Red Wizard Handbook

53 posts / 0 new
Last post
The Red Wizard

The Red Wizard is a Faerun-specific prestige class presented in the DMG. Often used as villains or NPCs in many games, it also suitable for player characters. Evil is not a requirement!

DMs and players will approach the Red Wizard differently, and they will take different things from it. For players, Red Wizard offers a flavorful class with excellent abilities, some of which can be used to great effect if you are up to the challenge of managing your resources carefully. This guide will help you identify what those resources are, and will help you grow an efficient, balanced, and effective wizard.

DMs will be using Red Wizard to make NPCs, in many cases villains. Red Wizard offers the DM excellent tools for challenging entire parties of PCs with a single, powerful arcane spellcaster. Minions are even built into the class. This guide will help you create elegant Red Wizards quickly.

Requirements:
Nongood human specialist wizard from Thay
Tattoo Focus, 1st level only feat
Three metamagic or item creation feats
Able to cast 3rd level spells, Spellcraft 8 ranks


Benefits:
Spell Power, affects the specialist school only. It doesn't hurt.
Bonus Feat, either item creation, metamagic, or Spell Mastery.
Circle Leader, this is the reason to take levels in Red Wizard. You can achieve tremendous bonuses to your caster level and heighten spells to 20th level!
Great Circle Leader allows even more minions in your circle magic.

Drawbacks:
Enhanced Specialization, you will lose access to another school of magic, and it will not be divination. Note that this class feature merely prevents you from “ever again learning spells from the prohibited school” and specifically allows you to “use the prohibited spells he knew prior to becoming a Red Wizard, including using items that are activated by spell completion and spell trigger.”

So, this drawback can be minimized by investing an appropriate amount of gold in the specific spells that one wishes to use at a later point. It's not much of a limitation if you're good at scribing spells in your spellbook, due to your Skill Focus and Blessed Book. An item providing a +5 bonus to these Spellcraft checks should cost 2500, a large investment for a low level character. That's almost as much as a metamagic rod! One more reason to get Skill Focus: Spellcraft through Master Specialist.

Qualifying For The Class As Soon As Possible
There are effectively four feats required merely for entry in Red Wizard. At the earliest possible entry point, after Wizard 5, you have Scribe Scroll, one bonus feat at 5th, Tattoo Focus, and two feats as a function of level. Putting your bonus feat into metamagic will leave you with only a single feat to spend. See the many excellent Wizard Handbooks for advice on what to do with it. Don't take Heighten, Empower, or Maximize, since you will gain access to these for free through Circle Magic later.
You wind up with Tattoo Focus, Scribe Scroll, 2 Metamagic or Item Creation feats. Craft Wondrous Item is almost a requirement for a wizard, even if you only ever use the feat to make a Blessed Book. You can be more flexible if your DM has houserules regarding arcane magical writings, and many do.
You have 1 open feat, at either 1st or 3rd level.; or you can trade your 5th level bonus feat for an alternative features there.

There is a Shadow Weave entry for those who are so inclined, which involves taking the Shadow Weave Magic feat and one level of Shadow Adept. The Shadow Weave bonus feats serve the purpose of qualifying for Red Wizard nicely. One metamagic feat is required for Shadow Adept, and both Insidious Magic and Pernicious Magic are also metamagic feats. This variant also allows you to trade your Scribe Scroll out if you desire, and you can trade out your 5th level bonus feat for Spontaneous Divination or a domain, perhaps the Magic Domain for Anyspell, the War domain if you want to play Gish.
You wind up with Tattoo Focus, one Metamagic feat, and the Shadow Magic feats.
You can trade Scribe Scroll, and you can use your 5th level bonus feat for the Metamagic requirement above, freeing your 3rd level feat.

Delayed Entry Has Benefits
Putting off entry has the benefit of allowing you to take Craft Wondrous Item at 5th and scribe a Blessed Book, making it easier and cheaper to get those forbidden spells into your spellbook. Of course it's possible to make a Blessed Book at 5th: but pulling this off in an actual game requires you to spend 6250 of your 9000 gold (according to the wealth by level guidelines) and also obtain access to the high-level spells you want to cast from the school you're about to forbid. A few levels later, this amount of gold isn't so daunting and spell access has improved.

Do not delay for long. The benefits of having Circle Magic and Simulacrum access at the earliest possible time is the most important part of the traditional Red Wizard build.

Delayed Entry Has A Considerable Cost
However, it is advantageous to advance to Red Wizard 5 / Wizard 5, since at 20th level your Simulacra themselves will be capable of leading Circles. Thanks to Circle Leader for his analysis below. This technique requires no supplemental material.

Circle Magic
The reason to take levels in Red Wizard is to access the circle magic ability, a powerful mechanic that allows you to drain power from other characters with the Tattoo Focus feat and use it to increase your own caster level or apply metamagic feats to spells without altering the spell level. While one can only apply Heighten, Maximize, or Empower to the given spell, knowledge of these feats is not required to perform the operation.
Meanwhile, your caster level can be raised to a maximum of 40th. This increase alone can practically heighten, widen, and enlarge all of your spells, to say nothing of the difficulty another wizard will have in attempting to dispel them. There is no limit to the number of times per day that a caster can use circle magic, but each usage requires 1 uninterrupted hour.
The most optimal thing to do with Circle Magic is probably to just raise your caster level as high as it will go, since this affects all of your spells, making your Black Tentacles, Telekinesis, and Mental Pinnacle far more dangerous than those of your weakling brethren. If you have the opportunity to extract more circle levels, say because you are using your Simulacra as fuel, consider applying as much metamagic as you can to your most powerful attack spell. This spell will remain in your mind until you cast it, so by being conservative you can over the course of a few days build up a suite of several immensely powerful spells.
The difficulty in using Circle Magic is simply one of finding appropriate and willing participants to donate their spells for your greater glory. There are several ways to accomplish this.

Leadership
Leadership is available early and can supply a minion with the correct feat. It shouldn't be too difficult to convince them to participate in the ancient traditions of their homeland and donate their spells to you. Unfortunately, this method leaves much to be desired, as your control over your apprentice is not absolute. Although followers can also donate spells, they won't be high enough in level to really help much and will furthermore be extremely fragile, possibly not worth the trouble of transporting.

Simulacrum
It is imperative, if you are going to forbid Illusion, to scribe Simulacrum in your spellbook before doing so. Even if it was accidentally forbidden, the Spell Reprieve (Simulacrum) feat is worth it once you are able to use Circle Magic. In the Simulacrum spell, you have an endless source of reasonably powerful minions that will not have any problems donating every single one of their best spells to the cause. Notice that the Delayed Entry method with Master Specialist acquires the ability to cast Simulacrum and the Circle Magic ability at the same level.

Necrotic Spells, UPD: Psychic Reformation, Dominate Person, Modify Memory, Diplomacy checks, etc.
There are other methods of acquiring appropriate subjects for Circle Magic. See the appropriate slave-making threads for advice.

Arcane Conversion, Heighten Spell, and Circle Magic
One especially advantageous use of Circle Magic involves the spell Rary's Arcane Conversion from Complete Mage. Casting this spell allows the user to exchange a "prepared wizard spell" for "another spell of equal or lower level." The replacement spell must be one already scribed in your spellbook. The advantage lies in being able to Heighten a 1st level spell with Circle Magic, and Arcane Conversion it over to a 9th level spell. Hence a 6th level slot and the 1st level are exchanged for a 9th level slot.

Thanks to Red Wizard Circle Leader Phoenix00 for this technique.

Spell Engine, Energy Transformation Field, Arcane Manipulation, Absorption, Arcane Manipulation and Ring of Wizardry
Spell Engine, Energy Transformation Field, and Absorption are from Spell Compendium.
The Ring of Wizardry is from the Dungeon Master Guide.
Arcane Manipulation is a feat from Lost Empires of Faerun.

Set up the Energy Transformation Field to cast Absorption, and place in the field a creature able to use limitless spell-like abilities. Instruct it to do so. Place a Simulacrum (or other minion) in the center of the field. The Simulacrum will receive an Absorption spell when sufficient power has collected in the field. Repeat until all Simulacra have Absorptions. Utilize a creature with an at-will ranged 1st level spell-like ability to fill the Absoption spells.

Use Arcane Manipulation on your three highest level spell slots, reducing them to as many first level spells as possible. These will be doubled via your Ring of Wizardry.

Now, initiate Circle Magic. Instruct your minions to use the spell energy contained in the Absorptions to fuel the Circle. Your minions, the Absorptions, and the Transformation Field have now served to channel the specific and probably quite useless magical energy of your (probably enslaved) creature, into the superior form of Circle bonus levels.

Apply these bonus levels to Heighten your now quite numerous 1st level slots to the level of spells you wish to cast for the day. They may all be 9th level spells, if that is your desire. Cast Spell Engine, and exchange your Heightened 1st level spells for the target spells from your spellbook. You may want to leave one slot, somewhere, now unprepared, in order to keep the Spell Engine turning.

This functions at a low level if you can acquire scrolls of the above spells or pay someone to cast them for you.

Reserve Feats
You might find reserve feats that function off of the level of a currently memorized spell worth having, once you can use Circle Magic to prepare a 20th level spell via Heighten. Dimensional Jaunt will get you 100' per use, and the the attack feats will give you 20 dice of damage.

However, 20 dice of damage may not be a relevant attack (even at will) in a game where you've got access to 20th level spell DCs at caster level 40. I suppose it might be fun to take down an army of trolls using only a Fly spell and Fiery Burst.

Cutoff Points for Red Wizard
These are 5th level and 10th level. At 5th level your Circle Magic can hold five extra participants, which is probably enough, and Red Wizard 5 also grants a bonus feat. If you want nine participants, take it all the way to 10th level.
Cantrip Optimization
So you've done it. You made it to Circle Magic, you have someone that can donate levels to your glorious magical prowess, and you even picked up Arcane Manipulation (Lost Empires of Faerun) along the way. Reviewing your spellbook, you are left with one great shame. The 0-level spells! It's a shame you can't use those slots for something more productive.

Well, get up early and put that minion to work! There's Circle Magic to be worked here.

First, seek out some more advanced wizards and beg, borrow, and steal to get access to their fabulous high-level spells.... the 7th, 8th, and 9th level ones. Let them scoff, let them laugh at your inability to cast such mighty magic. Though resources are limited for now, make sure you get the really important ones.... Gate, Shapechange, Time Stop, and Forcecage. Moment of Prescience is a good idea too, but hey- knock yourself out. If you're really lucky you'll find some wizard who researched a 9th level Forcecage that doesn't have a material component.

Second, grab a Scroll of Spell Engine from someone. Hopefully, someone who doesn't know what you're up to, because you do not want to be disturbed during the next stage of the process. It takes awhile.

We'll assume you're 10th level for this next part.

Third, settle down someplace secure and comfortable with whoever (or whatever) is going to be putting levels into your Circle Magic. Make sure you're nice and rested, and ready to prepare spells. Using your talents of Arcane Manipulation, break apart three 5th level slots down into cantrips. Prepare Detect Magic for each of them. Adding in your normal 0-level spells, you now have 34 Detect Magics prepared.

Fourth, initiate Circle Magic and use the bonus levels to apply Heighten Spell to the cantrips. You'll want to Heighten each one of them to 9th level. It will take some time to do this... days, in fact. Perhaps weeks, if your companion is slow. You need to absorb 306 spell levels through Circle Magic. At the end of the process, you'll have 34 9th level Detect Magics, which provide absolutely no mechanical advantage over a simple 0-level Detect Magic.

Fifth, produce your Scroll of Spell Engine and cast it. When the Spell Engine appears, get out your spellbook and exchange those Detect Magics for all those supposedly uncastable spells you scribed prior to this point. That's right.... as a 10th level wizard, you now have 34 9th level spells prepared.

Sixth, go out and kill some lesser wizards and take their Rings of Wizardry.... retreat into your lair again, and this time, why not throw the rest of your spell compliment up into the 9th level range?

Seventh, live in fear of the Hathrans, who can do all of this with a smaller feat commitment, with divine spells or arcane ones, and with the power to spontaneously convert prepared spells to anything they've written in their spell- or prayerbooks.
On The Care and Feeding of Apprentices Defending the source of your power is very important. Whether using Leadership, Simulacra, or such unstable sources as Dominated, Encysted, Memory Modified, or merely friendly followers, neglect can result in disaster. The method of defense chosen depends on your level and on the kind of follower you're dealing with. Dealing with Unreliable Help The soonest you can possibly use Circle Magic is 10th level, at which point you may have Leadership, dominate person, or followers who aid you out of friendliness. Of these, the follower you have by dint of Leadership is likely the most reliable and defensible, and should be able to stay with the party, engaging in battle in a limited fashion or simply hiding. At this point you are probably without a stronghold, or you have only a meager stronghold. Dominated Minions Dominated individuals are much more difficult to deal with, and must not be allowed to roam freely. Since these are wizards from Thay with the Tattoo Focus feat, they aren't so easy to keep enspelled. Make sure they do not have Protection from Evil or related spells in their spellbooks, and be sure that they have not memorized these spells. If they do, fizzle their memorized spells and rip out the appropriate pages from their spellbooks. It's not worth the risk to bring them around, so you'll need to set up a dungeon to store them. Fortunately, you can teleport to it, and soon you can Gemjump. It's no fun dealing with an insurrection, and these things tend to happen at the worst possible times. At least try to have some undead on hand so they don't get far. Wyvern zombies or something. Consider the Abyssal Drake. Simulacrum The real prize of Circle Magic is the Simulacrum spell. Now at least you won't have to worry about your minions betraying you or trying to escape, and they won't complain about giving you their magic. Furthermore, since they have some magical powers of their own, they can run around invisible or use Rope Tricks all the time. If you have a lair, they can help defend it. Consider buying a Portable Hole. You will also need a Bottle of Air and some food, since Simulacra share the type of the original. Being undead obviates this need. Thanks to Circle Leader Pithica for pointing this out. Renting Them Out Finally, a cadre of decent Simulacra represent a good value for a wizard. Consider renting them out to another powerful Red Wizard, one with a nice tower with some defenses. By sharing the Simulacra, you can take advantage of combining your defenses. Just watch out, or you might have to spend a game dealing with a problem. You might wind up having to rescue this wizard, he could blackmail you, etc. You might want to do this with your expendable backup Simulacra, ones left over from a previous level and unable to cast the powerful spells of the most recent model.

Even More Optimized


This is the build running around at Brilliant Gameologists.


Wizard 5 / Red Wizard 5 / Stoneblessed 3 / Shadowcraft Mage 5 / Spellthief 2


It was never explicitly put together on the BG site just how much room this build has for additional feats. As it turns out, it’s very tight. The order of the feats/levels below is also quite flexible. However, what is clear is that this build has room for only a single Metamagic feat, other than Heighten Spell.


The only way that comes to mind to increase this is to drop two levels of Shadowcraft Mage, and put in two of Incantatrix, using the now-familiar Otyugh Hole to get Iron Will. This nets a single metamagic feat, and prepares a solid 21st level whereupon the character receives not only Epic Spellcasting, but Metamagic Effect.


What is clear, is that a choice has to be made between things like Reserves of Strength, Arcane Manipulation, Metanode Spell, and so forth. There isn’t room for them all. Below you can see the difficulty, and a discussion of what is to be done about it.


 Bonus from wizard: Scribe Scroll + 1 MM feat


1st: Tattoo Focus (DMG)


Human: Spell Focus (Illusion)


Flaw: Node Spellcasting (Champions of Ruin)


Flaw: Reserves of Strength (Dragonlance)


3rd: Arcane Manipulation (Lost Empires of Faerun)


5th: Heighten Spell (bonus from wizard)


6th: Metanode Spell


9th: Earth Sense (Races of Stone)


10th: MM feat (bonus from Red Wizard) [open]


12th: Arcane Disciple (Luck) (Complete Divine)


15th: Earth Spell (Races of Stone)


18th: Master Spellthief (Complete Scoundrel)


The above feats are designed to increase caster level as much as possible. There are a few other feats, like Arcane Manipulation, Arcane Disciple (Luck), and Metanode Spell simply there because they are really good. I’m not sure, personally, that Metanode Spell is worth it when there is only a single (possibly two, at the cost of access to a school of magic) Metamagic feat available.


An issue, in some cases, is whether the feat Reserves of Strength removes caster level caps entirely, or allows an increase of 3 at most. I’m not commenting on that, lacking the source material. Let it simply be noted that opinion is somewhat divided.


How it Works & What It Does


It can cast Shadow Miracles very easily. Its illusions achieve 200% or more reality, so willfully failing the Will save against the shadow figments is better than succeeding on it. The Simulacrums it produces at 20th level are capable of Circle Magic, and can donate spells Heightened to 20th level, speeding Circle Magic level acquisition greatly. Given the right Ring and the Spell Compendium spells above, it can cast several hundred 9th level spells per day, far in excess of non-infinite loops that I’m aware of. And finally, whatever metamagic feat or two it finally picks up, can be applied for free.


The keys to advancing caster level well above the stated Circle Magic limit are as follows. I’m going to leave out the small bonuses that can accrue here and there, for example from an Ioun Stone, a tattoo, various special supplementary spell components, obscure substances and materials, and so on, focusing only on the big moves that will get this character to a very high caster level.


The first trick is Node Spellcasting. Champions of Ruin updated the node thing, and made them much more beneficial. These things provide a fairly large bonus to caster level. We just Shadow Figment ourselves up a nice Node Genesis spell. Beholderslayer from BG gives a nice analysis, and I’ve shamefully stolen it.


He’s taken into account all those little bonuses that I can’t be bothered to look up. Note, though, that this requires Widen Spell, eating into the scarce resources above.


Wizard CL 40
Spellthief CL 40
+20 Earth Spell
+2 Robe of Arcane Might
+2 Ring of Arcane Might
+2 Orange Ioun Stone
+6 Create Magical Tatto spell x3
+2 Adept Spirit
+8 Bead of Karma
+4 Spell Enhancer
+10 Spell Power
+4 Arcane Thesis
+4 Liquid Pain
+2 Spellgifted
+2 Nugget of Garl Glittergold
+4 Terran Brandy
= 152
+1.5 Greater Consumptive Field
= 228
+2 Mystic Surge
= 230
Utilize Shadow Illusion to cast Node Genesis at CL 230 makes a node of 9,200 feet in diameter with widen spell (if you can apply it). A node of that size is a class 21 Node, which can grant 21 caster levels to wizard and spellthief which stack for +42, giving
272 Caster Levels.


Various divine spells used above have been cast using Shadow Miracles. Thus we can see that Earth Spell, Master Spellthief, and Node Spellcasting can be put together with Circle Magic with devastating effect.


 


Note on the Old School 10^100 Challenge…


While lost to the White Screen of Death, a tremendous blow, I believe one unmet (to my knowledge) condition of succeeding as a caster was having 100+ spells, each at caster level 100, with a save DC of 100+.


By first dropping a level of Shadowcraft Mage and adding a level in Tainted Scholar, and getting a Psychic Reformation on some of our minions to grant them Cooperative Spell, get them all in Ghostform or Magic Jar some Tiny targets so they are adjacent, and there it is. With a Depravity score of 120, you add +60 to the DC, Heighten adds +20, and Cooperative Spell takes care of the rest. Caster level already greatly exceeds 100, and using the Arcane Manipulation / Spell Engine trick above, you’ve well over 100 spells to cast this way.

On the Enemy: A Circle Magic Appendix
While Red Wizard can be reflavored for many different campaign worlds, it was originally conceived for the Forgotten Realms campaign. Specifically, for the nation of Thay, on the eastern edge of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

There are two other prestige classes published for the Forgotten Realms campaign that also grant Circle Magic: both of them designed for power groups that are opposed, in one way or another, to the machinations of the Red Wizards. These are the Halruuans (heirs to the lore of Netheril) and the Hathrans (witches of Rashemen). The Red Wizards have engaged in numerous wars against Rashemen, while their relations with the Halruuans have been colder.

Their prestige classes, Halruuan Elder and Hathran (respectively) have abilities that add subtle flavorings to Circle Magic.

Hathrans gain two abilities worthy of special attention: the power to grant Circle Magic to purely divine spellcasters, and the power to cast their spells spontaneously. This last ability, using spellbook spells spontaneously in an insane sorcerer-like fashion, comes from combining their 1st level ability with the Acorn of Far Travel. It's quite obscene.

I will take a moment to note that a reflavoring of Ruby Knight Vindicator from Wee Jas to Mystra, or to one of the deities native to Rashemen, would allow one to play a Crusader 1 / Cleric 4 / Ruby Knight Vindicator 10 / Hathran 5, and contemplate the joys of 8th level maneuvers, Circle Magic, and Divine Metamagic (Persistent Spell) fun. If one can get the DM to accept a RKV of Mystra-style of Hathran, the Initiate of Mystra feat beckons.

Archivist, too, looks like it would work fairly well with Hathran.

As for the Halruuan Elder, while it doesn't state on the class advancement table that it receives Circle Magic, reading through the description reveals that they acquire the ability to lead Circles at 5th level. Strange that they should hide such an ability, but the rest of the advancement chart is taken up with something called "Adroit Casting," a metamagic reduction mechanic. It's not as good as something like Metamagic Effect from Incantatrix, but it's solid. Personally I would use this to just Extend and Sculpt stuff for free, then use Quickens a little more easily.

To conclude, these prestige classes offer a player character additional alignment choice if some DM, somewhere, is mad enough to let Circle Magic into the game. Only the true Red Wizard, though, remains able to experience the delectable joy of having Simulacra themselves able to lead circles.

The Circle Magic Feat
Ghostwalk has a feat called Circle Magic, requiring worship of some strange deity (could perhaps be reflavored) and 3rd level divine casting. This could be useful, but note that it's much more limited than the original Circle Magic. The metamagic and caster level limitations are much lower. However, this version could be picked early, around 6th level. Not much point in that (since Leadership is probably needed to fuel the Circle Magic in the first place at that level) but hey, it's there.
Greater Dispel Magic. At level 10 you can easily improve your caster level to level 20. Furthermore the original FRCS allowed you to increase the max level check of dispel, greater dispel, and similar spells with circle magic.

Also there is a 6th level spell in Complete Mage that allows you to exchange a spell for an equilvalent level spell or lower.

Use a 1st level slot, heighten it to 9th level with circle magic, then use a 6th level slot to switch out the spell level.

Gain one new 9th level spell
Spells slots used, 1 1st level, 1 6th level, and 8 levels of spells from aprentices.

----

Also note that you are not limited in any way by the number of circle magics you can do per day, only limitation is you must do a 1 hour circle magic ceremony.
Thank you Circle Leader Phoenix00, please let me know if you come up with any new ways of utilizing apprentices.
Forgot to mention
Above Heighten Trick using Rary's Arcane Conversion+Any 9th level spell scribed in your spellbook. Now you can cast 9th level spells at level 17. Only additional problem is getting a caster level of 17, no big problem with circle magic, you just need more apprentices.
----
Above trick to learn timestop
Cast timestop

Use extra buffing time to cast another Rary's Arcane Conversion. Sub out another 9th level spell for whatever spell that is perfect for the situation.
----
Similar trick
Rary's Arcane Conversion Trick+Arcane Disciple Luck+Miracle scribed in your spellbook. Equals ability to cast miracle at level 11 instead of 17. Note you will need a high wisdom.
----
Also remember spells sub out with Rary's Arcane Conversion don't care if the spell slot was originally for specialist or focused specialist schools. Suddenly that diviner option looks a lot more satisfying. Only 3 spells given up for a focused specialist red wizard.
We can cast a lot of Miracles, then.

What about an Energy Transformation Field linked to an Absorption? We put something with an at will SLA, or maybe some kind of auto-reset magical trap, in the field and use it to put Absorptions on the apprentices. The apprentices then use their Absorptions to fuel Circle Magic.

If the apprentices are skilled enough to use 8th level or better slots, we use a maximized Absorption to eliminate accidents.

Energy Transformation Field (Absorption) + At-Will SLA = Endless Absorption
Endless Absorption + Circle Magic = Arbitrarily Many Circle Bonus Levels

Then, we cast Spell Engine.
We use Arcane Manipulation to change all our spells to 1st level spells, then double them with a Ring of Wizardry (let's say we now have X 1st level spells), spend some time Heightening them all...
...X is double our total number of castable spell levels per day!

We then cast trade out our Heightened 1st level spells for any spell in our spellbook. Perhaps we desire X Miracles?
If your DM interprets secret page as favorably as I do, this means you gain 1 spell per casting in a spellbook at no extra cost!

"Secret page alters the contents of a page so that they appear to be something entirely different. The text of a spell can be changed to show even another spell."
Just a couple of notes....

The simulacrum spell doesn't create constructs. It creates illusionary duplicates of a creature. Among other things, this means they have the same type/subtype of the creature they are copied from, which means they need to breath.

From Article on Constructs

Not all artificial creatures are constructs. Spells such as animate dead and create undead produce undead creatures, not constructs. The simulacrum spell creates a duplicate of some other creature and the duplicate has the same creature type as the original.

So unless they are copied from a creature that doesn't need to breath, they need to breath and the portable hole trick doesn't work. This also means that they need to eat and sleep (assuming that their progenitor does).

However, for slightly more than a portable hole (well, relatively, it's 4x as much), you can get a Permanent Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion Item (7*13*1,800*.5+15gp=81,915gp; I used a Doorknob), which will have well more than 4x the storage capacity of the portable hole, provide them with air aplenty (the air inside is constantly refreshed), food for as many as 156 of them a day (well, enough for a 9 course banquet, I'm assuming that meets minimum daily nutrition requirements for an illusion), and space for barrack-style bunkbeds for them to sleep on when they aren't performing circle-jerks or making items in your sweatshop (a good way for them to earn their money back).

As an aside...

I came upon the following trick when someone I know asked to play a Red Wizard in a campaign in which I didn't think it would work, as the party would be all but alone on a boat.

If a Red Wizard makes Red Wizard 5 by 10th level, say Wiz 5/Red Wiz 5, and then makes copies of himself using Simulacrum at 20th level, couldn't those copies lead their own circles (since they get circle leader at RW 5)? And if so, couldn't they heighten a spell to 20th level using those Circle Levels? And if so, couldn't they sacrifice to you in your circle, 20 levels of spells per circle instead of the normal 5?

I did the math on that, and if you have 12 of them, running circles 'all night' in the Mag Mansion, and then lead two circles in the morning, it's 385 (10*20 + 9*20 +5) spell levels they can be donating to you. And they'd still have spell levels left over to spend on unseen crafters or other menial tasks to earn money when they were done before eating and heading back to bed. It's 3 hours to prep your spells in the morning, rather than 1, but all your caster stuff is increased to 40, and pretty much every spell that can be is empowered/maximize, and/or heightened. On most days, you'd only need to do one of the circles, I think, because I think empower/maximize on every spell at 20th level is only like 150 levels (obviously, depends on your stats/gear, but I was averaging), and you're not going to have every spell memmed be one that empower/maximize is good for.

Here's my mathblock, for those interested (each 'round' is one circle):
The double Circle jerk, Using Wiz build above...<br /> 12x 10th level-Wiz(Div) 5/Red Wiz 5<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1/4+1/3+1<br /> Total Levels: 385 after two cirlces.<br /> -20 to Increase CL to 40<br /> -20 to Increase level checks to 40<br /> leaves 345 spell levels to Empower/Maximize/Heighten<br /> Assuming 30 spells to Empower/Maximize <br /> -150 to Empower/Maximize every spell<br /> <br /> Round 1: Sim A and B lead, C-G under A, H-L under B<br /> Everyone blows one 3rd<br /> C-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*/4+1/3+1<br /> A-B<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1/4+1/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> Round 2: Sim C and D lead, A-B,E-G under C, H-L under D<br /> Everyone blows one 3rd<br /> E-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1**/4+1/3+1<br /> A-D<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*/4+1/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> Round 3: Sim E and F lead, A-D and G under E, H-L under F<br /> Everyone blows one 3rd<br /> G-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1***/4+1/3+1<br /> A-F<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1**/4+1/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> Round 4: Sim G and H lead, A-E under G, F and I-L under H<br /> Everyone Blows one 3rd<br /> I-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1/3+1<br /> A-H<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1***/4+1/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> Round 5: Sim I and J lead, A-E under I, F-H and K-L under J<br /> Everyone blows 1 3rd<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1/3+1<br /> A-J<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> Round 6: Sim A B and C lead, D-F under A, G-I under B, J-L under C<br /> Blow 1 3rd and 3 4ths per group<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1*/3+1<br /> D-J <br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1*/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> A-C<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1/1+1 + 2 20th<br /> Round 7: Sim D-F lead, A-C under D, G-I under E, J-L under F<br /> Blow 1 3rd and 3 4ths per group<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1**/3+1<br /> G-J<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1**/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> A-F<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1*/1+1 + 2 20th<br /> Round 8: Sim G-I lead, A-C under G, D-F under H, J-L under I<br /> Blow 1 3rd and 3 4ths per group<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1***/3+1<br /> J<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1***/2+1 + 1 20th<br /> A-I<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1**/1+1 + 2 20th<br /> <br /> Round 9: Character leads A-J<br /> Each Blow 1 20th (200 spell levels)<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1***/3+1<br /> J<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1***/2+1 + 1 20th*<br /> A-I<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1**/1+1 + 2 20th*<br /> Round 10: Character leads A-J<br /> A-I Blow 1 20th, J blows 1 5th (185 spell levels)<br /> K-L<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1***/3+1<br /> J<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1****/4+1***/2+1* + 1 20th*<br /> A-I<br /> 4+1/6+1/5+1/4+1*****/4+1**/1+1 + 2 20th**

--bleh
i found out a funny trick for a red wizard.

quite a lot of the reserve feats in complete mage use the lvl of a certain kind of spell to determine the power of the feats effect or the save required. now if you heighten that kind of spell to 20th lvl you suddenly deal 20d6 fire at will with fiery burst.

any idea wich of these feats works the best?
About Blessed Books... there is no reason not to craft them at 5th level wizard (the prerequisites are Craft Wondrous Item and Secret Page. A 5th level wizard is capable of meeting those prerequisites, regardless of the caster level displayed):

SRD[/url]"]Caster Level

The next item in a notational entry gives the caster level of the item, indicating its relative power. The caster level determines the item’s saving throw bonus, as well as range or other level-dependent aspects of the powers of the item (if variable). It also determines the level that must be contended with should the item come under the effect of a dispel magic spell or similar situation. This information is given in the form "CL x," where "CL" is an abbreviation for caster level and "x" is an ordinal number representing the caster level itself.

For potions, scrolls, and wands, the creator can set the caster level of an item at any number high enough to cast the stored spell and not higher than her own caster level. For other magic items, the caster level is determined by the creator. The minimum caster level is that which is needed to meet the prerequisites given.

So, you can create the Blessed Book at 5th level, and you don't need to delay until 8th. Granted, your Blessed Book will have a slightly lower set of saving throws and will be easier to affect with a dispel magic, but do you really care?
Very true. Thank you for your diligence: I've edited the handbook as a result. It is technically possible for a 5th level wizard to make a Blessed Book. How feasible this is, well... it depends on the game. I'm not accustomed to having access to 6000 gold at 5th level, even if I have managed to somehow gain access to Simulacrum or whatever high level spells I expect to want later.

Also, if I've taken Craft Wondrous at Wizard 5 with the intention of scribing this book and getting into Red Wizard, I won't have the added help of Skill Focus (Spellcraft) from Master Specialist. Perhaps I invested an actual feat in it, but that makes me feel.... like I've paid for it. Ick.

For these reasons I don't feel it's practical to scribe a Blessed Book at 5th. The earliest I've seen it done in-game is 7th level.
Is there anything stopping a Red Wizard with Arcane Manipulation (LEoF) from doing the following?

1. Get to Circle Magic and acquire some copies of self via Simulacra.

2. Get a Spell Engine going. Possibly use the Absorption / Energy Transformation setup to increase the speed of the following.

3. Initiate a Circle Magic, enough times to get three 1st level spells Heightened to 20th level.

4. Use Arcane Manipulation to change those 20th level spells into 20 1st level slots.

5. Don one.... two.... three Rings of Wizardry I, the third with that amulet whose name escapes me presently. We just added 60 slots with Arcane Manipulation, so after these Rings are used we should have 240 1st level slots.

6. Use Circle Magic to Heighten those 1st level slots to, oh I don't know, 9th level spells for example?

7. Use the Spell Engine to trade all those Heightened 1sts for the goodies in our spellbook that we really want to cast.

If we use the Absorption trick in the handbook, and only have the basic Circle Magic ability, we can get 45 Circle bonus levels per hour-long ritual. It would take 2 rituals to get the first three spells Heightened... and to cast our 240 9th level spells requires another 48 hours.

Is this 13th level wizard casting 240+ 9th level spells at caster level 40 legitimate?
Very nice thread. Instead of a Portable Hole/Permanent Mord's Mansion, I'd suggest just using a standard keep or stronghold and a set of Ring Gates. I've never played a Red Wizard, but looking through this makes me want to try one!
Wow, I totally missed this thread (why? Oh, yeah... defending the dis...).

Awesome! Really like that last trick w/ Spell Engine... Its going to get nerfed by a lot of DMs, but I'm playing with one thats particularly lenient right now...
5. Don one.... two.... three Rings of Wizardry I, the third with that amulet whose name escapes me presently. We just added 60 slots with Arcane Manipulation, so after these Rings are used we should have 240 1st level slots.

Hand of Glory is the amulet you're thinking of.

Rings of Wizardry do not work that way. They only double the BASE number of slots, not slots you get from Specialization, High Stats, Themselves (multiple Rings of Wizardry), or other sources.

A wizard can only get 4 extra slots from a Ring of Wizardry 1, no matter what tricks he employs. A sorcerer/beguiler/et al can only get 6, a Ultimate Magus or Duskblade can only get 10.

Very nice thread. Instead of a Portable Hole/Permanent Mord's Mansion, I'd suggest just using a standard keep or stronghold and a set of Ring Gates. I've never played a Red Wizard, but looking through this makes me want to try one!

I'm too paranoid to use strongholds in most 'evil' campaigns. I feel like I have a lot more control over the magical 'doorknob' I keep in my backpack than I do over the tower that's half a world away. Considering that the doorknob isn't that much more expensive than a well built tower to begin with (plus the ring gates) adds to this tendency.
--bleh
A wizard can only get 4 extra slots from a Ring of Wizardry 1, no matter what tricks he employs. A sorcerer/beguiler/et al can only get 6, a Ultimate Magus or Duskblade can only get 10.

Maybe get a vigilante in there for 33 3rd level spells :D?
Touche'
--bleh
I'm too paranoid to use strongholds in most 'evil' campaigns. I feel like I have a lot more control over the magical 'doorknob' I keep in my backpack than I do over the tower that's half a world away. Considering that the doorknob isn't that much more expensive than a well built tower to begin with (plus the ring gates) adds to this tendency.

The landlord feat means your tower only costs a feat, plus with Ring Gates its only one spell away (Dimension Door, Gaseous Form, etc).

And isn't the Magnificent Mansion accessible via Plane Shift? Someone could pop in there and murderize all your accomplices and you'd never even know. At least you'd hear their screams through the Ring Gates. :D
only one way to get into a Magnificent Mansion:

Since the place can be entered only through its special portal, outside conditions do not affect the mansion, nor do conditions inside it pass to the plane beyond.

it is actually a very safe Place....

:D
In Magnificent Mansion, No One Can Hear You Scream.
That's the way I always read the spell as well.

Even without it, Plane shift specifies that you always land 5-500 miles from your intended destination. I never planned on making the item with MMM in it with a high enough caster level to be anywhere near a 5 mile radius, much less 500 mile radius.
--bleh
Even without it, Plane shift specifies that you always land 5-500 miles from your intended destination. I never planned on making the item with MMM in it with a high enough caster level to be anywhere near a 5 mile radius, much less 500 mile radius.

I always interpreted that to mean that you automatically wind up where you wanted. If you're Plane Shifting to a 10 ft x 10 ft demi-plane, it is impossible to be off by 5-500 miles, but the spell guarantees that you wind up in the right plane. So you just ignore that uncertainty part, as it is impossible to satisfy both it and the requirement to go to the correct plane.
Actually, most demi-planes are topologically closed.

So you just say (missed_by)%demiplane_size.

;)

How can we get the CL high enough for a 500 mile mansion? I'm really curious, because I feel like maybe I have a spaceship that could be larger.
It still requires the DM being unnecessarily obtuse. Since the caster also has to have the 'tuning fork' that's tuned to the demiplane in question. I think all the ones in Manual of the Planes (or Planar Handbook) are all made from materials native to those planes. Assuming that's intended as an RAI precedent, the caster would have to have been inside your mansion to make it work.

It may just be my DM's, historically, but every time I've built any kind of stronghold, I had to prepare for the occasional thief, spy, or scry and die and have it well protected no matter how much or little attention I was paying to it. I've never had the same issue with Pocket Dimensions.

Of course, I generally don't try and **** off wizards or deities at high levels either.
--bleh
How can we get the CL high enough for a 500 mile mansion? I'm really curious, because I feel like maybe I have a spaceship that could be larger.

It's 3 10' Cubes per caster level.

A single mile is 5280', so to have a single 10'x10'x5280' (mile-long) halway, you'd have to have a CL of 176.

A sphere with a radius of 500 miles (large enough that center is 500miles away from every edge) has...holy crap I forgot my math...it has a volume of (4/3)Pi*(500*5280')^3 or (4/3)Pi*(2640000')^3 or (4/3)Pi*18399744000000000000'cu or (4/3)57775196160000000000'cu or 77033594879999980741.60128'cu or 77033594879999980.74160128 10' cubes or a CL requirement of 25677864959999993.58053376...At least, I think that math is right. I simplified pi to 3.14 and 4/3 to 1.3333333 since all I have on me is 'calc'. Someone that didn't sleep through calculus correct me.
--bleh
CL 0 gets it, since he didn't specify width :P.

Hrm... Any way to abuse a really, really long hallway? Ring gate abuse, maybe?
Of course, I generally don't try and **** off wizards or deities at high levels either.

So I hear you like obelisks and breaching? ;)
So I hear you like obelisks and breaching? ;)

I see you've been talking to my Ex's...
From the SRD:
Wizardry: This special ring comes in four kinds (ring of wizardry I, ring of wizardry II, ring of wizardry III, and ring of wizardry IV), all of them useful only to arcane spellcasters. The wearer’s arcane spells per day are doubled for one specific spell level. A ring of wizardry I doubles 1st-level spells, a ring of wizardry II doubles 2nd-level spells, a ring of wizardry III doubles 3rd-level spells, and a ring of wizardry IV doubles 4th-level spells. Bonus spells from high ability scores or school specialization are not doubled.

It doesn't refer to only doubling base spells, and instead specifically excludes certain kinds of slots from the doubling. Arcane Manipulation, likewise, specifically creates spell slots. It appears to me that a Ring of Wizardry would double spell slots added via Arcane Manipulation.

If there's a weak point here, it's going to be the application of Arcane Manipulation (which refers to existing arcane spell slots) to a spell Heightened to 20th level. Should that application fail, we'll get stuck with only a few dozen 9th level spells at the 40th caster level, instead of 240.
It doesn't refer to only doubling base spells, and instead specifically excludes certain kinds of slots from the doubling. Arcane Manipulation, likewise, specifically creates spell slots. It appears to me that a Ring of Wizardry would double spell slots added via Arcane Manipulation.

If there's a weak point here, it's going to be the application of Arcane Manipulation (which refers to existing arcane spell slots) to a spell Heightened to 20th level. Should that application fail, we'll get stuck with only a few dozen 9th level spells at the 40th caster level, instead of 240.

I'm willing to concede that in the realm of TO, you've got a point. It doesn't say you can't, and to some people's minds, that means you can. I thought there was a FAQ entry that specificically addressed this kind of abuse (not with Arcane Manipulation, but some other feat that granted bonus slot(s)), but I can't seem to find it in my notes. So, as far as getting bonus spells from AM doubled by a ring of wizardry, you may be good, RAW.

However, unnamed bonuses from the same source almost NEVER stack. That is the default behavior for bonuses unless they explicitly state otherwise. There's no way wearing 3 rings works the way you're describing. The most you could possibly get is a x2 from the one ring, putting you at 120 1st level slots.

Even then, this is still only TO. You would be extremely hard pressed to find a DM willing to let you play a character that worked like that. Especially if you tried to make actual use of versatile spellcaster or something to make those slots useful. Noone's going to go 'sure you can double you're 9ths with a Ring of wizardry 1'. I therefore still think it's a dubious suggestion, at best, but probably no more dubious than the 'extreme simulacra' suggestion I made earlier, which many DM's might just as readily scoff at.
--bleh
Obviously the discussion has left the realm of practical play well behind. My position is, hey, we have this handbook: are we going to keep Red Wizard lore secret, or air it to the public? DMs can make their own decisions. Who knows, maybe there's someone out there crazy enough to let this stuff see play. It won't be in any of my campaigns, I assure you!

Bear in mind that the essential link in the chain, the applicability of Arcane Manipulation to a spell Heightened to 20th level via Circle Magic, is somewhat in doubt. Arcane Manipulation checks for a "spell slot" to be broken down. It requires this when preparing spells. It doesn't say that the current slot in question can't be occupied by a prepared spell at the time, which would be the case here. The Heighten Spell text doesn't help.

HEIGHTEN SPELL [METAMAGIC]
Benefit: A heightened spell has a higher spell level than normal (up to a maximum of 9th level). Unlike other metamagic feats, Heighten Spell actually increases the effective level of the spell that it modifies. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level. The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.

I refuse to state an opinion on whether it works or not, given the confusion of the text of Circle Magic, Heighten Spell, and Arcane Manipulation; also I kind of want it to work, so I won't attempt to persuade anyone. Read the abilities, make up your own mind, it's probably never going to see play anyway so it really doesn't matter much.

As for the 240, my justification was the normal multiplication rule of three doublings being a quadrupling. A Ring of Wizardry doesn't technically provide "bonus" slots in any case, so the unnamed/untyped discussion is somewhat out of place.

And at any rate, even if Arcane Manipulation won't function with Heightened spells and even if we're only allowed one Ring of Wizardry... a 10th level specialist wizard with a single Red Wizard cohort feeding him Circle levels will slowly.... but surely... with some key scroll purchases, intelligent spellbook scribblings, and his handy Ring of Wizardry, get to work on his slots.

He'll break down his three 5ths into 15 1st level slots with Arcane Manipulation, double his 4 to 8 even on the most conservative interpretation possible on the Ring of Wizardry, and add in his 2 first level spells for high Intelligence. Gradually, Circle Magic will help him Heighten those 1st level slots to 9th level, all but one of them. That's 25 spells. He'll cast Spell Engine off a scroll, and exchange those 25 Heightened Mage Armors for all the Time Stops, Gates, Shapechanges, and Maws of Chaos he's always wanted. Assumes starting Intelligence 16, both level increases, and a +2 item.

The character has just enough feats to qualify for Red Wizard, plus get Leadership and Arcane Manipulation. He has one bonus feat at 10th level to spare.
Heighten Spell only allows spells to be heightened up to 9th lvl max

:D
Heighten Spell only allows spells to be heightened up to 9th lvl max

:D

Yes, but Circle Magic specifically states that you modify spells beyond your normal spell level limit up to an effective spell level of 20th. Since a non-heightened 9th with Empower and Maximize (the other two feats you can use) is only 14th level, I would assume therefore that you can heighten beyond 9th level using this feature.
--bleh
Yes, but Circle Magic specifically states that you modify spells beyond your normal spell level limit up to an effective spell level of 20th. Since a non-heightened 9th with Empower and Maximize (the other two feats you can use) is only 14th level, I would assume therefore that you can heighten beyond 9th level using this feature.

Oh, I don't think thats the case (you could get to 10th level via Earth Spell, I think). You could use other metamagics instead, though, like Twin and Fell Drain...
There are only 3 feats you get to use with Circle Magic: Empower, Heighten, and Maximize. You could potentially add other metamagic the 'normal' way, or through some other 'free metamagic' option, but pre-epic, it would still be limited to an effective spell level of 14 if you can't heighten beyond 9th. The limit would be 15th with Earth or Sanctum spell.

That doesn't make sense though, considering that the class feature specifically and explicitly limits you to an effective spell level of 20, and explicitly removes spell level caps. Considering that, I'd say that the normal 9th level heighten limit does not apply to spells heightened with circle magic.
--bleh
Seconded!
Are there other classes that get Circle Magic, outside of Red Wizard, Hathran, and Halruuan Elder?
I know there's a circle magic related feat in Ghostwalk, I think one of the PrC's there get's to use it. (Or maybe it's just a feat that anyone can use.)
--bleh
Thanks, that's a good catch and easy to pick up, if that deity is allowed/reflavored. I'll note that the Ghostwalk version, though, is much more limited than the one granted via PrC... namely, one gets to add metamagic "only" up to 10th level spell equivalent and raise caster level to a mere 20th.