The Hitchhiker’s guide to Gravity

The Hitchhiker’s guide to Gravity

“You ought to understand the gravity of this situation”

The Ultimate Graviturgist handbook

A guide by Lilith


Preface

Let’s take a look at the Graviturgist, the most engaging and dynamic subclass for Wizards that will definitely bring brand new experiences to your game. You like forced movement? Controlling the battlefield like a game of chess? Then this will be a fun ride for you. 

This example build, and any Graviturgist in general, is most fun when played on a Grid rather than theater of the mind, where you get to fully utilise your tactical acumen in definite terms. And you'll have infinitely more fun if your group goes all in on the synergy. Within the build is also a breakdown of techniques you can utilise. 

*Some of a Graviturgist's favorite comrades:

Repelling blast

Grappling

Spirit Guardian

ANOTHER Graviturgist

Echo (and Sentinel)

Swarmkeeper

Open hand/Pushing attack

Storm Cleric Thunderbolt Strike

However, all your synergies are already internally built in, so you'd be effective regardless of ally access to forced move.

Concept

You are a proud Hobgoblin Warlord from the Academy of Devastation. You waste no time skirting around pragmatics, for each action and word of yours holds tremendous gravity, that warps the battlefield the way you want. 

You can replace Race with V/VVuman for early Concentration protection, or any other race with +2 for 18 INT with Telekinetic, Hobgoblin’s big selling point of armor access is wasted for this example, making it a decent generalist template. Half elf is a notable mention as you’ll have enough stats for 16 con after Resilient Con. 

  • First level dip can be anything that provides defense and some quality features. Order is a notable mention as it adds to your commander theme even if it's not overall the most effective, Artificer gives Con prof, Thorn Whip and Sanctuary while keeping your stats SAD, where Arti gets extra appealing is If you can get a free uncommon, All purpose Tool gets you access to Eldritch blast for multiple tractor beams! For heavy armor dips, wielding Warhammer is a novelty pick if you fancy yourself with Crusher for the 10ft push upward Booming Blade with Gravity Well, for a gish style mage. Twilight, Forge, Fighter are notable options.

Also, some assumptions about rules that are in play:

  • Diagonal Movement: To enter a square, you must have at least 1 square of movement left, even if the square is diagonally adjacent to the square you’re in. 

*You will move people around a lot, having this rule in play will save you a lot of time and agony doing Pythagoras math and arguing on movement vectors.

  • Simultaneous Effects: “If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table—whether player or DM—who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen.”

*One notable place where it's relevant is Gravity Well and a spell's immediate effect are Simultaneous once an enemy gets hit or fails the on-cast save.

  • Gravity Well timing: “Whenever you cast a spell on a creature, you can move the target 5 feet to an unoccupied space of your choice if the target is willing to move, the spell hits it with an attack, or it fails a saving throw against the spell.” 

*The trigger of Gravity Well is “whenever you cast a spell on a creature”, yet it has the follow up conditions: If the targeted creature is willing, move. If it is not willing, it has to be hit or fail a save, then move. This implies that the timing for willing and unwilling creatures are slightly different. It is not the best wording, but it does get the main point across which is “you can’t proc this with lingering effects”.  

  • Grappling and forced movement: 

“The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect"

  • Jumping:

When you land in difficult terrain, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to land on your feet. Otherwise, you land prone.

*You can move people up, or diagonally up so they land on difficult terrain under their feet. I won't mention extensively, but keep an eye out for opportunities to proc free Acrobatics checks (very few monsters have proficiency, and magic resistance is irrelevant) for prone.

Build

Race: Hobgoblin

I choose Hobgoblin partly for the Warlord theme. We get 17 Int with your +2 to round up with Telekinetic, Saving Face provides some contingency for concentration since we’re delaying concentration feats slightly, while adding to the theme of the commander at the center of the battlefield. Note that your summons and familiar also count as ally, making it more reliable than it seems. 

Take whatever weapon prof you fancy, I’ll grab Hand Crossbow (Single shot and drop) and Whip.

Ability Scores:

Str 9 / Dex 14  / Con 14 / Int 17 / Wis 13 / Cha 8

14 dex for armor, 17 to get Telekinetic later, and Wis for Cleric, nothing special here. 

1: Peace Cleric 1

+Emboldening Bond

+Implement of Peace

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields

Weapons: Simple weapons

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

0: +Guidance, +Thaumaturgy, +Spare the Dying

1: +Bless, +Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary

One of the craziest value Cleric dips. Emboldening Bond is a fantastic ability that scales by itself. +1d4 once per TURN to any check/save/atk roll for 10 minutes, no concentration, use prof/lr on prof people. Note that any checks also apply to Counterspell/Dispel checks, which are especially valuable. Your defense will be solid unless you are heavily focused, and even your attack rolls will be as accurate as anyone else even with a regular weapon.

Order is very interesting if you have a rogue, as you can double their round's dpr with a single spell cast. Later on with Gravity Well you can move all affected allies and command one to Attack with something like Bless, which does give a heavy tactician vibe. I go with Peace instead because I like to cover my defenses more. 

For now, you’re a Bless/super Bless machine. I hope you prepared enough loaded Crossbows to cycle through. 

2: Peace 1 / Wizard 1

+Arcane Recovery

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, +Mind Sliver, +Mold Earth, +Minor Illusion

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, +Thunderwave, +Find Familiar, +Shield, +Tenser’s Floating Disk, +Grease

Standard Wizard starter package. Our best first level is Bless, so we don’t really need to pick any conc spell. 

There’s a funny little trick here with Mold Earth, take it with a grain of salt. You can excavate 5ft dirt under an enemy’s feet, so they drop 5ft below. Now you walk past them 20ft so that the Floating Disk lands on top of them. Congratulations, they’re stuck! The Disc covers 10ft area and hovers 3ft above the ground, so to get out, that enemy has to climb up with 10ft, then likely squeeze through the 3ft tall gap if your table applies the squeezing rule. 

"A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that's only 5 feet wide. While squeezing through a space, a creature must spend 1 extra foot for every foot it moves there, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage while it's in the smaller space."

3: Peace 1 / Graviturgist 2

+Adjust Density

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Minor Illusion

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, +Jim’s Magic Missile, +Feather Fall

Feather Fall will have some Gravity Well synergy later, so will Jim’s missile. With your 2nd slot, you can upcast Bless, Jim’s, or Thunderwave, all decent options. 

If your party is based and doesn’t get into melee, pick up Magify Gravity instead, it’s a great blast for this level with a handy rider.

*Adjust Density

This feature is a ton of fun mainly because you get to use it for free. The most basic use is to cut someone’s speed with no save, then stack a ray of frost on top for easy default kill. 

You can also make floating disk hold twice the weight, rig an arm wrestle, improvise a falling trap, move faster at the start of a fight or delay a poor melee mook, boost a Grappler when it’s needed, or keep someone stuck in an Entangle. Worry about the dual effects backfiring? You can drop concentration whenever you like without any action cost, even in the middle of someone’s move. 

4: Peace 1 / Gravy 3

+Cantrip Formula

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, +Sapping Sting

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: +Web, +Immovable Object

Cantrip Formula is handy quality of life. You will have lots of tricks to do with different cantrips later on when Gravity Well is online, so do scribe out some spare cantrip scrolls whenever you can afford. Some notable mentions are:

Message: You move a buddy for free, 120ft range, even when you can’t see them

Gust: Enemy fails a save, so being pushed 5ft away and being moved 5ft any direction are simultaneous. You move the enemy 5ft up above you then 5ft away giving them a 10ft drop. 

Booming Blade: free disengage for easy proc

Thunderclap: aoe push

Ray of Frost: Oops, you ran out of move speed

Sapping Sting: Oh you think you can fly to avoid my danger zones? Yoink! Pushback plus prone is also quite debilitating in general.

*Immovable Object

This is a weird spell, so do clear the nuances with your table.

  • Adjust Density might work with it, to lower the weight of an object below the 10lb requirement, then you can release it and now you have extra heavy immovable item. I like to believe that the ability is designed with some internal synergy with the spell that comes with this subclass, but it won't affect much either way. What about Reduce? Does Reduce work on it? The temporary size/weight change makes it a bit more ambiguous. 

  • What happens if the Object is attacked and destroyed?

  • Typical Immovable Rod questions, aka what happens if I shove a stick in a big enemy if it happens to swallow me.

  • Can you cast this on an enemy’s gear? Their clothes? Their weapons? No save freeze might be weird and unethical, it could be negotiated to requiring a spell attack to “touch” them (also, touch AC lol). 

  • Can you choose to not move it when you hold an item? Just what level of finesse can you freeze and release an item while you hold it? Can you improvise a very foolproof mountain climbing kit? Can you cast it on your boots for some air walking shenanigans? How does that affect your movement rate?

Anyways, those are some inspirations, since this is just a pure fun and immensely versatile spell even if YMMV, especially when you can afford more spell slots later on. Take note that at higher slots the duration increase, and at 6th level it lasts till dispelled, letting you mass produce immovable items over time.

Block a doorway, making it so that only you and your friends can move in and out freely. Cast on an item, say command word to suppress for a minute, then give it to an oblivious foe. Remember the Mold Earth hole? Now you can place a pre-cast metal grate on top to block that hole with just an object interaction, if weight is an issue, connect 2 halves with one casting each. One hour renewable Falling Rock trap trigger.

The cherry on the top is, you won't feel bad if you use your resource efficiently and end your day with too many slots, since 4th level upcast give you free Immovable stuff the next day, and 6th level lets you keep it forever. 

5: Peace 1 / Gravy 4

+ASI: Telekinetic

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2 (invisible, no component, 60ft range)

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, +Tasha’s Mind Whip, +Fortune's favor

Our proficiency scaled, 3/day Emboldening bond on 3 people for 10 minutes. 

Mind Whip is a solid non-conc option, and has a good upcast targeting two people once you have slots to spare. On a melee enemy the effect will basically become “Speed = 0” or “Lose a turn” as you move them out of their reach. It will also ensure enemies caught in Web will not get out next turn, and once you have danger zone spells online, the same dilemma applies: Eat another round of nope zone, or lose your Action. 

Fortune's favor is a spell that will get better with time, as you can eventually afford to precast it more often in preparation for a big fight ahead. It is also an insane Spell Mastery.

*Telekinetic

Now, Telekinetic, the absolute best Feat from Tasha's and if you disagree I will take your lunch monies. The first major point is Wizards don’t have much ba demand, and Telekinetic shove is unconditional, so this is a huge boost for your action economy. Secondly, moving people around is just really good. Pull an ally away before you cast an aoe spell, pull them away from a Grapple (forced move that put people out of range breaks grapples), pull them out of a danger zone,  give them a free disengage or a just simple movement boost. For enemies, you can push them into persistent hazards, especially those that trigger on enter and/or on start of turn, for a potential double proc, push/pull off ledges, push them out of the way so you don’t get stuck in those annoying corridors, peel climbing enemies off walls… 

6: Peace 1 / Gravy 5

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: +Slow, +Pulsewave

(probably just take good spells instead of these lol, grab Sleet storm and Hypno or something)

Slow is flexible and friendly fire free while having no sight requirement, you can now Shove someone away then Mind Sliver to tank their next Wisdom save and add insult to injury. Still, Wizard staples like Hypno pattern is always high value.

Pulsewave is a solid blast, but we’re not here for the blast alone. Slap a bunch of people into a danger zone. If you have high ground, pull them in the air as well for extra fall damage. I'm taking this for the fun value, but Thunderwave does about the same job and can also put people in the air when combined with Gravity Well. I don't recommend this spell too highly, you can treat it as a flex pick.

7: Peace 1 / Gravy 6

+Gravity Well

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: Slow, Pulsewave, +Counterspell, +Phantom Steed

Counterspell because you’re a Wizard, and this particular build does want to stay not too far from the fray. Steed for that supreme mobility that you can use to position the perfect pull/push, make a couple and ration out to your allies as well. Ask the DM if the Steed still occupies a space while “slowly disappearing”, because if it does you can park it on top of a Mold Earth hole. If mobility is a concern, Thunderstep is a great pickup. 

Oh and upcast Immovable Object with 4th slot sometimes, using leftover slots before you finish a long rest for free stuff the next day.

*Gravity Well

And now, the true fun begins. People standing in Evard's tentacle? Mind sliver them up for them to drop down and immediately proc that Tentacle. Enemies dare to stand near hazard zones? Slap then in, Sliver will also tank their save against it. Pulsewave, Thunderwave? If you stand close enough to some targets, you can move them up and then blast them away for some extra fall damage and prone. You can spam guidance on yourself out of combat and never use your legs again, perfect excuse to always have +1d4 bonus up. Bless can quickly move your party at once for easy repositioning. Feather fall can place your friends on any platform within 5ft, so you might negate the fall in the first place (or if an extra 5ft move is really really dire, have them hop 1ft and you spend the reaction). Healing Word not only revives an unconscious ally, it also nudges them away from immediate danger. Grease on cast can push an enemy out of its range, and if they stand up then walk back into it, they may fall prone again and can no longer stand up. Absorb element, Shield? Don’t mind if I jump away just a little bit, maybe even put yourself out of range for enemies’ follow-up spells or legendary action attack chains. 

Also, you can prank your long-distance cousin by casting Sending and move them just a little bit, or assert dominance the same way when Scrying your foe. Cliffs are no-brainers, but the real natural terrain to watch out for is any difficult terrain, since you can move them to drop into it for DC10 Acrobatics check vs prone when they land on the terrain. 

8: Peace 1 / Gravy 7

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: Slow, Pulsewave, Counterspell, Phantom Steed

4: +Wall of Fire, +Gravity Sinkhole

Wall of Fire is literally made for Graviturgist. You force a saving throw on cast (note: this is a separate instance from lingering wall effect) and it leaves a wall that when entered will trigger guaranteed damage on entry or when end the turn within 10ft of one side. You can place the wall on top of enemies, whoever fails get pushed inside and surrounded, then have to run through it again to escape. If you just want damage instead of obscurement, make the wall section where each foe stands 5ft tall, then Gravity Well them upward so they land and re-enter for guaranteed 5d8 damage. Some of them made the save? Well time to Telekinetically shove them in, or pull them up if you've got high ground. You can also shape the wall however you want, so this is an insanely flexible zone of nope that can adapt to any battlefield.

Gravity Sinkhole does what it does, but you can also use Gravity Well to position the enemies that failed the save to fall on top of those under the sphere who made the save for some fall damage or prone (Falling on another creature rule). And yes it’s obvious that this spell is best used to group a bunch of foes into a damaging zone. This adds to our theme even if it’s not the best, but don’t forget the staple 4th level options like Polymorph or Summon Greater Demon.

9:  Peace 1 / Gravy 8

ASI: Resilient CON

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: Slow, Pulsewave, Counterspell, Phantom Steed

4: Wall of Fire, Gravity Sinkhole, +Evard's Black Tentacles, +Dimension Door

Finally your concentration saves go from “Mediocre with contingencies” to “pretty damn reliable”. 

Proficiency increased again. Emboldening Bond 4/lr to 4 people, and you didn’t even do anything to earn it.

Why Tentacle when there's already Web? For one, the restrain effect doesn't end if an enemy leaves the zone, such as via teleportation. Secondly, the trigger happens when an enemy enters each turn rather than at the start of theirs, so your party can proc it several extra times with forced movement bullying. 

Tasha’s Mind Whip is still amazing for forcing the choice of wasted turn or stay in danger zone albeit less effective if they have legendary action to move around. If we just need some teleportation that can save a buddy, Thunderstep is great and also has a rider effect (hint: more pushing), but at this tier, there can be more need for Dimension Door shenanigans if it’s a long term campaign. 

10: Peace 1 / Gravy 9

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: Slow, Pulsewave, Counterspell, Phantom Steed

4: Wall of Fire, Gravity Sinkhole, Evard's Black Tentacles, Dimension Door

5: +Wall of Force, +Synaptic Static

Wall of force is self explanatory. Synaptic has the bonus of causing mass-movement, and it’s already a non-conc, reliable blast with a very potent rider. 

11: Peace 1 / Gravy 10

+Violent Attraction

0: Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Mind Sliver, Mold Earth, Sapping Sting, +Mage Hand x2, seriously just pick whatever cantrip you want

1: Bless, Healing Word, Heroism, Sanctuary, Thunderwave, Find Familiar, Shield, Tenser’s Floating Disk, Grease, Jim’s Magic Missile, Feather Fall

2: Web, Immovable Object, Tasha’s Mind Whip, Augury

3: Slow, Pulsewave, Counterspell, Phantom Steed

4: Wall of Fire, Gravity Sinkhole, Evard's Black Tentacles, Dimension Door

5: Wall of Force, Synaptic Static, +Telepathic Bond, +Transmute Rock

Violent Attraction is mediocre. You can do some extra damage in fights where you don’t want to spend much resources. In important fights, your reaction is too valuable to throw away that easily. Still, if an ally’s initiative is right before you or the fight is not threatening enough to need shield/absorb element/counterspell ready, this is some free damage, especially on a crit. 

Transmute Rock is sweet. Non conc, combo with any danger zone spell, and you have plenty of tools to keep enemies sitting in its area and walk at crawling speed. Note: it’s not difficult terrain, so it combines with difficult terrain. 

At this point, what spell you want is more dependent on your style and what you often encounter, so this will be the end of my suggestions.

Moving forward

That’s the gist of the build, for future ASIs, you can grab Warcaster to ensure concentration and wield your new shiny magic staff with Shield. Lucky for more contingency. Alert to make sure you go first and also to turn obscurement into more defense. Basically just general good caster Feats. 

14th Level ability, Event Horizon – fun, flavorful, and a decently potent effect: it’s not a spell so it doesn’t follow spell restrictions like being countered, requiring components, requiring line of sight/effect so isn't affected by cover, etc. It also has the guaranteed effect of destroying enemy movement that will stack with difficult terrain or other mobility impairment. Event Horizon is best used as a combo piece.

For future spells, just pick the everyday premium Wizard spells. Whenever you finish a day with leftover slots, you can also increase your permanent immovable item reservoir. Soon, no one can move you or steal your items against your will.

One stand out pick is Dark Star, which is big damage, huge radius, movement debuff, magical darkness, and silence all in one incredibly juicy package. Pair this with a Forcecage or Wall of Force and you will obliterate pretty much any foe including high level spellcasters, unless they can planar travel innately or can bypass the Verbal component for Dimension Door or Plane Shift. Who doesn't like to throw a literal black hole at your enemies?

And last but not least, Fortune's favor as spell mastery. Remember how the Fighter gets indomitable? Yea, you can mass produce that for everyone in your party. You can even stack it on yourself, but since effects of the same name don't combine while their duration overlap, you can only reroll once each instance of trigger, similar to Lucky. 

If you're doubtful about how any of the mechanics work, feel free to come visit Treantmonk Temple Discord to ask for a more thorough explanation. https://discord.com/invite/6z97aaq

Have fun moving everyone and everything around!

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