Mind-bending Magic: Enchantments in
Enchantments are a form of magic that can turn the tide of battle
radically in most circumstances. Enchantment effects in Dungeons &
Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) are formidable, though often not long
lasting. Unlike many schools of magic, enchantments are usually spells
that will either be totally successful or totally unsuccessful in their
effects. By understanding the techniques in using charms and other
enchantments, a spell caster can turn this most effective school of
magic into a powerful set of weapons in her collection of spells.
The nature of enchantments:
It is important to define enchantments, because there are two uses of
- Magic that is placed upon an item, place or thing. A creature
that has been made weak by ray of enfeeblement has been enchanted. A
sword that allows one to cast haste is an enchanted sword. A room that
heals all those standing in it is enchanted. This form of enchantement
is not associated specifically with spells that affect minds in
- A school of magic that is associated with affecting the thoughts
of living things. This school does not affect the perceptions of
creatures the way the school of illusion does.
For the purposes of this treatise, we are speaking of the second
definition of enchantments--the school of enchantment.
Enchantments can include:
- Charms: spells that affect who a creature considers to be an ally
- Compulsions: spells that affect how a creatures mind works.
The charms of the enchantment school of magic in DDO are charm person
and charm monster. For our purposes here, include
Suggestion and Dominate Person in regards to this advice. They cause an
enemy to fight for you just as charms, and can be treated as such.
Compulsions form the entirety of all other enchantment spells in DDO.
Enchantments are only able to affect living creatures. This is because
the minds of undead are dual natured; they are empowered by negative
energy from the plane of Mabar, and this energy powers a soul or spirit
linked to the world of Eberron. In addition, the undead mind is alien
to a living mind, and as such, an enchantment will not affect it.
Vermin are not affected by enchantments; their minds are too simple.
Aberrations sometimes are immune to mind affects, something that is
case by case in nature. For example, Charm Monster will not affect rust
monsters, but Otto’s Resistible Dance will. Constructs, because they
are not truly alive, are not affected by enchantments.
All enchantments affect the will of an opponent. Therefore, those who
are less mentally or spirituality inclined are more likely to be
affected than others.
Enchantments are temporary. By affecting the mind of a creature, a
spell caster can cause radical changes, and these types of affects do
not last very long usually. A spell caster will not want to waste time
once affects are placed on creatures since the spell will fade in time.
The Use of Charms:
Charms are used as both a means of crowd control (reducing the number
of enemies attacking your party without killing them) and a means of
are not particularly formidable compared to
an adventurer. After all, your typical adventuring group goes through
many times their own numbers of foes on each quest. However, since the
accomplished spell caster can have several creatures charmed at one
time, and these creatures can be improved to increase their
effectiveness by buffs such as bards song, bless, haste and so on, you
can still add the support of effective damage capacity with your party.
Note that this is never reliable as a means of doing damage, because of
the temporary nature of charms.
As a form of crowd control, you can charm creatures, especially using
suggestion, as a means of reducing the number of foes you fight at
once. Even if your enemy does not assist you much in combat, when your
force the enemy to stop fighting, you're making that one less enemy you
have to face right away. Instead, you will fight that enemy later when
your foe recovers from his charm. One method to prevent having to
fight many of your charmed enemies directly is to simply charm many
enemies. Your crowd of devoted followers will take care of themselves,
defeating each other in turn as they come out of their charm, until
only one (to whom you will have to attend) is left.
When using charmed followers for melee, remember that often your
followers must be fairly close to notice your enemies--close enough for
the enemy to notice and attack you. Frequently, it is wise to
Sneak or otherwise move stealthily toward your opponents with charmed
followers so that they gain aggression first.
The Use of Compulsions:
Compulsions are almost always spells that force specific behaviors in
your targets. For example, the Command spell causes your opponent to
lie down for a moment. The use of these spell vary. To best use
compulsions, a caster should take the time to test them--at length--to
understand what these spells do that other spells cannot. Obviously, a
compulsion is best used on targets that have poor will saves (usually
targets that do not cast spells), such as rogues, warriors or
(non-shaman/witch doctor) giant-kin and humanoids.
Here is a quick partial list of some compulsion spells that are
available in DDO, and to what use they might be best put:
- Hypnotism: Allows party
members to gang up on one opponent while the rest stand still. Faster
to cast than sleep. Affects an area.
- Sleep and Deep Slumber: Similar to hypnotism,
but better used before the party is noticed. Lasts longer than
Hypnotism. Deep Slumber has higher hit dice limit.
- Command: Affects high
hit dice creatures. Good for making a single target vulnerable.
- Hold Person and Hold Monster: As Command but
auto-hit, auto-critical on target.
- Otto’s Resistible Dance:
As Command but an arcane spell.
- Rage: Make party members
better when fighting foes immune to enchantment.
- Heroism: As Rage, but
also improves skill checks.
- Crushing Despair:
Opposite of heroism, to cast on enemies. Better cast before party
noticed. Affects an area.
Both types of enchantment magic have limits. As with all arcane magic,
it’s important to learn these limits so as to be most effective when
using these spells. For example, Deep Slumber can be an excellent
spell.. But if your party does not coordinate well, and will not
realistically be able to target one at a time, it might be better to
use Rage or Heroism on your party members. Then they will be able to
attack multiple targets at once and suffer the least amount of damage
because of it. Don’t be fooled by the fact these spells do not do
damage directly. They can be very powerful because they can altogether
prevent many foes from being able to affect you at all, and they allow
your party to be much more effective than they otherwise would be.