|Playing a Thaumatuge
[Written by Bruce Lindquist <Ixion.Thaum>
Thaumaturges (a.k.a. Warrior-Priests) are unique characters in LOK.
They have numerous advantages and drawbacks, which tend to balance each other
out. Playing one takes some practice however, and this is what this is all
The biggest advantage of the thaum over other classes (with the exception of
knights) is the Heal spell. Judicious and rapid use of this spell has saved my
skin numerous times. Thaums also have an advantage over knights when hunting
with other players: they can heal PCs outside their own hex. Also, thaums
possess two very powerful and effective offensive spells: Death and Stun. The
ability to Stun crits is incredibly useful. It can give you time to run away
and heal yourself, or set your enemies up for a vicious attack. The best
combination of spells that I have ever seen is the stun-lightning combo. It is
extremely effective on -3 and -4 Kesmai, Troll Town, -300 Underkingdom, and all
of Leng. Any place that critters appear in groups of 2 or 3 is an excellent
place to use this combo. For taking care of bigger, deadlier crits, like
Minotaurs, Death is a great spell. It affects almost every creature in the
game. Also, Death is good for taking out the stronger of the non-lair crits.
Since they seem to prefer travelling singly, it would be foolish to waste a
Lightning spell on them. Another advantage of thaums is the ability to summon
creatures. Summoning a djinn to draw an enemy's fire is a very effective
tactic, especially if the enemy's attacks are fizzling most of your spells. The
create snake spell is also great fun. To 'solo' Daisy or even the Troll King,
simply hold about 125000 gold in your right hand and cast the spell. Then, sit
back and watch the god-snake feast on your enemies (this won't work on Mama or
the OL). The last advantage that thaums have is the incredible variety of
protective spells they pack. With a higher-level thaum in a group, players have
little to fear from spell-casting monsters or poison. Thaums also have slightly
higher hit points than Wizzies, and seem to be much better with weapons.
The biggest disadvantage of thaums is the random-fizzle they suffer. The
ghods of Kesmai are a fickle lot, and they seem to take perverse delight in
putting their followers through all sorts of trials and tribulations. I don't
know how many times I've been low on health in a battle and had my Heal spell
fizzle right when I needed it the most. That's why even thaums should carry
balms :) Another disadvantage is the significant lack of area-effect spells.
Lightning affects only one hex, and it isn't good for zoos. It also takes a
LONG time to get Poison Cloud (I haven't even got it yet), and that spell is
incredibly dangerous. Poison Cloud works like the Wizard's WhirlWind; it
bounces off of walls and can easily kill the caster. The first time my wiz cast
WW, he ended up committing suicide :( It takes off hit points at a phenomenal
rate, roughly about 25-35 a second (this is based on my experiences with WW;
from what I've heard, WW and PC are roughly equivalent in damage potential).
TIPS ON PLAYING A THAUM
The best thing you can do is PRACTICE. Heal players in the lockers, cast
Protection From Fire, Strength, and Protection From Cold whenever possible. The
faster you get Stun, Heal, Lightning, and Death the better. These should be
your primary spells. Once you reach "Summoner of Phantasms," create djinns to
train yourself in weapons and offensive magic. Remember, killing DJs won't get
you marks, change your alignment, or give you karma. Whatever you do, DO NOT
summon demons anywhere near town or in the Kesmai dungeons. Demons don't always
come up lawful, and the evil ones have a tendency to kill newer, weaker players
at an alarming rate. Each player the demon kills adds a mark to your account.
Get 3 and it's bye-bye.
As for weapons, it's largely up to the player. For those who prefer a more
physical style of fighting, the BBS is a great weapon (good blocking, hits
hard), as are MA skills (great blocking, incredible damage, ability reduced by
armor). For those who prefer magical combat, you should check out threestaff or
staff training. A well-trained thaum or wizzie packing an Overlord Staff of
Blocking (best block in game, worst attack in game) is nigh invulnerable to
Until you reach "Healer," don't go below -2 Kesmai. Below there, the
creatures are much stronger and more of them travel in groups. One you reach
"Canon," you might want to try -3 or -4, as the Lightning spell you gain at that
level is very effective against grouped crits and Death is great for dealing
with the Chaotic Human spellcasters you encounter on -4.
In general, Thaums are characters of extremes. They have both strong
advantages and strong disadvantages. Weather you like them or not depends
largely on your style of play. People who try to use a thaum like a knight in
close-combat with 6+ enemies quickly learn not to. Using them as they are
intended (as a combination warrior-magic user) can lead to a very rewarding
I hope this helps to keep you baby thaums alive out there. Remember, the
more you play, the easier it gets!