Talk:Warden (3.5e Class)
Abjuration is another tough one. Unlike Divination, there are at least a decent suite of Abjurations that you'd cast during combat, or to make your side better at combat. Showing up as the guy who can provide Mind Blank and Dispel Magic is a lot more useful than as the guy who can cast Prying Eyes and Vision. But the school is still offensively lacking. To fix this, the Warden gets some Force magic (giving it decent enough blasting at low levels, and some lockdown) and the various Gylphs and Symbols to round out the "magic security measures" provided by Arcane Lock and Explosive Runes.
At low levels, the Warden is supposed to justify itself by being a dude in heavy armor who can occasionally cast a useful spell in combat and who handles trapfinding like a Rogue. You don't have the kind of offensive firepower that a Beguiler does at 1st level, but that's okay because you can get up in melee with orcs and goblins and not die to basically the same degree a Fighter or Cleric does. Your 2nd and 3rd level spells provide you with some offensive spells, and the ability to buff up your allies against various things.
At mid levels, you have a bit of an awkward spot where you've gotten past the point where Full Plate and a Greatsword make a viable character, but haven't yet gotten your symbols online. Hopefully things like Explosive Runes, Manyjaws, Orb of Force and defensive buffs carry you through this bit (possibly the Guards and Wards ability goes to 10th and Transient Wards to 8th?). But then you get your key tools: Area Ward and Transient Wards. The former allows you to provide a suite of buffs to your fellow party members for cheap, while the latter lets you open every fight with a Symbol in addition to whatever else you're doing without lighting money on fire.
At high levels, you get better Symbols, bigger area wards, and the ability to make Permanent Symbols. Those really break the action economy, because they stack. You can eventually open every fight by having Symbols of Persuasion, Insanity, Fear, and Sleep go off while your party sits under a Mind Blank ward. That's potentially pretty busted, but it's also a strategy for a 16th level character, so I'm not sure how concerned I am.
Again, that's the idea. Does it work? I hope so. I definitely like a lot of what the class does as a dungeon owner, but it's quite possible I've over- or undertuned it in the hands of dungeon delvers.