Wizard Magic and Armor

The wizard in the latest playtest packet still has the rediculous rule that wizards cannot cast spells with a somatic component if they have any armor on at all.  In role playing games, rules should satisfy either flavor and immersion or the need to make the game fun.  This does neither.

For flavor, this makes no sense.  I've never read any fiction says that armor makes magic not work (I'm sure there are some D&D branded novels from the old days that makes mention of this, but hopefully not many).  The realistic and flavorful consequence of donning armor that you don't know how to use is that you can't function as well while using it, same as anyone.  If rogues can be sneaky and open a lock wearing a bit of armor, a wizard sure as heck can make a kamehameha gesture.

For gaming reasons, this is a bad rule because it keeps players from creating characters to their specifications.  Multi-classing to grab a few spells or building your wizard to pick up some armor feats become out of reach. 

I'm all for simple rules.  So how about "spells with somatic components can't be cast while wearing armor THAT YOU AREN'T TRAINED TO USE"?  Is that so hard?

P.S.  This issue is just a pet peeve compared with Wizards being forced to cast Vancian magic.  Just to put it into perspective. ;) 
Not having a good AC is a balancing factor for Wizards. A lot of people complained about the Sorcerer being overpowered because it could tank attacks and cast powerful spells, and the Wizard (while missing out on the hit dice and weapon proficiency) has a lot more versatility in spellcasting than the Sorcerer.
It could probably be flavored better, and a true "gish" class might be easier to balance. However, if one level of multiclassing to, say, Fighter, grants armor proficiency, nearly all wizards would take that level just for that ability.
The R&D folks have mentioned that they intend for multiclassing to be 3E-style. As a player who has played 3.5E wizards so many times that I have enough characters to start my own mage's guild, multiclassing into the fighter for armor proficiencies was never really an option. A single caster level meant the potential loss of access to the next spell level. Given now that wizards have even less spells per day (compared to 3.5E), multiclassing into the fighter means the loss of two far more valuable spell slots, along with the spell level access, so it will still never happen. And even if it does, it won't matter much, most of the wizard's hit dice will still be d4 d6 (they just had to accommodate the whiners, hadn't they?).
The wizard will still have low overall hit points, and other than perhaps armor, no method to mitigate incoming damage (the fighter has Parry). Sure, the wizard could prepare and cast a bunch of protective spells (Stoneskin, Displacement, Blink), but then he loses in offensive and utility power. He sucks at melee anyway, and most likely has a Dexterity of 14 or better, which means even if he gets to wear armor, it will be medium or light. Mage Armor already gives him the equivalent of hide armor.

No, any multiclass fighter/mage will make sense only within a "gish" concept. In that case however, the wizard wants from the fighter far more than just armor proficiencies, and he will intend to fight in melee as well as engange in spellcasting. And within that niche, the wizard should be able to cast spells in whatever armor he is proficient with.

As a side note, the Battle Magic tradition offers no armor proficiencies. It should grant light and medium armor proficiency, and let the wizard cast spells in armor. It should also grant a d6 hit dice, and regress the wizard to the d4 he was before, which was just fine...
The R&D folks have mentioned that they intend for multiclassing to be 3E-style.


Source?
My two copper.
The R&D folks have mentioned that they intend for multiclassing to be 3E-style.


Source?

One of the many statements from Mike Mearls.  Don't have linkies though. 
Here's the link, people. ;)


I'd read the article before, but didn't remember him mentioning 3e by name. Kind of dissapointing, but at the same time 3e was the best multiclass system of the bunch. The shiniest piece of poo
My two copper.

I would like to see spell failure chance return to the game for armor.  That way if you need to go in costume you have a chance to cast spells even if it is not a sure thing.

The wizard in the latest playtest packet still has the rediculous rule that wizards cannot cast spells with a somatic component if they have any armor on at all.  In role playing games, rules should satisfy either flavor and immersion or the need to make the game fun.  This does neither.

For flavor, this makes no sense.  I've never read any fiction says that armor makes magic not work (I'm sure there are some D&D branded novels from the old days that makes mention of this, but hopefully not many).  The realistic and flavorful consequence of donning armor that you don't know how to use is that you can't function as well while using it, same as anyone.  If rogues can be sneaky and open a lock wearing a bit of armor, a wizard sure as heck can make a kamehameha gesture.

For gaming reasons, this is a bad rule because it keeps players from creating characters to their specifications.  Multi-classing to grab a few spells or building your wizard to pick up some armor feats become out of reach. 

I'm all for simple rules.  So how about "spells with somatic components can't be cast while wearing armor THAT YOU AREN'T TRAINED TO USE"?  Is that so hard?

P.S.  This issue is just a pet peeve compared with Wizards being forced to cast Vancian magic.  Just to put it into perspective. ;) 

wizards should have disadvantage while casting somatically that way they can wear armor and still have some penalty.
Not having a good AC is a balancing factor for Wizards. A lot of people complained about the Sorcerer being overpowered because it could tank attacks and cast powerful spells, and the Wizard (while missing out on the hit dice and weapon proficiency) has a lot more versatility in spellcasting than the Sorcerer.
It could probably be flavored better, and a true "gish" class might be easier to balance. However, if one level of multiclassing to, say, Fighter, grants armor proficiency, nearly all wizards would take that level just for that ability.


If the multi-class system allows a single level of dabbling to grant a ton of new features and benefits, that would be an issues with a poor multi-class system.  The wizard shouldn't be shackled with a conceptually silly and fun-killing rule out of fear of such a thing.

Also, in my experience, wizards almost always stay wizards, be it 3E or 4E.  They're too busy trying to be better wizards to worry about getting better armor.  The ones who do that have battle-mage character concepts, and that's as it should be.