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    Question 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Greetings Playground,

    I am looking at building an Abjuration wizard (specifically an abjuration wizard, bladesinger isn't an option) with the feral and winged tiefling variants applied. What I would like is to know the full ramifications if I take one level in fighter later on down the line for some martial ability rather than just casting Tenser's Transformation on myself. The second part of this question I suppose is when would be the best time to take this fighter dip so as to not shoot myself in the foot? I don't think I want to take it in levels 1-5, when spell level progression is paramount for a full caster, but after level 15+ I feel like the benefits will become kind of a footnote in my character's overall progression and ability.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    Greetings Playground,

    I am looking at building an Abjuration wizard (specifically an abjuration wizard, bladesinger isn't an option) with the feral and winged tiefling variants applied. What I would like is to know the full ramifications if I take one level in fighter later on down the line for some martial ability rather than just casting Tenser's Transformation on myself. The second part of this question I suppose is when would be the best time to take this fighter dip so as to not shoot myself in the foot? I don't think I want to take it in levels 1-5, when spell level progression is paramount for a full caster, but after level 15+ I feel like the benefits will become kind of a footnote in my character's overall progression and ability.
    Hi!

    First, easy answer to the "when" question: IMMEDIATELY!!
    The main (some would say ONLY) reason to take a Fighter dip is to take it as your starting dip in order to get...
    - heavy armor proficiency (only way to get it is start as Fighter)
    - Constitution proficiency (same).
    As an accessory, you also get a Fighting Style which is generally a cherry on cake (Defense) and sometimes better for some Schools (*ahem* TWF Bladesinger *meha*).
    In fact, Fighter is only good a 1st level only because you take it as 1st level and because you want heavy armor. In any other case, Life/Tempest/War/Nature Cleric or Draconic Sorcerer are plain better choices, leaps and beyond.

    Second, difficult answer: pros and cons.

    CONS
    In a nutshell:
    1. You lose definitive access to capstone.
    2. You delay casting progression by one level, which feels a very small delay at low levels, but will feel a reeaaallly long time past character level 11-12.

    First point has any interest being considered IF you have a very strong faith into the fact you will actually reach level 20 with this character. Otherwise, you don't care.
    (And if you are that confident, it often means your DM makes party level up faster than in "normal" games, so it makes the second point more bearable).

    Second point is the core potential dealbreaker: if you are hungry with learning and trying your spells, and your DM does not give you some as loot, you may very well regret that dip at some point...

    With that said...

    PROS
    1. You are immediately much better at being a Wizard: while you can definitely build a great Wizard with mainly non-concentration spells, I think nobody argue that 70% of the most powerful/creative/fun/efficient ARE concentration ones.
    Being proficient in Constitution means less concentration breaks, so less resource waste, and more reliance on you by party.

    2. You are immediately much better at being a living Wizard
    Starting dip means immediate +4HP, armor means immediate 18 or 20 AC, as well as sparing at least one 1st level slot (Mage Armor) and most probably more (Shield).

    In summary: once you reached the most commendable char level 14, and see that the last archetype feature is yet out of reach for one more level, you may start angering yourself on the tone of "why did I ever take that **** dip into Fighter?".
    When(ever) that time comes, either then or earlier, I respectuously suggest that you immediately break the pattern to instead ask yourself: "honestly, without that dip, what would have been my chances of surviving and progressing so far?"

    I dare bet that once you got a clear answer to that question, you will accept the delay with a total peace of mind... :)

    ----
    TL;DR: If you want only a lvl-1 dip (analysis would be very different for 3+ multiclass) to increase survivability, dip Fighter as your level 1 to truly get its worth. Honestly there is little chance you will regret it. :) But unless you take part in a very harsh campaign you can probably survive without it too.
    If you prefer starting as a Wizard and grit your teeth, ensure instead you get a 13 in WIS (best) or CHA (second best) to have the option of dipping into Cleric or Sorcerer anytime later.
    Last edited by Citan; 2018-02-05 at 07:30 PM.

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    Greetings Playground,

    The second part of this question I suppose is when would be the best time to take this fighter dip so as to not shoot myself in the foot? I don't think I want to take it in levels 1-5,.
    you should start fighter in order to get the saves, armor and weapons then go wiz

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    When(ever) that time comes, either then or earlier, I respectuously suggest that you immediately break the pattern to instead ask yourself: "honestly, without that dip, what would have been my chances of surviving and progressing so far?"
    This question goes both ways. Every time a combat goes south or a party member goes down, you should ALSO ask yourself: "If I didn't take that level and instead had an extra fireball or polymorph or wall of force or simulacrum of Maze, would this have happened?"

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    and as for tensers it is a 6th level spell good only for 10 minutes uses concentration and gives a level of exhaustion so not worth it there are much better uses for a 6th level spell slot

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathtongue View Post
    This question goes both ways. Every time a combat goes south or a party member goes down, you should ALSO ask yourself: "If I didn't take that level and instead had an extra fireball or polymorph or wall of force or simulacrum of Maze, would this have happened?"
    True, but you could push it and say it goes three-ways:
    "Without my 19-20 AC, how many slots would have used on Shield and Mirror Image instead of Fog Cloud, Blindness, Hold Person or Burning Hands? How many times would have my Bard/Cleric pal needed to use a slot on Healing Words?"
    "Without my extra +3 bonus to concentration saves (so reasonably +5, meaning you need just a 5 on die to keep your concentration most of the time until level 6-7 or bad critical), how often would I have broken concentration early, needing to quickly change tactic or use another slot to re-enable Wall of Force or Polymorph?" (Especially since it goes together with no armor so lower AC so more hits for the same amount of attacks sustained so more concentration saves).

    Seriously. AC 15-16 (best case) on a 1d6 hit die is harsh to deal with. In a large party, it's usually not a problem, enemies have enough targets as it is without worrying about you unless you display serious threat like opening the fight with a BBEG disabling Hold Person / Forcecage (well, this one is not concentration IIRC, is it? ^^).

    In small parties though? Unless you (can) spend some resources and wits into avoiding enemy attention or reducing its chance to hit you, the ROI of having good AC and concentration is more than worth the investment until at least level 7-9 imx. How many people play so far and beyond when not starting with "bootstraped" characters? From the general feedback on this forum, not that many. :)

    Of course if you survive up to that point without a Fighter dip, then congrats! Level 6 and beyond spells open many ways of mitigating even the worst threats... ^^
    Last edited by Citan; 2018-02-05 at 08:09 PM.

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    And apparently this thread was pointless because no one in my party is used to playing D&D so none of them have any healing capability... Good thing I rolled godly stats or this would be a pain, time to crack out a support build, would an admin be so kind as to lock this thread for me?

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    And apparently this thread was pointless because no one in my party is used to playing D&D so none of them have any healing capability... Good thing I rolled godly stats or this would be a pain, time to crack out a support build, would an admin be so kind as to lock this thread for me?
    divine soul / celestial is boss for general purpose support, heals buffs controls solid damage and for even more lulz criminal for the thieves tools

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by danpit2991 View Post
    divine soul / celestial is boss for general purpose support, heals buffs controls solid damage and for even more lulz criminal for the thieves tools
    Oh I know, but I think I'm going to go for a simple cleric this time, we have too many arcane casters in this group, it's time to remind them why CoDZilla was the king back in the day. *evil laughter*

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Just be aware that you aren't really required in 5e to have someone with healing. Healing in combat is kind of inefficient compared to out of combat healing, and hit dice cover out of combat healing rather well.

    If you want to run an abjuration wizard x/fighter 1, you do you

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    PRO: You get to pretend that you're studying magic while you're actually reading the latest romance novel by the wandering sage Volotharp Geddarm.

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by utopus View Post
    Just be aware that you aren't really required in 5e to have someone with healing. Healing in combat is kind of inefficient compared to out of combat healing, and hit dice cover out of combat healing rather well.

    If you want to run an abjuration wizard x/fighter 1, you do you
    People keep saying this, and in my experience having someone capable of casting a healing spell has more often than not been the thing keeping us from getting wiped. Also as stated above I sadly have very low hopes for the competence level of this party and the DM, so I've decided it's probably best to just bite the bullet and be the healbot, since if we don't have one the DM won't know how to scale things back.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Have you considered a starting with a single level of Cleric?

    You may not get CON save proficiency, but there are lots of goodies to be had.

    Access to fist level healing magic that you can upcast for your whole career. (Life Cleric is very potent here.)
    Versatility of using Cleric rituals to supplement your Wizard spells
    Shields and Potential access to Medium or Heavy armor. Some have all martial weapons...
    No loss of Caster level for spell slots.
    All kinds of Domain goodies.

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix_Walker View Post
    Have you considered a starting with a single level of Cleric?

    You may not get CON save proficiency, but there are lots of goodies to be had.

    Access to fist level healing magic that you can upcast for your whole career. (Life Cleric is very potent here.)
    Versatility of using Cleric rituals to supplement your Wizard spells
    Shields and Potential access to Medium or Heavy armor. Some have all martial weapons...
    No loss of Caster level for spell slots.
    All kinds of Domain goodies.
    Beautiful for some mechanical benefits, unfortunately it clashes with the personality of the character in question (who actively mocks the divine)

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    Oh I know, but I think I'm going to go for a simple cleric this time, we have too many arcane casters in this group, it's time to remind them why CoDZilla was the king back in the day. *evil laughter*
    Hey.
    Seriously, what's the problem?
    Unless your DM wants to be uselessly punitive on your group, level 1 should last like one session at most!
    You can still be a Wizard!

    Just take one level of Divine Soul Sorcerer if you want Constitution proficiency OR, what I'd recommend honestly, get a starting level into Life Cleric with a starting 14 in WIS then be a Wizard.

    Unless you had a very specific race in mind, there are several that will help you make this work. The simplest would probably be an Elf or a Gnome.
    Anyways, you should be able to start with 14 DEX, 14 WIS, 14 CON and 16 INT: don't pay attention to weapon cantrips for now.
    Learn utility cantrips from Cleric, Shocking Grasp and Firebolt or Ray of Frost on Wizard.
    Wield a medium armor and shield, you rock a 17 starting AC and you'll push it to 19 soon enough.
    Thanks to the Cleric dip, you have Healing Words which is enough to get you by in a pinch. Especially since as a Wizard you also get the Arcane Recovery .

    Alternatively, if you want to get a feel of Wizardry (as in versatility) and still get healing, go Shepherd Druid. Lots of fun in perspective and you'll rock. :=)

    EDIT: Shoot, my bad, didn't check the last posts.
    Then I guess Life Cleric is out.
    If Druid is fine with you RP-wise, I'd recommend that.

    If you want as "fluff-neutral" as possible a class, then Bard or Sorcerer are your targets. :)
    Last edited by Citan; 2018-02-06 at 08:19 AM.

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    Chimera

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    Default Re: 1-level Fighter Dip on an Abjuration wizard: Pros and Cons

    The pros and cons are pretty straightforward--a one level dip in fighter will not make your character a competent combatant beyond low levels, so you are dedicating a precious level to making a more defensive wizard. How valuable that is depends entirely on how often your wizards are attacked, or how often you have to change your wizard's behavior to keep them from being attacked.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantasyPen View Post
    would an admin be so kind as to lock this thread for me?
    Just so you know, the norms for this board do not include locking of threads because the OP decided they don't need the question answered. The topic is still valid regardless of your need for it.

    To address your current situation, Life Cleric 1/Wizard X-1 is a great support role. Clerics of the Light domain also do a good job of heal+blast, as does Divine Soul Sorcerer as mentioned, or Celestial Warlock, and of course Lore Bard with the right spells (half-healing, half-fireballs, for instance).

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