Training 1: make the range 'touch' and add the effects 'light', 'free action' and 'water walking'. Make all the ranges 1+1 per 2 levels. This spell will train Illusion, Restoration and Thaumaturgy. It should cost around 48 gold and use about 8 spell points depending on skill levels.
Training 2: make the range 'touch' and all the ranges 1+1 per 2 levels. Add the effects 'damage health' and 'silence'. This spell will train Destruction and Mysticism. Cost is around 60 gold and 11 spell points.
Training 3: make the range 'caster', range 1+1 per 2 levels and add the effect 'slowfall'. This trains Alteration. Cost should be about 20 gold and 5 spell points.
This is the minimum number of spells I've found practical so far to train all 6 schools of magic. If you're worried about increasing character level you can make individual spells for each school and just train the ones you need. To train them cast one then hit the 'e' key to abort. This returns the spell points to your store. Use the 'q' key to recast, then 'e' to abort again. Keep alternating between the keys as many times as you think you need to get a skill increase. The exact number will depend on your level and the setting of the difficulty dagger in your character generation - experiment to find out what you need and remember that you are probably looking at around 30 or more spellcastings to gain a point of skill. After you've done this with the first spell, repeat with the second. For some reason the Alteration skill does not train by aborting like the others so this spell must be cast (hence the 'caster' range). Cast the third spell as many times as your spell points allow and then rest for 6 hours. Always remember to use the third spell last or you will deplete your spell points and not be able to cast the others even though you are going to abort. If you've used each spell enough then you should gain a skill increase after the 6 hours rest. Repeat as necessary. For the role playing puritans among you I justify this as the equivalent of getting out the spellbooks and indulging in some intensive study and practice - after all, it takes effort dancing on the keyboard and the resting takes its toll in game time!
You can buy most standard spells at the Mages guild but normally it's about 40% cheaper to make them yourself once you have access to the spellmaker, and you can amend the range of the effects to suit you. However, if you intend to take the quests that require you to cast a particular spell you must use the bought version of these spells or your quest will not succeed. These three are: 'Open, 'Sleep' and 'Banish Daedra'. Bear in mind also that these store bought spells will require quite a few spell points to cast and may be a drain for a low level character (Banish Daedra requires some 300+ points for the average low character!)
One spell you should always make yourself is Recall as this can be made for 0 gold but costs over 500 gold to buy. It works exactly the same as the bought version and it is a fairly essential spell for dungeon survival. Other essential survival spells include Levitate, Water Breathing and Water Walking. Various heal and cure spells can literally be lifesavers when you're far from a temple and shield and resist spells are useful if you can afford to cast them. After you've taken care of defenses you can start with the offensive spells. One very useful one is some kind of Toxic Cloud variant. This is useful for those times when you jump in a pool or down a pit and land on the monster's head so you can't see it to hit it. The toxic cloud spell may help you knock it away from under you so you can deal with it.
When it comes to spell ranges there are two ways of working. Some people like to make the settings lower than usual which means you may need to cast the spell several times in order to achieve your objective. This has the benefit that you are using the skill more and therefore increasing it faster, and you don't need so many spell points. Other people prefer to set the ranges higher so that the spell will last long enough to complete the job at hand. You pay your money and take your choice - literally, as the more powerful you set the spell parameters the more it is going to cost you in both gold and spell points. To give you a starting point here's a guide to the spell parameters of some of the common standard spells. Play around until you find out what makes you comfortable.
Personally I like to set the chances of things like cure spells as high as I can expect to be able to use with my number of spell points. The theory is that I need it to work correctly in as few tries as possible and I can recover the spell points later. Heal type spells I usually make two; a low power one that will give me a handful of hit points in a hurry and stop me dying which I can cast while low in spell points, and a more powerful one for proper healing when spell points are available.
Two very useful cheap spells I always have are Guess and Unlock. The first is a low level identify, useful for wagon access and the second is a low level open, guaranteed to open any normal door outside a dungeon! Here are the details of some of my custom spells (veteran AD&D players may recognise some names here, I find it the easiest way to remember what does what and how powerful it is!).
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