[GUIDE] Arrive on Time - A General Guide to Wizardry

NADRIGOL

Explorer
Regarding a dip in Cleric, what is everyone's thoughts about the Arcana domain?
I think you summed it up well. Cantrips being the only spells you can't pick up later, I tend to value these rather highly as long as you can think of broad-level uses for those you pick up. The skills in question are also all one-off type skills (you know it or don't). I think these should be shared across the party, and they don't seem worth having expertise in to me. I think it really comes down to the style of your DM when it comes to skill checks, and how often you think those extra cantrips will benefit you.
 

Polarthief

Visitor
I think you summed it up well. Cantrips being the only spells you can't pick up later, I tend to value these rather highly as long as you can think of broad-level uses for those you pick up. The skills in question are also all one-off type skills (you know it or don't). I think these should be shared across the party, and they don't seem worth having expertise in to me. I think it really comes down to the style of your DM when it comes to skill checks, and how often you think those extra cantrips will benefit you.
Honestly, I feel like Arcana Expertise will be helpful later down the line, but since this is a League character, I'm more thinking about the short-term stuff. Plus, having Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, and 4 (High Elf ftw) other Wizard Cantrips (Fire Bolt, Create Bonfire, Shocking Grasp [for my familiar] and Minor Illusion) is just so helpful to have, especially as a Level 2 character. The fact that I have so many Cantrips that the base character sheet can't hold them all is just a great feeling, especially as the ultimate utility character :)

I guess I'll stick with the Arcana domain for now then. Plus, it does fit Wizard a bit better than Knowledge, perhaps. Thanks for your input, Nadrigol!
 

PSusac

Visitor
If you are going EK/BS and start with EK, you don't get Arcana as a skill. This means your spellbook is going to be hard to grow over time. That's a hell of a trade off.
 

NADRIGOL

Explorer
But check with your DM about his rules for spell research. If he has rules, they're fairly likely to involve an Arcana roll at some point. Mine do anyway.

I think the point is moot though with RAW being clear. With there already being a GP and time requirement, adding a skill check seems unnecessary. Especially since a DM already has perfect control over spell drops.
 
I think the point is moot though with RAW being clear. With there already being a GP and time requirement, adding a skill check seems unnecessary. Especially since a DM already has perfect control over spell drops.
I don't believe there are RAW for spell research. It sounds to me like you're talking about copying existing spells, which is completely different.
 

NADRIGOL

Explorer
I don't believe there are RAW for spell research. It sounds to me like you're talking about copying existing spells, which is completely different.
Sorry, I am talking about copying spells. I assumed that's what PSusac was referencing with their post.
 
Sorry, I am talking about copying spells. I assumed that's what PSusac was referencing with their post.
I assume so too--but I was raising a different subject, one which was historically extremely important to spellcasters (e.g. in 2nd edition, researching custom spells to deal with a new threat vector was a common problem response) and is also a ton of fun.

Seriously, if your DM doesn't have spell research rules, encourage him to invent some. And while you're at it, rename all of your current spells with fantastic pompous Vancian names like Phandaal's Instantaneous Arcane Nullifier (Dispel Magic), Nystul's Energetic Wakeup (Thunderwave), Erestul's Travelling Rotisserie (Flaming Sphere), and Fermat's Third Spell of the Prismatic Pattern (Hypnotic Pattern). Every time you copy a spell into your spellbook, give it a custom name. "From henceforth, I shall call this spell Dwenoleena's Awe-Inspiring Fireball."

And read Mazirian the Magician. It's awesome.
 
I think the point is moot though with RAW being clear. With there already being a GP and time requirement, adding a skill check seems unnecessary. Especially since a DM already has perfect control over spell drops.
I don't have the book in front of me, but I believe that the DMG calls for an arcana check if you attempt to copy a spell from a scroll, with a DC of 10 plus the spell's level.
 

Motorskills

Explorer
Erupting Earth
3rd-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (a piece of obsidian)
Duration: Instantaneous
Choose a point you can see on the ground within
range. A fountain of churned earth and stone erupts in
a 20-foot cube centered on that point. Each creature
in that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A
creature takes 3d12 bludgeoning damage on a failed
save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Additionally, the ground in that area becomes difficult
terrain until cleared away. Each 5-foot-square portion of
the area requires at least 1 minute to clear by hand.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a
spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by
1d12 for each slot level above 2nd.
The second quote is erroneous, surely it should say 4th / 3rd respectively?
 
The second quote is erroneous, surely it should say 4th / 3rd respectively?
I don't know if they've put out any errata or fixed it for the printed version, but pretty much everybody assumes that to be the case.

Even so, the spell gets quite strong with a high level slot. Too bad (or good thing?) there are no maximize effects that can be applied to it.
 

Arrek

Visitor
Question on the guide regarding the multi-classing benefits/costs. One of the statements regarding the cost of breaking the Rule of Two past a certain point was the limitation on the max-level spells, namely losing access to the level 9 spells or also being limited on the secondary class spells to the limit of that class as if treating it alone. Now I know this is in reference to PHB 164 and the Wiz/Rng combo, but that seems a particularly bad example to use with regards to the Wizards, Cleric and/or Druid MCs. My question is does it really limit the spells known for them?

My reading didn't lead me to think so, and I will explain below, but I would you like yalls take on this since my conscience won't let me pursue an exploit build.

Reasoning on why Cleric/Druids not being limited - PHB 58/66 For clerics/druids preparing spells is based is seems in the slots you have available specifically
You prepare the list of cleric spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the cleric spell list. When you do so, choose a number of cleric spells equal to your wisdom modifier + your cleric level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots
. Since slots are based on character level using the 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 ratios, and a Cleric/Wizard would be 1:1, the Cleric side would have slots available to prepare from the general Cleric list no differently than normal. The main cost of the multi-classing being to the domain benefits/spells and the limitation on the number total that can be prepared from the cleric list as level is the main driver.

Reasoning for the Wizard- PHB 114 With the wizard I see more limitations placed on them since their spell list is not an innately complete thing (IE the spellbook). Within the description for spells known and prepared it states
You prepare a list of wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + your wizard spell level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Same as the Cleric/Druids, excepting the spellbook limitation. Additionally, the PHB only provides two ways of gaining new wizard spells;
One
Each time you gain a wizard level, you can add two wizard spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spells slots, as shown on the Wizard table
. This does limit the free spells gained base specifically to the Wizard table and thereby to the wizard level (at least as I read it).

However,

Two, regarding copying spells to a spellbook
When you find a wizard spell of the 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.
and referring back to the previous portion, Wizards can prepare spells for spell slots they have. in general a multiclassed Wizard would not have a spell of a higher slot excepting in this one way. Thus Wizards have the same costs to their spell multiclassing as Clerics/Druids but additionally have a stunted spell list until money, rewards or research (All DM discretion anyways) rectifies the issue.

Reasoning based on Multiclass section - PHB 164 Spells Known and Prepared
you determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single classed member of that class.
Cleric/Druids determine the list known not based on class level but on spell slots available. Wizards known spells based on a combination between class level (2 per + the starters) and on what is added during the game via the spell book mechanic. The spellbook mechanic being tied to slots, not class level from what I read. For every other class, they are tied down by a specific spells known column.

So to reiterate the main question, are the Cleric/Druid/Wizard spells limited by class specific slots even though this doesn't seem to be RAW, or should the mention of spells slots within the class descriptions be treated as saying [class] spell slots? Am I missing some bit of Errata from somewhere that clarifies this? Or should this be a DM decision for our campaign? In truth, I could see it being justified either way and the DM side of my brain is going this may be too powerful, but the player side is going but this seems like it would be so much fun.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

PS The evil side of my DM brain is now going, Yes Yes you can, but so can I now. Mwahahaha. I'm thinking that may be a nay vote now. :uhoh:

​Edit1: Grammatical Fixes.
 
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Arrek

Visitor
I don't have the book in front of me, but I believe that the DMG calls for an arcana check if you attempt to copy a spell from a scroll, with a DC of 10 plus the spell's level.
You may be thinking of the Scroll Mishap Variant (DMG 140) for someone attempting to use a spell scroll that stated a particular class to use it. DMG 139 states that any creature that can understand a language can read the script on a scroll and attempt to activate it.
 

Yunru

Visitor
Reasoning based on Multiclass section - PHB 164 Spells Known and Prepared Cleric/Druids determine the list known not based on class level but on spell slots available. Wizards known spells based on a combination between class level (2 per + the starters) and on what is added during the game via the spell book mechanic. The spellbook mechanic being tied to slots, not class level from what I read. For every other class, they are tied down by a specific spells known column.
Yeah no. Your spell slots are determined by your class level. So a Wizard 2/Cleric 2/Druid 2, would know/prepare/create/whatever spells as if they were a Wizard 2 (no spell slots above 1st means no spells sbove 1st), a Cleric 2 (see before), and a Druid 2.

The only difference is, they would have 6 caster levels of spell slots to cast those spell slots with.
 

Arrek

Visitor
Yeah no. Your spell slots are determined by your class level. So a Wizard 2/Cleric 2/Druid 2, would know/prepare/create/whatever spells as if they were a Wizard 2 (no spell slots above 1st means no spells sbove 1st), a Cleric 2 (see before), and a Druid 2.

The only difference is, they would have 6 caster levels of spell slots to cast those spell slots with.
Sigh. Welp there goes that character concept to die on a dust heap. I guess I let the ambiguous language and poor multiclass example lead me to an idea that I should've known wouldn't be right considering every edition before. i might be able to revive it should they ever do an Epic levels again.
 
You may be thinking of the Scroll Mishap Variant (DMG 140) for someone attempting to use a spell scroll that stated a particular class to use it. DMG 139 states that any creature that can understand a language can read the script on a scroll and attempt to activate it.
*trying to remember what the discussion was nine months ago* I don't think I was talking about activating a spell scroll but copying a spell from a scroll into a spellbook. I do now have the books in front of me, and it's on p. 200 of the DMG.

A wizard spell on a spell scroll can be copied just as spells in spellbooks can be copied. When a spell is copied from a spell scroll, the copier must succeed on an Intelligence (Arcana) check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell's level. If the check succeeds, the spell is successfully copied. Whether the check succeeds or fails, the spell scroll is destroyed.
 

Corran21

Visitor
Hi!
Very interesting guide. I am building a fire themed sorcerer, yet I found myself being drawned back every once in a while to this guide (a place for nerdy wizards!;)), to get help with my spell selection.

I would like to get a good set of fire spells, while also trying to keep the selection to a minimum. So, ideally, get the best fire spell (ie one spell) for each situation.

Here is what I have so far (based on the this guide):
Massive area of effect: Meteor Swarm
Medium area of effect: Fireball
Small area of effect: Aganazzar's scorcher (line)
Single target damage: Scorching ray

Decided againt spells like melf's minute meteors, flaming sphere and investiture of flame because they take up concentration and I dont think they are worth it. For cantrips I am probably going with fire bolt and green flame blade, and avoided create bonfire for the same reason as above (ie concentration), despite the synergy it might allow with pyrotechnics.

Any advice on how to change things so I can improve my set up, keeping the fire theme strong, yet without overdoing it?
 

TheBigHouse

Explorer
Hey Corran,

Glad to know that you are finding the guide useful. I think your picks are great. You could potentially trade Aganazzar's for burning hands, but either one is fine. It really comes down to which area style you like better, the damage is about the same.

You are wise to value your concentration highly. Out of the fire concentration spells that you listed, melf meteors is the only one that is maybe worth using regularly - depending on how long your encounters tend to last. Playing a wizard myself, I have found that i usually value hypnotic pattern or a similar spell higher than a melfs meteors for concentration.

Remember that all your fire spells will target dex, so try to fill out with some other saves to mess with those few agile monsters :).

What are you planning to use for your concentration spell?
 

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