Building a wizard


okay so I'm building my first Wizard he's an elf specifically going for the dusk elf archetype minus the silent hunter and dreamspeaker traits. my plan is to generally avoid using conjuration because it doesn't fit the character however it is not an opposed school.

I plan on specializing in illusion and dropping necromancy and one other school I haven't decided. i have also considered evocation as an alternate specialization.

his stats are 20 point buy and right now look like this
strength- 7
wisdom- 12
charisma- 10

i am also considering the shadow caster archetype and was wondering if it was any good. if it isn't any good assume raven familiar.

the campaign he is being used in won't be for a while but it will most likely be rise of runelords. starting level 1. as for other players safely assume there will be a paladin around.

if any other information is need please inquire.

Le Bump.

My suggestion is to oppose abjuration, and then buy it back with the "Opposition Research" feat as either your 9th or 10th level feat. The only spell you'll really miss is protection from evil and dispel magic, both of which can be covered by the party Cleric. However, at higher levels the abjuration school has some absolutely critical utility spells you do not want to be without.

Enchantment is normally an easy choice for opposition school, due to the huge number of monsters with immunity to mind-affecting spells. However, RotRL tends to have a lot of monsters with low will saves so I don't think that's good advice for this specific adventure.

Playing primarily in home games that use the 4d6-lowest method, I can't say much for your stats. What I CAN tell you, is that my fiance seems to be in love with the Shadow Caster archetype. Having seen it in action, I can definitely say that it is fairly good. Especially once you get to your shadow spells.

Stats look good.

if you are specialising in illusion you can safely drop evocation, as you will get access to shadow evocation anyway. You can do the same thing with conjuration/shadow conjuration.... but conjuration is such a good school you probably don't want to do that.

Shadowcaster is fine as an archetype, especially if you plan to pump shadow evocation/conjuration. The shadow spells ability isn't as powerful as a familiar or bonded item but it isn't horrible. Shadow specialisation is great.

I know there is a shadow subschool should i use that instead of illusion? I do however plan on making use of the shadow evocation and similar shadow spells.
so know i ask if the shadow spells and such are good then is the shadow subschool good as well? because it would be a much better choice for my idea than the illusion school as a whole
and if i do decide to not go with shadowcaster i have been looking at familiars i have become interest in the dinosaur familiars, or the cat because it seem rather classical my question in short is which familiar should i be looking at i understand certain ones are good and some are just bad.

My Wizard has an Illusionist Cohort (Shadow Subschool) with a valet familiar and he is fun. I think that shadow subschool with a familiar is a fine choice. There are mechanically stronger options, but watching people fall into the Shadow Conjuration Spiked Pit and then make the save to disbelieve, but still be six feet under, in an illusion of an extradimensional space is priceless. I haven't played RotRL but I hear it is good to be a wizard, any wizard in that AP.

Scarab Sages

The advantage of the shadow school is it's versatility. The disadvantage is that every spell has an extra saving throw associated with it. This is actually a pretty big disadvantage. On top of this, many of the spells you will be emulating allow spell resistance rolls as well.

This means that you will need to compensate with feats and racial abilities:

Elf - for the +2 SR
Spell Focus, Greater spell focus, Spell penetration, greater spell penetration

You will also want craft wondrous item for to craft the headband of intellect and the blessed book. Every wizard should take this feat, so this is standard.

This is all fine, you will need these for pretty much any build except a conjurer, and you don't want to play a conjurer, so, that's all good.

You might consider going with a "save or suck" build. This includes the above feats, plus:

Dazing Spell
Persistent Spell
One other metamagic feat
Spell Perfection

You can improve this by taking Heighten Spell, and Preferred Spell. This let's you spontaneously cast your one good spell.

The spell of choice for this build is Flesh to Stone, but since you want to go illusion, you might want to put a Shadow spell in that slot.

Another route would bet to take spell specialization and greater spell specialization. This gives you more bang for your buck on your higher level shadow spells.

Finally, check out Shadow Gambit, which seems made for you.

The shadow subschool isn't strictly better than illusion, which gives swift action greater invisibility at level 8 compared to a not-that-great dimension door knockoff. However, blinding darkness is probably better than blinding ray so if you suspect the campaign may not go for long, shadow may be the better choice. Both are pretty good schools, honestly. They are no teleportation subschool, but they get the job done.

Phantasm is also decent (the 8th level ability has the potential to be absolutely fantastic if you have any sneak attackers or your GM likes to get up in wizard grill) but has the worst low level power and may not fit your concept so well.

Scarab Sages

I think that "dimension door knockoff" in the shadow school is actually much better than dimension door for two reasons:

1) It gives you a round of blur for free.
2) It doesn't specify that you can't take any actions after you teleport.

So here is what you do:

Don't worry about invisibility except as a backup - vanish will mostly do you.

Take a trait that gives you sneak as a class skill. Max out your sneak skill

Craft a cloak of elvenkind for the +5 stealth bonus.

Invest in either Silent Spell or a Metamagic Rod of Silent Spell

Now your standard strategy is to shadow walk to cover, hide and cast silently, making illusions of all kinds of crazy goodness.

Note that true seeing does't defeat hide, so this will work into very high levels.

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