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I had finished the game few years ago with fighter/weapon master/(Maybe something else but cant remmeber). Now i want to try out thief style play, i know it will be way more challenging compared to fighter/wm because of HoTU enemies immune to critical and shit. But i want to play like that. Another reason is when i cant disarm traps/pick locks i feel restricted to rogue henchmens.

What i plan is: Rogue X until Assassin is unlocked then 1 level in Shadowdancer(between assassin levels). Cant be sure but it will probably look like this Rogue6 / Assassin 33 / Shadowdancer 1.

The thing is i want to maximize my sneak/death attack damage, but i am not sure if going this way will lower the potential of sneak attacks. I mean does assassin have lower death attack damage then rogue sneak attacks?

Also i cant decide which weapon to use for LATE GAME. I will go with dual wield, using small weapon on off hand doesnt give penalty but i dont think it will be much impact on late game.

So what do you guys suggest about weapon choice? Considering Rizolvir can enchant any weapon up to + 10 with keen etc. it seems any weapon can shine late game. But can he also enchant unique wapons? Lets say theres a dagger with on hit stun ability. Can i upgrade it to + 10 with keen/haste and also retain on hit stun effect?
Post edited March 13, 2015 by Therferon
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Therferon: The thing is i want to maximize my sneak/death attack damage, but i am not sure if going this way will lower the potential of sneak attacks. I mean does assassin have lower death attack damage then rogue sneak attacks?
Cant help with other stuff, but death attack and sneak attack damages stack, so no worries there.
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Therferon: What i plan is: Rogue X until Assassin is unlocked then 1 level in Shadowdancer(between assassin levels). Cant be sure but it will probably look like this Rogue6 / Assassin 33 / Shadowdancer 1.
Such a build is impossible. You can only take a maximum of 10 levels as an assassin as a non-epic character, and since you need to be level 20 before you turn epic that means you must have at least 10 levels in other classes. So you'll need to increase your Rogue or Shadowdancer investment.

Also, if you're planning on playing HotU you're unlikely to reach 40th level. The campaign usually ends with your character in the mid-to-late 20's.
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Therferon: The thing is i want to maximize my sneak/death attack damage, but i am not sure if going this way will lower the potential of sneak attacks. I mean does assassin have lower death attack damage then rogue sneak attacks?
Death Attack deals exactly the same amount of damage as sneak attack.
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Therferon: Also i cant decide which weapon to use for LATE GAME. I will go with dual wield, using small weapon on off hand doesnt give penalty but i dont think it will be much impact on late game.
Late-game, the Kukri is the undisputed best weapon in the game for two weapon fighting. It's light and has a higher chance of a critical hit.
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Therferon: The thing is i want to maximize my sneak/death attack damage, but i am not sure if going this way will lower the potential of sneak attacks. I mean does assassin have lower death attack damage then rogue sneak attacks?
Sneak Attack and Death Attack stack and are the same, but remember they're granted on odd levels. 20 rogue/20 assassin will give 20d6 sneak damage while 19 rogue/21 assassin (or vice versa) will give 21d6 sneak attack damage. This does technically mean taking even 1 level of Shadowdancer will lower your sneak damage.

Generally speaking you'll probably want 16 Rogue/1 Shadowdancer/23 Assassin. Pre-epic you'll go 12 Rogue/8 Assassin to maximize BAB. This will allow for Epic Dodge and nearly maximum Sneak Attack damage while getting a better Death Attack as well.
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Therferon: So what do you guys about weapon choice? Considering Rizolvir can enchant any weapon up to + 10 with keen etc. it seems any weapon can shine late game. But can he also enchant unique wapons? Lets say theres a dagger with on hit stun ability. Can i upgrade it to + 10 with keen/haste and also retain on hit stun effect?
He can enchant any weapon to a maximum of eight properties.

Regarding weapon types for (Epic) Weapon Focus, the main options you have are...

Mace
Handaxe
Short Sword

Technically you could also pick up Exotic Weapon Proficiency for Kukri but Kukri is aimed at NON-sneak attackers, really.

Mace is slightly worse (like 1-2% difference) than Handaxe/Short Sword versus crit vulnerable foes, but the benefit is that it's often better versus crit immune foes (which is what you're weakest against).
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Darvin: Late-game, the Kukri is the undisputed best weapon in the game for two weapon fighting. It's light and has a higher chance of a critical hit.
This isn't true for several reasons.

1, it requires exotic weapon proficiency. Some builds can't really spare the feat.

2, it's d4 instead of d6, and thus it does less damage against crit immune enemies.

3, crits don't apply to sneak attack damage -- so if you're dealing 20 damage per hit plus 70 for sneak attack, you're only going from 90 to 110 on a crit

4, many of the sneak/crit immune enemies are the ones resistant to slashing (like skeletal creatures).

On a crit vulnerable foe for a dual-wielding weapon master it'll be the best, but it won't be true for every character.
Thanks guys for the answers, i am going with kukris.
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MagicalMaster: Generally speaking you'll probably want 16 Rogue/1 Shadowdancer/23 Assassin. Pre-epic you'll go 12 Rogue/8 Assassin to maximize BAB. This will allow for Epic Dodge and nearly maximum Sneak Attack damage while getting a better Death Attack as well.
This build seems pretty good for me. I was thinking rogue 9 /shadowdancer 1/ assassin 30 but comparing to yours, i would get much more skill per level and more feats, and sneak/death attack damage is the same. Thanks for pointing it out, i was misleaded according to certain guides.
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MagicalMaster: 1, it requires exotic weapon proficiency. Some builds can't really spare the feat.
Semantics. You can say the weapon is weaker because it requires more investment to gain proficiency, or you can say the character is weaker because he lacks proficiency in the better weapon. You view it from the former perspective, I view it from the latter.
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MagicalMaster: 2, it's d4 instead of d6, and thus it does less damage against crit immune enemies.
It averages 1 point of damage less per hit over short sword. At lower levels that matters, but at high levels it's a pretty small difference. If you're expecting a campaign crawling with monsters that are immune to sneak attacks at every turn (like NWN2's Mask of the Betrayer) that's one thing, but otherwise the crit chance is well worth the small damage sacrifice.
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MagicalMaster: 3, crits don't apply to sneak attack damage -- so if you're dealing 20 damage per hit plus 70 for sneak attack, you're only going from 90 to 110 on a crit
And if you're attacking a sneak-attack immune foe then you're only dropping from 20 to 19 damage. The average-case improvement is still well worth the small worst-case loss.
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MagicalMaster: 4, many of the sneak/crit immune enemies are the ones resistant to slashing (like skeletal creatures).
Fair enough, although somewhat situational.
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Therferon: This build seems pretty good for me. I was thinking rogue 9 /shadowdancer 1/ assassin 30 but comparing to yours, i would get much more skill per level and more feats, and sneak/death attack damage is the same. Thanks for pointing it out, i was misleaded according to certain guides.
The "downside" of the 22 Assassin is you have 8 DC less on your Death Attack. But that will rarely ever matter -- having Epic Dodge and more feats will help more. Pre-epic you'll want...

Weapon Focus
Two Weapon Fighting
Ambidexterity
Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Knockdown
Blind Fight

If you're human, that leaves 2 more feats, otherwise 1 more feat. So if you decide to pick up Exotic Weapon Proficiency for Kukris as a non-Human, you won't be able to pick up Improved Critical.

Other possible feats include...

Toughness (more HP)
Improved Knockdown (if you have 14 int)
Skill Focus (in any skill)
Saving Throw feats

You'll also get a Rogue bonus feat at 10 which you'll want Improved Evasion from. You should spend your rogue 13 bonus feat on Defensive Roll and Rogue 16 bonus feat on Epic Dodge.
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Darvin: Semantics. You can say the weapon is weaker because it requires more investment to gain proficiency, or you can say the character is weaker because he lacks proficiency in the better weapon. You view it from the former perspective, I view it from the latter.
I wasn't saying either. I was saying that you have to compare the bonus from the exotic weapon to the other feats you could take. For example, a Bastard Sword deals 1d10 rather than 1d8 compared to a Longsword, which is +1 damage on average. The question then becomes "Is spending a feat to gain 1 damage worth it compared to the other feats?"

Imagine we're making a Half Orc barabrian using a sword and shield. Presumably we want...

Weapon Focus
Improved Critical
Power Attack
Cleave
Great Cleave
Blind Fight
Knockdown
Heavy Armor Proficiency

...at a minimum. Except that's already 8 feats and we only get 7, so we have to skip one of those. And you want to try to fit Exotic Proficiency in there for a whole +1 damage as well? It's simply not worth it, the other feats give larger bonuses.
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Darvin: It averages 1 point of damage less per hit over short sword. At lower levels that matters, but at high levels it's a pretty small difference. If you're expecting a campaign crawling with monsters that are immune to sneak attacks at every turn (like NWN2's Mask of the Betrayer) that's one thing, but otherwise the crit chance is well worth the small damage sacrifice.
He's doing HotU, which has a lot of crit/sneak immune enemies.
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Darvin: And if you're attacking a sneak-attack immune foe then you're only dropping from 20 to 19 damage. The average-case improvement is still well worth the small worst-case loss.
Is it now? Let's look at the math, assuming 20 damage for mace, 19 for kukri, 70 for sneak, and we'll even assume keen/imp crit to benefit the kukri as much as possible.

Mace: 15% chance to deal x2 damage which is 23 average damage. Add 70 to get 93 average damage per hit.

Kukri: 45% chance to deal x2 damage which is 27.5 damage. Add 70 to get 97.5 damage per hit.

So best case scenario we're gaining 4.8% damage with the Kukri. For reference, a feat like Weapon Focus is usually a 10-15% damage improvement.

And if we looked at a Short Sword instead?

Sword Sword: 30% chance to deal x2 damage which is 26 average damage, 96 average damage per hit total.

That's a 1.5% improvement over the Short Sword, *best case.* For an entire feat. Unless you're swimming in feats (which this build isn't) 1.5% is simply not worth it.
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Darvin: Fair enough, although somewhat situational.
By default in NWN, every Skeleton (of any type), Lich, or Dracolish will have slashing/piercing immunity but not bludgeoning immunity. That includes both very common undead and some of the "boss" undead types.
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MagicalMaster: You'll also get a Rogue bonus feat at 10 which you'll want Improved Evasion from. You should spend your rogue 13 bonus feat on Defensive Roll and Rogue 16 bonus feat on Epic Dodge.
Is improved evasion really worthwhile for a dexterity-based single-class Rogue? His reflex save is going to be through the roof, so failed saves should be fairly rare. I've always viewed it as something more for strength-based multi-class Rogues.
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MagicalMaster: I wasn't saying either. I was saying that you have to compare the bonus from the exotic weapon to the other feats you could take. For example, a Bastard Sword deals 1d10 rather than 1d8 compared to a Longsword, which is +1 damage on average. The question then becomes "Is spending a feat to gain 1 damage worth it compared to the other feats?"
And that's a fair consideration for any character build. That doesn't change the fact that the Bastard Sword is superior to a Longsword; the question is whether that improvement is worth a feat to your character.
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MagicalMaster: He's doing HotU, which has a lot of crit/sneak immune enemies.
On reflection, the Isle of the Maker, the Dracolich Cult, and the Beholders in chapter 2 is a pretty nasty string of areas filled with such enemies. I guess the constant stream of Drow opponents really stuck out for me as the defining enemy-type in that campaign, unlike Mask of the Betrayer which really felt defined by undead and elementals.
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MagicalMaster: Is it now? Let's look at the math, assuming 20 damage for mace, 19 for kukri, 70 for sneak, and we'll even assume keen/imp crit to benefit the kukri as much as possible.
Point made; you'd need either a higher base damage or a much lower sneak attack damage than the numbers quoted for the math to be favorable for the kukri.
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Darvin: Is improved evasion really worthwhile for a dexterity-based single-class Rogue? His reflex save is going to be through the roof, so failed saves should be fairly rare. I've always viewed it as something more for strength-based multi-class Rogues.
Well, at a minimum, it's required for Epic Dodge...so yeah. Doesn't matter whether you need it as an improvement over Evasion.

And at level 10 when you first get it (or at level 15 if you're starting HotU), your reflex save won't be through the roof so it'll be useful for a bit, in many cases. But yeah, at level 40 you'll have like 24 base reflex and another 16 or so from Dex, so that's 40 without even counting saving throw bonuses. Probably won't be failing many saves then.
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Darvin: And that's a fair consideration for any character build. That doesn't change the fact that the Bastard Sword is superior to a Longsword; the question is whether that improvement is worth a feat to your character.
True. But if you tell someone looking for build advice "Yeah, the Bastard Sword is the best 1H sword in the game" and then in the next breath tell them "You're best off going with a Longsword and ignoring the Bastard Sword" you might expect them to be slightly confused. The Bastard Sword is both superior to most 1H weapons in an absolute sense and inferior to most 1H weapons in a relative sense.
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MagicalMaster: Point made; you'd need either a higher base damage or a much lower sneak attack damage than the numbers quoted for the math to be favorable for the kukri.
Indeed. Which is why the Kukri is amazing for something like a dual-wielding strength weapon master.
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MagicalMaster: Well, at a minimum, it's required for Epic Dodge...so yeah. Doesn't matter whether you need it as an improvement over Evasion.
Always forget about that one.

Fairly iffy for a HotU character, though, since level 27 is the earliest you can nab it.
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MagicalMaster: And at level 10 when you first get it (or at level 15 if you're starting HotU), your reflex save won't be through the roof so it'll be useful for a bit
Hmmm? Rogue 10 / Shadowdancer 1 / Assassin 4 = base 13 reflex save. Even if you're naked and have only 18 dexterity by this point that's still a reflex save of 17. With items to boost your dexterity and saves you will easily be in the low or even mid-20's range. So yeah, it's a pretty jacked reflex save even in early HotU.
Now that i am thinking is it really worth investing more then 9 levels to assassin? Sure i would get better death attack damages but on the other hand i will have better sneak attacks which is actually same + damage. As far as i know Death attack DC only depends on INT and not Assassin levels.

So after unlocking improved invisibility there doesnt seem to have any benefit from assassin levels. This way i would go Rogue 30 / Shadowdancer 1 / Assassin 9 which brings more feats and skills. Heck i would even go with 1 ranger level to get dual wield, without getting exp penalty if i am not mistaken
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Therferon: As far as i know Death attack DC only depends on INT and not Assassin levels.
It's based on both your intelligence and your assassin level.
This way i would go Rogue 30 / Shadowdancer 1 / Assassin 9 which brings more feats and skills. Heck i would even go with 1 ranger level to get dual wield, without getting exp penalty if i am not mistaken
No, you couldn't add Ranger to that combination. You are permitted a maximum of three different classes in NWN1, so Ranger would be instead of Shadowdancer. I'd have recommended a level in Fighter for weapon proficiencies and the bonus feats otherwise.
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Darvin: It's based on both your intelligence and your assassin level.
This is correct. 10 + Int modifier + Assassin level.

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Darvin: Fairly iffy for a HotU character, though, since level 27 is the earliest you can nab it.
Sure, but thought he might continue into Sands of Fate or something. Or then try the build in a campaign/world that goes higher.

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Darvin: Hmmm? Rogue 10 / Shadowdancer 1 / Assassin 4 = base 13 reflex save. Even if you're naked and have only 18 dexterity by this point that's still a reflex save of 17. With items to boost your dexterity and saves you will easily be in the low or even mid-20's range. So yeah, it's a pretty jacked reflex save even in early HotU.
I was thinking Rogue 10/Assassin 5 -- lose BAB taking Shadowdancer pre-epic (12 rogue/8 assassin is optimal). Which is 11 base reflex. For a decent chunk of Undermountain you'll be in less than amazing gear too, especially ability bonus wise.

For reference, the blue dragon on the first level of Undermountain has a lightning breath with a reflex save of 27.

Vix'thra has a nasty negative breath with a DC of 37.

You certainly have better odds than most, but there are definitely some reflex saves you might not be making.
Post edited March 16, 2015 by MagicalMaster
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MagicalMaster: I was thinking Rogue 10/Assassin 5 -- lose BAB taking Shadowdancer pre-epic (12 rogue/8 assassin is optimal)
Good point on pre-epic Shadowdancer. Painful as the wait may be for your build to come online, it'll pay off in the long run.
You are suggesting me to take Shadowdancer on pre-epic. So do you mean like this Rogue 12 / Assassin 8 / Shadowdancer 1?

And by the way hand axe seems appealing with x3 damage and doesnt need exotic slot. What do you guys think about it? I checked gamebanshee to see late game handaxes they seem to suck mostly but i cant rely on that site because its already missing few weapons(i.e hatred / strife on kukri section).