D&D 5E What is REALLY wrong with the Wizard? (+)

ECMO3

Hero
Wizards of myth and fantasy can typically do everything. But an individual wizard typically lacks access to them. There are few fantasies and mythology were a wizard has high access into all elements of magic.
But this is true in D&D wizards too. A wizard only has 4 spells plus 2 per level available to prepare unless the DM made more available to her. At 8th level for example you have 20 spells total and can prepare 13 of them.

To get more than that in your book you need scrolls, gold and time. Unless your DM is giving you all of those things it is not possible for a 5E wizard to access all elements of magic. As a matter of fact I would argue that a PC Cleric typically has access to a wider variety of magic than a wizard.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
Frankly, too bad. D&D isn't low magic. D&D has at will, risk free, player facing magic. There is player magic in every. Single. Encounter. The monk does fantastic things without being a spellcaster because, as would be expected in a fantasy world, they aren't a carbon copy of what could be achieved in the real world. Apparently fighters are just too stupid to incorporate some of that into their training?
Fighters do have that in their training though. Second Wind, Blind Fighting fighting style, several of the maneuvers available through Superior Technique and at high levels several of the things you can accomplish with action surge are all examples of doing things beyond what can be achieved in the real world and all part of the basic fighter chassis.

The world record time to fire 10 arrows is 40 seconds. A 20th level fighter can fire 16 arrows in 12 seconds.

This is before you even consider feat options which are also part of the basic fighter chassis and subclass options.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
How about these (which don't require rolling either):
  • Barbarian: Fast Movement
  • Bard: Jack of All Trades, Song of Rest
  • Druid: Wild Shape
  • Monk: Too many to bother with...
  • Paladin: Divine Sense (and others)
  • Ranger: Natural Explorer
  • Sorcerer: Font of Magic
  • Warlock: Invocations
To be fair, most of these only affect the PC in question, whereas most spells have the ability to be cast on other people. Which makes the spells generally more useful.
 

Actually, thinking about it, there's another franchise where you have "do everything" Wizards.

Space Wizards!
View attachment 270162
The Force can be used to shoot lightning, mentally dominate people, telekinetically move objects, move super fast, jump super high, see into the future, fight with laser swords, heal, allow people to instantaneously communicate across light years of distance, fly, command animals, create life- and I haven't even gotten into the Expanded Universe yet!
Right, but each individual space wizard only has a few individual powers. Obi-Wan can't shoot lightning or create life. Vader can't heal, communicate telepathically or dominate.

The loss of opposition schools resulted in a loss of identity for an individual wizard to make them stand out from their peers.
 

Fighters do have that in their training though. Second Wind, Blind Fighting fighting style, several of the maneuvers available through Superior Technique and at high levels several of the things you can accomplish with action surge are all examples of doing things beyond what can be achieved in the real world and all part of the basic fighter chassis.

The world record time to fire 10 arrows is 40 seconds. A 20th level fighter can fire 16 arrows in 12 seconds.

This is before you even consider feat options which are also part of the basic fighter chassis and subclass options.
You think a trained human in our world can't occasionally push themselves to act slightly faster in a 6-10 second span? Fighters trained in athletics barely match real world athletes. It feels like a class as envisioned by someone who can't imagine anything beyond being the toughest guy at the bowling alley. They're so pathetically basic.

The Justice Society of America touts Power Girl, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate as members. It also has Wildcat, a... heavyweight boxer. Wildcat is the loser of the JSA. Fighters are the Wildcat of D&D, ill suited to adventuring with the "real" heroes. It's an sidekick/NPC class that somehow snuck into the PHB.

To me, that's the biggest problem with wizards. They'd be fine as is if adventuring with mythic characters like Hercules or anime martial heroes like Guts from Berserk. But they aren't. Either lower the breadth of their power, or raise others up.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
But this is true in D&D wizards too. A wizard only has 4 spells plus 2 per level available to prepare unless the DM made more available to her. At 8th level for example you have 20 spells total and can prepare 13 of them.

To get more than that in your book you need scrolls, gold and time. Unless your DM is giving you all of those things it is not possible for a 5E wizard to access all elements of magic. As a matter of fact I would argue that a PC Cleric typically has access to a wider variety of magic than a wizard.
But the wizard still has access. Because the wizard has access to strong abjuration stronger conjuration strong divination strong evocation etc you can do anything with the class nor dive into new ideas.

For example you could go really hard on dragon magic in a sorcerer or hard on far really stuff on the warlock. You can't really tweak the wizard because it... already has all the magic.

In fantasy and myth, there usually is a type of magic the wizard doesn't normally have access to. You have to be evil to be death magic. Mind magic makes you crazy. Transformation alters the mind. Wizards can't alter time. Wizards can't affect the soul. Wizards can't replicate nature. This drives some wizards to pursue it anyway and ignore the consequences. Or you have wizards be knowledgeable of their lack and work around it. Or the few wizards who fall boundless effects had to step into roles or altered themselves in ways that barred some of the use of potency their magic

But the D&D wizard lacks that. You cannot plan around the wizard not being good at anything or having anything. It just becomes a lottery of whether an individual wizard has or doesn't have any style of effect. There is no theme to see. A blasted wizard can prepare charms and summons. An illusionist can have some death magic one day and alchemy the next
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
@DND_Reborn I haven't read the entire thread, but you asked for examples of casters punching well above their weight class, which I'm happy to provide. Admittedly, I tend to play more bards, druids, and clerics (I've usually been the guy in my group who'll volunteer to play a healer if no one else wants to). But I have played a few wizards in my time. I will include some non-wizard caster examples, since obviously I have more of those.

There was the time in a 3.x game when an extremely powerful monster ally of ours became infected by an alien parasite. We didn't want to leave her in that state, so my caster cast fly and improved invisibility. In that effectively untouchable state, I proceeded to spam SoD spells until she finally rolled low and died.

In another 3.x game, my buddy made a point of learning every spell he could for his wizard, and scribed one scroll of each spell (because it was so cheap). As such, he often had extremely narrow and clutch spell solutions, like the time we faced off against a dangerous group of fiends and he pulled out some spell that may as well have been named Annihilate Fiend. Cause that's exactly what happened.

There was the time in the very first 5e campaign I played in when we were attacked by giants. My wizard kited one of the giants around with misty step and shield, until one of our fighters was one hit from going down. Whereupon I polymorphed him into a giant ape, effectively restoring significantly more hp than a cleric of my level while simultaneously granting him a sizable combat buff. After that, we cleaned up the fight with ease. I probably could have made that fight much easier, but in that campaign I was really trying not to overshadow the rest of the party.

Earlier in that same campaign, we were being attacked by waves of giant wasps and none of the other party members had AoE. That wizard was an evoker, so I easily fireballed each wave of wasps. I think it was something like 36 wasps, which could have otherwise been an easy TPK for a 6ish level party.

There was also a the time my 5e druid was able to use move earth to activate a titan supercomputer (composed of giant stone monoliths that could be raised/lowered). That one completely altered the ending of the campaign so much that it affected the entire game world and future campaigns (in a very positive way).

There was also a the time that one of my wizard players almost TPK'd the entire rest of the party. The tried to fight back, but ultimately had to use wishes (ring of wishes) and a staff of sanctuary just to escape. And that was despite that I was peeved with him for attacking the party and my rulings we're biased in the party's favor. The wizard had the element of surprise, but the party consisted of 4-5 other members.

That same wizard pulled out True Sight earlier in that campaign, and discovered a powerful campaign secret (True Sight was the only way to find it aside from looking in the right spot while gazing into a mirror, so I never expected anyone to actually find that one).

And, of course, the old classics of using summoned creatures to trigger traps or telekinesis to safely retrieve items or pull levers (etc). I can't recall a specific story about those, but we've used those tricks plenty of times.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Really? Pretty much every party I’ve seen has two or more sprllcasters. Seems pretty high magic to me!
It isn't the quantity (number of spellcasters), but the setting itself (many high-level casters, powerful magic items and/or magical sites, etc.) that indicates a low-med-high magic game.

Feel free to make your own judgement on a different standard, of course.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Right, but each individual space wizard only has a few individual powers. Obi-Wan can't shoot lightning or create life. Vader can't heal, communicate telepathically or dominate.

The loss of opposition schools resulted in a loss of identity for an individual wizard to make them stand out from their peers.
Palpatine can do most of the things on that list, and he's a chump compared to some of the Sith Masters of the past.
 

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