Playing Spellcasting Characters

Lots of people have trouble playing the "spellcaster" races: pixies, halflings and elves. We get all kinds of complaints from people about how their pixie or halfling gets killed in one hit, and when we look into why, it's always because the person is trying to play the character as a fighter.

So we've written this section to give people tips on how to play Wyvern spellcaster races effectively.

Note: Halflings are eventually intended to be Thief-type characters, but we haven't implemented most of the necessary skills, so they're basically a bit like elves right now.

Also note that Nagas can be played effectively as spellcasters or as fighters, and some people play them as both (although typically not as well as if they specialize).


Who Should Play

Playing a spellcaster requires you to be able to move and react very quickly. You should not play a spellcasting character if:

  • You have a slow connection (such as a modem).
  • You are unfamiliar with the hotkeys/aliasing feature of the game.
  • You want to take a more relaxed approach to adventuring.

If you can type fast, and you have a fast connection, and you are looking for a challenge, then you might want to try out one of the spellcasting races and see how you like it.

Basic Strategies

Spellcaster races have lots of mana and very few hit points. Consequently, your goal should be to stand back and kill monsters with spells. Here are some rules of thumb you should follow until you're very comfortable with the game:

  • Don't ever attack monsters hand-to-hand.
  • Stay at least 1-2 squares away from monsters at all times.
  • Get spellcasting skills, not combat skills.

Given that you're not going to be fighting monsters hand-to-hand, you should be careful about what armor you wear, since many kinds of armor cause you to bungle your spells. Another rule of thumb is:

  • never wear armor that makes you bungle spells.

This includes most body armor, shields, helmets and gloves. You can almost always wear cloaks, shoes, rings, girdles, amulets and bracers.

If there are certain monsters that you can't kill with spells, you should avoid them.

Required Skills

The way you spend your skill points will dramatically affect how effective your character is.


Every time you level up, you should spend one skill point on the Lore skill, at least until you're level 9 or 10. Only Pixies are likely to get much benefit from lore levels above 10 because the spells are so expensive (in spell points) to cast. However, if you have Arts skills (or magic items that give you Arts skills), which reduce the casting cost, you may be able to use Lore 11 spells and higher as an Elf, Halfling, Naga or Human.


Similarly, you should always spend 1 skill point per level on Meditation, the skill that makes your spell points come back faster. Don't stop at level 10 — *always* put another point into Meditation, at least until level 15 or so. The faster your spell points come back, the more spells you'll be able to cast.

Combat Skills

You can't avoid combat altogether, so a few skill points, wisely chosen, can help you quite a bit. You might want to put a few points into each of these skills:

  • Spirit Travelling (reduces XP you lose when you die)
  • Dodge (makes you harder to hit)
  • Strength (especially for pixies, lets you carry more)
  • Healing (makes your hit points come back faster)

You may also want to get some skills like Merchant, Lock Picking, Zoology and so on, but keep in mind that none of these will make you a better spellcaster, so you shouldn't go overboard with them.


The Element skills make your spells more powerful, and the Art skills make them cheaper to cast. In order to become the best possible spellcaster, you should specialize in one or two Elements and one or two Arts.

The easiest Art to specialize in is Evocation. Evocations are monster-blasting spells (bolts, cones, explosions, and so on), so it's easy to see the benefits of getting better at them. For your first spellcaster character, you might consider putting a few points into Evocation.

You also need to decide which Element(s) to specialize in. If you have a built-in racial ability (e.g. Nagas have Water Magic), then you probably want to take advantage of that — it would be counterproductive for a Naga to specialize in Fire.

If you have no idea which way to go, the easiest Elements to specialize in are Fire, Air, Death, and Life. You might choose Fire and Life, or Air and Death, or Life and Death. Don't pick more than 2 Elements or you won't get very good at the ones you've chosen.

You can use the UnTrainer to unlearn skills if you decide you don't like them, but it costs a lot of money, so it's better to plan them out in advance.


Becoming a good spellcaster requires preparation and practice.


After you've chosen all your skills, you'll want to choose which spells you want to learn. You won't have enough Lore Points to learn every spell there is, so you have to choose carefully. Try to stick with spells that match the Elements and Arts you've chosen, so your spells will last longer, be more powerful, and be cheaper to cast.

Also, you should be able to switch between spells very quickly. Make sure you create hotkeys for every one of your spells. For example:

  • alias 1 cast magic whip
  • alias 2 ready spell magic dart
  • alias 3 ready spell lightning bolt
  • alias f1 cast resist fire
  • alias f2 cast resist cold
  • alias f3 cast resist shock
  • alias f4 cast resist magic
  • alias 8 cast identify
  • alias m cast minor healing

Set up good hotkeys and memorize them, and you'll find you can be a much more effective spellcaster.


Once you've prepared yourself, you should look for areas that are spellcaster-friendly. Look for areas with the following characteristics:

  • The monsters are vulnerable to the spells you've chosen. You can find this out by experimentation.

  • There's plenty of room for you to maneuver, so you don't get surrounded, and you don't have to be near the monsters.

  • There's always an escape where you can make a quick exit.

Make sure you have the Magic Whip spell — it's cheap and it does a lot of damage. If you happen to be specializing in the element Death, your whip will do a great deal of damage. Be warned, though: certain monsters are immune to magic, and the whip won't be able to harm them. You should carry a dagger or backup weapon with you just in case.

Another good spell to learn is Sandstorm. It's level 2, and it can blast quite a few low-level enemies such as kobolds or goblins.

Other Issues

Many spells require reagents, so as a spellcaster you will constantly have to make sure your reagent supply is sufficient. You can find reagent shops in almost every town in the game, so it's just a matter of being diligent. Also, it helps to buy a Reagent Pouch, since it reduces the weight of the reagents you're carrying. You should get a Master Wizard's Reagent Pouch if you can afford one, since it cuts the weight even further. And if you can't find one, you can keep a Bag of Holding for extra reagents.

There are a few evocations (fireball, lightning bolt, frost wave, sandstorm) that don't require reagents, and you can use them as often as you like. These are a spellcaster's workhorses — you should save the dragon breath and icestorm for when you really need them, and try to get by with the lightning bolts and fireballs for most combat situations.

You should try to find armor that doesn't cause you to bungle spells. There's the ever sought-after Wizard's Hat and Wizard's Robe, but if you can't afford them, you may be able to find yourself an enchanted robe or fancy white gloves. The better protected you are, the less likely you are to be killed if you accidentally get near a monster.

Finally, playing a spellcaster in a group requires a lot of discipline, since it's easy to kill people (including yourself) accidentally with your spells. You don't lose XP for dying from player spells, so it's mostly a nuisance, but it can still get in the way of adventuring if you're not careful.

Note: you DO lose XP if you kill yourself, so be careful when casting spells!

Final Thoughts

Playing a spellcaster can be very rewarding or very frustrating. It's definitely not as easy as being a fighter — fighters load up on heavy armor and weapons, sink all their skill points into combat skills, and then go duke it out with the monsters. Being a spellcaster requires a lot more planning and finesse, and it's just not ideal for some people. If you find yourself playing a pixie, elf or halfling, and you absolutely hate it, try a different race (probably a dwarf or giant) before you give up completely!

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