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WinWin
2011-04-11, 08:46 AM
Okay. Abandoning 4e and starting an AD&D game. Got tired of the system, I won't go into it and not looking to start a fight, I will say I am looking for a versatile or creative character to play.

Looking towards creating a spellcaster of some kind, Druid is already taken, so I don't want to double up. Other roles/classes being played are undetermined as of yet.

It has been a few years since I have played this system, so I am lloking for thoughts on different characters.

Wizard? Cleric? Illusionist? Is multiclassing worth it? I know it could add to survivablility, but it also slows overall advancement. Should I even try to make a Bard if I get some lucky rolls?

Any thoughts or advice the playground could offer would be appreciated.

hamlet
2011-04-11, 09:17 AM
It all depends on what you want to do. Versatility in what way?

Multiclassing can be worth it, if you are prepared for the consequences of level limits and slowed progression, but yeah, can definately be worth it. If that's the angle you want, a thief/magic-user or illusionist is a great combo. The skills can compliment each other dramatically, especially when you rely on subtle illusions and invisibility rather than brute force approaches.

Cyrion
2011-04-11, 10:41 AM
I've always enjoyed illusionists, though it depends a lot on what the DM allows you to accomplish with your illusions; phantasmal force is a whole different beast than silent image. You might also consider two-classing as an illusionist/magic-user.

Multi-classing won't slow your advancement by a large margin, unless you go for one of the triple class options. I worked out the progression once, and for a given number of total experience points, you are usually just a single level behind a single class character, though sometimes it's two levels.

Caliphbubba
2011-04-11, 11:14 AM
Mage/Cleric is pretty versitile and you're really not that far behind as far levels go.

I played a Fighter/Mage/Thief for a very very long time and had loads of fun using lower level spells to good effect. and to be perfectly honest at the higher levels of play I thought 4th and 5th level spells pretty much all sucked.

as others have said Illusion is mostly up to the DM, it can be really cool...but I guess it's just the crowd I run with...it tends to get nerfed pretty hard.

Greylond
2011-04-11, 05:15 PM
My favorite is always a Elven Magic-User/Thief. Pretty good spread of skills, can hang on the edges of the combat. Spell use can easily add to your Thief skills.

Keep in mind the classic combo of Shocking Grasp and a Long Sword, especially for a BackStab with that Extra Zap!

You playing 1st Ed or 2nd?

Mark Hall
2011-04-11, 06:06 PM
Some of this comes down to edition and personal preferences. In 1e, for example, fighter/magic-users can use any armor, while in 2e they cannot.

Generally speaking, multiclassing is awesome at 1st level, and slowly becomes less so. You don't out and out suck, but you're about a level behind a single-classed member of either class (even more so in the case of a thief), and you frequently run into conflicting abilities.

So, who do you want to play? Personally, I like Illusionists, but if you're going with an illusionist, it's one of those "There's really no reason not to play a gnome and to not multiclass as a thief", unless your DM is a stickler about level limits.

WinWin
2011-04-11, 06:30 PM
I am unsure of the system at the moment. I was told AD&D, but it may be 2nd edition.

I was looking to play something that could add a little depth to the tactical landscape as well as solve problems in an unorthodox manner.

1e, my choice seems fairly obvious. Illusionist, perhaps multi-class. Even if I just choose to spam Phantasmal Force, I can be creative and get some versatile results.

If it is actually a 2e game, that changes things. I know the DM was a fan of the Players Option series, so they may be available. I might try and tinker with a specialist mage chassis, take up some flavouful supernatural limitations and perhaps add a couple of thief skills. How it would interact with the kits in the Wizards Handbook is beyond me.

As soon as I get a little more information, I'll post my prospective character for evaluation. Thank you all for the advice.

Mark Hall
2011-04-11, 06:42 PM
If he's a fan of the PO, then you're probably going to be playing 2e.

Generally, I don't allow the mixing of PO and the Complete Handbook kits... it's too easy to make kit disadvantages irrelevant, and gain bonuses for doing so.

If you're looking at a battlefield control-type, illusionists are good, but so are druids.. Entangle and the various fog-type spells do great at that, with Entangle letting your archers tear up melee monsters, and the fog cloud spells allowing your melee monsters to tear up archers. :smallbiggrin: A LOT of it depends on how your DM runs illusions.

Shpadoinkle
2011-04-11, 07:06 PM
Some of this comes down to edition and personal preferences. In 1e, for example, fighter/magic-users can use any armor, while in 2e they cannot.

Actually, in 2e fighter/mages can wear any armor they want... they just can't cast spells in it (unless it's elven chain or elven plate.)

Bracers of Armor are considered a good investment after a while, but at low levels there's the level 1 spell Armor, which gives you an AC bonus of... either 4 or 6, I don't recall right offhand, but anyway, it lasts 8 hours. Keeping one or two memorized at low levels is a good plan.

At higher levels... I can't recall the name or the book it's in, but I could swear there was a magic item that let you send one piece of equipment to a pocket dimension and resummon it, equipped, at will.

Mark Hall
2011-04-11, 07:41 PM
Bracers of Armor are considered a good investment after a while, but at low levels there's the level 1 spell Armor, which gives you an AC bonus of... either 4 or 6, I don't recall right offhand, but anyway, it lasts 8 hours. Keeping one or two memorized at low levels is a good plan.

Armor was a lovely spell. It's duration wasn't measured in hours, but in number of HP of damage you had taken. At 1st level, it could stand 9hp worth of damage... enough to kill your single-classed wizard twice over. So you could cast it on Tuesday, and go adventuring on Thursday with it still intact.

rayne_dragon
2011-04-11, 09:35 PM
Be forewarned that spellcasters are rather pathetic at early levels, so you may want to be multiclassed if you're going to start at level one. Multiclassing is great for versatility at low levels. I highly recommend it. I also find that clerics can be really useful, although how much so depends on personal taste.

WinWin
2011-04-12, 03:35 AM
Found out the DM meant 2nd edition when he said AD&D.

Parts of the PO series are in (critical hits...), he is not too thrilled with the idea of me making a class with optional abilities and limitations though. Providing I get the attribute rolls required, I'll probably be going with Specialist Mage (Illusionist). Any multiclassing or dual classing will depend will depends on what I roll.

I'll probably take the Witch kit if the dice go my way. I'll see if I can still take a few supernatural limitations (such as being unable to cross running water or handle iron) in order to gain access to necromancy.

Game starts tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for providing a solid sounding board.

Mutazoia
2011-04-13, 09:37 PM
Well this is a little late but I usually find a Cleric/Thief to be a potent combo. Nothing like being able to cast silence when you are breaking and entering....and depending on the DM...at higher levels...sneaking up on some one and then slapping them on the back with a "slay living"

Few things are funnier than some random evil henchman getting a surprise Slay Living in the small of the back.

Matthew
2011-04-14, 11:33 AM
Let us know how it turns out.

WinWin
2011-04-14, 10:34 PM
I was lucky and I got the attribute rolls required for Illusionist. Not just that, but my character is the only one in the party with an attribute over 16 (rolled a 17)!

The guy that wanted to play a druid went with a mage/thief because of his rolls. Also have a fighter/cleric and a ranger. Another player may be joining next week.

Took the witch kit. The DM was not amused when I pointed out that my character got to start with magical items. I got a frown and then an evil grin as he picked the spells that my character knew. Hold Portal, Phantasmal Force and Taunt. This was in addition to the Read Magic and Detect Magic that are granted by the kit as a bonus.

Spent about half my allotted gold on clothing and various food, herbs, spices and miscellany. Current melee weapons are a torch and a spade. Ranged weapons are some flasks of oil and a half dozen darts. Total non-proficiency in all those weapons.

Characters name is Nox. Abridged background is that he was drawn into a coven as a youth and instructed on how to harness supernatural powers though contact with outer planar intelligences (mainly ghosts and fey...though something Darker could have been masquerading as a benevolent spirit). Nox is a fantasist and an idle dreamer. He attempts to avoid combat out of laziness rather than fear. He is fairly arrogant, not just because of his youth, but because of his power to effect the perceptions of others.

Because of the Warlock background, I decided to take a few RP disadvantages. Aversion to running water in the belief it will drain his magic. Similarly an aversion to iron. Nox also tends to get lost at crossroads. Additionally, he has red hair and a prominant witches mark (birth mark)on his next and face. So far he has been asked to leave a village...I have the suspicion that pitchforks are going to be involved if he has to be asked twice.

Not much got done at the game, campaign-wise. Mainly character generation and introductions. Looking forward to the next game. A fantastic change of style and pace from other systems.

Toofey
2011-04-14, 10:51 PM
The optional limitations and custom characters are not worth the tradeoff's typically in game terms. I am going to go against pretty much everyone in here and say that you should decide who you want your character to be then pick the class etc... 2nd ed is nice in that you can really play any character effectively because it's a loose system so there aren't really limits on what you can try.

My next character may well be a halfling thief, which is one of the more fun combinations to play. remember at lower levels that your bonus to hit applies to oil/firebombs.

dsmiles
2011-04-15, 07:03 AM
Take a look at the Chronomancer supplement for 2e, if that's the system. Either that or the Psionics Handbook. 2e psionics my be a little confusing, but it's still fun.

For a 1e game, I recommend a gnomish illusionist/thief. Great times, there.

Cyrion
2011-04-18, 10:17 AM
Your DM wasn't being particularly evil with his grin if he gave you phantasmal force. Check with him carefully on his rulings for the spell- it can be very powerful. If your victims believe it, it can have physical effects.

Keep in mind that for a wizard, that's a third level spell you just got at first level.

WinWin
2011-04-18, 06:27 PM
I have yet to use the spell in combat with this character, so I don't know how the DM is going to rule it's use.

I suspect the visual only limitation is going to be a problem for some challenges and combat encounters. Great for ambushing goblins with illusions of archers in the woods (firing within the confines of the AoE, obviously), not so good for deterring hungry wolves that track by scent. The lack of thermal components to the image will probably alert creatures with Infravision as well.

Also, my character has a lack of familiarity with many monsters and supernatural creatures, so any attempt to create a Dragon will probably look more like Barney the Dinosaur than a firebreathing terror.

It has the potential to be very powerful, but I suspect it will be heavily nerfed after a couple of games or so. I'm not going to abuse the spell, because illusions are the focus of my character, so I don't want to spoil any advancement (Improved Phantasmal Force, Spectral Image, Shadow Monster, etc).

Mark Hall
2011-04-18, 06:56 PM
Never underestimate the power of the simple illusion of a wall.

Shpadoinkle
2011-04-19, 01:19 AM
Yep. Doubly so because there are spells that create actual walls. You can also use it as a bluff stand-in for summoning spells without reducing credibility, because most everyone knows about these kids of spells and won't have any reason to suspect they're illusion until after interacting with them- make the illusions impressive enough and they won't WANT to interact with them (a wall covered in in a tangled mess of jagged spikes and razor sharp wires coated in some obviously poisonous/corrosive substance, for example.)

hamlet
2011-04-19, 08:52 AM
With illusions, subtlty is the key. Building illusions around expectations will work better than "oh crud there's a dragon we didn't see lurking in the corner ten minute ago!" The less reason somebody has to doubt it, the less chance the illusion will be broken. Something as simple as a glimmer of light in the distance (or adjusted to look as if it's in the distance) or the glitter of a coin on the ground to get an opponent to drop his guard or turn his back is really the key.

Or, in a particularly nasty case, simply create an illusion where the ledge the victim is lurking on is 18 inches further out than it actually is.

Mark Hall
2011-04-19, 11:20 AM
Other useful illusions:

1) Silent undead. Especially in a crypt or something similar, throwing out some illusory shadows or wraiths is VERY believable.

2) Bait. Sure, Illusory treasure is a good bait. What about an illusory soldier with an illusory arrow in him? Or an illusory enemy, weakened and dying? Or food? Something that compels your enemy, through his own weaknesses, to come to where you want him.

3) Tunnel. Hard one to pull off, but if you need to take several people across an open space, try an illusion of that space without those people in there. It lets you move invisibly, though you have to concentrate and anyone blundering into the area is going to realize something is up.

hamlet
2011-04-19, 11:33 AM
Other useful illusions:
3) Tunnel. Hard one to pull off, but if you need to take several people across an open space, try an illusion of that space without those people in there. It lets you move invisibly, though you have to concentrate and anyone blundering into the area is going to realize something is up.

Also a great way to set up an ambush. Opponents think they're walking down a corridor 10x10, but in actuality are walking out into a wide open space where you have archers and spearmen all round them.

Mark Hall
2011-04-19, 11:51 AM
My group was going up against an assassins guild headed by an illusionist/assassin. While he chatted with the paladin, his high-level cohorts were hiding in the illusory foliage nearby, waiting to death attack them.

wumpus
2011-04-19, 07:04 PM
Never underestimate the power of the simple illusion of a wall.

Never underestimate the power of a staircase shifted a couple of feet forward.

First things first. AD&D isn't 4e. It isn't 3.5e. I played 1e, but had a hard time finding things that couldn't fit a single splat book while playing Baldur's Gate.

To paraphrase Xykon: Versatility is versatility. It isn't a class feature, it isn't a spell, it isn't a feat. Either you got it or you don't. Of course, being D&D, the DM has to wrap his mind around the idea that there isn't a simple rule to look up for everything. Once he grasps that he just quickly makes a ruling on whatever insane stunt you are going to pull off (and hopefully make it look like it was exactly what Gygax said), you will be playing AD&D.

WinWin
2011-04-20, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the advice. Came in handy.

Used PF to create bait for some wolf riding goblins (the wolves saved once they were in close range). The image of a couple of woodsmen trying to start a campfire. Lured them into an ambush fairly well.

Created a net lined with hooks that was tossed over a surprised goblin. Dismounted the guy and kept him locked down for the encounter.

Finally, Created an image of an angry bear running out of a burning farmhouse. The farmhouse was real, the bear was just a copy of one seen earlier in the adventure (that the ranger befreinded). Kept 4 goblins busy until my character was knocked unconscious.

Mutazoia
2011-04-26, 10:25 AM
3) Tunnel. Hard one to pull off, but if you need to take several people across an open space, try an illusion of that space without those people in there. It lets you move invisibly, though you have to concentrate and anyone blundering into the area is going to realize something is up.

That one is good for pursuing monsters as well, ala looney toons... you take the right turn then throw up the illusion that the turn is 10 feet further and watch them run full tilt into the wall.

Mark Hall
2011-04-26, 10:28 AM
That one is good for pursuing monsters as well, ala looney toons... you take the right turn then throw up the illusion that the turn is 10 feet further and watch them run full tilt into the wall.

On this note, it might be useful to establish that your illusionist studies art. :smallbiggrin:

WinWin
2011-04-27, 09:06 AM
I did take Engineering for this purpose. Not that I have had much opportunity to alter the terrain at the moment.

I have had the chance to pull off a few looney toon stunts though. Mainly tripwires and gremlins pulling bags over peoples heads. Nothing lethal as of yet, just action denial for the most part. Once my character gains a level I should have the freedom to use a spell or two out of combat. Looking forward to it.

JonestheSpy
2011-05-02, 12:50 AM
One of the most tricky bits of AD&D was determining whether an illusion was believed or not. No rules at all, pretty much completely up to the DM.

Mark Hall
2011-05-02, 01:58 PM
One of the most tricky bits of AD&D was determining whether an illusion was believed or not. No rules at all, pretty much completely up to the DM.

Well, you can attempt to disbelieve, which falls into a saving throw. OTOH, it leads to "I disbelieve the barmaid".

Tvtyrant
2011-05-02, 02:13 PM
Well, you can attempt to disbelieve, which falls into a saving throw. OTOH, it leads to "I disbelieve the barmaid".

"The barmaid looks hurt and offended. "I am too a virgin!" she cries as she runs out of the room weeping."

Mutazoia
2011-05-03, 08:09 PM
"The barmaid looks hurt and offended. "I am too a virgin!" she cries as she runs out of the room weeping."

That would be a programmed illusion....