Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

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Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 pm

I've been thinking about this character since I got here and became intrigued by the Shadow Child concept, and how it fits with my Ramana's 'curse' of being Shadow-Plane sensitive and transitive. I'll eventually post the entire build for this character here, but in the meantime I need help. I've got ideas for this character that I just don't know how to implement.

So, the concept, is that Ranara Duauth (Elven for 'Wandering Night-Shade') is the same person as Ramana Domefarar my Ranger/Rogue/SD (and I will sometime in the future also post Ramana's build in this subforum), the slightly-evil-by-insanity of being stuck between simultaneously in/between two Planes version. A Jekyll-Hyde concept. During the periods when my Ramana phases halfway into the Shadow Plane due to the resurgence of her riftstone-in-the-head-injury malady, she will be less 'natural' and more connected to her Elven blood magic wizardry, but negatively via the Shadow Plane. Thus dropping the Ranger and picking up Wizard, with Rogue (enough for skills and some Sneak Attack --especially Point Blank Shot sneak attack with her Bow, as her weapons will only be Bow and Staff) and a full ten levels of ShadowDancer, as the plan stands. She will be reclusive, will rename herself so that no one knows that she's really Ramana, and no animal will like her except her faithful panther Dae. Her main interests will likely be researching planar issues, shadow magic, and dabbling in necromancy (historically she has had interest in and some slight experience in all these subjects, actually, due to her planar 'malady').

Her initial attributes will be max DEX and max INT, and nothing else. She will be rather mentally-debilitated except for the saving grace of her resourceful clever intelligence. Retaining Ramana's cleverness and mechanical dexterity, she will have many of the same skills, i.e., max Hide/MS, Disable-Recover Traps, Craft Traps, Set Traps, and she'll have to acquire Dodge and Mobility of course to obtain ShadowDancer, and if I have room, she'll have all the dodgey and avoiding attack-of-opportunity feats up to Epic Dodge. So, probably not any Wizard feats, but if I can fit one or two essential ones in, maybe. She won't become a great Wizard by any means (may be limiting her final base INT to 19-20), her main feature will be her dextrous slipperyness, unhittability, and etherealness. I want her to be like a cursed ghost.

My current issue is wondering if I can make the requirements, especially DEX 30, to obtain the Epic Feat of Self-Concealment, even just once, but preferably the maximum five times? Can I assume that Self-Concealment will stack with the Shadow Child racial feature of 20% Concealment? Again, I want her to be practically a ghost, and rely on the concealment afforded by Shadow Child, ShadowDancer, and hopefully Self-Concealment, along with the Dexterity-based evasive armor-equivalence, to be ethereally nearly unhittable.

So, then, the DEX issue. How high can I make an initial Attribute upon Character Creation (and how low can I make the others)? Am I limited to starting with 16 in DEX, or is it possible and worth going higher? Are Tomes of DEX +5 really available, or only +2-3? (And how about Tomes of INT?) If I can minimize how many times I have to take Great Dexterity, I'll have room for other feats and so maybe be able to start taking the Self-Concealments early enough to get all the five allowed.

Thanks in advance for the help on this ambitious project of mine.

RJ
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:13 pm

I've worked out this build to be able to acquire the Self Concealment feat three times for a 30% permanent Concealment bonus.

But now, from the NWN Wiki, it's looking like that this Concealment bonus may not stack with the Shadow Dancer class feature Shadow Evade 20% Concealment bonus, as the Wiki says that, "Other than multiple Self-Concealment Feats, concealment does not stack", and "Concealment does not stack; only the highest value is used.". Which rather nerfs the Shadow Dancer perk, even though taking ten levels of Shadow Dancer conveniently gives the feats of Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion that are part of the prerequisite for the Self-Concealment feat.

Then I still don't know if either of these Concealments will stack with the Aenean Shadow Child racial Concealment of 20%.


So, can anyone advise me on whether these three different sources of Concealment will sum with each other:

Is it true that the Shadow Dancer Shadow Evade won't stack with the Self-Concealment feat?

Will the Shadow Dancer Shadow Evade stack with the Aenean Shadow Child racial concealment?

Will the Self-Concealment feat stack with the Aenean Shadow Child racial concealment? (By the way, is the Shadow Child racial concealment implemented as a variation of the Incorporeal script?)
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by RustyDios on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:09 pm

As far as I know Shadowchild subrace concealment is a flat and scripted 20% concealment bonus applied as an effect to your PC (on log-in/rest/death).. I think it uses the "effect concealment" effect (which applies both the 20% miss chance and the visual effect in one) .... ...

When I had Jay (my shadowchild) as a Shadowdancer, I noticed no difference in his concealment status when using Shadow Evade (20% from subrace tops or matches even a lv30 Shadowdancer, I don't think it stacks)... ... although the AC bonus (dodge, stacks) and DR (highest value used) are still good...


I don't know about how those two (subrace and s-evade) mesh with the Self-concealment feats... but logic would guess that only the highest value of concealment is used ((it gets applied as the same effect type, I'm guessing))... so to get benefit from the feats as a shadowchild you would need at least SCIII (30%)... and to get benefit from them as a (max) lv30 shadowdancer (when using s-evade) you'd need SCIV (40%) ((although that would also be a permanent bonus instead of a 5rd limited activated one)).... ..


It has been discussed previously that the subrace concealment be added as SCI & SCII to the PC's skin (for future epic upgrade to SCIII+).. I can't remember if the idea got lost in the ether, was shot down, or not achievable though... ... and I can't find the previous posts for those arguments to check them either...


Hopefully someone else can have more clarifying answers for you, but this should have helped anyway .... .... ...
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:04 pm

Thanks for all the advice, RD, I think I have a handle on the issues now. It leads me to believe that these are indeed all Concealments and so won't stack. (And finally found this thread where others confirm it.)

My new char Ranara needs to have the Concealment effect from the beginning, as the very reason for her is from Ramana being caught halfway phased between the Plane of Shadows and the Material, so I think Shadow Child is the way to start.

I kept calling it an ethereal effect, but interestingly, the true DnD Ethereal, which is only displayed in NWN via the spell Greater Sanctuary, is equal to 100% concealment unless making a hostile action.

What I would really want is similar to Incorporeal, like a Spectre, which is 50% concealment. That would be great if Shadow Child concealment were actually Self-Concealment feats I and II, and I could add three more to max out. That would give the actual opportunity to apply all five Self-Concealment feats allowed, which is otherwise impossible to do. (Pretty stupid to 'allow' you to take the feat five times when there's no way for you to do so.)

I couldn't find any threads dealing with this suggestion, either. Anyone know of this feasibility and possibility of re-scripting the Shadow Child concealment like this?

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:35 pm

Okay, have decided on the Self-Concealment issues. I'll definitely choose Shadow Child so the char has her cursed semi-phased concealment right away, as is appropriate to the story. But then I've worked out getting four Self-Concealment feats at higher level, and even five if I can ever find a Tome of DEX +4. So she's settled on high DEX high INT and obtaining Self-Concealments and Epic Dodge. First and foremost, she's a shadowy wraith, and with all the dexterous ethereal unhittability that comes with that idea.

Moving on, after receiving information in this thread, Missing Wizard Tip Links, I've been yet again reconsidering her build.

My plan for this complex multi-faceted character (who, to reiterate, is actually a secret other personality of my current main) had settled on Wizard 25 / Rogue 14 / SD1. I was wondering if I would have the slots to get Epic Spell Penetration, but if not, it looks like she can rely on breaching SR with Mordenkainen's Disjunction. I'll take Extend Spell and Empower Spell for sure, but otherwise was thinking about focusing on crafter feats. Sort of a cursed crazy recluse researcher of planar issues that crafts magic implements also. So, are all the Craft feats selectable as Wizard feats?

But I've also been tossing about Wizard 30 / Shadowdancer 10. Shadow Dancer 10 gets me the two feats required for Epic Dodge that only Rogue 13 could otherwise get me, and still allows me to keep max Hide and MS, since I so love that more than ephemeral Invisibility for Shadow-Jumping to safety off and on during combat. Since this character is an evolution from my Ranger/Rogue/SD who is high DEX and high INT, and specializes in Bow and Traps, I had thought about Rogue for points and trapping as backup weapon (since Wizards do run out of spells). But now I'm thinking that maybe Rogue isn't necessary for Open Lock and Disable/Recover/Set Traps (although love the Sneak Attack still), and I could go SD instead, if the SD class has any other real solid benefits besides HIPS and those two prereq feats to get Epic Dodge. See, the idea of her not having really good eyesight, since she's trapped semi-phased between planes and so sees the Material overlaid with the Shadow Plane all the time (why she's crazy), should extend to not really having the eyesight or patience to deal with the whole traps thing anymore. I've wondered how Wizards deal with traps and locks -- do the spells to untrap and unlock work well enough? Or are there alternate methods like blowing up doors or running (undead) summons into traps? Does harming a Summons harm the Wizard?

Also, is Delayed Blast Fireball the wizard's replacement for traps? How powerful is it in practice? And, how much do the scrolls of it cost to make? So as to know how practical it is to use it like a backup traps weapon to keep enemies from getting close to my soft-skinned wizard (who evolved from a soft-skinned rogue).

Then, I do like preserving the Bow as her weapon backup, and now she could target her aim by magic rather than eyesight. So maybe add some AA, like Wizard 25 / SD 10 / AA 5 or some combo thereof. So I need to know, is the Arcane Archer Arrow Enchantment just Attack Bonus, or AB plus Damage, i.e., an Enhancement to the arrows? Does this stack on top of all other arrow and bow qualities? Having never played either a full Shadow Dancer or an Arcane Archer, I'm just not sure how effective much of these two classes are for their respective defensive and offensive potentials. As pertains to SD, I've been under the impression that more than one level of that class is majorly defective in its real benefits. Maybe I should forget AA and SD and preserve that valuable Sneak Attack instead with my original idea of Wizard 25 / Rogue 14 / SD 1, and consider the bow more backup than substantial weapon. I've gotten by pretty well with the bow without any AA in my Ranger.

This may be the old story of trying to do too much with one character, but because I'm so inexperienced with builds, and particularly with how classes (especially wizards) may be implemented in Aenea, I am not sure exactly what is a survivable build that incorporates the idea of a decent-enough INTelligent wizard (who might, just might, craft) coupled with maximum DEXtrous ethereal unhittability, and Bow as a primary weapon backup.

Your ideas are solicited, thank you!



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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:08 pm

I am really one in the Rogue camp. My current AA design is the first one not partially Rogue, and having to use wings to cross a bridge due to traps is kinda sad. Yes; I understand summons can be used as mine detectors, but personally I find this even sadder.

Now both my mages are both Wizards/ Rogues/ Ftr, and the skill points available is amazing! And while they are both Gnomes, their shortbows are quite effective.

But I admit bias; love Rogues and believe SD is more about HiPS. For me, Imp Invis is good enough, and either spells or UMD have this covered as decent alternatives.

From all this, I would recommend the Wiz/ Rog/ SD (or warrior based) class combo mentioned first. Terrific Skill Pts, as the increasing INT aids the Rogue skill choices well, and allows for more versatility than the other two mentiooned. IMO.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:07 pm

Crideas is a pure wizard and can handle all but the toughest traps without issue. Skill points in disable device cover most, and a few memorized find/remove trap spells cover the dangerous ones.

Delayed blast fireball is a nifty concept, but in no way replaces traps. A poor substitute as best, albeit a high damage alternative which can be very nasty of applied tactically.

HiPS is a wonderful thing but replaceable with a custom item with unlimited invisibility.

Epic dodge is also wonderful, but even more costly than HiPS and counter to the common tactics for a wizard, requiring one to be directly attacked to come into play - which a skilled wizard will strive and usually succeed in avoiding through various means.

I would say the SD would be best avoided from a mechanical perspective, but it might be a flavor or concept choice.

AA and or rogue could work nicely. Rogue sneak attacks are easy to exploit with summoned monsters, and yes, the AA enchant arrow bonus is to both attack and damage and stacks with everything.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:00 am

Note from the Wiki:

Special: Rogue is the only class capable of disarming traps with a DC of 35 or greater. With 5 or more ranks in the set trap skill a character gets a +2 synergy bonus on disable trap checks.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:31 am

Thanks for your inputs!

Well, I think that you've both put me back in the Wizard / Rogue camp. And skilled in Traps. Now for how much Rogue and what the third class could be.

I'm reconsidering both Epic Dodge and HIPS now. If I forget Epic Dodge, I can easily get all five Self-Concealments with a Tome of DEX+2. And if I forget HIPS then I could put in another class, like AA. Forget both of those and I can reduce the number of Rogue classes and either increase the Wizard classes or do more with the AA.

I didn't know that one could get unlimited uses with a custom item of Invisibility or Improved Invisibility. Can one also get the spell quickened on that item, like a faster implementation without the somatic component? (That's the thing about HIPS, is that it's a very quick motion that can get you out of a scrape right now). Or did you mean an item that grants invisibility all the time it's worn, no matter the battle status?
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:14 pm

Epic Dodge is the best physical defense in the game; an auto-miss from the first attack. But dave is correct that an AoE spell from a crafty Mage will get around this. As Aenea has very limited PvP, I do not see this as a problem, only when the opponents are being run by the Staff. IMO, of course.

The unlimited Invis function would work much like the current Cloak of Displacement seen in the game; unlimited uses when pressed on the Quickbar. This is possible because Invis in only a 3rd lvl spell. One does not actually cast the spell.

Imp Invis is more restricted as an item to 5/day, I believe due to higher spell lvl. Check the Reward Voucher thread for confirmation.

Of my two Wizard/ Rog/ Ftr, the better build is Wiz 29/ Rog 10/ Ftr 1, IMO. I am a huge fan of Imp Evasion as a non-device ability. The Fighter lvl allows for both use of armors and shields; those lovely ones at the Beholder merchant, Calinthia armor merchant, and Macedone Magic Guild shop for instance. For some mages, Ranger is used instead to get A/TWF mode, but then one may lose heavy armor options.

But the best part is the tons of Skill Points! The synergy between raised INT for a Wizard, and the 8 base Skill Pts for Rogue make for a great match. Add the perm Tome and race increases, and watch the pts explode on Re-Lvl!!!

But there is the pure class Paragon bonus to consider, as the Wizard, Sorcerer, and some others have mighty nice perks, plus all the bonus XP one sees in game. But based on the earlier posts, versatility seems to be a major consideration, and Rogue screams this the loudest for me.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:31 pm

There are certain spells limited in uses/day on custom reward items. Some are healing spells, most are spells of level 3+ that attack or hinder opponents.

Both Cast Spell: Invisibility and Cast Spell: Improved Invisibility can be used as an unlimited uses/day. The drawback being that it takes a round to activate a spell from an item...there's no way for an item-cast spell to be Quickened.

Also, with delayed blast fireball, here in Aenea it does not create a "trigger area" that sets off the explosion when an enemy walks into it. Instead, it follows the pen and paper D&D mechanics...it creates an object at the target location that explodes after a preset delay (between 0 and 5 rounds). That ball of orange light? The blue curve revolves around it once every 6 seconds, so you can watch the countdown. Razz Definitely not a good replacement for actual traps if it goes off before or after enemies are close to it.

Interesting concept having two different builds for essentially the same character. Multiple personalities at work!

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:45 pm

Elhanan wrote:Note from the Wiki:

Special: Rogue is the only class capable of disarming traps with a DC of 35 or greater. With 5 or more ranks in the set trap skill a character gets a +2 synergy bonus on disable trap checks.

Clarification this, as the wiki does not cover Aenea-specific details:

The find/remove Traps spell has been changed in Aenea so that it no longer automatically disarms all traps, but now requires a caster level check. However, if that check succeeds, even traps that only a rogue would normally be able to disarm can be defeated by the spell.

That beng said, however, if the DC of the trap is greater than [20 + PC caster level], then the spell cannot possibly succeed as that is the maximum possible caster level check. The spell will still reveal the trap to the caster, it just wont be able to disarm it.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:55 pm

A note on HiPS vs. Unlimited invis:

Yes, there item use delay is a valid point. Keep in mind a couple things...

First, if you are watching your health carefully, you will have plenty of time to activate the item, unless you are battling overwhelmingly powerful enemies, at which point, even HiPS is not likely to save you.

If the spell is on a custom rod which you have quickslotted, you dont need to equip it at all to use it - I like using a rod with multiple spellcasting abilities because you can quickslot the rod and have access to multiple effects thru 1 quickslot by just right clicking the quickslot and changing the slotted ability rather than having to clear the slot and then re-slot a different ability.

While it is possible for HiPS to fail to conceal you, if the enemy makes a spot or listen check, Invisibility always succeeds. The counters being See Invis and Invisibility Purge (both of which no enemies have natively and must always be cast), or True Seeing, which will defeat HiPS also.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:00 pm

Lots of useful info here, thank you Elhanan, The Amethyst Dragon, and Dave!

Just a couple questions:

daveyeisley wrote:That beng said, however, if the DC of the trap is greater than [20 + PC caster level], then the spell cannot possibly succeed as that is the maximum possible caster level check. The spell will still reveal the trap to the caster, it just wont be able to disarm it.
There seems to be a couple of checks involved, like a Detect check and a Disarm check. So just wanted to make sure that this DC implemented here in Aenea is indeed the Disarm/Disable DC and not the native or base DC of the trap?


daveyeisley wrote:While it is possible for HiPS to fail to conceal you, if the enemy makes a spot or listen check, Invisibility always succeeds.
It is true that HIPS takes finesse to implement in a crowd (you have to make sure to de-select combat mode, and sometimes one guy out of a crowd still spots you that you have to lead away and unstealth and then restealth to try to hide from).

But as to Invisibility being impervious to a Listen Check, I regularly pass by lots of invisible NPCs, like Orc Destroyers, that I can see in that transparent form that I've assumed was my Listen. When they cast their spell, which I assume is Invisibility, I often just go walking to where I think they should be to find them, and I detect them when I get within a few feet. I have to put on my True Seeing to target them, but I do detect them.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:33 pm

After all the mucho help, tips, and research, I'm really impressed and inspired with the possibilities for mages in Aenea. And their ability to probably deal effectively enough in some way or another with traps and locks. Thank you everyone for the help!

So, the more I mull it over, the more I think that this crazy character might evolve into a pure Wizard at some point. So I'm leaning to sacrifice the 24 extra skill points that starting with the Rogue class would give, in favor of starting with the Wizard class for Level 1. That way I keep the option open for her future evolution via the Relevel Scales, after she sheds her previous instinct for trying to do things in roguish ways for a new inclination to focus on magical ways. Like I've mentioned before, I've felt that her focus on traps might become less of an inclination with her difficulty in seeing things clearly anymore on the Material Plane (I expect that she'll be going around with glasses on all the time). I'd prefer for her to find ways to deal with traps and locks magically, even if it means not recovering traps for later use. But I waver on whether having all the trap abilities of recover and set might really be a saving grace. Having not played pure wizards before, and certainly not an Aenean wizard, I just don't know yet.

Anyway, as I continue to work over my build spreadsheet*, I was wondering what First Level Feat that any of you prefer for your mages and m/c mages? For most all of my builds, I've tended to choose Luck of Heroes for the universal saving throws.


* Character Build Calculator - I highly recommend it!
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:20 pm

Luck of Heroes is always a good choice, as is Strong Soul as 1st lvl feat options. For Aenea and a more RP lean, I also like Silver Palm; hate to pay retail. And as Wizards have low hp, Toughness is a decent choice. And every Wizard I know of takes Extend Spell at some point, so it is not out of the question.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:22 pm

Courteous Mageocracy would be my pick if I could redo Crid's first level. It's a spellcraft bonus useful for getting maximum epic spell abilities, and you can only get it at 1st level, as opposed to other spellcraft feats.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:31 pm

daveyeisley wrote:Courteous Mageocracy would be my pick if I could redo Crid's first level. It's a spellcraft bonus useful for getting maximum epic spell abilities, and you can only get it at 1st level, as opposed to other spellcraft feats.
Well, this brings up a whole other topic to know with making a mage here, eh. Makes me think that I need to study more just to get Level 1 right, notwithstanding that I'll have to use my first Relevel Scales just when I learn what I'm doing (not even to mention using the second Relevel Scales when I want to evolve her.)

So, squeaking in another +2 Spellcraft from that Feat is really important for the Aenean Epic Magic System? I assume you've also taken Skill Focus Spellcraft and Epic Skill Focus Spellcraft?

And, Dave, based upon your experience, would you mind giving us the benefit of your hindsight, by outlining your idea of the perfect Level 1 build for a pure (Elven) Wizard? Stats, skills, and everything?

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:56 pm

Yes indeed, that extra +2 will get you that much closer to the 127 cap. It adds the equivalent of the bonus gained for a +4 INT tome.

Even with all the other feats that boost spellcraft, and a high INT, and even the skill bonuses from ascension, you will probably still need item upgrades to max it out to the full 127 (137 with Mystical Insight).

Courteous Mageocracy +2
Skill Focus +3
Epic Skill Focus +10
43 Base ranks at level 40 +43
18 Starting INT +4
10 Levelup Points to INT +5
10 Great Intelligence Epic Feats +5
+12 INT enhancement +6
Mystical Insight +10 (not subject to 127 skill cap)
Ascension +10
+4 Tome of Clear Thought +2

All of this still only gets you to 100, but due to requiring 10 Great Intelligence feats would preclude gaining Epic Spell Penetration and Epic Spell Focus.

Combat Casting and Improved Combat casting can add +4 and +8 respectively, but not to research rolls, only for the check to successfully cast. Still, sacrificing 2 Great Intelligence feats might be worth it for these (though that might cost you bonus spell slots).

This means getting skill bonuses from items, and/or in-game upgrade quests in order to max out. Technically the above list only gets you to 90/127 for the cap, and Mystical insight is added after that. So you still would need 37 points of bonuses in order to Max it. there are items that will help, for instance the Flow Watcher's Staff, or the Spellcraft gloves, or even custom items. Of course the tradeoff is having to forego other great items/properties for those slots and/or items.

Unless, you go the upgrade quest route, which should not be a requirement to achieve the max in my opinion.

So yeah, I think that extra +2 helps, because it applies to research AND to casting checks.

As for my ideal Build.... the gist is:

All stat points to INT

For skills, I would keep Concentration, Spellcraft, Appraise, Search, Disable Device, and Tumble topped off. As your Int allows you to invest in more skills, I would get Lore up to at least 10, and also consider discipline and Open Lock as much as possible. This may be handled best after a relevel once you have gained an INT tome.

Pre-epic Feats (7 + 4 wizard bonus)
Courteous Mageocracy
Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Extend Spell
Silent Spell
Empower Spell
Maximize Spell
Quicken Spell
Spell Penetration
Greater Spell penetration
Spell Focus (Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation, or Enchantment)
Greater Spell Focus (Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation, or Enchantment)

Epic Feats (7 + 4 wizard bonus)

Epic Skill Focus
Epic Spell Penetration
Epic Spell Focus
Mystical Insight
Great Intelligence x7

Those selections will get you as much spellcraft as feasible without sacrificing feats that will maximize your non-epic spellcasting.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:24 pm

Wowie, thanks a huge whole bunch for this! Even more than I had thought to trouble you for, about all the feats and skills throughout, but so really need to know.

Besides the surprise of seeing how Spellcraft is the lifeblood of a mage, I didn't expect so much investment in cross-class skills.

Now I know how to start her out, to keep her future open for this mage maximization, even if I still decide to make her a little roguey on the first go-round.

This is all so totally helpful, endless thanks. I'll be referring to this again and again!

study
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:23 am

In reviewing my build for this character's first evolutionary phase, I noticed another potential snag with the Self-Concealment feat.

NWN Wiki - Self Concealment feat

I'd come to the conclusion that, here in Aenea, one has the unique opportunity to actually get all five instances allowed of this feat that elsewhere has always been impossible to obtain, by getting the 30 DEX requirement with Tomes early enough in the build to actually allow taking all five Self-Concealment feats. Along with having the Improved Evasion and Defensive roll requirements, of course. Or by getting post-level 40 stat purchases in DEX and then rebuild.

However, looking at the requirements again, I noticed that one must also have Hide 30 and Tumble 30. Unless you can take the first Self-Concealment feat on the same Level 27 level-up that you're taking your 30th Hide and Tumble, then there would still be no way to get all five feats, because only after your 27th level would you have that Hide 30 and Tumble 30, and after the 27th level there's only four general feats left to take. I don't know whether there's other classes, like Fighter, that might give you more general/bonus feat slots in order to take that one more of this feat; however, that would be impossible with this already three classes build of Wizard/Rogue/SD.

So, my question is, can you actually take a Self-Concealment feat on the same Level 27 level-up that you're taking your 30th Hide and 30th Tumble that are part of the requirements for the feat?
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:28 pm

Take a look in here for notes:

http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Self_concealment

* Because of the dexterity requirement and the level cap, great dexterity is effectively required to take this feat more than once and is usually necessary even to take this feat the first time. (Without great dexterity, self concealment can only be taken at level 40 (as a bonus feat), and only by an elf or halfling with maximum dexterity.)

Because of this note, and the high DEX required, this would seem to penalize the Wizard class due to the INT desired there.

Personally, I know I do not make many DEX builds here or elsewhere, but I find this Feat to be too costly, and go with Imp Invis castings instead. For me, a grand Wizard/ Rogue will not be required to invest in these Feats; simply blow the opponent away instead.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:02 pm

Original Ramana is a DEX build, and it's awesome. She'll have enough DEX to go Epic Dodge. And I had planned the first evolution of this character Ranara to be both high enough DEX and high enough INT to be a real defensively dodgey ethereal rogue and good-enough wizard crafter. But, yes, for this character, it seems that more and more I should probably just pass on the entire DEXy roguey shadowy multiclass that I was envisioning and just go pure shadowchild Wizard with max maximized INT.

But I'm still curious about this Self-Concealment Feat, how the game developers ever envisioned all five instances of it might be made possible to take, or how perhaps it might be possible in Aenea.

Thus, the only thing stopping the possibility now is how to get the five feats starting at or past Level 27, because of the 30 Hide and 30 Tumble requirements.

Ramana Jala wrote:So, my question is, can you actually take a Self-Concealment feat on the same Level 27 level-up that you're taking your 30th Hide and 30th Tumble that are part of the requirements for the feat?
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by titus on Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:02 pm

Ramana Jala wrote:However, looking at the requirements again, I noticed that one must also have Hide 30 and Tumble 30. Unless you can take the first Self-Concealment feat on the same Level 27 level-up that you're taking your 30th Hide and Tumble, then there would still be no way to get all five feats, because only after your 27th level would you have that Hide 30 and Tumble 30, and after the 27th level there's only four general feats left to take. I don't know whether there's other classes, like Fighter, that might give you more general/bonus feat slots in order to take that one more of this feat; however, that would be impossible with this already three classes build of Wizard/Rogue/SD.
s.c. is also on the shadowdancer's bonus feat list. you can actually get epic dodge and all 5 s.c. as a normal [i.e., non-aenea, w/o tomes] shadowdancer.

also, iirc, you can get a feat w/skill-level dependencies on the same level provided that the dependencies are met. so you'd get your 30 tumble and 30 hide on lvl 27, then take s.c. as your feat on lvl 27. [but test this w/a leveler... Wink ]
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:09 pm

Yes, epic bonus feats are the solution. Check what classes allow SC to be purchased with thier bonus feats (it might just be SD, not sure off the top of my head) and factor that into your plan.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:43 pm

Thanks, I'll both research the SD bonus feats, and test this level 27 issue with a leveler! study
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:32 pm

Well, I finally took the plunge and created Ranara Duauth!

And I'm sort of heading in with the idea to go pure Wizard per Dave's recommendations, and see how wizards deal with everything, until a point ever comes that she can't deal, or it's just not her. Since she starts out as a freaked weakling only halfway on the physical plane, this might go just fine. And I had way back been intending to choose Gort for the lost little wanderer, but I've chosen Zolares instead, which will bring a lot of Ramana's history to the fore and so she'll have an interesting relationship with the Goddess of Death. Wish I had more time to write, to update her journal thread to tell you all about it.

Since it's been forever since I played a wizard (and then a m/c Ranger/Wizard), I didn't recall very well how it went. And now also with all these new Aenean spells! I've got all the spell lists and threads on recommended spells at hand...

Can't find info for Illusionary Monster/Object/Spell, other than in the level-up pick spell list Their respective commands (;;ill mon list/;;ill obj list/;; ill spl list) don't seem to be in the Magic-related commands section on the VC Command System page.

Also, the ;;vfx mask xxx veil doesn't seem to be working. Maybe it's because of the CEP head (the vfx hood doesn't cover it very well).
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:35 pm

A very freaked-out amnesiac little elf lady ran for a place that felt like safety, and huddled in a corner wondering who and what she is, muttering in Elven, "Ranara.... ranara.... [Lost one.... lost one....]".


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A being created by shadow and water, a wizard.
Is actually another persona of Ramana.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:15 am

Thanks to Panthan (Belarric), Raiden, Jay (Rusty), and most especially Titus's Pin for ushering Ranara into her new existence yesterday. Lovely RP with all of you!

[And thanks for resetting that late-night RP blunder of mine about her not (re-)learning Common until much later.]

Went to sleep at dawn here, my mind still churning keeping me awake with how to write up this story of the multiple personalities of Ramana, so you all can see it and understand it as I do.

And shoutout to Amaerillie for continuing the highjinks with the reincarnated holy cow, after the tree-shaped cat and the wanton slaying of the factionally-enraged bar patrons by Jay followed by his own resurrection. One of the most surreal funny nights ever! Nearly hurt myself with laughing so hard!

Unfortunately didn't screenie the tree, but here's the cow:

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:20 pm

@ RustyDios - About the sunlight damage for the Shadow Child at lower levels, it's only now at Level 5 that I noticed my HP dropping. Makes me think that there is actually some kind of level floor for that damage to occur, being as before this level, a jot or two of sunlight would have surely docked enough HP to kill her. And that didn't happen, nor did I notice her getting hurt, which is now at this level most definitely noticeable.

@ Dave - Have always shied away from cross-class skills because they were so expensive, but with so many here from high INT, and not much Wizardy things to spend them on, I will certainly be able to obtain a decent amount of those skills you recommended, and also some rogueish skills, even Set Trap. They are of course capped at half of levels, but still such can be very useful. (Only wish that Craft Trap was a Take20 action.)
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A being created by shadow and water, a wizard.
Is actually another persona of Ramana.

Other Character. : Dae, the panther,
companion to both Ramana and Ranara,
and the best real eye-witness to the
strange circumstance of those alternating personae.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:37 am

daveyeisley wrote:
Pre-epic Feats (7 + 4 wizard bonus)
Courteous Mageocracy
Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Extend Spell
Silent Spell
Empower Spell
Maximize Spell
Quicken Spell
Spell Penetration
Greater Spell penetration
Spell Focus (Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation, or Enchantment)
Greater Spell Focus (Evocation, Necromancy, Transmutation, or Enchantment)

Epic Feats (7 + 4 wizard bonus)

Epic Skill Focus
Epic Spell Penetration
Epic Spell Focus
Mystical Insight
Great Intelligence x7


Dave, there seems to be 6 Epic wizard Epic feats. Should I plan for two more Great INT? Or three more if Mystical Insight isn't a feat.

And what is this Mystical Insight? I can't find info on it. Is this an Aenean Epic Feat, or an Ascension feature?

Or should I think about Imbue Focus to make wands and rods? Is any spell known craftable into a wand?

How about Spell Focus: Rays? I can see one of those powerful negative energy rays being a staple.

Or if only this were to happen, I'd take two Self-Concealments feats (Refer the request thread about this here) :
RustyDios wrote:It has been discussed previously that the subrace concealment be added as SCI & SCII to the PC's skin (for future epic upgrade to SCIII+).. I can't remember if the idea got lost in the ether, was shot down, or not achievable though... ... and I can't find the previous posts for those arguments to check them either...

Thanks! study

P.S. - After a long study session in Crideas' library, including venturing to use one of those fancy quills to scribe her very first scroll, little Ranara fell asleep there next to the bookshelf, guarded by her faithful Dae.


Last edited by Ramana Jala on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:34 am; edited 4 times in total
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Is actually another persona of Ramana.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Angel of Death on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:18 am

And what is this Mystical Insight? I can't find info on it. Is this an Aenean Epic Feat ...

Yup. It's an Aenean Epic feat ... don't ask me what it does however, as I don't know. :/

My guess would be it's something to do with given a boost to spellcraft skill or something. But I'm probably wrong. . .
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by RustyDios on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:03 am

Mystical Insight is an Aenean feat.. it's not an epic feat though.. I think it was a general one... availiable to all "mages".. it adds +10 to a spellcraft check for the purposes of creating/researching epic spells (taking the skill cap to 138 I believe)... ... ...
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:14 am

Congrats on the scroll scribing Smile

As for the feats, yes, I forgot that epic level wizards get a bonus feat every third level instead of every fifth. So the extra two feats, I would recommend either combat casting/improved combat casting (so no attacks of opportunity for casting in melee as well as a +8 to casting checks for epic spells) OR, what I think would be better, personally... I would take the extra two Great INT feats. Bonus spell slots, Higher Save DCs, a few skill points, a +1 to epic spell checks (both research and casting).

Then again, you may wish to go a different route. I just think, if you are thinking to go pure wizard, then focusing on INT and spellcasting feats makes the most sense.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Angel of Death on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:25 am

RustyDios wrote:Mystical Insight is an Aenean feat.. it's not an epic feat though.. I think it was a general one... availiable to all "mages".. it adds +10 to a spellcraft check for the purposes of creating/researching epic spells (taking the skill cap to 138 I believe)... ... ...

Just saw that The Amethyst Dragon added the aenean specific feats to the front page - here. Mystical Insight is an epic feat as I thought. Smile

Mystical Insight - [New Feat, Epic]
• Prerequisite: Level 21+, Epic Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Epic Magic
• For the purposes of researching and casting epic spells, your Spellcraft check is considered to be +10 points higher than normal.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by RustyDios on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:33 pm

Yeah I noticed that too..... sorry for the bad info, I am afterall just a humble player like yourself... I can't get everything correct, though I was still spot on with what it did... Smile
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:39 pm

Thanks for pointing that out to me, Angel! Thanks The Amethyst Dragon for updating all that info!

And thanks for last night's expedition and incredible RP of Dave's Crideas with Ramana. The journey through that incredibly difficult dungeon that some evil maniac created (points finger back at him) was precious, along with how it revealed more of Crideas' personal history! And then Dave's brilliant exposition of Crideas discovering and elaborating Ramana's link to Ranara, was so perfect! Totally first class RP! A night well worth staying up past any reasonable bedtime, until finally much after sunrise I had to leave, only because I was passing out!

And also a shoutout to Rusty and his gnome for his clever interlude in the Astral Conjuction with Ramana! That 'dream' moment so tied in with what had been being discussed between Crideas and Ramana before the crash, it was mind-blowing for Ramana! And that 'dream' was included right back into the RP after, Ramana having 'fallen into a doze in her chair from fatigue and exhaustion while Crideas had left the room', and then she woke up and told Crideas about the dream!

This is hardly to mention or explain Jay's influence in all this. Crideas mentioned that his close friend Jay had met also met the shadow woman Ranara. That RP between Jay and Ranara had itself been a brilliant exposition of Jay's theories of the planar situation with Ranara. And then Ramana also recalled that 'Astral shift' moment she'd experienced while at Jay's place. So all this went into this conversation between Crideas and Ramana, on the realities and interactions of the various planes here, and Crideas' theory of the creation of Ranara. It's so awesome when there are intersections and inter-influences of RP-- Crideas and Jay are major explorers and expositors of the theory of Ranara, and thus Dave and Rusty are major co-developers of her story with me. I am so loving this! Thank you ever so much!

cheers
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:27 am

I have a question about the NWN Epic Spell feats in relation to the Aenean Epic Magic System.

On the AEMS page:


No longer just feats picked at level-up, the new system allows an epic caster (one that has gained the Epic Magic feat) to research customized epic spells.

Does this mean that the original NWN Epic Spell feats are still available and working, like Greater Ruin, Epic Mage Armor, Hellball, Epic Warding, etc?

Or is it unnecessary to consider taking any of these feats because these spells also available to be created in the Aenean system?
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:19 pm

They can be created with the new system. Hellball and Epic Warding should be available with the "preresearched" option in there, the others through correct picking of "seed effects".

Which reminds me, I need to dive back into that system and keep hammering at the researching bugs.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by RustyDios on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Both.... Smile

The "original epic spells" exist for backward compatibility and if you wish to take them as feats you still can do so (providing you meet the req's) and they will work as described and as intended...

However, they ALSO exist to learn using the AEMS if you want to put the time and effort into the research to learn them with all the tweaks that AEMS can offer, thus "freeing up" those feat slots for other things.


If you want just the one epic spell the quick and easy way to get it IMO is to aim at acquiring the feat, if you really want the full epic experience aim for learning the spell yourself... ...


So depending on your viewpoint, being "unnecessary to take" is a hard question to answer, but I hope my answer will do. If you want to get the feat for the spell you can do so, it will work and you will have the spell. If you think your PC will be able to learn (and cast) the spell using AEMS then aim for that instead, as it will effectively be able to be "tweeked" to how you want it to cast it.... ....


Maybe you should also wait for the opinion of an actual AEMS user to see how they think the AEMS version of an epic_spell_feat actually compares to the actual nwn_feat .... ....
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:10 pm

Okay, those are good enough answers for now, thanks. You've helped me to understand that either way is possible, but that there are potential advantages to tailor those same or similar spells with the AEMS.

I really didn't want to take those feats, because Greater INT is more important. I'm closely following Dave's suggested feat list as discussed above.

And yep I will discuss this more with an AEMS user when I get further down the line. Thanks again!
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:27 am

I'm getting more into Ranara and me discovering more about Shadow Magic, that is, the magic that comes from the Shadow Weave and the Plane of Shadow.

I've been reading up on what I can find, mostly the DnD Tome of Magic.

But if any of you have any suggestions about adapting to our NWN setting to create a Shadow Caster, I'd welcome such!

Thanks in advance! study
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Angel of Death on Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:15 pm

Ramana Jala wrote:I'm getting more into Ranara and me discovering more about Shadow Magic, that is, the magic that comes from the Shadow Weave and the Plane of Shadow.

I've been reading up on what I can find, mostly the DnD Tome of Magic.

But if any of you have any suggestions about adapting to our NWN setting to create a Shadow Caster, I'd welcome such!

Thanks in advance! study

Hmm...
"Shadow Magic is unfamiliar to most enemies and, especially at higher levels, far more difficult to counter, disrupt, and dispel ..."
Those are the 3 main aspects of Shadow Magic, which I find unable to find a way to adapt into the NWN setting without some major scripting...doubtful The Amethyst Dragon would set aside time for such a project, he's got plenty enough on his plate as it is.

My suggestion is just roleplay Ranara as a Shadow Magic user, having found a way to draw her magic from the Plane of Shadow (perhaps through Ramana's incident which created her split personality). king

Took a glance at the Shadowcaster Class in Tome of Magic, most of the abilities gained from it could easily be substituted by item properties. Like Umbral Sight (3rd level) and the "Sustaining Shadow" ability (5th, 10th, and 15th level)...could either use one or more custom vouchers to place darkvision, immunity to disease&poison on an item, or find a merchant which sells a periapt of health and another item with darkvision in-game....as for the Sustaining Shadow ability's need to only eat a single meal every week (5th level), well, the Clear Spindle Ioun Stone can be used as substitute for that. Smile



Oh, and I wouldn't use the term 'Shadow Weave' for Shadow Magic here, as it's a FR specific term for that setting's magic system...but maybe that's just me? =)
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:32 pm

You can pretty much roleplay the shadowy aspect however you wish. Aenea isn't connected to the Forgotten Realms, so there isn't the Shadow Weave (or, technically, the Weave).

I just wrote up some background info for those really concerned about role-playing with Aenea-specific info. It's not something I've put in writing before simply because I hadn't really seen the topic come up.

Magic in Aenea (non-game-mechanics info)

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:12 pm

Oh, this is excellent, thank you!

I'd already RP'd Ranara being sustained mostly without food, water, or sleep.

I actually hadn't realized that Aenea wasn't Forgotten Realms, so that's useful to know.

And being as she is the product of Ramana's unconscious self, perhaps this all might be better explained as being some split made in the Astral, rather than the Shadow Plane.

I'll have to digest this all and see how to put it together for this setting.

Thanks a bunch!
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Is actually another persona of Ramana.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:57 am

Elhanan wrote:Note from the Wiki:

Special: Rogue is the only class capable of disarming traps with a DC of 35 or greater.
Is this still true here in Aenea?

As I get my wizard up in levels, I'm wondering if she will come across this limitation in Disable Trap.
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Sensate and practitioner of the Way of Pleasure.

Other Character : Ranara Duauth -
A being created by shadow and water, a wizard.
Is actually another persona of Ramana.

Other Character. : Dae, the panther,
companion to both Ramana and Ranara,
and the best real eye-witness to the
strange circumstance of those alternating personae.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:53 am

As a guess, Yes; as PW play is where most 35+ DC's are seen. But pls get confirmation.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Angel of Death on Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:50 pm

@Ramana: Yes. If your PC does not have rogue levels, you will run into that cap/limitation.
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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Ramana Jala on Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:15 pm

Thanks for the infos, guys.

So I guess this means that any augmentation of my wizard's Disable Trap over 35 would be useless, eh? I assume it's not just capped by the cross-classing limit on skills.

I guess I'll just have her rely on crafting her own traps, then, for the Strong, Deadly, and Epic traps that she won't be able to collect. That would be more realistic with her poor vision, anyway, as one can always disable a trap you know because you yourself made it and deployed it, but to disable something that you don't know while having with poor eyesight would have less success as the complexity and intensity of the trap increases.

There's no similar limitation on Open Lock skills for non-rogues, right?

Cool


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Is actually another persona of Ramana.

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and the best real eye-witness to the
strange circumstance of those alternating personae.

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Re: Ranara Duauth, cursed Shadow Mage

Post by Elhanan on Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:39 pm

None of which I am aware; see here for tips:

http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Open_lock
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