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No love for the Universalist mage?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Hey

I have noticed with the minor drawbacks of being a specialist wizard, as well as the excellent powers of some wizard schools of magic, the generalist mage becomes a very unappealing choice.

The Hand of the Apprentice power is weak, as it is not a touch attack. You also get str modifier to damage, which makes no sense as the weapon flies out of the wizard's hand to strike the enemy by his will.

The metamagic mastery ability is better, but at 8th level I'd expect it to be less limited.

So I propose 2 changes:

1. The generalist mage can use Int modifier for attack AND damage with the Hand of the Apprentice. It can be used for Combat maneuvers, but only if the weapon is capable of it (Disarm, Trip for trip weapons only, no grapple etc.). This makes the ability much better of course, but mostly at low level.

2. Metamagic Mastery: Since this ability does not modify the spell's actual level, you can use this ability to cast a spell whose modified spell level would be above the level of the highest-level spell that you are capable of casting. This cannot be combined with Metamagic Rods.

The latter change is the most powerful ability, but would it be so bad to allow a 12th level Wizard to cast A Maximized Chain Lightening? (can already be done with Magic Items).

Balance questions: Would this make the Univeralist so powerful that choosing to Specialize would be suboptimal? How can these changes be abused?


I rather like the hand of the apprentice, but it works like a thrown weapon, which kind of sucks.

My Universalist wizard/rogue/Arcane Trickster uses hand of the mage as his backup attack.


I think that the Universalist doesn't shine by comparison largely because of the changes to specialists: it is now possible for a specialist to cast opposition-school spells. Albeit at a 2:1 slot cost, but still... it's hard to see the Universalist as "master of versatility" when any wizard can, in fact, cast any spell. Toss on the opposition study discovery (out of UM? Or is it the APG?) and it gets even worse.

I don't think the changes you've proposed are game-breaking, but I also don't think they really address the problem; it isn't about the school powers, it's about spell access and bonus spells. (Half the schools have powers I don't find useful or appealing, but the extra spell at each spell level is always good).

Now, if there were a (high-DC) concentration check required to cast opposition spells, or a scaling slot requirement (2:1 @ levels 1-4, 3:1 @ levels 5-8, 4:1 @ level 9, for instance) the Universalist might compare better than he does now.

As it is, the only real niche for Universalist wizards is craft-monkey: no opposition schools makes it easier to snag all the required spells to make stuff. And given that one can get past the prerequisites for crafting, that isn't by any means a guarantee.

I haven't played a Universalist since I started playing Pathfinder, and I haven't seen any in my groups, either.

I don't know if there really is much to do about it... anything I can think of strikes me as unbalanced vs. specialists and totally OP vs. noncasters.

:/


EDIT above

Maybe give them a bonus spell of each level that they must choose? Let 'em swap out spells at levels where they gain a bonus feat?

I dunno.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Alitan wrote:

EDIT above

Maybe give them a bonus spell of each level that they must choose? Let 'em swap out spells at levels where they gain a bonus feat?

I dunno.

Maybe let them retrain their bonus wizard feats.. like fighters can?

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I play a universalist in LSJ. I like the fact that I can prepare any spell on the wizard list without a double slot cost.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Adding in the Opposition Research Arcane Discovery and play an Elementalist, and you have specialist with virtually no drawbacks.


Totally agree, and yet, the two groups I play in both seem adamant against playing anything but Universalist wizzies O.o I do not "get" it.

Greg


You can give the universalist wizard a bonus spell slot. I never really understood why not.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
I play a universalist in LSJ. I like the fact that I can prepare any spell on the wizard list without a double slot cost.

Right, but the Specialists get an extra spell per level, so even if the specialist has one opposition spell per level they've broken even.


I suppose just giving the Universalist a bonus spell per level is the easiest fix, but that might make Specialist wizards a bit lackluster - some of their school powers are nice, but not in itself worth being so focused in spell selection and the extra cost for casting "forbidden" spells.

That's why I thought to make the Universalist powers a bit more appealing. I still expect people to choose specialist for more spells per day, but at least now the choice to play an Universalist is a little more appealing.

So no one thinks that these changes can be abused?


I think the "HotA" is one STUPID idea.

Why on golarion would a WIZARD waste his energy to learn how to levitate a melee weapon and let it attack for him.

It's simply stupid and a waste of arcane energy!

So my proposals:

- Give the Universalist one spell slot per level (eventually usuable only for metamagically altered spells)

- Change "Hand of the Apprentice" into something more useful, preferably working around (meta-)magic.

And everything is fine.


I agree that the Universalist powers are rather lackluster, especially considering that he gives up spell slots.

However, he still has one important thing going for him: The Amulet of Magecraft

Universalists essentially get to be pseudo-sorcerors, as long as they focus their spells for each day around a particular school. A very powerful trick (though one might argue that it actively discourages the versatile spell preparation the player was presumably going for when picking universalist).

Transmuters and necromancers get a similar item, though, but they are restricted to spells of their chosen school, whereas the universalist can change his spontaneous school from day to day (or perhaps just have it be Conjuration all the time :-) )


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Am I strange in that I took a universalist mage and used hand of the apprentice and found it really useful at low level?


Dabbler wrote:
Am I strange in that I took a universalist mage and used hand of the apprentice and found it really useful at low level?

It just means your group doesn't need the homebrew.

That's ok.
I'm thinking bring back school only spells.
Nap could be Temporal School only.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Why not include an extra metamagic only spell slot? They gaina spell slot each level, but only metamagic spells can be prepared in it? Would go along with the theme of the Universalist being a master of metamagic. I also don't see the Universalist as that sub-optimal as others do. If you give a Universalist a Rod of Quicken, and the Quicken Spell Feat, you've got a mean wizard that can cast two spells a round for a number of rounds. Have an enemy NPC open up a fight with an Empowered Scorching Ray quicken via the Rod, and then cast a Maximized Scorching Ray. Both spells target the PC casters, watch as the PC Wizard gets his socks rocked.

Unless you've got a really hardcore group, I really don't see much of a difference between Specialized and Universalist.

Also, a Spellbinder Elf Wizard is the real pseudo-sorcerer. Too bad they can't use the Amulet of Magecraft to make it even more ridiculous.


If I ever get another table together, I'm thinking of giving universalist wizards a metamagic feat every odd level including first. Maybe all spell level costs are -1, just for them.


10 metamagic feats AND metamagic adjustment lowered by 1?
That is definityl too much power compared to the specialists's powers.

I just looked up the "Amulet of Magecraft" and wondered:

"Why not give specialist this ability as their main benefit?"

Because, if giving universalists an additional spell slot (and I believe they should), the penalties for being a specialist outweigh the benefits.

So how about:

- ALL or NO wizards receive one additional spell slot per level (including cantrips!)

- Specialists choose two opposition schools (-4 craft & double spell slot preparation)

- Specialists can "lose" a prepared specialty school spell in order to cast any other specialty school spell of same or lower level. They MAY substitute for a metamagically altered spell, but doing so increases the casting time as with spontaneous casters.

- Universalists receive one wizard bonus talent at 1st and every 4th level instead of 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th (=2 feats net gain). This replaces the "Hand of the Apprentice" school power.


Goth Guru wrote:
If I ever get another table together, I'm thinking of giving universalist wizards a metamagic feat every odd level including first. Maybe all spell level costs are -1, just for them.

Make sure the wording on that is real precise, or you may get someone who tries the (now illegal) combo of the Merciful Spell Feat + Magical Lineage trait to get 0-level Shocking Grasp.

Like I said, that trick no longer works, see this thread for the final debate, or this post if you want to skip to the Developer response.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Am I strange in that I took a universalist mage and used hand of the apprentice and found it really useful at low level?

Obviously you must be a terribad player. Turn in your robe and wizard hat this instant!

/sarcasm mode off

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The inner sea primer has a good archetype to replace HotA (bonus metamagic feat and bonus on crafting metamagiced magic items).

I've played a universalist extensively (almost exclusively) and have become a bit of a metamagic focused character (wonder why). The ability to modify any spell (other than my highest) on the fly has created some fascinating events.

I wouldn't mind the bonus slot per spell level (even if restricted to metamagic spells).

Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Forgottenprince wrote:


Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

I believe that comes under the heading of overlapping class features. It won't work for the same reason you can't get two familiars by multi-classing wizard and arcane blooded sorcerer.


LazarX wrote:
Forgottenprince wrote:


Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

I believe that comes under the heading of overlapping class features. It won't work for the same reason you can't get two familiars by multi-classing wizard and arcane blooded sorcerer.

The Amulet isn't a class feature. However, the spellbinder isn't a universalist. A spellbinder gives up all school specialty/powers (including universalist). So an amulet of magecraft wouldn't do a spellbinder any good.


Getting a familiar through a feat is not a problem, it works, actually there are also feats allowing you to get additional familiars or animal companions, or an additional ally from Leadership.

I do agree though that the plain Wizard is a weak option in comparison to many others like in example an Archeologist (Bard, casts from Charisma, gets Rogue Tricks, can use light armor) or Oracle or Magus or most Sorcerers (due to some good bloodlines)

In my native nation that a few years ago changed to the d20 system with the most renown local RPG the wizard continued to be what it always was: a very knowledgeable mage, it has 8+Int skill points, while in the standard systems like Pathfinder it tends to be at 2+Int. (in the same system Rogue gets 10+Int skill points, and Fighter gets 4+Int)

I believe a Wizard in Pathfinder would benefit from such a boost to skills, if you worry about balancing other classes then just don't change other ones and allow 6+Int for Wizards, if wandering musicians like bards can have 6+Int then bookworm wizards should get at least as much


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Am I strange in that I took a universalist mage and used hand of the apprentice and found it really useful at low level?

Obviously you must be a terribad player. Turn in your robe and wizard hat this instant!

/sarcasm mode off

Warning: critics may croak.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A group I do not play with but chat with allows Universalists a daily reduction of Meta adjustments equal to their level, at the rate of 1 per casting.


Bwang wrote:
A group I do not play with but chat with allows Universalists a daily reduction of Meta adjustments equal to their level, at the rate of 1 per casting.

That's not a bad idea. It'd make the universality a metamagic master, which is thematic, interesting, and balanced. I like it.


What about something simple?

Arcane blooded Sorcs get a familiar.

All wizards have to pick bond or familiar.

Why not give Universalists both at first level- and a free Improved upgrade at 7th level (or a free metamagic or item creation feat, if they so desire) ?

This would give them something the specialists don't get (without blowing extra feats anyway) that definately conforms to the general ideals of magic.

-S

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Forgottenprince wrote:


Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

I believe that comes under the heading of overlapping class features. It won't work for the same reason you can't get two familiars by multi-classing wizard and arcane blooded sorcerer.
The Amulet isn't a class feature. However, the spellbinder isn't a universalist. A spellbinder gives up all school specialty/powers (including universalist). So an amulet of magecraft wouldn't do a spellbinder any good.

TCG and LazarX

The spellbinder only gives up arcane bond in exchange for the spellbonding. As evidenced by the last part of the entry (other than recommended discoveries) saying "This ability replaces arcane bond." So technically the feature is available to all wizards....

The feat does not replace a class feature, it effectively adds a claass feature at the cost of Skill Focus and Eldritch Heritage.

99% certain its legit unless I missed something in the Eldritch Heritage.


Forgottenprince wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Forgottenprince wrote:


Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

I believe that comes under the heading of overlapping class features. It won't work for the same reason you can't get two familiars by multi-classing wizard and arcane blooded sorcerer.
The Amulet isn't a class feature. However, the spellbinder isn't a universalist. A spellbinder gives up all school specialty/powers (including universalist). So an amulet of magecraft wouldn't do a spellbinder any good.

TCG and LazarX

The spellbinder only gives up arcane bond in exchange for the spellbonding. As evidenced by the last part of the entry (other than recommended discoveries) saying "This ability replaces arcane bond." So technically the feature is available to all wizards....

The feat does not replace a class feature, it effectively adds a claass feature at the cost of Skill Focus and Eldritch Heritage.

99% certain its legit unless I missed something in the Eldritch Heritage.

I agree that spellbinders can get bonded items by other means. However, spellbinders are not universalists. They are spellbinders.

Amulet of Magecraft
Aura moderate universal; CL 9th

Slot neck; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
Each silver link that makes up this heavy necklace represents a well-known concept of arcane theory. A universalist wizard who selects the necklace as his bonded object (which counts as an amulet) may choose one school of spells each day when he prepares spells. He then can use the necklace to spontaneously convert any prepared wizard spell of that school into any other wizard spell of that school he knows; the desired spell must be of the same level or lower than the prepared spell. For example, if the wizard chose “evocation” when he prepared his spells that morning, until the next time he prepares spells, he can spontaneously convert a prepared fireball into any other evocation wizard spell of 3rd level or lower that he knows.

Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, permanency, creator must be a universalist; Cost 10,000 go

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

I agree that spellbinders can get bonded items by other means. However, spellbinders are not universalists. They are spellbinders.

Amulet of Magecraft
Aura moderate universal; CL 9th

Slot neck; Price 20,000 gp; Weight 2 lbs.

Description
Each silver link that makes up this heavy necklace represents a well-known concept of arcane theory. A universalist wizard who selects the necklace as his bonded object (which counts as an amulet) may choose one school of spells each day when he prepares spells. He then can use the necklace to spontaneously convert any prepared wizard spell of that school into any other wizard spell of that school he knows; the desired spell must be of the same level or lower than the prepared...

Take a look at the spellbinder. If you can find where it says it replaces the "arcane school" then I'll concede your point.

Arcane school determines specialization/universalist status.

Quote:
Arcane School: A wizard can choose to specialize in one school of magic, gaining additional spells and powers based on that school. This choice must be made at 1st level, and once made, it cannot be changed. A wizard that does not select a school receives the universalist school instead.

Arcane bond does not and thats all spellbinders give up.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Forgottenprince wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Forgottenprince wrote:


Also for those who want a familiar in addition to bonded item/spellbinder elf wizard, remember that Skill Focus (Knowledge (aracana)) + Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) gives you both.

Actually, could use that to get Amulet of Magecraft and Spellbinder...

I believe that comes under the heading of overlapping class features. It won't work for the same reason you can't get two familiars by multi-classing wizard and arcane blooded sorcerer.
The Amulet isn't a class feature. However, the spellbinder isn't a universalist. A spellbinder gives up all school specialty/powers (including universalist). So an amulet of magecraft wouldn't do a spellbinder any good.

TCG and LazarX

The spellbinder only gives up arcane bond in exchange for the spellbonding. As evidenced by the last part of the entry (other than recommended discoveries) saying "This ability replaces arcane bond." So technically the feature is available to all wizards....

The feat does not replace a class feature, it effectively adds a claass feature at the cost of Skill Focus and Eldritch Heritage.

99% certain its legit unless I missed something in the Eldritch Heritage.

I agree that spellbinders can get bonded items by other means. However, spellbinders are not universalists. They are spellbinders.

Nothing in the Spellbinder says that they do not get the Arcane School class feature of the Wizard. This is the class feature that allows them to specialize in a school of magic or to decide to be a universalist. Therefore by definition a Spellbiner can in fact be a Universalist.

EDIT ninja'ed Damn you Forgotten Prince :P

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Advice to the OP:

1) Hand of the Mage is meant to be used with Touch Attack weapons. You don't throw daggers with it. You throw Alchemist's Fire/Frost/Acid, thunderstones, tanglebags, stones with silence spells on them, and the bombs from a Necklace of Fireballs. Think of it as one shot minor TK effects, allowing you to deliver something to where it needs to be, and not an alternate way to throw a dagger.

You might throw a dagger at a rope.

2) Here's an optional house rule for you.

Introduce the Star Mage Concept, a universalist who draws power from all eight schools of magic.

A universalist wizard can erect a 'star' of his memorized spells when he prepares them in the morning. A 'star' consists of one spell from each of the eight schools, spread out across 2 levels in a series of 4.

Thus, 4 level 1 spells from 4 schools, and 4 level 2 spells from the other 4 schools makes your first Star.

A Wizard who prepares a full Star in the morning gets +1 to his caster level per Star.

A universalist wizard can erect a star at 1-2,3-4, 5-6 and 7-8th spell levels, for a total final caster level bonus of +4.

Bonus spells cannot be used in making a Star. This includes Int bonuses and Rings of Wizardry, among other things.

--Selected the caster level bonus because adding extra spells is what a specialist gets. Thus, universalists get pure power, and specialists get more spells.

--Used morning preparation as a balance effect against filling spell slots later in the day. If it might cost him a Star, the wizard now has to make the choice of on demand or ahead of time.

--Clearly emphasizes the fact that universalists get power from ALL schools of magic.

---No bonus spells means you can't try to abuse it with Rings of Wizardry or extremely high Int Scores.

--Encourages memorizing many different spells, instead of the same ones repeatedly.

==Aelryinth


Yeah... no.
Sorry, but reading this is already HELL of confusing. Actually using it play I don't even want to try.


The extra school restricted slot is what makes specialists specialists. If universalists had one would anyone play specialists?


Bwang wrote:
A group I do not play with but chat with allows Universalists a daily reduction of Meta adjustments equal to their level, at the rate of 1 per casting.

That sounds reasonable.

It even lets them use a metamagic feat at first level.


Hand of the Mage is nice if your are a Fighter/Wizard who throws is greatsword around.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Aelryinth wrote:

Introduce the Star Mage Concept, a universalist who draws power from all eight schools of magic.

==Aelryinth

I like the idea here... bonuses for spreading out over the many schools of magic rather than bonuses for focusing on just one.

It's a real contrast to the specialist for sure, I just agree what you have is a little too complicated.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

If you can find a way to justify extra spell power that revolves around memorizing spells of different spells that is simpler, go ahead.

For instance, a bonus in spell power for every multiple of all eight schools in memory. So, if they memorize four of each school, +4. That's 32 spells, which is going to take up pretty much all their non-bonus spells through level 16.

The reward is that +4 caster level. Sweetness and light. A little complexity for that power seems reasonably enough...and they can always choose NOT to have it.

==Aelryinth


No mention of Arcanamirium Crafter? It doesn't remove the gap, but a bonus feat is a LOT better than HotA.

Hmm, could specialist Wizard with UMD (trait or loremaster) use "emulate a class feature" to use Amulet of Magecraft?


You don't need UMD as a class skill, all making it a class skill does is give you a +3 bonus. But, as far as I can tell... UMD would work. The best I can tell, is a UMD check when preparing a spell to emulate the Arcane Bond feature, and another UMD check anytime you attempt to convert a spell.

Spellbinder Elf Wizard with Amulet of Magecraft sounds like it might make a verrrry fun BBEG....


Without it as a class skill, even with a "high" 10 charisma you couldn't pull it off till like... level 19 as a sure thing (dc 20, can't take 10, no magic item to boost it and it doesn't really use a tool), class skill reduces it 3 levels.

Sczarni

In my experience? The real advantage of Universalist wizards is that you don't have to keep track of what school every one of your spells is under.

No other spellcasting class has to care about spell school. If you don't want to either, Universal is the choice that lets you do that. Granted, the drawbacks for opposition school have been scaled back quite a bit, but some people are still just really adverse to drawbacks of any kind.

A Universalist Wizard is like an Oracle who picked the Tongues or Wasting curse. They could have had a stronger upside, but instead the chose to minimize their downside.


^Unless they get Spell Focus or are a Red Mantis Assassin.


The only real problem I see with the Universalist Wizard is the lack of a 1st level passive power, mainly because this passive power that the specialists gain becomes drastically more powerful at level 20. Here are three of them,

Abjuration
You gain resistance 5 to an energy type of your choice, chosen when you prepare spells. This resistance can be changed each day. At 11th level, this resistance increases to 10. At 20th level, this resistance changes to immunity to the chosen energy type.

Conjuration
Whenever you cast a conjuration (summoning) spell, increase the duration by a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your wizard level (minimum 1). This increase is not doubled by Extend Spell. At 20th level, you can change the duration of all summon monster spells to permanent. You can have no more than one summon monster spell made permanent in this way at one time. If you designate another summon monster spell as permanent, the previous spell immediately ends.

Divination
You can always act in the surprise round even if you fail to make a Perception roll to notice a foe, but you are still considered flat-footed until you take an action. In addition, you receive a bonus on initiative checks equal to 1/2 your wizard level (minimum +1). At 20th level, anytime you roll initiative, assume the roll resulted in a natural 20.

These abilities all feed into the idea in Pathfinder that if you devote all 20 levels to a single class you get some sort of capstone ability, and for a specialist wizard that's true. I'm not sure what exactly would be appropriate for a universalist wizard but I will say that I don't think they need extra spell slots just a nice passive ability that can top them off at level 20.


The Arclord of Nex prestige class is perfect for the Universalist, eventually taking the School Powers of three other Specialists, as well as a range of other Gucci powers. Really this is the Prestige Class to take if you're a Universalist, as long as you don't mind the pre-requisites. Also (like others have said) the Amulet of Magecraft rocks!


I made some NPC Eldritch knights my party had to fight.

They thought the bastard sword throwing guys were real cool.

I think the universalist is great for an Eldritch Knight, it just plays right into the combo you are looking for. you have to build the feats right, but with arcane strike and power attack you can hammer people from a distance with your hand of the apprentice.

I really enjoyed that build and it made for a fun challenging encounter. I think it would also make for a fun character. you get to maintain distance the way you want to as a caster and still have the ability to get in and mix it up or stay back and really mess people up.


So, if i'm geting the picture, the only real purpose for universalist wizards is multiclassing...

Can't help feeling disappointed about this.


deuxhero wrote:
Without it as a class skill, even with a "high" 10 charisma you couldn't pull it off till like... level 19 as a sure thing (dc 20, can't take 10, no magic item to boost it and it doesn't really use a tool), class skill reduces it 3 levels.

19? I think not!

Skill Focus (UMD) - 6
Magical Aptitude - 4
Dangerously Curious - 1
Class Skill - 3
'High Charisma' - 0
Level 10 - 10
=6+4+1+3+10
=24

You can even take out Dangerously Curious or Magical Aptitude.


Ok, after some extensive reading through the messageboards and the PFSRD (and finding out the almost complete lack of options), i came to some conclusions:

  • extra spells per day is specialists' territory (since AD&D 2nd Edition, as a matter of fact). Period.
  • Although Hand of the Apprentice is useful for gish characters, i still think there should be a more appealing option for those who want to go universalist wizard all the way without multiclassing.
  • Additionally, i think as annoying the "get X magic item" or "get X PrC" approach. Pathfinder is a system that emphasizes single-classing, and any class that relies in said item or PrC to function properly has some serious design issues.
  • The universalist wizard is still viable as a pure wizard because of the sorcerer/wizard spell list, but it doesn't keep the class from feeling dull (compared to the specialists wizards, the sorcerer, and the witch, for the record), as if they were still characters from D&D 3.0.

Taking all that into consideration, and taking account of many suggestions and ideas from this thread (and others, as well), my idea to replace the Hand of the Apprentice is the following:

Extensive Scholarship (Ex): You begin play with a number of 1st level spells in your spellbook equal to 6 + Int modifier; at each new wizard level, you can choose 4 additional spells of any spell level or levels that you have access to add to your spellbook.
Additionally, you add half of your wizard level (minimum +1) to all Spellcraft checks.

I think it's unlikely to be unbalanced, since the spells per day are still the same, and it helps the universalist in the crafting department while still being useful when adventuring, without relegating him to the "cohort" status.

Thoughts?

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