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    Default Optimal sorcerer spell list

    I'm sure somebody must have done a thread like this already, but I did a search and I couldn't find one. So after we all read and cogitated on Logic Ninja's Batman thread, I thought about a similar thread for sorcerers and I realized you could get much more exact about what the most useful sorcerer spell list could be.

    So here are the rules:
    1. We'll use sorcerer level 20. Yes, there will be many spells you might have picked up along the way then retrained away, but doing a complete level 1 to level 20 guide to sorcerers is ... a bit too much. Also, let's not dip into prestige classes. I know that I personally like to take archmage, make a spell a spell-like ability then swap it out, but let's not include that here.
    2. Many of you would legitimately say it entirely depends upon what the other party members are playing. For instance, you the sorcerer don't need to waste a precious 4th level spell slot on say dimensional anchor if you know the party cleric has it memorized. So let's remove this obstacle entirely. You are creating this character without knowledge of the gaming group it will be used in. So you don't know the other character classes, or even how many other players there will be. You might even play this sorcerer solo.
    3. I also know that the extra spell feat is the sorcerer's best friend. But let's not use that here either. There are some great feat chains for sorcerers that may not have room for it.

    So there you have it, a generic level 20 sorcerer. To review:
    Level 0) 9 spells
    Level 1) 5 spells
    Level 2) 5 spells
    Level 3) 4 spells
    Level 4) 4 spells
    Level 5) 4 spells
    Level 6) 3 spells
    Level 7) 3 spells
    Level 8) 3 spells
    Level 9) 3 spells

    I'm tempted to provide what I think the list would be to start us off, but I think it would be more fun to sit back and see what other people come up with. Remember that though evocation-damage spells cause many on this list to cringe, you could be playing this character solo so there might not be other party members to take care of the things you normally might have let them do.

    ***********************************

    Alright, I've decided to keep track of our collected wisdom in this 1st post here to make the reading easier for others. Alas, I also think it should be core-only, since keeping track of the best spells in all the other books, even with the Spell Compendium tidying things up, seems to be a mammoth effort.

    Core Only (assuming alter self/polymorph/shapechange are prohibited)

    Level 0) detect magic, message, prestidigitation, ray of frost, detect poison, read
    magic, mage hand, ghost sound, arcane mark

    Level 1) ray of enfeeblement, shield, grease
    ken-do-nim: true strike, protection from evil
    Bears with Lasers: enlarge person, silent image

    ken-do-nim comment: enlarge person & silent image make good wands

    Level 2) glitterdust, scorching ray, resist energy, invisibility
    ken-do-nim: false life
    Bears with Lasers: mirror image

    ken-do-nim comment: mirror image doesn't stack with greater invisibility

    Level 3) slow, haste, vampiric touch
    ken-do-nim: fly
    Bears with Lasers: ray of exhaustion

    ken-do-nim comment: I take fly here because I don't have overland flight later. Fly for me wins over
    overland flight because you can give it to your allies and it allows you to hover. I admit though that ray of exhausion is an awesome sorcerer spell

    Level 4) enervation, greater invisibility, solid fog
    ken-do-nim: stoneskin
    Bears with Lasers: confusion or fear

    Level 5) cloudkill
    ken-do-nim: teleport, cone of cold, persistent image,
    Bears with Lasers: teleport, overland flight, wall of force
    Imperious Leader: teleport, telekinesis, ?
    Saph: ? (assuming since you took greater teleport you wouldn't have regular teleport)

    ken-do-nim comment: I don't take wall of force here because I take prismatic wall later

    Level 6) greater dispel magic
    ken-do-nim: greater heroism, analyze dweomer
    Bears with Lasers: disintegrate, repulsion

    ken-do-nim comment: if you take mind blank at 8th then you don't take greater heroism here

    Level 7) finger of death
    ken-do-nim: project image, limited wish*
    Bears with Lasers: spell turning, ethereal jaunt
    Saph: greater teleport, limited wish

    Level 8) greater shadow evocation
    ken-do-nim: Otto's irresistible dance, prismatic wall
    Bears with Lasers: Otto's irresistible dance, mind blank
    Saph: maze, prismatic wall

    Level 9) shades, time stop, dominate monster

    * through limited wish, you've given yourself permanent comprehend languages/darkvision/see invisible/arcane sight/tongues, albeit at an xp cost.

    I still want to write up more detail about *why* we've picked these spells and go into the combos (project image + solid fog + cloudkill + cone of cold + persistent image + ...)
    Last edited by ken-do-nim; 2006-12-28 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Collected what's posted so far

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Ooo, I'll keep an eye on this thread.

    As for existing thoughts, TLN gave me some sorcerer advice on around page 6 (EDIT: nope, page 7 ) of his Batman Wizard guide (I asked about playing a sorc or a wiz for beginners, and he gave me some tips for good spells starting out), and there's some discussion of spells on Shneeky's Sorcerous Primer, but that's mostly talking about prestige classes. That's all I'm really familiar with...

    EDIT AGAIN: Yaknow what, here's the relevant quote from the Batman thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLogicNinja
    Yeah, for someone new to arcane casters, go for Sorcerer.

    I'd say 1/4 of your spells being damage is actually too many. You really don't need that many. Metamagic feats like Empower and Energy Substitution (and eventually the Archmage's Mastery of Shaping) mean you'll have all the damage you ever need. For example, why get Cone of Cold when you can have an energy sub (acid), empowered Fireball in that fifth level slot?

    You *do* need spell versatility. Some group spells, some single-target spells. Unlike a wizard, you shouldn't have Grease, Web, *and* Glitterdust. (Glitterdust is a very good sorc spell, BTW, because it has two functions: blinding, and finding invisible things.)

    You'll wand single-target spells, group-affecting spells, etc. If you have Slow, don't get Deep Slumber, go for Hold Person.

    Get staple-use once-a-day spells like, say, Rope Trick in a wand (of course, it'll have to be a CL 9 wand, more expensive) if you want other spells in their stead.

    Good low-to-mid-level spells for sorcerers:

    Level 1:
    Grease. Useful for a long time in many situations.
    Mage Armor. It's your basic long-lasting protection.
    Color Spray: pick this one over Sleep, it stays useful longer.
    Ray of Enfeeblement: very useful for a very long time.

    Level 2:
    Glitterdust: two uses, both good.
    Flaming Sphere: for its level, an okay damage spell that can deal its damage every round.
    Mirror Image: a defensive spell that remains useful for a long time.
    Alter Self if you're not afraid of its cheesiness and looking through the MM (and looking like a Troglodyte for the +6 Natural Armor), or Invisibility.
    False Life. Hours/level buff that makes you more survivable.

    Level 3:
    Dispel Magic: c'mon, what kind fo spellcaster can't dispel magic?
    Wind Wall: protection from arrows. Useful for a long time.
    Magic Circle against Evil: very useful buff, solid duration, gives bonuses vs. evil *and* suppresses charms and compulsions (i.e. the vast majority of enchantment spells). Cast it on your tank. Cast it on your rogue. Stay near one of'em.
    Slow: great anti-group spell
    Ray of Exhaustion: very useful in synergy with Ray of Enfeeblement, and with lots of spells/day, you could cast both repeatedly. You're limited by spells known, though, so pick carefully (and swap spells out--i.e. remove Dispel Magic and take Greater Dispel Magic when you get higher level spells, swap some other third-level spell in)
    Haste: good group buff.
    Fireball: if you're doing damage, this is a staple--but I wouldn't take it.

    Level 4:
    Dimension Door: skip this in favor of Teleport next level. You can use Teleport as a Dimension Door to Dim-Door somewhere that's in sight, after all.
    Fear or Confusion: same purpose. These win fights on their own.
    Enervation: great when metamagicked (Split Ray is great here).
    Invisibility, Greater: you and the rogue will like this.

    Level 5:
    Hold Monster: the list has been short of single-target eliminators so far.
    Teleport: utility *and* a Dimension Door replacement.
    Dominate Person or Feeblemind: Depends on whether there's a lot of humanoids you'd like to dominate, or whether you fight spellcasters a lot.
    Wall of Force: useful in many situations.
    He later adds:
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLogicNinja
    You're right, Scorching Ray over Flaming Sphere, and Fly *is* important at third level. There's a whole lot of goodies at that level, though.
    Last edited by Shazzbaa; 2006-12-24 at 07:17 PM. Reason: adding that link.... 2nd Reason: adding a quote

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Okay, first things first: this post will assume all core. Now, the absolute best thing for a sorcerer to do is to take illusion spells. Good in combat and out, you can modify most of them based on your situation. The absolute best spells, of course, are Shadow Conjuration/Evocation, for pure utility: yes, there's a chance of disbelief, but being able to mimic any conjuration or evocation spell under X level opens up a ton of options. Now, I dont' have the time right now to make a definitive list, but I will soon.
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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    The planar binding route is similar; the ability to Call up the perfect outsider for the job is kinda sweet.

    The polymorph line is similar; the ability to become the perfect critter is kinda sweet.

    The catch, of course, being that a Sorcerer can maybe do two of the three... and have little room for other utility spells.

    Unless, of course, you let Limited Wish duplicate Psychic Reformation to swap out spells known.....
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Remember that in the "What level do your characters start out at?" poll, 75% picked levels 1-5 and 0% have so far picked 15-20. So I dunno how useful a sorcerer template that starts at level 20 is. Plus, missing out Archmage really takes the fun out of being a high-level sorcerer . . .

    Anyway, like the quote in Shazzbaa's post said, go for spells with multiple functions like Glitterdust. Make sure you have an even balance between attack, defence, and utility spells, and get scrolls and items for spells you're only going to want occasionally like Tongues.

    Thing is, at level 20, Time Stop, Greater Teleport, Irresistable Dance/Forcecage/Maze/Dominate Monster, and your choice of attack spell can deal with nearly anything in a battle anyway. So I don't know how much use the lower-level spells will be, except for fun and defence.

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Remember that in the "What level do your characters start out at?" poll, 75% picked levels 1-5 and 0% have so far picked 15-20. So I dunno how useful a sorcerer template that starts at level 20 is.
    It gives you something to aim for and a plan so you won't end up wasting precious spell selections
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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Remember that in the "What level do your characters start out at?" poll, 75% picked levels 1-5 and 0% have so far picked 15-20. So I dunno how useful a sorcerer template that starts at level 20 is. Plus, missing out Archmage really takes the fun out of being a high-level sorcerer .
    Part of the motivation for this post is that I have a 17th level sorcerer, and we just started using the retraining rules in PHII so I want to map out my spell swap outs so that by level 20 I can reach this list.

    And yes, my sorcerer has 2 levels of archmage. It's worth noting that spells like fireball and scorching ray aren't nearly as useful without the archmage energy substitution power because so many things at high levels are fire resistant, not to mention the archmage making spaces power which helps all area of effect spells.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Alright, one last rule. We can't use any of the really broken spells that most DMs disallow. Here's the list the Logic Ninja spelled out:

    Stinky Cheese: spells that are broken, broken, broken.

    Level 2:
    -Alter Self: give yourself +6 natural armor, or flight, for 10 min/level with a level 2 spell? Like all the polymorph spells, way too good for its level--not so broken you probably shouldn't use it in a game, though. Combine with the Otherworldly feat for even more cheese.
    -Wraithstrike: swift action, make all attacks as touch attacks that round. Ridiculously good for fighter-mages, Power Attack for huge amounts of damage. You can Persist it quite normally in an 8th level slot, or by using various kinds of cheese, and that's when it becomes *completely* broken.

    Level 3:
    -Shivering Touch (Frostburn): a touch attack, no save, 3d6 dex damage. 3d6! Dex damage! Wanna one-shot a dragon? NOOO problem! Add some kind of reach (Arcane Reach from Archmage, or Reach Spell metamagic) and you can do it from safety. For the love of god, don't resport to this.

    Level 4:
    -Polymorph: far better than any other spell of its level, and many higher-level spells. The things you can do with this are ridiculous. It's completely broken, so much so WotC has given up on trying to fix it. Just don't use it.
    -Celerity (PHB II): this breaks casters worse than they're already broken. As an immediate action casting, gain a standard action, and be dazed on the next round. This means that no matter what, the wizard goes first. Combine with Time Stop to negate the disadvantage of being dazed in combat, or just use it to Teleport out of there or Dimension Door way out of reach.

    Level 8:
    -Polymorph Any Object: the worst of the lot. Turn yourself into a gold dragon and gain its INT score plus everything else? Come on. Most broken spell in the game.
    -Greater Celerity (PHB II): as Celerity, but grants a full-round action.

    Level 9:
    -Shapechange: CL up to 25 HD monsters. Gain their (Su) special qualities and attacks as well as the (Ex) ones. Completely and utterly ridiculous, as a more powerful Polymorph of course must be. Don't use this.
    -Disjunction: both DMs and players avoid it. Use it as a player and you fry the bad guy's loot; use it as a DM and your players lose their magic items and are very upset.
    -Gate: so many abuses. So very many. For example, Gate in creatures that can cast Wish as a (Su) ability and make them give you free wishes.

    ***********

    To these I would add ray of dizziness from Spell Compendium. At least the slow spell has a save.
    Last edited by ken-do-nim; 2006-12-24 at 08:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    Part of the motivation for this post is that I have a 17th level sorcerer, and we just started using the retraining rules in PHII so I want to map out my spell swap outs so that by level 20 I can reach this list.
    Oh, okay. Well, first question, how high a cheese tolerance does your DM have? As in, how would he react if you took both Shapechange and Time Stop and started using them heavily?

    edit: heh, okay, you just answered this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    And yes, my sorcerer has 2 levels of archmage. It's worth noting that spells like fireball and scorching ray aren't nearly as useful without the archmage energy substitution power because so many things at high levels are fire resistant, not to mention the archmage making spaces power which helps all area of effect spells.
    More fun too. Fireballing things all the time is much more interesting if you can choose at every casting between fireball, coldball, acidball, sonicball . . .

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Alright, so to get the ball rolling, I submit this list.

    Spells Known
    Level 0) detect magic, message, resistance, ray of frost, detect poison, read
    magic, mage hand, ghost sound, arcane mark
    Level 1) magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield, grease, protection from evil
    Level 2) scorching ray, resist energy, see invisibility, false life, glitterdust
    Level 3) slow, haste, fly, vampiric touch
    Level 4) stoneskin, wall of fire, greater invisibility, dimensional anchor
    Level 5) teleport, cone of cold, improved blink, persistent image
    Level 6) greater heroism, imbue familiar with spell ability, analyze dweomer
    Level 7) Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, project image, limited wish
    Level 8) Greater Shadow Evocation, Otto's irresistible dance, Prismatic Wall
    Level 9) Summon Monster IX, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, Reaving Dispel

    Believe me, there were a lot of tough choices there. Like leaving time stop off. But I needed the ability to dispel, yet at 6th level those 3 are all critical. (Analyze dweomer, for those who don't know, can identify cursed items. A must!)

    Btw, you use limited wish to give yourself permanent arcane sight, tongues, and comprehend languages. Edit: And when you do so, you use summon monster IX to bring in a lillend that casts harmonic chorus to give another +2 to your caster level.
    Last edited by ken-do-nim; 2006-12-24 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Harmonic chorus!

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion is not a good spell to learn, as you'd usually only cast it once a day; get that as a scroll instead.


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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    For the higher levels, I'd go:

    Level 7) Greater Teleport, Limited Wish . . . not sure about project image, I'd be tempted to get Finger of Death instead.
    Level 8) Greater Shadow Evocation, Maze, Prismatic Wall
    Level 9) Dominate Monster, Reaving Dispel . . . I don't know what Sphere of Ultimate Destruction does, so can't comment on this one.

    Dominate Monster is a Will save, Finger of Death is a Fort save, Maze is an Int check . . . that covers a few bases, but you still need something to take out things immune to mind magic or death effects. I don't know if Sphere of Destruction deals with that or not.

    I prefer Dominate Monster over Irresistable Dance since it lasts pretty much forever and you get the fun factor of accumulating a zoo of monsters that follow you around and do as you say. There's no reason to take Summon Monster IX, as Dominate does the same job better and clerics and druids can summon anyway.

    - Saph

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Turcano View Post
    Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion is not a good spell to learn, as you'd usually only cast it once a day; get that as a scroll instead.
    Nah, just learn Rope Trick - or better, Shades. Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion is Conjouration(Creation).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Turcano View Post
    Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion is not a good spell to learn, as you'd usually only cast it once a day; get that as a scroll instead.
    Since you cast it every day, the scroll route would be expensive.

    Also, it is an excellent retreat spell, so you might use it more than once a day.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Nah, just learn Rope Trick - or better, Shades. Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion is Conjouration(Creation).
    The problem with rope trick at high levels is that enemies can and will find it and enter it. Mordy's mansion is the only foolproof resting spell that I know of. And it does so with style!

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    For the higher levels, I'd go:

    Level 7) Greater Teleport, Limited Wish . . . not sure about project image, I'd be tempted to get Finger of Death instead.
    Level 8) Greater Shadow Evocation, Maze, Prismatic Wall
    Level 9) Dominate Monster, Reaving Dispel . . . I don't know what Sphere of Ultimate Destruction does, so can't comment on this one.

    Dominate Monster is a Will save, Finger of Death is a Fort save, Maze is an Int check . . . that covers a few bases, but you still need something to take out things immune to mind magic or death effects. I don't know if Sphere of Destruction deals with that or not.

    I prefer Dominate Monster over Irresistable Dance since it lasts pretty much forever and you get the fun factor of accumulating a zoo of monsters that follow you around and do as you say. There's no reason to take Summon Monster IX, as Dominate does the same job better and clerics and druids can summon anyway.

    - Saph
    Project image is fantastic. Combine it with greater invisibility and you can project a point into the distance that most cannot see and cast spells from it. Your familiar comes in handy so it can be your real self's eyes and ears.

    I prefer Irresistible Dance to maze because it lets you pound on the foe.

    Sphere of Destruction allows you to do massive damage per round without casting a new spell. Basically you use up a move action to attack a foe with it. If they fail the fort save they take 40d6, otherwise 5d6. Lasts 1 round/level.

    I haven't put a lot of thought into dominate monster, but wouldn't the enemy's magic circle against good suddenly cut off your mind control if they enter it? I can think of a lot of cases where you lose your hordes all at once.

    Summon monster IX is a must for sorcerers. Here's a brief rundown of the most useful spells you can cast via it.
    Blue slaad - passwall
    Lillend - harmonic chorus, healthful rest, undetectable alignment
    couatl - all the fun necromancy stuff (ray of clumsiness, enfeeblement, exhaustion, enervation etc. with it first doing assay spell resistance if necessary)
    Leonal - heal, fireball, neutralize poison, remove disease, wall of force (at will!), cure critical wounds, etc.
    Some other points: summon 2-5 avorals and each can lay on hands for its hits points worth. So if you end up in a party without a cleric, between the avorals and leonal you can be a healing machine, albeit at the cost of your 9th level spells. At least you can do it, though.
    Also 2-5 bralanis are useful against iron golems. Each can do a whirlwind blast that cuts through the dr and they can lightning bolt it to slow it.
    Last edited by ken-do-nim; 2006-12-24 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    If you really wanted to, you could get MMM as a magic item; an item that casts MMM once a day would set you back 36.4K, while a staff would be slightly cheaper. Shades is a great idea too. In fact, you should seriously consider getting the entire shadow conjuration line. (You could also get shadow evocation if you really wanted to.)
    Last edited by Turcano; 2006-12-24 at 10:43 PM.


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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    The problem with rope trick at high levels is that enemies can and will find it and enter it. Mordy's mansion is the only foolproof resting spell that I know of. And it does so with style!
    MMM isn't dispel resistent. And even if they can't get inside, they can still prepare some nasty surprises for you when you get out (the door to a MMM is only invisible, just like the window for a Rope Trick). Granted, the Mansion lets you entertain a lot of guests, and is a bit more stylish, but otherwise? Meh.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    How to play a sorceror well:

    One good will save spell.
    One good fort save spell.
    One good reflex save spell.
    Heighten Metamagic feat.
    Make sure that for the rest of your sorceror career, you cast the spell which targets the enemy's weak save.

    One good spell with no save.
    One good spell with persistant effects, like Evard's Black Tentacles.
    Vampiric Touch, because its functionally a healing spell.
    Polymorph.
    Consider all bases covered.

    As you level up, replace your attack spells with higher level spells, and move the lower level slot into something based around utility.
    Remember to take generically useful buffs, like polymorph, then cast them on the entire party. Lots of problems can be solved by casting polymorph four times in rapid repetition.
    Bloodline feats are not a bad idea, they give you many more spells known, and add flavor to your character.
    Keep an eye out for spells which scale on their own better than normal. Evard's Black Tentacles grapple check scales by caster level, for example.

    Remember that you get more out of metamagic than a wizard, because you always have it when you need it.
    The best sorcerer advice I've ever seen. The only thing that will ever be constant about DnD is combat, and that advice covers everything you'll ever need for combat.

    What you do next, is customize. Pick various buffs and utility spells that you like, since it's all you're ever gonna cast that doesn't kill people. Really once you have the baisics down, it's just choosing your style. Buff allies and kill things, summon things and kill things, do random little wizardly effects (rope trick and stuff) and kill things, it all depends on character and equipment, except for the kill stuff spells.
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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Can we also add a rule that when you mention spells that aren't Core, you say what book they're from? Some people *coughmecough* only have easy access to the Core books and the SRD.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Shazzbaa View Post
    Can we also add a rule that when you mention spells that aren't Core, you say what book they're from? Some people *coughmecough* only have easy access to the Core books and the SRD.
    Although my goal was to come up with one optimal spell list, I could see as many as 4 lists being useful:

    1. Core, all spells allowed
    2. Core, but cheese spells forbidden
    3. Core + Spell Compendium + PHII, all spells allowed
    4. Core + Spell Compendium + PHII, cheese spells forbidden

    There are also other spells in the environment books, but I don't own any of those either. :-) All the non PH spells I've used so far have been in the Spell Compendium. I have PHII but it's still new for me.

    Obviously it makes a big difference whether you allow the polymorph line of spells. With shapechange, you never need healing again, for instance.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    MMM isn't dispel resistent. And even if they can't get inside, they can still prepare some nasty surprises for you when you get out (the door to a MMM is only invisible, just like the window for a Rope Trick). Granted, the Mansion lets you entertain a lot of guests, and is a bit more stylish, but otherwise? Meh.
    I wonder what happens if MMM is dispelled. Hadn't thought of that. I guess the characters all come tumbling out.

    As for setting a nasty trap for you when you come out of the Mansion, we could start a whole other thread on strategies for dealing with that. Summoning a monster to go first, for example, is one.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Alright, so using the advice of
    (a) shades can substitute for a number of spells like Mordenkainen’s mansion
    (b) having one spell that tests each type of save
    (c) one good spell with no save
    (d) one good spell with persistent effects

    We can tweak our list as follows:

    Spells Known
    Level 0) detect magic, message, resistance, ray of frost, detect poison, read
    magic, mage hand, ghost sound, arcane mark
    Level 1) magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield, grease, protection from evil
    Level 2) scorching ray, resist energy, see invisibility, false life, glitterdust
    Level 3) slow, haste, fly, vampiric touch
    Level 4) stoneskin, wall of fire, greater invisibility, dimensional anchor
    Level 5) teleport, cone of cold, improved blink, persistent image
    Level 6) greater heroism, imbue familiar with spell ability, analyze dweomer
    Level 7) anti-magic ray, project image, limited wish
    Level 8) Greater Shadow Evocation, Otto's irresistible dance, Prismatic Wall
    Level 9) Shades, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, Reaving Dispel

    Notes;
    1. Evard’s Tentacles is a fantastic spell, but by level 20 you will probably have swapped it out. The enormous creatures you face at that level will make their grapple checks.
    2. I had an earlier thread asking about the best spell to ready an action and interrupt another caster with. Anti-magic ray is it, and it’s nasty! I’m tempted to put that spell into the utter cheese category, because essentially with that spell battles between casters will come down to initiative. At least if you’ve got improved blink on beforehand the enemy has a 50% miss chance.
    3. Fortitude save spell: Sphere of Destruction. Will save spell: Greater shadow evocation (force cage, usually). Reflex save spell: cone of cold, though it’s only 5th. All saves: prismatic wall.
    4. Good spell with no save: Otto’s dance
    5. Spells with persistent effects: persistent image, greater shadow evocation, shades, Sphere of Destruction

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Here goes.

    Core-Only spell list, at level 20 (i.e. now-useless spells like Sleep have been switched out):

    1) Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Grease, Enlarge Person, Silent Image
    2) Glitterdust, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Resist Energy (or Alter Self if you don't mind it)
    3) Haste, Ray of Exhaustion, Slow, Vampiric Touch
    4) Confusion or Fear, Solid Fog, Greater Invisibility, Enervation (avoiding Polymorph, cheesy)
    5) Teleport, Cloudkill, Overland Flight, Wall of Force
    6) Greater Dispel Magic, Disintegrate, Repulsion
    7) Spell Turning, Finger of Death, Ethereal Jaunt
    8) Irresistible Dance, Greater Shadow Evocation, Mind Blank
    9) Dominate Monster, Time Stop, Shades (avoiding Disjunction, Shapechange, too cheesy)

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    I'd also like to point out that limited wish can really save your hide sometimes. Need to slow the enemy down? Use it to create acid fog. Improved blink can save you from grapples, but if you don't have it on beforehand or you are dimensionally anchored, you can cast freedom of movement via limited wish. You can also raise dead with it.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    Here goes.

    Core-Only spell list, at level 20 (i.e. now-useless spells like Sleep have been switched out):

    1) Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Grease, Enlarge Person, Silent Image
    2) Glitterdust, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Resist Energy (or Alter Self if you don't mind it)
    3) Haste, Ray of Exhaustion, Slow, Vampiric Touch
    4) Confusion or Fear, Solid Fog, Greater Invisibility, Enervation (avoiding Polymorph, cheesy)
    5) Teleport, Cloudkill, Overland Flight, Wall of Force
    6) Greater Dispel Magic, Disintegrate, Repulsion
    7) Spell Turning, Finger of Death, Ethereal Jaunt
    8) Irresistible Dance, Greater Shadow Evocation, Mind Blank
    9) Dominate Monster, Time Stop, Shades (avoiding Disjunction, Shapechange, too cheesy)
    The use of mind blank brings up a very good question. Obviously total mental resistance is sweet. No one can do Otto's dance to you, for example. However, it then prohibits you from benefitting from greater heroism, or bardic effects if you happen to travel with one. In the end I decided to leave mind blank out because I felt greater heroism was too important. That +4 morale bonus to hit makes your ray and touch spells more likely to hit. That +4 morale bonus to saves shores up your weak fort & reflex saves. Those temporary hit points help too. Plus, will saves are already your strong save.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    The use of mind blank brings up a very good question. Obviously total mental resistance is sweet. No one can do Otto's dance to you, for example. However, it then prohibits you from benefitting from greater heroism, or bardic effects if you happen to travel with one. In the end I decided to leave mind blank out because I felt greater heroism was too important. That +4 morale bonus to hit makes your ray and touch spells more likely to hit. That +4 morale bonus to saves shores up your weak fort & reflex saves. Those temporary hit points help too. Plus, will saves are already your strong save.
    None of those help if you get dominated and use that heroism to attack your allies. ;)
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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Mind Blank is more for your allies, but it's really worth using it on yourself, too, in many cases.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasos989 View Post
    None of those help if you get dominated and use that heroism to attack your allies. ;)
    Yeah but you're still having fun and it's all about fun, right?

    Seriously though, that's why protection from evil is on the 1st level spell list. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it prevents domination.

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    Default Re: Optimal sorcerer spell list

    It suppresses it while Prot. from Evil is on you.

    Domination is days/level, so if you get told to, say, "kill your friends", you will start trying once Protection from Evil wears off.

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