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Author Topic: PRC Strategy Guide (And Help Request)  (Read 29624 times)

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June 05, 2009, 01:23:37 PM

This is a partial resurrection from Google cache. I'm getting as much as I can, but I'd appreciate it if others could help us. The best way to do this is to search in Google for "Class Name site:http://www.dladventures.com". That was the address of the previous forums. If you do dig it up, please just format the text as best you can and drop it into that Submit Article link on the left. I'll start fleshing out the build threads from there then.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:29:52 PM
Reply #1

Sacred Fist

Introduction:
One of the many gestalt classes introduced by the PRC, the Sacred Fist is a full 30-level prestige class that fuses the strengths of the Monk and a divine caster class, focusing particularly on the strength of the Monk's fist and speed, while providing full caster progression, full BAB progression, unique use-per-day abilities, and maintaining a solid d8 hitdie. TThis well-rounded combination of melee prowess and spellcasting power makes the Sacred Fist one of the most blatantly strongest prestige classes of the Player Resource Consortium.

Pros of the Sacred Fist:
The mix of full caster progression and full BAB progression is arguably one of the strongest features of the class, and one that very few other prestige classes share. As a result, an optimized Sacred Fist not only has powerful offensive options through spellcasting (assuming Cleric or Druid was used for the prestige class), but can also duke it out in melee with great effectiveness since the Sacred Fist will have above average AB.

Dealing out damage with only a fist may seem like a problem since the Sacred Fist may be busy spending attribute points towards Wisdom and Dexterity instead of Strength, but the Sacred Fist has an ability that partially solves this problem in the form of the Sacred Flame ability, which adds damage (half-fire, half-divine) to the character's fist equal to class level + Wisdom modifier. Although a use-per-day ability, Sacred Flame gains three uses of it before level 10 and it lasts for a minute, long enough to last for at least any one whole encounter.

Then there is the Sacred Fist's automatic speed boosts, which combined with Tumble as a class skill allows the Sacred Fist to move around the battlefield with greater ease.

Lastly, the Sacred Fist's Inner Armor, while not scaling in strength of effect like its other class abilities, is nonetheless a welcome addition to the rest of its strong aspects and not only lasts for a relatively long time with high Wisdom, but also helps to resist On Hit attack spells that are usually low level.

Cons of the Sacred Fist:
Be prepared to lose out on certain things from both Monk and divine casting class.

Taking Sacred Fist levels, the character is likely to lose out on the following Monk abilities.
Immunities to Disease, Poison, Mind-Affecting Spells
Free Knockdown Feats
Improved Evasion
Enhancement Bonus to Fists
Free Cure from Wholeness of Body
Concealment Ability from Empty Body
DR from Perfect Self
Save or Die Ability from Quivering Palm

If taking Cleric, there is a loss in turning ability, though that tends to be a given with many divine prestige classes.

Also, note that, as with all prestige classes that attempt to mix the strengths of two different classes, a character aiming to be a Sacred Fist will see a bit of a lull in strength before level 10 since there is a split in distribution of class levels. However, this isn't as much of a problem as a class like, say, the Mystic Theurge since both the Cleric and the Monk get great benefits out of the same attribute (Wisdom).

Build Recommendations:
Wisdom is the key stat of the Sacred Fist, as its spells are tied to Wisdom as well as the strength of the Sacred Flame.

The most optimum distribution of class levels for a Sacred Fist would be a Cleric 6 / Monk 4 / Sacred Fist 10 pre-epic, and then have all epic levels go into Sacred Fist. This would allow the Sacred Fist to have seven uses of Sacred Flame, full caster level distribution with the Practised Spellcaster feat, and the proper number of attacks due to BAB (though number of attacks isn't really a concern due to the way the Bioware system calculates it when playing a Monk). What I've found to be a good idea is to start with Cleric first, take Practised Spellcaster whenever you start dipping into Monk, and then go Sacred Fist as soon as possible.

Druid should also qualify for the Sacred Fist, if the player doesn't mind the inconvenience of changing alignments.

Theoretically, classes like Ocular Adept, Vassal of Bahamut, and Paladin can qualify for the class, but the full caster progression isn't quite as useful in regards to them since their offensive spellcasting power doesn't come close to that of a Cleric or Druid. Using Favored Soul to qualify is also a bad idea since it's Charisma-dependent rather than Wisdom-dependent.

Spellcraft and Concentration are critical for spellcasting. Lore is required for gaining a number of Epic Spells. Discipline is helpful against things like Knockdown. Tumble is good for the Dodge AC and moving around groups of opponents or running away. Of course, to be able to place full points in all five of them at once is going to be extremely tough on stat allocation since you're going to need to pump Intelligence by quite a bit, so for the sake of simplicity at least make sure Spellcraft, Concentration, and perhaps Discipline and/or Lore are high.

Important feats other than Practised Spellcaster include damage-enhancing metamagic feats, the Spell Penetration Feats, Spell Focus feats if you want to focus on certain kinds of spellcasting, and Great Wisdom feats. For domains, Fate is an excellent pick for Uncanny Dodge, and any of the domains that enhance spellcaster level are also useful. Two domains that aren't quite useful for the Sacred Fist are the War and Metal domains, as they give free Martial Weapon Proficiency, and the Sacred Fist can't use weapons.

---

Off the record: I don't care how ridiculously powerful the Sacred Fist is, the Wilder will still be my favorite gish-y class.

After being frustrated with the Iaijitsu Attack's apparent inability to pierce DR, the Ancestral Daisho's TMI-filled menus, and the fact that I feel like writing more about the Tempest than the CW Samurai, I realized I wasn't going to be qualified to write about those anytime soon. I'm liking the Ninja though, it has potential.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:32:21 PM
Reply #2

Thrall of Graz'zt (Arcane)

Intro/Description
Strangely enough, while Graz'zt's thralls are supposed to be conniving and seductive, the PrC adds a powerful punch to most spellcasters and provides very powerful meatshields that compliments its Spell strike and spell betrayal abilities. The word "Heavy Duty Artillery" best describes this class. Another thing going for the good ol' ToG is the amount of class skills that it gets. I'm note sure its a bug, by the ToG does have UMD as a class skill, allowing it to wear class/alignment/race restricted items such as Holy Avengers and Monk robes. This opens up possibilities of casting spells that would otherwise be unavailable to the caster class one has picked. As an RP character, Dark Charisma and charm add a lot of bonuses to social situations, so a ToG can go on and be his/her coniving little self.

Pros:
[ulist=disc]adds addiontal damage to spells
good skill set
powerful set of summons on later levels.[/ulist]
Cons
[ulist=disc]1/2 level progression
fragile
weak reflex and fort saves (former can be solved with a feat)
offers little choice in multiclassing
no special epic feats (auto-quicken, auto still etc)[/ulist]
Build(s), including suggested spell choices if a caster

Wizards can easily take the class and fullfill the requirements at first level, an additional benefit for taking the Wizard route would be the amount of class skills the ToG gets, as well as the stat spread. Basically, high enough dex and very high INT will be enough for one to enjoy firing off frost rays that go up to 70 dmg. Sorcs are aslo viable, and would greatly benefit in Dark Charisma bonuses in social situations. However, a Wizard is still choice due to its versatility. Theoretically, Assasins may prove a viable and interesting entry.

Wiz 10 / ToG 30

This will give the character a 30 HD (read, 30 level) Balor which will proved magic, melee and distraction which means more damage from spells. Rays and IGMS shine with this build, but it however suffers from a low caster level (Wiz 10 + 15 Tog + 4 Practised spellcaster = 29). Further more, there are few spells in the higher levels that go work with Spellstrike and spell betrayal. This can be fixed by taking up meta magic feats such as empower and maximise to get better damage output. Putting in high UMD would mean the ability to use divine scrolls for buffing of both you and your Balor pet. Spell penetration, its greater and epic counterparts are a MUST.

Alternatively, one can opt only for a 25 HD Balor, and get more caster levels by taking Archmage and its spell power feats (ToG 12 + Wiz 10 + Archmge + 10 + 4 PSC = 36 caster levels).

Another defensive build would involve using the Elemental Savants, giving nice immunities and better caster levels (Tog 10 + Wiz 10 + ES 10 + 4 PSC = 34) than the pure ToG approach.

For the more offensive minded, the bonuses of the Mage Killer maybe tempting, however the amount of feats needed may cripple your character in certain areas, but one might argue that taking this class does save you some feats such as spell focuses on Evocation and Necromancy.

Note that you lose on additional spell damage when skipping ToG levels.

A more balance approach of direct damage and AOE spells would lead to my suggested build, a Wiz 5/ToG 25/Shadow Adept 15. This will give the the character a total of 36 caster levels, improved DCs on good AOE spells such Weird, Wail of the Banshee and other death spells, while still maintaining a good amount of damage from one's direct damage spells plus 25 HD balor and the Shadow Adept's other abilites. RP wise though, this makes no absolute sense, perhaps more RP-oriented people would chose the Red Wizard, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Suggest spells would be as follows:

Ray of frost - this once pathetic spell is now a force to be reckoned with.
Negative Energy Ray - See above.
Magic Missle, Acid Arrow, Fire Arrow, Fire Bolt and other projectile spells
IGMS - While the the additional damage only applies to the first projectile, its always good to have this around.
Wail of the Banshee
Weird
Finger of Death
(I haven't tried all spells, but since this baby is taking Wizard as its base caster, one can just go wild here)

*20th level only PCs can just opt to stick with the ToG or

Must-have feats:

Great, Epic and normal spell penetration.
Empower Spell
Maximze Spell
Spell focus.

Epic Spells:

Either defensive ones such as Epic Mage armor or Warding and/or additional summons like Unholy Disciple, Twinfiend (this would be bad RP though), Dragon Knight, Summon Abberation or Mummy Dust.

ToGs who've invested on their stealth skills may want to try Unseen Wanderer.

Other Multiclass combinations

Either Rogue/Ninja/Assasin are good ideas, if you want a character that uses stealth, starts with a spell strike, summons a tan'nari then proceeds to either sneak attack or spell sneak his enemies apart.

Somewhere around...

Wiz 6/ToG 25/ Rogue 4

or

Wiz 5/ToG 25/Assasin 15

Not sure about the Ninja yet though.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 01:35:13 PM by Stratovarius »
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:36:22 PM
Reply #3

Ninja Part #1

Introduction:
The Ninja base class is quite close to many of the Rogue's critical functions. The two share many of the 'sneaky' skills, such as 'Disable Trap' and 'Open Lock', as well as a high amount of skill points to use them (the Ninja being less than the Rogue by only two). Both the Ninja and Rogue also have d6 hitdie, high Reflex saves, and full Sneak Attack progression up to the 40th level. But this is where the similarities end.

The Rogue is still one of the few classes in the game that can properly place ranks in Use Magic Device, the others being the Thrall of Graz'zt and the Bard. The Ninja is not among this select group.

However, in exchange, the Ninja gets a lot of abilities of a flavorful and mystical sort. Ninjas receive bonuses to AC from Wisdom modifiers, special progressive boosts towards Tumble and Jump rolls, and Ki Powers that give the Ninja an edge in being as stealthy as their namesake can be.

Pros of the Ninja:
You can play out the epic Ninja vs. Pirate fight against a Swashbuckler, determining the true victor once and for all.

No, seriously, the Ninja is one of the best classes in the game in terms of harassing one's opponents, thanks to the Ninja's Ki Powers. Using Ghost Step will allow you to flit in and out of combat, and when Ghost Step's Ethereal version (and later, Ghost Walk) is acquired, it can even be used in tandem with the Ninja's Ghost Strike ability safely attack opponents without returning to the material plane. Combined with the concealment-granting Ki Dodge and the rarity of Tumble as a class skill, the Ninja is hard to see, hard to hit, and hard to stop, a veritable skulking battlefield nightmare especially to enemies of the Ninja that lack True Seeing.

But even outside combat, the Ninja is quite useful. Due to the number of available skill points (second highest of the base classes outmatched only by the Rogue), the Ninja can, with high Intelligence, fulfill duties such as searching for traps and disabling them, finding hidden doors and unlocking them, and other sneaky duties.

Cons of the Ninja:
Of course, the Ninja, like other classes that makes use of Sneak Attacks, runs into a snag when encountering enemies that are Undead or Constructs, types who are immune to such attacks. So if you run up against ugly Demonflesh Golems or Geoffrey Rush (who happens to be Undead AND a Pirate, curse the luck) and battle is unavoidable, expect longer, drawn out battles if Sneak Attack is the character's main source of damage.

The Ninja can't use his Ki Powers with any kind of armor on, so investments will need to be made in either Wisdom or Dexterity. The Ninja would also need Strength for damage, Dexterity for dual-wielding builds, Wisdom to have multiple uses for Ki Powers, Constitution for enduring hits in those occasions when enemy melee combatants can see (and thus focus on) you, Intelligence for having more points for all of its skills, etcetera-- trying to decide where point buying is best can be a truly difficult endeavor for a Ninja.

Build Recommendations:
[To be added later, as I just noticed the Skullclan Hunter, which adds some tasty possibilities I'd like to cover later]

---

It's alright to put in [weak] humor, right? ... Right?
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:36:49 PM
Reply #4

Ninja Part #2

The following section should replace the [bracketed marker] placeholder under Build Recommendations:

Races that give positive adjustments to Dexterity and Intelligence are preferred. Of course, Human is a good choice for the Ninja as well, especially since Humans have a greater number of skill points starting out.

With regards to stat allocation, I would recommend an investment in Intelligence at least up until costs reach more than one point, and a little less than the same for Wisdom. This should guarantee a good number of skill points and Ki Power uses early on. The Ninja lends itself well to a Dex-based dual-wielding build, so in the end, Dexterity would probably be pumped the highest. Anything left is up to the player's discretion.

It would be a bad idea to create as Strength-based Ninja, as the character would have a serious lack of AC and if the Ninja were to so much as put on a Tower Shield, their Ki Powers would no longer work.

In terms of feats, Weapon Finesse is critical for making sure the Dexterity modifier is used for weapons. Ambidexterity and the Two Weapon Fighting string of feats are extremely useful to improve dual-wielding, although if the Ninja is mixed with certain class choices, using feats for TWF can be skipped completely.

With actual weapons, it's recommended for the Ninja to select between either the Kukri or the Short Sword. The former for the wide crit range, the latter for the higher potential base damage. If the Ninja gets access to the Rapier, it's almost the best of both worlds if not for the fact that the Rapier is a medium weapon, which leads to TWF complications.

The following are some useful skills for the Ninja.
Tumble: Avoiding hits and Dodge AC, what's not to like?
Disable Traps: Great for trap-heavy modules.
Search and Spot: For detecting those traps as well as hidden doors and baddies.
Craft Weapon/Armor: For customizing your Ninja's look.
Hide and Move Silently: For times when stealthing around is absolutely needed. Also helps for Ghost Step and not getting detected.

Open Lock can be useful in cases where certain obstacles can't be bashed open due to a factor like not having enough Strength. Jump, while not actually being very useful (there are almost no modules that really take it into account and it leaves the Ninja open to attack), is still a skill I feel is required-- what kind of Ninja can't leap amazing heights? There's also the fact that putting ranks in Jump provides synergistic bonuses to Tumble.

As the only thing past 20 that the Ninja gains is better Sneak Attack and improvements in Acrobatics (which, in the case of Tumble, don't count for increasing Dodge AC), it's generally a good idea to give the Ninja a little bit of extra oomph through prestige classes rather than leveling as a straight base class.

To begin with, note that the Ninja has three key categories of foes against which its Sneak Attack does not function: Dragons, Undead, and Constructs. Against any of them, the Ninja could try to multiclass in a mix of Ranger (or Harper Scout, if Bardic Knowledge tickles your fancy more than Dual-Wield) and Foe Hunter, though this uses up all three class slots and leaves little room for customization.

With Dragons specifically, the Ninja may want to try taking the Vassal of Bahamut class for Dragonwrack's extra damage against the draconian beasts (along with the added bonus of money and Divine Power), though the free Platinum Armor cannot be used without losing the ability to use Ki Powers. Against Undead, the Ninja can actually make his Sneak Attacks work against them through use of the Skullclan Hunter's Divine Strike ability at level 2. However, this option will require multiclassing in Cleric, Paladin, or any other class that can Turn Undead to fulfill the Skullclan Hunter's requirements.

A Ninja/Tempest can be a frightening opponent, having even AB for two light weapons (and thus, an even chance for Sneak Attacks from both) and an AC boost to make up for the lack of a shield. The Tempest's hefty feat requirements can be lightened by taking a level in Ranger, though taking the feats regularly leaves a third class slot open for something like the Vassal of Bahamut.

Due to the Ninja's skills and AC being reliant on Wisdom, it might be nice to multiclass the Ninja with a divine spellcasting class such as the Druid or the Cleric, though to ensure powerful spells, the spellcasting class might have to be the one that uses the most levels.

Despite that, a Cleric or Druid 30 / Ninja 10 not only has +5d6 Sneak Attack and spellcasting at 34 Caster Levels with Practised Spellcaster, but also at least 5 uses of an ethereal Ghost Step in addition to more from having a high Wisdom (10 more uses with Wisdom of 30). A Cleric or Druid 25 / Ninja 10 / Hierophant 5 is also a potent combination that would lead to a base of 29 Caster Levels with Practised Spellcaster, then along with the extra SR penetration from the Hierophant's +10 Spell Power virtual provides a CL of 39 and an added DC of +10. And none of this counts Spell Penetration!

A Cleric / Ninja / Skullclan Hunter would also be quite strong as an Undead fighter, taking at least Skullclan Hunter 2 to allow the Sneak Attack to affect Undead, or Skullclan Hunter 5 to pierce Undead DR. A Cleric 32 / Ninja 3 / Skullclan Hunter 5 with PS would have a CL of 36, minor Sneak Attack, and get past Undead DR. Of course, outside of having plenty of Wisdom to use non-ethereal Ghost Steps plenty of times, this combination doesn't play the Ninja's strengths to the fullest.

Shadowdancer, while being nifty for the infamous Hide in Plain Sight, would be redundant in the face of the Ninja's Ghost Step. Still, HiPS doesn't have a number of uses per day. The Ninja Spy is a nice alternative for its Sneak Attack and Improved Evasion, though it will take a little longer to reach a level in which HiPS is available.

The last multiclass route this section will cover is that of the Ninja / Arcane Trickster, though many of its tactics (Ray of Frost, etc.) are better covered in the Arcane Trickster's own section. Note, however, that it has the Rogue in mind throughout, so concepts like a 'UMD level dump' should be ignored.

---

The section about which classes use UMD should also include the Assassin, so replace it with:

"The Rogue is still one of the few classes in the game that can properly place ranks in Use Magic Device, the others being the Thrall of Graz'zt, the Assassin, and the Bard. The Ninja is not among this select group."
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:38:01 PM
Reply #5

Red Wizard of Thay

Introduction:
The Red Wizard is a class designed to do one thing: rocket the DC of a single spell of schools into the stratosphere. It also gives you a very high defense against spells of the same school, meaning you will almost always save against them. It should give circle magic, but that hasn't been implemented yet, and may never be unless someone else steps up to make it. If you play in a team, you also get the interesting ability that a Thayan Knight will fail every save against your will spells. Rather handy if you're played with a Barb/FB/TK. This class is Wizard only though.

Pros of the Red Wizard of Thay:
The DC of your spells. Because it boosts DCs, you should be picking a school where the DC impact matters. Necromancy is my school of choice for the death spell DCs you get. The other good one is evocation, to make all of those damage spells never miss. Conjuration and Enchantment are decent, but I find myself not liking them too much as schools for this. Transmutation, Abjuration, Divination and Illusion simply have too few spells where this DC boost is worthwhile. This ability also increases the SR penetration of the class, so you can simply ignore the SR of monsters when casting from your chosen school.

(Almost) no loss of wizard benefits. You get a bonus feat at level 5, full casting, and only lose out on familiar progression. Thats a fair trade.

Defensive DC boosts. You get almost as much against the school as you do for your DC boost to it, so you can safely ignore all but the secondary side effects of your chosen school. This is especially a big boost with Evocation, as they are the spells you are most often hit with.

Cons of the Red Wizard of Thay:
Loss of a second (or even third) spell school. You end up being able to cast only spells from 5 or 4 of the schools, instead of the usual seven. Generally I lose divination and enchantment, as they offer the least for me. Even so, not having some of those spells is rather aggravating. If you pick another school aside from those, you lose out on at least one of the main wizard spell buffs, if not more.

Loss of spell choice. Because you're so heavily focused into one school of magic, it makes little sense to pick from outside of it except when totally needed, or for buffs, and thus you can end up in situations such as an Enchantment or Necromancy or Illusion Red Wizard attempting to fight undead or constructs and being more or less useless because his spells don't affect them.

Race Restriction. You have to be a human to take the Red Wizard of Thay, so even though gnome or some other alternate race might look really nice with it, its just not happening. Human it is. At least the race you're forced into isn't a bad one though.

Build Recommendations:
I would start with at least 16 Int and probably 18. Other stats to taste, although I tend to keep Con as the second highest. Skills are the big three for a caster: Conc, Spellcraft, Lore.

If you go into a blaster school, I recommend Archmage for its two Masteries, which are greatly useful. If you pick one of Necromancy, Illusion, or Enchantment, it can be nice to finish out with some levels in Shadow Adept, to get another boost to casting with those spells. Elemental Savant is also nice, but only really with an Evocation or possibly Conjuration based mage. Things like the Thrall of Graz'zt or Diabolist can add extra damage to your spells when most needed.

Feats: Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, anything that increases the damage of your one school. And when you run out of those, I tend to just go with lots of Great Int feats to give me more slots and more DC.

Make sure you keep plenty of defensive buffs up though. Despite being a wonderful caster, you're still a wizard with his low AC and paper thin d4 HD.

For spell choices, simply pick as many spells from your schol as have DCs. My goal as a Red Wizard is always to get as many spells as possible at the highest DC possible, and that involves snagging every Int boost possible. Also note that the Red Wizard spell boosts work on epic spells, making things like Momento Mori rather dangerous.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:40:56 PM
Reply #6

Baelnorn

Introduction:
The Baelnorn is a 4 level templated class that enhances wizards, sorcerers, and clerics.
It is available only to elves of good alignment and requires the ability to cast level 6 spells.

Pros of the Baelnorn:
Undeath. Upon reaching level 4 you become fully undead, and enjoy all the immunities that other undead enjoy. You gain a substantial amount of hit points, giving you greater survivability than your living brethren. Your immunity to sneak attacks and critical hits coupled with DR 15/+2 will frustrate finesse characters to no end.

(Almost) Full arcane casting. You're a mere 4 levels behind straight casters. This isn?t too bad once you reach higher levels, and it can be negated entirely by Practiced Spellcaster.

The class SLAs. You have a touch attack that is identical to lich touch. This makes you fairly dangerous even when you are not casting spells. The most powerful ability of the Baelnorn however is Projection. This allows the Baelnorn to project an image of itself with which it can open doors, speak, and cast spells from relative safety. This projection cannot be turned. You can also cast animate dead to protect yourself.

Bolstered against Turning. The Baelnorn has a natural +4 bonus to turn resistance. Also, because of it?s good alignment, a Baelnorn cannot be turned or destroyed by good or neutral clerics. Evil characters that Rebuke or Command a Baelnorn instead turn or destroy it.

Can Turn Undead. The Baelnorn can turn dead as a cleric of it?s own level level 3/day. Since this was converted from a template, that means that as a Baelnorn you count all classes as levels of cleric for the purpose of turning. For example, a sorc 36/balenorn 4 will turn undead as a level 40 cleric.

Increased Ability Scores. You gain +2 bonuses to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Regardless of which caster class you have, you will get a +2 bonus to your primary stat.

Improved Natural Armor. You gain natural armor bonuses equals 1 + your Baelnorn level.

Cons of the Baelnorn:
Can still be destroyed during Projection: The Baelnorn takes ? of the damage dealt to the projection, so it is not invulnerable, and the true Baelnorn can be killed while concentrating on the projection?s actions.

Undeath. Healing kits, potions, and spells will damage you. As such, forms of healing are more scarce than for other living classes. Also, as an undead creature you are susceptible to turning.

Undead hunting classes. There are always certain characters that are geared toward hunting undead. These are, of course, particularly dangerous for a Baelnorn, and you may find that good characters may not distinguish between good undead and evil undead.

Build Recommendations:
Prerequisites are as follows:

Race: Elf
Alignment: Any good
Skills: Concentration 5, Spellcraft 14
Ability to cast level 6 spells
Must not have any levels in Lich

You will want a high score in your casting class?s primary attribute. Charisma is also important for SLA DCs and Turn Undead.

Some feats you might consider other than the standard wizard/sorc/cleric feats are Positive Energy Resistance and Improved Turn Resistance. Positive energy resistance absorbs the first 10 pts of positive energy dealt to you, such as healing spells from enemies. Improved Turn Resistance gives you another +4 bonus to turn resistance on top of your existing resistance.

Build combinations are somewhat limited due to the requirements for the Baelnorn.
Arcane baelnorns should consider classes such as the Archmage. It?s a logical choice since it focuses on raw magical power, and arcane baelnorns don?t have the attack bonus necessary to take on epic foes in melee. Shadow Adept also provides some extra bonuses that work well. For a full powered mage, it?s important to multiclass to classes that give a full progression, as the levels in Baelnorn take up the entire benefit of practiced spellcaster.

Divine casters have more flexibility. Ironically, Baelnorns work well with the undead hunting classes because of their powerful turn undead ability. Melee heavy builds might also consist of classes that can Smite Evil. The large number of immunities provided by undeath can be quite handy in a melee build. Be aware that projections cannot damage enemies with their projected version of their weapon. As such, a Baelnorn is still best suited to a caster based character.

Either version should be careful to avoid picking classes that provide benefits that they already have because of undeath.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:44:01 PM
Reply #7

Mage Killer

Introduction:
The Mage Killer is a generalist spellcasting class. It grants Spell Focus in four schools, as well as a minor bonus to all summoned creatures. The other main benefit is the ability to either fix the weak Fort save of Wizard classes, or boost the Reflex save of the class as well, making it so you effectively have three high saves. You do get into it two levels later than a normal prestige class. This is also the first class ever made for the PRC, and the one that taught me the basics of 2da work, so I'm rather attached to it.

Pros of the Mage Killer:
Saves. Because of both the class abilities and the entry feats, the Mage Killer has far higher saves than a normal wizard does, a full nine more points of saves by the end of the first ten levels of the class, most likely. By the end of epic levels, this increases to nineteen points ahead, giving the Mage Killer a large advantage just where its designed to have one: in spell combat.

Spell Focus. The Mage Killer gets Spell Focus in the four most important combat schools, allowing him to switch and juggle spells as the moment arises without worrying about whether he doesn't have a boost to that school like the Elemental Savant and Red Wizard must do. These also allow him entry into classes like the Archmage and others that require Spell Focus as an entry feat. This makes him one of the better generalist classes out there.

Augment Summoning. All of the summoned minions (not undead) of the Mage Killer are a little bigger and a little stronger than the others, making him a better summoner class than most of the others out there. It can provide that extra little punch in a fight, especially when using something like the Dire Spider, where insuring it hits often so its poison can be applied is important.

Finally, because of the feat selection, it fits rather well into builds like the Melee Mage, which focuses on killing the weak creatures with melee while taking out the larger ones with spells.

Cons of the Mage Killer:
Entry Requirements. The four feats are rather steep, taking up all of the feats if the PC's race is not human and tries to get into the class at the first opportunity. They also aren't feat choices that would normally be made by a mage, especially not the Martial Weapon, unless they are going into Eldritch Knight. Thus, those who pick Mage Killer must be ready to stay with the class for a while, as they won't have the feat options to make another choice until around level 12 for most classes.

Perhaps too generalist. Unlike most of the other PRC caster PrCs, the Mage Killer does not provide a highly focused build. This makes it not quite as good at overcoming the harder challenges because it doesn't have that extra high DC or immunity that it can rely on.

Build Recommendations:
Because of the possible melee nature of the class, how a player builds with it is very much in two routes. One is the Melee Mage, using combat to clean out the weaker creatures, while the other is the multi-school blaster/summoner, relying on the plethora of Spell Focus feats to use whatever spell most suits the moment.

If a blaster build is your choice, I recommend Archmage for its two Masteries, which are greatly useful. Things like the Thrall of Graz'zt or Diabolist can add extra damage to your spells when most needed, while classes like Red Wizard of Thay and Elemental Savant are too focused if you wish to use all of the Spell Focus feats you have as a caster.

Melee builds should look into Eldritch Knight, especially, along with other classes that can boost martial and magical prowess at the same time.

Feats: If you're a blaster, I would pick up Penetration and lots of Greater/Epic Spell Focus to go with the nature of the class, while for melee, pick whichever melee feats seem appropriate, Expertise and the like.

Especially as a Melee Mage, buffs are the core of the build, so even though you have all the Spell Focus and summoning, make sure to keep the protections up. Its much better to have the high saves as backup, rather than being forced to rely on them the whole time.

For spell choices, pick whatever spell feels appropriate. As a melee mage, you have the buffing spells, while as a blaster, because of the proliferation of Spell Foci, you have freedom to chose from any of the four main damage schools without losing effectiveness.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:44:36 PM
Reply #8

Man at Arms

Introduction:
The Man at Arms, like the Mage Killer, is a bit of a generalist prestige class, except for adventurers of a physical rather than magical persuasion. Rather sturdy in battle, the Man at Arms not only has access to all weapons, but also access to all armor and shields, along with a d10 HD. However, it does have a steep requirement of +8 BAB and five feats (Power Attack and four different Weapon Focuses).

Pros of the Man at Arms:
The Man at Arms' goal is to be able to use multiple kinds of weapons, and this job he performs particularly well. All of the Man at Arms' special abilities work well with almost every weapon. Following are the Man at Arms' abilities at a glance.
General Specialization: +1 to Attack and Damage with any weapon.
Master Critical: Free Improved Critical feats for any four weapons which you elected to gain Weapon Focus.
Focused Strike: Add the Dexterity Modifier to Power Attack with the Power Attack level as max for any weapon that can use Power Attack, essentially doubling the damage boost.
Furious Assault: Gain an additional attack for any weapon at -2 AB Penalty.
Legendary Prowess: +2 to Attack and Damage for any weapon, in addition to +2 AC.

So essentially the Man at Arms has a 'bag of tricks' in the form of four different weapons he can use for whatever situation arises. Fighting against Trolls and Ogres? You can use your trusty Long/Greatsword. Is your next enemy a Mummy Lord guarded by denizens of the dead? I guess it's HAMMERTIME! (don't beatbox please) Thinking your buddies can handle the frontlines just fine? Pull out a bow and support them like the Legolas you are! The Man at Arms can be built in such a way that he's suitable for any offensive.

The Man at Arms also gets free Improved Initiative, Superior Initiative, and Spring Attack. With a high Dexterity build this means that the Man at Arms has a high chance of being first to act (even without high Dex he's unlikely to be the last, either), and Spring Attack combined with ranks in Tumble (which Man at Arms gets as a class skill!) means the Man at Arms will also be able to move around quite easily in the thick of combat.

Cons of the Man at Arms:
You will be confused for a character from The Masters of the Universe, and be railed ruthlessly by extreme feminists who think the class should be called "Person at Arms".

To be serious, the Man at Arms lacks a specific mode of battle, sacrificing extended specialization in any single kind of attack in order to spread itself out to have equal effectiveness in multiple weaponry. This equates to the Man at Arms lacking the oomph of other classes like the Lasher, Arcane Archer, or its veritable antithesis, the Weapon Master.

Repeating what was said before, the Man at Arms also requires no less than five feats and a BAB of 8. So, unless the player's character starts out as a Fighter or have Human as a Race (maybe even both), a lot of feats will need to be used up in order to enter the class, especially if one wants to go into it as soon as possible.

Build Recommendations:
The Man at Arms lends itself well towards either Strength-based (damage and Fortitude) or Dexterity-based builds (AC and Reflex). The mechanics of Focused Strike and Initiative promote the latter. Of course, Intelligence is always a useful trait, as is Constitution for taking hits.

Two important skills for the Man at Arms are Tumble and Discipline, for the dodge AC and resistance to stuff like Knockdown, respectively. The former is a class skill for the Man at Arms, giving it an uncommon edge in comparison to other fighting classes. Anything else is up to the player's discretion, though the following are some interesting options to put under consideration.
Bluff: The only 'diplomatic' skill that the Man at Arms has as a class skill.
Search and Spot: Class skills that can be used to look around for traps, doors, and invisible enemies.
Craft Armor/Weapon: Customize your look.
Hide and Move Silently: Use this with Tumble to qualify for Shadowdancer.

The Man at Arms has several ways to go about spending its feats. In order to capitalize on the Power Attack and free Improved Critical feats, it might be a good idea to try and get Devastating Critical, but this would put quite a strain on your feat bank as a whole. The character could also try going for a TWF route, and certain problems with having to use a mix of medium and small weapons is rectified by the Man at Arms' generalist approach. If the Man at Arms uses a Rapier and a Kukri, it's not a big problem if the Man at Arms chose to take a Focus in those two weapons.

Other good feats include Great Strength, Great Dexterity, and Epic Weapon Focus.

In terms of a base class to start out with, the most obvious choice for the Man at Arms is the Fighter for its extra feats, which help nicely in filling all the feat requirements.

A multitude of prestige classes can also be used with the Man at Arms. A few basic suggestions below.
Blackguard: A full BAB sneak-attacker with Charisma bonus to saves. Not bad, especially since Cleave is the next step up from Power Attack and Hide is a class skill.
Bard/Dragon Disciple: The tremendous strength boost is extremely useful up to the tenth level of Dragon Disciple is a boon to a strength-based Man at Arms, and the requirement wastes skill points, not feats. However, this multiclass requires that you start out with Bard as your base class.
Dwarven Defender: This class gives excellent durability to complement the Man at Arms' offense.
Warmind: For availability to Psychic Warrior powers and nifty class abilities while maintaining full BAB.
Vassal of Bahamut: Free money, armor, spellcasting, full BAB, and a focus on fighting dragons.
Shadowdancer: HiPS. And the class requirements are easy for a Man at Arms to fill, too.
Ninja Spy: Also HiPS, with a bit of Sneak Attack thrown in the mix.
Champion of Torm/Bane: The saves gained from this class are excellent especially since Charisma is not required to gain them.
Druid/Talontar Blightlord: Although the power of Illmaster is reduced due to lower Druid levels, the immunities granted at level 10 are nothing short of fantastic.

Of course, the player isn't limited to just the Fighter, nor to these prestige classes. There are plenty of other melee classes that go well with the Man at Arms, like the Ranger, Rogue (capitalize on HiPS+Sneak Attack with Shadowdancer) and Swashbuckler, along with a myriad of nice prestige classes and hybrid melee/caster builds (preferably Divine casters to maintain BA.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:45:33 PM
Reply #9

Vassal of Bahamut

Introduction:
One of a number of prestige classes associated with Dragons, the Vassal of Bahamut is unique in this group as while the other classes try to harness power through finding respect in, getting inspiration from, or having the blood of Dragons, the Vassal is granted his powers by the Wyrmking for one job: dealing out divine, draconic justice on evil Dragons. The Vassal can be pretty tough, having a d10 HD, full BAB, a limited Spellbook up to the 4th-level, and proficiencies in all Armor, Shields, and all weapons except Exotic ones.

Pros of the Vassal of Bahamut:
Let's cover the VoB's advantages, starting with its Dragon-opposing qualities first.
Dealing with Dragons: The Imperious Aura special passive ability gives you an increase to all diplomatic skills when it comes to dealings with evil Dragons. Since some Dragons have a habit of talking to you before attempting to kill you, this has its uses.
Fighting with Dragons: When push comes to shove, the Dragonwrack special passive ability allows you to do greatly increased damage to evil Dragons and cause every evil Dragon that hits you to take 1d6 damage.
Free Gold: Over the course of your progressions through VoB levels, you gain a total of 150,000 gold to spend on whatever you please. In modules where getting money is difficult, this is a fantastic gain.
Free Armor: You get a free, automatically upgrading Plate Mail armor (up to +8), which really gives the VoB an edge in low-magic worlds where such armors aren't usually available (or aren't at all!).
Bonus Feats: You get three bonus feats across your progression as a VoB. Considering what feats you had to take to get there, this is quite nice.
Darkvision: For when you enter those underground areas or night-time.

Cons of the Vassal of Bahamut:
A few of the requirements for the Vassal of Bahamut don't have much of a tangible use in combat. If you're not interested in customizing your look or convincing people in dialogue, then the 5 ranks in Craft Armor and Persuade each would be useless. Sacred Vow, another requirement, is a rather weak choice for a feat.

The main focus of the Vassal of Bahamut is also pretty narrow, as the Vassal of Bahamut's abilities only work on evil Dragons, not good Dragons (obviously) or even neutral Dragons such as Prismatic Dragons. Although the Vassal is pretty solid even outside a situation where these abilities can't be used, it quickly becomes apparent that other 'divine' full-BAB classes (such as the Blackguard and the Fist of Raziel) have a much broader function.

Build Recommendations:
The Vassal's Platinum Armor will restrict the use of Dexterity modifiers to armor. Therefore, it would be convenient to use the prestige class as part of builds that rely on Strength to land hits.

Many of the physically-inclined base classes are quite suitable for the Vassal of Bahamut, and unlike many other 'divine' fighting prestige classes, the Vassal has no divine spellcasting requirement, leaving it open to classes such as the Marshal and the Fighter while having a 'free' third class slot open for something else. However, it should be noted that any classes that rely on high Dexterity or can't use armor without losing critical abilities (Rogue, Monk, Ninja, etc.) usually should avoid using the Vassal of Bahamut since the Vassal's Platinum Armor couldn't be used without suffering consequences.

That said, the Vassal of Bahamut presents itself as not only a Dragon-fighting specialist, but also another full-BAB entrance outside of the Paladin to other classes that require divine spellcasting. Examples are as follows.
Shining Blade of Heironeous: Brilliant Blade is quite powerful, making it unlikely that the Vassal will ever miss again. Excellent against high AC Dragons like the Dracolich and the Prismatic.
Knight of the Chalice: Why restrict yourself to Dragons? Pick this class to become a Demonslayer as well.
Fist of Raziel: Evil Dragons aren't the only thing that will fear you with this class-- you gain an advantage against ALL Evil creatures with your smiting!
Oozemaster: A bit of a strange choice for a Vassal, to be sure-- but the immunity to Critical Hits at level 6 can be quite helpful.

Of course, those aren't the only multiclass PrC choices open to the Vassal.
Bard/Dragon Disciple: For a touch of irony, be an evil dragon-blooded champion of the holiest of Good Dragons. Oh, and the total of +8 Strength is awesome, as well.
Champion of Torm: This class's saves are great, 'nuff said.
Hospitaler: Not only keep your full BAB, but also get Undead Turning and even more free feats!
Ranger/Foe Hunter: BAM! Kick your Dragon-beating prowess up a notch with these classes that'll give an even greater focus towards the enemy you've sworn to fight.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


June 05, 2009, 01:46:26 PM
Reply #10

Spellsword

Introduction:
The Spellsword, as per the name, is one of the fighter/arcane-magic hybrid prestige classes introduced into NWN by the PRC. In this niche, the Spellsword performs well, carrying with it a medium d8 HD, full BAB, good Fortitude and Will saves, 1/2 arcane caster level progression, and two unique class abilities: Ignore Spell Failure from armor (ISF from here on out) and channeling one's spells into their melee weapon.

Pros of the Spellsword:
The following is a run-down of some reasons why the Spellsword is good, then followed by a discussion of the utility of Channel Spell.
Strength in Melee: To ensure without a doubt that it is suited for the concept of the fighting mage, the Spellsword has full BAB progression.
Greater Defensive Prowess: The requirements of the Spellsword guarantee it Heavy Armor, and with the ISF, a level 10 Spellsword would be able to wear a Half Plate and Small Shield with only a 5% Arcane Spell Failure. Combined with the Spellsword's solid d8 hitdie, the Spellsword is quite good at not only duking it out with enemies in melee combat, but can also sling spells with little armor-based (ISF) OR enemy-based (good AC) hindrance.
Excellent Saves: The Spellsword has two good saves, Fortitude and Will. In addition to this being an uncommon occurence amongsnt classes, most Death Magic relies on DCs relating to these two saves.

At first, Channel Spell may appear to have questionable function. While nifty in flavor, even if an AoE spell is cast on your weapon through Channel Spell, you will only be able to affect the next target hit, and no one else. Why not just cast the AoE spell, or any spell for that matter?

Well, consider its application towards touch attacks. If your regular AB tends to be more reliable than your touch AB, you're fighting a Wilder with Elude Touch, you're Strength rather than Dex dependant, etc. well why not just use channel that Vampiric Touch into your weapon and virtually guarantee that those d6's of vampiric regenerating damage are not going to miss? This is true especially since the effect doesn't fire off until your hit lands. Not to mention that a touch attack provokes an Attack of Opportunity, and with Channel Spell you avoid that altogether.

Another thing: suppose you're in a group where there are a number of your allies in close quarters with your opponents. In order to avoid hitting them, you could just channel your AoE spell into your sword and smack the enemy with a spell without harming your friends at all.

Cons of the Spellsword:
The 1/2 caster level progression is unfortunate for the Spellsword. Sure, if you stop at Spellsword 9 for the last 10% leap in ISF, you could still have the majority of your caster levels with Practised Spellcaster-- but it certainly discourages putting any more levels than that in the prestige class, unless you want to have serious problems landing spells against your foes' SR in later levels.

You suffer under MAD (Multiple Ability Dependancy). You need Strength for the damage, Dexterity for the AC in levels where ISF isn't high enough, Constitution for HP, and your casting attribute to ensure that your spells are effective. If you truly wish to be a good fighter/mage, you'll have to spread yourself out and make absolute sure that every bit of attribute allocation is optimized properly.

The Spellsword is rather feat-heavy, meaning that the only way you're seriously going to get into the class is to combine a full BAB fighting class with a caster to gain the required proficiencies. This often leads to a Spellsword character having no class slots left, a definite restriction on the Spellsword's options.

Build Recommendations:
Useful attributes are covered above. In terms of what casting class to utilize with the Spellsword, since the Spellsword already has a delayed casting progression, it would be a bad idea to pair it with a caster that already has a delayed spell progression, so stick with Wizard rather than Sorcerer unless you're looking to make a Sorcerer/Paladin/Spellsword.

Using the Spellsword with the Bard may be a bit redundant, as the Bard is already supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades trained in magic and fighting. However, being able to cast support magics such as War Cry in Heavy Armor without worrying about Arcane Spell Failure (ASF) may tickle peoples' fancies.

There are three four important class skills for the Spellsword.
Discipline: If you're going to wade into the front with all the other melee classes, you don't want to get knocked down or lose your weapon.
Concentration: You could get targeted in battle while casting, this'll help make sure your spells will still go off without a hitch.
Lore: You can't go wrong with Epic Spells.
Spellcraft: Saves vs. spells, learning Epic Spells, and access to certain feats make this skill a no-brainer.

As a Wizard, even with MAD you're probably going to have a lot of skill points. Use them towards these, and if you have any left, I would consider Tumble even if it's cross-classed. With any other caster, it's going to be a different story so choose the ones you really value.

With regards to feats, it depends on whether you want to slant towards your melee or your magic side, or stay in the middle ground of the two. The only feat I can say is an absolute must is Practised Spellcaster and the Spell Penetration feats. That said, the Spell Focus line of feats are always nice, as is going the Devastating Critical or Epic Divine Might route (the latter is for the Paladin). Metamagic may not be as useful here due to the Spellsword's delayed spellcasting, and Still Spell is especially useless since you already have ISF to deal with the ASF.

Class distribution requires quite a balancing act for the Spellsword. A few suggestions on entering the class.
[Full BAB Class] 2 / [Arcane Caster] 4: The advantage of this path is that it's the quickest way for a non-Bard caster to access the Spellsword.
[Full BAB Class] 1 / [Arcane Caster] 6: Going this way would allow your magic to keep up better in the early levels. You can opt to get the full ten levels in Spellsword and then fill the remaining levels with Arcane Caster for a maximum caster level of 38, or try and get levels in the fighting class in order to get a BAB of 16.
Bard 6: If you're just interested in being able to cast the Bard's support magic without hassle. Also keeps a third class slot open. Has the disadvantage of needing to spend feats for Weapon Proficiency Martial and Armor Proficiency Heavy.
Paladin 2 / Sorcerer 4: I felt this should be covered seperately from the first one as the possibility of high Charisma combined with saves, Divine Might, armor and arcane spellcasting is not one to be overlooked. You would eventually need at least Paladin 3 at some point in order to get Divine Might, however. Not to mention that your spells are going to be far behind almost every other kind of caster, and with a Paladin 3 / Sorcerer 27 / Spellsword 10 your caster level will only be as high as 32 without Practised Spellcaster.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
 And with strange aeons even death may die.


April 04, 2010, 04:32:41 PM
Reply #11

Hello. I'd like to request some help.

I'm new to PRC, a friend helped me install it last week. I've played NWN1 and 2 before and I always found the class options a bit.. limited. Now I suddenly find myself overwhelmed with the possibilities.

I want to play a unique character, so let me give you a better description of what I think of as unoriginal characters. Sorry for lumping a lot of classes together like this, but it's the only way I can make sense of it.

------

Charracters attack physically and/or ranged. Which can be further devided in:
 - hitting with melee weapons
 - casting touch-attack magic
and
 - casting ranged magic
 - firing ranged weapons

Further down the road there are:
 - Cast a summon that does some or all of the above.
 - Perform any of the above from a sneaking/invisible status, do extra damage.
 - Cast something that enhances your ability to do any of the above.
 - Cast something that decreases others' abilities to do any of the above.

------

So that must likely sum up 90% of all (prestige)classes out there. What I've plucked out of the regular D&D games like the NWN series so far always seemed to come down to rudementary combinations of casters, rogues and fighters.

The only class I've ever come across in a D&D game (heck, any RPG game) that didn't seem to subscribe to any of these categories was from one of the NWN2 expansions. The Hellfire warlock. It has an ability that lets your attacker receive damage whenever it hits you. That completely turns everything upside down.

So.. I am looking for advice on a PRC class build that allows for really unique gameplay. Perhaps I'm the only one to feel this way, but I so often get the feeling that I've *done it all before*. I realize am being awfully picky so I'll understand if there's simply nothing for me out there.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 04:37:40 PM by azenmin »


July 30, 2010, 07:04:54 PM
Reply #12

Quote from: azenmin

So.. I am looking for advice on a PRC class build that allows for really unique gameplay. Perhaps I'm the only one to feel this way, but I so often get the feeling that I've *done it all before*. I realize am being awfully picky so I'll understand if there's simply nothing for me out there.


I have that same curse, but I've messed with the PRC for awhile coming up with random stuff.  For your damage reflection example, you can just use something like fire shield (or many similar wizard spells) along with stoneskin for a similar effect, but I know that's not what you're looking for.

One thing I've messed around with is 6 sorcerer/6 cleric/28 true necro (although maybe dread necro can fit in for one of those 2 base classes now?).  Focus on cha, eventually get zone of animation, and of course take all those corpsecrafter feats.  Now, I know this involves summoning things to do your bidding, but it's going to get very different once you're past low levels.   You end up with a massive army of the undead that you sort of direct, but when you combine it with greater sanctuary, you're capable of casting beneficial spells on your cute soldiers without breaking it.  You become this enigmatic, malevolent presence directing and fortifying the undead, raising the dead of those you kill, growing into an unimaginable swarm of corpses.  It's sorta entertaining.

For another build, if you take something like shadow adept or red wizard and focus on one of the more tricky spell schools, such as enchantment, you can end up with a rather ridiculous play style.  Problem is, you gotta make sure you're playing a module that isn't loaded with enemies that have every single immunity, which is apparently something the NWN devs loved to do.  I like to combine it with the PRC staff crafting and spellfire channeler to make up for the relative weakness, since then you can get essentially unlimited staying power, which you'll probably need.  Especially when you have to dominate guys from one area and drag them to another where everything is immune to mind spells.

I dunno, it can be really tricky coming up with something that plays uniquely.  I've made lots of weird builds over the years but most of the files are missing, so these are just a couple I can come up with off the top of my head...