Thursday, April 7, 2016

Support Caster's Guide to Combat Casting in the Realms

In this installment of the Support Caster's Guide, we will be covering spellbook and spell selections.

            When choosing a spellbook, think about what it will be used for. Some spellcasters use their books for more than just spells. Valuable information can often be stored in it for reference. For combat effectiveness, I recommend the smallest possible book for the information you need it to contain.  The size of the book determines where it is stored, whether in a big or small pouch, pockets, or slipped into a boot or shoe. With a bulky book, it could end up being put into a large pouch, which could bang against you while running, tangle up your legs, or just weigh you down.  Limiting the size of the book will increase your mobility.
            Containers for spellbooks should also be practical. The same logic of having the smallest possible spellbook can also be applied to where they are stored. Smaller is better. Make sure that the location is secure (i.e. the pouch should not have a clasp that unfastens easily) and that it will stay where it is stored. Also, be cautious when storing it in places such as a boot or against exposed skin, because perspiration can destroy the book. If you choose one of those places, a small plastic bag to store the book in would be optimal. The best place to keep a spellbook would be a small belt pouch, or pockets sewn into your garments (perhaps within an armored cloak) if you do not wear a belt. 
            Choosing what spell information goes into your spellbook is also a consideration.  More information is better, since it is also used for reference. Completely write out the components of the spell, including active components, and copy them word for word.  If you can misinterpret the components of a spell you do not use too often then, chances are, you could be misusing or miscasting the spell.  It may take more work to write down all that information initially, but it is worth the time put into it.

Spell Selection

Determining spells can be a daunting challenge.  There are lots of options out there, not all of them are equal.  Deciding which to choose depends on a lot of factors; who you will be supporting, what type of events you will be casting at, and the kind of caster you wish to be.

There are, however, certain spells which are the foundations for supportive combat casting. These spells are imperative to take if you wish to be effective at support casting. These spells are:

Heal Limb

It is the most important spell in the game.  Every single spellcaster, whether supportive or not, needs this spell.  It is what keeps combat flowing.

Combat Raise Dead

This is the most effective way to raise fallen comrades. In order to be in the front lines, this spell must be in your repertoire as many times as possible.  It is a quick option which does not pull you from combat like Raise Dead does.

          Repair Item

Repair Item is the best spell in the blacksmithing path, allowing you to fix an entire piece of armor, such as a suit of mail. It requires two hands to use the spell.

Armored Cloak

It is a purely defensive spell, but a necessity none the less for any caster wishing to be in the front lines. Covering your kill locations with one point of floating armor helps against arrows, missile weapons, and also weapon blows from nearby opponents.

            Some spells are highly recommended to take as a supportive combat caster.  These spells are not a necessity like the above mentioned ones, but they will increase your usefulness tenfold. They are:

            Repair Armor

The most useful pool spell in a support casters repertoire is Repair Armor.  Anytime you have to take a pool spell, this should be it.  It can be used to fix one location of armor and, therefore, prevent death.

          Raise Dead

Raise Dead can be purchased must less expensively than Combat Raise Dead and at higher usage.  It does, however, require that you remove yourself ten feet away from all weapons, which will pull you from combat temporarily.

Group Healing

Group Healing can be used a variety of different ways, since it is a conductor for other spells.  It can be used with Cure Disease, Heal Limb, Raise Dead, and Combat Raise Dead.  It turns a single usage into several, depending on the amount of people you can fit into the circle. It does take preparation, however, so it can be time consuming, if not used properly.

Enchant Armor

Enchant Armor allows the spellcaster to enchant one person’s armor, such as a suit of mail, helmet, bracers, and greaves, to be fixed unlimitedly.  It is indispensible, especially if you are often one on one with a fighter. Its downfall is that it is slightly expensive to purchase, and only Repair Armor can be used with it which is more time consuming than Repair Item.

Potion of Armor Repair

Potion of Armor Repair is able to be purchased at a low cost, being second circle, with high castings, 10 as opposed to Repair Armor’s 5.  The drawbacks to it as a spell are the disposable components, which takes time and resources to create and can be difficult to administer in combat situation, if you use improper materials.

Potion of Combat Raise Dead

Potion of Combat Raise Dead has the same drawbacks as mention in Potion of Armor repair, for the same reasons as all potions spells.  However, getting two Potions of Combat Raise Dead at fourth circle makes it the lowest circle, quick use raise dead in the game that enables freewill.

Seed of Life

Seed of Life allows the spellcaster to raise characters unlimited times. UNLIMITED TIMES! The drawbacks to the spell are its high cost, being seventh circle, and the time it takes to cast the spell, which is thirty words and 120 seconds, or 60 continuous seconds while chanting the verbal. A huge advantage to this spell is the fact that you can cast it and walk away from the target corpse, which allows you to Raise someone while still being able to do other things, like support the currently living players.

Remember, last but not least: pick spells that you will have fun with.  Ultimately, we play to have fun so keep that in mind when choosing your spells.
Next time, Spell Components and Weapons!

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