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Frosty
2008-10-10, 12:35 AM
I was thinking about taking feats like Armor Prof: Leather, Shield Proficiency: Light, and taking the Staff Implement so I can try to get as much armor as I can. Right now, with the limited funds we have (3000 gold at like level 7), I figure I can get 23 AC assuming I want to save some money for a basic +2 magic staff. Is it really worth it for a Human Wizard to try to pump AC to protect himself?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 12:44 AM
Armor is always nice - you never know when someone is going to shoot a d10 longbow in your general direction.

That said, keep an eye on the opportunity costs of your choices. Considering the Heroic Feats available for Wizards, there is little reason to not take Leather Armor proficiency. Light Shields require STR 13, so they're usually not so useful for Wizards; ditto for heavier armor.

Staff Specialization is a different matter. You're going to pick one specialty, after all, but all are linked to different stats. If you are willing to invest in CON, Staff is very good - and strictly necessary if you're going to be using a lot of Close attacks - while WIS is good if you're going to be dropping a lot of zones or Save Spells. DEX is good for those one target Dailies, but Wand remains the weakest of the specializations.

Now, as a general matter, I'd say you don't need better AC than your Strikers, for certain. Heck, a LV 7 Great Weapon Fighter in +2 Scale only has an AC of 22!

Mauril Everleaf
2008-10-10, 12:55 AM
Also, keep in mind that your INT is going to boost your AC too. That said, there is no reason not to take Armor Prof(Leather). It doesn't have a check penalty, weighs almost nothing and is still Light, so your INT still stacks with it.

Townopolis
2008-10-10, 01:06 AM
Armor Prof: Leather is... probably the best value feat for a wizard in the heroic tier. I'd personally take that and stop worrying about AC. Decide between orb and staff, depending on your fancy, and let 'er rip.

My level 2 striker is just fine with 16 AC (melee ranger). My fort is actually higher (17), but I digress. You'll take some hits, yes, but if the tanks are doing their jobs, you shouldn't often need healing other than between fights, when the leader can fill you up at no cost other than to your own healing surges (and what else are you going to spend them on?) and if you find yourself in a tough fight where everyone's getting hit, you may as well second wind for the bonus defense, if nothing else, you'll soak one more round of enemy fire for your team.

If you're worried about defense, the staff route can often halve your damage taken/fight, and the CON investment will net you higher HP, surge value, and surge count. Should be more than enough to see you through. Also, shield is as good a choice as any for a level 2 utility, and it can also easily take out 30-50% of your damage intake per fight.

In short, the only party role I've ever seen in danger of taking more damage than they can handle is... um... defenders.

Frosty
2008-10-10, 01:13 AM
well, I rolled pretty good stats, to be honest...so I've *got* the 13 strength.

Lv 1 stats:
Str 13
Con 16
Dex 8
Int 20 (18 + 2)
Wis 18
Cha 10

Depending on what else I'd want to spend my feats on (what SHOULD a level 7 Wizard have in terms of feats anyways?) I could also try to get Armor Prof: Hide. If I do, I can boost my AC by another 1 to 24.

I'd be looking at 17 Fort, 20 Reflex, 20 Will, 24 AC

BTW, I can hold a shield and still carry 2 implements right? Shield and Staff in one hand,and Orb in another?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 01:27 AM
BTW, I can hold a shield and still carry 2 implements right? Shield and Staff in one hand,and Orb in another?

OK, you cannot wield two implements at once while using a shield - note that you can't wield anything in a hand with a Light Shield in it. As for whether a Staff counts as one or two handed... I don't think that's been ruled conclusively.

What I have seen is that you can wield a Staff with one hand to use it for magic, but you need to have it in both hands to gain the static +1 AC bonus. Again, no RAW to back all this up, so consult with your DM.

LV 7 Human Wizard with no MC and ridiculous stats... I'd go with Leather Armor, Expanded Spellbook, Skill Focus (Arcana) and... I guess Light Shield. Trading off that +1 AC for a +1 AC & Reflex is a fair trade, though you screwed the pooch for Paragon by dumping DEX - no Shield Spec for you!

Hrm. Might as well just go with Hide then, since you clearly can Armor Spec at Paragon with those stats. Oh, and think about Jack of All Trades as a feat if you want to do some Skill Monkeying - Wizards get few trained skills, and always have a high INT.

TheOOB
2008-10-10, 01:44 AM
In a perfect world, your wizard will never get attacked. Things rarely go perfectally and with the lowest hp and healing surges in the game, every point of AC counts. If you can actually pull of the Strength, there is no reason not to go hide with armor spec in paragon tier(not to mention using shields). Most wizards can't afford that kind of str so leather is usually your best bet. Unless there is some good cloth only magic item in the adventurer's vault, there is no real reason to wear cloth armor unless you simply haven't had a feat you can afford to spend on proficiency yet(and in almost all builds it will be within the first four feats you will take, if not the first).

I find most wizards will take toughness, armor proficiency(leather), and improved init ASAP. Many of the other feats(notably expanded spellbook) just aren't as important.

Frosty
2008-10-10, 02:08 AM
OK, you cannot wield two implements at once while using a shield - note that you can't wield anything in a hand with a Light Shield in it. As for whether a Staff counts as one or two handed... I don't think that's been ruled conclusively.

What I have seen is that you can wield a Staff with one hand to use it for magic, but you need to have it in both hands to gain the static +1 AC bonus. Again, no RAW to back all this up, so consult with your DM.

LV 7 Human Wizard with no MC and ridiculous stats... I'd go with Leather Armor, Expanded Spellbook, Skill Focus (Arcana) and... I guess Light Shield. Trading off that +1 AC for a +1 AC & Reflex is a fair trade, though you screwed the pooch for Paragon by dumping DEX - no Shield Spec for you!

Hrm. Might as well just go with Hide then, since you clearly can Armor Spec at Paragon with those stats. Oh, and think about Jack of All Trades as a feat if you want to do some Skill Monkeying - Wizards get few trained skills, and always have a high INT.

With a Light Shield, I can still hold something in my hand. The wording with a Light Shield is: You can still use that hand to hold another item, to climb, or the like. However, you canít use your shield hand to make attacks.

So, the question is: am I "making an attack" with the hand that is holding the shield and the implement, or is it merely a focus for me?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 02:14 AM
With a Light Shield, I can still hold something in my hand. The wording with a Light Shield is: You can still use that hand to hold another item, to climb, or the like. However, you canít use your shield hand to make attacks.

So, the question is: am I "making an attack" with the hand that is holding the shield and the implement, or is it merely a focus for me?

Very well, if you do not believe me, then I shall cast Errata (http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396) on you. #13, while speaking for the Rogue Weapon Talent applies to everything you attack with.

So I guess you could "hold" it, but you'd need to swap it into your other hand to actually use it for anything - and since you're a Wizard, you can Mage Hand it out of your pack and into your hand as a Minor action.

Asbestos
2008-10-10, 02:18 AM
With a Light Shield, I can still hold something in my hand. The wording with a Light Shield is: You can still use that hand to hold another item, to climb, or the like. However, you canít use your shield hand to make attacks.

So, the question is: am I "making an attack" with the hand that is holding the shield and the implement, or is it merely a focus for me?

This... is a very good question. I was about to say "Of course you're making an attack!" but then I realized that a cleric can have his/her holy symbol painted on their codpiece if they want and it'd still work, so it doesn't seem fair that Wizards need to wield their implements like weapons. Hm, maybe wizards do just need to hold the implements?

Edit: Ninja'd! I guess it does count as an attack... weird though, since Holy Symbols seem exempt from this rule while Arcane Implements are not.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 02:30 AM
This... is a very good question. I was about to say "Of course you're making an attack!" but then I realized that a cleric can have his/her holy symbol painted on their codpiece if they want and it'd still work, so it doesn't seem fair that Wizards need to wield their implements like weapons. Hm, maybe wizards do just need to hold the implements?

Edit: Ninja'd! I guess it does count as an attack... weird though, since Holy Symbols seem exempt from this rule while Arcane Implements are not.

Holy Symbols occupy the Neck Slot, and thus can be used from there - though they can also occupy the Hand Slot when used. Staffs, Orbs, and Wands all occupy Hand Slots only, so that's where they must be wielded for attacks.

It all makes sense, I promise. Though the "Small" rules make it a bit awkward for Halfling Wizards, by RAW :smalltongue:

Kurald Galain
2008-10-10, 02:57 AM
If I may make a suggestion, unless you're planning on multiclassing already: don't take a shield, but take the Swordmage multiclass feat. It gives you +3 AC as long as you have a hand free, and is thus kind of a super shield. Plus it's based on int, not str.

By the way if you're looking for feats, Jack of all Trades is really good, and since you appear to be human, look into the racial feats (human is one of the few races with multiple good racials). I'd recommend against Expanded Spellbook unless you have a mnemonic staff around.

Also, from RAW I'd argue that since nothing specifies that a staff implement requires two hands, it doesn't - although the book is admittedly vague on this.

NPCMook
2008-10-10, 06:10 AM
If I may make a suggestion, unless you're planning on multiclassing already: don't take a shield, but take the Swordmage multiclass feat. It gives you +3 AC as long as you have a hand free, and is thus kind of a super shield. Plus it's based on int, not str.

Multiclassing Swordmage gives you it once per day, and only if you are wielding a sword. Also the Staff implement ONLY requires two hands if you plan to use it for a melee attack

Why not go for Hide armor? Since you seem to have 20 INT and the CON for Hide Proficiency, you should be able to reach the highest AC, but since you don't have quite enough DEX you'll give somewhere around 47-48

Saph
2008-10-10, 07:00 AM
AC is good. It's worth it.

Think of it this way; a higher AC not only helps you, it helps your entire team. It means you can expose yourself more and draw a little fire away from the other PCs, and also means that if you do get attacked, the Cleric doesn't have to spend so many healing words putting you back up to full. So it's in everyone's interest for you to boost your AC cheaply (which you can).

I'd go for Leather to begin with, then Hide, and take Armour Spec. Hide at Paragon. Take the Shield power while you're at it. That'll give you an excellent AC, second-best in the party probably.

- Saph

Kurald Galain
2008-10-10, 07:31 AM
Multiclassing Swordmage gives you it once per day, and only if you are wielding a sword.
A dagger would also work. Interestingly, you must wield a weapon to activate said power, but it does not go away if you remove said weapon. Although RAI may disagree with that.

fractic
2008-10-10, 07:51 AM
well, I rolled pretty good stats, to be honest...so I've *got* the 13 strength.

Lv 1 stats:
Str 13
Con 16
Dex 8
Int 20 (18 + 2)
Wis 18
Cha 10


While you have got 13 strength you only got 8 dex. You might want to consider switching them over so you can get the Arcane reach feat at paragon tier. It requires 15 dex so if you bump it at level 8 you can pick it up at level 11 if you want.

JBento
2008-10-10, 08:27 AM
A dagger would also work. Interestingly, you must wield a weapon to activate said power, but it does not go away if you remove said weapon. Although RAI may disagree with that.

Also, RAW disagrees with it, too. You must wield the blade to activate the warding, and then you must keep wielding the blade to keep it as well. The warding text specifically says "While you are conscious and wielding either a light blade or a heavy blade".
This means that you activate the ability blade in hand, and get +1/+3 to AC. If you stop wielding the blade (e.g., you are disarmed) the warding goes away.
If you resume blade wielding before the end of the encounter, the warding pops back up.

NephandiMan
2008-10-10, 08:32 AM
This... is a very good question. I was about to say "Of course you're making an attack!" but then I realized that a cleric can have his/her holy symbol painted on their codpiece if they want and it'd still work, so it doesn't seem fair that Wizards need to wield their implements like weapons. Hm, maybe wizards do just need to hold the implements?

I never thought "holding the arcane implements" would be a convincing double entendre.

Suzuro
2008-10-10, 08:33 AM
Erm....in that FAQ, why didn't you just point to #3?


If you wield a light shield, you can also hold an item as well, although you canít attack with it. What if that item is an implement? Can you apply its implement bonus to your powers?

No. Using an implement to gain its bonuses is considered attacking with that implement. If you wield a light shield and hold an implement in the same hand, you would not get the implement enhancement bonus to your powers, but you would still benefit from any property that the implement has.


-Suzuro

JBento
2008-10-10, 08:39 AM
So... that means if I have a staff implement in one hand only. I would still get the property, but not any enhancement bonus, right?

Kurald Galain
2008-10-10, 08:43 AM
Also, RAW disagrees with it, too. You must wield the blade to activate the warding, and then you must keep wielding the blade to keep it as well.
Yes, that's the wording for the Swordmage class, but not the wording for the multiclassing feat. I realize that this may be sloppiness on WOTC's part, but it's also the case that most multiclass feats give you a slightly different ability than the actual class gets.


So... that means if I have a staff implement in one hand only. I would still get the property, but not any enhancement bonus, right?
Confusingly, yes, that's what the FAQ states. I wouldn't surprise a reversal on that, though :smallsmile: it does mean that an orbizard can use his orb saving throw penalty while wielding a shield in the same hand.

All this makes Quick Draw a really interesting feat to take, if a wizard should be expected to juggle multiple implements plus a shield.

JBento
2008-10-10, 08:55 AM
Yes, that's the wording for the Swordmage class, but not the wording for the multiclassing feat. I realize that this may be sloppiness on WOTC's part, but it's also the case that most multiclass feats give you a slightly different ability than the actual class gets.

I think I'm not getting my point across, which is probably my fault, not being a native speaker.

From what I read:
MC feat: When you are wielding a blade you can activate the Swordmage Warding class feature. It's now on. Yay!
SMW (which is always on, unless you fall unconscious): While you are wielding a blade, you get +1/+3 to AC.

It's like resist 10 fire. You always HAVE resist 10 fire. It just only does something when the dmg comes from fire

That's my reading, at least

Frosty
2008-10-10, 09:51 AM
Yes, that's the wording for the Swordmage class, but not the wording for the multiclassing feat. I realize that this may be sloppiness on WOTC's part, but it's also the case that most multiclass feats give you a slightly different ability than the actual class gets.


Confusingly, yes, that's what the FAQ states. I wouldn't surprise a reversal on that, though :smallsmile: it does mean that an orbizard can use his orb saving throw penalty while wielding a shield in the same hand.

All this makes Quick Draw a really interesting feat to take, if a wizard should be expected to juggle multiple implements plus a shield.

OR, you hold the Staff and Shield in one hand to get the Staff bonuses (leave the staff un-enchanted. you still get +1 AC, and that nice immediate reaction) and then have an enchanted orb in the other hand and attack with that.

Kurald Galain
2008-10-10, 10:01 AM
OR, you hold the Staff and Shield in one hand to get the Staff bonuses (leave the staff un-enchanted. you still get +1 AC, and that nice immediate reaction) and then have an enchanted orb in the other hand and attack with that.

OR, use sovereign glue to tape a staff and an orb to your shield, along with some magical variant implements for which you ignore the bonus and only keep the daily special around as an option, then have a wand in the other hand and attack with that :smallbiggrin:

Everything's Better With Duct Tape.

JBento
2008-10-10, 10:06 AM
Ah, but you've got something wrong: you only tape the staff to the shield. You then tape the orb to the staff so it has a knob on the end :smallbiggrin:

Mewtarthio
2008-10-10, 10:30 AM
Why tape the staff at all? Why not stick it on with a shield spike that has a wand inside?

And the bottom half of the staff is a sword!

Isomenes
2008-10-10, 11:01 AM
I think I'm not getting my point across, which is probably my fault, not being a native speaker.

From what I read:
MC feat: When you are wielding a blade you can activate the Swordmage Warding class feature. It's now on. Yay!
SMW (which is always on, unless you fall unconscious): While you are wielding a blade, you get +1/+3 to AC.

It's like resist 10 fire. You always HAVE resist 10 fire. It just only does something when the dmg comes from fire

That's my reading, at least

Ah, but the actual feat reads:

Once per day, when you are wielding a blade, you can invoke the SMW class feature. Until the end of the encounter, you gain a +1 bonus to AC (or +3 bonus to AC if you have one hand free).

JBento
2008-10-10, 11:36 AM
Huh. You're right.

I expect an errata soon. As it stands, by RAW if you are wielding a blade and the other hand is free and you activate the ability, you actually get +6 to AC until the end of the encounter, and +3 until you go unconscious.

Obviously, you need a highly retarded DM to make the above fly, but that's actually what RAW says...

Isomenes
2008-10-10, 11:42 AM
Huh. You're right.

I expect an errata soon. As it stands, by RAW if you are wielding a blade and the other hand is free and you activate the ability, you actually get +6 to AC until the end of the encounter, and +3 until you go unconscious.

Obviously, you need a highly retarded DM to make the above fly, but that's actually what RAW says...

I'm curious as to where you get the +6 from. Per RAW, the multiclass feat defines the scope in which the SMW is active, i.e., once per day, and lasting as long as the encounter in which you activate it. (A case of specific trumps general.) You must be a swordmage proper to get that benefit all day long.

Artanis
2008-10-10, 11:52 AM
...but then I realized that a cleric can have his/her holy symbol painted on their codpiece if they want and it'd still work

Using an implement to gain its bonuses is considered attacking with that implement.
Gee thanks guys, this was a mental image I could've just as easily done without :smalltongue:

JBento
2008-10-10, 11:55 AM
And I'm sure that's what they meant. However, it's not what it actually SAYS (again: everyone but the most deranged of munchkins is going to read it like you did, it's just that it's not what is written).

The feat says that you activate the SMW. Then, after a FULL STOP, it says that you get +1/+3 to AC until the end of the encounter.

Linguistically speaking, these two effects are completely separated. Thus, a strict reading gives you the SMW (which lasts until you go unconscious) AND +1/+3 to AC that come from wherever.

I think WotC wrote too much on that feat. If you read the (errata'd) Warrior of the Wild, for instance, it says only that the quarry remains so until the end of your next turn. It doesn't duplicate the text of the Quarry ability itself (i.e., it doesn't say you get +1d6 dmg while attacking it).

Isomenes
2008-10-10, 12:00 PM
And I'm sure that's what they meant. However, it's not what it actually SAYS (again: everyone but the most deranged of munchkins is going to read it like you did, it's just that it's not what is written).

The feat says that you activate the SMW. Then, after a FULL STOP, it says that you get +1/+3 to AC until the end of the encounter.

Linguistically speaking, these two effects are completely separated. Thus, a strict reading gives you the SMW (which lasts until you go unconscious) AND +1/+3 to AC that come from wherever.

I think WotC wrote too much on that feat. If you read the (errata'd) Warrior of the Wild, for instance, it says only that the quarry remains so until the end of your next turn. It doesn't duplicate the text of the Quarry ability itself (i.e., it doesn't say you get +1d6 dmg while attacking it).

RAW isn't just "The text right there." It includes the principles laid out in other sections of the book(s). You're ignoring this to your detriment. But please, feel free to continue perceiving ambiguity where none exists.

Edit: I recognize that you wouldn't, in the course of normal play, argue for this. But I think you're mistaken that it's possible to read the MC feat in any other way than as a daily ability with a duration of one encounter, given "specific beats general" (PHB 11)--you don't get the whole class feature. You only get the use of it as delineated in the feat. Since both sentences are in the feat itself, that's the true scope.

It's the same issue with Versatile weapon damage--if you look at the wording of the descriptor alone, you could argue that it gets added to each [W] die. But a brief look at the rules for bonus damage indicates that all bonus damage is appended after [W]s are rolled. There's no need for errata here unless you're intentionally misinterpreting the rules in your favor. In which case you're probably beyond hope anyway. :smallwink:

Kurald Galain
2008-10-10, 12:36 PM
There's no need for errata here unless you're intentionally misinterpreting the rules in your favor. In which case you're probably beyond hope anyway. :smallwink:

Yes, because nobody in the history of D&D would ever think of intentionally misinterpreting rules in their favor :smallbiggrin:

Have you read the Book of Often Debated Topics? Looks like it's time to start one of those for 4E. Not necessarily for this one, but for issues like how exactly stealth is supposed to work, etc.

Isomenes
2008-10-10, 12:39 PM
Yes, because nobody in the history of D&D would ever think of intentionally misinterpreting rules in their favor :smallbiggrin:

Have you read the Book of Often Debated Topics? Looks like it's time to start one of those for 4E. Not necessarily for this one, but for issues like how exactly stealth is supposed to work, etc.

I think stealth is out too, now that the errata from 8/11 changed it to total concealment or superior cover. But yes, it's likely high time.

Edit: I had not read it before, but I guess it's time to do so (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=952297), if only for historical amusement/preparedness.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 01:30 PM
Erm....in that FAQ, why didn't you just point to #3?

Because I am dumb :smallredface:

Yes, FAQ #3 (http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396) should resolve all Staff & Shield questions.

Frosty
2008-10-10, 07:26 PM
Why tape the staff at all? Why not stick it on with a shield spike that has a wand inside?

And the bottom half of the staff is a sword!

FAQ question #3 actually supports my position. I'm only using the staff to gain its passive bonuses and not the enhancement bonuses, so it's totally fine.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-10-10, 08:08 PM
FAQ question #3 actually supports my position. I'm only using the staff to gain its passive bonuses and not the enhancement bonuses, so it's totally fine.

Except:

Staff of Defense: A staff of defense grants you a +1 bonus to AC. In addition, once per encounter as an immediate interrupt, you gain a bonus to defense against one attack equal to your Constitution modifier. You can declare the bonus after the Dungeon Master has already told you the damage total. You must wield your staff to benefit from these features.

Emphasis mine.

Frosty
2008-10-10, 09:06 PM
well shucks :( Well at least I can dual-wield implements come Paragon tier.