I guess I'm bordering on becoming a novice player at this point. I've become familiar with neat feat chains, multiclass options and ways to pull off unlikely build concepts. But I have yet to play a Wizard.
Overall, I see the class heralded as "the god", "the tier 1", "The one capable of doing basically anything better than anyone" etc. Okay. Imagine my surprise when I (accustomed to playing classes with colorful progressions, swimming in class feats i.e. Rangers, Rogues, Swashbucklers, Paladins etc.) gazed upon the barren level progression table that is the wizard's.
So, I've learned a bit since then. It's time to see what the fuss is about. It's time to explore my first wizard.
Right off the bat, I should inform you that I'm planning on making a Kitsune wizard, utilizing the "keen kitsune" alternate racial trait that grants +2 to int instead of Cha. Far from optimized, it's more that I have a fairly obvious favorite race.
For ability scores, we're using the 15 point buy system. I also thought about using the "middle-aged" modifiers, which actually proved beneficial with 'optimized' stats. My current suggestions are these:
Then there is probably the more ideal..
The thought is to make the character an aging wizard, one with the kitsune's taste for the fine arts. Very intelligent and knowledgeable with the sage-like wisdom that comes with age and perhaps a bit of a prune-y, toothless vibe whereas his charisma is concerned (his fox shape would be graying and somewhat stiff in the joints).
As an old man, he wouldn't have the highest constitution, though I do find it very appealing to give him a high dex score, somewhat superior to the average human, accounting for the Kitsune's innate acrobatic skills. "How can an old man make a jump like that?" people might ask. A dex score of 16 drives that point home fairly well. Then again, Int is everything in the wizarding world and the lower statblock might be strictly better in most ways.
Speaking of which: Is having a strength stat of 5 a bad idea, even for a wizard? I thought of solving it using spells like ant's haul and whatnot, but still?
Then there is the question of which school to pick. I've been wanting a somewhat versatile style for this wizard. Someone with a trick up his sleeve for every occasion. Oddly enough, people seem to suggest the Conjuration school above playing a universallist, as it in many ways is the most versatile choice. I'm not terribly interested in summoning, are there any other viable options?
As for staring feats, I've been thinking of selecting Toughness, Improved Initiative, combat casting, or a form of spell focus. The line on from there would probably be "Greater" spell focus and metamagic feats. Any other tips?
Have you ever seen the Guide to the Guides? From there you can find a number of wizard guides, to help walk you through your first time with the class.
As far as dumping your strength into the dirt goes . . . how friendly are your party members? One of the melees probably has carrying capacity to spare, you could just ask them to carry your backpack.
Having one more spell slot per spell level gives you more tricks up your sleeve at any given time. Most specialists are better at what you describe than a universalist.
Certainly there are other specialists besides the conjurer which are 'viable'. I think the ones most suited to the style you describe are the conjurer, transmuter, air elementalist, and void elementalist. The elemental school wizards get fewer spells in their school, but also fewer in their opposition school - they're closer to the universalist in that regard.
A few points:
-I prefer higher CON on my casters than DEX. But I also prefer to not dump CHA, so if you want the most "optimal" Wizard, maybe you shouldn't listen to me on this point.
-Divination/Foresight subschool has, by far, the best school powers - I need to motivate myself to not take this.
-5 STR is going to be troublesome, unless your GM doesn't bother with carrying capacity. Spending daily spells to compensate for this isn't ideal.
You seem to have a good grasp of the feats. But don't forget to take a look at the spell list, which is the major draw and more than 50% of the class features.