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I've played through NWN to close to the end of Chapter 2. It just couldn't hold my attention any more. Now I'm playing the "Lord of Terror" (Diablo remake - without having played the original). I thought this module was meant for a melee character from the description, but my archer Fighter 6 / Rogue 5 can kill enemies that seem almost impossible for the fighter companion.

For example, a red dragon easily knocks the strength-based fighter down when he attacks from close up, and rapidly kills him. I can use arrows from a distance, tumble to avoid attacks and set lots of traps that took the dragon down after a few tries. In addition there is UMD so I can use scrolls for non-magic resistant enemies, and sneak attacks.

What are other people's experiences with modules that unexpectedly favour certain classes / class combinations?
Don't let the ineffectiveness of the henchman AI determine your evaluation of combat types. First, build a decent fighter yourself and then start to make comparisons if that is your goal. Also, an archer is not automatically provided a meat shield in all modules. Most times they must kite like crazy monkeys and hope they do not get flanked.

Personally, most of the modules that had been designed for warrior types can be dominated by a battle cleric and even a spellsword depending on how they paint the creature skins. It doesn't surprise me that a dedicated ranged attack can exploit the module's design as well.

But that's really not what the designer intended. They wanted to provide a challenging environment for the prospective player, most likely did their debugging running such a class, so straying from the recommendation only deprives the player from experiencing what was intended. Only PWs can control exploitations and balance classes adequately. SP modules depend on the individual to adhere to the guidelines that the author provided to optimize enjoyment.

Interesting that you dumped the OC just about the time it begins to get interesting and challenging. C'est la vie!
Post edited February 08, 2017 by Chipster
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PracticalKat: I've played through NWN to close to the end of Chapter 2. It just couldn't hold my attention any more. Now I'm playing the "Lord of Terror" (Diablo remake - without having played the original). I thought this module was meant for a melee character from the description, but my archer Fighter 6 / Rogue 5 can kill enemies that seem almost impossible for the fighter companion.

For example, a red dragon easily knocks the strength-based fighter down when he attacks from close up, and rapidly kills him. I can use arrows from a distance, tumble to avoid attacks and set lots of traps that took the dragon down after a few tries. In addition there is UMD so I can use scrolls for non-magic resistant enemies, and sneak attacks.

What are other people's experiences with modules that unexpectedly favour certain classes / class combinations?
What level was your companion?

Generally speaking Archery is considered weak in NWN. Melee Fighters do a lot more damage, and buffs work much better (almost exclusively) with melee weapons.

While it is handy at times, I have never seen a module that really favored archery. Its just too weak.
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PracticalKat: I've played through NWN to close to the end of Chapter 2. It just couldn't hold my attention any more. Now I'm playing the "Lord of Terror" (Diablo remake - without having played the original). I thought this module was meant for a melee character from the description, but my archer Fighter 6 / Rogue 5 can kill enemies that seem almost impossible for the fighter companion.

For example, a red dragon easily knocks the strength-based fighter down when he attacks from close up, and rapidly kills him. I can use arrows from a distance, tumble to avoid attacks and set lots of traps that took the dragon down after a few tries. In addition there is UMD so I can use scrolls for non-magic resistant enemies, and sneak attacks.

What are other people's experiences with modules that unexpectedly favour certain classes / class combinations?
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PeterScott: What level was your companion?

Generally speaking Archery is considered weak in NWN. Melee Fighters do a lot more damage, and buffs work much better (almost exclusively) with melee weapons.

While it is handy at times, I have never seen a module that really favored archery. Its just too weak.
Except if you level-up as an Arcane Archer. They can dish out nice damage.
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Taro94: Except if you level-up as an Arcane Archer. They can dish out nice damage.
It really doesn't make much of dent in the deficit unless you are getting well into Epic levels.

Even at 20th level, with 10AA levels, a melee fighter would probably still be doing ~double the damage of the AA.
The way an archer does more damage per round than a fighter is by kiting. Instead of forcing the opponent to spend it's round or flurry doing nothing more than attempting to close, a meleer is receiving counterattacks and trying to survive the round hoping it won't get flanked with a half dozen crits at once.

The same fighter who invested in a sword that does 1d6 fire damage will gain no advantage against a fire elemental, magnma mephit or shadow, while all an archer need do is switch to acid ammo or whatever ammo counters the damage resistance (like bludgeoning arrows vs. greater archer belts).

Specifically for an AA, those first 10 levels guarantee that they will be piercing Stoneskin et al DR with a mundane bow while a meleer must depend on finding/buying a +5 weapon otherwise that lofty STR damage will be getting soaked while the AA damage will be guaranteed to register in full. In epic levels, the damage will surpass that of a meleer because every 2 levels of AA = +1 piercing damage while a STR toon needs 2 STR boosts, either by Grt STR or every 4 levels otherwise. WM's SWF only increase AB, not damage.

Then there are BoE archers. Very nasty to deal with. Plenty of ranged damage.

There are loads of ways to increase an archer's damage and the most common one being cleric buffs of a divine archer, either standard or zen with damage that cannot be resisted. Same deal with CHA-based Divine Might archers. Plenty of irrestible damage.

Archers do 6APR hasted while a S/S melee is limited to 5APR hasted. That means they'll need to DW to surpass AA's damage per round and suffer miserably from lack of AC (a DEX build would not face this problem but also wouldn't be doing near the damage of a STR build).

None of these methods depend on finding a mighty bow either. That's just icing on the cake. Meleers should avoid high-level recipro shields. That's another issue an archer need never deal with and just keep shooting without needing to heal. Again, more damage per round.
@Chipster: Yes, the henchman AI is a part of the problem, even though I have Tony K's mod installed. But I also have a fighter / paladin who has not been to this area before, and I'm not clear how to tackle that dragon from close up. Low Dex means low success with a bow or sling. The dragon is also highly magic resistant, even if the paladin could use UMD. Smite three times a day is not that effective either. So I'll need to get to the dragon with the pally to work out how to deal with it.

As you say in your second post, being able to kite is the key. Elemental damage, rapid shot and then a potion of speed near the end really helped me. The traps were just the final nail in the coffin :) Btw, what is a BoE archer?

@PeterS: The companion was the same level, 11 at the time. But the need to get close to do melee damage combined with knockdown from the dragon made it really difficult not to lose the companion. Maybe I need to set the AI to "flee", and then change situationally? Not easy to use conversation (Tony K) in the middle of battle.

But up until then the fighter was a great meatshield, so I could scout, and when the undead came in their hordes I ran back and let him block the doorway while I was sniping from behind. What prompted this post was the reversal in roles, where it was far easier to take the dragon on by myself.

@Taro: I've never tried an AA, but would still like to do that. Maybe a Bard / AA, heavy on bard to give an extra kick to AB. I've tried a Fighter / AA in the OC, but was bored in the fighter levels.
Post edited February 09, 2017 by PracticalKat
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Chipster: The way an archer does more damage per round than a fighter is by kiting. Instead of forcing the opponent to spend it's round or flurry doing nothing more than attempting to close, a meleer is receiving counterattacks and trying to survive the round hoping it won't get flanked with a half dozen crits at once.
Talk about absurd exaggeration. Because you are a fighter, you can't use terrain to your advantage? I don't even think just being utterly mindless could get you a half dozen crits at once. Maybe if you took off your armor and looked for a room full of weapons masters, and positioned yourself in the middle of them.

The same fighter who invested in a sword that does 1d6 fire damage will gain no advantage against a fire elemental, magnma mephit or shadow, while all an archer need do is switch to acid ammo or whatever ammo counters the damage resistance (like bludgeoning arrows vs. greater archer belts).
Yeah, it's too bad Melee fighters can only have one weapon/sword. Oh wait...

Bludgeoning Arrows? Where? Not a standard item. I don't remember seeing them ever. But you do raise a point about Greater Archer Belts countering archers. Greater Archer belt = useless archer.

There are loads of ways to increase an archer's damage and the most common one being cleric buffs of a divine archer, either standard or zen with damage that cannot be resisted. Same deal with CHA-based Divine Might archers. Plenty of irrestible damage.
Pretty weak pre-epic.

All the divine stuff applies to melee characters, plus spell buffs work mostly on melee weapons:

Greater Magic Weapon
Darkfire

If going Paladin for Divine:
Bless Weapon
Deafening Clang
GMW
Holy Sword
Smite Evil

All only work for Melee.

All the buffs that work for Ranged (few really) also work for Melee and Melee get a lot more.

Also a Weapon Master can get Critical range down to 10-20, the best it gets for bows is 19-20.
This conversation is becoming too erudite for me :) All I know is that the fighter companion suffers severely from not having high enough reflex saves against area of effect damage eg flame spiders or that pesky dragon. Paladin, CoT or WM levels would help, but I think he is going to stay a vanilla fighter. At least it makes the module combat more tactical.

At the end of the day I prefer the low level group management that Tony K offers in NWN2, but it's horses for courses.. IWD in NWN2 is worth looking at if you enjoy this module, and want to have more control.
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PracticalKat: This conversation is becoming too erudite for me :) All I know is that the fighter companion suffers severely from not having high enough reflex saves against area of effect damage eg flame spiders or that pesky dragon. Paladin, CoT or WM levels would help, but I think he is going to stay a vanilla fighter. At least it makes the module combat more tactical.

At the end of the day I prefer the low level group management that Tony K offers in NWN2, but it's horses for courses.. IWD in NWN2 is worth looking at if you enjoy this module, and want to have more control.
A PC Fighter can be adding ranks to Discipline. Depending on the dragon's attack bonus + size bonus, that skill might be enough to reasonably reduce the knockdowns. If your henchman doesn't have any ranks in Discipline, then the dragon is almost certainly going to be able to slap him around with near impunity.
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Bookwyrm627: A PC Fighter can be adding ranks to Discipline. Depending on the dragon's attack bonus + size bonus, that skill might be enough to reasonably reduce the knockdowns. If your henchman doesn't have any ranks in Discipline, then the dragon is almost certainly going to be able to slap him around with near impunity.
Yes, NPC companions generally don't have optimal builds or gear.

A PC Fighter would likely have Discipline to better resist knockdown, or some gear that outright blocks knockdown making it moot (thieves Hood, Dragon boots come to mind). If you can find/buy this gear for your NPC, knockdowns are moot.
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PracticalKat: the fighter companion suffers severely from not having high enough reflex saves against area of effect damage eg flame spiders or that pesky dragon. Paladin, CoT or WM levels would help, but I think he is going to stay a vanilla fighter. At least it makes the module combat more tactical.
Do you have complete control of NPC builds in this mod? Because 2 levels of rogue boost reflex and give him evasion. I have rogue on nearly all my "fighter" builds. With evasion and decent save. Breath weapons and similar area of effects can be danced through.
Post edited February 09, 2017 by PeterScott
Thanks, I'll look at the Discipline skill of the fighter companion. Unfortunately I have no control over their levelling up. Otherwise I need to save for gear, as you suggest.