Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users – Otiluke

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Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users - Leomund
Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users -- Tenser

Greetings my fellow Nerdarchists. In the weeks and months to come I am going to highlight famous wizards of distinction by delving into the backgrounds and spells of magic users . I have completed articles on Leomund, the nerdy prepper and Tenser, the one man army. Now I am turning my attention to Otiluke.

Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users - OtilukeWhy Otiluke? Why now? Well I chose him by following the “whomever I feel like writing about now” directive. Are there some famous wizards you want to hear about next time? Then all that you must do is tell me which wizard you want to read about. If he or she is one of the famous wizards of distinction then please comment below and let me know who you want to read about next.

Without any input to the contrary I will be focusing on famous wizards of distinction from RPGs but that does not mean I am excluding the backgrounds and spells of magic users from books, movies, and comics.

Give me a compelling example of wizardry and I will write it up.

Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users – Otiluke

Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users - OtilukeOtiluke is described as a short man who’s intelligence was on par with the other members of the Circle of Eight.

He was incredibly frail like a scholar who is important enough to have other scribes get him books to read. Otiluke is said to be so weak that a cursed item, gauntlets of kobold strength, gives him a boost.

So he isn’t even on the librarian workout plan for wizards. —>

He reminds me of the mad scientist archetype. A spatially minded siege alchemist of sorts who’s wisdom score reflects a child like level of understanding of consequences. Let me explain.

Famous Wizards of Distinction: Otiluke's howler waspsThis guy magically combined wasps and howler monkeys together because he had a slaad problem.

Guess what. He got rid of his slaad problem but the abominations escaped. Gasp, how could that have happened? Like every scifi B movie it was inevitable.

The howler monkey / wasp hybrids are now a terrible monster you can encounter in the wild. Africanized bees are a real life, less magical, example of trying to solve a problem through hybridization.

That takes care of the unwise mad scientist part.

Famous Wizards of Distinction: Backgrounds and Spells of Magic Users – Otiluke

Many of Otiluke’s spells could be thought of as alchemical reactions. He is the Molotov cocktail hurling wizard of Greyhawk. Here is a short list of the alchemical wizard spells of his own creation.

  • Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Acid Cloud
  • Otiluke’s Boiling Oil Bath
  • Otiluke’s Siege Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Smoky Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Steaming Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Fire and Ice
  • Otiluke’s Bubbling Buoyancy

A lot of these are endothermic (cold) reactions or exothermic (heat) reactions. Others are some kind of exploding or smoking burning acid.

And with all of the alchemical spell experimentation going on Otiluke had to take some precautions. Here are some of his spells that could have been developed with living through an experiment in mind. These spells would also be very useful in the fortification of a position in a battle while the spells above are great siege breakers, especially siege sphere and fire and ice

  • Otiluke’s Force Umbrellaobama the wizard
  • Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Telekinetic Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Orb of Containment
  • Otiluke’s Suppressing Field

He had a large variety of screen / sphere / hemisphere spells. I am surprised he didn’t throw in a mobius strip or cone.

  • Otiluke’s Death Screen
  • Otiluke’s Diamond Screen
  • Otiluke’s Dispelling Screen
  • Otiluke’s Electrical Screen
  • Otiluke’s Excruciating Screen
  • Otiluke’s Greater Dispelling Screen
  • Otiluke’s Polar Screen
  • Otiluke’s Radiant Screen

Personally this last spell set is underpowered. They all have saves and a few of them only do 1d4 damage even though many of them are 5th and 6th level. If you transferred them to a later edition I would alter them to be level appropriate or lower the level of the lame ones.

Overall nice concept trapping someone in a radiant sphere or a death sphere or placing a magical trap as a wall of dispelling to ward against the spells of magic users interested in messing up your place or your face.

After reviewing Otiluke’s spells and what is known about him. He gives me the impression of one of the magic users who knows his way around the battlefield as well as the laboratory.

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I would say my manner, skill sets, and subject knowledge are incongruous but they all seem to find a home under the umbrella term of nerd. I have a passion for studying science, religion, art, games, crafting, wine/beer-crafting, sustainable living, and green chemistry. I really enjoy gaming with friends and writing about my experiences as a nerd.

2 Responses

  1. Tim Rudolph
    | Reply

    Ah poor Otiluke and his comrade Tenser. How could Mordenkainen have allowed such tragedy committed by Rary come to pass…

    • Nathan Riggins
      | Reply

      It is sad that they were betrayed by Rary. Otiluke should have thought out of the box and stuck a clone on the moon like Tenser. That aside, Mordenkainen should have prevented Otiluke from being targeted by Rary in the first place. Rary obviously didn’t care for Otiluke at all.

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