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View Full Version : [3.5] Sorcerer ground-up rebuild [PEACH]



Rogue Shadows
2011-08-15, 12:31 AM
I think that the sorcerer class, as presented in the Player's Handbook, is a fine, functional, and well-crafted class. I, personally, always run sorcerer over wizard.

It is also duuuuuuuullll...

Well, that's not entirely true. A problem I have with the sorcerer, though, is that there isn't really much to distinguish it from the wizard. Spontaneous casting. Woo. It was novel at the time, back when 3.0 was released, but a decade-and-one-years later, the problem occurs to me that the for two classes with radically different approaches to arcane magic, there isn't really much to distinguish them.

More to the point, the sorcerer...doesn't seem to get a lot of love. It's easy to find variant builds for wizards, or alternate class features. Heck, Unearthed Arcana included nine or so. Sorcerers? Battle sorcerer, and that spell shield variant from Dungeonscape. That's largely it, unless you want to blow precious, precious feat slots on heritage feats.

So, the below. This sorcerer is meant to take the big difference between sorcerers and wizards - less spells more often - and run with it. But...well, I'm not sure if it's very good. Also, I want to give it some kind of capstone, but can't think of one. Any help would be appreciated.

A note on saves: the Star Wars Revised d20 RPG included a "medium" save, which I have always liked.
A note on casting: This sorcerer uses two ability scores - Constitution and Charisma - to cast spells. It is meant to be run in a world where all medium and primary casters (bard, druid, wizard, beguiler, etc) use two stats to cast spells, so take that into account.

Once again, this is not intended as a fix, per se - just another road.

http://i55.tinypic.com/v3kexj.png

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the sorcerer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sorcerers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a sorcererís gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Cantrips: At 1st level, a sorcerer learns extremely simple spells, called Ďcantrips,í which are essentially 0-level spells. Cantrips function just like other spells, except that they are useable at-will.

A sorcerer learns an additional cantrip at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th levels.

Spells: A sorcerer casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below).

To learn or cast a spell, a sorcerer must have a Constitution score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sorcererís spell is 10 + the spell level + the sorcererís Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a sorcerer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 2-15: The Sorcerer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Constitution score.

A sorcererís selection of spells is extremely limited. A sorcerer begins play knowing a single 1st-level spell, and he gains an additional spell at each additional sorcerer level thereafter. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by his Constitution score). These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of by study. The sorcerer canít use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.

Unlike a wizard, a sorcerer need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells heíll cast.

Eschew Materials: The Sorcerer gains this feat for free at 1st level.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, the sorcerer gains a bonus feat. This may be any of the following feats: Augment Summoning, Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Counterspell, Magical Aptitude, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, or any metamagic feat. The sorcerer must still meet all prerequisites for the chosen feat.

Relearn (Ex): At 3rd level and every three levels thereafter, a sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in the place of one he already knows. In effect, the sorcerer ďforgetsĒ the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spellís level can be of any level that the sorcerer can cast. A sorcerer can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains a new spell known for that level.

A note on this. A sorcerer over his career can learn 20 spells. As the table is written now, these spells would, without relearning, be two spells of each level 1-8, and four level 9 spells. This system allows a sorcerer to potentially ditch their 1st and 2nd (and some of their 3rd) level spell entirely as they level up. Assuming that a sorcerer ditches a lowest-level spell for a highest-level spell each time they can relearn, a sorcerer will end up with the following number of spells per level:
1st: 0
2nd: 0
3rd: 2
4th: 2
5th: 3
6th: 3
7th: 2
8th: 3
9th: 5

This might be overpowered, but the thought was to make up for the fact that a sorcerer in this system learns only about half as many spells as the default sorcerer.

Anyway, it was just a thought, and I'm not married to the idea.

Arcane Familiarity (Ex): The 5th-level sorcerer gains a +2 competence bonus to all saving throws against spells and spell-like and supernatural abilities (including magic items) due to an innate understanding of how magic works and how to subvert it. Further, he gains a +2 competence bonus to Armor Class against spells requiring attack rolls.

The bonuses from Arcane Familiarity increase to +4 at 11th level, and +6 at 17th.

Adept Sorcery (Ex): At 7th level, a sorcerer is adept at maintaining their arcane power when confronted with the possibility of wasting it. A number of times per day equal to half the sorcererís level (rounded down), whenever a targeted spell the sorcerer casts fails to penetrate a creatureís spell resistance or is countered by another spellcaster, he can reabsorb the arcane energy as an immediate action. They regain the spell as though they had never cast it. However, doing this taxes the sorcererís body, and they take 1 point of nonlethal damage per spell level they reabsorb. This damage is internal and bypasses damage reduction and resistances the sorcerer might possess.

Spell Resistance (Ex): At 9th level, the sorcerer gains spell resistance equal to 11 + their sorcerer level.

DeAnno
2011-08-15, 01:30 AM
Is this intended to be a rather significant nerf? The massive loss of spells known (especially low level ones!) is going to be crippling in the long run, and you don't really give them anything of much value to make up for it. Relearning, the bonus feats, and the saving throw bonuses are plenty to convince many of these Sorcerers not to PRC out, but they're all much less of a net gain than they seem, since the benefits from 7-20 are all weighed against any PRCs the Sorcerer might take.

On the other hand, having pretty much halved spells known is going to hurt no matter what path the Sorcerer takes, and it'll hurt far worse than a Wizard spell level progression can make up for.

Starsinger
2011-08-15, 08:15 AM
So.. you find Sorcerer dull, and your solution is to give it even less options?

Rogue Shadows
2011-08-15, 08:41 AM
So.. you find Sorcerer dull, and your solution is to give it even less options?

Well, I found it dull because it's too similar to the wizard, not because of any problems it had with options.

Truth be told I'm not actually too happy with it


Is this intended to be a rather significant nerf?

Not really, it's just an idea I had. I wasn't trying to re-create the sorcerer at the same power level.

Part of the problem may be that I used the Shadowcaster as a basis. Well, not the shadowcaster, so much as the eclipser, a class I put together to be the sorcerer to the shadowcaster's wizard.

I also didn't want to go the route of "emphasize your [insert creature type here] heritage!" It's not a bad idea, but I'd rather save that for feats or alternate class features than main class features.

Meh. Oh well, I tried.

Yitzi
2011-08-15, 11:21 AM
Even if this didn't work, it definitely had some good ideas that I plan to incorporate into my next try.

In particular, the idea of a sorcerer getting SR just makes so much sense. But rather than 10+SL, I'd make it 5+SL, but if he succeeds he absorbs the energy (regaining an appropriate-level spell slot) and adds the spell (if arcane) to his spells known. He'd then need Charisma checks (probably 1/hour) when above his normal spells known, and when he failed he'd lose a spell known (his choice) of the level in question. (Thus, a sorcerer can relearn his spells known by gaining the new one and dropping the old one.)

nonsi
2011-08-16, 10:02 AM
Maybe you'll find this Spells-Known table to make this class salvageable:
(a bit less versatility in the long run, but without trailing the Wizard)



0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
-------------------
2 1 - - - - - - - -
2 2 - - - - - - - -
3 2 1 - - - - - - -
3 2 2 - - - - - - -
3 3 2 1 - - - - - -
4 3 2 2 - - - - - -
4 3 3 2 1 - - - - -
4 3 3 2 2 - - - - -
4 3 3 3 2 1 - - - -
5 3 3 3 2 2 - - - -
5 3 3 3 3 2 1 - - -
5 3 3 3 3 2 2 - - -
5 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 - -
5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 - -
6 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 -
6 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 -
6 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 1
6 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2
6 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2
6 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2

jiriku
2011-08-16, 10:10 AM
Adept Sorcery is a great idea, although I think there's no need to throw in the nonlethal damage. I'd agree that the class overall is dramatically less flexible and useful, but if made those at-will spells selectable from any spell the sorcerer knows, rather than only 0-level spells, the interest level would go up. You might need to place some restrictions on it, but it would basically inject a little bit of warlock into your sorcerer and pose some interesting build possibilities.

Rogue Shadows
2011-08-16, 12:05 PM
You know what a big problem I'm running into is as I'm trying to make this class work?

Why aren't there 10th-level spells?

Seriously, it's a nice even progression until 19th level, where if the pattern continued casters would get another spell level.

Meh.

Shadow Lord
2011-08-16, 12:07 PM
You know what a big problem I'm running into is as I'm trying to make this class work?

Why aren't there 10th-level spells?

Seriously, it's a nice even progression until 19th level, where if the pattern continued casters would get another spell level.

Meh.

Rogue Shadows, you now have a mission. You must complete this mission. This mission is;

The Creation Of 10th Level Spell

Rogue Shadows
2011-08-16, 12:14 PM
Rogue Shadows, you now have a mission. You must complete this mission. This mission is;

The Creation Of 10th Level Spell

Buh...but I...I have so much to do already....

...mehhh~!

Seriously, though, if I did this, I wouldn't actually make new spells. I'd just start shuffling the spell lists around so that they were spread out over 10 levels rather than nine, with 10th level getting all of the truly powerful gibs.

Shadow Lord
2011-08-16, 12:21 PM
Buh...but I...I have so much to do already....

...mehhh~!

Seriously, though, if I did this, I wouldn't actually make new spells. I'd just start shuffling the spell lists around so that they were spread out over 10 levels rather than nine, with 10th level getting all of the truly powerful gibs.

Then do it, Man. It is your MISSION

Rogue Shadows
2011-08-16, 12:25 PM
Then do it, Man. It is your MISSION

...ugh...

Well, what the Hell. I have three and a half hours to blow before I have to work.

EDIT
On second thought, I'll do it tomorrow. For now, assume that at the very least, gate and wish are 10th-level spells.

DeAnno
2011-08-16, 01:08 PM
Don't forget Shapechange!

Greymane
2011-08-17, 09:31 AM
...ugh...

Well, what the Hell. I have three and a half hours to blow before I have to work.

EDIT
On second thought, I'll do it tomorrow. For now, assume that at the very least, gate and wish are 10th-level spells.

Some Forgotten Realms resources mention 10th+ level spells, but they aren't castable anymore because of Mystra's Ban on them. Karsus' Avatar, the spell that steals the divinity from a god and gives it to the caster is, in fact, a 12th level spell.

The first Manual of Monsters for the original Warcraft d20 games also lists 'Paramount Spells' for Eredar, which are just basically level 10+ spells. Some of them are pretty ridiculous. I believe one of them kills people on a successful touch attack, no save.

Rogue Shadows
2011-08-17, 01:18 PM
Some Forgotten Realms resources mention 10th+ level spells, but they aren't castable anymore because of Mystra's Ban on them. Karsus' Avatar, the spell that steals the divinity from a god and gives it to the caster is, in fact, a 12th level spell.

The first Manual of Monsters for the original Warcraft d20 games also lists 'Paramount Spells' for Eredar, which are just basically level 10+ spells. Some of them are pretty ridiculous. I believe one of them kills people on a successful touch attack, no save.

Well, what I meant was that I'd take the existing spells and spread them out over 10 levels instead of 9, not that I'd create entirely new spells for a new 10th level.

It just seems neater given the pattern of gaining a new spell level at every odd-numbered level, rather than doing that for levels 1-17, but then getting nothing new at levels 19-20.

Greymane
2011-08-18, 04:24 AM
Well, what I meant was that I'd take the existing spells and spread them out over 10 levels instead of 9, not that I'd create entirely new spells for a new 10th level.

It just seems neater given the pattern of gaining a new spell level at every odd-numbered level, rather than doing that for levels 1-17, but then getting nothing new at levels 19-20.

Ah! I see my reading comprehension has failed me. :smallredface:

I'd always found that to be bizarre in the spell levels myself.