D&D 5E 5E Arcane Spellcasters: Mage and...?

Mercurius

Legend
I haven't yet done more than browse the playtest, but it seems there are three spellcasting classes: cleric, druid, and mage. From what I gather, the mage = wizard = magic-user.

My question is this: do we know anything more about what the arcane spellcasting classes are going to be in 5E? I suppose I'm asking for info that probably isn't out yet, that will be more a part of the next phase of lead-up hype and previews. But specifically I'm wondering if 5E is going to include some kind of wizard/sorcerer differentiation, because that hits something crucial in the campaign setting that I'm designing for the 5E playtest game, which I'm planning on starting in January.

Any thoughts? Do we know what the arcane spellcasting classes will be? Will there be sub-classes or specialties? I see that mages can specialize in different wizardry schools.

Specific to my world, there are two general types of arcane spellcasters - those that are part of a formalized order or guild, similar to 3E/4E wizards, and those that are "freelancers," akin to sorcerers. I'm hoping to have mechanics for both.

Any thoughts? Ideas? Rumors? Etc. My thoughts at this point are to make the differentiation one that is primarily of "fluff," with maybe slight modifications. I haven't thought too deeply into it yet, but I'm thinking of coming up with a couple dozen "archetypes" similar to Talislanta, which are race-class-culture combinations, like "Dunedain Ranger of Arnor" or "Human Red Wizard of Thay" or "Valley Elf Ranger."
 

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They wanted to lump the sorcerer and warlock in with the wizard as the "mage" class. But because they couldn't get the content out and show sorcerer fans what they were thinking (and didn't communicate and sell the idea well, explaining why and how) the fans protested.

Now we're looking at them as separate classes but won't have playtested them (read: concept test). Which is problematic; their first go with the classes had problems.
 

Mercurius

Legend
They wanted to lump the sorcerer and warlock in with the wizard as the "mage" class. But because they couldn't get the content out and show sorcerer fans what they were thinking (and didn't communicate and sell the idea well, explaining why and how) the fans protested.

Now we're looking at them as separate classes but won't have playtested them (read: concept test). Which is problematic; their first go with the classes had problems.

Thanks for the info.

Its always a tricky thing, how to differentiate between classes. If wizards, warlocks and sorcerers are all one class, then so too are fighters, rangers, and barbarians, and clerics, druids and paladins, and rogues, monks, and assassins - or at least you could make arguments for any number of "class families."

It seems that D&D has tried to organize classes in any number of ways, with sub-classes, kits, specialties, schools, not to mention power sources, etc. I like the idea of relatively distinct classes with specialization options - like the schools of wizardry, for instance. In that regard, I prefer that wizards and sorcerers be different, because one involves a kind of organized approach to magic and the other a more intuitive, even wild approach. In some ways it is similar to the difference between cleric and druid; both require training and development, but one is more "cultural" and the other more "natural."
 

The warlock is pretty damn different. The idea of "someone who got magic from a pact" is really an origin or background not a class. Someone could become a wizard after a Faustian pact.
But the warlock has done some different things. Eldrict blast is unique to it. It's at least as different than the ranger if from the fighter.

The sorcerer... the only thing that differentiated it in 3e was its different spellcasting system, and in 4e it had the same spellcasting and was differentiated by its role.
In theory 5e will have different spellcasting systems, so you can make a spellpoint or powers-based wizard. Really takes the steam away from the sorcerer.

But a lot of people apparently really want a sorcerer, and so WotC is changing their position to accommodate. Good on them.
 


gweinel

Explorer
They wanted to lump the sorcerer and warlock in with the wizard as the "mage" class. But because they couldn't get the content out and show sorcerer fans what they were thinking (and didn't communicate and sell the idea well, explaining why and how) the fans protested.

Now we're looking at them as separate classes but won't have playtested them (read: concept test). Which is problematic; their first go with the classes had problems.

Have that in mind that Mearls on his twitter wrote in the question if there "any chance we'll see Warlock crunch as a play test update/addendum before the big reveal?" he answered " Yes, very good chance. Maybe not as a test with formal feedback surveys, but you'll see it.".

So there is a probability to see both sorcerer and warlock before the initial release of 5e.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
They are doing heavy playtesting on the sorcerer...it's just a closed playtest rather than an open one. That does not mean just "WOTC employees" playtesting it - they are using a LOT of people outside the company to run playtests and provide feedback. But, it was on an invitation-only basis, rather than open to all.
 

tuxgeo

Adventurer
The "arcane" keyword is de-emphasized in the 5E playtest, so there's not really an important distinction between divine and arcane magic in 5E as we have seen it so far. (Even the spell descriptions leave out the "arcane" and "divine" keywords.)

The Bard class did appear in the latest packet, and that class had the "arcane" keyword in 4E; but it's a half-caster in 5E, so it may not be what you are talking about.
 

ccooke

Adventurer
The "arcane" keyword is de-emphasized in the 5E playtest, so there's not really an important distinction between divine and arcane magic in 5E as we have seen it so far. (Even the spell descriptions leave out the "arcane" and "divine" keywords.)

The Bard class did appear in the latest packet, and that class had the "arcane" keyword in 4E; but it's a half-caster in 5E, so it may not be what you are talking about.

The 5e bard is interesting in that regard. The fluff is that they pick up a lot of magical knowledge and are able to put it together into spells. But it's not arcane, divine or anything else. They also have no spell preparation at all. They get a limited spell list and they always have those spells available, no prep needed.
 

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