The Dragonlance Nexus

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Shaping Dragonlance Wizards With Specialization

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Trampas Whiteman


Introduction

The Arcane Focus (formerly Enhanced Specialization) class ability of the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class gives some great options to help shape wizards in your campaign. Wizards have the choice to be generalist wizards (non-specialists), to specialize in a school of magic upon taking the Test, or to begin play as a specialist and to benefit from greater bonuses after the Test at the cost of a third school.

While players can specialize in whichever school they wish, dungeon masters can maintain the flavor of the Orders by limiting that specialization. By doing so, not only does that help to shape wizards, but it also gives some good options for renegades.

White Robes

White Robes use their magic primarily for protection and knowledge. As such, they favor the schools of Abjuration and Divination.

White Robe specialists tend to drop the schools of Enchantment and Necromancy. Enchantment is shunned due to its mind-affecting abilities, which they feel go against free will. Necromancy is the path of death, which they feel goes against that which they champion – life.

White Robes who begin as specialists and lose a third school upon taking the Arcane Focus class ability of the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class tend to drop one of the schools favored by the Red Robes (Illusion and Transmutation).

Diviners only have to lose one school when they specialize. They follow the same rule of thumb, giving up a school favored by the Black Robes. Those who take Arcane Focus upon entering the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class will then give up the other school favored by the Black Robes.

Red Robes

The Red Robes tend to specialize in Illusion or Transmutation. Typically, a Red Robe will begin play dropping Abjuration from the White Robes (since Divination cannot be dropped), and either Enchantment or Necromancy from the Black Robes. This choice helps to represent the neutral stance of the Red Robes.

Those who begin as specialists and take an Arcane Focus as they enter the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class will end up having Abjuration, Enchantment, and Necromancy as non-favored schools.

Black Robes

Black Robes tend to specialize in Enchantment or Necromancy. The ability to control others or to bring to life that which was dead falls within their domain. Black Robes will drop Abjuration, a magic favored by the White Robes, as well as either Illusion or Transmutation, favored by the Red Robes.

Those who begin as specialists and take an Arcane Focus as they enter the Wizard of High Sorcery prestige class will end up having Abjuration, Illusion, and Transmutation as non-favored schools.

Renegades

Renegades have two different options where specialization is concerned. The first would be that they can specialize in any school. If the dungeon master limits the schools the Orders can specialize in, this becomes an attractive option for renegades, who have flexibility where the Orders don't.

The other option is that renegades can only specialize in schools not favored by any of the Orders (Conjuration and Evocation). By taking this route, renegades are seen as spellcasters who take paths not favored by the Orders, which gives more of an air of rebellion.

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