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

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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Indeed. I think that most design inclined members of the community happen to be wizard players who aren't very sensitive to sorcerer players wants and needs.

Well I'm glad you mentioned it as I didn't want to be first. But Skip Williams didn't want sorcerers at all. And the 5e team last minute rushed the class. And the bunch of 4e haters were wizard players.

So I suspect some part of the problem is D&D wizard players who didn't want anyone but Intelligence based, spellbook owning, wizard in robes to be a good arcanist. So sorcerer kits and sorcerer classes are always half done.
 
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Undrave

Hero
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-.

Personally I find the Wizard to be too narrow a character concept and that 'overpowering flavour' is really just the old Vancian mechanics. Any fluff of the Wizard is basically "They learned magic by studying REALLY REALLY hard you guys, they deserve to be overpowered!"

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.

Why not make one of the a CON caster instead? Either the Warlock, representing that they are channeling a power outside of themselves that could damage their body, or the Sorcerer because it comes from within. It worked in 4e with the Warlock.

I think 4E did the best job of defining and defending the Sorcerer's niche as an Arcane Striker who consistently hit hard and often. 5E's old school unified spell lists muddy the waters.

Yeah, I think the Sorcerer should have been way more different in terms of spell list. Lots of blasty stuff, less utility compared to the Wizard and vice-versa. Wizards get to keep their iconic Fireball and Magic Missile, but not a lot of single target stuff, for exemple.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Well I'm glad you mentioned it as I didn't want to be first. But Skip Williams didn't want sorcerers at all. And the 5e team last minute rushed the class. And the bunch of 4e haters were wizard players.

So I suspect some part of the problem is D&D wizard players who didn't want anyone but Intelligence based, spellbook owning, wizard in robes to be the only good arcanist. So sorcerer kits and sorcerer classes are always half done.
I think you are looking at it the wrong way. Sorcerers have all kinds of social & charismatic things that they can draw on to shine, what about being born with a little $nonhumanoid dna should automatically make them a "good {aka: top shelf] arcanist" too instead of leaning into that charismatic stuff & being top tier charismatic folks with some spellcasting to synergize with it? Sorcerers need to find their own niche instead of being just being socially great wizard plus.
 

I would rather the warlock as a remake of the vestige pact binder, each vestige as a mini-advanced/monster class, or a list of cleric domain spells you could change everyday.
 

Undrave

Hero
Honestly I'd rather be rid of the Wizard than the Sorcerer and Warlock because both of the latter have WAY more interesting story potential than the limited 'I learned magic from a book!" Wizard as it currently exist.

Artificer and Wizard should have been merged into a magical scientist instead of being different things, just with various subclasses (speaking of which, we didn't need EIGHT sub-classes for all the different schools since they're all so repetitive).

Heck, I could see the Bard being folded, learning music or stories is just as much about memories as anything academic, just the secondary ability would change...

But I'm not one for cutting classes. I play a game with classes because I like the concept of classes.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think you are looking at it the wrong way. Sorcerers have all kinds of social & charismatic things that they can draw on to shine, what about being born with a little $nonhumanoid dna should automatically make them a "good {aka: top shelf] arcanist" too instead of leaning into that charismatic stuff & being top tier charismatic folks with some spellcasting to synergize with it? Sorcerers need to find their own niche instead of being just being socially great wizard plus.

Sorcerer has a niche. The issue is that many prominent D&D fans don't want it in the game at all. So many fans push it to be weak or off-image.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I think the Sorcerer should have been way more different in terms of spell list. Lots of blasty stuff, less utility compared to the Wizard and vice-versa. Wizards get to keep their iconic Fireball and Magic Missile, but not a lot of single target stuff, for exemple.
Less utility is part of the problem of sorcerers being subpar. There's lots of potential for sorcerers and themes. How about a fabric witch? Manipulate cloth, materialize clothing and disguises, create garments with special properties, sew a dress faster... Or a dimensional witch sense and vibrate with the cosmos, astral projection commune with otherworldy entities, bend space... The only limits currently are the spell list -and lack of a generic "do your own theme" subclass.(ok maybe limited spells known too). Sorcerers should be expected to pick a theme and niche instead of just being blasters.

I'd still remove fireball though.
 

Undrave

Hero
Less utility is part of the problem of sorcerers being subpar. There's lots of potential for sorcerers and themes. How about a fabric witch? Manipulate cloth, materialize clothing and disguises, create garments with special properties, sew a dress faster... Or a dimensional witch sense and vibrate with the cosmos, astral projection commune with otherworldy entities, bend space... The only limits currently are the spell list -and lack of a generic "do your own theme" subclass.(ok maybe limited spells known too). Sorcerers should be expected to pick a theme and niche instead of just being blasters.

I'd still remove fireball though.

Sorcerers probably should have had a more modular spell list. A basic spell list every Sorcerer gets access too, and then a pile of thematic spells based on each subclass. More extensive than the Domain spells of the cleric. You'd get to pick a certain number of spells from each list instead of an over all amount.
 


MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Well I'm glad you mentioned it as I didn't want to be first. But Skip Williams didn't want sorcerers at all
Speaking of that, do you remember who first designed the sorcerer? I kinda remember it was someone's homebrew that got included to justify the phb having so many pages of spells, but can't find anything concrete.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Sorcerers probably should have had a more modular spell list. A basic spell list every Sorcerer gets access too, and then a pile of thematic spells based on each subclass. More extensive than the Domain spells of the cleric. You'd get to pick a certain number of spells from each list instead of an over all amount.
I agree. Something closer to spheres in 2e would be great.
 
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tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Sorcerer has a niche. The issue is that many prominent D&D fans don't want it in the game at all. So many fans push it to be weak or off-image.
I disagree on it having a niche. Virtually identical spell list as wizard including the same "right spell" choices but with charisma, extra proficiencies, and no spellbook, is hardly a niche. By saying that it needs a niche I mean the that it needs a niche of its own that does not so heavily consume the wizard's niche on the venn diagram
 

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
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...
 

Undrave

Hero
As an aside, anyone who fights to keep the Sorcerer separated from the Wizard... I hope you understand the feeling folks who want more mundane classes get when they just get told "Just make it a Fighter" :p

If not every caster should be folded into the Wizard, then not every pure Martial shouldn't be a Fighter and vis-versa...
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Less utility is part of the problem of sorcerers being subpar. There's lots of potential for sorcerers and themes. How about a fabric witch? Manipulate cloth, materialize clothing and disguises, create garments with special properties, sew a dress faster... Or a dimensional witch sense and vibrate with the cosmos, astral projection commune with otherworldy entities, bend space... The only limits currently are the spell list -and lack of a generic "do your own theme" subclass.(ok maybe limited spells known too). Sorcerers should be expected to pick a theme and niche instead of just being blasters.

I'd still remove fireball though.

I wish the designers made a few generic lists to pull cleric domains, druid circles, warlock pacts, and sorcerer bloodlines from.

Speaking of that, do you remember who first designed the sorcerer? I kinda remember it was someone's homebrew that got included to justify the phb having so many pages of spells, but can't find anything concrete.

I don't remember who. All I remember was the hostility and my old DMs complaining.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
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...

I have played a sorcerer in the past, and I tended to play him as a charming idiot savant. I play in a large-ish party that has a sorcerer and a wizard, and they have some overlap in approach, but they've chosen different spells.

That said, I don't have a problem with the classes that exist existing. I can see wanting to tweak them around the edges (or further in) but to me there's room for all.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
Yeah, I think the Sorcerer should have been way more different in terms of spell list. Lots of blasty stuff, less utility compared to the Wizard and vice-versa. Wizards get to keep their iconic Fireball and Magic Missile, but not a lot of single target stuff, for exemple.

That would make my enchantment sorcerer sad.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Must confess I'm not familiar with Al-Quadim at all. In 2e I just found the Mage so frustrating I stopped looking for options.

The Sha'ir was like a slow, versatile Warlock. He had a little gen familiar that would fetch him spells (even clerical spells) from somewhere out there in the multiverse. But it took some amount of time. I can't recall if he was a little thief-y as well, or if my players were multiclass. He could even break level restrictions, IIRC. There was a lot of little mechanics wrapped into that kit.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I've heard of DMs letting their players choose any character classes they want when rolling up 1st level characters, and then removing all classes from the game that weren't chosen by the players. So if nobody rolled up a warlock at 1st level, warlocks didn't (and wouldn't ever) exist in the campaign. From Day 1, the player characters were the only Heroes in the realm, and would be the only ones who would have the power to stand against the Big Bad and save the world.

This lets the players decide how magic is defined, and how it "works" in the campaign. Is it all book-magic, learned from ancient tomes in forgotten libraries? Well, Bob rolled up a wizard, so yes. Was magic stolen from demons and archfey, through dangerous pacts? It is now, because there's a warlock in the party. And so on.

I don't know if it's something I would do, but it's an interesting approach.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
As an aside, anyone who fights to keep the Sorcerer separated from the Wizard... I hope you understand the feeling folks who want more mundane classes get when they just get told "Just make it a Fighter" :p

If not every caster should be folded into the Wizard, then not every pure Martial shouldn't be a Fighter and vis-versa...

I see them as pairs

Learned Arcana on a Nurtured Magician
Raw Arcana on a Natural Magician
Learned Fighting Styles taught to a Nurtured Warrior
Raw Fighting Styles taught to a Natural Warrior
 

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