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Mikka

The most useful spells

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(This topic likely will have spoilers on how to get the spell, if someone asks about it, but I thought it made a better fit here in Success 101 then in Spoilers. Still, um, read with care?)

 

 

I had a thought as I was goofing around, and it was a bit of a disappointing one. It's that for a game about a magic student, my student really doesn't end up casting all that many spells. There are probably around five different ones I'm prone to using, and it's basically the same five no matter what character I'm playing. That leads me to then ask everyone else who plays what spells they find themselves using on their playthroughs. What's useful? Help me broaden my horizons!

 

My personal list:

 

** Cleanse and Remake. Number one most cast spell. I cast it three times in a row, then spend four or so days doing adventures as quick catch up to conserve time slots. Very nice for adventuring, as the penalty is to action and ability rolls, rather then behind the scenes adventure rolls (...at least, I think that's how it works). May be the most powerful spell in the game due to that, because...

 

** Master is only a spell, while Total Control specifically is an action. Still, I tend to give Master a lot of use. It's not unusual for me to get to Mastery 10 but get stymied on getting to 11. Nice for turning your poor dear friends in to buff bots. Well, more mean than nice, but you get the picture.

 

** Sparkling Fields. Not all that interesting, save for it's duration- as it lasts until you rest, and you really shouldn't have to rest that often (unless you're Ceyn hanging around Joana, anyway), it's basically 'free': one slot for something that lasts for two months or so is good by me.

 

** Familiar Education, for the familiar adventure-chains. Try raising up a skill with a 1.5 training modifier (or worse!) with a familiar that has only 1 point in the governing attribute. Or... cast Familiar Education twice, gaining six skill points in the time that it would take to level up a single time. It's hard to resist. >.<

 

** Inspirational Thinking. Usually cast twice a game, but cast twice almost every game- used to buff the character's Insight a bit so they can Tidy the Library of Longshade successfully as soon as they get access to it. 7 is a pretty easy roll for two points, so even if I'm playing the moron from Godina, I can still often make that.

 

I suppose I do have a sixth place, in Historical Tendencies- I often cast that ten times to get Anthropology to ten, because, well, why the heck not? The locations are touch and go- I've found fantastic places with it (sneaking around a vegetable garden was very helpful for one character, for some odd reason), and I've also found places like 'The Great Hall' (again). Tied with that is Reverse Engineer, which identifies while giving two skill ups- but almost every character of mine ends up with Historical Tendencies eventually, while I find only Enchanters or crafter's get the second (and they usually have Materials Knowledge closed to maxed when they get it, too). Still, not bad.

 

 

...but as I said, that's basically it. All I really cast: I rarely need to separate cliques (and some stir up trouble makes that easy non-magically), and honestly, if I want someone to hate me, I'm going to take their pims and their items while I'm at it, which are the only two big things I think I would be missing spell-castingly. But prove me wrong! What sort of spells do you (generic/general you, there) cast? :)

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My favorite spells -

  • Reverse Engineer (Magical Appraisal - 10) - ID's items plus skill expansion. Only one expansion is useful since it comes from Magical Appraisal 10, could be handy for year 2.
  • 6th Finger (Magical Appraisal - 2) - My pheme carrier, long lasting and boosts it's own roll so I often use it for an exam buff, or to toss on phemes to open hard to open subskills. Lasts a long time and magnifies it's own roll, so during exams you can use it to spawn off a major adventure spree or hit one of those really hard competition related actions (archery/wrestling/music/puzzles all have them).
  • Sparkling Fields (Stars - 3) - Agree 100% with Mikka!
  • Mathematical Acuity (Identities of Arithmetic - 6) - Always seem to get this one at least once a game as a subskill boost. Can gain +3 to 2 subskills or +6 to one. Also adds 4 to one of the math subskills. Not too great a spell but I always seem to find a way to use it.
  • Fill the Night with Stars (Incantation - 9) - Basically flirting with two skill expansion! Second favorite name for a spell.
  • From Nothing, Knowledge (Incantation Methods -10) - Late game subskill unlocker. Offers two random skill expansions with an easy roll that'll let you put any pheme you want on it. The spell has a two day "duration" so you can only cast it every 2 days, but for thsoe two days you get the subskills from the attached phemes. Favorite named spell in the game!

 

Now my honorable mentions that get occasional use but not every game:

  • Revision of Skills (Revision Methods - 8) - If I get the items that uber-boost a certain sub skill to like a set 18+ I'll use this sometimes to make a roll. Usually the change is to let Negation Methods stand in for a really high roll (I even once had Neg Methods at 20 due to items and constitutive ability bonuses). If I don't have a strong skill in the 18-20 range the high difficulty of this spell makes it not very attractive.
  • Impart Understanding (Illustration - 10) - A clique learning spell. You expand a choice of subskill for the whole clique (you get Glamour Methods as well). I've used this in my 1 college clique games to boost competition skills. Has a fairly low roll so you can also use it as a place to park phemes to open subskills (duration is only 1 though).

 

Now for discussion of Mikka's spells:

  • Cleanse and Remake - Yep, I agree, it's hands down the best spell in the game for adventures. But it's Piety - 7 to unlock and piety > 5 kills the Golden emotion which is 40 parental approval and a point of Charm, which is pretty easy to count on.
  • Master - Also agree in it's power but most of my kids find mastery distasteful and don't learn it.
  • Familiar Education - I've never really done the familiar quests, but agree with Mikka's assessment and would totally use this to do them. One of the reasons Aiden doesn't use a familiar is in about 4 games of choosing a familiar I never once even tried their quests.
  • Inspirational Thinking - I've never used. I just wait until I've got the filing skills to handle the Longesdale.

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My main spells are

 

Revision of Skills to use my Highest SS to get trough Adventures and usual add 2 pheme to push this SS

From Nothing, Knowledge my endgame Pheme carrier especial to get got exam resoults (And not loose to much training time)

Cleanse and Remake I start to use this spell in month 1 or 2 and use it till my attributes are high enough, usual late midgame.

Familiar Education for the difficult parts of the Familiar Adventures if I dont have unlocked Animalistic Empathy (+5 instead of just +3) already.

 

About

Reverse Engineer I did use it till I learned that selling and then buying the item again dont cost anything and you then have this item identified.

Mathematical Acuity I prefer From Novice to Master over this one because I can add Pheme there and its Revision. But I use this rarly because most of the time Revision of Skills is more usfull because I have at last one SS at 12 or more

Because my games a mainly about Adventures and Skilltraining the other spells are not that usefull compared to training at the Sphinx (Mastery & Calligraphy are paths I left out so fare)

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Well, my most used spells are here already.

 

While I agree that Cleanse and Remake is possibly the strongest spells, I don't really like to use it. I've tried a few plays without this spell and instead focused on a liberal use of 6th finger, added with certain phemes you can usually boost the stats you need for 7 days - which is kind of neat.

At the end of the day Cleanse and Remake adds a better chance in most daily encouters, but at the end of the year I seem to have outweighed that by sheer training...

 

That said I usually only used it once (to get stat bonuses for training) never thrice for adventure runs. Maybe I should give it another go...

 

(I usually play characters who have little respect for astrology and the divine, so I hardly ever make religion a priority when training :P)

 

Getting off track...

 

Impart Understanding and Mastery (especially used together) is something I really want to try. Really, it will be great. My clique will run the school from our 3rd year (If I am not expelled first.)

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Cleanse and Remake is just so tempting, but because I avoid playing characters with Piety... :(

 

Master - Well, one of these day, you shall address me as Puppeteer Pudding.

 

The Queen's Affection - Hey, moar charm for the good little kids who abstain from silly college rivalry!

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The spell that do my homework.

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I missed something in my fist Post here, the spells we can use in Adventures and Events without having to spend a extra timeslot for them are even more usefull then all the timeconsuming ritual we perform ;)

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I'm trying to get through a game without casting Cleanse and Remake (typed Cleanse and Reload the first time, heh). I'm finding it... really hard, actually. My character has 8 INT naturally and then, say, 12 Research, but that still means he can't hit a 25 Research roll with enough accuracy for my tastes. And 24-28 rolls really aren't all that uncommon in the last stage of adventures. I can of course go pick up some items to boost INT even more, but he's already holding items to boost his non-INT, INS, and CHA stats. I found those three pretty easy to stumble across, but say, strength so I can succeed at sme horrible brute strength exit burried anywhere? (Or how about that required Interrogation one in the Durand adventure if you're not friends with Rikidis... boo!) Ugh.

 

I have 6th Finger, but I seem to need too many boosts. It's hard to top Cleanse and Remake's twenty-two attribute points for twelve adventures per casting, and I can add phemes to that one, too.

 

I mean, I add around five phemes to 6th Finger, but I'm not making as good a turn-around. Of course, this kid doesn't take Enchant- he has Incantation and Revision. Maybe I'm missing something.

 

...I could get him to max Piety pretty easy (four days with the Sphinx), but I really don't seem him as all that religious. Still, those 20+ rolls at the end of adventures are killing me. Very hard to reach. ^^

 

 

Revision of Skills is one that I have used, now that I'm thinking. Good for Calligraphy, History, Music and Zoology exams- get your Harpsichord or whatever up to 10 quick for the test. Not a bad use.

 

The Queen's Affection I need to give a try!

 

I liked From Nothing, Knowledge when I first started the game, but then I realized going Library of Longshade to Match Wits with the Sphinix gets me more skillpoints in the grandscheme of things. (I believe there's also a ponder/question ability that gets you a point of Observation, and two random subskills?) It's not bad for opening things near the beginning of the game, but the Sphinx beats it out.

 

...the Sphinx beats out everything. The Sphinx is distinctly overpowered, in my not so humble opinion. >.>

 

 

That would probably be an even harder game for me then this no Cleanse and Remake run. A no Sphinx run. The Sphinx is my characters BFF. =/ XD

 

 

I wish that casting spells didn't take a full timeslot, considering how quickly we can cast them in adventures. Foo.

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I curent see the Sphinx as a gamble because somwhat betwean 10 and 20% of the time I only get 1 SS from it (not even the Skill I whanted to train) and then with the bug that sometimes you get a Research at slot 4 it becomes more like a 3 Skill Ability if you dont whant to reload to much.

With this 2 bugs fixed (what by the time I expect to hapen never) we maybe can talk about reduce it to only 3 Skills or a Higher roll for the 4.

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I would agree, but I also like being overpowered... oh cruel curel world ;)

 

Maybe not so overpowered, but compared to some of the other ways to gain skill points, then yes. Of cause, if Sphinx goes then Cleanse and Remake become all the more important, as well as 6th finger.

 

 

BTW. 6th finger with 2 Divert phemes added = ensured success at the spinx the next 7 days. Just in case anyone was interested. (While it lasts! OMG panic!) (provided you got 10 wit of cause)

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I think just upping the roll two points would help, too. Everyone who's logiced things out is going to have Insight 3 very quickly (the INT Omen bonus is better, but the Mind prodigy, Planning 2, and Oan's adventure Insights are all easily gettable- and there's one on the Dance of Fools too, isn't there?), and Wit can be unlocked basically on the first day of the game (Adventure -> Vernin Towers, Playful/smart-alec exit when questioned about time). Wit doesn't have an insane modifier, and Filing and Library Knowledge are also picked up very early in the game for the Sphinx's location. The four skill points from the Sphinx are very nice, but they wouldn't be overpowered if it was a last quarter of the game type deal. The problem is getting an InsightxWit roll of 13 is a synch, and you can have the Sphinx available before you've so much as heard the word Midterm from Vettor's slimy mouth. (In fact, my strategy of maxing out my Study skills ASAP which means Longshade which means Concentration 10 which means Wit training easy which means, well, Sphinx!, means I often have the Sphinx ready for full success in the third month. I haven't often finished Oan's adventure by then!)

 

Making the roll 15 would mean a bit of attribute raises (or familiar increasing) would be necessary before it becomes a 'sure' thing: you'll still succeed often, but it's not a guarantee, making the libraries a bit more useful. It's still easy to hit- as I said, Oan's Adventure and Planning 2 (and others), but you can't count on it.

 

A cheap way of making it less obvious, too, is by having the V Library also have a place where you can study skills- one chosen, one random (like Longshade, without the concentration). People raise Library Knowledge so they get access to other libraries, and then once they have Library of the Mantele it's all "Well, I'm so close to ten, why don't I just go- ooo, Sphinx!" If they had a place to get that 'extra' skillpoint earlier, then getting to Library Knowledge 10 would be less of a no-brainer, meaning there would be less Sphinx finders, meaning... um, I don't know. As I said, cheap. But clever. Maybe.

 

 

Hiding it behind an Adventure would be even more fun, though. :)

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Mikka as mentioned it also would be enough if just the 4. Random SS is on the Roll of 15 and the other 3 keep on 13.

With placing it at Research it realy maybe get unlooked to fast because of all the Study are done by many trough the Venalicium.

The Sphinx and the high roll required to tidy is the reason why I never used the Library of Longshade again.

(I have the Sphinx ready bevore I finished my Revision training + Concentration is gained allong with my Religion training)

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I would love a sphinx adventure (to unlock it or otherwise) it seems such an important part of most of my characters timetables, and yet I don't know all too much about what happens in the spinx's little corner :)

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The Sphinx! he is my buddy. I am attached to him at the hip.

 

As to Cleanse and Remake - I find that I have pretty high attributes at the end of the game that I don't really need to do adventures in the first half of the game.

 

My Favorite spell? I'm still trying to cast it:

Puppet Master. It controls your clique for 3 days. Still need to figure out how to get some of the phemes though...

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The spell that do my homework.

 

What, no Follow Nyaa To A Bad Place? :(

 

I refuse to go for Puppet Master unless Professor Knoht is an eligible target. :wub:

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What, no Follow Nyaa To A Bad Place? :(

I have the spell to turn you into a pudding...oh wait, I already did when you followed me to a bad place.

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I've been playing without the Sphinx and Cleanse/Remake, and it is immensely difficult to not only finish adventures, but to train up skills that I haven't lucked into boosting their parent stat. Luck and strength don't seem that useful until you try to get infiltration 10 with Luck 1, and don't have any good ways to raise it. I feel like I'm chained to the wiki to try and use my limited resources to finish any adventures, or to try an adventure, find out the skills needed, reload and buff the crap out of the necessary skill.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say in all that mess is that if you don't want to spend the whole game buffing skills, you need to beeline certain ablities/spells in order to get the stats and skills to let you adventure more freely. Which kinda bites because it means that I tend to build my characters very similarly so that they have the leeway to differentiate later. Anyone have any alternatives to Sphinx+Cleanse/Remake?

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I managed one game without Cleanse and Remake, and it was... pretty hard. I'm surprised at all the people who manage to get through without using it at all, in truth.

 

When I'm not doing role-plays, I've been known to play pretty power-gamey. As in, do a day of school: did I learn anything? Nope? Then reload, and skip those classes. I also beeline to Concentration 10 for Selective Focus and use it often, as well as boosting myself and my familiars Wit to max so the Sphinx never ever fails save for if I'm maxed. Yet I still find it pretty hard to hit high-teen rolls required when it comes to some skills, and even worse is the low twenty ones. One thing I don't do is constantly reload at stat boosting areas (such as repeatedly running a crippling route for Fitness, or the studio for dance/charm, or the Irregular Incantation study...), but adventures sometimes make it tempting.

 

I never find Luck to be a big problem, though. Intelligence and Insight are boosted constantly: one should end the year with at least 7's in them, if not 10's. Charm is almost as easy. There are fewer opportunities, but I don't find it too hard to boost up Fitness and Luck. Quite a few adventures offer Luck, and there's what, three skill-perks that boost Fitness that are pretty easy to get?

 

Finesse and Strength are the ones I run in to problems with (all my characters now end up taking the Forge background- the Spy one is a bit more difficult, as Elegant Service is nice as gaining extra maximum's for skills is a constant professor gift, but it can be worthwhile too). For Finesse, there's the Trap 10 bonus. For Strength, there's Well-Toned. Then there's some rare few adventures and items (Sword of Kush is a thankfully easy must get). Other then that, it's gaming the Quinita Gym and Brisbane's if you're in to constant-reloading. Thankfully, Brisbane's gives decent enough bonuses so I don't mind my character hanging out there, but it's very hard to use Quinita Gym- there's what, a 6% chance of attribute boosting and nothing else? Boo.

 

Using 6th Finger (or really, any other spell that has a very easy casting roll- Intelligence being so easy to get means Revision, especially if you took it as your class (and why not?- +1 Finesse reward!)), is the only real alternative, though it's not all that good of one. You can usually only add around six phemes on to the spell without it reaching "There's around a 50/50 chance I'll need to reload this" status in my experience (and that's only near the end of the year). And you'll need to be using phemes of difficulty 3/4. That allows you to add +5 or so to your attribute or skill of choice. Unfortunately, it my experience, that means you pass one adventure exit, then the next one requires a different skill, so you have to cast again... in which Cleanse and Remake just wins. +3 to each attribute (+4 to CHA) just can't be beat: power-gaming, I honestly don't see any other way. And piety is even an Insight skill, so it's incredibly easy to raise, and Charm is so easy to get.

 

Yes, you have to give off Golden to get it, but money is so easy to get in this game (also, I play a lot of Black Sheep when I'm playing Charm characters, though Traitors is the 'easier' background) that the 40 bonus doesn't trouble me, and I'll give up one charm for the opportunity to get 4 for a week.

 

(And I usually do triple-casting.)

 

Alternatives to the Sphinx are, thankfully, easier to find... as long as you're aware of what you're trying to boost. As long as the action/ability is giving you at least three skill-ups, I consider it worthy of use. There's of course the Library of L until you max Concentration. There's the ability that gives you plus two randoms and then plus one Observation, which is good if you can't for some reason gain Wit. Then there's just tons of locations- the Belltower for Clockwork and Flawless Timing, backstage with the theater kids for all your Acting needs, Observing the two courts I believe gets you +3 (...and Stenephan Pastis’ gives you Wit, making it a common spot for me to raise my Wit for the Sphinx), you can make good noise at the crier's stone or visit the temples or help the Imperial Rangers, there's a few places in Godina Park that raise three, you can Muck Around... there's almost always *somewhere*. The key really is what skill you're looking for... as far as I know, there's no place that will reliably raise you Mastery and at least two others save for the Libraries (and the Sphinx), for instance. On the other hand, it's very easy to find places that'll raise you a bunch of Incantation or Dialect at a time.

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A word of caution about nerfing the Sphinx. If you balance something so that power gamers find it less useful, you will make it absolutely useless for the more casual gamers that comprise 80-90% of your players. I find myself often forgoing the use of the Sphinx because of it's extremely high failure rate, and that's with my character having a 5 insight and a 10 wit. Yes, a bunch of you now might tell me how to power game that to boost my success rate. But the point is not for me to play like a power gamer, the point is to make a game that is accessible for those who are 'not' power gamers. And there is nothing wrong with having things in a game that 'are' exploitable to some degree by power gamers. That's what makes the game fun for such gamers as they figure out how to game the game.

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Sadly I have to agree here because to much listening to the Core gamer of a game have lost some companies the market for theyr game.

I.e. X3 was nearly unplayable for somone who didnt played X2 because the game got to complex.

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Panpiper;

 

We entirely agree- we have no plans to 'nerf' the Sphinx, but we may include as a part of an Adventure- this, in some ways, makes it a bit more accessible, actually. :)

 

Thanks for the comment, though!

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After reading many of the comments in this thread, I came up with a potentially game-altering spell ... Little Delirium!

 

Ok, it seems like one of those spells that are in the book that nobody really pays attention to (+3 to playfullness, but +10% to your chance of discovery, +1 stress) and with a relatively low difficulty (Insight/Glamour Methods v. 4). What makes this potentially game-changing is that it sticks around until you rest.

So, how to you maximize that when nobody wants to have a +10% to your CoD. That's where Wand Amplification comes in.

 

Since Wand Amplification lasts 5 days and you can cast it multiple times .. just sticking with 4 days of 3 casts each - that gives me a +48 to my rolls with spells. Assuming I have a 4 Insight and 5 Glamour Methods, my roll with the +48 will be 54-61 (6-13 + 48)

 

With that in mind, the following plan starts forming - I cast Little Delirium on myself, add in 4 phemes of Dark (-3% CoD, +2 Ambush, +2 Conceal, Difficulty 7) to offset the CoD penalty. The difficulty for the spell is now raised to 32 (4 from the spell + 28 from the phemes). That leaves me with 22 'points' worth of Phemes to add to before I have a chance of failure (without other miscellanous factors added in).

 

At this point, it's up to the caster to decide what he/she wants - Do you want a 'perm' increase to your Intelligence? Add 7 Phems of Mind (+1 Intelligence, Difficulty 3). Maybe you'd like +4 to your Intelligence and Insight (4 Phemes of Infinite - Diff 4). Want the spell rolls to be 'perm'? Use the Magic Pheme (+1 to rolls, difficulty 3).

 

All it takes is a bit of imagination, and you can create an uber-character from the beginning. Assuming you can cast multiple versions of the spell on yourself, then it can become rediculous (boost your Glamor Methods and Spell Rolls to outragous levels .. which lead to more and more powerful versions of the spell .. which lead to ...)

 

So, it is like I said above or am I missing something (you're limited to X amount of phemes ... you can only have one instance of the spell in effect .. etc)?

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