Afternoon of the Wolf
Trickster Strategy Guide
Now for a firmly-dedicated support class – everyone wants to have one of these around, but they’re actually difficult to build effectively. You have generally fewer skills with a little overlap in utility, and your better spells tend to be quite expensive in terms of MP. If you are happy to boost your allies and then sit back, great. If not, you will need to do some work to have something to do in the fight, especially with a smaller party.
All your spells are Fai, but because you have so few of them I can virtually guarantee you will then want to up your Int or Dex. Getting a d6 or d8 in one or both might be worthwhile, or if you want to keep it simple go str and dual as a warrior. Either way it gives you a bit more leeway with your basic skills for general utility, and gives you access to skills that can run when you’re out of people to buff (or you can self-buff to boost those skills).
Your skills are fewer but come on the cheaper side XP-wise with only short prereq chains, so it’s actually fairly easy to build a good synergy level on this class. Because the MP costs tend to be quite high you can’t quite get away with low skill levels though – remember, increased duration means greater tactical flexibility and energy efficiency, the latter being the one to remember. Also worth noting that some of your skills are real lemons to be avoided.
Bless/Curse: Pretty basic buff/debuff and a good one at that. An extra two dice is a lot nicer for classes with a lot of skills at lower levels (across multiple attributes), so rogues in particular will love this one (and hate the curse in turn), as will most utility casters. It’s cheap for exp (3) but expensive for MP (8), I envision it having greater use when facing non-combat obstacles and you feel that your ally could use a bit of a boost. The debuff effect can be useful in intrigue games if your GM allows or makes allowances for hidden castings, otherwise it’s good to stack on a strong lone enemy with other debuffs you might have.
Increase/Reduce Stat: This is your most important skill. Any warrior and most casters can benefit from having their key stat raised in combat, and those that tend to rely on one or a few skills will gain more benefit out of this than Bless. It’s expensive on both counts (5xp, 7mp – cheaper to cast than Bless) but at moderate levels it will last long enough for the combat. Reduce, conversely, is great for taking a heavy-hitting enemy down a notch, and you should generally use this before you think of Cursing them.
Increase/Reduce Stats: I did warn you about the lemons. The best reason to take this skill is the low exp cost will bump your synergy. Otherwise it’s expensive and inefficient – rarely will you have one ally that benefits from a raise in all four stats (and if they did, other party members might complain of favouritism!), even though it is significantly cheaper than buffing two allies once. Strong all-rounder opponents make for the only worthwhile candidates to be debuffed, but they tend not to be very common. In fact even then a singular Reduction might be more worthwhile. Save your MP, take it only for the synergy and never bother casting it.
Invisibility/Locate: Invis presents a nice boost to Stealth for rogues, but since it’s a second-tier spell it won’t be much use for other classes (especially those with low dex, as they still have to make the roll). It’s also a bit too costly to throw on the entire party unless it’s really important and you can afford not to cast until the next rest period. The lack of defence against Sense is kind of the final nail, given how easy it is (especially for casters) to rack up high Sense levels. Locate offers considerably more utility – you can basically use it to find anyone, anywhere, and if you’re close enough, there’s basically no way for you not to find it. Great for McGuffins, though for some targets a means of resistance may apply. GMs may vary over whether or not you can use it to find things of which the character knows very little.
Light/Darkness: The prerequisite for Invisibility/Locate. Light levels are an easily missed detail, with wolves in particular as they suffer less of a penalty in darkness. It certainly can provide a more cost-effective stealth buff by dropping darkness in the right place, assuming your GM supports secret-casting. It does at least mean you don’t need to worry so much about carrying torches. Tactically you can give all enemies a penalty to attacks/aiming by shining a light from the back of the party, who in turn will not suffer any penalties (this doesn’t work if you’re surrounded). Overall not a bad skill, though the effect is much more modest than a lot of your other abilities.
Mirror Image: Trickster defence buff. Don’t rely on it too much as it takes a fair investment to get even a less than 50% chance of being hit, plus anyone with high notice (Rogues, some casters) will pierce it pretty easily. Positioning is your best friend, but this spell is a good second line. Note that the hit chance ignores the level of the attack, making it potentially useful even at low levels as an added defence for dual-classers. Most attacks have a much higher than 50% hit rate after all. It’s a cheap, low-tier spell to acquire (2xp) though the cost may present something of a barrier (5mp).
Stunning Bolt: An expensive spell of questionable utility – much like Stun Attack, it can’t really be used as a staple because of the cost of acquiring it at any decent level. It is best taken with at most a small investment and used against strong singular opponents whose defences have already been soaked up by your allies’ attacks. You need Divine Arrow to get this.
Switch: This is a really weird one… the only real utility is to move an ally to where they are needed most at any given time, and the HP-switch presents as more of a limitation – namely that you generally can’t do it too late in a battle, and you can’t use it to tag out a wounded ally and swap in a fresh one – the fresh one will have the same damage on it. Potentially it’s useful as a utility spell, such as having a nimble character move to a position, then Switch with a strong character who can then smash an obstacle. It’s cheap to acquire (2xp) and not too expensive to cast (5MP) but most of the time you will have better things to do than use this.
Will of Loreanna: This appears to be some kind of very expensive, general buff. I guess if you really need to pump a character up, throw this in – but after Bless/Increase. Again, Rogues will love this more than most classes as they tend to be using more skills (it says “abilities” in the description, but that appears to be a general term given that it mentions result levels) in a given approach.
Abilities: Follower of Loreanna remains a good choice, and Trickster synergy makes it easier to pick up useful abilities like Gambler or Oracle – the former is probably best used during strategic assessments of various flavours, as well as actual games of chance. Oracle is another useful ability for obtaining general guidance and manipulating your party.
Dual-classing a Trickster
The array of buffs and utility spells, being few in number and relatively cheap, make this class more suitably for dual-classing than others. A warrior who dips into Increase has a powerful self-buff and a good way to burn off MP they aren’t using. A rogue with Invis/Locate will probably get more out of Locate to work as a search & destroy specialist, though Invis could still work in a pinch, and Light/Dark for a modest tactical boost. Other caster classes can simply pick one or two of the more appealing Trickster spells to round out their repertoire.