Spellbook of flame sphere
| spellbook of |
+ flame sphere
|Base price||100 zm|
|Turns to read||2|
|Ink to write||5–9|
|Power cost||5 Pw|
In SLASH'EM, the spellbook of flame sphere is part of the starting equipment of the flame mage class. It is the staple attack spell for the flame mage in the early game, since the more powerful fireball begins out of reach. The flame mage starts with matter skill at basic level. As this skill improves, the number of flaming spheres summoned will increase to two at skilled and three at expert, all for the same casting cost.
Since the flame sphere does not attack a monster directionally in the way that force bolt or magic missile does, the flame mage must learn to manipulate the flame sphere's position to defend against enemies. Using pet displacement is an important aspect; you will learn to dance through your spheres to get them into range of enemies. The flame mage should generally keep a flame sphere floating around in the early game just in case. In the likely event that your spheres sometimes get left behind, they may go feral and revert to peacefully bobbing around in empty rooms. Flame spheres do not appear able to turn hostile.
On the other hand, flame spheres left to their own devices can cause a lot of problems. Since they are summoned monsters rather than pets, responsibility for their kills accrues to the player. This means not only that you will get the experience for the kills, but also the blame: shopkeepers, guards, peaceful monsters, and gods will direct their anger at you if your spheres blow up in the wrong direction. The flame mage thus needs to keep an eye on where his or her spheres go and make a point of using them only in safe contexts. It is usually unwise to attack mimics in shops with sphere attacks: they may miss their mark. The flame mage should use closed doors to control where spheres can travel and try to "burn off" excess spheres after a major battle before exploring the dungeon too far. (The fungi that crop up on a batch of corpses in SLASH'EM may be useful for this purpose.)
Find a magic whistle early to keep your spheres close.
Flame spheres have the dramatic ability to take down shopkeepers without giving them the chance to leave their shop and attack. Simply stand diagonally next to an open shop door (not in front of it, unless you want to get shot) and keep summoning, using a combination of power surge and draw energy techniques as necessary. (You may need a pick-axe to carve out a suitable nook for yourself.) The shopkeeper will continue to switch weapons and patrol his or her shop interior, not sure if you are inside or outside. Eventually, you will stop hearing the explosions of your spheres (or you will level up). The shop is yours! Note that this would almost certainly be considered degenerate behavior, not to say outright cheating.