Specialist Mages are mages specialized in one of eight schools of magic.
By specializing: they receive 1 additional spell slot in every spell level; a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells of their school; and give enemies a -2 to save against spells of their school; but cannot learn or cast spells from an opposing school.
In order for mages to cast a spell, first they need to successfully scribe a mage spell scroll into their spell book (scroll lost in process regardless of success or failure), in which they must prepare the spell by putting it into an empty spell slot, then they have to rest to get the spell ready.
Specialist mages have a 15% bonus in writing spells from scrolls of their specialization to their spellbook, but receive a 15% penalty when writing spells outside their chosen school. Effectively a difference of 3 Intelligence for most characters to learn new spells.
Racial constraint: Only elves, gnomes, half-elves and humans can become specialist mages. Depending on the chosen school, a specialist will have an extra character ability minimum requirement.
Ability scores table Edit
|Character Ability Score||Minimum Score^^|
During character creation, rolls below the minimum value for the class will be increased to that value. This table uses the values for Humans, other Races have modified ability scores.
^ Prime Requisites for Dual-classing.
^^ Baseline values for all class kits. Each kit also has one increased minimum ability score.
- Enhanced Edition note: Intelligence score determines up to which levels of spells the character can learn, counting in both natural scores and item altering values.
Types of Specialist Mage, race restrictions and min. ability scoresEdit
There are eight Specialist Mage class kits, for each of the eight schools of arcane magic. Each school is restricted against learning spells of their opposing school(s). In addition, each school increases one minimum ability score requirement.
There are many inconsistencies between the games, their editions and the related manuals: As in pen-and-paper rules, the original Baldur's Gate has for some specialists two schools of opposition applied, namely Conjuration for Invokers and Necromancy for Transmuters. The former, however, isn't listed in the manual. The game's successor removes these secondary opposing schools but oddly "fixes" the missing entry in the manual, displaying now false information for Invokers. The Enhanced Editions keep the concept of only one school of opposition, but also keep the mistake in the Adventurer's Guide and adding another one by stating, Conjuration would be the opposed school for Enchanters instead of Invocation.
The following table uses the correct information directly from the game files.
|Races||Kit Name||Chosen School||Restricted School||Minimum ability score||Minimum Value|
|Human, Half-Elf||Conjurer||Conjuration||Divination[P&P 2]||Constitution||15|
|Human, Half-Elf, Elf||Diviner||Divination||Conjuration[P&P 3]||Wisdom||16|
|Human, Half-Elf, Elf||Enchanter||Enchantment||Invocation[P&P 4][Bugs 1]||Charisma||16|
|Human, Gnome||Illusionist||Illusion||Necromancy[P&P 5]||Dexterity||16|
[P&P 6][Bugs 2]
- ↑ Alteration and Illusion in pen-and-paper.
- ↑ Greater Divination and Invocation in pen-and-paper.
- ↑ According also to pen-and-paper rules.
- ↑ Invocation and Necromancy in pen-and-paper.
- ↑ Necromancy plus Abjuration and Invocation in pen-and-paper.
- ↑ According also to pen-and-paper rules.
- ↑ Illusion and Enchantment in pen-and-paper.
- ↑ According also to pen-and-paper rules.
Schools of magicEdit
- Alteration – this school has its focus on spells that alter physical properties of some creature, thing, or condition in many different ways.
- Abjuration – this school focuses on many spells that may protect or offer resistance from all kinds of magical or physical abilities, create physical or magical barriers, enable the banishment of creatures to another plane of existence and spells that alter some status effects.
- Conjuration / Summoning – this school focuses on the conjuration of items, creatures not related to the undead, or calling forth energies to serve the caster. It also enables a caster to send creatures to other places, either over long distances or even to a whole different plane.
- Divination – this school focuses on identifying items of magical nature, finding hidden things, predicting the future, foiling deceptive spells or learning long forgotten secrets.
- Enchantment / Charm – this school is focused on the manipulation of the mind of any creature.
- Invocation / Evocation – this school has its focus around spells that manipulate energy or tap into unseen sources of power in order to produce a desired end.
- Illusion – this school focuses on spells that alter appearance or deceive the senses or minds of others.
- Necromancy – this school focuses on manipulating the power of life and death. Spells of this school can heal their target, drain life from the victim to the caster and allow for the summoning of undead minions.
Specialist Mage Spellbook Edit
Specialist mages use spells from the wizard spellbook, excluding those of the respective opposing school.
Following are listed for each specialist the arcane spells (ordered first by level) that benefit from incoming saving throws as well as from the penalty to those of their enemies; keep in mind that divine spells also carry these advantages.
- Abjurer: No spell of the school of Abjuration has a saving throw.
- Conjurer: Grease, Glitterdust, Flame Arrow, Prismatic Spray and the Symbols Death, Fear and Stun.
- Diviner: Know Alignment.
- Enchanter: Charm Person, Sleep, Ray of Enfeeblement, Dire Charm, Hold Person, Confusion, Emotion: Hopelessness, Chaos, Domination, Feeblemind and Hold Monster.
- Illusionist: Blindness, Spook and Deafness.
- Invoker: Chromatic Orb, Stinking Cloud, Web, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Sunfire, Chain Lightning, Delayed Blast Fireball, Bigby's Clenched Fist, Incendiary Cloud, Black Blade of Disaster and Bigby's Crushing Hand.
- Necromancer: Chill Touch, Ghoul Touch, Horror, Hold Undead, Skull Trap, Contagion, Control Undead, Finger of Death, Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting and the Wail of the Banshee.
- Transmuter: Burning Hands, Color Spray, Slow, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere, Polymorph Other, Disintegrate, Flesh to Stone and Sphere of Chaos.
Note that the Necromancy spell Spirit Armor requires the recipient to make a saving throw when the duration ends, or they will take damage; this makes Necromancers worse suited for casting this spell.
Mages can access to level 10 spells, which are added to the level 9 wizard spellbook after they have been chosen. These spells are:
- Dragon's Breath
- Energy Blades
- Improved Alacrity
- Summon Planetar (Good and Neutral Alignment, only one can be picked, picking Summon Planetar makes Summon Dark Planetar unavailable)
- Summon Dark Planetar (Evil and Neutral Alignment, only one can be picked, picking Summon Dark Planetar makes Summon Planetar unavailable)
- The option to spend three high-level class ability points to gain a level 6, 7 and level 8 spellslots.
Spell slots progressionEdit
Spell lvl /
Total # of
Table for experience, hitpoints and weapon proficiency Edit
|Level||Experience required||Hit Dice||Weapon Proficiency||THAC0||Saving ThrowsD/W/P/B/S||No. of HLA|
Notes on TiersEdit
Specialist mage classes are not equal in power. In Baldur's Gate, Conjurer is the best overall specialty because its opposing school, Divination, had few useful spells in combat, so there were few drawbacks to being restricted against Divination spells. It required a minimum ability score in Constitution, a useful stat for wizards who gain few HP per level, and it was available to both humans and half-elves. It is no surprise the best wizard in the game, Edwin Odesseiron is a Conjurer.
Illusionist is also an excellent specialty, available to humans and gnomes with many useful Illusion spells and fewer Necromancy spells as an opportunity cost. The most valuable Necromancy spells in BG1, healing spells, were available only to priests.
Diviner is the worst class, granting bonuses to impractical spells while restricting access to the Monster Summoning series, which were virtually staple support spells on any wizard. Wisdom has few practical effects as a stat for a wizard in BG1, and more Tomes of Understanding were available in-game than any other attribute manual.
Invoker and Transmuter were poor choices due to having two opposing schools, while Enchanters were locked out of the main way to inflict damage using Evocation spells. Necromancers and Abjurers were in a middle ground: while their drawbacks were not crippling, their opposing schools had a multitude of useful spells and their minimum ability stat (Wisdom) was not helpful.
Come Shadows of Amn, the specialties saw some needed balance. Transmuter and Invoker became better by losing their secondary school restriction. Necromancer became a stronger class not only due to more powerful and useful Necromancy spells, but access to Divination spells Wizard Eye and True Sight. No specialty benefited more from the invisibility-granting Staff of the Magi than Necromancers, and these buffs helped mitigate loss of access to Illusion's clone spells. However, Enchanter/Diviner remained poor choices, while Conjurer was again the best overall.
- ↑ The Adventurer's Guide falsely lists Conjuration as opposed school.
- ↑ The manual for the original Shadows of Amn and the Enhanced Editions' Adventurer's Guide still list the secondary school of opposition, while the only game that actually implements it, the original Baldur's Gate, misses the manual entry.