Author Topic: Optimizing a Physicist/Engineer Wizard (or Help Me Build Nikola Tesla)  (Read 2200 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
I'm trying to take a serious look at a highly magical, yet medieval world, as is generally accepted as the average D&D world. I imagine such a world actually has a quite modern standard of living and that education levels throughout the "average" civilized land will soar above those of any real-world medieval society. Spells such as Create Water and Unseen Servant are ubiquitous in the average D&D world, not to mention other incredibly valuable low-level spells.

But what might a genius, non-adventuring Wizard provide the world? Imagine if our world's greatest minds were not scientists, but Wizards. Plato and Aristotle, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci, Issac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein. They were all brilliant minds and if magic were as accessible they wouldn't have wasted their time with lesser sciences; they would have been using magic spells to shape their fortunes and the destiny of all mankind.

So, if we accept the popular notion that a given real-world figure is no more than a 5th level character, if these historical figures were Wizards or even Adepts, how might we optimize a 5th level spellcaster, not for adventuring or combat, but for the general advancement and betterment of the human race? What can such a character provide to the world, especially in terms of lasting impact or effects that can be maintained and expanded upon beyond their time?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 06:30:36 AM by bkdubs123 »

DavidWL

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
    • Email
Re: Optimizing a Physicist/Engineer Wizard
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 06:15:54 AM »
I think magic items whose effect would go on forever (Decanter of Endless Water) could have enormous impact.  There is sewage and drinking water, etc. for 10,000 people.  Forever.  Magic is infrastructure that doesn't break.

Use things like distilled joy to fuel magic items that make the world a better place.

Automatic Spell Trap for the win.
* Automatic Spell Trap (Heal) --> Hospital for 100K+ people. 
* Cost (as an artificer, off of the adept list) = 500*7*5= 17.5Kgp

Best,
David
Some Cool Quotes:  [spoiler]
Quote from: unknown
Non-PC activities like out of combat healing should be left to wands and NPCs. It's not fun to play a walking wand of CLW. Likewise, being a combat wall is not a viable PC role. A Wall of Force could do that.

-Sort of, but you left out the important note that a Wall of Force does it better.

Quote from: Runestar / skydragonknight
The most powerful character is the one that you actually get to play.

Quote from: Operation Shoestring
I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/spoiler]
DavidWL's Random Build Archive

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
Re: Optimizing a Physicist/Engineer Wizard
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 06:29:43 AM »
I think magic items whose effect would go on forever (Decanter of Endless Water) could have enormous impact.  There is sewage and drinking water, etc. for 10,000 people.  Forever.  Magic is infrastructure that doesn't break.

Use things like distilled joy to fuel magic items that make the world a better place.

Automatic Spell Trap for the win.
* Automatic Spell Trap (Heal) --> Hospital for 100K+ people.  
* Cost (as an artificer, off of the adept list) = 500*7*5= 17.5Kgp

Best,
David


While it's certainly plausible to imagine that spellcasters exist that are able to cast such spells in a world with 6 billion+ people, characters that powerful are typically adventurers who may not, or likely do not, care necessarily to use their powers for the advancement of their species. That's why, for now, I want to limit the discussion to things that a 5th level spellcaster could do and neither of the above can be employed by a 5th level spellcaster.

Wands and Wondrous Items are likely at the high end of beneficial effects a 5th level character could pull off, but are there any other special tricks that a non-adventuring spellcaster could pull off? How can we make them the best at what they can do?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 06:32:04 AM by bkdubs123 »

DavidWL

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
    • Email
Re: Optimizing a Physicist/Engineer Wizard
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 06:36:48 AM »
An artificer, who uses UMD to emulate higher level spells, could probably cast the "heal spell trap" at 5th level ...

Best,
David
Some Cool Quotes:  [spoiler]
Quote from: unknown
Non-PC activities like out of combat healing should be left to wands and NPCs. It's not fun to play a walking wand of CLW. Likewise, being a combat wall is not a viable PC role. A Wall of Force could do that.

-Sort of, but you left out the important note that a Wall of Force does it better.

Quote from: Runestar / skydragonknight
The most powerful character is the one that you actually get to play.

Quote from: Operation Shoestring
I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/spoiler]
DavidWL's Random Build Archive

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
An artificer, who uses UMD to emulate higher level spells, could probably cast the "heal spell trap" at 5th level ...

Best,
David

I'm not sure that works. The way I'm reading it the Artificer can make UMD checks to substitute his need to have the actual spell required, but otherwise he has no way to bypass the Caster Level prerequisite needed to craft a wondrous item (though he does sometimes get a +2 bonus to his caster level for that purpose which definitely still comes in handy).

dark_samuari

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1024
    • Email
If we're going to focus to Socrates we shouldn't look at a mage but more appropriate would be a melee class who's cohort (Plato) took a massive focus on Craft (Writing). In fact Aristotle was probably singularly focused on Craft (Writing).

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
If we're going to focus to Socrates we shouldn't look at a mage but more appropriate would be a melee class who's cohort (Plato) took a massive focus on Craft (Writing). In fact Aristotle was probably singularly focused on Craft (Writing).

what is this I don't even

dark_samuari

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1024
    • Email
If we're going to focus to Socrates we shouldn't look at a mage but more appropriate would be a melee class who's cohort (Plato) took a massive focus on Craft (Writing). In fact Aristotle was probably singularly focused on Craft (Writing).

what is this I don't even

Just saying the classic, ancient philosophers would (if we're going super optimized) would more than likely be divine casters (who are taking levels in the Dwarven prc Ollam) focused on the Craft (Writing) skill.

Also I'm pretty drunk right now so... Yeah.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 08:11:58 AM by dark_samuari »

DavidWL

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
    • Email
An artificer, who uses UMD to emulate higher level spells, could probably cast the "heal spell trap" at 5th level ...

Best,
David

I'm not sure that works. The way I'm reading it the Artificer can make UMD checks to substitute his need to have the actual spell required, but otherwise he has no way to bypass the Caster Level prerequisite needed to craft a wondrous item (though he does sometimes get a +2 bonus to his caster level for that purpose which definitely still comes in handy).

I re-read it again, and I agree with you.

Still, this can be done at 7th level, which isn't so bad.

Also, Goodberry ... a 1st level spell, as a spelltrap.  500gp + 1 berry farmer --> feed 40K a day for 1/2 the year.  They can be skilled professionals instead of serfs.

Best,
David
Some Cool Quotes:  [spoiler]
Quote from: unknown
Non-PC activities like out of combat healing should be left to wands and NPCs. It's not fun to play a walking wand of CLW. Likewise, being a combat wall is not a viable PC role. A Wall of Force could do that.

-Sort of, but you left out the important note that a Wall of Force does it better.

Quote from: Runestar / skydragonknight
The most powerful character is the one that you actually get to play.

Quote from: Operation Shoestring
I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/spoiler]
DavidWL's Random Build Archive

JohnnyMayHymn

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Lord of the Kitchen Sink
I see Tesla as more of an artificer, he was Edison's cohort(or thrall) for a while, before the whole AC vs DC shenanigans...

It's a damn shame that Tesla never figured out how to break the economy with 10 foot poles, maybe Edison had the rights to those too.

Global wireless energy grid, can you even imagine? :twitch

It's like he was trying to release the full software but was held back because Edison was trying to convince the world that the Alph(DC) version was better than the Beta Demo(AC) that we still use today.

This is evidence for a higher than 5th level character...
</endrant>
My (sometimes offensive) Web Comic Faux Blast
Can you find the Wumpus? (Hint: start with the spoiler....)
[spoiler] :beathorse [/spoiler]
...........  :joystick

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
I see Tesla as more of an artificer, he was Edison's cohort(or thrall) for a while, before the whole AC vs DC shenanigans...

Right. Tesla can definitely be an artificer rather than a Wizard. And @Samurai: Greek philosophers could certainly be Divine casters. I'm using Wizard more as a catch-all term here, rather than to literally mean that I'm only interested in the Wizard class.

Quote
Global wireless energy grid, can you even imagine? :twitch

Exactly. So how can we do this, or something like it, with a 5th level caster/artificer?  :plotting

Quote
This is evidence for a higher than 5th level character...

What is evidence for a higher than 5th level character?

Thaosyr23

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 53
  • aquaman, best superhero ever?
    • Email
traps of cure light wounds.

traps of water walk - instant bridges!

trap of tongues would revolutionize diplomacy, now everyone can talk to each other.

and that's just three minutes looking through core. any 1-3 spells should be available. (archivist can get divine bard, ranger, etc)

JohnnyMayHymn

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Lord of the Kitchen Sink
Are you counting things that he had planned and never finished for the build?

Like the death rays and the global energy grid(the earth as a capacitor)...
well I guess he built wardenclyffe tower, but it was destroyed
 Also ...
Tesla Howitzer
centrifugal spacecraft launcher
"Electron wind" spacecraft
Electric spacecraft
Searchlight beams as wireless antennae
Powerplant that uses earths molten core for energy
wall of light
anti-gravity
bladless turbine engine
Unipolar generator
Thought photography machine
Radio wave scalar weapons
Ultra sound gun
Teleportation
Time travel
Vertical takeoff aircraft
etc... etc... etc....
some of this stuff he had patents for but my point is that this a a TON of stuff for a 5th level character to pull off, in addition to all the stuff he actually built, like all of the turbines, motors, lights, wireless trans-atlantic communication, remote control boat-submarine thing, Tesla coils, and the weird stuff that he did in Colorado Springs that no one to this day has successfully recreated.
My (sometimes offensive) Web Comic Faux Blast
Can you find the Wumpus? (Hint: start with the spoiler....)
[spoiler] :beathorse [/spoiler]
...........  :joystick

bkdubs123

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2724
    • Email
Are you counting things that he had planned and never finished for the build?

Like the death rays and the global energy grid(the earth as a capacitor)...
well I guess he built wardenclyffe tower, but it was destroyed
 Also ...
Tesla Howitzer
centrifugal spacecraft launcher
"Electron wind" spacecraft
Electric spacecraft
Searchlight beams as wireless antennae
Powerplant that uses earths molten core for energy
wall of light
anti-gravity
bladless turbine engine
Unipolar generator
Thought photography machine
Radio wave scalar weapons
Ultra sound gun
Teleportation
Time travel
Vertical takeoff aircraft
etc... etc... etc....
some of this stuff he had patents for but my point is that this a a TON of stuff for a 5th level character to pull off, in addition to all the stuff he actually built, like all of the turbines, motors, lights, wireless trans-atlantic communication, remote control boat-submarine thing, Tesla coils, and the weird stuff that he did in Colorado Springs that no one to this day has successfully recreated.

Yeah, he planned all of those things, but he never achieved any of them, so, sadly, they are relatively moot points. So, what did Tesla create/produce that seems impossible for a 5th level D&D Artificer to create/produce? Let's extrapolate that and work from there.

I'm sorry if I'm not being much help, myself. I simply haven't got the experience with casters or Artificers to be very effective at building an awesome research caster.

Also, if anyone else wants to jump in and give suggestions on things for dudes like Galileo and Einstein, go for it.

Endarire

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2171
    • Email
Remember, an Artificer5 can make items of up to level 7 spells if he can access the Ur-Priest and Divine Crusader lists.  (The minimum CL for these PrCs is their class level.  Artificers can make items of their Artificer level +2.)
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Absolon

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 63
    • Email
Quote
Are you counting things that he had planned and never finished for the build?

Like the death rays and the global energy grid(the earth as a capacitor)...
well I guess he built wardenclyffe tower, but it was destroyed
 Also ...
Tesla Howitzer
centrifugal spacecraft launcher
"Electron wind" spacecraft
Electric spacecraft
Searchlight beams as wireless antennae
Powerplant that uses earths molten core for energy
wall of light
anti-gravity
bladless turbine engine
Unipolar generator
Thought photography machine
Radio wave scalar weapons
Ultra sound gun
Teleportation
Time travel
Vertical takeoff aircraft
etc... etc... etc....

Earthquake Machine!