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Sorcerers, do you use chain lightning?

Do you guys use chain lightning?

It is very often considered very weak spell, and for a good reason. 10d6 at level 20 and half if target made successful save. This means it's around 15 average damage per cast. Pretty weak right? But a sorcerer with Vecna and AoP can cast this instantly and with Reaching Ring and HLA (extra level 6 slot) you can cast 8 of them. Combined with Improved Alacrity you can drop average 120 damage on everyone with party friendly AOE. 240 on failed save.

Considering Dragon's breath does 50 average damage this means you have ~x2.5 dragons breath in your pocket with instant cast. Of course they don't ignore magic resistance but there are few enemies quite vulnerable to this type of damage which is also nice. Those values are quite decent even on LoB.

Sorcerer Project Image under IA expends spellbook really fast but often his level 6 isn't very valuable offense wise.

I was wondering if other people use it since one chain lighting is pretty bad but 8 are already decent.



  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,741
    As a passionate Sorcerer, I would rather take Protection From Magic Energy from the same level, cast it on my tank buddy, send him to take in the aggro and corner my enemies, and then bombard him with half a dozen Skull Traps. Huge damage, instant profit.
    As an added advantage, PFME also protects you from Horrid Wilting (!!), Magic Missiles and Larloch's Minor Drain. Feels a lot more useful to me, especially in protecting the entire party from Horrid Wilting and using party friendly Skull Traps.

    Level 6 doesn't have many good direct damage spells. Death Fog (or Death Spell, as one prefers) is a bit more decent than Chain Lightning due to it's summon banishing properties, but there are more save or die type offensive spells here (besides the vast collection of summoning spells).

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 312
    edited May 2019
    @Rik_Kirtaniya yeah I do that too when in party. I was wondering if anyone does use chain lightning though.

    But sometimes I do take Limited Wish instead of PFME since it gives globe (shorter duration but for entire party) and take something on lvl 6 instead. I find lvl 7 choices a bit lackluster comapred to lvl 6. You can also then use globe for mass intoxication debuff which is FUN!

    But I do find skull trap + ADHW + dragons breath being enough of damaging spells but I wondered if anyone does find chain lightning anywhere near useful. I never took it so far.

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,262
    I mean Chain Lightning is a pretty good spell but level 6 spells suffer from massive opportunity cost from being in the same level as the horrifically broken Protection from Magical Weapons, Improved Haste and Mislead that anything else may as well not exist. You can put three in a Spell Trigger and it’s useful in a pinch.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,385
    From my improved anvil runs I learned that chain lightning can interrupt opponent casting. The damage may not be huge for an individual but it does jump across the board showing great potential.

    I am quite pleased with it.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,819
    Chain Lightning as it is in Baldur's Gate 2 would be balanced as a 3rd-level spell.

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