Ordo Maleficus Guide

From LSWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
    • Note that Ordo Maleficus has been removed from the game and thus none of this information is particularly relevant anymore. Please consider the Coven for your witch-themed character experience.

Contents

So You Want to be a Witch?

And why not? Witches are cool. They get to consort with evil powers. They get to wear black all year long (and black is very slimming). They use the blood of innocents in dark rituals that cause mayhem and destruction. Sure, they've sold their souls for power and influence, but it's not like they were using those souls for anything worthwhile anyhow.

Creating a Character

The first thing you want to think about is what sort of race you would like to be. Witches need a lot of intelligence and charisma to specialize in the skills that give them their powers. Willpower is also fairly important. Of course, the other stats should not necessarily be completely neglected in favor of these three -- sure, you can play a fat, slow, blind invalid witch if you really want to, but you'll probably have a hard time of it. If you need to have a dump stat, consider strength, since witches don't get access to many strength specialties.

Fey Races

Generally speaking, fey races make for pretty decent witches -- they get the fey abilities, which includes the possibility of gaining an empathic bond at some point, and familiars can be fairly useful. Fey races also tend to have high intelligence and charisma, both of which are vital. Powrie gains high marks from at least one PC witch, and who wouldn't want to be a blood-sucking faerie?

Demonic Races

Demonic races are also quite nice for witches, since not only do they work off the theme of being unholy harbingers of doom and destruction, but they get demonic abilities which can come in handy and one of which runs off sanguimancy. Demons (Confirmed for Fomor, Zenun, and Mazikah -- Speculated for Oni) also get a bonus specialty in unholy taint, which can be useful for the witch. The one problematic thing about playing a demon is that there is only one demonic race (Oni) open at level 1 if you don't have a legendary hero on your atman somewhere, and you have to vivisect to it. Zenun becomes available at character level 50, and is probably one of the best races for a witch, but you may not be that patient.

Psychic Races

The psychic races can also give a bit of extra firepower through their easy access to wild talents, but at the same time, getting wild talents can be a bit of a crap shoot, and you may go through a couple of characters before getting a set of wild talents you can live with. Psychic races also tend to have higher-than-average willpower and intelligence. Duergar and Kedeth are slightly charisma-challenged, but not so much as to be at a significant disadvantage. Advenus and Svirfneblin both get high marks in charisma, intelligence, and willpower.

Others

Just about anything with enough charisma and intelligence can make a decent witch. Even races that don't excel in those stats can still be reasonable choices, so a Yeti witch may be a fun character, even if it might be a little more work than others. Races with high stats that make good witches (excluding greater and elder races) include Gnome, Sekh, Nyloc, Slaan, Human, Aviar, Urln, and Llelimin.

Considerations Other Than Race

Things like culture and sex are generally less-important. If you don't want a long walk to join the guild, consider a culture with its homeland in Cimbra, since the guild house usually wanders around there. One thing that you will want to be sure of is that your character is evil, but if you couldn't figure out that a witch that uses the blood of innocents in dark arcane rituals is supposed to be evil (eeeeeevul!!), then maybe Ordo Maleficus is not the guild for you. Look, here's a set of keys. Aren't they shiny?

Joining up!

Once you've got a character created, you'll be wanting to join the guild. This generally consists of two things: 1) finding the guild house; and 2) offering it some remains.

The difficulty of finding the guild house varies -- it's a chicken-legged hut that wanders around the general vicinity of Cimbra, so you may want to ask a witch if they could kindly tell you where it is -- members of the Ordo Maleficus are capable, once they reach a certain level of skill, of teleporting directly to the hut. If there's no witch around, then you might just need to wander until you find the hut -- it's pretty conspicuous, but the world is a big place these days.

Once you've found the hut, go kill something. Offer its cold, lifeless remains to the hut. Feel the power of a Dark God flowing into and through you. If you're really hardcore (or just that incapable of killing anything), you can offer your own remains to the hut. It's all good, as long as you're evil.

So Now What?

You've joined. You're a newly-minted witch. Huzzah! You've now got a long list of powers, absolutely none of which you can use yet. You've also been given a pouch and a tablet. The pouch is for collecting blood, and the tablet shows members of the Almerian Inquisition who have killed witches. Your first order of business should be in spending your specialty points in your guild skills. Then you need to train.

Spending Specialty Points

You'll need lots of invocation. You'll also need lots of sanguimancy and nigromancy. Unholy taint is also a very good thing to have, as it increases your favor. Witches get a decent spread of combat specialties, but you may want to reserve enough specialty points to join an association that will give you more (this will be discussed below).

Prestidigitation and legerdemain, though they're forced specialties, don't appear to do much for the guild. Vitamancy can be nice for Sanitas, but Sanitas is pretty powerful without any specialty points spent. Enchantment isn't used by a whole lot, so can probably be left at 1. Necromancy, symbology, summoning, daemonology, and divination are also forced specialties, but don't appear to have much bearing on guild powers. Perhaps one or more may become relevant when and if the guild changes, but the basis of most of your powers are the unholy trinity of invocation, sanguimancy, and nigromancy, with a side order of unholy taint. Which is nice, since you won't be tempted to spread yourself too thin or specialize in irrelevant skills in hopes of finding 'hidden' powers like you would in so many other guilds.

Get Some Training

A small digression -- fairly recently, Babbi Yagga herself started showing up in her hut as a trainer. Prior to this, the guild's best trainer was Antonina, who wanders around and sometimes turns invisible (both of which are annoying traits for a trainer). At times, the inability to locate Antonina drove witches to the likes of Mok, or Norij, or Helborg, many of whom also wandered or were otherwise difficult to access. Predictably enough, many witches who didn't have enough skill to use a single power died horrible deaths, and many a chuckle was probably had on the developers' chat channel over this. You can still find a list of useful trainers here, but Babbi is probably the only one you really need to use anymore. Now you damn kids get off my lawn.

Unfortunately, Babbi doesn't train up unholy taint. Simply using the guild powers will train up unholy taint, but very slowly. Helborg's just about the only place for a witch to train unholy taint.

And finally (and perhaps most obviously), train up your other skills, since just about everything has a use.

Blood (For Dummies)

Now, where was I? Oh yes. Train things up, so you can use your powers. You will also need blood, which is a fairly common commodity. For some reason, you can't use your own blood (well, unless you get a limb amputated, in which case you can drain the limb and possibly use your own blood. Not that this is necessarily recommended, but waste not, want not.) So go find (or make) something that's dead, and 'drain remains into pouch' (you will have to wield a cutting or piercing weapon for this, or have sharp claws). You've now got some blood of your very own (not necessarily your own blood, of course, unless you went the "cut some limb off and drain it" route), and can start doing magic.

Each of the guild's powers requires a certain rarity of blood. You can evaluate the rarity of a certain type of blood with the evaluate command. If you don't have the rarity of blood (or better) that a power requires, then you can't use the power. Once you get to the point where you can use it, Corrugo capitum allows you to shrink heads so as to provide you with a better way to store blood than just keeping it in your pouch. One more thing to note is that you have to remove a head before you can shrink it, so keep a sword or axe handy.

For the most part, the more common the blood, the longer it lasts, and your spells will prefer to use the most common type of blood that they can. So, if your blood supply consists of an angel head (very exotic) and some rat's blood in your pouch (very common), and you cast Enervare, the spell will use the rat's blood in your pouch. On the other hand, if you were to cast the more powerful Vastare, the spell would use the angel blood, since you don't have any other unusual or better blood. This is a waste of good blood, and angels are tough to kill. You should try to have a good variety of blood rarities on hand so as to avoid using up all your rare blood when you don't need to.

Blood Management

Unfortunately, there is currently no command to show you what blood types you currently have in your pouch, and no command to tell you whether or not one of your shrunken heads has been used up. So, pay attention -- when blood dries up in your pouch or a head loses its potency, all you get is a one-line notification. If you miss it, tough titties.

You may also want to consider keeping a container on-hand in which to stash your shrunken heads, so that you can make sure that you're using blood in your blood pouch preferentially. With a little practice, you'll be juggling shrunken heads like a pro in no time.

Favor

Favor is important for a witch to have. More favor means your spells are easier to cast, that your powers are more powerful, and that Samael loves you even more. You want to be loved, don't you?

Gaining favor is fairly easy to do once you understand how -- first, raise your unholy taint. More unholy taint means that Samael's got his dark influence all over you, and that you're becoming a better witch. You should also take care to surround yourself with unholy objects, as this will raise your favor (to a certain extent) -- your shrunken heads are unholy. Finally, make yourself an athame with fabricari -- it's a fairly decent weapon which does an unusual type of damage that's difficult to resist, and wielding it will increase your favor. Standing on unholy ground will also give your favor a boost.

Keep yourself away from holy objects, as having anything holy on your person will rapidly tank your favor. Unfortunately, some of the best blood foci -- the Horn of Calais, the Chalice of Cathrys, and the Heart of Tyristael, are all holy objects, and at least one (the horn) is required for one of our spells (Tempestas -- at least until someone figures out where all the unicorns are hiding). So if you use one of these foci, consider keeping it in a container when you don't need it, as that will provide enough separation to keep you from losing favor. Finally, you will not be able to use your powers while standing on holy ground. Which sucks, but you'll quickly figure out where you should be keen to avoid.

Finally, as a last resort, Invocare praesidium will give you tons of favor at the cost of some very exotic blood.

Strategies for Adventuring

The first thing you should do is summon your infernal shroud, since this will both protect you and suck the souls from mortally-wounded opponents (which is pretty damn metal), as well as discharge various unholy energies in the general direction of your foes. It will also occasionally grant you life protection, but you shouldn't rely on this at all.

The next thing you'll notice is that witches don't have a whole lot of direct-damage spells, and the spells that they do have don't have a huge amount of punch and cost a lot of SP (and blood). Enervare and Vastare are good to have in a pinch, but shouldn't really be relied upon all that much. Unfortunately, one of the most effective strategies for a witch (and somewhat unusually for a spellcasting guild) is to debuff and fight hand-to-hand.

A witch's main strength lies in the ability to debuff her opponents, and the first and foremost tool in the witch's arsenal for this is Molestia. Pox does a small amount of damage over time and reduces a target's hit points, and Hex lowers their dexterity and some of their resistances (go try casting hex on Eridar in Corna -- watching a phaethon get burned to death by his own armor is pure entertainment.) Impedimentum slows the target and stuns them for awhile. Tetanus is useful against spellcasters, and other targets that use speech in attacks. Crudelis further messes targets up, and Oculus malum does some direct damage and frequently stuns. Hex also appears to make targets more susceptible to Enervare and Vastare, so if you need some direct damage, don't just start blasting -- soften the opponent up a bit first and then blast 'em.

A note: Some direct testing of a handful of witch spells shows that Hex is a powerful curse/debuff which reduces all of an opponents attributes (as well as some resistances) by a significant amount. Pox decreases physical attributes, and possibly does direct damage, but does so more slowly. Oculus Malum did not appear to have any lasting effect on the test character on which it was cast, but did do a significant amount of damage to a single limb.

While it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive witches also make pretty decent healers, with Sanitas allowing them to heal most injuries fairly proficiently. Unfortunately, sanitas harms undead, so generally shouldn't be used on any ringwielders or reapers with whom you happen to be grouping.

All of this makes a witch a pretty good groupmate, since their curses can soften up most targets pretty significantly (and hex allows flame-users to do a lot more damage, so try grouping with a flame RW or an OIA for even more happy good times). In a group, a witch can generally get by just tossing hexes around and doing a bit of healing.

At higher levels, witches also get Tempestas and Mons flammas eructans, which appear to fulfill the role of 'area attack' spells for the witch. Tempestas summons an 'infernal tempest' which is quite cool but unfortunately unpredictable -- sometimes it will unleash the powers of Hell upon everything in the room, and other times it will just sit there like an unholy couch potato. Likewise, mons flammas eructans opens up a rift to Hell and is pretty good at killing everything in a room fairly quickly, but has a wicked cool-down timer, and doesn't appear to attribute its damage to the witch, so you may get no XP by using it. Both spells take a ton of SP to use, and some difficult-to-find blood types.

Typical Combat Strategy

Molestia can be used without raising aggression, so can be cast prior to starting combat. Tetanus also does not raise aggression, so can safely be used on any spellcaster prior to entering combat. Once curses are in place, attack the target. If conserving spirit is not necessary, Oculus Malum is a good opener, since it can sometimes completely destroy a limb and can result in an instant kill if it hits the head. Crudelis can also be used to further weaken the target, but appears to be resisted by targets with significant resistances to temporal damage (perhaps because their metabolisms aren't affected as much) -- Orcs, Ogres, Goblins, and the like don't enjoy being hit by Crudelis at all, and die quite quickly under its influence. Stunning isn't quite what it used to be, so Impedimentum is not the most useful of powers anymore, but it does have a residual slowing effect, and the stunning can shut off certain behaviors for a time (such as fleeing), so it still has its uses.

Pretty much everything after the hex and pox are optional and can be switched around to your liking -- molestia will allow you to kill things much more quickly than otherwise, no matter what method of attack you use.

Use Sanitas as needed for healing -- it costs next to nothing in SP and heals a good chunk of damage. If you're fighting something undead, use Sanitas on the target, and it will both heal you and harm the target.

Once the deed is done, drain the corpse and move on.

Travel

Luckily, witches have easy and cheap access to flight, since Musca grants the witch wingless flight for a time. Unfortunately, witches do not gain any specialty access to the flight skill, so may not wish to go into combat while flying. So, casting Solvere Musca will allow the witch to return to earth prior to engaging in combat.

Witches gain some specialty access to the quickness skill, which enhances their ability to get around, along with the infernal shroud's hasting effect (while it lasts).

Witches also have Transversus, which allows them to teleport directly to Babbi Yagga's hut, so can be useful for returning from far-flung areas of the world. However, this is the only teleport power that witches receive, and witches cannot join Stalkers of the Gate, so a witch who wants to be teleporting everywhere needs to either pop the Planeswalker wild talent, make friends with someone who can, or else become adept at managing scrolls of recall.

Death

Death is a bit of a downer for a witch, since the witch's ghost will teleport to an altar (and this behavior cannot be turned off), which might lure the witch into praying for life at that altar. This should be avoided at all costs, since it will rob the witch of ability to fly as a ghost back to where the witch's corpse lies (from which the Malefici was spirited away by whatever silly god handles these sorts of things -- possibly the god of irony) and simply cast Reverti. Once Reverti is cast, the witch is alive again and can proceed to pick up her stuff and serve whatever cruel revenge she has cooked up for the occasion.

Alignment

Your alignment does matter. You must, at all times, keep yourself walking down the dark path, and keep an alignment of wicked or better wors... more eviler. You lose your powers the moment you step beyond wicked in alignment, and a witch that has lost her powers is nothing more than a tart dressed up in leathers and chains who's wielding a whip or something. Luckily, your infernal shroud does not desert you when you lose your other powers, so that's something at least. So go ahead and kill some evil stuff, but try to keep it light -- good deeds are fattening, anyhow.

One might suggest that restricting power loss to cruel or better, or perhaps simply losing favor when going over to the good side temporarily would be less of a harsh bitch-slap for the witch who strays from the darkness, but hey, witches are sadists, and so harsh bitch-slaps are the order of the day.

Weapons

Of course, many witches will want to strike out on their own and go at things solo, which can be somewhat problematic -- witches don't get a whole lot of combat specialty access (although they have quite a bit more recently than they have historically). In this respect, it can be very useful for a witch to gain a bit of depth through joining an association or two (more details of which are below). A fey-race witch may also have the opportunity to gain an empathic bond and open up some combat specialty access that way. Witches are also able to be fairly stealthy, and both their ability to turn invisible through Sub oculos and their ability to see in the dark with Visus (while also using a lantern of darkfire or ioun of twilight) can add quite a lot of survivability.

Generally speaking, a witch without any associations will have three 'good' weapons choices, and a couple 'decent' ones based on her specialty access.

Dagger

Dagger is a fairly obvious choice for a witch, as Fabricari gives the witch a decent guild item that is no-drop, increases favor, and does an unusual damage type (exsanguination). This can be paired with a shield (since witches get 4 specialty access to shield and have little else to spend strength specs on), or another dagger. One of the perks of choosing dagger is that there are a number of artifact daggers out there, such as Bloodfire, Soulshard, and Cristlun. Even with non-artifact daggers, there are a number of good choices -- the adamantite and flamra dagger from Loch Nether, a ruby-set athame or a misericorde from Temple Bloodmoon, a spine dagger, and so on.

Staff

Staves are slower than daggers, and tend to be two-handed. A good choice for a witch could be a staff of the elements, since hex reduces a target's resistance to fire. There are also a number of artifact staves that offer decent possibilities for a witch.

Flail

Whips. A couple of possible good choices from this section would be a shimmerwhip, a pain lash, or a tentacle rod. Unfortunately, there aren't all that many flail weapons, and whips also have part of their attack rating based on torture skill, but a whip-using (or even pure flail-using) witch also dovetails well with Synousia Algesis, which gives access to a number of good trainers, as well as a number of useful 'gap filler' specialties.

Bludgeon

Witches also get 5 specialty access in bludgeon, but there just aren't a whole lot of really good bludgeons out there. Both Shatter and Lightbringer can be nice, but they're artifacts, and not too easily accessible. Bludgeons also tend to factor strength and massive blow more heavily into their combat ratings than other weapon types, and a witch will not typically have a great deal of either of these things.

Swords

Witches get 4 specialty access to swords, which is the lowest of the 'decent' weapons for a witch (other weapon types max out at second-degree specialty). While a sword-wielding witch might sound like a bit of a stretch, there are an absolute ton of swords out there, both artifact and normal. One of the best weapons for a sword-wielding witch (Tarquine's black mithril broadsword) gives +50 to unholy taint, and is itself an unholy item, so it adds to a witch's favor (and thus her ability to cast spells) doubly.

Items

In general, there are a number of good items to have for a witch. Obviously, unholy items are good, and things that raise unholy taint are double-plus good. Ioun stones of unholy fervor are very nice, and raise some of the core skills at a minor SP cost (assuming you're only working one ioun). Rings of unholy taint (or of nigromancy, sanguimancy, or invocation) can be quite useful in increasing guild power. Both Odal Ossu and Mnethilim Foul are extraordinarily useful items for a witch to have (if they fit, anyhow). Phylacteries of theosophy also give extra invocation skill, but drain a lot of spirit in combat.

Armour is pretty much whatever fits -- Ordo Maleficus isn't restricted in the types of armours it can wear, but does not gain access to armour adaptation either. Some of the fancier order or chaos armours might be usable, although chaos favour is likely to be easier to obtain through non-extraordinary means, since none of the associations which grant access to order affinity are joinable. A Kedeth that starts in the Kedethvek culture does gain some access to order affinity natively (and the Kedethkral culture provides chaos affinity access), so might be an easier path for an order-aligned witch to take.

There are also a number of unique artifact blood foci which provide an inexhaustible supply of blood to the witch, and can be very useful for this purpose. One of these, the Talisman of Lur Dyvan is unholy and raises several spellcasting skills when worn. The others, the Horn of Calais, the Heart of Tyristael, and the Chalice of Cathrys, are all holy objects, and so reduce the witch's favor when held, but might be considered worth it for the inexhaustible supply of either unicorn or angel blood. Occasionally, blood vials pop up, but these appear to simply be nothing more than an emergency blood supply that can be dumped in the pouch in a pinch, as I have not found a way to refill them.

Associations

Incompatable Associations

Questors of Tyr, Fallen Blood of Chaos, Attuned, Apollonian Disciplies, Almerian Inquisition, Pantarchic Church, Hellwalkers, Stalkers of the Gate, Losthaven Guard, Steel Serpents, Haruspices, Chosen of Vashanka

Joinable Associations

Brotherhood of Wine and Song

Brotherhood has lost the ability that made them the most attractive -- tavern hopping -- and are left with some decent specialty access and a fairly good trainer in Danilo Thann. Not all that bad, if you have an open Charisma specialty point for the required specialty in carousing.

Maidens of the Spear

A very nice association for a witch, although joining takes up quite a few specialties. The bonuses to combat skills provided are invaluable, and along with the additional specialty access in useful skills like combat reflexes and hardiness, these make maidens of the spear one of the best associations available to Malefici. Additionally, Sulin is a good, cheap trainer for all sorts of combat and survivalist skills. Spears are a pretty good weapon class, with a good variety of useful weapons to choose from (although there is a dearth of artifact spears that a witch could use). Maidens of the Spear also gain a good amount of unarmed combat access, and maidens don't lose any dagger access, so can be quite flexible fighters.

Weapons of Vengeance

Weapons of Vengeance gives access to a whole host of resistance and affinity skills, as well as the ever-popular supernal durability and regeneration and a handful of other useful specialties. The main drawback is that it is an Int-heavy association that requires specialty points to be spent on rune lore in order to get access to supernal durability. But all in all, joining WoV will make a witch significantly less squishy, which is a good thing. Plus, the forgeable patryn weapons are a nice bonus.

Wandslingers

Wandslingers is another of the good combat-oriented associations, although it takes some time to really get going. Wandslingers focuses on telesmatic weapon skill, which is another good choice for witches (since they have 1 forced specialty in TW for starters). Celestial weapons are some of the best out there, and work primarily off of telesmatic weapon skill, with Charisma (one of the witch's most important attributes) adding to combat ratings. In addition, wands can be a good choice for a witch, since they allow the witch to attack from range. Of course, in order to advance anywhere in Wandslingers, the witch needs to set up a vigil and guard it from danger, which might seem like a bit of an unlikely course of action for the average blood-drinking sociopath to take, but there are a couple of evil vigils (Togrek and Yathryn spring to mind, with R'lyeh taking a distant third), and it's sort of difficult to inflict exquisite suffering on a citizenry that is dead (not impossible, mind you...)

Synousia Algesis

A nice choice for a witch that wants to be a whip-wielding sadist. Adds torture and flail access (both of which witches have in spades already), along with skills like hardiness, breath control, biofeedback, pain tolerance, and dirty fighting. In addition, Synousates gain access to trainers in Temple Bloodmoon.

Shadow Brethren

All in all, nothing all that useful for a witch. If Doppel's disguise ability ever gets re-implemented, it could raise some interesting possibilities, but for the moment, all Shadow Brethren gives is some fairly irrelevant specialty access and a fairly irrelevant trainer. On the plus side, joining doesn't require any forced specialties, so if you just want to join something, it can be fairly painless (although the association does forbid one or two specialties -- notably carousing).

Kazarzeth

Kazarzeth gives a very nice weapon, along with an extra 5 specialty access in the weapon type, and some useful powers once cthonimancy is raised high enough. The one real problem with Kazarzeth is that the witch's infernal shroud automatically finishes mortally-wounded foes, so the Kazarzeth plunge ability (along with whatever possible benefits using it on a foe the blood of which the Kazarzeth desires) will be more or less unusable while the shroud is active. Whether or not this sort of juggling act would be worth it is fairly debatable, but joining Kazarzeth could be useful to open up a weapon type that would not normally be especially available (sword, spear, or axe) as well as give a rather spectacular, if persnickety, weapon.

Hank's Garbage Thondur

A civic-minded witch? Seems a bit.... off. Not really much to talk about, although some of the rewards are apparently pretty decent.

Crafty Linguists

Uses up a lot of Int specs, but makes you talk good in lotsa languages. Not especially recommended, unless you just really need to know a bunch of languages.

Legion of Dynamic Discord

The primary purpose of this association is to give chaos favour, which can be useful if one wants to use armour or other items that require (or work better with) chaos favour -- paraxos armours, xyrikallixai, tarix weapons, and so forth. The association also gives the ability to sacrifice items to Eris anywhere, which can give access to useful boons such as chakras, followers, skill boosts, and attribute boosts. Requires int and wil specialties to join though.

Ollin Tonatiuh

Thematically appropriate, since one of the purposes of this association is to sacrifice the still-warm hearts of innocents to a vicious sun god. Unfortunately, this association doesn't give a whole lot -- Nezcaluca can be a useful trainer for Ordo Maleficus, but the days where witches were forced to scrounge up whatever available training they could find are mostly past. The association itself gives some specialty access, but it's nothing spectacular, unless one simply must have access to photonic affinity or fire affinity for some reason.

Untested Associations

Agnihotri, Cult of Decay, Deep Ones, Explorers, Ghaunadahuri, Jinxian Plutocracy, Ygellethites, Storm Walkers.

Personal tools