Hey y'all, given the wide breadth of Strahd's arcane knowledge, what spells would you say he'd have prepared?
By - SlySilus
I play him with every wizard spell in his spellbook and have prepared whatever makes sense for the day based on what he’s doing.
Edit: we’re playing core only and I love it for CoS; also, here’s a list of my favorites from the PHB
C: Chill touch, mage hand, message
1: Disguise self, fog cloud, longstrider, mage armor, Magic missile, shield, grease (if most have low dex saves)
2: Blindness, magic aura, gust of wind, hold person (can be very fun to upcast), invisibility, mirror image, misty step (a must have in combat), see invisibility
3: Counterspell, dispel magic, sending (for secret communication with characters that may make deals with him), sleet storm (can be useful vs flyers depending on Dex save)
4: Control water, dimension door, greater invis, hallucinatory terrain, polymorph, stone shape can all be lots of fun
5: Animate objects, dream, geas, modify memory, scrying, seeming, telekinesis, wall of force
I agree. He’s been to the Amber temple which has every spell in existence in its books.
Not meaning to be finicky here, but the book says *"every wizard spell in the Player's Handbook."* So if you wanted to play it RAW/fair, I'd limit it to just the PHB (which is still a heck of a lot of spells to be fair).
Good catch. No Silver Barbs for Strahd.
Haha, sadly not, no. Save those reactions for *shield*, *counterspell* and opportunity attacks instead. 💪
An absolute must have 5th level prepared if he knows the party has either the amulet or the sunsword is wall of stone. In an effort to keep the party member contained and keep the sunlight off of him, you box the party member in completely and seal them in a box made of the panels.
They can either hack their way out, or use their reaction to escape as the spell as stated in it's description. Assuming they still have their reaction.
Make sure you narrate that it looks like he is focusing on maintaining the spell (concentration) so it doesn't feel to cheesy to your players.
This is the way
I don't give him everything to choose from. He's studied magic to a degree, but it's not like he's a full-time mage (he's only 9th level after 400+ years trapped, and he's spent a lot of that sleeping between Tatyana rebirths).
I do, however, switch his spells up a bit with some stuff that makes sense to me.
(PHB only, btw. I'm running a game with 3 new players, so keeping it fairly vanilla with spells etc)
- I don't give him any extra damage evocation. I feel like he wouldn't want to spoil his food, and the evocation he does have (basically fireball) is very much a contingency/last resort thing. I think he'd upcast fireball rather than packing multiple evos, as he knows utility is important
- I also don't give him anything that mirrors his vampiric charm ability. I feel like his ego would get in the way - "why would i lean that spell when I can do this already as an ability..."
- similarly with shield. He has the heart of sorrow, after all
- I do like to give him some spells I think fit his flavor for instilling terror. Blindness/deafness, darkness, ray of enfeeblement, phantasmal killer
- I also gave him planar binding. Figured he's had to at least once have a plan for dealing with a planar entity trapped in Barovia
- I give him a few additional weather spells - sleet/ice storm, condom watery. I use these as supplemental to his whole "i am the land" deal, narrating the spells with a bit of additional flavor as it seems like he's willing the land itself to oppose the party
- finally, everyone's favorite, modify memory. Not to be overused, but a wonderful tool to have to really just put one over on the party as a tone shift mid-campaign
Condom Watery is definitely my favorite.
Deep magic gives variants to fireball that can add a lot of flavor.
I found his RAW stat block to be pretty good as-is for the final battle. That said, I remember taking out *comprehend languages* and *detect thoughts* and replacing them with *shield* and *misty step*. Possibly 1-2 others swapped out, too (although I can't remember what now and didn't keep a note of it, sadly). But if you keep and cast *animate objects* on 10 Tiny objects (e.g. stones on the floor, books in the study, bits of debris in the chapel, etc.), then switch to *greater invisibility* later on and throw a *fireball* or two while using his lair actions to phase through walls, then the PCs are gonna have a hard time... 😈
I'd give him the combat spell "steel wind strike"
He has his standard spell list but honestly you can add or take away from it depending on your Strahd's playstyle. If you are reliant on the Vasili Von Holtz route, the spell Seeming might help you for a reflection. Modify Memory is also a good choice.
Just whatever you give your Strahd, no silvery barbs. ***Please***.
> ***Spellcasting***. Strahd is a 9th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 18, +10 to hit with spell attacks). Strahd has the following wizard spells prepared:
> - Cantrips (at will): mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost
> - 1st level (4 slots): comprehend languages, fog cloud, sleep
> - 2nd level (3 slots): detect thoughts, gust of wind, mirror image
> - 3rd level (3 slots): animate dead, fireball, nondetection
> - 4th level (3 slots): blight, greater invisibility, polymorph
> - 5th level (1 slot): animate objects, scrying
This is the way. Strahd isn’t dangerous because he knows all the spells in the Amber Temple. Strahd is dangerous because he is smart enough to fight on his terms in his castle. He can use mage hand pull a rope and drop a chandelier. He can use fog cloud to conceal a pit trap or to protect a swarm of bats. Gust of wind can send an enemy over parapets or out a window. Animate Objects can carry out an attack plan or simply divide a party’s attacks. His strength is the castle, his brides and chamberlain, and the bats, and the wolves of Barovia.\
Consider Strahd as Darth Vader. You rarely saw Vader striking down Rebels using his strength. He used his powers to do it for him. It made him much more menacing and quickly demoralized anyone who dared stand against him.
I cannot agree more. Strahd is a General, after all. Generals don't fight in wars; they end them.
Isn't this just the list of spells from his stat block RAW? I'm presuming OP meant swapping some of his spells out (e.g. for the final battle in my game, I swapped *comprehend languages* for *shield*).
cast Conjure Animals at 5th level and sick a pile of raptors on your party and watch them cry
Yup like other people have said he will have access to many spells. I’m giving him access to every wizard spell through fifth level. I mean he’s had adventurers coming to Barovia for decades. And the procession of ghosts is 100 of them! There’s a lot of wizards in there and they all have spell books
I figured the spell book holds 50 spells, so he has 50 spells. I took them from phb, compendium of forgotten spells, the lost book of spells, and the great net spell book 6th ed.
I also added those spell books to the Amber temple library.