Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

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Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:08 am

Welcome! Smile

My name is Crideas Bane, I am a Wizard, and I am here to share some valuable information with you all today. Some of you may already know most of it, while others may find this content to be an arcane revelation. It was nothing short of such for me, when I myself began learning it. I hope you find it useful, and ideally, I hope it spares your companions from injury while making you a more popular member of your group!
cheers cheers cheers
Begin Crideas Bane Lecture Voice:...

Alright, let us begin. Now then....

I know many freshly inititated Wizards and Sorcerors have trouble knowing when an Area of Effect spell is going to blow up their friends, and which ones will blast only your enemies.

Before we get to that... always remember... single target
spells are safe for your party. They won't take out 10 bad guys in one shot.... but what is the use if you also accidentally take out 3 comrades?

When in doubt, slot single target spells and save them for when your front liners need a little help managing oncoming traffic. If things get hairy, haste yourself, and then rapid fire some single targets spells to pick off some of the overflow.


NOTE: Single target spells also do not make the server lag Smile

Rely on your meleers to hold the line and do most of the work, it is what they are good at and what their best role is. You as an arcane caster have limited resources and should conserve them for when they will make the biggest tactical impact.... single target or not.

Wasting your spells too early to do things that your party could easily handle puts both you and your party in jeopardy in an extended battle. Again... save your spells for when they are needed.

If you spend the whole battle watching right up until the end, but then see an opportunity, and eliminate a dangerous group, or prevent a tactical breakdown with a single spell, or even a combo of several spells, you have effectively
done your job.

Buffing your party with extended spells to improve them is yet another safe way of contributing. They will hack and cleave like whirling dervishes thanks to your long lasting magic, and you can expect there will be a lot less for you to worry about, even with your spells heavily depleted by buffing several meleers.


NOTE: Also no lag is caused by buffing party members.


With all that said.... now we come to the part I know you are wanting to hear about - the fun part - the part where you learn what magics to hurl that will blast entire groups of enemies to pieces, or even vaporize them outright, without doing the same to your friends.

*********************************************************************
*********************************************************************
Arcane Area of Effect Spells by Level
*********************************************************************
*********************************************************************


I will try to list the Area Spells that are party friendly by default first in each level list and I will color code safe spells in CYAN and unsafe spells in RED.

Level 1 -

1. Color Spray (Not Party Friendly)
2. Burning Hands (Not Party Friendly)
3. Grease (Not Party Friendly)


NOTES: If your party members all have protection from your alignment, Color Spray is then safe, as it is a mind effect and will be blocked by this protection. Burning Hands is safe if your party all have resistance 20 to fire. Grease is safe if they have freedom of movement and immunity to knockdown.


Level 2 -

1. Web (Not Party Friendly)
2. Darkness (Not Party Friendly)
3. Cloud of Bewilderment (Not Party Friendly)


NOTES: Freedom of Movement for the party makes Web a safe choice. Ultravision or True Seeing for the party makes Darkness safe. Protection from your alignment or poison immunity can make Cloud of Bewilderment safe (the blinding effect is contingent on the mind-affecting stun, I believe)

Level 3 -

1. Missile Storm (YES)
2. Stampede (YES)
3. Phoenix's Frigid Bolts (YES)
4. Luminus' Redeeming Flames (*Special)
5.
Slow (YES)
6. Lightning Bolt (
Not Party Friendly)
7. Scintillating Sphere (
Not Party Friendly)
8.
Fireball (Not Party Friendly)
9. Gust of Wind (
Not Party Friendly)
10. Negative Energy Burst (
Not Party Friendly)
11. Stinking Cloud (
Not Party Friendly)
12. Glacius' Ice Blast (
Not Party Friendly)
13. Glacius Breath of Winter (
Not Party Friendly)
14. Acid Breath (
Not Party Friendly)
15. Silvania's Sphere of Golden Flames (
Not Party Friendly)
16. Gnimish's Shockwave (
Not Party Friendly)
17. Quillin's Arrow Burst (
Not Party Friendly)


NOTES: *Luminus' Redeeming Flames is 100% party friendly if all party members are good-aligned(edit: the spell description has been changed to indicate even neutral party members are safe). Immunity to knockdown on party members makes Gust of Wind safe. Negative Energy Resistance of 30(or negative energy protection/immunity) as well as Level/Ability Drain Immunity for the party makes Negative Energy Burst safe.


Level 4 -

1. Phoenix's Funeral Pyre - affects undead only (YES)
2. Evard's Black Tentacles (
Not Party Friendly*)
3. Ice Storm (
Not Party Friendly)
4. Fear (
Not Party Friendly)
5. Tempest's ThunderClap (
Not Party Friendly)
6. Confusion (
Not Party Friendly)
7. Tempest's Rolling Thunder (
Not Party Friendly)
8. Ice Fog (
Not Party Friendly).


NOTES: Freedom of movement and Damage Reduction 1 soak 10 make Evard's safe, as will having a party of all small size members (ie. halflings or gnomes). Fear/Mind Immunity (including protection from your alignment) will make both Fear and Confusion safe.


Level 5 -

1. Ball Lightning (YES)
2. Greater Missile Storm (YES)
3. Firebrand (YES)
4. Silvania's Holy Rain (*Special)
5. Cone of Cold (
Not Party Friendly)
6. Cloudkill (
Not Party Friendly)
7. Mind Fog (
Not Party Friendly)
8. Tempest's Microburst (
Not Party Friendly)
9. Overpowering Shout (
Not Party Friendly)
10. Tempest's Sheet Lightning (
Not Party Friendly).


NOTES: *Silvania's Holy Rain is safe as long as you have no Demonspawn or Vampires in the party.

Level 6 -

1. Chain Lightning (YES),
2. Silvania's Nova of Life (YES)
3. Undeath to Death (YES)
4. Acid Fog (Not Party Friendly)
5. Phoenix's Field of Flame (
Not Party Friendly)
6. Otiluke's Freezing Sphere - exploding sphere version (
Not Party Friendly)


NOTE: While party friendly, Chain Lightning is sub-par because the secondary targets only take half damage, and only one quarter if they also make their saves. It may be preferable to use metamagic variants of lower level spells such as silent Greater Missile Storms.

Level 7 -

1. Prismatic Spray (
Not Party Friendly)
2. Delayed Blast Fireball (
Not Party Friendly)
3. Great Thunderclap (
Not Party Friendly)


Level 8 -

1. Sunburst (YES)
2. Mass Blindness/Deafness (YES)
3. Horrid Wilting (
Not Party Friendly)
4. Incendiary Cloud (
Not Party Friendly)
5. Glacius' Hypothermia (
Not Party Friendly)
6. Phoenix's Shocking Blast (
Not Party Friendly)
7. Burn the Souls (
Not Party Friendly)


NOTES: Sunburst is a very good spell for dealing with undead, and also enemies who lack evasion and/or high reflex saves. It may not do much damage to non-undead, but if they fail the blindness save, it will absolutely cripple the target - they will stop attacking altogether unless engaged, they lose dex bonus AC, they have a 50% miss chance on all attacks, and are vulnerable to sneak attack without being flanked because everyone counts as invisible to them.

Level 9 -

1. Weird (YES)
2. Wail of the Banshee (YES)
3. Meteor Swarm (
Not Party Friendly)
4. Power Word: Kill (
Not Party Friendly)


One final note. There are items that can be found or purchased that will either grant outright immunity or the ability to absorb specific spells or all spell up to a certain spell level. Having your teammates equip these items ahead of time can make your adventures much smoother. Keep your eyes out as you travel the lands, collect and save such items when you find them. More information can be found HERE.

That will be all for now. I hope this has been helpful to you. Enjoy, and Safe Blasting! *smiles*


Last edited by daveyeisley on Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm; edited 26 times in total (Reason for editing : Phoenix's Funeral Pyre is party friendly)
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by Elhanan on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:36 am

Though I know it is flawed, Mind Fog might be a decent prep spell for any further Will based attacks you may have in your lists to be used against foes with such weaknesses. For instance, one might cast Mind Fog and observe the opponents reactions, then dish out Wierd at a time when the majority are vulnerable. Maybe not party friendly before Mind Blank, biut then?

I thought Phoenix Funeral Pyre was safe as only Undead are injured?

And thanks for posting info like this; still learning... Smile
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by MannyJabrielle on Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:27 am

* Alastair casts an ice storm at Crubus
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by Miow on Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:04 pm

A short note in iridescent purple ink:

Incidentally,
that fun Evard's spell is completely useless against small folk. Oh,
the time one of those tall people casters tried to
pin me with black tentacles...
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by RustyDios on Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:04 pm

Very Helpful... Thankye Master Crideas.. Of the spells you have taught me to memorise with perfection, I only have a few that will hurt my fellow companions. Now I know to avoid them in grouped battle...

~ Shouri
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by Lauralai on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:56 pm

Thank you Crideas. Now that i have separated all of my spells into Use
em, of Not it will presumably make it easier to thump the baddies and
save my friends Smile
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by eeriegeek on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:23 am

Hellball (Nope)
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:59 am

eeriegeek wrote:Hellball (Nope)

The worst part is I thought about putting it in... and was like "Who *isnt* going to already know?!"

So I decided not to.... lol.

I also maybe be incorrect about Phenix's Funeral Pyre, Im not 100% sure and havent tested it.

As for mind fog... if you can get the baddies to fail a save vs. mind fog.... you could instead just get them to fail as save vs. confusion, or fear. Mind Fog is superfluous because it uses a spell slot up to force a will save that will penalize further will saves.... but if you just go for the throat on the first spell, a will save that will disable the foe, you save a slot and get a better outcome. If they make the save against either spell, you dont lose anything other than the spell slot either way.... but if they fail vs. mind fog.... you could have just had them fail vs. fear/confusion...
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by evilkittenofdoom on Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:17 am

Sort of. The spell really shines when you place maybe two down and let enemies sit on it (if possible Otherwise, keep running them into it) Anything can fail the save with a 1, it just takes a little while. Seeing as the spell is an DoT AoE spell, it works for multiple tries for the save with only one spell.

And a -10 penalty is nothing to scoff at. Not to mention that it stacks ( I believe. Testing needed to confirm that)

The spell is more than likely more used for mass PvP, but it could be used in other situations I'm sure.
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:27 am

All Im saying is, if you can get the baddie to fail a save, you are better off having that failed save actually disable the baddie. The cloud is stationary, and unless you really want to try and run back and forth thru it to lead the enemies into it (and laso make yourself subject to the effect) and dodge AoO's, it really doesnt make sense to use it over a true disabling spell.

Personal preference is one thing, sure... but tactically speaking, its a waste.
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by MannyJabrielle on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:12 pm

I've come to the thinking that it's purpose is for those enemies who's will saves are just a tad higher thanwhat you're main will-save spell can hit reliably, so mind fog is for shaving off that 10 from their save so your other spells don't -have- to force them to roll 1's, but could rather hit them by making them roll a 1 trough 15 rather than a 1 through 5 with their unmodified will saves.
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by __Ua__ on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:14 pm

Just a little advice for spell castors during DM events is to notice and respond correctly to spell mantel (ie bright, thick blue ring around enemies) while you can dispel or use fire arrow to rip it down when you see it just don't bother to waste your precious spells on them (unless its a BA) (Zombie Lord's love to cast spell mantel) just let your beefy face smashing counter-parts take care of them.

Big sword + Fighter / Zombie + Spell Mantel = Cleaved Zombie + Blood Covered Fighter + Happy Castor with lots of spells left

Yes I like mathematical metaphors
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by Skywatcher on Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:30 am

Addendum from Lyann: OK all you cannon fodder um meat shields valued party members who are expendable out in front, it is IMPERATIVE you get at least one Bludgeoning (30/-) and Cold (30/-) resist item so that when I accidentally include you in the AoE of my Ice Storms you will only be hurt a little bit! Ice Storm is a battle winner, but the only way you will be on your feet to know we won the battle is to PLAN AHEAD. Go see the dwarf wizard, he can fix you up.
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:12 pm

Skywatcher wrote:Addendum from Lyann: OK all you cannon fodder um meat shields valued party members who are expendable out in front, it is IMPERATIVE you get at least one Bludgeoning (30/-) and Cold (30/-) resist item so that when I accidentally include you in the AoE of my Ice Storms you will only be hurt a little bit! Ice Storm is a battle winner, but the only way you will be on your feet to know we won the battle is to PLAN AHEAD. Go see the dwarf wizard, he can fix you up.

Ah yes, that one is indeed a battle winner just about anywhere other than Icereach.

I propose an alternative to the resistance item solution.

There are Lavender and Green Ellipsoid Ioun stones that will absorb 16 spell levels per charge, up to 8th level spells. It comes with 11 charges so it will block a total of 176 spell levels. Ice Storm is 4th level. You should be able to spam Ice Storms all over your front-liners if they each have such a stone active. There are some floating gas bags with lots of eyes which are one of the more likely sources to provide such stones.

Also, a dwarven arcanist in the Volcanic City of Forge (in Rockholm) has a less powerful version available for sale which should still work fine for Ice Storm as it absorbs 8 spell levels per charge, up to 4th level spells. Comes with 11 charges, so 88 spell levels total. Not cheap, mind you - 15k+, but priceless for these purposes.

Just make sure to warn the front-liners to watch their absorbption effect (its a whitish blue aura/halo around their feet) when it wears off, a charge has been used up. So long as the Ioun stone has charges left and is still active (they have not shut if off), the absorption should re-apply within 3-18 seconds all by itself (when the Ioun stone effects cycle). If the effect does not reapply, they will need to activate a new stone (can only be done out of combat).

These two stones will give you a little more freedom in what AoE you can drop on your front-liners' heads without hurting them. 9th level spells are a different ballgame, but currently the only moderately good one that strikes party members is meteor swarm... you can get pretty much the same damage from Horrid Wilting on living targets and Sunburst against undead targets, just use metamagic (silent or still spell) to cast either one with a 9th level slot, and it will still count as an 8th level spell for purpose of being absorbed by the Ioun stone.


Last edited by daveyeisley on Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Crideas' Party-Saving Primer for Arcane Casters

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:39 am

Bump. Reformatted for easier reading and added color Smile
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