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Sorcerers Should Be Constitution-Based Casters, Not Charisma

The title is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll explain what I mean and why I think it works better than the current Sorcerer class.

Before I start explaining, let me explain that I am not saying that this should be immediately implemented into 5e as is. Constitution has its own balance issues, which I've gone into detail on in this thread. This change would likely require a 5.5e/6e in order to implement without major balance issues.

Sorcerous magic is inherent/innate. The PHB says, "Magic is a part of every sorcerer, suffusing body, mind, and spirit with a latent power that waits to be tapped". The Draconic Sorcerer subclass is even called the "Draconic Bloodline". Sorcerers get magic from being born with it or having their body/mind/soul warped by a magical power source (like the Shadowfell or Limbo). They are suffused with arcane magic, it being a part of them. Additionally, there is a basis for this. The magic item the Bloodwell Vial requires a sorcerer to put their blood in the magic item before they can attune to it. The Aberrant Dragonmark feat lets you use Constitution to cast sorcerer spells. Genasi can cast their innate elemental spells using Constitution. It just makes sense and should be the base.

So, what do you all think? Should Sorcerers use Constitution instead of Charisma?
 

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Blue Orange

Explorer
I like the idea of bringing things like this up for debate.

I suspect the problem is that offensive spellcasters have usually been physically weak 'glass cannons' to make up for their powerful offensive attacks. Using Constitution as a spellcasting stat means the player will beef it up (and indeed has to), so even with smaller hit dice the class will be much more durable than a primary offensive spellcaster would be expected to be. That's unbalancing with the rest of the party.

Thematically, it makes sense. I imagine when they were developing the class in 3e Wizards had Intelligence, Clerics and Druids had Wisdom, and nobody was taking Charisma. But it's perfectly possible to imagine innately magical characters who are 'suffused with the essence of fire' or something similar and aren't necessarily likable or charismatic. Indeed, nonclerical magic-users are usually portrayed as evil in most older folktales and texts, so getting along with others isn't necessarily something that goes with the territory.
 

Scribe

Hero
I certainly think Cha is stacked up for casters now, but I dont like moving Sorcerer out of that bracket, because of how I look at Charisma. While I can see the body/flesh angle, I see it more as a matter of that power is something other, its tied to ones 'presence' or personal intensity.

The archetype of the caster just doesnt work for me as stacking Constitution, but I for sure see issue with all the Charisma casters now.
 

I certainly think Cha is stacked up for casters now, but I dont like moving Sorcerer out of that bracket, because of how I look at Charisma. While I can see the body/flesh angle, I see it more as a matter of that power is something other, its tied to ones 'presence' or personal intensity.

The archetype of the caster just doesnt work for me as stacking Constitution, but I for sure see issue with all the Charisma casters now.
Charisma is overloaded, with the Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Warlock classes all using them. I know a lot of people want Warlocks to be Intelligence based casters in order to get rid of some of this overlap, but IMO, it works better to shift Sorcerers to Con than Warlocks to Int.
 

Scribe

Hero
Charisma is overloaded, with the Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer, and Warlock classes all using them. I know a lot of people want Warlocks to be Intelligence based casters in order to get rid of some of this overlap, but IMO, it works better to shift Sorcerers to Con than Warlocks to Int.
Yeah, I dont like Warlock at Charisma at all.

Wizard: Has to be Int.
Sorcerer: I cannot see them as anything but Charisma.
Bard: Makes too much sense as Charisma.


Paladin: I'd actually put them back on Wisdom. I know Charisma works too, but I dont mind Paladins being pulled in a bunch of different directions.

Warlock: I was thinking on this the other day. Pact's are not Charisma. You are making a deal. You are binding, or bound, and you get something out of it. Actually now that I think of it, this could be the Constitution based Arcane, as the magic is bound to your flesh? They also do not have the historical baggage around casting with armour, they have for more 'go ahead and swing instead of cast' logic.

I dont know, sitting and thinking on it, thats who I would move out to Constitution, for a tanky melee/blaster hybrid. Actually I like it a lot now that I think on it.

I've seen whole parties of Charisma Classes, it just seems flooded, Warlock at Constitution...I will need to make a note and think on that some more. :D
 

Aldarc

Legend
Yeah, I dont like Warlock at Charisma at all.
I wouldn't mind Warlock as Charisma if negotiating pacts and deals with extraplanar entities in return for favors was actually part of playing the class. For example, in Monte Cook Press's game Invisible Sun, one of the "mage" options* is the Goetica. The Goetica does magic by summoning, binding, and negotiating with demons, angels, fey, etc. for information, to perform magic, do tasks, etc. There are real risks for failed negotiations or favors not returned. It actively plays like how I imagined a warlock with its flavor text about patrons and the like would. Though Charisma is not a stat in Invisible Sun, Charisma would make sense for such a warlock that spends so much time trying to bind and negotiate.

* Every character is a mage in this game.

Wizard: Has to be Int.
Sorcerer: I cannot see them as anything but Charisma.
Bard: Makes too much sense as Charisma.

Paladin: I'd actually put them back on Wisdom. I know Charisma works too, but I dont mind Paladins being pulled in a bunch of different directions.

Warlock: I was thinking on this the other day. Pact's are not Charisma. You are making a deal. You are binding, or bound, and you get something out of it. Actually now that I think of it, this could be the Constitution based Arcane, as the magic is bound to your flesh? They also do not have the historical baggage around casting with armour, they have for more 'go ahead and swing instead of cast' logic.

I dont know, sitting and thinking on it, thats who I would move out to Constitution, for a tanky melee/blaster hybrid. Actually I like it a lot now that I think on it.

I've seen whole parties of Charisma Classes, it just seems flooded, Warlock at Constitution...I will need to make a note and think on that some more. :D
Personally, I'm not particularly happy with the various attribute assignments for casters, but I doubt there would be much change due to the traction of tradition. For example, I would almost love to see Clerics use Charisma instead of Wisdom. Sorcerers could arguably work better on Wisdom, if we consider the attribute in the capacity of mystical intuition. I would prefer psionics on Wisdom as well for a similar reason. I would love to reshuffle the attributes and the classes, but I doubt it would make too many grognards happy: i.e., "that's not MY D&D!"
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
In 4e, Warlocks could take CON as a primary stat and cast from it sometimes (CHR was the alternative).
They never fully developed the potential split - made a tangled mess - but a CON'lock who likes to melee and a CHR'lock who zaps from range both would work as character concepts and mechanical implementation.

I created a dual-stat Star'lock (one of the poorest-designed subclasses in the game) and came out with a ranged zapper who could step up for one turn and 'take one for the team' while the Warlord / Cleric / Bard was getting the Fighter / Paladin / Barbarian back on their feet.
 

Undrave

Hero
I agree. Unleashing innate magic should put a strain on your body and be exhausting.

If the Sorcerer was CON, it would make it far easier to multi class into other thing. Since Sorcerer magic is innate, it would make sense that not all who have it would spend all their time developing that magic. You could just dip into Sorcerer to represent that aspect of your character without really having to invest in a stat your class has 0 use for. All class have a use for CON so it's not bad at all.
 

I agree. Unleashing innate magic should put a strain on your body and be exhausting.

If the Sorcerer was CON, it would make it far easier to multi class into other thing. Since Sorcerer magic is innate, it would make sense that not all who have it would spend all their time developing that magic. You could just dip into Sorcerer to represent that aspect of your character without really having to invest in a stat your class has 0 use for. All class have a use for CON so it's not bad at all.
In future editions of the game, they could even implement features that let you use your Hit Dice and Hit Points with your magic, possibly sacrificing them to deal more damage or regain sorcery points. How cool would it be to literally drain yourself physically in order to cast more powerful spells?
 

Scribe

Hero
In future editions of the game, they could even implement features that let you use your Hit Dice and Hit Points with your magic, possibly sacrificing them to deal more damage or regain sorcery points. How cool would it be to literally drain yourself physically in order to cast more powerful spells?
You gotta stop posting. That's such an evocative idea for my Warlock variant. Heck that's a WoW warlock feature, Life Tap.
 


You gotta stop posting. That's such an evocative idea for my Warlock variant. Heck that's a WoW warlock feature, Life Tap.
Yeah, I just don't see it as a Warlock power. Warlocks barter for their magic, which seems like Charisma. Some do research in dark magic in order to summon/contact an otherworldly patron, which could require Intelligence, but I still feel like Charisma works best for Warlocks. Constitution just feels like a Sorcerous spellcasting ability to me. Your magic is something you were born with/were granted through a magical experience. It just feels better for Sorcerers to use CON than Warlocks.

I don't know much about WoW or how their Warlocks work, but I'm certain it's different from 5e's Warlocks.
 

Scribe

Hero
Yeah, I just don't see it as a Warlock power. Warlocks barter for their magic, which seems like Charisma. Some do research in dark magic in order to summon/contact an otherworldly patron, which could require Intelligence, but I still feel like Charisma works best for Warlocks. Constitution just feels like a Sorcerous spellcasting ability to me. Your magic is something you were born with/were granted through a magical experience. It just feels better for Sorcerers to use CON than Warlocks.

I don't know much about WoW or how their Warlocks work, but I'm certain it's different from 5e's Warlocks.
Oh its very different, my son is talking about WoW right now, so its on the top of my mind. :)

I can see how both can be argued any number of ways, so its all good. It may just be how I look at Warlocks specifically (I dont really like the bargain aspect, but lean into more a binding aspect.) and Charisma as a abstraction of 'self confidence, presence, willpower' etc.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I certainly think Cha is stacked up for casters now, but I dont like moving Sorcerer out of that bracket, because of how I look at Charisma. While I can see the body/flesh angle, I see it more as a matter of that power is something other, its tied to ones 'presence' or personal intensity.

The archetype of the caster just doesnt work for me as stacking Constitution, but I for sure see issue with all the Charisma casters now.

It's Warlocks who should move from Cha. Each pact should be based on a different ability score as the patron night grant power in different ways.

If Sorcerer's cast like wizards, then the magic is mental. They might get more sorcery points or something with high Constitution but the magic goes from the "blood" to the "mind".
 

SirMoogle

Explorer
I believe Bards should be CON-based because, well, you know... :devilish:

But on a more serious note, I think there's an argument to be made for warlocks to be CON-based. Like @Minigiant said, patrons grant powers in different ways, and in the PHB, under the Great Old One,
The Great Old One might be unaware of your existence or entirely indifferent to you, but the secrets you have learned allow you to draw your magic from it.

so there's a possibility that patrons might not even know their power is somehow being siphoned, or they decide to bestow some of their power against their beneficiary's better interests.With a little headcanoning from me, I think that possessing magic powers (particularly arcane ones) comes with a burden. For example, wizards use their intellect to safely handle their magic, bards seduce persuade the Weave to do things they want, and sorcerers force the Weave to do their bidding through their innate magic. (Pure) Warlocks come across the power "illegitimately" without the proper training and/or innate nature, and their meat-sack bodies have to be strong enough to withstand the power coming from this foreign agent. The sturdier they are, the more control they have over it.

Mechanically speaking it also gives Warlocks more versatility in being a frontline fighter, and could cut down on short rest spam.
 

Scribe

Hero
I believe Bards should be CON-based because, well, you know... :devilish:

But on a more serious note, I think there's an argument to be made for warlocks to be CON-based. Like @Minigiant said, patrons grant powers in different ways, and in the PHB, under the Great Old One,
The Great Old One might be unaware of your existence or entirely indifferent to you, but the secrets you have learned allow you to draw your magic from it.

so there's a possibility that patrons might not even know their power is somehow being siphoned, or they decide to bestow some of their power against their beneficiary's better interests.With a little headcanoning from me, I think that possessing magic powers (particularly arcane ones) comes with a burden. For example, wizards use their intellect to safely handle their magic, bards seduce persuade the Weave to do things they want, and sorcerers force the Weave to do their bidding through their innate magic. (Pure) Warlocks come across the power "illegitimately" without the proper training and/or innate nature, and their meat-sack bodies have to be strong enough to withstand the power coming from this foreign agent. The sturdier they are, the more control they have over it.

Mechanically speaking it also gives Warlocks more versatility in being a frontline fighter, and could cut down on short rest spam.
Exactly.

I was looking at all the Arcane casters a few days ago, and while I love the concept of Warlocks, I don't like the lore behind the mechanics at all.

Pulling them into Con instead is absolutely how I'll change them.
 

Great thread. I've grown to like the Charisma-based sorcerer who proudly claims dragon lineage, but I agree that Constitution makes more sense.

Warlock: I was thinking on this the other day. Pact's are not Charisma. You are making a deal. You are binding, or bound, and you get something out of it. Actually now that I think of it, this could be the Constitution based Arcane, as the magic is bound to your flesh? They also do not have the historical baggage around casting with armour, they have for more 'go ahead and swing instead of cast' logic.
I also like this one. Yes, a deal is being made, which suggests Charisma, but then again a Warlock's body is what they're offering up. Plus, I have to admit to being a fan of the WARlock as a capable combatant.

Either way would be fine by me, but I would like to see one of the two moved away from Charisma.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Personally, I would rather move Warlocks to INT. It is an underused stat as is (only Wizards really care about it), and it would cut out a lot of the multi-classing synergy that gets thrown around (coffe-lock, palid-locks, etc.). Of course, Wiz-locks would become much more common, with some added exploits, but I'm more okay with that thematically.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I believe Bards should be CON-based because, well, you know... :devilish:

But on a more serious note, I think there's an argument to be made for warlocks to be CON-based. Like @Minigiant said, patrons grant powers in different ways, and in the PHB, under the Great Old One,
The Great Old One might be unaware of your existence or entirely indifferent to you, but the secrets you have learned allow you to draw your magic from it.

so there's a possibility that patrons might not even know their power is somehow being siphoned, or they decide to bestow some of their power against their beneficiary's better interests.With a little headcanoning from me, I think that possessing magic powers (particularly arcane ones) comes with a burden. For example, wizards use their intellect to safely handle their magic, bards seduce persuade the Weave to do things they want, and sorcerers force the Weave to do their bidding through their innate magic. (Pure) Warlocks come across the power "illegitimately" without the proper training and/or innate nature, and their meat-sack bodies have to be strong enough to withstand the power coming from this foreign agent. The sturdier they are, the more control they have over it.

Mechanically speaking it also gives Warlocks more versatility in being a frontline fighter, and could cut down on short rest spam.

5e lost some great ideas when it ran from 4e.

Warlocks had 2 primary ability scores. Infernalock used CON and barely held their energies insides their bodies. Feylocks used CHA and blasted foes with psychic assaults. And GOOlocks used Both CON and CHA with INT because they were freaking nuts.

Similarly each sorcerer bloodline had secondary ability scores. STR and DEX were odd choices but it could have been changed. At least adding the modifier to their sorcery points or spells known.
  • Aberrant: INT
  • Clockwork: DEX
  • Divine: WIS
  • Draconic: CON
  • Shadow: CON
  • Storm: WIS
  • Wild: Roll 4 it. :devilish:
 

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