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Optimizing an Int 8 wizard

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
So, our current party is on the ropes, and my buddy and I were spitballing new character concepts for fun when one of us jokingly suggested an Int 8 wizard. We kicked it around for a bit and came to the conclusion that while it's certainly not good, it might actually be playable. So I'm looking for suggestions, especially around what sort of spell tactics would work that don't require attacks or saves.

What I have so far:

Rolled stats : 16,15,15,14,11,8. The 8 will obviously go into Int.
Level 9 wizard. No multiclassing. (The 8 Int makes it impossible anyway.)

Mountain dwarf, for armor and weapon proficencies is the first thing that came to mind...use medium armor, stick a 14 into Dex, 16 into Str to get an 18 with dwarf stats, and then use booming blade to keep my at-will damage competitive. Abjuration for tankiness, or maybe transmutation to get Con saves.

Other ideas we bounced around were conjuration and focus on summons, or necromancy for skeleton horde. But I'm open to any good ideas anyone might have within the parameters, even third party stuff if you have a link to it. (DM's guild preferred, but my DM is pretty flexible as long as he can see it first.)

Thanks!
 

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famousringo

First Post
It's a little limiting, but should be workable. Utility spells don't need int. Buffs like Haste or Polymorph don't need int. Even some control spells, like walls, don't need int.

There are a few damage spells that don't use Int. You'll want to be sure you grab Magic Missile, Cloud of Daggers and Animate Objects. That second one is especially powerful if you have a grappler, and with that strength score, you might be able to do the job yourself. Too bad you can't concentrate on Cloud of Daggers and Enlarge at the same time...

Fire Shield (non-concentration!) plus Blur or some other defensive buff could be a nice way to punish enemies in melee.

As for school, Abjuration suffers because you won't be any good at Counterspelling, but it should still be okay. Necromancy also suffers because you'll have few attack spells to power Grim Harvest. They're both still decent picks otherwise. Divination, Conjuration, and Transmutation would all be fully effective. The first one might be your only hope to land a save spell. :p
 

So, our current party is on the ropes, and my buddy and I were spitballing new character concepts for fun when one of us jokingly suggested an Int 8 wizard. We kicked it around for a bit and came to the conclusion that while it's certainly not good, it might actually be playable. So I'm looking for suggestions, especially around what sort of spell tactics would work that don't require attacks or saves.

What I have so far:

Rolled stats : 16,15,15,14,11,8. The 8 will obviously go into Int.
Level 9 wizard. No multiclassing. (The 8 Int makes it impossible anyway.)

Mountain dwarf, for armor and weapon proficencies is the first thing that came to mind...use medium armor, stick a 14 into Dex, 16 into Str to get an 18 with dwarf stats, and then use booming blade to keep my at-will damage competitive. Abjuration for tankiness, or maybe transmutation to get Con saves.

Other ideas we bounced around were conjuration and focus on summons, or necromancy for skeleton horde. But I'm open to any good ideas anyone might have within the parameters, even third party stuff if you have a link to it. (DM's guild preferred, but my DM is pretty flexible as long as he can see it first.)

Thanks!
You may find the Int 7 necromancer in this post amusing: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?475244-3d6-in-Order/page7&p=6800220#post6800220

I haven't gotten to play him as a player nor use him as a BBEG while DMing, but maybe I'll have a chance to do so soon. Anyway, you might get a laugh out of it or maybe you'd even find it genuinely inspiring.

I had a player playing a Cha 9 Sorcerer for a while. (He was a bog-standard hobgoblin NPC who gained some sorcerer levels during play, and then became a PC.) Sorcerers are so blasty that it was not easy for him, but I think a wizard would have an easier time. You'd want to concentrate on spells like Animate Objects, Animate Dead, Arcane Eye/Clairvoyance, Fabricate, etc. Fireball will still be useful but somewhat less reliable. Phantasmal Force should still be pretty reliable against most monsters. I'd probably play either a Diviner (so you can still do some save-or-lose spells), a Conjuror or Necromancer for minions, or a Transmuter so you can play with your transmuter's stone and various buffs. E.g. give one guy Con save proficiency or elemental resistance from your stone and also buff him with Stoneskin and Longstrider while you hide.

Or, actually, an Int 8 Illusionist might be a lot of fun too. Seeming + Malleable Illusion is mind-blowingly cool, just not particularly great in combat.
 
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TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Or, actually, an Int 8 Illusionist might be a lot of fun too. Seeming + Malleable Illusion is mind-blowingly cool, just not particularly great in combat.
Wow...never thought of that combo. That could be a lot of fun. Thanks!
 


mellored

Explorer
Bladesinger? Or is that "cheating" around the concept?
Bladesinger requires Int for the AC bonus.
But hitting things with booming blade does not.

And yes, it's a playable, if not great build.

Also, fireball can still clear a room of kobolds even at half damage.
 

krunchyfrogg

Explorer
Check out Treantmonk's wizard guide. He stresses spells that don't have a save or suck component.

I've played a (starting 14 INT) halfling wizard, but looking back, I can't remember ever having enemies need to save against my spells (or very rarely anyway).

If you do want saving throw spells, I'd suggest a gnome to get that INT to 10.
 

It would be awesomely fun to roleplay that character. "Earnest, but hapless" is how I'd go.

Reminds me of the children's book "Magic in the Mist". (Out of print, but delightful.)
 

Kithas

First Post
Soutds fun. For schools take a look at evocation. The ability for half damage on cantrips if they save(which they likely will) gives you much more options for range and aoe cantrips. Sculpt spells is always great and the level 10 says you can add your int so you dont have to if you dont want to!
 

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