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HOF sorcerer spell grades (Updated! Includes all spells now.)

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by JT, Aug 20, 2005.

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    I've graded the sorcerer spells according to my opinion of their utility in HOF mode. Each grade is relative to other sorcerer spells of the same level. Comments and criticism are welcome; don't be afraid to hurt my feelings.


    A: You will cast this spell often. Every sorcerer should learn it.
    B: Won't be cast as often as an A spell, but good enough that every sorcerer should have it.
    C: Occasionally useful; you only need one sorcerer to learn it.
    D: Bad. Don't get it.
    F: Exceptionally bad.
    -: I don't know enough about this spell to rank it -- please help!


    Code:
    ---Level One Spells---
    
    Burning Hands......... [D] Can be used to finish trolls, but there are many ways to get fire damage without wasting a spell slot.
    Charm Person.......... [A] Will save-or-die against humanoids
    Chill Touch........... [F]
    Chromatic Orb......... [A] Reflex save-or-die
    Color Spray........... [-] I honestly have never tried this spell, but it seems it should be a D because the area is limited and it only works for one round.
    Grease................ [-] Never tried this one either.  The area is so tiny.  Seems like an F compared to Chromatic Orb.
    Ice Dagger............ [F]
    Identify.............. [C] But with enough skill points it becomes useless.
    Larloch's Minor Drain. [F]
    Mage Armor............ [F] Not enough AC to matter in HOF.
    Magic Missile......... [F] The enemy doesn't cast Mirror Image enough to make this useful.
    Minor Mirror Image.... Obviously a lot worse than Mirror Image, but we are comparing to other level one spells, and most of them aren't worth learning; this one is.
    Protection From Evil.. If you don't use Gate, this drops to a C or D.
    Protection from Petrif [-] I suspect this is a F.
    Ray of Enfeeblement... [F] If the monster fails a Fort save, it gets -5 to hit and damage.  Big deal.
    Shield................ [-] Seems useless.
    Shocking Grasp........ [F]
    Sleep................. [F]
    Summon Monster I...... [D] Pretty good in the Prologue. Quickly becomes useless.
    Aganazzar's Scorcher.. [F]
    
    
    ---Level Two Spells---
    
    Blindness............. [D] A waste of time for my spellcaster, and a waste of a spell slot compared to Mirror Image.
    Blur.................. [D] In my experience, this won't kick in while you still have Mirror Images active.  If I'm wrong, the grade jumps up to a B.
    Bull's Strength....... [-]
    Cat's Grace........... [-]
    Deafness.............. [F]
    Death Armor........... [-] Please don't mention using this with ORS.
    Decastave............. [F]
    Eagle's Splendor...... [C] Higher spell DCs are always nice.
    Gedlee's Electric Loop [-] I read that the stunning effect is useful, but it still seems like a D.
    Ghoul Touch........... [F]
    Horror................ [F] Short duration, doesn't do much, easier to save vs.
    Invisibility.......... [A] Great with summons and for scouting.
    Knock................. [C]
    Luck.................. [C] Duration is too short.
    Melf's Acid Arrow..... [F]
    Minor Elemental Barrie [F]
    Mirror Image.......... [A]
    Power Word: Sleep..... [F] Single target, short duration, weak effect
    Protection from Arrows [D] This was good through Chapter One, but later missile damage becomes too great.
    See Invisibility...... [-] I've never met any invisible creatures.
    Snilloc's Snowball Swa [F]
    Summon Monster II..... [F] If you want a decoy, use the level 1 version.
    Vocalize.............. [F] Silence just almost never happens.
    Web...................
    Blink................. [F] 20% spell fail rate? No thanks.
    
    
    ---Level Three Spells---
    
    Dire Charm............ [-] Like Charm person, but Hold Person seems better because it can hit more than one person.
    Dispel Magic..........
    Fireball.............. [D] Just not enough damage for HoF
    Flame Arrow........... [-] I'm going to rank this an F unless someone suggests otherwise.
    Ghost Armor........... [C] If you aren't making a 72AC "decoy", this is an F.
    Haste................. [A]
    Hold Person........... [C] Will save-or-die against humanoids, but only hits d4 guys.
    Icelance.............. [F]
    Invisibility Sphere... [A] Invisibility for the whole party!
    Lance of Disruption... [F]
    Lightning Bolt........ [F] Not enough damage for HoF, plus poor AOE.
    Magic Circle Against E [C] Protects your whole party, including summons, from Gate.
    Melf's Minute Meteors. [-] Potentially 30d4+180 damage, if your sorcerer spends six rounds throwing missiles and always hits.
    Nondetection.......... [-] Help?
    Protection from Fire.. [F]
    Skull Trap............ No damage cap.
    Slow.................. [-] ?
    Stinking Cloud........ [-] Never tried.  I know this was a 2nd level spell in 2nd edition.
    Summon Monster III.... [F]
    Vampiric Touch........ [F]
    
    
    ---Level Four Spells---
    
    Beltyn's Burning Blood [F] Single target, weak effect.
    Blood Rage............ [F] Suicidal
    Confusion............. Big AOE, unlimited targets, long-lasting.  Nice.
    Contagion............. [F] Single target, weak effect.
    Emotion: Despair...... [C] Much much worse than Malison, but useful because it stacks with Malison.
    Emotion: Fear......... [D] Confusion is mostly better.
    Emotion: Hope......... [C] Nice spell, but because it lasts so long you only need one character to learn it.
    Emotion: Rage......... [F] Does not do enough. Only lasts 5 rounds.
    Fire Shield (Blue).... [-]
    Fire Shield (Red)..... [-]
    Ice Storm............. [F]
    Improved Invisibility. [-] (The patched version) It doesn't last as long as normal invisibility.  My experience is that after you act opponents can see and attack you, but you stay "invisibile".  Seems bad.
    Malison............... Quite nice.  Should maybe be an A, but I don't find myself casting it much.
    Minor Globe of Invulne [D] The enemy just doesn't seem to attack with dangerous level 1-3 spells.
    Mordenkainen's Force M [-] Potentially 14d4+210 damage to a single target.  Is that worth a 4th level spell?
    Otiluke's Resilient Sp [X] Expelled for cheating.
    Protection from Lightn [F]
    Remove Curse.......... [D] Curses are rare enough that the cleric can deal with them.
    Shadow Conjuration.... [A] Excellent at high levels.  The "20% HP" thing is bugged; In HOF the shadow has only a little less HP than a non-shadow version.
    Shout................. [-] Haven't used the spell but D seems right.
    Spider Spawn.......... [F] Even the best spider is a lot worse than Shadow Conjuration.
    Spirit Armor.......... [A] Drops to an F if you aren't making a 72AC decoy.
    Stoneskin............. [C] Good when the enemy is only doing 15 damage.  But soon he is doing 50, and it is not so good.
    Summon Monster IV..... [F] Too weak, and outclassed by Shadow Conjuration.
    Vitriolic Sphere...... [F] Even if the opponent fails several reflex saves (Held), it doesn't do as much damage as Force Missiles.
    Wall of Fire.......... [-] Little damage, only lasts 5 rounds.  If monsters decide not to walk through it, it could be marginally useful.  Otherwise an F.
    
    
    ---Level Five Spells---
    
    Animate Dead.......... [D] Nerfed by the patch.  Less HP and damage than high-level shadows.  Good with Wail of the Banshee, but it's more efficient to have the cleric provide them
    Ball Lightning........ [F]
    Chaos................. [A] -5 harder to save against than Confusion.
    Cloudkill............. [F] 1d10 damage per round? Please.
    Cone of Cold.......... [D] This spell was great through Chapter One.  Later, 15d6 barely dents the enemy.
    Dismissal............. [-] I've had some success with this in Battle Squares.  If it is useful in enough other places it may rate a B.
    Dominate Person....... [-] -6 harder to save against than Charm Person -- but I'm not sure a save-or-die against only a single target is worth a 5th level slot.
    Feeblemind............ [F] Compare to Dominate Person.
    Greater Shadow Conjura [A] Shadow Conjuration with ever so slightly more HP.
    Hold Monster.......... [-] Another save-or-die against a single target.  Easier to save against than Dominate Person, but can hit non-humanoids.
    Lesser Planar Binding. [F] The elementals are too weak.
    Lower Resistance...... [C]
    Phantom Blade......... [F] Get a real weapon.  Better yet, get Mordenkainen's Sword.
    Protection from Acid.. [F]
    Protection from Electr [F]
    Shroud of Flame....... [-] Never tried it, but it looks like an F unless there are a lot of enemies, and you can get them to fail a lot of saves while you wait invisibly.
    Summon Monster V...... [F] A lot worse than Greater Shadow Conjuration.
    Summon Shadow......... [F] The one time I tried this, it wasn't as good as Greater Shadow Conjuration.
    Sunfire............... [D]
    
    
    ---Level Six Spells---
    
    Acid Fog.............. [-] Is the slow effect worthwhile?
    Acid Storm............ [D]
    Antimagic Field....... [F] I prefer not to cripple my spellcasters.
    Carrion Summons....... [F] Nowhere near as good as high-level Shades.
    Chain Lightning....... [F] Would be a D if not bugged.
    Circle of Death....... [F] "Creatures over 9 Hit Dice are not affected by the spell."
    Darts of Bone......... [F] Pitiful.
    Disintegrate.......... [C] Another single-target save-or-die, but enemies seem have very good Fortitude saves.
    Flesh to Stone........ [-] Same as Disintegrate, by the description.
    Globe of Invulnerabili [D] Haven't had much trouble with enemy spellcasters; perhaps if I did this would rate a B.
    Lich Touch............ [F]
    Mass Haste............ [A]
    Otiluke's Freezing Sph [F]
    Planar Binding:        [D] Not as good as high-level Shades, not controllable.  The Water one looks sweet.
    Power Word: Silence... [F] "Duration: 2 rounds"
    Shades................ [A] Another slight improvement on Shadow Conjuration.
    Soul Eater............ [F]
    Stone to Flesh........ [F] I've never been petrified.  Isn't there a cleric spell that can cure it?
    Summon Invisible Stalk [-] Invisible, nice duration.  I need to test it.
    Summon Monster VI..... [F] Not as good as high-level Shades.
    Tenser's Transformatio [-] The +4 to AC is good if you are trying to be a 72AC decoy.  Otherwise pretty bad.
    Trollish Fortitude.... [F]
    Wyvern Call........... [F] Not as good as high-level Shades.
    
    
    ---Level Seven Spells---
    
    Banishment............ [F] Generally the summoned creatures in the area are mine.
    Cacofiend............. [F] Not as good as the shadows you will be getting from 4th-6th level spells.  Not controllable.  Only lasts 15 rounds.
    Control Undead........ [-] Looks like an F.
    Delayed Blast Fireball [A]
    Elemental Barrier..... [C]
    Finger of Death....... [D] Single target Fortitude save-or-die isn't good enough for a 7th level slot.
    Malavon's Rage........ [F] Never tried it but it looks a lot worse than DBF.
    Mass Invisibility..... [D] Bigger radius than Invisibility Sphere, but you don't need a bigger radius.
    Mordenkainen's Sword.. [A]
    Power Word: Stun...... [F] "Creatures with more than 151 hit points are unaffected."
    Prismatic Spray....... [-] Help?
    Seven Eyes............ [-] ?
    Suffocate............. [-] Duration is only 4 rounds.  I want to give it an F.
    Summon Djinni......... [-]
    Summon Efreeti........ [-]
    Summon Monster VII.... [D] Not as good as the shadows you will be getting from 4th-6th level spells.
    Vipergout............. [F]
    
    
    ---Level Eight Spells---
    
    Fiery Cloud........... [-] I expect this is a D or F.
    Flaying............... [F] 30d4 to a single target.
    Great Shout........... [-]
    Horrid Wilting........ [A]
    Iron Body............. [F] Caster becomes nearly useless.
    Mind Blank............ [C] Nice long duration.
    Power Word Blind...... [-] How good is mass blindness?
    Summon Fiend.......... [F] Bad for the same reasons as Cacofiend
    Summon Monster VIII...
    Symbol of Death....... [F] Allows a save, only works on monsters with less than 150HP
    Symbol of Fear........ [D] Symbol of Hopelessness is flat-out better.
    Symbol of Hopelessness [A]
    Symbol of Pain........ [-] Probably an F.
    Symbol of Stunning.... [F] Pitiful.
    
    
    ---Level Nine Spells---
    
    Aegis................. [-]
    Black Blade of Disaste [F]
    Executioner's Eyes.... [-] I've heard many good things about this spell.
    Gate.................. [C] Most powerful summon, even though it is not controllable.  You're better off using cleric slots on this.
    Mass Dominate......... [A] Mass save-or-die.
    Meteor Swarm.......... [-] How many times does this hit?
    Power Word: Kill...... [F]
    Summon Monster IX..... [D] If you want it, get the cleric to cast it.
    Wail of the Banshee... [A] Mass save-or-die (literally!).
    
    
    Please comment!
     
     [ August 21, 2005, 00:02: Message edited by: JT ]
     
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  2. pipo Gems: 1/31
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    lower resistance: A
     
  3. JT Gems: 12/31
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    pipo: Why? I haven't encountered many enemies with spell resistance.
     
  4. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words!

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    Number in parentheses is number of spells of each level known by L30 Sorcerer.

    Code:
    Level 1 (7):
    Chromatic Orb - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [A] Gets better with levels.
    Magic Missile - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [A] More chances to disrupt spellcaster.
    Shield - - - - - - - - - - - - (Abjuration) [B] Best armor AC spell (+7). Caster only.
    Grease - - - - - - - - - - - (Conjuration) [B] Creatures movement slowed to half even if saved against.
    Protection from Evil - - - - - (Abjuration) [C] Can afford to wait till Magic circle v/s Evil becomes available. Others can cast.
    Summon Monster I - - - - -(Conjuration) [C] Unavoidable if starting in HoF.
    Identify - - - - - - - - - - - -(Divination) [C] Rarely Useful. Best given to a Bard.
    Charm Person - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [C] Can easily be saved against.
    Ray of Enfeeblement - - - (Necromancy) [C] Enemy strength is reduced by 15 on Fort save.
    Mage Armor - - - - - - - - -(Conjuration) [D] Worst armor AC spell (+4).
    Ice Dagger - - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [D] Very little damage. Undead summons immune to this iirc.
    Burning Hands - - - - - -(Transmutation) [D] There are other ways of killing a Troll.
    Protection from Petrification     (Abjuration) [F] Rarely useful.
    Sleep - - - - - - - - - - - (Enchantment) [F] Useless in HoF.
    Color Spray - - - - - - - - - -  - (Illusion) [F] Useless in HoF.
    Minor Mirror Image - - - - - - - -(Illusion) [F] Can afford to wait till Mirror Image becomes available.
    Chill Touch - - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Touch spell. No.
    Larloch's Minor Drain - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Pathetic damage.
    Shocking Grasp - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] Touch spell. No.
    
    Level 2 (7):
    Melf's Acid Arrow - - -(Conjuration) [A] Chance to disrupt caster for number of rounds.
    Mirror Image - - - - - - - -(Illusion) [A] THE protective spell.
    Death Armor - - - -(Transmutation) [B] Couple with Mirror Image then.
    Eagle's Splendor  - (Transmutation) [B] Increases DC.
    Protection from Arrows (Abjuration) [C] Added with Soneskin can make charecter immune to arrows.
    Summon Monster II - (Conjuration) [C] Unavoidable if starting in HoF.
    Web - - - - - - - - - -(Conjuration) [C] Incompatible with summons. Best used in traps.
    Gedlee's Electric Loop - (Evocation) [C] Last ditch spell. Sorc should not get into such trouble.
    Luck - - - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [C] Stacks with other Luck items, unlike the potion.
    Aganazzar's Scorcher - (Evocation) [C] Long range makes it more useful than Burning Hands.
    Blur - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Illusion) [C] Less useful than Mirror Image but might last longer.
    Bull's Strength  - - (Transmutation) [C] Others can cast.
    Cat's Grace - - - - (Transmutation) [C] Usefull for high AC shield charecter.
    Knock - - - - - - - (Transmutation) [C] Very rarely used.
    Invisibility - - - - - - - - - (Illusion) [D] Useful to surprise enemy. But Invisibility Sphere is available soon.
    Minor Elemental Barrier (Abjuration) [F] Useless.
    Power Word: Sleep - -(Conjuration) [F] Useless.
    See Invisibility - - - - - (Divination) [F] Needs to be targeted.
    Decastave - - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] Touch spell. No.
    Snilloc' Snowball Swarm (Evocation) [F] Low damage.
    Ghoul Touch - - - - - (Necromancy) [F] Benefits are vague, perhaps not worth it.
    Horror - - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Easily saved.
    Blindness - - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] Like thats going to be of any real help.
    Deafness - - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] Like thats going to be of any real help.
    Vocalize - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [F] Use potion.
    
    Level 3 (7):
    Ghost Armor - - - - - -(Conjuration) [A] +5 Deflection bonus to AC for your high AC shield.
    Invisibility Sphere - - - - - -(Illusion) [A] Surprise your enemy.
    Skull Trap - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [A] Excellent trapping spell.
    Haste - - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [A] More attacks and generic AC is good.
    Slow - - - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [A] Makes things worse for attacking enemies.
    Dispel Magic - - - - - - -(Abjuration) [B] Useful but affects party first.
    Magic Circle Against Evil (Abjuration) [B] Very useful, specially when dealing with hellspawn.
    Flame Arrow - - - - - - (Conjuration) [C] Best Troll killer.
    Stinking Cloud - - - - - (Conjuration) [C] Best used in traps.
    Dire Charm - - - - - - (Enchantment) [C] Now they actually fight instead of standing around.
    Hold Person - - - - - -(Enchantment) [C] Better than the Charm ones,
    Summon Monster III - - (Conjuration) [D] Hopefully you have other summoning options.
    Fireball - - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [D] Trap and mass kill. Is it enough damage?
    Melf's Minute Meteors - - (Evocation) [D] You might get tied up for too long with this spell.
    Vampiric Touch - - - - (Necromancy) [D] Do you really need that HP.
    Non-Detection - - - - - -(Abjuration) [F] Use the cloak. Or a DG.
    Protection from Fire - - -(Abjuration) [F] Rarely Useful.
    Icelance     - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] Yeah right.
    Lance of Disruption - - - (Evocation) [F] Worthless, even in a Normal game
    Lightning Bolt - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] Not enough damage or AoE.
    Blink - - - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [F] Missing your target due to your own fault is a nono.
     
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    Thanks for the reply, Shrikant. I'm going to address the spells that we disagreed on. I'd love to see your opinion of the 4th-9th level spells, and anyone else's opinions.


    ---Level One Spells---

    Charm Person: Should be exactly as hard to save against as Chromatic Orb, unless HoF monsters have better Will than Reflex saves (I've noticed they seem to have really good Fort saves; probably they are getting a CON boost). When it does suceed, it is better than Chromatic Orb.

    Grease: Hmmmm. Does the slow effect last even after the monster moves out of the area?

    Ice dagger: 5d4+1 cold damage to a single target; considering that HoF monsters have hundreds of HP, I think this has to rate an F.

    Magic Missile: With +2 luck, this does ~24 damage (max 25). In my experience, enemies will often shrug that off and keep casting. Without luck, it does 10-25 (avg 17); if that is the best my sorc can do he might as well run away.

    Minor Mirror Image: Only stops one hit, but that is one more hit than any other first level spell will stop. Works well with nuke spells like DBF and Horrid Wilting.

    Protection from Evil: If you have a small party, or can keep all but one guy away from the demon, it is more efficient to use this than the third level version. I prefer to save 1st level cleric slots for Sanctuary.

    Ray of Enfeeblement: At first I thought it gave -10 STR. But even -15 STR only gives -7 damage, and only if the monster fails a Fort save. You are always going to be better off casting Chromatic Orb and completely disabling the monster.

    Shield: If you aren't going for a super-high AC, it does nothing. In HoF, 30AC and 37AC are the same.

    Summon Monster I: You're right, the grade goes up if you are starting in HoF.


    ---Level Two Spells---

    Blur: Only 20% miss chance. So if the enemy hits me ten times, Blur will stop two but I'll die anyway. Meanwhile Mirror Image stops the first eight hits, giving me time to run away or cast something.

    Bull's Strength: The super-long duration means you only cast it when the fighter dies/gets dispelled. If you use it, have the cleric memorize a couple copies; his slots are less valuable. I rate this a D.

    Cat's Grace: Same as above. Might rise to a C if you have a lot of sorcerers and only one cleric.

    Death Armor: Uses the same slots as Mirror Image. Does ~8 damage per hit; each Fire Shield does ~34 at level 30. Conclusion: the "Mirror Image & both Fire Shields & Death Armor" combo works better without Death Armor.

    Eagle's Splendor: You only need one sorcerer to know it; it should be the guy with the +2 luck item.

    Invisibility: Redundant with Invisibility Sphere; this is a good thing. Often, just one character needs to become invisibile.

    Melf's Acid Arrow: 2d4 damage per round is not going to disrupt anybody.

    Protection from Arrows: Hmm, I think you are right. The duration is certainly nice and long.

    Summon Monster II: I started in HoF and I never needed it. You gain levels so fast...

    Web: You're right, C is the proper grade. But it doesn't matter too much that it affects your summons.


    ---Level Three Spells---

    Dire Charm: Charm Person will let them fight for you; you have to command them to attack.

    Flame Arrow: Why would I use this instead of Burning Hands or a flaming dart/weapon/summon?

    Ghost Armor: Lasts 5 rounds/level... just how often are you casting it?

    Magic Circle Against E: Good, but don't need more than one guy to learn it.

    Melf's Minute Meteors: At least this one could handle multiple trolls.

    Skull Trap: The difference between A and B is how often you cast it; I usually spend the slots on Invisibility Sphere and Haste.
     
  6. DanSkibo Gems: 3/31
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    Control undead is very useful in the Fields of Slaughter. Keeps those pesky fallen bladesingers from slaughtering your clerics.
     
  7. Khemsa Gems: 7/31
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    Just some random comments.

    The real value of Melf's Acid Arrow, IMHO, is to finish off Troll Shamen who have cast protection from fire on themselves.

    Shield & Ghost Armor may only be useful if you have a high AC decoy, but surviving HoF otherwise requires a lot of summoning, which is not my cup of tea.

    Clerics cannot cast Cat's Grace, so having a Sorcerer or Wizard with it is essential - easily an A level spell.

    Flame Arrow and Skull Trap are both A ranked spells IMHO. Both are uncapped damage dealers and are only 3rd level spells. Skull Trap is probably better, but Flame Arrow is very useful for a single target where you do not want to have the splash damage of Skull Trap.

    Given how few 1st level spells are useful in HoF, I would certainly take Magic Missile. Maybe I have different experiences than others, but there are a number of enemy mages who cast Mirror Image. Anyway, once you have MM, Shield and Chromatic Orb, the remaining 1st level slots can be filled with anything.

    Lower Resistance is great against one monster in particular: the Guardian. That alone makes it worthwhile for one of the party's arcane casters to have it.

    I would give Sunfire a big, fat A. Maybe not worthwhile if your not using a decoy, but is a great mass killer for decoys.
     
  8. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Hey Khemsa.

    I haven't had any problems with troll shamen. As long as you do 8 fire damage, you'll break through Pro:Fire, right?

    Cat's Grace: Whoops, you're right. So I'll rank it a C, because you only want one sorcerer to get it.

    Flame Arrow: I'd overlooked that this does the same damage as Skull Trap, even if it is to only one target. But consider: At level 21 you only know five 3rd level spells. You learn a 6th one at level 25 and a 7th one at level 29, if you get that far. I don't think there is room for it.

    Sunfire does the same damage as Cone of Cold, and has the additional drawback of needing to be in the middle of the action.
     
  9. DanSkibo Gems: 3/31
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    Lower resistance is good against Slayer Knights of Xvim as well
     
  10. Khemsa Gems: 7/31
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    JT,

    3rd Level Spells:
    1. Skull Trap
    2. Ghost Armor
    3. Slow
    4. Flame Arrow

    So what else is worth taking? (Normally I would have Fireball, but since we are talking HoF only, Fireball is obsolete) Haste becomes obsolete with Mass Haste. Magic Circle can be more easily carried by the Cleric. Invisibility Sphere may or may not be useful depending on one's play style. I rarely use invisibility effects so can get by with the sorcerer casting Improved Invisibility on each character when I need it. Even if I used it more, I would probably just let my Wizard memorize it and not waste a precious Sorcerer slot.

    I think the main source of our disagreements results from differing play styles in HoF. You seem to prefer to avoid decoys and rely on summoning, whereas I prefer to use a decoy and avoid summoning as much as possible. Neither style is superior, just different, but the style differences lead to different spell preferences.

    One example - you said that you make little use of Skull Trap, which is understandable if you are relying on summons as your front line. On the other hand, I use a decoy. I give him the Shroud of Bankao and have him race ahead to become surrounded by monsters and then have every arcane caster I have plaster him with Skull Traps. The decoy is immune thanks to the Shroud, the monsters are shredded because of the uncapped damage, and I am only using up third level spells. So for me, Skull Trap is beyond an A level spell; I would rate it up there with Wail of the Banshee.
     
  11. DanSkibo Gems: 3/31
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    aw man! I never thought of using the shroud that way ... now I'm going to have to buy it back from Riki ... yeesh
     
  12. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Khemsa,
    > Haste becomes obsolete with Mass Haste.

    Not completely. Haste is fairly unimportant for spellcasters, except when wielding M. Sword. Often I only need to haste one guy. You _can_ make the argument that a 3rd level slot is more valuable than a 6th, if you dislike Shades (but I love it).

    Oddly enough, Mass Haste is more useful if you like summoning.

    I think my initial grade of A for Haste was wrong; it's a B at best.


    > Magic Circle can be more easily carried by the Cleric.

    Yes, but sometimes the cleric is busy (say, casting Gate), and I need the spell right away. Also, if he is the only one who has the spell, I'm limited by the number of copies he memorizes.


    > I think the main source of our disagreements results from differing play styles in HoF. You seem to prefer to avoid decoys and rely on summoning, whereas I prefer to use a decoy and avoid summoning

    That is true.


    > One example - you said that you make little use of Skull Trap, which is understandable if you are relying on summons as your front line.

    I don't mind tossing skull traps on summons or even my own guys (mirror image). My problem is that later on monster HPs rise so high that I can take out two or maybe three groups with skull traps, and then both my sorcerers are out of 3rd level slots.


    I'd appriciate it if someone would critique the 4th-9th level spells
     
  13. Khemsa Gems: 7/31
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    JT,
    Here are my "standard" spells for my Sorcerer (this list assumes once through normal then once through HoF):

    4th level:
    -Stoneskin (not much use in HoF, but great in normal)
    -Improved Invisibility (I use it mostly to protect my mules)
    -Emotion: Despair (used in conjunction with Malison from Wizard to prepare tough critters for Wail)
    -Spirit Armor (For those unarmored party memebers who cannot cast Shield on themselves)
    -Malison (I usually let the Wizard carry these, but having access to more can never be a bad thing)
    -Emotion: Hope (great bonuses, long duration)

    5th level:
    -Chaos (good for breaking up BIG groups of monsters)
    -Sunfire (usually my entire party has one of evasion, spell resistance or Mirror Images so casting this even from the middle of the party rarely backfires)
    -Cone of Cold (for fire-immune monsters)
    -Lower Resistance (Guardian?)
    -Animate Dead (good flank/rear protection in HoF)
    -Dominate Person (only one target, but it can remove a powerful fighter type)

    6th level:
    -Mass Haste (probably the best buff spell in the whole game)
    -Disintegrate (Single target destruction)
    -Acid Storm (beats bugged Chain Lightning)
    -Shades (eventaully turns out tough monsters)
    -Chain Lightning (bugged, but still better than the remaining 6th level spells)

    7th level:
    -Delayed Blast Fireball (da' bomb)
    -Mordenkainen's Sword (Sorcerer as tank)
    -Finger of Death (mage killer)
    -Seven Eyes (any protection is good protection)
    -Malavon’s Rage (desperation spell, not very good)

    8th level:
    -Symbol of Hopelessness (makes monsters ripe for slaughter)
    -Horrid Wilting (great against monsters with evasion)
    -Mind Blank (great long-lasting protection)
    -Power Word: Blind (if surrounded by enemies)

    9th level:
    -Wail of the Banshee (nuff said)
    -Meteor Swarm (for Wail immune monsters)
    -Aegis (quick emergency protection)
    -Mass Dominate (nothing better to choose)
     
  14. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words!

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    Level 4:
    
    Malison - - - - - - - - - - (Enchantment) [A] Much more useful than Emotion: Despair.
    Improved Invisibility - - - - - - -(Illusion) [A] Even after the patch you could be missed due to concealment and get an attack bonus.
    Spirit Armor - - - - - - - - (Necromancy) [A] If you are creating a high AC decoy. Atleast a C.
    Stoneskin - - - - - - - - - - -(Abjuration) [B] Keeps you alive for a while longer. Wonder if it works on party summons.
    Modenkainen's Force Missiles (Evocation) [B] More powerful Magic Missile .
    Confusion - - - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [C] Chaos awaits.
    Emotion: Hope - - - - - - (Enchantment) [C] Good to cast before major spell fights.
    Emotion: Despair - - - - - (Enchantment) [C] Would have been B if not for the pathetic duration.
    Shadow Conjuration - - - - - - -(Illusion) [C] Atleast stronger than Summon Monster IV.
    Blood Rage - - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [C] Decent bonuses, wont hurt if cast at max HP.
    Summon Monster IV - - - - (Conjuration) [D] There are better summoning options already.
    Vitriolic Sphere - - - - - - - (Conjuration) [D] Looks like a more powerful Melf's Acid Arrow.
    Emotion: Fear - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [D] You now have to chase down the idiots.
    Fire Shield (Blue) - - - - - - -(Evocation) [D] Why is a sorc the target?
    Fire Shield (Red) - - - - - - - (Evocation) [D] Why is a sorc the target?
    Minor Globe of Invulnerability (Abjuration) [F] Does anyone actually use this spell?
    Protection from Lightning - - (Abjuration) [F] Use a scroll.
    Remove Curse - - - - - - - - (Abjuration) [F] What is a Cleric for.
    Spider Spawn - - - - - - - -(Conjuration) [F] Do these things work on the basis of scaring away the enemy?
    Emotion: Rage - - - - - - (Enchantment) [F] Useless unless this works on summons.
    Ice Storm - - - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [F] THIS is a L4 spell??
    Otiluke's Resilient Sphere - - (Evocation) [-] Bugged, right.
    Shout - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [F] Ooh cool, the corpse is deaf.
    Wall of Fire - - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] I'd much rather run than assume this will stop anyone.
    Beltyn's Burning Blood - - - (Necromancy) [F] Rather useless.
    Contagion - - - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Affects single target.
    
    Level 5:
    
    Chaos - - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [A] This can really screw large fights in our favour.
    Animate dead - - - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [A] The grand daddy of summons.
    Greater Shadow Conjuration - - - - -(Illusion) [B] Decent summons.
    Hold Monster - - - - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [C] A if it works on Chakopek.
    Summon Shadow - - - - - - - - (Necromancy) [C] Better than normal summons.
    Lower Resistance - - - - - - -(Transmutation) [C] Would be useful in the underdark if it was mass spell.
    Cone of Cold - - - - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [C] About as useful as fireball I guess.
    Dismissal - - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Abjuration) [D] Have almost no recollection of enemy summons.
    Cloudkill - - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Conjuration) [D] Perhaps useful in a trap. Damage is too less.
    Summon Monster V - - - - - - - (Conjuration) [D] If you really are that desparate.
    Dominate Person - - - - - - - -(Enchantment) [D] Mages die easily enough.
    Ball Lightning - - - - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [D] Not really useful.
    Phantom Blade - - - - - - - - - - -(Evocation) [D] Touch spell. The sorc does NOT do melee.
    Sunfire - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [D] Standing in the middle of an attacking hoard is the decoy's job, not the sorc's.
    Protection from Acid - - - - - - - -(Abjuration) [F] Use a scroll.
    Protection from Electricity - - - - -(Abjuration) [F] Use a scroll.
    Lesser Planar Binding: Elementals (Conjuration) [F] Will wait for the non-lesser variety.
    Feeblemind - - - - - - - - - - - (Enchantment) [F] Mages die easily enough.
    Shroud of Flame - - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] It would do more harm than good.
    
    Level 6:
    
    Mass Haste - - - - - - (Transmutation) [A] The frontlines will love this.
    Shades - - - - - - - - - - - - -(Illusion) [B] Gets really powerful later on. 
    Disintegrate - - - - - -(Transmutation) [B] Works on undead, good for me.
    Carrion Summons - - - - -(Conjuration) [C] Rhino Beetles can be used for blocking narrow pathways.
    Planar Binding: Elementals (Conjuration) [C] Would summon an Earth Elemental for the saves.
    Summon Invisible Stalker -(Conjuration) [C] Long duration can come in useful. Mage protecter.
    Acid Storm - - - - - - - - - (Evocation) [C] No fireball, try acidball.
    Chain Lightning - - - - - - -(Evocation) [C] Does not affect party summons.
    Acid Fog - - - - - - - - - -(Conjuration) [D] Used in traps. Can be replaced by Grease if damage is neglected.
    Summon Monster VI - - - (Conjuration) [D] Marginally better than Wyvern Call.
    Trollish Fortitude - - - - -(Necromancy) [D] I'd rather be healed.
    Antimagic Field - - - - - - - (Abjuration) [F] Read sunfire.
    Globe of Invulnerability - - -(Abjuration) [F] Can still be dispelled.
    Power Word: Silence - - - (Conjuration) [F] Everyone has vocalise potions.
    Wyvern Call - - - - - - - - (Conjuration) [F] Really weak summons.
    Otiluke's Freezing Sphere - -(Evocation) [F] Save to avoid all damage, sucks.
    Circle of Death - - - - - - (Necromancy) [F] Useless in HoF.
    Darts of Bone - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Darts are only good to pick your teeth with.
    Lich Touch - - - - - - - - (Necromancy) [F] Touch attack.
    Soul Eater - - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [F] Not enough damage.
    Flesh to Stone - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] I am in the business of killing, not making statues.
    Stone to Flesh - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] This is not BG or Harry Potter, there are no basilisks in the spine of the world.
    Tensor's Transformation (Transmutation) [F] Read sunfire.
    
    Level 7:
    
    Delayed Blast Fireball -(Evocation) [A] Great trapping devices.
    Modenkainen's Sword -(Evocation) [A] For when you must have the satisfaction of whacking them yourself.
    Summon Monster VII (Conjuration) [B] Sad to say this is the best summons for this level.
    Elemental Barrier - - - (Abjuration) [C] Cool resistances. Helpful against Chakopek?
    Prismatic Spray - - - - (Evocation) [C] Interesting results if you ignore the damage caused.
    Seven Eyes - - - - - -(Abjuration) [D] Absolute immunity against one attack is not good enough.
    Malavon's Rage - - - - (Evocation) [D] Uncontrollable, don't want it hurting the party.
    Mass Invisibility - - - - - -(Illusion) [D] Fights don't last that long.
    Control Undead - - -(Necromancy) [D] How often do you meet undead you want to control?
    Finger of Death - - -(Necromancy) [D] Everyone fort saves.
    Suffocate - - - - -(Transmutation) [D] Duration is just about as much time it takes for enemy to cross trap.
    Banishment - - - - - -(Abjuration) [F] I am the one summoning.
    Cacofiend - - - - - - (Conjuration) [F] Can't control it.
    Power Word: Stun - (Conjuration) [F] Useless in HoF.
    Summon Djinni - - - -(Conjuration) [F] If only they granted wishes.
    Summon Efreeti - - - (Conjuration) [F] If only they granted wishes.
    Vipergout - - - - - - (Conjuration) [F] You spend time spewing snakes that are easily wiped out.
    
    Level 8:
    
    Horrid Wilting - - - - (Necromancy) [A] Too bad it interferes with summons.
    Power Word: Blind - - (Conjuration) [B] Assume it to be mass Improved Invisibility.
    Mind Blank - - - - - - - (Abjuration) [C] Powerful, but rarely used.
    Summon Monster VIII (Conjuration) [C] Few are more powerful. Others ARE more powerful.
    Flaying - - - - - - - -(Necromancy) [C] Looses efficiency in HoF.
    Symbol of Hopelessness (all) - - - -[C] More useful than Symbol of Fear.
    Symbol of Fear - - - - - - - - -(all) [D] Duration is too short.
    Symbol of Pain - - - - - - - - - (all) [D] Not enough.
    Fiery Cloud - - - - - - (Conjuration) [F] I so would like to find a group of enemy stupid enough to stand in one place for 10 rounds.
    Summon Fiend - - - - (Conjuration) [F] Can't use in conjunction with other summons.
    Great Shout - - - - - - (Evocation) [F] Fort save for crap effect.
    Iron Body - - - - - (Transmutation) [F] The Sorc is NOT a decoy!
    Symbol of Death - - - - - - - - (all) [F] Useless in HoF.
    Symbol of Stunning - - - - - - -(all) [F] Useless in HoF.
    
    Level 9:
    
    Executioner's Eyes - - -(Divination) [A] Actually makes melee possible in HoF.
    Meteor Swarm - - - - - (Evocation) [A] Very useful if you can get it off without them targeting the Sorc.
    Wail of the Banshee - (Necromancy) [A] You need ask?
    Gate - - - - - - - - - - (Conjuration) [C] Powerful but rarely useful. Let Cleric cast it.
    Summon Monster IX - -(Conjuration) [C] Let Cleric Cast it.
    Mass Dominate - - - (Enchantment) [C] It should at least have had a penalty to save.
    Aegis - - - - - - - - - - (Abjuration) [D] Why would the Sorc need such protection?
    Black Blade of Disaster (Conjuration) [F] Touch spell.
    Power Word: Kill - - - -(Conjuration) [F] Uselessin HoF.
     
     [ August 25, 2005, 16:39: Message edited by: Shrikant ]
     
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  15. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Thanks guys!

    In my experience, all of the mass damage spells are less efficient than summons. But if you don't care how often you rest, they are certainly faster and more fun than sitting around invisibly while the wall of summons slowly creeps through.


    ---Level Four Spells---

    I wouldn't use Improved Invisibility for mules; the other kinds of invisibility last 10 times as long. I dislike Improved Invisibility in general, because the spell remains in effect after the invisibility has been broken; enemies can see you, and you can't become truly invisible again until it runs out or you get dispelled.

    Casting Spirit Armor on a non-decoy gets you +3 to fort saves, which is not much for a 4th level slot. I could see using it before a really tough battle to stack your saves as high as possible.

    Stoneskin does work on summons, but the 150 damage it absorbs isn't that much compared to summon HP. On a party member, it might make the diffence between a spell being disrupted or successfully cast -- but I prefer to hide behind mirror images or summons.

    Confusion: The radius on this is actually bigger than Chaos (30 vs 20). It doesn't make up for the much easier save, though. But if you use Chaos a lot, two castings of this could be like one additional casting of Chaos. I'm not sure how to rate it.

    Blood Rage: You lose control of your guy, and he might attack your team, and you can't heal him. No thanks.

    Emotion: Rage probably works on summons, but the bonuses are just too minor, and it only lasts 5 rounds.


    ---Level Five Spells---

    The duration on Animate Dead is great, but that's only if they don't get killed -- and they will get killed. Soon the Greater Shadow Conjuration guys are a _lot_ better in combat. I do have the cleric carry a few copies, because the skeletons dish out OK damage as long as some other summon is tanking.

    Dismissal is handy if you are going to slog through all 10 ranks of battle squares.

    Dominate Person: Despite the name, the description states that it works on any creature. But it only hits one target, and actually has a lower chance of suceeding than Chaos.

    Hold Monster looks a lot worse than Dominate Person.


    ---Level Six Spells---

    Shrikant, Carrion Summons doesn't make beetles; you are thinking of the cleric spell Giant Vermin. Carrion crawlers are incredibly bad.

    Disintegrate: I think I'd learn it with only one sorcerer, and have him take GSF: Transmutation.

    Invisible Stalker appears to be completely immune to cold. Unfortunately, the invisibility is fake; monsters can see it even before it attacks.
     
  16. DanSkibo Gems: 3/31
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    [​IMG]
    In HOF? Only at the end. But at the end there are a lot of them. I'd make this the last lvl 7 spell a sorcerer gets. It's at least a B for that slot, if not an A! Good targets for Control Undead:

    Elvish Dread Warriors(don't forget the ones protecting the priests in the Severed Hands Clerics Tower lvl 3)
    Orcish Dread Warriors
    Fallen Bladesingers
    Cold Bones
    Drowned Dead
    Apocalyptic Boneguards
    Tyrannar's Summoned Dead(Guthma, Sherincal, etc)

    Finally, I think it may work on Slayer Knights of Xvim. I'll let you know.
     
  17. JT Gems: 12/31
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    ---Level Seven Spells---


    Djiin and Efreeti are even worse than some might think; they turn hostile if they take any splash damage from you.

    Seven Eyes: not _good_ protection. You aren't going to run into enemies who use one each of the seven different attacks. You'll probably have 5-6 eyes left when the spell expires, although two of those (Eye of the Mind and Eye of Stone) can be used up as spells (it doesn't say if the DCs are based on a 7th level spell or not).

    Finger of Death: You need debuffs to make this reliable, and if you're doing that you might as well cast Wail.


    ---Level Eight Spells---

    Mind Blank: Obviously you only need one guy to learn it. Does it help against Hold/Stun effects?

    Power Word: Blind has the same radius as Skull Trap, and the duration is poor. I'll try it in game a few times before I declare it an F.

    Too bad Symbol of Hopelessness isn't an enchantment spell. It's still worth learning, of course.

    Summon Monster VIII: They do OK, although the shadow summons eventually surpass them. There aren't many good options for spending your 8th level spells.


    ---Level Nine Spells---

    Meteor Swarm: Can you hit a monster twice per round with this?

    Aegis: _bad_ protection. Gives Elemental Barrier, Stoneskin, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Freedom of Movemen, and +2 to saves all at once, but that isn't going to save your life. And it expires after 10 rounds.

    The Gate demon's main weakness is that you can't move him around; once he kills everything, you have to abandon him. He is still the strongest summon.
     
  18. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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  19. DanSkibo Gems: 3/31
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    Nope ... didn't work ... but hey, its still good :)
     
  20. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Will do, Taluntain. Thanks.

    I think I shall revise the grading system to make it more intuitive.

    A=Very good
    B=Good
    C=Useable
    D=Poor
    F=Terrible

    Add a '+' after spells which it is suggested that every sorcerer get, and a '-' after spells which it is wasteful for more than one sorcerer to learn (like Emotion: Hope).

    I'll revise it and post a new thread Sunday.
     
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