Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wizard vs Sorcerer - the solution!

Maybe it's a legacy of 3.5 but I've always preferred the wizard over the sorcerer. Wizards get a new spells level one level earlier, know more spells, and if they leave slots empty can fill the gaps with utility spells mid day. Wizards also have better school powers then sorcerer's bloodlines. Sorcerers get only 2-3 skills so they even have trouble acting as the party face since after you've covered Perception and Spellcraft, and are tempted by the ever awesome Use Magic Device, there aren't any skill points left. Bards are, hands down, the best choice as party face.

Wizards aren't all sunshine and rainbows either. While they get spells earlier, in order to be even slightly competitive with a sorcerer's spells per level, a wizard must specialize. This greatly restricts what spells you can cast. Sure you can still memorize them but it requires 2 slots/forbidden spell, defeating the point of specializing in the first place. There is the issue of having a spell book - best hope your DM isn't a dick and likes to mess with it, and that you have to prepare your spells ahead of time. This isn't the end of the world because most people pick out the best spells from each level and prepare those over and over, and carry the rest as scrolls or leave spell slots empty.

I have finally found a solution to this quandary. In Ultimate Magic, the Wildblooded archetype was introduced which allowed for mutated versions of the standard Bloodlines. The Sage is a mutated form of the Arcana bloodlines and solves many of my main issues with sorcerers. All of a Sage's abilities key off Intelligence and not Charisma. They even get a few extra spells known. The only missing piece is that you have to play a Human and choose the Known Spell favored class bonus. With this combo you'll have 6-7 spells known for each level excluding your top 2 spells levels (so roughly what a wizard would have based on my previous wizards) but you get about 2 extra spells/day/spell level. It like getting some of the best perks from each class. About the only thing missing is a wizard's spell access rate. The sorcerer's skill selection rather sucks too I suppose but this can be mitigated slightly by traits, and it won't make a huge difference overall anyway.

Alas, this is another character build that sits in my head along with the Zen Archer, the Debuff Cleric, the Come and Get Me barbarian, and the Dirge Bard. Actually this would be a pretty sweet party.

As an aside the Sohei monk is the first monk archetype I've found that can almost keep pace with the full bab classes in melee combat.


Tayloritos said...

I agree that the sage sorceror is a nice concept. Our Chilean-Canadian friend is playing one in our current campaign and I will enjoy seeing how he progresses as we are currently entering 2nd level.

Derobane-bane said...

Wizard vs sorceror... don't make me pick! That's like choosing my a favorite among my kids. Like my kids, each class has is pros and cons. They both rock.

Sage does look really cool.

ESR said...

Unless you are going for a longer, or faster-leveling campaign, I would recommend the following: L1 as Sorcerer, rest of the levels as Wizard. Why? Well, you get a LOT more 1st level spells to play with, some of which can later just be utility spells. Second, you don't slow down your skill progression any more than a sorcerer would have had anyway! That is, you still get 2nd level spells at 4th level. Last, a lot of campaigns that I'VE been in anyway, do not last past 5th level or so... which means the Sage isn't really going to be a great benefit when you only have 3rd level spells.