D&D 5E I want more flavorful wizard subclasses.

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Mechanically,the 5e Wizard class has too much power in its spell library to allow for many flavorful and balanced subclasses. This is why you don't see many serious official and major 3pp ones.

You'd have to depower the base class to add more flavor.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Kurotowa

Legend
I personally do not believe that the existing Wizard class permits enough room for flavorful subclasses at present. Too much of its power is in the class itself. Subclass features have to be thin in order to not make the Wizard blatantly overpowered.
In large part that, but also the 2014 PHB had eight Wizard subclasses in it. It doesn't matter that most of them are pretty forgettable, just by existing they take up a huge chuck of the potential design space for the class. It's those two things together that are why it's been so hard to get a new Wizard subclass through UA testing.

It'll be really interesting to see what four subclasses the next One D&D UA cuts the Wizard down to, and how they go about trying to make them a little more interesting.
 

Golroc

Explorer
Supporter
I think the upcoming PF2E remaster doing away with the 8 schools of magic is a great foundation for having more design space for subclasses / variant spellcaster classes. The very existence of these schools get in the way of having more flavorful variants of wizard. I never really liked the concept even back in the days of 1st and 2nd edition. It was annoying to have consider schools for homebrew spells. It was annoying that official and third-party spells sometimes had weird school choices. It was annoying that sometimes the school of a spell would lock it out of being part of the arsenal for a character concept that otherwise had strong thematic ties to it (official material went through some hoops once in a while to get around that). D&D would be a better game without the 8 schools, I think.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
In large part that, but also the 2014 PHB had eight Wizard subclasses in it. It doesn't matter that most of them are pretty forgettable, just by existing they take up a huge chuck of the potential design space for the class. It's those two things together that are why it's been so hard to get a new Wizard subclass through UA testing.

It'll be really interesting to see what four subclasses the next One D&D UA cuts the Wizard down to, and how they go about trying to make them a little more interesting.
I could see potentially combining pairs of schools together, since some schools are pretty clearly weaker than others. Thematic pairs might work (e.g. Evocation/Abjuration), or try for something like conceptual opposites (e.g. Illusion/Divination).
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I could see potentially combining pairs of schools together, since some schools are pretty clearly weaker than others. Thematic pairs might work (e.g. Evocation/Abjuration), or try for something like conceptual opposites (e.g. Illusion/Divination).

I'm usually one for thinking familiarity and tradition aren't awful reasons for keeping something (as long as it doesn't hurt others!). But is there any reason to keep these particular eight schools besides tradition, and are there any folks who are super-fans of the current division who would be upset if they were merged a bit? I can imagine illusionist having historical momentum, any others?
 

PF1 had a number of Focused Arcane Subschools, which could probably be remade into Wizard subclasses for 5e.


fundamentally i think all the 'spell school specialist' subclasses could be fitted into one (albeit longwinded) subclass,

Something like the Arcanist archetype from A5e could probably work here. Arcanist | Level Up A5e doesn't have any of the wizard schools of magic as subclasses.
 


Bit of a tangent but: has cure wounds been in the same school two editions in a row? I recall it being abjuration, necromancy, conjuration, and evocation.

Yeah, I agree the eight schools were never a good taxonomy, and therefore most schools make for bad subclasses. Illusionist and necromancer work, the rest really don’t (or should be called something else like warmage or summoner).
 

Bit of a tangent but: has cure wounds been in the same school two editions in a row? I recall it being abjuration, necromancy, conjuration, and evocation.

Yeah, I agree the eight schools were never a good taxonomy, and therefore most schools make for bad subclasses. Illusionist and necromancer work, the rest really don’t (or should be called something else like warmage or summoner).
A Healer mage subclass would be useful if you didn't have a cleric in the party.
 

Bladesinger

Explorer
I could see potentially combining pairs of schools together, since some schools are pretty clearly weaker than others. Thematic pairs might work (e.g. Evocation/Abjuration), or try for something like conceptual opposites (e.g. Illusion/Divination).
This was what I was thinking -

Battle ( War ) Mage - Evocation & Abjuration specialist
Beguiler - Illusion & Enchantment specialist
Necromancer - Necromancy & Divination specialist
Conjurer - Conjuration & Transmutation specialist

Alternatively, you could go the A5E path - one 'Specialist' subclass that covers all specialties and one generalist mage.

Either one, I think would be better. Also, I think instead of the 'Modify Spell' stuff, they should lean into the Signature Spells feature as the main class feature of the Class. As always, YMMV.
 

Remove ads

Top