The Muscle Wizard

The Muscle Wizard

A guide to greatness

By

u/LanceWindmil

With help from

u/VikingTheMad

u/Punslanger

u/playking57

u/jkaan

u/z3rO_1

u/Ardencroft

u/laegrim

Introduction

Most wizards are pansies.  They hide in the back of the fight casting spells to help the rest of the party who do the real fighting.  For those out there who are smart enough to master the arcane arts, brave enough to charge into combat headfirst, and strong enough to go head to head with an orc barbarian, there is another way.  The honorable path of muscle wizardry.  Using all your arcane talents to buff yourself up to barbarian like strength and then kill your enemies the way god intended, with heaps of muscle and steel.

Although muscle wizards are the “strongest” type of wizard, they aren’t exactly the optimal use of the class.  However they are a ton of fun (nothing like watching your friends faces when you say you're rolling a wizard and then show up with a greatsword) and if built right can consistently be a benefit to the party in combat as well as out of it.  Like most melee characters muscle wizards really shine early on in the game and slowly get eclipsed by magic.  Luckily as a wizard you’re good at that too so you can shift gears at later levels if you want.  Muscle wizards can go on to become excellent buff wizards, undead lord style necromancers, summoners, and more.  You can even use some of you tremendous strength to cast expensive spells with blood money to save yourself a lot of gold.  The only real problem with switching to a normal caster halfway through is your intelligence probably won't be as high as a normal wizard, so your spells DCs will be a bit lower.  If you plan on becoming a more traditional wizard later on think about how to budget your feats and attributes early on.  This guide however assumes that you are fully committed to being the biggest, strongest, most badass person in the room.

Muscle wizards face a multitude of challenges including, but not limited to: Low HP, Low AC, Low BAB, and Lack of proficiency with martial weapons.  Luckily muscle wizards love a good challenge, and have a few resources other warriors may not.  These resources must be carefully spent to fix the problems you have.  It should also be noted that abyssal sorcerers make great melee casters, and Brown fur Transmuters were pretty much built to be muscle casters.  Although not true muscle “wizards” most of this still applies to them.

A Guide to the Guide

Like most guides we’ll talk about stats, races, class abilities, feats, and spells.  Each option will be graded and assigned a color based on how well they fit with the muscle wizard’s way of life.

Blue: The best options.  I’m not going to say you have to take them, but you should

Green: A great option.  Maybe not top choice, but worth considering

Orange: Not a great option, but there are a few situations where it might be ok

Red: A bad idea.  Maybe it’s useless, maybe it actively makes you worse, either way I’d avoid it.

Ability Scores – Like most classes your ability score are really going to determine what you can do.  You have to balance saves, HP, AC, casting, and attacks.

Strength: You’r most important ability score, even more than Int.  When your hitting things this what counts

Dexterity: AC and Reflex saves.  It’s good to have, but most of your defences aren’t going to come from AC so don’t worry too much about it.

Constitution: Probably your third most important ability score after Str and Int.  You’ll need all the HP you can get, and Fort saves are good too.

Intelligence: You are a wizard after all.  Since most of your spells are buffs you don’t need to worry about saves, but you do need to be able to cast all your spell levels.  I would recommend at least a 14.

Wisdom: You already have good will saves, so you can get away with dropping this a little. 

Charisma: You really don’t need it for anything.

At 15 point buy I’d say something like STR 16, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 10, CHA 7

Races – Your race can up some relevant stats a bit and give you access to some traits that will really help you smooth the build along.  Generally want bonuses to the relevant stats and some sort of weapon proficiency or bonus feat. 

Dwarves: Bonus to Con and Wis is nice, and dropping Cha is just fine.  You also get Weapon Familiarity which can save you a feat, and darkvision.

Elves: Bonus to Dex and Int is nice, but the penalty to Con is harsh.  You get Weapon Familiarity which helps.

Gnomes: Bonus to Cha and penalty to Str?  That's the exact opposite of what we want.

Half-elves: Bonus to STR, with alternate racial trait like Ancestral Arms you can get martial or exotic weapon proficiency for free which you’d need anyway as your first level feat.  Add that in with low light vision and the perception bonus and you got a real good choice.

Half-orcs: Bonus to STR again they get darkvision, Ferocity (keep a spring loaded wrist sheath with a cure potion), and Weapon Familiarity in greataxes and falchions.  

Halflings: Bonus to Cha and penalty to Str again? Nope.

Humans: Str, bonus feat, and extra skills. Since you have to spend your feat on weapon proficiency anyway they aren’t really any better than half elf or half orc though.  The “Military Tradition” alternate racial trait is also great for this.

There are a lot of other races out there I’m not going to talk about.  I would like to make a special shout out to Orcs, who have a staggering +4 to strength as well as weapon familiarity and ferocity.  Oreads, and Hobgoblins are also decent.

Class Features

Arcane Bond – Both options are good here, so either way you should be able to make a solid character.

Familiar:  normally they just give you a small passive bonus and have some utility as scouts.  If you pick a stronger companion (like a goat) you can use polymorph spells like beast shape or form of the dragon to make it a mediocre combatant, but it’s not usually worth it.  I would strongly recommend grabbing one of the choices that give you a bonus on initiative.  It’s effectively a free feat.  The other advantage is that if something happens to your familiar you aren’t going to be slowed down with concentration checks.  If you go this option, look into familiar archetypes, they really step up the feature. 

Bonded Object: So you can cast anything once per day which is a huge deal.  You also start out with a masterwork object which means you can get a free masterwork weapon at level 1 and swap it out for a ring or something once you have more money.  However if you aren’t holding your object you need to make concentration checks for everything.  Disarm and steal combat maneuvers are a little terrifying.  Luckily since you do most of your casting before combat it’s not as big of a problem as it is for most wizards.  It’s much more high risk/reward than a familiar, but muscle wizards eat risk for breakfast, so I say go for it.

Arcane School – Arcane school choice is a subtle one.  The main reason to do it is the bonus spells, but the abilities can really help out on occasion. 

Abjuration:  Defenses are important for muscle wizards, plus energy resistance.  Not to bad, but not great.

Conjuration:  One of the finest schools of magic.  Defenses, battlefield control, a little blasting, teleportation, and summoning.  Unfortunately a lot of it doesn’t help muscle wizards.

Divination: The bonuses for initiative are great, but that's about it

Enchantment: Not a good choice.  The spells don’t help you and neither do the abilities.

Evocation: This has nothing to do with muscles.  Nothing at all.

Illusion: Invisibility is pretty cool and even though your save DCs are pretty low that works ok for some illusions.  Still not a good choice though.

Necromancy: Although it doesn’t directly help your muscle wizarding much it does compliment it.  You can raise yourself some some nice flanking buddies after you're finished killing them.  Most of the spells are a bit to debuff focused to help you at all though.

Transmutation: Literal Muscle Wizardry.  You make yourself strong.  Even the school abilities make you strong and the sub school abilities are arguably even better.  So much strong.

Universalist: is for sissies who can’t decide on opposition schools.

Sin Magic: You essentially just double down on your arcane school, but don’t get to decide what your opposition schools are.  Lucky for you both Transmutation and Conjuration have perfect prohibited schools for a muscle wizard.

Elemental Arcane School: Most of these suck.  Metal gives you some AC though which is cool I guess.

Bonus Feats and Arcane Discoveries  – Unfortunately a lot of the feats you’re limited to aren’t great for muscle wizards, but there are enough that are good that it’s ok

Item Creation: Crafting feats are great.  Most notable are wondrous items, but you actually use weapons too so magical arms and armor is a big one.

Metamagic Feats: There aren’t too many that are really necessary for buff spells, but everyone loves quicken, silent, still and extend.

Spell Mastery: On the one hand reading is for nerds, on the other hand this isn’t a great option.

Alchemical Affinity: There are a lot of great spells on both lists that you’ll use a lot, but increasing the caster level increase isn’t usually to big a deal on buff spells and you really don’t care about save DCs.

Arcane Builder: You craft faster.  It’s nice, but it’s not a big deal.

Balanced Summoning: You aren’t a summoner and even if you were this isn’t all that great

Beyond Morality (Su): really depends on your campaign, but what do you care?  Morality is for clerics

Creative Destruction (Su): You don’t need evocation magic, you do damage just fine by yourself

Defensive Feedback (Su): Maybe if you're an abjuration school specialist

Faith Magic: Well this is cool.  You can get Divine Favor, which is great.  If you want to go necromancer you can get Desecrate.  You can even use this to be a mystic theurge, although you probably don’t want to do that anyway.

Fast Study: Makes leaving spell slots open a bit easier if you're into that

Feral Speech: It’s neat I guess, but has nothing to do with hitting things

Forest's Blessing: druids and wizards don’t have too much overlap.  Swapping out material components is convenient though.

Golem Constructor: You should probably have the prereqs for craft construct.  Just take craft construct if you want to make golems.  Constructs are usually overpriced anyway.

Idealize (Su): This is super disappointing.  If it worked with size bonuses you’d be good, but by tenth level you should have a good belt anyway.  It is great with Transformation if you plan on casting that, so that bumps it up to green, but barely. 

Immortality: the 20th level prereq makes this pretty much irrelevant.  

Infectious Charms: You don’t do enchantments.

Ioun Bond:  Ioun stones are cool, but you should have craft wondrous items anyway.

Knowledge is Power (Ex): You know what else is power? POWER! And you have it in spades.

Multimorph: You have a lot of transmutation spells going on around, changing form is some nice utility.  Then again it is pretty situational.

Observant Illusion (Su): I don’t think it mentioned hitting things once in the whole description.

Opposition Research: You know what better than being bad at something? Not being bad at something.

Psychic Preparation: You're a WIZARD champion of the arcane arts.  This is an insult to you, but at the same time it’s pretty much a silent and still spell which is cool.

Resilient Illusions: If you cast Illusion magic this is going to save your ass.  If you don’t… then you don’t

Split Slot: Adaptability is cool, but as a muscle wizard you tend to just solve things by hitting them most of the time anyway.

Staff-Like Wand: It would be cool if it was Sword-like Axe or Kick-Like Punch, but oh well

Steward of the Great Beyond: No running.  No calls for help.  Just me and you.  Yeah, thats sounds like a muscle wizard!

Time Stutter (Sp): You need some time in a fight to buff up.  This'll give you an extra swift and move action.

True Name: Pshh, you don’t need some outsiders help to beat someone to death

Werewolf Shape: Werewolf? How cool is that?! (very cool)

Favored Class Bonus

HP.  Always HP.

Feats – Feats are tight.  You need proficiency, survivability, attack bonuses and damage.  The best option is to go with two handed weapons because you really don’t need many feats and you’ll get to add your incredible strength to damage even more.

Marital/Exotic Weapon Proficiency: pretty much a necessity unless you have weapon proficiency from your race

Improved Unarmed Strike: Not a great move strategically, but it doesn’t get much more muscle wizard than this (probably should wear spiked gauntlets or brass knuckles)

Toughness: Low HP is one of your main weaknesses.  This is a huge help.

Improved Initiative: Going first means casting your buff spells earlier. 

Dodge: Your AC is pretty bad.  Sometimes it's best to cut your loses and focus on other forms of defense.

Power Attack: You have such a low BAB that not only is the penalty to hit going to slow you down, but the damage is going to scale up a lot slower too.  Still a decent feat though.

Cleave: More hitting is nice, but needing power attack isn’t ideal

Arcane Strike: Magic and melee?  This is the dream!

Barroom Brawler: You can pick a feat as a move action.  This makes you adaptable and fits in really well with your opening buffs.  Only once per day though.

Eldritch Heritage: Can pick up claws which is cool (I recommend the abyssal bloodline)

Improved Eldritch Heritage: You can use this to get the 9th level abyssal power for a scaling inherent bonus to, you guessed it, strength.

Vital Strike: Is this ever good?  It’s not as bad as it is for most martial classes, but still

Light Armor Proficiency: You get some AC, but now are down a feat and have to worry about arcane spell failure

Arcane Armor training: Now you can wear light armor effectively, but two feats are lot of resources for 3 or 4 AC.

Medium Armor Proficiency: Like the first one but more.  You really can’t afford to spend all your feats on a few points of AC

Arcane Armor Master: +6 to AC for 4 feats, instead of just casting mage armor.

Force Dash: Charge faster and with no penalty by expending a magic missile.  

Arcane Shield: Not a great bonus to AC for what you’re giving up

Reactive Arcane Shield: Now you can see if it’s worth using Arcane Shield and expend the smallest spell possible.

Weapon Focus: Your attack bonus is a problem, this helps.  You have to commit to one weapon though.

Dimensional Agility: Move and cast a spell to move more

Dimensional Assault: Teleport charge is cool.  No attacks of opportunity, no worrying about obstructions.

Dimensional Dervish: You can essentially teleport to the next enemy during full attacks.

Razortusk: Gain a bite attack.  Another great reason to go Half-Orc

 

Armor Focus: I mean if you’re going to wear armor you might as well milk it for all it’s worth

Death From Above: Increase your bonus to hit on charges while flying, which you can do.

Dimensional Awareness: Make attacks of opportunity against creatures when they’re summoned.  Might be a little situational, but if you're enlarged your reach is substantial.

Combat Expertise: Trade one thing you suck at for another thing you suck at.  This feat makes me sad

Combat Reflexes: You might have some decent reach when large and anyone who walks through it deserves to get smacked

Improved Trip: If you can trip them they take a massive penalty to AC and attack rolls.  Both are great.  Plus if they stand up you get to hit them

Combat Casting: You should be doing most of your casting before you're in melee, but it’ll come up at some point anyway.

Extend Spell: This one’s really hit or miss depending on how your campaigns are run.  It can mean a buff that might run out early lasts the whole combat or make longer spells last multiple encounters, but if you don’t run a lot of combats back to back you might not get much use at all.

Quicken Spell: Cast more buffs faster!  Have to be like level 9 to use it though.

Silent Spell: Important, but situational.  


Still Spell: Probably a little more relevant that Silent Spell, but still pretty situational

Craft Wondrous Items: Everybody needs wondrous gear, and you’re one hell of a somebody


Craft Magical Arms and Armor: Make better stuff to hit things with!  Plus the rest of the martial’s will love you

Craft Construct: Constructs are really damn expensive.

Craft Rod: You really don’t need any, maybe pick up a lesser quicken, but you don’t need the feat

Craft Wand: Wands are too small to really hit things with anyway

Brew Potion: Why do that when you can just cast it?  Make a scroll it you want to have some situational stuff prepared

Craft Staff:  Sorry my hands are full of real weapons.

Traits – I wouldn’t recommend taking additional traits as a feat, but if you’re starting with them there are some great options

Balanced Education (regional): Is a regional trait that lets you swap ability modifiers between physical and mental stats once per day.  This lets you use you incredible strength to be smart or your Constitution to be more charming.  This is not only useful, but absolutely ridiculous, making it perfect for muscle wizardry. 

Clever Wordplay (social): lets you use Int instead of charisma on one skill.  This can be combined with Balanced education for some serious strength based diplomacy

Bruising Intellect (social): lets you use intelligence to intimidate and makes it a class skill

Pragmatic Activator (magic): Intelligence to UMD. 

Reactionary (combat): +2 to initiative

Resilient (combat): Your fort saves are a little lower than your average frontliner, but this wouldn't be my top priority 

Axe to Grind (combat): hit stuff harder if you’re alone, but only then


Vengeful (combat): a slight bonus in damage if they hit you first.  It’s not bad, but I’d rather not get hit

Dirty Fighter (combat): Like axe to grind with flanking

Hard to Kill (combat): Stabilize better.  I here dieing sucks.

Magic is Life (religion): auto stabilize if you were under the effect of a spell (so always)

Mother’s Teeth (religion): free bite attack

Dangerously Curious (magic): UMD as a class skill 

Desperate Focus (magic): +2 on all concentration checks

Diabolical Dabbler (magic): If your evil and summon things your summons get extra HP

Transmuter (magic): +1 to caster level on transmutation spell and extend a bull's strength for free once per day

Called (faith): reroll a 1 on an attack roll once a day

Fate’s Favored (faith): +1 to luck bonuses is very good IF you have a bunch of luck bonus (sacred tattoo half orcs)

Heirloom Weapon (equipment): free proficiency

Alien Ferocity (regional): ferocity 

Ancestral Weapon (regional): not only do you start with a free masterwork silver weapon but you also get a trait bonus to hit that stacks with weapon focus

Arcane Graduate (regional): +2 on all concentration checks

Group Fighter (regional): +1 on attack rolls while flanking

Paragon of speed (regional): +2 to initiative 

Spells – Spells are hands down your biggest resource in making your muscle wizard.  There are a TON of spells on the list, but I’ll go through some of the more notable ones.

Level 1 – Your baseline spells.  Some stop being useful after a couple levels, but some don’t

Shield: +4 to AC for a little while, and it stacks with mage armor

Protection from (alignment): Bonus to AC, and saves.  Has some other nice things too.  You need to know what you're up against though.


Infernal Healing: heal 10 HP.  The most efficient option if you're cool with getting some demon blood on you

Mage Armor: +4 to AC for a LONG time.  Great deal

Mount: Have a horse.  Travel like a gentleman

Summon Monster I: Have a flanking buddy. You might want to weight till level 3 or so, it has a short duration.  I recommend Eagles.

True Strike: Your attack will hit, but spending two turns to make one attack hit is pretty bad.

Thunderstomp: Decent way to trip someone if you don’t have improved trip.

Vanish: This is your “Get out of here” spell.  When shit’s to hot to handle you cast this.

Blood Money: You have boatloads of strength to draw from, just don’t overdo it.  Maybe animate yourself some dead on the cheap.  This really pays off at high levels with stuff like Limited Wish.

Enlarge Person: Bigger and stronger.  That's why we’re here isn’t it

Expeditious Retreat: Only worth casting if they’re over 120 ft away

Long Arm: Extra reach.  With Enlarge Person you can hit a lot of people.

Magic Weapon: Pretty good until you get an actual magic weapon.

Mirror Strike: I think I’ll just hit one this turn, and then hit the other one next turn

Monkeyfish: Worth carrying a scroll of.  You never know when you’ll need it

Level 2 – These are the real bread and butter of muscle wizardry

Protection from Arrows: A bit situational, but DR 10 is no joke

Protection from (alignment) Communal: Like the first one, but you can share

Resist Energy: Great effect and great duration.  Good stuff.

Create Pit: Your spell DCs are still trash, but it does create a hell of an obstacle either way

Summon Monster II: There are some nice choices here.  Hyenas are solid and can trip for you.

See Invisibility: Without this I guarantee you’ll get your ass kicked against some invisible enemy some time

Silent Image: It’s a useful spell.  But with a duration of concentration it won't work in combat

Scorching Ray: You’re no blaster, but it’s always nice to have a backup

Blur: 20% miss chance.  No matter how bad your AC is there is a chance they won't hit you now

Invisibility: Most of the time you can get away with using vanish, but sometimes you need more.

Mirror Image: Probably the best defensive spell in the game.  Even at low levels this is a 75% miss chance on average when you first cast it.

Brow Gasher: Cool as hell, but it doesn’t work if they’re immune to bleed, and the penalties take too long to kick in.  Still worth it in some longer fights.

False Life: Temporary HP is often the difference between making it threw combat and bleeding out on the floor

Alter self: You turn into another, slightly stronger humanoid.  Pretty much enlarge person, without the large and a level higher.  Does have great utility though.


Bear’s Endurance: Have a couple extra HP.  Good, but not a top spell

Boiling Blood: One of the few ways to get a morale bonus to strength, but it only works on orks, and it’s not too big.

Bull’s Strength: Be stronger.  Stacks with the size bonus from enlarge person, but sadly not your belt.

Visualization of The Body: If you choose constitution it’s pretty similar to false life, the dex option is good for AC, unfortunately the strength option isn’t as useful for punching as it could be and it costs like 200 gp.

Level 3 – Great offensive buffs

Dispel Magic: It has nothing to do with muscles, but it’s still good

Summon Monster III: Pretty much always good.  Maybe a Leopard or a cheetah.

Storm Step: short range teleport that also does damage.  Great if quickened.

Heroism: Bonus to hit and saves.  Great duration too.

Displacement: Like Blur, but total concealment.  You really don’t need to worry about AC if you got this going

Animate Dead Lesser: Make a shitty skeleton.  It’s more a distraction or flanking buddy than anything else.

Vampiric Touch: It honestly doesn’t do great damage, but the healing is nice.

Countless Eyes: No more being flanked.  Cool if you're fighting a lot of rogues

Beast Shape I: Natural Attacks spell of choice.

Fly: Bet you the fighter can't do this


Haste: The best buff spell in the game, and it targets all your allies too.

Monstrous Physique I: Like Beast shape, but you can still use your gear

Paragon Surge:  This spell is just dumb, you need to be a half elf though

Shrink Item: One of the most amusing utility spells out there.

Spellsword: fantastic for your metamagic rods if you have them

Tail Strike: Gain a tail attack

Undead Anatomy I: You gain a bonus to Str and automatically get 3 natural attacks

Level 4 – great defensive buffs

Dimensional Anchor: don’t let that pansy run away from a fight

Stoneskin: DR 10/adamantine, with a nice duration too

Dimension Door: Just super useful

Summon Monster IV: Hey still good what do you know.  Lions for pounce, dire wolf for trip.

Invisibility Greater: Total concealment and your enemies are flat footed? Yes please

Animate Dead: Animate your fallen enemies as flanking buddies

False Life, greater: Still good, but 4th level seems a little high

Beast Shape II: Large animals, higher strength bonus, and pounce.  Go be a lion or something.

Monstrous Physique II: like a better enlarge person, with the option to gain a couple extra abilities

Undead Anatomy II: You get to be a large undead now, and can have DR 5/bludgeoning 

Level 5  – Some of these are worth preparing, but quickened shield and vanish are pretty great.

Summon Monster V: Ankylosaurus is a stun machine.  Dire lions and Xills are cool too.

Teleport: Go anywhere you want.

Beast Shape III: You add magical beasts to your list which is neat and your bonuses for small and medium stuff goes up.

Monstrous Physique III: It’s still decent, but not much better than the second one

Permanency: You can be big all the time now.  Admittedly that has some downsides.

Undead Anatomy III: You get to be a huge undead now, and can have DR 5/- and Aura of Fear and elemental resistances

Level 6 – You’ll want some of these, but quickening Mirror Image is a must.

Summon Monster VI: Dire Tigers

Heroism, Greater:  Solid bonus to hit and saves, plus some temp HP

Contingency: Nothing like a buff that automatically casts itself when you draw your weapon or something

Beast Shape IV: You get large magical beasts


Form of the Dragon I: Probably still better off with beast shape, but for their size dragons are great

Monstrous Physique IV: Pretty much the same as the third one with more resistances

Emblem of Greed: so you need to use a glaive, but get full BAB when using it.  Real silly if you boost your caster level

Transformation: Most wizards wouldn’t ever want this, but it solves all your problems.  Higher BAB, higher AC, bonuses to all your physical stats.  Just make sure you cast your other buffs first.

Undead Anatomy IV:  Higher STR bonus on large undead and can be incorporeal 

Level 7 – I know Quickened Haste sounds dumb, but it’d be dumb not to.

Summon Monster VII: You can summon a T-rex.  It's not much better than the last summon monster, but that's cool as hell.  Remember you can always summon a d3 of the previous level.

Simulacrum: It’s not punching, but you can use it to make a Succubi or Lilitu to give you a profane bonus.  You can make another you which is always fun.  You’re great.

Ice Body: That's a lot of immunities. 

Form of the Dragon II: 5 natural attacks and the strength bonus is pretty good.

Giant Form I: You can get regeneration, and good bonuses. 

Limited Wish: Just in case.  Really good if you’re casting blood money.

Level 8 – They say you can be anything you want when you grow up.  Guess you’re a grownup.

Summon Monster VIII: Not many options here

Clone: It would really suck if you died.  Now that's not a problem.

Form of the Dragon III: Like the last one, but better.

Giant Form II: Really almost no improvement from the last one.

Polymorph Any Object:  This spell is awesome.  You can permanently turn into pretty much any medium creature.  You can turn a rock into a dragon.  You can turn a dragon into a sword.

Level 9 – Yeah, who are we kidding.  You win

Summon Monster IX: seriously limited at this point

Astral Projection:  Taking not dieing to the next level.

Time Stop: Plenty of time to apply all your buffs

Wish: You can do some crazy stuff.  Like be stronger.



Gear

Weapons – as a rule you just want a big heavy two hander, but there are some other options

Spiked Gauntlet:  You aren’t proficient, but it makes a great backup weapon that you always have ready.  Most importantly you can cast spells while wearing it, and punch stuff too!

Dagger: Carry a silver one as a backup and to ignore DR.  You can also carry a few to throw as backup ranged weapons.

Morningstar:  I firmly believe that everyone should carry a cold iron one of these.  That’s 3 kinds of DR you’re avoiding.  It won’t be your primary, but it is useful. Unfortunately again, not proficient.

Staff: They’re two handed which is nice, and if you use one of these you can even get a magic one later to cast spells.  Best thing you can use with base wizard proficiency.

Longspear:  A simple two handed weapon with reach.  Probably my favorite choice amongst the simple weapons, but unfortunately you aren’t proficient and there are better martial options if you’re dropping a feat on it.

Longsword/Battleaxe/Warhammer:  They’re a little better than the simple options, but not worth the feat for proficiency

Earth Breaker: 2d6 and x3 on a crit.  Absolutely brutal.

Greataxe: how else are you going to roll d12s?  Can get it with orc weapon familiarity too

Greatsword: The best 2d6 weapon out there

Falchion: 2d4 isn’t ideal, but with your strength crit range is important too.  It’s not worth committing to unless you can get keen on it and have a strength in the upper 20s though.

Glaive-guisarme/Halberd/Lucern Hammer: Reach weapons are cool, with long arm and enlarge person you can have a really crazy range.  

Composite Bow: You really don’t have the feats to be an archer, but carrying around one of these isn’t a bad idea.

Armor – You can’t wear most armor, but there are a few options

Armored Kilt: Mage armor is better unless you enchant the shit out of it, but it’s something

Mithral Buckler: The bonus isn’t as good as casting shield and it’ll be annoying if you're a two handed fighter, but it’s a solid option.

Magic Items – You need all the extra magical strength you can get.  Tons of magic gear seems like a logical step.

Magic Weapons: Enchant the shit out of those babies.

Belt of Giant Strength: More strength is always better.

Headband of Vast Intelligence: Not as important as being strong, but not a bad idea.

Cloak of Resistance: Always important to have good saves, although yours should be ok already.

Ring of Protection: Your AC isn’t good, but if you’re determined to make it better this is good.

Ring of Continuation: It's a bit expensive, but pretty nice with greater heroism 

Amulet of Natural Armor: Like the Ring, but worse.

Amulet of Mighty Fists: Really important if your going for a natural attack thing, works with touch spells too.

Metamagic Rod Silent Spell: Someday you're going to be underwater and really wish you had this, or maybe not.

Metamagic Rod Quicken Spell: Normally in combat you’ve got your hands full of sword, but this is so good.  You can cast spellsword if you really need to.

Scroll of Lead Blades: Stacks with enlarge person for (effectively) huge size weapons.

Wand of Cure Light Wounds/Infernal Healing: You’re going to get hit on the front lines

Skills

Class skills – You don’t have much in terms of fancy social skills, but your list does have a lot of practical applications

Appraise (Int): I don’t think I’ve ever really need appraise, but it's useful in theory 

Craft (Int): Will help with your item creation, but not too important

Fly (Dex): beast shape gives you the ability to fly, but you’ll still need to make skill checks

Knowledge (arcana) (Int): Magical creatures, that sounds important

Knowledge (engineering) (Int): I don’t know about you but I don’t fight many robots

Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int): Aberrations and oozes 

Knowledge (geography) (Int): help you not get lost

Knowledge (history) (Int): good for plot stuff

Knowledge (local) (Int): also good for plot stuff

Knowledge (nature) (Int): Animal knowledge

Knowledge (nobility) (Int): More plot knowledge

Knowledge (planes) (Int): Outsiders and elementals come up a decent amount

Knowledge (religion) (Int): undead and plot stuff

Linguistics (Int): Learn a new language and make forgeries

Profession (Wis): have a day job?  No thanks I’m an adventurer

Spellcraft (Int): Be a wizard

Non Class skills – you may not be good at them, but that doesn’t mean you need to be bad at them

Acrobatics:  Helps you jump around and prevent attacks of opportunity.

Bluff: Great skill, but your charisma is trash


Climb: You’ve got the strength to be a great climber, but with monkeyfish you don’t need to

Diplomacy: another great skill you suck at


Intimidate: Really fits your character, but your charisma is just trash

Perception: No matter how bad you are at it you always want ranks in perception

Sense Motive: Great way to figure out who you should be punching

Stealth: Invisibility kinda covers this

Swim: Monkeyfish will handle this most of the time, but if you fall in the water it’s hard to cast while you're drowning

Use Magic Device: It’s a really important skill with wands and scrolls.  Sadly with your charisma you suck at it

Multiclassing and Other Options

So I must admit I’m a Muscle Wizard Purist.  Playing as another strength caster just isn’t quite the same.  However I understand that some of you would prefer to play as an arcanist or sorcerer, or multiclass a bit.  So this section will briefly address some of your other options.

Sorcerer: They’re actually pretty similar aside from the slower spell progression.  I recommend the Abyssal bloodline for the strength bonus, or Draconic into Dragon disciple (you still have the option of getting eldritch heritage/improved eldritch heritage for the abyssal bloodline power).

Arcanist: The Brown Fur Transmuter is incredible for muscle wizards.  Combine that with all the other things people love about arcanists and this is a great option.

Magus: You only get 1-6 casting.  It's not a muscle wizard at all, but if you want to be good with touch attacks while stabbing people this is the way to go.


Eldritch Knight: You effectively lose two caster levels between the martial dip, and the first level eldritch knight.  I would offset this with Prestigious Spellcaster.  You’ll end up with a similar spell level as a sorcerer, but higher BAB.

Monk: Multiclassing as a monk gets you access to some awesome ways to punch things better and increase your defenses.  Unfortunately this puts a hold on your spell progression and your unarmed damage only progresses while you’re taking monk levels.


VMC Monk: Only way I can think of to get scaling unarmed damage as a full wizard.  It costs a lot of feats, but everything you get is great.

VMC Barbarian: So rage is awesome, but it’s a double edged sword.  You have to be SURE you’re done casting for a while when you rage.  I highly recommend Reckless Abandon as your rage power.

VMC Magus: If you want to do the magus stuff while maintaining full casting this will do it.  It actually looks pretty solid, but spellstrike doesn’t come on till level 11.

VMC Oracle: So you obviously choose battle as your mystery, but your curse is up to you.  Your revelations are the big thing here.  Skill at Arms gives you proficiency with ALL martial weapons.  This not only saves a feat, but fulfills the prereq for eldritch knight without multiclassing as a fighter which will save you a level on your spell progression.  Iron Skin, War Sight, and Weapon Mastery are cool too.

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