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Specialist Wizard Variants Edit
Because magic plays such an important role in the game, the wizard class offers great opportunities for change when designing a campaign or a character. The following variants present different versions of the standard specialist wizards. Each variant specialist class gives up one of the standard specialists class abilities in exchange for a new ability unique to the variant specialist. Each specialist class has three variants: one that replaces the specialist's summon familiar ability, one that replaces the specialist's bonus feats, and one that replaces the specialist's bonus spell per day from the specialty school.
Because each variant requires the loss of an existing ability, you can use more than one of these variants at the same time. By choosing among the variant abilities presented for each specialist, you can easily customize the way that magic works in a campaign, in a geographic region of a campaign, for a school of magic, or even for a single spellcaster. Players can easily create unique and interesting characters using these variants.
For example, a campaign might be set up with some or all of the following variants for specialist wizards.
- All abjurers in the campaign have the resistance to energy variant ability because the setting includes a large number of gates to the elemental planes.
- Evokers from a specific city all have the overcome resistance ability, but they do not gain additional spells as specialist wizards. However, other evokers in the campaign gain abilities exactly as standard evokers and consider the evokers of that city a disruptive offshoot of the pure study of magic.
- The students and masters at a college of necromancy from a distant region slowly undergo undead apotheosis instead of gaining bonus feats, but most necromancers in the campaign gain abilities exactly as standard necromancers. This difference has led some to feel that the foreign necromancers have a more thorough understanding of the powers of death. Traditional necromancers have a hard time attracting students, while the foreigners gain several new apprentices each year.
- One conjurer of particular power in the city cannot obtain a familiar and instead casts summoning spells exceptionally quickly, as described in the rapid summoning variant ability. He claims he can teach others to wield magic as he does, but so far he has gathered few students.
In addition to a description of the variant class's abilities, each entry below includes brief suggestions on sample campaigns, adventures, or characters that might benefit from the use of the variant specialists. These notes are suggestions only, since nearly any campaign can benefit from adding variety to spells and spellcasters.
Although these abilities allow the creation and customization of variant classes, a character cannot, for example, take a few levels of conjurer using the rapid summoning variant and then "multiclass" into regular conjurer levels. These variants all follow the normal rules for multiclassing by specialist wizards.