D&D Classing It Up: Wizard

We’re getting to the end of the classes with only Wizard and Warlock left. So, how do you play a classy Wizard?

Image Source: Wizards

The Wizard is one of the classiest classes already without doing much to class it up (well, kind of…mainly I just want to write this sentence). There is some truth to this,though, because Wizards, as magic users, don’t get their power by an act of a god, through nature, by making a pact, or by a twist of fate. They are the scholars of the Dungeons & Dragons world. Wizards put time and effort into learning spells, honing their skills, and focusing their studies. Wizards cast based off of their intelligence, and can learn many spells by translating them into what they need it to be to cast the spell. This means that the wizard doesn’t have as hard a cap on spells known as some of the other classes.

Because it is more of a scholarly pursuit, there are a number of different courses of study that a wizard can go into. They could study evocation or divination or necromancy, and whatever they’ve chosen to study, they become better at that area than other wizards. This does in some ways limit the logical routes for backgrounds and backstories. As a wizard, you have to have at least some level of knowledge and schooling to be able to cast spells and learn spells. How you can change it up is how you learned, where you learned, and whom you learned from. You can also, especially with races that live longer like Elves and Dwarves, have been out of school for a long time. A human wizard is likely going to be more recently out of school.

So, what are some backstories that you could use?

Image Source: D&D Beyond


You don’t know who your parents were. You don’t even know what town or country you are from, really, though you’ve started to search out clues. Being kidnapped as a young child is always terrifying, even more so when you are kidnapped by a mad wizard who wants to eventually put her mind into your body and become an all-powerful lich. She didn’t want the body of a child though, so she trained you and taught you so that you could help her. That was all that you needed — when you figured out what she was planning, you started planning as well. Then, as she got weaker and it grew closer to the time when she was planning becoming a lich and steal your body, you struck first. You killed her — or at least, you killed her human form. But what you hadn’t realized was that she was prepared to become a lich even if she couldn’t get your body. Now you’ve got to learn more so that you can destroy her and the power you unleashed upon the world.

Background: Folk Hero(?)/Haunted (from Curse of Strahd)
Wizard Class: Necromancy


School was not your thing. It wasn’t that you were a bad student, but it was so boring and dry. You wanted your life to be more exciting, so you goofed off in class, always making amazing illusions that you entertained your classmates with. This didn’t really endear you to the teachers, and before you were set to graduate, you were expelled for causing one too many disruptions. That was okay; you’d learned what you wanted to know. You took your show on the road and performed all over, from small towns of simple villagers to big cities in front of nobility. Life was great. Then you started to notice strange things happening in a number of the small towns and villages you went around to. You weren’t sure what was going on, but with your entertaining, you can open doors and talk to people. Now you just need someone who is better at investigating to help you figure it out.

Background: Entertainer
Wizard Class: Illusion


You remember that day so well. It stands out in your mind; you’ll never forget it. There was nothing that you could have done; you were so young. But one day, the goblins found you and your mother in the woods. She told you to run, and you did, but not too far — you watched as she tried to hold them back so they wouldn’t go after you. They killed her, but she had bought you your life with her blood. It still stands out in your dreams, and you rarely get a good night’s sleep. You went and joined up with the local militia, and they taught you how to destroy. You were able to fight and defeat many a goblin, but that didn’t bring your mother back. You vowed to let no one else die, and as you learned that you had magic abilities, you started spending your time figuring out a way to change the future. You, along with your teacher, were able to see a major tragedy that was coming to the school. Your teacher sent you away to get help, but while you were gone, your teacher died. Now you have to figure out how to stop this event on your own and find out who killed your teacher.

Background: Sage
Wizard Class: Divination


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