User Tools

Site Tools


titania_s_ted_talk_on_classes

Titania's Cliff Notes for Classes

General things to keep in mind:

  • For the most part, if a class has class-specific feats, you’ll want to take those sooner or later. They’re fun, and are essential for making a class a class. But it’s just as important to be able to competently cast your spells and swing your weapon, so the basic magic or weapon feats should be the highest considerations for a newbie (unless otherwise noted). Also note that if your class provides you feats at a certain level, you’ll be returned the feat if you’ve already picked it up. For example, thieves gain mobility at level 11. If you selected the feat at lvl 6, the game will automatically add mobility at 11, and grant you back your feat to apply elsewhere.
  • Some martial and hybrid classes are able to choose whether they want to use a strength build, and medium/heavy armor, or a dexterity build, using the feat ‘weapon finesse’. The “stat to max” that I’ve listed below is the more frequently used choice, as determined by me. In most every case, if using a dexterity build, you will want to wear light armor, and take the evasion feats. Scramble is awesome; however, it only works in light armor.
  • When it comes to a minimum stat needed for casting spells, the suggested number is the bare minimum you will want to have in order to be able to cast your highest level of spells (max spell level + 10). The higher your casting stat is, the better chance you will have at overcoming your opponent’s saving throws. For example, a sorcerer with a high cha could more easily block a high int mage who is trying to scry them. That said, a sorcerer who doesn’t care if a mage can scry them might prefer to assign the stat points elsewhere.
  • Constitution determines your max hit points. Most players consider con to be very important, and it can almost always stand as a secondary stat in order of importance.
  • I didn’t explicitly list them below, but DamageResistance and MagicResistance feats are always helpful, and one or both trees should probably be included in your feat selection. High charisma characters will also find that the Presence feats are quite good (I favor them over MagicResistance feats, although having some sort of deathward, while not imperative, is highly desirable).
  • When building your character, don’t forget to take your future classes, including prestige classes, into consideration. This is especially important when assigning stat points, because they’re quite expensive to change later on.
  • And finally, the IG help files offer a plethora of information, and this list is in no way a substitute for reading them. What you’ll find below are simply additional considerations, subject to bias, typos and mood swings.

So without further ado…

Titania’s Cliff Notes for Classes

MARTIAL

The fighter who faces their opponents head on, the thief that lurks in the shadows waiting for their moment to strike. While melee characters have a vast array of roles, one thing they have in common is their dependence on armor and weapons. (Yes, some of these classes have spells, but they are melee, foremost).

Barbarian

(Easy)
Purpose: Barbarians are sheer muscle and anger. They smash things. Violently.
Armor: Unarmored defense feat
Stat to max: Str (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Con, Dex
Suggested Starting Feats: TwoHandedWeapons (see additional considerations)
Secondary Feats: Power Attack, Rush
Special Abilities: Rage
Downtime: Rage fatigue (but rage is not necessarily required for every fight)
The best class because: Grab a weapon and you’re set. Barbs have the unarmored defense feat, which means they are sturdy even without armor. Easy for beginners. Rage is powerful.
The worst class because: There’s not much to do in combat besides wait for your timers to reset. Rage has a cool down period.
Additional considerations: Barbarians can also use a Dex/Weap Finesse build. Spells cannot be cast while enraged.
PRO TIPS:
“Unarmored defense will only work if no other armor is present.”
“Add your rage status to your prompt.”

Fighter

(Easy)
Purpose: Masters of weapons and armor who can take as much punishment as they deal out.
Armor: Heavy for str, light for dex (given every armor prof at lvl 1)
Stat to max: Str (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Con
Suggested Starting Feats: TwoHanded Weapons (see additional considerations)
Secondary Feats: Power Attack, Rush
Special Abilities: Flash, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization
Downtime: None
The best class because: A free martial feat every 2 levels allows for greater customization. SO MANY FEATS. The worst class because: There’s not much to do in combat besides wait for your timers to reset. Flash seems underwhelming.
Additional considerations: Fighters can also use a Dex/Weap Finesse build.
PRO TIPS:
”Dual wielders should definitely pick up the lethal strikes feat.“
“Master multiple weapon styles to switch between combat feats in battle.”

Monk

(Hard)
Purpose: Masters over mind and body
Armor: Unarmored defense feat
Stat to Max: Dex
Secondary Stats: Int - 16 minimum for Way of the Elements, Con
Suggested Starting Feats: Evasion Tree/Magic feats for Way of the Elements
Secondary Feats: DamageReduction, MagicResistance
Special Abilities: Unarmed attack, Defensive Roll at 21, Other skills depend on “Way”
The best class because: Three different schools to choose from, each with unique roleplay aspects. They’re resistant to all poisons and understand every language. Hard to kill.
The worst class because: Monks are just underwhelming. They don’t have any sort of burst damage to kill quickly or efficiently. Because of this, they are rated hard.
Additional considerations: Monks need to be lawful to show their dedication to their order.
PRO TIPS:
“You can roll your toon as an ancient age with all the minuses, and then at level 17 you get a feat which makes you ignore the minuses, but you keep the pluses. See <help age>.”

Paladin

(Medium)
Purpose: Champions of their God, who are granted some divine spells for their dedication.
Armor: Heavy (anything less is considered unworthy)
Stat to Max: Str
Secondary Stats: Wis - 14 min. Cha - 12 min. required
Suggested Starting Feats: TwoHandedWeapons (see additional considerations)
Secondary Feats: Power Attack, Rush
Special Abilities: Smite, Layonhands, Spells
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: An extra martial feat every 5 levels makes customization very possible. Quite competent in melee with spells to buff. Class feats are quite good. Roleplay heavy.
The worst class because: Can be restricting if roleplayed “dis/honorably”
Additional considerations: WeaponAndShield instead of TwoHandedWeapons. Rated medium for roleplay considerations. Their views are often perceived to be extreme, and so they might become targets for opposing faiths or alignments.
PRO TIPS:
“While there is such a thing as “death before dishonor” no respectable knight would be easily goaded into a fight by an unworthy opponent.”

Ranger

(Easy)
Purpose: Scouts, hunters and protectors, rangers effortlessly and silently traverse through the wild places.
Armor: Light
Stat to Max: Dex
Secondary Stats: Wis - 16 min
Suggested Feats: Weapon Finesse, Lethal Strikes (Archers do not need WF)
Secondary Feats: Evasion Feats
Special Abilities: Spells
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: Limited downtime, largely strong melee (with some spell support)
The worst class because: Archers can be difficult because there are limited bows to be found IG (compared to other weapon types)
Additional considerations: Animal companions keep good company. PRO TIPS:

Thief

(Easy)
Purpose: Masters of stealth, thieves can move easily through areas others might find tricky
Armor: Light
Stat to Max: Dex (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Con
Suggested Feats: Weapon Finesse, Lethal Strikes
Secondary Feats: DamageResistance
Special Abilities: Combat Reflexes, Tools of the Trade, Defensive Roll at 21, Scroll usage
Downtime: None
The best class because: Stabbity stab
The worst class because: They can be fragile, especially before earning scramble. Thieves don’t have a lot of wiggle room in applying skill points if they want to master athletics, stealth, thievery, and dungeoneering.
Additional considerations: Thieves can stab with any sort of weapon, and so while a thief could feasibly use Str/TwoHandedWeapons, a high dex is still necessary for athletics and stealth (stab damage and evasion).
PRO TIPS:
“Thieves can and should use scrolls.”
“Thieves guilds are found in most major cities (often in the seedier looking establishments).”
“Stealth and athletics need to be maxed out at all times. Dex affects every aspect of the class and needs to be maxed as well.”

SPELLCRAFT

Magic comes from a variety of sources in Sundering Shadows, be it from the gods, scrolls or from nature itself. The way one channels their magic adds opportunity and flair to their character.

Cleric

(Medium)
Purpose: Healers and mouthpieces who spread the word of their god.
Armor: Any
Stat to Max: Wis - 19 minimum
Secondary Stats: Con, Str
Suggested Feats: Spellmastery Sound Burst, Perfect Caster
Secondary feats: Shieldbash
Special Abilities: Choosing divine domains
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: A party favorite; required for at least one end game boss. Has the ability to cast spells in heavy armor. Great roleplay opportunity in building up your faith.
The worst class because: Preparing spells can slow down progress.
Additional considerations: Depending on your domains, it might be possible to use, primarily, melee, and spells to buff.
PRO TIPS:
“Wearing a shield is a very good idea.”

Mage

(Hard)
Purpose: A master of magic who learns their spells from scrolls and studying.
Armor: Spells Stat to Max: Int - 19 minimum Secondary Stats: Dex, Con Suggested Feats: Spellmastery Scorcher, Perfect Caster Secondary Feats: DamageResistance and MagicResistance Special Abilities: Master, Enchant, Scribe Downtime: Find/Purchase spells, spell prep The best class because: A well-prepared mage can wreck everything… quickly. The worst class because: There is a lot of legwork involved in being a mage, more so than any other class. Preparing between every battle can become tedious… quickly. Additional considerations: Mages start out slow, and can be hard to master. Finding spells at low levels can be discouraging. This is why they are rated hard. As a mage advances, however, they become a force to be reckoned with. PRO TIPS: “Preparing lists and the buff command are your new best friends. Learn them.”
“Find areas to adventure where you can drop some AOEs and use a bow to pull multiple mobs to you. It saves a lot of preparation time to take them all down at once with aoe/splash damage.”
“Don’t forget to use the master option every level. “Magi can master a spell and then forget it, but it stays in their books forever.”
“Know your opponent and their saving throw strengths and weaknesses to best determine what magic to use against them.”

Psion

(Medium)
Purpose: Mentalist who spend a lifetime sharpening their minds into deadly tools.
Armor: Spells
Stat to Max: Int - 19 minimum
Secondary Stats: Dex, Con
Suggested Feats: Perfect Caster
Secondary Feats: Evasion
Special Abilities: Master, Powerpoints, Enchant
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: The ability to master spells and select a spellcraft feat every 5 levels allows for a lot of customization.
The worst class because: Preparing for spells can slow down progress
Additional considerations: Disciplines such as ‘seer’ are limited by game mechanics and your own imagination. PRO TIPS: “Kineticists and shapers seem to excel where other psions fail.”
“Get some fodder spells asap.”

Sorcerer

(Medium)
Purpose: Calling upon innate magic in their blood, sorcerers tap into the weave without needing books and scrolls like the studious mages.
Armor: Spells Stat to Max: Cha - 19 minimum
Secondary Stats: Dex, Con
Suggested Feats: Spellmastery Scorcher, Perfect Caster
Secondary Feats: Evasion or Presence
Special Abilities: Master, Enchant, Scribe
Downtime: spell prep
The best class because: All the bang of mages, without needing to find scrolls or carry books. Spontaneous casting allows you to choose whatever spell is needed at the time.
The worst class because: Must carefully curate their spell list from the available options.
Additional considerations: Bloodlines make excellent roleplay tools.
PRO TIPS:
“Find areas to adventure where you can drop some AOEs and use a bow to pull multiple mobs to you. It saves a lot of preparation time to take them all down at once with aoe/splash damage.”
“Keep your spells balanced. Some offense, some defensive, some utility. Know your opponent and their saving throw strengths and weaknesses to best determine what magic to use against them.”

HYBRID

Able to switch between magic and melee, these characters embody the best of both worlds, each having a unique set of abilities to make them quite prepared for whatever adventure life throws at them.

Bard

(Medium)
Purpose: Entertainers, charmers and influencers, bards can boost their party’s morale or dispirit their foes.
Armor: Light (see additional considerations)
Stat to Max: Dex (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Cha - 16 minimum
Suggested Feats: TwoWeapons
Secondary Feats: DamageResistance and Presence
Special Abilities: inspire competence, inspire greatness, dirge of doom, tools of the trade, soothing song, frightening tune, inspire heroics, deadly song
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: Best class for utility - Jack of all trades, master of none.
The worst class because: It can be tiresome coming up with new material.
Additional considerations: Bards can feasibly use Str/TwoHandedWeaps, and they can use medium armor as well. It’s my personal experience that Dex/TwoWeapons/Light armor (with evasion feats) is preferable. Bards might be considered difficult to play due to having to prepare and roleplay performances. Rated medium because there can be many ways to play a bard, and not all of them require this degree of effort.
PRO TIPS:
“When using the lore command, pick story mode over song mode EVERY time, even if you’re making a song. Song mode adds a period to the end of every sentence that’s terribly annoying. In story mode, you can change your speech to denote singing.”
“Remember that copyrighted material is copyrighted.”

Druid

(Medium)
Purpose: Champions of the wild, druids derive their powers from nature, and stand as its protector.
Armor: Druids cannot use any metal
Stat to Max: A minimum of 19 wis to cast all available spell levels. Str/Dex. (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Con
Suggested Feats: Spellmastery Flaming Sphere, Perfect Caster
Secondary Feats: DamageResistance
Special Abilities: Shapeshift, Sylvan Language
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: You can shapeshift into various animal forms, which can be fun for roleplay and helpful in battle. Heavy on the aoe and fodder spells.
The worst class because: Preparing spells can slow down progress. Not being able to wear any metal armor can make finding proper gear difficult.
Additional considerations: Druids must consider if they want to follow the path of melee or magic. It is difficult to balance feats well enough to do both successfully. Druids can use a Str or Dex/Weap Finesse build; if choosing melee, this should be your primary stat choice.
PRO TIPS:
“There is non-metal medium and heavy armor to find in the game.”

Psywarrior

(Easy)
Purpose: A mentalist who has not only perfected their minds, but also their bodies.
Armor: Any
Stat to Max: Str (see additional considerations)
Secondary Stats: Int - 16 minimum
Suggested Feats: TwoHandedWeapon
Secondary Feats: Perfect Caster
Special Abilities: Master
Downtime: Spell prep
The best class because: Psywarriors are able to use any armor type, and they are able to cast while wielding. The ability to master spells allows for plenty of control over your strengths.
The worst class because: You’ll get sick of hearing how overpowered your class is.
Additional considerations: Psywarriors can also use a Dex/Weap Finesse build.
PRO TIPS:
“Psywarriors, though largely melee, will find perfect caster helpful for their aoe spells.”

Warlock

(Easy)
Purpose: Having made a pact with an otherworldly force, Warlocks call upon their patron’s powers to devastating effects.
Armor: Light
Stat to Max: Dex
Secondary Stats: A minimum of 14 cha to cast all available spell levels
Suggested Feats: Perfect Caster and/or Weapon
Secondary Feats: Evasion or Presence
Special Abilities: Master, Scroll usage
Downtime: None
The best class because: Casters that don’t need to prepare. Also, warlocks have built in weapons (claws (small) and glaives (large), and they can cast in light armor. They get ‘craft magical equipment’ for free.
The worst class because: Must very carefully curate their spell lists, as they do not have many available slots.
Additional considerations: Warlocks can also use a Str/TwoHanded build.
PRO TIPS:
“Multiclassing warlocks will further limit an already very limited spell selection.”

Titania's lack of accountability disclaimer:

Please bare in mind that this information is simply my suggestions based on my own personal experiences and knowledge gathered over my many years of playing. I also had some input from other experienced players (thank you, experienced players). However, I am not advocating that my way is the only way. While I do believe my way might be a very good way, I am certainly not an expert in every class, if even any class. I welcome all suggestions as to how I can improve this list.

titania_s_ted_talk_on_classes.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/21 15:19 by titania