Everything You Always Wanted to Know about NWN (But Were Afraid to Ask)

  • I’ve noticed that Taunt doesn’t seem to work when used in the middle of a combat, at least in the EE. It’s just added to the queue after the Attack symbol and stays there for the rest of the combat. In order for it to work, I need to cease attacking first, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I checked the wiki and it says Taunt only works every 6 seconds, but even after 6 rounds, the Taunt icon is still queued up and the PC did not make a single attempt at taunting. Any insights on that?

Yes, you que the taunt, then cancel attack when you’re ready, it’s a pain in the butt. You also don’t resume combat after you taunt, which can leave you flat footed between the time you’re finished taunting and when you resume attack by clicking.

There’s a semi-exploit available there though. You can get most of the way through a taunt, and cancel it. Then the next time you taunt it’s immediately effective, and I don’t think they get an AoO.

While adding a queued taunt vs a spellcaster which casts invisibility over himself you get it automatically.
A queued taunt gets useful on mods which allow a no penalty respawn. When you get killed, a taunt check gets performed and you raise fighting a potentially now-taunted opponent.

  • How are Red Dragon Disciples originally meant to be played? I mean, it’s a prestige class for sorcerers and bards, that is casters and support characters, but the bonus stats it gives them curiously seem fit for melee tanks - can or should they actually fill that role? It seems a bit contrary at first. So how are sorcerer/RDDs and bard/RDDs supposed to work, how would you play them? I just built a sorcerer(10)/RDD(5) that’s basically just a sorcerer with high STR (but comparatively low AC and HP), and Knockdown feat, and I’m wondering whether a character like that can survive in single player modules.

See the NwN Wiki page for Red Dragon Disciple. Does that help?


Dunno, that doesn’t really explain how it’s supposed to work. The interesting parts in the article for me are these two quotes:

  1. “Any class that has a high reliance on strength should find this prestige class useful.”
  2. “although it is nominally for those who cast spells, many players have found it more useful for characters that focus on melee combat.”

But that makes it seem even more curious why they made it a prestige class for sorcerers and bards. Surely they must have had some idea about how a sorcerer RDD would work and didn’t just design the class to be exploited in other builds?

For me the pertinent part of that article is -

Red dragon disciple is a class that represents a wielder of magic discovering and embracing a draconic heritage, eventually gaining some features of dragons.

That says to me that characters of the class are searching for knowledge in order to discover their heritage.

The underlying code could probably have been written better, but what you describe is mainly a consequence of 3rd ed D&D’s focus on multi-classing.


Yes, but that’s a roleplay reason. Won’t help you much if the combat gets tough.

But you asked how they are supposed to be played. That is the information I thought you wanted. As I’ve never played that class, I’ve no idea about the actual mechanics of playing it.


Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t realize it could be read as a roleplay question. I meant mechanically, in combat.

i’ve played a few builds w/rdd, some just to test, but a couple in campaigns. as you noted, even though it’s accessible only from spell-caster classes [most likely for hiSTORYcal reasons], it is more favourable to melee classes ; the stat boosts are almost a waste for builds that emphasise spell casting.

one of my more successful rdd builds was a paladin w/a sorcerer splash which gave access to rdd. i think this must be a pretty typical case. i had over 20 lvls of rdd w/him. the rdd boosts did help in combat for my already melee-orientated character, but tbh the other aspects weren’t so interesting ; the breath weapon is silly [it looks flashy, but ultimately it’s not powerful enough to be worthwhile], and the immunities, while sometimes handy, can often be had fairly easily w/items. imho, the only thing that really remains interesting w/lots of levels of rdd is the ac bonus, because it stacks w/every other type of ac.

i also had a very pugnacious bard, a build focused more on combat than on spell-casting. iirc he had a fighter splash to allow martial weapons and give him an extra feat. the stat bonuses allowed him to hit just as often as a fighter of equal level [!] and the bard bufs were helpful. but then you might want to ask, why not just run a fighter ?

in sum, i think the class could have been an interesting addition to the list if the concept had been more fleshed out, but as implemented, i found it pretty limited, apart from its attraction in creating ‘cheesy’ builds [sor/rdd/pale master, anyone ? ]

RDD is indeed generally best used in builds intended to function as melee warriors. The same is true of the other caster-oriented prestige class, Palemaster, as the main benefits of the latter are Immunity to Crits and AC bonuses (i.e., stuff that makes one tankier). Dedicated casters would be hurting themselves by taking too many levels in either class as it would reduce their spell-casting power.

The number of available spells, power of spells, ability to penetrate spell resistance, etc. are all tied to caster level, so to have a prestige class that properly complements a caster you would need one that allows them to still increase the caster level of their spells, one where, e.g., a wizard could take an arcane oriented PRC and have it increase the power of his spells by level just as if he were taking Wizard levels. Plenty of prestige classes that do exactly that exist in PnP, but they were not added to NWN. Just speculating, but I suspect this is because hard-coded limitations on how the spells work tied them too closely to the original classes in the game and made it impractical to implement such mechanics. Since Bioware still wanted some nominally caster-oriented PRCs in the game, we got RDD and PM as we know them.

The two classes are actually not bad complements to a Bard in many cases. Bards, particularly when multi-classed, have access to lots of buffs that can make them quite formidable in melee combat.

While it is certainly rather odd that the “caster” PRCs would actually benefit melee tank builds the most, there are some probably unintentional balancing advantages in the fact that it works that way. The two classes do offer some extremely powerful benefits to non-casters, so the fact that such builds have to waste their third class on a nominal caster level that is not doing much for them imposes an arguably helpful limit. Pal/Sorc/RDD may be cheesy and OP, but Pal/Ftr/RDD, if it were possible, would be even more OP.

To taunt an enemy you have to make the fighting stop for a moment, as you already noticed; otherwise that will only stack and will activate automatically only when your opponent would use invisibility.

I use it soon after my attack roll has been performed. Nice against spellacsters


There is a thing which always annoys me: How do I turn on Combat modes permanently. Such as Power Attack, Flurry of Fists or Fast Shot?

Those feats are always turned off after combat, which is in many cases a pita.

Is there any way to keep them active all the time?

Their deactivation is hardcoded in the engine, but you could write a pseudo-heartbeat to remember the combat mode state and re-activate the last active one when the next combat starts.

If you’re on EE, this is now a settings option for the host (or in singleplayer)

Either search the debug options menu for Sticky Combat Modes if you know how, or get the settings.tml file from documents/neverwinter nights, and search it for “sticky-modes = false” and change that to “true”.

In the next dev build I believe the standard options menu will be expanded for all the debug options, so i’ll be easier to find once that happens.


I think that RDD is supposed to be played as “spellsword”. Bard is already a “spellsword” as he buffs himselfs and go melee (usually) with some singing he can do at will. With sorcerer I think that the RDD ability buffs and immunity buffs helps character to survive in melee and the spells are going to be used as pre-encounter buff.

DnD is designed around level 20 “cap” and in such environment you cannot really abuse RDD as we do in NWN. So basically, RDD is meant to be played the way how you play him in first 20 levels (except that in NWN most builds takes him after 20 but if you took RDD levels pre 20 then that is the intented gameplay).

Generally speaking, when comparing what we do in NWN and what was intented by DnD it is important to keep in mind that DnD was designed and balanced around lvl 20 cap. Epic Levels are very unbalanced and some mechanics that weren’t implemented properly in NWN such as bonus feats are only making it worse.

EDIT: Damn. I am necromancer…

Thanks, I’ll consider that.

Thanks. Too bad, I’m not on the EE.

Much appreciated anyway, thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:

Just in case you’re considering to change that, GOG.com is currently having a D&D sale with NWN:EE 75% off. Not sure if it’s worth it. These days I play everything with the EE, but as a simple player of SP modules I can’t really tell the difference, apart from slightly more vibrant colors, a keyhole effect that is practical but ugly and therefor toggled off in my playthroughs most of the time and occasional (rather rare) compatibility issues. And as a owner of the GOG version I often have to wait longer (sometimes much longer) for updates and DLC than Steam customers. But you do get an extra copy of NWN Diamond 1.69 on GOG as a bonus, for what it’s worth.