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Wizard -- ToB Style

Initial Thoughts

First off, I am currently obsessed with ToB. I dig the balance level it provides and I dig the mechanics. I feel that it is a good example of "Rogue" level without requiring a whole new set of rules.

One of the problems with ToB is what almost all 3.5 stuff has and that is that feat selections can make the class severely underpowered or overpowered. I think ToB classes mitigate the variance more than most other classes. So, I'm toying around with making a Maneuver-like system for spellcasting.

I am already aware this is a big project. I will have to rewrite every single spell so that it isn't overpowered to be usable at will. On the plus side, I get to rewrite every spell and make sure that spellcasters stay at the "Rogue" level of balance.

Ideas

  • Just like ToB, there is no need to have a billion 9th level spells. 1 per discipline will do.
  • The wizard focuses on being prepared. I would like to somehow reflect that in the way it gets spells. Beyond having lots of different spells, I like the idea of a wizard being forced to carefully plan what spells it will use in a combat. Some ideas thus far:
    • A queue of spells that has a preset order (chosen by the wizard during a rest period). Some class features could allow you to alter the queue or even choose a spell or two that are separate from the queue and you can cast whenever you want.
      • You can skip the current spell on the queue as a move action.
      • You can skip the current spell on the queue by taking 1 nonlethal damage the first skip in a round, 2 the second, etc.
    • A grid of spells where if you cast one, you can only cast spells you have placed adjacent on the grid. The grid is not necessarily square.
    • Something like the swordsage (slow recovery mechanism), but a large number of starting spells available. Instead of just recovery though, the wizard can recover or swap a spell for a different spell known.
  • I will have to fix a bunch of broken spells and remove other ones. I'd like to reduce the amount of trampling other classes' territory that wizards typically do.
  • Casting spells requires the use of a spellbook. Wizards can be disarmed just like regular fighters!
  • Some spells might require you to have X spells on your lineup to be cast. This prevents players from having really short lineups so they can cycle the same good spells repeatedly. They can still do that, but there is a cost.

Class Mock-up

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells Known Spells Readied
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Overspell, Refocus 6 4
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 6 4
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 7 5
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 8 5
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 9 6
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 10 6
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 11 7
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 12 7
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 13 8
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 14 8
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 15 9
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 16 9
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 17 10
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 18 10
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 19 11
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 20 11
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 21 12
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 22 12
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 23 13
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 24 13

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff and light armor.

Spells: You begin with the knowledge of six spells. These spells are not chosen from the standard D&D spell list and instead are chosen from the variant wizard spell list. When you create your character, choose any 6 of the following spell schools: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, transmutation. You can only choose your spells from these schools.

You learn additional spells at higher levels as shown in Table: The Wizard. You must meet a spell's prerequisite to learn it.

Upon reaching 4th level and every even numbered level thereafter, you can choose to learn a new spell in place of one you already know.

Spells Readied: You ready four of your six spells at 1st level and as you advance in level, you are able to ready more. You ready your spells by studying your spellbook for 5 minutes.

When you ready your spells, you ready them into a lineup. You choose the first spell you will cast, the second spell, and so forth. Once you have cast (or skipped) the first spell on your list, you are unable to cast that spell until you have cast (or skipped) the last spell on your list. Once you have cast (or skipped) the last spell on your list, you can spend a move action to make the first spell on your list available to be cast again.

It is recommended that you use a lineup of cards to represent your list of spells chosen and use a token to represent which spell is currently selected.

Overspell (Su): Wizards learn early on how to push their own strength into their magic so that they can use a spell before they would normally be able to do so. As a free action, you take 1 nonlethal damage to skip the current spell on your list (making the next spell the current spell). If you use this ability multiple times per round, the nonlethal damage increases by 1 each time you use it. You can use this ability even when it isn't your turn. The nonlethal damage counter resets at the end of your turn.

For example, if you want to skip 3 spells on your list using overspell in a single round, you will take 6 nonlethal damage.

Refocus (Su): By spending a moment to concentrate, a wizard can quickly gain access to a spell. As a move action, you can skip the current spell on your list (making the next spell the current spell).

Actual "Spells"

Like regular spells, ToB style wizard spells have verbal and somatic components and provoke attacks of opportunity. They don't have material components. Anything that would have a costly material component can instead be a ritual.

For cantrips, a wizard can just cast them all day long.

1st level

Abjuration

  • Defensive spells
  • Key skill: Concentration

Conjuration

  • Battlefield terrain changes, summoned critters
  • Key skill: Knowledge (The Planes)

Divination

  • Unlike standard divination, the spells here will allow you to manipulate opponent's actions by "predicting" them
  • Key skill: Sense Motive

Enchantment

  • Both buffs and debuffs.
  • Key skill: Knowledge (Arcana)

Evocation

Illusion

  • Just like regular illusion
  • Key skill: Bluff

Necromancy

  • Debuffs
  • Key skill: Knowledge (religion)

Transmutation

  • Buffs
  • Key skill: Knowledge (Nature)

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