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The Age Old Wizard Building Question


Alright, so I've decided on a wizard for an upcoming (this friday night) kingmaker campaign. I have pretty much everyone laid out, however I am back and forth between 2 different specializations and thus questions on opinion come into play.

I am between:

A Wood Wizard (using the wood school)
+Only one opposing school that doesn't take too many spells "away" (Yes I know they're still available)
+Love the stat increase as I intend to play a face wizard and that add to DEX helps things for me.
+ Get a Druid spell (Entangle)
+ I personally like the Splinter Spear ability (Saves me having to use some ranged weapons)

- Opposition school does take a few useful spells with it
- Some of the Spells you "must" pick are sub par
- Abilities Admittedly not as cool as other option

Conjurer (Teleportation) Wizard
+ Awesome Shift ability
+ Plenty of useful spells to choose from generally
+ Extra time for summons (even though I'm not planning on doing that soon)

- 2 Opposing Schools (Currently thinking Abjuration & Necromancy. Though I like a couple Abjuration spells.)
- Don't get the extra stat addition
- Don't get the druid spell(s)

Note - Why I didn't choose other schools
Divination = Detect Magic and other potentially useful spells.
Evocation = Want for some back up against swarms and things that don't agree with me.
Conjuration = .... Battlefield control (my basic build really)
Transmutation = Really useful spells later as well as some buff
Illusion = Good spells for stopping sucky things from happening in the first place
Enchantment = As a face, Charm and some other things may end up being useful

So, what is everyone else's thoughts? Does shift trump a stat increase and a free missile attack? What schools do you tend to have as opposition when playing a wizard.

Let me know what your thoughts are. I know the class I want to play, but I like both of the ones mentioned. Please and thank you. :)

I tend to always oppose enchantment, and either necromancy or abjuration are my 2nd choice. I just personally don't like enchantment for wizards, as a bulk of their spells require you to be a decent face, and I've learned from past experiences that making a face wizard is no easy task. As to why I choose necromancy, I'm not too big on some of the spells it has to offer, but it does have some great spells, so it's not a bad choice for opposition research later on, or even putting some of the spells on wands or scrolls. Abjuration has some of the same problems necromancy has, aside from offering abilities that want you to have a decent Charisma, but its school abilities and spells don't have much synergy, but again, some of the spells are good, and can be made into wands or scrolls.

Both of your choices are pretty solid, but i will stress the point that being a wizard and a face character is no easy task, but if you're up for the challenge, you have a pretty solid idea to work with.

The Exchange

Mwabangi wizard will give you druid spells later.
Or, Eldritch heritage, Improved eldritch heritage.

Or, samsaran race, if the spell is on the witch, summoner, or bard lists.
Oh - I believe an elf alternate class feature will do the same- give you druid spells.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Conjurer (Teleportation) may be the single most powerful specialization, especially if you structure your build around it. The Conjurer is pretty good to begin with, but this build replaces his rather dopey Acid Dart power with one of the best specialist powers in the game. Maybe /the/ best. It gets you out of grapples, lets you laugh at locked doors, gives you an extra 5' step... it's just sweet in so many different ways. I think in terms of pure power it's the Conjurer, hands down.

However. The Wood Wizard is a perfectly respectable specialist, maybe not as great as the Teleporting Conjurer but still fine. That +1 to Dex is indeed pretty sweet. And the Wood Wizard is a much better thematic match for Kingmaker, a campaign that is dominated by wilderness and forest. (It's not all wilderness and forest by any means. But more so than any other thing.) And if you're planning on playing a face wizard, yeah -- the +1 to Dex lets you buy an extra bit of Cha, or shift a better stat in there.

If it were me I'd probably go with Woody just to be different (it's not a common choice AFAICT) and thematic. But, really, you can't lose here. Pick what you think will be most fun to play.


Doug M.

Shadow Lodge

I've learnt that if you plan to play a witch later, you can probably rely on that character to cover your enchantment fix.

Many of the witch's spells are enchantment based, and the class is hex-heavy and spells-light, so it'll still feel like a somewhat different character to your wizard.

2 of your cons for the conjuror are pluses for the wood, but the pros for the con are nto mentioned in the wood.

This depends on the style you wish to play. If you want to control the battle field by bringing in help and remove enemies for a time the conjurer is the way to go.

The wood has more versatility with the stat bump. Being allowed to move the bump everyday is huge as well. I find at early levels the dexterity is more important and then Con overtakes it at mid level.
I always say a team of specialist is much more powerfull them a a team of broad skilled people.

I feel the conjurer is more specialized and would be a better choice. The spear ability get pretty weak very fast eventually your spells will do much more and your standards actions will be much more valuable then flinging a d6 spear. A d6 spear or summoning a d3 monsters that will get 3 attacks a round at d6+ for your level in turns. Plus the create pit i think is a good replacement for entangle.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
It gets you out of grapples, lets you laugh at locked doors, gives you an extra 5' step...

Sorry just so its clear, Shift(su) should not be able to let you laugh at locked doors, unless its locked Glass Doors. In which case, you can probably just break through anyways.

If you read the text carefully it specifies...

"At 1st level, you can teleport to a nearby space as a swift action as if using dimension door. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You must be able to see the space that you are moving into." Pg. 147 Advanced Players Guide.

This being the case everything else Douglas Muir 406 said was in fact correct. It does let you escape a grapple, without doing either an escape artist, or strength check. It also ends your turn once its used.

It functions as quoted previously as the spell Dimension Door. As per RAW, and even though everything else about the ability is different from the spell, that one thing stays the same. Specific > General. Also most people house rule that you can take Dimensional Agility with it so your turn continues, but this is a House Rule. Shift is a supernatural ability, that does not provoke AOO, and allows you to take 2 movement actions. Thats what makes it great.

Again this is not to sway you towards one decision or another, its just to make sure you dont get the wrong impression Third Mind.

I can also make some recommendations, but in the end play the character concept you think you'll enjoy most. I have played the exact Conjuror, and even at low levels where melee usually wreck things while casters should be weaker, I was controlling the field. Its a pretty nasty build, and if you plan right can be extremely rewarding.
W/e your decision i hope its a fun one!
Cheers mates

I love the Shift ability. In fact, I'm currently playing a Wizard that uses it extensively. Its awesome, powerful, and fun.

Being able to effectively move + teleport or use your move action for something else/cast a full round casting time spell and STILL be able to move via teleportation is very handy. Being able to move in, throw down a short range cone like burning hands or color spray, and then still being able to retreat so the survivors can't full attack you in return is life saving.

All that said, a Wood/Nature themed Wizard is just too thematic to pass up for Kingmaker IMO. I don't think you'd regret that choice at all, and you'll fit right in. Entangle will be very handy to have. Maybe its less powerful overall, but only having a single opposition school kind of makes up for it when you combine that with the thematic fit.

As for opposition schools, I will generally prefer to have Divination as one of them so long as you don't intend to focus heavily on those types of spells. In general, when you have the opportunity to cast a divination, you'll usually also have the time to rest and recover spells, so using 2 slots is no big deal at all IMO.

For example, you have a couple slots left at night, sit down for 15 minutes and memorize your divination of choice, cast it with regards to the task at hand, then go to bed and get your spells back. Obviously, that doesn't cover every eventuality, and needing 2 cantrip slots for detect magic is unfortunate (although still worth it), but IMO its the easiest school to live without on a day to day basis. In Kingmaker especially, time is really a non-issue (most of the time) due to the hexploration system and resulting short adventure days, so even with it opposed, you'll still have opportunity to use divinations.

Otherwise, I'll usually go with Necromancy and/or Enchantment as good oppositions. In your case, likely Necromancy since you're trying to double up as the face. Abjuration is tempting since there aren't too many must have spells, but the ones that are there (like dispel magic) depend pretty heavily on caster level and as such make poor scrolls and wand options. IMO that makes Abjuration a trap option as an opposed school (dispel magic can be among the most important spells you'll know, situationally of course).

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info. It's my first time playing a wizard. I already know I didn't make the best skill choices (mainly to help the group out and fill some gaps).

Spell selection wise I feel fairly confident about what I have either way. However, as a new wizard player, I'll have to figure out the correct times to pull the "bigger" spells out of my pocket.

I'm still in between the 2 at the moment. The sheer awesome-sauce that is Shift is just so darn seducing and tempting. However, I'm certain I will have the idea narrowed down by the end of tonight.

Thanks again.

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