Neverwinter Nights Rogue Character GuideBy Ross Glenn, [email protected]
0.0 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Wherein Rogue advantages and disadvantages are laid bare.
1.4 Rogue Types
Everyone's a Rogue, but some people are better at it than others.
3.0 ABILITY SCORES
Why Dexterity is not the only game in town.
The bread-and-butter of the Rogue... no matter what type ye be.
4.1 Critical Skills
4.2 General Skills
4.3 Worthless Skills
Decide what kind of Rogue you want FIRST, then pick your Feats.
5.1 Rogue Types and their Feats
5.2 General Rogue Feats
5.3 Feats to Avoid
5.4 Rogue-Specific Feats 6.0 MULTICLASSING
Why in Olidammara's name would you want to be a 20th level Rogue?
6.1 The Other Types of Rogues
6.2 Multi-Multiclass Rogues
Elven Cleric love and other dangers of the henchman trade.
8.0 ITEMS AND MAGIC
Don't get married to any given item. That's not what Rogues do.
8.2 Other Clothing (Cloaks, Boots, Belts, Gloves)
8.3 Jewelry (Rings and Necklaces)
8.4 Helms and Shields
8.6 Miscellaneous Magic
Rogues have a name for allies that stand and fight: meat shields.
9.1 In-Town Tactics
9.2 Scouting Tactics
9.3 Combat Tactics
9.4 After the Fight
9.5 Multiplayer Tactics
10.0 TIPS FOR NWN SINGLE-PLAYER
Play Rogue-style, or let the best things in life pass you by.
10.2 Chapter One
10.3 Chapter Two
10.4 Chapter Three
10.5 Chapter Four
11.0 CREDITS AND MISCELLANY
The little people I stepped on to get-- ::coughs:: Never mind.
11.1 Credit Where Credit is Due
11.2 Rogue Guide Locations
11.3 Troy Scotter's Experience Point Discovery (tm)
11.4 Revision History
First off, let's get something straight. It's Rogue. It's not spy, or
assassin, or diplomat, or politician (though all of those people are Rogues).
And for Olidammara's sake, it certainly isn't thief or cutpurse or swindler...
not if you want to keep drawing air. It's Rogue, with a capital 'R'. Don't let
me catch those other phrases passing your lips.
For verily, there are many types of Rogues. There are the street-toughs that
can stand toe-to-toe with the fighting classes, wielding blade and axe in ways
that no mere Fighter would ever dream of doing. There are stalking in-fighters
who slip out from the dark, produce daggers and darts from nowhere, leaving only
a dying scream in their wake. There are snipers striking from ambush -- your
only warning a streak of light through the air, coming from somewhere vaguely
"over there" before an arrow shaft buries itself in your throat. And there are
sweet-talking artists of the con and dodge, who have no need to see your blood
if they can talk you from your gold or slip it from your pockets unseen.
Rogues are the first person asked to join the party and the last person in the
party given trust. Is that fair, I ask you? Rogues are the first ones into
harm's way and the last ones out. Fighters and Barbarians and Monks might claim
to be the ones on the front lines... but look in the direction they're charging.
See that dark shape attacking from ambush? That's the party's Rogue they're
charging toward. The Rogue's already been where they stand. Wizards and
Sorcerers wax poetic about the power of their spells, but spell-casters fall
faster before Rogues than any other class. Clerics and Druids babble about the
glories of their faith, but the brooch that holds their robes closed was taken
from a chest whose traps were disabled by a Rogue, its lock picked by a Rogue
because -- let's be honest -- their janitors don't do windows and their gods
don't do chests.
So show a little respect, understood? Don't worry. I'll stay loyal... just as
long as I'm well paid.
As you can see from the Introduction, it takes a certain kind of personality to
make a good Rogue. That means you've got to be willing to play the game,
whether Neverwinter Nights or 3rd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in
general, with a certain flair, a certain style. If you're timid, you would not
make a good Rogue. Scared to die? Play a Cleric. Want to stare death in the
face? Play a Fighter. A good Rogue is practical, charming, and sure of himself
and his own abilities... to a point. Pilots have an expression: "90% of a good
landing is the set-up." Rogues are the set-up characters in this game, telling
the party where danger lies, what the danger is, and what the danger had for
breakfast this morning... and in some cases, that the danger is already dead, or
disabled, or unlocked. If you're not willing to take the lead, well... not
everyone is good enough to be a Rogue.
Before you create your Rogue character, decide what type of Rogue you want to
play. Rogues are the most versatile characters in both NWN and 3rd Edition D&D.
There are "Thuggish" Rogues that are just a step removed from front-line
Fighters, and there are Rogue spell-casters that are just a step removed from
the party's Wizard. Examine your playing style carefully and plan out your
career as a Rogue well in advance. Rogues are all about evaluating the rewards
versus the downside risk and taking the practical, considered action. If you're
going to play a Rogue, you should be, too.
Oh, and one more thing: just about every Rogue has a few non-Rogue tricks up
their sleeves, and maybe more than a few. Hate to break it to you, but we
Rogues steal more than gold or magic items. We can steal the abilities of other
classes, too. It's called multiclassing, and any smart Rogue will be into it.
Ready to be a Rogue?
- Rogues have, far and away, the most Skills in the game
- Rogues are the most versatile character type in 3rd Edition D&D
- Rogues multiclass well with virtually any other class
- Rogue skills are very valuable at every stage of an adventure
- Rogues are the only class with the ability to launch a sneak attack
- Rogues have the best Reflex saves of any character class
- Rogues usually have the best armor class of any party member
- Rogues can easily use magic items not intended for them
- Rogues get any weapon or item rejected by other party members
- In multiplayer, Rogues can easily swindle other party members
- Rogues use a relatively paltry d6 for their hit points
- Rogues do not receive very good high-level benefits
- Rogues are generally very susceptible to mind-affecting spells
- Rogues often enter combat alone, isolated, or surrounded
- Ironically, a Rogue in a one-on-one fight will probably lose
- Single class Rogues have no spell-casting ability
- Most Rogues don't have a particularly good choice of weapons
- Rogues are expected to scout ahead of the main body of the party
- Things scouting ahead of the party sometimes get eaten
- In multiplayer, Rogues are easily the least-trusted party members
1.4 ROGUE TYPES
As I mentioned earlier, there are many types of Rogues. Most of the Rogue types
are a result of their combat styles, and those styles will be discussed more in
the Feats section. However, there are also Rogues defined by their non-combat
styles... Before creating your Rogue, decide which style suits your play the
A somewhat uncommon type of Rogue, Thugs focus on the weapons and Strength-
training aspects of the class, at the expense of some of the more esoteric Rogue
skills. In Neverwinter Nights, this usually means a loss of Open Locks and
Disable Traps skills in exchange for simply bashing chests open. In 3rd Edition
D&D, the skills sacrificed are usually Hide in Shadows and Move Silently, since
most Thugs don heavier armor than the standard Rogue. This type is a good
choice for players who want to play a Fighter but also want the sneak attack
ability and the high Skill points of a Rogue.
This is a combat-oriented Rogue who accepts and embraces that Dexterity is the
way of the Rogue. This type uses small, light weapons and two-weapon fighting
to maximize the number of sneak attack attempts per round. Slashers are also
noteworthy for their ability to strike from ambush and hit just the targets that
need hitting in a crowded melee. In the full 3rd Edition D&D game, Slashers
have a number of additional special abilities such as tumbling, tightrope
walking, or other ultra physical abilities that can get them into and out of
The "Gunship" references the military combat helicopters of today, which strike
from the edges of the battle and can change tactics mid-battle with ease.
Gunships are the most versatile of the Rogues, already a versatile class, and
often add spell-casting or other arcane or divine abilities to the Rogue mix.
Gunships are usually the Rogues with the lowest number of hit points and the
worst armor class, but make up for it in mobility, speed, and terrifying combat
capabilities. They can't stand in a fight for long, but they make an impact out
of all proportion to their size for as long as they ARE there.
The diplomatic Rogue often sacrifices physical abilities for Intelligence and
Charisma... the ability to charm people's money or information away from them.
Most useful in the in-town setting, Diplomats often have to hang back once the
actual fight starts. Many diplomatic Rogues multiclass with divine spell-
casting, becoming the ultimate support characters, scouting for danger before
the battle begins and mopping up once the battle is over... but don't expect
much from them in the battle itself. Diplomats are most common in multiplayer
Neverwinter Nights, where they can be quite viable party leaders.
The Scout is an almost clich¿ Rogue, ghosting ahead of the party, clearing traps
and other dangers, mapping out the terrain in advance of the rest of the group.
Proficient in the widest variety of weapons and tactics, Scouts are often the
mechanical geniuses of the party in full 3rd Edition D&D play, divining the
nature of puzzles and artifacts and mysteries, or connecting the dots of a
complex adventure. They are also the mapmakers. Much more common in
multiplayer Neverwinter Nights than in the solo game, a good Scout can do more
than a Cleric to keep a large party alive.
"Everyone's a Rogue at heart." -- Ketta, Rogue Trainer, Neverwinter Academy
Ketta spoke truly (RIP, Ketta), but some races make better Rogues than others.
Your choice in Race will be influenced strongly by the type of Rogue you want to
play, but even in the general case, some races are inherently more suited to the
Rogue lifestyle. Being a Rogue is all about evaluating the downside risk to
your decisions, and smart decisions up front will save you from having to
compensate for your bad decision later... Choose wisely!
Average Rogue race. The primary advantage to playing a Human Rogue isn't the
additional initial starting feat but rather the +4 skill points for first level
and +1 skill point per additional level. These can be handy to add that one
last skill (Pick Pockets, Taunt, or Use Magic Item come to mind) that you don't
otherwise have the skill points for. Humans can also multiclass Rogues with the
more unusual classes, such as Cleric. Humans can play two classes and get the
first class for "free" without an experience point penalty for mismatched
levels. As I mentioned in the introduction, multiclassing is virtually
essential for Rogues, so this can be a great benefit if you want an unusual
Best Rogue race for single player NWN. The Dexterity bonus doesn't play into
NWN the way it would in a normal 3rd Edition game (since you get it *before* you
spend your ability points, see Abilities, below), but is nice. However, Keen
Senses means that your Search and Spot skills are always engaged even when at
full-tilt run, and as an Elf, you get +2 to both of these skills. Elves also
get +2 to Listen, another important Rogue skill. Even better, Elven weapon
proficiencies mean that you get some heavier-hitting weapons, particularly the
rapier and longbow (the 3rd Edition Rogue's friends, for reasons I'll get into
later). Elves are also immune to some mind-affecting spells -- the bane of the
Rogue's existence -- and have excellent low-light vision. Finally, Elves have
Wizard as their preferred class, which is one of the best multiclassing options
Average Rogue race. The primary advantages to playing a Dwarven Rogue are the
Constitution/Fortitude bonuses and the bonuses against poison and magic saving
throws. Dwarves also get decent bonuses against goblinoids, orcs, and giants,
all of which play a surprisingly major role in high-level NWN. Dwarves also
have the best low-light vision and a Lore bonus. Dwarves make the best all-
around "thuggish" Rogues because they can multiclass Rogue with Fighter with no
experience-point penalties for mismatched levels.
Below average Rogue race. Play a Halfling or an Elf instead. Gnomes combine
the disadvantages of playing a Small-size character with none of the benefits of
being a Halfling. Gnomes receive the standard Small size armor class bonus
against larger creatures and combat bonuses against reptilians, goblinoids, and
giants, as well as decent low-light vision. They also favor the Wizard as their
multiclass option. However, their other skills are bent in the Wizard
direction, including Concentration bonuses and bonuses using Illusion, NOT the
favored spell school among the smart Rogue. In addition, their stat bonus
(Constitution) is of only marginal use to Rogues. Combine all this with the
Small size and the drawbacks of that, limited carrying capacity and a narrow
weapon selection, and you get a race not really suited to the Rogue lifestyle.
Below average Rogue race. Play an Elf, Halfling, or Human instead. The only
reason to consider a Half-Elf Rogue is if you want to combine Rogue with
something unusual (Cleric, for instance). Half-Elves, like Humans, get one
"free" multiclass, meaning that you can play a 15th level Rogue/5th level Cleric
with no experience point penalties for mismatched levels. In these cases, Half-
Elves get partial immunity to mind-affecting spells and +1 to Listen, Search,
and Spot checks. Even in these cases, though, I'd probably rather have the
bonus feat/skill points for playing a Human or the assortment of Halfling
Worst Rogue race. The Strength bonus is nice, but comes at the cost of two
critical Rogue abilities, Intelligence and Charisma (yes, Charisma; I'll explain
in a bit). Half-Orcs also get excellent low-light vision, but the trade-offs
for those two Strength points are NOT worth it for a Rogue. They also favor the
Barbarian class, not a particularly good Rogue multiclassing option.
Above average Rogue race. The Dexterity bonus doesn't play into NWN the way it
would in a normal 3rd Edition game (since you get it *before* you spend your
ability points, see Abilities, below), but is nice. They receive bonuses to two
Rogue skills, Listen and Move Silently. Halflings also have immunity to fear
and the standard Small-size armor class bonus against larger creatures. They
also get +1 to hit with all missile weapons and +1 on all saving throws.
Halflings also have Rogue as their favored class, meaning that you can play a
Rogue multiclassed with anything else you like. The major drawback to playing a
Halfling is their size, which affects both the size of the weapons they can use
and the amount of gear that they can carry. However, in a multiplayer, PvP
scenario, Halflings are the best NWN Rogue race specifically due to their size.
A Human player is going to have a very tough time spotting the tiny Halfling
graphic, particularly when the Halfling in question is Hiding in Shadows,
Invisible, or in the midst of a chaotic fight.
3.0 ABILITY SCORES
Obviously, Dexterity is at the top of the heap for Rogues, playing to virtually
all of their best Skills, Feats, and supernatural abilities. However, I'm now
going to raise a lot of eyebrows by suggesting that you set your initial
Dexterity no higher than 16. The reason is simple: a higher initial Dexterity
is far too "expensive" in the rather-limited number of ability score points (30)
that NWN gives you to create your initial character. Your precious allotment of
these points is put to far better use setting up your other ability scores. Do
your job right during the character creation process, and you won't ever have to
mess with the other ability scores again. You get five additional points to
apply to ability scores in your career (at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th
levels). If you want that 18 or higher Dexterity, buy it with those points.
With that said, I'll go through each stat in detail, with suggestions.
Earlier, you decided what type of Rogue you wanted to play. For you non-
"thuggish" Rogues, 10 is more than sufficient. That gives you an initial loot
allotment of 100 pounds, and no Strength bonuses or penalties. You can even
consider an 8 Strength. That's 86 pounds and a -1 penalty, but you won't be
using your Strength to attack in most cases anyway (see Feats, below) and the -1
damage penalty might be worth it to get a 16 Charisma or Intelligence, for
instance. If you decided on a more "thuggish" Rogue, then you're going to want
a 14 here (+2 bonus). Thuggish Rogues will want at least 13 Strength for the
Power Attack and Cleave feats. However, if you feel a temptation to set your
initial Strength any higher than 14, you should be playing a Barbarian or a
Ranger, not a Rogue. Rogues are all about the fast knife in the dark, and a
paltry one or two more additional damage points is going to make NO difference
added to a multiple-d6 sneak attack. The primary uses for Strength for Rogues
are, in the early game, the ability to carry a lot of loot, and in the late
game, as a damage adder to your composite bow or melee attack. However, there
are scads of excellent items in NWN to boost your Strength bonus in the late
game and those initial points are far too precious to spend on something like
As I mentioned, set this to 16, no matter what type of Rogue you decide to play.
Do not under any circumstances set it any lower than 15; if you are tempted to
set Dexterity lower than 15, play a Fighter or a Ranger instead. Elves and
Halflings, with their racial Dexterity bonus, might have a point or two to spare
after setting their other ability scores. This is because going from a 14 to 15
to 16 Dexterity costs Elves and Halflings only one point each, and 16 to 17 to
18 cost two points each out of the 30 points per ability score point. For all
other races, 14 to 15 to 16 costs 2 points each, and 16 to 17 to 18 costs 3
points each. Therefore, if you're playing an Elf or a Halfling, you might find
yourself with two points to spare after setting your other abilities. In this
case, and in this case only, you may have 17 Dexterity if you wish (but strongly
consider putting the points somewhere else even in these cases). Whether you
set your initial Dexterity to 16 or 17, you get a +3 bonus here.
Rogues have a relatively scanty d6 for their hit die and as a result, a
Constitution bonus is an agreeable thing to have. This also helps with poison
and other Fortitude-based saving throws, which are one of the annoyances of the
Rogue existence. Finally, a high Constitution will help with the Concentration
skill if you decide to multiclass into arcane spell-casting, and there are a few
points in the NWN single-player campaign where a high Constitution is nice. I
recommend a 12 (+1 bonus here). If you're playing a more "thuggish" Rogue,
consider a 14 (+2 bonus).
After Dexterity, this is the second-most important Rogue ability score,
affecting your character in two ways. First, a high Intelligence score gives
you bonuses to your skill points, and Rogues live or die by their skill point
totals. Additionally, should you decide to multiclass into Wizard, a high
Intelligence will be crucial to your higher-level spell-casting abilities. 14
is the lowest score I would recommend here for any Rogue (+2 bonus), and if at
all possible, I suggest a 16 (+3 bonus), particularly if you plan to multiclass
into Wizard. Thuggish Rogues will have to accept a hit (either 10 for no bonus
or 8 for a -1 penalty) in this ability, with a corresponding loss of the Open
Lock and Disable Traps skills. Thugs will be bashing chests open instead.
Overall, this is probably the least critical ability score for Rogues (though
some would argue that Strength is least important). An 8 is probably sufficient
in this ability (-1 penalty), but the Rogue's toughest saving throws are in the
area of mind-affecting spells, which this penalty will drop right into. For
that reason, some might feel uncomfortable with the penalty and want a 10 in
this statistic. However, there are many excellent items in NWN that grant
immunities to mind-affecting spells so that by the time this becomes a problem,
you can probably acquire an item to balance it. In addition, the Rogue
supernatural ability Slippery Mind (which you can pick up at 10th level) will in
effect give you the best of two saving throw rolls against every mind-affecting
spell. Finally, if you accepted my earlier advice and chose an Elven or
Halfling Rogue, some mind-affecting spells just ain't gonna be a problem. ;-)
However, see my notes below about Charisma; if you're not going to be playing
the single-player campaign that ships with Neverwinter Nights, some of your
Charisma points would probably be better spent here. In addition, Wisdom is the
key component in two Rogue skills, Listen and Spot. The campaign that ships
with Neverwinter Nights also has an undocumented Insight ability that is based
on your Wisdom score.
If you did not choose a thuggish Rogue, then this ability score is absolutely
critical. Again, I can see eyebrows going up all over the world at that
statement, so I'll explain. Charisma is the key ability to the Persuade skill,
which in the NWN single-player game, is going to be your most-used skill after
Open Locks. You will run into more situations where Persuade will be crucial to
your success in the single-player game than even Disable Traps, most of which
can be sidestepped or triggered from afar if need be. A high Persuade skill
combined with a high Charisma will literally open many locks to you that no
amount of open locks skill, bullying, evading, or slicing-n-dicing will do. I
suggest a minimum of 14 (+2 bonus) here and if you can at all justify it to
yourself, go with a 16 (+3 bonus). It will be easier to justify it to yourself
if you plan to multiclass into Bard or Sorcerer later, but even the most single-
minded Rogues will be happier with a high Charisma. If you're NOT going to do
the single-player game, though, be advised that of the fan-written modules I've
seen as of this writing, almost none of them make use of the Persuade skill.
Until some do, you can probably forgo more than a 12 or so in this skill.
If you followed my advice, then, your ability scores will be in the neighborhood
of two 16s, a 14, a 12, a 10, and an 8. For Rogues entering the campaign that
ships with Neverwinter Nights, you'll want your highest scores in Dexterity,
Intelligence, and Charisma, in that order. Thuggish Rogues will want Dexterity,
Strength, and Constitution, in that order. Rogues entering fan-written modules
will probably be happiest with their high stats in Dexterity, Intelligence, and
Strength, in that order. Diplomat Rogues might even set their Charisma score
higher than their Dexterity -- after all, you'll soon be finding +1, +3, +6, and
As you advance, you will pick up additional points to apply to your ability
scores. Where you put these points is mostly up to you, but you only get
additional bonuses at EVEN-numbered ability scores. Therefore, if you add a
point to a skill to make it an odd number (DEX 16 to DEX 17 at 4th level, for
instance), make sure that either your next point is applied to the same ability
score or you have an item that makes up the difference to bring you to an even
number. Most Rogues, however, will be happiest using their first two bonus
points to add to Dexterity and use their other three points to enhance their
statistics in support of their multiclass option.
Two stats to watch out for, though, are Dexterity and Strength. To get most of
the Dexterity-based feats (Ambidexterity, for instance), you're going to need a
15 Dexterity. To get most of the Strength-based feats (Cleave, for instance),
you're going to need a 13 Strength. You'll note that those are ODD numbers.
Finally, a small note: I've been told that it is impossible to boost any ability
score more than 10 points from its "natural" level no matter the number or
strength of magical enhancements. In other words, if you have an 18 Dexterity,
no amount of magical trickery will get you more than a 28 Dexterity. I haven't
been able to confirm this myself, but I believe the source, so keep it in
Skills are the bread-and-butter of the Rogue class, with even the most average
Rogues bringing home 8 skill points per level. A smart Rogue (which you might
very well be) will have even more points to apply, usually in the neighborhood
of 10 or 11 per level. You'll need them, too, because Rogues also have the
broadest array of skills in a surprising number of areas. The skills you should
4.1 CRITICAL SKILLS
OPEN LOCKS (DEX). All I can say to this one is "duh," but surprisingly, it
doesn't benefit you very much in NWN to set this skill higher than a total of 15
ranks or so. The reason is that there are a variety of magical lock-picks in
the game (all the way to a +10 bonus!), other items that increase lock-picking
skill, your Dexterity modifier... and it will be rather rare that you'll be
using your lock-picking skills in combat. You will therefore be "taking 20" at
almost every lock, giving you a nice round 35-40 in this skill by the time you
hit a decent level (8th or so), which you can add 10 to by using +10 lock-picks.
So, initially, max this skill, putting all the points the game will let you into
it, but when you hit 15 or so, you can start slowing down or stop, and use the
points for other things. If you find yourself playing a thuggish Rogue, you can
forgo this skill entirely and just bash chests open.
PERSUADE (CHA). After Open Locks, this is the most important Rogue skill in the
single-player game, which you should max at every level you can throughout your
career. As I stated earlier, there are important plot points that only open up
to those with a very high Persuade, as well as extra cash to be had and extra
items to talk the various marks out of ::grins::. Finally, it is basically
impossible to complete some of the later quests WITHOUT either a high Persuade
skill or a penchant toward random bloodshed. Bruno, the Half-Orc with the key
you'll encounter in your final Academy Rogue training exercise, requires a 4
Skill in Persuade PLUS a 16 Charisma to successfully sucker, by the way. On the
flip side, though, I've yet to see any of the fan-written modules make any real
use of the Persuade skill, so if you're not going to play the single-player
game, you can probably reduce the number of points you put here.
DISABLE TRAP (DEX). Again, a fairly "duh" skill, this is one you'll want to max
out all the way up to at least level 12 or so, by which time you'll have about a
25 skill, making traps of all DCs between 45 and 50 fall before you. However, I
recommend maxing this out all the way through your career for a simple and
amusing reason: if you use the "Recover Trap" skill rather than the "Disable
Trap" skill, this not only gives you raw materials for the "Set Traps" skill,
but can also be a nice source of supplemental income. Some of those higher-
damage traps sell for 1000 GP or more... If you find yourself playing a
thuggish Rogue, you can forgo this skill after you have about 12 skill points
and just flag harder traps or bash the chests they cover open from a distance.
Finally, if you put five or more points here, you get a +2 bonus on your Set
Trap skill (if you have one).
SEARCH (INT). This goes hand-in-hand with the Disable Trap skill, and is
another you should max out throughout your career. There are going to be times
that you simply forget to go into Search mode, and a high Search skill will even
offset this sin to some extent. However, before you can even bring your Disable
Trap skill to bear on something, you have to find it first.
LORE (INT). Another skill you should max out until you hit about a 15 skill or
so. By that time, you'll be swimming in Lore potions and anything that a 15
Lore skill won't reveal will certainly fall before a potion (and if it doesn't,
you'll make more money selling the item than you'll lose in the 100 GP having
identified at a store). You'll also have either a Ring of Insight or a Ring of
Scholars by this time, both of which enhance Lore skill without need for a
HIDE IN SHADOWS (DEX). Max this one out all the way through your career. 'nuff
MOVE SILENTLY (DEX). Max this one out all the way through your career. The
combination of this and Hide in Shadows is almost TOO good in NWN. I've walked
in Stealth mode into an open room or hallway crowded with monsters and not been
noticed until the first sneak attack. You can also disable traps while in
Stealth mode, thereby sometimes clearing a path for those who like to rush in
where Angels fear to tread... Tip: when in Stealth mode, order your hirelings
and other followers to hang back.
SPOT (WIS). An oft-neglected ability, this is your ability to notice hidden
creatures. In NWN, it also gives you the ability to see through closed doors
and stone walls to what might be lurking on the other side. If you max this
ability throughout your career, you'll soon have a very good idea of what is
behind the door before you open it, or what the general layout of the dungeon is
ten seconds after you enter it (the map just fills in in front of you). A very
cool ability in NWN -- almost feels like cheating.
LISTEN (WIS). A high Listen score in NWN will give you the ability to hear
spell-casters chanting in the midst of a crowded melee, or reveal hidden dangers
by the sounds they make. Set this higher than 10 or so, and you'll soon
recognize the chant "ortano fordiguma!" as a good reason to get clear. Who
needs Spellcraft when you have ears? ;-) I didn't notice much benefit from
setting this much higher than 15 or so, though.
4.2 GENERAL SKILLS
Once you have spent your points on these, here's some others that you should
HEAL (WIS). Though you probably won't have much of a Wisdom bonus, the healing
kits in NWN more than make up for any deficiency you may have. Most of the
time, you'll use the healing kits post-combat, when you can take 20 (in combat,
use your potions). Even a relatively modest Heal skill will therefore make a
Rogue -- a Rogue! -- capable of healing 20-30 hit points a shot, with excellent
chances of eliminating poison and disease in the bargain! The Heal Skill is
your friend. Even better, these healing kits are plentiful and/or cheap and as
long as the monsters have gold, a Rogue is never poor.
CONCENTRATION (CON). Don't bother spending your Rogue skill points on this, but
if you multiclass into any kind of spell-casting, you'd BETTER use your spell-
caster level skill points on it. Most of the time a multiclassed Rogue casts a
spell, it's going to be because the sneak attack they just attempted went bad
(or sometimes, it's gone TOO well and you've identified yourself as the biggest
threat), the bad guy has turned around to engage YOU, and the spell involved is
either direct damage or some kind of defense (Invisibility, for instance). That
means the bad guy is certainly concentrating on YOU. That means you're gonna
get hit, and hit hard while in the midst of casting. Get some points in
Concentration. But if you don't multiclass into spell-casting, don't bother
with this one.
DISCIPLINE (STR). There are three banes to the Rogue's existence: mind-
affecting spells, poison, and knockdown/called shot. This skill helps with the
last, and frankly, I'd rather have this as a class skill than Heal, but I didn't
write the NWN Aurora engine. ;-) If you have the skill points to spare, I'd
put at least a few levels into this. Trust me: your Dexterity modifiers are of
no help if you're on your back. There's nothing more frustrating than watching
your hit-points dwindle swiftly to zero 'cause you're sitting on your ***
looking up at the bad guy.
SET TRAP (DEX). Mostly useful in the multiplayer game, you can also use this to
leave your henchmen behind, set a trap, find the next roomful of bad guys, then
run, leading them back to your trap and your henchmen. If you go with this
tactic, incidentally, stick with sonic and lightning traps -- they hit everybody
in a wide radius and few bad guys are resistant to sonics or lightning. Do I do
this? I do not. Are there Rogues that do? Sure. Decide if you're one of this
type before buying points in this skill. If you put five or more points here,
you get a +2 bonus to your Disable Traps skill, but I personally would rather
have those five points IN Disable Traps.
USE MAGIC DEVICE (CHA). A smart Rogue is a multiclassed Rogue. You will
therefore not have much call for this skill. However, unlike in real 3rd
Edition D&D rules, Neverwinter Nights sets a static DC for each magic item
value. Once your adjusted Use Magic Item skill surpasses this DC for a given
item value in GP, the game never bothers to check your success or failure for
items at or below this value. A Skill below an item's DC always fails, and a
Skill above the DC always succeeds. This, incidentally, is NOT what the 3rd
Edition rules intended. Fortunately, being a Rogue is often about exploiting
the mistakes of others, so if you feel tempted to exploit this hole in the game,
you have my blessing. ;-) So, there are definitely Rogues out there using this
Skill, but I am not one of them. In my view, there are much higher-value Skills
than this, and it is still much easier to simply add a level or three of the
class that has items you want to use. I would therefore see the main call for
this Skill would be to pick up the ability to use a variety of items spanning a
number of different classes. Monk items seem to be popular this season,
particularly for Rogue/Wizards...
4.3 WORTHLESS SKILLS
Among the mostly pointless skills for Rogues:
PICK POCKET (DEX). Now frankly, I never saw much call for this Skill, but other
Rogue players swear by it. In particular, in the early game, most of the
peasants walking around Neverwinter are walking around with 40 and 50 gold in
their pockets, which when you just start out, is a lot of money. By the mid-
game, though, I don't see how you'll have much use for this skill, particularly
if you have a high Persuade. If you try this in the single-player game, though,
SAVE FIRST. It is not in your best interests to have half the city guard
chasing you. Smart Rogues evaluate the downside risk and prepare a contingency
plan before taking action. ;-)
PARRY (DEX). I personally think this is a worthless Skill for Rogues. For
Rogues, the best defense is either (A) a good offense, (B) as close as the
closest doorway, hallway, or Invisibility potion, followed by Stealth mode,
followed by a "swing around" (see Tactics, later), followed by a sneak attack
(defense option A, in other words). However, an alternative opinion states that
using an outrageously high Parry Skill, a Rogue can be surrounded by enemies and
use the Parry Skill's "riposte" or counter-attack function to slowly wear down
the throng. This takes an equally outrageous amount of time, however, so don't
count on a quick getaway. For myself, I believe the second a Rogue goes into
Parry mode, he's lost the fight. Passive defense is not what Rogues are all
SPELLCRAFT (INT). See Listen. The saving throw bonus is not worth the skill
points you'll pay to get it, and it isn't like you're going to be counter-
spelling, even if you multiclass. Like using Parry, a counter-spelling Rogue
has lost the fight. Play to your strengths, and passive defense isn't among
TAUNT (CHA). The idea with this skill is to make a single bad guy that is most
important to you lower his defenses. This can definitely help a later sneak
attack, since the effects of this ability last five rounds. However, this can
also be a rather expensive skill to put points into, since it is not a Rogue
class skill (why not?). In general, I wouldn't bother. If you want to isolate
one particular bad guy, Stealth (or use an Invisibility potion), then go see
what his back looks like. Let the other characters in your group distract him.
ANIMAL EMPATHY (CHA), PERFORM (CHA). These skills are not available to single-
class Rogues. Animal Empathy is somewhat useful in the single-player NWN game
for multiclass Rogues that can pick it up. Perform, obviously, is vital to
Feats are not as important for Rogues as they are for most of the other classes.
A Rogue's Feats in NWN primarily "set the tone" for how you play your Rogue in
combat. However, there are several Feats that can make a big difference.
Before you set your first Feat, though, you should have already decided which
type of Rogue you want to play. In a fight, three types of Rogues are generally
the biggest factors:
1) "Thuggish" Rogues
2) "Slasher" Rogues
3) "Gunship" Rogues
Diplomats and Scouts might choose one of the above three types for their combat
style, but more often, will choose feats compatible with their other duties
within the party or their multiclassing options. A Rogue/Ranger Scout, for
instance, might lean toward the Gunship style under normal circumstances but
choose the Weapon Finesse of a Slasher or the Knockdown Feat to complement his
Ranger Dual Wield and Ambidexterity Feats. A Rogue/Cleric Diplomat might lean
toward the Thuggish Power Attack and Cleave Feats, but might take Extra Turning
and Empower Spell Feats to enhance the Clerical part of his or her nature and
make this character more valuable to the party as a support figure.
The Thuggish Rogue concentrates on Strength-based feats, prefers heavier
weapons, uses a shield, often multiclasses with Fighter or Ranger, and generally
considers himself a decent first-line fighter who happens to like to attack from
the flank. Dwarves make the best thuggish Rogues. The Slasher Rogue favors
getting in close with lighter weapons, multiclasses well with Monk or Ranger,
and generally likes to get a good close look at the blood without making a big
target of him- or herself doing it. Halflings and Humans make the best
Slashers. "Gunship" Rogues dart in and out of melee, favor ranged sneak
attacks, and are just generally unpredictable and wild in combat. They
multiclass well with Wizard and Bard; Elves make the best Gunships. I'll first
cover some Feats based on which of the three major Rogue combat types they
favor, then I'll cover the more general Rogue-friendly Feats.
5.1 ROGUE TYPES AND THEIR FEATS
Feats: WEAPON PROFICIENCY (MARTIAL), POWER ATTACK, CLEAVE, SHIELD. Thuggish
Rogues are street-brawlers. They sometimes invest in a big two-handed weapon
after taking the Weapon Proficiency (Martial) Feat, or use a Medium weapon if
they're a Small size Rogue. Thugs usually also take the Shield proficiency. In
any case, after the front-line fighters engage, Thugs swing in to the flanks of
the battle, picking off one engaged opponent after another, counting on either
the highest hit points of all Rogues or an excellent armor class to keep them
out of harm's way. Weapon Proficiency (Martial) can be gained for free by
multiclassing with Fighter, and opens up a lot of very nice high damage weapons.
Shield comes free with many multiclass options.
Since many creatures tend to fall to the sneak attack, this makes the Cleave
Feat an excellent investment, allowing the Thug to domino through weaker
opponents. While waiting for an opening in crowded hallways and doors, many
Thugs enjoy using hand axes or slings to make ranged sneak attacks, as both of
these weapons may be used while holding onto their shields. Both are also
missile weapons that are eschewed by most other characters, making them easy to
pick up. Like all Rogues, Thugs tend not to focus on any particular weapon,
instead using the best weapon they can obtain.
Dwarven Rogue/Fighters make the best Thugs, though surprisingly, a Human
Monk/Rogue (really!) can make quick work of even the most dangerous opponents
with no weapons at all (relying on the Stunning Fist, Knockdown, and Sap Feats
instead of martial weapons and shields). Because most skills are done while
"taking 20" and because Thuggish Rogues tend to multiclass with Fighter,
Thuggish Rogues can also experiment with heavier armor than the average Rogue
type, further improving armor class. Keep a set of lighter armor handy,
however, for scouting duties, and keep in mind that heavier armor limits your
dexterity bonus to armor class! Since Thugs also generally concentrate on the
less common Rogue skills such as Taunt and Set Trap, they also have combat
options not available to other Rogue types.
Feats: TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING, WEAPON FINESSE, AMBIDEXTERITY, IMPROVED TWO-WEAPON
FIGHTING. Slasher Rogues are quick and nasty in-fighters who like to dart in
close when the bad guy is otherwise engaged and hit with multiple small attacks.
While these attacks seem puny, each one generally carries a sneak attack bonus,
meaning even the tiniest dagger flick is soon doing 20 or 30 points of hurt.
Slashers should emphasize this by concentrating on getting as many of these
"small" attacks in as possible, and taking high to-hit bonuses over high damage
weapons. If you have a choice between using a +5 dagger and a +2 rapier, use
the dagger, which has a 15% better chance to hit. Once you add a multiple-d6
sneak attack bonus, the damage difference between the two weapons is
A Slasher's favorite weapons will be the rapier, short sword, mace, dagger, or
other weapons usable with the Weapon Finesse feat. Slashers don't generally
bother with Improved Critical or Weapon Focus; they're not particularly
monogamous to one type of weapon, preferring to stay flexible and use the best
small weapons that come along -- meaning the ones with the best magical to hit
bonuses. However, if you MUST focus on a weapon, choose rapier (for Elven
Rogues) or dagger (for all other Rogues). Rapiers have the best critical
bonuses of the smaller weapons, work well with the Weapon Finesse skill, and do
decent damage. Daggers have similar strengths, as well as one surprising
strength: some of the best magical weapons in NWN come in the dagger form. A
mace is a good backup weapon choice for attacking creatures that are immune to
sneak attack and/or resistant to slashing or piercing attacks. Have Marrok
create a Mace of Disruption for you (upgradeable to +2, +5 versus undead) and it
will serve you well through the whole single-player game for these situations.
Select Two-Weapon Fighting as your first Feat, but don't bother using it. Not
yet, not until character Level 3. At Level 3, Weapon Finesse will become
available to you. Select it immediately. From now on, you are officially a
two-weapon Dexterity-fighter, not a Strength fighter. Choose your weapons based
on the selection given in the Weapon Finesse Feat for your race and size.
Ambidexterity will reduce the off-hand penalty when you pick it up (hopefully at
6th level), and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (available to Rogues at around 12th
level) will give you four or more attacks per round. However, drop to single-
weapon fighting against "bosses" if you find your sneak attacks missing the
A close reading of the rules will tempt you to use the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat
to wield two rapiers. After all, the rapier is classified a "light" weapon,
does d6 damage, has excellent critical hit capabilities, and works with the
Weapon Finesse feat... right? Wrong, as it turns out. :-/ There is a bug in
Neverwinter Nights -- although the rapier should qualify as a light left-hand
weapon for the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, it doesn't. However, rapier/short
sword works, as does rapier/dagger.
Multiclass Rogue/Rangers make the best Slashers because picking up even a single
level of Ranger gives you the Ambidexterity and "Dual Wield" Feats for free.
Slashers should strongly consider this option, and I'll discuss it a bit more in
the Multiclassing section.
Feats: POINT BLANK SHOT, RAPID SHOT, IMPROVED CRITICAL (LONGBOW/SHORTBOW),
COMBAT CASTING. Gunship Rogues are like Apache helicopters in battle: close-
support that generally stays out of the main fight and can escape or change
tactics quickly at need. Many people aren't aware of this, but Rogues get their
sneak attack bonus on ranged attacks made from distances of 30' or less (about
five character-widths in NWN), so take advantage of this. In addition,
Rogue/Wizard or Rogue/Sorcerer multiclassers make the best Gunships, peppering
the enemy from afar with either arrows or direct damage spells.
Elves make particularly good Gunships because they get a racial longbow weapon
proficiency, but the short bow is almost as good. Like Slashers, Gunships
should concentrate on multiple small attacks, which means getting as many arrows
into the melee as possible. Use Rapid Shot against everything except "bosses."
Also, you WILL be annoying one or more enemies who WILL decide to get in your
face. For this reason, Point Blank Shot is a good Feat (and is required for
Rapid Shot anyway). Obviously, only multiclass spell-casting Rogues will
benefit from Combat Casting, but if you don't want to multiclass into some kind
of spell-casting, don't be a Gunship. ;-)
Look for an item to boost your Strength bonus (Belts of Giant Strength are the
best choice here) and upgrade to a composite bow for the damage bonus (while
other missile weapons can be used by Gunships, bows have the best strength
damage and critical bonuses). In addition, start using magical arrows as soon
as it is financially viable. The Improved Critical will double the already
excellent critical capabilities of the bow weapon. There are few things more
gratifying than watching a critical hit sneak attack arrow go in, then follow
with five or six points of lightning or fire damage...
Finally, since you are sadly already married to your bow, don't get married to
where you are standing when the fight starts. Gunships are the most mobile of
Rogues, and should "swing around" (see Tactics below) frequently to get the best
flanking and/or spell-casting angles. Gunships tend to have the fewest hit
points of the Rogues, so you're not going to want to stay in one place for very
long. Risk the attack of opportunity if you get cornered and open up some
distance. Chances are the bad guy will turn to less mobile opponents, turning
their back to you almost immediately. And Rogues know what to do when they see
5.2 GENERAL ROGUE FEATS
As Rogues generally advance in levels more quickly than the other classes --
despite the supposedly equal amount of experience needed for all classes, Rogues
seem to get more "credit" in NWN for defeating tough foes for some reason -- and
because they tend to multiclass, they generally have more Feats available than
all but single class Fighters. As a result, many Rogues will be of more than
one "type" above, alternating between being a Slasher or a Gunship based on
circumstance, for instance. For that reason, I won't get into any more
specifics about the Feats mentioned above with the three Rogue combat types.
See the descriptions of these other types of Rogues for the benefits of their
Feats. If you don't want to do multiple Rogue types, there are many general
Feats that are also Rogue-friendly:
DODGE. Granting a +1 armor class bonus against the target the Rogue is
currently engaged with, this is a particularly helpful feat to Thuggish and
Gunship Rogues. Thugs tend to be more closely engaged with the bad guys than
the typical Rogue. Gunships tend to have the lowest hit point counts, and every
little point of armor class helps.
MOBILITY. This one is helpful to Gunship Rogues, who tend to provoke more
attacks of opportunity than the typical Rogue, granting a +4 armor class bonus
against such attacks.
ALERTNESS. This is a very decent Feat selection for any type of Rogue, giving
+2 to Spot and Listen checks.
KNOCKDOWN. Thuggish and Slasher Rogues like this one, which make those close in
targets all too easy to swing around behind and sneak attack. However, don't
bother using it unless the bad guy seems fixated on you and won't turn to
another target no matter what you do. It's usually easier to get nearly the
exact same benefit of a Knockdown by simply running away for a half round,
waiting for him to engage someone else, then returning for a sneak attack
(swinging around, in other words; see Tactics, below).
EXTRA TURNING. The odd Cleric/Rogue should definitely pick this Feat up. You
can't sneak attack the undead, so you may as well get them to fall down any way
you can, as quickly as you can.
GREAT FORTITUDE. Non-Dwarven Rogues tend to have rather poor Fortitude saving
throws and as a result, can benefit from this Feat.
IRON WILL. Non-Elven Rogues will benefit from this Feat, as mind-affecting
spells are probably the number one cause of premature Rogue death.
TOUGHNESS. All Rogues can benefit from this Feat, but don't bother taking it
until you're at least 15th level and have already taken any other desired Feats,
as you're unlikely to notice any difference until then.
STILL SPELL. Rogues that multiclass into arcane spell-casting like this feat,
as it allows them to keep their armor while still making them viable combat
spell-casters. Only memorize and use Still versions of direct damage combat
spells. Everything else should be cast after taking off your armor and before
you enter harm's way.
SILENT SPELL. Rogues that multiclass into arcane spell-casting and do a lot of
scouting like this one, allowing you to cast a spell without necessarily
revealing your presence. Particularly gratifying: using this Feat to drop a
Fireball into a crowd of monsters, virtually guaranteeing havoc among the nice
motionless targets. However, if you are in Stealth mode, you WILL be kicked out
of it, so do not count on remaining unseen once you begin casting.
WEAPON PROFICIENCY (EXOTIC). The katana, kukri, and shuriken are all excellent
Rogue weapons, particularly for Thugs or as backup weapons for Gunships (or
multiclass Rogue/Monks). Shuriken in and of themselves are not impressive, but
there are many interesting varieties of magical shuriken in NWN. In multiplayer
games, particularly, these types of exotic weapons tend to go unclaimed and have
relatively low resale value, so Rogues can often pick them up with little or no
argument from the other players. Finally, many Slasher Rogues go in for the
two-bladed sword, which is an exotic double weapon.
IMPROVED CRITICAL (PICK). When in doubt about Feat selection, go with this one
for your favored weapon. By the time it becomes available (around 6th level for
Rogues), you will probably find yourself concentrating on one or two weapon
types for most attacks. As noted above, there are few things more satisfying
than watching a critical hit sneak attack land. ;-) However, it does tend to
marry you to the weapon type chosen, which is usually a bad call for a Rogue.
In multiplayer games in particular, let the Fighter and Cleric types get married
to specific weapons; that leaves all the weapons they reject for your personal
WEAPON FOCUS (PICK). Finally, if you have every other Feat you want, this is an
acceptable selection, giving a +1 attack bonus with the selected weapon. It is
not exciting or glamorous, but it is useful... however, it does tend to marry
you to a single type of weapon, which is generally a bad call for a Rogue. See
5.3 FEATS TO AVOID
ARMOR PROFICIENCY (HEAVY). Most of your skills and some of your best
multiclassing options become worthless. The only exceptions to this are
Rogue/Fighters, and they receive this Feat for free.
CALLED SHOT. You're not here to wound people, you're here to send them home in
a box. A sneak attack and a called shot are obviously mutually exclusive
DEFLECT ARROWS. Ahem. This looks great on screen and everything, but it's more
fun to listen to archers scream as they fall down from sneak attacks. If the
archers are shooting at you and hitting you, it's because you made some kind of
larger tactical or strategic mistake. Correctly played Rogues don't generally
draw missile fire, or if they do, it doesn't hit them.
DISARM. There are two schools of thought on this Feat. The first school of
thought: see Called Shot. Take his weapon after he's dead. You have too few
attacks to go using them on things that do no damage. The second school of
thought: a disarmed "person" (human, orc, etc.) provokes attacks of opportunity
if he or she doesn't produce a backup weapon, and a disarmed monsters WON'T be
able to produce a backup weapon. ;-) Select this Feat or not based on your
personal feel on this matter, but remember, Disarm both must be selected before
use AND gives a pretty sizable attack penalty! For this reason, it's probably
going to be of the most use to Thuggish Rogues.
METAMAGIC in general (for Rogues that multiclass into spell-casting). Other
than Still Spell and maybe Silent Spell... you're a Rogue, not a specialist
Wizard. If at all possible, use your Wizard bonus Feats for this.
Rogue/Clerics may take Empower Spell.
IMPROVED POWER ATTACK.
IMPROVED UNARMED STRIKE. Except in rather specialized circumstances
(Rogue/Monks, say), all of these are bad Feat choices for any type of Rogue.
LIGHTNING REFLEXES. You already have, far and away, the best Reflex saving
throws in the game. Don't bother.
STUNNING FIST. Also bad calls. Let someone else do this to the bad guy, then
you sneak attack it. ;-) Your smaller numbers of attacks are much better spent
trying to kill things, not stun them.
SKILL FOCUS. You already have the most skill points of any class in the game.
WEAPON SPECIALIZATION. This Feat is not available to Rogues (except for
Rogue/Fighters). Even if it IS available to you, marrying a weapon to this
extent would be a bad call. Stay flexible.
5.4 ROGUE-SPECIFIC FEATS
Finally, at 10th level, Rogues get access to some specialized Feats not
available to other classes. While many of these Feats are of limited use, there
are a couple that are very nice to have. Here they are in the rough order that
you should consider selecting them:
IMPROVED EVASION. Excellent Feat that allows you to stand in the middle of
Fireballs, Cones of Cold, dragon breath, and anything else that requires a
Reflex saving throw while those around you scurry away in fear. A successful
Reflex saving throw negates all damage from these wide-area forms of attack, and
by 10th level, when this Feat becomes available, your Reflex save will be +10 at
a minimum. Even if you fail the saving throw, you take only half damage from
wide area attacks with this Feat.
SLIPPERY MIND. Mind-affecting spells are one of the three banes of the Rogue
existence, and this excellent Feat gives you, in effect, the better of two
saving throw rolls against every mind-affecting attack.
CRIPPLING STRIKE. There is a pretty large gap between the two Feats above and
this one, but this one will deal two points of Strength damage to the bad guy on
every sneak attack. By the time it becomes available, though, anything that you
CAN sneak attack probably won't live long enough for you to notice their
Strength going down. Most useful against non-undead, non-construct "bosses."
SKILL MASTERY. Another large gap, then this Feat. The main purpose to this one
is to allow you to loot chests while your so-called allies are otherwise engaged
in combat with whatever is guarding the chests. As such, it is only really
useful in multiplayer games, and then only for Rogues with less-than-stellar
ethics that don't care if they're not invited back to play with this particular
OPPORTUNIST. Gives you a +4 to hit when making attacks of opportunity. Rogues
only get -- at best -- one attack of opportunity a round. You do the math.
This is a MUCH better Feat in full on 3rd Edition D&D rules, by the by.
DEFENSIVE ROLL. On a successful Reflex save, allows you to cut in half damage
that would ordinarily kill you. If you're a Rogue engaged closely enough with
something that can do enough damage to you to make this Feat worthwhile (other
than things where Improved Evasion is of help), you DESERVE to be dead. ;-)
Let's settle one thing right from the outset: there is absolutely no reason,
whatsoever, that you should be a 20th level Rogue. There. Feel better? I've
given you permission to multiclass. You're going to multiclass. Get used to
the idea. ;-)
Unlike most of the other classes, Rogues get no particular benefit from being
ultrahigh level in their own class. Some rather specialized Feats become
available at 10th level, but as I've already pointed out, many of these Feats
are of extremely limited use. Once you've gained Improved Evasion and Slippery
Mind (at 13th level, when your sneak attack also becomes a towering +7d6 per
use), there really isn't that much point to continuing in your Rogue career.
There are no traps and no locks in single-player NWN that won't fall to a well-
played 13th level Rogue, and the remaining Feats and Rogue bonuses go to areas
that are either of limited use or no use at all (bonuses to Reflex save when
working with traps? Hello?). And another seven levels of Rogue will only add
an average 10 points of damage to your sneak attacks. At best, venture no
higher than a 15th level Rogue, which makes your sneak attack +8d6 but more
importantly, gives you a third attack.
There is much MORE benefit to playing a Rogue multiclassed with something
compatible than becoming an ultrahigh level Rogue. And guess what: nearly every
other class is compatible with being a Rogue. ;-) One important point,
however: when multiclassing with Rogues, it is CRITICAL, absolutely VITAL, that
you start the game as a level 1 Rogue. Neverwinter Nights only gives you your
32+(4*INT bonus) skill points if you START the game as a Level 1 Rogue. You are
NOT going to be happy if you take another class first, select Level 1 Rogue as
your second class, and receive only a handful of skill points to apply to the
various Rogue skills above.
6.1 THE OTHER TYPES OF ROGUES
With all of that said, let's look at the other classes for their benefits to
Below average multiclassing option. While happily non-Lawful, Barbarians and
Rogues share many common special abilities, giving this class little use as a
multiclassing option. An enraged Rogue is a contradiction in terms, Rogues
already receive the exact same Dodge bonuses, a 10% increase in movement speed
is not particularly impressive, and there are other classes that give you
martial weapon and medium armor proficiency. The exception is the Half-Orc
Level 16/4 Barbarian/Rogue, and one should note the order I put those classes
in. Whoever writes the Barbarian Guide should cover this option. ;-) I WILL
note that Barbarian/Rogues should start as Level 1 Rogues and multiclass to
Barbarian later, so they get the full benefit of Level 1 Rogue Skill points.
Above average multiclassing option. Again non-lawful, Bards feature shield and
medium armor proficiency, as well as Charisma-based arcane spell-casting. They
also gain Lore bonuses and Bardic music. Gunship type Rogues do very well as
Bards, able to initiate Bardic music during the first round, and rely on bow-
fire sneak attacks and spells thereafter. In addition, Bards feature the best
range of Rogue-friendly spells, from curing wounds to creature summoning to
Invisibility and ability score enhancements. Finally, Bards add the Taunt and
Discipline Skills to the already impressive Rogue Skill mix. It's an excellent
choice. Seriously consider a long-term career goal of 15th level Rogue, 5th
level Bard or even 13th / 7th. To get there, run your character to Level 5
Rogue, then add all your Bard levels, then finish running up your Rogue levels.
Average multiclassing option. Rogues have a tendency toward the lowest Wisdom
scores, making the on-paper choice of a Cleric an odd one. However, by
minimizing the Strength and Constitution scores of one's character and placing
those points on Wisdom, suddenly the Rogue/Cleric becomes an excellent multi-
pronged support character. Able to cast spells with no fear of arcane spell
failure, turn undead, and cure wounds, the normal Cleric benefits are enhanced
by the Rogue combination. Trickery, Travel, and Magic are excellent domains for
Rogue/Clerics, as are Earth and Sun. Clerics enjoy the best bonuses against
Rogue-killing mind-affecting spells. Sanctuary, maligned by "real" Clerics, is
the ultimate sneak attack prelude, and non-healing Clerical spells include
summoning, ability enhancements, Darkness, and Silence. At 7th level, a Wizard-
class direct damage spell becomes available. A 13th level Rogue, 7th level
Cleric will be a welcome addition to any party. To get there, run your
character to Level 5 Rogue, then add all your Cleric levels, then finish running
up your Rogue levels.
Below average multiclassing option. Druids add medium armor, shield
proficiency, and divine spell-casting to a Rogue character, as well as a few
interesting supernatural abilities, including +4 to Hide and Move Silently
checks in wilderness areas at Level 3. Druids also add an excellent assortment
of animal companions, particularly the Dire Wolf and Panther, two absolutely
outstanding distractions for the Rogue sneak attack. At Level 5, Wild Shape
becomes available (though with some somewhat unimpressive form choices). The
primary drawback to the Druid class as a multiclassing option is the relatively
non-Rogue-friendly spell mix, which doesn't really hit its stride until the
Druid achieves Level 7. As a result, the best Rogue/Druids will be those of
equal or nearly equal level, say 10th level Rogue, 10th level Druid. The low
levels will be rather frustrating, however, with the character having to rest
often and hang back from the main fight. There are better multiclassing
Average multiclassing option. Of real interest only to Thuggish Rogues, for
these types, the Rogue/Fighter multiclassing option is vital. Fighters add
heavier armor, shields, and martial weapons to the Rogue mix, but even more
important are the higher hit points made available, higher attack bonuses, and
the Fighter bonus Feats. The attack bonuses, in particular, improve the
likelihood that a sneak attack will find its target. A true Thuggish Rogue will
be happiest at a slightly higher Fighter level than Rogue level. The typical
end-of-career path for this type is a Level 8 Rogue, Level 12 Fighter (to get
the six bonus Fighter Feats and three attacks per round) or a Level 10 Rogue,
Level 10 Fighter (to get the Improved Evasion or Slippery Mind Rogue bonus
Feat). Even a Level 8 Rogue has little difficulty with all but the very rarest
locks and traps in single-player NWN and three sneak attacks per round can
quickly destroy even the nastiest bad guy. Similar to the Barbarian and Monk, a
16th Level Fighter can also benefit from four Levels of Rogue Skills, but I will
leave this combination to whomever writes the Fighter guide (if I don't do it
myself ;-) ).
Below average multiclassing option. The primary benefit to Monk multiclassing
are the free non-weapon attack Feats gained at Levels 1 and 2 (Unarmed Strike,
Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Deflect Arrows), the "Flurry of Blows"
ability gained at first level, kama weapon proficiency, and the Monk movement
speed bonus. Flurry of Blows is of use because it adds an extra sneak attack
opportunity per round, and many "small" sneak attacks are better than one big
one. Multiclass Rogue/Monks must have a Wisdom of at least 10 (because Monks
receive their Wisdom bonus to their armor class) and also gain access to many
interesting Monk-only magic items. However, because most of the true benefits
of being a Monk only become effective at the highest Monk levels, there is
little point to gaining more than a few Monk levels. A 16th level Rogue, 4th
level Monk will do well. Interestingly, though, a Level 16/4 Monk/Rogue will do
even better. Sadly, Monks are Lawful, but see the notes below regarding...
Below average multiclassing option. This seemingly laughable combination is not
QUITE as ridiculous in NWN as it would be in a true 3rd Edition D&D game. The
primary reason is that I've played single-player NWN for a hundred plus hours
and not once have I seen any action change my character's Lawful/Chaotic bent.
There is therefore no reason why a Rogue/Paladin couldn't cheerfully rob any
unguarded chest or take other extremely non-Lawful actions. In addition, adding
only a few Paladin levels gives the Rogue his or her Charisma bonus as a saving
throw modifier, a weak undead turning ability, immunity to disease and fear, and
the ability to remove disease from another once per day. Paladins also add
martial weapons, medium armor, and shields to the Rogue mix, as well as the
Discipline and Taunt (!) skills. There are definitely better choices, but a
Level 17/3 Rogue/Paladin will be amusing and unusual.
Above average multiclassing option. In particular, Slasher Rogues do VERY well
by adding a few Ranger levels, because even a single Ranger level adds
Ambidexterity and Two-Weapon Fighting for free, as well as +4 to Hide and Move
Silently checks in wilderness areas. Rangers also add martial weapons, medium
armor, and shields to the mix. Good hit points are a benefit, as is picking a
favored enemy or two. Even the most diehard "must be Rogue 'til death" Rogues
should consider being a 19th level Rogue, 1st level Ranger. However, a Level
13/7 Rogue/Ranger will be an exceptionally talented figure, adding an animal
companion, a small assortment of divine spells, and a second favored enemy. One
cautionary tale about Ranger multiclassing, though. Instead of a "full-version"
Two Weapon Attack Feat, Rangers get a feat called "Dual Wield," which works only
in studded leather armor or less. The drawback to Rogues, however, is that if
you have only Dual Wield, you will never be offered Improved Two Weapon Attack.
Therefore, you should only consider Ranger multiclassing if you can live with
Average multiclassing option. Sorcerers are Charisma-based arcane spell-casters
that add almost nothing to the Rogue weapon mix. However, adding even a few
Sorcerer levels gives the Rogue/Sorcerer an impressive allotment of low-level
spells and more importantly, access to a VERY wide assortment of
Sorcerer/Wizard-only magic items and scrolls without the failure chances of Use
Magic Item. While overall, the Rogue/Wizard is a better option, if adding only
a very few arcane spell-caster levels, Sorcerer isn't a bad call as Sorcerers
get more spells at lower levels. Sorcerers also have the ability to summon a
Panther or Hell Hound as a familiar, both excellent distractions allowing the
Rogue to sneak attack at leisure. Level 15/5 Rogue/Sorcerer is a good mix. To
get there, run your character to Level 8 Rogue (to get the second attack), then
add all your Sorcerer levels, then finish running up your Rogue levels.
Above average (best?) multiclassing option. For Elves and/or Gunship Rogues,
this is the best overall choice. Adding even a few Wizard levels gives the
ability to summon a Panther or Hell Hound familiar, the ability to learn low-
level spells from scrolls (giving the Rogue/Wizard a MUCH more diverse base of
spells than the Rogue/Sorcerer), and the ability to use the many Sorcerer/Wizard
magic items without the failure chances of Use Magic Item. Five levels of
Wizard also adds the Still Spell metamagic Feat which cancels out arcane spell
failure chances for wearing armor while casting combat-related spells (outside
of combat, just take the armor OFF, cast, then put it back on). While 15th
level Rogue, 5th level Wizard is a good option, an even better option is
actually to put more levels into Wizard than into Rogue. For instance, a 8th
level Rogue, 12th level Wizard has access to 6th level spells directly and 9th
(!) level spells through scrolls. A Level 8 Rogue has little difficulty with
all but the very rarest locks and traps in single-player NWN and a cone of cold
followed by a pair of sneak attacks will smash even the nastiest bad guys
(especially with a familiar and a summoned creature backing you up!). And if
you can't disable the trap on that chest, you can always toss a Fireball at
it... Rogue/Wizards can also improve their Rogue sneak attacks with an awesome
assortment of ability enhancement and defensive spells.
6.2 MULTI-MULTICLASS ROGUES
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there are a couple of
worthwhile double-multiclass options for Rogues. These tend to be pretty
specialized, but very enjoyable character types:
HUMAN/HALF-ELVEN/HALFLING ROGUE/RANGER/ARCANE SPELLCASTER
Half-Elves and Humans may select any character class they like as their favored
class, and so long as their other classes do not differ by more than one
character level, they will incur no experience point penalties. Halflings have
Rogues as their favored class. Therefore, think about starting as a 2nd level
Rogue, then adding one level of Ranger. Advance to an 8th level Rogue, 1st
level Ranger, then add one level of Sorcerer or Wizard (for the familiar and the
ability to use Sorcerer/Wizard magic items) or Bard (for the Bardic music, Lore
bonuses, and Taunt and Discipline skills). After that, advance until reaching
3rd level Arcane, 2nd level Ranger, then add Rogue levels until you're a 15th
level Rogue. This character will have up to four (sneak) attacks per round when
two-weapon fighting, access to Invisibility and other 2nd level arcane spells,
the ability to either use Bardic music or Sorcerer/Wizard magic items with no
chance of failure, and at least nine Feats. However, see above regarding Ranger
An even odder combination, but one that works in a similar fashion, this
character armed with two kamas can make up to five (sneak) attacks per round, a
prospect that will strike fear into even the hardiest bad guys. Advance in
similar fashion to what is listed above, adding a single Monk level after Rogue
Level 5, and a single Wizard level after Rogue Level 8. The Monk level adds
"flurry of blows" and three Feats, as well as kama weapon proficiency. The
Wizard level is primarily added to give the character the ability to use all
Sorcerer/Wizard magic items, learn every 1st level Wizard spell from scrolls,
and summon a (admittedly very weak) familiar. It also opens a pair of quests in
the single-player NWN game and gives the ability to create a few magic items if
the proper scrolls can be found. The final expression of this character type
will be Level 15/3/2 Rogue/Wizard/Monk. Add the 2nd and 3rd level of Wizard
right after the 1st to give the character the ability to learn and cast the
critical-to-Rogue 2nd level arcane spells for the game's final confrontations.
OK, laugh. Get it out of the way. ;-) Now that you're done laughing, a Level
15/3/2 Rogue/Paladin/Ranger will have up to five (sneak) attacks per round, a
weak undead turning ability, nine or more feats, your Charisma bonus as a saving
throw modifier, immunity to disease and fear, and the ability to remove disease
from another once per day. The Ranger addition adds significant bonuses to Hide
in Shadows and Move Silently in wilderness areas and a favored enemy. The
combination, of course, adds medium and heavy armor, shields, and a large
variety of weapons. And hey, you can even do a (very weak) Smite Evil once per
day. Such a character is also an amusing conversation piece. However, see
above regarding Ranger multiclassing. This character will almost certainly have
to be a Slasher Rogue to take advantage of Ranger Dual Wield, but here's an
interesting tip... I've already seen one fan-written module that has a Holy
Avenger Rapier -- yes! -- as its final treasure. ;-)
In the single-player NWN game, you will generally more or less have to choose a
henchman. They come with various abilities, strengths, and weaknesses when
playing with the Rogue player. I list them in order of preference, but
remember: you can and should hire any henchman that you think will be of use for
a particular section. Once you've hired a henchman, you can dismiss him or her
from your service and they will wait patiently where you did so until you return
to rehire them... and rehiring a henchman is free! The only restriction is that
you can only have one henchman at any given time. Therefore, if you know the
next section of the game involves undead, hire Linu, then dismiss her to hire
Grimgnaw for a heavy-duty fight, et cetera. With that said...
LINU LA'NERAL (CLERIC). Overall, the best henchman for a Rogue character. Her
Clerical abilities make an excellent balance to your Rogue abilities, and she
stands up well in head-on combat, particularly if you multiclass into Wizard or
Ranger and give her a hand with an animal companion, familiar, or summoned
creature. While in combat, she will heal you, herself, and any animals about
automatically if needed (and you can set at what percentage of hit points she
does it). She also efficiently wipes out those pesky undead that are so
annoyingly immune to sneak attacks. ;-) Best of all, her henchman quest
rewards you with the Pendant of the Elf, which gives a steadily increasing
Dexterity (!) bonus, plus either immunity to Fear or Darkvision, either of which
is extremely useful to the Rogue on the go. Finally, amusingly, male characters
can start a (ultimately successful) romance thread with her. Her major
disadvantage: she tends to cast negative energy spells on undead if turning
DAELAN RED TIGER (BARBARIAN).
GRIMGNAW (MONK). From the perspective of a Rogue character, these two are
roughly equal in utility as henchmen. Both are tanks doing highly impressive
melee damage, both will cheerfully wade in while you can hang back and sneak
attack, and both have reasonably useful henchman quest items for Rogues
(Daelan's item increases Strength and gives immunity to Fear, Grimgnaw's
increases Constitution and gives you spell resistance). No spell-casting
though, obviously, and their defenses work only for themselves. If good-
aligned, take Daelan. If evil-aligned, take Grimgnaw.
SHARWYN (BARD). Her advantage as a Rogue henchman is that she will in fact get
into melee if you instruct her to, she has pretty decent Rogue-support spells,
and her Bardic music is definitely of help (though she automatically uses it in
the first combat of each new day, so choose your Rest areas carefully). She's
also very easy on the eyes and in my view, has the most interesting and
believable stories to tell. Her disadvantages are the fact that she survives an
average of three rounds in anything but the easiest combats and her skills
aren't really a good combination with your Rogue skills, particularly if you
multiclass into arcane spell-casting. Looks cool swinging that two-bladed
sword, though. Her henchman quest item is also very useful, adding to Charisma,
Perform, and Persuade skills. Unfortunately, it's a belt, and there are much
better belts out there for Rogues; however, most of the time you want Persuade
skills or higher Charisma, you can take your regular belt off and use hers, so
get it. Male characters can start a (ultimately UNsuccessful) romance thread
with her. My advice: hire her long enough to listen to her stories and get her
henchman quest items, but leave her in town when it's time to head into danger.
BOODYKNOCK GLINKCLE (SORCEROR). Fun to be with but not a particularly good
Rogue henchman, he seems to have a nearly unlimited stock of spells. He's also
a good indicator of when it's time to rest: when he gets out his spear or
crossbow, head for the Rest button, 'cause this Sorcerer can't hit a damned
thing with a physical weapon. ;-) You'll mostly want to leave him at home,
though: he never casts summoning spells, never brings forth his familiar, and
you therefore don't have anyone to distract the bad guys while you sneak attack.
His henchman quest item gives a steadily increasing Charisma bonus and
regeneration. Sharwyn's quest item is more generally useful, though.
TOMI UNDERGALLOWS (ROGUE). Tomi's the best henchman for virtually every OTHER
character type, but obviously of no use to a Rogue as a henchman. His Quest
item is a ring that increases Dexterity and a couple of Rogue skills, but there
are much more useful rings for Rogues. Use Linu's pendant instead, and don't
even bother hiring Tomi.
8.0 ITEMS AND MAGIC
For the next section, without going into a lot of specifics, I'll list the types
of items that you'll want to equip your Rogue with. The specifics are obviously
going to vary depending on how lucky you are in the course of your wanderings,
but if particularly good items are for sale or otherwise easily available, I'll
As a non-Thuggish Rogue, you're never going to want to wear anything heavier
than studded leather armor to retain your Hide and Move Silently bonuses.
However, your ultimate goal should be to, as much as possible, eliminate your
armor completely. Armor is heavy, cutting down your loot-carrying capacity, and
if you multiclass into arcane spell-casting, it also gives you a not
insignificant chance of arcane spell failure. In addition, ANY armor heavier
than Leather gives Hide and Move Silently penalties. Studded leather just
minimizes the penalties (-1 to each). Finally, as your level increases, so will
your Dexterity. Even the lightest Leathers give you a maximum benefit of +6
from your Dexterity and your Dexterity bonus may very well exceed that
(especially if you choose to wear both Tomi and Linu's henchmen quest items in
the single-player game or otherwise have two Dexterity-enhancing items). It is
therefore in your best interests, over the long haul, to look for lighter and
lighter armor with other benefits.
Initially, though, you'll be wearing Leather and Studded leather of the +1 and
+2 varieties, though particularly fortunate Rogues will find armors with both
armor class bonuses and various resistances. Unfortunately, there is no other
armor you can buy or have made that will exceed basic armor's capabilities...
until Port Llast. In the Alliance Arms Inn, you will find Elaith. Do NOT
accept his quest until you have purchased a set of Shadow Legion Armor (Leather
AC 2+4, Hide in Shadows +5) from him. This armor is not only the best
protection you will find until very late in the game, but also gives you a nice
Hide in Shadows bonus. See the Tips for the Single Player game for details.
Greenleaf, an armor you can find, has even better properties (Leather AC 2+5,
Hide in Shadows +5) but looks ridiculous. ;-)
Once dressed in your Shadow Legion Armor, the replacement you should seek for it
should be something of the clothing variety that either gives you elemental
resistances, regeneration, damage resistance, spell resistance, or some other
benefit in addition to a magical armor class bonus of some kind. An example:
the White Robe of the Archmagi has 0+5 AC, a spell resistance of 10, and gives
you +1 to all saves (and lets you use any Dexterity bonus), but is only useful
to Rogues that multiclass into Bard, Sorcerer, or Wizard. Robes of the Dark
Moon give something even better: constant Haste (just the thing for those quick
escapes AND is good for +4 AC); this one is a Monk item. Obviously, a Rogue
with a high enough Use Magic Device Skill could also wear both of these items.
8.2 OTHER CLOTHING (CLOAKS, BOOTS, BELTS, GLOVES)
The best cloak for just about any class in the game is the Cloak of Fortitude,
which gives both armor class and saving throw bonuses. In the included
campaign, each city's Cleric and Druid sell them.
Choose your boots based on the other items in your possession, but for Rogues,
excellent choices are either the Gargoyle Boots (a small armor class and
fortitude bonus plus the ability to cast Stoneskin) or Boots of Hardiness (up to
+3 bonuses in both armor class and Constitution). Boots of Hardiness are as
close as your neighborhood Druid shop. Boots of Striding (up to a +5 bonus in
Constitution) are a good call if you can't find or afford the other two types.
Boots of Speed not only add Haste, but Haste in and of itself is good for +4
Armor Class. Don't overlook them! If you have multiclassed into Monk, Boots of
the Sun Soul offer not only an excellent armor class bonus but add up to +3 to
your Dexterity. They're also for sale from the closest Cleric.
When not wearing Sharwyn's belt, which adds to your Charisma, your goal here
should be to find a Belt of Giant Strength, which come in various varieties up
to +5. Even Rogues using their Dexterity to attack will probably have also
found a composite bow or other weapon adding a Strength damage bonus to their
liking. Until you come across a Belt of Giant Strength, though, a Sash of
Shimmering is a good call. This one gives you a 10 Spell Resistance. In the
very early game, a Swordman's Belt will give you 5/- slashing resistance. The
Belt of Agility (up to +3 Dexterity plus freedom) is another belt some Rogues
For gloves or gauntlets, most Rogues will head straight for the Bracers of
Dexterity (up to +5 Dexterity) and never look back. Gauntlets of Ogre Power (+2
Strength) are also an excellent choice. In the early game, multiclassed spell-
casting Rogues prefer Gloves of Concentration (in various strengths). Yes,
there are Gloves of the Rogue. No, they're not generally worth wearing. Like
your choice in boots, your choice in gloves or gauntlets should be made based on
your other selections and the needs of your character.
8.3 JEWELRY (RINGS AND NECKLACES)
Some Rogues will want to use Tomi's Ring of the Rogue (up to +4 Dexterity plus
bonuses to Rogue skills) but honestly, if you stick with Linu's amulet and
either gauntlets or some other item that enhances Dexterity, you could very
easily find yourself with a mid-20s Dexterity without using Tomi's ring. This
is fortunate, because there are four rings that should be on every Rogue's want-
list, and you can only wear two at a time...
The ring that you should end your career with is the Ring of Power. This one
gives 15/- to all elemental resistances, freedom (from paralysis and similar
effects), and +1 regeneration. There is also a Lesser Ring of Power (5/- and
regeneration, but no freedom), which is a decent choice. However, until you
find your Ring of Power, keep that hand free for a Ring of Elemental Resistance.
There is an easy place in the single-player campaign you can pick one of these
up: Helm's Spirit in Helm's Stronghold at the end of Chapter One will give you
this item as his "item reward." Take it. Use it. Love it. All through
Chapters Two and Three, you will bless this ring's 15/- elemental resistance.
Your other hand should start looking for a Ring of Resistance to wear 'pon it.
This ring gives you steadily ascending bonuses to your saving throws. Until you
find a Ring of Resistance, a Ring of Protection (armor class deflection bonuses
to +5) will do. In addition, find and keep a Ring of Scholars in your backpack.
This handy item increases Lore skill by +5 and can save you Lore potions. Put
it on and use when an item resists your not inconsiderable Lore skill. If you
find one, keep a Ring of Regeneration and use it between fights to build up your
hit points until you have your Ring of Power. Just before the fight starts,
though, take the Ring of Regeneration off and put your Ring of Resistance back
The smart Rogue in the single-player game will go straight for Linu's Pendant of
the Elf and eschew all other amulets and necklaces. However, there are a
variety of other amulets with interesting properties and perhaps you'll find one
that you like better (though I never did in two passes through the game as a
Rogue). Until you get Linu's amulet, an Amulet of Natural Armor (varieties up
to +5) is useful. Rogues in multiplayer games might find the various
incarnations of the Amulet of the Master (up to +6 enhancements to virtually all
of the Rogue skills plus a Persuade bonus; the Greater Amulet of the Master also
adds spell resistance) of use, though the Amulet of Health (immunities to
disease, poison, and level drain) might be a better call for some.
Rogue/Clerics are happiest with the Talisman of Pure Good/Evil (depending),
which gives spell resistance plus bonuses to Charisma and Wisdom.
8.4 HELMS AND SHIELDS
Rogues have the widest selection of Helmets in the game; virtually every Helmet
has nice properties for Rogues. The Watchman's Helm gives bonuses to Listen,
Search, and Spot skills and is a good light source; the Moonstone Mask enhances
the same skills, but gives Darkvision instead. Various incarnations of the Mask
of Persuasion enhance Charisma, Persuade, and other "in-town" skills. The
Thayvian Circlet gives a bonus to both Concentration and Intelligence, and +1 to
all saves. This is particularly useful to Rogues that multiclass into Wizard
spell-casting. However, for my money, the best Rogue helm is the Thieves Hood,
which gives immunity to knockdown and poison (two of the three banes of the
Rogue life), plus bonuses to the Open Locks and Search skills.
Many Rogues will lack the needed proficiency to even wield a shield, but for
those that can, the Mirror Shield is an excellent choice. This large shield not
only gives a very decent armor class bonus, but also has grants spell
resistance. Mirror shields can be purchased from the mercenary guild in Chapter
Three, though oddly you can't get them in Chapter Four.
I'm not going to go into very much detail at all in this section. There are too
many Rogues wielding too many types of weapons to make this a useful section.
Instead, I'll talk about a few common and easy-to-acquire weapons that you can
First, Marrok in Neverwinter will make VERY cheap magical weapons if you can but
find or afford the base +1 magical weapons that he starts from. Good choices
for Rogues include Nemarra (+1 rapier plus 75% Daze DC-14) that he will make
from a +1 rapier or the very similar Feyduster (+1 short sword plus 75% Daze DC-
14) that he will make from a +1 short sword. Some Slasher Rogues might very
well wield both of these weapons at once. Slashers with Weapon Proficiency
(Exotic) might enjoy his Uthgardt Ceremonial Sword (+1, keen two-bladed sword;
keen weapons have twice the chance of inflicting a critical hit) simply because
a +1 two-bladed sword to start from is so easy to find: one is beneath
Tanglebrook Estates in the Peninsula District near Lady Tanglebrook's body,
guarded by a pair of stink beetles and some easy-to-disable traps. The ironwood
for that Marrok needs to complete the job is also one of the first smith
components you'll find in Chapter One. Marrok's Astral Long sword is a +1
weapon that also does sonic damage, which very few creatures have any resistance
to, and his Sword Saint Katana is eventually upgradeable to +4 quality plus
sonic damage... but neither of these can be used with the Weapon Finesse Feat,
so Slashers will need to look elsewhere. Marrok's weapons can be upgraded in
Chapter Three to very similar weapons of roughly double strength.
Gunship Rogues should be looking for their first composite bow (and their
second, and their third, and their forth). The Elven Court Bow is +3/+3
composite longbow, is a good mid-level choice, and is pretty easy to find.
Taralash, which is impossibly rare but is the ultimate Elven Rogue composite
longbow, is +4/+4 and features a constant Haste and a Spot bonus. However, it
requires Level 19 to wield. Crossbow lovers will be waiting to put their hands
on Graceblood (+5 to hit and constant Haste). For short bow wielders, the
Phantom Bow is +3/+3, Haste, and can cast Phantasmal Killer once per day. By
Chapter Four, you can purchase +3 composite bows of both the short and long
variety. Your choice of bow will therefore be dictated by whether you can find
something superior to what you can purchase. Remember to stay well stocked on
every type of magical arrow, and vary the arrows you use based on the
resistances of the creatures you're fighting! In the general case, though, just
go with Piercing or poison arrows.
Thugs should keep in mind the fact that two-handed weapons add 150% of your
Strength bonus to their attack, not 100% as one-handed weapons do. Therefore,
the smart Thug will have at least three weapon configurations quick-slotted: a
big mean two-handed weapon of some kind in one, a one-handed weapon and a shield
in one, and a missile weapon (possibly with a shield) in the third. Great
swords are probably the best overall two-handed weapons, though of course you'll
need Weapon Proficiency (Martial) to wield them. I have encountered one Scythe-
wielding Rogue; one has to wonder how something that enormous could be used for
a sneak attack. ;-)
In general, most Rogues should simply go with the best weapon they can find that
meet their racial and weapon proficiencies. Go for high to-hit bonuses over
high damage: when you add a multiple-d6 sneak attack bonus, even a lowly dagger
is a terrifying weapon in the hands of a Rogue. Stay flexible, and use whatever
is the best weapon to come along! Unless you are a Gunship Rogue, the fact that
you haven't focused on any particular weapon will serve you well.
8.6 MISCELLANEOUS MAGIC
Leave one of your six tabs open for potions and the Cleric scrolls usable by all
classes (Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Disease, the various Restorations,
Neutralize Poison). Once you've cleared a tab, stock up! Rogues should never
go into any major fight in NWN without at least four or five potions sloshing
around their bellies. Good choices are Speed, Cat's Grace, Bull's Strength,
Bless, Invisibility, and Aid. The single most useful potion to Rogues, though,
is Barkskin. Keep a Barkskin on tap for virtually every fight starting in
Chapter Two and for the rest of the game. This potion lasts until the damage
resistance is gone, and so can protect you from fight to fight to fight for long
periods of your day. You can buy quantities of these potions limited only by
your character's budget and your personal resistance to repetitive strain
injuries from your character's local Druid.
A multiclassed Rogue will also start collecting scrolls. Sell or trade ones
that don't deal large amounts of direct damage or preferably, summon creatures,
elementals, or outsiders. A multiclassed Rogue's arcane spells should be saved
for those that enhance abilities or provide protections. Remove your armor,
cast them, put your armor back on, and only then open the door behind which
death awaits! Rogues in armor should not generally bother with memorizing
direct damage spells -- there are few things more frustrating than watching a
big buildup toward that Fireball or Ice Storm, only to see nothing happen except
the text "Spell failed due to arcane spell failure!" in the status box. Save
yourself the frustration and until you can confidently enter combat without
armor, use scrolls as your direct damage capability.
Even better, start collecting rods, staves, and wands, and use these. Either
multiclassed Rogues or Rogues with high Use Magic Device skills will find a lot
to recommend the Wand of Fire and the Wand of Summoning, particularly early in
the game. The other Wands are generally not worth holding on to. Find and keep
at least one Rod of Ghostly Visage. This rod lets ANY class cast Ghostly Visage
once per day (10/+1 damage resistance plus immunity to 0th and 1st level spells)
per rod in inventory. Watching magic missiles bounce off this spell is amusing,
and it is useful all the way up to character Level 20. Rogues that have
multiclassed into Clerical abilities will have access to the Wand of the
Heavens, an excellent direct damage Cleric item.
9.0 ROGUE TACTICS
Possibly one of the most enjoyable things about playing a Rogue in D&D is the
fact that Rogues are never bored. They're always in motion, always have a job
to do, always right out at the forefront of the action, no matter what's going
on. Be it battle, puzzle, trap, treasure, negotiations, information gathering,
laying an ambush, or surviving a siege, the Rogue is right in the middle of it.
They're easily the most diverse character in both D&D and in Neverwinter Nights.
Rogue tactics do not start when the initiative dice roll and end when the battle
is done. If anything, this is the smallest part of the Rogue's job (see Combat
Tactics). A correctly and well-played Rogue will be more active between the
fight scenes than during them, and you should keep this in mind whether playing
your Rogue in the NWN single-player game or in the longest, most diverse
9.1 IN-TOWN TACTICS
Particularly in the single-player game, Rogues often have the most work to do in
town. There are people to talk to (and Persuade), quest items to return, and
loot to sell. Virtually every quest in the single-player game has a Persuade
option at the end for more money. Unless for whatever reason you want to bump
your alignment higher into the Good category (and honestly, what's the point?),
feel free to click every one of these little Persuade options. The only ones to
avoid are ones where dead relatives are involved. For some reason, the authors
of the single-player scenario feel that swindling relatives of the dead is a
hyper-evil act. So, unless your alignment IS evil, don't do it.
On the other hand, if your alignment is evil, there are lots of NPCs that have a
threaten conversation tree. These usually start out something like, "Have you
paid your protection tax this month?" No, it's not very subtle, and honestly,
it's not very profitable. By Chapter Two, the money you'll get for this kind of
thing is really not even worth your time. But if you're really looking to drive
down the ol' good/evil number, this is the fastest way to do it. Knock yourself
If you are a chaotic Rogue (and who isn't?) and you see a chest, crate, barrel,
bookcase, bag, or anything else that is clickable anywhere at all, it is your
duty to loot it. Lawful characters might see something wrong with seeing what's
in the peasant family's chest in the back bedroom, but you shouldn't. Some of
those peasants have some pretty agreeable loot.
Speaking of clickable objects, holding down the Tab key on your keyboard will
highlight all clickable objects in the area. You'd be surprised at the kinds of
things that are clickable in town. As far as I can tell from working with the
Toolset, just about any object can be set clickable. There are even a couple of
clickable TREES in the single-player game.
In the single-player game, things that you drop will stay where you drop them,
and Rogues generally have a limited carrying capacity. Therefore, if you don't
need it or can't equip it right this second, feel free to set it down somewhere.
It'll be there when you get back. Incidentally, you can greatly increase your
carrying capacity when using the Stone of Recall by removing and dropping your
normally equipped armor. This will usually give you at least another 15 pounds
of carrying capacity and the armor will be waiting for you when you use the
portal to return. Obviously though, if you don't intend to return to the
location you're recalling from, you shouldn't do this. ;-)
You will be tempted to hold on to a bunch of items "just in case I need them."
Don't. Your carrying capacity is probably small, and precious. If you can't
see any reason to equip it, you probably won't. The major exceptions are things
like Rings of Regeneration or Scholar's Rings or Rods of Reversal... things with
a specific task that they perform for you at designated times. What I'm talking
about here are the two extra daggers you're holding on to because you can't
quite bring yourself to sell them, but you can't quite bring yourself to equip
them, either. That's called marriage to an item, and it's something Rogues
shouldn't do. Sell it! Be brutal! More loot will come along. It always does.
The instant you can afford it and find one for sale, buy a Bag of Holding (or
two, or three). These make the best loot bags for the obvious reason. When
filling them, armor first, weapons second, everything else last. Use the little
stuff to plug the holes left by big, heavy stuff. The main reason to keep a Bag
of Holding is to eliminate weight, not volume. Yes, the 12 scrolls you're
carrying are messy, but put the single 15 pound set of Studded Leather +2 in
there instead. Don't bother to start filling the bag until you get close to
your weight allowance, so you have a good variety of things to fill it with.
Magic Bags are a decent alternative, but don't bother buying them unless they're
of at least the -60% weight variety. But, if you find smaller ones in your
travels, feel free to use them until a Bag of Holding comes along. Every little
9.2 SCOUTING TACTICS
First off, scouting is primarily a tactic to multiplayer games, so I will cover
multiplayer aspects first. However, there are several situations in single-
player games that you'll want to scout as well. I'll cover those afterwards.
The 5% of the time the party expects to enter combat, the Fighters and such will
be up front. The other 95% of the time, YOU will be. It's called scouting, and
it's what you get paid for. Here's a tip: immediately go into Stealth mode, or
if you can, go Invisible. The advantage of being Invisible is that the spell
lasts until your first attack, no matter how long that is. Therefore, if you
simply do not attack, you can remain Invisible for long periods of time. If
you're not an Elf, go into Search mode as well.
After a while, you will start to get a pretty good feel for whether the area
you're in is trap-intensive or guard-intensive. Few module writers or DMs are
cruel enough to include both, because using both really slows down forward
progress and isn't much fun for the players. As a result, after you've decided
what type of area this probably is, you can turn the Skill you won't need off.
If it's trap-intensive, it's safe to turn Stealth mode off. If it's guard-
intensive, it's safe to turn Search mode off (except around doors, chests, and
those interesting burned spots on the floor!). The end result is that you'll
probably average about walking speed when scouting. Make sure the party
understands this and doesn't blunder into your back!
Your primary job when scouting is to identify dangerous spots ahead of the
party's path of advance, and either mark them, or deal with them. Never leave a
locked door in your wake. Never leave an unflagged or unrecovered trap in your
wake. At each door, non-Elven Rogues should go into Search mode long enough to
determine if there is a trap on that door. If there's a single guard, and it
looks like you can take him, do it. If there are multiple guards, use the
message bar (called "shouting") to give the location to the party, then see if
you can slip behind the guards in Stealth mode. If you can, wait for the rest
of the party to arrive, then move to Combat Tactics, below. ;-) If you fail a
roll, you'll know it -- the bad guys will start reacting. Based on their types
and numbers, it might be a good idea to see what your friends are up to.
Remember that your very high Listen and Spot skills allow you to see things
nobody else in the party will notice, hear things they are not hearing. Don't
assume that because you know about it, they do! Shout about what you see and
hear; don't keep it a secret. This is particularly true for traps if your party
is close by. Immediately assign a custom text macro to one of your quick slots.
This custom text macro should simply say "TRAP!" Hitting the function key you
assign to this macro will quickly and efficiently let even the slowest-witted
member of your party that there is danger present.
How far ahead of the party should you stay? Different Rogues have different
opinions on this, but I like to stay about four or five rounds running distance
ahead of the main group, or one corner away, whatever distance is longer.
That's far enough ahead that the party won't blunder into anything that I'm
working on, and close enough that I can be within the party's Wizard/Sorcerer
cover fire umbrella pretty quickly. Keep a potion of Speed quick slotted (or
better still, find an item that confers Haste) for high-speed escapes. If
you're discovered and someTHING has decided to make you its lunch, check your
speed against the thing's -- you're probably faster, even without the Speed
potion. Most things are pretty slow, fortunately. If you are faster, stop
every few steps and loose an arrow or other missile weapon back into it. This
will keep the thing amused and interested, and allow you to lead it back into
your party's waiting arms. Your Fighters might even complain that you didn't
bring more of the things back with you.
Remember that after you've scouted an enemy-filled area, your party doesn't have
the information you do about creature placement. As covered in Combat Tactics
below, you should consider yourself your party's General. Look for good places
and angles from which your party's Sorcerers and Wizards can get maximum
coverage for their highest-damage spells. Look for defensible areas for your
Fighters. Are there animals present that your Druids can dominate? Undead for
your Clerics to turn? Note their locations and concentrations. Carry this
information back to the party with you, and you will certainly be invited back
for the next mission.
Scouting ahead of a party can be exciting on all kinds of levels, but if you're
smart about how you do it, your work scouting will soon make you the most
valuable member of any adventuring group. And damn, is it fun. ;-)
Finally, a couple of notes about scouting in the single-player missions.
Honestly, there unfortunately are not a lot of areas where this is of help.
Because you can't communicate upcoming encounters with your AI henchmen, most of
the advantage of scouting (preparing tactics and weapon types, getting the
applicable items ready, setting down the heavier bundles) doesn't really apply.
However, all of these advantages DO apply to YOU. You can therefore order your
henchmen to stand their ground, drift ahead of them a bit in Stealth mode, and
see what the next encounter or two is going to be like. This is particularly
useful in areas where you're not exactly sure what kinds of creatures you're
going to be facing. Your change in tactics might be as simple as changing out
fire arrows for ice, or getting your mace ready due to the skeletons ahead, but
wouldn't it be nice to know what you'll be up against?
9.3 COMBAT TACTICS
"I deprived your ship of power, and when I swing around, I mean to deprive you
of your LIFE." -- Khan Noonien Singh, Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
I include this line because if you can keep it in the forefront of your thoughts
during your combats as a Rogue, you will do very, very well. Rogues have one
and only one rule for combat: if the bad guys are paying attention to you,
you're in the wrong place. None of your strengths are brought to bear, and all
of your weaknesses are exposed. Turn around and RUN. Risk the attack of
opportunity and get clear. Get back to the edge of the fight. Rogues work best
when at the edges of combat, not the front lines.
Of course, your sneak attack ability will make this obvious, but how do you use
it most effectively? There are some very simple things you can do.
First, WAIT BEFORE ENGAGING. Let someone else go first. Let EVERYONE else go
first. Paladins and Rangers, Fighters and Monks, Barbarians and Clerics,
familiars and summoned creatures, all of them will be only all too happy to rush
the bad guys for you. Let them. That's their job. This stuff is what THEY get
paid for. The Bards and Druids, Wizards and Sorcerers, they will rush to one
side or the other and begin wielding mighty magic or special abilities. Let
them do that, too. If you've scouted this room out already, you might have even
told them where to run when they got into the room (and if you didn't scout this
room already, why not?). You're the Rogue. Your job now is to assess, judge,
and evaluate. Think of yourself as the party's General. You're the eyes of the
troops, the one thinking strategically.
Take a round and decide where you'd like to be. Let the battle lines form.
You'll see them form. On one side, the good guys, brave and true. On the
other, the bad guys, deserving only death. They will flail away at each other
enthusiastically without any assistance from you. But wait... see those guys
far behind the enemy lines? The spell-casters, archers, the enemy generals?
THOSE are your targets. Find locations in the room where you can exploit their
vulnerabilities. But before you attack them, you need them distracted. You
need to get them engaged with someone else. Only then will your sneak attacks
fall home. Therefore, you need to punch a hole in the bad guy's front line.
Once you do that, your stalwart fighter-types will be all too happy to throw
themselves into death's maw.
Or maybe, just maybe, your stalwart fighter-types are perplexed. Their attacks
have no effect! The enemy is overpowering! Why is this thing immune to my
weapons? How come there are so many of these damned things? Where are they
coming from? NWN features many locations where creatures are spawned by the
horde or are rife with immunities. Flashing lights, burning pillars, altars,
rituals, sarcophagi, and portals to the Abyss... you name it. These things
either spawn creatures or grant immunities. It's entirely possible you've
stumbled into just such a situation. The other characters are far too busy with
their battle to notice this happening, but you are not. You are the Rogue, the
eyes of the troops. You can see from whence these infinite creatures are
spawned, the altar that gives them invulnerabilities. The troops are too
busy... you'll have to handle it, and save their bacon yet again.
There, now that you've taken some time to evaluate the situation, don't you feel
better? You should. Your hit points are pristine and you are therefore not
diverting the poor Cleric, who is surely quite overworked by now. Feel free to
point out the dangers you have seen. They'll hear you better if you're facing
them. Therefore, run to the other side of the room, behind the enemy's front
lines. There. Now you can see your allies, and they can see you. Now would
even be an excellent time to punch a hole in the front lines... see that...
hm... that THING with its back to you, slashing away at your party's best
fighter? You'd much rather have your fighter available to deal with the
sorcerer o'doom or the pillar o'death that you've spotted, right? The thing's
back would be an excellent place to put your weapon of choice for a moment.
Your party's best fighter will bless your effort and be only all too happy to
stomp the rear-echelon target of your choosing. Just point him or her in the
You are the Rogue. You don't have to wield spells or mighty weapons. You can
wield PEOPLE instead.
The point here is that as the Rogue, you are not a front-line combatant. You
are not expected to throw down mighty magic or the wrath of your deity. You are
expected... nay... required to see the big picture and then communicate it to
your fellow players.
Sometimes, however, that is not enough. Sometimes, the task is clear. There is
but ONE dragon, but he is angry. In these cases, direct intervention may be
called for. However, watch as the rest of the party valiantly lines up in a
little row before the danger. It's a bit crowded up there. The best place for
you is behind the dragon, beside it, over it, across from it... anywhere but the
front. After all, a person could get hurt standing in front of a dragon.
After a successful sneak attack or two, though, even the most dim-witted dragon
(or ogre, or fire giant, or enemy Sorcerer) might realize that you are a threat.
It might turn to look at you. It might even turn to fight you directly. You
are suddenly at the forefront of the action!
Why in Olidammara's name are you still standing there?!?
Your place is not at the front; your place is at the edge. Turn around and run!
The thing of the moment might not respect you, might even laugh at you. But its
attention will go elsewhere. It will turn its back to you.
Rogues know what to do when they see a back.
I call this move the "swing around" in honor of Khan's line above, and you
should learn it. It is the Rogue's primary tactic in battle. Unless you are
completely alone (and I don't recommend this, it doesn't play to your
strengths), never EVER get into a fair fight with anything. It's just now how
Rogues fight. Not living Rogues, anyway.
Incidentally, did you know you can run out of the range of most area effect
spells? Watch a second or two of that Fireball's path and you'll probably be
able to guess the target area. If the caster is 60' or more away, there is
enough time for you to run out of the area of effect before it lands. Ditto Ice
Storm -- the damage from this spell come in two waves, cold first, then
bludgeoning. Even if the cold hits you, you can usually swing clear of the
bludgeoning damage. Fighters might stolidly declare, "Ah, I can take it! I've
got a bad guy right in front of me to deal with just now!" but you're supposed
to be both smarter and more mobile. The bad guy will probably still be there.
Get clear! These tactics also work, to a lesser extent, with the various cone
spells. Don't bother trying to run clear of a ray. Damn things will follow you
all over the room. ;-)
Stay mobile, and stay alert. Don't get married to one tactic, one weapon, one
anything. Combat is fluid, and the rest of your group is busy. It is your job
to see the big picture, see where help is most needed, and provide that help
however you can. And if danger turns to look at you directly, go somewhere else
until it finds someone else to look at.
9.4 AFTER THE FIGHT
After the fighting is done, two classes really get to shine: Clerics and Rogues.
While Clerics are patching up the wounded, curing disease, removing curses and
negative energy effects, and all the other things that Clerics get to do, Rogues
are equally busy. There are bodies to search, traps to disable (recover), locks
to pick, chests to open. First though, hold down the Tab key on your keyboard.
Some of the bad guys might have dropped stuff, and these items can easily be
overlooked, especially in wilderness areas. The other members of the party are
no doubt congratulating themselves and each other on their prowess and are too
busy to do this.
In both single and multiplayer NWN, immediately assign your Search mode to one
of your quick slots. If you're Elven, you can skip this step -- Elves are in
Search mode at all times thanks to Keen Senses, one of the major advantages that
Elven Rogues bring to the table. Much like when scouting, you'll get a good
feel pretty quickly as to whether there are traps about. Trust your feelings!
It is better to take an extra minute or two scouring a room in Search mode than
to either encounter a trap yourself or have one of your party do it. If you're
looking at a situation and it's screaming "trap!" to you, and you can't see the
trap... you haven't looked hard enough yet. Rogues get little or no thanks for
clearing traps, and all the blame when one goes off, even if it's the big dumb
Barbarian that stumbles through an uncleared area without looking.
In multiplayer NWN, immediately assign a custom text macro to one of your quick
slots. This custom text macro should simply say "TRAP!" Hitting the function
key you assign to this macro will quickly and efficiently let even the slowest-
witted member of your party that there is danger present. In the single-player
game, you can advise your henchmen not to blunder into danger using the "Stand
Your Ground" action. Note that if there are enemies on the other side of the
trap, henchmen will blunder right through the trap to get to the bad guys. So,
if you detect a trap beyond which enemies lie, there are two good moves.
The first possibility is to order your henchmen to stand their ground. Then
fire a missile weapon or two into the room. The bad guys will immediately get
excited and run toward you. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, they will set
off the trap themselves (bug in NWN?). If you're not quite this lucky, wait for
them to cross the threshold of the trap. Order your henchmen to follow you,
then run for four or five paces backward. Turn, and fire your missile weapon
again. By that time, the bad guys should be safely on your side of the trap and
can be dealt with at your leisure. Even better, since your henchmen were
following you, they're already the ones closer to danger. Following the
encounter, you can clear the trap.
The second possibility when faced with a trap behind which enemies lie is a bit
more dangerous. Go into Stealth mode, and order your henchmen to stand their
ground. You can disable traps while in Stealth mode, so if your Hide in Shadows
skill is high enough, you can often clear the trap without being noticed. This
probably won't do you much good if the trap is in plain view of the bad guys,
but if it is somewhat out of their sight, this is often a good alternative.
Beware that the trap disabling points in NWN tend to be on the corner of the
"long axis" of the trap. In other words, if you find a long, cone-shaped trap,
the disarming point is quite probably going to be on the longer pointy end.
Your character is generally not smart enough to walk around the trap to reach
these points when necessary, so if you see yourself on course to run through a
trap to disable it, stop yourself quickly and manually put yourself close to the
As noted earlier with Skills, it is usually fairly profitable to recover traps,
rather than disable them. You also have two other options that are often much
less used. Flag Trap will immediately tag the trap so that you and your party
do not set it off. Thuggish Rogues will be using this skill the most often
since they will generally lack heavy-duty trap disabling and removing skill.
Once a trap is flagged, you can (usually) safely move around it without setting
it off... unless of course, it's blocking the whole corridor. Forget opening a
flagged chest, though -- it will still fry you if you try. The final trap-
related skill is the least used and lets you evaluate the difficulty of a trap
before working with it. You only need use this skill if you are attempting to
disable a trap while one or more of your party is actively engaged in combat.
Otherwise, by "taking 20" on the trap, you will never accidentally set it off.
Henchmen also have a nasty habit of blundering into you or blundering right by
you while you are in the trap-disabling mode, pushing you or themselves right
into the area of effect. If you detect a trap in anything approaching close
quarters, take the extra second or so to order them to stand their ground.
Finally, in any single-player scenario, quicksave before EVERY trap and/or after
EVERY big fight. You'll be glad you did. The one time you forget to do a post-
fight Search will be the one time you blow yourself up right after the truly
nasty engagement that you don't want to repeat...
Locks are generally much simpler to deal with -- either you can pick them, or
you can't. If you can't, you'll probably have a Fighter or two about willing to
bash the thing open for you. Make sure to tell your henchmen in the single-
player game NOT to help you if you encounter a locked object. If you find one
you can't deal with, you can always talk to them again, letting them know their
help would be appreciated. Try to open the locked object again, and when you
fail, they'll go after it. If they can't bash the object, they'll let you know
right off. Linu's way of letting you know is fairly amusing.
If you suspect a chest might have a particularly good treasure in it in a
single-player scenario (here's a tip, if it's guarded, locked, and trapped, it
probably does), a profitable but somewhat unethical tactic is to clear the chest
of all locks and traps... then save the game. Then open the chest. If the item
is not to your liking, load your saved game and reopen the chest. Yes, it's
cheating. You're a Rogue. Get used to it. ;-)
Finally, if for whatever reason you want to do this, it is quite possible to
pick the lock on a locked, trapped object before clearing the trap. (Rogue
humor: pick the lock first, then step back and invite the big dumb Barbarian to
open the door. A locked object will say it is locked without setting off the
trap, but an unlocked object will fry him or her. Then apologize profusely.
"Damn, I'm sorry... didn't see that there." ::grins::)
9.5 MULTIPLAYER TACTICS
Multiplayer Rogue tactics are generally discussed in the sections above dealing
with general tactics. However, there are a few things a Rogue can do in a all-
multiplayer, all the time game that he probably wouldn't do in any single player
First off, in the multiplayer game, if you expect to spend your full career in a
cooperative party, you might not necessarily need a high Charisma. Let the
party decide up front who the party leader is going to be. This person should
be doing all the talking to the locals. That might very well be you; because
Rogues have the highest Persuade and Lore skills, they make terrific party
leaders! However, both skills are also class skills for the Cleric and Bard
classes, and both of these classes have an even greater need for Charisma than
you do. As a result, chances are pretty good your Rogue won't be party leader.
Do not despair. That simply gives you 6 or 8 of your initial character creation
points that can immediately be dropped into Constitution, Intelligence, and
Dexterity! Have fun.
Here's another highly profitable, highly unethical tactic. While in town, buy
cheap versions of several types of magical items, but stick to the somewhat
unusual ones! Good choices are the Nymph Cloak (bonus to Charisma) and the
Lesser Amulet of the Master (bonuses to various Rogue skills), for instance.
Rogues are generally the first to open chests since they're standing right there
after the chest is untrapped and unlocked. When you pull unidentified items out
of a chest, if these items are at all of interest, the game will not immediately
tell you what they are. All that will appear in the status box is "Acquired
Item: Amulet". That means, all the rest of the party saw was "Acquired Item:
Amulet". I mentioned earlier that Rogues tend to have among the best Lore skill
in the party, which means that quite often, you're going to be identifying
items. After you put such an item on, nobody in your party can see what it is.
If you are very unethical, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from grinning
wildly over your new Amulet of Health as you type, "Damn! It's just a Lesser
Amulet of the Master. I'll add it to the cash pile." Yeah, it's not a very
nice thing to do. I try to be lawful and everything, but what can I say? I'm a
Sadly, even when you are scouting far ahead of the party, your actions will be
displayed in everyone's status bar. This prevents you from engaging in the
really high-end item acquisition that's been known to go on in regular D&D
games. They're going to know you picked up something, and have a general idea
of what it was. The major exception to this is when the rest of the party is
involved in heavy duty combat somewhere far from you (and you'd be surprised how
often this can happen). During these times, it is fairly unlikely that anyone
in the party is going to be watching your actions very closely, nor is it likely
that they are going to scroll their status box upward to see what you've been up
to. If you're of a mind to do this sort of thing, try it a couple of times on
very minor items (small amounts of gold, healing potions, et cetera) and see if
it is noticed. Some characters find this sort of thing reprehensible. Rogues
call these people "Clerics" or "Paladins."
The advantage to your actions being displayed in the status bar despite a
distance gap between you and the party is that things that you "shout" in the
message box will also be displayed. Feel free to keep the party informed of
what you find. Think of it as telepathy.
When scouting, some Rogues like to keep a collection of small items -- arrows
work the best here; the graphic for even a single arrow is enormous -- to leave
behind them as a trail for the party to follow. Different types of arrows can
be used to send different messages -- fire arrow for "guard around this corner",
ice arrow for "there was a guard here, but he's dead now", for instance. At a
minimum, I recommend setting one arrow type to "there was a trap here and I
disabled it." You might wonder, why do that? The trap's gone now, and it
certainly isn't returning. True, but if your party starts running into disabled
trap arrows one after another, even the dumbest Barbarian will think to himself,
"maybe I shouldn't wander off the trail." Make sure someone collects your
arrows. This is primarily useful if you jump from one map to another to
another, allowing the rest of the party to catch up to the area that you're in.
If you're in the same area, a green diamond will mark your location to the rest
of the party. If you need to hide your direction from some but reveal it to
others, an excellent alternative breadcrumb item are shuriken. Human players
can very easily miss the tiny graphic for them, even with the Tab key pressed,
if they're not looking for them.
Rogues do not do well in one-on-one PvP scenarios, so don't bother. Even the
dumbest human player is smart enough to turn to face the Rogue no matter how he
might try to distract them. The only exceptions to this are full on melees or
free-for-alls. In these cases, pick and choose your targets carefully. You
probably won't get more than one or two sneak attacks in before the person's
full attention is directed to you. However... if you have a lot of patience, a
Rogue with an outrageously high Parry Skill could theoretically win a PvP duel
through sheer patience. A sufficiently high Parry will give the Rogue a
counter-attack that could slowly wear down an opponent. I haven't tried this
myself though, so if you give it a shot, let me know how it comes out. ;-)
Finally, if you intend to swindle your erstwhile allies and run, you are much
better served by building as much trust as you can, then cutting and running
after making one big score rather than a lot of little ones. Don't do something
stupid like setting your character's alignment to Neutral Evil, either -- I know
it looks cool and all, but the other players can see your alignment. The
alignment you put on your character sheet, that is.
10.0 TIPS FOR NWN SINGLE-PLAYER
The last section of the guide is simply semi-random tips for Rogues playing
Neverwinter Nights' single-player campaign. There are lots of NWN walkthroughs,
so I'm not going to go into anything like that level of detail. If you want a
walkthrough, go get a walkthrough. ;-) These are just areas and things to
watch for as you play the game, or ways to play the game in a particularly
There are a few random chests and treasure locations in the Academy that should
all be looted. In particular, there's a chest in the room you wake in and the
two adjoining rooms. There is a bookshelf and a pile of books in the room
adjoining combat training. Near missile weapon training, there is a weapon rack
that you can and should loot. In the Mage training room, there is a chest and
two bookshelves. In the Cleric room, there is a desk. In the graduation room,
there are two desks. Take all of this stuff back to the Academy shopkeeper and
sell it (except for the Arcane scrolls if you're going to multiclass to Wizard
later) and buy some things you want, like a rapier and a healing kit (and Level
1 Arcane scrolls if you're going to multiclass to Wizard later).
If you don't already easily have the 200 GP you may need to hire a henchman when
finished with Aribeth at the start of the Chapter One introduction, you've done
something very wrong in the Prelude. I've come out of the Prelude with as much
as 700 GP.
10.2 CHAPTER ONE
In every area of Neverwinter, there are chests and crates and barrels all over
the place if you will but look. This stuff is community property, and you are
defending the community. Therefore, ipso facto, this stuff belongs to you.
Don't neglect the two towers across from the Hall of Justice. Both house
storage areas with small treasures for Rogues only (locked in bash proof
chests). As stated above, most of the peasants walking around Neverwinter have
40 or 50 gold in their pockets if you have a good Pick Pockets skill.
At various locations throughout Neverwinter, if you keep a sharp eye out, you'll
see "Shady Characters" here and there. These folks are selling Rogue-specific
equipment, including poison arrows for Gunship Rogues.
Linu wants the Silver Chalice of Moonbow, which you'll find in Meldanen's Estate
in the Blacklake District. Tomi wants the forged papers you'll find in Thomas
Wheelright's Wagon Repair in the Beggar's Nest. The celestial elixir that
Sharwyn wants is in the library of the Tanglebrook Estates, across from the
weapon rack guarded by the stink beetles (see below).
In the Moonstone Mask, Ophala has the Rogue-specific Art Theft quest. Other
character classes have to Persuade her to get it. Rogues can Persuade her to
give up a diamond after the quest is completed, which is a useful smith
There's a +1 dagger (almost certainly the first magical weapon easily usable by
Rogues that you'll find) in the weapon rack in the back room of the Tanglebrook
Estate in the Peninsula District, guarded by two stink beetles. You may scoff
at using a dagger, but remember, a small attack that hits for sneak attack
damage is better than a big attack that misses.
Rogues have the easiest time with the Intellect Devourer if they play that room
correctly. The correct way to play it: tell your henchmen to wait by the door.
Go Stealth and wait a bit. One of the "zombie guards" will eventually approach
you without you having to move. Persuade him to leave. Stealth over (or use
Invisibility) to the guard on the right, staying behind walls wherever possible.
Persuade HIM to leave. You'll know the Head Gaoler has noticed you because his
first action is to drink an Aid potion. When this happens, order your henchmen
to attack, unstealth, then RUN to the other two guards and Persuade both to
leave. By this time, your henchmen will be well and truly engaged and you can
sneak attack at leisure. When the Head Gaoler falls, the Intellect Devourer
will have no new body to claim. However, the Intellect Devourer fight itself is
almost dull because nearly all of his spells are non-damaging mind-affecting
spells that will probably cause you to fail multiple saving throws. Plan to
spend about five minutes real-time dazed or stunned. Eventually, the Devourer
will have to resort to physical attacks instead and becomes easy meat.
The Docks are great fun for Rogues. Don't even think about entering the Seedy
Tavern until you have at least 30 smuggler coins. Do this by making sure EVERY
possible enemy in the District is dead before heading for the tavern, plus
getting the coins available at Twenty in a Quiver, The Golden Apple, and
Callik's house and storehouse. Get in the tavern free by wearing a Bloodsailor
pirate uniform (obtainable at the pirate ship in the southwest), and then use
all of your smuggler coins to buy a magic longsword (take this to Marrok!), a
sash of shimmering, and magic leather armor, plus one or two other cool items.
You can loot Meldanen's warehouse in the Blacklake District before giving
Formosa the key. All she wants is the grain, which is of no use to you.
Incidentally, Rogues enjoy making the deal with Meldanen, getting his tooth, and
THEN killing him before he can depart. There's no alignment impact and this
gives you the best of all worlds: experience for letting him live, more
experience for his demise. This works on several other "I give up!" creatures,
Never's Tomb in Blacklake is VERY tough for Rogues. Better to run past the
animated swords, loot the chest, and then use your Stone of Recall to get out.
Gulnan the Yuan-ti is a ridiculously easy fight for Rogues. She spends the
first three rounds casting spells and is therefore particularly susceptible to
the sneak attack. Do enough damage and she won't get a thing off before she
falls. Without her support, her troops are easily dispatched.
In the Helm's Hold Summoning Chamber, banish the demon, then reestablish Helm's
Guardian Spirit, then ask for an item. The item is very cool for Rogues. :-)
Desther is a very difficult fight for Rogues... maybe the single most difficult
fight of the game for Rogues. Quicksave often when you get an advantage and
just keep pounding away at him. First though, as the Rogue, it is YOUR job to
destroy his ritual creatures, especially if you're in a large party.
10.3 CHAPTER TWO
Aribeth has a "henchman quest" of her own and can be Persuaded to tell the tale.
Like Neverwinter, Port Llast has various community chests and crates strewn
about. Please help yourself to the contents.
The Star of Calimshan that Tomi wants is in the summoning room of Wanev's Tower.
The journal that Linu wants is on one of the random corpses (her ex-husband?) in
the Troll caves. The lock of nymph's hair that Sharwyn desires is (duh) in the
nymph's house in the Deep Neverwinter Wood.
The Alliance Arms Inn is where you should sell anything and everything you find
in Chapter Two. Alhelor gives much better prices for found items than the other
shopkeepers, which will quickly put your finances in good shape for the rest of
the game. (I'm told that this might have been adjusted in a recent update to
the game, so compare prices first!) Do not complete the Black Wolf quest until
you're ready to leave Port Llast. For obvious reasons, when the Black Wolf
quest is done, Alhelor and his limitless stock of cash disappears.
Nearby, you'll see Elaith, "the Serpent." Don't accept Elaith's quest until you
use your Lore skill to remember he's a smuggler. At this point, a new set of
dialog options will open to you. Gently persuade (through the dialogue; no
Persuade skill needed, your Lore skill took care of it) him that you don't
believe he's retired. He'll become a shopkeeper at that point. THEN you can
accept his quest and during later visits he'll either be a shopkeeper or a quest
item return point, your choice. But don't complete his quest until you buy a
set of Shadow Legion Armor from him. Though expensive (about 25,000 GP), this
armor (Leather AC 2+4, Hide in Shadows +5) is not only the best protection
you'll find until late in the game, but looks pretty cool when worn. ;-)
The Tome of Ice is in Wanev's Tower and gives the formula (skeleton knuckle plus
quartz crystal plus Mage Armor) for an Amulet of Natural Armor +3. Just about
any Rogue should be able to work out a way to get a Mage Armor cast, either
through a level or two of Arcane spell-casting or Use Magic Item on the
Rogues will have little difficulty convincing the graveyard caretaker that they
are a member of the Luskan Arcane Brotherhood and therefore get into the
graveyard for free.
Mutamin's Challenge in the Green Griffon Inn is an enjoyable little jaunt for
Rogues once you get past all the thrice-damned dire spiders. A good test of
your Disable Traps skill: you should be able to successfully Recover every trap
in the hallway next to the Dire Hellhound cage. The Minotaurs on the second
level (behind the spider, not the Yuan-ti) are worth a lot of experience points
to Rogues for some reason, so go ahead and do that level.
The Druid Challenge is simply not worth the bother after you have the First Ring
(which casts Stoneskin, which you might very well want to create some Gargoyle
Boots later in the game). You can only take the Druid Challenge if you
multiclass to at least one level of Druid.
Setara will grumble after you give her the mirror. Ignore her and loot the
place. It's the Rogue thing to do.
When you get to Wanev's Tower, whatever you do, drop any ward stones you are
carrying. If you have a ward stone, they will ignore you and you get no
experience. Therefore, the LAST thing you want in this place is for the guards
to ignore you. Instead, look for ways to attract their attention. In one
corridor, you will find a large gong. One of the Bugbear guards will, when he
detects you, run to this gong and sound it. This will cause all of the guards
in the main tower complex to run to the gong to see what the excitement is
about. There are three major ways you can use this information to your
advantage. In all three cases, you'll want to remain in Stealth mode as much as
possible. Coming out of Stealth mode will just make you a target. The first
possibility: only ONE of the Bugbears has the job to sound the gong. If you
isolate and kill this Bugbear, none of the others will attempt it and the guards
will be scattered into groups throughout the main level of the tower. Easy
pickings. ;-) Second approach: ALLOW the Bugbear to sound the gong, but first,
use Set Traps to lay a series of your best traps along the corridor leading from
this gong. After the Bugbear has sounded the gong, unstealth on the far side of
this minefield and fire a couple of arrows into the throng. Stand back and
watch the fireworks as the guards rush you (and into the field). ;-) Third
approach: if you multiclass into spell-casting, it can be quite amusing to allow
the throng to gather and then loose some of your best area effect spells into
it. Use scrolls and wands to target these spells, as casting them directly will
take enough time that the throng will detect you, rush you, and therefore have
time to space themselves out.
In Castle Jhareg, Karlat is guilty, even if you talk to Belial. Trust me on
this. Keep Karlat's protection wand, and use it for the boss fights. You'll be
using the last charge on it right around the last fight in the game. ;-)
The Fantabulous Contrapulator will make Barkskin potions if you set only the
Stone lever on, or potions of Speed with the other three levers on. Wind and
Stone produces Invisibility potions. It will make 30 potions total. 10 of each
of the above are nice.
Behind Voleron in the Ruins of Illusk, you'll find two chests, one locked, one
trapped. Clear the locks and traps, then save the game. Devote about a half-
hour to opening these two chests over and over again. If you don't like what
you find, load from your previous saved game and try again. And again. And
again. Yes, it's cheating. You're a Rogue. Get used to it. ;-) Your best
chance of finding awesome magic items for the rest of the game are these two
chests, so it's worth the time spent.
The 8th Level of the Host Tower in Luskan is an excellent test of your Hide in
Shadows and Move Silently skills. You should be able to enter the Vrock room
and stand anywhere you like without alerting anything in the room to your
presence. It's kinda cool.
10.4 CHAPTER THREE
Linu's volcanic oak seed is near the entrance to the creator ruins.
Incidentally, watch for two trees in this area that you can click on and "open."
Tamorlyn's song, which is what Sharwyn wants, is inside the (present day)
creator ruins. The ashes that Tomi wants are in the Uthgardt Elk Tribe keep.
If you have the ability to cast Stoneskin, you can generate a pair of Gargoyle
Boots using the Tome of Boots formula (bodak's tooth plus gargoyle skull plus
Stoneskin). The Tome is in a crate right behind Aarin Gend's lodge. However,
if you can cast Stoneskin, you may not have a need for boots that can cast
Stoneskin. This crate like all the others in the area was put here for your
Rogues have an easy time with Rolgan's trial. Use a Healing Kit on Zed. Give
Lodar a couple of drinks. Don't bother talking to the jurors, much less bribing
them. At the trial, concentrate on the fact that Griff was violent and Rolgan
was *drugged*, not drunk. Don't even use the word drunk. Don't get into the
racism angle at all (except as it applies to Griff), and don't ask Vanda about
the religious significance of the artifacts. Don't call Rolgan to testify.
This is good for a unanimous verdict and more than 1000 XP to even high-level
The most annoying aspect of the Wizard's Dungeon in Coldwood to Rogues are the
braziers of infinite Fire Elementals -- damn things are immune to sneak attacks
-- so destroy everything in the two corner rooms as quickly as you can. The
summoned Water Elemental's item is a Ring of Invisibility, usable three times a
day. Decide for yourself whether this is worth what's-his-name's life to you.
The archaeologist's camp is just chock FULL of chests and crates with heavy
stuff inside them. The archaeologists are departing the area, and so will
appreciate not having to move all these items when they leave. Therefore, feel
free to loot these chests to reduce the weight they have to carry.
Even if you make friends with the Uthgardt Elk Tribe, loot the hell out of their
keep. It's the Rogue thing to do.
Seriously consider killing Commander Damas at the fort to get the plague cure.
It turns the knights and other guards in the compound against you, true, but
there's no alignment impact. He deserves death, it saves you some money, and
mopping up all the experience points from he and his guards is also the Rogue
thing to do.
The golems in the Creator Ruins aren't actually invincible. They will fall to
negative energy attacks if you or your henchmen can generate them. However, go
ahead and go back in time for the experience and loot. Your time-traveling
friend will imply that loot you pick up in the past won't return to the present
with you. Don't believe her.
After you complete Akulatraxas's quest, loot her egg room then use the Stone of
Recall to get out (or kill her). Say it with me: it's the Rogue thing to do.
You will ask yourself again and again in the Fire Giant Lair: are there going to
be any actual Fire Giants in here? Instead, you have the damned Duergar, easily
the toughest non-boss fights for Rogues in the game. Rest after each and every
one. Alternatively, invest in an item or spell that confers the ability to see
invisible creatures and a good longbow. Much of the Duergar's capabilities stem
from the fact that they approach you invisibily and surround you. Eliminate
that advantage and they become easier targets. Consider skipping Fire Giant
Lair Level 2 (behind the glowing white door) entirely. It's nothing BUT
Definitely give Klauth a Dead Dragon Sphere. Definitely do not agree to do his
dirty work for him, even if you're evil. He's worth a trainload of experience
and loot dead. If you haven't hit character Level 20 before this fight, you
probably will after. Rogues for some reason have no trouble at all hitting
character level 20 in the single player game even with a henchman AND lots of
animal companions and familiars about.
After you complete Gorgotha's quest, loot her egg room then use the Stone of
Recall to get out (or kill her). Say it with me yet again: ::grins:: it's the
Rogue thing to do.
10.5 CHAPTER FOUR
The "invincible" golems in the War Zone, like those in the Creator Ruins, will
fall before concentrated negative energy attacks. Linu will handle it if you
can't, if you're using her as a henchman. This also, incidentally, kills their
controlling wizards by remote control (but not the Balors in the Wizard
Chantries). If you want to do the Chantries instead, you'll find a retired
Rogue living on the far right side of the wall splitting the War Zone. He has a
passage through the wall that will get you behind the second golem and drop you
close to the rear Chantry.
Aribeth is a tough fight for Rogues, but paradoxically, Rogues have the easiest
time convincing her to surrender herself to Lord Nasher, particularly if they
have her ring from Chapter Two.
Maugrim, on the other hand, is a very easy fight for Rogues. He, like most
spell-casters, doesn't care much for a vicious backstab in the midst of whatever
he's babbling about.
If Desther is not the toughest boss fight for Rogues, then the Guardian Lair
definitely is. Concentrate all fire on the copper dragon first. Stay VERY
mobile, and do NOT be anywhere near the front of either dragon. Yes, you have
Improved Evasion by this time and can stand in the middle of dragon breath
without fear. However, both of these dragons have a nasty Knockdown Feat that
you probably CAN'T laugh off so easily. Speed is life. Mobility is life.
Quicksave every time you get an advantage.
From there on out, ironically, is a downhill run for Rogues, particularly Rogues
with good elemental resistance. You see, Morag and her closest buddies are all
spell-casters. 'nuff said.
Finally, ironic in the extreme: every time I've killed Morag, she's dropped at
least one quite good short sword. This is ironic mostly because many Rogues
will have a hard time finding a really good short sword UNTIL this... the end of
11.0 CREDITS AND MISCELLANY
The Rogue Guide is (c) 2002, Ross Glenn, [email protected] . You know the
drill. In particular, do not include this guide on websites, compilations, or
CD-ROMs without first getting written e-mail permission from the author.
Chances are quite excellent I'll give you permission. I might even agree to
send you updates when I do them if you ask. Take a half-minute and e-mail me.
Neverwinter Nights is copyright (c) 2002 Infogrames Entertainment, S.A. All
Dungeons and Dragons is copyright (c) 2002 Wizards of the Coast. All Rights
11.1 CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Thank you to all of the following:
Duncan Clay and Jeffrey Coulton point out that Elves and Halflings spend only 2
of the 30 initial ability score points for a 17 or 18 Dexterity instead of 3
per. I tried to explain this in v1.0, but did a rather poor job of it.
Hopefully, this version does better. ;-)
Duncan also points out what might be an interesting oversight in the 3rd Edition
D&D rules that works to the advantage of just about anyone. On pages 59 and 60
of the full 3rd Edition Player's Handbook, it points out that when increasing a
Skill from 0 ranks, one can only add up to four additional ranks. However, once
you have at least one rank in a Skill, you can later add as many ranks as you
want, up to your character level plus three. Therefore, if at any point in your
Rogue career, you put two points into the Spellcraft Skill, for instance
(gaining one rank) and after becoming a Level 10 Rogue, add a single level of
Wizard (becoming a L10/L1 Rogue/Wizard), you can use ALL of your Wizard Skill
points to increase your Spellcraft up to 14 in one shot... assuming you have the
Skill points to do this. ;-)
Phoenix suggested that since I am in favor of killing the guards in Wanev's
Tower in Chapter Two, I should include tactics for just HOW to kill them, and
had a couple of excellent suggestions. :-) I included both his and a couple of
Rolander has one extremely large character flaw: he plays Lawful Good Rogues!
::shudders:: However, despite this obvious and glaring oversight in his
upbringing, he makes an excellent point about the debate between Charisma and
Wisdom for Rogues. Persuade is only one Skill, and to date, is not very useful
outside of the campaign that ships with Neverwinter Nights. Wisdom feeds two
other Rogue Skills, Listen and Spot, which are useful everywhere. Rolander also
pointed out that Haste is good for a +4 AC and is therefore even more desirable
than I pointed out. So, I guess I'll forgive him for being Lawful. ;-)
Moose is apparently quite the efficient real-life Rogue, either hacking into my
computer to read my half-finished Fighter Guide, or just reading it over my
shoulder during my infrequent attempts to finish it. In that Guide, I point out
that a Fighter with a sufficiently high Parry Skill can use this "defense" to
destroy attacking enemies by relying on the "riposte" or counter-attack portion
of this Skill. While it's obviously only useful against physical attacks, such
a Fighter can be completely surrounded for some time while taking very little or
no damage... and still destroy his enemies. Moose recommends the same strategy
for a Rogue, and while I'm not sure a Rogue's relatively puny number of attacks
and bonuses to those attacks make the strategy worthwhile, I will at least
mention it. ;-) Moose himself admits that it takes a painfully long time for a
Rogue to harm his foes using this form of "attack"...
Asclepius and Rolander pointed out what I would consider to be a bug in
Neverwinter Nights: the game does not roll against your Use Magic Item skill
versus the DC of the item in combat. Therefore, once you have the Skill points
to use a given item, you can use that item forever, with no chance of failure.
This, incidentally, is NOT what the 3rd Edition D&D rules say on the subject.
;-) This therefore moved Use Magic Device up from a useless Skill to a general
Skill. Asclepius also pointed out another very Rogue-friendly "clothing armor":
the Monk-specific Robes of the Dark Moon. Lord Yorien Dragonard also commented
on this ability for using Monk and Wizard/Sorcerer items.
James Prieels found what is quite possibly another bug, this one related to the
Silent Spell Feat. Ideally, this Feat would allow you to remain in Stealth mode
while casting a Silent Spell, but it does not, unfortunately...
Troy Scotter sent me a quite long e-mail touching on just about every element of
the Guide! Among his varied interests: he tells me that no matter the number of
magical aids, it is impossible to boost an ability score more than 10 points
from its "natural" level in Neverwinter Nights. He also suggested that if you
don't have anything else that confers Haste, the Boots of Speed do. Based on
his suggestion, I expanded the Henchman section of the Guide to point out that
you can and should hire as many or as few of the henchmen as will be useful to
you in the NWN campaign. He suggested that finding a way to defeat the Duergar
invisibility makes them much easier foes. Finally, Troy also took the time to
determine exactly how experience points are awarded in NWN, which was almost
certainly a time-consuming, painfully dull bit of number-crunching. Kudos to
Troy for that, and I hope he takes the time to write it up and submit it to the
NWN FAQ sites!
Moose and Rolander point out that Rangers don't get a "real" Two Weapon Fighting
Feat, but rather a bastardized version called "Dual Wield." The primary
downside to this for Rogues is that you can't add Improved Two Weapon Fighting
to Dual Wield; if you want Improved Two Weapon Fighting, you'll have to spend a
Feat on Two Weapon Fighting first. Ah well.
If that wasn't bad enough, Lord Among Noobs points out that rapiers are *not*
classified as light weapons for Two Weapon Fighting, despite the fact that both
the Neverwinter Nights manual and the D&D Player's Handbook says they should be.
Yet another NWN bug...
And finally, Asclepius points out an obvious but not stated advantage to the
Disarm feat: until a disarmed opponent produces another weapon, all of his or
her unarmed attacks will probably provoke attacks of opportunity from all
bystanders. I'm going to stick to my guns on this one, though: a Rogue's
relatively infrequent attacks are best spent trying to kill things, not disable
them in some way. ;-)
Have a suggestion? First, read the Guide. Then, read it again. Sure that what
you want to suggest isn't already there? Anyone who suggests something already
present will be fed poison (it's the Rogue thing to do). You very sure it's not
already there? OK, great! E-mail it to me at [email protected] . Be calm.
Be concise. Be informative. Give me a name to include in the Credits section.
Don't make me sneak attack you to get it. ;-)
11.3 TROY SCOTTER'S EXPERIENCE POINT DISCOVERY (TM)
Troy Scotter either hasn't had time or hasn't been inclined to publish the
details of his discoveries related to Neverwinter Nights experience points, so
I'm going to publish an abbreviated version of it here. Here it is: experience
points in NWN are granted based on the *average level* of allied combatants in
direct mel¿e combat with enemy combatants. In other words, if you are a L16
Rogue and you face a particular enemy combatant alone, you will be granted
experience points for L16 versus whatever you have defeated. However... if you
are a L16 Rogue who has summoned a L4 Dire Badger, both of you combat the same
opponents, and both of you survive, you will be granted experience points for
L10 ((L16 + L4)/2) versus whatever you have defeated! Yes!
I'd been wondering for weeks why Rogues seem to get more experience than equal
level Fighters or Mages for the same encounters. The reason is that the Fighter
tends to go into combat alone, meaning that the average "ally" level is very
close to the Fighter level. Mages tend to go into combat with a variety of
henchmen and summoned creatures -- often very high-level summoned creatures --
around them. Therefore, the average ally level for Mages is also very close to
the Mage level. Rogues, on the other hand, often have to scrounge low-level
summoned creatures and familiars, meaning that their animal companions and
familiars actually *increase* rather than decrease the experience points for an
Is this completely nuts, or is it just me? ;-) No wonder NWN doesn't have
decent encounter scaling. Can you imagine the ticked off party of L16 players
who work together perfectly to defeat a high-level foe... only to get LESS
experience for the fight than a single L16 Rogue and his L4 Dire Badger?
No doubt you're already foaming at the mouth to try this out. Before you do,
here's a couple of pointers, also discovered by Troy. First, the average level
applies only to allies in direct mel¿e combat for at least one round. The
calculus still applies if the L4 Dire Badger hangs back, but you don't get
nearly as much benefit as you would if the Badger is up there swinging. This,
incidentally, directly contradicts a suggestion in the game manual to unsummon
creatures right before experience is awarded. This is the LAST thing you should
do, and will actually *decrease* the experience you are awarded. This, however,
also applies if the summoned creature or familiar suffers an untimely death.
This therefore changes your strategy a bit if you want to maximize experience.
You can take a L1 creature into combat against Klauth in an attempt to max out
experience, but it will therefore be someone's job to make sure that the L1
creature survives the battle. That will almost require things like casting
stoneskin and barkskin on the L1 creature, giving it potions of speed,
increasing its stats... anything you can think of. ;-)
Is it worth it? You be the judge. Thanks, Troy! I still hope you publish a
longer version of this. ;-)
11.3 ROGUE GUIDE LOCATIONS
When I update the Rogue Guide, I'll send the updates to:
Neverwinter Haven https://www.neverwinterhaven.com
Sorcerer's Place https://www.sorcerers.net/index.shtml
Neverwinter Nights Character Gallery https://nwncg.netfirms.com
An up-to-the-second Rogue Guide (updated as I update it) is available at:
If you're reading this somewhere else or obtained it somewhere else, send me an
e-mail at [email protected] and let me know. Thanks!
11.4 REVISION HISTORY
This is revision 1.2, released two and a half months after my initial version
back in August. I've received about 50 or so e-mails about the guide -- thanks
to everyone who has written! However, the number of e-mails is definitely
slacking off and approaching zero, either as NWN slowly loses its popularity to
newer games coming out, or as the locations on which this guide is hosted become
less visited. I noticed a definite drop after NWN fell off GameFAQs Top Ten.
Chances are therefore pretty good that this will either be the final version of
the Guide, or it will be a goodly long while before the next revision. So until
then, have fun, stay stealthed, and may your sneak attacks always find their
rev 1.2, 30 October 2002
- Changed the details on the Silent Spell Feat
- Additional notes on the Parry Skills
- Added note that it is impossible to boost an ability score more than +10
- Short additional note regarding Henchmen
- Specified the difference between Two-Weapon Fighting and Dual Wield
- Noted a quite annoying rapier Two-Weapon Fighting bug
- Added details on Troy Scotter's discovery about NWN experience points
rev 1.1, 29 August 2002
- Beefed up some of the multiclassing options
- Further expanded the sections on the Wisdom and Charisma ability scores
- Added a few notes about EVEN vs. ODD ability scores
- Added some notes about running clear of area of effect spells
- Added a few more notes on the single player campaign
- In particular, gave some strategies for Wanev's Tower
- Expanded the very poor explanation of the Elf and Halfling Dexterity bonus
- Very minor additions here and there (Rogue humor, for instance)
- Minor grammar and wording fixes here and there
rev 1.0, 15 August 2002
- Initial release
rev 1.2, 30 October 2002