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    Default Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    In campaigns I play in I don't typically play a whole lot of spellcaster types. A few of my friends always Play magic users and always choose sorcerer over wizard, or the choose wizard and the use a "Wizards suck ritual" and it converts them from wizard to sorcerer. I know a bonus for sorcerers is that they don't need a spell book but otherwise I'm just curious why they play sorcerers over wizards.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Is this 3.5 or Pathfinder?

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Wizards are just about universally better.
    This is due to a series of factors:
    - WIzards have a faster spellcasting progression, getting new spells a level before sorcs, basically making them a level higher than any given sorc for all important purposes.
    - Wizards get bonus feats - not great, but something.
    - Wizards can change out their spell selection each day, which is the important one, as this means they can alter themselves to perfectly fit any given challenge.
    - Wizards can happily have spells in their spellbook for just about every contingency ever, and they're only ever eight hours away from that.
    EDIT: Or fifteen minutes. Always forget that. Also, uncanny forethought.
    - Wizards are Int based, which is a better stat than Cha, since it also gives them a zillion skill points.
    - Wizards can use metamagic without being shafted, as opposed to sorcs.

    And probably a few other ones.

    The main reasons that Sorcerers sometimes seem to be better are:
    - Spontaneity in their spells, wihch is pretty much irrelevant as they know so few spells anyway that it's all but worthless. Despite this, this is the only thing sorcs really have against wizards, with the exception of a few spells (wings of flurry, etc)
    - More spells. This is minor, as by about fifth level you'll never run out of spells anyway. And a focused specialist wizard catches up to the sorc on spells per day. Oh, and the Wizard's already a level ahead, so...
    - Not needing a spellbook - pretty minor, really. It's just a book. Carry it around.
    Last edited by nolispe; 2011-11-14 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    There is no real mechanical reason to play a Sorcerer over a Wizard; the Wizard is flat out better. For player reasons, I would say it's because they don't like having to prepare spells or like being able to cast more often.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by nolispe View Post
    - Wizards can happily have spells in their spellbook for just about every contingency ever, and they're only ever eight hours away from that.
    Note that this is eight hours at most. A clever wizard with enough slots to spare will leave a few slots open and prepare them as things come up- it takes 15 minutes to prepare it, of course, so it's not a combat viable tactic, but cutting down waiting from 8 hours to 15 minutes can be really useful.


    I agree with those who have said the wizard is more powerful, but I know a lot of people who find the sorcerer more enjoyable to play, if only because they're simpler and more streamlined. To someone who doesn't enjoy the complexity of wizard spell preparing, the sorcerer may well be stronger- if you prepare the wrong spells and don't keep track of which ones you have, need to get, and so on, your wizard won't be very strong. Versatility is where their power comes from.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Sorcerer have some sorcerer only spells and Draconic feats. I really like Draconic Vigor.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    The only reason to play Sorcerer over Wizard is that Wizards require a LOT more bookkeeping on the player's part, which can get exceedingly involved and complicated, if one utilizes all the resources available.

    A sorcerer gains a set amount of spells known. That's it. His spell list sheet probably won't be more than a couple of pages, even well into epic.

    A Wizard, on the other hand, gains 2/level, then however many scrolls he can beg, borrow, or steal, plus whatever wizard guilds are out there who makes libraries available for copying. Theoretically, a Wizard could have literally every single spell ever published on the Wiz/Sorc list in his grimoires (although he'd need multiple BBB's to pull it off, but by no means impossible).

    Then there's the recovery method, which is a whole 'nother set of book keeping. Sorcerers don't need to worry about which spells they prep that day, they have their spells known... and that's it. Wizards have to choose, on a daily basis, which spells they are going to use that day.

    This is seen as a huge nerf to Wizards by most casual players because they fail to realize that they can set up a spell list that does it all, and further fails to realize that they can utilize various divination magics to plug in the free slots with *exactly* what they need that day.

    However, this does mean that it can take a wizard player who is unfamiliar with this process several hours to get his Spells Known list down pat, which is a severe annoyance to the rest of the players at the table. So they mostly just take the exact same spell list on a daily basis, and hope it works out... so basically 'sorcerer lite' because they never change up their spell list. This is where the majority of 'sorcerers are better than wizards' rumors come from... pure laziness or lack of preparedness on the part of an individual playing a Wizard.

    tl;dr version: Wizards have an amazing amount of flexibility over a Sorcerer, but only if the player is willing to put in the real-life time and effort into it.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    A sorcerer gains a set amount of spells known. That's it. His spellbook probably won't be more than a couple of pages, even well into epic.
    Unless he takes levels in Wizard (Sorcerer/Wizard is completely unoptimized, though), he'll never have a spellbook.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Sorcerer is easier on the GM, yes. the player cannot handle every single contingency that crops up, even after receiving piles and piles of loot. The wizard can handle anything with enough prep and money for spells in his spell book.

    So players like wizards, GMs like sorcerers.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    I agree with those who have said the wizard is more powerful, but I know a lot of people who find the sorcerer more enjoyable to play, if only because they're simpler and more streamlined. To someone who doesn't enjoy the complexity of wizard spell preparing, the sorcerer may well be stronger- if you prepare the wrong spells and don't keep track of which ones you have, need to get, and so on, your wizard won't be very strong. Versatility is where their power comes from.
    I'll second this.

    To play a good wizard and enjoy it requires a mind set that not everyone has. It's also probably the most time consuming class to build and play well.

    We play D&D for fun and enjoyment, not as a chore or to win a prize for "winning" the game.

    For the majority of people, a Sorcerer will probably be consistently more fun and less work to play. It also has the benefit of forcing you to be innovative with your use of spells.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Sorcerer have some sorcerer only spells and Draconic feats. I really like Draconic Vigor.
    the problem with the draconic feats though is most of them give you abilities that you missed out on by having such a limited spell selection, which feels a bit cheap that you have feats specifically to fix the huge holes in your class the wizard is dangeling in front of you...
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    I find sorcerers to be much better than wizards. Yes, a wizard can cast any spell in their spell book, but I would say that only one in ten wizards actually bother to have spellbooks written down ( at least that I have noticed) Mechanically, I would agree that the wizard is slightly more powerful, but they are time consuming, break up play, and even though they can choose to memorize spells in 15 minutes, sometimes you don't need a whole bunch of fancy spells, because if you prepared all your spells for combat, and suddenly come across a pit with a monster behind you, you still don't have the right spell, and you have less spells than a sorcerer, so you will run out of fire faster.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by gbprime View Post
    Sorcerer is easier on the GM, yes. the player cannot handle every single contingency that crops up, even after receiving piles and piles of loot. The wizard can handle anything with enough prep and money for spells in his spell book.
    Not really true. A well built and well played Sorcerer is almost as versatile as an average batman wizard. You just have to be really careful of your feat and item selection and choose well.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Pretty much what Shneekey said. Which you choose depends on how much convenience you're willing to give up (or your DM to assist you with) for power.

    Do note that Focused Specialist Wizards get as many spells/day as a Sorcerer while only giving up minimal utility (with proper spell selection/party make-up.)
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Not really true. A well built and well played Sorcerer is almost as versatile as an average batman wizard. You just have to be really careful of your feat and item selection and choose well.
    That I agree with. Plus the sorcerer doesn't usurp the roles of the other party members nearly as often.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by legomaster00156 View Post
    Unless he takes levels in Wizard (Sorcerer/Wizard is completely unoptimized, though), he'll never have a spellbook.
    Ultimate Magus?

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    So essentially it just comes down to the player and the effort he wants to put into maintaining a spell list/book. One of my friends simply made a few different "Spell Lists" from his spellbook to prepare each day based on what we might do or know what we're going to do. Keeping of course the spells that can be handy in many situations.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    It also depends on what level the players are.

    Once you get Shapechange it becomes at least an order of magnitude easier to get your spell list set up thanks to all of the options it gives you to replicate spells.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    At relatively low optimization levels, at least by my standards, there are some serious perks to being a sorcerer. Runestaves help allieviate some of your troubles, Drakehelms offer some cool stuff otherwise unavailable, arcane spellsurge is basically undiluted joy straight from the jug, and a couple of good MM reducers want you to be a spontaneous caster.

    Now, if you think that Spontaneous Divination makes wizards spontaneous casters (and it probably does), and you don't mind playing carefully and with great thought, then wizards are probably superior in most cases outside of some of the very highest end tricks.

    Then again, there's always Loredrake + Draconic Rite Dragonwrought Kobolds.

    If you want to expand your spell list as a sorcerer, I can help. If you want to be a favored soul, and be hilariously OP, I can help.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-11-14 at 05:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Another plus for sorcerers that I didn't see mentioned was "on the fly metamagic".

    Not having to choose your metamagic slots in advance is a huge perk for the sorcerer. The downside of this, that metamagic'd spells take a full round action, is trivially bypassed by a feat (rapid metamagic), an ACF (PHB2, familiar) and/or a spell (arcane spellsurge). This perk, along with the cool sorcerer only spells, are explored to their logical limit by DeAnno's Mailman.

    Some of the sorcerer only spells are just really fun:
    Wings of Flurry - uncapped d6/level force damage + daze? don't mind if I do!
    Wings of Cover - a potent 'no' button
    Regular and Greater Arcane Fusion - SO saucy.

    Finally, an additional aesthetic reason is the old observation that restrictions breed creativity. Having a limited spell list is a big restriction, but some players can get really excited about having to make that limited spell list 'work' in campaign that promises lots of different situations.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Well somehow I believe Sorcerer is a better choice in low to mid games and after 13-15 lvl wizard has the upper hand. Besides most people and my DnD group never or rarely go to the high lvl's.

    I personally prefer the Wiz but Sorc is a really nice choice.

    And yeah Ultimate Magus is a good way to go but I believe Beguiler is a better choice, anyway you go you'll have more spell slots then HP!
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Who are you going to be playing with? If you're playing with a Druid, a Cleric, and an Artificer, go Wizard. If you're playing with a Ranger, Barbarian, and a Rogue, go Sorcerer; you'll be closer to everyone else's power level.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Dragonwrought Kobold Sorcerer/full list caster >Wizard unless theirs a trick I don't know about. Either getting a full spell level ahead of the wizard or all cleric or druid spells known.

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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Nah, mechanically and power wise the wizard is always better off than the Sorcerer.

    Being a level behind on spells, having a limited spell list, having to deal with their meta problems; Sorcerer is mechanically inferior to the wizard in terms of potential power.

    Which does nothing to change the fact that the Sorcerer is still one of the most powerful classes in the game (and arguably the second most powerful of the core classes), is great fun to play, and takes about 1/100th as much time and effort when compared to a wizard.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Loredrake + Draconic Rite, Tippy. Depending on your reading of dragonspawn abominations, this could get even worse, but I think one could comfortably argue that there's no way to abominate a dragonwrought.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-11-14 at 06:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Sorcerer is better than the Wizard in that it's easier to learn to play because there's no planning ahead past what spell to learn. However, in the hands of an experienced player the Wizard is going to be the superior class because the player will be able to guess with reasonable accuracy what spells he'll need to cover any situations that may arise.

    I myself just have my Wizards take Versatile Spellcaster.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    It is interesting to note that it is much easier at high-op levels to switch your spells known than your spells prepared in general. Uncanny Foresight helps even this for the Wizard though... Hard to say here.
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    I do find that Spontaneous Spellcasting is seriously underrated. I've gamed in almost a dozen different groups, and I have never once seen a Wizard be prepared for every contingency, or a Wizard who knows exactly what's going to happen in a day (unless everyone does). The flexibility of changing your spell list every day is only useful if you have a solid idea of what's needed. Even if you know that you'll be doing some infiltration and to expect locked doors and you prepare "Knock", how many do you prep? Every Knock you prep is one less Invisibility or Alter Self or Detect Thoughts, all good infiltration spells, and how do you make that choice without thorough foreknowledge? You can take one of each, but then the second locked door thwarts you.

    And, let's face it, these things often come in chunks. You might not need a spell for weeks and then suddenly that's ALL you need.

    A spontaneous caster's limited Spells Known is troublesome yes, but if you pick your toolbox well then you always have something appropriate - and more importantly, you have it in sufficient quantity to be useful. A Sorc may not have Knock but will likely have one spell to deal with solid physical obstacles, and if you face four locked doors that day then the Sorc can cast that spell four times.



    And yes, the Wiz can use scrolls to extend their number of casts, but a Sorc can use them to cover up contingencies their list doesn't cover too.


    (All that said, Wiz still gets spells earlier, and Focused Specialist Wizard gets more spells than Sorc, and both of those are big advantages. But ignoring those, I'd far rather have a Sorc's Spontaneous mechanic than a Wizard's Prepared mechanic, any day of the week.)
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    It is interesting to note that it is much easier at high-op levels to switch your spells known than your spells prepared in general. Uncanny Foresight helps even this for the Wizard though... Hard to say here.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rubik's Avatar

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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Wizard vs. Sorcerer. What's the better choice?

    I prefer psions, myself. All the (nonbroken) benefits of a sorcerer combined with a number of benefits of a wizard (and without the paperwork).

    You don't get the uberpowerful spells or the insanity of spell slots, but that's a plus for me, too.

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