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D&D 3E
Seline, the charmed idiot, part II 
16th-Apr-2006 10:29 am
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
Thank you all for your suggestions regarding my baby sorc. I got to create and play her for the first time last night and it left me with quite a lot to think about. Here's where I'm thinking of going with her now:

The first thing I've noticed about this group is that where usually I would worry about being effective, our party is made up of 8 characters - 2 fighters, 1 cleric, 1 rogue, 1 wizard and 3 (THREE!) sorcerers. So, after thats night, I'm moving from wanting to be effective to wanting to be unique. So, I've decided to go ahead with the illusion. She just hit 3rd level last night, and I couldn't think of any other good feats to give her, so she got Combat Casting and Spell Focus: Illusion. I have one more feat to assign, so maybe you guys can help me. Should I go Greater Spell Focus: Illusion or Spell Penetration? Or something else entirely?

The next thing I've noticed is that it's hard to find that fine line as far as Seline's memory. So I think it's not going to be quite as bad as I originally thought it was. But it's still pretty bad. She can socialize perfectly well with people, but for example, she and two other new characters had been in the jungle for three months prior to joining up with this party, and I can picture her asking quite often: "Ack, I can't remember - is the blue fruit poisonous or the purple one?" Also, it will effect her perception of her past - because she can't remember her past. Little pieces here and there, but not a whole lot.

Finally, after letting the character bounce around in my head last night, I've decided to make her a sorc-bard. There's a history idea I'm thinking of using for that - basically, her father was a great bard who kind of... left... so that's partly where her innate talent comes from. She just hasn't had the opportunity to realize that her gifts are as much melodies in her head as they are arcane spells. I like this idea for the mechanics, too. We don't have a bard in the party and it would give the party a second quasi-healer. It also would make a lot of sense with illusion. At the same time, she wouldn't be a normal bard - I'm not giving her ANY knowledge skills with her bad memory. But as I mentioned earlier, her instinct is pretty reliable which will be mostly where her bardic knowledge comes from when she gets that ability. And of course, her charisma is already high, so we're good there. And surprisingly, bluff is actually a class skill for sorcs, so I ended up taking it. And her familiar is a snake, who even gives her a bonus to bluff. I guess I figured if she's going to be able to bluff anyone, anywhere, she might as well be an illusionist!

So, that's where she is now. But I'm still looking for suggestions. What 3rd feat should I take? Any other things I should keep in mind for a sorc-bard illusionist? And then there's equipment. We had the chance to spend our gold last night, and there was a decent amount of it. But... what the hell does a sorcerer need? I ended up with two 1st level wands and I'm thinking of adding a MW instrument to begin her exploration into the performing arts. But I still have around 1500gp left. Should I save it up for a cloak of charisma? Any other thoughts? Anyway, thanks for everyone's help and if you are still interested, I'll continue to keep you informed. I'm SURE I'll have more questions.

(X-posted to dnd_women)
Comments 
16th-Apr-2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
If you're playing FR, spellcasting prodogy is a damn good one to take.

Since you're toying with illusions, extend spell or widen spell might be useful too.
17th-Apr-2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Spellcasting Prodigy can only be taken at first level (and has been nerfed).
16th-Apr-2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
Extend spell is your friend for being an illusionist. Look into taking some HP building feats too, like Improved Toughness from Complete Warrior (+1 HP for every HD, retroactive). If you want to be unique, go that way OR you can always try to do the armored spellcaster (see if your DM will allow you to take some of the 3.0 feats that decrease spell failure, Armor Focus I believe is what it was called) so that way you can play up that self reliance in the jungle theme you are working on.
16th-Apr-2006 05:15 pm (UTC)
well, a bard's bread and butter spells are primarily illusion and enchantment, so maybe spell focus (enchantment) might help as well.

i think a cloak of charisma would be great, since your classes are so charisma dependent. don't forget possibly gloves of dexterity as well, since
the "Ignore ASF in Light Armour" of bard spells doesn't apply to your sorcereress spells.

if you're in a pinch and really need the spell to punch through, heighten spell might be useful, especially for spontaneous casters.

improved initiative as well, it's as useful as it has always been.

and here's a little thing i learnt: take skill focus (concentration) over combat casting. permanent +3 instead of situational +4. =)
16th-Apr-2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Or there's a feat in Races of Stone that just lets you take 10 on Concentration checks.
17th-Apr-2006 01:08 am (UTC)
yup i know, but Seline is a human, not a dwarf
17th-Apr-2006 03:55 am (UTC)
You don't have to be a dwarf to take it. The only prerequisite is 8 ranks of Concentration.
17th-Apr-2006 01:09 am (UTC)
oops sorry rmbred the prereqs wrongly =P
17th-Apr-2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Ah. Gotcha.

Disregard my correcting comment, then.
16th-Apr-2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
You're likely going to be the most versatile character out there, and that is going to be your (only) real strength. Make sure you play to that.
16th-Apr-2006 05:36 pm (UTC)
on equipment:

you are really looking for rings, wands, scrolls, and things of that nature. There are lots of items in this setting that can give you more spells, make them last longer, allow you to cast more (larger selection), have a higher armor, etc.

Though you have to remember that many of these things that you would like would always be EXPENSIVE. You (and any healer of the group) will always end up with the largest number of magical items in the group. And, that means that if you are carrying a lot of magical items, you are also carrying around the highest valued items in your group ...

best thing to do is talk to your DM about what you would like to get for your character. Though I doubt that you will be able to get it all ... they will most likely give you one or two items to aid your character along.
16th-Apr-2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
And the great thing about you being a sorcerer is you can use any arcane spell-trigger/completion wand or scroll you want. You may be choosing to ''specialize'' in illusions, but since you're not technically an illusionst you don't have any barred schools.

Be on the lookout for a rod of *pick a metamagic feat and put it here*, they really help sorcerers out.

Remember, since most all of your illusions can't really be classified as an ''attack'', a ring or cloak of invisibility can keep you hidden from your enemies while you confuse them with your spells.
16th-Apr-2006 07:57 pm (UTC)
Supplemental healer? Invest 750 gold into a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. 50 1d4+3 heals can be quite a help, especially if the cleric is ever out of action.

All of the Charisma boosting items are good, but as was mentioned a Rod of *insert metamagic Feat here* is always good.

And I heart Greater Spell Focus. Also, stick with Illusion and dabble in Enchantment. Enchantment can be completely useless in a lot of combat situations, but for RP value it can be wonderful.

Glad to hear you're able to go for a unique character, too. I usually find it's more fulfilling.
16th-Apr-2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
*nods* We have a wand of cure light wounds in the party and several of the other arcane spellcasters have invested points in use magic device so that they can use the wand. I'm assuming that I won't have to if I take levels in bard, but I could be wrong. What's the rule on that? Bards are technically arcane spellcasters, but they can cast cure spells, so is it a wand that I could use?

One of the other sorcs also pointed out that when there are spells that would be great at lower levels, but are useless at upper levels, those are the spells that make great wands for sorcerers, who don't want to waste a spell slot that they won't use when they level up. So, with that in mind, I picked up two wands for combat - summon monster I and shocking grasp. I'm hoping that'll give me options in combat and still let me use my abilities in other situations.

As for the metamagic rods, awesome. I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks!
16th-Apr-2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming that I won't have to if I take levels in bard, but I could be wrong. What's the rule on that? Bards are technically arcane spellcasters, but they can cast cure spells, so is it a wand that I could use?

You can automatically use any wand that holds a spell that is in your spell list. Any spell you will ever be able to cast you can cast automatically from a wand. Neat, huh?

Summon Monster is the best! Read up on the rules for Aid Another, if you're unfamiliar. Especially when faced with one big bad monster with a high AC, Summon Monster has saved my bacon more times than I can count.

Shocking Grasp is an interesting choice. It's good damage for it's level, although I would like to advise ranged combat (shocking grasp is melee only, I believe [the word "grasp" tipped me off LOL]). Magic Missile is always a good choice for a wand, as is Ray of Enfeeblement. These are straight combat choices, of course, with no real RP use. Another low level which has served me well is Grease. Again, any single combat with a big bad can be decimated if he can't get to you, or even get up.

I'm supposing that there won't be a lot of one-on-one combat with such a large party, but it's still good advice.

And lastly of my long-winded ramble, the two illusions that served me the best: We were beset by dire apes in the forest, who were quickly destroying our party. I mimicked the sound of a dire tiger, and the apes broke and ran. Yay for Illusions! The second we were losing badly to a pack of fiendish wolves, and so I went Invisible and "summoned" an Ancient Red Dragon, complete with heat from it's fiery breath. Again witht he bad guys running and fleeing in terror.

Kudos to you for picking up an excellent school! It's one of my favorites.
17th-Apr-2006 12:38 am (UTC)
Hmm...

I have ray of enfeeblement as one of my known spells. As much as I hate necromancy, the stat damage is always helpful. And I didn't grab the magic missile wand because someone else already had. *shrugs* But yeah, I'll have to read up on shocking grasp and figure out how that works with a wand. Thanks!

Okay, question. How do you accompany sensations, like the fiery breath, with an illusion? Or is that part of the illusion?

Also, for a low level sorc, I really only have three spells - ray of enfeeblement, silent image and mage armor. Any suggestions on the best ways to use silent image? I know the bad guys get no save if they don't interact with it, but what does that mean? If there's a wall and they see it, does that qualify as 'interacting' or only if they touch it? Any specific examples of how you've used that spell as a lowbie?

Thanks again for all your suggestions. I'm really looking forward to playing Seline.
17th-Apr-2006 02:16 am (UTC)
How do you accompany sensations, like the fiery breath, with an illusion? Or is that part of the illusion?

My apologies for the lack of specifics. Different spells give you different illusions. A low level spell (such as Silent Image) gives you only the image (thus the name *grin*), whereas the full manisfestation of a dragon, complete with sounds and heat (but no damage) from it's breath requires a higher level spell (Major Image in this case, a 3rd level spell).

As for interaction, it basically means you have to touch the illusion. And the NPCs usually would need a sound reason to do so in the case of an illusory wall. If it's in a place that's unfamiliar to them, there's no reason they would not readily believe it was actually a wall. If it's in the middle of the normal rounds that the house guards walk, they would probably figure something was up.

Some examples I've used, both as DM and player: the illusory wall you mentioned, to hide my NPCs or to his my allies. An illusory section of floor to hide the pit trap that we sprung. A guard at the end of a hallway, too far for other guards to speak to him, to replace the one the fighter konked on the head.

And the best thing is that Silent Image really works well if you're creative. It gives you the appearance of any creature, object, or force, within the 40' cube range. Talk to you DM about this, but there is really no stipulation in the PHB that says you have to use only one creature, object, or form. Since it lasts as long as you concentrate on it, I've ruled before that with a successful Concentration check the caster can alter the illusion into any other form that follows the original rules. Up to your DM, but it's neat to do (especially if you're singing songs or telling tales).

Creatures could be imaginary guardians for your sorceror (although the lack of sound would not work on some, if you opened a bag and pulled out an Iron Golem for example people might stop to think about it before attacking). Objects is such a broad range it is hard to put into words, but the wall you mentioned, a precious item poking out of the belt of an attacker (so his greedy cohorts attack him rather than you), or just pulling a menacing looking wand out of the ether.

And lastly, force effects. This to me gets a bit harder, but if you're Bluffing well you should be able to get away with a lot (with your DM's approval and help of course). Mimicking a spell that uses no sound is always fun: Magic Missile, a cloud of poison gas, and so on. Fireball or Lightning Bolt are bad choices for the obvious reason that they will have oratory components.

The other thing you can do it look at all of the Illusion school spells, of all levels. Your Silent Image is the basis of that spell, and as such can open up your imagination to the possibilities.

Illusion magic is situational, and demands a lot of creativity. As your character is written so far, I'd say either go all out with it or keep it hidden altogether unless necessary. Meaning, go all out by having her start talking about things (again, Perform: Oratory or Storytelling is great for this, as you can get used to telling tales to make your bardic magic happen) and as she mentions them have them form in her hands, or in the air near her, and then they fall to the ground to be forgotten (and disappear). Or, she never casts anything until it's necessary. Combat erupts around her, and as you've mentioned suddenly she's blowing things up (or shocking the crap out of them, or sucking the strength from their limbs). And sometimes, it's simply an illusion.
17th-Apr-2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
Remember that Ray of Enfeeblement assigns a penalty instead of dealing damage, so multiple castings overlap: it is a poor spell for a sorceror because once you have cast a decent roll on a big enemy, you can't do anything else (though you'be probably done enough!). However it is also a good spell in the long term because you may never need to swap-spell it (like you may want to swap Silent Image once you learn a similar but better high level spell) as it just keeps getting better and better, as higher level enemies have more attacks a round and the penalty applies to each of them.

Suggested long term plan for a party with many Sorcerors: acquire a Ring of Wizardry to share.
17th-Apr-2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
The only thing I know about illusions is my friend built an illusionist who did more damage if you made your saving throw than if you failed it.

*shakes head*
17th-Apr-2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
Wait... how did he do that?
17th-Apr-2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
Some convoluted PrC build. There's a couple of classes that increased the amount of 'real' damage you took from things like Shadow Conjuration, Shades, etc.

I honestly don't remember the full setup or I'd give it to you. :0
17th-Apr-2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
Ahh. NP, thanks!
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