How to Play a Beguiler in Dungeons Dragons 35

Most Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 magical classes, almost without exception, have some capacity for causing direct damage. Whether it’s magic from a Sorcerer, Wizard or Cleric or a vicious beating from a Fighter or Paladin, characters can hurt the bad guys.

The Beguiler is, to this rule, the odd exception. Consequently, they can be both frustrating and really fun to play.

Beguilers are spellcasters, but unlike the other classes they do not rely on hurting enemies to win a fight. Rather, they use a series of extreme magical tricks to befuddle their foes and aid their allies. Theirs is some of the most complex magic of all, for it has a variety of strange effects – often subject to the player’s creativity – and can prove woefully useless or incredibly useful.

Beguilers should not, typically, represent the party’s main spellcasters. Until they reach extremely high levels Beguilers have a low damage output, and thus don’t represent the same level of artillery casting as other casters. Instead, beguilers are secondary casters who, when the party is facing some overwhelmingly strong beast, use their magic to confuse the dickens out of a foe. They can reduce the strongest of opponents to pushovers with surprising ease, assuming they’ve allocated their points properly.

Because they rely so heavily on their spell DCs to affect enemies, it’s usually best to make a Beguiler stay a Beguiler until the bitter end. By doing so they’ll also make the most of the Beguiler’s spells, which are limited unless you take lots of levels in the class. It’s also a good idea to give Spell Focus – typically Conjuration – as a feat to your Beguiler to decrease the chances of an enemy successfully saving.

Beguilers are good for two things, depending on their selection of spells: warding off enemy spells, typically through dispelling, and then reducing said enemies to confused, heaped masses. To this end it’s better to target enemies that are fairly stupid, as their Will saves will be fairly low, though Beguilers can work well against any kind of enemy depending on the circumstances. Read your spells over carefully before using any to make the most of them in a situation.

It’s also good to note that Beguilers make excellent skillful characters, coming close to Rogues and Bards in ability. They get a lot of skills and skill points, which is bolstered by a high Intelligence score, and the necessity for Charisma in their spells ensures that Beguilers become talented diplomats. The Beguiler can charm a person with ease, and they should generally speak for the party.

In combat, Beguilers need to keep back from the enemy, though not to the same extent as Wizards or Sorcerers. They can wear armor – it’s just not a good idea from a spell failure point of view. If you intend to use a Beguiler as a combat character in any way, make sure they have magically protective items, Mage Armor, and Invisibility. Make liberal use of the latter to survive encounters.

Beguilers are not staple characters of a party. If you want a near-Rogue with spells, however – and you’re tired of singing all the time – the Beguiler is an excellent choice. They can achieve much in a short period of time, and despite their generally non-damaging spells are much tougher than they look.