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ALOTH, M ELF WIZARD
Why He's Included and How to Use Him
In terms of roleplaying, Aloth's destiny can be played towards good or evil. In this instance, I have him usurp control over the nefarious Leaden Key organization from Thaos.
He is my main damage-caster, crowd-controller and enemy debuffer. It is possible to have a Wizard become a viable warrior through spells like Llengrath's Siphoning Image and Citzal's Martial Power and such, but I prefer to use him in the other three roles.
A lot of battles can won outright with Aloth using Eldritch Aim as a primer for the Pull of Eora spell, which keeps enemies rooted in place. That in turn allows him to bombard the enemy with spells like Chill Fog, Malignant Cloud, Chain Lightning and Wilting Wind.
Aloth is actually a passable damage caster if you give him hefty Might bonuses that stack from both his weapon slot and another item slot. He won't be as good as a Watcher Wizard that has his or her Might pumped up during character creation, but he still sufficed for my purposes.
He also has spells like Call to Slumber and Gaze of the Adragan that can incapacitate or debuff enemies.
Lastly, he's also the only member of the evil party that has a bonus to Mechanics, so he becomes the lock-opener and trap-disarmer pretty much by default.
He can be recruited at #9 in Gilded Vale.
Athletics: This skill is important for any character on harder settings, even squishy spellcasters. It helps any character go longer without fatigue or exhaustion between camping, which is especially crucial during the Hard or Path of the Damned settings. It also provides bonus Health and Endurance.
Mechanics: Aloth is the only member of the evil party whose character class provides a bonus to this skill. So I pretty much have to make Aloth the trap disarmer and locksmith by default.
2nd Level - Marksman: Provides an Accuracy bonus to whenever Aloth attacks his enemies at a distance with his scepter, which is a lot of the time.
4th Level - Blast: Pretty much obligatory for any Wizard who attacks at a distance with a magical implement. This talent in particular augments the use of the Kalakoth's Minor Blights spell (see below).
6th Level - Penetrating Blast: It provides a +5 Damage Reduction Bypass for his Blast Talent. That would be meaningful enough when he uses his usual Scepter, but it also makes his use of Kalakoth's Minor Blights that much more effective.
8th Level - Secrets of Rime: I begin to take this line of talents not just to augment the damage from Aloth's offensive spells, but also to augment his damage when he uses Kalakoth's Minor Blights. It is sensible to take the Freezing damage talent at this point, since Aloth still makes frequent use of Chill Fog. There will be other offensive spells too like Ninagauth's Shadowflame.
10th Level - Scion of Flame: It will augment his use of Fireball when he uses it, as well as Kalakoth's Minor Blights.
12th Level - Spirit of Decay: Now is a good time to get this talent as he will have just learned the Death's Ring spell.
14th Level - Heart of the Storm: Now is a good time to get this talent as he will have recently learned the Chain Lightning spell.
16th Level - Dangerous Implements: It is a modal ability whereby Aloth will increase his damage with either his scepter, or his Minor Blights, by 25%. The drawback is having to take 3 Raw Damage each attack.
9th Level - Eldritch Aim: Aloth will have the option of using this for free whenever he encounters a fight where he needs to start off with crowd-control (e.g. Call to Slumber, Pull of Eora) and therefore would welcome the boost to his Accuracy.
11th Level - Merciless Gaze: Can be used every fight to both ramp up the damage of his offensive spells, and also the damage from Kalakoth's Minor Blights.
13th Level - Kalakoth's Minor Blights: It's really an easy choice. During long treks through dungeons where careful use of spells may be required, Aloth can simply choose to use both Kalakoth's Minor Blights and Merciless Gaze together every fight and then bombs away.
15th Level - Essential Phantom: He can now, every fight, summon a lightning cannon that can fire away on its enemies from a distance.
Abydon's Hammer: A reward for The Rising Tide quest. The hammer, despite all the buildup and cool-sounding abilities, is actually not that great of a melee weapon. You can't 'Durganize' it to increase its attack speed, nor does it have much of anything in the way of 'on hit' effects. What it does have going for it is that its +4 Might will stack with the +4 Might bonus from the Maegfolc Skull. The hammer is actually an ideal weapon for a damage-caster for that reason. Granted, Aloth doesn't have the greatest stats to be an optimized damage caster. But he does well enough, and the idea certainly commends itself if you wanted a Might-maximized damage caster for your own Watcher build. The stun all enemies within 4m once per encounter power is sugar on top, and may come in handy during some battles.
Gyrd Haweanes Stenes: A reward for the task called A Call to Court. A Soulbound Scepter that once upgraded will have a very high Accuracy bonus (+21) and a 10% chance of Dominating its target on a Hit or Critical Hit. It will serve as Aloth's default weapon, and it's a sound choice since its Dominate power will often sow chaos amongst my foes. However, keep in mind that I prefer other weapons for other situations. I prefer Kalakoth's Minor Blights when I want Aloth to crank out damage during a lengthy battle. I prefer to have Abydon's Hammer equipped when I want him to use higher-level offensive spells. Still, the scepter provides a good option either by default or in some battles where I may want to take advantage of the Dominate power.
Maegfolc Skull Looted from Roedwith after pursuing the bounty on her. The obvious benefit is the +4 bonus to Might, which will soon stack with the +4 Might bonus provided by Abydon's Hammer. Despite the fact this Might score isn't great to begin with, Aloth is not bad as a damage caster. And he becomes quite good at it through this combination.
Cape of the Master Mystic Looted from Laenric after pursuing the bounty on him. The +12 bonus to Deflection will stack with the Deflection bonus provided by the Llengrath's Safeguard spell. The Invisibility power is quite meaningful for a Wizard like Aloth, since he is more physically vulnerable. Should he get struck with a Critical Hit, the Invisibility power provides an escape route and an opportunity to reposition him away from the thick of things.
Aloth's Leather Armor: Already part of his starting equipment. It is the only armor that provides a +10% bonus to area of effect, and that in turn frees up his ring slots for rings that provide bonus spells. I add the following enchantments: Legendary (+8 Damage Reduction), +2 Intellect, Corrode-Proofed (+3 Corrosive Damage Reduction), and Durgan Iron. The last enchantment is to reduce his Armor Speed Penalty, and thus increase the speed with which he casts spells in succession.
Gauntlets of Swift Action: Obtained as a random item from the "Endless Paths - 12th Vithrack" section of the Random Drop List. The obvious benefit is that it helps him cast his spells faster, especially when he needs to protect himself with multiple buffs in a flash. It also helps him attack faster with either his scepter or his Kalakoth's Minor Blights.
Telda's Ring: Purchased from Lora at #25 in Copperlane. It provides 2 bonus 2nd-level Wizard spells, and a bonus 4th-level Wizard spell. In a game setting where I have less Camping Supplies, more bonus spells for a Wizard is a good thing. In fact, my entire set up for Aloth is to free up his ring slots for rings that provide bonus spells.
Ring of the Selonan: Looted from a dead body at #4 in the Pearlwood Bluff Cave. It provides 2 bonus 1st-level Wizard spells, and 2 bonus 3rd-level Wizard spells. I wear it for the same reasons as for Telda's Ring.
Belt of the Stelgaer: Purchased from Cartugo at #22 in Ondra's Gift. It increases his Dexterity by +2, and thereby allows him to cast spells and attack with projectiles faster. And it also means that his Dexterity bonus comes from a source other than his ring slots. The -33% Knockdown reduction time is sugar on top.
Malina's Boots: Purchased from the merchant named Azzuro. Keep in mind that none of the boots available in the game are anything close to game breaking, so I find what utility I can in them. Aloth is always pretty vulnerable whenever enemies get close to him, and more so should he get Stunned or knocked Prone. I figure the Boots should keep him relatively safer in such situations.