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Creative Class Constructs IV: Magic Users

Written by Paul Rehac - Published on January 23, 2014

From my thoughts to your screen to your table, welcome back to Creative Class Constructs. I’m your resident Immersion Specialist and today I’ll be discussing the fourth staple D&D class: The Magic-User. The Magic-User, to me, seemed to be the most difficult class to discuss in the Creative Class Constructs series —  you don’t need me to tell you how many spells there are to choose from, and how diverse characters can be thanks to that extensive list. I, however am sick of games full of glass cannons who, despite having the intelligence score of Albert Einstein, can’t seem to memorize more than than redundant fireball and magic missile. Even so, I’ll admit that the Magic-User seems to be afflicted the least by the stale condition of class tropes. Having said that, let’s continue to the meat and potatoes of Creative Class Constructs IV: Magic Users!


The Spy: Normally a spy character is played by a rogue, or even sometimes a Bard — perhaps we can go more in-depth into that in a later article — but all too often it seems that players and DM’s alike neglect the potential of an arcane caster for this role. Between Enchantment and Illusion schools and the number of skill points offered by a high intelligence (for wizards) or natural bonuses to the social skills (for sorcerers), there is a lot to go on here. Not to mention familiars which can give you bonuses to Bluff (snake), Move Silently (Cat), or Listen (Bat). A few notes: Because of the relatively low skill-point base of the Wizard and Sorcerer classes, and lack of access to the stealth skills, playing a Human is recommended for a Caster spy. Humans gain bonus skill points every level, and as your human bonus feat (for 3.5e players) there’s Jack of all Trades. Build into your stealth and social skills, choose Enchantment or Illusion as your specialty schools, and have a blast!


The Quartermaster: This is a personal favorite build of mine — and an excellent choice for NPC’s to fill in parties short a player. The Quartermaster focuses his feats into creation, adding extend and persistent spell if the creator sees fit. Spells for the Quartermaster should be focused first on buffs, tailoring each buff chosen at the beginning of the day to tailor the party. After choosing their buffs, a good Quartermaster will take the time to research other spells commonly used in crafting items. The primary function of the Quartermaster is to act as a support, creating a stronger and better equipped party so that they can take on any challenger more readily. This build is not recommended as much for players, as battles can drag out for a character who has spent all their actions before initiative is rolled. However, if the player is more than content to sit back and watch their work — as I often am — they can easily run this build and still remain engaged in combat by keeping track of their buffs and keeping plenty of wands available.


The Stasis Wizard: The Stasis Wizard is the quirkiest of the builds, and ultimately the most difficult to pull off. It is not recommended for player use, but can provide an excellent challenge to any party of adventurers if placed in a group of enemies. The primary mechanic of the Stasis Wizard is to launch Hold Person (taking a number of feats to increase the DC) to take opponents out of the fight. The theory here is that, while the opponent is held, the rest of the opposing team can be taken out, care-free. This means that the most common targets for the Stasis Wizard are the healer, caster, and support. Tanks and damage dealers are annoying, but provide themselves with little sustain on their own. Some other suggested effects, for when Hold Person just won’t cut it are stuns, snares, and spells that knock enemies prone. These will not last as long or be as effective as paralyzing or holding the enemy, but can allow for some lower-level minions to be easily removed for a few rounds at a time.

That’s all for now! When I come back we’ll be discussing one-shot games and how to build them. Until then, I’m Paul, your Immersion Specialist, and this has been Creative Class Constructs. As always, read, comment, enjoy, and happy gaming.

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Written by Paul Rehac

Paul Rehac

Hey! Paul here. I’m a writer and a gamer — have been for almost ten years now! As a dungeonmaster I focus primarily on storytelling and immersion, and do my best to make every game as captivating as possible. As a player I’m all about the character and the roleplay, and I’m more than content to never roll a die.

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