Wizards are supreme magic-users, defined and united as a class by the spells they cast. Their magic conjures elementals from other planes of existence, glimpses the future, or turns slain foes into shambling zombies. Their mightiest spells change one substance into another or alter a creature’s form, open pathways to other planes of existence, or even kill with a single word.
Wild and enigmatic, varied in form and function, the power of magic draws students who seek to master its mysteries. Some aspire to become like the gods, shaping reality itself. Though the casting of a typical spell requires merely the utterance of a few strange words, fleeting gestures, and sometimes a pinch or clump of exotic materials, these surface components barely hint at the expertise attained after years of apprenticeship and countless hours of study.
Wizards live and die by their spells. Everything else is secondary. They learn new spells as they experiment and grow in experience. They can also learn them from other wizards, from ancient tomes or inscriptions, and from ancient creatures (such as the fey) that are steeped in magic.
A Brief Look Back
A description of the class concept from the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook:
Mages have no historical counterparts; they exist only in legend and myth. However, players can model their characters after such legendary figures as Merlin, Circe, or Medea. Accounts of powerful wizards and sorceresses are rare, since their reputations are based in no small part on the mystery that surrounds them. These legendary figures worked toward secret ends, seldom confiding in the normal folk around them.