Sorcerer players... picking your spells... what are your "must haves"?


Advice


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If/when you're playing a Sorcerer what bloodline/style do you play, and at each of the 9 spell levels (10 if you want to count 0 level), what TWO spells do you consider the most "must have" at each level?

I leave how you define "must have" and if you want to explain it in your reply up to you, it could be "key spell of the build I use" or "spell every caster should have at this level", it could be "most useful at the level you get it" or "most useful as part of a lvl 20 complete list", or whatever standard you want.

There are some wonderful guides out there for spell casters and certainly going off the "blue" standard is a quick answer, but I'd like to hear both the opinions and viewpoints that might reinforce those old standards or might differ or come from a use of a spell other people might not commonly think of.

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I'm a huge fan of create pit. Not for killing, but for effectively removing an enemy from combat in a single action. Even if they make the save, careful positioning can force them to spend a turn moving around the pit.

It's more often than not a win-win against even a single enemy. Catch more than one and it's just gravy.


The only sorcerer I've ever played is an Arcane(Sage) bloodline, because I'm a skill point junkie. When I pick spells as a Sorc I try to think of spells as a Wizard that I'm always, and I mean ALWAYS preparing and never sad to have more than one of. So Haste, Slow, Black Tentacles, Invisibility, Greater Invis, Glitterdust, Blindness/Deafness, Fly, Control Undead (more situational, depends on how many mindless undead the GM throws at you on average) and usually the highest level Pit spell (with others being traded out) all typically make the list.


Sleet Storm,Resilient Sphere,Wall of Ice,Glitterdust,Scorching Ray,Obscuring Mist,Fly.....


Nothing is a must-have for me to be honest. I like to have at least one damage-dealing spell at first level, and at least one more at every odd numbered level after that, but even that's not a guarantee. What I choose depends on the theme of who I'm playing.

My favourite bloodline is the wildblooded version of the fey bloodline, the sylvan bloodline.


Usually I don't play past 3rd level spells, but these are almost always on the list: Mage Armor, Shield, Charm Person, Expeditious Retreat, Haste, Unseen Servant, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Shocking Grasp, Scorching Ray, Fireball, and Lightning Bolt. Oh, and don't forget Mage Hand (I love that spell)!


Infernal Healing, Colour Spray, Invisibility (plus Greater), Haste, Fly (plus the Overland version) Animate Dead (if allowed) and the Summon Monster spells.


Mage's Disjunction and as many wall spells as you can get. You thought Wizards did battlefield control? Ha!

Grand Lodge

Dispel Magic
Grease


Mage armor.
Silent image.
Haste.


1st - Sleep, Charm Person
2nd - Resist Energy, False Life
3rd - Haste, Heroism
4th - Dimension Door, Enervation
5th - Hold Monster, Overland Flight
6th - Greater Heroism, True Seeing
7th - Waves of Exhaustion, Limited Wish
8th - Irresistible Dance, Horrid Wilting
9th - Mass Hold Monster, Energy Drain

I wouldn't say that these are necessarily must have spells by any stretch, but these are certainly the ones I am most fond of. There were a few spell levels I could have easily picked a few more, too. As for bloodlines, I like Rakshasa bloodline a lot.


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Bloodline: Honestly whatever sounds fun at the time, generally only GM NPC sorcerers.

1st: grease, magic missile
2nd: mirror image, glitterdust
3rd: fireball, haste
4th: black tentacles, dimensional door
5th: teleport, telekinesis
6th: greater dispel magic, cold ice strike
7th: Waves of Exhaustion, greater scrying
8th: Maze, summon monster 8
9th: Time stop, Gate

Reasons: 1:Grease is great at low levels, and can always be useful. Magic missile is reliable force damage, though I rarely take it early. Decent meta magic target (toppling spell).
2: Mirror image is a great anti HP damage loss buff. Glitterdust is low level invisibility counter, and can also debuff.
3: Fireball is bread and butter damage, great metamagic target. Haste is staple party buff.
4: black tentacles is staple area control/denial. DD is get out of trouble verbal only spell.
5: Teleport for travel/get out of trouble, telekenesis for versatility and duration.
6: Greater dispel should be fairly obvious, cold ice strike for casting time
7: Waves of exhaustion for no save super debuff, greater scry due to usefulness
8: Maze for lack of save, summon monster since you can summon multiples from lower lists
9: Time stop is one of best spells possible (action econ, verbal only) Gate is useful for planar travel and summons.


Fey Bloodline + Summon Feats
1st - Sleep, SMI
2nd - Glitterdust, SMII, Hideouslaughter(free)
3rd - Haste, SMIII, DeepSlumber (free)
4th - SMIV, Confusion
5th - Hold Monster, Feeblemind


0 - Detect Magic, Prestigitation
1st - Mage Armor, Shield, Grease, Charm Person, Vanish, Shocking Grasp, Obscuring Mist, Protection from Evil
2nd - Create Pit, Glitterdust, Hideous Laughter, Touch of Idiocy, Scorching Ray, Blur, Mirror Image, Rope Trick
3rd - Dispel Magic, Spiked Pit, Hold Person, Displacement, Vampiric Touch, Blink, Haste, Slow, Gaseous Form
4th - Black Tentacles, Acid Pit, D Door, Solid Fog, Greater Invis
5th - Dismissal, Magic Jar, Hungry Pit, Teleport, Cone of Cold,
6th - Greater Dispel, Chain Lighting, Contingency
7th - Forcecage, Ethereal Jaunt, Reverse Gravity, Delay Blast Fireball
8th - Prismatic Wall, Maze, Horrid Wilting
9th - Gate, Tsunami, Foresight, Time Stop


0: message, prestidigitation
1: mage armor, grease
2: false life, knock
3: gaseous form, stinking cloud
4: phantasmal killer, secure shelter
5: cloudkill, fabricate
6: true seeing, mass suggestion
7: project image, spell turning
8: mind blank, moment of prescience
9: time stop, shades

Liberty's Edge

For 1st level, I would get snapdragon fireworks, but only at higher level, when I could slap a bunch of metamagic on it...

For 2nd level, I would always take spectral hand, so I can do touch spells at medium range...

For 3rd level, I like vampiric touch. Now I can self-heal while hurting a bad guy, and without having to get close to him. I also really like arcane sight...

For 4th, I would always add dimensional anchor...not so fast, demon with greater teleport at will...

These aren't necessarily the first spells I would take of each level, they'd definitely make it in at some point (and I hadn't noticed them mentioned).

*Edit: Dragonamedrake did mention vampiric touch above.

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Haste is an extremely potent force multiplier that also gives a minor defensive buff and a significant speed boost. Someone in the party needs to have it.


Bloodline:
DRagon or Elementals are my favorete. Gnome + Spell focus and Greater spell focus illusion. Spell PErfectoin on a Shadow ecocation or Shadow Conjuration.
The Shadow Spells give you very great flexibility.

Must have Spells: (a lot of spells are very good but this is wat i have seen working always good.
1: Ray of Enfeeblement, Feahterfall, Burning Hands
2: Glitterdust, Scorching Ray,
3: Ray of Exhaustion, Stinking Cloud, Tiny Hut
4: Ice Storm, Shadow Conjuration,
5: Claudkill, Shadow Evocation,
6: Greater Dispel Magic, True Seeing
7: Shadow Conjuration Greater, Reverse Gravaty, Deleayd Blast Fireball
8: Shadow Evocation Greater, Horrid Wilting and MAze
9: Shades, Wish, Gate

Sovereign Court

I usually just get a wand of Mage Armor for sorcerers. It seems wasteful, but when you think 750GP will last you 5 or 6 levels, during which time you'll earn thousands and thousands of gold, you realize it's not that much.

I have to second the Create Pit line. Spiked Pit remains relevant into the high levels, and Hungry Pit is basically a battlefield control that doubles as a multiple-target save-or-die for certain monsters.

Oh, and every arcane caster should have access to at least one of the Image spells. IMO, Minor gives you the most bang for your buck.

PS: Summon spells are excellent choices for retraining.


I almost always take Calcific Touch...
If I have a familiar I always take Shadow Projection.
Ant Haul is pretty much a staple too.

Liberty's Edge

True Strike. It's good in so many situations.

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Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.

Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)


Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.
Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)

I thought attack rolls weren't part of the CMB, just the BAB.

Was I misinformed (or just can't read)?


0th Prestidigitation, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Mage Hand, Mending
These 5 are pretty much locked in on any sorcerer I create

1st Magic Missile, Grease

2nd Glitterdust, False Life

3ed Fireball, Haste

4th Dimension Door, Enervation

5th Suffocation, Icy Prison
(both of these are non-core and exceedingly punchy)
6th Greater Dispel Magic, ?True seeing?
(bit of a shallow level in terms of must haves)
7th Limited Wish, Greater Teleport

8th Moment of Prescience, Polymorph Any Object
(there are several more at 8th level - Prediction of Failure, Greater Planar Binding, Trap the Soul, ...)
9th Shades, Summon Monster IX


Cantrips - Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation.
1st Level - Grease, Mage Armor, Protection From Evil, Silent Image, Sleep (later switched for something else
2nd Level: Create Pit, Glitterdust (I love this spell!), Invisibility, Pyrotechnics
3rd Level - (Hard time choosing! You have many great options and not enough spells known) - Fly, Haste, Mad Monkeys, Slow, Stinking Cloud
4th Level - Black Tentacles, Confusion, Dimension Door, Enervation, Solid Fog, Stone Shape (Very versatile spell!)

Summon Monster is always great, even more so when it reaches SMIII and higher.

Liberty's Edge

VRMH wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.
Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)

I thought attack rolls weren't part of the CMB, just the BAB.

Was I misinformed (or just can't read)?

All bonuses and penalties to attack rolls also apply to CMB checks.

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Feral wrote:
VRMH wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.
Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)

I thought attack rolls weren't part of the CMB, just the BAB.

Was I misinformed (or just can't read)?
All bonuses and penalties to attack rolls also apply to CMB checks.

Additional detail, spoiler'd due to being a derail:

CMB stuff:

From the combat chapter of the CRB:
Combat Maneuvers wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver. The DC of this maneuver is your target's Combat Maneuver Defense. Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

First note the bolded parts. Combat maneuvers count as attacks for pretty much all purposes, and so anything that unconditionally modifies your attacks (bless, Inspire Courage, flanking, true strike, etc) will apply.

Now for a slight caveat, note the part I italicized. Not every combat maneuver uses a weapon (and note that unarmed strikes count as a weapon for this purpose), and so any bonuses that only apply to attacks with a certain weapon or group of weapons (Weapon Focus, a weapon's enhancement bonus, Fighter Weapon Training, Weapon Finesse, etc) will only apply to combat maneuvers that actually employ that weapon. For instance, a trip can benefit from Weapon Focus (in the weapon being used), Weapon Finesse (if the weapon used is light), and Fighter Weapon Training. A Dirty Trick cannot. Both, however, can benefit from bless, Inspire Courage, etc.


Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
VRMH wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.
Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)

I thought attack rolls weren't part of the CMB, just the BAB.

Was I misinformed (or just can't read)?
All bonuses and penalties to attack rolls also apply to CMB checks.

Additional detail, spoiler'd due to being a derail:

** spoiler omitted **...

So this would let me True Strike round 1 and use it on a Hydraulic Push (or similar spell) round 2?

Grand Lodge

Dominigo wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
VRMH wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Feral wrote:
True Strike. It's good in so many situations.
Especially bull rushes, drags, or other maneuvers where the result is better with overkill. Roll well on a true strike'd bull rush and you launch the foe across the room. ;)

I thought attack rolls weren't part of the CMB, just the BAB.

Was I misinformed (or just can't read)?
All bonuses and penalties to attack rolls also apply to CMB checks.

Additional detail, spoiler'd due to being a derail:

** spoiler omitted **...
So this would let me True Strike round 1 and use it on a Hydraulic Push (or similar spell) round 2?

Correct. It is also useful with any of the touch attack spells, and would be of use to Magus (who have it on their spell list, IIRC), Gunslingers and any form of archer (especially since True Strike negates miss chances from concealment).

More derailment:
Would True Strike allow a Rogue/Ninja/Vivisectionist Alchemist to get in their sneak attack damage aginst a concealed target?

True Strike wrote:


School divination; Level sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, F (small wooden replica of an archery target)
Range personal
Target you
Duration see text

You gain temporary, intuitive insight into the immediate future during your next attack. Your next single attack roll (if it is made before the end of the next round) gains a +20 insight bonus. Additionally, you are not affected by the miss chance that applies to attackers trying to strike a concealed target.


That's super fancy. I may have to swap that into my level 1 spells from now on. Most of those slots on my sorcs get filled up with stuff I don't use by the time I am high level anyway.


I'm fixing to play a verdant Sorcerer with True Strike, their 1st level power uses a vine to steal, disarm or trip at range.

As for sneak attack, it juts says it negates the miss chance, not the concealment status so I'm pretty sure it doesn't work.

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My fighter/wizard once used true strike to shove an enlarged alchemist about 20ft and over the edge of a ship. His companion surrendered.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Of all the sorcerers I've played or built as an NPC, there's probably only two spells common to the whole bunch.

1. Prestidigitation

2. Dispel Magic.

Everything else is negotiable.


REALLY surprised I'm not seeing Silent Image on here more - with its range and area there might not be a more versatile spell out there for the creative caster, especially if you factor in Ghost Sound. Its a must have for my arcane types whether they're blasters, controllers or whatever.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Story Archer wrote:
REALLY surprised I'm not seeing Silent Image on here more - with its range and area there might not be a more versatile spell out there for the creative caster, especially if you factor in Ghost Sound. Its a must have for my arcane types whether they're blasters, controllers or whatever.

Sorcerers are very varied in theme and focus. A lot of my sorcerers aren't temperamentally suited for using illusionary tactics.

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Depends a lot on the campaign and the concept, but generally I think I'd almost always have

- Detect Magic
- Either Light or Dancing Lights
- Shield
- Dispel Magic
- Fly or Overland Flight

I'd want at least one direct combative spell per level. I like the spam element of sorcerers and that they can just keep zapping something. But I don't want all combat either, usually a nice mix of buffs and zaps.

And I almost always want ALL the 2nd level spells. 2nd level arcane spells are awesome.

I think my current starsoul sorcerer's spell list (she is in an all arcane-caster campaign mind) looks something like

- Arcane Mark
- Dancing Lights
- Detect Magic
- Read Magic
- Prestidigitation

- Hydraulic Push (this has been surprisingly useful even more than I expected. Also, you can really embarrass people with this)
- Shield
- Shocking Grasp
- Unseen Servant (she gets that as a bonus spell)

I think I'm forgetting a cantrip.

Liberty's Edge

Bloodline- Generally Orc or Draconic

Must-Have Spells
0th- Detect Magic, Mage Hand
1st- Magic Missile, Enlarge Person
2nd- Scorching Ray, Bull's Strength
3rd- Fireball, Fly
4th- Dimension Door, Dragon's Breath
5th- Teleport, Overland Flight
6th- Contagious Flame, Sirroco
7th- Delayed Blast Fireball, Firebrand
8th- Prismatic Wall, Form of the Dragon III
9th- Meteor Swarm, Fiery Body

Hope this helps!


Some great replies came of this, and thanks to everyone who participated. True Strike and at least 1 'Create Pit' line spell are going to make it onto my list next time because of this. I always knew they weren't bad spells, but seeing people explain them as prime choices has me wanting to give them a test drive.

For my own list, and I generally play Arcane, Fey, or Protean, usually with a focus on summoning and enchanting (or transmuation if protean), and at level 20 my favorite 2 at each level would go something like...

1- Magic Missile, Protection from X (usually 'evil')

2- Mirror Image, Resist Energy

3- Haste, Paragon Surge if Human/HalfElf or Ray of Exhaustion otherwise

4- Tough one... Enervation, Black Tentacle, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invis, and Dimensional Anchor are all winners... probably Charm Monster and Black Tentacles

5- Wall of Stone, Dominate Person

6- Dispel Magic Greater, True Seeing

7- Greater Teleport, Project Image

8- Sum Mon VIII, Horrid Wilting

9- Time Stop, Sum Mon IX [althoug, like 4, tough call... ener drain, Shapechange, Dominate Monster, a lot of game winners here]

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