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Author Topic: Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorcerer Stratagems  (Read 167361 times)
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Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« on: October 06, 2008, 03:05:22 AM »

Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorcerer Stratagems
A Guide to Supremely Stunning Sorcelations

v. 3.5

By Solo*

This text is smaller in size compared to that of the lines  
above it.

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair: Praise for Solo’s Stupendously Superior Sorcerer Stratagems

"Epic win, lolpwnt, etc etc Solo. Beautiful piece you  
have there. Absolutely top notch."
-Shadow Archmagi

"Welcome to Winville! Population: 1 (Solo)
Excellent stuff!
Vanished "Illusions and Invisibility" thesis...will I  
ever recover?"
- Sir Giacomo

"Solo, it's awesome-sauce."

"I laughed! I cried! I lost 15 pounds!
I cannot recommend this guide highly enough!"
- Colin152

"Brilliant, will be linked to relentlessly."

"So this is what pure, unadulterated win looks like.  
Very nice."
-Woot Spitum

"Failed Will Save... Must Bow At Awesomeness of  

"THANK YOU for making the guide to sorcery. I cannot  
describe the immensity of the sheer epic levels of help  
contained within your guide."
-Deth Muncher

"Doing more than just following in the footsteps of The Logic Ninja, this guide delves into a relatively unexplored set of advice. With his recent piece on sorcerers, Solo leaves his personal touch on the field of optimization. At last, a guide to sorcerers worth reading!

The folks at the Wizards forums need their own copy of this for their optimization library. Last I checked, there was almost nothing in the way of sorcerer optimization to be found there, and most inquiries were directed to Logic Ninja's guide. Which, while helpful, was not as appropriate as this guide is."

"To James Solomon Ozymandias, Archmage: We at Heffelman's Department of Arcane Studies Review would like to offer you our heartfelt congratulations. Among many other points in its favor, we found we did not have an appropriate rating to give your recent sorcerer’s guide, a clear flaw in our critiques system!  
In an effort to rectify this problem, the majority of our faculty has taken levels of alienist, and even as we write this, we are currently engaged in an expedition to the furthest realms of insanity in an attempt to find a number that might express its value.  
And indeed we have succeeded; but alas, upon return to the Material Plane, the number imploded and vanished, taking our gateway with it.

We are currently enGagED in aTTEMptIng to REturn, and iN the MEaNTIme, would offER this as a SUBstiTute for a prOper REvieW. wE would be HONOred if yOU would cONsenT to sUPPly us with FUrther copIEs of your WORKS via PlAne Shift unTIl suCh time as WE ARE ABLE tO RETURn.

YoUrs in Healghrth,

GlOORudel BRightweeke, critic and loREmaster at HeffeLMAN's, ArcD., Foc. Conj, I.A.

- The Snark

Actual Guide:

“Well Ali Baba had them forty thieves
Scheherazade had a thousand tales
But caster, you’re in luck 'cause up your sleeves
You got a brand of magic, never fails
You got some power in your corner now
Some heavy ammunition in your camp
You got some punch, pizzazz, yahoo and how
All you gotta do is wave your hand!”


I, James Solomon Ozymandias, Archmage and Sorcerer, have just returned from an immensely perilous undertaking, during which I was abruptly brought to face my own mortality. Thus, I have decided to pass on the summation of my experiences as a sorcerer on to the next generation of magic users so that you may profit by my wisdom.

Now, I am here to advise, not dictate, the general course of action for sorcerers, such as myself, who wish to attain ultimate arcane power. After all, while it is easier to teach a man what to think than to teach him how to think, the man who knows how to think will eventually triumph over the man who knows what to think.

I shall lay before you the general philosophies I have pursued and found true during my time on the Mortal Coil, and let you judge their worth.

Who we are:

We sorcerers are a different breed from other magic users; our powers come neither from pacts made with divine beings, nor from hours of rigorous study in musty libraries, but from within ourselves. It is ours, utterly and completely, from birth till death. It is one of the few things in this world that we can truly call our own.

When developing such powers, I have seen many young sorcerers make the choice of choosing flash over substance, such as the late Dalron Brogue, Evoker – a powerful man, who’s magic had several crippling weaknesses. He focused too much on Evocation magic and consequently was without the flexibility and adaptability necessary to survive in this dangerous world.

When we sorcerers learn our spells, it is a process of self discovery: we become so familiar with the powers we develop that we can call upon them many more times a day than wizards, but at a price, for we cannot change ourselves (and thus, our known spells) as readily as they can open their tomes. Therefore, a successful sorcerer, in my opinion, should seek to learn for himself spells that will be of use in many different situations.

This way, we need not spend time lamenting over the fact that we did not prepare the correct spells for the day, but instead are assured that there will always be something for us to do. Whereas a wizard must carefully prepare his spells, guessing as to what new challenges await him every day, and at the mercy of the smallest error in judgment, a properly versatile sorcerer will be able to go into any situation presented to him with confidence, for he will always know a useful spell.

More than just spells:

Obviously, spells do not make the man – nor, as my wife will no doubt remind me, the woman. There is a whole world of training outside of the mere spellcasting that will be critical to a sorcerer’s success.

For example, it is imperative that a sorcerer learn how to utilize metamagic in order to improve the potency of his spells; my personal preferences led me to choose Heighten, Empower, Extend, and Silent spell, as they allowed me to make it more difficult for an enemy to resist my spells, cause more damage, have my abjurations endure for longer than normal, and cast spells unobtrusively.

Of course, I made sure to learn the art of casting spells while eschewing simple material components for the sake of self sufficiency, and studied Spellcraft extensively, as well as gaining degrees in Spell Focus for the schools of Illusion and Transmutation from the Institute of Arcane Studies – mainly so I could full the pre-requisites for graduating as an Archmage and learning even more arcane secrets.

Notable among those arcane secrets are the abilities to cast spells as a caster of a higher level, being able to turn a touch spell into a ranged touch spell, sculpting area of effect spells to exclude allies, spontaneously altering the energy type of a spell, and increased potency in the ability to counterspell.

Good times.

Interacting with the world:

Speaking of “good times”, it seems a given that we sorcerers always seem to – by the fault of our own or others – attract attention, sometimes unpleasant, often unwanted, you will likely want to invest heavily in the skill of lying. I cannot tell you how many orcs, ogre chieftains, or mercenaries I have had to face in my life, and bluffing my way out of the sticky situations has proven to be an excellent alternative to spells, for they leave fewer enemies, dead bodies, and trail for later trackers.

Knowledge of the Arcane and Spellcraft are, of course, nearly mandatory subjects to master, as sorcerers, by definition, will dabble extensively in mysteries of the magic, both to develop their own powers and to understand the secrets of others. As the old saying goes, if you know your enemy and yourself, you will be assured victory in even a hundred battles.

Even though most of us have neither the time nor strength to devote to melee combat, I would advise any sorcerer to lean, at the least, how to cast a spell while defending himself against an attacker, for you cannot always expect to have a ally guarding you while you rain magical death down upon your foes. It sucks to be attacked by something, and you should make every preparation against it, but the real world is not fair, and you will find yourself alone and under attack by some hostile force despite your best plans.

Prepare for it well.

Managing by yourself:

While on the topic of being alone, it would be wise of you to consider how to balance self sufficiency with interdependence. It has been my principal to make sure that, without any magical gear of any sort, I would, with my bare hands and the arcane powers within me, be able to perform my magics without hindrance, as I fully anticipate not being with, or running out of, material components and focuses for spells, or having my items stolen, dispelled, or disjunctioned. It is, after all, absurd to expect that a worthy opponent will not try to separate you from your spell components, focuses, items, and, for wizards, spell books.Thus, I would advise you to use magic items to compliment your spells known, but never to have a magic item compensate for a hole in your magic. The outsourcing of a critical component has caused more than one company and nation woe, and it would behoove you not to repeat the mistake.

(An aside: one of the most hilarious moments in my entire career was when I bluffed one of my first adventuring parties and our antagonist into thinking that I was a wizard, lugging around a huge spellbook and all, filled with runes. When he separated me fromthe spellbook after a long fight during which all my spells had been exhausted, he made the mistake of allowing me to rest for a night before coming in to wave the captured spellbook in my face and taunt me about it. Needless to say, the Empowered Magic Missile I delivered to his face came as a complete surprise.)

Of course, there are other schools of thought, so you should probably review theories of magic independently and come to your own conclusions.

It doesn't have to be lonely at the top:

I have now written at length of the necessity of being self sufficient; but I must tell you of the need for co-operation and collaboration with your peers, for truly, no man is an island.

To compensate for our weaknesses and shortcomings, such as the inability to “mix it up with the best of them”, kick down doors, heal the wounded, and turn the undead, it would be a prudent decision to associate with those who can, thereby forming a team, whose intraparty synergy will hopefully create a force that is more than the sum of its parts.

In my most recent misadventure, I was accompanied by two great warriors and a powerful cleric, all of whom helped me accomplish tasks and overcome difficulties that I would never have been able to pass by myself. I am deeply indebted to all of them.

That being said, the ideal associates you will be working with should include:
• At least one healer who won't need babysitting in combat. I favor clerics.
• A scout or “sneaky” type of character for scouting and reconnaissance. As they will often get into danger above their heads, I favor interns. Scantily clad, leather wearing, busy, female interns...
• A dedicated combat type - perhaps a druid or another cleric, though my cousin Saal the Barbarian, knows no magic yet breaks skulls well enough.
• Perhaps another sorcerer, or wizard, to compensate for your lack of spells known and additional ways to rain magical death down upon your enemies. Or a bard, if he can sing really well.

Oddly enough, the entire party of diverse individuals will often be recruited from a local drinking establishment. Why this is so, I have no idea, but that is appearently how the world works.

I digress.

What you do:

As you can see, everyone has a role. Clerics heal, fighters fight, sneaks sneak, bards sing, and monks run really quickly.

But what of your role? What do you contribute to the party?

Well, as a sorcerer, your job is to “cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!”

With your ability to cast many spells, you can afford to hex, curse, or blast at the enemy over and over until he is incapacitated, crippled, or dead. This is what you bring to the party; the ability to control and dominate the enemy with gratuitous amounts of magic, making it easier for your side to win the day.

Of course, this is all theory; what works best for you should be decided by yourself.

And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve come back to the issue of your known spells again.

As I do not think this repertoire of wisdom would be complete without at least a brief rundown of the best spells available to you as a sorcerer, I shall give you my personal list of spells known and other candidates that you may want to consider depending on your personal style.

First off, you must decide which schools to select spells from. The general answer is “All of them!”, but you will want to focus more heavily on some schools than others.

Conjuration is a great general purpose school, with a bit of everything, so it is always useful to select spells from.

Enchantment is the school for crippling your opponent with hexes and curses, while bending them to your will… pity it is stopped stone cold by Mind Blank and the humble Protection from X spells. Don’t get me started on how useless an Enchanter is against undead, oozes, plants, or constructs.  
It is, however, a great school for buffing – if that’s your thing. Best left to bards or clerics if you ask me - and does have some good spells such as Feeblemind, Sleep, and Dominate Monster. Enchantment is tempting to some mages due to the fact that it makes having your way with others easier – in many senses of the word.  

These people were what Evan’s Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion was invented for.

Evocation is the “hammer” of magic schools. While flashy and impressive, all it takes is one protection from energy spell to render you more useless than the Elvish translation of "How to speak Elvish". There are some good spells in it, such as Contingency, but those you can get from another school.

Illusion allows you to make up for the lack of choosing Evocation and Conjuration spells via the Shadow spells, though they are only quasi-real. You can still use it to create Contingency effects and the like, making Shadow Evocation a worthwhile investment. Illusion also offers such gems as Invisibility, Persistent Image, and the various disguise spells, without which you would have as much luck disguising yourself as a hydra with sunglasses trying to sneak in to a beholder only strip club.

If you plan on becoming an Archmage with a school focus on Illusion, be prepared to write a doctoral thesis on the subject. Mine was on “Illusions and Invisibility”. For some reason the Arcane Comittee never found the manuscript, but I passed anyways.

Divination is one of the better schools, as preparation is half the battle. However, some of its best spells are expensive to cast, so keep that in mind. I usually leave heavy divination to wizards.

Necromancy is considered the “dark” school, but I prefer to think of it as being “effective”. Now, I’m not saying you should burn the cities of your enemies, loot their towns, hear the lamentation of their women, pillage, rape, and rampage across the countryside while salting their fields and smashing their temples, but you don’t have to restrain yourself to playing the role of Mr. Nice Guy either.

A note: while it’s entirely possible and even commendable to have your undead hoards rescue orphans from a burning orphanage, there really are better ways of doing it.

Transmutation is in my opinion, tied with Conjuration for most the versatile school of magic. There is always something worthwhile to transmute, such as your enemies. For a more detailed argument as to why Transmutation is superior to most other schools, feel free to consult my doctoral thesis on the matter: "Disintegration and Damnation."

Generally, I focused on a small amount of damage dealing spells, coupled with many defensive wards and offensive “buffs”. A key component of my style is the use of spells that require the target to either resist their effects (whether they be physical or mental) or be rendered useless. I believe it to be a more efficient way of dealing with problems than by simply blasting my way through, though I will concede that if you force the square peg hard enough, it will fit through the round hole.

Now I hope you can ruminate while I loquaciously illuminate the possibilities.

As I am lazy, and since TLN did spell analysis much better than I did, I direct you to his guide for in depth discussion. This spell list has been compiled at the last minute in a hackneyed fashion to fill space.


Core Spells:


Dominate Monster—Remember: your enemy's brain is only as strong as its weakest think.

Prismatic Sphere—This spell is simply fabulous.

Shades—These sort of illusion spells effectively allow you to know several lower level spells for the price of one, as well as offering you endless amounts of fun with such great spells as Leomund’s Luxurious Love Shack.

Time Stop—It's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. With your hands on your hips you bring your knees in tight. But it's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane; let's do the Time Stop again!

Astral Projection—Send in the clones! Pricy, but it lets you duplicate of yourself, gear included, and then travel back to the Material Plane. A word of caution: Never leave your comatose body in the possession of a Succubus, even if you did use a Helm of Opposed Alignments on her.

Meteor Swarm—Finish him!

Wail of the Banshee—Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.

Weird—Mind Crush! (Not really... giving your opponent two chances to save is bad.)

Wish—Say what you wish, whatever it be, it's yours true dish, just pay up some XP.

Gate—Great spell for interplanar travel. Superb spell for running away from your mother in law.

Power Word Kill—Behold the Evil Eye of Poogly Pie. Whomever sees it shall surely die. I’m glad you didn’t – you did? Goodbye.

Shapechange—You are everything, ever. Warning: Not for the lactose intolerant.

Foresight—My Spidey-senses are tingling!

Disjunction—A magical EMP that fries everything, including your potential loot. Only use if you don't plan on salvaging from the broken bodies of your enemies. Perhaps as a scroll...


Greater Prying Eyes—Great way to keep an eye on things.

Greater Shadow Evocation—Like Shades, it allows you to make up for your limited spells known. Try using it to mimic Leomund’s Tiny Hut while traveling or Contingency if you’re paranoid.

Greater Planar Binding-More like Greater Planar Bondage, if you know what I mean. You should have the charisma to take advantage of it, unlike those nerdy wizards.

Prismatic Wall—Taste the rainbow, bitch.

Mind Blank—It saves you from the humiliation of failing to resist a Dominate Person and becoming the personal slave to some Drow matron. Some people had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Horrid Wilting—Great for mass removal/gardening.

Bigby’s Clenched Fist—Smack that bitch up.

Otto’s Irresistible Dance—Stop! Its hammer time!

Polymorph Any Object—You can now polymorph things into cheese.


Arcane Sight, Greater—It is generally regarded as a good thing to know if the person you will be casting spells on today has Spell Turning on or not. Also, useful for qualification for Archmage, as those old geezers on the Archmage’s Council will want to see ‘diversity’ amongst the schools of magic in your spell list.

Ethereal Jaunt—In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention, well secluded, I see all!

Mass Hold Person—Stop in the name of love, baby!

Insanity—This is MADNESS!!!

Bigby’s Grasping Hand—provides cover, rushes, and gropes at your command.

Delayed Blast Fireball—Burn everything. Burn it to the ground. There is nothing quite like seeing five of these go off at one time.

Finger of Death—Avada Kerdava! Bonus points if you guess which finger it is.

Maze—Quite the amazing spell for selectively removing targets.

Reverse Gravity—My hair gives me the power to defy gravity.

Limited Wish-When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are...


Disintegrate—It creates a laser capable of emitting a beam of pure antimatter.

Flesh to Stone—Medusafying.

Dispel Magic, Greater—Useful for getting nasty effects out of the picture, like when you fail to resist a Dominate Person with your name on it and are forced to wait several months for your friends to rescue you from a Drow stronghold and return you to your right mind.

Shadow Walk—The perfect way to send people to the Shadow Realm.

Bigby’s Forceful Hand—Talk to the hand!

Greater Heroism—Are you a bad enough dude to be the hero?

Planar Binding—Now with free wishes.


Feeblemind—Cast it on other magic users to humiliate them, or cast on your friendly meat shield to make him smarter. (I kid, Gragthor, I kid.)

Wall of Force—When casting a Wall of Force, NONE SHALL PASS!

Wall of Stone: It rocks.

Telekinesis—Can be used to manipulate things from far away, trip, disarm, pin down, or bull rush opponents (preferably into a Prismatic Sphere), and scratch those hard to reach places on your back.

Persistent Image—Illusions are good and useful. Ever wanted to get out of dinner with your mother in law?  
Here you go!

Dominate Person—Best used on enemies to make them fight each other, or on your girlfriend. And then, only if she’s into that kind of thing.

Hold Monster—Stupefy!

Cloudkill—If you ever face off against hoards of minions, by all means invite them to pull your finger.

Baleful Polymorph—turn your enemies into pets and make them perform tricks for your amusement.

Contact Other Plane—Great spell… but are you going to use it every day? Nerd Wizard work.

Lesser Planar Binding—Gives your enemies nightmares by giving you Nightmares.


Enervation—Yes, it’s channeling the blackest of energies to cripple an opponent, making it an evil act. That being said, it is also a very effective spell. Learn it and let the Student Honor Council debate the ethics of using it. Empower for greater effect only if you can suppress the urge to spout out villainous laughter as you do so.

Greater Invisibility—Being unseen in the presence of a great and powerful monster is good. Nowadays, however, most of the opponents I face have ways to see through or negate Invisibility, so I usually spend it in attempts to avoid unwelcome relatives.

Resilient Sphere—It protects and traps pretty much any one creature, even incorporeal or ethereal ones. No need to call ghost busters to handle your focused, non-terminal repeating phantasms anymore.

Black Tentacles—I once managed to restrain a succubus with this spell. It proved effective, though not in the manner I was expecting.

Dimension Door—Good in Star Ocean 3, good in D&D. (Albeit for slightly different reasons)

Solid Fog—To quote the headmaster again, “No save, just suck.”

Scrying—A great information gathering spell, but no something you will use all the time. Wizard work. That being said, it is a very way of viewing the inner workings of the women’s shower.

Phantasmal Killer—Super special awesome attack! (Or at least it would be if your opponent didn't get two chances to save for it. Marginal at worst, Rogue killer at best.)

Charm Monster—Great for gathered information, incapacitating the enemy, making friends, and bending people to your will, though a bottle of dwarven fire whisky and a few glasses has about the same effect.


Polymorph—Please don't.


Fly—Up, up, up and away!

Phantom Steed—Hail Shadowfax, king of horses, now with wings.

Major Image—One student at the Arcane Institute had a tenancy to surprise intruders to his dorm by summoning an illusory barbed wire cage around them. Since no one would actually dare to interact with the illusion to determine if it was real or not, it left them in a rather prickly predicament.

Deeper Slumber—Arcane focus: your professor’s lecture.

Heroism—My voice knows kung fu.

Hold Person—When one of the nobles at my local bar started giving gave me a hard time for getting all the ladies, I proceeded to stunned him, lift his robes over his head, and then walked away. No more was necessary.

Shrink Item—Shrinking large things and carrying them in your pocket does have uses. I remember that I was once fighting this witch whom I killed her by flying up in the air, invisible, and then dropping a shrunken house onto her, dismissing the spell while the house was en route to the ground.

Slow—Stopping things from reaching your is always a plus. It also works on undead, as it is not a mind-affecting spell. Best use, though, is at sporting competitions.


Stinking Cloud—Not only does this cripple wizards and prevent them from casting spells, but has many applications in the realm of practical jokes. As a freshman at the Institute of Arcane Studies, there was a brief period where you could not trust the food at the dining hall because some anonymous student would find a way of slipping Beans of Stinking Cloud into the day’s meals.

Explosive Runes—Someone set us up the bomb! Makes for a great impromptu booby trap, way of paying a check with an unpleasant restaurant or shopkeeper, and ensuring that your letter self destructs after it is read.

Note: make sure that the recipient can survive an explosion before mailing the letter.

Dispel Magic—A lifesaver if you need to clear hallways of Stinking Clouds.

Protection from Energy—Alas, poor Dalron’s greatest foe.

Fireball—Another of Dalron’s mainstays, this is a respectable spell for troubleshooting at long distances. Solving problems from far away is generally regarded as a good thing.

Ray of Exhaustion—Jock-b-gone

Vampiric Touch—All your health are belong to me.

Wind Wall—Take pride in rendering Elfy McElf, the Elvish archer utterly obsolete.


Tasha's Hideous Laughter—Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face!

Resistance to Energy—Alas, poor Dalron’s second greatest foe.

Alter Self—not only does this allow you to disguise yourself, but you can pretend to be of a different species. Gaining the armor of a Troglodyte without its stench is never a bad thing.

Among its other uses is disguising yourself as an old lady and letting your purse be snatched by thieves, while it contains a few notes worth of Explosive Runes.

Bull’s Strength, Bear’s Endurance, Cat’s Grace—My voice gives me super strength!

Darkness—Provides concealment, DR10/Magic Missile.

Blindness/Deafness—Kaiden the Black, Lord of Souls, surprisingly enough, never took this spell, preferring to walk around showing his enemies 4chan.

Shatter—Have you ever seen a jerk who bullied you as a kid buy an obscenely expensive ring to present to his bride at their wedding, only to have it shatter mysteriously at the altar? Fun times, fun times.

Gust of Wind—It will blow you away.


Invisibility—a great spell until Greater Invisibility is on the table, as it allows you to go where no man has gone before, such as the women’s shower.

Mirror Image—Greetings, Mr. Anderson. Today, you’ll be fighting me. Me, me, me, me, me.

Hypnotic Pattern—Bards? Who needs bards?

Minor Image—The cake is a lie!

Detect Thougths—Ah, your thoughts betray you.

See Invisibility—It helps detect peeping toms in showers, if nothing else.

Glitterdust—Just because you can see invisible things doesn’t mean others can. Also blinds whatever gets hit by it. As some of us have found out the hard way, invisibly sneaking into a shower containing sorceresses who know both spells is not a good idea.

Web—Spider web, spider web, does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies.  
Here comes the spider web.

Pyrotechnics—It makes things that are on fire dangerous to your enemies. However, in this cruel and unjust world of ours, enemies are often nor on or near fire consistently. Fortunately, Fireball possesses the ability to burninate from very far away.

Acid Arrow—A long ranged acid spell that deals damage over time and bypasses spell resistance. Handy, but I’ve never found a use for it, except in special circumstances. I will note though that you can use it to hit others from faaaaar, which means you are less likely to be poked with a pointy stick.

Scorching Ray—Dalron’s favorite spell when we were rooming together in the Junior Academy for Arcane Studies, and a powerful damage dealing spell, for the level, anyways. It is a great way to roast troll flesh, which doesn’t actually taste half bad with a little Prestidigitation thrown on for flavor.


Mount—It’s a mount. You ride it to places. You can also sell it and run off with the money before the buyer realizes he’s been had. Unless you want to major in either swindling or liveries, pass.

Sleep—The perfect antidote for when you can’t sleep due to being poked at with pointy sticks.

Color Spray—Blind them with magic!

Silent Image—Gives you more time to run from angry spouses.

Expeditious Retreat—Run away! Run away!

True Strike—Ah yes. Learn to use the Force.

Magic Missile—I keep it around for those pesky “class five roaming vapors” whom I can never quite Disintegrate properly.

Grease—Great for tripping up jocks, or enemies charging up a staircase at you—not that the two are mutually exclusive. Also, useful for lubrication.

Shield, Mage Armor—No one will suspect the man in ordinary clothing to be abnormally hard to hit!

Charm Person—“Barkeep, you don’t need to see our identification.”

Enlarge Person—Oh no! Growth hormones!

Ray of Enfeeblement—Jock-b-ware


Touch of Fatigue—While in the Junior Academy, Dalron sparred with Saal and cast this on Saal to make him tired. Saal responded by knocking Dalron lights out with an axe. I leave the lesson to be learned to you.

Prestidigitation—It cooks, it cleans, it gets crumbs out of your Cloak of Charisma.

Detect Magic—It detects magic. Yeah.

Read Magic—It allows you to read magic. Yeah.

Detect Poison—You try surviving at the Academy cafeteria without it.

Message—Pretending that you’re someone’s conscience never gets old.

Ghost Sound—Provides a nice, ambient "Bow chicka bow wow" for your Luxurious Love Shack.

Arcane Mark—In essence, magical graffiti. Leave it on the foreheads of your enemies and flings: "A Wizard Did It".

Daze—It is a stunning spell.

Resistance—The only way to survive cafeteria food.

Light—And behold, there was light!

Mending—This spell is all you need to woo the ladies.  
Keep their clothing trim, yours looking sharp, and your prophylactics re-usable.

There are, of course, other great spells to know, but I think I have given you a fair idea of what to look out for, as well as the proper mindset for a competent sorcerer. Best of luck to you, Sigil Prep freshmen, class of 1337, and I hope you have learned these lessons well, for I tend to guard my secrets with EXPLOSIVE RUNES.

*Other people helped, but will not be credited at all.

Thanks to everyone else who posted on the original thread, including, but by no means limited to, Talic, Collin152, Frosty, Jack Smith, Kurald Galain, Shneeky the Lost, Sweetrein, and all the people who praised me.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 04:48:28 PM by Solo » Logged

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 03:08:46 AM »


A: On Metamagic Majors

Very interesting and useful treatise, I must say.  
However, if I may make some... shall we say 'counterpoints'?

I think you are vastly underestimating the value of certain metamagic majors. You see, The strength of the Sorcerer, to use a witty phrase a good Fighter friend of mine used, is Tactical rather than Strategic. When asked to expound upon this, he explained that Strategy is planning ahead, whereas Tactics is dealing with the immediate situation with what you have. I found it a remarkable counterpoint of Sorcerers and Wizards for a person who has absolutely no knowledge of magical prowess. And so, my humble opinion on the various options for metamagic majors:

Empower Spell: I find this to be a false economy the majority of the time. Two spell levels later, you can generally find something far more damaging. There are certain exceptions, such as when the damage is of a particularly rare type, or the damage affects the person's well-being in ways more than mere physical damage. Examples of this would be Magic Missile, which deals Force damage, and never miss, so the guaranteed damage may be worth the 3rd level spell normally reserved for something like a Fireball; and Enervation, which does negative levels, making it an exceptionally nasty spell indeed. Other than these rare exceptions, however, I find it not nearly as valuable as some of the others.

Enlarge Spell: While keeping foes with sharp pointy things well away from you is always a good thing, this isn't as effective at doing it as one might think. Consider a moment that it does not work on spells you have to touch to cast, and that even the newest Sorcerer on the block can cast Close range spells up to thirty feet away.

Extend Spell: I find this to be sub-par in my experience. You see, once you gain a moderate amount of magical prowess, your spells with a duration of hours/level will practically last all adventuring day, using either the humble Rope Trick or the upgraded Mordikain's Magnificent Love Shack to keep yourself safe once the spells have expired. During combat, the duration is almost pointless, as combat will almost certainly be over before you spell is. In your younger days, when you need it the most, you are least able to afford the price tag associated with it.

Heighten Spell: A deceptively useful one, and often overlooked. Why, then, would I wish to cast a low level spell in a higher level spell slot? Why, because you are no wizard who has to guess in advance which spells he needs to memorize for the day and what metamagic to apply at that time, your tactical versatility is such that even your humble low level spells can affect a surprisingly potent foe when dropped into a higher level spell slot.

Remember, you are a Sorcerer, you have few high level spells known, but many times a day to cast it. This means that you will often have high-end spell slots available. So when your opponent thinks he can easily overcome the Stinking Cloud, only to be overcome by the fumes when cast as a 9th level spell. In this case, it increases the DC of the spell by 6, which is the equivalent of a +12 to Charisma (impossible through pre-epic means), or an Archmage devoted exclusively to increasing his spell power AND has an Ioun Stone which increases it still further.  
This makes your low-end spells still viable and useful even very late in your career.

Maximize Spell: A false economy, I fear. While many 'blasters' drool over this one, it's actually not as useful as it may appear to be. It is cast as a spell three levels higher. So let us once again use that staple, the Fireball. A Maximized Fireball deals a guaranteed 60 damage (10d6) as a 6th level spell. Let us browse the list of 6th level spells, shall we? We have Disintegrate, but that's not really a fair comparison, now is it? Ahh, here we go, Evocation has two different 'blasters' at 6th: Chain Lightning and Freezing Sphere.

Now then, of the two, Freezing Sphere is the most similar, so let us use it by way of comparison. This particularly little nuke deals 15d6 (15d8 vs water elementals and the like, but those are so rare, let's just ignore that, shall we). Now then, the law of averages and bell curves indicates that this spell will average out to somewhere between 45 and 60 damage. So, not a whole lot of difference in damage output, but Freezing Sphere also lets you freeze water, making it possible to create walkways across otherwise impassible water sources, trap monsters who are currently in the water, and in general has a lot more utility use than Fireball does.

Right, let's look at Chain Lightning briefly, shall we? First off, it's damage is capped at 20d6, which means it will, on average, actually do MORE damage than the Maximised Fireball toward the end of your career, PLUS it arcs to a number of secondary targets equal to your caster level, each one doing half damage. That's a lot better than the Maximized Fireball to me.

Quicken Spell: Core, unable to be used by us. Pity, and the nerds wizards never let us forget it, either. If you allow PhB II rules, possibilities open up, and it becomes an extremely valuable tool.

Silent Spell: Always handy to have, since we don't have to guess which spells we'll need to cast silently, unlike some people. Very useful for when captured and gagged, or when in a Zone of Silence, or similar effect. Everyone knows that silencing is the best method of shutting down a caster. Learn this and prove them wrong.

Still Spell: Also an extremely useful metamagic, and one I'm surprised wasn't mentioned earlier. This spell lets you cast spells without somatic components. This means, among other things, that Arcane Spell Failure does not apply to that particular spell, meaning you can be disguised as a 'tank' in full plate with a tower shield, and can still flawlessly perform arcane feats of prowess. It also means you can cast while grappled, making it invaluable in those sticky situations. It also means you can be clapped in irons in a dungeon and can still cast.

In fact, I'm reminded of one time when we were ambushed at night and taken captive. I was thrown in prison, chained to the wall, and gagged. My tormentor came to my prison and began taunting me about how useless I was now that I couldn't cast, waving the dummy spellbook I always keep on my person, which is always a worthwhile deception in such situations. My response of a Stilled and Silent Shatter on my bonds, followed up by a Phantasmal Killer on my strong but dumb tormentor. By the time the guards arrived after hearing his screams, I was already ready with a Prismatic Wall across the entrance.

Widen Spell: Deceptively Dangerous. As my smart Fighter friend used to say: Friendly Fire Isn't. Being hung my my toes from a rather large tree, I had ample time to consider the profound statement, and came to realize that he was a bit miffed about being caught in the effect of the Stinking Cloud I had cast at the opponent casters to keep them from casting. You see, a lot of the things you're casting works do not come equipped with a method of identifying friend from foe. Expanding the radius of the effect only compounds the problem further. And before one points out the example of the Archmage's Mastery of Shaping to negate this problem, may I point out that your associates would likely want to move around, rather than be stuck in the same small area that was exempted for their benefit? Also, depending on the duration of the spell, they may be stuck there for some time unless you are willing to spend another spell to dispel your effect. Undamaged, to be sure, but also rather upset with you for keeping them stuck in place.

Sculpt Spell allows you shape your spell into several useful shapes, as detailed on a list, for a +1 level adjustment. Totally worth it.

Smiting Spell, another +1 metamagic feat, allows you to store a spell in a weapon, releasing it when it hits an enemy.

-Shneekey the Lost

B: Spell Focus

C: On the Importance of Planning Properly for Tactical Advantage

A useful reference for Sorcerers on the choosing of known spells

By: Pip Tallowberry, Sorcerer, Abjurant Champion, and Archmage

Good day ta ye, an' well met. In this particular section, we will be discussing a significant portion of a Sorcerer's power, properly choosing a spell list which will meet your needs. Many sorcerers have difficulties in choosing a properly balanced spell list, which often results in gaping holes in their defenses, or blind spots in their offensive repertoire. The sad fact is that no sorcerer ever knows enough spells to satisfy him or her. However, with proper care and planning, one can find a suitably flexible spell list which can accommodate nearly any situation.

Let us go over the criteria for properly choosing spells:

* Each spell must be able to be applied in different situations
* Each spell must be something you can reasonably expect to cast on a near daily basis
* Each spell must be not only powerful when you learn it, but must also continue to be useful well into your career.

As a Sorcerer, you actually possess more magical might than even a Wizard, however you lack the flexibility of a Wizard's grimoire to switch out spells on a daily basis. This means your spell list must be able to be applied to literally every situation you find yourself in.

Due to the limited number of spells you can learn, you must choose those spells you can expect to cast multiple times, building on your strengths as a Sorcerer to cast more times a day than a wizard of equal learning. As such, you are able to toss a spell when a wizard might think twice, but you must make sure that it is a spell you want to have tossed in that situation.

Also, it is difficult to switch out spells, so each spell must be good not only when you find it, but must remain useful for the long haul, as only a limited number of times can you switch out your spells known list.

Also, may I respectfully submit that doing damage is less effective than inflicting status effects? Let's face it, a Fighter with a big sword and the skill to use it is going to be doing more damage than most of our 'nukes' anyways. Let him have his share of the limelight, and cripple opponents so he can mow them down easily.

With this in mind, let us look at the spell list with these criteria in mind:

1st level spells

Now then, your advantage early in your career is that you can cast your spells multiple times, but you only get two that you know. With this in mind, you need at least one defensive spell, and one offensive spell.

For defensive spells, Magic Armor and Shield are the two most prominent. Mage Armor has a duration of hours/level whereas Shield only has a duration of rounds/level. This can be a problem early on, as the Shield only lasts a short time, perhaps not enough time to finish a battle, whereas Mage Armor will at least last the fight. Later on, you will find you can cast a Mage Armor early in the day, and have it last all day long, not needing to cast it in combat, making it very convenient. However, Shield is one of the very few methods to foil a Magic Missile spell, which can kill a fragile sorcerer in one hit at lower levels, or severely wound even at higher levels, and never misses. I would suggest choosing one of these two spells, but probably not both.

For Offensive punch, you have a wide number of options, depending on how you feel like doing things.

For straight blasting, the old reliable Magic Missile is always a decent choice. It always hits, it always does damage, it always affects the target. It might not be one to pick up immediately, due to it's low damage output compared to a crossbow, but it is a staple for a reason. Certainly pick this up soon.

Burning Hands is your first chance to do damage to multiple opponents, but it's not as good as it may seem. You see, you are typically not going to be on the front line. That means your friends are likely to be in the area along with your foes. That's a very bad thing.

Shocking Grasp is somewhat better, but requires you to touch your opponent. Particularly early in your career, the very last thing you want to do is get within melee range with something that has a weapon. It is, however, fun at parties.

Chill Touch, the necromancer's first step, has the same problem as Shocking Grasp. The last thing you want to do is get close enough to touch someone hostile, because they will be swinging something big and dangerous at you.

If you prefer something other than damage to disable your opponents, you've got some good options

Sleep. At the very beginning of your career, absolutely one of the most powerful spells in your potential repertoire. Later in your career, absolutely worthless. The early power of this spell is such that you may well consider taking it to start with, using an opportunity later in your career to switch it out with something more useful.

Grease. Very useful throughout your entire career. Many things are not particularly agile, and this is one of the spells which ignores spell resistance. I've used the humble Grease spell to disable even a mighty Balor before. Do not underestimate it's power. It is also extremely versitile, useful in a wide number of situations.

Color Spray. Not as powerful as Sleep, nor as easy to aim, but useful for far longer in your career.

Ray of Enfeeblement. Starts off fairly good, but it's power starts to wane, as it only applies a penalty, not actual stat damage. Still, even later in your career, handy to pair with Ray of Exhaustion to cripple the combat potential of a particularly strong foe.

Once you are able to widen your knowledge of the first level of spells, there are some very handy utility spells you may want to pick up as well

True Strike. When that ray absolutely, positively has to hit it's target. It practically guarentees a hit. Very handy.

Feather Fall. Because the best way of avoiding attacks is to be above them out of reach. And because opponent casters sometimes know Dispel Magic. Remember, this can be cast on others, like the Rogue who just triggered the pit trap.

Comprehend Languages. Because it's always nice to know if they're discussing letting you go or how you would taste in the stew.

Enlarge Person. Surprisingly useful. Cast on your 'meat shield', and watch him stomp the bad guys flat. It also makes him draw fire, leaving you unmolested to continue casting.

Alarm. Because being asked to sit second watch sucks. In general, however, not really worth it to learn. Rope Trick is much better, and is just next level.

Summon Monster I. Extremely useful. Everything from trap-tripping at a safe distance to creating flanking opportunities for your rogue.

2nd level spells

At this level are a wide number of options, depending on what you want to do.

Defensive Spells you may want:

If you are being plagued by a certain flavor of elemental damage, Resist Energy is very handy. Otherwise, not worth blowing a spell known on.

Protection from Arrow. If you don't let them close, they're going to try shooting at you. Still, only situationally useful if you don't run across many archers.

Mirror Image. Get this first. This spell is your most useful defensive spell in your entire career. Let's look at numbers, shall we? Displacement, which you don't get until next spell level, gives you at 50% chance of not being hit. This spell summons 1d4+1/3 levels images that they might hit. This means, if you are unlucky, you have two other images, so you only have a 33% chance of being hit. If you roll well, the odds of you being hit after being targeted go down to 12.5%, making it in every way superior.

Invisibility. Extraordinarily useful for many different situations. The party rogue will also beg you for it.

And now for some offensive punch

The two staple ray damage spells are here at this level: Melf's Acid Arrow and Scorching Ray. The Acid Arrow only does 2d6, although persisting damage for a round or two. The Scorching Ray, on the other hand, does 4d6, and later on can have up to three rays for a total of 12d6 if all three hit. Acid Arrow does acid damage, which is rare to encounter resistance against AND ignores spell resistance. Scorching Ray does all of it's damage up front, and generally has more damage output, but is subject to spell resistance and fire is the most often protected against flavor to throw. If you insist, choose one OR the other, you don't have enough spells known to grab both.

Glitterdust is both offensive and utility. Not only does it blind foes, but it also reveals invisible things. Extremely handy

Web. A very valuable 'crowd control' spell which also does not allow spell resistance.

Hideous Laughter. It's always dangerous to get too close, but if they fail their save, they're not going to be hurting you anyways. This is good for shutting down pesky rogues with high reflex saves or big dumb fighter types.

Touch of Idiocy. Your first actual stat damage spell, and one specifically targeting other casters. Too bad you have to touch them for it to affect them, but dropping their primary casting stat 1d6 is always a worthwhile thing.

Shatter. Ahh, the many wondrous and splendor'd things one may do with this spell. Even does damage to crystalline beings and golems, and one of the very few spells which does.

Blindness/Deafness. It is very difficult to hit what you cannot see. The Fort save makes it ideal for hitting opponent casters or pesky rogues with. Not so much for the charging barbarians, though.

Scare. Often overlooked. While not very valuable later on, for the same reason Sleep is nearly worthless later on, Fear effects are crippling for opponents, and no friendly fire.

And there is some very useful Utility spells you may be interested in picking up

Rope Trick. This is one of my favorite early spells, getting this after I get Mirror Image. While I don't contribute much offensive punch, I guarentee we won't be jumped in our sleep, allowing us to sleep soundly. Only problem is you can't bring an animal companion or beast of burden up the rope easily.

See Invisible. So you know if you need to Glitterdust something

Alter Self. While I've never used it, by virtue of my allergy to cheese, it's easily the most overpowered spell of this level. +8 to natural armor, and all.

{Animal}'s {stat}. In general, not useful for you to learn, however the Con bonus is always a useful thing for everyone. More hit points is good. Note: The +Cha spell does *NOT* increase the DC of your spells, don't bother with it

Levitate. Your first opportunity to rise above your foes. Not too useful, though. Wait until next level.

Knock. Extremely situational, and isn't that why you brought a Rogue along with the party? Wand it if you feel so inclined, but never learn it.

3rd Level

Ahh, many staples are to be found here, you start to really hit your stride with some potent choices. Choosing the right ones out of this level is always difficult, because there are so many good choices. Whatever you do, make sure that you keep all your bases covered.

Defensive Capability

Protection from Energy. It isn't the best choice, unless you're really seeing a lot of energy damage.

Magic Circle of Protection from Alignment. Let the Cleric or the Wizard pick this up, you've got too many other choices in front of you.

Nondetection. Every time you cast it, it's 50 gold. It adds up. If you cast it enough for it to be worth it to know, you're going to have to insist on compensation for all the money going down the drain.

Wind Wall. Protection from Arrows' bigger brother. Complete immunity to projectiles. Handy when paired with flying. Also difficult to get the combo off and still contribute meaningfully to the party.

Displacement. We already covered this, Mirror Image is superior.

Invisibility Sphere. Good for cloaking the party, assuming everyone gets real friendly.

Gaseous Form. Handy, but also really cramps your casting ability. Probably not worth it.

Offensive Punch. Got a lot of options here, and some good old classics

Fireball and Lightning bolt are both here. Pick one or the other up, not both. You have too many other things to get this level to remain balanced, getting both will cripple you. However, these are staples because they are effective against crowds.

Explosive Runes. Almost utility, but it's probably Abjuration's only spell that actually does damage, so I'll go ahead and list it as offensive. Best of all, anyone reading it doesn't get a save, so it'll even bag rogues. It's a lot of fun, but hard to fit into a sorcerer's limited number of spells known.

Sleet Storm. It ignores SR, which makes it handy, and it forces balance checks, making it Grease's bigger brother, and it blocks line of sight, keeping you from being hit by obnoixous attacks.

Stinking Cloud. Oh my, the fun I've had with this one. It requires a Fort save. Against barbarians, not the best choice of weapon. Against rogues and casters, however, priceless. A distinct lack of allowing SR means it remains useful even late into your career. One of the better battlefield control spells, and one I suggest you find a way of duplicating.

Hold Person. Nah, let the Cleric do this, he gets it a level earlier anyways.

Deep Slumber. While Sleep attacks are vicious, the limit on HD is crippling at this point in your career. Sadly, probably not worth it.

Ray of Exhaustion. How to stop a charging barbarian, other than by taking his credit card. Even if he makes his save, he's still fatigued. Either way, he's taking penalties to Strength and Dex. As nice as that is, there's probably better things to learn. But if you want to be a ray specialist, this is one to pick up.

Haste. It's a buff, but a very nasty one. Your entire party gets a lot of benefits that they will all enjoy. This will almost always out-damage any straight damage spells at this level by virtue of the additional damage the rest of the party is cranking out thanks to the extra attacks

Slow. A crippling spell to cast on any big dumb thing charging at you. They get to choose between either a move action OR a standard action. That means they can't take a full attack, which helps your party's health and well being. Highly useful, and *NOT* mind-affecting.

Magic Weapon, Greater. It's use ramps up as you go up in level. Casting this on a daily basis on your tank's primary weapon means he gets to spend more money on other things. It will also typically out-damage any nuke you would cast, due to the extra damage on every hit he lands.

Several utility options here as well:

Phantom Steed. Hours/level duration. By 14th level, it's effectively Overland Flight, as a 3rd level spell. Better than Fly later on, but Fly gets you airborne earlier. Take your pick.

Fly. You can't hit what you can't reach. Much more useful than Levitate. Upgrade to Overland Flight. However, see Phantom Steed

Dispel Magic. Get this. If nothing else, it can be used to counterspell. It can also be used to remove debuffs on your allies, or buffs on enemies. Upgrade to Greater Dispel Magic when you get it.

Arcane Sight. Always handy to know if there's something magical in the area, or if the opponents are buffed.

Tongues. Like Comprehend Languages, only better.

Tiny Hut. Rope Trick is better.

4th level spells

Some very tasty choices here. Be careful you don't get seduced into unbalancing yourself.

Defensive Spells

Stoneskin. Very expensive to cast repeatedly. Not worth it for personal use (see also: Mirror Image). If your party asks you to learn it, ask for compensation. 250 a pop adds up quick.

Invisibility, Greater. The Rogue will bow at your feet is you drop it on him at the beginning of a fight. Ironically, not very useful for personal use, due to Mirror Image.

Remove Curse. Let the Cleric get this one.

Globe of Invulnerability, Lesser. Immunity to 1st through 3rd level spells. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, unless you're planning on a steady stream of mage duels with lower level casters, probably not going to be cast enough to be worth learning.

Offensive Punch. Got some tasty choices here.

Black Tentacles. Shuts down casters, since you can't cast while grappled. Also severely screws over rogues, who generally aren't too good in a grapple either. Plus makes you very popular at anime conventions.

Solid Fog. No save, No SR, you just suck it up.

Confusion. Confusion to the Enemies! Seriously, this is an encounter-winner against anything without a very good will save.

Resilient Sphere. Offensive, defensive, utility... very handy little spell. Protect fallen comrades, protect yourself if you get attacked, bubble the opponent casters to drop them out of the fight, bubble the charging barbarian. Possibilities are endless.

Phantasmal Killer. Your first death effect. Sadly, allows two different saving throws, either one of which will save his bacon.

Bestow Curse. Let the Cleric do this.

Enervation. Now we're talking! Negative levels are very nasty. This is one of the few spells that is worthwhile to metagmagic for greater effect (Empower). This is a staple in any serious mage's repertoire. Learn it.

Fear. Like Confusion, Fear is absolutely an encounter winner. Be careful to not hit your own allies in the cone.

And for the Utility

Dimension Door. Get This. Seriously, one of the best 'get out of YES' cards available. It requires no somatic components, so you can even cast it while grappled.

Dimensional Anchor. A very useful spell, handy for keeping opponent mages from poofing away. Unless you're encountering a large number of things that like to teleport/ethereal, probably not worthwhile learning. Do keep a few scrolls handy, though.

Shadow Conjuration. With your limited spell list, you'd figure this is a spell to get right off the bat, right? Well, maybe not. Here's the problem. Will save or only 20% effective. Granted, this duplicates a lot of nifty effects, but generally it isn't worth it to get this particular shadow spell, but do look up the higher level one.

Polymorph. I can't even go near this spell without breaking out into hives. This isn't Gouda, this is Limburger... really stinky cheese.

5th level spells

Got some staple classics in here.

Defensive Spells

There's really no defensive spells at this level. It's all offensive and utility.

Offensive Spells:

Dismissal. Two problems with this. 1) Outsiders have a high Will save, 2) Outsiders generally have SR. Not a very effective method of dealing with outsiders.

Cloudkill. Fort save or Con damage, but even if you make it, you still take Con damage. Kills mooks dead. Also handy for fumigating your place. It doesn't even allow for SR.

Feeblemind. Tailor made to punk other arcane casters. Drops the casting stat to 1, means no casting at all. Congratulations, you're a gimped commoner.

Mind Fog. It would have been pretty sweet... if it didn't allow a Will save. It would have been the ultimate combo, Mind Fog/Feeblemind. As it is, almost pointless.

Hold Monster. Let the Cleric handle this.

Cone of Cold. It's a blaster spell. If you like that sort of thing, go for it.

Shadow Evocation. Most of them now have two different saves, Will and Reflex, but if you want to blast, this would probably be more versatile than getting a bunch of different evocations.

Baleful Polymorph. Probably the only spell in the Polymorph sub-college that I can stand to get near. Pretty obnoxious, although there's a few things out there immune to it.

Telekenisis. Toss your enemies around. Toss your enemies off cliffs, back into the Cloudkill, into a Prismatic Wall/Sphere...

Utility Spells

Break Enchantment. Let the Cleric handle this.

Teleport. If you get this, you will be the party's port bi... erm, I mean Taxi Cab. However, there's few enough spells at this level which are really worth it for Sorcerers to pick up that you may want to get it. At least then your party will never lack for swift transportation to known locations.

Prying Eyes. Not as useful as the greater version, but not a bad method of knowing what lies ahead.

Wall of Force. Probably the only Wall worth getting (other than Prismatic). It requires magic to get rid of, so it can be a major stumbling block if placed properly.

Passwall. Doors? We don't need no stinkin' doors.

D: The Prestige: A Compilation of Sorcerous Academies and Specialties

A reference guide to finding alternate paths to sorcerous might

By: Pip Tallowberry, Sorcerer, Abjurant Champion, and Archmage

Now then, it has been requested that someone compile and list the various alternate methods of gaining sorcerous knowledge and power. Seeing as how I have many of the reference books available to me, I have decided to take it upon myself to assay this difficult task.

Before we begin, I would like to point out that I shall only cover the material in the reference books which I have, which is to say PHBII and most of the Completes (Complete Mage, Arcane, Warrior, Divine, Adventurer; Tome of Battle; Heroes of Battle and Heroes of Horror).

Also, let us look carefully at what criteria a Sorcerer should probably use when choosing their specialty:

* It must have a very good spell progression. - What is the point in going through all the trouble to learn additional knowledge when you shirk on your primary arcane might? You are even more hampered here than the Wizard, who gets his 9th level spells first. Except in very rare occasions, any Sorcerer worth the title should plan on trying to get access to 9th level spells at or before level 20. This means you only have 2 levels you can afford to let slip.

* Watch enterance requirements - There's a lot of specialty schools which make their enterance requirements much easier for a Wizard than a mage. For example, the Loremaster requires knowledge of a LOT of different Divinaiton spells. Easy for a Wizard to include in his spellbook, but crippling for a Sorcerer. Also pay particular attention to Feat requirements, as you only get a few of them.

* It must improve your ability to perform your chosen calling - There are a lot of places which teach things that are... less useful for a Sorcerer. The ability to scribe more spells into your spellbook, for instance, is not particularly useful for you.

With these in mind, let us begin with some of the more useful and popular choices:

From Complete Arcane:

Acolyte of the Skin - Half caster progression. For this reason alone, move along. The class abilities are generally not too powerful. Typical, demons promise much, then you find out just how little they really promised.

Alienist - Very creepy, but hey, if that's your thing, it's actually not too bad a choice. Full spellcasting progression, fairly easy entrance requirements. Sure, you loose your sanity in the process, but applying Psudonatural template to everything you summon for free isn't too bad. Get some bonus Metamagic, which is our bread and butter. Upon graduating, you get DR 10/magic, gain the Outsider type, and some Acid Resistance. If you're interested, apply to Miskatonic U. For some reason, they always seem to be taking new students.

Argent Savant - Normally, specialist courses like this spell trouble for Sorcerers, who lack the depth of repertoire to make up the lack elsewhere, but this one actually isn't too bad. You do loose one level of spellcasting, and it's the first level, which does kind of suck. But the truly sucky part of this is trying to qualify with knowing 5 different Force spells. May I direct you to Shield, Mage Armor, and Magic Missiles, all of which are 1st level spells? Force damage is nice, and this will significantly contribute to the damage of your Magic Missiles. Furthermore, it will also increase the defensive value of both Shield and Mage Armor.

Blood Magus - Okay, you loose 2 caster levels, which is painful, but at least you can still get a 9th level spell if you're careful. It requires a couple of worthless feats, which hurts more. The abilities are actually kind of on the weak side, really. Blood Component, hurt yourself to get the Eschew Materials feat. Not too useful. Durable Casting - if you're only getting hit for 5-10 damage a shot, you won't need to worry about making Concentration checks anyways. Staunch - By the time you get this, the odds of landing right in that -1 to -10 area is pretty slim. Things tend to either leave you a greasy stain or miss. Scarification/Blood drought really aren't your cup of tea, you don't know enough spells to make them worth it. Bloodwalk is about the only thing really worth it, but it's still only so-so.

Effigy Master - Not worth it for a Sorcerer. Too many skills required.

Elemental Savant - Oh yea, this one is real popular with the Blasters. Sad thing is, it cripples you. So now you're a blaster, already not as powerful as some of the choices, but you only blast in one element. Ummm... pass.

Fatespinner - Now we're talking. Don't feel bad if you have to drop out before you graduate, everyone else does too. That last level really isn't worth the loss of caster level, but the rest are very useful indeed.

Geometer - It's for Wizards more than us. Too many extra hoops for us to jump through, and the primary benefits are pointless.

Green Star Adept - Turning into a golem, with all the immunities implied, sounds like a good deal, right? But not at the cost of only half casting progression. Before you point out all the immunities again, may I point out the immunity to cure spells? Better hope you can pick up some Repair Damage spells.

Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil - The entrance requirements are very steep, and again Wizards have an easier time qualifying than we do, but it is very much worth it. If you haven't picked up three abujration spells before you hit 8th level, then I am surprised. Shield and Dispel Magic are both 'must have' spells. Pick one random aburation spell, then two of 4th or higher. That probably means you're not entering until 10th level or later. But that's okay, it's only 7 levels anyways, and most of the prerequisite feats also help you apply for Archmage. And oh the cheese...

Mage of the Arcane Order - Yet another case where the entrance requirements favor Wizards over Sorcerers, but this one is so much more worth it for us that it's worth blowing the extra feat to qualify. Pulling any spell out of your hat when you need it is just too handy for the flexability-impaired Sorcerer. And hey, it's not like you're going to have to worry about Spellpool debt, with as many spells per day as you cast.

Master Transmogrifiest - Friends don't let friends do cheese. This is a specialty which focuses on making cheese even cheesier. But does so poorly.

Mindbender - If it wasn't half casting progression, it wouldn't be bad. As it is, don't take more than one level for telepathy.

Wayfarer Guide - Pointless. Grab Teleport, Greater instead.

Wild Mage - Friends don't let friends do Wild Magic. Seriously, this stuff is as likely to hurt you as to help you. Avoid this.

From Complete Adventurer
Only one arcane class here

Daggerspell Mage - Requires at least a one-level dip on another class, and the 1st level doesn't promote casting. This is designed more for the rogue/sorcerers who are more into knifing than tricking.

From Complete Divine
Yea, divine. I guess some Sorcerers 'get religion'. It's generally a bad idea, though, as far as Arcane Might goes.

Rainbow Servant - On first blush, it looks pretty awsome, gain knowledge of all cleric spells! But wait... you just get access to them. You still have to buy them with spells known slots. In other words, it's like Mystic Theurge, with more Suck and fewer spells per day.

Complete Mage
There's some gems here, diamonds in the (very) rough.

Abjurant Champion - At first glance, you might say 'Gish Class, move on', but wait, why is it only for Gish? Okay, it requires a BAB +5, that means you can't enter until after 10th level. So what, it's only a five level PrC anyways. The proficiency in one martial weapon might hurt, although Elves get lucky here. In exchange, you get full casting, full BAB progression, and look at the abilities! First off, your Shield spell gets it's defensive bonus beefed up. How about a +9 to AC from it? Then, at 2nd level, you get to auto-quicken it! Considering how difficult it is for us to be able to quicken ANYTHING, this is GOLD. You can also beef up AC or saves or elemental resistance on the fly if something is about to do something nasty to you. The D10 Hit Die doesn't hurt either.

Holy Scourge - Hey, you can blast for a little more damage against specific things! In exchange, you loose a caster level and you get the Paladin stick-up-your-ass class ability! Ummm... pass.

Nightmare Spinner - Oh, now here is some potential. You loose a spell level, but not bad class abilities. One extra spell cast per level per day, but it has to be Illusion. Oh boo hoo, I get to be able to cast Mirror Image more times per day. Immunity to Fear, because Fear sucks. Inspire Fear, again, because Fear sucks. Later on, this gets situational as you run into more things immune to mind-affecting, but hey, this isn't bad for shutting things down.

Unseen Seer - Like Arcane Trickster, but with a different flavor. Don't bother, it does increase your CL for Divination, but dumps the rest by an equal amount. Plus, it requires a crapton of skills, requiring multiple levels of Rogue to qualify. Good for a rogue/sorcerer build, but not for a straight Sorcerer.

Complete Warrior
Only two in here are Rage Mage, and Spellsword. Both are for Gishes, which we won't go into here.

One PrC from Sandstorm merits mention, the Sand Shaper. It's has some interesting and useful abilities, and only costs 2 caster levels in the long run.

Taking a single level in this class gives the Desert Insight class feature, which adds a ton of spells to your spells known, covering a variety of uses, including utility, blasting, summoning, and save-or-die spells.


Fiend Blooded (HoH): 9/10 casting, but the lost level is the final one. Boosts stats, gives extra spells, and some nice abilities. It requires two so so feats and Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks. Sorcerers don't have Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill, but all their example characters are Sorcerer 6/Fiend-Blood X for some reason.

Ruathar (RotW): Easy to qualify for by level 6 (earlier if using tricks). Gives all knowledge skills and 4 skill points/level for 3 levels.

War Weaver (HoB): 4/5 casting. Buffing is good.

Dracolexi (RotD): 9/10 casting, but decent abilities.

Incantatrix (PGtF): Great for metamagic.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 10:01:50 PM by Solo » Logged

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 03:14:20 AM »

E: Esoteric Arcana: Additional Spelling Tips for the Non-Core Sorcerer

Good non-core spells:

Non-core spells have also been covered in TLN's guide, but here are some that weren't, as they apply more to sorcerers than wizards.

Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, level 9 (SpC)

Disintegrate on steroids. I hope you have been practicing your evil laughter. It's all about standards, folks.

Maw of Chaos, level 9 (SpC)

An AOE damage spell that deals 1d6/caster level force damage and disrupts concentration. Crazy good.

Reaving Dispel, level 9 (SpC)

All your buffs are belong to me!

Warning: use Greater Arcane Sight to make sure you don't slap a Dominate Person on yourself by accident.

Superior Invisibility, level 8 (SpC)

Superior Invisibility is superior.

Greater Arcane Fusion, level 8
and Arcane Fusion, level 5 (CM)

Two lower level spells for the price of one higher level spell slot? Sign me up!

Arcane Spellsurge, level 7 (DM)

It makes your spells spells take one less round to cast, turning full-round spells into standard actions, and standard actions into swift actions. It is itself a swift action to cast (for Dragonblood casters), and lasts for one round per level.

So what if sorcerer's can't use Quicken by default? Arcane Fusion and Arcane Spellsurge are all that you should ever need.

Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion, level 6 (OotS)

A mean and prickly Evocation [Force] spell that grapples enemies and deals 4d6 piercing damage to them per round.

Chimeras affected by this spell must make a Will save to avoid becoming panicked, due to the fact that they are not comfortable being grappled down there.

Assay Spell Resistance, level 4 (CAr)

Swift action, +10 to CLC against SR. When combined with Spell power, Ioun Stones, and/or the Spell Penetration feats, this means you can tell creatures with SR to go suck it. Having all of those is probably overkill, though.

Orb of Force, level 4 (CAr)

A Conjuration ranged touch attack spell that deals 10d6 Force Damage. Suck it, virtually every monster created, you are taking damage. The other Orb spells are quite good also.

Rune Delver's Fortune, level 4 (SpC)

A wonderful spell that helps you get lucky.

As an immediate action, you get to make yourself immune to certain things and gain a bonus equal to your Charisma modifier on one saving throw, or temporary HP. Immunities linked to saving throw chosen.

Wings of Flurry, level 4 (DM)

An Evocation area of effect force damage spell that also dazes enemies who fail their reflex save. It's uncapped for caster level-based damage.

Celerity, level 4 (SpC)

Strike first, strike fast.

Defenestrating Sphere, level 4 (SpC)

A sphere of air knocks enemies prone and hurls them upward for subsequent falling damage. If windows are nearby, the Defenestrating Sphere can be counted on to take out the trash.

Damn you WotC for making me dislike Evocation less.

Thunderlance, level 4 (SpC)

A force weapon that can be wielded in either 1 or 2 hands, with 5 to 20 foot reach in any case, subject to your desire. It will initiate a dispel attempt if it hits a force effect such as Mage Armor, and uses your Charisma instead of Strength for determining attack and damage. Pretty good for a gish.

Great Thunderclap, level 3 (SpC)

Why target one save when you can target all of them?

Melf's Unicorn Arrow, level 3 (PHB2)

Best blasting spell ever. A Conjuration spell, ranged touch attack, that deals untyped damage, and bull rushes your opposition. What more could you ask for?

Shivering Touch, level 3, (Frostburn)

It's not a death ray or an ice beam, that's so Johnny Snow.

Wings of Cover, level 2 (DM)

Grants total cover to you as an immediate action. Suck it, Dread Wraiths who can attack only once per round.

Cloud of Knives, level 2 (PHBII)

Useful when it becomes clear that the only way to save a situation is through rampant and unchecked stabbing. Probably best for roguish sorcerers.

Whirling Blade, level 2 (SpC)

Make a 60 ft line attack within medium range as a regular melee attack, only using your Charisma instead of Strength? Fun spell, particularly for gishes.

Nerveskitter, level 1 (SpC)

+5 to Initiative as an immediate action is great.

True Casting, level 1 (SpC)

A lesser version of Assay Spell Resistance, this gives +10 to CL checks to overcome SR as a standard action.

Fist of Stone

+6 to Strength for purposes of calculating attack, plus a slam attack? Good gish spell.

Useful non-core feats:

Reserves of Strength (Dragonlance): This removes any and all level imposed caps on your spell and gives you a boost of 1-3 on your caster level for the spell (your choice) in exchange for you being stunned for the same amount of rounds. If you are immune to stun, you take 5d6 damage. This is not a metamagic feat. This is stupid. Very, very stupid.

Versatile Spellcaster (DM): Trade two spell slots of N level to cast one spell of N+1 level.

Sherem-Lar Sorcery, and Sherezem-Lar Sorcery: These two feats from Ghostwalk are effectively the pre-nerfed versions Spellcaster Prodigy feat, except they stack with each other. Effectively, your Cha score is increased by 4 for the purposes of spell save DC and bonus spells/day. The only restrictions are that you have to be a female noble to take them, and that Sherem-Lar Sorcery is a pre-requisite for Sherezem-Lar Sorcery. Methinks Fatespinner would appreciate them.

Rapid Metamagic: If you do not use the metamagic specialist ACF described below, you should pick up this feat.

Alternate Class Features

The only ACF you will ever have to concern yourself with as a sorcerer is the Metamagic Specialist ACF found in the PHB2 that allows you to trade your familiar away for the ability to use metamagic without the time increase penalty. I would say it allows you to do so INT mod + 3 times per day, but that might get me into legal trouble.

The need for this ACF is lessened somewhat if you have taken Arcane Preparation in preparation for Mage of the Arcane Order, or have access to Arcane Spellsurge, but it is still better than having an XP drain on legs around on your person.

F: Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorcerous Shopping List
-With help from Shneeky the Lost

Core Equipment:

Buy scrolls of spells you'll use occasionally. Plane Shift, for example. All spells that I have noted are better cast by wizards fall into scroll territory.


Buy wands of spells you'll use a lot, but don't want to waste spells known on.

Make sure the spells in your wands are not Save or X spells, nor rely heavily on a high caster level for effectiveness.


Of course, any Sorcerer worth the title knows his limited spell list means he needs an extra supply of scrolls and wands to make up his lack of knowledge. Here's a few wands I've found useful...

* First off, recall the disadvantage of wands: it uses a base caster level rather than yours, and can only be up to 4th level spells.

* Second, the DC's do *NOT* take into account your primary casting stat. So don't bother with Save or Screwed spells, they'll never land.

* It has 50 charges, so only wand it if you plan on doing it a LOT, otherwise just grab a couple of scrolls.

With this in mind, you don't want wands that have a lot of level-dependent stuff. That means, unfortunately, a lot of your 'blaster' spells. However, there are some very useful utility spells to pick up as wands:

Grease. No level-dependent effects, and no SR to worry about. Flat DC balance check. It's always good for a few laughs. If you don't know it, DO wand it.

Summon Monster I. Surprisingly handy utility. Use it to trip traps, walk into dubious areas wherein you suspect might be hazardous, to experiment with unknown substances...

Ray of Enfeeblement. Handy at low levels, not so much at higher levels. No save, and not much in the way of level-dependent stuff. If you like using it a lot, wand it.

Expeditious Retreat. What you do when something does close with you. At least until you can afford Dimension Door.

Knock. Wand this, because caster level is irrelevant. And you never know when your skillmonkey isn't skilled enough.

Glitterdust. If you don't learn it, wand it. It points out invisible things.

Web. Good battlefield control, has a use even if they make the save.

Mirror Image. Really, you should have this as a Known spell, so you shouldn't need to wand it. If, for some reason, you decide to NOT pick it up, Wand it, and smack yourself in the head for not learning it.

[Animal]'s [Attribute]. If your party wants buffing, ask them to buy you the wands. This makes them think twice about calling you a worthless buff-bot.

Rope Trick. It would be expensive to get it as cast by an 8th level caster (12,000 by my calculations), but hey, that's an awful lot of adventuring days you don't need to worry about being ambushed.

Silence. Use it in the area effect version that doesn't allow save. Follow up with a method of keeping them in the area. Nerfs opponent casters.


Ring of Sustenance: Valuable for letting you be awake 22/7.

Ring of Protection: Better at lower levels. Decent investment until something better comes along.

Ring of Spell Turning:Good for defense against other casters.

Ring of Freedom of Movement: Now you have even less reason to fear grappling monks.

Ring of X Ray Vision: These ave applications not appreciated by people who do not ware lead lined clothing.

Rings of Wizardry: The level 4 version is capable of double your fourth level spell slots. Fourth level spells are awesome. Do the math.

A Mithral Buckler of Heavy Fortification may be useful.


Rod of Absorption - Absorb spells, and use the energy to cast more spells. A good buy.

Rod of Cancellation - Crafted by Fox News, this rod is a one shot affair that Disjunctions any magic item it touches. Might be useful.

Immovable Rod - As with the Decanter of Endless Water, this is a fun item with many uses. Everyone loves an Immovable Rod!

Rod of Lordly Might - Useful in the best pickup line ever.

Rod of Wonder - Almost as dangerous to you as it is to your enemies.

Metamagic Rods:

Core sorcerers cannot use Quicken Spell, but a Rod of Maximize really helps out with Enervations. Widen Spell, Enlarge Spell, and other minor metamagic feats are can be had as Rods, but aren't necessarily worth it.

Then again, Disintegrating someone from over 800 feet away can be rather nice....

Wondrous Items:

Bracers of Armor: Better than Mage Armor, but it won't stack with your Chain Shirt of OMGWTFBBQness.

Decanter of Endless Water: It won't improve your casting per se, but it is always a fun item to have, and will foil your DM's plotting with a bit of ingenuity and a knowledge of fluid physics. (Hint: Pressure= Density*acceleration due to gravity*depth)

Handy Haversack, Bag of Holding: These types of things make up for a Sorcerer's lack of carrying capacity.

Hand of Glory: Ah, the Hand of Glory. Insert a candle and it gives light only to the holder! Best friend of thieves and plunderers! Your have fine taste, sir.

The best part is that it allows you to add an extra ring slot. A bargain for everyone who likes rings; normally, you'd have to either use an epic feat to free up some ring space or... get creative down under.

Ehlonna's Quiver (Efficent Quiver). Surprisingly useful. What, you don't use bows and arrows? No, but a Wand is the same size as an arrow, so you can carry all your wands around with easy access. Rods go in the Javelin slot, and Staves go in the Bow slot.

Glove of Storing. If you're not getting the Dexterity, this can be used to always make sure you've got a wand on-hand. (Note to self: Stab Shneeky to death for pun.)

Cloak of Charisma/Gloves of Dexterity/Amulet of Health: Use is obvious

Cloak of Etherealness: Good item if you don't have the spell, but if you want to use it, you have to give up the Cloak of Charisma.

Cloak of Resistance: Good for making sure you don't die as easily, but same problem as above.

Ioun Stones: the Orange Ioun stone increases your caster level by +1, for a hefty price. Get it.

The ones that absorb spells are also pretty useful. Grab as many as you want and proceed to give children you meet astronomy lessons.

Marvelous Pigments: Paint your way out of trouble! Finally, Art majors can do something useful. (warning: For the sake of your sanity and mine, keep these the hell away from Dalai, Picasso, Gaugan, and anyone associated with them.)

Robe of the Archmagi: The armor, caster level check and resistance bonuses are nice. The SR will be ineffectual at the level you get it, unless you go around beating up lesser casters a lot.

Scarab of Protection: Gives SR 20 and absorbs 12 negative energy attacks before disintegrating. Not a bad way to avoid a Finger of Death to the face.

Gem of True Seeing: Replaces the need to know a high level spell for a modest sum of GP. The gem works for 30 minutes per day, which is more than you get out of the spell. If you go out of core, the Hathran Mask of True Seeing (OA) does it all day for the same price.

Tome of X: Increases X stat by 1-5 points. You know which one to increase.

Cursed Items: Buy these, give them to your enemies.

Non-Core Equipment:


The Twilight Mithral Feycraft OMGTWFBBQ Chain Shirt of Heavy Fortification, if you so desire.

It is a pain to write on our character sheet, but it is a chain shirt that is wearable, and give you immunity to critical hits and sneak attack.

It is a great thing to have... but does it make anyone else feel dirty to own a piece of equipment whose name is longer than that of several real world countries combined?

Wondrous Items:

Knowstones (Dragon): Carry one for 24 hours and you can cast teh spell it carries.

Runestaves (MiC): Spend spell slots to cast spells from the Runestaves a few times per day. Fun.

Hewards's Fortifying Bedroll (MIC): Regain spells after sleeping 1 hour. A character can only benefit from this ability 1/3 days. Good buy.

Anklets of Translocation: 2/day teleportation 10 feet as a swift action for 1,400 gp.

Circlet of Rapid Casting: 3 charges which can be used to quickly cast 4th level or lower level spells for 15,000 gp.

Magefist Gauntlets:
Defense: 24 to 25 (varies) (Base Defense: 9 to 11)
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
Durability: 18
+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage


Ring of Arcane Might: Boosts CL by 1. Sure, why not?

Ring of Theurgy: Better and cheaper than a Ring of Spell Storing.

Stone of Jordan: +1 to all skills, increases maximum mana by 25%, +20 to mana, and adds 1-12 lightning damage.

Cursed Items:

Buy these, give them to your enemies.

The cursed -2 sword is an interesting buy, as it means you can never be disarmed, even if captured and shackled to a wall.

H: Power! Unlimited POWER!

Ways of beating the system
8 Simple Rules for Selecting Sorcerer Spells
That Damn Sorcerous Kobold: The Netkobolitan Menace
The Mailman: A Direct Damage Sorcerer

Misc tips:
- Shapechange: Fiend Folio introduces a monster called Zodar that has Wish once per year as a supernatural ability, which means the Wish costs no XP. Fiendish Codex I introduces the Chronotyryn, which get two full round actions per round as an extraordinary ability due to having two heads. The Monster Manuel has the Choker, which can take an extra standard or move action each round.
- Limited Wish can duplicate any sorcerer/wizard spell of 6th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you, or duplicate any other spell of 5th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you. This includes such useful gems as the cleric version of Plane Shift (5th), the psion power Psychic Reformation (4th), and the paladin spell Favor of the Martyr (4th). Just watch your XP, the cost per casting will add up.
- Speaking of Psychic Reformation, it on those spells Sand Shaper gives you. This works because Sand Shaper is awesome and if you don't think so you're stupid.
- Have you tried combining Arcane Spellsurge and the Metamagic Specialist ACF? You can have a full round metamagic'd spell cast as a standard action with Spellsurge, followed up by using the Metamagic Specialist ACF to reduce another metamagic'd spell to a standard action, which is further reduced to a swift action under Spellsurge conditions.
- Improved Familiar can get you an Imp if you're alignment is in the region of Lawful Evil. Imps can cast Commune once a week for six questions, have a few other useful SLA's, and can UMD wands if you put ranks into the skill.
-Use Invisible spell to make the effects of your spells (fogs, summoned monsters) invisible. It's one of the best +0 metamagic feats you'll find.
- Tack on Fell Drain Spell and/or Fell Weaken Spell to you Magic Missiles and auto-inflict debuffs on your enemies.
- Use Sanctum Spell to qualify for prestige classes early and Arcane Thesis abuse.
- Sorcerer 4/Rainbow Servant 10/Dweomerkeeper 6. Think about it. What can you do with access to the entire cleric spell list as spells known plus Limited Wish without the XP cost?

Determining spells per day off of a really high score:

Step 1: Determine ability score (N)
Step 2: Minus ten, then divide by two ([N-10]/2)
Step 3: Round down to the nearest integer, then determine the ability score modifier (M)
Step 4: ([M-Spell Level]/4)+1) = Spell Level's bonus slots
Step 5: Confused
Step 6: Profit

I: Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts

Skill tricks: the hottest thing on the block since the great Hadokening of '187.

Conceal Spellcasting: It conceals your spellcasting. Useful in a crowd.

False Theurgy: Fun for misdirecting others, plus it is easier to qualify for compared to Conceal Spellcasting

Collector of Stories: +5 to identifying monsters is always handy.

Swift Concentration: Maintaining concentration on a spell as a swift action is handy if you're into that kind of thing. Leaves you more room for casting spells.

You really should qualify for all of these skill tricks just by being a sorcerer and putting skill points in your class skills. Failiure to do so is failure.

J: Fanservice

K: Homebrew
Solo's Stupendously Superior Sorcerer

L: Builds

James Solomon Ozymandias
Sorcerer 18/Archmage 2

Feats: Spell Focus: Conjuration, Spell Focus: Transmutation, Skill Focus: Spellcraft, Heighten Spell, Empower Spell, Augment Summoning, Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration.

1: Grease, Ray of Enfeeblement, Magic Missile, Shield, Unseen Servant
2: Glitterdust, Web, Resist Energy, Mirror Image, Rope Trick
3: Stinking Cloud, Fly, Magic Circle Against Evil, Slow
4: Greater Invisibility, Resilient Sphere, Enervation, Dimension Anchor
5: Wall of Stone, Telekinesis, Teleport, Contact Other Plane
6: Greater Dispel Magic, Contingency, Disintegrate
7: Limited Wish, Plane Shift, Summon Monster 7
8: Polymorph Any Object, Greater Planar Binding, Mind Blank
9: Shapechange, Time Stop, Foresight

Sorcerer 20

Feats: Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Heighten Spell, Empower Spell, Improved Familiar: Imp, Silent Spell, Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration

1: Grease, Magic Missile, True Strike, Shield, Ray of Enfeeblement
2: Glitterdust, Web, Mirror Image, Resist Energy, Rope Trick
3: Fly, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Sleet Storm
4: Enervation, Greater Invisibility, Resilient Sphere, Dimension Door
5: Teleport, Telekinesis, Wall of Stone, Baleful Polymorph
6: Greater Dispel Magic, Contingency, Disintegrate
7: Summon Monster 7, Plane Shift, Limited Wish
8: Mind Blank, Moment of Prescience, Maze
9: Time Stop, Foresight, Prismatic Sphere

Sorcerer 5/Mindbender 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 10/Fatespinner 4

Divine Companion ACF

Feats: Able Learner, Arcane Preparation, Co-Operative Metamagic, Silent Spell, Mindsight, Sculpt Spell, Empower Spell, Fell Drain Spell, Ocular Spell, Chain Spell

Spells: Grease, Magic Missile, Charm Person, True Strike, Ray of Clumsiness,
2: Glitterdust, Wings of Cover, Dimension Hop, Mirror Image, Heroics
3: Fly, Sleet Storm, Alter Fortune, Protection from Energy
4: Ruin Delver's Fortune, Defenestrating Sphere, Wings of Flurry, Celerity
5: Arcane Fusion, Wall of Stone, Greater Blink, Telekinesis
6: Greater Dispel Magic, Disintegrate, Superior Resistance
7: Limited Wish, Arcane Spellsurge, Greater Arcane Sight
8: Mind Blank, Superior Invisibility, Greater Arcane Fusion
9: Timestop, Shapechange, Foresight

B.M. Evilwizardington
Sorcerer 5/Incantatrix10/Spellguard of Silverymoon 5

Metamagic Specialist ACF

Feats: Invisible Spell, Combat Casting, Sanctum Spell, Energy Substitution: Cold, Searing Spell, Iron Will (obtained from Oytgh Hole), Piercing Cold +1, Arcane Thesis: Orb of Fire, Energy Admixture, Empower Spell, Twin Spell, Extend Spell, Persist Spell, Fell Drain Spell, Maximize Spell

1: Magic Missile, Ray of Clumsiness, Grease, True Strike, Nerveskitter
2: Glitterdust, Dimension Hop, Wings of Cover, See Invisibility, Mirror Image
3: Fly, Alter Fortune, Sleet Storm, Protection from Energy
4: Orb of Fire, Ruin Delver's Fortune, Celerity, Wings of Flurry
5: Telekinesis, Greater Blink, Wall of Stone, Teleport
6: Greater Dispel Magic, Disintegrate, Contingency
7: Limited Wish, Arcane Spellsurge, Plane Shift
8: Mind Blank, Moment of Prescience, Greater Arcane Fusion
9: Shapechange, Timestop, Foresight


Sorcerer 6/Ruathar 3/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 7/Fatespinner 4

Sorcerer 4/Ruathar 3/ Fiend Blooded 9/Fatespinner 4

Sorcerer5/Mindbender1/Dread Witch5/Nightmare Spinner5/Fatespinner4
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 03:24:18 PM by Solo » Logged

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
Posts: 89

« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 06:26:20 PM »

This is one of the best Handbooks I have ead not only highly informative, but highly entertaining also.  Kudos on the quality work sir.   Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap
Bi-Curious George
Posts: 459

« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 04:30:40 PM »

The awesome is more than worth the effort you put into this. Solid stint, Solo!
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 02:27:06 AM »

Soon, I shall have enough worshipers to ascend to divinity.

Keep reading, you insipid mortals!

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Man in Gorilla Suit
Posts: 2171

« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 02:07:11 AM »

I request a link in your post to my NeKobolitan, explaining how to exploit sorcery!

Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 05:23:10 PM »

That Damn Sorcerous Kobold: The Netkobolitan Menace added.

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Organ Grinder
Posts: 8780

Simulated Thing

« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2008, 12:47:09 PM »

Mindbender (and I'm talking about the entire level of it) is great.  I don't see what the problem is.

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 05:20:49 AM »

There are other levels?


"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Organ Grinder
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Simulated Thing

« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2008, 10:39:52 PM »

If I may also add, I believe that Cityscape's Invisible spell is also quite useful.  As a +0 adjustment, it can be used on any of your spells without much trouble, and nothing sends quite the same special "screw you" message to truesight as invisible obscuring mist.

« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 10:09:04 AM by The_Mad_Linguist » Logged

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My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2008, 09:57:00 AM »

Mr. Solo, set your eyes on Heroes of Horror (Star Trek pun only slightly intended).

The PrC Fiend-Blood to be precise.
Sure, it requires one crappy feat and one somewhat useful feat sometimes, but:
*It's 9/10 casting, but the lost level is the final one, making you loose nothing if you want to skip it.
*Boosting your stats, +1 to 4 different stats is nothing to sneeze at.
*Giving extra spells... sure they have to be evocation, illusion or necromancy but that's really not a bad thing.
*Other nice abilities

Note however that WotC made a craptacular job of proof-reading this.
It requires Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks....
Sorcerers don't have Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill... making it not avaible until after level 16...
However, their example characters are all Sorcerer 6/Fiend-Blood X....
So, any sane DM would adjust this to 3 ranks, or make (the Planes) a class skill.

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I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.

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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2008, 10:25:41 AM »

Isn't there a variant somewhere that gets Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill?
Maybe in the Planar Handbook.

Other than that, spend a feat on Educated I guess...

"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

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You caught a fish.  It was awesome.  
Organ Grinder
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Simulated Thing

« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 01:47:07 PM »

Isn't there a variant somewhere that gets Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill?
Maybe in the Planar Handbook.

Other than that, spend a feat on Educated I guess...

I'm a little fuzzy... does Knowledge Devotion net you class skills?

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
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Organ Grinder
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2008, 01:55:11 PM »

Isn't there a variant somewhere that gets Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill?
Maybe in the Planar Handbook.

Other than that, spend a feat on Educated I guess...

I'm a little fuzzy... does Knowledge Devotion net you class skills?

It's all about vision and making reality conform to your vision. By dropping a fucking house on it.

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Organ Grinder
Posts: 5337

Walking that fine line between genius and insanity

« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2008, 02:10:55 PM »

I believe it lets you pick 1 Knowledge skill as a class skill...


"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

Quote from: J0lt
You caught a fish.  It was awesome.  
Organ Grinder
Posts: 2684

Solo the Sorcelator, at your service

« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2009, 10:22:51 AM »

Updated with skill tricks, a few new spells, ACFs, and some minor edits

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.
Organ Grinder
Posts: 8780

Simulated Thing

« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 10:38:27 PM »

Power word - pain is a very nice first level spell... you can trade it out later, but it's absolutely deadly at low levels.

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.
Monkey bussiness
Posts: 5

« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2009, 02:30:29 PM »

I lol'd at the Diablo 2.
Posts: 1

« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2009, 05:51:10 AM »

Hi there,

Is a two-level dip into paladin for Divine Grace worth it for the sorcerer?  The downside is slower spell progression (and maybe burning a feat on Practiced Spellcaster), the upside is ridiculous saving throws rather earlier than high-level spells. 

Associated Q's

1. If taking this dip is worth it, when is a good time to do so?  Levels 2 and 3 to get it over with?  Maybe 5 and 8 to get 2nd and 3rd-level spells first?
2. I'm not really fond of casting shield first thing in combat, would wearing a mithril buckler be better than using the 1st combat round on a defensive buff?  Even if it wasn't a +3 mithril buckler yet?

I just found this forum from the wreckage of the old Wizards 3.5 CO forum.  Nice job guys!
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