By Kyle 'FordyTwo' Horner
Welcome to Favored Soul 101! Within this guide you'll discover a treasury of information about the different ways a favored soul can be played. Combat tips for newer players and a template for a human evoker favored soul can also be found inside. There's a comments section on the bottom that new and seasoned DDO players are encouraged to use for further help on creating and playing favored souls!
Please Read: Players can unlock the favored soul on their server by acquiring 2500 favor and talking to Nyx, the Drow Elder in the Harbor. Alternatively, the favored soul is available for an account-wide unlock in the DDO Store.
Every New Favored Soul Should Know …
• A favored soul is usually built in one of three flavors: generalist, offensive/defensive spellcaster or melee combatant.
• It's much easier for new players to build spellcasting or melee focused favored souls – generalists, while efficient solo builds at lower levels, require significant equipment and item investment at higher levels of play.
• If you're playing the role of healer in a party, stay alive first and heal others second. It becomes terribly impossible to heal others while dead.
• You can target yourself by pressing the F1 key and the rest of your current party by pressing F2-F6. It's also possible to click on party members' names, found on the left-side listing of your display.
• Avoiding damage is even better than healing – spells like Command, Greater Command, and Comet Fall can temporarily disable opponents, and often make the most efficient use of your spell points.
Generalist Favored Soul
The generalist attempts a little of everything, and requires a significant equipment investment. However, they're able to fight with melee weaponry, and cast defensive healing and buff spells. Other classes that focus on one role will generally outperform a generalist favored soul but the generalist makes for a potent solo character, and always has something to do in a party. It's important to note that Ability Score point buys get a little tricky with a generalist – Strength (STR), Constitution (CON), Wisdom (WIS) and Charisma (CHA) are each equally important; potentially complicating things more, Dexterity (DEX) becomes important for generalists who desire to dual-wield.
Spellcasting Favored Soul
The pure divine spellcaster favored soul wields both offensive and defensive divine magic. Spellcasting-focused favored souls benefit from a deep well of spell points but suffer from a smaller selection of divine spells than their cleric counterparts. Wisdom (WIS) and Constitution (CON) are the most important Ability Scores for this style of favored soul, although a little Charisma (CHA) never hurts, either.
Melee Favored Soul
Using weaponry with a little bit of healing magic to sustain themselves, melee favored souls are potent solo builds. The primary Ability Scores for a melee favored soul are Strenght (STR) and Constitution (CON) – however, if you're planning to build a two weapon fighting favored soul, Dexterity (DEX) must be 15 to obtain the two weapon fighting feat. Elf, half-orc, drow, warforged and humans each offer useful racial bonuses for a favored soul.
• WIS – A higher Wisdom (WIS) score will make a favored soul's offensive spells more difficult for enemies to resist. A resisted offensive spell results in significantly reduced damage and sometimes, outright negation; for instance, Command is completely negated upon an enemy resist.
• CHA – A favored soul's Charisma (CHA) score determines how many spell points (SP) they receive; Also, to learn and cast a spell, a favored soul must have a CHA score equal to at least 10 + spell level.
• CON – Constitution (CON) directly affects every character's total Hit Point (HP) value; a healthy CON score is wise to have. It's recommended that any character have at least 14 CON.
• STR – The Strength (STR) ability score is most useful for melee favored souls because STR affects to-hit and damage with weapons like swords, hammers, axes, etc.
• DEX – The Dexterity (DEX) Ability Score is used for many things: Armor Class (AC), Reflex Save, and even meeting certain feat requirements. A melee favored soul should invest in a minimum of 15 DEX if they plan to take the Two Weapon Fighting feat. If you do not plan to take this feat, a lower DEX score is recommended.
• INT – Intelligence (INT) determines how many skill points a character receives during character creation and at each new level. This stat is useful when planning to invest into skills like Concentration and Balance.
Every class in DDO has a natural proficiency with certain skills. Training a "cross-class" skill takes twice as many skill points as training a regular class skill, because that "natural knowledge" is missing. However, training a "cross-class" skill can still be useful, depending on personal play style.
Here's a list of useful favored soul skills:
• Concentration, Class Skill – A useful skill for favored souls! In DDO, favored souls rely on Concentration when casting spells, and when taking damage from enemy attacks. When a favored soul is damaged while casting a Concentration check occurs – failure results in Spell Points (SP) being wasted while the spell fizzles out. A higher Concentration skill improves chances to succeed, so it's recommended to keep Concentration maxed out at each level. Favored souls who want to specialize in healing during combat can take the Quicken feat to cast spells without worrying about Concentration checks, although spells cast will consume more SP.
• Balance, Cross-class Skill – Whenever you get knocked down by an enemy attack – and it can happen more often than you might assume – the Balance skill allows your character to recover in a timelier fashion.
• Tumble, Cross-class skill – Even though we covered this earlier in the guide, it bears repeating: Put enough points into the Tumble skill during character creation for 1 rank -- not just “0.5” ranks, but “1.0”! In DDO, a player cannot use Tumble without training, and tumbling away from ranged attacks is a very useful skill to have.
• Jump, Class skill - Sometimes a trap threatens a DDO adventurer and other times, a chasm must be leapt over. Working towards 10 ranks of the Jump skill is a good idea.
Here are some optional skills that, depending on personal play style, can be useful:
• Diplomacy, Class Skill – Great for when you need to convince angry enemies that they would be better off attacking other members of your party. Because the favored soul is often primary healer in a DDO party, the Diplomacy skill comes in handy on a regular basis.
• Heal, Class Skill – You'd think that, for a favored soul, being able to use a healing kit to revive unconscious and bleeding companions to 1 Hit Point (HP) would be important. However, don't forget favored souls have healing spells! However, the Heal skill does grant additional hit points for yourself and party members when resting at a rest shrine (but doesn't affect warforged characters). Remember: party members only receive the benefits of your Heal skill while you’re at the same shrine when resting. If you wander off from the shrine, they won’t get the benefit of your training - what a waste!
The favored soul doesn't receive the plethora of spells that a cleric has access to, so it's important to know about some of the immediately useful ones upfront.
Spells to Make Enemies Stop Attacking You …
• Greater Command
• Hold Person
• Symbol of Persuasion
Damage Spells that'll leave a Mark …
• Searing Light
• Blade Barrier
• Divine Punishment
Buff Spells with some Oomph …
• Freedom of Movement
• Protection from Elements, Mass
• Divine Favor
• Neutralize Poison
• Death Ward
• True Seeing
Spells to Make Your Friends Love You …
• Raise Dead
• Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass
Template: Human of the Sovereign Host Evoker Favored Soul
A favored soul enjoys the luxury of options when it comes to building out their ability points, skills, feats, and spells. This particular template focuses on offensive spellcasting and healing capability.
Ability Point Buy
For our evoker favored soul we're going with a human, netting an extra feat and skill points.
28 Point Build:
• STR … 10
• DEX … 8
• CON … 14
• INT … 8
• WIS … 18
• CHA … 12
• Ability Point Buys: All into Wisdom (WIS).
Tip! If you've unlocked 32-Point Build (either in-game or via the DDO Store) a good place to invest your extra 4 ability points is into CHA – bringing this template's CHA to 15 will supply even more spell points.
Concentration is going to be the most useful skill for a spellcasting-focused favored soul, however Balance will help out as it shortens the amount of time a character spends lying down after an enemy's knockdown attack, and 2 points into Tumble will net a 1 rank, allowing a favored soul the ability to hold the Shift key and roll out of the way.
Tip! If you pick up a +2 INT tome in a dungeon or from the DDO Store (usable at level 7), the extra skill points gained upon level-up with a higher INT will serve your favored soul best when invested in the Jump skill.
At character creation:
• Concentration – 4 points
• Tumble – 2 points
• Balance – 2 points
At each level-up:
• Concentration – 1 point
• Balance – 1 pint
It's recommend that new players – and really, most players – take the Toughness feat at level one. Beyond this piece of advice the below feat selection is designed to optimize an evoker's output when healing and offensively casting. The longsword was selected as a key weapon for this build in order to gain the free cure light wounds at level 20.
• 1) Empower Spell – While this metamagic feat is active spells do 50% more damage but consume 15 additional spell points.
• 1) Toughness – Increases Hit Points (HP) at first level and provides additional HP for each new level, allowing a player to take the Racial Toughness enhancement. Taking Toughness results in such a significant HP boost that it's practically mandatory.
• 1) Favored by the Sovereign Host – Your favor with the Sovereign Host allows you proficiency with longswords, giving a +1 to your attack bonus with these weapons.
• 3) Spell Penetration – Adds +2 to your caster level check for defeating an enemy's spell resistance.
• 5) Energy Resistance: Fire – Receive less damage from fire attacks.
• 6) Maximize Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, damage spells deal double damage but consume 25 additional spell points.
• 9) Spell Focus: Evocation – Your Evocation spells are harder to resist, receiving a +1 bonus on save DCs. This will increase the likelihood spells like Holy Smite fully damage enemies.
• 10) Energy Resistance: Cold – Receive less damage from cold attacks.
• 12) Quicken Spell – While this metamagic feat is active, spells cast twice as fast and cannot be interrupted by enemy attacks but consume 10 additional spell points.
• 15) Greater Spell Focus: Evocation – Your Evocation spells are harder to resist, receiving a +1 bonus on save DCs; this stacks with the bonus from Spell Focus.
• 15) Energy Resistance: Electricity – Receive less damage from electricity attacks.
• 17) Leap of Faith – You receive this feat by default, however it's worth explaining here. Leap of Faith allows you to leap through the air, bringing the fight to your enemies, or traverse chasms that make normal adventurers balk. Using this ability costs 5 spell points.
• 18) Heighten Spell – While this metamagic feat is active your spells are raised to the highest spell level your character can cast, making them more difficult to resist, but increasing their spell point cost.
• 20) Damage Reduction: Cold Iron – Favored Souls of the Sovereign Host can turn aside most weapons. You gain damage reduction 10/cold iron.
Because enhancements in DDO can be reset for an in-game fee, this section of the evoker favored soul will offer suggestions -- but not strict guidelines. There really isn't a secret when it comes to choosing the "right" enhancements. It's a matter of being economical and choosing enhancements that feed into your chosen style of play, and offer the most for their value.
Tip! You can check "Show Unavailable" in the enhancements window to see prerequisites any enhancements you may desire at higher levels.
Below are core enhancements for most any type of favored soul, but they're very essential with this template. Both Favored Soul Toughness and Racial Toughness will grant significant hit point (HP) bonuses; The Wisdom enhancements help improve the usefulness of control spells like Command and Greater Command; the Charisma enhancement will grant a significant boon to your spell points (SP) – as will Favored Soul Energy of the Scion.
• Favored Soul Toughness I – IV
• Racial Toughness I - II
• Favored Soul Wisdom I – II
• Human Adaptability Wisdom I
• Favored Soul Charisma I – III
• Favored Soul Energy of the Scion I - IV
Both "Soul Life Magic" and "Soul Prayer of Life" are enhancements that will make your healing spells more potent.
• Favored Soul Life Magic I – IV
• Favored Soul Prayer of Life I
• Favored Soul Prayer of Incredible Life I
All of the below enhancements will improve your favored soul's offensive spell damage. Smiting, Prayer of Smiting and Prayer of Incredibly Smiting – taken together – enhance a favored soul's general damage and critical damage output.
• Favored Soul Smiting I – II
• Favored Soul Prayer of Smiting I
• Favored Soul Prayer of Incredible Smiting I
While the Empower Spell metamagic feat is very useful, it can also be a spell point (SP) drain – especially for lower-level characters. Taking this enhancement line will reduce the increased SP cost associated with Empower Spell so long as they remain a part of your enhancement line.
• Favored Soul Improved Empowering I – II
Unyielding Sovereignty will fully heal all hit point damage done to a targeted ally, remove ability damage, death penalty effects, negative levels, and these conditions: blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, poisoned, and stunned. It makes for a great healing skill, although use it wisely as Unyielding Sovereignty also has a 10 minute cooldown.
• Unyielding Sovereignty
With the Angel of Vengeance enhancement, your character will earn a new ability called – you guessed it – Angel of Vengeance! Here's how it works: Enemies that strike you have a chance of suffering divine condemnation, rendering them vulnerable to divine attacks, and you project a 15 meter Aura of Menace decreases the saving throws, attack, and armor class of nearby enemies by 2. You deal 20% additional damage with spells that deal fire, physical, or untyped damage and can name an ally your "Champion," transferring your shield of condemnation to them and damaging opponents that strike them in melee.
• Favored Soul Angel of Vengeance I – II
The Favored Soul Ascendancy: Sovereign Host is a powerful enhancement known as a "capstone" enhancement – capstone enhancements require the full 20 levels of a class to be accessed. However, this particular capstone enhancement also requires a favored soul take the Sovereign Host feat line at level one. For your devotion to the Sovereign Host, Ascendency grants +2 CHA, +2 to the Diplomacy and Heal skills, and the ability to the Cure Light Wounds spell at will, without using any spell points.
• Favored Soul Ascendency: Sovereign Host
Active, Passive & Toggle
Feats, spells, and enhancements come in three distinct flavors: active, passive, and toggle. None of these flavors are mutually exclusive. All feats, spells and enhancements can come in any of the three flavors.
Here's the breakdown:
• Active – When used, an "active" feat, enhancement or spell will cause an immediate effect. This effect can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Inflict Light Wounds is a spell that immediately damages its target, while Nightshield is an active spell that can immediately defend against Magic Missile attacks – but lasts for five minutes.
• Passive – There are no spells that are purely passive, but plenty of feats fall into this category. Toughness is a great example – it's passive, always giving you those bonus hit points (HP).
• Toggle – Many spells and feats come in this flavor. Think of toggles like a light switch: you can flip it on or off! A toggle always works this way, and in the case of metamagic feats (toggles!) using one will only increase the spell point (SP) cost of other spells – but in no way costs spell points itself to activate.
Newly acquired spells will not automatically show up on your hotbar. To add new spells, simply press the "C" key, and then click on the "Spells" tab on your Character Sheet panel. From the "Spells" tab you can drag and drop each spell icon to your hotbar – and the same can be done for active and toggle feats and enhancements from their respective tabs on the Character Sheet panel ("C" button).
Tip! The Bullstrength spell gives a +4 STR boost, and makes it much easier to defeat enemies at lower-levels with your melee weapon.
This evoker build can be enhanced just like any other class – with better equipment and ability tomes. However, as-is the human evoker favored soul will perform quite well, especially in group play where control and defensive spells can make otherwise-tricky combat scenarios a cinch to win. Please feel free to add comments and suggestions of your own, and we'll see you in Eberron!