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    Default Wizard School Specializations

    So I might be playing a human wizard in an upcoming DND 3.5 game. I know I want to specialize in a school, But I'm not sure which. I like the looks of evocations, but there is a reason I'm not a sorceror. Conjuration is a close second, with mage armor and teleporting. Definitely not necro or illusions- not my character type. Any Ideas?

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Conjuration is easily the most powerful school, if you have access to non-core spells (mostly, the Spell Compendium). In core, I'd personally go with Transmutation, for the versatility it brings.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Conjuration is easily the most powerful school, if you have access to non-core spells (mostly, the Spell Compendium). In core, I'd personally go with Transmutation, for the versatility it brings.
    Conjuration has the power at low levels, but as soon as you hit level 8-9 spells Transmutation blows it out of the water.

    At any rate, I'd say pick Conjuration as well. Most games typically don't get high enough to get the really good transmutation spells, so conjuration would be your best bet I think.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Aneantir View Post
    Conjuration has the power at low levels, but as soon as you hit level 8-9 spells Transmutation blows it out of the water.

    At any rate, I'd say pick Conjuration as well. Most games typically don't get high enough to get the really good transmutation spells, so conjuration would be your best bet I think.
    Clearly Transmutation and/or Conjuration is the best bet. There's room to debate which is better, but they're both so good, it's barely relevant.

    However, here's the best plan: play a Transmutation specialist. Ban Enchantment and Evocation. Enjoy your Transmutation/Conjuration spell list.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2008-12-16 at 12:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Conjuration is teh win.
    Trans is good second.
    Don't do evocation. Bad. Bad wizard.
    Illusions can be ok, but usually not worth it >9th level.
    Enchantment is the same way.
    Necromancy can be both effective and fun, but definitly one of the weaker choices.
    Divination is fun simply because you only give up one school.
    Abjuration is mainly a pass. Similiar effects with conjuration and transmutation (as in they protect) That said, try to avoid getting rid of this school.

    Recommend Con/Tran. Recommend giving up Evoc/Ench.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    However, here's the best plan: play a Transmutation specialist. Ban Enchantment and Evocation. Enjoy your Transmutation/Conjuration spell list.
    That's good optimization, but this guy already said he likes Evocations. I'm guessing he cares more about that than optimizing.

    He can ban Illusion/Necromancy and do fine.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Also, you may want to take note of several alternative class functions.

    For instance, you can be a Focused Specialist, which gives you yet more spells per level per day at the cost of barring another school (who said wizards don't have enough to do on a day?)

    You can also trade your familiar for a short shapeshift (if transmuter) or teleportation (if conjurer) once per day per point of int bonus.

    Oh yeah, and you can trade Scribe Scroll for something more useful, like Improved Initiative, or Augment Summoning.

    And I'm sure somebody will point out spontaneous divination, which is very cheesy and liable to be vetoed by your DM (trade one feat for spontaneously casting any and all divination spells).
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Divination, drop Enchantment.
    Last edited by Telonius; 2008-12-16 at 12:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That's good optimization, but this guy already said he likes Evocations. I'm guessing he cares more about that than optimizing.

    He can ban Illusion/Necromancy and do fine.
    ...I wasn't even trying to optimize. Those schools have a goodly number of fun blasty spells (and I LOVE blasting, thank you very much!). Besides, he could ban anything that isn't Conjuration or Transmutation, and love the character. Those two schools are simply too good to pitch, given that they bring all sorts of things to the table that the other schools just can't duplicate (teleportation, summoning, the misc effects that Transmutation has, etc).

    Hell, specialize in Evocation for all I care. Just don't ban Conj/Trans!

    EDIT: clarification on my ban reasoning above: I don't like enchantment, and I forgot he said he liked evocation. You can replace either with necro, illusion, whatever.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2008-12-16 at 12:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Just don't ban Conj/Trans!
    Now, that much I heartily agree with!
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Pffft. I've banned Conjuration with my wizard character and was doing well without it. Ergo, you can ban it if you feel like it.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    Pffft. I've banned Conjuration with my wizard character and was doing well without it. Ergo, you can ban it if you feel like it.
    Out of curiosity, did you never need things like Teleport, or did you have a way to use items/scrolls w/o being able to cast the spell (read: UMD rogues or something)? I've tried banning Conjuration before, and found my options and problem-solving power much reduced (though, if it moved, I could charm/trick/explode it).

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Out of curiosity, did you never need things like Teleport, or did you have a way to use items/scrolls w/o being able to cast the spell (read: UMD rogues or something)? I've tried banning Conjuration before, and found my options and problem-solving power much reduced (though, if it moved, I could charm/trick/explode it).
    Well, I haven't played that wizard for long enough to get acces to Teleport. But if I did, I'm sure I'd have lived without it, teleportation spells are completely broken anyway. Also, of course your problem solving options are going to be reduced without no-save-you're-screwed spells. It's just that it won't kill your character like people claim it would.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-12-16 at 01:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    Well, I haven't played that wizard for long enough to get acces to Teleport. But if I did, I'm sure I'd have lived without it, teleportation spells are completely broken anyway. Also, of course your problem solving options are going to be reduced without no-save-you're-screwed spells. It's just that it won't kill your character like people claim it would.
    I was actually referring to the fact that Conjuration has effects like most of the Wall spells, Minor/Major Creation, Teleport, Dimension Door, Summon spells, real problem solving spells, not just save-or-screwed effects. I also never said it can't be done, just that there's really no reason to hurt yourself by doing it, since Conjuration has lots of fun effects you can't easily get elsewhere. But hey, if you have fun w/o them, what does it matter, right?

    Damn, now I want to play an Illusionist who derides all Conjuration/Transmutation spells as being silly. "Who needs physical effects when you can make pretend ones instead?"

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Conjuration and transmutation are best. I prefer conjuration because it has spells without SR that can hit any save or touch AC. That said, I haven't played at high levels recently.

    Evocation is easily dropped. It doesn't have much beyond damage and you can conjure that anyway.

    Enchantment or illusion can go, but not both. They each affect will saves of sentient creatures. There's no reason to have both around, but they each provide enough utility that I'd hesitate to drop the both of them.

    Necromancy sucks to lose, but you can get by without it. It has a lot of things that help in any situation, but you won't shoot yourself in the foot by ditching it.

    I've even heard of people suggesting ditching abjuration if there are other casters. The cleric can handle dispel magic. I haven't tried this myself.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    I was actually referring to the fact that Conjuration has effects like most of the Wall spells, Minor/Major Creation, Teleport, Dimension Door, Summon spells, real problem solving spells, not just save-or-screwed effects. I also never said it can't be done, just that there's really no reason to hurt yourself by doing it, since Conjuration has lots of fun effects you can't easily get elsewhere. But hey, if you have fun w/o them, what does it matter, right?
    No mechanical reason, you mean. Yes, optimization-wise, there's no point in banning conjuration. But if you want to do it for fluff reasons, because you happen to think most Conjuration spells are outright stupid, overpowered or both, you can happily play without them.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Transmutation or Divination are the good schools to specialize

    Enchantment is the school to restrict
    Evocation is just too fun, even though it's a good school to restrict
    Necromancy can be given up with the presence of a cleric, taking away some of the hurt of losing it

    Illusion is too important for the invisibility IMO

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    No mechanical reason, you mean. Yes, optimization-wise, there's no point in banning conjuration. But if you want to do it for fluff reasons, because you happen to think most Conjuration spells are outright stupid, overpowered or both, you can happily play without them.
    Ah. Fair enough then. I figured we were talking on a mechanical level, but on a flavor one, then yeah, I totally agree (this reminds me of the time I only took Necromancy spells as a Sorcerer, just because his back story demanded it).

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Core only, divination is top. Losing two schools is too harsh for the returns in core, and you'll likely have a divination prepared or that you would like to prepare every level anyway. Outside core, conjuration for abrupt jaunt. With monte cook, necromancy and enchantment become a lot more viable due to the overpowerdness of their class ability options.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Evocation is replaceable simply because it does nothing unique; other schools can replicate everything Evocation does. Abjuration is replaceable because outside Dispel Magic (which every other caster in the party has), it lacks any must-haves. If you're the only caster, you can't ban it though. Necromancy, while an offensive powerhouse (much more so than Evocation to be honest), has a very limited repertoire. And Enchantment is an easy school to ban simply because it grows obsolete later on and has very little in terms of unique spells (the Charm/Dominate-line has its uses though).

    So yea, none of those schools alone costs you much. Losing Illusion costs you all the best defenses, but if you weren't gonna use 'em anyways, go ahead (don't ban it alongside Evocation though - you want to keep Contingency-access). Conjuration would cost you a ton, and Transmutation likewise. So Conjuration-specialization banning Necromancy and Illusion, while not optimal, is decent enough. If you have access to Spell Compendium, an Evocation specialist is a decent option too. Spell Compendium really expands your options - Core is pretty much "Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Ice Storm, Chain Lightning, DB Fireball, Polar Ray, Meteor Swarm" so Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, and the same spell with a dozen of names (each taking up a higher level slot and thus being worse than metamagicked lower level one). The worthwhile Core Evocation is pretty much limited to Wall of Force, Contingency, and Forcecage with its fortune-costing Material.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Thanks guys for all the ideas! I'm leaning to conjurations, barring illusions (potions of invisibility) and either necromancy or enchantment.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    To threadjack a little bit, I'm making a changeling Wizard right now, using the Dual Specialisation racial substitution. Any advice for which 3 () schools to drop?

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Egiam View Post
    Thanks guys for all the ideas! I'm leaning to conjurations, barring illusions (potions of invisibility) and either necromancy or enchantment.
    No other caster to let you bar Abjuration? It really gives you nothing over a Cleric. That said, Enchantment and Illusion are essentially your only source of Will SoL spells, you really can't ban both. I hate saying this, but necro may be your best option. What level? Necro is really good early on, but has nothing worthwhile after you hit 10.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    To threadjack a little bit, I'm making a changeling Wizard right now, using the Dual Specialisation racial substitution. Any advice for which 3 () schools to drop?
    Take Focused Specialist and go whichever class requires dropping a school, then ban 5. Or, just drop Abjuration, Enchantment(or Necro, but Necro is better), and Evocation.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Take Focused Specialist and go whichever class requires dropping a school, then ban 5. Or, just drop Abjuration, Enchantment(or Necro, but Necro is better), and Evocation.
    I'm not too sure what you mean with the first bit - I'm familiar with focused specialist, but I dont get you after that. Are you recommending dropping 5 schools?

    In any case I'm going recaster, so my plan was to load up on the metamagic feats.

    I like the other advice - I might drop necro anyway, because Enchantment suits the character a bit more I think.

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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    I'm not too sure what you mean with the first bit - I'm familiar with focused specialist, but I dont get you after that. Are you recommending dropping 5 schools?

    In any case I'm going recaster, so my plan was to load up on the metamagic feats.

    I like the other advice - I might drop necro anyway, because Enchantment suits the character a bit more I think.
    One of the PrCs out there requires banning a school. Then yes, you can drop 5, and have fewer spells than a sorcerer(though more slots). It was a (minor) joke.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    One of the PrCs out there requires banning a school. Then yes, you can drop 5, and have fewer spells than a sorcerer(though more slots). It was a (minor) joke.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by Project_Mayhem View Post
    In any case I'm going recaster, so my plan was to load up on the metamagic feats.

    I like the other advice - I might drop necro anyway, because Enchantment suits the character a bit more I think.
    If you are planning on going Recaster with MM feats, do drop Enchantment instead of Necromancy. Necro benefits WAY more from MM, like Split Ray and Empower Spell a LOT more than Enchantment does. The only MMs you can really put on Enchantments are Extend Spell and Twin Spell, which aren't that good offensively. Split Ray works on a lot of Necro rays like Ray of Enfeeblement, Exhaustion, and Enervation (the 3 Es!). Empower is good on Enfeeble and Enervation as well. There are probably a few others, but these are some of the best debuffs in the game. Split Ray of Exhaustion is a no-save no-sr debuff if you hit the same target with both rays. Even if they make both saves, they are Fatigued twice, which stack to produce Exhausted, which is like Slow +1. Its that good. Empowered Ray of Enfeeblement hits hard. (1d6+5)x1.5 is almost 13 points of str average, with a spike of 16 str penalty. Split it and you can nerf 2 brutes at once. And RoEnfeeblement is NOT negative energy or ability damage/drain, so it works on just about EVERYTHING, including corporial undead. If you can nerf something's str to less than 13, it can't Power Attack anymore, which is pretty awesome for keeping your melee friends from getting damaged.

    Yea, Necro > Enchantment, regardless of MM, but MM makes Necro WAY better.
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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    I'd go with Conjuration or Transmutation, but unlike most people I wouldn't ban Evocation. Unless you like undead or are going to be playing until really high levels, banning Necromancy is feasible. Necromancy only gives ray of enfeeblement at low levels. Unless you really want avasculate, I think you'd be fine without it.

    I think Enchantment is also dispensable. Conjuration offers enough control that isn't limited to one target. (Web, solid fog, etc)


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    Default Re: Wizard School Specializations

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I'd go with Conjuration or Transmutation, but unlike most people I wouldn't ban Evocation. Unless you like undead or are going to be playing until really high levels, banning Necromancy is feasible. Necromancy only gives ray of enfeeblement at low levels. Unless you really want avasculate, I think you'd be fine without it.
    Conjuration gives you the Orbs, which are better for damage than many Evocations, and Illusion gives you Shadow Evocation for Contingency. Necromancy gives you the Rays of Enfeeblement, Exhaustion, Clumsiness, the infamous Enervation, Blindness, Spectral Hand, Bestow Curse, the Symbols, the Undead lines, and Avasculate. Drop it if you have to, but drop Evocation first. And while Enchantment is droppable, it can't be dropped if you drop Illusion. They both have the majority of the Will-targeting spells.
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