx xxx Casting an implosion on an enemy means the small AoE will only affect maybe 3 of them. Centering it at your feet though has a good chance of affecting most or all surrounding baddies. Try it! Now, lets look at how to make an effective Caster Cleric. a) Race ------- You have no XP penalty concerns, so any race is doable. Here are the three best choices in my opinion. Human - The extra feat is really nice for getting the essentials faster. Allows an extra choice at 18 which is probably gonna be toughness. The extra skill allows you to skimp 2 points on INT to place elsewhere. Humans are best for playing the original campaign since ECL races stink. Aasimir - The main advantage is the +2WIS, which allows for +1 to all spell DCs... and a few bonus spellslots. There are several drawbacks compared to humans, but for the absolute most casting power, this is your race. I would probably recommend Aasimir in most cases, except for Original Campaign due to ECL. Deep Gnome - If you really want the best character at 20, and have help leveling this is the way to go. The +2WIS is great as described above. In addition, +5 extra AC is amazingly good! Free Spell Resistance frees up a buff cast and spellslot. Don't be fooled by the Illusion spell affinity though... evocation is still best. Racial invisibility is occasionally handy, since you don't get access to that normally until much higher(ethereal). Best choice on a persistent world IF you are twinked and have assistance. Note that the -4CHA means NO undead turning without a +2 CHA item! b) Stats -------- For a Human, I would go with the following: STR: 14 (carrying and fighting) DEX: 13 (Max of +1AC in fullplate) CON: 14 (Good HP bonus) INT: 10 (3 skill points per level) WIS: 17 (+5 from levelups = 22) CHA: 8 (not needed) Aasimir will add +2WIS, +2CHA, but you will have to bump INT to 12 for the same skillpoints. Change DEX to 12, and STR to 13. DeepGnome gets +2WIS, +2INT. STR drops to 12. CHA gets cratered to 4. c) Domain Choices ----------------- I recommend Air and Water as they provide strong offensive spells which are badly needed. You COULD skimp on one or both of these, but I highly recommend against it. Air: -- uncanny dodge - Useless. Might avoid some sneak attacks from unseen rogues at best. (untested) -- call lighting - Very important as its your 1st AoE damage spell. Extremely powerful when leveling, as it is evocation and doesn't hit party members. -- chain lighting - So so. The 1/2 dmg to secondary targets makes it weak. However, it doesnt hit party members and adds some needed offensive diversity. Both of these are you only decent access to Lightning damage. Water: -- Evasion - So-so. Cleric reflex saves are low, so it's not as good as you might think. -- Poison - useless. -- IceStorm - Important, as it is your ONLY spell that allows NO save. It cannot be evaded. Provides a solid fireball-like spell that scales well with levels. It is also the only access to cold damage. Other choices that may be somewhat decent: Fire (possible replacement for Air) -- Fire resistance 5 - Weak. Element buffs provide better protection. -- Fireball - This is strictly stronger than Call Lighting if you are playing on average difficulty or non pvp settings, as it has a bigger AoE and is tossable. Otherwise, I strongly prefer the party-friendly Call Lightning. Besides, I like having access to lightning-based damage and 2 usable spells. -- Wall of Fire - weak. Blade barrier is much better. Plant (tempting, but lacking offensive punch) -- Wildland Stride - nice, but not that useful. -- Entangle/VineMine - Not bad, but they are not evocation and too low level to be really effective later on. -- Barkskin - Key spell. Allows you to equip a Wisdom amulet and still retain natural AC bonus. Depending on your module's items, this could be quite important. Earth (very strong, but no offense gained) -- Toughness - Great free feat. -- Stoneskin - Key spell as it adds a lot of free HPs, and also helps a LOT in reducing concentration rolls to be easily made. (-10 dmg per hit reduces the DC by a lot) -- Energy Immunity at 5 - worthless. Here are the choices that are tempting but terrible: Death (don't take!) -- Avatar - This thing is a sick joke. At level 20, it has an AB of 3, 63HP, and 13AC! It doesn't even stack with summon spells either. -- Phantasmal killer - Worthless. Allows TWO saves to avoid death. -- Wierd - Worthless. Allows 2 saves to negate. Implosion is much better. Animal (don't take. No offensive spells gained and pet isnt worth it.) -- Animal Companion - Not bad and scales adequately. Plus it stacks with summon spells. It doesn't really work as a tank though and requires buffs to be any good at all, thus eating spellslots. Clerics do not have the appropriate buffs for it anyways. If you want a pet, play a druid. -- Cats Grace - worthless. -- True seeing at lvl4 instead of 5 - worthless. Travel (don't take) -- 10% move - Supposedly doesn't work in heavy armor. Feat description does not say that though. Might be decent. -- Freedom of Move at 3 - worthless. -- haste - its just not that good for a caster, unlike in NWN1. Unlike a mage, you cant extend it (lack of feats) and definitely cannot Persist it. It's not worth 5th level slots. d) Feats. --------- The following feats are vital to a caster cleric. Do not skimp on these, as it is just not worth it. Prodigal Caster - Essential feat. MUST BE TAKEN AT 1st LEVEL! It is basically +2 Wisdom, and acts as a Spell Focus: everything plus allows bonus spells. Empower Spell Maximize Spell - These are extremely important. Since you have a rather small selection of good offensive spells, these two allow you much more latitude in spell selection. Spell Penetration Greater Spell Penetration - Very important since you rely so heavily on spells for offense. An equal level monk has a 45% chance of resisting your spells. These two feats reduce that to 25% which is much more manageable. (sidenote: Caster level +1d20 roll +2(penetration) +2(greater pen) has to meet or exceed target's Spell Resistance, or spell is resisted) Spell Focus: Evocation Greater Spell Focus - These are important to maximize your spell DC. Both of these together decrease their chance of saving by 10%. Evocation is the obvious choice as most good spells are evocation as will be seen. Trust me on this...go evocation. The order does not matter too much, although my recommendations are below: 1: prodigal caster (must take at level 1) 3: focus: evocation (grab early on for DC bonuses) 6: greater focus: evocation 9: empower (nothing worth empowering until level 9) 12: maximize 15: penetration (very few low level foes have significant spell resist) 18: greater penetration. If human/halfling, you can choose 1 additional feat for your 18th level. I generally dont recommend taking any of these earlier than 18. There are several nice choices: -toughness - extra HP is good. -tower shields proficiency - more AC. A very dubious choice though. -extend spell - it is just not needed, as you have no short-term buffs you really need to extend. -Weapon focus: morningstar or whatever - So-so. -Lightning Reflexes - +3 reflex saves. Combos with evasion. I'd probably stick with toughness. -Skill Focus: Concentration - Very nice, although it isn't needed so much at higher levels since your Defensive Cast always works anyways. Don't even consider the following: -- expertise - Noo. At higher levels, Defensive casting is usually better. Too high prereqs. anyways. -- dodge - Not worth a valuable feat. Needs 13 dex. -- Practiced Caster - Worthless since you will not multiclass anyways. -- Other combat-related feats - Not your forte. Don't bother. -- Divine Shield - CHA-based, and requires too high prereqs. NOT worth the sacrifices needed. -- Combat Casting - crappy. Use SkillFocus instead since it works for ALL Concentrate rolls. e) Skills --------- You have rather few skillpoints, so are somewhat limited here. The best skills for you to take are the following: You basically get to pick 3. Remember, you can sacrifice some STR for more skillpoints if necessary. It will affect your melee and carrying, but may be worth it. Also, you could reduce DEX for INT also, but this affects your AC. ONLY do this option if you expect to find a DEX item very soon. ** Concentrate - Essential since you are a caster. MUST PICK THIS. -- Tumble - Even at 1/2 value, it is useful for the +1AC and small chance of avoiding attacks of opportunity, even in plate/shield. -- Spellcraft - The saving throw bonus is nice. Good combo with Evasion vs fireballs and other spells. -- Healing - Very useful, as a good heal roll can cure poison/disease too. Allows you to save spell slots. -- Diplomacy - If needed for a particular module/campaign. -- Use Magic Device - Even 5 ranks (adjusted for CHA) allows use of scrolls and other minor items. Several wizard scrolls can be very beneficial (spiderskin, shadowshield, IronSkin, premonition) I do not recommend above 5 adjusted points though. f) Weapon Selection ------------------- As a caster cleric, your weapon selection does not matter that much. You will swing a lot more than a wizardly type, but spells are your main weapon. Your best bet is to take a morning star. It is the highest damage weapon available to you, and is bludgeoning which is unusual. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a 2handed weapon ever, as losing Shield AC as a caster would be incredibly stupid. Ditto with dualwielding which should be extremely obvious. f) Spells --------- The following is a list of offensive spells by slot that I would expect to see. One note: It is better for you to diversify your spells on a level-basis. In other words, it works better to have level 4 hammer, lvl5 icestorm, lvl6 chain lightning, etc. As opposed to having your level 6 slots be: 1 maximized call lightning, 1 empowered hammer, 1 chain lighting, 1 blade barrier, and so forth. This better allows you to fit all your offensive spells on one slot. You want your offensive stuff used during battle on your 1st bar... your battlebar. The 2nd bar contains buffs and other out of combat stuff, like Healing kits, etc, which makes up your buff-bar. Remember, all Evocation spells will get your spell focus bonuses of +2DC early on. Note how the cleric evocation spells are not just damage, but also disabler spells and even an awesome instant-death spell! Note: AoE refers to Area of Effect. Level 1: Protection Alignment - Immunity to mindspells. Very important buff. Divine Favor - Load up with these for when melee is needed. It is very helpful, and you have plenty of level 1 slots anyways. Level 2: Bears Endurance - HP are nice, but it also adds +2 to your concentrate skill. This can be very important at mid levels to ensure defensive casting causes no failures. Useful until you find a +4 or better CON item. Sonic Burst - This is basically an Evocation version of Hold Monster (2 round stun) with a small AoE. It is a fortitude save, and is potentially useful for stunning a small group of casters when you want to conserve more powerful spells. The tiny damage is irrelevant and not the point of the spell. Darkness - Its pretty handy. Cast it, run into the cloud and you can spam damage spells while all mobs have 50% chance of missing you due to concealment. Glpyh of Warding - Special Note. Very buggy spell. It doesnt seem to respect empower/maximize as damage doesnt improve. However, it does DIVINE damage instead of sonic and allows NO SAVE or spell resistance. If you have a set encounter, this can be cheezy and effective. I once dropped about 25 such wards in 1 spot. Then, summoned a red dragon (via trainer) and lured him onto the glyphs. Got a screenshot of said dragon dying immediately upon touching it. Combat log was full of about 22 5d8 divine damages with no mention of saves, spell resistance, nothin. Nor were there ANY particularly high numbers that would indicate empower or maximize worked. (no 40 dmg hits at all) Level 3: Call Lightning - Air domain. This is your first real AoE damage spell and is quite solid. It is Evocation for higher DC, and only hits baddies. Unfortunately, it cannot be tossed anymore and must center on you. Fireball - Fire domain. If you dont have call lightning, hope you have this. Watch the collateral damage depending on PvP settings. Evocation. Searing Light - It is basically an empowered magic missile. (5d8 = 22.5 ave vs 1d4+1 times 5 times 1.5 = 26ish) Does divine damage which is hard to resist, with no save. Double damage vs undead. It is nice, but I would stick with Call Lightnings unless many zap-resistant mobs are expected in an area. Level 4: *Hammer of the Gods - Widely regarded as a crappy fireball, it is a key spell that is vastly underrated. It is basically a huge AoE hold monster that only affects baddies and stuns for 1d6 rounds. It is a will save and strong vs most melee mobs and cannot be Evaded. It is Evocation and also does moderate divine damage as a bonus. It is an excellent opening spell to control crowds and disable foes. As a bonus, any rogues in your party will love you, since they get free sneak attacks on the stunned enemies. Divine Power - Might be worthwhile to carry 1 of these at higher levels in case you really need strong melee ability (vs golem or something). This plus Divine Favor makes you a reasonable fighter. Level 5: Spell Resistance - As a pure cleric this is an extremely strong buff. Grants 55% chance of resisting a spell from equal level caster. (empowered Call Lighting) - Very useful, especially at mid-levels. Ice Storm - No Saving throw allowed, and thus un-evadeable. Scales reasonably well with level doing 5d6 initially plus 1d6 cold for every 3 caster levels. (11d6 max at 18) Note that it is really useful for epic levels since it continues to scale while most spells cap out at level 20. Might be noteworthy when expansion hits. It is in fact, Evocation, although with no save it doesn't particularly matter. Level 6: Stone Body - Noteworthy buff as it gives permanent stoneskin which you dont have access to. The 50% speed is irritating, but not a problem in combat. A +4DEX item can negate the dex penalty and thus AC penalty. The immunity to crits is very strong for avoiding rogue sneak attacks, weaponmasters, and monk stunning fist. The 50% arcane failure does NOT apply to clerics, unlike wizards that cast this. (maximized call lightning) - Solid 60 damage to all mobs. (empowered Hammer - Note: Damage increases, but the 1d6 stun is NOT empowered unfortunately. Used when in parties, and thus when the Stun is more useful than pure damage. Ave dmg = 5d8*1.5 = 34ish. Chain Lightning - (air) Evocation spell that does great initial damage (20d6 cap is good for lvl6 spell), but only 1/2 damage to secondary targets. Still, it is party friendly and very easy to target, since it automatically chains to other foes. I rarely use it though, since the secondary damage is so weak. Blade Barrier - Situational. Tossed on a foe, it will always hit and do damage. It is amazingly good in self-mode vs most melee mobs. HOWEVER, larger mobs can stand outside the barrier and hit you without taking damage! Plus, you are immobilized for the duration. There are several clever ways of using the wall version though, including having a rogue run back n forth with imp evasion reducing the damage while mobs take heavy damage. Works really well with medium PvP settings when you can't damage yourself with your own spells. In that case, running around in circles and leading mobs back and forth it is very effective when solo, not to mention saving a lot of spell slots. Poor vs rogue/monk types since it is a reflex save. Death to Undeath - solid spell vs undead. Much better than sunbeam. Level 7: (maxed hammer) - Increases damage to 40 divine. The stun is still quite strong though if you need lots of stun more than pure damage. (empowered icestorm) - solid AoE damage choice. Word of Faith - Basically blinds all foes without a save. Good in parties, but solo you can just cast darkness on yourself and have the same effect. Destruction - This is a solid death spell. Note the fortitude save, so more useful on caster types. 10d6 divine even if they make the save. Plus, it has some range unlike previous death spells. I prefer AoE type spells myself, but this is definitely a solid spell. Greater Restoration - Dont forget at least 1 of these, as it is the best healing spell in the entire game. Restores ALL HP with no cap. Level 8: (Maxed icestorm) - 66 damage at lvl18, no save. (empowered bladebarrier) - Approx 75 damage. (empowered chain lightning) - 105 average dmg at lvl20 to primary. Level 9: (maxed chain lightning) - good, but eclipsed by the other awesome level 9 spells. Does 120 damage to primary. ** Storm of Vengence - Simply Awesome. Giant AoE, targets baddies only. 3d6 acid per round with no save. Plus, all baddies eat reflex save or get Stunned for TWO rounds (not 1 as per description) and eat 3d6 more of electric damage. This happens for 10 rounds and is insanely good for disabling mobs and softening them up. Storm turns hard fights into easy ones. And get this... it STACKS! Yep, I fought 10 insanely tough barbarian kings in a trainer mod and stacked 5 storms. The Barbarians had no chance, having to roll against FIVE seperate DC33 saves or be stunned, plus eating up to 30d6 per round. * Implosion - The ultimate Death Spell. Has a small AoE and short range, but kills anything failing a fort save. Note this is an Evocation spell which is helpful though a bit surprising. Also, for some unknown reason it seems to get a +3DC. Hence, theoretical max for an aasimir cleric with +12WIS item is DC38!! (10 +9th lvl +2evocation +3unknown +1prodigal caster +7 (24wisdom) +6(+12WIS item) Spells to avoid: ---------------- Summons - Most summons are of dubious utility. Dont use any of them, even the long lasting planar ally (except maybe at level 11 when you first get it) Energy Drain - allows a saving throw and therefore worthless. Fire Storm - Weak damage for a level 8 spell. Maxed icestorm is always better. Firestorm must be centered on you, and is truly horrid if the PvP settings are such that you can damage your party. Earthquake - Its a strictly inferior version of firestorm, which is itself quite bad. It's truly terrible. Inflict Wounds series - These are all awful, and don't seem to work very well. Your normal spells work much better anyways and your touch attack is not great anyways. The AoE on the Mass Inflict ones is very small. Harm - Horrible spell now. Capped at 150 damage. Allows a save, which they are unlikely to make due to your good DC. However, you ALSO have to make a touch attack which may be difficult. The spell has no range either so you must walk right up to them to cast it. Destruction is much better. This one got nerfed hard from NWN1. Slay Living - Weak version of destruction. Requires touch attack at melee range and allows a save. Awful. Flame Strike - Not bad in theory, but empowered call lightning or icestorm is much better. The AoE is very very small. Poison - This one should be obvious. It is so horrible as to defy all logic. Sunbeam - Even vs undead it is pretty weak. 20d6 with a save isn't amazing. Use Death to Undeath instead. Searing light is pretty decent vs 1 baddie too. g) Multiclassing Considerations -------------------------------- You will NOT want to multiclass at all. Although there are advantages to doing so, you simply do not have the feats to waste on Practiced Caster. Any advantages gained are offset by losing a feat, and also slowing down spell progression. A human could pull it off thanks to their bonus feat,but I do not recommend it. If you are very focused on the best level 20 character, you can take 1 level of fighter for Martial and Towershield, take practiced caster, and then use the 1 fighter feat on Dodge or WeaponFocus. Of course, if you were REALLY so focused on 20, you'd go with Aasimir or Deep Gnome for maximum DC and wouldn't be able to spare the extra feat. --------------------- V. The Warrior Cleric --------------------- As a warrior cleric, you do not need offensive spells. Hence, this gives you a lot of slots for buffs and heals. To take a closer look at your Big Three buffs that make you equal or better than a warrior type, read on: -- Divine Favor - +1 AB/dmg for every 3 levels. At 1 thru 5, the +1 is not worth it. At 6-12, extended divine favor is pretty useful for heavy fighting. At 13+, you gain access to PERSISTENT spell. At this point, favor becomes a permanent buff you apply after each rest. Its like having a +10 weapon, when everyone else has a +5, and is VERY powerful. -- Divine Power - Raises your BAB to your character level. At 20 cleric, this gives you +5AB and 1 extra attack. It is very helpful and often results in an extra attack while leveling up. This spell should always be Extended and takes most of your level 5 slots. -- Haste/Battletide - Both spells give you Haste, which adds a bonus attack at full Attack Bonus. It also grants +1AC and +1AB. The big decision you face is whether to use Haste or Battletide. Battletide gives you Haste, PLUS does some other stuff (+2AB, +2dmg for cleric only, minus same to foes if they fail save, and looks cool). So it always is better if you are solo, since spell level and duration are exactly the same. However, Haste spell affects the WHOLE GROUP! Trust me: when you dump 4 minute haste on the party and refresh it, they will love you! Here is my criteria: If you expect to party with others at all, go with Travel Domain to pick up haste. Then use Tide when soloing and Haste in party. Otherwise, if always soloing just stick with battletide and grab a different domain instead. At 20 cleric these 3 spells alone (assume battletide used) provide +13AB, +7damage, +1AC, and TWO extra attacks! For playstyle you start with buffs. DO NOT OVERBUFF, as it takes too long. You have buffs for every situation, but most are not needed. Note you will need to recast often to keep Divine Power and Haste/Tide up. At 20, these have a 4 minute duration extended. Not bad, but not great. This is why I don't recommend trying to pick up other short-duration buffs like barbarian rage, divine shield, dwarf defensive stance, and so on. You will carry a small complement of offensive spells for pulling. Go around a corner and sonic burst a group of mobs, then duck around the corner. They follow you, and their archers/mages lose line of sight. As the round the corner, you beat them down. This buys you a bit more time and positions the fight much better. Lets take a look at how to build a Warrior Cleric correctly. a) Races -------- As a battlecleric, you will likely multiclass. This and other factors limit the recommended races. Any small race is out due to the -2STR and they have to use a small weapon. Another factor is that you need high STR and WIS. In fact, my best choice is Human/Dwarf. After careful analysis, I cannot find any compelling reason to go with any other race that is worth the price. Dwarf - Gain 2CON, but lose 2 INT basically. Gain Dwarf Axe proficiency, but lose a feat. Its a wash. You may go Dwarf for flavor under certain conditions, but human is generally better. Elf - Free longsword/rapier is nice, but stats come up lacking, as does loss of bonus feat. -2CON is a bummer. Drow don't really gain anything useful for the ECL price. Aasimir - +2WIS is great, but -2INT, -1 feat, +1ECL makes it a net loss. Half-Orc - +2 STR is tempting, but -4 INT and loss of a feat make it not worthwhile. Don't have the attribute points to pull this off. Deep Gnome - The only advantage is the +4AC, plus size bonus which is kind of a wash. Well, the Spell Resistance is nice too. 3ECL is really harsh though, as is the -2STR, lack of feat and XP penalty. Only go deepgnome if you are heavily twinked on a server and are in love with high AC. b) Stats -------- For a human, I would recommend: STR: 16 +2 = 18 (Good AB/dmg) DEX: 12 (Max +1AC in full plate) CON: 14 (Decent HP bonus) INT: 10 (3 skill points per level) WIS: 16 +3 = 19 (9th level spell access) CHA: 8 (2 turn undead per day) c) Domains ---------- As a warrior cleric, you want domains that assist you with fighting. The first choice is a no-brainer in my opinion. Earth -- toughness - Very nice free feat, gained at level 1. -- Stoneskin - Awesome spell that stays useful for the entire game on most servers. It basically adds a lot of bonus HPs and is castable on your party. -- Energy Buffer - getting it at 5 instead of 6 isn't that helpful. From here, you have two valid choices: Travel -- 10% move - Seems to work in heavy armor, despite description. -- Freedom of movement - gained at 3 instead of 4 is worthless. -- Haste - The reason for taking travel. Basically, as per the previous discussion: If you will be with a party 25% of the time or more, go with Haste. Otherwise, just use battletide. Hence, you can skip this domain, and consider Plant. Plant -- 10% move outside - so-so. -- barkskin - very nice buff and frees up an amulet slot basically. Great on low magic worlds, otherwise iffy. -- other spells: the other spells are garbage. None of the other domains are really any good. A few are tempting, but lacking: Destruction -- Smite Infidel: The high damage bonus is nice, but at only one hit, once per day, CHA-based, it is weak. -- Rage: Note that this rage spell DOES NOT act like barbarian rage... i.e the stats are NON-STACKING enhancement bonuses. A real barbarian rage is a morale enhancement that stacks. Animal/Death - The companion is quite weak and more trouble than it is worth. Good - Aura is nice, but not really needed with protection from evil spell. Strength/Fury - They use CHA-based abilities and thus are worthless. None are nearly useful enough to consider high CHA for. -- Divine Might: No, you cannot Persist it even though you get it at level 3. -- Tensors Transformation - It seems tempting, but is completely worthless. It is a POLYMORPH effect that removes most of your item bonuses, resulting in a horrid AC, no item immunities/abilities and a fast death. -- Enlarge person - a really weak version of Righteous Might which itself is poor. Healing - bah. Getting heal at level 5 is mostly worthless. Empowered healing is a joke, and doesnt work with any good healing spells anyways. d) Feats -------- For a battle cleric, your feat choices are pretty loose. They vary based on your multiclass choices since that gives you more or less feats to work with. Very few of them are essential though. Here are the recommended ones: ** Luck of Heroes - Essential. +1AC always, and +1 all Saves. MUST PICK at first level! -- Martial Weapons - You get this free if multiclassing. Should never actually pick this one. -- Exotic Weapons - If you do not get martial free from multiclass, this is tempting for katana/b-sword/dwarf-axe. -- Tower Shield prof - Very rarely would you ever want this, but can get for free as Fighter or Warpriest. Possibly useful for certain servers with uber tower-shield, despite AB penalty. ** Weapon Focus - A very strong feat. Take it always. See weapon selection section for details. ** Extend Spell - ESSENTIAL. You have several short-term buffs that must be extended. ** Persistent Spell - ESSENTIAL. This allows persistant Prayer and Divine Favor, which is key. -- Power Attack - Its a prerequisite only. Not useful with a 1-hander. -- Cleave - Free attack is very nice, especially for leveling. However, P/A and cleave are NOT essential. -- Blind Fighting - Pretty important pick. Apparantly, even with True Seeing you STILL get stuck with the 50% concealment penalty in darkness or against displacement, invisibility, etc. -- Improved Crit - Not needed if you expect a keen weapon (doesnt stack), OR have a bludgeon wpn since you have a keen spell. ** Practiced Caster - ESSENTIAL if you multiclass. REQUIRES 4 ranks of Spellcraft. DON'T BUNGLE THIS! -- Power Crit - Decent, but not amazing. Don't be confused. When you "crit", now you must reroll as if you are attacking again. If it misses, then your "crit" becomes a normal hit. This feat gives +4 to the "confirmation roll" (the second "attack"). Hope that makes sense, as it's a major change from NWN1. Certain other prerequisite feats may be needed for some multiclass combos. Feats to avoid are: -- Great Cleave - Getting more than 1 cleave per round is rather unlikely, making this feat a waste. -- Dodge - Not bad, but 13dex requirement is a waste of attribute points. -- Improved Power Attack - It's just not very good for a 1hander. -- Divine Might/Shield - Avoid since they are CHA-based, and adding CHA would seriously dilute our other important attributes. -- Toughness - Note that you ALREADY GET it from earth domain for free. e) Skills --------- You have rather few skillpoints, so are somewhat limited here. Remember you can always subtract DEX to get INT, ONLY if you expect to find an item with DEX on it very soon to avoid AC loss. Best skills are: -- Concentrate - Important since you need to rebuff or heal in combat occasionally. Note that you can skimp on this skill some if going warpriest due to Combat Casting required. -- Tumble - Even at 1/2 value, it is useful for the +1AC and small chance of avoiding attacks of opp. -- Spellcraft - The saving throw bonus is nice. You NEED 4 ranks to multiclass and take practiced caster! -- Healing - Very useful, as a good heal roll can cure poison/disease too. Saves spellslots. -- Use Magic Device - Even 5 ranks (adjusted for CHA) allows use of scrolls and other minor items. Maybe split Spellcraft and UMD. Consider taking, but DO NOT raise above 5 (adjusted). f) Weapon Choice ---------------- Your choice of weapon depends on whether you multiclass, or go human, or want to pick Exotic weapon. Overall it does not matter that much. Warhammer and Morning star do the best damage of their types, and also are bludgeoning which is rare. Plus, you have the Weapon of Impact spell that makes them keen. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a 2handed weapon ever. You do not have the high STR to make the 50% more STR bonus effective. Also, with your damage bonuses from various buffs, the extra few points of average damage a larger weapon does is not worth the loss of the huge shield AC you can get. Since you do not have any special AC bonuses such as Red Dragon Disciples, Dex-based characters, or even 20 tumble, losing the shield will cause you to absorb a lot more damage in melee. You are guaranteed a shield that is +1 every 4 caster levels. Dualwielding is out as well, due to the number of feats needed and the fact that you dont have the DEX to get more than 1 offhand attack. Not to mention the AB penalty and huge loss of AC. If you are really in love with dualwield, check my advanced build guide for one such cleric/monk/fighter that does so effectively. It is a very unconventional build however and not recommended for most. g) Spells --------- The following is a list of the best spells by Spell SLOT level. I only mention spells that are particularly useful or that I have commentary on. Some are pretty obvious and not worth discussion. Note: Ex stands for Extended Spell. Pretty much all buffs should be extended. Level 1: ----------- *Prot Alignment - A key buff. Has built-in extension, and provides immunity:Mind. The +2 saves is nice too. Level 2: ----------- Ex bless - decent. affects whole party with 1 casting which is nice. *Ex divine favor - Load up with these from level 6 to 12 ONLY. At 13, remove and replace with other spells, since it will be cast as persistent. Sonic Burst - Adequate long range offensive spell for getting monster's attention. Used for pulling only. Darkness - Rarely used, but when/if you get blindfighting it works pretty well vs enemy melee. DONT use on casters. Level 3: ----------- Ex bear's endurance - Pumping up your HP is nice but hardly essential. Note though that it adds +2 to your concentration rolls which can be very handy at mid-levels to perhaps lower defensive casting failure from 10% to 0%... until you can find a permanent CON item. Ex Aid - Useful solo at lower levels for +1AB. A lower priority buff however. Protection Energy - Great long lasting buff. Use if you expect casters and elemental damage, especially at lower levels where the damage shield is relatively powerful. Remove Disease - Keep one of these handy, just in case... unless you have maxed healing skill. Dispel magic - Worth keeping on your battle-bar. Level 4: ----------- ** Stoneskin - No need to extend this. Amazingly good spell, effectively doubling your HP and making concentrate checks easy. Castable on party too. Load up with lots! Ex Prayer - Marginally useful if in a party. Otherwise, dont bother. Note this will be Persistant at lvl17 casting. Ex Weapon of Impact - This spell is a good reason to take morningstar or warhammer as your weapon choice. Adds about 8% more damage statistically. Ex Magic Vestment - Don't forget this can be used to guarantee magical armor OR shield. Generally only used if unlucky, low magic module, or if you find some amazing armor,shield with great properties but crappy enhancement bonus. Ex. Blind Sight - Situationally useful. Neutralize Poison - Keep one handy unless you have maxed heal skill. Level 5: ----------- **Ex Divine Power - Already discussed. Load up with these. Ex death ward - situational. NOTE that it comes with negative energy protection built in now which protects against level drain, negative energy, and other bad things. Level 6: ----------- ** Ex Battletide or Haste - Already discussed. Load up with tons of these. *Ex Spell Resistance - One of the best defensive buffs around. You resist 55% of an equal level caster's spells! Level 7: ------------ **** Persistent Divine Favor - Learn it! Remove the extended ones at level 2 slots. *Greater Restoration - This is a FULL heal, not capped. Plus it removes many other harmful effects. Carry several of these. Ex. Stone Body - Very situational. Penalties are harsh, bonuses weak or redundant. However, weaponmasters, monks, and rogues will loathe you, since stunning fist, sneak attacks, and huge crit bonuses are completely negated by the Immunity to Crits that it provides. If you use this, you have permanent stoneskin so keep that in mind. Extended to move it out of the valuable level6 slot. Word of Faith - A great offensive spell with no save. Basically it blinds all foes and gets rid of summons. Level 8: ----------- *Ex Regenerate - A really good pre-emptive heal spell. 20 rounds of 10% heal per round is extremely good before a big fight. Ethereal Jaunt - i.e. Escape Hatch. In multiplayer where you cant reload and death penalties are harsh, use this if you get in over your head. Extended to move it out of the crowded lvl7 slot. Level 9: ----------- * Persistent Prayer - This is a nice buff for your whole party. It automatically debuffs enemies for the same 1ab,ac,save with NO saving throw (unlike battletide). As a permanent aura, this is a pretty good spell. Mass Heal - A capped 150HP heal isn't so great, but multiplied by a big party makes this somewhat useful. I still wouldn't take it, except when fighting undead. Then, it heals all the good guys, AND smacks the undead for 75HP(they are very likely to make their save) in melee with them as an added bonus. Note that UNLIKE Pen&Paper, it is not capped at 250 HP total healing. Storm of Vengence - A really handy offensive spell for a tough fight. 3d6 acid guaranteed to only enemies is nice. Plus, it has a small chance (DC23ish) of zapping enemies for 3d6 more AND causing a 2 round stun. It does this EVERY ROUND, which is what makes the spell so good. Here is a discussion of some spells to NEVER take: Any Cause Wounds spell - They are just horribly bad, and have no range. The very few offensive spells you use are either used to Pull, or as crowd control/mitigation. Any offensive spell besides low level pull spells (sonic burst) or high level mitigation (word of faith, storm) - Don't use. You are a warrior. Beat them down and support the party. Summon Monster - Not terrible, but not very useful either. Too short duration to be of much use. Any undead summon spell - Absolutely horrible. Much worse than summon monster. Gate - You get a horned devil now instead of a NWN1 Balor. The Summon 9 is much stronger, though the weak spells he cast are marginally useful vs crowds. Righteous Might - Worthless. Adds 3 magical dmg per hit, but lowers AC, and the other bonuses DO NOT STACK. The so called damage reduction doesnt seem to work. True seeing - Use blindsight instead. Its just as good, and level 3. Heal - Crap. It is capped at 150 HPs. Greater Restoration is MUCH MUCH better and only 1 level higher. Harm - Garbage. Capped at 150HP, requires a touch attack which is no problem. Allows a SAVE, which IS a problem. They will eat 75 damage 90% of the time. Aura vs Alignment - Horrible. Its duration stinks, its SR granted is weak, and the +4deflection AC is worthless. Undeaths eternal foe - Weak. Short duration, and Death ward provides most of the same benefits for much longer. h) Multiclassing Considerations ------------------------------- A warriorcleric can do quite well without multiclassing. However, multiclassing is not a bad idea at all. It does slow the cleric spell progression, but this is not so big of a deal for a warrior cleric. Remember that practiced caster ensures scaling spells continue to work. (i.e. a cleric7/fighter2 has a +3 divine favor since caster lvl = 9) There are a few things to consider: a) You will need practiced caster feat, which requires 4 spellcraft ranks. b) You need 17 caster levels of cleric... so you are very limited on how many levels of multiclass. c) You would need 4 levels of warrior to get a BAB of 16. d) Obviously, watch for XP penalty if you went nonhuman for some reason. e) Do NOT put points into Concentration and other skills if they are not class skills of the new class. Just hold the skillpoints, or put into tumble as paying double is wasteful. Plan accordingly. Here are the top options: 1) Fighter - Provides free towershield, martial and bonus fighter feats. One level can be taken early on at level 2 to jumpstart the warrior progress. 2 fighter levels, one early, one later is the best choice. 2) Barbarian - 10% Move (IF not travel domain already, since they dont stack), martial wpns, and Rage. Rage stacks with enhancement bonuses, but it is quite short duration and you have enough short duration buffs already. A so-so choice. 3) Warpriest - This is the only way to get 16BAB and still cast 9th level spells. The downside is the 18 skillpoints that are gobbled for prerequisites, which is harsh for skill-starved cleric builds. 2,4,or 6 levels works fine. I would go with 2. Provides martial wpns, towershield, BUT requires wpnfocus as a prereq, so that doesn't help much. 4) Neverwinter Nine - Decent option as it has no prereqs except +6 BAB. A single level provides a +2saving throw aura to your buddies and a slight skill bonus. Here are some marginal options: Dwarven Defender - tempting, but it needs extra feats as prereqs including Dodge(13dex). Not worth the bugged stance and +1ac to me. Monk - You lose 1 BAB, but monk is tempting on certain servers to provide heavy AC bonuses if you go Dex-based. This is usually a bad idea and very unconventional. Frenzied Berserker - You already have toughness most likely, and the frenzy is very worthless since you have haste already. It is not a good match for cleric at all. Ranger - +1dmg vs favored enemy. Weak. Rogue - access to rogue skills like tumble and sneak. Very weak due to -1BAB and lack of skillpoints to take advantage. Here is my choice for multiclass warrior cleric build: Cleric 16/Fighter 1/Warpriest 2/Neverwinter Nine 1 (BAB 16 for 4 attacks, 17 casting levels, 2 permanent auras) Standard stats of 16STR,12dex,14CON,10INT,WIS16,CHA8 for Human. 1) cleric - Luck of Heroes, practiced caster domains: earth, travel (10%move,tuffness feats free) skills: 4 diplomacy,0 spot, 4 spellcraft. 2) fighter - (free martial, towershield), wpnfocus:warhammer 3) cleric - extend spell 4) cleric (+1WIS) 5) cleric 6) cleric - combat casting 7) cleric 8) cleric (+1WIS) [get 8 diplomacy here] 9) Neverwinter Nine - Power Attack (+2 save aura) [add 5 to SPOT skill here, ensure 8 diplomacy] 10) Warpriest (War Glory aura granted) 11) Warpriest (+1 cleric casting level gained) 12) cleric - Cleave (+1WIS) 13) cleric 14) cleric 15) cleric - persistent spell 16) cleric (+1STR) 17) cleric 18) cleric - BlindFight 19) cleric 20) cleric (+1STR) You have 71 skillpoints. Diplomacy: 8 (prereq) Spot: 5 (Take all 5 points at the NW9 level at half cost. prereq) Spellcraft: 5 (prereq, +1saves) Concentrate: 23 Tumble: 10 (20 points used) Heal 10 or whatever. It slows down spell progression quite a bit, but grants a lot of nice abilities including War Glory and the NW9 aura. Note that this won't work in the original campaign unless you cheat and add NW9 prereq feat via the Console. You dont get it officially till later level. ------------------------------------------- V. Conclusion, Copyright, and Contact info ------------------------------------------- This guide is copyrighted by Randomsome1. However, you may post it or use it as you like as long as no contents are changed. If you have any observations, questions, or comments, please email me at: and add NWN2Guide in the Subject. Remove the spambegone part of course. (I would probably miss any email in my spam-filled regular email, hence the usage of my other account...) I hope you enjoy the guide and find it helpful.