Beginner’s Guide To Creating A Wizard In Pathfinder 2e

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  • Should You Play A Wizard Or A Sorcerer?

There are few classes in tabletop roleplaying more iconic than the Wizard. Pathfinder gives the original arcane spellcaster plenty to do, with an astounding array of magical powers to choose from. They’re also able to aid the party with a wealth of knowledge and skills that are harder to come by for other classes.


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Related: Pathfinder 2e: How To Build A Cleric

If you’re planning to bring some magic to the table with a scholarly spell-slinger in your Pathfinder campaign, this guide will help you make picks at character creation and beyond. Your foes will know not to meddle in the affairs of Wizards – especially you.

This guide only uses character options from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Advanced players may wish to look for ideas in supplementary sourcebooks.


Should You Play A Wizard Or A Sorcerer?

Pathfinder Character Casting Spell Making Boggard's Run Away

Wizards and Sorcerers fill a similar role in the party, but they have very different play styles. In general, a Wizard can learn more spells than a Sorcerer, but a Sorcerer can cast more spells per day. Sorcerers tend to be better in social situations thanks to their higher Charisma, while a Wizard’s Intelligence makes them great for finding secrets and knowing things the rest of the party might not.

The other major difference is that Sorcerers tend to be more generalized in their magic, while Wizards usually select a School of Magic in which to specialize.

Ability Scores

Pathfinder Lich Casting Spell WIth Green Ray Against Character

Intelligence is the most important Ability Score for a Wizard, as it determines the overall power and accuracy of your spells. Whenever you have an opportunity to increase your Intelligence, go for it!

It’s a good idea to take Dexterity as your second-highest Ability Score, since it will help to keep your AC high without the use of armor. After that, prioritize your Ability Scores based on the Skills that you want to use.

Ancestry

Pathfinder Character Levitating Weapons In Aura Around Her

Elves have perfect Ability boosts for Wizards, gaining increased Dexterity and Intelligence right from the start. If don’t want to play an Elf, though, don’t worry too much – there are no Ancestries that make poor Wizards. Pick the one you like best!

Background

Anthony Star Bestiary Intro Pathfinder
Bestiary Intro via Anthony Star

Wizards make excellent crafters, so the Artist, Tinker, or Artisan Background can help you make useful items throughout the campaign. Fortune Tellers, Hermits, and of course Scholars also make great Wizards thanks to their enhanced knowledge Skills.

Related: Pathfinder 2e: How To Build A Rogue

Feats

Two poison makers in a lab
Potions And Poisons Cover Art by Setiawan Fajareka

It’s best to choose Feats based on your Arcane Thesis, which you’ll choose at character creation.

Improved Familiar Attunement enhances your familiar and the benefits that they grant you. You’ll need to take the Familiar Feat at Level 1, and should always take Feats that improve your Familiar whenever they’re available.

Metamagical Experimentation lets you choose a Metamagic Wizard Feat of your level or lower that you don’t have, and use it until the end of the day. This means that when there are multiple Metamagic Feats available, you can choose one and use your Thesis to gain access to the other one!

Spell Blending lets you combine spell slots to create higher-level ones. Look for Feats that grant access to powerful spells, such as Advanced School Spell, as well as Metamagic Feats to make high-level spells more effective.

Spell Substitution lets you swap out prepared spells, provided you have time to perform a short ritual. This is a great all-purpose Thesis, and with the right amount of preparation it’s great with Counterspell and its related Feats.

School Of Magic

Pathfinder Forest Spirits Attacking
Art via Paizo Inc.

Wizards get to choose a School of Magic, which specializes them in a particular type of spell. Pick the one that you’ll enjoy the most, since you’ll be locked into it.

Abjuration is a defensive School that focuses on granting and enhancing protection to you and your allies.

Conjuration is focused on summoning – and, perhaps more importantly, banishing – creatures from other locations and even other planes of existence.

Divination lets you gain knowledge through magical means, and even lets you nudge fate in a favorable direction to give yourself and your allies better luck.

Enchantment is mental magic, letting you influence the minds of others.

Evocation is excellent for Wizards who want to deal a lot of damage, as it lets you create elemental effects with ease.

Illusion can be tricky to use, but by distracting or deceiving your enemies you can set up advantageous situations for your team.

Necromancy uses the power of death and the dead. It has good damage potential and allows for creating or controlling undead creatures.

Transmutation lets you change the physical properties of objects and creatures.

You can still cast spells from outside your School of Magic – you’re just better at your chosen specialty.

If you’d prefer not to choose, you can instead be a Universalist Wizard. While you won’t have the benefits of a School, you’ll get an extra Wizard Feat and access to unique powers such as Hand Of The Apprentice.

Equipment

Pathfinder Adventuring Party Fighting In Throne Room

Unless you have Proficiencies from your Ancestry or another source, you’ll be fighting without armor and only simple weapons. That’s fine, though, since your spells will more than make up for both!

Be sure to buy a spellbook and materials, as they’re the most important things a Wizard owns. Choose an object to be your go-to bonded item as well,

If you have the Proficiency to equip a Finesse weapon, your high Dexterity will let you give opponents who think you’ll be a pushover in melee a nasty surprise. That’s doubly true for Diviners and Transmuters who can enhance their weapons!

Next: Pathfinder 2e: Best Arcane Spells

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