Wizard

Wizard
Ezren, a wizard
(Class)
Races Any
Alignment
Iconic character Ezren
Images of wizards

Source: Core Rulebook, pg(s). 77—83

Whether poring over arcane tomes in ancient libraries, traveling the expanse of Golarion in search of spells and artifacts, or holed up in fantastical laboratories researching new applications of magical power, wizards are characterized above all by their endless pursuit of ever more—and ever more powerful—magical knowledge. Whether the wizard seeks such knowledge for its own sake, or as a means to greater fame, wealth, or power, the acquisition of new arcana is the wizard's most compelling goal.[1]

Races

Wizards may come from nearly any race or species, although the lure of the wizard's life resonates more with some races than others—elves, for example, are more inclined to wizardly pursuits because of their patience and taste for esoteric arts as well as their innate affinity for arcane magic.[2]

Regions

Wizards may be found in virtually every inhabited corner of Golarion,[3] and almost every major city is home to at least one arcane college.[4] Magic colleges in many regions specialize in a particular school or philosophy of arcana:[3] wizards training in the colleges of Geb, for example, are exposed to advanced necromancy,[4] while those in Nex produce excellent transmuters. The Acadamae in the Varisian city of Korvosa focuses on conjuration (especially the conjuration of devils), while the schools in Nidal specialize in shadow magic in honor of Zon-Kuthon. Other important centers of magical learning can be found in Rahadoum (where mages are instructed in practical magic devoid of any spiritual connotations), the elven realm of Kyonin, as well as Absalom, which contains numerous prestigious magical colleges.[5]

Abilities and characteristics

Arcane magic

A wizard's spellbook.

Unlike sorcerers, a wizard must study and prepare in advance the specific spells she intends to cast.[6] The focus and concentration that comes from such study and preparation, however, means that a wizard can produce more arcane magic before needing to rest than a sorcerer of approximately equivalent experience, and can comprehend and memorize many more spells.[7]

Generally, a wizard prepares spells by studying his personal spellbook.[8] Magical notation, however, while it relies on common concepts to describe the forces invoked in any given incantation, is individual to each user, so while two wizards may know the identical process to create the identical spell effect, each will notate the spell somewhat differently. A skilled wizard can decipher another's spell notation, given time and favorable conditions for study.[9] Of course, wizards being wizards, most know a simple spell to simplify even this task.[10]


Specialization

A conjuring-focused wizard summons a creature.

A wizard might choose to specialize in one of the eight recognized schools of magic, gaining greater and more rapid proficiency with the arcane knowledge of that school at the cost of sacrificing a portion of their facility with some opposing schools.[8]

Schools of magic:

Further, each of the eight schools has at least two focused arcane school sub-specialties under its purview, in which wizards can further specialize to gain even greater depth of knowledge and skill within their chosen school.[11]

Elementalists

Rather than specializing in an arcane school, some wizards choose to specialize instead in magics derived from an element, particularly earth, air, fire, or water. Like the arcane specialist, an elementalist's focus on one element comes at the price of being able to wield another element proficiently; a fire elementalist, not surprisingly, may well find herself unable to use effectively magic derived from the element of water without considerable difficulty.[12]

Universalists

Many wizards choose not to specialize in any school or elemental school, preferring instead to learn magic from any arcane discipline without limitation.[13] This practice is often referred to as the universal school of magic, and wizards who join it are commonly called universalists.[6]

Bonded objects and familiars

Early in her arcane training, a wizard forms a powerful bond with a creature or object that enhances her arcane abilities.[6]

A familiar is an arcane pet; the bond between wizard and her familiar enhances the wizard's senses and spellcasting ability and provides the wizard with a small measure of the animal's physical abilities. The bond grows stronger over time, to the point that an experienced wizard can communicate mentally with her familiar and even see as if through the pet's eyes.[14] While most familiars are domesticated or mundane small animals, a wizard of sufficient arcane mastery can summon an elemental or extraplanar creature as her familiar.[15]

A wizard who chooses instead to form an arcane bond with an object is able to store an extra portion of spell energy within the object and use it as a spell focus. Most often, the bonded object will be jewelry, a staff or wand, or a weapon; some wizards choose to form the bond with an artifact or other object with its own pre-existing magical properties. Once the bond is formed, the wizard becomes somewhat dependent on the object to work magic; wizards who attempt to cast spells without either wearing or wielding their bonded object report a measurable decrease in their ability to focus and concentrate on the spell.[6]

Combat

The time, focus, and dedication required for arcane mastery leaves the wizard with little time for physical development or combat training; as a result, most wizards are capable of using only the simplest weapons, and even those with little proficiency. Additionally, encumbering armor and shields make it difficult if not impossible for the wizard to make the gestures and other body movements necessary for successful spellcasting.[6] While it is not unheard-of for an adventuring wizard to undertake some combat training during the course of her career, many surround themselves with companions or hirelings to take care of hands-on defense and protection while the wizard relies on offensive and defensive spellcasting—from a safe distance.[citation needed]

That said, however, some arcane colleges have curriculum offerings in various forms of combat, magical or otherwise. The Arcanamirium, the oldest and arguably greatest such college in Absalom, is widely known for its dueling fields, at which many students hone their skills in arcane combat.[16]

References

  1. Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 15-16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  2. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 22. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  3. 3.0 3.1 Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 51. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  5. James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 275. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 78. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  7. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 78, 72-73. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 78-79. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  9. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 218-19. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  10. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 219, 330. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  11. Jason Bulmahn. (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 143-47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3
  12. Jason Bulmahn. (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 142-43. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3
  13. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 82. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  14. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 82-83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  15. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, p. 127. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-150-3
  16. Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn. (2008). Gazetteer, p. 16. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-077-3