Beginner Builds Guide

These builds are designed for new players who’ve just arrived on the server. 

  • They’re designed to be playable from levels 1-40, ‘hopefully’ not too equipment reliant, and potentially transition in dungeon raiding when the time comes. 
  • The builds generally follow different play styles, and hopefully contain something for everyone. 
  • This is my no means an extensive list of "the best" beginner builds either, just a handful that I believe would perform well on A Dawn of Heroes. 

Final note: Builds that are Elf or Gnome are eligible for the Drow and Svirfneblin Subraces respectively, which are the only Free Subraces that come with Spell Resistance.

To open the files from outside Google Docs, you need Microsoft Excel or Open Office / Libre Office.

1 - Pure Summoner Cleric Svirfneblin subrace recommended.

  • This is suggested as the first build that newbies should make here
  • It has very little reliance on equipment, has Ranged capability with Sling/Shield, and can hide behind summons safely (potentially whilst invisible or under Greater Sanctuary). 
  • Animal Domain grants higher level Summons prior to level 17, and Unique level 9 summons from 17 onwards. 
  • Trickery Domain provides useful utility spells. 
  • The build also comes with the Craft Wand and Scribe Scroll feats, which allows it to make useful magic items for later characters.
  • For those who feel confident working with less summoning power early on: Evil Domain can replace Animal for unique Balor Summons (which are overall stronger than Elementals), and the ability to strength buff the Mummy summon with Negative Energy Burst. Both of which are more useful in the late game than what Animal Domain has to offer.

2 - Wizard Pale Master tank mage Svirfneblin subrace recommended

  • This build plays like a typical Damage-Shield tank mage, with a Rogue level taken at 40 to gain access to Disable Trap, Open Lock, and Pickpocket skills. 
  • Given the build’s lack of Discipline, a Knockdown immunity item is highly recommended. 
  • Epic Spell Focus Evocation and Intelligence feats are taken to make best use of Bigby Hands, notably Interposing, Grasping and Crushing Hand, which are all very useful utility spells in the late game. These spells have slightly modified checks here that taken into account Evocation focus. 
  • Illusion Specialised school is recommended for the extra Spell Slot per level (at the expense of Enchantment based mind spells that the build will almost never use). As with the Summoner Cleric, craft item feats have been selected (including Brew Potion) to grant the ability to make Magic Items for later characters.

3 - Lasting Inspiration Human Bard PM RDD

  • This build plays like a typical Bardsword, in that it strips its' armour off to buff with spells, and then primarily uses Song and Curse song in battle. 
  • Whilst Dexterity based Bard PM's are quite common dungeon-raiders here, this variety is Strength based with a Scimitar, allowing it to deal reasonable damage in the event that its' user has little equipment available. 
  • Still Spell is available into Epic levels, allowing for certain buff spells (e.g. Clarity, War Cry) to be cast both in armour, and a level higher. 
  • Lasting Inspiration and Curse Song ensures that the build be useful in just about any party circumstance.
  • EDIT: Probably better to use a Rapier instead of a Scimitar in the long run. But I can’t edit the spreadsheet, so READ THIS FIRST!

4 - Barbarian PM melee tank Svirfneblin subrace recommended

  • You may have noticed that most of the other Beginner builds contain spellcasting elements, and this is because spellcasting elements are really useful when you have very little equipment! However, for the sake of balance, here is a build that does not rely on Spellcasting. 
  • Playing this build is simple: Use Rage, run at enemies. 
  • Terrifying Rage has been modified such that it lowers enemy AB by 4, and Greater + Mighty Rages provide a small damage and AB boost once the strength cap has been reached.

5 - Strength based Human Paladin/CoT/Rogue For those who like buffing and smacking things.

  • There are several ways to make paladin builds here (Paladin/Bard/RDD being one example), and this variety should be inexpensive (no 5 million gp required for alignment changes!), effective through 1-40, and useful come the dungeon raiding stage. 
  • Devastating Critical is taken mainly as a utility feat, as on ADOH it disables opponents briefly instead of outright killing them. 
  • Divine Might and Shield are there for difficult fights, and Divine Wrath's duration boost here (minutes instead of rounds) ensures that the build have a healthy AB and Damage upkeep for longer fights. 
  • Disable Trap and Open Lock are also taken for extra utility (though 'not' pickpocket, as this skill suffers from Armour Check penalties).

6 - Pure Druid Summoner Svirfneblin subrace recommended

  • Druids are 'the' summoner class on ADOH, gaining early access to dual summons by level 21, a substantially buffed Animal Companion, and a 'Colossal' tier of summons for Pure level 40 Druids. 
  • They also pack a variety of nasty area spells, which almost all conveniently fall under the Conjuration school. 
  • Despite this, Druids lack a lot of the utility of their Cleric counterparts, so it is 'not' recommended that this build be made before the Cleric Summoner. 
  • Druids however can easily make use of Crafted Wands (with buffs such as Improved Invisibility, Darkfire, and Clarity) and Nordock Shaman Staves (with Greater Sanctuary amongst others) to make up for their inability to cast these spells. 
  • Clarity Wands or potions are of particular importance to Druids, as their Animal Companion lacks protection against Mind spells. 
  •  For Animal Companion selection: Dire Wolf has high AC and spams Called Shot/Knockdown, Bear has low AC but the highest AB/base damage, and Panther has high AC and 10d6 sneak attack. So I'd recommend either of these three. 
  • Handy Tip: If you tell your summons ‘first’ to Follow (VEE), and THEN Protect Me (VWF), they should all them move to attack the target that you’re currently attacking. Even if you’re using a sling. Most of the time anyway!

7 - Cleric RDD Human

  • Designed to make use of the server's Crafting System (Ambrosia Tradeskill System, or ATS for short) if one so wishes. 
  • This is not to be confused with item crafting feats, such as Craft Wand, which operates under a different system. Cleric RDD's are very suited to ATS crafting on ADOH. They have access to ability buffs, have high Strength for mining and weapon/armour crafting, reasonable intelligence for learning ATS skills quickly, and the ability to destroy unwanted Mining Deposits with the Destruction spell. 
  • Plant Domain is taken for access to Barkskin and Creeping Doom (the former being useful early, the latter being useful utility later), and Trickery for Invisibility spells. 
  • The build also selects Pickpocket skill, which can be boosted with the Trickery Domain and utilised whilst under Greater Sanctuary. 
  • EDIT: Probably better to use Rapier instead of Scimitar. Also, due to the changes made to greater dispelling (thanks Beamdog), it’s more preferable for this build to go 25 Cleric / 1 Bard , before pivoting to RDD, instead of 24 cleric / 1 bard. Sadly I cannot edit the spreadsheet retroactively, so please, READ THIS FIRST!!

8 - Human Cleric/Monk/WM

  • A low-economy Dual-Wielding Kama Cleric Monk. For those who like the Kama Monk playstyle, this build should be playable as a newbie from level 1 through 40, and be fairly solid come the Dungeon stage. 
  • Weapon Master levels are picked up quite late, which should not matter 'too' much, as Divine Power can provide the build with an extra attack per round when required. 
  • War Domain grants access to ability buffs, and Trickery Domain provides Invisibilty spells. 
  • The build also takes Hide and Move Silently skill, which can be used in combination with Monk Speed for Corner Sneaking purposes (ie hiding behind cover, approaching target while stealthed, hitting them, then running and hiding behind cover again to re-stealth). 
  • EDIT: The build plan should have 12 base constitution, not 10 base constitution. So READ THIS FIRST!

9 - Dexterity-Based Weaponmaster Drow Subrace recommended for beginners

  • This build is more typical of what a veteran here would aim to make, as it benefits greatly from a Premium Subrace (e.g. Celestial), and ample equipment. However, for those who wish to start something like this early, here is a example of what to look for. 
  • The level split is organised in such a way to avoid hitting a Multiclass experience penalty as much as possible, which means keeping Rogue and Fighter to within 1 level of each other. 
  • In addition to its' many skills: Improved Knockdown, 7d6 Sneak Attack and Epic Weapon Specialisation should provide a fair amount of damage even with low level weaponry, whilst high Dexterity and Epic Dodge should provide physical defense. 
  • Just watch out for spellcasters that can pierce your Spell Resistance, as this build has generally low saves. For those who feel that they can survive without Improved Knockdown (or perhaps have access to an item with the Knockdown feat on it), these 2 feats can be re-oredered and replaced with 2 Great Dex feats.

10 - Halfling Rogue/CoT/SD

  • A stealthy midget slingshotter. Shadowdancer doesn't arrive until epic levels (as with the original 'Rogue Archer' build posted on the Epic Character Build forums aeons ago), so it requires some 'distractions' before then. Once it gets Shadowdancer, it should be smooth sailing. 
  • The build plays like a typical sneak-attacked focused Rogue, with CoT providing extra feats, another APR, and Divine Wrath in the later stages. 
  • Divine Wrath duration however is based off of 'pure' Charisma modifier (ie unbuffed), so it is best used sparingly, and the build need not seek out Charisma equipment.

11 - Human Sorcerer/Paladin/Monk

  • An 'Exalted Sorcerer' style mage. This build plays like a typical spam-cannon Sorcerer, with Improved Expertise, Divine Shield, Epic Discipline focus, Auto Still III and Tumble taken along the way for defense. 
  • As with the Tank Mage, this build should make good use of Bigby Hands, notably Interposing, Forceful, Grasping and Crushing Hand, during the late game. 
  • Whilst it lacks the DR and HP of the Tank Mage, this build instead can boost its' own AC to 'Dex Pale Master' levels when utilising all of its' defensive tools.

12 - Pure Constitution Based Support Bard PM Drow Subrace recommended

  • For those that 'really' like playing a purely supportive style of character. Pre level 20, this build is 'somewhat' viable in a melee role, but it is definitely more suited to accompanying other melee characters and drastically enhancing their abilities. 
  • The build takes several Perform and Taunt skill boosting feats, Improved Expertise (90 AC with Nordock equipment and curse, which fits an off-tank role), Silent Spell to make use of Silence auras on allies and retain an avenue for spellcasting, UMD to make use of wands/scrolls, and of course has access to the coveted level 30 Bard Song. 
  • 100 Perform can be reached via Nordock equipment, although the odd non-Nordock Perform enhancing item may have to be equipped when singing initially (e.g. Singing String, Greater Gloves of the Minstrel). After that, the skill boost from the level 30 song itself should cover these items. 
  • The Major downside of this build is that it has next to no ability to solo, given it's pathetic AB and damage. But hey, being able to taunt Ahriman without requiring any Socketed/Green equipment is a pretty nice consolation