The Tanking Wizard
Posted on May 05, 2017
In college I joined a Friday night game club where several games of D&D were taking place simultaneously, all within the same 3.5 campaign. It was my first time playing since I was nine.
I created a Half-Elf Wizard named Jathiel Pascal, but he was killed and brought back as a kobold. So now I had Jathiel the kobold Wizard. Jathiel was an unconventional Wizard who had taken two levels of Swordsage by level 12, and had elected to forgo a familiar and not specialize in any school of magic. I was new at the game, so my character had no specifically planned build. He learned whatever spells sounded cool to him, and he bought items that plugged up his weaknesses. With magic items and a kobold's short height and natural armor, he had a basic armor class of 23 without any chance of spell failure. He wore a Ring of Freedom of Movement to avoid grapples (because a grappled Wizard is a dead Wizard). And he always cast Displacement on himself at the start of battle, which gave him a 50% miss chance from all targeted attacks.
A battle in the forest has just erupted, with Rangers firing from the trees, Druids casting entanglement on the ground, and bears rushing us like mad. Kothon the Barbarian charged forward, cleaving enemies and grappling with a bear as arrows rained down on him. Our Cleric sent his undead minions against the Druids, to no avail; they ended up getting caught in the entangled vines.
Our party Ranger, a Raptoran, flew into the air and started flinging his own arrows back. Jathiel, small but eager, cast Displacement and walked into the battlefield. Immediately the archers loosed their bows at him. All of them missed.
On his next turn, he walked freely through a snare of entanglement and was met by a bear. It tried to grapple him. Silly Dungeon Master... Jathiel can't be grappled.
My DM was actually perplexed. He reviewed my items and wasn't sure if this battle could challenge my character.
That’s when I heard Kothon's player shout, in a half-mad laugh, "Is the Wizard tanking?"