The Complete Wizard's Handbook | Crime Club #2

A guy at work gave me the AD&D Wizard’s Handbook last month — so generous that I just had to make it the subject of my next Crime Club. It’s pretty good! Although I have no idea how to play AD&D, these books are still full of fun ideas for a 5E game.

The AD&D ComPLETE wIZARD’S hANDBOOK WAS WRITTEN BY rICK sWAN AND RELEASED IN 1990.

The AD&D ComPLETE wIZARD’S hANDBOOK WAS WRITTEN BY rICK sWAN AND RELEASED IN 1990.

The juice

Expanded wizard schools

  • Abjurer gets immunity to all Hold spells

  • Enchanter gets immunity to Charm spells

  • Every school has an opposing school (image below)

  • Race restrictions — eg. only humans can be necromancers

  • Wizards can abandon their school — could be like fallen paladin

  • Guide for designing new homebrew wizard schools

Wizard kits and careers

  • Kits and careers could make good boons or background abilities

  • Academian maintains a scholarly network over the world (p35)

  • Militant wizards can use long bows and short swords, but they lose the kit if their fighting style doesn't reflect these proficiencies (p39)

Classic wizard personalities

  • The brooder = edge lord since 1990

  • The mystery man

  • The showman (p56)

Fun reasons to adventure

  • Spread magic's good name

  • Old wizard coming out of retirement

Clever uses for old spells

  • Casting enlarge on a stone to block a passage

  • Using Web to catch a falling creature

  • Using Hold Monster on a flying creature to drop it to the ground

  • Resilient Sphere to travel underwater

New spells

  • Copy: Perfect duplication of a sheet of paper (p95)

  • Death Recall: Play back final minute of a corpse's life (p97)

Wizard sicknesses

  • Conjuritus: Temporary wild magic (p110)

  • Immaterialism: Material make-up changes you into a translucent, goo-skinned thing over time (p112)

Wizard organisations

  • Legal defense front: Union that provides legal defense for members (p116)

  • Centre for Monster Control: Men in black (p118)

  • Foes of the Wand: Magical purists who hate magical items that empower mundane users (p117)

New magic items

  • Pen of excellence: Write twice as fast, forge better (p125)

  • Collapsing spell book: Folds to 1-inch

  • Medallion of steadiness: Item for a mount, rider can't be forcibly unhorsed