"House" Rules to control Wizard Power


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Liberty's Edge

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A lot of threads are talking about how overpowered wizards are, so I thought I would offer a few suggestions we use in our home game that seem to work pretty well.

First, they need to pay to add spells to their spellbook beyond the two they get each level.

Second, they need to rest for at least 8 hours a day, and by rest I mean no movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task. And then when they do prepare spells they are going to need an hour in a place completely free from distractions.

Set the spellbook limit to 100 spells (50 for a traveling spellbook) and have all spells (including cantrips) take a full page.

If a wizard is trying to cast a spell when someone is next to them, you should make it an attack of opportunity unless they cast a special way, maybe call it cast on the defensive. This should be pretty hard to do at low levels, something like a caster level + ability score modifier vs maybe 15 + the spell level. And if they don't make it they lose the spell.

You should also make it really hard to cast while grappled, maybe caster + ability vs 10 plus the attackers CMB and the level of the spell.

I even sometimes make them roll 5 plus the spell level for things like wind and rain, but that may be to much for your group.

To make it really hard on wizards, we have a rule that if the Wizard wants to cast a spell more than onces, they have to memorize it more than once.

I know, I know, but they seem to do ok in our games and you know how overpowered the class is, a nerf like this is really needed.

Let me know if your group has any ideas on how to control Wizard Power, we were thinking about having them not be able to wear armor, having less hit points than anyone else and having a low fort and reflex save, but that just seemed over the top.


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BARBARIAN RECOMMEND JUDICIOUS USE OF BARBARIAN. SMASH CASTYS AT ANY LEVEL OF PLAY.


I don't see how you can consider conversation a demanding activity. Unless its with the in-laws...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

A lot of threads are talking about how overpowered wizards are, so I thought I would offer a few suggestions we use in our home game that seem to work pretty well.

First, I they need to pay to add spells to their spellbook beyond the two they get each level.

That's the standard rule, mate.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't see how you can consider conversation a demanding activity. Unless its with the in-laws...

If Vaarsuvius is at all representative, any speech by a wizard is a demanding activity. ;)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
ciretose wrote:

A lot of threads are talking about how overpowered wizards are, so I thought I would offer a few suggestions we use in our home game that seem to work pretty well.

First, I they need to pay to add spells to their spellbook beyond the two they get each level.

That's the standard rule, mate.

Someone didn't get the joke. ;)


LazarX wrote:
ciretose wrote:

A lot of threads are talking about how overpowered wizards are, so I thought I would offer a few suggestions we use in our home game that seem to work pretty well.

First, I they need to pay to add spells to their spellbook beyond the two they get each level.

That's the standard rule, mate.

Well, this thread is now a success.

Liberty's Edge

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lordfeint wrote:
LazarX wrote:
ciretose wrote:

A lot of threads are talking about how overpowered wizards are, so I thought I would offer a few suggestions we use in our home game that seem to work pretty well.

First, I they need to pay to add spells to their spellbook beyond the two they get each level.

That's the standard rule, mate.
Well, this thread is now a success.

We need cake!

Sczarni

AM BARBARIAN AM ON RIGHT TRACK. If you're the DM, keeping wizards at bay is a simple matter of designing encounters to play up wizards' weaknesses and other players' strengths. I recommend golems-- most have spell resistance and/or immunity to various magic, and they hit like a truck. Give a golem a level or two in BARBARIAN for extra fun.

Or go the other way with it-- Goblins, for example, have incredible stealth bonuses, and no racial hit dice, meaning that you can make them any class you want. Have a goblin rogue sneak up behind the wizard for 3d6 sneak attacks, or have a few goblin sorcerers waiting just "off-screen" to counterspell whatever the wizard's got cooking. Counterspelling in general is a great tactic for NPCs, since you as the DM can just declare that yes, that NPC had that spell prepared, and no, he's not out of spells per day yet. All you really have to worry about is readying the action.


Usually, Ciretose, I'm not a huge fan of your posts.

But bravo, mate.

...Catch Phrase,

-Chris


All encounters should include setting the Wizard's spellbook on fire.


Maybe giving the lowest BAB, so that even touch spells miss sometimes, might do something to slow down the invincible juggernaut the wizard has become.


- Every spell needs at least two saves. In fact, I recommend using d% for saves and saves only fail on 1. It's only fair.

- Since wizards tend to be on the frail side, I insist that casting be counted as a rigorous activity and requires a concentration check. With that in place, every other concentration check should be made twice.

- Nearby barbarians should have be forced to make an attack of opportunity against any passing spellbook. Barbarians are a suspicious lot and now are aware of any 'magic paper' just like a paladin is aware of evil.

- Most spells are potentially too powerful, so the wizard now requires ten pages per spell level in the spellbook (with a minimum of ten pages).

- Unless a wizard is at home in their lab, they shouldn't be able to prepare spells. Really, who allows preparation while travelling?!

- A wizard cannot be created younger than a race's 'very old' category. A wizard does not benefit from ability increments with old age.

- Every day a wizard must make an arthritis check (Survival + CON modifier vs. 50 DC) or only be able to use one hand until eight hours of rest.

There. That should slow down that overpowered, game-raping, smug wizard.

Liberty's Edge

Christopher Delvo wrote:

Usually, Ciretose, I'm not a huge fan of your posts.

But bravo, mate.

...Catch Phrase,

-Chris

Even a blind squirrel... :)


ciretose wrote:
Second, they need to rest for at least 8 hours a day, and by rest I mean no movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task. And then when they do prepare spells they are going to need an hour in a place completely free from distractions.

I see where you're going with these, but this one, in particular, seems rather onerous. Not that I disagree with you, but this might be "a bridge too far."

Can we consider a special magical item, perhaps a ring, that reduces this restriction? Something that helps Sustain the wizard, making it that they can spend less time on this?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Benicio Del Espada wrote:
Maybe giving the lowest BAB, so that even touch spells miss sometimes, might do something to slow down the invincible juggernaut the wizard has become.

Good thinking; I can't believe the OP missed that one.


Love this thread. I read the title and had every intention of coming on and telling you no new rules were needed. Instead you made me confused for a moment, then laugh.

Well done. *golfclap*

Liberty's Edge

Jiggy wrote:
Benicio Del Espada wrote:
Maybe giving the lowest BAB, so that even touch spells miss sometimes, might do something to slow down the invincible juggernaut the wizard has become.
Good thinking; I can't believe the OP missed that one.

Consider it added to my game!


Quote:
AM BARBARIAN AM ON RIGHT TRACK. If you're the DM, keeping wizards at bay is a simple matter of designing encounters to play up wizards' weaknesses and other players' strengths. I recommend golems-- most have spell resistance and/or immunity to various magic, and they hit like a truck. Give a golem a level or two in BARBARIAN for extra fun.

-Haste the fighter, enlarge person the fighter, grease the ground, summon in a full clown car's worth of of laser pewing lantern arcons. Plenty of ways for a wizard to contribute to that fight.


Cartigan wrote:
All encounters should include setting the Wizard's spellbook on fire.

It should be noted that if too much water is used to extinguish the flame, all of the magical writing will blur and become unreadable.

Also, the fire cannot be extinguished with aid of a heavy blanket because it's a magical fire now.

Scarab Sages

PALADIN AM QUESTIONING HARSH TREATMENT OF WIZZY MAN. AM ALREADY LONELIEST CLASS. AM NEVER INVITED TO PARTIES.

FIGHTY MEN ALWAYS KNOCKING WIZZY MAN INTO THE MUD AND DUMPING BOOKS ALL OVER. PALADIN AM SMITE EVIL ON FIGHTY MEN, BUT NO EFFECT. FIGHTY MEN CHAOTIC JERKY, NOT CHAOTIC EVIL.

PALADIN AM OFFER WIZZY MAN COUNSEL, BUT WIZZY MAN ANGRY AND TAKE PALADIN GOD NAME IN VAIN.

AM SAD FOR WIZZY MAN, MAKE FROWNY FACE.

Liberty's Edge

BigJohn42 wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Second, they need to rest for at least 8 hours a day, and by rest I mean no movement, combat, spellcasting, skill use, conversation, or any other fairly demanding physical or mental task. And then when they do prepare spells they are going to need an hour in a place completely free from distractions.

I see where you're going with these, but this one, in particular, seems rather onerous. Not that I disagree with you, but this might be "a bridge too far."

Can we consider a special magical item, perhaps a ring, that reduces this restriction? Something that helps Sustain the wizard, making it that they can spend less time on this?

Only if it cost a reasonable amount of gold, say about as much as a handy haversack. And even then it should still require some rest, maybe like 2 hours?

And I think they should still need the hour of meditation without any distractions.

But I'm pretty hard on Wizards.


One of my favourite nerfs is forcing the wizard to carry around a little bag full of pointless items that he needs in order to cast his spells (you know, really stupid stuff like a handful of talc for see invisibility, or bat droppings to make a fireball) and if he loses that, he can't cast anything.

Really teaches the wizard a lesson for thinking that simply protecting his spellbook with his own magic is enough! However, we do also let them take a special feat that lets them Eschew the need for all the pointless Materials, if they don't mind wasting a feat they would have used for important stuff

(my god, i think i'm gonna wet myself if i read this thread for much longer! ^_^)

Liberty's Edge

Banatine wrote:

One of my favourite nerfs is forcing the wizard to carry around a little bag full of pointless items that he needs in order to cast his spells (you know, really stupid stuff like a handful of talc for see invisibility, or bat droppings to make a fireball) and if he loses that, he can't cast anything.

Really teaches the wizard a lesson for thinking that simply protecting his spellbook with his own magic is enough! However, we do also let them take a special feat that lets them Eschew the need for all the pointless Materials, if they don't mind wasting a feat they would have used for important stuff

(my god, i think i'm gonna wet myself if i read this thread for much longer! ^_^)

You absolutely need to let them have access to a feat like that or that whole thing would be ridiculous. I mean, I guess for high level spells with you could require expensive things that go away when you cast the spell instead of pointless items and not have the feat apply to that if you really want to be hardcore about it.


Guys, guys, you are doing it wrong. Your thingie with the checks to get spells off when under threat is good, but seriously, it is just not enough. You really need create some feats that expand on that.

First, make a feat that increases the difficulty of the check just by standing there. Then, make a follow on feat that give you an attack of opportunity when they fail the check. That will show them!

Second, sure they have to make a check to cast a spell right next to you, but what if they just move away? This needs to be fixed ASAP! I think we need a line of feats that lets you follow people as an immediate action if they try to move away from you and do sneaky spell casty things.

Liberty's Edge

Charender wrote:

Guys, guys, you are doing it wrong. Your thingie with the checks to get spells off when under threat is good, but seriously, it is just not enough. You really need create some feats that expand on that.

First, make a feat that increases the difficulty of the check just by standing there. Then, make a follow on feat that give you an attack of opportunity when they fail the check. That will show them!

Second, sure they have to make a check to cast a spell right next to you, but what if they just move away? This needs to be fixed ASAP! I think we need a line of feats that lets you follow people as an immediate action if they try to move away from you and do sneaky spell casty things.

But what if they try to teleport away?


ciretose wrote:
Charender wrote:

Guys, guys, you are doing it wrong. Your thingie with the checks to get spells off when under threat is good, but seriously, it is just not enough. You really need create some feats that expand on that.

First, make a feat that increases the difficulty of the check just by standing there. Then, make a follow on feat that give you an attack of opportunity when they fail the check. That will show them!

Second, sure they have to make a check to cast a spell right next to you, but what if they just move away? This needs to be fixed ASAP! I think we need a line of feats that lets you follow people as an immediate action if they try to move away from you and do sneaky spell casty things.

But what if they try to teleport away?

That is what the first feat is for. If they try to teleport, they have an increased DC to cast without getting smacked, and if they fail, they lose the teleport. If you have the second feat and they fail their check to get the spell off, they still get smacked!

The second group of feats is in case they try to move away from you, then cast a spell. You get to follow them, and you still get to smack them around if they try to cast a spell.

Oh, and make all of these feats combat feats so that fighters can get them as bonus feats.

This stuff is totally going into my house rules.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Well played, ciretose. Well played. :)

As for the topic on hand, here's a nerf I've always applied to wizards in my game: they have to actually choose what spells they prepare before the encounter starts, instead of just automatically getting whatever one specific spell they need to win the encounter.

Liberty's Edge

Epic Meepo wrote:

Well played, ciretose. Well played. :)

As for the topic on hand, here's a nerf I've always applied to wizards in my game: they have to actually choose what spells they prepare before the encounter starts, instead of just automatically getting whatever one specific spell they need to win the encounter.

You don't make them write that down do you, maybe on a checklist form of some kind so they can keep track of what they did or didn't memorize that day in a format everyone at the table can see.

That would just be cruel.


ciretose wrote:
Set the spellbook limit to 100 spells (50 for a traveling spellbook) and have all spells (including cantrips) take a full page.

Good suggestion, but I don't think it is limiting their godlike power enough. I say spells should take one page per spell level


Help! My wizard SUCKS at combat!

I'm playing a wizard with 8 hit points, no armor, and really crappy weapons. It seems like whenever we get in a fight, all the enemies attack him, and he gets knocked into neg hit points all the time.

He's +0 to hit with his staff. What can I do to fight better? It seems like all the other characters are killing things in 1 or 2 blows, but I never seem to connect, and when I do, it's for pathetic damage. How is that fair? What can I do to make him hold his own in combat?


ciretose wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:

Well played, ciretose. Well played. :)

As for the topic on hand, here's a nerf I've always applied to wizards in my game: they have to actually choose what spells they prepare before the encounter starts, instead of just automatically getting whatever one specific spell they need to win the encounter.

You don't make them write that down do you, maybe on a checklist form of some kind so they can keep track of what they did or didn't memorize that day in a format everyone at the table can see.

That would just be cruel.

Kind of off topic, but I've done that for Clerics before, when I felt like being really hard-nosed.

But I am a softy at heart, so I let the good ones sacrifice a spell in order to cure their allies.


Benicio Del Espada wrote:

Help! My wizard SUCKS at combat!

I'm playing a wizard with 8 hit points, no armor, and really crappy weapons. It seems like whenever we get in a fight, all the enemies attack him, and he gets knocked into neg hit points all the time.

He's +0 to hit with his staff. What can I do to fight better? It seems like all the other characters are killing things in 1 or 2 blows, but I never seem to connect, and when I do, it's for pathetic damage. How is that fair? What can I do to make him hold his own in combat?

Obviously, he needs more practice. Have your wizard tell the Fighter to take the day off, because he needs the practice at hitting things more.


ciretose wrote:
If a wizard is trying to cast a spell when someone is next to them, you should make it an attack of opportunity unless they cast a special way, maybe call it cast on the defensive. This should be pretty hard to do at low levels, something like a caster level + ability score modifier vs maybe 15 + the spell level. And if they don't make it they lose the spell.

Too easy. Make the DC 15 + twice the spell level, and you're onto something.

The Exchange

Should this not be in House rules?


How about making them spend a feat, in order to upgrade to a decent familiar? I'm thinking something along the lines of a Celestial hawk, Dire rat, Fiendish viper, Small Elemental, Stirge, Homunculus, Imp, Mephit, Pseudodragon, or Quasit.


Benicio Del Espada wrote:

Help! My wizard SUCKS at combat!

What can I do to make him hold his own in combat?

Doesn't he carry spell components, like talc or bat quano? If so, the answer should be obvious... throw it in the enemies' eyes to distract, or even blind them.

Liberty's Edge

drumlord wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Set the spellbook limit to 100 spells (50 for a traveling spellbook) and have all spells (including cantrips) take a full page.
Good suggestion, but I don't think it is limiting their godlike power enough. I say spells should take one page per spell level

Crazy talk!

How can a wizard have every spell in the book at their disposal that way?!?!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Crimson Jester wrote:

Should this not be in House rules?

I swear it was, just a minute ago...


ciretose wrote:
How can a wizard have every spell in the book at their disposal that way?!?!

Well, the Wizard with a bonded item does get to use a spell from their spellbook... once </JohnnyDangerously>

We should make the bonded items so that they take up an item slot. That way, we don't have people wearing three rings at once!


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Crimson Jester wrote:

Should this not be in House rules?

I swear it was, just a minute ago...

It was those pesky Wizards, teleporting threads all over the place. Just goes to show how much they need nerfing!


Its basically a joke/trolling thread, which usually winds up here

Liberty's Edge

BigJohn42 wrote:
ciretose wrote:
How can a wizard have every spell in the book at their disposal that way?!?!

Well, the Wizard with a bonded item does get to use a spell from their spellbook... once </JohnnyDangerously>

We should make the bonded items so that they take up an item slot. That way, we don't have people wearing three rings at once!

Yeah, but we also rule that if a wizard attempts to cast any spells without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC 20 + the spell's level.


ciretose wrote:
Yeah, but we also rule that if a wizard attempts to cast any spells without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell. The DC 20 + the spell's level.

EXCELLENT! That way, not only will they be stuck using Bracers of Really Expensive Armor, they'll also have to give up access to another magical item!

After all, there's no reason why a wizard, capable of crafting magical items, should ever be able to use them...


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
AM BARBARIAN AM ON RIGHT TRACK. If you're the DM, keeping wizards at bay is a simple matter of designing encounters to play up wizards' weaknesses and other players' strengths. I recommend golems-- most have spell resistance and/or immunity to various magic, and they hit like a truck. Give a golem a level or two in BARBARIAN for extra fun.

-Haste the fighter, enlarge person the fighter, grease the ground, summon in a full clown car's worth of of laser pewing lantern arcons. Plenty of ways for a wizard to contribute to that fight.

Ya know it's been a long day at work and I misread your post and had the absolute best laugh of the day. Thank you.

I saw "haste the fighter, enlarge person the fighter and then grease the fighter" and thought oh crap what the heck are they doing to that poor mage!

as far as the original topic if you really want to house rule the mage to a much more fair and even power level try disallowing any, every and ALL save or die spells. That'll fix the over powered bookish types. After all it's only right that the fighters in the group should crit with a magical great axe and do over 100 points of damage in a single hit and then cleave, supreme cleave and then run outta bad guys.

Dark Archive

Sometimes after reading all the flame wars on these boards, it's actually gratifying to have to fight to not piss myself laughing.

Thank you...


You know what with all these nerfs to the wizard proposed by the OP I think the class may need a little power boost, something to counter all those proposed restrictions with a few abilities thrown in to make them useful to the party and meaningfully contribute to the adventure.

So here are a few ideas – They may seem weak or underwhelming but experiment in your group by trying out one or two of them – it can't hurt.

Wizards should be helpful, so I propose that they get a few helpful spells starting at low levels wizards that allow them to: Detect Secret Doors, Climb on Walls, Detect Magic (all day) and the ability to see Invisible MONSTERS. That should help.

Also give them the ability to open Magically Sealed doors, since no one else in the adventuring group will have that ability. That way other people in the party will feel confident that the Wizard is there to help solve problems and he can help out since fighting isn’t his thing.

The Wizard should be able to fix and repair things (since he is the geeky nerdy guy in the group) – at first it can be small expensive things and then larger expensive things as he gets higher in level – all day.

-The ability to summon monsters to fight for him, maybe at higher level they can even bind angels and devils and force the creatures to use their hip points vs. other hit point "things". Also he should be allowed to have summoned creatures who can cast other spells use those spells as he needs, so it's like a spell within a spell.
Not really a good ability, so it could wishful thinking on my part that people would house rule this one in.

-Since he isn't a good fighter the Wizard needs ways to deal with encounters – at low level we can give him the ability to sleep or knock-out foes (I know, no damage so it's a little weak) and at higher levels maybe he can get the ability to freeze monsters in their place? Or even change the monsters into new-monsters, now that would be cool!
Kind of useless actually, since the new monster will still attack you, but it'll look cool.

-Minor change – The wizard is no fighter, and dealing with threats isn't his forte, so maybe he should just be a good spell caster? How about making the Wizards main stat tie into all of his abilities? So if he raises his INT, he can make all his DCs higher than their normal range for his level (since Fighters types and monsters have already have good saves this is a no-brainer). Saves in general do not favor the Wizard so maybe they should be changed to the target getting only one roll per spell, winner take all?

He should also get feats which will help his casting and they should be just as useful at level 1 as they would be at 20.

-The ability to do massive damage, drain levels or even kill with a single spell to multiple targets – all from a safe distance. And if the Wizard is not feeling as confident as the Fighter he can just avoid hit points altogether!

-The ability to fly, teleport and a few other minor tricks to deal with possible in-game problems.

-The ability to resist or be immune to all types of damage, maybe even the ability to prevent foes from touching you or getting close (since they are weak as a class).

-The ability to see things from far away – and deal with them appropriately

-The ability to make magic items – for yourself or yourself

-Spells that will allow you to be stronger, faster and smarter than super-smart! For yourself or you can cast them on yourself. Increase everything – your hit points, make your spells harder to resist or if you're a cowardly wizard just increase your own saves. Or all of those things.

-The ability to transform into a monster! Increase stats as needed and if that isn't enough, increase the stats some more with more spells!

Please don't flame me, I'm just presenting some variant ideas/powers to give the Wizard class a little help. Some posters here may think that these suggestions are pointless or too minor to consider including them in their home game and I understand that.

I'm sure most may seem underpowered or stupid but just try them out and see how they improve the Wizard class and help out your home game!


AM WIZURD ALREADY FEELING VERY VERY NERF. WHY THINKING AM OVERPOWERED? AM ALREADY MUST DUMP STRENGTH AND CHARISMA FOR GENIUS THINKING. THINKING NO GOOD FOR BONKING MONSTERS ON HEAD!


IF CASTY HAVE SOOOO MUCH SMART, WHY AM CASTY SOUND LIKE BARBARIAN?

AM YOU DUMP INT AGAIN? SILLY CASTY.


As an additional means of controlling these out-of-control wizards, I propose that none of them understand the proper manner of wearing armor. In addition, they should only have skills with a few sub-par, rudimentary weapons. Say, no more than five or so. Coupled with a feeble hit die and all of the other adjustments above, that should rein them in quite well.

Now, having said that, I think we may have overdone things a bit. So let's throw them a bone. Every so often they should gain a bonus ability that reflects their increased understanding of magic. We'll start them off at first level with an ability to force magic into fragile parchment for later use. Then, let's say around the time they can finally comprehend dispel magic, we'll let them gain another ability of similar nature. To avoid going too far, they can only pick certain abilities, which are called 'feats', that continue in this trend. They can learn to place magic into other objects, or to modify their spells in limited ways. That's it. Hmm, let's also add the option to be able to prepare an extremely limited number of spells without that heavy tome they're forced to carry, but they've got to choose exactly which spells they can do this with, and it's got to be a small number. Say, equal to their ability score modifier?

Not quite right. Let them get to make that same choice again every, oh, five levels after that. Not too often, we don't want to have to go through this nerfing process again. How's that sound?

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