View Full Version : Creating a new character.

2010-09-27, 05:51 PM
So I'm starting a new campaign and I'm really interested in making an arcane spellcaster, as I've never played one before. Seeing as I've never done so I don't really know which is better, the wizard or sorcerer. Which one should I go for, if either? And should I aim for any prestige classes? Sourcebook shouldn't be a huge problem, I think, unless it's a really obscure class from a magazine, or long forgotten book... And if I go for a PrC how do the Spells per Day work? Do I only gain spells per day, or do I also gain the spell levels and learn new spells? Also, which race should I go with? I'm not a fan of elves, but I like humans and the idea of a goblin wizard has always fascinated me...

Just so you know I'm not really trying to make a really powerful maxed-out character, just wanna have some fun.

Another idea I had was a dual wielder that opens with his two flintlock pistols and then closes in with rapiers (or short swords) in hand. That character is just in the beginning stages though as I haven't asked the GM if guns have been invented or not...

2010-09-27, 05:56 PM
Both Sorcerer and Wizard are good classes, I suggest picking the one that sounds more interesting. Wizard is considered more generally powerful, but it's not like Sorcerers are hurting.

Prestige Classes are a very good idea. I suggest finding one that fits your concept, and aiming for it from the start.

Most Prestige Classes (PrCs) improve both your spells known and spells per day. There are a few that don't (like the Arcane Trickster in the Dungeon Master's Guide), but most do.
As a rule of thumb, you don't want to take PrCs that don't improve your spellcasting at every level.

2010-09-27, 06:00 PM
With PrC, you'll gain new spells known (learned), and spells per day, but only if the line on the PrC says "+1 level of existing spellcasting class"
It might also specify spontaneous/prepared/divine/arcane. Some PrC's will actually give you their own progression instead of your normal one.

I'd suggest taking wizard, and using the feat collegiate wizard. This way, if you grab a spell that you decide you don't like, you can just go study a new one first chance you get. If a sorc decides he doesn't like his spell, he's gotta wait several levels before he can trade it in.

There's a lot of prestige classes we could suggest for you, and we can't really make a valid suggestion until we know better what you want to do. All we can do is tell you what 'powerful' choices are, whether those choices actually fit what you want to do.
Incantatrix, Initiate of 7fold veil, Red Wizard, etc.

edit: To avoid enirs double negative. Avoid prestige classes if they don't improve your spellcasting at each level. Like the Greenstar Adept in C.Arcane.

2010-09-27, 06:17 PM
well any PrC will tell you how it advances spell casting wise. Sorcerer's are based off nothing but their spell casting and wizards only gain bonus feats. Essentially most caster prestige classes will advance it. Essentially you will see on the table "Advance one (arcane)spellcasting level" or something. so like one PrC might increase your lvl every leve, one might do it every other level.

to provide example.You could become a Wizard cleric Mystic theurge. at lvl 10 that would make you a 3/2 wizard/cleric 5 Mystic theurge theoretically. and at 20 you'd basically Spell wise be a 15 wizard, 15 cleric. An arcane trickster is basically a Weak wizard with some of the advantages of a rogue. And others are basically just "You are exactly like a lvl 20 caster but with different abilities.

so if you where a sorcerer 5, Full caster PrC 15, then you'd be just as powerful as a lvl 20 sorcerer, but you'd have neat abilities (I think your familiar wouldnt advance though)
Wizards have the advantage in that they can pretty much master all arcane magic. Their spellbook can carry oh so many spells more than they can cast, per day and all they need is to find another spellbook or buy a scroll to get new spells. However they have to prepare their spells. So their disadvantage is if they prepare the wrong spell sthey are stuck with the spells they picked that day. All your boom spells Lighting and Fire? Not going to help against ghosts much. But their advantage is they can vary it up. So they could prepare a high level fire and lighting spell, a lower lvl acid spell, a few force spells, some summonings, and everything. and with 10 minutes they can reprepare any spells, so you only have to worry about not having the right spells in a heated battle situation

Sorcerer is like taking casting magic...and maxing it out against all others. you have a few spells at each level and alot more than a wizard, but you're mind can only comprehend so much arcane knowledge. So a Wizard might cast fireball and he's all out of fireballs if that was his only one, but if a sorcer knows fireball he can spend all his 3rd lvl spells casting fireball till he runs out.

I think its best as a sorcerer to pick a theme and go with it, you can specialize as a wizard, and i think one should, because even then you are still a master of all kinds of magic. Its essentially like a Sorcer get sa choice of 3 guns but since he only has 3 guns he can carry more ammo. A wizard can have the choice of many guns, can find more guns and if his gun doesnt work for this situation he can just get another gun ready next time. Problem is since he carries so many guns he cannot carry as much ammo

As a sorcerer you might be a blaster, focusing on all dmg dealing spells. Or perhaps get alot of illusion or enchantments. Or maybe pick some summoning spells, a few utility spells and one or two dmg spells and stick to em.

However, you might waste one of your 2-4 spells known (and when you just learn a new spell level, picking a spell you dont end up using is horrible!). A wizard can write down all kindsa spells and it wont be a waste cus if he needs to teleport his group hundreds of miles, chances are they can wait 10 minutes. He doenst need to bother preparing spells that tell how much a magic item is worth or what it does cus he can do that later.

If you are the only Magic user you might be best rolling a wizard where you can get your choice of utility spells and attack spells. However if you have a caster or two in the party i might pick a sorcerer and become a Conjurer, or Necromancer, or have fun with it.

It will suck to be a sorcerer who picks all the wrong spells, and it will suck to be a wizard who prepares the wrong spells. Feel free to talk to your pary, but first and for most think about what you want your character to do and go with that.

2010-09-27, 06:53 PM
Thank you, I am fairly certain now that I am going to be a Wizard. I will take a prestige class, and your comments have helped, that Geometer sounds pretty fun actually, probably gonna take Archmage too, at a higher level... but yeah, thanks.

2010-09-27, 07:03 PM
Oh just some advice with Wizard PrCs:

generally you take Wizard 5/ PrC 1 for 10 levels/Archmage 5.

this is because if you only took Archmage for 5 levels, once you level up to level 21, you aren't progressing epic Wizard yet (and therefore don't get epic feats or spellcasting). Instead you're continuing from Wizard 16 (as in Wiz 15/Archmage 5).

After you chose your first PrC, make sure your feat selection and build matches that.

Oh and I definitely second the Collegiate Wizard feat. It definitely allows for you to make the wrong spell choices as a Wizard and you'll probably make those a lot in the beginning.

I really don't want to dictate your play style but if you're the only arcane spell caster, please pick up more utility than damage. Damage can be replaced from your other party members; arcane utility spells can't.

2010-09-27, 07:23 PM
I was gonna aim to be a buffer, so that's covered.

But I've checked up on the collegiate wizard feat you were talking about, I hadn't heard of it, so I googled it and as far as I can find it seems to be supposed to be in complete arcane, which is weird as I have it. I searched through it and couldn't find it. Is it in some other chapter than the feats chapter? Hidden away somewhere? Did the internet lie? Is it in some other sourcebook? I am confused...

Nevermind, I found it on page 181. Why not put all the new feats into the feats chapter? This is confusing. Well at least I found it, and it does sound really useful.

2010-09-27, 08:44 PM
what does that feat do? Cus i remember reading multiple times that with 10 minutes of study a wizard can reprepare some of his spells (it says as it gets near all of them up to an hour).

The way i'd do it is i'd try to be prepared. I've looked at alot of spells recently and i decided this about 3.5 spellcasting. Alot of spells are great normally, alot are usefull, and alot are mediocre or useful but 10 times better for a certian situation.

Like if you dont devote your time as a Nuker, thats fine, you should have warriors or rogues or whoever killing people. The thing your party lacks is AoE. there will come a time whenever alot of weak things need to be hit at once. or something. So i'd basically prepare at least one attack spell per spell level, one control spell (Entangle, Wall generating spells, facinate animal, things that change the battlefield) and use the rest for what you think is best.

and when you have free time look at a spell you think is interesting, look over its spell range, duration, and any special notes. Like i saw in cantrips there is daze and flare. Well just looking it over Daze seemed better cus you neutralize him for a turn, but i saw that flare lasts a good...minute i think. So though flare is weaker over one turn, that -1 to attack rolls could save lives in a boss fight, while Daze is ok to stall one normal creature...but thats a waste, its 10 times more usefull to stall a specific monster, like one who is going to run off and set off a trap, or a spellcaster is summoning something (which takes a full turn and easily interruptable).
So see daze and Flare as lvl 0 spells are pretty useless....unless you use flare on a long fight, or daze to interrupt a dangerous monster long enough for your party to deal with it.

Simularly, magic missle is a great spell...but it still does low dmg. At 1st lvl you probably have an easier time doing dmg with a bow, since at least you can repeatedly fire if you miss. the power behind magic missle is its a force spell and it automatically hits. Great for ghosts or those times when an enemy is getting away and needs to have its last hitpoints take NOW and you cant risk missing. Wouldnt it suck if a Goblin, almost dead set off an alarm cus you're fighters sword missed and he saved against your sleep spell?

As an arcane caster you will contribue to your party by just casting spells, but you can make a name for yourself for using the same spells in creative ways.

2010-09-27, 09:00 PM
Collegiate wizard:
Normally when you play a wizard you learn only 2 free spells each time you level. Instead with collegiate you learn 4 each time you level.
At first level you normally start with I think 4 first level spells, plus one per point of intelligence bonus. With collegiate, it's 6 plus one per point of int bonus.

This is phenomenal when you're mid dungeon and each enemy caster has been a cleric, or sorcerer. Or doesn't carry any scrolls.
Also, as stated playing through as a wizard, you'll get a small library of your spellbooks as you learn new spells, both from leveling up, and from finding scrolls.
Sometimes you'll see a DM that says if you're going to start with a high level wizard, the only spells you can have in your book are those you learned via level ups. Well collegiate wizard means that single feat has almost doubled your spells available.

Gabe the Bard
2010-09-27, 09:08 PM
Depending on your style of play and your DM, you may not need to take collegiate wizard. Our DM usually gives us fair warning of what's coming up before we prepare our spells. But even if you choose the wrong spells a couple of times, I think you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

We had a wizard in our party once who was more like a sorcerer. He printed out his spell sheet, and on very rare occasions he might change maybe one spell on it. Most of the time, he was baleful polymorphing or flesh to stoning, or mass suggesting the enemies to let him teleport them off the edge of the world.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't read up on what collegiate wizard actually did :P I assumed it had something to do with spell preparation. Now that I've read it, it seems like a very good deal, especially if your DM lets you pick your spells at new levels from splatbooks but only gives you scrolls from the DMG.

2010-09-27, 11:52 PM
Nevermind, I found it on page 181. Why not put all the new feats into the feats chapter? This is confusing. Well at least I found it, and it does sound really useful.
Because it's a sidebar describing an feat that the DM can include at his option, sort of like the Leadership feat. Players should not assume that it is available for selection without consulting the DM first.

I'm not sure exactly why this feat was singled out for this treatment, though. It's a highly advantageous feat with a backstory requirement, so maybe they figured sticking it in the area about magical organizations/universities would be appropriate, so it doesn't just become something that 80% of wizards pick without a thought.