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MattyNOAA: What's your reasoning behind this, if you don't mind me asking? I don't see much of a downside of adding a few levels of Thief if you are going for a stealthy Druid build. Some backstab damage, Druid stealth spells and a buffed up stealthy pet (like the panther) seem like it would work well playing a backstabber.

The only downside I see is the stunted spell progression as compared to a pure Druid.

Admittedly I've never tried this build, so this is all theory. I also don't know how this would do at epic levels, but it seems feasible at levels 12-14, which is where you'll get during SoU.
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Darvin: There are three aspects of the Druid that are critically-dependent on their class level:

1) spellcasting progression and caster level

2) shapeshifting - you will have to wait longer to (or may never) get access to more powerful forms.

3) animal companion - the strength of your companion is based on your class level as a druid.

The loss of spellcasting ability is much bigger than most people think. Don't forget that it's both your spell progression and your caster level. Your spells naturally grow more powerful as you level up, in addition to gaining access to more powerful kinds of spells. So for instance, an 8th level Druid deals 8d6 damage with flame strike, while a 10th level Druid deals 10d6 (a 25% damage increase!). The 10th level druid can also cast this spell more frequently due to additional spell slots, and has access to even more powerful spells that the 8th level druid can't even cast. As a rule of thumb, spellcasting abilities roughly double in power every two class levels.

You are correct in pointing out the level 12-14 range. The Druid is devoid of significant class features from level 13-15, so multi-classing in this interval is relatively less painful than usual. However, even at this ideal threshold it's still a steep tradeoff to give up spellcasting progression. If you don't cherry-pick an ideal threshold, a multi-class druid is just way behind a single-class one.
Good points.

I forgot to take caster level, shifting level and companion level into account. The Druid/Thief would be behind the pure Druid in overall firepower, but I don't see this as a deal breaker. You said before, and I agree, that a pure Druid is one of the strongest classes in game, if not the strongest. I'm just about finished with SoU on Normal with my pure Druid and it was a cake walk, I only died once back in Hilltop due to my own stupidity. (I've got plenty of that.) So tossing in 3 levels of Thief will leave you at Druid 11/ Thief 3 at endgame with maxed out Call Lightning (10d6), able to cast greater stoneskin plus 2d6 backstab, evasion and uncanny dodge from the Thief levels. Sure it's not as good in a min/max sense as a pure Druid but it should be able to finish SoU plus you get the satisfaction of playing an unorthodox Druid build!

The OP was asking for class recs that could tank, sneak and heal. Maybe he could do a pure Druid and focus on the stealthy shifter forms?
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MattyNOAA: The Druid/Thief would be behind the pure Druid in overall firepower, but I don't see this as a deal breaker
If you thought I was implying it wouldn't be possible to play such a character, I apologize. It's certainly possible to do so. My point is that the tradeoff is just a bad one. You're giving up a lot of very powerful abilities for what amounts to a few skill points and evasion.

If you're explicitly setting out to do something unusual knowing that you're handicapping yourself then this is fine. However, this thread isn't about creative but sub-optimal characters. It's looking for advice on making powerful characters, hence my "don't do this" comment.
So tossing in 3 levels of Thief will leave you at Druid 11/ Thief 3 at endgame with maxed out Call Lightning (10d6)
You'd want to play as a Druid 12 / Rogue 2 if you're going to do this. You gain improved wildshape at level 12; this dramatically increases your accuracy, damage, armor, and hit points when in wild shape mode. The 3rd level of Rogue gives you an extra sneak attack die, but this is only 3.5 extra damage on average and even then only against some enemies some of the time. Uncanny Dodge is of limited use in NWN due to the way initiative works (unlike the table-top game, where it's very useful!). Invisible enemies just aren't common enough for it to be a meaningful class feature.

As I said earlier this is still cherry-picking. If you take this build a few levels lower the Rogue dip is denying you access to improved wildshape, and going a few levels higher the Rogue dip is denying you elemental shape. It's a big sacrifice, and I just wouldn't recommend it for someone looking for a powerful character.
Im at the J'nah prefight where you have to fight the elementals. I don't know if Im underlvled but that fight with each of the elementals is ridiculously hard.

I only did some of the quests outside. Are there any random fights that I can do to level up and is there a solid lvl that I have to be take on the elementals?

They get 2 attacks per round and always deal major damage. I can take on the imps before getting there but once I do get there Im weak in health and they just finish me off.

Is this game supposed to be ridiculously difficult to the point where I cannot fight the pre boss enemies? My bard is tough but he's having a tough time resisting magical attacks.
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deathknight1728: Im at the J'nah prefight where you have to fight the elementals. I don't know if Im underlvled but that fight with each of the elementals is ridiculously hard.

I only did some of the quests outside. Are there any random fights that I can do to level up and is there a solid lvl that I have to be take on the elementals?

They get 2 attacks per round and always deal major damage. I can take on the imps before getting there but once I do get there Im weak in health and they just finish me off.

Is this game supposed to be ridiculously difficult to the point where I cannot fight the pre boss enemies? My bard is tough but he's having a tough time resisting magical attacks.
What level is your Bard and what spells does he have available? Did you multiclass at all or is it straight Bard? Which companion NPC (if any) do you have with you? Any elemental resistance spells, items, or potions in your bag of tricks?
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deathknight1728: Im at the J'nah prefight where you have to fight the elementals. I don't know if Im underlvled but that fight with each of the elementals is ridiculously hard.
These are the toughest mandatory fights in chapter 1 of SoU. Summoned creatures are your best bet here; there aren't many ways to trick these things, so your only option is to overpower them somehow. Only the most powerful melee characters will stand a chance of going toe-to-toe with the elementals unassisted. An appropriate wand or scroll could make all the difference. Off the top of my head, I'd say you should be level 5 before tackling the elementals (SoU chapter 1 should probably be finished around level 7).


If you're looking to level up, keep in mind that in SoU most of your XP will come from non-combat rewards. Grinding for level-ups is very inefficient in this campaign (though the loot is pretty good from some of the side-areas), and you're much better off completing quests. If you haven't done any of the quests in Hilltop yet, do those first. The elven crypts are your second stop, followed by Rumgut the Giant.
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deathknight1728: Im at the J'nah prefight where you have to fight the elementals. I don't know if Im underlvled but that fight with each of the elementals is ridiculously hard.
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Darvin: These are the toughest mandatory fights in chapter 1 of SoU. Summoned creatures are your best bet here; there aren't many ways to trick these things, so your only option is to overpower them somehow. Only the most powerful melee characters will stand a chance of going toe-to-toe with the elementals unassisted. An appropriate wand or scroll could make all the difference. Off the top of my head, I'd say you should be level 5 before tackling the elementals (SoU chapter 1 should probably be finished around level 7).

If you're looking to level up, keep in mind that in SoU most of your XP will come from non-combat rewards. Grinding for level-ups is very inefficient in this campaign (though the loot is pretty good from some of the side-areas), and you're much better off completing quests. If you haven't done any of the quests in Hilltop yet, do those first. The elven crypts are your second stop, followed by Rumgut the Giant.
Im lvl 5 full class bard and I think Im going to grind to lvl 6. I noticed that my armor could be better so I bought something that raised it by 1. Is it possible to just slay the creatures/imps that lead up to each elemental? I noticed that they respawn but didn't know if they always do. With 120 exp per kill, that might work.

Oh and bringing the hirelings is a bad idea. They not only die everytime but you then have to resurrect them which I cant figure out. Next time I will bring another strength potion to buff them. Hirelings in NWN is a bad idea. You cant give them orders like infinity engine games and they are useless in a fight without me telling them what to do.

I don't think my character will make it.
Post edited October 07, 2013 by deathknight1728
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deathknight1728: Im lvl 5 full class bard and I think Im going to grind to lvl 6. I noticed that my armor could be better so I bought something that raised it by 1. Is it possible to just slay the creatures/imps that lead up to each elemental? I noticed that they respawn but didn't know if they always do. With 120 exp per kill, that might work.
I don't believe they respawn, but I've never tested it to see if they might. You are correct that 120 XP per kill is exceedingly good, so if you can farm them these are definitely the guys to go for.


As for the hirelings, they're not that bad. They're just poorly suited for this particular fight. Both Dorna and Xanos sacrifice power for versatility. This lets your character take the spotlight while simultaneously allowing them to fulfill a wider range of roles. In a situation where you're relying on them to carry the fight they're going to fall short, however.
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Darvin: These are the toughest mandatory fights in chapter 1 of SoU. Summoned creatures are your best bet here; there aren't many ways to trick these things, so your only option is to overpower them somehow. Only the most powerful melee characters will stand a chance of going toe-to-toe with the elementals unassisted. An appropriate wand or scroll could make all the difference. Off the top of my head, I'd say you should be level 5 before tackling the elementals (SoU chapter 1 should probably be finished around level 7).

If you're looking to level up, keep in mind that in SoU most of your XP will come from non-combat rewards. Grinding for level-ups is very inefficient in this campaign (though the loot is pretty good from some of the side-areas), and you're much better off completing quests. If you haven't done any of the quests in Hilltop yet, do those first. The elven crypts are your second stop, followed by Rumgut the Giant.
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deathknight1728: Im lvl 5 full class bard and I think Im going to grind to lvl 6. I noticed that my armor could be better so I bought something that raised it by 1. Is it possible to just slay the creatures/imps that lead up to each elemental? I noticed that they respawn but didn't know if they always do. With 120 exp per kill, that might work.

Oh and bringing the hirelings is a bad idea. They not only die everytime but you then have to resurrect them which I cant figure out. Next time I will bring another strength potion to buff them. Hirelings in NWN is a bad idea. You cant give them orders like infinity engine games and they are useless in a fight without me telling them what to do.

I don't think my character will make it.
Summon Monster and/or Wand of Summoning are your friends my good sir.

Also load up on Bark Skin potions if you have the means. If you took Dorna, she should have Bless by now, that will help as well.

Of course when all else fails, stock up on the healing potions.
Don't forget to equip your hireling with better gear as well, if you can afford it. You can access their inventory through the radial or by talking to them.
Derp
Post edited October 12, 2013 by deathknight1728
Alright. Im in start of chapter 2 and am approaching level 9 of bard. I want to branch off into another class as a dual class. I was thinking of going with a fighter with my 8 bard levels. I currently get 1 to attack, 2 damage, 1 to all saves and 1 to all skills from my bard song. I think that with a few more health points, feats and possibly future weapon specialization would be nice.

Is there any downside to that? I wanted to go with a bard/rogue for a few levels but don't feel like it as positioning is not my style. Should I use a fighter or a barbarian? Barbarian has more health gain, fortitude saves and fighter progression for attack. Fighter is nice but I wont reach specialization of weapons by end of this module.
Anybody know bards?
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GoodOldJack: Alright. Im in start of chapter 2 and am approaching level 9 of bard. I want to branch off into another class as a dual class. I was thinking of going with a fighter with my 8 bard levels. I currently get 1 to attack, 2 damage, 1 to all saves and 1 to all skills from my bard song. I think that with a few more health points, feats and possibly future weapon specialization would be nice

Is there any downside to that? I wanted to go with a bard/rogue for a few levels but don't feel like it as positioning is not my style. Should I use a fighter or a barbarian? Barbarian has more health gain, fortitude saves and fighter progression for attack. Fighter is nice but I wont reach specialization of weapons by end of this module.
Anybody know bards?
I'd suggest to go for your 10th level of bard before you multi-class out. You'll gain access to 4th level spells, which is well worth delaying your multi-classing plans by a level. After that, it's really up to you as to how you want to do it. You will reach about level 14 by the end of Shadows of Undrendtide.

Going with one of Fighter/Barbarian/Ranger is a distinct possibility. In each case, l'd say only invest a single level and never look back. Weapon specialization is nice, but not worth spending a full four levels in fighter when you're going with Bard.

If you're looking for a melee powerhouse approach, the way to go is the Dragon Disciple; by the 4th level it accrues a total of +4 strength bonus, which gives you +2 to attack and +2 to damage (or +3 with a two-handed weapon). This is way better than weapon specialization; you don't need to spend a feat or dedicate yourself to a specific weapon.

Don't go with Rogue; the Bard already provides you with a good assortment of skills (including the all-important use magic device!) so all you're really looking forward to are sneak attacks and evasion. Not worth slowing your spellcasting progression, to be honest.