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Ultimate Begginer. (Sort OF) (Lots of questions!)

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Ultimate Begginer. (Sort OF) (Lots of questions!)

Hey everyone.

Recently, I just decided to get back to Neverwinter Nights.

The main reason I played before was because a friend of mine invited me to play on a roleplay server called Arelith (which I enjoyed)

The biggest trouble I have is trying to understand how the game works. I'm not familiar with a lot of things.

First, I'll start with the things I have most difficulty: Combat and builds.

I just booted up singleplayer, and when I got to the part I had to fight some goblins (which I did sucessfully) but I got confused.

The first things that popped up: Initiative rolls, hit rolls and damage rolls.

What does initiative do? And the hit rolls, what are they dependant on? I see numbers in these rolls but I don't know where they emerge from. Are they related to the weapon I'm using? Are they related to the enemy? Why did I miss? How did I land a hit?

And then, damage rolls. I picked fighter because I'm trying to learn and it's a very basic class. What is my damage?

I'm really confused to know where all these numbers come from.

The second part is levelling/builds.

Okay, so I just leveled up (and picked recommended, which I read somewhere is a mistake)

What should I do? What stats should I level up? I read somewhere that in my case, fighter, I should raise strenght and constituition to 16, but why? What are they related to? What feats should I take?

One thing that I sucessfully learned by myself (kind of) is that Power Attack mode halves my attack dice pool (harder to land hits) but raises he damage I do (doubles my damage dices?) but how do I see what my chances of attacking are and what my damage is?

It's funny because I played some recent MMORPG's and the weapons are like Broadsword - 10 damage, and Longsword - 16 damage, but then I go on NWN and I find Broadsword 1d6 and Longsword 1d8.

One thing that I also learned was that 1d6 (according to DND systems) means one six sided dice, which means my sword will do anywhere from 1 to 6 damage? Am I mistaken here? But what about my strenght, does it raise that damage?

I am really, really confused about everything but I want to learn the foundation so I can get back to Arelith. I am a pretty good roleplayer, because I've roleplayed in many chatrooms and even some roleplay (social based) games, and I know how to develop great backstories and great characters, but my lack of understanding of game mechanics is the thing that's bothering me most, because my character will be poorly developed in terms of skills, and will probably have a dumb/senseless build with things invested where they shouldn't have been.


If anyone could direct me to a massive, in-depth guide of this game, I would be grateful, if not, the only answering these questions would help a lot.


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You should start with the nwn Guide Book that accompanies the game and generally DnD rules.

have fun! 

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The NWN Wiki ( is also a useful reference.

To answer some of your questions:

Intitiative is a holdover from P&P D&D and affects almost nothing in NWN. You do not need to really worry about it.

Your chances to hit, and how much damage you do on hit, are each determined by a simulated die roll to which you add various bonuses. You can potentially get bonuses from a wide varitey of different sources, your ability stats, magical enhancements to weapons, feats, spells, etc.

To break some of this down, the various die rolls reflect a random range of numbers. If for example you are using a Longsword (whose base damage is 1d8), your base damage with this weapon could be any number between 1 and 8, inclusive (on average you will do 4 damage).

To this you will add the bonus from your Strength Modifier. For each ability score, you get a +1 for each 2 points above 10, which can be applied as a bonus to various things, depending on the specific ability. So, e.g, if you had an ability score of 12, you would get a +1 bonus, 18 gives a +4 bonus, a score of 10 does nothing, a score of 8 gives a -1 penalty. In the case of strength, this bonus is added to Attack and Damage rolls with melee weapons. Let us say you have a STR score of 16, giving a +3 bonus. Your damage so far is 1d8 (base weapon damage) + 3 (STR bonus). Let us also say that the Longsword you are using has a as a magical property, +2 Enhancement: this adds another +2 to damage, which is now 1d8+3+2. Now let us say you have taken the feat "Weapon Specialization: Longsword," adding 2 to damage with Longswords. Your total damage here (assuming no other bonuses) would now be 1d8+3+2+2, adding up to an average damage of 11 per hit.

To hit rolls, determining whether you get a hit in the first place, work somewhat similarly (die roll + various bonuses), but with a few additional complications, the main one being that your to-hit roll has to be better than the Armor Class (AC) of the target. Another diffrenence is that the main factor determining your Attack Bonus (AB) is determined by your Base Attack Bonus (BAB), which is determined by how many levels you have, and in what classes. Your BAB goes up for every level you take in a High BAB class (typically Fighters or similar warrior classes), up for every 3 out of 4 levels in a Medium BAB class (typically Clerics and Rogues) and every other level in a low BAB class (typically mages like Wizards or Sorcerers). If for example you were a Fighter 4/Cleric 4/Wizard 3, you would have a BAB of 8: 4 for the Fighter level, 3 for the Cleric levels, and only 1 (because of 2 odd levels) for the Wizard. For another example a Rogue 1/Fighter 4 would have a BAB of only 4: the one Rogue level adds nothing, since it is the 1st of a Medium BAB class, for which only the next 3 levels (3 out 4) would add to BAB. If this char leveled up to a Rogue 6/Fighter 5 it would have a BAB of 9: 5 for the Fighter Levels, nothing for Rogue levels 1 & 5, and 4 for the other Rogue levels.

To sum up, whether you get a hit is determined by a d20 die roll + BAB + Bonuses (which like damage can come from a wide variety of sources: ability scores, feats, buffing spells, magical properties on weapons, etc), producing a number that is compared to the AC of the target, which it must exceed to score a hit.

For a Fighter, Strength is typically the main ability score to boost, and the most important feats to take are typically Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Improved Critical in your preferred weapon. Blindfight, Toughness, and Cleave are other feats it is often good to take (Note some fo these feats cannot be taken until you have gained some levels, and Cleave requires Power Attack - in itself mainly useful only against very lightly armored targets - as a prerequisite). In general, in both your build and playing, you want to pile on as many bonuses to AB and damage as you can.

Obviously this is just scratching the surface but hopefully puts you on the right track. Consult the game manual and wiki, among other sources, for more information.

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