Recently I played an Enchantment focused Warforged Archmage 18 / Rogue 2 to Level 20 and now I start to level the EDs but I also started to think about TR. The far away goal would be 3 Wiz lives, 1 Bard life and 3 Druid lives until the final Wiz life.
I love the idea of letting the mobs fight each other and there is always a good chance, that the charmed Mob loses enough HP that the Dismiss Charm skill finally kills it (except you have a Hireling that can heal, because it will heal the charmed mob too if in range).
My core experiences were:
- SP get used up pretty quickly until I got about 1,5k of them.
- Vermins (Scorpions/Spiders) and Animals like Wolfs, Dogs and Lions cannot be charmed/holded by Wizard spells (except the few magical beast subtypes)
- I never recognized the benefit from Evasion except when running into Spellwards (which I could disable though).
- I waited too long to take Enlarge, which is a huge improvement to all the short ranged charm spells and comforts gameplay a lot.
- with U19, because of the new Skill Spellcraft and the Spellpower gained from Repair, (Heal) and Perform I had to skip UMD entirely to have enough points left for Search, Spot and DD.
- Trap skills without items granting +Search and +DD are nearly worthless (at Heroic Hard and Elite).
- Animals and Vermins (like most Undead) tend to have very low Will saves all over the game, which is why I could use the unmeta'ed Sonic Blast from 1 to 20 and am still using it frequently to daze them.
- Until I had no SP problems anymore I always used a Cleric Hireling with Divine Vitality. Since about Level 16 I only use Warforged Fighters, Paladins or Barbarians because of Reconstruct (assigning me the role of their Healer) and their noticable durability and contribution of dmg.
All these experiences lead to the following thoughts to build the ultimate Enchanter:
* The feats won't vary much, except when TR'ing and swapping for past life feats (maybe Mental Toughness and Improved Mental Toughness).
Spell Focus: Enchantment
Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
Greater Spell Penetration
Improved Mental Toughness
* Splashing Druid into Wizard, at least one Level, at max three Levels. The goal for Wiz is at least Level 17 for Mass Hold Monster, at max Level 19. Trap skills are nice and perhaps Evasion is nicer than I experienced it, so it's possible to splash one or two Rogue Levels too. Possible combinations would be (there seems to be not much benefit from two Druid levels regarding Enchantment, so):
#1 Wizard 19 / Druid 1 (Charm Animal, Lesser Vigor)
#2 Wizard 18 / Druid 1 / Rogue 1 (Trap Skills)
#3 Wizard 17 / Druid 3 (Hold Animal, Cure light Wounds, Animal Form)
#4 Wizard 17 / Druid 1 / Rogue 2 (Evasion)
x no Capstone
x -1 to -3 Caster Levels
x slightly shorter Duration of Buffs and Charms
x -1 Wiz Bonus Feat
x at Character creation more points into Wisdom are needed (I'd recommend to start with at least both 16 in Int and Wis)
x no Wiz Level 18 Archmage SLA V when following Wiz 17 paths
x Dismiss Charm doesn't affect Charm Animal (bug or not thought about it, I don't know), but due to only 3 Levels of Druid at max it won't last that long anyway
x The Wolf companion won't be effective, just use it to pull levers and things like that. If it gets into fight and dies, you will loose HP and SP which should be avoided.
+ Charm everything that is not immune to it by design
+ Hold everything that is not immune to it by design (if going path #3)
+ Trap skills (if going path #2 or #4)
+ Evasion (if going path #4)
+ Animal Form makes the Wizard a bit more survivable in melee in early level areas (if going path #3)
+ Lesser Vigor and Cure light Wounds can be easily pushed by spending a few points into the Heal skill or wearing an item or augment a gem that increases healing Spellpower.
When splashed three Levels of Druid, the Charm Animal get's +1 DC from being heightened. Other +DC points are available only from raising Wisdom, +Enchantment feats and Enhancements and items that provide +DC to all schools or Enchantment only.
* Chosing race. I thought about Half-Elf with Cleric Dilettante instead of Warforged to gain more versatility regarding Hirelings and party usefulness because of CL Scrolls and Wands. Though Warforged is pretty standable too, gets more HP but is limited to a few Hirelings due to no normal Healing spells (this may vary with higher Int and more Skillpoints for UMD, but I didn't get any tomes yet so I can't tell anything helpful about it). Plus: Being a fleshy Archmage makes one to two spell slots available for other spells than Repair and Reconstruct (I slotted Repair serious Dmg, which is always in the SP Range of SP Recovery; maybe Repair moderate Dmg would as well be enough, since I just have abut 300 HP; and Reconstruct).
The starting Stats (32 pt) would be
I'm fearing the Strenght reduction by enemy casts a bit, but these three points could either go to Wis or Con and Dex/Cha too.
* Chosing Enhancements
The fully enhanced Cleric Dilettante counts as Level 10 Cleric, enough to use the raise scroll without UMD check. The Helf racial tree also provides +2 Wisdom, 100 SP and 3 Spell Pen, 6 universal Spellpower, +1 Int from Core Enhancements and +3 Int for 20 Seconds during an Action Boost.
Update: Due to recent changes the Enhancement Points can get distributed in another way as suggested before. The Wand & Scroll Mastery Enhancement now costs the same and has the same effect in all class trees, so there's no reason anymore to spend points in Season's Herald to get it, but can be spent elsewhere. For Enchantment purpose only there seems to be no need to put points into the +Spellpower in the Helf tree. So our main trees are the Helf racial, AM and PM. If Rogue is splashed too, maybe the Mechanic tree is worth some investments for better trapping - for the sacrifice of some points in other trees. The point distribution should vary between:
Half Elf: 18 to 25
Archmage: 32 to 42
Pale Master: 11 to 22
(Mechanic: 4 to 7)
The main Enhancements of any build mentioned above should be: School Mastery II and Shroud of the Vampire. Cleric Improved Dilettante III if you play Half Elf. Secondary School Mastery is up to your choice, I'd probably take Necromancy, because the spells to control undead are all Necromancy ones. Arcane Supremacy can be nice but it's not necessary. In the PM tree to get the second +Int Enhancement 22 pts must be spent, I'd recommend to put some points into one or two SLA's [Core I (1) Deathless Vigor (6) Necrotic Touch (3) Core II (1) Core III (1) - either Metamagic (6) or Necrotic Bolt (3) and Bone Armor (3) - Int (2) Int (2)] because Beholders suck
Starting with Wisdom 16 the DC for Charm Animal would nearly touch the 30's because all the Spell focus feats, Wiz and Epic Destiny enhancements, and +Wisdom items push its DC. A few postings later I started to report about my leveling experience with a 17/2/1 build.
Thank's for reading and I'd appreciate your thoughts an opinions about this.