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HoF sorcerer spells

I’m still working on party composition for a full HoF run (I’ll get as far as Khuldahar and then think something would work better, forcing me to restart).

Sorcerer is one member i know I want though.

By the first fight in the caves, I’ve got web which is absolutely amazing in HoF.

Are there any spells I really need to pick up? Are there any I need to avoid?



  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    For HoF you want summoning spells (because their hit points scale up with difficulty level) and save-or-sleep/die spells like chromatic orb, emotion hopelessness and eventually wail. You can safely discard spells that have hit point limits (because monsters will nearly always exceed them) and you probably don't want very many damage-dealing spells either because they just won't do enough damage to matter on HoF.

  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 110
    The question is whether you intend your sorceror to have a defined role. Summoner? Crowd control? Buffer? Caster disrupter? Melee thug at higher levels? Your selection(s) will help you prioritize and pick. If spellcaster-heavy and you want the option of uninterrupted rest, you may want Invisibility 10' Radius as an early pick. If you want to buff a melee and summons-heavy party, Emotion:Hope.

    Since a sorc will end up doing a lot of support, it pays to pick only a few damage spells, but ones that have a chance for added benefit of some sort - Chromatic Orb, Melf's Acid Arrow, etc. You also have to decide how comfortable you are exposing your sorc to attack. I'm not, so I would avoid all touch spells, by preference, and I'm not likely to pick something like Sunfire, either. Consider whether you are willing to burn picks on spells that have early utility, like Charm Person, but not much later utility.

  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 110
    Having HoF experience and recently running a sorc in an insane party, I have some further comments on spell levels 1-3 - will update as I get higher and evaluate what's working.

    Spells basically come down to about five different types: damage, crowd control, utility, summoning, and caster-survival. There is some overlap possible of course, and many damage-type spells have a crowd control effect as well. I highly recommend that any party with a sorc should have a second arcane caster, and at least one divine caster. With that type of party composition, one can limit the sorc's selection of utility and summoning spells. IMO, it's a waste to take Knock, Identify, Monster Summoning I, Resist Fear, and the like for a HoF sorc in a party - a solo sorc or one in a party with no other arcane casters is a different conversation.

    The combination of HoF and sorc gives directives that the spells you must choose are ones that you will cast a lot and will be effective in HoF. Another arcane caster allows the situational spells to be ignored in favour of the spells that will be effective in most battles.

    Level One must-haves:
    Magic Missile - guaranteed damage, no save, takes down mirror image, useful for killing almost-dead enemies and spell disruption
    Chromatic Orb - save or stunned saves lives
    Grease - excellent crowd control for a level 1 spell

    Other two picks would be some combination of Spook (scaled - to saves capping at -6!), Shield, Armor, Color Spray, Charm Person, or even Friends, with the knowledge that I won't cast them very often. I avoid Shocking Grasp and Burning Hands as requiring the sorc to be too close to the action. There are better alternatives for troll-killing, so I don't take BH just for that, even with a mage, never mind a sorc.

    In no circumstances should a HoF sorc take Chill Touch, Find Familiar (have 9 Int and cast it from a scroll if you want a familiar), Infravision, or Sleep. Spells not mentioned at all may have some utility but I don't really recommend them.

    Level Two must-haves:
    Glitterdust - save or blind saves lives, affects many enemies with decent AoE
    Mirror Image - best caster-survival spell of Lvls 1-3
    Web - save or webbed -effectively paralyzed- for man-size enemies

    Other two picks would be some combination of Melf's Acid Arrow (damage, disruption), Blur, Horror, Invisibility, Snilloc's Snowball Swarm (for disruption), and Stinking Cloud.

    I would avoid Deafness, Decastave, Detect Evil, Detect Invisibility, Ghoul Touch, Know Alignment, Luck, Power Word: Sleep (target must have <20 HP), Protection from Petrification, and Ray of Enfeeblement (cast Chromatic Orb instead, it does damage and has a stronger effect). Spells not mentioned at all may have some utility but I don't really recommend them.

    Level Three must-haves:
    Skull Trap - magic damage, scales to 30d6
    Slow - great crowd control at -4 to saves
    Melf's Minute Meteors - focused damage at 5 attacks/round, secondary fire effect, total of 7-10 damage per missile. Great for killing trolls, disrupting casters, and helping to take down archers and melee monsters alike. You get one missile per caster level so it scales ok. It makes Burning Hands and Melf's Acid Arrow redundant for troll-killing, and has much greater utility. I haven't tested it, but might allow for 10 attacks/round with Improved Haste, turning your sorc into a fire-arrow shooting machine gun. Meteors last until dispelled, so they don't get wasted, and you can cast it pre-combat to give you something better to do than sling once you cast your initial combat spells, or even pre-resting and carry it over to the next day of battle.

    Other two picks would be some combination of Fireball (hard to turn it down because of fire and AoE but doesn't scale well), Dispel Magic, Flame Arrow (1 arrow per 5 levels!), Haste, Ghost Armor, Hold Undead, Invisibility 10' Radius, Protection from Cold, Protection from Fire, and Protection from Normal Missiles.

    I would avoid Clairvoyance, Detect Illusion, Dire Charm, Hold Person (have a cleric cast it if you need it), Icelance (ok secondary effect, but not enough damage with absolutely no scaling), Lightning Bolt (danger to caster/party in confined areas), Minor Spell Deflection, Monster Summoning I, Non-Detection, and Spell Thrust. Spells not mentioned at all may have some utility but I don't really recommend them.

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