A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

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Valariax
Posts: 421

A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

Post#1 » Sun May 06, 2018 12:28 pm

Background:
The Realms of Trinity Campaign III (RoT3) and all post-campaign “endgame” content are challenging areas where strong defensive abilities are desirable, such as high Armor Class with Uncanny Dodge, high-stealth Hide in Plain Sight, Self-Concealment or Epic Dodge, just to name a few. This article concentrates on Epic Dodge, which is an effective, automatic defensive ability through which a character may automatically avoid all damage from the first successful attack by the character’s current target. Epic Dodge is typically sought by high-dexterity stealth-architype characters, but other builds may qualify for it as well. Note that the earliest a build can select the Epic Dodge feat is typically 27th level, due to limitations imposed by its prerequisite of Tumble 30 ranks (only base skill points count).

Feat Description:

Epic Dodge
Type of Feat: Epic
Prerequisites: 21st level, Dexterity 25, Dodge, Improved Evasion, Defensive Roll, Tumble 30 ranks.
Specifics: Once per round, when struck by their current target, the character automatically avoids all damage from the attack.
Use: Automatic.
Feats Required: Dodge; Defensive Roll; Improved Evasion.

Note: Only feats selected during the character levelling process count as prerequisites. Feats granted by items or spells cannot meet the requirements.

Prerequisite Feats:

Dodge
Type of Feat: General
Prerequisite: Dex 13+
Required for: Mobility and Spring Attack
Specifics: The character gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks from his current target or last attacker.
Use: Automatic, though a condition that negates a Dexterity bonus to AC also negates any dodge bonuses. Multiple dodge bonuses (different feats, racial bonuses) are cumulative.
Feats Required: None

Defensive Roll
Type of Feat: Class
Prerequisite: Rogue level 10 (must choose it as a bonus feat), Shadowdancer level 5, Nightsong Infiltrator level 5, Whirling Dervish level 8. Swashbuckler level 18 (RoT Custom Class Mod).
Specifics: If the rogue is struck by a potentially lethal blow, they make a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If successful, they take only half damage from the blow.
Use: Automatic, but limited to one use per day. Flat-footed characters cannot make a Defensive Roll.
Feats Required: None

Improved Evasion
Type of Feat: Class
Prerequisite: Monk level 9, Rogue level 10 (must choose it as a bonus feat), Shadowdancer level 10, Nightsong Enforcer level 8, Nightsong Infiltrator level 6, Whirling Dervish level 2.
Specifics: Whenever a Reflex save is allowed for half damage, characters with this feat instead take no damage if they succeed at the save. Even if they fail the save, they take only half damage.
Use: Automatic
Feats Required: None


Prerequisite Analysis:

Four of the six prerequisites for Epic Dodge are relatively easy to acquire. 21st level and the Dodge are the easiest, with base Dexterity 25 and base Tumble 30 ranks (requires a minimum character level of 27 and at least one class with the skill) being not too much more difficult to attain. However, Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion are class-only feats, so acquiring them mandates a build which includes specific classes to get those feats.


Class Comparison and Analysis:

Many stealth-architype builds I have seen on NWN2DB include Epic Dodge. Unlike Dodge, its other prerequisite feats Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion are not background or general or epic feats available to widespread selection, but rather they are class feats only available to a few classes. As such, the types of character builds that can get Epic Dodge are rather limited in variety due to these required classes. A brief list follows detailing the requirements for the Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion feat-granting classes and the class levels at which they are acquired, which a build must include to qualify for Epic Dodge.


Defensive Roll granting classes:

Base Classes:

Rogue 10(+) – Requirements: Must chose Defensive Roll as one of the Rogue bonus feats

Swashbuckler 18 – Requirements: None. (RoT Custom Class Mod)

Prestige Classes:

Nightsong Infiltrator 5 – Requirements: Feats: Alertness, Evasion; Skills: Disable Device 10 ranks, Open Locks 5 ranks, Search 5 ranks.

Shadowdancer 5 – Requirements: Class: may not have any Child of Night levels; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Hide 10 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks.

Whirling Dervish 8 - Requirements: Base Attack Bonus: +5; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.


Improved Evasion granting classes:

Base Classes:

Monk 9 – Requirements: Alignment Restrictions: Any lawful - a monk's training requires strict discipline.

Rogue 10(+) – Requirements: Must chose Improved Evasion as one of the Rogue bonus feats.

Prestige Classes:

Nightsong Enforcer 8 – Requirements: Base Attack Bonus +5; Feats: Improved Initiative, Evasion; Skills: Hide 10 ranks, Move Silently 10 ranks.

Nightsong Infiltrator 6 – Requirements: Feats: Alertness, Evasion; Skills: Disable Device 10 ranks, Open Locks 5 ranks, Search 5 ranks.

Shadowdancer 10 – Requirements: Class: may not have any Child of Night levels; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Hide 10 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks.

Whirling Dervish 2 - Requirements: Base Attack Bonus: +5; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.

Rudimentary analysis of the class information above shows that the base class that can meet all the requirements for Epic Dodge is Rogue 13(+). Single prestige classes that can meet the requirements include Nightsong Infiltrator 6, Shadowdancer 10, and Whirling Dervish 8, but these require at least one base class as well.


Simple Epic Dodge Build Basics:

Note: The examples below are not recommendations but rather illustrations of the minimum required for a build to qualify for Epic Dodge. Substantially more analysis besides trying to get Epic Dodge should be put into all builds due to many other factors, such as ease-of-leveling playability, early-to-late game survivability, fun-to-play, and roleplaying considerations.

The simplest builds that can qualify for Epic Dodge include Rogue 13(+), where the bonus feats chosen at Rogue levels 10 and 13 are Defensive Roll and Improved Evasion.

Regarding prestige classes, builds with one base class and either Shadowdancer 10 or Whirling Dervish 8 could also qualify for Epic Dodge, [EDIT] as well as the combination Shadowdancer 5/Whirling Dervish 2. Similarly, builds with one base class that gets the class feat Evasion (e.g., Cleric with the Water Domain, Monk, Ranger, Rogue, [EDIT] Swashbuckler (RoT custom modded), Thug (RoT custom modded), and Scout) could select Nightsong Infiltrator 6, instead.

Builds obviously can be much more complex than these examples, but that is beyond the scope of this article. If anyone would like to suggest other successful builds that have Epic Dodge, or perhaps issue a RoT Epic Dodge builders challenge thread, please feel free to post their general class compositions or their NWN2DB links in replies to this article.


As always, constructive criticism of articles in this series is welcome, especially since its intended audience is new-to-RoT players seeking general character building advice. I will make appropriate edits of errors or for omitted information.
Last edited by Valariax on Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Valariax
Posts: 421

Re: A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

Post#2 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:49 am

EDIT ALERT!

The original post has been edited regarding the Epic Dodge prerequisite feat Defensive Roll due to the recent RoT custom modifications to the Swashbuckler class.

According to the RoT Content Library:
- Defensive Roll: At 18th level, a Swashbuckler gains Defensive Roll as a bonus feat.

This information is included in the updated Swashbuckler class description accessed via the "Classes" tab in the RoT Content Library.
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Valariax
Posts: 421

Re: A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

Post#3 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:16 am

In the interest of completeness, I added to the original post additional information in the third paragraph under the "Simple Epic Dodge Build Basics" heading to include a 7-level PrC combination of Shadowdancer and Whirling Dervish that could qualify for Epic Dodge.

In the same paragraph I also added three more base classes that get Evasion to qualify for Nightsong Infiltrator as a way to get Epic Dodge: Swashbuckler (RoT custom modded), Thug (RoT custom modded), and Scout.

The above information is marked with "[EDIT]" to make it easier to find in the text.
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kc2345
Posts: 621

Re: A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

Post#4 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:14 am

Tangentially related:

I've never quite figured this out, but how do Epic Dodge, Deflect Arrows, Epic Deflection and Armed Deflection interact when facing a horde of archers? In what sequence do they trigger and under what conditions?

Also no idea if Epic Deflection/Deflect arrows work if armed. If not, the Deflect Arrows feat granted by the "Arrow Deflector" shield is worthless and could perhaps be replaced by Armed Deflection?

Anyway, this primer series of information is useful! Perhaps they could be compiled and accessible through the front page somehow?

A primer on how Finishing Stroke works would be great too!
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Valariax
Posts: 421

Re: A RoT Character Building Primer Series: Epic Dodge

Post#5 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:15 am

kc2345 wrote:I've never quite figured this out, but how do Epic Dodge, Deflect Arrows, Epic Deflection and Armed Deflection interact when facing a horde of archers? In what sequence do they trigger and under what conditions?
Also no idea if Epic Deflection/Deflect arrows work if armed.

I bet someone in the greater NWN2 community has done that or a similar study already. It would be good to know how all that scripting cooperates (or more likely doesn't).

kc2345 wrote:Anyway, this primer series of information is useful! Perhaps they could be compiled and accessible through the front page somehow?

Thanks! I wish something like this had been available when I first started playing on RoT 5 years ago. It could have helped to reduce my ALToholic tendencies, at least a little.

kc2345 wrote:A primer on how Finishing Stroke works would be great too!

I agree! :D

Actually, a Wiki page dedicated to just the custom RoT feats and class mods would be very useful as well. Despite my time playing on RoT I still don't know/remember everything that's unique here.
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