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  1. #1

    Default What's a good Drow Build?

    I recently got 400 favor (on my lovely AA ^_^ thanks for the previous tips guys), I was thinking of creating a new character to play occasionally with my friend who is low level.

    Can someone suggest a Drow build/ class that would be viable and fun? I know that the enhancement pass is coming but the current changes are online on the wiki or on a pdf file that someone posted. I tried on my own to make sense of it for 2 hours yesterday but no avail. I'm actually not even sure what you can reset in the enhancement pass, so I don't even know where to start. So if someone could help provide a build that wouldn't get blown up in the enhancement pass I would be grateful.

    I'm leaning toward a warchanter because Drow's racial bonuses seem to compliment bards and the fact that I realized I really hated how slow casting felt no matter how high I hit in dps. I personally prefer hitting fast and having bunch of number pop up above the monsters heads, so i'd like to go melee that has that trait (since AA is ranged with that trait XD). However I can't tell how I should start...will we be able to change feats? Starting stats, and enhancements in the pass? Because i'm afraid if I follow a build i'll end up with a gimped character after the pass.

    Thank you very much if you can help ^_^.

  2. #2
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Bard 16 / rog 2 / ftr 2 is a solid build now and will likely continue to be a solid build post-U19; so is bard 18 / rog 2 or pure bard. I prefer TWF on a drow, since between higher DEX & their rapier / SS bonuses it's a natural fit. That's also why drow are a good choice for TWF pallies, who benefit more from +2 CHA than melee bards do, IMHO.

    I was gonna suggest drow arcane caster as well, but since you said you don't enjoy casters, I guess that's out.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    Bard 16 / rog 2 / ftr 2 is a solid build now and will likely continue to be a solid build post-U19; so is bard 18 / rog 2 or pure bard. I prefer TWF on a drow, since between higher DEX & their rapier / SS bonuses it's a natural fit. That's also why drow are a good choice for TWF pallies, who benefit more from +2 CHA than melee bards do, IMHO.

    I was gonna suggest drow arcane caster as well, but since you said you don't enjoy casters, I guess that's out.
    Okay I decided to go TWF pally because bards seemed really hard to level up without a good party. The build I decided was 18 pally with 2 rogue level at 1 and 8. I'm hoping that'll be fine even when the U19 repass comes.

    btw whats a SS bonus? Plus do you think drow's vorpal blade enhancement thing is worth it? in u19

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    Frankly I;'d still go with a THF bard. By far my most fun char, and has levelled faster than any character I ever had. Plus when a party sees you coming, they will cheer and clap as you sing

    Aes.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by istaria1 View Post
    frankly i;'d still go with a thf bard. By far my most fun char, and has levelled faster than any character i ever had. Plus when a party sees you coming, they will cheer and clap as you sing

    aes.
    thf?

  6. #6
    Community Member AbyssalMage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebris-Niatellim View Post
    thf?
    THF or 2HF - Two Hand Fighting

    And I would second the THF also. Saves 3 feats and it allows you to focus ability points in STR, INT, and CON. I would go 14 Dex still though so evasion works

    But the enhancement pass does make going TWF (Two Weapon Fighting) kinda desirable on Drow, Elf, and Halfling with all of the new boosts they recieved for TWF.

  7. #7
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebris-Niatellim View Post
    Okay I decided to go TWF pally because bards seemed really hard to level up without a good party. The build I decided was 18 pally with 2 rogue level at 1 and 8. I'm hoping that'll be fine even when the U19 repass comes.
    The Batman type builds have always been popular. They are reasonably self sufficient and immensely forgiving -- making them a solid choice for players.

    One thing to look at is the changes to the enhancements. There are often advantages to going with 4 levels of a splash instead of 2 like in the old system. There also is no real demand for 6/12/18 levels of a main class since PrE tiers are not really stacked like that with the new system.

    Be aware that paladin Divine Might is probably worthless on a build like you are considering since you almost certainly want to take advantage of DEX and CHA as a drow. This means you're leaving yourself with very little in the way of STR and the new version of DM is a boost to STR equal to your CHA modifier (not a boost to damage).

    I would take Weapon Finesse and enough rogue levels (I think the magic number is 4 levels) to unlock DEX to damage on finessed weapons with the WF feat. Since you have to have enough DEX to qualify the TWF line anyway you might as well get something useful out of it.

    INT on the build has to be 14 to keep Disable Device and Search at max values. It has to be 18 to also keep UMD at max value. That is a huge investment in INT when you're not going to use it for anything else. Taking more rogue levels lets you hold INT down near 14 and top up periodically. IMO a better idea.

    Personally, I'd have gone a different direction but you seem to have your mind made up about the paladin. IMO pure rogue is a better choice. Starting 18 INT, 16 DEX, rest in CON with stat increases in INT. Very serviceable rogue with excellent assassination potential. Using a +1 tome (easily had on the AH) qualifies the full TWF line. Rogue enhancements plus Weapon Finesse give DEX to hit and damage with rapiers.

    But, your character so play what you'll enjoy.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    The Batman type builds have always been popular. They are reasonably self sufficient and immensely forgiving -- making them a solid choice for players.

    One thing to look at is the changes to the enhancements. There are often advantages to going with 4 levels of a splash instead of 2 like in the old system. There also is no real demand for 6/12/18 levels of a main class since PrE tiers are not really stacked like that with the new system.

    Be aware that paladin Divine Might is probably worthless on a build like you are considering since you almost certainly want to take advantage of DEX and CHA as a drow. This means you're leaving yourself with very little in the way of STR and the new version of DM is a boost to STR equal to your CHA modifier (not a boost to damage).

    I would take Weapon Finesse and enough rogue levels (I think the magic number is 4 levels) to unlock DEX to damage on finessed weapons with the WF feat. Since you have to have enough DEX to qualify the TWF line anyway you might as well get something useful out of it.

    INT on the build has to be 14 to keep Disable Device and Search at max values. It has to be 18 to also keep UMD at max value. That is a huge investment in INT when you're not going to use it for anything else. Taking more rogue levels lets you hold INT down near 14 and top up periodically. IMO a better idea.

    Personally, I'd have gone a different direction but you seem to have your mind made up about the paladin. IMO pure rogue is a better choice. Starting 18 INT, 16 DEX, rest in CON with stat increases in INT. Very serviceable rogue with excellent assassination potential. Using a +1 tome (easily had on the AH) qualifies the full TWF line. Rogue enhancements plus Weapon Finesse give DEX to hit and damage with rapiers.

    But, your character so play what you'll enjoy.
    I haven't decided on paladin (lol) it was the one class I never expected to play. The only reason I chose it was because 1. the ench pass is coming up so I could change it if I hated it 2. I could level and reset everything in the ench pass 3. I could disable traps and pick locks 4. And it seemed like a viable build

    I like rogues a lot and how they synergize with drow (beside the hp) but the two major problems is that 1. My friend who im playing with on this character is a rogue 2. I played a rogue before and I felt suboptimal having to sneak to do damage (maybe im inexperienced but I rarely noticed the damage boost, maybe more noticeable at higher levels?).

    To make things clear i'm open to any new build so long as it uses TWF (which will be good on drows anyway), I also love attack speed enhancements (rogue haste...I love it so much) since what I look for it fast hitting characters HPS (hits per second) anyone?

    I'm still interested in the bard, but it was a horrible experience when I was having trouble soloing korthos normal and hard quests, something that never happened on any other class I had played. Maybe I was playing it wrong (I did use a very vague wiki build), do they start off real slow or something?

    So far TWF bards, Pure rogue, TWF paladins all seem to have problems Q_Q. Pure rogue (friend uses it, really low dmg and squishy?), TWF Bards (bad experience but no real bad reason), and from what I can tell TWF paladins wont be as optimal as they were pre-19?

  9. #9
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebris-Niatellim View Post
    I haven't decided on paladin (lol) it was the one class I never expected to play. The only reason I chose it was because 1. the ench pass is coming up so I could change it if I hated it 2. I could level and reset everything in the ench pass 3. I could disable traps and pick locks 4.
    As I said, the Batman build has always been popular. You should be able to do all of the things you are looking to do.

    I don't think that the builds need 18 paladin levels. I will point out the things I said in my reply to unbongwah concerning how STR and DEX builds would play differently. I'll also note that you could get mileage out of DM if CHA can be pushed high enough -- so that was a fair assessment from unbongwah.

    Since you are looking to group with a friend who is planning to play a rogue it does make sense to go with a melee character that can carry some of the load. If you are still open to suggestions I would recommend you look at either ranger or monk.

    Ranger, in particular, gets what you are looking for and without the pressure on the character for DEX to qualify the TWF line. You might be able to get away with a ranger 12/paladin 4/rogue 4 which should play similar to the Batman builds but could drop DEX to gain CHA and STR. Use insightful reflexes instead for reflex saves and go with unbongwah's STR focused recommendation.

    As unbongwah notes, enhancement tiers generally require only a few levels in a class. And, as I've observed, 4 seems to be the tipping point for the best of them. With 4 paladin levels you can get DM and the turn undead ability to use it. With 4 rogue levels you can open up the rogue trees for some stat bonuses and other goodies. With the ranger levels you get the full measure of TWF at no feat cost to you (reducing the strain on feat selections) and also gain access to at least 2 of the ranger trees (depending on how many of the paladin/rogue trees you access).

    This would let you get the TWF you are looking for and to also maximize the benefits of CHA and DM.

  10. #10
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebris-Niatellim View Post
    I played a rogue before and I felt suboptimal having to sneak to do damage (maybe im inexperienced but I rarely noticed the damage boost, maybe more noticeable at higher levels?).
    Rogues don't need to "sneak" (i.e., use stealth) to get sneak atks; instead, you need to attack a target while it isn't aggroed on you or is blind or helpless. This makes soloing a rogue pretty challenging; it's best if you partner up with a meat shield who draws aggro first. [Note that some mobs have high Fortification or seem to be completely immune to SAs, so you'll do less DPS against them.]
    I'm still interested in the bard, but it was a horrible experience when I was having trouble soloing korthos normal and hard quests, something that never happened on any other class I had played. Maybe I was playing it wrong (I did use a very vague wiki build), do they start off real slow or something?
    The first few levels of bard can be rough, for much the same reason low-lvl arcane casters have a hard time: i.e., low HPs, low-ish DPS, not much self-healing, 1st-lvl spells are pretty blah. Splashing rogue exacerbates this, because it delays your bard abilities an extra level.
    TWF paladins wont be as optimal as they were pre-19?
    Paladins have never had the DPS of ftrs or barbs; even monks, rogues, and rgrs can outshine them in certain situations. But a couple of the changes in U19 will make TWF pallies worse, unfortunately. First, Divine Might is going from a flat +2/4/6/8 bonus to dmg (which favors TWF over THF) to an insight bonus to STR (which favors THF over TWF); the upside is DM now lasts up to 2 mins. (2x as long) and no longer has a min. base CHA pre-req. And second, some of defensive stance's bonuses will be S&B-only, which will hurt any TWF/THF pallies built around DoS (namely losing the +STR bonus). On the plus side, KotC now adds up to +2d6 dmg to evil enemies, in addition to bonus dmg vs undead/EOs.

    The silver lining is racial PrEs are still supposed to be in the works (knock on wood); drow were slated to gain access to Tempest, which will really help out TWF pallies. At least, I sure hope so, or I'm gonna feel really dumb for continuing to level up a drow pally myself!
    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    But, the emphasis on DEX means higher reflex saves (better in AoE and ray based spell saves as well as moving thru traps to disable).
    I've never felt like my Reflex saves were too low on my TWF pallies, thanks to Divine Grace + base DEX 17. And as for DEX-based rog / pallies w/trap skills - well, funny you should mention those...

  11. #11
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenebris-Niatellim View Post
    Okay I decided to go TWF pally because bards seemed really hard to level up without a good party.
    Actually, I think my drow bard was easier to level than my pally, which surprised me: squishier, yes, but with better buffs & self-healing plus good CC w/Fascinate; and my rog splash + bard skill pts meant I was able to add some trap skills as well.
    btw whats a SS bonus? Plus do you think drow's vorpal blade enhancement thing is worth it? in u19
    SS = "short sword," one of the weapons drow racial weapon bonuses applies to. Or it stands for "Spellsinger," one of the bard PrEs. As always, we see the perils of D&D's overloaded terminology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    One thing to look at is the changes to the enhancements. There are often advantages to going with 4 levels of a splash instead of 2 like in the old system. There also is no real demand for 6/12/18 levels of a main class since PrE tiers are not really stacked like that with the new system.
    AFAICT, the core PrE abilities are still tiered @ 6/12/18/20; but there's also one @ lvl 3. The T1/2/3/4/5 abilities only req. lvls 1-5 in a class, though; which I think is poorly balanced (they should've been tiered every other or third class lvl), but I wasn't consulted.

    What I'm trying to figure out is if, say, the lvl 18 pally core ability is still worthwhile on a build like this, or whether something more heaviliy MCed is better.

    I disagree w/Therigar's suggestion of going DEX-based. Divine Might is still a key DPS boost for pallies and now that it's an insightful STR bonus, the rationale for going w/DEX pallies just got worse. But I'm also presuming this build is not intended as a trapper. Base stats of 16 / 16 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 16 is still a solid starting point for a drow pally, IMHO, w/lvl-ups into STR and +1 DEX tome for ITWF/GTWF. Aim for pal 14 / rog 2 initially to get Zeal + Evasion; at that point you can decide if more pally, rog, or perhaps ftr lvls suit this build better.

  12. #12
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbongwah View Post
    I disagree w/Therigar's suggestion of going DEX-based. Divine Might is still a key DPS boost for pallies and now that it's an insightful STR bonus, the rationale for going w/DEX pallies just got worse.
    Let's look deeply into the suggestion of 16 CHA with no level increases. This means CHA is going to end up somewhere around 30 or 32 for most players. That is a +10 boost to STR for +5 points of added damage. Sticking with the paladin enhancements a player can pick up another 4 STR for a total of a +7 boost to damage. (The impact on to hit numbers is mostly irrelevant since the previous pass changing how to hit is calculated.) This is very nearly the same as players were getting with DM4 and better than they were getting with DM3.

    My thought is that, with a low CON, the build is better off playing more like a rogue. Far from not intending the build as a trapper, I'm looking at it as a rogue with save boosts and heals. The lower INT does not really hurt trap ability (both search and disable are INT skills). But, the emphasis on DEX means higher reflex saves (better in AoE and ray based spell saves as well as moving thru traps to disable).

    The DEX emphasis is to discourage overzealousness in melee where the player might make the mistake of thinking they are the DPS focus. Rogues know better than that so hit second to make sure aggro stays elsewhere.

    If I were choosing drow as the basis for a build I'd be going with a rogue pure and pure. My suggestion is merely in keeping with that rogue mind set.

    Lastly, note the DM and STR enhancement numbers. If CHA can somehow reach 34 then paladins can get the same +8 damage boost that they were getting with DM4 under the old system. My assumption on CHA is that it is base value + 4 tome + 12 gear. So, 16+4+12=32. Drow could start with 18 CHA instead, but doing so takes away from DEX and CON. Lowered DEX puts a strain on the TWF line requiring a higher DEX tome. Players really should be more experienced to run with lowered CON scores -- even 12 is a bit risky IMO considering the changes to toughness. Still, it could be done.
    Last edited by Therigar; 08-14-2013 at 12:41 PM.

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