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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    So, we've all seen the threads on how wizards are overpowered. Some people suggest banning entire lists of spells, but that doesn't seem helpful. Others have suggested creating new classes, like the Warmage, Beguiler and Dread Necromancer are, one for each school of magic. I like the idea, and I think I'll try homebrewing something like that. However, before I start that, I'd like to see a few ideas people have on class abilities for these classes.

    Abjurer

    The Abjurer will, of course, be a caster specializing on buffs and counterspells. He should be able to make life damn hard for other casters, especially, but also get other kinds of defensive magic. Might even make a capable secondary frontline-fighter, if buffed with mage armor, shield and a few others.
    Could perhaps be a general buffer, also gaining some buffs from transmutation.


    Conjurer/Summoner

    Should be the essential squishy wizard, not fighting himself, but letting his minions do his bidding for him. The question is what we should do with teleporation spells, spells that create permanent objects and blasting spells of the conjuration school. I suggest moving at least the last ones to evocation, and perhaps splitting conjuration into Summoning and Battlefield Control, part of which will also be covered by an illusionist.


    Divinier

    I see him as a sage and oracle, the most knowledge focused of all the wizards. This should be the guy who will often know what is going to happen well ahead of time, allowing the rest of his party to prepare for it. Might even be a wisdom-focused caster.


    Enchanter

    Similar to the beguiler, if it even needs a new class. Gains social skills, enhanced by magic. Perhaps charisma-based casting.


    Evocation:

    The warmage, if we give him acess to maybe more evocation spells, should be able to fill this role nicely.


    Illusionist

    Almost roguelike. When up against this guy, you never know what is and isn't real, including himself. Should get stealth and perception skills, at the very least, and shadow-based powers.


    Necromancer

    The dread necro should have this one covered.


    Transmuter

    Difficult: this guy, similar to a wildshape druid, might well be able to take over a combat roll, and do so better than a fighter. When he can also change the shape of the terrain, turn his enemies into frogs and turn lead to gold, he might be just a little too versatile.


    Edit: Just a general idea: make a feat called "Generalist", which allows you to learn a certain number of low-level spells from another school?


    So, ideas?
    Last edited by Eldan; 2009-07-29 at 08:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Since warmage is Evocation/Conjuration, beguiler is Illusion/Enchantment, and dread necromancer is Necromancy/Transmutation (not exactly a 2-school spread for all of them, but they're close), you might want to do 2-school casters rather than 1-school, since (A) that gives you a wider thematic area and (B) 56 concepts to go with instead of 8.

    I made an Oracle class a while back (Abjuration/Divination); when I get back to my own computer, I'll dig it up and maybe post some ability ideas (or just post the class if I haven't already and link to it).
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    How about this:

    Specialist Wizard
    Specialist wizards must pick two schools of magic, their Primary and their Secondary specialties. Wizards can cast all cantrips, but have limits to what spells they can cast easily.

    *Primary School - You have no restriction in learning and casting these spells.

    *Secondary School - You may only cast spells in this school that are one level lower than your highest primary spells. For example, upon learning to cast level 7 spells in your Primary school you learn to cast level 6 spells in your secondary school. You cannot cast Secondary spells until you learn level 2 primary spells.

    *Generalist spells - Wizards can cast spells out of their primary or secondary schools, but those spells occupy a slot one level higher than normal.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    I hammered away at this one awhile back. I got the Savant (Abj/Div), Summoner (Conj, in a way), and the Rearranger (Trans).

    Savant and Summoner, along with Spellweaver. Note that Spellweaver really isn't a Transmutation replacement, it sorta morphed into something else.

    The Rearranger.

    I think I did a good job at filling the shoes of the specialist mages.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Counterspelling being as situational as it is, a Specialist Abjurer should pretty much ignore the standard restrictions of the ability and be able to reactively counterspell with *any* prepared Abjuration spell of equal or higher level, and even get a bonus to the Counterspelling check for using a higher level Abjuration spell.

    While any other wizard (or sorcerer, cleric, whatever) could take the (woefully underused) Counterspelling action, an Abjurer would prefer that action in encounters with spell using foes, as he shuts down and denies their actions, round by round, while his allies do their thing, unhampered by enemy spellcasting.

    Given that a CR appropriate spellcaster will likely be high enough level to have access to a level range of spells that the PCs do not have, and even in the best of cases, the Abjurer may only have a 50% chance of negating an enemy spell (because of the caster level check), it shouldn't be at all unbalancing to allow the Abjurer to use Abjuration spells to Counterspell spells of any School.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I made an Oracle class a while back (Abjuration/Divination); when I get back to my own computer, I'll dig it up and maybe post some ability ideas (or just post the class if I haven't already and link to it).
    Apparently I posted my Oracle here already, way back, so here's a link, as promised.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Hmm. I think I'll make an Abjurer, then. Abjuration, with some few divinations, evocations and transmutations thrown in.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Apparently I posted my Oracle here already, way back, so here's a link, as promised.
    Man, I forgot that I actually commented on that one. It was a good take on the concept.

    And this is why I love the idea of spell schools. They're SOOO versatile, and can go so many different ways. It's glorious.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Going for an abjurer now, a few ideas:

    Improved Counterspelling, gradualyl increasing:
    Starts as being able to turn any abjuration spell into counterspell if he prepares an action.
    Later, maybe a few of the following: can counterspell more than one spell per turn (quicken spell becomes dangerous otherwise), can prepare counterspells as a swift action, can maybe even put counterspells on him, contingenty-like.

    Other ideas: improved defences from spells: a protection circle jumping up if an extraplanar creatures moves near him sounds pretty cool.

    Edit: Actually, the oracle seems to already have most of those. Need a new idea. What school hasn't been covered?

    Maybe a Conjurer/Illusionist battlefield controller?
    Last edited by Eldan; 2009-07-29 at 04:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    I haven't really seen a true Illusionist battlefield control specialist. The Beguiler sorta fits, but you can do so much more with it. I'd say go for it.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Right. This one has be really cool. Hallucinatory terrain is one of my favourite spells.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Since warmage is Evocation/Conjuration,
    No, no, it really really isn't. A few cloud spells and the rest being direct damage makes for a terrible class. You can call it master of evocation and even that's a stretch. No Wall of Force, none of the Hand spells, no Contingency, Forcecage, Resilient Sphere, nothing but direct damage here. It's a terrible class with no utility and barely anything besides explosives.

    If you want to include it in the system, the warmage definitely needs some boost. Right now, the class is extremely underpowered compared to even a balanced class like the beguiler. Needs more utility, some of he good evocations and conjurations, and possibly some more changes to make it a martially inclined character, such as better hit die and weapon proficiencies. It would fit the fluff at least.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    We're not debating if it's GOOD or not, but the Warmage has already covered Evocation as a school-based caster. That was Dice's point, not that the Warmage is a good class (it isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, and we all know it).

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    We're not debating if it's GOOD or not, but the Warmage has already covered Evocation as a school-based caster. That was Dice's point, not that the Warmage is a good class (it isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, and we all know it).
    He said Evocation and Conjuration. My point was that the class doesn't even cover Evocation properly, much less Conjuration.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Warmage is slightly overpowered at low levels, under at high. E.G. my warmage deals 1d3+3 w/ ray of frost. Also depends on play style.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    If you want a specialist-Abjurer, then might I suggest the ability to cast some spells as an interrupt? Perhaps apply only to spells 3 levels below your highest (1st-level spells at lv.9, when you get access to 4th-level spells, 6th-level spells at lv.20, when you have access to 9th-level spells, etc.) It may not be the most balanced, but when I think Abjurer, I think someone specializing in wards.

    As for Diviner... well, the Oracle does look nice. I am a fan of Abjuration/Divination wizards, though, so I may be biased. The three Diviner archtypes I can think of are the Oracle (who uses Stone Tell, Locate Person, etc. to gather information), the Scryer (who spies on people/places with srcying), and the Detecter (who uses Detection to locate hidden/invisible, or spy around corners). I'm not sure which you'd want to focus on as a Diviner-only class, though.

    Are you familiar with Specialist Wizard Variants? It might help with ideas. There's also a Master Specialist prestige class out there somewhere.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnema View Post
    Warmage is slightly overpowered at low levels, under at high. E.G. my warmage deals 1d3+3 w/ ray of frost. Also depends on play style.
    You: 1d8+3 damage to one target.
    Wizard/Enchanter/Beguiler: Color Spray and make group of enemy lose.

    Besides, it's not that he can't damage, it's that he's got nothing but damage. Another level 1 caster can Alarm/Shield/Mage Armor/Grease/Mount/Identify/Charm Person/Sleep/Color Spray/Silent Image/Cause Fear/Ray of Enfeeblement/Enlarge Person/Feather Fall/Magic Weapon/Reduce Person. Maybe not all at once if you break the schools up, but still, they can do something else. Warmage can... do damage. It's fighter syndrome all over again; attack attack attack and nothing else.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    He said Evocation and Conjuration. My point was that the class doesn't even cover Evocation properly, much less Conjuration.
    It doesn't "cover" it by any means, but (A) it's a specialist caster who has access to it and (B) it covers the theme--and of course, if we're classifying the existing ones by school, it certainly doesn't get any of the other schools in any real quantity. Now, if we were serious about this whole replace-the-wizard thing, we'd want to revise the warmage to make it competent at what it does and shift its focus from blow-stuff-up mage to support-the-army-and-do-artillery mage, to justify better Conjurations and the non-damage Evocations, but that's another issue.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2009-07-29 at 11:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Actually, I think I'm going to create a Summoner first. Seems more interesting at the moment.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    Summoner Spell List:

    Level 0:
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    Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Read Magic


    Level 1:
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    Alarm, Comprehend Languages, Detect Alignment, Mount, Protection from Alignment, Sanctuary, Summon Monster I, Unseen Servant


    Level 2:
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    Summon Monster II, Summon Swarm, Zone of Truth


    Level 3:
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    Dispel Magic, Magic Circle against Alignment, Phantom steed, Speak with Dead, Summon Monster III, Tongues


    Level 4:
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    Animate Dead, Dimensional Anchor, Dimension Door, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Summon Monster IV,


    Level 5:
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    Contact Other Plane, Dismissal, Mage's Faithful Hound, Lesser Planar Binding, Summon Monster V, Teleport


    Level 6:
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    Greater Dispel Magic, Forbiddance, Globe of Invulnerability, Guards and Wards, Planar Binding, Repulsion, Summon Monster VI


    Level 7:
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    Banishment, Greater Teleport, Instant Summons, Plane Shift, Summon Monster VII, Teleport Objecft


    Level 8:
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    Dimensional Lock, Greater Planar Binding, Summon Monster VIII,


    Level 9:
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    Elemental Swarm, Freedom, Imprisonment, Refuge, Summon Monster IX, Teleportation Circle


    I don't know... only 3 spells on some level seems like not enough by far. Seems I need to include the spell compendium in this. So far, he can summon creatures, protect himself against them via abjuration or imprison them to do his bidding and do planar travel and teleportation.

    The lack of Gate and Planar Ally on there is intentional: I think Gate works better as a limited class feature, and I intend to give him a summonable planar ally similar to an animal companion or familiar.
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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    You may want to include Summon Nature's Ally & Summon Undead series. You're a fricking summoner, you don't care what you summon ;)

    On another note, you might be better off not including the Teleport-line, and instead get the Orb-line. Teleportation has nothing to do with summoning (summoning is more 'copying from somewhere else'), while you actually summon forth an orb of something to strike an enemy.
    Last edited by Eloel; 2009-07-30 at 04:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Idea gathering: Specialist Wizard Classes

    I'd agree, and would add Summon Nature's Ally I-X, Summon Undead I-IV, and Conjure Ice Beast I-X to his list (CIB is from Frostburn, and is a great spell. It's also easy to convert to the other elements, though you might want that to be a class feature).

    I figure, the Summoner is relying on summons to do his bidding, so he better damn have LOTS of them!

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