D&D 5E Selecting the Simplest Sorcerer Solution

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Erik Westmarch

First Post
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but ... "Add your CHR Bonus to Sorcerery Points" is more in keeping with 5E design principles than "Add your Proficiency Bonus", and usually it will be within a point either way.



So just to make sure I wasn't imagining things, I made an Excel spreadsheet comparing the Sorcerer and Wizard from levels 1 to 20. They're close enough in build you can do a simple arithmetic comparison.

Here's how it plays out-

The have the same number of Saving Throw proficiencies. (duh)
They have the same base number of spell slots.
Wizard has Base AC 10, Sorcerers AC 13. But with Mage Armor, meh.

What do Sorcerers get that's "more"?
1. +1 HP/level
2. 1 extra Cantrip (until 17th level, when Spell Mastery puts the Wizard ahead of you here too)

What do Wizards get that's "more"?

1. Wizards have way more spells known just using the base rate of 4 + 2/level. And that's the minimum, given that you can capture enemy spellbooks and such. It starts out with a 4 spells known advantage at 1st level and goes up to 29 extra spells at 20th level.

2. Wizards have more spells prepared at all times. So they can recreate any given Sorcerers' spell list and then have even more spells in addition to that. The advantage is 2 spells prepared at 1st level and goes up to an additional 12 spells prepared at 20th level.

3. The Wizard sub-class abilities are very similar to Metamagic and come in at the same rate and Level. But the sub-class abilities are free to use, and Metamagic uses SP which reduces spells/day.

4. Wizards get more Spell Slots/day under almost all circumstances.

If you convert all Sorcerery Points into Spell Slots, this works out to equal Arcane Recovery from levels 1 to 5 and then is better than Arcane Recovery from 6th on up. But only a little. You effectively get only 1 extra spell over what a Wizard gets per day, but it's not your highest level (i.e., at 17th level you get one extra 4th level spell over a Wizard) and it's at the cost of all of your Metamagic.

If you use your SP for Metamagic, the Wizard's Arcane Recovery means that he always has more spell slots per day. The Wizard basically end up with 1 additional spell of their second-highest level per day relative to the Sorcerer, at every level.

And that doesn't even account for Ritual Casting, which adds even more Spell Slots/day to the Wizard by letting him cast utility spells "for free" in many situations.


So wizards get more Spells Known, more Spells Prepared, more Spell Slots/Day, free Metamagic, and Ritual Casting, which Sorcerers get +1 HP/level and 1 Cantrip (until 17th level).

This doesn't seem very balanced between the two classes.


There's two ways you can go here:
1. Modify for parity
2. Emphasize the differences

If you want to Modify for Parity, wizards only have more spell slots/day when Sorcerers spend their SP on Metamagic. If you make some of the (less powerful) Metamagic free to use, then spell slots/day should balance out just fine.

The main disadvantages are Spells Known/Prepared and Ritual Casting.

1. Let all Sorcerers have a Book of Shadows just like a Tome Pact Warlock.
2. Create Origin Spells for each Sorcerous Origin which are free to know. You would need at least 2 spells per spell level to maintain parity with the Wizard.

However if you want to Emphasize the Differences, I think you need a lot more spells per day to make up for the lack of spells known/prepared. The easiest way to do that would be to tinker with Sorcerery Points available and also Sorcerery Point costs.

1. Give them some Metamagic for free, and "all the Metamagic" at SP cost.
2. Buy spell slots at cost of 1 SP/Spell Level.
3. Add Charisma Bonus to your pool of Sorcerery points.

If you do all three of those you end up with 2 more spells/day of your highest level, or an equivalent number of lower level spells.

I disagree with Origin spells for Sorcerers. It works for classes such as Clerics, Land Druids, and Paladins who can change their spells as well as can know up to 25 spells. Sorcerers spells are limited and to have a player play with 15 spells as well as spells he or she may not even want would be just as frustrating. Maybe increase the number known and then offer other spells than could be learned as in the Warlock would be better use of the bonus spells.

I do agree that it is very limited, especially for a primary caster. Though my opinion would increase the number known to 22. The number is arrived at by considering the base number known by Bards as well as the Warlock with 19 spells known and not including spell-like Invocations.

With the demand of Sorcery points for metamagic, regaining spell slots, and class abilities results in their depletion very quickly. We saw it as limiting a Monk to regaining Ki points only after a long rest. It would greater weaken the Monk.

The way my group worked around that was have the Sorcerer gain Arcane Recovery. The Sorcerer regains used spell slots which he or she can use to create new Sorcery Points or keep as spell slots. This prevents abuse of creating spell slots above the allowed amount to regain sorcery points after a short rest.

I don't know about having Metamagic for free, but I do agree that they need to know more metamagics.

Erik Westmarch

First Post
I disagree with Origin spells for Sorcerers. It works for classes such as Clerics, Land Druids, and Paladins who can change their spells as well as can know up to 25 spells. Sorcerers spells are limited and to have a player play with 15 spells as well as spells he or she may not even want would be just as frustrating.

I have two thoughts on that-

1. If I went this way in my campaign, I'd make sure there were more Origins to choose from, so that the player can choose his bonus spells by choosing his Origin. If there's a dozen or more Origins, and each one comes with a signature Cantrip and 18 spells, then choosing your Origin in a meaningful choice of how your character is designed.

2. There are certain spells that every caster needs. Some defense, some utility, some offense. I'd design the spell lists around that so they cover your basics with Origin-appropriate powers. For instance, are you a Storm Sorcerer? Then obviously one of your third-level spells will be Lightning Bolt.

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