D&D 5E Selecting the Simplest Sorcerer Solution

Eric V

Hero
Good news! If you think its so great, you can have both! Just have your sorcerer take two levels of fighter. Just think of your nova potential when you can Quicken *AND* Action Surge in the same round!!!

You're trying to miss the point here, right?

Right.
 

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Wepwawet

Explorer
See, to improve the Sorcerer I wouldn't include any funny sorcery point cost for stuff, like +2 SP to do another metamagic you don't know, +3 if it's raining... Our improvements have to be as simple as the original one, or simpler. For instance spell slots and SP should be 1:1.

What if sorcerers could cast any spell off the sorcerer list for triple point cost? "Spells known" are spells that you can cast efficiently.
That would be a great new metamagic option. I don't like the idea of having players rummaging through the whole list of spells constantly but it could work
 

That would be a great new metamagic option. I don't like the idea of having players rummaging through the whole list of spells constantly but it could work

I suspect the triple spell point/slot cost for spontaneous casting would do a lot to deter constant rummaging, even without an additional sorcery point cost on top of that. (You could either exclude cantrips from this rule, or just impose a minimum cost of 6 spell points or 3 first-level slots, even for a cantrip.)

But I'm actually interested in a deeper question: what would actually happen? Would anything break in the game? Would sorcerers suddenly become the dominant spellcasting archtype, displacing wizards, druids, clerics and bards? (Warlocks are their own thing.) I suspect not. I predict that you'd get a bunch of sorcerers casting pretty much the same spells they would have cast anyway without the special rule, and a bunch of players who are happier with the feel of their sorcerers, and maybe a few players trying out sorcerers who wouldn't be inclined to do so otherwise. Maybe once in a blue moon someone would spontaneously cast Fly or Dominate Person when it was appropriate to the situation, which would make all the players at the table happy.

I guess that's my real question: if there anyone here who would be unhappy if triple-cost spontaneous casting of any spell on the sorcerer list were introduced by their DM at the start of a new campaign? (What about spontaneous battlemaster maneuvers for double cost?)
 

Rynic

First Post
I know this thread is for people who think the Sorcerer is flawed, but I can't help but butt in. I agree that the Sorcerer appears to be less potent than the Wizard.

What's unfair is that this isn't true.

The Sorcerer requires thought and strategy, whereas the Wizard doesn't. You have to look through each Sorcerer spell and see whether each metamagic will be useful. The Wizard's powers are self-evident, with little ambiguity. The Sorcerer gives vague rules and hopes the player will discover some powerful combination. It requires some rules lawyering and a DM who knows the class.

This is my only problem. The Sorcerer isn't as simple as the others and so it's seen as unbalanced.

The lack of spells is necessary for separating them from other classes, especially wizards.
'Can you be comfortable with such a small spell-list?' Y/N?
Otherwise: Multiclass/Pick Another Class/Take a feat

It's not so much the lack of spells but the lack of variety. The Wizard has flavourful spells like Conjure Elemental, True Polymorph, Nystul's Aura, etc.

The Wish spell can compensate for a lot of the more potent spells, being able to metamagic them, makes them better (Divine word, extended to 60ft/ Subtle Mass Suggestion).

The Sorcerer's Font of Magic, the 1-20, is equal or even better than arcane recovery because you can design your own spell slot arrangement. You're not confined to the 4/3/3/3/3 slot arrangement for 1-5th level spells. You could go 37/0/0/0/0 - or 0/24/0/0/0 - or 0/0/14/0/0 - or 0/0/0/12/0 - or 0/0/0/0/10 with over 20 Sorcery points to spend on metamagic or lower slots.

If you're going to compare the Sorcerer to a superior Class, compare them to the Cleric, not the Wizard. Clerics have a bit of everything: D8 hit die, healing, radiant damage, martial ability, powerful smiting, Divine Intervention, A list of bonus spells, a powerful short rest ability capable of destroying undead.
 

Corwin

Explorer
I hate to be pedantic...
Doubtful. Unfortunately.

I go on to say how a Fighters Action Surges don't compete for use with it's other class abilities(which somehow isn't answering your point).
Action Surge is also much more restricted in its available frequency of use. Unlike Metamagic. So each has advantages and disadvantages. But that's an inconvenient fact. Want another inconvenient fact: your example 6th-level sorcerer *ISN'T* restricted to using Quicken three times per day. Unlike the average fighter is with Action Surge (given a typical adventuring day as a baseline). He can, in fact, not only use Quicken more than three times in a day, he can also trigger a use of two of a competing Sorcery Point class feature. Does he lose a spell slot or two? Of course. Why shouldn't he? That's the give-and-take of managing your adventuring day. Feature not bug.

And how many of these class abilities is Metamagic competing with again? And how important are they? If Metamagic is the "coolest ability", why are you wasting sorcery points on another class feature? It's like saying Stunning Fist is the "coolest ability" of monks, so don't use ki for anything else. It's a trap!

I think it all comes right back around to expected median. And perceived design baselines. If one's perception is off, or if they want it to be somewhere else than where it is, its not the systems fault.
 

Rynic

First Post
I know this thread is for people who think the Sorcerer is flawed, but I can't help but butt in. I agree that the Sorcerer appears to be less potent than the Wizard.

What's unfair is that this isn't true.

The Sorcerer requires thought and strategy, whereas the Wizard doesn't. You have to look through each Sorcerer spell and see whether each metamagic will be useful. The Wizard's powers are self-evident, with little ambiguity. The Sorcerer gives vague rules and hopes the player will discover some powerful combination. It requires some rules lawyering and a DM who knows the class.

This is my only problem. The Sorcerer isn't as simple as the others and so it's seen as unbalanced.

The lack of spells is necessary for separating them from other classes, especially wizards.
'Can you be comfortable with such a small spell-list?' Y/N?
Otherwise: Multiclass/Pick Another Class/Take a feat

It's not so much the lack of spells but the lack of variety. The Wizard has flavourful spells like Conjure Elemental, True Polymorph, Nystul's Aura, etc.

The Wish spell can compensate for a lot of the more potent spells, being able to metamagic them, makes them better (Divine word, extended to 60ft/ Subtle Mass Suggestion).

The Sorcerer's Font of Magic, the 1-20, is equal or even better than arcane recovery because you can design your own spell slot arrangement. You're not confined to the 4/3/3/3/3 slot arrangement for 1-5th level spells. You could go 37/0/0/0/0 - or 0/24/0/0/0 - or 0/0/14/0/0 - or 0/0/0/12/0 - or 0/0/0/0/10 with over 20 Sorcery points to spend on metamagic or lower slots.

If you're going to compare the Sorcerer to a superior Class, compare them to the Cleric, not the Wizard. Clerics have a bit of everything: D8 hit die, healing, radiant damage, martial ability, powerful smiting, Divine Intervention, a list of bonus spells, a powerful short rest ability capable of destroying hordes of undead and some other useful power.
 


Fritzo

First Post
Action Surge is also much more restricted in its available frequency of use. Unlike Metamagic. So each has advantages and disadvantages. But that's an inconvenient fact. Want another inconvenient fact: your example 6th-level sorcerer *ISN'T* restricted to using Quicken three times per day. Unlike the average fighter is with Action Surge (given a typical adventuring day as a baseline). He can, in fact, not only use Quicken more than three times in a day, he can also trigger a use of two of a competing Sorcery Point class feature. Does he lose a spell slot or two? Of course. Why shouldn't he? That's the give-and-take of managing your adventuring day. Feature not bug.

And how many of these class abilities is Metamagic competing with again? And how important are they? If Metamagic is the "coolest ability", why are you wasting sorcery points on another class feature? It's like saying Stunning Fist is the "coolest ability" of monks, so don't use ki for anything else. It's a trap!

I think it all comes right back around to expected median. And perceived design baselines. If one's perception is off, or if they want it to be somewhere else than where it is, its not the systems fault.

I will agree with you that Metamagic and Quicken Spell in particular can be used more often than Action Surge, using flexible casting is useful in this way. But it drains more useful resources(slots) in an inefficient way. Especially for a sorcerer at 6th level who only has 4 1st level slots, 3 2nd level slots and 3 3rd level slots. It's a small resource pool of slots for as many encounters that are suggested in the DMG. I do believe however that sorcerers feel noticeably more fun at later levels. As I can actually afford to burn slots. 10th level and up is where the class feels right. I just wanted a few more points for those early levels.

Monks Stunning Strike is cheap as chips so can be used often at low levels, that and they do have some cool abilities such as the extra movement, free bonus action attack,and catching missiles which don't use their resource and make them feel good to play most of the time. But even the elemental subclass can feel unfun when a single spell will cost half their ki leaving them with less active abilities to use. Sorcerers ultimately feel a little restrained in this sense to me, options feel good at the end of the day but the best things are very expensive at those low levels.

Perhaps it's a flaw of resource based classes, They're good at high levels and weak at early levels. I guess you feel it's a problem with ones perception? Where i feel it's a design flaw of the resource class.
 

Eric V

Hero
Well said. Your counter argument is well thought out and nuanced. It leaves me with much to think about.

It's the only way I could see your answer as making any sort of sense. You don't seem to be arguing in good faith; Fritzo explained things better than me and you still don't seem to get it.

If you don't think Sorcerers need any solution, why are you in a thread exploring what solutions they need? The thread starts with the premise that a solution is needed. Did you not infer that?
 

Corwin

Explorer
It's the only way I could see your answer as making any sort of sense.
Your lack of comprehension is my problem now? Not sure I have that kind of time to invest.

You don't seem to be arguing in good faith;
Please put the mirror down and direct your responses at me. Thank you.

Fritzo explained things better than me and you still don't seem to get it.
Not agreeing with someone, and not understanding them, are two entirely different things. Though I'm starting to get how you might have problems differentiating between the two.

If you don't think Sorcerers need any solution, why are you in a thread exploring what solutions they need? The thread starts with the premise that a solution is needed. Did you not infer that?
If you don't feel my contributions to this thread are of any value, why do you continue to respond to me?
 

Corwin

Explorer
Perhaps it's a flaw of resource based classes, They're good at high levels and weak at early levels. I guess you feel it's a problem with ones perception? Where i feel it's a design flaw of the resource class.
Having seen a fair share of sorcerers in action, from first level up through the teens, I just don't see the problem. They seem to play just fine. I rarely see them run out of resources completely by day's end. And when they have, the rest of the group was in equally dire straights.
 

I like where you are going with this. Here's my suggestions.

1. For spells known, to me, the problem is at higher levels. Adding +Cha to spells known seems like it overpowers the class at 1st level, making it even more attractive for a multiclass splash. Instead, I'd just give the sorc 1 new spell at every single level, instead of going to every-other-level after 10th. I could see an argument for giving them +1 spell at 1st level, too, so that their spell chart goes from 3 spells at 1st to 22 spells at 20th. That's still the fewest spells known/prepped of any full-caster, but at least it's in the same ballpark.

2. For sorcery points, I favor a varaint of option C. I don't think it fails criteria 3 at all; quite the opposite. And I don't think you need to fail it on criteria 1, either, since it's much easier to explain than Arcane Recovery or Natural Recovery. Here's my proposal: "You regain all spent sorcery points when you finish a long rest, and half your spent sorcery points when you finish a short rest." Note that it's half your spent points, so you recover more if you've spent more -- encouraging players to use 'em or lose 'em. A character who burns through all their points all the time and gets multiple short rests in may come out ahead of a wizard or druid's recovery in terms of spell slots regained, but this seems like an edge case. I really like the flavor of this proposal: the sorcerer is resting, so they get back some spent points, makes sense to me.

However, I'm still not convinced that the number of sorcery points is the problem. To me, the worse problem is the selection of metamagic; some of the metamagics are way better than others. For starters, the weaker options -- Distant, Extended, Subtle -- should just be given to all sorcerers, for free. I'm not sure what else could be done here. I'd almost be OK with giving all sorcerers all the listed metamagics for free, and let them use their metamagic picks to learn more exotic tricks (like energy substitution, delayed-trigger spells, spontaneous casting of spells they don't know, etc. -- I might make Twinned one of the exotic metamagics, too). That's a much heavier-weight change; more of an Unearthed Arcana class rewrite, than something you can punch in as a house rule.

A single new metamagic may address both problems:
Spontaneous Casting. You may expend a spell slot to cast any spell from the sorcerer list of the slot's spell level or lower, even if it's not one of your spells known. This costs 1 sorcery point per level of the spell slot you are expending.

That would allow people who are dissatisfied with the sorcerer's limited number of known spells to burn sorcery points to whip out some really flexible spellcasting, without impacting the balance of the game much at all.


I like your idea for picking any meta magic. I would just increase the cost by one.
You can use any meta magic you have not master yet by spending its normal cost plus one additional sorcery point.
With the Spontaneous casting sorcerer would be ready for everything.
If a DM don't want to change the official rule, theses features can be given through a magic item.
 

Eric V

Hero
If you don't feel my contributions to this thread are of any value, why do you continue to respond to me?

I'm sorry. I don't mean to give the impression that I think your contributions have any value. I am actually curious why someone who doesn't think sorcerers are in need of a solution is in a thread where that is the premise. It's like you're on a crusade, or something. It's bizarre.

No, seriously: Considering the thread's title and purpose, why are you participating in it?
 

I think establishing the baseline of what proportion of the time a Sorceror should be using spell slots rather than cantrips, and what proportion of those spells should be able to be boosted with metamagic would be useful.

If we use the 'standard' adventuring day, with the understanding that reducing the encounters is going to allow greater power. - I think the Sorceror is one of the most nova-capable classes with its two separate-but-interacting resource systems.

If some people are used to rationing spell slots and metamagic, transferring between one and the other when required and filling in with cantrips then they are going to have different opinions to what the sorcerer requires than people who are used to throwing out metamagicked spells every round.
 

Rynic

First Post
Me again.

Let me give you all an example of the cluster-:):):):) that is the Sorcerer's metamagic.

Distant Spell:

When you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or
greater, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double the
range of the spell.
When you cast a spell that has a range of touch, you
can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the
spell 30 feet.

Take note, dear reader, unlike twinned spell it makes no mention of not having a range of self, which can be confusing. Spells with a range of self can also have an extra range (Color Spray, Detect Magic, Detect thoughts)

This range can be doubled. Now, take the Gust of Wind spell. It has a range of self. It has an additional range, but wait there's more, it also has a width, which also becomes doubled. That's 120ft out 20ft wide, and as a bonus action it can be moved.

Nowhere does it suggest you can do this. It has to be found.

Other classes have much easier mechanics.
 

famousringo

First Post
Me again.

Let me give you all an example of the cluster-:):):):) that is the Sorcerer's metamagic.

Distant Spell:

When you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or
greater, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double the
range of the spell.
When you cast a spell that has a range of touch, you
can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the
spell 30 feet.

Take note, dear reader, unlike twinned spell it makes no mention of not having a range of self, which can be confusing. Spells with a range of self can also have an extra range (Color Spray, Detect Magic, Detect thoughts)

This range can be doubled. Now, take the Gust of Wind spell. It has a range of self. It has an additional range, but wait there's more, it also has a width, which also becomes doubled. That's 120ft out 20ft wide, and as a bonus action it can be moved.

Nowhere does it suggest you can do this. It has to be found.

Other classes have much easier mechanics.
You're taking a pretty liberal reading of that ability there.

Even if you take for granted that they actually mean "touch or self" when they only say "touch" (and I wouldn't), there's a difference between the range of a spell and the area of the spell. Giving Detect Magic a 30' range doesn't let you see magic in a 60' radius, it lets a target within 30' sense magic in a 30' radius.

In the same way, Distant Spell allows you to cast a Fireball with an epicentre 300 feet away, not a Fireball with a 40 foot radius.

Edit: But it is weird how one dimension of Gust of Wind's area is described as a subset of the spell's range, and I do agree with your general point that being an effective sorcerer requires more system mastery than other casters.
 
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Distant Spell:

When you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or
greater, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double the
range of the spell.
When you cast a spell that has a range of touch, you
can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the
spell 30 feet.

Take note, dear reader, unlike twinned spell it makes no mention of not having a range of self, which can be confusing. Spells with a range of self can also have an extra range (Color Spray, Detect Magic, Detect thoughts)

This range can be doubled. Now, take the Gust of Wind spell. It has a range of self. It has an additional range, but wait there's more, it also has a width, which also becomes doubled. That's 120ft out 20ft wide, and as a bonus action it can be moved.

Nowhere does it suggest you can do this. It has to be found.

Speaking as a DM, I would say:

(1) It doesn't suggest so because you can't do that. Distant Spell doesn't increase AoE at all.

(2) Your larger point is well-taken. Many of the best sorcerer metamagic combos (like Extended Aura of Vitality and Careful Web/Stinking Cloud) are not obvious on first inspection and may require extensive planning to fully exploit.
 

mellored

Adventurer
I would reduce the number of sorcery points needed for the less used ones, like extended, and not do anything that wil boost the already powerful twin greater invisibility.

This, IMO, is the issue with the sorcerer in general. They have lots of power, but it's all tied up in a few combos. They are left with more "trap" options than any other class. You can just grab whatever sounds cool and have it more or less work
 
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I would reduce the number of sorcery points needed for the less used ones, like extended, and not do anything that wil boost the already powerful twin greater invisibility.

This, IMO, is the issue with the sorcerer in general. They have lots of power, but it's all tied up in a few combos. They are left with more "trap" options than any other class. You can just grab whatever sounds cool and have it more or less work

Extended is already just one point. Reducing the cost any further doesn't help much.

It would be better-served by relaxing some of the restrictions on it. Currently it only works on spells with a duration of at least one minute but less than twenty-four hours. There just aren't many spells on the sorcerer list where that is helpful. It does make Enhance Ability somewhat more efficient, and removes some of the time pressure from a pre-cast Animate Objects (gives more time to fly your objects into position before the penny drops), but if you thought you could Extend a Shield spell to get double mileage out of it: sorry, wrong! How about an Extended Shapechange? Sorry, Sorcerers don't get that spell! (Ditto Foresight.) Extended Animate Dead? Sorcerers don't know it, and it doesn't extend durations past twenty-four hours anyway! Extended Blade Ward? Nope! Just like Shield, it doesn't last long enough.

Extended Blink? Sure, I guess, if you think the fight's going to last that long.

Currently the best use of Extended Spell is for doubling the healing you can get out of Aura of Vitality or Vampiric Touch. Both uses require multiclassing.

But if you allow Extended Spell to work on spells of less than one minute in duration, then things like Extended Shield and Extended Blade Ward become somewhat interesting.
 

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