God's compilation: Wizard spell recommendations

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It is indeed rare to see Tshern as a contributive member of this forum, but now I intend to do something about one of the most terrible flaws of this place. We still have not combined the Enchanter thread, God's tools, God's gifts and G-d's eyes threads. Well, now I will.

I am not adding my own recommendations here yet. I will first quote the ones in the existing threads, but adding spells is a possibility. We are a progressive community after all. So shoot all you can, whine if you must and read if you need.

A problem emerged: Apparently I am limited to using only 20 images/emoticons per post and that is sad. However, this is the way the ranks go:

Treantmonklvl20;14641566 wrote:
BC: Battlefield Control. This is the spells that involve impeding movement of your opponents - aiding movement of your allies, or in any other way treating the world as your own personal chessboard.

Debuff: Debuffing is anything you cast on an enemy to impede his ability mechanically. Lowering of attributes, Blinding, Sickening, or scaring the living crap out of. Debuffing - as the name would indicate - also includes removing any buffs your enemy might have.

Buff: Buffing is improving the abilities of your allies mechanically. Whether it be through giving them extra attacks, better AC, or merely providing them a flanker. The nice thing about buffs is they likely won't involve saving throws.

Blast: A Blast is a spell that does HP damage to your opponent. Blasts are a pretty basic part of any Wizard's toolbelt - but IMO make a poor central focus to any Wizard. My suggestion is to cast Blast spells when you have nothing really useful to do.

Utility: These are those spells that have uses that aren't necessarily related to combat. Often utility spells can be useful in combat - but more circumstantially.

Save or Die: These spells give you a saving throw - or you're dead (or effectively dead). Personally, I don't like these spells - since they tend to target Fort - and are higher level then spells which can give you the win without avoiding the fun. You are usually better with a debuff if you like this style of spell.

Multiple Threat: A spell that covers more than one of the above at a time is a multiple threat spell. For example - a spell that does damage as well as impede the enemies movement would be a double threat (BC + Blast), while a spell that does damage, impedes the movement of the enemy, gives them mechanical penalties, and gives your allies bonuses would be a Quadruple threat (BC + Blast + Debuff + Buff). By the way - if you know of a Quadruple threat spell - let me know!!!

Rating the spells:

After breaking down the spells, I will self-righteously give them either the Treantmonk stamp of approval - or the stamp of the foot, oversimplifying the use of each.

: This spell's a Turkey. Not worth having in your spellbook at all. [Edit: This thread will use 1]

:thumbsdow : Not all bad, but not good enough for me to recommend [Edit: This thread will use 2]

* : Run of the mill. It's OK, but nothing special [Edit: This thread will use 3]

: The spell is solid. I recommend it [Edit: This thread will use 4]

: This spell is highly recommended [Edit: This thread will use 5]

:evillaugh : YES!!!!! [Edit: This thread will use 6]

Cantrip reserve.
Abjuration
1st level spells

Protection From X (PHB): (Buff) 6 +2 deflection AC (this is the good one – adds to touch AC), and +2 resistance bonus on saves against spells/attacks of creatures of creatures of the alignment specified by the spell. At low levels this is quite good – mid to high levels – these bonuses are already provided through Rings of Protection and Cloak of Resistance. However – this spell also prevents contact by summoned creatures (only creatures of one alignment are immune to the effect) and totally gimps any enchantment by enemies irregardless of alignment. This makes this an excellent buff at any level (and a killer wand).

Karmic Aura (CM): (Debuff) 5 Swift action spell that makes opponents that attack you make a will save or be fatigued for 3 rounds. It only lasts 1 round/level. One selling feature is it affects creatures to attack you with ranged attacks or spells as well. At higher levels this becomes a strong use of a swift action.

Shield (PHB): (Self Buff) 4 Grants you a +4 shield bonus to AC. Mage armor is better in most respects except that this spell is far more stackable with other AC granting effects. (And of course Mage Armor and this spell stack with each other)

Alarm (PHB): (Utility): 3 Alerts you of any unauthorized creatures entering a given space. The alarm can be either silent or audible (generally audible is so your companions can also be alerted). The duration is good – but this spell is generally inferior for campsite protection then a Rope Trick. However – there are other utility uses for this spell.

Hold Portal (PHB): (Utility):3 Hold a door shut for 1 min/level. This spell is far from infallible – but has moderate use defensively or to cover retreat.

Nightshield (SpC): (Self Buff) 2 Minor resistance bonus to saves and immunity to magic missile for short duration. Overall this is worse than Protection from X by quite a bit.

Conjuration:
Level 1:

Grease (PHB): (BC) 6 Close range opponents in a 10’ square make Ref saves or fall prone. Furthermore, they must make Balance checks to get up, or to move (even if Ref is made).

Benign Transposition (SpC): (BC) 6 Close range spell that teleports 2 allies switching their position. This spell does not have the “Must be on the ground” restriction of baleful transposition – so you can cast this on the ally about to be swallowed whole and the summoned dire rat. Heh heh. It also can be used to get you out of a sticky situation, replacing you with the big stupid fighter. (check with DM on legality - IMO it is OK by RAW but there may be different view on their part)

Wall of Smoke (SpC): (BC) 6 Do not be deceived by the name. This “wall” is 10’ thick and you can place it over your enemies. It is your “fog” spell of choice for 1st level spells since the wall also includes a Fort save or be nauseated for a round as an added bonus.

Resinous Tar (CM):
(BC) 5 This spell is the “anti-grease” spell – creating a similar area of “stickiness”. Overall, at low levels, grease is better because of the chance to fall prone. However, Resinous tar doubles movement rates through it with no save which is nice. Also, casting this on a creatures clothing makes them more vulnerable to grapple attempts (-5 to resist or escape grapple or -5 to escape pin)

Mage Armor (PHB): (Buff) 4 One hour/level +4 armor bonus. This spell makes Braciers of Armor completely obsolete. The +4 can be improved with PrC dips (Paragnostic apostle is the easiest for a +6).

Mount (PHB): (Utility) 4 Summoning spell that is a standard action and 1 hr/level. The obvious use of this spell is for travel, however, it is also useful as a quick getaway, or even to throw 4 squares of meat between you and BBEG (The horse won’t fight – but it does take up space).

Blockade (CS): (BC) 4 Swift action spell that puts a 5’x5’x5’ block of wood in close range for 3 rounds. The effect isn’t that impressive – but can block charges, prevent flanking, block line of effect and other small controls. For a swift casting, it has its uses.

Hail of Stone (SpC): (Blast) 4 5’ radius blast that does 1d4 dam/level (max 5d4). The downside is that it is a full round casting and that it is 5gp per casting. The good point is that it grants no save. Area blasts with no save are pretty good for first level.

Summon Monster I (PHB): (Summoning) 4 The combat applications for this spell are extremely limited. 1 round/level duration and full round casting limit this spell for combat, beyond that you can get a small monstrous spider to entangle one medium sized opponent per round on a ranged touch – and that’s pretty much it (unless you are aquatic – celestial dolphins are very tough for the level). However, for utility this is a great spell. Use celestial monkeys to trigger possible traps, use Dolphins for 100’ blindsight, use spiders for tremorsense.

Unseen Servant (PHB): (Utility) 3 1 hour/level telekinisis. Use it to carry your stuff and hand it to you at need. Can completely replace Tenser’s floating disk.

Divination
1st:
Arrow MindSpC: 4 This is a great spell to use after you've run out of everything in every other level and you're pulling out the crossbow. You're squishy, so why not make sure that things don't go horribly wrong when you're out of spells?

Combat ReadinessDotU: 4 +1/3 CL (min +1, max +6) insight to init and no flank bonus for enemies at 1 min/level is more than decent.

Comprehend LanguagesPHB: 5 Situational, but it's a situation that comes up a lot.

Find Temple: 2 Generally speaking, this spell is awful. There have been a few times, though, that I've really wished I'd had it.

Guided ShotSpC: 6 Let me get this straight. No cover or concealment on your next ranged attack roll -- spell or not --as a swift action 1st-level spell?

IdentifyPHB: 4 You're a diviner. Your party's going to kill you if you don't use this spell.

Instant LocksmithSpC: 4 Rogue? We don't got to show you no Rogue! We don't need no stinking Rogue! This and a few other spells can combine to make Rogues essentially useless, and are even better on an Arcane Trickster. (Divine Oracle or Unseen Seer are also good things to add for a Rogue replacement.)

Instant SearchSpC: 4 See above.

Locate CitySpC: 3 Strictly inferior to Lay of the Land, but if you can't get access to that it'll work. Also very situational, but a lot more useful than Find Temple in unexplored territory.

Scholar's TouchRoD: 4 Multiple applications of this mean you can read entire libraries. Chain Spell for even more fun. You now have an excuse for metagaming the heck outta everything.

Sniper's ShotSpC: 6/2 If you are an Arcane Trickster or Unseen Seer, this is unbelievably useful. If you're not, it's not.

Targeting RaySpC: 4 I'm personally not a fan, but a lot of people are. +CL/3 insight to hit on all ranged attacks is nice, though.

True CastingCM: 5 Sure it costs a standard action, but +10 to CL to overcome SR is nothing to sneeze at, and it stacks with Assay Spell Resistance.

True StrikePHB: 4 The ol' standby. For when you really need something to hit.

Evocation:
Dawnburst (CM)(Warmage suggested!): (Double Threat Debuff + Blast 4: ) It does a bit of damage to undead and light sensitive creatures (not too bad for a 1st level spell – 1d6 + 1/level), and provides torchlight – but the real selling feature of this spell is it reveals invisible creatures for the duration (1 round/level). Glitterdust is a way better spell – but this gives you a no-save reveal invisible spell that will only fill a 1st level slot which makes it viable at higher levels.

Persistant Blade (SC): (Double threat: Blast + BC 4) the damage isn’t impressive – but this spell can be used to flank an opponent. Kind of similar to a summon spell since it can be used to flank – except that the blade cannot be damaged (which has the positive that it won’t be destroyed but the negative that it doesn’t provoke attacks from the enemy). Seems like it could be a really nice BC to pair with a party rogue.

Bloodwind (SpC): (Buff 4) Turn an ally's natural attacks into ranged weapons as a swift action - this is a 1 round buff - however - this could still be a decent spell to cast at high levels (and through a rod of lesser extend). Swift action buffs are useful. At low levels - I can't see it being worth a cast though.

Magic Missile (PHB): (Blast 3 ) Simple spell - we all know it well (“I cast magic missile at the darkness”). It’s not overly impressive for damage – but it always hits, ignores incorporeal, does not provide energy resistance, and scales up to caster level 9 making it a decent spell for a blast spell.

Tenser’s Floating Disk (PHB): (Utility 3 ) A rare Evocation utility spell. Overall it’s not too impressive, but if you are creative it can have its uses. I remember a wizard who had a fly spell used Tenser’s to piggy back the party archer over water on a “ship at sea” adventure. Otherwise – it is a long duration “packhorse” spell.

Kelgor’s Fire Bolt (PHB II): (Blast 3 ) 1d6 per level damage is pretty good for a first level spell. The “partial damage through SR” feature is pretty lame.

Bigby’s Tripping Hand (PHB II): (BC 2 ) Creates a chance to trip one opponent if they fail their Reflex Save. Grease trumps this spell in every way except for range.

Abjuration:

2nd level spells

Arcane Turmoil (CM): (Debuff) 6 Works as a targeted dispel magic and it also removes a prepared spell from the target. This spell is second level – making it superior to using an actual targeted dispel under most circumstances.

Resist Energy (PHB): (Buff) 4 Various energy protections are a dime a dozen, but this one is very low level and provides 10 resistance vs a particular energy. This resistance increases with CL (up to 30 and 11th level). Overall – one of the better energy protection spells.

Protection From Arrows (PHB): (Buff):3 Grants damage reduction 10/magic vs arrows until it has prevented 10xCL of damage. The “magic” designation is very limiting – though at low levels it can be very good in certain situations.

Earth Lock (SpC): (BC):3 Constricts a small section of natural tunnel preventing enemies from passing through it. The duration is permanent which is nice, but the effect is so-so. If you lack other battlefield controls though – this one is situationally useful.

Arcane Lock (PHB): (Utility):3 Locks any door or latch. It also makes the latch harder to break (+10 to DC to do so) however, dispel magic or knock also opens the door. Purely utility.

Obscure Object (PHB): (Utility):3 Protects an object from being discovered through divination effects. This spell has an 8 hour duration which limits its very situational effect.

Dissonant Chant (SpC): (Debuff) 2 Causes creatures in the effect radius to have difficulty on concentration rolls and require concentration rolls to cast spells. The problem is that the difficulty of the concentration check should be relatively easy for most spellcasters. Possibly worthwhile if you can target multiple casters in the effect.

Scintillating Scales (SpC): (Buff) 2 Turn your natural armor bonus into a deflection armor bonus. This would seem most useful if you have natural armor bonuses through multiple sources – making them stackable. Very situational (Deflection bonuses are not that rare) – the duration isn’t all that impressive either.

Distracting Ray (SpC): (Debuff) 1 Basically a really crappy counterspell. The spell requires the caster being targeted to make a single really easy concentration check to cast the spell. Furthermore – this spell requires being used as a counterspell (ready your action – hope the enemy makes a casting action). It’s like Dissonant chant except it restricts your actions, only works on one target (once) and requires a to hit roll. It also requires you to surrender your pride and self respect.

Conjuration:

Level 2

Web (PHB): (BC): 6 This spell’s only downside is the requiring of opposite anchor points – otherwise it rocks. There is a Ref saving throw, but succeeding that saving throw does you almost no good at all. You remain entangled – facing concealment all around, and severely hindered movement. This spell remains near-broken even at mid levels. Yes – I even like web more than glitterdust.

Glitterdust (PHB): (Debuff): 6 You’ve all heard how great this spell is. 10’ spread that blinds all within, outlines invisible creatures and creates a -40 penalty to hide checks. A successful will save negates the blindness. Yes – this is awesome.

Create Magic Tattoo (SpC): (Buff): 5 This creates a 24 hour buff on a creature touched. The buffs available are level dependant. Most are pretty minor, and likely eclipsed by your magic items (small resistance bonuses to saves, enhancement bonuses to attributes, deflection bonuses to AC). The superstar here is the +1 CL buff (available at CL 13). Also note that there is no reason you can’t buff some secondary attributes that you might not normally buy items for. Note that you must have a relevant craft skill to use this spell, with a DC check based on the level of buff used, also note that you can have a maximum of 3 magic tattoos at a time. However, despite that, this is an excellent buff – that levels well. However, there is a 100 gp material cost - I recommend for the one time splurge of an eternal wand to pay up front. Otherwise - make sure to use your lesser extend rod!

Fog Cloud (PHB): (BC): 5 20’ burst that grants concealment, totally messes up enemy archers (no save no SR). The range is decent (Med), as is the duration (10 min/level). There are going to be countless “Fog” spells available – but the original has a beautiful simplicity.

Cloud of Bewilderment (SpC): (Debuff/BC): 5 10’ spread nauseates those within (on failed fort save) until they leave the cloud at which point they are still nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds afterwards. The cloud also offers concealment. This is basically stinking cloud, mini. Decent spell – but the area is small (yes it can be shaped though).

Dimension Hop (PHB II): (BC): 4 Teleport the subject of the spell up to 5’ per 2 CL’s. Will negates, so this is best used on an ally as a short range dimension door. The caster can also teleport themselves a short distance with this spell as well. Range is touch.

Baleful Transposition (SpC): (BC):3 Have 2 subjects switch place. The subjects can be friendly or unfriendly (or you). There are some downsides of this spell compared to benign transposition though. The subjects must both be connected (via the ground usually) and a will save by any of the subjects negates this spell. Overall, I’m less impressed with this spell than benign transposition – but it still has value to bring squishy bad guy up close, while sending a Big Stupid Fighter into the midst of the enemy.

Summon Monster II (PHB): (Summoning): 2 Not impressive for combat, and no better for utility than SM I. For most wizards, I suggest skipping this inferior summons.

Melf’s Acid Arrow (PHB): (Blast): 1 I do not like this spell, no it doesn’t give a save or SR, but it is a single threat blast that does unimpressive damage extended out over rounds. Even a 5 acid resistance makes this spell completely worthless.

Abjuration
3rd level spells

Dispel Magic (PHB): (Debuff) 6 To those regular to CO, this is obviously THE staple of abjuration. Uses include debuffing the DMM Cleric, or casting it over an area to remove a hoard of summoned creatures or remove buffs from multiple opponents. You can also use Dispel Magic to counterspell – of course – you should never counterspell – so that’s kind of useless (If you must counterspell – ready a good hard blast spell instead). There are many ways to improve your dispel roll – so this can become quite the focus for your character – don’t forget that this spell is reactive though. (Being proactive tends to be better in most situations)

Anticipate Teleportation (SpC): (Battlefield Control) 6 OK, this is just a very nice spell. Enemy teleporters basically are screwed – extra bonus if the enemy attempts teleportation-style battlefield controls (Like benign transposition). The 500gp focus is well worth the cost. With a 24 hour duration – I would be casting this consistently by 10th level.

Magic Circle against X (PHB): (Buff or debuff) 5 My favourite use of this spell is using it as a prop for my Planar Binding spells (excuse me while I wipe drool from the corner of my mouth). In combination with Planar Binding and with spellcraft “Fortification” is the only use of “focusing inwards” I can really imagine. Otherwise, this is a nice buff spell. It grants the bonuses of Protection from X with a radius spread. Note that the deflection bonus will not stack with rings of protection, so don’t count on the AC bonus being a big advantage.

Karmic Backlash (CM): (Debuff) 5 As Karmic Aura except now you are exhausting the attacker. Again - it is the swift action casting time that makes this spell attractive.

Disobedience (CS): (Buff) 5 For 1 hr/level the subject is immune to mental control including charm/compulsion effects. The real candy here IMO is that the caster attempting the mind control has to make a will save or believe their mind control attempt was successful, and the subject of the spell is aware of any commands given. With a little bluff, this could really mess up the enemy.

Tenacious Dispelling (CM): (Debuff):3 Very similar to dispel magic, but the first time you cast it must be targeted. The second time you cast (if before the end of your next turn) it can be targeted or area, with a +2 on the check. There are other ways to get dispel bonuses, and the loss of versatility here (as well as pigeonholing future actions) makes this spell lesser to dispel magic.

Explosive Runes (PHB): (Blast) 2 6d6 blast damage, possible Ref save for half. I’ve seen time and time again the reference to the strategy of casting this spell many times and then triggering it next to an enemy by casting a dispel magic and intentionally failing the roll. Personally, I don’t know of any rules allowing you to purposely botch a dispel magic roll (and normally dispel on your own spells always succeeds without a roll) – so if there is a rule that allows this – let me know – either way, I would expect DM’s will not allow this strategy due to the stink of it (and shame on you to those players that try it). Otherwise, as for the intended use of the spell – it probably won’t come up when you need to injure your enemies – so I’m not so big on it.

Earthen Grace (SpC): (Buff) 2 Make damage from earth or stone nonlethal. Note that after the creature takes it’s HP in nonlethal damage the spell ends (and further damage is lethal) so this spell will NOT allow you to fall ridiculous heights and survive. In actuality, this spell is highly situational (and 1 min/level duration means you need to cast reactively) – probably a better scroll than something to actually have in your spell selection.

Repelling Shield (CM): (Double threat: Buff+BC) 1 Once again, a spell that is only good if you are attacked (melee attack by adjacent foe no less). In which case, there is a moderately decent BC of moving your opponent if they fail a Ref save. Lets be clear here – avoid all situations where you could be in melee like the plague. Spells like this should not give you false confidence. Leave being a Big Stupid Fighter to those who are Big, Stupid and Fighters.

Level 3

Conjuration:

Sleet Storm (PHB): (BC): 6 This spell has a 1 round/level duration – but has many improvements over Fog Cloud as a BC spell. First, vision is completely blocked within (instead of 5’). Secondly, the range is long. Thirdly, it’s HUGE (40’ radius). Fourthly, it hinders movement. Finally – it can’t be dispersed with a gust of wind. Very solid BC.

Dimension Step (PHBII): (BC): 6 Do you enjoy chess? If so you will love this spell – rearrange your pieces to create the best battlefield possible. Give multiple allies a short range teleport to flank foes – evade enemy battlefield controls – escape grapples – whatever.

Stinking Cloud (PHB): (Debuff/BC): 6 As cloud of Bewilderment but 20’ radius spread. That is a vastly improved area making this a very solid spell. The Fort save negation means that unless you can target multiple weaker opponents with this – you shouldn’t bother.

Summon Monster III (PHB):(Summon): 6 One of the best combat-based summoning. You want to summon either the Celestial Bison or the Fiendish Ape. These two summons are very solid for the level of spell – good HP, decent To Hit, Nice damage. If mixing with Haste – the Bison is the better summons, otherwise I lean towards the ape for the extra attacks. Note that the Fiendish Dire Bat is large enough to carry a rider – which can give a short duration flight.

Phantom Steed (PHB): (Summoning): 6 1 hour/level summons that carries you at 20’/CL with 240’ maximum (yes – you read correctly – it is FAST). As your CL increases, so does the movement options of the steed – right up to unlimited flight at CL 14. Yes – that’s 240’ flight for 1 hour/level. The only downside is that the Phantom Steed is rather squishy, and you best have a feather fall ready should it get blasted while you are up high.

Mage armor, Greater (SpC): (Buff): 5 Like mage armor except the base armor bonus is +6. This means that it can be easily made +8 with a one level Paragnostic Apostle dip (which you should do). That’s a pretty good 1 hour/level armor bonus for a wizard I must say. Good enough to make the party Monk approach not sucking.

Melf’s Unicorn Arrow (PHBII): (Blast/BC): 4 A decent dual threat – this spell does 1d8+8 damage and bull rushes the target with a DC 21 to resist. You get additional arrows for every 3 levels over 5th (up to 5 arrows). Decent dual threat – very evocation in its flavour (dual threat damage – push backwards)

Caustic Smoke (CM): (BC/Debuff/Blast): 4 Barely a blast (1d6 damage), this simulates a Fog Cloud, but those within make a Fort save or suffer a -5 spot/search and to hit rolls (we don’t really care about the spot and search – but -5 to hit is a fantastic debuff). This lasts for 2 rounds after they leave the smoke. Furthermore – anyone who takes acid damage from any other effect (acid breath?) while in the cloud makes a Fort save or is blinded for a round. Solid multi-threat spell for the level. The 5 round duration is sufficient.

Grasping wall (CS): (Debuff): 4 A wall adjacent to your enemies sprouts hands that entangle them unless they make a Ref save. In most ways this spell is inferior to Web – which entangles even those who make their Ref save, however a couple of advantages here: 1) You do not need the anchor points that web needs, 2) Your allies are not hindered by this spell. These advantages make this a not bad spell (entanglement is a decent debuff)

Bands of Steel (SpC): (BC): 4 Opponent makes a Ref save or they are immobilized. I’m not big on single target spells that are negated with a successful save, but the Ref being targeted makes this spell decent. Note that if a target becomes immobilized, they can use a Full Round Action to attempt to break free (which still gets them out of your hair for a full round at least – not bad). Edit: Please note that creatures over medium size are not affected by this spell.

Scattering Trap (PHBII): (BC): 4 A very interesting spell – trap 1 5’ square per 2 CL’s with a “teleportation trap” If anyone enters the square – they make a Ref save or are teleported 1d6 squares in a random direction. This can totally mess up enemy tactics – and the multiple spell effects is a nice feature.

Corpse Candle (SpC): (Utility):3 Why this spell is not a divination is beyond me. 1 min/level “candle” that illuminates hidden/ethereal/and invisible beings and items in a 5’ radius. The small radius is limiting for combat purposes – but given time to search a room – the candle should find everything.

Acid Breath (SpC): (Blast):3 A conjurer’s answer to fireball. 15’ foot cone that does 1d6 acid damage per level (Max 10d6) with a Ref save for half. Acid damage is less commonly resisted than fire, but the range and AOE are significantly worse than fireball (which is an average spell at best). However – for a conjuration spell – it’s not a terrible blast.

Servant horde (SpC): (Utility):3 Mass Unseen Servant. Unless there is a flavour reason for this spell, I would suggest that a regular unseen servant probably fits your needs. One possible use is the making of multiple items quickly available to you or your companions at need.

Regal Procession (SpC): (Utility):3Basically this is the Mount spell on a mass enhancement. By this time, mount is probably not your best/only fast retreat – but your party may benefit from this spell if a quick retreat is called for. Otherwise, this is base utility – providing the characters with faster movement during travelling.

Mage armor, Mass (SpC): (Buff):3 Mage armor to multiple targets. This is actually pretty circumstantial, since usually most of your party does not benefit from this spell. Perhaps combined with summoning this could be handy – but generally, I would think your mage armor needs more easily and effectively taken care of with the base version of this spell, or the greater version.

Luminous Assasin, Lesser (PHBII): (Summoning): 1 Inferior to Summon Monster in almost every way – please notice the “almost”. This spell is a standard action summoning – and the first attack the luminous assassin makes treats the foe as flat footed. Otherwise – summon monster is comprehensively superior to this spell. With 7 hp – this summon will perish with one hit, reducing the amount of times it can attack and miss your foe, failing to do the lousy damage it does.

Abjuration:

4th level spells

Dimensional Anchor (PHB): (Debuff) 5 A ranged touch attack that makes teleportation and etherealness, either by spell or spell-like ability, not work. SR works, but otherwise there is no saving throw. It is situational, but against an opponent you know is capable of such actions (like a demon or devil for example), this can be an excellent debuff.

Wall of X (SpC): (Battlefield Control) 5 A pretty good battlefield control. It prohibits summoned creature of described alignment (note that this restriction is more specific than protection spells) and requires will saves of any creature of the prescribed alignment to pass through. The size is good as is the duration. One nice feature above other battlefield controls is that your party members should be unaffected (or they have some explaining to do!). There is a 25gp material component – which is pretty cheap, but I’m always loathe to pay.

Dispelling Screen (SpC): (Multiple Threat – Debuff/BC) 4 This spell is kind of interesting. You can create a wall or sphere (or hemisphere) that does a targeted dispel on any creature or object that goes through it. Even more interesting is that it does not allow any spell effects through it – period (“Spell effects not operating on objects or creatures cannot pass through the screen). Of course this restriction affects the caster too – but it gives this spell definite possibilities. Casting a hemisphere around the party fighter for example – will have him immune to targeted magic from outside the sphere – if he isn’t moving alot – this could be quite useful.

Resist Energy, Mass (SpC): (Buff) 4 Basically a chained Resist Energy spell. The duration could use a boost to 1hr/level which it does not receive however. Situational – but worth keeping in reserve as a mass buff.

Globe of Inv., Lesser (PHB): (Debuff):3 Protects area against spells of 3rd level or less. Same reaction/duration problem. However – this spell screams for contingency. This spell can also seriously cramp the style of those who rely on quicken spell – or massive metamagic scorching ray casters and their ilk.

Resistance, Greater (SpC): (Buff):3 Provides +3 resistance to saves. Unlike Resistance, this buff is good for 24 hours. Although this spell does NOT stack with a cloak of resistance (and most characters should have at least a +1 cloak by mid levels) – the +3 may be more than the cloak around the level this spell is received – and it frees up the cloak position for other magic items. The bonus is a little low for the level of spell IMO – but not bad.

Stoneskin (PHB): (Buff): 2 Does this spell get love or what? Personally, I see 250gp material component cost and I’m done. 10/adamantium? Nah, I’ll just avoid getting hit and save my money.

Otiluke’s Suppressing Field (CM): (utility) 1 Create a 20 foot emanation around you that suppresses one subtype of magic. No, it’s not like antimagic field since the caster gets to make a CL check to bypass your field. Oh yeah, full round to cast. Way to situational – and not all that wonderful even in those situations. Pretty much useless unless you know the specifics regarding the magical capabilities of your opponent.

Fire Trap (PHB): (Blast) 1 like explosive runes except it has a 25gp material cost, does less damage, does fire damage (easily avoided), is a higher level, and is triggered by opening instead of reading. Faces the same drawback as explosive runes (does HP damage when you don’t need it). Unless used as part of an ambush – I don’t see a lot of use to this spell.

Conjuration:

Level 4

Evard’s Black Tentacles (PHB): (BC): 6 Creates a 20’ radius spread of tentacles that grapple those within. The grapple check is your CL +8 which isn’t bad and allows it to improve as you level (though note that at high levels not much will be grappled by this spell). There is no saving throw (other than your grapple check) or SR. Creatures not successfully grappled still have impeded movement. Technically, the tentacles do damage to grappled creatures on subsequent rounds, but the damage is lousy (1d6+4). Nice BC.

Dimension Door (PHB): (Utility): 6 Teleport a short distance with verbal component only. Very solid short range teleport. The big advantages of this spell over lower level teleportations are: You can take others with you, it’s core.

Solid Fog (PHB): (BC): 6 No save fog spell that restricts movement within to 5’ round. That effect is huge, but note that this spell is dispersed easily with wind, and freedom of movement of course will ruin your day as well. However, at those mid levels (before Freedom of Movement is often seen) – this spell can be invaluable for separating enemies.

Wall of Sand (SpC): (BC):5 Your first semi-solid wall spell. Please note this spell is a significant step down from Wall of Stone, it can be moved through (though movement is impeded), must be straight and only lasts Concentration + 1 round/level – however, it still blocks line of sight, line of effect, missile attacks – etc. Considering this is a level 4 wall spell – it is not at all bad.

Summon Monster IV (PHB): (Summon): 5 For straight combat – SM III is probably better for the level – but I’ve found Fiendish Dire Wolves to be fantastic trippers. Combined with the fact they are your best combat summons in other respects for this spell as well – this adds a bit more BC on the spell.

Orb of Fire (SpC): (Blast/Debuff): 4 My favourite orb spell. First, lets get this over with – Orbs hit only one target (and require a to-hit roll to hit even the main target) and therefore have disadvantages when compared to many other blasts. The damage is decent but not immense – but this Orb includes a save-or-be-stunned for a round that targets Fort. They will probably save – but its an added effect that can screw them if they don’t save – and if they do – they still take the damage. Not amazing – but the addition of the dual threat makes it decent.

Wall of Water (SpC): (BC): 3 The advantages of this spell over Wall of Sand are an improved duration and range (as well as some minor circumstantial stuff). The disadvantages are pretty severe. The wall is pretty easily moved through, doesn’t block line of sight, and is much easier to move through.

Translocation Trick (SpC): (BC): 3 You and one other creature switch places and appearances (as disguise self spells on each). If the other creature makes a Will save the spell is negated. The obvious use is to switch places with opposing BBEG and let their minions kill them while you laugh. I don’t recommend that option since the single Will save can make this a wasted cast. Instead consider switches with your own party members. Let the BBEG attempt to avoid you so they can get at the Big Stupid Fighter for a change. Beware though that this spell puts you out of position (and a good position that is) and should only really be used if your defences are about to get breached. Verbal component only.

Bloodstar (SpC): (Debuff): 2 Cast this spell and the “bloodstar” hovers above your foe, and each time they take damage in combat, they make a Fort save or lose a Con point (damage). Everything (except for the Fort save) about this spell screams to me that I should like it. However, I’ve had opportunity to use this spell multiple times and find the way it works makes it exceedingly circumstantial. The combat needs to last several rounds, and need to fail at least a few Fort saves for this to work. This means they need to be struck several times. Of course a creature that can survive several attacks probably has a wicked Fort save. It’s hard to explain mechanically why this spell isn’t all that effective, only explain that in my experience it just isn’t.

Leomund’s Secure Shelter (PHB): (Utility): 2 Creates a 2 hour/level shelter for you to rest in. Generally speaking – I find Rope Trick to be even more secure than this spell and it’s only 2nd level. However, this spell could have use for housing larger groups (but why not multiple rope tricks then?). Ultimately, it comes down to not that this spell is bad – but rope trick is so good it makes this spell largely obsolete.

Abjuration:

5th level spells

Refusal (SpC): (Battlefield Control/Utility) 5
Very interesting spell – does not allow passage into area by spellcasters or users of Spell like abilities. The will save to defeat seems weak at first, but there is a penalty to the save equal to the level of the highest spell or SLA available to the creature. Additionally, the caster can set conditions to bypass the ward (alignment, passwords, etc). In the end – that makes this a very nice spell for BC. If you are going to the Abyss – take 3 of these.

Spell Theft (CS): (Double threat: Debuff/Self Buff) 5 Use a targeted dispel on an enemy and remove the spells from them and grant them to yourself. There is a spellcraft roll necessary for each spell. Also note that the maximum CL is +15, making it a halfway point between dispel/greater dispel.

Wall of Dispel Magic (SpC): (Debuff/Utility):3 Make an invisible barrier – those that pass through are treated as if a targeted dispel had been cast on them. It has no effect on spells cast through the wall – and the wall must be straight – which makes me a much bigger fan of dispelling screen despite the visible effect.

Break Enchantment (PHB): (Utility):3 Similar to Remove Curse, break enchantment can reverse magical enchantments/transmutations of spells 5th level or lower. The one minute casting time ensures that this spell is not usable in combat. Purely utility – and in that matter – I would probably never have it memorized unless I knew I needed it, though it is probably worth a spot in the spell book or a scroll.

Dismissal (PHB): (Save or lose):3 Send an extraplanar creature back to its plane of origin if it fails a Will Save. Big problem here is that Extraplanar creatures often have excellent will saves. This is basically a save or die spell in disguise. Its situational, and in the right situation, it’s OK, but not fantastic.

Contingent Energy Resistance (SpC): (Buff):3 I liked this spell until I read the description. Contingent Energy Resistance basically sounds perfect. Here’s the problems though – 1) duration is 1 hour/level – hardly worthy of being labelled “Contingent”, 2) The energy resistance provided is 10, and does not scale with CL. That’s a big problem.

Indomitability (SpC): (Buff): 2 Touch spell grants recipient the ability to survive one strike that would otherwise be deadly, merely lowering the recipients HP to 1. The duration is 1 min/level which means this is a buff that you would need to cast in combat. In most cases – I can’t see how this would save an otherwise doomed character for more than one round – and it really should be immediate. Oh yeah, it’s a touch spell too. Except in unique situations (intentionally setting off an otherwise deadly trap for example) – I can’t see much combat use in this spell.

Reciprocal Gyre (SpC): (Multiple threat – Blast/Debuff): 1 Cast on a creature with Spells or SLA currently affecting it – it takes d12 damage/spell effect. If a will save is made, ½ damage is taken. If the will save is missed, the target gets a Fort save or be dazed 1d6 rounds. This does not dispel the magical effects or effect persistant spells. Where do I begin – hmm, how about with this spell sucks.

Conjuration:

Level 5

Planar Binding, Lesser (PHB): (Summoning): 6 The Planar Binding spells are cast in conjunction with Magic Circle spells to bring an extraplanar being into this plane and then bargaining with it to serve you. SR applies, and there is an opposed CHA check involved – but since the task can be up to 1 day/level, the spell can be cast in downtime. DM’s beware – allowing template creatures to be called with this spell is a big mistake. It is very tough anyways. The DM should attempt to find loopholes in the bargain or have allies of the extraplanar creature consider revenge or something or this spell (and its more powerful incarnations at higher levels) can get out of control. Consider a Planar Bound Nightmare gives you effectively “Astral Spell” (9th level spell) as well as a really cool mount, there needs to be a real downside to this or your wizards will have a legion of bearded devils as their personal bodyguard.

Teleport (PHB): (Utility): 6 Travel 100 miles/CL and bring friends. The ultimate travel spell. Teleporting places you are not all that familiar with can put you slightly off the mark (and potentially even cause damage), but assure your comrades that’s “precisely where I intended for us to appear – for reasons your intellect couldn’t possibly absorb.” This spell is fantastic – and makes certain adventure types completely obsolete to your party as your spells reach phenomenal cosmic power.

Wall of Stone (PHB): (BC): 6 So here’s real BC for you. Make a wall of stone anywhere you like in combat and shape it anyway you like. It’s stone – blocking movement, sight, spells, attacks etc. It can be broken – but not easily. It’s also permanent giving it a very real utility use as well (insta-bridge, insta repair-wall etc.) Attempting to trap creatures within a stone dome gives them a Ref save to avoid the effect. The limitation of this spell is that it must be connected to existing stone – for dungeons though – this means it can be used basically anywhere.

Viscid Glob (SpC): (Debuff): 5 Very similar to Bands of Steel, viscid glob requires you make a ranged touch attack and the opponent makes a Ref save or is stuck in place. As with Bands of Steel they can use a full round action to attempt to break free. Unlike bands of steel – other enemies who come in contact with the spell effect get stuck themselves. Large (or larger) creatures can be prevented from moving with this spell but can otherwise act normally. The Ref targeting is a weak save to target at this level – though I try to avoid single target “save negates” spells by this point.

Dimension Jumper (CM): (BC):5 Teleport yourself up to 30’ once per round as a move action. This spell is a swift action to cast which is nice, and can be used to teleport back and forth past your own BC’s which can provide you an effective defence without requiring a standard action.

Evacuation Rune (CS): (Utility): 5 A bit like Gemjump of the next level – Evacuation rune is a preselected teleportation location precast. There are some notable differences though. Evacuation rune is a 24 hour cast – so although it can be cast at the beginning of the day (or the end if you save an open slot), it must be repeatedly cast. It also teleports only you. There are 2 very nice attributes of this spell that are rather unique though. First, it is a swift action to activate – and second – the preselected location can be moved (so the rogue could take it with him while he scouts ahead for example) meaning there are more uses for this than just retreating.

Dimension Shuffle (PHB II): (BC):5 Pretty much the ultimate “rearrange the battlefield” spell as you teleport enemies and allies alike. The enemies can make Will saves to avoid the effect – but in the end – you will get a pretty conclusive rearrangement of the battlefield to your liking.

Cloudkill (PHB): (Debuff/BC): 5 The next type of “fog” spell. This is unlike the others in that it moves 10’ per round away from you (this is a severely limiting factor). Creatures within the cloud suffer effects based on their HD and Fort save. The big deal here is a high HD creature that makes its save STILL takes Con damage (1d4/2) every round they are within the cloud. This spell does pretty good when you first get it, but does not scale well with level. Also – you need to mix it with Solid Fog or Evard’s to get maximum effect, otherwise the Con loss is just too small.

Summon Monster V (PHB): (Summoning) 4 an average SM spell. Note that the Fiendish Giant Crocodile is Huge and has Improved Grab with a +21 grapple score. That is probably a higher grapple than Evard’s when you first get this spell – and it does and takes damage as well. However, you are still using a full round to summon, and targeting only one opponent with it. Situationally it is your best grappling spell from 9th to 10th level.

Phantasmal Thief (SpC): (Debuff): 3 This unseen servant-like apparition can steal from your opponents and bring the booty to you. The problem is that you can’t steal anything they are wearing or holding (otherwise I would suggest stealing spell component pouches!) – and it can only steal one item at a time (or I would suggest stealing the contents of a spell component pouch). It can attempt to disarm a held item, but the disarm check is equal to your CL (which isn’t very good for a disarm). There are still some nice uses for this spell – and it essentially gives you a free debuff every round – but the limitations are severe.

Call Zelekhut (SpC): (Summons): 3 Call a Zelekhut to perform a task for you that cannot last longer than 1 hour. Zelekhut’s are pretty tough for this level of spell – but you need to spend 100 xp to cast this spell (readers of my guides know how I love Material and XP costs to spells). Lesser Planar Binding provides a more versatile selection of creatures without the xp cost.

Leomund’s Secret Chest (PHB): (Utility): 3 Send a 5,000 gp chest (up to 1 cubic foot/CL) to the ethereal plane for up to 60 days, and retrieve at any time. The utility “RAI” would make this spell a fairly expensive, but reliable way to store your spellbook away from dangerous conditions – to be retrieved to rememorize and then sent out again. However, there is an abusive use to this spell – I will only bring up to point out you shouldn’t do it. Many opponents will fit in the chest – and using a baleful transposition or similar spell you could get them in that chest (or with a translocation trick – in the chest and nobody would know) – then send the chest away and the opponent is gone with no save for 60 days (or forever if you don’t mind losing the 5,000gp chest.) Its a “trick” and you are better than that.

Greater Dimension Door (SpC) : (BC):2 Like dimension door except that you can’t go as far (close range), but you can repeat the process every round for 1 round/2 levels as a move action. Situationally useful, but usually wasteful. The spell is still a standard action to cast.

Vitriolic Sphere (SpC): (Blast):1 Beefed up Melf’s Acid Arrow. In the end the damage just isn’t all that impressive, and if the save is made the damage is horrible. There is no dual threat here.

Luminous Assassin (PHBII): (Summoning): 1 This faces the same advantages/disadvantages as the rest of the Luminous assassin line. The standard action summoning is nice – but the 3rd level assassin this summons is simply nothing compared to what you could summon with a SM V. For that matter – it is nothing compared to a Fiendish Dire Wolf summoned with a rapid summon monster IV...

Abjuration

6th level spells

Resistance, Superior (SpC): (Buff):5 The apex of the Resistance spells. Like Greater Resistance, this spell is a 24 hour buff, unlike Greater Resistance, the resistance bonus is impressive (+6). This spell would be a prime candidate for Chain Spell if you can power metamagic

Antimagic Field (PHB): (Debuff):: 5 Suppresses all magic around you for 10min/level. This of course is very bad for you – but if your party is outmatched magically – this can still be a worthwhile sacrifice for you to make. The suppression ability is quite potent – however, keep in mind that summoned creatures with SR will need you to defeat that SR to suppress them.

Dispel Magic, Greater (PHB): (Debuff): 5 A necessary bump up to dispel magic, that is good for the same reasons. I wouldn’t jump right to this one at level 11 necessarily though. By CL 15 or so, the old version won’t be very effective anymore.

Anticipate Teleportation, Greater (SpC): (Battlefield control): 5 Like its predecessor, this is a very nice spell. The question is whether increasing the delay from 1 to 3 rounds and identifying the type of arriving creature is worth 3 extra spell levels. In my view, Anticipate Teleportation does the trick – but there is definitely an argument for using this version instead at high levels.

Karmic Retribution (CM): (Debuff): 4 Like Karmic Aura except that creatures that attack you must make a will save or be stunned for a round. As with the other Karmic spells the Swift action casting is the selling feature. The question is whether Karmic Retribution is so much better than Karmic Backlash to deserve a 6th level spell slot. I'm not sure it does - however - it is still solid for the level.

Guards and Wards (PHB): (Utility):3 A neat spell that you will always want to cast/use but many of us never will (except in “down” time). The 30 minute casting time ensures you won’t be using it in combat, but the effects are kind of neat (and make your stronghold very difficult to invade).

Ruby Ray of Reversal (SpC): (Utility):3 Definitely an interesting spell. It has 5 different situational uses. It can spring traps at range, open things, create holes in walls of force, reverse polymorphs, and dispel magic jars. All the uses of this spell are situationally useful, but none come up enough for me to recommend this spell be memorized. It might be worthy of a scroll in your repoitoire though.

Repulsion (PHB): (BC): 2 Sigh. Standard action casting, 1 round/level duration. Sound familiar? Otherwise, this would be an awesome protection spell for a God.

Globe of Inv. (PHB): (Buff): 2 Call me a broken record. I hate standard action defense spells with 1 round/level durations. This is no exception. Complete immunity from spells levelled 1-4 is good – but setting up this spell is going to be a pain. Too high level to contingent - I'll pass on this.

Prismatic Aura (CM): (Buff): 1 Sigh...Prismatic Aura suffers from all the drawbacks of the typical abjuration defense spell. First off, it has standard action casting/1 round/level duration which means you lose your first round casting this spell. Secondly – it only affects combatants who attack you in melee. If you find yourself in melee – don’t cast this spell – cast dimension door and get out of melee!!! This spell is in the same book as Karmic Retribution – which is swift action casting and affects all creatures that attack you, ranged, melee or magic. This is a turkey.

Abjuration:

7th level spells

Energy Absorption (CM): (buff/healing!): 6 Quite an interesting, if not odd spell. It is a hr/level buff that provides 10 energy resistance against all 5 energy types. This is a little weak on its own – but get this – you can (as an immediate action) expend the spell to absorb the energy of any energy based attack – and in addition to full immunity to any and all energy types used in the attack, the subject actually heals half of the damage the effect normally would have caused. Instantly in my head I consider the possibilities of intentional friendly fire (The fighter is getting low on HP – so you lob an area energy blast into his wake – damaging his enemies while healing him...)

Banishment (PHB): (Save or lose): 5 The more potent version of dismissal. Banishment allows 2 HD of creatures to be banished per CL. The big draw here is that you can boost both your spells DC and your CL check to defeat SR by presenting the target with objects or substances with which the target is opposed, hates, fears etc. Should be easy enough for banishing evil outsiders...after all you’re a mage – how many charms depicting the holy symbols of good gods can you fit on one necklace? The point is that the DC/CL boosts are stackable.

Ironguard (SpC): (Buff): 4 The standard problem of 1 round/level standard casting defensive spell. This is a pretty good defensive spell though. Complete immunity to metal (magical or not) is a pretty good spell effect. What Big Stupid Fighter wouldn’t love this spell when going toe to toe with an Iron Golem? (or even 90% of enemy fighters). If the Big Stupid Fighter is in actuality, a Druid, his natural attacks can also bypass metal armor (though would be made useless against Iron Golems...)

Energy Immunity (SpC): (Buff): 4 100% immunity to one kind of energy for 24 hours. The long duration makes this a good choice, but at least consider Energy Absorption which is the same level, and probably a better spell overall with similar effect. This is your choice if you expect repeat high power attacks with a single energy type.

Greater Dispelling Screen (SpC): (BC): 4 Like dispelling screen except the CL bonus on the dispel check caps at +20. Frankly, the chief ability of the dispelling screen is the prevention of spells cast through it. This is unchanged with the greater version – making me sceptical whether the 3 extra levels give appropriate payback in spell power.

Antimagic Ray (SpC): (Debuff):3 Screw an enemy caster. Beware though that the caster can still use his spell trigger items freely (my mages at this level always have some backup), as well they get the satisfying knowledge that you spent 100gp to cast this spell. If you miss on your ranged touch – the 100gp is lost forever – as well as your spell slot. If you’re facing a God Wizard, expect him to Abrupt Jaunt out of the way and laugh at you.

Sequester (PHB): (Utility)3 Turns creatures and objects invisible and undetectable (except by items that provide true seeing effects), the duration is 1 day/level. However, creatures effected are in suspended animation until the spell wears off. This makes the spell highly situational.

Ghost Trap (SpC): (Debuff):3 Turn incorporeal creatures corporeal. The benefit of such a debuff doesn’t require elaboration – but I should point out that most enemies are corporeal – making this spell highly situational. The short duration requires that you cast it during combat in most cases.

Spell Turning (PHB): (Self Buff) 2 Turns back 1d4+6 levels of targeted spells back on their caster. The casting time is 1 standard action and the duration is 10 min/level. As such, I would think it would be pretty hard to be sure you are going to be targeted by spells (area spells and effect spells are not turned). This is a huge drawback. I’m not big on blowing 7th level spells because the BBEG in the next room “might” target me with a targeted spell.

Abjuration:

8th level spells

Mind Blank (PHB): (Buff): 6 24 hour protection from divination (yawn) and any mind effecting spells or effects (BINGO!). Yes, that basically makes the entire enchantment school obsolete for 24 hours/day. Very solid buff.

Wall of Greater Dispel Magic (SpC): (utility):3 Like wall of Dispel Magic except that you get the standard + to CL of Greater dispel on targeted dispel checks. Frankly – I think the Dispelling Screen spells are superior than the Wall of Dispel Magic spells due to the ability to automatically stop ranged/targeted spells going through the screen. Only the invisible effect makes this a situationally superior spell.

Dimensional Lock (PHB): (BC/Utility):3An area spell that restricts extradimensional travel. The duration is sick (1 day/level) which means you can use this to protect areas from extradimensional visitors indefinitely. Unfortunately, the spell is static – so it’s use in combat is pretty restrictive. Dimensional Anchor will serve instead.

Prismatic Wall (PHB): (Battlefield Control): 2 Basically a supped-up wall of force. The flat wall shape makes this spell significantly less potent than the 9th level sphere version. Make an absolutely impenetrable wall that your opponents absolutely must go around to get to you – sigh.

Protection from spells (PHB): (Buff): 1 Take 6th level Superior Resistance – increase the effect to +8, make it only good against spells, gimp the duration, give it a 500gp material cost, a 1000gp focus cost. Yes, you can use it on multiple creatures (1/4 levels) but it is still an absolutely shameful waste of an 8th level spell slot.

Spell Engine (SpC): (Utility): 1 Spell allows you to switch out all your prepared spells for others from your spellbook. By RAW a focused specialist can potentially switch his focused school spells for spells of non-specialist school as long as the spell is within his spellbook (interpreting the spell this way stinks to high heaven though – and Treantmonk does not suggest being cheesy). This spell sounds great doesn’t it? Look again. This spell requires a 500gp material component, and if that wasn’t enough, 250 xp. Treantmonk says that if you are worried about preparing the wrong spells – buy some scrolls for backup.

Abjuration:

9th level spells

Maw of Chaos (SpC): (Double threat: Debuff + Blast):6 ohhh – an abjuration blast spell. This one is pretty good too (even worth a 9th level slot). Cast this on the enemy group and they are in trouble. First off – they take d6/caster level damage (untyped and no limit) – and they make a save (Will) or are dazed. The next round – anyone who is still in the AoE takes the damage and makes the save again. And so on for the duration of the spell. Dazed characters cannot move – so will stay and continually take damage. Also – any enemy wanting to use a spell or spell like ability better have a decent Concentration score (not all SLA creatures do) or they won’t be able to use them. This spell lasts 1 round/level.

Absorption (SpC): (Buff): 4 It’s a selfish spell – but a pretty decent one. It works a lot like spell turning – but instead of turning the spell – you absorb it – and you can use those spell levels to cast one of your spells without losing the memorization slot. Also – if a spell cannot be completely absorbed – you can partially absorb it – reducing its effect (which is something spell turning doesn’t do). With a 10 min/level duration – you can often have this pre-cast when entering combat – which is a definite selling feature.

Reaving Dispel (SpC): (Double threat: Debuff + Buff): 4 A greater dispel magic spell that allows you to take the spells you dispelled (on a targeted dispel) and reassign them to yourself. Could be huge against say, a Cheater of Mystra (or any DMM cleric). I can’t help but immediately think that my party Cleric might have some cool DMM persisted personal spells that he could cast twice – I reave the first set, and he keeps the second. Anyone see a reason that wouldn’t work (Besides a stingy Cleric)?

Prismatic Sphere (PHB): (Battlefield Control):3 The ultimate protection spell – it protects you against everything. Unfortunately – you need to leave the sphere to be doing anything yourself. This spell could be decent for emergency regrouping – or mixed with a Heward’s fortifying bedroll – even to regain spells. However, it too – unfortunately, is not going to be used in the average combat.

Imprisonment (PHB): (Save or Die): 2 This spell is a touch-save or die (and unlike most death in D&D – this guy is a lot further than a resurrection from walking and talking again). The point of this spell (since save or die that targets will as a 9th level spell BLOWS) is that the creature cannot be brought back. However, constantly resurrecting bad guys is a pretty rare problem – so this spell becomes circumstantial – which is bad for 9th level spells.

Mordenkainen’s Disjunction (PHB): (Debuff): 2 The ultimate Dispel. MD will totally nuke all spells and possibly magic items too (they get a will save). You can potentially save magic items in an Anti Magic Field. Frankly – MD is a bad spell to cast since D&D characters are LOOTERS and nuking all the magic items isn’t a good looting tactic. I can really only see this spell being used in emergencies. Once again it is circumstantial – which isn’t good for 9th level spells.


Magic Miasma (SpC): (Double threat: BC + Debuff): 2 Creates a Solid Fog (as the spell) that also gives a minus to caster level and DC’s of spells to those within. Those who leave the area get a Will save in order to get the CL back. Solid Fog is level 4 – this just doesn’t scream to me “This is 5 spell levels better than that spell”. Giving CL and DC penalties to enemy casters with no save is pretty cool – but they get the save as soon as they leave the fog (and who has freedom of movement options at this level? Um – just about everyone.)

Effulgent Epuration (SpC): (Buff): 2 Gives the caster or recipient (which can be changed in the middle of the spell) a bunch of spheres that block enemy casts directed at the recipient. It’s really, really good at what it does (lots of blocks – 100% chance of success) but the duration sucks and it’s purely defensive for 1 person at a time only. This means this spell is just the kind of spell you almost never should cast.

Fire at will reserve.

Go, go!

Edit: Okay, the board is very slow for me at the moment and I lost two entire edits to the blackhole that is internet. I'll continue this later tonight when there's less traffic.
Fire at will reserve.

Go, go!

Edit: Okay, the board is very slow for me at the moment and I lost two entire edits to the blackhole that is internet. I'll continue this later tonight when there's less traffic.

Gj so far.
I'd be more in favor of combining the seperate posts of first level spells into one, organized by level of how good they are, as opposed to the current organization by school
Yay Tshern! Go go!
Tshern, you are ****ing king among men. You have my sword.
I'd be more in favor of combining the seperate posts of first level spells into one, organized by level of how good they are, as opposed to the current organization by school

This is actually a good suggestion. Perhaps I could add spoilers or something to each post listing all spells by ranking?

Dr_Roctopus: That's the best you've got? Give me even your spellbook.
Just a thought: I got a cantrip reserve that actually does absolutely nothing, because God's tools threads do not take them into account. Perhaps I could put all spells per level to different spoiler tags and rank spells according to their quality per level instead of school. How's that?

Edit: This is it for now, I'll continue this later today.
Think of Cantrips at level 1 or 2, not later. Caltrops, Amanuensis and Light are decent, while Detect Magic, Daze and Prestidigitation are godly. Some of those stay good even later on, but I find I use those slots as fuel for other things if I can.
Think of Cantrips at level 1 or 2, not later. Caltrops, Amanuensis and Light are decent, while Detect Magic, Daze and Prestidigitation are godly. Some of those stay good even later on, but I find I use those slots as fuel for other things if I can.

Launch Item stays good forever.
Dr_Roctopus: That's the best you've got? Give me even your spellbook.

Hehehe, okay. Here's some of my favorites:

Streamers, from Shining south. L5 Evocation that does ~200 damage when maximized. Damage is wholly untyped. No save, repeatable, rounds per level, happens mid-action so it can cause casters to lose spells.

Dispelling Screens of all flavor.

Early in life, I'm a huge fan of wall of dispelling, because it's a tremendous dick move. It doesn't scale well at all though. But for the time where it works, it's pretty much golden.

Hauntshift may deserve mention for being silly-awesome.

Create Dread Warrior. Because templates that let your undead keep their class levels are fun!

There are more, but that will do for now.
Launch Item stays good forever.

And How. I just went out and purchased a custom unlimited launch item, err item (I called it a grenade launcher), to throw acid flasks and other flotsam (like Shrink Item'd boulders) at people from range when I'm bored.

I also very much am in love with with Prestidigition, but a lot of that has to do with the houserules we play with (it works more like 2nd Edition's 'Cantrip' spell).

I can't tell you how many times we've used Message to effectively metagame, walkie talkies for the win.

Oh, and as far as formatting goes, while I'm all for listing them in order from best to worst, separating them by school helps a lot with the Specialist and Focused specialist builds. I generally have to only open the allowed schools in tabs and go through only those threads when I'm doing spellbooks for specialists.

But, it's your thread, if you want to mash them up into a single 'best to worst' list, it's still a solid contribution, especially considering how tedious it can be to bump 8 separate threads to keep them out of the archive.

One question, though, doesn't the board have like a 10k character limit on posts, and won't you certainly hit that with all of them joined up?
--bleh
Posts have a 50,000 character limit.
pithica: The alternative way of ranking the spells would be in addition to the current one. I'd just list them, perhaps without descriptions, and mention the spell school.
Ah, I see...like an addendum at the end.

Well, go to go to, nothing to see here, sorry I interrupted.
--bleh
Why no Enchantments, Evocations, or Necromancies?
Why no Enchantments, Evocations, or Necromancies?

None yet, mind you. He's working on it.
What's been said. Today's been a busy day and, frankly, I've been hungover. Tomorrow I will continue my work.
Awesome work Tshern, I have to say that I really appreciate it. Having a single compiled list of the really good spells is incredibly useful.


Keep it up!
Sorry for the delay, I got hit by a tidal wave of work. Believe it or not, but moving to another country sort of has things like that occur every now and then. Weekend ought to be free though!
I can't tell you how many times we've used Message to effectively metagame, walkie talkies for the win.

Yeah, that is another amazing one. It loses some of its shinyness in a party where multiple people have telepathy and/or Mindlink-like abilities, though. :D

I think both of those are probably worthy of being 1st level spells, actually.

Oh, and another really amazing cantrip is No Light from the Book of Vile Darkness. It's a Darkness spell that creatures with Darkvision can see into, except that it works like the old 3.0 Darkness (total concealment, not just the 20% one). Combined with a Ring of Darkhidden, this is basically the equivalent of the 3rd level spell Blacklight... except it lasts longer, and it's a cantrip. Of course, it is from a 3.0 book and requires a specific magic item to reach its full potential, so YMMV. It also won't work against devils, or people with See Invisible active.
I forgot about this.  Save!