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MaxMahem
2007-10-10, 09:50 PM
Beguiler vs Undead.

I recently finally got to play in a campaign other than my own creation (hooray!) and am running a 4th level gnomish beguiler. Last session my DM threw lots of mindless undead at us, specifically hoards of CR1/2 zombies. As expected the cleric shined, being able to nuke gaggles of them at a time with turn undead, while the other party members did decently.

I on the other hand was pretty much useless. The zombies were immune to half my spell arsenal, and the ones they weren't immune to were either worthless or hardly worth wasting (no point in casting a lvl 2 spell to only moderately inconvenience a CR 1/2 zombie). So I mainly hid, casting the odd buff spell when necessary. As a gnomish beguiler (with a pathetic strength score and 1/2 BAB) I would have been next to useless in melee combat, and the zombies were practically immune to my ranged weapons (darn DR/slashing).

Out of combat I did fine, finding traps, using my incredible skill base and so on, but I would like to carry my weight in combat, even vrs foes that that are not ideal for me. I have a feeling the next session will be more of the same. Any thoughts on tactics for dealing with hoards of mindless undead as a beguiler?

Also any thoughts on PrCs for the beguiler? Just stick with it for 20?

serow
2007-10-10, 10:14 PM
My first thought would be to use your buffs on your party members.
Part of holding your own weight in combat is knowing how to optimally use your given resources.

When your buffs allows the party to kick ass faster-better-harder, you are a valuable asset. :smallsmile:

Wolfwood2
2007-10-10, 10:48 PM
Out of combat I did fine, finding traps, using my incredible skill base and so on, but I would like to carry my weight in combat, even vrs foes that that are not ideal for me. I have a feeling the next session will be more of the same. Any thoughts on tactics for dealing with hoards of mindless undead as a beguiler?

At low levels like 4th, carry some vials of holy water and alchemist's fire and so on for such situations. It'll at least give you something useful to be doing, and a Beguiler doesn't really have a lot to be spending money on anyway. (I mean, everybody needs AC and stat boosters, but it's less urgent for you than for a front liner.)

At higher levels, keep some scrolls and/or wands on hand and use your maxed out Use Magic Device skill to use them when your regular spells aren't appropriate. A single wand of Scorching Ray will carry you through a long time.


Also any thoughts on PrCs for the beguiler? Just stick with it for 20?

A single level of Mindbender at 6th is nice if you aren't good. It delays Advanced Learning for a level, allowing you to pick up a 4th level spell with your second Advanced Learning.

Which.... Shadow Conjuration. Which affects undead and problem solved.

Skjaldbakka
2007-10-10, 10:48 PM
Indeed, the beguiler's best option against undead is to to buff party members. An evil beguiler has an easier time, because he has no moral qualms with walking around with a bunch of dominated meat shields.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-10-10, 10:51 PM
Illusions are great against undead, especially mindless undead! Remember, Silent Image and the like aren't mind-affecting, and mindless creatures will have a hard time figuring illusions out.

Guy_Whozevl
2007-10-10, 11:03 PM
Beguilers have an awesome capstone ability; stay in the class until level 20 as it one of the only few classes that rocks all the way through. You can use wands of Ray of Enfeeblement or Ray of Clumsiness by RAW, because it imposes an ability score penalty which undead are not immune to. Your DM may outrule this though.
As other posters have said, play a support role in fights, such as spamming buffs and the like. If you manage to destroy a zombie's eyesight, I think WotC ruled that the zombie can't percieve you or something. Glitterdust? (or is that mind affecting)

Jacob Orlove
2007-10-10, 11:04 PM
Right, illusions are excellent against those guys, because they have no memory. If they're suddenly in a 5'x5'x5' room with stone walls, they just take that at face value and...pretty much just stand there, as your party takes them out one by one. At first level, Silent Image can cover twenty 5' cubes.

Remember, with Int -, they cannot "study it carefully" and if you construct worthwhile illusions, they'll have no reason to interact with them. That means no save ever.

Consider obvious dangers like illusionary lava. That should get the zombies to keep away--they have (presumably) been programmed to avoid that kind of environmental hazard, so they'd have no reason to get close enough to the lava to "interact" with it.

Ralfarius
2007-10-10, 11:21 PM
I have to say, the silent image trick on zombies is actually pretty snazzy. If the mindless undead encounter what they perceive as a wall, then they probably won't try to walk through it.

Though, I suppose that depends on how mean your DM is, as a mindless undead could potentially just keep shambling for no other reason than they're mindless and must attempt to move toward that nearest living target, even if it appears to be inaccessible.

skywalker
2007-10-10, 11:57 PM
Had this problem recently, my DM actually made my party feel really crappy about slaughtering a duergar tribe in a dungeon, so I decided to try to solo the dungeon with a beguiler of the same level of the party(IE, it was designed for 4 level 5s, and I used one level 5 beguiler) based entirely around non-lethal damage(and the vow of nonviolence). It worked really well until I came up against the final encounter with undead. Which was where the entire exercise went to hell.

Didn't think of the illusions trick, though...

Nerd-o-rama
2007-10-11, 01:13 AM
Mindless creatures are the Beguiler's Kryptonite, but worthy tactics are listed above. And if I might add another:

Use Magic Device + Wands of blasty spells.

I second the level of Mindbender, by the way. Not only does it provide spell progression and the useful delay of a class feature, but it lets you communicate with any creature that has a language, which is really handy for someone with so many language-dependent powers.

However, only do this if you think the campaign will end before level 20, as the beguiler capstone is even better, entirely eliminating enemy spell resistance to your spells when they're flatfooted.

deadseashoals
2007-10-11, 03:45 AM
Here are some of the things I do against mindless creatures or guys with really high Will saves with my beguiler:

* skillz
* CL 9 wand of magic missile
* haste the fighters
* glitterdust!
* slow
* displacement the tanks
* solid fog
* greater invisibility on the damage dealers (if they're having trouble hitting)
* dispel magic against spellcasters

Kurald Galain
2007-10-11, 05:01 AM
An alternative or supplementary approach (if you have a wisdom score of around 14) is to take Arcane Disciple. This feat allows you to add a cleric domain to your spell list. Several of these offer interesting new options to the beguiler, such as healing, blasting (i.e. fire or weather domain), and some other kinds of buffs (i.e. strength domain).

Roderick_BR
2007-10-11, 05:45 AM
Illusions are great against undead, especially mindless undead! Remember, Silent Image and the like aren't mind-affecting, and mindless creatures will have a hard time figuring illusions out.
Aren't undead immune to ilusions?

L˛kki Gallansbayne
2007-10-11, 09:04 AM
Aren't undead immune to ilusions? Nope, they're immune to mind-affecting spells. The Illusion school is broken down into Figments, Glamers, Patterns, Phantasms and Shadow spells, of which only Patterns and Phantasms are necessarily mind-affecting. A concrete example would be Silent Image (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/silentImage.htm), which is an Illusion (Figment) that lacks the Mind-Affecting descriptor. Color Spray (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/colorSpray.htm), on the other hand, does have the Mind-Affecting descriptor and so doesn't work on undead.

Mike_G
2007-10-11, 09:24 AM
Max out your UMD and buy some wands and scrolls. You already can make anything with a brain your bitch, now just get a few wands for frying undead and constructs.

Seriously, my Beguiler acted as party healer with UMD when we were Clericless.

Other that that, Haste on the party and let the guys with big swords take care of the zombies.

Roderick_BR
2007-10-11, 09:25 AM
Nope, they're immune to mind-affecting spells. The Illusion school is broken down into Figments, Glamers, Patterns, Phantasms and Shadow spells, of which only Patterns and Phantasms are necessarily mind-affecting. A concrete example would be Silent Image (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/silentImage.htm), which is an Illusion (Figment) that lacks the Mind-Affecting descriptor. Color Spray (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/colorSpray.htm), on the other hand, does have the Mind-Affecting descriptor and so doesn't work on undead.
Ah, I got confused because there used to be a Invisibility to Undead spells. Maybe it was 3.0, or even in AD&D. Now there's a Hide from Undead in 3.5. Lower level, and completely hides the subjects from undead. (view, sound, smell)

Person_Man
2007-10-11, 10:58 AM
Go out an buy a Wand of Command Undead (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/commandUndead.htm). Why blast your enemies, when you can force them to work for you?

OneWinged4ngel
2007-10-11, 11:29 AM
Aren't undead immune to ilusions?

No.

If they were, then you would see "illusion spells" under their list of immunities.

MaxMahem
2007-10-11, 04:05 PM
I appreciate all the replies.

I like all of the tactics, though some of them aren't applicable to me just yet. Since at level 4 I only have access to 2nd level spells. Also due to the specifics of the campaign my equipment choices have been limited (so far) so no alchemist fire, holy water, or wands for me.

I did try and use Silent Image and Ghost Sound last time, but it had little effect. We house rule (and this is my fault as it was my house rule as previous GM) that Silent Image cannot produce Illusions powerful enough to completely conceal objects (or make seemingly real terrain objects like walls and pits). Higher level illusion spells are necessary to perform this (like Hallucinatory Terrain). The sounds and figments I produced did distract the zombies somewhat, but being mindless undead they tended to simplemindedly pursue previous targets instead of the fresh bait I offered.

I did consider glitterdust, but decided to hold back on it. Using a 2nd level spell to merely blind a group of CR1/2 zombies seemed like a waste. Ironicly blinded zombies are only marginally less effective then unblinded zombies, especially in large groups (which these were in). I had been holding my spells in reserve for any greater foes (who haven't appeared yet).

KillianHawkeye
2007-10-11, 09:41 PM
Ah, I got confused because there used to be a Invisibility to Undead spells. Maybe it was 3.0, or even in AD&D. Now there's a Hide from Undead in 3.5. Lower level, and completely hides the subjects from undead. (view, sound, smell)

Invisibility to undead was from 3.0. It was almost exactly the same as 3.5's hide from undead, except that it only blocked vision (as you'd expect from a spell called invisibility). They're both first level spells, and both versions were abjurations, rather than illusions, so there was no issue of the undead being immune.

Of course, we could have just assumed that they wouldn't design a spell specifically to protect you from the undead that had no chance of actually affecting any undead creatures. :smallwink:

Wagadodo
2007-10-12, 09:47 AM
If you take the right feat selection you could qaulify for the Archmage... Which I know is going to be a ways off. I had a Beguiler player that was going that route to get the Arcane Fire so he could actually do some physical damage. So if you are still looking for some physical damage at higher levels that might be one route you might consider.