Multi-class caster level and dispell question

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flattedfifth
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Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:27 pm

A friend told me that if I have multiple spellcasting classes, then once I cast a spell from the lowest level class all my spells and potions and wands that I use on myself would all be considered the lowest class level for purposes of being dispelled by an enemy (but have their individual caster levels for purposes of duration, etc). And that it stays that way until server reset. Is that correct or is he misunderstanding the system?

Say you have a character with 22 cleric levels and 8 bard levels. You cast a cleric spell on yourself and a bard spell on yourself. Then a lich casts dispel magic on you. What happens as far as caster level check for the dispel? Is the cleric spell caster level 22 for purposes of dispel and the bard spell treated as caster level 8 for the dispel check? Or is the check run against the character, not the individual spells, and the character has their over-all caster level set to the lowest caster level, in this case 8? Or is it handled some other way? And what about wands?

Example:
Cleric 22 / Bard 8
You cast Cleric spell Stoneskin on yourself
You cast Bard spell See Invisibility on yourself
You use a Barkskin wand lvl 30 on yourself

What is the CL for the purposes of dispel for each of those three spells? Do the three spells all have their own CL check for the dispel? Is the one from the wand treated differently and the two cast by the character have a the same CL or individual according to class levels?

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Mattamue
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Mattamue » Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:49 pm

Example:
Cleric 22 / Bard 8
You cast Cleric spell Stoneskin on yourself -- CL 22 vs dispels stoneskin
You cast Bard spell See Invisibility on yourself -- CL 8 vs dispels See invis
You use a Barkskin wand lvl 30 on yourself -- CL 22 vs dispels barkskin

If you had Arcane Defense: Abjuration, it would be:
You cast Cleric spell Stoneskin on yourself -- CL 24 vs dispels stoneskin
You cast Bard spell See Invisibility on yourself -- CL 10 vs dispels See invis
You use a Barkskin wand lvl 30 on yourself -- CL 24 vs dispels barkskin

Note that this is caster level versus dispels. This isn't the caster level used to determine duration and other scaling factors, like the amount of AC from barkskin. That caster level, for the barkskin example, would still depend on the CL (12) of the item to give you +4 AC. It would just be dispelled as a level 22 (or 24 w/ AD:abj) spell.

There are no caster level 30 wands. This shows you the caster level of the item: https://nwn.fandom.com/wiki/Craft_wand

You may have heard that mundane (or non-casting) characters have CL 30, but that just means that is their CL versus dispels at level 30.

Edit: update per aniel
Last edited by Mattamue on Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Inordinate » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:21 pm

To add to that, the caster vs dispels for wands, potions (and scrolls?) are considered your character level until you cast something from your spell book - at that point the caster level vs dispels becomes whatever your caster level is from that spell book. To use Mattamue's breakdown:

You cast Cleric spell Stoneskin on yourself -- CL 22 vs dispels stoneskin
You use a Barkskin wand lvl 30 on yourself -- CL 22 vs dispels barkskin
You cast Bard spell See Invisibility on yourself -- CL 8 vs dispels See invis

It would take a dev to confirm but I believe the Bard cast would then further reduce your item caster level vs dispels down to 8 to match from then onwards, as well.
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flattedfifth
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:24 pm

So each individual spell retains its own caster level of the class from which it was cast, regardless of the order in which they are cast? But items like scrolls and wands are considered the caster level of the lowest caster class, or the caster class of the last spell cast?

I.E. if lvl 22 cleric / 8 bard casts bard spell See Invis 1st, then cleric spell Stoneskin, then uses a wand of Barkskin, then what are the caster levels vs dispell of those three spells?

Sorry for all the newb questions by the way, and thank you for your patience.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Blossom » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:26 am

I.E. if lvl 22 cleric / 8 bard casts bard spell See Invis 1st, then cleric spell Stoneskin, then uses a wand of Barkskin, then what are the caster levels vs dispell of those three spells?
Caster level vs dispels on all of them is 8 because you cast from the bard spellbook first. Basically if you dip a few levels in a class with spells you don't want to use those spells. Only dip for feats and skills, never spells. If you didn't cast bard spells but did cast cleric spells it would be 22.

My advice:

If you're a caster (wizard, sorcerer, caster cleric, etc) you usually want as many levels in that caster class as possible with a 3 or 4 level dip for skills. There's a few exceptions (healer clerics, druids and wild mages may not want to dip at all and will go "pure" to level 30) but 26/4 or 27/3 is generally the template and the level 3 or 4 dip class never uses their spellbook, if any.

Hybrid caster/melee classes like ranger, bard, spellsword, battlecleric etc who will fight and use magic might dip a little more. Like 23 spellsword/4 fighter/3 rogue or something. You really ought to follow a recommended build with these if you're new because they're designed to balance melee strength vs dispellability and other things and it's easy to screw up if you try to wing it. Regardless, same rule as above: if you dip a few levels of bard or ranger for skills you don't ever use those spellbooks.

Some non-caster melee might dip bard or occasionally, but that's only for the skills (again). Never use the spellbook.

TLDR: If you dip a few levels don't use the spellbook.

BUT, you can use wands from that class without affecting your CL vs dispels.

Are you more confused or less confused now?

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:03 am

So, the instant I cast a spell from bard spellbook, my CL for dispels for EVERY spell becomes 8. Ok, I get that now, thank you. But for how long does the bard spell cripple my cleric spells? Does it go away on rest? Could I take craft wand feat, make a wand with a bard spell by casting it on the wand, and then rest and not cast anything but cleric spells till next time I make a wand? Would that then preserve my CL 22 vs dispel on my cleric spells? Or does it only go away on server reset?

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Blossom » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:24 am

CL resets when the server resets. Rest or logging won't do it.

A 26 cleric/4 bard (or whatever) could craft wands of bard spells on a day they don't care about being dispelled then wait until reset to adventure or other risky stuff. That might be a little exploit-y... No idea on that... just sounds like something a DM may not approve of.

I don't think it's a good idea to take extra levels of bard just to make wands though. Just buy someone else's wands.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:47 am

Yeah, that's what a friend told me but I wanted to be sure. It seems quite rubbish that casting any bard spell in that example would make every cleric spell way easier to dispel. Thanks so much for the confirmation!

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Bunnysmack » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:44 pm

Unless you are using certain builds for Spellsword or Battle Cleric (or MAYBE some sort of meme Transmuter based around the new Tenser's Transformation/Specialist updates), you usually want way higher than CL 22. The other replies gave great advice with regards to that, but just so you have an idea of how much even CL22 will get hamstrung by dispels based on the actual numbers...

Assuming you lack AD: Abj, the DC to dispel your CL 22 cleric spells (using your hypo from above) is 34. At the moment, the max CL for Greater Dispel/Mords is 23 (and the vast majority of non-warlock casters will hit this max); I haven't really tracked it, but I would not be surprised if a lot of PvE encounters for epic-level content will similarly hit at least CL 23.

-Single target GDispel or Mords rolls 1d20+23 (+26 if they have ESF Abjuration)
-The dispel needs an 11 or higher for seperate rolls made against every spell you are wearing (which is a 50% chance for 1d20).
-Result: Every Greater Dispel/Mords will strip about 50% of your most durable spells. Those spells are guaranteed to remove 100% of your CL 8 spells (IIRC 1s and 20s don't guarantee failure/success for dispels). Not even counting the four auto-breached spells a Mords will take off additionally. ESF abjuration will take off around 65% instead.

To sum up, if dispels are your concern, you should aim to get your CL WAY higher than 22 (and/or take Arcane Defense: Abjuration to make yourself a bit more resistant).
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flattedfifth
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:35 pm

I guess for that build idea I'd have to take the arcane def feat because the idea for that build is the ultimate healer. Cleric + Acappella Aria. Because of the 3 lvls rule, it would be hard to take less than 8 lvls of bard unless I start cleric and wait till later to start bard, but starting cleric would drastically cut my skill points, which would be needed for tumble, spellcraft (for the bonus saves vs spells), discipline and a bit of lore.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Bunnysmack » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:17 pm

It wouldn't cut your skill points very much, actually. In NWN1 you can bank all your skill points till the end. People often take the three level "skill dip" at the end in order to dump all those accrued points at the highest possible ranks they can get. As for the starting skill points being base-class-amount+IntX4? Bard only has a base amount 2 points higher than cleric, so you'd only be losing 8 points by starting as a cleric.

As for the aria healing, well...That WOULD require higher levels of bard, due to the fact that bards don't get a song that is overly relevant in the first three or four levels (and all the new songs require bard level of at least 5), or much in the way of spellcasting for that matter. Also, keep in mind, every level you DO take in bard, is one level you DON'T take in healer, and your Mass Heal, Healing Circle, Regenerate, and (most importantly) overheal would all be weaker for it. Personally not sure that 8 uses of minute-long 1-or-2 point regen is worth the cost in this case.

Now, there is nothing wrong with playing a character that is not optimal. If you want to be a healer bard, that's totally fine, I just wanted you to know what you are getting into. The dispel issue will be a major concern, and Healer at 27 or 30 is already a BEAST at keeping a party healthy.
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by flattedfifth » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:10 pm

Blossom wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:24 am
A 26 cleric/4 bard (or whatever) could craft wands of bard spells on a day they don't care about being dispelled then wait until reset to adventure or other risky stuff. That might be a little exploit-y... No idea on that... just sounds like something a DM may not approve of.
That sounds super meta-gamey, and a pain in the butt. I'll just buy other people's arcane wands. They'd have a better selection of spells anyway. Might get craft wand for cleric, though, because wands are useful and profitable. Plus the added dweomercrafting. (I've been reading the wiki)

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by AstralUniverse » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:38 am

flattedfifth wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:10 pm
Blossom wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:24 am
A 26 cleric/4 bard (or whatever) could craft wands of bard spells on a day they don't care about being dispelled then wait until reset to adventure or other risky stuff. That might be a little exploit-y... No idea on that... just sounds like something a DM may not approve of.
That sounds super meta-gamey, and a pain in the butt. I'll just buy other people's arcane wands. They'd have a better selection of spells anyway. Might get craft wand for cleric, though, because wands are useful and profitable. Plus the added dweomercrafting. (I've been reading the wiki)
This is not meta-gaming. This is engine limitations. People from all of the RPR palette have said on discord that they use their spellbook for leveling and just avoid pvp on that server/reset. I *personally* prefer having high CL at all times but it's not meta-gaming.
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Curve » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:20 am

AstralUniverse wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:38 am
This is not meta-gaming. This is engine limitations. People from all of the RPR palette have said on discord that they use their spellbook for leveling and just avoid pvp on that server/reset. I *personally* prefer having high CL at all times but it's not meta-gaming.
I would agree that the part about wands is not bad. Who cares about that. But, I would call 'using your spellbook for leveling and just avoid pvp on that server/reset' bad. I could see some wiggle room when it comes to actually seeking out PvP, but what, your paladin runs into a devil summoner on tuesday and says "not a big deal" but on wednesday is's "all fiends must die". Does your proud Banite wake up in the morning and say "today is a good day to defend the faith, cause yesterday I was dispel bait so I was understanding" It's inconsistent and shows an unwillingness to lose, or fight in any condition except the one where you win. I don't know about metagaming because there are a million valid ic and ooc excuses and we can't intuit people's motivation. But, it reeks of being gamey. I think it's bad form, and a wack way of looking at a game where one of our goals should be to play realistic characters.

Also, let it be said that just because someone has a high RPR does not mean that they are above doing bad things.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by AstralUniverse » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:41 pm

It might seem questionable to you, and it might indeed be questionable in the eyes of many (maybe even me too?) but please dont make up rules that dont yet exist.
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Curve » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:49 pm

I'm not making up rules. I'm saying that doing the above is a bad thing to do in the same way I would if someone was suggesting that they one line PvP, or put assassin contracts in and immediately send their assassin buddy a speedy telling them it's time, or start warding before setting hostile. I'm expressing an opinion on a particular style of play that I think contributes to a win or roll mentality.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by AstralUniverse » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:57 pm

Curve wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:49 pm
I'm saying that doing the above is a bad thing to do in the same way I would if someone was suggesting that they one line PvP
There is actual rule against 1-line pvp, and there is no rule against avoiding pvp when you're on spellbook CL. You're not a DM (at least not on that login) so dont be the RP police. Thanks.
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Bunnysmack » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:20 pm

AstralUniverse wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:57 pm
Again, let me clarify that I dont have a horse in this race and play no characters who benefit from this "exploit", but when you say:
Curve wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:49 pm
I'm saying that doing the above is a bad thing to do in the same way I would if someone was suggesting that they one line PvP
There is actual rule against 1-line pvp, and there is no rule against avoiding pvp when you're on spellbook CL. You're not a DM (at least not on that login) so dont be the RP police. Thanks.
I think this has gotten pretty off topic and rather heated. Perhaps you two should simply agree to disagree. I'm certainly no admin, but this back and forth argument seems the opposite of productive.
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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by DM Rex » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 pm

I don't know who thinks there is some exemption from PVP in any case scenario. The only requirement is that there is interactive roleplay. You cannot run away and be silent and be immune from PVP, you cannot be in a spell book or any other behavior and be immune from PVP.

If you have an incident where you need clarification you should reach out to the DM Team.

Let's stay on topic as intended, further posts off topic past this point will be deleted. Thank you.

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Re: Multi-class caster level and dispell question

Post by Aniel » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:47 am

Dispel resistance uses whatever is highest. So a 26/4 cleric/bard would always use the CL 26 vs. dispels if they've casted any spell. Of course for all intents and purposes bard spells would still be at CL 4.

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