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Battlemages Versus Spellswords


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#1
Rhydderch Hael

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A question for those experienced in The Elder Scrolls universe and fantasy RPG as whole— what exactly, in terms of role-playing backstory, makes a Battlemage:

Attributes: Strength, Intelligence
Skills: Destruction, Alteration, Blunt, Conjuration, Blade, Mysticism, and Alchemy.


different from a Spellsword?

Attributes: Endurance, Willpower
Skills: Alteration, Illusion, Blade, Block, Destruction, Heavy Armor, and Restoration


I only ask because, in the pursuit of the Mages' Guild storyline in Oblivion, the guild deploys battlemages to no less than three missions: to Brina Cross, Nenyond Twyll, and Silorn. By all appearances, whenever the mages want to send in some muscle, they call in some battlemages. This implies the Battlemage class are the 'regulars' of any mage fighting force.

In each of the three missions, the battlemages are wearing (non-daedric) heavy armors. Yet from their skills set described above, heavy armor isn't their forte. The appearance of Conjuration in their setup implies they make the use of bound armors. In-game, they never go such a route.

I'm just assuming that, given the proper means, shouldn't the Mages' Guild be sending spellswords into these fights?

That begs the question, then: what are spellswords in the greater lore? What do they do, and what makes them second-line to the ever-so-popular battlemage?

#2
Ygern

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A spellsword will have much less ability to cast spells than a battlemage. Of course you can tweak this by choosing your race accordingly.

The fact of the matter is that having Willpower as your major ability will not give you much magica to play around with, even though Destruction & Restoration are both governed by Willpower, without sufficient Intelligence your PC will just not have enough Magica points to cast high level Destruction spells at will, thus they would have to enter a melee more frequently than a Battlemage whose Intelligence will enable her / him to continue casting for a longer period. Once you enter a melee situation your PC will need a decent armour rating to survive, hence the Spellsword's Heavy Armour skill.

To sum up, a Battlemage casts spells first and foremost in combat, a Spellsword uses Desruction magic to enhance physical combat.
You can get around this by choosing a race and birthsign to complement your choice - for example a race that has a natural / innate Heavy Armour ability to compensate for this lack in the Battlemage's set; or giving your Spellsword the Atronach or Mage birthsign to boost magica.

#3
Rhydderch Hael

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So, between the two, the Battlemage is more offensive-minded while the Spellsword utilizes more defense.

That covers the game mechanics. What about traditional RPG backstory?

Googling "spellsword" revealed to me that the class is, in a D&D sense, a 'prestige' class. If I knew what the heck that meant, am I to assume Spellswords are the 'Special Forces' complement to the 'Regular Army' Battlemage?

#4
Ygern

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I don't think I would call Spellswords 'defensive', rather they would have to rely on close combat techniques rather than on ranged. They are less magical, more sword fighters.

You might check out this link for a brief description of classes as used by Dungeon & Dragon afficionados. Unfortunately I know very little about D&D so I cannot verify the accuracy of the descriptions.
http://en.wikipedia....restige_Classes

#5
Rhydderch Hael

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I don't think I would call Spellswords 'defensive', rather they would have to rely on close combat techniques rather than on ranged. They are less magical, more sword fighters.

You might check out this link for a brief description of classes as used by Dungeon & Dragon afficionados. Unfortunately I know very little about D&D so I cannot verify the accuracy of the descriptions.
http://en.wikipedia....restige_Classes

Unfortunately, the current article has no active link for a Spellsword description (listed under the "Complete Warrior" category in that article).

I'm inclined to think, among the combative mage classes in the game, the Witchunter in the assassin or enforcer type, the Nightblade is the thief or agent, the Battlemage is the warrior class.

What are Spellswords? Guards? Mercenaries? Outlaws?

#6
Peregrine

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Googling "spellsword" revealed to me that the class is, in a D&D sense, a 'prestige' class. If I knew what the heck that meant, am I to assume Spellswords are the 'Special Forces' complement to the 'Regular Army' Battlemage?


Prestige class = advanced class with prerequisites you have to gain through levels in a base class. "Specialized class" would be the more appropriate name, as they don't always provide in-universe prestige. For example, you might take your first 5 levels as a wizard. Then once you meet the prerequisites, you enter a prestige class devoted to focusing on your fireball spell. You'd get power increases and unique special abilities to use in that focus, but at the expense of general casting ability.


So it's a D&D-only game mechanics thing. The Elder Scrolls games don't have an equivalent of prestige classes, since your class is a one-time thing at character creation (and pretty much meaningless).

#7
cryocry

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Mabye the first word indicates what their better at. Spellswords are better at magic, I guess, and Battlemages are better with blades?

#8
RebornSentinal

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I always thought of Battlemages as rank-and-file types, whereas Spellswords are more prone to mercenary work and adventuring.

#9
Evangelion_2014

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Mabye the first word indicates what their better at. Spellswords are better at magic, I guess, and Battlemages are better with blades?


Actually in morrowind it was the otherway around. Really battlemage/spellswords seem to be pretty relative and interchanable terms outside of class selection.

#10
cryocry

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Wait... Spellswords wear shoes, robes, and a helmet, while Battlemages wear plate mail and a hood ;D !




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