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Neverwinter Nights 2 Wizard/Sorceror Guide

Version 2.0 by

12/12/08

Wizard, Sorceror, and Related Classes FAQ
-ShinesmanOffWhite, December 9, 2008 (version 2.0)

---======================================---

Table of Contents

***I. Introduction [I]***
***II. Arcane Casters [II]***
-A. Section Introduction [IIA]
-B. Wizard [IIB]
---1. The Specialists [IIB1]
-C. Sorceror [IIC]
-D. Bard [IID]
-E. Prestige Classes [IIE]
---1. Eldritch Knight [IIE1]
---2. Arcane Trickster [IIE2]
---3. Pale Master [IIE3]
---4. Arcane Archer [IIE4]
---5. Dragon Disciple [IIE5]
---6. Harper Agent [IIE6]
---7. Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep [[IIE7]]
---8. Red Wizard [[IIE8]]
-F. Other Classes [IIF]
***III. General character building tips [III]***
-A. Section Introduction [IIIA]
-B. Attributes [IIIB]
-D. Skills of note [IIIC]
-C. Feats of note [IIID]
---1. General Feats [IIID1]
---2. Proficiency Feats [IIID2]
---3. Spellcasting Feats [IIID3]
---4. Metamagic Feats [IIID4]
---5. Item Creation Feats [IIID5]
---6. Skills and Save Feats [IIID6]
---7. Background Traits [IIID7]
---8. Epic Feats [IIID8]
-E. Calculating spell DCs [IIIE]
-F. Familiars [IIIF]
***IV. Discussion of spells [IV]***
-A. Section Introduction [IVA]
-B. Abjuration [IVB]
-C. Conjuration [IVC]
-D. Divination [IVD]
-E. Enchantment [IVE]
-F. Evocation [IVF]
-G. Illusion [IVG]
-H. Necromancy [IVH]
-I. Transmutation [IVI]
-J. Recommended Sorceror Spells [IVJ]
***V. Spellcasters and the AI [V]***
-A. Section Introduction [VA]
-B. Managing Sand (and wizard NPCs) [VB]
-C. Managing Qara (and sorceror NPCs) [VC]
***VI. Example builds [VI]***
-A. Section Introduction [VIA]
-B. Pure Casters [VIB]
---1. Nuke-o-matic [VIB1]
---2. Fire and Smoke [VIB2]
---3. Stalwart Caster [VIB3]
-C. Eldritch Knights [VIC]
---1. Chaotic Stupid Archer [VIC1]
---2. Paladin Eldritch Archer [VIC2]
---3. Stuntygish [VIC3]
-D. Skill Builds
---1. All-licensed Fool [VID1]
---2. Archer Trickster [VID2]
***VII. Change History and Credits [VII]***
MDCCLXXVI. Legal stuff [MDCCLXXVI]

---======================================---

I. Introduction [I]

This guide is intended to cover wizards, sorcerors, and prestige classes
for the game Neverwinter Nights 2, and the orignal guide was tested
using version 1.04 (870).  Information on Mask of the Betrayer (MotB)
and Storm of Zehir (SoZ) was tested in SoZ.  Much of the guidance in this
document is tailored towards the original campaign (OC) and should be
applied with caution in other settings.

The author has played through the OC as a Wizard/Eldritch Knight, all
other information was generated in a skeleton module using information
provided by game text with experiments on targets as needed.  The manual 
is flat out wrong in many cases, notably in the requirements for Eldritch 
Knight, but the game text is, as far as I can tell, accurate.

To navigate this guide, simply use your browser's search function
to look for the outline section heading (including the brackets).
For example, to jump to the section on Conjuration spells, search
for [IVC] which will hit twice: once in the table of contents and
once in the section on Conjuration magic.  (It'll also hit in this section
obviously).  Be sure to use "match case" 

The arcane casters section discusses information specific to each of
the classes.  The general character building tips covers information
that is relevant to all of the classes.  The discussion of spells by
section explains what all the spells actually do and gives some ideas
on what spells to select at each level up.  The penultimate section gives
some pointers on how to make the AI less stupid in combat, and the final
section is just some example builds.

Refer to the section introductions for greater detail.

---======================================---

----------------Arcane Casters---------------- [II]

Section Introduction [IIA]

There are three "basic" classes which have arcane spells: the Wizard,
the Sorceror, and the Bard, and five prestige classes which involve
arcane magic: the Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep, the Red Wizard, the
Arcane Trickster, the Eldritch Knight, and the Pale Master.  This guide
covers the two main classes, Wizard and Sorceror, as well as the "caster"
prestige classes in detail.  Arcane Archers and Bards are discussed
only in passing because arcane magic is not the primary focus of either
class.  Dragon Disciples are covered simply because both possible
prerequisites are arcane casting classes.

The majority of bard abilities are not covered in this FAQ, as there
are already good FAQs on the topic.  This guide only addresses the
spellcasting abilities and their use as a base for prestige classes.
This guide does not address warlocks or divine spellcasters.

Each of the classes is given the following format:

*Short Description: (A one line description of what the class does)
*Prerequisites: (What you must have to get 1st level in the class)
-This only really matters for prestige classes
*Casting Stat:
-(10-stat) is your maximum spell level.
(i.e. A wizard with a 17 INT cannot cast 8th level spells)
-The bonus on this stat is added to the DC of your spells
-This stat determines how many bonus spells you get
-This stat is modified by the "Spellcasting Prodigy" feat
*Spell Progresssion: (How fast the class gains spells)
*Recommended Races: (What races have bonuses to the casting stat)
-Races marked with a negative number have a level penalty
-Human is always a good choice, Strongheart Halfling is very similar
-Drow have a bonus to both CHA and INT, but at a rather high price
*Perks: (Why pick this class?)

Unless otherwise noted, the class suffers from arcane spell failure
when wearing armor, has low hit points, has low attack bonuses, and
is doomed to use a crossbow.  Low attack bonus means that all base
attack bonus increases are on even levels, so odd levels of wizard
classes are to be avoided for Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight and
other builds where actually hitting things is important.

-----

Wizard [IIB]

Short Description: The basic arcane caster, gains spells the fastest
Prerequisites: 11 INT (only if selected as starting class)
Casting Stat: INT
Spell Progression: New spell level every odd character level until 17.
Recommended Races: Human, Sun Elf, Strongheart Halfling,
Tiefling (-1), Drow (-2)
Perks:
-Fastest spell progression of any of the arcane casters.
-Qualifies for relevant prestige classes as early as level 5.
-High INT also gives bonus skill points.
-Bonus feats: gets one free spellcasting feat for every 5 levels
-Bonus feat: can scribe scrolls automatically
-Can sacrifice versatility for more spells by specializing

Wizards are the default choice for most players looking to switch to
a prestige class that requires a certain level of casting ability.  A
wizard can switch to Eldritch Knight, Pale Master, Arcane Trickster,
Arcane Scholar, or Red Wizard with 5 levels in this class, though in
some cases having all of the prerequisites at that level is difficult.

The scribe scroll feat is handy if the Wizard is not your crafting
character, since most characters with a rank in Use Magic Device can
use any scroll.  That wizards get bonus feats and have access to all
of the crafting skills means that they're a natural choice for a
crafting character anyway.

At level 23, 26, and 29, the Wizard gets a bonus epic feat.  This isn't
exactly a huge benefit, but it does mean that a purist wizard isn't totally
disadvantaged at epic levels.

>>>The Specialists [IIB1]

The most difficult choice in creating a Wizard character is choosing
a specialty.  Generalist wizards receive less spells each day, but
get access to all of the spells.  Each specialist class gets an
opposition school that they cannot cast spells from.  Note that there
are no stat requirements for any specialization, and specializing in
a school doesn't make you better at that school unless you pick the
feats or don't customize your character at creation.  You get a small
bonus to spellcraft in your specialization.

Red Wizard takes this a step further and makes spells of your specialization
better, though it doesn't make a huge difference.

In short, specialization is all about the opposition school and bonus
spells unless the character is a Red Wizard, and even then the main
concern is often what you lose rather than what you gain.  The following
table has some description of what happens with each school, as well
as a rank from 1 (not recommended) to 5 (recommended)

Table 1: Specialists and opposition schools

Abjuration (1 as specialist, 1 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Conjuration
Important spells missed: Almost all of the summoning spells are in
this school, as well as quite a few offensive (flame arrow), and
enhancing (mage armor) spells.
Red Wizard Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Illusion as a school has some
critical defensive spells, but most are low level and can be learned
before the Red Wizard switch.

Evocation (1 as specialist, 4 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Conjuration
Important spells missed: Almost all of the summoning spells are in
this school, as well as quite a few offensive (flame arrow), and
enhancing (mage armor) spells.
Red Wizard Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Illusion as a school has some
critical defensive spells, but most are low level and can be learned
before the Red Wizard switch.

Transmutation (1 as specialist, 3 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Conjuration
Important spells missed: Almost all of the summoning spells are in
this school, as well as quite a few offensive (flame arrow), and
enhancing (mage armor) spells.
Red Wizard Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Illusion as a school has some
critical defensive spells, but most are low level and can be learned
before the Red Wizard switch.

Conjuration (4 as specialist, 5 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Transmutation
Important spells missed: Transmutation spells are mostly duplicated
with divine magic.  Many are used in crafting.
Red Wizard Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Illusion as a school has some
critical defensive spells, but most are low level and can be learned
before the Red Wizard switch.

Divination (1 as specialist, 1 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed: Illusion as a school has some critical defensive
spells such as Mirror Image and Improved Invisibility.  Many of the
more powerful illusion spells have equivalents in Necromancy that are
just better.
Red Wizard Opposition: Enchantment
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Enchantment has two critical
spells, Heroism and Greater Heroism, that are some of the best enhancing
effects available.  The school also has some of the best crowd control
spells.

Enchantment (3 as specialist, 4 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed: Illusion as a school has some critical defensive
spells such as Mirror Image and Improved Invisibility.  Many of the
more powerful illusion spells have equivalents in Necromancy that are
just better.
Red Wizard Opposition: Abjuration
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Abjuration has all of the dispelling
spells as well as critical effects like Protection from Alignment and Stoneskin.
The anti-magic spells aren't too important for the pre-made campaigns,
though they can make some of the harder fights downright trivial.

Illusion (3 as specialist, 4 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Enchantment
Important spells missed: Enchantment has two critical spells, Heroism and
Greater Heroism, that are some of the best enhancing effects available. 
The school also has some of the best crowd control spells.
Red Wizard Opposition: Abjuration
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Abjuration has all of the dispelling
spells as well as critical effects like Protection from Alignment and Stoneskin.
The anti-magic spells aren't too important for the pre-made campaigns,
though they can make some of the harder fights downright trivial.

Necromancy (5 as specialist, 5 as Red Wizard)
Opposition: Divination
Important spells missed: Identify and Premonition are the only two spells
that you might miss.  The banishing spells and power words are sometimes
useful, but they aren't critical.
Red Wizard Opposition: Illusion
Important spells missed (Red Wizard): Illusion as a school has some
critical defensive spells, but most are low level and can be learned
before the Red Wizard switch.

Necromancy is actually a fairly good default choice.  Identification can be done
by lore skill or just by shops if all else fails, and Premonition can be
replaced by other defensive spells fairly easily.  Red Wizards benefit
since Wail of the Banshee and Finger of Death are very save-dependent.

there are three other characters (Grobnar, Qara, and Sand) that can
cast the spells that matter.  None of the enchantment spells are
used in enchanting, ironically.

See the lists in section IV of this FAQ for more details of what spells
are in a school.

-----

Sorceror [IIC]

Short Description: Less selection than a wizard, more flexibility
Prerequisites: 11 CHA (only if selected as starting class)
Casting Stat: CHA
Spell Progression: New spell level every even character level until 18.
Recommended Races: Aasimar (-1)
Perks:
-Doesn't memorize spells, chooses when casting
-Qualifies for relevant prestige classes as early as level 6.
-High CHA gives bonus to social skills
-More spells each day than a generalist Wizard

The lack of a race without an experience point penalty makes Human the
default choice for a Sorceror at low levels, though the bonus to DCs
from a Charisma bonus is very helpful at high level.

Sorcerors have a very limited number of spells to choose from and
decide which they want to cast as they cast them.  This limitation
is relatively minor, there aren't that many spells you want anyway,
but it makes a Sorceror a poor choice for a crafting character.

The flexibility of choosing spells when cast is very handy for a full
time caster, but isn't as great if the primary purpose of the
character is magical enhancement of a melee heavy party.

Like the Epic Wizard, an Epic Sorceror gets an additional bonus feat at 
level 23, 26, and 29, so a "pure" build is not a bad thing at epic levels.

-----

Bard [IID]

Short Description: Jack of most trades, including arcane casting
Prerequisites: 11 CHA (only if selected as starting class)
Casting Stat: CHA
Spell Progression: Slower, highest spell is level 6
Recommended Races: Aasimar (-1)
Perks:
-Doesn't memorize spells, chooses when casting
-Lots of skill points
-High CHA gives bonus to social skills
-Some healing and clerical spells
-Inspirations and other bard-specific abilities
-Better base attack bonus, can wear some armor without penalty
-Qualifies for relevant prestige classes as early as level 7.

A bard isn't primarily an arcane caster, but their spellcasting does
qualify them for prestige classes which require arcane magic.

This FAQ will only address the use of bards as a starting point for
prestige classes.  Note that a bard must be level 2 to have level 1
arcane spells for Arcane Archer and level 7 to have level 3 spells
for Eldritch Knight, Arcane Trickster, and Pale Master.  This is usually
a bad idea, spellcasting is only one of the bard's tricks.  The prestige 
classes do not give bonuses to the bard's other abilities, just 
spellcasting.

-----

Prestige Classes [IIE]

Note that you cannot take more than 10 levels of any prestige class,
so you cannot be a 5 wizard/15 eldritch knight.  This applies even at epic
levels.

---Eldritch Knight [IIE1]

Short Description: Multi-classed fighter and mage.
Prerequisites: Martial weapons feat, 3rd level arcane spellcasting
Casting Stat: Same as casting class
Spell Progression: Same as casting class except nothing at 1st level.
Recommended Races: Same as casting class
Perks:
-High base attack bonus
-Free feats at 1st level (Combat Casting, Skill Focus)

The main benefit to taking levels of Eldritch Knight instead of a
normal casting class is that you receive +1 to hit every level instead
of every other level.  This means you might actually hit an enemy
with a high AC.  The investment for this class is actually relatively
minor, more or less switching the Martial Weapon feat for Combat
Casting and then picking up Combat Casting from the class bonus.  You
lose one casting level at the switch.  Taking a level of fighter or
paladin or ranger will give you the required martial weapons feat, as
well as the armor feats.  Note that a mithril large shield and
several of the exotic material small shields have no arcane casting
penalty, and the OC has a chain shirt (bought from Deekin in
Neverwinter) that gives no arcane casting penalty, so armor feats
are worth having.  The Samarachan patrols have a set of studded
leather that does something similar for Storms of Zehir.  The Practiced
Spellcaster feat can compensate for the lost casting levels somewhat.

Just for the record, a Paladin/Sorceror Eldritch Knight will not have
9th level spells by 20th with 2 levels of Paladin for the save bonus.

---Arcane Trickster [IIE2]

Short Description: Multi-classed thief and mage.
Prerequisites: 3rd level arcane, +2d6 sneak attack (level 3 rogue)
Lore 7, Disable Device 7, Tumble 7, Spellcraft 4
Casting Stat: Same as casting class
Spell Progression: Same as casting class
Recommended Races: Same as casting class
Perks:
-Sneak attack continues to improve
-Impromptu Sneak Attack ability (ignores dex on target, largely useless)
-More skill points per level, access to most rogue skills

An arcane trickster can have 9th level spells by character level 20
only if the casting class is wizard.  Like the Eldritch Knight, the
Trickster benefits from the Practiced Spellcaster feat to recoup some
of the loss of levels from multiclassing.  Note that the trickster
does *not* get the Use Magic Device skill as a class skill.

---Pale Master [IIE3]

Short Description: Mage with defensive bonuses and pointless tricks
Prerequisites: 3rd level arcane spells, non-good alignment
Casting Stat: Same as casting class
Spell Progression: As casting class, but only on odd levels
Recommended Races: Same as casting class
Perks:
-AC bonuses at 1st, 4th, and 8th
-+3 hp/level at 5th (retroactive to all character levels)*
-Immune to Stun, Hold, and Paralyze at 7th
-Immune to Critical Hits at 10th
-Can summon weak undead
-Weak Paralyze/Slay touch attack

*This appears to have been replaced by +4 to fortitude saves in later
versions, which is a travesty since it was the only really good ability
the class had.

Note that the first level of Pale Master is essentially "free" in
that you don't lose any casting levels to take it.  This makes taking
one level of Pale Master appealing.  It is a level that does not give
base attack bonus, and whether that is worth 2 AC depends on the
character.  Pure casters would be crazy not to take it, but Eldritch
Knights and other hybrids might not be as enthusiastic.

The main benefit to taking levels of Pale Master is survivability.
The problem is that a 10 Wizard/10 Pale Master will not get 9th level
spells (effective casting level of 15).  15 Wizard/5 Pale Master
might be a better plan.  10 levels of pale master is really only advisable
for epic PvP builds that need survivability.

---Arcane Archer [IIE4]

Short Description: Archer that requires some spell casting ability
Prerequisites: 1st level arcane spells, +6 BAB, Elf or Half-Elf
Weapon Focus: Longbow or Shortbow, Point Blank Shot
Casting Stat: Same as casting class
Spell Progression: None
Recommended Races: Elf (any) or Half-Elf
Perks:
-Free magical arrows
-Special arrow abilities

The only reason this class is discussed here is because it requires
one level of arcane casting.  Most people who use the class play it
as a dedicated archer.

While two levels of Bard are required for the level 1 casting, the
additional abilities probably make that a better choice than a level
of wizard or sorceror, neither of which provides any real bonus to
what is, in essence, a fighter class.  Two levels of bard also gives
the same base attack bonus improvement as one level of wizard and
one level of fighter anyway.  Be careful of multiclassing penalties
when qualifying for this class.

---Dragon Disciple [IIE5]

Short Description: High hit points, stat bonuses, and immunities
Prerequisites: Bard or Sorceror, 8 ranks in Lore
Casting Stat: CHA
Spell Progression: None
Recommended Races: Any
Perks:
-High (d12) hit dice
-Stat bonuses at even levels


This class is slightly different from the version in the original
Neverwinter Nights in that the hit die starts at d12.  Since it
provides no spellcasting bonuses whatsoever other than minor stat
bonuses, the only point of interest is the extra hit points and AC.
Pale Master provides these abilities without completely sacrificing
spellcasting abilities.

---Harper Agent [IIE6]

Short Description: Quasi-bard class
Prerequisites: A spellcasting class, Alertness, Iron Will
8 Diplomacy, 4 Lore, 2 Survival, cannot be evil.
Casting Stat: as base class
Spell Progression: as base class, but no progress at 1st level
Recommended Races: as base class
Perks:
-Extra skill points
-Higher hit die than mage classes
-Some rogue skills (not Use Magic Device, Open Lock, Disable)
-A variety of wacky and dubiously useful abilities

This class is pretty steep on requirements.  It provides a few extra
hp and a slightly better base attack bonus over a wizard or sorceror,
as well as quite a few skills.  Overall, unless there's a reason
within a campaign or it's just in character, this class offers nothing
of interest.

---7. Arcane Scholar of Candlekeep [[IIE7]]

Short Description: Metamagic specialist
Prerequisites: Level 3 arcane spells, 8 spellcraft, empower spell,
skill focus (concentration), skill focus (spellcraft)
Casting Stat: as base class
Spell Progression: as base class
Recommended Races: as base class
Perks:
-Uses metamagic feats with one less level of increase, so an
Empowered Fireball is level 4 instead of level 5.
-Bonus metamagic feats.
-Party gains save bonuses against spells.

For a caster that uses a lot of direct damage spell attacks, the
"cheaper" empowered spells can be quite effective.  Taking all
ten levels of this class is probably a waste, the improved
empowered spells are the only real benefit.

Mixing this class with Eldritch Knight has one obvious perk: the
Skill Focus (concentration) requirement is a bonus feat from the
Eldritch Knight class.

---8. Red Wizard [[IIE8]]

Short Description: Super-specialist
Prerequisites: Level 3 arcane spells, a metamagic or item creation
feat, non-good, human, 8 spellcraft, spell pentration, greater spell
penetration, specialist wizard.
Casting Stat: as base class
Spell Progression: as base class
Recommended Races: human (required)
Perks:
-Additional specialization, see table in section IIB1 for choices.
-Additional rank of spell focus for chosen school.
-Bonus to spell penetration for chosen school.
-Bonus spell levels to chosen school (does not work for crafting)
-Bonus to your saving throws for chosen school.
-Same bonus feats as Wizard.

The Red Wizard class is in many ways not that different from a vanilla
wizard.  It provides some additional bonuses to one school and adds
a few more restrictions to the spells you can learn.  If all you want is
additional save DC, play a race with an Intelligence bonus (i.e. Sun Elf),
it's far less messy than playing a Human Red Wizard.

The additional opposition school works a little differently from the base
opposition school in that you can learn spells from that school before
you make the change to Red Wizard, and you can cast any spell you
already know.  For example, a Red Wizard with a Necromancy specialty
can never learn or cast Identify (base opposition school), but could
learn Mirror Image during the five levels of normal Wizard and still cast
it after gaining Red Wizard levels.

-----

Other Classes [IIF]

Most of the other classes offer little to a practitioner of arcane
magic.  Notably, the Duelist could have been useful, but the AC bonus
is limited to the character's Duelist level.  Taking three levels of
Swashbuckler on an Eldritch Knight is possible for melee damage
bonuses.  Invisible Blade is very similar to the Duelist and has lower
requirements, but also has less hit points.  In any case, extra casting
levels are almost always better unless spellcasting is only part of the
intent of the character.

Divine and arcane caster combinations have been proposed for "ultimate
crafter" builds, but these are of dubious value in the official
campaign.

The old trick of taking a Paladin level as a Sorceror for the saving
throw bonus no longer works as well (you have to take two levels).  A
similar trick is to use the Warlock ability "Dark One's Own Luck" which
has the same effect, although you have to turn it on again after resting.

---======================================---

----------------General character building tips---------------- [III]

Section Introduction [IIIA]

This section gives descriptions of some of the nuts and bolts of the
system, including recommended feats and skills.  Many of these
abilities work the same for any class, and their utility to the
various arcane classes is discussed.

For examples of actual builds and specific recommendations, see
section VI.

-----

Attributes [IIIB]

When buying attributes, note that raising attributes increases in cost
as you increase the attribute according to the following table:

Racial Bonus or penalty:
Stat- -4 -2 +0 +2
4     0  n  n  n
5     1  n  n  n
6     2  0  n  n
7     3  1  n  n
8     4  2  0  n
9     5  3  1  n
10    6  4  2  0
11    8  5  3  1
12    10 6  4  2
13    13 8  5  3
14    16 10 6  4
15    n  13 8  5
16    n  16 10 6
17    n  n  13 8
18    n  n  16 10
19    n  n  n  13
20    n  n  n  16

You start with 32 points and all stats at the "0" level in the table.  If
the table has an "n" the character cannot have that amount of stat.  For
example, a human ("+0" to all stats) could have an 18 CON and an 18 INT and
leave all other stats at 8, or 12 CON and 12 INT and all other stats at 14,
or any combination.

Note that odd stats do not provide any bonus, so a 33 CHA is the same
as a 32 CHA for purposes of mechanics.

You may add +1 to any stat at character level 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
The Dragon Disciple class is the only other way to permanently modify
your statistics.  Items and spells can give temporary bonuses, but
only the highest temporary bonus applies (i.e. if you have an item
that gives +3 charisma and cast Eagle's Splendor, which gives +4,
you would only receive the +4 bonus and not +7 total).  MotB adds some
history feats that you gain during gameplay that increase your base stats
the same way Dragon Disciple does.

-Strength

Unless the character intends to engage in melee (i.e. an Eldritch
Knight), this stat is of dubious value.  Strength affects weight
carried and provides a bonus to hit and a bonus to damage with melee
weapons equal to the modifier (i.e. +1 at 12 strength).  The damage bonus
is increased by 1.5 for two-handed weapons and is halved for off-hand
weapons.

Strength does not affect any skills.

-Dexterity

Dexterity provides a bonus to attack (not damage) with ranged weapons,
gives a dodge bonus to AC (limited by armor), and a bonus to reflex
saves.  This stat is very useful at low levels for mages, but once
the character learns spells like stoneskin and has enough spells to
avoid falling back on physical attacks it becomes irrelevant except
for Reflex saves.

Dexterity gives a bonus to Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, Parry, Set
Trap, Sleight of Hand, and Tumble skill rolls.

-Constitution

This stat affects hit points gained each level and fortitude saves.
Since mages don't get many hit points, this is important at all times.

Constitution affects only one skill, Concentration, but this is a
critical skill to any spellcaster because it determines if a spell
will be interrupted.

-Intelligence

Affects the number of skill points you get.  There aren't that many
critical skills, so this isn't that crucial in general but it never
hurts.  This stat sometimes affects dialogue options, depending on
the campaign.  The Storm of Zehir campaign makes a lot more use
of the various skills, so it's more important there.

This is a Wizard's primary spellcasting stat, so it affects DCs of
spells (see E of this section), maximum spell level, and bonus spells.
A wizard should start with as high of an INT as reasonably possible.

Intelligence gives a bonus to Appraise, Craft Alchemy, Craft Armor,
Craft Trap, Craft Weapon, Disable Device, Lore, Search, and
Spellcraft.

-Wisdom

Wisdom affects divine spellcasting and will saves.  It isn't that
useful to arcane casters, since all of them receive Will as a high
high save except for Eldritch Knights and Arcane Archers.  It also
may affect dialogue options, depending on the campaign.

Heal, Listen, Spot and Survival gain bonuses based on Wisdom.

-Charisma

Charisma only affects skills and may also affect dialogue options,
depending on the campaign.  Many class-specific abilities, particularly
divine abilities, are affected by this stat.  A 10 charisma is required
for Natural Leader, which is generally worth having.

This is a Sorceror's (and a Bard's) primary spellcasting stat, so it
affects DCs of spells (see E of this section), maximum spell level,
and bonus spells.  A sorceror should start with as high of a CHA as
reasonably possible.

Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perform, Taunt, and Use Magic Device
gain bonuses based on Charisma.

-----

Skills of note [IIIC]

-Appraise (Int): Affects your ability to buy and sell goods.  Cash is
pretty easy to find late in the game, so this isn't a critical skill,
but it's worth boosting your Int and your skill for big purchases.

-Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate (Cha): Used in dialogue.  In the official
campaign, you can often use any one of the three to get the same
result, so having all three is probably overkill.

-Concentration (Con): The only skill that is truly critical to a
spellcaster, Concentration is what determines if your spells are
disrupted when you take damage and is also used to avoid getting hit
in the first place if you have Combat Casting.  This skill should
always be maxed on any full time spellcaster.

-Heal (Wis): This skill isn't very important in the official campaign
(you can just rest), but it's handy for removing poison and disease.

-Lore (Int): Generally not that important, you can just cast Identify
and ignore this skill.  It comes up once or twice in conversations in
the official campaign.  In settings where resting is more obnoxious,
this can be convenient to have.  Bards and Harper Agents get a bonus
equal to their level to this skill.

-Spellcraft (Int): If you have this skill and the right spell in
memory, you can attempt to counterspell if you succeed at the roll.
This is not that important in the official campaign, it's usually
easier to just kill the enemy instead of waiting to counterspell, but
the skill also gives +1 to saves against spells for each 5 points,
which is handy.

-Tumble (Dex): This skill gives +1 to AC for every 10 real points in
the skill, so Dex bonuses don't help.  It also gives you a (DC 15)
chance of avoiding attacks of opportunity for moving in combat, which
is handy if you're a mage and you're trying to get out of the thick
of a fight.

-Use Magic Device (Cha): Sometimes referred to as "Use Monk Device",
this skill lets you use items which are normally restricted to other
classes.  Low level Monk robes give AC bonuses but don't cause arcane
spell failure and Monk boots give dodge bonuses to AC.  Being able to
use clerical scrolls is also sometimes worthwhile, especially if you
have a cleric that can scribe scrolls.

-----

Feats of note [IIID]

Feats fall into a couple of broad categories.  At first level, pay
special attention to the Background Trait feats, which can't be taken
later.  Spellcasting Prodigy is an excellent choice for most casters, Luck
of Heroes may be a better choice for melee characters desperate for AC.

This guide does not include a complete list of feats, just ones that
are likely to appeal to arcane spellcasters.

---General Feats [IIID1]

-Improved Initiative: This feat is one of the few ways to affect
your initiative roll, and sometimes going first is critical to victory,
but it's not necessary or important for the official campaign.

-Toughness: Mages of all kinds tend not to have very many hit points,
so if you skimped on constitution when assigning stats, pick this feat
up as soon as possible.

---Proficiency Feats [IIID2]

-Martial Weapons: Prerequisite for the Eldritch Knight class.  You
actually have to have the feat, which means taking a class with the
feat or taking the feat itself.  Single martial weapons (i.e. the Elf
bonus weapons) are not enough.

-Shield Proficiency: Mithril large shields do not give an arcane
spell failure and can be enchanted to provide substantial defense.

---Spellcasting Feats [IIID3]

These are the feats that can be chosen as bonus feats by Wizards
at every 5th level.  Note that if you pick up a prestige class and
are not gaining "real" Wizard levels, you do not get these bonus feats.

-Augment Summoning: Does not appear to actually exist in game.

-Combat Casting: This feat allows the caster to make a Concentration
check to avoid attacks of opportunity when casting in melee.  It's
also a pain to keep turning it on.  Do *not* take this feat if you
plan to become an Eldritch Knight, the class gets it automatically.  It's
generally considered harmful to try and cast spells in melee in the first
place, so this feat is only important for PvP builds, mages that are going
solo, or Eldritch Knights (who get it as part of the class)

-Practiced Spellcaster (requires 4 spellcraft): This feat is handy
for multi-classed mages who have class levels which do not increase
their casting levels such as the first level of Eldritch Knight or
the rogue levels that an Arcane Trickster takes.  The feat increases
your casting level by 4 to a maximum of your character level.  In
English, this means that a level 3 Rogue/5 Wizard/1 Arcane Trickster
would learn and memorize spells as a level 6 wizard (5+1), but would
cast a 9d6 Fireball (as a 9th level wizard) with this feat.  On the
other hand, a level 6 Wizard with the feat would still be casting a
6d6 (6th level) Fireball because his class level is the same as his
character level and the feat does nothing.

-Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus: These feats increase the DCs of
spells cast by the mage in the school of focus.  Since so few things
affect spell DCs, these are excellent feats and are critical to
offensive spellcasters.  Evocation, Necromancy, and Conjuration are
the usual choices for these feats, though Transmutation has a few
spells as well.

-Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration: These feats increase
the chance of a spell to defeat the spell resistance of a target. 
This isn't usually a big deal in the official campaign, but resisted
spells make wizards useless, so it's not a bad feat to have.  The base
for the spell resistance roll is the casting level of the mage, so
the Practiced Spellcaster feat may be a better first step for some
characters.

---Metamagic Feats [IIID4]

These are also available as Wizard bonus feats.  They allow you to
modify the way a spell works, but they make it occupy a higher level
spell slot than normal.  This can be used to make low level spells
better than high level spells.  Not all spells can be used with all
feats.  You cannot, for example, Extend a Fireball.  Many of the spells
added in the later expansions can't be modified by the metamagic feats
that you would expect to work with them.

You cannot use multiple metamagic feats with the same spell, so you can
Extend Haste or Quicken Haste, but not an extended and quickened Haste.

-Empower Spell: All dice in an empowered spell's effects are increased
by 50%.  This feat is generally used with direct damage spells, and
increases the level of the spell by two.  Arcane Scholars (and Safiya in
the MotB campaign) get an improvement which makes this increase the spell
level by one instead of two.

-Extend Spell: The spell's duration is doubled.  This effect is useful
at low levels for long duration spells such as Mage Armor so that
they don't wear off halfway through a dungeon, and is also useful
at medium levels to increase the duration of short duration spells
like Haste.  At high levels, most spells last long enough that this
spell is unnecessary.  The spell is memorized as if one level higher.

-Maximize Spell: All dice in a maximized spell's effects automatically
roll the highest number possible.  This feat is used on the same spells
as Empower, and the two are similar in results.  A 10d6 fireball that
is Empowered does 52.5 damage on average, a Maximized 10d6 fireball
does 60 damage (assuming, in both cases, that the target doesn't save).
A maximized spell takes up a slot three levels higher.  Arcane Scholars
get this feat for free at 1st level and get an improved version that only
increases the spell slot by two levels.

-Persistent Spell: This is Extend Spell's bigger brother, and requires
the basic version as a prerequisite.  By increasing the effective
level by 6, the spell will last 24 hours.  Since this can only affect
0-3rd level spells, it has limited use, but 24 hour duration Haste
is very worthwhile, even as a 9th level spell.  This feat does not work
with many spells, but it's worth it for Haste alone.

-Quicken Spell: This feat allows the mage to cast spells faster.  The
documentation claims a "free" action, but in practice all this means
is that the character doesn't wait until the turn is up to cast the
spell.  By alternating quickened and unquickened spells, the character
can cast twice as fast.  The cost, though, is that the quickened
spells take up slots 4 levels higher than normal.  Arcane Scholars get an
improved version that only increases the spell slot by three.

-Silent Spell: This feat is of dubious value in the official campaign,
since not many enemies use silencing effects.  Spells are cast as if
one level higher, and may be cast when silenced.  Sometimes amusing for
Sorcerors, since it lets them use their spell slots creatively, but there
are generally better feats.

-Still Spell: Eldritch Knights who take levels of Fighter or such
might consider this feat so that they can wear plate and cast spells.
Since the official campaign includes armor that can be worn safely
and mages have so many other defensive tricks, this is generally not
worth it.  Spells are cast as if one level higher, arcane spell
failure is 0.

---Item Creation Feats [IIID5]

These are self-explanatory and are covered in great detail in other
FAQs.  Notably, Wizards get one of them (Scribe Scroll) at 1st level
automatically.

---Skills and Save Feats [IIID6]

The skill feats are useless because there are easier ways to increase
skills.  While some of these may become worthwhile for Fighters due
to their abundance of feats, mages tend to have many better choices.
Alertness is required for Harper Agents.

The save feats (Iron Will, Great Fortitude, and Lightning Reflexes)
may be useful in situations where saving throws are more critical, but
they generally aren't worth it in the official campaign.  Iron Will
is required for Harper Agents.

---Background Traits [IIID7]

Most of the background trait feats provide similarly small bonuses
and are of dubious value, but there are a few worth considering
spending a feat on:

-Blooded and Thug give a bonus to initiative (+2), which is difficult
to get almost anywhere else.
-Luck of Heroes gives a +1 to all saves and a +1 luck bonus to AC.
-Mind over Body gives a small bonus to hit points.

-Spellcasting Prodigy gives +2 to your spellcasting stat, but only
for determining DCs and bonus spells.  Any offensive spellcaster would
be crazy not to take this feat, as it is essentially a Spell Focus in
everything.

Confusingly, you also choose a background trait during character
creation.  This is a separate process and does not use any of your
feat choices.  These are self-explanatory and are balanced, so be
careful of choosing ones which reduce your saving throws or reduce
skills you may want to use.  The "Natural Leader" trait only applies
once, if you have multiple natural leaders in your party only one
bonus applies (note that none of the NPCs in the OC, MotB, or SoZ
have the trait).  You should have exactly one Natural Leader in your
party whenever possible, the -1 to saves is annoying but infrequent,
the +1 to hit for everyone else is always active.

---Epic Feats [IIID8]

Epic Feats are only available once you have the Epic Character trait,
which every character gets at character level 21.   You can spend any
"normal" feat at epic levels to get available Epic Feats, but you also
get Epic Feats for taking levels in classes that are already over 20,
generally one per three.  For example, a level 23 pure Wizard would have
access to an Epic Feat at 21 (normal feat progression) and at 23 (epic
wizard bonus feat).  Epic characters get feats at 21, 23, 25, 27, and 29
instead of the 21, 24, 27, 30 you would expect for the "every three levels"
rule.  Wizard Bonus Feats can be taken as Epic Feats as well.  The pure
wizard/sorceror bonus feats and the Wizard bonus feats must be taken from a
more restricted list.

The Epic Feats fall into three basic categories:

Stat bonus feats give +1 to the named stat.  This is generally a good
choice if nothing else strikes your fancy, especially for spellcasters.
The other Epic Feats sound fun, but the stat bonuses are generally more
useful to a caster.

There are also general epic feats that tend to be improved versions of the
basic feats.  For example, there's Epic Spell Focus that stacks with the
basic and greater versions of the non-epic feats.  The Automatic Still
Spell and Automatic Silent Spell apply those metamagic effects to any spell
the character casts.  Automatic Quicken Spell is similar, but requires
a much higher spellcraft and only affects one level of spell for each feat
taken.

Epic Spells are effectively one per day spells.  They have a Spellcraft
requirement, and that spellcraft requirement must be met with raw points
in the skill.  The DCs for these are listed as "+5" but that isn't very
helpful since the base level of the spell is unknown.  A 30th level wizard
with a 24 INT gave a DC of 32, which is consistent with a 22 base DC, or
level "12" including the +5 listed.  To use them, drag the feat to a quick
slot.  The epic spells are fun to play with (especially Mass Fowl), but
other than Vampiric Feast and Hellball they really aren't that great.

-Damnation: Not available to arcane casters.

-Entropic Husk: Spellcraft 31 (character level 28).  Target gains large
stat bonuses and goes berserk for twenty rounds and then dies.  Conjuration
spell, touch range (touch attack required), Will save for no effect.

-Epic Gate: Spellcraft 27 (character level 24).  Casts the Gate spell.  If
the summoned creature dies, the Epic Gate automatically replaces it while
the duration lasts (40 rounds).

-Hellball: Spellcraft 30 (character level 27).  Casts a Fireball-like effect
that does 40d6 damage (10d6 of 4 elements).  Reflex save for half damage,
but Evasion and Improved Evasion do not work.

-Mass Fowl: Spellcraft 24 (character level 21).  Attempts to polymorph all
nearby creatures into chickens.  "Sufficiently powerful" creatures are
unaffected, as is anything larger than medium (human) size.  Anything else
gets a fortitude save to avoid.

-Vampiric Feast: Spellcraft 24 (character level 21).  Attempts to kill any
creature within 20 feet of the caster.  If they make their save, they lose
half of their hit points instead.  The caster is healed based on the kills
and damage dealt, and the spell summons a pointless level 9 shadow if the
spell killed anything.

-----

Calculating spell DCs [IIIE]

The DC of a spell is equal to 10 + the level of the spell + the bonus
to the caster's primary stat + spell focus (if any).

For example, a level 1 Sorceress with a 16 CHA casts a Sleep spell.
She doesn't have focus: enchantment, but does have the spellcasting
prodigy feat, so her CHA is considered to be 18.  The DC of the spell
is 10 (base) + 1 (spell level) + 4 (casting stat bonus) + 0 (focus) or 15.

Much later, the Sorceress has become much more powerful, but still
likes to cast Sleep to deal with pesky apprentices.  At level 18, she
now has a CHA of 20, a cloak that gives +6 CHA, and the spell focus
in enchantment, so the DC is 10 + 1 + 9 (20+6+2 CHA) + 0 or 19.  The
apprentice, who has a +6 will save, needs a 13 to stay awake.

Trying again, the Sorceress uses a metamagic feat to cast an Extended
version of the Sleep spell.  The spell counts as a level 2 spell for
the number of spells she can cast today, but the saving throw is the
same since it's still innately a level 1 spell.

If the Sorceress were to cast Hold Person instead, she would note that
even though the spell is level 3 to a Sorceror, it is innately a level
2 spell and the DC is determined as if it were a level 2 spell.

If she got sick of the kid stuff and just decided to cast Wail of the
Banshee (a Necromancy spell) instead, the DC would be 10 + 9 + 9 + 2
(she's got Greater Spell Focus in Necromancy) or 30.  The apprentice,
with a +2 fortitude save, can only survive on a natural 20.

Epic spellcasters gain an additional +1 to spell DC's at level 23, 26, and 
29.  That's character level, not class level, so a 5 Wizard/10 Eldritch
Knight/15 Fighter would still get the bonus.

The major benefit of being a race with a bonus to a casting stat, such
as an Aasimar Sorceror, is the additional +1 DC.  This just isn't
worth it at low levels, but at high levels it's sometimes the only
thing that matters.

-----

Familiars [IIIF]

Both Wizards and Sorcerors get a familiar.  The actual beast itself
isn't particularly stunning (a level 15 cat still does less than 0
damage with all three attacks) so the primary benefit of a familiar
is the minor bonus, usually a skill or save bonus, and a warm body to
absorb hits or distract enemies.

Beetles (+1 hp/level) are a good choice for combat mages and cats (+3 to 
hide and move silently) are good for the stealthy types, but remember
that you only get the bonus while the familiar is out.  Safiya, a character 
in MotB, has a familiar that's also a full time lock and trap specialist.
Most of the familiars that you can chooose from only have hide and move
silently.  Some have the darkvision ability, most have Improved Evasion.
The bat has spot and listen instead of hide and move silently, which is
useful for one area in the original campaign that has a lot of rogues
running around.

You can control familiars (click on their portrait), and they do make
useful decoys to "disarm" traps.  You take 1d6 damage when they die,
so be careful with them at low levels.

Familiars level up along with you, though they don't really gain much
more than a few hit points.  If you take a prestige class, your familiar
stays at your wizard or sorceror level.  If you have both wizard and
sorceror for some bizarre reason, their levels stack for the purposes of
the familiar.

Familiars can be used to cast a few spells that require touch attacks,
such as Shocking Grasp.  This is very rarely useful since most of the
touch attack spells are pretty weak, but it's better than having a wizard
in melee.

---======================================---

----------------Discussion of spells---------------- [IV]
A. Section Introduction [IVA]

This is just a list of the spells in the game and my personal take on
them.  Each spell is given a short description and a 1-5 rating.

1: The spell is almost totally useless.
2: The spell has one or two uses, but is generally bad.
3: The spell is worth learning, but not exceptional.
4: The spell is a "must have" and is very useful.
5: The spell is a reason to have a mage in the party.

#: This spell is safe to give to AI controlled characters.

*: The AI is too stupid to use this spell.  Do not have an AI
controlled character memorize it.  If you can't unmemorize it, i.e.
it's a Sorceror, then just learn to live with them casting it every
fight or turn off their spellcasting.

Note that bards do not learn many of these spells and learn some of
these spells at different levels!  This is only a spell list for
Wizards and Sorcerors.

-----
B. Abjuration [IVB]

---Level 0:

2*: Resistance: Gives +1 to all saves for 2 turns.
//This spell would be more useful it lasted a little longer.

---Level 1:

3*: Endure Elements: 10/- elemental damage resistance, absorbs 20.
//Lasts a long time, saves you from traps early on.

4*: Protection from Alignment: +2 AC (Def), +2 saves, immunity to
mind affecting spells cast by evil enemies.
//Protection from mind spells is great.  AI casting protection from
//Good on the entire party during a fight is mind-affecting.

4: Shield: Gives a +4 shield AC bonus.
//If you have a shield, this will not stack with the magical bonus
//of that shield, but will stack with the base AC.  Otherwise, it's
//a +4 AC bonus that works with anything.  Duration is short at low
//levels, but gets better.

3*: Nightshield: Gives a bonus to saving throws and immunity to magic
missiles.
//It's not much, but it lasts a while and unlike Protection from Alignment
//does not have any particular conditions on the save bonus.

---Level 2:

2: Lesser Dispel: Dispels all effects on target or top effect on group.
DC is 11 + Spell level, add your caster level (max 5) to roll.
//This is primarily used for counterspells.  Use the Spell Breaches
//to disrupt enemy mage defenses.  It can also be used to remove
//hostile spells from your party.  This spell is used in an early
//quest.

3*: Protection From Arrows: Absorbs 10/magic ranged damage.
//Not too many enemies use ranged attacks in the Official Campaign.

2*: Resist Energy: 20/- elemental damage resistance, absorbs 30.
//The duration of this spell is too short to make it useful.  The level 1
//and level 3 variants are far better.

---Level 3:

3: Dispel Magic: Dispels all effects on target or top effect on group.
DC is 11 + Spell level, add your caster level (max 10) to roll.
//This is primarily used for counterspells.  Use the Spell Breaches
//to disrupt enemy mage defenses.  It can also be used to remove
//hostile spells from your party.

3*: Magic Circle Against Alignment: Same effect as Prot. Align above,
but in a 10' radius around the caster.
//Unlike the level 1 version, this spell doesn't last as long.

3: Protection From Energy: 30/- elemental damage resistance, takes 40.
//Like the level 1 version of this spell, this lasts 24 hours.

---Level 4:

2*: Least Spell Mantle: Absorbs d4+4 levels of spells.
//In mage-on-mage duels, this spell would be great.  Unfortunately,
//the only duel in the official campaign isn't exactly against a mage.
//Duration is very short. 

3*: Lesser Globe of Invulnerability: Level 3 and lower spells blocked.
//In a mage-heavy party, one character (an Eldritch Knight) can cast
//this and safely be a "decoy" while the other mages pound the area
//with fireballs.  Not necessary on lower difficulty levels.  Also
//provides some protection against low level mages.

4: Lesser Spell Breach: Removes two protections, reduces SR by 3.
//This is a better way of handling mage defenses than Dispel, since
//it always works and drops their spell resistance (if any) as well.

2#: Remove Curse: Removes a curse.
//I didn't find any curses in the official campaign, and the bestow
//curse spell isn't exactly devastating.

5#: Stoneskin: 10/Adamantine damage resistance, absorbs 10/level.
//This is it, the spell that makes the Abjuration school worthwhile.
//Bizarre that Greater Stoneskin is Transmutation, but it's worth
//noting that no mage has Abjuration as a base opposition school, so this
//may be intentional.

2*: Greater Resistance: +3 to all saves
//Lasts a long time, but the first level Nightshield has about the same
//effect.  They stack, of course, but it's rare that you'll need that 
//much save bonus.

---Level 5:

3#: Dismissal: Unsummons enemy summoned creatures.
//Not too many enemies use summons, so not a big deal, but those that
//do tend to be very annoying.

2*: Lesser Mind Blank: Immunity to mind spells.
//Protection from Alignment has a much longer duration, and most of
//the enemies in the game are evil.  Why use a level 5 spell when a
//level 1 spell does it better?

2*: Lesser Spell Mantle: Absorbs d6+6 levels of spells.
//It's probably worth having one of this line of spells, and level 5
//doesn't have that many great spells, so I tend to take this one.
//Don't teach it to an AI controlled Sorceror.

1*: Wall of Dispel Magic: Attempts to dispel anyone who passes through.
//It's not so much "passing through" but anchor an enemy in one place
//and cast the wall on top of them.  There are much better ways to
//dispel enemies.

---Level 6:

3*: Globe of Invulnerability: Level 4 and lower spells blocked.
//Like the Lesser Globe, this spell can be used to protect the caster
//not just from enemies, but from allies.

3: Greater Dispel Magic: Dispels all effects on target or top effect
on group.  DC is 11 + Spell level, add your caster level (max 15) to
roll.
//This is primarily used for counterspells.  Use the Spell Breaches
//to disrupt enemy mage defenses.  It can also be used to remove
//hostile spells from your party.

4: Greater Spell Breach: Removes four protections, reduces SR by 5.
//This is a better way of handling mage defenses than Dispel, since
//it always works and drops their spell resistance (if any) as well.

3*: Superior Resistance: +6 to all saves
//Lasts a long time, but you'll rarely need that kind of save bonus.  
//More convenient than casting a lot of low level saving throw boosts.

---Level 7:

3: Banishment: Kills summoned creatures and outsiders
//Like Dismissal, except that it works on outsiders (Demons, Devils,
//Archons, Celestials, etc...) as well.  One area in the official
//campaign has a fair number of these.

3*: Energy Immunity: Gives 100% immunity to one elemental type.
//This spell makes fighting dragons and fire elementals a lot easier.

2*: Spell Mantle: Absorbs d8+8 levels of spells.
//See comments on other spells of this line.  If you have nothing else
//to get, it isn't bad, but don't expect to use it much in the
//official campaign.

---Level 8:

3*: Mind Blank: Protects all allies from mind-affecting spells.
//Again, since almost all enemies are evil, the level 1 spell does
//this relatively well.  This does have the convenience of protecting
//the whole party with one spell, though, and by the time you get
//this, the 1 minute/level duration is plenty.

3*: Protection From Spells: +8 to all saves on spells for 1/4 levels.
//Big saving throw bonus, which would be great if your party is going
//up against things that cast Wail of the Banshee or other spells of
//mass destruction, but the official campaign doesn't call for it.

1*: Wall of Greater Dispel Magic: Attempts to dispel anyone who passes.
//It's not so much "passing through" but anchor an enemy in one place
//and cast the wall on top of them.  There are much better ways to
//dispel enemies, the main perk here is that if used properly anything
//they try to recast will be taken off again.

---Level 9:

2*: Greater Spell Mantle: Absorbs d12+10 levels of spells.
//If you're really into dueling mages, this is your spell.  The rest
//of the world has better things to do with their 9th level slots.

3*: Mordenkainen's Disjunction: Dispels all effects on target or top
effect on group.  DC is 11 + Spell level, add your caster level (max
20) to roll.  Reduces SR of all targets in area of effect by 10.
//The main benefit to this is that it reduces the spell resistance
//of a group of targets, which could be great for fighting groups of
//drow or other resistant targets.  Otherwise, it's just a big dispel
//magic.

-----
C. Conjuration [IVC]

---Level 0:

3: Acid Splash: does 1d3 acid damage to target
//Ray of frost does better damage, but this is perfect for finishing
//off trolls and has better range.
2: Ray of Frost: does 1d4+1 cold damage to target.
//The best damage for the level, but requires a touch attack.
//in all honesty, you're probably better off just using a crossbow.

---Level 1:

3*: Grease: Targets in area fall down or move at reduced speed.
//This spell does something even if opponents make their save, which
//makes it handy for slowing down the charge of enemies.  A low level
//spell that retains its utility for the long haul, though usually
//you're better off just killing your enemies instead of playing with
//them.

4#: Mage Armor: +4 armor bonus
//This spell essentially adds a +4 enchantment to whatever armor the
//character is wearing (if any).  If the character already had a suit
//of Leather Armor +2, this spell would only add 2 AC.  With a 1hr/lvl
//duration, this spell is great for defending every party member.

3: Summon Creature I: Summons a wolf.
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

1*: Blade of Fire: Adds 1d8 fire damage to your weapons for 2 rounds.
//If this spell could be made persistent, it wouldn't be too bad, but
//you can't even extend it.  Utterly, utterly useless except to a dual
//wielding Eldritch Knight, and even there it's pretty bad.

4*: Orb of foo, Lesser: Does 1d8 damage per two levels to 5d8, ranged 
//touch. "foo" in this case is an element.  There are actually five of 
//these spells and they are very similar.  These are essentially 
//competition for Magic Missile, and they'd be great as a replacement if
//you had evocation as an opposition school, but no one does.  The 
//element of the damage is sometimes useful (fire against ice enemies), 
//particularly for specialists who can't use acid splash but need to 
//finish off trolls.  Magic Missile's guaranteed hit generally makes it 
//better than these, though the orbs do slightly more damage.

---Level 2:

4#: Melf's Acid Arrow: Deals 3d6 acid damage +1d6/round
//Staple attack spell for level 2.  Nothing special, but solid.

3: Summon Creature II: Summons a dire badger.
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

3*: Web: Targets are held or move at reduced speed.
//Like Grease, this spell works even against enemies that make their
//saves.  Note that there is a cloak in the game that makes the wearer
//immune to this spell, which makes it easier to use.  Again, you're
//probably better killing your enemies than playing with them, but
//this spell is great for archer or mage heavy parties.

---Level 3:

4#: Flame Arrow: Deals 4d6 fire damage per 4 levels.
//Unlike fireball, safe to use with parties at higher difficulty
//settings.  The damage does not cap at 10d6, which is nice.

5#: Improved Mage Armor: +6 armor bonus
//Works exactly like the level 1 Mage Armor spell, except +6 instead
//of +4.  Cast it on the whole party and run around in nonmagic armor.

3: Mestil's Acid Breath: 1d6/level acid damage to cone area
//It's not as good as fireball, but may be safer to use in parties.

3*: Stinking Cloud: Targets are dazed and stay dazed after they leave.
//Doesn't keep the enemy from moving, and doesn't have any effect if
//they save.  Web and grease are better, though notably you can make
//your own party immune to mind-affecting and let them walk in the
//cloud safely.

3: Summon Creature III: Summons a dire wolf.
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

---Level 4:

3*: Evard's Black Tentacles: Summons a field of tentacles that damage
and paralyze their targets.
//This spell is vaguely disturbing to watch, but it deals damage and
//paralyzes a small area of targets.  The tentacles don't attack your
//allies, which makes it useful for long, drawn out melee fights.
//The tentacles don't allow a spell resistance roll, just a save.

3: Summon Creature IV: Summons a Dire Boar
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

4: Orb of foo: Does 1d6/level (max 15d6) to one target, ranged touch
//Again, "foo" is one of five elements.  These spells are all slightly
//different in that each will cause a different status effect for one
//round.  The saving throw only affects the status effect and does
//not reduce the damage.

---Level 5:

3: Lesser Planar Binding: Paralyzes an outsider or summons a creature.
//Used as a summoning spell, this lasts a lot longer than the vanilla
//"Summon Creature N" spells.  The paralyzing option does not allow
//for spell resistance.

2: Summon Creature V: Summons a Shadow Mastiff
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.  The
//Planar Binding creatures are weaker, but last ten times as long.

4: Vitriolic Sphere: Explosion that deals 1d4/level acid damage, to
a maximum of 15d4.  if targets fail reflex save they take half damage
the next round, if they fail save then they take 1/4 damage the third.
//While this spell doesn't initially do as much damage as Firebrand,
//the initial damage does not allow a saving throw, which makes it
//useful against enemies with high reflex saves.

4*: Arc of Lightning: 1d6/level damage (15d6 cap) to a target and nearby.
//The caster chooses one target, the second one is randomly chosen
//from nearby creatures.  Anything on the line between is hit.  The usual
//reflex saves apply.  Not an awful spell, but not very safe for party use.

---Level 6:

1*: Acid Fog: 4d6 damage, save or slow move, 2d6 each round after.
//The damage on this spell is pathetic, and the slow effect allows
//a saving throw?  Avoid this spell.

3: Planar Binding: Paralyzes an outsider or summons a creature.
//Used as a summoning spell, this lasts a lot longer than the vanilla
//"Summon Creature N" spells.  The paralyzing option does not allow
//for spell resistance and gives a -2 penalty to the save.

2: Summon Creature VI: Summons a Dire Bear
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.  The
//Planar binding creatures are weaker, but last ten times as long.

---Level 7:

3: Summon Creature VII: Summons a huge elemental
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

---Level 8:

3: Greater Planar Binding: Paralyzes an outsider or summons a creature.
//Used as a summoning spell, this lasts a lot longer than the vanilla
//"Summon Creature N" spells.  The paralyzing option does not allow
//for spell resistance and gives a -5 penalty to the save.

3: Summon Creature VIII: Summons a greater elemental
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

---Level 9:

3: Gate: Summons a Horned Devil, which is hostile if you don't have
protection from evil up.
//The two level 9 summons are pretty similar in strength, but the
//Devil is the more predictable of the two.

3: Summon Creature IX: Summons an elder elemental
//This spell doesn't last as long as it did in the original NWN, but
//you don't take xp penalties for summoned pets anymore either.

-----
D. Divination [IVD]

---Level 0:

---Level 1:

2*: Detect Undead: This spell tells you where nearby undead are.
//60 feet is a pathetically short range.  You can probably see them
//just fine without the spell telling you where to look.

4#: Identify: Identifies an item.
//While identifying things through the Lore skill is more convenient,
//sometimes you actually have to cast the spell, especially if you
//didn't bother with increasing someone's Lore.

2: True Strike: Gives caster +20 to attack for 9 seconds.
//Gives you a huge attack bonus for one round.  This is decent to
//cast as an Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster right before you
//drop invisibility or against enemies you just can't seem to hit,
//but it's rare to run into enemies that have a high enough AC to
//justify it.

---Level 2:

3: See Invisibility: Caster can see through invisibility.
//Not many enemies in the official campaign use invisibility, and
//there's an item that gives permanent True Sight (so long as you
//don't mind the AC penalty), so it's not a big deal there, but in
//other settings it's an important defense.

---Level 3:

1*: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance: Target gains +10 to Spot/Listen.
//This spell has exactly one use in the official campaign.  Other
//modules that make greater use of stealthy enemies or these skills
//might call for this spell, but even there it's dubious.

1*: Power Word: Maladroit: Target's dexterity is reduced.
//Not much "Power" here.  The spell reduces dexterity by a very small
//amount, is restricted by hit points, and only affects one target?
//No save allowed, but this spell should have been level 1.

1*: Power Word: Weaken: Target's strength is reduced.
//Just like Maladroit, and just as bad.

---Level 4:

2*: Assay Resistance: Decreases a target's spell resistance by 10.
//Not very useful in the official campaign, but in campaigns with
//lots of enemies with heavy spell resistance it might be worthwhile.

---Level 5:

1*: Feeblemind: Deals INT and CHA damage to a target with a ranged
touch attack.
//For an attack that's not guaranteed to cripple a spellcaster, it
//allows a chance to miss (touch attack), a chance to resist, a chance
//to make a will save (the ones casters are good at), and a short
//duration?  Since the spells that they can't cast are forgotten until
//they rest, it's not *that* bad, but this spell is pretty weak.  It
//might be useful to try and drop saving throws on Paladins and
//Blackguards.

2*: Power Word: Disable: Reduces a target's hit points to 1.
//The small print is that it only works if the target has 51 or less hit
//points to begin with.  Potentially 50 damage with no saving throw,
//but very hard to gauge whether it will work.  Might be useful if you
//wanted to injure but not kill, but very hard to use.

---Level 6:

2: Legend Lore: Gives a bonus to lore skill.
//The only purpose of this spell is to give a bonus to Lore skill for
//purposes other than identifying items such as the book in Ammon
//Jerro's dungeon.  Otherwise, get a bard or that level 1 identify
//spell.

4: True Seeing: Character can see hidden enemies.
//See Invisibility's bigger and better version.  Works against hide,
//sanctuary, and invisibility, but not against etherealness.

---Level 7:

---Level 8:

3: Power Word: Stun: Stuns target based on hit points.  No save.
//PW: Stun's only real selling point is that it has no save.  With no
//obvious way of knowing how many hit points an enemy has, it isn't
//very reliable, as it does nothing against a target with 151 or more
//hit points left.  It's mostly a spell to use against high level
//mages and wounded major enemies.

4#: Premonition: 30/Adamantine damage reduction, absorbs 10/level.
//Super-stoneskin.  This spell makes you almost invincible against
//non-adamantine physical attacks until it goes down.

3: Power Word: Petrify: Petrifies target with 100 or less hp.  No save.
//PW: Petrify's only real selling point is that it has no save.  With no
//obvious way of knowing how many hit points an enemy has, it isn't
//very reliable, as it does nothing against a target with 101 or more
//hit points left.  Again, more likely to be effective against enemies
//that are wounded.  This is really a "baby brother" to PW: Kill, since
//an enemy that's petrified may as well be dead.

---Level 9:

3: Power Word: Kill: Kills one target with less than 100 hp.  No save.
//Like PW: Stun, PW: Kill's is all about the lack of a saving throw.
//By level 17, 100 hp isn't a huge number, so the target will likely
//have to be already wounded.  A decent spell for finishing off major
//enemies, assuming they're not immune to instant kill effects.

-----
E. Enchantment [IVE]

---Level 0:

3*: Daze: Dazes a target if they fail their save.
//A decent effect at 1st level, but not very good in the long run.

---Level 1:

2*: Charm Person: Target humanoid becomes a (very) temporary ally.
//Base duration on this spell is two rounds, so don't expect your
//newfound friend to accomplish much.  At level 20, it lasts 8 rounds.
//Note that it doesn't make them fight, it just makes them step aside.

4: Sleep: 4+1d4 HD of creatures with <5 HD fall asleep.
//This spell is actually quite decent at very low levels.  Obviously
//not very useful agains the heavy hitters, but you get there one
//orc raiding party at a time.

---Level 2:

2*: Tasha's Hideous Laughter: Target is unable to defend itself.
//Note that this spell is level 1 innately, so the saving throw
//is 1 lower than you'd expect.  May as well use Daze.

2*: Touch of Idiocy: Deals 1d6 Int, Wis, and Cha damage, touch.
//It's a touch attack, which is bad news.  Like Feeblemind, the stat
//damage is mostly useful against spellcasters that will lose access
//to spells, but it's highly unreliable.  No save allowed is a plus, but
//for a spell that's not guaranteed to do anything it's not a big deal.

---Level 3:

3: Deep Slumber: Sleep, but 10 HD instead of 4+1d4.
//It's OK, really, but there are much better 3rd level spells.

4*: Heroism: Target gets +2 to attack rolls, saves, and skills.
//Not only does this spell have useful effects, it also has a fairly
//long (10 min/level) duration.  The skill bonus is really valuable
//for crafting as well.

3: Hold Person: Target is held if they fail save, new save each round.
//Unfortunately, this spell has an innate level of 2, which means
//the saves they're constantly attempting aren't as high as they
//should be.

2: Rage: The entire party enters a barbarian rage, but is not winded.
//That's a temporary +4 STR, +4 CON, +2 will saves, and -2 AC for
//1 round per caster level.

---Level 4:

3: Charm Monster: Target becomes friendly for a short duration.
//The duration of this spell is slightly better than the first level
//version, and it can be used on targets other than humanoids.

3*: Confusion: Targets wander randomly, attack randomly, or stand still.
//This spell is useful against enemies that hit hard but don't have a lot
//of hit points, since they'll end up killing each other.

2*: Crushing Despair: A cone of enemies takes a -2 penalty to all rolls.
//Since this spell allows a saving throw, it's not very useful for
//reducing enemy saving throws, so it's no Greater Malison.

---Level 5:

3: Dominate Person: Gain control of target person for a short time.
//The duration on this spell is exactly the same as Charm Person,
//but it does have a higher DC and it gives control rather than making
//them a friend.

3: Hold Monster: Works like Hold Person, but affects any target.
//Again, like Hold Person it's actually 1 level lower for purposes of
//saving throws, and they still get a save every round to break free.

3: Mind Fog: -10 to will saves while in cloud and 2d6 rounds after.
//While the fog allows a will saving throw, once (and if) the targets
//fail that save they will have a lot harder time resisting other mind
//affecting spells.

?: Symbol of Sleep: ?
//This spell is listed in the SoZ manual, but isn't in the game.

---Level 6:

4: Greater Heroism: Like Heroism, but +4 instead.
//This spell only lasts 1/10th as long as the third level version, but
//that's still plenty if you're just using it for the skill bonus or one
//big fight.

?: Symbol of Persuasion: ?
//This spell is listed in the SoZ manual, but isn't in the game.

---Level 7:

3: Mass Hold Person: Exactly like the 3rd level spell, but 30' radius.
//Pairing this with Mind Fog makes a lot of sense.  Assuming you can
//crank the DC up high enough to keep the targets held, this is a
//devastating crowd control spell.

5: Hiss of Sleep: Targets fall asleep (no HD restrictions).
//A very potent spell, with the slight problem that many kinds of enemy
//such as undead are immune to sleep effects, but one of the best spells
//available to an enchantment specialist.  Doesn't allow spell resistance
//for some odd reason, though the usual will save applies.

---Level 8:

1: Blackstaff: Target quarterstaff becomes +4 and dispels magic.
//That is, assuming someone can hit with the quarterstaff.  There are
//many far easier ways to dispel magical effects, and considering that
//this spell lasts for 6 seconds/level and that a 3rd level spell can
//make a weapon +5 for hours, this spell is a waste of time unless you
//have a fighter friend with a quarterstaff and a hundred enchantments
//to dispel.

3: Mass Charm Monster: Charm up to twice your hit dice in creatures.
//Turning half of an enemy group friendly is amusing, and
//a little Mind Fog sets the stage pretty well.  This spell also has a
//long (15 rounds when you can first cast it) duration.  The main benefit
//over hold is that there are no repeated saves, just the initial one.

?: Symbol of Stunning: ?
//This spell is listed in the SoZ manual, but isn't in the game.

---Level 9:

4: Mass Hold Monster: Exactly like the 5th level spell, but 30' radius.
//Once again, Mind Fog is your friend if you want to keep them held.

3: Dominate Monster: Target monster joins you.
//Exactly the same as the 5th level spell, just doesn't have to be a 
//person.  The higher DC is very important.

-----
F. Evocation [IVF]

---Level 0:

1: Flare: Target has -1 to hit if they fail save.
//If you cast this spell and notice a difference, something is horribly
//wrong.

3#: Light: Target glows for 1 hour/level.
//Good long duration and no hand needed for a torch makes this spell
//worth casting when you need light.  It also happens to be used in
//a lot of crafting recipes.

---Level 1:

5#: Magic Missile: Attacks the darkness
//The staple of all staple attack spells.  Don't leave home without it.
//Note that it's really not that useful until fifth level or so, and at
//higher levels just doesn't do enough damage to matter.

2: Shocking Grasp: Touch attack deals 1d6/lvl (up to 5d6)
//A fairly high damage spell by level 5, and the one reason to have
//a familiar out.  Still not that stunning.

---Level 2:

4*: Cloud of Bewilderment: Stuns and blinds enemies in cloud.
//A shockingly good spell that has a chance to stun and blind any enemy
//that walks into it.  Why it's an Evocation I'm not sure, but since it
//is it takes advantage of a relatively common Spell Focus.  If you're
//playing at higher difficulty levels, it may be somewhat dangerous to
//use near your party.

2: Combust: Touch attack deals fire damage until target makes save.
//Against an enemy with a bad reflex save, this could do a substantial
//amount of damage over time.  Shocking Grasp is similar, and it's a
//lower level spell.  In both cases, touch attacks make for weak spells.

2*: Darkness: Darkens area, only ultravision works.
//Can be effective to blind groups of archers, but tends to hinder the
//party as much as it hinders the enemy.

3: Fireburst: Deals 1d8/level (5d8 max) to adjacent targets.
//Very short range makes this spell of dubious value, but could be
//useful to Eldritch Knights and other close combat mages.  Damage
//is relatively high for the level (reflex for half).

3: Gedlee's Electric Loop: Deals 1d6/2 levels (5d6 max) and stuns target,
reflex saves for half damage and prevent stun.  Small area of effect
//This spell would have been better if the range had been longer or the
//stun lasted a little while.

2*: Gust of Wind: Knocks down anyone who fails fort save, dispels clouds.
//The primary use for this spell is to get rid of effects like Cloudkill,
//but the enemies in the official campaign don't use many of these types
//of spells.  Also usable for cleaning up after fights where you have
//used these spells.

4: Scorching Ray: Casts up to three 4d6 damage rays, touch attack.
//Starts at one ray.  The formula is a little complicated, but this is a solid
//alternative to Melf's Acid Arrow.  You can cast it with either the rays
//all targeting the same enemy or with multiple targets.

---Level 3:

5: Fireball: The old standby.  1d6/level, max 10d6 to an area.
//Just don't nuke your party members.

4#: Lightning Bolt: 1d6/level, max 10d6 to a line.
//Sometimes harder to set up than a fireball, but usually safer for
//the party.

4: Scintillating Sphere: Fireball, but lightning instead of fire.
//Also has a slightly shorter range.

3: Mestil's Acid Breath: 1d6/level, max 10d6 to a cone.
//The "point blank" range requirement on this spell makes it somewhat
//less useful than the other options at this level, but this sometimes
//works out well in the middle of melee.  Fewer enemies resist acid 
//damage, so it is sometimes good on that account as well.

---Level 4:

3*: Elemental Shield: 50% Fire/Cold immunity, d6+level damage on attack.
//The slightly suicidal option with this spell is to walk up and let
//the enemy attack you and damage themselves, which will damage enemies
//with extremely high spell resistance.  The 50% cold/fire resist has
//some uses as well.

5: Ice Storm: 3d6 bludgeoning, 2d6 +1d6/3 levels cold, no save
//For comparison, ice storm at level 10 deals 8d6 damage to fireball's
//10d6, but ice storm allows no save, making it the ideal spell to use
//on those pesky rogues and their evasion tricks.

4#: Isaac's Lesser Missile Storm: 1d6/level to 10x1d6 to random targets.
//This spell is primarily useful against single large targets such that
//all of the missiles will randomly hit the only valid target.  That it
//deals nonelemental damage with no save makes it ideal for harder foes.
//Using it on groups will spread out the damage too much.

2*: Wall of Fire: 2d6+1/level to those who pass through, x2 to undead
//The short range and tricky placement of this spell limit the utility,
//and the damage (except against undead) isn't particularly stellar.

---Level 5:

3: Bigby's Interposing Hand: Target (no save) has -10 to attack rolls.
//Since there's no save, this spell is primarily useful for weakening
//extremely powerful melee type enemies (i.e. Lorne in the official
//campaign).

3#: Cone of Cold: d6/lvl cold damage (to 15d6)
//The old standard for 5th level attack spells, hampered somewhat by
//short range.  Still a decent spell, but there are better options.

5#: Firebrand: d6/lvl fire damage (to 15d6) to 1 target/level
//Deals damage only to enemies, making it very party-friendly.  Range
//could be longer, but otherwise an extremly nice spell.

4*: Greater Fireburst: d8/lvl fire damage (to 15d8) within 10 feet.
//Deals damage to an area around the caster, so be very careful using
//it on difficulty settings where your party takes damage.  Best damage
//of all of the level 5 attack spells.

1: Shroud of Flame: 2d6/round damage to target, lasts 1rd/lvl
//This spell is... odd.  Possibly useful for harassing enemy mages who
//are attempting to cast spells, but the damage is very low.  Amusingly,
//creatures near the target also take damage (1d4/round).

4: Cacophonic Burst: 1d6/lvl sonic damage (to 15d6) to an area.
//Very few enemies are immune to sonic damage, so this is a decent option
//when empowered fireballs aren't working.

---Level 6:

3: Bigby's Forceful Hand: A hand attempts to knock down and daze target.
//The daze lasts a fairly long time, and the mechanic of Bull Rushing
//isn't explained in the game (I assume it's a contested strength check).
//Probably designed to take enemy mages out of the fight, since they're
//dazed for 1 round/level.

5#: Chain Lightning: Deals 1d6/lvl (max 20d6) to target, half to nearby
//A party-friendly spell that deals good damage to one target and some
//damage to nearby enemies.  The chain lightning can't affect you, so
//firing it into melee is fine.

4#: Isaac's Greater Missile Storm: Like lesser storm, but missiles do 2d6.
//A solid damage dealing spell.  Like the 4th level version, it's most
//effective against a single strong enemy, where 20d6 nonelemental damage
//with no save is nothing to sneeze at.  Not as good as it used to be,
//but still a solid spell.

---Level 7:

3: Bigby's Grasping Hand: A hand attempts to grapple with target.
//Again, the exact mechanics of the grappling aren't explained.

5: Delayed Blast Fireball: 1d6/level (max 20d6)
//Like the 3rd level version, but with a higher damage cap.  The spell
//can't actually be delayed in this version, the spell instead makes a
//landmine of sorts that goes off when a creature touches it.

3: Prismatic Spray: Random effects including damage, death, poison
//The exact mechanics aside, this spell is just too random to be
//useful and the short range doesn't help.

---Level 8:

3: Bigby's Clenched Fist: Deals d8+11 damage/round, fort save or stun.
//The important part of this spell is that it's an evocation spell
//with a fortitude save (most evocation is reflex) making this spell
//ideal for dealing with rogues and other evasion-based classes.  It's
//also effective against other mages.

1: Incendiary Cloud: Deals 4d6/round damage to area, save for half.
//The damage on this spell is just too low to be relevant.

3: Polar Ray: Ranged touch attack does d6/level (max 25d6) cold, no save.
//The "no save" is the primary benefit to this spell.  Touch attacks tend
//to be reliable against targets that don't have a lot of dodge AC (i.e.
//Monks and Rogues).

3: Sunburst: Deals d6/level damage to undead, 6d6 to others.  All must
make reflex save or be blinded.
//The blinding effect is the primary benefit to this spell, as it
//cripples melee-based enemies.  Also an effective way to kill undead,
//since Horrid Wilting isn't exactly very effective there.  Note that
//this spell doesn't affect party members.

---Level 9:

3: Bigby's Crushing Hand: Target is held and suffers 2d6+12 damage/round.
//Again, the text refers to "grappling."  Clenched Fist is a very similar
//spell, and it's lower level.

3: Meteor Swarm: Three forms: Either 24d6/12d6/6d6 to an area of effect,
6d6 to everything not next to the caster, or 4 ranged touch attacks for
2d6 bludgeoning and 6d6 fire to the same target (32d6 total).
//The biggest attack spell in the game, but not necessarily the best.
//Certainly decent, but empowered Delayed Blast Fireball and Maximized
//Chain Lightning (or Greater Missile Storm) are more effective for
//a 9th level slot.

3: Burst of Glacial Wrath: 1d6/level (to 25d6)
//There are some wacky side effects, but this is basically a 9th level 
//cone of cold with a much higher damage cap.  Interestingly, the save 
//is Fortitude, so it works just fine against things with evasion.

-----
G. Illusion [IVG]

---Level 0:

---Level 1:

3: Color Spray: Sleep, Blind, or Stun depending on hit dice.
//Sleep is more effective against the lowest level of enemies, and
//the short duration on the stun effect makes it of dubious value
//even though it will affect larger foes.  Only useful for illusion
//specialists.

---Level 2:

3*: Blindness/Deafness: Blinds and deafens a target for 1 rd/level
//Blind and deaf creatures that aren't attacked will generally just
//stand there, so this takes an enemy out of the fight.  Still, with
//all of the excellent level 2 spells, it's hard to justify using this.

4*: Ghostly Visage: 5/magic damage reduction, level 1 spell immunity
//Especially at low levels, 5/magic damage reduction will let you
//shrug off a lot of damage.  The spell doesn't last too long, but
//it's not a bad defensive trick early on.

5*: Invisibility: Target is invisible until they take hostile action
//Very, very useful for scouting or for charging at the guns.  Unlike
//the sneaking option, this doesn't slow the character down.

5: Mirror Image: Mirror images absorb attacks directed at the character.
//Excellent defensive spell.  At higher levels, it lasts quite a while
//and can absorb up to 8 attacks before disappearing.

3: Bladeweave: Melee attacks may daze targets
//Essentially only useful to an Eldritch Knight.  The DC isn't explained,
//but isn't very high.  Can't be made Persistent or even extended, sadly.

---Level 3:

3: Displacement: Target gains concealment (50% of attacks miss).
//This spell would be better if it didn't have such a short duration.
//Improved Invisibility lasts ten times as long, and makes you initially
//invisible as well.  You can't make this spell persistent without hacks.

3*: Invisibility Sphere: Caster and characters nearby are invisible
//This spell looks excellent on paper, since it makes the whole party
//invisible.  The problem is that getting your characters to follow the
//caster closely enough to stay hidden takes a lot of micromanaging,
//and if they leave the area of effect they don't recloak when they
//come back in.  Not a bad spell, just a headache to use.

---Level 4:

5*: Improved Invisibility: Target is invisible and concealed.
//This spell combines Invisibility and Displacement into one neat, long
//duration package.  Once the character breaks the invisibility, they
//keep the concealment bonus, which is one of the best defenses in the
//game.  Unfortunately, the AI constantly recasts this spell whenever
//someone is not invisible even if the concealment is still active, so
//it's generally wasted there.

4: Phantasmal Killer: Target is killed if they fail will and fort save.
//One of the best spells in the inventory for an Illusion specialist,
//since it's essentially a low level Finger of Death.  The problem is
//that it gives two chances to save, so a low DC means the spell will
//almost certainly fail.  High stats and spell focus help.

2*: Shadow Conjuration: Armor, Darkness, or Magic Missile
//A level 4 spell that allows you to cast a bunch of lower level spells
//might seem useless, but since you choose when you cast it, it allows
//some flexibility.

---Level 5:

2: Glass Doppelganger: Creates a copy of an enemy.
//If you could use this on allies it'd be great, but since you have to 
//get close to an enemy to cast it, it has problems.  The summon doesn't
//have a lot of hitpoints, and is restricted on level of target.

---Level 6:

3*: Ethereal Visage: 20/magic damage reduction, level 2 immunity, conceal
//Immunity to level 2 spells is immunity to Web and Cloud of Bewilderment
//so this spell can be used instead of Globe of Invulnerability in some
//cases.  The 20/magic reduction is a potent defense, and unlike the
/stoneskin type spells, this reduction can absorb any amount of damage.
//Unfortunately, the spell's duration is pretty short (1 round/level).

---Level 7:

4#: Shadow Shield: +5 AC, 10/magic damage reduction, immune to necromancy
//Other than the obvious benefit that it makes you immune to all of the
//necromancy tricks (like Horrid Wilting and Finger of Death), this spell
//also provides a substantial natural armor bonus and damage reduction.
//While the reduction isn't as reliable as stoneskin, it can absorb any
//amount of damage and this spell has a good (1 minute/level) duration.

2*: Greater Shadow Conjuration: Can cast a variety of low level spells.
//Specifically, Web, Ghostly Visage, Melf's Acid Arrow, Lesser Globe of
//Invulnerability, or a summoned shadow (that's rather weaker than you
//would expect for a level 7 spell).  Like the level 4 version, the only
//real benefit to this spell is versatility and in this case the choices are
//pretty weak.

2: Solipsism: Target is helpless if they fail a will save.
//With a 1 round per level duration, this takes an enemy out of the fight for
//quite some time.  Considering that Finger of Death outright kills them for the
//same conditions and Hiss of Sleep has an area of effect, this isn't that great
//a spell.

---Level 8:

2*: Mass Blindness/Deafness: Like the level 2 spell, but 10' radius.
//This spell can be used to separate a group of enemies into managable
//pieces, but it should be noted that the spell Sunburst has the same
//effect with a larger radius, some damage, and is also decent against
//undead.  This spell might be worthwhile to an illusion specialist.

---Level 9:

4*: Shades: Casts a group of defense spells, Summon VIII, or a fireball.
//Specifically, Premonition, Shield, and Protection from Spells for
//the defenses.  The fireball is of the delayed blast variety.  Of
//all of the Shadow Conjuration series of spells, this one is the only
//decent one, since the spells that it casts are all at least of a
//similar level to the combined spell.  Again, the major benefit is that
//you can choose when you cast the spell what effect it takes.
//It also allows a Necromancy specialist to cast Premonition.

2: Weird: Kills all in area of effect that fail both saves.
//This spell is essentially Phantasmal Killer that affects an entire
//area.  While potentially effective, it's not nearly as good as the
//Necromancy version, Wail of the Banshee, which only allows one save.

3: Shadow Simulacrum: Creates a copy of an enemy.
//The bigger and better version of Glass Doppelganger, the Shadow
//Simulacrum is much sturdier but has similar problems.

-----
H. Necromancy [IVH]

---Level 0:

1*: Touch of Fatigue: Target is fatigued for a short duration, touch attack.
//Like Flare, even when this spell works you're unlikely to notice it.

---Level 1:

1*: Cause Fear: Target creature with 5 or less hit dice has -2 to rolls.
//The only good part of this spell is that it still has a partial effect
//if the target makes the saving throw, but the weak effect, the target
//limitation, and the short duration make it a very dubious spell.

3: Ray of Enfeeblement: Deals 1d6+1 (+1/2 levels, max +5) STR damage.
//The best part of this spell is that there is no save, so it can be
//used to reliably weaken major enemies.  The spell's 1 round/level
//duration makes it useless at low level, but a spell that might be
//useful to a higher level mage.

---Level 2:

2*: Death Armor: Deals minor damage to enemies that hit you.
//The damage is unavoidable and unresistable, so there are times when
//this spell will be useful to damage enemies that you can't touch
//otherwise, but the damage is weak (maximum of 1d4+5) and the duration
//is short, so you'd have to be pretty desperate.

3*: False Life: Grants 1d10+1/level (max 1d10+10) hit points to caster.
//Unlike the cleric version (Aid), this spell lasts a full hour per
//caster level.  While boosting your constitution with Bear's Endurance
//will generally grant more hit points, this spell may be worthwhile in
//major fights where you have plenty of time to prepare, since it can
//be cast on top of a constitution bonus.

3: Ghoul Touch: Touch attack to stun target.
//The spell also makes the target weaken creatures in the area around it.
//The duration of this spell is fixed (d6+2 rounds), so it doesn't get
//better at higher levels.

1*: Scare: Casts "Cause Fear" on 1 target per 3 levels.
//This spell does have a longer duration than the first level version,
//but it still doesn't affect higher level monsters and the effect is
//not exactly powerful.

3: Curse of Impending Blades: Target has -2 AC, no save.
//Not a big bonus, but against a major enemy it's a guaranteed debuff.

---Level 3:

3#: Vampiric Touch: Absorbs 1d6/(2 lvl) damage from target.  (Max 10d6)

//There is no save to this spell, and it's one of the few arcane spells
//that can heal damage, though it can only heal the caster.  The extra
//hit points are added to the caster's as temporary if they exceed base.

2: Mass Curse of Impending Blades: Targets have -2 AC, no save.
//Not a big bonus, but against a major enemy it's a guaranteed debuff.
//The single-target version is usually all you need.

---Level 4:

2*: Animate Dead: Summons a weak undead creature.
//This spell's main appeal is the long (1 hour/level) duration, but
//the undead that it summons are painfully weak.

1*: Contagion: Gives the target a disease.
//The English translation of the effects of this spell is that it will
//eventually randomly reduce one of the target's stats.  Unless you get
//extremely lucky, you probably won't notice this spell during a fight.

2*: Enervation: Drains 1d4 levels.  No save.
//Since this spell has no save, it can be used to weaken powerful
//enemies.  It's most likely to have a noticeable effect on a mage
//who might lose their highest level of spells due to the drain, but
//don't expect this to change a fight much.

3: Fear: Affected creatures run away in terror.
//Note that this spell is innately level 3, so it has a slightly lower
//saving throw than expected.

---Level 5:

2*: Cloudkill: Kills weak creatures, weakens stronger ones.
//Like most of the cloud type attack spells, this spell's damage output
//is pretty weak.  1d4 constitution damage translates to 0-2 damage for
//each hit die (or class level) of the target.  The primary purpose of
//this spell is killing off very weak enemies.

?: Symbol of Pain: ?
//The SoZ manual lists it, but it's not in the game.

---Level 6:

3: Circle of Death: Kills d4/level creatures of up to 9 hit dice.
//While this spell cannot be used against major enemies, it will kill
//off weaker ones.  Creatures get a fortitude save.  I'm guessing that
//the spell description should read "kills d4/level *HIT DICE*" of
//creatures, since a restriction about killing the weakest first makes
//no sense for a spell that can nominally kill 11-44 targets at the
//lowest level you can cast it.

3: Create Undead: Summons an undead creature.
//Like Animate Dead, the main perk on this spell is the long duration,
//and the main drawback is that the creatures aren't as strong as those
//that Conjuration magic summons.

3#: Undeath to Death: Kills d4/level hit dice of undead (max 20d4)
//This spell has no hit die restriction, so it can be used to mop up
//even the mightiest of undead creatures (it doesn't work on the Shadow
//Reavers in the official campaign).  This is one of the best spells
//in a mage's arsenal for killing undead, and is a major help in the
//official campaign.

---Level 7:

3: Control Undead: Take control of target undead creature.
//Unlike the charm spells, this spell lasts 1 hour/level.  It can only
//affect a creature of less than twice the caster's level, and the
//target gets a save.

5#: Finger of Death: Target dies.  If save made, deals small damage.
//One of the best spells in the game, a pity that so many things are
//immune to it.  Not very useful in the official campaign, sadly, since
//so many of the enemies late in the game are undead.

---Level 8:

3#: Create Greater Undead: Summons an undead creature.
//Summons a more powerful undead minion.  Like the earlier spells,
//the undead in question isn't as strong as some of the other creatures
//from Conjuration magic, but it does last a long time.

4#: Horrid Wilting: Deals 1d6/level magic damage to an area.
//The main benefit to this spell is that it deals magic damage, which
//isn't resisted by many enemies other than undead, and unlike all of
//the other area of effect attack spells, it uses a fortitude save
//instead of a reflex save, which means it's not affected by Evasion.
//Note that this spell won't affect other party members.

?: Symbol of Weakness: ?
//This spell is listed in the SoZ manual, but isn't in the game.

---Level 9:

1*: Energy Drain: Drains 2d4 levels from target.
//Unlike Enervation, this spell does allow a saving throw, so it's not
//useful against otherwise untouchable enemies.

5#: Wail of the Banshee: Kills 1 enemy/level.
//Unlike Weird, Wail of the Banshee only allows one saving throw (a
//fortitude save).  Unfortunately, this spell is nearly useless in the
//official campaign since almost all of the enemies you are fighting at
//the end of the game are undead.

-----
I. Transmutation [IVI]

---Level 0:

---Level 1:

4: Enlarge Person: Target grows- AC penalty and melee damage bonus
//The magic damage on this is usually worth the AC penalty.  Note that
//the attack penalty cancels out because of the bonus to Strength.

2*: Expeditious Retreat: Haste on caster, but for movement only.
//With the short duration on this spell (1 round/level), the only real
//use for it is cutting down on the drudge of running around town.

1: Low-light Vision: Party can see in the dark.
//While it's only a first level spell and has a long duration, a similar
//effect can be done with the 0th level spell, Light.  Several races
//have this as a racial ability.

3: Magic Weapon: Target weapon becomes +1 for 1 hour/level.
//Not exactly a major bonus, but with a decent duration even at first
//level, it's a handy spell for beefing up the party a little.

3: Reduce Person: Target shrinks- AC bonus and melee damage penalty.
//This spell is just fun to cast.  The AC bonus is handy for characters
//that aren't really using their melee weapons.  Note that this spell
//can't be extended or persisted.

---Level 2:

1*: Balagarn's Iron Horn: Attempts to knock down a cone of enemies.
//With a one round duration, don't expect this to turn a battle around.

4: Bear's Endurance: +4 Constitution for 1 hour/level
//Note that this spell doesn't stack with other constitution bonuses.
//Also note that when the spell wears off, the character could be at
//negative hit points, so be careful when hitting "rest."

3: Blindsight: Target can see invisible creatures and can see in dark.
//Very similar to the spell See Invisibility.  Useful, if a bit redundant.

5: Bull's Strength: +4 Strength for 1 hour/level
//This spell doesn't stack with other strength bonuses.  If nothing
//else, this is handy to cast on the mages so that they can help carry
//the loot.

5: Cat's Grace: +4 Dexterity for 1 hour/level
//This spell doesn't stack with other dexterity bonuses.

4: Eagle's Splendor: +4 Charisma for 1 hour/level
//This spell doesn't stack with other charisma bonuses.

5: Fox's Cunning: +4 Intelligence for 1 hour/level
//This spell doesn't stack with other intelligence bonuses.  Note that
//intelligence bonus also means a bonus to all of the skills that are
//based on intelligence, so this spell is handy for crafting. If you
//attempt to memorize spells in slots that you gained from temporary
//stat bonuses, you lose them when you rest, so don't bother.

5#: Knock: Unlocks everything in the area.
//Since traps in the original campaign aren't that vicious, this is
//really the only rogue you need in the party.  Knowing the spell is
//actually not all that important, chimes of opening (50 charges of this
//spell) are common things to buy from merchants.  There are some locks
//in MotB that are immune to this spell for some odd reason, but that's
//what Kaji is for.

4: Owl's Wisdom: +4 Wisdom for 1 hour/level
//This spell doesn't stack with other wisdom bonuses.  Note that if
//you attempt to memorize spells in slots that you gained from temporary
//stat bonuses, you lose them when you rest, so don't bother.  The main
//benefit to this is boosting DC's on cleric and druid spells.

3: Animalistic Power: +2 Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution
//Since this doesn't stack with other effects, it's really not that good.  It's
//Generally better to use another more focused spelll like Bull's Strength.

1: Snake's Swiftness: 1 round of haste
//One round duration?  Cannot be extended or persisted.

---Level 3:

4: Greater Magic Weapon: Temporarily enchants a weapon (+1/4 levels).
//This spell lasts a long time (1 hour/level).  Notably, you can use it
//to add a bonus to a weapon that already has the maximum three
//enchantments.

5#: Haste: Hastes 1 target/level for 1 round/level
//The big effect here is the extra attack each round, the movement bonus
//is gravy.  The extra attack is at the full attack bonus, so this is 
//very very good for fighters, summons, and anything else that hits 
//stuff.  The effect can be made Persistent, which is more or less the 
//entire reason that feat exists.

4: Keen Edge: Weapon gains the Keen effect (double critical range)
//This spell lasts a while (10 minutes/level) and, like Greater Magic
//Weapon, can be used to enhance a weapon that is already "full."  Note
//that it does not stack with the Improved Critical feat.  Only works
//on slashing weapons.

3: Slow: Targets are slowed if they fail a will save.
//Not quite as effective as Haste, since there's a save involved, but 
//still pretty decent since it's safe to cast into melee.

4: Spiderskin: +2 to AC/Hide/Poison saves, +3@6th, +4@9th, +5@12th
//This is a natural armor bonus, the same bonus as Barkskin or amulets
//of natural armor.  Lasts 10 minutes/level.

4: Weapon of Impact: Weapon gains the Keen effect (2x critical range)
//This spell lasts a while (10 minutes/level) and, like Greater Magic
//Weapon, can be used to enhance a weapon that is already "full."  Note
//that it does not stack with the Improved Critical feat.  It's exactly
//the same as Keen Edge, just works on blunt weapons only.

1: Snake's Swiftness, Mass: 1 round of haste to a small area.
//One round duration?  Not likely.  Cannot be extended or persisted.
//Considering that real Haste is the same level, this is a joke.

---Level 4:

1:Bestow Curse: -2 to all stats
//If they fail the will save, the target takes a penalty that lasts
//until it is removed.  The problem is that the incredibly long duration
//of this spell is irrelevant when you're going to kill the target in
//the next minute.

3: Polymorph Self: Polymorph into a variety of forms.
//This spell can be useful for making a wizard into a fighting machine
//of sorts, but remember that they still have a weak base attack bonus
//unless they're also an eldritch knight.  If nothing else, this spell
//can be used to shift to troll form for regeneration.

1: Shout: 5d6 sonic damage, status effects
//Short range, weak damage, dubious effects...  There are better spells.

3: Reduce Person, Mass: Entire party is shrunk, AC bonus, damage penalty.
//The 1st level spell, but with a longer duration and an area of effect.
//This would be a 1, but a party of halflings that have been reduced is
//just too funny to watch.

---Level 5:

1: Reduce Person, Greater: Like the 1st level spell, longer duration
//If this were level 2, maybe.  At level 5, it's just not worth it.

---Level 6:

4#: Disintegrate: Deals 2d6/level damage on touch attack, 5d6 on save.
//Since this spell requires both a touch attack and a saving throw, it's
//not quite the terror it used to be, but it can be used to deal quite
//a bit of damage.  Note that disintegrating does not appear to destroy
//what the target was carrying.

1: Stone to Flesh: Reverses Flesh to Stone.
//Not needed in the official campaign.  Note that resting fixes this
//anyway.

3#: Flesh to Stone: Turns target into a statue.
//Note that this doesn't kill them in any way, they're just held solid
//until the spell is reversed.  If you want the xp, you have to finish
//them off.

4#: Greater Stoneskin: 20/Adamantine, absorbs 10/level, self only
//Unlike the 4th level version, this spell only affects the caster.

2: Stone Body: 10/Adamantine, +4 STR, -4 DEX, 50% spell failure
//And a boat load of immunities too numerous to list here.  This spell
//is of dubious value to anyone but an Eldritch Knight, since it keeps
//the caster from reliable casting anything else and doesn't deal with
//a mage's inability to hit anything.

4*: Tenser's Transformation: Turns the caster into a fighter.
//This spell gives the caster a bonus to attack so that he or she would
//be equal to a fighter of the same level and polymorphs him or her
//into an iron golem-ish monster with a +2 two handed sword, stat
//bonuses, and other perks.  The caster can't cast anything or use
//any items while transformed, but fights reasonably well.

2*: Extract Water Elemental: Deals damage, if it kills summons elemental.
//Just summon the elemental, or deal the damage.  Combining the two
//into one spell is a nice idea, but the damage isn't that good and it's a
//touch attack.

3*: Mass foo: +4 to relevant attribute to an area of effect.
//That's Mass Bull's Strength, et cetera.  Just an area version of the
//level 2 stat enhancements.  Useful for boosting summoned monsters
//as well, and mostly a convenience when you don't want to specifically
//recast a spell at every party member.

---Level 7:

4*: Ethereal Jaunt: Makes the caster ethereal.
//This is basically a super-invisibility that's impossible to see
//through, which means that the caster is totally safe from any threat
//so long as he or she doesn't take an offensive action (or rest).  This
//is handy if the caster needs time to cast defensive spells, heal up,
//or just scout around in safety.

3: Mordenkainen's Sword: Summons a magical sword.
//The sword isn't much different from the Summon Monster VII spell
//so use whatever suits your fancy.  Mostly important for wizards that
//have Conjuration as an opposition school.

---Level 8:

2: Greater Shout: 10d6 Sonic damage, chance of deafness and stun.
//More or less, double the 4th level Shout spell, with exactly the same
//problems.  There are so many other better spells.

---Level 9:

3*: Etherealness: Makes the caster and all allies in 10' ethereal.
//Like the 3rd level Invisibility, 10' radius spell, this can have
//extreme tactical value, but is annoying to use.

2: Shapechange: Caster can change into a variety of forms.
//Like the level 4 Polymorph Self spell, this doesn't deal with the
//main problem of meleeing wizards: base attack bonus.  While many of
//the forms have better damage and better defense than Tenser's
//Transformation, that spell is generally a better choice for mages
//who want to slug it out on the front line since it gives major base
//attack bonuses.

-----
J. Recommended Sorceror Spells [IVJ]

You only get 5 of each level at maximum, and less of the high level
ones, so here are the picks I would go with.  Do not give a character
that the AI will control any spell marked with a *, they will cast it
at all the wrong times and in all the wrong places.  An alternate spell
is listed in those cases.

Spells that are marked (party friendly) should be used if you have the
difficulty set such that your spells affect party members.

---Level 1:

1. Magic Missile
2. Mage Armor
3. Identify
4. *Protection From Alignment    *OR*     Enlarge Person
5. Shield

---Level 2:

1. Melf's Acid Arrow (or Scorching Ray)
2. Knock (or Cat's Grace if you have a full time thief)
3. *Invisibility              *OR*       Bull's Strength
4. Mirror Image
5. *Cloud of Bewilderment      *OR*     Cat's Grace (or Bear's Endurance)

---Level 3:

1. Fireball (or Scintillating Sphere if you're tired of Fireball)
2. Haste
3. Heroism
4. Improved Mage Armor
5. Greater Magic Weapon or Spiderskin or Flame Arrow

For #5, take GMW if you want to overenchant your weapons, Spiderskin
if you don't have a druid to cast Barkskin (or you don't want to bother)
and Flame Arrow in all other cases, especially if you specialize in
Conjuration.

---Level 4:

1. Stoneskin
2. *Greater Invisibility         *OR*    Ice Storm
3. Isaac's Lesser Missile Storm or Ice Storm
4. *Lesser Spell Breach          *OR*    Confusion

---Level 5:

1. Greater Fireburst or Firebrand (party friendly)
2. Vitriolic Sphere or Cone of Cold (party friendlyish)
3. Bigby's Interposing Hand
4. Lesser Spell Mantle

---Level 6:

1. Isaac's Greater Missile Storm
2. Tenser's Transformation  *OR*   Chain Lightning
3. Undeath to Death (official campaign)    *OR*   Chain Lightning

I'm very partial to Tenser's Transformation, as it simplifies a lot of
fights where I'd rather just have another fighter and don't want to
rain electric death.  Undeath to Death is a specialized spell, but it
sees a lot of mileage in the official campaign.

---Level 7:

1. Delayed Blast Fireball
2. Finger of Death
3. *Energy Immunity           *OR*        Banishment

---Level 8:

1. Premonition
2. Horrid Wilting or Sunburst (in the official campaign)
3. Greater Planar Binding

---Level 9:

1. Wail of the Banshee*  *OR*       Meteor Swarm
2. *Gate            *OR*            Summon Monster IX
3. Shades

*Wail is of dubious value in the official campaign because of the
undead-heavy ending.


---======================================---

----------------Spellcasters and the AI----------------[V]

A. Section Introduction [VA]

If you've played the game with higher level AI-controlled spellcasters,
you've probably noticed that they do some things that aren't all that
smart.  This section attempts to explain methods for keeping them
useful without having to manually cast everything.

-----
B. Managing Sand (and wizard NPCs) [VB]

Wizards (and Clerics) are easier to manage for the AI because they can't
cast anything they don't have memorized, and you have control there
whether you want it or not.

In general, avoid:

-Long duration buffing spells that you aren't going to cast before
combat starts (and before the AI does anything).

-Short duration buffing spells.

-Extremely low level attack spells, especially if the character has a
good weapon.

-Any cloud-based spell (the AI will cast it repeatedly until it runs
out).

If necessary, just leave some levels with nothing memorized.  Spells
like Light, Identify and Knock the AI won't cast at all, so they're
safe to memorize if you feel weird about leaving things empty.

-----
C. Managing Qara (and sorceror NPCs) [VC]

Sorceror AI is even more problematic, since they always have all of
their spells available.  The key is to be careful when having them learn
spells.  When in doubt, just give them straight attack spells.

---======================================---

----------------Example Builds---------------- [VI]

A. Section Introduction [VIA]

These are just a few examples of cookie cutter builds.  You could play
one if you wanted, but the idea for this FAQ is just to get a feeling of
how to apply the principles.  These guide to 20, the usual endpoint of 
the original campaign.  Two sets of stats are given, one which maximizes
the casting stat and one which pushes the casting stat to be even at 
level 20, since having an odd stat is useless but 20 is by no means "the
end" of leveling.  MotB allows for characters up to level 30.

B. Pure Casters [VIB]

1. Nuke-o-matic [VIB1]
(Human Wizard/Arcane Scholar/Red Wizard/Pale Master)

A caster that focuses on casting spells that directly damage the enemy.
With metamagic feats, spells of any level can be fireballs.  Be sure to
pick up Mirror Image, Improved Invisibility, and any other Illusion 
spells you might want before switching to Red Wizard.  Note that the 
character has to be non-good.

STR 8
DEX 14
CON 16
INT 18
WIS 8
CHA 8

(If level 20 is the stop point, put the level 20 stat point into 
constitution)

Key skills:
Concentration, Spellcraft

Feats and stats by level:
Wiz1: (Evocation focus), Spellcasting Prodigy, Skill Focus: Concentration
Wiz2:
Wiz3: Skill Focus: Spellcraft
Wiz4: +1 INT
Wiz5: (Empower Spell)
Wiz5ArS1: (Maximize Spell), Spell Penetration
Wiz5ArS2:
Wiz5ArS3: +1INT, (Improved Empower)
Wiz5ArS4: Greater Spell Penetration
Wiz5ArS4RdW1:
Wiz5ArS4RdW2:
Wiz5ArS4RdW3: +1 INT, Spell Focus: Evocation
Wiz5ArS4RdW4:
Wiz5ArS4RdW5:
Wiz5ArS4RdW6: Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
Wiz5ArS4RdW7: +1 INT
Wiz5ArS4RdW8:
Wiz5ArS4RdW9: Toughness
Wiz5ArS4RdW10:
Wiz5ArS4RdW10PlM1: +1 INT
 
2. Fire and Smoke [VIB2]
(Strongheart Halfling Wizard/Shadowdancer/Pale Master/Arcane Scholar)

Casts spells and then uses Hide in Plain Sight to disappear before 
enemies can counterattack.  Poor strength means that the character will 
likely have issues with carrying things, but this isn't usually a big 
problem.  A cat familiar and the "Wild Child" background are very 
appropriate for bonuses to hide and move silently, and the racial bonus 
helps too.   A 2nd level of Shadowdancer for Improved Evasion isn't as 
nice as it might be, since a Wizard's reflex saves aren't all that hot, 
but the build as written maximizes casting ability.

You must be very careful with skill points to pull this build off exactly 
as written, though taking the Shadowdancer level later works fine, it 
only has to come after the Pale Master level.

As a case in point, this character is a Necromancy specialist but has a
spell focus in Evocation instead.  You could just as easily take the 
spell focus in Necromancy, of course.

STR 6
DEX 16
CON 16
INT 18
WIS 8
CHA 8

(If level 20 is the stop point, use 9 strength and 17 intelligence)

Key skills:
Concentration, Spellcraft, Hide, Move Silently, Tumble

Feats and stats by level:
Wiz1: (Necromancy spec), Spellcasting Prodigy, Skill Focus: Concentration
Wiz2:
Wiz3: Dodge
Wiz4: +1 INT
Wiz5: (Empower Spell)
Wiz6: Mobility
Wiz6PlM1:
Wiz6PlM1ShD1: +1 INT, (Hide in Plain Sight)
Wiz7PlM1ShD1: Skill Focus: Spellcraft
Wiz7PlM1ShD1ArS1: (Maximize Spell)
Wiz7PlM1ShD1ArS2:
Wiz7PlM1ShD1ArS3: +1 INT, Spell Focus: Evocation, (Improved Empower)
Wiz7PlM1ShD1ArS4:
Wiz8PlM1ShD1ArS4:
Wiz9PlM1ShD1ArS4: Greater Spell Focus: Evocation
Wiz10PlM1ShD1ArS4: +1 INT, (Extend Spell)
Wiz10PlM1ShD1ArS5: (Quicken Spell)
Wiz10PlM1ShD1ArS6: Persistent Spell
Wiz10PlM1ShD1ArS7: (Improved Maximize)
Wiz10PlM1ShD1ArS8: +1 INT

3. Stalwart Caster [VIB3]
(Gnome Sorceror/Pale Master)

The point here is to make an arcane caster that can survive some
punishment in a straight fight.  Fey Skin gives some damage reduction,
Pale Master gives AC.  Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil only.

STR 6
DEX 14
CON 18
INT 8
WIS 8
CHA 18

(If level 20 is the stop point, use 7 strength, 10 intelligence, and
17 charisma)

Key skills:
Concentration, Tumble

Feats and stats by level:
Sor1: Fey Heritage
Sor2:
Sor3: Combat Casting
Sor4: +1 CHA
Sor5:

Sor5PlM1: Fey Skin
Sor5PlM2:
Sor5PlM3: +1 CHA
Sor5PlM4: Fey Power
Sor5PlM5:

Sor6PlM5:
Sor7PlM5: +1 CHA, Fey Legacy
Sor8PlM5:
Sor9PlM5:
Sor10PlM5: Fey Presence

Sor11PlM5: +1 CHA
Sor12PlM5:
Sor13PlM5: Combat Casting
Sor14PlM5:
Sor15PlM5: +1 CHA

C. Eldritch Knights [VIC]

1. Chaotic Stupid Archer [VIC1]
(Wild Elf Cleric/Sorceror/Eldritch Knight)

This character will not get the base attack bonus or save bonus of
a Paladin-based Eldritch Knight, but will get Divine Might and still be
able to get level 9 spells by level 20.  For comparison, the 
Paladin-based build is next.  Divine Might is an excellent way to add 
bow damage, and the original campaign does not give very many ways to 
boost that.

There are two Elven deities that have Longbow as a favored weapon, so
this character can profit there.  The character can actually use their 
divine spells if they get some sort of equipment-based wisdom bonus.  
This is generally not very important.  The character must be chaotic 
good or chaotic neutral to select them as a cleric.  "Chaotic stupid" 
since you can't have a lower intelligence than the 6 this character uses.

War domain will give you the Martial Weapons feat and the Weapon Focus:
Longbow feat.  The second domain can either be Earth (for Toughness) or
Luck (for Luck of Heroes).

STR 14
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 6
WIS 8
CHA 18

(if stopping at level 20, use 17 charisma, 14 constitution, and 9 wisdom)

Key skills:
Concentration (1 skill point each level is all you have, 6 INT is very 
dumb)

Feats and stats by level:
Sor1: Power Attack
Sor2:
Sor2Clr1: Divine Might, (War Domain, Luck or Earth Domain)
Sor3Clr1: +1 DEX
Sor4Clr1:
Sor5Clr1: Point Blank Shot
Sor6Clr1:
Sor6Clr1ElK1: +1 CHA
Sor6Clr1ElK2: Rapid Shot
Sor6Clr1ElK3:
Sor6Clr1ElK4:
Sor6Clr1ElK5: +1 CHA, Manyshot
Sor6Clr1ElK6:
Sor6Clr1ElK7:
Sor6Clr1ElK8: Improved Critical (Longbow)
Sor6Clr1ElK9: +1 CHA
Sor6Clr1ElK10:
Sor7Clr1ElK10: Improved Rapid Shot
Sor8Clr1ElK10:
Sor9Clr1ElK10: +1 CHA

2. Paladin Eldritch Archer [VIC2]
(Human Paladin/Sorceror/Eldritch Knight)

For comparison with the build above, this character will have a 17 base 
attack bonus instead of a 14 base attack bonus and will have a bonus to 
all saves equal to their charisma bonus (i.e. about 10 with good gear and 
level 20).  This is probably a better choice for characters that will go 
on after 20th level, but this build will only have level 7 spells by 20th 
(caster level 15).

STR 14
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 8
WIS 8
CHA 18

(if stopping at level 20, use 17 charisma, 14 constitution, and 9 wisdom)

Key skills:
Concentration, Spellcraft

Feats and stats by level:
Sor1: Spellcasting Prodigy, Power Attack
Pld1Sor1: (Divine Grace)
Pld2Sor1: Point Blank Shot
Pld3Sor1: +1 CHA
Pld3Sor2:
Pld4Sor2: Divine Might
Pld4Sor3:
Pld4Sor4: +1 CHA
Pld4Sor5: Rapid Shot
Pld4Sor6:
Pld4Sor6ElK1:
Pld4Sor6ElK2: +1 CHA, Practiced Spellcaster
Pld4Sor6ElK3:
Pld4Sor6ElK4:
Pld4Sor6ElK5: Extend Spell
Pld4Sor6ElK6: +1 CHA
Pld4Sor6ElK7:
Pld4Sor6ElK8: Persistent Spell
Pld4Sor6ElK9:
Pld4Sor6ElK10: +1 CHA

3. Stuntygish [VIC3]
(Shield Dwarf Wizard/Fighter/Eldritch Knight)

A very standard build, the character at low levels uses heavy armor and
behaves like a slightly weaker fighter that buffs before fights until 
they've got the chops to go pure caster.  This is a bad build for SoZ, 
since that campaign likes you to drop you in the middle of fights with no
way to prepare, and preparation is what makes this build work.

This is a variant that uses a dual-wielding dwarf for variety, typically 
builds of this type ares done with a Sun Elf or Human.

STR 14
DEX 16
CON 16
INT 16
WIS 8
CHA 8

(If stopping at level 20, use the same stats, one of the level points 
goes to dexterity anyway)

Key skills:
Concentration, Spellcraft, Tumble

Feats and stats by level:
Fgt1: Luck of Heroes, (Two Weapon Fighting)
Fgt1Wiz1:
Fgt1Wiz2: Toughness
Fgt1Wiz3: DEX +1
Fgt1Wiz4:
Fgt1Wiz5: Practiced Spellcaster, (Extend Spell)
Fgt1Wiz5ElK1:
Fgt1Wiz5ElK2: INT +1
Fgt1Wiz5ElK3: Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Fgt1Wiz5ElK4:
Fgt1Wiz5ElK5:
Fgt1Wiz5ElK6: INT +1, Improved Critical: Dwarven Waraxe
Fgt1Wiz5ElK7:
Fgt1Wiz5ElK8:
Fgt1Wiz5ElK9: Toughness
Fgt1Wiz5ElK10: INT +1
Fgt1Wiz6ElK10:
Fgt1Wiz7ElK10: Persistent Spell
Fgt1Wiz8ElK10:
Fgt2Wiz8ElK10: INT +1, (Weapon Focus: Dwarven Waraxe)

D. Skill builds [VID]

1. All-licensed Fool [VID1]
(Sun Elf Ranger/Wizard/Eldritch Knight)

This character takes advantage of the extra skill points available from 
having a high INT to cover lots of skill values.  This is mostly a build 
for Storm of Zehir and other settings where having a broad variety of 
skills is important.

STR 14
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 20
WIS 8
CHA 8

(Same stats for level 20 finish, one point has to go to DEX anyway)

Key skills:
Anything that you want, really.  The character has access to every skill
but Perform.  The point of taking Ranger is in many ways allowing this 
character to get Survival at high rank, which is important for Storm of 
Zehir.

Feats and stats by level:
Rog1: Luck of Heroes
Rog1Rng1:
Rog1Rng1Wiz1: (Necromany Focus), Able Learner
Rog1Rng1Wiz2: +1 INT
Rog1Rng1Wiz3:
Rog1Rng1Wiz4: Two Weapon Figthing
Rog1Rng1Wiz5: (Extend Spell)
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK1: +1 INT
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK2: Practiced Spellcaster 
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK3:
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK4:
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK5: +1 DEX, Improved Two Weapon Fighting
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK6: 
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK7:
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK8: Persistent Spell
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK9: +1 INT
Rog1Rng1Wiz5ElK10:
Rog1Rng1Wiz6ElK10: Improved Critical: Short Sword
Rog1Rng1Wiz7ElK10: 
Rog1Rng1Wiz8ElK10: +1 INT

2. Archer Trickster [VID2]
(Moon Elf Rogue/Wizard/Arcane Trickster/Pale Master)

There really isn't much flexibility to being an Arcane Trickster if you 
want the level 9 spells by 20th level.  Like the build above, this 
character has accesss to a huge number of skills.  In this case, there's
less absolute choice but more points to play with.  Different races 
might play with different stats, in this case the build chooses to 
maximize intelligence and takes a level of Pale Master for the AC bonus 
and to avoid a few cross class skills.  The character cannot be lawful 
or good, true neutral is the "goodest" alignment available.

STR 14
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 18
WIS 8
CHA 8

(Same stats for level 20 finish, again one point is going to DEX)

Key skills:
Search, Hide, Move Silently, Open Locks, Disable Device, Concentration, 
Spellcraft, Tumble, Lore (to qualify for trickster)

Feats and stats by level:
Rog1: Spellcasting Prodigy
Rog1Wiz1:
Rog2Wiz1: Point Blank Shot
Rog2Wiz2: +1 INT
Rog2Wiz3:
Rog3Wiz3: Rapid Shot
Rog3Wiz4:
Rog3Wiz5: +1 INT, (Extend Spell)
Rog3Wiz5ArT1: Practiced Spellcaster
Rog3Wiz5ArT2: 
Rog3Wiz5ArT3: 
Rog3Wiz5ArT4: +1 DEX, Manyshot
Rog3Wiz5ArT5:
Rog3Wiz5ArT6:
Rog3Wiz5ArT7: Improved Rapid Shot
Rog3Wiz5ArT8: +1 INT
Rog3Wiz5ArT9:
Rog3Wiz5ArT10: Persistent Spell
Rog3Wiz6ArT10:
Rog3Wiz6ArT10Plm1: +1 INT


---======================================---

----------------Change History and Credits---------------- [VII]

Version 1.0-April 17th, 2007, ShinesmanOffWhite
Version 2.0-December 9th, 2008, "
-adds information for MotB and SoZ

---======================================---

----------------Legal stuff---------------- [MDCCLXXVI]

If you really want to copy this and put it on your site, go ahead.  By
usual kopyleft, the only restrictions are that you can't modify it and
you can't claim you wrote it.  Contact the author at akay225(a)comcast.net
with any questions.
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