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

CapnZapp

Legend
Agreed.

The "fixes" offered in this thread seem to be a case of wanting it all without giving anything up.
Just to further bring home the point:

If you look at a Sorcerer as an Archer (a fighter-y or ranger-y type of character) the you'll see clearly how powerful the Sorcerer already is.

Instead of shooting arrows/bolts, it shoots fire. And then it can also cast Fireball.

It is only when somebody looks at you thinking you can provide a "spell for that", and gets disappointed, that anyone can think the Sorcerer is underpowered. It's not, because that's a mistake.

The Sorcerer might be wonky or inflexible, yes, but not underpowered.

Any increase in power might help those of you who tries to play the Sorcerer like a Wizard. But it would make the class outright broken for the minmaxer who plays the Sorcerer as... a Sorcerer! (A fire draconic Sorcerer, to be precise.)

Tl;dr: Don't give the class any boosts. Instead play another class when you don't want to play a Blaster.

At the very least remove Quicken metamagic from the class variant y'all seem intent to create.
 

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Guest 6801328

Guest
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.

It is more than just blast stuff. While generally (but not exclusively) of the offensive sort, the Sorcerer spell list is full of spells that are great in specific situations, but that you might not generally choose as your all-purpose spells. Just to pick a level (3) there's:

Clairvoyance
Daylight
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Protection from Energy
Tidal Wave
Tongues
Water Breathing
Water Walk

So just like that, every level 5+ sorcerer gets instant access to all these spells, whenever they happen to need them?

No way.

At the very least require a Charisma check (vs. DC of 10 + spell level) to see if they can improvise the spell in the moment. On a failure they still spend the sorcery points.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
It is more than just blast stuff. While generally (but not exclusively) of the offensive sort, the Sorcerer spell list is full of spells that are great in specific situations, but that you might not generally choose as your all-purpose spells. Just to pick a level (3) there's:

Clairvoyance
Daylight
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Protection from Energy
Tidal Wave
Tongues
Water Breathing
Water Walk

So just like that, every level 5+ sorcerer gets instant access to all these spells, whenever they happen to need them?

No way.

At the very least require a Charisma check (vs. DC of 10 + spell level) to see if they can improvise the spell in the moment. On a failure they still spend the sorcery points.
The cost seems fairly balancing. Imagine we're playing at the typically most relevant levels - 4-11 - to be able to cast Dispel Magic costs a decent chunk of your daily SP.

OTOH I agree with those who might feel that being more versatile would not be the buff they were looking for.
 

Esker

Hero
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.

I was thinking about this too, and about how I would write the ability to keep it from being too powerful (since as it stands, concentration is probably the biggest bottleneck that keeps spellcasters' power in check (particularly once they have enough slots to be casting spells a lot of the time).

I'm thinking something like: "When you are concentrating on a spell and you cast a spell that also requires concentration, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the combined level of the two spells to maintain concentration on both spells simultaneously (cantrips are considered level 0 for the purpose of this feature). You may not use this feature if you are already concentrating on more than one spell, and the combined level of the spells cannot exceed your proficiency bonus. If an effect such as taking damage causes you to make a concentration save, you make separate saves for each spell."

So, basically it enables you to layer lower level spells, but because of the proficiency bonus limiter it can never apply to spells above 5th level (I guess unless you want to layer a concentration cantrip on top of a 6th level spell at 17th+ level, which, more power to you), and can never apply to the highest level spell at your level, unless one of the spells is a cantrip. It's limited to 1st level spells until you get 3rd level spells, to 1st and 2nd level spells until you get 5th level spells, to 1st-3rd level spells until you get 7th level spells, and then finally at 17th level when you have 9th level spells you can layer a 5th level and a 1st level.
 

EpicureanDM

Explorer
The simple fixes I've used in my game to boost sorcerers are as follows:

  • They are a CON class, not a CHA class. Power comes from your blood, not your personality.
  • Sorcerers can use a free hand as a material component. They still need to use verbal and somatic if the spell calls for it.
  • Biggest one: Use the spell point system in the DMG and combine that with their sorcerer points into one big pool that can be used to power spells and metamagic. They have a big pool of points just sloshing around. Maximum flexibility.
  • Sorcerers know all metamagic options but can only attune to a certain amount per day based on their level. They get three metamagic slots at 3rd level (and three more at 7th and 10th). They can mediate for two hours during a long rest to swap out different metamagic.
  • Each subclass gets a small bonus list of spells known based on the subclass' flavor.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I was thinking about this too, and about how I would write the ability to keep it from being too powerful (since as it stands, concentration is probably the biggest bottleneck that keeps spellcasters' power in check (particularly once they have enough slots to be casting spells a lot of the time).

I'm thinking something like: "When you are concentrating on a spell and you cast a spell that also requires concentration, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the combined level of the two spells to maintain concentration on both spells simultaneously (cantrips are considered level 0 for the purpose of this feature). You may not use this feature if you are already concentrating on more than one spell, and the combined level of the spells cannot exceed your proficiency bonus. If an effect such as taking damage causes you to make a concentration save, you make separate saves for each spell."

So, basically it enables you to layer lower level spells, but because of the proficiency bonus limiter it can never apply to spells above 5th level (I guess unless you want to layer a concentration cantrip on top of a 6th level spell at 17th+ level, which, more power to you), and can never apply to the highest level spell at your level, unless one of the spells is a cantrip. It's limited to 1st level spells until you get 3rd level spells, to 1st and 2nd level spells until you get 5th level spells, to 1st-3rd level spells until you get 7th level spells, and then finally at 17th level when you have 9th level spells you can layer a 5th level and a 1st level.
You know, I thought about this some today at work and the more I thought about it, the more I like this as a Warlock feature, not Sorcerer. Personally, I feel more like Warlocks are lacking in "umph" than the Sorcerer.

The simple fixes I've used in my game to boost sorcerers are as follows:

  • They are a CON class, not a CHA class. Power comes from your blood, not your personality.
  • Sorcerers can use a free hand as a material component. They still need to use verbal and somatic if the spell calls for it.
  • Biggest one: Use the spell point system in the DMG and combine that with their sorcerer points into one big pool that can be used to power spells and metamagic. They have a big pool of points just sloshing around. Maximum flexibility.
  • Sorcerers know all metamagic options but can only attune to a certain amount per day based on their level. They get three metamagic slots at 3rd level (and three more at 7th and 10th). They can mediate for two hours during a long rest to swap out different metamagic.
  • Each subclass gets a small bonus list of spells known based on the subclass' flavor.
Lots of good stuff! We have many of the same or similar:
  • We switched over to CON as well as their spellcasing modifier, and switched to CON/INT for saves.
  • We already use a spell-point system but also allow free swapping of spell-points and sorcery points, up to 5, as a bonus action.
  • We also allow them to swap metamagics, but only when they level up, and added a capstone feature: Metamagic Mastery, which grants them all metamagics.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The simple fixes I've used in my game to boost sorcerers are as follows:

  • They are a CON class, not a CHA class. Power comes from your blood, not your personality.
  • Sorcerers can use a free hand as a material component. They still need to use verbal and somatic if the spell calls for it.
  • Biggest one: Use the spell point system in the DMG and combine that with their sorcerer points into one big pool that can be used to power spells and metamagic. They have a big pool of points just sloshing around. Maximum flexibility.
  • Sorcerers know all metamagic options but can only attune to a certain amount per day based on their level. They get three metamagic slots at 3rd level (and three more at 7th and 10th). They can mediate for two hours during a long rest to swap out different metamagic.
  • Each subclass gets a small bonus list of spells known based on the subclass' flavor.
1) Switching from Cha to Con is a dream for the minmaxer who doesn't care about talking to people. It just frees you to focus on combat-related stats. In other words: you just gave the Sorcerer more hit points.
2) Fair enough - no impact on balance
3) Spell points is a massive upgrade, since flexibility = power. The Sorcerer is already massively powerful because she can translate all those "useless" low level spell slots into Quicken Metamagic. There is no need to make this process even simpler and cheaper.
4) Fair enough - since minmaxers already pick the best options, allowing you to switch to the criminally underused ones is a nice touch
5) See below

Look, I totally get it. The Sorcerer class design simply isn't very well executed. About the only way to create a powerful character, yet one consistent with character background and "color" is to create a red draconic sorcerer (fire spells). Everything else is... just a downgrade without getting anything in return.

The Sorcerer that casts fireball and fire bolt each significant combat round is one of the most powerful character builds of the game.

Please please please everyone: make more of an effort in giving OTHER builds bonuses WITHOUT making one of the most powerful character builds of the game even more overpowered than it already is! Thank you.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
1) Switching from Cha to Con is a dream for the minmaxer who doesn't care about talking to people. It just frees you to focus on combat-related stats. In other words: you just gave the Sorcerer more hit points.
2) Fair enough - no impact on balance
3) Spell points is a massive upgrade, since flexibility = power. The Sorcerer is already massively powerful because she can translate all those "useless" low level spell slots into Quicken Metamagic. There is no need to make this process even simpler and cheaper.
4) Fair enough - since minmaxers already pick the best options, allowing you to switch to the criminally underused ones is a nice touch
5) See below

Look, I totally get it. The Sorcerer class design simply isn't very well executed. About the only way to create a powerful character, yet one consistent with character background and "color" is to create a red draconic sorcerer (fire spells). Everything else is... just a downgrade without getting anything in return.

The Sorcerer that casts fireball and fire bolt each significant combat round is one of the most powerful character builds of the game.

Please please please everyone: make more of an effort in giving OTHER builds bonuses WITHOUT making one of the most powerful character builds of the game even more overpowered than it already is! Thank you.

You won’t keep quicken anything up for long. You can keep twin firebolt up most of the day.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You won’t keep quicken anything up for long. You can keep twin firebolt up most of the day.
Sure.

Point remains, though.

And "not for long" is surprisingly often all the time you need. At high levels, Sorcerers have frighteningly large amounts of Sorcery Points if you include low-level spell slots.
 

EpicureanDM

Explorer
Lots of good stuff! We have many of the same or similar:
  • We switched over to CON as well as their spellcasing modifier, and switched to CON/INT for saves.
  • We already use a spell-point system but also allow free swapping of spell-points and sorcery points, up to 5, as a bonus action.
  • We also allow them to swap metamagics, but only when they level up, and added a capstone feature: Metamagic Mastery, which grants them all metamagics.
I like the cut of your jib, sailor. ;)
 

Kinematics

Adventurer
I like the OP's idea. I'd probably cost each spell at the cost of buying a spell slot, rather than the return from selling a spell slot, and I would also let the spell last all day (or at least til the next short rest). But overall it seems like a good way to trade sorcery points for spell flexibility, particularly when metamagic is mostly useless to the character (as it often is for mine).

/--------/

Personally, I'd prefer sorcerer's "thing" to be true metamagic, rather than the junkpile that they were given. That is, be able to fully craft spells on the fly, à la Mage: The Ascension, or Ars Magica. Keep it restricted to one or two narrowly focused elements or concepts, and leave it to the player to figure out creative ways to use that power.

For example: You can use cold magic. Don't worry about the crap options in the D&D spell list, just figure out how you'd use ice to accomplish your goals. Whether that's a slick patch of ice, an icicle through the heart, freezing the enemy to the floor, condensing water in the air to create fog, creating a bridge of ice over a chasm, or whatever else — be creative with what your theme can actually do. On the flip side, you're never casting Fireball, or Enhance Ability, or Comprehend Languages, or Haste, or Wish, or Charm Person, or dozens of other spells. That's just outside your capacity. That is what I really expect out of a sorcerer.

However D&D just isn't designed or balanced to be able to handle that. I tried looking at what would be necessary to fit the idea in with D&D's mechanics, and it's just nightmarish. There's not really even any decent math for properly balanced spells, never mind casting stuff on the fly. Maybe, at best, just describe the spell, and have the GM say, "OK. Gimme X sorcery points for that. Here's what happens..." You're entirely dependent on the GM's whims, and the GM has to be able to judge things on the fly (and probably needs experience in open magic game systems), but that's about as close as you're likely to get. ... Unless you literally curate and reskin an exact list of spells that you're allowed to use with any given origin, which might almost be workable, maybe.
 

For example: You can use cold magic. Don't worry about the crap options in the D&D spell list, just figure out how you'd use ice to accomplish your goals. ...On the flip side, you're never casting ... or Wish, or Charm Person, or dozens of other spells. That's just outside your capacity. That is what I really expect out of a sorcerer.
No wish? But he said it would "be a cold day when..." and I can make it a cold day! And, can't a I Charm the fair maiden with how Cool I am?

Seriously, though, it's a nice idea, not one that D&D lends itself to in the least, but a nice idea.
Cool, even.

However D&D just isn't designed or balanced to be able to handle that. I tried looking at what would be necessary to fit the idea in with D&D's mechanics, and it's just nightmarish. There's not really even any decent math for properly balanced spells, never mind casting stuff on the fly...
For elemental sorcerers you could probably have a fairly straightforward set-up. Associate die type, save stat, a couple conditions, &c with each element. The game already has a rough guide of damage to spell level. Have another rough guide of relative sized for each of the possible AEs, something similar for cantrips, and off you go...

Unless you literally curate and reskin an exact list of spells that you're allowed to use with any given origin, which might almost be workable, maybe.
Now that I think of that, I did that for Clerics of specific deities way back in 1e. It's workable, especially since you really only must do it when a player chooses one, and only stay ahead of his current level.
 

Medio

First Post
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.
Elaborate that. The way a Sorcerer can almost double the Wizard DPS (which btw is not top tier on DPS).

Sorcerer can twin some spells that deal damage, but maybe once per battle due its cost and the best damage spells can´t be twinned. That´s not going to double the Wizard DPS.

Sorcerer can Quicken and use some cantrip damage added. Fine, but that doesn´t double the Wizard DPS and you will do it twice, three times on a fight.

Sorcerer can Empower some spells and do more damage. An Evoker Wizard will deal more extra damage at the end of the day without having to waste resources on extra damage and it will still have plenty more versatility than the Sorcerer. So not close again on doubling the Wizard DPS.

So finally we ended up that on a combat you will probably deal more damage than a wizard, and probably less than a good melee or archer who are more consistant on damage while having way better defences than you. And that´s all, you have depleted all your resources and on the next battle your DPS will be ridiculous as the class doesn´t have endurance. And you won´t be able to recover your spells on short rests like the Wizard does, by the way. You will only outdamage the Wizard is there is just one encounter in the day.

Don´t let the flashy numbers trick you. Sorcerer is a "fair" ranged warrior, far from excellent, with bad AC and hit points. A ranger or warrior will outdamage it at the end of the day for sure and probably will be able to stand way more than the Sorcerer. So we have a cannon ball which really isn´t that good cannon...
 


NotAYakk

Legend
To me, sorcerers limited list is part of the mythos. They aren't generic arcane casters; they have a set of magical talents.

I'd rather gice them:
1. A chance to not use a spell slot when they cast a sorcerer spell,
2. Strip flexible casting,
3. Make metamagic be short rest based.

1 amd 2 are intended to balance each other out.

3 is intended to make metamagic a nearly all the time thing.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think if you build a subclass around this as subclass feature it is ok.

The problem is Sorcerers are already one of the most powerful classes, not as powerful as Wizard but not far behind and being based on Charisma gives them a ton of multiclass options. Add in very powerful subclass features (for the good subclasses) and this will make the class OP. Not as OP as an optimized Wizard, but not far behind and further ahead of most classes than they already are.

Weave Bender Sorcerer Subclass - You are intricately tied to the Weave and it is part of your being allowing you to tap magic in ways others can't

Level 1.
Mystic Magic Knowlege - Your ties to the weave give you paranormal insight into all things magical, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill and proficiency in Intelligence Saves against magical effects and spells.

Arcane tap - Your connection to the weave crosses the normal boundaries enabling you to access spells easier than others. You gain one cantrip from any spell list, you can replace this cantrip with another cantrip after a long rest.

Level 6.
Channel Unkown Magic - You can cast any sorcerer spell which are a high enough level to cast even if it is not a known spell. To cast it you must use sorcery points equal to the spell level and expend a spell slot equal to its level (cantrips cost 1 sorcery point and 1 1st level spell slot). You can not use metamagic on spells cast this way and you can not cast a spell of level 6 or higher using this ability.

Level 14:
Improved Channel Unknown Magic - Your ability to cast spells you don't know now extends to all spells of all classes up to 5th level. If the spell is not on the Sorcerer spell list you must make an Arcana check equal to the spells level in addition to expending the spell slot and the sorcery points

Level 18:
Weave Transform - As a bonus action you attach yourself to the weave for 1 minute. You have advantage on all saves against magical effects, you have immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition and resistance to non-magical piercing, bludgeoning and slashing damage. While under this effect you can use a bonus action every turn to teleport up to 60 feet.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
I like the OP's idea. I'd probably cost each spell at the cost of buying a spell slot, rather than the return from selling a spell slot, and I would also let the spell last all day (or at least til the next short rest). But overall it seems like a good way to trade sorcery points for spell flexibility, particularly when metamagic is mostly useless to the character (as it often is for mine).

/--------/

Personally, I'd prefer sorcerer's "thing" to be true metamagic, rather than the junkpile that they were given. That is, be able to fully craft spells on the fly, à la Mage: The Ascension, or Ars Magica. Keep it restricted to one or two narrowly focused elements or concepts, and leave it to the player to figure out creative ways to use that power.

For example: You can use cold magic. Don't worry about the crap options in the D&D spell list, just figure out how you'd use ice to accomplish your goals. Whether that's a slick patch of ice, an icicle through the heart, freezing the enemy to the floor, condensing water in the air to create fog, creating a bridge of ice over a chasm, or whatever else — be creative with what your theme can actually do. On the flip side, you're never casting Fireball, or Enhance Ability, or Comprehend Languages, or Haste, or Wish, or Charm Person, or dozens of other spells. That's just outside your capacity. That is what I really expect out of a sorcerer.

However D&D just isn't designed or balanced to be able to handle that. I tried looking at what would be necessary to fit the idea in with D&D's mechanics, and it's just nightmarish. There's not really even any decent math for properly balanced spells, never mind casting stuff on the fly. Maybe, at best, just describe the spell, and have the GM say, "OK. Gimme X sorcery points for that. Here's what happens..." You're entirely dependent on the GM's whims, and the GM has to be able to judge things on the fly (and probably needs experience in open magic game systems), but that's about as close as you're likely to get. ... Unless you literally curate and reskin an exact list of spells that you're allowed to use with any given origin, which might almost be workable, maybe.
I am still struggling to implement my shadow mage. I miss Shadow Conjuration. I have seen fan class features that added a small amount of damage to illusions to represent the inclusion of shadow stuff.
 

Stalker0

Legend
When thinking about the balance of the idea, don't think about a typical adventuring day. On those days, your sorcery points are pretty limited, they are a precious resource.

Instead, think about a more downtime scenario. The sorceror has full access to their sorcery points, doesn't really need metamagic, and instead just needs X spell to handle X thing, then pretty much gets a long rest right afterwards whenever it needs it.

So now think about if there are any abuses with having access to every sorceror spell in the game. If you think it looks good, you've nailed it.
 

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