View Full Version : Help me build a character! A challenge for the Bored, and Insane.

2009-05-22, 07:13 PM
I just rediscovered my 3.5 core rule books (players handbook, dungeon masters guide, and monsters manual), that were sitting in a long forgotten backpack. Realizing I could now join in the countless 3.5 pbp's on this forum. I decided to build a character.
First set of questions:

Which classes are the most fun without being total game-breakers?

Which other rule books should I consider in investing in (I'm trying to keep it under 3)?

Which alignments don't annoy everyone?

After these get answered, I'll set up a new question block, which will cover more specific info such as starting level, inventory, and other character specifics. But for now, UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE ENERGIES!

2009-05-22, 07:20 PM
Which classes are the most fun without being total game-breakers?

"Fun" is really subjective. That said, assuming you want "classes with interesting abilities and options you'd enjoy playing" I'd go with Rogues, any Psionic character (the rules are available in the SRD (http://www.d20srd.com)), Martial Adepts (means ToB-classes: Warblade, Crusader, Swordsage) and a ton of solid splat book material.

Core casters (Wizard, Druid, Cleric - Sorcerer is just a Wizard Redux) can be extremely fun and they don't break the game unless you try to, but they are a notch stronger than anything else in the game (unless you intentionally gimp yourself).

Which other rule books should I consider in investing in (I'm trying to keep it under 3)?

Depending on whether you want to use Psionics online or not, Expanded Psionics Handbook. Other than that, what I always suggest:
#1: Tome of Battle (if you don't plan on playing any weapon users, this drops in value)
#2: Complete Scoundrel (I'd get this anyways; skills are awesome)
#3: Player's Handbook II (has two fine classes in Knight and Duskblade and one trainwreck in Dragon Shaman, along with probably the most "generally useful for everyone" collection of additional rules out of all the splatbooks; that said, contains few broken spells in the Celerity-line)
#4: Spell Compendium (if you like using the core casters, put this higher)

Which alignments don't annoy everyone?

Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, True Neutral (some haters, but mostly at how "boring" the characters are), Lawful Neutral are probably the easiest to pull off. All of them are extremely clear and generally don't have extreme conflicts of interest with anyone but evil party members (which obviously shouldn't exist).

Lawful Good easily ends up as a stick-in-the-arse brat, while Chaotic Neutral too easily slips into Chaotic Evil. And Evil alignments suck outside Evil games for obvious reasons.

2009-05-22, 07:22 PM
Which other rule books should I consider in investing in (I'm trying to keep it under 3)?

None. Get BitTorrent!

2009-05-22, 07:24 PM
Tome of Battle! Expanded Psionics Handbook! Player's Handbook II! You are now set.

You want magic to have fun. Melee usually doesn't have enough options (Tome of Battle aside, which is why it's recommended). Psychic Warrior (XPH) is a good compromise between grinding people's faces off with swords and being able to do more than just that.

Rogues are usually appreciated by everyone, and with the Penetrating Strike alt class feature, you'll be able to Sneak Attack things normally immune. Bards can be awesome with some tweaking, and the party will love your buffs. The Beguiler is an incredibly versatile class that doesn't overpower despite being a full caster. Anything Tome of Battle is good.
On the other hand you want to avoid the Monk and the Fighter.

Any alignment except Neutral Good (and possibly even that) can be taken to an illogical extreme. As long as you don't use alignment to justify actions that hamper other players, you're fine.

Also, take a look at homebrew content. Fax's Paladin (http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Paladin) and Monk (http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Monk) are great improvements over their standard versions in terms of fun.

Keld Denar
2009-05-22, 07:27 PM
As far as alignments...generally avoid anything non-evil, and anything inflexibly XX. Inflexibly Lawful Good being the first and formost, with Inflexible True Neutral being also rather annoying. Most of my characters end up being LG or NG with a benevolant streak, but are not stupid.

As far as classes, there's some really fun stuff out there.
Anything Tome of Battle
Dragonfire Adept - Dragon Magic
Binders- Tome of Magic
Factotums - Dungeonscape
non-core only Bards
any form of "gish" or "arcane rogue" which blend magic with beatdown/skills

And DamnedIrishman, that comment may get you warned by a mod. They REALLY frown upon piracy here, and so do I. It hurts Rich's image, and that hurts all of us. I suggest you edit yourself.

Berserk Monk
2009-05-22, 07:28 PM
Which alignments don't annoy everyone?

any neutral

Lawful: anal jerk
Chaotic: completely nuts

Downside to neutrality: druids favor it, and who real wants to hear the hippy sing about the circle of life?

2009-05-22, 07:37 PM
Downside to neutrality: druids favor it, and who real wants to hear the hippy sing about the circle of life?

Druid roars, rips your head off, his animal companion rips your butt off and a summon eats your soul. Then he mumbles something about natural selection and pees on your remains...naturally. It's the Elves who do the "hippy"-act.

2009-05-22, 07:50 PM
Tome of Battle and Players Handbook #2 seem to be favorites. So, Spell Compendium or Expanded Psionics Handbook?

So lets say I wanted to play a neutral human wizard age 18 (all though this may change once I get my hands on some of the books you all mentioned).

stats I rolled are 14 17 12 9 10 12.
What order should I place them?

Next is Starting Level, what opens me up to the most choices?



Skills and Feats?


Anything else?

2009-05-22, 07:58 PM
That's easy, 17 is your INT. 14 is CON, for precious HP. The 12s can go into DEX and WIS for saves, 9 STR and 10 CHA.

Level 20 is obviously the most choices, but you should start from level 1. It'll teach your frail 1d4 hit dice some humility. Level 3 is a good place to start if you don't want to get killed by house cats, as you get your 2nd level spells and a new feat. 6th is good too, having 2 feats (Wizard bonus feat at 5 and normal feat at 6) more than 3, and a new spell level. You generally want to take a Prestige Class after level 5 or 6, so consider which one you want when building your character.

Familiars are most useful when traded off for an alternate class feature. If you must have one, a Hummingbird (non-core though) gives a useful AC bonus, and a Raven can talk and Use Magic Device for you as well as fly.

Don't specialize in Evocation, let the fighters deal damage. Banning Evocation and either Necromancy or Enchantment is what people usually do, though Illusion gets the stick sometimes as well. Never ban Transmutation or Conjuration, they are the two most powerful schools.

2009-05-22, 08:02 PM
Sorry, I meant most options as in "Which starting levels are most popular in the playground?"

Edit: Favored prestige classes?

2009-05-22, 08:10 PM
Don't get the Expanded Psionics Handbook: It's part of the SRD, and it's legally free online.

Keld Denar
2009-05-22, 08:17 PM
Generally this will vary from game to game. Most common starting level seems to be 1st, with 5-6th being right behind it and anything else being way way way behind. Of the 5 PbP games I'm in, though, levels are 5, 6, 10, 11, and 13. So really, it varys. The things that make you most attractive to PbP games though, are depth of character and post frequency availability.

As far as wizarding goes...the 2 top choices powergame wise are Human (bonus feats are awesome) and Grey Elf (for the +2 int buff at 0 LA), with Gnomes being a practical choice for Illusionist (especially for Shadowcraft Mages - Races of Stone), and Strongheart Halflings being popular for similar reasons to humans.

For schools, if you are going Grey Elf, DEFINITELY get the Elven Generalist racial sub levels in Races of the Wild. You won't be able to specialize, but you get a bonus spell slot of the highest level you can cast, which is almost as good, and you don't have to give up any schools of magic. This is most versitile. If you go Human, Specialist Conjourer or Transmuter are strong choices, given that those 2 schools alone compose about 1/3 of the spells printed in the game. Conjouration is my favorite, and oft cited as the most powerful and versitile school. It killed Evocation and took its stuff a half an edition ago. If you specialize, the most commonly dropped schools tend to be Evocation and Enchantment. Evocation overlaps a lot with Conjouration, especially if you have Spell Compendium, and the effects that don't overlap can be replicated with the various Shadow Evocation spells in the Illusion school. Enchantment has a lot of overlap with Illusion, but tends to be even more 1sided than Illusion. Very few Enchantments aren't [Mind Affecting], and lots of things (like plants and undead) are immune to [Mind Affecting]. Both of those schools have some real gems (like Otto's Irresistable Dance and Wall of Force), but are generally considered the "most expendable" if you have to drop a school. After that tends to be either Abjuration or Necromancy, depending on PrC desires and party makeup.

There is also Focused Specialist (CMage), but I'd recommend NOT doing it unless you spec Conjouration or Illusion (and go Shadowcraft Mage). Dropping a 3rd spell school for a whole extra spell slot each level is pretty costly, but in either of those situations, its oft considered worthwhile.

Its generally considered wise to PrC out of wizard, after 5th level usually, or after 3rd level if you go into the Master Specialist PrC (CMage). Good PrCs are Divine Oracle (CDivine), Loremaster (DMG), Fatespinner (CArcane), Initiate of the 7fold Veils (CArcane), Archmage (DMG), or a few others, depending on your goals.

So...what do you want your wizard to do?

2009-05-22, 08:29 PM
Wizard stat allocation from best to worst:

Int>Dex=Con>Cha/Wis>Str (Cha and Wis can vary depending on whether you plan on using spells with Charisma-checks [Charm Person, Charm Monster, Planar Binding-line] and whether Leadership is allowed; if either, Cha is more important, but otherwise take Wis for Will-saves)

Int 17
Con 14
Dex 12 (or the other way around; Gray Elf from MM1 would probably be a better race with these stats, as feats aren't quite as strong in a coreish environment)
Cha/Wis 12
Cha/Wis 10
Str 9

As for Familiar, it comes down to taste and what bonuses you want. Few solid options:
Cat: for low-level Move Silently, decent at delivering touch spells too, and pretty non-obvious familiar as it could just as well be a pet.

Rat: helps your poor Fort-saves (you don't wanna fail those) and is really, really easy to keep safe. Mostly passive Familiar though.

Raven: if you can get lots of ranks in Use Magic Device (such as through the Loremaster PrC), this can learn the said skill and thus use Wands for you as it can speak. It also flies and such so it's a fine spell delivery machine and can stay relatively safe.

Toad: for the first levels, 3 HP is a lot. Becomes useless quickly so don't pick unless you can switch it out; the bonus is the only reason to take it ever.

Spell schools are another topic; from the least expendable to the most expendable:

Divination you can't give up, so it's first. It's a great school anyways, but doesn't have many spells so specialize in it only to save that one school. The few spells it has though are musts.

Conjuration has the widest spread of different abilities from teleportation to the best battlefield modifying spells to great damage spells to summoning and calling. Never give it up. Simple. Even teleportation alone is a reason enough.

Specializing here is a solid choice; gives you great spells for every level and other books offer some great alternative class features for specialist Conjurer.

Transmutation is like Conjuration; great offense, tons of buffing, overall just really versatile. It's worth noting though that the Polymorph-line of spells tends to be very broken and if that line is banned, Transmutation's value drops a tad. Still nothing to give away though.

Specializing here is a fine choice too, although the alternative class features are a bit worse (there's one great one in Unearthed Arcana though).

Illusion is the best defensive school in the game along with packing a decent offense and giving you just as much bang as you can imagine; the open-endedness of many of the spells means your imagination is the only limit. It also replicates the few useful Evocations in the game rather well (note that Shadow Conjuration isn't as good as it can only replicate a part of Conjuration).

Might want to specialize if you're into Images, never ban.

Necromancy is a great offensive/debuff school. That's all it does though. But it packs a lot of no-save effects, a lot of save-or-bad-stuff-happens effects and such. It's got solid offense. In Core-only, this stuff is too important to give up. With Spell Compendium, other schools can adequately replace this. Without them though, don't give it up or you lose a lot of your power against single big opponents.

Specializing is a bad idea due to how one-dimensional the school is and how few actually good spells it has.

Abjuration is a weird school - it really has just few good spells, but you can't live without them (Dispel Magic, anyone?). So why is it so low? Because the irreplaceable spells are on every other caster's lists too! So if you have a Cleric/Druid/whatever, Abjuration becomes really bad. Therefore, must-have if you're a lone caster in the party, but otherwise so-so.

Specializing is generally a bad idea spell-wise, but it does get you great Master Specialist [CM]-abilities and qualifies you for Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil, which is pretty handy.

Enchantment is kinda meh. It does great early on, but later on when mind-affecting immunity gets more and more common (culminating in Mind Blank which the whole team wants anyways), this pretty much dies as you need to dispel before any Enchantment can do anything. All the buffs are like this too so if the team is Blanked, you can't buff 'em with enchantment. And other schools have better offense and buffing anyways. The only thing you lose here is one no-save "lose" spell in Irresistible Dance, and Heroisms.

Don't specialize in here unless you're a masochist or want a really specific character idea. Telepath Psion probably does that character better anyways.

Evocation isn't bad, but everything it does can replicated with other schools. Basically, giving it away hurts the least. Therefore it's always the first choice. The funny part is that out-of-core, specializing in Evocation doesn't hurt much either. But in-core, Evocation has a few solid Wall-spells, the omnipotent Contingency (something you want Greater Shadow Evocation for and still get it two levels later; the biggest loss), and lots of damage. Offense you can get from Necromancy and Conjuration, so meh.

Specializing can be an ok idea, but the problem becomes "what to give away?" because while Evocation is easy to replicate, no single school does it and Evocation can't replicate any other schools. So what to do? You'll run out of schools to give up.

Concentration: Used to cast spells while fighting. Always max.

Spellcraft: Used to identify other spells in combat and a billion other uses. Always max.

Knowledges: These are used to identify monsters and their weaknesses and abilities and such - very useful, and Int-based; place at least 1 point in all to make trained checks. Arcane is always max.

Hide/Move Silently: Cross-class, but really handy for making up for your lack-of-HP on low levels. Highers, don't bother, but before you get your Illusion mojo going, this is great.

Craft: If your DM allows you to Craft the party's starting gear, this can be a great way to get way better than normal in the start. In adventure, this is quickly obsoleted as you get so much money that only magical gear is worth making and this can't be used for that.

Forgery: Int-based and opposed by Forgery-checks. In other words, you'll beat out everyone but those who've studied Forgery already with just your Int-modifiers. One rank is nice.

Decipher Script: One rank just because some arschloch DM might put a "must-have-this" in your campaign. Other than that, don't bother; spells replicate this.

Ride: Crossclass a couple of ranks to make the most out of the wonderful travel spell (on higher levels, especially) "Phantom Steed". Also handy for mounts early.

Spot/Listen: Handy early on; an extra pair of eyes/ears never hurts. Then again, the checks quickly get too hard for you and non-Elves suffer here as well.

Use Magic Device: Use Magic Device is a great skill for Wands, many class-specific items (Beads of Karma from the Strand of Prayer Beads in DMG comes to mind) and so on. This is one of the reasons dipping a level in Loremaster is a good idea often. Note that your familiar greatly benefits of this too if it can use this (familiars get your skill ranks)

Leadership: Best feat in the game; get an extra character and followers. Circle Magic and all that can be based on this, but it's worth it just for the extra character.

Improved Familiar (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#improvedFamiliar): The feat is printed in DMG. That said, it kicks ass. Especially few specific creatures: Imp, Quasit and Pseudodragon all kick normal Familiars' ass (Imp/Quasit get free Communes among others, Pseudodragon has Telepathy). Great for higher levels when you want more utility (and certain ability to UMD) out of your Familiar.

Quicken Spell: Must around level 12 where you can prepare these. Doubles the spells you can cast in a turn.

Extend Spell: To make buffs last long enough. Whee!

Empower Spell/Maximize Spell/Split Ray/Twin Spell/Whatever: For offensive combos.

Craft Wondrous Items: Great crafting feat; this is the widest category, and the first feat you can get so it's a superb option if you can afford it. Note that while you lose XP for crafting, being a level behind in encounters quickly brings you up to speed.

Craft Magic Arms and Armor: If you have a lot of Big Stupid Fighters to babysit.

Craft Rod: If you like Metamagic Rods and such.

Spell Penetration-line: In Core, take. Out of core, there are enough ways to get past Spell Resistance to avoid this. Hell, even in Core, sufficient use of Conjurations makes this obsolete. Worth it just for Enervating Dragons though.

Spell Focus: Use only for prerequisites; otherwise the benefit is handy, but small. You shouldn't focus on one school enough to get use out of this. Not bad, but not all that huge, except in specialised "Save-or-Die" Wizard.

Improved Initiative: Great if you can fit it in.

Inventory: Tower Shield to hide behind :P No, but seriously, just get a bunch of Spell Component Pouches and a mount once you can (to hide behind and such). Lots of mundane gear (paper, oil, ink, light sources, waterskin, backbag, etc.) that might come in handy; you're not the mule though so restrain yourself a bit especially with the heavier stuff (you can ask the party fighter to carry 'em for you though, especially if you've made some stuff for him).

Keld Denar
2009-05-22, 08:40 PM
Eld, your thoroughness in posting is only rivaled by the speed at which you post. You sir, either have a massive wealth of info that you cut/paste and tailor to suit, or you are one hellofa fast typist.

You are a true blessing to this forum! :P

2009-05-22, 08:50 PM
Conjuration sounds fun, I was thinking spells that would give definite tactical advantages so illusions could be useful. Seeing as I only have the three core rulebooks right now, I'll go with Archmage if my character ever reaches high enough level to PrC out. Starting at level 1.

A few questions to keep people busy while I build with what you have given me:

Should I bother to familiarize myself with the standard D&D settings?

How much does "Being a Noob" hurt you in recruitement?

Roleplaying! this is more for fun than anything so vote on your favorite backgrounds (example; 1ab means story one, idea a, plot twist b):
#1: ??? was a young orphan with an exceptionally talented mind, who lived in the slums of (city to the power of plot). After being discovered by a) an independent wizard who raised him as an apprentice, or b) The state magi who train him to be part of the military. At the age of eighteen, the young wizard has set of to travel the world after a) leaving his studies and going rogue, or b) Completeing his training with field experience, seeking truth and power.
#2: The son of a rich noble, ??? was raised in the country side where he was cut off from the outside world. Tutored by the best teachers in the world, he continued his studies, blissfully unaware of the world outside. Until that night, twelve years ago when a) his family was killed in a vicious attack by a mysterious organization, or b) His family's house was raised by rebels. Thirsting for revenge, he has travelled the world, seeking a) power to extract revenge on his parents murderers, or b) seeking information on the mysterious assasins.

Build so far:
Male Human Wizard Lv.1 Age: 18
Name: ??? Alignment: Neutral
Int: 17 Wis: 12 Cha: 10 Dex: 12 Con: 14 Str: 9
School: Conjuration Banned Schools: Evocation, Enchantment

2009-05-22, 09:45 PM
Archmage is a really late-entry Prestige class. You want to plan on being somewhere earlier than that. Never take Wizard past 10th, when you get your 3rd bonus feat, if even that late.
18 seems a bit young for a Wizard, even a human one (Human Wizards are listed with a random starting age of 15+2d6, average 22) but it's your call. If you go Middle-Aged (35) you get your first stat shift: +1 to mental stats and -1 to physical, for 18 starting INT (that extra bonus spell and point of DC will matter) but a slight loss of HP due to reduced CON.

2009-05-22, 09:50 PM
Then maybe something like wizard -> loremaster -> archmage?

2009-05-22, 10:05 PM
Loremaster is sort of feat-intensive, even if it does recoup some of those losses. If you can convince your DM to let you research Lesser Planar Ally as a Wizard spell, Thaumaturgist has a decent capstone in the form of the Planar Cohort. Anything is better than straight Wizard, really, so long as it gains full casting progression.
But yes, Wizard 8/Loremaster 5/Archmage 5/Loremaster 2 is a perfectly decent build.

Keld Denar
2009-05-22, 10:06 PM
If you have access to Complete Divine, Wizard5/DivineOracle2/Loremaster3 is a GREAT 10 level start to a wizard. DO and LM have the same prereq feat, that being, Skill Focus: Knowledge. So...if you get into one, you get into the other. From that point, you can take more DO (DO's 10th level ability is AMAZING, since its basically a Persisted 9th level spell), but Loremaster tends to get better goodies at each level. Archmage can only be entered after level 13, with 14 being your first level of it. This is due to spellcasting requirements, and the needing of 7th level spells.

As far as roleplaying goes...the biggest thing is knowing when you've gone far enough. You can play a semi-tortured brooding anti-hero and still be a team player. If you take it a step further and insist on the sole survivor from another planet, that was destroyed, and having only 1 wing cause the other was torn off, and carrying an impossibly large sword, and dress in dark, yet fasionable clothes, while perpetually brooding about how unfair life is and how you are secretly plotting to betray all your party members who you feel are lessers, even though you just want acceptance and for others to fear and respect you...

You've just become "that guy". Trust me, you don't want to become "that guy". Nobody really likes "that guy", and your character will probably not make it into the game.

2009-05-23, 12:00 AM
Okay, I know this is probably a no-brainer, but at Lv. 1 for a wizard, are my feats: Scribe Scroll, Raven Familiar, 1 or 2 Others?

2009-05-23, 12:58 AM
I just rediscovered my 3.5 core rule books (players handbook, dungeon masters guide, and monsters manual), that were sitting in a long forgotten backpack. Realizing I could now join in the countless 3.5 pbp's on this forum. I decided to build a character.
First set of questions:

Which classes are the most fun without being total game-breakers?
For me? Tome of Battle classes are strong, and versatile, without being TOO strong.

Also in the list is Binder (from Tome of Magic). However, as Binder's pretty much the only worthwhile thing in its book, it's not a very economical investment.

Several Caster/Caster-like Classes can be good as well, including Beguiler, Warlock, and Duskblade. They all have their own feel (Beguiler is a hardcore enchanter caster that can do many things rogues do... Warlocks are endurance, they can go all day, but their effects aren't very versatile. Duskblade is a gish, or fighter/caster hybrid.

Which other rule books should I consider in investing in (I'm trying to keep it under 3)?I'll provide 2 options.
Tome of Battle, Complete Warrior, Complete Adventurer - If you want to lean towards the physical side of the house.

Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, Complete Divine - For a more caster feel.

If you want to balance, I consider Complete Arcane, Tome of Battle, Races of X to be good, where X is your preferred race.

Which alignments don't annoy everyone?Alignments don't annoy people. Poorly played alignments annoy people. I can think of an example of an annoying player I've had for every alignment, and another for a great one. Great example? Miko vs O-Chul.

If you build a character that can work well in a team/group environment, and you give him character depth, then you'll do fine.

Keld Denar
2009-05-23, 01:00 AM
Spell Focus: Conjouration is a good start. It affects your Grease spell at level 1, and your Glitterdust and Web spells at level 3 (when you get level 2 spells). It also allows you to get into the Master Specialist PrC, and is 1/3 of the feat requirements for Archmage eventually. Solid.

I love Cloudy Conjourations, from Complete Mage. It summons a 5' cloud next to you, or the target of your spell, that automatically sickens anyone in it, no save. Put it between you and anything bad to block Line of Sight, or drop it on top of a foe to lower their saves. It combo's nicely with Grease, since while being sickened doesn't affect their initial reflex save (due to the wording on the feat), it does affect their balance check if they try to move OFF the Grease on their turn. Thats solid.

An alternative to that would be Augemented Summons, if you want to be a summoner. It gives +4 Str and +4 Con to your summons. That means more HP, and more damage. Summoning is generally better off for a Druid to do, but you can be passing fair at it as well. Do this if you think you'll be doing an above average amount of summoning. Otherwise, not as worth it.

Improved Init, as Eld mentioned above, is good regardless. Going first means dropping a spell before your enemies can react. Lock em down early and keep em down, and you can just wait for your team to mop up. It has no prereqs, and thus, if you are gonna take it, 1st level is as good a place as any!

2009-05-23, 01:07 AM
For wizards, if you enjoy a challenge, there's a variant in Complete Mage. Focused Specialist.

A Focused Specialist (Transmutation) is a force to be reckoned with, if you are careful with spell selection. Between Transmutation, Illusion, Necromancy, Conjuration, Divination, and Abjuration, you can cover pretty much everything you'll ever need... But what if you needed to drop another? Necromancy is usually the one to go, and the remaining spells are incredibly versatile, even without 3 schools. The upside? Scads of transmutation spells at every level, giving your spells per day almost the numbers of a sorceror.

For feats? Practical Metamagic is a good one, Spell Focus is another.

2009-05-23, 01:21 AM
For wizards, if you enjoy a challenge, there's a variant in Complete Mage. Focused Specialist.

A Focused Specialist (Transmutation) is a force to be reckoned with, if you are careful with spell selection. Between Transmutation, Illusion, Necromancy, Conjuration, Divination, and Abjuration, you can cover pretty much everything you'll ever need... But what if you needed to drop another? Necromancy is usually the one to go, and the remaining spells are incredibly versatile, even without 3 schools. The upside? Scads of transmutation spells at every level, giving your spells per day almost the numbers of a sorceror.

For feats? Practical Metamagic is a good one, Spell Focus is another.3 things. First, I would recommend Conj over Trans. More variety in effects, more powerful ACFs/Master Specialist, and IMHO more powerful overall, but both are viable. Second, I would drop Abjuration over Necro. Abjuration is actually slightly better(maybe), due to the existance of Death Ward and lack of really good high-level Necro, but the best Abjuration all appears on the Cleric list, meaning with a party, you have no need for the school. Third, you don't get 'nearly as many spells' as a Sorcerer. Heck, As a normal Specialist, you're tied for highest level slots, and only one behind for lower-level ones. As a Focused Specialist, you come out ahead on even levels. On odd levels...well, let's just say that draconic genes don't eliminate tears.

2009-05-23, 05:18 AM
Okay, I know this is probably a no-brainer, but at Lv. 1 for a wizard, are my feats: Scribe Scroll, Raven Familiar, 1 or 2 Others?

You get two others. And Conjuration is fine. When working with just Core, I'd go:

Wizard 7/Loremaster 8-10/Archmage 3-5; adjust the Archmage and Loremaster numbers to taste depending on how many of the Archmage-abilities you want (if the game ever goes that far).

Loremaster has the great skillpoints going on for it, and a few handy Secrets. Loremaster 10 isn't bad at all; Archmage also has a few great abilities but whether you want 3 or 5 kinda depends; you'll definitely want Arcane Reach and Mastery of Shaping, but then the second Arcane Reach, Spell Power and Spell-Like Ability are kinda up to the player (handy, but not musts; I like Spell Power).

The best prestige class in Core is really Red Wizard of Thay, but that class is setting specific and thus not always available. Still, it's right there in the DMG and Circle Magic kicks ass.

As far as feats go, I agree with Keld; if you go Conjurer, Spell Focus: Conjuration is very handy on the first levels. Web, Grease & Glitterdust are just about the best offensive level 1 and 2 spells available.

Other than that, metamagic for future use can always be handy (as can other prerequisites; you'll eventually need to pick another Spell Focus or two for Archmage, and Skill Focus for Loremaster), and as said, Improved Initiative is always handy.

With regards to backgrounds and all that: Familiarize yourself with few of the settings if you feel so inclined. Most PbPs take place in homebrew settings though, and generally you have enough time before the game starts to do the familiarization then.

If you feel like reading on D&D lore, I'd read Forgotten Realms and Eberron for starters as they seem to be the most used 3.5 settings nowadays (Greyhawk is the default settings, but seems to be played much less than the other two).

And being a noob shouldn't be a problem as long as you stay away from the unwanted behaviour with regards to players, and actively take part in the game.

Roleplaying isn't really something that needs to be taught, so if you screw up because of being "a noob", it'll be on the mechanical side of things and that's not much of a problem. So don't worry about it.

Background is really something you'll have to decide for yourself since it's very much a "suit to taste"-kinda thing.

2009-05-23, 09:39 AM
the role playing part was really just to get it out off my head, but yeah...
Well then, I think I have enough to start coming up with a decent character, but if anyone wants to add anything, be it totally unrelated to the questions, be my guest.