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Roquen
2007-05-26, 07:04 PM
Hey,

which are the best arcane spells? It surely depends on what you wanna do, but lets leave this kind of disscussion for later, lets talk about any type of arcane spell. Don't limit yourselves in the high levels! :)

Thanks.

PS.: if there is a similar thread, please point it out to me.

Dhavaer
2007-05-26, 07:06 PM
Prestidigitation, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Cloudkill, Timestop, Glitterdust, Gate, Forcecage, Phantom Steed, Overland Flight.

Jasdoif
2007-05-26, 07:09 PM
You will almost certainly be directed to TLN's guide to wizards (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18500) at some point, might as well mention it now.

Ditto
2007-05-26, 07:12 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18500

EDIT: Hm, third isn't bad. I'm normally so far behind when I try to jump in answering this question. :smalltongue:

Saph
2007-05-26, 07:12 PM
Level 1 - Grease. So many uses.

Level 2 - Glitterdust. Blind enemies and stop them attacking you! Reveal invisible creatures! Stop enemies from hiding! Allow the rogue to sneak attack them! All this and it's No-SR, too.

Level 3 - Haste. Haste is awesome. You could be a wiz/sorcerer who cast nothing at all but Haste, and you'd still be worth your weight in gold to the party.

Level 4 - Charm Monster. Charm Person is great, but many enemies aren't humanoids, and the 1/hour duration can be an issue. Charm Monster fixes both these problems.

Level 5 - Baleful Polymorph. Because nothing's more fun than turning your enemy into a hamster or a chicken.

- Saph

Gavin Sage
2007-05-26, 07:12 PM
So nobody else can say it.... Fireball

Face it have we met a wizard that doesn't know it. And blowing enemies away by the boat-load. That's the whole purpose of being a mage right there I think.

Jacob Orlove
2007-05-26, 07:43 PM
The following two lists don't cover all possible spells, but are really, really good otherwise (note: both contain profanity, although some words are slightly masked):

Spells that Kill People (http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=815)

Utility Spells (http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=822)

Fireball is on the latter list, mostly because you can hit targets 600' away with it.

Jimp
2007-05-26, 07:57 PM
Fireball

Face it have we met a wizard that doesn't know it.

Every wizard that I have ever played.

kjones
2007-05-26, 08:02 PM
Compared (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/summonMonsterIII.htm) to (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/haste.htm) what (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shrinkItem.htm) you (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/slow.htm) could (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fly.htm) be doing (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/stinkingCloud.htm) with 3rd level spells, Fireball just seems kind of silly, dunnit?

And that's just in Core...

Gralamin
2007-05-26, 08:20 PM
The greatest core 3rd level spell: Dispel Magic
Close 2nd: Phantom Steed

Outside Core: Shivering Touch From frostburn

kemmotar
2007-05-26, 08:44 PM
silence cast with its center being the enemy caster...If you yourself keep your distance of 30 ft he can also be an annoyance to other casters especially at low levels.

Against a single enemy, antigravity or if you have a familiar transfer the concentration to it. Now you have effectively made useless a barbarian/fighter/rogue.

Polymorph the other into a human being with no legs or arms...you have now effectively made him useless without killing him...

mirage arcana or illusory terrain to make armies jump if cliffs.

sphere of invisibility and silence, now your party can get past the guards all together without rolling checks.

arcane sight- tell you who is a caster and who's not, see invisibilty, see what is a magic item and what it not, see magical auras to cast dispell or not

gate--position a gate to the fire plane horizontally over the city you want to destroy. Designate the position of the gate in the fire plane within a lava river. Wave goodbye to the town.

Fly-->Invisibility-->Flaming sphere and just guide it to whatever you want to set aflame without becoming visible...

Mirage arcana the gate of the castle that the enemy army is trying to take out of existence.

Arcane mark the symbol of nerrul on the cleric of pelor's back just to laugh at him...or inversely the symbol of pelor on the cleric of nerrul's back if you wanna kill him without actually doing anything...

Deser Binding from sandstorm, make you enemy into the sand of the desert and let him roam aimlessly for 1year per caster level or turn him into sand in an hourglass and keep him with you. He can speak and hear everything but can't do anything...so you can ask him anything you want and use his knowledge for 1 year/ caster level. When you're bored of him break the hourglass to kill him:smallbiggrin:

kjones
2007-05-26, 09:12 PM
Polymorph the other into a human being with no legs or arms...you have now effectively made him useless without killing him...


Baleful Polymorph (? You didn't specify which...) can do a lot of "save-or-suck" things, but surprisingly, this isn't one of them. Even if you go by Polymorph Other from 3.0 ed., you still only turn them into "an average member of the species". This is so you can't polymorph into a bodybuilder human with 18 STR, but it also means that you can't polymorph your enemies into a limbless fellow.

kemmotar
2007-05-26, 09:21 PM
with 3rd level spells, Fireball just seems kind of silly, dunnit?

And that's just in Core...

Indeed fireball isn't the solution to everything but you easily destroy everything you need to. Fly at a high altitude and "air bomb" the enemy camp...alternatively stand at the top of a nearby hill/mountain overlooking the bombing site and kill everything that moves while they sleep. Have the rest of the party be around the camp so they can kill off the weakened enemies and you can dimension door closer when needed.

Also with multiple permanent symbols of death you can make the perfect trap for anything you wanna keep there...for example you phylactery...Jut cast them around the room with the phylactery in the middle. Set the "password" as anything touching that goes within 5 feet of the phylactery or the symbols or casting a spell will detonate them. Thus 150 damage per symbol going off at the same time and then recharging 10 minutes later. Just failing one or two of the saves can be fatal...imagine having ten of those in a single room...besides, looking for traps won't help since there are none...just make sure that they cannot be seen from outside the room.

kemmotar
2007-05-26, 09:29 PM
Baleful Polymorph (? You didn't specify which...) can do a lot of "save-or-suck" things, but surprisingly, this isn't one of them. Even if you go by Polymorph Other from 3.0 ed., you still only turn them into "an average member of the species". This is so you can't polymorph into a bodybuilder human with 18 STR, but it also means that you can't polymorph your enemies into a limbless fellow.

Polymorph as per the 4th level spell. It doesn't specify what you can to turn the recipient into. It just says another form of living creature. A legless-armless human is another form of living creature...Alternatively you can make it permanent (by making it an armless-legless member of its own race) and then promise to polymorph them back (with a normal polymorph) and then laugh your way back when he goes back to being helpless after the normal polymorph wears off...

Droodle
2007-05-26, 09:32 PM
For wizards (but not sorcerers), Fireball is a great spell. It's hard to make a wand of fireballs and then never, ever, memorize the spell again without knowing the spell in the first place. Wands of Fireball are great. Fireball only actually sucks when it takes up one of your spell slots.:smallsmile:

Armads
2007-05-26, 09:34 PM
Prestidigitation, Shivering Touch, Gate.

Gavin Sage
2007-05-26, 09:42 PM
Compared (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/summonMonsterIII.htm) to (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/haste.htm) what (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shrinkItem.htm) you (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/slow.htm) could (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fly.htm) be doing (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/stinkingCloud.htm) with 3rd level spells, Fireball just seems kind of silly, dunnit?

And that's just in Core...

I don't care for summons much as spells. The others are fine spells to have, but don't put enemies in the ground. Simple yet always useful, blasting for damage is something that can be used in any fight. As enemies level up they make saves, and Haste doesn't improve leveling up. Fireball levels up and only saves for half.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-26, 09:54 PM
Fireball si worthless as anything but a utility spell.

When you need a distraction it is good, do to the long range.

But it is not something a sorcerer should ever take and wizards should rarely if ever prepare it (take it and scribe a few scrolls each level to up the CL)

TheOOB
2007-05-26, 10:30 PM
"Arcane" is kinda of a meaningless distinction, what matters it what class list a spell is on, not if it's arcane or divine.

That said I find the most useful sorc/wizard spells to be the mental control ones, primarly the charm, suggestion, and dominate series. A good charm spell can save you a lot of time and energy, and avoid many fights. A good suggestion or dominate spell can remove a foe and possibly create an ally (net bonus +2 for team good :P).

Godhand
2007-05-26, 10:39 PM
I don't care for summons much as spells. The others are fine spells to have, but don't put enemies in the ground. Simple yet always useful, blasting for damage is something that can be used in any fight. As enemies level up they make saves, and Haste doesn't improve leveling up. Fireball levels up and only saves for half.

Haste doesn't need to improve as it levels up, the things your hasting are leveling up. Haste is one of those spells that makes everyone better. Melee types can get in another swing with higher accuracy, Rogues can tumble into flanking positions etc. The amount of extra damage your allies can do with a haste spell overrides any damage a fireball can do. Combined with Fire being a damage type most creatures have immunities and resistances to, Fireball doesnt make a good showing. Like others have said, its good in wands or scrolls, but dont bother preparing it when other spells can take its place.

Good Arcane Spells? Wall of Stone, Stoneskin, Dispel Magic, Ray of Exhaustion/Enfeeblement. Shatter.

Edit: Sorry for the double post, the boards went insane on me.

prufock
2007-05-26, 10:49 PM
Fireball si worthless as anything but a utility spell.

You win the "most contradictory statement of the post" award!

Jacob Orlove
2007-05-26, 10:52 PM
To quote from the second thread I linked, talking about Fireball:

It's long range and does about 21 points of damage to a big area, ignoring the hardness of flamable stuff.

That means that it is often structurally the same as invisibility for the whole party - there's a group of sentries way over there and you can either run forward and engage them, try to sneak past, or you can just fireball their camp and not have to worry about it.

Things that you use to remove enemies when they are too far away to bother rolling initiative are not combat spells in any meaningful way. Indeed, actually using fireball in combat is madness. But a 6th level Warmage can throw that bad boy at targets over 600 feet away - making it an overland damaging spell. The thigs you hurt with it aren't even miniatures on the battle map.

-Frank

TheOOB
2007-05-26, 10:56 PM
The only time I have use fireball to deal good damage was on a white dragon (double damage), who failed their save, and the fireball melted the ice they where climbing on, causing them to fall and take more damage, and become prone.

Lemur
2007-05-26, 11:05 PM
Silent Image. All the other Image spells, while we're at it. Create concealment, enclose an area with an illusion to block out the sun, create distractions, or just use it to freak people out with the strangest thing you can think of. Images are pure imagination in spell form.

Gavin Sage
2007-05-26, 11:07 PM
Haste doesn't need to improve as it levels up, the things your hasting are leveling up. Haste is one of those spells that makes everyone better. Melee types can get in another swing with higher accuracy, Rogues can tumble into flanking positions etc. The amount of extra damage your allies can do with a haste spell overrides any damage a fireball can do. Combined with Fire being a damage type most creatures have immunities and resistances to, Fireball doesnt make a good showing. Like others have said, its good in wands or scrolls, but dont bother preparing it when other spells can take its place.

While your party levels up Haste doesn't so becomes proportionately smaller a benefit as time passes. Still very useful but hey that's why you prepare more than one spell. But when you don't have a party with you, there are other running spells and melee is not something any mage should be in really. And haste as a lasting enchantment can be countered, not as much to do on damage. Also fire resistance at later levels is so, but less so earlier and I've never found total fire resistance to that common.

And good in wands or scolls still counts as that's just a different way to prep a spell now isn't it?

TheOOB
2007-05-26, 11:08 PM
Well, the bonuses of haste become slightly less useful as time goes on, but the extra attack becomes more useful as time goes on.

Catch
2007-05-26, 11:12 PM
You win the "most contradictory statement of the post" award!

Not if you're playing a useful wizard.

Corolinth
2007-05-26, 11:18 PM
Cantrip (now known as Prestidigitation)
Melf's Minute Rice
Magic Missile
Stick
Mage Hand

TheOOB
2007-05-26, 11:26 PM
shadow conjuration, most versitile spell ever (except for wish, but they have an xp cost)

prufock
2007-05-26, 11:32 PM
Not if you're playing a useful wizard.

Kaboom! How many heads can we make explode?

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-27, 12:01 AM
You win the "most contradictory statement of the post" award!

Not really.

Fireball should almost never be used in combat. It's use is when you need to create a distraction or cause property damage.

Jasdoif
2007-05-27, 12:04 AM
Also with multiple permanent symbols of death you can make the perfect trap for anything you wanna keep there...for example you phylactery...Jut cast them around the room with the phylactery in the middle. Set the "password" as anything touching that goes within 5 feet of the phylactery or the symbols or casting a spell will detonate them. Thus 150 damage per symbol going off at the same time and then recharging 10 minutes later. Just failing one or two of the saves can be fatal...imagine having ten of those in a single room...besides, looking for traps won't help since there are none...just make sure that they cannot be seen from outside the room.Actually, there are traps. The symbols created by any of the symbol spells are magical traps, and a rogue can find them with Search and disable them with Disable Device.

Also, symbol of death doesn't deal damage; it simply kills up to 150HP worth of creatures in its area if its effect works on them. A creature with 151 HP or more is unaffected by any number of symbols of death.

TheOOB
2007-05-27, 12:09 AM
Not really.

Fireball should almost never be used in combat. It's use is when you need to create a distraction or cause property damage.

In my experiance Flamming Sphere does both of those things better then a fireball. You can set a whole town on fire in less then a minute with the sphere, or use it to round up the bad guys.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-27, 12:15 AM
The only problem with flaming sphere is the range.

Fireball at CL 5 has a range of 600 feet. Flaming sphere at CL 20 has a range of 300 feet.

But as I said. Wizards should scribe it into their books from the first scroll they find of it and make 5 or so scrolls every level.

Don't prepare it every day but a few scrolls are always nice.

fusama
2007-05-27, 12:20 AM
Chained (via chain spell) Chain lighting. Just to make everyone do the math on that one.
Wind wall for pissing off arcane archers:
AA: Every arrow I touch is automatically a +181720 weapon! prepare to die!
Wiz: wind wall
AA: damnit!

More seriously: Mage Hand and Disintegrate are two of my favorites.

Skjaldbakka
2007-05-27, 12:21 AM
Will you people stop trashing the fireball! I am right with you guys in that fireball is most useful in scroll or wand format, but a fireball can be a rogue's best friend. Oh wait! you're talking about a wizard casting a fireball. My bad. Ah, UMD + evasion.

But seriously, fireball has its place, and there is nothing wrong with a wizard who blasts things. A wizard that uses evocation is being nice to the party, and nice to the GM, by not using the most brutally effective spellcasting solutions. As someone who leans towards NOT playing spellcasters, I love it when the wizard opens up with fireball right before I charge in there with Cleave and Great Cleave and finish them all off.

Also, in my experience with BBEGs, they never fail saves, but also don't tend to have evasion, and thus direct damage serves to speed up their demise.

Again, opening with fireball before fighters are in melee is perfectly sound, and makes the fighters with cleave happy. Its not like they were going to have a full attack to benefit from haste in the first round anyway.

TheOOB
2007-05-27, 12:25 AM
and there is nothing wrong with a wizard who blasts things.

Acually there is. A wizard is ment to fulfil the arcane utility role in the party. A wizard who wastes their spells doing damage isn't fulfilling their party role, they are just doing the warrior and the rogues job.

prufock
2007-05-27, 02:38 PM
Not really.

Fireball should almost never be used in combat. It's use is when you need to create a distraction or cause property damage.

Uh, you do know what "utility" means, right?

"1. the state or quality of being useful; usefulness: This chemical has no utility as an agricultural fertilizer.
2. something useful; a useful thing.
<cut irrelevant definitions>
11. having or made for a number of useful or practical purposes rather than a single, specialized one: a utility knife."

So what you really said was "Fireball is worthless as anything except a useful spell." Come on, you deserve that award! Celebrate it!

(Note: It was a joke, don't take it too seriously.)

Morty
2007-05-27, 03:06 PM
Acually there is. A wizard is ment to fulfil the arcane utility role in the party. A wizard who wastes their spells doing damage isn't fulfilling their party role, they are just doing the warrior and the rogues job.

Last time I checked, Fireball didn't fill all 3rd level slots, so wizard can use fireball and some other spells at the same time.
But yeah, fireball is weaker than many other spells. On the other hand, give me Stinking Cloud, and I'll use Fireball anyway, because Stinking Cloud is lame. But this thread is about power.
I don't know why noone mentioned Ray of Enfeeblement yet. One touch attack and melee fighing enemy is screwed. Empower of maximize it and profit.

kemmotar
2007-05-27, 07:03 PM
Actually, there are traps. The symbols created by any of the symbol spells are magical traps, and a rogue can find them with Search and disable them with Disable Device.

Also, symbol of death doesn't deal damage; it simply kills up to 150HP worth of creatures in its area if its effect works on them. A creature with 151 HP or more is unaffected by any number of symbols of death.

well it is a trap but it cant be disabled because:
1) you set it so that anyone coming within 5 feet of the symbols gets blown up
2) anyone casting a spell within the symbol's range gets blown up
3) anyone touching the phylactery gets blown up

setting these as the trigger for the symbols will prevent them from being disabled. The point about 151 HP is indeed valid, but if in making a dungeon you only depended on the symbols of death as your defence for your phylactery or whatever is a bad dungeon, or whatever you want to call it. Therefore, having a bunch of golems bust in the second the symbols blow stuff up is a good idea...most spellcaster/rogues should be disabled by now. Mixing them in a picture or pattern on the walls is a good idea since that will make them almost unidentifiable (casting detect magic will trigger the symbols). So there you have it. Hiding golems (my favourites are shadesteel golems from MM3) behind a wall so they can bust in when the symbols blow up to disable anything that didn't die from the symbols. If all this failed then you probably wouldn't have been able to take them anyway...Also it is important to remember that there will have been other traps on the way to the room so you can also wear down the 150+hp baddies before they get to the room...

So although this is a trap, its not a trap per se and not one that they can disable unless they can withstand the blast..Also used in conjunction with other symbols that do hp damage ...can be a quite good team killer trap...

Yuki Akuma
2007-05-27, 07:12 PM
A rogue can disable a Symbol of Death. Sorry to burst your bubble, but he can. It doesn't matter if it's supposed to go off when he gets close to it. He can disable it.

And I think you're misunderstanding the definition of "trap". A trap is anything that says it's a trap. The spell description of Symbol of Death says that it is, in fact, a trap. A magical trap, yes, and one only a character with Trapfinding can hope to disable, but it's still a bloody trap.

Also, my answer? Gate. Used to call a Titan. Possibly a Solar.

The_Snark
2007-05-27, 07:26 PM
I'm going to give an honorable mention to Frostburn's Flesh to Ice spell here. It's essentially Flesh to Stone, available one level lower, and of course turns the target to an ice statue instead of a stone statue.

It's the best spell I know of for permanently removing someone from the universe. Soul Bind and Trap the Soul both have a flaw, in that they have a vulnerable soul gem; break that and your arch-nemesis can be resurrected. Flesh to Ice, on the other hand... The target isn't dead, so they can't be resurrected. The statue has to be found and some obscure Frostburn spell has to be cast, or just Break Enchantment.

The statue is nonmagical ice. Melt it. Divide it into several buckets. Spread the water very widely; oceans are good, but the Elemental Planes of Fire and Water should be included too, and the base of the Spire in the Outlands (making it difficult for even divine assistance to get you what you need). As a bonus, this is available at middling levels, rather than only high levels.

Fourth Tempter
2007-05-27, 07:32 PM
It is certainly arguable (and, I would say, probable) that melting the statue kills the frozen person.

The_Snark
2007-05-27, 07:39 PM
Not immediately. Melting the statue means that when the statue is transmuted back to a person, that person will be dead. Same with Flesh to Stoneóas long as they're transmuted, they're not dead. If the statue's head has been knocked off, the person is still not dead until they've been un-petrified.

At least, that's what it looks like the spell is saying to me.

Ninja Chocobo
2007-05-28, 05:12 AM
Polymorph as per the 4th level spell. It doesn't specify what you can to turn the recipient into. It just says another form of living creature. A legless-armless human is another form of living creature...Alternatively you can make it permanent (by making it an armless-legless member of its own race) and then promise to polymorph them back (with a normal polymorph) and then laugh your way back when he goes back to being helpless after the normal polymorph wears off...
Think y'mean Polymorph Any Object, there, and that's an 8th-level spell.

kemmotar
2007-05-28, 07:05 AM
Think y'mean Polymorph Any Object, there, and that's an 8th-level spell.

True! It would be permanent only with the polymorph any object...However, neither of the spells specifies what you can do with it. Another form of living creatures pretty much means, to me, you got imagination?go nuts :smallbiggrin:

Also Flesh to ice, is the same as Flesh to salt (from sandstorm) is the same as flesh to stone. If you break/melt the statue then, the books says, the person will suffer the same disfigurement. Were you for example to cut of his arm and then cast stone to flesh (which works for all three spells) he would have no arm...Were you to knock off his head and then he would turn from an arguably lifeless statue to an arguably lifeless corpse...Also flesh to salt and flesh to ice need to do damage equal to or more than his half current HP, so it's pretty much when the other is dying that you can do that damage and it needs a fortitude save...

Reinboom
2007-05-28, 09:14 AM
Also, my answer? Gate. Used to call a Titan. Possibly a Solar.

Too simple in means of power, wishes that cost only a total of 1,000 XP and 1 level 9 slot? Or any other immediate task a strange creature may give. Of course, many DMs just say no to this, thankfully.

Starsinger
2007-05-28, 09:36 AM
The statue is nonmagical ice. Melt it. Divide it into several buckets. Spread the water very widely; oceans are good, but the Elemental Planes of Fire and Water should be included too, and the base of the Spire in the Outlands (making it difficult for even divine assistance to get you what you need). As a bonus, this is available at middling levels, rather than only high levels.

That's neat! You could also take 1 Wizard/Sorcerer and at least 1 creature made of flesh. Cast Flesh to Stone, you now have at least one lovely statue. Cast Transmute Rock to Mud, you now have a mess. Form the mud into bricks, cast Transmute Mud to Rock. Now you have the makings of a wizard tower. Clean up with Prestidigitation. Lather, rinse, repeat until your tower is finished. :smallamused:

kemmotar
2007-05-28, 10:38 AM
Then hold person becomes the ultimate escape spell...You are in a burning building, you have no rope..answer? hold person the commoner next to you, use his innards as an escape rope! welcome to the chaotic evil side:smalltongue:

Ninja Chocobo
2007-05-29, 02:46 AM
That's neat! You could also take 1 Wizard/Sorcerer and at least 1 creature made of flesh. Cast Flesh to Stone, you now have at least one lovely statue. Cast Transmute Rock to Mud, you now have a mess. Form the mud into bricks, cast Transmute Mud to Rock. Now you have the makings of a wizard tower. Clean up with Prestidigitation. Lather, rinse, repeat until your tower is finished. :smallamused:

Uhh...
What happens if someone casts Stone to Flesh on your tower?

Dhavaer
2007-05-29, 02:49 AM
Uhh...
What happens if someone casts Stone to Flesh on your tower?

Make them into another tower.

Starsinger
2007-05-29, 05:12 AM
Uhh...
What happens if someone casts Stone to Flesh on your tower?

Then it becomes this really nasty lump of mixed flesh tower...

Arbitrarity
2007-05-29, 05:24 AM
Flesh to salt, from sandstorm.

It's like flesh to stone, except...

1: Find commoner.
2: Cast flesh to salt.
3: Sell salt.
4: Profit!

No, there is no ????, because frankly, salt is worth more than the commoner was.

Actually, add an enlarge person somewhere..

Leon
2007-05-29, 08:35 AM
In no particular order

Slow, Dispel Magic, Scorching ray, Ray of Enfeeblement, Baleful Polymorph, Chain Lightning, Disentergrate, Orb of Force, Suggestion, Arcane Mark, Explosive Runes, Wall of Force, Unseen Servant, Ray of Frost, Wrack, Animalistic Power, Arcane Fusion (Greater also), Lesser Orb of Sound, Reverse gravity

PlatinumJester
2007-05-30, 08:04 AM
Gate - summon a creature with wish and make it wish for stuff you want :smallwink:

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-05-30, 08:14 AM
Did we forget...hm..what is it now...Wraithstrike, wasn't it?
I seem to recall hearing about that somewhere.

Also, Celerity series?
And Contingency?

Those are pretty good spells, I hear.

Seraph
2007-05-30, 08:40 AM
Then it becomes this really nasty lump of mixed flesh tower...

which could possibly be considered as more awesome, in some cases.

RoadBlock
2007-05-30, 10:13 AM
I had a wizard use Flesh to Ice quite effectively on a Stormlord boss one time. Unfortunately, my guy was blasted out of the sky by enemy casters for his troubles. Still, I love that spell.

For core arcane spells up to 7th level, I'd say the best are:

1st: Mage Armor
2nd: Glitterdust
3rd: Hold Person / Glibness
4th: Dimension Door
5th: Dominate Person
6th: Repulsion / Disintegrate
7th: Spell Turning

Dausuul
2007-05-30, 10:40 AM
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned enervation yet. 1d4 negative levels, no saving throw allowed? Hell yes.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-05-30, 10:43 AM
Gate - summon a creature with wish and make it wish for stuff you want :smallwink:

I think you'll find that this is the true path:

One of the chaotically aligned planes (can't remember which) is an infinite plane, and is filled with titans. A single gate will bring one to you. Command it to gate in another titan, and command titan 1 to command titan 2 to gate in another, and another, until you've summoned 26 CR 21 monsters to fight for you. This tactic works particularly well through a candle of invocation...

Rowan Intheback
2007-05-30, 12:45 PM
Well I haven't been playing too long but some spells that came in Races of the Dragon I found to be rally useful at low levels and above.

1st level- Power Pord Pain: no saving throw and it effects anything with up to 100 hp. It does 1d6 a round depending on how tough your opponent is it can be pretty drawn out. It's great for spell casters who can to much damage yet.

2nd level- Wings of Cover: The essential "no" stick. Your opponent attacks you you cast the spell as an immediate action and the attack never touches you end of discussion. "No! Bad attacker BAD!" I find myself using it even in the higher levels it has kept me alive countless times.

PlatinumJester
2007-05-30, 02:04 PM
I think you'll find that this is the true path:

One of the chaotically aligned planes (can't remember which) is an infinite plane, and is filled with titans. A single gate will bring one to you. Command it to gate in another titan, and command titan 1 to command titan 2 to gate in another, and another, until you've summoned 26 CR 21 monsters to fight for you. This tactic works particularly well through a candle of invocation...

Talk to the mage hand. My way is best since you can just summon several creatures with wish and make them all wish for whatever you want.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-05-30, 02:32 PM
Ah, but there aren't any infinite planes full of wish-granting entities (solars, pit fiends, and efreeti), whereas there are an infinite number of titans. There was some way of keeping the titans around (the chain-gate strategy) but I can't remember what it was. My infinite army of CR21 outsiders beats your finite army of wishing types! :smalltongue:

Jasdoif
2007-05-30, 04:04 PM
My infinite army of CR21 outsiders beats your finite army of wishing types! :smalltongue:And of course, titans aren't limited to gating in other titans; you can have them gate in wish-capable creatures as well.

Have your cake, eat it too; get more cake.

Cruiser1
2007-05-30, 04:50 PM
A single gate will bring one to you. Command it to gate in another titan, and command titan 1 to command titan 2 to gate in another, and another, until you've summoned 26 CR 21 monsters to fight for you.This doesn't work. Titans can only cast Gate 1/day. There's no guarantee that they haven't already used that ability when you call them. You bring in a Titan, ask it to bring in another and get the response "sorry, I've already used that ability today". This can happen with the Wish granting monsters too. A DM might choose to flip a coin for each Titan to determine whether the chain breaks at that point.

Also, abusing powerful monsters like this can be very hazardous. You better be calling good creatures and using their abilities for good purposes, otherwise once they're released they and a bunch of their CR 21 friends may come back and attack you for revenge, or they may even cast Gate on *you* and have you fight a dragon barehanded or something for their amusement. :smallwink:

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-05-30, 05:25 PM
Okay, I think the topic was on useful spells, not broken ones. Otherwise I'd put in Celerity + Sudden Max Time Stop + Forcecage + Cloudkill + Dimension Lock. You're stuck in a cage you can't destroy or get out of, and you're taking con damage every turn. Have a nice day.

Useful Spells By Level
Level 1:
-Alarm: utility, and kind of a defensive buff--it keeps you from getting eaten by a moose while asleep.
-Protection from X: defensive buff--the +2 AC/saves vs. X is nice, but the real kicker is the fact that it supresses all charms and compulsions. Very useful for low-will-save types. Also cast by Clerics, who generally have less things to do with their first level spells. Let the Cleric or Paladin grab this one.
-Shield: defensive buff. Gives you +4 AC. It even blocks Magic Missiles. However, at Rounds/Level duration, it takes time to buff it up if you donít have foreknowledge.
-Grease: battlefield control that can even be save-or-lose. Note that it forces balance checks, and creatures who don't have 5 ranks in balance are flat-footed while making balance checks... which means the party rogue can sneak attack away.
-Mage Armor: defensive buff, so you're not TOTALLY squishy. Hours duration, as much AS as a chain shirt. What mage doesn't take it? Any mage that can afford a +1 Twilight Mithral Chain Shirt. At low levels, itís invaluable. At higher levelsÖ this will get replaced.
-Mount: utility. Situational--sometimes, you need a horse to get somewhere quickly. Also occasionally useful as a beast of burden.
-Identify: utility, needed to identify magic lewts. This is a good one for Reach Spell to avoid cursed objects.
-True Strike: Offensive buff for when your touch-attack spells are having trouble hitting.
-Charm Person: Utility/Offensive: it makes people your friends. That's all sorts of useful.
-Sleep: Save-or-Lose. Sleep is the low-level "win spell"; even a cleric with 18 WIS only has a +6 will save at level 1, and with 18 INT you can have a DC 15 Sleep, 16 with focuses. That's a pretty solid chance of a failed save. With a 10-WIS fighter or rogue, it's a great chance.
-Color Spray: Save-or-Lose. Similar to sleep, but it keeps being good for a lot longer. At levels 1-3ish Sleep is better because Color Spray is short-range and thus more likely to get you poked with a pointy stick. Watch where you aim it, your meat shield wonít appreciate being in the cone.
-Silent Image: Utility. It's an illusion. Use your creativity.
-Ray of Enfeeblement: No save. Heavy strength drain can make a fighter useless--he suddenly can't move in his heavy armor! It's always good for dropping people's AB and damage, too. No save, like most ray spells; hitting with the ranged touch can occasionally be an issue.
-Enlarge Person: a great low-level buff. Give your fighter reach and a strength bonus.

Level 2:
-Glitterdust: With a Will save vs. Blindness, this is a save-or-suck that affects an area. It can pretty much win battles for you, as the fighters have to contend with suddenly significantly less dangerous enemies. Furthermore, a poor manís Invisibility Purge.
-Web: Battlefield control, this keeps people stuck and makes them move through it slowly if they aren't stuck.
-Detect Thoughts: Utility. This is in non-combat situations. This can be used to see if
-See Invisibility: Utility and, in many ways, a defensive buff. Invisible people who want to hurt you are bad, because it means they're likely to actually do so.
-Shatter: one of the few good Evocation spells, at low levels, this rocks the house as an offensive spell cast against enemy armor; later on it becomes utility (who needs to pick locks?).
-Mirror Image: a great defensive buff. People have a good chance to miss you and hit your image.
-Invisibility: utility that can be used as a defensive or offensive buff. Better to be used on your partyís skill monkey for scouting and/or sneak attacks.
-Bull's Strength: this becomes pointless once you have +STR items, but when you can first get it, it's a solid offensive buff. Put it on the fighter and he can hit things better and harder; it'll wind up doing more damage than Acid Arrow.
-Rope Trick: once you hit Caster Level 9 (or extend it at CL 5), this spell is the perfect place to rest and prepare your spells in dungeons, the wilderness, et cetera.

Level 3:
-Dispel Magic: because you're not the only spellcaster around.
-Magic Circle Against X: defensive buff; all the goodies of Protection From X, but longer-lasting (10 min/level) and covering everyone within 10' of the recipient. But again, the Cleric also has this one on his spell list, and you generally have better things to do with your 3rd level spells.
-Protection from Energy: defensive buff. Useful if you know what energy to expect ahead of time. Fighting fire elementals? Protection from Fire will help.
-Phantom Steed: Utility. At first it seems meh, but then you realize that the horse can eventually fly (hours-duration Fly spell, effectively), and has a movement speed of 20 ft *per caster level*. At level 5, that's 100'. Take Ride ranks, and you can have the phantom horse move in, cast a spell, and have it move back. It caps at 240', which is pretty damn fast.
-Stinking Cloud: Save-or-Lose. Nauseated creatures can't take standard ations, and thus can't hurt you. Plus, it makes for handy battlefield control, since others will want to avoid it. Note lack of SR as well. Gotta love Conjuration (Creation) effects.
-Deep Slumber: Save-or-Lose. Like Sleep, but up to 10 HD; good for the same reason: you can just one-shot sleeping things. Less usefulÖ by this time, youíre going to start running into 11+ HD critters, but handy to shut down a number of mooks while you concentrate on the BBEG.
-Wind Wall: defensive buff. Another of the Evocation school's few good spells. This keeps you safe from archers. All archers.
-Ray of Exhaustion: Save or suck, exhaustion is -6 STR and -6 DEX--and if you save, you get fatigued anyway, for -2 to each. Plus they canít run or charge, so itís harder to get close to you.
-Fly: defensive buff. Mobility. If they can't reach you, hurting you is harder. At low levels, Fly + Wind Wall makes you pretty much untouchable by everything except spellcasters.
-Haste: offensive and defensive buff. It makes everyone move faster, which is handy for mobility--and gives them an extra attack per round.
A fireball deals 5d6 at level 5--that's 17 average damage on a *failed* save. A fighter can do 17 damage a hit at level 5, and with Haste, he'll be getting an extra attack each round. The damage from those will pile up above and beyond what the fireball most likely accomplished.
-Magic Weapon, Greater: offensive buff. Obviating the need for weapons with a better than +1 bonus since 3.0.
-Slow: a save-or-suck that's almost a save-or-lose. Multiple target, Will save (fighter and rogue weakness), and they can only take a move or a standard action. Run circles around them--they can move up to you OR hit you, not both! Just stay out of reach of a partial charge.

Level 4:
-Dimensional Anchor: stop the BBEG from teleporting out.
-Black Tentacles: battlefield control that gets less useful over time. Grapple the enemy mage so he can't get away! Grapple the enemy rogue to keep him useless!
-Dimension Door: control/utility/defensive--get out of trouble (i.e. out of grapples, or away from Silence areas if you have Silent Spell on it), or into places you shouldn't be.
-Resilient Sphere: trap enemies, or protect yourself with it. Note lack of Somatic components.
-Solid Fog: a great, great battlefield control spell. No save, no SR, and they move at 5' a round when they're in it.
-Confusion: Save-or-Lose. This spell can turn a difficult encounter into a cakewalk.
-Greater Invisibility: attack and stay invisible. The party rogue will love this--sneak attacks galore. You'll love it, too, since it'll let you be safer when casting in combat.
-Enervation: 1d4 negative levels. Negative levels impose penalties to saving throws, and make spellcasters lose spells. A great spell to metamagic; it actually comes into its own as you get higher in level.
-Fear: Save-or-Lose, like Confusion.

Level 5:
-Teleport: now you can Teleport out of danger... or into it. This spell has a variety of uses, including getting to your sanctum when you're low on spells and in a dangerous place (and teleporting back later).
-Wall of Stone: Battlefield control. Putting a big, long wall of stone wherever you want lets you shape the battlefield like woah.
-Telepathic Bond: utility, get it Permanencied at higher levels. Instant communication between party members.
-Prying Eyes: utility/defensive; a scouting system that's useful in many places.
-Dominate Person: Save-or-Lose. Dominate an enemy. have him fight another enemy. You win.
-Feeblemind: save-or-lose; other spellcasters beware!
-Hold Monster: paralyzing things lets others one-shot them.
-Shadow Evocation: depends on what you do with it. Want Wind Wall access despite having banned Evocation? Here y'go!
-Baleful Polymorph: save-or-die. Not actually die, but be turned into a squirrel, which is effectively the same thing.
-Overland Flight: longterm flight for those who don't want to risk their Phantom Steed being shot out from under them.

Level 6:
-Dispel Magic, Greater: because you're not the only mid-to-high level spellcaster out there.
-Repulsion: defensive buff (will save from enemies) because if things could come close to you, they might hit you, and you don't want that.
-Acid Fog: like solid fog, but with damage while they're trapped in there. Great with any kind of thing that traps them where they are.
-True Seeing: Illusions? No. Period.
-Contingency: defensive buff another rare good Evocation spell, this is a must for any wizard. Access it through Greater Shadow Evocation if you've banned the Evocation school. This is the spell you use to guard against the worst situtaion you can think of.
-Disintegrate: a damage spell that's actually worth it due to the amount of damage on a failed save. Good against low-HP, low-Fort save types like rogues and mages.

Level 7:
-Banishment. Demon-B-Gone!
-Teleport, Greater: see Teleport, now safer.
-Arcane Sight, Greater: defensive buff--because knowing whether or not, say, someone has Spell Turning up? That's a good thing.
-Forcecage: save-or-lose. Expensive? Sure. No-save entrapment? Sure.
-Finger of Death: Save-or-die. Even a save gets hit for some damage.
-Ethereal Jaunt: go ethereal to get yourself out of danger and get time to buff.
-Limited Wish: unlike Wish, the XP cost isn't so bad pretty much want to never use it.

Level 8:
-Mind Blank: Defensive buff. Immunity to all mind-affecting things and some scrying.
-Prismatic Wall: this wall does BAD things to people.
-Maze: save-or-lose. Great for low-INT types, like Barbarian and Cleric. Get them out of here, deal with everyone else, then gang-beat them when they come back.
-Moment of Prescience: sometimes, you wish you could just make that saving throw, win that opposed check, land that touch attack. Well, now you can.
-Greater Prying Eyes: scouts with True Seeing. And unlike True Seeing, no material component. Very useful.
-Irresistible Dance: Save-or-lose... with no save. 1d4+1 rounds of "you win" if you land the touch attack.
-Power Word: Stun: after the fighter's whacked a monster around a bit, this will let him easily finish it off.
-Greater Shadow Evocation: Contingency for any specialist wizard who bans evocation

Level 9:
-Prismatic Sphere: defensive buff, and the ultimate one at that. Unless they have a Rod of Cancellation, you're safe and sound while you do whatever you want.
-Foresight: avoiding surprise and flatfootedness is very, very useful when it comes to surviving.
-Dominate Monster: get yourself a big, tough bodyguard. The toughest thing ever to try to kill you. It has a duration of days. You can order someone to fail their saves. Just re-cast it every ten days or so, and they're your slave for life.
-Time Stop: 1d4+1 rounds to do whatever you want to do.

Enzario
2007-05-30, 05:30 PM
Now, I know that many 9th level spells fall into this category, but I have to throw my hat in for time stop. Think about it. A minimum of two rounds during which you can do absolutely anything you want (sans direct offense, which you shouldn't be doing anyway with a wizard). Casting several spells can be pretty powerful, especially when your opponents can't do anything about it.

geek_2049
2007-05-30, 06:41 PM
Ray of Enfeeblement
Teleport
Heroism/ GH
Glitterdust
Slow
Haste
Mirror Images

A prepared fireball is better for higher caster level to overcome SR and a higher save. Haste as has been pointed out doesn't get better, so long as it is of sufficient level to get all party members, then it does not matter how it is cast. Hence, Fireball is a better prepared spell than Haste.

Cruiser1
2007-05-30, 07:39 PM
Okay, I think the topic was on useful spells, not broken ones. Otherwise I'd put in Celerity + Sudden Max Time Stop + Forcecage + Cloudkill + Dimension Lock. You're stuck in a cage you can't destroy or get out of, and you're taking con damage every turn.I don't think this "killer combo" works either. Cloudkill moves away from you 10 feet each round. If the cloud is unable to move (because it's blocked by something) it may disappear, or at least it should compress itself against the obstacle. Either way you should be able to move to the opposite edge of the forcecage for a bit of fresh air. If the DM for some reason rules against that, know that every melee character worth his salt has an item of Dispell Magic on him, which can be used to get rid of the Cloudkill (or get rid of the Dimensional Lock, so you can use your Boots of Teleportation or whatever to get out). Don't forget to lean on your sword and laugh at the Wizard who just wasted 5 high level spells and 1500 gold in material components. :smallwink: