View Full Version : [4e] Converting my Wizard

2008-06-27, 02:24 AM
Warning: This is a fairly long post, and most of it is me describing my character.

I'll start off by saying that I don't really want to convert to 4th edition. It's nothing against the system, really. It seems solid, balanced, and fast paced. I don't agree with all the changes they made, but I'd rather work to get fluff-specific things changed than fight a losing battle trying to convince my DM to stick with 3.5. It seems I can either play 4ed with my group or not play at all. So the question is: how do I convert my character without changing his abilities around too much (much less his attitude as a result from such a change).

The character in question is an elven wizard. He's level 13 right now. He doesn't use obviously broken spells like polymorph or celerity or the like. Further, he uses a lot of direct damage spells like ball lightning, scortching ray, and magic missile. He also makes heavy use of defensive buffs to make sure he doesn't get hurt. He doesn't have any feats or spells from the complete mage or any splatbook published after that. He's a diviner/divine oracle.

As for his personality, he's an ass. He was kicked out of his elven homeland 15 years ago not because he was a troubled, misunderstood youth who fell into the wrong crowd and simply made a few regrettable choices, but because he's an ass, and he did some pretty evil crap. To his great annoyance, he can not remember exactly why he was booted out of his homeland due to a memory spell cast by a certain individual (still hammering out the details about exactly why he was exiled with the DM).

As it happens, this individual may be the single most reclusive and unheard of being on the planet (not even sure if he's on the same plane). My character's only link in finding this fellow has been his tressym familiar (flying talking cat). The cat, however is a lazy bastard, who can't be bothered to remember specific details about my past, so I have only vague, often inaccurate details as leads.

I play the character as the party mastermind, influencing the decisions of my party to further my own goals. I am almost completely self sufficient in combat, seldom requiring any protection from the more melee minded of my party. I've taken serious combat damage (more than 10 points) only twice to date, and my character (being rather vain) takes it as a mark of pride that his face has never sustained a bruise or wound (exept for the large scar on his cheek from before he can remember - which he doesn't count). He rarely gets hit by anything in combat and makes a big deal of his wounds whenever he does sustain injury. The character rarely overshadows the other party members in combat, however, because they are also well built and I somewhat conserve my spells due to my character's paranoia.

The character's motivations also have a bearing on gameplay: He actively seeks out new spells from other wizard's books and scrolls, and he's spent over half of all the loot he's ever recieved on adding spells to his book and making scrolls (and rings). He does this to increase his magical prowess so that he can eventually hunt down and seek revenge upon the man who stole his memories. He worships a god of revenge (and the hunt) for this purpose and has specialized in divination as a result. I don't know if the Deity will be converted as the DM's campaign world is going through a moderately large overhaul. I'm not sure what will stay and what will go. There's also a current subplot involving reclaiming my former homeland from invaders that may or may not be downplayed with the conversion.

So my problem is that the 4ed wizard really doesn't fit into the role I usually play in combat. So I'm considering a warlock (maybe)? I don't know how I'm gonna keep my familiar. He's kinda custom ruled in. Obviously I can no longer go hunting for new spells to learn, but I wonder if there's a way I can keep up the "magic hunt" theme. I will assume that I can no longer be so self sufficient, and so my arrogance in this regard will become a little silly (that's a problem).

My character also likes to live in magical luxury out of combat and between adventures. For example, he teleports (frequently) instead of conventional travel, he keeps his hygiene good with prestidigitation, and uses unseen servant for household work and to entertain any guests... that sort of thing. He also uses magic for utility; like using detect thoughts to interrogate someone, uses boatloads of detect magic, and a lot of other, more powerful divination magic to scout out places and people. I'd like to find a way to keep at least some of that.

I don't have access to the 4ed books (my DM owns them), but I've looked through a little of the PHB and DMG. I begrudgingly acknowledge that my character will have a fraction of the power he possesed in 3.5, but is there some advice for retaining as much of the character theme as possible?

2008-06-27, 02:30 AM
That very much sounds like an Eladrin (kicked out of his homeland, not every familiar with the non-Feywild and vice versa) Wizard multiclassed into Cleric for Divine Oracle, who searches for as much Ritual magic as they can possibly find (if you take another Wizard's spell book, you can study and master the Rituals you find therein).

2008-06-27, 06:59 AM
First off, forgive the writing. I'm half-awake. :)

Your DM may want to consider not having you convert your characters to be level 13. Power levels are different in 4th Edition, so you may want to compare your characters to the world around them to see if they would be higher or lower (probably higher) level than what they were in 3rd Edition.

You mentioned your character normally uses damaging spells. Well, 4th Edition is good for that. I wouldn't recommend Warlock, since that's a little tied to it's fluff. (Ultimately, you could reflavor it, but it might be more trouble than it's worth). The three spells you mentioned (ball lightening, scorching ray, and magic missile) are still Wizard spells, IIRC. If not, there's definitely things of a similar flavor. Wizard's also have various cantrips (specifically, Presdigitation) which may fit your character. You also mentioned Detect Magic, that's a part of the Arcana skill, so theoretically any character could use it. (Wizards get training in Arcana for free though).

As for the familiar, you could always create it as a homebrew critter or NPC. You said he was kinda houseruled in, so now he'll be fully houseruled in. :) There's rules for homebrewing and NPC making in the DMG, so if the DM stats up the familiar, all he has to do to balance an encounter is throw in an extra enemy of the same level as the familiar. It would help if the familiar had a level close to the party. It should also be noted that this would make him less powerful, but comparable, to other members of the party. Might not be what you're looking for. It's also possible to just describe him in fluff and just not use him in combat.

And finally, you may want to look into rituals. They can be collected and provide some utility effects.

2008-06-27, 11:08 AM
While you gain power in 4e by gaining XP, that doesn't have to be how you roleplay gaining power.

When you kill a new creature, take some part of it that you think contains magical power, and roleplay poking at it. When you defeat an opposing Warlock, draw a magic circle round the remains, and try to extract power from the warlock's bond. Go after spell books and magical knowledge.

None of this need have direct mechanical effect on your character's advancement. Your character will continue to gain power at the appropriate rate, determined by the DM, as measured by XP.

The point of it is to create the personality of the being you want to roleplay as. Your character's motivation is to search after sources of Arcane might, so that he can go back and challenge the being which wiped his memory.

Let your DM in on this: the DM is free to toss in complications because of this (ie, when you try to wrest power from the Far Realm after killing a Star Pact Warlock), but that's just a plot point. You should make it clear that when you extract the flame-gem from the Dragon, and then use it in your research, this is just you roleplaying how your character gets better. The DM is free to say that the flame-gem ends up doing something (ie, it might end up being a magical item), but that isn't why you are doing these things.

As noted, Rituals can be taken from other Wizard's spellbooks. And the "instinct" spells that the Wizard has in the spellbook can be part of your roleplayed method of character advancement.

Get the Expanded Spellbook feat. Multiclass into Warlock. Get the Warlock 3 multiclass power-swap feats (or at least the Utility and Daily feats) -- this lets you pick one Daily attack and one Utility from the Warlock list. If you go with Wand mastery, you can use a wand as an implement for both your Warlock and Wizard powers!

Dark Tira
2008-06-27, 11:29 AM
If you go with Wand mastery, you can use a wand as an implement for both your Warlock and Wizard powers!

Technically, he doesn't need wand mastery for that and unless he was very dex-based I would never recommend picking it.

2008-06-27, 11:54 AM
I think the Wizard presented actually fits in very well with what you are doing, especially with the focus on blasting. Just make sure you pick up lots of rituals, and use them heavily to get the types of utility/comfort spells you used previously.

2008-06-27, 12:12 PM
Technically, he doesn't need wand mastery for that and unless he was very dex-based I would never recommend picking it.
Sure -- but keeping two magic implements up to date is harder than one.

2008-06-27, 01:34 PM
Actually, converting your character shouldn't be so drastic at all if he's mostly a blaster. Only problem I see is that you'll be losing quite a few protection spells I'm afraid.

Besides that, it's just a roleplaying matter. Hoard rituals and magical items, that is all.

2008-06-27, 02:48 PM
Sounds like a very good candidate to be a 4rth edition Wizard. No fancy conversion stuff neccessary. Mostly the changes will be you'll be cooler (stats up) but your EQ will be nerfed (not help nearly as much). Overall the same character concept should work if anything better in 4rth ed. Remember Wizards aren't as glass conon-ish anymore. You can say you're AC is based on "magical warding spells" but functionally it's just from being higher in level. So far on my own converted Wizard, I've been surprised how well the system works... not as busted but still very useful and surprisingly "wizardy".