For the /tg/ homebrew, see WIZARD (system).
Wizards are magic-wielding people who use their knowledge of the arcane to cast spells and lay down charms and such. The wizard often requires much planning and preparation before using magic, and usually cannot perform magic trivially. Wizards are powerful and intelligent individuals, usually taking on the role of scientist in fantasy settings. They also are known for being squishy. The preferred class of people who hate to lose in D&D 3.5.
Wizards show up in pretty much every single fantasy rpg that you can think of, and are pretty much the can-all, do-all guys of pretty much all systems. You want something done? There's a spell for it. It may not be quite as effective as the 'hands-on' method, but it's close enough (and sometimes better). Of course, there are some games that undercut the typical wizardly power, but for the most part, wizards tend to be the power-houses of the game.
Wizards are known to put on a robe and wizard's hat every morning, and especially before being intimate.
In Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is perhaps the most famous user of wizards in all of /tg/ media, and the D&D wizard is the defining for many casual RPGists. D&D wizards have been around since the very first edition, where they were called, simply, "Magic Users", and show no sign of disappearing any time soon. However, the formula of the D&D wizard has changed slightly over the editions.
Traditionally, the D&D wizard is what TVTropes would call a "Squishy Wizard" and a "Glass Cannon"; they can drastically change the face of battles through deft applications of the right spells, but fold like a cheap napkin soaked in grease if a goblin with a dagger gets the drop on them, due to not being able to wear armor and abysmal hitpoint values. This... hasn't really changed; wizards have gotten some more hitpoints on average and more options for protective gear, but they still remain amongst the squishiest and worst-armored members of the various classes.
Another thing that distinguishes the traditional D&D wizard is their style of magic. Known as Vancian Casting, as it was inspired by the post-apocalyptic fantasy stories of one Jack Vance, which Gary Gygax was rather fond of, the basic formula works like this: a wizard has a number of spells they can cast each day, determined by their level. However, to cast those spells, they need to read and memorize them first by studying their spellbook. When they do cast one of these memorized spells, it wipes itself from their memory, so they constantly need to study their spellbooks in order to be able to keep contributing. This factor applied for the first three editions of the game, after which things got... different. People are quite divided about the results.
These two factors make low-level wizards pretty... well, pathetic. The iconic image of the 1st level wizard is some loser who can cast maybe one magic missile a day, and then has to hide behind the fighter with some darts or a crossbow until the party deigns to take an eight hour rest. However, their power level increases dramatically as they increase in levels, giving them more spell slots to use as well as access to more powerful magics. TVTropes calls this trope "Linear Warriors: Quadratic Wizards".
Many advocate that the best way to play a wizard is not the more anime/videogame interpretation of "walking artillery piece" but instead the "Magic Batman" approach. This basically amounts to the wizard dumping attack spells, save for a handful of "save or suck" spells like Disintegrate and Flesh to Stone, and instead focusing on utility spells that allow it to basically outgame the DM. Of course, this is a rather controversial playing style, as it tends to piss off DMs and non-wizard players alike; the former due to ruining any attempt to run a challenging encounter, the latter due to the feeling of redundancy. After all, when you've got a wizard who can go invisible and open any lock with just two spells, what do you need a rogue for? When you can summon demons, elementals and giant monsters, what do you need a fighter for?
The Schools of Magic
Since at least 2nd edition, magic in the D&Dverse has been divided into eight different schools, focusing on grouping different kinds of powers and effects into relatively recognizable and coherent themes.
Traditionally, your typical wizard is thought to be a "generalist", making use of all schools of magic equally. However, in 2nd and 3rd edition, a wizard could choose to specialize; this gave them certain bonuses (greater likelihood of learning spells of their specialty school, a bonus spell memorized each day, etc), but also caused them to forsake one or more schools of magic in order to properly pursue true mastery. In 2e and 3.5, the school you forsook was determined by school you specialized in, whilst in 3.5, this was changed to instead requiring you to give up a school of your choice. 4e abandoned the schools altogether. 5e brought them back and removed the "lose a school" aspect entirely, in part because specialization was now mandatory.
Abjuration: This school of magic revolves around defense, as "abjure" comes from old words meaning, essentially, "to repel". Abjuration spells cover a mix of anti-magic spells, spiritual defense spells, and physical defense spells; if it shields from harm, literally or metaphorically, then it's an abjuration spell. This school covers classics like Magic Circle, Dispel Magic, Shield and Mage Armor.
Conjuration: This school of magic revolves around summoning creatures and effects from other worlds. Teleporting is sometimes considered part of this school, and certain attack spells are likewise held up as part of the conjurer's art. Mostly, though, this is for calling critters to do you will. DMs aren't very fond of this school, and neither are martial class players, because it allows wizards to greatly amp up their power level by tricks such as summoning extraplanar beings who can then use their own magic to add even more might to the wizard's part of the table.
Divination: This school of magic revolves around learning stuff. Seeing into the past, reading the future, learning when somebody's lying, reading thoughts, scrying, all that fun stuff is part of the Divination school. Although hardly the flashiest of styles, this is one of the most hated schools amongst DMs. Not only is it integral to the time-honored adventure-breaking "scry, teleport and fight" methodology, but it also makes a swift mockery of any attempt to run a mystery-themed campaign.
Enchantment: This school of magic revolves around controlling peoples' minds, partially or wholely. As with Conjuration, DMs and non-caster players can get rather ticked off at this school.
Evocation: This school of magic revolves around offense, plain and simple. This is the oft-maligned School of Blowing Shit Up, using elemental damage in various shapes and types to blast, burn, freeze, crush, dissolve, implode, explode, slice, dice, puree and otherwise bestow a really shitty day upon anyone who has ticked you off. Although some purists turn their nose up at this school, it is perhaps the most visually impressive and "iconic" of magical styles, and so retains quite a fanbase, especially with players who don't want to render the non-wizards completely obsolete.
Illusion: This school of magic revolves around playing tricks on peoples' minds by making them see and hear things that aren't there, or not see/hear things that are. Invisiblity is perhaps the most iconic spell of this school. Ironically, unlike Conjuration, Divination or Enchantment, DMs rarely have many overt complaints about this school.
Necromancy: This school of magic revolves around playing with the forces of life and death. D&D has sometimes tried to divide necromancy into three styles; White (healing magic, exorcisim), Gray (animating or speaking to the dead) and Black (instant death, inflicting pain and disease), but this rarely sticks; animating the dead went from Gray Necromancy in AD&D to Black Necromancy in 3e, gaining the "(Evil)" descriptor to enforce that it can't be used by good guys. Traditionally, wizardly necromancers have been rather inferior to clerical ones, mostly due to lacking the innate ability to control undead that even a low-level evil cleric has and so being forced to waste precious 6th level spell slots on Control Undead spells. This is a matter of some contention.
Transmutation: This school of magic revolves around the ability to transform things, changing one thing into something else. This covers both "traditional" alchemy-type effects like Steel to Clay or Rock to Mud and shapeshifting spells like Polymorph, Flesh to Stone and Disintegrate. In AD&D 2nd edition, this school was known as Alteration, but it was renamed as part of the shift to 3rd edition.
In 1st Edition
Ask a really old-school neckbeard for the run-down on 1e's Magic-User.
In 2nd Edition
In this edition, wizards are king, plain and simple. Although they suffer immense difficulties at getting to higher levels, if they pull it off, they can curb-stomp just about anything. Popular "cheats" for aspiring wizards in this edition include the use of kits and multiclassing to get around certain weaknesses; for example, the right kit could make your wizard drastically more powerful (such as the Undead Master kit, which gave your Necromancer access to Enchantment spells, the ability to Command Undead like an evil Cleric of equal level, and the ability to Command Outsiders as if they were undead of equivalent hitdice), whilst the gish technique could compensate for the wizard's squishiness. A fighter/mage multiclassed character advanced more slowly, but would retain equally potent magical and martial abilities, whilst a fighter who then dual-classed to wizard would start with a much beefier pool of hit points to work with.
In 3rd Edition
Wizard took a hit in power in this edition. Although their ever-expanding array of spells certainly made them more powerful than the fighter was, and stronger than they'd been in 2nd edition, they found their place as the ultimate class usurped by the Priests - Clerics and Druids. Now elevated to 9th level spellcasters, whereas before they'd maxed out at 7th level, with much greater arrays of both buffing spells (their traditional strength) and new offensive spells (previously the wizard's domain), they were the mightiest class of the edition, coining the phrase "CoDzilla".
Still, even with this, wizards were still a power to be reckoned with, and arguably changed the least from their format in 2nd edition. They also got a new toy to play with in the form of "metamagic" effects, that allowed them to prepare spells with special benefits, like a bigger area of effect or increased numbers, in higher level spell slots from normal.
3e wizards also gained a sibling in the form of the Sorcerer; this "spontaneous caster" shook up the Vancian Casting mechanic; although it could learn fewer spells than a wizard, it recieved more spells per day and had access to all of the spells it knew at any given time. The wizard's immense power and versatility generally gave it the leg up on the sorcerer, though, who also had problems stemming from in-house developer conflicts, such as few skills on their skill list that used their casting stat, or difficulty using "metamagic" effects to modify spells.
In 4th Edition
The idea of wizards being "same engine, new coat of paint" can't be said for wizards of 4th edition. With an edition design goal of trying to keep classes from being dramatically stronger or weaker than each other, the Linear Warriors; Quadratic Wizards trope was dropped, which meant wizards were no longer the "do everything" class. However, despite the agony that many wizards-lovers felt at a first glance at the class, the truth is that a lot of former wizardly glory did remain behind the scenes - many "utilitarian" spells were remade into Rituals in 4th edition. Whilst this technically meant anyone with the right Feat could now cast spells like Magic Mouth or Arcane Lock, wizards got that feat for free and were able to learn more Rituals than anyone else. Plus, there were whole new Rituals that allowed people to do things like raise permanent flying islands or construct castles with a wave of their hand.
Most startlingly, wizards in this edition forsook not only the traditional Schools of Magic, but also the very idea of Vancian Casting. Wizards of The Coast, in a short booklet they published about their class design process, explained that the idea of wizards who could cast 1 spell a day and then hid in the back of the group always sounded kind of boring to them. So, they rewrote the entire format for spell-usage, and then found this could be used to give every class some neat things to do in combat. 4e divided spells into At-Will (can be cast whenever the caster wants), Encounter (spells that can be cast once, and then you need to take a five minute breather before you can cast them again), Daily (cast once, and then you need 8 hours of rest to use again) and Utility (non-offensive spells that can be cast Encounter, Daily or even At-Will). Furthermore, "spells per day" and "spells known" were no longer interlinked; like a 3e sorcerer, so long as a wizard had the "spells per day" slot to burn, it could cast any of its spells as often as it liked.
One other thing that wizards did retain, just altered for the new powers format, was their spellbook. Unlike other classes, who only learned 1 new power whenever they scored a new Utility or Daily power, a wizard got to learn 2 powers. By studying their spellbook during a long rest, a wizard could switch around its memorized spells as it saw fit, allowing it to retain the spirit of its traditional versatility.
In 5th Edition
In 5th edition, wizards changed drastically yet again. They still learned spells and filled out their spellbooks, picking spells memorized to determine what they could cast. However, not only did cantrips remain "cast at will", like in 4th edition, but the 5e wizard now functioned like a 3e sorcerer, in that it no longer forgot its spells after casting them. The spellbook was essential to switch around what spells the wizard was physically capable of casting, but it was no longer rendered unable to cast just by stealing the spellbook and having it use its magic.
Another change, perhaps more dramatic, was the idea of Arcane Traditions. All classes in 5e now take a subclass early in their career, and for wizards, this swallows up the old idea of "school specialization", to the point that the first wave of subclasses were based on the traditional specialist wizards. This resulted in forsaking the idea of both the generalist wizard (until we got the Lore Master) and of "forbidden schools".
Finally, the very nature of 5e casting, with its ability to cast spells in higher-level slots, and with at-will cantrips that effectively replace weapons for casters, provided the wizard with a great deal of flexibility and endurance compared to the olden days.
Regardless of their Tradition, all 5e wizards get the Arcane Recovery class ability to start with (once per day, you can regain a small number of spell slots with just a short rest), the usual increases to their ability scores (either +2 to one score, or +1 to two scores) at levels 4/8/12/16/19, and gain the abilities Spell Mastery (can freely pick one 1st level and one 2nd level spell and can cast these mastered spells at their lowest level without using any spell slots as if they were cantrips, takes 8 hours to replace these) at level 18 and Signature Spells (pick two level 3 spells; you always have them prepared, they don't count towards your number of spells prepared, and each can be cast at its basic level without using up a spell slot once before needing a short rest to recharge) at level 20.
All of the "classic" subclasses also get the "[Tradition] Savant" feature, which halves the time and gold it takes to copy a spell of their tradition into their spellbook.
Abjurers are now the beefiest of the wizards. Their level 2 ability, Arcane Ward, lets them create a magical shield whenever they cast an abjuration spell (not cantrip, proper spell). This shield creates a pool of temporary hitpoints that soaks up incoming damage, and which can be healed by casting more abjuration spells. At level 6, they gain Projected Ward, which lets them use their reaction to protect a creature within a 30ft line of sight with their Arcane Ward. At level 10, Improved Abjuration gives the abjurer the ability to add their Proficiency bonus to any ability checks they have to made whilst casting abjuration spells. Finally, at level 14, they gain Spell Resistance, which in this edition works out as Advantage on saving throws vs. spells and Resistance to spell-inflicted damage.
Conjurers, as you might expect, focus on buffing up their conjuring skills. Minor Conjuration (level 2) lets them immediately conjure up any small item they need whenever they want. Benign Transposition (level 6) lets the conjurer teleport 30 feet or tele-trade places with a creature of their choice within that distance; this can normally only be done once per day, but a Conjuration spell lets them refresh that timer automatically. Focused Conjuration (level 10) means they no longer need to take concentration checks as a result of taking damage, so long as they're concentrating on a Conjuration spell. Finally, the humble Durable Summons feature (level 14) grants +30 temporary hitpoints to all summoned and conjured creatures.
Diviners are still the typical DM's most hated wizardly tradition, and probably the one most likely to get banned at any gaming table. Why? Because the 5e Diviner is a master of screwing with dice rolls and is one of the more complicated of the default Traditions. At level 2, they gain the Portent ability, which lets them roll two D20s and take the numbers as notes. They can burn these "saved" rolls to use them as the automatic results of an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check, although each "saved" roll is only usable once, the Portent can only be used once per turn, and "saved" rolls are lost the next time the Diviner takes a long rest. At level 6, they gain Expert Divination; whenever they cast a Divination spell of level 2 or higher, they can regain a spent spell slot, so long as this slot is A: no higher than level 5, and B: is at least one level lower than the spell they cast to gain the refund. Their level 10 ability, The Third Eye, isn't so bad; when the Diviner completes a short or long rest, they can give themselves either Darkvision 60 feet, Ethereal Sight 60 feet, See Invisible 10 feet, or the ability to read any language. Finally, at level 14, their Greater Portent gives them three D20s for Portent instead of only two.
Enchanters have their ability to hypnotise others enhanced through their specialization; Hypnotic Gaze (2nd level) lets them effectively make a free charm attack on a creature within 5 feet, Instinctive Charm (6th level) lets them try and bewitch an attacker and so redirect its attack as a reaction, Split Enchantment (10th level) lets them hit two creatures with a single 1-target Enchantment spell, and finally, Alter Memories (14th level) lets them not only make a charmed creature unaware of its being charmed, they can also try to blank out its memories of some of the time it spent under their control.
Evokers are... well, really, what's to say? They blow shit up better than any other wizard. They start off with Sculpt Spells at level 2, letting them make safe pockets in their evocation spells to avoid blowing up their allies or non-coms who get in the way. Or, well, at least ensure they only get singed instead of fried. At level 6, Potent Cantrip means that even Evocation cantrips get to do half damage against critters that make their saving throws against them. The humble Empowered Evocation, a 10th level feature, lets an Evoker add their Intelligence modifier to the damage rolls of any Evocation wizard spells they cast. Finally, at level 14, they gain the Overchannel ability. What's that do? Once per long rest, they can cast an evocation spell of level 5 or lower and automatically do max damage. Once they've done so, if theydo it again without resting, they take 2D12 necrotic damage PER level of the spell they're casting like this. And if they're dumb enough to keep casting overchanneled spells? They keep taking necrotic damage, only the damage goes up by another 1D12 per time (so their third overchannelled spell is 3D12 damage per level of the spell, their fourth is 4D12, etc). RAW, you could originally overchannel your cantrips all day long with no ill effect (2d12 * 0 = 0), but this was later errataed so that you couldn't overchannel cantrips any more.
Illusionists are simple but effective, focusing on super-charging their illusions in various ways. At level 2, thanks to Improved Minor Illusion, not only do they get the Minor Illusion cantrip for free (or a bonus cantrip, if they already knew it), but now they can make both sounds and images in one casting of Minor Illusion. Their level 6 feature, Malleable Illusions, lets them reshape their illusion effects on the fly. Illusory Self, their 10th level feature, gives them the power to force an auto-miss on an enemy attacker once per day by using a reaction to make a one-shot illusory double take the hit for them. Finally, their most potent ability is the level 14 trait of Illusory Reality, which lets them make aspects of their illusions real for a short time. Say, making an illusion of a bridge over a chasm that you and your buddies can run away over, but which will drop anyone else straight through it, Looney Tunes style. Some DMs may actually agree to interpret this ways that're even more powerful, such as using it to create expensive spell components or to defeat enemies by encasing their weapons (or bodies!) in blocks of "faux-real" stone.
Necromancers rejoiced with this edition, for they finally claimed their rightful place as the style's masters and kicked the cleric clean out of the ring for the right to claim that title. At level 2, their Grim Harvest ability lets them heal themselves by killing people (ie, it doesn't work on constructs or undead) with magic; they regain hitpoints equal to 2 (or 3, if it's necromantic) times the spell's level whenever they finish somebody off with a spell. At level 6, Undead Thrall not only gives them Animate Dead for free, but also buffs their skill at using it; the amount of zombies & skeletons they can control with it is increased by +1, and the undead they create with this spell are tankier (+1 max HP per level of the necromancer) and fightier (add the necromancer's proficiency bonus to their weapon damage rolls). At level 10, Inured to Undeath makes necromancers better suited to hanging around the undead, gaining Resistance to Necrotic Damage and immunity to effects that lower maximum hitpoints, both traits common to undead enemies. Finally, at level 14, they gain the mother of all necromancer traits: Command Undead. This ability, the thing that traditionally shafted necromancers in favor of death priests, lets a necromancer attempt to enslave undead creatures that it can can see within 60 feet, though smarter ones have the ability to break free eventually, so be sure to cast Feeblemind if you want to keep them and don't care about them casting spells (for example, if you'd want a demilich minion).
Transmuters have a lot of fairly fluffy traits. Minor Alchemy (level 2) lets them temporarily transmuted a sample of of wood, stone, iron, copper or silver into one of the other elements on that little list. Transmuter's Stone (level 6) lets them spend 8 hours to create a magical stone. Whoever holds it gains a bonus chosen by the transmuter when making it; darkvision, +10 to speed whilst unencumbered, proficiency in Constitution saving throws, or resistance to one of five elemental damages (fire, ice, acid, lightning, thunder). Shapechanger (level 10) lets a transmuter turn into a Challenge Rating 1 or weaker Beast type creature whenever they want, plus they gain the Polymorph spell for free. Finally, at level 14, Master Transmuter allows them to destroy a created Transmuter's Stone to enact one of the following effects: transform one object into another object, completely heal (restore to full health + remove all curses, diseases and poisons) one creature, cast a free Raise Dead spell, or decrease a target's physical age by 3D10 years.
With 5e's fairly slow output of non-adventure sourcebooks, only one official new Tradition exists for wizards so far; the Bladesinger. Harkening back to an elf wizard kit from AD&D, this is essentially 5e's homage to the Swordmage. It combines magic and martial skill, with a little performance art, into a deadly, spell-slinging close-quarters combatant. Although the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide does note that fluffwise it should be restricted to elves and half-elves, it also give DMs free permission to ignore that rule. And, really, who wouldn't? Its 2nd level feature is Training in War and Song. This gives it Proficiency with the Performance skill, light armor, and a single one-handed martial melee weapon of the Bladesinger's choice. Swords are iconic, but as the sidebar notes, there's all kinds of styles, including axes, hammers, picks and whips. Its other 2nd level feature is Bladesong, the big "special attack" of the class, an ability to enter a state of supernatural speed, agility and focus as a bonus action. You can't use it if you're wielding a shield, or if you're wearing medium/heavy armor. Likewise, it can be ended early if you take up a shield, put such armor on, make a two-handed attack with your weapon, or are just incapacitated. So stick to the light armor and one-handed weapons if you wanna use it. You can use this feature twice per short rest, and unless ended early (which you can do voluntarily), it lasts for one minute. Whilst in Bladesong, you add your Intelligence modifier (min bonus is +1) to your Armor Class and to any Constitution checks you make to concentrate on spells, you increase your walking speed by 10 feet, and you gain advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks. A Bladesinger gains the Extra Attack feature (attack twice when you use the Attack action for your turn) at level 6. 10th level unlocks the Song of Defense ability; whilst in Bladesong, a Bladesinger can expend spellslots when they take damage, reducing the damage by (spellslot level multipled by 5). Finally, 14th level unlocks the Song of Victory feature, where Bladesong causes the Int bonus to apply to damage from the Bladesinger's melee weapon as well.
However, wizards have also gained a few new Traditions through the Unearthed Arcana articles on WoTC's website.
With the lack of an Eberron sourcebook for 5e, WoTC's first thought for tackling the Artificer was to shoehorn in as a wizard tradition. Its speciality was basically burning spell-slots to create one-use magical potions and scrolls or temporarily buffing arms & armor. At level 14, they could finally make 1 permanent magical item per month after spending a week of solid work to do so. This version was pretty resoundingly panned as the most awful attempt at converting it that WoTC could have come up with, especially since the level 14 feature created only some of the weaker magic items on the list, which would be long obsolete by that point. When a draft Artificer base-class came out in 2017, pretty much everyone forgot that this version existed.
Technomancers hail from the "Modern Magic" Unearthed Arcana and represent a Wizard for a more modern age, one who focuses on mastering the interplay between magic and technology. A fairly fluff-accurate character, but unlikely to be of much use unless your DM wants to run either an urban fantasy game or a magitek game in the vein of Shadowrun with more advanced stuff than Eberron. The Technomancer gets free proficiency with sidearms (that is, pistols) and hacking tools at level 2, as well as trading their spellbook for an enchanted tablet computer. This lets them scribe spells in half the time of a normal wizard. At level 6, they get Program Spell, which lets them use any basic computational device (mobile phone or better) to "hold" a spell for them. The charge only lasts 48 hours, is one-use only, and a technomancer can only have one at a time. On the other hand, this lets you give somebody an undetectable improvised explosive device by handing them a cheap mobile primed to detonate a Fireball when they answer it. At level 10, they get Online Casting, where they can use networked electronic devices to channel spells for them. So, if you can get yourself into the mall's security room, you can promptly blast every fucker who walks into a room with a working security camera, without leaving the place. Finally, at level 14, they get the Chained Device feature, where they can have a tablet computer or better gizmo maintain concentration on a spell for them, allowing them to hold two concentration spells at once.
Theurges, released in the August 2016 Unearthed Arcana "The Faithful", in stark contrast to Artificers, are incredibly powerful, and this has led to quite a bit of backlash from fans who denounce them as being the most broken Arcane Tradition in the game, a title they held until the Lore Master came out in 2017. Essentially, a Theurge is a "wizard-priest", an arcanist who is either devoted to a deity sufficiently to wield some of their magical powers, or has learned to imitate (or usurp) divine magic through arcane lore. Essentially, the Theurgy Tradition is an alternative to the Arcana Domain for Clerics, in that it tries to make a singular class out of the Cleric/Wizard Mystic Theurge, but by from the basis of being a wizard who studies and wields godly magic. Amusingly, by its default fluff, you can easily use it to represent an Ur-Priest as well. It's first second-level feature is, of course, Divine Inspiration, which lets you pick a specific Cleric Domain. Naturally, this should be one appropriate to the deity your Theurgist is worshipping/studying/ripping power from, though it notes that the most natural fits for a Theurgist are probably Arcana, Knowledge and Light. Its second level 2 feature is Arcane Initiate; when you gain a level, you can choose to trade one of the Wizard spells you know for a Cleric spell from a slot level you can cast - so, if you can cast 3rd level spells, you can snag a 1st, 2nd or 3rd level Cleric spell. You must concentrate on gaining the bonus spells from your chosen Domain first; only if you can cast all of the spells from that Domain can you pick up "generic" Cleric spells for your spellbook. Additionally, though you keep these spells in your spellbook, other wizards can't learn to cast them by copying from your spellbook. Its final 2nd level feature is Channel Arcana, which basically gives you Channel Divinity 1/short rest (2/short rest at 6th level, 3/short rest at 18th). When you make use of this power, you can gain either the Divine Arcana power-up (+2 to attack roll or saving throw of the next spell you cast) or the Channel Divinity effect granted by your chosen domain. The rest of its Tradition features are based on gaining access to your Cleric Domain's bonus features, with the exception of weapon and armor proficiencies. Arcane Acolyte (level 6) gives you access to the level 1 bonus feature, Arcane Priest (10th level) gives you access to the level 6 bonus feature, and finally Arcane High Priest (level 14) gives you access to the level 17 cleric bonus feature for your domain.
Arcane High Priest is the most commonly cited and least legitimate source for complaints about the "overpowered" status of Theurges, with many falsely insisting that, RAW, you could take the Arcana Domain and thusly get access to Wish at level 14. More legitimate complaints focus on the potential for abuse if you apply Spell Mastery to Cleric spells,or the fact you can effectively have two Domains by becoming a multiclassed Theurgist/Cleric.
Lore Masters were released in a February 2017 Unearthed Arcana, and if you thought Theurgists got bitched about, you hadn't heard anything yet. Lore Masters are the return of the "Generalist Wizard" archetype, which is represented by giving them quite a bit of versatility, attracting complaints that now it outdoes the Sorcerer at being the "versatile caster" as well as complaints about being overpowered. Its first 2nd level feature, Lore Master, doubles your proficiency bonus for Arcana, History, Nature and Religion checks (you still gotta be proficient in the first place) and lets you roll Initiative based on your choice of Int or Dex. The second level 2 feature, Spell Secrets, lets you change the change the damage types of elemental damage spells (that is, spells that inflict Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Necrotic, Radiant, or Thunder damage) at will, and change the saving throw type of a single spell per encounter. This means that not only could you throw around all of the "force damage inflicting fireballs" that you want, you could also throw a fireball that is resisted with a Strength check once per encounter. Level 6's Alchemical Casting lets you modify certain spells by burning an extra spell slot; give up a 1st level spell slot when casting a spell that inflicts damage for +2d6 bonus Force damage, give up a 2nd level spell slot when casting a ranged spell of at least 30 feet to instead upgrade its range to 1 mile, and give up a 3rd level spell slot when casting a spell with a saving throw to increase its DC by +2. At level 10, you gain the Prodigious Memory trait, which lets you use a bonus action to swap one of your memorized spells out for a prepared spell instead once per encounter. Finally, level 14 makes you a Master of Magic, letting you cast 1 spell from any spell list (must be a level you can actually cast for, though) once per day. This tradition has received a huge outcry for effectively being better at magical flexibility than the entire Sorcerer class is, to say nothing of their ability to make all their damage Force damage, and therefore nigh-irresistible.
Warmages were released in a March 2017 Unearthed Arcana, and if you think about it, they make more sense in this edition, as Wizards and Sorcerers no longer use different casting styles, an d they were always highly trained, which is the wizard's "thing". Surprisingly, they're not redundant nor do they step on the toes of Evokers; they're all about blasting smarter, not harder. The first of their second level features, Arcane Deflection, lets them boost up their defenses with magical energy - when they take a hit against AC or fail a Con saving throw, they can burn their reaction to immediately boost their AC by +2 or their Con saving throw score by +4, as needed, in order to negate that particular attack. The downside is that they can't cast anything more powerful than a cantrip until the end of their next turn after using this trait. Their other level 2 feature, Tactical Wit, lets them add their Int modifier to their initiative rolls. Power Surge, unlocked at level 6, allows them to boost up their crowd-smiting attack spells once per short rest, in the form of adding +2 damage dice to the spell - this means they can launch a 10d6 fireball once per encounter, and at hitting level 20, they could unleash a 16d6 fireball. Their 10th level feature, Durable Magic, continues the "mystical protection" theme, giving them +2 to AC and to all saving throws whilst they have a spell maintained. Finally, the level 14 Deflecting Shroud provides a nice mixture of defense and offense, as it lets the Warmage deal half their level in Force damage to all enemies within 10 feet whenever they use Arcane Deflection.
In Warhammer Fantasy
Wizards are present in almost every single army you care to name in the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Although usually (not always; there are key exceptions, like Ogre Butchers, spellcasting Vampires, and Chaos Sorcerers) lacking in terms of tankiness or physical combat ability, their ability to both launch magical fireballs and/or buff the shit out of friendlies (different wizards do better at different things), and perhaps more importantly to fuck up the efforts of casters on the other side makes them incredibly valuable members of the force.
In Warhammer, magic is a kind of spiritual breeze that exhales from the Realm of Chaos and sweeps across the world, splitting into various currents that permeate and/or are attracted to (it's debatable which it is) various natural phenomena. For this reason, wizards in-universe speak of the Winds of Magic, which form distinctive styles and powers.
The two races most adept with the art of magic are the Asrai and the Slaan, who are the only races in the setting capable of using "High Magic". This consists of the eight Winds all blended together in a harmonious whole, allowing for spells of particularly devastating effect and color and making them masters of dispelling other wizards' efforts at casting.
In The Empire, originally, wizards had no training whatsoever, and "hedge wizards" were the only practitioners of their kind in the world. This was a dangerous art, based on experimentation and random chance, which made them versatile, because they could learn spells from many Winds, but also risky, because they had no idea how to avoid corrupting their spells with Dark Magic or just fumbling the spells and blowing themselves up. During the reign of Magnus the Pious, the High Elf mage Teclis created the Eight Colleges of Magic; although he reasoned that humans were "too weak-minded" and short-lived to master High Magic, they could certainly master the nuances of one Wind at a time. Although publically distrusted and hated by the Witch Hunters of Sigmar, the Battle Mages of the Empire are much-loved by the soldiers who serve alongside them, who value their ability to add much-needed firepower to imperial battles.
In Bretonnia, all youths who have magical talent are abducted early on; the males disappear, whilst the females return as the mysterious Priestesses of the Lady of the Lake. It's strongly hinted that such souls have actually been abducted by the Wood Elves, though what happens to the boys is unclear.
In the Ogre Kingdoms, Butchers are primitive shamans who cast sympathetic magic by devouring certain reagents; the heart of a bull rhinox to heal those around them, bones to cause the enemy's bones to break, trollguts to imbue themselves with a trollish ability to regenerate.
The Skaven have two distinct classes of wizard, in the form of the Grey Seers (mutant skaven with the natural ability to draw upon the corrupted magic that resonates with their race), and the Warlock Engineers of Clan Skyre, who use magitek devices to draw raw magic from the atmosphere and channel it into useful forms. Mostly blasts of energy.
Orcs & Goblins are believed to derive their magic from the raw battlelust of their own kind, which means that fighting orcs serve as natural batteries of magical power for their shamans to tap. As shamans have very little training in controlling magic, however, most ultimately end up exploding.
The Tomb Kings of Khemri have a caste of liche-priests who practice ancient ritualistic magic, the oldest form of necromancy in the world, tapping into the Wind of Death in ways very different to modern wizards.
The Vampire Counts, meanwhile, are naturally adept at using necromancy, a form of corrupted and Chaos-tainted Death Magic.
In Warhammer 40000
Technically, there is no magic in Warhammer 40,000, but the mechanics of psionics fills much the same role. In particular, Chaos worshippers practice Sorcery, which is a style of using rituals to draw extra psychic power beyond what they could ordinarily channel on their own from daemons who have been bartered or bound through those rituals.
In The World Of Darkness
The "wizard archetype" in the World of Darkness is filled by the monsters known as Mages, although what these actually are depends on the game variant you're following.
In the Old World, Mage: The Ascension portrays Mages as humans who awoke to the realization that reality is not fixed in place, but is guided by human consensus and by devoting themselves strongly to their own reality paradigm, they could escape those bonds. Or, in layman's terms: reality is more fluid than people realize, and any person crazy-fixated on a particular way of doing magic enough can eventually become crazy enough to break the rules that limit everybody else and manipulate reality as a result.
In the New World, Mage: The Awakening portrays Mages as humans who have undergone a massive spiritual awakening, breaking free of ancient shackles on the human consciousness and learning to tap into the world of higher reality behind the lies others are still bound to.
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Classes|
|Player's Handbook 1:||Cleric - Fighter - Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Warlock - Warlord - Wizard|
|Player's Handbook 2:||Avenger - Barbarian - Bard - Druid - Invoker - Shaman - Sorcerer - Warden|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Ardent - Battlemind - Monk - Psion - Runepriest - Seeker|
|Heroes of X:||Blackguard - Binder - Elementalist - Hexblade - Sha'ir - Vampire - Witch|
|Settings Book:||Artificer - Swordmage|
|Others:||Paragon Path - Epic Destiny|
|The Classes of Pathfinder|
|Core Classes:|| Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Druid - Fighter - Monk |
Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
| Arcanist - Bloodrager - Brawler - Hunter - Investigator |
Shaman - Skald - Slayer - Swashbuckler - Warpriest
| Alchemist - Antipaladin - Cavalier |
Inquisitor - Oracle - Summoner - Witch
|Occult Adventures:|| Kineticist - Medium - Mesmerist |
Occultist - Psychic - Spiritualist
|Ultimate Combat:||Gunslinger - Ninja - Samurai|
| Aegis - Cryptic - Dread - Marksman - Psion |
Psychic Warrior - Soulknife - Tactician - Vitalist - Wilder
|Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Classes|
| Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Druid - Fighter - Monk |
Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Warlock - Wizard
|Artificer - Mystic|