"Shall we continue?" At your nod, he does so.
"Now that your graduate studies are before you, you will need to choose exactly where to focus your efforts in advancement in order to graduate. In order to help you decide I will explain a bit more about the different skills and branches offered by the Unseen University before giving you some advice."
"The art of magic is divided into four main areas, the spells branch, the methods branch, the items branch and magic points, and all of them are important. In total, there are 35 different base level skills in the performance of magic. In addition, there are some craft skills that are similarly used in our spells."
"This is easily the most important of the branches of magic, containing the skills offensive, defensive, misc and special. The last of these we will deal with a later, and discuss the first three now."
"The primary focus of these three spells is to improve the power and speed at which you can cast spells, and I'm sure you can already imagine how useful that can be.
"In any spell that is either first order, or acts as though it was one, being any spell where the end results are variable, the majority of the power of the spell is driven by your skill at the appropriate magic.spells skill, i.e. magic.spells.offensive for any offensive spell. This effect can be very significant, and most wizards spend a lot of their time improving
these skills as far as they are able in the guild, and much beyond. This effect is discussed a lot more in a thesis I'll give you a copy of later."
"These skills also play a major role in the speed at which you can cast your spells. Obviously, the more of these skills you have, the faster you will be able cast spells, with one or two low level exceptions. When your skill is limited, as for you at present, any improvements will lead a very significant decrease in casting time. Have a look at this graph here." Sekiri hands you another piece of paper.
"This graph was a plot of the casting time versus the spells sub-skill of a number of different wizards. It is quite dated now, but its does give you the idea of how it works. You can see the quick decreases in casting time at the earlier increases of skill. As you can also see though, this effect is not unlimited. Eventually, the speed of the spell will begin to approach its integral limit, and improvements in the spells branch will only pay minor dividends in terms of casting speed. They will still have a large impact on spell power, of course."
"In my view, there are no more important skills to any wizard than offensive and defensive."
"The methods branch consists of four further sub-branches, being elemental magic, mental magic, physical magic and spiritual magic. Each of these sub-branches consists of a number of different skills that are used in the performance of magic."
"This branch of magic is vital in the successful and consistent casting of spells. As we have already discussed, each spell uses a number of stages in which your skill at the particular method involved is used to determine whether you succeed in that stage, and ultimately the spell itself. The higher your skill, obviously the better chances you have, though given the nature of magic, no amount of skill will guarantee success."
"In addition to simply successfully casting the spell however, the methods have a role to play in the effectiveness of any first order spell. In a different fashion to the spells branch, your skill at the method skills influences how random the results will be, and how likely you are to achieve results at the upper end of the potential of your spell power. Over the long term, increasing methods will effectively increase the average power of a spell. This means that obtaining skill levels well in excess of the minimum required to cast a first order spell or similar is vital."
"There are many different methods, used in differing frequency across our arsenal of spells. Which of them are important to any individual will depend on the spells they wish to use. Further detail of how methods impact spell power is covered in that thesis I mentioned."
"The items branch of magic is concerned with the use and creation of magical artifacts, scrolls, and related spells. It contains the further sub-branches of held and worn, and skills scroll and talisman."
"The last of these we can ignore completely, only those users of headology utilise that." Sekiri peers at you suspiciously "You aren't one of them, are you?" As you indicate you aren't, he settles back down and continues. "The scrolls skill we will deal with in just a moment, along with spell memory. That leaves us with the held and worn magical skills.
"The principal use of these skills is to allow a wizard to utilise and recharge various magical artifacts, which will form a part of your post-graduate studies on artifacts and recharging
"A secondary use of these skills is the same as that for methods, with some of the spells that are available to us utilising them in some spell stages instead of methods."
"The magic points skill is another important one in wizardry, it determines how much magical energy you will have to cast spells or perform other magic feats. That is to say, the amount of energy you have, as measured in guild points, will be based on the B.onuster number of this skill, plus an additional 50."
"Now that I've just finished telling you why all of them are important, you undoubtedly need some way to prioritise them as to what to learn and when."
"My advice is to pick a few of the easier spells that you wish to use, and advance the methods that they require until you can cast them, at least sometimes. After that, simply continue to practice those spells to obtain tms in those methods without further advancement. While you are doing that, spend most of your hard earned experience on the spells branch and points. This will help you to improve in all the key areas in magic, in as efficient a manner as possible, without wasting any experience on skills you can get through practice."