D&D 5E Selecting the Simplest Sorcerer Solution

Some more good thoughts on here.

But it looks like there has been some drift into the topics of other threads (ie, "is there a problem?") so I'll briefly explain the problem. I'm not going to debate it on this thread.

I'm comparing sorcerer to wizard because it is the most comparable class. They are both arcane casters with an identical number of spell slots, HD, weapon proficiencies, and a spell list that overlaps to a very large degree.

They both get subclasses that seem to be inherently balanced.

So there is no difference on the things stated above. The differences are below.

Wizards get up to 25 spells prepared per day. Sorcerers get up to 15.

Flexibility is a thing for wizards, so in addition to the greater spells prepared, they get a spellbook where they can know a number of wizard spells limited only to the wizard spells that exist in the multiverse. That's fine--that's part of being a wizard. Sorcerers get proficiency in Con saves. Let's just call those particular features equal enough and not worry about it.

Wizards get arcane recovery once/day, sorcerers get daily spell points. If converted directly to spell slots, a sorcerer gets slightly more spells out of their sorcerer points than wizards get out of arcane recovery. Generally it's equal to one spell slot of their highest known spell level (maximum 5th), eventually adding one additional lower level slot. The lower level slot can be quite a bit lower, but after level 10 it climbs higher to a maximum of 4th level at level 20. So compared to arcane recovery, sorcery points can give a maximum of an extra 4th level spell slot per day, and a minimum of no extra spell slots per day.

In exchange for that minor benefit wizards can cast unlimited ritual spells. So if you count utility spells (and you should) the number of effective spell slots they can access in a day is much greater than a sorcerer can.

So in the number of spells castable per day, wizards are far ahead of sorcerers. Too far I would say. But lets say you disagree with that assessment because a sorcerer can use actual slotted spells, and that means combat spells are on the menu. I'll set my disagreement on that point aside, and see if it is even needed (it isn't) for the proposal I'm setting forward.

So now we come down to the two problem areas I'm attempting to address.

Sorcerers don't know enough spells, either on the sorcerer spell list (which I'll let WotC fix) or personally, to properly express thematic sorcerer concepts, including the fact that such concepts will know less spells than a wizard has prepared. We've tried to build them that way, we've failed.

The other problem is that the sorcery points that sorcerers use to keep up with a wizard's arcane recovery and rituals, are also required for their subclass abilities. Wizard subclass abilities--which are on par with sorcerer subclass abilities, just work. They don't require using up spell slots or arcane recovery feature to use. Sorcerer subclass abilities directly take away from their effective spell slots per day.

Maybe you have never felt the first issue because you concept is a red dragon sorcerer rather than a black dragon sorcerer, for instance, or maybe you've just never had days that were long enough to run out of spell slots or sorcery points, while a wizard is still going strong. That's fine. But the premise this thread it based on is that the wizard/sorcerer comparison is both mechanically imbalanced in favor of the wizard, and that the sorcerer suffers from an inability to mechanically represent thematic concepts that are implied to be appropriate for it, without trading excellence in functionality in return (and even then can't always achieve it).

So, moving on.

My personal houserule re: Sorcery Points is to remove Metamagic's point cost entirely (and make empowered not able to be used with the others). I also restricted it to Sorcerer spells for balance reasons.

This is very interesting. Looking at the options, it actually seems like a great solution the to sorcery point conflict for the majority of them. The ones I question are empowered, quickened, and twinned. They seem like they might be a bit much. Thoughts on their balance?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Chaosmancer

Legend
Has anyone else taken a moment to consider what the sorcerer's 20th-level capstone ability says about the individual value of a sorcery point? Just thinking out loud.


4 points per short rest, enough for 2 1st level spells

The same as getting a +4 to strength and Constitution, breaking the limit (Barbarian)
Or Casting any two 3rd level spells as often as you please (Wizard)
Or Literally turning a failure into a success (Rogue)
Or getting +mod to hit or to damage against a small subset of creatures once per turn (Original Ranger)
Or making a 4th attack (Fighter)


Is it just me, or are some of these things much better than others. Almost as if not all capstones are equally as good.



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?)

I honestly wouldn't be unhappy with it. In fact, I think that would be pretty much amazing. Pulling out that clutch spell or a highly thematic one for a dramatic moment. I love it to be honest



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.



I’d like to agree with you, but I can’t.

Wish is great, and really, every sorcerer should take it, heck, every spell caster should take it.

But, you won’t get it until 17th level, and you only ever get one use of it per day. When is it worth it? When can you afford to use your only 9th level slot for an 8th or below spell?

Creating your own spell list and slot arrangements sound great, but you have to consider it very carefully, and you’re losing oomph to do it.

Let’s take that 37 1st level slots, that cost you 66 sorcer points… Which you can technically do by breaking slots until you have close to your limit, making the 1st level slots, then breaking slots again. BTW, you can never have more than your level in points, so let’s assume starting at level 20, with 20 points. That makes 10 slots of your 33 you needed to create, Turn all your 5th into points, 15 points creates another 5 slots and leaves you 5 points. 15 slots out of 33, we need 18 more. Turing all your 3rds into points, with the 5 you had left over gets you 14 points, 7 slots.

22 slots out of our 33, no points leftover, turn your 4th slots into points, 12 points, 6 slots, 28 out of 33. Turning your 2nd level slots into points, gives 6, which is 3 more slots.

31 out of your 33 slots, no 2nd-5th level spells remaining, no points remaining…. And really this extreme example is kind of silly by this point, but it demonstrates things rather well, especially when A wizard of similar level is casting a 1st, 2nd, and 2 3rd level spells all day long, and whatever rituals they can squeeze in, and they can change those 1st and 2nd spells with 8 hours of study.

Do the opposite and get a few extra higher level slots (5th level slots cost 7 points a pop… the same number you get for cannibalizing your 7th level spell slot) and you could run into the problem of needing those low level spells and being forced to up cast them, wasting those resources.

It should work, but I don’t see how.

I do like [MENTION=6861845]Captain Panda[/MENTION] ‘s suggestion of making them actually a 1:1 conversion, and making the entire thing spell points and sorcery points. I think we should make the pool a little bigger still, give sorcerers just a few more sorcery points to make it work, but it feels very thematic to pull all your things from one pool, and add in the triple cost spells you don’t normally know. That feels cooler than what we have.

Still might need some tweaking to make it actually mechanically better than what we have, but I like the thoughts on it.
 

Or Casting any two 3rd level spells as often as you please (Wizard)

Signature Spell would be vastly more interesting if it did work "as often as you please." Two 3rd level spells each 1/short rest is a pretty poor capstone, especially when you consider the action economy and concentration economy costs. In practice the wizard's real capstone comes at 18th level with Spell Mastery, which does function "as often as you please" and is re-assignable to boot.

Infinite Unseen Servant? Yes, please.

Infinite Misty Step? Sure, why not?

Infinite Web? Okay.

Infinite Shield? Absolutely.

Hypnotic Pattern/Fireball 1/short rest? Well, it's better than a kick in the teeth, but it's not exactly exciting considering that you could pretty much do this already...
 

mellored

Adventurer
Extended is already just one point. Reducing the cost any further doesn't help much.
Not easily, but you could, or at least do so in comparison to quicken.

For instance double the number of spell points you have, and double the cost of slots, quicken, and twin, but leave extend at 1. Which effectively halves it's cost.

Or possibly extend everything by 50% for free.
 

Corwin

Explorer
I'm sorry.
Agreed.


I don't mean to give the impression that I think your contributions have any value.
And yet my contributions to this thread have *still* been more constructive and on-topic than yours.

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.
Are you one of those 'lalala" fingers-in-the-ears, no-dissenting-opinions-please kind of guys?

No, seriously: Considering the thread's title and purpose, why are you participating in it?
No, seriously back: Considering the bulk of your posts in this thread are off-topic haranguing of me, why are you?
 

Not easily, but you could, or at least do so in comparison to quicken.

For instance double the number of spell points you have, and double the cost of slots, quicken, and twin, but leave extend at 1. Which effectively halves it's cost.

Or possibly extend everything by 50% for free.

But you snipped the larger point: hardly anything works with Extend. If 10% of your spells get extended by 50% "for free", that's still less exciting than 25% of your spells getting Extended even at normal cost. IMO.
 

mellored

Adventurer
But you snipped the larger point: hardly anything works with Extend. If 10% of your spells get extended by 50% "for free", that's still less exciting than 25% of your spells getting Extended even at normal cost. IMO.
Extended shield for 1 SP would be overpowered. Which speaks to the larger sorcerer problem.

Spells were not designed with metamagic in mind. And just modifying spells with metamagic has wildly varying power based on which combo you take. There's no easy way to increase the power of the bad combo's without increasing the overpowered combos. Double duration shield and double duration sleep are 2 shouldn't cost the same.

You'd almost have to go through and balance each individual spell with each individual meta-magic.


Though changing extend to work on any spell that you concentrate on might be safe.
 

Extended shield for 1 SP would be overpowered. Which speaks to the larger sorcerer problem.

Overpowered? Instead of 4 spell points and two reactions, you're spending 2 spell points, 1 sorcery point, and one reaction. It's a useful trick but only 25% cheaper than the baseline except for the saved reaction, and that's assuming that you know you're definitely going to get hit twice in a row. It's actually kind of niche, not overpowered.

Spells were not designed with metamagic in mind. And just modifying spells with metamagic has wildly varying power based on which combo you take. There's no easy way to increase the power of the bad combo's without increasing the overpowered combos. Double duration shield and double duration sleep are 2 shouldn't cost the same.

You'd almost have to go through and balance each individual spell with each individual meta-magic.

Though changing extend to work on any spell that you concentrate on might be safe.

First, you haven't shown Shield to be overpowered. Second, double duration Sleep isn't overpowered either. It's barely even relevant. Third, even if you do drop the one-minute restriction on Extend Spell, there still aren't any overpowered combos that weren't already overpowered. (Aura of Vitality is already the best use of Extended Spell, and it would remain the best use of Extended Spell.) You're asserting that spells weren't designed with Extend Spell (or any other metamagics in mind), but it looks like the opposite was true: the Extended Spell restrictions weren't designed with the actual spell list in mind. It winds up being so niche as to be irrelevant except for power combos like Aura of Vitality. It's near-useless for all of the things that you'd expect it to be useful for.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
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 agree that this is a very clean way to handle the concerns being expressed. However, I think it's a bit too much of an automatic choice as you describe. Rather than just up the number of sorcery points required to use the meta magic, I thought having a decision point might be more interesting. I also give some love to Wild Magic Sorcerers...


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. Choose to expend 1 or 3 sorcery points per level of the spell slot you are expending. If you expended 3 points per level, the spell functions as written, if you expended 1 point per level, the spell is effected in the following ways.
*You do not add your proficiency bonus to the spell DC or attack roll
*The spells duration and range is cut in half
*You have disadvantage on concentration checks to maintain the spell
*If you are have the Wild Magic Origin there is a chance that you trigger a Wild Magic Surge. Roll any sided die and declare odd or even, if you are correct, you choose whether to surge or not, if you are wrong, you automatically surge.

Because of the choice between 1 and 3 points per level, spells above 6th (7th or possibly 8th with the Font of Magic Master feat) can only be cast with the negative effects, keeping the choice of which spells to add to your list an extremely important one at higher level, while also granting some flexibility.

And I do feel the pain of wanting more sorcery points, but would prefer to see that addressed without a rewrite of the current class. For that, I would suggest the following feat.

Font of Magic Master.
(Prerequisite - 2 Sorcery Points) - You are a master of manipulating the Sorcerous Font of Magic, gaining the following benefits.
*You have additional Sorcery points equal to your Constitution modifier
*You gain one additional Metamagic option
*Distant, Extended and Subtle Spell Metamagics have a cost of 0 for you.
 

Eric V

Hero
And yet my contributions to this thread have *still* been more constructive and on-topic than yours.


Are you one of those 'lalala" fingers-in-the-ears, no-dissenting-opinions-please kind of guys?


No, seriously back: Considering the bulk of your posts in this thread are off-topic haranguing of me, why are you?

Well, I'm here to read the contributions of posters I respect regarding the already-established-in-this-thread premise that sorcerers need a solution. I want to see some creative yet simple solutions.

I genuinely don't understand why, since you think sorcerers don't need solutions, you are participating in such a thread. It's such a waste. A normal person would just be like "Whatever, sorcerers are fine the way they are," and move on.

I should stop cluttering the thread and wasting time engaging with you though, that's for sure. Fair enough.

On topic: OB1, that's an interesting feat for sure. It would mean a sorcerer never gets counterspelled...that may or may not be a big deal, I'm not sure.
 

Eric V

Hero
[MENTION=6787650]Hemlock[/MENTION], I am assuming under the "cast any spell at triple cost" rule, the sorcerer would be using spell points?
 

Eric, in answer to your question:

At my table, everyone uses DMG spell points including warlocks. (I find it simpler and more elegant, and besides, fighters have other toys like Sharpshooter to play with.) So yes, if I did institute this rule for sorcerers it would be with spell points.

Since we're just spitballing, I suppose the spell slot equivalent would be "you can cast any spell on the sorcerer list if in addition to the spell slot for the spell itself, you also spend a number of additional slots whose total levels is at least twice the level of the spell slot you're spending on the spell." Thus illustrating perfectly why I find spell slots awkward and clumsy. :-/
 

Eric V

Hero
Eric, in answer to your question:

At my table, everyone uses DMG spell points including warlocks. (I find it simpler and more elegant, and besides, fighters have other toys like Sharpshooter to play with.) So yes, if I did institute this rule for sorcerers it would be with spell points.

Since we're just spitballing, I suppose the spell slot equivalent would be "you can cast any spell on the sorcerer list if in addition to the spell slot for the spell itself, you also spend a number of additional slots whose total levels is at least twice the level of the spell slot you're spending on the spell." Thus illustrating perfectly why I find spell slots awkward and clumsy. :-/

I've managed to convince the DMs in my group to at least try spell points, so yeah, that makes much more sense.

I'm trying to think of a scenario where paying triple the cost to cast an otherwise unknown sorcerer spell would be overpowered. It's not clear to me it is. And it has a very neat thematic feel to it, sorta X-Men-ish.
 

ScuroNotte

Explorer
Sorcerer bloodline domain spells would be the best and easier thing I think. Rangers and sorcerers should have domain spells. Heck, I'd give them to Warlocks too, except I haven't seen them in play.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

on the contrary the easiest would be increase the number of known similar to the Bard progression. The reason domain spells work for other casters is that they can change their spells after long rest and know many more spells. With the Sorcerer and Ranger, giving them domain spells that the player may not want to use will not help them to select their desired spells.

The best solution is increase nmber number known to 22 and offer spells, as in the Warlock patrons, that are added to their spell list
 

Bupp

Adventurer
For a pure sorcerer, have you considered using the spell point variant? Allow a 1:1 conversion between spell points and sorcery points and shut down multiclassing (would make things very complicated). I believe that would work out really well.

I've been using a variation of this system. Same player has played two different sorcerers in two groups, one is now 5th level, the other 8th.

Spell points and sorcery points get combined into one pool, since they do transfer at a 1:1 ratio. I call the entire pool sorcery points, and they can be used to cast spells, on metamagic and to power bloodline abilities.

Spells of 6th level and higher are particularly taxing to cast, and can only cast one of each level per long rest. This keeps it in line with the spell slots, and only really affects 19th and 20th level sorcerers.

The other thing I added was the ability to Overchannel. Overchannel allows you to power spells up beyond what you normally could. Spells with a "At Higher Level" can be cast at any level, even if it's not a spell level you could normally cast. The 6th level and above rule still applies. This truely lets a sorcerer "go nova".

Example: A 5th level sorcerer has 32 total sorcery points. If he wanted to "go nova" with fireballs, he could cast a 9th level fireball, an 8th level fireball, and a 5th level fireball. That would leave just 1 sorcery point to power metamagic or power bloodline abilities.

I made these changes mainly because I wanted to sorcerers to "feel different" than wizards. Only sorcerers get spell points in my game. Spell points gives them some added flexibility with casting a limited number of spells. Overchannel gives them some of that X-Men feel that someone mentioned above.

In playtesting it has worked well. The player has been extremely frugal with his spell points overall. He tends towards a lot of cantrips and lower level spells early, hoping to save up for a "boss fight", where he'll Overchannel. I've built encounters with this in mind, so overchanneling is rarely a "I win" button, but lets him feel like a hero after letting other players shine earlier while he holds back.

He tends to run out of resources at the same rate as other players.

Shameless Plug
I've detailed these changes in a
product I have on the DMs Guild. It's pay what you want. Fair warning, it's one of my earliest pieces, and my first dealing with class options. Some of it could definitely use a rewrite, but I stand by the spell points and overchannel. It's held up to lots of playtesting at low to mid levels, and works well.
 

Corwin

Explorer
[MENTION=6784990]Bupp[/MENTION], I'm curious what other spellcaster classes have you had played alongside these sorcerers, if any?
 

Bupp

Adventurer
[MENTION=6784990]Bupp[/MENTION], I'm curious what other spellcaster classes have you had played alongside these sorcerers, if any?


The group with the 8th level sorcerer has 6 characters in it. A war cleric, moon druid, hunter ranger, champion fighter and a theif rouge. The rogue was recently replaced with a shadow monk.

The 5th level (actually 6th now that I think of it) is in a 3 player group with a valor bard and a totem barbarian.
 

Corwin

Explorer
The group with the 8th level sorcerer has 6 characters in it. A war cleric, moon druid, hunter ranger, champion fighter and a theif rouge. The rogue was recently replaced with a shadow monk.

The 5th level (actually 6th now that I think of it) is in a 3 player group with a valor bard and a totem barbarian.
So no one has tried playing a wizard alongside your upgraded sorcerer? Heck, even your three primary spellcasters (cleric, druid and bard) all wanted something with a more melee combat bent, rather than a more traditional "cast-first". Maybe its just coincidence, but I find that interesting. Don't you?
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Signature Spell would be vastly more interesting if it did work "as often as you please." Two 3rd level spells each 1/short rest is a pretty poor capstone, especially when you consider the action economy and concentration economy costs. In practice the wizard's real capstone comes at 18th level with Spell Mastery, which does function "as often as you please" and is re-assignable to boot

Oops, I was mixing those two up. My apologies.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top