Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

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Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by TheBlueWizard » Mon May 18, 2020 2:31 pm

So, I'm not very clued up with making builds, especially on Arelith with it's low magic items and all that jazz.

But I'm thinking of making a Paladin build, the question I want to ask (as the title says) is a two-handed weapon viable on Arelith? Love the visuals/idea of a two-hander over sword and board style, but not sure if it'd work on Arelith with a Paladin. Whether or not the sacrifice of giving up AC for a little bit of extra damage is worth it. Thinking a Human base character, so I no DEX builds or anything needed. Would Divine Shield help balance out the lack of a shield? Would I need to tailor myself to bulking a bit more in CON and reducing damage rather than boosting AC or what? Any and all builds more than welcome!

I tend to find myself attempting to solo a lot of Writ's and stuff due to me playing at lower peopled time slots, so again is it more suicidal two-handing it when I'm inevitably going to be by myself a lot of time?

One other question... is Holy Sword any good all things considered with it being rounds a level for duration? Only ever played a Paladin during the vanilla campaigns yonks ago, and remember at lvl 16 Holy Sword was pretty much reserved for big boss fights or whatnot.

Cheers in advance for any help!

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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by NMan7496 » Mon May 18, 2020 3:04 pm

I'd need to do some testing before I say yay or nay to the viability of a 2h pally.

As for Holy Sword, it is an absolute lifesaver, the +5 enhancement let's you ignore almost all magical DR (e.g. from premonition, stoneskin, etc.) and the dispel on hit can turn a fight against a caster in a fast hurry. While it is only rounds per level, just remember that a round is 6 RL seconds, so 10 rounds is a full minute, and at 20th level Paladin, you can memorize three of them and each will last for two minutes. Alternatively, you can take craft wand and have a bunch of uses at CL 15 (which is still 1.5 minutes).
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Opustus » Mon May 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Paladins have a relatively low AC without Divine shield on and they can only use it so much so they come to rely on shield more than most builds. You can still go 2h if you want, especially if you mainly play with a party and aren't looking to solo too much.

Dunno if you know, but on Arelith the weapon feats have been grouped, you can read more about it here: http://wiki.nwnarelith.com/Weapons

This means that if you can spare a feat for Exotic weapon proficiency, you can go for Two-handed weapon feats and wield Bastard sword with a shield and twohand a Falchion, so you get the best of both worlds.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Shadowy Reality » Mon May 18, 2020 3:29 pm

In terms of survivability, while Divine Shield is up, your survivability will be higher than your typical non-divine shielded melee, so this covers it for PvP. Thats roughly 62 AC with divine shield, haste, IE and your typical AC buffs. Not fantastic, but not terrible.

For PvE you will definitely have a harder time. Divine Shield here won't help you for two reasons. 1) You won't have enough uses to cover your typical PvE duration, 2) You should be gearing Str/Con first, hence the bonus will be rather small and its duration lacking while leveling up.

But, being a paladin you can make early use of divine wands, namely barkskin and improved invisibility. Couple this with Expertise and Improved Expertise and you will definitely be able to solo most content up to epics solo with some care.

And Opustus brings a great point, on the exotic option for versatility between 1h and 2h.

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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by TheBlueWizard » Mon May 18, 2020 3:42 pm

Cheers, given me something to think about with the Exotic weapon focus.

I was thinking it'd be too big an ask to go two-handed, and it's looking a bit like it might be too far to go. Ah, well.

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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Kenji » Mon May 18, 2020 6:49 pm

Dedicated Paladin builds are often short on feats. If you’d prefer to spare an exotic feat but still retain the versatility of being able to go one and two-hand, polearm is another choice to go with, albeit less damage output compared to the two-handed Weapon group.

You’ll be using spear + shield or halberd/trident instead. If cavalier levels/ride ranks are involved, even lances can be a choice!
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Maladus » Mon May 18, 2020 8:07 pm

Unless I'm mistaken, couldn't he just put all his weapon focus feats into two handed, wield a two handed weapon and then have a sword and board to swap to when he needs to tank? This would reduce the AB for the sword and board but would that difference be all that noticeable?
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Opustus » Mon May 18, 2020 8:47 pm

Kenji wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:49 pm
Dedicated Paladin builds are often short on feats. If you’d prefer to spare an exotic feat but still retain the versatility of being able to go one and two-hand, polearm is another choice to go with, albeit less damage output compared to the two-handed Weapon group.

You’ll be using spear + shield or halberd/trident instead. If cavalier levels/ride ranks are involved, even lances can be a choice!
Oh duh, yeah. For whatever reason the only way I can picture a pally is with a sword in hand.

And Maladus, that makes boarding very weak compared to twohanding, might be better off just killing things faster to offset the natural20s bound to happen.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Maladus » Mon May 18, 2020 9:10 pm

Could you elaborate on that? Seems to me like +3 AB isn't that big of a deal. In theory you could put your focuses into One Handed Edged and then just wield a two-hander which grants +2 AB and be on almost equal footing. Am I missing something?
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Opustus » Mon May 18, 2020 9:57 pm

Oh, I read it the other way round. Good point! Feating into one-handed and using non-feated two-handed situationally makes sense as a pally, definitely, because of the Str and Cha modifiers' x1.5.

Feated into one-handed: when twohanding effectively -1 AB (+1 pre-epic) and worse crit range compared to onehand.

Feated into two-handed: when twohanding effectively +5 AB (+3 pre-epic) and better crit range compared to onehand.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Maladus » Mon May 18, 2020 10:18 pm

Well originally I was saying that he could feat into two-handed, but even at a disadvantage of +5 AB, is that enough to make one-handed significantly weaker? It doesn't seem that to be that drastic.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by RedGiant » Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 am

You can also monk dip, which nets you cleave, tumble, evasion, katana...AND...lets you be decent in the inevitable bar fights.
This might be kinda niche, and if you take the minimum levels, it would be a loooong time until you could katana properly. I suppose you could also 6 lvls for the two knockdown feats, but at a price. Arguably, in the post-umd economy, you could substitute monk for rogue in ye olde brycer build and do just fine.

(Though as someone who has a katana weebo lying around, katana + shield on a knight makes me abit sad. There is a light-keep era in-game rationale for this however. So....meh.)
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by AstralUniverse » Tue May 19, 2020 3:09 am

RedGiant wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 am
katana
You mean Naginata.

I also agree that Polearm is the weapon category to choose here as it includes both 1h and 2h options (spear and halberd) and one day if get to late epic levels and you decide to dip a class with tumble for ac then you can go monk and it will also open Naginata and whole new gear options.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Opustus » Tue May 19, 2020 5:49 am

Maladus wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:18 pm
Well originally I was saying that he could feat into two-handed, but even at a disadvantage of +5 AB, is that enough to make one-handed significantly weaker? It doesn't seem that to be that drastic.
+5 AB and Impcrit is a pretty drastic difference. That coupled with impcrit and extra damage from twohanding as pally, I'd argue that you're killing at such a faster rate with twohanded that switching into onehanded will get you hit more over a longer period of time due to extended fights and consequent more attack rolls from mobs. Having a weaker attack like this makes also key enemies like mages more pernicious. But as a secondary strategy, where you have a shield for e.g. guarding in a party, then I guess that's fine, but if you're with a party, you might as well kill things faster with twohanded anyway, right?

Moreover, I've found that on most base Str builds, I am running Expertise about 50% of the time and Improved expertise exceedingly rarely except for very high level content. With the twohanded main strat, you could depend more on Improved expertise and make up for the loss of shield. In this case, when twohanding and improved expertising, switching into shield and sword would have the dubious benefit of +1 AC (assuming addy tower shield) at the cost of your damage and crit range, whereas improved expertising the shield would mean +6 AC, -5 AB, and so and so.

Killing things fast enough mitigates damage in combat and insofar as you can survive every spawn without a high consumption of healer's kits during battle, you should be fine for solo. Switching to a secondary tactic with less damage extends combat, leading to a worse experience rate and possibly causing you to take even more damage. If you wanted to be very fancy, you could still do stuff like switch into shield and IE to heal up in a tight spot, but I assume you'd still want to twohander after healing up.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Biolab00 » Tue May 19, 2020 5:58 am

For paladin, you will usually split your attribute evenly because you will need Str, Con, Int, some wisdom and Cha.
I've once made a paladin two handed based on end-build at strength with gear capped at 34 [ Modifer +12 ] and Cha with gear capped at 30 [ Modifier +10 ]

For AB-wise of above mentioned
End build will be -
25 Base + 12 Str + 4 (Epic Prow, Epic Weapon Foc, Weapon Foc) + 5 (enchancement) + 1( Aid spell) = 47 + 2(two-handed bonus) = 49
49 + 1( Bless ) + 5( Divine Favor ) = 55 ( The divine favor and bless is situational when you're facing bosses )
Hence, if you go for one-handed, it will be 53AB vs 55AB and usually for AB around the range of 45 to 55, even a 2AB is very very very important because true strike pot is good against boss but not that good vs PC( since they know to run ).

AB explained, differences not much. But DMG will be very different.

2d6 Two-handed
18dmg (strength modifer of 12 + 1/2bonus due to two-handed(6) ) + 6dmg(Masterly Damask) + 4 (Essence) + 1d6 (Temp Essence) + 2d6 ( Weapon ) = 31 - 46
If you cast Divine Favor which add 5 Magical dmg = 36 - 51
If you cast Divine Power which add ( Cha Modifer of 10 + 1/2bonus due to two-handed(5) ) 15Divine Dmg = 51 - 66
If you are facing dragon / outsider / undead with level26 blessed weapon spell ( +2d6 Divine dmg stack with Divine power ),
it will be : 53 - 78 dmg
That's whopping high.
The dmg can be higher depending on what weapon you use.
And not including even if you do not add any level to smite evil.

1d6 One-handed
12dmg (strength modifer of 12) + 6dmg(Masterly Damask) + 4 (Essence) + 1d6 (Temp Essence) + 1d6 (Weapon) = 24 - 34
If you cast Divine Favor which add 5 Magical dmg = 29 - 39
If you cast Divine Power which add ( Cha Modifer of 10 ) 10Divine Dmg = 39 - 49
If you are facing dragon / outsider / undead with level26 blessed weapon spell ( +2d6 Divine dmg stack with Divine power ),
it will be : 41 - 62 dng

Hence, you will have to compare 51 - 66 dmg vs 39 - 49 dmg [ Without blessed weapon vs outsider / dragon / undead dmg ]
If you are not using divine power and divine favor.
It will be 31 - 46 vs 24 - 34.
That is huge difference as well.

On a side note, if your Cha modifer is +10, you will have 13 cast of turn undead, not included IF you intend to add extra turning which add 5(If i'm not wrong) uses.

Hence, even without divine power, you can cast divine shield which last 10Rounds with 13 uses or more if you added turn undead.
Situationally, you can also cast both divine power and divine shield.

Usually, for epic dungeon, i will use haste potion ( 10 round ) and divine shield ( 10 round ) and whop finish the monsters ( usually 5 spawns ) within 10 round.

Just my 2 cents thoughts.

Edit : There's another build which focus on Pally / Monk which gives very high APR and dmg. But the very stark downside is the huge huge reliance on stats. Due to Arelith being a low magic server, you will find it impossible to max 5 stats of Strength, Dex, Wisdom, Cha, Cont. And to even achieve high enough stats increment will likely need buffs which a lucky greater dispel from PVE will make you in a very very precarious situation due to your resist dispel roll, probably not high enough. Hence, i did not try this particular route yet and likely won't do so.

To identify a Pally / Monk PC, it's usually two-hander with Naginata. When you meet a Paladin with Naginata in PVP, just throw a few greater dispels / Mords and it will be super disastrous for them.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Hedgehog » Thu May 21, 2020 11:51 pm

My character, Tristan Elur’on was a 2hander Greatsword user and did pretty well in PvP because of Holy Sword and GSF/Arcane Defense foci in Abjuration.

They can be a beast but need to be fully buffed, otherwise they can’t really reliably tank until later game and when you’re geared up. I had anywhere between 54-64 AC depending on who I was partied with and the buffs I had. Did an impressive amount of damage but it wasn’t like scythe/falchion user damage. Divine Shield is a MUST.

I also didn’t lose any fights in PvP even when ganged up on because a lot of those mage and other builds like battle clerics and such rely on their wards to keep up, but holy sword just melts through them like butter and bring them down a level. Also as a Paladin you gain access to some of the best gear in the game; basically anti-mages at that point depending on your buildup.

The flavor was a lot of fun and I’d do it again but you have to be willing to understand you won’t have much in the way of solo capabilities and need to make religious use of wands, potions, and other items to really keep up. That Holy Sword though is just... 👌

Nothing more satisfying than seeing paragraphs worth of buffs getting dispelled when you land that hit, haha.

Edit: I take that back, I lost 1 fight but that was while I was instead using a quarter staff at the time RPing a friendly sparring match, and it was also against one of the arguably best monks on the server. 😹
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by RedGiant » Thu May 28, 2020 4:21 am

AstralUniverse wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:09 am
RedGiant wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 am
katana
You mean Naginata.

I also agree that Polearm is the weapon category to choose here as it includes both 1h and 2h options (spear and halberd) and one day if get to late epic levels and you decide to dip a class with tumble for ac then you can go monk and it will also open Naginata and whole new gear options.
I see where you are going, but actually meant katana. Naginata will require wearing a shirt and not having a shield. The damage will be amazing, but your defense will be horrid. Katana you can reliably two hand and, in a pinch, throw up a shield when you need to. Since you are not worried about Monk UBAB, you can go full armored with no consequences (well, except for speed, which I didn't include on my list of net benefits). Katana also hits in the two-hand weapon category (not polearm), so you can use a greatsword or whatever in those long levels till your monk dip.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by AstralUniverse » Thu May 28, 2020 10:17 am

RedGiant wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 4:21 am
AstralUniverse wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:09 am
RedGiant wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 2:02 am
katana
You mean Naginata.

I also agree that Polearm is the weapon category to choose here as it includes both 1h and 2h options (spear and halberd) and one day if get to late epic levels and you decide to dip a class with tumble for ac then you can go monk and it will also open Naginata and whole new gear options.
I see where you are going, but actually meant katana. Naginata will require wearing a shirt and not having a shield. The damage will be amazing, but your defense will be horrid. Katana you can reliably two hand and, in a pinch, throw up a shield when you need to. Since you are not worried about Monk UBAB, you can go full armored with no consequences (well, except for speed, which I didn't include on my list of net benefits). Katana also hits in the two-hand weapon category (not polearm), so you can use a greatsword or whatever in those long levels till your monk dip.
Ah~ my apology mate. I really thought you meant Naginata because of the 23 pally, 4 fighter, 3 monk build that seems really popular right now... levels up with full plate and wears cloth after. Katana is pretty much exactly as Bastard sword for a str based paladin except you dont need to pick exotic if you have monk lvls. I prefer bastard-sword because of better RNG options (Knight Errant is a pretty cool sword) than katana, although there are also pretty cool katanas too. I would still pick Polearm -> spear/halberd -> eventually naginata... Over the 2h edge -> greatsword (no 1h available) -> eventually katana. The latter seems inferior to me.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by Dr. B » Thu May 28, 2020 2:26 pm

Maladus wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:07 pm
Unless I'm mistaken, couldn't he just put all his weapon focus feats into two handed, wield a two handed weapon and then have a sword and board to swap to when he needs to tank? This would reduce the AB for the sword and board but would that difference be all that noticeable?
Yes, it would. He'd lose 3 AB and, depending on whether he takes fighter levels, anywhere from 2 to 6 base damage, plus he'd lose his critical threat range.
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Re: Paladin Build - Two-Handed Weapon, Yay or Nay?

Post by AstralUniverse » Thu May 28, 2020 3:03 pm

The 3 ab and crit range are definitely a big deal. The whole point is to still have decent offense when pulling out the sword-n-board in a tricky situation, otherwise you just die slower.
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