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Sailor Spells

ZenBear

Villager
What low level spells would a Wizard Sailor find most useful?

For cantrips I'm thinking Control Flames would be invaluable to put out fires on the ship or exacerbate fires on enemy ships. For that latter reason Firebolt is also great for lighting enemy sails on fire and for general combat of course. Mending is great for general maintenance. Dancing Lights would be valuable for night work, and Message for communication during a storm.

1st level spells I like Fog Cloud to obscure line of sight. Not much else leaps out at me at this level.

2nd level Shatter seems solid for blowing apart a mast or siege weapon. Of course long range fire spells are always useful, so Scorching Ray is great. Gust of Wind gives your ship a boost of speed, and Skywrite finally finds a home in ship to ship/shore communication.

What else stands out to you guys?
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Spider Climb

Water Walk

Water Breathing

Find Familiar is even more useful than normal

Prestidigitation for food and drink and staying clean
 

ZenBear

Villager
Thanks for the feedback! So for a 4th level Wizard, what spells would you pick? That means 4 cantrips and 12 spells of 1st and 2nd level. I’m building an NPC to be a ship’s mage.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Cantrips: Control Fire, Mending, Message, Firebolt.
1st: Detect Magic, Find Familiar, Fog Cloud, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missile
2nd: Continual Flame, Gust of Wind, Misty Step, Scorching Ray, Skywrite, Warding Wind
 

DM Dave1

Exploder
Thanks for the feedback! So for a 4th level Wizard, what spells would you pick? That means 4 cantrips and 12 spells of 1st and 2nd level. I’m building an NPC to be a ship’s mage.

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Cantrips: Control Fire, Mending, Message, Firebolt.
1st: Detect Magic, Find Familiar, Fog Cloud, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missile
2nd: Continual Flame, Gust of Wind, Misty Step, Scorching Ray, Skywrite, Warding Wind
Looks good, although if you are following PHB rules the wizard would have 8 first level spells (minimum) and 4 second level spells (maximum) since the class only starts getting 2nd level spells as a 3rd level wizard.

That said, I'd add the aforementioned Jump and maybe Tenser's Floating Disk as 1st level spells and drop Skywrite and Warding Wind as 2nd level spells.

Then again, NPCs don't need to follow the rules for PCs, so give them more than 12 spells if you want... maybe they were hired and found the recently departed 4th level ship mage's spellbook in their cabin with several other spells that they then copied into their own spellbook...
 

ZenBear

Villager
Good catch. I think Floating Disk is good, but Jump is dubiously useful considering the mage doesn’t have high STR or skill in Athletics to safely make risky jumps. I think Feather Fall would be better to save people who drop from the crow’s nest. I’d also keep Skywrite for flavor and drop Continual Flame, since Everburning Torches could feasibly be purchased.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Alter Self for the water breathing feature for sure. Also possibly Create Bellbottoms for the more sartorially inclined. Maybe Summon Chief, Biker and Construction Worker as well..
 

rgoodbb

Explorer
Mass Keel?

Gust for the sails and
Shape Water.
Flaming Sphere for rolling on the enemy decks.

I had this Warforged Druid idea with the above and Thorn Whip to attach to a tree and pull the boat in. Being Warforged, they obviously doubled up as an anchor as well.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Continual flame/Light would be highly prized: a light source that can’t start a fire is going to be handy when you’re on the water, surrounded by all kinds of flammables. Warding spells against fire would be worth their weight in gold, for that matter.

OTOH, Grease could be handy if you WANT to start fires...on someone else’s ship.

As I posited elsewhere, an aggressive, expansionist naval power might ask any sailor capable of learning it to know Magic Missile. Sleep might also be high on that list.

Any spell that can magically manipulate ropes would be very useful. So would almost any “elemental” spell.

Any spell that could protect, create or purify edible supplies would be good.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
Prestidigitation would be very useful on a ship -- not only does it save water in getting you and others clean and washing clothes, but it also can be used to scrub the decks, which is needed to help keep them walkable by others.
 

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