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I have played neverwinter nights for nearly four years, between the original campaign, some solo mods, and a couple of otehr online servers. All of that was on normal difficulty though, not hardcore.


My impressions from testing this as a DM on my previous server, and playing here are as follows:


1. Archers under this setting are nerfed, at best sidekicks, as attacks of opportunity will destroy them with relative ease. Thus, other than roleplay, or a few game situations with big parties or far off enemies, bows and crossbows are more props than actual weapons, a liability. I wanted to play an arcane archer, but in a few days have seen that she cannot survive here, at least the way I was building her. Maybe you need to aim for this after like level 20-25, rather than for level 11, like I was planning?


2. Combat casters suffer the same fate, more so likely with the dreaded flatfooted being much more likely for them.


3. Rogues also seem to be greatly diminished, with DC's for their abilities high enough to be prohibitive until level 12+ for simple tasks like reading a level 2 scroll, as are bards.


4. Monsters hit far more often, their attack dice increased, and with crits, of course.


That's my hupothesis, from a total of about a month's experience with hardcore, between here and my old server.


Ideally, you can find a party or at least another player or two of similar level to go with you to help counter this. Going with people significantly higher in non dm events is fun for roleplay, and I enjoy it, but you won't get xp's, and are likely to be a pain getting killed by their much harder spawns.


Sometimes though, whether from lack of other players on at all, or the others are 15+ and you are level 5, you need to solo some.


Can people give me ideas for good all around hardcore characters, able to do well in parties and solo a little if need be? So far, it seems to me like buffing clerics, fighters, or fighter/clerics are the only viable options, maybe fighter rogues if you went Dex based build? Maybe fighter mage builds work too, as long as they buff only?


Thanks in advance, appreciate the help

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Comparing this server to others is like comparing apples to oranges, as the saying goes. RoA is different, and requires an adjustment.


Your class assessment is based on playing on other servers, and playing on RoA as if it were one of those other servers. It is not, you have to make adjustments accordingly. The most powerful characters I have are happen to be rogue archers, and a wizard.


As an archer, be it arcane archer, rogue, or whatever, you need a lot of DEX. Take advantage of that, wear cloth armor for the uncapped DEX modifier to armor bonus. Point Blank Shot will remove the -4 penalty for attack of opportunity rolls, but it will not eliminate it. Hit and run tactics at lower levels are advised. Rent a cat or dog to assist you if you are soloing. Also, do not limit yourself to a bow. Think outside the box! Use acid/fire bombs, or caltrops. Yes, caltrops. They do more than 1 pt of dmg now, and scale with level. Just be sure not to step on them yourself...


Spellcasters can use summons, just be careful not to let them run amok in crowded areas. They can also capture certain summons, which are more powerful than the normal kind. Rogues and bards can also use this tactic with wands, as the UMD 25 + spell level only applies to scrolls.


Any spellcaster will get a fletching widget to make custom arrows, use them. If you are not a spellcaster, there is a character that sells arrows... and others may be willing to sell or give you some if you ask the ones using them.


Crafting is a very valuable tool as well, baking especially. Although our crafting system will be replaced with a new one soon, it would be a good idea to start baking. Baked goods can have some very useful properties, as can fish!


Both fishing and mining provide a good cash flow for buying better gear.


The best way to learn how RoA operates, however... is by playing. Trial and error, learning from other party members... just hang in there, and you'll be doing fine before you know it!

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I understand your problems, though I think there are a number of tips and tricks to help with some of the problems you state.


1) Archers: Archers can switch to a melee weapon as well. Indeed an archer that tries to shoot things at point blank range may experience problems, however in general terms an Arcane Archer build tends to have ranger and/or fighter levels, making them quite descent fighters in melee combat. So the answer can be start of with arrows and switch to a melee weapon (+shield) when the enemy gets too close.

If you were going for either a pure mage or bard build, you may in fact be right that you are pretty vulnerable in close combat. That said though, the entire bard class is so that it is always a supportive type of class; their power is greatest in a party not solo. Mages tend to be weak in a melee fight, summons and familiars can be used to draw the fire while spells are cast or ranged weapons are used.

Another option is to stack up on invisibility potions and use those when enemies get near, move far away and start shooting at them again until they get too close and repeat the process. A slightly more expensive method, but it will allow for you to rely purely on your bow. This tactic is most useful against strong enemies who you cannot handle in close combat.


2) Combat casters: Mages, in general, tend to have a initially slow power curve. The peak of their power lies between level 15-25. At the lower levels mages are weak, it's the nature of the class. They compensate for that when you look at their power at higher levels.

A possible solution for combat casters is to use either their familiar or a summon as a meatshield while they fire off their spells. Also, as resting is not restricted it is likely wise to rest after most fights end (when solo-playing), even if your spells are not exhausted. There is nothing worse then running out of spells in the middle of a battle, because your alternative attacks (usually ranged weapons) are no where near as potent as your spells. Also, remember that there is no shame in running away. Better to run like a coward and be alive, than brave and dead on the ground.


3) Rogues: Rogues in my opinion are more then just their Use Magic Device skill. Yes, it's a useful trick, but don't forget all your other tricks as a rogue. At lower levels traps can be very useful, so don't hesitate to set a bunch and lure enemies into them. That way you can damage or at times even kill them without getting your hands dirty. Traps can be bought in Bree, to name one location.

Also, your sneak attack is a very potent weapon, definitely if you have something else there to keep the enemy's back towards you. So a rogue with a level or two of summoner or a mage or divine caster class can help there. Also, drinking invisibility potions as water is a way to continually get sneak attacks; though admittedly not the best way if you like your purse full of gold.


4) Monsters hitting more often: This I have no tips and tricks for... except maybe making sure your equipment stays upgraded. I have seen characters whom needed nothing but better equipment to suddenly survive what before they deemed to be unbeatable foes. Good places to shop at the lower-mid levels are the Dancing Cat Inn in the Shire and, depending on your class, Crazy Maggie in Bree. Also, Jania tends to be a favorite place for people to sell stuff, so occasionally she may have just the item you need.


Teaming up with high level players: This indeed tends to do away with your XP, however higher level characters will not spawn higher level monsters in most areas. This is indeed the case with bioware's spawner, but Annakolia uses custom spawn systems which do not spawn based on level (correct me if I am wrong, Mal). Hence you will only find higher level spawns based on chance and going into higher level areas. Also, don't hesitate to ask other players if they feel like playing with you with a more appropriate level character. Many players have multiple characters at different levels; and are often happy to switch to another character for group play.


As for good builds: I tend to say every build you have fun playing is good... ;)

That obviously doesn't answer your question. I must say that personally I think anything with cleric in it tends to be fairly good at solo-ing in the low levels as it can buff and heal itself. On the other hand, the healing is easily replaced with healing potions for other builds. Fighter builds tend to have a fairly early peak level, making them good in the lower to mid levels and somewhat less effective the higher level they become; depending on equipment and secondary classes. In the low levels your prime concern is hit points, the more you have the more you survive. Armor Class can compensate for that to some extend, but in the low levels the most AC you will have is when wearing a plate armour and a tower shield (which tends to mean being a fighter or a cleric). In higher levels it's possible to get far more AC with a dex build though.

All of that said, I think there is no such thing as a bad build in a roleplay server. If you are really having a lot of trouble with finding a build then I'm more then happy to help you work something out. I'd prefer to work from a character idea though, so you actually enjoy (role)playing the character rather then just having the character be able to kill things. Pretty much any base class can be made into something that can survive, but a lot of it is tactics and knowing what works/doesn't work. And also, keep in mind that any character dies every now and then and that luckily the respawn penalty is not too harsh.


Not sure if any of this helps you at all... but so far my two cents.

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Thanks to both of you, I was playing an elven rogue wizard,and got her to 3/3, Zeff, whom I do have some good story ideas for. I took point blank shot, weapon focus long bow, and rapid shot, my thought was to go up to rogue/wizard of 8/4, then switch and begin taking arcane archer levels, so like at level 20 Zeff would be 8/4/8, with a Base Attack of 16, some good rogue skills and sneak attacks, with tumble helping some for AC also. Her base dex at level 20 would be a 21, starting from a 16, as I moved some points to not have penalties like in wisdom. 4 Levels in wizard seemed some for buffing, with a good base for later on, with a dream of rogue/wizard/arcane archer, 10/9/11, at 30, maybe ending some day at 10/19/11. That is dream wise, on nwn I've never had a character over level 24, myself, and that took two years real life to earn.


I'd just started playing Zeff on my old now deceased server, and liked her background, which was general enough that I intended to write it up for here. IN one sentence, before I write up her bio later? Zeff's an archer of Sehanine Moonbow, learned from her archer mother, on the run from her own ambitious High Mage father, who serves a powerful palemaster.


I just got really frustrated last night at being swarmed with attacks of opportunity, and then knocked from combat, flat foot, so that stuff which would not hit her normally was. I need at 9th level I know to take weapon finesse with her, to help her melee better. Once she takes arcane archer levels, she can add a shield, too. It's just the getting there.


I have been doing the fishing, to earn coin and the items from the fishing. The mining I've been told you need the tools for, and flame weapon or darkfire to do properly?

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Just going to chip in here; First of all: Mining doesn't require any special tools, you can do it with: Longswords, Bows, Anything. they just have some Damage Reduction, to counter that you can use spells such as Magic Missile, or use weapons with elemental damages (Acid, Fire, Cold, to name a few) you should do fine.


One thing to note on your Biography, I dont believe we have Sehanine Moonbow in our Pantheon. We do have quite a few gods and goddesses, you can look at them here: http://www.annakolia.org/forums/index.php?/topic/50-religious-overview/


and lastly, about getting caught flat footed and swarmed, the first thing i would say is Haste. No, I'm not saying you should have haste equipment, i dont even know if your high enough level. But, a good hit-and-run tactic spell you can use is Expeditious Retreat, its a level one spell, cast off a scroll or out of your spellbook. You can buy scrolls in the tower outside of Sidonias castle.


On this spell: I would reccomend casting it before engaging an enemy, shoot them as many times as you feel safe, then when they start getting close run back, the spell (as long as its active) should make you move faster, however the spell doesn't have a long duration, you might have to cast it during battle to make this work. Remember: Rogues aren't considered for melee survivability in the first place, milticlassing with wizard wont help either. dont risk your health for damage. getting flat footed at high levels wont hurt so much, but right now its death.


hope this helps!

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I fear I will have to correct you there Wolfgang, we do have Sehanine in the pantheon. She's one part of the Triune Goddess Angharradh even. So using Sehanine is fine. That said, it is a very good suggestion to look at all the religious overview sometime so you know what gods are there and who they are in Annakolia. There are some deviations from say, DnD equivalents, from time to time.

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I did look over the Deity list before rolling Zeff up, on the old ROA forum, thanks. Also appreciate the idea about expeditious retreat, will have to try that! And yes, will love hasted gear when high enough level, mmm. My old server forbid boots of speed and the like, thoughtthem too powerful.


It's funny, maybe because playing Zeff is pretty frustrating at times, it makes me want her to succeed more. Last night, I was using scrolls on her rapier, flame weapon and GMW, and buffing her faerie dragon as well. If I get to play later I will switch from studded leather down to leather, her dex buffed warrants that, and she hits better with rapier that way. Ironic, less armor is better for her.

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My future bladesinger Granuiale, currently a fighter/bard of 4/3, seems to be doing well enough from having played her a bit last eve. I too used to struggle in my previous sojourn here with archer dreams, I had liked the wind sniper idea, but learned as Kait has that except as a sidekick in most cases with hardcore difficulty archers will be shredded. *shrugs*


From what little I have seen of magical items thus far I think it will balance out, between what's available to be found or bought, possible future crafting of such unique items, and the existing baking and all. It's when the challenge is harsh and also an admin/DM team limits players that the problem is bad, really, and that is not the case on Annalolia.

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