Homebrew Genasi

This is a home-brew version of the genasi, which I wrote before the Player’s Companion: Temple of Elemental Evil. So if you want to grab the real one, you’d better download the .pdf on the Supplement page.

Since the DMG got released and we got a few peak-views, I’m pretty excited to use those few things I know. Here I tried to use the official excerpt of the DMG to create a well-known but less used race: Genasi. Much like the tiefling, but with a more elemental flair.

I’m going solely mechanical to this, since I think that those who know them, should know their fluff as well and the time I got left is going to be spend to the warlock overview (and it’s less enough).

Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart! Well, less heart, but you know...

Even if the Genasi are further categorized as Fire Genasi, Earth Genasi, etc. they share the same basic idea: The blood of elementals (means Dao, Efreeti, Marid and Djinni for exampel) combined with the blood of mortals. So we choose the same base race (genasi) and add (for now) 5 subraces, windsoul, earthsoul, firesoul, windsoul and stormsoul.

Since there are similarities origin-wise with the tiefing, I use it as a basic. Then I look into my 3e and 4e Forgotten Realms and realize, that it might be a bit difficult. But in the end I realized, that the Genasi are supposed to be a bit like elemental warriors, using magic and physical power, so I think I got a good conses.

Genasi

Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence

Age: Genasi matures at the same rate as humans, but live a few years longer

Alignment: Since they have a elemental nature, genasis are more leaned to a neutral alignment.

Size: Genasi are about the same size as humans, even though depending on their element their stature differs. Your size is Medium.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30ft

Languages: Common and Primordial

Subrace: Choose one of the following subraces.

Earthsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Strength

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to acid damage

Earthen Legacy: You know the blade ward cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the thunderwave spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the spike growth spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Firesoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to fire damage

Fiery Legacy: You know the produce flame cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the burning hands spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the heat metal spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Stormsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Strength

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to lightning damage

Stormy Legacy: You know the light cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the witch bolt spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the shatter spell once per day as a 3rd-level spell. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Watersoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Constitution

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to cold damage

Watery Legacy: You know the resistance cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the create or destroy water spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the blur spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Windsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to lightning damage

Earthen Legacy: You know the mage hand cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the featherfall spell once per day. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the gust of wind spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

So let’s talk about some choices: Earthsoul was hard, since there are less earth-themed spells there, but after consulting the 4e power and the 3e fluff (for female earthsouls), I went with a shockwave and growing plants. Produce flame for firesoul was a hard choice, since its damage increases over the time, but since one action is creating that flame and another to throw it, it shouldn’t break anything. Not everytime the spell is cast at a higher level, since here and there I felt like overall it would be too powerful, like seeing the fire genasi, who has a pure damage based legacy (even though I did consider misty step there).

That the subrace gives a greater ability improvement is meant to be, since the element should have some physical impact.

I’m sure I like what I’ll see as the official genasi, but sometimes you just get a bit giddy in thinking about what could be. For now it’ll work. 😉

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Bound to level

Since time issues and the fact, that the warlock is unlike any other class, I’ll postpone the overview for now, I try to make it happen any day, but make it so, that I first write a less time.consuming post and afterwards put some time into drafting the overview piece a piece.

For today like to talk about levels and level-bound traits. These came up when playing and after seeing some postings about it, I thought that it might still be confusing. And sometimes not even that clear.

First, I want to explain, that I will not talk about the traits, which are entirely bound to classes, where the improvements are part of the class table (like Wild Shape, Aura Improvement, Extra Attacks, etc.), but where the character level seems to be the deciding factor or at least could be.

Second, I will take on the ability score improvement trait, which is now bounded to class, instead of character level, simply because I think this is somehow viable to talk about in this post.

Third, every DM is free to make changes to it, so if you don’t feel like this is a good or logical choice, you’re free to disagree. But you should expect that others don’t agree to your disagreement and stay cool about it.

Cantrips: Taken from this site here:

With cantrips, does a MC caster use their character or class level for determining damage? A multiclass character uses character level to determine the damage of a cantrip. -J

Cantrips comes from multiple choices, starting with spellcasting classes, races (like the high elf) or feats (Magic Initiate). Since the offensive cantrips are meant to rival multiple attacks at some point, they become stronger with rising level, but why should it be character level be the basic?

OK, there are multiple ways to get them and even if a high elf isn’t needlessly a wizard, it doesn’t mean that he won’t put some work into it. Same for a ranger/wizard or other combination of caster/non/less-caster class. Even though you might suspect, that it would be illogical if the fighter picks up the wizard class after having a lot of fighter levels and have as lethal cantrips as an non-evocation wizard of the same level.

Multiclassing shouldn’t punish or reward players ideally and dishing out damage per round is somewhat crucial for staying competitive through the levels. Extra attacks are the way for melees and these don’t stack, so why would cantrips do it in any way? Counter-question: How much does it hurt? Since cantrips are still often inferior to weapon choices of weapon-focused class (at the at-will department), you often needs some basic traits of these classes to make them stronger, limiting either your options (like warlock Invocations) or the need to take some levels (like Arcane Tradition of Evocation).

I don’t really see any damage here, especially since most cantrips aren’t that reliable in comparisons to other at-will features.

Warlock Invocations prerequisite: This is a thing, which is asked quite often. Do you need the specific character or warlock level to choose those high-level invocations? RAW it doesn’t become clear, but if you look at those features, it seems kinda unfair to other classes to make this 2 level dip into warlock something which gives you some features you wouldn’t be able to get when multiclassing into another class. Jeremy Crawford answered in his twitter (source):

The intent is that a level prerequisite in a warlock invocation refers to warlock level.

Intend doesn’t needlessly means that it’s meant to be a rule. I would decide on a case to case basic here, a valor bard/blade warlock who seeks to increase the damage a bit with the Lifedrinker-Invocation might get another treatment as a paladin who seeks to do the same. It’s about how much the party might need it (if you run official modules with 3 characters, you might consider that this is within reason or if the player of the tank is leaving the party due personal circumstances and no one could otherwise be that melee-prescience).

But for the most part, I agree.

Ability Score Improvements (or feats): In 3e and 4e these were bounded to character level, now they’re not, which is bad for multiclass characters. At the beginning, a great “Why?!”-wave came around and after all that time, some don’t even tried to understand. There were a lot of change-requests, house rules and the like flowing around (like feats at 1st level, bounding the ASI at character level and such).

Before house-ruling something, I suggest trying it out first. It’s really not that bad. And there are some reasons not to be so fast to expand it:

  • The team are unlikely to be composed of idiots, since they got the job in one of the greatest companies in the gaming business
    • classes aren’t design to have the ASI at character levels, which would lead to dead levels (means no benefit), if the normal ones are taken away
  • Multiclassing brings other features, seems even logical that characters wouldn’t have the resources to improve abilities or learn a new feat in the meanwhile
  • Most feats are terrifying strong and define characters quite strongly. In most cases, you will feel the benefits of a feat much more than the benefit of a ASI, at least that’s what I experienced so far. They can easily match up to class features in terms of benefits and are often even more overwhelming than those at the mid-levels
    • I do think, the human variant is the more D&D-like human (at least 3e upwards) and the standard is the one you only tend to use when feats are not allowed. Since feats are so strong, a lot of (PC-)Adventurers are actually human.

So why should you even expand to those without thinking things through and not even trying to use the actual rules at this point? Of course there might be good reasons, like having less PCs than normal, but I run a campaign with 3 PCs and advanced standard rules (means multiclassing allowed [nobody wants to], variant human [one] and feats [at least 2 will take a feat at 4th level instead of ASI]) and even if the start was hard, they managed.

So, that’s it. If I missed something, please feel free to comment and I’ll add it.

My nemesis is my species enemy and became my favored enemy, do you understand?

The internet is a trap! After regaining connection for one day, I already wasted my whole evening and did nothing for the blog… Since I’m going to a Pathfinder session soon, I have too less time to make my overview, but I just took a topic which I wanted to talk about: The ranger’s favored enemy and how it changed in the editions.

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1st Edition: The ranger didn’t have the choice of an enemy, but gained a flat +1/level damage to giants and certain humanoids like orcs. Flat but useful like most choices of the 1e.

2nd Edition: Here we got the species enemy feature, where a player chose a specific type of creatures which had to be accepted by the DM and should be tied to the ranger’s back-story. And got rewarded with a +4 to hit, while having a penalty of -4 to reaction. But in the end, those +4 were really useful and even if the choices were more open, it’d kicked asses.

3rd edition: The species enemy got renamed to favorite enemy and it’s the first time, the feature get a bonus outside combat (even though these were often disregarded). The +hit and +damage of the feature made it especially sexy to choose a favored enemy which will be either confronted often over several tiers of play or are tough to crack, like humanoids (human), undead, aberrations or constructs. And a big difference: You can select multiple favored enemies over the course. But since the 3e mechanic wouldn’t make the most iconic enemies like orcs a thread at high levels anymore, many possible choices weren’t that good.

4th edition: No favored or species enemy here, the ranger got additional damage to a target he declared (and is nearest to him at that time) and gets extra damage once a round.

5th edition: This is my favorite. The reason is simple, unless you hit 20th level, you get no benefits for combat purposes. This means that you choose your favored enemy more for the out of combat purposes, like advantage to recall lore and tracking and the possible additional language. So now having orcs as favored enemy will have much more of an impact than before, while constructs, undeads, fiends, etc. won’t suffer much that way. And since you get multiple favored enemies and when choosing humanoids you get two instead one subtypes, you can actually get a decent amount of knowledge about your foes without breaking out the bounded accuracy due to too many bonuses. And in this edition, even a 20th level ranger will be careful when facing a hundred orcs alone.

 

Why do I think, that the combat bonuses aren’t that important? Because I think this distracts you from the core of being a ranger. In my opinion a ranger fights enemies well is because he knows and understands them much better than a non-ranger could do, the advantage mechanism is a pretty neat way to ensure reliability with a certain error margin. And since the ranger’s spells are a huge benefit for his damage output and attack rolls have this sweet bounded accuracy, I don’t think the ranger especially need it.

Even though the 20th level Foe Slayer does grant combat bonuses, they’re ignorable. I think it comes a bit too late, too or shouldn’t be restricted to favored enemies. Or at least another effect.

Magic Items aren’t necessarily boring!

Since I’m preparing for my first real 5e campaign next week, I’m kinda into the preparing stuff. And since I read HotDQ now, I address some issues early, to be able to counter them. And this time it was the magic items at the end, I’d like to include one of the items early as ‘the stolen treasure of Greenest’ kind of thing, so my players can looking forward to it (they keep track of the plot, so this info will be around for a long time).

Non-consumable Magic Items were in some editions a necessity and sometimes you’ll just find a sword. The DM will say ‘That sword has a magical aura’, after checking it with Detect Magic, then comes the identify process and wow, you got a longsword +1. While in 3e Detect Magic was a 0th level spell and in 4e a use of the Arcana skill, the ability to see magical auras came back into 5e in form of a 1st level spell/ritual. So before you go to the short/long rest, a ritual caster might take a look at the stuff you collected from your enemies and dungeons.

You can say a lot about 4e (I personally played that editions until the playtest came), but at least there were descriptions to all magic items in there, which already emphasized the idea, that magic items were special and the best: No further work for the DM. In 3e you had a toolbox to customize magic items, which doesn’t really fare well imo, but without any further lead on how magic items could be remotely more interesting than their stats.

In the playtest and I’m sure in the DMG, too, there are a few pages to customize your magic items. If you as the DM are lazy, you can simply look into it and make easily magic items, which gets more interesting for your players without adding something to the stats. If you’re a player, these things might make your gear much more likable and you should ask the DM if you may customize that item yourself.

For now I’ll go into the stuff, WotC already considered:

Creator: The creator of the item and its culture says a lot about the appearance of the item. A elven sword would most likely be more thin and light than a normal counterpart, while vines and leaf ornaments are adorned. A weapon of a ifrit may be made out of black iron, while orange and red colors prevail the rest of the color scheme. And a gnomen weapon might look like well-used and tattered, so a thief won’t steal it. Even some side effects (like base temperature) might be different.

Nature: This contains the purpose and the mark it left. An item like a sword of truth would definitely leave a mark in legends and history, while its purpose could be to be a ceremonial weapon for court. The axe Giantbane would definitely have a history of slaying giants, while the lance Eternal Ice might be a present from the Prince of Frost, leader of the winter feys.

Minor Properties: These are tiny little boons items could grants, even though in the playtest some were stat-wise benefitting, which I kinda disliked. A shield with ‘guardian’ would grant +2 initiative, while a longbow with ‘compass’ let you only know which way is north. I do think, there can be a bit of power, but it shouldn’t be as brief as a bonus to one or more stats. A ‘floating’ breast plate which actually helps you swim? That’s cool! And the best, it stacks with any other properties the item already had.

Minor Quirks: A item might have a quirk, which usually doesn’t downgrade its innate power, but makes it a bit less conformable to use. Like a ‘confident’ belt, which makes you feel stronger, a ‘loud’ maul, which always thunders when smashing the ground or an enemy or a ‘muttering’ magic book. Some were either bothersome, like ‘hungry’ which meant that the item can only use it’s properties when tasting fresh blood that day or ‘possessive’ which meant that you can only attune that specific item.

If you run that whole process every non-consumable item, they’ll become more interesting. But there are some other things you might consider, here two of my personal choices:

Personality: Even though not all magic items are intelligent, most of them were created for a specific reason (like Nature already covered). So even without real intelligence an item might see a calling. When creating the orcish item ‘Dwarf Smasher’, then that item might not attune to dwarfs or might give disadvantages to attack rolls, when there is a dwarf nearby, but not the target of the attack. These can play out benefiting, too, in giving advantage to an attack roll, when attacking a dwarven leader.

Oddities: Sometimes a item can be odd, without having a real quirk. Like the fact, that the Great Sword is only about 4 feet long, but has a blade twice as big. Or that the armor has hatch to make it easier to relieve oneself. Or a spelling error at the runes. Or even a missing comma. Even a minor oddity might bother the new owner for a whole life.

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For now I’ll simply make the items at the end more interesting and let’s see if I stumble onto something else which seems to be interesting enough to share.

My friends are from the other side!

I have a non-D&D RPG-evening, so I can’t really talk too lengthy about something. So I thought: Just pick a single spell, etc. and talk about it. And since I always talk too much, I ended up with the conjuring spells (Conjure Animals/Celestial/Elemental/Fey/Minor Elementals/Woodland Beings).

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In 3e there was the family of summon monster/nature’s ally from I to IX and a big list for both spell groups, which told you what kind of creature you can summon through the spell levels. In 4e summoning spells/powers came with common rules and special actions, often using yours, etc. but very interesting summoning choices.

In 3e the problem was, that there were definitely good choices and bad choices at each level, so you tend to call always the same. Sometimes a choice is broken, like a lantern archon. In 4e summoning was kinda boring, since you couldn’t change the summoned creature after deciding on your power.

Now in 5e it’s conjuring instead of summoning, the spells are more diverse and open for all creatures of the specific type at a certain power level (measured by its CR). While the more powerful spells only conjure a single being (up to CR 6), the lesser ones calls creatures up to 2 CR (1 CR 2, 2 CR 1, 4 CR 1/2 or 8 CR 1/4), every time the conjured creatures comes into play, they get their own initiative, can do what they might do align- or physical-wise and hear to verbal commands (no action).

These spells are amazingly strong. Especially if you summon a bunch of low CR critters, since more attacks are almost always more useful than anything else and the AC of the enemies isn’t sky-reaching. But some of the more powerful ones brings cool abilities. Tough choice.
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The critter tactic is especially good for a conjuration wizard at 10th and 14th level. 14th for 30 temporary hit point per conjured creature, 10th to counter a sad but balance-wise good flaw of the conjure-spells: Concentration.

You can easily see why it’s good balance-wise (and make it easier for PCs to actually get out of a tough situation): If you can disrupt the caster’s concentration, you’ll get rid of his servant(s). And of course it lessens the amount of other tactically strong spells, since you only can maintain one concentration spell.

But if you like the versatility, pick a druid. This class gets most conjure-spells (even the strongest and weakest ones, means earlier access and most end-power) and pick up the Warcaster feat early to get these concentration checks done. And at best, conjure your new friends, use wild shape to take form of a mole and dig yourself in. Flying could be a bad choice here and there…

If I were a druid, I surely summon a bunch of Giant Frogs at 5th level and use all the grappling mechanism and such to enhance my allies combat power while restricting the foes at the same time. Full-power control, hell yeah!

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After I finished the document for my druid in the coming D&D-party, I’ll share it with you. It’ll content the stats of possible creatures to conjure, sorted by type and CR.

Moral Compass – But where to go?

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Alignment is not as easy as it sounds, since the old days of D&D, it was a very important trait a character had. In some editions (like 3e) there were plenty of rules about what spells subjects you to what degree depending on your alignment, what magic weapon you could use, etc. In 3e especially you were punished for having an alignment other than neutral and double punished for not having any neutral in your alignment. Pathfinder, too.

In 4e alignments were reduced from nine to five, since some alignments are somewhat difficult to actually pull off and so some harder borderlines were combined. So a chaotic good character would be a ‘good’ character, since the anarchy of chaos don’t mash well with the good component. Chaotic neutral is in most cases chaotic evil either way, and so on.

In 5e we’re back to 9, or more precisely 10, since a creature can be unaligned, which means that there is not enough intelligence or self-awareness to actually have a proper understanding of morality. And here we come to the core of alignments, they’re the morality compass! Which means that whenever a character have problems in solving a dilemma of morals, he’d lean towards his alignment. Would he rather give in the demands of the bandits, who keeps hostages or start a bold maneuver in hope to keep them all save? Both would be good-natured but to not risk the hostages is a more lawful way of thinking, while chaotic characters takes more chances.

But sometimes it can be hard to actually choose an alignment and the PHB and Base Rules doesn’t offer much help and some descriptions aren’t good advertisement for their respective alignments, like ‘Lawful Good (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society’. Even though it’s completely right, the ‘society’-part is kinda repulsive for most players at first sight. Because they want their characters to be exceptional beings, which are able to sh*t on society, if needed.

So I thought I’ll just explain how I handle it in my campaigns, which are my personal attributes each alignment extreme have.

Good: To be a good character, one thing is not required: To say that all you do is for the good. Most of those who says it are evil anyway. If I need a personality trait which defines a good character, it would be: You’re helping others even if it doesn’t benefit you and might get you in danger! Or in one word: Selflessness.

If you act out of kindness, feels sympathy to the suffering and doesn’t think of rewards when helping people, than you’re definitely a good character.

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Evil: When good characters are selfless, evils are logically selfish. When a character is mostly about having the best comfort, use any shortcut and easy way you find and doesn’t care much about others, than said character is most likely evil. Those who are power-ridden, use any means necessary for their goals (even though they happen to be good) and only truly respects themselves, are about to fall into the evil alignments. Greed is a source for evilness, too.

So if your character doesn’t actually feel any compassion and always says “It’s just an orc” and other excuses, while only looking into what his/her reward is, that character is evil.

Lawful: A lawful character is someone who wants to give to and take from society. He has a stable set of rules, tries to minimize risks at all cost and keep thinking about the greater picture. Order is important, since when things are orderly, you can make your decisions with less error rate. You acknowledge laws by themselves, even though you don’t need to agree with them yourself, but at least you have a decent amount of rules, be it by your own society or by yourself. And you stick with your rules!

If you’re playing a character who think things normally through, shows a decent amount of self-discipline and play by certain rules your character acknowledges, he is most likely a lawful character.

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Chaotic: The character has wimps and goes with them at any opportunity he faces problems or sometimes even discomfort. An chaotic character have himself under much less control, so he tends to impulsive and sometimes irrational actions, often fueled by his good/evil awareness. The character will simply infringe laws if needed and think more about his own surrounding and emotions, be they selfless or selfish.

If your character is moody, screw the rules repetitively, is more short-sighted and have a lack of self-control, all points to a chaotic alignment. A more tempered way to say it is: He’s thinking with his heart and disregarding his head at times.

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Neutral: Neutral is always a balance-act, since it means to be neither the one or the other. If someone tries to keep balance between good and evil it means, he/she’s good if he/she can and evil, if he/she must. If the character is neutral on the order/chaos-axis, this means that he will neither go with every wimp nor restrict himself as much as a lawful character would do. A true neutral character would seek balance in every possible aspect, being an extreme by himself/herself.

Of course these are my personal impressions, but if you start to combine those angles, you get imo a somehow accurate picture. It’s not entirely perfect, but after explaining these, I can even get my players to grasp the difference between chaotic evil and chaotic neutral (which is a difference even a lot of experienced players have trouble in seeing).

But if that’s not sufficient, take nederbird’s alignment chart. It’s also decent, even though I’d personally disagree here and there. 😉

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Is the Sorcerer weak?!

Some players pointed out, that the Sorcerer seems kinda lacking, if you compare it with other arcane main-casters like the Wizard and the Bard, while even the Warlock seems kinda stronger in comparison, even though this is a totally different class right down to the base.
Especially the Sorcerer vs. Wizard aspect is argued and since even the dumbest person can write and talk about it, an idiot like me is as good as anyone else. And to do it, we need some basics for it.

 

Why are the Wizard and Sorcerer competing? This comes mostly because of the fact, that it didn’t make a real difference if you played Sorcerer or a Wizard until 4e: Same spell lists, a little difference in mechanics, different fluff-texts. Technically the Sorcerer did knew less spells, but could spam them more easily without preparing any of them, while the Wizard got a ton of spells before, but had less spells per day and had to be more careful, which spells he had to learn.
Since most builds survive on just a few spells and spells outside them were only prepared by carefully considering what would be probable useful that day, the Sorcerer win out most of the time. Better spell slinger, supporter with all the utility needed, even though sometimes you’d want a special spell that no Sorcerer would have as a known spell. Something like Animate Rope would be like wasted capacity for most players.
Sharing the same spell list, it was unavoidable for those two classes to compete. So now the 3e-players are just comparing the class outright, while in 4e those both classes had a very different take, where the Sorcerer as a Striker was more damage focused while the Wizard as a Controller had the better battlefield control.

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And how does the Bard fit in? Another 3e aspect was, that the bard became a so-called spontaneous caster like the Sorcerer, but wasn’t a main-caster yet (someone who get spells up to 9th level), even though he had a own spell-list, which was very similar to the 5e spell-list in variety, his capacity was lower and so the Sorcerer was simply the better caster. Now the Bard upgraded and made a MA of Magic and has the same spell-slots per day as a Sorcerer, but more known spells, which would make him theoretically (in a way) the better caster now.

Now we know what kind of background these discussions have, but are those prejudices derived from earlier editions right in the first place? First of all, we need to remember, what are the basic differences between a Sorcerer and a Wizard.

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Wizard: A Wizard is a man who got 30 years old while still being a virgin… wait, false one. The Wizard who can actually cast spells is someone, who studied years of hard mental and sometimes physical labor to be able to tap into the power of the universe, controlling the elements by using graphs, signs, words and discipline. Somehow like a mathematician.
So a wizard should be able to be a great caster, who is able to cast most spells (depending on his studies, the spell-list could vary) and from all the classes would be the one, who has the most flexibility and skill in using arcane magic.

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Sorcerer: A Sorcerers are people who already have magic in their blood, who never needed much studying and learned most of their skills in practice. They don’t know, what they’re actually doing, they just can and as long it’s effective, it’s not that important. So logically their spell-list should have some more primal form of magic, the simple but powerful spells which pretty much acts more on thought instead per planning. But since they’ve that special connection to magic, that Wizards will never know, they should be able to cast spells more powerfully than those.

Pathfinder

OK, so far so good. Now we take a look at the Sorcerer and how this class fulfilled my expectations, while comparing his abilities with the wizard’s.

Spellcasting: At start the Sorcerer have 2 known spells, 4 cantrips, he have always as much spell-slots as a wizard of the same level. The Wizard has 6 spells in his spellbook, 1+INT he prepares and 3 cantrips. Over the course to level 20 the Sorcerer have always one more cantrip, while he stops at 15 known spells (the bard will have 22), while the Wizard have at least 44 in his spellbook and most likely (depending on INT) 25 spells prepared.
Even though the Sorcerer have a single more cantrip, the Wizards wins out due availableness of spells. And since the Sorcerer lacks Ritual Casting while the Wizard have a superior version of it, the Wizard is the better Wizard… kinda obvious.

Spell-list: Sorcerer’s spell-list isn’t as flexible as the Wizard’s, like already guessed. The Sorcerer is firstly lacking every spell, which have the name of a Wizard in it (like Mordenkainen, Melf, etc.). And most spells are more simply natured, less finesse, more like the raw power of the schools. And the only spells the Wizard don’t get are druidic, I’m a little disappointed to not see some Sorcerer-only spells, like Dragon Breath or Chaos Sphere, but maybe Origin-Only spells might appear in the future.

Font of Magic: This trait gives the Sorcerer the use Sorcery Points (SP) and one of their main uses is the option to regain spell-slots as a Bonus Action or to use spell-slots to regain SP. It reminds of Arcane Recovery of the Wizard and after having a delayed start and strength, it grows much better in terms of time (Bonus Action vs. Short Rest) but the number of spell-slots is lower at some point and of course it means, that you’ll have no SPs for other traits. But again it’s a plus, that you can translate spells into SP, if you don’t need spell-slots (especially the high ones) you can just make them into SP and afterwards use these SPs to create more lower level spell-slots. I do think, that’s much more flexible than the Wizard, especially since even short rests aren’t as short anymore. And as a bonus: You could actually create more spell-slots than you could can hold using this feature, even though I don’t see how a bonus action could be so valuable to do it before your spells runs low. Since you use SP for other features, too, I’d hold on them.

Metamagic: Here lies the true strength of the Sorcerer and the reason, why the Wizard compares so hard. Metamagic let you enhance a spell you’re casting in specific ways. Normally, you’d get 4 of them, but I won’t be surprised, if there is a new feat incoming, which would grants you the ability to pick a Metamagic and use it once per day or something like that (and of course more Metamagic to choose from in general). And Metamagic works with multiclassing, so you can metamagic Cure Wounds or other spells that way. But now to the specifics.

  • Careful Spell: Let people up to the CHA-mod automatically success a save in spell area. Evoker’s Sculpt Spells do almost the same, but even let your allies take no damage at all, but works only on evocations. For most iconic spells it won’t matter, since a lot of area effects are evocations, but there are a lot, which aren’t too, like Circle of Death. But I guess your allies will still hate the half damage. So stick to control-spells, like Fear.
  • Distant Spell: Doubles the Range of every spell. Spells which already have a range, have that ranged doubled, touch spells gains 30 feet range. Stacking with Spell Sniper, so you can bring a lot of mayhem out of save distance. The Wizard can’t copy it at this point. Enhanced range may make spells more useful, like Witch Bolt, which effect text only states ‘target stays within range’, so more range = less chance to escape your spell.
  • Empowered Spell: An easy way to bring up your damage, only 1 SP, if you get a really bad damage roll and re-roll as many dice as CHA-mod. Evoker’s Empowered Evocation and Overchannel are enhancing your damage, too, while both Origins brings one option as well, the Draconic early, the Wild late.
  • Extended Spell: This bit of Metamagic is a spell-saver, if you expect some combats with almost to time in-between (like dungeoneering a fortress), doubles simply the time of duration. But most likely it comes most handy during exploration, since spells like Enhance Ability are more meant for them. And of course the clerics and druids will getting all giddy, since they got some spells worth getting extended. No Wizard gimmick here.
  • Heightened Spell: Disadvantage to a high-level spell, which shouldn’t be saved? Sold! And no Wizard here either.
  • Quickened Spell: Cast a 1 action spell as a bonus action spell? Great for spell-slinging and again the Wizard lacks the possibility to copy it. One of my favorites is here Sunbeam, since you can cast it as a bonus action and use the action to throw a second beam (which is not spellcasting and therefore won’t be affacted by the ‘bonus action spell’-rule).
  • Subtle Spell: Seems at the least powerful at first glance, but might be the most powerful. As long there are only verbal and somatic components, you can actually stealth a spell, makes it more easy to stay hidden and have some out-of-combat use. Like charming the person you’re talking to without its companions even noticing it (and it makes it hard to Counterspell it, since the spell happens without anyone noticing it). Wizards could need it, but won’t get it.
  • Twinned Spell: Even though an enchanter have access to targeting two creatures with 1st level and above with a normally single-target enchantment, the Sorcerer makes it much better: Any single-target spell can be twinned by spending level as SPs (1 for cantrips). Haste, Disintegrate, Finger of Death, so many spells to choose from…

Since every Sorcerer have access to those, it makes a Sorcerer more versatile with the few spells he knows. Using right, it can compete with a Wizard in regards of Spell-Slinging and damage easily. But the evoker is still easier to pull off imo.

Sorcerous Restoration: Regain 4 SPs each short rest at 20th level. Actually a neat feature, but less powerful than other 20th level features. In the end it makes short rests actually making sense outside regaining hit points and might come in handy, but won’t really outweight the Wizard’s signature Spell Mastery or Signature Spell, which allows him to simply cast more worth of SPs in spells.

Sorcerous Origins: There are only 2 subclasses for now, so it lacks simply the variety of the Wizard (Three, since the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide came out).

Draconic Bloodline: More elemental damage, survivability and two nice features (wings and fear aura), which will make your Sorcerer better at standing in the front. As long the DEX is right, he’s as tough as most clerics. A good standard choice, shaping the Sorcerer in a more combat oriented class.

Wild Magic: I love this feature, but it’s too dependent on DM and uses to actually measure its power. But it brings ways to increase your odds, much later your damage and when rolling on the Wild Magic table (which depends on your DM), anything can happen. You might regain all SPs or end up as a potted plant until the start of your next turn. But hey, it’s not ‘tamed magic’, after all.

Conclusion: Of course the Wizard could do solme of the stuff the Sorcerer can, since there are 7 Arcane Traditions, which are mastery of a limited area of magic, while only 2 Sorcerous Origins are out. More options means more overlapping in most cases and that the Wizard with all Arcane Traditions seems to be stronger is just natural.
And Wizard’s Class featured are more about the tradition than anything else, while the Sorcerer works well on his own, while the Origin adds up to that basic. While an evoker could be a better spell-slinger, his special features only works for that.

In the end you have to say goodbye to the idea, that a Sorcerer and Wizard are still practically the same class. As long the Sorcerer remains that restrictive in the spell-list, he’ll definitely won’t replace a Wizard, but might be more fun, since there seems to be more room to adapt to the situation.
And like always: It’s more of the fun factor. If you want to be a strong, destructive spellcaster, choose the Sorcerer or the evoker, both are pretty stable choices. If you prefer to use magic for more, take the Wizard. If you want to use the features the Wizard won’t get and get more fun of the spells you know: Take the Sorcerer.

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But I can say the following: The Sorcerer is not weaker than the Wizard! Only if you use only theorymachine without using real situations (in a fictional game-world).