Pure Caster Guide by JosieJ
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords on SuperCheats.com
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STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II 
THE SITH LORDS (PC version) 
JosieJ's "Pure Caster" Character Building Guide
v. 1.00 written 1/6/06


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Version History
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v. 1.00   	Submitted to gamefaqs.com 1/7/06 
v. 1.01		Minor changes; amended authorized sites list; amended 
		"Items" section. Not submitted to authorized sites.
v. 1.02	  	Submitted to authorized sites 2/12/06.  Minor tweaks 
		and corrections based on what I'm picking up playing 
		a DS character. 

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Table of Contents
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1.	Introduction
2.	Character building
	a.	Light side? Dark Side? Male? Female?
	b.	Attributes
	c.	Skills
	d.	Feats, including a word about fighting styles
	e.	Force Powers
	f.	Lightsaber forms and Force forms
	g.	Items
3.	Companions
4.	Playing tips
5.	Afterword, contact information and thanks

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1.	Introduction
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This character-building guide is intended for experienced SWKoTOR: 
TSL (hereafter referred to as TSL) players wishing to play as a "pure 
caster": a Jedi Consular/Jedi Master or Sith Lord combination.  More 
specifically, the guide is aimed at people who've played through the 
game at least once as one of the fighting or skilled classes, but 
wants to try again as a caster.  Since I'm assuming you already know 
how the game turns out, I make no effort to avoid spoilers.  YOU HAVE 
BEEN WARNED!  The guide is based on the PC version of the game, 
played at the "Normal" level of difficulty.  This guide is not a 
walkthrough; there are several excellent walkthroughs already 
available.  Although I will try to provide helpful tips specific to 
"casters," I will not be going into details that are easily gathered 
elsewhere.  I will try to refer you to other FAQs and guides that 
provide the details I omit.  All the guides I will refer to are 
available on gamefaqs.com.  I highly recommend Dan Simpson's 
(DSimpson) comprehensive walkthrough, complete with highly detailed 
guide to all your companions and full dialogue trees.  I will be 
referring to it A LOT.  Finally, it should be pretty obvious that all 
the advice contained in this guide will be based on my personal 
opinion.  I welcome opposing viewpoints (my contact information is at 
the end) and advice, but please don't couch your opposition to 
something I say as if I've departed from Holy Writ!  It's only my 
opinion, not the Ten Commandments written in stone!

Anyway, onward, and I hope this guide will be useful to you.

Commonly Used Abbreviations (in no particular order):

LS	Light side or light-sided
DS	Dark side or dark-sided
LSP	Light-side points
DSP	Dark-side points
MPC 	Main player character-i.e., you; I will also refer to you as 
	the Exile
NPC	Non-player characters; the other characters in your party
CCC	Computer-controlled characters; characters you can interact 
	with, but never control directly 
FPs	Force points
VPs	Vitality points
SPs	Skill points
XPs	Experience points
STR	Strength
DEX	Dexterity
CON 	Constitution
INT	Intelligence
WIS	Wisdom
CHA	Charisma 
DC	Difficulty class
Def	Defense
KOTOR I	Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic, the first game
Inf	Influence

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2.  Character building
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a. Light side? Dark side? Male? Female?
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What to play as?  I'll be going into more detail about Force Powers 
in the appropriate section, but generally, Light Side (LS) Powers are 
defensive-type powers and Dark Side (DS) Powers are offensive-type 
powers.  LS powers cost less (in terms of Force points per use) for a 
LS character than a DS character, and DS powers cost less for DS 
characters than LS characters.  That having been said, however, as a 
pure caster you will have such a large reserve of Force points (FPs) 
available to you that using powers of the opposite alignment will be 
much less of a concern to you than it would be if you were playing 
as, say, a Jedi Guardian, who gets the least amount of FPs.  So, 
basically, choose whatever alignment you'd like.  If you are playing 
as a pure caster, there is no earthly reason why you should wish to 
remain neutral and pass up the chance of getting a Prestige Class, so 
I'm not even going to address that option!  Your Force alignment will 
also influence whether you pick up the Mira NPC or the Hanharr NPC on 
Nar Shaddaa.  LS MPCs get Mira, DS MPCs get Hanharr.  As Mira can be 
turned into a Jedi Sentinel through the course of the game, if you 
play DS, you will have one less Jedi Sentinel in your party.  
However, since you get Visas Marr whether you are LS or DS, and you 
also can train Atton to be a Jedi Sentinel, you will never be without 
at least 1 Sentinel in your party.

As for whether to play as a male or female, keep in mind that the 
gender you play as will determine which character you get: 
Handmaiden, available only to male MPCs, or Disciple, available only 
to female MPCs.  This will affect the balance of your party in the 
following way: if you turn all your companions into Jedi, you will 
have 1 or 2 Jedi Guardian companions (Bao-Dur if you're LS, 
Handmaiden), 2 or 3 Jedi Sentinel companions (Visas, Atton, Mira if 
LS), and 1 Jedi Consular companion (Kreia) in your party if your MPC 
is a male; if you play as a female, you will have 1 Jedi Guardian 
companion if you're LS (Bao-Dur), 2 or 3 Jedi Sentinel companions 
(Visas, Atton, Mira if LS), and 2 Jedi Consular companions (Kreia, 
Disciple).  So your party will be *slightly* more balanced if you 
play as a male.  Also, you can get the ability to add your Wisdom 
modifier to your Defense from Handmaiden; female MPCs don't have the 
ability to do this (why can't Disciple do the same? Your guess is as 
good as mine!)  

Ultimately, though, none of the above has any earth-shattering type 
of consequences for how the game progresses.  In fact, I recommend 
playing through several times, changing Force alignments and genders 
at will, so that you experience the full range of possibilities.  
Full disclosure here, however:  I have not yet finished playing 
through as a DS character, although I've played through and finished 
the game as both male and female LS characters.  So my DS 
recommendations will be based on what I'm picking up as I'm 
progressing through as a DS character, as well as on knowledge of the 
game in general.  I hope this will not make them any less valid, and 
I always welcome input (see contact information at the end).  And, of 
course, as soon as I finish playing through on the DS, I will make 
any needed adjustments to this guide.

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b. Attributes
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OK, here's where we start to get to the meat of our character!  How 
do we allocate points toward Attributes?  As you will know if you are 
an experienced TSL player, at the character-building screen, you 
start off with 8s in all your attributes and get 30 points to 
allocate to raise the ones you want.  For a full explanation of what 
the attributes govern, I refer you to Dan Simpson's excellent (and 
thorough!) walkthrough.  

If you are going to play as a pure caster, STR will be less important 
to you than it would be to a pure fighter.  You will need to get high 
levels of WIS and CHA, as these will influence the amount of FPs you 
get and help with your force powers.  High CHA also reduces the FP 
cost of using opposite-alignment powers, and gives bonuses in combat 
to your companions.

There are many builds that will work well for a pure caster.  A few 
recommended ones are as follows:

1. 	STR		12
	DEX		12
	CON		14
	INT		12
	WIS		14
	CHA		14

This is a good mix, concentrating on the things you need to be high 
in: CON for the extra VPs it gives, and WIS and CHA for the extra FPs 
and help with force powers.

2.	STR		10
	DEX		14
	CON		14
	INT		12
	WIS		14
	CHA		14

The only difference between this build and the one above is that you 
slightly de-emphasize STR for better DEX.  The higher DEX will help 
with your defense, especially since you will need to avoid armor at 
all costs.  This build will also make you a better ranged fighter in 
the beginning and, if you take the Finesse: Lightsabers feat, a 
better fighter with a lightsaber once you get it, rather than an 
indifferent fighter all around.  Obviously, as a caster, you'll never 
be a great fighter, but there are times when you will need to fight 
physically and this build will give you an edge.

3.	STR		8
	DEX		14
	CON		14
	INT		14
	WIS		14
	CHA		14

More of the same, only de-emphasizing STR even further to beef up 
INT.  Of course, an 8 STR means that you will have a -1 modifier in 
this attribute.  I don't recommend it; I don't think it's a good idea 
to purposefully start out with a negative modifier in any attribute.  
Also, since STR always determines melee (including lightsaber) damage 
whether or not you take the Finesse: Lightsabers feat, you'll start 
out behind the 8-ball when it comes to damage.   Of course, your 
mileage may vary.

My preferred build, however, is this (for a LS Consular/Jedi Master 
combo):

4.	STR		10
	DEX		14
	CON		15
	INT		12
	WIS		12
	CHA		14

I put 1 pt into CON, then 2 into DEX, then the rest into CHA.  My 
reasons are as follows:

STR I just get out of negative modifiers.  As weak a fighter as a 
Consular is, I really don't recommend starting out with an attack 
penalty.  I add to DEX because it helps my Def (again, a weak fighter 
really should try to avoid being hit if at all possible) and my 
ranged attack.  In the beginning of the game, I don't even bother 
with melee and use a blaster until I get my lightsaber.  CON is 
important because you get fewer VPs per level-up than the other 
classes do and every little bit extra counts.  I get it up to 16 
because in TSL what kind of implants you can use depends on your raw 
CON (that is, your CON before you use any CON-boosting items), and 
there are some excellent implants available that you need to have a 
16 CON to use.  INT stays at 12; you still get a modest bonus, and 
skills are not that important to a Consular.  If you want to be a 
really skilled character, I'd recommend skipping the pure caster 
route entirely and playing as a Sentinel instead.  There are other 
characters in your party that can handle skills better.  I'll go into 
more detail when I discuss the various skills and characters.  

WIS I leave at 12 because, as a LS character, in the beginning of the 
game, you should really stick to buffing powers rather than anything 
that gives your opponent a chance to save.  These powers are 
generally LS or Universal, and will be mostly cheaper to use for a LS 
character, thus the need for a lot of FPs early on is somewhat less.  
As the game goes on and you progress up the Force Focus chain, the DC 
of your Force powers will naturally improve, bringing with it the 
opportunity to start using more offensive powers.  Also, when you 
reach LS (or DS) mastery as a Consular, you get +3 bonus to WIS, and 
then an additional +3 bonus to WIS when you become a Jedi Master 
(Sith Lords get +50 Force points instead), which will raise your WIS 
+6 without your having to devote points to WIS at level-up.  In 
addition, your special character-name crystal, which you get on 
Dantooine, gives a significant WIS bonus that increases as you 
increase in level and upgrade it, and even further, there are many 
items that give bonuses to WIS: lightsaber crystals (like Kasha or 
Ruusan), headgear, gloves, robes, belts, etc.  I've never had any 
trouble getting my WIS modifier up to +10 or more without adding a 
single point to WIS at level-up, just by using the mastery bonuses 
and WIS-boosting items.  I start CHA at 14 and devote most of my 
attribute points to raising it because there are fewer items that 
raise CHA and as the game goes on, I like to sprinkle a few DS Force 
powers into the mix and a high CHA lowers the cost for me to use 
them.

However, if you are playing as a DS Consular/Sith Lord, you'll want 
to start out with a higher WIS in the beginning since your powers are 
mostly offensive and you won't want your opponents saving against 
your powers all the time.  In that case, I'd recommend either 
starting with one of the first 2 builds, or using the above build but 
switching the DEX and WIS points so you end up with the following:

STR 	10
DEX	12
CON	15
INT	12
WIS	14
CHA	14

Then put 1 pt into CON, 4 into WIS, and 2 into CHA.  This is all 
assuming you get up to level 30 or so by the end of the game.  
However, if you're playing as a DS character, you are much better 
positioned to take advantage of the Hssiss spawn-point infinite 
experience exploit, so you might get much higher than that.  Whether 
you increase WIS or CHA then depends on how much you want to use LS 
powers (in which case, increase CHA), or have irresistible Force 
powers and a massive amount of FPs (in which case, increase WIS).  

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c. Skills
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A Consular is not a skilled character.  Sorry, that's just the way it 
is.  If you just get INT out of negative modifiers, you get 2 skill 
points per level.  With an INT of 12, you get 3 skill points per 
level, which remains the same for your prestige class (Jedi 
Master/Sith Lord).  Enough to work up decent skills in your class 
skills, but not enough to go cross-class a lot.  Plus, you don't get 
enough feats to turn cross-class skills into class skills.  Skills 
can be useful for item creation but, between all your companions in 
the game, you'll have all the skills covered for this purpose.

Your class skills are:  Awareness, Persuade, Repair, and Treat 
Injury.  With an INT of 12, you get 12 points at character creation.  
I'll go through all the skills:

Computer use:	I use up 4 points putting 2 points (remember, it's a 
cross-class skill) into this at character creation, and take it up to 
3 before I hit the main containment shaft on the Peragus mining 
tunnel level; it helps when you "read droid schematics" to rewire the 
droids on the administration level to fight for you or raise the temp 
in the mining tunnels so the droids there ignore you (even if you 
attack them).  You'll still be fairly low on VP at that time, and 
anything that will help you rig a fight in your favor is good.  It's 
not absolutely necessary, though, and it's especially not necessary 
to go higher than 3.  Once you add T3 and Bao-Dur to your party, they 
can handle the stuff needing high Computer Use skill.

Demolitions:  I don't put any points into this at character creation, 
but I do put 1 point into this before I hit the mining tunnels on 
Peragus, just so I can disarm the mines on that level. (You'll need 
mines to blast open certain unbashable containers and doors on 
Peragus; see the Playing Tips section for an exploit that will give 
you mines without you having to waste a lot of points in 
Demolitions.)  Since I stick to ranged fighting on Peragus, I feel I 
cannot afford to take the temporary hit to DEX that just walking 
through the mines would bring.  You do get small amounts of XP for 
disabling or recovering mines.  This is also a skill that you cannot 
use untrained (i.e., you need at least 1 point in it to get the 
benefit of any items that give bonuses to this skill).  I leave it at 
1, though.  Again, it's a cross-class skill, so it's expensive, and 
once Atton joins your party, he can handle the Demolitions 
requirements.  T3 and Bao-Dur are also good at this, as is Mira if 
you're playing LS.

Stealth:  You'd think that, with your weak fighting skills, avoiding 
a fight by sneaking past enemies would be beneficial.  You'd be 
wrong!  Fights bring needed XP and you'll level-up very slowly if you 
avoid a lot of them.  There are just too damn many of them to get 
into that habit, anyway.  There are only a couple of instances where 
Stealth is absolutely necessary and they can all be handled by other 
characters.  I'd skip it.  Atton, Kreia and, depending on how you 
level her up, Visas are all good at Stealth.

Awareness:  Useful for detecting mines and it opens up some extra 
conversational options.  Also, if you are playing as a LS character, 
the easiest way to gain enough influence to turn Mira into a Jedi is 
to have at least 11 points in Awareness and ask her why she doesn't 
kill her targets.  It's a class skill, so it's cheap.  I generally 
leave it at 15; I've never had any trouble detecting even the 
strongest of mines at that level, and that frees up some points to be 
used elsewhere.

Persuade:  Only your MPC can add points to this at level-up.  This is 
an indispensable skill for a LS Consular, since you will have to do a 
lot of Persuading to get people to do things your way and you will be 
somewhat limited in your use of Force Persuade if you want to avoid 
getting DSPs all the time.  I'd max it and take it up to at least 20.  
A DS Consular needs this skill somewhat less, since you'll WANT the 
DSPs that come with using Force Persuade to get people to do things 
against their will.  Plus, in some situations, you won't want to talk 
people into doing what you want at all-you'll simply kill them and do 
what you want anyway!  If you're playing DS, you can de-emphasize 
this slightly and spend the points elsewhere.  I'd still put in 
around 10 or so, though.

Repair:  Another class skill.  Your skill level in Repair governs how 
many components you get when you break down items at a workbench.  As 
the MPC, your skill level is the one that gets used in item 
breakdown, regardless of who's using the workbench (item creation 
uses the skill of whoever's using the workbench).  When you have 20 
points in Repair, you get back exactly as many components when you 
break down an item as it would take to make that item.  For this 
reason, take it up to 20.  Sometimes, a container will have 
components in it, but you'll never pick up as many as it takes to 
make the really useful items without breaking down unwanted items, so 
it pays to get the most bang for your buck.

Security:  Unlocking doors and containers using Security brings small 
amounts of XP, but most of the time you will have someone in your 
party who can handle this for you.  I put 1 point into this at 
character creation, and then leave it at that for a LONG time.  When 
I've gotten to over level 20 and gotten other, more important skills 
to the level I need them to be, I'll throw a few points at this, but 
it's not worth taking a feat to make it a class skill, so it'll 
always be expensive to increase.  I can think of only 1 case where 
you'll have a lock that absolutely, positively needs to be opened 
using Security (i.e., cannot be blown open or bashed), and that's in 
the Palace at Iziz, where you'll need to have someone with a very 
high Security in your party (and you're stuck with the party you 
start with).  Bao-Dur can handle this so it's worth taking him along, 
but even he may have to use a Security tunneler, and if you're 
playing DS, he won't be much good in a fight since you cannot train 
him as a Jedi.  If you've maxed Atton's security skills and trained 
him as a Jedi, take him along instead.  The only time I find myself 
in a situation where no-one in the party has good Security skills is 
on the Ravager, where you suddenly start getting really difficult 
locks, but those can be bashed open at the risk of destroying fragile 
contents of containers (and it's mostly the doors that are difficult, 
anyway).  Not a skill that you need to emphasize.

Treat Injury:  This is a helpful skill for increasing the amount of 
VPs you get healed when you use medpacs, and it also influences the 
amount of chemicals you get back when you break down health items, 
mines and grenades in the same way as Repair does components.  That 
said, if you're playing a LS character, you won't need this as much 
once you pass level 6, since then you can take Heal.  Still, there 
are times when using a medpac is faster and more efficient than using 
Heal, and if you're a DS character, Heal can be very expensive to 
use, so it's worth putting a moderate amount of points here.  Also, 
if you find yourself making a lot of health items, implants, grenades 
or mines, taking this skill to 20 will get you the most bang for your 
buck in terms of the amount of chemicals you get back when breaking 
these items down. Kreia will have a high Treat Injury; have her 
create any needed items. 

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d. Feats, including a word about fighting styles
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First, I have to say a word about fighting styles, since this will 
greatly influence the feats you take.  Many of the FAQs and guides 
I've seen recommend that your MPC use dual or double-bladed weapons 
and take the Two-Weapon Fighting line of feats.  I HIGHLY recommend 
AGAINST this when playing as a Consular.  Your STR, which governs 
your attack with melee unless you take a "finesse" feat (STR always 
governs your damage with melee, including saber, finesse or no), will 
always be low, thus it doesn't pay to use a fighting style that 
carries an attack or damage penalty with it.  The Two-Weapon Fighting 
feats lessen the attack penalty, but they don't eliminate it.  Many 
people recommend combining the benefits of high FPs and strong Force 
powers that you get from being a Consular with the high vitality, 
many feats and strong fighting skills you get as a Weapon Master or 
Marauder.  As a Weapon Master/Marauder, you'd get more Two-Weapon 
Fighting feats to lessen the attack penalty even further.  However, 
if you wanted to be both a strong fighter and a strong caster, you'd 
hardly be consulting a "pure caster" guide, now would you? ;^)   Not 
only does using one weapon NOT carry an attack penalty, but taking 
the Dueling line of feats gives you sorely-needed attack BONUSES, *as 
well as* giving you very handy bonuses to defense.  As a Consular 
with lower VPs than Sentinels or Guardians, avoiding being hit is 
always good.

As a pure caster, you will get VERY FEW feats: 7 by level 20, 12 by 
level 30, not including those feats you get for free at character 
creation and level-up.  Thus, you will have to choose very carefully, 
and make the most of the feats you get.  You get feats at Level 1, 3, 
6, 9, 12, 15, 16 (when you take your first Prestige Class level), 18, 
21, 24, 27, 30, etc.

LS or DS, I recommend maxing the Toughness line of feats.  Toughness 
gives you 1 extra VP per level-up (retroactive), and more VP is 
always better.  Improved Toughness allows you to avoid 10% of the 
damage an attack against you would ordinarily inflict.  Master 
Toughness gives you another extra VP per level-up (also retroactive).  
I'd strongly recommend getting at least Improved Toughness, but I 
personally always max this line of feats, and Toughness is the first 
feat I take at character creation.  That's how useful it is.

As noted above, I'd recommend using one weapon and taking Dueling 
over using 2 (or a double-bladed) and taking the Two-Weapon Fighting 
line of feats.  I'd also recommend maxing the Dueling line of feats.  
The Dueling feats also apply when you are fighting unarmed, and there 
are several instances when you will be forced to do this.

If your DEX is significantly higher than your STR, and ESPECIALLY if 
you left STR at 8 and have a negative modifier, I'd recommend taking 
the Finesse: Lightsabers feat.  I generally take it as the 5th feat I 
choose, which would be at Level 12.  This works out to be somewhat 
before I get my lightsaber and has the effect of immediately 
improving my melee attacks once I do get my lightsaber (although 
note: it does not work for edged weapons).  And, of course, once I 
have a lightsaber, I never use an edged weapon again (with the single 
exception of the Battle Circle fight with Kelborn, when I have no 
other choice).

Those are the feats I think are indispensable.  Others that would be 
helpful:

Conditioning:  Your saving throws are the weakest in the game.  
Anything that will improve them is good.

Jedi Defense:  You'll get the first level of this feat free.  
Increasing your blaster bolt deflection rolls will help immensely 
since the vast majority of opponents you'll face in this game will be 
wielding blasters.

Flurry OR Critical Strike OR Power Attack:  It's been argued over 
many times as to which one is best to take.  I won't even get into 
trying to compare the relative merits of the three.  Just pick one 
and max it, which will cost you 2 feats since you get the first one 
free at character creation.  I prefer Flurry; your mileage may vary.  
Or, you could skip improving any of these; your focus is casting not 
fighting and after a certain point, you'll be killing massive amounts 
of enemies with your Force powers alone and won't need these as much.  
You might just decide to swallow the penalties, leave these alone, 
and spend the feats elsewhere.

Feats to avoid:  

Avoid improving any ranged skills unless you intend to use a blaster 
even after you get your lightsaber back.  If that is the case, you 
won't need to take Finesse: Lightsabers, and can replace the 
Flurry/Critical Strike/Power Attack feats with Rapid Shot/Sniper 
Shot/Power Blast feats, respectively.  I'd recommend against this, 
however: you won't have enough feats to max out the Precise Shot line 
of feats, without which you'll never be able to do enough damage to 
Jedi opponents, and a lightsaber is much better for blaster bolt 
defense, even though there is a power you can take to allow you to 
deflect blaster bolts without a lightsaber equipped.  I'd avoid the 
Close Combat feats as well.  Really, the upshot is that you just 
don't get enough feats to make yourself a truly effective blaster-
wielding Jedi. (However, Mira does, if you're playing LS.  I'll go 
into this in more detail in the Companions section.)

Avoid making any cross-class skills into class skills, and avoid any 
skill-improving feats (Gear Head, Caution, and Empathy).  You just 
don't have enough feats to spend, and you're not skills-focused in 
any event.  

Avoid Weapon Proficiency feats.  You get basic proficiency in all 
weapons; there's really no need to upgrade any of them further, not 
even lightsabers.  If you were to upgrade one, of course, Weapon 
Focus: Lightsabers is the way to go, but you don't really even need 
that.  

Avoid improving your armor proficiency.  As a caster, you'll want to 
get out of armor AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, since the best Force powers, LS 
or DS, are restricted by armor (except for the Jal Shey or Zeison Sha 
light armors).  You get Armor Proficiency: Light for free at 
character creation; that's all you'll ever need.

Regenerate: Force Points.  As a pure caster, you'll get this for free 
when you become a Prestige Class.

Regenerate: Vitality Points.  You regenerate VPs outside of combat 
anyway.  During combat, you can use medpacs, Heal, or Drain Life to 
get back VPs.

Dual Strike.  These feats give you bonuses to attack when you're 
fighting an enemy someone else in your party is also fighting.  Not 
worth the feat for your MPC, especially since you have to do a chunk 
of the first part of the game and the last part of the game alone.  
If you have soldiers or Jedi Guardians, who get lots of feats, in 
your party, it might be worth giving them these feats late in the 
game after they've maxed out all the truly necessary ones.

Stealth Run.  This feat is only worth having for Jedi Watchmen or 
Sith Assassins who plan to use Stealth (for Sneak Attacks) a lot.  If 
you've followed my suggestions for SP allocation, you won't have any 
points in Stealth, anyway.

Finesse: Melee Weapons.  Not worth it, even if you use melee weapons 
in the beginning of the game.  Once you get your lightsaber, there's 
really no reason to ever use an edged weapon again.  Accept the fact 
that, in the beginning of the game, your attack and damage with melee 
weapons will suck and just deal with it, or use blasters, or pray you 
find a Zabrak vibroblade (which gives you the feat for free).

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e. Force Powers
--------------------------------------------------------------------

OK, here we are: this is where you will really come into your own!  
Guardians are pure fighters, Sentinels are better at skills, but NO 
ONE can beat you when it comes to Force powers, you pure caster, you!

Josh Warren has a very good Force Power guide in which he explains 
every Force power, what each does and what is required to get them. I 
will base this list on his; however, I won't reinvent the wheel but 
rather refer you to that guide for the specifics.  I will give 
general descriptions of the powers first, and then give 
recommendations on the must-have Force powers, based on Force 
alignment.  I've omitted powers that aren't available to Jedi 
Consulars, Jedi Masters or Sith Lords.

=================
Light Side Powers
=================

If you are a LS character, with LS Force Mastery these powers will 
cost you 50% less than their normal base cost to use.  If you are a 
DS character, these will cost you more to use; the penalty varies 
according to how high your CHA is.  In general, Light Side powers are 
defensive powers that improve your (or your entire party's) abilities 
in combat.

>Battle Precognition

Adds WIS modifier to your defense during combat.  Only available to 
male MPCs.  After sparring with Handmaiden, mention that she seems to 
be anticipating your attacks and ask her to show you how to do it.

>Force Aura-->Force Shield-->Force Armor

Bolsters defense and saving throws.  Its only drawback is its short 
duration.  

>Force Barrier-->Improved Force Barrier-->Master Force Barrier

Reduces bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage.  

>Force Enlightenment

LS characters only.  Gained automatically after you've spoken to the 
assembled Jedi Council on Dantooine near the end of the game.  
Activates the best of your Armor, Valor and Speed powers together and 
at a reduced cost.  You must have the powers at some level to begin 
with to get the full benefit of this power.  Great for quickly 
getting ready for tough battles.

>Force Valor-->Knight Valor-->Master Valor

Gives the entire party bonuses to attributes and saving throws.

>Heal-->Improved Heal-->Master Heal

Heals character and all party members within range.  Higher levels 
also heal poisons and stun effects.  

>Inspire Followers 1-->2-->3

Gained automatically by Jedi Masters only.  Improves attack, damage 
and Will saves of all party members.

>Revitalize-->Improved Revitalize-->Master Revitalize

Revives fallen party members.

>Stun-->Stasis-->Stasis Field

One of two offensive LS powers.  Stun and Stasis are targeted powers 
and incapacitate a single enemy.  Stasis Field is an area-of-effect 
power and works on groups.  If opponents save, they are slowed 
instead of stunned.  Does not affect droids.

>Stun Droid-->Disable Droid-->Destroy Droid

The second of two offensive LS powers.  Similar to Stun/Stasis/Stasis 
Field, but applies to droids.  Stun Droid is a targeted power; 
Disable Droid and Destroy Droid are area-of-effect powers.

================
Universal Powers
================

Universal powers cost the same amount of FPs no matter what your 
Force alignment.

>Affect Mind-->Dominate Mind		

Gives extra conversation options and chance to persuade people to do 
what you want.  Forcing people to do things against their nature 
frequently, but not always, carries DSPs, so govern yourself 
accordingly.  Consult DSimpson's comprehensive walkthrough; he points 
out exactly when this happens.

>Battle Meditation-->Improved Battle Meditation-->Master Battle 
Meditation

Battle Meditation improves attack, damage and Will saves and speeds 
VP regeneration of all party members.  Higher levels do the same, but 
also REDUCE an opponent's attack, damage and Will saves if they fail 
their save.

>Beast Trick

Beast Trick is automatically gained on Dxun and only works on beasts.  
The beast is distracted, provided you do not get too close to it or 
interact with it.  

>Breath Control

Learned automatically on Nar Shaddaa.  Gives immunity against poisons 
for a time.

>Burst of Speed-->Knight Speed-Master Speed

Character speed is doubled.  In addition, Knight Speed gives 1 extra 
attack per round and Master Speed gives 2 extra attacks per round.

>Energy Resistance-->Improved Energy Resistance-->Master Energy 
Resistance

Reduces elemental (cold, energy, fire, sonic, electrical) damage.

>Force Body-->Improved Force Body-->Master Force Body

Allows you to split the cost of using Force powers between FPs and 
VPs; the different levels carry differing FP/VP ratios.

>Force Deflection-->Force Redirection

Force Deflection allows the Jedi to deflect blaster bolts without a 
lightsaber equipped, but not to deflect the bolts back at the enemy.  
Force Redirection allows the Jedi to deflect blaster bolts back at 
the enemy if the opponent fails their save.

>Force Push-->Force Whirlwind-->Force Wave

Force Push shoves a single enemy back, stuns them and causes them to 
suffer damage.  Force Whirlwind sweeps an enemy up in a whirlwind, 
incapacitating them and causing them to suffer damage proportional to 
the MPC level every 2 seconds; it also pushes surrounding enemies 
back and frequently stuns them.  Force Wave pushes back and stuns all 
enemies within 15 meters as well as causing them to suffer damage.

>Force Resistance-->Force Immunity

Gives resistance to hostile Force powers directed at you.  Force 
Immunity is stronger, but you're never 100% immune.

>Force Sight

Learned from Visas after defeating her.  Consult DSimpson's 
comprehensive walkthrough for details; you must follow a specific 
conversational option to gain this power and you only get one chance 
at it.

>Force Suppression-->Force Breach

Cancels Force powers active on the target.  Force Suppression cancels 
only 1st and 2nd level powers; Force Breach cancels all.

>Mind Trick-->Force Confusion

Mind Trick is exactly like Beast Trick, only for sentients.  Force 
Confusion makes the targeted opponent fight on your side for 30 
seconds.  Does not affect droids.

>Precognition

Automatically gained on Peragus.  Warns player of impending danger.  
These warnings are quite rare.

>Throw Lightsaber-->Advanced Throw Lightsaber

Allows the Jedi to throw their lightsaber at a distant target and 
have it return to them.  Lower level only attacks one enemy, Advanced 
attacks up to three.

=================
Dark Side Powers
=================

If you are a DS character, with DS Force Mastery these powers will 
cost you 50% less than their normal base cost to use.  If you are a 
LS character, these will cost you more to use; the penalty varies 
according to how high your CHA is.  DS powers are generally offensive 
powers intended to cause damage in combat.


>Crush Opposition 1-->2-->3-->4-->5-->6

Automatically gained by Sith Lords.  Causes opponent to suffer 
penalties to attack and Will saves in varying amounts depending on 
level.

>Drain Force-->Improved Drain Force-->Master Drain Force

Drain Force and Improved Drain Force leach FPs from targeted enemy to 
the Jedi.  Master Drain Force leaches FPs from all enemies within a 
certain range.  If they make their save, the amount of FPs they lose 
is halved.

>Drain Life-->Death Field

Exactly like Drain Force, only for VPs instead of FPs; the Jedi is 
healed for the amount of VPs that the enemy loses.  Drain Life 
targets one enemy; Death Field is an area-of-effect power.

>Fear-->Horror-->Insanity

Incapacitates enemy and decreases their defense.  Fear is a targeted 
power; Horror and Insanity are area-of-effect powers.

>Force Crush

DS characters only.  Gained automatically on Dantooine toward the end 
of the game after you've found all the Jedi Masters.  Causes targeted 
enemy to suffer massive amounts of unstoppable damage.

>Force Scream-->Improved Force Scream-->Master Force Scream

Area-of-effect power that causes enemies to suffer damage.  Higher 
levels cause higher amounts of damage.

>Shock-->Force Lightning-->Force Storm

Shock is a targeted power; Force Lightning damages enemies in a 
direct line from the Jedi; Force Storm damages all enemies within a 
certain range of the targeted enemy.

>Slow-->Affliction-->Plague

Targeted power.  With Slow, enemy is slowed and suffers penalties to 
defense, DEX and attack rolls.  Affliction causes poison damage and 
penalties to all physical attributes.  Plague causes higher levels of 
penalties to all physical attributes and the enemy cannot save 
against it.

>Wound-->Choke-->Kill

Targeted power.  Enemy is choked and suffers damage, increasing with 
higher levels of this power.

================
Must-have powers
================

All characters, regardless of Force alignment, should have the 
following:

Energy Resistance:  (Universal) Protects against many different 
elemental types of damage.  Great against blaster- and lightsaber-
wielding enemies.  Protection is party-wide (after the 1st level) and 
stacks with all kinds of shields.  Max this.  It's usually the first 
power I take.

Force Deflection:  (Universal) Allows you to deflect blaster bolts 
without having a lightsaber equipped.  Take at least the first level 
of this power to aid in your defense until you get your lightsaber.  
Take both levels if you're going to keep using blasters even after 
you get your lightsaber.

Heal:  (Light Side) Yes, you should take Heal and Improved Heal even 
if you're playing a DS character.  Take the hit to your FPs.  This 
will enable you to heal outside of combat without having to rely on 
medpacs all the time.  Improved Heal will save you having to use both 
an antidote kit and a medpac when you suffer poison damage, which 
will be greatly helpful on Dantooine, and perhaps also on Nar Shaddaa 
and Malachor V.  LS characters should absolutely take all three 
levels.

Affect Mind:  (Universal) Aids greatly in getting what you want or 
avoiding fights.  LS characters will have to be careful where they 
use this; forcing people to do cruel or illegal things against their 
will gives you DSPs.  However, using it to save people in danger or 
avert trouble usually does not carry a DS penalty.  DS characters, of 
course, can just go to town.  You'll get enough powers to take both 
levels of this; take them.  Max this and consult DSimpson's 
walkthrough as to their best use in different situations.

Burst of Speed:  (Universal) Take at least 2 levels of this power, 
preferably all three.  The extra attacks per round are invaluable, 
since if an enemy has managed to get close enough to you despite your 
Force Powers, you'll really need to take them out fast before things 
get ugly.  Combining this with Master Flurry gives even more attacks.  
Even having only the first level will allow you to speed your 
movement around the various levels since, unlike in KoTOR I, there is 
no "Return to Hideout/Ebon Hawk" button.

Force Push:  (Universal) An excellent offensive power.  Max this.  At 
later levels you can stun whole rooms full of enemies.  2 or 3 
successive waves of this can kill off large groups of enemies without 
you ever having to get near them and keeping them from being able to 
get near you.

In addition to the powers all characters should have, Light Side 
characters must also have the following:

Force Valor:  One of the best buffing powers in the game.  Affects 
the entire party.  Its only drawback is its short duration (only 20 
seconds).  Max this.  

Stun:  A good LS offensive power.  At lower levels, not so 
impressive, but at later levels it hits more than it misses and 
prevents enemies from doing you damage while you're attacking them.  
If you're going to take this, max it; it's really not worth it to do 
otherwise.

Force Barrier:  Good protection against bludgeoning, piercing and 
slashing damage and stacks with all kinds of shields.  Max this.

Force Aura:  Beefs up your defensive capabilities.  Take at least the 
first 2 levels.  With this, Force Speed, and Force Valor, you will 
get the maximum benefit from your Force Enlightenment special power.

In addition to the powers all characters should have, Dark Side 
characters must also have the following:

Shock:  Hands down, the best offensive power in the game.  And face 
it, it's such fun to watch!  Max it.  Deals damage all the time and 
at later levels, clears entire rooms full of enemies with a minimum 
of effort.  Use Force Wave, then Force Storm and you can take out 
huge groups of enemies without moving one step.

Fear:  Another great offensive power.  Max this; casting Insanity is 
a great way to hold groups of enemies still while you whale on them 
with a lightsaber, or take out a group with Force Storm.

Drain Life:  Max this.  At later levels and with rooms full of 
enemies (especially during the infinite Hssiss spawn point exploit), 
casting this ONCE can totally recharge your VPs and take out (or 
weaken) lots of enemies at the same time.

Wound:  Max this.  Always deals damage, even if only a little.  Its 
only drawback is that, as a targeted power, it only works on one 
enemy at a time.

Regardless of your Force alignment, as a pure caster, you will have 
so many FPs that taking Force powers of an opposing alignment will 
really not be that big a deal.  I always max Shock and Fear when I'm 
playing as a Jedi Master: they're immensely useful and just plain 
cool!  If you want to take the Force Valor series as a Sith Lord, go 
right ahead.  You will get PLENTY of Force powers; at level 30, 
you'll have something like 38 Force powers.  You'll have no trouble 
maxing out all the must-have powers with plenty of slots left over 
for anything else that strikes your fancy, so feel free to go crazy.

===============
Powers to Avoid
===============

That having been said, there are a few powers that I'd avoid, just 
because they really aren't that effective.  Regardless of alignment, 
I'd avoid Throw Lightsaber.  It just doesn't do enough damage to 
enough enemies at a time.  You get Beast Trick for free, but I never 
use it:  why would you want to sneak by an animal when you can just 
kill it outright and get the XP, and not have to worry about it being 
behind you when the power wears off?  For similar reasons, I'd also 
avoid Mind Trick and Force Confusion.  Both Beast Trick and Mind 
Trick only affect one enemy at a time, further reducing their already 
low utility.  Force Confusion is only useful for the novelty of 
having an enemy fight on your side for 30 seconds, but again, that's 
not much extra help in a fight against the large groups of enemies 
you'll be facing alone late in the game.  Force Resistance is not 
particularly useful-you don't meet up with that many Force-wielding 
opponents in the game, and few of the ones you do meet up with use 
Force powers in any great amounts.  You'll have enough slots to take 
this, but I usually skip it and take other, more useful, Force 
powers.  There are items (Jal Shey belts are particularly good for 
this) that will give you all the Force resistance you'll need.  The 
same goes for Force Suppression.  This power is useful for cancelling 
buffs an enemy has cast on himself, the only problem is that most of 
the Force-wielding enemies you'll meet rarely bother to cast buffs on 
themselves.  If you're a LS character, skip this entirely; you'll 
only ever face DS Force-wielding characters and they mostly 
concentrate on offensive powers.  If you're playing DS, this power 
could theoretically help you out a little in fights with the Jedi 
Masters; the problem is that, even if you successfully use it, your 
opponent can always just recast their buffs.  I'd go for an offensive 
power over this one anytime.  If you manage combat effectively (see 
Playing Tips below), you will avoid having your companions get 
knocked out of fights and thus have no need to pick Revitalize.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
f. Lightsaber Forms and Force Forms
--------------------------------------------------------------------

All Jedi will learn 7 forms; the only difference is in which 
combinations the Forms occur.  All Jedi learn the 3 basic lightsaber 
Forms and the 1 basic Force Form.  More combat-oriented classes 
(Guardians, Sentinels, Weapon Masters/Marauders and 
Watchmen/Assassins) learn the advanced lightsaber Forms, while 
Consulars, Jedi Masters and Sith Lords learn the advanced Force 
Forms.

These are the Forms you will learn as a Consular/Jedi Master or Sith 
Lord, in the order you will learn them:

Form I: Determination (Shii-Cho)

A basic lightsaber Form useful against multiple opponents.  It gives 
+1 to Attack, +3 to Def, and -3 to Def against current target 
(although, since the Def bonuses/penalties stack, that's like a net 
Def bonus of 0 on your current target).  This is the first Form all 
Jedi get, at level 7.  Companions converted to Jedi get this at their 
7th Jedi level, not their 7th character level, meaning that if they 
convert after they've reached their 7th character level, they don't 
get this form immediately.

Force Channel (Force Form)

All Jedi get this form; Consulars get it at level 8.  This is the 
basic Force Form, useful for regenerating FPs quickly outside of 
combat and making Force powers more powerful in combat.  It can be a 
useful Force Form to use against Jedi opponents because it gives a 
nice bonus to saves vs. Force powers.  Its specific effects are: +50% 
FP regeneration outside of combat, +3 Force powers damage, +2 to 
saves vs. Force powers.

Form II: Contention (Makashi)

All Jedi get this form; Consulars get it at level 10.  This is the 
form to use against lightsaber-wielding opponents, but only if you 
are NOT under heavy blaster fire at the time, since there is a 
significant penalty to blaster bolt defense.  It gives +1 attack vs. 
lightsaber-wielding opponents, +3 Damage, -5 to blaster bolt 
deflection, and +2 to saves vs. Force powers.

Form III: Resilience (Soresu)

All Jedi get this form; Consulars get it at level 12.  This is a good 
defensive form vs. blaster fire.  The game documentation says it's 
good for single blaster-wielding opponents, but there's really no 
reason not to use it while under fire from many blaster-wielding 
opponents, since you get no penalties to defense no matter how many 
opponents you're facing.  It gives +2 Def against current target, +4 
to blaster bolt deflection, and -1 to weapon threat range.

Consulars, Jedi Masters, and Sith Lords learn the higher Force Forms:

Force Affinity

Obtained after your first encounter with a Jedi Master.  Increases 
the rate at which you regain FPs during battle.  Useful for 
preventing your Force reservoir from "running dry" during a battle.

Force Potency

Obtained after your second encounter with a Jedi Master.  Increases 
the damage your Force powers can do, but also increases their FP 
cost.  Useful for quickly overwhelming opponents with your Force 
powers.  +30% Force power damage, +20% FP cost.

Force Mastery

Obtained after your third encounter with a Jedi Master.  Increases 
the duration of your Force powers, but also increases their cost.  
Ideal for use with short-duration LS buffing powers to make them last 
a bit longer, or for increasing the time enemies are incapacitated by 
your offensive Force powers.  Not advisable for use against Jedi, 
because there is a significant penalty to your saves vs. their Force 
powers.  +50% Force power duration, +20% FP cost, -2 to opponents' 
saves vs. your Force powers, -4 to your saves vs. opponents' Force 
powers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
g. Items
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Item generation is random, for the most part.  Items in containers 
are generated randomly when you first enter the area (i.e., a load 
screen occurs) in which the containers are located.  Items carried by 
merchants are generated randomly when you FIRST speak to that 
merchant.  Save before you first speak to a merchant and if you don't 
like their selection, reload and try again.  If you've played the 
game before, you probably have a good idea where the random 
lightsaber drops occur; save before them and you can reload if you 
don't get a lightsaber you like.

I will make general suggestions, but of course you will have to be 
guided by whatever items you can pick up, create or buy.

Since the best Force powers, both LS and DS, cannot be used while 
wearing armor, get into robes AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  On Peragus, if I 
pick up a nice set of light armor, sometimes I'll wear it; it's 
helpful for Def, can be upgraded with both overlays and underlays, 
and I have usually not chosen any armor-restricted powers at that 
time anyway.  The miner's uniform you pick up on Peragus is also good 
to keep.  Technically, it's not armor, so it won't inhibit your use 
of armor-restricted powers.  It gives a Def bonus of 1, not 
spectacular, but better than nothing.  Also, it can be upgraded with 
some underlays, notably Environmental and Biorestorative underlays, 
which are always useful.  There are two sets of light armor-Jal Shey 
and Zeison Sha-that don't restrict Force powers.  They offer decent 
protection with a mid-range max DEX bonus and can be upgraded with 
over- and underlays.  If you can find or buy a set of these, keep it 
until you reach higher levels, when you'll outgrow the max DEX bonus.  
Their only drawback is that they look really horrible on male Exiles, 
but this is purely cosmetic!  If you're wearing any other type of 
armor besides those two, get rid of it as soon as you can after 
getting to Citadel Station.  Check the merchants in the Entertainment 
Module.  One (the first one on the left as you enter) has a crappy 
selection that never varies, but the other one usually sells pretty 
good stuff; save before speaking to him for the first time and reload 
to see if anything more interesting comes up.  If he doesn't have any 
robes and you don't find any on Citadel Station, don't panic.  Just 
wear clothing or the miner's uniform.  Once you've hit the Telos 
surface, never go back to wearing armor.  Sometimes, you will get a 
game in which you never seem to come up with many robes.  You'll just 
have to deal with it, but know that any robe is better than armor, 
and if you get NO robes at all through most of the game (a 
theoretical possibility), clothing is better than nothing.  There are 
many excellent robes:  Norris robes reduce damage taken from energy, 
Matukai apprentice/adept robes give bonuses to physical attributes, 
Baran Do novice/sage robes give WIS bonuses and partial immunity to 
DS powers.  Gray Jedi robes give a bonus to CHA, and can be upgraded 
with some underlays.  Jedi Knight/Master robes (DS or LS) can also be 
upgraded with some underlays and give bonuses to FP regeneration.  
Whatever happens during the game, you will always get at least one 
robe as a reward given (or loot stolen) during the Iziz civil war, 
and it's the best robe in the game: the Ossus Keeper robe.  It gives 
bonuses to mental attributes including INT, one of the rare items 
that boosts INT, and can be upgraded by certain underlays.  
Theoretically it is possible to get some really specialized exotic 
robes like Aleema Keto's robe, Sylvar's robe, Nomi's Robe, Darth 
Malak's armor, Thon's robe, etc., but this is EXCEEDINGLY rare.  In 
fact, not once in the many times I have played through this game have 
I EVER managed to get one of these robes; the only reason I know 
about them at all is that I consulted the list of cheat codes!  If 
you ever manage to come up with one, please contact me and let me 
know when and where you found it.

As for other types of items: belts, gloves, headpieces, implants, 
etc., I won't go into very great detail.  Use whatever you can; sell 
or break down whatever you can't.  Spread the good items around among 
all the members of your party.  Early in the game, or during fights 
in which you are restricted to unarmed or melee combat, anything that 
can add to your STR or attack will help you in melee combat.  
Anything that can add to your DEX will increase your Def (provided 
you haven't exceeded your Max DEX bonus if you're wearing armor) and 
help you with ranged combat.

In the next section, on Companions, I will make some suggestions as 
to items that might be useful for specific characters as I discuss 
them.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
3.  Companions
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Again, I refer you to DSimpson's walkthrough.  In it, he lists all 
companions, their attributes, feats and skills, where they join your 
party, and what they're equipped with when they join.  He makes 
level-up suggestions and, in the course of the entire walkthrough, he 
provides full dialogue trees pointing out when and where you can gain 
or lose influence with them.  He has actually put together a separate 
influence guide which is also excellent, and which I would urge you 
to consult as well.  Everything in it, however, is also in the full 
walkthrough.  I won't list their stats since you can read them in his 
walkthrough, but I will discuss each of the characters, their utility 
in your party, and provide some level-up suggestions.  Just make sure 
you have configured the game so that you manually level-up all your 
companions.

Kreia
-----
Kreia is a Jedi Consular.  She is good with all weapons; she has a 
high DEX so she is good at ranged combat and also comes with Finesse: 
Melee Weapons, so her DEX modifier governs her chance to hit.  Since 
her STR is low, her damage is mediocre, but you can't have 
everything.  Give her items that increase her WIS and put points into 
WIS at level-up.  She can't wear armor at all, only clothing or Jedi 
robes.  She gets feats slowly; give her Toughness and Dueling and max 
both.  You'll have to give her Finesse: Lightsabers when you give her 
a saber; I usually give her one only after every other Jedi in my 
party is fully equipped, since she's good at other weapons anyway.  
As for SP, just stick with her class skills, especially Awareness and 
Treat Injury.  She is useful for creating items that call for high 
Awareness and Treat Injury, since she will probably attain the 
highest level of skill of all party members in each.  Kreia also has 
the Mentor special feat, which gives modest bonuses to XP to all 
party members when she is a member of the party.  Having her in your 
party a lot will help you level up faster.  You can gain or lose 
influence with her, but her alignment never changes; she is always 
Neutral.  Given that, she can use any Force power, Light or Dark, 
without penalty (although she gets no alignment discounts and has to 
pay full freight for everything).  Kreia has the Force Chain special 
feat: any buffing power she uses on herself also affects you, whether 
it's generally a party-wide power or not.  Given this, I give her a 
few offensive powers to increase her effectiveness in battle, but I 
mostly stick to buffing powers, both LS and Universal, since I get 
the benefit without the hassle of having to cast them repeatedly.  
Set her combat stance to Jedi Support so she'll buff the party 
automatically in combat.  She is a very useful character, but despite 
her utility, her personality is nagging, pedantic, and highly 
annoying.  I use her a lot though, because even though her bonus to 
your XPs never exceeds 8%, it's surprising how much difference that 
makes in terms of leveling up faster.

Atton
-----
Atton is a Scoundrel, although you can train him to be a Jedi 
Sentinel later.  His DEX is his best attribute; improve it at level-
up.  His best use is as ranged support; he's not particularly good at 
melee, but he'll do in a pinch. Set his combat stance to Ranged so 
he'll switch to melee if his opponent closes in.  Improve his 
Security, Demolitions and Stealth skills, in that order, and put any 
leftover SPs into Treat Injury.  As a Scoundrel, he gets feats VERY 
slowly, even more slowly than you do.  I've seen advice in other FAQs 
and guides to give him the Two-Weapon Fighting feats and two pistols; 
if you're going to take this route, don't use him in your party after 
Citadel Station and hold his levels until after he becomes a Jedi 
(his feat progression will speed up, making this more feasible).  Of 
course, this means you'll have to go to Nar Shaddaa early in the game 
so you can train him to be a Jedi that much faster.  Consult 
DSimpson's walkthrough for details on how to gain influence with him; 
as long as you treat him the right way, you'll get influence with him 
without substantially setting back your LS/DS alignment.  In the 
beginning of the game, what Atton really needs is Toughness; he is 
very low in vitality.  He is one of the two characters that I'd 
suggest leaving as Ranged characters even after they become Jedi 
(Mira is the other one).  Give him pistol feats, and make sure you 
give him the Force Deflection power.  I'd leave him in armor; if you 
can find or buy one, the Sith Battle Suit is an ideal armor for him 
as it has a good Def bonus (7) and a very high Max DEX bonus (+7).  
Give him items that will help his attack, CON, saving throws, or that 
will give him bonus pistol feats.  His WIS sucks, so he'll never be a 
strong caster; don't even bother to improve it, just limit him to 
non-restricted buffing powers that will help him defend himself, like 
Energy Resistance.  I'm not sure what the game designers had in mind 
when they designed the Atton character: he starts out as a Scoundrel 
and can become a Sentinel, two classes that are usually very skilled, 
yet his INT sucks!  He's not the most skilled character available and 
he's not the best Ranged character available.  He has a great 
personality, very wise-cracking and sarcastic, and I find him very 
funny but I frankly rarely use him for anything other than item 
creation after Citadel Station because he's just not that useful a 
character.  If your Exile is female, he'll fall in love with you and 
sulk jealously over Disciple, which is funny but means absolutely 
nothing in terms of affecting the game.

T3-M4
-----
T3, the little droid from KoTOR I, is back, with a spunky personality 
and better combat skills.  T3 is your skills maven; he can do 
anything except Treat Injury.  You can upgrade him several times 
using your Repair skill to improve his DEX, CON and INT.  However, 
without items that boost your INT or give bonuses to your Computer 
Use skill, you will probably not be able to upgrade him fully for 
maximum benefit.  DS characters will have an even harder time with 
this, since you need to have influence with him to upgrade him and 
most of the things that will gain you influence will also give you 
LSPs.  At level-ups, put points into INT, DEX and CON, depending on 
which ones need to be evened out.  He gets plenty of SPs so take all 
his skills as high as possible.  He doesn't get feats that often but 
he still gets more than enough to max out most of the feats that are 
available to him.  Give him Class Skill: Demolitions early, then Gear 
Head, Caution, Toughness and whatever else you fancy.  His combat 
skills are vastly improved over KOTOR I; even so, I generally use him 
for his skills, not his combat prowess.  Give him whatever droid 
items will improve his Def, skills, or attributes, or that will help 
him out in a fight.  I generally don't keep him in my party, but 
rather switch him in only when I need to make use of his skills.

Bao-Dur
-------
Bao-Dur is your second skills maven.  If you are LS, you can also 
train him to be a Jedi Guardian.  He can cover a wide range of 
skills; you should put points into Security, Computer Use, Repair, 
Demolitions, Awareness and Treat Injury, in that order.  Once you 
train him to be a Jedi, his skills progression will slow down and 
you'll have to choose 3 or 4 skills you want him to keep up with.  
Bao-Dur has high STR, which you should continue to upgrade (after 
evening out his INT by putting 1 point into it).  When he first joins 
your party, he can be a problematic character: his STR is high and 
his DEX is low, so it makes sense to have him stick to melee (or 
unarmed fighting) instead of ranged.  However, his Def sucks and he 
has low vitality, meaning he's going to get hit a lot, take lots of 
damage, and always be on the verge of getting knocked out of a fight.  
His Def will not improve as he gains levels until he becomes a Jedi 
and gets Prestige Sense.  Keep a very close eye on him in combat and 
stick close to him so you can heal him as needed.  He can wear Medium 
armor; give him the best armor that you can manage.  Anything with a 
high Def bonus is good: Heavy Cinnagar War Suit, Verpine Fiber Mesh, 
Verpine Fiber Ultramesh, Krath Heavy Armor, Krath Holy Battle Suits 
will all work well.  In fact, it might be worth it to upgrade his 
armor proficiency to Heavy, although I would not do this until he 
becomes a Jedi, just because he doesn't get that many feats as a Tech 
Specialist.  I would not level him past level 9 or 10 as a Tech 
Specialist and I'd hold levels for him until he becomes a Jedi.  I'd 
train him to be a Jedi as soon as possible; his Def and vitality will 
improve markedly once you do and even though his skills progression 
slows down a lot, he will still become one of your most highly-
skilled companions.  This will be much more difficult for DS players 
as most of his influencing factors are LS and he gains Inf from 
seeing you do LS things, rather than just from conversation.  If 
you're going to train him, do it early while you can make up the DSPs 
you need to hit DS Force mastery.  While he's still a Tech 
Specialist, give him Toughness; he really needs it.  I also give him 
Dueling because he needs the Def bonus and it helps with unarmed 
combat; several of his special feats can only be used unarmed.  Once 
he becomes a Jedi, his feat progression will vastly improve.  You can 
take him up the Two-Weapon Fighting chain then, if you feel strongly 
about it.  I'd also give him skill-improving feats like Gearhead and 
Caution to help out once his skills progression slows down.  Bao-Dur 
cannot wear robes or even the light armors that don't restrict Force 
powers, so you'll have to keep him to non-restricted powers.  This is 
not really all that big a deal since, as a Guardian, he'll never have 
all that many FPs and should just stick to buffing himself.  Bao-Dur 
is a very likeable character and, having served with you, has an 
immense amount of respect for you.  However, he will react much 
better to you if you are a LS character than a DS one.

Handmaiden
----------
Handmaiden will join the party only if your Exile is male.  She is a 
soldier and an excellent unarmed fighter.  She can be trained to be a 
Jedi Guardian.  Again, most of her influencing factors are LS, so it 
will be more difficult for DS Exiles to gain influence with her-
although not as difficult as it is for Bao-Dur.  Her INT and WIS both 
suck (and aren't worth improving), so she'll never be skilled or 
strong in the Force.  She starts off with points in Awareness, 
Stealth, and Treat Injury; since she only gets one SP at level-up, 
it's really more efficient to pick either Awareness or Treat Injury 
and stick to improving that.  Some people would advise holding levels 
for her until she becomes a Jedi, but I usually don't bother.  
Soldiers and Guardians are similar in many ways, and since she'll 
never be strong in the Force or have very many FPs, it doesn't seem 
like that big a deal that she misses out on a few Force Powers.  Put 
points into STR at level-up.  She has the Echani Strike special 
feats, which make her an extremely powerful unarmed fighter; I'd 
definitely use her this way until she becomes a Jedi.  While she's 
still a soldier give her the Dueling feats which will help with her 
unarmed fighting.  Once she becomes a Jedi, finish progressing up the 
Two-Weapon Fighting chain (she's already started) and give her a 
double-bladed saber or dual sabers.  Also finish advancing her up the 
Power Attack chain; she will get enough feats to max out another 
special attack proficiency, either Critical Strike or Flurry.  Her 
DEX is good, which helps with her Def, as does the fact that she can 
wear Heavy Armor.  Just keep in mind the Max DEX bonus when you 
choose armor for her to wear; sometimes, it's better for her to wear 
Medium armor than Heavy to take full advantage of her high DEX.  Have 
her wear her special robes as a Jedi; they are excellent and can be 
upgraded with some underlays.  They also give a bonus to CHA, which 
is somewhat useless since she gets way too few FPs to pick opposite-
alignment Force powers.  Since she gets so few, stick to buffing 
powers.  Any items that improve her STR, saving throws, attack or 
damage are good.  Handmaiden seems to be pushed further toward the 
LS, no matter whether you are LS or DS.  (I'd appreciate hearing from 
people who've played as a DS male and can shed some more light on 
this tendency).  She can be a "romance" option for your character 
(although, really, the "romance" in the game hardly deserves the 
name).

Disciple
--------
Disciple will join the party only if your Exile is female.  He starts 
out with almost the exact same stats as Handmaiden, but he becomes a 
Jedi Consular instead of a Guardian.  He is yet another character 
whose influencing factors are largely (almost exclusively) LS.  This 
being so, you'll have to decide whether you want to change him to a 
Consular or leave him a soldier.  Remember, both you and Kreia are 
already Consulars, so you may decide you really don't need another 
one.  If you decide to make him a Consular, proceed as follows: his 
WIS starts out very low, so you'll have to start improving it right 
away.  He starts off with points in the same skills as Handmaiden.  
In his case, I'd stick to improving his Treat Injury while he's a 
soldier; when he becomes a Consular, he'll get an extra SP per level-
up and you can split them between Awareness and Treat Injury (don't 
bother with Stealth).  Hold him at level 9 soldier until he becomes a 
Consular.  Max Power Attack and Two-Weapon Fighting (both of which 
he's already started) while he's a soldier; take Finesse: LS as his 
first feat when he becomes a Jedi, then finish out Toughness and 
maybe start him up the Flurry line or take feats to improve his 
lightsaber proficiency.  Give him a double-bladed saber (or dual 
sabers).  Since he starts out as a Soldier, he'll actually have very 
decent fighting skills even as a Consular, so don't be afraid to 
throw him into the mix.  Stick to buffing powers since his WIS will 
lag behind, having started off so low.  Keep him in robes even though 
he can wear Heavy armor; you won't want to have to limit his choice 
of Force powers to only those which are not armor-restricted.  Any 
items that will improve his WIS or his saving throws will be helpful.  
If you want to keep him a Soldier, decide whether you want him to go 
ranged or melee.  If you want him to go ranged, put points into his 
DEX, finish out Two-Weapon Fighting, give him 2 pistols, and give him 
ranged special attacks and feats (like Power Blast and Precise Shot).  
If you want him to go melee, put points into his STR, finish out Two-
Weapon Fighting, give him two edged weapons or a double-bladed edged 
weapon, finish out Power Attack and give him more melee special 
attacks and feats (such as Flurry, Weapon Focus: Melee, etc.)  If he 
remains a Soldier, he'll get lots of feats, so you'll have a lot of 
latitude.  If you're a DS character and want to make him a Consular, 
you'll have to take a hit to your Force alignment since his 
influencing factors are LS, but if you go to Dantooine early enough 
you can make it up later.  You only have to speak to him once to gain 
enough Inf to turn him into a Jedi (although you may have to keep 
ending the conversation and immediately talking to him again) and you 
can do it immediately after you've added him to your party.  If you 
are LS, he will worship you (although the game calls this "romance," 
it's really more like hero-worship).  If you are DS, you will 
invariably lose influence with him, although it won't really matter 
if you've already turned him into a Jedi.

Visas
-----

Visas, like Atton, is a character that can go either way.  If you're 
a LS character, you'll want to talk to her, since you can gain a lot 
of influence by saying things to her that will gain you LSPs (in 
fact, it only takes one conversation to max your Inf).  If you're a 
DS character, don't speak to her; have her in your party and do DS 
things and she will respond well.  Get a high enough influence with 
her and she will teach you the Force Sight power, which lets you see 
through doors and see the alignments of other characters.  How you 
level Visas up will depend upon your alignment and how you intend to 
use her.  She has great DEX, but you will need to give her the 
Finesse: Lightsabers feat before you equip her with a lightsaber.  As 
for attribute points, don't upgrade her DEX any further; it's already 
more than good enough.  She has odd points in CHA, so give her a 
point there to even it out.  Then put points in WIS, although you 
might also want to add 2 points to her CON to improve her vitality, 
which is not good.  If you're LS, you might want to have her handle 
the DS powers; her high CHA will make these cheaper for her to use 
than any other character except Kreia and she's already started 
working on a few.  If you're DS, you've already got some DS powers 
covered, so give her a mixture of DS powers you don't want to take 
yourself, Universal buffing powers and even a few LS powers.  As for 
SPs, Visas is yet another character, like Atton, who belongs to a 
class that can handle skills well, but her INT sucks so she gets very 
few SPs at level-up.  She has 5 class skills: Computer Use, Stealth, 
Awareness, Security and Treat Injury.  She's already got points in 
Stealth, Awareness and Treat Injury.  All her class skills are skills 
that are already well-covered by other party members, so I just keep 
improving the skills that she's already got points in.  If you're 
desperate about the door situation on the Ravager, you could stop 
improving those skills and put all her points into Security at level 
up, but that's not crucial, either.  My advice is never to put her 
into a situation where you'll have to rely on her skills; the only 
place I rely on her skills is at the workbench, in item creation, and 
even then I only do it toward the end of the game.  In fact, I never 
put her in any situation where I have to rely solely on her in any 
way.  She's much better as a supporting character, especially in 
combat.  Her vitality does start off low, so give her any items you 
can find that increase her CON.  Items that increase her WIS or CHA 
are also good.  She's not the best fighter in the game and she's not 
the best caster in the game, but she's a solid mixture of both 
fighting and casting, and it's always good to have in your party a 
character that can handle both.  For feats, give her Toughness and 
definitely max it.  Aside from that and Finesse: Lightsabers, which 
she MUST have in order to make her at all proficient with a saber, 
you've got wide latitude.  She gets plenty of feats, so advance her 
up the Two-Weapon fighting chain, finish advancing her up Critical 
Strike and maybe max out another special attack, either Flurry or 
Power Attack.  She's another character (along with Handmaiden) that 
can be a "romance" option for male Exiles.


Mandalore
---------
Those who've played KoTOR I will recognize that gravelly voice!  
Mandalore's influencing factors are DS.  That said, there are only a 
handful of opportunities to influence him, and having high influence 
with him is kind of worthless, since it doesn't get you anything, 
anyway: he can't be turned into a Jedi, and doesn't even give up an 
interesting backstory.  Mandalore can be a great melee character or a 
decent ranged character, depending on how you level him up.  If you 
want him to go ranged, improve his DEX after evening out his CON, 
give him the best rifle you can find and upgrade it to the max.  
Mandalorian Assault rifles are always good, or if you can come across 
a good disruptor rifle, especially a Charric, that's always a good 
choice, as well.  Don't bother with Two-weapon Fighting or Dueling; 
he won't need either unless you want to give him pistols, and I would 
advise against this.  Make sure he has the Precise Shot line of 
feats; this will come in handy for him later.  Give him Power Blast 
and Rapid Shot and max both.  You could give him Sniper Shot, too, if 
you wish; as a Soldier, he gets tons of feats.  I'd also give him 
Conditioning to help his saving throws.  Mandalore never removes his 
armor and it has a Max DEX bonus of 0, so improvements to his DEX 
won't help his armor class, but they will still help his ranged 
attack.  If you want him to go melee, put points into his STR after 
evening out his CON and equip him with your best blades and melee 
upgrades.  Give him Two-Weapon Fighting and dual blades or a double-
bladed edged weapon.  Give him the appropriate melee feats, analogous 
to the ranged feats you would give him:  Power Attack instead of 
Power Blast, Flurry instead of Rapid Shot, etc.  Also max out the 
Weapon Proficiency: Melee line of feats.  Mandalore has implant 
switching, so make sure he's using whatever implant will help most 
with the attribute you're trying to upgrade.  Whether to make him 
ranged or melee depends on how you like to fill out your parties and 
which companions you have.  If you're LS, you won't have access to 
the best melee character in the game, Hanharr, so you might want to 
make Mandalore melee.  If you're DS, Hanharr is your best bet if you 
want a melee character that isn't a Jedi, so you might want to make 
Mandalore ranged.  Personally, I'm one of those people that believe 
that if you're going to take a melee character along, take a Jedi!  
So I don't have much use for melee characters that don't use 
lightsabers.  Plus, I just plain don't use Mandalore all that much.  
I use him on the first visit to Onderon because I have to, and on the 
Ravager, also because I have to.   Consider also the fact that your 
party on the Ravager is non-negotiable; you have to take Visas along, 
too.  I find that my ideal party is 1 ranged character and 2 melee 
characters; 3 melee characters tend to just get in each other's way.  
So keeping in mind that, including my Exile, I'll already have 2 
melee characters on the Ravager, I just make Mandalore ranged and 
keep him in reserve until then.  It works out for me considering that 
I also tend to keep Kreia in my party and so my first visit to 
Onderon is thus composed of my ideal mix of melee/ranged characters.  
Your mileage, as always, may vary.  Give Mandalore any items that 
will help out his DEX or STR (whichever best applies), his CON or his 
attack.  There are also some good headgear items available that give 
bonuses to ranged feats.

Hanharr
-------
If you are DS, you will get Hanharr on Nar Shaddaa.  Hanharr is the 
best non-Jedi melee character in the game, bar none.  He is a tank, a 
slashing machine!  Also, his influencing factors are, as one would 
think, DS.  Since I have not played this character, I will refer you 
to both DSimpson's character influence guide and his complete 
walkthrough for guidance on how to gain influence with Hanharr.  The 
influence guide has general suggestions; the full walkthrough has 
complete dialogue trees indicating where Inf is gained or lost.  As 
far as level-up suggestions go, his DEX is uneven, so throw one point 
into that first off to help his Def, then go STR all the way.  He's 
got 20 CON, making him the only character in the game that can use 
all levels of implants without your having to add more attribute 
points to CON.  Being a scout, he gets some ranged feats free, which 
will be useless to him since he's a pure melee character.  Instead, 
concentrate on giving him special attacks (he starts out a couple of 
steps up on the Power Attack chain) and other feats which will help 
his melee prowess.  Also give him Toughness; as a Wookiee, he is not 
able to wear body armor or headgear; even though his CON is already 
very high and he gets the Wookie Toughness feat free, even more VPs 
are always welcome.  Give him any gloves, implants and/or belts which 
will help his STR.  He gets Demolitions, Awareness, Repair and Treat 
Injury as class skills.  His INT is low, and there's a point in the 
game where you can break his will such that his INT gets even lower!  
For this reason, he won't ever be a very skilled character.  Pick a 
couple of class skills (Demolitions is always good, as is Treat 
Injury) and concentrate his scant SPs there.  As a character that 
uses bladed weapons, Hanharr's best use is against opponents who use 
energy shields expecting to face saber-wielders.  Unfortunately, 
there are not all that many opponents in the game that routinely use 
energy shields.  Many blaster turrets do, but the majority of the 
sentient opponents don't.  Even more frustrating is the fact that, in 
several cases where you know to expect more shield-using opponents, 
such as the Ravager and Trayus Academy, you're not allowed to have 
Hanharr in your party.  Still, for brute force, nobody has it over 
him.  If you're flexible about using a party slot for a non-Jedi 
melee character, he's your go to guy.

Mira
----
If you are LS, you will get Mira on Nar Shaddaa.  Mira starts out as 
a Scout, and can later be trained as a Jedi Sentinel.  For my money, 
Mira is the best ranged character in the game, without a doubt.  Some 
would give that distinction to HK-47, but I feel he just doesn't get 
enough feats to compete with her.  Mira is the second (Atton being 
the first) character whom I would recommend keeping as a ranged 
character even after becoming a Jedi.  In fact, you may decide you 
don't want to train her as a Jedi at all; with Atton and Visas, you 
will already have 2 Sentinels in your party.  I've seen some FAQs and 
guides that suggest that if you do want to train her, you should hold 
levels for her until she becomes a Jedi.  I, however, would advise 
the opposite:  level her up and don't train her to become a Jedi 
until after she's gotten at least 4 (preferably all 5) Precise Shot 
feats, which she gets for free as a Scout.  Mira is of much better 
utility in your party as ranged backup, whether Jedi or no.  She is 
deadly with pistols since she gets the Targeting and Precise Shot 
feats for free and this adds bonuses to her attack and damage, and 
makes it more difficult for Jedi opponents to deflect her blaster 
shots.  When you get her, you'll have to level her up several levels 
at once; do NOT auto-level her but do it manually.  She starts out 
with one level of Dueling; ignore this and take her up the Two-Weapon 
Fighting line and give her two pistols, the best ones you can find or 
buy.  The Onasi blaster is very good, as are the Zabrak Heavy Pistol 
and the Micro-Pulse Blaster.  Disruptor pistols like the Sith 
Disruptor or the Mandalorian Ripper are also good options.  If you're 
going to train her as a Jedi, you might want to even out her WIS, 
which starts out at 11; however, I would not put any further points 
into WIS, and I'd wait to even it out until after she's a Jedi.  
Otherwise, put points into DEX.  Her CON is mediocre, so you might 
want to put a couple of points there.  Give her the Toughness feats 
and max them; they will help give her better vitality.  Also give her 
Advanced Close Combat, Weapon Focus: Blaster Pistols, and the Rapid 
Shot line of feats.  I sometimes upgrade her Armor Proficiency to 
Medium so she can wear the Sith Battle Suit, which will not restrict 
her high DEX.  The Ballistic Mesh suit she comes equipped with 
carries a moderate Def bonus and some protection against melee 
attacks, but she'll need better protection before too long.  If you 
leave her Armor Proficiency at Light, the Mandalorian Combat Suit or 
Mandalorian Heavy Suits are very good options.  Mira has the Point 
Guard special feat, which makes the party unable to set off mines 
when she is the leader; this comes in very handy on Goto's yacht and 
on Dxun.  She also has a wrist launcher which can fire grenades or 
special darts; when she joins the party you'll start picking them up 
but you can also make them at a workbench.  The wrist launcher 
actually looks a lot handier than it turns out to be, since she 
doesn't seem to use it to fire darts when you're not directly 
controlling her, even when you set her combat stance to Grenadier.  
Mira has points in Computer Use, Demolitions, Awareness, Repair, 
Security and Treat Injury; Computer Use and Security are cross-class 
skills for her, although they become class skills when you train her 
as a Jedi.  I mostly stick to Demolitions, Awareness and Security 
with her, although I put a couple of points into Stealth (also a 
cross-class skill) so that I can use her on the Freedon Nadd tomb 
mission on Dxun.  This is not necessary, though.  I generally keep 
her in armor even after she becomes a Jedi, so I stick to non-
restricted powers, mostly so she can buff herself.  Make sure you 
give her the Force Deflection and Force Redirection powers; Energy 
Resistance and Heal are also must-haves.

HK-47
-----
The hilariously funny, bloodthirsty assassin droid from KoTOR 1 is 
back!  I think HK-47 is the funniest character in the game.  LS 
Exiles, however, won't get the full benefit of his personality since 
his influencing factors are almost exclusively DS.  DS Exiles should 
take full advantage by having him in the party as much as possible; 
if you get high Inf with him, he will teach you how to kill Jedi, 
which will give you bonuses.  You won't have Mira, so HK-47 will be 
the best ranged support character available to you.  He doesn't get a 
lot of feats, so you have to be careful how you level him up.  As a 
droid, he can't do melee, so you won't have to worry about any of 
those feats.  Also, on Nar Shaddaa you'll pick up the Droid Warfare 
Upgrade, which maxes all the ranged Weapon Proficiency lines (both 
for pistols and rifles); keep this equipped on him so he won't need 
to take those feats individually.  Don't bother with Two-Weapon 
Fighting or Dueling; just equip him with the best blaster rifle you 
can find or buy and upgrade it to the max.  Give him one special 
ranged attack; I recommend Power Blast or Rapid Shot.  Sniper Shot is 
OK, too, but he'll only have enough feats to max one of these special 
attacks.  Also give him Close Combat and max it as soon as possible.  
Split his attribute points between DEX and CON.  Give him the best 
droid items you can buy or find.  Anything that improves his Def, 
attributes, attack, or that gives him an edge in a fight is good.  HK 
is a great member of the party against Jedi because, as a droid, he 
is immune to mind-affecting powers, which makes him impervious to the 
vast majority of offensive powers that will be thrown against him.  
HK is of no use to you as a skilled member of your party; T3 will 
always be better than him with skills.  Make sure you max his Repair 
skill, since it will help him get more bang for his buck when he 
heals himself with Repair Kits.  Otherwise, you can decide whether 
you want to focus on Demolitions, Awareness, or split his SPs between 
the two.  It doesn't really matter; he's not in your party to help 
you with skills, he's there to blast meatbags into oblivion!  

G0-T0
-----
I've saved the worst for last: G0-T0, the most useless character in 
the game.  Truly, what were the game designers thinking?!  T3 is the 
droid to use for skills.  HK is the droid to use for combat.  G0-T0 
is neither skilled enough nor good enough in combat to make you want 
to use him instead of one of them.  If you need a character in your 
party that is both skilled and good in combat, take Bao-Dur (if he's 
trained as a Jedi), Mira, or even Atton, if neither of the other two 
are feasible.  Gaining influence with G0-T0 doesn't get you much 
except for some extra XP.  His influencing factors are DS, for the 
most part, but DS Exiles will want to have HK in their party instead 
of G0-T0; HK is more useful and a helluva lot more fun, for sure.  
G0-T0's got Stealth.  Big frickin' deal; you've got other characters 
better at Stealth.  He also has power over droids, but he doesn't 
join your party until after you've already completed the three levels 
where you have the most concentrated fighting with droids (Peragus, 
the Telos Military Base and Goto's Yacht), making him useless in that 
respect as well.  If anyone out there has found him good for 
anything, I'd welcome the advice because I haven't found a single 
reason why one would want him in their party.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
4.  Playing tips
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Experienced players should know this already, but it cannot be said 
enough:  save often!  Save before speaking to companions in case 
there are Influence opportunities or LS/DS splits in the conversation 
that you want to go back and redo.  Save before battle in case you 
get killed and want to reload and change tactics.  Save at the start 
of each new planet and then don't save over it, just in case you want 
to redo it.  Save often just on general principle: the game is 
incredibly glitchy, buggy, and prone to freeze.  The more often you 
save, the less you'll have to redo if you have to reload the game.

Use Steven K. Snyder's Prologue cheat (quoted in DSimpson's 
walkthrough) to stock up on certain items (most notably mines). 
Basically, any items picked up (but not equipped) by T3 during the 
Prologue are carried over to the main game if you then skip the 
Prologue.  Go around and gather up everything you can and be sure to 
pick up as many mines as possible from the proton torpedo; just keep 
picking them up and then replanting them and they'll keep 
regenerating in the proton torpedo until you have 16.  Then just 
recover them all and go back to the cockpit and skip the Prologue.  
See DSimpson's complete walkthrough for further details.  If you do 
this, you'll have more than enough mines to blow open the stuck 
containers and doors on Peragus and won't have to worry about putting 
enough points into Demolitions to recover the mines on the mining 
tunnels level.

Aim for LS or DS Mastery.  You can't gain a Prestige Class if you are 
neutral, and mastery will gain you bonuses to WIS and/or FPs.  
(Although you do not need to have achieved Mastery to get your 
Prestige Class, you do have to be very much toward one of the 
extremes.)  Decide which alignment you're aiming for early, and stick 
to it.  Waffling gets you no savings on FPs for same-alignment Force 
powers and messes up the upgrading progression of your character-name 
crystal.

Don't assume that you must gain influence with all your companions.  
Don't even try: this will not be possible, and can sometimes mess 
with your Force mastery.  Some characters gain influence through LS 
acts or conversation, some through DS acts, some (like Atton and 
Visas) can gain from either; enough so that no matter what your Force 
alignment, you'll always have companions with whom you have high 
influence.

Don't hoard your best items for your MPC alone.  Give your NPCs items 
which will improve their performance by either bolstering areas in 
which they are weak or further improving areas in which they are 
already strong.

As a weak fighter, it's especially important to manage combat well.  
Stim and buff up before tough fights.  Use items, such as shields and 
medpacs, during fights.  Pause often during combat and manage all 
characters' combat queues.  Keep an eye on all characters' vitality 
and FPs (if applicable).  Give all your LS Jedi companions Heal and 
set their combat stances to Jedi Support so they'll use it 
automatically.  Concentrate on really tough enemies first with all 
party members; then mop up the more easily-beaten ones later.  Try 
not to let your party members get widely separated; they'll get 
picked off more easily that way.  Use special attacks, if you've got 
them.  Pick your Force powers to suit the situation; for example, if 
you're fighting a lot of droids, don't use Force powers that only 
affect sentients.  The same goes for Force and lightsaber forms: if 
you're facing a lot of blaster-wielding enemies, using Form II 
(Makashi) will get you killed very quickly.  Try to keep your party 
well-balanced. A good basic party to have consists of 2 melee 
(lightsaber or edged weapon) fighters and one ranged fighter; the 
melee fighters can support each other at the front of battle and the 
ranged fighter can hang back and pick off enemies.  Jedis can use 
their Force powers to buff up the party or kill enemies from range.  
I find that using 3 melee characters complicates fights since they 
keep getting in each others' way, and using 2 ranged characters 
causes the single melee character to become isolated at the front of 
the fight, where the enemy can gang up on them.

Outside of combat, switch characters in and out of your party based 
on which of their skills are needed or which you want to gain 
influence with.  Kreia is good to keep in your party the most so you 
can level-up faster due to her Mentor special feat.

Get your special crystal upgraded by Kreia as many times as possible.  
Just keep asking her about it; when it's ready to be upgraded she'll 
say it doesn't reflect your current level and ask you to remove it 
from your lightsaber.  For this reason, it pays to go to Dantooine as 
early as possible, preferably first, to get it.  For DS Consulars, 
Vrook is a VERY tough fight at lower levels; I'd go to Dantooine, get 
the crystal, then go to another planet and gain more levels 
(preferably gaining your Prestige Class) before coming back to finish 
off Dantooine later.  LS characters won't have this problem.  See 
DSimpson's walkthrough for further details.

Do as many sidequests as you can manage to gain more XP.

An exception to the sidequests rule:  unless you have found many non 
armor-based items (that is, gloves, implants, and/or belts, but no 
robes or armor over- or underlays) that increase your STR, skip 
sparring with the Handmaiden Sisters on Telos.  Your melee just won't 
be good enough, and they have excellent saves against Force powers.  
Even if you're playing DS, your Force powers will still be weak at 
this point.

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5.  Afterword, contact information and thanks
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I hope this guide will help make it easier for you to navigate TSL as 
a pure caster.  If you have any suggestions, opinions (especially 
differing opinions), hints, corrections, etc., please contact me at 
JosieJOK@yahoo.com. Use "TSL PURE CASTER GUIDE" as your subject line.  
I welcome all input as long as it's civil; offensive e-mails will be 
deleted unanswered.  If I use your input in subsequent versions of 
this guide, I will give you full credit and thanks, and will check 
back with you before I include anything.

Thanks go to DarthMuffin, whose Duelling Jedi guide inspired me to 
create this guide, Dan Simpson, who set the gold standard for guides 
and walkthroughs and saved me a lot of work by being so thorough, and 
Josh Warren for his Force power guide, which was also a great help.  
Thanks also go to Eskilla Vaile, who helped me clarify my entry about 
the non-restricting light armors (Jal Shey and Zeison Sha).

As of 2/12/06, the following sites have permission to post this 
guide:

www.gamefaqs.com
www.supercheats.com
www.neoseeker.com

JosieJ's "Pure Caster" Character Building Guide

Copyright (c)2006 by Jocelyn Jackson

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is a 
property of Lucasarts, Bioware and Obsidian, and all related marks 
are Trademarks, Registered Trademarks, or Copyrights owned by the 
respective companies. All rights reserved.

This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except 
for personal, private use. You may place it on your web site 
provided you e-mail me for permission first, and agree not to change 
it. You may not charge for or profit from the use of this guide in 
any way.