Wizard Spellbook (WHYYYYYY)

48 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm sitting here trying to wrap my head around the idea of the Wizard spellbook. I've never played a Wizard before and by the light it looks like Wizards did everything within ration to make this class feature annoying and confusing.

If I'm understanding right it's BASICALLY a feature that lets you have a mini spell retraining (like you would have when you level up) every time you take an extended rest, but instead of being able to pick from any spell to retrain, you have to pick from one of the two you originally picked for that level slot?

This seems like the most backwards, silly, pointless feature I've ever seen. Especially when you play games (like I do) where you pretty much have no idea what the next adventure will be or what kind of enemies you'll be facing... there's no benefit to being able to pick new dailies like this. I'll always pick the most versatile or most damaging one.

Why did they feel the need to make wizards like this? Is there some benefit I'm missing? At the end of the day, wizards have the same number of usable dailies per day as every other class, right?

EDIT: I guess my basic question is, can someone give me the most simplistic answer possible to how it works, and WHYYYYY did they feel the need to add something this complicated and define it so horribly? 
The more I think about this the more it bugs me. I just can't imagine what they were thinking adding this into the game. It comes with:

1) A completely confusing description that hundreds of people have interpreted different ways (as far as I can find)
2) A completely unintuitive system unlike anything else in 4e for you to keep track of
3) An amazing way to clutter up your character sheet, and there's no easy way to keep track of which you have active and which you don't
4) Essentially no useful purpose. The amount of versatility gained from this feature is, as far as I can tell, minimal to the point of being negligible. 
You ask why? Tradition, that's why. Spellbooks and spell preparation have always been a part of the D&D spellcasting tradition for Wizards. Hence why it looks so "backwards and silly" to you; many of the problems you have with this were present and far more pronounced in older editions.

I guess my basic question is, can someone give me the most simplistic answer possible to how it works,


Each time you would normally get a wizard daily or utility, you gain an extra second power of the same type (daily attack power or utility power) and level.  That extra spell is basically put in "reserve".  It's sitting on your "bench".  It's placed in your "deck".  It's...some other appropriate "metaphor".

At the end of an extended rest, you can swap a power you are currently using for one that you have in reserve of the same type and level.

Especially when you play games (like I do) where you pretty much have no idea what the next adventure will be or what kind of enemies you'll be facing... there's no benefit to being able to pick new dailies like this. I'll always pick the most versatile or most damaging one.
...
Is there some benefit I'm missing? At the end of the day, wizards have the same number of usable dailies per day as every other class, right?



You are correct in that you still have the number of usable daily and utility powers as every other class.

The main benefit for the wizard is that they get to play around with more powers and potential strategies.  If you like experimenting with powers and having lots of options (especially if you have lots of books to draw from), or if you're in a campaign where you do have some insight on what to expect next, it's a nifty feature.  Not powerful, but nifty - which is working as intended.  And I'm sure there are some enterprising players that can capitalize on the feature. 

But, if you find the feature more hassle than its worth, you can, as you've already observed, safely ignore the feature if you prefer.  It's not necessary to the function or role of the class.

and WHYYYYY did they feel the need to add something this complicated and define it so horribly? 


Why?  Because nostalgia.

The 4e's wizard's spellbook feature is mostly a throwback.  Pre-4e, the wizard's defining and iconic characteristic was that, each day, they prepared spells from the massive library that was their spellbook. 

This wasn't just a feature of the wizard.  Book preparation , for many, many players, is the D&D wizard.  And without it, the wizard would no long be a wizard.  It would be an abomination.  A loathsome creature to be hated and shunned.

Unfortunately, the wizard's spellbook-y roots is deeply intertwined with the vancian spellcasting system, which 4e as a whole largely moved away from (for enough reasons to deserve its own thread).  So instead, 4e wizards got a feature that still allowed the familiar feeling of preparing your spells each day, but worked more align with mechanical and balance baselines that 4e established.

Because if WotC didn't, people would have complained.  Loudly. With their dollars.  Simply because "OMG wizards can't prepare spells anymore WTF[ragequit]".

There's more to it than that, of course.  But that's the short version without (hopefully) turning this into a long, drawn out, edition-bashing debate.

Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.

 First... Breathe.
Second, lose the hyperbole and stop raging.

 Now, this is the history of the wizard's spellbook...

 In previous editions, wizards were allowed to cast a certain number of spells per day of each level. They had a long list of spells to choose from and could learn spells from other wizard's book if they found them. This was the defining class feature of the wizard. Eventually, you ended up with wizards who had close to a hundred spells in their books and had to choose between maybe a dozen or so for every level. A wizard with a big selection of spells could, with enough time to prepare, solve any problem in the game. It also usually took the guy playing the wizard five minutes to figure out which spell he wanted to cast every turn.

 In 4E, all of the original classes get the same number of class powers every day. The wizard's spellbook is a holdover from the previous editions, which gives them a bit more flexibility without the ridiculousness of past editions. The spellbook feature is an homage to the previous way of doing things and was meant to be a balanced way of helping wizards to remain the "toolbox" characters they were in previous editions. As mentioned, 4E lost a lot of players when they changed from the older way of how wizards were built.

  And there will never be a power that is "always the most versatile or damaging one". Pick any character, and no matter what their usual schtick is there will be at least one fairly common situation in-game where their usual strategy is going to be much less useful than whatever backup strategy they can fall back on. As for limited versatility, you get a set of backup powers to switch to when your usual favorites aren't going to be effective - if your favorite spell does fire damage or blinds someone and you're aware that soon you'll be fighting a dragon immune to fire or a creature that's immune to being blinded, you'll be glad for the chance to switch out spells given enough time and knowledge to prepare. No other class in the game gets to change their powers and they're all stuck doing the same thing turn after turn while you get to completely change your attack strategy from day to day if you want. Getting any choice of which status effects you get to impose on your enemies any time outside of character creation and levelling up is a huge benefit.

 Side Note: Wizards are meant to be controllers - if you're picking your powers just based on which ones do the most damage, you're not going to be a very effective controller.


Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Sacred cow more or less. That being said, I fail to see what makes getting an extra free daily or utility power at each appropriate level backwards or even bad in any way shape or form...
Worth noting that most 4e Wizards only ever prep one of each pair of spells that they have available for each given slot and day.  Given that, you can basically ignore the spellbook feature, and go ahead and toss out (or not even bother to choose) the cards for the second slots.

Keep hold of the book though; it holds rituals, which ARE actually useful.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
     As noted, the spellbook feature is not especially useful unless you have some idea of what monster you will be facing next.  If you can only guess, you always select the same one and 2nd, 3rd, or 500th additional choices are pretty useless. 
     So you need to work with your DM to give you hints, homebrew some ritual, or some other idea.
     As noted, the spellbook feature is not especially useful unless you have some idea of what monster you will be facing next.  If you can only guess, you always select the same one and 2nd, 3rd, or 500th additional choices are pretty useless. 
     So you need to work with your DM to give you hints, homebrew some ritual, or some other idea.



Because, as we all know, wizard is a weak class that needs all the help it can get.


If you ever do play a wizard Rathlord, the only thing it helps with is experimenting. After all, retraining is often limited.

Other than that it's about as useful as your bellybutton.   
I'm sorry, I should have been more clear in the first post: I don't have any problem with the *idea* of the spellbook. But 4e was all about cleaning up and homogenizing the game (for better or for worse) and I just feel like they could have done so many clever things with the spellbook that weren't backwards and painful.

@Mad_Jack I'd appreciate you keeping what I say in context. There IS always a spell you feel will in general be the best and most versatile. That's the one people pick to use when they level their characters. I didn't say "this spell is always the best at everything period," I said "I pick the spell *I feel* will be the best in general." And yes, I'm aware that wizards are controllers. That doesn't mean you don't still pick some of your abilities for their damage dealing capabilities.

Thanks to everyone else for clarifying how it works, I've got it down now. As iterated above I most likely will not swap my powers much. Especially since for flavor and campaign reasons I'm focusing almost only on fire spells (and will be picking feats like Astral Fire to support it) so unless I somehow know I'll be facing a fire-immune foe swapping skills would result in a loss of throughput. 
Well, just for kicks, build an enchanter some day. They may deal little damage, but destroy more encounters than blasters do.
I would love for an official 'something besides the spellbook' substitution.  As it is, I just hybrid my wizards with artificer, psion, or swordmage.
For completness sake it should be mentioned that the WIZARD (witch) in heroes of the fey wild dose away with the spell book and keeps versetillity by getting free retraining of one daily or utillity each extended rest

Still not a great subclass, but if you know a specific spell will be really good against the mastermind at the end of the adventure you can load a silver bullet just for him.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
I to be honest think the 4e spellbook feature is horrible. Then again I hate magic in 4e period. I think they took away many of the old useful spells I liked and then felt bad so they threw them into a crappy sub-system of casting which is rituals. The Spellbook worked just fine in older editions because you can literally have an entire library of spells. So IMO it worked in 3.5 and later. But 4e bombed with magic IMO. That's one reason I won't play an Arcane Class.  

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?
... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?


Pretty much, yeah. It allows me to make better choices for varying situations. 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

Memorizing Knock and Read languages and standing around sucking you thumb durring a fight is perfectly fun.
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?


Pretty much, yeah. It allows me to make better choices for varying situations. 



What choices?

An old school wizard chooses Knock or Web at the start of the day and can either take time to open a sealed door or tie up a group of bad guys in a fight but not both in one day

A 4E wizard has the web spell and the knock ritual and can spend time to open a sealed portal and tie up a group of bad guys in a fight in the same day

How dose the old school wizard have better choices?     
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Memorizing Knock and Read languages and standing around sucking you thumb durring a fight is perfectly fun.



Sometimes things that don't do damage are more important.

... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?


Pretty much, yeah. It allows me to make better choices for varying situations. 



What choices?

An old school wizard chooses Knock or Web at the start of the day and can either take time to open a sealed door or tie up a group of bad guys in a fight but not both in one day

A 4E wizard has the web spell and the knock ritual and can spend time to open a sealed portal and tie up a group of bad guys in a fight in the same day

How dose the old school wizard have better choices?     


Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X



An old school wizard chooses Knock or Web at the start of the day and can either take time to open a sealed door or tie up a group of bad guys in a fight but not both in one day
   


I just noticed this... Where in the world did you get this? There is no "or" you can take both. The "or" option is more prevalent in 4e than and other edition.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.



So, since the Wizard can choose blank blank blank, and still have blank blank blank to go with it instead of only choosing the first three blanks... It's bad?

Sounds to me the only problem you have with the Wizard class is that they don't have the over abundance of options they had before...
Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.



So, since the Wizard can choose blank blank blank, and still have blank blank blank to go with it instead of only choosing the first three blanks... It's bad?

Sounds to me the only problem you have with the Wizard class is that they don't have the over abundance of options they had before...


Well the point behind the Wizard is versatility right? 4e completely dumped that by making nearly every spell an attack and dumping the ability to have loads of spells.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.



So, since the Wizard can choose blank blank blank, and still have blank blank blank to go with it instead of only choosing the first three blanks... It's bad?

Sounds to me the only problem you have with the Wizard class is that they don't have the over abundance of options they had before...


Well the point behind the Wizard is versatility right? 4e completely dumped that by making nearly every spell an attack and dumping the ability to have loads of spells.



Quite possibly because they were trying to move away from "Play Wizard and nothing else because Wizard gets more than everything else". A Wizard does have more versatility in its power selection than any other class. Clearly you've made up your mind and are just going to shout down anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.
Spiteful Wizard and Voice of Reason of the House of Trolls The Silent God of the House of Trolls Unfrozen OTTer Arbiter of the House of Trolls Yes, I have many titles. Deal with it.
What version of classic D&D are you playing where a wizard with 2 first lv spells and 1 second level spells can have web and knock ready on the same day?

A 4E wizard can have web ready and 30 different rituals in his ritual book that he can perfore as soon as he knows he needs them with out having to wait for tommorrow. 
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.



So, since the Wizard can choose blank blank blank, and still have blank blank blank to go with it instead of only choosing the first three blanks... It's bad?

Sounds to me the only problem you have with the Wizard class is that they aren't completely broken anymore...



Fixed that for you.
What version of classic D&D are you playing where a wizard with 2 first lv spells and 1 second level spells can have web and knock ready on the same day?

A 4E wizard can have web ready and 30 different rituals in his ritual book that he can perfore as soon as he knows he needs them with out having to wait for tommorrow. 


3e and a 4e wizard can't "prepare" rituals.



 Clearly you've made up your mind and are just going to shout down anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.



Same goes to you
Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.



So, since the Wizard can choose blank blank blank, and still have blank blank blank to go with it instead of only choosing the first three blanks... It's bad?

Sounds to me the only problem you have with the Wizard class is that they aren't completely broken anymore...



Fixed that for you.


Cute.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X


Felorn
You said 3E and 4E wizard can't "prepare" rituals.
Don't you mean that 4E wizards don't "have to" "prepare" rituals.
Where as 3E, 2E, advanced, and basic wizards have to "prepare" usfull noncombat spells in place of combat spells.

It still looks to me that haveing to decide what precent of your spells are combat based and what percentage of your spells are noncombat based at the start of each day is haveing fewer options and being less versitile then haveing one list of combat spells and one list of noncombat rituals that are not mutually incompatible or exclusive in any way.


 


The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Memorizing Knock and Read languages and standing around sucking you thumb durring a fight is perfectly fun.



Sometimes things that don't do damage are more important.

... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?


Pretty much, yeah. It allows me to make better choices for varying situations. 



What choices?

An old school wizard chooses Knock or Web at the start of the day and can either take time to open a sealed door or tie up a group of bad guys in a fight but not both in one day

A 4E wizard has the web spell and the knock ritual and can spend time to open a sealed portal and tie up a group of bad guys in a fight in the same day

How dose the old school wizard have better choices?     


Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.

IMHO nothing could be further from the truth. First of all at virtually every level you have more choices and flexibility in casting with the 4e wizard than with the 2e wizard, and often more than with the 3e wizard. If you collect a fair number of rituals you DEFINITELY hands down have the advantage in 4e. Due to the spell book that is the subject of this thread you certainly have the option in 4e to pick and choose what spells to take with you. There are additional options you can add as well. For instance the Apprentice Wizard Theme adds another spell choice and an additional encounter power. The Expanded Spellbook feat allows added choices too, as similarly does using the Essentials Mage class instead of PHB1 Wizard. You can also be a Tome of Readiness Wizard (from Arcane Power) which gives you more options, AND you can craft/find various magical tome implements which add even more options, not to mention other feats like Reserve Maneuver, and other items like Mnemonic Staff. Obviously 3e at least also offered some similar options, and AD&D had a couple staves that gave you loads of added spells if you could get hold of them.

Still, if you compare a 20th level AD&D wizard with a 4e 30th level wizard you'll see that they're in pretty much the same ballpark.

Its a bit harder to compare the raw utility of the available spells. 4e spells are however pretty darn useful. As a level 1 4e wizard I recall infiltrating the group into a town, crossing a wilderness, and then defeating more than my share of opponents in several fights all using rituals and spells with a newly minted character. It took a bit of creativity to work up something for every occassion but I did it by careful selection, lots of use of the spell book and very careful husbanding of my few ritual components.

Honestly it was at least as interesting IMHO as running a 2e wizard was. No way was my character 'severely nerfed'. I'd also point out that your example of "sneaking into the castle", exactly what choices would a level one 2e wizard have there? He's casting one spell a day. Sure, he's quite likely to have one that is useful at some point in that endeavor, and maybe a choice of several if he's lucky. OTOH my 4e guy had a ritual that can conceal the party (Traveler's Camouflage), a spell that can disable a guard for a few seconds so we could take him out (Chromatic Orb IIRC), a couple of really decent combat spells, several highly useful at-will cantrips, and a daily (I don't recall which one for sure, but surely Sleep would be a likely and useful possibility, as would the charm spell in HotFL that I forget the name of right now). Assuming a bit higher level setting, say start of Paragon (which I'd equate with about level 7 in AD&D) then we're talking up to 4th level 2e spells. You will have potentially some nice choices there. OTOH an 11th level 4e wizard has also quite an array of spells. You'll have at least 15 or so total choices with your spell book, etc, and also rituals. Your 2e wizard can cast 10 spells a day a this point IIRC. Its hard to say exactly how many choices you'll have, but 2x spell slots isn't a bad guess, which is 20, pretty close to the 4e wizard's options and quite close when you figure he's got at least 4 free rituals plus whatever he's bought/looted.

I've never really understood the whole "4e wizard is nerfed" thing. In general I don't understand the disdain for spell book in 4e either. Why is it that planning ahead is gold in 2e but the same capability is dog food in 4e? If you play a different style of game it isn't the wizard class that is behind that. I'd advise doing things like try casting some divinations or using some skills to learn some stuff before you go exploring, and then maybe those spell books will come in handy. You do NOT want to get caught with Stinking Cloud memorized when you run into a nest of Undead!
That is not dead which may eternal lie
In other words, Felorn has no idea what he's talking about.

There's a shocker.

Felorn
You said 3E and 4E wizard can't "prepare" rituals.
Don't you mean that 4E wizards don't "have to" "prepare" rituals.
Where as 3E, 2E, advanced, and basic wizards have to "prepare" usfull noncombat spells in place of combat spells.

It still looks to me that haveing to decide what precent of your spells are combat based and what percentage of your spells are noncombat based at the start of each day is haveing fewer options and being less versitile then haveing one list of combat spells and one list of noncombat rituals that are not mutually incompatible or exclusive in any way.


 




4e wizards cannot Prepare rituals. Rituals are completely different from the Wizards spellbook feature. Rituals are their own separate thing and anyone can cast rituals.

 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X


4e wizards cannot Prepare rituals. Rituals are completely different from the Wizards spellbook feature. Rituals are their own separate thing and anyone can cast rituals.

 

And your choice of semantics matters because you prefer the older wizard over the newer one? Grand.

Why are we arguing about preference? If Felorn wants to play his antiquated broken wizard where all other characters are only good enough to carry his loot, let him.    


Felorn
You said 3E and 4E wizard can't "prepare" rituals.
Don't you mean that 4E wizards don't "have to" "prepare" rituals.
Where as 3E, 2E, advanced, and basic wizards have to "prepare" usfull noncombat spells in place of combat spells.

It still looks to me that haveing to decide what precent of your spells are combat based and what percentage of your spells are noncombat based at the start of each day is haveing fewer options and being less versitile then haveing one list of combat spells and one list of noncombat rituals that are not mutually incompatible or exclusive in any way.


 




4e wizards cannot Prepare rituals. Rituals are completely different from the Wizards spellbook feature. Rituals are their own separate thing and anyone can cast rituals.

 

While it is true that other non-wizards CAN cast rituals the wizard is far better equipped to do so. He's got Arcana, and a high INT which provides a good Religion bonus (and can train this skill easily too) as well as often a good WIS which gives him a nice Heal and Nature bonus too. At worst he'll have decent checks in all major skills used with rituals. He also gets free rituals. Clerics, Druids, and Bards also have ritual casting but IIRC only the Cleric gets bonus rituals like the wizard. While characters like fighters CAN in principle become ritual casters they rarely do so. INT is useless for fighters for instance, and it requires the expenditure of a feat on top of needing a 12 or higher INT. In any case its hard to say that this is much different from 3.5 where any PC can MC into a full caster class and gain some spell casting, and if you do it right be able to do things like read scrolls, etc.

So, IMHO it is perfectly reasonable to count ritual casting in the equation for wizards. Beyond that Sea-Envy is right, 4e casters always have some utility powers, which often are quite useful outside of combat, and they can always select skill powers too, which are almost always non-combat powers (technically they aren't spells, but the distinction is fairly arbitrary). Most characters will also have the choice of Theme powers, which are often non-combat powers/spells.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Memorizing Knock and Read languages and standing around sucking you thumb durring a fight is perfectly fun.



Sometimes things that don't do damage are more important.

... yeah, right.  So you have access to ALL your combat spells and ALL your non-combat spells instead of having to pick between the two, and that's a bad thing?


Pretty much, yeah. It allows me to make better choices for varying situations. 



What choices?

An old school wizard chooses Knock or Web at the start of the day and can either take time to open a sealed door or tie up a group of bad guys in a fight but not both in one day

A 4E wizard has the web spell and the knock ritual and can spend time to open a sealed portal and tie up a group of bad guys in a fight in the same day

How dose the old school wizard have better choices?     


Options. That's it. The 4e wizards is severely nerfed, it has so few spells and even fewer that are useful outside of combat. With the old wizard you start each adventuring day thinking "Hmm what spells could be useful today? Well we planned on sneaking into the castle so, blank, blank, and blank would be a few good choices" In 4e there is almost no planning like that with the wizard. The wizard class used to scream versatility, now it screams damage.

IMHO nothing could be further from the truth. First of all at virtually every level you have more choices and flexibility in casting with the 4e wizard than with the 2e wizard, and often more than with the 3e wizard. If you collect a fair number of rituals you DEFINITELY hands down have the advantage in 4e. Due to the spell book that is the subject of this thread you certainly have the option in 4e to pick and choose what spells to take with you. There are additional options you can add as well. For instance the Apprentice Wizard Theme adds another spell choice and an additional encounter power. The Expanded Spellbook feat allows added choices too, as similarly does using the Essentials Mage class instead of PHB1 Wizard. You can also be a Tome of Readiness Wizard (from Arcane Power) which gives you more options, AND you can craft/find various magical tome implements which add even more options, not to mention other feats like Reserve Maneuver, and other items like Mnemonic Staff. Obviously 3e at least also offered some similar options, and AD&D had a couple staves that gave you loads of added spells if you could get hold of them.

Still, if you compare a 20th level AD&D wizard with a 4e 30th level wizard you'll see that they're in pretty much the same ballpark.

Its a bit harder to compare the raw utility of the available spells. 4e spells are however pretty darn useful. As a level 1 4e wizard I recall infiltrating the group into a town, crossing a wilderness, and then defeating more than my share of opponents in several fights all using rituals and spells with a newly minted character. It took a bit of creativity to work up something for every occassion but I did it by careful selection, lots of use of the spell book and very careful husbanding of my few ritual components.

Honestly it was at least as interesting IMHO as running a 2e wizard was. No way was my character 'severely nerfed'. I'd also point out that your example of "sneaking into the castle", exactly what choices would a level one 2e wizard have there? He's casting one spell a day. Sure, he's quite likely to have one that is useful at some point in that endeavor, and maybe a choice of several if he's lucky. OTOH my 4e guy had a ritual that can conceal the party (Traveler's Camouflage), a spell that can disable a guard for a few seconds so we could take him out (Chromatic Orb IIRC), a couple of really decent combat spells, several highly useful at-will cantrips, and a daily (I don't recall which one for sure, but surely Sleep would be a likely and useful possibility, as would the charm spell in HotFL that I forget the name of right now). Assuming a bit higher level setting, say start of Paragon (which I'd equate with about level 7 in AD&D) then we're talking up to 4th level 2e spells. You will have potentially some nice choices there. OTOH an 11th level 4e wizard has also quite an array of spells. You'll have at least 15 or so total choices with your spell book, etc, and also rituals. Your 2e wizard can cast 10 spells a day a this point IIRC. Its hard to say exactly how many choices you'll have, but 2x spell slots isn't a bad guess, which is 20, pretty close to the 4e wizard's options and quite close when you figure he's got at least 4 free rituals plus whatever he's bought/looted.

I've never really understood the whole "4e wizard is nerfed" thing. In general I don't understand the disdain for spell book in 4e either. Why is it that planning ahead is gold in 2e but the same capability is dog food in 4e? If you play a different style of game it isn't the wizard class that is behind that. I'd advise doing things like try casting some divinations or using some skills to learn some stuff before you go exploring, and then maybe those spell books will come in handy. You do NOT want to get caught with Stinking Cloud memorized when you run into a nest of Undead!


Once again your mixing ritual casting, and spell casting. They are two separate things. Yes I understand rituals and spells are kept in the same book for the wizard but we are talking about the spellbook feature that allows the wizards to switch between dailies and utilities after an extended rest not anything to do with rituals. 

Now lets start with spell slots (Magic Items, Paragon Paths, and Epic Destinies Aside):

4e Wizard: According to the PHB pg 29 @ lvl 30 a character Should have 2 at-wills, 4 encounters, 4 dailies, and 7 utilities. With the Spell Book Feature this Bumps it to 11 Dailies, and 14 Utilities. Now since I know you are going to ask about the feats lets just look into them as well. With the Feat Expanded Spellbook the number of Dailies a wizard has jumps to the mighty number of 18 dailies (Unless you have to retrain Dailies in your spellbook I've forgotten). So Now were looking at 6 At-wills, 4 encounters, 18 dailies, and 14 utilities. All together that is: 42

42 Is the total number of spells (not memorized) a wizards can have in their spellbook even with the extended spellbook feat.

3.5 Wizard: Technically the 3.5 wizards can have as many spells as he has room for in his spell book, and he can have multiple books.

Spells available at a time:

4e wizard: @ Level 30 a 4e wizard can cast 6 at-wills, 4 encounters, 4 dailies, and 7 utilities.

3.5 Wizard: @ level 20 a 3.5 wizard can cast up to 40 spells in one day With a huge variety of combos. 




 

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X

Spells available at a time:

4e wizard: @ Level 30 a 4e wizard can cast 6 at-wills, 4 encounters, 4 dailies, and 7 utilities.

3.5 Wizard: @ level 20 a 3.5 wizard can cast up to 40 spells in one day With a huge variety of combos.



The flaw in this is you are comparing 4e powers to 3.X spells. They don't work like that. Having access to a 40 power list is STILL going to limit your choices to 4/4/7 in the end anyways.

Plus, why hate on JUST the Wizard for this fact? Cleric and Druids were arguably worse offenders of the brokenness in 3.X, and they too have had the 4/4/7 limit slapped onto them in 4e.

Hate the power limit system if you must, but don't chew on the Wizard's arm for it when they STILL have more powers than every other class at the end of the day.


Spells available at a time:

4e wizard: @ Level 30 a 4e wizard can cast 6 at-wills, 4 encounters, 4 dailies, and 7 utilities.

3.5 Wizard: @ level 20 a 3.5 wizard can cast up to 40 spells in one day With a huge variety of combos. 

 



@30(4e) the wizard is a useful contributor to a party.  Powerful, and varied.  And so are the other classes.  They can also be played by someone who doesn't have to have a 200+ page spellbook.
@20 (3.5) the wizard is all powerful and only a couple other spellcasters are in the same league much less being even close to comparable.

Yes they made the Wizard less powerful by limiting their spells.  It isn't any fun playing anything that isn't a caster in old school games if the caster can just nuke things from orbit.  It also isn't any fun to play with a caster who has to spend an hour picking their spells and 15 minutes shuffling through papers looking for that "perfect spell" they have been holding onto for just that occasion.

Yes it was also a good thing so they didn't have to make another edition where a high level warrior was basically a really shiny pack mule. 


There are a lot of other interesting tidbits in this thread.  The highlights for me were as follows:
"Anyone can cast rituals, so they nerfed the wizard" - this is really silly.  As the comparison from other editions could also be done by non-wizards and the other characters still generally have to give up something in order to get ritual casting.
You also poked at someone (and quoted them) about 4e characters not being able to prepare rituals.  Now, they did have a typo in their post but it is also kinda obvious they meant "perform" which is true.  You don't need to prepare them, so more options.  Isn't that what you wanted / were complaining about the whole time?
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Spellcasters were nerfed in 4e because the power of 5th-level spells and beyond had a habit of making a DM say "Let's wrap it up!"

The spellbook is a fun feature for 4e; you can either prep spells according to what you think you'll be facing in the coming adventure, or you can use it to switch up your spells and experiment to see which ones synergize best with the party's tactics. Best part is, you can pretty much ignore it if you want to and just stick to the same repertoire of spells every day.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.

4e wizards cannot Prepare rituals. Rituals are completely different from the Wizards spellbook feature. Rituals are their own separate thing and anyone can cast rituals.

 



Sooooooo....



because other classes have the potential (sometimes at a heavy cost, while the Wizard gets Ritual Casting for free) to cast all those utility spells means that they took them away from the Wizard?

Does this mean that in previous editions, when the Sorcerer shared most of it's spell list with the Wizard, that the Wizard lost those spells, too, and the introduction of the Sorcerer was also a "nerf" to the Wizard?

Wizards have access to almost all of the same magic in 4E that they did before, and no longer need to choose between combat utility and non-combat utlity. Sounds like a win to me. But hey, whatever floats your boat...

I've never really understood the whole "4e wizard is nerfed" thing. In general I don't understand the disdain for spell book in 4e either. Why is it that planning ahead is gold in 2e but the same capability is dog food in 4e?



Because 3e. 

3e wizards were the kings of power and versatility.  A 3e wizards could have dozens, or even hundreds, of different spells in their spellbook, be able to cast dozens (unique) per day, and usually do so with a standard action and no costly components.  In addition, spells were more powerful, their effects more absolute, and their durations longer.  And divinations, in particular, tended to give you answers on a silver platter, as oppose to 4e divinations which instead give you hints and point you in the right direction.  In 3e, without planning, a mid to high level wizard was a force of nature.  With planning, the 3e wizard is an invisible, flying, death-resistant, spell resistant, rocky-skined, angel summoning, all-knowing Deus ex Machania whose foes die horribly if they ever come within 400ft +40ft per level of the battlements he created with only a thought, and still get to his summer cottage half-way across the world in time for tea.  And, no, none of that is hyperbole.

4e wizards pale in comparison to what wizards could do an edition ago.  Then again, almost everything else paled in comparison to what 3e wizards could do as well.  Which was a problem.

Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
@ Fireclave You are exactly right. I'm not saying the almighty wizard is the best thing its just that the 3.5 one was much more versatile than the 4e wizard, and I would rather play one.

@ MalakLightfoot I never anywhere said that other classes being able to do rituals is bad. In fact I think its cool, and thats the way it should be. I was only saying that ritual casting isn't a wizard exclusive, anyone can do it, and multiple classes do right off the bat.


Though overall I understand why many of you don't like the 3.5 wizard. I also don't understand. I know that they get way too powerful. But in traditional fantasy don't they? I actually like the rise to power a wizard goes through. But what I really don't understand is the reason you all seem to suggest that if you weren't playing a wizard you weren't having fun. Every player I've had in my years of 3.x couldn't care less about the wizard. Only one has MCed into it.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

Games I Play:

 

D&D 4e - D&D 3.0  - Pathfinder - AD&D 2e - Call of Cthulhu - Legend of the Five Rings - 13th Age - World of Darkness - PTU - D&D B/X



Though overall I understand why many of you don't like the 3.5 wizard. I also don't understand. I know that they get way too powerful. But in traditional fantasy don't they? I actually like the rise to power a wizard goes through. But what I really don't understand is the reason you all seem to suggest that if you weren't playing a wizard you weren't having fun. Every player I've had in my years of 3.x couldn't care less about the wizard. Only one has MCed into it.



Honestly most of my 3.x characters were not casters either.  And the "better early, worse later" comparison that all of my characters took for granted when they compared themselves to the wizard.  Then I started playing 4e and realized that I didn't have to play a fighter who was useless late game or a wizard who was useless early game.  Then I started to be able to articulate the reason why occasionally I would feel like I could leave the game early and nothing would change at the higher level tables.  Basically once I saw the other side of the fence and played a bit there, I looked back and saw what I didn't like much clearer.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
@ Fireclave You are exactly right. I'm not saying the almighty wizard is the best thing its just that the 3.5 one was much more versatile than the 4e wizard, and I would rather play one.



WotC did not want to recreate the situation where one class easily held all the answers.  And that's basically what the wizard class was.

The wizard still has plenty of in-combat versatility.  And out-of-combat versatility is mainly what rituals are for.

@ MalakLightfoot I never anywhere said that other classes being able to do rituals is bad. In fact I think its cool, and thats the way it should be. I was only saying that ritual casting isn't a wizard exclusive, anyone can do it, and multiple classes do right off the bat.


Spell versatility wasn't a wizard-exclusive either.  All 3e divine characters get access to every spell ever, forever, period.  So selecting the right spells for the day was nearly as important for them as it was for the wizard.  So it should be no surprise that other classes get access to ritual casting right of the back.  It's part of their class's identity as well.  Though wizards do get the most free rituals, as well as arcana and int as a primary, which gives them a bit more edge in versatility with the larger majority of rituals that require a check.

Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of how rituals are executed in 4e.  I would prefer more of them, and for them to be a bit cheaper and quicker to use.  But those are easy minor, personal griefs that are easy to fix with a few houserules.  But it would be a mistake to write them off just because they're not wizard-exclusive.

Though overall I understand why many of you don't like the 3.5 wizard. I also don't understand. I know that they get way too powerful. But in traditional fantasy don't they?


Usually, no, they don't.  Or at least, not in the same sense.  In traditional fantasy, magic is typically treated as a rare, powerful thing, requiring esoteric components, lore, and practices.  Unless you are performing minor feats of magic or channeling a more powerful outside source, magic in traditional fantasy is slow, methodical, and often risky.  4e's ritual casting more closely resembles traditional fantasy wizardry than 4e's power system or 3e quick-cast spell slots, which both gives you instantaneous power that is more in line with what you often see in contemporary fantasy. 

But more importantly, D&D is not fantasy fiction.  It's a social game, which is a very different medium from a book and with very different needs.  And what works good in one medium doesn't always translate well to a different one.  While an overpowered wizard protagonist might be an interesting character to read about, it can be a lot less so DMing for one or playing along with such a character after the initial novelty wears off.

But what I really don't understand is the reason you all seem to suggest that if you weren't playing a wizard you weren't having fun. Every player I've had in my years of 3.x couldn't care less about the wizard. Only one has MCed into it.



I don't think anyone is saying that you could never have fun without being a wizard.  And I certainly would never argue that you could never have fun if you were playing a wizard. 

What is being said that the overpoweredness of the wizard could drag the fun of the game.  Especially if you were playing classes that did not share a similar level of power and versatility.  Like the fighter, or the monk. 

Played with half-way decent competence, a mid to high level wizard can break encounters, disrupt plots, and steal the thunder from other classes without even trying or, worse yet, without even intending to.  And as a DM, it can be a constant struggle to come up with plots, events, and combats that can challenge the wizard and his friends without feeling contrived.

And if the wizard player did know how to play the wizard class to their fullest, little can be done to keep a game intact besides spell banning, houserules, or gentlemen's agreements to not wreck the game even though they can.  And I think the latter is what most groups opted for, even if it the agreement wasn't formally recognized by the group.  If you ever, as a wizard player, learned how potent Scry and Teleport were together, but never opted to use it, that's likely the reason why.


And while your group may not have experienced these problems (every group is different), the phenomenon was widely acknowledged as an issue by the 3e gaming community.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.