D&D 5E What are your thoughts on the DnD Next playtest sorcerer compared to the final 5e sorcerer?

Yeah, the consensus was “this is a really cool class, but I would rather it be its own thing than a sorcerer.” We were all drinking the “modular design” kool-aid and figured everything would remain on the table as an option somewhere down the line. Little did we realize the core classes would be the only classes.
yea, if you went back to the me playtesting and told me 7 years later we would have only gotten 1 new class (artificer) and almost no new feats and still had caster supremacy I would have called you a liar.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
If you define psionic powers as being dragon-based, I suppose? But that's not even remotely present in the traditional flavor of psionics.
I define psionics as the influence that a mind manifest.

Human minds do human things.

Dragon minds do dragony things.

Aberration minds do aberrant tings.

Ghost minds do ghostly things.

Elf minds do elfin things.

Literally, whatever a psionic creature has in mind.



Also, unless the new sorcerer doesn't cast spells by default, it still won't work.
Not sure what you are saying here.



As I understand the "Bloodline" class concept:

The character has will points to manifest spells (whether arcane sorcerer, psionic sorcerer, divine sorcerer, or primal sorcerer). However, these manifestations also transform the body, mutating the body under the magical influence, and even altering the personality.

In a way, the class has the player write up two characters, one for a Jeckle and one for a Hyde, and there are gradations in between.

These mutagent influences feel psychometabolic, so that using ones will power is mentally transforming ones body.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
Yeah early 5e seemed like it was going to be the perfect base to build on and watch it develop. Before Xanathar's everyone was saying 'just wait and be patient, you will see your favourite class soon.'

But it never got built on. All we got was random subclasses spammed out with no actual changes in gameplay or player options beyond that. And now we've had so many subclasses spammed out that it feels like we're getting into content bloat territory without actually getting any meaningful content. The worst of both worlds.
I think Xanathar was still a good idea and a well-designed book (except the frankly insulting tables with French, Spanish and English names). It doubled the number of subclasses for everyone who felt the PHB options were running short.

But 5e design broke for me just after Xanathar. Immediately the next UA articles were again about new subclasses. I think Xanathar should have closed the door to those for a few years, and designers focused on something else. Almost all the subclasses designed after Xanathar felt like scraping the bottom of the barrel of ideas for me.

Now we are at the situation when lots of gamers are waiting in anticipation to another edition reset... but we haven't even really gone very far in 5e with the promised modularity, the fantasy campaign settings, and with novelty/creative ideas like the playtest Sorcerer. Yes we do have a series of small variant rules-modules in DMG but big modules liked mass battle rules and tactical combat rules were only promised and talked about and half-tested in UA but they never really worked on those. We got some pretty nice settings from MtG, but the point is that all the focus is now shifting already to next edition, which sure they promise (again) it'll be compatible but they will be tempted to make it like 3.5 which they also claimed "compatible" but only prompted to reprint everything. So you can guess what will happen to those bold modules and creative ideas: they'll be pushed forever forward while they update and republish everything basic to the new revision. There is still an IMMENSE design space unfulfilled in 5e compared to previous editions, and WE are asking to reset the core once again.
 

I think Xanathar was still a good idea and a well-designed book (except the frankly insulting tables with French, Spanish and English names). It doubled the number of subclasses for everyone who felt the PHB options were running short.

But 5e design broke for me just after Xanathar. Immediately the next UA articles were again about new subclasses. I think Xanathar should have closed the door to those for a few years, and designers focused on something else. Almost all the subclasses designed after Xanathar felt like scraping the bottom of the barrel of ideas for me.

Now we are at the situation when lots of gamers are waiting in anticipation to another edition reset... but we haven't even really gone very far in 5e with the promised modularity, the fantasy campaign settings, and with novelty/creative ideas like the playtest Sorcerer. Yes we do have a series of small variant rules-modules in DMG but big modules liked mass battle rules and tactical combat rules were only promised and talked about and half-tested in UA but they never really worked on those. We got some pretty nice settings from MtG, but the point is that all the focus is now shifting already to next edition, which sure they promise (again) it'll be compatible but they will be tempted to make it like 3.5 which they also claimed "compatible" but only prompted to reprint everything. So you can guess what will happen to those bold modules and creative ideas: they'll be pushed forever forward while they update and republish everything basic to the new revision. There is still an IMMENSE design space unfulfilled in 5e compared to previous editions, and WE are asking to reset the core once again.
Yeah to me, Xanathar's was the high point for 5e where I still had hope and excitement for the game. 5e seemed so great due to being this perfect foundation to build on. And now almost 8 years later that same foundation is still bare.

At this point I'm of two minds about a new edition. On one hand I'm desperate for it, as it's clear that the 5e design content philosophy isn't something I like. On the other hand I'm terrified that a new edition would be every part I dislike about 5e doubled down on, with every part I like being removed.

I find myself hoping that some new company comes along and does what Pathfinder did. And makes a game with DnD 5e gameplay rules, but Pathfinder 2e character creation and classes.
 

Lycurgon

Adventurer
Having now read the playtest document, I think their mistake was not presenting another subclass at the same time.

The HD, the Armour and weapons can all be different with different subclasses. So if they presented a Wild Magic Subclass alongside the Draconic Heritage, with a D6 HD and no armour with non-martial boosting power-ups as they spent willpower points people could have seen the more traditional Spellcaster focused Sorcerer at the same time, I think the feed back would have been way more positive.
The hybrid oriented Draconic Sorcerer might have Survival as an option if people saw the tradition style Sorcerer as an option too. Instead they presented just the Sorcerer with a very different play style/space in the game than seen in the past which put people off.

There is still room in the game for a more martial Sorcerer. They have given us the Bladesinger, the Hexblade and the Sword Bard so other classes can play as hybrids, but nothing good for the single classed Sorcerer to do so. It is a shame.
 
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I define psionics as the influence that a mind manifest.

Human minds do human things.

Dragon minds do dragony things.

Aberration minds do aberrant tings.

Ghost minds do ghostly things.

Elf minds do elfin things.

Literally, whatever a psionic creature has in mind.
Psionics in DnD already has a distinct flavor, one with new-age, pseudoscientific, and space fantasy tropes. It's never been race specific.
Not sure what you are saying here.
That what you're proposing doesn't track with prior DnD psionics flavor.
As I understand the "Bloodline" class concept:

The character has will points to manifest spells (whether arcane sorcerer, psionic sorcerer, divine sorcerer, or primal sorcerer). However, these manifestations also transform the body, mutating the body under the magical influence, and even altering the personality.

In a way, the class has the player write up two characters, one for a Jeckle and one for a Hyde, and there are gradations in between.

These mutagent influences feel psychometabolic, so that using ones will power is mentally transforming ones body.
Which isn't a bad concept, but doesn't track with prior versions of the DnD psion, ay more than it tracks with prior versions of the DnD wizard.
 

oreofox

Explorer
Having now read the playtest document, I think their mistake was not presenting another subclass at the same time.

The HD, the Armour and weapons can all be different with different subclasses. So if they presented a Wild Magic Subclass alongside the Draconic Heritage, with a D6 HD and no armour with non-martial boosting power-ups as they spent willpower points people could have seen the more traditional Spellcaster focused Sorcerer at the same time, I think the feed back would have been way more positive.
The hybrid oriented Draconic Sorcerer might have Survival as an option if people saw the tradition style Sorcerer as an option too. Instead they presented just the Sorcerer with a very different play style/space in the game than seen in the past which put people off.

There is still room in the game for a more martial Sorcerer. They have given us the Bladesinger, the Hexblade and the Sword Bard so other classes can play as hybrids, but nothing good for the single classed Sorcerer to do so. It is a shame.

If WotC would have been more open to spontaneous innate spellcasting coming from something other than dragons at the time (just about every sorcerer origin pre-5e was from a dragon getting freaky with a humanoid sometime in the distant past), they might have thought of something other than a draconic sorcerer to put into the playtest. And then they go and make dragons in the MM elemental breathing bags of meat, with a pathetic side-bar saying "you can add spellcasting to them by doing this but they can never do anything magical above what a 7th level character can do!"

I enjoyed the concept of the playtest sorcerer. Their HD, proficiencies, etc being different depending on their bloodline/origin was something interesting. But they were too stuck on innate magic = dragon ancestor they opened with a more martial-leaning sorcerer, which people apparently didn't want to play.

That was one thing that drew me to Pathfinder (other than my dislike of 4e, despite a few attempts at it). Sorcerers had numerous origins for their innate magical powers, instead of just a dragon did it with great-great-great granddad. Also, it was a nice breath of fresh air when we got the wild magic sorcerer, though that air came from a sweaty unwashed bottom when I tried to play a wild magic sorcerer and no matter how much magic I cast, a surge never happened.
 

If WotC would have been more open to spontaneous innate spellcasting coming from something other than dragons at the time (just about every sorcerer origin pre-5e was from a dragon getting freaky with a humanoid sometime in the distant past), they might have thought of something other than a draconic sorcerer to put into the playtest. And then they go and make dragons in the MM elemental breathing bags of meat, with a pathetic side-bar saying "you can add spellcasting to them by doing this but they can never do anything magical above what a 7th level character can do!"

I enjoyed the concept of the playtest sorcerer. Their HD, proficiencies, etc being different depending on their bloodline/origin was something interesting. But they were too stuck on innate magic = dragon ancestor they opened with a more martial-leaning sorcerer, which people apparently didn't want to play.

That was one thing that drew me to Pathfinder (other than my dislike of 4e, despite a few attempts at it). Sorcerers had numerous origins for their innate magical powers, instead of just a dragon did it with great-great-great granddad. Also, it was a nice breath of fresh air when we got the wild magic sorcerer, though that air came from a sweaty unwashed bottom when I tried to play a wild magic sorcerer and no matter how much magic I cast, a surge never happened.
Evidently they still seem to be struggling to come up with origins for sorcerers, considering that it has the join least subclasses apart from artificer (which was added very late to the game).

I'm still sore about the elemental bloodline sorcerers getting axed in UA. Elemental themes seem very neglected in 5e (also cold/winter themes. We don't have a single cold/winter themed subclass for any class).
 

dave2008

Legend
Yeah to me, Xanathar's was the high point for 5e where I still had hope and excitement for the game. 5e seemed so great due to being this perfect foundation to build on. And now almost 8 years later that same foundation is still bare.
I wish the foundation as bit more bare honestly. I would prefer that WotC just make the foundation and leave the tinkering to everyone else (which is pretty much what they have done). I mean there is so much great ideas around 5e that is amazing - they are just not coming from WotC. And I am absolutely fine with that. If they just made the core 3 and published adventures - I would be completely fine with that.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I love the flavor text for the sorcerer in the PHB. Every time I've read it, I get such an evocative picture painted in my mind of what the class is all about.

But, for me, the mechanics look like just another wizard variant. I'd have to play a 5e sorcerer to be sure, but I have played a 5e wizard briefly, and seen a couple sorcerers in play by others.

The mechanics of that playtest sorcerer were interesting... "the more magic you use, the more your true self is revealed" ...but I do think they lean towards more monstrous interpretations of the sorcerer coming from a lineage of dragons or, like someone mentioned above, vampires or werewolves.

I think that's an interesting mechanic, but for me it does not align with that wonderful prose description in the PHB either.
 

I wish the foundation as bit more bare honestly. I would prefer that WotC just make the foundation and leave the tinkering to everyone else (which is pretty much what they have done). I mean there is so much great ideas around 5e that is amazing - they are just not coming from WotC. And I am absolutely fine with that. If they just made the core 3 and published adventures - I would be completely fine with that.
I'd absolutely hate that. Lots of us have groups which only use official material. So being stuck with the same few subclasses from the PHB for 8 years would be hell.

I hate it already with classes. But not having any new subclasses would make the game get stale very fast.
 

Greg K

Legend
I enjoyed the concept of the playtest sorcerer. Their HD, proficiencies, etc being different depending on their bloodline/origin was something interesting. But they were too stuck on innate magic = dragon ancestor they opened with a more martial-leaning sorcerer, which people apparently didn't want to play.
I wanted a martial sorcerer. Just not how they approached it.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Psionics in DnD already has a distinct flavor, one with new-age, pseudoscientific, and space fantasy tropes. It's never been race specific.
Ah.

The technobabble flavor is fine for a scifi setting.

A medievalesque setting works better with the premodern mind powers of animistic flavor, shamanistic outofbody flavor, and mystic transcendental flavor.

I am fond of the name "psion" and consider it an endearing D&Dism. But for everything else the medievalesque flavors fit in better.

What the word psionics means is, mind over matter: intention, thought, emotion, influencing reality. This is a premodern - indeed a prehistoric - concept.
 

dave2008

Legend
I'd absolutely hate that. Lots of us have groups which only use official material. So being stuck with the same few subclasses from the PHB for 8 years would be hell.

I hate it already with classes. But not having any new subclasses would make the game get stale very fast.
Yep, they can't please everyone. We have been playing the same characters for 6 years, so it always boggles my mind when people are clamoring for more, more, more!

I guess my stance (and the stance of my group) is not game has every given us exactly what we want "officially," so we are more than happy to modify as needed. Official is, and always ahs been, just a starting point for us.
 

Ah.

The technobabble flavor is fine for a scifi setting.

A medievalesque setting works better with the premodern mind powers of animistic flavor, shamanistic outofbody flavor, and mystic transcendental flavor.
I am fond of the name "psion" and consider it an endearing D&Dism. But for everything else the medievalesque flavors fit in better.

What the word psionics means is, mind over matter: intention, thought, emotion, influencing reality. This is a premodern - indeed a prehistoric - concept.
Eh, psionics is generally not used for medievalesque flavor, any more than artificers or gunslingers.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
If WotC would have been more open to spontaneous innate spellcasting coming from something other than dragons at the time (just about every sorcerer origin pre-5e was from a dragon getting freaky with a humanoid sometime in the distant past), they might have thought of something other than a draconic sorcerer to put into the playtest. And then they go and make dragons in the MM elemental breathing bags of meat, with a pathetic side-bar saying "you can add spellcasting to them by doing this but they can never do anything magical above what a 7th level character can do!"

I enjoyed the concept of the playtest sorcerer. Their HD, proficiencies, etc being different depending on their bloodline/origin was something interesting. But they were too stuck on innate magic = dragon ancestor they opened with a more martial-leaning sorcerer, which people apparently didn't want to play.

That was one thing that drew me to Pathfinder (other than my dislike of 4e, despite a few attempts at it). Sorcerers had numerous origins for their innate magical powers, instead of just a dragon did it with great-great-great granddad. Also, it was a nice breath of fresh air when we got the wild magic sorcerer, though that air came from a sweaty unwashed bottom when I tried to play a wild magic sorcerer and no matter how much magic I cast, a surge never happened.
The sorcerer wasn't the problem. The wizard was the problem. Beyond some excepticism -that maybe it should be toned down-, the playtest sorcerer was well received. The problem was all the wizard players complaining that they wanted spell point too and how sick they were of pure vancian wizards. So the design team decided that wizard needed some urgent rework and until it was done right they wouldn't dedicate time to sorcerers. Then someone had the dumb idea that maybe it would be possible to have the wizard return to be the one caster to rule them all it was -or wanted to be- back in the times of the Mage/Magic user and you could just choose to have "sorcery" and "witchery" instead of "wizardry" but what they ended up with was too much of a wizard to give room for sorcerers to breathe. This didn't fly in the surveys, so they spun those separate traditions to built an independent sorcerer -and warlock- at the eleventh hour when the public playtest was over (I suspect this is why sorcerers ended up with toy weapons instead of all simple weapons)

In short the problem with sorcerer was and keeps being the wizard. Also, that nobody in the design team seems to really love the class, every step that would have helped the class was quickly backtracked, until eventually, finally reluctantly taken years later. Nothing new considering that the designer who created the class -or is mostly responsible for creating the class- was also its greatest detractor.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Eh, psionics is generally not used for medievalesque flavor, any more than artificers or gunslingers.
I understand, youre a psionics fan but in the camp that likes the technobabble flavor?

Im in the camp thhat wants "normal" psionics. The natural English terminology, like "innate spellcasting", and the medievalesque flavors like "mystic" are important.

Psionics is central to Viking Era animism. The Norse word is "hugar", literally "minds", meaning mindforces, always plural. Psionics is the source of all Norse magic. It is an important cultural concept for Nordic peoples. The term "hamr", meaning form, refers to the mental visualization that reshapes reality.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Likewise, psionics relates to medival Jewish mysticism, that seeks to unite the human soul-spirit-consciousness with the Divine "brains" of Knowledge, Understanding, and Sageness, whence the influx of miracles.

There is nothing "modern" about psionics.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The playtest sorcerer was well received.
Maybe. It seemed that the forums liked the transmogrifying sorcerer, but we did get to see the public survey results.

The problem was all the wizard players complaining that they wanted spell point too and how sick they were of pure vancian wizards.
Yes!

Then someone had the dumb idea that maybe it would be possible to have the wizard return to be the one caster to rule them all it was -or wanted to be- back in the times
The 5e Wizard is the best D&D Wizard ever, mechanically.

At the same time, I feel the Wizard can benefit from more thematic focus.

I would be happy if the Wizard only did elemental magic - earth, air, fire, water, plus ether, plus plant - including energy blasts and elemental transmutation and creation.

Give the other spells to form other classes.



By contrast, I view the D&D as more about a creature type or creature, such as Dragon, Aberration, Undead maybe as a vampire class, maybe chaos and genie are the same class, and so on. It is all about being partly or fully a magical body.
 

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