New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Gameplay Mechanics Explained and Helpful Advice on Technical Issues

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Tsidkenu
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New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:57 am

Hello and welcome to Baldur's Gate!

So you've decided to further your magical scholarship on the Sword Coast, have you? Well, as your local friendly priestess of Mystra I'd like to give you a few gems of advice to help you along your way and make your experience as painless as I possibly can! I must add, though, that this advice is for scholars of the arcane art only. . . if you're one of those plucky sorcerers you'll need to look somewhere else for some advice about the best way to focus your innate connection to magic. Furthermore, while I am more than willing to help my fellow divines discuss their prayers and powers I recommend they too talk to their local temple or for the paladins, a local Knightly Order, about the peculiars of their own faith.

Spell School Selection

Firstly, you want to decide very early on if you're going to specialise in a particular spell school. Doing so will net you the obvious advantage over your generalist peers in that you can memorise a total of nine bonus spells, one for each spell tier except for cantrips. The drawback, unfortunately, is that you must pick a spell school to eschew as you focus your studies more and more. Fortunately you can choose any spell school you wish, and you are not locked into any pre-ordained choices unlike other places in the realms . I do not believe it is necessary for me to detail the reasons why Red Wizards must choose two spell schools to eschew.
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During the creation of your wizard character, choose your specialist spell school as usual when it appears on the spell school selection menu. After the creation process and when you have logged into the server, use the Choose Opposition Spell School feat from your Feats menu by dragging it to a quickbar slot and selecting it, and then make your choice of prohibited spell school in the dialogue box. You may only do this once and it will overwrite the vanilla NWN2 forced choices. Red wizards may choose a second school using this same method upon taking their first level in the class.

Note that spells of your prohibited school can still be written into a spellbook, but if you try to cast them the magic will fizzle and the spell will fail. Lesson? Don't waste your spellbook space with unusable magic!
Obtaining New Spells

Secondly, the budding apprentice will want to collect and acquire a great variety of spells from various sources. Some of these you may be fortunate enough to find in your general adventuring. Others may be purchased reliably from the various magic shops about the coast. Some kinder folks even prepared a few lists of what can be obtained at these! There are some, though, that simply cannot be found around the coast. It is best to study such magic, especially of your specialised school, in the time between adventures because you are not likely to ever find a scroll of them laying around anywhere, and I won't be able to provide them to you courteousy of the Temple of Mystra either.
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Many spells are available in shops. Some can be found in loot drops or bought from other wizard players who scribe them. A smaller selection cannot be scribed, are not available in stores and can only be chosen at level ups. Basically anything marked in Red on the following list should be chosen on level ups because they cannot be obtained any other way

The Complete List is here
Learning New Spells

Besides acquiring spells, of course, is the matter of actually adding them to your spell book. Every wizard needs to take the time to sit down to perform the feat of Study Spell. One then needs to study the spell at hand carefully, reading over the full details of the scroll. If you successfully comprehend what you've read, you may then attempt to copy it into your spell book. Do this by reading the scroll aloud (you may need to direct it at an inanimate object or even a blank scroll for the purposes of targeting). If you succeed, and have adequate magical understanding, the spell will find itself copied into your spell book in short order. Of course, the less experienced might bide their time before trying to learn their rarer or more expensive spells, or at least seek the aid of a colleague who can inspire your studious competence.
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Spell learning is now done via a new feat, Study Spell, which can be found under your Class Abilities feat listing. Put it in your hotbar and use it on a scroll. Then cast that scroll. Some spells need a target, but you can always target another scroll in your inventory. There is a DC 20 + spell level spellcraft (read magic) check and a DC 15+ spell level spellcraft (scribe magic) check to successfully learn a spell and add it to your book.

Boosting your Spellcraft skill with items (eg. Greater Gloves of Spellcraft), spells like Fox's Cunning, Heroism/Greater Heroism or even an ally's Inspire Competence bard song can all improve your chances of success until your base spellcraft is more than adequate.
Removing Spells

The eventual bane to every talented arcanist is managing all those spells you accumulate over the years. It is wise to realise that every spell book has it's limit and the Sword Coast is no different to elsewhere in Faerun in this regard. Remember that higher level spells will naturally occupy more pages of your spell book, meaning at some point you're going to have to make the conscious choice to start to cut back on spells you rarely, or indeed never, use. I shall leave that to each particular wizard, but I know the spells that I relegated to the temple archives due to seldom use.
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You will receive a full count of your total spells after each server reset, and you can check your count at any time using the Count Spells feat under your Class Abilities feat listing. The hardcap maximum number of spells one can have in their spellbook is 254. If you reach 255, the server will crash with your every login. Fortunately there is a script that will take effect as soon as your spellbook reaches 246 spells or more, culling a random assortment until it is reduced back down to 245. For multiclassed druid or cleric / wizards, this total amount may include spells counted erroneously from your divine spell pool.

You may remove spells from your spellbook manually at any time by using the Remove Spell feat under your Class Abilities feat listing. You must type in the exact spell name, in English, in the pop-up UI to remove them. It can take some time to process so don't repeat it if it's taking a while!

Our Non-English first language friends can see the full list of English Spell Names, by level, here.
Managing Spells

It is very easy to get befuddled with spell book management if you are a poor organiser of your notes. Fortunately there are a variety of means to combat this, detailed at length in Halbazzer Drin's work on the topic, "Discessio Incantamenti." Copies are available for loan from Sorcerous Sundries.
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As per my post in the Macros thread, Skywing's Client Extension allows for chains of feats and spells to be organised and cast in the order programmed. Makes buffing sequences that much easier!

You can also use the /mspells # command to save a particular spell book selection. Simply fill your spell book with the spells you want (eg. Fire spells for the Cloud Peaks; Frost spells for the Greypeaks, anti-undead for the Crypts) and type /mspells #, where # is the hotbar slot you wish to save it to (1-144). Every time you click that slot, your spells will be reverted to the saved setup, after which you should rest before heading out.
Marking Runes & Teleportation

My dear friend and talented alchemist Miss Maddy Thunderkeg has seen to write to me to remind all prospective students of magic some of the finer arts of successfully marking magical runestones for the purposes of teleportation. As a diviner I have to remark of first importance that the cantrip Mark Rune is part of the School of Divination. If you have specialised and eschewed that particular school from your studies, you will not be able to mark runes for the purposes of teleportation.

For the rest of you, the process is simple. First you want to use Detect Magic to discern if your location is warded against teleportation magics because there is no point preparing a rune if you cannot teleport to and from the place to begin with! Next, if your magical analysis has given you the all-clear, find the location of your choice (and face in the direction of your choice) and cast Mark Rune there. Your runestone will be permanently marked with the exact spot, including face direction, and teleporting there is as simple as holding that runestone in your hands and chanting the verbal completion phrase for the teleport spell.

All runes can be wiped by casting Mark Rune on the stone you wish to clear and can then be reused. Note that only blank, unmarked runes can be traded; any runestone which has been marked to a location is bound to your person and must be cleared before it can be removed. Normal inherent dangers involved in teleportation still apply!
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Very important to make sure your zone is not warded against teleport when you mark a rune. Casting Detect Magic and then appraising a Pc/NPC or object in the area will tell you if it is so warded. Teleporting to such a zone will still dock you money and you will not be able to cast teleport again for 1 real hour. Ensure you have at least one empty runestone in your inventory and cast Mark Rune on yourself to mark the exact spot you wish to teleport to. Penalties to the concentration check apply for UD-Surface teleportation (each zone on the server is marked IsUD= 0/1) so do so at your own peril!
Summoned Creatures & True Names

Now it may just be that during your adventurers in long forgotten crypts and ancient conduits of magic that you may come across old and weathered tomes of obscure knowledge. Never throw these away! They may contain the jewel all conjurers desire to find: a piece of a being's True Name, and therefore the power to call that creature to your side at a whim. Of course such power must be ably contained, and the only thing you will find capable of so doing are diamond gemstones. As to which spell you need to pull your being from another plane? Well, I'll leave you to find that out and hope you didn't skimp on your classes in extra-planar diplomacy during your apprenticeship.
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Dusty Tomes are an item found randomly in loot around the game world. Tomes are built with a random Lore roll that can only be performed once per tome per character. If you fail the roll, you cannot discern the contents of the book.

Some books will contain snippets of a True Name which can be used with conjuration spells and a diamond to bind that specific creature to your service. If you've found a book with a name in it, follow the following procedure to unlock it:

Cast a Binding spell (Lesser Planar Binding, Planar Binding, Greater Planar Binding, Gate, Epic Gate) upon a diamond. A menu will appear where you can type in the name. If successful, the creature will then appear and you can negotiate it's price of service in Gold. Diplomacy will decrease this gold cost significantly. If the creature is more powerful than the diamond you've tried to bind it to, the diamond will shatter and you will need to try again with a costlier stone (canary diamond or blue diamond).

Full details of the system are available here.
Conclusion

I dearly hope that these few pointers will prove to allay any difficulties that new wizards may experience when they arrive on the Sword Coast for the first time. And may all your research and spellcasting be fruitful, deft, efficient and responsible, remembering to praise the one who makes it all possible: Mystra, Lady of Mysteries and Guardian of the Weave.

Priestess Aeili Azenci.
Last edited by Tsidkenu on Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:49 pm, edited 17 times in total.
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Aeili Azenci - Baelnorn of Mystra [Bio] [Deceased]

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Kiran
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Kiran » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:12 pm

This is a great guide.

Even for someone like me who been around a while but been scared to make a wizard at all because they look rather intimidating to first level, but also rp/concept.
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Hoihe » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:43 pm

Does the Choose opposition school depend on having only 1 character level, or only 1 wizard level?
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Aspect of Sorrow » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:22 pm

It will default automatically until otherwise used. 1 wizard level. You are able to learn the spells specific to the prohibited school, but the module will respond that the spell fizzles.
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:52 pm

This is a WIP. I'm more than willing to add tidbits for further reference. Just PM me (thanks to those who already did).
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Darkcloud777 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:32 am

Is the 150 spellbook limit still a thing that will crash you?
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Maecius » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:13 am

The 255 spell limit should no longer effect you on Baldur's Gate thanks to Rasael's magic.

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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:40 pm

Maecius, if that's the case then can the script that automatically culls your book at 246+ spells be removed from the module?
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Hoihe » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:52 pm

Tsid, add this to the main post, edited of course.

To add a scroll to your spellbook you need to pass the following:
  • First, DC20 + spell level to decipher the scroll. If you fail, you lose the scroll.
  • If you succeed, you must pass DC15 + spell level to copy it to your spellbook. If you fail, you lose the scroll.
You can acquire gloves of spellcraft +6 from Candlekeep for around 1500 gold.

It is recommended to obtain Fox's Cunning and Heroism ASAP (level 5) AND the gloves before you start scribing scrolls, otherwise it's possible you need to try again over 10 times to get a single scroll scribed. I learned the hard way. After level 5, your spellcraft rank should be high enough, combined with the gloves, heroism and fox's cunning (assuming 16 starter int) to have a decent chance of scribing scrolls.

Even if you want to scribe scrolls before level 5, you should get Heroism scrolls from Candlekeep (minimum level 3 to get the under invisibility) and just use them on yourself. Also use them while adventuring as they last a long time and can be the deciding factor between life/death.

It's also recommended not to prepare the spells that last hour/level or minute/level during the early levels when you don't have many spellslots. F.ex, Heroism scrolls and Mage armour scrolls, while preparing damaging/summoning/escape spells.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:08 pm

Those details are already in the spoiler on Adding Spells, Hoihe. I am gunna bump my QC thread about removing the DC 20 + spell level read magic spellcraft check. We should not have it, or else add the Read Magic cantrip so it can be bypassed.
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Aspect of Sorrow » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:42 pm

Tsidkenu wrote:Maecius, if that's the case then can the script that automatically culls your book at 246+ spells be removed from the module?
The linked fix automatically does as you've described.
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:14 am

Wait, I missed that.

Are you saying we can exceed 255 spells now? :shock:
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Maecius » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:33 pm

No, it'll still cull your spellbook. The fix just prevents the crashing element from being too common when wizards try to "catch 'em all." You'll still randomly lose spells if you fly too close to the sun that is ultimate knowledge.

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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by sir_blacksoutalot » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:04 pm

WOW. I was clueless about those "magic related options". Can't wait to check out the spell effects options menu! But first I need to wait for new computer to replace old one that died. I swear by the gods I have the worst luck with technology. Couple more weeks should see Grum back in action.

Tsid, thanks for sharing - I do indeed feel like a lowly wizardly apprentice still in learning under your masterly wizardly tutelage. Keep the lessons coming!
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Re: New Player's Guide to Wizardry

Unread post by Tsidkenu » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:15 pm

Updated with the /mspells # command and buff macros.

:)
Formerly the player of

Mae yr Machshikhah - Pryat of Helm [Bio] [Retired]
Schezalle - The Black Claws Baeqeshel [Bio] [Retired]
Araphella - Whispers of Oblivion [Bio] [Retired]
Aeili Azenci - Baelnorn of Mystra [Bio] [Deceased]

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