Great feedback! I appreciate it, Stalker.My thoughts:
Mishaps: So you need to be careful with these, the second you create a % chance that the sorc can no longer "do their job" in combat, you seriously cut in to the effectiveness of the class. I would recommend two key guidelines here:
- The spell always does what it is supposed to do. Now that doesn't mean it can have some additional negatives, or some lashback, or things like that. But....never actually make the sorcerer spend an action and do nothing (or even worse, do nothing and hurt themselves).
- Mishaps should not hurt your party members: Who the heck would ever want to adventure with someone who might blow up at any moment and kill them? (this is the number 1 issue with the wild sorc, they can drop a fireball on their party at 1st level and TPK the whole group....not ok).
Overchannel: The fact that they can cast any sorc spell higher than them is actually seriously cool, not just for the power, but for the versatility. You might consider adding the ability to use sorc spells of a level you can cast, but not ones you know. One of the few things that triggers an exhaustion that is honestly worth the effort. That said, I don't see any reason to force a player to put this on their list, that creates needless tracking and pigeonholing. This sorc is chaotic, sure they cast that reverse gravity that one time but when their powers matured they actually got crown of stars or whatever. Nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned. Why force the player to play a certain way, let them enjoy the flexibility that their very expensive exhaustion cost grants them.
Spell Emulation: Does this work with higher level spells as well? (in which case its need to be noted about the overchannel penalties), or can they literally just cast any spell they have seen?
While I deliberated avoided any overarching rule that might say "if you fail your cast roll, your spell doesn't cast", you're right that several of the miscasts really negate the sorcerer's action. Definitely miscasts #4 (random target), #6 (reversal), and #10 (delayed) I need to add a proviso at the end: However, you regain the action you used to cast the spell, and can immediately cast a spell without needing to roll to cast it. I think that might meet my intent (that sorcerer's spells can go very wrong), while also meeting the game need (not to negate the sorcerer player's turn).
Exactly, it's probably more for the versatility than strictly raw power...yeah, your suggestion about casting sorcerer spells of a level you can cast but that you don't know synchs up with what I'm aiming for. While I really like @TwoSix 's idea about "learning by doing / developing spell known through play", I agree with you that's probably too much needless burden of tracking on the player.
3) Spell Emulation
Yeah, the sorcerer could use Spell Emulation concurrently with Overchannel to (a) emulate a spell they see, that is (b) of higher level than they could normally cast. Maybe to clarify this synchronicity I should include language under Spell Emulation that "for 10 minutes that spell is added to your sorcerer list until you cast it"?
EDIT: Oh, I can just remove the "sorcerer" bit from "You may attempt to cast sorcerer spells beyond your normal ability" and it all works fine.
The idea is that all of these features start to play together the more an encounter goes on and the more the player plays their sorcerer, so it starts simple enough, but then the mishaps start to pile up, they start taking bigger risks, start burning through spell slots due to mishaps, burning through Sorcery Points to try to avoid mishaps / mitigate Overchannel exhaustion, etc. Like a flaming ball rolling down the hill gaining momentum, I hope the play style feels more frenetic than other spellcasters.