Functionality of an all wizard party


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An all wizard party would be hilarious fun to kill as a dm, with something really basic almost out of the gate (level 2-3). Yes, some low level mounted fighters lance the **** out of you on a charge. Go back to the College of Winterhold in shame. Oh wait, you can't.


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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
An all wizard party would be hilarious fun to kill as a dm, with something really basic almost out of the gate (level 2-3). Yes, some low level mounted fighters lance the **** out of you on a charge. Go back to the College of Winterhold in shame. Oh wait, you can't.

I've never understood this kind of GM'ing. Besides, I hope those low level fighters can survive the 5 consecutive will saves needed to dodge all of those sleeps spells being hurled at them.

On topic...

This would be great fun. I'd love to see a team of wizards, each one specialized in one of the schools of magic. I think it would make for a great adventure.

Reminds me of Ars Magica. Good times.

Scarab Sages

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3.5 Loyalist wrote:
An all wizard party would be hilarious fun to kill as a dm, with something really basic almost out of the gate (level 2-3). Yes, some low level mounted fighters lance the **** out of you on a charge. Go back to the College of Winterhold in shame. Oh wait, you can't.

I don't imagine a group of low level fighters could survive the damage either.....

Intentionally killing a party is not difficult, but it says a lot about the DM.

Liberty's Edge

It can work, so long as everyone is willing to create characters that work well together rather than everyone trying to create snowflakes. Someone in the group will actually need to be able to take a hit and/or remove hit points.

It will be a challenge at low levels, but it can be done if everyone is working together.


We've played an all-Sorcerer party before - twin brothers who were Sorcerers/Dragon Disciples, a Kitsune Fey Sorcerer and (if you can believe it) a Dwarven Primal Elemental Sorcerer. It worked out great and was definitely something interesting and different when it came to the challenges presented.

Having said that, if you're looking at full arcane casters, I have to believe that Sorcerers are much better suited for to make up a party due to their class features.

Liberty's Edge

I agree Sorcerers would be easier than wizards, but I also think the theme of four wizards as a party is quite interesting.

Maybe one of them has a dog :)

Grand Lodge

Weables wrote:


adventure paths are not built for pfs standards, they are built for 15 point buy, so its really not all that bad.

Wait, huh?? I thought APs were designed for 20 point buy


What's the "poaching from the witch list" nonsense? You're mother ]REDACTED[ wizards, you make magic.

Core Rules Page 219, Independent research:

1 week/1000gp per level, and some checks.

Great, now for slightly more than the price your wand of CLW, you *all* learn CLW, and everyone can use the wand without heartache. No one pays attention to this section because it isn't all mechanically tricked out the way other subsystems are (although I understand UltCamp goes into this more). There's nothing in the Arcane/Divine Spell sections that says "Only Divine casters get healing, suckahs!" Infernal Healing shows that. You spin up what you need. People just pick off the establish lists because it's:

a) Free
b) Mechanically easier.
c) Subconsciously ingrained that Arcanes stay on their list and Divines stay on their list because class-role-horseapples.

And in an all wizard game? Where I've got 5 of us going at it? Oh, we're going to be researching the ]REDACTED[ out of that. Hell, even in a not-all-wizard-game, I research the hell out of it. I spun up a trait my GM let me have, "Dabbled in Necromancy," which put CLW on my list. I still had to pick it as one of my spells, but there it was. Yeah, ]REDACTED[ that "poaching" stuff. There's no reason there isn't a Divine and Arcane copy of every spell in the book out there in the world somewhere.

Or you could play Ars Magica. ;)

Yeah, an all wizard game rocks the house.

-Ben.

Scarab Sages

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My dream team all wizard group:

  • Bigby
  • Leomund
  • Mordenkainen
  • Nystul
  • Otiluke
  • Otis
  • Rigby
  • Tenser

Dark Archive

terraleon wrote:
I spun up a trait my GM let me have, "Dabbled in Necromancy," which put CLW on my list.

While there's plenty of precedent these days for arcane healing (from the celestial sorcerer's heavenly fire to infernal healing to the cure light wounds spell appearing on bard, alchemist and witch lists), it's also entirely possible to research a transmutation healing spell that knits flesh and bone together, or an illusion (shadow) spell that infuses a wound with temporary shadow magic, replacing lost hit points with temporary hit points until they can heal naturally.

The effects can be mechanically inferior to those of the cure wounds spells (perhaps only converting lethal damage to nonlethal damage, for instance, or being limited to manipulating time's effect on the body and allowing one to get back hit points as if resting, in moments instead of hours), and still be totally useful for a party that won't have access to cure wounds spells or channel positive energy.

Should cure light wounds be usable by wizards? No reason why not. It should probably also still be necromancy. But that ship sailed with 3rd edition, and there's no reason it has to be the only game in town.

Abjuration or evocation could be used to research spells that create a counter-force negating a certain amount of damage before it even happens. Necromancy could deaden someone's flesh so that they suffer less harm from attacks that would otherwise ravage living tissue, or be used to spread a grievous wound around among the entire group, so that each is only lightly wounded and will recover fully with a night's rest. Divination could be used to enhance the effects of the mundane Heal skill, giving bonuses, allowing multiple Treat Deadly Wounds applications on the same person, and greatly speeding up the process as the healer's mind is preternaturally aware of what he needs to do allowing him to cut and stitch as fast as his fingers can move. Enchantment could harden your mind against pain and shock, and give your mind enough control of the unconscious workings of your body to allow you to stop bleeding or ease swelling, or it could affect your attackers, causing them to hesitate and 'pull back' on their blows, so that you take less damage from their uncertain attacks.

Every school could provide ways to either undo hit point damage, or reduce the amount happening in the first place, while staying 'in theme' and avoiding cure light wounds.


My dream team:

  • Atlantes
  • Circe
  • Gwydion fab Dôn
  • Kahina
  • Maugris
  • Merlin
  • Simon Magus
  • Soumaoro Kanté

(With honorable mention for Prospero and Virgil.)

-Ben.


Set wrote:
Should cure light wounds be usable by wizards? No reason why not. It should probably also still be necromancy. But that ship sailed with 3rd edition, and there's no reason it has to be the only game in town.

I'm not sure what you mean here by, "that ship sailed with 3rd edition?"

-Ben.

Dark Archive

terraleon wrote:
Set wrote:
Should cure light wounds be usable by wizards? No reason why not. It should probably also still be necromancy. But that ship sailed with 3rd edition, and there's no reason it has to be the only game in town.

I'm not sure what you mean here by, "that ship sailed with 3rd edition?"

-Ben.

In 3rd edition, the cure wounds spells, which had formerly been necromancy, were changed to conjuration (healing). Other spells that drew upon energy conjured from other planes, such as shadow conjuration or inflict wounds or animate dead, remained whatever school they normally were.

But schools have always been a bit kludge-y and theme park-y anyway. Fear should probably be enchantment. Fire trap should probably be evocation. Spell Focus (abjuration or divination) is a sad, sad joke.


Set wrote:
But schools have always been a bit kludge-y and theme park-y anyway. Fear should probably be enchantment. Fire trap should probably be evocation. Spell Focus (abjuration or divination) is a sad, sad joke.

But that's part of what I'm saying-- with (Core Rules) Independent Research, nothing prevents a wizard from creating an Arcane version of Raise Dead which is necromancy. The only thing holding people back is paradigm.

(Fire trap is abjuration because it's a ward, not unlike the Glyph of Warding.)

SF(abjuration or divination) are "sad, sad jokes," because there isn't the offensive catalog to support them.

You have, what? Detect Thoughts? Seek Thoughts? True Strike? These are piecemeal, at most, because as it progresses, in its current spell-list-form, solid divination magic tends to short circuit adventures, and so it can be hard to plan for accordingly. However, I can absolutely assure you that I could sit down and spin up 10 3rd-ish level spells or less which would have you wanting to play a diviner and have combat utility. I will totally go rob sources like 1001 spells or Ars Magica for a pile of these effects, but I can do it. Otherwise, yes, divination is pretty lame as other than a utility specialty.

However, if you sat down and created the spells? Then either school would be another animal all together. :)

-Ben.

Dark Archive

terraleon wrote:
But that's part of what I'm saying-- with (Core Rules) Independent Research, nothing prevents a wizard from creating an Arcane version of Raise Dead which is necromancy. The only thing holding people back is paradigm.

Ah, true! I smell what you're cooking (finally...).

Quote:
SF(abjuration or divination) are "sad, sad jokes," because there isn't the offensive catalog to support them.

Offensive divination sounds very fun. Jean Grey opening Mastermind's mind to all of the infinite cosmos, all at once? Eric Draven 'gifting' Top Dollar with the recollected experience of 'thirty hours of pain, all at once, all for you?' Fun stuff.

Usher's Blessing - "I just enhanced your senses of sight, hearing, scent, taste and touch a hundred fold. Of course you can't hear me say this, because you are blind, deaf and writhing on the ground screaming in agony from the torturous sensation of silk on your skin..."

Offensive abjurations are also a possibility.

Environmental Barrier - "This shimmering skintight aura protects you completely from contact with the outside environment! Total protection against airborne toxins or contagions, or, yanno, oxygen. Hope you didn't need to breathe, or anything like that..."

Overreaction - "This elemental aura was intended to protect you from damaging cold and fire attacks by unleashing a countering blast of the opposite energy. Unfortunately it triggers a half-second too slow, and you end up taking equal damage of the opposite type right after taking any damage from cold or fire. Oopsie. You look cold. Have a fireball."


Now you're in my tower, reading my grimoires. ;)

The part that scares most GMs is the balance of spell effects, and crafting your own magic is still an art because of the weakly defined subsystem. (What is overpowered for a 3rd level spell? Most GMs would say it's like porn, "I'm not sure, but I know it when I see it." That's a problem, and it hinders people from using those research rules.) That's why, until one gets more comfortable with spell design, the first step is to just reinvent the other class spells as Arcane. Why? They're already playtested and approved, you're just spending the resources to unlock them for an Arcane caster.

Words of Power would be a nice second step, in a more easily assimilated format, because it encourages the idea of guidelines for effects which can be scaled to levels.

Which brings us back to the all wizard campaign. Yeah, I'd be in it in a heartbeat, and we'd be ]REDACTED[ crazy. ;)

-Ben.


Chill chill, not saying gank the wizards. Just that at certain points they will be incredibly vulnerable to certain foes and tactics.

Orc grapplers are another one. Great if you get them, but if they lock in the grapple slow death awaits.

Any grab/grapple or paralysis opponent can wreak havoc with wizards.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Chill chill, not saying gank the wizards. Just that at certain points they will be incredibly vulnerable to certain foes and tactics.

Orc grapplers are another one. Great if you get them, but if they lock in the grapple slow death awaits.

Any grab/grapple or paralysis opponent can wreak havoc with wizards.

Only if they can get to them and only if there are enough grappling opponents to deal with all of the wizards. The others are hardly going to stand around watching.


Stabbald wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Any grab/grapple or paralysis opponent can wreak havoc with wizards.
Only if they can get to them and only if there are enough grappling opponents to deal with all of the wizards. The others are hardly going to stand around watching.

And if no one's got grease memorized or in their spellbook with a bonded object. The +10 to CMD/Escape Artist checks is going to get most wizards free, and do the trick until freedom of movement or dim door enter the picture.

Side note? There's an excellent low-level abjuration idea for research: personal space, the (terribly named) spell which gives a scaling bonus to just CMD. And its inverse, the (potentially even more poorly named) butterfingers which gives a scaling penalty to only CMB for grapple.

-Ben


Artanthos wrote:

My dream team all wizard group:

  • Bigby
  • Leomund
  • Mordenkainen
  • Nystul
  • Otiluke
  • Otis
  • Rigby
  • Tenser

+1, although Rigby is a cleric and Otis a fighter iirc. EDIT: Otis was a ranger.

And look it these all researched their own custom name spells. And LG dodooder Tenser was the frontline guy.

Scarab Sages

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Stabbald wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Chill chill, not saying gank the wizards. Just that at certain points they will be incredibly vulnerable to certain foes and tactics.

Orc grapplers are another one. Great if you get them, but if they lock in the grapple slow death awaits.

Any grab/grapple or paralysis opponent can wreak havoc with wizards.

Only if they can get to them and only if there are enough grappling opponents to deal with all of the wizards. The others are hardly going to stand around watching.

You both right.

And wrong.

@Loyalist: Any single class group is going to have a weak point. This is why most groups have diversity.

@stabbald: No matter how high your spell DC's, eventually something is going to make all its saves.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Luckily there are 3 other wizards around for them to save against, then!


Artanthos wrote:
Stabbald wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Chill chill, not saying gank the wizards. Just that at certain points they will be incredibly vulnerable to certain foes and tactics.

Orc grapplers are another one. Great if you get them, but if they lock in the grapple slow death awaits.

Any grab/grapple or paralysis opponent can wreak havoc with wizards.

Only if they can get to them and only if there are enough grappling opponents to deal with all of the wizards. The others are hardly going to stand around watching.

You both right.

And wrong.

@Loyalist: Any single class group is going to have a weak point. This is why most groups have diversity.

@stabbald: No matter how high your spell DC's, eventually something is going to make all its saves.

Sure, statistical improbabilities are always possible. Just like you could have a TPK caused by a party unable to roll over a 5.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:

At least one character should be a transmuter aiming for Eldritch Knight with battle-cleric-like stats. This is your low level and emergency tank. He may want to take his fighter level at 3.

At least one character should be focused on summoning. Probably a diviner for the initiative bonus.

At least one character should probably be a standard dazing blaster build.

At least one character should be a samsaran poaching the witch list. If you can get patron spells you can get the condition removers and if not you can still get heal. Ill Omen is nice as well. The Samsaran should go into Pathfinder Savant ASAP to UMD divine wands and scrolls and start filching important condition removers that aren't on the witch list if the patron lists are off limits.

With at least 4 wizards you can cover each other's opposed schools so nobody should be an universalist.

Action economy is less of a concern and with at least 4 wizards sharing spellbooks the cast anything ability of the divine bond gets a lot better.

With things taken to that extreme, you don't really have an "all-wizard" party any more. What you have are several individuals who may share a class, but only a couple who are actually mages at heart.


Yeah, but a problem with the, orcs couldn't possibly grapple my wizards.

Level 3 wizard party, encounter with Urgizukuplex's grappling school inside a rather large yurt. "What have we got ourselves into" one wizard says. Party are charged by level 2 fighters, orcs all with improved grapple.

Yes, all builds and classes have weaknesses, but wizards can easily be pulled apart if they don't control the initiative.

Scarab Sages

Stabbald wrote:
Sure, statistical improbabilities are always possible. Just like you could have a TPK caused by a party unable to roll over a 5.

Statistical improbabilities favor the NPC's. They only need to win once.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Grappling is a big problem early, for sure. Later on it's more of an inconvenience.

I don't think it's any easier to pull apart a wizard party than any other class, truth be told. Sure, a party of low-level wizards will have trouble with grapples. A party of low-level fighters, for example, is in a lot of trouble if they're invited into that same yurt and the orc shaman casts color spray or sleep on them. A party of low-level rogues will have trouble with... well, they'll basically have trouble with combat in general. Low-level PF is swingy as hell even for non-gimmick parties.

Liberty's Edge

I actually play in a wizard party (3 wizard one sorc). It is one of the more interesting games. None of picked universalists, we went evoker, diviner, necromancer. It really makes the game weird in a good way.

In an all wizard party alignments can easily run the gambit. Wizards tend to be negligent and none of their magics have codes or ethics enforced on them. Wizards tend to take friends where they can find them, due to their poor social. Our game alignments are neutral good (evoker) chaotic neutral (necromancer) neutral evil (abjurer) lawful neutral (sorcerer illusionist). We have an oddly large amount of party cohesion.

When running a wizard game expect the party to abuse magic to solve literally all problems with magic (a running joke in our group). Someone is going to cast animate dead, let them. We dressed our favorite up to look like Bloodpouch (look him up) and named him Bloodpouch.

Finally expect the players to never ever fight fair or show courage.

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