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Video-based Walkthrough for Neverwinter Nights 2

PROLOGUE  |  ACT I  |  ACT II  |  ACT III  |||  MotB  |  SoZ  |  MoW  | 
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  Valeria  |  Zarathos  |  Khelgar  |  Neeshka  |  Elanee  |  Qara  |  Grobnar  |  Casavir  |  Bishop  |  Shandra  |  Sand  |  Zhjaeve  |  The Construct  |  Ammon Jerro



*Note* I used a giff editor to adjust the appearance of her custom made Mithral Chainshirt so that it has the same model as the Eldritch Knight Chainshirt instead, and also different models for her Zalantar Light Shield and Headband of Intellect +8. These were aesthetic choices on my part, nothing else.

This character build is a true jack of all trades who can do it all. She can perform the thieving tasks, and indeed I can get away with it since her Intelligence score often leaves her with a surplus of skill points to distribute. She can cast buffs. She can cast offensive spells, both the damaging kind and the kind that inflicts other nasty effects unless the targets make a saving throw. She can hold her own in close quarter combat after putting up protections like Stoneskin or Greater Stoneskin, Greater Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Elemental Shield. The Swashbuckler's Insightful Strike ability will also allow her to add her Intelligence bonus to her melee damage. She also develops skills that will enhance her interpersonal interactions like Appraise, Bluff, and Diplomacy.

I select the Necromancer specialization for her when she starts adding Wizard levels. The only spell school which she'll be denied is Divination, most of which are useless. That does mean I have to miss out on Premonition, but I can simply get that indirectly through the Shades spell during Mask of the Betrayer.

For her continued development during Mask of the Betrayer, see this link.


It's Intelligence all the way for Valeria because it enhances all of the following at once: skill points on each level up, some of her skill checks, the number of Wizard spells she can memorize, the saving throw Difficulty Class of her spells, and her melee damage in conjunction with the Swashbuckler's Insightful Strike ability. There will also be a certain feat (i.e. Combat Insight) during Mask of the Betrayer that allows her to add another Intelligence bonus to melee damage that stacks with Insightful Strike, at least against enemies that are subject to critical hits. Intelligence is truly the linchpin of the build.

Dexterity is raised just enough so that when she gets an item that provides a +8 bonus to Dexterity, the result will be just enough (22) to take advantage of the +6 maximum Dexerity bonus of a Mithral Chainshirt, no more and no less.

Constitution starts off at 13, and it will eventually mesh with an item that provides a +9 bonus to Constitution during Mask of the Betrayer.

Charisma is placed at 12 at the outset. That is enough to give her The Flirt background, which will provide a bonus to her Diplomacy skill checks. It will eventually reach an odd number integer through a feat during Mask of the Betrayer, and thereby mesh with an item that provides +9 to Charisma.


Appraise - Very useful as it lowers the prices of items that I buy, but raises the return for items that I sell. Remember that only the main character can use it when speaking to a merchant. I leave it at about 15 since, in combination with Valeria's high Intelligence bonus, it suffices to reduce merchant prices substantially. That leaves me free to pour more points into other skills.

Concentration - Valeria frequently casts spells right in the thick of it, so this skill is crucial. In fact, when she's surrounded by a lot of monsters, it may be commendable to activate the 'defensive casting mode' which will avoid attacks of opportunity and get off the spell as long as she makes the Concentration check.

Bluff, Diplomacy - These are my people skills to give me a decided advantage during conversations. And remember again that only the main character can use them.

Disable Device, Open Locks, Search - These are my thieving skills that I'll be relying on throughout the game.

Lore - This skill is used to identify magic items. It also helps with some dialogue options.

Spellcraft - A prerequisite for some feats and spells and such that are relevant to the build, especially during Mask of the Betrayer. It also helps to improve her saving throws.

Tumble - Helps Valeria change positions in combat without provoking attacks of opportunity. It also helps improve her armor class by 1 for every 10 ranks in the skill.

Use Magic Device - Valeria needs a rank of about 12 in this skill in order to import a pair of Boots of the Sun Soul +5 into Mask of the Betrayer.


Starting Feat (Rogue 1): Spellcasting Prodigy - Taking this feat is like taking all of the Spell Focus feats at once, but it must be taken during the first level. It's a must for any spellcaster build that relies on offensive spells.

2nd level (Necromancer 1): No feat selected.

3rd level (Swashbuckler 1): Martial Weapon Proficiency - Obtained automatically on obtaining one level in Swashbuckler. Not truly needed, since Valeria as an Elf can wield a Rapier anyway. It can be useful to know for anyone who wants to try this build but without Elf being the race.

Weapon Finesse - Obtained automatically on obtaining one level in Swashbuckler. This is the feat that will allow Valeria to add her Dexterity bonus instead of her Strength bonus to her Attack Bonus when she attacks with a Rapier.

Shield Proficiency - It is worth manually selecting this feat at the third level. It will allow Valeria to use a Zalantar light shield that actually provides an overall -5% reduction to the chances of arcane spell failure.

4th level (Necromancer 2): No feat selected.

5th level (Rogue 2): Evasion - Automatically obtained with 2nd level in Rogue. Allows her to avoid all damage by any elemental damage-based attacks that allow for a Reflex saving throw, when that Reflex saving throw is made.

6th level (Necromancer 3): Practiced Spellcaster - This feat raises Valeria's effective caster level by four. I'll explain it this way. Let's suppose a character has 5 levels of Wizard and 4 levels of Fighter. If she were to cast a Fireball without the benefit of the Practiced Spellcaster feat, it would only score 5d6 fire damage on its targets. With the feat, the Fireball would instead inflict the full 9d6 fire damage on its targets. It will also raise Valeria's effective caster level when she crafts wondrous items or enchants weapons and armor (later on).

7th level (Swashbuckler 2): Grace +1 - Adds a +1 bonus to Reflex saving throws, which will obviously enhance her use of Evasion.

8th level (Necromancer 4): No feat selected.

9th level (Rogue 3): Combat Expertise - This feat will become an integral part of Valeria's distinctive fighting style, especially once she hits epic levels during the expansion. Very often I have her keep Combat Expertise active, since her fighting style is often based more on keeping enemies occupied without any harm to herself, even if it means less chances to inflict damage on them herself. Combat Expertise is also a prerequisite for the Combat Insight and Expose Weakness epic feats. More on that when I get to Mask of the Betrayer.

10th level (Necromancer 5): Craft Wondrous Item - I get this as a bonus feat for my fifth Wizard level. Valeria can now begin crafting stat boosting items from this point onwards and for the rest of the game.

11th level (Swashbuckler 3): Insightful Strike - This is one of the key targets of Valeria's build. The ability allows her to add her Intelligence ability modifier instead of her Strength ability modifier as bonus damage whenever she strikes her target with her rapier. Note that the bonus damage will not apply to crit-immune enemies like undead and elementals and constructs.

*First Note* The bonus damage from Insightful Strike will stack with the bonus damage from the Combat Insight feat during Mask of the Betrayer, but only against enemies subject to critical hits. To elaborate, when faced with enemies immune to critical hits, only the Intelligence bonus from Combat Insight will be applied to melee damage. When faced with enemies that are subject to critical hits, the Intelligence bonus from both Insightful Strike and Combat Insight will stack together to increase melee damage.

*Second Note* The caveat is that the Intelligence-based bonus damage from Insightful Strike will be applied to crit-immune enemies IF the character also has the Epic Precision feat. The problem is that Epic Precision requires at least 10 Rogue levels and the Crippling Strike ability. There's only so much any build can squeeze into 30 levels. It is nonetheless a very useful and key ability for this build.

12th level (Necromancer 6): Improved Combat Expertise - Like Combat Expertise, except the bonus to armor class increases to +6 and the penalty to attack bonus raises to -6.

13th level (Arcane Trickster 1): Pilfer Magic - Automatically obtained upon attaining the first level in Arcane Trickster. It works like a touch attack Dispel Magic. Theoretically there's no limit on its Dispel Magic check bonus, unlike the Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic spells. Problem is that Arcane Trickster levels cannot raise the dispel magic check bonus, only Wizard base class levels can. So it's still not terribly useful.

14th level (Necromancer 7): No feat selected.

15th level (Arcane Trickster 2): Extend Spell - When she was lower-level, she didn't have as many spells so meta-magic feats wouldn't have been as meaningful. At that time she was concentrating on things like Combat Expertise. But now she can cast Extended versions of spells like Improved Invisibility and Heroism. Others like Ethereal Visage will soon follow.

16th level (Necromancer 8): No feat selected.

17th level (Arcane Trickster 3): Impromptu Sneak Attack x1 - Allows her once a day to inflict sneak attack on an enemy even if that enemy if facing her head on. This is one of the key targets, and a useful weapon. Note that there is an alternative way for Rogues to get sneak attacks on targets that face them head on. That depends on having both the Feint feat and a high Bluff skill. A Rogue with Feint can sneak attack without limit as long as his Bluff check succeeds against a DC based on the target's base attack bonus plus its Spot skill ranks. The difference with Impromptu Sneak Attack is that it doesn't require a Bluff check to succeed, but can only be used a certain number of times each day.

18th level (Necromancer 9): Empower Spell - As Valeria goes up levels and acquires more spells, she also begins to dedicate some of her spell slots to damage spells. Having to memorize a spell at two spell levels higher than usual is well worth it to have that spell inflict x 1.5 damage.

19th level (Arcane Trickster 4): No feat selected.

20th level (Necromancer 10): Persistent Spell - Obtained as a bonus feat upon taking a 10th level in Wizard. She won't be realize its benefits until the Mask of the Betrayer expansion however. A key benefit is that she'll be able to cast a Persisted Haste spell on the party that also lasts until the party rests. Another benefit is that she'll be able to cast a Persisted Blade Weave spell on her weapon that will again last until when the party next rests.

Spell Selections

Keep in mind that I often acquire what I want through scrolls. I provide reasons for certain spells that I emphasize.

1st Level: Shocking Grasp - A touch attack spell that inflicts +1d6 electrical damage per level, to a maximum of 5d6. This spell will be bread and butter for Valeria's familiar, as he uses his 1st level spell slots to peck away constantly at nearby targets.

Burning Hands - It's still treated as a touch attack spell even though it can affect multiple enemies within its small area of effect. A good alternative for the familiar when I need fire instead of electrical damage.

Mage Armor - A 1st level spell that can serve more than one purpose. It can be used for certain item enchantments. It can also be used as a long-lasting armor buff either for the familiar or for Valeria herself.

Shield - Provides a +4 shield bonus to armor class as well as immunity to Magic Missiles, which can be useful for Valeria, especially during the lower levels.

Endure Elements - Can be useful for enchantments that can be added to cloaks during the Mask of the Betrayer expansion.

I have more spell choices to make when she takes her first Necromancer level, but I have what I want already so any other 1st-level spell choices really become fillers.

2nd Level: Any spells I select here will be fillers.

3nd Level: Bladeweave - Can add a Daze Power (DC=16 100% / 1 rounds) to Valeria's rapier even if it already has three or more enchantments. It also lasts for as many rounds as she has caster levels. Can be quite useful in some fights. It can also be made permenant as an 8th level spell once Valeria acquires the Persistant Spell feat.

Mirror Image - This spell will be a constant defensive resource for her, even at higher levels. You can't ask much more from a 2nd-level spell than this one.

4th Level: Ghoul Touch - A touch attack spell that forces the target to make a Fortitude saving throw. It will often be a better choice for the Beetle Familiar against Rogue-types that have high Reflex saving throws combined with Evasion, but relatively weaker Fortitude saving throws.

Touch of Idiocy - Drains 1d6 each of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma from the target. Can be very useful against a spellcasting enemy, as it may take away that enemy's abilities to cast his or her higher level spells. I often send the Familiar ahead to render an enemy spellcaster with this spell.

5th Level: Greater Magic Weapon - This spell lasts pretty much all day and (as far as I can tell) is unaffected by Dispel Magic and similar spells. It can be used to raise the enchancement bonus of a weapon even if it has three or enchantments on it already, which can really come in handy. For example, Valeria casting the spell on her own Rapier allows her to pack that Rapier with three different sources of extra damage (holy, electrical, acid) so that she can have her cake (+5 enchantment at 20th level after the spell) and eat it too.

Keen Weapon - It doubles the critical hit range of any weapon that inflicts slashing or piercing damage, even if the weapon already has three or more enchantments. I don't have room in my planned feat selections for an Improved Critical feat, but that is easily dispensed with by simply having Valeria commit a spell slot or two to this spell. She can simply cast it as a long-lasting buff on hers or somebody else's weapon when the area is filled with enemies who are subject to critical hits.

6th Level: Slow - Slows down the movement speed and number of attacks enemies can use each round. It is party-friendly, so Valeria can use it when the party gets surrounded.

Combust - A touch attack spell that the Familiar can use. It will inflict a modest amount of fire damage on its target, but it will also inflict 1d6 fire damage each subsequent round until the target can make its next Reflex saving throw.

7th Level: Stoneskin - An early defensive resource for Valeria as it reduces damage against her by 10 whenever she's hit. A higher armor class makes these kinds of spells more effective as the Stoneskin will wear off after being struck enough times.

Greater Invisibility - Another defensive resource, and quite nifty for Valeria when she gets swarmed in a crowd as it means enemies will have a straight one in two chance of missing her altogether.

8th Level: Elemental Shield - Will inflict damage on whomever strikes Valeria. That is much more effective when it is used in combination with defensive spells like Mirror Image and damage reduction spells like Stoneskin or Premonition (via the Shades spell).

Heroism - A long-lasting buff that provides +2 bonuses to attack bonus, saving throws and skill checks. An Extended version of the spell will practically last all day, making it a standard buff for Valeria to cast on both herself and her Beetle Familiar after each rest.

9th Level: Firebrand - Inflicts fire damage over a wide swath without hurting party members.

Glass Doppleganger - Will create a considerably weaker version of a hostile creature. It is still potentially useful in that the Beetle Familiar can use it as a touch-attack spell.

10th Level: Bigby's Interposing Hand - Imposes a -10 penalty to attack bonus on the target creature. No saving throw either. Can be very useful against individually powerful monsteres.

Arc of Lightning - Will pick two targets and burn everything in between with electrical damage. Might be useful in some fights, especially for a mass of enemies that remain at a distance.

11th Level: Chain Lightning - A damaging spell that won't affect party members. It inflicts the most damage on its initial target before inflicting somewhat less damage on nearby enemies as it spreads outwards.

Greater Stoneskin - Provides 20/adamantine damage reduction, although it dissipates after absorbing enough damage. Can be used on the Beetle Familiar too. Will also free up my 4th-level spell slots for things like Empowered Mirror Images and Extended Heroism and Extended Elemental Shield and such.

12th Level: Ethereal Visage - Gives Valeria damage reduction 20 / adamantine, 20% concealment, and immunity to 1st and 2nd level spells for a definite number of rounds. The difference between this and Greater Stoneskin is that Ethereal Visage won't last as long, but it nonetheless stays in place for a definite number of rounds no matter how much damage is absorbed. Greater Stoneskin will last longer, but it will dissipate after absorbing enough damage. Greater Stoneskin is thus commendable as a daily pre-buff. Ethereal Visage shines in situations where the fighting gets thick against numerous foes, a circumstance where Greater Stoneskin might get dissipated quickly.

Greater Spell Breach - Dispels up to four magical defenses (e.g. Premonition, Elemental Shield, Spell Mantle, etc.) on a single-target. Can really come in handy against a heavily-buffed enemy spellcaster.

13th Level: Ethereal Jaunt - In some fights, this can allow her to completely disappear from her enemies, and safely put up as many buffs on herself as she pleases without interruption or getting attacked before she's ready to begin combat in earnest.

Greater Heroism - It won't last as long as Heroism, but it will increase the attack bonus, saving throws, and skill bonuses by +4 instead of +2. It also confers bonus hit points and immunity to fear. It can be a good way to lead off a fight.

14th Level: Energy Immunity - Valeria can use this to immunize either herself or a comrade against one form of energy damage (e.g. acid, fire, etc.).

Banishment - Allows her to get rid of any summoned monsters in an instant. It will also allow her to add the Fortified enchantment to armors once she obtains the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat.

There are also a few instances where I have Valeria get her spells through scrolls, either as dungeon loot or purchased from merchants. Those instances were:


Keep in mind that I discuss the equipment each character has at the end of the OC and won't get into interim equipment, although I sometimes do discuss interim equipment during the main walkthrough itself.
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