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During this pandemic, I've been replaying A2:Crystal Souls to help pass the time.  It's probably my 3rd or even 4th replay, but I've never been able to have my priest and mage max out all their spells to level 3, and I wonder what I've been missing.  I've used the spell lists provided in the forum and go back and forth to the locations without being able to top all of them off.  It makes me wonder if I'd have to go to these locations in a certain sequence in order to acquire all 3 levels.  I'm not sure if anyone still monitors this page, but if so, I'm really curious about this.  Thanks!

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It has been a while so I don't remember if you already  need a level in the spell before you can use the third level location. That or not having two levels from trainers might be your problem.

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Just to clarify this, you can gain a level of a spell from a level 3 location at any time – getting to locations too early is not your problem here. In order to raise a spell to level 3, however, you need to do two things, and you can do them in any order:

 

1. Buy two levels of the spell at a trainer.


2. Learn the third level from a special encounter (e.g. a book, quest reward, etc.).

 

If you’ve been using the spell list on the forums to find the level 3 locations, but your party isn’t able to cast level 3 spells, then you may not have bought the right number of levels from the appropriate trainers. If you want to complete your lists of level 3 spells, check back with people you buy spells from – you should see them still offering to impart some knowledge to you!

If you would like, there is another post on the forums that can help you find these people:
 

http://spiderwebforums.ipbhost.com/topic/21049-spells-earliestcheapest-to-buy/

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To add/expand on what Randomizer & E-E said:

 

For each spell there are three levels. It's probably easiest to think of them as three equally powerful levels that can stack on each other in any order (increasing the overall power).  You have to pay for two of them & you get one 'free' one (reward/book).  It generally doesn't matter in what order the 'free' one arrives (buy the first level, read the book, go buy the third level ... or ... buy the first two levels & read the book for the third - you're going to buy two levels one way or another)

 

You 'can' get one level of a spell as a reward before your characters are high enough level to cast it.  You will still have to buy the other two levels at a trainer to be able to cast it above the first (rewarded) level once they're able/skill high enough (if you got the spell as a reward before buying from a trainer, just think of it as then buying levels 2 & 3 to keep the timeline somewhat coherent).  When rewarded a spell, everyone in the party gets access to that 1 level of the spell even if they can't cast it right then.

 

If you run across a spell in a spell book, (iirc) you have to have the minimum skill level available to be able to cast that spell to be able to understand/get that spell (ie, say 'spray acid' is a L6 spell but your mage only had a skill level of 5, he/she wouldn't get the spell level right then.  If he/she was L6 then he/she would get one level in that spell (leaving the other two to be bought from one of the assorted trainers (it's been a while since I've played, your mage 'might' have to have at least one level of 'spray acid' to understand the book))).  What's different than being rewarded that spell though is, say you decided later on that you wanted your fighters to have mage abilities, once they (the fighters) reached L6 they would 'not' have the book level of the spell learned.  You would need to go back to where you found the book & let them (fighters) learn it (your mage would just stand around twiddling his/her thumbs and not get another level).

 

I don't believe that you have to do things in a certain order to get the knowledge, but if you read a book (like in the above example) before having the ability to cast it then you'll have to backtrack to look at the book again to get that third level.

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Everything above seems accurate, but I'm doing Avernum II right now, so it's all fresh in my mind.

A good thing to check is whether your other (not trained in that magery) characters have level 1 in the spell. If they do you've got the hard to get level, and just need to buy the easy levels.

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I am pretty sure that you do not even need to back track.  From what I remember (and I paid a lot more attention to A:CS details then I did to the other games), there is no order requirement.  You can get the one level from a book and the two levels from trainers in any order.  In order to read the spell books, you must have a minimum arcane lore level or your cannot benefit from the book.  You do not need to have previously learned the spell at all.  I do not have the A:CS software on the computer that I am using, so I can't check, but I thought that all members of the party get a level in the spell when you read the book, irrespective of their mage/priest level.  The mage/priest level if I remember correctly is a requirement in order to cast the spell, not to know it.  If you are in the game, it would be fairly easily to check.  Look at the spell lists of all four of your characters.  If you have non magic using characters and they have one level of a spell that you learned from a book, it would be a pretty good confirmation.

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For what it's worth, I'm sort of slowly replaying A3RW again (been away from it for a few days & had an hour or two to goof around this morning) & just ran across a reasonably high level spell book.

 

Everyone gained the knowledge from it, even my fighters with mage level way below what's needed.  So, while he can't buy the two other levels of the spell yet, once he reaches that level he won't need to backtrack to get the third level.

 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled monster bashing...

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unless is completionist then no need to get all spells to L3, just healing and curing spells and boost and protection spells and major dmg spells (lightning spray, firestorm, icy rain, smite etc).

 

tried to get missing L3 spells in ARW but after not getting 1 spell from where it was supposed to be (in library in that town where party gets thrown to jail quite quickly) even after reading all books I gave up and moved on.

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