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AEftP Raising Priest / Mage Skills at the Start of the Game

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I'm currently playing a duo, again. In all my past games I raised mage / priest skills rather slowly as I couldn't afford higher level spells, anyway.  Or does  increasing skill lvls make my low lvl spells more powerful quite apart from the lvl of the spell itself? I really  use just a handful of spells, up to the very end, smite, bolt of fire, call the storm, icy rain, lightning spray and divine fire, apart from the cloaks, wards, boosts and dispel barrier. It's really amusing to watch my chars smashing empire dervishes and even Hawthorne into the wall with a really powerful cast of call the storm, I even gave 4 lvl priest skill to my fighter/s just to take part in the fun though they won't do half of the damage a high lvl priest will.

So what does make a spell powerful, apart from the spell lvl, int, advanced skill lvl, spellcraft??

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From Analysis



Useful sources:


1) Intelligence. +1 damage die and +5% to hit. Critical!

2) Mage/Priest Spells. +1 damage die (and +1% to hit?). Necessary, but again, pumping this beyond 17 is not necessary. Priests might stop at 16 if they find the Vengeful Shade to be as disappointing as I did.

3) Spellcraft. +2% damage. Good. Also leads to Resistance.

4) Lethal Blow. +3% chance of a critical hit; given percentage bonuses from Spellcraft and the like, this is the equivalent of +2% damage. Good, but requires multiple other skills spellcasters don't care about.

5) Equipment. There are a decent chunk of items that give a bonus to magical damage, but they can almost all fit on one person.

6) Elemental Mastery Traits. +3% each, pretty good deal.

7) Buffs.

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Thank you. Does that mean that it is better to raise Priest/Mage skill levels early on or can I take my time? I can get Call of the Storm lvl 3 very early in the game if I invest in Arcane lore. Both my fighter who has priest lvl 4 and my mage / priest can cast it, but my fighter will do less damage than a char with a higher priest lvl with high INT which could mean that it is advisable to hurry up raising priest / mage skill lvls early in the game.

Still yet my fighter has been known to kill weaker monsters with two lvls of smite which I sometimes use if the distance is too high for a melee attack even though his INT is still at 3-4 and his Priest skill at 4. Curious.


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Basically, it's only worth increasing Priest Spells or Mage Spells for the purpose of being able to cast new spells.  You do get a small damage increase from those skills, but it's not much, and it doesn't scale very well since it stacks additively with so many other sources of damage dice.  There are better options for where to put your skill points, including:

- survival (Hardiness, Resistance)

- utility (weapon skills so you can use Adrenaline Rush)

- damage (Spellcraft, which may be less noticeable than P/M Spells at low levels, but by mid/late game the reverse is true; also, Spellcraft helps out with buff/debuff duration, which P/M Spells does not)

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