Wild mages were powerful sorcerers or specialist wizards who had 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 believed that the attempts of others to codify and define magic was a useless pursuit that could end only in failure. Instead, wild mages sought out what they considered magic in its purest form, accepting the risks that came 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 drew their power from the entropic power of the elemental planes, which they gained through unusually potent exposure to the forces that ran there, such as through birth on one such plane or survived infection by a slaad tadpole.
While all arcane spellcasters accepted the fact that magic was a powerful and often unpredictable force, most believed that through the proper training and diligence it was something that one could learn to control. Wild mages, however, rejected this precept, believing instead that controlling arcane magic was a futile goal that only limited one's potential to preconceived ideas of order. Instead, wild mages embraced 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 gave wild mages a degree of power uncommon to other mages. At other times, however, the forces with which a wild mage dabbled backfired, a risk that all wild mages accepted as a natural consequence of playing with fire.
The unusual approach of a wild mage towards magic, which took the naturalism of other sorcerers to an unprecedented degree, meant that most wild mages preferred to operate alone. Wild mages felt that they had nothing to learn from other arcanists and likewise felt they had nothing to give that those with the right attitude and gifts couldn't already acquire on their own. This did not, however, mean that all wild mages were cloistered individuals, hiding themselves away, though many were. Some were true heroes, who used their unusual grasp of the arcane to fight tyranny and injustice. Others were villains, wielding their power as a weapon to oppress or destroy others. Yet others were truly mad, believing it was their purpose in life to spread as much chaos and instability as possible.
Wild mages embraced chaos and chance to such a degree that it became 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 obtained 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, increasing their vitality or resistance to dangerous energies, or throwing off ill effects. Around the same time, wild mages also enhanced 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 became more attuned to the forces with which they worked, allowing them to deal deadlier blows with their spells.
Wild mages had a number of spells, all of which reflected to a degree the unpredictable nature of their power source. The torrent of power spell, for instance, caused the caster's spells to explode unpredictably with arcane power, dealing more damage to their targets. Prismatic bolt worked 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 had access to other abilities. For instance, a number of somewhat experienced wild mages could 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 could also randomly deflect the attacks of others, throwing off dangerous blows or enemy spells. Others, through their control of wild magic, could alter the chance of achieving a favorable effect when using a magical item with random effects. Other variable abilities included a knack similar to Simbul's Conversion, allowing wild mages to spontaneously convert their spells into another effect at random.
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 had then spread to many different worlds and planes from its origins on Toril.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ 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. 68–70. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.
- ↑ Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 5–9. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 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.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 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.
- ↑ Jim Zub (October 2014). “Legends of Baldur's Gate 1”. Legends of Baldur's Gate #1 (IDW Publishing).