Entering back into the study, you arrive in time to see Sekiri throwing a small fireball at an intruding rat. The rat scampers down a hole at the base in the wall just in time for the fireball to miss, and straight away pokes its head back out as if taunt the wizard.
"Damn vermin!" Sekiri grumbles loudly. He turns his attention back to you.
"Where did we leave off last time?" Sekiri asks "Never mind, I can only think of one thing right now anyway, damn rat broke my concentration. But we may as well cover it now."
"Now that you've had a few basic lessons, and learnt a bit about the guild, you're probably wondering which path to head down in life. Obviously, anything I say is going to be fairly general in nature, and you may differ somewhat, but there are three basic paths to wizardry. Oh, there are exceptions to every rule, and some try to take a middle ground, but broadly there are the well-rounded magic wizards, the specialised magic wizards, and the warrior or fighting wizards."
"Like it or not, the Disc is a dangerous place, and you will undoubtedly find yourself in combat from time to time. Each of these type of wizards prepare for it using a different approach.
"Yes yes, most wizards are on the portly side, I don't mean physically. By well-rounded I mean those wizards who aim to be proficient at most areas of magic, and spend much of their time improving their magic skills rather than anything else. They generally rearrange with a fairly high intelligence so that they can have reasonable bonuses in all branches of magic. This allows them, for the most part, to be able to cast most of the key spells quite well."
"When in combat, these wizards rely on magic to furnish both their main offensive and defensive capabilities. Those capabilities are usually very broad, with these wizards typically using a variety of offensive and defensive spells, rather than focusing on a narrow range."
"Basically, the combat strategy of these wizards is to survive unhurt for long enough to blast their targets with an array of offensive magic, whether the target be an individual, group or small town."
"The need to survive unhurt is a result of most of these wizards not having a great deal of hit points, but also that spells cast during combat have a chance of being interrupted if the caster takes damage while casting. The likelihood of losing concentration increases the more damage is received, and can be reduced by advancing the method skills for that spell."
"These wizards will therefore be using a layered defensive spell approach, where they effectively take no damage until all the shields are broken. Once those shields are broken however, it is often a very good idea to beat a hasty retreat to reshield."
"The key advantage to using offensive magic as opposed to fighting is that, provided that the target is still present when the spell finishes, there are very few defences to the significant amount of damage that can be done with a single spell. It is especially effective when area effect spells are used versus a group of opponents. Of course, it is not quite that simple, with offensive magic having quite a lot of disadvantages as well, but I'll try not to scare you off this path just yet."
"To my somewhat biased mind, this is the proper path for a wizard to take. The proper role of a wizard is wizardry in all its forms, including offensive combat spells. But lets continue here, and discuss the use of offensive and defensive spells in much more detail later."
"Similar to the well-rounded wizard, the specialised wizard utilises the power of magic to devastate their opponents. In their case however, they generally specialise heavily in a small number of spells, often related to their order, and focus both their experience and stats on one or a few spells. The primary examples of this are those elementalists focusing on the spell Journey of the Heavenly Storm Dragon, and the demonologists seeking the power of Doctor Kelleflump's Deadly Demon.
"Other than that, the path these wizards follow will be fairly similar to the well-rounded wizards. They will still utilise the same basic magical defences and tactics to back up their powerful offensive spells."
"Of late, some wizards have given up on the use of offensive magic in combat and its attendant difficulties, and instead gone the way of the warrior wizard, using their choice of weaponry to vanquish their enemies instead."
"They generally rearrange specifically with fighting skills in mind, and utilise either dodge or parry as their primary means of defence rather than Endorphin's Floating Friend, though backed up still with Transcendent Pneumatic Alleviator."
"Though undeniably effective, especially against opponents intelligent enough to cause problems with offensive targeting, they are in effect warriors with a few spells, rather than true devotees of the wizardly arts."
"Ah well, each to their own. Choose the path that appeals to you. You are not of course restricted to any one path, many well-rounded wizards obtain at least a little skill in the use of their staffs, and even the warrior wizards do use some spells in combat on occasion."