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NWN Character Concept: Defensive Warrior

  • September 11, 2016

    Again this is just another...example I suppose of what a Character Concept could look like. Basically the idea behind this isn't to showcase a character like the other two were, but instead a fighting style that could apply to just about any character.

    Pure Defensive Warrior

    Race: Human or Dwarf

    As a defensive fighter, both Human and Dwarf as the race open up unique and useful options. Humans get an extra feat early on, which is always a benefit to a character, but Dwarves get a bonus to Constitution, and have several defensive racial feats that can help protect them against things like Giants or Magic attacks. Overall I'd recommend Dwarf as the race first, but Humans are a solid option as well.

    Class: Fighter, Possible Champion of Torm levels at 25+

    Fighter is pretty much the best class to play this heavily defensive character. Paladins would be another distant second option, with access to the Divine Shield feat (which grants an AR bonus based on the Charisma Modifier) but generally needs to split itself between too many attributes to be successful.

    As a fighter you'll also just pile on feats, being capable of not only boosting your AR through feats like Expertise, but also your saving throws through feats like Iron Will, Luck of Heroes, Lightning Reflexes and Great Fortitude. The sheer number of feats you can get simply sets it apart from other classes.

    Later on, once you've got most of the feats that will help you, it might be a good idea to pick up Champion of Torm. Champion of Torm has several defensive bonuses, but the key one is that by taking it to level 10, you should get a +5 to all of your saving throws, which is a pretty decent bonus.


    Expertise - Improved Expertise

    Expertise is a key perk for this build, because it is pretty much the stock standard feat for any defensive warrior. The first set of the feat increases your AR by 5, at the cost of -5 chance to hit, while the Improved feat doubles that to +10 AR and -10 attack.

    Saving Throw Boosts

    Feats like Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes and Luck of Heroes are excellent feats that can give a character an excellent defensive standpoint. That's because Saving Throws are a ridiculously important part of defending yourself again traps and a lot of magical attacks, things like Fireball can be partially resisted by having a high Reflex save, while many mental effects that would cripple a warrior usually, can be completely negated by having a high Will save. It should be noted that Luck of Heroes increases each ST by 1 point, and can only be picked up at level 1.

    Toughness - Epic Toughness

    A key early perk to pick up is Toughness, it's simple but gives you an extra HP at every level, and if you pick it up at a later level, it does add HP as if you picked it at level 1 (so at level 15 you'd still get 15 extra HP). Epic Toughness is a little different in how it works, instead it adds a straight up 20 HP each time you pick it up, and it can be picked up at least 10 times. If you're playing in a module that goes upto level 40, then it's probably a better idea to pick up Great Constitution instead, at level 40 you'd get 40 HP for two feats, just like with Epic Toughness, but would get a Fortitude Save bonus as well.

    Armour Skin:

    Real simple feat, it gives you a +2 bonus to your AR after level 20. While it is simple, it is also a crucial feat that grants a bonus to your character that can only be beneficial.



    Starting 14

    We aren't really in the need for much Strength, because of how Expertise works we just won't be able to hit enemies as often as you'd like, and while the bonus damage would be nice it isn't really a key attribute for this build. I'd never recommend moving it to more than a natural 16 through level ups.


    Starting 10

    We aren't really using Dexterity, but the -1 Reflex save for taking an 8 is just kind of a bad choice so we're going 10 for the neutral start. It won't ever be improved beyond this, unless you feel that a ranged option will be slightly necessary.


    Starting 16 (Human), 18 (Dwarf)

    Basically we're maxing this out at level 1, and then putting as much as possible into it over the course of the game. We get boosts to HP and Fortitude, which are pretty much two of the most useful stats in the game for a Fighter. If playing upto level 40, you should probably be ending at around 30 (around 6-8 through level ups, at least 2 through Great Constitution).


    Starting 14

    Intelligence is useful, but not something we'd need to focus on more than this. At 14 you get some hefty bonuses to skills, and the ability to use the Expertise Feats, but past that would only really be useful if you were playing a Wizard (which we are not).


    Starting 14

    Heh, bit of a surprise but we're actually going to kind of focus on Wisdom here. The bonus it grants to Will Saves is just a really, really useful bonus for a Warrior and it wasn't something that I wanted to pass up. It'll never be boosted past this, but the 14 will give us a +2 bonus from early on


    Starting 8

    We just don't need it...Sure it's kind of useful for shopping, but Warriors can find unique weapons and armour sets fairly easily, and hopefully we won't need to buy a tonne of potions to heal ourselves. I wouldn't put anymore points into at all.


    The key to playing a defensive character is to pick up another companion. In any campaign that you can pick two companions, then there's a really simple method to choosing. He can hit hard, she can heal, pick them. You should always be bringing an offensive melee companion with you and a healer can help keep you alive in combat even better (or more appropriately, your companion).

    In the NWN main campaign, I would recommend Linu, she's a powerful healer who can hold her own in combat, so she's kind of the best option available. The AI is a bit shoddy, so she might have more combat oriented spells than healing, but should be able to at least keep you alive.

    SoU you've only got three choices, and really as long as you aren't bringing along Deekin (except when you have to) you should be set...The others are both strong options with their multiclasses making them capable of helping as Hard Hitters or (in Dorna's case) a Healer.

    HoTU is a bit harder...There isn't really a good Cleric companion for most of the campaign, so you'll need to make due with Deekin during the earlier levels (So take him through Chapter 1, otherwise you won't be able to get him to join you in Chapter 2). Chapter 3 is a bit different, and you can bring along Aribeth to tag along, choosing her and Valen would probably be the best combination, two hard hitters and a semi-decent Healer.


    Combat is very similar to what I use in my build "Geroll of the Shadowguard". You'll be decking yourself in the heaviest armour you can with the heaviest shield you can, activating Improved Expertise, and then dropping into combat and doing whatever you can to survive. During the early 10's-20's you can quite easily hit the 30 AR mark, and later on I would expect hitting 40+ would be rather easy.

    Your main job is to keep enemies focused on you, have your companions wait back, rush into combat yourself and then just initiate combat. If you're fighting a boss I recommend forcing it to turn it's back on wherever your companions are, so it can't hit them with AoE effects (which a lot of them have) and open them up to attacks of opportunity.

    Closing Notes:

    As I said earlier, I'm trying out a little something new here. With a slightly different method for creating a Character Concept. Instead of  being a Roleplay oriented look (like THIS one) at a set of characters, and is instead just a kind of general combat style that can be used with any character.

  • Member
    September 21, 2016

    I can't say this is a character archetype I've ever played before, but I do play tanks fairly often. :o

  • September 21, 2016

    It's really a quite interesting character type to play. The thing that makes it fun for me is that you either have to attack or defend (especially during the lower levels), there's no real middle ground to this character, you've either developped a defense that enemies can rarely get through (unless your in a module where there are lvl 30-40 enemies), or you've got at least a decent offense. 

    I kind of want to test it in other games, because it is a heck of a fun playstyle in smaller doses (I'd imagine it would get tedious if you took it up to, level 40 or something). 

  • Member
    September 21, 2016

    Dragonborn1721 said:

    I kind of want to test it in other games, because it is a heck of a fun playstyle in smaller doses (I'd imagine it would get tedious if you took it up to, level 40 or something). 

    And now I'm downloading Dragon Age:  Origins - Awakening for this Character Concept. Thanks, DB.


  • September 23, 2016

    I've been playing this kind of concept with Titan's Quest (since the Anniversery Edition came out, I've really wanted to give something a shot and this defense oriented character was what I came up with). However, since Titan Quest has a more focused system than most games (you choose two masteries, that's what you can pick from) I was left with a lot of options that would kind of benefit my character, but not fully. Anyway, the mastery (skill tree) I picked, was Spirit, which deals mostly in Necromancer-like spells and Life Drain, and the second part of it has really turned out to work well with the Defensive skills I'd picked up.

    It made me want to come back and look at this character from a new point of view, rather than playing as a Pure Fighter, I'm going to either try going Cleric/Fighter, or Pale-Master/Fighter (the second fits better and has a tonne of powerful spells I can add, but Clerics are naturally more bulky than Wizard/PM's). Anyway, just something I'm going to mess around with for a couple days and maybe create a build or concept out of. (Definitely going to get a build for TQ once I finish it...considering I'm 7 hours in and haven't even finish Arc 1, that's gonna take awhile though)