Thoughts on the LevelUp 5e Playtest XI – The Wizard

Still running behind, here’s what’s going on with the changes to the Wizard.

So I haven’t played a Wizard in a long time. After reading through this playtest packet, I think I might give one a go. I like that couple of big changes they’ve made here.

So, without further ado:

Things that stay the same up to level 10 (admittedly, not a lot to change with a Wizard):
Arcane Recovery and Spellcasting at level 1, Arcane Tradition at levels 2, 6 and 10, and ASI at levels 4 and 8.
Things that are gone (almost nothing, for a change):
Proficiency in light crossbows.

So what new stuff are we getting instead?
At character creation (I’m really enjoying having a few changes here) there’s now choices of tool proficiencies and every wizard gets the prestidigitation cantrip, at level 3 we get an Exploration Knack, level 5 brings Signature Spells, Spell Study at level 7, and lastly level 9 brings us Wizard’s Flair.

So, the changes to character creation. Without a cantrip slot taken up by prestidigitation, more wizards will have an attack spell of some kind, so I get the drop of light crossbows. It’s not ideal for all wizards, but it’s fun. Tool proficiency choices are alchemist’s supplies, calligrapher’s tools and cartographer’s tools.
The starting equipment packages now contain an Arcane Investigator’s pack and a Travelling Mage’s pack. They’re neat.

The exploration knacks for wizards are fun and flavourful. Eidetic Memory gives perfect recall of materials read for two weeks, Loremaster of Travel and Loremaster of Creatures give bonuses to History checks for the different things, Illusion Detective gives bonuses against illusions.
But, the best two are clearly Detect Magic Savant, which gives bonus duration or distance to the spell, and Presto, Prestidigitation! which means the spell is always active, cleaning clothes and stuff, and also gives bonus options such as conjuring a rope from string or using a coin to see in the dark. It’s weird but fun.

Signature Spells allows a lowest-level casting of a 1st level spell without using a spell slot once per rest, as long as it’s prepared, and can be changed over a long rest. At level 9, it can be a 2nd level spell.

Spell Study gives some cool options.
Arcane Objects gives the identify spell for free if it wasn’t taken already, it can be used once per long rest without using a spell slot, and when cast using a slot it can be used on two targets instead of one.
Detective Spell Study allows automatic sensing of spells within a 20 ft. radius, and gives the detect magic and detect thoughts spells for free if they weren’t available already. The ranges for both are increased to 60 ft.
Flora and Fauna gives beasts and plants disadvantage on spell saves against a wizard’s spells. This can be done a number of times equal to Intelligence modifier between long rests.
Historian gives expertise on History checks, advantage on all skill checks relating to a particular historical time period, and the guidance cantrip for free. When used by the wizards themselves for an Intelligence check, the die used is a d6 instead of a d4, but only once per long rest.

Lastly, Wizard’s Flair gives a few different options for status effects on creatures, and can be used a number of times equal to Intelligence modifier between long rests, and a wizard can even switch the flair during the long rest.
Awe and Wonder can be used to charm, Big Boom can be used to deafen, Distracting causes disadvantage on attack rolls, Flash of Light causes blindness and Pungent Smell causes the poisoned effect.

Phew, that’s all for now. Next time, it’s the Bard’s turn.

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