A wizard can choose to specialize in one school of magic, gaining additional spells and powers based on that school. This choice must be made at 1st level, and once made, it cannot be changed. A wizard that does not select a school receives the universalist school instead.
A wizard that chooses to specialize in one school of magic must select two other schools as his opposition schools, representing knowledge sacrificed in one area of arcane lore to gain mastery in another. A wizard who prepares spells from his opposition schools must use two spell slots of that level to prepare the spell. For example, a wizard with evocation as an opposition school must expend two of his available 3rd-level spell slots to prepare a fireball. In addition, a specialist takes a –4 penalty on any skill checks made when crafting a magic item that has a spell from one of his opposition schools as a prerequisite. A universalist wizard can prepare spells from any school without restriction.
Each arcane school gives the wizard a number of school powers. In addition, specialist wizards receive an additional spell slot of each spell level he can cast, from 1st on up. Each day, a wizard can prepare a spell from his specialty school in that slot. This spell must be in the wizard's spellbook. A wizard can select a spell modified by a metamagic feat to prepare in his school slot, but it uses up a higher-level spell slot. Wizards with the universalist school do not receive a school slot.
Bending reality to their will through careful study, wizards are the embodiment of the phrase “mind over matter,” changing whole worlds with nothing but their keen intellects and ancient lore. In their quest to unravel and repurpose the fundamental laws of existence, many wizards come to appreciate the benefits of narrowly focusing their study. Presented below are several new schools of magic to help you customize your wizard’s arcane pursuits.
Focused Arcane Schools (from Advanced Player’s Guide)
- Wizards that specialize in one of the schools of magic can instead chose to focus their studies still further. Wizards who choose a focused arcane school retain the bonus spells from their school and must select two prohibited schools as normal, but the focused school changes one or more of the powers granted by their arcane school. A wizard must take all of the replacement powers associated with his focused arcane school. Once a focused arcane school is chosen, it cannot be changed.
Elemental Arcane Schools
- Instead of specializing in a focused arcane school of magic, a wizard can choose to specialize in one of the four elemental schools of magic. Like a normal arcane school, an elemental school grants a number of school powers and one bonus spell slot of each level the wizard can cast, from 1st on up. This bonus spell slot must be used to prepare a spell from the elemental school’s spell list. Unlike a normal arcane school, each elemental school requires the wizard to select his opposed element as his opposition school (Air opposes Earth, Fire opposes Water, Metal opposes Wood). He does not need to select a second opposition school. He must expend two spell slots to prepare a spell from his opposed elemental school as normal.