PDA

View Full Version : Wizard Specialization



Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 01:23 AM
So, the thread about V's specialized school got me thinking. If you want an "optimal" wizard, is it a good idea to take a preferred school? And if so, which school should you pick and which two should you choose as your forbidden schools? This is assuming 3.5 is being used.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 01:27 AM
You should specialize in Divination, Transmutation, or Conjuration.

You can safely ban Evocation. The rest is a toss up between Enchantment and Necromancy.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 01:30 AM
The best 2 schools are Transmutation and Conjuration. Anything you can get out of another school, you can get out of them. Conj has more battlefield control and Teleportation, Trans has more Save-or -die. I prefer Conj, but it's close.

Enchantment is almost entirely Will-Save-or-Lose blocked by a 1st level spell. Drop it.
Abjuration is done just as well by a Cleric. If you have one, drop it.
Necromancy is awesome, with varied effects, but mainly Ray Debuffs and the occasional fort save-or suck. Can be dropped, but hurts. I only lose it for RP reasons or if going Focused Specialist without a Cleric.
Evocation deals damge. Conj does it better. The only situations where Evoc doesn't deal damage, the Shadow Evocation line replaces it. Drop before anything else.

Ernir
2009-12-18, 01:34 AM
Specialist Conjurer, banning Enchantment and Evocation is as cookie-cutter as it gets.

Conjuration and Transmutation are the schools with the greatest number of the best spells. There is little contest here. You may also consider being a Focused Specialist (Complete Mage variant) when specializing in one of these schools.
Divination... well, you'll probably be casting divinations anyway, and this reduces the number of schools you have to ban.

Evocation gets banned often because it significantly overlaps with other schools, and many of its nicest effects can be duplicated with Shadow Evocation.
Enchantment because much of the school is negated by immunities which are very common in high level play.

Kylarra
2009-12-18, 01:41 AM
The best 2 schools are Transmutation and Conjuration. Anything you can get out of another school, you can get out of them. Conj has more battlefield control and Teleportation, Trans has more Save-or -die. I prefer Conj, but it's close.

Enchantment is almost entirely Will-Save-or-Lose blocked by a 1st level spell. Drop it.
Abjuration is done just as well by a Cleric. If you have one, drop it.
Necromancy is awesome, with varied effects, but mainly Ray Debuffs and the occasional fort save-or suck. Can be dropped, but hurts. I only lose it for RP reasons or if going Focused Specialist without a Cleric.
Evocation deals damge. Conj does it better. The only situations where Evoc doesn't deal damage, the Shadow Evocation line replaces it. Drop before anything else.Well the main reason not to drop Abj is Incantrix, but that's neither here nor there I guess.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 01:43 AM
Well, abjuration also had dispel magic, along with many important defensive spells(mind blank, anyone?).

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 01:47 AM
Well, abjuration also had dispel magic, along with many important defensive spells(mind blank, anyone?).Like I said, only if you have access to a Cleric.
"Any time a Wizard casts a spell on the Cleric spell list, he is, for that round, a chump. The Cleric has better HP, BAB, Saves, and AC. If you're going to be casting Cleric spells, be a Cleric."-Paraphrased from, I believe, Treantmonklvl20.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 01:49 AM
Mind Blank isn't on the cleric list. Plus, there are some spells that are just to important to pass up on, IMO. The Dispel Line is one of those.

arguskos
2009-12-18, 01:50 AM
Mind Blank isn't on the cleric list. Plus, there are some spells that are just to important to pass up on, IMO. The Dispel Line is one of those.
Protection Domain. IE. Mind Blank is on the Protection Domain, so yeah, the cleric could actually have access to it.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 01:53 AM
So what I'm getting from this is that specialization depends heavily on the makeup of the rest of the party? And as for the argument over abjuration, isn't Mordenkainan's (sp?) Disjunction abjuration? Can clerics ever cast it?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 01:54 AM
So what I'm getting from this is that specialization depends heavily on the makeup of the rest of the party? And as for the argument over abjuration, isn't Mordenkainan's (sp?) Disjunction abjuration? Can clerics ever cast it?I recommend burning that spell out of your PHB. It wrecks the game on several levels at once. Just don't use it.

Kylarra
2009-12-18, 01:54 AM
Protection Domain. IE. Mind Blank is on the Protection Domain, so yeah, the cleric could actually have access to it.Eh, I'd say the dispel line is still something I'd like to have handy regardless, I recall someone's story about 3 or 4 fullcasters which had trouble with an easy fight because none of them were packing dispels.


So what I'm getting from this is that specialization depends heavily on the makeup of the rest of the party? And as for the argument over abjuration, isn't Mordenkainan's (sp?) Disjunction abjuration? Can clerics ever cast it?
Yes and yes, magic domain.

Milskidasith
2009-12-18, 01:55 AM
Protection Domain. IE. Mind Blank is on the Protection Domain, so yeah, the cleric could actually have access to it.

Having your cleric buddy take suboptimal domains so you can take a suboptimal choice of banned schools is suboptimal. Focused specialist, you could maybe drop abjuration, if you really wanted to, but enchantment and evocation are both 100% safer to drop.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 01:57 AM
True, but not every Cleric has the protection domain. Hell, I've never even seen it suggested.

Looking at the lists, there are a sizable number of abjuration spells that don't appear on the Cleric class spell list, and in several instances they have spells at higher levels.

Plus, remember Saph's run of the Red Hand of Doom? Where there was a party full of casters, and no one brought dispel magic? If you're going to let someone else cover that area, make sure that they're aware, and realize that you've created a weakness for the party.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 02:01 AM
Plus, remember Saph's run of the Red Hand of Doom? Where there was a party full of casters, and no one brought dispel magic? If you're going to let someone else cover that area, make sure that they're aware, and realize that you've created a weakness for the party.True. The issue is just that if you either can't ban Evoc or Enchant for some reason, or if you're going FS, then you need to choose between Necro and Abjuration. Necro has things like Animate Dead, Enervation, Ray of Clumsiness, and Ray of Exhaustion. Abjuration has good spells, but if the Cleric can cover them, then losing it is acceptable to retain Necro.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 02:01 AM
True, but not every Cleric has the protection domain. Hell, I've never even seen it suggested.

Looking at the lists, there are a sizable number of abjuration spells that don't appear on the Cleric class spell list, and in several instances they have spells at higher levels.

Plus, remember Saph's run of the Red Hand of Doom? Where there was a party full of casters, and no one brought dispel magic? If you're going to let someone else cover that area, make sure that they're aware, and realize that you've created a weakness for the party.

Heck, typically, in parties I join, there's at least double coverage on Dispel Magic. It's that powerful.

arguskos
2009-12-18, 02:01 AM
Having your cleric buddy take suboptimal domains so you can take a suboptimal choice of banned schools is suboptimal. Focused specialist, you could maybe drop abjuration, if you really wanted to, but enchantment and evocation are both 100% safer to drop.
I didn't say I was going to take it, I merely posted that clerics CAN in fact get Mind Blank. :smalltongue: It was just a theoretical point.

Also, personally, I wouldn't ever ban Abjuration. It seems just too damn good. It's the "I solve everything" school, which makes it invaluable. Just like Divination.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 02:07 AM
I recommend burning that spell {Mordenkainen's Disjunction} out of your PHB. It wrecks the game on several levels at once. Just don't use it.

Alright, I'm not questioning this due to my lack of experience running higher-level games, but I would like an example.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 02:10 AM
Alright, I'm not questioning this due to my lack of experience running higher-level games, but I would like an example.
At high levels, one's items make up a large portion of your power, particularly in the case of Melee characters. Add to this that it's relatively difficult to replace one's equipment, and a spell that destroys said equipment is terrifying.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 02:14 AM
At high levels, one's items make up a large portion of your power, particularly in the case of Melee characters. Add to this that it's relatively difficult to replace one's equipment, and a spell that destroys said equipment is terrifying.

That's pretty obvious, actually. I guess it's true what they say: "Out of sight, out of mind." Can't believe I missed it.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 02:14 AM
Alright, I'm not questioning this due to my lack of experience running higher-level games, but I would like an example.When used by the DM at a level-appropriate point: It wipes out ~30-70% of the party's loot, rendering them far weaker for all future challenges and making a TPK in those future encounters far more likely
It wipes out the party's buffs, rendering them far weaker for this challenge, greatly increasing the odds of a TPK
It greatly angers the players(because of the massive loss of loot), making the group breaking up over this one spell a distinct possibility
It takes several hours(not an exaggeration) to resolve, as you try to figure out the save bonuses for items, what CL the item you got 15 levels ago or homebrewed is, whether your Cloak of Resistance applies to items, if an open HHH blocks LoE, and what order items are destroyed in, and then roll saves for every single scroll, wand, and tattoo in your possession. For every member of the party. :smalleek:As a PC, it's similar, but on a smaller scale. In other words, just don't use it.

sofawall
2009-12-18, 02:20 AM
That's pretty obvious, actually. I guess it's true what they say: "Out of sight, out of mind." Can't believe I missed it.

Also, looking up and rolling all the saves can suck, much like a dispel magic at high levels.

Milskidasith
2009-12-18, 02:22 AM
As a PC, it burninates the enemies loot.

I'd prefer disjunction just be a "you lose your buffs" spell, with a temporary (1 round) disabling of all items. Complex, but not extraordinarily so. (maybe even an autodisable for one round on items, just to save time).

Temet Nosce
2009-12-18, 02:22 AM
While I agree in principle with the general bent of posts before me (specialize in Conjuration or Transmutation with Conjuration generally having the edge, and basically always drop Evocation) - I disagree with the rest on a few points...

Abjuration is something I would never, ever suggest dropping. It not only provides the best replacements for several Evocation staples which actually are useful (Wall/Forcecage can be replaced mostly with the Prismatic line which is arguably even better in some cases) but offers you access to Maw of Chaos, Ironguard, Absorption, Superior Resistance, Dimensional Lock/Anchor, Dispel... and quite a few more. These aren't spells which might come in handy. They're spells which absolutely will. Nor can they be easily substituted out for the most part (and personally I don't buy the "someone else can do it" argument)

Enchantment I wouldn't recommend dropping unless you're starting at levels where immunity actually starts to occur (ignoring the Protection from X line), because bluntly at low levels you are probably going to get more use from this school than every other put together unless you're involved in pure hack and slash (and even then things like Sleep, Ray of Stupidity, and Tasha's Hideous Laughter are pure gold at low levels). It's true that it decreases in usefulness as levels rise but it still holds onto some effects which you can't acquire elsewhere (albeit more things are able to ignore them later).

Necromancy - I don't understand the love affair other people have with this school. Most stuff here you are going to get minimal use out of (yeah, there are some debuffs, and some excellent ones at that but except for extremely specific situations your actions would be better spent otherwise anyways). The only major spells here are really Enervation (by the time this really comes into play, you'll have Limited Wish) and Avasculate (useful and interesting, but lets be honest if you're focusing on HP damage you should be able to one shot things by that level).

Illusion, alright it hurts to say this but if you're going Focused Specialist and not an Illusionist I'd suggest dropping it. Yep, it's awesomely versatile and has a vast number of uses both out of combat and in... but, a lot of what it does is replaced by other schools (particularly in combat) and the things which aren't are things you can afford to give up unless your game is focused in those areas. If you aren't Focused Specialist don't drop it however, and I'd advise against dropping both it and Enchantment at once regardless of the situation.

Edit: Also, yeah screw MDJ. Worst spell in the game, by a long long ways. I've seen campaigns end due to a single use of it.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-18, 02:33 AM
Enchantment I wouldn't recommend dropping unless you're starting at levels where immunity actually starts to occur (ignoring the Protection from X line), because bluntly at low levels you are probably going to get more use from this school than every other put together unless you're involved in pure hack and slash (and even then things like Sleep, Ray of Stupidity, and Tasha's Hideous Laughter are pure gold at low levels). It's true that it decreases in usefulness as levels rise but it still holds onto some effects which you can't acquire elsewhere (albeit more things are able to ignore them later).The problem is the sheer number of immunities. Things like Undead are fairly common, and past about level 5, it's just too easy for an opponent to get Protection from Good. Yeah, it hurts before then, but the immunities are just so common, and Will SoL is done just as well by other schools(Illusion).


Necromancy - I don't understand the love affair other people have with this school. Most stuff here you are going to get minimal use out of (yeah, there are some debuffs, and some excellent ones at that but except for extremely specific situations your actions would be better spent otherwise anyways). The only major spells here are really Enervation (by the time this really comes into play, you'll have Limited Wish) and Avasculate (useful and interesting, but lets be honest if you're focusing on HP damage you should be able to one shot things by that level).The non-Shivering Touch method of killing a dragon:Ray of Clumsiness. Ray of Fatigue. Ray of Fatigue. There's a lot of good for the school that's hard to duplicate elsewhere. That said, it is losable, but like Abj, you'll notice it.

Illusion, alright it hurts to say this but if you're going Focused Specialist and not an Illusionist I'd suggest dropping it. Yep, it's awesomely versatile and has a vast number of uses both out of combat and in... but, a lot of what it does is replaced by other schools (particularly in combat) and the things which aren't are things you can afford to give up unless your game is focused in those areas. If you aren't Focused Specialist don't drop it however, and I'd advise against dropping both it and Enchantment at once regardless of the situation.The best defenses against Physical attacks aren't Abjuration, they're Illusion. Greater Mirror Image. It's an 88% miss chance at the cost of 1 swift action. That's way too good. And a lot of illusion covers for banned schools(Will SoL for Enchant, Shadow for Evoc).

Kantolin
2009-12-18, 02:40 AM
I do, generally, agree with the sentiments above.

Transmutation and Conjuration hurt extremely badly to lose and are extremely powerful schools.

The others have their gems based on what you're doing, but are far more bannable. Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Enchantment are probably more bannable than abjuration in my book, although there are good arguments to ditch abjuration.

I won't attempt to defend evocation, as generally it's more of a 'I like fireball' reason to not nix it than a mechanical statement.

Illusion has invisibilities and the images, which are extremely potent, but you can look elsewhere for defenses (and you only have so many spell slots). I love illusion, I really do, but it's indeed something you can give up - you'll feel it, but you can deal.

Enchantment is indeed a pile of 'will save or's, which is why it's droppable. But Dominate is such a /good/ spell where it works - dominate has a better effect than most other spells or effects, as dominated is generally superior to dead (for you to do to the enemy). I question, however, the 'everything has protection from good up' theory - maybe if they're specifically countering a dominator or something, but '+2 on saves and AC' is probably not worth a standard action in most cases. Now, with famous dominate-focused PCs or when going up against a vampire, maybe then you'd have it up... makes dispel magic a nice option, though.

Necromancy also has its gems. Ray of Enfeeblement is one, but the somewhat less popular gems that I like are False Life, Spectral Hand, and Magic Jar. Still, it's another of those 'You'll feel it, but can afford it gone' schools - go do other things.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 02:43 AM
The non-Shivering Touch method of killing a dragon:Ray of Clumsiness. Ray of Fatigue. Ray of Fatigue. There's a lot of good for the school that's hard to duplicate elsewhere. That said, it is losable, but like Abj, you'll notice it.
If you're using Ray of Clumsiness, you're using SpC. And in that case, dragons have Scintillating Scales AND Ray Deflection. Useful against other big beasties, not so much dragons.


The best defenses against Physical attacks aren't Abjuration, they're Illusion. Greater Mirror Image. It's an 88% miss chance at the cost of 1 swift action. That's way too good. And a lot of illusion covers for banned schools(Will SoL for Enchant, Shadow for Evoc).
Or Conjuration? Fog Cloud + Move. Drops enemy accuracy to miniscule levels. Wall of stone? 0% hit chance.
Wall of Force? 0% hit chance.

taltamir
2009-12-18, 02:44 AM
Specialist Conjurer, banning Enchantment and Evocation is as cookie-cutter as it gets.

Conjuration and Transmutation are the schools with the greatest number of the best spells. There is little contest here. You may also consider being a Focused Specialist (Complete Mage variant) when specializing in one of these schools.
Divination... well, you'll probably be casting divinations anyway, and this reduces the number of schools you have to ban.

Evocation gets banned often because it significantly overlaps with other schools, and many of its nicest effects can be duplicated with Shadow Evocation.
Enchantment because much of the school is negated by immunities which are very common in high level play.

Very accurate.
BTW, by RAW you are not allowed to ban divination. Only other schools can be banned.

When looking to ban schools you should ask "what do I lose?"
Transmutation: Flight, Polymorph, lots of save or die/lose.
Conjuration: Best direct damage (orbs), summons, teleports, area of effects that do status effect (grease, glitterdust, fog lines, etc)
Illusion: Invisibility, displacement, etc
Necromancy: Some very effective lose/die without save (ennervation; etc). Protections against necromancy spells are all necromancy spells, but ONLY available to clerics... wizards cannot effectively protect against necromancy spells, except with a level 8 abjuration spell called spell turning.
Evocation: Crappy blasting spells (conjuration blasts better), contingency (duplicateable by shadow conjuration)
Enchantment: Awesome spells... which can NOT affect 5 major enemy types (undead, constructs, etc) and a level 1 spell makes anyone immune to the entire school.
Abjuration: Prismatic sphere, prismatic wall, dispell, planer anchor, protection from arrows, shield (rather meh for this one), mage armor, globes of invulnerability, spell turning, other protections against other mages.
Divination: not an option, by RAW you cannot ban it... it has some nice ones like true strike

Frankly, I consider losing abjuration unacceptable. Protections from other mages = must. I can live without illusion, you are already flying (transmuation) AND immune to arrows (abjuration) AND have protection against enemy spells (abjuration)... Having miss chances isn't needed since nothing can attack you in the first place (and besides, you are already using up too many spell slots on protections)... AND the REALLY dangerous enemies all have "true sight"... which completely and utterly nullifies all illusion...

A few interesting notes:
1. 4 level 1 spells called "protection from <alignment>" (and higher level spells too) make someone immune to enchantment..

2.True sight makes someone immune to illusions.

3. Mindless creatures, like undead and constructs are naturally immune to enchantment spells, and automatically fail any save against an illusion spell. (illusion spells have "will to disbelief" saves... mindless creatures cannot disbelief anything, they will just stand there not hitting you back through the illusion of a wall you created, because they are mindless)

Temet Nosce
2009-12-18, 03:07 AM
The problem is the sheer number of immunities. Things like Undead are fairly common, and past about level 5, it's just too easy for an opponent to get Protection from Good. Yeah, it hurts before then, but the immunities are just so common, and Will SoL is done just as well by other schools(Illusion).

As far as Protection - it's a minutes/level spell (or 10 mins on the higher level version) so without enemies who are persisting spells against you they have both be prepared for you attacking them and be specifically countering that school. It's unlikely enough just from looking at it that way, but further I've never actually seen any enemies do this either while actually playing or in reading other peoples logs. Maybe I've been lucky, but even assuming that it's a fairly far fetched tactic for NPCs.

Undead, yeah that's a good point in an undead heavy campaign a lot of the usefulness decreases, but even assuming you get no use of it in combat (unlikely, but possible) the out of combat uses are simply phenomenal. Ranging from simply convincing the BBEG hand you the Macguffin, to causing everyone you meet feel like you're right, or simply making them your slaves.


The non-Shivering Touch method of killing a dragon:Ray of Clumsiness. Ray of Fatigue. Ray of Fatigue. There's a lot of good for the school that's hard to duplicate elsewhere. That said, it is losable, but like Abj, you'll notice it.

Shivering Touch is a excellent point (and one I forgot), but it's still only one more spell (albeit one I get more use out of than either Enervation or Avasculate ironically). Still, it's an obscenely good spell I agree. That said, generally speaking I actually don't notice giving up this school (as mentioned, by the time Enervation becomes useful often I have Limited Wish). Which is why I suggest dropping it.


The best defenses against Physical attacks aren't Abjuration, they're Illusion. Greater Mirror Image. It's an 88% miss chance at the cost of 1 swift action. That's way too good. And a lot of illusion covers for banned schools(Will SoL for Enchant, Shadow for Evoc).

It's definitely a great school, but well... To your example, Ironguard. Yeah, it hurts to lose it till you hit Ironguard but it hurts a lot less than giving up anything else would.

I agree about covering other schools though, never ban both Enchantment and Illusion.

Gralamin
2009-12-18, 03:15 AM
The best defenses against Physical attacks aren't Abjuration, they're Illusion. Greater Mirror Image. It's an 88% miss chance at the cost of 1 swift action. That's way too good. And a lot of illusion covers for banned schools(Will SoL for Enchant, Shadow for Evoc).

Greater Mirror Image is a level 4 spell. By then, you have a 140 ft speed Phantom Steed.

Ray Deflection is a personal only Wizard 4 and Bard 4 spell that makes you completely immune to enervation, Orb spells, and many other "get hit and lose" spells.

With a 140 ft speed mount, you can easily stay out of melee in most cases (some cases you will end in melee). You likely also have some sort of defense against archers (Protection from arrows, Windwall, etc). You will probably not, however, be able to stay out of range of long range spells, which some ranged touch are.

That said, I'd ban Evocation and Enchantment first, and take enjoy having both Ray Deflection and Greater Mirror Image as options.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 03:21 AM
One thing that bothers me is the apparently overwhelming dismissal of evocation. I don't disagree with the arguments against it, but the idea of the wizard tossing fireballs around is a classic. I know I was asking about optimization, but is there any way to make an Evoker on par with a wizard specializing in a more optimized school? I don't own many sourcebooks, so I'm somewhat limited in this regard.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 03:27 AM
Greater Mirror Image is a level 4 spell. By then, you have a 140 ft speed Phantom Steed.

Ray Deflection is a personal only Wizard 4 and Bard 4 spell that makes you completely immune to enervation, Orb spells, and many other "get hit and lose" spells.

Ray: Some effects are rays (for example, ray of enfeeblement). You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You donít have to see the creature youíre trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature youíre aiming at. If a ray spell has a duration, itís the duration of the effect that the
ray causes, not the length of time the ray itself persists. If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit.
Rays are outlined in the Effect section of the spell. For example, Enervation, as you said, has Effect: Ray of negative energy.
Scorching Ray? Effect: One or more Rays.

Orb spells? Effect: One orb of XXX.

Orbs are NOT rays. Ray Deflection does not work on them. (Incidentally, Ray Deflection is Level 3.)


One thing that bothers me is the apparently overwhelming dismissal of evocation. I don't disagree with the arguments against it, but the idea of the wizard tossing fireballs around is a classic. I know I was asking about optimization, but is there any way to make an Evoker on par with a wizard specializing in a more optimized school? I don't own many sourcebooks, so I'm somewhat limited in this regard.

Such a wizard is known as "Cindy".

It's based on metamagic reducers to power up your evocation. Even so, Conjuration is usually used, for the more reliable orbs.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 03:30 AM
As a PC, it burninates the enemies loot.

I'd prefer disjunction just be a "you lose your buffs" spell, with a temporary (1 round) disabling of all items. Complex, but not extraordinarily so. (maybe even an autodisable for one round on items, just to save time).

Because ninth level spells weren't powerful enough....


While I agree in principle with the general bent of posts before me (specialize in Conjuration or Transmutation with Conjuration generally having the edge, and basically always drop Evocation) - I disagree with the rest on a few points...

Abjuration is something I would never, ever suggest dropping. It not only provides the best replacements for several Evocation staples which actually are useful (Wall/Forcecage can be replaced mostly with the Prismatic line which is arguably even better in some cases) but offers you access to Maw of Chaos, Ironguard, Absorption, Superior Resistance, Dimensional Lock/Anchor, Dispel... and quite a few more. These aren't spells which might come in handy. They're spells which absolutely will. Nor can they be easily substituted out for the most part (and personally I don't buy the "someone else can do it" argument)

Yeah, being well protected is never a bad idea. Asking the cleric to put spells on you and claiming your still a mighty wizard means you're one step closer to being a monk with a partially charged wand.


Enchantment I wouldn't recommend dropping unless you're starting at levels where immunity actually starts to occur (ignoring the Protection from X line), because bluntly at low levels you are probably going to get more use from this school than every other put together unless you're involved in pure hack and slash (and even then things like Sleep, Ray of Stupidity, and Tasha's Hideous Laughter are pure gold at low levels). It's true that it decreases in usefulness as levels rise but it still holds onto some effects which you can't acquire elsewhere (albeit more things are able to ignore them later).

While I agree that at low levels, those spells are amazing, ray of stupidity abuse is just that- abuse. You may as well be using lesser shivering touch, which is in a far better spell. However, being able to utterly control another creature you'll have to give up on if you ban this school. And there will be times where you had the chance to. I suppose you could always kill your enemies, animate them, use awaken undead on them, then use command undead.


Necromancy - I don't understand the love affair other people have with this school. Most stuff here you are going to get minimal use out of (yeah, there are some debuffs, and some excellent ones at that but except for extremely specific situations your actions would be better spent otherwise anyways). The only major spells here are really Enervation (by the time this really comes into play, you'll have Limited Wish) and Avasculate (useful and interesting, but lets be honest if you're focusing on HP damage you should be able to one shot things by that level).

Too much of necromancy relies on saves, imo. Negative levels are cool, but not going to kill anything at the level you get access to them without metamagic abuse. Beyond that, too much stuff will simply ignore them if you're making a lot of use of them. Plan on facing a lot more necropolitans. Necromancy is cool for raising the undead. Suboptimal, but awesome. Nothing says "powerful wizard" more than an unliving horde at your command. The only worthwhile spells out of this school, off the top of my head, are ray of enfeeblement and ray of clumsiness (or is that trans?).


Illusion, alright it hurts to say this but if you're going Focused Specialist and not an Illusionist I'd suggest dropping it. Yep, it's awesomely versatile and has a vast number of uses both out of combat and in... but, a lot of what it does is replaced by other schools (particularly in combat) and the things which aren't are things you can afford to give up unless your game is focused in those areas. If you aren't Focused Specialist don't drop it however, and I'd advise against dropping both it and Enchantment at once regardless of the situation.

Illusion will let you mimic some of the better effects of evocation, and get invisibility. Unfortunately, Will save for % effectiveness will be passed frequently, if you're at all prone to SoD abuse. Invisibility is really cool, but there are a lot of ways to circumvent it.


Edit: Also, yeah screw MDJ. Worst spell in the game, by a long long ways. I've seen campaigns end due to a single use of it.

I've never understood why players are encouraged to be such douchetools, but if the DM ever optimizes something, everybody craps their pants.

Gralamin
2009-12-18, 03:31 AM
Rays are outlined in the Effect section of the spell. For example, Enervation, as you said, has Effect: Ray of negative energy.
Scorching Ray? Effect: One or more Rays.

Orb spells? Effect: One orb of XXX.

Orbs are NOT rays. Ray Deflection does not work on them. (Incidentally, Ray Deflection is Level 3.)
.

Indecently, Ray Deflection is level 4 without errata, according to spell compendium, and it states:

You are protected against ranged touch attacks, including ray spells and ray attacks made by creatures.
Last time I checked, Orb spells were ranged touch attacks.

Edit: Having said that, I should check for errata.
Edit2: Checked - Ray Deflection had no Errata.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 03:35 AM
I've never understood why players are encouraged to be such douchetools, but if the DM ever optimizes something, everybody craps their pants.

Because, when MDJ is used, either by players OR DM's, it invariably hurts the person it hits AND the person casting it.

It's a spell that even players shouldn't cast. This isn't a "Nuh uh, DM's can't but players go wild". This is a "the exact PC that will be crushed by it is already on the low end of the power" issue.

Wizard? Cleric? Druid? High Will saves. More likely to pass.

Fighter? Barbarian? Low Will save.

In short, it widens the disparity between the classes, and creates encounters that spoil everyone's fun.

The Cardinal Rule of any game is fun. As such, MDJ is one of the most unbalanced spells in the game.

Most DM's have issues with the use of Celerity, Shivering Touch, and the like.
Most everyone has problems with MDJ.


Indecently, Ray Deflection is level 4 without errata, according to spell compendium, and it states:

Last time I checked, Orb spells were ranged touch attacks.

Edit: Having said that, I should check for errata.
Edit2: Checked - Ray Deflection had no Errata.

My corrections stand corrected. Well played, sir.

Gralamin
2009-12-18, 03:40 AM
My corrections stand corrected. Well played, sir.

You tend to know these things when you actually like playing as an abjurer :smallwink:.

absolmorph
2009-12-18, 03:40 AM
Because, when MDJ is used, either by players OR DM's, it invariably hurts the person it hits AND the person casting it.

It's a spell that even players shouldn't cast. This isn't a "Nuh uh, DM's can't but players go wild". This is a "the exact PC that will be crushed by it is already on the low end of the power" issue.

Wizard? Cleric? Druid? High Will saves. More likely to pass.

Fighter? Barbarian? Low Will save.

In short, it widens the disparity between the classes, and creates encounters that spoil everyone's fun.

The Cardinal Rule of any game is fun. As such, MDJ is one of the most unbalanced spells in the game.

Most DM's have issues with the use of Celerity, Shivering Touch, and the like.
Most everyone has problems with MDJ.
In my soon-to-be-running campaign, MDJ will be my punishment for if the PCs are so stupid they try and take on the origin of magic (a level 40 GESTALT Wizard/Sorcerer and Cleric/Druid). Because, honestly, by the time they'll be even close to a high enough level that might be a decent idea, the campaign will be over.

Gralamin
2009-12-18, 03:42 AM
On the MDJ issue, I'm going to point out what, in my opinion is the stupidest thing in 3.5 by far.

No, it is not the obscure combos that used together make Pun-Pun, or anything like that. It is that a REPEATING TRAP OF MDJ is CR 10, and thus a fair challenge against characters of level 10. How does one call that fair? You can get the PCs loot on the way in, and on the way out of a dungeon. It's just... INSANE.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 03:45 AM
You tend to know these things when you actually like playing as an abjurer :smallwink:.

I do, actually. I've just had little interaction with Ray Deflection (cast a couple times, never attacked by a ranged ability that would require it).

Incidentally, the psionic feat that makes ranged attacks into ranged touch, as well as Bloodwind + Wraithstrike, would be rather nerfed by this.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-18, 03:47 AM
So, the thread about V's specialized school got me thinking. If you want an "optimal" wizard, is it a good idea to take a preferred school?
Yes, because getting an additional spell per day of your highest spell level is a good deal.

Even better, if your DM allows, go Focused Specialist which gives you yet more spells per day. See this thread (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19864630/Focused_Specialist_is_better_than_you_think) for an analysis.

The short of it: if you're e.g. level 9, you get two 5th-level spells. By definition, you can represent a maximum of two schools in those spells. You would get three 4th-level spells, which by definition represent a maximum of three schools. So it's all fine and dandy in theory to have access to eight schools, but for your most powerful spells you can only use three schools anyway!

Evocation is a common drop, no argument there.
Enchantment is a decent drop because so many things are immune to mind-affecting.
Necromancy is a common drop for characters that "don't do evil magic".
Abjuration is a good drop because the only spell you'll really be missing is Dispel Magic, which the party cleric or druid or warlock can cover.

So are you hurting yourself by dropping schools? Only in theory. Because in practice, you'll never use every spell in the book, and there's plenty of spells in the remaining schools to last you 20 levels.

Gralamin
2009-12-18, 03:47 AM
I do, actually. I've just had little interaction with Ray Deflection (cast a couple times, never attacked by a ranged ability that would require it).

Incidentally, the psionic feat that makes ranged attacks into ranged touch, as well as Bloodwind + Wraithstrike, would be rather nerfed by this.

Ah, I'm used to being attacked by them constantly. I'm also the sort of person who likes using Master Specialist to give the Cleric immunity to Ranged Touch attacks as well :smallbiggrin:.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 03:51 AM
Because, when MDJ is used, either by players OR DM's, it invariably hurts the person it hits AND the person casting it.

It's a spell that even players shouldn't cast. This isn't a "Nuh uh, DM's can't but players go wild". This is a "the exact PC that will be crushed by it is already on the low end of the power" issue.

Wizard? Cleric? Druid? High Will saves. More likely to pass.

Fighter? Barbarian? Low Will save.

In short, it widens the disparity between the classes, and creates encounters that spoil everyone's fun.

The Cardinal Rule of any game is fun. As such, MDJ is one of the most unbalanced spells in the game.

Most DM's have issues with the use of Celerity, Shivering Touch, and the like.
Most everyone has problems with MDJ.

I feel like getting a face full of twinned MDJ from an NPC with epic loot (meaning sweet stats), druid&friends are going to be hurting, despite their good saves. At that level, even if you fail 15% of the time, that's 15% fewer magic items. Furthermore, high level casters are extremely dependent on buffs. MDJ is very efficient for someone at an action disadvantage.

As for "looking up the item's caster level," by the time you're face MDJ, most optimized characters (they're a multiclassed full caster with gear) will have a will save higher than +12; the highest will save bonus any non-intelligent magic items will have.

Not that I'm recommending screwing your players with MDJ, but fight fire with fire, you know?


One thing that bothers me is the apparently overwhelming dismissal of evocation. I don't disagree with the arguments against it, but the idea of the wizard tossing fireballs around is a classic. I know I was asking about optimization, but is there any way to make an Evoker on par with a wizard specializing in a more optimized school? I don't own many sourcebooks, so I'm somewhat limited in this regard.

Yeah, you use metamagic abuse on evocation spells. Evocation isn't actually that awful; there are a lot of effects in the school that mimic other ones, including battlefield control and save-or-lose or save-or-die. Such spells are few and far between, and generally inferior to their counterparts in other schools. Giving up entire schools to prepare a couple extra spells/day is just... not appealing. The appeal of a wizard is that they can break any rule in the game with the right spell. Doing lots of damage is pretty blasť, considering all the ways you can do it.

With that said, if you regularly fight multiple CR equivalent+ creatures that need dead fast and have good saves, you can easily be putting out thousands of damage with evocation- far more than a Cindy wizard can hope for, since orbs are single target.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 03:54 AM
So are you hurting yourself by dropping schools? Only in theory. Because in practice, you'll never use every spell in the book, and there's plenty of spells in the remaining schools to last you 20 levels.

This is only a minor point, but a wizard can't even cast banned schools out of wands and scrolls. Not a big deal because of UMD, but it does cut down on flexibility more than that.

arguskos
2009-12-18, 03:56 AM
This is only a minor point I know, but a wizard can't even cast banned schools out of wands and scrolls. Not a big deal because of UMD, but it does cut down on flexibility more than that.
I believe Kurald's point is that you'll never NEED to use more than a handful of schools, maybe. Conjuration, Transmutation, Illusion, Divination, and Abjuration really can do everything you'll likely need for a generic "I'm awesome at magic" character. Now, obviously, sometimes you'll want to play Mr. McMindControl or Ms. UndeadArmy, meaning other schools, but for your average generic spellslinger, you can live quite happily without them.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 04:15 AM
Ah, I'm used to being attacked by them constantly. I'm also the sort of person who likes using Master Specialist to give the Cleric immunity to Ranged Touch attacks as well :smallbiggrin:.

I use that one for AMF on the Dragonborn Barbarian Ubercharger.


I feel like getting a face full of twinned MDJ from an NPC with epic loot (meaning sweet stats), druid&friends are going to be hurting, despite their good saves. At that level, even if you fail 15% of the time, that's 15% fewer magic items. Furthermore, high level casters are extremely dependent on buffs. MDJ is very efficient for someone at an action disadvantage.
You miss the point. Anything that will wipe out 15% of the (druid/cleric/wizard)'s gear that they've earned...

Will wipe out 100% of the fighter or barbarian. Disparity gap? Yup. The wizard still has 85% of his WBL, including metamagic rods, defensive items, and the like.

The fighter now has a nonmagical stick.

As for buff dismissal? Dispel Magic does that without making the players want to kill you personally. And yes, it can be made 100% reliable, with no save allowed, from a lower level slot for buff removal.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 04:19 AM
You miss the point. Anything that will wipe out 15% of the (druid/cleric/wizard)'s gear that they've earned...

Will wipe out 100% of the fighter or barbarian. Disparity gap? Yup. The wizard still has 85% of his WBL, including metamagic rods, defensive items, and the like.

The fighter now has a nonmagical stick.

That's your fault for allowing tier 5 & 4 in a game with tier 1.


As for buff dismissal? Dispel Magic does that without making the players want to kill you personally. And yes, it can be made 100% reliable, with no save allowed, from a lower level slot for buff removal.

'splain how.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 04:32 AM
That's your fault for allowing tier 5 & 4 in a game with tier 1.Barbarian can be tier 3. Standard party archetype does not consist of two wizards, a cleric, and a druid.

Besides, I consider allowing players to play what they want more important. Silly me.


'splain how.

Let's see. CL 13. Let's say, 10 levels of Master Specialist (Abjuration).

Dispel magic base: 1d20+10.
MS (Abjuration) Bonus: +5
Planar Touchstone (Calalogues of enlightenment - Inquisition Domain): +4
Dispelling Cord (2000gp, MIC): +2
Spellcaster's Bane Bonus: +2
Arcane Mastery: Take 10 on CL checks.

Now, that's 1d20 (take 10)= 10. +10 (CL) +5 (MS) + 4 (domain) + 2 (Dispelling cord) +2 (Spellcaster's Bane) = 33, or enough to dispel a CL 22 Spell. At level 13. (without Master specialist, it dispels a CL 17 spell, for 2 feats, a spell, and 2000gp of gear... However, Master Specialist sets up Iot7V and/or Archmage so perfectly, it's a solid class to choose)

Now make it a Greater Dispel, and CL 20. Still more reasonable than that phat epix lewts, and we're up to a 43, which will dispel... CL 32. Every time. For 3 spell levels lower than MDJ, without a Save.

If you want variety, drop out master specialist at high levels. It still dispels a CL 27 spell. WITHOUT permanerfing the party.

Ecalsneerg
2009-12-18, 04:46 AM
Barbarian can be tier 3. Standard party archetype does not consist of two wizards, a cleric, and a druid.


I agree with this statement. A decently optimised Barbarian in conjunction with a Batman Wizard is pretty damn nasty, albeit still weaker than a druid. Still a perfectly viable melee character.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 04:49 AM
I've seen this a couple of times now, and I just have to know.
What is a "batman wizard"?

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 04:55 AM
I've seen this a couple of times now, and I just have to know.
What is a "batman wizard"?

Do a google search for the following line:

+"Logicninja" +"Guide to being batman"

Basically, the fighter deals damage. The rogue works skills. The cleric keeps everyone alive.

The wizard does everything that everyone else can't.

Because he's the .... Batman.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 05:09 AM
Barbarian can be tier 3. Standard party archetype does not consist of two wizards, a cleric, and a druid.

You can refluff it all you want.


Besides, I consider allowing players to play what they want more important. Silly me.

CoDzilla & optimized wizards in a party with T3 means someone dropped the ball. Or the beatstick doesn't mind being useless.


Let's see. CL 13. Let's say, 10 levels of Master Specialist (Abjuration).

Dispel magic base: 1d20+10.
MS (Abjuration) Bonus: +5
Planar Touchstone (Calalogues of enlightenment - Inquisition Domain): +4
Dispelling Cord (2000gp, MIC): +2
Spellcaster's Bane Bonus: +2
Arcane Mastery: Take 10 on CL checks.

Now, that's 1d20 (take 10)= 10. +10 (CL) +5 (MS) + 4 (domain) + 2 (Dispelling cord) +2 (Spellcaster's Bane) = 33, or enough to dispel a CL 22 Spell. At level 13. (without Master specialist, it dispels a CL 17 spell, for 2 feats, a spell, and 2000gp of gear... However, Master Specialist sets up Iot7V and/or Archmage so perfectly, it's a solid class to choose)

Now make it a Greater Dispel, and CL 20. Still more reasonable than that phat epix lewts, and we're up to a 43, which will dispel... CL 32. Every time. For 3 spell levels lower than MDJ, without a Save.

If you want variety, drop out master specialist at high levels. It still dispels a CL 27 spell. WITHOUT permanerfing the party.

Arcane Mastery doesn't let you take ten in stressful situations. It's also a lot of hoops to jump through when you can just blast off a single MDJ. I'd rather have 3 levels incantatrix on my wyrm, you know?

[edit]
I'd also like to point out that dropping the MDJ on the wizard, as your standard action, is way better than putting it on the barbarian. The wizard without the barbarian is still dangerous, but the barbarian without the wizard is just a dude with a stick.

A full caster comes into combat with oodles of spells on that make him awesome; MDJ takes those off. Unless the wizard wants to get splattered in a couple rounds, he's got to put actions into being defensive.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-18, 05:13 AM
I believe Kurald's point is that you'll never NEED to use more than a handful of schools, maybe.

Precisely.

You shouldn't be looking at what you can't do ("omg I don't have protection from evil!" but at what you can do (as in, literally hundreds of spells of the remaining schools, thousands if you count more splatbooks).

Can you make a cool character given 1000 spells to pick from? Absolutely. Do you really need 2000 spells instead, or are you just repeating way-too-long "must have" lists from the internet?

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 05:22 AM
Precisely.

You shouldn't be looking at what you can't do ("omg I don't have protection from evil!" but at what you can do (as in, literally hundreds of spells of the remaining schools, thousands if you count more splatbooks).

Can you make a cool character given 1000 spells to pick from? Absolutely. Do you really need 2000 spells instead, or are you just repeating way-too-long "must have" lists from the internet?

I apologize if my previous comments annoyed you. As I said earlier, I don't have much experience with optimization/games that last much past sixth level.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 05:23 AM
Precisely.

You shouldn't be looking at what you can't do ("omg I don't have protection from evil!" but at what you can do (as in, literally hundreds of spells of the remaining schools, thousands if you count more splatbooks).

Can you make a cool character given 1000 spells to pick from? Absolutely. Do you really need 2000 spells instead, or are you just repeating way-too-long "must have" lists from the internet?

If I wanted to needlessly limit my spell selection for a few extra spells/day, I'd play a sorcerer. :smallbiggrin:

Being able to switch the entire theme of your character on spell selection alone is pretty cool, though. A wizard, given 24 hours, can sneak as well as a rogue, or fight as well as a fighter, or blast, or summon, or control, or debuff. Every banned school moves you more towards playing an "optimal" build and away from being able to satiate your desire to play multiple characters.

[edit]
With that said, focused specialists are AWESOME. Getting 4 spells of your highest level when you first gain access to them is incredible, especially when they're really awesome ones from really awesome schools, like Black Tentacles.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 05:26 AM
You can refluff it all you want.



CoDzilla & optimized wizards in a party with T3 means someone dropped the ball. Or the beatstick doesn't mind being useless.I was pointing out <High Will Save> vs <Low Will Save>. I wasn't making any claims of "optimized codzillas and wizards". Please don't strawman.


Arcane Mastery doesn't let you take ten in stressful situations. It's also a lot of hoops to jump through when you can just blast off a single MDJ. I'd rather have 3 levels incantatrix on my wyrm, you know?

ARCANE
MASTERY
You are quick and certain in your efforts to defeat the arcane defenses
and spells of others.
Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells or use spelllike abilities (including invocations).
Benefits: You can take 10 on caster level checks (as if the caster level
check was a skill check).Emphasis mine.

However, even at a roll of 1, they both still dispel equal level effects. So blah on that pointless argument.


[edit]
I'd also like to point out that dropping the MDJ on the wizard, as your standard action, is way better than putting it on the barbarian. The wizard without the barbarian is still dangerous, but the barbarian without the wizard is just a dude with a stick.

A full caster comes into combat with oodles of spells on that make him awesome; MDJ takes those off. Unless the wizard wants to get splattered in a couple rounds, he's got to put actions into being defensive.
Yup. Including: Contingency (Wall of stone surrounding me if I say "King Flufflepants"... or dimension door.) Which defeats that. Or Ready Action: Greater Dispel.

Alternately, One Ring of Spell-Battle and your boss gets hit with his own stuff. Sorry, no matter how you flavor it, it's a jerk thing to do, that will, more often than not, cost you your campaign.

Bottom line, nothing stops the party wizard from, in the absence of gentleman's agreements, teleporting the party away, Gating in a solar, using a part of that solar to simulacrum one, using it's ability to simulacrum an army of them, and teleport back with 10,000 solars on the BBEG.

There's a reason these effects aren't kosher. they destroy more than items. They destroy fun, and games.


If I wanted to needlessly limit my spell selection for a few extra spells/day, I'd play a sorcerer. :smallbiggrin:

Being able to switch the entire theme of your character on spell selection alone is pretty cool, though. A wizard, given 24 hours, can sneak as well as a rogue, or fight as well as a fighter, or blast, or summon, or control, or debuff. Every banned school moves you more towards playing an "optimal" build and away from being able to satiate your desire to play multiple characters.Focused specialists have both more spells per day, and more spells known, than a sorceror.

And why do you NEED to fight like a fighter? Why do you NEED to sneak like a rogue? Let other party members do something. The point of a wizard is to do what others can't. Not to outshine the party.

Kurald Galain
2009-12-18, 05:29 AM
I apologize if my previous comments annoyed you.
They didn't, don't worry :smallbiggrin:



Being able to switch the entire theme of your character on spell selection alone is pretty cool, though.
Sure, but transmutation and conjuration alone let you do that. Frankly I don't mind playing a build that isn't "optimal".

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 05:33 AM
Sure, but transmutation and conjuration alone let you do that. Frankly I don't mind playing a build that isn't "optimal".

Yeah, but you don't get legions of undead or thralls or get to turn invisible or make huge explosions or throw lightning. Ok, maybe the last one or two.

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-12-18, 05:44 AM
Yeah, but you don't get legions of undead or thralls or get to turn invisible or make huge explosions or throw lightning. Ok, maybe the last one or two.

Summoning would like to have a word with you on that...

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 05:47 AM
Summoning would like to have a word with you on that...

For rounds/level, unless you get to bind stuff. I'm not sure you can call undead creatures to you until you get Gate.

olentu
2009-12-18, 06:02 AM
Well there is the summon undead line that I believe is conjuration.

Myrmex
2009-12-18, 06:06 AM
Well there is the summon undead line that I believe is conjuration.

It is, but unfortunately only lasts rounds/level. No having an army of undead slaves to build things or terrorize the peasants.

Keld Denar
2009-12-18, 06:48 AM
Now, that's 1d20 (take 10)= 10. +10 (CL) +5 (MS) + 4 (domain) + 2 (Dispelling cord) +2 (Spellcaster's Bane) = 33, or enough to dispel a CL 22 Spell. At level 13. (without Master specialist, it dispels a CL 17 spell, for 2 feats, a spell, and 2000gp of gear... However, Master Specialist sets up Iot7V and/or Archmage so perfectly, it's a solid class to choose)

Slight slip on your math. I know Dispelling Cord gives a +2 CL on dispels. Since you are already capped by Dispel Magic's +10, it wouldn't have any effect. It would if you used GDM, but not with Dispel Magic. Same thing with like, the Purification Domain's granted power (+1 CL to all Abjs).

MS and Inquisition Domain both give flat bonuses, rather than bonus caster levels, so they would work as advertised.

Not sure about Spellcaster's Bane, but you might want to check it for wording. If it gives a +CL, it wouldn't work once you hit cap. Still, you can always switch to GDM, unless you are capped out on that as well.

And if Arcane Mastery couldn't be used in stressful situations, the feat would be retardedly retarded. Name one situation where you have to make a CL check that isn't at least a little stressful? MOST of the time, they are for SR checks (combat) or dispel checks (mostly in combat). Very very very few times do you need to make a CL check outside of combat, and the only one I can think of is breaking certain powerful curses and curing a couple powerful magical diseases.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 07:04 AM
Slight slip on your math. I know Dispelling Cord gives a +2 CL on dispels. Since you are already capped by Dispel Magic's +10, it wouldn't have any effect.Incorrect. Dispelling Cord gives a +2 Competence Bonus, not +2 CL. And my bad, it's not 2000gp, it's 1000gp. SOURCE: MIC, p. 94.

Not sure about Spellcaster's Bane, but you might want to check it for wording. If it gives a +CL, it wouldn't work once you hit cap. Still, you can always switch to GDM, unless you are capped out on that as well.Nope, +2 Bonus.

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-12-18, 08:18 AM
And if Arcane Mastery couldn't be used in stressful situations, the feat would be retardedly retarded. Name one situation where you have to make a CL check that isn't at least a little stressful? MOST of the time, they are for SR checks (combat) or dispel checks (mostly in combat). Very very very few times do you need to make a CL check outside of combat, and the only one I can think of is breaking certain powerful curses and curing a couple powerful magical diseases.

This was changed with the errata, which adds the usual note that it can be used in stressful situations.

Optimystik
2009-12-18, 08:24 AM
It is, but unfortunately only lasts rounds/level. No having an army of undead slaves to build things or terrorize the peasants.

That's no big loss. If you want the whole "legions of undead" thing that badly, be a cleric or dread necromancer.

Munchkin-Masher
2009-12-18, 10:09 AM
I think it is far more beneficial to make a Grey elf wizard and take the Elf wizard substitution level from Races of the Wild.

It takes away the ability to Specialize. but gives you double the free learned spells every level and one more spell slot of the highest level you can cast (it moves up when you level up.).

Saintjebus
2009-12-18, 11:50 AM
Ok, so I'm thinking a Human Bard. Formerly a "Hatecaster", has come into some disturbing information regarding the war with the Far Realms, and what actually happens to those people that he seems to remember disappearing......

As for character concept, think the heroine in V for Vendetta. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up knowing a little too much. Except male.

I'll be posting a sheet soon.

Tavar
2009-12-18, 11:52 AM
I think you want the Tippyverse Recruiting thread, Saintjebus.

taltamir
2009-12-18, 12:05 PM
One thing that bothers me is the apparently overwhelming dismissal of evocation. I don't disagree with the arguments against it, but the idea of the wizard tossing fireballs around is a classic. I know I was asking about optimization, but is there any way to make an Evoker on par with a wizard specializing in a more optimized school? I don't own many sourcebooks, so I'm somewhat limited in this regard.
As we said, the best direct damage blasting are conjuration spells; not evocation spells.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-18, 12:40 PM
The general problem with evocation (and general AOE) is that any foe it can take out? Wasn't worth your time to begin with.

A fireball at 10th caster level deals 35 average damage. 17 average on a save.

Assume 2 are used in a fight, and they hit 6 enemies twice. Assume a 24 int (18 base, 2 level ups, a +4 item) and Greater spell focus (evocation)

Let's look at CR 10.

Monster 1: Clay golem: Effect: No damage.

Monster 2: 11 headed Hydra: Effect +8 save vs Ref DC 22. Chance of passing: 35%. Weighted damage: 57.4 vs 118 hp 48.6% of HP. Mitigate: -21 damage for Fast healing 21. 36.4 damage, 30.8% of life.

Monster 3: Guardian naga. Effect: +7 save vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 30%. Weighted damage: 59.5 vs 93 HP. 63.9% life. (casts as 9th level sorc/cleric)

Monster 4: Couatl. Effect: +9 save vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 40%. Weighted damage: 56 damage vs 58 hp. 96% life. (casts as 9th level sorc/cleric with SLA's)

Monster 5: Colossal Animated Object. Effect: Ref +7 vs DC 22. Chance of Passing: 30%. Weighted damage: 59.5 damage vs 256 HP. 23.2% life.

Monster 6: Legendary Tiger. Effect: Ref +19 vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 90%. Weighted Damage: 38.5 vs 305 hp. 12.6% life.

As can be noted, none of the creatures will die from 2 direct hits. Compare to a similar Web, which will immobilize much more reliably, for the party to deal with. Or Glitterdust, which is highly likely to render the casters almost useless.

It's just not the good option.

Lord Thurlvin
2009-12-18, 12:46 PM
As we said, the best direct damage blasting are conjuration spells; not evocation spells.

Thank you, but this is more of what I was hoping to get:


Such a wizard is known as "Cindy".
It's based on metamagic reducers to power up your evocation. Even so, Conjuration is usually used, for the more reliable orbs.
Not that this is all that different from what you said, but it provided an example of an Evoker build.

jiriku
2009-12-18, 02:22 PM
Evokers can be highly effective glass cannons and moderately competant battlefield controllers. They get little respect for it because conjurers can do it better, but a highly optimized level 20 evoker can nova and dish out 2000 or more damage to multiple targets. My feeling is that, y'know, dead is dead. If all my foes have been reduced to dust drifting on the wind, I don't really care that the conjurer says he could do it better.

AirGuitarGod32
2009-12-18, 02:38 PM
That's no big loss. If you want the whole "legions of undead" thing that badly, be a cleric or dread necromancer.

Agreed.

The optimal build is as follows:

Race: Vashara Lich
Class: Dread Necromancer 10/Cleric of Vecna 10/Focused Necromancer 10

Items: Rod of Undead Mastery, several bags of holding filled with bones, bodies, and other undead material, +5 Scythe (however you want it)

Feats: Any Undead Creation boost feats, metamagic feats

Optimystik
2009-12-18, 02:40 PM
NOOOO!!! Not True Necromancer. NEIN! NYET! YAMERO!!!!

AirGuitarGod32
2009-12-18, 02:43 PM
NOOOO!!! Not True Necromancer. NEIN! NYET! YAMERO!!!!

huh? y not?

ex cathedra
2009-12-18, 02:52 PM
Agreed.

The optimal build is as follows:

Race: Vashara Lich
Class: Dread Necromancer 10/Cleric of Vecna 10/True Necromancer 10

Items: Rod of Undead Mastery, several bags of holding filled with bones, bodies, and other undead material, +5 Scythe (however you want it)

Feats: Any Undead Creation boost feats, metamagic feats

There's nothing optimal about using one of the worst prestige classes to achieve in 30 levels what many of the optimizers here could achieve in less than 20. True Necromancer is a trap.

Optimystik
2009-12-18, 03:47 PM
huh? y not?

You're making the same mistake I did - it does not advance both arcane and divine casting throughout its progression. Poor prereqs + lost caster levels + terrible abilities = bad, bad news.

Keld Denar
2009-12-18, 03:59 PM
To paraphrase K from K's Tome of Necromancy.

True Necromancer is bad. If your friend played a fighter, and took leadership, and his cohort was a fighter who ALSO took leadership, and HIS cohort was a straight wizard or cleric, he would still be bringing more necromancy to the table than you would as a True Necromancer.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 12:48 AM
Thank you, but this is more of what I was hoping to get:

Not that this is all that different from what you said, but it provided an example of an Evoker build.

both are true... an uber blaster will combine metamagic reducers (or plain metamagic) with conjuration spells.
Example: fireball is level 3, it deals a max 10d6 damage @ level 10.
Chain lightening is level 5, it deals the same 1d6/CL, but with a cap of 20d6 @ level 20.
A rod of lesser maxmize is 14k gp, it lets you maximize 3 spells a day of level 3 or lower on the fly.
non metamagic reduced plain old empower adds 50% dice damage for 2 levels...

So a level 5 slot can be used for a plain old chain lightening for up to 20d6 to main target and 10d6 to secondaries (at level 20, less before that)... or it can be used for an empowered fireball for 15d6 to everyone in blast...
And then you maximize it with the rod. and with reducers you can start to get really crazy and get literally hundreds of damage points.

now the thing is... fireball is not an ideal spell for that... there are plenty of conjuration spells which are plain better to use if you wanna blast.


Evokers can be highly effective glass cannons and moderately competant battlefield controllers. They get little respect for it because conjurers can do it better, but a highly optimized level 20 evoker can nova and dish out 2000 or more damage to multiple targets. My feeling is that, y'know, dead is dead. If all my foes have been reduced to dust drifting on the wind, I don't really care that the conjurer says he could do it better.

What spell is he using, and how is that spell superior to blasting spells from other schools?

sofawall
2009-12-19, 12:53 AM
What spell is he using, and how is that spell superior to blasting spells from other schools?

You miss the point. If an enemy has 600hp, it doesn't matter if you do 700 or 2000 or Graham's Number. It is just as dead.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-19, 12:54 AM
What spell is he using, and how is that spell superior to blasting spells from other schools?Best 20th level blasting is Abjuration:Time Stop+Maw of Chaos. And Maw of Chaos. And, if you're feeling annoyed, Maw of Chaos.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 01:03 AM
You miss the point. If an enemy has 600hp, it doesn't matter if you do 700 or 2000 or Graham's Number. It is just as dead.

it does if it is save for half. it does if he has a 50% immunity, it does if the spell in question allows SR while an equivalent conjuration spell does not, etc...

I want to know what spell it is that is being discussed here, because I am arguing that the evocation blaster spells are inferior to blasting spells from other schools.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 01:14 AM
it does if it is save for half. it does if he has a 50% immunity, it does if the spell in question allows SR while an equivalent conjuration spell does not, etc...

I want to know what spell it is that is being discussed here, because I am arguing that the evocation blaster spells are inferior to blasting spells from other schools.

However, that is not what the poster is saying.

Also, all those 'what if' statements are irrelevant.

Conj. spell does not allow SR, no save, ray that hits single target, and does 3000 force damage.
Evoc. spell does not allow SR, no save, ray that hits single target, and does 1500 force damage.

The enemy is a 20th level VoP Totemist with 600 hp.

Does it matter which one you use? They remain just as dead both ways.

This is the point that is being made. There is nothing here about one being better than the other. the point that is being made is "If both spells do the same job to the same level of satisfaction for a particular target, does it matter which spell is used against that target?"

ex cathedra
2009-12-19, 01:17 AM
it does if it is save for half. it does if he has a 50% immunity, it does if the spell in question allows SR while an equivalent conjuration spell does not, etc...

I want to know what spell it is that is being discussed here, because I am arguing that the evocation blaster spells are inferior to blasting spells from other schools.

There are many fantastic evocation blasting spells. Combust is likely the single best metamagic seed you'll find, not to mention other lovely evocations like Love's Pain that aren't entirely replicated by other schools (obviously, excluding Illusion, since it does literally that).

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-12-19, 01:20 AM
There are many fantastic evocation blasting spells. Combust is likely the single best metamagic seed you'll find, not to mention other lovely evocations like Love's Pain that aren't entirely replicated by other schools (obviously, excluding Illusion, since it does literally that).Has anyone ever allowed Love's Pain? Because really. Someone was drunk when he wrote that.

Tyndmyr
2009-12-19, 01:22 AM
You miss the point. If an enemy has 600hp, it doesn't matter if you do 700 or 2000 or Graham's Number. It is just as dead.

You miss the point. He's making huge claims. It's reasonable to ask him to back them up.

I pulled over 170 damage off a single lightning bolt tonight. At level 9. It involved a decent lineup of targets, a good damage roll, and save failing. It doesn't prove that lightning bolt is an awesome spell, though. There are plenty of other situations in which it'd be correspondingly terrible.

You need to know the details to compare spells accurately.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 01:26 AM
What, you mean 2000 damage? You actually don't think that can be hit?

Twin Split Repeat Maximized Disintegrate basically hits that, and I didn't even use tricks to make it do energy damage for Admixture.

And at level 9, without Incantatrix, 150 damage for an average AoE blast against a single target wouldn't be so out of place, never mind against a whole row of enemies.

EDIT: And besides, the point in question is, "who cares how much your spells do if both kill the enemy dead?"

EDIT2: Where "the enemy" is any value you want. Tarrasque? Ok.
"Who cares how much your spells do if both kill the Tarrasque dead?" Troll?
"Who cares how much your spells do if both kill the Troll dead?" Ghost?
"Who cares how much your spells do if both kill the Ghost dead?"

See how that statement works? Sure, not all spells are going to fit for all enemies, but as far as pure unadulterated damage, who cares if you do 1400 or 14000?

taltamir
2009-12-19, 01:33 AM
What, you mean 2000 damage? You actually don't think that can be hit?

no, I don't doubt it being doable, I am asking him to explain how he has gotten it. Rather then accept "evocation is a better school because I use it to do 2000 damage in one hit"

PS. What school is "streamers"?

Tyndmyr
2009-12-19, 01:35 AM
What, you mean 2000 damage? You actually don't think that can be hit?

I didn't say that. I did imply that his method may have significant downsides, or a high chance of failure.


Twin Split Repeat Maximized Disintegrate basically hits that, and I didn't even use tricks to make it do energy damage for Admixture.

Doesn't work in a wide variety of situations that say, an orb would. Like say, a non-object target. Also, it allows a fort save against most of the damage, and is vulnerable to spell resistance.

It also requires rather hefty metamagic reduction to be castable at non epic levels.

Your example is blatantly inferior to orbs.


EDIT: And besides, the point in question is, "who cares how much your spells do if both kill the enemy dead?"

If one enemy isn't dead because you missed, then yeah...I care. The reason orbs are awesome is not the damage. D6*level hp damage is not exceptionally awesome. It's awesome because damn near nothing can prevent that damage.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 01:38 AM
Disintegrate

Disintegrate is transmutation... My argument is that evocation spells are sub par... his argument is that it isn't true because he used an evocation spell to do that much damage. I am asking what spell and how.

My intent is to take the exact same metamagics, reducers, etc and apply them to conjuration DD, necromancy drains, and transmutation DD and see if it comes out better or worse than the example evocation spell...
AND take into account things like SR and saves.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 01:42 AM
My feeling is that, y'know, dead is dead. If all my foes have been reduced to dust drifting on the wind, I don't really care that the conjurer says he could do it better.

This is what I am addressing. Dead is dead. Yes, Conjuration is better. Yes, it is more versatile. No, it does not do more damage.

Who cares how it died, as long as it died.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 01:44 AM
This is what I am addressing. Dead is dead. Yes, Conjuration is better. Yes, it is more versatile. No, it does not do more damage.

Who cares how it died, as long as it died.

But it does deal damage more reliably. The difference is generally:
Touch attack vs Saving throw.

Gralamin
2009-12-19, 01:47 AM
Best 20th level blasting is Abjuration:Time Stop+Maw of Chaos. And Maw of Chaos. And, if you're feeling annoyed, Maw of Chaos.

Just Three? We aren't nearly ticked off enough yet. :smalltongue:





If one enemy isn't dead because you missed, then yeah...I care. The reason orbs are awesome is not the damage. D6*level hp damage is not exceptionally awesome. It's awesome because damn near nothing can prevent that damage.

Except a 4th level Abjuration spell, various forms of elemental immunity, and a few other choice defenses. But otherwise, yes.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 01:48 AM
Yes, conjuration is more likely to have killed off the opposition. I do not care. Bear with me a moment.



1. Spell is fired.
2. Enemy is hit with spell/spell misses.
3. Saves/SR are checked and rolled.
4. Damage is done.
5. Immunities and resistances are checked and deducted from damage.
6. Damage done is added to total damage received, and checked against HP.
7. Monster dies or lives, as HP total dictates.


Most people here are going from step two, I'd say. I am saying, from the perspective of step 7, assuming the result is "Monster dies", who cares what spell is used.

I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 01:50 AM
This is what I am addressing. Dead is dead. Yes, Conjuration is better. Yes, it is more versatile. No, it does not do more damage.

Who cares how it died, as long as it died.

The school is more versatile, but we are not talking about that.

It is simple, both evocation and conjuration can be used by DD to get really high damage dice...
The conjuration spell can ignore SR and is easier to hit with. The evocation does not.
This means using an evocation spell with aleph damage increases your chances of completely "missing" the enemy and doing no damage, while other schools are more likely to result in the death of your target, it is that simple.

And none of it is an argument for refusing to tell us the name of the so called spell being used and the method used to get it to 2000 damage. I want to know the name and metamagic used. Otherwise I am just going to ignore the claim.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 01:53 AM
Yes, conjuration is more likely to have killed off the opposition. I do not care. Bear with me a moment.

1. Spell is fired.
2. Enemy is hit with spell/spell misses.
3. Saves/SR are checked and rolled.
4. Damage is done.
5. Immunities and resistances are checked and deducted from damage.
6. Damage done is added to total damage received, and checked against HP.
7. Monster dies or lives, as HP total dictates.
Most people here are going from step two, I'd say. I am saying, from the perspective of step 7, assuming the result is "Monster dies", who cares what spell is used.

I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

gah, nobody cares if the monster died... except it is not GOING to die X amount of times because of steps 3-6. If spell A ignores SR and spell B allows SR and they are both completely identical otherwise, spell A is better, because more times when used spell A will work and spell B will fail. etc.

The monster is NOT killed equally by spell A and B, because A is a better spell that will result in a kill more often.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 01:58 AM
And none of it is an argument for refusing to tell us the name of the so called spell being used and the method used to get it to 2000 damage. I want to know the name and metamagic used. Otherwise I am just going to ignore the claim.

Favourite part about the repetition of this. You quoted someone else. I quoted someone else. Someone else said that. I did not. Yet you keep asking me. How am I supposed to know which of his spells with whatmetamagic did 2000 damage?

I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Tyndmyr
2009-12-19, 01:59 AM
Yes, conjuration is more likely to have killed off the opposition. I do not care. Bear with me a moment.

More likely to have killed off the opposition = better.

Seriously. This isn't rocket science here.


Most people here are going from step two, I'd say. I am saying, from the perspective of step 7, assuming the result is "Monster dies", who cares what spell is used.

Because when you fail your SR check, your damage is 0, and the monster does not, in fact, die?

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:00 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 02:06 AM
1. Spell is fired.
2. Enemy is hit with spell/spell misses.
3. Saves/SR are checked and rolled.
4. Damage is done.
5. Immunities and resistances are checked and deducted from damage.
6. Damage done is added to total damage received, and checked against HP.
7. Monster dies or lives, as HP total dictates.


{table=header]Step | Evocation | Conjuration
Spell Fired | Autopass | Autopass
Enemy Hit/Miss | Autopass | Touch Attack
SR Checked | Check | Autopass
Saves | Reflex Half | None
Damage | No Advantage | No Advantage
Immunities/Resistance | All Apply | AMF is Neutralized, Common Sonic or Force
Rider Effects | Less Common | More Common[/table]
Damage is then applied to the monster.

Note: Replacing the Save with a touch attack generally makes the spell more accurate, though a touch attack is essentially equivalent to a very high DC <XXX Negates>.

Conjuration bypasses many immunities that creatures have. SR (and by extension, golem immunities), AMF's, etc. Conjuration is easily other damage types, that are less common, and harder to protect against.

That's why it's better. Flexibility, accuracy, reliability, and adding an additional secondary effect to the ability.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:07 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 02:09 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

...and what if the enemy isn't, because the spell failed an SR check?
Or was in an AMF?
Or had a decent Reflex Save?

I listed damage as comparable. Both have killing power.

But in many situations, the enemy Will be dead from one school, and Won't be dead from the other.

In those situations, who cares? Anyone.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:11 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Statement A: I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations
Statement B: But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Statement B is a self contained true statement.
Statement B is irrelevant to statement A.
Statement A proves that you know that statement B is irrelevant to statement A

Query: why do you keep repeating statement B if you know it is irrelevant?

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:13 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Signmaker
2009-12-19, 02:20 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Because, a more reliable killing method means it's more likely that you'll be able to tell stories about how you killed it. Because you're not dead.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:21 AM
I know Conj is better. I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations. But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 02:22 AM
I know Conj is better.Agreed.

I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations.Thank you for pointing out that there are situations where Conjuration WILL kill, and Evocation WON'T.

But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.Thank you for showing that the spells are identical, once you discount all the situations where Conjuration would kill and evocation wouldn't.

Basically, this is:
"I know this is better. But if you discount everything that makes this better, aren't they the same?"

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:31 AM
"I know this is better. But if you discount everything that makes this better, aren't they the same?"

I think he is just trying to tick us off now. he has repeated that same sentence 4 times now despite the sentence being self contradictory.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:34 AM
[02:31] sofawall: People keep saying "But this means is better!" and I am saying "**** the means, I am referring to the end. If you want to talk about the means, go right ahead. But don't say I'm wrong"
[02:31] sofawall: "Because the end is what I refer to"
[02:31] Sign: That's why I didn't address the means
[02:31] sofawall: "The means may as well not even exist for my purposes"
[02:31] Sign: I addressed the probability of ever reaching the 'ends'
[02:31] sofawall: Why would you not reach an end?
[02:31] Sign: No one cares once you've succeeded, but you have to get their first
[02:31] Sign: Because you fail?
[02:32] sofawall: The means is not sufficient?
[02:32] sofawall: OH****! Means again.
[02:32] Sign: Exactly. There exist certain means which don't work as well as others
[02:32] Sign: ...and?
[02:32] Sign: You can't talk about one without the other
[02:32] sofawall: Take everything from the death of the monster backwards.
[02:32] Sign: They coexist.
[02:32] Sign: Okay.
[02:32] sofawall: Do that, and now delete it.
[02:32] Sign: I kill something.
[02:32] sofawall: I don't care about that.
[02:32] Sign: Okay?
[02:32] sofawall: The monster is dead on the ground.
[02:33] Sign: I'd like to make a comparison, if you will
[02:33] sofawall: Do I care whether it was a fireball or an orb?

There was more, but it is basically irrelevant, more for the purposes of dissecting my posts.

I know Conj. is better. I have never said it wasn't. I never said that for going from Living Monster to Dead Monster, it didn't matter. What I said was if you are already at Dead Monster stage, does it matter what killed it? "But sofawall, conj. has a better chance to get to dead monster stage!" Yes it does. I actually said that myself. I don't need to be told it again. I also said, rather explicitly, that I did not care. My entire point, my argument in its entirety, is "If both schools kill a monster equally, does it matter which one was used?"

EDIT: Taltamir, I wasn't trying to tick you off. I was just repeating that statement as it was my entire argument.

Signmaker
2009-12-19, 02:39 AM
"If both schools kill a monster equally, does it matter which one was used?"

No, it doesn't. However, it is unknown whether or not schools do so equally, as you cannot examine that from the 'dead' state. That would be achieving 100% success in your analysis, when you know for a fact that spells will fail occasionally. Starting parameters and battle context happen to be quite important, not just the observation that "It is now dead". And so, the discussion exists, to compare different schools.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:42 AM
EDIT: Taltamir, I wasn't trying to tick you off. I was just repeating that statement as it was my entire argument.

You don't have an argument.
Statement A: I know it will kill more reliably in a larger amount of situations
Statement B: But if the enemy is dead, who cares what school it was that killed it.

Statement B is a self contained true statement.
Statement B is irrelevant to statement A.
Statement A proves that you know that statement B is irrelevant to statement A

There is no damn argument here. You are simply making irrelevant statements which prove that you know that they are irrelevant.
1. Nobody cares which school killed the monster if it is dead.
2. The monster is NOT dead because you used an inferior school.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:42 AM
No. However, it is unknown whether or not schools do so equally, as you cannot examine that from the 'dead' state. That would be achieving 100% success in your analysis, when you know for a fact that spells will fail occasionally. Starting parameters and battle context happen to be quite important, not just the observation that "It is now dead"

I know my statement is almost meaningless outside of itself, but since so many people were trying to convince the statement itself was wrong, when it very well cannot be, to my knowledge, I felt defending it was in order.

EDIT: This goes to Taltamir as well.

And if there was no argument, why were you arguing that it was false for so long?

Or rather, not even touching my statement but instead twisting it for your own purposes, in this case making it into a conj. vs. evoc. argument.
I'll note I stated my position on that front no less that 5 times, but people felt compelled to keep telling me exactly what I had already said.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:43 AM
I know my statement is almost meaningless outside of itself, but since so many people were trying to convince the statement itself was wrong, when it very well cannot be, to my knowledge, I felt defending it was in order.

You didn't make a wrong statement, you made two statements. And they had no correlation to each other. You stated that this was somehow an argument when statement A proved that you KNOW that statement B is irrelevant.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:47 AM
I editted, you may want to read it.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 02:48 AM
The issue is:

PC's don't start with dead monsters, unless they're investigating murders.

PC's start with living enemies, and must kill them. As more of the wizards that use conjuration will succeed, and more that use evocation will fail...

Then the choice of school has a bearing on life expectancy. And that is not a meaningless statistic. I actually DO care about that.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:50 AM
I freely admit that your argument is both valid and all parts of it are true. I also contest that it has zero bearing on my own.

Signmaker
2009-12-19, 02:51 AM
I know my statement is almost meaningless outside of itself, but since so many people were trying to convince the statement itself was wrong, when it very well cannot be, to my knowledge, I felt defending it was in order.

And if there was no argument, why were you arguing that it was false for so long?

Or rather, not even touching my statement but instead twisting it for your own purposes, in this case making it into a conj. vs. evoc. argument.
I'll note I stated my position on that front no less that 5 times, but people felt compelled to keep telling me exactly what I had already said.

Because, as like the man in XKCD, I find it frustrating to know that people are 'wrong' on the internet.

And yes, I did touch your statement. You're asking if it matters how you killed something if it's already dead. From that particular point of view, 'no'. It's dead and you can move on with your life. But if we're talking about a comparison of schools, which is what this thread is supposed to be about, then you can't use that kind of blanket supposition as a constructive argument. For one, it does nothing to further the discussion. For another, it's inherently unrelated to the discussion, because the discussion, being a comparison of school choices, implies the need for superiority between schools, which knowledge of the fact results from experience and calculation, both matters that extend before and after the "it's dead" phase.

So yes, you can keep complaining that we haven't answered the heart of your question. That's because it's pointless to, because there really isn't a question that's relative to the thread, just a detraction from constructive comparison. So we can either answer your question, or the OP's. And being the OP, he did sort of ask first.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:54 AM
So yes, you can keep complaining that we haven't answered the heart of your question. That's because it's pointless to, because there really isn't a question that's relative to the thread...

I actually agree, but also would like to make a rejoinder. I think I made it in the last post, however.
EDIT: I didn't, actually. I meant to. EDIT2 is incoming.

I made a post. I actually would have been happy to leave it at that, as all I was doing was defending an earlier post. Others, however, decided to post against mine. None of them really had any bearing on mine, but kept calling me wrong (or rather in some cases, implying it extremely strongly). So while I admit what I posted has little value outside of itself, people were determined to respond to it, so I kept the debate going.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:54 AM
I freely admit that your argument is both valid and all parts of it are true. I also contest that it has zero bearing on my own.

ok, ill bite... why does his argument have zero bearing on yours?

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:55 AM
Joke: "I know wizards are better. I know a wizard will kill something more times and in more situations than a commoner, but if the monster is already dead, what does it matter if it was a wizard or a commoner that killed it?"

sofawall
2009-12-19, 02:56 AM
Because my argument cares not for how it died. His talks about how it dies. How many times have I said that? (I am tempted to actually go count, right now)

EDIT: Answer to joke: It doesn't.

Yay!

taltamir
2009-12-19, 02:59 AM
we said it a million times. Statement B is a true but irrelevant statement.

It is like saying "Conjuration is better than evocation. I am wearing blue pants today".

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 03:01 AM
I freely admit that your argument is both valid and all parts of it are true. I also contest that it has zero bearing on my own.

I freely admit that all of the above is true.

I also contest that your argument has zero bearing on decisions of what school to use, what school to ban, or anything relevant to the quality of the spells.

The only situation where your argument applies is creatures with a high touch AC, low reflex save, and no SR. In that instance, who cares how it died?

I submit that it's far too situational to have any practical application.

Which means, I contend that your argument is absolutely meaningless.

sofawall
2009-12-19, 03:02 AM
Ok, how about this. Take out part A. All that was just me saying "What you say about conjuration is correct".

Part B has no bearing on part A. Part A has no bearing on part B. I believe it was you the decided to make the two issues related. next time, when I am talking about two different things, I'll make sure to break the forum rules and double post to make sure you understand.

EDIT Above is to taltamir, below is to Pheonix.

What I said has nothing to do with the OP. However, what I posted, every bit of it, has something to do with the discussion going on in the thread at the time. The OP does not control the thread, if the thread goes somewhere else, it will continue to do so until Roland locks it or someone asks it to stop diverging, which only happened fairly recently.

Actually, no it hasn't happened. Comments on it not fitting have happened, but no one has made any comments about it going back to what it was before.

EDIT2: Of course it happens as I am typing this up.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 03:03 AM
ok enough of this... back to the actual topic.

Sstoopidtallkid:
Abjuration:Time Stop+Maw of Chaos
I love abjuration... one of the most awesome schools ever :)

jiriku:
so can you tell us how you got 2000 damage (and highly effective damage at that) with an evoker? I really wanna know.

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 03:05 AM
Ok, how about this. Take out part A. All that was just me saying "What you say about conjuration is correct".

Part B has no bearing on part A. Part A has no bearing on part B. I believe it was you the decided to make the two issues related. next time, when I am talking about two different things, I'll make sure to break the forum rules and double post to make sure you understand.

Or you could state: "and, on a different note..."

But yes.

Whether a creature died from cloudkill or delay blast fireball doesn't change that it died.

It also means you're going at things with 5hd when you have 5th and 6th level spells.

What's that mean? Nothing.


ok enough of this... back to the actual topic.

Sstoopidtallkid:
Abjuration:Time Stop+Maw of Chaos
I love abjuration... one of the most awesome schools ever :)

jiriku:
so can you tell us how you got 2000 damage (and highly effective damage at that) with an evoker? I really wanna know.

Cindy MM abuse with Tainted Scholar and Subverted Psion, I'm guessing.

Gralamin
2009-12-19, 03:06 AM
Oh, we are going back to the actual topic again?

And once again, I endorse the use of Maw of Chaos, which I cannot endorse enough, because it is a hilarious spell. Why it is abjuration? I honestly have no idea. I guess because it directly disrupts casting, it automatically ends up as Abjuration?

PhoenixRivers
2009-12-19, 03:11 AM
Oh, we are going back to the actual topic again?

And once again, I endorse the use of Maw of Chaos, which I cannot endorse enough, because it is a hilarious spell. Why it is abjuration? I honestly have no idea. I guess because it directly disrupts casting, it automatically ends up as Abjuration?

Yes. One of my fave level 20 combos is:

Rod Maximized Time Stop

1: Rod Maximized Maw of chaos, Swift action: Arcane Spellsurge
2: Rod Maximized Maw of Chaos, put up Rod, Extended Dimensional Lock
3: Draw Rod, Rod Maximized Maw of Chaos, Extended Forcecage(solid)
4: Extended Forcecage (bars).
5: Twiddle thumbs.

Myrmex
2009-12-19, 04:34 AM
The general problem with evocation (and general AOE) is that any foe it can take out? Wasn't worth your time to begin with.

A fireball at 10th caster level deals 35 average damage. 17 average on a save.

Assume 2 are used in a fight, and they hit 6 enemies twice. Assume a 24 int (18 base, 2 level ups, a +4 item) and Greater spell focus (evocation)

Let's look at CR 10.

Monster 1: Clay golem: Effect: No damage.

Monster 2: 11 headed Hydra: Effect +8 save vs Ref DC 22. Chance of passing: 35%. Weighted damage: 57.4 vs 118 hp 48.6% of HP. Mitigate: -21 damage for Fast healing 21. 36.4 damage, 30.8% of life.

Monster 3: Guardian naga. Effect: +7 save vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 30%. Weighted damage: 59.5 vs 93 HP. 63.9% life. (casts as 9th level sorc/cleric)

Monster 4: Couatl. Effect: +9 save vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 40%. Weighted damage: 56 damage vs 58 hp. 96% life. (casts as 9th level sorc/cleric with SLA's)

Monster 5: Colossal Animated Object. Effect: Ref +7 vs DC 22. Chance of Passing: 30%. Weighted damage: 59.5 damage vs 256 HP. 23.2% life.

Monster 6: Legendary Tiger. Effect: Ref +19 vs DC 22. Chance of passing: 90%. Weighted Damage: 38.5 vs 305 hp. 12.6% life.

As can be noted, none of the creatures will die from 2 direct hits. Compare to a similar Web, which will immobilize much more reliably, for the party to deal with. Or Glitterdust, which is highly likely to render the casters almost useless.

It's just not the good option.

What if you had to fight 3 of those monsters at once, at ECL 10? With the two casters, throwing a couple fiery empowered fireballs, you'd end them in a turn, maybe two.

Granted, dividing & conquering with a solid fog, black tentacles and/or a haste and letting melee clean up would get the same results, and probably be safer, but I think it would make combat last longer and give the opponents more chances to do things. You can be more resource efficient with more risk if you blast. If you use a more exotic spell than fireball, then you can get better results, too.


And if Arcane Mastery couldn't be used in stressful situations, the feat would be retardedly retarded. Name one situation where you have to make a CL check that isn't at least a little stressful? MOST of the time, they are for SR checks (combat) or dispel checks (mostly in combat). Very very very few times do you need to make a CL check outside of combat, and the only one I can think of is breaking certain powerful curses and curing a couple powerful magical diseases.

There are plenty of retarded feats. It doesn't change RAW. Errata does, though.

taltamir
2009-12-19, 11:37 AM
What if you had to fight 3 of those monsters at once, at ECL 10? With the two casters, throwing a couple fiery empowered fireballs, you'd end them in a turn, maybe two.

Granted, dividing & conquering with a solid fog, black tentacles and/or a haste and letting melee clean up would get the same results, and probably be safer, but I think it would make combat last longer and give the opponents more chances to do things. You can be more resource efficient with more risk if you blast. If you use a more exotic spell than fireball, then you can get better results, too.

Fighting several of those at once... rather then killing one and taking it out of the fight, you are wasting actions doing piddling damage to all at once.
Furthermore, you are wasting actions, since you are level 10+ now to be doing 10d6 with it. This means you have much better spells.

Finally, if you MUST blast, you can use a superior blasting school.

Tyndmyr
2009-12-19, 12:15 PM
I actually see illusion as fairly droppable. I know, I know, this is generally considered heresy, but consider this: True Seeing. Scent. Tremorsense.

There are quite a few ways to negate the school. True seeing is particularily bad, since it entirely invalidates everything with ease. As a school, illusion starts out awesome, and invisibility/grtr invisibility are highly useful at first, but as you get higher, more and more things start to have things that negate these. Most of the time, the most dangerous monsters are most likely to have these abilities to begin with.

Now yes, there are a few exceptions. Phantasmal Killer is pretty cool at the level you get it, but even that fades in usefulness pretty quickly, due to the two save thing. Wierd is even worse...at the level you cast ninth level spells, it's rather unlikely that they'll fail both will and fort. One of them is bound to be a strong save. Plus, SoDs are easily available elsewhere.


Now, enchantment is definitely more droppable, but I see little wrong with dropping both enchantment and illusion. If necessary for incantatrix or master specialist, evocation is also an easy drop.

You can lose all three, and in practical terms, not really lose that many options.

deuxhero
2009-12-19, 12:22 PM
(Focused) conjurer banning evocation and enchantment (and necromancery). Though any other caster in the party definitely effect ban choice (A friendly Dread Necro ups necromancy in the "to ban" list, Beliguer ups illusion... and enchantment if it could get any higher up.)

Optimystik
2009-12-19, 05:37 PM
@ Tyndmyr: The problem with dropping both enchantment and illusion is that you've now given up most of your Will attacks. Necromancy has a few, but they tend to be fear-based, which many monsters are resistant or immune to (even more than are immune to mind-affecting in fact.)

In addition, while the abilities you listed do make illusion less useful at high levels, it's a moot point if the wizard doesn't live long enough to get there. Illusion is the best school for helping wizards survive to see double digits.

Ultimately, the schools you drop should depend on who you're adventuring with. If you have a beguiler around, you can feel pretty safe dropping illusion and enchantment, while if you have a cleric handy, abjuration and necromancy can safely be considered. One thing we can all agree on, however, are the usefulness of conjuration and transmutation - for which wizards get very unique spells.