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 Neverwinter Nights 2 Weapon Master Guide

 
   
 
 
Neverwinter Nights 2 Weapon Master Guide

=================
  Weapon Master
=================

Neverwinter Nights 2
Weapon Master Guide

Version: 1.0 (Last updated 2008-05-14)

by Wazat (aka Dan Hale)
See the Contact section below for an e-mail address.

Copyright 2008 Dan Hale


This guide is meant for players of both the NWN2 Original Campaign (OC) and
Mask of the Betrayer (MOTB) expansion.



================
= Introduction =
================



For those of you who do not relish in playing as the dumb fighter who does
nothing but "HULK SMASH AAARGH!", but instead want a smart and effective
combat character with some cool features, this may be the class for you. 
Weapon Masters have above-average intelligence and dexterity, and a knack for
critical hits.  Instead of merely hitting an enemy really hard, they hit an
enemy where it really hurts.

This leads us to the great strength of the class.  The Weapon Master (from
here on known as WM) is the ultimate critical hit expert.  He gets criticals
much more often, and deals more damage with them.  This is devastating against
many enemies, especially if you toss in Power Attack and other modifiers
because their damage bonus multiplies during a critical.  For example, a WM
with 22 strength and a falchion +5, and having learned Greater Weapon
Specialization and Improved Power Attack could do 100-130 damage per critical,
without even counting other damage boosts he might have.  And he will critical
*often*.

However, the weapon master's great flaw is his focus on criticals.  He offers
precious little else in the 7 levels you'll be taking.  Many enemies are
completely immune to critical hits, including spirits, undead, elementals,
constructs, and some bosses.  Some of these enemies (such as undead and
elementals) are common just about wherever you go, and some campaigns (like
MOTB), are saturated with critical-immune enemies.  Bringing a weapon master
up against a swarm of undead isn't suicide -- he'll kick butt just like a
fighter or any other combat character.  However, those 7 levels of critical
hit focus are a bit lost on such creatures, given the effort you put into
meeting the WM requirements.

The second problem with WM is the stiff requirements.  You need no less than
6 feats to unlock the class.  Granted, weapon focus, spring attack and
whirlwind attack are extremely useful feats... but if they weren't on the menu
already, some builds will struggle to grab up all the requirements and still
get any of the other feats they wanted.  The Weapon Master path also delays
its real bonuses until levels 5 and 7, so it's fairly late in starting to
perform compared to some prestige classes.  You also need to put in all 7
levels to get the real benefit.  Cutting short at level 6 or less is a bad
idea considering what you paid to get this far.

The third and final limitation is that a weapon master chooses a single
weapon and focuses like crazy on it.  If you're not worried about limiting
your weapon selection, or you're already going to get weapon focus, improved
critical, and/or weapon specialization, etc then this will not be a problem
for you -- in fact, the WM will further enhance the focus.  Just note that if
you focus in falchions and then find a truly awesome greatsword, using it
instead of a falchion will prevent you from getting the WM bonuses.

Those caveats aside, the WM kicks ass when he's used correctly.  Without
criticals he's still a potent fighter...  And when he can critical an opponent
he criticals frequently and violently.  His requirement feats are not
throwaways either, and will serve you well.  What's more, great cleave and
whirlwind attack both allow critical hits with each of their attacks, so you
can spread the joy all around.

The weapon master has a very notable Achilles’ heel when fighting
critical-immune enemies, but is a very worthwhile class to invest in for any
combat-oriented character.  And this guide is meant to help you get the most
out of him.



=====================
= Table of Contents =
=====================



Section I      Class Features

Section II     Class Requirements

Section III    Ability Scores

Section IV     Races

Section V      Base Classes

Section VI     Other Classes

Section VII    Weapons

Section VIII   Skills

Section IX     Ye Olde Feat List

Appendix A     Understanding Critical Hits

Appendix B     Sample Builds

Appendix C     Acronyms and Definitions

Section X      Credits

Section XI     Contact

Section XII    Copyright

Section XIII   Changes




=============================
= Section I: Class Features =
=============================



The weapon master's class feats are the reason for taking the class.  The d10
hit die is nice, and he has high BAB growth, but the feats are the true
prize.

Hit Die:        d10
Skill points:   2 + Int modifier
Class skills:   Craft Weapon, Intimidate, Lore, Parry, Taunt

No added proficiencies
High BAB (base attack bonus) progression
High Reflex saves
Low Fortitude and Will saves

BAB Notes:
* Your base attack bonus is important for increasing your attacks per round,
increasing your attack roll, and qualifying you for feats.  You gain an
additional attacks at BABs 6, 11, 16, 21, and 26.
* High BAB means the class adds 1 to your Base Attack Bonus per class level.
* Medium skips the first of every 4 class levels (levels 1, 5, 9, etc), but
gives +1 on all other levels (giving approximately 3/4th high BAB growth).
* Low only gives +1 only on even class levels (half that of high growth).

-----------
Class Feats
-----------
Note that these feats ONLY apply to the weapon of choice you picked when
selecting weapon master.  The purpose for taking WM kicks in at levels 5 and
7, where your weapon's multiplier increases by 1 and then its critical
threshold increases by 2, making you hit harder and more often with critical
hits.

Weapon of Choice
----------------
This feat doesn't actually do much, it's just a way for the player to pick
which weapon to apply the Weapon Master abilities to.  You should keep in mind
that the other abilities won't apply to any other type of weapon.  When you
choose a weapon with this feat, you can only select the weapon(s) you have
Weapon Focus for.

Ki Damage
---------
You gain this feat as soon as you start taking levels, and you can use it
once per WM level per day.  It's not all that great, however.  Look at the
other feats offered for the real prize.
You attack an enemy normally with each use of this ability.  If the attack
hits, it automatically inflicts your weapon's maximum damage.  This means a
falchion's 2d4 will deal 8 damage, and a greatsword's 2d6 will do 12 damage
(plus any other damage modifiers, which are not maximized).

This ability does allow critical hits, but only one multiple of the weapon's
damage appears to be maximized (it's weird).  Mithdradates tells us:
"Unless this has been changed from NWN, Ki strike only maxes the roll on the
weapon damage once, i.e. if you have an x3 multiplier with a falchion and you
critical with ki strike that gets converted into 8+4D4 instead of 24."

The maximum damage does not apply to magical damage bonuses on the weapon,
such as +1d6 fire damage (only the weapon's base damage is affected).  If
early on a creature's damage reduction is giving you problems, this ability
may help you deal enough damage to get a bit past it.  The Weapon Master class
has much more than this to offer though, so read on.

Increased Multiplier
--------------------
Level 5 is where the WM starts to shine.  Your weapon's critical multiplier
increases by +1.  This means if you're using a falchion, which has a x2
multiplier, it becomes a x3 multiplier.  Likewise x3 becomes x4, and x4
becomes x5.  Gained at 5th level.  See the Understanding Critical Hits section
for more info on what this means.

Superior Weapon Focus
---------------------
This adds another +1 to your attack roll.  It's like another Weapon Focus
that stacks with all the weapon focus feats (greater and epic included).  Also
gained at 5th level.

Ki Critical
-----------
At 7th level, you become a critical hits god or goddess.  This feat increases
your weapon's threat range by 2. For example, a falchion normally has a threat
range of 18-20, but with this feat it threatens on a 16-20.  The Keen property
or Improved Critical feat will stack with this (though it doubles the 18-20
not the 16-20), producing a falchion that threatens on 13-20.  See the
Understanding Critical Hits section for more info on what this means.



==================================
= Section II: Class Requirements =
==================================



Abilities
---------
Dexterity:          13
Intelligence:       13
Base Attack Bonus:  +5

Skills
------
Intimidate: 4

Feats
-----
Weapon Focus in a *melee* weapon
Combat Expertise
Dodge
Mobility
Spring Attack
Whirlwind Attack

-----
Notes
-----

Weapon Focus must be taken in a melee weapon, so nothing ranged will qualify
(bows, throwing axes, etc).  Unfortunately, unarmed attack doesn't work
either.  :(  Note that you have to have weapon focus in a weapon to select it
as your weapon of choice.  You can't get weapon focus in one weapon and then
use a different weapon for your Weapon Master's weapon of choice unless you
have weapon focus in it too (and for a weapon master, taking weapon focus in
two weapons is usually fruitless).

4 ranks in intimidate is an easy requirement to meet.  Even if it's a
cross-class skill, you can reach a rank of 4 by level 5.

The feats, on the other hand, may present a challenge.  Fighters are the most
equipped for this hurdle because they get a bonus feat on the first level and
every even level afterwards, in addition to the feats normally gained by all
classes.  Thus, a level 6 fighter has gotten at least 7 feats by level 6,
allowing her to start taking WM levels as early as level 7.  Human fighters
will have gotten 8 feats.

Other base classes will only gain a feat every 3 character levels (1, 3, 6,
9, 12, 15, 18), and every odd level once they become epic (21, 23, 25, 27,
29).  Thus a non-human barbarian would have to wait until a minimum level of
16 to take his first level in WM, assuming he spent his feats on nothing else.
 This is not a great strategy for characters not meant to enter epic levels
(above level 20) because you need to get all 7 WM levels for the class to pay
off.

Generally, taking at least 2 levels of fighter is the best way to satisfy the
feat requirement when you're not going to build an epic character and put off
WM until later levels.  This tends to be easy since most races that work well
for WM also have fighter as a favored class (see the Races section below).  A
non-human barbarian could start taking WM levels at level 10 this way.  Being
a human or Strongheart halfling is another option, because they gain 1 extra
feat at level 1, and you can start taking WM by level 13.  A human barbarian
who takes only 2 levels of fighter and times them strategically can start
taking WM levels as early as level 7, just like a pure fighter (see the Sample
Builds section).

Remember that the Base Attack Bonus requirement for both Weapon Master (+5)
and Spring Attack (+4) will prevent you from taking WM levels much earlier
than level 7 (in this case you will finish the 7 WM levels on level 13). 
Don't be in too much of a rush to start into the class if doing so causes you
problems, as your base class should be holding its own on the way.

The ability requirements should not be too hard to satisfy, and are quite
helpful (unlike a high wisdom or charisma bonus on a character that won't use
them for anything else).  Getting Dexterity and Intelligence to 14 (for the
full +2 bonus) will cost you 12 points out of 32 on the point buy system in
NWN2 (more or less depending on your race), but the extra 2 AC and 2 skill
points gained from these stats can be very beneficial.  Even better, they will
qualify you for more feats (such as Improved Knockdown) that can be helpful to
you.



===============================
= Section III: Ability Scores =
===============================



A Weapon Master has the following minimum ability requirements:  Dex 13, Int
13.  These requirements come not from the class, but from the feats that it
requires.  Dodge needs 13 dexterity, and Combat Expertise needs 13
intelligence.

As long as you meet those requirements you're off to a good start, though you
don't have to meet requirements at level 1, since you can increase them as you
level.  Remember, you'll get 5 additional points (levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20)
plus an additional 2 when you become epic (levels 24 and 28).  So even if you
skimp a little on some abilities at level 1, you can even them out over time.

If you do this, just make sure you have enough time to meet those
requirements by the time you want to start learning the feats that depend on
them.  If you want to start taking WM as soon as possible, I recommend you
have 13 in Dex and Int at level 1.


Beyond satisfying class requirements, you'll want to make sure your ability
scores support your build's focus as much as possible.  Here are my thoughts
on each:


Strength
The strength modifier gets added to your attack roll and your damage roll. 
Characters holding their weapon in both hands get 1.5x this bonus in the
damage roll, so they have even more incentive to focus on this.  It's also
important for increasing your carrying capacity, resisting knockdown, and a
few other uses.

Most combat characters want their strength to be as high as possible because
it helps their accuracy and damage.  Notable exceptions include Dexterity and
Intelligence characters who use Weapon Finesse and Combat Insight to take
strength more-or-less out of the picture (Weapon Finesse moves your attack
roll to Dex, Combat Insight does the same for damage roll using Int), or
characters relying on artificial boosts to their damage.

Unless you are doing something tricky like that, you'll probably want at
least a 14 or 16 in this stat to start with, if not much higher.  Some builds
can get away with lower, and you can certainly compensate with items, but make
sure you know what you're doing.  I generally pour all my future points from
leveling up into strength, though sometimes I boost constitution a bit or even
out other abilities (to get their full bonuses) too.

Dexterity
You need a minimum of 13 here to learn required WM feats (dodge, mobility,
spring attack), and will probably want more.  Note that Mithril Full Plate
armor give a maximum dexterity bonus to AC of 3, so up to 16 works fine even
for the fully armored rampaging fighter.

That said, if you don't have access to mithril, or you want to spend your
points elsewhere, 13 - 14 should be fine for most WMs.  I recommend doing 14
so you get the full +2 bonus, if you can spare the points.  It will be higher
for a character using two-weapon fighting, rangers who cannot equip the
stronger armors while dual-wielding, or anyone using high dexterity instead of
strength (using weapon finesse to compensate).

Constitution
Another important stat for combat characters, Con is a big deal because it
increases your health.  Constitution can be lower for more evasive or sneaking
characters.  I would say go no lower than 12 or 14.  Go even higher if you
wish to qualify for Epic Damage Reduction (which requires 21 before you can
start taking it).  Note that multiple uses of Epic Toughness is a good way to
compensate for low HP once you hit epic levels.

Intelligence
You need a minimum of 13 here.  I recommend you add another point to reach 14
and a +2 bonus.  Besides qualifying you for the necessary WM-required feat
Combat Expertise, Intelligence also increases the number of skill points you
have.  If you are building an Intelligence + Dexterity build (using combat
insight), and/or taking levels in Duelist or Invisible Blade this probably
should be considerably higher.

Wisdom
Unless you're a ranger, paladin or cleric, this is a very viable dump stat. 
Rangers & Paladins need up to 14 wisdom to cast their 4th-level spells (if
they are taking enough levels to get to 4th-level spells), though they can
wear an item to compensate (Periapt of Wisdom, for example).  Clerics need
even more.

Otherwise, all this stat will do for a combat character is increase their
will saves slightly.  An 8 or 10 will do for most fighters who are terrible at
will saves anyway.  You can compensate with an amulet of will if you're really
hurting.

Charisma
If you want a dump stat, here it is.  Charisma has little or no combat
relevance for a warrior.  Role-playing folks may not like their character
being ugly and unsexy, and anyone using dragon breath (RDD) or arcane
spellcasting for boosts will want it slightly higher, but of all the stats
available this is the best to neglect.



=====================
= Section IV: Races =
=====================



Weapon masters tend to like Strength for combat purposes, and they require
above average Dexterity and Intelligence to meet feat requirements.  This
makes some races significantly better than others.  Penalties like -2
Constitution or level adjustments are also very important to consider.  Here
I'll give my thoughts on each race as a potential candidate for a WM.

-----
Human
-----
Score: 5/5
Humans are an all-around good choice.  While they have no ability bonuses,
they gain an extra feat and extra skill points and do not face any ability
penalties.  The extra feat helps reach the WM requirements quickly too.

Another really nice feature is the favored class: any.  Whichever base class
is the highest level becomes your favored class, which can really help with
avoiding an XP penalty when you have multiple base classes in your build.

If you are unsure of what race to take, go with human.

-----
Dwarf
-----
Dwarves have naturally high Constitution, but supposedly they're ugly as sin
because their Charisma is penalized.  From a purely combat perspective, this
is a winning trade-off.  Roleplaying characters may resent the drop in
attractiveness, and characters doing a little arcane spellcasting for boosts
may have problems with it, but the average weapon master probably won't be
hurt.  Fighter is also their favored class, which helps if you need to take
two base classes.  Dwarves can also be dwarven defenders, if that's a class
you wish to combine with WM.

Shield Dwarf
------------
Score: 5/5
I recommend the Shield Dwarf for the +2 Con.  The -2 Charisma is not
hazardous to a WM at all, and unlike some other races there's no level
adjustment for shield dwarfs.

Gold Dwarf
----------
Score: 3/5
I don't care for the gold dwarf when making a WM.  The -2 intelligence is a
step backward.  That said, the -2 can be overcome if you really like the
constitution boost and don't want your charisma penalized.

Gray Dwarf
----------
Score: 3/5 (maybe more)
The gray dwarf adds some nice things like immunity to poison and paralysis,
but has a slight level adjustment so be aware of that.  +2 Con is welcome, and
the -4 to Charisma doesn't hurt much in combat unless you're starting as a
bard, combining with some other arcane spellcasting for boosts, or intending
to use the Red Dragon Disciple's breath attack.

---
Elf
---
Elves tend to suffer in the Constitution area, but many of them give nice
bonuses to other stats that will matter to WMs.

Moon Elf/Sun Elf
----------------
Score: 3/5
While a -2 Con hurts, both the moon and sun elves help you toward either your
dex or int requirement.  If elves appeal to you, these are a solid option. 
Unfortunately the wizard favored class isn't terribly helpful to most builds.

Wood Elf/Wild Elf
-----------------
Score: 4/5
Both of these trade a penalty in one of your required ability scores (int)
for a bonus in the other (dex).  If you're going to put extra points into Dex
for an AC bonus then these may be a really good idea.  Wild Elf does not have
the -2 Con if lower HP and feat requirements concern you.  Wood Elf adds +2
Str in exchange for -2 Con, which is nice in many WM builds.

Wood elves want to be rangers as a favored class and wild elves favor
sorcerer, curiously enough.  Sorcerer is not particularly useful for most WMs,
but some builds do benefit.

Drow
----
Score: 4/5
First off, the +2 level adjustment hurts...  That said, drow add +2 to both
dex and int (as well as charisma), and they have *massive* spell resistance. 
They could easily be a good choice for a WM because of this.  Be aware of the
wizard favored class, however, since it won't help most builds.  You do NOT
want to combine the +2 level adjustment with a multiclass XP penalty, as you
will level very slowly indeed.

--------
Half-Orc
--------
Score: 4/5
While the -2 intelligence hurts, it can be overcome.  The +2 strength is
worth-while, and the -2 charisma is generally unimportant.  The favored class
of barbarian can be helpful to some builds.

------------
Planetouched
------------
The planetouched races all have a +1 level adjustment.  This hurts a bit, but
not a lot.  The ability bonuses and other perks to these races can make them
very attractive.  Charisma is usually the ability that takes a penalty, which
works well since most WMs treat it as a dump stat.  All planetouched have some
sort of elemental resistance, and fighter is a common favored class, which is
a big plus to many multiclassing builds.

Tiefling and Air Genasi
-----------------------
Score: 4/5
Both these races add +2 to int and dex, your two requirements.  This lets you
boost those stats further if desired, or gives you more points to pour into
other stats.  The air gensai can use the equivalent of casting gust of wind
once a day to knock over enemies, and tieflings can cast darkness.  Tieflings
get more elemental resistance and don't have a wisdom penalty, if that matters
to you.

Earth Genasi
------------
Score: 4/5
I personally hate how the females of this race look, but that's frivolous. 
You gain a +2 bonus to str and con in exchange for -2 to int and charisma. 
The -2 to int is not terrible, but not exciting either.  Merge with stone
doesn't seem like it would be useful in later levels.  The fighter favored
class and +2 con adjustment can make earth gensai preferable to wood elves and
barbarians, depending on your focus.

Fire Genasi
-----------
Score: 3/5
Fire adds +2 Intelligence, and an aura of flame once a day.  This isn't
spectacular, but it isn't bad either.

Water Genasi
------------
Score: 2/5
You get +2 to Con in exchange for -2 to Charisma and a +1 level adjustment. 
Other compensations include a shrouding fog which adds concealment, but I
still think there are better options (such as shield dwarf).

Aasimar
-------
Score: 1/5
Their bonuses include +2 to Wisdom and Charisma (neither of which are helpful
to a typical WM), and paladin as a favored class.  Unless you are doing
something special like using paladin or cleric to start your WM, my personal
recommendation is to skip this one.

--------
Halfling
--------
Halflings offer a small size bonus to AC and attack, and they all trade
strength for dexterity.  This penalty to strength hurts most combat oriented
characters, but some may be able to turn that around.

Lightfoot Halfling
------------------
Score: 1/5
You're trading a -2 to strength for +2 in dexterity.  This is usually not a
good idea unless you're using weapon finesse and combat insight.  In my
opinion, strongheart are better in that case.

Strongheart Halfling
--------------------
Score: 3/5
Stronghearts are a fairly average race -- they're not horrible, but they're
not extremely good either.  While they take a hit to strength, stronghearts do
get more than just +2 dex.  They also get a bonus feat, similar to humans. 
They do not get the human's bonus skill points, however.  As small creatures
they are good at hiding, and their Rogue favored class lends itself further to
a sneaky build.

If you're building a weapon master from this race, one path you could take is
a dual wielder with high dexterity and intelligence, using weapon finesse and
combat insight to take strength out of the picture.  However, this is
certainly not necessary, as a -2 to strength is not extremely devastating in
melee combat (you can compensate).  Keep in mind that your carrying capacity
and weapon selection will shrink with this race too.

-----
Gnome
-----
Gnomes are not natural combat characters.  If you want to be small,
Strongheart Halflings are better.  Unless you're doing something special with
your WM that gnomes will lend themselves to, consider other options instead.

Rock Gnome
----------
Score: 1/5
The +2 Con does not compensate for the -2 Str.  If you're going to be a Dex &
Int focused character with weapon finesse and combat insight, halfling are
much better for this.

Deep Gnome
----------
Score: 1/5
These guys get a huge spell resistance, +2 Dex, and the small size can be
handy for the AC bonus.  However, they pay dearly for these perks with a +3
level adjustment, -2 strength, and limited access to weapons because of size. 
Not a prime choice for a WM.

--------
Half-elf
--------
Score: 2/5
Both the half-elf and half-drow are less potent versions of either humans or
elves.  They have no ability penalties or level adjustments, but no ability
bonuses either.  They also do not get the bonus feat, bonus skills, or spell
resistance of humans or drow.  The few elven bonuses and the favored class of
any can be handy, but they really aren't spectacular compared with what else
is available.

----------
Conclusion
----------

Human, Shield Dwarf, Tiefling, Air Genasi, Earth Gensai, Wild Elf, Wood Elf
and Drow are all very good picks.  Other races can do quite well based on your
focus (especially if you're interested in role-playing, not just combat
effectiveness), but be sure to not pick something that will severely hamper
you.  If you're not sure of what to pick, I recommend you go with humans.



===========================
= Section V: Base Classes =
===========================



Level 7 is the very earliest you can start putting levels into weapon master,
so you'll have to have at least 6 levels in another class first.  You'll also
need to take 7 levels of WM, probably no more and certainly no less.  This
means you may want to take a class that won't be too hurt by giving up those 7
levels.

Once you've unlocked WM or other prestige classes (such as Red Dragon
Disciple or Frenzied Berserker), you might choose to not even put levels into
this base class anymore.  Whether your base class is merely a place to start,
or the primary companion to Weapon Master, here are a few suggestions.  As
always, you can combine multiple base classes when it suits your needs (such
as fighter with barbarian), so long as you don't incur an XP penalty.

Fighter
-------
As the Requirements section above explains, Fighter has the easiest time
satisfying the requirements for WM.  All the required feats are in the fighter
bonus feats list, and a fighter gets lots of them.  The bonus feats come at
the first fighter level, and every even fighter level after that.  A level 6
fighter has gotten 7 feats, or 8 if he's human.  Fighters will continue to
gain extra feats as you take more levels, so you won't have problems gaining
the other feats you were interested in besides the WM requirements. 
Intimidate also comes as a class skill.

If you are not building a character that will go above level 20, consider
putting at least 2 levels into fighter to get some of the required feats out
of the way.  With a little tricky ordering of levels you can actually use
those two fighter levels to line yourself up for Weapon Master by level 7 (See
the Barbarian(11) + Fighter(2) + WM(7) in the Sample Builds section for an
example).

One final bonus is fighters have access to weapon specialization, and the
greater and epic versions of both weapon focus and weapon specialization. 
Focusing on a weapon this heavily is a good idea since your WM levels have
already started you on this path, and the specialization bonuses will multiply
during a critical.

Barbarian
---------
The barbarian is a nice alternative to fighter if you're willing to take
fewer feats (and have a slightly harder time qualifying for WM).  He gets more
skill points, the Rage ability, faster movement, and a few other nice perks.

Ranger
------
Rangers naturally do well at sneaking and dual-wielding builds, and you get
Perfect Two Weapon Fighting for free at level 21 regardless of what your
dexterity looks like (not to mention the other two-weapon fighting feats). 
This frees up a lot of ability points for your other abilities like Strength. 
You need to remember though that you cannot equip medium/heavy armor if you
want to use the dual-wielding feats, and so you'll be relying on dexterity and
enhanced equipment to keep your AC up.  Not all rangers are archers or
dual-wielders, however, so these armor restrictions need not apply to you if
you're going to use two-handed weapons or a sword and shield.

Another major advantage to rangers is the damage bonuses they offer against
favored enemies will multiply in a critical hit.  This means the +4 damage
against your favorite victims can multiply out to 12 or more in a critical. 
See the description for Favored Power Attack for even more damage amplifying
fun.  This means a ranger doesn't need to be a two-weapon fighter to become an
extremely effective WM build.

Rogue
-----
While sneak attack does not multiply with critical hits (see the
Understanding Critical Hits section), rogues can be a fine choice for a sneaky
WM with focus on dual-wielding kukris.  They also add tumble and use magical
device as class skills, improved evasion and crippling strike, and a host of
other perks.  Note that rogues do not get martial weapons for free, but a
couple levels in fighter will fix that as well as help you get the feats
needed for WM.
#Keep in mind that because enemies that are immune to critical hits are also
immune to sneak attacks, rogues have the same weakness as weapon masters
against critical-immune creatures.  In epic levels they can learn the Epic
Precision feat though, which allows half sneak attack damage (but doesn't give
critical hits).

Cleric
------
A few levels of cleric open up some handy spellcasting, and the Time domain
can let you cast haste.  Divine spells also do not face spell failure from
armor, so you can gear up pretty heavily without worry.  However, this class
adds Wisdom as a needed ability score, and to some extent Charisma (for
turning and some other abilities), and you'll need to pour a lot of levels
into it before you can unlock WM or get to more powerful cleric spells.

Clerics make a good supporting class to put a few levels into and get some
minor spellcasting, but perhaps don't use them as a major class in your build.
 The spell levels and DC lost by taking WM levels may hurt quite a bit unless
you can make up for them in epic levels.

Paladin
-------
For similar reasons as clerics, paladins can be a hard sale for WM.  However,
paladins have better BAB growth and do not suffer quite as much from giving up
7 or more levels to other classes like WM.  Paladins also do not gain very
high spell levels (same as ranger), so their wisdom requirement is not as
imposing.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to paladin is that Smite Evil multiplies in a
critical hit.  Since smite damage is based on character level instead of
paladin level, at level 20 you'll be doing 20 damage per smite, and the damage
continues to increase in epic levels (up to 30, and some feats can increase it
further).  This gets nasty when a smiting Weapon Master criticals, multiplying
the smite damage by x3 or higher.  Just keep in mind that you can only smite a
few times per day, while abilities like Power Attack and Greater Weapon
Specialization can be always active.

Bard
----
While bard may seem like an odd choice for a combat character, it does open
up access to the Red Dragon Disciple class, which can provide some major
ability boosts.  +8 Strength and +2 Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma is
nothing to sneeze at, not to mention the other free feats like blind fighting
and dragons breath, immunity to sleep and fire, etc.  A bard's medium attack
bonus and d6 hit die may be a bit unattractive, but bard makes a solid base
for some very effective builds (I usually do either 1 or 5 levels of bard for
my RDD builds).

As an added bonus, putting 3 points in perform will let you use Inspire
Courage, an inspiration which can be passively affecting your party all the
time.  This adds a minimum of +1 to all attack and damage rolls of you and all
nearby allies, and the bonus increases with your bard levels and multiplies
during critical hits.

All this makes bard a surprisingly decent base for WM, especially if you want
to pursue other prestige classes like RDD or Duelist.



=============================
= Section VI: Other Classes =
=============================



The seven levels of WM, and a minimum of 6 levels of fighter and/or more in
another class to reach it, will leave up to 7 more levels to fill with other
classes for non-epic characters, and 17 for epic characters.  Many builds
won't be taking WM until late levels and may take something other than the
base class until then, such as another prestige class.  If you want to branch
away from the class that opened up WM for you, here are a few suggestions.  I
have some examples in the Sample Builds section.

Frenzied Berserker (aka FB)
------------------
FBs add more than just the Rage ability.  They give Enhanced Power Attack at
level 5, which means if you are using Improved Power Attack and a two-handed
weapon you'll do an additional +20 damage with every attack!  May I remind you
that power attack damage multiplies during a critical...

Frenzy and Supreme Cleave are excellent abilities as well.  Supreme cleave
lets you smack 2 enemies per cleave, and Frenzy adds a minimum of +6 strength
and gives an extra attack as though you were hasted, in exchange for an AC
penalty and 6 damage per round.  Frenzy also stacks with barbarian Rage
(though the bonuses cap at +12).  Just 5 levels of FB are an excellent
investment.  I suggest you use a two-handed weapon for the biggest benefit,
and get your Con modifier up a bit so your rage lasts for more than a few
rounds.  The added bonuses from strength and power attack can produce insane
damage output, with or without critical hits.  And know that your WM levels
will amplify the damage through critical hits like crazy.  :)

Red Dragon Disciple (aka RDD)
-------------------
A strength-focused WM would do well to look into Red Dragon Disciple levels. 
RDD adds +8 Str and +2 to Con, Int, and Cha, several nice feats (like blind
fight and dragon breath), bonus AC, and immunity to fire, paralysis, and
sleep.  The only requirements are a level in bard or sorcerer (I suggest bard)
and 8 ranks in lore.  This means you can start taking RDD levels by level 6. 
It's an excellent class for a combat build to invest in as long as it can
afford to devote 5 or 11 levels (1 in bard/sorc + 4 or 10 in RDD).
These ability score boosts are permanent too -- they count toward feat
requirements and do not count against the maximum +12 ability boost from
magical and bonus effects, so you can also add another +8 or +10 strength with
a belt or other item you craft or buy (or with rage/frenzy) for an insane
strength total.  The ability score boost has another use in a WM build.  Some
characters will start out at 12 intelligence, take RDD early, and by the time
they can take weapon master levels their intelligence has risen to 14 to
satisfy the requirements for Combat Insight.
Typically, you will want to take either 4 levels in RDD (for +4 str, +2 AC
and dragon breath), or all 10 levels for the full benefit.  Check the Sample
Builds section for more info.

Dwarven Defender
----------------
Only if you're a dwarf can you take this class.  If you want to move around a
lot in combat then you may not get the most out of this class... but for a
character who likes to plant himself solidly in one spot and *dare* the enemy
to come at him, Dwarven Defender is a nice choice.  You gain 4 extra AC,
damage reduction 6/-, Improved Uncanny Dodge (don't lose dexterity AC bonus,
and hard to sneak attack), and the Defensive Stance feat which works similar
to an immobile barbarian rage.  Plus you already have the required Dodge feat
from your WM levels.

Invisible Blade or Duelist
--------------------------
I've made a few builds that were dexterity and intelligence focused, and used
weapon finesse and combat insight to take the focus off of strength.  The
Weapon Master plays well with this, since his dex and int are already above
average and a focus on kukris can be deadly.  Such a build benefits massively
from levels in either Invisible Blade (IB) or Duelist.  Since you've mostly
taken strength out of the picture, your dexterity and intelligence scores can
be quite high indeed (especially with proper item crafting, which can add
another 8 to Dex and Int through a helm and belt).

- Invisible Blade is excellent for a dual-wielding character.  You might
already have weapon focus in a kukri for your WM levels.  It adds bleeding
wound and up to +5 AC from your intelligence bonus.  Note though that bleeding
wound is pretty useless against creatures with damage reduction.  :(

- Duelist is best for WMs when focused on a Rapier.  You'll need to hold it
one handed (not duel-wield) and not carry a shield to get the full benefits of
the class.  The duelist excels at Parrying if you're into that.  It also gives
some nice feats like Precise Strike and Flourish, and adds up to 10 AC from
your intelligence modifier (though you'd have to be at 30 intelligence to get
the maximum, so 22 Int plus a Headband of Intellect +8 would do it).

Sadly, Precise Strike is blocked by critical hit immunity just like the WM's
mass criticals and rogue sneak attacks (because it targets vulnerable or
critical parts of the body to deal more damage).  However, the damage is
pretty steady when it does work.  Mithdradates and Countless tell us that due
to what appears to be a bug or quirk in its implementation, Precise Strike
apparently multiplies in a critical hit (despite being variable damage), and
Flourish may too.  So, if you're not fighting critical-immune creatures the
automatic +2d6 damage goes well with WMs.

Bard, Wizard or Sorcerer
------------------------
Combat characters can benefit greatly from a few spellcasting levels,
especially in a low-magic world where enhancements and damage bonuses on
weapons and other equipment are rare!  Bull's Strength (+4 strength), Bear's
Endurance (+4 constitution), and Cat's Grace (+4 dexterity) are 2nd level
spells (requires at least 3 levels in the spellcasting class), and Haste, Keen
Edge, Improved Mage Armor, Heroism, and Rage (spell) are 3rd level (requires
at least 5 levels in spellcasting class).  If any of these appeal to you,
consider a few levels of wizard or sorcerer.  Bards have slightly different
progression and will take longer to reach some spells (and simply will not
gain others), but they get some nice inspirations and songs that may be a good
trade off.  Many races have wizard as a favored class, making it easier to add
a few levels of wizard without incurring a nasty XP penalty.

Keep in mind that caster level can be a problem in beating an enemy's saves
or spell resistance, so try to avoid attack spells.  Your caster level will
also affect the duration of your spells, so try to select spells that have 1
minute/level or preferably 1 hour/level, rather than 1 round(6 seconds)/level.
 Haste, for example, is an incredibly useful 3rd-level spell that will
disappear in just a few rounds when your caster level is low, so be mindful of
that.

Another caveat to be aware of is Base Attack Bonus.  Wizard and Sorcerer have
low BAB, and thus may deny you the full 4 attacks at 16 BAB (6 attacks for
epic characters at 26 BAB), or drop your attacks even lower.  Arcane spells
also conflict with armor and shields.  To avoid spell failure you'll either
have to take your heavy armor off before boosting yourself (which you cannot
do during combat), or you will have to wear no armor at all (which some builds
do well with, such as dex-focused dual wielders or invisible blade/duelist).

Arcane spellcasting relies on the Charisma stat, which is typically a dump
stat for combat builds.  You'll need 12 charisma to cast 2nd-level spells, 13
to cast 3rd, and so on.  Because of the lost levels, lowered BAB, and the
charisma requirement, it's always better to have a fellow party member who's
dedicated to spellcasting be your arcane support instead of doing it yourself,
unless you don't have that option.  Don't dilute your build if you don't need
to.

Harper Agent
------------
Haha, just kidding...



========================
= Section VII: Weapons =
========================



Because a weapon master is inherently focused on a single weapon, it's
important to know which one will be most beneficial to choose.  While there
are oh, so many weapons in NWN2, some are much better than others for a WM.

Remember Your Goal
------------------

I was once told that any weapon master that doesn't take a falchion, scythe,
scimitar, kukri, or rapier as his chosen weapon is cheating himself.  Remember
that the WM is heavily focused on milking those critical hits to their
maximum.  The falchion, scimitar, rapier and kukri focus on getting a critical
hit as often as possible, while the scythe hits as hard as possible when it
does critical.

In theory the falchion and scythe do nearly the same damage in a WM's hands
on average, but the falchion will produce a more reliable stream of criticals
when you need them.  A scimitar is a nice alternative to the falchion since it
has a high critical threshold and its base damage isn't much lower, it's used
two-handed by default, and you can equip a shield off-hand when you want to.

I strongly recommend you pick one of the weapons above (depending on what you
want the weapon to do).  You can certainly pick something else (like a
greatsword), but you won't be getting as much use out of the weapon master's
advantages.

Play to Your Strengths
----------------------

The falchion and scythe are large, and thus two-handed weapons.  This allows
you to use 1.5x your strength bonus when doing damage.  Note that medium
weapons will do the same if you are not holding a shield, so a scimitar gets
the same bonus as a falchion.  The difference in base damage between a large
and medium weapon usually isn't very significant (2-8 damage vs 1-6 is tiny...
as we'll demonstrate later in the guide).  A scimitar also has a huge added
advantage because you can equip a shield off-hand anytime you need to, trading
the 1.5x strength bonus to damage for a bunch more AC.  When you remove the
shield, the scimitar goes back to being two-handed automatically.

On the other hand, other builds are dual-wielders.  A kukri is a light
weapon, making it ideal for two-weapon fighting (and sneak attacks if you're
going down that route).  The kukri's focus on criticals makes it much better
for a weapon master than a short sword or dagger.  Rapiers are another weapon
with a wide critical threshold, so consider them too.  Keep in mind though
that Power Attack won't work for a light weapon, and you lose half of your
strength bonus with your offhand weapon's damage roll.  You make up for this
by getting many more attacks per round when dual-wielding.

Keep Your Priorities Straight
-----------------------------

Don't sweat the base damage.  Even though there are many weapons with a
higher base damage than these, I strongly recommend that most Weapon Masters
take one of the big 3 in frequent criticals: the falchion, the scimitar, or
the kukri.  These are best suited to play to a Weapon Master's interests --
criticals.  Scythes and Rapiers can work too, depending on your focus. 
Remember, power attack, weapon specialization, a weapon's enhancement bonus,
and a number of other damage bonuses will easily out-perform the weapon's base
damage, and most damage bonuses multiply in a critical hit to produce immense
damage.

Because of this, the weapon's base damage isn't nearly as important compared
to its threshold and multiplier, and the other damage modifiers you're dishing
out.  The difference between a falchion's 2d4 and a greatsword's 2d6 isn't
much compared to a +4 from greater weapon specialization, +12 from using
improved power attack, and/or +5 enhancement bonus on the weapon, all of which
are multiplied during critical hits.  The same goes for the difference between
a falchion and a scimitar (2d4 vs 1d6).

What's your Focus?
------------------

Ultimately, these are my recommendations for the big 3 types of builds:

a) For a sword and shield combination, the scimitar is a great weapon.  Other
weapons like falchion or scythe become available if you get Monkey Grip, but
you'll take a -2 penalty to attack (which isn't really worth it).

b) For a two-handed fighter who wants the 1.5x strength bonus, a falchion or
scimitar works best.  A scimitar is also a good idea if for some reason you
choose a halfling (and there are reasons) and can't equip large weapons.  A
scythe comes in as a close second since it hits hard when it does critical
(though I prefer frequent criticals myself).

c) For a two-weapon fighter (or other light weapons and dexterity-focused
builds), kukris will serve you very well IF you can get martial weapon
proficiency without problems (some dual wield builds do not get it naturally).
 Rapiers are another nice option.  Just remember that you can only focus fully
in one weapon, so you want weapons you can hold in each hand when
dual-wielding without major penalties.  A scimitar in each hand, for example,
comes at a nasty cost to your attack roll.


Remember that because a medium weapon like the scimitar automatically becomes
two-handed when your offhand is free, it lets you switch between the sword and
shield style and the two-handed style interchangeably.  When you need AC more
than the 1.5 strength bonus, you can equip a shield.  Then you can remove it
when you want more damage.  I highly recommend the scimitar (even over the
falchion), for this reason.


MOTB Special
------------

(this section contains some minor spoilers on creature types and a couple of
special weapons found in MOTB)

In MOTB many enemies are immune to critical hits.  However, the player is
able to obtain (through sidequests) two weapons with the "Ruin" feat.  One is
a Rapier named "Elemental's Ruin", and the other is a Falchion named
"Transcendent Edge".  Transcendent Edge doesn't have much else on it that
would prevent you from enhancing it further with your party's mages (+8
enhancement bonus etc), and the Elemental's Ruin rapier, while already fully
enhanced, isn't bad.  Since elementals and spirits are common, players may
want to find these weapons.

But what does the Ruin feat do?  Well, it lets you use critical hits and
sneak attacks against a creature type that's immune to them!  For example, you
usually can't use critical hits against an elemental because they're immune,
but the Elemental's Ruin feat makes it so you can.  The weapon named
Elemental's Ruin has the feat of the same name, which affects all elementals
(such as those summoned by enemy mages, or found throughout the game... it
should also include druids using Elemental Shape).  Transcendent Edge has the
"Spirit's Ruin" feat, which affects all spirits (generally the telthors, but
undead may qualify sometimes as well because of the way MOTB is done).

This makes these weapons desirable for a weapon master who wants to be
getting critical hits like crazy, since MOTB's most common creatures are
critical-immune.  If you're playing a Weapon Master in MOTB and have focused
in either Rapier or Falchion, look for these weapons.

***Minor/Moderate SPOILER***

The falchion can be obtained from the Ice Troll Lodge.  You can choose to
either complete the sidequests there (twice), or simply challenge them all to
a fight.  Whatever works for you.  :)  Just know that fighting them all at
once can be quite the challenge... I had a blast when I tried it (as a level
22 Frenzied Berserker/Red Dragon Disciple/Fighter), and almost didn't survive.
 Just note that there are several sidequests (and thus XP) that you'll miss
out on if you wipe them out too early, so I recommend you do the sidequests
they give you instead.

IndyAnna tells us that Elemental's Ruin can be found in the barrow at the
beginning of the game (thanks!  I had completely forgotten where it was!):
"I think the weapon is in the middle barrow. It's either in the area with the
ice creature or in one of the side areas in a chest."  The fact that it's
available so early in the game can be a big advantage.

***END SPOILER***

There are apparently three other Ruin feats, Death's Ruin (which affects
undead), Builder's Ruin (which affects constructs), and Nature's Ruin (which
I'm not sure about... perhaps magical beasts).  These feats could be placed on
a weapon by someone building their own campaign, but only the two weapons
mentioned above have been placed in the MOTB campaign.

Luckmann tells us that a hackpack should make it possible to give these feats
directly to a player (instead of just putting them on an item) as part of the
module's storyline or sidequests, such as from an NPC who is helping you fight
an undead army.  I'm guessing this would be a history feat such as "Dragon
Slayer" etc.  It may even be possible to set up a crafting system that lets
you put the ruin feats on a weapon.  Again, however, this does not happen in
MOTB and you should not count on seeing it.  :)



========================
= Section VIII: Skills =
========================



Lucky you: You're not playing a brainless brute that smashes enemies with his
forehead.  You're playing a weapon master, who has at least above-average
intelligence.  This translates to extra skill points, especially for a Human
(who gets 5 skill points per level with 14 intelligence).

I have listed a few below I wanted to mention as skills that are very handy
for many WM builds, including some that many players don't normally think of. 
More specialized skills like Hide and Move Silently are more up to you to
consider, since you know your build better than I do.

Note that if you want to take a lot of cross-class skills, or some of the
skills you like switch back and forth from class skill to cross-class
depending on which class you're leveling up at the time, you may want to take
the Able Learner feat to conserve your points and your sanity.  This is
described in the feats section.

------------------
Recommended Skills
------------------

Intimidate

You need at least 4 ranks here to qualify for WM.  Further points will aid
you in conversations, if you prefer to talk (or rather, shout and threaten)
your way through situations.  Powerful combat characters often don't though,
when doing so reduces their XP gained and opportunities to crush enemies for
fun and profit.

-

Parry

Some people don't care for parry, while others swear by it.  Your above
average intelligence boosts parry checks, and when focused on properly (with
improved parry etc) the parry mode becomes pretty effective at blocking enemy
attacks, even when you're surrounded.

NOTE however that there is a major bug in parry to be aware of.  When a
character has multiple attacks per round, NWN2 clusters these attacks into 3
groups at the beginning, middle and end of the round.  For some reason parry
doesn't block more than 1 attack per group, so a character with more than 3
attacks will start bypassing your parry with ease.  When enemies start getting
6 attacks or more (epic characters, greater flurry, two-weapon fighting,
haste, etc), this gets nasty!  Against normal enemies this usually isn't a
problem, but some enemies and most higher-level players do get more than 3
attacks per round.

I have seen extremely well-crafted parry builds (including duelists) torn to
pieces because of this flaw in the game's handling of the parry mode. 
Granted, parry doesn't exist in DnD (they made it up for NWN and NWN2) so
they're free to implement it as they please, but the fact that the description
gives no indication of this weakness has led most people to conclude that it's
a bug.

-

Heal

Healing kits are plentiful in the OC and MOTB, and they cure diseases.  I
recommend about 5-15 points in this skill if you want to use them instead of
relying on another party member.  Anytime you're facing undead swarms, you can
count on getting yourself and much of your party diseased repeatedly
throughout whatever quest you're on.  Healing kits are your first line of
defense against this (though clerics, druids, and others do quite well too).

-

Tumble

Note that tumbling itself is useless for a WM since you are getting Spring
Attack.  However, tumble is still an *excellent* skill to pour points into
because every 10 ranks gives you +1 base AC.  Thus, put either 0, 10, 20 or 30
points into it.  No more, no less (non-multiples of 10 are wasted).  Only the
base ranks (before your dexterity modifier is added) will count toward the AC
bonus, so what you see on your level up screen is what you get.

Keep in mind that epic characters can only reach up to 16 (which you should
round down to 10) and normal characters can only reach 11 (again, stop at 10),
if you do not put at least 1 level into a class that favors the skill (such as
rogue or bard).

-

Spellcraft

Spellcraft isn't just for spellcasters... It's helpful for combat characters
as well.  Every 5 ranks gives you +1 to saving throws against spells
(including those nasty mind-affecting or paralysis spells that exploit a weak
will save).  Thus, put 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 points into it.  Amounts
that aren't multiples of 5 are wasteful, so don't stop at 13 for example.  As
with tumble, you can only get as high as 11 or 16 (which you should round down
to 10 or 15) if you never take a class that favors it as a class skill.

-

Use Magical Device

Should you have extra points, here's a nice spot to dump them.  10 ranks here
should open up a lot of equipment to you.  You can add even more to gain
access to some of the really special items (you'll need a lot more in MOTB). 
It's so nice having the ability to use paladin-only gear, haste-casting lutes,
and scrolls, for example.

-----------
Iffy Skills
-----------

Appraise

If you have extra points, this can get you more money at the shops by
lowering the price of items and increasing the money you get back when
selling.  Sadly, having party members like Neeshka put points in Appraise
doesn't work... it has to be you that does it.

-

Craft Weapon

Unless you have a party member with you who can craft an alchemical silver or
cold iron blade of choice for you (such as in the OC or MOTB), this can be
really nice.  Martial weapons like a cold iron greatsword are easily crafted
with only 10 points in this skill (including your intelligence modifier). 
Unfortunately, you'll probably still need a party member to enchant the weapon
with a decent enhancement bonus etc.  If you aren't interested in crafting
your own weapons, this isn't going to be very interesting to you.

-

Craft Armor

As with craft weapon, craft armor can benefit you when you don't have party
members that can do it for you.  Craft Armor can give you the much coveted
Mithril Full Plate if you get it up to 15 (and it's boosted by your
intelligence modifier), and you can have a caster buddy enchant it from there.
 If you're not interested in crafting your own stuff, or you don't have a
party member to enchant it, probably skip this.

-

Lore

Once again, it's easy to just pass items to an NPC ally that has a high lore
skill.  However, if you want to do it yourself and you have the points for it,
go ahead and max your lore skill.

-

Taunt

Unlike in NWN1, Taunt in NWN2 seems like it would be helpful against enemies.
 If the enemy fails a will save, he loses 2 AC and 2 concentration.  This
makes it useful against both warriors and mages, especially since fighters and
other combat characters tend to have low will saves.  However, the real bonus
comes in you hit 5 ranks in the the skill because it starts affecting all
enemies in an area.  More points in the skill increases the area of effect,
and the DC of the taunt (5 + taunt skill).  Taunt can also occasionally be
used in conversations.

Unfortunately, taunting in battle provokes an attack of opportunity, and
taunting multiple times doesn't stack.  I haven't personally used this skill,
but I'm told the -2 AC is helpful.

-

Diplomacy or Bluff

Sometimes it's best to have a diplomatic touch, such as to persuade an NPC to
give better rewards when you finish a quest, or to talk your way out of a
dangerous situation.  Bluff is handy for anyone who wants to lie through
situations and isn't worried about morals, while diplomacy is more for the
peacemaker or negotiator.  If you don't like the idea of using Intimidate in
these cases, these skills are a fine alternative.  Bard, Paladin and Rogue are
good sources of diplomacy (as a class skill), and some will give you bluff as
well.

Keep in mind though that you will need a reasonable level in a conversation
skill to get a good use out of it, especially in some parts of the storyline
where the NPC's DC is quite high.



=================================
= Section IX: Ye Olde Feat List =
=================================



There's an awful lot of feats in the game.  Here's some notes on a few that
are great, okay, or worth avoiding entirely.


--------------
Required Feats
--------------
As discussed in the Requirements section above, there are 6 feats you need to
access this class.  Since they are not throw-away feats (and will instead
serve you very well), they're worth describing here.

Weapon Focus
------------
You get a +1 to the attack roll with your chosen weapon.  This is especially
nice early on when your BAB is pretty low.

Make sure you focus in the weapon you intend to take as your Weapon of Choice
as a weapon master, since you can only select weapons in which you have taken
weapon focus.  If you get weapon focus in multiple weapons (which I really
don't recommend for a WM), you'll have multiple options for a weapon of
choice.

Combat Expertise
----------------
Turning on this mode trades a -3 to attack rolls for a +3 in AC.  This can
occasionally be useful against swarms, or against large easy-to-hit enemies
that you want avoid taking damage from.  I tend to not use it, however (I
prefer power attack if I'm taking a hit to my attack roll).

Dodge
-----
You gain a +1 to AC against the enemy you are currently fighting or last
fought.  This is the enemy you are attacking or last attacked (if you are
running away etc), so it doesn't work against other enemies that are attacking
you from the sides and behind, but whirlwind attack is great for dealing with
those.

Mobility
--------
This gives you an automatic +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity. 
Nice for when you need to drink a potion or run away when combat gets too
hot.

Spring Attack
-------------
Never again will you provoke an attack of opportunity from moving around in
combat.  If you need to run past some enemies, run into a melee, run away to
escape death.... or just run circles around your enemies to piss them off....
they don't get to smear you for it.

Whirlwind Attack
----------------
You get to make an attack at full base attack bonus against all enemies in
melee range around you, and criticals can happen with each of these attacks! 
For me it's proven to be an excellent attack against swarms, especially if you
can provoke your enemies to surrounding you when you use it.

The attacks are made with your primary hand weapon, with whatever attack
bonuses you get with it.  Thus, high-strength (or otherwise high-accuracy)
characters will do the best at hitting and smearing their enemies.

Note that this is a full-round action, meaning you trade all your attacks
this round for one whirlwind attack.  So, don't use it when your normal
attacks will be more effective (only fighting one or two enemies, etc).


---------------
MUST HAVE Feats
---------------
These are feats that are so useful for a WM they might as well be required,
though you don't *have* to take them if you don't want to so simply don't have
enough feats to do it.

**Improved Critical**

This feat actually stacks with the WM's own critical threshold boosting, so
it's a great one to take to further milk a WM's critical hit focus.  I
strongly recommend getting this one, unless you prefer to use a mage ally's
Keen Edge spell.

If for some reason will always have the Keen property on your blades you can
skip this feat, though the feat is more effective because then you can put
other properties (like more damage) on your blade when crafting and/or you
don't have to rely on a mage ally to boost you all the time.  Don't combine
all the above though (keen + Improved Critical or Keen Edge), since Keen won't
stack with this feat and multiple instance of keen don't stack with each
other.

Ki Critical's +2 bonus to threshold is added after the threshold multiplies,
so a falchion would have a critical threshold of 13-20 (40% chance to threaten
a critical on every hit).


-----------------
Recommended Feats
-----------------

Luck of Heroes

You can only take this feat at the first level, so it could delay your
progress toward WM if you're hoping to hit it early (by level 6) and don't
have the feats to spare.  That said, this feat gives you +1 AC and +1 to all
saving throws.  This is one of the best defense feats in the game (beating out
two weapon defense, armor skin, etc).  If you can spare the feat, this one
comes highly recommended.

-

Power Attack
Improved Power Attack

This adds damage at the cost of some attack bonus.  The boost is pretty good
when holding a weapon in one hand, and becomes excellent when using a
two-handed weapon (+12 damage).  A Frenzied Berserker makes the boost awesome
at level 5 (Enhanced Power Attack, which boosts the bonus to +20 damage), if
you're investing in some FB levels.

Power Attack also doesn't care if the enemy is undead, construct, spirit, or
any other creature that's immune to criticals, so it could help round out your
character.  The damage bonus also multiplies during a critical hit, which can
be devastating to enemies!

That said, you take a hit to your attack roll, and power attack is not
helpful if you can't hit your enemy with it.  Power attack gives a -3 penalty
to attack, and improved gives a -6, so remember to turn it off when an enemy
gets too evasive.

Power Attack also will *not* add damage to a light weapon (but you still take
a penalty for having it active).  If you're running a dual-wield build or
otherwise using light weapons, don't get this feat.

-

Weapon Specialization
Greater Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon Specialization
Epic Weapon Focus (Epic)
Epic Weapon Specialization (Epic)

These feats add to your attack rolls (weapon focus) and damage rolls (weapon
specialization).  Higher accuracy and damage are a must for a combat
character, and a WM benefits greatly from this (especially since he is already
focused on a weapon).  Another nice point is that critical-immune creatures,
like the undead, spirits and elementals, cannot block this damage upgrade with
said critical immunity.  This is important since a WM relying heavily on
criticals to succeed may have a harder time against these creatures, or at
least be more annoyed by them.  Likewise, low-strength characters that aren't
compensating with lots of elemental enhancement on their weapon or feats like
Combat Insight could benefit from a +4 to damage.

Weapon specialization gives you a good, stable base damage that will be there
even when you have a bad damage roll, and it helps when enemies have damage
reduction and the like.  Weapon Focus helps considerably when fighting those
evasive enemies that just don't want to take a hit, and a higher accuracy also
increases the chances of confirming a critical.  It's a win-win for a weapon
master.

Weapon Specialization's damage bonus (including that of the Greater and Epic
versions) also multiplies during a critical hit, which is really powerful (see
the Understanding Critical Hits section) in WM hands.  Unlike power attack and
smite evil, these bonuses are active at all times without penalties or limits
on uses per day.  These feats also apply to all creature types, unlike the
damage bonus gained from ranger favored enemies.

That said, this large lump of feats is only available to those who get their
fighter class high enough.  Normal Weapon Focus is available to everyone, but
you need 4 levels of fighter for Weapon Spec, 8 for Greater and Epic Weapon
Focus, and 12 for Greater and Epic Weapon Spec.  Since Fighter is a natural
class of choice for WM because of the bonus feats, this is an excellent bunch
of feats to take when you're willing to pour more levels into the class.

-

Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting (Epic)

If you're playing a dual-wielder, you'll probably want to get as many of
these feats as possible.  This requires some extra dexterity (especially for
the epic feat, which requires 25), so your choice of race and ability point
distribution will be affected heavily by this focus.  Weapon Finesse is a good
idea for a two-weapon fighter, since you'll need 15, 17, 19, or 25 Dexterity
depending on how many of the feats you take, and weapon finesse will use that
high dexterity to hit enemies (if it's higher than your strength).

Rangers, of course, can gain the equivalent of these feats for free at class
levels 2, 6, 11 and 21.  They can use the feats so long as they are wearing
light or no armor.  It doesn't matter what your dexterity is, you still get
the feats (though a high dexterity is good for the AC gained, since you can't
wear medium or heavy armor and still use the feats).  The ranger feats also
count toward the requirements for classes and other feats.  For example,
Invisible Blade requires Two-Weapon Fighting, and the ranger feat satisfies
this.

-

Cleave
Great Cleave

Cleave gives you a free attack against a nearby enemy whenever you kill an
enemy, but only 1 per round, while great cleave lets you keep doing this until
you stop killing or there's nothing left to kill.  This is extremely useful in
the OC where swarms of smaller enemies are common, but MOTB turns the tide and
suddenly it takes a while to take almost any opponent down.  Cleave may help
in either case, but consider what types of enemies you'll fight before taking
great cleave.

That said, Weapon Masters add more reason to take great cleave because they
can get so many critical hits.  It's fun seeing a string of critical hit great
cleaves tear right through the enemies surrounding you.  Power Attack and
other bonuses work quite well in boosting the damage both for normal cleaves
and those that critical.  Frenzied Berserkers require these feats, and
actually make great cleave an extremely deadly weapon even when enemies are
too big to take out in a single hit (because you cleave twice per kill, and
two free attacks can be really nice).  With the right support, cleave and
great cleave can be absolutely deadly.

Abfinz says: In my opinion cleave is a must for high damage melee characters,
unless you plan on fighting one enemy at a time. Also, Great Cleave can be
useful even when it takes a few hits to take your enemies down, particularly
when you get to higher levels and have plenty of attacks to spare each round.
Simply put, if you can take out 2 or more enemies in a round, seriously
consider this one.

-

Great Strength (Epic)
Great Constitution (Epic)

Both these feats are extremely handy if you run out of other things to take
during epic levels.  They'll improve the corresponding ability by 1 and can be
taken multiple times.  You get a minimum of 5 epic feats by level 30 (more if
your base class hits epic levels and gives bonus feats), so you'll probably
have extra slots you want to fill with something genuinely useful.
Another reason to take these is to qualify for other feats.  Epic Damage
Reduction requires 21 Constitution, and one or two uses of Great Constitution
can help accelerate you to that point.

-

Epic Damage Reduction (Epic)

Assuming you are willing to meet the 21 Constitution qualification, this is a
pretty nice feat.  It can (and probably should be) taken multiple times,
giving you first 3/-, then 6/-, then finally 9/- damage reduction.  This means
all physical damage will be reduced by that amount, and there's no way to
bypass it (such as cold iron or darksteel).  A nice feat for beefcake
characters with already-high constitution.

Note that a character focused on barbarian gets damage reduction 5 at level
19, and 8 by level 28.  This feat gives even better than that, and stacks with
barbarian damage reduction if you have it.  I assume the same is true for the
6/- damage reduction gained by Dwarven Defender.  Fighters will have an easy
time grabbing this one as it's in their fighter bonus feat list.

-

Epic Toughness (Epic)

If you already have Toughness and you want even more HP, this is the feat to
take.  Each time you get it you gain 30 HP.  This is especially nice for
low-HP characters wanting to compensate the loss, and this feat has no
requirements other than Toughness and a level 21 character.


----------
Iffy Feats
----------

Able Learner

This feat makes cross-class skills cost only 1 point, just like class skills.
 It doesn't remove the maximum level of cross-class skills (half your class
skills' maximum), but once you've taken a level in a class that makes
something a class skill, that maximum goes away for good.

I'm particularly fond of this one, because it lets me spend my skill points
on cross-class skills with ease.  Fighters and WMs don't get many useful class
skills, and I love putting points in Tumble and Spellcraft for the AC/Saving
Throw bonuses.  Because you already have a high Intelligence as a requirement
for WM levels, you might as well put those extra points to good use.  This is
also nice for Parry players, because many other classes you may branch into
don't support Parry as a class skill, and you'll suddenly be paying double to
build it up without this feat.

That said, if you don't care about cross-class skills, or aren't that
interested in skills in the first place, skip this one entirely.

-

Power Critical

I've been told that one should take this feat only when they have nothing
else to take that interests them.  It adds a minor boost to your chance of
confirming a critical -- See the Understanding Critical Hits section for more
information.

Just know that a high-strength (or dexterity with weapon finesse) class
already has a pretty good chance of confirming a critical, and a +4 bonus to
this is not quite so helpful.  That said, a class with accuracy problems may
benefit a great deal from the +4, because confirming their criticals could be
rare.  It's your call.

-

Epic Prowess

This gives another +1 to your attack roll.  It's especially nice if you miss
out on greater weapon focus from not taking fighter levels, so take it if you
can afford it.  Otherwise it's arguably less important than other feats since
you've already got plenty of attack bonuses from other sources.

-

Disarm
Improved Disarm

You incur an attack of opportunity to try to take your opponent's weapon. 
This does two things: you get to keep the weapon, and they get to fight
unarmed.  That said, you can only steal the weapon from enemies that are
marked as disarmable by whoever created the campaign (and I'm not sure how
many qualify in the OC and MOTB).  Plus, the chance of success is pretty lousy
if you're not using a medium or large weapon.  Take with caution.

-

Weapon Finesse
Combat Insight (Epic)

I have a few two-weapon fighting builds that forgo Strength for Dexterity and
Intelligence.  Since a weapon master already has 13 in each of these, you
might consider boosting them further and taking that route.  In this case,
Weapon Finesse and Combat Insight are your friends.  Keep in mind that finesse
will only work with a light weapon (such as a kukri) or rapier, so no
scimitars or falchions for you... though you're probably not two-weapon
fighting with them anyway.  ;)

Keep in mind that Combat Insight is epic and requires Epic Prowess, so you'll
have to wait until pretty late to get it (level 21-23 at the earliest).

-

Knockdown
Improved Knockdown

Knockdown can be very handy when it works.  It attempts to knock an enemy
into a prone position, which gives melee attackers a bonus to accuracy against
them (but has the opposite effect on ranged attackers).  It was far more
effective in the original NWN1; in this game, it's quite under-powered.  It's
a full-round action and it does not do damage when it connects, and even if
your touch attack hits they have a chance to resist the knockdown itself (with
a strength check).

Fortunately it's still handy, especially in a party situation where knocking
an enemy down lets your whole party beat the crap out of it.  Mages and other
characters with low strength also make excellent targets.  If you have extra
feats, go for both Knockdown and Improved Knockdown.  Improved knockdown
increases the success chance by increasing your size bonus during the
calculation.  You already have the INT score to qualify for the improved, so
go for it.

-

Favored Power Attack

This doubles your power attack damage against favored enemies.  When using a
two-handed weapon, it triples.  I'm not sure how this combines with Improved
Power Attack, or Enhanced Power Attack (frenzied berserker) because I haven't
taken the time to test it thoroughly, but the consensus is that the damage
bonus is huge.  If you're a ranger using a two-handed weapon instead of
dual-wielding, consider getting this.

-

Toughness

If you want extra health, especially from Epic Toughness, then this is a
great feat to take.  It's basically the bonus you'd get from adding +2 to your
Constitution.  Note that if you're also going to take Frenzied Berserker
levels, you'll get this for free.

-

Blind Fight

Fighting invisible/concealed enemies or being blinded by darkness or other
effects can be a real drag.  Blind fight helps with some of these problems by
protecting you from some of the invisible enemies' bonuses, and giving you a
better chance to hit that enemy.  Grab it if you think it'll be useful, and
you have a feat to spend.  Note that Red Dragon Disciple gets this one for
free, if you're going down that route.

-

Two-Weapon Defense
Improved Two-Weapon Defense

These skills each provide +1 bonus to AC while dual-wielding.  The bonus
stacks for up to +2 AC.  However, I prefer other feats like Luck of Heros,
because it also adds 1 to my saving throws.  Another problem is dual-wielding
builds tend to not have many spare feats available for these, since other many
feats serve the character better.


-------------------
Feats Best to Avoid
-------------------

Monkey Grip

This allows you to equip a two-handed weapon in one hand.  If you're a small
race (gnome or halfling), it lets you equip large weapons you couldn't
normally use.  Unfortunately, doing either of these comes at the cost of -2 to
your attack roll.  This negates the accuracy bonus you're gaining from both
weapon focus and superior weapon focus combined!  If you're trying to use a
falchion with a shield, maybe focusing on scimitar would be better.

Whatever you do, don't use this to dual-wield large weapons.  Just.... don't.
 You'll be taking a huge penalty to attack, and there are much better ways to
put dual-wielding to good use.

-

Overwhelming Critical (Epic)

The huge requirements and poor performance of this feat make it largely
undesirable.  You gain +1d6 damage on critical hits for a weapon with a x2
multiplier.  Each increase to the multiplier adds an additional +1d6 (+3d6 at
x4 etc).  Sadly, this damage is not further multiplied during the critical
hit, so you don't gain a huge bonus at all by taking this feat.  A flat +2d6
damage on a critical that's already doing 50-100 damage minimum just isn't
worth taking this feat for.

You have so many other epic feats that would be oh, so much better than this.
 Overwhelming nothing... it's just disappointing.



===========================================
= Appendix A: Understanding Critical Hits =
===========================================



Since you're playing as a Weapon Master, a class that's almost entirely
focused on critical hits, it's a good idea to know exactly how they work and
when they'll happen.  The 4 steps to critical hits are Hit, Threaten, Confirm,
and Multiply.  These are described in detail below.

----------------------------------------
A) Determining if you get a critical hit
----------------------------------------

1. Check if the attack has any relevance to criticals.

Some abilities like Whirlwind Attack, Power Attack and Cleave can do critical
hits, while others can't.  Attacks of opportunity also get critical hits, as
do any spells or abilities that deal damage and use a melee touch attack or
ranged touch attack.

If the targeted creature has immunity to critical hits (construct, undead,
spirit, elemental, etc), there's no chance.  The game will still attempt a
critical hit and inform you that the creature is immune, so you know not to
count on them.

2. Run the attack roll.

This means roll a 20-sided die and add any modifiers to attack (such as base
attack bonus, weapon focus, strength bonus, etc).  If you beat your opponent's
AC, you hit him.  Otherwise, quit out because you have to hit in order to do a
critical.

3. Check for the critical threat range.

Check the 20-sided die you rolled.  If it landed within the critical threat
range, you have just threatened a critical.  If it fell below this range, you
will not get a critical hit for this attack.
The critical threat range is the first number (or number range) in the
weapon's critical description.  For a Greatsword this is 19-20, for a Scythe
it's only 20, and for a Kukri, Scimitar or Falchion, it's 18-20.

This means a Falchion (for example) gets a critical hit if 20-sided die roll
(before adding modifies) was an 18, 19, or 20.  Improved Critical or the Keen
property will double this range (17-20 for Greatsword, 15-20 for Falchion),
and the weapon master's Ki Critical feat adds an additional two after that. 
So, a falchion could have up to 13-20, or a 40% chance to threaten.

4. Confirm the critical.

Threatening to critical is not enough.  You now have to confirm that you have
the accuracy to hit the vital spot of the target that would give the critical
hit.  To do this, you must make *another* attack roll (with all modifiers)
against the target.  This isn't a second attack, it's a second attack roll to
confirm that you get a critical hit.  If this attack roll beats the enemy's AC
too, you get a critical hit.  Otherwise you get a normal, non-critical hit and
do normal damage.

The Power Critical feat comes into play here, adding a +4 modifier to the
confirmation roll ONLY.  If your attack bonuses are already huge, that +4 may
not help all that much because it only affects the confirmation (not the
threat).  Remember, you have to threaten first, then confirm.

----------------------------------------------
B) What happens when you do get a critical hit
----------------------------------------------

1. Find the Multiplier

First you need to know the critical multiplier of your weapon.  For a
Greatsword, Scimitar or Falchion, this is x2.  The scythe gets a whopping x4
(though its threat range is smaller).  The weapon master's Increased
Multiplier feat adds 1 to this, so you get x3 with a Falchion/Scimitar and x5
with a Scythe!

2. Find what multiplies.

Second you need to know what kind of damage your character does, as most of
this will be multiplied by the critical.

-What gets multiplied:
  a) Base damage of weapon.  For a falchion or scythe this is 2d4, 1d4 for a
kukri, and for a greatsword it's 2d6.
  b) Enhancement bonus of weapon (+5 enhancement gives +5 damage).  Magical
enhancement counts (such as Greater Magical Weapon spell or Stormlord's
Enhance Weapons feat).
  c) Strength bonus (which is x1.5 when holding the weapon two-handed, or
x0.5 for the weapon in your offhand when dual-wielding)
  d) Other constant (non-variable, i.e. not 1d6) damage bonuses including
Weapon Specialization, Power Attack, Bard's Inspire Courage, Enlarge Person,
Divine Might, Sacred Flames, etc.
  e) Some variable damage bonuses like Precise Strike (Duelist), though these
are usually flukes or weird exceptions in the way Bioware implemented them.

-What does NOT get multiplied (these instead get added after the
multiplication):
  a) Sneak attack damage.
  b) Damage that only occurs on critical hits (i.e. Overwhelming Critical, or
weapons that say +1d10 on critical hits).
  c) Elemental damage bonuses on weapon (+1d6 cold damage, +2d6 damage vs
evil, +2 fire damage, etc)
  d) Most other variable damage bonuses, such as +1d6 anything

3. Now do the following formula:

damage = (damage that gets multiplied)*(weapon multiplier) + (damage the
doesn't multiply)


NOTE:
Want to see this first-hand?  filaminstrel from the bioware.com forums told
me how.  The "EnableCombatDebugging 1" command (while in debug) will give a
more detailed description of what's being multiplied in the damage roll.  Some
things tend to be bunched together though, like the Bard's Inspire Courage and
the weapon's enhancement bonus.  Most things though are specifically listed
(like power attack, weapon specialization, etc), so you can see exactly how
they are affecting your damage.
To use this mode:
1) Open the console by hitting the ~ key (usually below Escape, by the 1 key
on most keyboards).
2) Type "DebugMode 1", without the quotes, and hit enter.
3) Type "EnableCombatDebugging 1" and hit enter.

You can use the same commands with a 0 instead of a 1 to turn them off.



---------------------
Critical Hit Examples
---------------------

Example 1
---------#
A 7th-level WM with 22 strength, Improved Power Attack, and Greater Weapon
Specialization is packing a Scythe +5 with 1d6 acid damage and 1d6 cold
damage.  He makes a critical hit, and wants to know how much damage he could
do.  His formula is this:

5*2d4(base damage) + 5*6*1.5(strength x1.5 for two-handed) + 5*5(enhancement)
+ 5*4(Greater W.Spec) + 5*12(Imp.Power Attack) + 1d6(acid) + 1d6(cold)

This simplifies to:
10d4 + 45 + 25 + 20 + 60 + 2d6

Combining all constants we get:
10d4 + 150 + 2d6

Thus, if he is really lucky (max damage):
40 + 150 + 12 = 202 damage

If he is really unlucky (min damage):
10 + 150 + 2 = 162 damage

As you can see, the base weapon damage and elemental damage on the weapon are
minor players compared to the other damage sources here.

Example 2
---------

A falchion (with its lower multiplier but higher threshold) would deal about
the same damage on average over many hits (actually a little more than the
scythe), but would get critical hits more often and deal the damage more
evenly and reliably.  Imagine the above scenario with a falchion instead, all
other things being equal.

3*2d4(base damage) + 3*6*1.5(strength x1.5 for two-handed) + 3*5(enhancement)
+ 3*4(Greater W.Spec) + 3*12(Imp.Power Attack) + 1d6(acid) + 1d6(cold)

= 6d4 + 18 + 15 + 12 + 36 + 2d6
= 6d4 + 81 + 2d6

max: 24 + 81 + 12 = 117
min: 6 + 81 + 2 = 89
#Even though the falchion's damage is lower, it will critical MUCH more
often.  With 7 levels of WM and the Improved Critical feat, a scythe has only
about a 4/20 (1/5 or 20%) chance per attack to threaten a critical with every
hit.  On the other hand, a falchion or scimitar has a 8/20 (2/5 or 40%) chance
to threaten with every hit.  Thus the falchion is twice as likely to threaten,
and in this example gives just over half as much damage during those criticals
as the scythe.


Needless to say, in either example a weapon master can deal unholy amounts of
damage to enemies that are not immune to criticals.



=============================
= Appendix B: Sample Builds =
=============================



Non-Epic Builds
---------------

Fighter(13) + WM(7)

This is a pretty straight-forward build.  Your fighter levels will give you
early access to WM, and will ensure you have plenty of feats (12 normal and 6
fighter bonus feats).  You also gain full access to Greater Weapon Focus and
Greater Weapon Specialization, which are extremely handy for further enhancing
your weapon of choice.  These feats also ensure that critical-immune creatures
still get smacked hard by your attacks.

Below is an example for a Human.  By level 13 this build gets its full
potential in critical hits, and all levels after that can be spent in any way
you want.  I take able learner because assuming 14 intelligence, you'll be
getting about 5 skill points per level and it's nice to be able to make good
use of them.  You might even toss in a level of Bard or Rogue at level 2 to
get full access to Tumble, Use Magical Device, and other handy skills.

1   F1   Able Learner, Luck of Heros, Weapon Focus (Falchion)
2   F2   Dodge
3   F3   Mobility
4   F4   Combat Expertise
5   F5   
6   F6   Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack
7   WM1  
8   WM2  
9   WM3  Weapon Specialization
10  WM4  
11  WM5  
12  WM6  Improved Critical
13  WM7  
14  F7   
15  F8   Greater Weapon Focus, Power Attack
16  F9   
17  F10  Cleave
18  F11  Improved Power Attack or Great Cleave
19  F12  Greater Weapon Specialization
20  F13  

-

Barbarian(11) + Fighter(2) + WM(7)

This barbarian can use greater rage 3x per day, and the two levels of fighter
add two extra feats for reaching WM more easily.  A human can start doing WM
levels by level 7 with this build, though he can certainly put WM off until
later if he prefers more barbarian levels early.

The big trick with this example build is taking the two barbarian levels at
first, so you can time the fighter bonus feats properly.  Remember, Spring
Attack requires a Base Attack Bonus of +4, so you'll have to spend a fighter
feat on something else if you use it on level 3 (which would push off the WM
levels to level 10).

Example Human

1   B1   Weapon Focus (Falchion), Dodge
2   B2   
3   F1   Mobility, Combat Expertise
4   F2   Spring Attack
5   B3   
6   B4   Whirlwind Attack
7   WM1  
8   WM2  
9   WM3  Improved Critical
10  WM4  
11  WM5  
12  WM6  Power Attack
13  WM7  
14  B5   
15  B6   Cleave
16  B7   
17  B8   
18  B9   Extra Rage or Great Cleave
19  B10  
20  B11  

-

Fighter(8) + Bard(1) + RDD(4) + WM(7)

This build gains +4 Strength, +2 AC, and Dragon Breath from the RDD levels. 
Fighter adds the option of Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus, to
further enhance your weapon of choice.  This build also gets all 4 attacks
because of its BAB of 18, despite the medium BAB growth of RDD and bard.  The
example build below also gets great cleave early to make use of a high
strength character (further enhanced by the RDD levels).  I recommend a
two-handed weapon in this case.  Both Cleave/Great Cleave and Whirlwind Attack
will start getting lots of critical hits once your WM levels finish.

Make sure you get your Perform skill to 3 (and remember that your charisma
modifier affects it), so that you can use inspire courage for an additional +1
to attack and damage.  If you take this build into epic levels later on,
finish the RDD path for another +4 strength and a bunch of other really nice
bonuses.  This leaves 4 more levels for fighter if you want to pursue epic
weapon specialization etc.  There is an example of this in the epic examples
section.

Example Human:

1   F1    Weapon Focus (Falchion), Power Attack, Cleave
2   B1    
3   F2    Dodge, Mobility
4   F3    
5   F4    Great Cleave
6   F5    Spring Attack
7   F6    Whirlwind Attack
8   RDD1  
9   RDD2  Combat Expertise
10  RDD3  
11  RDD4  
12  WM1   Weapon Specialization
13  WM2   
14  WM3   
15  WM4   Improved Critical
16  WM5   
17  WM6   Toughness
18  WM7   
19  F7    
20  F8    Greater Weapon Focus

-

Fighter(8) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7)

See the Fighter(18) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7) build below for more info,
as the build can be either epic or non-epic and the description in the epic
section gives some good information.


Epic Builds
-----------

Fighter(12) + Bard(1) + RDD(10) + WM(7)

RDD gives a huge bonus to strength, and a whole lot of other perks.  This
build combines a large strength bonus and two handed weapon (falchion) with
either Improved Power Attack or Epic Weapon Specialization to ensure it always
deals a lot of damage, even against the critical-immune.  When it does get a
critical hit (and it does often), it deals triple damage, including the huge
1.5x strength bonus, power attack, weapon specialization and other damage
bonuses.  This build also adds epic damage reduction 9/-, a huge constitution
score, and a Dexterity of 16 (+3 dex bonus to AC fits perfectly with mithril
full plate armor, which is easily crafted and enhanced to your liking). 
You're not just a king of damage, but a king of defense as well.

Note that because of RDD, the ability scores grow extremely fast between
levels 1 and 20.  This is worth putting off the WM levels for.  Then once you
get the final WM level, you'll start getting critical hits like crazy and
they'll hit hard.

Ability  Lv1 Lv20* Lv30
Str      15   24    26
Dex      15   16    16
Con      16   21    22
Int      14   16    16
Wis       8    8     8
Cha       8   10    10

How this is done:
Start with the stats in the Lv1 column.  From levels 1 to 20, put 1 point in
strength, 1 point in dexterity, and 3 points in constitution (in any order you
like).  The RDD levels will take care of the rest.  After level 20, put a
point in constitution to round it off.  You can then put a point in strength
and take great strength, or do the same with constitution.

Human Example 1:

1   F1   Able Learner, Luck of Heros, W.Focus (falchion)
2   B1   
3   F2   Dodge, Mobility
4   F3   
5   F4   W.Specialization
6   R1   Spring Attack
7   R2   
8   R3   
9   R4   Combat Expertise
10  R5   
11  R6   
12  R7   Improved Critical
13  R8   
14  R9   
15  R10  Whirlwind Attack
16  WM1
17  WM2
18  WM3  Power Attack
19  WM4
20  WM5
21  WM6  Epic Damage Reduction 3/-
22  WM7  
23  F5   Epic Damage Reduction 6/-
24  F6   Epic Damage Reduction 9/-
25  F7   Power Attack
26  F8   Greater W.Focus
27  F9   Improved Power Attack
28  F10  Epic W.Focus
29  F11  Great Strength
30  F12  Greater W.Specialization

Human Example 2:

In example 2 the reason I take 5 levels of WM before level 21 and then take
the last two at the end is so that all my last fighter levels happen before
level 29 so I can get Epic Weapon Specialization.  Unfortunately this little
timing trick had to happen because I would miss a feat at the end otherwise. 
If you don't care about the extra 2 damage from epic w.specialization then you
can finish WM by level 22 as with example 1, which is extremely beneficial.

1   F1   Able Learner, Luck of Heros, W.Focus (falchion)
2   B1   
3   F2   Dodge, Mobility
4   F3   
5   F4   W.Specialization
6   R1   Spring Attack
7   R2   
8   R3   
9   R4   Combat Expertise
10  R5   
11  R6   
12  R7   Improved Critical
13  R8   
14  R9   
15  R10  Whirlwind Attack
16  WM1
17  WM2
18  WM3  Toughness or Power Attack
19  WM4
20  WM5
21  F5   Epic Damage Reduction 3/-
22  F6   Epic Damage Reduction 6/-
23  F7   Epic Damage Reduction 9/-
24  F8   Greater W.Focus
25  F9   Great Strength, Epic Prowess, Toughness, or Power Attack
26  F10  Epic W.Focus
27  F11  Great Strength, Epic Toughness or Improved Power Attack
28  F12  Greater W.Specialization
29  WM6  Epic W.Specialization
30  WM7  

-

Bard(5) + FB(8) + RDD(10) + WM(7)

This build gives you some really nice strength boosts, both from the Red
Dragon Disciple and from the Frenzied Berserker's frenzy.  The weapon master's
criticals will amplify the strength bonus and power attack really well.  I
definitely recommend you focus on a two-handed weapon like the falchion, and
get improved power attack (which the frenzied berserker boosts like crazy). 
Improved Power Attack multiplies in critical hits, and helps against undead
and other less evasive creatures that are immune to criticals.  This build
also offers insane great cleaving, Greater Frenzy, up to 5 attacks per round
(6 when using frenzy), and a huge critical threshold and damage output.

This build should also have enough charisma and points in perform to get the
most out of the 5 bard levels (including inspire courage).  A higher charisma
will also make the RDD's dragon breath more effective.  Be sure to take the
required feats (with a * next to them) in the order given or you may be unable
to take the FB or WM levels that come next.  I've placed a + next to feats
that I highly recommend, and the rest are entirely up to you.

Ability  Lv1 Lv20* Lv30
Str      16   29    32
Dex      14   14    14
Con      14   16    16
Int      14   16    16
Wis       8    8     8
Cha      12   14    14

1   B1   Power Attack*, W.Focus (falchion)*
2   B2   
3   B3   Dodge*
4   B4   
5   B5   
6   R1   Mobility*
7   R2   
8   R3   
9   R4   Spring Attack*
10  R5   
11  R6   
12  R7   Combat Expertise*
13  R8   
14  R9   
15  R10  Whirlwind Attack*
16  WM1
17  WM2
18  WM3  Cleave*
19  WM4
20  WM5
21  WM6  Great Cleave*
22  WM7  
23  FB1  Improved Critical+
24  FB2  
25  FB3  Improved Power Attack+
26  FB4  
27  FB5  Extra Rage or Epic Toughness
28  FB6  
29  FB7  Great Strength
30  FB8  

-

Ranger(23) + WM(7)

This is a decent Two-Weapon Fighting build, but it can also go with
two-handed weapons.  Your dexterity doesn't have to be as high as you normally
need it to be for a dual-wielder since you get the feats for free, but you can
certainly get it higher for the AC bonus (since you won't be wearing very
hefty armor if you dual-wield).

For a dual-wielder, the WM can focus on Kukri, and the high BAB of the build
gives you 12 attacks because of Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting (14 with haste). 
If you have a party member who can do some enhancement for you, you'll be able
to add up to 20d6 damage to each kukri, but remember that this damage doesn't
multiply like a +8 enhancement bonus.  As a ranger, you have a few support
spells of your own as long as you give yourself 14 wisdom (whether by natural
stats or using a necklace to boost wisdom).

Rangers can instead use two-handed weapons if they don't care about
dual-wielding (there's nothing that says you can only dual-wield just because
you get it for free).  If you do this, definitely consider investing in
Favored Power Attack and boosting your strength to a high level.  Using a
two-handed weapon also lets you wear armor, since you don't care about losing
use of the two-weapon fighting feats.

Without fighter, you do not get weapon specialization or greater weapon focus
etc.  However, you do get about 5 favored enemies and a +5 to damage against
them, which multiplies with critical hits.  Depending on the campaign you're
playing, I recommend you choose undead, elementals, and constructs (all are
immune to criticals).  I also strongly encourage you to choose fey if you're
playing MOTB.  This will allow you to deal your favored enemy bonus damage to
enemies that are always immune to critical hits, so you can compensate for the
lost advantage.

-

Fighter(18) + Invisible Blade(5) + WM(7)

This two-weapon fighting build is meant for a character with a heavy focus on
Dexterity and Intelligence.  I'd say by level 30 you'll want at least 20
Intelligence (for the full AC bonus from IB and damage from combat insight,
though item enhancements will work) and 25-26 Dexterity (for perfect
two-weapon fighting).  You will also need Combat Insight, Weapon Finesse,
Two-Weapon Fighting and the Improved and Greater upgrades to it, and all the
required feats for IB and WM.  With all those fighter levels this still leaves
some room for feats of your choice.  You may want to get Weapon Specialization
and Greater Weapon Focus as well, since the fighter levels open them up (and
specialization will spam damage really well in a two-weapon fighting build). 
I also recommend Able Learner to help get the skills you need as class
requirements, and the skills you want.

This build reaches a grand total of 22 feats with all those fighter levels. 
About 14-15 of these (which I've marked with a *) are either required for IB
and WM, or are fairly necessary to get the most out of the build's focus.  The
rest (which I filled with greater/epic weapon focus and specialization) are up
to you.  Below is an example Air Gensai build where I assume I'll have party
members to craft/enhance items to give a +8 to intelligence and dexterity, and
make some ultimate kukris, as well as other spiffy equipment.  Remember: two
weapon fighting with two kukris that each have +8 enhancement (maybe only +5
enhancement for a non-MOTB module) combined with heavy critical hit focus and
weapon spec makes for some pretty nice damage output!  This build should get
all 12 attacks with Perfect Two Weapon Fighting, or 14 when hasted, and many
or most of those will be critical hits.

Another option to the extra fighter levels is 10 levels of Assassin, if you
want to do sneak attacks and death attacks.  Shadowdancer is another fine
choice for its Hide in Plain Sight at level 2.

Note that the build could literally stop at level 20 and do fairly well if
you don't want to make an epic character.

Starting Abilities:
Str: 12
Dex: 20 (should be 25 by level 20)
Con: 14
Int: 16
Wis: 6
Cha: 6

1  F1   Weapon Finesse*, Weapon Focus (kukri)*
2  F2   Dodge*
3  F3   Mobility*
4  F4   Combat Expertise*
5  F5   
6  F6   Spring Attack*, Whirlwind Attack*
7  WM1  
8  WM2  
9  WM3  Two-Weapon Fighting*
10 WM4  
11 WM5  
12 WM6  Feint*
13 WM7  
14 IB1  
15 IB2  Improved Two-Weapon Fighting*
16 IB3  
17 IB4  
18 IB5  Greater Two-Weapon Fighting*
19 F7   
20 F8   Improved Critical*
21 F9   Epic Prowess*
22 F10  Combat Insight*
23 F11  Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting*
24 F12  Weapon Specialization
25 F13  Greater Weapon Focus
26 F14  Epic Weapon Focus
27 F15  Greater Weapon Specialization
28 F16  Epic Weapon Specialization
29 F17  Great Dexterity/Intelligence
30 F18  Anything you want

-

Fighter(12) + Bard(1) + Duelist(10) + WM(7)

This build lets you take the Duelist and WM levels just about whenever you
please.  Level 6 is the earliest you can start, and from there it's up to you
which direction you go first.  By taking a level of bard and getting the Able
Learner skill, you can put lots of points into skills like tumble that would
have been hard to grow much otherwise.  Bard also adds the Inspire Courage
inspiration, which you can use as long as your total Perform skill (including
charisma modifier) is 3 or more.
I recommend you focus in kukri so your WM levels will cause mass criticals,
then find or craft some kukris that have major enhancement bonuses.  Remember
to grab feats like Improved Parry, Improved Critical, Skill Focus (parry),
Weapon Specialization, etc depending on the focus you're going for.  You have
a lot of feats you can take with this build (12 natural + 7 fighter bonus = 19
total), and the 12+ fighter levels unlock the full weapon focus &
specialization path if that interests you.

-

Bard(13) + Duelist(10) + WM(7)

This build is more challenging because of the absence of fighter bonus feats,
but you get a few more levels of bard spells etc.  If you want to start taking
WM or Duelist levels sooner, or want to have more total feats to work with,
consider trading some bard levels for fighter.  The bard adds some nice
inspirations, support spells, and even songs if you want to trade out some
feats for them.  Note that all the feats that are required (marked with *) are
taken before epic levels, so you'll get 5 epic feats of your choice.  Combat
Insight and Improved Critical come at high recommendation though (marked with
+).

1  B1   Weapon Finesse*
2  B2   
3  B3   Weapon Focus (kukri or Rapier)*
4  B4   
5  B5   
6  B6   Dodge*
7  B7   
8  B8   
9  D1   Mobility*
10 D2   
11 D3   
12 D4   Spring Attack*
13 D5   
14 D6   
15 D7   Combat Expertise*
16 D8   
17 D9   
18 D10  Whirlwind Attack*
19 WM1  
20 WM2  
21 WM3  Epic Prowess+
22 WM4  
23 WM5  Combat Insight+
24 WM6  
25 WM7  Improved Critical+
26 B9   
27 B10  Improved Parry
28 B11  
29 B12  Skill Focus (Parry)
30 B13  



========================================
= Appendix C: Acronyms and Definitions =
========================================



There's a lot to know about the DnD 3.5 game mechanics.  NWN2's rules are
simpler in many places, but there's still a lot to know.  I've included a bit
of information here that's relevant to this guide, and I recommend you read
your manual or visit http://nwn2.wikia.com for the rest.


Abilities/Ability Score
The six abilities are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence,
Wisdom, and Charisma.  These are important for determining your character's
strengths and weaknesses (typically combat worthiness), allowing the use of
some actions (such as casting spells), and qualifying you to take various
feats.  Ability score typically refers to the amount in each ability (which
you see on the level up screen), before modifiers from artificial sources
(items, spells, etc) are added.

Attack
This can refer to two different things depending on context.  The first is
one of your attacks per round, or may even generically refer to any feat or
action that attacks an enemy.  The second is the Attack Roll, defined below.

Attack Roll
This is how the game checks if you hit your opponent.  You basically roll a
d20, add your base attack bonus and all modifiers, and check if the total
beats the opponent's AC.

BAB (Base Attack Bonus)
Your BAB rises with your class levels.  High BAB-growth classes add 1 per
class level.  Medium growth classes skip the first of of every 4 levels (gain
0 BAB on class levels 1, 5, 9, etc).  Low growth classes only add 1 on even
class levels.  BAB is used to qualify you for feats and prestige classes.  It
also gets added to your Attack Roll and 

Base Class
These classes are available to anyone, so long as their alignment allows
them.  Base classes are the starting point for any character, and from there
the player can continue in the base class or expand out into other base or
prestige classes.  These classes are counted toward your Multiclass XP
Penalty, however.

Cha: Charisma
See also: Abilities

Confirm a Critical
When you threaten a critical hit, you must make another attack roll to
confirm it.  If this attack roll beats the target's AC, you get a critical
hit.  See the Understanding Critical Hits section.

Con: Constitution
See also: Abilities

Critical Hit
When you threaten and then confirm a critical, you get a critical hit that
multiplies the damage you would have dealt by some amount (x2, x3, x4, etc). 
See the Understanding Critical Hits section.

Critical Threat Range/Threshold
A weapon's Critical Threat determines how likely it is to threaten a critical
when you make your attack roll.  See the Understanding Critical Hits section.

Critical Multiplier
This is the multiplier on the weapon such as x2, x3, etc.  It determines how
many times you multiply the damage on your weapon.  See the Understanding
Critical Hits section.

d20, 2d6, etc
These figures represent die rolls.  d20 means roll a 20 sided die.  2d4 means
roll two 6 sided die and add the totals.

Damage Roll
This is how the game determines how much damage you deal once you have hit
your enemy.  Basically you roll a d20 and add all damage modifiers such as
strength bonus, power attack, magical effects on the weapon, etc.

Dex: Dexterity
See also: Abilities

Dual-Wield
Also known as two-weapon fighting, where you hold a separate weapon in each
hand.

Favored Class
Your favored class isn't counted when determining whether you take an XP
penalty (or how much you take).  Favored Class of "Any" means your
highest-level base class becomes your favored class, and your favored class
will change if another class exceeds it.

FB: Frenzied Berserker
One of the prestige classes in the game.

Int: Intelligence
See also: Abilities

Multiclass XP Penalty
Whenever you have taken levels in multiple base classes, the base class with
the highest level is compared against your other classes to determine if you
have an XP penalty.  For each base class that is more than 1 level lower than
your highest base class, you take a 20% penalty to the XP you gain.  Prestige
classes and Favored Classes do not count in these calculations.

Prestige Class
These classes are special in that they have much harder requirements for
accessing them.  Once you've unlocked a prestige class, you can take levels in
it without concern of incurring a multiclass XP penalty (as they do not
count).  These classes tend to be much more powerful than base classes, and
usually only allow the player to take 5-10 levels in them.

RDD: Red Dragon Disciple
One of the prestige classes in the game.

Skill Rank/Skill Points/Skill Level
Your skill's level is the total amount in that skill, including all modifiers
(such as your dexterity modifier, or bonuses through feats like Stealthy or
Skill Focus).  In contrast, your skill rank is the value you see next to the
skill on the level-up screen.  This is the skill's level before any modifiers
are added to it.  Skill points refers to the points you are given at each
level for leveling up a skill.

Str: Strength
See also: Abilities

Two-Handed
Holding a weapon with both hands.  This occurs automatically for large and
medium size weapons as long as your offhand is free (and a large weapon must
always be held in both hands).

Wis: Wisdom
See also: Abilities

WM: Weapon Master
One of the prestige classes in the game.  This guide is dedicated to building
an effective weapon master, so this is one of the most common terms you'll
find here.



======================
= Section X: Credits =
======================



While I doubt I could give credit to all the sources of knowledge that have
allowed me to write this FAQ, there are some that I do remember well enough to
include here.


Editor in Chief
---------------
Abfinz, aka Pete Kuhlman

Many thanks to Pete for reading this guide repeatedly, even in its early and
more misinformative stages, and correcting my silly mistakes in spelling,
grammar, and sanity.  :)  Pete also offered a number of suggestions and gave
some good feedback on feats that I was giving too little credit to (such as
great cleave).


Forum Helpers
-------------
(nwn2forums.bioware.com)

SirSpiff, BrianMeyer, Torgo0079, Mithdradates, Countless, Thrasher91604,
Raider, and filaminstrel all helped me immensely by assisting me in
determining the list of feats and effects that multiply during a critical hit.
 Without them, this FAQ would be so filled with atrociously misleading errors
and misinformation that I'd be embarrassed to have written it.  ;)

IndyAnna for information on where to find the Elemental's Ruin rapier.

Luckmann for information on putting the Ruin feats on weapons, and
integrating them into modules and hakpacks so that players can obtain them
directly (history feat, etc).


Websites
--------

gamefaqs.com
One of my favorite sources for game help.  The FAQs here were undeniably
valuable.  It's why I'm writing such a comprehensive FAQ and submitting it
there.

nwn2.wikia.com
The Neverwinter Nights 2 wiki offers a wealth of data on just about any
subject in NWN2 you can think of, especially obscure game mechanics and other
critical information that's a little vague in the manual.  At some point I
mean to update their info on critical hits though, as at the time of this
writing it's a little sparse.

www.gamebanshee.com/neverwinternights2/
This was a very handy resource for looking up weapons and other items.



=======================
= Section XI: Contact =
=======================



I would love it if you e-mailed me about this FAQ.  Comments, suggestions,
helpful information, and constructive feedback are all welcome.

However, spammers are not welcome.  There are a lot of automated bots combing
internet sites looking for anything that looks like an address... and I can
only tolerate so many sleazy hucksters screaming "BUY THIS BUY THIS
NOWWWW!!!!!11!!".  As more sites post this guide, the more it gets ravaged by
web bots.

That is why I have to be a little sideways about posting my e-mail
address...

Primary Address                  Secondary Address
---------------                  -----------------
static_void                      Wazat1
@                                @
hotmail                          gmail
.com                             .com


Just assemble the addresses from the columns above.  That should *hopefully*
throw off most of the spam bots.  Hopefully.

One last thing: please make sure you put something like "NWN2 Question" or
"Comments on your gamefaqs guide" in the subject line (in case my spam filter
nabs it), or your email may get lost amongst the spam and be deleted.  I get a
*lot* of stuff in my spam folder, and I can't go through them one by one
looking for vague hints of legitimacy in the title anymore.  There are a lot
of spam mails with a subject of "Hi There!" or "Question for you", so please
be specific.  I've actually missed out on a few important e-mails that way... 
:(

If you have trouble reaching me, you can also find my contact info on
Gamefaqs.com under the username Wazat.



==========================
= Section XII: Copyright =
==========================



This guide is copyrighted 2008 by Wazat, aka Dan Hale.  You may post it or
link to it from your site as long as NO contents are changed and I am properly
credited for it.  If you do have my guide on your site, I also ask that you
stay up to date with new versions as they are posted (to gamefaqs), or provide
a link to gamefaqs (which will be more up-to-date).

If you use information from this guide in your own guide or article, please
credit me for it and provide a link to this guide on Gamefaqs.com.  I will
likely be adding some information from this guide to some sites like
nwn2.wikia.com, and in that case I'll reference this guide to make it clear
that's where the info came from.  Please do the same when you use info from
this guide, whether in a wiki page or blog post or elsewhere.  I want to
encourage the spread of information across the web (hey, that's how I learn
cool stuff too)... but I have considerable disrespect for thieves and other
people who take credit for someone else's work.  Please be honest &
responsible.

If you have questions or comments about this, e-mail me at the address found
in the Contact section, or look me up on Gamefaqs.com.



=========================
= Section XIII: Changes =
=========================



Version 1.01:
Made some minor spelling fixes and reworded some things for clarity.
Added this changes section.  :D
 

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