D&D 5E Brainstorming Wizard Subclasses

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Honestly, I wouldn't really care if it came out superior than the sorcerer.
how would this be distinguished from the sorcerer in a way that doesn't just make it the superior metamagic user with more spells prepared, a longer spell list to pick from and more spell slots? i suppose if they have limited number of sorcery points not being able to create their own extra ones from converting them from slots...
To me

Sorcerers should be able to metamagic on the fly via sorcery point.
Wizards should be able to metamagic on preparation via higher spell slots 3e style.
 

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cbwjm

Seb-wejem
To me

Sorcerers should be able to metamagic on the fly via sorcery point.
Wizards should be able to metamagic on preparation via higher spell slots 3e style.
I don't want to turn this into a metamagic thread, but I do think that metamagic should have been something for all spellcasters instead of just the sorcerer. I've been tempted to turn the various metamagic options into spells, as they were in 2e, or do as you've suggested and allow casters to prepare metamagic spells at a higher level.
 

The School of Forces. Also known as battle mages due the destructive power of their spells. This is the school that concentrates on manipulating the matter and energy. It is most obviously "wizardly" and has flashiest magic. Mostly an evocator with some stuff from transmutation and abjuration tacked on. The classic blaster wizard.
Sounds a bit boring. Unless you add some real blasting power....but then you unbalance the game.

The School of Gates. Also known as summoners. This is the wizard who studies the planes and gateways between them. They summon extraplanar entities and commune with them. Basically a combination of conjurer and diviner. Probably should have some mechanics to allow a permanent pet, a boosted planar familiar at the least.
I really don't like summoning diviners. I do like the idea that wizards summon things for knowledge....but I really love diviners that just use magic to see and figure out things.
The School of Mirrors. Also known as the dream weavers. Thematically enchantment and illusionism are very similar, so this just basically combines these two. Probably leaning more on the illusion side, as enchantment is already pretty decently covered by the bards.
I like illusions being "false" things and enchantment being more mental effects. But I think bard magic should be much different.
The School of Shadows. Also known as necromancers and death mages. Necromancy is the thematically the strongest of the existing schools and the subclass has pretty decent mechanics too. Perhaps add some other shadow and creepy stuff.
But shadows are "only" evil? I do like the 'cold neutral shadow' magic...not every shadow is ultimate evil. Necromancy is fine...but is everyone of them a master of shadows? And to sure does not fit with the "sneaky" part of shadow magic. Most necromancers don't "sulk in the shadows", they are more brutal and open. And the idea of a sly wizard using shadows to hide is also a master of undeath just does not fit.
What do you think? Are these thematically clear enough? If these were the only four wizard subclasses in a game you were playing, would you feel satisfied? Do you think there are some some significant themes these are missing? What sort of mechanics would you want to see for such subclasses?
No, not even close. They need to be broken up a lot more. I would not be satisfied. I miss the diviner investigator and the sneaky shadow wizard.

And mechanics are the worst.....too many examples are just like "oh you can cast a darkness spell once a day" and "oh you get a plus one to darkness spells" that really does not have much game effect and use.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Personally, if I had my druthers, I'd try to associate Wizard schools with the ideas of various IRL traditions of magic. Something like...

The School of Runewrights
These Wizards tap into the power of language, that code which even on its own has the mundane magic of preserving meaning across the centuries. Runewrights naturally favor spells involving symbols, communication, etc., but they can also employ mystic runes to ward areas, call down devastating assaults, or give binding oaths magic power.

The School of Ink and Quill
Calligraphy is practiced in almost all civic societies, and even many non-civic cultures often develop an appreciation for these arts and other pictomancy. But calligraphy is not simply a way of making art; it can also bring magical effects to life...or bind life in magic ink. Such "Ink Mages" can draw forth powers and inkbound spirits, and preserve objects in pictorial stasis with their artful magic.

The School of Cartomancy
Draw the cards, quester, and hear what Fate may hold, for the magic of the cosmos flows through so-called "chance." There are those who turn the title "fortunte-teller" on its head, and tell fortune what shape it should have, delaying the foul until it can be weathered and prolonging the fair that it may grant greater boons. Time and truth and tempest too, but a turn of tousled tarot away...

The School of Mana
All things carry mana, that mystic substance which girds and heartens life. But your mana must be guarded, fostered, lest it be sapped or corrupted. Wizards of Mana learn the hidden rules which guide the flow of mana, and condemn those who break these tapu to suffer that loss. Bolstering allies and enervating foes, students of mana are as helpful as they are dangerous.
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
I very much like the idea of pairing the traditional... traditions (the Arcane Schools) with archetypes like the Bladesinger and the Warmage. In my current game, I'm pairing them with (upgunned) Warlock pact boons (not patrons) for much the same effect; this is mirrored by the wu jen combining a Sorcerer origin with a (mostly) elemental specialization.

In general, I very much like the idea of the more supernatural classes being heavily subclass dependent with two subclasses, while the more bread-and-butter classes have only one (or no) actual subclass but more freedom to cherry pick "subclass" features.
 

Stormonu

Legend
how would this be distinguished from the sorcerer in a way that doesn't just make it the superior metamagic user with more spells prepared, a longer spell list to pick from and more spell slots? i suppose if they have limited number of sorcery points not being able to create their own extra ones from converting them from slots...
I was just playing Baldur's Gate 3 and noticed the wizard character you meet has innate sculpt spell. I wouldn't be against the Wizard getting some of the old metamagics back in some form - perhaps as a feat or costing spell slots (like the 1E/2E days, where they were actually leveled spells). If done so, for feats they might be usable PB times per long rest or as a spell slot affecting all spells for 1 action, 1 minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour or such depending on the level of the slot used.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Hrm... wizard sub-classes...

Wizard
Prestidigitator​
Evoker
Conjurer​
Theurgist​
Thaumaturgist​
Magician​
Enchanter​
Warlock​
Sorcerer​
Necromancer​
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I was just playing Baldur's Gate 3 and noticed the wizard character you meet has innate sculpt spell. I wouldn't be against the Wizard getting some of the old metamagics back in some form - perhaps as a feat or costing spell slots (like the 1E/2E days, where they were actually leveled spells). If done so, for feats they might be usable PB times per long rest or as a spell slot affecting all spells for 1 action, 1 minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour or such depending on the level of the slot used.
i'm not sure if this response is actually responding to my presented query of 'how would you make a metamagic focused wizard subclass without it eclipsing the sorcerer's capabilities' or just musing on the concept of wizards with metamagic in general, it doesn't feel like it's answering it unless i'm missing part of your point here.
 

DavyGreenwind

Just some guy
I mentioned this in an earlier post about "more flavorful wizard subclasses," but I think it would be really cool to focus on fields of study outside the schools of magic, maybe using the INT skills as a starting point.

A Magizoologist, with extra proficiencies and abilities regarding magical creatures, maybe an enhanced familiar (Nature).

An Archeomancer, with abilities tied to ruins, ancient civilizations, lost magic, magic items, etc. (History).

An Arcane Investigator is someone called in to investigate arcane anomalies and magical crimes (Investigation).

The Mage Scholar would be a lot like Scribes, doubling down on the study of magic itself. (Arcana).

A Wandslinger would be cool. Quickdraw, upgradeable wands, etc.

Subclasses about the Wizard's actual role, focusing on Wizard as the INT class, would be much more interesting and flavorful.
 

Stormonu

Legend
i'm not sure if this response is actually responding to my presented query of 'how would you make a metamagic focused wizard subclass without it eclipsing the sorcerer's capabilities' or just musing on the concept of wizards with metamagic in general, it doesn't feel like it's answering it unless i'm missing part of your point here.
Mostly musing. I'd missed the half-page discussion and was just putting in my thought on how it had been handled in previous editions, and how I might tackle it for 5E.

On a separate note, I wish that the Schools of Magic was just one subclass, instead of the eight or so we got. I don't know if that's been addressed in the OneD&D stuff or not.
 

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