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sonofzeal
2010-03-14, 11:03 PM
So, a friend of mine who is pretty inexperienced at D&D wants to play a Wizard. He's highly amused by Conjuration and Illusion, but also wants "doom nukes".

Now I'm aware of LCB and similar tricks, but those aren't really up our alley. What I'm looking for is a few feats to boost his blast spells, without getting too heavily into metamagic abuse complexities. The guy's a newb, and we want him to be able to run his own character.

That said, we're starting at level 10, all books are allowed, and homebrew accepted. Four feats available. The goal is effective combat blasting with minimal added bookkeeping. Bonus points if you keep higher level spell slots open for the fun and useful Illusion and Conjuration stuff.

Caphi
2010-03-14, 11:05 PM
Energy Admixture chain? Maybe twin/chain spell. I think a topic a while ago was talking about Energy Gestalt, too.

Occasional Sage
2010-03-14, 11:07 PM
All efforts will fail. You will always need more dakka.

WAAAUUUUUGGHHHHH!!!!

tyckspoon
2010-03-14, 11:15 PM
hmm.. well, it'd be a little bit easier if he was a Sorcerer. Maximize Spell + Easy Metamagic (Dragon Magazine, somewhere) + Practical Metamagic (Races of the Dragon) would lower Maximize to a +1 adjustment, with no limit on uses/day. Hard to get much easier bookkeeping than that- when he wants to nuke, he just marks off a spell slot one level higher and does max damage. You can get similar feats as a Wizard (Metamagic School Focus, for example) but they're not as good as Practical Metamagic- all the ones I know of apply to a limited set of spells, are usable a limited number of times/day, or both.

sonofzeal
2010-03-14, 11:18 PM
Energy Admixture chain? Maybe twin/chain spell. I think a topic a while ago was talking about Energy Gestalt, too.
Twin and Admixture are both +4 metamagics, and we can only cast 5th level spells right now. Even with Arcane Thesis, we can't get Fireball off the ground. Energy Gestalt is pretty cool but hard to keep track of (tactical feats usually are) and we're not going Evocation.

Any other ideas?

sonofzeal
2010-03-14, 11:21 PM
hmm.. well, it'd be a little bit easier if he was a Sorcerer. Maximize Spell + Easy Metamagic (Dragon Magazine, somewhere) + Practical Metamagic (Races of the Dragon) would lower Maximize to a +1 adjustment, with no limit on uses/day. Hard to get much easier bookkeeping than that- when he wants to nuke, he just marks off a spell slot one level higher and does max damage. You can get similar feats as a Wizard (Metamagic School Focus, for example) but they're not as good as Practical Metamagic- all the ones I know of apply to a limited set of spells, are usable a limited number of times/day, or both.
Oooo.... some good ideas there!

Sorcerer might cut down on bookkeeping, too. Think that's a good idea?

Abd al-Azrad
2010-03-14, 11:25 PM
hmm.. well, it'd be a little bit easier if he was a Sorcerer. Maximize Spell + Easy Metamagic (Dragon Magazine, somewhere) + Practical Metamagic (Races of the Dragon) would lower Maximize to a +1 adjustment, with no limit on uses/day. Hard to get much easier bookkeeping than that- when he wants to nuke, he just marks off a spell slot one level higher and does max damage. You can get similar feats as a Wizard (Metamagic School Focus, for example) but they're not as good as Practical Metamagic- all the ones I know of apply to a limited set of spells, are usable a limited number of times/day, or both.

Maximum damage is good, but honestly, I'd recommend Empower as your basis here, both for the fact that it saves you a feat for the same essential effect, and that you get to roll a ****-ton of dice. This guy's a newer player who wants to blow stuff up. The sheer experience of all those damage dice in one's hand, the thrill of the blast, that's what you want to roll with.

Grab Empower Spell and Easy Metamagic (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Easy_Metamagic) (the one which doesn't require you to be a sorcerer dragonblood) or Arcane Thesis (if you're not allowing crazy-go-nuts magazine-sourced feats) then burn a few 3rd-level slots with 12d6 Empowered Scorching Rays or 4th-level slots with 15d6 Empowered Fireballs. Easy, cheesy, saves your best spell slots and allows plenty of dakka.

Admiral Squish
2010-03-14, 11:28 PM
Just gonna say: Psion, with empower power/maximize power, overchannel and talented. Psion is always always always my first choice for DAKKA!

sonofzeal
2010-03-14, 11:31 PM
Just gonna say: Psion, with empower power/maximize power, overchannel and talented. Psion is always always always my first choice for DAKKA!
Psion is indeed first choice of DAKKA. However, they aren't so hot at the Illusions, or the more colourful Conjurations. Specifically, he's looking forward to being able to summon a big nasty beast and then make it look like Abraham Lincoln while it bites people's heads off. I think we're sticking with arcane. =P

Admiral Squish
2010-03-14, 11:39 PM
...Astral construct + sculpting check?

Soonerdj
2010-03-14, 11:40 PM
For all you Conjuration "MOAR DAKKA" needs you could use Orb spells from Spell Compendium.

Not only are they Conjuration spells but they hit on ranged touch with no saves or SR. That and if you get Orb of Force it is Medium range and only a 4th level spell. While only dealing 1d6 per level (maximum 10d6) it is a way to make sure you miss rarely, in other words Moar is fine but always Moar is the best.

That and look into Lesser Orbs as well, 1st level spells that are Range:Close with a Ranged Touch Attack and No Save or Sr. They max at damage at 9th level but 8d8 for a 1st level spell slot is still good at 10. Also a nice Arcane Fusion (CM) means you can cast that Orb of Force with a True Strike attached.

Auto 25 on Touch AC is very nice.

sonofzeal
2010-03-14, 11:43 PM
...Astral construct + sculpting check?
Possible! I've gotten halfway through explaining the magic system already though, and I don't want to confuse him by tossing out something entirely different instead. I'll show him Psions eventually though, don't you worry.



As far as Sorcs go, I really have no idea how to PrC. Master Specialist is a huge boon for Wizards I find, but not really Sorc-appropriate. I know Wild Mage amused him. Anything else you guys would recommend?

Soonerdj
2010-03-14, 11:47 PM
For Variability:

Mage of the Arcane Order: Requires a bad feat to get in (Arcane Preparation) but you can trade 2 spells slots to cast any spell you want. Which given that you can't generally learn useful yet situational ones like Rope Trick or Hold Monster etc. It can be just what the Arcanist ordered.

For Power:

Incantatrix is the crown of Sorc Damage dealing for reason best discussed in another thread (one I have to credit for basically teaching me all I know about being a blaster. Mailman: A Direct Damage Sorcerer (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19868534/The_Mailman:_A_Direct_Damage_Sorcerer)

DragoonWraith
2010-03-14, 11:57 PM
In terms of Dakka, I'd think Force Missile Mage. Don't they get some absurdly silly number of Magic Missiles eventually?

sonofzeal
2010-03-15, 12:03 AM
In terms of Dakka, I'd think Force Missile Mage. Don't they get some absurdly silly number of Magic Missiles eventually?
At this level, without shenanigans, we're looking at... oh....

Twinned Magic Missile: 14 missiles.

Not absurdly silly, but if you chained/repeated/whatevered, you could get right up there. I'm strongly considering this though!

sonofzeal
2010-03-15, 12:08 AM
For Variability:

Mage of the Arcane Order: Requires a bad feat to get in (Arcane Preparation) but you can trade 2 spells slots to cast any spell you want. Which given that you can't generally learn useful yet situational ones like Rope Trick or Hold Monster etc. It can be just what the Arcanist ordered.

For Power:

Incantatrix is the crown of Sorc Damage dealing for reason best discussed in another thread (one I have to credit for basically teaching me all I know about being a blaster. Mailman: A Direct Damage Sorcerer (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19868534/The_Mailman:_A_Direct_Damage_Sorcerer)
MotAO is a bit too complicated, and really making use of it requires knowing a vast number of spells yourself. I'll avoid this for my newb friend.

Incantatrix is always possible, though a bit cheesy for my tastes, and the fluff is a little awkward. I'll keep it in mind though.

DragoonWraith
2010-03-15, 12:14 AM
You could always combine things, do a Sorcerer/Force Missile Mage/Incantatrix, and take advantage of ... that one spell where you cast a 4th and 1st level spell at once from a 5th level slot?

Pluto
2010-03-15, 12:17 AM
Energy Gestalt (CMage) isn't the most powerful feat. But it is useful. (Nauseate and Slow while you blast, occasionally getting some bonus damage in.) And, more than that, it's fun.

Born of Three Thunders (CArc) too. Adding stunning and knock-downs to spells at the cost of the next round's actions adds interesting decisions while gambling on the action economy. And Sonic damage never hurt.

I also like Acidic Splatter (CMage), but less for combat and more for burning through stuff at will.

Kylarra
2010-03-15, 12:26 AM
I'd strongly suggest either storm bolt or fiery burst reserve feats. Not going to contribute much to your overall doom nuke, but they'll let you fire all day for keeping a single high level slot in reserve. Well they do give +1CL, but most things cap after a certain point anyway bar cheese.

sonofzeal
2010-03-15, 12:42 AM
After much conversation, he's decided he's in love with Effigy Master. This will reduce DAKKA, but he's cool with that.

Fiery Burst reserve feat is also a go, and I'll probably toss him a couple feats for metamagicing efficiently. Thanks everybody!

taltamir
2010-03-15, 12:50 AM
show him the warlock... warlock X/binder 1/hellfire warlock 3.
its not nuclear like wizard or sorc, but it will let him do consistent high damage all day long without running out of mana... err... spells.

If not, I Agree with the sorcerer + easy empower idea. Anything more then easy empowered is just way too metamagic cheese (and that is already rather metamagic cheesy if you compare it to the poor fighter and the like). He could still be mister nuclear.

I recommend actually completely banning meta reducer feats. just give him empower, maximize, quicken, and let him buy rods of lesser maximize/empower.
the rod can allow him to add more juice a limited amount of times per day. Just remember that a CL10 fireball is 10d6, an empowered fireball 10d6 x 1.5 (but I'd let him roll 15d6 for the cool factor), a maximized fireball is 60 damage, and a maximized empowered fireball is 60+10d6*0.5 damage (most people do it as +5d6 because its easier; I would let him do that). (aka, you still roll the base dice and multiply empowered dice)... if the dice is odd (aka, 9d6 + 50%). then roll and extra dice and half its value... aka 9d6 becomes 13d6 + 1d6*0.5

sonofzeal
2010-03-15, 12:53 AM
show him the warlock... warlock X/binder 1/hellfire warlock 3.
His gf's playing a warlock. =P

Gorilla2038
2010-03-15, 01:53 AM
Not really what your asking for, but if he wants more dakka, you cant go wrong with the uber shot.

Sudden Max, Sudden Empower and Sudden Admixture means x3 damage in a single shot. Its always nice to use that on a chain lighting. Best part to me? If your campaign is only middle level char op, that goes away after once be day and the party doesnt feel as over shadowed.

GreyMantle
2010-03-15, 02:19 PM
Honestly, you could just double or 1.5 damage dealing spells across the board. Maybe give him items that can mess with energy resistance.

As sucky as Evocations currently are, I doubt that'd affect the balance much, especially if he's really such a new player.

Alternatively, give each element a "rider "effect" that happens on a failed save. So fire damage-on fire for a coupla rounds; cold-slowed maybe; electricity-stunned; force-knocked back/prone; acid-on fire, only with acid damage. That sorta thing.

That way, he would get to make interesting tactical decisions while still blowing [feces] up. If he starts messing around with metamagic feats, then it could get out of hand, but he won't necessarily do so if he's already having fun.

Rainbownaga
2010-03-15, 06:34 PM
Born of three thunders + explosive spell fireball (works best as sorcerer). Sudden widen helps.
level 5 spell slot; if they fail the reflex save they are thrown out of the fireball taking damage with distance and fall prone.
If they fail the fort save they are stunned and have to make another reflex save, which is arguably another chance to get thrown out.

And when you can cast level 9 spells, use metamagic abuse to do it with apocalypse from the sky. Wheeee!

ImperiousLeader
2010-03-15, 06:56 PM
One feat blasting sorcerers should consider is "Residual Metamagic" from Complete Mage. It allows a sorcerer that cast a Maximized spell the last round to cast the same spell maximized this round, but without having to use the higher level slot.

sonofzeal
2010-03-15, 09:37 PM
Any suggestions for making the Effigies more effective? He's probably going to pick something wild and random and cool, and it'll be up to me to make it useful and survivable.

ImperiousLeader
2010-03-16, 12:15 AM
My (admittedly limited and possibly out of date) Char Op knowledge is that the big thing about Effigies is that their cost is solely dependent on hit dice ... which means that using templates can seriously enhance the base creature you're making an effigy out of.

Gorilla2038
2010-03-16, 12:47 AM
Hydras. They still retain the "11 headed AOO" ability, and thats just to good for a wizard to ask for in a bodyguard.

KellKheraptis
2010-03-16, 01:00 AM
Four feats for blasting : Empower Spell, Arcane Thesis, Elven Spell Lore, Easy Metamagic. Yay, free Empowered Hellfire X from their original slot, and a bonus free + to dispels :D

sonofzeal
2010-03-16, 01:09 AM
My (admittedly limited and possibly out of date) Char Op knowledge is that the big thing about Effigies is that their cost is solely dependent on hit dice ... which means that using templates can seriously enhance the base creature you're making an effigy out of.
Right, right, and someone was pulling Psionic Sandwich tricks there that were later disproven... I think.

Sounds like a plan though. Takes what he gives me, toss a template on it to make it more useful, write up the stats, and call it a day. :P

KellKheraptis
2010-03-16, 01:16 AM
Quick question SoZ, would Ultimate Magus accelerated casting fly in this group? I could get him a CL of 31@20th with nothing more than raw levels (that's before feats, gear, and buffs). Also, is Metaphysical Spellshaper allowed? Staying away from UM fast-tracks, you could go Wizard 2/MPSS 3/Incantatrix 7/SCM 3/Halruuan Elder 5 for the blasts from hell, as you're casting out of 20th level slots, effectively tripling every blast emulated by Shadow Illusion (double from 20th level slot, free empower and maximize, all through the wonders of Circle Magic). Basically anything he does is based on Silent Image, so all feats can center around that, and since he's both Vancian and spontaneous (Illusion Mastery ACF), he can take both Practical and Easy Metamagic on Silent Image. You'd have to be on your toes (or the DM would) to determine what he's doing with his spells, but since it can all be done from Shadow Miracle, he can magic it up to his heart's content, and the secret to world breaking power will be safe. Just make sure he NEVER reads about any of my SCM's and realizes he's sitting on the key to godlike power :P

Ganurath
2010-03-16, 01:22 AM
Arcane Thesis, Energy Admixture, Born of Three Thunders. Your Fireballs, when using a 5th level slot, will deal 12d6 fire, 12d6 electric, and force several saving throws at 10th level. Throw in Explosive Spell at later levels for extra fun. Also, see if your DM will allow the use of Rule of Cool to allow a combination of Celerity with Cooperative Spell so the caster can cooperate with himself to boost his blasts.

AslanCross
2010-03-16, 02:08 AM
Empower Spell is pretty strong, actually, and in many cases (or so I hear) more worth it than Maximize.

taltamir
2010-03-16, 02:18 AM
Honestly, you could just double or 1.5 damage dealing spells across the board. Maybe give him items that can mess with energy resistance.

do that actually... encouraging him to abuse the rules with meta reducers and the like is not a good idea. Things like arcane thesis should be banned outright.

Just tell players all direct damage from spell is 1.5x or 2x the printed value and you are golden. Part of it is how things changed. a 1e fireball did 10d6 damage. A 3e fireball STILL does 10d6 damage. A dragon in 3e has TEN TIMES the HP of a dragon in 1e... Also in earlier editions blasts could "stack"... that is, if you cast a fireball or lightening in a closed room it "bounced" off the walls and hit things multiple times for multiples of the damage.

So yea, a plain old increase to damage will do just fine and save you having to give out obviously broken abilities and encourage their abuse.
because, what happens when he or one of the other characters tries to use those exact same feats on more effective spells?

Tytalus
2010-03-16, 07:57 AM
A simple way to get more dakka is the Reserves of Strength feat from DLCS. Flavorful, too.

Good PrCs are DL's War Mage (Age of Mortals), even if the prerequisites are a pain, and the aforementioned Force Missile Mage.

All three work very nicely with each other.

As for effigies, there's no need to optimize anything as you can simply create effigies of templated creatures. Go nuts on the template stacking and be done with it.

PinkysBrain
2010-03-16, 08:31 AM
Telekinesis is a good core massive damage spell, if you don't mind cheese.

The optimal use is with colossal++++ bolts, but lets be nice and stick to weapons. Siangham's are good, they are light ... he can violent thrust 10 colossal siangham's for 40d6 of damage (these things are ~20 feet long, so you probably want to shrink item them to carry them around).

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-03-16, 11:40 AM
First of all, one of the most efficient metamagic feats to use would be Split Ray in CA. It's basically Twin Spell for only +2, and it technically only works on Effect: Ray spells, though you could allow it to work on any ranged touch spell. It combines nicely with Ocular Spell in Lords of Madness, another +2 metamagic which converts a spell into a ray and stores it in one of your eyes. You can keep two such spells stored at once for up to eight hours, and it's a single full-round action to release both simultaneously.

As an example, say a character has those with a Lesser Rod of Maximize and Arcane Thesis: Sound Lance (3rd). Each metamagic feat adds two for a total of +4, Rod of Maximize is added for free, and it's reduced by three levels to a 4th level spell slot. He stores one in each eye, and when he releases them he fires four rays at up to four separate targets for 80 Sonic damage each, Fortitude half. That can be 160 damage to two targets, 320 damage to a single target, etc. for a single full-round action. Sound Lance isn't the best choice of damaging spells, but it's conveniently low level.

Sanctum Spell (CA) is another decent choice for several reasons. First of all, if you intentionally use it outside your designated sanctum you reverse-Heighten the spell by one level. A 4th level spell such as an Orb of (Energy) would be considered a 3rd level spell and would be eligible for a Lesser Rod of Maximize. Second, it counts as a metamagic feat for Arcane Thesis, thus reducing your total metamagic costs by one more level. Plus it allows you to get around the errata for Arcane Thesis and potentially be able to cast the spell from a spell slot one level lower. On top of that, you can put 4th level spells into Spell Storing weapons with this.

I'd suggest he go with a Grey Elf Wizard, using the generalist Elf Wizard 1 substitution level to get an extra spell slot of his highest available level. Get a stack of +1 Spell Storing Arrows and put spells like (Rod of Maximized) Sound Lance in each one. Use the Fighter Feat Wizard (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#wizard) variant from UA to get Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot as his Wizard 1 and 5 bonus feats. Go something like Wizard 5/ Incantatrix 5 starting out, get more Incantatrix then maybe pick up Archmage or Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil. Be sure to say he visited the Otyugh Hole (CS) to get Iron Will for 2,000 gp instead of spending wasting a feat on it to qualify for Incantatrix. Being a newer player you probably won't need to worry about him breaking the game wide open with this character, especially considering his fixation on blasty spells.

Soranar
2010-03-16, 12:27 PM
my favorite 1 spell fits all option is using 4 levels of Frost mage for piercing cold (especially valuable for sorcerers as you suddenly use any cold spell to deal with anything)

you ignore all cold immunity or resistance (even if it's granted by magic items or spells so watch out for friendly fire/ice)

Mark Hall
2010-03-16, 02:19 PM
Simple method:

1) Decide that the universe is a single, living entity.
2) Believe this totally.
3) Target universe with a Polymorph Any Object spell
4) Transform the entire universe into a gun.
5) Fire that gun.

You might now have enough dakka.

Abd al-Azrad
2010-03-16, 03:26 PM
Simple method:

1) Decide that the universe is a single, living entity.
2) Believe this totally.
3) Target universe with a Polymorph Any Object spell
4) Transform the entire universe into a gun.
5) Fire that gun.

You might now have enough dakka.

But... if you fire the Universe... and any conceivable target is a part of that Universe... how would you hit anything?

And, like... what would you use for ammo? Is each plane a different bullet? Can it be? Can I have a gun that fires one bullet that is all fire, then another that is all negative energy, and yet another that is infinite hordes of demons?

Optimator
2010-03-16, 04:26 PM
You'd need to cast PAO multiple times. The Universe's saves are quite high.

KellKheraptis
2010-03-16, 04:32 PM
You'd need to cast PAO multiple times. The Universe's saves are quite high.

And doesn't fail on a natural 1, and always rolls a 20, from all those greater deities in there. Betcha a high enough Taint score can do it though :P