Wizardly Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by FredSRichardson, Jun 8, 2012.

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  1. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Established Member

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    That "bardly advice" thread was so successful I thought I'd try the same thing directed this time at a Wizard build.

    Frankly, I don't really know what I'm doing when I build a wizard.

    I'd love advice on stats, skill points and feats.

    Here's what I generally do:

    All stat points go into INT, all skill points go into concentration and spell check with some in tumble too. I think I've also loaded up on UMD. I learned recently the spell check doesn't really work unless you have a decent spot and listen.

    For feats, I've taken (not sure what order):
    Combat Casting
    Improved Initiative
    Spell Penetration
    Greater Spell Penetration
    Craft Wondrous Item
    Craft Arms and Armor
    Empower Spell
    Heighten Spell

    and I probably took spell focus in something, but I never new what to pick.

    So here are something I wonder about:
    Is it worth picking a school of specialization? It seems to me that the cost of eliminating two schools is pretty high.

    I have a bard who's focusing on enchantments, should my wizard pick the (greater) focus on evocation for super fire/ice/electric stuff?

    I assumed combat casting was needed, but maybe not early on?

    How about starting with one level of rogue? I have a bard to cover for the first level out in the field, then the wizard could max out a few more skills with cross-class points. I've heard that spell craft only really works with a good spot/listen. Tumble could be higher, etc.

    What's your favorite meta-magic feat? I've found heighten useful for when I'm going to fill one slot higher with a fireball. Empower is great for two levels higher, but maximize is a bit expensive at 3 levels up. I've also never found a use for the silent/quicken/still spell. Am I missing something here?

    Thoughts on crafting. My cleric might be able to put all I need on weapons (fire I think). Are there good rings I should consider crafting?

    Thanks for any help on this. Great to have some insight in how to build a better wizard :)
     
  2. The Royal Canadian

    The Royal Canadian Established Member

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    Hi Fred
    Allow me to try as best I can to help you.
    The Royal Canadian
     
  3. Pygmy

    Pygmy Established Member Supporter

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    I agree about leaving out combat casting.


    Have you actually tried to drag a non-heightened fireball into a 4th or higher level slot?


    My essential wizard feat is craft wand (after craft wondrous item headband of intellect +6 of course). You dash to the magic shop in Verbobonc as soon as you are able, buy the dominate monster scroll and scribe it into your spellbook [Clue bards were by far the most powerful characters in Vanilla before Co8 nerfed them]

    I would agree with TRC about specialising as a conjuror but finding a second school after necromancy to give up is really difficult

    Enchantment is essential for wand creation trick above

    Abjuration is obviously essential for stoneskin and minor globe

    Illusion is essential for invisibility sphere which doesn't function as described in PHB [enlarged fighter/rogue with glaive in invisibility sphere surrounded by skeletons,zombies and summoned creatures to keep others out] and weird.

    This leaves you with the sacriligeous prospect of dumping evocation! This might drive you back to being a generallist wizard with an inventory of home made scrolls to boost your daily complement.
     
  4. FredSRichardson

    FredSRichardson Established Member

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    I haven't had any trouble dragging non-heightened fireball into higher level slots. The game allows that, but you loose any boost you might get from heighten or empower.

    I was planning on letting my cleric do the conjuring (he gets the augment feat), since at high levels he's pretty much only good for healing and conjuring (and trying to hit things ... I'm working on that).

    That's great if I can drop combat casting. I just assumed I needed it. What a relief not to :)

    On crafting wands: I used to do this but it made me feel so overpowered. I suppose if I really want a challenge I should point-buy my characters and not do any crafting at all :p

    My two weapon bearers will want Holy+something weapons. I used to do axiomatic, but I decided that's a waste. Instead I'd like to do something with a burst. I'm not sure what my Cleric can manage, but my wizard could do some cool stuff.

    So, for the above reasons I was thinking (Greater) Spell Focus Evocation.

    What I wasn't sure of is if I should take level-1 as rogue for the skill point goodness.
     
  5. Pygmy

    Pygmy Established Member Supporter

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    My feeling is that with WOTGS you get more bang for your buck with a CG cleric with Chaos hammer and Holy Smite

    I feel that Lawful/Good clerics present flavour problems when it comes to summoning Glabrezu to fight WOTGS.

    I wouldn't bother with anything that delays acquisition of high level spells for skill points. Part of the point of a bard is that heroism + inspire competence allows almost anyone to perform almost anything.
     
  6. J'allan UlDragos

    J'allan UlDragos Dragon Warrior

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    One combo i like is a elven wizard that is Diviner 3/ Cleric 17 of Obad Hai with Plants/Sun domains. Plants domain helps a bit late game ... but also the Good domain could easily be chosen for crafting purposes. Sun is pretty much must-have for obliterating the plentiful Undead in this game.

    So why do i only do 3 levels of wizard for my primary magic user??? Essentially i cast from scrolls - you can still scribe ANY spell into your spellbook even if you can't memorize the spell through class levels. If it's scribed, you can then scribe scrolls yourself later. The Cleric spell list is GREAT. At level 17 you get Lvl 9 spells. The Divination spells are great to use in combat - True Strike! Equipped with a enchanted longbow and longspear, maybe even a longword and Elven shield ... or crafted enchanted staves. As a Cleric she can wear up to Full Plate if needed, but i usually have her wear Moon Ivy armor.

    I guess that might be kind of off-topic for the wizard you are trying to aim for...

    For a more standard wizard build, i often take Spugnior and build him as a generalist wizard with 4 levels of fighter to learn crossbow skills and give him some HP. this build works pretty well
     
  7. nyarlathotep

    nyarlathotep Merry Murder Maniac

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    Well, that's a tricky one... Personally, I find there is no "perfect" wizard build...because they're all damn awesome.
    And I really mean "they". The wizard is a class with so many options, it's just mindbogling.
    Do you want him to be a specialist or a general wizard? Do you want him as a buffbitch, your artillery (though sorcerors might be preferable for that role), a controller,...?
    Whatever you choose, with the right feats he will excell within what you want him to do, plus he will come in handy with his scrolls whenever you're in a tight spot.

    The only thing that does not seem to work very well is a dispeller- though I only did that with pen-and-paper (though it's mostly pencils & paper :p ) As a dispeller, you're in fact always "weaker" as the original caster. And he met his end in a huge fireball he failed to dispel - oh irony, thou art a though mistress! :p
    It was followed by a Kobold priest, clad in iron & really focused on summoning earth elementals, though that's a whole other story.

    Anyhow... If you're going to go for a mage who uses a lot of rays, don't forget there exists a weapon focus for it. The whole point-blank untill shot-on-the-run works with rays, though I don't remember if they included that feat in the game- either coming from ToEE or Co8.

    Focusing on a school is only good if you have lots of "offensive" spells in that school. Necromancers & enchanters benefit a lot from that, though abjurers or transmuters do not need it, as their targets are most of the time your allies who are always willing to receive whatever boon you give them.

    Again, if you are going for a mage who is more offensive as defensive, the Spell Penetration feats are great. In vanilla ToEE, it was a bit useless as there were hardly any enemies with spell resistance, but Co8 changed that in their NC versions.

    One thing you'll have to know is that, when you want to make a specialist mage, you'll have to do that from the start. If you don't, you don't get that choice anymore.

    I don't really like any of the metamagic feats for wizards... Unless offcourse you have very specific roleplay concept for you mage - like a rogue wizard who uses a lot of silent spells. (Deathly silence gets a whole new meaning... ;) ) But it limits your more potent spells you have. If I go for a metamagic spellcaster, it's probably going to be a sorceror - or a bard if I want to do something dodgy. A heightened T.H.Laughter cast by a really handsome bard who's got both focusses on enchantment is no laughing matter :D

    Oh, one thing more. If you would want to go on a metamagic path, don't dualclass with an other spellcasting class, it will bug the hell out of you.

    While this might not be as helpfull and detailed as the rest of the responses you get, I hope I have given you some pointers :)
    Good luck!:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  8. General Ghoul

    General Ghoul Established Member

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    One note on spell selection at level ups. I always take the stat booster spells, like Cat's Grace, Owl's wisdon, etc, as they are not found on a scroll until late in the game, and your entire party will appreciate those Belts of Giant Strength and Cloaks of Charisma, or Gloves of Dexterity. I sometimes forgo spells like fireball or Invisibilty, because Burne sells those all the time.


    Also, I prefer a non specialized wizard. Yes, he will be weaker at the beginning of the game without the extra spells. But after you get the feat Craft Wand, you can have all the extra spells you want as a want.
     
  9. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    As far as I'm aware, Use Magical Device is unnecessary for an arcane caster as you can automatically use any item. I think the concept was added in 2nd Edition to beef up the Thief class- I have tended to use a multiclass level in Wiz ot Sorc instead.
     
  10. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Metamagic feats:
    Having previously not bothered with these, I have had some success with quickened spells (good for getting the buffs and meatshields up quickly, and for firing off magic missiles) and heightened spells l. Still not convinced about silenced and still spells- the only place I remember being silenced is the Tower Brigands, when the effectiveness of the sort of spells one might use at that level is probably limited.
     
  11. nyarlathotep

    nyarlathotep Merry Murder Maniac

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    In NC, silence has become a favourite spell of many spellcasters. The still spell is usefull when you are being webbed.
     
  12. Mouldyrye

    Mouldyrye Member

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    This is less an answer to the original post and more a hoping for clarification of the use of caster feats.

    The simple descriptions of what they do sound very similar in some cases. Heighten spell and empower spell? Widen spell and extend spell?(I don't remember if Extend Spell is actually a talent but you probably see my point.)

    Is there somebody that can explain how to actually implement these talents? I haven't seen anything on the radial menu and there is not an obvious sub-menu on the memorization screen. Also, which ones will actually contribute to more reliable damage or crowd control throughout the game, without costing things like spell ranks that could be used for more generally effective spells.

    No sense in using a zero-level acid orb doing 1-3 damage as a 2nd level spell pick just to have a creature with 100 hp not save against it.
     
  13. nyarlathotep

    nyarlathotep Merry Murder Maniac

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  14. Mouldyrye

    Mouldyrye Member

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    Thanks Ny...ooh almost uttered the name of he who shall not be named. Or, was that Hastur...oh crap. I guess my question was more intended to get feedback on how to use them in the game. I can drag a lower level spell into a higher spell bracket but I have no idea what it is going to mean.

    If, for example, I take maximize spell and want to have a max damage magic missile in my back pocket. How do I make that happen? If I drag it to a higher spell slot, memorize it, and later pick it from the radial menu will there be an additional option to buff it with my talents or what?

    And, has anybody found something like having a long duration and impossible to resist charm person or web better than having a quick cast Fireball or whatever. Can I drop a widened, empowered web, buff everybody with free action and just run amok?
     
  15. nyarlathotep

    nyarlathotep Merry Murder Maniac

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    dragging a lower level spell into a higher level spellslot doesn't alter the spell at all, you just sacrificed a higher level spellslot because you might have a need for repeated use of that spell. If you're running around wit 7 unread scrolls an 16 unknown potion, it might not be such a bad idea for your mage to prepare a shitload of read magic spells :)

    Now, to activate a metamagic feat, you've got to go to your spellbook. If you've taken boh widen spell & empower spell, you'll see them at the left side of your spellbook with a specificly coloured dot, and your known spells wil be on the right. When you want to make a widened web, you have to click on the widen spell metamagic feat, and a pop-up window will appear so you can choose which spell to modify. Once you have done that, you'll see in your spellbook that you now have the web spell also at level 5.

    Empowering your web spell won't do anything. If you would want to make the save dc higher of your web spell, then you'll need to use the heighten spell metamagic feat, or you'll need to invest into the spell focus: conjuration feats.

    I have no idea if you can apply a metamagic feat onto a spell when in heat of battle. I always have "researched" thus augmented spells beforehand. I suppose it wouldn't change a lot from the copy scroll ability. Anyhow, only bards & sorcerors would be able to try to force such an alteration on the battlefield, as the rest of the spellcasters need to prepare their spells in advance.

    I hope my arcane knowledge helps you forward in spreading the madness. And for the record, uttering my name is not that bad. Hastur is the one that has some major cocktail-party effect issues :p
     
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