D&D 5E 5e Wizard = specialist wizard?


First Post
I am playing (well, will play) a Diviner as a generalist. He'll have spells across all the schools, and the diviner feature means he won't be "wasting" slots on divination, so he'll be ok to blast. The spare dice ability (portent?) is pretty cool, and I am just going to roleplay it as pure luck. While not mechanically connected, he keeps a "lucky" jackalope foot with him at all times. If he loses it, I will use the portent ability in a non-optimal way (it is my bond) such that I become "unlucky".

I don't think Diviner feels too "specialized" .

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As someone who has always preferred playing a non-specialist wizard, the enforcement of specialisation didn't sit well with me for a while. But, as has been pointed out, there aren't the drawbacks to specialisation now that there used to be. Specialisation simply no longer means exactly what it used to mean. And I'm okay with that.

But you wait. This thread has already spawned some good ideas for a generalist and I wouldn't be surprised to see something like one of these to show up as an official alternative in fairly short order.


This is very nice. You should consider submitting this to WotC :)

Thanks Li :) How does one submit articles to WOTC these days anyway?

Actually it is a distilled version of the "True Grimoire" from a d20 article I wrote gratis for a PDF Hurricane Katrina fundraiser compilation sold thru DriveThruRPG in 2004/2005. There was lots of cool stuff that it could do, basically turned your spell book into a sentient magic item.

I also like [MENTION=94389]jrowland[/MENTION]'s proposal to use the Diviner as a generalist/scholarly type.


Funny; nobody is complaining about not having generic clerics that don't have to pick a domain...

Really, the generic adventuring "wizard" is probably an evoker. Most wizards tend toward some attack magic (with a dash of functional or useful other magic; mage armor, teleport, invisibility, dispel magic, etc) so having a bit of "oomph" behind those spells isn't going to change your character focus (and if it does, you were probably angling for a different type of specialist anyway).
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First Post
I guess I'm in the same boat as many of the rest of the responders here. At first, I was pretty upset when I found out there would not be a generalist subclass. Especially because I had liked what they'd done in the playtest. But once I saw the options available to me, I completely forgot this, and my only question became "What kind of specialist do I want to play first!?" They all basically have what a "generalist" had before with non of the downsides inherent in the old ideas of specialization. They're all fun, and most of them can be roleplayed as a "generalist".


Thank you all for the replies. I haven't had much of a chance yet to look in depth at all the options for the wizard, let alone all the other classes. So shall need to be more open-minded and think about the type of wizard I want to play when the time comes to play.


First Post
THat's what it looks like. Everybody specializes...if that's not a commentary on the modern society...but I digress...

I think Quickleaf's "Scholarly Magic" above is a great way to go...It mirrors shades of a "Ritualist" theme I've developed for my homebrew game system. "Hedge Magic" is another good one...and in my system would grant you Arcane versions of some Druidic spells (mostly those dealing with plants.).

If you wanted to go simpler and make a "General/Universal Mage" option...I would be inclined to go something like this:
@ 2nd level: Arcane Savant: The time and gold needed to transcribe any spell or arcane-based ritual into your spellbook is halved. Broader Comprehension: You breadth of understanding for the principles of magic allow you to choose/copy 2 new spells to add to your spellbook per level. These spells must be of a level that you can already cast.

@ 6th level: Expert Caster: Basically, I'd keep Potent Ritualist, above, and roll in a Potent Caster. Casting rituals at 1 level higher than they actually are and the mage can cast a spell per day at 1 slot higher than the spell's normal level. This bonus level does not expend any of the mage's slots for the day.

@ 10th level: [borrowing the name from Marvel's FASERIP game] Eldritch Bolts: Your mastery of the energies and mysteries of the arcane allow, as a reaction [or bonus action?], to harness and cast beams of pure magical energy. A successful attack is required. A successful Dex. roll negates. The bolts do 3d6 of a damage type of the mage's choice, being woven at casting to deal one of the following: fire/heat, ice/cold, electricity, or pure magical force. Up to two (1 from each hand) bolts may be cast in a single round at two different targets. The Eldritch Bolts do not require nor use up any existing spell slots. (Alternately, could just give them the warlock's Eldritch Blast?)

@ 14th:
Quickleaf's True Grimoire is just too cool not to have and really sounds like something a "real wizard" would have and find useful. :)

IMHO "universalist wizard" is a weak character concept because there is no universal school in 5e and because it tells you nothing about the characters approach to magic.

"Hedge magic" or "scholarly magic" are both good (and different) concepts that capture the feel I think you're aiming for. Say we took "scholarly magic" as an example, here are some ideas...

Scholarly Tradition

Level 2 Ritual Savant: The gold and time you must spend to copy a ritual spell into your spell book is halved. In addition you can copy all rituals into your spell book regardless of class, though spells not of your class can only be cast as rituals.
Level 2 Cautious Reader: When reading writing or inscriptions, you never trigger any traps, curses, or spells contained within them unless you wish to do so. In addition when you read something you can cast detect magic on just that writing without expending a spell slot and without the need for components.

Level 6 Potent Rituals: When you use a spell as a ritual, cast it as if you had expended a slot of one level higher than the spell's ritual. In addition, when casting spells which can be made permanent, halve the number of days you must consecutively cast the spell.

Level 10 Scholarly Insights: You can use your action to make connections between various pieces of lore you've gathered and make amazing deductions. When you do, choose one of the following benefits which lasts until you're incapacitated or you take a long or short rest. You can't use this feature again until you take a rest.
Greater Comprehension. You can read any language, or communicate in a very basic way in a language which shares a common alphabet as a language you already know.
Puzzle Solving. You gain advantage on all Intelligence checks to solve a puzzle, play a game of skill, or crack a code.
Rushed Ritual Casting. You can cast a ritual with just a few minutes of extra time (at most 5, possibly less if your DM allows). However, when you do so you cannot apply your Potent Ritualist benefit and there may be other complications at your DM's discretion.
Topical Knowledge. You can apply half your proficiency bonus to Intelligence checks to recall lore pertaining to skills you're not proficient in.

Level 14 True Grimoire: Your spell book is invested with power from years of your pouring over at pages, developing a familiar-like bond with you. This grants you the following benefits:
  • You can direct your spell book to copy spells onto its pages without you needing to do so - a quill will magically transcribe a spell scroll into the book at your command with no need for your concentration or time (though you still must spend the cost for rare inks and other components needed).
  • You can summon your spell book to your hand as long as you and it are on the same plane.
  • You can get a sense for the immediate environment around your spell book by concentrating , though while doing so you no longer perceive your surroundings.
  • If your spellbook is ever destroyed, you can speak a command word when in some grand library to cause a copy of your spellbook to mystically appear on the bookshelves. You will still need to pay 10 go for each spell level in the book to copy over everything with rare inks and make sure the formulae are right.
  • Add two extra spells to your spell book, and every time you gain a level, add three spells to your spell book instead of two from now on.

I'll be stealing elements of these for use in my own Generalist homebrew. Excellent work.


First Post
Sorry, but you cannot be a generalist. This was thread necromancy, pure and simple. ;)

It might have been. But there don't appear to be any current threads in the forum regarding Generalist homebrew, and this is the best I have seen so far in my searches, both on and off this forum.


There aren't any generalist wizards anymore.

Although there is some advantage to each of the specialty schools which allows for certain things to occur in the game for each subclass, most players tend to play their wizards in one of only a few real styles. Saving throws that tend to last 0 to 2 rounds, concentration for a single spell only, and other restrictions basically limit wizards to blasters or buffers or delayers for the most part.

Does anyone really play an Illusionist that primarily uses Illusion spells? It's probably fairly infrequent. I know that when I played an Abjurer, there were very few low level abjuration spells available to cast during combat (outside of Shield). Arcane Lock was the only 2nd level abjuration spell available at all. Hardly something my PC would have learned immediately. There are just too many other pressing needs.

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