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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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.
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.
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.