This fell mage, in addition to his casting potency and necromantic goodness, comes complete with Full Plate/Tower Shield casting ability, casts all spells stilled and either Extended or Maximized, can knock his AC up to 67 without items, has Uncanny Dodge and Evasion, UMD to wear/use whatever he wants, can Craft, Recover and Set Deadly Traps, can create his own Wands from bone knuckles, can craft Mithril and Adamantine plate, can throw up Epic Warding in those tough situations, and is skilled enough in the Diplomacy skills to meet the qualifications as a War General. He is extremely survivable at low levels thanks to 16Con and Toughness, and has passed all rigorous testing against various opponents in DawnWalker's Leveller. He also was tested pre-epic up in the Runes of Blood module, a somewhat tricky gauntlet for mages to run. Also, intended to have all delicious magic goodness by Level27.
The War Wizard
Wizard35 Rogue3 Fighterr2 Race: Human (Any) Playable from 1-40, PvM or PvP
Attributes Str13 Int17 (34) Wis8 Dex10 Con16 Chr8
Levelling Guide 1 Wizard1, Toughness, Extend Spell, School of Illusion 2 Wizard2 3 Wizard3, Empower Spell 4 Wizard4, Int18 5 Wizard5, Spell Focus: Necromancy 6 Wizard6, Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy 7 Wizard7 8 Wizard8, Int19 9 Wizard9, Spell Focus: Evocation 10 Wizard10, Craft Wand 11 Wizard11 12 Rogue1, Maximize Spell, Int20 13 Wizard12 14 Wizard13 15 Wizard14, Expertise 16 Wizard15, Greater Spell Focus: Evocation, Int21 17 Wizard16 18 Wizard17, Still Spell 19 Rogue2 20 Fighter1, Improved Expertise, Int22 21 Wizard18, Great Int I 22 Wizard19 23 Wizard20, Great Int II 24 Wizard21, Autostill I, Int25 25 Wizard22 26 Wizard23, Autostill II 27 Wizard24, Autostill III 28 Wizard25, Int26 29 Wizard26, Epic Mage Armor 30 Wizard27, Epic Spell Focus: Necromancy 31 Wizard28 32 Wizard29, Epic Warding, Int27 33 Wizard30, Great Int III 34 Wizard31 35 Wizard32, Great Int IV 36 Fighter2, Great Int V, Armor Skin, Int31 37 Rogue3 38 Wizard33 39 Wizard34, Great Int VI 40 Wizard35, Great VII, Int34
Combat Vitals AB: 21 AC: 31 (mundane Plate/Tower Shield) AC slightly buffed (no items): 67 HP: 338
Spell DCs and Penetration Maxed Necromancy DC: 34 to 43 (Spell Level Dependant) Wail of the Banshee DC: 43 Maxed Evocation DC: 33-41 Other School DCs: 29 to 38 Spell Penetration: 36 to 55
Another tremor rocked the War Room, and a brown dust drifted from the ceiling and settled on the grim circle of men gathered around a large oaken table. Lord Celladan looked at the captains gathered around him. Their faces were gaunt, their eyes dark from sleeplessness, and their armor rent and damaged from a dozen blows. He could see the trepidation in their eyes, and above and about them seemed to hang an invisible yet palpable spectre of death, the same spectre that hung above all those who still held the besieged ancient fortress of Roch Fornwaith.
"Commander Bale, what is your status?" he asked. Bale, the oldest of his captains, took a deep breath and shook his head. "Not good, milord. My men still hold the North Gate, but not for long. They're dead on their feet, and they are without hope. The enemy appears to be marshalling the main force a furlong from the wall, and it appears this is where we will suffer their greatest thrust." "How many?" Celladan asked. "At least a legion. And a group of heavy horse numbering 200." "How many do you have left that can still swing a blade?" "300, milord." Celladan was silent for a moment. "Any word from Westranach?" "None, milord. Assuming our dispatch survived, and the Capitol received our message, they would have to fight an open battle against a very sizable force. Even in full array, Westranach's force would only be 1/4 of what the Galadonians muster against us." Celladan shook his head in dismay. "Commander Firth, what's the status of the West Wall?" "Milord, their Argavian conscripts are in disarray," the young but haggard Firth began, "but their number is still too many to count. We figure two legions. We've made them pay, but we run short on ammunition. They've pillaged the Red Vale, and are constructing siege towers as we speak. When they come again, I don't see how will repel them.” “And Veldoon," Celladan continued around the table, "Any word from our Fleet?” “No word, yet, Milord. We know they engaged the Galadonian’s Armada at some point near sunrise this morning, for we’ve counted at least 20 separate columns of smoke across the sea’s horizon.” Bale spoke up, “The problem with that, milord, is that if we won that engagement, we would know by now. And if we lost that engagement—“ “—the Galadonians would like to keep us in the dark as they move their pieces into position to spring a steel trap upon us,” Celladan finished Bale’s thought, “and cut out our throat in one swift stroke.” “Exactly,” Bale said. “I would not look to the sea for aid, but rather for what new devilry will assail us from there. We are extremely exposed on that front.”
It grew silent for a moment, as the men reflected quietly on their dark fate.
“So crumbles the last kingdom of men from the days of Old,” Celladan said grimly. “So begins the fall of Arandarian."
Suddenly they heard a shouting come from the stairwell outside the chamber, and then the doors burst open. "Milord, a ship!" a young lieutenant ran in breathless. He stopped short of the assembled commanders, and then removed his helmet and bowed. "My lords," he said and took several moments to catch his breath. Celladan approached him. "What news is this?" "My Lord Celladan," he began, "We've spied a vessel, small and swift, enter the harbor. She flies the black falcon of Gillach on a field of red!" Celladan paused for a moment as he sized his lieutenant up, and the other Captains looked to one another. "And also this," the lieutenant continued, "the Galadonian's erected the White Tent of Parley. We've received word from a General Ardekzor-- he wishes to negotiate our surrender!" Celladan was thoughtful for a moment, then turned and walked back to the table. He grabbed a belt and sword that he had hung from a chair and strapped it firmly around his waist. He then looked up to his Captains and said, "Let us greet this so-called ship from Gillach. Bale, make sure we have a score of your best archers there at the dock. Commander Firth, go with this lieutenant and inform the Galadonians that the Lord of Roch Fornwaith will join them in the parley tent in one hour."
Celladan and his two veteran captains, Bale and Veldoon, made their way to the harbor in a matter of minutes. The docks were already teeming with several score of archers and light foot soldiers, and several ballistae were locked and loaded, while barrels of oils, torches and rags stood by in the event that incendiary measures were necessary.
Veldoon drew forth a spyglass and examined the sea before them. "There is the ship," he said. "She's moving fast! No wind blows, yet her sails billow as if they had a strong westerly tailwind! Wait...behind her...there near the bay's opening there must be a dozen ships-- Galadonian triremes! And their flags fly black with war! Here," he handed the spyglass to Celladan. "Aye," he said as he peered through. "They're a good 15 minutes away. A ruse, perhaps?" "Perhaps," Veldoon replied as he shielded his eyes from the westering sun, "But Galadon, though known for treachery, is not particularly apt at war feints and battle deceptions. They prefer to bludgeon their opponents into submission." "Aye, " Celladan agreed. "It appears that the ship is trying to lighten its load to gain speed. I count at least two dozen barrels jettisoned from the aft." "My Lord," said a nearby sergeant, "The ship is within ballista range. We await your orders." "Stand down, sergeant," Celladan said, "Let this ship approach."
Celladan and the other Arandiri watched the lean galleon slice through the blue-green waters. The bowsprit was a carved likeness of a grinning griffin, and the forestays led to the jib and mainmast, and then followed aft to the mizzen, all whose sails billowed crimson. Standing on the fore was a tall figure dressed in red leather, and to his right stood a strange but imposing figure in full battle armour that gleamed a fiery silver in the setting sun. His head was unadorned and his long black hair whipped wildly in the odd wind that blew with the ship. In his left hand he bore a tower shield of silver and black, while his right hand gripped the ship's spar. All along the port and starboard stood ready men dressed in red leather and bucklers, and they all gripped longbows in their hand.
"She's not slowing down," Veldoon muttered as they watched the ship plough the harbor waters at a frightening speed. "Brace yourselves lads!"
And then they were suddenly buffeted by a sudden wind that knocked all but the hardiest of them from their feet. And as they recovered, the ship slammed against the dock, and the ship's hull groaned, and the dock shivered from the impact, but the timbers held. And immediately ropes were thrown aloft and shouts of "Ahoy!" were tossed back and forth as the men in red leather leapt from the deck and secured their vessel to the moorings.
The tall figure in red climbed gracefully down a rope ladder, and then was followed by the older man in armor. Celladan quickly concluded that the taller man was the Captain of the ship. He and Veldoon watched as they approached. He noted that the Captain was darkly tanned and weathered. A black eye patch covered his right eye while his left was a sparkling blue. Around his waist he wore a long and elegantly crafted blade with a bell-hilt of exquisite craftsmanship. Behind him flowed a long red cape, and he stepped lightly on black leather boots that reached his knees. The older man was equally tall, and his face was just as weathered. A long scar slashed from his brow to over his eye and down to his lower cheek. He seemed no stranger to bladework. He bore his armor comfortably, and he carried his shield confidently. His hair, long and black, was streaked with grey, while his eyes were a sudden and startling green.
"Lord Celladan," the armored man spoke. "This is Lord Scarlan, Commander of the Redmen of Gillach." "At your service," Scarlan bowed low. "I am known as Ravenstone," he continued, "One of the five Storm Wardens from the North... And we are here to help you." Celladan was struck dumb for a moment, as were the rest of the people on the dock. Everyone paused for a moment as they looked upon these newcomers. The exploits of the Redmen of Gillach were legendary. They were known for besting larger and stronger opponents, and Scarlan was considered by many to be one of the most brilliant military strategists of his time.
But why were they here? Why were they almost 200 leagues from their home, in an isolated and forsaken keep besieged by all the hosts of Galadon?
Celladan observed Scarlan momentarily, as if he might see some hidden agenda outlined in his features, and then he looked back to the one who called himself Ravenstone. He had never heard of him, though he was vaguely familiar with the group known as the Storm Wardens. Supposedly, they kept watch over a remote region known only as the Storm Lands, an area far north even of Galadon. Who they were, or what they were, still remained much of a mystery, though it was rumoured that they were once high wizards and advisers to the Empire of Galadon. It was said that they defected from the Empire when its latest Emperor made clear his plans of conquest, and that they established small fiefdoms in the wild regions of the Stormlands to oppose the Imperium, and organized the rune-scarred hillmen of that land into a fearsome fighting force. There were even tales that these were no ordinary wizards, but Archmages who rode at the fore of battle dressed in heavy platemail and upon fearsome warhorses, and that wherever they went upon the field, they turned the tide of battle. But whatever force ruled that land, it was made plain that the Storm Lands was one region that failed to yield to the Galadonian yoke.
"Our situation is bleak," Celladan said, "We are besieged on all fronts, and we won't last another night. The Galadonians know this. Even now their notorious general, a man called Ardekzor, calls for parley." "Ardekzor?" Ravenstone arched a brow, and Celladan noticed his lips curl into a wry smile. "Then we haven't much time."
Suddenly, a voice rang out from the ship's crow's nest. "Lord Scarlan! They approach the targets!" "Aye-aye," Scarlan replied, and Celladan caught the quick exchange of glances that passed between he and Ravenstone. "Lord Celladan," Ravenstone continued, "We fought a fierce sea battle to get here. Your Arandiri ships were sunk this morning. We were too late. I fear all your men were lost. We were followed hard by a dozen of Galadonian's best triremes." "We saw you dump your cargo to gain ground on them," Veldoon said, "But I fear it only bought you a few minutes. They will be upon us presently." "Cargo?" Scarlan turned and flashed a smile to the veteran Veldoon. "That wasn't cargo, my good lord. Indeed!" And Scarlan gave a hearty laugh.
"I don't understand," Celladan slowly felt like he was losing control, as if he were about to become a spectator in the great events to come. "You will in time," Ravenstone said. "You will in time. Know that Arandarian is not alone. Nor is Galadon our first concern." And he paused for a moment, as if he were about to choose his words carefully. "The Black Host has been summoned." Celladan inhaled sharply, and then he shook his head. "Is that possible? The Black Host? They were destroyed at least a hundred years ago!"
"Aye," he nodded, "And I would not have believed it myself, except I saw them with my own eyes. Even now they ride for Westranach. The black forges of Ostrauko are hot with fire and cruelty, for the Emperor has shaken hands with the Blight King of that bitter land. War is about to spread to all realms, even to Gillach and the other city-states of the fair South. But one thing at a time, my Lord Celladan, one thing at a time. All is not lost, for you allies now include the War Wizards of Stormgate, and the Redmen of Gillach."
Celladan, speechless, watched the armored mage turn and stride purposefully to the dock's edge that overlooked the Bay of Fornwaith.
Ravenstone looked to the sky above him, and all followed his gaze to a small black silhouette-- a bird of some sort-- that circled high in the air above the bay. They could hear its shrill cry, and he waved his hand to it.
And deep out in the water came the mighty triremes of Galadon, each like a fortress unto itself, large and leviathan-like, and each pulsating with the drum of war. Each came equipped with three hundred warriors, and a hundred oars sprouted from either side of these beasts, and rhythmically they dipped in and out of the water to the slow beat of the war drums.
"Stand back!" he commanded to those around him, and the Redmen and Arandiri alike stepped backward. His head dropped slightly, and then quickly he raised his arms akimbo, and his voice thundered words both strange and archaic across the water. And around his hands whirled an eerie blue mist, and shards of hot blue energy sprang from his upraised palms and lanced across the bay, and the dark waters below them hissed and boiled in their wake.
The bystanders stood by in awe as they watched these missiles sail several hundred yards toward the approaching vessels. But they did not strike the triremes, but rather, struck the flotsam of barrels that bobbed innocently in the waters. In the next instant bright flashes of fire and light rocked the bay as the barrels exploded in a dazzling display of fire and black smoke. The first three triremes were immediately caught ablaze, and Celladan and the others could spy tiny figures engulfed in flame hurtle themselves wildly from the ships. The salty air carried their screams, and in a matter of moments the impending fleet of mighty warships became a roaring conflagration of scorched wood and flesh. The triremes in the rear were unable to change course in time, and they floundered and careened into the burning hulls and wreckage before them. It was not long before they shared a similar fate.
And then the man called Ravenstone turned slowly around and looked at Celladan, and his startling green eyes burned with a fire of their own, as if they still reflected that floating inferno upon the Bay of Fornwaith. "From this day hence, let Galadon learn to fear the name of Roch Fornwaith," he said grimly. "Now, let us go and parley."
Footnote: I discovered the The Expert Wizard only now as I prepare to post it. Funny, it wasnt there before. It's similar in many respects, but I fear the War Wizard could blow him out of the water (better DCs and feat selection). _________________ Got Hommlet? World of Greyhawk Action Server (with 1/2 price ales on Mondays!)
Ariel, Ookla, RIDE!
Edited By grizzled_dwarflord on 04/14/09 17:50
Nice to see you still alive grizz
Going to give this a go right away, will report soon with results!
My PW is going to love this build, since crafting there is a must... this + the fact its a high DC wiz with impressive feats/skills, I'm quite sure it will find a home in my list of players!
PS: Nice story
Edit: Does expertise really work with your casting abilities? I always thought your char. stops expertise the moment it starts casting spells. _________________ "Omnes morimur et quasi aqua dilabimur in terram, qua non revertuntur..." - Maniac_Mailman aka Nr|Five
Nice build Grizz, and great story! Good to see the master story-teller still has some tales to spin.
Maniac: by default, Expertise works while casting. However, it can be toggled to switch off. It depends on your environment. IF that's the case where you play, then of course you'd want to choose something else. _________________ Captain's Log, Stardate 6051: had trouble sleeping last night... my hiatal hernia is acting up. The ship is... drafty and damp; I complain but... nobody listens.
I am not the guy to ask about wizards, but I can see the obvious. You are good to find your focus and even better at getting to it. Seems strong.
The story though, is great as always. Finally had time to read it.
Blown the expert wizard out of the water you say? He was a board the ships? _________________ I see the fear you have inside, you can run but never hide. I will hunt you down and tear you limb from limb.
I run the Pre-Epic Builders guild. Join and share your experience.
come hell or high water, the dwarflord delivers. the story is good. i would like to try to build a few characters based from this. perhaps these rune-scared warriors, and the red-leather clad warriors of reknown all sound like fun concept builds. if you are not planning on this, may i make an effort on this front? with your approval, of course, before posting. send me a message, grizz, if you like.
just as a side-note, i assume the 13 STR is for the purposes of being able to wear the armor without falling over? Or is there another purpose to this?
i like a wizard who can do more than just throw spells and look pretty. the sub-set of skills this one has is impressive. and the crafting is just plain nifty. makes me yearn for a heavily low-magic realm in which to play.
-c _________________ Et Earello Endorenna utulien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta.
Fine build and great story grizz _________________ Inactive for a while
i would like to try to build a few characters based from this. perhaps these rune-scared warriors, and the red-leather clad warriors of reknown all sound like fun concept builds. if you are not planning on this, may i make an effort on this front?
Absolutely. Although I still retain the rights on any intellectual property involving the Redmen of Gillach, but the Rune-scarred Barbarians are, I believe, a PrC from the PRC. Probably with roots from the old accounts of the Picts and Celts from the Dark Ages and before. But yes, I would love to see an interpretation of the Redmen.
Quote: just as a side-note, i assume the 13 STR is for the purposes of being able to wear the armor without falling over? Or is there another purpose to this?
Nope. No other purpose. I tend to solo a lot, so a 13-14 strength helps with melee tactics in the early levels and for carrying loot, and eventually, for wearing full plate when the time is right.
Quote: i like a wizard who can do more than just throw spells and look pretty. the sub-set of skills this one has is impressive. and the crafting is just plain nifty. makes me yearn for a heavily low-magic realm in which to play.
Been playing it for a while. I took General instead of a School. Is there any reason why you took Illusion grizz?
Also since I'm a little unknown to wizards, why focus in a school anyways? (I know you get a little higher DC, more spells per day and you cant use anything from the opposing school (which hurts a lot if you ask me))
Edited By Maniac_Mailman on 07/21/06 11:38
Illusion's opposing school is Enchantment, and many people don't bother using the Enchantment spells. They also seem to be the spells that are easiest to resist/get immunities to. I never use them, as I've found I don't like them much.
Specializing gives you +1 spell per level per day. It also gives you a small bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells of the chosen school (and a -5 Spellcraft penalty vs spells of the opposing school) It does not add to your DCs at all. The big advantage is the extra spell. _________________ This signature will self-destruct in 5 seconds...
A great, thanks for the response Cinnabar Din
I'll indeed go with Illusion also on the new server I'm starting this build on
Again many thanks for the tip / build!
IMO one of the best wizard builds out here
// Maniac_Mailman _________________ "Omnes morimur et quasi aqua dilabimur in terram, qua non revertuntur..." - Maniac_Mailman aka Nr|Five
Member of the Epic Character Builders Guild
A couple of thoughts here. Why take toughness early and expertise late? How about the other way around? (And improved expertise earlier too) Why take combat casting without improved combat casting? Maybe empower spell could be taken instead of combat casting. Isn’t empower pretty much a foundation feat for a wizard with so many caster levels?
Dunno about Grizz, but I take it for ease of use. It allows me to skip that akward "+ how many hp" on a feat level situation.
It's too bad the serch engine hasn't been updated in a while. It would be nice to be able to see the more recent contributions from this particular builder come up .
Perfection He justs adds everything leaving nothing out i love his builds and his style... and the stories are amazingly badass! Go GRIZZ You the man bro!
One thing i like is how he adds the Preferred Spells... Well done lad!
What is this? The adamantine full plate (Base 8 MaxDex 1 Bonus 2), the adamantine chainmail (Base 5 MaxDex 2 Bonus 2), the Mithral Chainmail (Base 5 MaxDex 2 Weight Reduct. 40% adjusted arcane spell failure 10%), or the Mithral Chain Shirt (Base 4 MaxDex 4 Weight Reduct. 40% adjusted arcane spell failure 0%)
If its the adamantine full plate (which I suspect) you only get +1 AC over the full plate and mage armor, and it isn't worth crafting if you are employing epic mage armor.
Or perhaps you are referring to an implemented add-on or hak (or override) to the NWN crafting system.
Any reason to have Combat Casting but not Improved Combat Casting? IMO if you're not getting the latter, why waste a feat? Empower is a much better choice IMO.
I should have looked at the date of the post, as you probably don't remember why you typed Mithral Full Plate. A full search of post in the forums from your post back until 2004 yielded that mithral full plate is a DnD construct that does not work well with the NWN set up.
Ideally it should have a base AC of 8, the weight and thus spell failure of medium armor (treated in all respects as medium armor), and a max dex bonus of 3. What you were referring to could have been a PRC or other hak creation of this armor.
-- In general most builds that invest so many points into craft armor are usually going for
1) The Mithral Shield to guarantee freedom.
2) The Mithral Chain Shirt to Increase AC without increasing spell failure.
My recommendation with your type of build is to get the mithral chain shirt, increase your dex slightly perhaps at expense of strength (empowered or maximized cat's grace can do the rest), and change your still and auto-stills to silent and auto-silents.
Edited By WhiZard on 03/12/09 06:11
There are a number of things that I would change were I to play this build again today. I made choices at the time then that seemed right and relevant for the environments this was geared for, and for what I was hoping to accomplish given my understanding of the rules then. Today, not so much. Of course, if you guys were really interested, you can dig through some of my other older builds and pick the scabs on those, too. I think some are even illegal now.
But, It's hard to evaluate builds made years ago because so much is different. Context is everything, and then the patches, the bugs, the exploits, the features, new knowledge discovered, and even the build makers themselves increase their Lore, become more experienced and more seasoned. This is one of the reasons why it's a faux pas to bring up dusty old builds in this guild and say, "Well, you should have taken Epic Prowess at Level 21 and not Armor Skin," or "You should have maxed Spot skill instead of Listen," or "You can't take Epic Dodge at Level 21 dude, so you'll need to move it to 27th."
So while feedback is good, feedback 3+ years after the fact has diminishing returns, particularly for me. Nobody hates and despises their builds more than me, and I see every minor flaw gape wide open. I still think it's worthwhile, particularly to new players, and can be a teachable moment. For instance, the question on why Combat Casting was taken and not something else was a good question. Today, I wouldn't take Combat Casting, but instead would probably take SF: Concentration. And then "Why no ESF: Discipline?" Unless you don't know your environment, I find that to be a waste of a feat. If you're PvPing, then sure, but I never PvP, and this wasn't billed as such.
Ariel, Ookla, RIDE!
Ah, bringing back old builds is not always bad, thanks to it I got to read the story. Great job grizz, it's always refreshing to read your tales, I enjoyed it. The build is fine, but the story gets the glamour and praise from my part. I haven't made time to go around searching builds with stories. _________________ "My name is Thaxll'ssyllia, but you simians may refer to me merely as "Sir", if you prefer a less... syllable intensive workout."
Edwin Odesseiron - Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Edited By Thaxll'ssyllia on 03/13/09 04:04
Well, old original post or not - it's a great build. And I have modified it to suit the PW I am playing at to match its environment and its items.
But my major point here - and that I think goes for all builds posted here - is that no one will *ever* post a perfect build. It so much comes down to what kind of world you play on, and what your playing style is like.
So if you just take a build and carbon copy it - I think you're missing the point. I have made several of my favorite chars based on builds I found here, but always found ways to make them work better for me.
This does not in any way negate the fact that the original designers have made great builds and essential contributions to us players.
--- This is not a tag
I'm glad someone dug this one up. The story rocked!
By the way, with all the good stories Grizz and others have written, is there a "Fiction/Story" forum?
I think I'll try this build (after I fix my Dwarven Yojimbo).