Monday, September 17, 2007


Today's Design & Development article felt like the first real piece of new content released for 4th edition. No vague mentions of talent trees and per-day and per-encounter abilities, but what felt like a concrete idea that exists in the upcoming version of the game, specifically focused on the wizard.

3rd edition caused internecine wars about which was better -- the wizard or the sorcerer -- and as with most wars, there was never a clear winner. More spells to choose from versus more spells per-day. Free metamagic feats versus ... more spells per-day. Yeah, sorcerers sucked.

But now it seems we've got something that really sets the wizard apart from his cousin, which are these implements. From the way they're mentioned, I don't get the feeling that these are the rodstaffwands we are used to having, but specific focuses that a wizard uses to enhance his spells.

Depending on the rules governing wielding these new implements, I can see players designing their wizards with a specific focus so as to obviate the need to swap their orb for their tome every round, which might be the idea. Instead of being the Swiss Army Knife spell caster, the wizard, too, might have a theme. Of course, this might fly in the face of what other players expect from their wizard.

And can a wizard have a single orb, say, that can focus more than one ability, as a magic item can be crafted that has more than one (possibly similar, possibly disparate) ability? Or will wizards who wish to augment their abilities with these implements be stuck with the choice of limited versatility versus wasted standard actions as they're swapped in and out?

Regardless of their exact implementation, it sounds like the sorcerer is going to have to fight even harder for this player to see their worth compared to the venerable wizard.

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