I’ve been reading through Arcane Power for the last couple of days, and I am pretty sure Wizards has tried to pull a fast one on us! What’re they trying to pull? Making the Wizard class just as powerful as the other classes in 4th Edition. It’s not really a crime, I know, but I really don’t think many people have noticed yet and I’d like to open up some discussion on the topic.
Arcane Power introduces the Tome as a new implement for arcane spellcasters, but Wizards are the only ones who can use it without taking a feat. Most people who have read or reviewed the book most likely skimmed the new magic item section for Tomes because it’s only two pages of the book and it seems to be the same thing we saw in the PHB2 where Totems were introduced without much fanfare. What I’ve noticed, however, is that Tomes are a pretty big deal.
The typical tome that is introduced in Arcane Power is either focused on fire spells, cold spells, or summoning spells with a few miscellaneous variations added in. Each of these implements increases the effectiveness of your particular spells of the matching type, but what’s even more cool is that each tome contains two daily spells of its level or lower for that type. I believe this is where most people stopped paying attention, and accepted the new items as just as good as every other implement. What follows that is one potentially game changing sentence for the Wizard class.
“You can add these powers to your spellbook.”
Picture this with me, your previously underpowered level 5 Wizard is searching through an old library in an abandoned tower, at the beginning of the day you chose between Sleep and Acid Arrow for your level 1 daily and between Bigby’s Icy Grasp and Web for your level 5 daily spells. By chance, you find a level 5 magic tome – a Book of Undeniable Fire. Upon reading said Tome, you discover it contains the level 1 daily spell Flaming Sphere and the level 5 daily spell Fireball. During your next extended rest, you add these powers to your spellbook, and BAM! Your level 5 wizard’s selection of spells has just gone up by 50%.
I’m not entirely sure that this is what Wizards of the Coast intended for the Wizard, considering when you gain levels or retrain the old spells vanish from your spellbook (a rule which I’ve been actively considering ignoring), but for right now it definitely looks like finding 3 or 4 magical tomes throughout a Wizard’s adventuring career definitely changes the classes versatility.