A solution to the Weapon Finesse question for weapon/shield that will allow you to drop the Finesse feat and still use a weapon and shield EFFECTIVELY is to carry and use a sling/shield pair for closeup work / Implosion protection. You won't get the AA bonuses to attack and damage but should still have a quite respectable AB and still get benefits from Point Blank Range and Rapid Shot.
West African proverb: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.' - Quoted by Theodore Roosevelt, misquoted by many.
Would it be a good idea to take a bard level instead of a wizzy level, as it would keep me from having a mixed ab until aa. Itw ould still be arcane (and be able to use scrolls)... have I missed something? (going to the players hndbook from dnd the bard retains the will save high and also gets a reflex save - has this changesd in nwn?). On top of this it will give me acccess to UMD, so i could go 9 monk/1 bard/29 aa/1 bard, as unless this has also changes bards also get tumble as a class kill. This is all based on dnd rules, not nwn, so please tell me if I'm wrong.
[EDIT] P.S. this would in fact score a xp penalty, but I don't really care, xD [/EDIT]
The only thing you gain by going bard is UMD, and i guess 1 reflex save, but reflex is quite high on this build anyway. Its only 1 level, so ab won't change, as both wiz and bard get 0 ab at level 1, and monks get tumble anyway, so that is covered. I don't think its worth the xp penalty, because you can use scrolls anyway, this build will be very nice in LL once you have a (or several) dustbone bow, and that is where you will really feel the xp penalty. UMD will max at 43, not sure if thats enough to use the really good stuff that you would want to umd (like dach staffs, for the epic warding).
Hah, I just find it funny that a higher ab could be achieved through taking 2 wizard levels ratehr than bard levels, however illogical that is.
Despite not minding about the xp penalty, it does matter that at level 10 monk an additional ac is gained; but a bards bard song will bump a will save of 59 up to 60 (if planewalker) and so when bard song is active saves will be - Saving throws Fortitude: 61 Reflex: (74/75/75) Will: 60 (59 as Wraith or Aq. Elf) .... xD, despite only haveing one use a day (or so) and yet only 2 skiol points have to be sacrificed as an aqquatic elf (because the minus to int means that you get 4 ability points before the subrace activates)
But maybe with UMD I can get a scroll or item (or wand, etc) that will allow vb eto counterbalance the 1 ac I lose, thngs other than arcane and including class specific.....
UMD + reflex point + bard song (+1 attack, +1 damage) vs. AC point + XP Penalty
[EDIT] Edited to incorperate yue's commment [/EDIT]
The main problem with taking a level of bard for mainly the bard song is that your level 1 bard song is only going to last a minute. I tend to prefer bonuses that are more permanent and won't require you to rest in order to gain them. Being a monk/wiz gets you access to a decent amount of items, and not having a control class with UMD really defeats the purpose of having UMD in the end as most of the higher level equipment that is class/alignment restricted won't be touchable. And of course there's the XP penalty to consider--I got my AA to 50 a whole lot faster than my other AA managed to do so...and I'm all for saving what little time there is to be had.
All humans are liars, one of their own scholars has told me so.
I'll comment on the bard idea, since my first AA got to level 56 as a 2 bard / 9 monk / 29 AA. I started as a bard and finished as a bard (i.e. bard at level 1 and 40). It's off the beaten path, but probably for a reason. Disadvantages:
- You need to do an alignment change before you can take level 2. You need a friend to help you before you can even begin playing! I had to do it again in my 30s.
- AC suffers by 1 if you do monk 9 instead of monk 10.
- While it's spiffy having 43 UMD when all done, it's not enough to use anything worthwhile at these levels. Actually if you find a real bard to sing for you, you can indeed use most things, but that's not very common. Turned out to be a dud for me.
- Wizard can use wizard dachy staves for epic warding. Bards don't get Dachy gear. They can use any with UMD, but guess what -- 43 UMD isn't high enough. Almost all the good bard gear isn't class restricted.
- Yes, I put points into perform. Level 2 bardsong is pretty useless here -- +1 attack is something high level AA's don't need, and for only 10 rounds at a time twice per day? No. About the only use for it is to really tick off any real bards in the party as their immensely useful bardsong now is locked out from everyone for 10 rounds -- sort of like casting +1 GMW on people to cheese off the mage with +14 GMW (of course fighters always know about GMW, most seem to not fathom bard bonus and curse).
- You get the 20% xp penalty if you don't do wizard. Didn't seem to matter much to me -- I got my AA levels very fast since I took her everywhere.
- Wizard gets a pixie. I named mine "Pusher" if that might ring some bells.
- It's different.
- You get to cast protection from evil once per day. Go find a Balor hand and call it even.
Yes, since dex and wisdom are interchangeable in the AC department it doesn't particularly matter which you put your focus into, though if you were to use Zen Archery it would mean dropping another feat in order to take it along with the understanding that you would never be able to use a shield. To do so would cost you more AC than you would gain. That and the fact that currently the maximum saving throws required by the module are more reflex than will, but that may change.
You would still keep evasion and improved evasion as they are granted feats for a monk, but their effectiveness may be reduced by the significantly lower reflex save (essentially swap this build's reflex save with its will save...but it's more complicated than that). Also to consider is the fact that AAs do not get Great Wisdom as an epic bonus feat; you will have to start with more points in wisdom to balance that out. So, to summarize for your analysis of the opportunity cost:
Gains: -Higher will save -Better DC on Monk combat abilities if you choose your melee weapon to be unarmed (however you won't be able to hit much as you don't have any str or dex).
Losses: -Must use an additional feat -Lower reflex save -Inability to use a shield to gain AC -No melee combat ability (not detrimental if you intended on not taking weapon finesse) -Lower final primary ability due to Great Wisdom not being an epic bonus feat for AAs
All humans are liars, one of their own scholars has told me so.
Another bit I heard (although I don't know the feasibility) was a Cleric AA - using the zen archery feat. The main benefit being the ability to utilize all the cleric attack buffs. That might turn into another post, but throwing it out there in case anyone wants to try it.