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I'm starting with a new group, and I would like to make a Dwarf Wizard. However, I don't want to be a drag on the group and I want to pull my own weight - is this possible? I want to go the controlling (slides, pulls, hypnotics) route as opposed to a fireball slinger. I would appreciate any guidance. Thanks a lot!

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What should stop a Dwarf? (Whether its about becoming a Wizard or anything else.) –  Stephen Oct 24 '11 at 18:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Yes. Many mage effects have miss effects. If you start with an 18 intelligence and focus on enchantment, illusion, and nethermancy you can be a remarkably sturdy controller.

Don't forget to start with winged horde. (which has been classified illusion) and enlarge spell (trivial to achieve with a dwarf's natural wisdom) and one forced movement at-will. With staff expertise, you can enjoy a position closer to the battle while keeping your second wind as a minor on tap. Not a horrible choice at all.

Here's a level by level build to paragon of a viable dwarf mage. Strongly informed by this. Items are another question.

  • 1: Enchantment Apprentice, Illusion Apprentice
    • A: Winged Horde
      • AoE, party friendly. But the most important aspect for your purposes is the "no opportunity attacks" which allows alarmingly awesome party mobility. Your meat & potatoes damaging power as well, since you can drop it on the furball, allow allies in the middle of it to move about freely don't underestimate how good this is and damage in burst 2 with enlarge spell.
    • A: Hypnotism or Beguiling strands.
      • My personal preference is hypnotism, since causing enemies to attack each other is fun. But pushing the entire battlefield around is amazingly useful for you, since you can afford to get hit due to your second wind minor.
    • E: Charm of Misplaced Wrath or Grasping Shadows
      • Charm is great, with an effect kicker that's unbelievable. Absolutely take it if you don't take hypnotism. Grasping shadows is unparalleled area denial at this level, and the slow is simply rude especially if combined with, oh, say, something that moves them back into the zone? Not like you'd have any powers that do that.
    • D: Flaming Sphere, Arcane Whirlwind, Phantom Chasm
    • F: Orb Expertise or Staff Expertise
      • Orb is better for sliders, but staff is better if you're anticipating entering melee. I'd go with orb, but it's important to mention both.
  • 2:
    • U: Shield and Mystical Debris.
    • F: Enlarge Spell (depending on how often you find a area burst 2 would have been useful. or Superior Implement Expertise: Crystal Orb (accuracy and damage with psychic) or accurate, if you've found that you've taken some reflex powers. Enlarge spell is not at all useful for enchanters, so it's a function of deciding if you're an illusionist or enchanter. If you were a tiefling, I'd absolutely go pure enchanter, but winged horde is just fantastic.
  • 3:
    • E: Hypnotic Pattern (why yes I'd like everyone to cluster there. In the lava.) or Ebony Razors (cause it's a really nice room-clearing encounter) or Maze of Mirrors
  • 4:
    • F: enlarge spell if you have AoEs, Improved init (amazingly useful for a controller) or improved defenses (if you find yourself targeted often by silly people)
    • Stats: int, dex. You eventually want dex 13 to
  • 5: Enchantment Expert
    • D: Stinking Cloud or Visions of Averice
      • I'd take stinking cloud. Just fantastic for creating a room-clearing ... area. Especially with Enlarge Spell. Visions is nice for pulling everything around, but at a certain point, it's not something you want to do with your dailies.
  • 6:
    • U: Emerald Eye (why yes, you do target will) or Insightful Warding
  • 7:
    • E: Charm of the Defender or Twist of Space (Enlarge spell makes this battlefield rearrangment spell go squee)
  • 8: Illusion Expert
    • F: a defensive feat or dual implement spell caster
    • stats: dex
  • 9:
    • D: Summon Succubus (dominate? Yes please) or visions of ruin or wall of fire
  • 10: Enchantment or illusion master, depending on which you use more.
    • U: Illusory Wall or Mass Resistance or Repelling Shield or Umbral Leap
  • 11:
    • Paragon Path: Battleweaver if you have an enlarged Winged Horde and like it. Pasted from the guide: Generally good: Arcane Wayfarer, Academy Master, Imposer and illusionist, Necromancers, save debuffers in general: Life Singer (MC bard), Divine Oracle (MC cleric), Planeshifter, Phiarlan Phanstasmist, Enigmatic Mage (only illusionist mage) Enchanter: Entrancing Mystic (MC warlock)
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In general, you don't need a 20 in your main stat to be a viable anything. 16 or above will work fine, however lower than an 18 needs a really good reason. There are at least 3 good array picks that will allow you to get 18 in a stat that doesn't receive a +2 bonus. Also a +2 con and a +2 wisdom are always useful for better health and defenses.

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This is D&D, anything is possible. I personally can say that I have never built a character with a 20 in their main stat and all of them have felt perfectly viable and useful to the party. I'm not sure how much the CON will help you but a little extra fortitude and health never hurt anybody, and wisdom is always helpful. If you want to focus on battlefield control I would highly recommend getting orb expertise, as that will let you slide/pull/push enemies further, as well as orb of imposition to prolong any really useful debuffs. I'd also recommend taking a look at powers focusing on illusion, I highly recommend Phantom Chasm as a 1st level daily. Not only is the initial effect very nice (guaranteed prone, if not immobilized) but it creates a nice area for you to push enemies into so that they get knocked prone again, and this lasts until the end of the battle.

Best of luck with this build, and don't worry about being a powerhouse, just have fun with it.

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