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Pathfinder - Enchanter Wizard Handbook

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Introduction

The Wizard sits at the top of the class tier list, and the Enchanter is perhaps the most powerful of the wizard schools. Boasting excellent buffs and debuffs, and many of the scariest save-or-suck spells, an Enchanter is a terrifying force to behold.

The Enchanter is the ultimate save-or-suck caster. Every spell you cast should have immediate and dramatic results, and will very often end a fight with a word and gesture.

Wizard Class Features

Hit Points: d6 hit points leaves you pretty squishy.

Base Attack Bonus: Fortunately, you'll almost never need to make an actual attack. Touch AC scales very little from level 1 to level 20, going from an average of 11.6 on CR 1 monsters to 12.7 on CR 20 monsters.

Saves: Well, at least you have decent will. Mind controlling a wizard is your job, and we don't want anyone else doing your job.

Proficiencies: Wizards get very little in the way of proficiencies, but beyond very early levels you won't need them. If you're not an Elf, a light crossbow is an excellent backup weapon for an Enchanter.

Skills: Wizards only get 2+ skills, but you get every knowledge skill as a class skill, and your absurd intelligence will give you plenty of skill points to throw around. Remember that permanently increasing your intelligence will give you additional skill points retroactively, which will be nice when you hit levels 8 and 16.

Arcane Bond (Ex or Sp): You have the option of a familiar or a bonded item, and both options have their merits.

Arcane School: You picked Enchantment. For information on other schools, see the Wizard School Breakdown. For information on the Enchantment school specifically, see below.

Cantrips: Cantrips are amazing at every level. Prestidigitation is often called "minor wish", and Detect Magic will never stop being helpful. At low levels, Acid Splash provides easy, realiable damage.

Scribe Scroll: Scrolls are great for wizards, and giving you the feat for free is nice. Use it to prepare scrolls of spells that you need infrequently so that you can cover all of your bases.

Bonus Feats: 4 extra feats over the course of 20 levels isn't game-breaking, but the Wizard would still be king if he didn't get any of these. The addition of Arcane Discoveries gives wizards a handful of unique and incredibly powerful options in place of metamagic and item crafting feats.

Spells: You have the best spell list in the game, and every new book makes it better. Spells are why you play a wizard.

Enchantment School

Enchanting Smile (Su): A bonus to social skills is weird for a wizard. If you expend resources to be a face, this might actually be useful. But most likely, you won't be doing a lot of Bluffing. The level 20 ability is fantastic, but won't see a lot of use.

Dazing Touch (Sp): Dazed is a great status condition and this power has no saving throws, but this is a melee touch attack, which you will be terrible at, and it only affects things with your hit dice of fewer, which is generally only going to NPCs or things with a CR lower than your level. Your familiar can't deliver the attack since it's not a spell. It can be situationally useful if you get grappled or if you ambush someone, but it's not going to be your go-to options.

Aura of Despair (Su): The 30 foot range is problematic, and the duration is fairly limited, but a -2 to saves against everything affected is brutal, The debuff matches the Shaken condition and stacks with it. If you can make a target Shaken, they're looking at a total -4 penalty on saves against your absurd spell DCs. Sickened adds another -2.

Controller

Force of Will (Su): You give up charming smile for the ability to communicate with your charmed/dominated targets telepathically. This is great for communicating with subjects which don't speak common, and lets you boss things around without revealing that they're charmed/dominated. You could even use Charm Person on your party members to set up a cheap telepathic communication system.

Irresistible Demand (Sp): This is strictly worse than Dominate Monster, the duration is extremely limited, the save is average, and you have to concentrate as a standard action to maintain the effect. However, it's Dominate Monster at 8th level. With careful application, this is a really fantastic way to mimic a 9th level spell for a few rounds.

Manipulator

Beguiling Touch (Sp): You trade in the mediocre Dazing Touch for the considerably worse Beguiling Touch. Beguiling touch allows a save, has a very short duration, and doesn't work in combat or on hostile creatures. If you really need to charm something, cast Charm Person or Charm Monster. You're an enchanter, so you're really good at those.

Shape Emotions (Sp): You can now use your aura to give your party a +4 bonus on saves against fear, or your can give enemies a -2 penalty on saves against mind-affecting spells and effects. The bonus against feat can be replaced with Remove Fear, the -2 penalty is worse than the save penalty from Aura of Despair, and Aura of Despair applies penalties to attacks, ability checks, and skill checks.

Opposing Schools

Abilities

Str: Dump to 7. Make the fighter do the lifting.

Dex: Important for saves, and for the occasional touch attack.

Con: Your hit points are garbage, and fortitude saves will be a problem for you.

Int: You get magic, skills, and a bonus to knowledge skills (which you will have a ton of). Max at start, boost early, boost often.

Wis: You get high will saves, but with no other real ability dependencies, bumping wisdom to at least 12 for additional saves is wise.

Cha: If you're trying to be a face (which you totally can), don't dump charisma too hard. Otherwise, dump to 7 and keep your mouth shut until its time to throw some spells around.

Conversational Mute
25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy Elite Array 25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy Elite Array
  • Str:7
  • Dex:14
  • Con:14
  • Int:18
  • Wis:12
  • Cha:10
  • Str:7
  • Dex:12
  • Con:14
  • Int:18
  • Wis:12
  • Cha:8
  • Str:8
  • Dex:13
  • Con:14
  • Int:15
  • Wis:12
  • Cha:10
  • Str:7
  • Dex:14
  • Con:14
  • Int:18
  • Wis:14
  • Cha:7
  • Str:7
  • Dex:13
  • Con:14
  • Int:18
  • Wis:13
  • Cha:7
  • Str:8
  • Dex:13
  • Con:14
  • Int:15
  • Wis:12
  • Cha:10

In addition to normal ability considerations, Wizards can also make excellent use of the aging rules. Being middle-aged gives you a -1 penalty to your physical abilities, but gets you a pleasant +1 to your mental ability scores. However, this can be a problem for your already low reflex and fortitude saves.

Conversational Mute
25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy Elite Arrray 25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy Elite Arrray
  • Str:7 (6)
  • Dex:13 (12)
  • Con:13 (12)
  • Int:18 (19)
  • Wis:13 (14)
  • Cha:13 (14)
  • Str:7 (6)
  • Dex:13 (12)
  • Con:13 (12)
  • Int:18 (19)
  • Wis:11 (12)
  • Cha:10 (11)
  • Str:8 (7)
  • Dex:13 (12)
  • Con:14 (13)
  • Int:15 (16)
  • Wis:12 (13)
  • Cha:10 (11)
  • Str:7 (6)
  • Dex:14 (13)
  • Con:15 (14)
  • Int:18 (19)
  • Wis:13 (14)
  • Cha:7 (8)
  • Str:7 (6)
  • Dex:13 (12)
  • Con:13 (12)
  • Int:18 (19)
  • Wis:13 (14)
  • Cha:8 (9)
  • Str:8 (7)
  • Dex:13 (12)
  • Con:14 (13)
  • Int:15 (16)
  • Wis:12 (13)
  • Cha:10 (11)

Races

Bonuses to Intelligence are key, and other bonuses to spellcastinh are nice.

Dwarf: Dwarves are an interesting choice for wizards. Bonus Constitution and Wisdom make them very durable, a +2 on saves against spells is fantastic, and Darkvision is always helpful until you cast the spell. However, they don't bring anything useful to Enchanters offensively, so they're not a great option.

Elf: Bonus intelligence is great, and the bonus to dexterity and penalty to constitution are roughly equal for our purposes. The +2 bonus to penetrate spell resistance is equivalent to (and stacks with) Spell Penetration. The other benefits are highly situational, but certainly welcome. Since you're dumping strength, don't make the mistake of trying to use a bow.

Gnome: Bonus Constitution and Charisma are nice, but that's really all gnomes have to offer the Enchanter. Save gnomes for Illusionists.

Half-Elf: The flexible ability bonus goes right into Intelligence, but that's really all you get. You won't be multiclassing, and skill focus won't really matter to you. Some of the Half-Elf's alternate racial traits help a bit, but they don't offer anything particularly helpful for a Wizard. Humans are strictly better. The Half-Elf favored class bonus extends the duration of Enchantment spells, but it scales very slowly and most Enchantment spells will have plenty of duration.

Half-Orc: Ability bonus to intelligence. If you want to be a face, that +2 to intimidate might be nice, and darkvision is still fantastic, but half-orcs don't bring anything else of interest.

Halfling: Bonus to dexterity helps with a bad save, and the +1 racial bonus to all saves is nice, but that's really all we get from halflings.

Human: What's that you say? A bonus to intelligence? Madness. The bonus feat is great on literally any character, and the bonus skill points don't hurt our already impressive pool of skill points.

Traits

Skills

Between traits and our 2+int skill ranks, we have lots of fantastic options.

Non-Class Skills

Feats

Enchanters certainly aren't feat starved, which leaves a lot of room for dipping into metamagic, item crafting, and other fun things. This section does not cover metamagic feats or item creation feats feats.

Arcane Discoveries

Wizards can take an Arcane Discovery in place of a regular feat or Wizard bonus feat.

Weapons

Stop. Put that down. You're going to hurt yourself.

Armor

If you need AC, you're doing something wrong. Still, it doesn't hurt to get some cheap protection. Keep in mind that Mage Armor is generally your best bet when you need AC, but Mage Armor isn't always on.

Cross-Classing and Prestige Classes

The Wizard is the pinnacle of magical strength, and the Enchanter is first and foremost among Wizards. Why would you ever dilute yourself by stooping to pursue another class?

Example Build - The Silver Tongue

They always see things my way in the end.

While wizards lack the raw Charisma of Bards and Sorcerers, an Enchanter's magical abilities can make him an excellent conversationalist, and can allow him to either charm or dominate his way through any situation.

We will give up the Illusion and Necromancy schools. Sometimes you just need to throw a fireball.

Abilities

We will use the middle-aged conversational 25-point buy abilities suggested above, but the other suggested abilities can also use this build without any problems. The Human racial bonus goes into intelligence, bringing our total intelligence to 21 (18, +2 for being human, +1 for being middle-aged).

Race

In order to cover the skills we need to serve as a face, we're going to use Human for our race. Between the +2 intelligence and the bonus skill ranks, we will have more wiggle room.

Skills

With 21 starting intelligence, a bonus racial skill rank, and the favored class bonus will go into extra skill ranks, we will have 9 skill ranks per level. We'll max 8 skills, then use the extra rank to dip into other knowledge skills over several levels so that we can throw our intelligence bonus around.

Traits

World Traveller (Diplomacy) and Fast Talker. This gives us a total of +4 bonuses on both skills, which will make us a highly effective conversationalist.

Levels

Level Feat(s) Notes and Tactics New Spells
1 - Wizard
  • Spell Focus
  • Greater Spell Focus*
  • Scribe Scroll*

Arcane Bond (Ring): We won't benefit much from a familiar, and we probably won't be using a Staff.

Right off the bat, we're taking Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus. With 20 intelligence, your spell DCs are 17+spell level. For the first several levels, Sleep and Daze are you best spells. Sleep is your big encounter sweeper , and Daze is your single-target option. Daze remains startlingly useful until about level 5.

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Nature))

  • Charm Person
  • Sleep
  • Memory Lapse
  • 4 other spells of your choice
2 - Wizard

2nd level is very boring.

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Local))

  • Pick Any 2
3 - Wizard
  • Improved Initiative

Improved Initiative isn't terribly fun, but going first feels very good..

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (History))

  • Hideous Laughter
  • Any Other
4 - Wizard

4th level is also very boring. However, your intelligence hits 22, which gets us an extra skill rank per level (works retro-actively). Use it to max out Knowledge (Nature), then throw the one leftover rank into Knowledge (Architecvture).

Ability Score Increase: Intelligence (21 to 22)

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Nobility))

  • Pick Any 2
5 - Wizard
  • FREE FEAT
  • Craft Wondrous Item*

3rd level spells are really scary. Deep Slumber is great for groups of lower level enemies, and Hold Person is basically an off switch for single enemies.

3rd level also brings Craft Wondrous Item, which lets us craft fun things like cloaks of resistance, and about 50% of all of the other magic items ever written.

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Any))

  • Deep Slumber
  • Hold Person
6 - Wizard

Another fairly boring level.

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Any))

  • Any 2
7 - Wizard
  • Bounce Spell

Bounce Spell on Hold Person. You have a single target kill spell with a DC of 20, and if it fails you get to try on someone else.

Level 7 brings 4th level spells. In addition to the options provided by Bounce Spell (or whatever other metamagic you want to use), 4th level brings a lot of really fantastic Enchantment spells. Confusion is a brutal AOE debuff, and Lesser Geas can get you a long-term ally. Crushing Despair is a bit of a trap: The save penalty is nice, but it lacks the sheer power of Confusion.

Favored class bonus: 1 Extra Skill Point (Knowledge (Any))

  • Confusion
  • Geas, Lesser