View Full Version : LotR Wizard [Wizard/Warlock alternative - PEACH]

2008-11-24, 11:40 AM
Here's my attempt at three birds with one stone: (A) the creation of a class that can represent everything Gandalf did as well as adapt to the DnD system, (B) a substitute for the far too powerful spellcasting classes that, while balanced, doesn't have the feel of gimping that limits fun, and (C) an alternative for the Warlock that can both adapt to various alignments and isn't limited to 31 points of damage at level 20 unless he seriously multiclasses.



Hit-Die: d6
Armor Proficiency: None
Weapon Proficiency: Simple, Longsword
Skills/level: 2
Str: Jump.
Con: Concentration
Int: Craft (any), Knowledge (any), Spellcraft, Speak Language
Wis: Spot, Listen, Sense Motive.
Cha: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Use Magic Device.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Invocations
1st|+1|+0|+0|+2|Magestrike, Worldly Insight|1
4th|+4|+1|+1|+4|Least Combat Insight|4
6th|+6/+1|+2|+2|+5|Wizard Fire|5/1
7th|+7/+2|+2|+2|+5|Lesser Combat Insight 2/3|5/2
10th|+10/+5|+3|+3|+7|Greater Combat Insight|5/5
13th|+13/+8/+3|+4|+4|+8|Battle of Wills|5/5/3
16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+5|+5|+10|Searing Light|5/5/5/1

Attack Bonus: Istari have the indicated BAB for combat maneuers, staves, longswords and Magestrikes. For any other weapon and spells requiring touch or ranged touch attacks they get the BAB of a wizard of their level.

Magestrike (Su) : Istari attack with blasts of power they can channel through their hands or a staff they are wielding. This is a ranged attack with a range increment of 60 feet, critical 3x and dealing crushing damage of 1d8 + wisdom modifier + whatever enchantments the staff has. Use the better of dexterity for the attack roll. An Istari can full attack with Magestrike as with any ranged weapon and take any feat that would apply for ranged weapons in general or for Longbow specifically (such as point-blank shot, weapon focus or improved critical) for his Magestrike instead.
An Istari can use Magestrike within antimagic fields or other effects that inhibit magic if he succeeds on a DC 20 will save for each attempt. However, Magestrike damage is affected by damage reduction-though it counts as a magic weapon.
Magestrike BAB only benefits from levels in Istar. Disregard BAB of other classes when you use Magestrike.

Invocations (Sp) : Istari can manipulate the Fires of Creation and bring about many miraculous changes in the world that others see as magical. All normal rules for spells apply to Istari invocations with two exceptions: Istari can use Invocations within antimagic fields or other effects that inhibit magic if they succeed on a DC 20 will save for each attempt and there is no material component if the invocation mimicks a spell that has one.
Istari gain 1 least invocation per class level in levels 1-5, 1 lesser per class level in levels 6-10, 1 greater per class level in levels 11-15 and 1 true invocation per level in levels 16-20.

Worldly Insight (Ex) : Istari have a deep understanding and knowledge of the world. This ability functions as the Bardic Knowledge ability but use Wisdom instead of Intelligence for the check.

Spells (Sp) : Starting at level 2, one of the Wise Men can cast all cantrips at will. In addition, they have 1 spell slot plus 1 aditional spell slot per 5 class levels. These spell slots are of a level equal to half their class level. Spell DCs are based on intelligence and spell slot level, not base spell level.
The Istari learn 1 spell of the max level they can cast or less per class level and may learn additional spells from scrolls or research. They never need spellbooks-they hold those spells in their minds. Memorization of spells to the spell slots takes 1 minute per spell to be memorized. All other rules for arcane spells apply as normal and metamagic spells can be memorized normally if the Istar in question posesses the requisite feats.

Light of Ea (Ex) : Istari can manipulate natural light in an emanation with a radius of 10 ft per class level up to lvl 10 then an additional 30 ft per class level beyond 10th. They can increase light intensity to broad daylight at any time of day or night even in enclosed or underground spaces or diminish light intensity to total darkness at any time of night or day, even in open spaces at midday.
Torches, light spells or other artificial and magical sources of light or darkness are not affected-only natural daylight, moonlight and starlight. For the purposes of creatures specifically harmed or benefired by either daylight or darkness, Light of Ea counts as natural light or darkness if the Istar has at least as many HD as the creature in question.

Wizard Fire (Su) : At 6th level, the damage of the Istari's Magestrikes increases by 1. In addition, an Istar may choose to turn Magestrike damage to fire damage. If he does, the damage is affected by fire resistance instead of damage reduction and creatures and objects adjacent to the target must make reflex saves or take damage as well.

Combat Insight: Starting at 4th level, unarmored and unencumbered Istari take one third (round up) their wisdom modifier as a bonus to AC. The bonus increases to 2/3 at 7th level and full wisdom modifier at 10th level. This bonus can never exceed the Istari's class level and does not stack with other effects that add additional ability modifiers to AC.

Thunderbolt: At 11th level, the damage of the Istari's Magestrikes increases by 1. In addition, an Istar may choose to turn the damage into lightning or sonic damage. If he does, the damage is affected by the appropriate energy resistance instead of damage reduction and creatures struck must make a fortitude save or be blinded (if lightning) or deafened (if sonic) for 1 round.

Battle of Wills: Starting at 13th level, Istari may will magic to ignore them. To affect an Istar with a harmful spell, an opponent must succeed in an opposed will save against the Istar. For the purposes of this contest, ignore any magical bonuses to will saves. At 15th level this also applies to all spell like effects and at 17th level it also applies to supernatural effects.

Searing Light: At 16th level, the damage of the Istari's Magestrikes increases by 1. In addition, an Istar may choose to turn the damage into Divine damage. If he does, Magestrike ignores hardness and does an additional 1d6 damage to targets with different alignment components to his own.

Apotheosis: At 20th level, the Istari's type changes to outsider, he no longer take aging penalties and he has damage reduction 'magic' equal to his wisdom modifier +5.

Invocation List:

Least Invocations:
See the Unseen (n) : as per warlock
Baleful Utterance (n) : as per warlock
Unravel magic (n) : CL check to dispel 1 effect within 10 ft. Casting time equal to effect level
Farcaster (n) : Strike shape. Your Strikes have 120 ft increment.
Charm (n) : as per warlock
Blessing (g) : as per dark one's own luck but divine bonus instead. can give it to others
Shield (g) : as the spell, can have only one
Continual Light (g) : as continual flame
Devil's Sight (e) : as per warlock
Silence (e) : as the spell, can have only one
Persistent Dark (e) : as continual flame but sheds darkness instead of light

Lesser Invocations:
Magesight (n) : can see magic auras in LoS. Spellcraft standard action identifies 1 aura.
Lightning (n) : as lightning bolt but does Magestrike damage
Dispel Magic (n) : uncapped dispel magic
Spellbane Strike (n) : Strike shape. Your strikes ignore either concealment or AC from spells and spell-like abilities.
Phantom Steed (n) : as the spell but steed has your defences and half your HP. Can have only one, arrives in 1 min and if it dies cannot be called for a day.
Divine Gift (g) : +4 to 1 ability score, can have only one
Halt Darkness (g) : as halt undead, works on shadow and half-real creatures too.
Hold Monster (g) : as the spell, on targets of your HD or less only, can have only 1
Magic Circle (g/e) : as the spell, vs evil if good, vs good if evil
Bestow Curse (e) : as the spell
The Dead Walk (e) : as per warlock
Fear (e) : as the spell

Greater Invocations:
Farseeing (n) : can use clairaudience/clairvoyance and scrying as the spells
Wall of Fire (n) : as the spell
Control Magic (n) : uncapped dispel. if you succeed, you may assume control of the spell as if you'd cast it instead of dispelling it. can have only one spell under control at the time
Arcfire (n) : Blast shape. As a full-round action, you can Magestrike all enemies in a 60 ft cone. Arcfire cannot attack objects.
Suggestion (n) : as the spell, up to class levels/5 active at once
Wall of Light (g) : as per wall of force, sheds light as daylight up to 20 ft. can have only 1.
Sphere of Light (g) : as per resilient sphere, self only. Roll full attack Magestrike damage. The sphere has that many HP. Usable 1/min.
Purge Evil (g) : as per dismissal. evil native creatures that fail saves flee for 1 round/level instead.
Hallow/Unhallow (g/e) : as the spells
Chilling Tentacles (e) : as per warlock
Flee the Scene (e) : as per warlock
Command the Fallen (e) : as per chained command undead but works on all evil creatures of 4 HD or less

True Invocations:
True Foresight (n) : as per warlock's dark foresight
Earthquake (n) : as the spell, 100 ft range
Abolish Magic (n) : uncapped dispel, +4 bonus to dispel checks
Dual Strike (n) : Strike shape. You can strike at 2 different targets at once either in a standard attack or in a full attack.
Word of Changing (n) : as per warlock
Blinding Glory (g) : shed light like the sun. You have total concealment for the purposes of being targeted with attacks or effects and gain bonuses to attack in melee as if you were invisible. You surpress darkness effects within 20 feet and anyone attacking you in meele must make a fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round.
Healing Aura (g) : 20 ft aura. For every hour living creatures spend in your aura they heal HP and ability damage as if they had rested for a day. If they actually rest for 8 hours, they heal 2 pts of ability drain and make disease and negative level saves with a bonus equal to your wisdom modifier.
Holy/Unholy Aura (g/e) : as the spells
Spirit Call (g/e) : you may speak remotely as per sending. alternatively, you may call an extraplanar or undead creature of 12 HD or less to you. It comes within 10 min but must serve you of its own free will. Attacking it or attempting to magically coerce or control it causes it to immediately return to its home
Cloak of Night (e) : use Greater Invisibility+Nondetection as the spells, self only.
Path of Darkness (e) : as per warlock's path of shadow. In addition, you are at all times immune to negative energy, ability drain and death effects.

Designer Notes

Damage: The class functions damage-wise as an archer with a longbow. The archer could add both strength and dexterity to damage or even deal double damage with the right enchantments but the Istar is less affected by DR and has a few tricks.
Compared to the Warlock, the damage is higher, the to-hit reliability is lower (because it's ranged attack, not ranged touch) and there are no save-or-lose effects such as nauseation and paralysis.
Invocations: More invocations than the Warlock but fewer combinations for direct attacks. Overall Invocation strength has been upped because the warlock was sub-par compared to even lightly optimised meelers or gishes.
Spells: Spells are secondary. They are there to provide the odd effects that could not be squeezed into the invocation list and the occasional nova but they are very limited.

Tell me what you think. Too strong? Too complicated? Just right?

2008-11-24, 01:18 PM
I like it. I'm no judge for balance, so I can't tell you if you succeeded on reducing the power of the wizard. However, the Battle of Wills ability worries me. Call me old fashioned, but wouldn't spell resistance be easier?

You referred to the Istari as a "Wise Man" in the Spells ability. Is that intentional?

Not sure if you want it, but I modified your table to include the spell slots/known/max level...that way I could just look at the table to know rather than figuring it out myself (what can I say, I'm lazy :smallbiggrin:). If you want to use it, it's in the spoiler below.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Invocations|Spell Slots|Spells Known|Max Spell Level
1st|+1|+2|+0|+2|Magestrike, Worldly Insight|1
3rd|+3|+3|+1|+3|Light of Ea|3|1|2|1st
6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+5|Wizard Fire|5/1|2|5|3rd
8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+6|Combat Insight|5/3|2|7|4th
13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+8|Battle of Wills|5/5/3|3|12|6th
16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+10|Searing Light|5/5/5/1|4|15|8th

2008-11-24, 01:28 PM
Very nice job, you deffinitely succeeded in your goal and it's a nice class. The invocations and limited spells make up for the slightly reduced damage. Kudos once again. I'll give it a more in depth look later.

Primal Fury
2008-11-24, 01:57 PM
Barring the fact the I know next to nothing of lord of the rings outside the movies, this is nice. But I'm rather confused about the alignment restictions on some of the invocations. Why are Silence, Flee the Scence, and Cloak on Night considered evil?

2008-11-24, 03:26 PM
However, the Battle of Wills ability worries me. Call me old fashioned, but wouldn't spell resistance be easier?
As part of the balancing in the class against normal DnD casters and magical monsters, I considered Spell Resistance and decided against it. Magical effects here were supposed to fail ~60% of the time as per most outsiders (who are SR=CR+12). However there arise a few problems:
1) There are a buzzillion ways to boost caster level, even in core. And some creatures, even in core, do not have caster level according to their HD or even challenge rating. So, what SR should I set? Against the CL=HD assumption for unoptimised casters? Against the CL=HD+5 for optimised casters? Against the CL=CR-6 for most dragons? Against the insane CL of some weird builds?
2) Assay Resistance (lvl 4 spell) means +10 to SR checks. Makes SR useless. Ditto For Truecasting which is a one-time lvl 1 spell. Both are arcane spells so if I increase SR to match, every nonarcane caster is hosed.
3) Arcane Casters have a crapload of offencive Conjurations which are nonmagical. While this will remain so even with Battle of Wills, I had to even the playing field.
Results: So we have battle of wills. Divine Spellcasters have higher base Will thus face Battle of Wills at even ground. Arcane Spellcasters may have a disadvantage but they have their "SR No" spells. Monsters usually have higher HD and higher stats and thus higher base will and are not inhibited as much; the CR 26 great wurm will burn the Istari just fine despite its 19 caster level. The CR 20 optimised arcanist will have the expected chances of success despite his min-maxed up to 25+ caster level.

You referred to the Istari as a "Wise Man" in the Spells ability. Is that intentional?

Istari means "Wise Men" in Sindarin, I think. Or is it Quenya?

I modified your table...
Spell Slots are off. They are 1 + 1/5 levels, not 1/5 levels after 1. So one at lvl 2, two at level 5, three at lvl 10, four at level 15 and five at level 20.
Also, slot level does not cap. At 20th level the spell slots are 10th level (for metamagic use if you want)

Why are Silence, Flee the Scence, and Cloak on Night considered evil?
It is a LotR thing. Anything to do with darkness, shadow, trickery and generally diminishing things is evil. Feel free to disregard that in actual games.

2008-11-24, 06:19 PM
Overpowered? Absolutely. But I'd play it for the flavor alone. :)


I saw that you attempted to balance Magestrike with EB by not making it ranged touch, but you negated that balance by giving Istari both Zen Archery and Monk AC for free.
Fort isn't a good save for either warlocks OR wizards, so why do Istari get it?
Becomes a skill monkey with both Int and Wis modifiers granting points (and multiplied points at first level to boot)
Personally, I think at-will cantrips are a bit much for early levels. I would have it be 5/ or 6/day until 3rd or 4th level. Could be fine though...
A 3rd level Istar can take out much more powerful undead (e.g. vampires and wraiths) with light of ea.

While Saruman and Gandalf fit nicely into this mold, it doesn't appear to me to fit nature-loving Radagast very well.

2008-11-24, 09:49 PM

Magestrike fixed. But Zen Archery is a no-brainer anyway; one feat difference. (just like any feat or enhancement of dexterity to damage is for archers)
Bonus Knowledge skills replaced by a Lore ability. Even more fitting the overall flavor too.
Light of Ea fixed not to affect more powerful undead.
The fort save is a copy-paste thingy and is being changed. I got the base template from another homebrew here and forgot to change it.

The invocations don't really fit Radagast except for charm/hold monster (which work on animals) and Spirit Call-magical animals in Middle Earth tend to be extraplanar.
I wasn't really thinking of him when I was making the invocations. I guess you could houserule druid spells instead of wizard spells in his spell book and give him animal empathy or something.

2008-11-24, 10:32 PM
I like the class. I'm curious to see how it plays.

Begin Geek Speak

We don't really know that much about Radigast to base rules on.

There is evidence that the Istari were created\intimately suited to their role. Radigast the Brown is wise in the ways of nature probably because gandalf isn't. The colours denote rank but also interest\ability.

When Gandalf is reborn he becomes Gandalf the White. It is a transformation and rebirth more than he is taking Saruman's Job.

Don't generally play with Warlocks but I like this design. I think to represent the Istari though you'd have to create the whole council and divide up their expertise giving each colour a specialty. If you're only going to have a central class Gandalf (Grey&White) and Saruman (White&Cast Out) are the best models.

One thing to think about though is that their magic is not simply arcane. Saruman loses his magic after his fall. Gandalf has many of the elements of an Angel as well as a wizard.

End Geek Speak


2008-11-26, 12:59 PM
One thing to think about though is that their magic is not simply arcane. Saruman loses his magic after his fall. Gandalf has many of the elements of an Angel as well as a wizard.

I'd say he was weakened after his fall, but didn't lose his magic entirely - He was able to influence the emotions of the hobbits left in the Shire to some degree (making them feel despair and distrust for one another.) There was also the curse that struck the land where he was slain. And his loss of power could be attributed to many things - his loss of the Palantir, his stronghold, Gandalf taking over the mantle of White, Sauron's defeat etc. We just don't know enough about Tolkien's magic system to speculate. This is, of course, my main quibble with Middle Earth and the primary reason I dislike the games.

2008-12-02, 08:02 PM
I don't know if this has been mentioned, but what is the Istari's available spell list? I would assume it would have to be different from the standard D&D arcane spell list since LotR magic is significantly different than what is in a standard D&D game.

Mercenary Pen
2008-12-03, 02:16 AM
Missing a class feature by the looks of the image in the OP:

Walking Stick
The Istari can use any staff as a one-handed weapon.