Agreed on the psychic. If that wasn't an option (perhaps because you want some transmutation spells in particular), wands or a staff don't take ASF, a couple of traits reduce the cost of metamagic on specific spells so you could use still spell directly without cost, and if you don't have to cast too many spells then rods could be an answer, yes.
No, this isn't feasible. I mean, you'll still be able to cast three spells, but then you'll be useless. The metamagic rods are too expensive, so you can't afford enough of them. In addition, this sharply limits your spells per day which only gets more and more painful for higher-level wizards. Finally... the benefits aren't really that great. Let's look at the numbers for a 10th level Wizard:
+1 Plate Mail (2600) plus +1 Tower Shield (1130) plus a Standard Rod of Still Spell (5500) plus a ring of protection +1 (2000) runs you 11,230 GP in total and, presuming you have 12 dexterity, takes you 27 AC. Your total budget for magic items on a 10th level Wizard is 12750 so that's it. Three spell limit and all your gear in return for 27 AC.
Now let's look at a different Wizard. We'll pick up a +1 Amulet of Natural Armor and Ring of Protection (2000 each), the Mage Armor and Shield Spells, presuming a boosted 18 dexterity, takes you to 24 AC. As you can see, the Plate Mail strategy netted a very small increase but at massive cost and with onerous restrictions.
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If psychic casting isn't an option, you can always just prepare spells without somatic components:
0: flare, light, sotto voce
1: chastise, feather fall, flare burst, heightened awareness, hold portal, liberating command, lighten object, sundering shards, sure casting, true strike, ventriloquism, wave shield
2: anti-summoning shield, blindness/deafness, blur, buoyancy, darkness, knock, silent table, steal voice
3: displacement, dweomer retaliation, lover's vengeance, storm step, suggestion, tongues, vision of hell
4: baphomet's blessing, communal tongues, dimension door, emergency force sphere, lesser geas, imbue with flight, shout, triggered suggestion
5: contact other plane, damnation stride, echolocation, mass lighten object, planar adaptation, planetary adaptation, teleport, truespeak
6: geas, ice crystal teleport, mass suggestion, teleport structure, unconscious agenda
7: greater teleport, phase door, power word blind, resonating word, teleport object
8: irresistible dance, mass charm monster, power word stun
9: fiery body, interplanetary teleport, mage's disjunction, power word kill, prismatic sphere, teleportation circle, time stop, wail of the banshee
No, you won't be useless. You'll be unreliable. There are a couple feats to reduce arcane spell failure - plus Still Spell. If your GM allows 3rd party then there are more than a couple.
With that being said, here are my suggestions:
1) Never mind all this. Stick to what your'e good at. Following this path is difficult, and you'll end up reasonable at something a wizard is supposed to be good at.
2) Play a magus.
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You can do it!
1. Use spells without somatic components
2. Use Still Spell
3. Use a metamagic rod of Still Spell
4. If you have access to 3.5 stuff, use Sudden Still Spell
5. See if you can find an item or ability that gives you re-rolls on your Arcane Spell Failure rolls.
6. Use scrolls, wands, and staves
Maybe go fighter or cavalier or paladin 1/wizard 5/eldritch knight X and use lots of truestrikes.
What level? Pre lv11 your swift action is available(for the most part) as that is around the time quicken spell becomes worth it. In other words arcane armor training :)
Hellknight Signifier + Hellknight Signifier armor training can help
Darkwood, mithril, celestial enchant for even more
After lv10 its gonna be rods. Spellsword spell to keep your hands free. Craft rod is a must
Also worth noting is that there are a fair number of spells with no somatic components. Check the Eldritch Knight guide linked off the Zenith games guide to guides
Your DM. You may add custom templates, create custom items, etc. to make whatever NPC you want. I do understand the wish to keep RAW just don't let it get in the way of making that really cool memorable encounter
|SmiloDan RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32|
I didn't realize this was for an NPC wizard. Just make an evil armor of arcane ease that lets evil wizards ignore arcane spell failure and/or armor non-proficiency.
Or if it is an NPC wizard, just pad the build a bit. Warrior 1/wizard 5/eldritch knight X, where wizard 5 + eldritch knight X+1 is the level of wizard you want the NPC to be, and just add Still Spell to every spell he casts. It shouldn't affect the CR that much (or at all), it's just going to be a wizard with some extra hit points and a (possibly) higher AC (some wizards have so much magic, their ACs are pretty much equivalent to armor wearers of comparable level).
And keep in mind, depending on the PCs, AC 40 is pretty much equivalent to AC 30 or AC 50, especially if they need to roll a Natural 20 to hit.
Bear in mind that if you are not proficient then you take the ACP to attack rolls and dex and str skill and ability checks. Most of that isn't very relevant to you but it will apply to initiative, which is terrible.
I played a pacifist cleric in wotr and kept shocking everyone how negative my initiative was when using a tower shield and full plate I wasn't Proficient in. People had +30 and I had -9 at one point.
andreww wrote:Bear in mind that if you are not proficient then you take the ACP to attack rolls and dex and str skill and ability checks. Most of that isn't very relevant to you but it will apply to initiative, which is terrible.I played a pacifist cleric in wotr and kept shocking everyone how negative my initiative was when using a tower shield and full plate I wasn't Proficient in. People had +30 and I had -9 at one point.
My oracle used full plate and a tower shield early on without proficiency. It didn't affect his initiative due to noble scion of war but his climb, swim etc were about -16. Low walls, steep stairs and shallow streams were a real threat until he learned air walk.
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OK, I decided to see what we could do with a Wizard in full plate. Proficiency seemed to be a must so I dipped a level in fighter and then went into Eldritch Knight to see if we could make him combat capable. The Pact Wizard archetype gives him spontaneous access to divine favour, magic vestment, divine power and righteous might. He has a crafting feat to get discounted gear and is cheating the wealth system with MV and GMW, both extended to last the adventuring day.
He is built using 20 point buy and full PC wealth. The stat block includes the effects of magic vestment, greater magic weapon, darkvision (he traded racial darkvision away for +1sp/level), overland flight, shield and divine favour. Divine Favour should be the only thing he needs to cast in combat. He only has 7 rounds of gore attacks per day and it is a swift to use. Monstrous Physique can get him pounce (Tikbalang) or multiple limbs to use a shield (Calikang).
He is living with a 5% spell failure chance which is also eating up his swift action any time he wants to cast a spell (or he faces 25%). You could get it to 0% but it means dropping down to medium armour. That would allow for more useful investment in Dex. Given the very low spell failure still spell isn't really needed. Most of his spells are buffs anyway, and many of them wont be cast in combat.
N Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +11; Senses Perception +22
AC 28, touch 13, flat-footed 26 (+11 armor, +2 Dex, +1 insight, +4 shield)
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +15
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor), fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee +2 adamantine greatsword +21/+16 (2d6+22/19-20) or
. . gore +15 (1d6+10), bite +14 (1d4+9)
Special Attacks battleshaping
Transmuter (Pact Wizard) Spells Prepared (CL 10th; concentration +12)
. . 5th—life bubble[APG] (DC 19), overland flight
. . 4th—dimension door, emergency force sphere, greater invisibility, monstrous physique II[UM]
. . 3rd—dispel magic, haste, heroism, greater magic weapon
. . 2nd—blade tutor's spirit, darkvision, glitterdust (DC 16), mirror image, mirror image, resist energy
. . 1st—feather fall, long arm[ACG], magic missile, shield, snowball (DC 15), vanish[APG] (DC 15)
. . 0 (at will)—detect magic, mage hand, prestidigitation
. . Opposition Schools Divination, Necromancy
. . Patron Devotion
Str 24, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +7; CMB +21; CMD 27
Feats Alertness, Arcane Armor Mastery, Arcane Armor Training, Craft Wondrous Item, Endurance, Favored Prestige Class, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Prestigious Spellcaster
Traits fate's favored, magical knack
Skills Acrobatics +1 (-3 to jump), Appraise +10, Bluff +0, Climb +6, Diplomacy +0, Disguise +0, Escape Artist +1, Fly +14, Heal +3, Intimidate +0, Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +10, Knowledge (engineering) +10, Knowledge (geography) +10, Knowledge (history) +10, Knowledge (local) +12, Knowledge (nature) +10, Knowledge (nobility) +10, Knowledge (planes) +19, Knowledge (religion) +19, Linguistics +10, Perception +22, Ride +1, Sense Motive +20, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +1, Survival +3, Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Knowledge (local)
Languages Aquan, Auran, Common, Draconic, Giant, Orc, Terran
SQ arcane bond (Arcane Familiar, greensting scorpion), change shape (Small or Medium humanoid; alter self), curse (possessed), effortless magic, orc blood, patron (devotion), patron spells, physical enhancement (+2)
Gear lesser extend metamagic rod, mwk mithral Hellknight plate[ISWG], mwk adamantine greatsword, belt of physical might +4 (Str, Con), cloak of resistance +4, cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone, cracked pale green prism ioun stone (attack), cracked pale green prism ioun stone (saves), dusty rose prism ioun stone, eyes of the eagle, headband of vast intelligence +4, lucky horseshoe[OA], wizard starting spellbook
Would a NPC transmutation wizard with a lot of rods of still spell in full plate be feasible?
or would you build a different way to get a wizard in full-plate?
3.5 had a PrC called a Runesmith that allowed you to change out all somatic components for your spells to small inexpensive material component runes. While the PrC itself did not give any armor proficiency it required heavy armor proficiency to enter.
Not sure if your allowed 3.5 material but a one level dip in that PrC would allow you to readily cast in full plate.
What's the role of this NPC wizard in the game? If he's expected to attack the PCs and then die, he's not likely to last long enough to cast more than six spells. The PCs then get a couple of nice rods out of it.
If he's an ally of the party who follows them around, then you can give him more rods, since the chances of them looting his body are lower.
^I thought of that, but Wizard spellcasting is different enough from Magus spellcasting (even before you get 7th level spells) that some niches do exist for arcane gishes that are not Magi, Bards, Skalds(*), or Bloodragers.
(*)Although depending upon just how much of that you need, Skald's Spell Kenning might get you what you want as long as you don't take an archetype that trades it out -- not in full plate, though (I don't know of any Skald archetype that gives you Heavy Armored casting -- that is, no equivalent of Steelblood Bloodrager).