wizards in armor


General Discussion

Sovereign Court

Do wizards have a spell fail chances for wearing armor?
or any penalties other than then norm for armor?


No penalties whatsoever, and it is intentional. You still get a -2 penalty on AC for being untrained but otherwise it's a lot more balanced with the nerfs to armor.

So yeah, take Fighter Dedication and have fun!


since they clarified the whole "unarmored defense" training thing, it's saved some trouble with my party wizard--he was worried he'd have -2AC for simply existing!

also nice to see the forums arent on fire anymore.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yep, Wizards in full plate (I mean half plate, the new full plate...) is now the norm. Not sure who thought that this was a good idea.


I have no problem with Wizards in armor, per se.

I have problems with Wizards getting all armor for one feat.


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They need 1 feat and significant investment in strength or dex (which is a feat requirement).

If they go dex, full plate isnt really a good idea since its clumsy and slows you down.

If they go strength, they just wasted a bunch of stat points unless they want to melee which is a suboptimal choice for a wizard. Extremely MAD too.

Frankly, this is a non issue to all except for folks who like to scream that the sky is falling.


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I don't think there is a mechanical issue with Wizards (or any other spellcaster really) wearing heavy armor... because armor is a death-trap. Armor has no impact at all on your potential AC (if you're properly built); rather the heavier your armor, the worse your TAC, Speed, and Checks. The worst part is the Wizard is paying a dedication feat for the 'privilage' of suffering those penalties. At least Fighters and Paladins are getting greater proficiency ranks to compensate (ineffectively)


Armored wizards are great; I still love Golbez and similar characters. Just give spell failure (flat check DC 5) for everyone (wizard, cleric, /everyone/) when in armor with which they aren't proficient, and maybe scale back the fighter multiclass feat a bit, and we're good.


Strong disagreement on ASF. That was garbage. It just isnt needed. Honestly, the current implementation is fine.

If I were to play a caster, I would have very little drive to get fighter dedication anyways.

Tossing in a bunch of casting specific penalties is just bad 3.X design. Just avoid that nonsense.


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Cantriped wrote:
I don't think there is a mechanical issue with Wizards (or any other spellcaster really) wearing heavy armor... because armor is a death-trap. Armor has no impact at all on your potential AC (if you're properly built); rather the heavier your armor, the worse your TAC, Speed, and Checks. The worst part is the Wizard is paying a dedication feat for the 'privilage' of suffering those penalties. At least Fighters and Paladins are getting greater proficiency ranks to compensate (ineffectively)

In almost twenty years of playing 3.X and Pathfinder, I've never worn medium or heavy armor because the skill and speed penalties weren't worth it. And if anything they're worse now, so I don't see that changing.

Liberty's Edge

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Armored wizards are great; I still love Golbez and similar characters. Just give spell failure (flat check DC 5) for everyone (wizard, cleric, /everyone/) when in armor with which they aren't proficient, and maybe scale back the fighter multiclass feat a bit, and we're good.

Very much this, the problem isn't with Wizards and Armor, it's with the fact that almost NO reasonably built Spellcaster would pass up the Fighter Dedication Feat. Strength or Dexterity 16 & trained in Athletics is SUPER easy to do. They get 3-6 Feats worth of Value from a SINGLE Class Feat, this outrageously unbalanced.

A simple fix would be to amend the feat as following:
You become trained in light armor, if you are already trained in light armor you gain medium armor training, & heavy armor if already trained for medium armor. You gain simple and martial weapon training. Athletics is a signature skill for you.
Special
: You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the fighter archetype. Each Fighter dedication feat you take increases your armor training to the next highest level.

This will let Wizards get their Light Armor and Weapon Training, and they can CHOOSE to continue training as Fighter to improve their Armor Training, for example the Wizard choosing Basic Maneuver for his second Dedication Feat gets their Level 1 or 2 Fighter Class Feat in addition to Medium Armor Training.


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My wizard would ABSOLUTELY pass up Fighter Dedication. In edge cases where I might take it, I would absolutely not use heavy armor because going strength makes you MAD (you will still want at least 12 dex, likely 14).

I built several just to test it out.

Its not good unless you want to go magus style and there are issues with that. You have to have a hand free to cast. Going two hander is not really an option since its an action to switch between grips. Have to use a one handed weapon and no shield.

There are some one handed fighting style feats. It can be ok. Still, your strength will be meh for quite a while (like 10 levels), meaning you will miss alot, and your hp will be sub par.

Overall, not optimal. Even if you use it but stay ranged with cantrips, its not so great since cantrips use dex to hit. If you pump dex, better off with lighter armor. So why make it crappier?

Its a tempest in a teapot. A total nonissue. It fixes itself.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm not sure why everyone here keeps referencing Strength in correlation with the FD Feat. You need 16 STR OR DEX. Seriously, who isn't putting their Dex at 16 for a Wizard?

I'm having a hard time seeing the downside of putting DEX at 16 (Their #2 most important Stat) in order to free up several Spells Per Day Cast (Mage Armor is pointless now), increase their AC by at least 4 with a Breastplate for 1 Feat that otherwise would be spent on something like Reach Spell, a Familiar, or Hand of the Apprentice all of which have SIGNIFICANTLY fewer benefits versus increasing their sustainability and +2 to hit with all Weapons (Excluding the Wizard Prof ones, Club, Crossbow, Dagger, Heavy crossbow, Staff).

Lets break it down what this Dedication Feat ACTUALLY gives a Wizard;

Weapon Proficiency Feat x 2 (Once for Simple, once for Martial Weapons)
Armor Proficiency Feat x 3 (Once for each Type of Armor)
UNPUBLISHED FEAT That will almost CERTAINLY become a thing x 1 (Choose a Skill, it becomes a Signature Skill Prereq: Feat 2 & Trained in Chosen Skill, in this case Athletics)

Versus the Rogue Dedication Feat

Skill Feat x 1
Rogue’s Surprise Attack Class Talent (Effectively +2 to Hit during 1st Round on combat ONLY against Creatures with a LOWER Initiative than the PC)
UNPUBLISHED FEAT That will almost CERTAINLY become a thing x 1 (Choose a Skill, it becomes a Signature Skill. Prereq: Feat 2 & Trained in Chosen Skill, in this case Thievery)

This is 5 General Feats of value + 1 Skill Feat for the Fighter Dedication VS. 2 Skill Feats, a TERRIBLE Rogue Class Talent for Rogue Dedication

I'd take a compromise where the Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue Dedication feats are brought UP in power versus nerfing the Fighter Dedication, but really the balance is WAaAAAaaY off.


The Wizard and Cleric dedications are great for spell casters as a replacement for the extra cantrips class feats. You can take the dedication at level 2 , vs 4 for the class feat, and get off list cantrip access with option for additional feat choices later.

Not that you’re likely to have 16 intelligence or wisdom as a secondary stat at char gen. Druid/Cleric works, Bard/Sorcerer will presumably work in the release product.


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I noted it was strength or dex. If you go dex, you dont use heavy armor. If you go strength, you have other problems as I detailed.

The feat is fine. If other feats are bad thats another issue but that is neither here nor there for a topic about wizards in armor. But, as a potential Wizard player, I absolutely would not use it in all or even most of my builds.

Breastplate (which is medium, by the way) gives a max dex of +3, slows you down and is clumsy (which is a big deal). If you want to burn a feat, waste proficiency in athletics without investing in strength and deal with those penalties, then take the armor! You earned it.

I just dont see a problem. Compared to Mage Armor or Bracers of Armor its balanced since you invested sufficiently for it and you are eating penalties.

Yes, I would absolutely take a familiar or reach spell or whatever over Fighter Dedication.

Also, weapon proficiencies? Pffft. Cantrips man, cantrips.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The value of the Fighter Dedication feat seems valuable on its face. The actual value is far less than that.

A wizard having training in weapons will likely not change the wizards preference to cast spells. He isn't suddenly going to stab people instead of spelling people to death. Sure, he might hit with a weapon a few times more, but this is pretty negligible.

A wizard having armor training can be useful but again its not that big of a power boost. Yes, AC is likely going to be increased, but does it break anything? No it doesn't. Wearing heavy armor gives you speed penalties...something that should be anathema to most wizards. Your touch AC is worse. Those go against the grain of most wizard builds. You could choose light armor, but you likely aren't boosting your Dex to its max, so you aren't getting your full benefit - and if you are, you are likely doing so at the cost of a higher Con bonus.

By taking the FD feat, if you ever want to take another archtype or multiclass feat, you need to take additional fighter feats before doing so. The FD feat suddenly limits you. You need to take two additional fighter feats (three in total) before you can regain this flexibility. This means you miss out on Wizard feats which are the core of your class. This is a loss to your core abilities which you are trading for higher AC and being somewhat better in weapons. This works for some builds and playstyles but its not the slam dunk best option that you seem to believe it is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DataLoreRPG wrote:

They need 1 feat and significant investment in strength or dex (which is a feat requirement).

If they go dex, full plate isnt really a good idea since its clumsy and slows you down.

If they go strength, they just wasted a bunch of stat points unless they want to melee which is a suboptimal choice for a wizard. Extremely MAD too.

Frankly, this is a non issue to all except for folks who like to scream that the sky is falling.

Um, yeah. No. Boosting your DEX is no MAD investment for Wizards and Sorcers, it is common sense and has always been so. You can easily start out with a 16 DEX, so taking Fighter dedication at level 2 is really no problem.


Themetricsystem wrote:
I'm not sure why everyone here keeps referencing Strength in correlation with the FD Feat. You need 16 STR OR DEX. Seriously, who isn't putting their Dex at 16 for a Wizard?

It is mentioned, but less credibly because there aren't any suits of heavy armor that don't punish you for over-investing in Dex, and none have a Dex Cap of +3 (making that investment wasted). Further, you need that 16 Str to cope with the added Bulk that a robed wizard doesn't have to carry.

As for which wizards would dump Dex, any that plan on wearing heavy armor for one thing (such as those going for Fighter and Grey Maiden). Its not like you can't build a viable spell repertoire around spells that target saving throws. Fighter Multiclass has a feat to shore up the Wizard's HP enough to engage in melee, and combines especially well if they go Shield (or Shield) and Staff so that they can Strike and Cast with the same hand while maintaining their AC. Naturally all such wizards would want to go Grey Maiden to have the maximum possible AC (Via Legendary in Maiden Plate & Shields); Their TAC only takes a 4 point hit over a equally optimum Monk, and is likely comperable the optimum robed-Wizard (who is only ever Trained in Unarmored Defense...).

Spellcaster's might also dump Dex to be able to afford the prerequisites for multiclassing into another casting class, in which case the General feat is often better than Fighter Dedication as it doesn't lock you into two more Fighter Feats and require such a hard array to create. Clerics and Druids only need to take Armor Proficiency once to hit Heavy Armor anyway (meaning it could be done alongside multiclassing Wizard).


magnuskn wrote:
DataLoreRPG wrote:

They need 1 feat and significant investment in strength or dex (which is a feat requirement).

If they go dex, full plate isnt really a good idea since its clumsy and slows you down.

If they go strength, they just wasted a bunch of stat points unless they want to melee which is a suboptimal choice for a wizard. Extremely MAD too.

Frankly, this is a non issue to all except for folks who like to scream that the sky is falling.

Um, yeah. No. Boosting your DEX is no MAD investment for Wizards and Sorcers, it is common sense and has always been so. You can easily start out with a 16 DEX, so taking Fighter dedication at level 2 is really no problem.

Umm no, you didnt read my post. MAD refered to investing in strength.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DataLoreRPG wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
DataLoreRPG wrote:

They need 1 feat and significant investment in strength or dex (which is a feat requirement).

If they go dex, full plate isnt really a good idea since its clumsy and slows you down.

If they go strength, they just wasted a bunch of stat points unless they want to melee which is a suboptimal choice for a wizard. Extremely MAD too.

Frankly, this is a non issue to all except for folks who like to scream that the sky is falling.

Um, yeah. No. Boosting your DEX is no MAD investment for Wizards and Sorcers, it is common sense and has always been so. You can easily start out with a 16 DEX, so taking Fighter dedication at level 2 is really no problem.
Umm no, you didnt read my post. MAD refered to investing in strength.

Which is completely unnecessary, since you can get Fighter dedication through DEX, one of the important stats for Wizards and Sorcerers. Putting a few points into strength later on to increase the bulk you can carry is also a non-factor when you begin reaching 18's in your secondary stats (which will happen as soon as level 5).


I mentioned strength for those eyeing heavily armored, greatsword wielding wizards (since posters here are screaming with horror at weapon proficiencies). Its doable, by the way, its just meh.

I agree you can go dex (and stated as much) and, as has been said, pumping dex means heavy armor is a bad choice.

You could go medium but while your ac might be marginally better, you invest a feat, invest in athletics (which you may not need, especially with zero investment in str) and suffer armor penalties (which are numerous).

I dunno, I just dont see a problem. By the time you can boost your stats (to offset bulk), you can also boost dex and the armor cap to dex will likely make light armor better too.

Is it an ok feat? Sure. Is it must have? Naw. I wouldn't take it.

As it stands, the wizard is, imo, better off with its class feats. Other options are viable but not optimal. The dev team has done a great job.


I made a sorcerer (aberrant bloodline with occult spells) with the fighter dedication feat to make me a psychic warrior (I'm a sucker for the 3.0/3.5 psionics). The spells are OK, not the damage dealers that arcane spells are, so it works really well for my character concept. I was so excited that I was able to do what I wanted to do with the new rules.


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The only reason I can see a Wizard taking Fighter Dedication is in order to reach Grey Maiden by 8th (or later Hellknight Signifier instead), and that costs the wizard like 7 class feats and a General feat (admitedly the two fighter feats after dedication are pretty good for a Shield wizard). The only rewards are legendary fortitude (a solid reward) and an AC comperable to what a paladin gets 'for free'. The Wizard-Maiden is only slighly better defended than a comperably optimized high-dexterity Wizard in robes; who gets to spend those 8 feats elsewhere, such as having more spell slots through multiclassing elsewhere.


Once available, I suspect multi class monk might be more common, so as to improve training in unarmoured Defence.

But even so, you are still giving up a bunch of feats that could have been multi class alchemist, or arcanist when it’s released.


Future archetypes will almost certainly be published to push various proficiencies to Legendary. Early on the most important ones will be those various core classes cannot otherwise acquire.

Light and Medium armor proficiency are notable examples that nobody gets to legendary in.


Nothing stopping you from going the other way; take Monk class (or fighter, or paladin, or...) and get the wizard multiclass dedication feat.
Monk with mage Armor would work extremely well


Themetricsystem wrote:

I'm not sure why everyone here keeps referencing Strength in correlation with the FD Feat. You need 16 STR OR DEX. Seriously, who isn't putting their Dex at 16 for a Wizard?

I'm having a hard time seeing the downside of putting DEX at 16 (Their #2 most important Stat) in order to free up several Spells Per Day Cast (Mage Armor is pointless now), increase their AC by at least 4 with a Breastplate for 1 Feat that otherwise would be spent on something like Reach Spell, a Familiar, or Hand of the Apprentice all of which have SIGNIFICANTLY fewer benefits versus increasing their sustainability and +2 to hit with all Weapons (Excluding the Wizard Prof ones, Club, Crossbow, Dagger, Heavy crossbow, Staff).

Lets break it down what this Dedication Feat ACTUALLY gives a Wizard;

Weapon Proficiency Feat x 2 (Once for Simple, once for Martial Weapons)
Armor Proficiency Feat x 3 (Once for each Type of Armor)
UNPUBLISHED FEAT That will almost CERTAINLY become a thing x 1 (Choose a Skill, it becomes a Signature Skill Prereq: Feat 2 & Trained in Chosen Skill, in this case Athletics)

Versus the Rogue Dedication Feat

Skill Feat x 1
Rogue’s Surprise Attack Class Talent (Effectively +2 to Hit during 1st Round on combat ONLY against Creatures with a LOWER Initiative than the PC)
UNPUBLISHED FEAT That will almost CERTAINLY become a thing x 1 (Choose a Skill, it becomes a Signature Skill. Prereq: Feat 2 & Trained in Chosen Skill, in this case Thievery)

This is 5 General Feats of value + 1 Skill Feat for the Fighter Dedication VS. 2 Skill Feats, a TERRIBLE Rogue Class Talent for Rogue Dedication

I'd take a compromise where the Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue Dedication feats are brought UP in power versus nerfing the Fighter Dedication, but really the balance is WAaAAAaaY off.

The problem I have with raising the other classes up is that it makes multiclassing the new meta, which may not be something Paizo wants (it was the case in PF1, anyway). Your class feats, by power scale, pale in comparison to what you can get if you just take an Archetype Dedication/Multiclass feat. Unless you want a really specialized benefit from your class, class feats will be lacking as a result of raising up the power level of every Archetype/Multiclass feat. (I'm not saying they can't be useful, merely that they shouldn't always overshadow class feats.)

Every feat should be comparable to itself (in a perfect world), but for people wanting X ability or Y option, certain feats should stand out more as something to choose compared to something that doesn't do what they want. Not every feat should have to be a Dedication feat (or even some of the follow-up feats if they're so strong) unless players actually have a character concept they want that needs it to work.


Forget fighter dedication. Wizards who can afford a master or legendary hide armor already get +1 ac more than they would have otherwise without any or nearly no downsides. No check penalties (-1 for master), no movement reduction and latest from lvl 10 on you also have the max dex modifier of +4. And the biggest advantage is that you can actually enchant that armor with runes. Not like mage armor or bracers of armor. You actually can use property runes.


It seems Fighter Dedication didn't have the 16 Dex option until more recently, I feel requiring 16 Str could make it more interesting?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Themetricsystem wrote:
I'm having a hard time seeing the downside of putting DEX at 16 (Their #2 most important Stat) in order to free up several Spells Per Day Cast (Mage Armor is pointless now), increase their AC by at least 4 with a Breastplate for 1 Feat that otherwise would be spent on something like Reach Spell, a Familiar, or Hand of the Apprentice all of which have SIGNIFICANTLY fewer benefits versus increasing their sustainability and +2 to hit with all Weapons (Excluding the Wizard Prof ones, Club, Crossbow, Dagger, Heavy crossbow, Staff).

Not sure where you are getting that the dedication feat would free up several spells cast per day. Mage Armor now has a duration of 24 hours. What other spells would be freed up with the dedication feat?

Mage armor isn't useless: at higher levels, it provides you an item bonus to saving throws. At the moment, I haven't found any other items that provide an item bonus to saving throws (there likely are some in the playtest book, but I haven't stumbled across them yet).


Mistwalker wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
I'm having a hard time seeing the downside of putting DEX at 16 (Their #2 most important Stat) in order to free up several Spells Per Day Cast (Mage Armor is pointless now), increase their AC by at least 4 with a Breastplate for 1 Feat that otherwise would be spent on something like Reach Spell, a Familiar, or Hand of the Apprentice all of which have SIGNIFICANTLY fewer benefits versus increasing their sustainability and +2 to hit with all Weapons (Excluding the Wizard Prof ones, Club, Crossbow, Dagger, Heavy crossbow, Staff).

Not sure where you are getting that the dedication feat would free up several spells cast per day. Mage Armor now has a duration of 24 hours. What other spells would be freed up with the dedication feat?

Mage armor isn't useless: at higher levels, it provides you an item bonus to saving throws. At the moment, I haven't found any other items that provide an item bonus to saving throws (there likely are some in the playtest book, but I haven't stumbled across them yet).

Armor Potency Runes do... Mage Armor is simply bulkless +X Leather Armor (that counts as being Unarmored) and costs one of your highest level slots to remain competitive. Just buy bracers of armor (which reproduce the spell via Investment)


Cantriped wrote:
I don't think there is a mechanical issue with Wizards (or any other spellcaster really) wearing heavy armor... because armor is a death-trap. Armor has no impact at all on your potential AC (if you're properly built); rather the heavier your armor, the worse your TAC, Speed, and Checks. The worst part is the Wizard is paying a dedication feat for the 'privilage' of suffering those penalties. At least Fighters and Paladins are getting greater proficiency ranks to compensate (ineffectively)

Agreed on the heavy armor bashing, but it is no problem for a wizard to get to 18 Dex in lvl 5 and wear a nice breastplate. Can’ he also take a shield when multi classing fighter in lvl 2? There is no check wizard usually do (athletics or acrobatics) that can’t be worked around with spells, and mobility isn’t an issue for elves or half elves. Dexterity is a good stat for wizards anyway so why not wear medium armor? And to be honest who cares about expert, master, and legend compared to proficiency rising per lvl?

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