Bolstering Wizards
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  1. #1
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    Bolstering Wizards

    Is it right to say that Wizards have languished a little, compared with the lustre of other classes in 5th? They seem (to me at least) not as joined up, with satisfying payoffs, as other classes (thinking especially about Battlemaster and Warlock). Given their possibly distinctive utility role, I wondered about bolstering them with something like -

    Dual Focus
    At 5th level, you develop the mental rigour needed to maintain concentration on two spells at once, which can be two versions of the same spell. Anything that interrupts your concentration, interrupts each spell separately: you can lose concentration on one while maintaining it on the other.

    It sure sounds like this would break something: what?
    Last edited by clearstream; Monday, 5th November, 2018 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearstream View Post
    Is it right to say that Wizards have languished a little, compared with the lustre of other classes in 5th? They seem (to me at least) not as joined up, with satisfying payoffs, as other classes (thinking especially about Battlemaster and Warlock). Given their possibly distinctive utility role, I wondered about bolstering them with something like -

    Dual Focus
    At 5th level, you develop the mental rigour needed to maintain concentration on two spells at once, which can be two versions of the same spell. Anything that interrupts your concentration, interrupts each spell separately: you can lose concentration on one while maintaining it on the other.

    It sure sounds like this would break something: what?
    Huh. Can't agree with the premise, but, that aside, the proposed fix gives way, way too much. Give this feature to a Bladesinger and watch the subclass get really stupid. I might consider this as a capstone.
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  3. #3
    In what regard does the Wizard seem lackluster for you? That's not my experience at all, so I'm very curious about your detailed opinion on that.

    On the topic of you Dual Focus homebrew: The Sorcerer already can concentrate in two different targets, when they use Twinned Spell, but that spends some resources. Giving the most flexible class in the game Double Focus, without any setback for doing so seems a little strong to me, and brings us back to close to 3.X's "quadratic wizards and linear fighters" problem. Also, how would you define which of the spells you stop concentrating when you fail the ST? This, to me, doesn't make sense in how the concentration rules work, it would make more sense if you lose both spells when you drop concentration.
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    Currently playing a wizard in a party with a sorcerer and a warlock. I don't generally deal as much damage as they do per round, nor do I have cool, flashy abilities that they have. Instead I have access to about twice as many spells as they do, and since I've been careful to pick a number of rituals (which I don't have to memorize to use), I have access to all of them as well.

    Not flashy or glamorous, but I get the job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovinomancer View Post
    Huh. Can't agree with the premise, but, that aside, the proposed fix gives way, way too much. Give this feature to a Bladesinger and watch the subclass get really stupid. I might consider this as a capstone.
    Bladesinger is stupid, even without it. I don't think there is much value in designing for capstones: the first few tiers are where almost all play occurs.

    Given identical effects can't beneficially stack, what is way, way too much? Greater Invis. on the GWM Barbarian and Haste on the 1HS Battlemaster? Double Dominate Monster? I mean, my intuitions match yours, but it would help to have some detail.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    In what regard does the Wizard seem lackluster for you?
    Specifically in terms of features that connect up through multiple tiers of play. Of course Wizards are powerful (straight-levels in Wizard continue to be the bar for power in D&D), but the seem more like a toolkit than a coherent class. I wondered if they would get a whole lot more interesting if one could layer spells more?

    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    On the topic of you Dual Focus homebrew: The Sorcerer already can concentrate in two different targets, when they use Twinned Spell, but that spends some resources.
    Great example! And Twinned spell applies the same spell to both, e.g. Greater Invis on GWM Barbarian and SS Archer. So yes, I absolutely agree this should be narrower than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    Giving the most flexible class in the game Double Focus, without any setback for doing so seems a little strong to me, and brings us back to close to 3.X's "quadratic wizards and linear fighters" problem. Also, how would you define which of the spells you stop concentrating when you fail the ST? This, to me, doesn't make sense in how the concentration rules work, it would make more sense if you lose both spells when you drop concentration.
    The "which" question is already answered, check separately for both of them. Whichever drops, drops. That said, it could make more sense to lose both.

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    I couldn't disagree more with your premise.
    In fact, the Wizard should actively be nerfed, and it's spell list torn asunder and redistributed.

    The days of wizard supremacy are ending, and thank the gods for that.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by clearstream View Post
    Specifically in terms of features that connect up through multiple tiers of play. Of course Wizards are powerful (straight-levels in Wizard continue to be the bar for power in D&D), but the seem more like a toolkit than a coherent class. I wondered if they would get a whole lot more interesting if one could layer spells more?
    I believe the heavy fluff of the class, and what connects it is focused on the choice of school of magic. There you see a bigger progression in clas abilities. To me in regard to spells the wizard already has the most access to spells (by their spellbook and large ritual spell list) and the power to cast more spells, with arcane recovery in the early to mid game and signature spells in the later game.


    Quote Originally Posted by clearstream View Post
    Great example! And Twinned spell applies the same spell to both, e.g. Greater Invis on GWM Barbarian and SS Archer. So yes, I absolutely agree this should be narrower than that.
    It also should spen resources. I wouldn't use the feature in the game, as I don't feel its necessary, but if you want to use it, I feel you should stabilish a limitation of uses per rest of dual focus. Make it a choice for the wizard...

    Quote Originally Posted by clearstream View Post
    The "which" question is already answered, check separately for both of them. Whichever drops, drops. That said, it could make more sense to lose both.
    Making separate checks feels clunky to me. Remembers me of the multiple Saving Throws of my 4e games. It goes against what I feel 5e should do.
    Last edited by André Soares; Monday, 5th November, 2018 at 02:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    I couldn't disagree more with your premise.
    In fact, the Wizard should actively be nerfed, and it's spell list torn asunder and redistributed.

    The days of wizard supremacy are ending, and thank the gods for that.
    I agree with your sentiment! My goal isn't making Wizard's stronger. More instead of being a grab-bag of OP effects, make the class and its archetypes have a greater sense of purpose; features that interconnect across tiers of play.

    One can hand-wave that their purpose is utility. For me, doing everything isn't a purpose. Even doing everything in an OP way.

    One might argue more concretely that their purpose is transport, buffing, crowd-control and AoE, which I certainly buy. The features I value highly, that Wizards have, are those that interact with spells that speak to such purposes, coloured by each School's precepts. Enchantment and Evocation both have some, as an example.

    It's possible that the schools should have been paired, to have 4 really interesting schools instead of 8 somewhat dilute ones.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    There you see a bigger progression in clas abilities. To me in regard to spells the wizard already has the most access to spells (by their spellbook and large ritual spell list) and the power to cast more spells, with arcane recovery in the early to mid game and signature spells in the later game.
    It's not a paucity of choices, but lack of interaction between them that concerns me. It's interesting to look at what came out after core. Bladesinger I think is a straightforward desire to support interesting and varied gish classes. Too strong, in my opinion, and treading in design-space best left to other classes, but indicative of intent. War Mage in Xanathar's seems quite joined up, albeit what were they thinking with Power Surge!? The sense is that the class needed to have something that interacted with its spells, but this was not an effective feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    It also should spen resources. I wouldn't use the feature in the game, as I don't feel its necessary, but if you want to use it, I feel you should stabilish a limitation of uses per rest of dual focus. Make it a choice for the wizard...
    Definitely agree about spending resources and limiting uses. I think it could foster creative play, but also break things a lot of different directions.

    Quote Originally Posted by André Soares View Post
    Making separate checks feels clunky to me. Remembers me of the multiple Saving Throws of my 4e games. It goes against what I feel 5e should do.
    Agreed also. One check. Lose all spells.

    Overall, I think my idea is pretty poor. I feel like I need to dig more into what is working and what isn't in the existing schools, in terms of the play I imagine being possible.
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