Jason Marovich's favorite spell caster build is the traditional warforged air savant sorceror.
Spells for Beginner Spell Casters
Dungeons and Dragons Online offers a plethora of magic spells and a wide variety of class types who may cast them. Five low-level spells are described in this article, and they are proven effective. Since spell-casters are normally dependent on their magic to survive even the smallest battles, it is imperative that players choose their spells wisely as they advance in level. The spells contained herein are merely suggestions. Included are spell types and caster types.
Five Effective Low-Level Spells
- Sleep Spell
- Web Spell
- Fireball Spell
- Haste Spell
- Charm Person Spell
1. Sleep Spell
Spell Point Cost: 10
The sleep spell is one of the most helpful spells for low-level party adventurers. The ability to slow, or even stop, groups of monsters in their tracks is a serious plus. The only drawback is that attempting to put a monster to sleep as a low level caster isn't always successful. But still, if you have a mob of kobolds charging the party, casting Sleep on them will most likely cause one or more of them to lie down on the ground and take a nap. This provides the perfect opportunity for the rest of the party to deal with the kobolds still awake, and then to dispatch the sleeping critters.
Higher level casters (and bards) will have great success with this spell against weaker monsters. That's because spells, such as sleep, must be resisted by saving throws against difficulty class (DC). DC rolls are affected by modifiers, and higher level casters generally have higher modifiers. For instance, a wizard with an intelligence of 20 casting Sleep would add +6 to a base of 10: for a 16 DC. The saving creature gets to roll one 20-sided die (just a mental example, there are no dice actually being thrown). Including the defender's own modifiers, it must roll higher than a 16 to prevent itself from falling immediately to the ground and going to sleep.
2. Web Spell
Spell Point Cost: 15
This is another very useful low level spell. At level 2, there are few options better than this to slow monsters down. The caster projects a large web at a desired target (or target location). Any creature wandering into it may become entangled. A successful Reflex save is required to avoid becoming temporarily incapacitated by the web spell.
This spell is best used in open areas. Ideally, you can cast it between two objects—such as trees—and create a web of significant proportion. That being said, other party members can draw monsters toward a location the caster has previously targeted (or into an existing web).
Casters would do well to remember that monsters who possess great strength won't remain entangled long. They will tear free of the web, and probably charge the mage who challenged it. If that does happen, and if there aren't a bunch of monsters struggling to free themselves from the web, lure the charging creature back the way it came and into the web again. Really, low level monsters are usually that witless. Just be careful you know your enemies strengths before attempting such hazardous maneuvers.
Dealing With the Cost
At a cost of 15 spell points per web, this spell can cause casters to run out of spell points quickly. So while it is extremely helpful to surround the party with webs during a fight, its not recommended to do so. Use spell points wisely and compare spell point costs. For example, charm person costs 10 spell points per use.
Know the monster's weaknesses, and then compare the spell point costs of spells that would do the most harm to the monster, or that would aid your party the most.
3. Fireball Spell
Spell Point Cost: 15
Fireball is in the evocation class of magic. It's a level 3 spell, and one of the first spells that players are able to gain that has the ability to damage multiple targets. That's because a fireball explodes when it hits something. It does no damage to those traveling with the player casting it (this is the case with all spells; they aren't going to cause damage to anyone on your 'team').
Obviously, this is an effective weapon against mobs of lesser monsters who are susceptible to taking damage from fire. Trolls, for example, regenerate hit points. That is, left alone, they will return to full health, eventually. They can be difficult to slay for a party of adventurers who lack a true DPS (damage per strike) melee character.
Fireballs can be avoided by monsters (or other players, in designated player vs player areas) if they dodge (make a successful saving throw against their Reflex score), or have spell or fire resistance. If they 'roll' a successful save, they can reduce the damage taken from the spell to half.
4. Haste Spell
Spell Point Cost: 20
Most high level wizards that adventure with others will use the Haste spell often. It not only allows players to travel more swiftly, it also doubles attack speed.
DDO has an interesting way of allowing casters to increase the strength of their spells. This especially applies to Haste, because the spell wears off rather quickly. But wizards, and other spell casters, can choose character enhancements, such as Extend Spell, or Heighten Spell. These enhancements make spells more effective and enable them to last longer. In the level 3 Haste transmutation, both Extend and Heighten can prove to be a very powerful benefit to the party, at a low-level cost.
5. Charm Person Spell
Spell Point Cost: 25
Enchanting other creatures is a traditional means for wizards and sorcerors to get to their objectives without having to deal with messy combat situations. By charming monsters, a spell caster can control the actions of the bewitched, and set them against their friends. This is a level one spell, and it is invaluable to experienced players who know where they are going in dungeons.
The most underhanded method of using this enchantment, is for the attacker to target foes just behind the forefront advancing enemies. If the spell is successful, the rushing monster will now have to deal with a former friend attacking him from behind. And attacking from behind gives attack and damage bonuses to the attacker. The picture above shows a good example of this: an advancing bugbear breaking off his attack on the caster to deal with charmed kobolds attacking him from behind.
There many different kinds of spells in DDO, and to cast some of them, a material component is required. Each class of character that is able to cast spells will eventually need to find merchants that sell spell components.
- Fireball: One Ball of Bat Guano and Sulfur is required for sorcerors and wizards to cast this level 3 wizard spell.
- Sleep: To cast the level one bard spell, performers will need one Pork Rind. To cast the level one sorceror spell, wizards and sorcerors will need one Pinch of Fine Sand.
- Web: One Eyelash in Gum Arabic is required to cast this sorceror spell.
Dungeonraider Tip: Hold down right click mouse button and move the target cursor on screen to the location you want to cast your web. It cannot be too far away, so you might have to play around with this feature to get it right. But laying down webs where you want them, and not necessarily at creatures, is a brilliant way to spring a trap on unsuspecting foes.
- Haste: One Licorice Root is required for bards to cast this level 3 spell. One Ball of Bat Guano and Sulfur is required for wizards and sorcerors.
- Charm Person: There is no spell component required to cast this level 1 spell.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spells
These are just five of the lesser spells available to wizards, sorcerors, and bards. The effects from these spells can also be gained from a variety of other means, including imbibing potions or reading magical scrolls. Yet, when used in less direct ways, they can provide the means for young casters to gain strength and ultimately, the knowledge necessary to cast higher level spells effectively.
Q: How do I target a monster?
A: Pressing 'g' on your keyboard shows a message on the screen telling you whether auto-targeting is enabled. If you have it enabled, you will automatically target monster(s) in front of you with your spell. If you wish to select an individual target, right click on it. This is sometimes not easy to do, but with practice, casters, and other ranged attackers, can pick far away targets to surprise attack.
Q: How do I get high spell points in DDO?
A: Find, or purchase, magic items with magical effects applied that grant spell points. These include Power and Wizardry effects. Find items that stack with one another. This means you need to find items that grant spell points, that aren't the same type of effect. Learn what effects stack, and which do not, by wearing the item and seeing if your spell points increase.
One way to find unique items that'll stack with your more common spell point items is to participate in Dungeons and Dragons Online live events (i.e. Mabar Festival, Raisa Ice Games, etc).
You may also earn higher ability scores (that determine your spell point base, dependent on the class of caster) or take new character feats that grant additional spell points.
Q: How can I boost the damage I do to monsters with my spells?
A: Spell power damage boosting may be obtained in a variety of ways:
- Other than sonic damage, elemental spell damage is boosted every time you take a point in the spellcraft skill.
- Metamagic feats maximize spell and empower spell will boost spell damage but cause each spell to cost more spell points to cast. Note that this penalty can be reduced by a variety of ways.
- Magic items can give the wearer a spell power damage boost. Note that it is the type of bonus the item imbues that matters when considering stacking boost damage. Two of the same type of bonus do not stack.
Ira White from Norman, Oklahoma on June 11, 2013:
Jason Marovich (author) from United States on September 22, 2011:
Rosetta Ceesay from United Kingdom on September 21, 2011:
An interesting topic well written.