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I've had DMs rule both ways on this..I haven't seen any official RAWs on this so I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction?

If a Wizard specializes (giving him 1-2 prohibited schools) and later multiclasses can his cross class use the prohibited class?

ie, an "illusionist" gives up Evocation & Conjuration and later crosses into Cleric, would he be prohibited from casting healing (conjuration) spells or would it be ok now that it is divine magic and not arcane?

Or does the arcane vs divine source even matter? So the same Wizard instead crosses into Sorcerer, can he now cast Sorcerer spells from the prohibited schools?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Yes, you can. Specialization is a Wizard class feature that affects Wizard spellcasting only. It has no effect on spells from other classes. Complete Arcane, for example, explicitly suggests multiclassing with Sorcerer to get your missing spells.

Complete Arcane pg. 185

One way around at least part of this restriction is for a specialist wizard to take levels in sorcerer, using her sorcerer spellcasting ability to master the spells and magic items she cannot use as a wizard.

The FAQ (which is not a real rules source but may be good for convincing DMs) explicitly answered this question as well.

Specialization would be much clearer if they simply said that the spells were removed from your wizard spell list, and even effects that add spells to your spell list cannot add spells of your banned schools to your wizard spell list. That's what all the specialization rules sum up to, they just chose a long and complicated way to describe it.

However, note that Wizards, like all spellcasters, multiclass poorly. Being behind on spell levels is a very serious blow to your power. The addition of lower-level spells from another class is not nearly enough to justify this, from a purely-mechanical perspective. There are exceptions, but they involve dual-progression PrCs that can be entered with only one level lost, and that have their own class features (like Anima Mage from Tome of Magic or Ultimate Magus from Complete Mage).

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A neat edge case: In a one-shot level 2 game, play a Sorcerer1/Wizard1 (any specialist). Total spells per day: nine level 0, seven level 1. –  Jonathan Drain Dec 22 '12 at 11:55
@JonathanDrain: Even better, be a Beguiler 1/Wizard 1 (banning Enchantment and Illusion). Beguiler will give you a ton of Enchantment and Illusion spells known, which completely gets around the banning. –  KRyan Feb 7 '13 at 22:09
@KRyan plus the fact that Beguiler gets spells via intelligence, don't they? –  LitheOhm Jan 21 at 1:43
@LitheOhm Yes, another very-good point. –  KRyan Jan 21 at 2:06

The answer to your question is yes. In fact, multiclassing when done properly can allow a specialist Wizard much more flexibility than they might have as just a pure Wizard (specialist or not) with some small trade-offs. One of my favorite strategies that I often cite as an excellent example of this (which many DM's have ruled legal) is a Beguiler/Conjurer/Ultimate Magus/Master Specialist combination.

The idea is to ban enchantment and illusion. Although illusion has a lot of good defensive spells, the Beguiler spell list contains virtually all of the best illusion and enchantment spells which makes banning those two schools relatively painless. The Ultimate Magus part of the combo allows you to boost SKL and ECL for both of your arcane classes, as well as use persistent spell more often without raising the spell's level. Additionally, Wizard and Beguiler mesh extremely well together because they share the same primary ability (intelligence). Finally, the Beguiler's stupid amount of skill points (though still not as high as a Rogue's) and the inherent Trapfinding ability will really help you be more self-sufficient. If you want to follow this path, I recommend taking your first level as Beguiler, the next four levels as Conjurer, Levels 6-15 as Ultimate Magus, and the rest of your levels as either Conjurer or Master Specialist. If you execute it correctly, and take the Practiced Spellcaster feat for both Beguiler and Wizard at the appropriate times, you will end up with a character who has the spells known of a level 17 pure Wizard (which allows you to cast up to one level 9 spell per day) with a caster level of 24 and the spells known of a level 10 Beguiler (which gives you access to level 5 Beguiler spells) with a caster level of 18.

Some might say that the effective loss of a few Wizard levels is simply too great a sacrifice, but I believe that as long as you are capable of casting 9th level Wizard spells the addition of essentially free persistent spell usage as well as a bunch of super useful utility spells that don't need to be memorized to use far outweighs being able to cast three more 9th level spells per day. As always, use your own judgment. Another variation of this strategy involves using the Sorcerer class as the base and combining it with Knight of the Weave. To qualify for Ultimate Magus you would need to take the feat that allows you to prepare your spontaneous spells ahead of time but fewer DM's permit this as you end up with a Sorcerer who has full spell progression, a small number of useful divine spells, and no down sides. In order for most DM's to allow your build in the campaign, you often have to show that you are giving something up in exchange for something else. In this case, you are trading a few spells per day from your highest level spells for the ability to specialize in a particular school of magic for its benefits while still being able to cast some of the best spells that belong to your prohibited schools.

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In rules yes, this is legal, however to my mind this violates the spirit of things and should not be done.

There is a reason why this Wizard chose to sacrifice those schools to gain more from the other schools.
For me for RP purposes, I would not allow my characters to multi-class to get around a restriction like this.

They could use a wand, scroll, etc, but would not "learn" or study them.

I always took it as being opposed to these other schools, not that anything would happen if they did except perhaps loose face in game in the Wizard guild or something. To me just because you can get around rules doesn't mean you should to have more power. For me this is more fun dealing with these limitations and sticking to a character's principles for role-playing, but this all depends on the campaign and style really.

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I downvoted this because I'm not entirely sure what this answer adds in addition to the other answers other than your highly subjective opinion. Additionally, why do you think the restriction should be on the character and not on the character's class? It is, after all, "Wizard Specialization" and not "Character Who Happens To Have The Wizard Class Specialization". –  Ellesedil Aug 6 at 17:16
Strongly disagree; specialization implies "I have focused on one thing and haven't bothered to learn about the others," not "I am metaphysically incapable of the others." A sorcerer is innately capable of some spells; it actually makes sense that he'd ignore the spells he's innately capable of when studying other magics; why learn them from a book when he can do them naturally? –  KRyan Aug 6 at 17:17

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