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View Full Version : [Base Class] New Take on the Wizard



Telonius
2006-09-13, 11:47 AM
There's been a lot of back-and-forth about just how uber the current Wizard class is, as well as some complaints at how much worse the Sorcerer is, compared to the wizard. So, I have some ideas that might remedy the situation: Remove both Wizard and Sorcerer, and create a new, better, better-balanced class with the best aspects of both current classes. The idea is to maintain the flavor of having a spellbook, nerfing a little bit of the ultra batman-ish stuff that the wizard has, while leaving the rules and prestige class progressions of most other classes as in-tact as possible. I hope I've succeeded. I do have some changes to spellbooks, scroll scribing, and metamagics, which are also below.

So, I give you the new Wizard.

Wizard
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d4.

Class Skills
The wizardís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) ◊ 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Wizards are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a wizardís gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Bonus Languages: A wizard may substitute Draconic for one of the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

Familiar: (as before).

Spells: A wizard casts arcane spells which are drawn from the wizard/sorcerer spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a cleric must (see below).

To learn or cast a spell, a wizard must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a wizardís spell is 10 + the spell level + the wizardís Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a wizard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Wizard. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

A wizardís selection of spells is extremely limited. A wizard begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new wizard level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Wizard Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a wizard knows is not affected by his Intelligence score; the numbers on Table: Wizard Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the wizard has gained some understanding of by study. The wizard canít use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered wizard level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a wizard can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the wizard "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spellís level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level wizard spell the wizard can cast. A wizard may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike a cleric, a wizard need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells heíll cast.

Scribe Scroll: At 1st level, a wizard gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.

Bonus Feats: At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, a wizard gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, or Spell Mastery. The wizard must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The wizard is not limited to the categories of item creation feats, metamagic feats, or Spell Mastery when choosing these feats.

Spellbooks: Every Wizard starts the game with a spellbook containing every spell they know, all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below), and three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new wizard level, she gains every new spell known, plus two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook.

A spellbook gives off a faint magic aura. It is primarily a manual for making scrolls. Wizards suffer no penalty to spellcasting abilities if they lose their spellbook. However, they cannot scribe any scrolls if they do not have access to a spellbook. Divine spells may not be copied into a spellbook.

At any time, a wizard can add spells found in scrolls or other wizardsí spellbooks to her own. To do this, the wizard must first make a Spellcraft check (DC 20+spell level) to decipher the magical writing. The wizard must then spend a day studying the spell, and make another Spellcraft check (DC 15+spell level) to copy it. (The wizard gets a +2 bonus if the spell is from her specialized school). This process does not destroy the original writing or scroll. Spells take up 1 page per level; copying the spell costs 100gp per page. (Spells added to the spellbook from gaining a new level are not charged 100gp).

BAB, Fort, Ref, Will, and Bonus Feats as a Wizard.
Spells Known and Spells per Day as a sorcerer.


Other related changes:

Feat
Scribe Scroll [Item Creation]
Prerequisite: Caster level 1st.

Benefit: You can create a scroll. Scribing a scroll takes one day for each 1,000 gp in its base price. The base price of a scroll is its spell level ◊ its caster level ◊ 25 gp. To scribe a scroll, you must spend 1/5 of this base price in XP and use up raw materials costing one-half of this base price. Divine casters may scribe a scroll of any spell that they know, but arcane casters must have access to a spellbook in order to scribe a scroll.

Any scroll that stores a spell with a costly material component or an XP cost also carries a commensurate cost. In addition to the costs derived from the base price, you must expend the material component or pay the XP when scribing the scroll.

Rule Changes
Creating Scrolls: To create a scroll, a character needs a supply of choice writing materials, the cost of which is subsumed in the cost for scribing the scrolló12.5 gp ◊ the level of the spell ◊ the level of the caster.

All writing implements and materials used to scribe a scroll must be fresh and unused. A character must pay the full cost for scribing each spell scroll no matter how many times she previously has scribed the same spell.

The creator must fulfill one of three criteria: the creator must have prepared the spell to be scribed, must know the spell, or must have copied the spell to a spellbook. The creator must provide any material component or focus the spell requires. If casting the spell would reduce the casterís XP total, she pays the cost upon beginning the scroll in addition to the XP cost for making the scroll itself. Likewise, a material component is consumed when she begins writing, but a focus is not. (A focus used in scribing a scroll can be reused.) If the spell is a prepared spell, the act of writing triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting until the character has rested and regained spells. (That is, that spell slot is expended from her currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)

Scribing a scroll requires one day per each 1,000 gp of the base price.


Metamagic Feats: remove restriction on Sorcerer/Bard metamagics.

NullAshton
2006-09-13, 12:58 PM
Needless nerfing of the wizard, without addressing the problem which is the DM allowing certain contingencies as well as various other powerful combinations. The XP cost encourages wizards to simply use limited wish instead of scrolls. And the cost for scrolls would have to be multiplied by about three times, because the cost for scrolls now is 1.5 times the listed price. XP converted into gold is 1 XP for 5 gold. That would mean the XP cost by itself could buy you an identical scroll. Prices are (I'm estimating here) double what it costs for the XP and the gold used to create it, thus all scroll prices would be tripled.

And then if those changes go to all magic items, triple all their costs. Then suddenly the fighters are screwed over, everyone without magic is screwed over, even the wizards are screwed over.

Even if you don't do that, then all wizards would craft staffs instead. Why? Cheaper than scrolls.

Telonius
2006-09-13, 01:41 PM
The scroll cost (in gp) would be exactly the same as it is now. The XP cost is what would change - 5 times more xp than what it is now. This would be to prevent wizards from just making scrolls left and right. They can still do everything they do now, it's just a bit more costly to the wizard.

I don't think that creating staffs, or any other items, would be as much of an issue. The wizard would still have to meet all of the prereqs for item creation - he would have to know (rather than just have it in the spellbook) the spells on the item list. And if it did result in more staffs being used, so much the better. A wizard's staff is one of those iconic things that has really been underused, at least in the campaigns I've been in.

Hario
2006-09-13, 06:51 PM
What I think you are really trying to do is nerf the artificer, but that isn't quite working here...

Lord_Arkaine
2006-09-13, 06:56 PM
The best attempt I've seen for nerfing wizards was suggested in the gaming forums. The guy made wizards drop four spell schools instead of the normal two and every wizard was specialized. This actually doesn't nerf wizards too badly and keeps them with the most essential spells, but they also lack oodles of cheese to choose from, so it's easier to pit them up against something that counters them.

The basic four any wizard needs are:

Divination
Abjuration
Transmutation
Conjuration

That's it. You get spells that identify and predict the future, spells like dispel magic and anti-magic warding spells, disintegrate and the tons of fun spells from transmutation (arguably the best school), and teleport and summon spells from Conjuration as well the direct damage orb and cloud spells.

Fizban
2006-09-14, 12:32 AM
The best attempt I've seen for nerfing wizards was suggested in the gaming forums. The guy made wizards drop four spell schools instead of the normal two and every wizard was specialized. This actually doesn't nerf wizards too badly and keeps them with the most essential spells, but they also lack oodles of cheese to choose from, so it's easier to pit them up against something that counters them.

The basic four any wizard needs are:

Divination
Abjuration
Transmutation
Conjuration

That's it. You get spells that identify and predict the future, spells like dispel magic and anti-magic warding spells, disintegrate and the tons of fun spells from transmutation (arguably the best school), and teleport and summon spells from Conjuration as well the direct damage orb and cloud spells.

Dude, that's actually kind of cool. A well played wizard can be just as good as before with this, and limiting the schools they can choose from is much like limiting the spells known of the sorc. It actually allows for wizards being different. The only problem I see is players not liking their wiz's being nerfed, but that's for DM and crew to figure out.