View Full Version : Two arcanist questions

2010-09-03, 01:42 PM
I'm running a game with a lot of NPC arcanists but this could be useful to know for making PC's too.

For making a lot of quick and dirty wizards and sorcerers I was wondering what sort of buffs, divinations and other protection spells of different levels they'd have ready for combat. It's a big question but this is perhaps my greatest weakness in spell selection, I'm usually more offence oriented.

What sort of buffs would sorcerers choose with their limit number of spells, something they might potentially have to use often a day?

The bigger question is the same for wizards. What sort of protection spells would it be reasonable for the average wizards to have in store and what long-term buffs might they have active at all times? Stuff that's 24 hours, hours per level or dismiss-able for an instant benefit.

2010-09-03, 02:06 PM
Well, everything that applies to PC's also applies to these folks, so any sort of wizard and sorcerer guides will help with this. If you're dealing with a tabletop game, tracking a dozen PC buffs may be hard enough, so keeping NPC buffs simple can be a tremendous help.

Mage Armour or something similar is almost a given, unless the character in question has another way of dealing with not getting hit. Depending on how resilient you WANT them to be, Freedom of Movement, Resist Fire, Contingency and the Heart of Air/Water/Earth/Fire spells are also very helpful. For the paranoid, Nondetection/Mind Blank are very helpful.

For short term buffs, I find that Protection from Alignment remains helpful right up to high levels, not for the bonuses versus alignment, but for the ability to ignore charms and summoned creatures.

But again, focus on simple.

2010-09-03, 02:09 PM
It....really varies. What kind of arcanist?

Im working through a collection of detailed builds to fix exactly this problem for DMs, but Im only about a dozen characters in(aiming for 101).

Building classes like warlock or warmage are much easier, due to the limited spell lists, all in one place(ok, mostly in one place). You can crank those out quickly.

2010-09-03, 03:10 PM
Yeah that's the problem I've pretty much established that most of them are wizards and sorcerers but I was mostly looking for sort of default protection spells a) sorcerers and b) wizards might have in store if they got attacked.

I'm looking for the "No buttons" for the high tier arcanists basically. I'm much more familiar with the ways of making others scream "No".

Of course I don't actually want the NPC's to be invincible paranoid wizards but if I knew more useful trick I could always use them in moderation.

2010-09-03, 03:22 PM
I'm not sure of the level here, but make sure the basics are covered for defense - any attack should have a 50% miss chance, and no melee should be able to close to melee range (fly, DDoor, ect). All of those basic defenses can be always-on at higher levels through items or permanence. If you're actually looking for cheese, look no further than craft contingency.

For offense, you want a mix of battlefield control spells (spells that split the party), save-or-be-useless spells (feeblemind, forcecage, etc) and specialist summoning (feats and class varients will seriously buff summoned critters). Just spamming the party with save-or-die spells won't be much fun (and spamming HP damage spells isn't very colorful), and if I understand what you're getting at you want these NPCs to be really annoying/frustrating to fight, not so much to be deadly. The combination of nasty debuffs, summoned creatures, and isolating party members would seem to be the best approach to that.

2010-09-03, 03:27 PM
Contingent teleport is a classic. Other contingencies are good as well, but thats generally a stock use of contingency.

Mage armor/shield(or one of it's variants).

For sorc, wings of cover are too good to pass up.

Flight, obviously. Overland flight, when available. Yknow the various +4 enhancement bonus stat buffs? Assume they buff primary and often secondary stats, unless it would overlap with another enhancement bonus.

Feather Fall is a good defensive spell to keep prepared, or available through other means.

Potions of cure x are appropriate. Not awesome for all in-combat use, but good in conjunction with BC, and a likely thing arcanists would keep around just in case.

Mirror Image is awesome, and should be used where appropriate.

2010-09-03, 10:43 PM
I've always liked the idea of a diviner sorceror who takes mostly actual divination spells with only a passing nod to offence and defense. Keep in mind before you chide me for that, that 98% of the population live peaceful non-combative lives. A dedicated sorceror could get a lot of information gathering done in a day.

2010-09-03, 10:58 PM
Lv 9: Foresight.
Lv 8: Mind-Blank
Lv 7: Energy Immunity (SpC)
Lv 6: Greater Anticipate Teleport (SpC)
Lv 4: Greater Luminous Armor (if Good aligned; BoED), Greater Mirror Image (PHBII)
Lv 3: Anticipate Teleport (Spc) I think I have the level right. Dragonskin (Nat Armor and Energy Resistance with 10 min/duration; SpC)

Just a few.

2010-09-03, 11:55 PM
I make buff sheets for my NPCs. Eventually, I also assumed that these effects were cast by another on the target so I could choose the spells I preferred.