D&D General The Specialist Wizard - the Wizard 2.0

M_Natas

Hero
Ladies and Gentleman,

I present to you the Wizard 2.0!
He comes with three subclasses: The Specialist, the Generalist and the Bard (okay, the last one is an even bigger experiment, because I my mind, the Bard is an arcane magic user that is basically a wizard who went to Arts school ... if you don't like the bard as a Wizard Subclass, please ignore that and concentrate on the new Design Concept of Wizard Specialist and Generalist).
It comes with:
  • 3 Subclasses (Specialist, Generalist and Bard)
  • Proficiency and Expertise for Schools of Magic, walling of access to higher spells
  • A Horde System (was needed for the Necromancer Summon)
  • 11 new cantrips and 29 new Spells (to even out the imbalance in Spells in the Schools of Magic) – including never seen evolving spells that get new abilites at higher levels!
Why a new Wizard-Class?

After long discussions about Fighters and Wizards, there were a lot of complaints about the design of the Wizard. That the subclasses were more or less meaningless (except for the Bladesinger), because the Wizard is his spell list, and no matter which subclass you choose, you can always choose the 10 best spells there are, because you can always access any spell from the wizard subclass.
It also makes a lot of the wizard school subclasses feel meaningless, like the Necromancer, because the Spell for him to get his Undead Minions is spell level 3, so he will never get it before character level 6.
It is also one of the biggest complaints against the Power-Creep of Wizards: That they have access to so many spells that they have a tool for every problem.

So, my Idea to fix that, was to implement a simple system, which would incorporate all School of Magic Wizard-Subclasses into one subclass:
Proficiency and Expertise for Schools of Magic.
  • You have General Spells (some cantrips, most level 1 and 2 spells), that every Wizard can learn.
  • You have advanced spells, that require proficiency in their school of magic to learn. A lot of Level 3 to 5 Spells.
  • You have expert spells, that require expertise in their school of magic to learn. Most level 6 to Level 9 spells.
That allows some fun things:
First of all: I can make thematic spells that are stronger, but can only be used by a Wizard who has expertise in that school of magic. Like, yeah, I'm changing now the School of Magic-Subclass Ability basically into spells - but now that they are guarded behind expertise, that is actually fine. And it fits the theme of "The Wizard is his Spellbook" even stronger. Like, giving a spell "Create undead Minion" to every Wizard would be bad. It would be overpowerd. But only for Experts in Necromancy to have that is fine, because then they can't have access to the most powerful spells of other schools of magic, so it balances out. Suddenly the Schools of Magic have meaning and a Necromancer is distinct from a diviner and from an evoker!

With the Specialist Wizard Subclass, you gain Expertise in one School of Magic. That means you can learn the strongest spells from that school of Magic. Additionally, over all the levels, you will also gain proficiency in 3 schools of magic, getting access to a lot of spells up to level 5.
This is more on Theme of a Wizard who emulates a modern academic: Somebody who specialises in one Field.
The Specialist Wizard gains benefits for Spells of his own school. I also added on several Levels advanced and expert spells for each school, to give back some Subclass Abilities that were otherwise lost, to strengthen the theme of the subclass.

With the Generalist Wizard Subclass, overall the Levels, you gain proficiency in 7 of the 8 schools of Magic. So you have wide spell selection, but not access to the strongest spells of each class. So he is more flexible, and his subclass abilities improve his flexibility further.

With the Bard-Wizard Subclass, I wanted to see If I can make that subclass. I actually think it would be fine, if you were able to forget that the Bard-Class actually exist :).

Now, the Spell list for all Schools of Magic are not totally balanced against each other yet, I just filled up the biggest holes, trying to balance the new spells against the existing ones - but especially at higher levels that is very hard.

P.S.: I already implemented directly into the class my Gradual Gritty Realism Rest System for recovering spellslots - that can be ignored, and you can just assume that he recovers all spell slots after a long rest.

So, I'm open to feedback and discussions, but I must warn you: If you think that the current Wizard shouldn't be changed, then this thread is probably not for you, but I'm open to any constructive criticism.

Find the PDF with all the Subclasses and Spells attached.
 

Attachments

  • Wizard 2.0.pdf
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm going to make comments as I go along.

On preparing and casting spells, I think it's a bit harsh to limit the spell levels recovered to be equal to the wizard's level. 5e is designed around resource attrition, so the very design of 5e is going to keep the wizard casting his spells. An 18th level wizard will likely take several days to recover from a single adventuring day worth of encounters, and that doesn't include any possible utility use. I'd recommend 1.5x or 2x level recovery.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think that depriving generalist wizards of any 7th-9th level spells is also too harsh. At upper levels the lack is going to severely hamper the generalist. Maybe do something like let the specialist gain expertise in both schools it gets and allow it a third proficient school. 3 schools total and 2 as expert. The generalist eventually has 7 schools, so give him expertise in 1 school. The specialist gets more high level spells and the generalist can cast at least some high level spells.
 

M_Natas

Hero
I'm going to make comments as I go along.

On preparing and casting spells, I think it's a bit harsh to limit the spell levels recovered to be equal to the wizard's level. 5e is designed around resource attrition, so the very design of 5e is going to keep the wizard casting his spells. An 18th level wizard will likely take several days to recover from a single adventuring day worth of encounters, and that doesn't include any possible utility use. I'd recommend 1.5x or 2x level recovery.
That is a leftover from my Gradual Gritty Realism Rules. If you don't wanna use that, the Wizzard can have the normal long rest spell slot regeneration.
I think that depriving generalist wizards of any 7th-9th level spells is also too harsh. At upper levels the lack is going to severely hamper the generalist. Maybe do something like let the specialist gain expertise in both schools it gets and allow it a third proficient school. 3 schools total and 2 as expert. The generalist eventually has 7 schools, so give him expertise in 1 school. The specialist gets more high level spells and the generalist can cast at least some high level spells.
I was thinking more of adding some more general or advanced (proficiency) higher level spells, but didn't find the creativity yet to do that and there were already not enough existing (srd) spells to get every school one spell at each level.
I also thought about giving the specialist two expertises so I can give the generalist one expertise maybe at level 14, but I'm unsure how that will balance. It would weaken the expertise theme of the expert and the generalist theme of the generalist.
Adding some more level 7 to 8 spells that require proficiency could remedy the situation.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I do like the idea of Spell Experimentation and later Spell Fusion, give a bit more thought to the mechanics involved with that and let Generalist freely swamp energy types and other features to create their own spells to fill the school of their choice.
Maybe even let them dip into non-Arcane spells via the fusion feature
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
The idea of a specialist wizard is an old one, the 1e Illusionist was the first in a D&D book (it was preceded by an 0e class that appeared in The Strategic Review), 2e literally had a 'Specialist' and 3e had an option for specialists in their wizard.

The 1e Illusionist had a smaller spell list, focused on illusions, that only went up to 7th (only magic-users ever got 8th or 9th level spells), but it had spells the MU didn't, and got some illusion spells at lower level.
The 2e Specialist had two or three opposition schools based on the specialty school, but otherwise learned and cast the same remaining spells at the same levels as generalists.
The 3e Specialist chose two opposition schools (other than divination - or only one if a diviner - divination being a smaller school)

You should already be seeing the consistent D&D trend of restrictions falling away from casters from one edition to the next. :rolleyes:

4e didn't organize spells into schools, so there were no specialists.
Essentials added specialist mages (wizard sub-class) who gained benefits with their specialty school, only (existing spells were assigned to schools), but faced no restrictions on what spells they could learn.
5e specialists gain benefits with their specialty school, but face no restrictions on what spells they can learn.

So, specialists working from a smaller spell list was a very consistent idea through the game's history, only really being done away with in Essentials & 5e, where the only thing that remained was gaining benefits...
IIRC, 5e never got an official generalist?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That is a leftover from my Gradual Gritty Realism Rules. If you don't wanna use that, the Wizzard can have the normal long rest spell slot regeneration.

I was thinking more of adding some more general or advanced (proficiency) higher level spells, but didn't find the creativity yet to do that and there were already not enough existing (srd) spells to get every school one spell at each level.
I also thought about giving the specialist two expertises so I can give the generalist one expertise maybe at level 14, but I'm unsure how that will balance. It would weaken the expertise theme of the expert and the generalist theme of the generalist.
Adding some more level 7 to 8 spells that require proficiency could remedy the situation.
Why not go the old route?

Give specialists half the schools of the generalist. Let both go to 9th level spells. Then give the specialist an extra slot of each spell level usable for the specialty school only. That would do it.
 

M_Natas

Hero
I do like the idea of Spell Experimentation and later Spell Fusion, give a bit more thought to the mechanics involved with that and let Generalist freely swamp energy types and other features to create their own spells to fill the school of their choice.
Maybe even let them dip into non-Arcane spells via the fusion feature
What else could we change in spell via a class feature - maybe duration. Spell components. Targets.

Non-Arcane Spells is an idea - like, the generalist can choose spells from proficient schools of magic of the cleric, druid or Bard spell list (or primal/divine spelllist if they will appear int the 2024 PHB). Would make the generalist even more general. That is a good idea.

Give specialists half the schools of the generalist. Let both go to 9th level spells. Then give the specialist an extra slot of each spell level usable for the specialty school only. That would do it.
The specialist feature already gives an extra casting. Maybe I can change that to that.
IIRC, 5e never got an official generalist?
The Order of Scribe is the closest to a generalist in 5E I can think of.
 

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