A Newbie’s Guide to DDO: Part 2 – Classes and Races

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Ah, welcome back, my friend! I see that you have more questions about beginning your adventures in the mystical, dangerous world of Eberron. I can see from your questions that you not only wish to survive Dungeons and Dragons Online, but you wish to thrive. Very good. The first thing you can do is to buy me, Prelixin, the much-heralded sage and loremaster, a bottle of the finest wine that The Halfling’s Armpit has in stock. Afterward, we can continue our discussion which will, hopefully, lead you to riches, wine, and glory!

The Classes

Overall, there are eleven different classes that an adventurer has to choose from in DDO. You are not limited to your initial class choice as you gain in power and prestige. No, my friend, you can choose to take a level in a different class when you accumulate enough experience to go up a level. You can take levels in up to three different classes if you wish to do so. Some benefits of multi-classing are that you can get abilities that are not available to your initial class (such as spells). The downside is that you are diluting your abilities across a broad range as opposed to focusing on a specific goal. Spells, for example, do not follow a regimented increase. A 20th level spell is more than twice the power of a spell that can be cast at 10th level. However, the ability to have up to three classes in your makeup allows for a great deal of flexibility.

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Hmmm...what to choose...what to choose?

As I have said, there are eleven different classes, and those classes are grouped into three broad categories. There is the melee category, which contains classes that like to hit things with a heavy object and make them fall down, preferably bleeding and dying. The spell category is comprised of….classes that primarily use spells to get things done! Big surprise there, I know. Lastly, there is the specialist category in which the classes perform…shall a say a unique function? Very well, then I shall do so. As the tavern wench is warming up my buttered rum, let’s run over the different classes. Some are available to all players, whilst others you have to either pay for or accumulate enough favor to unlock. (Favor is something you earn from various factions as you complete quests. I will fully discuss favor in the next part of my guide.)

For each class, I will list the necessary alignment (chaotic, lawful, good, neutral, etc.) as well as the Hit Die (you gain the maximum points per level so a d12 means that you will get 12 hit points before any Constitution bonus per level). Also, I will mention the number of Skill Points that each class gets per level, and what skills are Class Skills (a Class Skill is a skill that you spend one Skill Point to get one rank).

Melee

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The Fighter is always
up for kicking ass.
Fighter: The basic melee class in DDO, the Fighter can be a very versatile warrior. They can use sword and shield, two weapons, or large two-handed weapons. Their primary ability is Strength for use in combat, so Strength should be increased as the Fighter levels. Fighters also get bonus feats (more on feats later) so they can really specialize in kicking ass. They can wear all armor types and shields without any negatives towards attacking. Fighters can gain Strength enhancements (more on enhancements later on) as they level.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d10
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Intimidate, Jump, Repair, Swim

Barbarian: A warrior type that wears light or medium armor and specializes in dishing out damage. They gain special abilities while in a frenzied state. They are used best when dropping enemies quickly as that their Armor Class is less than normal Fighters and going into a frenzied state lowers their Armor Class even more. Barbarians can get Constitution enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any Non-Lawful
Hit Die: d12
Skill Points: (4 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  4 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Swim

Paladin: A holy warrior than can cast divine spells. They have great saving throws and are immune to fear and disease. They can lay their hands on people and heal them and can also help party members with their passive auras against evil. They only knock is that they can get a might preachy, but ol’ Prelixin learned early on in his questing days to just nod and tune them out. Paladins can gain Charisma enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Lawful Stupid…I mean Lawful Good
Hit Die: d10
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate

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My Kung-Fu is better
than your Kung-Fu!
Monk: This class is free to VIP members (subscribers); otherwise you’ll have to purchase this class from the DDO store. The Monk is your martial-artist, kung-fu fighter. They usually fight without weapons, shields, or armor and use Ki to perform incredible battle techniques. They are devastating fighters, but do tend to get worn down in a prolonged fight. I travelled for a time with a Monk named Broos Leigh. He was a pretty stoic guy, but his taste in clothing was terrible. He always wore this eye-bleeding bright yellow outfit that a half-blind orc can see from a mile away.
Alignment: Any Lawful
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: (4 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  4 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Balance, Concentration, Diplomacy, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Tumble



Spell

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This Sorcerer has me
under her spell.
Sorcerer: A Sorcerer is a very focused spell caster. While a Wizard has a greater range of spells to cast, a Sorcerer concentrates on a small subset. However, a Sorcerer can cast those spells faster than a Wizard and have more Spell Points to cast spells with. Sorcerers can get Charisma enhancements as they level. Armor is a no-no with this class, so they are very squishy.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d4
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Bluff, Concentration

Cleric: Clerics are strong divine spell casters who can wear all types of armor without penalty. Clerics are the primary healers in DDO and are great Undead destroyers. They are slightly more preachy than Paladins, but I learned early on never to argue with the guy who is healing my blood wounds and keeping me from dying. Clerics can gain Wisdom enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any, but Good is the normal option
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal

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The Wizard will fry your
ass with some Firewalls.
Wizard: Wizards are powerful arcane casters who have access to a wide variety of spells. They can also switch spells when using a rest shrine or in a tavern, making them very versatile. Armor is a no-no for them and they are as squishy as Sorcerers. They definitely need to be protected as they tend to draw a lot of attention with Fireballs, Firewalls (probably one of the most useful spells in DDO), and other spells designed to mess with the enemy. Wizards can get Intelligence enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d4
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Concentration, Repair

Favored Soul: The Favored Soul class can be unlocked on a server by gaining 2500 favor or you can purchase it from the DDO store. The Favored Soul is similar to a Cleric in that they can cast divine spells, but they get to cast the spells more often, but have a lesser number of spells. They have Spell Points exactly like Sorcerers. They have some great enhancements that they can pick up as they level, particularly some energy resistance enhancements. I once knew a Favored Soul who laughed at lightning traps and would stand in them, mocking everybody around him. Too bad one trap also had an additional whirling blades component. Tsk, tsk.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  2 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Jump

Specialist

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And this bird you
cannot change...
Bard: The Bard is a kind of jack-of-all-trades of support. He is decent in combat, can cast some arcane spells (albeit rather weakly), and has some decent healing spells. They are superb at using Magical Devices. Their main strength is in buffing the party, either through spells, but mainly through the gift of singing. They can make a good group an extremely strong group. I travelled for many years with an incredible bard named Ronaldo Van Zantarum. He liked the wine a bit too much, but his singing was incredible and would put us all into a fighting mood. (Too bad he caused many a tavern brawl with his ditties!) His favorite song to play was Freeth the Bird. Bards can get Charisma enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any Non-Lawful
Hit Die: d6
Skill Points: (6 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  6 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Haggle, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device

Ranger: Rangers can be an archer and a dual-wielding melee combatant. They can pick up to five monsters to specialize in fighting, can be stealthy, cast divine spells, and detect secret doors and traps. However, they cannot disable traps. Rangers are a jack-of-all-trades for their own benefit. They can get Dexterity enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: (6 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  6 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Concentration, Heal, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot, Swim

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All I want is some shinies.
Rogue: This class is the most skilled in the game. A Rogue’s primary ability is to find and disarm traps. You definitely do not want to go into a dungeon without a Rogue by your side (just make sure that you check your pockets afterwards). They can also open locks and find hidden doors. They can also dish out incredible amounts of damage by using their sneak attack as long as the target isn’t immune to criticals. They definitely need to pick their spots for attack as they wear light armor and don’t have tons of hit points. Never underestimate a Rogue. For many years, I travelled with a Halfling Rogue named Kyrras, who parlayed her adorable looks into vicious sneak attacks on beguiled enemies. Many was the time that an enemy would take no heed of her to find, to their horror, her twin rapiers running through their kidneys as she chortled with unholy glee. Before their bodies could become cold, she would already be rifling through their clothes looking for gems and loot, or as she called them: “shinies.” Rogues can get Dexterity enhancements as they level.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Skill Points: (8 + Intelligence Modifier) x4 at 1st level
                  8 + Intelligence Modifier per level after 1st
Class Skills: Balance, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Haggle, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Repair, Search, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device

Special Note: You gain the 1st level Skill Points only at your initial first level. If you take 3 levels of Fighter, then take a level of Rogue, you would only get 8 + your Intelligence Modifier for Skill Points.



Races

The world of Eberron is vast and filled with a variety of intelligent races. Some are friendly and some are not-so-friendly. There is a great variance from brutish and nasty, such as Orcs, to refined and graceful, such as Elves and Halflings. Each race has certain advantages and disadvantages and can lean towards one type of class over another. However, the final decision is up to you, my friend.

Human: This race is a good all-around race and serves as a baseline to the other races. They can play any class. They get one extra Feat at 1st level and gain 4 additional Skill Points at 1st level. After the first level, they gain 1 additional Skill Point every level.
Stats: No changes

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Elves sure are easy
on the eyes.
Elf: These graceful beings have pointed ears and slanted eyes. They are somewhat shorter than humans, but radiate graceful elegance. They are immune to sleep spells and effects, have a +2 Saving Throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects, and have a +2 Racial Bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot Checks. Overall, they make good Rogues, Rangers, Clerics, and Wizards.
Stats: +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution

Halfling: Halflings are the smallest of the player races, but they are extremely agile. They can only carry 75% of other races, but they do get a +1 Size bonus to Armor Class (because they’re so hard to hit), +1 bonus to attack rolls, +4 Size bonus to Hide, +1 Racial bonus on all saving throws, +2 Morale bonus against fear (stacks with Racial bonus), +1 attack bonus with thrown weapons, and a +2 Racial bonus to Jump, Listen, and Move Silently. Halflings make awesome Rogues and are surprisingly good at being a Monk with their great Dexterity. Just make sure that they pay for their portion of a meal as they tend to eat a great deal.
Stats: +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength

Dwarf: These stout folk are known for their work hard, play hard mentality. Dwarfs do not suffer fools gladly and will remember a grudge for generations. They hate Orcs and Goblins. They get a +4 Racial bonus to Balance, a +2 Racial bonus to Search, a +2 Racial bonus for saves versus poison, a +2 Racial bonus on saving throws versus spells, a +1 Racial bonus to attack rolls against Orcs and Goblins, and a +4 Dodge armor bonus against giant-type monsters. Dwarfs make good Fighters and Barbarians with their staying power, and are also good Clerics. They make lousy Bards as their singing leaves something to be desired and their fondness for loud percussion instruments.
Stats: +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma

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Warforged! Now with
30% less clanking!
Warforged: These beings are sentient, living constructs. This race must be purchased from the DDO store to use. Warforged do not wear armor, but can upgrade their natural plating through the use of Feats. They are immune to sleep, hold person, energy drained, nauseated, exhausted, poison, disease, and paralyzed effects. They are also immune to spells that target humanoids. In addition, the can remain underwater indefinitely as they do not breathe. However, divine healing spells and potions only heal at 50% capacity on Warforged. Items that do Repair have a full effect. Warforged are excellent Fighters and Barbarians with their great Constitution, and they make decent Wizards and Sorcerers. They’re also great at cracking open walnuts!
Stats: +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma

Half-Elf: These beings are the product of a human parent and an elven parent. They are shunned by snobby elves and usually live with humans. (Half-Elves are becoming more common as Elves adventure. Speaking as a human male, ol’ Prelixin thinks elven ladies are mighty smokin’.) This race must be purchased from the DDO store to be played. Their main ability is the Dilettante feat, which they get at level 1. This feat allows them to acquire some of the perks of a specific class. The wisest choice is to choose a class that the player has no intention of taking later. Half-Elves also get immunity to magical sleep effects, a +2 Racial bonus to Diplomacy, and a +1 Racial bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot. Half-Elves are pretty good to whatever they turn their hand to.
Stats: No changes

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As a Drow, I will always
be better than you!
Drow: This Elven race is similar to other Elves, but is darker in complexion and tends to have white hair. They are more distrustful of other races than normal Elves and have lived either underground or in dense jungles for a long time. To play this race, you must either purchase it from the DDO store or gain 400 Favor. You cannot use the Drow in conjunction with a 32 point build as they already have a high number of racial bonuses. Drow are immune to sleep spells and effects, gain Spell Resistance at 10th level, have a +2 Saving Throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects, and have a +2 Racial bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot. Drow make good Sorcerers and Wizards with their stat bonuses, and are also good at being a Bard, Ranger, Rogue, or Paladin. They also tend to think a lot of themselves, but with their abilities, I guess that can’t be helped.
Stats: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution

Half-Orc: This race is the product of a human parent and an orc parent. I know what you’re thinking…ugh! I would assume that the union would have to be forced as that I know I could never drink an Orc up to anything remotely desirable! This race is extremely strong and brutish, and not too bright. To play this race, you need to purchase it from the DDO store. Half-Orcs are good at bashing things, such as being a Fighter or Barbarian. They do really suck at playing puzzle and riddle games. Their idea of an interesting riddle is, “How do I open box without key?” “I smash it with club!” A witty race, they are not.
Stats: +2 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma

Well, my friend, I think it’s time to call a halt to our talk for the time being. I grow weary and have an appointment at Madame Rissa’s House of Unearthly Delights. I hope that our discussion of the various classes and races to be found in DDO were helpful and hopefully illuminate your way in the world of Eberron. Until next time, my friend, never drink the cheapest wine and check your coin purse if you’re bumped into by a Halfling.

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