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Playing a wizard, part 1

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Hello everybody,

I'm Alen and I've been playing D&D for more than 10 years now. I love character optimization (within reasonable limits of not trying to break the game). This is my first ever blog written, so I hope it's not too bad.

Chapter 1: Basics about my favorite class

I'm going to write about my favorite class: wizard. Highly fragile and in constant need of protection at lower levels, a character progressing through wizard levels eventually grows to be among the most powerful members of the party, if not the most powerful one.
In combat, wizard's spell selection determines his role: buffer, debuffer, damager or controller (examples of such spells will be covered later, when I go into detail about schools of magic).

Buffing spells are a good choice because they increase your party's combat effectiveness without chance of negating the effect by overcoming your save DC, although they can be dispelled, in which case high caster level helps. Most of the buffing spells are abjurations and transmutations, but there are some in evocation, divination and the other schools.

Debuffing spells are great for softening up tough opponents once you determine their weak spot(s). There is usually at least one among the following: low reflex, fortitude, or will saving throw, touch AC, ability score or skill check modifier. Focusing on that weakness can swiftly bring a tough opponent on its knees (quite literaly). They can also be effective against larger groups of enemies with the same weakness. Most of the debuffing spells come from the schools of necromancy and transmutation and some from enchantment.

Word of advice on damaging spells: you have the rest of your party, learn to rely on them to deal damage. If you decide to become the main source of damage in your party, you will quickly find that you're burning through your memorized spell list quite fast. Most of the damaging spells are evocations and there are a lot conjurations which deal damage, but there are also some necromancy spells which deal significant damage.

Battlefield control spells are usually the most efficient use of your spell slots. Preventing enemies from effectively surrounding your party members or using their abilities, turning them against each other, creating additional combatants fighting on your side and more, these spells alter the flow of battle, enabling other party members to shine or removing the pressure from them. Most of control spells are conjurations and illusions, while some are transmutations, evocations and enchantments.

I plan to cover all schools of magic in next chapters along with good options associated with focusing on each of them, followed by feat, race and equipment selection in general. In the next chapter, I'll write about the illusion school of magic.

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Updated 10-12-2013 at 07:57 PM by elan

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  1. Antulja's Avatar
    Looks great man Can't wait the second one!