I have always been a big supporter of being self-sufficient, and this colors virtually every forum post I make... I presume that everyone else is self-sufficient too.
A while back, I was reading a thread posted by someone who had Enough with the self-sufficiency nonsense. This thread stuck in my mind, and got me to thinking - how to help a new player with zero knowledge of this game, but with the desire to be as self-sufficient as possible?
Self-sufficiency: The ability to provide every needed buff, to heal oneself, and to contribute to completing the goals of the quest.
Energy Resistance: 30 points of Fire/Acid/Electric/Cold/Sonic
Protection (from Elements): Limited immunity to Fire/Acid/Electric/Cold/Sonic
Freedom of Movement: Immunity to slippery surfaces, immunity to hold spells
Deathward: Immunity to negative energy, specifically level drain
16 minute Nightshield/Shield: Immunity to magic missles
Greater Heroism: Boost to saves, to-hit, skills, and grants immunity to fear
True Seeing: Allows one to hit blurred/displaced mobs normally
This can be accomplished in many ways.
1. Cure Serious Pots w/ Serious Healing Amp
2. UMD and Heal scrolls
3. Racial/Class per-rest abilities (Halfling marks, Paladin Lay On Hand, Half-Elf dilletante feat)
4. Spell Points (Cure Light - Cure Critical, Heal)
Of all of these, the ability to heal from spell points is the best (IMHO) - you get it early, it hits hard without specialty gear, and you can use it on other people.
Contribute to the quest goals
Generally speaking, quests tend to have one or more of the following goals:
1. Kill the bad "guy": Fight your way to the big bad boss, and kill him.
2. Protect the good "guy": Keep someone from dying. Sometimes you can heal them, sometimes you can't.
3. Delivery Boy: Take something from point A to point B.
In addition, most quests have one or more of the following that gives you a bonus to your XP:
1. Find Secret Doors
2. Kill a lot of mobs
4. Open locked doors/chests
I'm sure there are many builds that can do all of these things, but the one that I like the best is the Drow 12 Cleric/6 Ranger/2 Rogue.
Note: I welcome corrections and additions.