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

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
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
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?
 

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Gadget

Adventurer
One thing I've seen mentioned here that I agree with is that the current system seems to have too many CHA based casters. I had heard that WOTC wanted to make Warlocks INT based in the closed testing for DNDNext, but playtesters complained and they switched back to CHA. We would have had far less sorc-locks and paladin-locks that way, though I see the argument for both sides. We probably would have ended up with wiz-locks though.
 


One thing I've seen mentioned here that I agree with is that the current system seems to have too many CHA based casters. I had heard that WOTC wanted to make Warlocks INT based in the closed testing for DNDNext, but playtesters complained and they switched back to CHA. We would have had far less sorc-locks and paladin-locks that way, though I see the argument for both sides. We probably would have ended up with wiz-locks though.
You could still do that and it probably wouldn't change too much or really break anything.
 

Minigiant

Legend
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?


My sorcerer was a pleasant child born on the same day an ancient dragon died (mind erupted). All the babies born that day became a sorcerer as fragments of the dead dragon's mind were implanted in the newborns. When these children acted like dragons, they could recall the dragon's knowledge and power. Literally if the little megalomaniacs pretended to be dragons or performed to be dragons, they got dragon spells.

It was use Charisma, get spells.

I could see almost every sorcerer learning Arcana and the associated language of their bloodline to understand their powers better. If I wake up one day with magic powers, I'm calling in sick and flying to the library.
 

dave2008

Legend
Most people are probably familiar with three: warrior, mage, and rogue. (Not sure why so many people fall back to using archaic and unintuitive terms like "fighting-man" and "magic-user" when perfectly good terms like "warrior" and "mage" exist in popular use.)
I see no reason to separate the warrior and the rogue (both "martial" or "mundane" classes in my ideal structure). They would just be distant branches of the same tree.

I personally disdain the distinction between Arcane and Divine magic as it exists in D&D, which remains (since the beginning) one of my biggest hangups with D&D. ...

...As it stands, the difference between arcane and divine magic in D&D feels superficial and milquetoast, especially given the overlap that exists between spell lists.
I agree. When I say I could see arcane and divine casters being separate, that includes truly making them separate from a fluff and mechanical perspective.
 


tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
My sorcerer was a pleasant child born on the same day an ancient dragon died (mind erupted). All the babies born that day became a sorcerer as fragments of the dead dragon's mind were implanted in the newborns. When these children acted like dragons, they could recall the dragon's knowledge and power. Literally if the little megalomaniacs pretended to be dragons or performed to be dragons, they got dragon spells.

It was use Charisma, get spells.

I could see almost every sorcerer learning Arcana and the associated language of their bloodline to understand their powers better. If I wake up one day with magic powers, I'm calling in sick and flying to the library.
That is were either racial or background stuff belongs. What you described is an accidental yaunti or something sand you are still ignoring the fact that those "dragon spells" are almost entirely wizard spells including the must take "right spells". Nothing about your little fluff justifies sorcerer's being Wizard+ but with charisma & there are still all of the other non-dragon sorcerer types. Arcana isn't limited to dragon sorcerers.


If all mundane get squished into the same class then so should all the spell casters.
They don't need to be combined, sorcerer needs to be ejected from the wizard box so wizard can grow & evolve.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That is were either racial or background stuff belongs. What you described is an accidental yaunti or something sand you are still ignoring the fact that those "dragon spells" are almost entirely wizard spells including the must take "right spells". Nothing about your little fluff justifies sorcerer's being Wizard+ but with charisma & there are still all of the other non-dragon sorcerer types. Arcana isn't limited to dragon sorcerers.

The fact that the dragon spells is the fault of the prowizard side of the community who didn't want socerers to exist in any serious capacity. Sorcerers should not have the wizard list much like how Barbarians don't have Fighting Styles and manuevers.

Playing a sorcerer should be like playing a barbarian except your axe is magic.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I see no reason to separate the warrior and the rogue (both "martial" or "mundane" classes in my ideal structure). They would just be distant branches of the same tree.
I see no reason to separate the divine mages from the arcane mages: both "mages" or "magical" classes in my ideal structure; they would just be different branches of the same tree. ;)

I agree. When I say I could see arcane and divine casters being separate, that includes truly making them separate from a fluff and mechanical perspective.
So much like how a warrior and rogue could be separate from a fluff and mechanical perspective? ;)
 

My largest issue with the sorcerer class is that everything about it is riven from the Magic User. Splitting ‘bloodline magic’ from ‘School Magic’ has narrowed the theme of each class, to each classes detriment.

In my opinion, a class should have a broad theme, with subclass narrowing the theme down.

Sorcerers do the opposite, and by their existence turn Wizards into the bookish perpetual college student..( how magical).

Wizards in a Jack Vance story are a rather diverse bunch, to say the least, not just ‘smarty pants, spellbook holders’.

Sorcerer could be a wizard subclass, because deep down we all, in our hearts, we really know it is a subclass of Wizard.

There is nothing new in the class either mechanically or thematically. In 1e people played ‘bloodline magic background’ human wizards all the time. No need for a separate mechanic.

Now the sorcerer steals that theme from the Wizard.

Metamagic...stolen again by the Sorcerer

Wild Magic, the hallmark of 2e Wizardry cheese, nope stolen by the Sorcerer.

Design Space...how many U/A are devoted to the Sorcerer? Regardless if Wizard and Sorcerer were in a ‘Mage’ class, the material for both classes just increased by being joined.

Don’t split the UrSeks...leave the crystal intact!

The Sorcerer class doesn’t even represent Shandril of the Spellfire FR books well, beyond Sorcery points, and then even, only if you squint real hard.

Enough work has been done in 5e that using the design elements bellow, a ‘Sorcerer’ theme character can be made, without a separate Sorcerer class:

Feats
Custom Race design similar to Eberron Dragonmarked Houses
Wizard Subclasses
Background Options

In 3e I’ve seen a Sorcerer played one time, once by a player for their first session of D&D, as a test character to see if they wanted to play more.

When that player decided, indeed they did wish to play...they made a Warmage...due to the greater number of spells known. The same complaint then as is issued now against the Sorc class today, too few spells known. But that narrow spells known is the raison d’etre of the class.

Never saw the class used in 4e.

The Sorcerer is akin to the 1e Assassin or Illusionist, it needs to be folded into the Wizard class.

Heal the Dark Crystal. ⚗👹
 
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houser2112

Explorer
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...

TLDR: I think the sorcerer sucks in 5E, so if you're looking for experiences more recent than 3.0, ignore this post. :)

Sorcerer was my very first character when 3.0 came out in 2000. I didn't care that the implementation sucked in comparison to the wizard (like bonus feats), I was just happy they finally included an option for those of us who hate Vancian casting. I was excited I didn't have to memorize spells anymore, to not be stuck with sleep when I really needed magic missile. It bothered me that I had to invest in Charisma instead of Intelligence since I'm a roll-player that tends to tune out during the talky parts of play, but it was easy to get away with underplaying my character's scores in a 12-person group that contained people who would equally overplay theirs.

That party had a Conjurer who played more as an Evoker because with that many players, managing summons was annoying and combat already took forever. I enjoyed being able to sling the lightning bolts and fireballs and not feel pressure to have identify and knock memorized.

I liked the dichotomy of the wizard's broad, but shallow pool, and the sorcerer's narrow, but deep pool. Then comes 5E and they not only gave the sorcerer's raison d'être (spontaneous casting) to all casters, but they took away his volume of power too. The wizard can prepare more spells than the sorcerer can know, and they have the same number of slots.

I don't think the sorcerer has a reason for being its own class anymore, mechanically speaking. When I had an opportunity to create a spellcaster recently, I thought about giving sorcerer a try, but couldn't justify why I wouldn't make an evoker instead. I don't need to make a sorcerer to be a spontaneous caster, and making a wizard for the versatility no longer means sacrificing volume.
 

dave2008

Legend
If all mundane get squished into the same class then so should all the spell casters.
As I mentioned in another post in this very thread, I am fine with that too (mundane and magic). I personally like the idea of having separate arcane and divine casting mechanics and fluff that could be separate classes, but I don't see it as a requirement.
 

dave2008

Legend
I see no reason to separate the divine mages from the arcane mages: both "mages" or "magical" classes in my ideal structure; they would just be different branches of the same tree. ;)
I don't really either, I'm fine with that approach. I have a personally reason for keeping them separate, but it may not necessitate a different class.
So much like how a warrior and rogue could be separate from a fluff and mechanical perspective? ;)
Yes and no. Fighters and rogues are both doing mundane things. I can make an argument that makes arcane and divine casting significantly different (one is not "casting" at all actually). Not sure they would require a different class or not. I have never carried the thought process all the way through.
 

I'm not so sure they are on board. Mearls and Co fought tooth and nail to the very end to outright remove sorcerer. Only at the eleventh hour they gave in and started working on sorcerer, and during the first year and a half they still showed mild contempt for it (not Skip Williams level of contempt, just some contempt)
I'm not sure your account is accurate. Development during the Beyond era did focus on the "Core Four", and they did adopt a "we'll get to them eventually" attitude towards the other classes (which seems to have been to the detriment of the ranger in particular). But if I'm recalling correctly, a version of the sorcerer was one of the first if not the first playtest class we saw outside the Four, long before we saw a paladin or druid or monk, and it had very distinctive mechanics and identity. Negative feedback on that version resulted in them dialing the class back to the more 3E-ish look in the final product.

At any rate, even if my memory is totally wrong, the final proof is in the pudding: the sorcerer exists. If Mearls and Co. didn't want it, it wouldn't be there.

I only speak from the attempts I've seen. I don't trust most designers to do that change correctly.
It's exactly the change they did when they wrote the original sorcerer in 3E. Like I said, that sorcerer is essentially the wizard kit we're talking about.

On the other hand, to me, wizards reflect an inherent position of privilege. In fantasy worlds were the commoners fight every day for survival, being able to take ten, twenty or thirty years to study magic means you can afford to. In contrast, if you just happen to have this magic, then you can come from every possible station in life.
Fantasy literature is full of commoners becoming apprentices to local wizards and rising from there to mastery of the craft. A Wizard of Earthsea would be my personal favorite: Sparrowhawk learns magic in a hut on a hillside overlooking flocks of sheep. Wizardry doesn't have to mean Harvard. I could just as easily say that sorcerers reflect an inherent position of privilege because they're literally born into power and hence obviously constitute an arcane aristocracy, whereas wizards can be anybody with a sharp mind and a willingness to apply themselves regardless of the accident of their birth. The truth is that both archetypes are broad enough to play either the hero or the villain in whatever contemporary class sensibilities we choose to project onto our fantasy.
 

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
The direction of this whole thread makes me happy. Maybe would could all go to the following classes:
  • martial. can be strong and stand ground, or sneaking and stabby.
  • magical. can be innate, granted, or learned. Must choose a primary and secondary school (includes divine).
  • fey. mix-in of martial and magical, but more limited. Can lean Magic with some martial, or Martial with some magic.
  • good underground specialist. Martial, and even anti-magical with ability to see in darkness and sense things like slopes and traps. Perhaps they're gruff and all have beards. Even the women.
  • small fun-loving guys who don't like shoes. On second thought, scratch them, they don't adventure.

With the classes whittled down like this, the players can then concentrate on in-game rewards and power boosts instead of demanding a constant increase in abilities.

;) all tongue-in-cheek of course. Though I wouldn't mind....
 

oreofox

Explorer
I'm not sure your account is accurate. Development during the Beyond era did focus on the "Core Four", and they did adopt a "we'll get to them eventually" attitude towards the other classes (which seems to have been to the detriment of the ranger in particular). But if I'm recalling correctly, a version of the sorcerer was one of the first if not the first playtest class we saw outside the Four, long before we saw a paladin or druid or monk, and it had very distinctive mechanics and identity. Negative feedback on that version resulted in them dialing the class back to the more 3E-ish look in the final product.

You are correct. The first playtest packet just had premade characters (2 clerics, a fighter, a rogue, and a wizard). The 2nd packet had those same "generic" classes, but actual classes and not premade characters. The 3rd packet had a write-up of the sorcerer and the warlock. The sorcerer was quite different, and wasn't just a spontaneous wizard. The sorcerous origins (just 1, the dragon, in this packet) would be more prominent (hit points and proficiencies were based off the origin, and not just every sorcerer gets d6 hp).

A quote from the packet:
"With the appearance of these classes, an arcane triad has emerged: the scholarly master of arcane magic (the wizard), the renegade collector of eldritch secrets (the warlock), and the prodigy shaped by magic itself (the sorcerer)."

I have been tempted to scrap the PHB sorcerer, and build out the playtest sorcerer, continuing what they were doing way back in August 2012. They seemed to have been going for a melee sorcerer with the dragon heritage. It gave d8 HD, proficiency with all armor and shield, allowing you to cast spells while wearing armor, and proficiency with martial melee weapons. Spending Willpower gave cosmetic (and mechanical) changes that lasted until you complete a long rest. It was a much more interesting class in that very early packet. Shame people crapped all over it for something more bland (though, the sorcerer didn't appear again until the PHB was released). They also tried to change wizard into "mage" in the August 2013 packet, and it remained that way until the PHB released.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
TLDR: I think the sorcerer sucks in 5E, so if you're looking for experiences more recent than 3.0, ignore this post. :)

Sorcerer was my very first character when 3.0 came out in 2000. I didn't care that the implementation sucked in comparison to the wizard (like bonus feats), I was just happy they finally included an option for those of us who hate Vancian casting. I was excited I didn't have to memorize spells anymore, to not be stuck with sleep when I really needed magic missile. It bothered me that I had to invest in Charisma instead of Intelligence since I'm a roll-player that tends to tune out during the talky parts of play, but it was easy to get away with underplaying my character's scores in a 12-person group that contained people who would equally overplay theirs.

That party had a Conjurer who played more as an Evoker because with that many players, managing summons was annoying and combat already took forever. I enjoyed being able to sling the lightning bolts and fireballs and not feel pressure to have identify and knock memorized.

I liked the dichotomy of the wizard's broad, but shallow pool, and the sorcerer's narrow, but deep pool. Then comes 5E and they not only gave the sorcerer's raison d'être (spontaneous casting) to all casters, but they took away his volume of power too. The wizard can prepare more spells than the sorcerer can know, and they have the same number of slots.

I don't think the sorcerer has a reason for being its own class anymore, mechanically speaking. When I had an opportunity to create a spellcaster recently, I thought about giving sorcerer a try, but couldn't justify why I wouldn't make an evoker instead. I don't need to make a sorcerer to be a spontaneous caster, and making a wizard for the versatility no longer means sacrificing volume.

I kinda believed in a Nature vs Nuture thing with Sorcerers and Wizards.

Wizards know the technique.
Sorcerers are just raw power.

Like the boxer who knows all the combos and dodges and the boxer who is just real strong.

The baller with the crossovers, crazy passes, and angle shots after he reads the defense vs the baller who is really fast and dunks hard and drives to the hoop 50% of the time.

That's why I don't like metamagic on sorcerer outside of the more dice. Sorcerers should be toss out dice and transforming into monsters.
 
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cbwjm

Hero
OK. For that matter, mana systems had been floating around for 0e & 1e for years, too.
As part of the official game? I tried to restrict it to official game material but if you go outside that, people have been unhappy with the magic system since it was introduced and have howebrewed a variety of systems to replace it.
 

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