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Gorbash
2008-10-10, 04:07 PM
So, here I am, nearing the fabled 14th lvl of the wizard (1st lvl of the archmage), and I'm still not sure what will my second Spell Focus be (first one is Conjuration). First I thought about Enchantment, given that some awesome save-or-lose spells are there - Hold Monster, Confusion, Feeblemind, but Transmutation, even though it's mostly buffing school has awesome spells - Slow, Flesh to Stone, Disintegrate. So, I'm really stuck here. Any high lvl Betmen out there has some advice?

Saph
2008-10-10, 04:24 PM
Count up the number of spells you cast with saving throws. Find out which school you're casting the most of. Pick that. :)

That's the best way, because it depends so much on preference. Wizards can be played very differently depending on what schools they specialise in. I'd probably pick Transmutation just because I love disintegrate, but Enchantment for spells like confusion is a perfectly good pick too. It'll only make a difference 5% of the time anyway . . .

- Saph

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-10, 04:27 PM
It's all preference. I love Enchantment, just because of the Dominate line, but both schools are awesome for a Focus. What's your PrCs up to this point? There may be an odd synergy. Otherwise, just look at which one you use more for spells with saves and pick that one.

Gorbash
2008-10-10, 04:49 PM
I'm a Wizard 7/Earth Dreamer 3, my preference are conjurations mostly, so that's why I already have SP(Conj). And yeah, I counted spells with Saving Throws for both schools up to 6th lvl spells (can't really plan my spell lists further into future), and they are:

Enchantment Transmutation
Charm Person Greater Slide
Confusion Slow
Feeblemind Flesh to Ice
Hold Monster Flesh to Stone
Freezing Glance Disintegrate

I could probably rule out Charm Person and Greater Slide since I can't really remember when did I use them the last time, but that doesn't get me anywhere. I do use Confusion and Slow a lot, Freezing Glance sounds like a ton of fun spell (gaze attack, one target per round, will save or frozen) but FtS and Disintegrate do to. Problem with enchantment is that it targets only Will save, while Transmutation affects mostly Fort, but it has slow which is a will save... I really can't decide which one I prefer. :/

afroakuma
2008-10-10, 04:55 PM
Slow tilts the scales, in my opinion.

Take Transmutation.

mostlyharmful
2008-10-10, 04:55 PM
Personally I'd go Necormancy. :smallbiggrin::smallwink:

either or is fine, just grab whichever and go. the higher you get the less important Save-or-X gets anyway

Gorbash
2008-10-10, 05:00 PM
Well, if my character isn't a good-natured gnome, I'd probably take Necromancy, but since he is, it doesn't really fit into his description. :smallsmile:

mostlyharmful
2008-10-10, 05:07 PM
Well, if my character isn't a good-natured gnome, I'd probably take Necromancy, but since he is, it doesn't really fit into his description. :smallsmile:

There's a whole lot of spells in Neco that're very effective that lack any moral label in DnD and in real life I'd consider a Whole lot less morally questionable than either transmutation and certainly Enchantment, if you're just dealing with scare tactics or sudden death effects that's a much simpler, less ethically loaded effect than mind-f"$ing or body-f"$ing to me.

Gorbash
2008-10-10, 05:14 PM
I know, but most people still consider Necromancy to be... unnatural. IMHO, you can freely call yourself a specialist in a school you take focuses, so since my first focus is Conjuration, I think of myself as a Conjurer. When I add another, I'll still for the most part be Conjurer, but also a small part Transmuter/Enchanter. There's no way I'd let myself become a Necromancer! :smalleek:

Temp.
2008-10-10, 05:25 PM
I'd like to say Enchantment, but once you get around 15th level, Mind Blanks start flying around.

Transmutation's sort of limited in its save effects and it rarely targets many enemies at once (which is always a must for save-or-sucks when I build characters; I'll usually use rays if targetting a single enemy), but Conjuration's save-or-sucks are probably going to cover your group-management anyway.

For Mind Blank's sake alone, I'd lean toward Transmutation, even though it probably will affect fewer of the spells on your list.

Keld Denar
2008-10-10, 05:53 PM
Another thing to look as is whether you might consider taking Metamagic School Focus at some point. Spell Focus is a prereq for this feat, and it allows you to reduce the metamagic cost of all metamagic applied to a single spell by 1 three times a day. So, you'd want to pick the ones you'd be applying the most metamagic too, if you even use metamagic regularly, that is. Otherwise, its a moot point, but I thought I'd point it out there. :)

Gorbash
2008-10-10, 06:01 PM
Well, I don't use metamagic, since I don't want to totally overshadow the rest of the party, I'm stronger than them as it is, although I'll probaly start throwing a few quickened spells once I hit 12th lvl (but only of 1st, since 5th lvl spells are garbage mostly).

Chronos
2008-10-10, 08:30 PM
I'd probably pick both of those before Conjuration, since so many Conjurations don't have saves. But if I'm only picking one, I'd go with Transmutation, since it has spells that are more broadly reliable: Many things are immune to death effects or mind-affecting effects, but almost nothing living is immune to Flesh to Stone or Baleful Polymorph, and pretty much nothing at all is immune to Disintegrate.

Devils_Advocate
2008-10-10, 09:20 PM
Well, if my character isn't a good-natured gnome, I'd probably take Necromancy, but since he is, it doesn't really fit into his description. :smallsmile:
Well, the Necromancy school has some good spells for weakening foes without actually harming them. If you want to take people down nonlethally, enfeebling/fatiguing/exhausting them can be helpful. So this is something that may come down to whether a character is more Chaotic Good or Lawful Evil: Is it better to capture people using the naughty dark arts, or kill them through socially acceptable means? :smallamused:

Not that any of this matters with regards to your question, since those spells don't allow saves, and thus aren't helped by Spell Focus.

Also, as Dave Noonan has pointed out (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20060120a), throwing a tanglefoot bag at someone is roughly as effective as zapping them with enervation anyway. If a party really wants to capture someone, they can just throw bags o' glue and nets at 'em. :smalltongue:

Collin152
2008-10-10, 09:27 PM
Some of the better Enchantment effects give repeated saves, while the Transmutation spells are fire and forget.
QED, go for Enchantment.

Gorbash
2008-10-11, 05:22 AM
Which ones?

Paul H
2008-10-11, 05:38 AM
Which ones?

Hi

Off top of my head I think Inevitable Defeat is one. (PHBII). I play Beguilers and they ROCK! Probably better than a Specialist Enchanter Wizard!

Took SF Enchants, then Unsettling Enchantment (CM). Every time they have to make a save vs my Enchants, -2Hit/AC for one rnd. If they're immune, then buff the party. Normally open up with Legion of Sentinels, then whack them with Mass Whelm spells. Lots non-lethal damage if they fail saves. Party fighter loves this spell because 'victims' AC dropped so he can Pwr Attack better.

You probably don't want to change your character at that level, so just look into PHBII spells.
(You also might try CM for the 'Heart series, too. Extra HP plus Stoneskin with no material cost.....)?

Cheers
Paul H
Edit: Yes, Inevitable Defeat is one, Hesitate is another. (Both PHBII Pg 114/115).

Gorbash
2008-10-11, 06:12 AM
Off top of my head I think Inevitable Defeat is one. (PHBII).

Range: Touch. As a wizard I try to stay as far from melee as possible, so that's not really a good choice.

And what does Legion of Sentinels do exactly...? It says that they just make attacks of opportunity - at what bonus? What is their damage?

Dealing non-lethal damage is not really my idea of being a Batman, though...

Heart spells are excellent buffs, but they're not affected by Spell Focus, so I don't count them as good spells in this case.

Paul H
2008-10-11, 08:23 AM
Hi

Legion of Sentinels is Caster Level based. CL BAB/Saves. AC 25. HP = 2xCL. Dam D8+ +1/3lvls. (Spell list preamble on PHBII Pg 97).

All they do is make Attacks of Opportunity. (They don't have combat reflexes)! Spellcasters forced to cast defensively, etc. They can also take up spaces occupied by characters, terrain (chairs, walls etc), and grant flanking to allies & themselves.

Eg. My 9th Lvl Beguiler Cohort's Legion is:
AC 25. 18HP. Attack +9 Dam D8+3 Magic/Slashing Crit 19-20 (Double Dam). Attacks as spell with no save/SR.

My last game (Living Planar) GM pointed out they must also be Ethereal since they occupy other's spaces, but wouldn't count on that in other games.

A good 'Hold Down' spell that even affects Undead & Constructs! (Beguilers get very few of those). Works well with Widen Spell feat. Useful since they also grant flanking to allies.

Hope this helps
Paul H