Table of Contents:
What do you mean God?
Feats for God
Choosing God's Powers
Magic Items for God
God's guide to Rituals
Making the Wand Wizard
Making the Staff Wizard
Making the Orb Wizard
4E and the God Wizard:
In 3.5 I wrote about the party roles, and referred to the role of Battlefield Control/Buff and Debuff as God. God didn't get his hands dirty, that was the job of the Big Stupid Fighter and the Glass Cannon. God simply changed reality so that they would win rather than loose.
God did not need to be a Wizard, in fact, spellcasting was so versatile in 3.5 there were a number of classes that made decent "God's". The Archavist, the Spirit Shaman, the Sorcerer - they could all technically fill the role - it was simply that Wizard's did it best.
Now in 4E - the classes are more pigeonholed. Furthermore, there are less Battlefield Controls available to players than ever. The Wizard however, gets the lion share of those powers, and they do it significantly better than other classes - so now, it is questionable whether any one else can fill the role at all. This may change as 4e splatbooks are released (in fact, I may at some point take "wizard" right out of the title of this guide if other equivalent options present themselves.)
That is not to say the wizard did not take a dive in power compared to other classes. All spellcasters did. Wizards are not weak compared to the other classes - but neither are they the most powerful (as they arguably were in 3.5). However - the role of God unquestionably still belongs to Wizards at this time. If you wish to play God in 4e - at this time, Wizards really are the only choice.
In addition: This is a work in progress! My experience with 4e - as you might imagine, is virtually non-existant. However, after reading the rules - I've come to some opinions and am sharing them here. I reserve the right to change those opinions (and edit this work) as I learn with experience! :D
Merriam-Webster: God: ...one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
Introduction: Yeah, before you tell me, I know, I wasn’t the first to enter the realm of 4e Wizard Handbooks (wow – that was fast)
The Wizard’s Handbook: By Squirrelloid
Making the Control Wizard in 4e – also by Squirrelloid
So what am I offering that's different? Squirrelloid's handbook really is like 8 in 1. He goes over how to make a blast mage, a bleed mage, a status effect mage, a terrain mod mage etc. These builds do one thing and that's it - every decision made adds to that one specialty.
I like my God to be more Buff/Debuff/Battlefield Controllers. Now that it's 4e more like Buff/Debuff/Battlefield Control/Blasters. In my God builds - if Scorching Burst is better than Cloud of Daggers (oh - and it's SO much better) - I will suggest it regardless of the slight Battlefield Control application of Cloud of Daggers - this will result in a less specialized build - but should net you the best options (IMO) at each junction.
It's more about optimizing your Wizard overall than optimizing one aspect of your wizard. If that's what you want - read on.
Naturally, this is just the beginning (and I expect both Squirrelloid and myself will have changes of opinion as we build our experience with the game) – but as always – this is CO, and when it comes to CO, viewpoints differ.
Options are good. That's the one (and only) point I'll make on this entire thread that I will claim is indisputable. The rest is all based on perspective and opinion and can all be questioned and debated.
Feel free to disagree with me - you won't be alone. Long as you understand that you are wrong :P (just kidding). So without further ado - let’s get into it.
A little side note about style Be prepared for me presenting a black-and-white D&D world. These are opinions - and I'm presenting them strongly, intentionally. Really no point in presenting what is essentially an opinion paper and being wishy-washy.
A guide to color: Due to restriction in number of images (including smiley's) that can be used in a single post - I will often be using color to identify good options from poor ones. Here's a rundown:
Blue: This is a great option - and my personal preference
Green: This is a good option - not my favorite - but still worthwhile
Black: This is a so-so option - not terrible, but not good enough to recommend.
Red: This is a bad option - you should avoid this choice.
Treantmonk: This looks like your last handbook doesn't it?
Welcome to 4e! With a new edition the old work becomes obsolete – or does it? My old handbook discussed roles in the party, a Wizard’s role (battlefield control), and build options to work well with that role. The mechanics have changed – but the role remains. Therefore – there is repetition here, intentionally.
What do you mean God?
In my previous handbook I redefined the party roles in my own style. The iconic Tank/Skillmonkey/Healer/Arcane blaster went obsolete with 2e I suggested, replaced by new roles. Those roles were Big Stupid Fighter, Glass Cannon and God. Anything else was a waste of space.
I was surprised as any when 4e revealed an epiphany by the designers that the party roles were Big Stupid Fighter, Glass Cannon and God. Really they did! They just used different terminology – and, as you might expect, they realized the “God” role was so important – it needed double designation.
So here’s your 4e to Treantmonk translation dictionary:
The Defender: This role involves two things: Doing HP damage to BBEG, forcing BBEG to attack you with his viscous weaponry. Sound familiar? In my world I call this the Big Stupid Fighter. The Big Stupid Fighter is not always a fighter by class, though he always is by description. Consider “fighter” to be flavour text. 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 This role involves one thing: Doing HP damage to BBEG. Sound familiar? In my world I call this the Glass Cannon. The Glass Cannon is like the Big Stupid Fighter except he does not want to take damage. Usually this is not due to superior intelligence - but instead due to inferior HP or defences (or in most cases - both). The 4e PHB suggests that Rogues (or Rouge for our young readers) and Rangers are strikers. In this one case I need to disagree. A wizard can also be a Glass Cannon. They are called “Blaster” wizards.
Leader:: This role usually means being a Big Stupid Fighter who rally's allies with religious rant or inspired speeches (Does anyone else picture a Drill Seargent for a Warlord? "Soldier! On your feet! Only two types of creatures go down on all fours when hurt - queers and steers - and I don't see no horns on you boy!"). Basically a very loud Big Stupid Fighter. These guys buff - which is a useful role, and help to God. You could call them God's avatars.
Controller:: This role entails making adjustments when reality would entail the above three meeting a rather messy end – so instead the above three to meet glorious victory. Sound familiar?
Yes - there you go – Controller and Leader are both “God” roles. In my previous thread – Battlefield Control was the primary role of a “God” wizard – while buffing and debuffing were secondary. Now Buffing is a role all on it’s own according to the PHB. Debuffing is a minor trait for wizards, which means your role is more clearly defined. You must be a Battlefield Controller first, a buffer second. (yes – it can be done)
Are Clerics and Warlords "God"'s? In a word - no. However, their buffing abilities make them closer to "God" than the other classes. However, buffing alone does not a god make - especially when you are spending the majority of the battle smashing the enemy on the head with your big weapon. Cleric's and Warlords fill the "Big Stupid Fighter" role mainly, with a bit of godliness to back it up. Both are useful classes - but neither will successfully fill the "God" role in your party.
Aren't all Wizards "blasters" now? In 3.5 we called a spell that had both a battlefield control effect and did damage a "dual threat" spell. My suggestion to all players back then who still wanted to blast with their wizards to look for these spells. The blast effect is nice - but not the primary purpose of your spells.
What about the Waste of Space? The horrible multiclassing options of 3.5 are gone, so is “healer” as a primary role. This means that the Waste of Space no longer exists as a party role (hooray!). That doesn’t mean that a character will be good at its role – only that the role it is supposed to do is relevant to the party's success.
Can the Wizard still cover all the roles? I don’t think so. Classes are far more pigeon-holed in 4e. Through straight blasting you can be a glass cannon – and through Battlefield Control you can be God – but I think Wizard’s as the Big Stupid Fighter are effectively gone in 4e.
Being a God:
This is the role this thread is based upon. Mortals live and die, all never appreciating that it is the Gods who determine their fate. Gods do this through three methods, in order of acending importance:
In order to be effective at buffing - you turn your Big Stupid Fighter into a Colossal, Stupid Fighter on crack, and your Glass Cannon into an Adamantium 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.
In order to be effective at debuffing - you turn your enemies into immobilized, weakened, dazed, stunned helpless critters so your Big Stupid Fighter and the Glass Cannon 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.
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.
On 4e Battlefield Control: Treantmonk’s rant:
So, in 4e full-attack is gone, so everyone gets a move action every round. Guess what? That means manvouverability just got more important than ever. At will/encounter/daily powers also increase the requirement for both sides of a battle to control the tactics in order to win the battle. Suddenly Battlefield Control has gone from important to necessary.
It gets even better than that. In 3.5 the standard encounter involved one enemy. In such battles – Battlefield Control options were limited because there was nobody to separate. However – in 4e, the standard encounter has multiple enemies. Once again Battlefield Control is more important than ever before.
Initiative optimization has previously been derided as a waste of investment – but the truth is, often if the enemies move first – controlling the battlefield doesn’t just become more difficult – it can become next to impossible. Going first is huge. Therefore – do not shy from initiative optimization – embrace it. Going first will give you a battlefield advantage before the enemy gets a chance to coordinate. This will give your Big Stupid Fighter and Glass Cannon an advantage that they will never realize the importance of – after all, they are just mortal.
For the same reason, it is important that you beat enemy controllers to initiative as well, especially if you can put yourself in position to cut them off with a wall/immobilization or other effect that will prevent them from undoing your good work.
Furthermore – the first round is usually going to be the optimal time to use your action point. It may be anti-climactic to blow your wad before your enemy shouts “charge!” – but you can potentially have the battle won before anybody else goes – they just won’t know it yet.
Imagine it this way – You and the Enemy Controller are sitting at a chess board. The game is just about to get interesting. Do you want it to be your move or theirs? How about getting 2 moves in a row? How about blocking off his power pieces with your pawns (spell effects)? Suddenly the game just got easier didn’t it?