I’m searching for a base/compendium class that lets me play a wizard in a more “Gandalf” Fashion. The core wizard is not the feeling i’m searching for; I think that maybe I should mix the druid and the bard, but I’m sure that somebody must have done a hack already.
Bonus question: Is there any playbook to play an Earthsea wizard?
22 thoughts on “I’m searching for a base/compendium class that lets me play a wizard in a more “Gandalf” Fashion.”
There is a Mage class in the Dungeon World Secrets and Sorcery pack by Peter Johansen. It’s a much more flexible caster archetype, with the caveat that their magic can be a bit unpredictable. You can push it in a lot of different directions, but you should get get buy-in with your GM, as it can be a tricky class to manage, due to the open-ended nature of the their magic and the side effects that need to be worked in. It’s the type of class that works best with an experienced player who is willing to help balance their power with shortcomings. Still, if you and the GM can work together well on fleshing out the concept you’re after, it can create a pretty cool character.
Why doesn’t the wizard in the base core feel like Gandalf? That just seems like roleplaying to me.
The base Wizard inherits the D&D ‘spellbook’ style of play, with pre-defined spells and spell levels (though you can certainly create new spells as you go.) This is very different from the feel of a Gandalf archetype, where magic is subtle and powerful, but not really wrapped up in ‘spells’ per se. It’s a case of the mechanics creating an obstacle to achieving the desired flavor.
Hmmm, I hear what you’re saying, but I’m not sure if the game can deliver on what you want. Are you asking to not have to choose spells and just conjure them at your whim? That’s a bit more like a Sorcerer if that is the case and I think there are indeed playbooks for that somewhere.
The Shaman from Grim World is mighty close too and is sort of the option you suggested of a Druid/Wizard hybrid.
I think it’s mainly roleplay oriented. You could say his spellbook is his staff and describe casting fireball by blowing into a pinecone and lobbing it at a bunch of orcs. Magic missile could just be the invisible force that strikes something, like during the battle between Gandalf and Saruman. It’s all about the narration.
I’d maybe take a look at Class Warfare and tinker to taste. My personal picks: Oracle, Elementalist and Arcane Ritualist.
Oracle lets you part the veil and get an ominous look at things to come. Elementalist lets you command the elements, for feats like that tidal wave or conjuring the secret fire of Anor. Arcane Ritualist covers more subtle and powerful magic, fueled by places of power like Isengard.
Strike out the word “Cleric” and write “Istar”.
Gandalf doesn’t really cast a whole lot of spells, he just has a lot of friends and his timing is impeccable.
Right? He literally had to club and stab Orcs with the rest of the squishy humans during the final battles.
That was back before wizards had to be squishy. Merlin taught Arthur everything he knew about swordplay, ya know!
The Mage class does this. Its viewed as a ‘Spot Light Hog’ and a bit broken at times, but is doesn’t have any spell lists.
Thanks for the plug, Dan, but the Mage was written by Jacob Randolph, not me. I wish I did though!
With regard to the OP, could you elaborate on what would be more Gandalf or Earthsea-like?
The trouble with not having set-spells is that you end up with an ability that does EVERYTHING, and it becomes very tedious for the GM to deal with. Aside from the fact that Gandalf is actually not a wizard but a Maiar – an immortal angel in disguise – I’d recommend a playbook that doesn’t put all its eggs in one basket. Otherwise you’ll only ever use one Move out of the selection you have (at least when the Wizard or Cleric does that, they have a range of sub-Moves to mix it up).
Gandalf has always struck me as a multiclass character (fighter/wizard/cleric/druid). Why not just play a Bard, where your performance is “Oratory” and take the Mage’s spellcasting move as a multiclass move? Take a move that lets you talk to animals. If there is no fighter take signature weapon for the sword or staff. Or just start as a fighter and do the same thing. I’m still on the boat of “play the wizard and narrate it how you want”, but I thought I’d throw out some options. One of my players is playing a Gandalf type with the Swordmage playbook. He just made his weapon a staff. Yeah he’s more magical than Gandalf for sure, so that probably isn’t what you would want, but there are plenty of options, especially with things like class warfare out there.
Gandalf is totally an GMPC meant to push the story along. But that’s another idea entirely…
ramonthe3rd, this might get close to what you’re looking for. It’s obviously somewhat setting specific, but Gandalf was definitely an influence.
plus.google.com – Next #Stonetop playbook: the Lightbearer. I’m trying to make the world of…
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Also, slightly off topic: Is there a consensus that the wizard is a bit underpowered, especially at level1?
I dont believe so. All magic users will feel slightly under powered in terms of combat, but their strength also lies in their ability to control the story (DR, SL and class moves)
Robert Doe Makes sense. When I think Wizard, I tend to think combat powerful, mainly due to pathfinder. But thatputs things into perspective.
I agree with James Etheridge Class Warfare is a great way to get under the hood of the playbooks and make fine adjustments until it plays the way you like.
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