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

Undrave

Hero
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.
Or have them be suggested req? Features that depend on a stat or improve something in particular so you can pick them, but you won’t be as effective.
 

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tetrasodium

Adventurer
Supporter
I run two games a week, one AL & one not. The armchair dismissal as bad players is unwarranted. It took a great many pages for you to accept that wizards are subject to the same "must take" spell problem you so highly raked as a sorcerer problem & just as much to admit that the much vaunted "larger spell list" & "but ritual spells" are both almost entirely not those right/critical spells despite all the weight you placed on them...

That's not particularly surprising though because you seem to have decided that every single arcane spellcaster PrC from the 3.5 days was a sorcerer PrC & that shows just how much Socerer stole from the wizard's design space with Chrystal clarity. Sorcerers have interesting flavorful &thematic archtypes often drawn from those old PrCs, the much vaunted seven archtypes in the phb vrs 2* for sorcerer ignores the fact that all of those seven wizard archtypes are based on not a PrC or it's inspiration but a core wizard feature. There's no scroll scribing, no potion brewing, no magic item crafting,. scag adds bladesinger for all those wizards who really wanted to be the old redbox elf but it's limited to elf & got problems as evidenced by not getting reprinted in xge like storm sorcerer was. XgE realized that & made the war mage, which is actually a pretty decent concept that leans into wizard for once with features that actually present themselves in play from the getgo. Sorcerer gets to add storm sorcerer, Shadow magic, & divine soul pulling fromthe old prCs.

* Neither of which were a mechanical part of the phb sorcerer in 3.5, those are a PrC from complete arcane(wild mage), & a bunch of feats from Races of dragon... Sure you could argue that sorcerer was lacking in 3.5, but it's hard to ignore the fact that wotc keeps pumping out sorcerer(and warlock) archtypes based on or drawn from the same kinds of sources as the old PrCs even though sorcerer already has 5 PrC drawn archtypes published to the oneplus one dropped for wizard after starting with emptying the wizard's toolbox to pad out sorcerer & warlock then dumping so much of what remained in craftingscroll/potion/wand/etc on the cutting room floor.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
With the arrival of new class features for the sorc, such as giving them THP, magic weapons or advantage on ability check, and the new metamagics, I think the sorcerer is slowly ''getting there''. The only thing really missing is a bunch of sorc-specific spells, maybe stolen from 4e where sorcs had their own ''power list''.

EDIT: Since warlock have the almighty eldritch blast to supplement their spellcasting, maybe sorcerers could have something that is missing from 5e as of now: ranged and melee AoE cantrips.
 

Undrave

Hero
I think if we remove ASI, Archetypes and our classes have only a 1 to 10 level spread, we could make a crazy amount of minimalist 5e classes just by rearranging the existing features.
I'd keep ASI and Feat just to add a little wiggle room, personally.

Also, to keep it minimal, all spell casting would be based off of the Warlock (maybe not the short rest recharge aspect) where Spell 'levels' don't matter. You get new ones and your old ones just scale properly and you get X amount of 'em.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
I'd keep ASI and Feat just to add a little wiggle room, personally.

Also, to keep it minimal, all spell casting would be based off of the Warlock (maybe not the short rest recharge aspect) where Spell 'levels' don't matter. You get new ones and your old ones just scale properly and you get X amount of 'em.
My general thought was a baked in feature at 4 and 8, but an option to be able to swap it out with something more general as an optional rule (which would be free pick ASI or feat.)

No multiclassing, of course.

I think one of the benefits of hyper-specific classes is that you can afford to get experimental; Warlock style casting makes me a good baseline, but nothing wrong with using the normal spell slot approach for other classes, or a spell point methodology in others. As long as they hit the 5e baselines (Prof Bonus 2 +level/4, about 6 to 10 HP a level on average, damage bump at level 5, etc.), keeping things symmetrical so they play nicely together isn't as much a concern.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Sorcerer Spells:

Cantrips

Blazing Starfall: 1d4 (+1 die per tier) radiant damage in a 5 ft radius. Save neg.
Sorcerous Grasp: Bonus action, 1 minute. Unarmed attacks now deal 1d8 damage. Can use spellcasting stat to damage and attack roll.
Chromatic Strike: Spell attack, 1d8 (+1 die per tier) damage of a type of your choice in acide, fire, cold or lightning.
Ensorceled blade: Make a melee attack, if the attack hits, the creatures take 1d8 damage of a type of your choice the next time it makes an attack against you. Both damage instance increases by 1d8 per tier.
Stormwalk: 1d6 thunder damage, speed increases by 10 until end of next turn and AoO have disadvantage.
 

Undrave

Hero
My general thought was a baked in feature at 4 and 8, but an option to be able to swap it out with something more general as an optional rule (which would be free pick ASI or feat.)

No multiclassing, of course.

I think one of the benefits of hyper-specific classes is that you can afford to get experimental; Warlock style casting makes me a good baseline, but nothing wrong with using the normal spell slot approach for other classes, or a spell point methodology in others. As long as they hit the 5e baselines (Prof Bonus 2 +level/4, about 6 to 10 HP a level on average, damage bump at level 5, etc.), keeping things symmetrical so they play nicely together isn't as much a concern.
Plus, with a little less moving parts such as only 10 level, it's easier to make sure nothing breaks your game when you get experimental.

You'd probably end up slaying SO many sacred cows though :p You wouldn't have a 'Wizard', you'd have "Pyriomancer", "Cryomancer", "Necromancer", "Chronomancer", "Oracle"; instead of Fighter you'd have "Soldier", "Sentinel", "Archer", and so forth...
 

Both the Sorcerer and Wizard suffer from a dearth of Bonus action options. I would love to see Cantrips like Bonus action to add + 1 to save DC for next Illusion etc.

I personally feel the need for ‘ Sorcerer only spells’ is unwarranted, as it leads people to lust.
How many builds are created all about trying to acquire a particular spell and then multiclassing to try to find a way to push the power output beyond the norm.

See Booming Blade, Spiritual Guardians, Shadow Blade etc.

Sorc only spells will just exacerbate this trend. While some groups don’t mind this style of play, (myself included), it is also amply evident from threads on this board, that many do.

Unique Sorcerer powers fueled off Sorcery Points is my preferred method. So, an emphatic yes to unique Sorc Powers, but do not make them spells.

People will still try to optimize, but Sorcery Point gain is at a slow rate, and I think in some ways will inhibit multiclassing as the multi-class spell casting rules will not impact Sorcery Points.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
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.
this is what I believe would work best. It’s taking the idea of class as a package to the furtherest extent.

class in this system becomes nearly your whole identity with only a few minor customization choices.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Supporter
Both the Sorcerer and Wizard suffer from a dearth of Bonus action options. I would love to see Cantrips like Bonus action to add + 1 to save DC for next Illusion etc.

I personally feel the need for ‘ Sorcerer only spells’ is unwarranted, as it leads people to lust.
How many builds are created all about trying to acquire a particular spell and then multiclassing to try to find a way to push the power output beyond the norm.
I agree on the bonus action needs, but the sorcerer/wiz only spell list need is more because pretty much all of what used to make up the wizard's toolbox other than the spells almost entirely shared with sorcerer was taken away & given exclusively to sorcerer or warlock while something that used to be a core component of the base class was turned into a prc/archtype for wizard Sorcerer has a bunch of interesting & flavorful stuff from the getgo that only continues to accumulate. Other than the largely copied spell list wizards don't really start getting similar selections of toys as an early/mid level sorcerer or wizard s until mid-very late game when any normal game is going into wrap up or just ending.

the wizard needs a notable core class toolbox or the wizard & sorcerer need to feel viscerally different in play when it matters at the table beyond a couple niche edge cases like tiny hut & detect magic that might be nice sometimes but don't in any way amount to a full fledged role within the party.
.
 

With the arrival of new class features for the sorc, such as giving them THP, magic weapons or advantage on ability check, and the new metamagics, I think the sorcerer is slowly ''getting there''. The only thing really missing is a bunch of sorc-specific spells, maybe stolen from 4e where sorcs had their own ''power list''.
Sorcerers were arcanists, it was literally a spell list. ;)

EDIT: Since warlock have the almighty eldritch blast to supplement their spellcasting, maybe sorcerers could have something that is missing from 5e as of now: ranged and melee AoE cantrips.
What might be nice would be something like the HotEC Elemental Sorcerer. It could just get an elemental-blast cantrip on par with the Warlock's EB to blaze away with, then use it's slots more or less exclusively to amp it up.
 

oreofox

Explorer
I agree on the bonus action needs, but the sorcerer/wiz only spell list need is more because pretty much all of what used to make up the wizard's toolbox other than the spells almost entirely shared with sorcerer was taken away & given exclusively to sorcerer or warlock while something that used to be a core component of the base class was turned into a prc/archtype for wizard Sorcerer has a bunch of interesting & flavorful stuff from the getgo that only continues to accumulate. Other than the largely copied spell list wizards don't really start getting similar selections of toys as an early/mid level sorcerer or wizard s until mid-very late game when any normal game is going into wrap up or just ending.

the wizard needs a notable core class toolbox or the wizard & sorcerer need to feel viscerally different in play when it matters at the table beyond a couple niche edge cases like tiny hut & detect magic that might be nice sometimes but don't in any way amount to a full fledged role within the party.
.
You keep saying sorcerers stole pretty much everything from the wizard. What did they steal? Metamagic? That wasn't something taken away from the wizard. Metamagic was something EVERY spellcaster had in 3rd edition. And it sucked for sorcerers and bards because adding metamagic to a spell increased the casting time to a full round, whereas the wizard, cleric, and druid didnt' get gimped that way.

Is the thing they stole getting new spell levels at odd levels instead of even levels? Again, not a wizard-only thing. That was shared by the cleric and druid as well. So, the wizard's toolbox that was stolen by sorcerers is spells only? Despite having separate lists in 5e instead of the exact same like in 3e. How dare the sorcerer (an arcane spellcaster) have similar spells as the wizard (an arcane spellcaster). It's like saying the druid stole the cleric's spell list because they have numerous spells that are the same. And those bards! How dare they steal spells from clerics and the almighty wizards!

So please, enlighten me on what was a solely wizard only tool in its toolbox that the sorcerer stole. WITHOUT copy/pasting the same crap you already did 5 other times about them having arcana (the horror!) for a skill. Despite any arcana check done by a sorcerer being inferior to one from the wizard due to their higher Int scores. Also, wizards were never socially inclined. Sorcerers "stole" that from bards only because WotC decided to make sorcerers Charisma based spellcasters.
 

Undrave

Hero
this is what I believe would work best. It’s taking the idea of class as a package to the furtherest extent.

class in this system becomes nearly your whole identity with only a few minor customization choices.
in such a system I would make the backgrounds a little heftier so they become the majority source of social abilities (and a good deal of explo ones as well) so your class doesn’t automatically gimp you in one of the non-combat pillar.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
in such a system I would make the backgrounds a little heftier so they become the majority source of social abilities (and a good deal of explo ones as well) so your class doesn’t automatically gimp you in one of the non-combat pillar.
Soooo...when can we expect a first draft? :p

I'd like to helps in this endeavor by designing the following classes: Arbalist, Archer, Storm Mage and Heavy Weapon Master!
 

in such a system I would make the backgrounds a little heftier so they become the majority source of social abilities (and a good deal of explo ones as well) so your class doesn’t automatically gimp you in one of the non-combat pillar.
Not long after I heard the three-pillar concept, it occurred to me it would be awfully tidy to construct PCs in three major choices (Race/Class/Background are the current major choices), each one determining how they contribute in one of the pillars. This was the Next Playtest, coming off 4e, so Class = Combat Pillar was obvious. Problem is, Race/Background both speak more to Social than anything else... especially in a medieval society, your race and your social class are going to affect how people interact with you. PF2 Ancestries might be better. ;) Or maybe 'Heritage,' a combination of Race & social class? But, I suppose, at a stretch, Background could be given primacy in the Exploration pillar - a few do seem to tend that way, like Outlander, most obviously.

Thing is, with magic being so potent in all three pillars, you'd need to enable choices that essentially boil down to Wizard/Wizard/Wizard. ;)
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Supporter
You keep saying sorcerers stole pretty much everything from the wizard. What did they steal? Metamagic? That wasn't something taken away from the wizard. Metamagic was something EVERY spellcaster had in 3rd edition. And it sucked for sorcerers and bards because adding metamagic to a spell increased the casting time to a full round, whereas the wizard, cleric, and druid didnt' get gimped that way.

Is the thing they stole getting new spell levels at odd levels instead of even levels? Again, not a wizard-only thing. That was shared by the cleric and druid as well. So, the wizard's toolbox that was stolen by sorcerers is spells only? Despite having separate lists in 5e instead of the exact same like in 3e. How dare the sorcerer (an arcane spellcaster) have similar spells as the wizard (an arcane spellcaster). It's like saying the druid stole the cleric's spell list because they have numerous spells that are the same. And those bards! How dare they steal spells from clerics and the almighty wizards!

So please, enlighten me on what was a solely wizard only tool in its toolbox that the sorcerer stole. WITHOUT copy/pasting the same crap you already did 5 other times about them having arcana (the horror!) for a skill. Despite any arcana check done by a sorcerer being inferior to one from the wizard due to their higher Int scores. Also, wizards were never socially inclined. Sorcerers "stole" that from bards only because WotC decided to make sorcerers Charisma based spellcasters.
Thanks for asking, when talking about changes from past editions it can be tough to know how much of those editions that people new or remember unless they ask rather than dismissing it but going into too much detail to cover all that is an endless rabbit hole.

Wizards used to have bonus on top of the feats everyone got at 1,3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 like how 5e fighters still have bonus feats. in 5e wizards do not have bonus feats & that makes sense because You can see a very extensive list of those feats here that looks like it pulls from many of the various 3.5 books. Other classes could take them in place of regular feats but wizards got them from bonus feats plus had the ability to take them regularly like everyone else. If you look at that list, both metamagics & a gigantic portion of the warlock invocations were on it or they were simply left out of the game entirely. It's one thing to say "well those feats aren't in the game anymore", but you still have the fact that 5e wizards don't have bonus feats like 5efighters & the fact that so many of them are still found as either metamagic or warlock invocations in the 5e book

On top of not having wizard bonus feats & having a base core class feature turned into the justification for nearly all of the. Find familiar went from being a wizard/sorcerer/some PrCs class feature to being a spell so every other class could take it with magic adept if that wizard class feature was not on their spell list already.
1581537247410.png

By comparison here is the equivalent sorcerer table
1581537750100.png
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
in such a system I would make the backgrounds a little heftier so they become the majority source of social abilities (and a good deal of explo ones as well) so your class doesn’t automatically gimp you in one of the non-combat pillar.
Yea, I'd agree with that. Maybe every background gives 4 skills baseline and a tool proficiency. And the special feature probably can carry a little more weight.

Assuming no multiclassing and no feats as a baseline, and therefore no variant human, maybe backgrounds could even have a feat (non-combat only) or feat-level ability baked in baseline as well.
 

Undrave

Hero
Soooo...when can we expect a first draft? :p

I'd like to helps in this endeavor by designing the following classes: Arbalist, Archer, Storm Mage and Heavy Weapon Master!
Hahaha, I don't know about that...

Not long after I heard the three-pillar concept, it occurred to me it would be awfully tidy to construct PCs in three major choices (Race/Class/Background are the current major choices), each one determining how they contribute in one of the pillars. This was the Next Playtest, coming off 4e, so Class = Combat Pillar was obvious. Problem is, Race/Background both speak more to Social than anything else... especially in a medieval society, your race and your social class are going to affect how people interact with you. PF2 Ancestries might be better. ;) Or maybe 'Heritage,' a combination of Race & social class? But, I suppose, at a stretch, Background could be given primacy in the Exploration pillar - a few do seem to tend that way, like Outlander, most obviously.

Thing is, with magic being so potent in all three pillars, you'd need to enable choices that essentially boil down to Wizard/Wizard/Wizard. ;)
Well, a way to do it would be to excise culture from race? Borrowing from PF2 a little, character creation would thus be like this:

Step 1: Pick a race, you gain biological attributes and a +2 to three stats
Step 2: Pick a culture in broad stroke like "Militaristic", "Atavist", "Mercantile", "Theocratic" etc, giving you +2 to a stat, +1 to another and then some skills in the Social/Explo pillar
Step 3: Pick a background. You get another +2 and +1 and then some more skills and tools proficiency
Step 4: Pick a narrow class, giving you again +2 and +1

In the end, if you pick all the options that give a bonus to the same two stats after the Race bonus you end up with 18, 15, 12 10 10 10 if you go hyper specialized. (Note that I would probably remake the ability scores if I were making a brand new system)

How's that?

You seem pretty hung up on how 3e used to do things. You should try not to focus so much on exact mechanics.
 
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Ashrym

Hero
I run two games a week, one AL & one not. The armchair dismissal as bad players is unwarranted. It took a great many pages for you to accept that wizards are subject to the same "must take" spell problem you so highly raked as a sorcerer problem & just as much to admit that the much vaunted "larger spell list" & "but ritual spells" are both almost entirely not those right/critical spells despite all the weight you placed on them...

That's not particularly surprising though because you seem to have decided that every single arcane spellcaster PrC from the 3.5 days was a sorcerer PrC & that shows just how much Socerer stole from the wizard's design space with Chrystal clarity. Sorcerers have interesting flavorful &thematic archtypes often drawn from those old PrCs, the much vaunted seven archtypes in the phb vrs 2* for sorcerer ignores the fact that all of those seven wizard archtypes are based on not a PrC or it's inspiration but a core wizard feature. There's no scroll scribing, no potion brewing, no magic item crafting,. scag adds bladesinger for all those wizards who really wanted to be the old redbox elf but it's limited to elf & got problems as evidenced by not getting reprinted in xge like storm sorcerer was. XgE realized that & made the war mage, which is actually a pretty decent concept that leans into wizard for once with features that actually present themselves in play from the getgo. Sorcerer gets to add storm sorcerer, Shadow magic, & divine soul pulling fromthe old prCs.

* Neither of which were a mechanical part of the phb sorcerer in 3.5, those are a PrC from complete arcane(wild mage), & a bunch of feats from Races of dragon... Sure you could argue that sorcerer was lacking in 3.5, but it's hard to ignore the fact that wotc keeps pumping out sorcerer(and warlock) archtypes based on or drawn from the same kinds of sources as the old PrCs even though sorcerer already has 5 PrC drawn archtypes published to the oneplus one dropped for wizard after starting with emptying the wizard's toolbox to pad out sorcerer & warlock then dumping so much of what remained in craftingscroll/potion/wand/etc on the cutting room floor.
"Chrystal clarity" sounds like a character from a bad novel. :p

That post only demonstrates wizards lost 3.5e abilities in 5e. That's true for all other classes too and why it's not 3.8e. @oreofox is correct in stating all spell casters could use metamagic previously.

While I do think the larger spell list and ritual casting can get over-rated at times I would never try to undersell them either. Wizard spells not available to sorcerers are obviously an advantage over sorcerers. The larger number of spells prepped vs known is an obvious advantage for wizards over sorcerers. Ritual casting straight from the spell book is an obvious advantage over sorcerers and further enables skipping prepping those spells where a sorcerer might be inclined to learn some of them.

This isn't 3.x and it doesn't need to be.

Thanks for asking, when talking about changes from past editions it can be tough to know how much of those editions that people new or remember unless they ask rather than dismissing it but going into too much detail to cover all that is an endless rabbit hole.

Wizards used to have bonus on top of the feats everyone got at 1,3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 like how 5e fighters still have bonus feats. in 5e wizards do not have bonus feats & that makes sense because You can see a very extensive list of those feats here that looks like it pulls from many of the various 3.5 books. Other classes could take them in place of regular feats but wizards got them from bonus feats plus had the ability to take them regularly like everyone else. If you look at that list, both metamagics & a gigantic portion of the warlock invocations were on it or they were simply left out of the game entirely. It's one thing to say "well those feats aren't in the game anymore", but you still have the fact that 5e wizards don't have bonus feats like 5efighters & the fact that so many of them are still found as either metamagic or warlock invocations in the 5e book

On top of not having wizard bonus feats & having a base core class feature turned into the justification for nearly all of the. Find familiar went from being a wizard/sorcerer/some PrCs class feature to being a spell so every other class could take it with magic adept if that wizard class feature was not on their spell list already.
View attachment 118335
By comparison here is the equivalent sorcerer table
View attachment 118338
Yes, those are bonus feats. Those are not class exclusive abilities. This is true for metamagic and item creation. The only class feature is wizards lost was the bonus feats and going by that logic rogues stole the ability instead of sorcerers. Wizards lost bonus feats ==> rogues gained a bonus feat. ;-)

The difference is sorcerers have metamagic as a class ability now but that's representative of the sorcerer's link to magic. What 3.x did or did not do doesn't actually impact a comparison between the two classes as they are implemented now. What's relevant is how they compare now, what types of tropes they are meant to cover, and how well they cover those tropes. None of that would dictate merging the two classes.
 

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