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    Default Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    The power of Batman is that he is always prepared. Whenever a dangerous situation occurs, Batman can calmly draw the appropriate tool from his Bat Utility Belt, and use that to resolve the problem. A well-built 4E wizard can have the same ability. Let the strikers and defenders go for raw power; Batman will instead take the ability to deal with the unexpected.

    While all classes get the same amount of powers, it is nevertheless possible to capitalize on versatility in 4E. To accomplish this, aside from his primary implement, Batman carries a large amount of staves, wands and other items. These are taken out when needed for their secondary effects, giving him unmatched adaptability. Through clearing out obstacles, Batman is an excellent team player; of course, he's not going to be facing dungeons alone.

    Batman's Utility Belt is based on the principle of magical item pricing. While level-appropriate items are relatively expensive, items of lower levels are much cheaper. For the price of a level-10 item, you can buy half a dozen items of level 1 through 4. However, just because they're cheap doesn't mean they're not useful. The goal here is to carry as many utility items as possible. This includes items you won't use very often; you'll never know when you'll need them.

    This ability primarily applies to wizards; however, the philosophy can be applied to any class, particularly when taking the Arcane Initiate feat to use the implements you need.


    The most famous Utility Belt.



    Levels and limitations

    This build starts paying off at the high heroic levels, because you do need some starting cash to stock your Utility Belt with. Before that, it simply plays like a regular wizard. Also, a newly generated high-level probably doesn't start with enough cash, so he may need a regular adventure or two to fill his arsenal. In other words, this build is best suited for running campaigns, rather than one-off sessions. However, based on the suggested treasure from the DMG, just a few adventures will net you enough money to stock your Utility Belt with all kinds of practical tools.

    The primary limit to Batman's power is that a character can only use a few item daily powers each day. Assuming not every encounter is going to be difficult, that is often enough to make a difference. It does mean that he should complement his Utility Belt with items that grant per-encounter abilities, any number of which can be used in one encounter if needed.

    The secondary limit is actions. Batman uses a lot of actions to take items from his Utility Belt, and to replace them. This normally requires minor actions, but several ways exist to change it to free actions. The most obvious one is the Quick Draw feat, which lets you draw anything for free in the same action that you're using it, although putting it back still requires a minor action. Two other options from Dragon Magazine are battle harness armor (#368) which does the same, and the disembodied hand familiar (#374) which makes even stowing items a free action.

    The term "Utility Belt" is used for flavor; while a Bag of Holding on your belt looks really sweet, a regular backpack will suffice as well.



    Stocking your Belt

    Many implements have highly useful powers, which is why a wizard is the most suitable class for Batman. You should carry one primary implement for the best attack bonus with your class powers, and a number of other implements in your Utility Belt that are simply +1. This isn't a problem because the utility implements don't rely on hitting anything. For instance, you could carry a Wand of Icy Terrain to create difficult terrain; if it also knocks your enemies prone, that's a nice plus, but it's not a necessity.

    However, note the difference in wording between e.g. Symbol of Radiance, which is quite explicit that its power only works when "using this symbol to attack with a power", and Staff of Winter, which lacks that limitation. This means that you can carry a Staff of Winter +1, and use its effect while you attack with your Magic Orb +5, or even with a martial power. But, the Staff remains useful even if your DM disallows this combo.

    The Enchant Item ritual may be useful in obtaining these items, because not every DM is going to let you buy anything you need at the Magic Shoppe. So far, this guide contains heroic items only, since the build relies on buying items several levels below your level. I plan on adding Paragon items in the near future.

    The Player's Handbook 2 contains surprisingly few useful utility items (or, for that matter, rituals or wands). Batman can safely skip this book, except perhaps for the classes therein.

    Player's Handbook:
    • Orb of Indisputable Gravity, against flying creatures. Note that this effect applies to all your allies' attacks, not just yours.
    • Staff of Storms, automatically kills all minions nearby.
    • Staff of Winter, automatically immobilizes all nearby enemies.
    • Staff of the War Mage, increases a burst size by one.
    • Thunderwave Staff, turns your thunderwave into a high-damage attack that throws enemies prone.

    Adventurer's Vault:
    • Architect's staff. An excellent tool if you're using walls a lot.
    • Cold Iron staff. Immobilizes on a hit, once per day.
    • Communal dagger. Whenever you're not using anything else in your off-hand, this weapon allows you to boost an ally's roll by +1 once per day, and doesn't count as a daily item usage.
    • Gloves of the Hedge Mage. If you're basing Batman on another class than Wizard, you'll want this to gain access to cantrips.
    • Green thumbs. Lets you conjure a wall once per day, in case you didn't pick any wall powers yet.
    • Lullaby staff. Unconscious on a hit, eventually, once per day.
    • Master's Wand. ssentially, grab one for whichever at-will powers you don't have, and you can use them once per encounter (with a nice bonus, particularly for Magic Missile). You can even get the warlock's at-wills for good measure, even though they're probably inferior without warlock's curse.
    • Mnemonic staff. Very useful, but needs to be high level in order to do much. There are a few utility powers in particular that are only situationally useful (e.g. Dispel Magic), so you can prepare a more general spell and use this staff if you need a swap.
    • Orb of Inescapable Consequences. Essentially an automatic hit, once per day. Useful on any boss monster.
    • Orb of Insurmountable Force. Useful since it's an encounter ability, and cheap. You never know when something needs pushing.
    • Orb of Judicious Conjuration. Saves you a minor action, a useful choice for your primary implement.
    • Resounding staff. Dazes on a hit, once per day.
    • Salve of Power. This lets you cast Sleep a second time per day, which incidentally is one of the best wizard spells.
    • Staff of Light. Wipes out undead minions of any level.
    • Staff of Spectral Hands. Surely you'll find a use for a second hand at some point.
    • Swiftshot crossbow. Not applicable any more since the errata.
    • Transference staff. Transfer a condition from yourself to an enemy.
    • Utility staff. Adds an extra square when you need it.
    • Vengeful dagger. The rules technically allow you to use this dagger's encounter to-hit bonus on an arcane attack; although your DM likely won't.

    And if you're a warlock (or multiclassing to one), you have the following extra options:
    • Rod of Malign Conveyance. Moving things around is always fun.
    • Rod of the Feywild. Duplicates Fey Step, which is even useful if you're already an Eladrin.
    • Rod of the Infernal. Not applicable any more since the errata.

    Player's Handbook 2 has just a few totems that may be interesting if you take the right multiclass feat.
    • Pure Spirit Totem. Without requiring a healing surge, it brings an unconscious ally back. Situationally useful.
    • Summer Growth Totem. Creates a boatload of difficult terrain that doesn't affect your allies.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2009-05-08 at 03:18 PM.
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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Race ya
    The primary thing to look for when picking a race for the Batman wizard is a useful active power. This gives you additional options on your turn (even if they are inherent rather than in your Utility Belt). Reactive powers (like Second Chance) do not add versatility. As a secondary criterion, an intelligence bonus is always good.

    As usual, color indicates poor, average, good, and excellent.

    • Doppelganger: arguably the best race for Batman, because its shapeshift ability gives it unmatched utility in social situations. You can look like whoever you want, whenever you want. Also, the charisma bonus lets you take Spell Focus easily.
    • Dragonborn: no int bonus, and dragonbreath ability is redundant with wizard powers.
    • Deva: it's a bit like an elf, but instead of movement bonuses you won't need much as a wizard, you get two resistances and an intelligence bonus. Pretty good, no?
    • Drow: gaining two additional encounter powers gives you extra tactical options. The Shadowslip feat from Dragon 367 adds a free shift to that. However, you don't get a bonus to intelligence.
    • Dwarf: no int bonus, and resilience ability is only reactive. However, good fluff for carrying so many gadgets around.
    • Eladrin: teleportation is exceedingly useful. It can get you out of a tight spot, into the right position for an attack, across rivers and chasms, and it can substitute for climb and jump skills in a pinch. Plus, you get a free skill, such as stealth or perception.
    • Elf: no int bonus. Elven accuracy is very good, but is reactive so does not give you more options, and it's available in potion form. While elves make good wizards, they don't synergize well with this build. However, if you want a character with the best Bat-Orb, an elf would be useful.
    • Genasi: several of their encounter abilities are good, and they eventually get a feat that lets you use two. In particular, Swiftcurrent and Windwalker are like teleportation, and Earthsoul provides a tactical knockdown effect. As an added bonus, you get elemental resistance.
    • Githyanki: telekinetic leap is almost as good as Fey Step (but it provokes), and can also be used to move your allies around when needed. It is, however, duplicated by the second level utility spell, Jump.
    • Gnome: if you see him as a tinker gnome, you have a nice bit of fluff why you're carrying so many gadgets around. Plus, he's got the int bonus, the charisma for Spell Focus, useful skill bonuses, and while his vanishing ability is only reactive, it's a good ability.
    • Goliath and Half-orc: er, let's not go there.
    • Half-elf: you gain an additional at-will attack as an encounter power, but there are surprisingly few useful and fitting choices for that. I'd recommend the Swordmage's Lightning Lure, because moving enemies around is always practical. The half-elf lacks an int bonus, though.
    • Halfling: no int bonus, and second chance ability is purely reactive.
    • Human: always a solid choice for race, although the third at-will becomes progressively less useful as you gain more powers (and Batman will gain a lot of powers). Also, humans arguably have the best racial feats.
    • Shadar-Kai: another race with a good teleport ability, with insubstantiality to boot; also, being all black and shadowy is certainly fitting fluff for Batman. And to top it off, an int bonus.
    • Shifter: the abilities you get don't really synergize well with this build.
    • Tiefling: he's got the intelligence bonus, but the racial ability isn't very fitting for this build. Plus, is Batman really that emo?


    This is not to say that other races shouldn't be used, of course. You can play any combination, so if you want to play e.g. an Orc Wizard, nothing is stopping you. Just remember to put some points in int.



    Classes
    As stated above, this guide is primarily intended for wizards. However, given the nature of 4E, it also works with other classes as needed. Particularly the equipment list can be useful for any character that takes Arcane Initiate for the ability to use implements.
    • Artificer would probably be a good pick, but I'm not going to base a guide on playtest information. Check back when the relevant book is released.
    • Bard. The leader variant, and the bard is quite the trickster in his own right, allowing you to mess with your enemies at will. And taking the wizard multiclass feat doesn't even bar the bard from taking other multiclasses.
    • Invoker plays much like a wizard, if in a different way. You retain access to the excellent staff implements, but substitute orbs by rods. An invoker could pull off Batman without multiclassing, but some feat to be able to use orbs and master wands is still recommended.
    • Sorcerer, while a solid class in its own right, doesn't really synergize well with the concept of Batman. It plays more like a straightforward blaster, and has less tricks up his sleeve.
    • Swordmage. A more tank-y variation, you already have the int bonus required to use wizard attack powers well, and you should have one free hand anyway thanks to Swordmage Warding.
    • Warlock. You can do all of the above plus do better single-target damage as a striker. However, many abilities here require minor actions, which may interfere with your cursing ability. Although warlocks get fewer true utility powers, picking up wizard wands as a warlock is a much better deal than the other way around, and since many good wizard powers are either area effects, or utilities with no attack roll, you can get away with having a lower level wand.
    • Wizard. As above. The company is called "Wizards of the Coast" for a reason, you know. Since most of the utility effects above appear on staves, it would make sense to take the staff as your implement of choice. Furthermore, since we don't really care about damage, your best main implement is probably the earthroot, feyswarm, or force staff from the AV. On a critical hit, these staves add a debuff effect rather than damage.




    Powers
    Since several Wizard guides already exist on the web, I'm not going to discuss powers here. However, the Batman build works best with powers that rely on versatility or secondary effects, rather than pure damage. This means that anything that creates a zone or conjuration, or does a stun or moves enemies around, is preferable over something that just does X damage in an Y radius. Essentially, you're not a blaster wizard; leave that to the strikers on your team.
    Furthermore, proactive powers are a better fit for this build than reactive powers (remember, more options are great). This means that to Batman, Jump as a level-2 utility is preferable to Shield. Moving your allies around has numerous tactical options, and defending yourself, well, that's the defender's job.



    Rituals
    It has been pointed out before, but nearly every 4E ritual sucks to the point of uselessness. They take too long to cast, cost way too much, simply don't do much to begin with, and in many cases, all of the above. Batman draws a tool from his Utility Belt; he doesn't spend ten minutes chanting in some obscure language.
    That said, you get rituals for free as a wizard, and just a handful of them are cheap enough to be worth keeping around just in case they become useful.
    • Amanuensis. Copying official documents can be useful at times.
    • Animal messenger. Rarely practical, but doesn't really cost anything either.
    • Duplicate. As with Amanuensis.
    • Enchant / Disenchant Item. Possibly required to get the items you want.
    • Hallucinatory item. Useful for creating hiding places, by making an illusory wall.
    • Knock. This actually can open things that the Thievery skill cannot.
    • Magic mouth. Also useful for sending messages, although the Sending ritual is better.
    • Make whole, since craft skills no longer exist.
    • Remove condition, technically the cleric's job but too good not to list.
    • Sending, if you really need to get a message across.
    • Tenser's Floating Disc, without doubt the best low level ritual.

    And for heroic tier, that's pretty much it. Anything else is all too easily duplicated with physical tools (e.g. Excavate) or too easy to ignore (Arcane Lock, for one) or much too limited to be of actual use (e.g. Water Walk). Your money is better invested elsewhere.
    Note, however, that many DMs tend to handwave the many restrictions on rituals and lets them work by their fluff text, rather than their rules (e.g. let Commune With Nature actually find something rather than give you three yes-or-no answers). In this case, they may become useful in your campaign.



    Heroic Feats
    • Action surge and Human perseverance: as said, humans have the best racial feats. They're not top priority, but good to have.
    • Armor proficiency, leather: aside from looking darn stylish (Batman in cloth? Pleaaase...), a +2 AC bonus for the cost of one feat is not something you'll regret.
    • Astral fire, burning blizzard, and so forth: don't take them. The goal here is versatility, not damage. And, +1 damage for a feat isn't such a good deal anyway.
    • Durable and Toughness: although many people recommend them for the squishy wizard, in my experience they aren't a priority - I've yet to use more than half my healing surges on any day. As long as you stay in the back and the Defenders do their job, you can get by many combats without getting hit. Note that several character backgrounds give you the equivalent of a free Toughness feat (Impiltur and Thay in the Forgotten Realsm, Auspicious Birth or Bad Sign otherwise).
    • Elven precision: in a word, don't. If you do the math on it, the bonus is too small and doesn't come up often enough to make a difference.
    • Expanded spellbook: although thematically appropriate, this feat is surprisingly pointless most of the time. This is because you generally won't know what you'll be facing anyway, and on many levels there aren't enough useful powers to warrant picking three.
    • Improved iniative: always a good choice, unless you're using Quick Draw to take items from your belt.
    • Jack of all Trades: thematically appropriate, and very versatile. But since Arcane Power there are so many good feats for wizards that you may not have room for this one.
    • Linguist: depending on your campaign, this may range from highly useful to the utterly worthless. Consult your DM. But whenever you meet other races in a non-combat situation, it is highly appropriate for the well-prepared Batman to be able to speak to them.
    • Quick draw: this lets you react to any situation by drawing the proper tool from your Utility Belt, and gives an initiative bonus to boot. Not all that great at level 1, but take it as soon as your arsenal is reasonably stocked. Remember that it requires 13 dexterity.
    • Ritual caster: you get it for free, and it's definitely better than the alternative, alchemy. Plus you may need Enchant Item to get the items you want.
    • Sacrifice to Caiphon: if you're a warlock (or multiclass to it) this feat allows you to re-use any encounter power until it hits, at the cost of a bit of damage to yourself. Very good for lower level powers; but note that if you'll be using a lot of area effect powers (as wizards tend to do) you won't get a lot of use out of this.
    • Skill focus: your job is to do everything, not to specialize in one skill. You should have run out of feats long before this one.
    • Skill training: there are arguably two skills that you want that aren't on the wizard list, and can't be obtained by a useful multiclass feat either. These are stealth and perception. Not a priority, but not a bad idea either. Of course, if you're Eladrin, you essentially get this for free.
    • Wintertouched: the classic combo with Lasting Frost. It's a cliche by now, but it works.

    Arcane Power feats
    • Arcane Fire, Arcane Reserves, Darkfire Implement, Destructive Wizardry, Dual Implement, Elemental Empowerment, Fanged Magic, Mountain Hammer Spellcasting, Wrathful Magic: need I reiterate that your goal is utility, not damage?
    • Aggressive Familiar and the other familiar-boosting feats: do too little to be worth it.
    • Arcane Familiar: this is the best way of keeping free access to your Utility Belt, by taking the disembodied hand from Dragon magazine. If you really want another familiar, this feat remains worthwhile; in that case, or if your DM doesn't allow Dragon magazine, I recommend taking the Quick Draw feat instead.
    • Arcane Implement Proficiency: surprisingly pointless, as taking a multiclass feat for the implement you want gives you more options.
    • Careful Summoner: too small a bonus, and most wizard summon spells aren't too good to begin with. I'd pass on this one, even if you do use the occasional summon spell.
    • Combat Virtuoso: if you're a bard with lots of multiclass powers, this may well be worth it.
    • Draconic Spellcaster, Elemental Echo: pretty decent, but a Batman wizard will probably tend towards the psychic spells rather than the elemental ones.
    • Eladrin Sword Wizardry: Batman doesn't wield a sword. Not needed except if you want a cunning blade for stunlock cheese.
    • Elven Arcane Precision: Since you'll be casting a lot of area spells, this is a nice choice.
    • Enlarge Spell: Take it as soon as possible, and use it on every opportunity. A minor drop in damage to almost double the amount of squares affected is nothing less than awesome.
    • Feyborn Charm, Gnome Phantasmist, or Phantom Echoes: If you keep this in mind with your power choice, it's very good and it stacks with Implement Expertise.
    • Magic of the Ages: Do the math, again. Elven Precision is rather awful, and this one is worse.
    • Magic of the Mists: Staying hidden is very good, but unfortunately the gnome fading power only lasts one turn.
    • Nimble Spellcaster: You should have enough close attacks or shift powers that you needn't bother with this feat.
    • Predatory Magic: It's not bad or anything, it's just too low your list of priorities.
    • Remembered Wizardry: As useless as Expanded Spellbook, for exactly the same reasons. An utter waste of a feat.
    • Rune-Scribed Soul: Assuming you're using your second wind often (as opposed to being healed by the party leader), this is a quite decent bonus.
    • Twist the Arcane Fabric: It sounds pretty good, but it's generally not worth spending both a feat and your Fey Step usage for. By the time you have room for this, you should be nearly at paragon levels anyway, which have better feats for the same purpose.

    Multiclass feats
    • Initiate of the Faith: an extra source of healing in the party is always useful, even if it's only once per day. That alone makes it worth picking up, but you also get a free skill and synergy with some good paragon paths.
    • Pact initiate: it is a nice idea to grab an extra power from here, but the warlock's at-wills focus on dealing damage and use the wrong ability score (unless you're a staff wizard). However, the feat does give you the ability to use rods, adding them to your Utility Belt. And there are a few good rods about.
    • Invoker multiclass: on the other hand, if you really want rods, going Invoker is much more like it. It gives you a number of good abilities, and access to powers such as a level-2 power that boosts party initiative by your intelligence...
    • Druid or shaman multiclass: the ability to use totema, on the other hand, really isn't worth it for Batman, given how few totems there are. Wait until Adventurer's Vault 2 for this one.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2009-05-08 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    (reserved too)
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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Thoughts on Gnome or Shadar-kai as possible races for the Batman wizard?

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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    Thoughts on Gnome or Shadar-kai as possible races for the Batman wizard?
    Certainly a possibility, and thematically fitting - the shadar-kai for the black (caped?) appearance, and the gnome can easily be envisioned as the tinker kind that gets all those utility devices to work.

    In terms of powers, the Shadar-kai is close to the Eladrin, although I prefer the latter's longer teleportation range. The gnome's ability is unfortunately only reactive, although I suspect WOTC will eventually print a feat that changes that. Of course, both have an int bonus as an additional perk.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    I take it you disagree with the Elf being good for having a wisdom bonus (for Orb), and Elven Accuracy (to shore up the misses of not having the int bonus)?
    I started some video game blog. (possible nsfw language)

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybren View Post
    I take it you disagree with the Elf being good for having a wisdom bonus (for Orb), and Elven Accuracy (to shore up the misses of not having the int bonus)?
    I'd say that an elf can make an effective wizard, but does not synergize well with this particular build. For the races here, I looked for everything with an int bonus and/or an active ability (as this gives you extra options), preferably both. Passive abilities, like the Elven Accuracy, can be highly useful but are not an additional option.
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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The gnome's ability is unfortunately only reactive, although I suspect WOTC will eventually print a feat that changes that.
    Ah yes, but if you multiclass into ranger (or pick up training in stealth some other way) then the reactive stealth is also pretty sweet and very Batman in terms of the theme. Reactive invisibility is like... a smoke bomb that goes off when you get hit.

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    Default Re: The Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    I've updated the first posts, based on reactions and a more thorough reading of the AV.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    great job. i plan to use this for my genasi tempest wizard build.

    maybe set Dex up so that by the time I've got the gear I can get Quick Draw...
    Grrr. Arrrgh.


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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    It's a good guide, with lots of good information. The wizard does have unmatched utility, and this guide helps you tap into that, which is always fun.

    It's nice to see a guide that isn't just about making the most powerful character and instead focuses on making a fun and interesting character.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Very-Very Useful!

    I am using a elf bat-orb wizat the moment, considering that my int is lower than my wis, there has not been an encounter that i did n't use my elven accuracy power(I also have wild elf luck and elven precision too). i believe quickdraw is light blue, yes.

    I would like to point out battle standards as a batman item. Mage hand allows a wizard to plant a standard as a minor action. At low levels, the healing standard is useful and at midhigh, the shadow one is priceless.

    question: Would duplicating yet stacking item effects be stupid for Batman? EG: Rushing cleats(AV)+Gloves of Ramming+Ring of the Ram = +3 squares of push with thunderwave and similar powers?

    Wasn't Veteran's armor nerfed beyond recognition?
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2009-02-25 at 05:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Mein gott, the dead walk amongst us!
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Thank you all!

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    (I also have wild elf luck and elven precision too)
    I'd say that using both is overdoing it, but YMMV.

    I would like to point out battle standards as a batman item. Mage hand allows a wizard to plant a standard as a minor action.
    I'm afraid that doesn't work; the AV specifies that activating any battle standard is a standard (heh) action.

    question: Would duplicating yet stacking item effects be stupid for Batman?
    It would not be his first priority, but it certainly isn't stupid. Thunderwave (or the Orb of Irresisteble Force) has all sorts of synergy with terrain, "sticky" allies, and zone effects.

    Wasn't Veteran's armor nerfed beyond recognition?
    Good point, I'll have to remove that part.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Oh, the Dragon article on playing Shadar-kai has a feat that lets them shadow jaunt a distance of 3 + Int modifier. That right there brings them ahead of the Eldarin (until Eldarin get more feats).
    Last edited by Asbestos; 2009-02-25 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Excellent, excellent guide. I'll definitely be bookmarking this and making sure to show it to my party's Wizard first chance I get

    I have one quick question though. I (more or less) figured out what the color-coding scheme you used was, but didn't find a key explaining it, which would've made things that much easier. So my question is, is there one that I simply missed*? If it's not actually there, it would be a good addition to the post.


    *This is a very distinct probability because my real-life Perception mod would be something like -5

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I have one quick question though. I (more or less) figured out what the color-coding scheme you used was, but didn't find a key explaining it, which would've made things that much easier. So my question is, is there one that I simply missed*? If it's not actually there, it would be a good addition to the post.
    There isn't. A key would be useful, though.
    Cyan/Light Blue: Optimal choice
    Blue: Good choice, not supreme optimization, but workable.
    Black: Neutral choice. Is a decent choice, but not anywhere near as effective as others on the list.
    Red: A "trap." Relatively counterproductive to the purpose of the build, and/or causes unnecessary complications.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    It is indeed quite a good guide. One thing that Kurald doesn't mention, though, is that, due to a technicality (and thus, with questionable legality in most games) you can get Swordmage, or any arcane class including Spellscarred, powers in a wand.

    The reason is this: to use a wand, you must share at least one power with the same power source as the power in the wand. Wands, as of right now, only include Arcane powers. Swordmages and Spellscarred both use the Arcane power source, thus they can use wands. Wands can be crafted to include a class power from any class that can use a wand. Swordmages can use wands, thus swordmage class powers can be put into a wand.

    Yes, I know that this is a pretty major technicality and probably wouldn't fly with most DMs, but strictly RAW it works.

    Most of the Swordmage powers aren't particularly useful for our Batman, though could be quite helpful for one that went into Wizard of the Spiral Tower for a melee attack power. There are a couple of gems, though:
    Dimensional Warp (utility 2) can swap 2 nearby allies or you and a nearby ally
    Flamewall Strike (attack 7) creates a short-lived wall of fire for light battlefield control
    Arcane Awareness (utility 10) means you don't grant CA to enemies

    A few Spellscarred powers are also useful, particularly:
    Spelleater (utility 2) blocks an attack and heals you
    Scar of Blue Wings (utility 10) gives a very fast flight



    Also note that part of the same technicality means that a Half-Elf who Delittantes a power from an Arcane class can use any wand, regardless of their main class. Thus, Half-Elf Paladins, for example, can be Batman.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    Swordmages and Spellscarred both use the Arcane power source, thus they can use wands. Wands can be crafted to include a class power from any class that can use a wand. Swordmages can use wands, thus swordmage class powers can be put into a wand.
    Actually, they can't. By RAW, Swordmages can only use light and heavy blades as implements for their Swordmage powers, regardless of what they multiclass or Dilettante into. (See the Implements entry in the boxed text on page 24 of the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. Any light or heavy blade, but no mention of orbs, staves, wands, or rods) The fact that the only wand-users currently published are Arcane classes does not mean that all Arcane classes can use wands.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    The fact that the only wand-users currently published are Arcane classes does not mean that all Arcane classes can use wands.
    I didn't say they could use them as implements, though

    I'll quote the relevant bit from the PHB page 242:
    Using a wand’s power works like using the power
    normally. To do so, you need to be able to use at least
    one power from the same power source as the wand.
    For example, a rogue who has picked up at least one
    wizard power through multiclassing feats could use a
    wizard power in a wand, since each knows one power
    that uses the arcane power source. Several wands
    appear below, but you can also design your own.
    All wands, right now, have the Arcane power source. All classes who use the Arcane power source have one or more powers with the Arcane power source, as do Half-Elves who Delittante one. Therefore, all wands, right now, can be used by all classes who use the Arcane power source. Swordmages use the Arcane power source, therefore Swordmages can use all wands, right now.

    Then, the next relevant bit, which directly follows the preceding bit:
    A wand can contain an encounter power of any
    class capable of using wands. When you craft a wand,
    you can choose any encounter power that you know
    or that is available to your class. You can’t choose
    anything other than a class power (you can’t choose a
    paragon path power, for instance).
    Swordmages can use wands (due to the aforementioned technicality), though not as implements as you explained, therefore a Swordmage can craft a wand with any encounter power that they know or that is available to their class. It's probably insane, and due to the sheer scale of questionable readings and technicalities that are required to allow it probably wouldn't be in most games, but RAW it's justified.

    Spellscarred use the same justifications. In both cases, to craft a wand of a Swordmage or Spellscarred power requires either one of those classes to take Ritual Casting or for a Wizard to multiclass to Swordmage or Spellscarred, but it is RAW-legal.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    The reason is this: to use a wand, you must share at least one power with the same power source as the power in the wand. Wands, as of right now, only include Arcane powers. Swordmages and Spellscarred both use the Arcane power source, thus they can use wands. Wands can be crafted to include a class power from any class that can use a wand. Swordmages can use wands, thus swordmage class powers can be put into a wand.
    Sorry, but I make it a point not to base a guide on debatable interpretations of the rules.

    I think that the rules should be read as "wands can be crafted to include a class power from any class that can use a wand as an implement". Because otherwise, arguing which classes "can use a wand" makes little sense: if at least one cleric exists that has multiclassed to wizard, then a cleric "can use a wand" and therefore wands can contain cleric powers. Um, I think not.

    Or in shorter terms, "good luck in finding a DM to agree with you on that issue". And for that reason, it does not belong in a general guide.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Sorry, but I make it a point not to base a guide on debatable interpretations of the rules.
    Fair enough. I simply felt it might be beneficial to mention that that reading might be available.

    I think that the rules should be read as "wands can be crafted to include a class power from any class that can use a wand as an implement". Because otherwise, arguing which classes "can use a wand" makes little sense: if at least one cleric exists that has multiclassed to wizard, then a cleric "can use a wand" and therefore wands can contain cleric powers. Um, I think not.

    Or in shorter terms, "good luck in finding a DM to agree with you on that issue". And for that reason, it does not belong in a general guide.
    I'd agree that that's how it should be written, but that's not how it is written. As such, RAW any Arcane class (and any other power source that might have a class that uses wands) can have wands made of their powers.

    Clerics can't have wands because it isn't the cleric class that grants wand usage. It's because the cleric/wizard is a wizard that they can use wands, so no cleric wands. Unless you really wanted there to be, but that's more questionable than I'm willing to entertain

    Or, in shorter terms, "Yes, it's only overly-technical readings that enable it."

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Maybe the Guide should be called Gotham Knights 4e Style. My wizard will still suck at Diplo and thievery but the warlord and the rogue won't so a Gem of Colloquy and Burglar's Gloves are better off with those two guys.
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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    Maybe the Guide should be called Gotham Knights 4e Style. My wizard will still suck at Diplo and thievery but the warlord and the rogue won't so a Gem of Colloquy and Burglar's Gloves are better off with those two guys.
    I'm afraid I've never heard of the Gotham Knights. Yes, yes, I'll look them up on Wikipedia next minute, but that would make it not catchy enough

    A rogue is a feasible Batman, via the guide, particularly if you multiclass to wizard. You don't need a high int since you'll only take the utility powers.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    When will you update this to include PHB2 and Arcane Power?
    For example, the Deva race, the new implements, and the new feats.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Quote Originally Posted by HMS Invincible View Post
    When will you update this to include PHB2 and Arcane Power?
    For example, the Deva race, the new implements, and the new feats.
    Good point.

    Done; comments welcome.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    Has anyone perused through adventurer's vault 2 yet?

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style



    Thread Necromancy much?
    The only thing worse than an empty signature is one that has nothing at all to say. One that simply yammers on with little or no point; quietly, subtly draining away seconds of your life.

    The worst are the ones that look like they have a point. Multiple paragraph monstrosities that you're sure will have some sort of satisfying conclusion. Some sort of goal, to show that your reading was not in vain.

    It doesn't and it was.

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    Default Re: Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style

    I dunno, depends on if the guide gets updated again.

    We're past the playtest stage for the Artificer, aren't we? How would that work for a utility belt character?

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