The Time Mage – D&D Chronurgy Wizard Build 5E
Hello there adventurers! Today we will be creating a Time Mage or Chronurgy Wizard character for 5E Dungeons & Dragons. This Chronurgy Wizard build will focus on spells and abilities that that can speed up, slow down or outright stop time for friends or foes. The ultimate Time Mage for Dungeons and Dragons 5E.
We will also look at applying effects that allow for rerolling of dice to simulate the rewinding of time a few milliseconds to possibly change the outcome of situations and making sure our Harengon / Rabbit-folk will always be near the top of the combat initiative order.
You will enjoy this build if:
- You want your character to be able to bend time in their favor
- Enjoy manipulating dice rolls for allies or enemies
- If you want a character that will usually go first in combat initiative
- Want to use powerful spells to assist friends or punish foes
- You like rabbits
PDF Character Sheets for Chronurgy Wizard
Here is my personal build for my Harengon Chronurgy Wizard, Timex Quartz or “Q” for short. Take a look at my PDF Character Sheets for levels 1, 5, and 10. Be sure to continue reading this article and watch the video for a full understanding of the Time Mage character build.
D&D Chronurgy Wizard 5E Guide
I feel that the Harengon is the perfect D&D 5E race for a Chronurgy Wizard, as detailed below. I had also considered a Dwarf so that we could get armor proficiency or a variant human to put the Resilient feat in place at first level. The halfling’s lucky feat to reroll ones could also be on theme for the Time Mage build.
By choosing the Harengon race, we can manipulate time to ensure that we will be at the top of the combat initiative order. This new rabbit-folk race from Wild Beyond the Witchlight adds our proficiency bonus to our initiative roll. This feature works well with our +2 dexterity modifier and the Temporal Awareness of the Chronurgy Wizard (adding our Intelligence modifier) to give us an impressive modifier to see who goes first in combat.
Harengons also have Lucky Footwork:
When you fail a DEX saving throw, you can use your reaction to roll a d4 and add it to the save, potentially turning the failure into a success. You can’t use this reaction if you’re prone or your speed is 0.
Flavor-wise, Lucky Footwork for a time mage makes sense. Being able to rewind time a fraction of a second to attempt to alter time and change the outcome of bad things happening to our lucky rabbit should save our hide plenty of times. We also get the Rabbit Hop which will allow our Wizard to get out of unwanted melee combat without expending our movement or using an action.
I absolutely love the Harengon for the time mage. The racial abilities align themselves perfectly and if we wanted a pocket watch for our arcane focus, I’m sure our DM will allow us to do so. Definitely getting some Alice in Wonderland™ vibes here.
Ability Scores and Skills
- STR – 8
- DEX – 14
- CON – 13 (+1 Racial Modifier)
- INT – 15 (+2 Racial Modifier)
- WIS – 10
- CHA – 10
Using the Point Buy system, I want to ensure that my Intelligence is as high as I can take it so I assigned a 15 to INT and added my +2 racial modifier to clock in at 17. At level 4, we will take a half-feat to tick this up to an 18. I also have the same plan in mind for Constitution, so I am putting a 12 here and applying the +1 racial modifier for a total of 13. When we reach level 8, we can take CON up to 14 and get an ability. More about that in just a bit.
Dexterity and Constitution are equally important. We will rely on Dexterity for saving throws, Armor Class, and our Initiative rolls. I then applied a score of 10 into wisdom and charisma. I wanted to be average here, rather than deficient, simply because of a few of our skills. And finally, strength is our dump stat with an 8. Shocking, I know.
We get to select two skills as a level 1 Wizard and I feel that History makes the most sense for a Time Mage. Arcana to have a working knowledge of our time-based spells is also an easy include. For our background, the best option is Sage. The Sage background gives us proficiency in Arcana and History, but since we already selected them as a Wizard, this opens the gate to choose any two skills we want.
I feel it is always a good idea to have one of the “physical” skills in Acrobatics or Athletics, so we will pick Acrobatics and play off of our Dexterity. Investigation could be our other selection, although you may want to choose something more appropriate for you character’s motives or personality. With investigation, however, I feel that being able to figure out how things work and having a good intelligence bonus to help, seems vital to this type of character build.
Finally, we gain proficiency in Perception from our Harengon ability, Leporine Senses. Perception is a highly valued skill so it is nice to get this automatically and one of the reasons we do not want to totally dump our Wisdom score.
Best Feats for a Time Mage
If you are playing with a Point Buy or Standard Array, then a half feat to tick up an odd numbered prerequisite like Intelligence along with an ability is where we want to be. In my opinion, there isn’t a better option at 4th level than Fey Touched. By selecting this feat our Intelligence becomes an 18 (+4) giving us increased spells prepared, better DCs for our spells, and adjustments to our skills.
We also gain one of the best spells in 5th Edition, Misty Step. With the Fey Touched Feat not only do we have access to one free use of this teleportation spell per day, but we can also use a 2nd level spell slot to cast it. We also get to pick a 1st level spell from the Enchantment or Divination school of magic and with this, I think that the Gift of Alacrity deserves a shot.
Much like Mage Armor, we can cast Gift of Alacrity during the day and it lasts for 8 hours with no concentration required. The benefit? Add a 1d8 to every initiative roll for the next 8 hours. We can apply this to our own character for an insane chance of getting into the high 20s, lower 30s when we roll to start combat or we can use this on an ally to better our team. We get to use this spell once per day for free, so there is no drawback and no need to waste spell slots on this advantageous spell.
At level 8, maxing out our Intelligence at 20 is enticing, but I think the Resilient Feat selecting Constitution is much more where we want to be. A lot of our spells rely on concentration. If we take damage, we have to make a Constitution Saving Throw to avoid losing concentration on the spell. With resilient, we are now proficient in our concentration checks / saving throws and we pick up 8 more hit points by taking our CON score from a 13 to a 14.
At level 12, I would probably look at adding the Lucky Feat to coincide with our desire to force die rerolls. At level 16, I think the ability score improvement to get us to 20 intelligence is acceptable and what about our ASI / Feat at level 20? Well, that’s for you to decide. I would probably recommend taking Dexterity to 16 or picking a feat that makes sense to your game.
QUESTION: What feats do you think coincide well with a Time Mage theme?
Light: Rabbitfolk cannot see in the dark. We might need this.
Mending: Are we mending and fixing or are we rewinding time around an object to a point in time when it was whole? We are playing a time mage, so definitely the latter.
Mind Sliver: Another way to manipulate the dice rolls of our enemies especially if we are setting up spells where we absolutely need them to fail their saves.
Ray of Frost: Our main cantrip for damage dealing when we are reserving or expended our spell slots. A modest 1d8 of cold damage, but the reduction in the targets movement by 10 feet is reminiscent of slowing down time around that creature.
Mage Hand (at 10th Level): If it was more on theme with time, we probably would not have waited this long to pick up Mage Hand. One of the best utility cantrips you can snag. For sure.
1st Level Spells for a Chronurgy Wizard
Detect Magic: Not at all on theme with time, but a spell that doesn’t require a spell slot if we cast it as a ritual. One of the best utility spells of the magic-user, for sure.
Feather Fall: We can flavor the Feather Fall spell as slowing down time around us so that we can drift safely to the ground.
Jump: Not on theme for our Time Mage, but since we are a Harengon, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to triple the distance of our Rabbitt Hop to superhero-like proportions.
Mage Armor: Perhaps time is our guardian? Regardless, we are a squishy wizard. We will need to be expending a spell slot everyday to provide a little more protection.
Magic Missile: I’m going to flavor the darts for my Chronurgy wizard to be the hands of a clock. Since this character build is not focused on offense, we want to make sure when we do need to sling some damage, that we get the auto-hit provided to us by this classic D&D spell.
Shield: This shield of force will save our hide more times than we would like, I’m sure. I’ll probably describe the shield shape taking on a clock face appearance. It’s time to increase that AC!
Silent Image: Illusionary magic gives the most leniency to players that like to be creative and use their imagination. I will be using this spell to portray things from the past and the future. In fact, I see a lot of fourth wall breaking humor as I create illusions of ATM machines and old pickup trucks to hide behind. If you are not the creative type for spell uses, you may want to pick another one from the list.
Silvery Barbs: Perhaps the best 1st level spell in the game. We will be rewinding time a few seconds and then attempting to alter the future. But, of course, depending on the roll of the next die, history (even if it is only a second old) may repeat itself.
2nd Level Spells for a Chronurgy Wizard
Fortune’s Favor: We are picking this spell up now and saving it for the future. The future is when we are able to exchange 100gp Pearls for a luck point to use when the dice don’t go our way.
Hold Person: Freezing someone in time is perfect for our Time Mage. Having an ability like Chronal Shift or Silvery Barbs in our vault will help ensure this spell is less save-or-suck when the moment is dire.
Mirror Image: A must have defense spell for us squishy wizards. For a Time mage, my duplicates will look like versions of myself from the past, present and future. Does the attack hit real me, duplicate present day me, teenager me, or old-man me? Let’s let the dice decide.
Wither and Bloom: Can the effects of “withering” and necrotic damage be described as hyper-aging in an isolated area? Does the healing wind back the clock a bit with regards to deaging? You make the call. Regardless, a neat spell to have that gives the wizard a unique way of healing.
3rd Level Spells for a Chronurgy Wizard
Blink: This defensive spell could be described as us traveling through time (albeit for only a few seconds per “blink”) rather than hanging out in the Ethereal plane. Regardless, this spell keeps us out of harms way so that we “a” don’t take damage and “b” so we don’t take a risk of losing concentration on one of our other spells. A tactical move especially in a large boss battle.
Counterspell: Rewind time just a few nanoseconds to alter the course and untie the fabric of time needed to successfully cast a spell.
Haste: Speed up time to get extra attacks? We will almost always be using this on our brutiest melee pal.
Slow: Time is like molasses for up to 6 creatures. Slow could possibly be more powerful than haste in a battle with lots of foes.
4th Level Spells for a Chronurgy Wizard
Blight: Wither and die? Is this hyperaging? Regardless, a nasty spell when we are forced to bring some damage to the table.
Divination: Knowing what our future holds gives us a chance to change it.
Greater Invisibility: Fantastic utility spell in or out of combat. I’d probably put this on an ally and let them swim into combat without being detected.
Polymorph: We could beef up one of our friends by turning them into a beast or flying creature or we could try to turn the opposing wizard into a harmless bird or frog. Of course, this spell suffers from the classic “save or suck” syndrome if we try it on an enemy. However, we might be able to force rerolls with Silvery Barbs or Chronal Shift if we absolutely need the Polymorph to stick.
5th Level Spells for a Chronurgy Wizard
Hold Monster: Trapping a monster in time. Yep. This is what this class is all about.
Synaptic Static: Intelligence saves, psychic damage, and forcing lower die rolls for our enemies is the sub-theme to our Time Mage. Plus, we can let this rip while holding concentration on our other spells.
Teleportation Circle: Take a chance. Advance to Go, collect $200. Kudos if you get the reference. If not, no worries. Basically, a safe way to avoid a TPK.
Temporal Shunt: Throwing a creature to another point in time is what we do as Time Wizards. See you in the future!
Our combat will fill primarily a support role. The initiative bonus granted by the Harengon race and the Chronurgy Wizard itself should help us be near the top of the turn order when we roll for initiative. This is key in that we want to get our concentration spells in place, like Haste or Slow so that the effects take place in the first round.
With our time altering spells activated, we can then take aim at defensive abilities and spells to keep us out of harms way and maintain that vital concentration. Round 2 and beyond will be about using our reactions to force rerolls, protect ourselves with the Shield spell, Counterspell opposing magic, and of course defense through Blink and Mirror Image. All the while, keeping a safe distance and staying out of the way.
Our Rabbit Hop ability will also prove to be instrumental in keeping us safe should we find ourselves in the midst of melee combat along with the always powerful Misty Step.
Be sure to check out my Chronurgy Wizard Character Build video if you want all of the details. What do you think of this Time Mage character build? What did I miss? What would you do differently? Let me know in the comment section below.
On to the next!