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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    To clarify, I suggest that the Spell Points variant is enabled ONLY for Sorcerers, and not any other class.
    This is because in my opinion Sorcerers are undertuned in comparison to Wizards (the closest comparison) and don't have much of a class identity other than metamagic.

    I realize this is a buff, though I don't think it's a huge one. I'll explain.
    I've heard people say this allows the Sorcerer to nova to easily, but I would argue it wouldn't let you nova that much more than you already can.
    For example, converting all your spell slots to 5th level spell slots at level 9 would get you 5 casts in addition to one already given, resulting in 6 5th level spell casts.
    The Spell Point variant lets you cast 8 5th level spell slots. That is 33% more nova power than you already have, and I highly doubt that it somehow unbalances the game, nor does it make Sorcerer as powerful as a Wizard. If anything it balances the playing field a bit.

    I know some people think Sorcerer is balanced as is. To be honest, this thread isn't really for those people (let's avoid the tired Sorcerer vs Wizard discussion), but for those who do think Sorcerer needs a buff/more identity.
    That said, I would be glad to hear some thoughts since I realize I might be missing something or am not seeing the full picture somehow.
    Last edited by bendking; 2019-07-13 at 04:06 AM.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I have a house rule like the one you suggest: Sorcerers use spell points and sorcery points are added to the pool.

    In my experience it causes the opposite of Nova casting. Lower level spells are dirt cheap. My sorcerer player uses first and second level spells as if they were cantrips. Combined with metamagic this allows the sorcerer to have more of a sustained spellcasting style.

    Needless to say, the player likes it a lot. The wizard is jealous by the way.
    Last edited by Innocent_bystan; 2019-07-13 at 07:02 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I agree that it would be an increase in power for the sorcerer that would ultimately not break anything, but Iím not sure it actually addresses the issues people have with the class, which typically revolve around their spells known.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybren View Post
    I agree that it would be an increase in power for the sorcerer that would ultimately not break anything, but Iím not sure it actually addresses the issues people have with the class, which typically revolve around their spells known.
    The biggest issue, according to me at least, is that sorcerers not only have less spells known than a wizard can prepare, but they also cast less spells per day and have a smaller spell list to choose from.

    And metamagic does not make up for that difference.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    My stance? I am firmly in the "no spell points variant" camp simply because I have played it at a table where other players were not given the option (as they were not sorcerers) and it's honestly frustrating for the players and DM alike to balance encounters around a spell point user. I also happen to think that Sorcerers are outrageously strong already, so giving them more kicks them into overdrive for me.

    I'll admit that at first blush spell points, seem like a perfect solution for the struggling sorcerer as it 1) alleviates spells known in a sort of sideways manner; balancing the spells you have with given slots is entirely a non-issue. You can have 4 spells known that are level 5 spells by character level 10 and because you don't have to worry about throwing half of your spells known into something that normally has 2 spell slots (or a massive conversion tax) the character feels more fluid with more opportunity to slam out high level spells with less need to have a balanced array of spells at various levels and 2) liberates the use of lower level spells as well. 10 fireballs at level 9? No problem.

    The careful planning of spell slot management is only bypassed by a normal sorcerer when they make the choice to convert pre-existing resources that when converted back, would tax the player twice and lower output even more. In other words, it's a one-way conversion that the Font of Magic system actively punishes going back on.
    Which I guess is where the crux of my position lies; there is already a system in place to allow a form of flexibility but the designers of the game felt it necessary to throttle it.

    Why is this so important and why is the pre-existing system inherently taxed?

    The importance is more visible when we appreciate for a moment that the design team clearly already thought of spell points (what with them being in the DMG) and chose not to implement the system for the sorcerer as a baseline. Font of Magic is a carefully thought out analogous system with pretty clear differences that highlight it's own design goals. To better understand what those goals are we have to

    Deconstruct the limitations that were baked into the pre-existing system.

    Conversions are Entropic
    Meaning energy is lost with each transfer, and is exacerbated whenever you start trying scramble things up too much. Flexibility, and the notion of many spells of a particular slot, carries the cost of lower overall output. Why did the design team do this?

    The idea is that when you are making the choice to add new slots (or sorcery points) you are doing just that. Making a choice with consequences. The decision to throw out extra high level slots now feels like it was a calculated decision and not just done on a whim. Given the ability to trivialize an entire smaller scale encounter using a single 4th or 5th level spell (Wall of Fire, Synaptic Static and Animate Objects come to mind off the top of my head) why is it important to limit casters from doing this? Well it's two fold. The first is that it means you can change up the intensity of encounters without boring the players. Regular casters want an opportunity to use their lower level spells and if everything is always a Deadly Encounter then they aren't going to have the breathing room to do that; you have to front load difficult encounters with as much of your power potential as possible. Where as a spell point sorcerer who comes up against a less intense encounter will just smash it with one of their many high level spells and generally ruin any level of suspense in the less than deadly encounters.

    Then when Deadly Encounters -do- present themselves the spell points caster can go all out much harder than any of the other casters making challenge both them and the rest of the team that much more difficult.

    Normal casters have to ask themselves "Is this the right time to use that big thing I can only do twice a day?"
    Font of Magic says "Is this the right time to use that thing at the expense of other casting power should if I run out and need it again?"
    Spell Points doesn't ask that question. You use whatever spell you want with no stress or the feel of consequence.

    More over, the system actually works in reverse favoring spell points too!
    Want to cast the Shield spell 15 times a day? Go for it.
    Spell points is the pinnacle of flexibility but with no consequence and less meaningful decisions made by the player.

    This liberating feeling, allows sorcerers to overshadow other casters tremendously and the significant power discrepancy will be apparent in the hands of an experienced player rather quickly.

    Conversions cost Bonus Actions
    So now that we see Font of Magic conversions have consequences to ones output, the notion of doing it only when necessary becomes far more prevalent. Doing it in combat, and exercising that flexibility not only weighs on the action economy but also takes time now.
    Moving all your power into 5th level spells would require 13 rounds of bonus actions at level 10, so blasting out higher level spells with great frequency is intentionally gated with a time and action cost. Removing that preparation once again removes the idea of clever play (preparing what you think you'll need before time or during the cadence of combat) and makes it a simplistic binary with no strategic planning or thought.


    The design goals are clear, flexibility comes at the cost of overall output and should be done gradually over time.


    If you enjoy playing with spell points, by all means. But also understand that the designers of D&D clearly had this idea in their head and restricted the system already in place for sorcerers for what they thought would contribute to a healthier game. Do you think that those reasons are bad? Then by all means ignore them and do what you want. That's the fun of D&D. But I for one think that spell points turn sorcerers into the unequivocal kings of magic and see virtually no reason to play a wizard or a warlock with sorcerers having spell points.

    EDITED for typos and formatting.
    Last edited by TheUser; 2019-07-13 at 10:33 AM.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I played a sorcerer (the original UA favored soul, death domain) with the spell point variant, from level three to fifteen or so. The rest of the party were all full casters; a moon druid, a life cleric, and divination wizard. Nobody else felt overshadowed by me, and in fact I still felt constrained by my spell choices. I admit, though, that I was able to cast a lot of spells. Then again, we may have had a bit of a problem with the five minute adventuring day.

    All in all, I would be wary, but my experience was positive.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent_bystan View Post
    I have a house rule like the one you suggest: Sorcerers use spell points and sorcery points are added to the pool.

    In my experience it causes the opposite of Nova casting. Lower level spells are dirt cheap. My sorcerer player uses first and second level spells as if they were cantrips. Combined with metamagic this allows the sorcerer to have more of a sustained spellcasting style.

    Needless to say, the player likes it a lot. The wizard is jealous by the way.
    This is exactly what we do too and it works. It's the easiest fix to the sorcerer IMO and it changes up how they get played a ton!

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I actually think combining the Sorcery Points and Spell Points pull is a bit much, since it allows you to use more Metamagic than was probably intended.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Snippety snip
    Thank you for your thoughts. Definitely good points to think on.
    Last edited by bendking; 2019-07-13 at 10:42 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    While I haven't tried playing the Sorcerer with spell points, I have played the Mystic. And I'd agree, the versatility of how to expend spell points vs spell slots is an improvement. But it's also more granular, a little harder to track. I'd probably allow it in my games.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I've run games with spell point sorcerers, and felt it didn't overly disrupt the game or combat scenarios. I agree that it has the potential of disrupting the table if the perception by other full caster class players is that the sorc is getting an undo advantage. But then, just stating "He knows 6 spells to your 15" tends to calm them down.

    What I've been using since pretty much day 1 after I got the DMG and spell point system, is for warlocks, who see a LOT more bang for their buck. Instead of spending an automatically upcharged 3rd level slot at 5th level for a Shield spell, or Misty Step, they can now use points to expend only the exact amount of power they want to.

    It really lets warlocks control their power expenditure; and given the small number of slots they convert, their short rest pool is still small - but not '2 slot' small.

    I give all my players the option for spell points, regardless of class - but I mandate warlocks use them. There's usually a bit of resistance with new players at first, but when they grok the flexibility associated with the change, only those who absolutely hate resource tracking haven't accepted it.
    Last edited by Theodoxus; 2019-07-13 at 01:06 PM.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    So I've come across another thread for this system of trading spell slots for Sorcery Points, but just to confirm, you receive sorcery points equal to the total level of spells you know, plus the ordinary Sorcery Point gain (so having 2 first level spell slots and 1 second level spell would give you 4 Sorcery Points plus however many for what level you are), and to cast a spell you expend a number of Points equal to the level of spell you're casting. Is that correct?

    If so, I'd say this is a wonderful system. It allows for much more versatile casting and would genuinely make me want to play a sorcerer.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I'm going to say "no"

    Spell points are fun, but my only experience with them has seen the caster spending them recklessly to cast their highest level spells more frequently. It wasn't uncommon for our party sorcerer to cast only 3rd-5th level spells through an entire session aside from Cantrips.

    In a way, it does solve the Sorcerer's problem of spells known, but not in a way that I liked. The Sorcerer never wanted for more spells because Synaptic Static and Fireball were all he ever needed and he was almost never unable to use them effectively.

    This problem becomes especially apparent if for some reason you have a spellcaster who wasn't given the opportunity to also use spell points. The party member using spell points will continue to sling high level magic throughout the day with only the smallest amount of forethought while the standard spell slot caster is constantly thinking about when it is most appropriate to use those limited 5th level slots.
    Last edited by ProsecutorGodot; 2019-07-13 at 02:00 PM.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProsecutorGodot View Post
    I'm going to say "no"

    Spell points are fun, but my only experience with them has seen the caster spending them recklessly to cast their highest level spells more frequently. It wasn't uncommon for our party sorcerer to cast only 3rd-5th level spells through an entire session aside from Cantrips.

    In a way, it does solve the Sorcerer's problem of spells known, but not in a way that I liked. The Sorcerer never wanted for more spells because Synaptic Static and Fireball were all he ever needed and he was almost never unable to use them effectively.

    This problem becomes especially apparent if for some reason you have a spellcaster who wasn't given the opportunity to also use spell points. The party member using spell points will continue to sling high level magic throughout the day with only the smallest amount of forethought while the standard spell slot caster is constantly thinking about when it is most appropriate to use those limited 5th level slots.
    I'd say that casting those high level spells frequently is a playstyle choice rather than an issue with the fix. The way I see it, this fix makes sorceres the opposite of Warlocks in terms of casting. Warlocks have very few spells slots, but those spell slots are high level and nearly all of their spells scale with that slot level. Inversely, they refresh on a short rest so they can earn them back with a bit of effort. Sorcerers, with this fix, can sling their leveled spells all the time, however once they run out they're done until the next day. This change also increases the viability of Metamagic, as instead of keeping track of both Points and Slots, this allows for both to come from the same resource, similar to a Mana pool. If you still feel it's overpowered, perhaps remove the points they gain per level (the sorcery Points a Sorcerer without this fix would be getting)
    "There are truly only 2 sources of conflict: Miscommunication, and Intolerance. Of the two, only one is acceptable."

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    I'd say that casting those high level spells frequently is a playstyle choice rather than an issue with the fix. The way I see it, this fix makes sorceres the opposite of Warlocks in terms of casting. Warlocks have very few spells slots, but those spell slots are high level and nearly all of their spells scale with that slot level. Inversely, they refresh on a short rest so they can earn them back with a bit of effort. Sorcerers, with this fix, can sling their leveled spells all the time, however once they run out they're done until the next day. This change also increases the viability of Metamagic, as instead of keeping track of both Points and Slots, this allows for both to come from the same resource, similar to a Mana pool. If you still feel it's overpowered, perhaps remove the points they gain per level (the sorcery Points a Sorcerer without this fix would be getting)
    This ignores the idea that 1 high level spell could be worth more than the same amount of points invested in low/mid level spells not only in value but also time usage efficiency.

    1 synaptic static is like Bane + fireball (same spell point cost) but with 1 action cost (instead of 2) and a significantly higher margin of success due to being an int save. It also doesn't use concentration.

    Normally this balanced by virtue of the fact that casters get a max of 2 level 5 spells until tier 4.

    Even a normal sorcerer would have to use font of magic to make a bit of an inefficient trade to gain more high level slots and wizards need their short rest.

    Spell points at level 9 can fire off 8 synaptic statics in one day (vs 6 with font of magic or 3 with a high level wizard).

    That's the frontloaded casting power of a warlock of the same level taking 3 short rests...

    Giving this level of flexibility and output is quite frankly staggering to even consider. If you want to do this the least you could do is offer it to all casters so they don't feel like they are getting the short end of the stick compared to the sorcerer. [have fun balancing encounters ;) ]
    Last edited by TheUser; Yesterday at 12:00 AM.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I used the spell points variant (sorcerer only, but an unusual build) for a mini-campaign and it worked well.

    BUT I think you need to increase the cost of the Twin metamagic because it becomes a little too powerful under the Spell points system (Twinning spells becomes cheaper than casting them twice).

    Another variant that I have been toying with is to add an addendum to Font of Magic which would allow sorcerers to redistribute their spell slots after a long rest. This has the best of both worlds: the sorcerer can get frictionless use of his limited spells known, but doesnít overshadow the wizard. Meanwhile, he retains the Font of Magic ability to convert on the fly if he makes a mistake. Plus the ability synergizes well with the sorcerer fluff.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    This ignores the idea that 1 high level spell could be worth more than the same amount of points invested in low/mid level spells not only in value but also time usage efficiency.

    1 synaptic static is like Bane + fireball (same spell point cost) but with 1 action cost (instead of 2) and a significantly higher margin of success due to being an int save. It also doesn't use concentration.

    Normally this balanced by virtue of the fact that casters get a max of 2 level 5 spells until tier 4.

    Even a normal sorcerer would have to use font of magic to make a bit of an inefficient trade to gain more high level slots and wizards need their short rest.

    Spell points at level 9 can fire off 8 synaptic statics in one day (vs 5 with font of magic or 3 with a high level wizard).

    That's the frontloaded casting power of a warlock of the same level taking 3 short rests...

    Giving this level of flexibility and output is quite frankly staggering to even consider. If you want to do this the least you could do is offer it to all casters so they don't feel like they are getting the short end of the stick compared to the sorcerer. [have fun balancing encounters ;) ]
    I'd argue that this is the appeal for a Sorcerer. Like I said in my previous reply, if you feel it is a bit too heavy, limit the number of points given to just those gained from spell slots. that should help with Balancing.

    Also, in comparing this to other casters, keep in mind that most other spellcasting classes have loads to gain from their subclasses, while Sorcerer subclasses are fairly lackluster, relying on the "powerful usability of Metamagic" to compensate, when in reality Metamagic has about the same utility and viability as a Wizard Subclass (which doesn't mean that Metamagic is weak, just that it's weak for a base class with weak subclasses, while Wizard subclasses allow for much more power than many other subclasses)

    Quote Originally Posted by patchyman View Post
    I used the spell points variant (sorcerer only, but an unusual build) for a mini-campaign and it worked well.

    BUT I think you need to increase the cost of the Twin metamagic because it becomes a little too powerful under the Spell points system (Twinning spells becomes cheaper than casting them twice).

    Another variant that I have been toying with is to add an addendum to Font of Magic which would allow sorcerers to redistribute their spell slots after a long rest. This has the best of both worlds: the sorcerer can get frictionless use of his limited spells known, but doesnít overshadow the wizard. Meanwhile, he retains the Font of Magic ability to convert on the fly if he makes a mistake. Plus the ability synergizes well with the sorcerer fluff.
    I'd adjust this to adding one or two points to the cost of twinning it, similar to the other Metamagic feats.
    "There are truly only 2 sources of conflict: Miscommunication, and Intolerance. Of the two, only one is acceptable."

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    While Sorcerer subclasses are fairly lackluster, relying on the "powerful usability of Metamagic" to compensate, when in reality Metamagic has about the same utility and viability as a Wizard Subclass (which doesn't mean that Metamagic is weak, just that it's weak for a base class with weak subclasses, while Wizard subclasses allow for much more power than many other subclasses)
    Disadvantage on all spell saves tied to a minisummon or +/-1d4 on rolls with a reaction or at will flight /at will bonus action teleports don't strike me as "weak" subclass abilities even in the slightest.

    Maybe when propped up against the most powerful wizard subclass features like illusory reality, command undead or spell resistance but this is mitigated by the wizard base class not having anything remotely nearing metamagic.

    As for your assertion that metamagic [isn't all that great] I invite you to re-examine the awesome potential of quicken, careful, empower and especially twin and subtle.

    Subtle is a powerhouse that is virtually unparalleled (lvl 18 druid that's it), comes online super early and effects social, exploration and combat to an immense degree.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Disadvantage on all spell saves tied to a minisummon or +/-1d4 on rolls with a reaction or at will flight /at will bonus action teleports don't strike me as "weak" subclass abilities even in the slightest.

    Maybe when propped up against the most powerful wizard subclass features like illusory reality, command undead or spell resistance but this is mitigated by the wizard base class not having anything remotely nearing metamagic.

    As for your assertion that metamagic [isn't all that great] I invite you to re-examine the awesome potential of quicken, careful, empower and especially twin and subtle.

    Subtle is a powerhouse that is virtually unparalleled (lvl 18 druid that's it), comes online super early and effects social, exploration and combat to an immense degree.
    I have examined them, and even with them, Metamagic does not a base class make. As for the base class of a Wizard, Wizards have plenty going for them in the base class, most of them being in the way they cast their spells. A Larger spell list, arcane recovery, and spell list versatility being prime examples, with Ritual Casting and learning spells outside of level gain are also no laughing matter.

    The issue here isn't that Metamagic isn't great (my opinion of it aside), it's that it's not enough to make Sorcerers a distinct and unique class. Changing the way they cast their spells to give them more flexibility and the ability to choose how many of a spell they cast rather than limited by spell slots gives them the versatility and boost they need to really stand out as a class.
    Last edited by Nagog; 2019-07-13 at 04:13 PM.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    The issue here isn't that Metamagic isn't great (my opinion of it aside), it's that it's not enough to make Sorcerers a distinct and unique class. Changing the way they cast their spells to give them more flexibility and the ability to choose how many of a spell they cast rather than limited by spell slots gives them the versatility and boost they need to really stand out as a class.
    This hasn't really been substantiated with any type of analysis or break down.

    It's literally all assertions with nothing backing it up. I'm curious as to -how- you came to this conclusion, but since it's largely an unsupported, baseless conclusion (EDIT: within the context of this thread, I am sure you have reasons :P) I have no way to either disagree with you or come to a common consensus.

    If it's not too much trouble maybe you'd be more inclined to actually -discuss- your rationale?
    Last edited by TheUser; 2019-07-13 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    I'm in favor of it, but I don't use the spell point system from the DMG. Mine is simpler while also making Sorcerer a unique caster and less appealing as a multiclass gimmick option. I also setup the system in such a way that the Sorcerer can't nova. It's in my signature.

    Most of the arguments against spell points and similar seem to be: "but that would make the Sorcerer able to do things others can't and act with more flexibility than other casters. Other casters would be jealous."

    Yes. That's the point. The Sorcerer should have features that other casters would like to have. Because wouldn't The Sorcerer player like to learn two spells every level plus picking up new ones from scrolls (Wizard), or be able to wear armor, change ALL of their spells known on a long rest for free, and turn into animals frequently (Druid)?

    The problem is that, any time a class can cast spells differently from another caster, everyone yells foul. Spells are the strongest mechanic in the game because they were in 3.5e so they must be now, therefore whoever casts the most spells or casts spells the most freely is overpowered. Right?

    Wrong.

    Spoiler: side story about something that seemed like it would be OP but wasn't
    Show

    I've been around the block on things like this a few times. When I allowed a coffeelock in one of my games, some of the other players were worried that it would be overpowered. It wasn't. And I didn't have particularly good players either - actually, the coffeelock was the most consistently good player among them, good meaning she made good choices and paid attention. But she didn't break anything.

    You know who was more disruptive? The Paladin with the feat Lucky. Nothing bad could happen to him, and things died immediately whenever he got a crit. And that was just a Paladin using about half of his actual features. There's a reason why Paladins are consistently ranked as one of the strongest classes. Point being that the coffeelock, supposedly the most broken build, was easier to deal with by far than just a regular strong class. Even infinite spells don't matter in the face of action economy.

    Flexibility has always been part of the Sorcerer's identity, but they don't have that flexibility anymore. Even if they convert all of their Sorcery points directly into spell slots, Wizards, with their Arcane Recovery, can cast at least as many spells per day assuming they don't cast a single ritual or get any mileage from their subclass. Realistically, the Wizard will cast far more spells due to their rituals alone, to say nothing of Wizards having more than twice as many spells known to choose from, and even being able to prepare more spells than the Sorcerer knows at all.

    But it makes perfect thematic sense for the Sorcerer to have this flexibility. If they produce their own magic, if it's inside of them and under their control, why shouldn't they be able to shape that power exactly as they choose? That's what spell points allow them to do.

    There are other problems with Sorcerer. They get no innate magic from their origins, and the origin features don't really affect spell choice very much - I addressed those issues as well. But spell points and similar address the core problem by making Sorcerers feel like Sorcerers again.
    Last edited by Trickery; 2019-07-13 at 04:50 PM.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    This hasn't really been substantiated with any type of analysis or break down.

    It's literally all assertions with nothing backing it up. I'm curious as to -how- you came to this conclusion, but since it's largely an unsupported, baseless conclusion (EDIT: within the context of this thread, I am sure you have reasons :P) I have no way to either disagree with you or come to a common consensus.

    If it's not too much trouble maybe you'd be more inclined to actually -discuss- your rationale?
    Ok, breakdown:

    Safe Spell: Not half bad, if you are a fan of AoE spells that only induce effects. However, with spells that are AoE and deal damage (Fireball and Lightning Bolt are prime examples), your allies are still taking half damage, so even with this they aren't going to be a fan of you nuking them. Comparatively, an Evocation Wizard's Sculpt Spells does the same thing, with saves for half damage instead dealing no damage to those you indicate as "safe". Also, this is a feature gained at level 2, and you do not need to expend any resource at all to use it beyond the initial spell slot.

    Distant Spell: the Spell Sniper feat does this already, to every spell you have to roll an attack for, for free. Also you get a free cantrip from it from any class. the Touch spell to 30 ft range is decent for some spells that would be great except for the touch range, namely Vampiric Touch. But Vampiric Touch isn't available to Sorcerers, soooo....

    Empowered Spell: Not bad, but not great either. While you have potential to improve your damage a bit, there are other classes that can automatically maximize their damage, such as the Evocation Wizard's Overchannel. This also enforces that you use the second result, so you may end up wasting some Sorcerer Points and dealing less damage than you were before.

    Extended Spell: Can be useful in some situations, however most DMs will require you to state you are extending it when you first cast it, rather than towards the end of the duration, making this a bit of a niche choice.

    Heightened Spell: Also not a bad option, however there are 2 drawbacks: Firstly, it only applies to the first saving throw, so things like Phantasmal Killer won't be benefitted, however something like Charm Person would be, unless something happens that triggers another saving throw. Secondly, on a spell like Fireball or Lightning Bolt, this debuff is limited to 1 enemy. If you're using Fireball or Lightning Bolt on a single enemy, you're wasting much of the power of these spells.

    Quickened Spell: This has the potential to be quite powerful, but not really in the way you'd expect. The PHB has ruled that when casting a spell with a casting time of a Bonus Action, the Action cannot be used to cast a spell of any level beyond a cantrip. So you could use a medicine kit to stabilize an ally, and cast your spell, in the same round, at the cost of 2 sorcery points. Hooray.

    Subtle Spell: Perhaps the only truly remarkable Metamagic, this allows you to cast while tied up, gagged, and shackled to a wall. That is, if you don't require any material components. Also, if there aren't any material components (or your DM will allow a sleight of hand roll to hide said component), you can cast a spell without being noticed. Nifty and fun for when you're playing your sorcerer like a Rogue.

    Twinned Spell: Also not bad, but the limitations on this spell prevent it from truly achieving it's full potential (Can't use it for things like Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Fireball, Lightning Bolt). While this could be pretty good in conjunction with Heightened Spell to cast Charm Person on 2 people in the same round in combat, unless otherwise stated (like in Empowered Spell), you can only use one Metamagic at a time.


    So there you have it, your breakdown of why Metamagic is not powerful enough to alone constitute a class of it's own. If this isn't enough to convince you, I urge you to keep in mind how few Sorcerer Points you have without this tweak, so while these are useful, if you're using these every round (when 9 times out of 10 a single casting of the right spell will do the job), you're going to run out of Sorcerer Points long before you run out of slots, and then you'll be an under powered, under equipped Wizard.
    Last edited by Nagog; 2019-07-13 at 06:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trickery View Post
    I also setup the system in such a way that the Sorcerer can't nova. It's in my signature.
    There's no signature displaying for you... :s


    EDIT (new reply since starting this reply):

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Distant Spell: the Spell Sniper feat does this already, to every spell you have to roll an attack for, for free. Also you get a free cantrip from it from any class. the Touch spell to 30 ft range is decent for some spells that would be great except for the touch range, namely Vampiric Touch. But Vampiric Touch isn't available to Sorcerers, soooo....
    Vampiric Touch isn't a Touch Spell (it has a Range of Self) because it's actually not the attack in itself, but rather a self-"buff" to give the ability to use that attack. Not a big deal for the comment, but something that's probably worth highlighting.
    Last edited by PhantomSoul; 2019-07-13 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Ok, breakdown:

    Safe Spell: Not half bad, if you are a fan of AoE spells that only induce effects. However, with spells that are AoE and deal damage (Fireball and Lightening Bolt are prime examples), your allies are still taking half damage, so even with this they aren't going to be a fan of you nuking them. Comparatively, an Evocation Wizard's Sculpt Spells does the same thing, with saves for half damage instead dealing no damage to those you indicate as "safe". Also, this is a feature gained at level 2, and you do not need to expend any resource at all to use it beyond the initial spell slot.
    Careful spell works with any spell school. Sculpt Spells (Invoker feature) works with only evocation spells.
    This leaves a huge gap for sculpt spells to operate on.
    Hypnotic Pattern, Synaptic Static, Fear and Confusion come to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post

    Empowered Spell: Not bad, but not great either. While you have potential to improve your damage a bit, there are other classes that can automatically maximize their damage, such as the Evocation Wizard's Overchannel. This also enforces that you use the second result, so you may end up wasting some Sorcerer Points and dealing less damage than you were before.
    If you exclusively re-roll on 1's and 2's on a d6 and re-roll 4 dice on a fireball you literally have a less than 0.5% chance to lower your damage.
    It also improves damage by a significant percentage.
    Fireball averages 28 damage. Empowered fireballl re-rolling 1's and 2's averages over 33 damage (20% improvement) and unlike overchannel it's usable at level 3, usable with a majority of your spells in a day without murdering you and operates on spells higher than 5th level...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Heightened Spell: Also not a bad option, however there are 2 drawbacks: Firstly, it only applies to the first saving throw, so things like Phantasmal Killer won't be benefitted, however something like Charm Person would be, unless something happens that triggers another saving throw. Secondly, on a spell like Fireball or Lightening Bolt, this debuff is limited to 1 enemy. If you're using Fireball or Lightening Bolt on a single enemy, you're wasting much of the power of these spells.
    (It's lightning bolt bro. The first one I chocked up to a typo but it's not reducing your weight....)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Quickened Spell: This has the potential to be quite powerful, but not really in the way you'd expect. The PHB has ruled that when casting a spell with a casting time of a Bonus Action, the Action cannot be used to cast a spell of any level beyond a cantrip. So you could use a medicine kit to stabilize an ally, and cast your spell, in the same round, at the cost of 2 sorcery points. Hooray.
    Loads of spells have associated action costs which do not count as casting a spell. Meaning you can cast them and use them again in their first turn and continue to use them on turns there after while slinging other spells. Sunbeam is my premiere example but there are loads of them. Earthen Grasp, Crown of Madness, Self Polymorphs, Telekinesis, Enervate, Eyebite you name it.

    Additionally it costs a level 2 sorcery points which means that if your 2 cantrips out damage a level 2 spell it is worthwhile (Draconic Sorcerer doing 6d10+10 fire damage with two firebolts for instance).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Twinned Spell: Also not bad, but the limitations on this spell prevent it from truly achieving it's full potential (Can't use it for things like Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Fireball, Lightening Bolt). While this could be pretty good in conjunction with Heightened Spell to cast Charm Person on 2 people in the same round in combat, unless otherwise stated (like in Empowered Spell), you can only use one Metamagic at a time.
    Even with stricter raw it works with things like Haste, Polymorph, Suggestion, DOMINATE, offensive cantrips that aren't eldritch blast....I mean these are all phenominal value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    So there you have it, your breakdown of why Metamagic is not powerful enough to alone constitute a class of it's own. If this isn't enough to convince you, I urge you to keep in mind how few Sorcerer Points you have without this tweak, so while these are useful, if you're using these every round (when 9 times out of 10 a single casting of the right spell will do the job), you're going to run out of Sorcerer Points long before you run out of slots, and then you'll be an under powered, under equipped Wizard.
    Sounds like you haven't played the class or done your research tbh.
    I'll grant you that distant, extended and even heightened are ultra meh, but then again I'm not bringing up the conjuration wizard or the transmuter much either....
    "What most us tend to forget is that statistically speaking, 50% of people out there have below average intelligence."

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    There's no signature displaying for you... :s
    How weird! I know I saved it. Alas, here it is: https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/ryLQS4Ubr.

    And the thread - I developed this with all of your help: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...imple-Solution. Note the first attempt at the system did too little and lost power after 10, so I made adjustments and formalized it on Homebrewery.
    Simple Sorcerer - A simple, flexible, friendly take on the Sorcerer class with unique features and small, impactful changes. Thread & Discussion.

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Careful spell works with any spell school. Sculpt Spells (Invoker feature) works with only evocation spells.
    This leaves a huge gap for sculpt spells to operate on.
    Hypnotic Pattern, Synaptic Static, Fear and Confusion come to mind.
    While true, those of these that deal damage will steal deal damage, as I stated. Whether your Synaptic Static deals 8d6 or 4d6 damage of friendly fire, those allies aren't going to be friendly about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    If you exclusively re-roll on 1's and 2's on a d6 and re-roll 4 dice on a fireball you literally have a less than 0.5% chance to lower your damage.
    It also improves damage by a significant percentage.
    Fireball averages 28 damage. Empowered fireball re-rolling 1's and 2's averages over 33 damage (20% improvement) and unlike overchannel it's usable at level 3, usable with a majority of your spells in a day without murdering you and operates on spells higher than 5th level...
    As a note, a 5 damage increase to 28 damage does not equate a 20% increase, but math aside, such an improvement is minimal in comparison to the other bonuses provided by other classes/subclasses. Hexblades Curse, for example, provides a solid bonus equal to your Prof. (scaling) as well as other benefits, such as health regained on a kill, and a higher crit chance on spells that require an attack roll. No limits on it for what kind of spell or attack it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    (It's lightning bolt bro. The first one I chocked up to a typo but it's not reducing your weight....)
    I'm not sure what you're referring to be a typo, could you elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Loads of spells have associated action costs which do not count as casting a spell. Meaning you can cast them and use them again in their first turn and continue to use them on turns there after while slinging other spells. Sunbeam is my premiere example but there are loads of them. Earthen Grasp, Crown of Madness, Self Polymorphs, Telekinesis, Enervate, Eyebite you name it.
    Most of those spells bang their head against the wall that is Concentration. Still useful, but as is my base point, not something to base an entire class on, much less one with the drawbacks a Sorcerer has.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Even with stricter raw it works with things like Haste, Polymorph, Suggestion, DOMINATE, offensive cantrips that aren't eldritch blast....I mean these are all phenominal value.
    Indeed, which is why I said it wasn't bad. As with the previous, useful, but not "Makes a solid standing for a base class" useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Sounds like you haven't played the class or done your research tbh.
    I'll grant you that distant, extended and even heightened are ultra meh, but then again I'm not bringing up the conjuration wizard or the transmuter much either....
    Frankly, you sound like a DM that isn't willing to trust your players with creative liberty. I've not played the class, no, but I have DMed for a few of them and in the one that had another caster in the party, the Sorcerer multiclassed out because they didn't feel they had anything to contribute. As for the Transmuter or Conjuration subclass for Wizards, they can be quite powerful if you know how to use them, and even for the worst Wizard subclasses, the base class of Wizard would only be slightly behind a Sorcerer and their subclass, as the sorcerer subclasses don't really get you more than one or if you're lucky, two really good buffs.

    The entire point of this update is to give Sorcerers something new, something that makes playing a Sorcerer an entirely different experience than any other caster. For further reference, let's compare what the other casting classes have:

    Druid: Wild Shape, Armor, a mostly unique spell list, subclasses that vastly change playstyle
    Wizards: Ritual Spellcasting, learning spells between level gains, expansive spell list, more spell slots than other classes, Arcane Recovery, high power subclasses
    Warlocks: Where to start? Unique and powerful spells, invocations, Pact choice, Lore-based subclasses
    Clerics: Highest density of healing spells, Channel divinity, Medium Armor, play style tailored subclasses
    Sorcerers: Metamagic

    Half Casters:
    Paladins: Smite, Channel Divinity
    Rangers (Barely on here due to how many times they've been reworked): Spells built specifically to their playstyle (Lightning Arrow, Flame Arrows, etc.)

    Fact of the matter is, while Metamagic is nice, it simply isn't enough to base an entire spellcasting class on.
    Last edited by Nagog; 2019-07-13 at 06:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    Fact of the matter is, while Metamagic is nice, it simply isn't enough to base an entire spellcasting class on.
    I wouldn't call this a fact, I see the idea that metamagic is appealing enough that many wish it was available as a feat for other spellcasters as a sign that it does do a lot to make Sorcerer's unique.

    A good rule of thumb, in my experience, is that if other players want to steal your class feature, that means it's a good one.

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Autocorrect might be your bane, Nagog-you wrote Lightening Bolt, not Lightning Bolt.

    As in, a bolt that makes something lighter.

    But nitpicking spelling does not make your points weaker.
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Autocorrect might be your bane, Nagog-you wrote Lightening Bolt, not Lightning Bolt.

    As in, a bolt that makes something lighter.

    But nitpicking spelling does not make your points weaker.
    Oh! Thanks, I'll update that
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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nagog View Post
    I've not played the class, no...
    ....
    -snip-
    Sorcerers: Metamagic
    I'd like to think it surprising that someone who's never experienced playing the class would have no humility with regards to their own opinions but frankly I'm unfazed.

    It's funny because your bias over the issue coupled with a lack of actually having played the class is quite apparent; you've listed sorcerer as having only metamagic compared to the numerous features of other classes but completely gloss over Font of Magic as a feature.

    As it stands, sorcerers already have more flexible casting system than any other caster but that, apparently, isn't enough for you because it employs a level of decision making on the player's part and a bit of balance on its overall output. Spell points isn't anything new or profound like you're trying to make it out to be in terms of changing the class; it's already there but you want to straight up buff it.

    I'm not saying people are wrong to want to buff an aspect of a class, I just see this as an unhealthy way to do it and one that was already adjudicated on by the games own designers and implemented with clear restrictions.

    I look forward to your no doubt nuanced opinions on a class you've never played let alone a variant casting system you've never experienced while playing that class.
    Last edited by TheUser; Yesterday at 12:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell Points variant rule for Sorcerers: Balanced? Yay or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    As it stands, sorcerers already have more flexible casting system than any other caster...
    Want to address this one point. This is inaccurate. At level 10, a Sorcerer can use its full set of Sorcery points to create one 5th and one 2nd level spell slot, a total of 7 levels worth of spells. A 10th level wizard can recover 5 levels worth of spell slots on a short rest just using Arcane Recovery. Land Druids copy that feature with their Natural Recovery. And of course there's the Divination Wizard who can recover a spell slot every time they cast a 2nd level or higher Divination spell. If we include that on top of Arcane Recovery, Divination Wizards easily cast more spell slots worth of spells per day than the Sorcerer does, and that's before we count rituals.

    So I'm curious to know what you mean by flexible. If you mean flexibility in terms of Metamagic, then yes - Sorcerers are the only class that gets Metamagic. However, if you're talking about Font of Magic, then what has the Sorcerer accomplished? By giving up all of his Sorcery Points and thus his Metamagic, he can get slightly ahead of some spell casters and behind others in terms of spell slots. In exchange, he doesn't get the Wizard's spell list or superior spells known or ritual casting, doesn't get the druids armor or wildshaping or extra hit points, doesn't get the bard's incredible class features and higher hp and ability to steal spells from other classes' spell lists...

    I don't think anyone would seriously argue that Sorcerers are fine how they are. They don't have flexible casting compared to other spellcasters, and they only have one feature worth mentioning. Font of Magic is really good if you take Warlock levels, but I've seen so many DMs (online, at least) who flatly don't allow that multiclass. And, if a class needs multiclassing in order to be good, then is that really a good class? I don't think so. But I see a lot more excitement about Sorcadins, Sorlocks, and even Sorbards than I ever do about plain Sorcerers. Every now and then, someone has a clever idea about how to use some Metamagic, and that's about it as far as excitement about the class goes.
    Simple Sorcerer - A simple, flexible, friendly take on the Sorcerer class with unique features and small, impactful changes. Thread & Discussion.

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