"Tiny horns and spotted skin mark this woman as a tiefling, a half human with the blood of devils or demons. Lithe and liquid in her actions, Neeshka moves with a cat’s grace even when walking a brisk pace, her footsteps are nearly silent. Given to outburst of words and actions, her impulsive nature is as visible as her otherworldly heritage."
The earliest you can recruit Neeshka is level 2. As the only Rogue-class companion, Neeshka is an almost essential if the PC has no typical Rogue skills. While the Knock spell is widely available to get chests open, you will still lose part of its content if the chest is trapped and therefore destroys itself when you access it. Many dungeons have traps on floors as well.
Stats: Neeshka is unusual in that her starting statistics (Str 12, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 8 and Cha 12) have a point buy of 30 - two below that of a normal build. You should definitely maximize her Dexterity and select the Weapon Finesse feat before others so she gets the highest attack bonus possible and can eventually learn Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. If you acquire Neeshka at later levels she will do these things automatically on her own. Her Intelligence is more than high enough once you learn the importance of the different skills.
Feats: By default, Neeshka takes the Weapon Finesse feat at level 3, which works well with Two-Weapon Fighting, and later Improved Two-Weapon Fighting and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. This will double her attacks, including potential Sneak Attacks that can make short work of enemy wizards. The player may consider giving her Improved Critical and Weapon Focus in a light weapon of choice. The Toughness feat is recommended to raise her relatively low hitpoints a bit.
Among her bonus rogue feats, Slippery Mind is recommended to compensate for her low Will saves.
The feats Skill Focus (Disable Device) or Nimble Fingers are worth considering, as the DC for disarming traps is usually high in the game. A Headband of Intellect and Grobnar's Inspire Competence bard mode will also help her disable any trap.
Skills: Rogues are all about skills, so knowing them well will help you with Neeshka a lot. You will want to have her Disable Device maximized at all times. Many of the other skills can be kept at lower values. Avoid all social skills as they don't matter on anyone but your main character. It is no problem to give Neeshka Craft Alchemy or Lore as well, or even Craft Trap if you want that one, when you know enough about skills.
As Neeshka will usually move around the battle field very much, Tumble for avoiding attacks of opportunity is essential. The DC for Tumble is always 15, therefore values above 12 + 4 (Dex) - 2 (max light Armor penalty, for Chainshirt) = 14 are not neccessary for moving; but for every 10 points in tumble you get +1 AC.
It is enough to raise only Listen and not also Spot because opponents will seldom stay put at one place. For her own sneaking, there will be enough items that you don't need to maximize her Move Silently and Hide skills.
Between the fact that Neeshka has an abundance of skill points and the fact that she doesn't have the greatest will or fortitude saving throws, Spellcraft can be a helpful skill to buy into to keep her safer from spellcasters.
As of Patch 1.23, the Appraise skill is only useful for the player character, so it is useless to give it to Neeshka.
Equipment: Very important for Neeshka is equipment that protects her against Enchantments, as she has very bad Will saves. The Armor of Loyalty you get in the earlier game works wonder on her for that. Alternatively, you can keep her under the effects of the cheap and longlasting Protection from Evil spell all the time.
Anything better than Leather Armor gives Neeshka an Armor Check Penalty that, as a specialized skill user, affects a lot of her abilities. You should try to craft her a Belt of Agility when you have the resources for it. Together with Bracers of Armor, Neeshka can reach AC 28 (Dex 30 = 22 natural, +8 from Belt, for AC 20, plus +8 AC from Bracers) without any Deflection or Natural Armor bonus yet. Later in the game when her Dex is high you should probably equip her with a robe.
Neeshka should wield a rapier in the main hand and (once you have given her Two-Weapon Fighting) a light weapon (such as a short sword) in the offhand. If you have given her Improved Critical in a light weapon, she should of course wield one of those in both hands.
Battle: As with any DnD Rogue, try not to let her be attacked, because she has mediocre hitpoints. With high enough tumble skill, she can run away from attackers and cause AoO's from her allies when she runs close by to them, which very likely causes the attackers to let her be. Move her around the rear side of opponents to turn her into a deadly killer. This can later be skipped for undead and other opponents who are immune to Sneak Attacks anyway.
The PC first encounters Neeshka on his/her way to Fort Locke where she is being harassed by soldiers suspecting her of banditry. The PC chooses to help her out and decides that it'll be safer for her to travel with the PC given the prejudices many locals have towards tieflings, despite Khelgar's protests about letting a "no good backstabbing tiefling" travel with them. Despite Khelgar's initial distrust of Neeshka, they become rather close, often bickering like brother and sister. Neeshka was abandoned as a baby and was raised by Priests of Helm who constantly tried to convert her. Even so, Neeshka always managed to get herself into trouble and decided to leave the priests after a "particularly moving sermon," but not before helping herself to the collection plate. She shows some dislike towards other female members of the party, especially Elanee and Shandra, with whom she often competes with for the PC’s attention.
Upon arriving in Neverwinter, she is greeted by old friends who are out to collect the bounty on her head set by her former partner Leldon. Leldon still held a grudge towards Neeshka for robbing him blind, which she did only because she was betrayed by Leldon after their last heist together over a year ago (which is the reason why she left Neverwinter in the first place). After a few more ambushes by Leldon’s thugs, Neeshka convinces the PC to take the fight to Leldon. She suggested that they could get even by stealing his lucky coin, which later turns out to be Neeshka's lucky coin which was stolen from her when Leldon betrayed her. After beating Leldon, who escapes via smoke potions, he later issues a challenge to Neeshka for the title of Greatest Thief in Neverwinter. The challenge was to see who could rob a famous art collector, named simply "The Collector"; (also known as Ninsy), first. Upon breaking into the vault, she is confronted by Leldon who is soon killed by Neeshka and the PC, and thus settling the issue on who is the Greatest Thief in Neverwinter.
At the end of the quest, Neeshka is abducted by Black Garius. If her influence is low, she apparently welcomes his opportunity to get back at the PC and willingly joins Black Garius. Otherwise, she is tortured in an attempt to turn her against the PC by means of a binding ritual, which was effective because of her strong devil blood. Depending on exactly how high of an influence the player has with Neeshka, she either breaks free from the spell and rejoins the PC, or her will is broken and she sides with Garius. If she sides with Black Garius, she is killed by the PC along with Garius and anyone else who turns coat. If she breaks the spell and rejoins the PC, she goes missing with the PC and everyone else after defeating the King of Shadows.
Mask of the BetrayerEdit
In the Mask of the Betrayer campaign, if Neeshka managed to resist the geas placed on her, Ammon Jerro reveals she flawlessly escaped the collapsing Merdelain with an almost uncanny luck. During the ending of the campaign, if the player was freed of the curse, it is revealed that he/she would eventually be reunited with Neeshka along with Khelgar back in the Sword Coast during the epilogue . However, if Neeshka did not survive (or the player did not speak with Ammon), the epilogue just states the PC is reunited with Aldanon instead (bug note: even if Jerro tells you that Neeshka survived, she is never shown during the epilogue, and neither is Sand, this is because the game fails to set the necessary "Neeshka/Sand survived" variables during the conversation with Jerro).
Neeshka has a fairly timid and defensive demeanor due to the stigma associated with tieflings. She responds very favorably to any kindness or support offered to her, and often will only show courage if backed by the PC. If the PC is male, she is particularly territorial towards Elanee and Shandra (though not Qara), particularly when they first join the party. She seems to desire affection from the player, and with high influence (around +20), will resist Garius' geas placed on her because she can't bring herself to betray the only person that ever showed her kindness.
True to her tiefling nature, Neeshka is a borderline kleptomaniac. She frequently swipes goods from others, checks companions' pockets for valuables, and will freely admit this to the player in conversation. She distrusts the City Watch, though is still supportive if the PC joins them and encourages him or her to bend the rules (such as dealing with the smuggled weapons).
There is much debate and speculation when it comes to Neeshka's heritage. It is known that Neeshka is only one quarter fiend, and that it was her grandfather that was the pure blooded fiend that started her family. A lot of subtle hints have been dropped within the plot which indicates she may be descended from a very powerful lineage. One of the reasons why Garius' binding was effective on her, even if her blood was diluted, was because of the strong lineage she descended from. Upon entering Ammon Jerro's Haven, many of the demons and devils bound there make remarks about her unique heritage. One of them points out that she has Baatezu (devil) scent about her. One of them also points out that a relative of hers may also be trapped within the haven, "perhaps a long lost father". Of all the fiends the PC encounters throughout the quest only Mephasm, a pit fiend in disguise, seems to show any special interest in her and refers to her as "little Neeshka". For an unknown reason Neeshka seems to have an allergic reaction whenever Mephasm is near, much like the reaction she gets when she stands too close to Casavir (because of his holy aura). It has been confirmed that Mephasm did have a role in Neeshka's creation, but what that role was has not yet been revealed.
- Aside from Bennon and Tremmel, Neeshka was supposed to have a third encounter with another of Leldon's thugs named Raines, who is rather psychotic. He mentions wanting to cut Neeshka's tail off and strangling her with it. This was removed from the final release of the game however. It would appear that the PC and Neeshka was supposed to run into Raines while in the slums.
- Neeshka was originally supposed to be a romance option for a male PC, but this was removed due to time constraints. Like Bishop, however, a great deal of dialogue remains that hint at romance.
- Her lineage is never fully explained like it was intended.
- Neeshka was voiced by Robyn Kramer.
- Although her character sheet shows her as true neutral, Neeshka behaves like the very archetype of a chaotic neutral character. However, because the developers intended diversity, and Qara needed to be chaotic neutral for conflicts with Sand, she was stuck stated as true neutral
- During the Rite of Tyr, if the PC is male and has higher influence with her than Elanee, Neeshka will offer to sabotage Lorne’s equipments with potions she swiped from Sand’s shop. This decreases Lorne's AC and damage by 5 respectively. Elanee, however, only offers advice to the PC, so a male PC benefits more from Neeshka.
- Her deity is Tymora.
- Despite the fact that she says Paladins make her skin itch in refrence to Casavir, she will never mention that to the PC if he or she is a Paladin.
- She is the only humanoid companion in the game with a tail.