The Use of Wish
“Wish is the mightiest spell a wizard or sorcerer can cast. By simply speaking aloud, you can alter reality to better suit you.”
This handbook is a primer on the art of wishcraft, using the spell wish to achieve mighty effects. What can wish do?
As per the SRD, Wish can do any of the following:• Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 8th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.
o This ability is rarely worth it, as it is extremely situational, and rarely worth the XP cost, furthermore, it is even less likely that you will have wish prepared when not trying to use it for a more powerful effect.
• Duplicate any other spell of 6th level or lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.
o This can be situationally useful to gain spells with lasting effects in other schools. I need more examination to see if I can find a readily pertinent use.
• Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 7th level or lower even if it’s of a prohibited school.
o This is blue if you’ve banned both illusion and evocation and therefore have no other access to contingency. Best for focused specialists (or dare I say it, focused specialist Incantatrices)• Duplicate any other spell of 5th level or lower even if it’s of a prohibited school.
o 5000 XP for a 5th level spell? Nooooooooooo.• Undo the harmful effects of many other spells, such as geas/quest or insanity.
o Some effects can only be undone with wish. Therefore it’s good at getting rid of them. Next.
• Create a nonmagical item of up to 25,000 gp in value.
o Meh, I don’t generally feel that 1 XP is worth 5 GP• Create a magic item, or add to the powers of an existing magic item.
o AWESOME if you don’t have to pay the XP cost for the wish (from an item or the like). See the section on obtaining wish for proper abuse of this ability. Red otherwise.• Grant a creature a +1 inherent bonus to an ability score. Two to five wish spells cast in immediate succession can grant a creature a +2 to +5 inherent bonus to an ability score (two wishes for a +2 inherent bonus, three for a +3 inherent bonus, and so on). Inherent bonuses are instantaneous, so they cannot be dispelled. Note: An inherent bonus may not exceed +5 for a single ability score, and inherent bonuses to a particular ability score do not stack, so only the best one applies.
o Can be good IF your DM rules that you can cast the wishes out of immediate succession. Else, go for a tome instead.
• Remove injuries and afflictions. A single wish can aid one creature per caster level, and all subjects are cured of the same kind of affliction. For example, you could heal all the damage you and your companions have taken, or remove all poison effects from everyone in the party, but not do both with the same wish. A wish can never restore the experience point loss from casting a spell or the level or Constitution loss from being raised from the dead.
o This is what Clerics are for. That said it CAN be useful for healing a large group, or if the cleric is down. Once again, unlikely you’ll have it prepared.
• Revive the dead. A wish can bring a dead creature back to life by duplicating a resurrection spell. A wish can revive a dead creature whose body has been destroyed, but the task takes two wishes, one to recreate the body and another to infuse the body with life again. A wish cannot prevent a character who was brought back to life from losing an experience level.
o Good only if you’re reviving the cleric and you have NO other means of doing so• Transport travelers. A wish can lift one creature per caster level from anywhere on any plane and place those creatures anywhere else on any plane regardless of local conditions. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.
o No. Just NO.
• Undo misfortune. A wish can undo a single recent event. The wish forces a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish could undo an opponent’s successful save, a foe’s successful critical hit (either the attack roll or the critical roll), a friend’s failed save, and so on. The reroll, however, may be as bad as or worse than the original roll. An unwilling target gets a Will save to negate the effect, and spell resistance (if any) applies.
o Another one that is potentially good if you have it prepared, which is damn unlikely. 5k XP can be worth unkilling a partner who natural 1 died. If he does it twice, smack him with your phb.
However, none of these are our focus. Rather, our focus is the last sentence of its effects:“You may try to use a wish to produce greater effects than these, but doing so is dangerous. (The wish may pervert your intent into a literal but undesirable fulfillment or only a partial fulfillment.)”
How Can We Use This Power?
At this point we enter the realm of DM fiat. The DM will grant one of three effects:
1: Exactly what we wanted: This is the best option for us, as it gives us what we want, sadly, unless we are very inglorious about the effects of our wish, it is also the least likely.
2: A literal granting of the wish: For most DMs this is the most likely situation we as players will have to deal with if we attempt to abuse wish. It will be the focus of our guide. In a properly worded wish, this will be identical to possibility 1.
3: A partial fulfillment of the wish: This is the worst possible effect. The wish simply will not do what we want. This option is less likely than possibility 2, unless we seriously overreach ourselves. As players it will be our goal to avoid this possibility. Wording is Everything
As noted above, the most likely circumstance we will experience is a literal interpretation of the Wish. As the saying goes: be careful what you wish for. The bulk of this guide will be devoted to the construction of a wish that provides a function literal interpretation. Throughout, we will be using a fairly standard wish: I wish I had one million gold pieces.
To avoid a negative effect (yes, a failure is a negative effect, the spell costs 5000 XP) we must first establish the parameters of the spell: Where, When, What, and How.Where:
It is essential that we explicitly state where we want our effect to occur. This is especially important when we creating something or conjuring something. Take our example: I wish I had a million gold pieces. One million gold is going to weigh, by the PHB, is going to weigh 10 tons, and take up, by the Draconomicon, approximately 83 1/3 cubic feet of space. How does this affect our wish? Well, most sinisterly if that much gold happens to land on top of us, we had best pray that we have a contingency spell in place to prevent our imminent squishy death. Furthermore, the transportation of the gold is going to be a major factor. Even the largest bags of holding are far from capable of transporting such an amount of gold, so either you’ll need to wish for the gold to appear in the secure place you’d be wanting to transport it to (Such as your tower, you’re a wizard you should have one), or to have a portable hole.
Example rewording: I wish that I had one million gold pieces in my possession, located in the basement of my tower.
However, we are seriously overreaching this wish (by 975,000 gold to be precise) and therefore we do not know where this gold is coming from, we only have specified that we wish to possess it. If it perhaps came from the personal trove of a CR 50 dragon, we are, as we say in the business, screwed. Therefore it is necessary to specify not only where in the end location, but the starting location. It is best in this case to specify the creation of the gold (although this will likely get the partial fulfillment option, gaining us only 25,000, I’ll discuss workarounds below).
Example rewording: I wish for one million gold pieces to be created in the basement of my tower.When:
It’s a somewhat trivial parameter, however it is sometimes necessary to indicate a temporal aspect. If you are wishing to obtain something, or cause something to occur, the DM could simply have it occur far later in the future, thus making it a moot point. For example, if we wished for a mortal creature to die, the GM could rule that the wish does nothing, other than assuring that that creature eventually dies, possibly of natural causes. Therefore it is sometimes necessary to establish something like “ten seconds after the completed speaking of this spell.” (One should not use “after the completion of this spell,” as that could be seen as paradoxical, the spell not being fully completed until after the gold has appeared, thus causing the spell to go on infinitely, unable to ever complete).
Example rewording: I wish for one million gold pieces to be created in the basement of my tower ten seconds after the completed speaking of this spell.What:
This is a surprisingly easy parameter to detail, it is mostly important to be exact and unambiguous in what we want to occur, and to realize exactly what we want to occur. For example, in our above wish, in game terms, we want to obtain 1,000,000 GP. However, by stating gold pieces, we open ourselves up to ambiguity. A piece could be the size of a pinhead. So a closer statement would be that we want 1,000,000 gold coins. Once again, we run into the troubling question how big is a coin? So a less ambiguous version of what we want is 10 tons of gold minted as coins. If your DM is a dick however, you might end up with two 5 ton coins. So an even better approximation of what we want is 10 tons of gold minted as solid 1 inch wide, 1/10 inch high cylinders.
Example rewording: I wish for 10 tons of gold, minted as solid 1 inch wide, 1/10 inch high cylinders, to be created in the basement of my tower ten seconds after the completed speaking of this spell
This is a somewhat ambiguous parameter, but it helps us wrap up our other parameters nicely. It primarily concerns measurements, sources (see where above), and over all preciseness. This is the parameter in which we ‘exactify’ our wording. The most important aspect of this parameter is providing definitions of measurements. The phrase As per my understanding of the quantity/quality x is our absolute best friend in this case. This prevents the DM from using the timeless perspective argument (one day in the eyes of god is as a million years to mortals).
Example rewording: I wish for 10 tons of pure gold, as per my understanding of the quantity ton and the quality gold, minted as solid 1 inch wide, 1/10 inch high cylinders, as per my understanding of the quantities cylinder and inch, to be created in the basement of my tower ten seconds, as per my understanding of the quantity seconds, after the completed speaking of this spell, as per my understanding of completed speaking.
However, we are still vastly overreaching ourselves, and our DM may simply rule that only 25,000 GP appears, as that is the guideline of the spell. Therefore it is necessary that we reevaluate our What and Where parameters. We do not really care if the spell creates the gold, we only care that we obtain said gold. Thus we could try to simply transmute the gold, or to transport it from elsewhere. I personally recommend the former (the epic level handbooks says that we can get many tons of adamantine when attempting to create an adamantine golem, which is worth more than gold, so there’s a precedent), however, for the sake of example let us choose the former, leaving the following example wish:“I wish that 10 tons of pure gold, as per my understanding of the quantity ton and quality gold, be transported from deposits of ore unclaimed as property by sentient entities, as per my understanding of the qualities unclaimed, property, sentient, and entity, to the basement of my tower, as per my understanding of ‘basement of my tower,’ and be minted as solid cylinders one inch in diameter and one tenth inch in height, as per my understanding of the quantity inch and of the qualities solid and cylinder, ten seconds from the completed speaking of this spell, as per my understanding of the quantity second and quality completed speaking.”