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 Who is the best spellcaster in the realms

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Magus Rages Posted - 26 Oct 2005 : 01:46:19
Hello everyone, I had just thought of a question and had been wondering for some time. All right, this poll asks all the scribes, veteran and elite scribes of candlekeep who you think is the best, most powerful, most superior spellcaster in the realms in terms of your own opinion, not based on some stats. A honest vote and honest reply is greatly appreciated, I express my thanks to all in advance. Thank you.

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
The Masked Mage Posted - 02 Oct 2016 : 16:40:45
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Best at what?



Well, since you asked, in my Realms, The Masked Mage is an NPC that is basically the combination of the Dungeon Master meets the Srinshee.

He was originally from Krynn, one of the "first born" High Ogres created by the Dark Queen (so yes, deep down he's a bit evil :P but the years have tempered much of that into True Neutrality). In the Irda novel, magic wielding High Ogres are described as sorcerers for whom casting spells was basically second nature... add to that many millennia practicing. He first came to the Realms during the wars between the Batrachi and Ostoria, so he's had a few years to practice even the most difficult magics.

The idea for the NPC came from me asking myself, what if there is a single, powerful spellcaster who has assumed multiple identities over the years that ties together the mighty magical empires. So after gaining his shapechanging powers as an Irda he starts taking the form of other races and down through the years is many of the named spellcasters in the histories of Krynn / Toril / Oerth - including half a dozen from the Netheril Set... When you add them all up, he's is the creator of many if not most of the standard D&D spells and as one of the Seven Wizards he taught both Khelben and Elminster back in Myth Drannor the rudiments of what Ed calls "Weave Mastery." (He also taught the Srinshee, but that was about 1000 years earlier :P) He also creates/collects artifacts and relics and has no qualms about using them :P.

In power level he's a quasi-deity who has no need or desire to gain followers because he's watched as many gods have died and sees their dependence on followers as a weakness. As one who's life is intrinsically tied to magic, he does have some ties to the various Gods of Magic. His primary goal is always to find some magic he has not yet learned / mastered (which are few) so if an apprentice can come up with a cantrip he has never considered before, that apprentice receives more respect/support than the mightiest archmages might.

Too long an answer to a simple question, but I've been using the character on and off for almost 20 years now :)
TBeholder Posted - 02 Oct 2016 : 09:48:55
Best at what?
The Masked Mage Posted - 02 Oct 2016 : 01:17:13
The Masked Mage, of course; sorry guys, this should have been obvious to you all!
Sunderstone Posted - 01 Oct 2016 : 19:14:52
I'm going to go with the Simbul.
Austin the Archmage Posted - 18 Dec 2014 : 05:22:23
Mystra.

What? The topic creator never said that deities were off the table.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 10 Jul 2014 : 17:58:30
Heh, 16 pages in this thread, and it's nearly 9 years old... And I just noticed that I've not voted (and I can't, now), nor have I nominated a candidate for "best" since it is so subjective.

I've certainly got my faves, some of which weren't on the list in the original post and which haven't been mentioned, but I don't really think of anyone in the Realms as being the "best" at spellcasting or anything else. Even if Tim the Enchanter is the best all-around caster today, that might not be the case tomorrow, and it wouldn't have been the case in 1018 DR, for example... Plus, there's always the issue of the scenario -- a scenario could heavily favor one person, while a different one favors someone else.

I do like this one that Krash made up, specifically for this discussion:

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

The best spellcaster in the Realms is obviously Kalithra "Silvertresses" Tormal. Why even the great Elminster himself has commented on how gracefully and beautifully she weaves her spells and 'grasps the Weave'. A real talent, he notes.

-- George Krashos


LordofBones Posted - 10 Jul 2014 : 16:59:03
quote:
Originally posted by jordanz

Spoiler Below if you haven't read "The Herald"

Highlight spoiler below
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok so now there are 2 major players off the chess board , the Srinshee
and Telemaunt. The question now is, with the way Elminster handles Larlcoh and Telemaunt, is he now the undisputed best spellcaster in the realms?

---------------------------------------------------------------------



From a mechanics standpoint, no.

From a lore standpoint, he might as well be. He's not actually that impressive statswise, but he has Power of Plot. Poor Manshoon suffers the most from this, but now even Larloch and Telamont suffer from it.

In a straight mechanics argument, Elminster's competency as a spellcaster pales compared to several other mages, including at least two Runemasters, Telamont, Larloch, Shoon VII and a few others I haven't mentioned.
Nicolai Withander Posted - 30 Jun 2014 : 22:52:48
Well... I dont think old Miss Estelda is dead. Being 4300 years old ish... I bet she has some ace up her dress!

But to answer your question. Yes I think so!
jordanz Posted - 29 Jun 2014 : 23:15:15
Spoiler Below if you haven't read "The Herald"

Highlight spoiler below
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Ok so now there are 2 major players off the chess board , the Srinshee
and Telemaunt. The question now is, with the way Elminster handles Larlcoh and Telemaunt, is he now the undisputed best spellcaster in the realms?

---------------------------------------------------------------------
jaelin910 Posted - 18 Nov 2013 : 02:14:34
welcome to the wonderful world of undeath, where the dead no longer need to stay dead
The Arcanamach Posted - 18 Nov 2013 : 00:59:01
Out of the options provided I voted El, but I would go with Larloch if he were up there. Nice resurrection here, btw.
Firestorm Posted - 18 Nov 2013 : 00:32:18
quote:
Originally posted by rodrigoalcanza

quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

BlackStaff was level 31



Where did you get your information?
In 1st Edition, Khelben was presented with 26 levels. In the 2nd and 3rd Editions he was presented with 27 levels.


Furthermore, I agree with you about levels and age were not correlated automatically. But it is still intriguing how (in the 2nd and 3rd Edition) Halaster Szass and Tam have similar levels when Tam is a mere child near the millennia that have Halaster.

Sometimes I understand that the levels represent a kind of raw power, then Szass Tam would have almost the same raw power that Halaster, despite being much younger (like a young warrior who has so much skill with the sword as an old warrior .. . Although not so experienced). However, the rules do not explain how Halaster and Tam could have the same skill rank of arcane knowledge, for example.

Magic takes many years to be studied. Even them with equivalent levels, it is not possible for someone much younger has the same skills rank than one who spent millennia studying magic. Repeated, the raw power (caster level, saving throws, HP) may be equivalent for many reasons (personal gift for magic, for example), but academic knowledge takes a long time, which favors the eldest. Thus also for the number of spells known.

So, in my view, for example, Alustriel COULD have less raw power magic than Szass Tam .. but perhaps she had much more knowledge than the lich.

Again, sorry my english!












Epic level handbook had the most recent stats on him
Alruane Posted - 17 Nov 2013 : 08:49:19
Elminster Aumar has my vote, and always will. He could fling spells with the best of them, if not being THE BEST ever.
Dennis Posted - 10 Jun 2012 : 01:14:16

Possible. Though I wouldn't like it. That's like akin to saying all powerful and gifted shadow magic-users are descendants of Shar.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 10 Jun 2012 : 00:54:59
Just had a random thought...

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I just had a thought... When Mystryl died, she dumped her power into a human girl.

Mystra 1.0 dumped a lot of her power into a human girl, too, before Midnight came along and got the rest of that power.

We also know that Mystra 1.0 possessed a mortal woman and had a slew of daughters with her, daughters that contained part of Mystra's essence...

What if Mystryl did the same thing? It's possible that the nameless girl who became Mystra was either a daughter of or a descendant of Mystryl. For that matter, a lot of magical anamolies could be explained that way -- maybe all of the non-Seven Chosen are descendants of Mystryl. Maybe some other odd cases, like wild talents, incantatrices, and even spellfire wielders are all descendants of Mystryl.

I might be wrong, but it's an interesting idea, thinks I.



quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In some of my 'deep secrets' musings in this thread and others, I have had some indication by 'persons in the know' (can't remember the specifics... probably Ed via THO) that the artifact that is Mystra requires some sort of mortal connection. Exactly why and and how deep that connection must be has never been discussed, because it falls into that 'deep secrets' category. I am not sure if it has anything to do with her initial creation, or some rule imposed upon her later by Ao (or even something else).




quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Markustay, you recall correctly - - and Wooly, you tread into dangerous ground, you wise and insightful hamster, you!
(Which is a not so subtle way of saying you're on to something, both of you.)

THO




What if Karsus was descended from Mystryl? It could explain his mastery of magic and his magical precociousness....
Sightless Posted - 09 Jun 2012 : 22:33:30
Given the wording in the source book it implies that Karsus first casting at such a young age was unique.
Lord Karsus Posted - 09 Jun 2012 : 21:59:28
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Which makes me wonder...Could Ioulaum be as young as Karsus when he first learned to cast magic (at 2) and mastered it (at 20-something)? There's no sources that delve into his past, and for almost all the other Netherese archwizards for that matter.


-In theory, but he'd still have to be older (by a day, a week, a month, a year, ten years, whatever), or else they'd be changing what we have established now. (and, personally, I think that'd be a poor change, as it would ruin a bit of the 'cult of personality' around Netheril's greatest archmage).
Xar Zarath Posted - 08 Jun 2012 : 15:09:28
I think Ioulaum was young but maybe in his late 20s or early 30s when he became maybe an experienced mage?(my guess only) but yeah there is not much info on him...
Dennis Posted - 31 May 2012 : 04:47:47
quote:
Originally posted by Sightless

I think the issue is,

What is being used to describe power? What is the bases for comparison?


A lot. But to make it short and simple: it's one ability to blast things and control people directly and indirectly.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Many of Karsus' peers during the glory days of Netheril were a hundred times his age, but he surpassed most, if not all of them.


-Them, and most other magicians who have existed throughout the entire course of Abeir-Toril's history.


Which makes me wonder...Could Ioulaum be as young as Karsus when he first learned to cast magic (at 2) and mastered it (at 20-something)? There's no sources that delve into his past, and for almost all the other Netherese archwizards for that matter.
jerrod Posted - 28 May 2012 : 08:45:08
Greatest drow wizard is jalyfein the spidermage. Srinshee is the greatest practitioner of arcane magic.
Lord Karsus Posted - 15 May 2012 : 16:45:48
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

Many of Karsus' peers during the glory days of Netheril were a hundred times his age, but he surpassed most, if not all of them.


-Them, and most other magicians who have existed throughout the entire course of Abeir-Toril's history.
Light Posted - 15 May 2012 : 16:35:42
The way it, a level 10 spellcaster is far above a level 5 spellcaster. However, a level 25 spellcaster isn't that much more "powerful" than a level 20 spellcaster and predictably as the levels go up the difference becomes less noticeable. Also, it is quite clear that not all wizards use their magic in battle; they aren't all war-wizards or battlemages. Theoretically, a level 20 spellcaster need not have stepped a foot outside his study he may have never had to use his magic in a real combat situation. Therefore a spellcaster's level isn't a measure of how good of a fighter he is with magic.

As for the whole age debate: level progression is obviously influenced by many factors. Natural talent, drive, resources, other responsibilities and even intelligence all affect level progression somehow. Dyrr (the Lichdrow) is over 2,000 years old but is a level 23 and Shoon VII is only a bit over 1,000 and is level 36. The way I see it is that after someone has broken into the Epic Level Tier they are much more likely to have caught themselves up into politics of one sort or another. I imagine Dyrr has spent most of his time and effort towards his house, scheming away and neglecting his studies to the point of becoming stagnant or just as possibly... regressing.

I figure that most characters either form an organization, join a government or simply scheme away against there rivals. I am also a fan of the idea that as you grow in level you not only need more experience to gain levels you also receive less of it from encounters. An archmage isn't going to learn much at all from tossing his thousandth fireball at a bunch of goblins or from identifying yet another magic item. It's very possible that Karsus had reached the point where taking down a deity seemed like the only way he could possibly progress any further. Not to say that he knew everything everyone else knew about magic, just that to reach the next "level" he had to go to next extreme.

I agree with Sightless though when he asks what exactly we term "power" as. Like I said, not all mages focus on combat. Some can use their magic to take control of a city through subtle uses here and there while others will attain the same level of control but through might. Some wizards have more followers than others, more servants, more money, more artifacts, more knowledge, more friends, more experience, more drive, more cunning and more/other skills. Normally though when I read the word "power" on forums I think: if the two or more persons were locked in a empty room and forced to fight who would win? But then again... maybe one of the people would perform better with a specific type of terrain, maybe he has some tricks up his sleeve to do with the snow, maybe one would perform better in a room that was 4x4 metres than he would in a 20x20 room... food for thought.

I once came up with a formula that took into account variable like age, drive, formal training, whether or not they had access to restricted, forbidden, lost or ancient knowledge/magic etc etc. It favoured wizards like Halaster, Ioulaum etc etc. because of their advanced age and their belonging to a long gone civilization. It was a point based system that went into the thousands. It was at this point that I realized that it was all getting out of control and turning into DragonBall Z.

Honestly though I put it all down to D&D. It's a simulation of life. And I guess you could say it is a poor one. It tries to take into account the thousands of variables but always fails. Stat yourself out as a D&D character, I'm sure you'll find that there are qualities and skills that you have that can't be represented on a character sheet.

Also, wasn't Halaster sent into stasis at the fall of Imaskar and only woke up a few hundred years ago... or was that some really good 3rd party material I read...
rodrigoalcanza Posted - 15 May 2012 : 13:00:54
quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

BlackStaff was level 31



Where did you get your information?
In 1st Edition, Khelben was presented with 26 levels. In the 2nd and 3rd Editions he was presented with 27 levels.


Furthermore, I agree with you about levels and age were not correlated automatically. But it is still intriguing how (in the 2nd and 3rd Edition) Halaster Szass and Tam have similar levels when Tam is a mere child near the millennia that have Halaster.

Sometimes I understand that the levels represent a kind of raw power, then Szass Tam would have almost the same raw power that Halaster, despite being much younger (like a young warrior who has so much skill with the sword as an old warrior .. . Although not so experienced). However, the rules do not explain how Halaster and Tam could have the same skill rank of arcane knowledge, for example.

Magic takes many years to be studied. Even them with equivalent levels, it is not possible for someone much younger has the same skills rank than one who spent millennia studying magic. Repeated, the raw power (caster level, saving throws, HP) may be equivalent for many reasons (personal gift for magic, for example), but academic knowledge takes a long time, which favors the eldest. Thus also for the number of spells known.

So, in my view, for example, Alustriel COULD have less raw power magic than Szass Tam .. but perhaps she had much more knowledge than the lich.

Again, sorry my english!









Dennis Posted - 15 May 2012 : 03:31:51

Age does not always equal to greater power. Malark is far older than Szass Tam, yet the lich could have easily quashed his brain. Many of Karsus' peers during the glory days of Netheril were a hundred times his age, but he surpassed most, if not all of them.
Lord Karsus Posted - 14 May 2012 : 23:02:19
quote:
Originally posted by Light

I agree with rodrigoalcanza, one would think that each of these liches would be (since they are most likely over 35,000 years old which IIRC is when their empire fell) over level 40 or at least over level 30. However, the 60 lich-kings of Oreme rotate the leadership role every 4 years while the other 59 hybernate. So the way I see it is that over the past 35,000 years each Sarrukh has only been awake for almost 600 years (35,000 / 60). Add to that whenever they were born and you have their "true" ages.


-And have they been doing things to warrant going up levels through the ages (and also, keep in mind, it takes longer and longer to "level up" the higher and higher level you already are)?

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