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 Neverwinter Nights 2 - A Guide to Prestige Classes

 
   
 
 
Neverwinter Nights 2 - A Guide to Prestige Classes

By community member eyeofjustice

1/25/2009
Version 1.10
Game Version 1.21

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Howdy folks,

One of the most common questions on the boards here at GameFAQs is, ďHow do I
get the most out of my prestige classing?Ē (Thatís paraphrased from, ďThis 
class is th3 suxx0r!!!Ē).  Prestige multiclassing was a bit mystical when 5 
classes were added in NWNís Shadows of Undrentide expansion; with 17 Prestige 
Classes (henceforth PrCs) in NWN2's base game and many more added with 
expansions, it can be downright overwhelming for newbies, n00bs, and advanced 
players alike.  

This guide is intended to target newbies and advanced players both.  n00bs 
should look elsewhere; I do not have the time nor the inclination to describe 
powergaming builds in epic detail, or to list out exact stats, race selections,
and other such nonsense.  Questions about exact builds can be directed to the 
message boards if no other current FAQs are available.  The present guide is 
intended to help relative newbies to better understand and build a multiclass 
character with PrC levels, and advanced players to get hints and ideas for PrCs
they havenít tried (or have tried, but not in the ways I will expound).  This 
guide is not meant to take the place of the gameís manual, only augment it; if 
you do not have the manual, please note that there is an electronic copy 
included in the game folder.  

The guide is in alpha order by PrC, so I went without a table of contents, I 
hope my readers wonít take offense.  Also, since this guide was originally
created with the base game in mind, and I am only now updating based on
the expansions, please forgive if it's OC-focused or if there are errors 
(in which case, please email!).

As always, please donít repost this without permission, everything contained 
herein is my own intellectual content except where it belongs to Atari, 
Obsidian, or other community members as mentioned, and please donít be foolish 
and plagiarise or otherwise misuse this guide.

Please enjoy the guide, I hope this will serve informatively, and happy gaming!

-EOJ

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General formatting of this guide:

THE TITLE OF THE PrC GOES HERE
Requirements: What do I need to take this PrC?  
	Make absolutely certain you check these!  Theyíre in the manual, but I
include them here just because it makes things easier to reference.  Nothing is 
more frustrating than building an Arcane Archer character but neglecting to 
make him an Elf or Half-Elf.  ďBABĒ is your ďbase attack bonusĒ, and is based 
upon your class; thereís a reference table in the back of your manual.  Note 
that Skill requirements are physical ranks added to the skill at level-up, not 
your total bonus for the skill.  Finally, Warlocks do not qualify as Arcane 
Casters for spellcasting requirements.

Niche: What role is this PrC most generally supposed to fill as part of my 
character?
	People often get lost in the muck of PrCsí long lists of requirements 
and abilities, and forget the core role of multiclassing; adding something to 
your character that you want, so you can better fit your role.  Do you hate 
Neeshka?  Then you may want to augment your Ranger with levels of Assassin for 
more Roguish abilities.  Need more defense?  Look for a PrC like a Shadowdancer 
or Dwarven Defender that fills a more defensive/tanking/not-dying niche.

Description: What directions should I go with my PrC, and what should I watch 
out for?
	Each PrC has its own quirks.  Ups and downs are at least as common in 
PrCs as base classes, and in many cases, coding glitches are more rampant. Itís
important to knowÖ does my PrC work as well in practice as it does on paper?

Sample Build: What is an interesting build I can try with this class? 
	This is meant to be an interesting example only!  I will be as 
succinct as possible with my build info.  I intend only to stimulate 
thought, not railroad it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ARCANE ARCHER (AA)

Requirements: Elven or Half-Elven race, BAB +6, Weapon Focus (Longbow or 
Shortbow) and Point Blank Shot, ability to cast any arcane spells.

Niche: Being effective as an archer.

Description:  The AA is practically a requirement for an effective archery 
build in this game, because archery is so impoverished by the NWN engine.  
Why?  Because every attack will draw aggression (Ďaggroí) from enemies, 
making them run to take you out.  Even though attacks of opportunity (AoO)
work a bit better now, it's still hard to create an effective net against
encroaching baddies.  
But AAs can kill most enemies by the time they get to the AA, so itís less 
of an issue.  Still, make sure you have a backup melee weapon and donít 
forget your high BAB and HP can let you melee with power as well.

The classí special abilities are nothing to write home about, but the real 
reason for this class is the +enchantment bonus to every arrow fired.  Note 
that this enchantment shouldnít stack; firing +1 arrows with a level 3 AA 
will result in +2 arrows, not +3 arrows.  So go with the cheapest arrows you 
can find, or alternatively, Vampiric or elemental-enchanted arrows.  With 
a Mighty bow and a few quivers of Lightning Arrows, AAs can really tear 
through enemies.

Most builds take only one level of the arcane class and completely neglect
spellcasting.  Because AAs do not get spell progression, make sure that if 
you intend to cast spells to any level of usefulness, you take Practiced 
Spellcaster.

Sample Build: Bard 11 / AA 9.  Bard is an oft-forgotten arcane casting class, 
but it makes for a powerful AA.  This build gives you decent spellcasting
(donít forget Practiced Spellcaster!), Inspirations and Songs, Lore bonuses, 
etc.  Haven Song and several Bard spells work well in keeping enemies away from 
you, too.  Thereís not a whole lot of point to taking the tenth level of AA, 
so switch it for Bard.  Note that Deekin sells a good shortbow for this build.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ARCANE SCHOLAR OF CANDLEKEEP (ASoC)
Requirements: Spellcraft 8 ranks, Skill Focus (Spellcraft) and Skill 
Focus (Concentration) and Empower Spell; 3rd-level arcane spellcasting.

Niche: Balanced spellcaster with an eye for metamagic.

Description: MotB brought two fabulous arcane PrCs to bear, and this is the
less "extreme" one. There are some really neat bonuses, like the + to saves
against spells for your entire party (which is ever-present, not an aura like 
many other similar abilities), bonus feats (a plus given the number of feats 
you have to burn to get it), and absolutely no loss of spellcasting power.

The best feature of the class, however, is the lowered requirements for Empower,
Maximize, and Quicken Spell metamagic; normally these require that you use a
slot 2, 3, or 4 levels higher (respectively) than the spell normally does, but 
ASoC can cast (by level 10) each 1, 2, or 3 (respectively) higher instead. This 
is a huge bonus for those who love metamagic (I'm looking at you, 90% of 
GameFAQs posters who use Missile Storms like they're going out of style).

There really isn't much to lose in taking this class; Wizards lose out on bonus 
feats while Sorcerors don't really miss out on anything at all. If you don't 
mind burning a few feats, try it out!  Note, however, that Quickening spells 
has only niche uses compared to Empowering or Maximizing, so going all the way 
to level 10 likely isnít necessary.

Sample Build: Sorceror 13 / ASoC 7. Sorcerors are fantastic with metamagic, so 
itís a match made in heaven. I swear to you, I tried to figure out something 
crazy, but ASoC just doesnít lend itself to creativity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ARCANE TRICKSTER (AT)

Requirements: Non-lawful alignment; Lore 7, Disable Device 7, Tumble 7, 
Spellcraft 4; Sneak attack dice of at least +2d6; Arcane spellcasting of at 
least level 3.

Niche: Party multitool and spell sneak attacker.

Description: A PrC that has yet to reach its full potential in NWN2, the AT 
is still a strong party member.  Most AT builds use Rogue/Wizard levels 
exclusively, because this maximizes the number of skills (with Rogue and Int).  
Also, Sorceror makes a comparatively poor choice, because one needs at least 
3 levels of Rogue, and this disallows 9th level Sorceror spells.  But thatís 
not to say you -canít- make a Rogue/Sorc/AT.

Why does the class have more potential than it owns up to?  First off, that 
Pilfer Magic ability Obsidian gave ATs blows.  Thereís no real use for it, 
itís weak and not suited to the nature of the class.  And Ranged Legerdemain 
from the pencil and paper (PnP) D&D game is much cooler (letting you disarm 
traps, pick pockets, etc., at range).  More importantly, though, NWN2 has yet
to officially apply sneak attack damage on touch attack spells.  What will 
that do, you may ask?  Every melee or ranged touch attack spell (e.g., Acid 
Arrow, Polar Ray, even Ray of Frost) will also apply your Sneak Attack damage
if you cast it under the same circumstances as a Sneak Attack (i.e., from 
hiding or at a foeís flank).  Very useful, especially given the ATís 
otherwise poor attack bonus. There are mods on nwvault.ign.com to fix this.

For best combat results as it stands, Tenserís Transformation will turn you 
into a sneak attacking dynamo.  Let your party draw the enemies in, cast 
Tenserís, and dive in attacking flanks at will.  Impromptu Sneak Attack works
well with this too.  Keep in mind, however, that the final areas of the OC 
have nothing but crit-immune undead, so by this point youíll be relegated to 
thieving and magical support (which is still useful!).  ATs are brilliant in 
SoZ, where having a broad skill base is useful.  A Ranger and an AT could in 
themselves probably handle all the skills you need!

Sample Build:  Rogue 3 / Bard 11 / AT 6.  I promise, not all of 
the builds from here on will use Bard, itís just difficult to think up an 
interesting AT build when Rogue/Wizard is such an obvious standard.  However, 
Bard has a lot to offer, most notably better attack bonus, and thus better 
chance to land sneak attacks.  Spells like Heroism and War Cry, and Curse 
Song, will give you even better effect.  This build even gets a pretty great 
skill selection.  Also note that taking one level of Rogue and one of Assassin 
means you save yourself a level for spellcasting, though you do give up Evasion 
as well, so itís your decision.  This is a great build for those who canít be 
bothered to download a hakpak for allowing spell sneak attacks, though 
admittedly a poor build for those who do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASSASSIN

Requirements: Any evil alignment; Hide 8, Move Silently 8.

Niche: Same as Rogue, but more adept at striking from hiding.

Description:  This PrC is mostly just an evil Rogue, essentially trading in 
the high-level feats (Improved Evasion, Slippery Mind, etc.) and two skill 
points per level, in favour of better ability to hide.  This is actually 
better than it sounds; Hiding in Shadows is a real trial in 3.5ed D&D, and 
Hide in Plain Sight (which Assassins now get at level 8) makes hiding much 
more useful.  It also means you can simply hide whenever anything notices you,
so long as your Hide and Move Silently are high enough to avoid detection.  

Donít count out those Assassin spells, either.  Greater Invisibility is 
as wonderful as always, and if you have the Blind-Fight feat, the Darkness 
spell is a stellar means of dealing large amounts of sneak attack damage very 
quickly.  

Death Attack is often misunderstood.  Essentially, it stacks in all ways with 
Sneak Attack, but also adds an additional chance for paralyzation under very 
specific circumstances.  If your target is not currently engaged (i.e., you 
snuck up on him or her without drawing notice), your sneak attack has a chance 
of paralyzing it.  This is tertiary, but can be deadly if youíre a patient 
hunter.

Sample Build: Ranger 11 / Assassin 9.  Dual-wielding works excessively well 
with sneak attacking classes, and Assassins are no exception.  One bonus of 
using Ranger levels for this is that you can focus less on Dex (though youíll 
still want a decent stat value for it) without sacrificing much hiding. 
Plus, take Undead as your Favoured Enemy, then take Improved Favoured Enemy 
in Undead for one of your feats, and watch your Assassin cut a swath through 
OC Act III nearly as well as he did through Act II.  This build makes a much 
better balance for crit-immune foes than the more standard Rogue/Assassin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLACKGUARD (BG)

Requirements: Any evil alignment; BAB +6; Cleave feat; Hide 5.

Niche: Anti-Paladin, Sneak-Attacking tank, and general evil SOB.

Description:  Blackguards are, in almost every way, evil Paladins.  And just as
much, they are generally played with as little finesse as Paladins are.  Just 
because heís a servant of evil doesnít mean he canít have personality!  Donít
forget (role-playing-wise) that ďevilĒ can mean a lot of different things, even 
in D&D.

Okay, that rant is overÖ The Blackguard is somewhat underpowered, letís be 
honest.  He has difficulty knowing what exactly he wants to be, with a large 
gamut of abilities and bonuses.  Smite Good and most of the Blackguard spells 
are useless in the confines of this game.  Unlike NWN1, ignore the Blackguardís
summoning abilities.  Both Create Undead and Fiendish Servant are almost 
completely useless; the creatures created, especially in the former case, 
are too weak to even be decent meat shields.

But for an evil character build, he does have good points to offer.  First 
and foremost, he is the only high-BAB class (other than the Neverwinter Nine) 
who offers Sneak Attack, and with d10 HP and lots of armor.  Sneak attacking 
is never so much fun as it is with a Greataxe.  Add in high saving throws 
from Dark Blessing, Blackguards are often much more survivable in melee than 
your average Rogue.  I suggest Improved Knockdown for Blackguard sneak
attacking, though.

Aura of Despair makes the Blackguard a very utilitarian tanker; sit in the 
middle of a group of enemies, have your mage cast Mass Hold Person, and 
watch as the saving-throw-challenged enemies turn into sneak attack 
pincushions. 

Sample Build: Cleric 13 / Blackguard 7.  Note that Blackguards only lose two 
levels of Turn Undead (as opposed to Paladinsí three), and with your high 
Charisma, you may actually turn better than a standard Cleric.  Use your Aura 
of Despair to your own advantage, as well as your partyís.  And since you need 
Power Attack for the Cleave class requirement anyway, Divine Might (with Power 
Attack as a prereq) can really boost your damage output if you have more Turn 
Undead uses than you need (which may well be the case).  Level 7 is more than 
high enough for Clerical magic for tanking buffs.  The Trickery and Evil 
domains really round out this class well, too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DIVINE CHAMPION (DC)

Requirements: BAB +7; Weapon Focus (Any melee weapon).

Niche: A Paladin of any alignment, or a Fighter with extra bonuses.

Description: DCs are a bit of a strange mix of abilities.  They need Cha 
like a Paladin does, and get bonus feats like a Fighter.  However, they donít 
get Turn Undead, spells, or an increasing number of Smite uses like a Paladin 
does, and their bonus feat list is quite a bit scaled back from the Fighter 
list:
	-Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, 
	Extra Turning, Improved Combat Expertise, Improved Critical, Improved 
	Initiative, Improved Parry, Weapon Focus.

Generally, taking levels of Fighter would better suit most builds.  But for 
builds which already have Charisma (for example, Paladins, Bards, and Red 
Dragon Disciples), DCs can offer some interesting abilities.  Note that there 
is no alignment requirement, contrary to NWN1; you can be a DC of any deity 
you want, or even no deity at all.

Smite Infidel is extremely useful; it works as Smite Good or Smite Evil, but 
against any alignment (on the Good/Evil axis) that is not your own.  So Smite 
Infidel works against Neutral enemies, of which there are a fair number.  
Remember that nearly all animals, elementals, and constructs are neutral.  
Even evil DCs can Smite these enemies.  And +1 saves every other level is 
nothing to scoff at, either.

Also, while Smite Infidel does NOT stack with Smite Good or Smite Evil, taking 
the Extra Smiting feat will give you more uses of BOTH, allowing Paladin/DCs 
to smite a truly impressive number of foes per day.

Sample Build: Bard 15 / DC 5.  Okay, this is the last Bard, I promise.  But
this is one of my old favourites.  High Cha matches up well for Divine Wrath 
and Smite Infidel, and the DC gives Bard a BAB boost, as well as some extra 
feats.  Take a Morningstar Weapon Focus, with Blind-Fight and Improved Crit: 
Morningstar as your bonus feats, and youíll be a juggernaut right from the 
morningstar in the OC Swamp Cave.  Very cool Bardic Warrior-Champion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DOOMGUIDE (DG)

Requirements: Lawful alignment; Deity (Kelemvor); Diplomacy 5 ranks; Extra
Turning and Great Fortitude; 3rd-level divine spellcasting.

Niche: Frying Undead.

Description: Howís that for a niche? More than any other PrC, the Doomguide
is set in what it does. All of the abilities, from turning feats to party save 
bonuses against undead-style attacks to weapon enchantments, are meant for 
obliterating undead. The utility of this varies based on the module or campaign 
youíre playing, but undead are generally a staple so youíre often okay.

Are Doomguides suitable for non-undead encounters? Trickier. Theyíre not 
generally weaker than your standard Cleric if thatís your base class, since they
get pluses to turning AND to casting (you might lose strength for your domain 
powers, though). So unless you absolutely know youíll never run into undead,
thereís a lot to be said for taking this PrC.

Sample Build: Paladin 11 / Doomguide 9. Just enough Paladin levels to meet
the spellcasting requirement. Paladin turning is behind Clericís, but Doomguides
get more than enough bonuses to make up for it, and your CHA will likely be well
ahead anyway, so you may actually come out on top. Also, Paladins and 
Doomguides share a reliance on CHA, so thatís always welcome. This character
fights undead from the front of the party, and has saves out the yin-yang.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DUELIST

Requirements: BAB +6; Parry 5, Tumble 5; Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse.

Niche: Parrying.

Description:  One of my least favourite PrCs, for several reasons.  First off, 
it is excessively focused; it can barely use more equipment than a Monk, yet 
doesnít naturally get any special equipment that Monks do.  Also, if youíre not 
interested in Parrying, thereís little to sell about the Duelist, you should 
generally look elsewhere.  And Parry is currently broken (the game has
trouble with detecting strikes from multiple sources, so you tend to parry a lot
less than you should).  Also, Piercing Strike does NOT work with dual-
wielding, which makes their high Parry somewhat less useful.  I took a Duelist 
through the main campaign, and it was alright, but I made the mistake of not 
Parrying.

However, for what it is, the Duelist is pretty interesting, a bit of a Fighter/
Rogue hybrid.  They get Haste usages multiple times per day, they add extra 
piercing damage on attacks, and they have high BAB, HP, and skills.  Note that, 
unlike the Monk, while the Duelist adds their Intelligence modifier to their 
Armor Class, they can ONLY do so to their Duelist level.  So a Duelist level 2 
can only add +2 INT bonus to their AC.  So donít expect to add a single level 
of Duelist to your Wizard builds.  For SoZ owners, Swashbucklers are pretty
obvious choices for Duelist baseclasses.

With their superb bonuses to Parry (but not until level 7!), the Duelist 
becomes nigh-unhittable while in Parry mode.  Though they can make fewer 
counterattacks than a dual-wielder with two-weapon fighting and defense, they 
have better bonuses to deflect attacks.  Also, the sheer volume of different 
abilities can, like the Monk, be very attractive to any character looking to 
add some finesse to their game. Be mindful that Duelists do not get Uncanny 
Dodge, so you may want to take levels of a class that does.  Also, liberal 
amounts of Use Magic Device will go a long way toward making up for the 
Duelistís dearth of good equipment.

Sample Build: Rogue 3 / Barbarian 7 / Duelist 10.  A bit of a strange mix, but 
hold your catcalls a moment.  Rogue gives the skills necessary, plus Evasion 
and some Sneak Attacking to buffer your damage.  Barbarian gives you Uncanny 
Dodge and stackable stat bonuses from Rage, allowing you to focus much more of 
your stats on Dex and Int.  A very 'controlled rager', and s/he even gets 1/- 
damage reduction.  Though I am often loath to suggest ECL races, Tiefling 
would make a stellar Rogue/Barb/Duelist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DWARVEN DEFENDER (DD)

Requirements: Dwarven race; Any lawful alignment; BAB +7; Dodge and Toughness.

Niche: Lawful Barbarian, more focused on defense than offense.

Description: Dwarven Defenders are walls.  With swords.  They share the d12 
hitpoints and the uncanny dodge and trap sense bonuses with Barbarians, but 
instead of losing out on armor, DDs bulk up on it.  The stat bonuses for 
Defensive Stance do not stack with other stat bonuses, unlike Rage; however, 
the main attraction is the AC.  With Defensive Stance active, at level 10, DDs 
receive +8 to Dodge AC.  Stellar.  It does root you in one spot, but with a 
reach weapon like a Halberd, this isnít much of a problem at all.  Youíll at 
the head of your party anyway, you should usually draw the enemies to you like 
flies to a Half-Orc. Make sure you patch your game, or Defensive Stance might
not actually work!

Not only do DDs have incredible AC, but they also get Uncanny Dodge (unlike
many other warrior classes), meaning that all that Dodge AC doesn't vaporize
the instant he's flanked or blinded. It's not necessarily as useful as it is for
classes that lend themselves to high DEX, but it is definitely a nice touch.

One thing that is often overlooked is that DDs also get high Will saves.  Along 
with Trap Sense and their obscene number of HP, DDs are very difficult to take 
out of a fight, and with decent offense from their base class, a DD can dish 
out punishment with impunity.

Sample Build: Ranger 10 / Dwarven Defender 10.  Rangers are the offense to DD 
defense; this build gets Uncanny Dodge, high AC, great bonuses against 
favoured enemies, Evasion, as well as high saves all around.  You even get a 
weak animal companion to help you position enemies around you.  An extra 
Ranger level adds an extra offhand weapon attack at the expense of some 
defense, itís the playerís call. If you're going to Epic levels, you can have 
your cake and eat it too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ELDRITCH KNIGHT (EK)

Requirements: Martial Weapon Proficiency; Arcane Spellcasting of at least 
level 3. (The manual is incorrect.)

Niche: A mage with the ability to hit things in combat.

Description:  Eldritch Knights are the new Fighter/Mages of 3.5ed.  You get 
much beefier melee ability (higher BAB and solid concentration caster feats) 
at very little cost.  Youíre supposed to have to take a level of a class with 
Martial Weapon Proficiency for EK, but because of how Proficiency works, you 
can just go straight to EK from your base caster class at the expense of a
feat.  Wizards generally make better EKs than Sorcs, because Wizzies get bonus
magical feats every 5 levels and a slightly faster spell progression to offset 
the multiclassing.  

Thereís not a whole lot to say about EKsÖ generally, theyíre almost always 
better than a standard caster build, because they allow more flexibility in 
terms of combat.  Thatís a qualified Ďalwaysí, though; Wizards do get more 
magic feats than Wiz/EKs, and Sorcerors do get pinched for spell progression 
when they multiclass.  It depends on how specialized on spellcasting one 
desires to be.  Keep in mind that even 10 levels of EK will not make your 
mage into a warrior, itíll just go a long way toward that.  More than any other
melee class, EKs depend on buffing; if you donít like sitting around casting 
over and over after every rest, EK is probably not the PrC for you.

Sample Build:  Paladin 2 / Sorc 8 / EK 10.  Yes, the saving throw bonus from 
Cha for Paladins makes this absurdly powergamey.  However, you do lose 9th 
level spells, so thatís enough to shoo most n00bs away.  Elsewise, this is a 
very powerful Paladin of Mystra.  Take Practiced Spellcaster!  Feel free to 
add more levels of Paladin as desired.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FRENZIED BERSERKER (FB)

Requirements: Any non-lawful alignment; BAB +6; Cleave, Great Cleave, Power 
Attack.

Niche: Powergamerís extra-focused Barbarian.

Description:  Extremely focused on melee combat, and more importantly, on 
dealing melee damage.  Letís just say killing things.  When an FBís around, 
things die.  That about says it.

The difference between Great Cleave (the general feat) and Supreme Cleave (the 
FB feat) is oft-misunderstood.  Great Cleave lets you cleave an unlimited 
number of times per round, be it all at once (slaying a horde of goblins around
you) or separately for every enemy you kill with your multiple attacks per 
round (slaying a horde of beefy but injured Bugbears over the course of a 
round).  Supreme Cleave, on the other hand, gives you two cleaves instead of 
one, every time you make a cleave attack.  Suffice to say, with both, when 
things die, lots of other things die soon too.

Note that the Strength bonus from Frenzy does not stack with other Strength 
bonuses, but WILL stack with the Str bonus from Rage.  Also, Frenzy prevents 
you from dying when itís active, which is why Lorne just doesnít die when you 
fight him (run away until it wears off, by the way).  Basically, sit a two-
handed weapon in your hands, turn on Power Attack (with Enhanced Power Attack 
from FB), click Frenzy, and knock thingsí heads off.  Improved Power Attack is 
even more obscene, but by that point, youíre facing some serious attack 
penalties, so Iíd advise against going that far.

Technically, Frenzy is only supposed to deplete your HPs at a rate of 2 per 
round, but with a patched game, this rate is 6 per round (unpatched 12!).  
Why?  Well, Frenzy is also supposed to result in a chance youíll attack your 
allies, but this wasnít implemented.  So itís a balance thing.  Keep Clerics 
handy, or be prepared to rest.  A lot.  On the bright side, you can't die 
whilst Frenzying, so as longas your Frenzy lasts most of the waythrough the 
battle, you'll resurrect afterwards anyway.

Sample Build: Fighter 6 / Weapon Master 7 / Frenzied Berserker 7.  Thereís no 
way to make a build with FB thatís effective and not powergamey, so I went 
with a damage monkey on this one.  This guy can only do one thing, but he 
does it well.  There are plenty of builds out there that use some combination 
of Fighter, Barb, WM, and RDD with their FBs. (Boring, eh?)
		
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HARPER AGENT (HA)

Requirements: Any non-evil alignment; Diplomacy 8, Lore 4, Spellcraft 2; 
Alertness and Iron Will (feats).

Niche: Adding some tertiary abilities without screwing up the initial class 
too much.

Description:  Now hereís an interesting conundrum.  Definitely better than 
NWNís Harper Scout, who didnít get spellcasting.  This is basically an EK with 
slightly worse BAB, but more skills and lots of saves.  But still, not a great 
choice in most cases.

Folks groan about the prereqs, but theyíre not so bad.  Diplomacy is 
practically a requirement for most campaigns anyway, and Lore and Spellcraft 
are both useful to have (Note: Spellcraft gives +1 to saves against ALL spells 
for every 5 ranks).  Iron Will isnít a waste, as nobody likes getting stunned 
or charmed; and while Alertness is pretty poor, you can't make an omelette
without breaking eggs when it comes to PrCs.

Also, note that the HAís spellcasting progression works for arcane or divine 
casters, so you have a lot of flexibility to work the class into your builds.  
Although this PrC isnít one of the best, itís also pretty much for roleplaying 
purposes.  It can fit a lot of different roles, much like a Bard.  Note that 
you can only take 5 levels max of HA.

Sample Build: Wizard 5 / Eldritch Knight 10 / Harper Agent 5.  This takes 
advantage of one of the HAís most important strengths; its BAB doesnít suck.  
You lose out on another level of spellcasting, but youíll end up with an extra 
attack per round compared to the Wiz 10 / EK 10 builds out there.  Also, many 
forget that EKs do not get strong Will saves, and HA makes up for this keenly.  
Plus, it makes a good build for all those who read the error-ridden manual 
and thought that the HA requirements (which were transposed onto the EK 
requirements) were for the EK, and thus started builds with this in mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HELLFIRE WARLOCK (HW)

Requirements: Intimidate 6 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks, Lore 12 ranks; 
Brimstone Blast or Hellrime Blast invocations.

Niche: A Warlock who turns enemies to ash.

Description: Finally, a PrC tailored for the Warlock Ė and a powerful one, at
that. Hellfire Blast takes your regular Eldritch Blast damage and augments it
with +2d6 per level. With a maximum HF level of 3, thatís +6d6 damage,
which acts as a Sorceror equalizer. Plus thereís Hellfire Shield, which allows
you to take all the damage from a Blast and apply it to anyone who hits you Ė 
without lifting a finger. Brilliant!

Of course, thereís that pesky CON hit per casting Ė make sure you have a
Cleric with lots of Lesser Restorations memorized (and this shouldnít be a 
problem), and/or a Wand of Lesser Restoration (which the Warlock can 
use, with UMD). Note that SoZ, in typical buggy fashion, removes the
CON hit every time you switch maps, so you donít really have to worry
about it except in protracted battles.

Finally, thereís Summon Baatezu. This ability is ridiculously powerful for 
the level you're able to obtain it, and remains so until epic levels Ė a random 
Devil is summoned, anything from Mephasm the Cleric to a Cornugon. It lasts 
for a specific number of rounds; keep your mind on this counter, because at the 
end, thereís a good chance that stupidly powerful devil will turn on you; 
unsummon it before it does! While it lasts, it will wreck house, though.

I recommend this PrC for pretty much any Warlock Ė the skills required are
useful, and you can always ditch the Blast for a better one after youíve gained
your 3 HF levels (ditching it earlier prevents you from taking all three, which 
I certainly suggest). Invocations are the most important feature of the Warlock
and you donít miss out on any by going HF, and the 3 levels give you much-
needed extra punch.

Sample Build: Warlock 14 / HF 3 / DD 3. Start with a Lawful Evil Dwarf; this
build takes advantage of the HFís lack of required feats, and the DDís lack of
required skills. Lots of CON and HP helps make up for the debilitating effects 
of Hellfire; give him a Wand of Restoration, send him into the midst of the 
fray, and turn on Defensive Stance and Hellfire Shield.  Fireworks.  Only time 
I can actually imagine a use for Hideous Blow, too. Either take Dark Foresight,
or load up on Fey feats for extra damage reduction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INVISIBLE BLADE (IB)

Requirements: Bluff 8 ranks; Feint, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus
(Dagger or Kukri)

Niche: Stabbing enemies in the front.

Description: Using Feint to drop the enemyís defense, two weapons to 
attain large numbers of attacks per round, and Unfettered Defense to keep
alive through counters, the IB is for sneak attackers who canít be bothered 
with pesky hiding and sneaking around. Unfortunately, Feint isnít a Free 
Action for IBs in NWN2, but itís still pretty nice if youíre not good at 
coordinating flanking.

Kukris are probably the better choice for your Weapon Focus, since they get a
good crit range (similar to Scimitars and Rapiers). Donít feel that you have to 
restrict your main-hand weapon to dagger or kukri; they make good offhand 
weapons, but theyíre a bit weak overall.

This PrC is a bit low on extra perks, but their high BAB is useful for boosting
Rogues who already wield two weapons.  Bleeding damage is relatively weak,
but it does count toward Sneak Attack dice, so it can be useful for obtaining 
PrCs which require SA.

Sample Build: Ranger 7 / Rogue 8 / IB 5. Improved Uncanny Dodge, solid 
Sneak Attack, fantastic BAB for a thug, and two offhand attacks. Decent INT
allows this character to do almost any skill in the book, and he can tank too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NEVERWINTER NINE (NW9)

Requirements: BAB +6; Member of Neverwinter Nine (epithet feat).

Niche: Tanking with extra abilities.

Description:  I donít care what others say, I like this class.  It has style.  
High BAB, decent HP, and neato little abilities.  Spiffy uniform, too.  

Protective Aura is alright, but the Deflection bonus to armor will be largely 
negated by the time in the game you get it; the better part is the bonus to 
saves, which does stack.  It also has a decent range, especially when it 
upgrades at level 4.  Guarding the Lord is a niche ability which allows you 
to take damage for someone else; part of the damage dissipates instead of 
affecting either you or the intended target, making it quite a bit better than 
the Shield Other spell.  Use this ability when your back row characters (such 
as mages) draw enemies and you need a Ďpanic buttoní to keep them 
alive until you can buff them or otherwise help them out.  Frantic Reactions 
is pretty decent, allowing you to run faster, take fewer attacks while dodging 
through enemy ranks, and giving you sneak attack damage; all of this for an 
always-active feat.  Finally, All-Out Assault is a wonderful ability.  For 
three rounds, all your attacks are maximized.  No damage die rolls for you.  
This ability is especially useful for dual-wielders, making for 24 (or 
so) attacks at maximum damage, and thus a world of hurt.

Note that this PrC only has a max of 5 levels, and the point at the game in 
which you attain it youíll be around level 15-16.  You may want to hold a 
level over until you get the NW9 epithet feat at the beginning of Act III, so 
you can get all 5 levels (if you want them).

All that said, the PrC isnít spectacularly powerful, and it comes late in the 
game, so itís very much a roleplaying class.  It can be useful if youíve been 
taking levels of Ranger, Paladin, and Fighter, as these classes donít gain 
much past level 10-15.  One thing to note is that SoZ allows you to take this
PrC without the epithet feat, so anybody can be a NW9 once they hit +6
BAB.

Sample Build: Fighter 8 / Rogue 7 / Neverwinter Nine 5.  Very cool, makes for
a great tanker with skills, feats, and abilities to spare.  Also, correct me 
if Iím wrong, but All-Out Assault should work with sneak attacks, which is 
just tasty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PALE MASTER (PM)

Requirements: Any non-good alignment; Arcane spellcasting of at least level 3.

Niche: Spellcasting from behind a barrier of undead, AC and immunities.

Description:  Another of my favourite classes that got nothing from Obsidian.  
Lots of powerful abilities, all drowned out by the fact that the PM only gets 
spells every odd level.  Practiced Spellcaster is a must if using more than a 
few PM levels, and most players only take one level (for the +2 AC with no 
downside).

The abilities, however, are very tempting.  A total +6 AC, immunity to 
paralysis and critical hits (taking away most enemiesí means of getting 
through your defenses), a touch-attack undead arm (which can be useful when 
rushed by enemies, though it doesnít work very often as coded), and the 
ability to Create Undead and Greater Undead, all mean that youíre a defensive
dynamo, capable of spellcasting without interruption.

There is a relatively easy fix to the spellcasting problem, however; going into 
the gameís data -> 2da folder, look for ďcls_bsplvlpalemaĒ file; copy this to 
your override folder, go into the file, and change the first level to a Ď0í and
the rest to Ď1ís.  Voila, you now have progression equal to an EK, like in the 
Ďrealí game. Or change it to whatever you feel is balanced.

Sample Build:  Wizard 5 / Eldritch Knight 8 / Pale Master 7.  Practiced 
spellcaster brings you up to caster level 20, and you just deal without level 
9 spells.  Itís not hard to do, with good BAB, great defenses, and cool points 
for actually making use of the PM.  By the by, this build is one of the most 
crazy Tenserís-users in the game.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RED DRAGON DISCIPLE (RDD)

Requirements: At least one level of Sorceror or Bard; Lore 8.

Niche: Ridiculous melee stats.

Description:  This PrC is a bit of a mixed bag.  The breath weapon is neat, 
but only gets one use per day at low damage, so neglect it at will.  Blind-
Fight is a very useful feat to get for free, and the armor bonuses are always 
a plus.  Immunity to fire is lovely, as are immunity to sleep and paralysis, 
though as with most of the tertiary abilities the RDD has, these can be gained 
through equipment, spells, and feats.  But the real reason to take RDD is the 
permanent stat bonuses.  These stack completely with everything, and the +8 
Strength (+4 to hit and damage) is a huge melee plus.  This STR bonus affects
your base stats, so it DOES stack with STR bonuses from belts, unlike the FB.
Plus, you get a ton of HP, from the +2 Constitution and d12 hit dice.

Note that the RDD only gets medium BAB progression, but the huge Strength more 
than makes up for this loss.  With a decent two-handed weapon and a Belt of 
Giant Strength, youíll be tearing through enemies without leaning on crits, 
sneak attacks, abilities, or specific weapons.  RDDs are very focused on melee 
combat, but are far more flexible than other tank classes for this reason.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the majority of the RDD bonuses 
arrive at level 10.  Essentially, all builds utilizing RDD should go all the 
way to level 10, or not at all.

Sample Build: Sorc 8 / Paladin 2 / RDD 10.  The RDD is another one of 
those classes that just doesnít lend itself to subtlety.  Though 8 levels of 
Sorc isnít what most would consider useful, with Practiced Spellcaster, you 
can get a lot of mileage out of level 1-4 spells.  Either cast in a robe, or 
throw on Full Plate and cast Improved Mage Armor with Still Spell.  Ta-da.  
Now throw Fireballs around and watch them bounce off your fire immunity.  This 
build doesnít have the best attack bonus out there, but a resourceful player 
can find ways around that.  And everyone loves a Dragoon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RED WIZARD OF THAY (RW)

Requirements: Human; Non-Good; Specialist Wizard able to cast 3rd-level
spells, Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, one other metamagic
or item creation feat (excluding Scribe Scroll).

Niche: Spellcasting tailored to frying enemies with a subset of spells.

Description: RWs give up some flexibility to gain extra power with their
chosen school. Note the impressive array of requirements, and make sure you 
follow them to the letter if you want this class!  RWs lose a second school 
of magic based on their original choice for specialization:
Abjuration, Conjuration, Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation: lose Illusion
Divination: lose Enchantment
Enchantment, Illusion: lose Abjuration

And for completeness, here's the list of original prohibited schools:
Specialization	Prohibited School
Abjuration	Conjuration
Conjuration	Transmutation
Divination	Illusion
Enchantment	Illusion
Evocation	Conjuration
Illusion		Enchantment
Necromancy	Divination
Transmutation	Conjuration

For giving up two schools of magic, your specialized school's spells gain DC 
and SR checks (so they're more likely to stick), better defense, and improved 
caster level.  Note, however, that all of these cases are ONLY for your 
specialized school, so you can cast from other schools which aren't prohibited, 
but they will cast as though you were a regular vanilla Wizard.

First off, make sure your specialized school is something you want improved.
Divination is a useless choice because none of its spells have DCs, and the 
rest of the Divination spells' characteristics don't gain much either.  
Illusion, Conjuration, and Abjuration gain relatively little likewise. 
Enchantment can be useful for some, though mind spells don't work as well as 
in some other games. The most balanced choice is probably Necromancy 
(Divination and Illusion are probably the weakest schools, so being prohibited
doesn't hurt), and a few fabulous spells (primarily Undeath to Death, Horrid 
Wilting, and Wail of the Banshee) belong here. Evokers and Transmuters have 
their place too.

All that said, the RW is highly specialized and will suit any spellcaster who 
doesn't mind being relegated to a niche role based upon their chosen 
specialization.  There is no finer caster in the game than a well-crafted 
Thayan.

Sample Build: Wizard 5 / RW 7 / PM 7. If you want a Pale Master who can 
actually cast, this is a good one. Choose Evocation as your Specialist School 
(or Necromancy if you're purist). Losing Conjuration and Illusion normally 
hurts because you lose out on a lot of defensive spells, but PM recoups this; 
likewise, his natural summoning can make up for losing Summon Creature spells.
With Practiced Spell-caster, and minor tinkering, this guy can still cast like
an Archmage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SACRED FIST (SF)

Requirements: BAB +4, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Combat Casting;
Lore 8 ranks; Ability to cast 1st-level divine spells.

Niche: A Monk with spells, or a Cleric who works without armor.

Description: At first blush, this seems like a superbly powerful PrC. Monks 
need high WIS for AC anyway, and so this meshes perfectly with divine castersí
high WIS. It does take some finesse to get them to work, though; Monks are 
notoriously difficult to multiclass, since they are so powerful singleclassed 
but lose power quickly with other levels.

Uncanny Dodge is one perk that Monks donít get; unarmoured characters really 
benefit from this ability. Spell progression is pretty decent, and is 
better than Warpriests. Sacred Flames can be extremely powerful if used 
correctly, and Inner Armor is short-lived but with good Wis can give you a 
nice boost (though the SR isnít as good as that provided by the Monk ability 
or Cleric spell on their own).

Just remember that the class abilities are all cherries on top; your real 
reason for taking this class is to let your Monk cast spells and be more 
flexible.  It should go without saying that you should never, ever try for 
SF without levels of Monk.

Sample Build: Monk 4 / Druid 6 / SF 10.  Practiced Spellcaster gets you to 
caster level 18, Druid 6 allows you to use the very powerful Elephantís Hide 
ability 3 times per day, and you can still spontaneously summon.  Forget about
your animal companion though!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHADOW THIEF OF AMN (STA)

Requirements: Bluff 3, Hide 8, Intimidate 3, Move Silently 3; Stealthy (Feat);
Member of Shadow Thieves (epithet feat).

Niche: Thuggery and Roguishness through speech AND force of arms.

Description:  This class is very much like the Rogue base class, but cramped 
into 5 levels with bonus feats and some other perks.  They get better prices 
at merchants, which means that those who bought the limited edition NWN2 with 
the merchant feats get ridiculous prices for buying and selling. STAs also get 
bonus feats (listed in the manual), and bonuses to their speech skills. 
Finally, STAs get the Uncanny Dodge feats, which can be helpful to Rangers 
and any other characters wanting to keep their Dex/dodge AC bonuses intact in 
battle.

Thereís not a lot to sell the STA over the Rogue, other than roleplaying, and
the fact that high-level Rogues donít gain a lot past about level 13.  STAs 
round out any sneaky build well, especially given that dialogue skills are 
quite useful in this game.  

Sample Build: Warlock 12 / Shadow Thief of Amn 4 / Blackguard 4.  With the 
Beguiling Influence and Entropic Warding invocations, this build is 
extraordinarily sneaky and almost impossible to resist in conversation.  It 
can even melee with some skill, and cast Greater Invocations and 6d6-damage 
Eldritch Blasts.  3d6 sneak attack becomes really powerful if spell sneak 
attacks are ever fixed, or if you were to download a mod which fixed them.  
This is one of my favourite evil builds.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHADOWDANCER (SD)

Requirements: Move Silently 8, Hide 10, Tumble 5; Dodge, Mobility.

Niche: Avoiding death.

Description:  Shadowdancers are a great idea that just didnít get pulled off 
very well. Theyíre almost entirely defensively-oriented; they get most of the 
Rogue feats aligned with this persuasion (Improved Evasion, Slippery Mind, 
Uncanny Dodge, etc.), and Hide in Plain Sight, Shadow Daze, and Shadow Evade 
are all there to keep one alive.  

There are a number of critical flaws in this class.  First and foremost, the 
biggest class plus (Hide in Plain Sight) is gained at level one, so thereís 
little good reason for most to go past this level.  Secondly, Shadow Daze and 
Shadow Evade are niche skills, too short-lived and with too few uses per day to
be truly useful in NWN2ís context.  Summon Shadow summons a very weak minion, 
barely better than the Skeletons summoned by Animate Dead (though the Shadow is
admittedly immune to a large number of things, making it a halfway okay tank). 
NWN2 Shadowdancers donít get the cool teleportation that PnP SDs do, either.  
Most importantly, the Shadowdancer doesnít get any offensive abilities, which 
limits it to relying on the base class for damage output.

All that said, SD is one of the more fun PrCs.  Itís a very easy sell for one 
level, and a few more wouldnít hurt either.  The Rogue feats are pretty darn 
good, and defensively, thereís few classes to match it.

Sample Build:  Monk 12 / Shadowdancer 8.  Monk levels supply the damage output
through 2d6 fist damage and Greater Flurry of Blows, SD levels control the 
damage input through Uncanny Dodge, Defensive Roll, etc.  Monks get Improved 
Evasion anyway, so 8 levels of SD works.  This build is one of the best for 
capitalizing on the SDís strengths, without tearing the Monk down completely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STORMLORD (SL)

Requirements: Base Fortitude Save +4; Toughness, Great Fortitude, and Weapon
Focus (Spear, Throwing Axe, Dart, or Shuriken); 3rd-level divine spellcasting.

Niche: Electricity-based attacks to augment divine casting.

Description: Not too much hidden here Ė sacrifice other class abilities (but 
not casting!) for electrical offense and defense. The Extended Storm Avatar is 
stellar, by the bye. Itís likely a solid trade, so long as you have feats to 
burn, donít need your Turn Undead or Wildshape (for example), and donít mind 
the restricted weapon choices.

That latter bit can be hard to swallow, though. Throwing weapons arenít 
anywhere near as useful for ranged attack as bows, crossbows, and slings. 
Plus, Storm Avatar does little to augment missile attacks. Itís possible to go 
this route, but you should weigh your options carefully (and definitely 
consider taking Zen Archery to minimize your DEX investment). And when it 
comes to melee, spears donít pull much weight Ė Monkey Grip to wield one one-
handed could be helpful here though. 

Whether you go melee or missile (or try to swing both), donít forget your 
primary role is still as divine caster, and you should try not to overload your
healer with buffs just so he can hang around the frontline.

Sample Build: Favored Soul 10 / SL 10. Take a deity who favors a SL weapon
and youíll get the Focus feat for free; energy resistance to something other 
than electricity; FS high saves all around and dandy spellcasting. You donít 
miss out on too much and probably gain more from SL. Thumbs up!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WARPRIEST (WP)

Requirements: BAB +5; Diplomacy 8, Spot 5; Combat Casting; Divine Spellcasting 
of at least level 4.

Niche: Tank of the gods.

Description:  Ignoring the little abilities on the side, the whole idea of the 
Warpriest is to give your Divine caster a full warrior BAB, HP, and armor/
weapon pool.  Adding WP levels to Clerics and Druids turns them into tanks; 
though Clerics and Druids can tank fairly well on their own, and even better 
once fully buffed, WPs do it even better.  Another frequently-forgotten aspect 
is that Rangers and Paladins can take this class at level 15, once they get 
access to level 4 spells.  Paladins make natural Warpriests, with their strong 
Cha contributing to a powerful Fear Aura at level 5, and their already-low Turn
Undead less of a problem for WP levels.  Thatís one of the problems with the WP
compared to PnP: Cleric/Warpriests quickly lose all of their Turn Undead 
ability.  

The class abilities are nothing spectacular, but interesting in their own 
right.  War Glory is a minor but constant and decent boost to allies and 
detriment to foes.  Note that the +1 AB bonus applies only to allies, not to 
your Warpriest.  Inflame is excellent for tank-heavy parties that are low on 
Will saves, especially against Dragons (those fear auras can really decimate 
your party).  Speaking of Fear Auras, the WPís is fun, but not particularly 
powerful or useful (as always, making your enemy run away just prevents you 
from killing him now).  Finally, Implacable Foe is almost worthless Ė the 
+20 HP are lost when the effect runs out, and theyíre not particularly useful 
to start with.  Level 10 is probably not the most useful WP level to shoot for.

Also, donít forget that the WP gets bonus spells, of which Battletide and 
Haste are most noteworthy.  Battletide is especially useful for non-Cleric 
WPs, and Haste is useful in almost every situation, though each use the WP 
level for caster level, and thus tend to run out pretty quickly.

Sample Build: Druid 14 / WP 6.  Very fun, powerful build.  Still gets 9th 
level spells, still gets access to Oaken Resilience and Elephantís Hide, and 
many of the WP bonuses, including Battletide. No elemental shaping, but one 
of the most powerful Shapechange (Lv 9 spell) users in the game, if not THE 
best. Druids make excellent WPs in general, because they get both Diplomacy 
and Spot as class skills. Plus, Plant Shape is pretty darn decent.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WEAPON MASTER (WM)

Requirements: BAB +5; Weapon focus (Any melee weapon), Dodge, Mobility, Spring
Attack, Whirlwind; Intimidate 4.

Niche: Critical hitting damage monkey.

Description:  When itís not even in the 3.5ed rulebook, you know itís probably 
overpowered for CRPGs.  And lo and behold, it is!  If youíre the kind of player
who doesnít mind marrying yourself to your weapon, get ready for some of the 
most obscene damage available.  The class nets you an increased critical hit 
range and increased critical multiplier.  What does that mean?  A longsword 
makes a critical threat on 20-sided-die rolls of 19 or 20.  So 10% of die 
rolls will be critical hits.  A WM with longswords as the weapon of choice 
makes a critical threat on any rolls from 17-20, meaning 20% chance for 
critical hits.  Further, longswords normally cause double damage on a critical 
hit; for WMs, a weapon of choice longsword causes triple damage instead.  Over 
the course of a round, WMs can do stupid amounts of critical damage to enemies,
and Whirlwind Attack can assist in ramping this up, too.

Also not to sniff at is Ki Damage, which is activated in the same way as a 
Smite Evil attempt, but does maximum damage like the NW9ís All-Out Assault.  
Combat Expertise works well in conjunction with Whirlwind, as Whirlwind lets 
you mete out damage through a whole group of enemies with good attack bonus, 
but without focus the enemies wonít drop as rapidly; Combat Expertise can keep 
you alive until everyone drops at once.  

WMs are not quite as ridiculous as FBs, because WMs require much greater focus 
on a single weapon type, a huge number of feats a warrior may not normally 
take, and 13 Dex and Int (also not the first choices for the average meleer).  
Plus, WMs are vastly weakened when fighting the gobs of undead in the game,
as well as constructs and numerous other crit-immune foes.

There is no real point to taking levels in WM past 7; no further abilities 
except extra Ki Damage uses are gained.  Levels of Fighter are nearly a 
requirement for WMs, because of the sheer number of feats necessary.  
Barbarians also make good WMs, because they have Intimidate as a class skill, 
and add extra damage, HP, etc.  Any melee class can benefit from WM levels, 
however, they must weigh the advantages of the class against the costs of 
attaining it.

Sample Build: Paladin 9 / Fighter 4 / Weapon Master 7. If you want ridiculous 
damage, look no further.  Itís no secret that Smite Evil and the slew of other 
Paladin damage boosters mesh well with critical hits.  Itís not all that 
difficult to do well over 100 damage in a single hit with this kind of build.  
Also, the Holy Avenger is a longsword, so you know from the start of the OC 
what weapon to pick.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Contact Info:

I would prefer that questions about PrCs (and, if possible, this guide) be 
directed to the message boards at GameFAQs.  This prevents my email from being
flooded.  However, any comments, compliments, concerns, or other notable Ďcí 
words can be directed to me at: 
ratwhowouldbeking@gmail.com

Version Info:

Version 1.10 - Many updates to account for both expansions (very belatedly).

Version 1.00 - First draft.  Also last?  One can only hope!

Acknowledgements: 

No specific thanks as yet, but I would like to acknowledge the message board 
members here at GameFAQs (and the administration for keeping things running, 
as well) for always providing comments and food for thought over my years of 
character-building.

Thanks to Obsidian for making this gameÖ well, borderline playable, at least.

Gínight, kids.

Copyright 2007, Neil McMillan.
 

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