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5E On whether sorcerers and wizards should be merged or not, (they shouldn't)

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
3e edition had racial paragon classes where you'd be the elfiest elf or gnomest gnome or the Pinnacle of raw humanity. Races like elves and gnomes would be casters whereas races like halfings and humans would increase their skills.

I could this as a hook for some races to become sorcerers. Channeling back to their older magical roots.

It also could help build an archetype D&D was always missing. A class who increases racial abilities that isnt just more spells

Finally we would get to play a half orc evolving into a super orc.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
"a wizard but spontaneous casting plus some other improvements minus a spellbook" is not a niche either, it's a munchkin's take on wizard
Interesting. I thought that the munchkin's take on the wizard was the 5e wizard that was far less restricted by its spell preparation, can spontaneously cast prepared spells, gets ritual spells that frees up even more spell slots for casting, can get more spell slots back, and is no longer restricted in their spell selection by their tradition of choice.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Interesting. I thought that the munchkin's take on the wizard was the 5e wizard that was far less restricted by its spell preparation, can spontaneously cast prepared spells, gets ritual spells that frees up even more spell slots for casting, can get more spell slots back, and is no longer restricted in their spell selection by their tradition of choice.

a sorcerer is considered to have all of their spells known prepared at all times, you are just complaining that they know less spells than prepared classes on that point. There's also the fact that it doesn't take a 12 dimensional chess champion to forsee the kind of arguments wasting one level of warlock on any other caster leads to
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As to your complaint about wizard schools no longer excluding other schools, it facts a couple problems. Firstly the fact that sorcerer's have virtually the entire wizard spell list to choose from with no restrictions due to their all important "theme". Second is the fact that the wizard archtypes themselves are severely limited because of sorcerer sucking out so much of the wizard's designspace box rather than building mechanics to support the "theme" of a sorcerer as something other than wizard but extras. Finally there is the fact that there is no generalist wizard option either.
 

Aldarc

Legend
As to your complaint about wizard schools no longer excluding other schools, it facts a couple problems. Firstly the fact that sorcerer's have virtually the entire wizard spell list to choose from with no restrictions due to their all important "theme". Second is the fact that the wizard archtypes themselves are severely limited because of sorcerer sucking out so much of the wizard's designspace box rather than building mechanics to support the "theme" of a sorcerer as something other than wizard but extras. Finally there is the fact that there is no generalist wizard option either.
Achso! So you are in fact a wizard player complaining about sorcerers having nice things!
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
This is not a "pair"
Arcana. Your Intelligence (Arcana) check measures your ability to recall lore about spells, magic items, eldritch symbols, magical traditions, the planes of existence, and the inhabitants of those planes.

you could make an argument for wisdom applying there, but not charisma & not dna. That doesn't even get into the massive overlap in spell lists. Paladin/cleric & Ranger/Druid have some overlap, but not so much that they effectively play almost the same. Why is arcana even on the sorcerer skill choice options instead of a wizard class feature or something?

Actually, before the sorcerer arrived, there were many settings and characters, and stories in books, where the "wizard" had to have been born with the spark of magic.

And then they had to be taught to use it. So wizards can/could have it in their "DNA" in lore.

At least in one of our older campaigns.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Achso! So you are in fact a wizard player complaining about sorcerers having nice things!
I said it earlier that I'm almost exclusively a gm & find it a bug problem at my tables to have a sorcerer and wizard at the table together because the sorcerer lacks any distinct role of its own, the same spell list as wizard, a claim to arcana, plus social skills leaving the wizard player constantly hearing "I'll try that too" from someone who i a clonestamp plus some extra. Because there are a limited number of "right spells" each level where both pretty much must take that spell, a sorcerer is likely to know & use the same spells without being significantly impacted by knowing fewer spells unless I as the gm go out of my way to deliberately hamstring the sorcerer

@SkidAce That's true in some settings, but the sorcerer does not need anyone to teach them any of that, they just know it and know it the same as the wizard but better.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I said it earlier that I'm almost exclusively a gm & find it a bug problem at my tables to have a sorcerer and wizard at the table together because the sorcerer lacks any distinct role of its own, the same spell list as wizard, a claim to arcana, plus social skills leaving the wizard player constantly hearing "I'll try that too" from someone who i a clonestamp plus some extra. Because there are a limited number of "right spells" each level where both pretty much must take that spell, a sorcerer is likely to know & use the same spells without being significantly impacted by knowing fewer spells unless I as the gm go out of my way to deliberately hamstring the sorcerer
The wizard gets more toys than the sorcerer and yet you are complaining that the sorcerer wants to play with the toys that they have?
 

Undrave

Hero
Gonna put it out there: in 4e the Sorcerer was a Striker and the Wizard a Controller and they felt different...

mostly like it was in 3E.

"Mostly like it was in 3E" is practically 5E's slogan...

It's not just a question of spells. If Sorcerers could somehow conjure raw magical energy and go freestyle with it, they would have something distinctive that Wizards don't have.

I think it would be cool to adapt something similar to the 4e Psion where you had a basic Cantrip that could be enhanced through the use of limited ressources. Like you have a basic ray attack and you can spend sorcery points to up the damage, up the number of targets, up the range, turn it into an AOE (that doesn't ignore allies) or even change the damage type... Or just add a rider to it. And you could just mix and match those. Each Cantrip would have a limited number of upgrades available so you don't get TOO overwhelmed. Maybe those upgradable cantrips would be subclass dependant and you'd still have some basic Cantrips from the regular spells.

Throw a few extra utility spells with limited usage as class features (like Absorb Elements or Shield X times per day) and you'd have something interesting.

The Metamorphosis Sorcerer also sounds like a cool idea that should have existed... it's a type of character we don't have in the game.

but some surveys indicated concerns about not being able to convert characters to the new edition.

People who are concerned about 'conversion' are the worse...

The sorcerer and the X-Men? They just have powers. No idea why, didn't have to do anything for them, they just have magic/superpowers without needing any explanation. Which as I said, I find less than compelling from a story perspective.

Origin stories are boring. It doesn't matter where mutants get their powers, what matters is what it means to them in their daily lives and what they do with them. If you care so much about origin stories you might be a Hollywood executive :p
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Origin stories are boring. It doesn't matter where mutants get their powers, what matters is what it means to them in their daily lives and what they do with them. If you care so much about origin stories you might be a Hollywood executive :p
Were you one of the ones in the other thread talking about why character backstories are useless and stupid? If you were, then at least your opinion here in the quote is consistent. ;)
 

Undrave

Hero
Were you one of the ones in the other thread talking about why character backstories are useless and stupid? If you were, then at least your opinion here in the quote is consistent. ;)

I don't think I said they were useless and stupid, but they are certainly not as interesting as stuff the character is actively doing. Backstories should be used to explain motivations but not be the only interesting part of a character's story. Especially if you're not playing that part.

I'm glad that Spider-man Homecoming didn't waste time with an origin story... but I bet the next Batman movie is gonna waste WAY too much time retelling Batman's origin with lengthy flashbacks... We don't need origin stories all the time. If Marvel makes a Fantastic Four movie I hope they don't spend more than 5 minutes expositing on the backstory and just MOVE ON from there and have an ACTUAL story.
 

I'm not as familiar with the 1E and 2E DMGs, though, and they were full of surprises, so maybe there.
1e DMG, definitely no mana-system variants. Though, the way a few magic items worked - staff of the magi, rod of absorption, certain ioun stones - suggested an equivalency among spell-levels similar to what a lot of mana systems did.
🤷

I don't understand the focus on sorcerers needing to have vastly different underlying mechanics than a wizard. Why is this a good thing, why is it even necessary?
5e design is supposed to be concept-first, and the only hard proof you've done that is to give each class arbitrarily different underlying mechanics.

With the usual grandfathered-in exceptions for the Cleric, Druid, & Wizard, so long as they remain Class Tier 1, of course.

Interesting. I thought that the munchkin's take on the wizard was the 5e wizard that was far less restricted by its spell preparation, can spontaneously cast prepared spells, gets ritual spells that frees up even more spell slots for casting, can get more spell slots back, and is no longer restricted in their spell selection by their tradition of choice.
You left out at-will cantrips (including meaningful attack cantrips), no AoOs for casting, and the HD upgrade.

The problem with mechanically-differentiating the 5e Sorcerer from the 5e wizard the way they did in 3e (by softening one traditional restriction on wizards' casting, in return for tightening another) was that there were no meaningful restrictions left.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
@SkidAce That's true in some settings, but the sorcerer does not need anyone to teach them any of that, they just know it and know it the same as the wizard but better.

Actually. The default assumption for a sorcerer is that did some studying or training under another sorcerer, a wizard, or a magical being or spent their whole teenyears practicing to figure out the basics.

It just a lot quicker that wizard school or apprenticeship.
 

Aldarc

Legend
You left out at-will cantrips (including meaningful attack cantrips), no AoOs for casting, and the HD upgrade.
Silly me. You are quite correct.

The problem with mechanically-differentiating the 5e Sorcerer from the 5e wizard the way they did in 3e (by softening one traditional restriction on wizards' casting, in return for tightening another) was that there were no meaningful restrictions left.
Pretty much, and it left the Sorcerer as the victim of an identity crisis.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
The wizard gets more toys than the sorcerer and yet you are complaining that the sorcerer wants to play with the toys that they have?
No, this is a class design failure rather than a player problem. It seems like you joined the discusion late and are having trouble keeping up? I went over the proficiency skill overlap here too... but here it is again.
Wizard:
Armor: None
Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs,
light crossbows
Tools: None
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion

Sorcerer
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons (ie light crossbows plus club, dagger, greatclub, handaxe, javelin, light hammer, mace, quarterstaff, sickle, spear, unarmed strike, dart, shortbow, & sling)
Tools: None

and here too is the spell list overlap
  • Cantrip 100% overlap: every single cantrip in the phb on wizard is also on sorcerer list
  • 1st level spells: every spell overlaps except wizard has alarm, grease, Identify, Illusory Script, Longstrider, PfG&E,
  • 2nd level spells: Most spell overlaps except wizard also has access to these while sorc does not... Arcane Lock, Continual Flame, Flaming Sphere, Gentle Repose, Locate Object, Magic Mouth, Magic Weapon, Melfs acid arrow, Nystul's Magic Aura, Ray of enfeeblement, Rope Trick,
  • 2nd level sorcerer has these spells wizard does not: Enhance ability.
  • 3rd Level: Wizard has these spells not on sorcerer list... Animate dead, Bestow Curse, Feign Death, Glyph of Warding, Tiny Hut, Magic Circle, Nondetection, Remove Curse, Sending, Vampyric Touch
  • 3rd Level: Sorcerer has daylight , while wizard does not
  • 4th Level: Wizards also have Arcane Eye, Conjure Minor Elementals, Control Water, Black Tentacles, secret chest, Locate Creature, Faithful Hound, Private Sanctum, Resilient Sphere, Phantasmal Killer,
  • 4th Level: Sorcerer has dominate beast
  • 5th: Wizard has Bigsby's Hand, Conjure Elemental, Contact Other Plane, Dream, Gaes, Legend Lore, Mislead, Modify Memory, Passwall, Planar Binding, Telepathic Bond, Scrying, Wall of Force
  • 5th: Sorcerer has insect plague
Warlock, EK, AT, & so on bring significant class specific features so they bring a different feeling to the table despite drawing from or sharing parts of the wizard spell list. The sorcerer just removes metamagic from wizard and gives it exclusively to sorcerer along with sorcererspecific improvements to wizard

The problem with mechanically-differentiating the 5e Sorcerer from the 5e wizard the way they did in 3e (by softening one traditional restriction on wizards' casting, in return for tightening another) was that there were no meaningful restrictions left.

4e handled that by giving the two very different spell lists. 5e has almost compete overlap in lists though.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I wasn't going to respond anymore, because you called me a munchkin by proxy. That really made me upset. However that could have been just me, so i'll just assume you didn't mean it.
As to your complaint about wizard schools no longer excluding other schools, it facts a couple problems. Firstly the fact that sorcerer's have virtually the entire wizard spell list to choose from with no restrictions due to their all important "theme".
I had a witch in 3.5 that was a lot of fun. She would ride everywhere on a floating disk pulled by two unseen servants. She couldn't distinguish magic from non magic as both were equally natural to her and she wasn't very bright. She also had a familiar. In 5e I can't make her again. Sorcerers don't get any of these spells and are too useless at mundane stuff. I can't make a "creation" sorcerer at all. All of this for no reason at all...

But I digress, if your wizard player is being overshadowed by the sorcerer player, your wizard player isn't taking advantage of the wizard spell list and other advantages. Rituals, utility spells, making use of the familiar, taking advantage of school/tradition features -which are on average better than an equivalent sorcerer feature-.

Your sorcerer player isn't taking advantage of having a wizard in the party either.

Second is the fact that the wizard archtypes themselves are severely limited because of sorcerer sucking out so much of the wizard's designspace box rather than building mechanics to support the "theme" of a sorcerer as something other than wizard but extras. Finally there is the fact that there is no generalist wizard option either
Tell me one of these themes that is impossible because sorcerer has it. Really, I can't see one.

Also, we don't have a generic wizard, because wizards are too tied to the academic spellcaster image. It is hard to come up with something generic for the wizard that all wizard shouldn't have either. All attempts have been too powerfull in comparison to other traditions. Besides no class has a truly generic subclasss.

Actually, before the sorcerer arrived, there were many settings and characters, and stories in books, where the "wizard" had to have been born with the spark of magic.

And then they had to be taught to use it. So wizards can/could have it in their "DNA" in lore.

At least in one of our older campaigns.

That's a distinction without a difference. "I was birn magical, I just had to take twenty years of wizard college tobcast my first cantrip!

Actually. The default assumption for a sorcerer is that did some studying or training under another sorcerer, a wizard, or a magical being or spent their whole teenyears practicing to figure out the basics.
Source plz.
 

The wizard gets more toys than the sorcerer and yet you are complaining that the sorcerer wants to play with the toys that they have?

Well yeah, especially as the Sorcerer stole the toys. 😘. If you steal my car, and I see you driving said car around town, I’m going to be pissed. Telling me to play with the “toys” you have not stolen yet and ‘be happy’ is not the best salve. 😎

The 5e Sorc, stole metamagic, from everyone.

Again, if the ability to use bows and crossbows was taken from all classes and given to an Archer class, people would be outraged.

A Wizard’s spellbook is as much a bane then a boon. The book can be stolen, destroyed, scry’d upon etc. All the book does is take that vaunted ‘Wizard Spell list’ everyone blathers about, and render it moot, the real Wizard spell list is what is in your book.

A Wizard’s Ritual Magic is easily replicated by the Ritual Magic feat or a Warlock pact of the book. Indeed the Feat and Warlock Pact are arguably better than a Wiz’s Ritual Magic, as the former are based off Character level, not class level.

At the point of play Metamagic allows the Sorcerer to be a better caster than almost all other casters casting the same spell. A 3 level dip into the Sorcerer class, has to at least be considered by any full spellcaster that has a modicum of powergamer residing in their mind.

So is all the Sorcerer love more about ‘wanting to play an X-man’ or being more powerful with Metamagic?

If WOTC announced the Sorcerer class was going to be retired, unless Metamagic was removed from the class, and replaced with say all the ‘toys’ the Wiz has, that you referenced earlier, and let us assume for the benefit of the thought experiment, that these replacement ‘toys’ are a perfect fit thematically for the Sorcerer, do you take the change?

Moonsong, might...Moonsong’s ardent advocacy of the Sorcerer seems to be not primarily mechanically driven. I am not so sure about others though...✌
 
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Aldarc

Legend
No, this is a class design failure rather than a player problem. It seems like you joined the discusion late and are having trouble keeping up? I went over the proficiency skill overlap here too... but here it is again.
I have read it each time you posted it, but I can't say that I find the argument of your post persuasive no matter how many times you repeat it.

A wizard doesn't get light armor? Okay. Mage Armor provides better AC. And it's not as if those extra weapon proficiencies the sorcerer has are meaningful or part of some munchkin power fantasy, especially not when a sorcerer and wizard will both mostly fall back onto their blasting cantrips. And sure, the Sorcerer has an overlap of some knowledge skills, but they will likely not have a high Intelligence, unlike the Wizard, so the Sorcerer may take Arcana for flavor and then are "strongly encouraged" by the nature of the system to invest in Charisma-based skills by virtue of their higher Charisma. But you know, if it helps, you can post the superficial overlaps again and pretend that you made a meaningfully persuasive argument.

and here too is the spell list overlap
Wizards and Sorcerers had the same exact spell list - no difference whatsoever - in 3e D&D. The fact that WotC bothered to take any effort to distinguish the spell lists for wizards and sorcerers is miraculous, even if they did a poor job of it. It's juts a shame that wizards are favored so heavily in their spell choices in comparison with the Sorcerer, particularly given that some subclasses or draconic types don't have equal access to thematically appropriate spells. And there is also overlap between the spell lists of wizards with that of other arcane casters, such as bards and warlocks. Funny how that happened. The wizard still dominates with their number of available spells that they can potentially learn.

Warlock, EK, AT, & so on bring significant class specific features so they bring a different feeling to the table despite drawing from or sharing parts of the wizard spell list. The sorcerer just removes metamagic from wizard and gives it exclusively to sorcerer along with sorcerer specific improvements to wizard
Yeah, it's just the wicked Sorcerer's fault, isn't it? Poor wizards, ever the victim of those nasty, power-gaming Sorcerers.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Source plz.

I believe the 3rd edition PHB and some of the settng books say that not all sorcerer are completely untrained. They said many are tutored by an elder arcanist or so to a temple of a god(dess) of magic for help understanding their powers.

Also the starting age of a sorcerer was the same as a rogue or barbarian and they sometimes had a master teach them the ropes.

Unfortunately all my 3rd and 4th books got destroyed so I can no longer verify. So what I say is just my memories true or false.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I have read it each time you posted it, but I can't say that I find the argument of your post persuasive no matter how many times you repeat it.

A wizard doesn't get light armor? Okay. Mage Armor provides better AC. And it's not as if those extra weapon proficiencies the sorcerer has are meaningful or part of some munchkin power fantasy, especially not when a sorcerer and wizard will both mostly fall back onto their blasting cantrips.

Also, that proficiency list is the warlock's. The sorcerer proficiencies actually are:
Proficiencies

Armor: None

Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma.

Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, and Religion

Only overlaps are toy weapons, no armor, arcana and religion.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Well yeah, especially as the Sorcerer stole the toys. 😘. If you steal my car, and I see you driving said car around town, I’m going to be pissed. Telling me to play with the “toys” you have not stolen yet and ‘be happy’ is not the best salve. 😎

The 5e Sorc, stole metamagic, from everyone.
Every spellcaster stole the Sorcerer's spontaneous casting, and all the Sorcerer gets out of it is a crappy version of metamagic? Wow. You stole their estate, and you are upset that they stole your car to get away from your forced entry in their home?

A Wizard’s spellbook is as much a bane then a boon. The book can be stolen, destroyed, scry’d upon etc. All the book does is take that vaunted ‘Wizard Spell list’ everyone blathers about, and render it moot, the real Wizard spell list is what is in your book.
IME and from what I have heard from other tables, rarely if ever in practice does this matter, especially in 5e which practically coddles players.

A Wizard’s Ritual Magic is easily replicated by the Ritual Magic feat or a Warlock pact of the book. Indeed the Feat and Warlock Pact are arguably better than a Wiz’s Ritual Magic, as the former are based off Character level, not class level.
(1) Feats are optional, (2) feats are rare, (3) if you took the Ritual Magic feat, then most guides would say to pick the Wizard, (4) Wizards can also take the Ritual Magic feat to expand their list of rituals from other classes too. The only way do out-do the Wizard in Ritual Magic is with a Tomelock.

At the point of play Metamagic allows the Sorcerer to be a better caster than almost all other casters casting the same spell. A 3 level dip into the Sorcerer class, has to at least be considered by any full spellcaster that has a modicum of powergamer residing in their mind.
And yet this somehow never seems to come up in optimizing guides. Instead, most guides seem to be about how Sorcerers should dip into other classes (e.g., Warlock, Paladin, etc.) so they can actually be competitive.

If WOTC announced the Sorcerer class was going to be retired, unless Metamagic was removed from the class, and replaced with say all the ‘toys’ the Wiz has, that you referenced earlier, and let us assume for the benefit of the thought experiment, that these replacement ‘toys’ are a perfect fit thematically for the Sorcerer, do you take the change?
Could you rephrase this question clearly and succinctly without all the needless subordinating clauses?
 

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