lillesmurfen last edited by
Disclaimer: this thread is not meant to be about CoA powerbuilds.
There has been much discussion about builds on IRC. Many people complain about their lacking mechanical knowledge and therefore survivability IG, so here I make my contribution to help you all.
First: Building tools:
The NWNwikia. For any question regarding mechanics, be it skills, classes, feats, saving throws, weapons and so on.
The Character build calculator. This is a fast, clean and easy tool to help you visualize your build. Its simple click and enter all over.
Notes: If class appear in red, you do not have the required abilitypoints for it (first level only, remember that Paladins and Rangers are spellcasters and need a minimum Wis of 11!).
Class name in green means XP penalties from this level.
Feats in red means you have not met its requirements or have selected it twice. (Picking Weapon Focus, Improved critical and Favored Enemy:(undefined) can be done multiple times)
In the skills section (to the right) the columns that are white are class skills, yellow are cross-class skills and grey are non-crossclass skills. (red numbers mean too high values selected, keep an eye on the orange counter at the sides!)
Once you've finished plotting in race, abilities (remember they go from 8-18 and are modified to race below), skills, feats and classes you can click on the "output" tab below to get the standard and clean layout for your build. Now its just to mark and copy to word/notepad/whatever.
Its known to crash in open office, but if you just go to lv 10 it should work fine.
Building an epic character requires planning. Building for a lv 10 character is something many do in their sleep. Still; there are many traps you can fall into and things that can irk you for the remaining time of the characters life. So to avoid such errors I'll try to make a detailed and easy to understand guide on things that are important to remember when creating character for CoA (or any module in general). For those who don't care for all the long words I've added a short summary at the bottom.
1. Define what you want your character to do.
The keyword here is prioritize. The most common screw-up is trying to achieve too much with one build. On a low-level server this is even more difficult. Figure out what feats and skills are "must-haves" for your character. Be strict here, because these are the absolute bare essentials for your character. All the things you would "like to have" comes second.
Unless you're a fighter you will be left with 3 feats (4 if you're human) within the CoA level range. Three feats is not much, so chose very wisely what you want them to do. Fighters get much more leeway with their extra feats, so there you can be more creative. (Try to limit yourself to 2 "essential" feats unless you're a fighter)
Skills can make or break your character. Pay close attention to the number if skillpoints each class gets and what class skills they have. If you want anything above 3 ranks in said skill, it is wise to find a class that has that as a class skill (else you will not reach especially high levels in it). Rogue is the most versatile class with 8 points per level and almost every skill as class skill. Bards are a close second with 4 points and the remaining skills (all but AE).
If you multi-class, what class has the higher number of skillpoints? (remember you get x4 on lv 1, so taking the class with higher skillpoint gain will give you a much higher total).
To be effective you will need as good ranks as possible in any skill, but this does not mean its useless to cross-class, far from it. (Try to limit yourself to 2 essential skills, unless you're a rogue.)
Multi-classing brings both its benefits and penalties. Most notably the dreaded XP-penalty. XP-penalties are given to characters who multiclass anything outside their favoured class. This can be avoided by keeping the classes within one level of each other. Exp-penalties
On CoA it takes time to level up, so be mindful about how you distribute your class-progression if you want to avoid it. (This does not mean people can't build with xp-penalties!)
Multiclassing does however also grant the ability to pick more skills, get higher saving throws (Base saves) and gain more abilities.
Most people understand skills, as they are self-explanatory, but if you are unsure about something, look it up in the wiki.
Multi-classing is in general seen as more powerful than pure-classing (the only exception are perhaps casters). Try to see what class-combos that would make most sense for your character and what benefits you get from them. For instance: Rogues, clerics and bards easily benefit from a level in ranger/fighter. Fighters, rangers, barbarians, paladins, clerics all benefit from a level or two of rogue/bard.
Rogue and fighter are the only classes that have no restrictions and no particular bias attached to them and can benefit mostly any build positively.
Now that you've decided on all your essential abilities, try to spread out your stats and the two points in ability growth that you get.
Put in the essential feats and skills you've picked and see what you have left. Once the must-haves are in, fill in with the "beneficial" things that you'd like to have afterwards.
Be careful with your ability points as they are more limited than you'd like. If you struggle to make ends meet, remember that taking 18 in any ability costs you 16 of the 30 available points, while taking 16 only costs 10 points. The difference is small (+1 modifier). Try to work around various options and see what you can live with.
- Did you get all the "essential" stats you wanted in?
- Did they turn out good enough?
- Do you find your saves/hps/AB abyssmal?
- Does it matter? (Character will not melee/stay hidden/run away)
- Could some of the "nice" skills be dropped in favor of others/less Int?
- Did you get any exp penalties, can you change class composition/progression somewhat to avoid that?
- Are you going to survive in the field and be useful?
- What benefits do you bring to a party?
If you are unsatisfied with the build you ended up with, try to start over and rework some details. Remember that "actual hps" are often about 80% of the maximum hps at lv 8-10. d10 hps yields 5-10, while d6 gives 3-6. Keep your Con modifier in mind, for with a 6 Con elven mage you may very well en up with 0 hp gain on levelup.
1. Decide on a few core elements. (be very picky!)
2. Fit them into your base feats/skills and figure out what classes are needed to manage it. (Bonus feats, class skills, skill points)
3. Pick the class(es) you want/need and see what you have left.
4. Fill in any additional skillpoints/feats with the things you wanted, but did not deem essential.
5. Review your build
6. Revise if necessary.
Please remember that on CoA players are encouraged to build RP characters that incidentally might also be good from a mechanical point of view.
RP builds with weird statistics are often helped by the dm team, so if you choose the wrong feat or put the wrong points in the wrong skills but you are taking IG decisions taken on the basis of what your character would do, you'll get "mechanical" assistance in terms of loot and feats!
Duckroll last edited by
Almadyr is right. If we notice this (And I really mean IF, we can't notice everything) we will sometimes make some sweet loot which will only help your build.
lillesmurfen last edited by
While I say to focus on picking "essential" abilities and skills, what you deem as essential is up to you.
If social skills and charisma is important to you, those are your essential skills, so go with that. If knowledge and treasure-hunting is important to you, pick high intelligence, lore and search skills and feats that benefit that.
The problem with discussing builds is that most of you always think mechanical advantage and nothing more. If you want to make a successful RP build you need to prioritize as well, so the same things apply. Even if you want to make a "gimped" RP build or a mechanically sensible RP build that is the same thing. RP does not equal "gimped" as have been said before. It is in most cases not "optimal" as min-maxing is very limiting, but very many influential characters have also been mechanically successful.