Spellcaster Backgrounds and Starting Books

Name dcss:brainstorm:background: Magic Backgrounds and Starting Books
Summary Discussion about reform/consolidation of magic jobs and starting books.
Related to Class Tweaks, Give reavers their own book, Remove Reavers, Remove Cj(fire), Remove Wz(frost), Spellcaster Consolidation, Stalker, Enchantments School Reform (Hexes and Charms)
Somewhat related to Components for Backgrounds, Religious Background Reform, Fighter
Added by xyblor
Added on 2010-07-27

A place to discuss magical backgrounds and their starting books. There are a lot of magic backgrounds (16, compared to 9 religious jobs and 7 other jobs), and some of them are not very different from one another. Maybe we can improve the distinction among them by eliminating some and/or by better differentiating their starting books.

The main point of contention is probably Reavers. Should they be removed, changed or left alone? Other culprits here are FE-Cj(fire), VM-St, and Su-Wz(summ).

maybe the ideal would be if no two starting books shared ANY spells at all? (not going to happen any time soon I know) — xyblor 2010-07-28 03:24
I don't think this is the ideal. Mephitic Cloud, for example, is a core part of multiple divergent playstyles. Trying to make it so that only one class could start with Mephitic Cloud would be an artificial limitation. — 256 2010-07-28 15:24


A summary of some competing overhaul plans for magic backgrounds.

xyblor's plan

  1. Remove Re done
    • no more backgrounds sharing books
  2. Remove books: Cj[fire], Wz[frost] and Wz[summ] done (Cj[revamped, Minor Magic tweaked)
    • eliminates the worst book overlaps
    • eliminates book selection
  3. Reduce backgrounds to one per magic skill
    • split enchantments into two schools (Cr vs. En) done
    • remove St
    • remove AM done
    • revamp Wr as the ranged weapon caster

I've adjusted the magic backgrounds partly based on this plan, with the removal of Reavers and consolidation of the Minor Magic books as the main points. More changes could possibly be made but I'm pretty happy with how the backgrounds look for the moment. — marvinpa 2011-02-20 00:04

OG17's plan

(according to xyblor)

  1. Remove Re
  2. Remove Cj
  3. Add Bolt of Cold to IE book
    • optionally, remove Summon Ice Beast

Current Magic Backgrounds (16) and Their Starting Books

Wizard - Book of Minor Magic (Flame, Frost, or Summoning)

All: Magic Dart, Blink, Slow, Mephitic Cloud
Flame: Throw Flame, Conjure Flame, Summon Small Mammals
Frost: Throw Frost, Ozocubu's Armour, Sticks to Snakes
Summoning: Summon Small Mammals, Call Canine Familiar, Repel Missiles

The differences between the three existing flavours are too insignificant. I'd rather just have one book with no flavours for Wz. The combination of magic dart, throw foo, blink and meph cloud is so great that the other spells don't matter that much. The summoning flavour to me doesn't make much sense since the flame flavour already has spammals (I'm not sure how rmsl is particularly good for summoners). AFAIK Slow was added when Detect Creatures was axed; I'm not sure it's a good addition. If Wizards are supposed to be dabbling in many schools, why not give them both fire and ice spells? And let's throw in some necromancy! I'm thinking something along these lines: Magic Dart, Spammals, Blink, Throw Flame, Corpse Rot, Meph Cloud, Ozocubu's Armour xyblor 2010-07-28 03:39
The point of wizards is to provide generally-useful spells at the cost of specialization strength. A player that intends to summon can start as a summoner and get a book of many summoning spells, or start as a WzS and get barely enough to get by with while also having dart/meph/blink/etc. Same with WzF and Fe/CjF, or WzI and IE/CjI. It lets you start working on a school without the whole of your character being dedicated to it; you give up initial power for a solid set of tools, which is an interesting choice. Simply comparing the three wizards with each other is a mistake. — og17 2010-07-28 22:08
Here's another attempt at a unified Wz book, designed to minimize overlap with the Cj book I proposed below.

Magic Dart, Spammals, Blink, Throw Flame, Sublimation Of Blood, Confuse, Stone Arrow

This set has no more than one spell in common with any other starting book, and doesn't share any elemental school with the unified Cj book. Confuse is there as (poor) substitute for meph cloud, which really is in too many starting books. On the plus side, you get a harder-hitting conjuration (stone arrow), and a way to regain mana (sublimation). — xyblor 2010-07-31 20:24
An alternative to book revision would be to just remove both Cj[fire] and Wz[frost]. This would eliminate the worst sources of book overlap. There seems to be little support for any new books anyone suggests, so it might be more productive to save tweaking the remaining books for an optional second stage to the magic background cleanup task. I would be tempted to get rid of Wz[summ] as well though. — xyblor 2010-08-02 17:21
Comparing Wz[frost] with Cj[ice], you get:

shared spells: Magic Dart, Throw Frost, Meph Cloud
Wz[frost]: Blink, Sticks to Snakes, Slow, Ozocubu's Armour
Cj[ice]: Static Discharge, Freezing Cloud, Bolt of Cold

Probably the most crucial distinction is Blink vs. Bolt of Cold. If we had to get rid of one of these books, which would it be? I think Wz[frost] should be removed and I made a FR for it. — xyblor 2010-08-02 17:47
Here's an attempt to merge the flame and summoning flavours of the Wz book:

Magic Dart, Spammals, Throw Flame, Blink, Confuse, Conjure Flame, Call Canine Familiar

It's basically the flame version with Call Canine Familiar added, while Confuse takes the place of both Mephitic Cloud and Slow. It's a book for people who would rather have canine familiars than meph clouds, which are probably a minority. — xyblor 2010-08-02 23:30
Replace Confuse with Mephitic Cloud and I think that's a pretty good Wizard book. I think Wizards are one of the few classes (along with AE and VM) who should definitely keep Mephitic Cloud, because they don't get a spell above Lvl 3 in their starting book. Also, Magic Dart and Throw Flame build Conj skill for MC, while Confuse is a level 3 spell with no enchantment precursors. — rangerc 2010-08-03 08:00

Conjurer - Book of Conjurations (Fire or Ice)

Fire: Magic Dart, Throw Flame, Stone Arrow, Conjure Flame, Bolt of Magma, Fireball
Ice: Magic Dart, Throw Frost, Mephitic Cloud, Static Discharge, Bolt of Cold, Freezing Cloud

The fire flavour shares 3 spells (plus bolt of foo) with the FE book. Also the lack of sticky flame and a worse bolt spell makes it inferior to the FE book. The ice flavour shares three spells with the Wz(frost) book. What about a single book (no flavours) that contains mystic blast? — xyblor 2010-07-28 04:30
I agree that having fire and ice flavors of conjurer makes conjurers somewhat poorly differentiated from elementalists (fire, especially). Also, as has been discussed elsewhere, it is confusing to a new player to choose fire and find that a third of your spells use Earth magic (and even more so for ice/air). I think a single book of conjurations would be a very good change and I propose something like: Magic Dart, Throw Frost, Conjure Flame, Mephitic Cloud, Iskenderun's Mystic Blast, Fireball256 2010-07-28 14:43
I propose that we get rid of the fire flavoured book of conjurations. If you want conj/fire spells, there's six of them in the FE book, so we don't need another one. The existing Cj[ice] book is a little better in terms of it's distinctness from the IE book (2 common spells), but I think it could still be improved. I propose replacing Freezing Cloud with Poisonous Cloud, and replacing Static Discharge with Mystic Blast, leaving you with this set:

Magic Dart, Throw Frost, Meph Cloud, Mystic Blast, Poisonous Cloud, Bolt of Cold

That would only have one spell in common with IE, one with AE and one with Wz. It adds a level 5 spell (Poisonous Cloud) where there was none. It is equal parts ice, air and poison. It has 3 single target spells, 2 clouds and 1 bolt. — xyblor 2010-07-31 18:53
Why would (ice) conjurations have a better poison spell than either poison class? That doesn't seem right. — og17 2010-07-31 19:55
It would no longer be the ice flavour of the book of conjurations, it would be the only book of conjurations, with equal parts ice/air/poison. Anyway, Poisonous Cloud isn't necessarily better than the other level 5 poison conjuration, Venom Bolt. — xyblor 2010-07-31 20:10
I'm not a fan of having Cj/Re, but it's questionable to just look at FE and say “conjurations are conjurations.” CjF offers a second damage type, second school, and rare spell, and not having sticky flame makes it plays pretty differently in itself. I'd still get rid of it, but things aren't as clear-cut as they look. — og17 2010-07-31 19:55
As some other people have pointed out, maybe the best way to deal with the overlaps between Cj[fire]/FE and Cj[ice]/Wz[frost] is to simply get rid of the Cj background altogether. This could be a viable alternative if messing with Wz is too distasteful. It is true that all the elementalist backgrounds are already focussed on conjurations already. However, some people think Cj is better than Wz, in which case removing Cj wouldn't make sense. — xyblor 2010-08-02 17:08
How is Cj “better” than Wz when they're entirely different concepts? Wz is a toolbox and Cj is a boring elementalist - they're not exactly comparable in any useful way here. — og17 2010-08-03 00:52

Since the fire book seems to have been dropped as an option, could the starting book please be changed to something like: Magic Dart, Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Static Discharge, Stone Arrow, Mephetic Cloud and Mystic Blast please? Waiting for a new book when I don't want to use ice/air is unreliable. — HousePet 2012-03-31 03:52

A problem with IMB is that it's one of the best conjurations for MP consumption and reliability. There's a proposal to make it a bit more interesting (and therefore less automatically good) which could make it more viable. I'd also argue that Meph is too effective, and a utility spell looks out of place in the Cj book. Elementalists are meant to have the mixture of utility and damage, and the Cj book with its three air and three ice spells actually just looks like an Ice+Air elementalist. Considering those two elements have also got some of the best utility spells this isn't really a skill progression Conjurers should be pushed into.
Here's my suggestion: Magic Dart, ?? [new spell], IMB, Bolt of Magma, Freezing Cloud, IOOD. On the surface this looks like a too-strong book. But you have one Earth/Fire spell as well as one Ice/Air; no single element spells. So if you want to use both of those spells you either have to spread out on counter-training skills, or pump Conjurations really high. Whereas the current Cj book will get you training Ice/Air from very early on and reward you for it with the higher-level spells. IMB obviously needs to be a modified version. IOOD might be just too good … But it's an interesting spell with drawbacks and environmental considerations, and by the time you get it decently castable you have a good chance of finding it or something comparable anyway. The character still has to compensate for having no elemental skills and no guaranteed utility.
The “new spell” is there because all of the existing level 2 or 3 conjurations are single element. A level 2 spell will be the character's primary damage-dealer for a good portion of the early game and therefore whichever one you pick, the player is inclined towards that elemental school unless they make an early decision to switch it off. Particularly for an inexperienced player this isn't good. A decision to branch out into elements should be later on depending on books and items you find. That's why it's nice having all four elements at levels 5 and 6, at that stage a player might want to choose one or the other if they're siding towards a particular element, or they could stay pure and pick both. I've got an idea for a spell but need to think it through. — mumra 2012-03-31 11:38
How about we just scrap the conjuror background entirely, and replace it with nothing? There's six other backgrounds that have a heavy conjurations component, and all of them are better-designed starting backgrounds. The conjuror starting book combines multiple flaws into a problematic whole. First of all, Freezing Cloud is flat-out unreasonably powerful for a starting book, and Mephitic Cloud is out-of-theme. Second, the book is unfocused in scope for a starting book. The presence of those overpowered spells demands a very specific and invariant combination of skills that must be raised regardless of what actually appears in the Dungeon. Third, the presence of the book in the starting background list steps on Vehumet's toes. The book could better serve as Vehumet's first gift if it was retooled to appeal to conjurations-focused characters regardless of what element they wanted to train, but that is never going to be possible as long as it has to keep a path open for XL1 characters to start the game. — KoboldLord 2012-04-02 02:14
Removing the background is of course the other solution, and also better than the status quo. But I feel there's a niche, and actually some other magic backgrounds could have less conjurations for further differentiation. I'd rather see the background fixed than cut, but yes it's pretty hard to create a sensible skill / spell progression that avoids pushing the player into specific elements. — mumra 2012-04-02 11:24
Stepping on Vehumet's toes with a book won't be a problem. I wasn't entirely sure about Meph Cloud, so maybe Magic Dart, Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Static Discharge, Stone Arrow, and either Mystic Blast or a new acid spell (maybe)? I don't think anything higher than level 4 should really be in a starting book, otherwise what is the point on finding other books? — HousePet 2012-04-02 08:08
Plenty of books have level 5 spells and some have level 6. You'll still want to find other spells. But yeah, my IOOD suggestion was highly questionable. I think the problem with what you've suggested is that you're giving the player a set of low-level spells that cover *all* resistances and allow them to train any element - so at XL:3 they can do reasonable damage to anything they could possibly meet up to and beyond Lair. This is why I liked bringing in the elements at level 5/6 spells - the player has a choice of “do I start training fire/earth at XL:5 to get magma, and a harder time getting freezing cloud later … or do I wait a bit longer and go for freezing cloud first to get it online earlier (but have nothing strong vs rC)”. I just did some tests in spell lab and the numbers seem to support this. It works better without IMB and IOOD, so the player has to choose one of these paths unless they find another book. A couple of spells are needed in the 2-4 range, but IMO nothing existing fits the background except IMB. — mumra 2012-04-02 11:24
Before we think about how to fix conjurors, what are we even hoping for? There's SIX other conjurations backgrounds. That's crazy. What is the mage-blaster play experience that can't be fulfilled by choosing your favorite flavor of air elementalist, earth elementalist, fire elementalist, ice elementalist, venom mage, or wizard? There's no design space to fill. Once you've got your little popgun spell, and your mid-game bigger gun, you've got all the conjurations you need, and all of the elementalist books provide those. Once the ludicrously overpowered and inappropriate Freezing Cloud is removed from the starting book, there will be no reason ever again to choose conjuror over one of the other conjurations backgrounds. — KoboldLord 2012-04-03 03:03
If Freezing Cloud is as ridiculous and overpowered as you say then shouldn't it be nerfed or a higher level? And isn't that an entirely separate problem? If the Conjuror didn't start with any other ice or air spells then they wouldn't be able to start training those schools at all until XL:5 (bar finding a convenient book … which could contain FC or something comparable anyway) so they won't get it nearly castable until even later on in the game.
Anyway I personally think there's room for a generalised Conjurer - it's at the opposite end of the scale to Wizard in terms of damage vs utility (I don't know why you would say that a Wizard is a Conjuror…). Sure any spellcasting background can develop entirely into conjurations … but backgrounds are only about defining the playstyle of the early game. You might as well say we only need the Wizard background and get rid of all the others.
Oh, also, I wrote a proposal for a level 2/3 pure Cj spell for this book: Magic Spark(s)mumra 2012-04-03 20:19

Reaver - (Book of Conjurations)

Same as Cj, but starts with a weapon of choice, melee skills, less mp, and less magic skill.

I think Re should be removed because they are not different enough from Cj. Each magic job is defined primarily by the spells in their book, which they generally have to live with for quite a long time until they find another book, unlike melee skills which can be gained very quickly. In order to turn your Cj into a Re, all you have to do is pick up a dagger and use it for a few minutes. There's just not enough separating the two jobs.

I understand that the reaver playstyle is favoured by lots of players (myself included), but the purpose of the backgrounds is not to define the future career of the player, i.e. fighting and conjuring, but just to provide a starting point in terms of gear/skills/god. The player is always free to do something unorthodox anyway.

With the removal of DK, there are no two jobs sharing a god. Now Re and Cj are the only two jobs to share a book. Removing Re is the logical next step in the job cleanup process. Re is also one of the few classes with two-tier starting choices (weapon and book flavour). Some people have mentioned the possibility of giving Re a unique book, but I'm worried you'd end up with something too similar to Cr. Let's see what your Book of Reaving would contain. — xyblor 2010-07-28 03:08
In IRC, N78291 proposed the following for a Reaver(ice/air) book: Shock, Freezing Aura, Ozocubu's Armour, Static Discharge, Condensation Shield, Freezing Cloudxyblor 2010-07-29 01:48
Are reavers meant to be light-armor now, with ozocubu's armor? It's very easy for current casters to pick up a weapon, which would make the class even less justified. — og17 2010-07-29 19:56
It occurred to me that every starting book except Wz and St has a single school common to all of its spells. If you regard that as a fundamental rule of starting books, that makes it more difficult to come up with a decent Reaver book. I'm not sure that's a sensible rule for starting books (skill dilution isn't that terrible), but at least it keeps things consistent. — xyblor 2010-07-30 06:31
Strictly speaking, EE has Summon Elemental and no other summoning spells, but EE is probably not the example we want to be following. — ogaz 2010-10-05 04:20

Reavers as Unholy Necro/Summoners

Radical thought - what if Reavers were completely re-flavored to be destructive unholy warriors, with a focus on Destructive Necromancy/Summoning instead of destructive conjurations? Something with a starting spellbook like:

  • Lethal Infusion (Ench/Nec 1)
  • Summon Small Mammals (Summon 1)
  • Vampiric Draining (Nec 3)
  • Call Imp (Summon 3)
  • Summon Demon (Summon 5) or Agony (Nec 5) or Excruciating Wounds (Ench/Nec 5)

And starting skills like:

  • Fighting 2
  • Weapon 2
  • Armor 1
  • Spellcasting 1
  • Necro 2
  • Summon 2

There doesn't seem to be a background like this presently, and it would definitely still fit the “Reaver” name/theme. — jeffqyzt 2011-01-13 15:33

Is there any synergy in these spells at all, or even Summ/Nec at all until Bolt of Draining or Haunt? Does this contribute a nifty playstyle or is it just an annoying (or overpowered) mashup? Note also that Summon Demon, Agony, and Excruciating Wound probably shouldn't be in starting books. — mrmistermonkey 2011-01-13 19:34
RE: lack of synergy - if there isn't currently any synergy between demon summoning and necromancy, there should be. :-)
RE: the level 5 spell choice - yes, not ideal as those are “gifted”. Ideally I'd like a single “normal” Nec/Summon spell in the “unholy destroyer” in the 4/5 range, but there currently isn't one, and those seemed better than bolt of draining. Ideally, it would be something to enhance the caster with unholy power. See my ”Hellpower” suggestion over in new spells. — jeffqyzt 2011-01-13 21:10

Summoner - Book of Callings

Summon Small Mammals, Sticks to Snakes, Call Imp, Call Canine Familiar, Summon Scorpions, Summon Ice Beast

Necromancer - Book of Necromancy

Pain, Animate Skeleton, Vampiric Draining, Regeneration, Dispel Undead, Animate Dead

Fire Elementalist - Book of Flames

Flame Tongue, Throw Flame, Conjure Flame, Sticky Flame, Bolt of Fire, Fireball

This is a great book that shouldn't be changed. Every spell in it is a conjuration, so it renders the Cj(fire) book redundant. It IS the fire-themed book of conjurations; there's no need for another one with hints of earth magic. — xyblor 2010-07-30 15:31
And besides, who doesn't love a little bit of arson? — zchris13 2011-01-13 08:28
Cj[fire] was reflavoured as Cj[fire+earth], but Bolt of Fire in the book of Flames was replaced with Bolt of Magma. Now these two books have more overlap than before. I don't think this is a step forward. — minmay 2011-04-18 17:31

Ice Elementalist - Book of Frost

Freeze, Throw Frost, Ozocubu's Armour, Throw Icicle, Summon Ice Beast, Freezing Cloud

What about this: add freezing aura and condensation shield, remove throw frost and summon ice beast. There's your Reaver book. — xyblor 2010-07-29 17:57

IE is already a “reaver” class - ask any merfolk. So is AE, and most everything else. There's fantastically little need for a dedicated reaver book, and shoehorning current classes isn't a solution. — og17 2010-07-29 19:56

Air Elementalist - Book of Air

Shock, Swiftness, Repel Missiles, Levitation, Mephitic Cloud, Static Discharge

I've always felt that Air Elementalists lacked a natural progression. Shock is great for the first couple of levels (better than Magic Dart, probably), but it has a really low power cap, and once it outlives its usefulness there isn't much of anywhere to go. Static Discharge is too dangerous and unreliable to use as a primary killing tool, and Swiftness, Repel Missiles, and Mephitic Cloud are excellent general-purpose utility spells that nonetheless don't make up a distinctive playstyle by themselves. Meanwhile, all the excellent midgame air spells are huddled together in the Book of the Sky where most Air Elementalists will never see them. Airstrike and Lightning Bolt both have fairly unique mechanics that set air magic apart from the other elemental schools (smite-targeting and wall-bouncing), and yet the class dedicated to air magic doesn't have reliable access to either. Even just having Insulate to encourage more aggressive use of Static Discharge would help. But at present the only way to survive as an Air Elementalist is to become a Crusader who uses Mephitic Cloud instead of Berserk, and that strikes me as a waste of potential (especially since Stalkers and Transmuters already do that, and Transmuters even have a Swiftness analogue in Spider Form). — sjohara 2011-01-13 20:53

Earth Elementalist - Book of Geomancy

Sandblast, Stoneskin, Passwall, Stone Arrow, Summon Elemental, Lee's Rapid Deconstruction

The four elementalists take up an unnecessary amount of space on the job select screen. Consolidating them would make it so that new jobs could be added without appearing cluttered. Also, the removal of Summon Elemental from the Book of Callings begs for a new starting build more equipped to use it.

Ice, Fire, Earth and Air Elementalists could be consolidated into a single “Elementalist” background with a choice of starting books. In addition to the four current books there would also be a “Elemental Generalist” option who would start with a new book, tentatively titled “The Book of the Elements.”

The Book of the Elements: Summon Butterflies, Flame Tongue, Ensorcelled Hibernation, Repel Missiles, Stone Arrow, Summon Elemental, Bolt of Magma / Freezing Cloud / Summon Ugly Things

This book would be an interesting mix for a starting job, as well as being of interest to almost any caster who might randomly find it. There is room for debate about which of the three higher-level spells to include. There is merit to any of the three of them (or even to including both BoM and FC, if eight spells isn't excessive). There could also be good argument made for the idea of including just the first six spells. This would leave the character somewhat dependent upon finding higher-level books in the dungeon (a la wizards), but they will be in a good position to take advantage of most any such books they do find. And failing that, the Elemental Generalist would make a very natural Vehumet devotee. — 256 2010-07-28 14:43
I have a few issues with this:
* How does sputterflies fit into the book? Butterfly element? I can see how it's to provide Summ for Summon Elemental, but perhaps another spell would be better, such as Summon Ice Beast, assuming decent Ice skill, or something new. Similarly, Ugly Thing deals with elements a bit, in that ugly things have elemental colour, but uses no elemental skill, as far as I know, so I don't think it should be added.
* Hibernation is pretty useless without stabbing, and it seems to be the only way to train Ice early on, making this class less appealing to non-stabbers.
* I imagine this class to be at least somewhat painful in practice, given the bad crosstraining between opposed elemental schools. — mrmistermonkey 2010-07-28 20:53
These spells don't offer any sensible progression or synergy. Are you going to go from hibernation to freezing cloud? From butterflies to earth elementals? Butterflies aren't something you'd want in a starting book, anyway. — og17 2010-07-28 21:58
Yeah, Ideally butterflies would be replaced with a ~lvl 2 summoning/elemental spell that doesn't exist right now. Like summon insubstantial wisps for instance. The main progression idea would go flametongue/defensive-summons to stone arrow. Players would start with one level in each elemental school and three in spellcasting, so hopefully the summons can keep them alive long enough to build up conjurations to the point where stone arrow becomes castable with Earth(1). Then, once the player hits Earth(5) they can progress to Earth Elementals. From there, they might start trying to train Air up to the point where they can summon air elementals, or they might easily branch into fire or ice based conjurations instead with the eventual fire/water elementals as an extra carrot. Now that I put it this way, I think the spellbook might look better with Throw Icicle replacing Ensorcelled Hibernation, Mephitic Cloud replacing Repel Missiles (MephCl has good synergy with Elementals) and Bolt of Magma on the end.
The Book of the Elements (take 2): Flame Tongue, Summon Insubstantial Wisps, Stone Arrow, Mephitic Cloud, Throw Icicle, Summon Elemental, Bolt of Magma
256 2010-07-28 23:04

Venom Mage - Young Poisoner's Handbook

Sting, Cure Poison, Mephitic Cloud, Poison Weapon, Venom Bolt

I'm not sure why you'd need poison weapon if you already have sting. Cure poison isn't great but I guess they can't all be winners — xyblor 2010-07-29 06:33
Poison weapon seems to be shameless filler, though I guess you could use it with ranged weapons if you really wanted to start with both it and meph. — og17 2010-07-29 19:56
Poison weapon ends up being more MP-efficient than sting if your goal is to inflict a few applications of poison, especially on multiple monsters, provided you can actually hit things with your poisoned weapon. The trade-off is obviously that you have to hit things with a weapon. But I know that at low levels on my venom mages, where I have to worry about running out of MP, I frequently poison a dagger and use that in place of spamming sting. — danei 2010-09-16 21:57

Stalker - Book of Stalking

Sting, Sure Blade, Projected Noise, Mephitic Cloud, Poison Weapon, Petrify, Invisibility
Three spells in common with the VM book. Probably almost no one uses projected noise. Gets a dagger and cloak.

maybe add spider form. meph cloud is way overused; it could be replaced with fulsome+evaporate to continue the tmut theme. — xyblor 2010-07-29 06:27
Stalker is better, the current concept is silly to begin with. — og17 2010-07-29 20:16

Arcane Marksman - Book of Brands

Corona, Swiftness, Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Poison Weapon, Cause Fear

Crusader - Book of War Chants

Fire Brand, Freezing Aura, Repel Missiles, Berserker Rage, Regeneration, Haste

Warper - Book of Spatial Translocations

Apportation, Portal Projectile, Blink, Recall, Teleport Other, Control Teleport, Teleport Self

Maybe they should get phase shift, since they are bound to be melee hybrids anyway. probably banish is more useful than recall, since they have no summoning spells — xyblor 2010-07-29 06:23
Why are they bound to be melee hybrids? Translocations is one of the most open-ended schools. Also, warper is the only way to start with recall, which is certainly useful, such as for players planning to use necromantic companions with Kiku - the book doesn't exist in a vacuum, and the spells don't all need to be immediately useful for every character. — og17 2010-07-29 19:56
Warpers are bound to be hybrids, because until they find another book, they can only kill things with melee or missile weapons. They are kind of designed to be hybrids; they get a choice of weapon, like crusaders and reavers. I just think that both Phase Shift and Banish are going to be more beneficial to warpers than Recall. And they are not in any other starting book, unlike Recall, which is in two other books. — xyblor 2010-07-30 00:46
That's not a “hybrid,” it's a character that's hitting things because it doesn't yet have the resources to do what it's actually going to do. Warpers certainly can turn into melee hybrids if they wish, but they can turn into most anything else as well, since again, it's a very open-ended class built from varied support abilities. For example, a melee character is very unlikely to care about portal projectile, but an eventually-ranged character may pick the class solely because of it, and there's no long-term sacrifice in doing so, as blink, apportation, and control teleport are useful for everyone. Recall's no different. I'd also like to know how “banish and phase shift aren't in starting books” turns into “recall is in two other books (one of which requires ten summoning skill);” the point of having recall here is that it is indeed a starting book - recall is far more vital to companion-using builds than banish and phase shift are to anyone.

Regardless, the book already has Teleport Other, which is functionally similar to banish but not as powerful, meaning that it seems pretty reasonable for banish to be in the second-tier book. Axing teleport other and moving banish over could be an option, but maybe that'd make things too smooth for speedrunners? Phase shift is a spell that's attractive to established hybrids, but not useful in a starting book, as that's a great deal of translocations skill to have early on. — og17 2010-07-30 02:02
I was thinking that phase shift might serve as an incentive to actually raise tloc to get at a spell that could be as useful as ozocubu's armour. — xyblor 2010-07-31 03:17
Those players would be much better off with a class with ozocubu's armor, as there's many other uses for ice and enchantment skill. What else is high translocations good for? Controlled blink is even further out of reach. Translocations isn't exactly set up to be a character's main focus, and certainly not an early focus. — og17 2010-07-31 04:05
If tloc doesn't work as a main or early focus, it shouldn't be a starting background. — xyblor 2010-07-31 16:17
Starting with these spells is still useful, even in a supportive capacity. There's a lot that can be done with it. — og17 2010-07-31 19:55

Transmuter - Book of Changes

Fulsome Distillation, Sticks to Snakes, Evaporate, Spider Form, Ice Form, Dig, Blade Hands

Enchanter - Book of Charms

Corona, Repel Missiles, Ensorcelled Hibernation, Confuse, Enslavement, Silence, Invisibility

Magic Schools (12)

Just pointing out the correspondence between the schools and the jobs.

Spellcasting → Wz
Conjurations → Cj
Summonings → Su
Necromancy → Ne
Translocations → Wr
Enchantments → En
Transmutations → Tr
Fire Magic → FE
Ice Magic → IE
Air Magic → AE
Earth Magic → EE
Poison Magic → VM

Leftover Classes: Re, St, Cr, AM

Not sure what's meant by “leftover” or what the purpose of the list is, but Re are the same as Cj. Cr and AM are entirely enchantment-based, too. — og17 2010-07-28 01:28
What do you mean by “Re are the same as Cj”? They're a distinct class, unlike FE vs Cj[Fire] or IE vs Cj[Ice].
It's the same book? Re is equally as representative/archetypical/whatever of conjurations as Cj (just like Cr and AM are to En). — og17 2010-07-28 02:00


2 levels of stealth is nice but pretty much everyone would be better off putting that exp into spellcasting and their main schools. — xyblor 2010-07-28 05:01

Conjuration Spells

In order to help come up with a new book(s) of conjurations, here's list of conjuration spells and which class begins with it (excluding Cj). Level 7 to 9 spells are included for completeness, even though they shouldn't be in starting books.

level 1

Sting - VM
Magic Dart - Wz
Shock - AE
Flame Tongue - FE

level 2

Throw Flame - FE,Wz
Throw Frost - IE,Wz

level 3

Stone Arrow - EE
Conjure Flame - FE,Wz
Mephitic Cloud - AE,VM,Wz

level 4

Iskenderun's Mystic Blast
Static Discharge - AE
Sticky Flame - FE
Throw Icicle - IE

level 5

Lightning Bolt
Bolt of Magma
Poisonous Cloud
Venom Bolt - VM

level 6

Iron Shot
Bolt of Cold
Poison Arrow
Bolt of Draining
Bolt of Fire - FE
Fireball - FE
Freezing Cloud - IE

level 7

Iskenderun's Orb of Destruction
Conjure Ball Lightning
Delayed Fireball

level 8

Chain Lightning
Lehudib's Crystal Spear

level 9

Fire Storm
Ice Storm

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dcss/brainstorm/background/concept/magic_backgrounds_and_starting_books.txt · Last modified: 2012-04-03 20:45 by mumra
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