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D&D 5E The curious case of the double-dragon sorcerer

No. A red/blue dragonborn dragon sorcerer would not spend any more sorcerer points than a red/red one. Both have fire resistance and no one would spend points to get it. But when they fight something with a lightning attack the red/blue sorcerer could spend a point to get resistance (advantage) while the red/red sorcerer would get fried.
The mixed sorcerer has more option while the double sorcerer lacks half of a class feature.

The double-sorcerer, in turn, has the capacity to cast more powerful spells more often through spending the extra points from not having resistance either on spell slots or on metamagic. Since he simply doesn't budget for energy resistance, he's not depriving himself of part of his defense by focusing more on offense, whereas a mixed sorcerer has to decide if defense or offense is the better choice and accept being less powerful in the option not taken.
 

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Derren

Hero
The double-sorcerer, in turn, has the capacity to cast more powerful spells more often through spending the extra points from not having resistance either on spell slots or on metamagic. Since he simply doesn't budget for energy resistance, he's not depriving himself of part of his defense by focusing more on offense, whereas a mixed sorcerer has to decide if defense or offense is the better choice and accept being less powerful in the option not taken.

That does not make sense. A sorcerer who only has one way to spend points is not more powerful than a sorcerer with 2 ways to spend points, including the one the first sorcerer has.
Both have the same amount of points to spend. The mixed sorcerer has more options and thus is more powerful.
 

That does not make sense. A sorcerer who only has one way to spend points is not more powerful than a sorcerer with 2 ways to spend points, including the one the first sorcerer has.
Both have the same amount of points to spend. The mixed sorcerer has more options and thus is more powerful.

It depends entirely on how you measure power and what your qualifications for it are. Some people measure it by options; some by offensive capacity; some by defensive capacity; some by social capacity; some by social rank; some by wealth; some by knowledge; some by political power; some by strength of family; some by love. When it comes to roleplaying games, it tends to be the first three of those that people talk about.

In any case, just because it is not how you measure power does not mean that it does not make sense. It just means that it is a different approach to what power is and how to build a character based on it.

A sorcerer who does not sacrifice any defensive capacity while maintaining increased offensive capacity can be more powerful in the minds of some than a sorcerer who has to choose between sacrificing defensive capacity or offensive capacity to boost the other. It is because they are not sacrificing one aspect of any of their power to enhance another aspect.

The important aspect to remember is that options are not necessarily power, and if you know you are never going to take one option you lose no power by sacrificing the capacity to take it. Thus, where the double dragon sorcerer comes in; it covers one slot some may find less powerful, adds other useful powers, and maintains the full offensive capacity of a sorcerer at all times without losing any defense.
 

Derren

Hero
It depends entirely on how you measure power and what your qualifications for it are. Some people measure it by options; some by offensive capacity; some by defensive capacity; some by social capacity; some by social rank; some by wealth; some by knowledge; some by political power; some by strength of family; some by love. When it comes to roleplaying games, it tends to be the first three of those that people talk about.

In any case, just because it is not how you measure power does not mean that it does not make sense. It just means that it is a different approach to what power is and how to build a character based on it.

A sorcerer who does not sacrifice any defensive capacity while maintaining increased offensive capacity can be more powerful in the minds of some than a sorcerer who has to choose between sacrificing defensive capacity or offensive capacity to boost the other. It is because they are not sacrificing one aspect of any of their power to enhance another aspect.

The important aspect to remember is that options are not necessarily power, and if you know you are never going to take one option you lose no power by sacrificing the capacity to take it. Thus, where the double dragon sorcerer comes in; it covers one slot some may find less powerful, adds other useful powers, and maintains the full offensive capacity of a sorcerer at all times without losing any defense.

So according to you, if you ignore the general stat increases, a Battle Master does grow weaker as he levels and learns more Maneuvers?
A mixed sorcerer does not sacrifice anything. He can be as offensive focused as the double sorcerer and in addition can also have a better defense when needed, a ability the double sorcerer lacks. There is no way in which not having an option is a advantage over having the option with no downside.
 
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Fralex

Explorer
I think the point here is that replacing the resistance from the class feature with resistance from the race feature and thus saving points is no different from having the race feature and the class feature have two different resistances and then refraining from spending points on the class feature resistance. Except for the fact that in the second case you don't have to always refrain from giving yourself the class feature resistance, so it's there when needed. The first option "saves" points, but by that logic the second option "saves" points and can spend those extra points on a second resistance.

A less-fun but more-realistic way to solve this problem is to rule that dragonborn sorcerers have to have the draconic ancestry their race says they have.
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Flexibility isn't power, it's flexibility. It's horizontal growth, not vertical growth. Numerical output doesn't necessarily change just because there's 2 things you can do instead of 1.
 

Derren

Hero
Flexibility isn't power, it's flexibility. It's horizontal growth, not vertical growth. Numerical output doesn't necessarily change just because there's 2 things you can do instead of 1.

It does. The second option goes from 0 to 100% which is quite an advantage in situations where it is the better of the two options.
 

Joe Liker

First Post
The important aspect to remember is that options are not necessarily power, and if you know you are never going to take one option you lose no power by sacrificing the capacity to take it. Thus, where the double dragon sorcerer comes in; it covers one slot some may find less powerful, adds other useful powers, and maintains the full offensive capacity of a sorcerer at all times without losing any defense.
By this logic, the sorcerer class would be just fine if we removed metamagic entirely and only allowed them to spend sorcery points on spell slots. Think of all the sorcery points you'd save by not mucking about with those silly metamagic options!

I don't think you'd find a lot of supporters for such a plan.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
It does. The second option goes from 0 to 100% which is quite an advantage in situations where it is the better of the two options.

Bolded part is what matters, because situations in D&D are infinitely varied

There's no guarantee it will ever be the better of the two options. A dragon sorcerer with the option to resist both fire and lightning by spending a point might never do either of them, or might only ever do one or the other. It varies WILDLY with the campaign and adventures presented. Compared to one that can only resist fire, the former is only at an advantage in the small subset of adventuring scenarios in which both fire and lightning are being dished out enough to matter. And that is a practically useless metric to balance on, since there's no way for a game like D&D to account for every possible challenge a DM could throw at a party. And even then, the one with two options wouldn't necessarily have any more HP at the end of a fight than the one with one option.

Options are not power, they're just options.
 

Derren

Hero
Compared to one that can only resist fire, the former is only at an advantage in the small subset of adventuring scenarios in which both fire and lightning are being dished out enough to matter.

And only resisting fire is never, in absolutely no possible situation, better than resisting fire and optionally also lightning which makes it, always, less powerful.
 

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