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[5e] Which Wizard school gets the rawest deal?

RadioKen

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When you combine spell selection and special school abilities, which one has the least to offer? I suspect Enchantment will be a strong contender, but I haven't done the research to back that up.
 

Unka Josh

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Enchanters have some really strong spells, though, as well as a halfway decent ability-- the power to incapacitate an attacker is nothing to sneeze at, y'know? And they have Dominate Person, Dominate Monster, Power Word Kill, Hold Person, Hold Monster...

Necromancy might be a contender. Sure, you can try to work up a really big undead army, but you have to keep re-casting Animate Dead or your undead horde will turn on you; one bad mistake, one day stuck in bed or unable to recover spell slots in time, and you're faced with a mess, one way or another. And the actual spell list is pretty small.
 

manwhat

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Necromancy might be a contender. Sure, you can try to work up a really big undead army, but you have to keep re-casting Animate Dead or your undead horde will turn on you; one bad mistake, one day stuck in bed or unable to recover spell slots in time, and you're faced with a mess, one way or another. And the actual spell list is pretty small.
Keeping animate dead up isn't too bad - the skeleton army thing is impractical for most general adventuring, so you're probably not having more than 10 around at best. The real issue is that most of the necromancy damage-dealing spells aren't great and so their level 1 feature doesn't feel great. Extending it to work with the necromancy cantrips (which are pretty good) would be a decent boost.
 

Unka Josh

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Well, that's true. A small group is manageable, but it doesn't make up for the lean selection of spells, IMO.
 

wryfool

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We have a necromancer in our group, he has never gotten the healing kicker off killing someone with a Necromancy spell. Maybe if we ever hit 10th level, and he gets some of the higher-damage Necromancy spells, he'll be happier. Between limited spell selection and lousy class features (excepting the 14th level Command Undead), the Necromancer would be my vote.

I will always argue that the Illusion school has been nerfed until True Sight no longer exists (or at least doesn't allow you to automatically see through all illusions).
 

Unka Josh

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I will always argue that the Illusion school has been nerfed until True Sight no longer exists (or at least doesn't allow you to automatically see through all illusions).
This is certainly a solid point-- one power shuts down an entire college!

I'm glad that it's at least not a common power.
 

Manitou

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How common is true sight though?
The spell True Seeing, which is the only way I know to get it is the spell("true seeing") which is a 6th level and lasts for an hour. Useful in combat, if you suspect an illusion, but if you don't?
A 6th level slot isn't one you want to waste on just a hunch. And it isn't one you can keep up all the time.
Diviners can get some bits of it(seeing the invisible, seeing into the ethereal) from their 10th level ability.
And since they could get a 5th level slot from casting it, they'd be the most likely to do so?
 

RadioKen

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It seems to me that the major shortcomings for Enchantment are a relatively narrow spell selection (especially when you omit everything that doesn't appear on the wizard list) without a lot of good lower-level choices. This seems to be true, perhaps even more so, for Necromancy, (At least I no longer begrudge the necromancers Bestow Curse, which originally struck me as something more suited to the enchantment school.) There are 29 enchantment spells in PHB, of which 17 are actually available to wizards. 7 of those are level 4 or lower, including the cantrip Friends. Necromancy lists only 25 spells, but 17 are on the wizard list and 8 of those are 4th level or lower (including the cantrip Chill Touch), with four each at levels 5 and 6 before the list thins out completely. I'll leave the question of relative quality open.
 

RadioKen

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We have a necromancer in our group, he has never gotten the healing kicker off killing someone with a Necromancy spell. Maybe if we ever hit 10th level, and he gets some of the higher-damage Necromancy spells, he'll be happier. Between limited spell selection and lousy class features (excepting the 14th level Command Undead), the Necromancer would be my vote.

I will always argue that the Illusion school has been nerfed until True Sight no longer exists (or at least doesn't allow you to automatically see through all illusions).
Has he ever at least gotten the less-effective kicker for killing someone with a non-Necromancy spell?
 

Shade the Lost

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I refuse to buy that Illusion is the weakest school (or even close to it) when you consider how late true seeing comes online, combined with all the limits mentioned. It's arguably the number one most powerful school when used "from ambush," so to speak, even if it's less useful once in direct combat.

Now conjuration, that's worth considering, given how few times I hear people advocating for summoning, well, anything in 5e.
 
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