After some initial thoughts, I've had more time to mull over options in the Frostgrave rulebook, but with the possibility of a game in a couple of weeks it's time to start making decisions. Today I'm going to look at my Wizard and see what options I have to narrow things down a bit.
It's no secret that I'm going down the Necromancer route. Aside from maybe Summoner, I think it's the closest thing to the Dark Side on offer (prior to the expansion). Immediately that maps out my spell options and dictates which schools of magic I'm allowed (or forced) to use. Given that we're starting out on our campaign, my wizard is rather feeble when it comes to casting spells so it makes sense to choose the easiest spells to cast where possible. In addition, failing to cast a spell successfully can inflict damage on the wizard, so easy spells make even more sense. The third thing to consider is that the apprentice will be using the same spell set so making sure they've got a decent chance to be successful is also important for them.
Most schools of magic have spells that require dice rolls of 8+, 10+ and 12+ to be successful (there are 14+ and 18+ dotted around but that would be taking silly chances at this stage I think). I will be looking mainly at my options for 8 and 10 spells as this, I feel, is where my road lies.
The full list of Frostgrave spells and explanations can be found here.
As my primary ability I have to take three spells from Necromancy and my options are Bone Dart (8), Raise Zombie (8), Bones of the Earth (10) and Steal Health (10). I also have level 12 spells available to control undead models, cause an opposing model to miss an activation and the ability to dispel magic in play. The only definite at this stage has to be Raise Zombie – no self-respecting Necromancer could live without it surely!
Next I have to take a single spell from each of the aligned schools of magic – in this case Witch, Summoner and Chronomancer.
The Witch list offers a few things of use: Animal Companion (8), Fog (8), Mud (10), Curse (10) and Poisoned Dart (10).
The Summoner: Leap (8), Imp (10), Bind Demon (10).
Chronomancer: Fast Act (8), Fleet Feet (10), Crumble (10).
Whilst it may seem a challenge to try and pick three spells from this list of eleven, I think some spells jump out as first choices to try out initially. Some of these may turn out to be pointless but that's part of the the trial and error 'theory-crafting' of starting a new game.
Finally I get to choose my last two spells from Neutral schools of magic: Elementalist, Enchanter, Illusionist, Sigilist and Soothsayer. This allows me to dip a toe into the wider pool of magic spells, but the choices are almost overwhelming. Spells that jump out at me initially include one that gives me an increased Initiative roll, one that gives instant extra 50 experience at the end of a game (if I don't die), Invisibility and Teleport. These last choices will be rather tricky.
The only other thing to consider is whether I shall take a staff or hand weapon. I'd like to think my Wizard will be surrounded by people to do the dirty work, but there will be times when he may have to go it alone. Preempting trouble will be priceless of course but I may need a rack of defensive/ attacking spells to make sure I get through the game in one piece!