The wizard group encompasses all spellcasters working in the various fields of
magic--both those who specialize in specific schools of magic and those who
study a broad range of magical theories. Spending their lives in pursuit of
arcane wisdom, wizards have little time for physical endeavors. They tend to be poor
fighters with little knowledge of weaponry. However, they command powerful and
dangerous energies with a few simple gestures, rare components, and mystical
Spells are the tools, weapons, and armor of the wizard. He is weak in a
toe-to-toe fight, but when prepared he can strike down his foes at a distance, vanish
in an instant, become a wholly different creature, or even invade the mind of
an enemy and take control of his thoughts and actions. No secrets are safe from
a wizard and no fortress is secure. His quest for knowledge and power often
leads him into realms where mortals were never meant to go.
Wizards cannot wear any armor, for several reasons. Firstly, most spells
require complicated gestures and odd posturings by the caster and armor restricts
the wearer's ability to do these properly. Secondly, the wizard spent his youth
(and will spend most of his life) learning arcane languages, poring through old
books, and practicing his spells. This leaves no time for learning other things
(like how to wear armor properly and use it effectively). If the wizard had
spent his time learning about armor, he would not have even the meager skills and
powers he begins with. There are even unfounded theories that claim the
materials in most armors disrupt the delicate fabric of a spell as it gathers energy;
the two cannot exist side by side in harmony. While this idea is popular with
the common people, true wizards know this is simply not true. If it were, how
would they ever be able to cast spells requiring iron braziers or metal bowls?
For similar reasons, wizards are severely restricted in the weapons they can
use. They are limited to those that are easy to learn or are sometimes useful in
their own research. Hence, a wizard can use a dagger or a staff, items that
are traditionally useful in magical studies. Other weapons allowed are darts,
knives, and slings (weapons that require little skill, little strength, or both).
Wizards can use more magical items than any other characters. These include
potions, rings, wands, rods, scrolls, and most miscellaneous magical items. A
wizard can use a magical version of any weapon allowed to his class but cannot use
magical armor, because no armor is allowed. Between their spells and magical
items, however, wizards wield great power.
Finally, all wizards (whether mages or specialists) can create new magical
items, ranging from simple scrolls and potions to powerful staves and magical
swords. Once he reaches 9th level, a wizard can pen magical scrolls and brew
potions. He can construct more powerful magical items only after he has learned the
appropriate spells (or works with someone who knows them). Your DM should
consult the Spell Research and Magical Items sections of the DMG for more information.
No matter what school of magic the wizard is involved in, Intelligence is his
prime requisite (or one of several prime requisites). Characters must have an
Intelligence score of at least 9 to qualify to be a wizard.
All wizards use Table 20 to determine their advancement in level as they earn experience points. They
also use Table 21 to determine the levels and numbers of spells they can cast at each
All wizards gain one four-sided Hit Die (1d4) per level from 1st through 10th
levels. After 10th level, wizards earn 1 hit point per level and they no longer gain
additional hit point bonuses for high Constitution scores.
Learning and casting spells require long study, patience, and research. Once
his adventuring life begins, a wizard is largely responsible for his own
education; he no longer has a teacher looking over his shoulder and telling him which
spell to learn next. This freedom is not without its price, however. It means
that the wizard must find his own source for magical knowledge: libraries,
guilds, or captured books and scrolls.
Whenever a wizard discovers instructions for a spell he doesn't know, he can
try to read and understand the instructions. The player must roll percentile
dice. If the result is equal to or less than the percentage chance to learn a new
spell (listed on Table 4), the character understands the spell and how to cast it. He can enter the
spell in his spell book (unless he has already learned the maximum number of
spells allowed for that level). If this die roll is higher than the character's
chance to learn the spell, he doesn't understand the spell. Once a spell is
learned, it cannot be unlearned. It remains part of that character's repertoire
forever. Thus, a character cannot choose to "forget" a spell so as to replace it
A wizard's spell book can be a single book, a set of books, a bundle of
scrolls, or anything else your DM allows. The spell book is the wizard's diary,
laboratory journal, and encyclopedia, containing a record of everything he knows.
Naturally, it is his most treasured possession; without it he is almost helpless.
A spell book contains the complicated instructions for casting the spell --
the spell's recipe, so to speak. Merely reading these instructions aloud or
trying to mimic the instructions does not enable one to cast the spell. Spells
gather and shape mystical energies; the procedures involved are very demanding,
bizarre, and intricate. Before a wizard can actually cast a spell, he must memorize
its arcane formula. This locks an energy pattern for that particular spell
into his mind. Once he has the spell memorized, it remains in his memory until he
uses the exact combination of gestures, words, and materials that triggers the
release of this energy pattern. Upon casting, the energy of the spell is spent,
wiped clean from the wizard's mind. The wizard cannot cast that spell again
until he returns to his spell book and memorizes it again.
Initially the wizard is able to retain only a few of these magical energies in
his mind at one time. Furthermore, some spells are more demanding and complex
than others; these are impossible for the inexperienced wizard to memorize.
With experience, the wizard's talent expands. He can memorize more spells and more
complex spells. Still, he never escapes his need to study; the wizard must
always return to his spell books to refresh his powers.
Another important power of the wizard is his ability to research new spells
and construct magical items. Both endeavors are difficult, time-consuming,
costly, occasionally even perilous. Through research, a wizard can create an entirely
new spell, subject to the DM's approval. Likewise, by consulting with your DM,
your character can build magical items, either similar to those already given
in the rules or of your own design. Your DM has information concerning spell
research and magical item creation.
Unlike many other characters, wizards gain no special benefits from building a
fortress or stronghold. They can own property and receive the normal benefits,
such as monthly income and mercenaries for protection. However, the
reputations of wizards tend to discourage people from flocking to their doors. At best, a
wizard may acquire a few henchmen and apprentices to help in his work.
(See also Wizard Spells from the Player’s Handbook, Wizard Spells from the Tome of Magic, Wizard Spells by School—Master Listing, Tome of Magic and The Complete Wizard's Handbook)
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