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I know about the bonus spells per day you get from your INT modifier and the specializing bonus. Is there any other way to get more spell casts per day?

Just to make sure I have this right, as a level 5 wizard with 16 int I can cast 2 3rd level spells per day. 1 from base and 1 from the bonus from my INT. If I specialize into evocation, I can cast 3 fireballs per day but only 2 non-evocation spells per day. If this is wrong in any way please let me know.

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@Miniman Not really; in that case the most effective approach took advantage of the particular prestige class that he was using, which isn't the case here. – KRyan Sep 2 '14 at 1:37
Don't specialize into Evocation please. Think about Transmutation or something along those lines. Evocation may look like the "Big F.U." but it's not. A 10d6 Fireball looks great on paper, until you find out the Power Attack/Leap Attacking Barbarian just did 100+ damage on one charge attack. Think about buffing your allies, and debuffing your enemies if you want them to worship you. – Ruut Sep 10 '14 at 10:13
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You really want to start with 18 Int, and by 5th level you should probably have a headband of intellect +2, for a total of 20 Int. Won’t help your 3rd-level spells, but it will give you another 1st-level spell and it will also help your save DCs; any spell that someone fails a save to that they otherwise would have made, is a spell you don’t have to cast again.

Smart use of your spell slots also goes a very long way. If you hit some dudes with a fireball, they take some damage. They probably aren’t dead, though, and you’ll probably end up having to hit them with another fireball. And in the meantime, they are just as dangerous to your allies as they were before, and your allies are no more effective than they were.

If, instead, you haste your allies, you double the damage the fighter or barbarian and cleric or druid do, you give a dual-wielding rogue another attack (and, hopefully, that means another Sneak Attack), and so on. This will add up to a lot more damage than a fireball, you don’t have to worry about aiming, and if the first set of hasted attacks isn’t sufficient to kill them all, your allies remain hasted for several rounds without you having to cast another spell.

Alternatively, grease and glitterdust are some phenomenally effective debuffs: grease can have enemies flat on their back, or refusing to move for fear of falling, and really lets a rogue go to town, while glitterdust blinds which, for most things at low level, means they’re basically incapable of performing as any kind of threat. Best of all, these are a 1st-level and 2nd-level spell, respectively: you can save your higher-level spell slots for fly, perhaps, for scouting or just keeping yourself out of danger.

Ultimately, these are how a wizard is powerful, not through direct-damage. Most direct-damage spells are weak. Consequently, Evocation as a school is fairly weak (and its best spells, contingency and resilient sphere, are some of the few evocations that don’t deal damage). Specialization is a very good idea, but often because it’s no big loss to ban Evocation (and Enchantment); see here for all about specializing and the best ways to do it. You’ll notice that the four spells I recommend are all Conjuration (grease and glitterdust) or Transmutation (haste and fly); that’s not a coincidence. Specializing in these very diverse schools is an excellent way to extend your day, both by giving you another spell, and also by simply having each spell count for more.

Finally, it’s worth noting that pretty soon, your basic spells per day, specialized or not, are going to get pretty large. Pretty soon, if you spend your spell slots wisely, it will be a rare day when you are actually risking running out. For now, it’s a real concern, but you can get by. If you want, though, pearls of power are the way to expand your spells per day.

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Is it worth mentioning reserve spells? – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Sep 2 '14 at 0:27
@BrianBallsun-Stanton Only to say they suck, unfortunately. I mean, I guess they give you something better to do after you’ve cast your encounter-ending spell and are waiting for the rest of the crew to mop up, but other than that their best feature is the +1 to the caster level of certain spells that you also get with the feat. – KRyan Sep 2 '14 at 1:33
This answer is all strategy and strategy varies depending on too many factors. You are discounting the value of mass damage spells to quickly. That fireball if it did not kill enemies it weakened them so that the warrior can step up and great cleave them down 5 at a time, more quickly dispensing of them then the one extra hit per round that only helps them against one enemy at a time. A caster needs to have balance, but what balance is going to be determined by experience between the players and the DM. The headband and pearls did actually give a partial answer to the question. – Honorlord Sep 2 '14 at 19:48
@Honorlord Strategy is how you conserve spell slots and make them last longer, and is therefore the only real answer. Moreover, fireball does nothing to "weaken" enemies, because an enemy with 1 HP hits just as hard as an enemy with full HP: until they are dead, they are just as dangerous. If you blind them instead (e.g. glitterdust), they are almost-zero threat, and stay that way until you kill them, regardless of their HP. Finally, focusing each enemy down is always the right play: spreading damage around leaves all of them up and able to hurt you. – KRyan Sep 2 '14 at 19:58

Pearls of Power are the main way to get more spells per day, but that gets expensive.

Plus, of course, crafting scrolls or wands lets you cast spells using them without using a spell slot. (Which can get very expensive fast)

Other than that, there really isn't any other way I know of.

The limited spells per day is the major balancing factor of wizards; if they could cast without worrying about running out of spells, there'd be no stopping them.

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Spells per day don’t really do much to balance wizards, and there isn’t any stopping them as it is. – KRyan Sep 1 '14 at 21:42
@KRyan I think what Obilisk means is that limited spells per day are part of what causes 'Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard' (since at low levels a wizard can prepare and cast few spells) which is the theoretical balance between casters and non-casters, even if it's not actually very effective. – Dakeyras Sep 1 '14 at 22:08
@Dakeyras 1. “Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard” describes a situation that doesn’t exist in 3.5; the wizard is more powerful than the fighter at level 1, rather than eclipsing him later, 2. Obilisk’s statement certainly implies to me that he intends it to be understood as an accurate fact, which it is not. – KRyan Sep 1 '14 at 22:12
Scrolls. Lots of scrolls. Off the top of my head, I don't recall either 1e or 2e having a level requirement to craft a spell scroll. Yes, it's pricey, but it's not like the neophyte wizard is spending their money on heavy armor. – Codes with Hammer Jan 20 at 16:55

There are not many ways to get more spell slots per day save by being a specialist wizard or increasing your Int score, and they usually aren't worth the effort.

The Spellcasting Prodigy feat lets you fake a slightly higher Int score for the purpose of determining your bonus spell slots. The Extra Slot feat gains you an extra slot of a given level.

As far as items go, Pearls of Power allow you to get back a spell you already cast, and a Circlet of the Magi (SpC) allows you not to spend the spells. Rings of Wizardry I-IV double the base spell slots of a single spell level, while a good selection of scrolls, wands, eternal wands (SpC) and minor schema (ECS, if I recall correctly) allow you to cast spells without spending your spell slots.

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Nice list; also Mnemonic Enhancer if used well at higher levels. – Rob Sep 2 '14 at 16:32

Ring of Wizardry 1-4 are pretty decent items, depending on what you want to do.

RoW3 is by far the best, because level 3 spells are great even up to high levels, and level 3 is the highest level that works with lesser metamagic rods. When you get to higher levels and find you don't have time in your combats to cast level 3 spells, buy lesser rods of quicken and go nuts with haste/throw out random fireballs for pretty much no cost.

Depending on how many casters are in your group, you may also find some value in a RoW 1 at high levels. Some paranoid groups use 'Detect magic' pretty much constantly to detect magic traps, and detect people that might be shapechanged/dominated etc, to find loot, or even just to tell if there are any other NPCs nearby (by high level, all NPCs worth worrying about will have magic)

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