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Need advice for a Bard/WM build: RDD vs PM

Discussion in 'Neverwinter Nights (Classic)' started by Caradhras, Oct 13, 2008.

?

What would be the best build?

  1. Bard/Weapon Master/Red Dragon Disciple

    1 vote(s)
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  2. Bard/Weapon Master/Pale Master

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  1. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    [​IMG] I'm thinking of starting a new NWN game to enjoy some hack and slash goodness.

    So far I'm thinking about a build that would use a scythe for extra damage and fun. WM is the way to go and I'm thinking about starting as a Bard (for skills and the ability to wear armours without spending a much needed feat for that). The plot thickens when I consider which prestige class I will take. I can't make my mind between PM and RDD.

    -Human (for the extra feat at the start since I'll be needing some feats if I want to take my first WM level at level 16).

    -Bard 5 (since I need the armour feat and I like having some skills for versatility -use magic items!).

    -RDD or PM 10 (to max out the bonuses).

    -WM 7 (bonus crit).

    -->then Bard levels (with perhaps an epic RDD or PM level thrown in).

    It's going to be difficult to reach level 16 as a Bard (level 6 spells and better song) but I don't want to miss out on the WM levels.

    The way things work I can see the point of going for 10 RDD levels (extra STR is always nice for a two handed weapon and the extra ability points are sweet) but I'm partial to the PM as well (especially for Immunity to Critical Hits but the extra spellcasting makes this build less focused on buffing only and will allow for more offensive spellcasting). The RDD/WM will dish some fantastic damage but the PM/WM will be more resilient.

    I really can't make my mind. The RDD will have terrific stats but if I go for the PM, I'll be able to take the Cursed Song feat so it will make a nasty evil necro bard.:p

    So any advice or comment on this build would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  2. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    For the total atmosphere -- PM with WM specializing in Scythe would be cool.

    Bard/RDD was fun -- I think adding WM would be interesting.

    The most effective would be the traditional fighter/WM build. You could add Blackguard on to that as well.
     
  3. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I should have included "other" as a 3rd option.

    Thanks for the comment, I appreciate the cool factor of that build but I'm still undecided. Truth be told I've already played an RDD and that guy rocked but I don't know whether the PM may turn out to be disappointing in comparison or whether it would be nice to play one for a change.
     
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    When it comes down to it a Fighter or RDD will almost be equal to each other in the end; however, the RDD not only grants a +8 in STR but also increase CHA, CON, and INT, provides Fire Protection, Dark Vision, and Breath Weapon.

    If I had to pick between a PM or a RDD I would pick the RDD because you could start taking RDD levels at level 6-16 to get the extra abilities. From there level up the WM and finish the build off with the Bard Levels.

    With the RDD added STR bonus it will be easier to manage the epic bard levels and pick up the devasting critical feat later on in the game.

    I played a Bard/RDD/WM before using the double sided axe. That character chopped down anything in his path.
     
  5. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I'd vote Bard/RDD/WM, because it seems to have the most synergies. The strength and con bonuses help any melee build. The PM on the other hand doesn't seem to work as well, as the WM requires a lot of feats, which means you'll have less feats to flesh out your meta-magic feats if you go for increased spellcasting ability with the PM. Also, the PM gains BAB as per the sorcerer and wizard classes, meaning that you'll have a lower BAB if you take any PM levels pre-epic.

    You could try something different and go all out with a Bard/RDD/PM. I did one once and found it great fun. The best of both worlds, so to speak.
     
  6. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    The problem are the feats rather than getting the STR to be high enough.

    For Devastating Criticals you need STR 25, LVL 21 and:

    -WEAPON FOCUS (not a problem)

    -POWER ATTACK
    -CLEAVE
    -GREAT CLEAVE

    -IMPROVED CRITICAL

    -OVERWHELMING CRITICAL

    IMHO Devastating Criticals work better with dual wielding, with a Scythe I'd be happy to get Overwhelming Criticals. But that means getting 4 extra feats which are required for that. I planned to take the first WM level at level 16 (because of the number of feats required) it means that I won't be able to get Overwhelming Criticals before level 30 and I'd need at least 16 STR (putting all extra points in STR as I level up) to take advantage of that feat with the PM build.

    The RDD build will only get Devastating Criticals at level... 33 and the PM build can forget about ever getting that feat.

    I thought about it. It's great especially when facing foes who are immune to crits plus you can use a shield. In that case a Sorcerer with Automatic Still Spells is a much better choice.

    I really want the WM levels to be able to literally mow down enemies who are not immune to criticals.

    I forgot about that. :bang:

    For the RDD build I'd go Bard 5 RDD 10 WM 7 and then Bard again.
    But if I do the same for the PM it will cripple this character. Any suggestions to make it work?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  7. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I had a halfling Fighter/Weapon Master who dual welded kukris. The shortage of magic kukris at the start was a little painful, with magic kukris she wasn't bad until I got Hatred and Strife -- nothing stood in her way after that. She was absolutely deadly to anything (even those immune to crits). Even the big guy fell in ~30 seconds.

    In the end both Hatred and Strife were +10, keen with acid damage. She did critical hits ~50% of the time and typically did over 100 points of damage per hit.
     
  8. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I remember reading about that build of yours T2Bruno, it looks really cool (Halfling is really nice btw).

    I've been thinking about the RDD and PM builds and I think your previous statement is right, a Fighter is more efficient (but loses the immunities).

    I've played a scythe wielding Half Orc Bard/RDD/CoT and it was nice, with hindsight I think WM levels instead of CoT would have been much better (I didn't know enough about the game at that time).

    Still, perhaps I ought to forget about those fancy prestige classes and make a Fighter/WM dual wielding Scimitars (or Rapiers?). Taking Great Strength would allow that character to get 25 in STR by level 21 for Devastating Criticals (or not?).

    Something like Fighter 8/WM 7/CoT X (for better saves without losing on feats and attacks) should work nicely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  9. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I'm just doing this off the top of my head, but if I'm not mistaken you'll need six feats and so the earliest you'll be able to take WM levels is at lvl 13 with a human. So possibly you could go Bard 12, WM 7, Bard 1, PM 10. But then you'll have the same problem as with the Dev. Crit. for the RDD build, i.e. you'll gain your precious immunity to crits only at lvl 30.

    Of course this would work nicely as well. I like melee builds myself, so I've done quite a few builds with WM levels, like a Ranger/Fighter/WM, Fighter/CoT/WM, Fighter/WM/DD, Fighter/Blackguard/WM, or Monk/Fighter/WM. The Fighter/WM/CoT is always a save choice, with extra saving throw bonuses from the CoT levels.

    I did my Fighter/Blackguard/WM with a specialisation in Scythes, which was really awesome. With a keen weapon I could get crits quite regularly, and with a scythe upgraded in HotU these crits could easily do upwards of 200 damage, even on a poor roll. It's nice to have a 'Grim Reaper' kind of character like that, although I've always imagined him to be True Neutral rather than evil, which doesn't mesh with the Blackguard that well after all. A PM would work better from an aesthetic point of view, though sadly not from a practical view.

    The Monk/Fighter/WM was using Kamas, naturally, and was quite awesome with them, even against crit immune creatures. Fighter levels were needed for all the required feats for WM and the two-weapon fighting feats. It was somewhat crippled by the fact that you there are basically no good Kamas in the normal game, though you can of course create a pair in HotU, and the fact that Kamas are just generally poor weapons, but a base number of 8 attacks/round with the possibility of going up to 10 attacks a round easily offsets this.

    /edit
    As I mentioned above, the Fighter/CoT/WM is a safe choice, though there are other choices - see also above. Personally I did a Fighter/WM/CoT dual wielding (take note, T2, wielding - welding is the attaching of two metal objects together with the help of great heat) kukris, which worked crazy well, as T2 mentioned, but in some cases the low base damage of the kukri might turn around and bite you, for instance in a fight against the demi-lich on the golem island in HotU.

    I did a Ranger/Fighter/WM with Scimitars once, which is another very powerful combination, which lacks the saving throw bonuses but gains Favoured Enemies, which can help vs. crit immune races if you choose them as your FEs. You don't need to get the two-weapon fighting feats if you wear only light armor, which is not too much of a down side to me (I've got enough builds wearing all the heavy armor already, so it's refreshing to do something else with a build). It's too bad you'll only get Bane of Enemies into the very late epic levels, because it's pretty awesome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  10. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Typos happen Henkie. ;)

    I did some testing with the F/CoT/WM.

    F 7 --> CoT 2 --> WM 7 --> CoT

    Making sure to get Weapon Specialization early.

    Elf for 15 DEX (without wasting two points for that ability).

    Going for Ranger levels precludes the use of heavy armour which IMHO is not such a good thing for the overall efficiency of this build.
     
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    Bard song adds to the character BAB and damage and is very quick to activate. I would go with 7 levels of being a fighter, 2 levels of a bard and than go 7 levels of WM and finish off the build with more bard levels. Once I reach epic I would take one level of fighter to obtain epic weapon specialization for the added damage.
     
  12. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Bards are great (whereas IMO plain Fighters can be boring since it's all point and click) at least with a Bard you have a large choice of skills and some decent spellcasting.

    I decided to start as a Bard and I've made up my mind. He is level 5 now and I'll start taking PM levels with 2 extra Bard levels thrown in to get third level spells (Wounding Whispers) in the meantime. Then I'll go for the 7 WM levels and the needed PM levels to get Immunity to Critical Hits and after that it will be Bard all the way.

    It may not be the most efficient build but I like the concept of a True Neutral Scythe Wielding Necro-Bard. :)
     
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    I would go PM all the way since it provides extra undead summons, HP, and AC bonuses.
     
  14. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I know. It's just that I've noticed that T2 is very consistent in using welding instead of wielding, and I must admit that seeing someone dual weld something would be impressive, even though I can't say I'm entirely sure what dual welding would entail. But I digress.

    Well, I can't argue with that. It's a very aestethically pleasing build, although the bard part is harder to reconcile with the Grim Reaper aspect. A monk/PM/WM would be ideal, but is sadly not an option (nor, again, very practical). I'm sure you're aware of this, but using a Scythe, you won't be able to get WM levels until lvl 16. Also, you might want to limit the pre-epic PM levels. Dealing death with incredible critical hits is fine and all, but if you're only managing 2 attacks a round you will probably not really feel like a death dealing machine.

    And Mr. Blender does make a valid point. From the fighter's perspective, a few extra PM levels wouldn't hurt, though you should make sure you have enough bard levels to get the spell levels you'd like to have.
     
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    I was thinking Bard 10-13 / PM 20-23 / WM 7
     
  16. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    With the Curse Song and Dirge it would fit better IMO. Who said Bards are just for merrymaking? ;)

    That's an awful lot of levels. I don't think I'll take more than 10 PM levels though since I want the character to be useful as a Bard.
     
  17. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, maybe, but the reaper singing? That's just wrong. It could make sense if you RP him being in a musical, but I don't like musicals so it still wouldn't work out :p
     
  18. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Perhaps a musical hit? :D

    I was thinking of something like a dirge or some sort of wailing (Banshee like).
     
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