View Full Version : Preferred Arcane Class?

2009-10-17, 07:21 PM
I'm just trying to get a feel for what is the most popular of arcane caster classes out there.

So, name your favorite Arcane casting class, and explain why it is your favorite.

2009-10-17, 07:23 PM
Definitely 4E Bard, as I can pull mooks towards me with my wand and then kill them with my sword.

2009-10-17, 07:28 PM
Basic D&D: Elf
2e: There's only Wizard, so Wizard.
3.X: This is the hard one, I probably would say wizard just because I've always loved the concept of the D&D wizard who has studied ages for his arcane power. I also love familiars but that's another story. I especially enjoy arcane hierophant and it's familiar companion plus wide-range of spells combining druid spells with a wizard's arcane powers. I also like Sorcerers with a spell-list themed about their power source (I'm descended from a red dragon I have fire, fear, and self buffs).
4e: Sorcerer (dragon).

Kurald Galain
2009-10-17, 07:28 PM
So, name your favorite Arcane casting class, and explain why it is your favorite.

Son of Ether.

There's just too much awesome in there. The GG comic has some good examples.

2009-10-17, 07:28 PM
3e Wizard. It's basically all arcane classes ever made in one class; whatever I want, I can make a Wizard do it. And it truly does live the "match the powers of a deity near epic"-story.

Crafty Cultist
2009-10-17, 07:31 PM
Warlocks. they never run out of power. they're like the goddamn energizer bunny

2009-10-17, 07:34 PM
Dread Necromancer.

Simply put, I think it takes pretty much everything I think of when I think 'necromancer' and rolls it into a single class.

It's a shame that it trails off somewhat after level 8 (though it's still a full-caster), but if you want to maintain progression in all it's features (Lich transformation, spellcating, rebuke undead, familiar and other bits and bobs), then there's no PrC that will do the job better than just taking the class itself.

2009-10-17, 07:38 PM
I'm going with either a Wizard or a DFA. DFAs have wonderful flavor and a unique style to them, and wizards do just about anything you want them to do.

Inhuman Bot
2009-10-17, 07:44 PM
3.5 IK's Arcane Mechanik. The perfect class to get into one of the most IMBA classes ever, Warcaster.

2009-10-17, 07:46 PM
Beguiler - love the skill points, and knowing every spell on your list spontaneously.

2009-10-17, 07:48 PM
2e: There's only Wizard, so Wizard.

Only Wizard? What about Bard or Wild Mage?
2E: Bard-they get all the wizard spells, level faster, etc. They can do everything and more.
Basically: they were Wizard/thieves. Not the "Cleric/rogue/Wizard" jack of all trades in 3.5 with stunted spell progression and not that great spells (although both had inspire courage). They had all Wizard spells + unique ones.
3.5: Warlock because it multiclasses well (rare in a caster class).

2009-10-17, 08:22 PM
Sorcerer. Pewpewpew!

Violet Octopus
2009-10-17, 08:35 PM
If sorcerers had class features and more spells known, definitely them, as you can build up a theme, and they're easier to run.

Used to like the set-list classes like beguiler, but I've been feeling that any base class should have different directions to go in (other than advanced learning).

Current favourites are bards, duskblades and spellthieves (in that order)

Yes, bards have fewer spells than sorcerer, but they have class features (that admittedly only really get interesting with feats) and they're just groovy.

2009-10-17, 08:45 PM
Conjurer/Beguiler/Ultimate Magus.

Mando Knight
2009-10-17, 08:55 PM
4e's Dragon Magic Sorcerer, followed by that edition's Swordmage.

Deth Muncher
2009-10-17, 08:56 PM
Yeah, I'm going with sorceror. In fact, every character I've played but one has been a sorceror (the other was a barbarian, if you were wondering). This is 3.5, by the way.

Why? Because they're badass. No frilly books to carry around, none of that pointy hat and starry robe nonsense, you just walk up to someone and kill them with your FORCE OF PERSONALITY.

Plus, like, okay. So they have Charisma as their main stat, right? And since you're playing a caster, you're likely to put some ranks in Dexterity to bump up your armor. So what do you do? Get Invisibility, throw some ranks in Bluff, Move Silently and Slight of Hand and suddenly you're a better rogue than the rogue. I actually got a DM kinda mad at me for playing a sorceror this way though, so YMMV.

2009-10-17, 09:13 PM
I've always had an affinity for the Wizard, but I don't play them so much anymore because it often feels like cheating. I personally lean a little more to the Beguiler and Sorcerer these days, because it takes a little bit of work to play them at a high level (of capability, that is) and I enjoy the intellectual exercise.

2009-10-17, 09:15 PM
3.5e Wild Mage!

2009-10-17, 09:22 PM
Arcane Heirophant.

What? Of course it's arcane! It says so in the name!

Akal Saris
2009-10-17, 09:26 PM
2E it's mage/thief, 3.5 it's conjurer or beguiler. I like having lots of options in any given situation.

2009-10-18, 12:23 AM
The fluff is oh-too-sexyyy :D

2009-10-18, 12:24 AM
Without a doubt the Beholder Mage from LoM, 10 level progression to get up to 9th level spells, cast spontaneously but learn spells from scrolls, and can cast up to 9 total spells (one per spell level) each round as a free action each. I cannot imagine it being better than that.

2009-10-18, 12:54 AM
Sorcerers. They're prettier than wizards.

2009-10-18, 01:07 AM
Dread Necromancers. Undead horde (size of a real medieval army 10K or so.) is still hard to make but at least its possible.

2009-10-18, 01:12 AM
AD&D Wildmage. Nothing like rolling on huge tables every time you cast a spell to see if you end the world

2009-10-18, 01:12 AM
Wizard... just because using int as the primary method of pwning the universe appeals to me.

2009-10-18, 01:16 AM
Core or Pathfinder - Wizard (conjurer or generalist)
Splats - Dread Necromancer
Monte - Witch

2009-10-18, 01:31 AM
Psion! :smallbiggrin:

Oh sorry... Sorcerer. I like the idea of being speshul. :P

2009-10-18, 03:23 AM
Wu Jen, with Incantatrix 3. Giantsize and Body Outside Body are just awesome spells.

Kurald Galain
2009-10-18, 04:57 AM
Only Wizard? What about Bard or Wild Mage?
The 2E wild mage is considered a specialization (like abjurer or invoker) rather than a separate class. [/nitpick]

Personally, as a DM I really enjoy having a wild mage in the party; whereas as a player I really don't. Wild mages have a tendency to ruin whatever plans the party may have due to sheer randomness; I recall a funny moment when the party was sneaking and the WM cast Silence, then got a wild surge that resulted in a very loud explosion. D'oh!

2009-10-18, 05:06 AM
Son of Ether.

There's just too much awesome in there. The GG comic has some good examples.

Dreamspeaker, acid trips beat techno babble anyday of the week and I can sic FRIKKIN GODS on your ass.

2009-10-18, 06:07 AM
1st Ed DnD-Elf
1st Ed ADnD-Magic User
2nd Ed ADnD-Bladesinger! Deflect any attack I'm aware of if I don't declare an offensive or defensive stance? OK!
3rd Ed-Wizard. And done right, they get everyone else's toys, and can still play helpless the whole while (read : have the BSF kill crap, and only passively buff the rest of them, so they feel like they accomplished something, and only go full power without the kid gloves when the DM decides to be a jackhole and send a party of pit fiends at your level 15 party).

2009-10-18, 06:12 AM
Wizard... just because using int as the primary method of pwning the universe appeals to me.

same... the reason I like the wizard the most is pure and utter fluff, not mechanics.
Although, once I grew out of using direct damage spells I found out how powerful the class actually is... (at level 1 you want to be ending encounters with grease and sleep, not doing 1d4+1 damage once per day with a magic missle... you are actually better off shooting a heavy crossbow for 1d10 damage; glitterdust, web, haste, slow, fly, etc... all very nice)

although, in some settings the wizard fluff is worse... they draw their magics from the god/gods of magic and the weave... the god/gods of magic actively police the abilities of arcane magic and have NERFED magic as part of official history of the world. Meanwhile a cleric has been VESTED by either a god, an agent of a god, or another cleric to have divine powers that come from within. Not god can actually take a cleric casting ability, at most the god that cleric chooses to worship (assuming he is foolish enough to do so and does not worship a concept) can BLOCK a cleric from regaining spells at dawn/dusk, but current spells remain until used. the cleric can then be restored by someone casting atonement on him... of course, he better have actually atoned in the eyes of his god (or new god if he changed churches) or the spell will not work and the cleric casting it loses his power too...
then you have the ur priests who flat out steal magic from gods and work to destroy them...

the whole thing is really, contradictory as to whether gods are or are not the source of magic, as the fluff of many spells / things about cleric magic have to do with gods... like the notion of no ASF is that the gods "know" what you "meant" with the failed hand gestures (somehow that does not work for spoken words... or account for how its your spells, not your god's)

2009-10-18, 06:33 AM
The 2E wild mage is considered a specialization (like abjurer or invoker) rather than a separate class. [/nitpick]

Details details. You say Potato, I say Soccer practice. You say Tomato, I say bowling ball. Same idea.

2009-10-18, 01:12 PM
Dragonfire Adept. After playing a Wizard (ever in your life), the low bookkeeping of an Invocations class is permanently refreshing ...

2009-10-18, 01:37 PM
UA Arcane Caster. Cherry pick your skills, get spells from the big 3, feats every 5 levels, and cast like a sorc. Yes please!

2009-10-18, 07:09 PM
It all depends on the setting/game conditions/gm.

If you've got a high powered game, wizard is where it's at. It just is: so many more options and tricks are available to this class <shrug>.

If it's a low level game, or a game where you aren't trying to be too overpowered, a sorceror often fits the bill: the limited spell selection and prestige class options mean that you aren't nearly as broken as a straight wizard.

If it's ravenloft, Warlocks are inherently superior, especially at levels 1-5. Being able to keep blasting without rest is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Mark Hall
2009-10-18, 07:28 PM
I'm just trying to get a feel for what is the most popular of arcane caster classes out there.

So, name your favorite Arcane casting class, and explain why it is your favorite.

Bard. Because they're Awesome.

2e: There's only Wizard, so Wizard.

You forgot the bard. (Wild mages, as someone mentioned later, are Mages who have specialized in Wild Magic).

2009-10-18, 07:54 PM

Wizards are a bit troublesome for me; I like the in-battle "I can use any one of any of my spells" versatality over the "I can do anything if you give me three days advance notice" since my characters don't generally get advance notice.

Plus charisma is a way nicer primary stat.

2009-10-18, 08:09 PM
Plus charisma is a way nicer primary stat.

I prefer having more than 2 skill points.

2009-10-18, 08:20 PM
That's what I like about the Beguiler - 6 skill points, INT as primary stat, and a nice selection of skills to choose from. be a full caster and a skill-monkey at the same time.

And there's plenty of tricks to get other spells added to your list (feats, PrCs, items)...

Foryn Gilnith
2009-10-18, 08:23 PM
Recaster. Because it means you're a changeling, and it lets wizards get Wings of Cover and those goodies.

2009-10-18, 09:13 PM
Let x = (level - 6)

Warmage 5 + x/3 / 2x/3 Mage of the Arcane Order. With that feat that lets spontaneous casters prepare a small number of spells.

Yeah, that's right. I play an explodamancer with minor utility uses here and there, and I blew a feat to do it. In a party without a regular arcane caster or a single divine caster. Why? Because it is hard as hell to kill something at our ECL, and there are 6 of us. It takes some *skill* to just not die, let alone win, let ALONE win enough to level again.

Can I get a woot for parties that aren't optimized? Because how often do you think a wizard with decades of experience studying wants to work with some jerk who steals stuff?

Temet Nosce
2009-10-19, 12:39 AM
Beguiler - my favorite class in D&D period in fact.

2009-10-19, 12:43 AM
Beguiler - love the skill points, and knowing every spell on your list spontaneously.

Same here.
I like its versatility.

2009-10-19, 09:17 AM
Wu Jen. Not really because of the flavor (Players and DMs can change flavor, though.) But because of the specialist idea behind it. We had a homebrewed one where you only picked two elements to cast from and specialize in, instead of specialize in one and cast from all. It was a blast to play (And I use the word 'blast' because steam breath and fireball were used a lot.)

A free metamagic feat at first level set the stage more easily for something like Sudden Maximize at third, which certain does turn the tide of low level fights if your party isn't a "UBERCHARGER DRAGONFIRE OMG GLITTERDUST" party.

2009-10-19, 10:00 AM
Warlock, Dread Necromancer, Hexblade, with the order changing based on mood and concept. I love the debuffing abilities.

2009-10-19, 10:11 AM
I've had a lot of fun playing 3.5 sorcerers. Lots of thought to set up, low thought to prep each day, lots of thought during combat. I like the ease and freedom that grants in the long run. No matter what time of day it is, I can pick just about any spell I want. And I do spend all my time between turns studying all my options and making an interesting selection. I tend to pick battlefield control and oddball spells, rather than much blasty. Next time I play a caster I'll probably play something else for variety though.

Zeta Kai
2009-10-19, 10:43 AM
1E - Magic User (did we have a choice?). :smallconfused:

2E - Bard or Wizard. :smallsmile:

3E - Too tough to call. I have so many favorites. I've played 'em all at some point. I love the Wizard for the cheesy pwnage & the versatility. I love the Sorcerer for the spell-spamming. I love the Bard for the style. I love the Beguiler for the flavor. I love the Dread Necromancer for the antagonist-quotient. I love the Warlock for the ease-of-play. I love the UA Arcane Caster for the flexibility & modular utility. I love 'em all, but for many different reasons. If I had to choose, then I'd go with the Bio-Mage, because it's my baby, it's mechanically sound (if you care about your character), & it's fluff is just what I need for the campaign that I made them for. :smallcool:

4E - Fighter, refluffed to arcane casting. Because seriously, it doesn't matter what class you choose; they're all the same. :smallamused:

Kris Strife
2009-10-19, 11:17 AM
Any of the full list spontaneous casters because of low bookkeeping, though I prefer warmage because I like being able to MMMM my enemies to death, as well as the military training the fluff gives, and DFA because of low bookkeeping, breathing fire, and the fluff, although I wish they'd gotten half as much support as Warlocks did. :smallsigh:

Glass Mouse
2009-10-19, 12:37 PM
Sorcerer, because of the spontaneous casting and the need for "quick thinking". I love solving things on the spot.
Also, blaster happy sorcerers are - though horribly ineffective - SO much fun to play :smallbiggrin:

Bard, because they're awesome. You can't do anything effectively yourself, but you can make everyone do it for you. Besides, the premise is cool.

I haven't ever played outside of core, but I'm pretty sure any spontaneous casting class would be a ton of fun - yeah, I'm a sucker for that.
Beguiler looks cool, actually. I love the fluff.

Lost Demiurge
2009-10-19, 12:44 PM
3.0-3.5? Artificier. They require thought and planning, but they're the best damn toymakers around! And not as cheesy as wizards, not by a long shot.

4.0 Bard. I can taunt people to death! And multi-class as everything, as long as the stats mesh. :D

2009-10-19, 02:01 PM

I like the way they get spells, the way they cast spells, the books, the versatility, the casting stat.

The game, 3.x mainly, has a lot of arcane casters and I like all of them from the Hexblade to the Beguiler, but none is like the Wiz.

Is the Mage as I imagine it.

2009-10-19, 02:07 PM
Warmage. Because it's an arcane class that isn't broken.

2009-10-19, 02:13 PM

2009-10-20, 02:26 AM
Fluff Wise (because mechanically the class is both strange and weak): Shadowcaster (played one for 1,5 years)

When playing with a DM that focuses on challenging combats (A Rare occurrence): Wizard/Harper Mage/Olin gisir (He gets holy word as an arcane spell :smallwink:)

2009-10-20, 02:29 AM
The other reason I like playing wizards is this:

I'm now playing a Conjurer who banned Necro and Evocation (it's Ravenloft, didn't want to risk falling). I have four d20s, and I roll on average once per combat... for initiative. I love sitting back and knowing that I just won the battle while everyone else "worries" about the "challenge."

2009-10-20, 02:35 AM
We are meticulous.
We love planning.
Ohh yes, we love planning.

Yeah, it's Wizards all the way for me.