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What rogue skills are actually useful?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Enquillion, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Enquillion Gems: 1/31
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    I'm playing through the game with a wizard and rogue duo, which has proven the most fun of a handful of unconventional parties so far. My wizard has two empty spell levels due to lack of scrolls but I'm putting my faith in Battle Squares.

    Anyway, I try to sneak in some fighter levels on the rogue (he's human) here and there, but I'm concerned about his rogue skills falling behind. However I'm beginning to more and more feel like Improved Evasion is the only reason for him to be a rogue, and given that I have it, I might as well go for fighter now.

    - Despite maxing Hide and Move Silently, having 20+ Dexterity and no armor that impairs it, my rogue always fails to maintain Hide if in sight of an enemy. He might as well not skill either of them and if it proves too difficult to Hide prior to scouting (does the DC increase with higher level areas?) I can just cast Invisibility on him anyway.
    - Disable Device feels like a waste as well. If there's a trap on the battlefield, I will just stay clear of it, I will not search + disable it. If there's a trap not accompanied by monsters, I can just trigger it and rest. I would like this skill if I could Search+DD while in Hide, to actually prep the battle scene.
    - Open Lock is but a convenience to keep me from having to memorize Knock.
    - Sneak Attack (not a skill per se, but still a benefit of rogue levels) was really nice at early levels given that I always get a free Sneak Attack against crowd controlled targets and AoE was scarce back then. Now however I just unleash Fireball/SSS and let the rogue mop the rest up. If I CC some of the mobs to make his life easier, the CC still lasts long enough that one Sneak Attack bringing them down a little faster is but a convenience.
    - I do like to pick pockets but I don't want to pass up fighter levels just for that.

    Also, in the event that I do continue as a fighter, should I also forsake light armor? Or can you maintain respectable AC relying on Dex? For RP reasons I'd like to maintain the rogue feeling about him, even if it's a rogue not hopeless at toe to toe combat.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    I tried googling my old posts on the subject, but no luck.
    Suffice to say that no skill check exceeds 20, and you can easily reach that with skill bonuses from stats and items.
    Pick Pockets doesn't work on everybody, and almost never works in Heart of Fury Mode, which is annoying. The only things you'll need it for, are the Lucky Knucky in Targos, and the Ring of Charm (+2 CHA) from the tiefling in the monastery. In the latter case, you'll have enough by just reloading untill you roll a natural 20. Getting the Knucky in HoF might involve using a demonic summon to kill whatsisname without making all Targos hostile, or I heard Finger of Death also works. For the rest, I'd just give up on picking pockets unless you're overflowing with rogue skillpoints.

    Same thing applies for talking skills: nothing goes over 20, and bonuses apply.
    I speculated that higher Hide & Move Silently might be beneficial to combat environmental and enemy penalties, but I don't know for sure.

    If you want decent skills for in the game, it's always reccommendable to pick a rogue1-2/mageX with high INT. It works better than a pure rogue because of all the extra skillpoints from INT, and even outcompetes bards. Except where talking skilla are concerned, of course.
     
  3. Ishad Nha Gems: 7/31
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    Another build is Rogue/Ranger, taking alternate levels in each class. Odd levels are Rogue, even levels are Ranger.
     
  4. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    I'd advise agains leveling 2 classes equally due to the leveling system.

    I'll repost something I wrote about this a while back:

    One of the most important messages that I put in my guide was this:

    and so on and so forth.
    Keep in mind that many things are dependant on your 'main' class's level progression, like the strength and duration of spells, number of attacks per round, etc.

    What I may not have explained well, is that each successive mix-in level sets you back much more than the previous one. A 4 level mix in might appear to be a 10,000XP investment (1000+2000+3000+4000 for the first 4 levels), but look at the perspective from level 10: a pure class will be main class 10 at 55,000XP, but with 4 levels mixed in, the mixed character (lvl6 main class, 4 mixed in lvls) would need another 50,000XP (11k+12k+13k+14k) to catch up.

    This is the equivalent of a whole game chapter earlier access to spells, better damage & duration, etc.

    Mixing in levels of other classes is useful, but you need to think carefully about what is and isn't useful, add mix-ins very sparingly, and time the additions appropriately.

    Long story short: Rogue X/Ranger X is dead weight. It will have short-lasting buff spells and impotent offensive ones. Its sneak attacks will be weak too.

    Better alternatives would be Rogue 1/Ranger X (start as Rogue for more skillpoints) or Ranger 1/Rogue X, both of which have their own benefits.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Coin....

    Question about AT/round. You state "Keep in mind that many things are dependant on your 'main' class's level progression, like the strength and duration of spells, number of attacks per round, etc.". A Fig(5)/Barb(1) should have a base attack bonus of +6/+1. What you state above would only make the base AT bonus at +6. Is that how the game truly interprets AT/round? If so, it is not consistent with the 3rd edition rules set and I think that is an error by the devs.

    I ask this because I don't see mixing two non-casting classes as a negative thing. The Rogue/Ranger even-leveling is a great build as long as the the game does not screw up the way it calculates BAB is. The Ranger's spellcasting is a secondary ability at best. The rogue levels barely lowers his BAB. He becomes an incredibly versatile character.
     
  6. Acrux Gems: 8/31
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    No, the BAB would still be +6/+1 in the case of Fighter/Barbarian. Coin is referring to mixing across fighter, cleric, rogue, or mage levels. In that case, the character level required to achieve multiple attacks per round is increased. If you stay within fighter levels (Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin) then the BAB is not effected.

    The Ranger class, specifically in IWD2, is underwhelming. Many of the class features in 3.0 ruleset (which IWD2 uses) are not available to Rangers. For many builds using Ranger class levels in this game, they are not worth taking more than a 1-level dip for favored enemy. (This changes somewhat with the Light of Selune mod, which I highly recommend.)
     
  7. Ishad Nha Gems: 7/31
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    Ranger is not one of the party's spellcasters. Paladin spells I just don't bother with, not worth the cost of bringing the Widsom up to par. Ranger spells are a close second place for uselessness.
    Party's margin for survival should not be that narrow that you can't afford a Ranger/Rogue. You can keep your core Rogue skills mostly maxed-out too.
     
  8. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    What Acrux said about BAB progression holds true. It was just a copy-paste of an old post in which a MonkX/ClericX was being discussed. Nevertheless, since Rogue is not a warrior class, the attacks/round problem is still relevant.
    The rogue is already a very versatile class. Making it into a multiclass RogueX/RangerX just gimps the Sneak Attack progression. It's much better to have a RogueX/Ranger1 instead, for more attacks/round and better Sneak Attacks. Dual wielding in light armour is the best a Ranger has to offer, and you get it at level 1.
     
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Rangers have 4 more hp/level. And many favored enemies, not just one. It is a decent ability bonus. No, it's not the ulitmate build, but still completely viable. Ultimate builds are not necessary for this game and get boring when replaying. A Strongheart Halfling Ran(x)/Rog(x) kicked ass for me in my first run through.
     
  10. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Is this for real?

    So how much BAB does a Fighter 4/Cleric have, and how many attacks per round?

    What about a Fighter 10/Cleric 15?
     
  11. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Good questions. It depends on how the tables are applied. I'd hazard a guess, but I'd likely be corrected. It's lunchtime anyway - saved by the bell. Let someone else interpret this first ;)
     
  12. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Have a look at this list. It might be helpful.

    All dialogue checks are in the bottom.
     
  13. Acrux Gems: 8/31
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    Yes, it's for real. ;)

    Clerics have a "3/4" BAB bonus compared to fighters.

    A Fighter 4/Cleric 1 would have 1 attack per round at a +4 bonus (+4 from the 4 Fighter levels and +0 from the 1 Cleric level).

    A Fighter 10/Cleric 15 would have the following progression table (assuming the first 10 levels are Fighter):

    1 1
    2 2
    3 3
    4 4
    5 5
    6 6/1/
    7 7/2/
    8 8/3/
    9 9/4/
    10 10/5/
    11 10/5/
    12 11/6/1/
    13 12/7/2/
    14 13/8/3/
    15 13/8/3/
    16 14/9/4/
    17 15/10/5/
    18 16/11/6/1/
    19 16/11/6/1/
    20 17/12/7/2/
    21 18/13/8/3/
    22 19/14/9/4/
    23 19/14/9/4/
    24 20/15/10/5/
    25 21/16/11/6/1/

    Compare that with a Fighter 25 who would have a BAB of +25/+20/+15/+10/+5.
     
  14. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Here's what I think happens (not certain):
    +11/+6/+1 for cleric 15
    +10/+5 for fighter 10 (read: +10 BAB advancement, +1 attack)

    Fighter 10 cleric 15 would get +21/+16/+11/+6
    Like cleric 15, but with +9 for BAB advancement as fighter, and the extra attack from fighter class.
    Even though it may sem minor, this delay in gaining more attacks due to different leveling tables is quite detrimental.
     
  15. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Acrux,

    Small correction to the table: in IWD2 no class reaches 5 attacks/round without using Haste or Rapid Shot, so the 25th level would not have that final /+1.

    -Max
     
  16. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    People on the boards have said as much, but I believe I remember seeing my Barbarian getting 5 base attacks (no bonus attacks from equipment) when he passed lvl 25. The statement may well be true for non-warrior classes, but my Barbarian was 'pure', because he only had Fighter levels mixed in, which use the same BAB & atk/rnd tables.
    I usually use mainly caster classes, and they never seem to get more than 4 main hand attacks per round, unless it's bonus attacks from equipment. Even with level-40 modded ruleset, the 4atks/rnd is the cap.
     
  17. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    Coming to this late, but I thought IWD2 didn't allow any more increases in BAB after 20th level? Also, saving throw bonuses?

    That's why I would pay careful attention to the class mixes up until 20th level, and then didn't care nearly as much afterwards.
     
  18. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Both BAB and save bonuses keep on accumulating all the way to level 30, or 40 if you install the extended leveling mod. The only thing actually capped is the amount of attacks per round, reaching peak at 4 attacks/rnd at +16 BAB. Fifth attack requires either Rapid Shot or any Haste effect on top of it.
     
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    Yes, I understand that part.

    The previous poster seemed to be saying that BAB from different class categories did not stack properly for giving additional attacks per round. That isn't the case, is it?
     
  20. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    No, what I meant to say was that I believed that the BAB stopped increasing, and that it stopped stacking, at level 20. I don't know if a guide said this, or some other poster over the years, but I had a (somewhat) good reason for previously believing this. That is why I carefully paid attention to the benefits, including BAB, of various classes up until 20th level (so that I maximized their BAB, as I believed the maximum you attained at 20th level was the maximum you'd get, period), and didn't really pay much attention to various class benefits afterwards.

    Rechet corrected me by informing me that BAB continues progressing after level 20.

    I've played many HoF games, but never really paid attention to the BAB of character who were over 20th level. So I guess I really should just have paid attention myself to the BAB of my characters, instead of assuming that what someone else said was correct.
     
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