Why Start With These Backgrounds?


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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 17:09

Why Start With These Backgrounds?

I have been playing magician a bit lately, and I couldn't shake the feeling that some starts don't really give you a reason to pick them.

Wizard: The book of minor magic contains a lot of beautiful spells: magic dart, call imp, blink, mephitic cloud, flame cloud. However, it lacks punching power. It feels like a splendid book to find on D:1-11, if you already have another one, or if you are a fighter interested in hybridizing. But, as a stand-alone book? You will find yourself shooting magic missiles at komodo dragons and black mambas (although you should finally find some other book in Lair).
Solution: more Str, less Int, move to the warrior-mage section.

Conjurer: The book of conjurations has a very good selection for levels 1-2, but what comes later just isn't that good. Yes, you can play a game of luring and explode people out of LOS with the prism, but that never stroke me as particularly funny. And you can't rely on the prism anyway, because it's likely to be destroyed. Conjurer has the advantage of having universally effective spells: no elemental resistances matter. However, fire inflicts more damage, and ice has more options, and an awesome spell like throw icicle, which I have always found much better than mystic blast. (There also are very few fire-immune monsters in the Dungeon: red imps are all I can think of. Maybe the occasional hell hound and efreet.) And the "no resistance" trick is shared with Earth.

Poison mage: the problem with poison mage is simple. All of your spells can be resisted with rPoison. That means that you cannot hurt any undead, excluding you from ossuary, because it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there. Also, all imps resist your spells. So do black mambas and moccasins. And spiny frogs.
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 17:47

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

It sure would be nice to have Battlesphere back...
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 17:48

Shtopit wrote:The book of minor magic contains a lot of beautiful spells

Agreed. (And the book even had rMsl in earlier versions.)

Shtopit wrote:However, it lacks punching power.

Agreed.

Shtopit wrote:It feels like a splendid book to find on D:1-11, if you already have another one, or if you are a fighter interested in hybridizing.

Agreed.

Shtopit wrote:Solution: more Str, less Int, move to the warrior-mage section.

Yes, this is one possible solution. I always thought that the main drawback of starting as Wz is that you lose (too) many stat points for Int which you often don't want.

Another idea: iirc there was at least one topic or post with the question if you could define your stat points from the very beginning. (Like: "you have X stat points - how many Str/Int/Dex do you want?")

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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 17:58

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:Wizard: The book of minor magic [...] lacks punching power.


No, the combo Mephitic Cloud + Conjure Flame clears everything up to and including Lair:6 or Orc:2. Granted you better have something else for the rest of the game but that's what Vehumet is for.
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 18:28

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:Wizard: ... You will find yourself shooting magic missiles at komodo dragons and black mambas

Hopefully you're slowing mambas and having imps gang up on them while they stand in a conjured fire? I mean, you can missile them too but playing Wz as a blaster is pretty frustrating.

I might agree with putting Wz in warrior mage; you'll probably have better melee chops than elementalists as you don't have level 4-6 spells to train for.
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 18:38

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Several backgrounds stand out as "never pick" way before the ones mentioned in the op - Mo, Sk, AK, CK, and Wn to name a few. If you're just concerned about background strength and not playstyle, I'd definitely adjust all of those before VM, Cj, or Wz.

Wz is not a weak background. I'd rank it above FE personally. You get all your spells by like D:4 and don't need anything else until post-orc, so you have a lot of room to train whatever you find/want. Going Vehumet on Wz is usually not a good idea though. Cj is likewise fine power-wise, though I agree that imb and force lance kind of suck. VM is still the weakest mage start but it's no longer unplayable garbage, merely below average overall.
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 19:23

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:Poison mage: the problem with poison mage is simple. All of your spells can be resisted with rPoison. That means that you cannot hurt any undead, excluding you from ossuary, because it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there

most ossuaries have monsters slower than you though (unless your move speed is slower than 1.0 aut)
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Post Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 19:48

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Venom Mage is much better than many players think, because early game rPois monsters are not very common, not very dangerous and can just be avoided (NaVM is a special case). Anything without rPois is easily and MP-efficiently killed. Spiny frogs and black mambas in Lair are the first actual obstacles, hopefully you have a wand or two by then. Also consider doing Orc first.

Of course, this is just my personal experience (VM is still my best background.)

Wizard and Conjurer are also good enough.

As to the question 'why start with these backgrounds', the answer is: because you want to play them. If you just want to win with maximal probability, pick Be I guess.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 00:50

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Wizards: I used to have a lot of trouble with the starting book stalling out fast, but I picked up various tricks from the forum and other advice, and now it gets me a lot further than it used to. A lot of creatures can be coaxed to stand in conjure flame, for example, including black mambas and komodo dragons. Hopefully you trained dodging and possibly moved to medium armour (assuming you didn't stumble on some higher level spell early on.)

That said, I think your suggestion for wizards would work pretty well. I'd say it's not necessary but it's not a bad idea, either. It would steer players away from thinking of wizards as the best at doing everything with magic (which the name hints at) and towards thinking of them as hybrids. It would take away the chance to force your starting int as high as possible if you want a low-int species to cast spells later in the game.

Conjurer: I think fulmatic prism is better than you give it credit for, but on the whole I do find them a trifle lackluster compared to the elemental starts. I don't think they need any big change though... it seems more like some of the spells could use a small buff. IMB feels pretty meh right now.

Venom mage: I don't play these too often. Venom magic does have some big holes, but I still think it's an ok start if you plan on how to fill the holes.

I notice you made a suggestion for wizards but not for conjurers or venom mages. What's your suggested fix for the other two?

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 01:12

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

the classes that are under warrior-mage have one thing in common: they can't kill things at XL1 without using a weapon/unarmed combat, and the rest of their spells are not very efficient for killing things without using weapons/UC. classifying wizard as a warrior-mage would make this distinction unclear and possibly confuse new players

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 01:30

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Wz is for players who want to cast spells from a bunch of different schools with a bunch of different purposes. It also has the highest Int of any background, 3 more than the other mage backgrounds. I very much disagree that it's best played as a "warrior-mage".

Conjurer and VM are worse than the elementalists and play basically the same, but that's what happens when you have 6 spell schools that are "damage", "damage that doesn't work on crimson imps", "damage that doesn't work on skeletons", "loud damage", "damage with a bad targeter", and "damage over 10 turns".

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 05:53

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

I agree Wz is really weird. "Train what you want" in reality means you will train weapon, fighting and dodging before Temple unless you join Vehumet, Sif Muna or Kiku. Yes, you have many spells and high int but your most damaging spell is magic dart and mephitic cloud is almost useless if you cannot kill things without using MP, it will wake half level and will get you killed.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 06:43

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:Poison mage: the problem with poison mage is simple. All of your spells can be resisted with rPoison. That means that you cannot hurt any undead, excluding you from ossuary, because it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there.

Note that FWIW my normal-speed venom mage just did an ossuary (D:5) with 0 weapon skill and 5 fighting.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 07:43

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Siegurt wrote:
Shtopit wrote:Poison mage: the problem with poison mage is simple. All of your spells can be resisted with rPoison. That means that you cannot hurt any undead, excluding you from ossuary, because it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there.

Note that FWIW my normal-speed venom mage just did an ossuary (D:5) with 0 weapon skill and 5 fighting.


Having -20% HP, almost zero AC and +0 brandless weapon? Because this is what you often have as DEVM and alike. I remember I had choice between fighting at low HP and leaving ossuary and despite I was lucky to survive it does not mean ossuary is not a problem for VM.

Edit. Also having Fighting 5 at D:5 means something is wrong with VM IMHO, it is not a mage background.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 07:45

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

duvessa wrote:Conjurer and VM are worse than the elementalists and play basically the same, but that's what happens when you have 6 spell schools that are "damage", "damage that doesn't work on crimson imps", "damage that doesn't work on skeletons", "loud damage", "damage with a bad targeter", and "damage over 10 turns".


Problem with melee/ranged is worse IMHO. At least as book background you still have significant difference in play style in Lair.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 08:18

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I agree Wz is really weird. "Train what you want" in reality means you will train weapon, fighting and dodging before Temple unless you join Vehumet, Sif Muna or Kiku. Yes, you have many spells and high int but your most damaging spell is magic dart and mephitic cloud is almost useless if you cannot kill things without using MP, it will wake half level and will get you killed.

You can do it without weapons, with conjure flame and meph cloud. I've seen it many times.

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 08:26

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Magipi wrote:You can do it without weapons, with conjure flame and meph cloud. I've seen it many times.


In a corridor near stairs?
Wz relies on luck a lot. Will you have a corridor nearby? Will mephitic cloud generate on the tile with Ogre in open terrain? Will Ogre be confused or pass HD check? Will it hit itself while confused? Will confusion last long enough for your imps or magic darts to kill the ogre? In my experience I am running out of MP too fast and then I have many monsters in view without me being able to finish them.

Edit. Having a way to kill monsters without MP makes Mephitic Cloud a great spell indeed, I can save my mana for multiple Mephitic Cloud and Conjure Flame so I am not in danger when killing those multiple monsters.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 09:43

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Why do you want to cast mephitic cloud on an Ogre, especially in the open? Just summon a bunch of imps instead.

Wizard is not hard without weapon skill. Just you need to remember to actually use the spells appropriate for the situation.

Also, you do not need weapon skill to kill a confused monster. Picking up a sling or polearm and using it is useful for non-wizard mages too, so wizard is not very special in this regard. Training fighting and dodging is also useful for other mages too.

I train more defense for wizards because it's somewhat easier to cast all spells than for some other backgrounds, since they are lower level and you have 3 more int, not because it's less useful for elementalists.

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 09:47

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

sanka wrote:Why do you want to cast mephitic cloud on an Ogre, especially in the open? Just summon a bunch of imps instead.


Imps are not that great in my experience, especially red ones who blink all the time. As Wz I don't have problems running away (Blink is enough).
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 09:50

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Well, this is not my experience. Imps do way more damage than what you can do with a weapon that you pick up from the ground and train a little bit. They kill much stronger monsters than an ogre easily.

You may need to move a lot tough.

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 15:43

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I agree Wz is really weird. "Train what you want" in reality means you will train weapon, fighting and dodging before Temple unless you join Vehumet, Sif Muna or Kiku. Yes, you have many spells and high int but your most damaging spell is magic dart and mephitic cloud is almost useless if you cannot kill things without using MP, it will wake half level and will get you killed.


But that would slow down my beautiful beautiful Cflame baby's roll x.x
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 15:45

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Hellmonk wrote:Several backgrounds stand out as "never pick" way before the ones mentioned in the op - Mo, Sk, AK, CK, and Wn to name a few. If you're just concerned about background strength and not playstyle, I'd definitely adjust all of those before VM, Cj, or Wz.


I wanted to answer this first, because it sets the subject for this discussion. The problem is a matter of playstyle, and of what the background is meant to give you. Monk gives you a reason for its existence ("I want to get more Piety immediately with a god for which there is no zealot background"), as do AK and CK, which play significantly different than other backgrounds. Conjurer and poison mage, instead, seem to be built around the same concept as fire elementalist (magical damage, damage, damage), the only difference being attack flavour in the case of Cj, and with noticeable holes in VM. I agree that it's being getting better, though.

As an aside, I never understood Skald. "Go light armour and spells, so you can raise your defense and attack to be the equivalent of a fighter that has all of this as a passive."

Fingolfin wrote:No, the combo Mephitic Cloud + Conjure Flame clears everything up to and including Lair:6 or Orc:2. Granted you better have something else for the rest of the game but that's what Vehumet is for.


About this, my feeling is similar to that of VAF. It can be done, but it it relies on luck -- on factors external to player choices. My impression also was that of a lot of keypresses/monster, and that you had to reset very often, and very often go up and down the same set of stairs.

CanOfWorms wrote:most ossuaries have monsters slower than you though (unless your move speed is slower than 1.0 aut)


They also have layouts that are meant to force you to fight many enemies at once, and traps that give your position away... And, sometimes, a happy wraith at the end. My point is, you can get in and you probably can get out, but you are unlikely to get to the loot.

cjo wrote:I notice you made a suggestion for wizards but not for conjurers or venom mages. What's your suggested fix for the other two?


About conjurer, I am not sure. About poison, spider form wouldn't hurt, and would work as a melee alternative. It is actually odd that poison mage doesn't get it, because ice form is in the book of frost, and statue form is in the book of earth, so elemental books, but spider form isn't in the only poison-themed book, in spite of the fact that it's at an appropriate level.

CanOfWorms wrote:the classes that are under warrior-mage have one thing in common: they can't kill things at XL1 without using a weapon/unarmed combat, and the rest of their spells are not very efficient for killing things without using weapons/UC. classifying wizard as a warrior-mage would make this distinction unclear and possibly confuse new players


If wizard were to be revamped as a warrior-mage, it could lose magic dart and gain a weapon instead. I still think that it would be an enjoyable experience; imo more enjoyable than it is now, but that requires testing.

Turukano wrote:Another idea: iirc there was at least one topic or post with the question if you could define your stat points from the very beginning. (Like: "you have X stat points - how many Str/Int/Dex do you want?")


This is something that I really would like in theory, but I feel that it would be too slow for Crawl, and might require too much effort for a character that will likely be dead within 5 minutes, if this were expanded to all background. But one background that is exclusively "DIY", with a point-buy system for stats, skills, religion, and items, with the possibility to save the combinations, would be cool. The problem is for beginners, that might be overwhelmed by the quantity of choices and dismayed at how quickly they die, and spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to set up a stronger character instead of just playing and learning the game.

BTW, VM having to go Orc before Lair could be a good thing. I hadn't thought of trying that out. It's a noticeable difference from any other background I can think of. Of course, if you find the wrong books or shops, it's going to be tough anyway.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 16:01

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:
Fingolfin wrote:No, the combo Mephitic Cloud + Conjure Flame clears everything up to and including Lair:6 or Orc:2. Granted you better have something else for the rest of the game but that's what Vehumet is for.


About this, my feeling is similar to that of VAF. It can be done, but it it relies on luck -- on factors external to player choices. My impression also was that of a lot of keypresses/monster, and that you had to reset very often, and very often go up and down the same set of stairs.


I still disagree with this. I'm not a good crawl player, but I can get a NaWz (so no easy resetting fights) to the end of Lair pretty reliably while relying only on Magic Dart, Conjure Flame and Mephitic Cloud, because the spells are just that strong. Mephitic Cloud allows you to get away from almost anything and the monsters that resist it will happily walk in clouds of flame. With good LOS management, Magic Dart can be used to pick separate packs. Learn how to use these three spells effectively and get a 0-skill spear and you're set.

Shtopit wrote:My impression also was that of a lot of keypresses/monster

I concede this point, you have to be careful and it takes some time.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 16:38

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:
Siegurt wrote:
Shtopit wrote:Poison mage: the problem with poison mage is simple. All of your spells can be resisted with rPoison. That means that you cannot hurt any undead, excluding you from ossuary, because it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there.

Note that FWIW my normal-speed venom mage just did an ossuary (D:5) with 0 weapon skill and 5 fighting.


Having -20% HP, almost zero AC and +0 brandless weapon? Because this is what you often have as DEVM and alike. I remember I had choice between fighting at low HP and leaving ossuary and despite I was lucky to survive it does not mean ossuary is not a problem for VM.

I didn't say "given the weakest possible situation I managed to scrape out a win in an ossuary while using a venom mage" In that particular case, I was playing a formacid, was in +1 robes (I might have switched to a +1 leather by that point I don't recall whether I did that before or after the ossuary), had +0 boots and a +3 protection ring, so actually not near-zero defense, and I'd picked up a +0 vorpal halberd, and a +1 hunting sling and a handful of bullets, I also hadn't found the temple nor an acceptable altar, so I had no god yet. I was either XL7 or 8 (Don't recall which). I was probably slightly above average in terms of power, but I also cruised through the ossuary with no danger.

I suspect "typical" lies somewhere between the two, and didn't claim that my experience meant that VM never had problems with ossuaries, just that I had an experience which ran counter to the claim that "it's unlikely that your backup killdudes can be good enough to win there." I think it's at least moderately likely that your VM's backup killdudes will be powerful enough to kill things in an ossuary, and even if it's not, you're highly likely to be able to run away if you can't kill everything in there (considering most things in most ossuaries are slower than normal)

Obviously slow races, and races with poor physical attributes will struggle more, since they're less-suited than average for dealing with an ossuary.
VeryAngryFelid wrote:Edit. Also having Fighting 5 at D:5 means something is wrong with VM IMHO, it is not a mage background.

Pretty much all of my mage background characters have fighting around 4-5 by that point (presuming a non-fast race) I find that once I have level 3 or 4 spells online, getting some fighting helps mitigate the extremes around spell failures/misses and keeps me alive slightly more predictably. I do tend to put a little less fighting in generally for FE and Cj when compared to Wz/IE/AE/VM/NE/Su, but probably only by about 1 point.

Typically I go: spellcasting to 3, spell skills to roughly 5-6 (depending on what it takes to get spells online) then fighting to 4/5 (depending on aptitude) then spellcasting to 4, spell skills to 7/8ish (probably it's this point at which I've exhausted the starting book and need to start looking at what the RNG has given me to tackle the dungeon with, although I can usually coast on the starting book typically through lair/orc) With fast races I kite more, so less fighting, more spellcasting/spellpower.

I don't personally find VM to be atypical in this regard, but it might be that I'm an atypical player in this regard.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 17:22

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Siegurt wrote:but it might be that I'm an atypical player in this regard.


This. If you play casters like hybrids from the very beginning, of course you don't have big problems with resistant monsters.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 18:16

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:
cjo wrote:I notice you made a suggestion for wizards but not for conjurers or venom mages. What's your suggested fix for the other two?

About conjurer, I am not sure. About poison, spider form wouldn't hurt, and would work as a melee alternative. It is actually odd that poison mage doesn't get it, because ice form is in the book of frost, and statue form is in the book of earth, so elemental books, but spider form isn't in the only poison-themed book, in spite of the fact that it's at an appropriate level.

Ahh... IE start does not get Ice Form and EE start does not get statue form. Transmuter gets both ice and spider forms, and nobody gets to start with statue form. I hate to be nitpicky but I think it's relevant. Ignoring that, I'm lukewarm on giving VM spider form. It pushes players towards unarmed combat, but I don't think the start as a whole really supports that. (Ironically, I think VM could get much more use out of Ice Form due to its poison immunity. That hardly fits as a starting spell though.)

In response to CanOfWorms, you wrote:
If wizard were to be revamped as a warrior-mage, it could lose magic dart and gain a weapon instead. I still think that it would be an enjoyable experience; imo more enjoyable than it is now, but that requires testing.

Noooo! Magic dart is so iconic! In general that was my reaction to your wizard proposal--not that it was bad, but that wizards fill a particular role in Crawl which I like a lot. I think they have more staying power than you're giving them credit for, although finding an offensive spell upgrade is always a huge moment for any of my wizards.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 18:32

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:This is something that I really would like in theory, but I feel that it would be too slow for Crawl, and might require too much effort for a character that will likely be dead within 5 minutes, if this were expanded to all background. But one background that is exclusively "DIY", with a point-buy system for stats, skills, religion, and items, with the possibility to save the combinations, would be cool. The problem is for beginners, that might be overwhelmed by the quantity of choices and dismayed at how quickly they die, and spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to set up a stronger character instead of just playing and learning the game.


ToME has this, in the Adventurer class. You have to beat the final boss once in order to unlock the class, and then said Adventurer class has access to every skill tree in the game (with certain restrictions). I understand that Crawl fans would probably have a fit about locked/unlockable classes, but I think this one in particular would be a solid implementation. This way you can lock it off from new players who need to learn to play the game with the options given to them, and allow advanced players to theorycraft exciting and stupid new ideas.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 19:09

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

@cjo

I definitely was mistaken about ice form and IE: I must have mixed the spell up with summon ice beast, which is lvl 4 and in the book of frost, while ice form is also lvl 4, but in the book of ice. But what I meant about statue form is, well, what I wrote: it's in the "book of earth", one of the earth-magic themed books. Spider form isn't in any poison-themed book.
In a way, the fact that IE doesn't have access to ice form makes me more enthusiastic about giving spider form to VM, since it would set it slightly apart from other elementalists.
It's hard for me to say if this would be a bad move and set VM on the wrong track. The thing is, there aren't many poison spells. They also are fairly low level. VM has to branch out, sooner or later. But the big thing for me is that there are 2 poison spells that work against rPoison enemies, and that's Spider Form and Poison Arrow.
You know, when I look at it that way, I start wondering if VM also wouldn't be a good warrior-mage instead. It is a school revolving around damage dealing, but with evident gaping holes in its capabilities that can be easily closed with a mundane weapon. Vapours would cause a lot of confusion, though: "why should I pick a sword, when I have this awesome spell?".

Also, I wouldn't be too worried about m dart, in I were you. =D The stuff I write is very unlikely to be implemented, simply because I can't code, and those who can are likely to disagree and/or have their own projects going. I enjoy the discourse, though.
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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 19:14

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

PseudoLoneWolf wrote:ToME has this, in the Adventurer class. You have to beat the final boss once in order to unlock the class, and then said Adventurer class has access to every skill tree in the game (with certain restrictions). I understand that Crawl fans would probably have a fit about locked/unlockable classes, but I think this one in particular would be a solid implementation. This way you can lock it off from new players who need to learn to play the game with the options given to them, and allow advanced players to theorycraft exciting and stupid new ideas.


That's interesting, I was thinking about using an RC file option to enable or disable it, and set to disabled by default. Because of "default power", and the arcane nature of the rc file, only a small percentage of inexperienced players (especially what I suppose is the majority of offline players that don't belong to the online community) would actually use it.
But yes, making it locked until the first win would be another way. I personally don't like this much because of the fact that you may want to install the game on another machine and play casually with it, and even a player that has already won might take some time (weeks) before he wins again and can use the class.
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cjo

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Post Wednesday, 21st March 2018, 19:34

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

Shtopit wrote:@cjo
Also, I wouldn't be too worried about m dart, in I were you. =D The stuff I write is very unlikely to be implemented, simply because I can't code, and those who can are likely to disagree and/or have their own projects going. I enjoy the discourse, though.

Oh sure, we're just spitballing here, I was being a bit dramatic perhaps :) I enjoy these conversations as well.

AFAIK, no starting spell books "double up" on each other except for wizard, which gets multiple low level utility spells found in multiple more specialized starts. It's a bit of a shame that transmuters have sticks to snakes--it makes it hard to give VM a mid-level poisonous summons while keeping things distinct. OTOH it's a bit of a shame to default to 'add summons to fix everything' *shrug*

What do you think of Ignite Poison as a spell? I don't tend to get much mileage out of it, but then I haven't used it much.

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Post Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 03:03

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

cjo wrote:What do you think of Ignite Poison as a spell? I don't tend to get much mileage out of it, but then I haven't used it much.

IMO it works great with OTR or green draconian, but now that Poisonous Cloud is gone that's about it.
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Post Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 16:04

Re: Why Start With These Backgrounds?

A VM who can get Ignite Poison early (such as one of your first few Veh gifts) gets a pretty big power boost. Mephitic Cloud->Ignite Poison might take two turns but it's an amazing tool against all the poison-immune enemies in dungeon/Lair, and still helpful against all the things you were already using Meph on; confuse it, then burn it to shreds. And of course, it works great with Toxic Radiance.

If VM -started- with Ignite Poison it'd be one of the easiest book starts, imo. VM is already really strong against everything not-poison-resistant, the problem is once you hit lair there's a lot of really dangerous resistant enemies that you're forced to be an awful melee character vs., unless you found other spells already. (Usually you haven't.) I'm currently too afraid to pick VM on something that doesn't have an easier time going melee like a Dr.

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