Enhanced Magic (3.5e Sourcebook)/Equipment
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Equipment for the magic user is a very specialized list, as they don't have the same considerations as other classes. Primary differences lie in the fact that armor and weapons for mages are ignored and only armor plays a major factor for a cleric (unless that cleric is advancing on the war cleric route.) This section will show what considerations are most important for the caster focused individual, though we will also cover the more militant minded caster types.
First we will focus on the types of gear that all casters will find extremely useful as long as they intend to use their spells throughout the campaign. There are several different types of casting that need to be addressed though including: distance casting, ranged touch attack casting, and touch attacks.
What to Maximize
To make sure your character is effective at what he does you will need to maximize certain stats and abilities as more rounded characters won't have the same bonuses as a highly focused caster. Most of this section should seem pretty straight forward and common sense but not everyone thinks the same so we are going to start from square one.
Distance Casting: This is your standard casting: fireballs, lightning bolts, magic missiles etc. This is the type of casting most people are familiar with and doesn't actually roll many dice to hit since they rely on the effects of the spell itself instead of using attack rolls to land their spells. The drawback to this method is many of the spells are damage capped early and tend to be a bit weaker on damage since their ability is more a product of other individual’s saves then their own abilities. If this is your desired method of play there are far less things to optimize for than the other types, though you will on average do less damage.
Things to consider: the following are all stats and abilities that need to be increased to make this build really useful. First increases to primary caster attribute will up the saving throw numbers, which will make it much harder for your opponents to mitigate your damage through saves. In fact for this build anything that can increase the saving throw requirement would be considered crucial especially if you come up against anything with evasion. Other things to consider is anything that will increase the effective caster level of the character, since this will increase your maximum amount of damage and eventually will increase your damage far beyond your level.
Ranged Touch Attack Casting: Ranged touch attacks are safer than regular touch attacks, and are normally greater in damage potential than the target distance casting. This increase is easily explained with the concept that you might actually miss your target, but there are many spells that give you great advances in exchange for a touch attack. True you won't find many touch attack instant death spells, also though you will find that most creatures at the levels you receive those spells are either flat out immune or have such high saves that they are borderline useless. There is always a chance for the dice to come up with a 1 but I would prefer to build my attacks around raw power, power that hopefully will strike multiple targets and cause great devastation.
The ranged attack spells that exist have a very specific way of being dealt with. Namely they require a touch attack roll which relies on your dexterity to be successful which has several advantages and disadvantages. First if it is a touch attack it removes evasion; you have already struck the target this attack only does half damage at best not no damage if they save well. Second touch ACs are usually really low as armor is not taken into account (but deflection bonuses are.) The major drawback to this is that the mage maxes at +10 to hit plus any dexterity bonus. This means you might not need to roll very high but the chance of a miss is still very real and must be overcome. Dexterity gloves and if personal magic items are allowed a belt of divine power work wonders for the mage (+6 strength is nothing to cheer about but your base attack bonus equaling your level is a huge help.)
Touch Attacks Casting: Touch attacks are usually performed by clerics, since most if not all of the clerics combat spells have a range of touch. What this causes is the potential for the person to receive a beating while providing heavy support to their comrades. However that being said a high level cleric casting heal on a vampire can turn the tide of battle, or harm on greater demon can sometimes take away half or more hit points. Even on a successful save these spells still do their damage just to a lesser extent.
The touch attack option is much different from the other schools since you actually have to contend with enemies while doing your work. The best ways for the touch attack caster to stack his abilities are as follows: increase primary attribute (more spells higher save), as much armor as they can stand (highly enchanted armors are a huge bonus), and since touch attacks go off of strength a belt of divine power is even more useful here. In short think of a light combat build that needs to be able to hit low armor class characters but needs to be able to take a beating if necessary. Increasing constitution through any means possible would be highly advised since when the enemy does hit you it is going to hurt and on average you simply won't have enough hit points to take the attention of foes for long. Remember harm on a pit fiend is impressive but he just made him angry, and he will be trying to kill you with all his focus so if you can't live through the assault you may need to hold off until he is hurt more.
Items to consider
This section gives a rough idea on what items to consider and what categories they fall under for the character classes. This gives the individual a chance to understand what they fall under since not all of the choices may be clear. In some cases the item in question might actually add to multiple categories and in the event that is the case it will be placed in its primary responsibility and have the secondary role in parentheses next to it.
- Defense Options: Bracers of Armor, Gloves of Dexterity, Amulet of Natural Armor, Cloak of Resistence, Cloak of Displacement, Major, Ring of Force Shield, Ring of Protection. Please note these are just SRD items, additional items can either be personally constructed from spells to enhance survival.
- Offense Options: []
- Additional Useful options: