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D&D 5E Neophyte DM - Spellcaster Question

Ventaiga

Villager
For context, I have a Ranger, Wizard, Bard, and Druid in my group. I recognize that Wizards are characterized by great versatility due to the number of spells recorded in their spellbook. I struggle, however, to see why that is all that different from a druid, who can, at the end of a long rest, change the list of prepared spells he/she has. At the third level, my druid has six spells prepared (plus her two circle spells) and my third level wizard also has six spells prepared. Is the difference simply that the wizard's spell list is so much larger with arguably more potent spells?

Ultimately, my question is: how does the spellbook impart such spell versatility?
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Your spellbook(s) can collect as many spells as you run into over the course of your career. And as you said, the wizard's spell list is longer, so there are more spells you can ultimately have. Also, the wizard's spell list is much different than the druid's, so the types of magic the wizard can cast makes for a much different character.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
For context, I have a Ranger, Wizard, Bard, and Druid in my group. I recognize that Wizards are characterized by great versatility due to the number of spells recorded in their spellbook. I struggle, however, to see why that is all that different from a druid, who can, at the end of a long rest, change the list of prepared spells he/she has. At the third level, my druid has six spells prepared (plus her two circle spells) and my third level wizard also has six spells prepared. Is the difference simply that the wizard's spell list is so much larger with arguably more potent spells?

Ultimately, my question is: how does the spellbook impart such spell versatility?
It's a hold over urban legend from 3.5 when that was actually true & spells were dramatically better in almost every way before getting into system differences.
Edit: It might have held true in 5e had ritual spells been a bit more complete as a concept & concentration not so overused, but that's not how those things were ultimately put into 5e
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
In playing a low-level wizard, I still find rituals a darned useful extension.

For the OP - most classes have to prepare a spell before they can cast it as a ritual. Wizards just need to have the spell in their spellbook and be able to cast spells of the proper level. Spell slots can then be saved for thigns that have to be done quickly..
 



D1Tremere

Explorer
As has already been touched on, Wizard's spellbooks are more versatile because of the large number of spells they can learn, and the scope of those spells. To elaborate on that some more, there are really 2 things that make it powerful. 1st: Wizards are not bound by gods, alignment, or idiom. Where a druid has access to many powerful spells, they are all from ever more curated lists of druid type. 2nd: Building on my first point, Wizards can also learn new arcane spells that get added to their world via new sources, such as DM created content or new official sources. This can even take the form of new spells that the wizard constructs themselves (along with their DM).
 

Nefermandias

Explorer
As has already been touched on, Wizard's spellbooks are more versatile because of the large number of spells they can learn, and the scope of those spells. To elaborate on that some more, there are really 2 things that make it powerful. 1st: Wizards are not bound by gods, alignment, or idiom. Where a druid has access to many powerful spells, they are all from ever more curated lists of druid type. 2nd: Building on my first point, Wizards can also learn new arcane spells that get added to their world via new sources, such as DM created content or new official sources. This can even take the form of new spells that the wizard constructs themselves (along with their DM).
We are talking 5e here.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The versatility of the wizard mostly comes from being able to use rituals in their spellbook (assuming they have some, I usually aim to have detect magic and identify in my spellbooks at least). While they have a large spell list, realistically, they won't have access to most of that over their careers unless the DM is very generous with scrolls for them to copy.
 

One thing to keep in mind: The wizard doesn't automatically get a wide variety of spells. They get two per level for free and that's it. The rest come form adventuring: either loot they find or stuff they buy. Some sources include:

1. Spell scrolls you find in dungeons.
2. Spellbooks taken from defeated casters.
3. Spell scrolls you buy.
4. "Renting" spellbooks from friendly wizards so you can copy spells. This could be cash, trade, or favors.
5. If the wizard is part of a guild or other organization, access to community books may be a perk (and making and/or adding to such libraries may be a requirement).
6. Using downtime to research additional spells.

If you have a player who's a wizard, be sure to include at least some of these or other sources of extra spells. It's a type of reward that's distinct to the class (and certain ritual casters) so it might not show up in more generic treasure tables / downtime activity lists.
 

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