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Wild mages are powerful sorcerers or specialist wizards who have chosen to master the unpredictable art of casting wild magic, a form of arcane magic noted for its erratic behavior and random effects. Devastatingly powerful, wild mages believe the attempts of others to codify and define magic is a useless pursuit that can end only in failure. Instead, wild mages seek out what they consider magic in its purest form, accepting the risks that come along with wild magic in exchange for the chance to realize even more power in the random chance of a single spell. Like other chaos sorcerers, wild mages draw their power from the entropic power of the elemental planes, which they may gain through unusually potent exposure to the forces that run there, such as through birth on one such plane or survived infection by a slaadi tadpole.
While all arcane spellcasters accept the fact that magic is a powerful and often unpredictable force, most believe that through the proper training and diligence it is something that one can learn to control. Wild mages, however, reject this precept, believing instead that controlling arcane magic is a futile goal that only limits one's potential to preconceived ideas of order. Instead, wild mages embrace the randomness of unrefined wild magic, channeling it through their bodies like an electrical current, rather than trying to contain or control it. In many cases, this gives wild mages a degree of power uncommon to other mages. At other times, however, the forces with which a wild mage dabble backfire, a risk that all wild mages accept as a natural consequence of playing with fire.
The unusual approach of a wild mage towards magic, which takes the naturalism of other sorcerers to an unprecedented degree, means that most wild mages prefer to operate alone. Wild mages feel they have nothing to learn from other arcanists and likewise feel they have nothing to give that those with the right attitude and gifts can't already acquire on their own. This does not, however, mean that all wild mages are cloistered individuals, hiding themselves away, though many are. Some are true heroes, who use their unusual grasp of the arcane to fight tyranny and injustice. Others are villains, wielding their power as a weapon to oppress or destroy others. Yet others are truly mad, believing it is their purpose in life to spread as much chaos and instability as possible.
The spellcasting tradition of wild mages developed from through study of the wild magic zones formed by the clash of the gods during the Time of Troubles. The school of wild magic has then spread to many different worlds and planes from its origins on Toril.
Wild mages embrace chaos and chance to such a degree that it becomes an integral part of their being, informing not just their philosophy and practice but their actual abilities. Early in their descent into the path of a wild mage, chaos sorcerers obtain the ability to, in a moment of stress or urgency, use the effects of wild magic to suddenly exact a random effect, such as turning invisible, teleport, increase their vitality or resistance to dangerous energies, or throw off ill effects. Around the same time, wild mages also enhance their natural ability to change the winds of fortune to their favor, making even a failed attack useful in some manner or even allowing it to hit the foe it apparently "missed." With a greater degree of training in the use of wild magic, wild mages become more attuned to the forces with which they work, allowing them to deal deadlier blows with their spells.
Wild mages have a number of spells, all of which reflect to a degree the unpredictable nature of their power source. The torrent of power spell, for instance, causes the caster's spells to explode unpredictably with arcane power, dealing more damage to their targets. Prismatic bolt works similarly, though with more versatility, causing, in addition to damaging whatever target the wild mage selects, any number of effects that may be harmful or beneficial, such as healing an ally or taking over the mind of a foe.
Some wild mages have access to other abilities. For instance, a number of somewhat experienced wild mages can alter their very strength in the arcane, gaining access to spells that otherwise would be closed to them by their lack of knowledge, power, or experience. Some can also randomly deflect the attacks of others, throwing off dangerous blows or enemy spells. Others, through their control of wild magic, can alter the chance of achieving a favorable effect when using a magical item with random effects. Other variable abilities include a knack similar to Simbul's Conversion, allowing wild mages to spontaneously convert their spells into another effect at random.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Richard Baker (November 2004). Complete Arcane. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 150–151. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ Richard Baker (November 2004). Complete Arcane. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ Richard Baker (November 2004). Complete Arcane. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 69–70. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.