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"Hardcore" Mage Specialist Run

I got an idea about trying a rather hardcore approach to mage specialists, i.e. using spells from their school only for role-playing reasons.

I am pretty sure someone has tried this before.

What would be the most fun setup and party?

What worked unexpectedly well?

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    edited May 2018
    Hello,

    I believe you can take advantage of the fact that your ennemies will have a -2 penalty to their saves if you cast a spell of your own school. This can be particularly beneficial for spells that inflict confusion, fear or such crowd control spells. To be tested :)

    Edit: I forgot to mention charm, paralysis (hold), labyrinth... Anything incapacitating ;)

    Edit 2 : Later in the game (mainly in ToB) , you will need another arcane spellcaster to remove magic protections and resistance to magic, if you want your main char to be effective

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    edited May 2018
    Invokers are probably your best bet, especially if you're playing a trilogy run. They get Web, which pound for pound is the best spell in the entire trilogy, *AND* Invokers get an extra -2 save penalty when casting it, (for a -4 penalty total). It's an auto-win for all of BG1 and most of BG2, and is still totally usable through Throne of Bhaal, especially if you stack them (using Minor Sequencers, which are also in-school!)

    You also get Shield, Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb, Fireball, Melf's Minute Meteors, Cloudkill, Sunfire, Delayed Blast Fireball, Mordenk's Sword, Incendiary Cloud, both Bigby's, *AND* all sequencers and contingencies. Just a monster spell list, and that save penalty stays relevant the entire game.

    You're mostly going to find yourself hurting for defensive spells, (no Mirror Image, Stoneskin, Improved Invisibility, or Spell Immunity, or Protection from Magic Weapons), but good party play can mitigate that. Your party will also miss buffs like (Improved) Haste. Breach will be a big loss in mage battles, but that's easily offset by bringing an Inquisitor (or Keldorn), or else by going into Watcher's Keep early and grabbing a couple Breach wands.

    If you wanted to bring two, I'd grab an Abjurer as my second. It's a really eclectic spell list, but it has some phenomenal gems and it helps round out your arsenal. You get (Improved) Haste and Slow (which casts at a Brobdingnagian -6 save penalty!), a couple instakills (Polymorph Other, Flesh to Stone, and Disintegrate), and eventually you get the Time Stop / Shapechange combo that trivializes the end-game. Plus Stoneskin!

    Other than those highlights, it's a weird mix with a lot of filler, a few spells to turn you into a quasi-fighter, (Polymorph Self and Tenser's Transformation), and cult classic Teleport Field. (Memorize it, use it, learn to love it.)

    "Pure" Abjurer would make for a terrible primary caster, but there's a lot to like about it as a secondary.

    All of this assumes a trilogy run, though. If you're just planning on doing BG1, it's Invoker all the way with a spellbook stuffed full of Webs and Fireballs.

    JuliusBorisovOrlonKronsteenOlvynChuruLammas
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 696
    There's been a successful completion by a Necromancer: access to the best nukes in adhw and skill trap, some crowd control in Horror or Paralyzingly touch, summons from Animate Dead, and physical damage from Black Blade of Disaster makes for a pretty well rounded kit.

    Another fun thing to try is Enchanter 10(?) dual into Cleric, since Enchantment doesn't get any more spells past level 5...

    JuliusBorisovOrlonKronsteen
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 988
    Spell Revisions or other spell mods will give spells to every school at every level. The Favoured Soul sorcerer kit from Tome & Blood might not be a bad choice- you could use relevant spells from a clerical sphere as well.

  • parrkerparrker Member Posts: 22
    Yeah, invoker would be an obvious choice.

    Necromancer would be a cool pick. Evil aligned necromancer would be a perfect child of Bhaal.

    How hard would my life be in ToB as a pure illusionist?

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    parrker said:

    Yeah, invoker would be an obvious choice.

    Necromancer would be a cool pick. Evil aligned necromancer would be a perfect child of Bhaal.

    How hard would my life be in ToB as a pure illusionist?

    Depends on how willing one was to abuse Simulacrum and Project Image. If you're allowing scrolls from out of school, it could be argued that pure illusionist would be the *easiest*, since he or she would have a functionally unlimited scroll selection.

    Even if you're disallowing non-class spell scrolls, there's always wands, potions, protection scrolls, and the like. An Illusionist with a Rod of Resurrection would still be the best healer in the game. An illusionist with a Protection from Magic scroll would be the ultimate mage-killer.

  • parrkerparrker Member Posts: 22
    Hmm, it seems to me that using scrolls and wands kind of defeats the purpose of a pure specialist.

    "Oh no, we're doomed! It's Charname, Faerun's most powerful illusionist!"
    "What's so powerful about him?"
    "Just look how many fireball scrolls he's got!"

    It seems to be near impossible to run solo without all the protective spells, so I will need another specialist mage in the party as you suggested.

    Artona
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    parrker said:

    Hmm, it seems to me that using scrolls and wands kind of defeats the purpose of a pure specialist.

    "Oh no, we're doomed! It's Charname, Faerun's most powerful illusionist!"
    "What's so powerful about him?"
    "Just look how many fireball scrolls he's got!"

    It seems to be near impossible to run solo without all the protective spells, so I will need another specialist mage in the party as you suggested.

    I'm agnostic on scrolls, but I think wands in particular should be fair game. Even with scrolls, though... scrolls are designed to give mages access to spells beyond their ability. Would it really be harder for an illusionist to cast skull trap from a scroll than for a level 1 generalist to cast Time Stop?

    I don't think the question was about soloing, which would indeed be really difficult with any specialist, at least by BG2. (In BG1, Web *is* a protective spell!) By and large, in party play Mirror Image and Stoneskin can be replaced by strong tanks and quality positioning.

    parrker
  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 73
    I have started a game with an Abjurer who will just use Blue or White spells, i.e. he will be purely support/defensive into a team of 6 with another mage (Neera). Most spells from Abjuration school are defensive but he will use as well spells from other schools (like Illusion and Divination). Of course, he won't use Imprisonment, even if it an Abjuration spell.
    Of course, he won't use any wands.

  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 73
    Perhaps a good challenge would be to use PnP rules of opposing schools which make the game more difficult. For example, Necromancers would have to renounce to Illusion and Enchantment...

  • RigelRigel Member Posts: 73
    OK, the problem would be the Illusionist, who would lose THREE schools, which seems a bit severe...
    But it makes sense for a Necromancer not to use Enchantment spells (and the contrary as well).

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    edited February 12
    @SomeSort Are you sure Time-Stop/Shapechange trivializes the endgame?
    I seem to remember that Both Am<spoiler> and Demogorgon are immune to time stop, and other than Demogorgon, most bosses don't die regularly but require a script to run - which you would break with Time Stop.
    As for OP, have you considered gnomish Thief/Illusionists? Using your spells to lure the enemy into traps, chaining backstabs and generally irritating the hell out of them?

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