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How to Create Great Pathfinder 2nd Edition Characters: Wizard

Well folks, we’ve finally reached the grand finale of the Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) Class Concepts series! We’ve explored each of the base classes in-depth, and discussed some of my highlights of the new edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Paizo.

Instead of talking about another mechanical change with Second Edition, I briefly want to talk about portraying your character at the table. At the end of the day, you should play characters that get you excited about each session. Whether they have an interesting quirk or fantastic combat skills, discover what you like best about the game and build your character around that.

Combine the questions that I’ve asked in each of the class concepts to get you thinking about your character. It’s sort of like filling out a personality quiz on behalf of someone else; you can figure out a lot of the answers but maybe you want to leave some of them open-ended as things that you want to explore during the game.

Either way, you’re going to get a lot more life out of a character when you’re jazzed about playing them every week.

As always, this final installment will have five interesting Wizard concepts for you to build a character around. Additionally, I provide a Pathmap to give a bit of direction regarding mechanical choices that might make sense for that character. It’s just a starting point; don’t get too tied up with specifics and really make it your own!

Let’s get brainstorming!

Pathfinder 2nd Edition Wizard Class

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, Ezren is an older man with gold-trimmed blue robs and a hooked staff of brilliant white.
Ezren, the 2E Iconic Wizard

Wizards have been a tabletop gaming staple since the inception of the genre. Known for their classic use of fireball spells and magic missiles, Wizards showcase their vast knowledge and intellect. At higher levels, they give so much versatility to the party. For example, they can teleport the group to get out of a sticky situation or take out multiple enemies with a well-placed area-of-effect (AoE) blast. They excel in situations where information needs to be deduced, or in recalling lore about locations and creatures.

You typically won’t find a Wizard brandishing weapons on the frontline, but certain builds might allow for that. On the contrary, they tend to stick towards the flanks, raining down buffs and magic from afar. Consideration always needs to be made when determining how much firepower you want to expend. Too much and you’ll be out of spells for future encounters, but too little and you risk endangering the party.

Wizards are usually calculating individuals who spend time poring over tomes and scrolls to hone their craft. Unlike Sorcerers, they weren’t born with power; they’ve accumulated knowledge over years of meticulous study.

As a Wizard, you might use eloquent language and exercise your intellect to weave complex logic knots around others. Or, you might rely heavily on the protection of others, knowing that your lightly-armored frame is fragile and delicate.

  TRINKET MAGE

A Trinket Mage is fascinated with seemingly insignificant baubles and items that others would normally pass over without second thought. You believe that each item holds a secret; either by it’s creator or through an event that it witnessed. By tapping into that latent energy, you can create physical manifestations of that power. Every object has a story to tell, and you will spend the time discovering what that story might be. Objects of the deceased are particularly engaging, offering insights and connections to Pharasma’s Boneyard.

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, a Rasp Goblin with a floppy black hat and a pet frog. He brandishes a rudimentary short sword which wearing an auburn coat as a cloak.

Nothing ceases to amaze you. From the simplest thimble to an ornate, ceremonial helm, you are intrigued by the history behind people, places, and things. You are curious and ask questions to the point of excess. As far as sharing your knowledge, you often over-indulge others with the tales of your items. You pay attention to people, actively listening and providing your own perspective. This makes you incredibly perceptive and you often notice things and come to conclusions before others.

Do you peddle your wares or is your trinket collection strictly for personal use? Have you tapped into energies to provide seance services? Which objects hold the most significance to you? Do you believe in curses? What happens if you find an item that has a lot of negative energy surrounding it? Where do you procure the majority of your items? Is it primarily through shops, or do you find them in discard heaps of junk or waste?

Are your trinkets displayed openly on your person, or do you keep them stashed away out of sight? Do you have a personal attachment to any of your items? Have you used the stories or magic of an item to solve mysteries or uncover alarming truths about a person or faction? Where did you learn how to conjure? Are there any trinkets’ secrets that you’ve been unable to crack? Do baubles need to be repaired before they divulge their stories? Do you possess such skills?

Pathmap

  • Arcane Thesis: Spell Blending
  • Arcane School: Conjuration
  • Ability Scores: Wisdom, Dexterity
  • Skills: Tinkering Lore, Crafting, Arcana
  • Sample Spells: Mage Hand, Sigil, Detect Magic, Light, Mending (1st), Item Facade (1st), Unseen Servant (1st), Burning Hands (1st)
  • Wizard Feats: Eschew Materials, Cantrip Expansion (2nd), Linked Focus (4th), Spell Penetration (6th), Bond Conservation (8th), Scroll Savant (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Bonded Focus (14th), Spell Tinker (16th), Infinite Possibilities (18th), Spell Combination (20th)

  CONGENIAL CRYOGENICIST

Just because your work is cold, doesn’t mean that your demeanor has to be. Your work in the field of ice magic is cutting-edge. Depending on the need, you might be preserving limbs one day and stopping violent lava flow the next. You’ve traveled to the furthest reaches of the Mammoth Lands and into the swirling sands of the Golden Road to conduct your research. By performing experiments, tuning, and testing you are able to create the purest ice and the coldest temperatures. Even so, you are amicable to all of your test subjects and patrons.

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, a Auideen elf clad in a deep purple gown. She has a bronze crown atop her flowing black hair.

You always take the necessary safety precautions and work through a mental checklist before performing any significant tests. This makes you cautious; it’s rare for you to make a rash decision or rush into a situation without conducting the proper analysis. In fact, sometimes you take far too long to make a decision. Others see this as a sign of hesitation and fear, which is understandable. At the end of the day, you’re not about to get yourself killed for your work. When others express concerns about your ‘lethargic’ attitude, you respond with jovial words and a positive disposition. Life’s too short to live it completely devoid of warmth and companionship.

What is the primary goal of your research? Why are you fascinated with the cold, ice, and frigid temperatures? What’s the coldest weather that you’ve ever experienced? When have your experiments gone awry and what caused those mishaps? Are the results and conditions of these experiments well-documented? Do you report your results to a particular person or organization? Do you have any particular nicknames that people refer to you as? Why are you such a positive person?

How much have you dabbled in fire magic? Do you believe in actions having equal and opposite reactions? Have you developed any noteworthy publications or treatises on your research? Why is it difficult for you to make decisions? When’s the last time you rushed to a conclusion? What is your idea of perfect weather? Have you performed experiments on yourself or people that were close to you? Are you obsessed with the concept of preservation, either in terms of physical items or memories?

Pathmap

  • Arcane Thesis: Metamagical Experimentation
  • Arcane School: Evocation
  • Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Skills: Plane of Water Lore, Medicine, Survival
  • Sample Spells: Chill Touch, Produce Flame, Ray of Frost, Read Aura, Hydraulic Push (1st), Mage Armor (1st), Create Water (1st), Floating Disk (1st)
  • Wizard Feats: Counterspell, Cantrip Expansion (2nd), Silent Spell (4th), Steady Spellcasting (6th), Advanced School Spell (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Clever Counterspell (12th), Reflect Spell (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Infinite Possibilities (18th), Archwizard’s Might (20th)

  PROFICIENT SNAKE CHARMER

You sure know how to put on a good performance, leaving the people clamoring for more after they come out of their reverie. A large part of your act centers on influencing the movements of your stable of pets. Usually, this means charming a snake, but you’ve been known to work with all sorts of critters to dazzle and impress. You know, however, that a good performance hinges on creating a proper ambience and atmosphere, not just amazing animal-taming abilities. It doesn’t hurt to sprinkle in some magic to keep the audience captivated.

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, a Mihrini Halfling wearing a patterned vest and common Varisian clothing.

There’s a certain allure about you that people find exceptionally appealing. Being able to keep people transfixed on your right hand allows some sleight of hand with your left. People are initially drawn to your charm but hang around after learning that you have more substance than initially presumed. You are well-spoken, able to convince others of your point of view. Generally, you tend to be calm and collected; it takes quite a bit to rattle your cage.

What is the general progression of your standard performance? What’s the name of your favorite familiar? How did you come across any of your additional animal companions? Does your show travel or do you capitalize on tourism in the same general area? After studying magic, why did you decide to spend your time as a performer? How do you handle fame? Have you ever used your magical proficiency to swindle or steal?

Would you rather be be in an urban or natural environment? Do you find it easy to make relationships, or is it hard for you to get too close to people? Are you gullible? Do you believe people are inherently easy to fool? How often do you disguise yourself? What are some interesting ways that you’ve used magic? Are you more inclined to enchant people or have you enchanted objects as well? Do you have a soft spot for animals?

Pathmap

  • Arcane Thesis: Improved Familiar Attunement
  • Arcane School: Enchantment
  • Ability Scores: Charisma, Dexterity
  • Skills: Osirion Lore, Performance, Diplomacy
  • Sample Spells: Acid Splash, Dancing Lights, Daze, Mage Hand, Summon Animal (1st), Sleep (1st), Color Spray (1st), Charm (1st)
  • Wizard Feats: Familiar, Enhanced Familiar (2nd), Linked Focus (4th), Spell Penetration (6th), Advanced School Spell (8th), Quickened Casting (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Superior Bond (14th), Spell Tinker (16th), Reprepare Spell (18th), Metamagic Mastery (20th)

  SEASONED WEAPONS MASTER

Even though you are quite proficient in magic, you’ve always been drawn to the use of melee weapons. The thrill of battle excites you, and you just can’t ignore the rush it gives you. Before you went to the university, you spent every waking second honing your footwork and weapon skills. Once you became proficient enough, you began using magic as just another weapon to add to your arsenal. Magic is a supplement and it has made you potent and more deadly than ever.

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, a Thassalonian man dressed in simple finery, his hand resting on the pommel of his rapier.

Others see you as a swordsman first and a magician second, but you’re okay with that. When it comes to your martial skills, you always give it your all. You are a quick learner, have a brilliant mind, and gain advantages at any cost. If a situation requires you to put yourself in harm’s way to be successful, you don’t even hesitiate. Where others might back down, you welcome a challenge. Competition brings out the best in you.

Do you have an extensive weapon collection or are you mostly attached to a single weapon? Were you taught magic by the same person or group that taught you the ways of martial weapons? What is your favorite weapon to use? If magic is a supplement to your physical abilities, do you refrain from using it too often? Did your background give you an edge compared to other students in your class? How are you redefining what it means to be a warrior?

Are there many people that would you consider to be your rival? When confronted with danger, what is your typical reaction? Do you put others’ welfare before your own? Is your magic used to enhance your own abilities, or do you focus on hindering your opponent? Have you forged or enchanted your own weapons? Did you spend time in an organized military? Have you served as a mercenary? Do you teach others how to fight with martial weapons?

Pathmap

  • Arcane Thesis: Spell Blending
  • Arcane School: Universalist
  • Ability Scores: Strength, Wisdom
  • Skills: Magic Warrior Lore, Athletics, Arcana
  • Sample Spells: Electric Arc, Message, Telekinetic Projectile, Shield, True Strike (1st), Ray of Enfeeblement (1st), Magic Missile (1st), Shocking Grasp (1st)
  • Wizard Feats: Hand of the Apprentice, Conceal Spell (2nd), Bespell Weapon (4th), Spell Penetration (6th), Universal Versatility (8th), Quickened Casting (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Superior Bond (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Infinite Possibilities (18th), Spell Combination (20th)

  SPECIAL EFFECTS AFICIONADO

As a part of a theater troupe or a royal court, you are constantly developing exciting ways to showcase your magical abilities. A well-timed spout of flame or lightning strike can do wonders to draw in the crowd and enhance a story. When needed, you’ve conjured up images of demons or elementals that are more difficult for people to portray. You’re adept at creating disguises and props, and you have an eye for intricate detail. Because of your line of work, you’ve taken it upon yourself to heavily research the subjects of your illusions to ensure they’re historically accurate.

Pathfinder Second Edition Wizard, a Changeling Hellknight wielding a trident and blowing flame from her mouth.

Your expressions aren’t easy to read and you might hold your cards close to the vest. Maybe it’s because you’ve gotten burned in the past or maybe you are so familiar with illusions that you’re skeptical of seemingly good intentions. When you focus on something, you are all-in; it’s easy for you to get lost in your work. People know they can rely on you and trust you to perform at a high level. Your creativity and innovation are unrivaled; by comparing magic to an art form, you can create some amazing visual effects.

Is your magic utilized more on the the sets of plays or are you employed in other, more nefarious pursuits? What are the easiest ways to fool people? Are you familiar enough with the psychology of perception to understand how people react to certain stimuli? Is there a particular sort of illusion that you specialize in? Can you usually separate the real from the fake? Are you skilled at reading other people?

What drew you to the study of illusion magic? Do you have any favorite performances or productions? Do you have any time to read for pleasure, or do you mostly spend your time with nonfiction works? What is your most well-kept secret? Has your magic ever saved your life? What were you doing before you started studying magic? Do you find yourself always being genuine, or do your illusory tendencies leak into your everyday persona?

Pathmap

  • Arcane Thesis: Spell Substitution
  • Arcane School: Illusion
  • Ability Scores: Intelligence, Charisma
  • Skills: Fire Lore, Performance, Deception
  • Sample Spells: Produce Flame, Ghost Sound, Dancing Lights, Mage Hand, Color Spray (1st), Fear (1st), Illusory Disguise (1st), Illusory Object (1st)
  • Wizard Feats: Widen Spell, Conceal Spell (2nd), Silent Spell (4th), Steady Spellcasting (6th), Advanced School Spell (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Magic Sense (12th), Bonded Focus (14th), Spell Tinker (16th), Reprepare Spell (18th), Archwizard’s Might (20th)

Pathfinder 2E Wizard Class – It’s Magical!

There are some obvious Wizard builds that I didn’t include in the concepts above, like powerful blasters or accomplished professors. When building a character for a magical world, it doesn’t take much to work magic into almost any build you can think of.

And that’s it! The Pathfinder Second Edition Class Concepts series is now complete! Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas and helped to spur your imagination for all of your character creation needs.

Stay tuned for new entries as additional classes get released. I’ll be all over them!

How to Create Great Pathfinder Second Edition Characters