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I was thinking bard, cleric/paladin, rogue/wizard and monk/druid?

Maybe even bard, paladin/sorcerer, rogue/ranger and cleric?
Post edited February 05, 2018 by BeatriceElysia
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BeatriceElysia: I was thinking bard, cleric/paladin, rogue/wizard and monk/druid?

Maybe even bard, paladin/sorcerer, rogue/ranger and cleric?
I have found that having a melee fighter (your choice - fighter/paladin/barbarian) to deal damage helps immensely. In my current campaign my human bard dipped into fighter and is addeing red dragon disciple to add stat boosts to strength. The Paladin/Sorcerer is a great combination since the charisma can serve two purposes. You should always have a character with a lot of skills as party leader - the rogue range or rogue wizard provides that. A healer cleric, or if you like monks, cleric/monk/sacred fist is also a great choice.
I would advise against getting noncaster multiclasses for casters in SoZ. It's not exactly very high level companion so you most likely end somewhere around 15-16 level max. 2 pal levels for example cost you high level spells. Not exactly worth it

There are many way to get balanced party in SoZ, but best balanced party consist of specialists. You need overworld guy with survival, spot, listen and sneaks skills, you need dialogue guy, you need rogue, crafter and you need tank with damage dealers. I would personally advice to make bard with rogue dip you main trap finder character.
You can hit level 20, but it may be a bit of grind. I finished at Level 19 according to my saved game. Not sure how much grinding it took. But I would follow Valkinaz's advice, to keep main spell casters pure, to get the highest level spells.

Your main character should be your stealth/overland map character.

My Main in this game finished as:

Rogue 1, Ranger 12, Fighter 1, Frenzied Berserker 5.

First level I take Rogue to max skill points, then take the "Able Learner" Feat, so you have full access to all skills after that, no matter which class you level.

Rogue/Ranger combo is perfect for a lead character as it opens all the necessary overland skills like Survival, Spot, Stealth, and other good skills you may want like Tumble/UMD, locks/traps etc... 1 Rogue level on one character + "Able Learner" is all the Rogue a party needs.

Ranger also gets "Track" feat for free so he can use that survival skill off the overland map to spot enemies to a wide range all around the party, and ONLY Ranger gets "Swift Tracker" feat so he can stay in Track mode at no movement penalty.

Top it off with Rogue for the perfect lead character that handles all the Overland Map stuff, and detects ememies and Traps (and deals with them) It's the perfect lead.

That is my strongest recommendation. Make your main character a Rogue/Ranger, you will be happy you did. After that it is really up to you. After that:



I had Umoja the Druid you find stay as a pure druid to level 19.

I had Finch the Bard you find, multiclass to Eldritch Knight, and Arcane Archer. He handled Conversation skills for the party.

I Created a pure Level 19 Warlock to try them out and he was my crafter.

I Created a Cleric 9, Stormlord 10, which AFAIK, is just as good as being a Level 19 cleric, but with more melee ass kicking (is there a reason to be a pure cleric?).
Post edited February 07, 2018 by PeterScott
For Storm of Zehir, you'll want the following:

1) a dedicated character to lead the party when moving through the wilderness. You will need Survival to move quickly, hide and move silently so you can bypass unwanted random encounters, plus spot and search to locate hidden areas. In my view, this makes a Ranger or a Barbarian/Rogue multiclass basically obligatory. A druid can also work, if you don't mind being a magnet for random encounters.

2) a healer; I played without one on my first SoZ playthrough, and it's nasty. I literally bought out every merchant's supply of healing kits and was still hurting. Having a Cleric, or at very least a Druid, is very advisable.

3) trap disarmer; there are some areas that are just filled to the brim with vicious traps. Well worth it to have someone who can handle disable device on the team.

4) dedicated melee; this is pretty easy to fill, and any of the characters described above can fill the role. You just need to make sure you have someone who is good at melee.

5) Arcane caster; because seriously, Wizards and Sorcerers are awesome!

I concur with the others that you generally don't want to multiclass with your casters. Losing out on spell power isn't worth it, and you can fit that multiclassing easily on the melee characters who really don't suffer much for it.

My first SoZ party consisted of a Fighter/Rogue, a Fighter/Bard/Red Dragon Disciple, a Sorcerer, and an archer Ranger. Basically the only thing I felt I missed out on was a dedicated healer. I ended up accidentally skipping a huge portion of the campaign and finishing around level 13 (which made the final boss fight ridiculously hard!) In hindsight, I think swapping out the Dragon Disciple for a Cleric would have made the party more balanced without much sacrifice in raw power.
Post edited February 07, 2018 by Darvin
You might also want to make all characters of the same alignment with same god. This would let you maximise effect of cleric/favored soul "Recitation" spell
I haven't played this game, but there's one thing I am wondering: Is the optimal party balanced?

I have heard that Clerics are really good in D&D 3.x; does this translate to NWN2? In particular, does a party with just Clerics work well?

In particular, is your choice of balanced party better than a party of the same size where everyone is a Cleric? If not, than your party clearly isn't optimal.

(Incidentally, in one game I've played, Wizardry 8, I have found that unbalanced parties (where you have one role over-represented) often work better than balanced parties, mainly due to the way that game is designed; melee and ranged don't mix well in that game because your party is all in one spot.)
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dtgreene: I have heard that Clerics are really good in D&D 3.x; does this translate to NWN2? In particular, does a party with just Clerics work well?
Yes, yes, and no

The difference is that in pen and paper you can get around not having certain skills at your disposal. If you can't disarm traps, you can call an outsider who can. If you can't traverse your way through the wilderness, you might cast a spell to simply stride through the clouds and go over it. If you can't get through a door with a fiendishly devious lock, you can just cast a spell to open a passage through the solid stone wall next to it. These options don't work in NWN, and as such you're stuck playing by the game's rules, which is to say it's constantly going to be testing your skill checks. That is very punishing for the Cleric, since that's the only real weakness of the class.

You could definitely do just fine with an all-cleric-except-for-the-rogue party, though.
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dtgreene: (Incidentally, in one game I've played, Wizardry 8, I have found that unbalanced parties (where you have one role over-represented) often work better than balanced parties, mainly due to the way that game is designed; melee and ranged don't mix well in that game because your party is all in one spot.)
In D&D 3rd edition, there are basically three roles in combat

Damage - defeat enemies by taking away their hit points
Battlefield Control - split up enemies and otherwise disrupt their tactics so your party can single them out and eliminate them efficiently
Support - buff allies and debuff enemies

Clerics can fulfill literally all the roles described above, and do it very well. This is why an all-Cleric party works so well. Now, it's not optimal per say because you get a degree of redundancy, and there are other exceedingly powerful classes that are the equals of the Cleric. It should be noted that "tanking" and "healing" are generally not considered proper roles in pen and paper, just things your character might be good at, but Clerics are notably quite good at both those things.

Combat is only part of the game, and utility has to be considered as well. Their bad skill allotment is the only real weakness of the Cleric class, but they make up with it with a whole bunch of versatile spells. NWN doesn't do this aspect of the casters justice, as many of the non-combat spells were straight up removed. So this is a legitimate weakness of the class in NWN where in pen and paper it's actually a net strength.
Post edited February 10, 2018 by Darvin
Main problem with cleric only party in SoZ is lack of survival, sneaking and search skills. As a result you would move slowly in overworls map and have problem with finding a lot of optional stuff there
I'd like to add, about 15 minutes into the game, you're given an option to recruit a ranger and a Druid companion. So for their.. well they don't really have story or personality so maybe you want to skip them.. but they have some input at some point.. didn't they?

So, might want to not make your own survival expert since you're given one before you really have to do the overland map stuff.
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Jarmo: So, might want to not make your own survival expert since you're given one before you really have to do the overland map stuff.
Ideally, you want your survival expert to be your main character, because the game keeps switching back to your main character on map changes.

It is possible to use a different character, but it is goes much smoother if your main character is also the Survival/Stealth/Overland character.
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Jarmo: I'd like to add, about 15 minutes into the game, you're given an option to recruit a ranger and a Druid companion. So for their.. well they don't really have story or personality so maybe you want to skip them.. but they have some input at some point.. didn't they?
Yes, dungeons and other locations usually have trigger points where those companions will make comments about the area, which you wouldn't get with the characters you make yourself.

Also, when I'm on the overland map, I often switch to my spellcasters to lead, because you get scrolls and other magical goodies if your lead character has high spellcraft. I only switch to my survivalist when I see encounters appearing (assuming I want to avoid them).
Post edited February 12, 2018 by touched