Fantasy: Diablo I – Character Classes And Magic Spells Part 1

This information is meant to inspire fantasy writers and role-players, leaning more toward the magical end. Say you want to create a character with a couple of strong magic powers, but you don’t know what additional spells to add to complement him or her to round your character out. You could have a look at your favorite fantasy game, movie, TV show or you could pick up a D&D RPG manual and see what others have created.

Diablo I is a good resource for a fairly low magic world, and it keeps things simple. The classes aren’t very developed unless you go into the game lore, and this allows fantasy writers and game-masters to use their own ideas. As far as magic goes, the original game did not have skill trees like its sequels, and it doesn’t have staple spells like ice elemental magic or shape-shifting. The set-up is more like a traditional table-top D&D RPGs, where characters choose their own skills individually while a game is in motion.

What DI does offer is a good range of defensive and offensive skills of the kind I’m looking to give my characters for a new Sword And Sorcery writing project I’m about to begin. Some spells are standard, such as the ever-popular Fire Ball, but there is a variety that you can choose from and tweak for your own purposes, such as the Fire Guardian that can keep enemies back while your character tries to open a dungeon door, perhaps. Some of these spells will make you think, oh, that sounds interesting and I could use it for X and Y events in my story or RPG adventure.

If you are writing a story, be sure the magic is consistent and doesn’t overshadow the character. Also, I suggest a cost for magic use, or else you’ll have a single sorcerer take on an entire army with an endless supply of softball-size fire balls. At the end of this article, I will make suggestions on how these spells can be turned into short skill trees of 4 tiers each, for progression or leveling-up in your story or game.


Blizzard’s Diablo Series

Diablo I And Hellfire Expansion

Character Classes And Skills

Source: Diablo Wiki

Diablo Character Classes – type, starting skill

DiabloHellfire Expansion
1. Warrior – melee, item repair4. Monk – martial arts, search skill
2. Sorcerer – magic, recharge staves5. Barbarian – melee, rage skill
3. Rogue – ranged, disarm traps6. Bard – melee + magic, 2 weapons

Item Repair (Warrior’s skill) – This skill can be used on an item to repair it, but the item’s maximum durability decreases as a result. As your characters level goes up, the loss in durability decreases. Griswold can repair items without loss of durability back to the item’s maximum durability score for a fee.

Recharge Staves (Sorcerer’s Skill) – This skill can be used to recharges the spell charges of staves. Like the Warrior with the Item Repair skill, the maximum amount of charges decreases in the process. As your characters level goes up, the charge loss decreases. Adria can recharge staves without loss of capacity back to the item’s maximum charge for a fee.

Disarm Traps (Rogue’s Skill) – This skill can be used by Rogues to see traps within the dungeon and so can try to disarm them with this skill. As a Rogue characters’ dexterity goes up, the chance to successfully spot and disarm the trap also increases.

Search (Monk Skill) – Use It To Find Item’s Behind Walls In Automap

Identify (Bard Skill) – Items can be equipped and used without being identified. Identify is not found on spellbooks, and can only be cast from staff charges or scrolls.

Rage (Barbarian Skill) – This will provide a 12 second boost – 2*level to Strength and Vitality and 1.5*level to dexterity. For 12 more seconds it decreases Strength, Dexterity and Vitality by the same amount. Afterwards you lose some of your current life point. Casting a lot or these in a row can permanently weaken your character.

Level 1 Skills

Charged BoltHealing
Fire BoltHealing Other
Holy BoltInferno

Charged Bolt (Lightning) Charged Bolt sends out several small squares of electricity per use. These squares move semi-randomly in the direction the caster is facing, spreading out and usually bouncing off of walls. They are not especially damaging, but can be useful to “wake up” all of the non-lightning immune monsters in a room, bringing them out to fight while leaving the other monsters in the area undisturbed.

Fire Bolt (Fire) – A fire projectile spell that’s quite handy early in the game. It’s basically a Fireball, but with much lower damage and no splash.

Healing – An essential skill for all non-mana shield using characters, and even those types enjoy it from time to time. Higher levels (Slvl and Clvl) lower the mana cost and increase the healing, so it’s useful to build this one up even for Warriors, Barbarians, and other rock-headed melee fighters.

Heal Other – This spell is only found in multiplayer. It works much like Healing, except that casting it gives a target for the pointer, and the benefit will be granted to whichever player is clicked on. It can be hard to click on a friend, if they’re moving or there are monsters crowded around them, and few players will wait on this spell, since drinking a potion is instantly beneficial.

Holy Bolt – A projectile spell that fires a gray Firebolt. This one hits only the undead though, and the damage scales up quite quickly, so most sorcerers find it quite useful in the early going. The utility is quite limited by the fact that Fireball does much more damage as soon as it comes online, but moreover by the fact that there are no undead monsters found in the Caves or Hell.

Inferno – Inferno looks like a powerful flamethrower of a spell, but it actually emits a fairly weak puff of flame that’s less damaging than most other flame spells, and far less than Lightning Bolt.

Level 2 Skills

Fire WallResurrect
Flash (Magic)Stone Curse
InfravisionTown Portal

Fire Wall (Fire) – An extremely damaging spell to any target foolish enough to stand still in it. Multiple Firewalls can be stacked on top of each other, increasing the damage proportionally. Very useful early and mid-game, especially against monsters stuck on the other side of an obstacle. Most monsters will not advance into the flames, but this AI can be used against them. Simply cast a Firewall in front of them, and then cast one on top of them. They will stand and roast since they’re not smart enough to move backwards out of the fire. This is a very popular way to kill Diablo himself.

Flash (Magic) – Flash is a sort of 1-space radius Nova spell, hitting anything in melee range with magical damage. This appears to be a powerful spell, by the damage display, but it’s hampered by bugs and does far less damage than displayed. As most players have noticed, when basking in the ineffective version of it cast by monster mages. There are actually two spells cast; the first hits targets to the left and below the character, while the second (less damaging) flash hits the three to the upper right.

Identify – In Diablo and Hellfire, items can be equipped and used without being identified (magic/unique items must be identified in Diablo II before usage).

Infravision – Infravision shows every monster on the screen, even those over walls or otherwise out of the line of sight. Monsters in sight display normally; monsters out of your sight show up in bright red. Their names and stats do not highlight, but recognizing them by type is easy enough.

Lightning – Lightning fires a wide strip of lightning at high speed in a straight line. Lightning passed through all soft targets, only vanishing once it runs into a wall or other solid object. It’s the first really useful combat spell most Sorcerers learn. The listed damage isn’t that much higher than Firebolt or other early spells, but this one’s ability to hit multiple targets, and to hit each one multiple times, makes it quite powerful.

Resurrect – Only available in Multiplayer. Resurrect is targeted on a dead character’s corpse. It will always bring them back to life, there’s no skill or level check. Resurrected characters have 10 hit points (or less, if their maximum life is lower than 10) and no mana.

Stone Curse – A hugely useful spell, Stone Curse turns the targeted monster to stone, rendering them statues: helpless, immobile, and defenseless. Immunities are not countered, but stoned monsters have zero Armor Class and will be hit by every attack. They remain material objects, and must be walked around by other monsters. A row of stoned monsters can provide a useful barrier against enemies.

Telekinesis – A spell used to pick up items from a distance, or to throw switches, pull levers, activate shrines, etc. It works over walls on any item or object you can see. Very useful to retrieve items after dying, to open up Diablo’s box without entering the other boxes, to use shrines or grab books from bookshelves from a distance. Players must have enough space to hold the item they attempt to pick up with TK.

Town Portal – Players create a blue portal that can be stepped into to return instantly to town. Town Portals remain open indefinitely, until the character who cast it uses it to return to the dungeon from town. If two or more players cast town portals, they can keep them open forever by only returning via the portal cast by the other player. Each character can have only one active Town Portal, and if a second is cast the first will vanish.

(Continued in next post.)

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