How do Wizards survive the early levels??


Advice

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dont forget to carry a acid flask or liquid ice for +1 to damage for acid splash or ray of frost

full disclosure i did not read the whole thread so that might have been mentioned

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting No on has posted this.

A wizard survives his early levels by being part of a team. His buddy the warrior intercepts the monster, his buddy the rogue sneaks behind the monster and back stabs it, his buddy the cleric bolsters his companions with bless spells and does some healing, and the wizard, well he has plenty of tricks to use, as mentioned up thread.....but relying on friends is one way to survive those early levels.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:

Interesting No on has posted this.

A wizard survives his early levels by being part of a team. His buddy the warrior intercepts the monster, his buddy the rogue sneaks behind the monster and back stabs it, his buddy the cleric bolsters his companions with bless spells and does some healing, and the wizard, well he has plenty of tricks to use, as mentioned up thread.....but relying on friends is one way to survive those early levels.

I could have sworn I said something similar...


I was scared of my wizard surviving but i found a couple of things that are really really helpful.

Dont dump con. I made a gnome wizard because I like gnomes. The bonus to con helps.

Prepare spells that incapacitate or makes your friend awesome. This draws less attention. If your lobbing rays of frost and magic missles and causing direct damage then you draw attention. If you cast grease you still may cause attention but if the grease is between you and him, well, come at me bro.

Scrolls. Make them. As many as possible. any spell you dont use for the day? scrollify.


Xot wrote:
A wizard is more dependent on treasure than most other classes,

What? You don't mean it, do you?

Sovereign Court

Everyone's dependent on treasure, it's just the type of addiction that varies.

---

That said, I concur about the usefulness of spells that aid teammates vs. attack spells; attack spells may (depending on GM) draw more aggro, and you don't want that.


master_marshmallow wrote:

im gonna stick with scribe sh*t, final answer

you can do it at lvl 1, and it really is the best way to handle funds at early levels (1-3) because wands are damn expensive that early

plus you dont have to waste a feat, doesnt matter what you specialize in, all core wizards get scribe scroll for free, and it is useful

This.

It really depends on how easy it is to get new spells in your game, but scribing a few scrolls of grease gives you more to do with your slots as you level. Just slowing your enemies down a little, if they don't fall, puts your party on a better footing. Protective spells like shield can help you survive when things get nasty. A minute is usually long enough.

Even a few scrolls of cantrips you don't think you'll need will eventually get used. Having a few extra spells on tap really helps.


With wizards and other squishy classes I find that its a matter of knowing where you are at all times. Keep an eye on the battle mat because if an enemy sees an opportunity to get to you they will. Make sure they're at least provoking to do it.

Lantern Lodge

Wands and scrolls are my Wizard's best friends. Other than that i usually sink my gold into creating constructs on my wizards. Nothing is more fun than having a small army of robots shooting things down as u use spells to force the enemy to be stationary sitting ducks. Scrolls i use for utility spells like fly, spider climb, ext. Wands for single target blast spells that dont require saves like magic missile, scorching ray, ext. Prepared spells are primary AoEs and battlefield control spells. At 1st level i survive by sticking with the 0 level spells of Jolt and Disrupt undead as my go-to spells with my level 1 spell almost always Expeditious Retreat or Mount for quick get a ways.


Mage Armor should be your first selection. It's duration is in hours and is reliably effective, especially at lower lvls where +4 AC can make a big difference.

IMHO, Mage Armor outweighs Magic Missile by a considerable amount. For limited uses you are comparing +4 AC for 1 hour/level vs. a one time 2-5 damage, when you are most likely carrying a dmg cantrip you can cast all day long.

Additionally, with Shield only lasting 1 min/level, it's worth strong consideration to just stock up on Mage Armor if you are a prep-caster, and instead of stacking Mage Armor and Shield, cast Mage Armor on multiple people. After a few levels, you'll be able to go all day with the spell on, and you should.

Daze is a great cantrip until CR increases make it obsolete, even with the PF nerf.

Mirror Image as soon as you can.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MiniGM wrote:

dont forget to carry a acid flask or liquid ice for +1 to damage for acid splash or ray of frost

full disclosure i did not read the whole thread so that might have been mentioned

Where is the rule for that at?


Well outside of INT your highest stat should be DEX, and having a trusty crossbow works wonders.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
KingmanHighborn wrote:
Well outside of INT your highest stat should be DEX, and having a trusty crossbow works wonders.

I personally disagree, I find Con very important. The extra hit points each level add up.


Con is third


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
KingmanHighborn wrote:
Con is third

Most of your spells are touch spells, you do not need to have a huge bonus in dex to still hit. You honestly should not be using a bow or crossbow. Use acid splash or ray of frost.

Lets look at the statistics here

Lets say your oponent is a human wearing say chainmail armor and has a good dex of 14.

so we have 10+5+2=17ac

Lets say you put 16 into dex givng you a +3 to hit when you fire that bow/xbow. You still need to roll a 14+ to hit. Giving you roughly a 35% to hit.

Now lets say you instead only put 12 in dex but instead use ray of frost/acid splash. Against the same figther you now attack his Touch AC which is only 12. With the above example you only need to roll an 11+ to hit which gives you a 50% chance to hit. yes it is a bit less damage but you hit more often and you do not have to worry about things like ammo and such.

I much rather have the higher hit points and more consistant damage than go for the chance of a bigger hit (Remember that bow or xbow can still end up only doing 1-3 damage). The hit points will keep me alive, the more consistant damage when I am not doing other things like grease or color spray will contribute more in the long run.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

to the person above recommending Burning Sphere I think you meant Flaming Sphere and you got a couple of things wrong.

1) as a 2nd level spell it isn't really for the lowest levels but it is a great spell for the mid-low levels (3-6 or so but remains okay later).

2) it doesn't take a standard action on later turns - it takes a MOVE action to move it on a future round. Which is a key point - it offers great action economy assuming that you don't need to move to get into range for other spells / actions you want to take - having your move action be to move the damage dealing Flaming Sphere and your standard action be some other attack (even a school power or cantrip like Acid Splash) can be highly effective.

Also I would note that sure a magic missile at low levels won't kill most things outright - it is damage that will always hit - and will deal damage to most enemies (bypasses DR and most resistances). Especially at lower levels when melee types might not yet have magic weapons (or if they do they aren't very highly enchanted) this automatic damage can really add up. As a DM I've seen well timed magic missiles (even from wands) result in the killing blow quite frequently.


A tower shield.

I'm serious. As a standard action you can place the tower shield to provide full cover against ranged attacks, if you need to cast a spell, drop the shield as a move action and then cast your spell. Pick it up after. For the very minor cost of the tower shield you have near immunity to your biggest threat, archers. Melee will be dealt with by your party members (hopefully) and a tower shield will go a long way to making not look like a wizard. Also explicitly mention that you are not wearing wizard robes, and keep a sword at your hip. As long as your GM isn't a metagaming dick he will choose other targets that don't look as weak and unassuming as yours.

For early to mid game, the best way to make your wizard survivable in my opinion is animate dead. Lots of meatshields at your command with no limit. Summoning works too, but I like animation for its always there capability. Animating costs onyx yes, but it's not that much I wouldn't fret over it. Heck, lesser animate dead is free, and you get it earlier. So start making skeletons!

Edit: And seriously don't be that wizard that blasts, you're just embarrassing the rest of us. Leave the damage to the barbarian who can do significantly more than you can per round with his pointy stick. Blasting is not really the realm of casters, it's not effective, no matter how much people try to say it is. The damage is not enough. You are much better off using something tactical, like grease, or black tentacles (overpowered), or summoning a monsters to lay the beat down for you. A combination of them is best, just don't cast fireball unless it's to kill a bunch of villagers. Then it's okay, it's always acceptable to blast innocent civilians, even encouraged.


Intimidate, intimidate, intimidate!!!
Put the fear of god in there buts. Then bust out the rath of man.

War dogs. get 2 (with barding)
Dont dress like a wiz/target.
caltrops, smoke sticks, molintof cocktale's
poison your crossbow bolts and daggers
killing with a spell gives a nice intimidate bonus aganst all witnises
work your beat stick aka. your staff
vipers in a bag (for throwing at an oponent)"dont forget to yell catch!


And for an intimidate build - Imperious Bloodline Human Sorcerer (damaging spells = bonus to inimidate, high charisma and you can take one feat which will ultimately give you three skill focus feats 1 = intimidate).


strayshift wrote:
ElyasRavenwood wrote:

Interesting No on has posted this.

A wizard survives his early levels by being part of a team. His buddy the warrior intercepts the monster, his buddy the rogue sneaks behind the monster and back stabs it, his buddy the cleric bolsters his companions with bless spells and does some healing, and the wizard, well he has plenty of tricks to use, as mentioned up thread.....but relying on friends is one way to survive those early levels.

I could have sworn I said something similar...

As did I...


Want a lot of hit Points and a lot of defensive racial abilities? Play a dwarf.

If you can get a 20 Constitution(a stretch, I know, but possible) you can easily have hit points that rival a fighter's, if not a barbarians.

5 from Con, 6 from HD, 3 from a toad familiar, 3 from Toughness, and 1 from favored class Bonus equals 18 Hit Points as a level one wizard!


Banecrow wrote:
KingmanHighborn wrote:
Con is third

Most of your spells are touch spells, you do not need to have a huge bonus in dex to still hit. You honestly should not be using a bow or crossbow. Use acid splash or ray of frost.

Lets look at the statistics here

Lets say your oponent is a human wearing say chainmail armor and has a good dex of 14.

so we have 10+5+2=17ac

Lets say you put 16 into dex givng you a +3 to hit when you fire that bow/xbow. You still need to roll a 14+ to hit. Giving you roughly a 35% to hit.

Now lets say you instead only put 12 in dex but instead use ray of frost/acid splash. Against the same figther you now attack his Touch AC which is only 12. With the above example you only need to roll an 11+ to hit which gives you a 50% chance to hit. yes it is a bit less damage but you hit more often and you do not have to worry about things like ammo and such.

I much rather have the higher hit points and more consistant damage than go for the chance of a bigger hit (Remember that bow or xbow can still end up only doing 1-3 damage). The hit points will keep me alive, the more consistant damage when I am not doing other things like grease or color spray will contribute more in the long run.

At first level and really most early levels you aren't facing humans in chainmail.

In addition, in terms of survivablity, low dex = low reflex saves, low ac, and low flat footed saves.

Typically this means your facing kobolds, goblins, traps, and the occassional big mean but common orc. Out of all of these the hardest to hit is the kobold, the other two are going to get hit on +10 up for the orc, and +13 for the gobbo. The other thing to consider is 6,6, and 5
the hp total for orc, goblin, and kobold respectfully. All 3 will walk away from acid splash or ray of frost, and probably target you as the squishie if your dumb enough to not be behind the barbarian or fighter. The crossbow and it's 1d10 is your only bet to bring one down at the start of the frackus.

The other key issue is range, at early levels your range with splash and ray are going to mean the target is too close to you to begin with. (Again unless you have your buddy/meat shield). The crossbow has a wonderful 120 foot reach, meaning rarely are you going to be outranged.

As far as Con goes, if someone like an orc is near you with a falchion or battleaxe, 3 hps ain't saving you. AC 11 is sure death. AC 13-14 is a bit better chance the axe doesn't make contact with your neck.

Grand Lodge

How to survive at low levels is the same as high levels.

Let you min...err party members clear the trash on the way to BBEG. Cast spells on BBEG, win fight and loot. Repeat next day.


kyrt-ryder wrote:


EDIT: the above advice is for levels 1 and 2, things change a bit at level 3, when you get Web, Glitterdust (nerfed but still awesome), and a few other gems.

I personally like Pyrotechnics with a bullseye lantern. It is effectively 3.5 Glitterdust in a cone.

Sovereign Court

deuxhero wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


EDIT: the above advice is for levels 1 and 2, things change a bit at level 3, when you get Web, Glitterdust (nerfed but still awesome), and a few other gems.
I personally like Pyrotechnics with a bullseye lantern. It is effectively 3.5 Glitterdust in a cone.

That's nasty!

---

@Kingman: interesting points about monster HP and range. The crossbow's range is certainly an asset, but I'm not convinced. Orcs specifically happen to have a Diehard-like ability; they fight until [negative Con]. That's WAY too much HP to shoot down in any manner; crossbows are too slow, rays too close range, and that orc does far too much damage. Orcs are always "huddle behind the warrior and Full Defense just in case".


It also pre-supposes they think you are a mage - a previous poster has mentioned not dressing like a mage, this opens up avenues for the disguise skill (or spells that do likewise) - a child? an old civilian? etc


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Banecrow wrote:
MiniGM wrote:

dont forget to carry a acid flask or liquid ice for +1 to damage for acid splash or ray of frost

full disclosure i did not read the whole thread so that might have been mentioned

Where is the rule for that at?

You can see them here

A lot of alchemical substances can be used as power components to boost spells.


Banecrow wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:


naturally going 1st is essential, so fleet-footed elf with reactionary trait, improved initiative, and a compsognathus familiar with a DEX of at least +3 should do ok, netting a +19 initiative at level 1

How do you get 19?

Fleet-footed is +2 racial bonus, reactionary is +2 trait bonus, Improved initiative is +4 feat bonus and Compsognathus is +4 familiar bonus. Add that to the +3 dex bonus and you only have +15. Still awesome at 1st level and you will almost always go first.

forgot to say divination school

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