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style="font-weight: bold;">Newbie's
Guide to DDO href=""> style="font-weight: bold;">Part 1
- The Basics

href=""> style="font-weight: bold;">Part
2 - Classes & Races

- Skills,
Feats, &

welcome back, my friend! Sorry for not being here earlier, but last
night’s adventure at Madame Rissa’s House of
Unearthly Delights took a greater toll on me that I had expected. I,
Prelixin, the greatest loremaster in the realm, am not quite as young
as I used to be. Well, let us continue delving deeper into the world of
Eberron, the setting for href=""> style="font-style: italic;">Dungeons and Dragons
and I will further illuminate your mind with knowledge of how and why
things work they do.

In our href="">first
meeting, we discussed the method
that the gods chose to see if you succeed or not in your endeavors (die
rolls), the ability scores, and saving throws. Our href="">second
talk revolved around the various
classes and races that you can choose to play in style="font-style: italic;">DDO.
Now let us turn our attention to those vital abilities that will, if
chosen and used correctly, make you an even greater hero that will live
in legends: skills, feats, and enhancements.

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There at 20 skills that a player has to choose from in style="font-style: italic;">DDO.
skills are best for you? That really depends upon your class and the
role you intend taking within a group. As stated in our last
discussion, you gain a number of skill points every level based upon
your class and your Intelligence modifier. Certain skills are style="font-weight: bold;">Class
Skills depending upon your
class. All other skills are style="font-weight: bold;">Cross-Class
Skills. With Class Skills,
every point that you spend in a skill gives
you one rank in that skill.

Let us say that you are playing a Rogue, and Rogues have Search as a
Class Skill. If you spend 2 skill points in Search, you will gain 2
ranks. However, if you are playing a Fighter, Search is not a Class
Skill, but a Cross-Class Skill. If you spend points into a Cross-Class
Skill, you only gain half a rank per skill point spent. So, if you
spend 1 point into Search (let us say you already have 2 ranks in
Search), then your Search would be 2.5, which really counts as 2. You
would have to spend 2 points to get a full rank in Search.

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The difference between a class
skill and a cross-class skill when spending skill points.

A skill being a Class Skill or
a Cross-Class Skill also affects the
maximum ranks you can have in that skill. A Class Skill can have a
maximum rank of (3 + character level). So, a 10th level Rogue can have
a max Search of 13 (3 + character level of 10). The max rank of a
Cross-Class Skill is (3 + character level)/2. Thus, a 10th level
Fighter’s max Search would be 6 [(3 + character level of
10)/2 = 6.5 = 6 ranks]. What if I take a level of Rogue and
I’m a Fighter, you ask? That’s a good question, my
friend, and here it the answer. If you take a level in a different
class such as Rogue, you can get a maximum number of ranks in the new
class’ Class Skills as if you were a pure Rogue. Thus, if you
were a 9th level Fighter/1st level Rogue, your max ranks in Search
would be 13 (3 + character level of 10).

The one caveat is that when you level up, your Class Skills and
Cross-Class Skills depend upon what class you are using to level up at
that time. Let us say that our hypothetical 10th level Fighter/1st
level Rogue gains enough experience to hit level 11, and they choose to
take another level of Fighter. If they spend skill points in Search,
they only gain a half-rank per point spent as that Search is still a
Cross-Class Skill for Fighters. Their max ranks possible for Search
would still be 14 (3 + character level of 11) because they took a level
of Rogue, but it would cost more skill points to increase ranks in
Search as opposed to leveling as a Rogue.

Every skill has an ability that modifies it. Let us continue to use
Search as an example. Search is modified by Intelligence. Let us say
that our Fighter/Rogue has an Intelligence of 14, which gives us a
modifier of +2. If we have 10 ranks in Search, then our total bonus for
the Search skill would be +12 (10 for the ranks + 2 for the
Intelligence modifier). In addition to ability modifiers, skills can
also be modified by gear, spells, enhancements, and feats. The higher
the overall bonus, the better you are with a skill.

We will now look at the skills and I will explain what the skills do,
what ability score modifies it, and whether the skill is passive (it is
always working) or active (you have to click on the skill in your
hotbar to activate it). In addition, I will use my considerable
expertise from my many travels to tell you whether a skill is useful or

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An example of some Rogue
skills. Probably way too much Diplomacy.

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Half-Elven Wizards really need all the Concentration they can learn.

This skill is passive and is modified by your Dexterity. This skill
determines how quickly you’ll get up after being knocked on
your ass to the ground by enemy spells (such as Grease) or abilities
(Trip) of which you failed to make the appropriate save, usually
Reflex. Melee fighters should really take as much as this skill as they
can. Eventually, you will get knocked down and while you are down, you
are helpless against enemy attacks. It is vital that you get up as
quickly as possible to get back in the fight.

This skill is active and is modified by Charisma. Bluff is used
primarily to make a monster susceptible to sneak attacks. It can also
be used to pull an idle monster away from a group by causing your
character to aggro only that specific monster. This skill is not very
useful in that you can’t attack for a short period of time,
thus negating your DPS. It can be improved with an Improved Feint feat,
but its primary usefulness is by pulling a single monster. However,
aggroing a monster doesn’t mean that it’ll attack
by using melee. If the monster has a ranged option, it will use that.
Personally, I think your points can be better spent elsewhere.

This passive skill is modified by Constitution. This skill prevents
your spell from being interrupted and allows monks to retain their ki.
This spell is needed by primary spellcasters (Wizards, Clerics, and
Sorcerers) and by Monks. Maximize this skill if you live and die by
spellcasting or ki.

This active skill is modified by Charisma. Diplomacy is used for
getting a monster to leave you alone and attack somebody else (if
successful). Diplomacy can also have certain NPCs have additional
dialogue options when you talk to them. While not a high priority
skill, somebody who is a little bit “squishy” could
benefit from it, such as me. I’ve used it a few times in my
life to get a crazed monster to take their attention off of me and onto
somebody else.

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If I was a Wizard and saw this
coming at me, I'd do the best damn Diplomacy I could!

This skill is active
and is modified by Intelligence. Disable Device allows you to disarm
traps after you have found the control box using your Search skill.
This skill is vital for Rogues and they should max it out.

This passive skill is modified by Charisma. Haggle allows you to get
better prices buying and selling from vendors. It’s a decent
way to make some extra coin, but I would not spend points in it myself.
If you really want to maximize your profits, I would make an alternate
character (human bards seem to be the preferred choice) that maximizes
Haggle and is known as a hagglebot. You can transfer items to them from
your main character by using a shared bank.

This skill is both passive and active and is modified by Wisdom. Heal
allows you to heal unconscious characters back to 1 hit point by using
a heal kit and increases the number of hit points regenerated at a rest
shrine (the highest heal skill in the group is used for this purpose).
This skill is worthless. After a level or two, you’ll have
healing wands or spells to use on group members who are down, plus you
don’t want to waste an inventory slot on heal kits. Plus, at
rest shrines, the normal procedure is for the healing spellcasters to
use all their remaining spell points healing up the group and then they
rest to recoup their spell points.

This passive skill is modified by Dexterity. This skill allows you to
avoid a monster’s eyesight and sneak past them. This skill
goes hand-in-hand with Move Silently. You have to be in Sneak mode for
Hide and Move Silently to work. This is a useful skill for scouts
(Rogues and such) to sneak ahead and see what the situation is. Hide
tends to work better for solo players as that groups tend to be
impatient and don’t want to wait for a Rogue to sneak around,
unless the whole group is comprised of sneaky types or is willing to
give the Rogue time to do his recon.

This active skill is modified by Charisma. Intimidate draws the
attention (aggro) of monsters and can be used in certain situations
talking to NPCs. This skill is vital for those who wish to tank. If
you’re not a tank, then don’t bother with

This passive skill is modified by Strength and allows you to jump
higher. Jump can be an extremely useful skill navigating through a
dungeon or allowing you to jump free from surrounding monsters. Since
there is no levitate or fly spells, and you can’t use
something like rope, a high Jump score can allow you to reach high
places or leap across a chasm.

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passive skill is modified
by Wisdom. Listen allows you to hear
approaching enemies, even ones that are sneaking. Overall, this skill
is pretty useless. If you’re going to spend points into
something, then do so in Spot.

This passive skill
is modified by Dexterity. Move Silently lets you sneak past monsters
unseen and goes with Hide. Again, this skill is useful for Rogues, but
with the same cautions that I mentioned whilst talking about Hide.

This active skill is
modified by Dexterity. This skill is vital for Rogues and they should
have this one maxed out. Open Lock allows you to open locked doors and
chests. There are times when you will come across a locked chest in a
dungeon or a chest behind a locked door, and if you do not have a Rogue
with you, you will cry in frustration. There is no worse feeling that
walking away from a chest that you know is filled with riches, but you
have no means to open it. Kyrras, the Halfling Rogue I used to travel
with, would never leave a locked chest behind. She would go through two
dozen lockpicks if necessary to get the “shinies”
inside the chest.

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This passive skill is modified by Charisma. This skill represents the
ability to entertain with your musical ability. This skill is a must
for Bards as that it determines the Bardic Songs that the player has
and the Perform skill adds to the Difficulty Check for enemies to
resist a Bard’s Fascinate and Enthrallment abilities. If
you’re not a Bard, then leave this skill alone. Besides, I
was born with a naturally gifted singing voice. What? I’m not
allowed to sing in here? Harrumph! Just because the dog howls when I
sing doesn’t mean that I’m a bad singer. It just
means that the dog has good taste in music!

This skill acts like Heal, but for Warforged. This skill is both active
and passive and is modified by Intelligence. Just like Heal, this skill
is pretty worthless unless you like hanging around large groups of
Warforged all the time.

This active skill is modified by your Intelligence. Search is used to
find secret doors and traps. This skill does not use a die roll when it
is used. The total bonus of the skill is used against a straight
difficulty number and it either works or it doesn’t. This
skill is another vital one for Rogues. If you can’t find a
trap, then you won’t be able to disarm it. If
you’re a Rogue, max this skill out.

This passive skill is modified by Wisdom. This skill allows you to
detect hidden traps, secret doors, and stealthy enemies. Just like
Search, there is no die roll involved. The skill is either high enough
to detect something or it does not. Rogues should max out this skill,
but other classes can find it useful as well.

This passive skill is modified by Strength. Swim allows you to swim
faster and for a longer time underwater. This skill is worthless.
Within a few levels, you should have come across an item that allows
you to breathe underwater. Don’t waste any skill points on
this skill.

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Looks like somebody doesn't
have Spot, Search, or Disable Device!

This passive skill is modified by Dexterity. Tumble reduces falling
damage and allows you to tumble (roll away) from enemies. Unless you
want to go for an insane amount of Tumble, then just put a point or two
into it. This will allow you to tumble while actively blocking. I
honestly wouldn’t put any more points into this skill.
Falling doesn’t mean much because you should eventually have
an item with feather fall on it. (Feather fall is a spell that allows
you to float like a feather when you’re falling.
You’ll take no damage from the fall.)

Magic Device:
This passive
skill is modified by your Charisma. This skill allows you to use magic
devices which you normally couldn’t use, such as wands or
scrolls. You can bypass the race and alignment restrictions of magic
items by using this skill. This skill is a must-have for Rogues and
Bards and should be maxed out. My Rogue friend, Kyrras, had a nice
little sideline by charging for her to use her Stoneskin wand on party
members. Because we were in the same group, she gave us her
“friendship” rates.


our first discussion
began, I mentioned that skills, abilities,
armor class, saving throws, and other things were modified by ability
modifiers (stats) and other bonuses. There are many style="font-weight: bold;">bonus types
to be
found in DDO.
For armor, there is an armor bonus, natural armor bonus,
and a deflection bonus. For skills, there is a racial bonus, competence
bonus, insight bonus, etc. I am not going to go over every type of
bonus to be found in style="font-style: italic;">DDO,
but the important thing for you to remember
is that bonuses stack. Armor bonus stacks with a deflection bonus and
also with a natural armor bonus. Let us say that you have a chain shirt
that gives you an armor bonus of +3, and you have a necklace that
bestows a natural armor bonus of +2, and you have a ring that offers a
+1 deflection bonus, your total bonus would be +6. However, similar
bonuses do not stack. If an item gives you a +1 Insight bonus to Spot
and you already have something else that gives you a +2 Insight bonus
to Spot, you do not get a +3 Insight bonus. Only the highest bonus
counts. So if you have a ring that gives you +3 to Resistance (Saving
Throws) and a cloak that gives you a +4 to Resistance, your bonus is a
total of +4. So, bonuses do stack together as long as they are
different types of bonuses.

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special abilities that
grant you a new ability or improve
upon an ability that you already have. You gain a feat when you first
create your character, and then you gain another one at 3rd level and
every 3 levels after that (6th level, 9th level, 12th level, etc.).
Certain races get bonus feats (Humans and Half-Elves) and certain
classes get additional feats at certain levels that pertain to their
class. Feats can be active or passive. Feats run the gamut from
learning new weapons and armor to be proficient with, new attack
styles, spell enhancers, saving throw bonuses, racial specific feats
(such as Composite Plating for Warforged), and class specific feats. A
list of feats can be found href="">here.
Note that certain feats may have
requirements for you to take. There are a great number of feats and
your decision should be based upon whatever build you’re
striving for.

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Some Rogue Feats. You can
click the "Show Unavailable" button to see all your feat options, even
if you can't get them at the current time.


well, enhancements to the
strength of a
player’s race and class. Enhancements cost Action Points to
purchase and you receive 4 Action Points per level. Most enhancements
have a minimum level or a minimum number of Action Points already spent
to be taken. Enhancements can increase a stat ability (such as
Dexterity or Strength), increase damage in combat, give a bonus to
skills, and increase the duration or effectiveness of an ability, and
so on.

There are also style="font-weight: bold;">prestige enhancements
that can be taken at certain
levels, usually starting at level 6. These enhancements represent a
focus of that character to a particular facet of that class. For
example, Rogues can choose from Assassin, Mechanic, or Thief-Acrobat.
Assassin focuses on stealth, additional damage, and poisons. Mechanic
focuses on disabling traps, opening locks, spotting and searching, and
saves versus traps. A thief-acrobat increases movement and agility
style skills such as Jump, Tumble, and Balance. While Rogues have 3
different prestige enhancements to choose from, some classes only have

Finally, each class has a style="font-weight: bold;">capstone enhancement
that they can only take
if they are level 20 (the max level) in that specific class. A
Bard’s capstone enhancement is called Bard Musical Prodigy
and grants: +2 Charisma, 2 additional uses of Bardic Music, as well as
+2 to Spell Penetration checks and the Difficulty Checks of your
Enchantment spells, and your beneficial songs last 20% longer. It can
pay to really specialize in a single class.

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Buying Enhancements. Again, by
clicking the "Show Unavailable" button, you can see every enhancement
that you can get. This really helps out when planning what to get and

Racial and class enhancements do stack together. If you’re a
Halfling Rogue, you can get a +1 to Dexterity from Rogue Dexterity I
and also +1 from Halfling Dexterity I for a grand total of +2. Rogues
can get up to 3 points of Dexterity from Rogue enhancements and you can
get up to 2 points of Dexterity from Halfling enhancements, so you can
theoretically get up to 5 bonus points in Dexterity if you’re
a Halfling Rogue (and if you are, you damn sure better get all the
Dexterity you can get your grubby hands on!).

Enhancements (as well as feats) can be tweaked from time to time in style="font-style: italic;">DDO.
It is definitely worth taking the time checking out the style="font-style: italic;">DDO
Compendium for the latest information. For the latest info on
enhancements, you can go href="">here.

I see that the hour grows late, my friend, and the boiled mutton I had
for dinner seems to be fighting me, so I bid you a good-night until the
morrow. Meet me here again and I will continue to help guide you
through the dangerous, but highly exciting, world of Eberron. You
don’t mind paying the bill do you? Thank you. Keep an eye out
for footpads and cutpurses as you walk the streets, my friend.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016