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    Default Variant Wizard

    Behold, part 5 of my little... -cough- project. Teh WIZARD! In all his epic might.

    Now, for the specializations. The very idea of being completely focused in one school of magic you 'deny' the exsistance of another one or two entirely? So badly you can never.. ever, possibly use it? .... W. T. F.? I fixed it up so that your mastery of one school makes it more difficult to use all other schools of spells, not just perma-ban one, giving even specialists some more needed versatility.

    I cutt off a few of the higher-level spell slots, 8th and 9th, and allowed wizards to re-prepair lower level spells as he gains levels. 10 minutes of rest, 60 minutes of studying his spellbook, walla, according to level he can restore all his cantrips to 5th level spells!

    Anyway, enjoy! <3




    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Wizard~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WIZARD
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th
    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |School Specialization, Scribe Scroll|3+1|1+1
    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    ||4+1|2+1
    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    ||4+1|2+1|1+1
    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Arcane Familiarity (+2 AC)|4+1|3+1|2+1
    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Spellbook Familiarity (1st)|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Boundless Knowledge|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Arcane Familiarity (+2 Saves)|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Spellbook Familiarity (2nd)|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Bonus Feat, Powerful Presence +1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    ||4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    12th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Arcane Familiarity (+4 AC), Powerful Presence +2, Spellbook Familiarity (3rd)|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    13th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    ||4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    14th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Powerful Presence +3|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    15th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bonus Feat, Spellbook Familiarity (4th)|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|2+1
    16th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Arcane Familiarity (+4 Saves), Powerful Presence +4|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    17th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    ||4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1|1+1
    18th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Powerful Presence +5, Spellbook Familiarity (5th)|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1|2+1
    19th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    ||4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|2+1
    20th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Arcane Mastery, Bonus Feat, Powerful Presence +6|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|4+1|3+1|3+1[/table]

    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Dice: d4.
    Base Attack: Poor.
    Saves: Poor Fortitude, Poor Reflex, Good Willpower.

    Class Skills
    The wizard's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.


    Class Features

    Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Wizards are proficient with all simple weapons, but not with any type of armor or shield.

    Spells: A wizard casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A wizard must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time. To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the wizard must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The DC for a saving throw against a wizard's spell is 10 + the spell level + the wizard's intelligence modifier.
    Like other spellcasters, a wizard can only a certain number of spells of each level per day. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score. Unlike a bard or sorcerer, a wizard may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good night's sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.

    Spellbooks: A wizard must study her spellbook each day to prepare her spells. She cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook, except for read magic, which all wizards can prepare from memory.
    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st level spells of their choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell. Wizard's learn an additional 2 spells up to the highest level they can prepare and cast upon gaining a new level, and they add new spells to their spellbook by other means, such as developing a new spell with study and practice, copying a spell down from a scroll, or copying a spell from another wizard's spellbook. The wizard must take the time to record these newly learned spells into his spellbook, which takes an hour and requires the base materials needed to write the spell down to be successful. The wizard must have room in his spellbook to add these new spells. If the wizard does not have a spellbook at the moment, he retains the memories and knowledge of these spells to scribe at a later date until he finds the proper materials to record them down. Once recorded, the wizard loses the knowledge of these spells, and should he lose the spellbook in which he recorded these spells, he cannot freely record them a second time.

    School Specialization: At 1st level, a wizard gains a specialization in a field of study. You select a single school of spells as your specialization. You gain these benefits when dealing with spells you have selected for your specialization;

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Benefits;
    - You can cast one additional spell per spell level per day from your specific spell school.
    - The save DCs of spells from your specialized school of magic are increased by +2.
    - Your effective caster level with spells from your chosen school is increased by +1.
    - You receive a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells in that school in any way.
    - It takes half the amount of time to record a spell of your specialized school into your spellbook (12 hours).

    Drawbacks;
    - The save DCs of any spells that are not of your specialized school of magic are reduced by -2.
    - Your effective caster level with spells not from your chosen school is decreased by -1 (to a minimum of 1).
    - You receive a -2 penalty on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells from any other school.
    - It takes double the amount of time to record a spell not of your specialized school into your spellbook (48 hours).

    Other;
    - Universal may be selected as a specialization. You may cast one additional spell per spell level per day with any school, but you gain no other benefits or drawbacks as listed above.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

    Arcane Familiarity (Ex): At 4th level, the wizard's exposure to magic has taught him how to avoid it's effects. He gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC anytime he is the target of an arcane-based spell that requires an attack roll. At 8th level, he gains a +2 bonus on all saving throws to resist the effects of arcane magical effects (including spells, spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and powers from magical items). At 12th level his dodge bonus to armor class increases to +4, and at 16th his bonus to saving throws increases to +4.

    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.

    Spellbook Familiarity (Ex): By 3rd level a wizard grows so familiar with cantrip's and 1st level spells he can simply rest for 10 minutes and prepare them again with the aid of his spellbook. At 5th level, he can do the same with 2nd level spells, at 7th level with 3rd level spells, at 9th level with 4th level spells, at 11th level with 5th level spells, at 13th with 6th level spells, at 15th with 7th level spells, at 17th with 8th level spells, and at 19th with 9th level spells. It still takes a full hour of uninterrupted to study spells from a spellbook. It still requires an hour of studying from his spellbook to prepare spell slots per day.

    Boundless Knowledge (Ex): By 7th level the mage's devotion to study and learning has given him access to a great variety of information sources. He may make any Knowledge check untrained.

    Powerful Presence (Ex): The sight of an inexperienced wizard is enough to raise fear in many, the sight of a powerful wizard is a rare and awesome event and the wizard generates awe and fear in all those that see him. At 10th level he gains a circumstance bonus of +2 to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every 2 levels thereafter. This bonus does not apply to any creature with as many, or more, Hit Dice that can make use of magic (whether it be arcane or divine, or spell-like abilities).

    Arcane Mastery (Ex): By 20th level, the wizard has gained such a familiarity with magic he can shrug it off like water. For a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + his intelligence modifier (if positive), the wizard gains Spell Resistance equal to his 10 + 1/2 his wizard level + his intelligence modifier (if positive). This ability can be activated as a swift action, and deactivated as a free action. This only effects arcane magic, such as by spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities and powers from magical items. These rounds are not consecutive, and may be divided as the wizard sees fit.
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2009-05-31 at 12:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Major changes I made to the wizard was mainly focused around how he learned spells. I disliked the idea he 'gained' 2 spells every level after 1st; what is with that? It was left to vague at that - what if he does not have his spell book with him? Are they suddenly just FOUND inside the spellbook he finds?
    The rules actually state that these spells are the result of his own constant research (presumably, his observations when using magic in a practical sense add to this.) Sure, it's a little odd, but no different than the thief getting better at picking locks after killing a bunch of trolls -- it's assumed that all characters find a little time to practice their skills as they go, and for the wizard this means constant magical research represented by their two spells per level.

    More importantly, though, from a game-mechanical balance standpoint I think you made a bad decision here. The thing is, this means that the wizard's power level will vary wildly depending on the DM and how many scrolls the DM decides to drop. Yeah, yeah, sounds wonderful, right?

    No. That's a bad way to balance a class. If you have a good enough DM to know how to do it right, they'll be good enough to handle the wizard themselves anyway.

    The DMs who need things like this post are the ones who aren't super-experienced experts at determining exactly how much power they should allow the PCs. If you're making this for them (and you should be), you should take the exact opposite path, and try to ensure that the wizard has a reduced but consistent power level rather than one that can fluctuate wildly because oops, the DM made it too easy / hard to get scrolls.

    Basically, a balanced class is one that is balanced without constant DM effort. This change is the opposite of that. You'd be better off just making it so the wizard gets X spells per level, but can't add anything else (although I'm not necessarily saying that'd be my favored fix.)
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2009-04-06 at 09:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Benefits;
    - You can cast one additional spell per spell level per day from your specific spell school.
    - The save DCs of spells from your specialized school of magic are increased by +2.
    - Your effective caster level with spells from your chosen school is increased by +1.
    - You receive a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells in that school in any way.
    - It takes half the amount of time to record a spell of your specialized school into your spellbook (12 hours).

    Drawbacks;
    - The save DCs of any spells that are not of your specialized school of magic are reduced by -2.
    - Your effective caster level with spells not from your chosen school is decreased by -1 (to a minimum of 1).
    - You receive a -2 penalty on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells from any other school.
    - It takes double the amount of time to record a spell not of your specialized school into your spellbook (48 hours).

    Other;
    - Universal may be selected as a specialization. You may cast one additional spell per spell level per day with any school, but you gain no other benefits or drawbacks as listed above.
    This seems a bit extreme. Why did you decide to change it to this?
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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I simply didnt like the idea that you should be barred from studying another field of magic ENTIRELY, not even magic items... It makes alot more sense that you focus so much on one school, you grow unsteady/sloppy with other schools. To me, anyway.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    I simply didnt like the idea that you should be barred from studying another field of magic ENTIRELY, not even magic items... It makes alot more sense that you focus so much on one school, you grow unsteady/sloppy with other schools. To me, anyway.
    More the anything, taking a Specialization becomes a HUGE nerf under your system. It makes specializing in some schools amazing and specializing in others a waste of time.

    How can you specialize in Universal anyway? There's like three, maybe four spells in that category.

    "I, a level one Wizard, am specialized in casting Wish! Ya'know, when I get it."

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    Why not allow them to choose two schools which they would be particularly deficient in which would recieve the minuses to DC and caster level? Seems a bit less drastic.
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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    - Universal may be selected as a specialization. You may cast one additional spell per spell level per day with ____any school____, but you gain no other benefits or drawbacks as listed above.
    Heh. Wish-spec.. xD

    Edit;

    On another note, i cant believe your trying to say a small nerf is to much for a wizard, the undisputed lord-of-the-dungeon of dnd for so many years, where other classes except for the broken druid's and cleric's would cringe at? Im surprised... most people would be begging to make the nerf bigger!
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2009-04-06 at 10:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    I simply didnt like the idea that you should be barred from studying another field of magic ENTIRELY, not even magic items... It makes alot more sense that you focus so much on one school, you grow unsteady/sloppy with other schools. To me, anyway.
    Just fyi...

    While alot of people seem to be thinking your Variant Wizard is 'extreme/bad idea'...it is actually much more powerful than the normal specialized wizard.

    Any school with Save or Die options is an Auto-Win button imo.

    +2 DC from spec, +1 DC from focus for +3. +5 from racial/18 int.
    So your average 1st level gray elf or gnome is going to be casting DC 19 save or dies.

    You need to fix that to 'does not stack with Spell Focus' or just give Spell Focus (School) as bonus feats.
    Last edited by RandomFellow; 2009-04-06 at 10:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    More powerful assuming your DM gives you the scrolls to be so anyway. I dislike characters whose powers are pretty much completely at the discretion of the DM (Barring the occasional sorcerer with a scribe scroll feat feeding you).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    More powerful assuming your DM gives you the scrolls to be so anyway. I dislike characters whose powers are pretty much completely at the discretion of the DM (Barring the occasional sorcerer with a scribe scroll feat feeding you).
    At 1st level I can murder (if I win init or ambush) a 4th level Wizard 80% of the time.

    I kill him and take his spellbook. Rinse and repeat until I have all the spells I'd ever need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomFellow View Post
    At 1st level I can murder (if I win init or ambush) a 4th level Wizard 80% of the time.

    I kill him and take his spellbook. Rinse and repeat until I have all the spells I'd ever need.
    ... but the DM made the spellcaster, determines spellbook. Etc.


    I do understand what you're saying about the DC increment for Save or (suck/die/lose) spells, but I'm not commenting on that part.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Their is a reason their are arcane libraries, academys, hedge-wizards with some spare books, magic shops, etc.... you can browse spells between adventures.

    Im simply trying to keep wizards from mid-adventure, during the 2-3 hour trip to save person X from enemy Y, they dont suddenly, spontaneously learn 2+ spells out of thin air!!! Its to vague on how it works - in the phb it simply says "you learn 2 new spells each level"... what if your previous spellbook gets lost? Do you automatically scribe them in a split second, with no time, into a new spellbook? I mean... this isnt a sorcerer, you learn spells with study, time, and collecting, not just because you leveled up.

    Im thinking ill make the specialization like this;

    Benefits;
    - You can cast one additional spell per spell level per day from your specific spell school.
    - Your effective caster level with spells from your chosen school is increased by +1.
    - You receive a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells in that school in any way.
    - It takes half the amount of time to record a spell of your specialized school into your spellbook (12 hours).

    Drawbacks;
    - Your effective caster level with spells not from your chosen school is decreased by -1 (to a minimum of 1).
    - You receive a -2 penalty on Spellcraft checks when dealing with spells from any other school.

    Other;
    - Universal may be selected as a specialization. You may cast one additional spell per spell level per day with any school, but you gain no other benefits or drawbacks as listed above.

    --- To many spells dont even have Dc's for that to really be useful even as a bonus for most wizards of say, divination.. id rather just remove the whole +dc/-dc thing. The -1 caster level reflects your 'lagging behind' on your studies with other spells, and i feel that fits well.
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2009-04-06 at 10:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    By the same token then...

    Why do people get to automagically learn new skills in the middle of a dungeon?
    (either skills in a literal sense or analogous as in feats)

    Why do animal companions/familiars spontaneously grow in strength? (That one I suppose we could answer with their symbiotic nature feeding off your own increased magical aura).

    Etc?

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    In games i run? They dont... i might give a person a level in a dungeon for, say... bonus hit points, saving throws, base attack, etc. But i dont let them spend their skill points, feat, or learn new spells/prepair new spells until they have had time to see to it properly. Unless their sorcerers... innate and all, it would kinda make sense for one to suddenly learn and toss a big spell in the heat of battle on some degree. Not so much for the wizard.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    ... but the DM made the spellcaster, determines spellbook. Etc.


    I do understand what you're saying about the DC increment for Save or (suck/die/lose) spells, but I'm not commenting on that part.
    No.
    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus six 1st level spells of their choice.

    1st level I'm talkin 'bout. :P

    @Jane
    Problem Solved. :P

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Honestly, I'm not seeing the need to hardcode that into the wizard then.

    If you're arguing personal fluff things and houseruled levelups, then just apply the same houseruled levelups to the wizard and don't make it an innate thing that is more trouble than it is worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomFellow View Post
    No.
    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus six 1st level spells of their choice.

    1st level I'm talkin 'bout. :P
    Well yes. I'm talking about those wizards you're offing.
    Last edited by Kylarra; 2009-04-06 at 10:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I played in several campaigns where our DM wouldn't allow wizards to get automatic new spells until they could meet up with their wizard guilds. It didn't work. Other character classes would improve with experience, getting better at dealing with the increasingly tough encounters. The wizard stayed the same, relying on the same low-level spells. Pretty soon, the wizard was marginalized.

    Most adventures take multiple character levels to complete and often take place in out-of-the-way places where you won't find a lot of magic shops for buying scrolls. By removing the automatic spell gain, you're taking away any real improvement for the wizard class at each level. That takes a lot of the fun out of being a wizard in the first place.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Well, if the dm isnt a complete nutter to let that happen then he couldve just knocked out some of the gold/loot in the adventure to add more scrolls. If a dm cant keep up with their players then they really need a new dm, dont they? It is their job after all... Fighters are simular - what would happen if you went 10ish-15ish levels without an armor, weapon, shield, etc upgrade, or not even a belt of giant's strength, or something like that? Its loot-management ; if theirs always a 10 ft. by 10 ft. room in a dungeon just for jello, then their can be a 5 ft. by 5 ft. room for a small bookshelf with a few spellbooks in it.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Personally, I've always agreed with the on-site approach. It does require a little bit more out of the DM, but it makes a touch more sense than just 'Increase level, automatic new skills'. Unless there's some sort of premeditated "Oh, read that in a book but it just doesn't click yet". But, that's another topic entirely.

    If a warlord can get gold, steel, gunpowder and nirnroot, he's probably stumbled upon at least one spellcaster or trader with some books. Why not add a few spellbooks to the cache? Besides, watching two wizards get into a sissy slapfight or an insult swordfight over Improved Magic Missile might be fun.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Leblanc View Post
    Besides, watching two wizards get into a sissy slapfight or an insult swordfight over Improved Magic Missile might be fun.
    Uh, the fighter-types might get into a slapfight over a weapon, or the wizards might get into a slapfight over a ring of wizardry, but they wouldn't have any reason to fight over spells. They can just copy it from each other's spellbook.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I really like the Spellbook Familiarity idea. (Personally I'd explicitly spell it out that the familiarity is based on final spell slot after any adjustments due to metamagic - so no recovering maximized Level 5 spells.)

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    Well, if the dm isnt a complete nutter to let that happen then he couldve just knocked out some of the gold/loot in the adventure to add more scrolls. If a dm cant keep up with their players then they really need a new dm, dont they? It is their job after all... Fighters are simular - what would happen if you went 10ish-15ish levels without an armor, weapon, shield, etc upgrade, or not even a belt of giant's strength, or something like that? Its loot-management ; if theirs always a 10 ft. by 10 ft. room in a dungeon just for jello, then their can be a 5 ft. by 5 ft. room for a small bookshelf with a few spellbooks in it.
    Actually, there were a couple scrolls in one of the adventures but both spells were from my wizard's prohibited schools. :) The DM in question liked to randomly roll up treasure so that it didn't seem catered to specific characters. He also liked to let players do pretty much what they wanted instead of forcing them down specific plot-lines, so I'm sure his relying on random treasures was part of removing the "DM hand" from hovering over the characters.

    As a player, I'm not sure I'd like to give the DM control over the most central part of being a wizard: his spells. If the DM wants to make a certain spell hard to find (perhaps to make planning for an adventure much easier), I'd just have to deal. Sounds like railroading, especially when other classes like clerics and sorcerers and warlocks get to pick their spells/powers.

    Maybe a certain player is just salivating over the chance to animate skeletons when she gets access to 4th level spells, or throw fireballs when she gets access to 3rd level spells. As a DM, what are you going to do? Ask the player what spells she wants to find on the next scrolls that come up? I think that would break the mood of the game. If you don't ask, then the player has to keep looking as levels go by. Maybe you've decided that the cities around where your adventure takes place are too small to have a great spell selection or maybe the kingdom has outlawed some school of magic like necromancy. There's nothing the wizard can do about it except hijack the whole game in order to go somewhere that those spells are available. Is that reasonable? All for something she could have chosen herself with the core game mechanics?

    What if you built in some kind of mechanic for wizards to keep a magic "library" with them on adventures? Wizards could use that to "research" their new spells. You could require that wizards keep at least one tome per spell level, spend so much time in research, or that they only have a certain percentage chance of getting the spell they want on each attempt. At least that would keep the power in the hands of the players.

    I understand why you don't think it makes sense for wizards to get automatic spells. But I think it exists for game balance reasons, just like Vancian magic, not for common sense.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Spellbooks: A wizard must study her spellbook each day to prepare her spells. She cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook, except for read magic, which all wizards can prepare from memory.
    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells, plus three 1st level spells of their choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell. Wizard's learn an additional 2 spells up to the highest level they can prepare and cast upon gaining a new level, and they add new spells to their spellbook by other means, such as developing a new spell with study and practice, copying a spell down from a scroll, or copying a spell from another wizard's spellbook. The wizard must take the time to record these newly learned spells into his spellbook, which takes an hour and requires the base materials needed to write the spell down to be successful. The wizard must have room in his spellbook to add these new spells. If the wizard does not have a spellbook at the moment, he retains the memories and knowledge of these spells to scribe at a later date until he finds the proper materials to record them down. Once recorded, the wizard loses the knowledge of these spells, and should he lose the spellbook in which he recorded these spells, he cannot freely record them a second time.
    How is this then? Fyi - the 'base materials' is Ink, Inkpen, and Spellbook.. the bare nessicities you need to, you know, write something down. :P
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2009-04-07 at 09:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Just a comment on the "suddenly learning skills, feats, whatever":
    You're taking it as being the person actually levels up in-game. In such a case, suddenly gaining feats or skills or spells doesn't make sense.

    Others are taking leveling up to be a metagame event that encompasses all the person's practice, study, and experience during the last x amount of time. The event of leveling is simply used as an easy, metagame way of saying the person gained power, without having to total up the power increases in "real time." In this case, gaining feats, skills, and spells suddenly doesn't make sense from an in-game view, but makes perfect sense from a gameplay point of view.

    I am going to echo that specialization is too powerful. Other than that, it sounds good (though I'm not the best at balancing things).
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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I like the idea behind your school specialisation, although at the moment it could cause problems. You could bar certain levels of spells (no non-specialist spells of 8th or 9th level) and I think caster level modifiers could work as well. Alternatively, you could just force specialisation and penalise all non-specialist spells. That would be a reasonable start to a nerf.

    Please don't go down the Pathfinder route with universalists though. At best, they should simply have no penalty to cast spells. Not free spell slots.

    As for the spellbook thing - I always saw it as the wizard keeping a random selection of notes and observations from his adventures and studies. It isn't as difficult to justify a wizard developing a spell from reflecting on what he saw during his adventure, and your character is unlikely to be in the middle of a fight when it happens, so offering a few free spells isn't really too much of a problem.

    The DMG provides rules for making players actually research and pay for spells, class features and so on. I don't think it should be actually forced on any class, however unrealistic that may be. Not everyone plays D&D for the realism.

    Also, there are plenty of inexperienced DMs out there who could make the kind of mistakes that RandomFellow describes. It may be worth in the very least providing some sort of guideline for the DM on how many spells to give out.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-04-08 at 08:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I see you are using old rules from AD&D (specialized spells are stronger, harder to resist, and easier to learn, others spells are weaker). I'd say just apply the -1 spellcaster level to one "banned" school, and leave the rest of the penalties (lower DC, higher learning time) for all non-specialized schools.
    And as it was pointed out, new spells doesn't "pop" into the wizard's spellbook. You just assume that during his researches, he finds new stuff, and just add them to his spellbook when he have the time, only without the material cost. You could still require the time costs, though, although sometimes it's irrelevant (we're staying here for a week. I'm gonna work on my researchs).
    I don't think he needs all those protections from magic, though, as many spells already do that.

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    I homebrewed a Mage class a while back that had auto-spec and the three (since they still had access I uped the number) banned schools were still available but spells from them took up a slot higher than normal.

    e.g. For Sammy the Evoker a fireballs a fireball but since he banned illusion, Enchantment and Transmutation a Polymorph takes a fifth level slot, Invisibility takes a third and charm person takes a second.

    It made them focussed without chopping out whole areas of magic for no good reason, plus they could still use all the treasure they happened on.

    And the spellbook familiarity is a cool idea, although I'd tie it to a mages ability to cast each level of spells rather than number of levels in Wizard since it's essentially a 'reduce book keeping' measure that Wizards are desperately in need of. If it's simply a matter of being able to prepare spells that are 3 or 4 spell levels lower than you can cast that you've prepared more than 10 times say it makes it self scaling and self controlling, Wizards don't get anything hugely overpowered from it and they and you can stop worrying so much about what might happen if they have their book stolen. At the moment they're utterly crippled unless they've got so many backups that it just doesn't matter. Plus there's the reduction of how many spell books they have to cart around since a high level mage can wind up with a small library on his back and your player has to keep track of books, page space, protections, blah blah blah.....
    Last edited by mostlyharmful; 2009-04-08 at 08:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane_Smith View Post
    How is this then? Fyi - the 'base materials' is Ink, Inkpen, and Spellbook.. the bare nessicities you need to, you know, write something down. :P
    Looks good to me. :)

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick_BR View Post
    I see you are using old rules from AD&D (specialized spells are stronger, harder to resist, and easier to learn, others spells are weaker).
    Remember, though, that in AD&D the saves of your spells didn't improve the way they do in D&D. That both made any bonuses you could get your hands on more valuable, and made them less dangerous from a balance perspective (because strong monsters are still going to beat you.)

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    Default Re: Variant Wizard

    .. Ok, about the books now, research upkeep, etc? The Book. Stays. No questions asked. Just make copies. Im not giving the wizard a 'free' spellmastery like ability. Just... -no-. Thats why spellmastery exists as part of its bonus feat progression, after all.

    However... What do you all think of these feats?

    Thrifty Wizard (General, Wizard)
    You have a talent for fitting extra spells into your spellbook and a way with saving some money doing so.
    Prerequisites: Int 13+, must prepare spells with a spellbook.
    Benefit: The number of pages required for a spell to be copied into your spellbook is reduced by one, to a minimum of one. The DC to decipher your spells is increased by +2. The cost to scribe scrolls into a spellbook or other source is reduced to 50 gp, and the time to do so is reduced to one hour per spell level.
    Normal: Typically it takes 1 page in your spellbook equal to the level of the spell, 100 gp per page due to the costs of rare and magical ink, and required 24 hours to do so.
    Special: A wizard can take this as one of his bonus feats.

    Rapid Scribing (General, Wizard)
    You have a knack for scribing scrolls at a very rapid pace, provided you are willing to sacrifice more experience to accelerate the process.
    Prerequisites: Scribe Scroll.
    Benefit: When determining how long it takes to scribe a scoll, you must spend one day per 2,000 gp in the scroll's base price. For spells that cost less then 2,000 gp, you may scribe multiple scrolls in the day, provided their total value does not exceed 2,000 gp and you scribe a number of scrolls no greater than your Intelligence modifier in a single day. You must pay 1/15th the base price in XP when scribing scrolls at this faster rate.
    Normal: Spellcasters normally require one day per 1,000 gp value of a scroll to scribe it and pay 1/25 the base price in XP.
    Special: A wizard can take this as one of his bonus feats.

    Arcane Shaper (General, Wizard)
    You can shape a prepared spell into another effect.
    Prerequisite: Int 15+, able to prepare and cast 2nd-level arcane spells.
    Benefit: You can change any prepared spell into another spell that you know (but do not necessarily have prepared) as a swift action. The new spell must be at least one level lower than the spell you are shaping.

    Prodigious Spellmastery (General, Wizard)
    You are talented at mastering the intricacies of spells you cast.
    Prerequisites: Int 17+, Wizard 1st-level only.
    Benefit: You may double the number of spells you master every time you choose the Spell Mastery ability. Upon taking this feat, you may select a number of spells equal to your intelligence modifier, in which the benefits of Spell Mastery apply.

    Eschew Materials (General)
    You can cast spells without relying on material components.
    Benefit: You can cast any spell that has a material component costing 1 gp or less without needing that component. (The casting of the spell still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.) If the spell requires a material component that costs more then 1 gp, you must have the material component at hand to cast the spell, just as normal. In addition, any material component that costs more then 10 gold has its required value reduced by 25%.


    These will make wizards much easier to upkeep.

    As for the school specialization? Im sorry, but im getting 2 vibes here; you say its to strong.. but... the penalty is to big? That makes no sense. Its suppose to be an extreme to specialize in one field of study. Your not going to lack in just 1 school, your going to be sacrificing ALL schools to focus in one!

    A friend just told me this, and it makes sense; specializations exsist on the primary theory of "One above -all-".
    Last edited by Jane_Smith; 2009-04-08 at 02:27 PM.

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