Advice on my Lv4 Enchanter Mage...

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Hey peeps. So I am currently a player in an adventure, in a party of 4 players. A controller (my character, an Enchanter Mage) striker (Warlock Hexblade), defender (Fighter Knight) and a leader (Runepriest). We are at level 4 now, and sometimes it just feels like my character is pretty useless. Obviously Saten's (my character) damage is pitiful, it was to be expected. But there's fights where it feels like he cant even do that good of a job at controlling. His main stats are Intelligence (18) and Charisma (16). Here are his powers...

At Wills:
-Hypnotism
-Winged Horde

Encounters:
- Charm of Misplaced Wrath
- Maze of Mirrors
- Shield

Daily:
- Phantom Chasm (Tried Sleep, but my DM's saving throws always made it useless...)

My items are Staff of Sleep and Charm +1, and a Cloak of Distortion +1.

I just want some advice on how to be more helpful/effective in battle. Whenever I go first, I use Maze of Mirrors, it does pretty well in creating conrol for a turn, and Charm of Misplaced Wrath is great too. But once I spend my encounter power, I have trouble. Hypnotism isn't all that effective against the monsters I have fought so far, I am basically hitting them for a chance at them hitting themselves (their damage isn't even that good, plus there's no additional effects for their melee basic attacks...) and there's moments where all I can do is shoot Magic Missile, which is boring. Then there's my HP and defenses. They are pathetic! Even with Shield they are easily matched, and I already took the Unarmoured Agility Feat.

So if you guys could give me tips, it'd be really great. Is my wizard going to be this weak until Paragorn? If he even makes it there...anyway, thanks a bunch!
Tell your DM to burn Monster Manual 1 and 2, and stick to MM3.
Pardon my no00bness....but what makes the MM3 monsters different? :O
Lower defenses, and their hits cause more damage.That all at once makes Hypnotism more interesting as a power.


Aside of that, since you didn't post a build, it is hard to say anything about the HP and defenses, but they shouldn't matter all that much unless your teammates are not doing their jobs.

Your stats seem odd. I do not know much about mages, but I would have expected you to start with
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 18+2 (racial)+1 (level 4 boost), Wis 10, Cha 14+2 (racial)+1 (level 4 boost)

That would bring your HP around 33 (assuming you did not pick the Auspicious Birth background) and your defenses at 20/13/18/18 (assuming no other defensive feats)

At level monsters would then have a 45% chance to hit you, without shield, and need three hits to bring you down. Why are you around monsters to get hit that often, and what are your teammates, particularly the fighter and the hexblade, doing about that ?

Edited the number, because reading is a skill.
I'm of the opinion that the first 2 feats for a pure mage should be a flavor of Expertise, and a superior implement that helps your build.  That would be either Accurate or a something that has a bonus against Will for Enchanters.

This is a level 5 Enchanter from the pre-gen thread a while back:

Level 5


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Samm, level 5
Human, Wizard (Mage)
School: Enchantment School
School: Illusion School
Expert Mage Option: Enchantment School Expert
Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 10, INT 21, WIS 10, CHA 15
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 11, DEX 10, INT 18, WIS 10, CHA 14
 
 
AC: 18 Fort: 14 Ref: 19 Will: 18
HP: 47 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 11
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +12, Dungeoneering +7, History +12, Insight +7, Religion +12
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Athletics +1, Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Endurance +2, Heal +2, Intimidate +4, Nature +2, Perception +2, Stealth +2, Streetwise +4, Thievery +2
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Wizard Utility: Chameleon's Mask
Wizard Utility: Water Stride
Wizard Utility: Light
Wizard Attack 1: Sleep
Wizard Attack 1: Phantom Chasm
Wizard Attack 1: Charm of Misplaced Wrath
Wizard Attack 1: Illusory Obstacles
Wizard Attack 1: Beguiling Strands
Wizard Attack 1: Hypnotism
Wizard Attack 1: Magic Missile
Wizard Utility 2: Shield
Wizard Utility 2: Feather Fall
Wizard Attack 3: Blissful Ignorance
Wizard Attack 3: Maze of Mirrors
Wizard Attack 5: Tasha's Forcible Conscription
Wizard Attack 5: Visions of Avarice
 
FEATS
Level 1: Superior Implement Training (Crystal orb)
Level 1: Orb Expertise
Level 2: Coordinated Explosion
Level 4: Improved Initiative
 
ITEMS
Parchment Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1 x1
Crystal orb of Forceful Magic +1 x1
Brooch of Shielding +1 x1
Casque of Tactics (heroic tier) x1
====== End ======



Beguiling Strands:  +10 vs Will, 5 Psychic damage, push targets hit 7 squares (3 base, +2 Mage feature, +1 orb expertise, +1 Orb of Forceful Magic).
Hypnotism:  +10 vs Will, 7 square slide (3 base, +2 Mage feature, +1 orb expertise, +1 Orb of Forceful Magic) OR MBA against a target of your choosing.
More forced movement!  You'll be rearranging the battlefield to your whims at this point.  Initiative is important for a controller, so don't be afraid to (nicely) ask a party member who rolled well to donate their initiative to you via Casque of Tactics.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
Well, my HP is 33, and my defenses are as you said except for AC which is 20, since I took the Unarmoured Agility feat. There's some fights where I
don't get hit (or rather, there used to be), but lately the DM uses a lot of artillery monsters that have ranged attacks, usually 3-5 of them in addition to the melee monsters.

 
Ranged monsters seem to always hit me though, and after getting hit 3 times by them in one round, I fall. :\ The Fighter likes to run towards the biggest group of monsters and take them on like a tank, while the Hexblade likes to stay away and shoot Eldritch Bolts, and then use Blazing Doom of the Void when a monster gets too close.  If I get close to him, we get hit by an are blast that leaves us with some kind of status effect.

I try to stay far away, but it doesn't help against range attackers. I don't know if i's just me, but it seems very hard to be a controller in a party of four. :S



Your hexblade does what now ?


You should be staying close to the runepriest and the fighter. If ranged monsters almost always hit you, maybe the DMs XP budget per encounter is not up to spec, since level or above level monsters tend to add up.

And perhaps explain to the DM being taken down every other fight is not fun.
4 person party tactics are rough since that's 1 fewer PC to help focus fire, and you being an Enchanter with a Knight Defender doesn't help, and your Hexblade being an idiot makes it all worse (seriously, he'd be more accurate AND deal more damage in melee)

Since you can't use your Charms to trigger the Knights punishment, make your goal be to keep enemies adjacent to the Knight so that if they do anything other than attack him, he'll get to attack them. To this end, get rid of Winged Horde and Maze of Mirrors in exchange for Beguiling Strands (if you have a 12 Wis, take Thunderwave, or possibly Freezing Burst?) and Hypnotic Pattern
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
@ TheMalteseFalchion

I see, that build makes a lot of sense. But since I picked the Staff Expertise instead or the Orb one (Because of the bonus of Staff of Sleep and Charm to my Charm powers) then my sliding isn't as good, as it slides 5 instead of 7. (Which is still pretty decent, lol.) But thank you! I think I will ask my DM for that item, Casque of Tactics.

@ baldhermit

Yup...that's what our Hexblade does. ;o But yeah, I'm going o check with my DM to see if everything's up to specs. Maybe he just gets really good rolls against me. >.> Also, what should I do against enemies that are immune to my Charm and Illusion powers? I hate those!

@ Zathris

Thans for the tip! I thought about getting Winged Horde so the Knight coud move freely around enemies but what you say makes more sense, so I think I'll retrain and get Beguiling Strands back. And Hypnotic Pattern seems tricky to use, but it could be very effective if I do pull it off. I used to be a striker, so it feels really weird to just slide enemies around during my turn and not do any damage, and then have them move back on their turn. :s Hopefully I'll just get used to it and learn to use my character more effectively.
level 4 monsters, immune?

Your DM is messing with your head.
being an enchanter mage is mostly about control instead of damage, however that being said, making the monster hit himself or his ally can be pretty entertaining.  As you level up you get more fun powers and more sillyness ensues.

EDIT :  and yeah what do you mean monsters that are immune to charm and illusion ? 
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

@baldhermit

Don't remember if they were lv4 or higher, probably the latter, but yes, one of them was immune against charm and the other was resistant to psychic and Illusions, so I was pretty useless against them. (Luckily they were different encounters, but still, pretty annoying!)

@Noctaem

Yes, I LOVE the flavor of the enchanter mage, it's really amusing to make my enemies attack each other and it's the reason I built one. :D But so far, as amusing as it is, Hypnotism just hasn't really been that effective. Usually the damage is mediocre at best, and that's assuming both attack rolls hit. (mine and the monster's.) Nothing worse than hitting mine and wathing them fail theirs, even with the +4. D; I just really hope that at higher levels, enemies' melee basics dosomething more than just damage, maybe debuffs or status effects, that way Hypnotism would truly become better!

Also, I saw this Paragorn Path, Entrancing Mystic....looks AMAZING. Like what any Enchanter mage would love to be.  Hopefully I'll survive until I get  there, lol. ;x
Tell your DM about this. Hypnotism should be fun.
You didn't list which Theme your character is using, but as an Enchanter Mage you can look into Renegade Red Wizard.  The level 4 Feature is the primary thing you're looking at:

Renegade Red Wizard Level 4 Feature (4th level): You do not gain the Apprentice Mage feature normally gained by a mage at 4th level. Instead, when one of your arcane attack powers causes an effect that a save can end, the target takes a -2 penalty to its first saving throw against that effect.

Now add in powers like Sleep and have some fun.
Sleep really isn't worth taking until later when you can have a Cunning Staff, Phrenic Crown, and a Spider Familiar on top of the Red Wizard theme, but you should actively try to get those things so you can use Sleep asap.

Doing a quick search, there's 65 heroic creatures that return in a search for "immune charm or immune sleep" (Because the Sleep keyword was errata'd to be included in the charm keyword), however only 33 of those creatuers are actually immune to charm or sleep, the rest are immune to something else but have powers with the sleep or charm keyword (usually undead being immune to disease and poison). None of these creatures have bonuses to defenses against charm, several have bonuses to save vs charm however, mostly fey, (amusingly, there's a creature immune to sleep with a bonus to save vs charm) and Foulspawn damage people who use charms against them. There's also a couple templates that deal with sleep/charm, but I have no way of finding them except a broad search, atm. Anyway, reduced down to level 3-7 creatures (the only ones you should be fighting) there's 15.

Basically, out of the 1201 creatures within range for you to be fighting, your DM is choosing for you to fight creatures from among the 15 that are immune to charm. I find that very hard to believe unless most of your combats are against Constructs or Vegepygme. So, yeah, confront your DM about him specifically creating enemies that you can't affect, if it's an issue of you overshadowing the other PCs (entirely possible, since the Hexblade and Knight clearly suck), then try to work out some way of toning back your character but still actually being effective.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
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