On whether sorcerers and wizards should be merged or not, (they shouldn't)

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
(I wanted to address this post, but I thought it was better to make a new thread for it. Because ... reasons. I keep seeing this idea over and over.)

Re: Sorcerer, I think the class plays better than people are giving it credit for on the conceptual level. That said, thematically there is no heavy lifting that the class does that could not be done by the Wizard class with some cosmetic changes. If the most ardent supporter, feels the class does not have enough spells/ Sorcery points...lets roll it into the Wizard class...(along with metamagic and Sorcery points)...between votes for Wiz and Sorc, the total stands at 22. Combine the two classes.
The thing is you just can't really merge Sorcerer and wizard. I mean is not impossible and I can stop you from trying, but it is impossible without losing the character concepts the sorcerer cover entirely. The DnD wizard is really iconic, it has a very overpowering flavor that gets to dictate background and character history -even down to personality and possibly playstyle-. This is not a recent thing, it goes way back to OD&D. It is a sacred cow that nobody can even dream of slaughtering.

However this iconicity also makes some character concepts unable to work with the wizard. Do you want to play a character that isn't actively looking for more [magic] power? One that sees her magic as curse? One who views magic as a reality of life and little different from blinking or speaking? One that isn't about lore? One that isn't really smart? One that is outright dumb or an airhead? One that is poor? One that emulates Circe, Samantha, (classic) Sabrina or Elsa? Wizard is an awful match for any of them. That's where the Sorcerer class comes. It covers the characters that are a poor fit for the wizard, and by covering them, the wizard has no pressure to be these characters. But it has to be good on its own, because otherwise we have second rate character concepts, characters that are bad just because they don't fit in the iconic -but rigid- wizard box.

Now this duality seems to give people headaches. And I get it, why do we need two primarily spellcasting classes? However, merging the classes would be counterproductive, and would be at odds with both classes. Merging them would necessitate that the resulting class is either so broad and generic that the iconic wizard is just gone, or keep the wizard's iconicity, in which case you haven't successfully merged sorcerer and wizard, you've just gotten rid of the sorcerer altogether. Having a mega class that gives choice of either style is also a waste of time, because at that point you've just essentially kept the two classes, it just happens that they can't multiclass with each other.

My point in a nutshell.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
You probably should have made this a poll. Anyway, i agree that the sorcerer has its own niche and absolutely deserves to be an autonomous class.
 
If the casting stat was changeable then you could merge wizards and sorcerers. As is, the wizard is knowledge based. The sorcerer is non-knowledge based.

That difference is enough to keep them separate.
 
We really don't need three Charisma casters.

Personally I would keep the Sorcerer, slaughter the Warlock and rethink the Bard, but I suspect I'd be in the minority.
We need something that accommodates the concept of casting because of internal power instead of external knowledge or diety.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Personally I feel like because of how knowledge skills, crafting, & "warlock invocations" (cough wizard bonus feats) were changed in 5e wizard's don't really feel very wizardy anymore
 

Krachek

Adventurer
They should not be merge.
but the sorcerer concept has been badly implemented, especially when they open up the blood line idea.
The OP describe well the wizard concept, the warlock take the space of magic teach or powered by an external patron, sorcerer have to manage all the numerous other ideas. It’s there that it go bad.
Innate psionic power, innate elemental power, Innate draconian or chaotic power,
all implemented by one class? Don’t ask why we are disappointed.

Sorcerer would be better serve by a DM toolbox to create custom classes.
 

Giltonio_Santos

Adventurer
My short answer would be: they should, but that ship has sailed. Then, we could have a class with a distinguishing identity to represent characters with inborn magical abilities. The RAW sorcerer is a very poor representation of the archetype, in my opinion. "Like a wizard, but charismatic and no spellbook". Really? We could do much better than that.
 

oreofox

Explorer
We really don't need three Charisma casters.

Personally I would keep the Sorcerer, slaughter the Warlock and rethink the Bard, but I suspect I'd be in the minority.
I merged the warlock into sorcerer, made a few of the patrons into bloodlines, and made the sorcerer cast on Constitution instead of Charisma. Charisma works fine for the bard, but it never made much sense for the sorcerer. If the sorcerer's power is innate, it makes more sense to use Constitution, not Charisma. Charisma is force of personality, looks, likeableness, and such. That fits the bard perfectly.

My sorcerer has the warlock spell list merged into it, and gains invocations (as well as having all the base sorcerer stuff).
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
The only reason I think not to merge wizard, sorcerer, and warlock into a single customisable class that lets you create the spellcasting class you want is complexity. There would be a lot of moving parts in the base class to customise your magic-user that it might be off putting to new players. As is, I have used the wizard to create a "sorcerer" an Oracle with innate divination abilities. I just ignored the spellbook part of a diviner wizard.
 

Twiggly the Gnome

Adventurer
I merged the warlock into sorcerer, made a few of the patrons into bloodlines, and made the sorcerer cast on Constitution instead of Charisma. Charisma works fine for the bard, but it never made much sense for the sorcerer. If the sorcerer's power is innate, it makes more sense to use Constitution, not Charisma. Charisma is force of personality, looks, likeableness, and such. That fits the bard perfectly.

My sorcerer has the warlock spell list merged into it, and gains invocations (as well as having all the base sorcerer stuff).
Agree on switching sorcerers to constitution, but I like having them distinct from warlocks. Of course, I like to draw a brighter line between how warlock patronage and clerical faith work than how a lot of people seem to want to do.
 
The time when the sorcerer and wizard could be merge has past. If D&D had adopted earlier the idea of arcane magic coming from other source other that books and study of the magical rules, the wizard could have several sources of arcane magic.

But wizard was separated from sorcery and invocations. The later two types of magic were pulled so away from wizards in theme that it is hard to put back together. And there are other forms of arcane magic like artificers and others from the past and future.
 

FlyingChihuahua

Adventurer
My short answer would be: they should, but that ship has sailed. Then, we could have a class with a distinguishing identity to represent characters with inborn magical abilities. The RAW sorcerer is a very poor representation of the archetype, in my opinion. "Like a wizard, but charismatic and no spellbook". Really? We could do much better than that.
I mean, I think the flavor comes across pretty well, with them basically being savants with the few spells that they actually know.
 
Agree on switching sorcerers to constitution, but I like having them distinct from warlocks. Of course, I like to draw a brighter line between how warlock patronage and clerical faith work than how a lot of people seem to want to do.
Indeed. If you were to merge the Wizard, Sorcerer and Warlock into one class, you might as well merge in the other primary caster classes too, to a single customizable Magic User class. If you're doing that, then the martials classes can also fit on a customizable framework class. Call it the Fighting Man or something.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
The time when the sorcerer and wizard could be merge has past. If D&D had adopted earlier the idea of arcane magic coming from other source other that books and study of the magical rules, the wizard could have several sources of arcane magic.
The right time to merge them was 0th edition. Sorcerer wasn't a class back then, but the concepts that eventually became sorcerer were explicitly separated from the Magic User at that point. The wizard/mage/mu was defined by them not having those things -easy and inherent non-scholarly magic-. And then went on to become iconic. It is impossible to change it this late in the game without it losing its identity. (Heck see the post by @tetrasodium up there)

But wizard was separated from sorcery and invocations. The later two types of magic were pulled so away from wizards in theme that it is hard to put back together. And there are other forms of arcane magic like artificers and others from the past and future.
The wizard was born non-generic. The wizard was never separated from sorcery and pacts, these were never taken away from him. They were never his to begin with. It was all a self-delusion. -Now metamagic, it was taken away, but even there not completely-.

It was claimed that you could do all and any spellcasters in any genre with a DnD mage (The infamous "What is a witch but a female wizard?" from the 2e DMG), but it was never true to begin with. The dnd wizard has always been a scholar that casts magic he purposely learned from a book. There's never been a young, dumb, illiterate, poor, non-resourceful wizard afraid of his activated powers he never asked for and he wants to get rid of, but can't in D&D and never will (because if you don't want magic as a wizard, the simple solution is to burn the spellbook and dump the focus). 5e let's you kind of fake it by ignoring features and roleplaying counter to your scores, but it is still faking it. You still keep making int checks and skills you should realisticaly fail, and there's nothing stopping you from eventually using the features you are ignoring -which by the way, is a way to passively hurt your party-.
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Obviously, there needs to be a default system in the core rules... but I think this is something that should largely be defined by the campaign setting, and preferably not homogenized to fit some conception of the intersetting multiverse.

The adoption of "5e Preparation" in 5e and the Arcanist hybrid in PF1 really blurred the lines further.

What I would really like to see is Wizards being more school focused-- two Specialty Schools, three soft-banned Schools-- with some spell-list cherrypicking. I think Wizards should be the ones to have metamagic rather than Sorcerers.

Then I would make Sorcerers more bloodline focused, as in Pathfinder-- except moreso, incorporating Draconic feats and their equivalent for other bloodlines. Bloodline would have a greater influence on spell list and grant more passive/at-will abilities.

Warlocks are fine. Maybe eldritch blast shouldn't be a cantrip. I'd like them to have half-caster slots behind their Pact Magic slots. I'd want to get some of the PF Witch in here.

Bards are fine. I want to expand some abilities, but they don't need it.
 
The right time to merge them was 0th edition. Sorcerer wasn't a class back then, but the concepts that eventually became sorcerer were explicitly separated from the Magic User at that point. The wizard/mage/mu was defined by them not having those things -easy and inherent non-scholarly magic-. And then went on to become iconic. It is impossible to change it this late in the game without it losing its identity. (Heck see the post by @tetrasodium up there)
There was a brief time to do it. Back in AD%D 2e when kits were being spit out like mad. Wizards could have been given more theme to them than book holding scholars of difficult to use arcane knowledge. But that brief time where it could be introduced, it wasn't. So when nonscholarly magic became popular in the community, wizards were already too hardcoded as book-learned magic scientists.

The wizard was born non-generic. The wizard was never separated from sorcery and pacts, these were never taken away from him. They were never his to begin with. It was all a self-delusion. -Now metamagic, it was taken away, but even there not completely-.

It was claimed that you could do all and any spellcasters in any genre with a DnD mage (The infamous "What is a witch but a female wizard?" from the 2e DMG), but it was never true to begin with. The dnd wizard has always been a scholar that casts magic he purposely learned from a book. There's never been a young, dumb, illiterate, poor, non-resourceful wizard afraid of his activated powers he never asked for and he wants to get rid of, but can't in D&D and never will (because if you don't want magic as a wizard, the simple solution is to burn the spellbook and dump the focus). 5e let's you kind of fake it by ignoring features and roleplaying counter to your scores, but it is still faking it. You still keep making int checks and skills you should realisticaly fail, and there's nothing stopping you from eventually using the features you are ignoring -which by the way, is a way to passively hurt your party-.
I didn't mean wizards had sorcery and pacts removed from them. I meant that it was built seperated from them. Like you said, it was never part of them. Nonscholarly nondivine magic was the tools of monsters. Humaniods could not do it, only monsters could.

So once we as a community started adding sorcery, pacts, and the rest to our worlds, the iconic wizard was already too long away from that that incorporating it wholesale would be weird.

If you believe in multiple universes, there is a universe were nonscholarly means to arcane magic was added to D&D early enough that sorcery and pacts have been folded into wizards and the wizard section in the 5e PHB is 20+pages.
 

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