Author Topic: The Impoverished Wizard  (Read 3867 times)

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X-Codes

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The Impoverished Wizard
« on: October 04, 2010, 06:39:52 PM »
Prompted by a question in the last "Ask a Question" thread.

Here's an example progression of a Spell Mastery-based Wizard.  No spellbook because Vow of Poverty implicitly rejects the idea of using a spellbook.  Here are the specs:

Shadow Human UA Fighter Feats Variant Transmuter 9/Magelord 2/Planar Wizard Sub-Level 10/Magelord X
Use LA buyoff, you'll have plenty of XP later.
Stats: Str 8, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 8
Flaws: Inattentive, Fussy
Trait: Quick

1) Sacred Vow, Vow of Poverty, Nymph's Kiss, Improved Initiative
2) Celestial Familiar
5) Weapon Focus (ray)
4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14) Random garbage Exalted feats that are likely never even used.  Will avoid taking more Sacred Vow feats, since RP-wise it doesn't make sense to take one and then DCFS it out later.

Since the number of spells mastered per Spell Mastery feat only seems to increase as you use higher feat slots, the idea is to use the feat slots pre level-8 to hold all the pre-requisite feats for Magelord as well as whatever misc. feats are desired and use the ones at level 8 and after strictly for Spell Mastery.  Here's the breakdown:

Level 1-Int 18

Spell Mastery-0:
Actually taken at first level, but this one is never re-trained.
Mastered: comprehend languages, detect magic, mending, prestidigitation, read magic*

*Not actually gained via this feat, but simply listed for completeness.

Spell Mastery-1:
Taken at first level, contains useful spells for the early game.
Mastered (levels 1-6): enlarge person, protection from evil, silent image, wall of smoke
Mastered (levels 7-8): polymorph, ray of clumsiness, shadow conjuration, unseen servant
Re-trained for Signature Spell [comprehend languages] at 9th level.

Spell Mastery-3:
Taken at third level, contains useful spells for the early game (again).
Mastered (levels 3-4): alter self, arcane turmoil, ray of stupidity, web
Mastered (levels 5-11): alter self, arcane turmoil, ray of dizziness, haste
Re-trained for Spell Focus (Good) at 12th level.

Level 4- Int 19

Spell Mastery-6:
Taken at sixth level, setting up some staples.
Mastered (levels 6+): heart of water, nerveskitter, quick potion, true casting
Likely DCFSed into something else at 15.

Level 7- Int 21

Level 8- Int 22

Spell Mastery-9:
Taken at ninth level, replacing Spell Mastery-1.
Mastered (levels 9+): bull's strength/fox's cunning, mass fly, polymorph, shadow conjuration, teleport, unseen servant

Magelord Bonus-11:
A bonus mastered spell.
Mastered (11-20): mental pinnacle/tenser's transformation

Level 11- Int 24

Level 12- Int 25

Spell Mastery-12:
Taken at 12th level, replacing Spell Mastery-3.
Mastered (12+): alter self, freezing glance, haste, planar binding, ray of dizziness, scrying, shadow evocation
Mastered (13+): alter self, freezing glance, greater shadow conjuration, haste, planar binding, scrying, shadow evocation

Sometime before 14th level, "capture" two noble djinn (using Planar Binding) and cop some wishes to boost your Intelligence to 30.

Magelord Bonus-14:
A bonus mastered spell.
Mastered (14-20): elemental body

Level 15- Int 32

Spell Mastery-15:
Taken at 15th level, this is where the fun begins.
Mastered (15+): embrace the dark chaos, shun the dark chaos, and 8 other spells that may or may not be equally awesome.

More Spell Masteries at this point:
Spell Mastery-8 (discard whatever filler Exalted feat was there before), 6 spells
Spell Mastery-10 (as above), 6 spells
Spell Mastery-12 (as above), 7 spells
Spell Mastery-14 (as above), 10 spells

Other free feats at this point:
Level 4- Recommend Quicken Spell
Level 6- Recommend Rapid Metamagic and Consecrate Spell.

Level 16- Int 33

Spell Mastery-16, 11 spells
Magelord Bonus-16, 1 spell

Spell Mastery-18, 11 spells
Magelord Bonus-18, 1 spell

Level 19- Int 35

Level 20- Int 36

Spell Mastery-20, 13 spells

Total number of Mastered Spells @ level 20: 94
Add in Shadow spells and you can basically duplicate every good spell in the game, ever.

gorfnad

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 08:06:49 PM »
Here's a version of an "Impoverished Wizard" that I made a while ago.
Quote
Easy Bake No "Worries" Wizard

Elf, preferably Gray

Elf Wizard Racial Sub - Races of the Wild
Eidetic Spellcaster ACF - Dragon Magazine #357
Spontaneous Divination ACF - Complete Champion - Optional but great at higher levels
Collegiate Wizard feat - Complete Arcane

1st Level - 7+ Int mod 1st level spells known, all cantrips, 1 extra spell per day of highest level
No Familiar, No Scribe Scroll, No Spellbook

If flaws are available
Precocious Apprentice: Melf's Acid Arrow, Ice Knife, or Combust - Complete Arcane
Acidic Splatter, Winter's Blast, or Fiery Burst - Complete Mage
Sacred Vow + Vow of Poverty - Book of Exalted Deeds - depending on the campaign, this may work

Note: Every level after 1st that advances wizard spellcasting gets you 5 spells known for free instead of the usual 2
Edit: If you're playing in Eberron, the feat Aerenal Arcanist (Player's Guide to Eberron) will net you an additional spell known per level netting you 8+Int spells at 1st level and 6 additional spells known every level after that.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 08:11:27 PM by gorfnad »

Sobolev

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 10:54:02 PM »
Eidetic Spellcaster ACF - Dragon Magazine #357

This is a much better solution than Spell Mastery >_>
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Maat_Mons

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 12:43:06 AM »
Spell mastery requires you to already know the selected spells.  What do you feel constitutes a spell a wizard knows?  My inclination is to say only spells a wizard has written in a spellbook count as spells he knows, barring variants.  Clearly, that's not the definition you're using. 

Epimetheus

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 04:46:38 AM »
I don't see Eschew Materials anywhere, but if the spells you're mastering somehow don't need any, more power to you... Owning a spell component pouch isn't allowed under VoP, I think. But yeah, isn't Eidetic Spellcaster much easier than this Spell Mastery thingy?

X-Codes

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 05:06:22 AM »
Spell mastery requires you to already know the selected spells.  What do you feel constitutes a spell a wizard knows?  My inclination is to say only spells a wizard has written in a spellbook count as spells he knows, barring variants.  Clearly, that's not the definition you're using. 
It is the definition I'm using.  You can master a spellbook without owning it, and so you would learn new spells by mastering the spellbooks of others as you level up. 

I don't see Eschew Materials anywhere, but if the spells you're mastering somehow don't need any, more power to you... Owning a spell component pouch isn't allowed under VoP, I think. But yeah, isn't Eidetic Spellcaster much easier than this Spell Mastery thingy?
Had I known about Eidetic Spellcaster, I might have used it.  That said, I generally don't use Dragon material at all when building characters.  It's not about balance or anything, I just generally don't like the idea of going through hundreds of disorganized magazine articles looking for some random bit of information that may or may not help with a character build.  At least with the books there's a ToC and an index.

As for the spell component thing, yes, you can use a spell component pouch.  If memory serves, most PHB outfits are even more expensive than that.

Epimetheus

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 06:19:43 AM »
You're right about the spell component pouch; it does allow it explicitly. Somehow I thought that 5 gp was too much for a 'poor' person in DnD. I guess not... That would actually probably make it the most expensive thing a VoP caster would own.

X-Codes

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 06:49:21 AM »
You're right about the spell component pouch; it does allow it explicitly. Somehow I thought that 5 gp was too much for a 'poor' person in DnD. I guess not... That would actually probably make it the most expensive thing a VoP caster would own.
Meh, even the cheapest shack is probably worth at least 20 gold if someone cared to sell one, and characters with VoP aren't allowed to own that, either.

So, yeah.  While a spell component pouch is probably something too extravagant for most commoners to own, it's still not as valuable as their possessions.

carnivore

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 11:03:52 AM »
you dont need to use a regular Spellbook, on page 186 of Complete Arcane there are examples of Alternate Spellbooks ... Tatoos all over your body can serve as your spellbook, and you can do the Tatoos yourself(or have them done by someone else... just beg them to do it for free or barter your services)

 :D

awaken DM golem

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2010, 08:10:41 PM »
Dang ... that's what I was thinking ; 2nd.
Plus, the VoP still gets to "control" what happens to his portion of treasure,
so it's the Orphanage the buys the Tattooing ink/stuff.

Bozwevial

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 09:31:47 PM »
you dont need to use a regular Spellbook, on page 186 of Complete Arcane there are examples of Alternate Spellbooks ... Tatoos all over your body can serve as your spellbook, and you can do the Tatoos yourself(or have them done by someone else... just beg them to do it for free or barter your services)

 :D
Small steel mirror costs 10 gp.

Maat_Mons

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 10:32:02 PM »
The number of pages you can tattoo onto yourself is 80.  If you take two levels of geometer, you can fit any spell on a single page.  As a bonus, the tattoos are cool geometric patterns that aren't immediately recognizable as spells.  Using the 72 pages worth of skin that aren't visible when you wear normal clothing as a backup spellbook is a fun idea for any geometer. 

I see no reason your tattoo spellbook can't be where your free spells from leveling up appear.  So, you wouldn't even need to worry about ink cost for many spells. 

Small steel mirror costs 10 gp.
scrying magic, or a familiar's assistance

Bozwevial

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 10:36:56 PM »
Fair enough. I forgot the familiar could assist with it.

Gods_Trick

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 12:59:00 AM »

  So with ranks in the skill ... your familiar could tattoo you. *starts laughing like crazy* I don't know why, but the idea of a toad spells on its mage is just win and hilarity  :lol

Epimetheus

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 01:14:26 AM »
Familiar's assistance: So incredibly wrong...  :rollseyes

Nanshork

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2010, 02:54:23 AM »
Familiar's assistance: So incredibly wrong...  :rollseyes

How could it be wrong when it feels so right?   :smirk
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Emy

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2010, 03:11:23 AM »
Honestly for a wizard without a spellbook, I think the easiest route would be a gnome illusionist Shadowcraft Mage that trades their bonus specialist spells for Illusion Mastery.

X-Codes

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Re: The Impoverished Wizard
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2010, 03:44:41 AM »
Is it more wrong when it's a Coure Eladrin doing the assisting?

That said, I don't think tattooing will work with VoP.  It actually increases the cost of scribing the spells themselves, which means that I'd need a damn good reason to be using 200 gp to jab myself with a needle instead of helping orphanage kids.

P.S. Is it just me, or is the Coure Eladrin the best damn familiar ever?  All it needs is something like a Psychic Reformation to get rid of that worthless Weapon Finesse and pick up Deceptive Illumination (DotU) and it's just plain awesome.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 04:02:29 AM by X-Codes »