Useful spells to throw at the party wizard (and magic items in general)?

Legacy of Fire

Hello forumites! I'mn seeking the opinions of those more experienced than myself on a matter that has me scratching my head.

I'm DMing Legacy of Fire for two barbarians, a universalist wizard, a cleric of Sarenrae, and a fighter. The wizard joined the party at 6th level to replace a druid who dropped out - he was being held captive by gnolls in the House of the Beast, was rescued by the party, and is travelling with them because the Scroll of Kakishon is too much for his curiosity to bear. The party will be heading back to Kelmarane at my game tomorrow night, and (I imagine) departing for Katapesh shortly after.

Now. The player of our wizard doesn't quite know how to make the most of the class yet (and to be perfectly honest, nor do I). His go-to spells are fly, levitate, and invisibility, but he doesn't know how to make himself more useful. A couple of players have complained that he's "useless in combat", and he says he's trying to make himself useful outside of combat (as opposed to the barbarians and fighter, who kill everything before he and the cleric usually get to move), but since he's a wizard, I think it would be relatively easy an inoffensive to introduce a friendly mentor with a bulging spellbook, or a couple of enticing scrolls once he gets to Katapesh. I think he wants to actually kill things instead of distracting them, if he even gets a chance with three heavy hitters in the party.

Obviously Rayhan is a great candidate for this. He'd be an excellent source of divination spells our wizard could probably copy without much trouble. But what else should I nudge him towards? What other spells will be useful in the campaign? I've included his current spell list for reference.


4th - Leomund's secure shelter, rainbow pattern
3rd - invisibility sphere, suggestion, fly, water breathing
2nd - levitate, Tenser's floating disk, invisibility, spectral hand
1st - mage armour, colour spray, shield, feather fall, silent image, shocking grasp, unseen servant, endure elements, magic missile
0 - all cantrips in the Player's Handbook

*To reiterate, I'm running this in 3.5, not PF.

There's also the matter of what magic items to drop in for my players once they get to Katapesh. Sure, I could just drop them my two copies of the Dungeon Master's Guise and tell them to go nuts, but they all enjoy role-playing too much. We have a greatsword-wielding barbarian, a glaive-wielding barbarian (the Moldspeaker, so she doesn't need a new weapon), a cleric of Sarenrae who seems to use a crossbow more than her spells, and a dwarf fighter who alternates between Kardswann's greataxe, and TWF with dwarven waraxes. I'd like to avoid the "gloves of dexterity, belt of giant's strength, etc, etc," approach, and go for more evocative items, but I'd love some input on what can be fun and, again, useful for this campaign.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

The Exchange

Sorry to be just coming across this post, it is apparently a few months old. So you may not even need the info anymore.

A quick perusal of your friend's spellbook makes is very clear as to why he's not useful in combat. He didn't really pick any combat spells! That's not to say they aren't useful...

But let's go through the spells likely to be used after init is rolled:

Rainbow pattern - decent spell for neutralizing a big group of mooks, if they have poor will saves. If you only have access to 2 lvl 4 spells though, there are more useful options, particularly if your other is a spell that is 100% useless during combat.

Suggestion - as above. Good if you're going against something with a lousy will save.

Color Spray - at the level you guys are at, most of the time you will stun a guy or two for a round, if they fail their will save. and since it's a first level spell, the save isn't that hard.

Shocking Grasp - decent damage, no save. But to use it, our mage has to get in melee touch range with the foe. And this is a guy that is usually flying and/or invisible, so that's not exactly his thing.

Magic Missle - The wizard's bread and butter, obviously this is his best option in most cases for combat. But if that's still his best option at this level, that's not a good sign.

I would say the biggest single problem I see is that even with such a limited book, he chose to take both invisibility AND invisibility sphere. Invis. sphere is one of those spells (in my experience anyway) that sounds awesome in theory, but rarely gets used the way you imagine it when you are selecting it. The circumstances are a bit too narrow. It's a good utility spell if you have a big fat spellbook. If you only know 4 lvl3 spells, that should not be one of them.

If he added 2 spells it would make a major difference to his combat usefulness, and those 2 spells are dispel magic, and fireball. There's a reason fireball is cliched, and that almost every wizard ever has it. Most adventures written for characters of that level assume that somebody in the group can cast a fireball.

Dispel magic is equally awesome. Make sure he has a decent spellcraft skill. Let him roll to see what enemy casters are doing. If it's a spell he doesn't want to see, he can try to dispel it. Then in other situations, targeted dispels and area dispels can make a huge difference.

Hope this helps.

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