Wizards with School Proficiencies


Classes


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This might be too late to suggest.
Reasoning: Wizards tended to be picked by people willing to put in extra effort (working out what spells to memorise, extra feats, discoveries), at the moments wizards are the most powerful of the casters (opinion), and sorcerers are a bit much like inferior wizards (Arcane is the best list).

Could Wizards get proficiencies in schools, instead of just Spellcasting?
Given 8 schools (universalist is probably too small to count)
Specialists could start with 5 'school increases' and get 1 school increase per level.
Universalists could start with 7, and get 1 per level.
If the expert/master/legendary points were 3/7/15 instead of 12/16/19 then highly specialised specialist could have 6 Legendary, 1 Master and 2 untrained. A universalist gets everything at a level at 2 (trained), 10 (expert) and 18 (master).
An "old school" specialist with 6 schools they can cast, 2 they avoid, and with a specialisation in 1 can get 6 schools to master at 14, legendary at 20 and could get 6 schools to expert at 8 (but will almost certainly advance their true specialisation first)

specialist progression:

1 5T
2 6T
3 5T 1E
4 4T 2E
5 3T 3E
6 2T 4E
7 2T 3E 1M
8 2T 2E 2M
9 2T 1E 3M
10 2T 0E 4M
11 1T 1E 4M
12 1T 0E 5M
13 0T 1E 5M
14 0T 0E 6M
15 0T 0E 5M 1L
16 0T 0E 4M 2L
17 0T 0E 3M 3L
18 0T 0E 2M 4L
19 0T 0E 1M 5L
20 0T 0E 0M 6L

'old type' specialist:

1 5T
2 6T
3 5T 1E
4 4T 2E
5 3T 3E
6 2T 4E
7 2T 3E 1M
8 2T 2E 2M
9 2T 1E 3M
10 2T 0E 4M
11 1T 1E 4M
12 1T 0E 5M
13 0T 1E 5M
14 0T 0E 6M
15 0T 0E 5M 1L
16 0T 0E 4M 2L
17 0T 0E 3M 3L
18 0T 0E 2M 4L
19 0T 0E 1M 5L
20 0T 0E 0M 6L

true universalist:

1 7T
2 8T
3 7T 1E
4 6T 2E
5 5T 3E
6 4T 4E
7 3T 5E
8 2T 6E
9 1T 7E
10 0T 8E
11 0T 7E 1M
12 0T 6E 2M
13 0T 5E 3M
14 0T 4E 4M
15 0T 3E 5M
16 0T 2E 6M
17 0T 1E 7M
18 0T 0E 8M
19 0T 0E 7M 1L
20 0T 0E 6M 2L

This grants 3 things.
1. it makes the sorcerer's ability to pick and choose from the Arcane list and cast all the disparate spells at the same level much more impressive
2. wizards could get a higher proficiency faster than other casters - but in a very narrow range. Unlike sorcerers these aren't necessarily thematically tied either, but are instead mechanically similar.
3. it gives a resource that can be traded away for 'specialisation' bumps. The school abilities, for example. Quick preparation type abilities. These can even be tied to proficiency (for example if you need to have a school at expert). This gives a slot for the half-useful arcane discoveries, and at a minimum could be used on lores as well as schools to create Sage type characters.

This does come at the cost of additional work to create a wizard. It may be worth keeping universalist "as is" as an option. I'm not sure people signing up to play specialist wizards are necessarily intimidated by one more thing to keep track of, given they need to keep track of spell schools anyway.


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I do like the option to have a higher proficiency for a specific school.

I think it's best to keep it simple like how the fighter and ranger get their weapon proficiencies: choose one school to be expert, the rest are trained. Then at higher levels, choose one school to be master... and so on.

The could also generalize this easily. A fire elemental sorcerer would start as expert with Fire spells (spells with the Fire trait) or bloodline spells and so on.

I also think their should be a level 1 spell with great heightening options for all schools, then each wizard would have the ability to spontaneously convert their prepared spells to use that spell heightened to the appropriate level. This gets rid of the annoying feeling when you waste a slot on a niche spell, so it gives Wizards more freedom to prepare niche spells.

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