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Quertus
2017-06-03, 05:37 PM
In a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?526195-You-Get-Thrown-Into-D-amp-D-With-One-Item-or-Skill&p=22063480#post22063480) that talked about showing up as a D&D character - but didn't specify edition - I largely defaulted to 3e wizard, because of their much faster leveling over older editions.

This got me thinking about all the pros and cons of playing being a wizard from each edition. I'm curious how other people think they stack up. My intuition is, 3e wizard is generally better, 2e has a few good points worth mentioning, and the other editions aren't even on the radar.

Now, to keep things simple, let's largely limit this to generalist wizards, no prestige classes, no Skills and Powers, etc. Yes, I know 2e and 3e have tricks to make a wizard even better, and that's certainly worth mentioning, but let's focus on just core straight vanilla wizard for now.

So, playground, what do you think? How would wizards from various editions of D&D stack up against each other in the same party, or trying to take over each other's roles in a party? If you were in the party, which edition's wizard would you want to adventure with?

noob
2017-06-03, 05:53 PM
Personally I would like to adventure with both at the same time.
Dnd 5e wizard got some nice tricks but is widely inferior to 3.5 ones unless you allow them to get 3.5 spells when teaming with a 3.5 wizard(There is no rules saying that you can not learn spells from other editions if you have access to them).
I think that by far the most powerful one must be the 3.5 wizard in 4e(since you can play a 3.5 wizard in 4e and have then the right to use all the dnd material which have ever existed thanks to The errata)
If you can get with the 5e wizard to polymorph any object allies in creatures from other editions(as long as they have a CR inferior to 9) it can be pure win for example turn them in skarns(they have a cr lower than 9) or whatever broken creature you want

Fable Wright
2017-06-03, 06:19 PM
Second edition mage, using second edition rules, was the undisputed king of powerful spells. Fireball annihilated things, if you had the room for it. A well-placed Lightning Bolt could double or triple hit multiple opponents in a room if you were good at geometry. So long as they got to cast anything, they won, as you'd expect from an edition where spells were some of the greatest treasures you could get.

D&D 3.5 is the king of the most spells, with both the widest variety and the most slots. They can cast and do a lot at pretty much any given moment.

Fifth edition is about halfway between the two, with some quite powerful spells, difficult to hit DCs, and class features that are actually good.

If I were putting together a party of all-Wizards, I think the 3.5 Wizard would be the BSF, with the most raw power and defenses to throw around at all times. The 2e Wizard would be, well, the magic-user, able to solve problems that no one else in the party can solve in amazing time. The 5e wizard would essentially be the rogue—able to contribute a lot, pacing themselves throughout the day, but able to do a huge amount of work when it counts.

Anonymouswizard
2017-06-03, 06:27 PM
In a thread* that talked about showing up as a D&D character - but didn't specify edition - I largely defaulted to 3e wizard, because of their much faster leveling over older editions.

This got me thinking about all the pros and cons of playing being a wizard from each edition. I'm curious how other people think they stack up. My intuition is, 3e wizard is generally better, 2e has a few good points worth mentioning, and the other editions aren't even on the radar.

Now, to keep things simple, let's largely limit this to generalist wizards, no prestige classes, no Skills and Powers, etc. Yes, I know 2e and 3e have tricks to make a wizard even better, and that's certainly worth mentioning, but let's focus on just core wizard for now.

So, playground, what do you think? How would wizards from various editions of D&D stack up against each other in the same party, or trying to take over each other's roles in a party? If you were in the party, which edition's wizard would you want to adventure with?

Now the 2e PhB is one of the ones I don't have on pdf, but as I remember it's approximately the following:
-Spells per day: at low levels the 3.X wizard wins because of bonus spells from int. At high levels it's not so much of a done deal, but I think the 3.X wizard gets more.
-Spells known: the 3.X wizard can potentially learn every spell in the game, the 2e wizard has limited spells known based on his INT.
-Spell list: the 3.X wizard gets access to a larger spell list in core books, and IIRC a much larger list including everything.
-Combat: the 3.X wizard gets a higher attack bonus(/THAC0), and more weapon proficiencies.
-Familiar: why am I even comparing these? 3.X wizard because theirs has a bigger table.
-Other stuff: the 3.X wizard gets the ability to use metamagic feats, and four free metamagic or item creation feats over twenty levels (as if they needed more over the sorcerer). The 2e wizard gets the ability to make any magic item at 9th level, subject to GM restrictions.

Yeah, the 3.X wizard is much stronger. Note I'm leaving out levelling speed, as not only is that dependant on the DM second edition has weird XP charts which allow wizards to hit some levels before fighters. However I'd argue that this is just due to classes getting stronger as editions move on.

A fairer test is the 3.X wizard versus the 5e one. The 3.X wizard has a lot more power, but I think I might actually personally choose the more flexible casting and tricks a 5e wizard gets.


* haven't memorized how to enter links from my phone, sorry.q

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noob
2017-06-03, 06:28 PM
Second edition mage, using second edition rules, was the undisputed king of powerful spells. Fireball annihilated things, if you had the room for it. A well-placed Lightning Bolt could double or triple hit multiple opponents in a room if you were good at geometry. So long as they got to cast anything, they won, as you'd expect from an edition where spells were some of the greatest treasures you could get.

D&D 3.5 is the king of the most spells, with both the widest variety and the most slots. They can cast and do a lot at pretty much any given moment.

Fifth edition is about halfway between the two, with some quite powerful spells, difficult to hit DCs, and class features that are actually good.

If I were putting together a party of all-Wizards, I think the 3.5 Wizard would be the BSF, with the most raw power and defenses to throw around at all times. The 2e Wizard would be, well, the magic-user, able to solve problems that no one else in the party can solve in amazing time. The 5e wizard would essentially be the rogue—able to contribute a lot, pacing themselves throughout the day, but able to do a huge amount of work when it counts.
Except the part were 3.5 wizard can do tons of stuff easier than a 2e wizard like ice assassin, polymorph any object,teleport,shapechange and tons of stuff way faster(way less time to cast those spells and have comparable effects and no ageing or system shock) and can cast all the real world changing spells the 2e wizard got.
5e wizard is mostly inferior in everything to 3.5 one :their class features do not fill the gap at all in action economy and world rebuilding(like the wizard making infinite armies and infinite number of planes).
Also all your second edition examples of spells were just "win a fight" which is the least interesting thing to do with spells.
3.5 wizard spells are much better than 5e ones and can do all the effects 5e ones can and in fact the class features you get from 5e wizard do not compensate much worse feats and much less good spells.
Now if all the wizards in the party were infinitely dumb,did not use their spells to reshape the world and instead went to fights and did not abuse action economy by building armies of ice wizards then the 5e one would have an advantage over the others due to class features but then it would have a problem about spell slots in a straight fight(meteor swarm is only so good against a wizard with protection against fire and still 30 spells left) and the 2e wizard would have an advantage in one shooting stuff(but the other wizards can do so too and can counterspell for 5e wizard and can just be invisible,flying and very far away and any of the wizards can one shot any of the other wizards once the defences of the opponent are down)

Fable Wright
2017-06-03, 07:26 PM
Now if all the wizards in the party were infinitely dumb,did not use their spells to reshape the world and instead went to fights and did not abuse action economy by building armies of ice wizards then the 5e one would have an advantage over the others due to class features but then it would have a problem about spell slots in a straight fight(meteor swarm is only so good against a wizard with protection against fire and still 30 spells left) and the 2e wizard would have an advantage in one shooting stuff(but the other wizards can do so too and can counterspell for 5e wizard and can just be invisible,flying and very far away and any of the wizards can one shot any of the other wizards once the defences of the opponent are down)

Forgive me for assuming that we're going on adventures with our adventuring party, for assuming that we start at levels below 17 (and probably below 7), and that we're a group of people that are trying to have fun together instead of shouting about how we're the strongest like Dragonball villains.

But I digress. First, if you really care, 5th edition has some shenanigans that other editions can't match. Take, for example, the Simulacrum spell (level 7 in D&D 5e). It gets all abilities of the target. It's Ice Assassin two spell levels earlier with no XP cost and a huge discount, but no more than one at a time. Except that it can make its own Simulacrums if you cast it on a target who knows the spell. You can bypass the gold and 12-hour cast time with a Wish (with no XP or gold components, natch) and generate an infinite stream of them at speeds that make 3.5 wizards envious. (Also, an Illusionist who casts Simulacrum will be able to change who said simulacrum is of with a Standard action, which obviously provides immense versatility, they get the power to make illusions real, each clone can cast a spell with one action to make their own demiplane for an NI number of them, etc.)

Or take the 5e version of Counterspell. It's an immediate action. Action economy benefits from that alone are fairly huge. Combine with free versions of Flyby Attack even when on the ground just from edition benefits, and their action economy's looking pretty good. Also, the lower (and fixed per involved spell level) costs for making magic items make them far better crafters than 3.5e wizards are.

Second, high-level 2e spells were severely nerfed in 3.5e. Take, for example, their version of Stoneskin. It flat-out negated a set number of attacks, no matter how much damage was involved. Take their Power Word Death, from the days where 100 HP was more than Vecna could muster and was one of the fastest cast spells in the game. Take their Heart of Stone spell, which IIRC basically prevented death so long as their physical heart was safe. Those are not things that a 3.5e wizard could match at a similar level of investment. Similarly powerful spells abound. I used Fireball and Lightning bolt as examples because they were multitarget No-Save-Just-Die effects starting at 3rd level spells. They just got more powerful from there.

So, I stand by my statement.

The 3.5e wizard has the most spell slots, and acts as the front-liner. The 2e wizard does the broken stuff no one else thinks is possible, but extremely sparingly. The 5e wizard is the one who is amazing in a pinch, but usually limits their capacity to pace themselves, as the rogue. You have not presented enough specific evidence to refute my claim.

noob
2017-06-03, 07:52 PM
Now if the 5e wizard do simulacrum wish loop then the 3.5 wizard can set up a loop giving him infinite simulacrum at lower level: get a candle of invocation.
Look if you allow loops then everybody gets omnipotence super early(but 3.5 is quite early for that thanks to candle of invocation)
So the 5e wizard can probably do broken things with simulacrum as hard as a 3.5 wizard(3.5 wizard: summon mirror mephit at level 3(3 is the level where you get the spell) or get a candle of invocation or yet just get a scroll of simulacrum. for the 5e wizard: get simulacrum scroll or the spell)
2e wizard probably have infinite loops too.
It is not like if 5e had shenanigans that were any better than 3.5 core shenanigans.
If we go through infinite loops then probably all the edition wizards are similar.
And if you want a simulacrum with all the abilities with a 3.5 wizard just cast it until you get to roll to get all the individual abilities(a simulacrum of a creature by raw have for each ability 50% chanche of getting it so for example a simulacrum of a solar have 50% chance of being able to cast gate and 50% chance of being able to cast wish but you should probably make a simulacrum of an efreet you get on average 1.5 wish which allows on average to get 1.5 efreet simulacrum then it restarts).
About counter-spell being powerful how does its range compare to the range at which one good wizard would be at from someone who can cast it?
Ps: wizards each go in their pocket dimension.
Also on action economy a 3.5 wizard gets the following: a familiar who can use a magic item,a bunch of simulacrum of another higher level wizard made through mirror mephits or scrolls(since they can get more scrolls with their wbl),Stuff they did get with planar binding earlier, an undead army who contains other spellcasters,all the stuff those other spellcasters did get(including the stuff the simulacrum of spellcasters did get),celerity if they do not like minionmancy(just get favor of the martyr) and more time stops or samantha delicate disks of summoning.
in fact all those stuff do not need bonus actions to control so unless the 5e wizard do an infinite simulacrum loop(in which cast the 3.5e wizard can probably make an infinite loop too) the 3.5 wizard can have a lot more action economy(with minions with spell-casting of a higher level than his own).

Most 2e spells that were nerfed in 3e you quoted were good just at fighting or at protecting yourself thus pushing them more in the big stupid fighter archetype you said them to not be in.
Look you are saying the 2e wizard is a magic user and then quote only encounter stuff like allowing to survive anything or killing anything which is a kind of thing that brings you to tier 4(yes a character with only the ability to win any encounter automatically is tier 4 for higher tier you need more poly-valance than wining encounters).
Can you say stuff that change the world or gets information a 2e wizard can do that can not be replicated through a bunch of casting of spells by a 3.5 wizard?

So what I say is that either you suppose all the casters are insanely dumb and never prepare in which case they are all big stupid fighters(of varying power with the 2e wizard able to one shot stuff and the 3.5 wizard being good at retreating(a lot of invisibility and fly and teleport)) or you suppose they are smart in which case they can all do everything and I do not think there is a middle case where a 2e wizard can do everything while a 3.5 wizard using the same intelligence can not do everything too.

JAL_1138
2017-06-03, 08:35 PM
Y'all forget some of the bigger drawbacks of the 2e wizard.

Casting time was one of the worst. Most all the spells that went off on the wizard's turn had an initiative modifier--the wizard starts casting on their initiative, spell goes off on the casting time modified initiative. Others went off a round later. During this time, while the wizard was casting, if the wizard got hit--any hit, regardless of damage amount; 1hp would do it, and by a very literal reading even 0hp of damage would do it so long as the attack technically hit--the spell fizzled and was lost.

Summons were incredibly unreliable and likely to break free and attack the caster or go berserk, so minionmancy was a gamble, aside from necromancy. Other powerful spells had drawbacks too; Wish had no list of safe uses at all; every single use was asking for "[email protected]$& Genie" interpretations.

Technically, the 2e wizard could never predict what spells they learned--not even a specialist wizard, the only wizards who automatically learned any new spells on level-up. And they only learned a scant few. All others had to be found, and there was a somewhat difficult percentile check to learn them. The rules flat-out state that even which spells a specialist automatically learns via leveling can be at the DM's whim, or the DM can choose to let you pick if they feel like it.

Hagashager
2017-06-03, 09:00 PM
That's a tough one.

As others have said, 2e wizards, in my opinion, are actually more powerful. They are stupidly more powerful in fact. But only in the context of 2e spells, general proficiencies and late game strength.

Do not underestimate a 20th level 2e wizard. These guys are absolute gods. The trouble though is the amount of time it takes to get there. Magic in 2e is extremely powerful by design, and thus is supposed to be very difficult to fully command until you've invested a lot of time in the character. As a mage, life is going to be deliberately very slow, tedious and potentially boring from lvl. 1-10 or possibly 12.

This is where I think 3.X wizards ultimately seem more powerful. They have a much more apparent, gradual rise in power that feels more satisfying in the early-to-mid game, but never quite reaches the apex of insanity of 2e. If you're comparing power levels and allowing the strength of 2e spells to compete with 3.X spells, the lvl. 20 2e wizard will win.

But for the actual player, you have to ask yourself, do you have the patience to slog through the early-mid game, potentially dying in one hit, to reach virtual godhood? or would you rather be a bit more on par with the party fighter, but never quite have the ludicrous wizardry of a 2e mage?

Darth Ultron
2017-06-03, 09:38 PM
Well, if your going ''core'' only, or even just Players Handbook, the wizards get mostly the same spells. The same spells in name only though. The 2E wizard gets all the good awesomely powerful spells, and the 3E wizard just gets the watered down nerfed versions.

Wish is a great example: a 2E wish can do anything. A 3E wish has tons of limits.

In 2E illusions could do anything. In 2E you could do the ''I make an illusion of a bad wound and the target thinks themselves to death''.

And, 2E is loaded with save or die spells....even just die and die some more spells.

While the 3E wizard is stacking metamagic feats to try and do something....the 2E caster has all ready polymorphed the bad guy into a goldfish and watched them die.

Quertus
2017-06-03, 10:12 PM
Wow, you guys have a lot of ideas. Let's sort some of this out.

First off, I guess we need to figure out how the rules work. I can see two possibilities: either wizards from different editions can learn spells from each other, or they cannot.

Now, in my experience with character conversion, if your wizard had fireball in the old edition, he still has fireball in the new edition... but it now operates per the rules of the new edition. So, I suspect that wizards can learn spells from each other, but the spell operates under the rules of their edition - 2e wizard casts 2e fireball, no matter which edition he learns it from.

Alternately, the wizards' spells are just gibberish to one another.

Also, while adventuring is kinda the theme of both D&D and the thread that got me thinking, the ability of the wizard to, you know, do anything else is kinda cool. So both are valid topics for comparison.

Just as PO and TO are both valid topics of conversation in this thread. In fact, if I'm living as the wizard, I think TO is about the only thing worth discussing. :smallwink: However, things that won't fly by RAW, let alone at any possible table, probably aren't.

As far as Simulacrum is concerned, 2e has both 3e and 5e beat, in terms of being free, unlimited, and, for a Wild Mage, the ability for the simulacrum to potentially be stronger than the source.

Plus, if you want to focus on just one thing, 2e Skills and Powers, and 3e Unearthed Arcana give the wizard mana / spell points / whatever to dump all their power info carrying one spell repeatedly. Can 5e do that?

Lastly, while evaluating how wizards faired in their own edition is interesting, and, well, arguably more interesting than what I was trying to ask, it isn't where I was aiming this conversation. A 2e wizard dominating the field with direct damage does it no good against 3e foes and their competitively bloated HP. So it seems that the rules of the world their foes are using greatly impacts the wizard's effectiveness.

Later, I'll have to give my analysis of the factors I considered, and compile y'all's, as well.

EDIT:
Wish had no list of safe uses at all;

This is actually false. I don't remember where this list existed (AFB) - it may not have been in the PH / in the spell description, but there actually was a list of safe wishes in 2e.

Which matters to my analysis, so I'll try and remember to find it.

JAL_1138
2017-06-03, 10:54 PM
EDIT:

This is actually false. I don't remember where this list existed (AFB) - it may not have been in the PH / in the spell description, but there actually was a list of safe wishes in 2e.

Which matters to my analysis, so I'll try and remember to find it.

At least in the PHB, all wishes aged a caster 5 years, and all wishes were likely to have "literal genie" results applied. The closest you got to "safe" wishes was three types (restore someone to life, escape danger by moving from one place to another, or heal damage) that didn't also give a -3 Str penalty and require 2d4 days' bed rest to recover in addition to the "literal genie" exact words shenanigans and aging you five years.

Quertus
2017-06-04, 01:12 AM
So, let's start with the basics. 2e wizard have rolled stats, 3e wizards usually have point buy. 3e stats give incremental bonuses; 2e stats are generally straight "+0", except at the extremes. 3e generally wins this.

3e wizards start with 4 + con mod HP, so probably 6, maybe more with race or feats. 2e wizard roll a d4, probably with no bonus, and a max bonus of +2 - so, probably 3 HP. 2e wizards stop getting HD after 10th level, just getting 1 HP each level after that; 3e wizards keep getting HD, and likely have increasing con bonus as they level. 3e wins.

And, if death is a serious issue, 3e wizard can take Troll Blooded; 2e wizard could, I suppose, use Skills and Powers to Persist Trollish Fortitude. Tie? I think 2e wins.

3e wizards automatically get 2 spells learned each level, more with feats etc. 2e wizards? Nothing. Just what they find, trade, research, etc. 3e wins.

3e wizards have no limit to how many spells they can know. 2e wizards are limited by their Int. Of course, most wizards will Wish their Int up to the point where they can learn All The Spells. 3e wins, until 2e ties it with boosted Int.

2e wizards have to roll to learn spells, with a chance based on their Int, and can attempt again after they level. 3e wins.

3e wizards get feats. They can spend those feats to get metamagics. 2e applies metamagics via spells (except for persist). 2e wins this round.

3e wizards can attend those feats to learn to make items. 2e wizards just know how to make items. 2e wins this round.

3e wizards spend XP to make items. 2e wizards gain XP for making items. 2e wins.

3e wizards just spend money to make items. 2e wizards have to collect butterfly dreams etc. 3e wins? Or does 2e?

3e powerful spells cost XP. 2e powerful spells cost one or more years of your life. Tough call who wins.

More later.

RazorChain
2017-06-04, 01:38 AM
So, let's start with the basics. 2e wizard have rolled stats, 3e wizards usually have point buy. 3e stats give incremental bonuses; 2e stats are generally straight "+0", except at the extremes. 3e generally wins this.

3e wizards start with 4 + con mod HP, so probably 6, maybe more with race or feats. 2e wizard roll a d4, probably with no bonus, and a max bonus of +2 - so, probably 3 HP. 2e wizards stop getting HD after 10th level, just getting 1 HP each level after that; 3e wizards keep getting HD, and likely have increasing con bonus as they level. 3e wins.

And, if death is a serious issue, 3e wizard can take Troll Blooded; 2e wizard could, I suppose, use Skills and Powers to Persist Trollish Fortitude. Tie? I think 2e wins.

3e wizards automatically get 2 spells learned each level, more with feats etc. 2e wizards? Nothing. Just what they find, trade, research, etc. 3e wins.

3e wizards have no limit to how many spells they can know. 2e wizards are limited by their Int. Of course, most wizards will Wish their Int up to the point where they can learn All The Spells. 3e wins, until 2e ties it with boosted Int.

2e wizards have to roll to learn spells, with a chance based on their Int, and can attempt again after they level. 3e wins.

3e wizards get feats. They can spend those feats to get metamagics. 2e applies metamagics via spells (except for persist). 2e wins this round.

3e wizards can attend those feats to learn to make items. 2e wizards just know how to make items. 2e wins this round.

3e wizards spend XP to make items. 2e wizards gain XP for making items. 2e wins.

3e wizards just spend money to make items. 2e wizards have to collect butterfly dreams etc. 3e wins? Or does 2e?

3e powerful spells cost XP. 2e powerful spells cost one or more years of your life. Tough call who wins.

More later.


2nd edition can dual class and show up as an 20 lvl wizard and whatever if he has the stats for it.
2nd edition can farm ridiculous treasure tables if the DM goes by the book. (yes this has been done)
2nd edtion uses 1 minute rounds so the other editions can cast 10 spells while 2nd ed. casts one.

BWR
2017-06-04, 03:11 AM
3e wizards get feats. They can spend those feats to get metamagics. 2e applies metamagics via spells (except for persist). 2e wins this round.


2E has Semi-Permanency in place of Persist.


3e wizards spend XP to make items. 2e wizards gain XP for making items. 2e wins.

2e spends Constitution points on Permanency. I'd call it a 3e win.




3e powerful spells cost XP. 2e powerful spells cost one or more years of your life. Tough call who wins.

It's a lot easier to get more xp than more years (like for Haste): I'd call it a 3e win.

Kurald Galain
2017-06-04, 06:31 AM
So basically, the wizard goes 3E > PF > 2E >> 5E > 4E.

Quertus
2017-06-04, 07:00 AM
At least in the PHB, all wishes aged a caster 5 years, and all wishes were likely to have "literal genie" results applied. The closest you got to "safe" wishes was three types (restore someone to life, escape danger by moving from one place to another, or heal damage) that didn't also give a -3 Str penalty and require 2d4 days' bed rest to recover in addition to the "literal genie" exact words shenanigans and aging you five years.

Ok, so outside the PHB for no "literal genie", then? I'll see if I can find it. Still going to age you, though.


2nd edition can dual class and show up as an 20 lvl wizard and whatever if he has the stats for it.
2nd edition can farm ridiculous treasure tables if the DM goes by the book. (yes this has been done)
2nd edtion uses 1 minute rounds so the other editions can cast 10 spells while 2nd ed. casts one.

And, how is that different than getting 40 or however many levels in 3e? I'm not seeing how to judge this difference, except a) 2e loses access to wizard power to advance as anything else (winner, 3e), b) advancement speed changes to new level rather than composite level (still a 3e victory, due to just how slowly 2e advances), and c) still maintains the ability to level by fighting goblins (which, while a 2e victory, it has even before duel classing). :smallconfused:

The rounds thing could be huge. The 2e round length was actually variable, being much shorter when you were in combat. This led to the TO cheese of wizards getting people to spar in order to cast their spells faster. In combat, I think 2e wizards cast at about the same speed as 3e wizards.

Except that 3e wizards get 3.0 Haste, for an extra standard action, and Quicken Spell, whereas 2e wizards get... a metamagic spell or two that work like Contingency, but a) can be used for offensive spells, and b) can be stacked. Not sure who wins the action economy here... I think I'll give it to 3.0, followed by 2e, with 3.5 in last place.


2E has Semi-Permanency in place of Persist.

2e spends Constitution points on Permanency. I'd call it a 3e win.

It's a lot easier to get more xp than more years (like for Haste): I'd call it a 3e win.

There are ways to get around spells aging you in 2e (casting Haste only on your summoned creatures, Magic Jar, being a lich, etc) which I considered slightly more PO than the 3e options to avoid spending XP. However, as I said, if I'm living as the character rather than playing it in a game, it's TO all the way. So that shouldn't be a consideration.

So I would give this one to 3e, except for one problem: IIRC, you can't spend enough XP to make you lose a level. So you can get into this strange situation where, if you are right at the cusp for leveling, if you gain any XP, you are suddenly unable to spend XP.

There are similar tricks (ok, mostly just Magic Jar) to mitigate Con loss.

Quertus
2017-06-04, 07:31 AM
One of the basics I haven't discussed yet is Save DCs. 3e has Save DCs that scale with spell level and your Int; 2e has flat save DCs, of around DC 20.

This means 2e spells are harder to save against at low level, but easier to save against at high level.

However, as a lot of 2e spells just didn't allow a save at all, starting with Sleep, and I can use TO cheese to stack effects for over a 20-point penalty to saves in case we do want to cast a resistable spell, I think I'll give this one to 2e.


I think that by far the most powerful one must be the 3.5 wizard in 4e(since you can play a 3.5 wizard in 4e and have then the right to use all the dnd material which have ever existed thanks to The errata)

Tell me more about The Errata.


Casting time was one of the worst. Most all the spells that went off on the wizard's turn had an initiative modifier--the wizard starts casting on their initiative, spell goes off on the casting time modified initiative. Others went off a round later. During this time, while the wizard was casting, if the wizard got hit--any hit, regardless of damage amount; 1hp would do it, and by a very literal reading even 0hp of damage would do it so long as the attack technically hit--the spell fizzled and was lost.

It was actually slightly worse than that: if the wizard took damage (regardless of whether that damage was from a "hit"), they could not cast spells that round. So, yes, being hit while casting can disrupt your spell, like a worse version of held actions in 3e, but taking damage even before you start casting prevents spell casting that round. So, yeah, concentration checks, no casting times, and no concept of a "round" are all clear victories for 3e.

Lord Torath
2017-06-04, 09:02 AM
2E mages have access to limitless wealth at first level via the Metamorphose Liquids spell. Granted, it might be a bit painful (a drop of molten gold/platinum on your tongue), but you can convert 1 cubic foot of water per level per casting to the liquid molten metal of your choice. At 50 coins per pound, that's 69,700 platinum pieces from a single casting at first level. Easily enough to pay for a healing spell to fix your poor tongue. And to pay for someone's Ring of Fire Resistance to make future casting painless.

JAL_1138
2017-06-04, 09:56 AM
2E mages have access to limitless wealth at first level via the Metamorphose Liquids spell. Granted, it might be a bit painful (a drop of molten gold/platinum on your tongue), but you can convert 1 cubic foot of water per level per casting to the liquid molten metal of your choice. At 50 coins per pound, that's 69,700 platinum pieces from a single casting at first level. Easily enough to pay for a healing spell to fix your poor tongue. And to pay for someone's Ring of Fire Resistance to make future casting painless.

The casting would fail due to taking damage from the molten platinum. Any damage = spell fizzles. You'd need to become completely immune to fire first.

Quertus
2017-06-04, 11:16 AM
There is a feat proficiency that lets a 2e wizard hold onto a spell for only taking one (or two?) damage that would be worth it for molten gold.

And I've left off another huge base difference: 3e wizards spell books are expensive magic items; 2e wizard books are just books, costing nothing more than paper and ink.

This makes keeping spare spell books and replacing lost spells much easier in 2e.

noob
2017-06-04, 11:43 AM
ps: You can make replacement spell books for free(only spell slots) just by spamming Secret Page(You should probably use accelerate or uncanny fore-through or spell pool for reducing the 10 minutes per page):
"The text of a spell can be changed to show even another spell" from 3.5 srd

Lord Torath
2017-06-04, 01:54 PM
The casting would fail due to taking damage from the molten platinum. Any damage = spell fizzles. You'd need to become completely immune to fire first.Metamorphose Liquids's description specifically mentions using it to create acids and poisons. If you can cast it with a drop of acid on your tongue, you can probably do it with a tiny drop of molten platinum/gold/mithril/mithral/adamantium as well. Heck, a small enough drop, and you probably won't even get worse than a first-degree burn.

Also note that the specific wording is "struck by a weapon or fails to make a saving throw before the spell is cast" for spell failure (2E PHB 1st printing p85 - middle column). Another place mentions being "undisturbed". Putting a drop of molten metal on your tongue may be painful, but it's a normal part of casting the spell, and is something you're expecting. I wouldn't rule it as being disturbed or struck by a weapon.

Quertus
2017-06-04, 02:46 PM
Specific tricks

You guys have already mentioned an awful lot of what I was going to say here. A few spells or spell categories I'd like to cover:

Sleep - a staple of low-level adventuring, with no save for the spell, or for the ensuing coup de grace, 2e is the clear winner here.

Kauper's Skittish Nerves - often, in a rocket-tag environment, he who goes first, wins. Between this spell, Improved Initiative, and 2e casting times, 3e is the clear alpha strike winner.

Metamorphose Liquids - unique to 2e, this 1st level spell lets you transform one gallon of liquid per level into another (non-magical) liquid. Molten gold is just one great option; a 2e poison that deals 50 damage on a successful save, and straight up kills you on a failed save is another great option. You just need to find some way to get around having to place a drop of the substance on your tongue to cast the spell...

Invisibility - on the one hand, 2e invisibility just works, while 3e invisibility is a glorified +20 to hide. On the other hand, intelligent 2e foes often carried a bag of flour to reveal your location / you. On the other other hand, nothing keeps 3e foes from being that intelligent, and, for the purposes of this thread, both mages are facing the same foes. Plus, with Skills and Powers, a 2e wizard technically could start persisting this spell at 3rd level. So 2e wins this round.

Dispel Magic - the 2e wizard only ever needs to learn one version of this spell, which scales as they level, while 3e wizards need to keep learning new versions to stay relevant... and, really, at 40th level, the best version they can learn isn't still relevant. Definite victory for 2e.

Direct Damage - direct damage ruled the roost in 2e, primarily because the opposition had significantly lower HP. If they are facing the same / each other's foes, this will lead to their instincts often being incorrect as to the optimal course of action.

Fireball - 3e fireball extends up to a set distance from a fixed point; 2e fireball expands to fill a set volume. This made 2e fireball much more useful for clearing out tunnels... and much more likely to hit the caster and/or his party. Tie?

Lightning Bolt - 3e spell just extends from a point in range; 2e spell starts at the caster's fingertips (!), but bounces off walls. With an 80' bolt, this means that, in a 10' wide hallway, casting the spell at someone next to you, you can hit them (and yourself!) 8 times with the same bolt, for a total (at level 10+) of 80d6 damage! By the most liberal reading of RAW, a 2e Wild Mage could conceivably pump out over 4,000 damage with this spell - more than enough to roast 3e or even 4e monsters. And this damage can be boosted even more with metamagic, items, etc. 2e is the clear winner here, at least until someone is hit by friendly fire.

Stone Skin - the 3e version provides limited DR (in a rocket tag environment, no less!), at the cost of expensive material components. The 2e version completely negates a certain number of physical attacks, with no expensive component. And lasts forever, until discharged. The 2e version is so, so much better.

Polymorph - this whole line of spells is broken in any edition, but the 2e version was permanent, had no HD limits, could change your mind, granted powers, and could kill you.

Animate Dead - this spell turns the dead into a resource, creating mindless skeletons or zombies from appropriate corpses. Let's ignore the fact that the 3e version is cleaner, with much better math, and actual templates for the undead. The 3e version is a 3rd level spell; in 2e, it's a 5th level spell. In 2e, you can control an unlimited number of undead; in 3e, there are strict limits to numbers of controlled undead, but the option for an unlimited number of uncontrolled undead, following the last instruction given. In 2e, the spell has a casting time of 5 rounds (limiting its usefulness in combat); in 3e, it's just a standard action to cast. In 2e, the spell is functionally free to cast; in 3e, the spell requires 25 gp worth of onyx per HD to be animated (which can be mitigated with the Tainted Sorcerer prestige class, the Ignore Materials epic feat, and several other methods).

Summon Monster - in 2e, most Summon spells choose your monster at random from a list. Tactics? Custom tailoring summons to the situation? That's crazy talk!

Illusions

Simulacrum

Dominate Monster

Gate

Wish

Nahal's Reckless Dwoemer

Amy big items I've missed? Probably planar binding shenanigans, for one.

... and my battery is dying. I'll continue this when I get a chance to charge my phone.

Beneath
2017-06-05, 01:54 AM
EXP-for-GP was still a rule in 2e, right? Was it standard with an option to remove it or an optional rule?

'cause if it's in effect, Metamorphose Liquids is incredibly powerful

Gaining a huge pile of levels won't be as good as it would be in 3e since you don't learn new spells for it, but you still "learn" quite a bit from your dabbling in alchemy.

RazorChain
2017-06-05, 04:18 AM
EXP-for-GP was still a rule in 2e, right? Was it standard with an option to remove it or an optional rule?

'cause if it's in effect, Metamorphose Liquids is incredibly powerful

Gaining a huge pile of levels won't be as good as it would be in 3e since you don't learn new spells for it, but you still "learn" quite a bit from your dabbling in alchemy.

If I remember correctly you only got xp if you robbed the gold from someone as a rogue.....that means you should donate your gold to a bad guy and steal it back, a reason to multiclass or dual class :)

A friend of mine actually managed to "lose" all of our party treasure only to steal it back as a rogue.

Lord Torath
2017-06-05, 08:07 AM
EXP-for-GP was still a rule in 2e, right? Was it standard with an option to remove it or an optional rule?

'cause if it's in effect, Metamorphose Liquids is incredibly powerful

Gaining a huge pile of levels won't be as good as it would be in 3e since you don't learn new spells for it, but you still "learn" quite a bit from your dabbling in alchemy.It was an optional rule in 2E, but the 2E DMG description of the Deck of Many Things assumes it's in use - Gem card mentions it.

NecroDancer
2017-06-05, 08:15 AM
Well 3.5 gets pretty broken and I can't really comment on 2e but 5e has a few good tricks

1. Simulacrum + Wish infinite loop without any drawbacks.

2. Dispel Magic can be upcast with spell slots so you only need to know one version of it

3. The diviner wizard can control what an enemy rolls

4. Cantrips never run out and increase in power as you level

5. Counter-Spell is an actual spell that can be upcast like Dispel Magic and can be used as a reaction

While the 4e wizard had at its disposal

1. A Magic Missile that could actually miss (please slow clap at your discretion)

Quertus
2017-06-05, 10:13 AM
EXP-for-GP was still a rule in 2e, right? Was it standard with an option to remove it or an optional rule?

'cause if it's in effect, Metamorphose Liquids is incredibly powerful


If I remember correctly you only got xp if you robbed the gold from someone as a rogue.....that means you should donate your gold to a bad guy and steal it back, a reason to multiclass or dual class :)

A friend of mine actually managed to "lose" all of our party treasure only to steal it back as a rogue.


It was an optional rule in 2E, but the 2E DMG description of the Deck of Many Things assumes it's in use - Gem card mentions it.

Only the rogue gained XP from treasure, at the rate of 2 XP per gp of treasure obtained. Note that this was an optional rule, so, by default no-one got XP from treasure.

Now, arguably, 2 rogues in the party, spending every round picking each other's pockets, could do some leveling cheese under this optional rule, making this a good reason to duel class. But, really, no, this isn't helpful. Except, perhaps, if you back-ported Metamorphose Liquids to an older edition?


Well 3.5 gets pretty broken and I can't really comment on 2e but 5e has a few good tricks

1. Simulacrum + Wish infinite loop without any drawbacks.

2. Dispel Magic can be upcast with spell slots so you only need to know one version of it

3. The diviner wizard can control what an enemy rolls

4. Cantrips never run out and increase in power as you level

5. Counter-Spell is an actual spell that can be upcast like Dispel Magic and can be used as a reaction

While the 4e wizard had at its disposal

1. A Magic Missile that could actually miss (please slow clap at your discretion)

Huh. I don't know 5e, so it's difficult for me to judge if it's really a contender.

1a) Simulacrum chaining only works if you're making a Simulacrum of a wizard who can cast Simulacrum, right? So it severely limits your variety compared to 2e wizards, who can have NI copies of bloody everything. Also, does the 5e version still require a piece of the being you're copying? If so, you're limited by the amount of mass on a given target for how many copies you can make, unless you're copying a Troll wizard or something.

On a related note, what does it take for a 5e wizard to gain regeneration, and how early can they get it? Also, what happens to your Simulacrum when you create another?

1b) What do you mean here? Wish has no drawback to cast? Wish explicitly allows you to wish for more wishes / genies grant 3 wishes when summoned, one of which can explicitly be to summon a new genie for you?

2) so, 5e dispel magic comes in between the usefulness of 3e and 2e Dispel Magic. So, quick question, what about for a level 100 wizard? Does using a 9th level slot let him dispel similar-level effects / does he have 50th level spell slots to expend?

3) explain this mechanic, and the opportunity cost - what does the diviner give up for being a specialist, and how often can they do what?

The 2e Wild Mage loses no school access, and gains Alternate Reality, a 3rd level spell which allows an ally or forces a foe (no save) to reroll a roll that happened within the past round - retcon powers activate! Put that in a Ring of Spell Storing for each party member.

The 2e Chronomancer loses access to Necromancy, Divination, and Abjuration, but gets Alternate Reality as a 2nd level spell.

The 3e Fatespinner... has some really lackluster daily abilities hardly worth mentioning (1/day forced reroll, 5 points of modifying their roll or a save DC per day).

What does the 5e diviner get, exactly, and what did they give up to get it?

4) This is really cool, but what do 5e cantrips do compared to, say, reserve spell feats?

As far as free uses of magic, the 2e Cantrip spell lasts an hour per level (as, I believe, does the 2nd level spell Sinister Cantrip) (and, although silly, I suppose could Skills & Powers be Persisted to last all day), while the 3e version, Prestidigitation, lasts a hour (and could be Persisted to last all day). And, as I mentioned, 3e has reserve spell feats.

5) see Dispel Magic. Also, does 5e use the same action economy as 3e, meaning that you can only take a single reaction per round, and taking a reaction, like a 3e immediate action, has an opportunity cost of losing a free action spell the next round?

This still gives 3e and 5e quite the advantage over 2e, even before I look up that whole round length issue.

Oh, related questions: can you take reactions while flat-footed? Does Counter Spell just work, or is there a roll? Does it "upcast" automatically, or do you have to guess (or just know what level to upcast at, because Spellcraft DC "I make it")?

3e wizards have access to a number of feats that, IIRC, can make counterspelling a reaction, and automatically succeed.

2e... requires you to win initiative, hold an action, and, IIRC, hope Dispel Magic wins. So, not so good. Although the Ring of Spell Battle makes it a once per round no-cost reaction, and gives you a chance to instead redirect the spell, if you so desire. With two rings, might that be twice per round? So, with that item, 2e actually comes out on top.

4e... Yeah, let's not go there. :smalltongue:

noob
2017-06-05, 10:27 AM
Ring of spell battle exists in 3.5 and it allows to redirect the spell too I believe.

Ring of Spell-Battle: This potent ring is typically made of gold and set with small spheres of silver. The wearer becomes cognizant of all spellcasting that occurs within 60 feet, and she can identify the spell being cast (even if she can’t see its casting or effect) on a successful Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If this identification succeeds, the wearer can choose once per day to have the ring counterspell (without readying a counterspell action or making a dispel check) or can change the target or the point of effect of the spell to any target or point within 60 feet (including herself if she chooses to redirect a potentially beneficial spell). If the wearer chooses an illegal target (an animal for a humanoid-affecting spell, for instance, or a point of effect outside the spell’s range as measured from the original caster), the spell functions normally and the redirection is wasted. If the wearer ends up in the area of a retargeted spell, she experiences the effect of the spell as normal.
From mic.

Mark Hall
2017-06-05, 10:35 AM
The 3e wizard is far better, and that's part of the problem with 3e.

Some things 3e did improved the wizard. Bonus spells for high intelligence don't tend to matter in the long run, but really beef out lower level wizards. Moving some of the important utility 1st level spells to cantrips, and even a block of cantrips in and of themselves, helps. I would also say that easy item creation, despite the problems it can cause, really helps the wizard... when you only talk about scrolls, potions, and, to an extent, wands, they're even relatively neutral propositions (scrolls and wands help beef out a low-level wizard's spell repertoire, while potions help everyone's survivability; the problem arises with the more free-form, creative devices).

However, 3e also did some things that quite problematically helped wizards. I already mentioned the potential abuse of magic item creation. I would also add that short memorization/preparation REALLY increased the power of higher-level wizards... under 2e guidelines, you start to exceed an hour of memorization time at 4th level. While this made wizards more immediately playable, it also drastically increased their power... the "10 minute adventuring day" in 2e was more the "10 minute adventuring week" at high levels, as rememorizing spells would take hours.
The change in saving throws also greatly helped wizards. In AD&D, it was extremely common for high-level characters to succeed at almost all their saving throws... between descending save targets and effects which improved saves, you were making most of your saves past mid-level. 3e saves more heavily favor the caster, which made the various save-or-die or save-or-suck effects FAR more powerful... they ceased being things that destroyed low level opposition and hindered high-levels, and became things that might well destroy high-level opposition.

A more mixed bag was a failure to rebalance and relevel the spells. For a lot of things, this was a net benefit for wizards... the aforementioned save-or-die and save-or-suck spells remained potent, and gained because of the rebalancing of saves. However, for the blaster wizard, it was a net decrease. While spells still did the same amount of damage, everyone now had a lot more HP... leveled characters could have up to 20 HD, instead of 9 or 10, and almost everyone had Constitution bonuses on top of that. The orc that used to be 1d8 HP was now 1d8+2 HP... but magic missile still only did 1d4+1 damage. Your 5th level fighter was a lot more likely to have a higher constitution bonus, but Fireball still did 5d6 HP... and now the thief was more likely to have a Con bonus, too, since the threshold dropped from 15 to 12. If rolling dice, you used to need an average of 5 on your 3d6 to get a bonus... now you needed an average of 4.

The rumor going around back in the early days of 3e was that WotC only really considered the Blaster Wizard when balancing the Wizard, Sorcerer, and the changes they made (it may have been more substantiated than rumor, but it was also years ago and I don't care enough to research). When you do that, the changes look like they balance out... wizards have more spells per day, and scrolls to back them up, but opponents have more HP and save more often. But when you look at the mass of magic behind it, and the vacuousness of things like the Ice Assassin trick ("The blood of a god doesn't have a listed GP value, therefore it is essentially free" is not a well-founded argument), you get a far different landscape.

Quertus
2017-06-05, 10:37 AM
Ring of spell battle exists in 3.5 and it allows to redirect the spell too I believe.

From mic.

Well, sure, but 1/day gain the benefit you could have had continuously from feats hardly makes it change how effective a 3e wizard is at Counter Spell magic.

... Or does it? Sure, the 2e version is way, way better, but just how many times per day do you really need to spend your turn casting Counter Spells? Custom item, multiple uses per day, and you can argue 3e can be effective without "wasting" limited feat resources.

I suppose I should have included it in my original analysis.

noob
2017-06-05, 11:58 AM
Also did Teleport Through Time(the 3.5 spell) exist in 2E?
Never-mind it exists but with another name.

Lord Torath
2017-06-05, 12:55 PM
1a) Simulacrum chaining only works if you're making a Simulacrum of a wizard who can cast Simulacrum, right? So it severely limits your variety compared to 2e wizards, who can have NI copies of bloody everything. Also, does the 5e version still require a piece of the being you're copying? If so, you're limited by the amount of mass on a given target for how many copies you can make, unless you're copying a Troll wizard or something.

On a related note, what does it take for a 5e wizard to gain regeneration, and how early can they get it? Also, what happens to your Simulacrum when you create another?

1b) What do you mean here? Wish has no drawback to cast? Wish explicitly allows you to wish for more wishes / genies grant 3 wishes when summoned, one of which can explicitly be to summon a new genie for you?I think the idea is you create a Simulacrum that can cast Wish. It does so, then creates another simulacrum that can cast Wish, and so on. I could be mistaken, though.


3) explain this mechanic, and the opportunity cost - what does the diviner give up for being a specialist, and how often can they do what?

The 2e Wild Mage loses no school access, and gains Alternate Reality, a 3rd level spell which allows an ally or forces a foe (no save) to reroll a roll that happened within the past round - retcon powers activate! Put that in a Ring of Spell Storing for each party member.

The 2e Chronomancer loses access to Necromancy, Divination, and Abjuration, but gets Alternate Reality as a 2nd level spell.

The 3e Fatespinner... has some really lackluster daily abilities hardly worth mentioning (1/day forced reroll, 5 points of modifying their roll or a save DC per day).

What does the 5e diviner get, exactly, and what did they give up to get it?Alternate Reality does have a range of "Touch". So you can make the BBEG re-roll, but only if you're standing right next to him. Although I believe the spell Spectral Hand could let you cast "Touch" spells at range?

Quertus
2017-06-05, 01:47 PM
I think the idea is you create a Simulacrum that can cast Wish. It does so, then creates another simulacrum that can cast Wish, and so on. I could be mistaken, though.

Ah. Well, that's certainly not outside the realm of 2e Simulacrum (because who cares if your snowman ages?).



Alternate Reality does have a range of "Touch". So you can make the BBEG re-roll, but only if you're standing right next to him. Although I believe the spell Spectral Hand could let you cast "Touch" spells at range?

Extra steps, perhaps, but not the only use.

I put 19 black stones and one red stone in a bag. I decide I'll pull out one stone each round, and Bob will walk down this hallway / open this door / whatever when I draw out the red stone. If horrible things happen to Bob, someone uses Alternate Reality to make me reroll which done I picked. IIRC, not only do we notice that we spent the spell, so we know that it's a bad idea, but at least the person who cast it knows what happened.

And it's an inefficient form of Resurgence.

noob
2017-06-05, 02:40 PM
It is almost like forced dream+that stuff who stops time except you do not get to remember what happened and that it is way lower level.

Quertus
2017-06-06, 10:27 AM
That's more to compare, but, so as not to lose the forest for the trees, let's get down to the tax of brass*.

Living as the wizard, you can't use phenomenal cosmic power without being high level, which means you have to gain levels, which means you have to gain XP, which probably means you have to adventure. How do 2e and 3e wizards stack up?

Surviving level 1

2e, you're looking at around 3 HP (dead at -10), AC 10. 3e, it's more like 6 HP (dead at -10), AC 10ish (probably 8-13), plus the potential for regeneration via Troll Blooded.

2e has better spells, from "no save, just die" Sleep, to Metamorphose Liquids, to the insane power of 2e illusions, but you only get one per day, so use it wisely. 3e's Kauper's Skittish Nerves and Improved Initiative does make going first with their more limited offensive potential more appealing.

When you're out of spells, a 2e wizard can get off 3 ranged attacks per round, with thrown darts or shrunken; a 3e wizard is looking at a single boring crossbow attack (which also has limited staying power).

Out of combat... well, I haven't compared skills to proficiencies yet, but, for now, let's just say 2e largely has the advantage at low level.

And let's not forget just how long level 1 lasts. By yourself (so multiply these numbers by the number of people in your party), a 3e wizard needs to kill 10 goblins to reach level 2, while a 2e wizard levels after the 167th goblin killed. I seem to have misplaced my DMG, but I suspect that, after that many goblins, a 3e wizard would be around level 5. Hardly seems sporting.

So, with regeneration, greater flexibility, and turbo leveling, 3e wins, no question. It does miss 2e's much stronger spells, better chance for spells to stick, and mundane options, though.

EDIT: However, for specific builds, 2e does have the option to not lose spells when taking minimal damage, which, when combined with Metamorphose Liquids and a drop of molten metal, makes for NI wealth. If there are magic item shops, the 2e build might just come out on top, actually.

Level 5

By the time the 2e wizard is level 2, the 3e wizard is probably level 5. Let's ignore the fact that they get there at different points in time, and ask what they both look like at level 5. What have they gotten along the way?

Both got 4d4 HP, probably plus an additional 8 for the 3e wizard. The 2e wizard's attacks are at +1, while the 3e wizard got +2 to hit. The 3e wizard got at most a 10% improvement to their resistance (saves), while the 2e wizard's saves are still the same. The 2e wizard got 2 new proficiencies, and the 3e wizard got 2 new feats. The 3e wizard got to improve one stat by one point, which probably didn't do anything.

They're both adventuring in the same world, so they either both have access to shops, or they both don't. And, funny thing - either way, the 2e wizard is looking at having an order of magnitude more wealth to work with, because it took him that much longer to reach this level.

So, between wealth and feats, let's say the 3e wizard is looking at about 20 new spells. The 2e wizard? Well, he didn't get any automatically, but spells are free to copy, so he at least has a few from friendly wizards helping him out / trading him for loot, and maybe lots more than his 3e counterpart if his wealth allows for the direct purchase of scrolls at stores.

Speaking of scrolls, barring swapping it out via ACFs, the 3e wizard had been able to craft some items for some time now.

At this level, a lot of their new spells - Invisibility, Glitterdust, Flight, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Dispel Magic, Suggestion, Tongues - are about the same. A few, like Monster Summoning and Haste, require very different tactics to use, but probably favor the 3e wizard. Arcane Sight is, I believe, slightly more useful in its 2e incarnation, especially with all the 3e prestige classes running around.

So, little has changed from 1st level. It's still better to be a 3e wizard.

Level 8

I was going to say level 7, because that's huge, but let's go with 8.

So, since level 5, we've each gotten a new proficiency / feat, and 3d4 HP (plus another, say, 14, if the 3e wizard got a +2 con item). Both wizards' saves have improved another 5-10%. Once again, the 2e wizard's attack bonus improved +1, while the 3e wizard got +2 to hit. The 3e wizard has gotten another +1 to his stats, which means higher save DCs, more bonus spells, and even more skill points.

Even with only a 9 Intelligence (darn rolled stats!), the 2e wizard can cast 4th level spells. And, since it may take him a few tries (and, at one try per level, a few levels) to learn a given spell, our 2e wizard is really hoping to have found / traded / bought, and successfully learned, Stone Skin by now.

2e Stone Skin says ignore the next 1d4+1/2Lv attacks. Lasts until used, no expensive components**. Cast it on your whole party during downtime.

This greatly increases the survivability of the 2e wizard - and his party.

The 3e wizard is likely still better, but... at least now, there's a good chance you can keep the 2e wizard around.

More later.

* "brass tacks", actually, but I misquoted Santa from Rise of the Guardians
** well, that's what everyone I played with always thought, anyways. Turns out, in Spells & Magic, they actually put a price tag of 100gp on our diamond dust. :smallfrown:

herceg
2017-06-14, 04:29 AM
This is actually false. I don't remember where this list existed (AFB) - it may not have been in the PH / in the spell description, but there actually was a list of safe wishes in 2e.

Which matters to my analysis, so I'll try and remember to find it.

Complete Wizard's Handbook, Chapter 7.

JAL_1138
2017-06-14, 10:02 AM
Complete Wizard's Handbook, Chapter 7.

Gods help the one who leaves core in 2e and hopes to find balance. Not that core was balanced, but it wasn't quite as horrible. TSR had a "no playesting on company time" policy under Lorraine Williams--seriously--which explains a good half of the Complete Whatever's Handbooks and all of PO: Skills and Powers.

So that introduces another question—should we consider core-only separately from with-splats? Given some of the 3.5 splats, that would also have an effect on the 3.5 wizard.

Quertus
2017-06-14, 12:40 PM
Complete Wizard's Handbook, Chapter 7.

AFB, as usual, so I can't confirm, but thanks!


Gods help the one who leaves core in 2e and hopes to find balance. Not that core was balanced, but it wasn't quite as horrible. TSR had a "no playesting on company time" policy under Lorraine Williams--seriously--which explains a good half of the Complete Whatever's Handbooks and all of PO: Skills and Powers.

So that introduces another question—should we consider core-only separately from with-splats? Given some of the 3.5 splats, that would also have an effect on the 3.5 wizard.

Well, I did a dumb, and, IIRC, used the reserved word "core" and said core wizard, when what I meant was plain vanilla wizard, no specialization / prestige classes / Skills & Powers for the core / heart of the discussion, with mention of what was possible when those other things were added.

For example, wizards are squishy. But both systems have ways to allow a wizard to regenerate. Two feats can give a 3e wizard regeneration, starting at level 1, while Skills & Powers would allow a wizard to regenerate somewhere around level 11, IIRC.

herceg
2017-06-15, 01:28 AM
Gods help the one who leaves core in 2e and hopes to find balance.

Balance, schmalance... kids and their big words these days... :smallsigh:

Seriously though, it always was kinda like with fate in Terminator, "there's no balance but what we make for ourselves".

(It also wasn't a real issue back then, and just look how much good balance did to 4th edition)

JAL_1138
2017-06-15, 09:03 AM
Balance, schmalance... kids and their big words these days... :smallsigh:

Seriously though, it always was kinda like with fate in Terminator, "there's no balance but what we make for ourselves".

(It also wasn't a real issue back then, and just look how much good balance did to 4th edition)


Kids these days? I started in 2e; I'm hardly a whippersnapper. And while there was a different kind of, and lesser, emphasis on balance than modern design paradigms, we still knew broken when we saw it (*cough*Complete Book of Elves*cough*). There was still some attempt at balance as well; that was the reasoning behind racial level caps, different rates of XP gain, the Fighter getting great saving throws (IIRC eventually you could save vs. spell by rolling anything but a nat 1), etc., etc.

4e's problem (assuming one isn't a fan of how it handles classes, which I'm not) wasn't the mere fact that it had class balance (and it still had balance problems of its own, though not to the degree of 3.5 or Skills & Powers), but rather how it went about achieving that balance. Those are fundamentally different issues. 5e's done a reasonably-decent job of class balance too (nowhere near perfect, and with a somewhat higher degree of caster/martial imbalance), but it does it in a way that a lot of people who didn't like 4e's solution aren't as put off by.