D&D (2024) How should the Wizard subclasses be revised?

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Remathilis pretty much covered this but when i picked up 5e, the issue was that you literally couldn't kit your necromancer out with necromancy spells. 95%+ of your build was the exact same as every other wizard because there just wasn't enough to fill out the concept. There are a bunch of things like necromancer, elementalist, and summoner that deserve to get full class features instead of sharing the same spell list with every other wizard at the table.


I guess this goes to show that if you take 2 different DND players, you might get 2 completely diametrically opposed views on what is done well.



I'd much, much rather wizard subclasses work like this instead of the piddly school subclasses. Give necromancer a full kit of undead animation and spirit control. Give the illusionist a full set of illusion and sound manipulation. Give the summoner big, unique summons and a pet. Give the wizard subclasses special stuff instead of just letting the class be a pile of old tofu.
Didn't they do this, more or less, in 2e and 3e? What happened to that?
 

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Remathilis

Legend
Didn't they do this, more or less, in 2e and 3e? What happened to that?
They published a ton of new spells. Seriously. 2e had massive tomes of them. 3e had the Spell Compendium. 5e has Xanathar, a few in Tasha, and a handful elsewhere. Not nearly enough to cover most concepts.
 

Didn't they do this, more or less, in 2e and 3e? What happened to that?
It's been 20 years since i opened a 2e book but im pretty sure 3e is when the design became totally generalist. You had minor restrictions for schools but it was pretty much the same pile of mush for every wizard build.
 

Remathilis

Legend
It's been 20 years since i opened a 2e book but im pretty sure 3e is when the design became totally generalist. You had minor restrictions for schools but it was pretty much the same pile of mush for every wizard build.
1e had two "arcane" classes, magic-user and illusionist which had two different spell lists. 2e made illusionist a subclass of wizards and both spell lists were merged into one list, and remained that way. Technically the wizard had spells that the sorcerer didn't and vice versa, but they were only a handful in 3e.
 

Undrave

Legend
Here’s how I’d do it:

The Academic seeks to master a school of Magic. They pick a school of magic and get the cheaper copying abilities and even extra spells at certain levels and bonuses when casting their favored school.

The Lorehunter seeks forgotten knowledge and magic. The Wizardly counterpart of the Arcane Trickster, it’s a Wizard with a bit of Rogue who specializes in tomb raiding and plundering forbidden temples or forgotten libraries. Abilities to deal with trap, identifying magic items, deciphering ancients codes and also gains additional skills.

The Bladesinger seeks to marry magic and swords. Because the Swordmage is not coming back and people love this thing. Might be a new version that absorbs the Warmage.

The Diviner seeks to know the future. Because it’s the one Wizard subclass from the PHB I think is the most interesting and it’s a support focused subclass which is something the game needs more of.

I think a more focused Beguiler (Illusion/Enchantment) should be a Bard subclass, and I think a proper Necromancer can be kept for a future splat book. Maybe it could be a pet subclass? Not every possible archetype needs to be covered in the PHB so I think it’s fine to wait. It usually means the future subclass are better designed so I think Necromancer fans would appreciate a more polished version.
 

Undrave

Legend
Maybe they should revamp the Specialist Wizard subclasses like they do the Eldritch Knight or the Arcane Trickster where you need to have a certain percentage of your spells from your specialist school. Or like how 3e did it, where you had to give up another school. Or both.
Give the base Wizard class less spell, have the Subclass grants extra spell related to their theme. Same overall amount of spells, but your spells list is slightly more thematically appropriate and each Wizard can thus stand out from one another without being too boxed in either.
 

Undrave

Legend
I'll be honest, does the wizard subclass need revising for OneD&D? I feel like the wizard was done so weel for 5e, they shouldn't make any changes.
They work, but they’re boring as all Hell, there’s way too many of them for the PHB and they made additional Wizard subclass incredibly difficult to make because they’re not based on anything but that one weird classification of spells that, frankly, nobody else but the Wizard actually cares about.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I'll agree with many others and say that the school based sub-classes with be gone, but spell schools themselves will remain (if for no other reason than 8 sub-classes would be too many for an initial PHB release). I think the they might keep classic wizard archetypes under another name though: war wizard (evokerish), summoner (with pre-defined statblocks a al Tasha's), sage (part diviner, part scribe), etc. Concepts like an enchanter are strong, but more and more Ick in the connotations what they do and how it works out in play; while classic archetypes like necromancer have always had the problem of cluttering up play with minions (which the summoner would already do, but hopefully would alleviated somewhat by pre-defined stat blocks), or just don't have enough spells of that niche to make a complete character.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'd like Schools to go the way of the Fighting Style, a minor benefit that anyone could take. Yes a couple would need weaker benefits.

Then do a Bladesinger, War Mage, Summoner (pets of many types), Scribe/Archivist
I think there is a good chance that School Specialization might become a Feat tree likited to Mages: Choose School Specialty at Level 4 and choose a School (not repeatable) then choose a School Fest at 8th, on the same lines as the Planescape Feats from last years UA. So a Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard can all be a Necromancer or Illusionist or what have you for any Subclass. Allows the oldSpecialists to stay around, but frees up Wizard Subclass design space. Notably, the Wizard is one Class where the free SRD Subclass is never in the top 2 Subclass chocies.
 

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