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How Obvious is a Wizard?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

101 to 125 of 125 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

Icyshadow wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Did nobody take into account that once the Wizard does cast a spell, the cover is blown?

I thought we were talking about NPCs magically knowing who the caster is before combat even begins.

Icyshadow wrote:
And the fact that if the adventurer's become well-known, it's pretty much assured that people will know they move around with a spellcaster of some sort in the group, unless said caster proceeds to kill all witnesses every time. Then again, then the people would mistake him for a serial killer instead.
'Mistake'?
Sorry. The word I was looking for was "regard", but it slipped my mind when I wrote that.

A better phrase might be "REALIZE that he is a serial killer instead."

Shadow Lodge

Lamontius wrote:


Wizard: "I feel...strangely confident!"

Barbarian: "Yeah! Am good to have puny wizard with am Strength of Bull and Large Person, wizard has good feeling yes? Barbarian am feel that way all the 100% of time!"

Wizard: "You're sure this will completely fool them, having Bull's Strength and Enlarge Person on myself?"

Barbarian: "Even if not, am thinking puny wizard am looking completely AWESOME just like AM BARBARIAN!"

Wizard: "...do I really need to keep my shirt off?"

Barbarian: "WIZARD AM PUTTING ON THESE SUNGLASSES AND CAPE RIGHT NOW!"

Wizard: "Wouldn't an illusionary spell or spells accomplish this much more efficiently?"

Barbarian: "SHUT UP AND WEAR AWESOMENESS!"

There needs to be a spell called "AM AWESOME" that pretty much does exactly this.

Artanthos wrote:
The wizard is taking advice from the Barbarian instead of just casting Alter Self?

The wizard might be smarter, but Intelligence is a piss-poor substitute for AWESOMENESS. As illustrated by the fact that AWESOMENESS is capitalized, and intelligence is not.

The wizard would probably do well to heed more of the barbarian's advice.


Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
TwilightArcanum wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?

Arcane spell failure chance.

Now otoh, I've played an elven wizard who looked very 'bardish'. Elves have longsword and longbow weapon familiarity. I took the light armor feat, the arcane armor feat and wore mithril chain mail. End result was a decent AC, looked like a bard or thief and could cast spells without any sort of arcane failure.


hewhocaves wrote:
TwilightArcanum wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?

Arcane spell failure chance.

Now otoh, I've played an elven wizard who looked very 'bardish'. Elves have longsword and longbow weapon familiarity. I took the light armor feat, the arcane armor feat and wore mithril chain mail. End result was a decent AC, looked like a bard or thief and could cast spells without any sort of arcane failure.

Oh no, Sorry, you mistake my arguement. My argument is that in a world where someone can just as easily be wearing a chain shirt(and whatever protection it gives) under his doublet, isn't it erroneous to assume he's not wearing armor(and is therefore a wizard) just because he appears to not be clothed in mail.


TwilightArcanum wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?

any light armor can be concealed under clothing if the clothing is loose enough.

the best garment for this would be any form of robe, especially really loose fitting robes with massive sleeves, such as the furisode kimono. with a few tweaks the the layers underneath, most of the especially extravagant dresses worn in the lolita fashion subculture may be similarly accommodating.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
TwilightArcanum wrote:
hewhocaves wrote:
TwilightArcanum wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?

Arcane spell failure chance.

Now otoh, I've played an elven wizard who looked very 'bardish'. Elves have longsword and longbow weapon familiarity. I took the light armor feat, the arcane armor feat and wore mithril chain mail. End result was a decent AC, looked like a bard or thief and could cast spells without any sort of arcane failure.

Oh no, Sorry, you mistake my arguement. My argument is that in a world where someone can just as easily be wearing a chain shirt(and whatever protection it gives) under his doublet, isn't it erroneous to assume he's not wearing armor(and is therefore a wizard) just because he appears to not be clothed in mail.

Ah. I understand now.

For that matter any fighter with a high dex is going to eschew the heavy plate anyways because it will eat into some of his dex bonus. And yeah, wearing the lighter armors, the leather, the chain, etc... would make it harder to distinguish.

Shadow Lodge

Martials wearing lighter armour under clothing, or using glamoured armour, would fall under the category of "making an effort to be not obvious." Might not hold up after people pull various weapons or start casting, but the first round or two of confusion should be worth it.

Andoran

Weirdo wrote:
Martials wearing lighter armour under clothing, or using glamoured armour, would fall under the category of "making an effort to be not obvious." Might not hold up after people pull various weapons or start casting, but the first round or two of confusion should be worth it.

There's also the weapons; if the wizard is carrying a staff and the fighters are carrying swords, that's a giveaway if someone is intently looking.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ragnarok Aeon wrote:

Sometimes, I cringe at the "dresses like the wizards" comment. Must all wizards wear a pointy hat saying "I'm a wizard"? I'd like to discuss how interrelated a class is with a certain appearance.

For example, I personally don't believe that a character in-game should be able to tell the difference between a fighter, a paladin, or a cavalier. All three could be well-armored warriors riding on a horse.

Now aesthetically, what separates wizards from commoners? Unless they are the eccentric type that's being different to showcase that they are different, it should be pretty impossible to tell, right? Maybe spell components if they show their spell components, or their actions and voice when they are casting a spell would give it away. I just don't see a young wizard in Golarion looking all that different. Even their iconic wizard just looks like an old man. Hell, he could easily be mistaken for some shepard.

It's usually pretty apparent...

Shadow Lodge

prosfilaes wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Martials wearing lighter armour under clothing, or using glamoured armour, would fall under the category of "making an effort to be not obvious." Might not hold up after people pull various weapons or start casting, but the first round or two of confusion should be worth it.
There's also the weapons; if the wizard is carrying a staff and the fighters are carrying swords, that's a giveaway if someone is intently looking.

I assume that if the party is taking the trouble to hide their armour they're also hiding weapons, or just belting a sword onto the mage and making the fighter use a walking stick.

Shadow Lodge

The guy cowering in the back, chanting nonsense, making shadow puppets, and playing with owlbear dung is probably a spell aster of some variety, regardless of his wardrobe.

Cheliax

My Halfling Sorcerer is dressed in the full military uniform of a Knight Captain of the Eagle Knights complete with an ornate dress dagger and a fantastic hat.

He isn't the one at the back, he's the one at the front giving the orders and demanding answers from NPCs with full bravado and 'Don't you know who I am?' attitude.

He just happens to be able to cast Disintegrate as well.


Unless he is using still spell and silent spell on every spell, he is very frakking obvious, what with making rude gestures and yelling random nonsense and then lightning everywhere.
Who cares about clothes? Kill the guy that is shooting lightning and summoning monsters.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Keep in mind though that if you're the only non-armored figure in a group of people in metal and leather, people are going to assume you're a spell caster of some kind.

And this is the nub of the problem: NPCs who view everything through a combat lens and have no concept of noncombatants or people who aren't part of an adventuring party.

You see a bunch of men wearing robes holding staves. They're wizards! Skewer them with arrows!

Congratulations, you've just killed a group of shepherds. Robes and staves are traditional for them too.

You see a beautiful half-dressed woman with exotic tattoos and jewelry. It's a sorceress! Lop her head off!

Congratulations, you just killed the tattooed courtesan from the local brothel.

You see a gang of heavily armed men guarding an unarmored man wearing a robe. He's holding a book and a small silver stick of some sort. Another wizard! Kill him quick!

Congratulations, you've just murdered the royal tax collector. You have his book of accounts and a silver stylus. Also the taxes he's been collecting.

well has the GM called for initiative rolls?

Andoran

Weirdo wrote:
I assume that if the party is taking the trouble to hide their armour they're also hiding weapons, or just belting a sword onto the mage and making the fighter use a walking stick.

How do you hide a sword? If you shove it into an extradimensional space, it's going to take more than a move action to draw. Which is fine, but now we're getting into the range of extraordinary precautions then things a DM with the average party has to worry about.

Osirion

Weirdo wrote:


And if you're playing a Kensai or other unusual unarmoured magus build, NPCs should mistake you for a wizard and try to engage you in melee, until they see how hard to hit you are. Unarmoured wizards and sorcerers are much more common than unarmoured melee combatants with high AC.
Same with the elaborate trick Lamontius set up. If you're taking the effort to confuse opponents, they should be confused (at least until someone starts openly casting). Same with bookrat's situation with the courtesan escort - if neither she nor the PCs are famous and the bad guys haven't used divination, they shouldn't be able to tell.

I agree, which was the whole point of the thread. NPC's should not be able to use Meta-knowledge to tell the difference between, say, a wizard and a kensai. At least, not until something happens to make is obvious. That something won't even be casting, since the kensai uses wizard spells.


You know, something I learned in Shadowrun a long time ago and its carried over ever since (especially since 3.0 came around, life was so much easier about some of this 25 years ago) is 1) kill the mage first 2) Assume they are all mages to be safe 3) Never, ever discount the possibility that one is a shapeshifted dragon 4) Never deal with, jack with, or otherwise interact with a dragon until you've stacked the deck in your favor as much as possible.

Paranoid? Maybe, but it does curb the bloodthirsty tendencies I used to exhibit in AD&D.


Artanthos wrote:
Weirdo wrote:


And if you're playing a Kensai or other unusual unarmoured magus build, NPCs should mistake you for a wizard and try to engage you in melee, until they see how hard to hit you are. Unarmoured wizards and sorcerers are much more common than unarmoured melee combatants with high AC.
Same with the elaborate trick Lamontius set up. If you're taking the effort to confuse opponents, they should be confused (at least until someone starts openly casting). Same with bookrat's situation with the courtesan escort - if neither she nor the PCs are famous and the bad guys haven't used divination, they shouldn't be able to tell.
I agree, which was the whole point of the thread. NPC's should not be able to use Meta-knowledge to tell the difference between, say, a wizard and a kensai. At least, not until something happens to make is obvious. That something won't even be casting, since the kensai uses wizard spells.

Generally, yes, DM's should not Meta-Game creature knowledge, though there are some creatures which might know such knowledge for sure without some background identification or recurring meetings. Creatures which can read minds (like a Dark Naga) are an example to this.

Shadow Lodge

prosfilaes wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
I assume that if the party is taking the trouble to hide their armour they're also hiding weapons, or just belting a sword onto the mage and making the fighter use a walking stick.
How do you hide a sword? If you shove it into an extradimensional space, it's going to take more than a move action to draw. Which is fine, but now we're getting into the range of extraordinary precautions then things a DM with the average party has to worry about.

You could Sleight of Hand light weapons, which makes it a little trickier to draw (standard, or move with quickdraw) but not that bad. My usual DM uses occasional homebrew glamoured weapons, which appear to be ordinary objects to casual investigation. You're right, though, that this is unusual, which is where the second part of my suggestion comes in - belt a sword to both the wizard and the fighter. It's not a perfect disguise, but your enemies are then confronted with two people wearing no visible armour and carrying swords. Much harder to correctly pick the wizard (until the wizard actually casts).

Artanthos wrote:
Weirdo wrote:

And if you're playing a Kensai or other unusual unarmoured magus build, NPCs should mistake you for a wizard and try to engage you in melee, until they see how hard to hit you are. Unarmoured wizards and sorcerers are much more common than unarmoured melee combatants with high AC.

Same with the elaborate trick Lamontius set up. If you're taking the effort to confuse opponents, they should be confused (at least until someone starts openly casting). Same with bookrat's situation with the courtesan escort - if neither she nor the PCs are famous and the bad guys haven't used divination, they shouldn't be able to tell.

I agree, which was the whole point of the thread. NPC's should not be able to use Meta-knowledge to tell the difference between, say, a wizard and a kensai. At least, not until something happens to make is obvious. That something won't even be casting, since the kensai uses wizard spells.

No, they can't tell, but they can guess. Given the relative numbers of wizards and kensai magi, they will probably guess "wizard." And if they are in fact facing a magus they are in for some pain as they realize "hey, this wizard can fight."


My hat, it's pointed.
My staff, it's loaded.
My magicks, their potent.
Your hps... exploded.

Yeah, I'm a wizard, what you gonna do about it? Before you answer, allow me to inform you that I have prepared a spell whose name is the opposite of integrate. Meaning, it unmakes you. Also, I'd like an ale.


All wizards must have beards. Even the chicks.

It's there on page 11, Paragraph 23 of the Everyday Man or Woman's Bond with the Arcane Mysteries contract.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
TwilightArcanum wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you just wear a chain/hide shirt under normal clothing? If so,doesn't that sort of screw up the "He's not visibly wearing armor kill him" argument?

If the goal of the opposition group is to kill everyone anyway, the only thing that really changes are the tactics used against you. And in some cases not even that. A monk who's main motus operaandi is to shut down opponents will do so. If you look lightly armored, you just may be the first target for a sniper unless you look valuable enough to hold as a hostage. There ARE tactics that you use against plate wearers that work jim dandy fine of the folks in chain shirts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Bruunwald wrote:

All wizards must have beards. Even the chicks.

It's the norm in Dwarven society. In fact non dwarves can't even tell the genders apart.

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