My NWN2 PrC Idea - Like RDD but for Divine

I thought the Death Knights are undead and thus immune to critical hits?

Red Dragon Disciples aren’t really overpowered in and of themselves. All melee classes (that don’t dilute their power with attribute investment into Charisma/Wisdom) are too good in NWN2.

Or perhaps spellcasting is just too weak instead. Since you can have 4 attacks per round of 50 damage each easily with a melee attacker, that already dwarfs in damage some of the highest, most damaging spells, which you can only cast once per round.
Then to add insult to injury, that spell can be disrupted, resisted and saved against. To cast said spell (an Arcane nuke) the caster also can’t wear armor. That’s four factors working against a caster.

On the other hand, a melee attack only has to overcome the defense of the target, and from time to time, concealment.

Sure, the melee attacker can be blinded, but a single feat (Blind Fight) makes him nearly immune to that.

Then there’s the requirement to make a “touch attack” for some of the better spells. Add another opportunity for a spell to fail.

And while the melee attacker’s attack bonus and the caster’s DC both increase automatically with level ups, a caster has to take multiple specialized feats to help him keep ahead of his targets’ spell resistance and saving throws. He can’t just slap on a +5 weapon to help him “hit” better with his spell.

So in D&D CRPGs, many factors work against the casters and for melee attackers. Which, IMO, creates the impression that they are overpowered. And of course the Red Dragon Disciple is just an improved melee attacker.

However, each additional attack in a round becomes less likely to hit, so for any enemy that’s roughly your level your last one or even two attacks are likely to miss. Add in things like mirror image, stoneskin, blur, and so on, the melee folks’ damage output can get fubarred relatively easily. In addition, most melee characters are susceptible to incapacitating magic such as charm, dominate, web, etc.

Your damage calculation also doesn’t take into account that nuke spells, although only 10d6 (roughly), can hit 8 or 9 creatures at once. 80d6 is more than anything a melee character can dish out. Casters also have some pretty nifty single target spells, including magic missile which can completely eliminate mirror image (and several other spells like that) in a single round. The give-and-take between melee, physical ranged, and spell casters seems pretty even to me. Except for RDD, who can serve all roles except nuker, if you choose the right combination of classes.

Then to add insult to injury, that spell can be disrupted, resisted and saved against. To cast said spell (an Arcane nuke) the caster also can’t wear armor. That’s four factors working against a caster.

I’ve found that arcane casters can get almost as good an AC as melee folks due to the weird tradoff that 3.5 does with dexterity vs. armor type. My melee fighters end up with much better AC’s, but that’s because I funnel all my AC-improving rings & whatnot to them, and gave casters gear that served other purposes. I tried out an eldritch knight who acted as a melee character, and he worked pretty well without armor.

Then there’s the requirement to make a “touch attack” for some of the better spells. Add another opportunity for a spell to fail.

Yeah… I just don’t use touch attack spells. “Awwww… my mage failed to hit again. What a surprise.”

And while the melee attacker’s attack bonus and the caster’s DC both increase automatically with level ups, a caster has to take multiple specialized feats to help him keep ahead of his targets’ spell resistance and saving throws. He can’t just slap on a +5 weapon to help him “hit” better with his spell.
But the caster can effectively halve the target’s defense by choosing spells that affect his weak saving throws. (This offer does not apply to monks.)

I meant the things I actually find useful that thieves can do. Thanks to my blackguard levels, I have a weenie sneak attack, but I don’t use it. I don’t ever use set trap. RDD itself has search as a class ability, so that’s maxed. My open locks & disable trap are both at respectable levels, although they are cross-class skills. And with my absurd STR & CON, I can just run through traps and bash open locks anyways. Mostly I put points into the thieving skills to pretend that I’m not just cheating.

I like Chris’ suggestion. I think I’ll reroll & not use this class.

In general, 3rd edition D&D full casters (meaning you get 9th levels spells by level 18-ish) are much more powerful than melee, period. They’ve got spells that can screw you over in any number of ways, and can choose the ones that the target can’t defend against. Damage spells, unlike 2nd edition, are the weakest option availble to them. Also, spell saves are much harder to make now if you build your character properly and use a spell that the target has a bad save against.

I think this is especially true in NWN, where fighter types are running around with almost 5 extra hitpoints per level. So ‘save or die’ or ‘save or be my mind puppet’ becomes relatively more important.

I don’t get why the to-hit would be all that much lower. Paladin/DC is all high-BAB, while Bard and RDD are medium BAB. If you took 5 Bard levels and 10 RDD levels, then the Paladin should have a 5-point BAB advantage. 8 extra strength for RDD only makes up four of that, and you don’t get the extra attack.

Bard/RDD’s should be using 2-handed weapons, so that’s actually +6 to hit & to damage with every swing. There are brief intervals where the pure fighter is getting an extra swing, but if the Bard/RDD takes some pure melee class as its third class, then it consistently has higher BAB, much more damage per swing, is immune to fire so your mage can nuke to his/her heart’s content, and has way more hit points.

So the only advantage the pure melee has is an extra attack for some level intervals. And when you have 5 or 6 attacks (from haste, items, or other), the +6 to damage on every swing is more valuable than one more swing at a low BAB.

If you want a truly munchkin epic build, make an RDD / Frenzied Berserker and run around with a 2H weapon with Improved Power Attack on all the time: an FB 10 gets +24 dmg to 2H attacks with IPA, not to mention +10 STR with Frenzy. Pick up Overwhelming Critical while you’re at it.

Sorry to be pedantic, but BAB is the base attack bonus. This doesn`t count stength or anything else, so there is no way a build with 5 and 10 levels of medium-BAB progression is going to have significantly higher BAB than an all-high BAB progression build. Also, wielding two-handed weapons only gets the 1.5 strength bonus on damage, not on attack rolls. When using two-handed weapons, you are also giving up about 7 AC whic will easily counteract any advantage in hitpoints.

Im not saying that an RDD build isnt extremely powerful. Only that there shouldn`t be a significant divergence in attack bonus.

The only way to really resolve this specific concern is to post character sheets.

Heh. D&D is nothing if not pedantic.

Oh… and you’re also right about the +to hit not getting the 1.5 Str bonus.

You might be right. I just threw out BAB as my overall to-hit numbers on my character sheet. I never played 3.5 ed. in a PnP setting, only know it through CRPGs, so just used the acronym incorrectly.

Found a nice +10 strength belt toward the end (finished MotB last night) that put my total to-hit at +51 for the first attack (strength was 32). Still went through quite a few heal potions for the final fight since I could never seem to kill you-know-who before he resummoned another minion.

And speaking of character builds, a buddy was able to save my OC .bic builds from my flash drive, so I’ve got my lawful evil female 20th monk, which is perfect for a replay after that paladin/divine champion. Question is: what should I take for 21-30, more monk levels or maybe assassin or shadowdancer?

I say stick with monk and pick up some of the nicer epic monk feats: Blazing Aura, Epic Deflection, Improved Spell Resistance, and Improved Stunning Fist come to mind. Alternatively, take a level of cleric and pick up Sacred Fist.

She’s a 24 monk now, at the Sunken City in act 2. Wish I could’ve figured out how to get the One/Many companion since this is an evil toon, but none of the convo choices seemed to work. Weird.

I actually meant about 4 attacks that are almost certain to hit. You would have more attacks than that typically, and it’s those after the first four that would generally be unlikely to hit.
Especially when you use skills/feats/spells that add attacks at your highest attack bonus, such as Flurry of Blows (& Greater), Haste and especially Two Weapon Fighting. When it comes to epic levels and Perfect Two Weapon Fighting, the number of high attack bonus attacks gets really ridiculous.

Hell if you combine Perfect Two Weapon Fighting with Greater Flurry of Blows (two Kamas) the number of attacks that will hit goes off the chart (literally, the character sheet can’t even display them, at least on my system, just says “not applicable”.). Such a character, if those Kamas are even decently enchanted, makes the Red Dragon Disciple look like a wimp.

But the RDD will have the advantage before epic levels.

The thing about Mirror Image and Ghostly Visage (the “Blur” in NWN2?) is that if only three of your 6-12 attacks get through, you’ve already surpassed the damage of some of the most powerful spells.

And with say a decent 4 attacks landing “hits” per round, in two rounds you’ve completely gone through all the mirror images with the spell effect ending. It’s fairly easy to land those hits on the “images” too, since they are 10 base AC + the caster’s dexterity bonus.

Stoneskin only remains a problem until you whip out the adamantine weapons, which completely bypass it. The only real defense is Premonition, and that one eats into your most powerful spell slots/casts per day.

Which leads me to my next point. The melee (well, all physical) classes aren’t limited in their power per day (not completely, at least). Even the highest charisma Sorcerers only get like 9-10 spells per day at spell level 5-7, and more like 5-6 spells per day at spell levels 8-9. After that, you’re a wimp.
To make things even worse yet, any defensive spell eats into that available firepower.

While that’s hardly a problem in the original NWN2 campaign (until the very last areas), it is a problem in any remotely restricted rest module. And MoTB for that matter. It makes classes like Eldricth Knight almost a necessity, to give you the ability to still kill things even after you’ve exhausted even your cantrips.

For a physical attacker, his +12 AC from the plate is never going away (even if his natural AC bonus can). That +7 AC from a shield is never going away either. That defense is not limited by rounds or hours per level.

But that’s only true at low levels in very low magic environments. Eventually your character has that Amulet or Circlet with Immunity: Mind Affecting. Eventually he gets that belt with Freedom of Movement. And that ring with Immunity: Death Magic and Immunity: Level/Ability Drain.
No more Enervation, Finger of Death, Charm, Dominate or Web.

This assumes there are multiple weak targets rather than few very strong ones. That all the targets got caught in the blast and that most failed their saves and aren’t immune or highly resistant to fire.

It also assumes you didn’t just nuke half your party with the very same Fireball. Or that you can’t even cast it because friendlies and enemies are just one big furball.

On the other hand, the physical attacker has cleave/round kick or even the likes of Whirlwind Attack.

Of course when you’re dispatching one target a round, those aren’t even necessary. :)

Hmm, I can’t really see how the RDD can serve all (or even most) roles except nuker, unless you’ve taken him very, very late in your character development. A level 5 Bard isn’t exactly bristling with useful spells. Nor is a level 5 Sorceror for that matter. These character don’t even have access to level 3 spells.

And the typical 4 Fighter/1 Bard/RDD build isn’t very versatile either.

A RDD can’t heal and can’t buff beyond a few level 1-2 spells (level 3 if you’ve gone with level 6 Sorc/Bard). Can’t nuke, as you mentioned.

I can see you playing the thief if you’ve taken even a single level of that class before going RDD, but that’s still pretty far from doing nearly everything.

True, that is their only real saving grace. Yet even this is further screwed by things like evasion, improved evasion, uncanny dodge, slippery mind, etc.

And Monks, damn Monks, bleeding Undead Monks.

Doesn’t do you any good at this point, but -

SPOILER

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Knew I should’ve eaten that soul instead of being nice. Was afraid of not having a good tank in my party if I killed him, and I’d just gutted Kaelyn for being all nice 'n angelic (evil female monks are petty that way) so wasn’t sure what other companion options would be available.

Monk is now 26th level now and mowing thru enemies like a buzzsaw.

The problem is that in NWN2 (vs say NWN1) they have screwed the sneak attack rules. In 3.5E PnP you should get sneak attacks whenever you are doing a flanking attack, which means the enemy has to be between two people (one person keeping them occupied, the other sneak attacking). This doesn’t even require stealth either, which would normally mean you’d be getting a LOT more sneak attacks on normal opponents (not ones that are immune to sneak attacks). In NWN2 you can only get a sneak attack if you are attacking their back (ie they are facing directly away from you). In NWN1 you could splash a single level of rogue on a fighter and he would be sneak attacking all the time if enemies attacked your henchman.

After you finish the Skein you will have the opportunity to return back to Mulsantir, so you can always go back to the temple of Myrkul and either get Eternal Rest ability or One-of-Many (assuming you have the item). Really if your AC, BAB, damage, and saving throws are high enough you could possibly duo MotB with just OoM.

I’d say do Druid instead of Cleric, but that’s because I think most monk abilities work in shape-shifted forms like bear and such. For sure the AC bonus and flurry, perhaps not the stunning blow.