How do you test for wizardry aptitude?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Take inspiration from older editions, you need to be "this" smart to even start figuring out wizardry, you want to actually make it into spell levels, you need to be exceptionally gifted.
Wizardry is like getting your doctorate, even if you drop out early after 6 years and just have a cantrip or two, is that going to benefit you enough to make a career in your life? Are others going to want to make that attempt if they aren't sure they can manage it? Looking at cost, opportunity, capability and the drive/ambition to get through it, I think it's easy to see why even those who could benefit from some wizardry don't bother, especially when you look at all the other ways cantrips are available.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't believe there's any sort of innate magical potential that is required for learning magic on Golarion. Every infant is born with the potential to become a 20th level Wizard, it's just that very few of them actually do.

I wouldn't say that's true at all.

It's more like most of us can dabble in Physics, but less can make a career out of it and only a handful have the ability to be renowned.

A level 11+ wizard would be considered rare and powerful and in most cases, they are the level they are at because they've reached their limit.


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

{. . .}

I'll grant you that this is a 1st edition product published in 2011, so I don't assume it was the final word that will ever be published on the nature of magic in the setting (they didn't even know about the four traditions, back then, they thought it was all just Arcane or Divine!){. . .}

Actually, they sort of did. Even though the Druid and Ranger(*) spell lists were classified as Divine, they definitely were already grouped so as to give a nature vibe, inherited all the way back from 1st Edition AD&D(*). Meanwhile, even though the Bard spell list was classified as Arcane, it definitely had its own vibe, although in 2nd Edition that strangely has gotten shoehorned in with Occult. The Witch spell list was an arcane-divine hybrid (although formally classified as arcane), which sadly has been lost in 2nd Edition.

(*)The 1st Edition AD&D Ranger cast 1st and 2nd level Wizard Magic-User spells AND 1st through 3rd level Druid spells. Which I sort of miss.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

{. . .}

I'll grant you that this is a 1st edition product published in 2011, so I don't assume it was the final word that will ever be published on the nature of magic in the setting (they didn't even know about the four traditions, back then, they thought it was all just Arcane or Divine!){. . .}

Actually, they sort of did. Even though the Druid and Ranger(*) spell lists were classified as Divine, they definitely were already grouped so as to give a nature vibe, inherited all the way back from 1st Edition AD&D(*). Meanwhile, even though the Bard spell list was classified as Arcane, it definitely had its own vibe, although in 2nd Edition that strangely has gotten shoehorned in with Occult. The Witch spell list was an arcane-divine hybrid (although formally classified as arcane), which sadly has been lost in 2nd Edition.

(*)The 1st Edition AD&D Ranger cast 1st and 2nd level Wizard Magic-User spells AND 1st through 3rd level Druid spells. Which I sort of miss.

That more than fair. I meant that only as a humorous aside, but if I were to be serious about it for a moment I absolutely agree. The only thing that changed for me regarding my understanding of Druid spells in 2e is that they were called Primal and there was less assumption of being less damaging than arcane elements. Already I felt the logical conclusion of druids classed as divine was by drawing power from the primal spirits of nature.

Bards with Occult spells were more if a surprise, but if you've seen my many lengthy diatribes in other relevant threads about magic currently active, it was a most welcome one.


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A Humble Calf wrote:
You just have to weight them to se if they weight the same as a duck.

No, that's for witches. Wizards hang out with kings and kings sit on thrones, and thrones are cushioned, therefore you need a butt that's very cushioned with fat to be a wizard.


I don't know if it was addressed in the setting directly, but the requirement to be a wizard is to be smart, and training to be a wizard takes a lot of work.

If it was a lone wizard living in a small community, maybe teaching children on the side, They'd probably be able to tell which children would make good wizards, either by directly testing them and teaching them magic, or just by watching for the ones that seem smartest and trying to steer them towards learning wizardry.

There's also the scenario of someone being interested in learning wizardry, studying as much as they can, and trying to find someone/somewhere that can train them more formally. This group would be largely self selected.

If you're thinking of a big wizard school of some sort that recruits from all over they probably have standardized tests (like the wizard SATs) to determine if candidates are qualified, possibly followed by interviews to figure out personality.

Using real world tools you could probably figure out who would make the best wizards by using an IQ test, to determine intelligence, a personality test, to determine industriousness (how hardworking they are), and an interview to see if magic is interesting to them.
The best wizards would be high IQ, very industrious, and find the subject incredibly interesting.

Liberty's Edge

To be a high level NPC wizard (build with PC rules), you do not need high INT, nor do you need to increase your proficiency in Arcane. You just need to start your career as a wizard and XPs, lots of XPs.


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The Raven Black wrote:
To be a high level NPC wizard (build with PC rules), you do not need high INT, nor do you need to increase your proficiency in Arcane. You just need to start your career as a wizard and XPs, lots of XPs.

Yep. Say you use the Alternative Method: Rolling Ability Scores*. Your lizardfolk wizard npc could roll 3 for intelligence and start off with a 1 int and by the rules, that's totally fine.

*Only ancestry and background boosts/flaws apply with 1 less free boost each.


graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
To be a high level NPC wizard (build with PC rules), you do not need high INT, nor do you need to increase your proficiency in Arcane. You just need to start your career as a wizard and XPs, lots of XPs.

Yep. Say you use the Alternative Method: Rolling Ability Scores*. Your lizardfolk wizard npc could roll 3 for intelligence and start off with a 1 int and by the rules, that's totally fine.

*Only ancestry and background boosts/flaws apply with 1 less free boost each.

I don't think we should consider optional rules.

Anyway, you can be a 10 Intelligence Wizard, per the rules, and that's fine. But you won't be a good one!

Liberty's Edge

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SuperBidi wrote:
graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
To be a high level NPC wizard (build with PC rules), you do not need high INT, nor do you need to increase your proficiency in Arcane. You just need to start your career as a wizard and XPs, lots of XPs.

Yep. Say you use the Alternative Method: Rolling Ability Scores*. Your lizardfolk wizard npc could roll 3 for intelligence and start off with a 1 int and by the rules, that's totally fine.

*Only ancestry and background boosts/flaws apply with 1 less free boost each.

I don't think we should consider optional rules.

Anyway, you can be a 10 Intelligence Wizard, per the rules, and that's fine. But you won't be a good one!

You can be INT 8 even. You won't be optimized at offensive spells or at counterspells. That's it.

Invisible with buffs and non-damaging plausible illusions and you're set.

Liberty's Edge

Summon spells do not use your DC or spell attacks either.


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SuperBidi wrote:
I don't think we should consider optional rules.

Why not? They ARE pathfinder rules and work for the world at large. I don't see why they'd be off limits especially as you don't even have to use PC rules for npc's in the first place. It's as valid as any other method IMO as it' DM fiat how it's built in the first place.

PS: and to be pedantic, it's NOT an optional rule, it's an alternate one. ;P


The Raven Black wrote:
You can be INT 8 even. You won't be optimized at offensive spells or at counterspells. That's it.

How can you get an INT 8 wizard using the standard PC building rules?


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Earthfall wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
You can be INT 8 even. You won't be optimized at offensive spells or at counterspells. That's it.
How can you get an INT 8 wizard using the standard PC building rules?

Use an ancestry with an ability flaw.


Evan Tarlton wrote:
Earthfall wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
You can be INT 8 even. You won't be optimized at offensive spells or at counterspells. That's it.
How can you get an INT 8 wizard using the standard PC building rules?
Use an ancestry with an ability flaw.

That does not work, the voluntary flaws cant get you below 8 even with an ancestry modifier. You still have to take your class boost in intelligence. So your minimum is 10.

To get below 10 you would need to be playing with alternative rules like rolling ability scores.

You probably do want to Learn Spells during your career, which you are always trained in as a Wizard. But you do get some spells anyway


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Gortle wrote:
You probably do want to Learn Spells during your career, which you are always trained in as a Wizard. But you do get some spells anyway

Assurance can help with that.

Liberty's Edge

Gortle wrote:
Evan Tarlton wrote:
Earthfall wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
You can be INT 8 even. You won't be optimized at offensive spells or at counterspells. That's it.
How can you get an INT 8 wizard using the standard PC building rules?
Use an ancestry with an ability flaw.

That does not work, the voluntary flaws cant get you below 8 even with an ancestry modifier. You still have to take your class boost in intelligence. So your minimum is 10.

To get below 10 you would need to be playing with alternative rules like rolling ability scores.

You probably do want to Learn Spells during your career, which you are always trained in as a Wizard. But you do get some spells anyway

My bad. I forgot the automatic INT boost from class.

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