View Full Version : Building a nonlethal blaster sorcerer (3.5)

2010-09-08, 05:26 PM
I'm curious how I would go about building an effective combat spellcaster who is dedicated to taking the parties enemies alive. It is more a case of having an option of doing this and still being able to kill or destroy whatever enemies are immune to nonlethal damage or otherwise have to die for the plot to go on.

Also, I'd like some way of dealing with the bodies or otherwise sending the defeated foes to prison/slave pits/meat factory/brainwashing camp/ or whatever other place I can send them without slowing down the party too much.

So, what I have so far:
Human Sorcerer because sorcerers can spontaneously cast spells which helps for blasting.

Metamagic Specialist class feature


Nonlethal Substitution [metamagic] (from Exalted Deeds) [earliest I can take it is lvl 3 due to the prerequisites. Any better way to deal nonletal damage with spells? I like it because its a +0 level metamagic. Would use it to substitute force into nonlethal damge]

Fell Animate [metamagic] (libre mortis) [Use it turn living enemies into zombies. If I deem it necessary to kill someone, why not have their zombie help carry my stuff? I think level 6 is the earliest a sorcerer can take it unless I can take it earlier and just wait till I can cast 3rd level spells.]

Extend Spell [metamagic] (SRD) [no real plans for this, just get at 1st level as a prerequisite for Nonlethal Substitution. If there is a better 1st level metamagic then get rid of this]


1st: Magic Missile, Sleep
2nd: Command Undead
3rd: Explosive Runes, Dispel Magic, Distilled Joy
6th: Flesh to Stone, Stone to Flesh

Not sure what other spells I can use.

Basic Tactics so far:

Use party buffing spells or enemy debuffing spells as needed.

Deal nonlethal damage when possible. Nonlethal Substitution metamagic converts one energy type into nonlethal damage and I think Force damage would be a good contestant here. Magic Missile and Explosive Runes are both pretty nice damage spells... Explosive Runes particularly since at the end of the day I can convert spell slots into pieces of paper that deal nonlethal damage when read.

Once I can use the Fell Animate metamagic and I knock an enemy out then I can tie them up, stab them until they are almost dead, then finish them off with a Fell Animate metamagiked cantrip or something. Once I have zombies at my command then I can have them carry stuff around without bothering my team mates.

Zombies can carry nonlethal Explosive Runes, step up next to an enemy and read the message. Undead are not subject to nonlethal damage so I should be able to use my zombies to detonate the runes without them being destroyed in the blast.

Use command undead or similar spells to deal with creatures immune to nonlethal damage in addition to using lethal damage.

Distilled Joy extracts the happy thoughts of people and turns it into a (most definitely non addictive) narcotic. I'm not quite sure how I can get happy thoughts out of a bunch of tied up prisoners but I'm sure there its nothing a little magic can't solve.

Not sure how to deal with knocked out enemies, so far thinking tying them up and carting them around, converting them into zombies with Fell Animate, or in an emergency using Flesh to Stone along with Shrink Item. I'm sure there are other ways of dealing with them but I can't think of an efficient way to deal with all the enemies I'll be running into that doesn't involve just killing them all and leaving their bodies for the buzzards.

I suppose I could have zombies help out with carrying the prisoners but I suspect that a sorceress walking around with an army of zombified orcs hauling carts full of tied up orc prisoners might give people the wrong ideas.

Also, are there any items similar to Pearls of Power for Sorcerers? I suspect that if my goal is to knock out people without killing them and then see that they are safely sent to jail (or wherever) then I'll have to use some spells rather often.

Emperor Ing
2010-09-08, 05:29 PM
Subdual Substitution (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Subdual_Substitution)

Animate Rope (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Animate_rope)


2010-09-08, 05:41 PM
PHB2 has the Whelm-line of spells, which specifically deal nonlethal damage. They don't need any feats to make work. Beguiler also gets all of them for free, and comes with lots of other useful nonlethal spells as well (most of them enchantments and illusions).

Distilled Pain from BoVD should be easier to get from prisoners than Distilled Joy, and makes more sense on the character too.