Role-Specific Adventuring Tips (Cleric/Wizard/Fighter/Rogue)


Clerics:

  • Your spell slots should be used for buffing / debuffing, damage-avoidance, and information-gathering – not for healing. In-combat healing should be the exception, not the norm.
  • If you don’t have the Selective Channeling feat, ensure that you move AWAY from dying-but-not-dead foes before you heal everything and everyone around you
  • To role-play a cleric, you really DO need to know the name of your god, and use his name in conversation or when issuing combat taunts, curses, or blessings. It’s only proper.
  • Create water is one of the most flexible low-level spells if used creatively.
  • Explain to the party, ahead of time, that you consider your role to be buffing, utility and combat, not healing.  You will heal only if absolutely necessary, or only if you have spell slots left over once the party is in a safe location.
  • You can be surprisingly good in melee if you design your character for it.
  • The reach cleric is an acceptable character build.
  • Frequent use of the Heal skill and healing kits will save you a lot of spells.
  • Make sure that other party members know that they should bring their own healing kits – those things are expensive.
  • Preventing damage, especially by pre-buffing, is a lot more effective use of your combat time than reactive healing.
  • If you are going to be the heal-bot, for the love of your god, please optimize your character for it.  Selective Channeling, the Healing domain, and domain power choices exist for this reason.
  • If you like combat, multi-classing one level of Fighter will get you a lot of weapon and armor options without spending feats.
  • If you like utility, multi-classing one level of Rogue will get you a lot of class skills and skill points.
  • You are so low on skill points already, that Intelligence really shouldn’t be a dump stat for you, but if you must, you must.
  • If you want to be a traditionalist, Dex is your dump stat.  In 1st edition AD&D, if your Dex was 5 or below, you could only be a cleric.

Wizards:

  • If you are a wizard, don’t dress like one. Create the illusion that you are wearing at least light armor, if possible. Otherwise, you are a big target during surprise rounds.
  • Extend spell is one of the most useful meta-magic feats. Quicken Spell is better, but is a lot more costly in high-end spell slots.
  • Just because a spell is designed to do one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be used to do another. Be creative.
  • Your LEAST powerful spells are the ones that only deal damage. Use your spells for things the fighter is completely unable to do, like crowd control, splitting up the enemies, and generally re-arranging the world to suit the party.
  • Creative uses of illusions generally trumps most other spells, and can duplicate a great number of other spell effects.
  • Save-or-die spells aren’t usually as good as: spells that only disable but don’t allow a save and don’t require a hit roll.
  • Always have a means to escape a grapple (preferably Dimension Door, or you can stack points in Escape Artist skill)
  • If the party doesn’t have a rogue or trap-remover, it’s you (or the cleric).
  • Disintegrate is a Swiss-Army knife, not a combat spell.
  • Memorize an array of spells that required different save types. Fort and Will are better than Reflex, most of the time (except the Grease spell, which is fantastic).
  • If you’re a Blaster, ensure that you have access to many different energy types, and that you can do more burst damage than the Fighters. You cannot out-do a (well-made) Fighter in sustained damage. Instead, you should try to disable/eliminate a single dangerous opponent with an early burst (such as an enemy caster), and then leave the rest for the fighter(s) to clean up.
  • If you don’t leave enemies for the fighter, he’ll start charging in before you can buff, crowd-control, etc…
  • Buffing the Fighter is usually a more reliable way of doing more damage than casting damage spells, and doesn’t make you as big of a target. The fighter has more hp – let HIM be the target!
  • Maximized Scorching Ray is one of the best damage-dealing spells available (Gnomey the Sorcerer says so).
  • Never admit to have no spells remaining, especially to NPCs or to PCs with long-standing grudges
  • If you are using multiple Wall spells to create a structure, make sure the spells you used to make the walls don’t expire before the one(s) you used to make the roof.
  • Memorizing spells each day: have a few spell lists pre-created to speed things up.
  • Don’t blow your big spells when the combat is almost over.  Remember – you’re leaving some for the fighter.
  • Make sure you know which spells require an expensive material component that the DM won’t just “assume” that you already have.
  • Grease is one of the most powerful low-level spells, and is one of the few area-control spells that requires a Reflex save.
  • Plan A should not include anything where the enemy has to fail the saving throw on one of your spells.  The rogue’s survival will usually depend on this plan.
  • Don’t be the only one who can Remove Petrification in the party. This oversight will result in YOU being the statue.

Fighter-Types:

  • Seriously consider getting some things (feats, items, buffs, etc) to improve your Will save. Getting mind-controlled and wiping out the party sucks, especially after they’ve buffed you.
  • Always carry a shield if you’re proficient with one, even if you usually use a 2h weapon. There will be times that AC > everything else (e.g. when enemy has life-draining attacks that aren’t touch-based)
  • Paint your armor dull black. Light reflecting off shiny armor is visible a long way, especially outdoors.
  • Keep your shield shiny, and preferably mirror-reflective, but cover it with (replaceable) cloth or leather. Take off the cover before combat, if possible.
  • You or your party wanted you to optimize for melee, but that doesn’t mean you can’t soften up enemies from range, first.
  • Avoid melee in any encounter with rust monsters or enemies with level/ability drain attacks. Even if you win the encounter, you lose.
  • Have a second set of (light) armor that you can sleep in. Or have an “enchanted bedroll” made that allows you to sleep in full (heavy) armor!
  • Have a backup weapon. Magical weapons are best, even if they aren’t your optimal weapon type.
  • Have weapons of different types (slashing, piercing, blunt) for each PC, or among the party if the DM doesn’t let you each carry multiple melee weapons.
  • Don’t have the player who is bad at numbers playing the fighter with the million different weapons and bonuses.
  • Mirror image can sometimes be circumvented (DM-dependent) by closing your eyes and/or the Blindfight feat.
  • If you are heavily dependent on one weapon (bow, greatsword), carry a backup.
  • Always have a combat-trained mount. Have it wear barding (armor).
  • Don’t immediately charge into combat before the Wizard has a chance to cast area-of-effect spells, or before the cleric has a chance to cast buffs.  You want them to enjoy buffing you, so you can wreck everything that moves.
  • Always loot the enemy for more ammunition
  • The higher your damage bonus, the less important the damage dice become, and the more important your critical hit range becomes.

Rogues:

  • You are the scout, not the initiator.
  • Don’t steal from your party. It always comes back to haunt you, and it’s not fun for anyone except you.
  • Resist the urge to be the furthest from the healer, just because you want to flank. Get the fighter to move in deeper, so that you can flank from the party-side, not the enemy-side.
  • You can afford to wait a round, especially if you are stealthed / invisible, and look for that hidden caster, flanking enemy, or lever/trap/summoning portal that’s about to be unleashed on your party. It gives the fighter time to get everyone’s attention, too.
  • You shouldn’t need to blow anyone’s daily assortment of spells to scout, but magic assistance helps (permanent magic items are best for this task).
  • If you want to be a combat-monkey, you should have rolled a fighter.
  • The higher level the party gets, the less useful you are going to be, in and out of combat, unless you have some utility-based magic items.
    • Exception:  You will be the one who breaks out of jail when the casters are all bound and gagged.  Make sure you have the skills to actually succeed at this, and your role in the party is safe.
  • Learn to spell your class.  You are not a rouge <– French for “red”.