D&D 5e: Goliath Wizard Guide

A male goliath wizard holds his spellbook close.

D&D 5e: Goliath Wizard Guide

Nobody imagines goliaths as nerdy bookish types who spend all day in libraries pouring over ancient lore. At the same time, goliath society is not a monolith, so something as odd as the goliath wizard is completely possible.

How to Make a Goliath Wizard

Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by constitution, dexterity, and wisdom. Your strength score is likely going to be pathetic compared to your fellow goliaths, since strength is the least useful score for any wizard, and you probably put the racial bonuses into intelligence and constitution anyway.

There are many good options for subclass, but the War Magic school fits the traditional resilience of goliaths fairly well. Arcane Deflection is a straightforwardly good defensive feature that is most useful when concentrating on a spell, and same with the 10th level feature. But prepare to be underwhelmed by the 6th and 14th level features, they’re not that great.

A male goliath smiles as he casts arcane spells.

How to Play a Goliath Wizard

You’ll be an ordinary wizard, except vastly tankier at 1st level due to your ability to roll a d12, add your constitution modifier, and then delete that amount of damage, and you can do this twice a day. The Monsters of the Multiverse version, the most up to date version, has two uses of this ability per day at level 1: I recommend saving one of those two uses for a critical hit if you’re paranoid about instant death.

Spells that require concentration are more useful on you due to both the limitations and benefits of Arcane Deflection, as well as Durable Magic’s benefit; because Arcane Deflection limits you to cantrips on your next turn when you use it, having a concentration spell already up will make that not a big deal. Ram a flaming sphere into people, cast a firebolt, turn that 8 on a concentration saving throw into a 12 and pass it, all in one turn. Other concentration spells like Fear and Animate Objects are solid candidates for casting.

Remember to take the Shield and Absorb Elements spells; just because you have Arcane Deflection doesn’t mean it’s the only or best option all the time.

How to Roleplay as a Goliath Wizard

Goliath society heavily rewards athleticism, and these isolated mountain communities have a strong survival of the fittest attitude. You’re a book nerd. Do the people of your society like you for the unique contributions you bring, or did they laugh at you for being a weak 8 strength nerd and kick you out of the tribe? Perhaps you’ve never even been to a goliath community and grew up among other species, in which case you’re less likely to follow (or have self confidence issues from failing to meet) goliath ideals.

Regardless, it’s up to you how your character responds to the societies around them, whether it’s with love or a Fireball.

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