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

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Well, at level 1-4, if the fighter didn't take the archery combat style, but is using a crossbow...
…and it's basically target practice, sure. Seems at odds with want'n to be all 'top shelf' in the spell department, tho.
Hey, don't sell short all those casters for whom DEX is the prime casting stat. Gatekeep much? :p
 

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Late to the party here, but I think there's a very simple reason you can't merge Sorcerer and Wizard, and it's simply that they've been separate classes for too long (three editions, twenty years). I mean, if you first played D&D at 8, and it was when 3E had just come out, 2000, you'd be 28. That's practically an old man (I'm 41, don't hit me!). You might well have kids of your own by now (albeit likely very small)!

So all the arguments in the world about similarity or overlap or whatever don't count for much - they have separate identities in the minds of players, and have done for a very long time (sorry other old fellow old fogies!). That means that the only way you'd be getting rid of them would be a fundamental reworking of D&D in one of two forms:

A) Some sort of pared back base class-advanced class system. I get that some people like this. I kind of see the charm, but making everyone do three levels of Warrior before picking from Fighter, Paladin, or Ranger is probably not a good way for D&D to go in future. It doesn't make for a better game in any way I'm aware of, it's just an aesthetic thing. And you'd probably still end up with sorcerers as an advanced class, or hell, maybe they'd be the base class, because it seems to make more sense to say someone is maybe born with magic or not, then can restrain that magic by becoming a Wizard. Anyway, unlikely for a lot of reasons (not least that it might mess with setting concepts).

B) Vancian casting getting binned altogether. No-one in 5E operates the same way old-skool Vancians did, not even Wizards (though they are most similar). I could see an edition in the future which binned Vancian magic entirely. If that did happen, then it would be hard to see Sorcerer and Wizard as entirely different classes, but I think at the very least certain Sorcerer subclasses and the idea of "magic in the blood" vs "trained magic" would still exist. Anyway I don't think it's terribly likely at 5E's approach works "well enough", as you essentially have to volunteer for Vancian casting by signing up as a Wizard, and nobody else does it.
 

Late to the party here, but I think there's a very simple reason you can't merge Sorcerer and Wizard, and it's simply that they've been separate classes for too long
Ha! the Sorcerer is a band-new, johny-come-lately 21st century millennial snowflake class that's only been around...
(three editions, twenty years).
...efffffff...I'm OLD.

So all the arguments in the world about similarity or overlap or whatever don't count for much - they have separate identities in the minds of players, and have done for a very long time (sorry other old fellow old fogies!). That means that the only way you'd be getting rid of them would be a fundamental reworking of D&D
That's one of the two ways to do anything remotely worthwhile in D&D. The other is to simply, as DM, ignore it and do whatever you want.

making everyone do three levels of Warrior before picking from Fighter, Paladin, or Ranger is probably not a good way for D&D to go in future
Unlike two levels of generic fighter before picking Champion, EK or BM?

Vancian casting getting binned altogether. No-one in 5E operates the same way old-skool Vancians did, not even Wizards (though they are most similar). I could see an edition in the future which binned Vancian magic entirely.
It's central to all versions of D&D that longer-period-recharge abilities be higher-power/impact than at-will, and that they be radically imbalanced in favor of the former under the 5MWD. So, non-starter, there.
 

Players are looking for improvements for the sorcerer in order to create variety in the build options and thematics. It's not to add power. Wizards do not need that because they started with a lot of school based subclasses and are clearly tied to books and lore. There's no need to give wizards something just because Sorcerers get something in an aspect of play that's simply catching up.

To me it is evident that Sorcerer Subclasses are dripping in flavor, the Wizard Subclasses not so much. For others the opposite seems evident.

If both ‘camps’ feel the same way from the same evidence, then the issue must be something else.

My personal belief it is the spell casting system in general, and the interaction with resting. Spellcasters need to be balanced to be able to effectively contribute even w/o spells, like martial classes are balanced to function w/o magic items.

Moon Druids have this balance w/o spells thru Wildshape. Warlocks thru Invocations.

Both the Wiz and the Sorc need some additional class ribbons.

What I object to as unbalanced is giving the Sorc all of the following: Increased Spells Known,
Increased Font of Magic Versatility, and Increased Sorcery Points.

To me, adding ALL of the above to the existing Sorcerer frame is not adding mere ribbons but real power. If this comes to pass, then all classes should be rebalanced.

Since nuance tends to get overlooked in giant discussions like this, I AM NOT SAYING SOME CHANGES ARE NOT WARRANTED, JUST NOT All OF THE ONES LISTED ABOVE.

Again apologies for being so blunt, just wanted to ensure that my prior conditional statements were not being overlooked or as is quite likely, were not clearly stated by myself to begin with.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
To me it is evident that Sorcerer Subclasses are dripping in flavor, the Wizard Subclasses not so much. For others the opposite seems evident.

If both ‘camps’ feel the same way from the same evidence, then the issue must be something else.

My personal belief it is the spell casting system in general, and the interaction with resting. Spellcasters need to be balanced to be able to effectively contribute even w/o spells, like martial classes are balanced to function w/o magic items.

Moon Druids have this balance w/o spells thru Wildshape. Warlocks thru Invocations.

Both the Wiz and the Sorc need some additional class ribbons.

What I object to as unbalanced is giving the Sorc all of the following: Increased Spells Known,
Increased Font of Magic Versatility, and Increased Sorcery Points.

To me, adding ALL of the above to the existing Sorcerer frame is not adding mere ribbons but real power. If this comes to pass, then all classes should be rebalanced.

Since nuance tends to get overlooked in giant discussions like this, I AM NOT SAYING SOME CHANGES ARE NOT WARRANTED, JUST NOT All OF THE ONES LISTED ABOVE.

Again apologies for being so blunt, just wanted to ensure that my prior conditional statements were not being overlooked or as is quite likely, were not clearly stated by myself to begin with.
In defense of all three, just more font of magic options alone will be counterproductive. More options for the same choices only make each choice harder and bring out more unhappiness. More options necesarily require more points.

On the other hand, font of magic options and spell points are completely unrelated to the probelm of spells known.
 

No, all impact the character. The Font of Magic options described in the U/A article are in effect additional spells known.

Font of Magic, to me at least, is the beating heart of the Sorcerer class. The Shadow Sorcerer is a basic example of how Sorcery Points can be utilized to effectively increase a Sorc’s spells known w/o altering the PHB table.

Bulking up Font of Magic, can solve most ‘Thematic’ issues with the Sorcerer. One could allow the class to chose say one spell per level or every other level to be an ‘Innate Power’ cast like a Shadow Sorcerer can cast Darkness...either thru Sorcery Points or Spell slots.

Sprinkle in some additional Sorcery Points, or ‘free uses’ of certain spells like the Alchemist subclass for the Artificer, and the play experience will be enhanced, without stepping on too many toes.

In my view at least.
 

My personal belief it is the spell casting system in general, and the interaction with resting. Spellcasters need to be balanced to be able to effectively contribute even w/o spells, like martial classes are balanced to function w/o magic items.
If spellcasters were balanced compared to martial classes before they start casting spells, what happens to the balance when they start actually casting spells? You'd have to basically have no spell recovery at all to get close to balanced.

Come to think of it, most casters are already balanced against a lot of martial classes even without spells. The worst of them have access to ability checks and skill proficiencies, and player creativity and role-playing. That is already as good as the Fighter for example.
 

Cap, this would be a good topic for another thread I think, as it is off topic for this one, and 20+ pages in is not the best place to start.

Yes a Wizard with 20 Strength and the Athletics skill can long jump 20’ and High Jump 10’ like a Fighter, but I think we all can agree the likelihood of the Wiz and Fighter having the same STR score is unlikely.

A Fighter that has used Action Surge is usually good for at least one more encounter, before the player wants to Short Rest. The lack of this ‘DailyPower’ does not hamper the Fighter if their HP total is still sufficiently full.

A 8th level full caster that is out of 4th level spells, is in my experience clamoring for a Long Rest.
 


Ashrym

Hero
@Todd Roybark Wizards are in the same boat as bards, IME. They already do what they are designed to do extremely well. I see bards often get the short end or ignored in UA articles and releases when it comes to additional spells and options. I don't complain about it evev though that's one of my favorite classes because of how well implemented the class is.

Wizards are like that. The are meant to be versatile and they are, with many options, many traditions, and spell casting mechanics that focus on that versatility. That's in contrast to the warlock's intended sustainable damage / short rest arcanist and the sorcerer's nova potential arcanist. All three aporoach arcanist differently.

"The wizard stole my stuff" is inaccurate and looks like a case of greener grass on the other side of the fence. The funny part of that is players of both classes see greener grass on the other side. That demonstrates both classes have desirable mechanics, which I would consider a good sign.

The difference is sorcerers do struggle building themes. One class has an area worth revisiting and the other does not. That's why wizards don't need something just because sorcerers might have that concern addressed.

Wizards are in a good spot relative to 5e classes. What a person thinks they should have or should not have because of (insert x edition here) does not change that. They are versatile and reminiscent of the controller concept, and cover that well.

Keeping on topic, sorcerers are less versatlie and nova based while wizards are based on that broad capability and versatility. That's a legitimate reason not to merge them. The represent different aspects of arcane spell casting that if we keep comparing to 3.x needed to be separated.
 

Ashrym, while I have hinted at it, I will state it explicitly I don’t want to merge the classes...I want sufficient differentiation so each feels unique.

Hearing the same “too few spells” complaints for 20+ years gets wearing. Hence the quote of mine used by Moonsong.


I want a Sorcerer class not Riven from the Wizard, and not taking all the cool background options in XGE.

For the Wizard I want ribbons...1 extra skill point, some protection type effects for spell books, automatic proficiency in Calligraphy tools...minor stuff.

You have been in threads where I have proposed this, ( expanded class features in U/A for one),
you know how reflexively negatively SOME people respond when any mention of adding anything to the Wizard class occurs.

We may not be in lock step, but my sense Ashrym is we mostly have similar viewpoint vis a vis the rules and aesthetic of play.

Are the Wizard ribbons I have thrown out so overwhelming?

Is radically boosting Font of Magic, adding additional spells and the ability to use Sorc Points to cast them, while increasing Sorc Points, w/o altering the Sorc spell list and Spells Known, (3 spells known at 1st level is my house rule for Sorcs), not a worthy change to increase the thematic viability of Sorcerers?

As for Bards, the class is fine in 5e. Bardic Inspiration recovery at Short Rest is the killer app which allows the class to be very useful even if all spells are expended. Blades and Warbards, still have weapon attacks, the College of Lore suffers once spells are gone..but not as much as Wiz/Sorc.
 


tetrasodium

Adventurer
Ashrym, while I have hinted at it, I will state it explicitly I don’t want to merge the classes...I want sufficient differentiation so each feels unique.

Hearing the same “too few spells” complaints for 20+ years gets wearing. Hence the quote of mine used by Moonsong.


I want a Sorcerer class not Riven from the Wizard, and not taking all the cool background options in XGE.

For the Wizard I want ribbons...1 extra skill point, some protection type effects for spell books, automatic proficiency in Calligraphy tools...minor stuff.

You have been in threads where I have proposed this, ( expanded class features in U/A for one),
you know how reflexively negatively SOME people respond when any mention of adding anything to the Wizard class occurs.

We may not be in lock step, but my sense Ashrym is we mostly have similar viewpoint vis a vis the rules and aesthetic of play.

Are the Wizard ribbons I have thrown out so overwhelming?

Is radically boosting Font of Magic, adding additional spells and the ability to use Sorc Points to cast them, while increasing Sorc Points, w/o altering the Sorc spell list and Spells Known, (3 spells known at 1st level is my house rule for Sorcs), not a worthy change to increase the thematic viability of Sorcerers?

As for Bards, the class is fine in 5e. Bardic Inspiration recovery at Short Rest is the killer app which allows the class to be very useful even if all spells are expended. Blades and Warbards, still have weapon attacks, the College of Lore suffers once spells are gone..but not as much as Wiz/Sorc.
none of them are overwhelming, it's people applying mmo style limited raid slot forum class warfare logic to d&d... Also extremely notable is the recent class features UA that tries out effectively giving sorcerer's a big improvement on the wizard spellbook at the cost of limited shuffle to somewhat close to how most wizards shuffle spells, the fact that one of the happy fun hour things mearls suggested giving sorcerers two extra spells known , and the number of people saying wizard needs nothing admitting similar or improved sorcerer enhancements while saying wizard doesn't need anything new.
 
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Ashrym

Hero
I support this message
4 CHA casters -- bard, sorcerer, warlock; paladin
4 WIS casters -- cleric, druid; ranger; elemental monk
4 INT casters -- wizard; artificer; arcane trickster, eldritch knight

That split is not that uneven. They need a caster stat and CHA is typical for arcane casters and monsters.

It makes sense given CHA is associated with confidence and force of personality. It's just not traditional "magic users need INT".
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
In 3rd edition I greatly prefer spontaneous casters to prepared casters for two reasons:

1) Rest of the players don't have to wait while spells are chosen.
2) Potentially much more flavourful because the spells known can all fit a theme.
 

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