[RPG] How to deal with lack of downtime as a wizard


As we all know the wizard is a physically weak class that relies on his spells to perform in his adventures. Other than the spells gained at each level-up however he needs to spend 32 hours learning and scribing a single spell in his spellbook for future preparation and casting.

My particular problem is the lack of downtime needed to do the above in my campaign. Our characters have only rested less than a week over the last 2 levels and the DM has the tendency to throw main/side quest hooks at our party within a few days of us arriving and resting in any town (quite often small ones too, which makes finding spells quite time-consuming on its own).

Considering a level 5 +2 LA drow wizard with very scarce access to higher level scrolls and about 8.000gp available, in what ways can I learn new spells in a more time-efficient manner (or obtain the time needed to master/scribe them independently from my group's time progression)? Choices that can be made available in the future with sufficient in-game resources will be appreciated too.

I am already aware of the following options:

  • Elven Generalist Taken
  • Collegiate Wizard feat Not Available (due to PrC requirements)
  • Eidetic Spellcaster ACF from Dragon Mag. Not Available

Note: I do have in mind that talking to my DM would probably be the most direct approach however I happen to know that he wouldn't be very keen on helping with this issue and would rather reserve that as my last option. He has said that 1) none of the other party members and casters require downtime so he wants to keep the action going and 2) he considers wizards a dangerous class that unless controlled and restricted massively has the potential to ruin a campaign and game balance. I consider the former a bad excuse while the latter requires a level of abuse I do not aim for. I simply want my drow wizard with 21 hp to do more than struggle to not be a burden for the group.

Best Answer

The best answer is to come to an agreement with the DM. While there are avenues you might pursue to mitigate what he’s doing, getting into an arms race is a losing proposition and isn’t any fun. Explain that you are aware that the Wizard class is phenomenally powerful, but that you have no interest or intent on breaking his game. Point out how you’ve already taken an almost-crippling LA +2 race, which is clearly not an optimal option: you have already shown dedication to making the game about more than just becoming as powerful as possible.

If that fails, I’d very seriously consider leaving the group. Not because the Wizard is unplayable like that – you can remain pretty powerful on your automatic 2 spells per level – but because that’s a sign that your DM is unwilling to trust you, and that’s a really bad sign.

Otherwise, Pulsehead and Jacob’s answers are good. Even if your DM gives you a little time, you may need to take advantage of them.

If things get very bad, but you don’t want to leave, you do have another option: have your Wizard refuse to go on the next inane little side-quest, so that he can stay home and finish scribing that spell. This should state very clearly to your DM that you do not appreciate what he is doing, and that you are not going to accept it. Obviously, if your character stays home, you’re not getting to play: you are telling the DM that you would rather not play than continue to play as you have been. This is, hopefully obviously, a measure of last resort.