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    Default Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Okay one of my favorite 3.X characters was a wizard/wild mage. He was a fun character to role-play with his pixie familiar (the DM suggested it... I don't know why) but I was wondering how'd you make a similar character in 4e. His stats were excellent regardless of edition and something like: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 16, so assuming the same stats.

    Requirements:
    • Wizard: The fact that he was a wizard, and not a sorcerer, played a large part in his character development. He needs a spell book and a definite Int focus.
    • Wild/Chaos Mage: His chaotic streak to personality and powers were a definite requirement.
    • A mix of blasting and BC spells and abilities.
    • Bad against incorporeal/intangible foes.
    • A familiar.
    • A staff.
    • Evard's Black Tentacles. It was his signature spell.


    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2011-03-10 at 02:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    This is a fluff issue. Take the class/build that gives you the crunch you want, then construct the fluff as you please. Sorcerers can carry spellbooks. They can be smart even without "INT 18" written on your sheet. The crunch is what you have to worry about; the fluff is whatever you SAY it is.

    So, what crunch do you hope to get from being a chaos wizard? What, mechanically, does "chaos wizard" mean to you? What parts are nonnegotiable, what parts are important but not mission-critical, and what parts would be nice to have if we can swing them?
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    From wizard: Int based abilities, a learned view of magic. Evard's Black Tentacles.

    From wild mage: some chaos based effects, some abilities with random variables.

    Honestly if you could have an Int based Sorcerer it would fit almost perfectly (still would need Evard's Black Tentacles), but the character wasn't just smart because he had an 18 Int, it was part of what he was fluff-wise and crunch-wise that he got his abilities by being smart. At the point where your ability scores don't mean anything except for crunch I get very uncomfortable.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    From wizard: Int based abilities, a learned view of magic. Evard's Black Tentacles.

    From wild mage: some chaos based effects, some abilities with random variables.

    Honestly if you could have an Int based Sorcerer it would fit almost perfectly (still would need Evard's Black Tentacles), but the character wasn't just smart because he had an 18 Int, it was part of what he was fluff-wise and crunch-wise that he got his abilities by being smart. At the point where your ability scores don't mean anything except for crunch I get very uncomfortable.
    You and I disagree on some fluff/crunch divisions, but I don't want to start an argument. So, let's focus on what I can help you with. What do you mean by "chaos based effects" and "abilities with random variables"? "Chaos based effects" sounds like fluff to me (is the fireball hurting you by creating a gout of flame, or is it causing your molecules to randomly and chaotically increase their speed, destabilizing and frying themselves in the process? As long as it does the right number of d6s, it can easily do either, but one of those is chaos-based and one is not), so unless you can elaborate on that, I say just fluff as necessary.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    You and I disagree on some fluff/crunch divisions, but I don't want to start an argument. So, let's focus on what I can help you with. What do you mean by "chaos based effects" and "abilities with random variables"? "Chaos based effects" sounds like fluff to me (is the fireball hurting you by creating a gout of flame, or is it causing your molecules to randomly and chaotically increase their speed, destabilizing and frying themselves in the process? As long as it does the right number of d6s, it can easily do either, but one of those is chaos-based and one is not), so unless you can elaborate on that, I say just fluff as necessary.
    Like a sorcerer's prismatic X spells where you roll a d6 to determine secondary effect. Ultimately some random element outside of control other than just attack roll and damage.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Play a sorcerer. That is really the best way to meet most of your requirements. By choosing to be a sorcerer, you miss out on the ability to sometimes swap out dailies and utilities, a ritual casting feat, and INT as a main stat.

    You can easily be a sorcerer that studies books, and learns spells from books. You can choose to not dump int.

    Chaos Magic is the particular build you want. It has a lot of 'if you rolled odd on your d20' powers, and several other 'random' sort of things.

    Sorcerers have the mix of control and damage abilities.

    Everyone in 4e is bad against incorporeal foes. Welcome to the club.

    If you want a familiar, you need to spend a feat for it. Even wizards have to do this.

    Sorcerers can use a staff. Staff of Ruin, in particular.

    I don't know if Evard's Black Tentacles are still in the game. Find a power that works and call it that.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    There's also a Wild Mage PP for Chaos Magic sorcerers - can't remember what it does, but I remember a "roll d10 on this table when you action point to see how screwed either you or the enemy is" feature. Plus, Chaos Magic sorcerers already knock all their adjacent allies prone on a 1 on any attack and launch the enemy away on a 20. And they get an at-will (Chaos Bolt?) which keeps on hitting targets (for minor damage after the first one) as long as you keep on rolling evens.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    OK, so, I've learned that when you're converting from 3.5 to 4e, a lot has to be fudged. It's just the nature of the beast. Oh, and you can't let yourself get hung up on names.

    That said, if you want something named "Evard's Black Tentacles," there's a Wizard 19 daily that'll do the trick.

    At this point, I guess, your path will be determined by what you consider to be mission-critical, what you're willing to refluff, and what you're willing to drop.

    -If the chaos abilities are that important to you, I'd say that you should go for a chaos sorcerer (since I don't really know any other sources of that sort of thing), carry a spellbook, invest in increasing your knowledge skills, and call it a day. You'll lose the ability to write "INT 18" (or whatever) on your character sheet and the ability to have a spell that WotC calls "Evard's Black Tentacles." Both of these problems are, in my mind, easily fixed, but you've indicated to me that you feel differently.

    -If the INT focus and nonsucky BC is more important to you, go for a wizard, fluff your spells chaotically, maybe go with a CHA secondary stat and MC sorcerer if that's your thing. See if there are any feats or magic items that have random effects; if so, stock up on those. I know that there's a familiar that gives you a randomly chosen bonus every day, so maybe look into things like that? You'll lose easy access to spells with random variables other than damage.

    Of course, with your absurdly good stats, you could afford to hybrid Wizard and Sorcerer together. Normally there's very little benefit to doing so (and it makes your stats go all over the place), but since you have something like 47 point buy to work with (at least, that's what I calculated your stats to cost), you could afford it.

    Honestly though, I say that fluffing is the best answer. Remember that you can usually find ways around things, too . . . I converted a character from 3.5 to 4e, and this character happened to be the party encyclopedia. Unfortunately, his class's primary stat was changed from INT to STR. Two items later, though, I still managed to get my monster knowledge checks up to nearly the autosuccess level, and he once again knows everything. Do I like being dependent on items? Of course not, but I'm willing to look past that little detail for the satisfaction of once again being a walking Pokťdex.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    There is a sorcerer with wild magic as a spell source. They also have a Wild Mage paragon path. These have lots of options for the random effects you seem to want. The only downside is that youíd probably want a better dex than int.

    You want the wizard, with the book, but you could get this though hybridizing or as a multiclass. Access to spellbooks as implements could also come to a sorc as a feat. Ritual caster would also add to the flavor and can be a feat.

    I know hybrids arenít popular, but from what I see you asking for, it think youíll get the closest with a wizard/sorcerer hybrid taking Soul of the Sorcerer as a hybrid talent to qualify for the Wild Mage paragon.

    Familiars are a feat. That partís easy.
    Evardís Black Tentacles is a level 19 wizard daily. So, probably not going to cast it a lot no matter what you do. But, you could reflavor other sustainable zones to get the concept you want.
    Last edited by Sinon; 2011-03-10 at 03:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinon View Post
    I know hybrids arenít popular, but from what I see you asking for, it think youíll get the closest with a wizard/sorcerer hybrid taking Soul of the Sorcerer as a hybrid talent to qualify for the Wild Mage paragon.
    Okay, I like hybrids in 4e a lot, but the MAD from that build causes me to reflexively cringe. Sorcerers are a STRONG secondary class - your striker abilities depend almost entirely on your build's secondary, in Chaos Magic's case, Dex. And you can really only have two good stats in the long run in 4e.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    I didnít promise the most effective character. Just one that matched his concept as well as possible.

    Regardless, his first post included stats that will work for that build. (The stats are way high for 4e, but Iím not his DM.)

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    When converting characters from 3.5 to 4e, this most important thing you have to remember is that you have to let go of the idea that class matters. If you played an archer Fighter in 3.5, and wanted to convert that character to 4e, you'd have to play a Ranger. And it doesn't matter that Rangers were a class in 3.5; if you want to play a guy with a bow that shoots things using little to no magical abilites, you want to play a Ranger, regardless of what that character was called in earlier editions.

    Likewise, if you want to play a character that uses Chaos magic, you want to play a Sorcerer. It doesn't matter that such a character could be a Wizard in 3.5, because this isn't 3.5. There's nothing stopping you from playing a Chaos Sorcerer with a scholarly bent.

    Basically, you need to let go of class preconceptions and recognize that, it being a completely different edition and all, not everything is going to line up perfectly. Playing a Wild Mage that uses Evard's Black Tentacles is going to involve you jumping through a large number of hoops.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Sometimes it does matter though. A smart, spellbook-using caster is a big part what he wanted. Itís hard to make book magic really fit with the 4e sorcerer.

    Without hybridizing? Still, a significant number of hoops but some different ones?

    He could start with a wild sorcerer and use a handful of feats (ritual caster, arcane implement mastery, maybe a multiclass feat) and heíd have something a bit more effective while still close in flavor to his original idea. (Swap the stats for cha and int. 16 int is still a genius.)

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    One of my favorite things about 4e is the ability to homebrew.

    Play a chaos sorcerer and just replace CHA with INT and there you go :) but I don't think there is a Evard's Black Tentacles anymore... But that wouldn't be hard to homebrew either.... There are some spells already that you could rename :P


    Or you know... Play a wizard with the chaos class feature and add sorcerer spells instead of wizard spells

    EDIT: hybrids of SORC/WIZ could work but... Yeah not as well as say like Sorcerer/Warlord
    Last edited by Dalek-K; 2011-03-10 at 04:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek-K View Post
    I don't think there is a Evard's Black Tentacles anymore... But that wouldn't be hard to homebrew either.... There are some spells already that you could rename :P
    There is a spell of that name. Level 19 wizard daily. It isn't the exact same of course.

    I don't think the old Evard's fits with the 4e philosophy very well.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    It's easy to have a book caster in 4e that's not a wizard.

    Play something that's not a wizard, and carry around a book.
    You don't need implement proficiency [tomes] to cast from a book. In fact, you can take an orb or staff and call it a book. It's now a book.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    So the answer is homebrew, swap stats around (which my balance sense says Int/Dex based is worse than Cha/Dex so should be somewhat more acceptable), or hybrid.

    Could multiclassing feats be sufficient, or would hybrid absolutely be required?

    At this point I'm seeing if it can be done without homebrewing/house ruling, partially because it's one way to learn the intricacies of the system so that I know how to homebrew/house rule it.

    Edit: Also any at-will that would make sense as a burst of tentacles? I'm thinking cloud of daggers might.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2011-03-10 at 04:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Could multiclassing feats be sufficient, or would hybrid absolutely be required?
    Depends on what you want out of it. Check out how multiclassing works (the book can explain it better than I can) and see if that gets you what you want.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Multiclassing is no where near what it used to be... You really don't pick up much just a bit of dabbling and if you want more powers from your new class then you have to pick up more feats.

    Homebrewing is actually encouraged in 4e by Wizards (as in the company not the class)

    It really wouldn't be that hard to give it the chaos class features (get rid of rituals and staff of defense).

    Also remember everywhere you see Cha replace it with Int.


    EDIT: for black tentacle... You would want something that would stop things from moving... It has been a while but I believe that the illusionist has a couple. You could change the ice at will a bit to make it more fluffy for your taste (or even thunderweave... is that it's name?)
    Last edited by Dalek-K; 2011-03-10 at 04:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    A smart character with a spellbook and a chaos-focus. Simple. Have an Int of 13 or 14 pre-racial. (Once you get up to those scores, nobody's going to call you out as "not smart enough" for whatever you have planned.) Your first two feats get locked up in Ritual Caster (for the brainy spells and requisite spellbook) and acquiring your familiar. Voila, your chaos sorcerer now has the brains and the raw material to port over properly.

    Specific powers like signature spells are going to be a sticking point any time you cross editions. Refluff, multiclass, or flat-out ask your DM if you can port the power over. Once you get down to fine details like specific key powers, though, you're going to lose a lot if you insist on a literal translation over a general reinterpretation.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalek-K View Post
    Multiclassing is no where near what it used to be... You really don't pick up much just a bit of dabbling and if you want more powers from your new class then you have to pick up more feats.
    So hybrid, okay.

    Homebrewing is actually encouraged in 4e by Wizards (as in the company not the class)
    I know, it's one thing that makes it D&D (TSR and WotC have always encouraged home brewing in the DMGs), and part of the reason I'm interested. That said I've realized that with homebrewing if you need to know how far the rules bend without it. That and I'd like to see if I could make him without any (he had a pixie familiar, that is a house rule in 3.X).

    It really wouldn't be that hard to give it the chaos class features (get rid of rituals and staff of defense).

    Also remember everywhere you see Cha replace it with Int.
    Are the class features that equal, though? I actually like wizard's powers better than sorcerer ones but I like sorcerer features so it interests me if that would really be an equal trade.

    That said I think I'll just use hybrid for this.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Edit: Also any at-will that would make sense as a burst of tentacles? I'm thinking cloud of daggers might.
    Cloud of daggers hits (probably) one creature in one square and then denies access to (makes painful) that square. It could easily be flavored as a tentacle.

    Except for the lightning keyword (as opposed to something like force) Storm Pillar might have a better feel: instead of lightning, ďtentaclesĒ lash out at any enemy that moves adjacent.
    Last edited by Sinon; 2011-03-10 at 04:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    the thing is do you want to be a batllefield controller or a damage dealer. If the former it's best to go with Wizard, if the latter then take the sorceror

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    So the answer is homebrew, swap stats around (which my balance sense says Int/Dex based is worse than Cha/Dex so should be somewhat more acceptable), or hybrid.
    I absolutely wouldn't recommend a hybrid wizard|sorcerer, it's a really ineffective combination and also doesn't do the chaos angle well.

    Edit: Also any at-will that would make sense as a burst of tentacles? I'm thinking cloud of daggers might.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobdrazhar View Post
    the thing is do you want to be a batllefield controller or a damage dealer. If the former it's best to go with Wizard, if the latter then take the sorceror
    This.

    The thing is that there are only a handful of spells with truly random effects (e.g. deal damage of a random type, or inflict a random condition) and almost all of them are poor to mediocre. Even if you play a so-called Chaos Sorcerer you won't have much in the way of chaos power (except the at-will Chaos Bolt) and certainly no Nahal's Reckless Dweomer.

    So pick the class you like best (for control, wizard is the strongest by far; for damage, wizard and sorcerer are tied) and deal with the rest by refluffing it.


    Requirements:
    • Wizard: well, that's obviously the wizard class, no substitutes.
    • Wild/Chaos Mage: that's the sorcerer, although less obviously because it doesn't really do what you expect it to.
    • A mix of blasting and BC spells and abilities: blasting is both, although the wizard is better at area blasting. Battlefield control is wizard, hands down.
    • Bad against incorporeal/intangible foes: does not apply; nobody in 4E is bad against any kind of foe.
    • A familiar: available for one feat.
    • A staff: both wizards and sorcerers can use those, wizards get a defensive boost for doing so
    • Evard's Black Tentacles: that's a wizard spell, albeit high level.
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    One thing you could do is make a wizard with tentacles and the like but make a table. on this table make a list of random fluff changers. Let us say you came up with 8 different fluff changes. When you roll your attack roll add a d10 to your rolls. Whatever you roll on that die tells you what random fluff change the spell gets. This way your wizard appears chaotic. Just make sure the fluff has no mechanical impact (changing your storm pillar from being a ball of lightning to a bunch of tentcles charged with lightning is fine. Changing them to fire would not be).

    An example list

    1) Spell creates tentacles that do the spells effects.
    2) Spell creates paints rainbows with its effects.
    3) Spell creates butterflies that fly around the target while the spell is affecting the target.

    Just make up some fun and interesting ideas and have fun.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    So it would seem that either you have an inneffective character, or some level of minor to major homebrew. Interesting.

    Although it seems with very good ability points (they were rolled in the original game) it could be done but would be quite unoptimized (not actually the biggest concern). That said this has given me a better understanding on how some things work in 4e.

    This actually makes me want to make a paragon path

    Also how balanced would switching wizard and sorcerer features be, just out of curiosity?
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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    If you took the sorcerer class, gave it the name "chaos wizard", and changed its secondary stat (damage stat) as being dex it would work fine in a normal home game in my opinion. You might want to ask about changing some feat prerequisites so they would work for you but it should not be big deal even if that does not happen.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2011-03-10 at 06:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    So it would seem that either you have an inneffective character, or some level of minor to major homebrew. Interesting.
    Or, you know, restrict the "chaos" part to fluff.

    4E doesn't deal well with certain combinations if you insist on strictly named crunch. For example, if you want a two-weapon rogue in 4E, the answer is "play a ranger and just call it a rogue". This is the same thing: if you want a control sorcerer, play a wizard.

    It's not entirely about your mismatched ability scores, either. The thing is that a hybrid only gets a few class features from each side, can spend a feat for one more, and is barred from the rest. So you can't e.g. have both a wizard spellbook and the sorcerer's chaos power. Most (but by no means all) hybrid combinations simply don't work all that well.

    Also how balanced would switching wizard and sorcerer features be, just out of curiosity?
    Let's put it like this: sorcerers have a class feature that boosts their damage. Wizards don't have that feature, and yet can match the sorcerer's damage output. Combining the two ain't pretty.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Or, you know, restrict the "chaos" part to fluff.
    I think though that this player wants a real element of randomness. Not the flavor so much as the actual unpredictability on a player (not just character) level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Like a sorcerer's prismatic X spells where you roll a d6 to determine secondary effect. Ultimately some random element outside of control other than just attack roll and damage.
    I think giving a sorcerer wizard class abilities is going to make him noticeably weaker as a striker while adding only marginally to his ability to function as a controller.

    That doesn't mean it couldn't be fun to play in most games.
    Last edited by Sinon; 2011-03-10 at 06:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Making a chaos wizard (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinon View Post
    I think though that this player wants a real element of randomness. Not the flavor so much as the actual unpredictability on a player (not just character) level.
    Yes, I get that, but the point is that the chaos sorcerer doesn't do that.

    There's some sorc powers with a random effect, but (1) there's not many of them, (2) they're not really all that random, and (3) they're not very effective powers overall. So yes, if the OP wants actual unpredictability, he'll have to either fluff it or houserule.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

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