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    Default [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    So, I've never played D&D, just spent far more time than I should have reading the SRD.

    Some friends have a game just started (they've played one game day's worth) that I have the option of joining, if I like. The game is played Core only; really just using d20SRD since most of the players have long-ago lost most of their books and the DM has the most experience with Core. The scenario is homebrewed, sandbox style.

    There's a Gnome Druid (just acquired a Wolf companion), a Drow Fighter (at level 1; everyone else is level 3), a Halfling Fighter (who is insane), and a Human Rogue. The Drow Fighter has bow specialization and is planning to get some Wizard and then go Arcane Archer, but other than that the Druid is the only magic in the group.

    They are a group of Evil PCs, played as simply having no regard for others beyond what they can get out of them (so reasonably loyal to each other, insofar as they are dependent on each other, but uncaring about the life or property of others). They started by being released from prison, the Druid went and found a Wolf, the others equipped themselves in the market and went looking for people to rob. At a brothel where the Rogue was looking to pick up lockpicks, the Halfling (Fighter...) attempted to pick-pocket a rich fat dude. That ended in an explosion of gold coins, a fight with three guards that very nearly killed the Halfling, and then rousing a female Half-Orc Paladin who had been sitting in the brothel (?!), from whom they fled.

    Anyway, I'm interested in joining, and would like to do something magic-related. Since I've read TLN's Batman guide, I'm favoring Wizard - just because I know more about them than the other classes. Arcane sounds cooler than Divine, plus they've already got the Druid, but I don't really know. Information on how the different magic-based classes play (especially guides or thoughts on playing them) would be great, because there's a lot you can't get from just reading the stats.

    As for PrC, initially I was considering Mystic Theurge, but a bit of reading indicated that A. Divine Spells aren't as good as Arcane (usually), and thus accessing the opposite spell list isn't great, and B. losing three Caster Levels is unacceptable. My thoughts were to be something like "I have lots of spell slots, but weaker spells - Quicken lots and lots of things" - but choosing an underpowered class with even more forethought necessary seems like a poor choice for a newb. Plus the lower CLs means I don't have that many extra spell slots (which was disappointing to learn).

    So now I'm considering Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage, where I'd get Wizard enough to access Loremaster, get a few Archmage levels interspersed in the Loremaster, finishing up probably Wiz5/Lore10/Arch5 (though maybe not Arch5, get extra Wiz or something), but TLN's guide mentioned something with Wizard/Rogue/Archmage/Arcane Trickster, which sounds really cool. I like the idea of something little different from just straight-up mage. He didn't go into a lot of detail on it though.

    But then there's Cleric, Druid, Bard, and Sorcerer, about which I know very little (beyond their stats, which are difficult to turn into understanding). There's already a Druid in the group, so I probably wouldn't take that. Information (and especially guides!) on the others would be awesome.

    Oh, and I'm also interested in Crafting. The Drow's already crafting bows for himself and the Rogue, and brewing potions for himself ("Drow sleepyjuice" he calls it), but I was thinking Wondrous Item and Rod, maybe Wand. But it's difficult to get a feel for how much I'll be able to actually get crafting done, and how worth it is to get those.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-03 at 06:01 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Well, your build idea won't work. Loremaster isn't enterable until after level 7 due to skill point requirements.

    More info would be great. What books does your group have available? Divine Oracle is a really good class for a wizard to take before entering Loremaster, and it gives you an ability that is nearly identical to Evasion, and access to a bunch of neato Divination spells.

    If you have Complete Mage, I'd highly suggest something more like this:

    Focused Specialist Conjourer (banning Enchantment, Evocation, and Abjuration), and focusing on utilizing cloud spells, debuff spells, and various teleport spells to influence the battle. At level 3, you would probably look like this:

    Human
    Focused Specialist Conjourer1 Extend Spell, Sculpt Spell, Scribe Scroll
    Conjourer2
    Conjourer3 Metamagic School Focus (Conjouration)

    And your spells, assuming an 18 starting int would be

    1st
    *Sculpted Grease (using MMSF)
    *Mage Armor
    *Benign Transpostion (in Spell Compendium)
    Ray of Enfeeblement
    Color Spray

    2nd
    * Scupted Glitterdust (using MMSF)
    * Sculpted Glitterdust (again, MMSF)
    * Web
    Invisibility

    With the * spells being required Conjourations due to Focused Specialist.

    The key is to try not to use very many spells per combat. 1-2 should be enough to cripple your foes badly enough that your party can kill them easily. Especially Sculpted Glitterdust. That'll be a killer. This low level build will really make you effective in the party, although your friends will all think they are doing all the work (this is the Batman style of play). Glitterdust is AMAZING, since its a multitarget Blindness, and blinding a foe is almost like casting Greater Invisibility on your whole party. Thats awesome.

    Don't go Mystic Theurge. You touched on all the reasons its bad. The worst is the 3 level loss. Thats just inexcusable for any class that claims to be a "primary caster".
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Well, your build idea won't work. Loremaster isn't enterable until after level 7 due to skill point requirements.
    Ah, ok, then I could do Wizard 7 / Loremaster 10 / Archmage 3 (though would probably more like Wizard 7 / Loremaster 5 / Archmage 3 / Loremaster 5). Arcane Reach, Arcane Power, and Mastery of Shaping would be fine. I probably would have gotten the SLA High Arcana if possible, but I think that's fine.

    Still, I was primarily interested in information on the base classes. Sorry if that was unclear. Especially Cleric, Druid, and Sorcerer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    More info would be great. What books does your group have available?
    The SRD, and that's about it. I might be able to convince the DM to allow other things, but he'd rather not. He wants to keep things simple and also wants to have all of the information easily looked up on the website. This is largely for the benefit of the group, some of whom haven't played D&D in a while (and me, who hasn't at all). Just less stuff to keep track of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    The key is to try not to use very many spells per combat. 1-2 should be enough to cripple your foes badly enough that your party can kill them easily. Especially Sculpted Glitterdust. That'll be a killer. This low level build will really make you effective in the party, although your friends will all think they are doing all the work (this is the Batman style of play). Glitterdust is AMAZING, since its a multitarget Blindness, and blinding a foe is almost like casting Greater Invisibility on your whole party. Thats awesome.
    Yup, had noted Glitterdust as one of the better spells. TLN mentioned that.

    But if you only use 1-2 spells, what should you do on the rest of your turns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Don't go Mystic Theurge. You touched on all the reasons its bad. The worst is the 3 level loss. Thats just inexcusable for any class that claims to be a "primary caster".
    Yup, figured that out. Without the 3 level loss it'd be pretty awesome, obviously, heh, being able to be a Cleric or Druid and a Wizard or Sorcerer. *shrug*
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-03 at 07:07 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    But then there's Cleric, Druid, Bard, and Sorcerer, about which I know very little (beyond their stats, which are difficult to turn into understanding). There's already a Druid in the group, so I probably wouldn't take that. Information (and especially guides!) on the others would be awesome.
    Druid - powerful, very powerful, mostly due to Wildshape. A Druid with access to the right gear can out-fight just about any Fighter... AND cast top-level spells.

    Cleric - similar deal to the Druid, except with Personal-only buffs (Divine Power, Righteous Might) instead of Wildshape. Gets "Turn Undead", which is not so useful for its intended purpose, but with the right feats you can spent it on awesome things (like free metamagic!)

    Bard - jack of all trades, as-written sucks at about all of them. Except lying; bards are the best liars in Core D&D, rivaled only by Beguilers from PHB2 out of core. They can be turned into awesome powerhouses, but it takes a lot of effort. Definitely not newb-friendly.

    Sorcerer - more spells per day, but much less flexibility, as compared to a Wizard. Loses out overall, but are good for those who dislike the bookkeeping of Wizard spellcasting. Honestly not a bad choice for a newb spellcaster, as long as you pick a good set of spells (hint: you'll want something targeting each of Fort, Ref, Will, touch AC, as well as at least one flexible illusion, summoning, and buff spell).



    Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage is a good idea. Specializing is also a good idea, since spells-per-day are so valuable. Pick what spells you want (remember that you get 2/level, plus more for money), find what schools have the least, and ban those.


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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Ohi. Sure, you can join.

    If you are new, and want to play an Arcane Caster with a bajillion spell slots - I say Sorcerer is definitely the way to go. It lacks the bookkeeping mess that comes with "prepared" casters, and can spam more spells than anyone else (in the PHB, anyway).

    The Wizard is widely regarded to be the more potentially powerful class of the two, yes.
    It is just that it is also the one that is easier to screw up and more difficult to bring to its peak potential, I'd say. =/

    (I have an Evoker in my flesh-and-blood group. You have read TLN's guide, so 'nuff said.)

    But of course, if you want to play a bookwormy master-of-the-universe caster, screw my advice and play a goddamn Batman Wizard. You seem interested in it and you do have a nice plan for it.

    As for that:
    Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage is a good idea. Specializing is also a good idea, since spells-per-day are so valuable. Pick what spells you want (remember that you get 2/level, plus more for money), find what schools have the least, and ban those.
    Consider this signed.

    What books does your group have available?
    (Chimes in, his DM here)

    Just the SRD, so far. The group has the problem of being scattered across the globe AND across the entire 3.5 experience curve. Since the most experienced player seems to be content with it, I decided to limit this to stuff we can link and show to one another.

    So far this means that I can't scare them with Mindbenders or rip them to pieces with Frenzied Berserkers either, but that is the price I paid to keep everyone in the loop. =/

    Stumbled across this guide to free D&D a few days ago, though, was always about to share it...
    Last edited by Ernir; 2009-04-03 at 07:24 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Okay, as far as the base classes go:

    Cleric: Full spell casting progression. If you're playing an evil cleric, you will be able to convert any of your non-domain prepared spells into inflict wounds spells, which means you touch an enemy and they take Xd8 worth of damage. You'll probably be expected to be the party healer, which means you'll have to memorize healing spells. Clerics have decent hit points and can wear heavy armor, which means in theory they can enter into combat, and get some pretty cool spells. Take a look at the cleric spell lists for more info. Plus, they get domains, which grant them extra abilities and allow them to take one domain spell for each spell level; domain spells often come off the arcane casting list, so you can have a cleric who might know teleport or something like that.

    Sorcerer: Very similar to the wizard. Instead of having access to whatever spells are in your spellbook (and having the ability to add more spells to your spellbook as you go), a sorcerer knows a fixed list of spells that they can cast a higher number of times per day. For example: a first level wizard might have five first level spells in his spellbook. He memorizes three of them for that day, and once those are cast, he's done. A sorcerer only knows two first level spells, but he can cast those spells five times a day. (These numbers are pulled completely out of the clear blue sky, they're not really accurate). Sorcerers are based on Charisma rather than Intelligence, and get a slightly different set of skills, iirc.

    Druid: Full spell progression, decent hit points, and the ability to turn into animals. They have a decent selection of divine spells, and their wild shape ability makes them pretty useful in combat.

    The party you've described is lacking in both a primary healer AND a primary arcane caster, which is a problem. Basically, you need to decide if you want to be able to provide healing for the party (if you don't, you're all going to be spending cash on potions/scrolls/wands), or if you want the incredible piles of useful spells that an arcane caster can bring. I'd suggest going with the wizard-- you seem more interested in it at this point, and you've got a couple divine-ish casters already.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    They do have a Healer, the Druid. Vigor makes him better than the Cleric at that.

    @The OP:My favorite caster for simplicity, usefulness, and fun is the Beguiler. You literally can't make bad decisions while building them, just put everything into Int and you're good. It's non-core, but one of the group might have access. Spontaneous casting from a pre-chosen list with very good spells on it, light armor, and 6+Int skills give you a lot more options than a standard Sorcerer and it's a lot easier than picking up a Wizard for the first time. Pretty much, it's Arcane Trickster out of the box.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    But if you only use 1-2 spells, what should you do on the rest of your turns?
    Whatever you want, really; if you've already won the encounter, no point in wasting spell slots or gold (scrolls, wands, whatever), unless you *know* you won't need them. If you need more spells to win, by all means use them.

    After all the enemies are minimal threats, I usually get out the xbow/bow at that point and doing my awesome 1d6 points of damage, making sure I'm in a position where I can cast more spells if needed, without being in range of pointy things or in an area where reinforcements are likely to come from.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Whatever you want, really; if you've already won the encounter, no point in wasting spell slots or gold (scrolls, wands, whatever), unless you *know* you won't need them. If you need more spells to win, by all means use them.
    I bought a tea service for my Malconvoker once, so that I could drink tea during combat while my demonic hordes tore apart the souls of my enemies.

    I liked that character.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    As much fun as wizards can be, if your party is lacking a divine type it might be better to go Druid.

    While a wizard can certainly end encounters if done right, if you're just shy of right, the team could end up getting roasted.

    Druids get a bit of destruction type spells. And while not nearly as fun as breathing deadly gases and exploding peoples heads, it sounds like you the group needs good support magic.
    I don't think you get it.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Druid - powerful, very powerful, mostly due to Wildshape. A Druid with access to the right gear can out-fight just about any Fighter... AND cast top-level spells.

    Cleric - similar deal to the Druid, except with Personal-only buffs (Divine Power, Righteous Might) instead of Wildshape. Gets "Turn Undead", which is not so useful for its intended purpose, but with the right feats you can spent it on awesome things (like free metamagic!)

    Bard - jack of all trades, as-written sucks at about all of them. Except lying; bards are the best liars in Core D&D, rivaled only by Beguilers from PHB2 out of core. They can be turned into awesome powerhouses, but it takes a lot of effort. Definitely not newb-friendly.
    Hmm... None of those sound up my alley, really. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Sorcerer - more spells per day, but much less flexibility, as compared to a Wizard. Loses out overall, but are good for those who dislike the bookkeeping of Wizard spellcasting. Honestly not a bad choice for a newb spellcaster, as long as you pick a good set of spells (hint: you'll want something targeting each of Fort, Ref, Will, touch AC, as well as at least one flexible illusion, summoning, and buff spell).
    Yeah, tough call. Things to like about both, from my perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage is a good idea. Specializing is also a good idea, since spells-per-day are so valuable. Pick what spells you want (remember that you get 2/level, plus more for money), find what schools have the least, and ban those.
    That sounds like a solid plan. Would Sorcerer/Lore/Arch be substantially different (beyond the normal differences between Wizard and Sorcerer), if I decided to do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    That help?
    Certainly does!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Ohi. Sure, you can join.
    :sheepish: Heh, hi Ernir. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    If you are new, and want to play an Arcane Caster with a bajillion spell slots - I say Sorcerer is definitely the way to go. It lacks the bookkeeping mess that comes with "prepared" casters, and can spam more spells than anyone else (in the PHB, anyway).

    The Wizard is widely regarded to be the more potentially powerful class of the two, yes.
    It is just that it is also the one that is easier to screw up and more difficult to bring to its peak potential, I'd say. =/

    (I have an Evoker in my flesh-and-blood group. You have read TLN's guide, so 'nuff said.)

    But of course, if you want to play a bookwormy master-of-the-universe caster, screw my advice and play a goddamn Batman Wizard. You seem interested in it and you do have a nice plan for it.
    So the Sorcerer sounds good but then so does the Wizard. Ah! Hard to say. I see the Sorcerer as more flexible per day (cast any known spell), but perhaps less forgiving to big mistakes later (since it's more difficult to learn new spells)? I'm a bit overwhelmed by the spell list; picking out favorite spells is easier said than done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Stumbled across this guide to free D&D a few days ago, though, was always about to share it...
    That's awesome! Cool, thanks. The Archivist is about the only one that really interests me... but he just seems like a Divine Wizard, I think I'd rather just go Arcane. But I've heard reference to the Archivist as potentially even more powerful - how so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    My favorite caster for simplicity, usefulness, and fun is the Beguiler. You literally can't make bad decisions while building them, just put everything into Int and you're good. It's non-core, but one of the group might have access. Spontaneous casting from a pre-chosen list with very good spells on it, light armor, and 6+Int skills give you a lot more options than a standard Sorcerer and it's a lot easier than picking up a Wizard for the first time. Pretty much, it's Arcane Trickster out of the box.
    Sounds awesome; I don't have... whatever book it's from. Not available freely, either, as far as I can tell. Thanks for the advice though.

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Whatever you want, really; if you've already won the encounter, no point in wasting spell slots or gold (scrolls, wands, whatever), unless you *know* you won't need them. If you need more spells to win, by all means use them.

    After all the enemies are minimal threats, I usually get out the xbow/bow at that point and doing my awesome 1d6 points of damage, making sure I'm in a position where I can cast more spells if needed, without being in range of pointy things or in an area where reinforcements are likely to come from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    I bought a tea service for my Malconvoker once, so that I could drink tea during combat while my demonic hordes tore apart the souls of my enemies.

    I liked that character.
    Haha!

    OK, now what if I wanted to do more of a summoner type character? I'm not certain I do - just curious. TLN implies that there are better choices than Wizard for that, and regardless it's not Batman anyway.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Beguiler is in the PHBII, a neato little book. Also contains the Duskblade, a martial caster who hits things with spells. Fun fun!

    If you really want to summon, check out the Malconvoker from Complete Scoundrel. Its all about being a good guy, then summoning evil things and tricking them into fighting other evil things for you. Very powerful and very flavorful. Wizard is a great base for it, especially if you are a Conjourer. There is a Conjourer Alt Class Feature in UA (and consequently on www.d20srd.org) that allows you to trade away your familar for the ability to cast summon spells as a standard action instead of a full round action. This is really good for summoning. Other than that, bind a big demon, buff it to hell, cast a couple disable spells on your enemies, and then watch your pet devour their immortal souls. Its fun!
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    I recommend caring flasks of alchemist's fire and acid, as well as smoke sticks, caltrops, oil, and sunrods. And some tindertwigs.

    Alchemist's fire are great for throwing at strange things growling in the dark, acid is useful for getting around things, smokesticks are a great way to get instant concealment (ie, protection), caltrops can cover your exit, and sunrods work in wet places, and are cheaper to throw away than everburning torches (brighter, too). This works for like the first 7 levels. Also, you can spend a turn throwing alchemist's fire or acid instead of using a spell. The splash damage on them is quite nice.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Oh, hey!

    I noticed you have a wizard guide. Should you be contemplating sorceror instead, enjoy Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorceror Stratagems.

    Should you decide to try summoning, if the book would be allowed (I notice you said core only) enjoy Treantmonk's guide to the Malconvoker. Even if you can't play one, it has and links to great advice for all summoners.

    Above all, have fun!
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Beguiler is in the PHBII, a neato little book. Also contains the Duskblade, a martial caster who hits things with spells. Fun fun!

    If you really want to summon, check out the Malconvoker from Complete Scoundrel. Its all about being a good guy, then summoning evil things and tricking them into fighting other evil things for you. Very powerful and very flavorful. Wizard is a great base for it, especially if you are a Conjourer. There is a Conjourer Alt Class Feature in UA (and consequently on www.d20srd.org) that allows you to trade away your familar for the ability to cast summon spells as a standard action instead of a full round action. This is really good for summoning. Other than that, bind a big demon, buff it to hell, cast a couple disable spells on your enemies, and then watch your pet devour their immortal souls. Its fun!
    All sounds awesome. Don't have access to those, though. Having never played D&D before, I don't intend to go out and buy a bunch of books at the moment... maybe at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    I recommend caring flasks of alchemist's fire and acid, as well as smoke sticks, caltrops, oil, and sunrods. And some tindertwigs.

    Alchemist's fire are great for throwing at strange things growling in the dark, acid is useful for getting around things, smokesticks are a great way to get instant concealment (ie, protection), caltrops can cover your exit, and sunrods work in wet places, and are cheaper to throw away than everburning torches (brighter, too). This works for like the first 7 levels. Also, you can spend a turn throwing alchemist's fire or acid instead of using a spell. The splash damage on them is quite nice.
    Ah, that's great advice. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by streakster View Post
    Oh, hey!

    I noticed you have a wizard guide. Should you be contemplating sorceror instead, enjoy Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorceror Stratagems.

    Should you decide to try summoning, if the book would be allowed (I notice you said core only) enjoy Treantmonk's guide to the Malconvoker. Even if you can't play one, it has and links to great advice for all summoners.

    Above all, have fun!
    Awesome! Those were exactly the kinds of things I was looking for!

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    If this is the first time you are playing an arcane caster, I cannot stress enough how much more hassle and paperwork the Wizard is.

    Seriously, go Sorcerer. Read Solo's Guide, which has a LOT of 'Core Only' ideas.

    Sadly, sorcerers can't go Loremaster easily, due to the requirement of having SEVEN different Divination spells and FOUR different feats.

    There really isn't a decent PrC for sorcerers in Core. The Theurge is actually not looking... too bad. Particularly not if you pair it with Spontaneous Divine Casters from the SRD. Bunch of spontaneous spells available to you. Choose your Domains carefully, because those spells are added to the Spells Known. If you grab the Healing domain and the Liberation domain, you pick up all your healbot spells gratis, so you can focus on grabbing useful spells to compliment your sorcerer spell list. Like picking up Protection from Evil on your Cleric list, and picking up Hold Person a spell level sooner.

    True, it isn't perfect, you will never cast 9th level spells, but at least you will have a broader versatility. If that's not your thing, go Sorcerer16/Archmage4. It sucks, but hey, it's better than nothing.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    But if you only use 1-2 spells, what should you do on the rest of your turns?


    Yup, figured that out. Without the 3 level loss it'd be pretty awesome, obviously, heh, being able to be a Cleric or Druid and a Wizard or Sorcerer. *shrug*
    battles dont last for a lot of rounds, so hopefully that wont come up. use your lower level spells if its not worth using a higher level spell, and you should be fine. you wont run out of spells per day (unless the dm gives you 6 combats or more combats in a day) once you learn to manage them.

    if you ever use splatbooks, you could use an archivist to play something similar to a mystic theurge. it's the exception to the rule arcane magic is better than divine magic. the problem with mystic theurge is that you dont have enough actions to cast all of your spells, and you just cant use them all.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    I like to break spells into ranked categories:
    1. Crowd Control. Barriers, area of effect debuffs, etc. Make large groups into more manageable small ones.
    2. Status Effect Buffs. A control similar to crowd control, but targets friendlies. Think of it as the difference between blindness and invisibility.
    3. Direct Damage. Almost as strong as the first two, and it's easier to switch energy types than to overcome immunities/counters to the first two. Especially good for area, since the total damage adds up. A more reliable backup.
    4. Save or dies. Anything strong enough to be worth hitting alone (rather than using an area spell) probably has a good save, making DD usually faster. But not always. Not to be confused with area debuffs (see #1).
    5. Stat buffs (+X). Usually too weak to be worth a round or spell slot. Use your leftover lower level slots for these, outside of combat.
    6. Utility spells. Used so rarely you're usually better off with a scroll. You only need a couple per spell since you barely use them, making the scrolls plenty affordable. Don't bog down your prepared spell list with them. Not to be confused with #2.

    X. Misc (not ranked). Clever illusions and other misc. spells can be situationally useful. Give them some thought at least.

    For your first caster I'd stick to full casting for maximum effectiveness and minimum complication. Go wizard or sorcerer then prestige into lore master and/or archmage if you want. Be especially careful about spell selection if going sorcerer since you can't swap them later. So sorcs may be less work but they're harder to make. Other than that the strategy is the same between the two.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Be especially careful about spell selection if going sorcerer since you can't swap them later.
    Well... actually you can, to an extent.
    Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered sorcerer level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows...
    And etc. etc, you get the gist.

    Also, I support Sorcerer over Wizard. Wizards are way annoying to keep track of- you have to figure out what spells to prepare every day, you have to figure out how to get new spells (because even being AS good as a sorcerer requires you to find spell scrolls/spell books/ways to learn spells and invest in them). For a new player less used to regulating their power, a Wizard is more difficult since they have significantly less spells per day, as well.

    Wizards require tons of managing, and in the end I disagree with Ericgrau- they're just as difficult to make as a Sorcerer is, because they're based on all the same mechanics. If you know how to make a Wizard, you can make a Sorcerer. If you don't know how to make either, you might as well go for a Sorcerer because it is less confusing, and spells are the emphasis (and if you don't know the spells and how to use them properly, you'll be just as ineffective- if not more- with a wizard, who has less power per day to throw around).
    Last edited by AmberVael; 2009-04-08 at 11:19 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    my first character was a divine metamagic cleric and it worked out fine. hes read the guides to wizards and knows what spells to pick. he is not going to have many problems. its a bit work intensive to start out, but after that its not bad.

    i think he will do good as a wizard.
    Last edited by Nohwl; 2009-04-08 at 11:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    That sounds like a solid plan. Would Sorcerer/Lore/Arch be substantially different (beyond the normal differences between Wizard and Sorcerer), if I decided to do that?
    Loremaster is hard to enter as a Sorcerer. Wizards can get a lot more spells and easily pick up the 7 Divination spells, but for Sorcs that's really going to hurt a lot. That's almost half of your spells known at the point when you can start gaining access to it! Also, it requires two knowledge skills, and Sorcs only have one as a class skill, and few enough skillpoints already. It's possible (and there's tricks to help), but it's prohibitively difficult to go straight in like that. To be honest, if I was in a core-only game and I wanted to go that route, I'd consider playing a Sorcerer 6 / Wizard 1 (or Cleric 1, or Druid 1) / Loremaster X. All will get you in much more easily than straight Sorcerer, without putting you so far behind that you couldn't still function. That said, there's plenty of other good PrCs out there that Sorcs can enter just fine.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    -snips a textblock which basically said the same thing I said an hour and a half ago- That said, there's plenty of other good PrCs out there that Sorcs can enter just fine.
    Not in Core, there isn't... read the OP again.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Answering the question of "what do you do after your 1 or 2 control spells?", if you go outside of core to a book called "Complete Mage", there are these feats called reserve feats that let you use a spell-like ability at will as long as you have an appropriate spell prepared and not yet used. For example, there is a feat called "Fiery Burst" that lets you create a five-foot radius mini-fireball as long as you have a fire spell of second level or higher prepared, doing 1d6 per level of the spell, reflex save halves. Beats a wizard using a crossbow any day. Plus, you can pretend to be Roy Mustang.

    Dedicated damage spells will of course be more powerful, but this way you can burn things all you want while only requiring a single spell slot to be held in reserve.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Waspinator View Post
    Answering the question of "what do you do after your 1 or 2 control spells?", if you go outside of core to a book called "Complete Mage", there are these feats called reserve feats that let you use a spell-like ability at will as long as you have an appropriate spell prepared and not yet used. For example, there is a feat called "Fiery Burst" that lets you create a five-foot radius mini-fireball as long as you have a fire spell of second level or higher prepared, doing 1d6 per level of the spell, reflex save halves. Beats a wizard using a crossbow any day. Plus, you can pretend to be Roy Mustang.

    Dedicated damage spells will of course be more powerful, but this way you can burn things all you want while only requiring a single spell slot to be held in reserve.
    1) Core Only

    2) Most reserve feats SUCK. Fiery Burst is the worst feat to get as a Sorcerer. He has so much greater damage potential with a great many other things at his disposal.

    3) A Sorcerer who only has one or two spells worth casting in combat needs to go hang up his character sheet and roll a Fighter.

    Seriously, by round 3, Murphy's Laws of Combat will have begun reshaping things, and you can situationally either use Save or Loose effects on stragglers, buff allies, or just look that damn cool by striking an awesome pose while the rest of combat is going on about you.

    If you want blasting all day long, go Warlock. At least they do it better than reserve feats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Not in Core, there isn't... read the OP again.
    Ah my apologies, I missed your post. My comments about dip-entry to Loremaster still stand; it's maybe not the most optimized build ever, but certainly entirely playable and will get him in without much muss and fuss.

    As to Core-only PrCs... well, he didn't actually say "Core", he said "SRD". And in SRD there's Battle Sorcerer 6 / Fighter 1 / Eldritch Knight X, which is again maybe not the most optimized, but very easy to play, will give him good hands-on experience with arcane magic, and should be at least reasonable even if he messes up spell selection. Battle Sorc will improve his gish-ness and let him actually wear armor (a weakness in Eldritch Knight as-printed), and he'll still hit 9th level spells eventually.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Using Core books only:

    Sorcerer (Cannon) = Cannon + Heartbeat. You walk around and blast things from a long way away... (you could be the dude who could create an entire illusionary world around other beings 24/7 if you want...)

    Sorcerer (Squirrel-Puncher) = Everybody gets neutered. Hold Person, Enfeeblement, Grease... if it is an enchantment/necromancy and likely to make someone else's life harder... that's your kind of spell.

    Wizard (ALL KINDS) = "I believe I have Rary's Rather Large Rat Repellant Emanating Fog of Lavender in my scrollcase here somewhere... oh there it is right next to Mordenkainen's Magnificent Cutlery Set" Seriously, if its on a scroll buy it and write in your book, then copy it out of the book onto a Scroll and have a scroll case that was single-handedly responsible for the Deforestation of the Great Desert... Most people seem to forget about Downtime and Scribe Scroll... Wizards should NEVER run out of spells, if you run out then the next time you go to town... BUY LOTS MORE PAPER YOU TWIT!!!!

    Cleric = I am the impenetrable walking fortresss of smackdown. Spells + Heavy Armour... even just using the Core Books... seriously well-done Clerics are HARDCORE. This is before you include the overpowered cheese that allow you to burn turning attempts to power metamagic feats... (Which peanut brained crack smoking chimpanzee thought that was a balanced mechanic????)


    My personal choice: Wizard. But then I have played Wizards and Rogues for almost every single one of my characters... the party got the poos with my Saintly Paladin and another time my Cleric basically died when the rest of the party was nerfed at the same time (but there was comedy GOLD leading up to that point, including the Cleric impersonating the god of Kuotoans)

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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Ah my apologies, I missed your post. My comments about dip-entry to Loremaster still stand; it's maybe not the most optimized build ever, but certainly entirely playable and will get him in without much muss and fuss.

    As to Core-only PrCs... well, he didn't actually say "Core", he said "SRD". And in SRD there's Battle Sorcerer 6 / Fighter 1 / Eldritch Knight X, which is again maybe not the most optimized, but very easy to play, will give him good hands-on experience with arcane magic, and should be at least reasonable even if he messes up spell selection. Battle Sorc will improve his gish-ness and let him actually wear armor (a weakness in Eldritch Knight as-printed), and he'll still hit 9th level spells eventually.
    Only... he actually wants to be useful at casting...

    Seriously, battle sorcerer sucks. Less spells known = fail. Particularly as he will be the Primary Arcane Caster in the party, he is going to need MORE flexibility, not LESS. Just grab Mirror Image to make yourself practically immune to Melee, and start flinging spells. Never in your career should you ever consider getting into melee reach with ANYTHING.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    For a first character, if someone wants to go arcane spellcaster... or any spellcaster, to be honest... I ALWAYS recommend Sorcerer. I also suggest they ask the DM if he'll be a little lenient in allowing switching of spells known, at least at first, as the new player grows into his character.

    I find the easiest way to go is with a human sorcerer, picking up Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. There's a lot of nice rays, and these two feats combine to A) Add accuracy and B) Reduce problems involving party members in combat with your target. For nice usable rays, look at Ray of Enfeeblement and Scorching Ray, just from first and second level spells respectively. Point Blank Shot will also add a comparably significant amount of damage to Ray of Frost/Acid Splash, if you're starting at 1st level, 1d3+1 is proportionately nicer than just 1d3.

    Try and keep a decent fort, reflex, and will save around - Grease is a nice reflex save, as is Web, though Web is higher level. Glitterdust, as mentioned, is nice for Will. And Scorching Ray will make for nice damage, if you need to do it, once you hit level 4. At either third or sixth level, I'd pick up Heighten Spell, so you can keep your save-or-sucks known to a minimum, casting Glitterdust as a 4th level spell instead of having to know it AND a 4th level Will is very helpful.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    Well... actually you can, to an extent.

    And etc. etc, you get the gist.

    Also, I support Sorcerer over Wizard. Wizards are way annoying to keep track of- you have to figure out what spells to prepare every day, you have to figure out how to get new spells (because even being AS good as a sorcerer requires you to find spell scrolls/spell books/ways to learn spells and invest in them). For a new player less used to regulating their power, a Wizard is more difficult since they have significantly less spells per day, as well.

    Wizards require tons of managing, and in the end I disagree with Ericgrau- they're just as difficult to make as a Sorcerer is, because they're based on all the same mechanics. If you know how to make a Wizard, you can make a Sorcerer. If you don't know how to make either, you might as well go for a Sorcerer because it is less confusing, and spells are the emphasis (and if you don't know the spells and how to use them properly, you'll be just as ineffective- if not more- with a wizard, who has less power per day to throw around).
    Technically sorcerers can change a couple spells, but not many. I was well aware of that. You still have to pick carefully. Initially both a sorcerer and wizard are equally difficult, but if you screw up a wizard you can change your mind later. I'm just saying if he goes sorcerer to be careful and spend a good deal of time on spell selection. And planning for that matter; because ideally you want the good spells in your high level slots and out-of-combat buffs in lower level ones... which used to be your high level slots. That consumes a lot of your spell swapping right there. The wizard is more work later, but as for difficulty in making a character the sorc can give trouble to new players that don't spend enough time beforehand.

    DragoonWraith: If you want more help with the your spell list, feel free to ask. Maybe pick spells according to your own personal preference and post it so we can weed out problems. A sorcerer whom you knew for sure had a good spell array from the get-go would give the best of both worlds in terms of ease of play. Or just do it by yourself and be real careful, read the spell descriptions carefully, think of how they'd be used, etc.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-04-09 at 10:49 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    Using Core books only:

    Sorcerer (Cannon) = Cannon + Heartbeat. You walk around and blast things from a long way away... (you could be the dude who could create an entire illusionary world around other beings 24/7 if you want...)
    Cannon? Heartbeat? Sounds interesting, but I don't know what you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    Sorcerer (Squirrel-Puncher) = Everybody gets neutered. Hold Person, Enfeeblement, Grease... if it is an enchantment/necromancy and likely to make someone else's life harder... that's your kind of spell.
    That sounds more like what I'll be aiming for. I figure the two Fighters + Rogue can handle damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    Wizard (ALL KINDS) = "I believe I have Rary's Rather Large Rat Repellant Emanating Fog of Lavender in my scrollcase here somewhere... oh there it is right next to Mordenkainen's Magnificent Cutlery Set" Seriously, if its on a scroll buy it and write in your book, then copy it out of the book onto a Scroll and have a scroll case that was single-handedly responsible for the Deforestation of the Great Desert... Most people seem to forget about Downtime and Scribe Scroll... Wizards should NEVER run out of spells, if you run out then the next time you go to town... BUY LOTS MORE PAPER YOU TWIT!!!!
    That's a great idea. Thanks, I never would have thought of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    Cleric = I am the impenetrable walking fortresss of smackdown. Spells + Heavy Armour... even just using the Core Books... seriously well-done Clerics are HARDCORE. This is before you include the overpowered cheese that allow you to burn turning attempts to power metamagic feats... (Which peanut brained crack smoking chimpanzee thought that was a balanced mechanic????)
    Personal buffs are less interesting to me. *shrug* But how does one accomplish that cheese, anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggernaut1981 View Post
    My personal choice: Wizard. But then I have played Wizards and Rogues for almost every single one of my characters... the party got the poos with my Saintly Paladin and another time my Cleric basically died when the rest of the party was nerfed at the same time (but there was comedy GOLD leading up to that point, including the Cleric impersonating the god of Kuotoans)
    That sounds amusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    For a first character, if someone wants to go arcane spellcaster... or any spellcaster, to be honest... I ALWAYS recommend Sorcerer. I also suggest they ask the DM if he'll be a little lenient in allowing switching of spells known, at least at first, as the new player grows into his character.
    Yeah, I definitely will be asking Ernir for a little leniency there, if I go that route. That, or get a very good idea of what I'm looking for here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    I find the easiest way to go is with a human sorcerer, picking up Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. There's a lot of nice rays, and these two feats combine to A) Add accuracy and B) Reduce problems involving party members in combat with your target. For nice usable rays, look at Ray of Enfeeblement and Scorching Ray, just from first and second level spells respectively. Point Blank Shot will also add a comparably significant amount of damage to Ray of Frost/Acid Splash, if you're starting at 1st level, 1d3+1 is proportionately nicer than just 1d3.
    Rays sound cool, but TLN suggested that damage is a waste of time - for Wizards. Is it different for Sorcerers, or do you simply disagree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    Try and keep a decent fort, reflex, and will save around - Grease is a nice reflex save, as is Web, though Web is higher level. Glitterdust, as mentioned, is nice for Will. And Scorching Ray will make for nice damage, if you need to do it, once you hit level 4. At either third or sixth level, I'd pick up Heighten Spell, so you can keep your save-or-sucks known to a minimum, casting Glitterdust as a 4th level spell instead of having to know it AND a 4th level Will is very helpful.
    Heightened Spell seems amazing for the Sorcerer. Will keep that in mind.

    Metamagic on a Sorcerer seems a little weaker, though, because of the extra time thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Technically sorcerers can change a couple spells, but not many. I was well aware of that. You still have to pick carefully. Initially both a sorcerer and wizard are equally difficult, but if you screw up a wizard you can change your mind later. I'm just saying if he goes sorcerer to be careful and spend a good deal of time on spell selection. And planning for that matter; because ideally you want the good spells in your high level slots and out-of-combat buffs in lower level ones... which used to be your high level slots. That consumes a lot of your spell swapping right there. The wizard is more work later, but as for difficulty in making a character the sorc can give trouble to new players that don't spend enough time beforehand.

    DragoonWraith: If you want more help with the your spell list, feel free to ask. Maybe pick spells according to your own personal preference and post it so we can weed out problems. A sorcerer whom you knew for sure had a good spell array from the get-go would give the best of both worlds in terms of ease of play. Or just do it by yourself and be real careful, read the spell descriptions carefully, think of how they'd be used, etc.
    Thanks, I will definitely do that.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-04-10 at 04:22 AM.

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