Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Takes On Theurgy & War Magic

In the latest Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, the wizard gets another look. This week's short two-page PDF includes two Arcane Traditions - Theurgy (wizards with divine patrons) and War Magic (wizards who use evocation and abjuration in combat). "After releasing the 28-page mystic last week, we have a short Unearthed Arcana installment this week: two Arcane Tradition options for the wizard. The Theurgy tradition has appeared in Unearthed Arcana before, but this time we’d like to gather playtest feedback on it. War Magic is an option we’re exploring after reading your feedback on Lore Mastery and seeing interest in a war mage option."


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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cbwjm

Legend
I was talking about when you can learn the spell. Which is why I used "get" and not "cast".

The wizard can't get the spells earlier than the cleric. The rules for the spellbook require that they be able to cast spell slots of the appropriate level, nothing in this subclass supercedes that.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
The wizard can't get the spells earlier than the cleric. The rules for the spellbook require that they be able to cast spell slots of the appropriate level, nothing in this subclass supercedes that.

I also used "different", not "lower".

It was used in this context:

By the time you could learn Scrying with the Knowledge Domain and this class feature, you could have already learned it, turning it into a choice of any 9th level Cleric Spell instead. Which is really good, because you would have otherwise had to pay 2 high level spell picks before you could start doing so. Which reinforces the idea that it's a huge system mastery trap because it isn't obvious to everybody.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I also used "different", not "lower".

It was used in this context:

By the time you could learn Scrying with the Knowledge Domain and this class feature, you could have already learned it, turning it into a choice of any 9th level Cleric Spell instead. Which is really good, because you would have otherwise had to pay 2 high level spell picks before you could start doing so. Which reinforces the idea that it's a huge system mastery trap because it isn't obvious to everybody.

Maybe there is confusion over how you describe spell acquisition due in part to level being used as spell level or class level. You even say that "2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th level spells aren't even granted by domains" so you can understand people's confusion since it sounds you are talking about spell levels, not levels at which domain spells are gained.

Maybe arcane initiate needs clarification before being published (if it gets published which I think there is a good change that it will since they are now asking for playtest feedback), I read it as requiring you to gain all of the domain spells, as in, you cannot pick other cleric spells until you have all 10 of the spells granted by the domain in your spell book. Sure this means that some arcane theurges will be able to start picking general cleric spells from level 10 onwards while others may have to wait until 11th level, but I don't think that is a huge issue.
 

Wrathamon

Adventurer
maybe a crazy thought but the mystic theurge could be a multiclass Feat that requires Wizard Cleric level as a prereq and somehow makes that a "good" choice

No idea what the benefit would be

I dont like "yanking" cleric domains and adding it to the wizard, as those domains are designed for the cleric, and it makes a muddy crossover depending on the domain.

I would prefer a take where a wizard "steals" magic from powers that be and gets access to "divine magic" but at a price. I also sorta like the Invoker from past editions but I know that is not a theurge but more of a blasting wizard like cleric.

anyways, I think the warmage should be good at "mass warfare" and some of the abilities sing to a focus on war but not all. Most seem to be about surviving combat or dealing more damage.

neither of these feel very inspired by the narrative but are trying to "fit" the role they were in the past.
 

War Magic

I'm not sure if there was actual demand for this, or if this was a result of misinterpreting everyone realizing the Lore wizard needed to be stripped of like half of it's power before it could be a viable option.
There was a War Mage in 3.5, so, maybe that's the inspiration? It was very different from a wizard archetype, of course...
 

Xeviat

Hero
I'm struggling to think of a situation where a wizard using healing magic could possibly be abused. The only negative possibility is a breakdown of niche protection, but that's not munchkinism.

What's that ability that lets a wizard choose a 1st level Spell and use it at-will.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Good catch.

To be fair, it is gained at 18th level, when it will be of limited in-combat usefulness, and when out of combat healing will be unlikely to be a big issue.
Pretty much. Compared to turning the whole party into dragons, free out of combat healing isn't a real balance concern.
 

jrowland

First Post
We already have options for that. The GM can implement the healing surge variant rule from the DMG if they wish to run that sort of game.
Or they can give out a wand, staff, shield, ring or heck just let lots of potions drop and alow characters to purchase bandoliers for their potions.

or the wizard can play a theurge...
 

Lasymik

First Post
I like the Theurge wizard. First, I like the idea of character background besides one for a cleric of a character having their faith as an integral part of their identity and a source of power and influence on their skill set. Second, I think wizards as a character-class make a good match with a divine domain. There are certainly plenty of examples of wizards in fantasy literature with a spiritual, divine, or religious component. Third, it is a thematically appropriate way to give wizards a heal ability (I know there are various necromatic and "blood magic" spells that give heal abilities, too). I don't understand why clerics need to be the official "healers," it does not sound interesting to play a cleric as a "heal bot." Also, other classes have heal abilities and there are feats you can take to get heal abilities, so I do not see why people are concerned about the wizard getting some heal abilities. Fourth, since wizards have a special background in magic, I see no problem with giving certain cleric domain features to the wizard early at level 17. This subclass gets everything else LATER than a cleric would, so there should be some sweetener to choosing this subclass, or else why bother? Fifth, who cares that wizards already have access to lots of spells? Many of the official spells are weak or only useful in very specific situations. And, remember, you have to prepare spells in advance, which limits the benefit of having access to lots of spells. People throw silly fits about the wizard class being "overpowered" when there are so many magic-user classes now--nearly everyone and their mother can cast spells, and the wizard class lacks combat skills, wizards have to prepare spells, and ultimately they do not gain the same performance as many of the other classes as one progresses through the levels. Sixth, the Arcane Initiate feature of this subclass is really not that great because you have to take all the spells in your domain before you can choose other cleric spells. Many of the spells in many of the domains already ARE wizard spells (and you have to learn ALL spells in your domain), which means over the long course of leveling up, you are really only getting a limited number of cleric spells that you would really want. I would personally get rid of this "fill up your domain" requirement, as it would make this subclass easier to manage and more desirable to choose without really giving it that great of an advantage.

All in all, I think this is an interesting wizard subclass that would be fun to play and would add some flavor to a campaign. I do not see any problem with this subclass if it is played right and managed by the DM. And, as always if you don't like it, then don't use it in your game, but I see no reason why it should not be an "official" option for others to play.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
I like the Theurge wizard. First, I like the idea of character background of a character besides a cleric having their faith as an integral part of their identity and a source of power and influence on their skill set. Second, I think wizards as a character-class make a good match with a divine domain. There is certainly plenty of examples of wizards in fantasy literature with a spiritual, divine, or religious component. Third, it is a thematically appropriate way to give wizards a heal ability (I know there are various necromatic and "blood magic" spells that give heal abilities, too). I don't understand why clerics need to be the official "healers," not does it sound interesting to play a cleric as a "heal bot." Also, other classes have heal abilities and there are fears you can take to get heal abilities, so I do not see why people are concerned about the wizard getting some heal abilities. Fourth, since wizards have a special background in magic, I see no problem with giving certain cleric domain features to the wizard early at level 17. They get everything else LATER than a cleric would, so yes, there should be some sweetener to choosing this subclass, or else why bother? Fifth, who cares that wizards have already have access to lots of spells? Many of the official spells are weak or only useful in very specific situations. And, remember, you have to prepare spells in advance, which limits the benefit of having access to lots of spells. People throw silly fits about the wizard class being "overpowered" when there are so many magic-user classes now--nearly everybody and their mother can cast spells, and the wizard class lacks combat skills, has to prepare spells, and ultimately doesn't outperform many of the other classes as one progresses through the levels. Sixth, the Arcane Initiate feature really is not that great because you have to take all the spells in your domain before you can choose other cleric spells. Many of the spells in many of the domains already ARE wizard spells, which means over the long course of leveling up, you are really only getting a limited number of cleric spells that you would really want. I would personally get rid of this "fill up your domain" requirement, as it would make this subclass easier to manage and more desirable to choose without really giving that great of an advantage.

All in all, I think this is an interesting wizard subclass that would be fun to play and add some flavor to a campaign. I do not see any problem with this subclass if it is played right and managed by the DM. And, as always if you don't like it, then don't use it in your game, but I see no reason why it should not be an "official" option for others to play.



Choose the Arcana Domain and you likely already know all of the spells from that domain as a wizard.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I think they Theurgy archetype is way better than what they were doing in other editions. I'm not keen on warmage. I would like to swap out one of the abilities in warmage for that stupid spell sculpting ability where you may hurt your allies or you may not hurt your allies.
 

Lasymik

First Post
Choose the Arcana Domain and you likely already know all of the spells from that domain as a wizard.

Not in the beginning, and that is my point why it ends up being a burdensome restriction. If you choose the Arcana tradition at 2nd level as a wizard, you would not have all these spells in this domain in your spell book. You would have to add all these spells first before you could start swapping out cleric spells from other domains for wizard spells. If most of the spells in your chosen domain are already wizard spells, you have to add them to your spell book to fill up your domain requirement before you can branch out into cleric spells from other domains.
 

Hussar

Legend
Considering how many iconic wizard spells are poached by cleric domain lists, is it really a big deal to give a wizard a number of cleric spells to choose from?
 


jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
They have gotten love.

9 subclasses in the PHB. 1 in SCAG. 1 in an earlier UA. 2 here. That is 13 options.

And its a popular class with many popular options. Its not like sorcerer or ranger. Anyways, only the cleric came close to range of options in the PHB, and its not clear they needed to add 4 more.
UA options aren't official. And anyway, in this current round, everybody is getting more. It's not a zero-sum game.
 

Eubani

Hero
UA options aren't official. And anyway, in this current round, everybody is getting more. It's not a zero-sum game.
I think the point is that the time, effort and other resources spent on the Wizard would be better utilized elsewhere. The designers have pointed out design issues among several other classes and the Wizard already has so much that the attention is better spent on the classes that both the designers and feedback show need it far more. Books have limited space and for once in 40 odd years would it be such a terrible thing if the Wizard class stepped back a bit so that other classes can get what they need?
 

cbwjm

Legend
I think the point is that the time, effort and other resources spent on the Wizard would be better utilized elsewhere. The designers have pointed out design issues among several other classes and the Wizard already has so much that the attention is better spent on the classes that both the designers and feedback show need it far more. Books have limited space and for once in 40 odd years would it be such a terrible thing if the Wizard class stepped back a bit so that other classes can get what they need?
I think so. If all of the subclasses we've seen are for the mechanics expansion book out later this year, then I think every class should be represented even if some classes only have a single subclass added to the game.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
... for once in 40 odd years would it be such a terrible thing if the Wizard class stepped back a bit so that other classes can get what they need?
But this isn't preventing other classes from getting what they need. WotC has been working on the other classes too, and arguably working harder on them than on wizards.

Besides, I don't see why wizards should be singled out as the class that needs to "step back." As has been pointed out, there are more cleric options currently than wizard options. And let's face it, almost nobody currently plays some of the existing wizard options as PCs--I bet you don't see many conjurors or diviners, for example.

ETA: Also, if this is about an underlying worry about wizard dominance, the new options won't be absurdly powerful from what I'm hearing. If they even make it into the book.
 

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