Changes from the D&D Playtest: The Starter Set Wizard

The Wizard character sheet from the Starter Set is now available, so it’s time to have a look what changed from the playtest (specifically, the interim rules in Dead in Thay, which were drawn from the last public playtest packet).

Wizard not Mage: This is the big one – the class is back to being called a Wizard, not a Mage.

Evocation Savant: This is new, and likely applies to all specialist wizards: the cost of gaining new spells of your school goes down.

Cantrips: As with the Cleric, you know a number of cantrips equal to your spell-casting ability modifier, rather than just three. (The extra cantrip is an Elf special ability).

Prepared Spells: As with the Cleric, instead of being 1+wizard level, you can prepare a number of spells each day equal to your Intelligence modifier + your Wizard level.

Arcane Recovery: The cap on spell-levels that can be restored has gone. (You used to be only able to regain 5th or lower level spells). However, this may be because there are no spells of that level in the Starter Set!

Elves have Darkvision: From low-light vision to darkvision. Interesting!

No Keen Senses: Elves used to have advantage on Perception (Wisdom) checks – this has gone.

Languages: The character knows two more languages than a high elf would in the playtest – possibly a feature of being an acolyte of Oghma, god of Knowledge. Or maybe elves just know more languages. Or Wizards.

Spells Known: The old mage started with four first level spells in their spellbook, the new one has six.

Copying Spells into the Spellbook: The time taken has doubled: to 2 hours per level of the spell.

Skills Known: History has been dropped from the Acolyte background. With “Investigation” being the fourth skill, it seems quite possible that you get two skills set by background, one by class and one more chosen either by free choice or assigned based on your race (unlikely).

Shelter of the Faithful: This used to be known as Temple Services, but otherwise seems very similar to the previous trait for the Acolyte background.

Once again, there aren’t all that many big changes, but rather a few tweaks here and there. The bigger change to the Wizard probably lies with how spells work, but we’ll have to wait before we know that!


  1. Pingback: Changes from the D&D Playtest: More Starter Fighter changes | Merric's Musings

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