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

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Why wouldn’t you, the D&D design team buried the lead, as! 😄
Sorcerers have the better subclasses, most drip with flavor...( not all...cough, Divine Soul).
More thematic sure. But that's because so much of a particular sorcerer's identity is tied up in his subclass choice. Much like clerics and warlocks subclasses.

Other subclasses like those for fighters and rogues and barbarians only serve to enhance the identity that's already present.

So it's not a fair point to bring up subclasses and flavor as something meaningful as subclasses are used differently for each class.

I’m not sure how to roleplay a Conjurer Wiz....the school has no readily accessible theme. Same for the Transmuter, the Druid is a better Transmuter, Master of Form than the Transmuter.
It's like asking how to roleplay a battlemaster fighter differently than a champion fighter. For the most part you don't. The conjurer is just a wizard that's specializing in conjuring magic. You roleplay him the same as you would any wizard.

A school of magic is not an evocative basis to form a character identity, (the Evocation school is of course literally exempt from that statement).
It doesn't have to be because the class itself is the identity - scholar of magic.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
While true, that role heavily contributes to identity & none of those spells you finally admitted to talking about amount to much of a role Bards druids & clerics bring significant class specific abilities to the table beyond just the spell list... Sorcerer is problematic because it does not, it steals & copies too much from wizard to just tack "but improved" onto wizard.
Improved?

The sorcerer class has been inferior to wizards in every edition they both exist in. The closest they've been was in 4e and it did it by separating them into two different roles completely.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Improved?

The sorcerer class has been inferior to wizards in every edition they both exist in. The closest they've been was in 4e and it did it by separating them into two different roles completely.
I suppose the question is - inferior at what - because at least in 5e - the wizard doesn't out do the sorcerer at everything - just most things.
 

Undrave

Hero
Ya know, I feel like, if we're gonna play a game with classes we should play a game with classes. It's not going to be popular but I think I prefer a bunch of narrow classes that do their specific job well rather than a bunch of wishy-washy "You can be anything you want!" classes where half of them end up lacking because they try to be EVERYTHING that's ever been attached to whatever their class name is.

The Wizard has been SO many things throughout the various edition... it used to be THE Spellcaster and a lot of people's favorite because they loved the feeling of power and the whole "I got a spell for that!" Batman thing... Plus they can do ALL the flavors of magic and in 5e don't really get penlized for it.

But the Wizard isn't the only spellcaster now and I think they should have tried to focus its niche more. Give it more of an identity because the Wizard is just... "Here's a pile of Spell, here's a Spellbook, you're sorta-vancian. Figure it out yourself" with very mild and repetitive subclass features (with Abjurer and Diviner being the stand outs for me, feature wise).

I don't to call it 'entitlement' because it sounds too negative, but I think Wizard players just have too many expectations for what a Wizard character should be able to do that just doesn't mesh well with a class-based game where, ideally, classes should have more defined functons in how they partake in group dynamic.

I dunno what a solution would be best though, because I know my ideas would probably piss people off because of said expectations...
 

It doesn't have to be because the class itself is the identity - scholar of magic.
Too limiting of a paradigm. A Diviner Wizard with the Bounty Hunter background who acts like a magical skip tracer/ bail bondsman does not scream scholar to me.

The Dresden files books protagonist, who’s name escapes me, was no scholar.

Hell, Harry Potter is no scholar.

edit: added

Undraves’ third paragraph above I think is brilliantly stated. A bunch of spells is not a character, not a satisfying Role Playing experience at least. Fine for roll playing, but not for depth.
 
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I think it's obvious that both Doctor Strange and Iron Man have exactly that defining moment of realization. Tony Stark's brief stay IN A CAVE WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS is particularly iconic.
A fair point, I see a different pathos in the moments, perhaps because Peter Parker was Spider-Man by the point in his story when it happens, but Tony Stark's moment is when he becomes Iron Man.

But I think the points I've been trying to make are fairly clear, despite some give or take on the specific details. There is a different story that can be told with power that comes out of nowhere as compared to power that you seek out and grasp.

You and others keep parroting that line & despite having previously admitted that there are a handful of spells that are pretty much required to be taken or face irrelevance not one person who's brought it up has been willing to admit specifically what spells among that handful of wizard specific spells you think creates the leap or what the spell list or theme of a character specializing in those wizard specific spells would look like.

You are avoiding the question I've been quite clear through this thread that the sorcerer copies or steals far too much from wizard. You on the other hand keep suggesting that wizards have some gigantic cache of meaningful "toys" as someone put it earlier yet you resort to character assassination & change the subject when pressed for details. Stop avoiding the subject and backup your poor argument or drop the nonsense.

You... You copied and pasted yourself? Wow, some dedication to that particular line and phrase.

So, do you want specific spells that a wizard has that makes them better than a sorcerer? (Point marked in blue) or What list or theme would come from specializing in them? (in the red)

Actually the red is an easy one, to a degree, even without looking at sublcasses I see Wizards have sole access to a lot of spells involving force constructs. Tenser's Disc, Magic Weapon, Tiny Hut, Resilient Sphere, Wall of Force, Bigby's hand, you can add dimensional magics too with Rope Trick, Mordenkainen;s Mansion, Demiplane, Planar Binding.

Of course, you could also add in Xanathar's spells and talk about Catapult, Snare, Earthbind, Steel Wind Strike, Scatter, Tenser's Transformation, Invulnerability.

So, a wizard based around the manipulation of space and energy is decently easy to build with almost all wizard exclusive spells.



But, that isn't what your main point seems to be, you seem to think the Sorcerer "Stole" from the wizard. Yet, your only defense of that claim seems to be violently pointing towards the shared arcane spells and declaring loudly "THEY HAVE THE SAME SPELLS, SORCERERS ARE THIEVES" which seems to beg the question, why is it not the other way around?

Since they share so many spells, can we not say that Wizard's stole from Sorcerers? I mean (sarcasm incoming) they come first in the PHB, so clearly the wizard just copied them, right?

No, that was sarcasm, clearly that didn't happen.

But, it is weird isn't it? If you look at all of the spells across the entire game, Sorcerers get (to my knowledge) only one single unique spell. Chaos Bolt. And it sucks, by the way.

Warlocks get unique spells. Bards get some (not more than like five though I think) clerics and druids get unique spells. Even Ranger's and Paladin's get unique spells.

Sorcerers don't. Is it because Sorcerers are thieves who cannot stand on their own? Or is it more likely that the designers just made them discount wizards and just copy pasted the spell list because they didn't see the point in trying to make them unique? And, if that was the case, is that the fault of the Sorcerer? A lot of us who are fans of sorcerers would love unique spells, we don't want to just be second-rate wizards. But, we weren't given that opportunity. Saying that it is our own fault for stealing from the wizard, when we were forced to accept the copy-paste we never wanted is kind of crappy. We want a unique class, we don't want to be a copy paste.

So, maybe, just maybe, we can make more progress in this discussion if you stop accusing sorcerers of stealing everything from the wizard, and instead we start talking more about how to differentiate them. Maybe without saying "design an entirely unique spell list using none of the material already existing in the game" since, you know, creating 200 something unique spells is more than a touch challenging for a single individual.

While true, that role heavily contributes to identity & none of those spells you finally admitted to talking about amount to much of a role Bards druids & clerics bring significant class specific abilities to the table beyond just the spell list... Sorcerer is problematic because it does not, it steals & copies too much from wizard to just tack "but improved" onto wizard.
I shouldn't bite, but I will

How exactly is the sorcerer "but improved" on the wizard with fewer spells, fewer spells per day, fewer uses of their subclass abilities (oh, you want to do something. That will cost sorcery points), and keeping the same restrictive HD, Armor (ie none) weapons (that's a joke)


The Dresden files books protagonist, who’s name escapes me, was no scholar.
Harry Blackstone Dresden.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Too limiting of a paradigm. A Diviner Wizard with the Bounty Hunter background who acts like a magical skip tracer/ bail bondsman does not scream scholar to me.
Sounds like a scholar to me that decided to put his particular talents to a particular use.

The Dresden files books protagonist, who’s name escapes me, was no scholar.
I'm not familiar with him.

Hell, Harry Potter is no scholar.
Harry Potter went to wizard school. Sounds scholarly to me.
 

Harry Potter went to wizard school. Sounds scholarly to me.
Harry cut class, did magical drugs, and played with his Patronus....outside of soul rending tragedy, saving the universe, and the final chapter showing him to be an Auror, Harry could have been Spicolli from Fast Times at Magical Ridgemont High.

Stepping into a classroom does not make one a scholar.🤣

LOL
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Harry cut class, did magical drugs, and played with his Patronus....outside of soul rending tragedy, saving the universe, and the final chapter showing him to be an Auror, Harry could have been Spicolli from Fast Times at Magical Ridgemont High.

Stepping into a classroom does not make one a scholar.🤣

LOL
Nor does skipping class and having fun mean one isn't
 


Minigiant

Legend
The Dresden files books protagonist, who’s name escapes me, was no scholar.
Harry Blackstone Dresden

Harry was not once but twice an apprentice to a master and hit the books.
Harry is a sorcerer/wizard/warlock. I wont spoil the subclasses.

Every wizard in the Dresdenverse is a sorc/wiz multiclass. They all use internal personal magic tied honed from focus and external magical formula learned from study.

And there are more human sorcerers than human wizards.
 
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Harry was not once but twice an apprentice to a master and hit the books.
Harry is a sorcerer/wizard/warlock. I wont spoil the subclasses.

Every wizard in the Dresdenverse is a sorc/wiz multiclass. They all use internal personal magic tied honed from focus and external magical formula learned from study.

And there are more human sorcerers than human wizards.
The Dresdenverse wizard is more like a sorcerer prestige class. It builds on the same power. Everything Dresden does with his spellbooks and rituals is to focus his internal magical ability. There are at least three different kinds of warlock, at least one of which works the same way: the otherworldly being with which one has a pact serves as a tutor, teaching the mage how to manipulate their magic rather than giving them magic. The others are more along the lines of supplements/substitutes to personal power that we're familiar with.

But it should also be mentioned that Harry actually plays D&D, and is in fact a barbarian. ;)
 

Minigiant

Legend
The Dresdenverse wizard is more like a sorcerer prestige class. It builds on the same power. Everything Dresden does with his spellbooks and rituals is to focus his internal magical ability. There are at least three different kinds of warlock, at least one of which works the same way: the otherworldly being with which one has a pact serves as a tutor, teaching the mage how to manipulate their magic rather than giving them magic. The others are more along the lines of supplements/substitutes to personal power that we're familiar with.

But it should also be mentioned that Harry actually plays D&D, and is in fact a barbarian. ;)
Dresdenverse wizards also know how to snag energy from the environment. This is something regular practitioners can't do and that actually sorcerers need to help or info from actual wizards or magical beings to do.
In 3e, White council wizards are a sorcerers with prestige classes.
In 4e, they are sorcerers with ritual caster, the wizard multiclass feat, and a crazy paragon path.
In 5e, they are sorc/wiz.
 

Ashrym

Hero
There is no reason to merge the classes together. Just because something can be done does not mean it should be done or needs to be done. Quite often discussion on merging these two classes looks like some of the people pushing for it are trying to write "wizard" on their character sheet and add metamagic back under that umbrella.

The point of having a sorcerer is so that a player can choose something similar without being forced into playing a wizard. That's no different than having a druid option instead of a cleric or a barbarian option instead of a fighter. The additional classes in a class based system cover similar roles while providing different class options. That's not something I want to see removed. It's only an issue if the number of classes becomes excessive and that is not the case here.

5e uses metamagic to demonstrate the sorcerer's innate ability to bend magic. Trading between sorcery points and spell slots follows similar reasoning. Metamagic does not need to represent that ability but in 5e that is how sorcerers represent it and why it's a sorcerer ability.

Other than similar armor and weapon proficiencies, and similar hit dice, there are significant differences between the two classes.

INT vs CHA changes the ability check capabilities. 5e places more emphasis on the ability score bonus than 3e or 4e did in these checks to make that difference more prominent. Wizards are more adept and recalling lore while sorcerers or more smooth sly talkers.

The difference in spells known versus prepared is significant. Wizards are considered more of an educated caster while Sorcerers are not. That was clearly demonstrated when the devs stated ritual casting was an educated caster trait in how it was determined to be given to spell casters. That also makes sense in why wizards have a much larger spell list available with many spells not available to sorcerers.

There is a lot of overlap in sorcerer spells available to the wizard but the reverse is definitely not true. It would have been nice to see more sorcerer spells not available to wizards or more of a free form casting mechanic but considering neither is true we are left with a clear intent for wizards to encompass a lot more spell possibilities.

Sorcerers provide a spell caster that gives players a class with metamagic. It's "nice toys" and the reason to play the class. Wizards get spell variety instead. That's the reason to play that class. Separating those traits in the classes creates a meaningful choice for the player and helps limit the potential a class with both might have. That's a good thing.

As an aside, is there anyone who can talk to their experience playing a sorcerer? Especially interesting if you played in a party that also had a wizard...
Yes. At low levels we both had sleep but generally the wizard simply had different spells prepped than I had known. He occasionally used rituals that were useful for the group to have and I flaunted twin spell in his face. ;-)

The general result was we worked together instead of competed against each other. That's a key point these types of discussions seem to miss. If the party has one or the other the missing one is irrelevant to game play and if both are present they work together. Only players who choose not to work together create an issue and that's the players not the classes.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Yes. At low levels we both had sleep but generally the wizard simply had different spells prepped than I had known. He occasionally used rituals that were useful for the group to have and I flaunted twin spell in his face. ;-)

The general result was we worked together instead of competed against each other. That's a key point these types of discussions seem to miss. If the party has one or the other the missing one is irrelevant to game play and if both are present they work together. Only players who choose not to work together create an issue and that's the players not the classes.
Yes, I have the impression @tetrasodium 's players weren't working together, and were out to outdo each other. Also that the wizard player isn't too skilled while the sorcerer player is optimized like crazy -if not outright cheating by convincing Tetrasodioum that the sorcerer had the warlock's proficiencies-.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Ya know, I feel like, if we're gonna play a game with classes we should play a game with classes. It's not going to be popular but I think I prefer a bunch of narrow classes that do their specific job well rather than a bunch of wishy-washy "You can be anything you want!" classes where half of them end up lacking because they try to be EVERYTHING that's ever been attached to whatever their class name is.

The Wizard has been SO many things throughout the various edition... it used to be THE Spellcaster and a lot of people's favorite because they loved the feeling of power and the whole "I got a spell for that!" Batman thing... Plus they can do ALL the flavors of magic and in 5e don't really get penlized for it.

But the Wizard isn't the only spellcaster now and I think they should have tried to focus its niche more. Give it more of an identity because the Wizard is just... "Here's a pile of Spell, here's a Spellbook, you're sorta-vancian. Figure it out yourself" with very mild and repetitive subclass features (with Abjurer and Diviner being the stand outs for me, feature wise).

I don't to call it 'entitlement' because it sounds too negative, but I think Wizard players just have too many expectations for what a Wizard character should be able to do that just doesn't mesh well with a class-based game where, ideally, classes should have more defined functons in how they partake in group dynamic.

I dunno what a solution would be best though, because I know my ideas would probably piss people off because of said expectations...
One thing I've thought about off and on is just having a whole bunch (like 50-60) classes, that just take up a page or two with no mechanical choices. Fixed spell lists, fixed ASIs or feats. You can customize a bit with race and background, but otherwise you just play the class. Then you can just develop a bunch of hyper-specific classes for new settings.
 

Undrave

Hero
One thing I've thought about off and on is just having a whole bunch (like 50-60) classes, that just take up a page or two with no mechanical choices. Fixed spell lists, fixed ASIs or feats. You can customize a bit with race and background, but otherwise you just play the class. Then you can just develop a bunch of hyper-specific classes for new settings.
I could see a system like that. Minimalist classes but in wide quantity and variety. Furthermore, I would do classes in tier... like you get a class from level 1 to 10, but when you reach level 11 you pick from a new selection of advanced classes and then again at 21 to 30.

There would be prerequisite but they would be a bit soft like "X stat at X" or "proficiency with X" or "Can cast X" and so on so you don't have to have list all the classes leading to it.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
I could see a system like that. Minimalist classes but in wide quantity and variety. Furthermore, I would do classes in tier... like you get a class from level 1 to 10, but when you reach level 11 you pick from a new selection of advanced classes and then again at 21 to 30.

There would be prerequisite but they would be a bit soft like "X stat at X" or "proficiency with X" or "Can cast X" and so on so you don't have to have list all the classes leading to it.
Or heck, don’t have any prereqs at all. Shadow of the Demon Lord does something similar and it works really well. You just need to have higher tier features that are additive rather than improvements.
 

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