So, with the Player’s Handbook Fighter powers exhausted, I’m turning to Wizard powers for evaluation and revision. I’ve already made a bunch of changes that I hadn’t originally expected. All of them for the better.

Last week by strange coincidence, I saw Disney’s John Carter of Mars within a couple days of reading a number of articles relating the origins and themes of Sword & Sorcery fiction, and their influences in Dungeons & Dragons.

There are too many articles to list, or I would totally list them here.

I started with the highest-level Wizard daily attacks powers, and I’m about halfway through the dailies now. Several of the biggest ones, I rewrote as Rituals. I think it made sense that a power like Mordenkainen’s Disjunction would be more time-consuming than the straightforward gesture and utterance it is in 3e/4e.

If Disjunction can indeed be used to sever any magical powers of an artifact, it seems to me like a good effect to charge a hefty admission for — to the benefit of both players and game masters. Destroying an artifact should always require some kind of quest, or failing that, at least come with a high price tag.

Several other powers have been converted to rituals, and it’s given me cause to reexamine the mechanical “definition” of the Wizard class. I think I came up with a pretty good one to base the Fighter on — I’m looking at 4e’s conjurations and zones for making up that majority of Wizard powers.

Here’s an example of Flaming Sphere, rewritten for encounter usage:

FLAMING SPHERE [Arcane, Fire, Conjuration]
Minor action * Encounter * Ranged 20
Effect: You conjure a flaming sphere in an unoccupied square you can see. The conjuration lasts until end of next turn. Deal 5 fire damage to each creature that starts its turn in a square adjacent to the conjuration.
Level 17: 10 fire damage.
Level 27: 15 fire damage.
Sustain Minor: The conjuration persists until end of next turn.

I would combine it with the following feature I wrote for a hypothetical “pyromancer,” Blazing Trail:

BLAZING TRAIL
When you sustain a fire conjuration, move it 3 squares. You must be able to see the destination. When you move the conjuration through a space occupied by an enemy, the enemy is subjected to the conjuration’s effect. A creature can only be subjected to each conjuration’s effect once per turn.

As the “pyromancer” advances in level, they can create and potentially sustain multiple flaming spheres, which while passive sources of damage, can be used to corral foes and discourage passage through parts of the battlefield.

The idea then, is that a Wizard is less of godlike omnipotence, and more a powerful arcane craftsman — capable of channeling remarkable abilities to threaten multiple foes at once. He can still wield the incredible power Wizards of previous editions held — but it is neither required nor expected of him.

The Wizard can *just* be a badass.