Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards 5e

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards, a document exploring the class, it's features, and all its spells

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Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards 5e

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards, a document exploring the class, it's features, and all its spells

games, D&D, treantmonk wizard, D&D 5e

Treantmonk’s Guide to Wizards, Being a god (5th edition)


Update: 2020: Guide updated by TomFinn to match videos

Treantmonk on YouTube

A note about style: First off should be my note about style, hopefully before all the players of other classes out there get all upset. Throughout this guide my tongue is planted squarely in my cheek, and yes, I can be a cheeky monkey. Also, this is by and large an opinion paper, so I will be expressing opinion regularly. I will be expressing it strongly, but yes, you are entitled to disagree.

If you do, by all means let me know in the comments and we can have a discussion if you desire. In the comments section you

will find me far less opinionated than you find the style of this guide.

This guide is written from the point of view of a wizard, but not just any wizard, a snobbish bookworm, "I am the greatest" wizard.

Treantmonk himself plays other classes too. Wizard is my favorite, but I really do...honest.

Find all my content in one place:

Treantmonk’s Temple





The “god” wizard: An introduction

I’ve told this story before, but here it is again. A player in a D&D group I belonged to invited me to join another group he ran with another group of friends. The group was playing a “killer” campaign and the party had been TPK’d and character individual deaths were rampant and he figured they could use another player. He told me to build an optimized character.

What he neglected to mention was that this group did not optimize their characters, so when I arrived with my Goliath charge-build, I overshadowed the rest of the fighter-types in the group entirely. Nevertheless, the party sorcerer died in one of the fights. I felt really bad and retired the character at the end of the session and promised to build something less dominating.

I had an idea how I could help the group without dominating the action, and I came back with a Wizard character. In the first combat, I was encouraged to use my fireball, and the group was quite confused when I told them that I didn’t have Fireball, lightning bolt or even magic missile. I still remember the DM asking me, “So what DO you do then?” When I explained I would be putting up walls, fogs, buffing, debuffing, etc. My character was declared “useless”

A couple months of playing and my character did not directly cause a single HP of damage to an enemy, nor did he use a single “save or die”. The campaign completed, and since my wizard was introduced, not a single character had died.

What I found really surprising is that everyone in the group still considered my character “useless”. Not a single player seemed to notice that my character had been introduced at the same time that the party death-toll had stopped. They had thought the campaign had become “easier” during the second half.

This was something I found absolutely terrific and I was inspired to write my first Wizard guide: Treantmonk’s Guide to Wizards, being a god (3.5).

What I find myself constantly explaining is that “being a god” doesn’t mean godlike power. I chose the name based on Greek Myths, where a god would get some hapless mortal to do their dirty work, merely interfering by magic to ensure that the hero always had the advantage. This is what a god wizard is, a wizard who lets the rest of the party have the glory, but subtly ensures through Battlefield Control, Buffing and Debuffing that the party always achieves victory.

I’ve since softened my view on blast spells, and I assure you my Wizards once again hurl fireballs and the like, but it’s not their primary focus. The primary focus in 5e remains the same as it did in editions past: Provide tactical advantage to the team.

And with that...on to the guide:

















BEHOLD THE WIZARD. BEWARE HIS POWERS. UNSPEAKABLE POWERS!

The Party Roles:

Anyone reading this who has not been playing D&D over the past thirty years may not know that there are some

fairly "official" party roles that date back to the original basic set. They are Fighter, Thief, Magic User and Cleric. The idea is that

the Cleric heals, the Fighter takes hits and does damage, the Thief opens locks, disarms traps and backstabs, and the Magic User

throws magic missiles and fireballs. These roles are every bit as outdated as Basic D&D itself, yet you still see players flocking to

"fill" these roles, thinking that this remains the most effective party, despite a game that resembles Basic D&D cosmetically only.

How many times have you gotten/sent an email when wondering what kind of character you could make, and a reply comes up with something like, "We have a Rogue, a Druid and a Sorcerer." The implication of course is, "Make a fighter-type", but in fact, the email is useless. Is the Rogue a melee rogue or an archery rogue? Is the Druid going to be engaging in melee? What kind of spells will the Sorcerer have? Maybe the best thing for this party is a Wizard, or another rogue...who knows?

Instead the email should say, "In combat we've got a Tank, a Striker and a Battlefield Controller, another Tank would be great. Out of combat we need a party face. How about some kind of Melee character with some social skills?" Characters are too flexible in D&D to define role by class. Instead the role should be defined by what they do.

The mechanics of the game changed enough in 3.0 that the optimal party changed with them, yet many players never realized that

the iconic party is no longer optimal, so we still see Wizards throwing blast spells, and Clerics running around healing, wondering why they can't heal as fast as the party seems to take damage.

The reality is that D&D isn't all combat, but combat plays a major role in pretty much every campaign. Therefore you can break

party roles into two major categories. The "out of combat" roles, and the "combat" roles. Let's look at how the God Wizard fits into

each.

For a more in depth analysis of how wizards generally could fit into these roles, check out my YouTube video on the subject.

5 OUT OF COMBAT ROLES:

Social ("The Fop"): Can the wizard fill this role? Well if you specialize in enchantment kinds of spells, then you very well might be able to, but, you shouldn't. First, you aren't the best choice to fill this role, and secondly, this guy tends to think he's the leader, do you know what happens to the leader? He gets targeted first. Let the Paladin, Sorcerer or Bard take this role. Pretend you're jealous.

Sneak ("The Corpse"): Can the wizard fill this role? Well you may very well be good at stealth, and thieves tools is an easy proficiency to get, furthermore, you can emulate some of the requirements with spells, but, you shouldn't. The purpose of the Sneak is to scout out ahead in the enemy’s lair, look for traps and disarm them, scout out the enemy and report back, and do this all alone. Wonder why I call him "the Corpse"? Read what he does again.

Healbot ("The Gimp"): Can the wizard fill this role? Not really, but don't worry, you don't want it. The party Gimp gets to use up all his resources "servicing" the party between combats. Sound pleasant? That's why he's the gimp. In reality, this role is optional in 5e. WIth short rests and any number of healing abilities, you should get along fine without.

The Lump ("The lump"): I can't think of another name for him. He's the character of the player that made his character specifically for combat, and is really uninterested whenever he's not rolling his attack rolls. He makes the best use of his time when not in combat by snoozing, or reading a novel, or making it very clear to the DM that he's bored. You DEFINITELY don't want to be this guy.

Utility Caster ("Everything else"): The party transporter, the party Diviner. One way or another - this is the casters' role - in other words - this is you.



That's pretty much it. A party should look to cover all those bases (except the lump, but all too often it gets filled regardless, and often a single character can fill more than one (The party Bard may be the Fop, the Corpse and the Gimp...lucky guy), but let's be honest here, D&D is largely about combat, so even if you have a character that is the Fop, the Corpse, the Gimp and the Utility Caster, if you aren't contributing to combat, then you are a liability to your party, because when characters die, it's usually in combat.

The Four Combat Roles:

The Tank: ("The Big Stupid Fighter"):

This role involves two things: Doing Hit Points damage to BBEG (big bad evil guy), forcing BBEG to attack you with his vicious weaponry. The Big Stupid Fighter is not always a fighter (though stereotypically he is). He may be a Barbarian, a Paladin, or even a Druid. In order to qualify as a Big Stupid Fighter he should be any character that actively tries to be the target of enemy attacks. For those who wonder why I would label this character as "stupid" regardless of their INT score - reread the previous sentence.

The Striker: ("The Glass Cannon"):

This role involves one thing: Doing HP damage to BBEG. The Glass Cannon is like the Big Stupid Fighter except she does not want to take damage. Usually this is not due to superior intelligence - but instead due to inferior HP or AC (or in most cases - both). The Glass Cannon is often a Rogue (Or Rouge for our 13 year old readers), a Ranger, a Warlock or a Sorcerer.

The controller of reality: ("GOD"):

When reality would entail the above two meeting a rather messy end - someone will need to make some adjustments to said reality in order for the above two to instead meet glorious victory. What other label could such a force be labelled as than "God"? Well - how abo

Meaning that he's assuming he won't be able to rage most of. > the time, yet the build centers around it to actually do the tanking. > (Cavalier would have remedied this) . > -He makes a lot of assumptions about getting those Wizard spells off. > before combat starts, including Mirror Image and Blink, spells with 1 minute. > durations, oh also the Echo will always be available pre combat start so no. > conflict with Rage there (this isn't that unlilkely give the nature of it,. > but he even gives an example of where this would fail (getting breathed on. > by a dragon before the Barbarians turn is up), as a strength for taking. > Wizard levels but not realising it pokes a hole in his Echo dependency) . >

You might find other spells. during your adventures You could discover a spell recorded on a scroll in an. evil wizard’s chest, for example, or in a dusty tome in an ancient library.

The object remains real for 1 minute. For example, you can create an illusion of a bridge over a chasm and then make. it real long enough for your allies to cross.

As an action, you can choose one undead. that you can see within 60 feet of you That creature must make a Charisma. saving throw against your wizard spell save DC If it succeeds, you can’t use. this feature on it again.

The Waste of Space:

What else do you call him? The Waste of Space is the guy who thought that a low Charisma Warlock made an excellent "character concept", or maybe he figures that a dedicated healer is an appropriate contributor to a combat environment*, I could go on, but you know who I mean, there is probably one in your current group. If there isn't...well...maybe there is...*cough* *cough*...ahem.

* Why isn't the Healer useful in combat? There are two ways you can live your "pretend" life - "reactively" or "proactively". The God Wizard will alter reality to prevent damage, a healer will try to do "damage control" (pun intended) after the damage has been taken. Simple truth: The mechanics of the game make preventing damage more efficient than healing damage after the fact. That's not to say a well placed "Healing Word” doesn’t have it’s place in combat, but preferably the Cleric is doing that in between laying the smack-down on the enemy.

In combat, the God wizard doesn't have one job, or two, he's got three...yippee! Remember these three jobs, and it will help you evaluate spells, pick spell preparation, and fulfill your combat role effectively. None of these jobs is to do damage to the enemy. In fact, a Wizard can be very effective and powerful without ever "killing" anything.

The God Wizards three jobs are: Control the Battlefield, Debuff the enemy, Buff your allies. Let's look at each separately.

Battlefield Control:

In order to be an effective battlefield controller - you should consider your primary goal to line up your enemies flanked by your Glass Cannon and Big Stupid Fighter one at a time and backwards, all while standing on their heads. This will make the BSF and the GC win the combat with little damage to themselves - and they will feel like "they" won. That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals have their victory.

The point of Battlefield Control is that you are ensuring your allies gain tactical advantage over your enemies. If you secure tactical advantage, and hold it, you will win. A simple wall spell can separate enemies so that they can be taken on one at a time. Some characters have difficulty with flying enemies or difficult terrain. Sometimes hampering vision can force an enemy to close the distance with your effective melee characters. The best thing about battlefield controls, is quite often they offer no saving throw, so luck ceases to be a factor, it's all about smart tactics and evaluating the situation correctly.

Debuffing:

In order to be an effective Debuffer - you should consider your primary goal to have your BBEG standing in front of your GC and BSF restrained, incapacitated, or with their back turned running away frightened. This will make the BSF and the GC win the combat with little damage to themselves - and they will feel like "they" won. That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals have their victory.

Buffing:

Buffing means making your allies more powerful. In order to be effective at buffing - you turn your Big Stupid Fighter and Glass Cannons into a Giant Stupid Fighter and a Glass Chain Gun. This will make the BSF and the GC win the combat with little damage to themselves - and they will feel like "they" won. That's the point - you're God after all, let the mortals have their victory.

The great thing about buffing is that when you buff, you NEVER need to worry about "to hit" rolls or saving throws. Your party members are all too glad to get that statistical advantage in combat, whether you are offering an extra attack, or resistance to a certain kind of damage. Buffing is also a great way to become very popular with the rest of the party, who act like kids on Christmas Morning when you start passing out buff spells.

So What Job is Best? It really depends on the circumstance. Personally, I think a "God" wizard should put the greatest emphasis on Battlefield Control spells. If you have the right battlefield control spell for the situation, you will win the combat every time. It doesn't win the combat on its own, but it creates a tactical advantage that shift the odds far enough in the favor of your allies that after that, they are assured of victory. Buffing is a good standby for when no Battlefield Control spell is appropriate, and you are concerned about resistances or immunities of your enemies. Debuffing is usually more significant than buffing at the same level, so if you think you can "stick" some debuffs to an enemy or a group of enemies, it is a great way to go.

Instead the email should say, "In combat we've got a Tank, a Striker and a Battlefield Controller, another Tank would be great. Out of combat we need a party face. How about some kind of Melee character with some social skills?" Characters are too flexible in D&D to define role by class. Instead the role should be defined by what they do.

The mechanics of the game changed enough in 3.0 that the optimal party changed with them, yet many players never realized that the iconic party is no longer optimal, so we still see Wizards throwing blast spells, and Clerics running around healing, wondering why they can't heal as fast as the party seems to take damage.

The reality is that D&D isn't all combat, but combat plays a major role in pretty much every campaign. Therefore you can break party roles into two major categories. The "out of combat" roles, and the "combat" roles. Let's look at how the God Wizard fits into each.

For a more in depth analysis of how wizards generally could fit into these roles, check out my YouTube video on the subject.

Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards 5e
Info
Tags Games, D&D, Treantmonk wizard, D&D 5e
Type Google Doc
Published 15/06/2021, 20:51:55

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