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Caster Level and the Cleric/Mage

alastair93alastair93 Member Posts: 117
I really like the concept of the multiclass Cleric/Mage as a character who has mastery over both streams of magic. But one thing worries me and is discouraging me from making one: caster level.

A bulk of spells (dispel magic, fireball, skull trap, Abi-Dalzim's horrid wilting, pierce shield, finger of death, etc. etc. etc.) have a caster level modifier. This can effect how much damage a spell deals, or how effective it will be generally.

Is this a big problem for the Cleric/Mage? Am I correct in thinking that, for instance, casting a fireball spell will only count the mage levels (and not the cleric levels) as "caster levels"?

I've heard that all of these caster level effects are capped at level 20 (with the exception of skull trap). If this is true, then the Cleric/Mage wouldn't be so inferior to a pure Mage or Cleric of equivalent experience in ToB. Can anyone confirm this? I could live with having less-powerful spells while levelling up through BG1 and most of BG2, in exchange for having equivalent spell power (and C/M versatility) in the final quarter of the series.

Anyone have any thoughts on this issue?

Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,151
    Yes spells are generally capped at 20. Dispel/Remove Magic are based on the difference in levels, so they will improve after that point, but everything else (including Skull Trap) I believe is capped at 20.

    Cleric/Mages are a lot more versatile than single classes mages, but that comes at the cost of not getting access to higher level mage spells until a lot later.

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
  • alastair93alastair93 Member Posts: 117
    elminster said:

    Yes spells are generally capped at 20. Dispel/Remove Magic are based on the difference in levels, so they will improve after that point, but everything else (including Skull Trap) I believe is capped at 20.

    Cleric/Mages are a lot more versatile than single classes mages, but that comes at the cost of not getting access to higher level mage spells until a lot later.

    Thanks for the reply. Have you played one before? How do they compare to a Mage single class? Can you still go toe-to-toe with enemy spellcasters?

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,289
    Caster level is a factor indeed (just a multiclass Cleric's Turn Undead level), i.e. the levels of your other class are not counted in calculating the damage/impact of the spell you're casting. In BG1 this is not much of a factor, and in ToB it won't be with the capped spells you mentioned. I'm not sure btw whether all spells but Skull Trap cap at the same level (20), this is information that should be mentioned in the spell descriptions.

    In a party it's recommendable to have single class characters cast the level-dependent spells (Holy Smite, Remove/Dispel Magic, Skull Trap, etc). If you solo or play in small parties, you'll level up pretty fast and you should be able to cast even the level-dependent spells with relative success.

    Note that even with less powerful caster level-dependent spells a Cleric/Mage is a very potent and flexible class. Some people criticize it for the fact that one can only cast one spell per round, but I disagree with that viewpoint. Many Cleric spells are useful before (prebuffing) or after (healing, curing) battle so those spells don't really compete with the more offensive Mage spells in battle. And with Spell Sequencers and Contingencies it's very well possible to insta-cast powerful Cleric spells that normally have a long casting time. If you get to BG2 and equip the Robe of Vecna on your Cleric/Mage you'll have an amazing caster. I have experience with a Gnomish Cleric/Illusionist, and she's great. Hell, even Aerie turns into a force of nature in ToB.

    JuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,151
    Well for one thing enemy spellcasters tend to have scripted spells and some of them (like Liches) will be able to cast certain spells long before you'll hit the level to be able to do that.

    I wouldn't use a cleric/mage as your primary mage. Use it more in a secondary role or perhaps as both your parties cleric and a secondary mage. The reality is though that even at a low level in BG2 you'll still have a lot of spells to choose from.

    BlackravenjackjackJuliusBorisov
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