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Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Stormlord FAQ

Version 1.0 by

10/11/07

A Random Guide to the Stormlord of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Greetings and salutations. This guide covers the Stormlord (SL) prestiege
class recently introduced in the NWN2: MOTB expansion.

If you find any errors or have questions, feel free to contact me. I'll fix
the guide or answer questions as best I can. Check Section X for info.


I. Introduction

II. Key Benefits

III. Prerequisites

IV. The Downsides

V. Playstyle Analysis

VI. Companion Classes Analysis(Cler, Fav Soul, Druid, Sp Sham, Pally, Ranger)

VII. Skill Analysis

VIII. Feats Recommended

IX. Multiclasses Recommended

X. Build Examples

XI. Contact Info.


---------------
I. Introduction
---------------

The Stormlord is a prestiege class for divine casters that has full spell
progression and focuses on the Spear for melee, and also throwing weapons.

The class is quite strong, especially early on. Note that when epic levels
are reached, most of the benefits become much less impressive as will be
seen shortly. Also, the class is not very versatile. I say this, because
it pretty much forces your character to have one particular playstyle. i.e.
use a spear. Plus, you have to be a melee-based character, since almost all
SL benefits are melee-centric.

SL has moderately hard requirements to take the class, which
limits casual "splashing", of taking a few levels for specific benefits.
That wouldn't do much good anyways because the class grants benefits
throughout the 10 available levels, and thus it is best to take 8 levels
or in most cases to take the full 10 levels.


----------------
II. Key Benefits
----------------

SL provides many solid benefits for a pretty low cost. Several of these
benefits ONLY WORK with a "Stormlord weapon". This is defined as a Spear,
Throwing Axe, Dart, or Shuriken. Any other weapon used will not receive
most of the key benefits of the class.


* Enhanced Weapon - At SL levels 1,6,9, the character receives a +1,+2,+3
enhancement bonus on any SL-weapon. This bonus STACKS with existing
enchantments! Pen and Paper (PnP) purists may complain, but let's
face it.. the ability would be worthless otherwise.

* Shock Weapon - At level 2, the character gains a Clickie for Shock Weapon.
This is basically an unlimited use ability that takes 1 standard round
to activate (like any other item). For the next 20 rounds, your
SL-weapons gain a 1d8 electric damage bonus.

* Shocking Burst - Gained at level 5, this replaces Shock Weapon. It adds
1d8 electric, PLUS a 2d8 massive criticals bonus. Of course, with
a 20x3 range for the spear, don't expect a lot of crits...

* Shocking Burst & Sonic Wpn - At level 8, the final clickey is obtained.
It adds 1d8 electric, and 1d8 sonic, plus the 2d8 massive crits bonus.
Obviously, this is a very nice damage bonus early on, as your best
level 20 weapon is probably a +5 spear with 1d6 acid or something. At
level 30, it will be a +8 spear with 5d6 acid, fire, cold. As you can
see, the 2d8 really starts losing ground as epic levels are gained.

*Electrical Resistance - At levels 1,4,7, you gain 5,10,15 electrical
resistance. At level 9, you gain COMPLETE IMMUNITY to electrical!

* Storm Avatar - At level 10, you can cast an automatically extended version
of Storm Avatar. Fortunately, this spell is cast at your CHARACTER
LEVEL, NOT your StormLord level. So a level 30 character gets a huge
60 rounds of Storm Avatar! (6 minutes realtime)
This may only be done ONCE PER DAY though.

Storm Avatar does the following:
- First, it sets you to 200% normal speed. This does not stack with
haste, etc, but double speed is pretty nice.
- Secondly, it adds 3-18 electrical damage to every attack.
- Third, you are IMMUNE TO KNOCKDOWN. Really great ability.
- Fourth, you are IMMUNE TO MISSILE WEAPONS. Also excellent.


* Last, but definitely not least, the SL gains FULL DIVINE SPELLCASTING
ability. This is incredible, since most Prestiege Classes have to
sacrifice some spellcasting levels to "balance" the class.
Example: Eld Knight, Warpriest, Sacred Fist, Palemaster.



------------------
III. Prerequisites
------------------

With all these nice abilities, they aren't gonna just let you in for free
right? Course not!

The following things are needed to take the class:

* Toughness Feat - This is a nice feat anyways, so not many complaints.

* Weapon focus - Must be wpn focused on a SL-weapon. This should ALWAYS be
the spear since that is your only melee choice. Once again, a great feat
for a warrior so no complaints about having to take it.

* Great Fortitude - Yuck. I do not much care for this feat, especially as
divine classes have strong fortitude saves in the first place. This feat
is pretty much a crap-feat that you have to take to get SL access.

* +4 Fortutude Saves. NOT +4 BAB! This isn't a problem with the high divine
saves, plus the +2 from the Great Fort feat you are stuck with.

* Level 3 divine spellcasting. No worries for primary casters which can
qualify early on. Pallys/Rangers would need 12 levels before they gain
their first level 3 spell. Techically it is 11 levels since they gain
0 spells but with high WIS can receive a 3rd level spell. I don't think
the game considers this though.


Hey look at the bright side. In PnP, you have to worship Talos, be nonlawful,
AND survive getting struck by Lightning! Obsidian was easy on you. ;-)

------------------------------
IV. The Downsides of StormLord
------------------------------

All this good stuff gained has some downsides.

* First, divine caster classes are usually a bit strapped for feats. Hence
coughing up the 3 prereq feats early on could be a problem. The Great Fort
is basically a wasted feat.
This is ESPECIALLY true if you are trying for a hybrid style of play,
and try to take caster feats AND warrior feats.

* A -1 BAB could result in some cases. For example, a 20 cleric has 15BAB.
A 10cleric/10SL has a 14BAB. Not a huge deal, but consider that those
9th,10th levels of Stormlord will almost always cost 1BAB.

* Epic Feats lost - This only applies for pure clerics. A level 29 cleric
gains 3 epic bonus feats (23,26,29). A 19cleric/10SL gains ZERO bonus
epic feats. This warning primarily applies for CASTER CLERICS, or those
who plan on using spells for most of their offense.

* Skills - Prepare to re-work your skill plan, cuz Stormlord is probably
lacking several of the skills you planned on taking. See Skills section
for details.

* More clicking - Remember. Every 20 rounds, you must click the Magic Button
in order to get the 2d8 zap/sonic +2d8massive crits damage bonus. This
gets old... especially if you already have to keep up with buffs.


---------------------
V. Playstyle Analysis
---------------------

As I mentioned earlier, the SL is not very versatile. For the most part,
your character will be a melee-centered warrior, that uses lots of buffs
to pump themselves up. This is definitely the most effective way to go
for all the classes.

It is possible to use some offensive spells, but will be ineffective due to
your low Difficulty Class (DC) of your spells. As a melee warrior, you will
want to raise STR primarily, and not use points to pump up WIS. You also
won't have enough feats to do any spell focus or casting prodigy feats to
help the DC.


A. Throwing Weapons
-------------------

One benefit of SL is you may use throwing weapons more effectively. More
effectively than WHAT becomes the main question though... It is doable, but
is unlikely to be very impressive. Heres why:

When you attack with a spear, you have the spear enhancement, weapon focus,
and use your high STR to all raise your BAB high.

Using a throwing weapon loses ALL of the preceeding bonuses. A level 20 char
for example might carry around a stack of +2 darts. Instead of using a
+5 spear, the +2 darts are used. Instead of the high STR, the very average
DEX value is used as the To Hit attribute. No weapon focus added in means
your throwing weapons will likely be at -10AB or more.

Even in spite of this, I have to admit that 1d3 +5 +2d8 is a lot better
than 1d3 +2 when it comes to damage.

Note that you need Martial Weapons to toss Axes, and Exotics to use shuriken.


B. Spear 2handed
----------------

This is the standard method of fighting. You gain 50% of your STR as a bonus
for using a 2handed weapon. Plus power attack gains double the bonus.
However, you lose your shield bonus. This is a big deal, as a level 20 cleric
is GUARANTEED to have a Magic Vestmented +5 heavy shield worst case. Thats
-7AC, in exchange for a moderate offensive bonus.

The point here is that clerics almost always use 1hander + shield. A shield
is really helpful when you are casting in combat. A 2handed weapon is NOT!
Plus, clerics gain a lot of "static bonuses", and do lots of damage through
Divine Favor, Battletide, Prayer, and so forth. They don't usually have
the huge STR that a Red Dragon Disciple uses to put that +50% STR bonus to
good use.

Since your HPs are good, but not great, you will want some damage mitigation
of some kind. Stoneskin works great, as does Premonition. In epic levels,
these might not work so hot.

In conclusion, if you go with 2handed spear, you need to hit HARD. Go for
maximum strength, take cleave if possible at all, and plan to use Power
Attack. To balance out the previous shield statement somewhat, a shield
does NO good whatsoever if you are fighting spellcasters, whereas a 2hander
can help put them down faster.

C. Spear 1handed
----------------

This is the category I would recommend to most Stormlords. Use the MONKEY
GRIP feat, which allows you to use the spear in 1 hand. Sure, you eat a
-2 AB penalty, but that should not be a huge problem. In return, you get
your big Shield AC back. I think -2AB and 1 feat for +7AC is a good deal,
don't you?

You could make a good argument either way with 1handed or 2handed, so choose
which path you wish to take. Remember that you can always drop the shield
as needed to gain the 2handed bonuses back.

D. Spear dualwield?
-------------------

Don't even think about it. One could theoretically take 21 ranger, monkey
grip, and get 12 attacks with spears! Lets see.. -2AB Monkey grip,
-2 dualwielding, and -2 for non-light offhand weapon. Combined with NO
AB buffs from ranger = losing deal.

Non ranger wise, one would require a lot of DEX to hit perfect 2wpn. Taking
up to greater 2wpn would be dumb, as Id rather have 6 powerful attacks, than
9 wimpy ones.

Dualwield would definitely be interesting, but I don't recommend it.


------------------
VI. Divine Classes
------------------

So which classes work best with the Stormlord? I will go over them now:

1) Cleric - Cleric is the best choice in my opinion. Clerics gain ZERO
special abilities from levels 2 to 20. Replacing 8 levels with stormlord
gains nice stuff for practically NO loss. Taking 10 will cause a small
BAB penalty, but is not a big deal.

Clerics also can choose domains which give them bonus feats to help the
prerequisites a bit. I recommend Time and Earth. These allow persistent
haste(!), stoneskin, premonition, and 2 bonus feats including 1 prereq.

The only thing clerics lose out on is their Turn Undead ability. Consider
that most melee-clerics multiclass, which ruins their Turn anyways.

Heavy armor proficiencies are also helpful to cleric/stormlords. They also
gain many many buffs that strengthen them defensively AND pump their AB
significantly.

From a RolePlay perspective, a cleric could choose AIR domain to pick up
Call/Chain lightning. It wouldnt be very effective, but quite good for
a true StormLord feel.

Note that an Offensive Caster would NOT benefit from stormlord much. The
prereq feats required for SL would take away needed feats like spell focus,
empower, maximize, and so forth. I would avoid SL in this case.


2) Favored Soul - These are a close second to Clerics in utility. The FS
is strong as they can cast whatever buff or spell they need in a situation.
This really helps the flexibility of the character.

Note that FS will usually crank up CHA instead of WIS. The FS gains extra
spell slots from this, but can also benefit from CHA-based goodness like
Divine Might/Shield/ high Saves from Pally/BG/Lok. This can be put to
excellent use with certain builds.

FS also come with Weapon Focus, so all you have to do is worship a diety
that favors Spear, and you've got 1 prereq down.

There are a few problems with FS/SL combos though. First of all, FS does
not come with Heavy Armor proficiency. This can be worked around through
cheating..er.. I mean Mithril Full Plate, which is considered Medium Armor.
The PnP purists will note you still should need Hvy Armor proficiency, but
whatever. So anyways, at higher levels, lack of Hvy Armor isn't a problem.

Also, FS actually gain useful abilities as they level. Hence, by taking
stormlord, you delay or eliminate nice stuff like Weapon Specialization,
energy resistance, haste, Damage Reduction. This is unfortunate.

Finally, the DC of the FS offensive spells is truly horrible. As they don't
normally pump WIS, even a warrior-cleric has stronger offensive spells.
Plus, there really arent any "RolePlay" approved spells to cast! With no
domain access, there is nothing except Storm of Vengence to use for flavor.



3) Druid - I think druids are the best Roleplay choice for Stormlord.
However, they certainly aren't the strongest choice! Druids have the
following advantages:

They have a few more offensive spells than clerical base spells. Call
lightning, lightning storm, and storm of vengence are nice flavor spells.
They also get good defensive buffs with barkskin, stoneskin, premonition,
and others.

This does tend to lead towards a hybrid style of play, with so-so WIS, and
STR, vs focusing totally on melee.

Druids gain many nice abilities on level up that are lost when taking SL,
and one of the best is their pet. A level 10Druid/10SL with a level 7 bear
is just sad. No amount of buffs will make much difference to help it.
Wild shape, venom immunity, and other abilities will likely be gone.

Druids also lack Heavy Armor, which may be worked around.

Druids lose skillpoints taking SL, since they get 4 per lvl, vs 2 like
clerics, pallys, Fav Souls.

All in all, druids do alright, but are not the optimal choice for SL.



4) Spirit Shaman - I think these are a slightly weaker choice than druids for
taking StormLord levels.

They suffer from most of the same problems, except worse! They are stuck
with light armor only, which might be problematic.

They have a TON of special abilities as they level, which will be delayed
or likely eliminated by taking SL.

They also lose skillpoints by taking SL.

In theory, a Spirit Shaman could have a low WIS and use an item to gain
spell access. Then, crank up CHA really high. This would allow the
Shaman to gain CHA-based goodies like Divine Might/Shield/saves, AND
actually have pretty powerful offensive spells! This might be a good way
to play a SS/StormLord combo, and be fairly good RP-wise.



5) Paladin - A paladin could take Stormlord after 12 levels to gain the
needed 3rd lvl divine spells. Hence, I include it as an option, although
it is not a great idea.

Taking 10 levels of stormlord adds 10 levels of divine spellcasting, with
3/4ths BAB, and 8 HPs per lvl.

All things equal, would you rather have a stormlord with 10 levels of
clerical/druid casting, or 10 levels of paladin/ranger casting?
Obviously, the clerical/druid spellcasting is much more powerful, and a
better use of the Stormlords full spellcasting progression.

Hence, paladin/ranger wastes much of the StormLord's potential right there,
not to mention that taking SL drops the paladin's HPs and BAB some as well.

In spite of this, paladin does have several advantages. Due to the high
CHA, you get great saving throws, and access to Divine Might/Shield.

Your BAB will be higher than that of a cleric/druid, and you get full martial
and armor proficiencies.

Fortunately, paladin spells are pretty decent, and have some strong offerings
such as Holy Weapon, Greater Visage, as well as Resist Energy, Bless, Aid,
and other solid clerical staples.

Lastly, Paladins gain Smite Evil which is pretty strong in conjunction with
high CHA and the Stormlord spear bonuses.



6) Ranger - Last and least, I cannot think of many good reasons to go with
Ranger with Stormlord.

Ranger's primary benefits are 6 skills per level, which get downgraded to 2.

Plus, full BAB which gets downgraded to 3/4ths.

Pet, which gets downgraded to utter uselessness.

Favored Enemy, which gets diluted heavily.

Combat Style, which means Archery or Dualwielding. Neither of which work at
all well with StormLord.

The ranger spells are rather lousy too, making it very difficult to imagine
much synergy at all with Ranger/StormLord.



-----------
VII. Skills
-----------

Skills are an often overlooked area with Prestiege Classes. The Stormlord
has the following skills:

Concentrate - Good. Everyone will want to max this.

Craft Alchemy - /shrug

Intimidate?!? - Yep, while all divine classes get Diplomacy, the Stormlord
winds up with this! Wierd, and will affect your speaking for sure. Plan
on sinking 2x the points into Diplomacy if that is your chosen route...

Lore - Everyone gets this.

Spellcraft - Handy for the Save bonus, and also allows possibility of getting
Epic Spells!

Survival - /shrug



Dude, where's my Heal skill? Gone.
Whut about my craft armor/wpn? Gone.
Spot n listen? Nope, gone.


-----------------------
VIII. Feats Recommended
-----------------------

This is a bit out of the scope of this guide, but heres some feats to
look for:

EPIC Armor Skin - +2 AC stacking is pretty sweet.

Blind Fight

Cleave - great with 2handed style

Disarm - Nice if you have space for it.

Divine Shield/Might - Obvious if you have the CHA for it, and Turn ability.

Extend Spell - Nice to extend them buffs.

EPIC Divine Might/Shield - Requires a specific build, but powerful!

EPIC Prowess - Yeah, pick this up.

EPIC Great STR/CHA - Take as appropriate.

Knockdown - always nice to have.

Luck of Heroes - A KEY feat. Very strong.

Monkey Grip - Essential for 1handed style.

Persistent Spell - Great for cleric and maybe favored soul: haste, div favor

Power Attack - Key for 2handed style.

Practiced Caster - This is good to add 4 caster levels when multiclassing.
The idea is to make your spells hard to Dispel, and increase duration.

-----------------------------------
IX. Other recommended multiclasses
-----------------------------------

There are several classes that would combo quite well with a StormLord.

1) Fighter - Ideal for giving extra feats, needed to satisfy prerequisites.
Plus, weapon specialization is quite nice. Can take some fighter levels
in epic levels to pick up free epic feats.

2) Frenzied Berserker - Provides toughness, as long as you can take 1FB
before taking any SL levels. Also, supreme cleave and super power attack
are really nice to have when playing with 2handed spear style. 5 levels
of FB work excellent.

3) Paladin/Blackguard - These give Turn Undead at level 4/3, which may be
used for Divine Might/Shield. The saving throw bonus is really nice too.
Pallys can make use of Smite Evil too.

4) Barbarian - Rage is fairly handy with 2handed style to crank up the damage
done, since rage stacks with enhancement STR,CON bonuses.

5) Warpriest - Great for rounding out casting levels while keeping a great
BAB. Example: 8cleric/8stormlord/10WarPriest = 21 casting lvl. Or
4cleric/10SL/8WP/8fighter for 18 caster lvl.

6) Divine Champion - Similar to Fighter, except you lose 1 feat but avoid
any XP penalties from fighter multiclass. Not a bad option.

Classes to Avoid:

1) Red Dragon Disciple - They are really good, but bard/RDD plus whatever
divine class +Stormlord = 4 classes. Your BAB will stink, and you get
no possibility of bonus feats.

2) Monk/Sacred Fist - SF and SL do NOT work together well. Avoid at all costs

3) Weaponmaster - This takes up too many levels for itself and corresponding
fighter levels to be effective. You would need a build like
8cleric/9SL/6Fighter/7Wpnmaster. It would be fairly lousy, and remember
that Wpnmaster is not nearly as good as it was in NWN1.

4) Warlock - The save bonus is great, but class limit ruins this one.
If you added Blackguard, divine, Stormlord, and warlock, you would gain
saves, but lose nice abilities from Frenzied Berserker or Fighter, or
some other class that would help (and not hurt) melee.


------------------
X. Build Examples
------------------

I will add to this section as I test out some builds.


A. Divine Cheeze - Strong 2handed spear build. If you went Aasimir and
tweaked stats, could get EPIC DIVINE MIGHT for lategame!


FavSoul12/FrenBer5/BlackGuard3/StormLord10 24bab. Nonlawful Evil

STR 17 +7pumps +4GreatStr = 28
DEX 8
CON 14
WIS 8
INT 11
CHA 16 (need big CHA item)

1: FS - Pwr Atk, Cleave
2: FS
3: FS - Great Fortitude
4: FS
5: FS - Gain Elemental Resist
6: FS - Great Cleave
7: FS
8: FS
9: Frenzied Berserker - FreeTuffness Wpnfocus: Spear
10 FB - Free Supreme Cleave
11 StormLord
12 SL - Practiced Caster
13 SL
14 SL
15 SL - Extended Spell
16 Blackguard - Gain Proficiencies
17 BG - Gain +Saves
18 BG - Divine Might or Shield.
19 SL
20 SL

21 FB - Armor Skin
22 FB
23 FB - Gain Super Duper Pwr Atk, Great STR1
24 SL -
25 SL - Gain Immune Zap, Great STR2
26 SL - Gain Avatar Gas
27 FS - Great STR3
28 FS - Gain Elemental Resist
29 FS - Great STR4
30 FS - Gain Wpn Spec


3 skills per level:

maximum concentrate
10 tumble (20 pts)
5 hide (10 pts)
max spellcraft




B. Clerical 1handed Stormlord - Use minimal buffs due to high BAB.
Switch to 1hand+shield once SL levels reached. Hard to dispel buffs.

Cleric8/SL8/warPriest10/fig4 Human (cast lvl: 21+4), BAB 26

str 17 +7pumps +4GStr = 28
dex 13
con 14
int 10
wis 14 +Item: minimum of 19.
cha 8

Domains: Time, Earth

1: cleric - luck of heroes, Great Fort, Free toughness, Imp Initiative
2 c
3 c - wpnfocus: spear
4 c
5 c
6 cleric - Monkey Grip.
7 Stormlord
8 SL
9 SL - extended spell
10 sl
11 sl
12 sl - persistent spell
13 sl
14 sl
15 cleric - Combat Casting
16 cleric
17 Warpriest
18 WP - practiced caster
19 wp
20 wp

21 fighter - armorskin, Great STR 1
22 fighter - epic prowess
23 fight - Great Str 2
24 WP
25 fighter - wpn spec, epic wpn spec
26 wp
27 wp - Great STR3
28 wp
29 wp - Great STR4
30 WP



C. cleric8/SL10/bard2/RDD10

Abuses Divine Power heavily to raise BAB from 21 to 30. Has insane STR
thanks to RDD. A so-so concept build.


Yep, I will definitely need more testing before I spew anymore half-baked
builds out. :-)






-------------------------------------------
XII. Conclusion, Copyright, and Contact info
-------------------------------------------

This guide is copyrighted by Randomsome1. However, you may post it or
use it as you like as long as no contents are changed.

If you have any observations, questions, or comments, please email me at:
joemama1512@SPAMBEGONEhotmail.com and add NWN2Guide in the Subject.
Remove the spambegone part of course.
(I would probably miss any email in my spam-filled regular email, hence
the usage of my other account...)

I hope you enjoy the guide and find it helpful.
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