Dracierre, the Dragon-Infused Max Int-40 Mage (Wizard 27 / Bard 3 / RDD 10)

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  • #911
    Orion

    Commentary:

    This is not an original idea, the max Int-40 wizard done by FinneousPJ in 2006, however I wanted to seriously refine this build idea a bit further with the wisdom of 14 years of additional modern building concepts and knowledge as well as translating such a build concept to the new NWN: Enhanced Edition.

    Firstly I find Epic Mage Armor and Epic Warding very valuable spells to have, certainly more valuable than Epic Spell Foci (which tend to be luxuries rather than fully required for survival, DC 46 Wails are nice for sure, but so is having a 1000hp+ physical damage shield for 27 rounds), so I made sure they were included. In high magic environments where the +20 Dodge AC cap can be hit, and more than +5 AC items can be equipped, one could drop EMA for an Epic Spell Focus of ones choice for +2 to spell DCs of a certain school.

    Secondly I did not want to stop at RDD 9, one extra level of RDD added +4 Str, +1 AC and extra HP, Fire Immunity, so I changed the split to RDD 10.

    Thirdly I wanted to ensure the character could beat maximum toolset spell resistance (SR) 32 at level 40, so caster level (CL) 27 + two spell penetration (SP) feats (+4) = 31+1d20 => 100% success against maximum toolset SR. CL 27 has the added benefit of theoretical immunity to the dispelling aspect (but not breach) of CL 17 Mordenkainen Disjunction scrolls (the standard Mord scroll caster level), meaning certain buffs cannot be removed except by dedicated Arcane spellcasters (ie Wizards / Sorcerers) who have to expend a level 9 spell to remove them.

    Fourthly I could see *some* potential for the character to physically attack things. I envisaged this mage to be able to hit enemies disabled by Grease, Bigby’s 6/7, or stunned by Hold Person/Monster, Dazed by Stinking Cloud. With the enemies being flatfooted, they lose their Tumble, Dodge and usually their Dexterity AC (unless they have uncanny dodge) so thats -4-8 tumble AC and perhaps 5-20 dodge AC in theory that is lost. The mage also gets +8 Str from RDD, with an ending Str of 22 (capped at 34), so he can give things a good thwacking, particularly with flame weapon and other buffs like Haste (for four attacks / round). The mage also has lots of skill points and access to the taunt skill, for a further -6 AC, and a level 3 bard song, 3x/day, for +1AB +2DMG. It is also nice to start with 14 Str as a wizard, to help one carry loot around, and equip armor once a single bard level is obtained, then with RDD 10 carrying loot is not a problem at all.

    Fifthly there was no skill schedule, so I created one. With 450+ skill points I can spend them on what I like, so Concentration, Spellcraft, near max Discipline, Listen, Taunt, Tumble 40, UMD 35, Disable Trap 21(38) (retrieve Epic Traps with capped Int and +4 to disable trap from items/allied Bard Songs), Set Trap 13(15) – Deadly traps, Search 22(37), Heal 23(22), Lore 8(26), Appraise 12(27) and Persuade 15, Perform 9. Crafting skills seemed redundant with a +15-21 Int modifier and no need to train these skills to use them, around 19-24 in craft trap is what I have recommended in the past for crafting deadly traps.

    There were also no mention of specific spell foci, so I included my favorites – Necromancy (Wail DC 44, Wilting DC 43, Finger DC 42, Fear DC 39) and Conjuration (Flame Arrow DC 38, Evards DC 39, Stinking Cloud DC 38, Grease DC 36). Other good choices include Evocation, Enchantment, Illusion and Transmutation.

    One finally thing and probably the best part, is that the character can get Int up to 52, for the maximum number of bonus level 9 spells / day possible from attribute scores, this is 8 level 9 spells / day as a generalist wizard and 9 level 9 spells / day as a specialist wizard. Then one can add items etc.

    The ability modifier table, from theĀ NWN Wiki. I have put markings when one gains an additional level 9 spell.

    Saves are a bit average, although one can hit the +20 saves cap against spells, with capped Int (+12 saves against spells from spellcraft) and the Protection against spells buff (+8). Devastating Critical and Traps one will have to watch out for, Devastating Critters this wizard has a full spellbook (ie Time Stop Mord Bigbys IGMS) to navigate themselves out of danger, and with Traps a decent Search score (albeit not the best), but also a Find Traps spell to help with them too, along with a Pixie familiar.

    HP isn’t the highest but is good for a wizard at 370hp (610hp with Capped +12 Con), and the +4 RDD AC and +8 AC from tumble is lovely. Wizard spell progression is delayed till early epics and I may make some adjustments at the cost of AB to fit Wiz 6 spells in pre-epic (for Bigby’s 6 / IGMS) depending on playtesting.

    Another build concept that may be of interest to readers is the 40 Cha Dragon Mage build draft I wrote some time ago.

    Build details:

    Wizard(27), Bard(3), Red Dragon Disciple(10), Human

    Non-Lawful, suggest NE/CE or NG/CG for free movement through one’s own Stinking Clouds with mind immunity from Prot v Alignment

    STR: 14 (22)
    DEX: 10
    CON: 14 (16)
    WIS: 8
    INT: 18 (40)
    CHA: 8 (10)

    Human: (Quick to Master)
    01: Wizard(1): Toughness, Spell Penetration, {Scribe Scroll}
    02: Wizard(2)
    03: Wizard(3): Greater Spell Penetration
    04: Wizard(4): INT+1, (INT=19)
    05: Wizard(5): Spell Focus: Conjuration
    06: Wizard(6): Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration
    07: Wizard(7)
    08: Bard(1): INT+1, (INT=20)
    09: Wizard(8): Empower Spell
    10: Red Dragon Disciple(1)
    11: Red Dragon Disciple(2): (STR=16)
    12: Red Dragon Disciple(3): INT+1, Spell Focus: Necromancy, (INT=21)
    13: Red Dragon Disciple(4): (STR=18)
    14: Red Dragon Disciple(5)
    15: Red Dragon Disciple(6): Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
    16: Red Dragon Disciple(7): INT+1, (CON=16), (INT=22)
    17: Red Dragon Disciple(8)
    18: Red Dragon Disciple(9): Maximize Spell, (INT=24)
    19: Red Dragon Disciple(10): {Darkvision}, (STR=22), (CHA=10)
    20: Bard(2): INT+1, (INT=25)
    21: Wizard(9): Great Intelligence I, (INT=26)
    22: Wizard(10): Great Intelligence II, (INT=27)
    23: Wizard(11)
    24: Wizard(12): INT+1, Great Intelligence III, (INT=29)
    25: Wizard(13)
    26: Wizard(14)
    27: Wizard(15): Great Intelligence IV, Great Intelligence V, (INT=31)
    28: Wizard(16): INT+1, (INT=32)
    29: Wizard(17)
    30: Wizard(18): Great Intelligence VI, (INT=33)
    31: Wizard(19)
    32: Wizard(20): INT+1, Great Intelligence VII, (INT=35)
    33: Wizard(21): Epic Spell: Epic Mage Armor
    34: Wizard(22)
    35: Wizard(23): Epic Spell: Epic Warding
    36: Wizard(24): INT+1, Great Intelligence VIII, (INT=37)
    37: Wizard(25) -> Buffs are immune to lesser dispel, dispel magic and greater dispelling
    38: Bard(3)
    39: Wizard(26): Great Intelligence IX, Great Intelligence X, (INT=39)
    40: Wizard(27): INT+1, (INT=40)

    Hitpoints: 370
    Skillpoints: 465
    Saving Throws (Fortitude/Will/Reflex): 22/25/18
    Saving Throw bonuses: Spells: +11
    BAB: 22
    AB (max, naked): 28 (melee), 22 (ranged)
    AC (naked/mundane items only): 22/30
    Spell Casting: Wizard(9),Bard(0)
    Alignment Changes: 0

    Appraise 12(27), Concentration 43(46), Disable Trap 21(38), Discipline 41(47), Heal 23(22), Listen 41(40), Lore 8(26), Open Lock 1(1), Perform 9(9), Persuade 15(15), Search 22(37), Set Trap 13(15), Spellcraft 43(58), Spot 22(21), Taunt 41(41), Tumble 40(40), UMD 35(35)

    01: Concentration(4), Disable Trap(1), Heal(4), Lore(4), Open Lock(1), Set Trap(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(9),
    02: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Save(13),
    03: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Save(17),
    04: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Save(21),
    05: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Lore(1), Save(25),
    06: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(30),
    07: Concentration(1), Heal(1), Save(35),
    08: Appraise(6), Discipline(7), Heal(1), Perform(4), Taunt(6), Tumble(10), UMD(11),
    09: Heal(1), Save(7),
    10: Discipline(4), Heal(1), Persuade(6), Search(2), Spot(2),
    11: Discipline(3), Heal(1), Search(3), Spot(1),
    12: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(2), Spot(3), Save(1),
    13: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spot(5), Save(1),
    14: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spot(5), Save(1),
    15: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(2), Spot(2), Save(3),
    16: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(6), Spot(1), Save(3),
    17: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(3), Spot(1), Save(6),
    18: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spot(1), Save(11),
    19: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Search(1), Spot(1), Save(17),
    20: Discipline(1), Heal(1), Perform(2), Taunt(5), Tumble(10), UMD(10),
    21: Concentration(10),
    22: Concentration(5), Disable Trap(3),
    23: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(5),
    24: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(4), Set Trap(1), Spellcraft(1),
    25: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(1), Set Trap(3), Spellcraft(3),
    26: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(11),
    27: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(1), Spellcraft(9),
    28: Concentration(1), Set Trap(1), Spellcraft(6), Save(5),
    29: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(15),
    30: Concentration(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(27),
    31: Concentration(1), Disable Trap(1), Spellcraft(1), Save(37),
    32: Save(52),
    33: Disable Trap(1), Save(65),
    34: Save(80),
    35: Disable Trap(1), Save(93),
    36: Save(109),
    37: Disable Trap(1), Save(123),
    38: Appraise(6), Discipline(18), Listen(41), Perform(3), Persuade(9), Taunt(30), Tumble(20), UMD(14),
    39: Disable Trap(1), Set Trap(7),
    40: Concentration(9), Spellcraft(9),

    #912
    TheSquid

    Nicely done!

    I was trying to build around the 40 INT idea just yesterday, and was not satisfied with my results. You did an excellent job, I would say. Sure, your spell DC is 1 less than max in two schools (!), but the extra level 9 slot/day more than makes up for it in my book. And on top of that you managed to fit in the 10th RDD level, which means that this mage can actually hit some things!

    Some considerations, out of curiosity (and out of never having actually played a DC arcane caster): why is Maximise Spell taken over Silent Spell? What do you think of dropping a SF and GSF for maybe Craft Wand and Silent Spell? Or make it a Gnome and get Craft Wand and Toughness (you lose the level1 feat)? You would lose some carrying capacity and gain 40 HP and 1 Fortitude, not to mention SF:Illusion for free (yay!), and the rest of gnomish goodies (in particular you don’t lose any AB, -1 from STR +1 from small stature).

    I want to play a wizard or sorcerer as my next character to try out, and this build makes it even more difficult to choose what to do!

    #913
    Orion

    Hey TheSquid!

    Great to hear back from you. Also that you were working with the 40 Int idea too. I learn a lot from discussions and questions, reading other players ideas, so thanks for commenting and your thoughts are very valuable to me.

    I think the gnome suggestion is really good. Gnome is probably more powerful than human here. It loses a feat (which I use for toughness anyway, so the HP ends up the same), 43 skill points (which the build doesn’t really need), and gains SF: Illusion, Evards Immunity, Perception bonuses from small stature, AC bonus from small stature, Concentration bonus, Listen bonus, Combat bonuses versus giants/reptilians etc, Will save bonus against mind affecting spells. I think I chose human in the end because I never used a lot of illusion spells and a bit of carry capacity early on (which actually, I find is a quality of life issue early on, later on its not an issue at all with all that RDD str). Also maybe being medium sized the character might be harder to knockdown, making discipline somewhat useful, although to be honest I will use Knockdown Immunity items if they are available, but if they aren’t perhaps it makes a difference. The Evards Immunity is in fact, the most powerful fact of the gnomish goodies that I listed. Spamming those tentacular black fields of death, then sitting around in it as a gnomish wizard is devastating for melee-only AI opponents who are vulnerable to Evards (which also goes through spell immunity). As an gnome RDD 10 you could also make use of the fire immunity and drop a few incendiary clouds and walls of fire into the Evard fields of death, although I honestly never thought that highly of the damage output of such spells, the proof of the pudding (is in the eating) I have been taught.

    RE: Maximize Spell versus Silent Spell -> if I am honest, a lot of this boils down to Maximize IGMS, Maximize Flame Arrow and Maximize Ice Storm, Max Firebrand being used more by my casters during gameplay than Silent/Still IGMS, Silent/Still Wilting etc… Silent is very nice for spell slot management, as is Extend Spell, although damaging spells can’t be cast Extended (unless you count Mestil’s Acid Sheath or Elemental Shield). I just chose that based on my Sorcerers using Maximize more than Silent

    Dropping SF/GSF for Craft Wand and Silent (or Extend Spell) is a very reasonable variation, although I am working on trying to rely more on scroll crafting rather than wands (a 10 pack of Mord scrolls, or Bigbys 6, or Summon IX, does wonders, for example), wands are very valuable in rest restricted environments, and to share with teammates with UMD.

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