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Allocating ability points

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by iwdrookie, Jan 20, 2023.

  1. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    So last night I got to rethinking my melee characters. I was going with the idea of Paladin-1 (for the CHA bonus to saves) and Fighter-x. I went with something like 18-10-20-3-10-15 (dwarf)...with plans to add one more to CHA.

    But then I noticed that, at least for a barbarian, some people recommended 20-18-18-01-16-01 (half orc)...totally ignoring CHA.

    So...I'm wondering....if I completely ignore CHA on a melee character, will my intimidate skill (which is based on CHA) fail often or be less than it should be?

    Additionally, for a fighter/barbarian, should I go with heavy armor or light?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
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    If you look at the modifiers for the stat, that's how many skill points are added or subtracted to skills that use that stat, and is called a modifier. Some skills can be used untrained, in which case the modifier for the die roll is based entirely on your stat for that skill. In 3E, the modifier is incremented every even number, with zero being at 10 Round down odd numbers. Note that this different from all the other Infinity Engine games which use 2E rules for stats.

    So if you have a barbarian with 8 or 9 CHA and 4 points in Intimidate, he'll be the same as a barbarian with 10 or 11 CHA and 3 points in Intimidate. 6-7 CHA is a -2 modifier, 4-5 CHA is a -3 modifier, 2-3 CHA is a -4 modifier, and 1CHA is a -5 modifier. So having 1 CHA is and 4 skill points in Intimidate (the most a level 1 character can have) is the same as having 9 CHA and no skill points.
    A barbarian with 3 CHA will be the same as one with 10CHA and no training in Intimidate. Similarly one with 18CHA and no training will be the same as one with 10CHA and 4 points in Intimidate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
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  3. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    Interesting, did not realize that. Thanks much!
     
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    May I suggest reading the manual for the game and/or perusing the built-in help? Both explain all this.
    The manual can be found here:
    https://sorcerers.net/Games/IWD2/index_tips.php
    You can see the tips when creating a character
    And also access them from the "Information" button on the character record:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
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    MUCH appreciated!
     
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    Since the conversation topic is on Ability Points allocation can I have some thoughts on allocations after leveling up?

    I came back to IWD2 after a long time and used level squatting for the first time ever. As a result I leveled up a lot more than in my previous campaigns. What I realized midway through the game is that putting points into my main casting stat after 24-something points felt lackluster and unrewarding. While I do realize more Intelligence, Charisma or Wisdom might help make status effect spells like Charm and Dominate harder to resist (not sure if it also makes saving checks on damage spells harder for foes) it didn’t feel worth to invest 6 ability points on Intelligence to get a few extra low level spells per day on my Wizard for example. At some point in time I started wondering whether it will be more worthwhile to put those extra points in Strength for extra carrying weight, give my casters some powerful melee weapons with on hit effects and let them whack things between castings for faster clean-up.

    What are your thoughts on it?
     
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    I played the game half a year ago but I remember my wise Banite was not the most successful cleric. While she was decent buffer/debuffer (basic spells like prayer, recitation and other that don't allow saving throw) and healer she constantly had trouble with enchanting spells despite GSF Enchantment and Penetration (my noob sorcerer without dabbling in Enchantment had better results with Chaos). Even worse, in the final battle she was the only one dominated despite being a drow. All of this begs a question: do I need more than 18-20 wisdom for a cleric if most of the spells are either buffs/healing or unavoidable debuffs?
     
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    Exactly my thoughts. I’ve become disillusioned with stacking caster stats as much as I can and ignoring everything else. Maybe I should start investing my ability points in Strength for most casters and Dexterity for Wizards after some point. Sorcerers being the only exception because of the Charisma saving throws with one level of Paladin. My Dreadmaster of Bane had 31 Wisdom with the two permanent potions and Ring of All Gods, but the only thing I noticed as the peak benefit from his crazy wisdom was an extra cast of Remove Paralysis or something equally redundant for the final stages.
     
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    At least both wizard and sorcerer have access to wide range of spells that can cause real damage even with successful saving throw, so not going beyond 20 INT/CHA has some merit (besides, INT is useful and you can have few means to raise CHA if you need). Clerics/druids don't seem to need more than 18/20 WIS at all.
     
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    I like to have some strength on my wizard simply because I'm a pack rat and like to take more treasure with me to sell off. Given the scarcity of Bags of Holding, it makes sense to have at least 10 STR on everyone.
    For clerics, turning undead is influenced by Charisma, not wisdom so I make sure they have at least 10, preferably 12 CHA.
    Charisma is less important for druids, but druids shapeshifting and large number of melee enhancement spells like flame blade means it makes sense to give them some STR, CON, and DEX. While STR and DEX tends to change to reflect their shapeshifted form, the extra HP from CON is useful.
     
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    I usually give my casters 12 Strength for weight allowance and I still have inventory management issues because of combined equipment weight, perhaps because I usually give them heavy crossbows for range weapons due to low Dex. In my last ran my cleric had around 15 Strength and I had to give him the Strong Back feat since he is one of the few casters that can wear heavy armor and carry a shield.
     
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    I usually give my sorc a lot of DEX (I don't develop it later), so he can become competent sharpshooter as well. Given sorcs gain the least amount HP per level and can improve their "evasion" simply by Shield spell, I wonder if investing in CON is better choice. I don't talk about heavy minmaxing.
     
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    Probably. More HP helps and fortitude is their weak save. Getting caught in an AoE is more likely to kill you than getting targeted by arrows or melee if you have defenses (mirror image, stoneskin, blur, and to a lessor extent shield and protection from normal arrows) ready. Your mage should only consider melee on helpless enemies.
    I know most say no melee at all, but I often will hit a baddie with Hold Person (usually cast by a cleric) or other spells that stun or paralyze, then when my mage isn't casting spells have him smack the paralyzed enemy with his staff since it's an automatic hit while my melee characters are engaging active enemies.
    This is particularly common in the first half of the game through the ice temple when you don't have many spells.
     
  15. Jamesworkshop Gems: 3/31
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    unexpected the slayers reference

    I still stack casting stats, INT equal spell DC plus skill points, CHA equals spell DC and saving throw bonus of paladin, increases speech skills, Wis cleric spell DC (tremor symbol of hopelessness etc) and willpower saves


    Note: Clerics with high Wisdom receive bonus spells per level (see Table 1, Wisdom).

    https://www.manualslib.com/manual/378773/Black-Isle-Icewind-Dale-2.html?page=135#manual

    20 WIS +6 bonus spells
    30 WIS +17 bonus spells
    40 WIS +28 bonus spells

    Clerics have Draw upon Holy might to buff combat stats
    Eagles splendor helps you turn more undead.

    STR for WIZ/SORC (bows/crossbows no +or- based on it) should be minimal or 13 Power attack feat, if you go spellsword tenser transformation you'll lose spell casting anyway and then spell DC is irrelevant.

    One invested build is wiz+monk you only reach 3 attacks per round so wear the HOF monk bracers and Mordenkainen sword can be 5 hits per round with +5 dmg power attack throw on top, tymora's loop, neds lucky knucky +5 luck now every 4d6 rolls a 6, this is a monster damage output when executioner eyes gives you chains of critical hits.

    I struggle to think of a more powerful single target damage build (max 320 per round) that fights outside melee range, I prefer WIZ as you get too many Feats already and SORCs go better on Paladin save bonus
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2023
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    No matter the DC you can save on a natural 20 so it mostly helps bump the lower tier spells up.

    Bane Cleric could go 21 WIS then get +9 from Every god ring and being blessed by bane twice (normal mode, hof)

    30 WIS is a nice reasonable number or 26 on non-bane cleric


    chromatic orb is abundent level 1 spell that can stun setup for automatic hits, I exploit this alongside rapid shot feat to get more attacks in early game.
    Sling clerics love this as rapid shot and bulls strength, holy power really add up

    most stat buffs end at +5 (cat's grace, eagles splendor, bulls strength, every god ring) so odd ability scores are desirable as 2 odds make an even
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2023
  17. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Stacking your casting stat is only necessary if the role of that character hinges on their spell targets failing their saving throws on a regular basis.

    There are surprisingly many common roles where this isn't happening.
    - Spellswords could use a few more spells from the casting stat but are much better served by upping strength or even dexterity instead.
    - Battleclerics are almost entirely about self-buffs and the few staple spells that affect enemies (Prayer, Recitation and Holy Word, specifically) don't even have saving throws.

    Banite clerics are an odd outlier in that their class specific reward gives +2 Wisdom and combined with a monk mix-in can let a character have extremely high Armor Class. In this case you're not necessarily upping WIS for spells but even more AC and Will saves.
     
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    I have come to the same conclusion and have turned my wizards into bastard sword swingers with a rogue or fighter level mixed in here and there for extra feats. My Sorcerer is now also a paladin, perhaps I should have done that from the beginning. The one class that didn't turn out how I had wanted to was my xLV Banite/ 1LV Druid. Innitially I had wanted to take advantage of the Banite Wisdom bonus to make a stronger dual caster but in the end I had to focus on Cleric to reach higher level spells and by the time I could put more levels on Druid at The Hand it wasn't worth the attempt. At least I can equip my Banite with Druid-exclusive items.
     
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    Based on manual tables and my own experience, clerics may as well aim for either 18 or 22 WIS. Lv 9 spells are useless (come on, who cares about 18+ lv cleric's 1 domain casting of, say, Horrid Wilting, when my sorc on comparable level can cast at least 3?), but with 22 WIS your cleric gets additional lv 6 spell slot (additional Heal/Divine Shell/Circle of Blades). In both cases you can equip All Gods Ring which should give more than enough WIS to get more spell slots. One may say about damage dealing spells, but my sorc had more luck with finger poiting and whailing. Besides, clerics are generally better as buffers/healers/tanks.
     
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    Do ppl rate druid only items as they seem to just give a 1/day spell cast of spells druids will have anyway

    I only like those items when they give a spell to a class that wouldn't normally get them
     
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