Thursday, July 12, 2018

What spells do DF wizards need?

After re-reading For Want of Dispel Magic, I was thinking, what do DF wizards need to bring to the table?

Not want, not desire, not build around, but capital-N need to have in order to do their job?

These are spells that I feel do things that you can't easily do another way.

In no particular order:

Dispel Magic and Counterspell. You need to be able to counter magical effects. If they best you can hope for is "maybe he'll snap out of it" or "maybe the spell will run out" or "let's try putting sunglasses on him" you're probably hosed. You need to be able to counter spell effects.

Mage Sight. Although you can generally spot magic items with just Magery and Per, this is a simple, foolproof way to check for them. Don't depend on "I can spot magic items" to spot all magic, either. "More reliable" is worth one damn point. Spend it.

See Secrets. Yes, the Scout and Thief spot stuff without this. They'll spot everything with it.

Remove Curse. If it's not placed on the "cleric only" list, this is a must-have. Be able to remove lasting, curse-like effects - like Curse or Possession spells.

(Forgot one: Continual Light. For the love of everything that is delving, be able to create a lasting light source.)

Campaign matters, too. Felltower rewards Seek Earth, Scry Gate, and Levitate pretty well. But the few above are one that, when PCs lack them, they lack the ability to usefully do things that only wizards can do. What else is on the "must have" list? Not types - I don't mean "some kind of missile spell" but specific spells.


  1. Dark Vision seems pretty mandatory to me.

    Ofcourse I have a player who thinks cast Darkness on the PCs is some next level strat that intelligent monsters and Wizards wont have developed their own counter for.

    1. It's a very, very useful spell. But so is Great Haste. So is Create Fire. Is it useful to the point of "Don't bother showing up if you can't cast Dark Vision"? I'd say no, you can operate well and effectively without it. There are other ways around the problem. Unlike, say, Remove Curse - you can't wait those out. Or Continual Light, which is a cheap, long-duration no-spells-on no-maintenance spell you can use for hands-free light. I'd personally rate Dark Vision as "please have" not "must have."

    2. What solution do you allow for the spell capital "D" Darkness?

    3. By solution do you mean see through or within?

      If so, Dark Vision the spell or the ability works fine. And Darkness is weird, honestly. You can see out, but not other things within it . . . which by a literal reading means you can see through a hex to the outside but not what's in that hex. I really should have just dumped the spell and swapped in Blackout, which I find easier to deal with and more logical to explain and game out.

      Either way, they don't come up too often, and monsters have lots of Dark Vision, Detect Life (Precise), and Vibration Sense. That is Invisibility doesn't make my list. It's useful, for sure, but a strong plurality - maybe a majority - of monsters don't rely purely (or at all) on sight in my games. Darkness presents the same issue. If a foe is targeting you by hearing, or magical senses, or psi-scanning, who cares if you're standing in a dark hex?

    4. I have a player who seems to think Darkness on a hex or 2 hex radius is a next level strat that nerfs all attackers.

      It is annoying. Mostly because the other players listen to him (even though it means turtling).


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