Although playing spell casters isn’t my strongest skill or my preferred set of classes to play, I still enjoy playing them and experimenting with them. I currently play two arcane casters, a mid-level sorcerer (Cantlin, level 13) and an epic level wizard (Rimuldar level 24). One of the spells that I have found useful for both of them is scorching ray. In particular it has been especially useful for Cantlin as he is a Fire Savant. As a result, Cantlin gets extra spell power and damage boosts to all of his fire based spells.
Scorching ray is a second level spell. It deals 4d3+12 fire damage per ray. The number of rays your character will cast depends on their level. At level 7, you can cast two individual rays and at level 11 the number of rays increases to three (maximum number you can get). The great thing about scorching ray though is that it has double range, like all ray based spells. This makes it a great spell to use from a distance. I typically use it to take down enemies from a distance and in many instances I am able to roast them completely before they realize what is happening. It also most be noted that it doesn’t have a saving throw against it, unlike spells such as Niac’s Cold Ray or Polar Ray. This makes it extremely useful against those enemies that have high reflex saves.
Cantlin using scorching ray on Bladebreaker in the Temple of Elemental Evil.
Scorching ray does have its limitations though. It does produce a smaller amount of damage that some of the other higher level ray spells,. especially when enemies fail their saves against those particular spells, and it can be “avoided.” If you fire at an enemy and it moves, you can literally miss the enemy hitting the wall or other barrier instead. Also, if another enemy steps in the path of your intended target, you will wind up hitting the other enemy instead.
But overall, those drawbacks can be noted and dealt with. It is still a great low level, low spell costing spell, that can deal a good amount of damage at a ranged distance giving your character ample opportunity to take out the enemy outright or to lure it in for a more devastating spell :).
So keep scorching ray in mind when you pick out your spells for your caster. Unless of course you are a Water Savant, then that would be a little counter productive :P. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!