Sacred and Sorcerous:
Spell-casting Basics for the Divine
and Arcane Caster
Success as a divine or arcane
caster requires understanding basic principles in how magic works in
Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO). By learning these principles,
you form the basis for excelling in spell-casting regardless of what
spell-casting class you wish to play.
Choosing Primary Characteristics:
The primary characteristic of a spell-casting class is of utmost
importance. Your primary characteristic determines how well you
cast spells, whether you receive bonus spell slots you can prepare, and
the highest level spell you can learn for your class. Paladins, clerics
and rangers share wisdom as their primary ability for spell
casting. Bards and sorcerers share charisma, and wizard use
intelligence as theirs.
Each even point above 10 that your primary characteristic has gives a
bonus of 1 to the difficulty class of your spells. Similarly, your
primary characteristic bonus translates directly into bonus spell
You can only cast spells of spell levels equal to your primary
characteristic minus 10 or lower. So if you have reached 9th
level as a wizard, and now have 5th level spells available, but you
only have 14 intelligence, then you cannot cast 5th level spells.
Characters receive enhancements as they level throughout their
adventuring career, and some of these enhancements increase a
statistic, including a spell-casters primary characteristic. It
should be noted that these enhancements are not permanent, since you
can change them as your level, and as such, with regard to
spell-casting, only affect the difficulty class of the spells you
cast. They do not provide extra spell slots, or extra spell
points, nor do they increase the level of spell you can cast.
At every level divisible by four (4, 8, etc.) a character receives the
opportunity to raise one statistic by one point. These
characteristic increases are permanent, and will (retroactively to
previous levels) raise your spell point total, and provide bonus spell
Wizards have to copy their spells into their spell books for
them to be available. To do
so, they must purchase the expensive
scribing components for the appropriate level of spell. These are
available at arcane reagent vendors throughout Stormreach. Once
the scribing material for a spell level is available, the wizard
selects a scroll containing the spell he wishes to scribe, and then
clicks the scribe skill. After a short time, the spell will be
scribed into the wizard's spell book. If a wizard has a higher
level scroll and scribing material, the wizard can copy the spell into
his spell book, even if he cannot yet cast that level of spell.
Clerics, bards, rangers and paladins have access to all spells of their level
automatically. Clerics automatically have cure spells prepared
when they prepare spells. Sorcerers and bards only gain new spells as they
level, and do not need to keep spell books.
Gaining spell points:
All classes gain spell points when they gain the ability to cast
spells. You receive a set number of spell points for your class at each
level, plus bonus spell points for having a high primary statistic, and
you can have bonus spell points for items, feats and enhancements.
While I haven't yet been able to determine exact numbers for upper
levels, wizards and clerics start with 100 spell points, sorcerers with
150, bards with 50. For bonus spell points based upon your primary
statistic, use the following formula:
Bonus spell points = your primary
statistic bonus x 10 (for level 1) + your primary statistic bonus for
each level after.
For example, a wizard with a 18 intelligence has a + 4 bonus due to
intelligence, gaining 40 bonus spell points at level 1, and 4 bonus
spell points each level after on top of that. If the wizard ever
brought his intelligence permanently to 20, than the bonus would be 50
for level 1, and +5 spell points for each level after, and these would
Spells cost 10 points for a first level spell, and each spell level
higher costs 5 points more than the previous spell level.
Spell components are the needed ingredients, besides will power and
knowledge, needed to cast a spell. For example, the tumble spell
requires material, verbal and somatic components to cast.
If a spell does not require a verbal component, then the caster can be
prevented from speaking by circumstance and still cast the spell.
If a caster does not have the correct material component for a spell
(and is not able to use the Eschew Material feat), then the caster
cannot cast the spell. If the caster wishes to cast a spell that
does not require a somatic (movement related) spell component, then
there is no penalty for that caster if that caster is bound, wearing
armor, or otherwise hindered.
Material components can be found at arcane reagent vendors throughout
Stormreach. Each spell level has a material component for
it. Some spells require more than one level spell
component. A second level cleric spell might, for example,
require a single 2nd and 1st level spell component to be cast.
All classes must prepare spells. Based upon your class, you have a
number of “slots” to prepare spells in for each spell level.
Clerics must have one slot each level designated toward a cure spell
. For example, a cleric can have up to
3 spell level 1 slots at character level 1 for preparing spells.
In this case one slot (for clerics) is always a cure light wounds
spell, and the other two would be any two spells from the clerics spell
list for that level.
To prepare a spell, first go to the spell section of your character
sheet, and drag out any spells you don't want to keep from the slots at
the bottom of each level's page. Then drag in the spell you wish
to cast from your spell list. If you wish to have your spell on
your hotbar, then drag the spell from your spell list to a spot on your
By understanding the basics of spell-casting you can start in Eberron
with a firm understanding of how to pick ability scores for spell
casting, how to prepare spells, and how to increase the spells in your
repertoire as your advance.
Further and detailed description of spell-casting including metamagic
feats, will be detailed in Spirituality and Spellbinding, to be