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high rated
In short, I was unhappy with how my last one turned out. it was rather messy and in my opinion it did not achieve what it set out to be - helping new players. I realized they would actually want level-by-level guidance. I also re-evaluated quite a bit of my positions on companions and their development. I will also take this chance to structure it better for easier navigation.
I will no longer do this because this good game has an unfortunate set of devs. Sorry. You can thank them for it. I will not delete what I've made, because I'm not 16 and some people might be inconvenienced by it.

Lists below are clickable

Companions

Valerie
Amiri
Linzy
Tristian
Octavia
Jaethal
Jubilost
Harrim
Regongar
Nok-Nok*
Ekundayo
Kalikke/Kanerah

Companion Alternative Builds:
Amiri Off-Tank
Meleenzy
True Follower of Urgathoa Jaethal
Off-Tank Nok-Nok
Valerie the Annoying Dragon
Kinetic Valerie
Valerie Bard

Main Character Builds
Dex Scion
Aldori Duelist
Sylvan Sorcerer
Mad Doge
But what about Dragons!?
Elven Arcane Warrior
Melee Sorc
Dueling Monk
Blind run Scion
Staff Monkster
Monkadin
Damaging Bard
Saint Vivisector
Noble Assassin
Tripping Balls
Kineticist
Aldori Investigator(DLC)
Bite-barian (DLC)
Unfair Kineticist
Trip Vivisectionist
Slayer
AT Sorc(DLC)

Extras
Character Building DIY
Classes and evaluation. Part 1
Classes and evaluation. Part 2
Race evaluation
Party composition
Solving end-game
Kineticist Evaluation
Tieflig Evaluation
Varnhold Party
Reaching Level 20
Easy Kingdom management and Priority assessment
Slayer And Aldori Swordlord Evaluation
Merc Builds
Post edited July 03, 2019 by InEffect
Introduction:
This section will be for merc builds. I won’t put as much time into them with (mostly) complete spell-lists and will only list key items(if any) and a few notes. It’s up to you to look if your items overlap and some such and adjust stats. The builds themselves will be compiled with hard/unfair in mind as I don’t see a compelling reason to not use full party of story companions below that. I also will assume all DLC's as it's too much work to create two versions of the build; if you don't have some DLC it's up to you to adapt.

Merc Builds:
Gozreh Cleric Merc
Sylvan Sorc Stats: 5/17/15/11/7/19
Post edited June 21, 2019 by InEffect
Amiri

Rank D
Role: 2nd row Damage Dealer

Stats:
Str: 16 > 20
Dex: 13 > 14 @ lvl 20
Con: 16
Int: 10
Wis: 12
Cha: 10

Final Build: Barbarian 11/Fighter(Two-Handed) 3/Inquisitor 3/Alchemist(Vivisectionist) 3

Main skills: Perception (max), Trickery(Max),
Suggested secondary skills: Stealth, Athletics, Persuasion(Max)

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 2: Fighter - Power Attack
Lvl 3: Fighter - Cleave* // Cleaving Finish
Lvl 4: Fighter
Lvl 5: Barbarian - Reckless Stance // Combat Reflexes
Lvl 6: Inquisitor
Lvl 7: Inquisitor - Outflank
Lvl 8: Inquisitor - Seize the Moment
Lvl 9: Alchemist - Great Cleave
Lvl 10: Barbarian
Lvl 11: Barbarian - Weapon Focus: Bastard Sword // Swift Foot
Lvl 12: Barbarian
Lvl 13: Alchemist - Dazzling Display // Combat Trick > Shatter Defenses
Lvl 14: Barbarian - Animal Fury
Lvl 15: Barbarian - Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Lvl 16: Barbarian - Increased Damage Reduction
Lvl 17: Barbarian - Improved Critical: Bastard Sword
Lvl 18: Barbarian - Increased Damage Reduction
Lvl 19: Barbarian - Precise Strike
Lvl 20: Alchemist
*Cleave does benefit fully from Overhand Chop. And So does Great Cleave.

Important gear: best 2h we can find till you find good oversized bastard swords, damage-enhancing items, bonus rage items, Blind Immunity cloak from artisan.

She will sit back enlarged every combat, pretty much. If you let her into melee - she will die, as HP is not a good defence in this game. She can and should be used to rush enemy backline early, if need be, just try not to pick up too many attacks of opportunity on the way. Even if we would take all DR talents it wouldn’t somehow turn her into a serviceable tank - she will just die a tiny bit slower. Rank D because basic class for Barbarians sucks compared to both Invulnerable Rager and a Mad Dog. To make the matters worse, she is 20PB with stat spread worse than her PnP version(that one has racial bonus in STR).

There is a good reason we pick weapon focus feats somewhat late - we will ditch her sword asap for any serviceable two-hander. Few points of damage are not worth the loss of 2AB, at least for now, when 2AB is good chunk of our total. As to why we do that - you will know when you get there.

She will end up using medium armor for speed, but don’t be shy - use plate in the early-game as it will boost her AC just enough so she won’t die all the time on you, while you don’t have enough enlarges to use those all the time.

Overall, we abandon hope on AC. There is just no point in having “some” - monsters AB is high enough to make medium AC values the same as no AC at all.

Beast Totem is taken so we can charge those pesky mages better. It’s not much, but better than nothing,

Animal Fury is skipped till late. You won’t benefit from it without Legendary Proportions. Even worse: it would actively harm you. Won’t matter much as you want to use Cleave/greater cleave anyways.

General strategy: Enlarge her through potion or spell, depending on how urgently you need it. Potion is a lot faster, so if you were ambushed you can use one of those and charge in. potions are cheap, so there is no point of hoarding those. You will get enough for emergencies. Later come Legendary Proportions for even bigger reach and Str bonus.

Use rage when you need it. There is no reason to dump it all on trash mobs. There is also no point in going to rest with full charges. Ration them well. Potions of lesser restoration are just as good as tireless rage, so use those if you need to get rid of fatigue fast(around mid-game and later).

Now good news are(or at least as good as the news can be using Amiri) There are quite a bit of things that count for overhand chop. Cleave/greater cleave, and all opportunity attack which we stacked decently well. You do have dazzling, but it’s only taken for shatter - let someone else dazzle nemies for you. That and the damage is rather nice. 30m mutagen is enough to clear the dungeon. Or your team would need rest by then.

Could be built better, but this is a more lore-friendly version that actually doesn’t totally abandon Barbarian and is still usable.
Post edited June 12, 2019 by InEffect
Linzy

Rank: A+
Role: Buffer/Controller

Stats:
Str: 8 > 9 @ lvl 20
Dex: 16
Con: 14
Int: 14
Wis: 10
Cha: 16 > 20

Final Build: Bard 7/Eldritch Knight 10/Rogue(Thug) 1/Arcane Trickster 2

Main skills: Knowledge: Arcana*, Mobility, Trickery
Suggested secondary skills: Stealth
*or Knowledge: World. Depending on what your party needs. I prefer to keep her in special slot during camping so I like giving her arcana.

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 2: Bard - Combat Trick > Point Blank Shot
Lvl 3: Rogue - Precise Shot
Lvl 4: Bard
Lvl 5: Bard - Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Lvl 6: Bard -
Lvl 7: Bard - Martial Weapons Proficiency // Combat Trick > Rapid Shot
Lvl 8: Bard
Lvl 9: Eldritch Knight - Dazzling Display // Weapon Focus: Light Crossbow**
Lvl 10: Eldritch Knight
Lvl 11: Eldritch Knight - Shatter Defenses
Lvl 12: Eldritch Knight
Lvl 13: Eldritch Knight - Improved Critical: Light Crossbow** // Weapon Specialization: Light Crossbow**
Lvl 14: Eldritch Knight
Lvl 15: Eldritch Knight - Critical Focus
Lvl 16: Eldritch Knight -
Lvl 17: Eldritch Knight - Tiring Critical* // Greater Weapon Focus: Light Crossbow**
Lvl 18: Eldritch Knight
Lvl 19: Arcane Trickster - Exhausting Critical*
Lvl 20: Arcane Trickster
*Optional. Can be swapped for whatever you like better.

Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: Hideous Laughter, Remove Fear, Vanish, Cure Light Wounds
Lvl 2: Cacophonous Call, Heroism, Cure Moderate Wounds, Sense Vitals, Glitterdust*, Mirror Image
Lvl 3: Good Hope, Haste, Cure Serious Wounds, Confusion
Lvl 4: Serenity, Dimension Door, Cure Critical Wounds, Greater Invisibility, Hold Monster
Lvl 5: Cacophonous Call(Mass), Heroism(Greater), Mind Fog, Dispel Magic(Greater)
Lvl 6: Brilliant Inspiration, Euphoric Tranquility, Overwhelming Presence, Cure Moderate Wounds(Mass)
*Take as soon as you can if nobody else in your party can cast it. Or you will suffer. There are a lot of invisible/concealed enemies. It is also an early source of blind, so that’s amazing too. Shift Cacophonous Call for later

Important gear: +Cha helmet, +enchantment DC item(there are several)

She will likely be in your party forever. Bards are pretty much THE party buffers in this game. No other class can hold a candle to them in that department. With this build-up she will also be able to shoot stuff when she is not casting and will be moderately competent at that task. That is more than can be said about pure bards. Rank A+ because she is serviceable enough. Sure, tundercaller bards are infinitely better than she is, but at least she in not gimped, like some other companions are.

Bards are not healers. If your bard has to run in to heal somebody you did something wrong. Heal spells are taken so bard could help repair damage after the combat. Preferably, on rest.

Crossbows are chosen for their crit range for the most part. We would like to reap the most benefits from Eldritch Knight.

Enchantment is chosen as bards have amazing selection of those spells. And if enemy has insane will saves you can always shoot/buff/heal.

Use extend metamagic rods. They will give you a lot of bonus time on shorter spells.

Use Inspire Greatness instead of Inspire Courage when/if you get it.

General strategy: buff your party - crush everything, repeat. Drop few control spells here and there. Go full control in really hard ones. Decide if you want to CC something before fight gets messy - it will make more impact on your action economy.
Post edited August 29, 2019 by InEffect
Tristian // Switch to summoning

Rank: B
Role: Healer/Nuker/Buffer

Stats:
Str: 9
Dex: 12
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 17 > 22
Cha: 16

Final Build: Cleric(Ecclesitheurge) 20

Main skills: Mobility 3, Perception (max), Lore: Nature (max), Lore: Religion (max)
Suggested secondary skills: Use Magic Device or Knowledge: World or Knowledge: Arcana*
*Depending on what your party needs.
Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 4: Cleric
Lvl 5: Cleric - Extra Channel(Cleric)
Lvl 6: Cleric
Lvl 7: Cleric - Spell Focus: Evocation
Lvl 8: Cleric
Lvl 9: Cleric - Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
Lvl 10: Cleric
Lvl 11: Cleric - Elemental Focus: Fire
Lvl 12: Cleric
Lvl 13: Cleric - Greater Elemental Focus: Fire
Lvl 14: Cleric
Lvl 15: Cleric - Extra Channel(Cleric)
Lvl 16: Cleric
Lvl 17: Cleric - Extra Channel(Cleric)
Lvl 18: Cleric
Lvl 19: Cleric - Extra Channel(Cleric)
Lvl 20: Cleric

Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: Faerie Fire, Bane, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith
Lvl 2: Restoration(Lesser), Sound Burst
Lvl 3: Fireball, Animate Dead, Resist Energy(Communal), Delay Poison(Communal)
Lvl 4: Controlled Fireball, Death Ward, Restoration, Protection from Energy(Communal)
Lvl 5: Raise Dead, Flame Strike
Lvl 6: Heal
Lvl 7: Create Undead, Restoration(Greater), Jolting Portent
Lvl 8: Protection From Spells, Fire Storm
Lvl 9: Heal(Mass)

Important gear: +Wis/+Cha items. Wis in priority

Your primary healer. Will cover all cleric buffs (you need 1-2 casts per rest) and will do some damage with nukes. Will do wonders against undead with his channel, but usually healing is more efficient. Give him a crossbow so he doesn’t run into melee. Rank B as he is average in everything he does and cleric spell-list is not exactly amazing. Will be higher once his class is fixed.

Always keep death wards in amounts enough for your front-line. Especially if you are heading to crypts. You have been warned. 1 Resist Energy(Communal), 1 Delay Poison(Communal) and 1 Protection from Energy(Communal) should cover your everyday needs.

We do not bother with his protection at all apart from positioning. The trick is he should be rather close to the front in formation to spot traps, but the moment you see mobs you should drag him back a notch.

Keep Fighting Defensively on. You do not have any AB attacks anyways.

General Strategy: Help to pre-buff your party and heal them as needed. Nuke as needed. Don’t keep him too far so he always can at least emergency channel.
Remember: you can convert any spell to heal wounds of appropriate level, so don’t bother memorizing those.
Mass heal with selective channel is one of the best healing abilities in the game

Can be done as a conjuration+Summoning to be overall better at everything, but maybe less lore-friendly.
Post edited April 02, 2019 by InEffect
Octavia

Rank: C
Role: Nuker

Stats:
Str: 10
Dex: 17
Con: 8
Int: 19 > 24
Wis: 10
Cha: 14

Final Build: Wizard 7/Rogue 1/Arcane Trickster 10/Alchemist(Vivisectionist) 2

Main skills: Trickery, Perception, Knowledge: Arcane, Persuasion, Mobility 4+
Suggested secondary skills: Knowledge: World, Stealth(Spare)

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 3: Wizard - Precise Shot
Lvl 4: Wizard
Lvl 5: Wizard - Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Lvl 6: Arcane Trickster
Lvl 7: Arcane Trickster - Weapon Focus: Ray
Lvl 8: Arcane Trickster
Lvl 9: Arcane Trickster - Dazzling Display
Lvl 10: Arcane Trickster
Lvl 11: Arcane Trickster - Deceitful
Lvl 12: Arcane Trickster
Lvl 13: Arcane Trickster - Shatter Defenses
Lvl 14: Arcane Trickster
Lvl 15: Arcane Trickster - Spell Specialization(Disintegrate)
Lvl 16: Wizard - Greater Spell Focus: Transmutation
Lvl 17: Wizard - Heighten Spell
Lvl 18: Wizard
Lvl 19: Alchemist - Improved Critical: Ray
Lvl 20: Alchemist - Cognatogen

Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: True Strike, Enlarge Person, Reduce Person, Mage Armor, Grease
Lvl 2: Web, Sense Vitals, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image, Glitterdust, +Stat Spells
Lvl 3: Haste, Slow, Heroism, Displacement
Lvl 4: Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Obsidian Flow
Lvl 5: Baleful Polymorph, Angelic Aspect, Cloudkill, Echolocation
Lvl 6: Disintegrate, Heroism(Greater), Chain Lightning
Lvl 7: Legendary Proportions, Waves of Exhaustion, Firebrand
Lvl 8: Angelic Aspect(Greater), Stormbolts
Lvl 9: Foresight, Heroic Invocation

Alchemist Spells: True Strike

Important gear: Stat gear, Robe of Air(or whatever else you fancy), Heart of Ira is nice when traveling to stop her constant moaning. Profane Amulet from Varn DLC in dungeons. Loads of rods for different occasions. +Persuasion gear.

Closest thing you have to pure caster. Due to limited spell list (and even less really useful ones) turns into a shitty sorc pretty fast. Made of paper with her 8 con. Who thought it is a good idea to give caster 8 con is beyond me. Weird stat distribution forces my hand into lower Rank for her. She would be even lower if she had any competition outside of mercs. Really though, if you want a caster you are better off grabbing a Sylvan Sorc merc at level 2.

To create metamagic spells you need to click “Metamagic‘ in your spell-book drag a spell there, apply metamagic to it(drag and drop), click write spell. You can color-code it, if you want.

Give her some Con item asap. Resting all the time will get real old real fast otherwise.

At least check your scrolls before level-up in case you can learn something. There are also several arcane traders in act 2. Check those too. You don’t exactly need much, but

Gets improved invis from arcane trickster, but don’t rely on the thing too much. Greater invis + Mirror image must run all the time.

Heighten is for everything (Mostly Web to Disintegrate). Change your list according to what you need the most.
Have at least 1-2 cast of stormbolts for that masterpiece rod late-game.

Has Dazzle and is rather decent at it. Also has Shatter to save up on true strikes, So she has something to do when not casting something meaningful.
Post edited June 10, 2019 by InEffect
Jaethal

Rank: A-
Role: 2nd row Damage Dealer/Support

Stats:
Str: 16 > 21
Dex: 14
Con: -
Int: 14
Wis: 16
Cha: 14

Final Build: Inquisitor 16/Fighter(Two-Handed) 3/Stalwart Defender 1

Main skills: Perception, Trickery, Lore: Religion,
Suggested secondary skills: Knowledge: Arcana or Lore: Nature, Athletics

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 2: Fighter - Dodge
Lvl 3: Inquisitor - Combat Reflexes
Lvl 4: Inquisitor - Seize the Moment
Lvl 5: Inquisitor - Combat Expertise
Lvl 6: Inquisitor
Lvl 7: Inquisitor - Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Fauchard // Outflank
Lvl 8: Inquisitor
Lvl 9: Inquisitor - Trip // Precise Strike
Lvl 10: Inquisitor
Lvl 11: Inquisitor - Improved Critical: Fauchard
Lvl 12: Inquisitor
Lvl 13: Inquisitor - Greater Trip // Tandem Trip
Lvl 14: Inquisitor
Lvl 15: Inquisitor - Weapon Focus: Fauchard
Lvl 16: Inquisitor - Coordinated Maneuvers
Lvl 17: Inquisitor - Fury's Fall
Lvl 18: Fighter - Critical Focus
Lvl 19: Fighter - Blinding Critical*
Lvl 20: Stalwart

*Can take any other crit effect feat there.

Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: Divine Favor, Inflict Light Wounds, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith
Lvl 2: Restoration(Lesser), Inflict Moderate Wounds, Cure Moderate Wounds, Effortless Armor, Remove Paralysis
Lvl 3: Inflict Serious Wounds, Resist Energy(Communal), Cure Serious Wounds, Delay Poison(Communal)
Lvl 4: Inflict Critical Wounds, Protection from Energy(Communal), Restoration, Cure Critical Wounds
Lvl 5: Resounding Blow, Righteous Might, Stoneskin(Communal)
Lvl 6: Harm, Heal

Important gear: +Wis, +Str, +Dex. Glaive. Fauchard later on.

Again, just like bard she is NOT a primary healer. She can save someone in a pinch as she is already there, so don’t hesitate should the situation call for it. Generally Jaethal is a swiss-army knife, that has something for every occasion, she also can help plug holes in your clerics spell-list. Only thing that holds her back from being S Rank is her deity. All it does there is negating the drawbacks of her being dead. Not the end of the world, but when you remember she could’ve had luck or animal domain...

Fighter is there for Proficiencies and an extra feat, so she is not made of paper early. use pole weapons as she can't be enlarged with anything, but Righteous Might and that comes late

General Strategy: assume position somewhere near the biggest cluster of enemies and chop away. Help your cleric to buff and heal if needed. Ration bane weapon and judgements the same way you would ration Rage: nothing on trash mobs and all out for anything that looks funny. Do not break the line with this one. Her team feats are only so good as long as you have your team focused.

Don't turn on Combat Expertise, unless you really have to. If you do need to make her off-tank a bit make sure you at least cast shield spell on her and use Protection Judgement. If you are staying in back line - use damage judgements.

I would advise to give her lesser extend wand for divine favor.

Trip is very limited and doesn't gain reach with enlarge, so use with caution. Being able to lock down an enemy can prove invaluable in some situations, though.
Post edited November 18, 2018 by InEffect
Jubilost

Rank: S
Role: Nuker/Support

Stats:
Str: 8 > 9 @ lvl 20
Dex: 14
Con: 12
Int: 18 > 22
Wis: 8
Cha: 12

Final Build: Alchemist 20

Main skills: Trickery, Knowledge: Arcane, Knowledge: World
Suggested secondary skills:, Perception, Stealth

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 6: Alchemist - Infusion
Lvl 7: Alchemist - Extra Bombs
Lvl 8: Alchemist - Choking Bomb
Lvl 9: Alchemist - Extra Bombs
Lvl 10: Alchemist - Fast Bombs
Lvl 11: Alchemist - Improved Critical: Bomb
Lvl 12: Alchemist - Blinding Bombs
Lvl 13: Alchemist - Critical Focus
Lvl 14: Alchemist - Cognatogen
Lvl 15: Alchemist - Weapon Focus: Bomb
Lvl 16: Alchemist - Curse Bomb
Lvl 17: Alchemist - Extra Bombs
Lvl 18: Alchemist - Greater Cognatogen
Lvl 19: Alchemist - Extra Bombs
Lvl 20: Alchemist - Dispelling Bomb, Grand Cognatogen, Awakened Intellect

Spells by level in order of importance*:
All levels: Cure wounds
Lvl 1: Shield, True Strike, Enlarge Person, Reduce Person
Lvl 2: Restoration(Lesser), Barkskin
Lvl 3: Thorn Body, Displacement, Haste, Delay Poison(Communal)
Lvl 4: Death Ward, Restoration, Stoneskin, Greater Invisibility, False Life(Greater)
Lvl 5: Stoneskin(Communal), Spell Resistance
Lvl 6: Transformation, Heal, Legendary Proportions

*most cleric spells can be learned from scrolls. Check priests in town for those.

Important gear: +Int, +Dex. +bomb damage items, Bombardier’s Vest, some crossbow

Not the worst alchemist you can do. Decent enough stats. Only way he could be better is if he was a grenadier. Being clearly the best story companion he deserves his S rank.

Alchemists are OP. Let me tell you why:
-Mutagens stack with items
-Almost all of their spells can be learned from scrolls readily available from priests and mages.
-They can give “personal” buffs to other people through infusion. Thorn Body on a barbarian? Easy. Shield spell for your dual-wielder? Yep. Transformation for your rogue? Got it.
-Speaking of transformation: it does nothing to our bombs. Buff and lob away at full BAB.
-Did I mention bombs? Yeah those are insane.as well. With how much int you can have it will get into DC30+ territory and they are ranged touch attacks, so a lot less AC for enemies too.

General Strategy: Buff with what you need, Including reduce person for better AC/AB. Use disabling bombs as needed. You have a lot of those, Use fast bombs on tough groups when you will likely have to rest after anyways.
Post edited June 06, 2019 by InEffect
Harrim:

Rank: C+
Role: Nuker/Support/Controller

Stats:
Str: 14 > 15 @ lvl 20
Dex: 8
Con: 16
Int: 10
Wis: 18 > 22
Cha: 10

Final Build: Cleric 3/Empyreal Sorcerer 7/Mystic Theurge 10

Main skills: Lore: Religion 3, Knowledge: Arcana 3
Suggested secondary skills: Perception (max), Lore: Religion (Spare)

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 2: Cleric
Lvl 3: Cleric - Spell Focus: Necromancy
Lvl 4: Sorcerer - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
Lvl 5: Sorcerer - Spell Specialization
Lvl 6: Sorcerer
Lvl 7: Sorcerer - Metamagic(Extended Spell)
Lvl 8: Mystic Theurge
Lvl 9: Mystic Theurge - Toughness
Lvl 10: Mystic Theurge
Lvl 11: Mystic Theurge - Steel Soul
Lvl 12: Mystic Theurge
Lvl 13: Mystic Theurge - Metamagic(Empower Spell)
Lvl 14: Mystic Theurge
Lvl 15: Mystic Theurge - Spell Penetration
Lvl 16: Mystic Theurge
Lvl 17: Mystic Theurge - Greater Spell Penetration
Lvl 18: Sorcerer
Lvl 19: Sorcerer - Quicken Spell
Lvl 20: Sorcerer - Iron Will
*Or martial weapon proficiency if you use jaethal in the party.

Spells by level in order of importance:
Sorcerer
Lvl1: Mage Armor, Vanish, Enlarge person, Reduce Person, True Strike
Lvl2: Boneshaker, Mirror Image, Glitterdust, Sense Vitals, Invisibility
Lvl3: Haste, Displacement, Resist Energy(Communal)
Lvl4: Boneshatter, Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility, Enervation
Lvl5: Echolocation, Cloudkill
Lvl6: Heroism(Greater), Circle of Death, Dispel Magic(Greater)
Lvl7: Waves of Exhaustion, Legendary Proportions, Firebrand
Lvl8: Horrid Wilting, Angelic Aspect(Greater)

Late-game Cleric Spellbook Example
Lvl1: True Strike(D), Divine Favor x5, Remove Fear x2
Lvl2: Boneshaker x6, Restoration(Lesser) x2
Lvl3: Dispel Magic(D), Animate Dead x6
Lvl4: Freedom of Movement(D), Protection From Energy x2, Animate Dead(Extended) x3
Lvl5: Boneshatter x4, Geniekind x2
Lvl6: Banshee Blast(D), Eaglesoul, Blade Barrier x3
Lvl7: Word of Chaos(D), Restoration(Greater), Eaglesoul(Extended)

Sorc metamagic:
Extended: Boneshatter, Haste, Displacement
Empowered: Boneshaker, Boneshatter
Quicken: True Strike, Vanish, Invisibility, Haste, Dimension Door

Spell Specialization: Boneshaker till Horrid wilting. Then that.

Important gear: +Stats. Cloak of lost souls, Robe.

This Harrim is better than useless midget that could neither channel, nor tank. Necromancy offers a healthy mix of damage and control. It also has a lot of single target spells so it is not annoying to micro. Also his domains kinda suck anyway. Destructive aura is nice, but that’s it.

Sub-optimal domain selection and merc-level non-optimized stats, but has a way to be salvaged to a decent degree - C+.

Just bite the bullet about his wasted heavy armor feat. He will never have good AC. And mediocre AC is the same as no AC at all. Give him longspear so he doesn't run into melee and be done with ti. If you find +2 Necro DC dagger - switch to that and either turn off his AI or right-click acid splash or something.

Use “Cure X” spells you need through sorc slots, same with cleric defensive spells, should you need those. Otherwise - use those to heal, damage, control - whatever you fancy. Local wizards would envy your sorcerer's spell-list and versatility.
Post edited April 16, 2019 by InEffect
Regongar

Rank: A-
Role: Off-Tank/Front-line Damage Dealer

Stats:
Str: 19 > 24
Dex: 13
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 8
Cha: 16

Final Build: Magus(Eldritch Scion) 15/Dragon Disciple 4/Alchemist(Vivisectionist) 1

Main skills: Mobility 3, Knowledge: Arcane 5, Persuasion
Suggested secondary skills: whatever your party needs

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 3: Magus - Dodge // Arcane Accuracy
Lvl 4: Magus
Lvl 5: Magus - Crane Style // Improved Unarmed Strike
Lvl 6: Magus - Enduring Blade
Lvl 7: Magus - Outflank
Lvl 8: Dragon Disciple
Lvl 9: Dragon Disciple - Crane Wing // Blind Fight
Lvl 10: Dragon Disciple
Lvl 11: Dragon Disciple - Weapon Focus: Scimitar
Lvl 12: Magus
Lvl 13: Magus - Crane Riposte // Ghost Blade
Lvl 14: Magus
Lvl 15: Magus - Shatter defenses // Dazzling Display
Lvl 16: Magus - Devoted Blade
Lvl 17: Magus - Intimidating Prowess
Lvl 18: Magus
Lvl 19: Vivisectionist - Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Lvl 20: Magus - Bane Blade

*if other melees in your team have those. otherwise pick weapon feats and armor feats later.
Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: Shocking Grasp, True Strike, Shield, Vanish, Magic Missile
Lvl 2: Frigid Touch, Mirror Image, Glitterust, Effortless Armor, +Stat Spells
Lvl 3: Haste. Displacement, Vampiric Touch
Lvl 4: Dimension Door, Greater Invisibility, Stoneskin, Ice Storm, Shield of Dawn
Lvl 5: Vampiric Shadow Shield, Spell Resistance*, Cloudkill
Lvl 6: Transformation, Heroism(Greater), Dispel(Greater)

*Gained from bloodline
**Ray spells. Cast True Strike Before use. Do not use on enemies engaged in melee with you or your party.

Magus Spells that are good to add Empower to: Frigid Touch, Vampiric Touch

Gear: best 1h you can get, Plate Armor(light till lvl7, medium till 17), +AC items. +Str +Cha +Con items.

Becomes decently competent tank from level 5 and on. Gets better as he gains access to medium armor. Won’t deal crazy damage, but is good enough on that department. Takes a bit of time to develop and has 1 feat wasted. Near-perfect stat distribution and the amount of said stats remedy the situation. At least he is a whole lot better than merc would be. A-

Do not use DC spells. You do not have stats for them to begin with. And we went for tanky feats. That leaves no space for all those Spell feats. Use touch attacks and buffs instead.

Dragon breath is your main AoE tool. Use it well.

Transformation will disable spell-casting. Be sure to buff before using it. It is a good tool when you need a warrior more than you need a half-mage.

Doesn't really get married to a weapon.

General Strategy: Buff to the best of your ability and go in. Use touch attacks when you need a boost to damage. Use Arcane Weapon as needed. Breath Weapon is a serviceable AoE spell - use it wisely.
Post edited June 10, 2019 by InEffect
Nok-Nok

Rank: S+
Role: Front-line Damage Dealer

Stats:
Str: 8
Dex: 23 > 26
Con: 12
Int: 12
Wis: 9 > 10 @ lvl20
Cha: 8

Final Build: Rogue(Knife Master)12/Barbarian(Invulnerable Rager)8

Main skills: Trickery (max), Mobility*, Stealth*, Perception (max)
Suggested secondary skills: Lore: Nature(max).

*Split evenly between mobility and stealth. You do not need as much of those as you can get.

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 8: Barbarian
Lvl 9: Barbarian - Improved Two-Weapon Fighting // Animal Fury
Lvl 10: Barbarian
Lvl 11: Barbarian - Outflank // Reckless Stance
Lvl 12: Barbarian
Lvl 13: Barbarian - Greater Two-Weapon Fighting // Swift Foot
Lvl 14: Barbarian
Lvl 15: Barbarian - Extra Rage Power: Damage Reduction // Damage Reduction
Lvl 16: Rogue - Combat Trick > Combat Reflexes
Lvl 17: Rogue - Extra Rage Power: Damage Reduction
Lvl 18: Rogue - Opportunist
Lvl 19: Rogue - Finesse Training: Bite // Seize the Moment*
Lvl 20: Rogue - Combat Trick > Improved Critical: Kukri
*If you stack multiple of those in your front-line. Or swap it for Crit.

Gear: best kukris we can find, Robes and Bracers+5. +Dex Item. Alkali Gloves.

Best Rogue in the game. Better than we could make ourselves even despite a few lost feats. Absurd stats. S+.

Rogues are actually one of the biggest traps in the game. With rather slow BAB progression they do have problems with hitting stuff before too long. Sneak-attacks are all about number of hits you do, so Dual-wield is logical, but it further destroys AB. They are also squishy with no means of ramping up AC. And there is no shortage of enemies that are Immune to crits/sneak attacks. That is why we mix in some Invulnerable Rager levels. It fixes our AB admirably, gives some damage through rage: we get an extra attack from bite plus rage bonuses. And we get some DR on top of that.

Due to Opportunist and Seize the Moment we will dish out even more damage through AoO and help our team to do the same in the process.

Skipped Improved Evasion for more utility from Seize the Moment. His Reflex is insanely high, so it should not be an issue.

General Strategy: Keep him to the edges of the fight. Don’t hesitate and use acrobatics to disengage if you are focused. Between temp. HP and DR we can take a few punches, but he is not a tank by any means.
Post edited April 16, 2019 by InEffect
Ekundayo

Rank: A+
Role: Ranged Damage Dealer

Stats:
Str: 16
Dex: 20 > 24
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 13
Cha: 10

Final Build: Ranger 15/Magus(Eldritch Archer) 2/Inquisitor(Sacred Huntsmaster) 3

Main skills: Lore: Nature, Perception, Trickery
Suggested secondary skills: Athletics, Stealth

Detailed leveling breakdown:
Lvl 6: Ranger - Manyshot
Lvl 7: Magus - Dazzling Display
Lvl 8: Magus
Lvl 9: Ranger - Shatter Defenses
Lvl 10: Ranger - Favored Terrain: First World
Lvl 11: Ranger - Clustered Shots
Lvl 12: Ranger - Improved Precise Shot // Favored Enemy: Fey/Fey
Lvl 13: Ranger - Critical Focus
Lvl 14: Ranger
Lvl 15: Ranger - Tiring Critical // Favored Terrain: Underground
Lvl 16: Ranger - Skill Focus: Perception
Lvl 17: Ranger - Exhausting Critical
Lvl 18: Inquisitor - Torag*
Lvl 19: Inquisitor - Precise Strike
Lvl 20: Inquisitor - Outflank
*Domain doesn't matter. If you don't care about being lore-friendly you can go Abadar/Travel.
Another alternative is to go Vivisectionist and grab Accomplished Sneak Attacker and Hammer the Gap there. It will totally shaft the pet, but would ramp your own damage.

Spells by level in order of importance:
Lvl 1: Hurricane bow, Aspect of the Falcon, Acid Maw
Lvl 2: Sense Vitals
Lvl 3: Instant Enemy, Magic Fang
Lvl 4: Animal Growth, Inspiring Recovery

Magus spells: True Strike
Inquisitor Spells: True Strike, Remove Fear, Cure Light Wounds, Divine Favor

Gear: Longbow, light or no armor, +Stat Items. Lesser Extend Rod.

Almost perfect Ranger out of the box. Only issue is Giant Humanoids as favored enemy. Our options are to either go with it and just instant enemy on anything mildly strong, or go with fey as I did. This detail turns S Rank companion into A+ in my book.

General Tactics: cast Hurricane Bow, Sense Vitals, Aspect of the Falcon and go to town. Use Instant enemy on anything that looks mildly strong and is not your favored enemy. Use special arrows you get from master, they will help to ramp up your dps even higher when you need it.

Once you get Magus level(s), right-click Acid Splash and forget about it. Extra attack never hurt anyone.
Post edited November 19, 2019 by InEffect
Great post.
avatar
nalldrg: Great post.
Thanks. I hope it helps people.
well it helped me, so thanks mate.