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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    tribble's Avatar

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    Default a question of feats

    I'm very new to D&D, myself, my bro and his best friend (he's a cool dude) are starting up a 3.5 campaign, I'm playing an Elf Wizard. everybody starts out at level one, but as a newbie I find myself rather intimidated by all the lists...

    Anyway, what's a good starting feat for a wizard?
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Collegiate Wizard (in Complete Arcane). (Edit: it gives you a bunch of extra spells in your spellbook at first level, plus a couple extra spells every time you level up -- plus a nice little skill bonus to knowledge (arcana) checks. Note that it doesn't appear listed among the other feats in the book, but instead is located in a sidebar on pg 181).

    Extend Spell is OK too at low levels (edit: though it wouldn't be immediately useful -- it's more of a 3rd level feat).
    Last edited by Tukka; 2009-06-21 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    What sources available? Just the PHB? Or maybe Complete X series? That makes a huge difference.

    What are your plans for the character? Do you have any aims at PrCs? Some have prereqs to plan for. If you don't know, would you like some suggestions for builds? Answer question 1 above for more info.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    I'm very new to D&D, myself, my bro and his best friend (he's a cool dude) are starting up a 3.5 campaign, I'm playing an Elf Wizard. everybody starts out at level one, but as a newbie I find myself rather intimidated by all the lists...

    Anyway, what's a good starting feat for a wizard?
    What kinds of sources are you working with? Anything beyond Player's Handbook? In particular, do you have access to Complete Arcane/Complete Mage/Races of the Wild? Life will be much easier with the knowledge of this.

    That said, always a strong call to pay Being Batman: The Logic Ninja's Guide to Wizards and A guide to Wizards: Playing a God a visit when new to Wizardy in 3.5. They seem long, but that's only because they have vast amounts of knowledge just waiting your inquisitive gaze.


    Also, is the race up for negotiation? Because there's an excellent Elven Subrace for Wizardy in the Monster Manual called "Gray Elf". In addition to the normal Elf stat adjustments and abilities, they get -2 Str, +2 Int. Really explains why Wizards are usually Elves.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-06-21 at 08:51 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Guys, he just said he's a newbie. Let's try to avoid the information overload, hmm? We don't even know just how new he is... There's people in my home group that have been playing for months and still get confused when you bring splatbooks into it.

    That being said, what sort of wizard are you going for? Lots of damage spells (which are fun, ignore the people who insist these are suboptimal - although at your level, you don't have any good ones yet)? Battlefield control, shaping the field to your liking? Debuffing the enemy? Buffing your friends? Some combination of these, or something else entirely?
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    If you're playing an arcanist (batman wizard), Improved Initiative is always a solid choice. Especially core-only.

    If you're playing an archer-with-spells (blaster-wizard), Point-Blank and Precise Shots can be good, though they quickly lose their luster by about level 6.
    Last edited by lsfreak; 2009-06-21 at 08:59 PM.
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    all we've got is the core materials, unfortunately. my bro was going to play a homebrew cheesefest with more strength then an ancient black dragon just from modifiers. I intended to kill him with a will-save spell, but they lost the sheet, so I dont know what to expect for party partners.

    however, the GM is in 6th grade and a fan of RA salvatore, so I'm expecting the campaign to consist mostly of combat.

    My preference would be to play a sort of wizard that runs more on ingenuity than trying to remember and add up a horde of modifiers and functions and things, mostly because we have videogames for the latter.
    Last edited by tribble; 2009-06-21 at 09:03 PM.
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Improved Initiative, then. A +4 modifier is going to be tough to beat at 1st level.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    all we've got is the core materials, unfortunately. my bro was going to play a homebrew cheesefest with more strength then an ancient black dragon just from modifiers. I intended to kill him with a will-save spell, but they lost the sheet, so I dont know what to expect for party partners.

    however, the GM is in 6th grade and a fan of RA salvatore, so I'm expecting the campaign to consist mostly of combat. I would prefer a general-purpose kind of mage, however.
    You have a few solid options, then. The first choice is to plan ahead. You can be planning for Prestige Classes (they're found in Dungeon Master's Guide; the ones that can interest a Wizard are "Loremaster" and "Archmage", of which the latter is only accessible around level 13 and earlier around level 8). They both require feats and now is a good time to start picking those prerequisites so you can milk benefits out of them.

    Archmage requires Spell Focus-feat in two schools, while Loremaster requires Skill Focus in any Knowledge (Knowledge: Arcane is a solid choice for a Wizard). So keep those in mind.


    The other option is to pick a metamagic feat you'll be using in near future. Extend Spell is the most notable one in Core as it's relatively cheap to apply and very beneficial with buff spells and the like. Quicken Spell would be an investment for the future (you won't really be using it a lot until after level 11), and thus a bit too early for that. Empower Spell and Maximize Spell would likewise be way too early.

    As stated, the last rational option is Improved Initiative. All other things being equal, going first is always better, especially as a Wizard with the capability to stop opponents from being efficient on their action (stunning them with Color Spray or making 'em Prone with Grease or so on).


    So, the way I see it, choose from:
    -Spell Focus (any; Conjuration is great for level 2 spells with Web and Glitterdust, but level 1 spells only contains Grease as spells that give save - Illusion and Enchantment have great options for level 1, but start to quickly dry out on alternative types of effects; other schools don't really force saves before level 3 spells that much)
    -Extend Spell
    -Improved Initiative

    I'd probably pick Spell Focus myself, but that requires you to have some kind of an idea of what you plan on using as your primary offense. Spells that force saves are great early on, so having the feat now is a rather big help with your save DCs.

    Anyways, take a look at the school descriptions and see what you like best. Then look at the spells of that school; if many of them offer save, pick Spell Focus in that school. Always a good call. If you can't decide, go with Improved Initiative. It's never a bad choice and regardless of your other choices, won't ever become useless.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-06-21 at 09:13 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Personally, I'm actually a fan of point blank shot and precise shot on my casters, if I intend to use rays a lot - and there's quite a few good ones out there. Ray of Enfeeblement at first level is a great debuff, scorching ray at second, ray of exhaustion at third.. plus, as a newcomer to the game, it means not worrying about nitpicking aspects of the rules. when I make prebuilt arcane casting characters for people new to the game, I tend to get them those two feats, to make their rays easier.

    Of course, this only applies if you're going to use a lot of rays. Looking at those prestige classes is a good idea, and if one catches your eye, look at the prerequisites so you can build toward it now.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    I've honestly never been impressed by improved initiative. It might have been great if initiative was using a d10 like 2nd edition, but in 3rd edition you have a range from 1-20 so +4 won't help much if you roll something low.

    It might not be useable at level 1 - but consider the improved familiar spell.

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Enshew Materials means you never have to dig for bat guano again. It also means you don't need a spellpouch (and having it taken away won't stop you from casting spells).

    Then again, most DMs don't enforce material components, so your mileage may vary.

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    however, the GM is in 6th grade and a fan of RA salvatore, so I'm expecting the campaign to consist mostly of combat.
    Danger, Will Robinson.

    I fully expect an angsty Drow NPC who dual wields scimitars to show up and Mary Su his way through the campaign.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: a question of feats

    What sort of image do you imagine when you think of a wizard? This'll color most of our recommendations about how to realize this goal.

    It sounds like you're starting at 1st level, which is probably a good idea so that you don't get immediately overwhelmed by choosing spells and the like...

    Hmm... good first level wizard spells I'd recommend....

    1. Grease. Very useful for making enemies unable to proceed for awhile/fall down and become vulnerable.

    2. Magic Missile is a classic that you'll want at some point.

    3. Sleep only deals with about 4 HD of monsters I think, but can be pretty useful against low-level encounters, especially since you're immune to it as an elf. Just focus it away from the party so they don't caught in it or if they do, they feel it after it goes through all of the enemies it's directed at.

    (If you like the idea of summoning minions to fight for you... definitely look into the "Augment Summoning" Feat and the Summon Monster X spells, but probably wait until you have access to 2nd or 3rd level spells before beginning to focus your valuable and limited spells on such things.)

    For your cantrips (0-th level spells)

    1. Acid Splash (good backup weapon, deals acid damage which is usually effective)

    2. Mage hand (can be used creatively to steal things or activate certain traps

    3. Open/Close (can be used to set off traps from a ways away)

    4. Detect Magic (makes it useful to winnow out the valuable loot from the less valuable swag... reverse nouns as you feel like)

    5. Read Magic (useful for captured scrolls I believe and spellbooks you might acquire)
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Danger, Will Robinson.

    I fully expect an angsty Drow NPC who dual wields scimitars to show up and Mary Su his way through the campaign.
    There is a way to short-circuit this, depending on level. Play a Drow any class with Bluff(I like Beguiler, since it also gets you Undetectable Alignment and Dominate Person). Claim to have been inspired by Drizzt legends to break free of the Drow society, and be attempting to redeem yourself. Make your lifelong goal be to meet your hero.

    Then, when the DM sets up a quest that involves meeting Drizzt, spring at it. Go through it with firey determination. Then kill Drizzt. Instruct the DM to read the sealed envelope you gave him at the start of the campaign, which states that you are actually a Drow Assassin, sent up into the surface world to kill Drizzt and make sure humans never harbor Drow fugitives again. You kept it a secret to prevent metagaming.

    Keep in mind that your group will probably hate you until the big reveal, which may well turn into 'Rocks fall, everyone dies'.
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    What sort of image do you imagine when you think of a wizard? This'll color most of our recommendations about how to realize this goal.
    I kind of picture a wizard as a sort of support role, throwing monkey wrenches in the works of what the opposition is trying to do. as a secondary role, the smart guy.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: a question of feats

    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    I kind of picture a wizard as a sort of support role, throwing monkey wrenches in the works of what the opposition is trying to do. as a secondary role, the smart guy.
    Conjuration seems like a good school to pick Spell Focus in then; Conjuration-spells in general can be crippling, but rarely lethal. Necromancy does that too, but doesn't give saves that often and thus isn't very good for Spell Focus.

    Of course, much comes down simply to the spells you prepare.
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