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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Wow, three racial spells? Neat. Although Arcane Lock costs 25 gp to cast, which is less neat.
    Not for a Warding Dwarf, it doesn't. They do it free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warding Dwarf
    Wards and Seals.

    You can cast the alarm and mage armor spells with this trait. Starting at 3rd level, you can also cast the arcane lock spell with it. Once you cast any of these spells with this trait, you can't cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells, and you don't need material components for them when you cast them with this trait.
    That reminds me, I've recently come to have a greater respect for Arcane Lock, thanks to a clever Warding Dwarf player in my Sunday game. According to him, Arcane Lock is secretly a special kind of low level Wall spell that allows your allies to walk/fire through it, but not your enemies. It just requires him to only target certain dungeon squares with it.

    Surprisingly effective, if situational. The fact that you can open the door, fire through, and close it again and it re-locks is just something I had entirely overlooked until he started playing a Warding Dwarf.

    Like, it's situational enough that I probably still wouldn't prepare it or spend 25gp on it, but that matters a lot less when you're getting it for free, just have it laying around, and occasionally run into a situation where you notice you can squish an encounter with barely any Loss Ratios with it. Not bad at all for something I had previously only thought of as mostly being a ribbon that recharged Ward.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-09-22 at 05:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    There are a lot of stereotypes in D&D that hold people back in terms of character building, like 'clerics are just healbots.'
    Man, that really sums up my irritation with a lot of D&D groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    That reminds me, I've recently come to have a greater respect for Arcane Lock, thanks to a clever Warding Dwarf player in my Sunday game. According to him, Arcane Lock is secretly a special kind of low level Wall spell that allows your allies to walk/fire through it, but not your enemies. It just requires him to only target certain dungeon squares with it.

    Surprisingly effective, if situational. The fact that you can open the door, fire through, and close it again and it re-locks is just something I had entirely overlooked until he started playing a Warding Dwarf.

    Like, it's situational enough that I probably still wouldn't prepare it or spend 25gp on it, but that matters a lot less when you're getting it for free, just have it laying around, and occasionally run into a situation where you notice you can squish an encounter with barely any Loss Ratios with it. Not bad at all for something I had previously only thought of as mostly being a ribbon that recharged Ward.

    Not only that but I've been playing DotMM and we're in a level where there's sort of a central hub of enemies. We've been skirting around it and picking guys off, and in a lot of cases we're sealing off doors so that they can't rush up behind us as we're in an encounter with another group. We've been doing it with Marvelous Pigments, but Arcane Lock would be just as effective and less reliant on our luck of having obtained those pigments. There are many dungeon-crawling scenarios were a door is a risk, and being able to remove it from play acts as insurance while you deal with what's in front of you (or what's around the corner, as the case may be).
    Last edited by Evaar; 2020-09-22 at 06:04 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    That reminds me, I've recently come to have a greater respect for Arcane Lock, thanks to a clever Warding Dwarf player in my Sunday game. According to him, Arcane Lock is secretly a special kind of low level Wall spell that allows your allies to walk/fire through it, but not your enemies. It just requires him to only target certain dungeon squares with it.

    Surprisingly effective, if situational. The fact that you can open the door, fire through, and close it again and it re-locks is just something I had entirely overlooked until he started playing a Warding Dwarf.

    Like, it's situational enough that I probably still wouldn't prepare it or spend 25gp on it, but that matters a lot less when you're getting it for free, just have it laying around, and occasionally run into a situation where you notice you can squish an encounter with barely any Loss Ratios with it. Not bad at all for something I had previously only thought of as mostly being a ribbon that recharged Ward.
    In 1e I would call Hold Portal, 'Portable Portcullis' ...and Arcane Lock is much better than Hold Portal.

    The racial spells recharge 8 Arcane Ward Hit Points, at 7th Character level (6Wiz/ 1 cleric), the Arcane Ward has a maximum value of 12 + INT modifier.

    Assuming the character expends every spell slot they have plus Arcane Recovery on Abjuration spells, this amounts to 50 Arcane Ward Hit Points.
    This is enough to replenish a 16 Hit Point Maximum Arcane Ward roughly 2 1/2 times.

    Unless the Wizard is getting help from being able to liberally cast Alarm as a Ritual Spell, achieving this amount of damage reduction requires every single spell slot they have.

    A 7th level Mark of Making Artillerist Artificer, with 20 INT, is adding an average of 10 Temp HP to most likely at least 2 PCs a round.

    Barring the Eldritch Canon getting blowed up, it typical costs the Artificer no spell slot resources for this.

    I just don't think the Wizard can keep up, in terms of the numbers with the Artillerist.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    If you're writing a "guide" about wizards, for instance, there are no set rules for how the DM is going to handle illusions, or what happens when you Reduce a creature, stuff it in a too-small hole, and then cease concentrating on Reduce. The DM is going to have to rule on what happens, but not every DM will rule the same way. Isn't the guide incomplete if it doesn't discuss the possibilities and give suggestions on how to take advantage of any particular ruling?
    But those are not houserules (like creating new cold weather problems for heavy armor users). Yes, it's a good thing to discuss some known problems with different DM rulings when you are discussing builds. If you are going to talk about Shield Master, and whether the feat is worth taking for a build, for instance, you should make a note of the many different rulings that are known to exist.

    This are really not hard and fast rules for guide writing, there are value judgements involved. I fully admit that, though I've read pretty much every guide published here, I have never written one. What is "a well known and relevant ruling issue"? Only the guide writer will decide that (and, after getting input from others, will either review that decision or not).

    On the other hand, having read a LOT of guides, I've never seen one mention "well, before making a character that will depend on Heavy Armor, check if your DM has special rules about them in very cold weather."

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    There are a lot of stereotypes in D&D that hold people back in terms of character building, like 'clerics are just healbots.'

    'Wizards are squishy' is one of these. Like, you'll never hear people say "hey, GWM Champion, you should never even consider being on the front line!"

    But the thing is, it's not actually difficult to get a Wizard up to at least the durability of said GWM Champion, and you don't need to be an Abjurer, let alone a Forge Abjurer, to do it. Just 'grab armor+shield somehow, and occasionally cast a defensive spell' is sufficient all on its own.
    With the very Mark of Warding artificer/abjurer I suggested, I had that experience of the Paladin telling me to "stay back", and then be surprised when I was the last man standing in some very deadly combats :)
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2020-09-22 at 06:46 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Small question on a specific variant of the Mark of Warding dwarf Forge Cleric/Abjurer; assuming an environment where +X magic items are common and expected, would Life Cleric be more flexible?

    Never mind, just reread the first post. :P
    Last edited by Alpharn_999; 2020-09-23 at 08:47 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpharn_999 View Post
    Small question on a specific variant of the Mark of Warding dwarf Forge Cleric/Abjurer; assuming an environment where +X magic items are common and expected, would Life Cleric be more flexible?

    Never mind, just reread the first post. :P
    Rereading the first post at your prompting, I noticed an interesting example about "addressing usual ways DMs deal with things"

    When talking about the Artificer dip, Ludic Savant mentions the "holding a tool in your hands to cast a spell Artificer problem", and how that might downgrade the artificer dip if your DM is a stickler for those rules. It's a good point, and should be mentioned (as those are the actual rules in the books), but I have yet to meet a DM (including myself the few times I've DMed) that enforces those rules strictly. Not letting you cast a V spell in a zone of silence, yes, pretty much every DM will do it; caring about what you are holding where in the middle of an exciting combat when no special restrictions apply, less so. It just slows combat down for a relatively small gain, specially if you have to stop and reference each spell before you cast it.
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2020-09-23 at 11:07 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    Rereading the first post at your prompting, I noticed an interesting example about "addressing usual ways DMs deal with things"

    When talking about the Artificer dip, Ludic Savant mentions the "holding a tool in your hands to cast a spell Artificer problem", and how that might downgrade the artificer dip if your DM is a stickler for those rules. It's a good point, and should be mentioned (as those are the actual rules in the books), but I have yet to meet a DM (including myself the few times I've DMed) that enforces those rules strictly. Not letting you cast a V spell in a zone of silence, yes, pretty much every DM will do it; caring about what you are holding where in the middle of an exciting combat when no special restrictions apply, less so. It just slows combat down for a relatively small gain, specially if you have to stop and reference each spell before you cast it.
    I donít think thereís a perfect way to handle such situations.

    I do think that such a practice shouldnít just go 1 way. For example saying the artificer dip by raw is weaker but most groups ignore that raw is essentially the same as saying by raw this is stronger but most groups ignore that raw and such is actually weaker.

    I personally would rather read guides taking into account how the author believes DMs usually rule than a guide written with a strict adherence to RAW.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    Rereading the first post at your prompting, I noticed an interesting example about "addressing usual ways DMs deal with things"

    When talking about the Artificer dip, Ludic Savant mentions the "holding a tool in your hands to cast a spell Artificer problem", and how that might downgrade the artificer dip if your DM is a stickler for those rules. It's a good point, and should be mentioned (as those are the actual rules in the books), but I have yet to meet a DM (including myself the few times I've DMed) that enforces those rules strictly. Not letting you cast a V spell in a zone of silence, yes, pretty much every DM will do it; caring about what you are holding where in the middle of an exciting combat when no special restrictions apply, less so. It just slows combat down for a relatively small gain, specially if you have to stop and reference each spell before you cast it.
    Yeah.

    Components are a dicey topic. Perhaps the most unloved component rule is the bizarre "S+M is easier to cast than just S" rule.

    It's basically the perfect storm of problems. It's unintuitive. It's complicated. And perhaps most of all, it's almost impossible to actually enforce at the table without dramatically slowing the game down, because there's no real pattern to which hundreds of spells are SM and which are just S and you, the overworked DM, are gonna have to check every time anyone casts a spell.

    On a related note, some folks will be surprised to hear that I actually don't post the most powerful RAW or RAI tricks I know about. For example I generally won't talk about simulacrum loops or superman demiplanes or extreme body-swapping shenanigans or anything else that I think would have made the cut for the old "Campaign Smasher" list on the WotC CharOp boards (back before WotC nuked their own forums in the unholy name of Gleemax).

    Trouble is, some people's standards for 'broken cheese' are way, way lower than that. Like some folks will even cry cheese at just using GWM to do basic GWM things

    Oddly, the lower their standards for 'cheese' are, the more vocal and angry they seem to get when claiming that 'nobody would allow X.' Even if we know full well that plenty of people allow X and have played in plenty of different groups that allow X and even the designers of the game say they run it as X.

    Most claims of 'nobody would allow X' I've seen seem to be based on a small sample size and not really pan out when we go and check. Great example of that can be found in the Create Bonfire thread going on right now, where when people actually got polled lots of people were fine with the RAW way, or liked it better than the suggested alternative that is how a poster claimed supposedly 'everyone' would run it.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-09-23 at 01:48 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Yeah.

    Components are a dicey topic. Perhaps the most unloved component rule is the bizarre "S+M is easier to cast than just S" rule.

    It's basically the perfect storm of problems. It's unintuitive. It's complicated.
    It's also dubious from a RAW standpoint (as opposed to a Sage Advice standpoint, which unambiguously backs the bizarre interpretation with an explicit example).

    Sage Advice says this:

    Another example: a clericís holy symbol is emblazoned on her shield. She likes to wade into melee combat with a mace in one hand and a shield in the other. She uses the holy symbol as her spellcasting focus, so she needs to have the shield in hand when she casts a cleric spell that has a material component. If the spell, such as aid, also has a somatic component, she can perform that component with the shield hand and keep holding the mace in the other.

    If the same cleric casts cure wounds, she needs to put the mace or the shield away, because that spell doesnít have a material component but does have a somatic component. Sheís going to need a free hand to make the spellís gestures. If she had the War Caster feat, she could ignore this restriction.


    However, from a RAW standpoint, the relevant rule is this: A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

    That rule doesn't look to me like it's giving you permission to cast spells without a free hand just because you have a holy symbol on your shield. All the actual rule is saying is that if you put your mace away in order to have a free hand for Aid's somatic components, you do not also need a second free hand to perform the material components. One free hand is enough.

    But a cleric with a mace and shield in hand has no free hands, so cannot cast Aid or Cure Wounds.

    Ergo, Sage Advice is wrong and this whole problem was created by Jeremy Crawford and Sage Advice, not by RAW.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    It's also dubious from a RAW standpoint (as opposed to a Sage Advice standpoint, which unambiguously backs the bizarre interpretation with an explicit example).

    Sage Advice says this:

    Another example: a clericís holy symbol is emblazoned on her shield. She likes to wade into melee combat with a mace in one hand and a shield in the other. She uses the holy symbol as her spellcasting focus, so she needs to have the shield in hand when she casts a cleric spell that has a material component. If the spell, such as aid, also has a somatic component, she can perform that component with the shield hand and keep holding the mace in the other.

    If the same cleric casts cure wounds, she needs to put the mace or the shield away, because that spell doesnít have a material component but does have a somatic component. Sheís going to need a free hand to make the spellís gestures. If she had the War Caster feat, she could ignore this restriction.


    However, from a RAW standpoint, the relevant rule is this: A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

    That rule doesn't look to me like it's giving you permission to cast spells without a free hand just because you have a holy symbol on your shield. All the actual rule is saying is that if you put your mace away in order to have a free hand for Aid's somatic components, you do not also need a second free hand to perform the material components. One free hand is enough.

    But a cleric with a mace and shield in hand has no free hands, so cannot cast Aid or Cure Wounds.

    Ergo, Sage Advice is wrong and this whole problem was created by Jeremy Crawford and Sage Advice, not by RAW.
    I think this is all the fault of the warcaster feat, for adding an ability that should be already a given. The other two bullet points of the feat are good enough to make it a good feat, and the existence of this third bullet point encourages some DMs to make it a Feat tax for some builds.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    I think this is all the fault of the warcaster feat, for adding an ability that should be already a given. The other two bullet points of the feat are good enough to make it a good feat, and the existence of this third bullet point encourages some DMs to make it a Feat tax for some builds.
    What makes you say that the ability to cast with your hands full should be a given?

    I can see an argument that it should be a class ability of e.g. Eldritch Knights and Paladins (although I'm glad it isn't--Paladins already have special spells with Verbal-only components that they can cast with their hands full), but why should it be a given for everyone?
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpharn_999 View Post
    Small question on a specific variant of the Mark of Warding dwarf Forge Cleric/Abjurer; assuming an environment where +X magic items are common and expected, would Life Cleric be more flexible?

    Never mind, just reread the first post. :P
    Yeah, if +X magic items are common, don't take Forge Domain. Take one of the other Green or Blue options in the first post.

    Speaking of Life Cleric Wizards though, they're great. Here's a build for one.

    Alright, Healing Wizard! Not only can Wizards be a healer, but they can be a damned good one. We're not talking a cut rate off-healer like a Thief Rogue that took the Healer feat, oh no, we're talking about a character who can outheal most Clerics and still have time left over to throw Fireballs and Webs and Walls of Force and what-have-you. A full blown main party healer that can throw down 4 digits of healing a day, burst heal in combat, cure status effects, mitigate like a king, repeatedly yo-yo not just the party but themselves, the works. Heck, they even get infinite non-combat healing at tier 4, because why not, you're a Wizard.

    The Jorasco Physician


    Halfling (Mark of Healing) Life Cleric 1 / Transmuter Wizard 19
    Stats: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 10
    ASIs: Int 16 @5, Int 18 @9, Int 20 @13, Resilient and 16 Con @17, Alert @20
    Cantrips (Wizard): Toll the Dead, Ray of Frost, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Shape Water
    Cantrips (Cleric): Guidance, Light, Mending
    Tool Proficiencies: One of them should be Herbalism.

    Alright so, as is often the case for prepared caster builds, you have a lot of tricks up your sleeve... so many in fact that I can't properly list them all in a reasonable-length post. As such I'm mostly going to be focusing on what's unique about this build, though you should remember that this is still very much a controller Wizard, too. You can do this and all the usual god wizard things.

    Hereís a list of some of your noteworthy healing/mitigation tools:

    1) You are exceptionally excellent at using potions. Not only can you make them with Herbalism (which you happen to have an inordinately large bonus to without even really trying because of Int+Prof+Guidance+Medical Intuition+Halfling Luck), but unlike most characters you can use multiple ones per round, without even using up your Action. Heck, you can even yo-yo yourself.

    First, thereís your Familiar, who can deliver potions without using their Action, swiftly flying to wherever they need to be and administering the potion to an ally (per the DMG rules for doing so).

    Second, thereís Unseen Servant, a ritual you can keep up more or less indefinitely due to its hour duration / no Concentration requirement. They can hand out potions too, using your bonus actions. Especially good at lower levels before you start getting really good bonus actions.

    Those are the most noteworthy two, but summoned creatures and animated dead (if youíre into that sort of thing) can do it too. And when you get a Simulacrum, their Familiar and/or Unseen Servant can do it too.

    Yes, this costs a little money, but itís well worth it (particularly with the XGtE Herbalism rules) and can really get you out of a pinch with some surprisingly high burst healing, *or* yo-yoing multiple people *or* just keeping people healthy while simultaneously doing normal Wizard things. Even if you're impoverished and can only use this occasionally, having a few potions in your back pocket that you can use without a PC's action is a great safety net.

    As early as level 2, for example, you can cast your racial Cure Wounds with your Action, Unseen Seer potion with your bonus action, and Familiar potion with the familiarís action, all in the same turn, for a grand total of 4d4+1d8+9 (23.5) healing that you have the option of splitting between 3 targets. Thatís basically a 100% burst heal for 1-2 characters, and it didnít even cost you a single spell slot!

    Remember, you can do this potion stuff with any Wizard. Use it. Itís great.

    2) Conventional Healing Staples + Disciple of Life.
    The Mark of Healing expands your spell list, allowing you to get all of the following as Wizard spells:

    1st cure wounds, healing word
    2nd lesser restoration, prayer of healing
    3rd aura of vitality, mass healing word
    4th aura of purity, aura of life
    5th greater restoration

    So, you get Healing Word, Cure Wounds, Lesser Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mass Healing Word, and Prayer of HealingÖ pretty much all the Cleric standbysÖ except you can stack them with the Wizardís superior resource and action economy advantages, and of course Disciple of Life.

    It also gives you...

    3) Aura of Vitality + Disciple of Life. This is what the Life Cleric / Lore Bards kept spending their Magical Secrets on, and now youíre getting it on a full Wizard chassis!

    Even if you just use it out of combat, this is 120 hit points spread around as you please (e.g. avoiding waste from overhealing) for a 3rd level slot. Thatís incredibly efficient.

    In combat, itís using your bonus action for 2d6+5 (12) healing per round, which of course comes on top of whatever your other actions are doing. Thatís a lot of healing to have every round as a bonus action. Remember, healing never misses; this can really cut into Team Monsterís DPR if your team isn't all that easy to hit. It's not too unusual for it to be enough to counter all damage from a fight, to all party members, and maybe even have healing left over to get rid of damage incurred in previous fights, at least if your party isn't just dumping AC and being completely reckless. It's basically the next best thing to pre-nerf Healing Spirit.

    4) Arcane Recovery and other resources. Simply put, you have more spell slots than a Cleric, which means more healing, control, mitigation, etc.

    Actually, you have a lot of things that stretch your healing resources longer. Contingency, Action-free potions, Panacea, a free Cure Wounds and Lesser Restoration from your race, Simulacrum, and eventuallyÖ

    5) Infinite Healing. With Spell Mastery, you can pick up Healing Word for 1d4+8 (10.5), as a bonus action, at will.

    That means infinite, slot-free healing out of combat. And all of the resources that would otherwise have gone to non-combat healing being redirected elsewhere.

    It also means getting non-Concentration healing almost as high as DoL Aura of Vitality whenever youíre not spending your Action on leveled spells (for example, when slinging cantrips).

    It also means that your Simulacrum does it too. So for example just doing that and Toll the Dead is 8d12 damage and 2d4+16 healing per round.

    6) Racial Spells: You basically get a free 1st level and 2nd level spell slot from your race, which extends your resource efficiency a bit further.

    The first is Cure Wounds, which is usually a poor use of a spell prepared but great for a freebie. To put it into perspective, itís worth 9.5 hit points (or 19 when your Simulacrum gets it). Compare that to the Hill Dwarf getting 1 hit point / level and suddenly it sounds like a pretty good deal.

    The second is Lesser Restoration, which is a lovely Ďseat beltí spell, by which I mean you wonít always want it but when you do, you really do. Itís always nice to have someone in the party with this prepared.

    7) Simulacrum. The biggest power spike spell in the game; this allows you to spend money for actions and spell slots at a rate that is a complete steal. Anything you do can now be doubled in a pinch (and your resourceless stuff can be doubled all the time). Even comes with its own Familiar. And can have different spells prepared from you.

    8) Life Transference + DoL: A healing spell all Wizards get. 8d8+5 (41) is a big burst heal for a level 3 slot, which of course can stack with your bonus action or minion action heals for numbers comparable to the 6th level Heal spell, but split between multiple characters if you feel like it.

    You basically can take someone from 0-full this way, though you take 4d8 yourself when you do so. Of course, your third level slots have a lot of really great options, so this has stiff competition and might not see much use, despite being a solid option.

    9) Soul Cage + DoL: This spell lets you heal 2d8+8 hit points as a bonus action, 6 times a day (total 102 hp), no Concentration required. It also can be used for a variety of great information gathering effects, and an alright ability to influence d20 rolls (only alright because it requires a bonus action beforehand). The default fluff is Evil, but itís really easy to refluff it as something that isnít (I did so for my Wizard that was an acolyte of Wee Jas, who in my version is basically the psychopomp of the pantheon).

    10) Contingency It lets you cast a 5th level spell, without an action, and with a spell slot you spent *last week* instead of on dungeoneering day.

    Stacks with all your other action economy and resource shenanigans. Heck, even a Contingent Cure Wounds can pop you up to (average) 36 hit points automatically when you get reduced to zero.

    11) Restore Life. If this has a tradeoff compared to other healer builds, itís that you donít get a way to revive dead PCs until level 15. Still, you do have one. And before that, you at least can get Gentle Repose so that you can cart a teammateís body back to town for Revivify (it shouldnít be that hard to find a 5th level spellcaster).

    12) Panacea. Once or twice a day (because your Simulacrum makes transmuterís stones too), you can fully heal any characterís HP, and remove all curses, diseases, and poisons affecting a creature.

    This is like having the 9th level Power Word Heal, twice, without using your spell slots. Except itís not even a spell, so you can totally cast a bonus action spell on the same turn! Yeah, it uses up your transmuterís stone for the day, but itís well worth it for what is essentially extra level 9 spells.

    13) Transmuterís Stone. Improve kiting, Con saves, or get Resistance to the damage type of whatever youíre fighting. You donít even have to pick just one, you get to switch each time you cast a spell, so you can adapt to the situation. And when you eventually get a Simulacrum, they get to make one too.

    14) Way better reactions. Clerics donít get any reaction spells at all, Druids only get Absorb Elements, and Bards need to spend Magical Secrets to get theirs. You get all the best reaction spells, including Shield, Counterspell, Absorb Elements, and Feather Fall, all of which are great damage mitigators

    15) You are not a squishy, d6 HD be damned. The idea that Wizards have to be squishy is even more wrong than the idea that Wizards canít heal. The difference between a d6 and d10 HD is just 40 hit points by level 20 (or 38 in the case of this build, since you start with a Cleric level). Thatís worth less than the effective hit point value of a single low-mid level spell slot for you.

    Meanwhile, youíve got armor, shield, and all the defensive spells that make everyone say an Eldritch Knight is the tankiest Fighter, except with way more spell slots. And access to higher level defensive spells. And healing that vastly outstrips Second Wind and can just repeatedly burst yourself to full.

    Now Iím not setting out to build a primary tank build here, but you can totally switch hit for the frontliner to relieve some pressure and spread damage around the party (which makes AoE healing more efficient). Or just position more aggressively, without worrying about needing to spend actions or slots escaping if enemies manage to engage on you.

    Also, your defenses help your Concentration (you don't make a save if the enemy misses. Also, Absorb Elements can lower Concentration DCs) and spell slots (you don't need to cast Mage Armor, and you'll need Shield less often if they miss your base AC more).

    16) Making it safe to rest. This is another thing that Wizards already do -- using things like Leomundís Tiny Hut or Rope Trick or Alarm to make it easier for the party to rest, and thus heal up and replenish resources. Thatís healing too.

    17) All the crazy @#$% that control Wizards normally do to make Team Monsterís rate of damage slow to a crawl, whether that's polymorphing people into 158 hp Giant Apes, trapping foes in Walls of Force, making strategic use of vision blockers, whatever. And the slower damage comes in, the more effective healing is, pound for pound.

    So yeah, like I said, not only are Wizards able to fill the healer role, they do so quite well, with efficient action economy, burst, and sustained healing, and tons of control and mitigation.




    Additional Notes

    We come online immediately, and only get stronger as we progress. At level 2 we're already a strong healer due to our slot efficiency (Arcane Recovery + Racial Cure Wounds slot + No need for Mage Armor and less frequent need for Shield + potion use + Disciple of Life) and action economy (potentially able to heal with our action, bonus action, and familiar's action. All in the same turn if we like).

    At level 20 we have literally infinite noncombat healing, massive burst heals (including 2x 'Power Word Heal'-level effects per day that don't even eat our spell slots), efficient in-combat healing options, multiple sources of self-yo-yo healing, and the ability to cure pretty much any status. In addition to, you know, being level 20 Wizards and all the nice things that come with that.

    And we have a smooth progression between point A and point B.

    Wondering what to do with Minor Alchemy? Here's some fun ideas:
    - Carve durable substances with a precision and speed that would be impossible for even a master smith by turning them into a more easily workable substance, and working that before the duration expires. Consider taking up a tool proficiency to go with this, and you can create very fine metallic or precious stone goods in a tiny fraction of the time, without even having access to a forge. You can whittle a chunk of metal into whatever tool you want on demand. As well as smuggling weapons into places that don't want you to have weapons.
    - Get through locks or chains, more quietly than Knock, and even if the prison guards took away your spell components.
    - Scam people by temporarily turning less valuable materials into far more valuable ones. Can combine with the carving above to make fake priceless art objects. I don't recommend just outright selling these (since in a magical world rich merchants are likely to know this is possible and institute an hour wait or some such countermeasure), but instead combining it with traditional con artist techniques. Someone's about to miss the opportunity of a lifetime!
    - Transmute a very heavy material into a very light one, throw it or launch it from something (maybe even the Catapult spell), then end Concentration mid-flight. How effective this is is a DM judgment, but in real life the forces involved could get extremely large, enough to smash reinforced walls and such.
    - Silver your weapons if you're going to be fighting something vulnerable to that.
    - Collapse structures by turning the base of load bearing pillars / support structures into a material that can't support the weight.

    We are pretty good at ability checks all around, thanks to Halfling Luck + a well-rounded statline + Guidance, not to mention bonuses to Herbalism and Medicine from Mark of Healing. Remember that Guidance is a bigger bonus than Expertise in tier 1. You can further toss in the Skill Empowerment spell later, for more skillmonkeying. Your familiar really helps out too. Among other things, they're a scout with Darkvision and a fairly hefty 18 passive perception (with Keen Senses). And of course the Wizard is just oozing amazing utility spells.

    We are extra good at Herbalism and Medicine without particularly trying to be, because of our race. For example for Herbalism we get a whopping Int + Prof + Halfling Luck + Guidance + Mark bonus (so, +11+2d4+Rerolling 1s). This means we should familiarize ourselves with the uses of these skills, since we're basically always gonna ace checks with them. In the case of Herbalism, you can find various ideas for ways to use it in XGtE, the most notable of which is of course crafting 25gp healing potions. In the case of Medicine, this skill is oft maligned because people rightly point out that the ability to stabilize people is basically worthless since Healing Kits do that without a check. However, skills needn't be limited to on-the-book uses; I suggest seeing if you can use it for forensics ("how long has this man been dead? What killed him?) and as an additional knowledge skill ("This kind of monster inflicts these kinds of poisonous wounds, nasty things, I had to learn how to treat them").

    Use your rituals. Try to always have at least one going. Remember, you can still move around and such while casting rituals.

    As for saving throws, we don't really have a clear "weak link" save to target, thanks to Halfling Luck + a well-rounded statline + proficiency in Wis, Cha, and Con saves and Int as a primary main stat. And of course stuff that mitigates the impact on failing saves, like vision blockers (many effects require enemies to see you), elemental Resistance effects, Counterspell, status cures, Contingency, etc.

    We get 5 extra spells prepared and 3 extra cantrips from our Cleric dip. You get Cure Wounds and Bless prepared from your Domain, then 3 more. Good options to prep from the Cleric list are Protection from Evil and Good, Healing Word, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, and (at least until your Int outscales your Wis at 5), Command.

    For cantrips, we obviously are going to take Guidance and spam it at every opportunity for bonuses to skills and initiative checks. And then we can grab two utility cantrips that donít care about your Wisdom, like Light and Mending.

    For Wizard cantrips, I recommend Toll the Dead, maybe another attack cantrip like Ray of Frost or Create Bonfire (if you've got a grappler/Repelling Blaster/Booming Blader or the like with you), and your choice of utility cantrips. I picked Prestidigitation, Minor Illusion, and Shape Water, because I like them both mechanically and thematically (because theyíd all be really useful for a doctor). I donít care which of these you take first, as long as one of them is Toll the Dead.

    One of the downsides of the Mark of Healing halfling is that it doesn't have an Int bonus, but that's okay; this is one of the rare cases where I'd say it's still worth it. Early on, keep an eye out for spells that are just as good with a little less Int. For example, Magic Missile doesn't need to roll attack or make someone fail a save, and is one of the best single target damage spells in a level 1 and level 2 slot (it outdamages Scorching Ray on average unless an enemy's AC is very low, or you're getting Advantage on all the attacks). But don't be too picky about this; it's just a +1, you can still take whatever spells you want.

    Aura of Vitality doesn't need you to see, so Concentration-free vision blockers like Pyrotechnics are even better than usual. This also synergizes with Alert.




    Variants
    • You can turn any Wizard subclass into a healing build using the technique shown here, not just Transmuter. I only picked them because they're further specialized in that regard and they don't get a lot of screentime on these forums.
    • The core of this build -- being a Wizard healer -- can actually work with any subclass! I just used Transmuter because it's rarely played and gives us a way to raise the dead, plus some extra healing abilities. But seriously, want to do this as an Evoker, Abjurer, Necromancer, Diviner, or War Wizard? You absolutely can. In fact, Evocation or Abjuration will save you money on picking up the Mark of Healing spells. Conjuration can make your Concentration unbreakable, and then you can just kindaÖ face-tank things. Necromancer can make every single Animated minion carry a potion. There's fun stuff to do.
    • Instead of starting with 15 Con and 14 Int, you could take 15 Int and an Int-based half-feat like Keen Mind at 5.
    • Instead of starting with 15 Con, you could start with 14 and make your statline even more well rounded. You could also switch out Res(Con) for whatever you want, too (after all, you can still get the proficiency from your Transmuter's Stone, Res:Con just frees you up to give it to someone else).
    • If you roll for stats, you might have more space for ASIs. In that case, some options are Lucky, War Caster, and plain old +2 Con ASIs (which I prefer over Tough).
    • As always, the power creep that is Ravnica Backgrounds exists. Selesnya is a pretty good pick for Warding Bond and Plant Growth. Dimir and Orzhov add good spells, too.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-09-23 at 03:28 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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    Nerull | Wee Jas | Olidammara | Erythnul | Hextor | Corellon Larethian | Lolth | The Deep Ones

  13. - Top - End - #193
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Nov 2013

    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    What makes you say that the ability to cast with your hands full should be a given?

    I can see an argument that it should be a class ability of e.g. Eldritch Knights and Paladins (although I'm glad it isn't--Paladins already have special spells with Verbal-only components that they can cast with their hands full), but why should it be a given for everyone?
    This is really a personal preferrence for me, not anything more. But I prefer, for the sake of simplicity, either a fully restrictive system (like old AD&D, you as a wizard can't cast spells in armor, period, I don't care if you're a multiclassed fighter/mage), or a fully permissible system (if you know how to cast spells, and you know how to wear armor and/or wield shields, you know how to do both at the same time)

    Spell components rules, to me, should be about special situations, like a zone of silence, a tied-up caster, trying to cast spells unnoticed, etc. Or, for expensive material components, fencing off some specially powerful spells. Not about juggling weapons in combat, that's silly, and slows down combat (or worse, having to have a feat to dispense with weapon juggling in combat)


    Incidentally, I think you are reversing causality with the Paladin. They have so many V only spells because of this weird (to me) rule.
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2020-09-23 at 04:04 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: On Multiclassing for Wizards (Mini-Guide)

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    This is really a personal preferrence for me, not anything more. But I prefer, for the sake of simplicity, either a fully restrictive system (like old AD&D, you as a wizard can't cast spells in armor, period, I don't care if you're a multiclassed fighter/mage), or a fully permissible system (if you know how to cast spells, and you know how to wear armor and/or wield shields, you know how to do both at the same time).
    I tend to agree. I would be fine if they wanted to fold it in to certain classes or open it up entirely. I'm not a fan of edge cases where an interaction shuffle can bypass the "restriction.". Either make it genuinely hard to get around or handwave it.

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