Poking Around the Starter Set Wizard

At this point, we’re so close to the release of the Basic Rules, and so much has been leaked or previewed anyway, that this feels a little aimless. Still, I figured I’d round out my week by looking at the last previewed Starter Set PC to see what jumps out at me. Honestly, there’s little new here to comment on …

The wizard is proficient in swords and is wielding a short sword. Um, well, isn’t that interesting. I guess Gandalf finally made an impression on his wizard kin.

The universal proficiency bonus is still a surprising thing to me. A wizard and a fighter swinging a sword at first level are, essentially, equally good at hitting something? I’m still thrown by this one. But by combining combat and non-combat into a single Proficiency bonus, there’s really no other way to do it. The designers have said in the past that they wanted to emphasize leveling up by skills and powers and such, not by additions to hit rolls; that was their “bounded accuracy” philosophy and I guess they meant it.

The focus on evocation. One thing they’ve said repeatedly is that a selection of spell school would play a part in defining a wizard, and we see this here. Sculpt Spell at second level? Awesome. I can’t wait to see in what other ways schools function in the new edition.

Really, though, there’s not much left here to search out. The Basic Rules are nigh! One more week and we’ll all be seeing how these characters were made (and, I’m sure, making some of our own).

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