# Thread: The gold piece value of being a wizard

1. ## The gold piece value of being a wizard

While working on something else, I got off on a tangent and decided to try and find out the gold piece value of being Tier 1. Or more specifically, if you had enough ranks in UMD to cast off of scrolls, how much would it cost at each level to buy enough arcane scrolls to cast as many spells as the wizard can at that level.

I realize this can't be calculated exactly, because there's no way of really knowing how many spells a wizard will cast at a given level, so my assumptions to come up with these numbers are below. My guess is that this will lead to an overestimate, since in most parties you're probably fighting fewer encounters to level up, and at higher levels, most wizards are not using their entire allotment of spells per day in 4 encounters.

- The wizard is in a standard party of 4
- The wizard is not a specialist (only the base allotment of spells per day)
- The party fights only monsters of their CR
- The party has 4 encounters per day
- The wizard uses his entire daily allotment of spells in those 4 encounters
- Scrolls are bought at the wizard's caster level, not minimum caster level
- Expensive material component and XP costs included in the price of scrolls are ignored, because the wizard would have to provide those things if he cast the spells.
- The wizard starts with an 18 intelligence and adds 1 to it every 4 levels.
- The wizard gets a +6 enhancement bonus to INT and a +5 inherent bonus to INT, buying the items necessary to do so when it would use roughly 1/3 of his WBL.

So the assumptions above basically mean that the wizard uses his entire daily allotment of spells 3.33 times at each level. Using that, plus his caster level, plus his number of prepared spells per day, I come up with the following.

The gold piece value of the spells cast by a wizard at each level is:

Level Value
1 291.66
2 833.33
3 2,250.00
4 4,000.00
5 7,500.00
6 12,000.00
7 19,250.00
8 28,000.00
9 40,500.00
10 55,000.00
11 74,250.00
12 92,000.00
13 123,500.00
14 148,166.66
15 192,500.00
16 236,000.00
17 284,750.00
18 342,000.00
19 386,333.33
20 455,000.00
Total 2,504,124.98

So to replicate a wizard's casting ability across a 20-level adventuring career costs 2,504,124.98 gold pieces. What does this mean? I don't really know, other than yet another brick in the "casters are overpowered" wall.

2. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

You forgot the spells a Wizard gets for free each level. If you count the "knows all cantrips" bit, that should add a considerable amount of value.

EDIT: I had been thinking about evaluating each of the classes' by the amount of gold it would take to emulate all their features. Never quite got around to it, but I think it could deliver another blow to the dead horse that is caster superiority.

3. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

He didn't forget the wizard's free known spells, since they aren't relevant to his calculation. This is about the value of the wizard's spell slots, not of her spells known.

4. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Chronos
He didn't forget the wizard's free known spells, since they aren't relevant to his calculation. This is about the value of the wizard's spell slots, not of her spells known.
I had assumed that the thread title implied a goal of finding the total gp value of being a wizard, including all class features.

5. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Bonus spells should be a factor too. Assuming starting Int of 18 (or a lower starting Int and Int-boosting items) and Int increases every fourth level, they'd have:
Spoiler: not a table
Level 1: +1 1st-level spell/day
Level 2: +1 1st
Level 3: +1 1st, +1 2nd
Level 4: +1 1st, +1 2nd
Level 5: +1 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd
Level 6: +1 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd
Level 7: +1 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th
Level 8: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th
Level 9: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th
Level 10: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th
Level 11: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th
Level 12: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th
Level 13: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th
Level 14: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th
Level 15: +2 1st, +1 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th
Level 16: +2 1st, +2 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th
Level 17: +2 1st, +2 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th, +1 9th
Level 18: +2 1st, +2 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th, +1 9th
Level 19: +2 1st, +2 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th, +1 9th
Level 20: +2 1st, +2 2nd, +1 3rd, +1 4th, +1 5th, +1 6th, +1 7th, +1 8th, +1 9th

Taking those into account might be a little difficult, but it's for sure a huge value increase.

6. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Slipperychicken
I had assumed that the thread title implied a goal of finding the total gp value of being a wizard, including all class features.
I don't really see how the spells in the wizard's spellbook add any value. Those simply limit the spells the wizard can prepare.

The rogue is casting off of scrolls, and doesn't need to prepare spells, he simply buys scrolls of whatever he wants to cast that day.

It would be easy enough to calculate though, just add in the cost of a scroll of each cantrip, plus 4 scrolls of each spell level 1-8, and 8 9th level scrolls (since these are what a wizard gets for free and doesn't have to buy scrolls to scribe into his spellbook).

Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies
Bonus spells should be a factor too. Assuming starting Int of 18 (or a lower starting Int and Int-boosting items) and Int increases every fourth level, they'd have:

Taking those into account might be a little difficult, but it's for sure a huge value increase.
You are absolutely right, I'll fix that.

7. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

The general cost of a fighter bonus feat is 10,000gp, so let's compare them:

Code:
```Level	Wizard		Fighter
1	208.33		10,000
2	666.66		10,000
3	1,500.00	0
4	3,000.00	10,000
5	5,000.00	0
6	8,500.00	10,000
7	12,833.33	0
8	19,333.33	10,000
9	27,000.00	0
10	37,500.00	10,000
11	49,500.00	0
12	65,000.00	10,000
13	82,333.33	0
14	103,833.33	10,000
15	127,500.00	0
16	156,000.00	10,000
17	187,000.00	0
18	223,500.00	10,000
19	261,250.00	0
20	303,333.33	10,000
Total	1,674,791.64	110,000```
Judging by WBL, fighter starts stronger but wizard overtakes him at lv8. And an lv10 wizard is stronger than an lv20 fighter, despite their CRs being so far apart that they wouldn't even get XP for fighting each other.

9. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Fax Celestis
Very interesting. I'm looking at it more across the character's whole adventuring career than on a per-day basis. I don't think the 1 use/day way works for this since it would have to be the same spell in that slot every day. Scrolls allow the user to essentially prepare new spells each day (by buying different scrolls) just like the wizard can. Your method would work well for something like a sorcerer though, since the 1/day items would help mimic the sorcerer's limited number of spells known.

I wonder if you could try to use something like this to balance the tiers. Just give the lower tiers extra gold at each level based on how far they are from tier 1. Probably wouldn't work though.

10. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Sure, but the wizard gets to "buy" those "new scrolls" every time he refreshes his spells. Your price value above is for the effective cost of being a wizard for a day.

11. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Fax Celestis
Sure, but the wizard gets to "buy" those "new scrolls" every time he refreshes his spells. Your price value above is for the effective cost of being a wizard for a day.
No, it's the effective cost of being a wizard for 66.6 days, spending 3.33 days at each level. The assumptions are he spends his entire allotment of spells each day going through 4 encounters, and it takes 13.33 equal-CR encounters to level up.

The cost to be a wizard for a day at any particular level is the number listed above divided by 3.33. That would buy you scrolls to match the wizard's spell slots and caster level.

12. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Fax Celestis
Sure, but the wizard gets to "buy" those "new scrolls" every time he refreshes his spells. Your price value above is for the effective cost of being a wizard for a day.
If you give the rogue enough extra gold to cast as many spells as a wizard, at the same CL, every day, why would anyone play a wizard? And that's not even considering that a wizard doesn't really cast all his spells every day once you get to mid levels, so he loses some. The rogue just keeps the scrolls and amasses a huge pile of them over time (or sells them and buys other stuff).

Not that it isn't a good idea in general. Just giving the rogue enough to get a few extra scrolls is already enough to make him a lot more able to contribute. A smart rogue player can already do a lot with UMD just on standard wealth. Just don't overdo it.

13. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by sleepyphoenixx
If you give the rogue enough extra gold to cast as many spells as a wizard, at the same CL, every day, why would anyone play a wizard? And that's not even considering that a wizard doesn't really cast all his spells every day once you get to mid levels, so he loses some. The rogue just keeps the scrolls and amasses a huge pile of them over time (or sells them and buys other stuff).

Not that it isn't a good idea in general. Just giving the rogue enough to get a few extra scrolls is already enough to make him a lot more able to contribute. A smart rogue player can already do a lot with UMD just on standard wealth. Just don't overdo it.
I didn't intend to give the rogue anywhere near that much gold. Trying to figure out the cost of the wizard's spell slots was just sort of a tangent I went off on while playing around with the idea for the rogue.

If I do change the rogue this way, it'll probably be an extra 25-50% of WBL

14. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Sorry, I didn't realize your pricing standard differed from mine in the other thread.

15. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by molten_dragon
wonder if you could try to use something like this to balance the tiers. Just give the lower tiers extra gold at each level based on how far they are from tier 1. Probably wouldn't work though.
Or impose a limitation on the casting classes that requires them to expend some money to prepare their spells (not to cast them; material components are dumb). As a cleric grows in power, their deity or church demands greater and greater sacrifices (in the form of charitable donations/tithes) to weed out those who are in the church for selfish reasons. The methods behind the more powerful arcane spells can only be thought about through methods that a normal mind cannot use, and thus strong incense and exotic drugs are required to unlock the higher workings of the mind. Having to inhale the fumes of burnt yellow lotus powder every morning would get pricey.

This method would still require you to let the players know ahead of time what you're doing and why, but it makes sense in-game (or at least makes more in-game sense than just giving noncasters more money).

16. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by molten_dragon
I didn't intend to give the rogue anywhere near that much gold. Trying to figure out the cost of the wizard's spell slots was just sort of a tangent I went off on while playing around with the idea for the rogue.

If I do change the rogue this way, it'll probably be an extra 25-50% of WBL
It is probably cheaper to play a wizard who spends their wbl to be a rogue. Find traps continuous item 24000, a bonus dodging/reflex continuously isn't that hard and trumps just against traps, Nightstalkers transformation (use-activate) 90 000 which covers evasion, 3d6 of the sneak attack damage and if type bonus doesn't matter it covers the ac bonus and reflex bonus (It can be continuous but remember you lose your casting ability when it is active but it being continuous works better for copying the class), I believe there are a few ways to get sneak attack damage up but I'm not sure which ones need 7d6 total, Continuous item of Watchful Ancestors 112 000 gp (Divide by 2 if command is good enough) and Warning enhancement 8302 gp (+1 dagger of warning but it is a +1) covers the uncanny dodge and the improved uncanny dodge, once you get into special abilities I have no idea how to copy it.

17. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Quoth Extra Anchovies:

Or impose a limitation on the casting classes that requires them to expend some money to prepare their spells (not to cast them; material components are dumb).
Forcecage's material component worked like this in 3.0. It got changed in 3.5 when they remembered that sorcerers exist.

18. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Have been thinking about similar thing for a while - assigning UMD equivalent cost for every single class out there to properly rate them.

Wizards gets his spells per day, how do you convert it to rogue's scrolls per level?

You can't use metamagic rods and the like with scrolls, so you have to increase value of scrolls farther to accommodate additional metamagic cost increase.

General cost of a fighter bonus feat is "one 2nd level spell slot" to cast Heroics. For wizard, that is 4000 gp for Pearl of Power 2.

19. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Heroics doesn't last 24 hours.

You might get a better deal making staffs at higher levels, plus a rogue with a high int or cha could then take advantage of it. It's hard to tell for sure because staff switching takes 2 move actions without quick draw, so do you put it all on one staff or multiple, and how do you handle level ups? Besides that, high CL scrolls often aren't worth it. OTOH scrolls also take a move action to draw. That often isn't a big deal but it is sometimes worth something.

To add further confusion a wizard doesn't usually use all of his spells in spite of his best efforts. And the unused spells don't carry over to the next day, whereas unused items do.

20. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by ericgrau
Heroics doesn't last 24 hours.
It last hours/level, which is enough for most cases. Since Greater Magic Weapon lasts hours/level too, it makes no sense to have a longer adventuring day. And since you can select the feat each time anew, one Heroics can replace several Fighter bonus feats - i.e. Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialisation.

21. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by SinsI
Wizards gets his spells per day, how do you convert it to rogue's scrolls per level?
I explained that in the OP. I'm using WotC's standard assumption of 13.33 equal-level encounters to level up, with 4 encounters per day. That's 3.33 days spent at each level. So to match what the wizard can do, the rogue needs to be able to cast the wizard's full daily complement of spells 3.33 times.

This is a flawed assumption, but I can't really think of a better way to do it. Number of encounters to level, number of encounters per day, and the number of spells a wizard actually expends in a day are all going to vary from character to character. This just gives a sort of baseline.

22. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by SinsI
It last hours/level, which is enough for most cases. Since Greater Magic Weapon lasts hours/level too, it makes no sense to have a longer adventuring day. And since you can select the feat each time anew, one Heroics can replace several Fighter bonus feats - i.e. Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialisation.
Is there another version besides the spell compendium version that lasts hours/level? Either way you need multiple castings and/or a rod of lesser extend spell to get 24 hours and not be caught by surprise.

In dungeons you get a better deal because one 10 min/level spell is usually enough. Sometimes even min/level if you can be far enough away to avoid being heard and there are few enough traps, locks, puzzles & etc. that you can finish your run in a few minutes. Otherwise I've been sorely disappointed many times by settling for ~8 hours or ~1 hour and then getting ambushed.

So again it's fuzzy and cost varies.

23. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by molten_dragon
No, it's the effective cost of being a wizard for 66.6 days, spending 3.33 days at each level. The assumptions are he spends his entire allotment of spells each day going through 4 encounters, and it takes 13.33 equal-CR encounters to level up.

The cost to be a wizard for a day at any particular level is the number listed above divided by 3.33. That would buy you scrolls to match the wizard's spell slots and caster level.
So really, this is just the lower bound of how much being a Wizard is worth, with each day of downtime or travel time adding additional value.

24. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Your spells aren't really as valuable in down time or travel time, though.

25. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Chronos
Your spells aren't really as valuable in down time or travel time, though.
Except for divination, crafting, enchantments to get allies or information, the mount spell/other spells that get you somewhere quickly, permanent spells and even selling your spell slots for money.

26. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Chronos
Your spells aren't really as valuable in down time or travel time, though.
They are for the purposes of this thread, which defines "value" as "cost to replicate via UMD."

27. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by molten_dragon
One of the ideas I've been toying with for awhile is giving rogues a bonus treasure allotment at each level. The idea is kind of similar to the artificer's craft reserve, but is intended to simulate the fact that the rogue is spending some of his "off-camera" time running con games, robbing people, pickpocketing, or some other method of acquiring more wealth than the other characters. This is mainly to prevent the rogue from wanting to spend "on-camera" time doing this and leaving the rest of the party with nothing to do, or from wanting to steal treasure from the party. And also to help make the rogue a bit more powerful.
Although I agree it's best if the party rogue not actively try to steal from their party, I think (as someone who thoroughly enjoyed both playing the Quest for Glory games as a Thief) some of the most important roleplaying moments for a Rogue are going to involve the basic skill sets they get (Pickpocketing, Burglary, and so forth).

I guess I don't see the merit in cutting out roleplaying from a roleplaying game as it fails the basic "Is this fun?" test.

There's a time and a place for everything of course, but doing a solo heist is no different than taking time to roleplay someone's romance or vision quest, or any other solo activity that might take up some group time.

28. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Sith_Happens
So really, this is just the lower bound of how much being a Wizard is worth, with each day of downtime or travel time adding additional value.
Yeah, more accurately these calculations give the GP value of being a wizard while completing tasks which are worth XP. If the wizard is doing something which doesn't earn him XP, that is additional value which the calculations don't account for.

29. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz
Although I agree it's best if the party rogue not actively try to steal from their party, I think (as someone who thoroughly enjoyed both playing the Quest for Glory games as a Thief) some of the most important roleplaying moments for a Rogue are going to involve the basic skill sets they get (Pickpocketing, Burglary, and so forth).

I guess I don't see the merit in cutting out roleplaying from a roleplaying game as it fails the basic "Is this fun?" test.

There's a time and a place for everything of course, but doing a solo heist is no different than taking time to roleplay someone's romance or vision quest, or any other solo activity that might take up some group time.
In my games in the past, I've found it to be more of an issue with rogues than any other types of characters. I'm not sure what it is about playing a rogue that makes people so greedy, but pretty much every rogue that I've been at the table with (including my own a couple times) wants to spend time virtually every session doing things alone to earn extra money.

I don't mind that kind of thing once in awhile, but it's gotten out of hand and started annoying other players enough times that I started to consider solutions to the problem.

30. ## Re: The gold piece value of being a wizard

Originally Posted by Vogonjeltz
Although I agree it's best if the party rogue not actively try to steal from their party, I think (as someone who thoroughly enjoyed both playing the Quest for Glory games as a Thief) some of the most important roleplaying moments for a Rogue are going to involve the basic skill sets they get (Pickpocketing, Burglary, and so forth).

I guess I don't see the merit in cutting out roleplaying from a roleplaying game as it fails the basic "Is this fun?" test.

There's a time and a place for everything of course, but doing a solo heist is no different than taking time to roleplay someone's romance or vision quest, or any other solo activity that might take up some group time.
Originally Posted by molten_dragon
I didn't intend to give the rogue anywhere near that much gold. Trying to figure out the cost of the wizard's spell slots was just sort of a tangent I went off on while playing around with the idea for the rogue.

If I do change the rogue this way, it'll probably be an extra 25-50% of WBL
#NotAllRogues are thieves. Come on, guys.

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