Wizard: School of Evocation

From the School of Evocation description:

Spell Tactician: When you cast an evocation spell that deals damage to all creatures within an area of effect, you can pick a number of creatures in the area up to the spell’s level + 1. The chosen creatures take no damage from the spell during this turn, but they are not protected from any of the spell’s other effects, including damage dealt by the spell in a later turn. 

Does this mean that the wizard chooses creatures who succeeded in saves vs an area of effect spell or that the wizard may choose creatures to intentionally exclude from damage in order to do damage later? I suppose the intent is to do lasting damage to creatures who escape the initial effect, but this seems of limited use given how few spells do lasting elemental damage.

It is so the wizard can drop a fireball, burning hands, or other AOE on top of party members and exclude them from the damage.

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However, with that wording, if a wizard were to throw down a non-damaging AoE (like Color Spray), then the party members would still have to roll saves to avoid the effects.  If, like Elenduin said, the wizard tosses a fireball, which has no secondary effect on living creatures, then the players would not take any damage and would suffer no ill effects.
Color Spray is an illusion spell (replace color with prismatic and you're right).

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Er...yeah.  My bad.  I was looking at one and thinking about the other. 
Hehe, you were basically right.

I'm playing a scholarly wizard right now and almost every fight I find myself wishing I had spell tactician.

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Thank you, I was reading that one totally wrong. It's not an offensive tactic, it's a defensive tactic. And a useful one.
FWIW:  Those at my table and others I have discussed it with agree that the quantity of excluded characters is too great.


The number of characters who can be excluded should be reduced - it starts out a bit high and becomes pointlessly excessive at high levels.


Rather than excluding [spell level +1] from the damage, the ability ought to allow half that.  At most.  Even if the formula is something more like [Intelligence modifier] (relatively more at low level, relatively less at higher level - but it makes Intelligence more useful - which is a good thing imho) that would be a vast improvement.


     Carl
FWIW:  Those at my table and others I have discussed it with agree that the quantity of excluded characters is too great.


The number of characters who can be excluded should be reduced - it starts out a bit high and becomes pointlessly excessive at high levels.


Rather than excluding [spell level +1] from the damage, the ability ought to allow half that.  At most.  Even if the formula is something more like [Intelligence modifier] (relatively more at low level, relatively less at higher level - but it makes Intelligence more useful - which is a good thing imho) that would be a vast improvement.


     Carl



I disagree completely. This is a feature that stops damaging spells from hitting allies, its not a damage boosting feature, and is fine. If you remove some of the strength from it, you need to give some other benefit to the tactician as a whole.
FWIW:  Those at my table and others I have discussed it with agree that the quantity of excluded characters is too great.


The number of characters who can be excluded should be reduced - it starts out a bit high and becomes pointlessly excessive at high levels.


Rather than excluding [spell level +1] from the damage, the ability ought to allow half that.  At most.  Even if the formula is something more like [Intelligence modifier] (relatively more at low level, relatively less at higher level - but it makes Intelligence more useful - which is a good thing imho) that would be a vast improvement.


     Carl



I disagree completely. This is a feature that stops damaging spells from hitting allies, its not a damage boosting feature, and is fine. If you remove some of the strength from it, you need to give some other benefit to the tactician as a whole.




No you don't.  That is clearly wrong.  If [whatever] is overpowered and needs to be fixed, there is no nead to give them something else to compensate.


You may disagree with the question of whether level plus one is too many allies to exclude.  But if it is decided that I am correct and it is too strong, there is no reason at all to give them something else to compensate.  In fact, that would kinda negate the whole point of making a change.

  
Carl
I don'y like the tactician ability because I think it takes away from what balances wizards.  Wizards should worry about AOE and PCs and avoid those spells at the inappropriate time.  That is just my opinion.  At least 3.x made that an archmage ability.
All the other traditions of wizardry do worry about AOEs.  This could be considered the evoker's signature move and as such I think it's fine.  I've tried in six different encounters, as a scholarly wizard,in the caves of chaos to get off a burning hands and couldn't do it due to dispersed enemies or the monk/fighter already engaging (I'm not going first through the door!).

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/4.jpg)

All the other traditions of wizardry do worry about AOEs.  This could be considered the evoker's signature move and as such I think it's fine.  I've tried in six different encounters, as a scholarly wizard,in the caves of chaos to get off a burning hands and couldn't do it due to dispersed enemies or the monk/fighter already engaging (I'm not going first through the door!).



I like the ability.


I just think it allows them to exclude too many allies.


I'd rather see them able to exclude closer to half of the current values.
     

Carl   
I don't object to this ability as long as it's balanced. If your low-level wizards are never worrying about AOE affecting their allies, then you probably need to reduce the capability as Carl suggests. Depends on the kind of encounters, available space, grouping of targets, and so in a different setup with tight corridors are lots of melee players, it might be sorely needed.
All the other traditions of wizardry do worry about AOEs.  This could be considered the evoker's signature move and as such I think it's fine.  I've tried in six different encounters, as a scholarly wizard,in the caves of chaos to get off a burning hands and couldn't do it due to dispersed enemies or the monk/fighter already engaging (I'm not going first through the door!).



I like the ability.


I just think it allows them to exclude too many allies.


I'd rather see them able to exclude closer to half of the current values.
     

Carl   

What about by status/title/tier?

L0-L4 (Apprentice): one ally
L5-L9 (Journeyer): two allies
L10-L14 (Master): three
L15-L19 (Great): four
L20 (Epic): can avoid any ally


All the other traditions of wizardry do worry about AOEs.  This could be considered the evoker's signature move and as such I think it's fine.  I've tried in six different encounters, as a scholarly wizard,in the caves of chaos to get off a burning hands and couldn't do it due to dispersed enemies or the monk/fighter already engaging (I'm not going first through the door!).



I like the ability.


I just think it allows them to exclude too many allies.


I'd rather see them able to exclude closer to half of the current values.
     

Carl   

What about by status/title/tier?

L0-L4 (Apprentice): one ally
L5-L9 (Journeyer): two allies
L10-L14 (Master): three
L15-L19 (Great): four
L20 (Epic): can avoid any ally





That works for me - but I don't like inventing a tier system like that just for this purpose.  If they design the whole game around those tiers so that they are part of the way people look at the game, that would probably  be close to ideal in my opinion. 

I'd also like some clarification as to how much control the wizard really has.  Do they exclude a space or is it really "a creature"?  Do they need to be able to see the creature to exclude them?  I.e.  - can they exclude an invisible ally they know she is in the area somewhere - even if they don't know where she is?  And (as my players actually did last week) if they are fireballing a griffon sitting on a nest, can they exclude the eggs underneath the griffon (I let them).


Carl