Tell me about your useful magic-user

Remathilis

Legend

A magic user proficient in the use of darts is never, ever "useless". A steady rain of three of these things into low-level monsters is always handy. Or lobbing flaming oil. Or standing by with a potion of healing, bandages for characters dropped to 0 or worse, and on and on.


All of which, technically, a 0-level commoner is equally adept at doing.

None of which screams "master of the arcane arts" to me...
 

log in or register to remove this ad

All of which, technically, a 0-level commoner is equally adept at doing.

None of which screams "master of the arcane arts" to me...
Well, yeah...but low-level magic users aren't *supposed* to be masters of the arcane arts (that's an 11th level magic user). A first level magic user has access to powers that are quite impressive: sleep, charm person, et cetera, but he's just a beginner. He can't blast 'em every round. That's part of the charm and challenge of the magic user.

(A higher-level magic user, even when out of spells, is in a little better situation, because he's likely to have scrolls or a wand to fall back on.)
 


DrunkonDuty

he/him
Only Magic User I played for any length of time back then was a MU/Druid. Heaps'O'Spells. I believe at 1st level he had 1x 1st MU and 4x 1st Druid spells! And he could use a scimitar, wear leather armour and carry a wooden shield. The guy had 6hp, an AC of something like 5 and did 1d8 damage. He was a GOD! More than a match for a dozen goblins (as long as he got the drop on 'em. Thank you sleep spell.)

I think the only time I've played a pure MU was recently when playing Rise of the Runelords. Only got to 3rd level before the game folded but my little guy was without a doubt the brains of the party. And Colour Spray is a great equaliser. Always has been, AD&D to 3rd ed. (frankly haven't noticed much difference in low level wizards from AD&D to 3rd.)

Personally I like to play meat shields.
 

Edena_of_Neith

First Post
My most notable magic-user, was the high elven girl Trillirra.

Now, before we go further, one must understand that at that time, the rules were very different from now, and DMs made further adjustments yet. In this case, items had to make item saving throws if the wearer/user failed his save, and any magical items that were destroyed, exploded immediately (requiring a new saving throw for the wearer, who if he failed meant his items had to save again.) Also, spellbooks detonated if destroyed, typically with great force.

Trillirra was the classic elven warrior/wizard, but she was also a druidess of Rhiannon, as per the Dragon Magazine article. She was chaotic good, articulate and friendly, merry and congenial. She was light green in skin color, with blue hints, and hair eyes were blue and her hair molten gold. (These, from being an Agnakok.)

Trillirra's favorite 1st level spell was Magic Missile. Why? One of her battles illustrated the reason.
Trillirra was at the bottom of a slope, and this hill was heavily defended, with traps all along the way up and defenders in the trees at the top. These defenders were armed with long bows and those heavy 2nd edition arrows that do 1-8 points of damage.
So what did Trillirra do? She took cover behind a large tree standing at the base of the hill, gaining +8 to her AC which, on top of her elven chain and dexterity bonus gave her a very effective AC of around - 8 against the archers.

While the defenders fired from their trees, Trillirra fired Magic Missiles at them. Although the defenders had 90% concealment, they were still faintly visible, and that was all that was required for Magic Missile to work ... and Magic Missile is an Autohit.
Trillirra was 7th level at this time, so each of her spells released 4 missiles, for 4d4 + 4 points of damage. The defenders showered Trillirra with arrows, but it was futile and they all hit the tree or missed. Trillirra's Magic Missiles always hit.

Trillirra had, at the start of the combat, Fireballed the hilltop (5th level), firing the trees in which the defenders were taking cover, causing them considerable damage, and making continuing to take cover there a painful affair. The 5d6 fireball, combined in many cases with 2d6 fire damage (and in a few cases, subsequent 2d6 damage), weakened the defenders so badly that the subsequent Magic Missile strikes were able to hurt very badly.

The party rogue, was sending missile fire up into the trees, and his shots were very good. He also had taken cover behind a tree, and was sending a steady hail of arrows up at the defenders.
The party cleric, was - as I remember it - sending clerical attack spells up at the defenders, from cover below.

Our fighters were charging up the slope. They overcame the traps (at great cost), reached the trees, and were ready for the defenders when they tried to jump down, while Trillirra, the rogue, and the cleric continued their distance barrage.
And it was over. We won the battle, with no losses on our side.
 

Edena_of_Neith

First Post
Trillirra was in a battle where we faced a room full of stone gargoyles and stone golems.

Trillirra and the party had worked out a pre-arranged deal, where if she shouted a certain sound, it was indicative of an illusory fireball to be cast. This had been practiced to the point where nobody in the party had to make a save if caught in one of Trillirra's illusory fireballs ... so long as they got the signal first.
So the fighters charged in, and Trillirra threw the Spectral Force of a Fireball, which detonated for 6d6 (Trillirra's level was 6.) The monsters failed their saves, and took the illusory damage.

Trillirra then threw the Spectral Force of 6 goblins charging into the room, and attacking the monsters (6 hit dice of monsters, the maximum she was allowed as a 6th level wizard.)
Although these goblins were rather useless in terms of attack, they diverted the attention of these powerful foes from our fighters. So blows that would have done upwards of 40 hit points of damage (in a single blow) to one of our own, instead destroyed illusions (which Trillirra had fall down dead.)

Again, our rogue used distance fire (magical arrows were the only thing that worked against these stone behemoths) and the cleric cast supportive magic.
The fighters took the honors, taking out the monsters with their massive blows, weapon specialization and great strength and multiple attacks overmatching the monsters.

Another victory, and once again no casualties on our side. In fact, no serious injuries, even.

-

I remember a battle where Trillirra and several allies - fighters, went up against one of those subterranean behemoths that could deliver 7 to 70 points of damage per strike, and it got 4 strikes per round.
Trillirra was 7th level, and she Stoneskinned the two strongest fighters in the group. Someone else had a Stoneskin scroll, and used it to protect a third fighter.
Then the fighters, able to dish out massive damage themselves, went after that monster, and it never had a chance. No casualties or even any damage to our side, one seriously bad monster chopped down.
 

Edena_of_Neith

First Post
Ah me. Trillirra got a lesson in humility later.
She was ready with a one-way Wall of Force, Fire Shield, Stoneskin, a number of other defensive spells, she had her magical elven chain, she had her attack spells and wands ready, she was ready to take the foe on fully, head to head.

Then the enemy wizard, her lone opponent, cast Mordenkainen's Disjunction from a prepared scroll at her. Bye-bye Fire Shield, Stoneskin, all other spells, and all of Trillirra's magical items (no save, no exception, and no appeal.)
Then the enemy wizard gave one of those Voldemort type smiles and asked if Trillirra wanted to surrender now, or would he have to now get tough?

Trillirra, surrendered. She would survive, but the imprisonment was rough.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Well, yeah...but low-level magic users aren't *supposed* to be masters of the arcane arts (that's an 11th level magic user). A first level magic user has access to powers that are quite impressive: sleep, charm person, et cetera, but he's just a beginner. He can't blast 'em every round. That's part of the charm and challenge of the magic user.

(A higher-level magic user, even when out of spells, is in a little better situation, because he's likely to have scrolls or a wand to fall back on.)



1st level magic users aren't masters of anything. Nor should they be.


(Lord Vecna, I'm probably going to regret this...)

In theory, you could send a commoner in with a ring of shooting stars, a dagger, and padded armor and he has just as much "wizard ju-ju" as a first level mage. (Probably more).

A cleric without his spells has Turn Undead and a decent hp/AC, so he can survive as a sub-par fighter for a while...

A thief or fighter doesn't run out of his trade, unless they are desperately low on arrows.

But a wizard without his one spell (or two, if you specialized) is pretty much a commoner.

While its understood that wizards have INFINITE COSMIC POWER itty bitty survival potential. I think (and did for a long time) that wizards should of had some "Take-that-you-fiend"-like power that gave them a simple "magical" attack after their more powerful magic was gone. Reserve feats in 3.5 came closest to fulfilling this wish within the vancian spell-system.

This, along with some manner of cantrip use at-will (or nearly so) would have gone a long way to give wizards more magical flavor without overall changing the nature of the class.
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top