– A two-handed orcish weapons specialist? The second-tier perk from utility which lower the fatigue from using a weapon could allow that… but I don’t know which perks I should pick on first-tier actually. Got an idea guys?
Wildmen are a great base to start from. I actually don’t take the less-fatigue-from-weapons trait on these guys because they can sling around five different massive sluggers of your choice. But I always start on the offense tree, and there’s good reasons to do so. Let me post a screenshot.
Note that Leif didn’t start carrying two-handed weapons until he had reached Tier 2 of the Offense tree. I didn’t want him getting killed by arrows. So, I got him the best armor I could afford and made sure to give him lots of HP and Fatigue.
From the Offense tree:
Tier 1 – Leif takes Sundering Strikes and Executioner for being raw damage boosts and he takes Bloody Harvest because it helps him hit with his AoE weapons (the warbrand and greataxe). He’d be in a much better position if he used a greatsword instead of a warbrand, honestly. He’s probably going to be given one soon. You can take Headhunter instead of Executioner since most enemies are gonna be dead once you get to the point where carrying two-handed weapons works.
Tier 2 – Fast Adaption is generally just good on everyone except maybe crossbowmen. It gives you a boost to your chance to hit. Full Force is awesome for two-handed weapons guys because they tend to be tromping about in the heaviest armor you can find. In this case, Leif’s armor gives him +30 maximum damage. In this case, this means his basic attack with his orcish greataxe deals an incredible 135-225 damage, or 243-405 armor damage because it hits both head and body. Nice. Just… nice.
Tier 3 – Perfect Focus is just perfect for two-handed weapons guys. It means you can activate Perfect Focus, slam your axe down a guy’s throat, then swap to your pike and stab someone else. It also means you can use Perfect Focus and potentially sweep with your Greatsword twice in the same turn. It costs a ton of fatigue, but that’s what your hornblowers are for. (If you don’t know what a hornblower is, look at Rally the Troops in Tier 3 of Utility, and imagine a character with 80+ Resolve. Now get that guy Euphoric, Eager, or Drunk. Yeah.)
From the Utility tree:
Tier 1 – You ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS want to take Bags and Belts + Quick Hands. I just can’t think of any situation where that’s NOT a good idea. This lets you swap between your greataxe, your greatsword, your pike, your dagger for stabbing dudes dead without breaking their armor, and whatever your fourth and fifth weapons are. Pathfinder is generally just good because bad terrain can make you unable to walk 1 space without needing Perfect Focus to attack.
Tier 2 – Brawny. You want heavy armor. Your fatigue is being restored by the hornblowers. So… Just get Brawny and wear the heaviest armor you can. It boosts your damage and it boosts your ability to stay alive.
A sword master with one-handed sword, a good initiative (and a light armour to conserve it), using the perk from defense tree which let you dodge untill first hit and second-tier defense tree which let you double your melee defense with left hand free. This one may be strong using “riposte” skill with a sword.
So, this is exactly how I used to make my swordmasters. However, I’ve since realized a few things that are absolutely critical to understand:
1) You want heavy armor. In the off-chance someone hits your weaponmaster, you don’t want him dying in 1 shot to an orc with a greataxe.
2) You don’t really need high initiative. Remember that the enemy will ALWAYS have at LEAST a 5% chance to hit you, so at some point there’s no return on having a super high defense. Also remember that you lose that Dodge bonus as soon as you get hit.
Now, once upon a time I had a guy with 126 melee defense, and I’m pretty sure there’s a picture of him somewhere. However, that was in an old patch. I’m not sure if that’s possible without super high melee defense rolls now.
But I do have a weapon master that I think makes a perfect example of how I’d build one now. Meet Dirk, the man with a measly 112 melee defense!
Jokes aside, let’s talk about why he has that high melee defense. There’s Nimble, obviously, and there’s Dodge… But notice how he’s also Confident. That gives him +5 melee defense, which translates to +10. He also happens to have Sure Footing along with being a Swordmaster, which helped him get that high. And, of course, I pumped my numbers into his Melee Defense every level.
But his perk choices probably look really weird, don’t they?
From the Defense tree:
Tier 1 – He’s never gonna use a shield, so I just took the basic armor / HP boosts and got him Dodge. Easy enough choice.
Tier 2 – I got Nimble before going to another tree. But notice that I came back to take Rotation. This lets Dirk swap places with a guy who’s in trouble, and it’s not like Dirk cares if he’s surrounded by 6 enemies anyway. He can hold the line against anyone and anything, even with his MEASLY 112 defense.
From the Utility tree:
Tier 1 – Bags and Belts. Quick Hands. Pathfinder. You know the reasons already.
Tier 2 – Brawny lets the old man (notice that he even has an old man face as a trait now) wear heavy armor without sweating it. 83 fatigue is plenty, and he’s got armor enough to not get 1-shot… I think. I don’t think he can be 1-shot by NPCs. Oh, and he has Weaponmaster so that his weapon lasts longer, and he doesn’t burn himself out very easily.
By the way, something to keep in mind: because a Swordmaster has a free hand, he actually gets the “double grip” bonus on his weapons. So, give him a high damaging weapon, like the sword Dirk has. The Honed Oathkeeper deals 54-60 damage, which turns into 67-75 on Dirk, and 0-15 of that can ignore armor. Not bad, old man. Not bad.
By the way, Dirk could probably get away with having a much lighter helmet, one which could increase his field of vision, but the head is very vulnerable and he’s already got bad eyesight. Might as well go all-out and give him a huge helmet, right?