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Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #11: Wizard

Welcome to the 11th Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of the game’s wizard class.


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What this is
This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

What this is not
This is NOT the final game. It’s OK if you don’t like elements of these rules; that’s the purpose of a playtest document. Be sure to participate in the follow-up survey in a few days. All data, positive or negative is useful.

What we use this for
Your survey responses help form the direction of the game as it goes through the development process.


Don’t forget!
Sign up for the mailing list for notifications of playtests, surveys, and news, and also ensure you get notified on Kickstarter when the project launches in 2021.
 
Last edited:

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

WarDriveWorley

Explorer
So now that I'm off work and can apply a bit more mental bandwidth to the topic I would probably word it like follows (Disclaimer: I just wrote it up off the cuff and put no thought in fully balancing):


Wizard's Flair

Mages, almost to a fault, are notorious for their tinkering of their spells and researching new ways to bend the laws of reality to their will. While every caster will see their magic affected by their personality and moods wizards are the only casters that forge and guide these changes intentionally. This is usually apparent in the way that a spell's observable effects manifest. Maybe one wizard's magic missiles appear to be miniature Tarrasques flying at their target while their companion's spells are accompanied by the sound of celestial flutes and the next wizard decided that every spell with a visual effect will show the spell in a deep purple hue. No two wizards cast spells the same way if they can help it.

Starting at 1st level whenever you cast a spell you can alter how the spell appears to onlooker's senses. This could be a change to the color of the energy the spell presents (a firebolt is now silver instead of the normal flame), the sound a spell makes (A fireball moans instead of the explosive blast you would expect), the shape of the spell (A wall of force has visible religious symbols glowing on its surface) or anything else that the player and DM deem appropriate. These changes are purely cosmetic and do not affect the spell's game statistics at all. A player also cannot use these changes to amplify the spell such as making a minor illusion louder than a scream or making a light spell brighter than it normally is. These minor changes can be applied an unlimited amount of times.

Starting at 5th level the Wizard gains the ability to apply alterations to their spells on the fly with much more substantial effects. Choose a flair from the options below. When you finish a long rest, you may replace your flair with another. Whenever you cast a spell, you can choose to cast it with your flair. You can apply your flair to your spells a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier. Applying it to one casting of a spell counts as one expended use, regardless of the amount of targets the spell or flair affects. You regain all expended uses of your flair when you finish a long rest.

At 5th level you can choose from the following pieces of flair:

Arcane Advance
Your flair causes the spell to batter the
opponent to the point where it's hard for
them to maintain their position. Choose one
creature affected by the spell. The creature
must succeed on a Strength saving throw or
be pushed 5 feet directly away from you. If the
creature cannot be pushed due being adjacent to
an obstacle the push effect does not go off.

Emanation
Your flair causes your spell to be cast with a
lingering Aura. Choose a creature within 30 feet
of you that can see your spell being cast. The
creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw
or emanate a faint aura. This aura prevents the
creature from hiding for 1 round.

Kindle
Your flair causes your spell leak energy from
another plane. Choose a creature within 30
feet of you that can see your spell being cast.
The creature must succeed on a Dexterity
saving throw or take 1d4 points of damage
of an energy type chosen from the following
list: Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, or Thunder

Slow
Your flair causes your spell to be cast in a
way that thickens the air. Choose a creature
within 30 feet of you that can see your spell
being cast. The creature must succeed on a
Constitution saving throw or have all methods
of movement slowed by 10 feet for 1 round.


At 9th level you can added these pieces of flair to the list of options to choose from:

Awe and Wonder
Your flair makes your spells flashy and
magnificent. They might have harmless
sparks, auditory effects, or beautiful displays.
Choose a creature within 30 feet of you that
can see your spell being cast. The creature
must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or
be charmed by you for 1 round. If the
charmed creature takes damage from you or
an ally while it is charmed, the effect ends.

Big Boom
Your flair causes your spell to be cast with a
thunderous boom. Choose a creature within
30 feet of you that can hear your spell being
cast. The creature must succeed on a
Constitution saving throw or be deafened for
1 round.

Distracting
Your flair causes your spell to be distracting,
or even enticing. Choose a creature within 30
feet of you that can see your spell being cast.
The creature must succeed on a Charisma
saving throw or make its next attack roll with
disadvantage.

Flash of Light
Your flair causes your spell to be cast with a
brilliant flash of light. Choose a creature
within 30 feet of you that can see your spell
being cast. The creature must succeed on a
Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1
round.

Pungent Smell
Your flair causes you to emit a pungent smell
whenever you cast a spell. Choose a creature
within 30 feet of you as you cast your spell.
The creature must succeed on a Constitution
saving throw or be poisoned for 1 round. A
creature poisoned in this way will not
willingly move closer to you.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
The key question will be signature spell, which while it looks innocent is a complete game changer for the class, as at-will magic is always strong and useful. How strong will a wizard that gets shield or magic missile every round, or even something like charm person at will? Then there's just the fun of having like 20 unseen servants at once,
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The key question will be signature spell, which while it looks innocent is a complete game changer for the class, as at-will magic is always strong and useful. How strong will a wizard that gets shield or magic missile every round, or even something like charm person at will? Then there's just the fun of having like 20 unseen servants at once,
That's not how it works though
1614998986008.png

It's one first & eventually first or second level slot restricted to one spell that seems to be prepped free for normal usage & if you use the free slot you need to take a rest to recover it
 



tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Is one extra 1st level spell per rest a big deal for a 5th level wizard? Not cast higher, cast at level 1.
Not really, but it makes it worth wondering of wizard will get its a5e heavy lifting from spell tags+weapons& armour rework, rare spells, the class spell lists for arcane casters no longer being almost entirely overlapping, or a big chunk of all three
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
By FAR the best art you have shown. Very, very nice. Pretty solid, scoring highly in all areas except for Wizard's Flair... I can see stinky fireballs incoming... or perhaps I can smell them. Not great at all, especially for a 9th level feature. It has the flavour of wizards apprentice school high jinks more than potent adept arcane manipulation about it.
 

aco175

Legend
I like signature spell. It gives a feel to the wizard that the other casters should not have, but have their own. I could see it chosen at 3rd level with a minor flair to a spell and at 5th becoming what it described. At higher levels it could be more with something added to it like an extra dice of damage, bonus to AC, push 10ft or something to add signature to each wizard.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Damn total missed that. Well in that case, it’s way less powerful than I thought!
Looking at it closer it's even weaker than I originally thought when I was giving it neat but lacking marks
1615051386886.png
That highlighted but all but says that you still need to prep it anyways.
 


Faolyn

Hero
Is one extra 1st level spell per rest a big deal for a 5th level wizard? Not cast higher, cast at level 1.
Currently, a 5th-level wizard gets 7 spells, plus 3 more from Arcane Recovery, plus four cantrips they can cast infinite times. In this version, they'd also get an additional free cantrip (prestidigitation) which frees up a cantrip slot for another attack spell, if desired, and a 1st level spell they can cast at least once more, and probably two or three times, without expending a slot.

That's... a lot of magic there. I voted for 1/long rest.

(And I have a sneaking suspicion that most DMs aren't going to require a wizard to give up their long rest to spend those 8 hours in study to change it.)
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Currently, a 5th-level wizard gets 7 spells, plus 3 more from Arcane Recovery, plus four cantrips they can cast infinite times. In this version, they'd also get an additional free cantrip (prestidigitation) which frees up a cantrip slot for another attack spell, if desired, and a 1st level spell they can cast at least once more, and probably two or three times, without expending a slot.

That's... a lot of magic there. I voted for 1/long rest.

(And I have a sneaking suspicion that most DMs aren't going to require a wizard to give up their long rest to spend those 8 hours in study to change it.)
Cantrips get massively oversold credit once you start looking at the math.
A level 5 fighter paladin ranger berzerker will have two all or nothing attacks of easily 1d10+Prime Attribute Mod+weapon mods piled onto each attack while a rogue will have an all or nothing 1d8+3d6+weapon mods+attrib bonus & possible bonus action 1d6 or 1d4+3d6+weapon mods offhand if that first attack misses for default at will attacks. Wizards even using a d12 cantrip like toll the dead for maximum deck stacking at level five will have one all or nothing 2d12+focus item mods. * Cantrips like chill touch/frostbite/ray of frost with a secondary effect tend to drop one or more die sizes and unlike those weapon users who can ignore "resistant to nonmagical bludgeon/piercing/slashing" the instant they get a weapon that counts as magical those cantrips will always fall prone to energy resists & magic resists. The math & weighting we can expect here is heavily dependent on what the a5e cantrips ultimately wind up looking like for damage & secondary effects when we get there.

The spell slots themselves are another reason why the lackluster free prestidigitation & get an extra cast of a first/second level spell you still need to prep at level nine is so important. In o5e there are a handful of deliberately overtuned iconic spells, a5e will be normalizing those to the dmg283 spell damage table & adding rare spells. The number of spells with secondary effects & nondamage spells that shed theor unused by design status is going to be really important for wizards just as what chunk of their class spell list they share with sorcerers/warlocks who in o5e have near total overlap.


*Adepts get left off the comparison because there are too many variables & what ifs
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
This is the first Wizard class since AD&D 2e that really comes off like what a real wizard could be like. All we need is to start with a Spellbook like our characters could in 2e.

These Exploration Knacks are fantastic. I can actually see myself making a wizard character, something I haven't done in almost 20 years.
 

stadi

Explorer
That is a D&D wizard though. There are other types of spell casters if you don’t like it. Or, you could use the spell point option in the DMG
Yes, I can houserule it myself, or take existing options. Or say that sorcerers are wizards and start houseruling from there. Publications like these might be interesting for me because they might do just that. In this case, this is not going far enough for what I'm looking for. Might be what others are looking for though, I'm not saying it's a bad thing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yes, I can houserule it myself, or take existing options. Or say that sorcerers are wizards and start houseruling from there. Publications like these might be interesting for me because they might do just that. In this case, this is not going far enough for what I'm looking for. Might be what others are looking for though, I'm not saying it's a bad thing.
If you're looking for new classes (rather than the existing 5E classes) this book probably isn't the one for you -- that's not the design goal. Maybe keep an eye out for supplements further down the line though, where we might release some new classes!
 

Grantypants

Explorer
I like what I see, but it's hard to judge the wizard class without the spell list available yet. The class refers to some spells specifically: identify, detect magic, detect thoughts, guidance, and prestidigitation. Are those spells going to be changed from their o5e versions? I'm looking at prestidigitation especially. The action economy seems tough there. Presto, Prestidigitation! lets you use an action to see whatever is within 30 ft of a pebble for the duration of the spell, but the prestidigitation effects (as currently written in o5e) last until you use another action to dismiss them. Is that a deliberate choice to make ambush or surprise tactics more difficult for the wizard?

And if you find a rare version of any of those spells, would you be able to stack the improvements from the rare spell with the improvements from the class ability? In fact, it seems like some of the Spell Study, Wizard's Flair, and Exploration Knack options overlap with the sort of bonuses that you would see in rare spell variants. Would it be a more elegant design overall to change those class features into "you learn Fancy Wizard's Prestidigitation", etc? Or on the other hand, that might make the wizard class feel less special if anyone who found those spells could use those features. And it partly negates the design intent that rare spells be found and not handed out.
 

Teemu

Adventurer
I'm not a fan of Signature Spell the way it's written right now, or Spell Study or Wizard's Flair. The reason is that they add extra things to be tracked. A wizard is already keeping track of spell slots per long rest. Then you have Arcane Recovery once per long rest. Add Signature Spell once per short or long rest. Plus Spell Study can give perks that you can use once or more per long rest. And finally Wizard's Flair adds even more uses per long rest. That's too much. The wizard could also have magic items with long rest uses, and it all adds up and creates a tracking headache.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I'd prefer if the Flairs cost extra spell slot instead of being used x per rest, like the Invention Wizard UA did:

At 6th level, you learn to augment spells in a variety of ways. When you cast a spell with a spell slot, you can expend one additional spell slot to augment its effects for this casting, mixing the raw stuff of magic into your spell to amplify it. The effect depends on the spell slot you expend.

- An additional 1st-level spell slot can increase the spell's raw force. If you roll damage for the spell when you cast it, increase the damage against every target by 2d10 force damage. If the spell can deal damage on more than one turn, it deals this extra force damage only on the turn you cast the spell.

- An additional 2nd-level spell slot can increase the spell's range. If the spell's range is at least 30 feet, it becomes 1 mile.

- An additional 3rd-level spell slot can increase the spell's potency. Increase the spell's save DC by 2.


But with the Flairs effect as described in the document.
 

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