How To Build A Balanced Character In Neverwinter Nights: Creating & Playing A Fighter

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The Fighter is perhaps the most popular class in many RPG’s, since it is probably the easiest class to play and manage, both for beginners and advanced players. This is because the fighter primarily concentrates on one aspect only, and generally requires little distribution in terms of attributes. In short:

  • A Fighter cannot cast spells, no need to think carefully about point distribution when levelling up (Intelligence)
  • He can’t learn divine or arcane magic, hence no need for wisdom points
  • He can’t set or remove traps and can wear all types of armour. A high dexterity isn’t really needed here, although some is important for reflex or fortitude saves

All you really need to worry about when playing a fighter character is Strength and Constitution, and distributing your attribute points in those two areas when levelling up. He is also the one to go first into battle when siding with another character or a party. He will inflict and take the most damage, and is the most skilled at hand-to-hand fighting. Put Fighters at the front and Wizards at the back and you have a deadly combination in your party.

You can build a highly flawed character, by distributing all your points in those two areas and making your intelligence really low. Your character will probably not be much fun at the campfire but don’t call him Shirley…

Choice of Race

As mentioned in the previous articles, good choices for fighter characters would be a Dwarf or a Half-Orc. The Dwarf’s natural constitution is perhaps better favoured to fighting, because of the many racial bonuses, such as: Stonecutting (bonus on ‘search’), hardiness to poisons, hardiness to spells and some lore bonuses. They gain a positive modifier in Constitution, which makes them tough in battle, but suffer a penalty in Charisma. The Dwarf can also multiclass which means gaining a level or 2 in another class, such as Cleric or Wizard, and in multiclassing he suffers no penalties when his first class is a Fighter.

The Half-Orc also gains racial abilities such as Darkvision, gains a bonus in strength but suffers penalties in Intelligence and Charisma. Some people might prefer them to Dwarves particularly due to their Strength bonus and some innate abilities (such as rage), which can easily multiclass him to a barbarian/fighter class; this is very powerful when choosing a melee character, and the Half-orc does not suffer penalties due to the preferred barbarian class.

You can choose other races such as gnomes, but you will be subject to penalties and there won’t be much to gain in terms of fighting skills.

Point Distribution

As mentioned the two main important attributes here are STR and CON. Playing as a Dwarf, we will give some possibilities on how you can distribute your initial 30 points. There are various combinations you can use, i.e. create an incredibly strong character with penalties in other areas or distribute points equally.

Here are the starting points and negative/positive modifiers:

  • Strength 8 (-1)
  • Dexterity 8 (-1)
  • Constitution 10 (none)
  • Wisdom 8 (-1)
  • Intelligence 8 (-1)
  • Charisma 6 (-2)

30 points Available

The Dim brute

Not a balanced choice, but useful if you want to play strictly as a war-machine. This set-up is not much use if you want to play a fighter-thug character, as your charisma abilities are greatly penalised (bluff, persuade), or a dexterous fighter with trap avoiding abilities or archery skills.

  • Strength 18 (+4)
  • Dexterity 10 (none)
  • Constitution 18 (+4)
  • Wisdom 8 (-1)
  • Intelligence 9 (-1)
  • Charisma 7 (-2)

The Knight

A Knight is knowledgeable and can determine which strategies to use in battle. Playing a Knight generally requires balanced point distribution being a fighter of noble intentions (unless you belong to an evil order).

  • Strength 16 (+3)
  • Dexterity 10 (none)
  • Constitution 16 (+3)
  • Wisdom 13 (+1)
  • Intelligence 10 (none)
  • Charisma 11 (none)

We have given decent Charisma scores for the Knight to achieve good social status, and high wisdom for will saving throws.

The Blackguard

The Blackguard is a fighter of great evil and possesses some unique characteristics, hence requires special ability adjustment. The Blackguard can set traps as opposed to most other fighting classes, so we will give him more dexterity points. He is also a bit of a thug and will often steal your lunch for no particular reason.

  • Strength 16 (+3)
  • Dexterity 14 (+2)
  • Constitution 16 (+3)
  • Wisdom 9 (-1)
  • Intelligence 9 (-1)
  • Charisma 12 (+1)

A Blackguard with good dexterity bonuses (set, avoid or disable trap) and intimidate or persuade skills.

Note: The Blackguard is usually the antithesis of the Paladin, but you can play him as a fighter.

Useful skills

These are some skills which you can automatically use in combat or select when to use. A brief list:

Discipline – Required to resist Knockdown, disarm and other debilitating moves during combat. Any fighter can use this as it requires Strength.

Concentration – Used to avoid opponents taunt. Requires good constitution, again available to all fighters.

Knockdown – If you want your opponent to remain unconscious for a bit, use this. It has no ability requirements, although its improved version requires +13 Intelligence.

Called Shot – An attack to the arms and legs. Requires a Base Attack bonus +1.

And there you have it! You are ready to play as a fighter. Bare in mind this is only a guide on how to play and how to distribute points. Most of the fun is in sculpting your character to your playing style, therefore there are a great number of possibilities.