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[4E] Wizards and Wizard Implements

 
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Will



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 395
Location: This Very Ring

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: [4E] Wizards and Wizard Implements Reply with quote

From http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070917a

Quote:
Magic saturates the world and all the extraordinary realms beyond the world. Magic is an intrinsic force present in literally all things. Magic transforms and alters the natural world, sometimes actively and suddenly, other times subtly and over long centuries.

This arcane energy source is difficult to understand and even tougher to master. Those who do so through years of study, practice, and apprenticeship to accomplished masters are called wizards.

Wizards wield arcane magic. Wizards recognize reality for what it is: a thin veneer of structure supported and energized by a force that is ultimately changeable, to those who know its secrets. Thus wizards research esoteric rituals that allow them to alter time and space, hurl balls of fire that incinerate massed foes, and wield spells like warriors brandish swords. They call upon arcane strikes, power words, and spells to unleash raging torrents of cold, fire, or lighting, confuse and enthrall the weak-minded, or even turn invisible or walk through walls.

What sets wizards apart from others who attempt to wield arcane magic are wizardsí unique implements.

Most people recognize the four classic tools associated with wizardcraft: The Orb, Staff, Tome, or Wand.

Each implement focuses magic of a particular class slightly better than the wizard would be able to accomplish bare-handed. Thus wizards are rarely without wand and staff, orb and tome, or some other combination thereof.

A wizardís orb grants better access to powers of terrain control and manipulation (such as clouds and walls), as well as retributive effects, detection and perception effects, and invisibility.

The staff is best suited to powers that forcefully project powers from the wizard, such as lines of lightning and cones of fire; however, a staff also has resonances with effects related to flight and telekinesis (pushing, pulling, or sliding creatures or objects).

A tome is tied to powers that reduce or neutralize an enemyís capability in combat in some fashion, whether by slowing the foe, dazing, or through some other fashion. Tomes are also often important for spells of teleportation, summoning, shapechanging, and a few physical enhancement effects.

The wand is a perennial favorite, as it is an ideal conduit for powers that create effects well away from the wizardís physical position, effects which include explosions of fire, bursts of cold, and other long-range effects that can affect several enemies at once. In addition, personal protections and countermagic effects may lie in wands.

Thus a wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses; the man can still see, but without his glasses, he canít read the road sign across the way. In like wise, while wizard powers are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use its associated power. For instance, a wizard can cast the wand spell cinder storm even if he doesnít own, has lost, or is not holding a magic wand. However, holding the associated implement grants a benefit to the wizardís attack that is just like the benefit the warrior gains when attacking an enemy with a magic sword.


What do you think? It's a big change, but I like the idea of it. We don't know the exact implementation yet, obviously, but I'm optimistic. (Surprise, surprise.)

-Will Smile
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Will



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 395
Location: This Very Ring

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now, to show you how diligently the designers over at Wizards of the Coast are working, they've re-written the article... Smile

Quote:
Magic saturates the world and all the extraordinary realms beyond the world, an intrinsic force present in literally all things. Magic transforms and alters the natural world, sometimes actively and with sudden effect, other times subtly and over long centuries.

This arcane energy source is difficult to understand and even tougher to master. Wizards do so through years of study, practice, and apprenticeship to accomplished masters.

Wizards wield arcane magic, and they recognize reality for what it is: a thin veneer of structure supported and energized by a force that is ultimately malleable, to those who know its secrets. Though research and study, wizards learn esoteric rituals that allow them to alter time and space, hurl balls of fire that incinerate massed foes, and wield spells like warriors brandish swords. They call upon lesser and greater spells to unleash raging torrents of cold, fire, or lightning, confuse and enthrall the weak-minded, or even turn invisible or walk through walls.

What sets wizards apart from others who wield arcane magic are wizardsí unique implements. Most people recognize the three most common tools associated with wizardcraft: the orb, staff, and wand.

Any wizard can use an implement to increase the effectiveness of his spells. Just as a warrior gains a benefit when attacking an enemy with a magic sword, so does a wizard benefit from using a magic orb, staff, or wand with his spellcasting. In addition, each implement focuses magic of a particular discipline or tradition more effectively than the wizard would be able to accomplish otherwise. As a result, wizards are rarely without at least one of these tools.

The orb is favored by the Iron Sigil and Serpent Eye traditions. Serpent Eye cabalists use orbs to focus powers of enchantment, beguiling, and ensnaring. The mages of the Iron Sigil, on the other hand, employ orbs to guard themselves with potent defenses when invoking spells of thunder or force.

The staff is best suited to the disciplines of the Hidden Flame and the Golden Wyvern. Servants of the Hidden Flame wield fierce powers of fire and radiance through their staves. Golden Wyvern initiates are battle-mages who use their staves to shape and sculpt the spells they cast.

The wand is a perennial favorite for wizards who favor accurate, damaging attacks. Emerald Frost adepts use wands to help channel powers of cold and deadly acidic magic, while Stormwalker theurges channel spells of lightning and force through their wands.

A wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses: The man can still see, but without his glasses, he canít read the road sign across the way. Likewise, while wizard traditions are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use a power belonging to that tradition. For instance, a wizard belonging to the Hidden Flame order can cast the fire spell cinder storm even if he doesnít own, has lost, or is not holding a magic staff. But if he does have a magic staff, it aids the accuracy of his attack, and his mastery of the Hidden Flame technique allows him to deal more damage with the spell.
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izzat



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 276
Location: Will's living room

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... interesting bits of flavor... but it needs more... crunch.
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Will



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 395
Location: This Very Ring

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And also ogre.

And, apparently, WotC didn't rewrite the article; they just put an old version of it up by mistake the first time. Oops.

-Will
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Glammo



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 452
Location: Finding paths and breakin' hearts

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah really. This is all well and good, but so far all I know is... there will be focuses for spells... but cooler.
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Mike



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Up at EN World they posted a clarification from one of the designers:

Quote:
it might be worthwhile to think of a wizard's implements as analogous to a 3e fighter's weapon choice--if you assume that the fighter hasn't deeply, deeply specialized in that weapon through feat choice. Mid-level Tordek prefers axes, sure, and he probably has an advantage with an axe that's substantial but not overwhelming. You put a polearm in his hands, though, and he functions just fine. And he's accessing the salient properties of the polearm--reach, for example.


That makes me feel a lot better about them. One of the things the designers mentioned was focusing more on the mechanics of the game rather than worrying about maintaining holdovers from previous editions. I really like that, but I have to admit that when I first read the Wizard Implements article I was starting to worry that 4E might not "feel" sufficiently like D&D.
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