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Tyger
2007-06-19, 08:01 AM
Hey all, hoping you can help me pimp up this wizard character a bit. About to level up to level 9 (level 7 wizard, level 2 Mage of the Arcane Order) and at level 9 I am going to get 2 feats, one of which must be metamagic (MoAO bonus feat). My stats are thusly:

Human
STR 13
DEX 16
CON 19 (+2 from item)
INT 20
WIS 13
CHA 13

Feats at the moment:

Scribe Scroll
Improved Initiative
Sudden Empower (which I will be retraining for Empower asap)
Extend Spell
Co-operative Magic (Feat sucks as I am the only caster in the party, but its the pre-req for MoAO)
Craft Wondrous Items

Party composition is Ranger (were-wolf), Elven Scout with a Knight cohort, monk/psychic warrior and me. We have a cleric, but he's on hiatus (hopefully he'll be back in a couple months.

Books available is pretty much anything, subject to DM approval.

Any thoughts? I was thinking of taking one more crafting feat (as our DM doesn't really allow the purchase of magic items) and to benefit the party the most, was thinking of grabbing Arms and Armor. That leaves me in need of one metamagic feat. LogicNinja's guide raves about Chain Spell, but maybe I am short sighted, but I don't see a tonne of use for this one.

Any advice is much appreciated.

martyboy74
2007-06-19, 08:40 AM
LogicNinja's guide raves about Chain Spell, but maybe I am short sighted, but I don't see a tonne of use for this one.

It depends on your spell selection, and the number of enemies you usually face. If you face large groups of enemies fairly regularly, then its a godsend, because it allows you to blast off debuffs (ex. slow, shivering touch, ray of clumsiness, etc.) like a machine gun without burning slots like one. It's also useful for the same reasons when using buffs on your party.

Tyger
2007-06-19, 08:44 AM
It depends on your spell selection, and the number of enemies you usually face. If you face large groups of enemies fairly regularly, then its a godsend, because it allows you to blast off debuffs (ex. slow, shivering touch, ray of clumsiness, etc.) like a machine gun without burning slots like one. It's also useful for the same reasons when using buffs on your party.

So does Chain Spell work on Rays? I kind of got the impression that it did not.

Keld Denar
2007-06-19, 08:46 AM
I'd highly recommend split ray. You can already split ray of exhaustion as a 5th level spell for an automatic exhaust on any target, or a good chance at getting 2 low fort save targets. Exhausted targets are crippled pretty bad, especially if they are primarily melee oriented targets. You can also split Scorching Ray as an easy way to multiply damage. I think there are also level 2 or 3 rays that do mental stat damage, but their names escape me. If you can hit a caster with aprox 6-7 points of caster stat damage(ie int to a wiz, wis to a cleric), that reduces their castable spells down to like, 1st and 2nd only. In 2 levels, you'll have level 6 spells, and you can split ray eneveration. 2d4 negative levels = win. That is considering you have at least a couple decent ray spells.

As for the other feat, now is as good a time as any to pick up quicken, which is vital to end game wizarding. Quickened true strike is 5th level, and perfectly castable by you already. Quickened Ray of Enfeeble + Split Ray of Exhaustion means something like -13 or so str on average with no save.

Tyger
2007-06-19, 09:07 AM
Per request, here's the character's spell list.

Level One:
Burning Hands
Charm Person
Cheat
Companionís Gaze (personally researched spell that allows caster to see through familiar's eyes)
Ebon Eyes
Enlarge Person
Expeditious Retreat
Grease
Identify
Mage Armor
Magic Missile
Magic Weapon
Protection from Evil
Ray of Enfeeblement
Shield
Sleep
Summon Monster I
Unseen Servant

Level Two:
Baleful Transposition
Continual Flame
Glitterdust
Invisibility
Mirror Image
Rope Trick
Scorching Ray
Spider Climb
Summon Monster II
Web

Level Three:
Dispel Magic
Fireball
Fly
Haste
Stinking Cloud
Summon Monster III
Wind Wall

Level Four:
Confusion
Defenestrating Sphere
Evardís Black Tentacles
Solid Fog

I haven't yet chosen my level five spells, but they will very likely be Overland Flight and Telekinesis.

My role in the party is generally an all around faciltator of whatever needs doing. I do dish out damage from time to time (Fireball always in reserve for those nasty swarms, and goold old Magic Missile) but generally I try to solve the problems that no one else can. Knight unconcious under water and being eaten by some giant worm leech thing? No problem, summoned huge centipede grapples the beast and pulls them both above the water. Were-wolf character goes crazy on us? No worries, Baleful Transposition him and my raven familiar so we can slam and lock the door, keeping him on the other side. Etc etc. Not quite the Batman, but aiming for it.

Soepvork
2007-06-19, 09:10 AM
I'd recommend Quicken spell (or, if you are using action points, Action Surge). Extra actions are always good for a spellcaster

Catch
2007-06-19, 09:13 AM
So does Chain Spell work on Rays? I kind of got the impression that it did not.

It does. Chain Spell and Split Ray work wonders with spells like Ray of Exhaustion and Enervation.

Tyger
2007-06-19, 09:18 AM
Hmmm... in that case, Chain Spell is looking better and better. While Split Ray looks great, if I can accomplish teh same thing (sort of) with Chain (albeit at +1) then it seems pretty clear there.

And yes, Quicken is on the table, but I think that's going to be my level 12. At this point, my level 5 slots are just too precious (only have 2!) to use it enough. Once I crack 12th though, things change!

Keld Denar
2007-06-19, 09:42 AM
I know you wanted feats, but I'd really look hard at your choice of level 5 spells. Overland flight is good utility, but you probably don't want more than 1 memorized. Telekinesis I think is a weak compliment to that. Telekinesis is a decent utility spell (or completely broken with violent thrust and some cheese posted elsewhere) but it just doesn't have the oompf to be your main 5th level spell. I think you'd get more disabling action out of a quickened RoEnf, a split RoExh, or another 5th level spell like cloudkill, dominate person, or hold monster.

Also of note, chain spell doesn't allow targeting of the same target twice, so it's more of a crowd spell. It also drops the save DC, making it better for spells without saves such as targeted dispel or buffs like G Magic Weapon or Magic Vestiments. Split ray lets you target the same target both times, which means spells like enervate and RoExh and some other decent low-mid level spells double in power. It's almost like having a quickened spell, but better, except it only works on rays. On top of that, split ray is only a +2 adjustment, while chain is a +3. It's more valuable earlier. Chain is really good in level 20 builds, but +3 is just too much sometimes for lower levels.

Raum
2007-06-19, 05:18 PM
Chain Spell is best used with enhancement spells for party members and "lose" spells when fighting multiple opponents. Using it lets you spend a single spell (and more importantly a single action) to Levitate your entire party or to cast Hideous Laughter on most of your enemies. It becomes more useful with the Archmage reach spell ability or the Reach Spell feat. I'd generally recommend having both Chain and Quicken somewhere between level 9 and level 15 depending on your preferred tactics.

Your character will probably get more mileage out of Craft Rod than Craft Arms & Armor though the second is probably more useful to the party as a whole if you don't have other sources of items.

Other feats to consider:
- Spell Focus (Needed for Archmage and good for raising spell DCs anyway.)
- Point Blank Shot (If you rely heavily on rays in combat.)
- Improved Initiative (Going first is nice.)
- Arcane Thesis (Lower metamagic cost on a common spell.)

Keld Denar
2007-06-20, 07:21 AM
As I specified, chain spell drops the save DC by 4 and drops the damage by 1/2. That's about the worst thing you want on a TLN save or lose spell. If you are really going to use chain spell on a save or lose against that many targets, you are better off using something with a more AoE flavor, such as slow, Evards, XXX cloud, or any number of other mean spells that will be higher level w/o metamagic so their saves will be much higher. Compare the DC of a chained level 3 spell for a wiz with 20 int (+5). The spell will have a DC of 14 before feats for this character. The same slot used on a 6th level spell will have a DC of 21, 7 points higher. That's a 35% higher chance to hit. Chain spell should ONLY be used 99.98% of the time on a) spells with no save that don't do damage (not many of these, dispel magic, most rays) b) buffs (greater magic weapon). Even so on buffs, if you look hard enough, you can find a mass version of it in one book or another. Mass Fly, Mass Enlarge Person, Mass +4 stat buff, Mass Etc. These also tend to be 3 levels above the origional spell anyway. So you have a choice of buying a couple more spells (cheap with a BBB) or paying one of your precious feats for it. All in all, you are probably better off using split ray, or just a higher level spell, than chain in many situations. Unless you have an extra feat lying around, and some spare high level spell slots empty. About the only good spells to chain are GMW (requires reach spell or arcane reach) and the various levels of dispel (dispel is 6th level, g dispel is 9th). There may be a couple others, but that is just about it as far as I can see straight off.

Iku Rex
2007-06-20, 07:41 AM
It does. Chain Spell and Split Ray work wonders with spells like Ray of Exhaustion and Enervation.It does not. Only spells that "specify a single target and has a range greater than touch" can be chained. Rays do not "specify a single target".

Keld Denar
2007-06-20, 08:02 AM
Another thing...if you do get split ray, there is a 2nd level ray in either PHBII or CA that deals 1d4+1 int DAMAGE! NO SAVE! Split, it goes to 4th level for 2d4+2 int, that's a min of 4 int, and a max of 10 int. Empower it as 6th level and that's 2d4x1.5 +2, average 9.5 int damage, max 14. Per SRD, if something's int goes to 0 or less, it becomes comatose = win. This then becomes a versitile spell. Fighting animals? Knock out 2 birds (maybe literally) with one spell. Fighting low int monsters/NPCs? That much int damage could knock it straight out. Fighting casters? If you take the 20 int wizard down to 14 int, his save DCs go down by 3 points, and he caps out at 4th level spells. Hit him again, even non-split, and his int could very well drop to 10 or lower, making him a cool looking commoner in neat robes. It's not the be-all end-all of spell casting, but it is a very potent trick, and def one to put in the ol' tool box.

Add that to the use with RoExh and Eneveration, and it makes split ray worth the feat, IMO. You need to invest in a couple more spells, but those are cheap compared to things like feats with no market price.

Tyger
2007-06-20, 08:03 AM
It does not. Only spells that "specify a single target and has a range greater than touch" can be chained. Rays do not "specify a single target".

My understanding is that the Split Ray feat also has that text, or very close to it. I don't have my books here, but maybe someone can confirm this? If it is the case, then that argument wouldn't hold much water. If I am mistaken, then I think that's a DM call, as Ray spells clearly specify a single target. By definition you can only hit one target with a ray.

Rykaj
2007-06-20, 08:06 AM
Apart from chain and quicken (which are great suggestions and you should take them some) I'd like to suggest Sculpt Spell. Simple one level increase lets you dramatically increase spells which have small areas (on low levels stuff like grease, on high levels it becomes fun with antimagic field and the like). Or even simply use it so you can blast off spells while your party members are fighting in melee.

Keld Denar
2007-06-20, 08:15 AM
Apart from chain and quicken (which are great suggestions and you should take them some) I'd like to suggest Sculpt Spell. Simple one level increase lets you dramatically increase spells which have small areas (on low levels stuff like grease, on high levels it becomes fun with antimagic field and the like). Or even simply use it so you can blast off spells while your party members are fighting in melee.

Not a bad one, I'll admit, but if you go Archmage (smart idea) you would probably get master of shaping as your 2nd high arcana known (after arcane reach....drool) and then you can shape all day long, on the fly, with no caster level penalty. If you want it earlier, and your DM allows retraining, then it's not a bad idea. Shaped grease as soon as level 3 can be a total win for your wizard. If you use the 4 10x10 option, you mulitply your effective greased surface by a factor of 4, which is 2x as much as you'd get from widen spell, for the same cost. Burst and cone are kind of meh for that kind of thing though.

Tyger
2007-06-20, 08:37 AM
Not a bad one, I'll admit, but if you go Archmage (smart idea) you would probably get master of shaping as your 2nd high arcana known (after arcane reach....drool) and then you can shape all day long, on the fly, with no caster level penalty. If you want it earlier, and your DM allows retraining, then it's not a bad idea. Shaped grease as soon as level 3 can be a total win for your wizard. If you use the 4 10x10 option, you mulitply your effective greased surface by a factor of 4, which is 2x as much as you'd get from widen spell, for the same cost. Burst and cone are kind of meh for that kind of thing though.

A lot of people talk up the Archmage, and it might just fit the character concept... in about 9 levels. :) I just now took a look at the class (thank the gods for the SRD) and those arcana look SWEET! The wait for the class isn't a huge problem, as the DM for this game has flat out told us that the game will go into epic levels. Definitely something to think about.

Iku Rex
2007-06-20, 08:53 AM
My understanding is that the Split Ray feat also has that text, or very close to it.Nope. You're thinking of the incorrectly worded 3.0 version of the feat.They fixed it in 3.5.

If I am mistaken, then I think that's a DM call, as Ray spells clearly specify a single target. You're wrong. Name one ray spell that even has a "Target: (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#targetorTargets)" entry, much less specifying a single target (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#targetorTargets). Game mechanically, ray spells have effects (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#effect), not targets (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#targetorTargets). This is why the Chain Spell feat has rules to reduce the damage of damaging spells and lower the save DC of spells that don't deal damage, but doesn't say anything about hitting with rays. If the feat worked the way you think it does rays would effectively become more powerful as they arced to secondary targets since the feat says nothing about more attack rolls.

Examples from spell descriptions that "specify a single target.
Target: One humanoid creature (enlarge person)
Target: One creature; see text (hideous laughter)
Target: One humanoid creature (hold person)

Citizen Joe
2007-06-20, 08:55 AM
Another thing...if you do get split ray, there is a 2nd level ray in either PHBII or CA that deals 1d4+1 int DAMAGE! NO SAVE! Split, it goes to 4th level for 2d4+2 int, that's a min of 4 int, and a max of 10 int. Empower it as 6th level and that's 2d4x1.5 +2, average 9.5 int damage, max 14. Per SRD, if something's int goes to 0 or less, it becomes comatose = win. This then becomes a versitile spell. Fighting animals? Knock out 2 birds (maybe literally) with one spell. Fighting low int monsters/NPCs? That much int damage could knock it straight out. Fighting casters? If you take the 20 int wizard down to 14 int, his save DCs go down by 3 points, and he caps out at 4th level spells. Hit him again, even non-split, and his int could very well drop to 10 or lower, making him a cool looking commoner in neat robes.

Debuffs from the same source don't stack.

Ikkitosen
2007-06-20, 09:00 AM
Debuffs from the same source don't stack.

Yeah, but it's not a "debuff" (a term that is, mechanically, meaningless) - they're ability damage. That stacks, just like being smacked by the same sword deals cumulative damage.

That's why Ray of Stupidity is sooooo good; unlike RoEnfeeblement and RoClumsiness it's effects stack with further castings!

Keld Denar
2007-06-20, 09:08 AM
That spell, Ray of Stupidity, (2nd level ray, deals 1d4+1 int damage) doesn't give a debuff. It's not like RoEnfeeblement or RoClumsiness, which are penalties. It's straight up DAMAGE. Damage always stacks. If a wraith hits you, you take con damage. That does not by any means mean you won't take more when the wraith hits you again next turn. That's what makes it so sweet. It's Ray of Stupidly Goodness.

Tyger
2007-06-20, 09:12 AM
And that's the reason why we houseruled Ray of Stupidity to be the same as Ray of Enfeeblement etc. Its just too good otherwise.

Kurald Galain
2007-06-20, 09:29 AM
That stacks, just like being smacked by the same sword deals cumulative damage.
Hm, that would be fun :) a fighter would have to draw a new sword after whacking you once...

Citizen Joe
2007-06-20, 09:47 AM
Does Ray of Stupidity have a duration? If so that means that for that duration you are enchanted with the spell. At the end the 'damage' goes away (I think you guys are talking about ability DRAIN, not damage). So if you are enchanted by the spell and you get hit with it again, the stronger of the enchantments takes effect. Thus, they overlap but do not stack.

If it was an instant spell that DRAINED your intelligence then it would stack... and would also be HORRIBLY overpowered for second level.

Ikkitosen
2007-06-20, 09:51 AM
Does Ray of Stupidity have a duration? If so that means that for that duration you are enchanted with the spell. At the end the 'damage' goes away (I think you guys are talking about ability DRAIN, not damage). So if you are enchanted by the spell and you get hit with it again, the stronger of the enchantments takes effect. Thus, they overlap but do not stack.

If it was an instant spell that DRAINED your intelligence then it would stack... and would also be HORRIBLY overpowered for second level.

I think you should read the rules on Ability Damage again. Ray of Stupidity is Duration: Instantaneous.

Citizen Joe
2007-06-20, 10:02 AM
OK, I stand corrected. I thought it RoS had a 1 minute/level duration like in 3.0. I am right about the ability damage vs. drain though.

I'll keep that in mind the next time I play in a game using RoS... Wands of Stupidity for EVERYONE! Muhahahah

I bet they removed the minimum of 1 on the stat like Touch of Idiocy, didn't they?

Lupus Major
2007-06-20, 10:09 AM
OK now, where can I find this Ray of Stupidity? Because it's neither in the PHB II nor in the Complete Arcane, assuming CA meant said book. You're sure you didn't just mangle Touch of Idiocy?

Tyger
2007-06-20, 10:16 AM
OK now, where can I find this Ray of Stupidity? Because it's neither in the PHB II nor in the Complete Arcane, assuming CA meant said book. You're sure you didn't just mangle Touch of Idiocy?


I got it from the Spell Compendium. Not sure where's its from prior to that though.

Lupus Major
2007-06-20, 10:18 AM
Thanks.

Looks like I will have to invest in the SC. By now I've heard of a good many nice spells...

Keld Denar
2007-06-20, 12:04 PM
Unless otherwise noted, ability damage is regained at a rate of 1 point of damage per day.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#abilityDamage

So unless you've got a cleric/paladin/favored soul standing behind your opponent with a restoration handy, the damage is there, and it lasts the duration of the enounter at least. Unless the opponent then breaks and runs to live and fight another day, there won't be any regaining of said ability damage.

And yes....putting it on a wand is also very good, to the point of being silly good. Because the damage can never scale (unless you metamagic it) there is no benifit to casting it at a higher caster level. Given enough rounds, a 1st level wizard with this wand (or several 1st level wizards with these wands) can bring down even the mightest foes if they don't have some sort of protection from this (ray reflection, high touch AC, SR, etc).

YOU STOP THERE!!!
PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!!!!
Duh.....I'm not feewing so good George, not good at all...thump