D&D 5E I think I've cracked a fair way to buff sorcerers

CapnZapp

Legend
Classically D&D is based around 4 Achetypes: the Warrior, Thief, Mage and Priest.

As a Mage Archetype sorcerer is way too specialised, being specialised is fine and all but even a fighter or ranger who specialises in archery isn't too bad with a rapier.

So what is the point of playing a sorcerer over a wizard besides role playing elements?

Sorcery points and Metamagic.

However metamagic often doesn't make up for lack of versatility sorcerers have. With "Flexible Casting" you can create new spell slots but so can wizards with Arcane recovery and they have ritual casting and sorcerers do not.

Also oftentimes you're limited by your Meta magic choices too sometimes you can end up at the end of the day with unspent sorcery points.

Whoa there! The reason you feel dissatisfied with the class (assuming dissatisfaction is the reason for suggesting buffs) is because you're trying to make it into something it isn't.

The Sorcerer isn't the "mage" archetype. The Sorcerer is a Blaster.

The Sorcerer has EXCELLENT novaing potential. Use your Sorcery points to cast both a spell and a cantrip each round.

Then when you run out of Sorcery points, convert your low-level spell slots into more Sorcery points, and repeat.

You will find that a Sorcerer played like a ranged blaster performs as an excellent ranged warrior!

If you want flexibility and "I have a spell for that", play a Wizard.

But the sorcerer can almost double the Wizard's raw DPS! No buffing necessary.
 

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Quirriff

Villager
My concerns with this:

1. A player is being forced to know every spell on the sorcerer spell lists effects during combat. That's not something likely to occur. There's 3 table effects this change will produce. Some players will scour the sorcerer list for potentially better options and slow down combat pacing to a crawl. Some will ignore it to keep play fast. Some will write an expanded list of spells they think will be good that they can remember and then keep up with that and only ever cast from it - thus not slowing down play much but also not fully utilizing the ability.

2. I actually think that it will be rare for players to use this ability over metamagic. Perhaps Charisma mod uses per day with no sorcery point component might be more appropriate or if that's too much drop it down to 2 uses per day. I think I like 2 uses per day as a starting point.

I don't think loading sorcery points up with more uses is good design when there's already a complaint of not having enough sorcery points.

I've been waiting for somebody like you to come along

1. If nobody hesitates that's fine, but for those that ponder they will always ponder and the Sorcerer list isn't as expansive as the Wizard list there are fewer spells that are for non-combat scenarios but there are some, also any spell that has a name in the title a Sorcerer cannot have. Not only that there are some spells on the sorcerer spell list, no player would realistically pick like Feather Fall for instance but yet it's on the list

2 If a sorcerer ends up spending all their sorcerery points of metamagic that's fine, but it's likely that you'll end up with 1/3rd of the maximum pool. And there will be times when they'll end up end up being helpless even when you have spell slots and sorcerery points to spare.

It also encourages players to be more creative with their characters they might choose a spell that's not generically useful but works great with certain metamagic options: For example subtle spell would be excellent if combined with charm person. Charm person would rarely be picked otherwise.

By having the fallback option of thinking "well I can always use sorcery points to cast fireball if I really need to, Why don't I pick something else at 5th level"

Sort of like the reverse of how when a high level player who picks Wish for their character ends up never using it since they have a 1/3 chance of losing it forever.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Yeah, I hate white-room analysis, but it is really hard to play test stuff for our group. Normally, we only meet every other week, but we couldn't do this weekend, so it will be nearly a month between sessions! I don't like that AT ALL but what can you do, right?

As many of you know, I like to try out a lot of stuff, but we rarely get the chance. I really should get a job as a game designer LOL!
 

Quartz

Hero
I've yet to try it in play but I like the idea of path magic. A sorceror should have a path. So Orius the (Apprentice) Firemaster will start off with Firebolt and Burning Hands, and pick up an additional fire-related spell at every (spell) level until at 17th level he picks up Meteor Swarm. Similarly, Oriana, (Apprentice) Mistress of Light, starts with Light and Chromatic Orb , at 3rd level gets Invisibility or See Invisibility, until at 15th level she gets Sunburst and Prismatic Wall at 17th. A sorceror should start with two paths and gain a third later on, possibly a fourth.
 

Esker

Hero
I think this is an interesting idea. My chief concern is the same as @FrogReaver's #1: slowing down play. Maybe some very experienced players will know the full sorcerer spell list inside and out, but most players won't.

From a class identity perspective, I wonder whether giving sorcerers more versatility is the right way to go in buffing the sorcerer. Sorcerers cast a few spells really well; wizards are versatile. I like this proposal better than just giving them more spells known, since it competes for sorcery points, but it feels to me like the way to buff the sorcerer should be making their signature thing -- powering up their spells in interesting ways -- better, rather than giving them ways to fill in their shortcomings compared to wizards.
 

Exactly it's there to give sorcerer a much needed boost in versatility but also to put a greater emphasis on using sorcery points since it's wasteful to use sorcery points to recall spells and you can't use it with metamagic.
Wouldn't it make sense to just make it a Meta-magic option? If you feel it's really needed, then give 1 more option at start, letting the player decide if it's worthwhile.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
The question is not what the CHA limit is hedging against.

Hedging against issues one imagines might arise at high level on the first prototype of a rule is not the most effective approach. @FrogReaver So far as I can tell, that is exactly why UA material is typically over, rather than under, powered. It's not a flaw, it is an approach that professional designers use to their advantage. Big caveat: it's homebrew so of course one should do as one enjoys. I'm just chiming in to offer tools that could help enhance what people can achieve.

So if you think about what would be (and is) a methodology likely to consistently produce strong mechanics that play well. There will need to be problems or goals to solve for (here we have a great example), divergent solutions, and then prototypes of solutions. The most likely looking prototypes will need to be tested in a range of circumstances, although the focus will be the way the game is mostly played.

A really effective technique is to look at a mechanic that captures as simply as possible your intent, with minimum trimming. It's hard to do, and usually you over-design to start with. The trimming is almost always a layer of obfuscation, that clouds what you could achieve.

Think then about @dnd4vr's speculation. Maybe he is exactly on the money? How would one even know if one only tests a CHA/rest limited version? The best outcome he can get from playtests is to learn if CHA/rest limit comes into play sooner than the sorcery points limit does (meaning, ironically, that it is unwarranted). Or he will discover that the CHA/rest limit does kick-in before SP runs out and then...? He still won't know if allowing more was going to be egregious.

And think about @FrogReaver's speculation (2), which strikes out in the opposite direction. The overwhelming majority of opinion I have read about SP is that they are too few, not too many. So I agree with @FrogReaver. Even if I did not, however, I don't think you prove this as quickly as possible by double-braking.

And that is the point, really. Playtesting is a scarce resource. It's hard enough to get the group together, explain the rule, try it out in only one circumstance! Let alone do it for the necessary canon. Playtesting also aligns with better game mechanics: there's a strong correlation between more testing and better games. One needs to make each bout of testing as effective as possible. Any obfuscation introduced into the solution just gets in the way of quickly judging how well your core idea has solved the problem.

Thanks for agreeing on my point about not tying this to sorcery points.

I think that some techniques while great in a professional environment with lots of playtesting resources doesn't tend to work so well from a home game perspective. There is no actual playtesting there. Instead the rule is adopted and used and then adjusted on the fly in an actual campaign. That's not playtesting. That's using and then patching the rule like a computer game would if it doesn't work out.

And then even for the more professional larger playtesting base - if the start a rule out too overpowered then it's easy to tone it down to much or not enough. It's hard to get just right without playtesting multiple iterations of rules. In fact we have seen this in quite a few UA classes, where the mechanics start out to strong and then either never make the final cut due to the strength or make it in a toned down version that no one gets excited about.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Wouldn't it make sense to just make it a Meta-magic option? If you feel it's really needed, then give 1 more option at start, letting the player decide if it's worthwhile.

I 2nd the notion of more metamagic options and metamagics known in general. Sorcerer's really needed a larger list of metamagics and more known and a few more sorcery points (at least early).
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
From a class identity perspective, I wonder whether giving sorcerers more versatility is the right way to go in buffing the sorcerer. Sorcerers cast a few spells really well; wizards are versatile. I like this proposal better than just giving them more spells known, since it competes for sorcery points, but it feels to me like the way to buff the sorcerer should be making their signature thing -- powering up their spells in interesting ways -- better, rather than giving them ways to fill in their shortcomings compared to wizards.

The more I think about such a mechanic... I think I like it as a once per day ability. Very thematic IMO. Sorcerer using RAW power to create an effect he doesn't normally create. I think that as long as uses are limited enough that such an ability doesn't interfere with wizards being the king of versatility (which isn't necessarily an inherent part of their identity - just the most typical mechanical adaption we have seen for it).
 

Esker

Hero
To expand on that: I see two problems with the sorcerer class that have nothing to do with the number of spells they know. One is that there are only three or four metamagic options that ever get picked. The second is that they have so few SP, particularly at low levels, that they have to ration their metamagic too carefully for it to feel like a major boon.

So if we want to power up the sorcerer, it seems to me we should start there: (1) what can we do to bring the other metamagic options up to par with the ones everyone picks, and (2) how can we increase the frequency with which sorcerers can use metamagic. And I would add (3): can we create new metamagic options that help the sorcerer feel like they get more versatility out of the spells they do know?

The new UA variant Elemental Spell is a good answer to (3) for blaster sorcerers, but non-blasters should get something too. Maybe something like: "Spend X SP when you cast a spell to have that casting ignore a creature's immunity to one of the following conditions: charmed, frightened, restrained."

Lots of people have suggested things like making SP refresh on a short rest as a fix for (2), but i think this goes too far if we're leaving the number of points alone, and steps on the Warlock a bit, particularly when combined with Font of Magic. But maybe changing the formula for determining the size of your SP pool would work.

As for (1): Extended spell is the easiest to fix; it should just bump up the duration to the next normal duration (1m --> 10m; 10m --> 1h; 1h --> 8h; 8h --> 24h).

Distant spell could package together a couple of different options: changing touch to 30' can be good, doubling the range is highly situational, but is fine as part of a metamagic that also does other things, but it needs something else. Maybe fold in Seeking Spell from the UA variants.

As for Careful spell, it needs a way to actually function as a way to avoid friendly fire on damage spells. But rather than just copying Sculpt Spells, how about an option that lets you either expand or reduce the radius of an AoE by 5' per SP? It'd be 10' for spells whose areas are specified in terms of a diameter, cube, or cone.

Finally, I don't see any reason why Distant, Extended, Careful and Subtle shouldn't be able to stack with other metamagics on a single casting.

Seems like you should also be able to swap out one metamagic option on a level-up; and maybe grant an extra metamagic pick at 6th or so.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I've been waiting for somebody like you to come along

1. If nobody hesitates that's fine, but for those that ponder they will always ponder and the Sorcerer list isn't as expansive as the Wizard list there are fewer spells that are for non-combat scenarios but there are some, also any spell that has a name in the title a Sorcerer cannot have. Not only that there are some spells on the sorcerer spell list, no player would realistically pick like Feather Fall for instance but yet it's on the list

Wizard's know 14 spells at level 5 and can only have 9 prepared. That is - during any given combat a level 5 wizard has 9 spells to consider between.

With your ability the level 5 sorcerer is going to have to consider 60+ spells in any given combat.

If you can't see how that has the potential to drastically slow down play - then your game and playstyle and assumptions are so different than mine that I cannot help you.

2 If a sorcerer ends up spending all their sorcerery points of metamagic that's fine, but it's likely that you'll end up with 1/3rd of the maximum pool. And there will be times when they'll end up end up being helpless even when you have spell slots and sorcerery points to spare.

I can't make heads or tails of this comment. Sorcerers with spells left and sorcery points left to be able to cast any of the spells on their list are helpless???? Is that what you are saying?

It also encourages players to be more creative with their characters they might choose a spell that's not generically useful but works great with certain metamagic options: For example subtle spell would be excellent if combined with charm person. Charm person would rarely be picked otherwise.

I already prefer subtle spell as one of my metamagic options with a my typical sorcerers. I already consider picking charm person.

By having the fallback option of thinking "well I can always use sorcery points to cast fireball if I really need to, Why don't I pick something else at 5th level"

Or what's most likely to happen - I'll still take the normal good spells and the situational ones I will use via this new ability.

Sort of like the reverse of how when a high level player who picks Wish for their character ends up never using it since they have a 1/3 chance of losing it forever.

That's not how wish works in this edition.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Sort of like the reverse of how when a high level player who picks Wish for their character ends up never using it since they have a 1/3 chance of losing it forever.

tenor.gif
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
To expand on that: I see two problems with the sorcerer class that have nothing to do with the number of spells they know. One is that there are only three or four metamagic options that ever get picked. The second is that they have so few SP, particularly at low levels, that they have to ration their metamagic too carefully for it to feel like a major boon.

Fully agree. And metamagic would be an excellent mechanic to solve the too few spells issue.

So if we want to power up the sorcerer, it seems to me we should start there: (1) what can we do to bring the other metamagic options up to par with the ones everyone picks, and (2) how can we increase the frequency with which sorcerers can use metamagic. And I would add (3): can we create new metamagic options that help the sorcerer feel like they get more versatility out of the spells they do know?

Yep. Personally I categorize spells into at least the following categories:

1. Direct Damage
2. Defensive
3. Social
4. Exploration
5. Control
6. Buffing
7. Recovery

By level 4 a wizard can basically have at least one spell for each category and rituals to help round out the rest of his utility. A sorcerer requires level 6 to reach that point and has no rituals to help round out the categories of things he can do.

The new UA variant Elemental Spell is a good answer to (3) for blaster sorcerers, but non-blasters should get something too. Maybe something like: "Spend X SP when you cast a spell to have that casting ignore a creature's immunity to one of the following conditions: charmed, frightened, restrained."

I like that

Lots of people have suggested things like making SP refresh on a short rest as a fix for (2), but i think this goes too far if we're leaving the number of points alone, and steps on the Warlock a bit, particularly when combined with Font of Magic. But maybe changing the formula for determining the size of your SP pool would work.

As long as points can be changed back into spell slots I don't see a good mechanical way to add more sorcery points.

As for (1): Extended spell is the easiest to fix; it should just bump up the duration to the next normal duration (1m --> 10m; 10m --> 1h; 1h --> 8h; 8h --> 24h).

Yep. I would add an option for an additional sorcery point expenditure to double the new duration as well.

Distant spell could package together a couple of different options: changing touch to 30' can be good, doubling the range is highly situational, but is fine as part of a metamagic that also does other things, but it needs something else. Maybe fold in Seeking Spell from the UA variants.

Distant spell should also allow cover and possibly line of sight restriction to be ignored.

As for Careful spell, it needs a way to actually function as a way to avoid friendly fire on damage spells. But rather than just copying Sculpt Spells, how about an option that lets you either expand or reduce the radius of an AoE by 5' per SP? It'd be 10' for spells whose areas are specified in terms of a diameter, cube, or cone.

Solid change!

Finally, I don't see any reason why Distant, Extended, Careful and Subtle shouldn't be able to stack with other metamagics on a single casting.

The current versions no - but the new versions I'm not sure about.

Seems like you should also be able to swap out one metamagic option on a level-up; and maybe grant an extra metamagic pick at 6th or so.

agreed
 

Esker

Hero
As long as points can be changed back into spell slots I don't see a good mechanical way to add more sorcery points.

I am thinking about something along the lines of doing away with (or at least greatly limiting) the free sorcery points you get but increasing the number of points you get when you converting a spell slot. Like, maybe your "free" pool is only equal to your CHA mod plus half your proficiency or something, but when you convert a spell slot, you get the same amount of SP that it costs to create that slot.

That would mean that at 3rd level, a typical sorcerer who converts all their 1st level slots would get 12 SP total for the day, instead of the 7 they get now. An 11th level sorcerer with 20 CHA who converts their 1st-3rd level slots would get 5+2+4*2+3*3+3*5=39 SP to play with, vs the 11+4*1+3*2+3*3=30 SP they get now. At 19th level, if you converted all 1st-4th level slots, you'd have 8+8+9+15+18=58 SP, vs the 19+4+6+9+12=50 SP they get now. The benefit is front-loaded, since the free pool scales more slowly, which is the goal, but you still come out ahead at high levels as long as you are converting enough low level slots. But it seems like you should be incentivized to burn slots to power your metamagic.

I think you would also have to stipulate that only slots gained from the Spellcasting feature can be used to create SP, otherwise you're making Sorlock even more of a draw than it is now (I tend to think you should only be able to use metamagic with Sorcerer spells too, but I recognize that that completely breaks a lot of eldritch blast builds).

Distant spell should also allow cover and possibly line of sight restriction to be ignored.

Yeah, ignoring cover is what Seeking spell does. Ignoring line of sight too is interesting... It would mean that you could target invisible creatures or creatures in magical darkness, etc. Could work, but might need to cost more than 1SP to use that option?
 

snickersnax

Explorer
My current iteration of sorcerer house rule is this: Sorcerers get free Subtle Spell on all sorcerer spells with no spell point cost. Also sorcerers uses spell point variant to better model their "deep well of magic"

This helps to differentiate sorcerer who is casting spells innately and wizard who is casting using memorized words, tones, gestures and symbols.

And it also helps with one of the sorerer's biggest complaints which is limited metamagic options.
 



G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Whoa there! The reason you feel dissatisfied with the class (assuming dissatisfaction is the reason for suggesting buffs) is because you're trying to make it into something it isn't.

The Sorcerer isn't the "mage" archetype. The Sorcerer is a Blaster.

The Sorcerer has EXCELLENT novaing potential. Use your Sorcery points to cast both a spell and a cantrip each round.

Then when you run out of Sorcery points, convert your low-level spell slots into more Sorcery points, and repeat.

You will find that a Sorcerer played like a ranged blaster performs as an excellent ranged warrior!

If you want flexibility and "I have a spell for that", play a Wizard.

But the sorcerer can almost double the Wizard's raw DPS! No buffing necessary.

Agreed.

The "fixes" offered in this thread seem to be a case of wanting it all without giving anything up.

While true that the Sorcerer list isn't as long as the Wizard list, if the Sorcerer gets to have access, on a daily basis, to that entire list, it actually makes him/her more versatile than the poor Wizard. He/she gets to choose between spending sorcery points on:
  • More slots/day than the Wizard.
  • More DPR than the Wizard.
  • More spell selection than the Wizard.
And while true that you can't optimize all three of those things at once (within a long rest, anyway), the flexibility is there to choose any of those as needed.

Take Ritual Caster feat and you've got it all.

So, no. Just no.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Agreed.

The "fixes" offered in this thread seem to be a case of wanting it all without giving anything up.

While true that the Sorcerer list isn't as long as the Wizard list, if the Sorcerer gets to have access, on a daily basis, to that entire list, it actually makes him/her more versatile than the poor Wizard. He/she gets to choose between spending sorcery points on:
  • More slots/day than the Wizard.
  • More DPR than the Wizard.
  • More spell selection than the Wizard.
And while true that you can't optimize all three of those things at once (within a long rest, anyway), the flexibility is there to choose any of those as needed.

Take Ritual Caster feat and you've got it all.

So, no. Just no.

I like the idea myself because the sorcerer spell list is not good. It’s pretty bland and boring. If it were more than just blast stuff sorcerers might not be viewed as artillery only.

In addition to a revised spell list perhaps sorcerers should be allowed to use sorcery points to maintain multiple concentration spells mwahahaha!
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
In addition to a revised spell list perhaps sorcerers should be allowed to use sorcery points to maintain multiple concentration spells mwahahaha!

Wow! That would be cool but also very powerful. If we tried it, and that is a big IF, it would have to be very expensive, like 1 sorcery point per spell level of higher level spell you are concentrating on. In essence, not only would casting that spell cost you a spell slot, but also en equal number of sorcery points.
 

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