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D&D 5E Wizard academy providing “all spells”, how strong?

ECMO3

Adventurer
A discussion on how powerful the wizards “breath of knowledge” is.

let us assume a common scenario in some campaigns.

The party’s wizard is an alumni at a Wizards academy. An alumni perk, access to their spell library. while the wizard must supply their own inks, they effectively can have any core spell in the game if they use their downtime to swing by the alma mater.

compared to the standard wizard who finds the occasional scroll for copy, how “strong” is this?

how much better is the alumni wizard in comparison? Or put another way, how much money is the privilege or all of that spell access “worth” should the school charge its alumni for access?

For this purpose let’s assume the wizard is your typical adventuring PC, receiving normal treasure, and gets some downtime between each major adventure.
I think as long as it is 4th level and below it is ok. I find money and time to be significant barriers to copying spells and you are usually limited on how many you can prepare anyway.

Once you get to 5th level I would give them a chance to have a specific spell on file in the library, decreasing with every level through 8th. Maybe 80% at 5th level 20% at 8th level.

9th level spells would be special, while the head of the academy might have some in his personal collection, but they would not be in the library. Of course said head of the academy might be willing to let an aspiring young 17th level wizard peruse said collection in exchange for a specific service or quest.
 

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A discussion on how powerful the wizards “breath of knowledge” is.

let us assume a common scenario in some campaigns.

The party’s wizard is an alumni at a Wizards academy. An alumni perk, access to their spell library. while the wizard must supply their own inks, they effectively can have any core spell in the game if they use their downtime to swing by the alma mater.

compared to the standard wizard who finds the occasional scroll for copy, how “strong” is this?

how much better is the alumni wizard in comparison? Or put another way, how much money is the privilege or all of that spell access “worth” should the school charge its alumni for access?

For this purpose let’s assume the wizard is your typical adventuring PC, receiving normal treasure, and gets some downtime between each major adventure.
Do you see the money being much of a limit, or do you see a wizard character should basically be able to have all the spells on their list at most levels?

It is definitely a significant buff, but the wizard already gets a lot of spells available to them, so it isn't quite as bad as doing the same thing to Sorcerors for example.
Much will depend on your game style: If players often get to make and carry out plans, this ability to pick and choose the ideal spells for the job will be very powerful. If the party are generally on a time-critical path with unexpected twists and turns, it may be only a little more powerful than a wizard without. The big issue I see either way is that you're granting the wizard automatic use of all the ritual spells on the wizard list. That is a definite boost.

Is this going to break your game? Doubtful. On the other hand, you are making what is generally thought of as the most capable class in the game even better.
If you think that is necessary, go right ahead, and make the spells cheap enough that the wizard in your party can keep up with the other characters.

Its so dependent upon your game and the group I don't think I could give any definite numbers. A general piece of advice based on this however would be:
Will this buff actually fix the reason your wizard is struggling? - As someone already pointed out, having even more options can cause choice paralysis. If they're already having trouble deciding on loadout, give them a wand or staff of a spell they often use. This will probably be a similar level of power, but won't require the player to engage in as much fine-tuning after each Long Rest.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
I've always allowed people to take whatever spell they want, it's not a big deal.
Do you mean they prepare spells like a cleric?

I think the OP is not talking about level up, I think he means in addition to the two you get with each level you can use the library to access other in the same manner you would a scroll or a spellbook you took off of an enemy wizard. So my wizard levels up to 5th level and he gets fireball and fly for free, but he wants a copy of haste too, so he goes to the library looks for haste and spends 150gp and 6 hours adding it to his book.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
There are very few NPCs above 10th level in my game (usually reserved for heroes, villains and patrons). I allow wizards to copy spells of levels 0-5 into their spellbooks without cost. Spells of 6th level and higher are much more rare since very few wizards reach that level and most of those who do are quixotic or greedy and are unlikely to share their research. Wizards must find or research spells of 6th level and up. (There's lots of down time in my games).
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Do you mean they prepare spells like a cleric?

I think the OP is not talking about level up, I think he means in addition to the two you get with each level you can use the library to access other in the same manner you would a scroll or a spellbook you took off of an enemy wizard. So my wizard levels up to 5th level and he gets fireball and fly for free, but he wants a copy of haste too, so he goes to the library looks for haste and spends 150gp and 6 hours adding it to his book.

They still have to scribe the spell into their book and pay appropriate cost so they may not be able to copy every spell, especially at higher level. But if they gain the trust and friendship of another wizard, they will likely share spells. There are sometimes organizations they can join where wizards will swap spells depending on the specifics of the campaign.

It doesn't really seem to make a huge difference since I use the alternate rest rules where a long rest is a week and often their downtime is even longer. They still only have a handful of spells they can prepare.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
It's obviously up to you, but I would say 7th or higher spells are definitely not included for alumni wizards. These are truly the high-tier spells.

I use those as a baseline, because I know Rakshasa have limited magic immunity that makes them immune to spells of 6th level or lower. It's a pretty insane ability, but shows that 7th or higher really are in a tier of their own.

Bit upthread, but as of 1e most of the saveless spells were level 7 or higher. The earliest edition of the game had spells levels 1-6 and the 7-9th level spells were add-ons in the first supplement (Greyhawk), which explicitly says spells of level 7 or higher have no save allowed unless otherwise specified.

So putting a cutoff in at level 7 has quite a bit of history to it. ;)
 

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