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  • Forgiver
    Forgiver  14 hours ago

    Yeah - both of those are just byproducts of my old-man eyes not seeing well from the toolset and thinking there was a path down from those ledges that there turned out to not be. There's also a bug with a pitfall in one part of the dungeon Blue told me about that is a similar "Stuck" point. I got one fixed last night, but never heard of or saw the second one until now. I'll get it fixed when I get home tonight!

  • Dogbert
    Dogbert  15 hours ago

    Forgiver, my dude. Falling into the gap on the way TO the dungeon is AWFUL. One good change today, not requiring a jump or a portal to even enter the zone, A+. But now if you fall (even if roped, because it doesn't actually work), you get stuck in an area you can't leave without a jump or portal.

  • C_McG
    C_McG  2 days ago

    Fun!

    After years of saying I wanted to get a telescope my wife made the "mistake" of buying me a 102 f/12.7 Orion Maksutov-Cassegrain. Love it for planetary and brighter deep-sky viewing so far.

    Of course that just made the bug worse and want to get a larger scope for viewing fainter objects.

    So I am curious what other use.

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  2 days ago

    Working telescopes (atm): old Celestron C8 SCT I purchased back in 1979, new Celestron OmniXLT 150 6" f/5 Newtonian, cheapo Meade 90mm f/8.8 refractor sniped off of eBay for $30 (these three I use on a Celestron AVX mount). Also a homebuilt 10" Dobsonian put together in 2010 and a homebuilt 6" Newtonian I made in H.S. c. 1966. Main imaging camera (atm) is a Canon 60D DSLR. The new camera is the SVBony SV305 Pro - plan to use it as a guide camera and for moon/planetary imaging.

  • C_McG
    C_McG  4 days ago

    What telescopes do you have? And camera?

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  4 days ago

    I'll likely miss Section Six tonight. Got a new camera for my telescopes and it looks like the sky will be clear. So, I'll be outside doing astrophotography stuff.

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  4 days ago

    Oh! I will be IG as Tarok tonight instead of Sol!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  4 days ago

    Section Six will take place at 7pm CDT (-5GMT) tonight, which is an hour later than last week.

    We will meet in the Iron Minogon. Good(ish) type characters of level SEVEN or below ! Just assume your character got a mysterious letter inviting them there !

  • Squidget
    Squidget  1 week ago

    They receive the DC benefit from items, but not from spell foci, since alchemist gas clouds are not spells. They also don't receive the bonus from the wild magic robe specifically since gas clouds can't wild magic.

  • Dogbert
    Dogbert  1 week ago

    Are alchemists' clouds affected by spell focus/GSF or items/enchants that increase spell save DCs?


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: Major General
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Casters of Thain: What Level of Spells do You Use the Most?

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EntropicChaos
3:31:39 pm GMT 05/09/20
EntropicChaos Registered Member #787 Joined: 8:48:31 am GMT 05/30/06
Posts: 1758
I've only but dabbled in casting classes in Thain, and my knowledge of the various spells and their usefulness, is none too great. I thought about trying to express with words my point, but then decided that memes are a stronger work of dialogue.
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That pretty much sums up my caster knowledge. Select Fireball, click enemy group; rinse and repeat. I'd not mind playing a build with some manner of casting, but when I look at the spell lists, I'm at a bit of a loss as to where the usefulness of them taper off. I will provide another example:



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Surely it plateaus off at some point, right? Where does the 9/10 situations leveling off happen? Are those bombastic level 9 spells truly that much of a game changer? Is it more the roleplay of the caster being that powerful, that they CAN cast of such magics? My own mechanics knowledge of NWN is pretty lame, and when it comes to the spell side of the game, even more so. Can you all help a casting dummy out, and help me to understand where my 9 out of 10 situations core use of spells, might be? I'm sure this might also require further questions of pure caster, multi-class, and what all one has access to; but I do appreciate any and all knowledge that would be flecked upon me.
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Shade
3:51:15 pm GMT 05/09/20
Shade Registered Member #24916 Joined: 2:58:00 pm GMT 01/23/19
Posts: 449
I use mostly metamagic on Elarion, and take advantage of deadly tricks there. Empowering spells and such. It got so useful I swapped out meteor swarm for Powerword: kill, something he interestingly picked up after watching how Elith took down the strongest PW had to throw at Greenvale. Thanks Elith! That spell is mostly used against the Estecallons though, with my preferred spell being Firebrand, with my second favorite being flame arrow. Greater missile storm is pretty damn useful too, but is not nearly as good with a lot of enemies around. It depends on the number of enemies, really. Of course, the 8th level damage reduction spell is essential. 5th level elemental resistance too.
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OuterSanctum
4:06:38 pm GMT 05/09/20
OuterSanctum Registered Member #24000 Joined: 2:03:37 pm GMT 05/05/16
Posts: 14
What makes casters unique is that they are insanely versatile. You can fulfill a number of roles with casters. Your spell selection will determine what role you take on and how good you are at it. I play a caster and I'm actually quite terrible at playing casters, but I'm very knowledgeable when it comes to other mechanics so I can play certain roles well.

Roles:

1) Full Support
Preferred Spells: Buffs, Invisibility, Haste, Mass Haste

The full-support mage or cleric is a setup that many parties love and can drastically increase the survivability/damage output of an adventuring party. The key to this role is knowing your party members and providing them with buffs they don't have access to. For example: If you have a fighter in your party wielding a +5 weapon, you will want to drastically improve his damage by casting Keen Edge and Flame Weapon. If he has a lower tier weapon, you may want to offer Greater Magic Weapon. Additionally, you'll want to cast spells to sure up defenses of your party members. Anyone who does not have access to +5 in armor bonus will appreciate a Mage Armor, if they don't have +5 natural they need Barkskin, and if they don't have +5 deflection they need Shield of Faith. Also, you need to know who can still benefit from animal buffs and who has maxed out their relevant statistics. Beyond that Haste and Mass Haste are your best friends. This build also gets a lot of freedom in the upper spell levels to play around with, although Greater Sanctuary and Summon Creature IX are never poor choices.

2) Spellsword / Gish
Preferred Spells: Tenser's Transformation, Divine Power, Divine Favor, Haste, Weapon Buffs

Gish is a term for a caster that fights, usually in melee. Both clerics and wizards on Thain can actually do incredibly well as melee fighters, especially in PvE. This build is incredibly useful in solo or small parties, as you'll be another combatant able to dish out high amounts of damage. You'll want to maximize your strength (or dexterity with a ranged weapon) and fully-buff your weapon. You will innately have less attacks per round than a melee fighter and less AB, BUT casting either Tenser's or Divine Power will fix that to a large degree. You will rely on using short-duration buffs so Extend Spell is quite useful. Shapechange is a nice level 9 spell that can drastically improve your AC if you have the proper potions.

3) Controller/ Traditional Mage
Preferred Spells: AoE save spells (Grease/Web/Entangle/Stonehold), Single Target Save or Dies, Haste

This traditional mage build relies on controlling battlefields and casting hugely impactful spells at exactly the right moment. It requires -skill-. You will want to choose schools to focus on and take Spell Focus feats to improve your DCs. Additionally you will want to maximize your main casting stat. I am not an expert on how to wield this build to its maximum effectiveness so I suggest learning from someone else.

4) Evoker
Preferred Spells: Elemental Spells, Isaac's Greater Missile Storm

This flashy nova damage build focuses on massive, high damage elemental spells and takes advantage of the elemental rings on Thain. Empower Spell and even Maximize Spell are critical feats for this build. With the proper ring, evocation spells can do decent damage - even over 100 with a single spell! As with any evoker, this role focuses on timing your spells well to hit either large groups of enemies or burst down bosses. Generally, I don't think evokers are able to maintain the level of damage output needed for long PvE dungeons - but they can be incredibly effective in boss fights.

Generally amazing spells include Haste, Premonition, Shadow Shield or Death Ward, Spell Resistance, Stoneskin, and Dispels (for high level PvE and PvP).

Hope this mini-guide to caster roles was helpful!
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Evendithus
8:04:26 pm GMT 05/09/20
Evendithus Registered Member #1593 Joined: 12:25:12 pm GMT 06/30/10
Posts: 418
I'm making all of these statements based on the perspective of an arcane caster as I realize some of these spells are also shared among other classes. I also encourage folks to visit -Clickedy- for spell specifics and to visit the Thain spell changes -Clickedy- .

I'd argue rule number one of acting as a caster is always be hasted to double your spell output rate.

I'm sure I'll chime in on this more as I think of things but Greater Invis provides easily attainable 25 percent concealment for turns a caster level. Displacement provides 50 percent concealment, but it's a rounds per caster level. I find myself using them fairly often. (This means you are missed by physical attacks x percent of time regardless of your AC.)

Some spells, I'd argue become more or less useful depending on your play-style. If you're a pure caster that has no interest in gearing up for melee-type combat, I find Tenser's can limit you as then you can't cast in combat. Maestil's (acid) and Death Armor (magic damage) are good for melee casters, as they damage back when you're hit, but I'd caution against letting something get super close to you (knockdown) unless you have the AC or discipline skill to manage it. DR is great but it disappears pretty quickly if you aren't keeping an eye on it. Those two spells can help against archers pretty well too. Elemental Shield (fire damage) is great all around because it halves damage from fire and cold spells.

Evard's, assuming your target doesn't have the appropriate DR to defend against damage, is ridiculously good as it paralyzes, causes bludgeoning damage (one of the few physical damage types you have access to as a caster, minus summons) and it bypasses spell mantles as it's one of the few spells that doesn't allow for spell resistance.

If you bottleneck passageways with Grease (slows maybe knocksdown), Web (holds in place but doesn't prevent casting or ranged), cloud-based spells and Evard's, it's a great strategy for nabbing PvE critters.

Ice Storm and Horrid Wilting are great straight AoE damage spells and great to utilize against PC's or NPC's that have evasion. Ice Storm is effectively a one level higher fireball with a bit of a dice damage drop, but it continues to scale with no limits and it can be maximized and empowered if you utilize the right elemental ring. Horrid Wilting (with the right ring) can also be empowered and causes up to 25d8 (not d6) magic damage, so long as the target isn't undead or a construct. Wilting is a fort-based save. Melf's Acid Arrow (no save) does damage over time. On Thain, it also drops a target's AC by a percent attached to caster level. So if one is hit by an Acid Arrow by a 20th level caster, that means you've knocked 20 percent off the target's AC for a limited time. (The AC damage is a Thain addition).

Fireball hits in a circle. Lightning bolt hits in a line so it's more useful down hallways. Chain Lightning all around is a great spell. One must note that the initial target hit by the spell will take the most damage (20d6 at full casting progression) and everything the lightning chains to after takes half that damage. Most evocation spells like fireball, lightning bolt, firebrand, ball lightning, chain lightning and cone of cold are subject to evasion.

Isaac's Greater Missile Storm, 2d6 magic damage a missile up to level 20, not evadable, speaks for itself. Straight 100 magic damage from Power Word Kill is also nasty, also not evadable. There are certain shops and items that allow for magic resist 5 out there.

If you're pure casting as a sorc/wiz, you basically have to have some kind of DR protection. Stoneskin is great in a pinch with a potion or wand if you don't have anything better, but Premonition is king (30/+6). I find I'll even stack Greater Stone Skin and Premonition for when one runs out, the other will start absorbing. That said, Greater Stoneskin is 20/+5. All stoneskins and Premonition eventually disappear given a certain number of points hit per caster level. And if you're running around somewhere like the Crater Fort Labs taking sustained fire, it'll disappear super quick.

Shadow Shield is also a great spell in that it provides immunity to death magic, adds +5 natural AC, makes one immune to necromancy spells, negative damage and provides 10/+3 DR. Shadow Shield also does not collapse on damage taken. It's turns a level.

Spell mantles are a must for absorbing hostile magic. Even a low level spell mantle will eat a high level spell, but it'll be gone immediately. Greater Spell Mantle here is king and will eat all manner of magic. That said, Disjunction is both your friend and not your friend. If you're hit with it, it'll strip pretty much everything you've cast on yourself. If you're hit with it in an AoE style, it'll strip some stuff but not necessarily everything. It'll always strip Greater Sanctuary if Disjunction hits as an AoE (target at ground, not a character). The always stripping GS is a Thain change.

Spell breaches rip spells off a target. Dispels will also do that, but less effectively. Dispels may also be dropped as AoE spells to pull magic off a character or to clear a sustained magic effect like Grease. Dispels are also utilized in countering (spell caster blocking spells). Disjunction is basically the grand daddy of dispels and breaches. Gust of Wind, despite being a weaker knockdown spell, will blow away lingering cloud effects.

Greater Sanctuary, on Thain, has been limited to a max of 30 seconds, that said, you fade in and out of view and are untargetable, but can be hit with AoE effects if they hit next to you. Otherwise, GS grants you a limited kind of invulnerability.

Time Stop, despite having a three-second delay, is awesome. The whole screen you're on stops for (can't remember how many seconds). This gives you time to buff, drop control or ongoing spells like Grease, Evard's, summons, and allows you to more favorably reposition yourself.

Save-or-Die or save-or-suck spells are a quick way to incapacitate hostiles if you have a strong DC and the creature is not immune (or has a high save) to the specific spell you're casting. Spells that fall in this area include Evard's, Fear, Bigby, Holds, (to a lesser degree charms), dominates (not only lose you an enemy, they get you an ally), Finger of Death, Wail, Weird, Phantasmal Killer. Weird and Phantasmal have the added benefit of being able to overcome death magic immunity, but can't bypass mental immunity. They also have to overcome a will and a fort save.

Clarity is great for short duration mental immunity, however, you're better off with Lesser Mink Blank as that is turns a caster level, or Mind Blank (which also provides mental immunity to those surrounding you).

Invisibility as a second level spell is excellent as it has a great duration and you're obviously not visible.. That said, you want to pay attention if you're using it to spy or in combat because see invis is pretty easily come by in the game with certain 1 a use a day items, wands or potions.

Spells like Mass Haste, Mind Blank and Protection from Spells (+8 to spell saves, turns a level) will make you popular as they extend to those surrounding you.

Energy Buffer is the best elemental resist spell, and there are a family of lesser ones. They seem to get eaten pretty quickly under sustained fire.

Summons are good for chumping damage or dealing damage in lower level dungeons, but anything like the Bagnorn or beyond, even Monster 9 isn't gonna last super long in terms of durability. That also goes for the planar binding spells. Gate is the best of these and can provide some needed power in a pinch, but it lasts rounds a level. Other Thain summons last pretty much forever (in terms of spell duration) because of mod change.

(I'll come back and add more as I think of it). I realize this became a wall of information, so I apologize for that.

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EntropicChaos
2:05:10 am GMT 05/10/20
EntropicChaos Registered Member #787 Joined: 8:48:31 am GMT 05/30/06
Posts: 1758
I greatly appreciate the replies, thank you! Most of my wizard knowledge comes from watching people like Gharos, Carylduil, Mialee, and Narade, do their insane thing. So it's really nice to get these things down to where I can read over it, and better make sense of why it's good/bad/situational.

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Vyranna
2:57:32 am GMT 05/10/20
Vyranna Registered Member #785 Joined: 6:06:48 am GMT 05/27/06
Posts: 526
Personally ive found that for Arcane casters, if a spell allows a Reflex save, you might as well just not learn it and/or delete it.

The number of enemies on Thain (unless they have been revamped in the last two years or so where ive been very hit or miss*) who have Evasion and saves high enough to almost always completely nullify those spells is staggering.

Its one of the reasons my Arcane caster is still only like level 9 or 10. I hit a wall of "there is nothing i can kill without blowing ALL of my spells for one kill" and then resting... so getting 3 kills every 20 minutes made me just not care.

However, ive recently been playing a lot of single player modules, and discovered some real gems (and, wouldnt you know, none of them allow Reflex saves)....

My thoughts are that even low level spells can be useful in many situations, particularly buffs, and meta-magic'ed to higher levels lets you get more mileage out of them.

As divine caster.. Every spell level is amazing, until you get to like.. 7-9, where the spells are much more situational.
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Kyssyt
7:39:30 am GMT 05/10/20
Kyssyt Registered Member #1273 Joined: 2:56:54 pm GMT 03/23/08
Posts: 536
I play a couple of casters who a few times haven't had to cast a single spell during an event, because all the other characters took care of everything.

With a healer, this is pretty boring (like, everyone chugs healing positions so what's the point of the healer?) but with the wizard there was at least high-INT and social skills for ready banter, plus Lore and Spellcraft are skills you can RP with in almost any situation.

I like wizards because they can cast so many spells, and this makes them potentially useful anywhere, in ways other characters bar rogues are not.

EtA, answer to the actual question - my favourite levels for attacking are the lower ones (1-6), for buffs the mid-range (level 5-7 have the best buffs except for Premonition), and keep level 8 and 9 for RP ( ''ooooh look a powerful wizard'' ) and emergencies. Also, the level 9 summons are amazing ('Gate' is way too short compared to Summon IX .. but on the other hand it now gives an awesome ''released'' summon)


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Evendithus
6:37:38 am GMT 05/11/20
Evendithus Registered Member #1593 Joined: 12:25:12 pm GMT 06/30/10
Posts: 418
IMO the most useful sorc/wiz spell level is level four, that said, I've listed a bunch that are obviously outside of that previously.

Level 9 spells are...it depends. Wail and Weird are great in PvE situations, otherwise they're likely useless against bosses as most have been revamped to be immune to status stuff. Dominate Monster is good for select dungeons with certain powerful NPCs that can be used to chump/deal damage. Otherwise, it can be good for PvP. Disjunction, Time Stop, Power Word Kill, Greater Spell Mantle are generally good for many situations, although some still have circumstantial uses though. Time Stop is always good, period. Energy Drain, even with its recent Thain additions, I find myself not using save for RP situations. Bigby 9 I find less useful as a single target spell unless you're speaking of a PvP situation because many of our bosses are immune to it and you can use a lower level Bigby for dungeon critters (you're sacrificing a few DC). As a note, our Bigby spells are now fort-save based and don't deal with the headache of grappling, AC and so on. Meteor Strike is solid, I think, as it has a knockdown effect added. Black Blade is....eh? It has uses for PvE but I'd never use it PvP. I personally don't use Shapechange a lot but it is beneficial for those who melee. Level 9 spell slots are often better with certain metamagic than the level 9 spells themselves. Maximized IGMS, 12 damage a magic missile for a total of 20 missiles, being a good example.
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Vaeltava
5:55:09 am GMT 05/12/20
Vaeltava Registered Member #1761 Joined: 10:05:21 pm GMT 10/13/11
Posts: 434
As a player who exclusively plays spellcasters (with one notably gnollish exception), I tend to find that what's useful as a mage is entirely dependent upon the context in which I find myself with regard to other players.

When solo, I use spells from every spell level because, when solo, you need to buff with everything available to you if you're anticipating combat. Premonition and Shadow Shield are two, high-level favorites, but empowered Transmutation spells for ability mod boost are incredibly important. Even ghostly visage, though only level 2, is useful for covering little chinks in spell-armor.

In small groups of 3-6 characters, buffing like this is less useful since your mage probably isn't seeing much in the way of aggro, anyway. If you are getting damaged or targeted, the most useful thing you can do is either drop an invisibility or move out of range. Better to use those spell slots for combat-spells, since your AB isn't useful anyway. Here, you'll still use most spell levels, except for maybe level 1 spells and you'll quickly expend your higher level slots if you allocated them for combat spells, leaving mid-range for your workhorse.

In large groups of 7 or more, I tend to find that buffing is largely pointless for a few reasons. One, your mage shouldn't be getting targeted at all; if they are, getting out of the way is even easier thanks to all of the other, less flighty targets for the enemies to choose from. Two, large groups move too slowly for anything less than hours/level to last for any meaningful number of encounters; ore than once, I've had entire sets of max duration buffs expire, completely unused, because the amount of time between resting, buffing, and getting the group moving was so long. Certainly, you could wait until just before an encounter to buff, but if you use anything more than one or two spells you've already wasted the majority of the beginning of the fight.

Thirdly, in my experience, any time such a large group gets together, the typical mage becomes irrelevant or redundant in terms of combat. After a few volleys of your best spells, all that's left for you to cast are things that allow reflex saves, spell resistance, or are commonly immunized against, like fireball (which suffers on all three counts). Large groups assemble to tackle dungeons, which are typically long and full of enemies made to resist the obvious mage-tools, or to tackle major events, where enemies will come in waves and are either soft enough they don't need to be artilleried or tough enough that spells won't affect them as well as your friendly neighborhood DPS-machine. In this case, a mage's best bet is to forget buffing themselves and to forget trying to prep combat spells. Prep AoE spells -- lots of them, probably low level -- to try to make everyone else's encounter easier and prep mass-buff spells that enhance the large group you have available, which is the mage's best tool.

All of this is to say that all spell levels get some use, the most common ones being between 4 and 8 because of the quantity of spell slots available, the variety of spells for different situations, and because the high- and low-level spells tend to be too situational or specific to be useful often.

Except for summon spells. Love the summon spells, always always.
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dontyouknow
6:54:44 am GMT 05/12/20
dontyouknow Registered Member #1120 Joined: 4:36:33 am GMT 07/27/07
Posts: 475
To add on to the previous comment, in large groups Teron’s best contribution is often a simple grease or web spell. He can carry a lot of them, and wands of them, and multiple grease effects stack to slow errybody way down.
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