Preface: This article was originally written as a guidebook. It has been broken down into sections, so as to make it easier to read.
Every path has a beginning. Perhaps this is not your first attempt at support casting in the world known as The Realms, but this is the beginning of this guide, so we will start here. Everything within this guide is assuming you know little to nothing about the spell system by which the game is played. Bear with me, for this intended for all experience levels.
Let us start with defining what a support caster is, in this case. A support caster is someone who aids those who play the role of fighters in this game. This is mostly designed for those who work directly in combat, or front-line casting, although other areas will also be discussed.
To think that Support Casting is an “easy” path would be a mistake. To have spells is one thing, but to use them effectively is quite another. So, while having supportive magic can make you very useful, you can excel in it by simply adding tactics and honing your intuition, which does not happen instantaneously. Let us also not forget, support magic can help you make many friends—or paint a giant target on your back.
Preparing for Battle
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Preparedness is a necessity not only for being an effective spellcaster, it is important for everyone. What good is a fighter without weapons, without armor? The same can be said for a spellcaster without a spellbook or without the proper spell components.
Speaking from experience, showing up to an event without the proper tools and equipment can be debilitating. Having to write out a quick spellbook, trying to bum a dagger, and asking around for rope are not fun before the start of an event. It costs time that could be spent on discussing battle tactics, warming up, or simply readying your mind to the battles that lay ahead.
It is good to keep all the tools of the trade (i.e. spellbook, components, and weapons) together in a bin or bag so they are available. Also, be sure that your props are combat safe and before an event and after an event, before they get put back away. That will give time between events to ensure you can replace or fix anything that needs to be.
Next time: Spellbooks and Spell Selection!