More than a storm in a teacup – our new and revised thoughts on sorcerers
A: So, it’s time for me to eat humble pie.
C: Delicious. I’ve served up a big plate here. Just kidding, I’ll probably be eating with you! What are we talking about?
A: Sorcerers. A while ago we did a conversation in which we both, but especially me, were like, ‘Hey, sorcerers, they’re a bit rubbish. Why would you pick to play one?’
C: Yeah, I remember.
A: So, for a one-shot we recently did, I was like, ‘Let’s discover why people would ever play a sorcerer. I’ll see if I can make it work.’ And it turns out sorcerers are incredible and I love them and I wish I could play them always and I’m so excited about them and I need my one-shot character to survive so that I can play a sorcerer again.
C: That sounds really cool. I’m glad that you grew from this experience.
A: Did I mention how great sorcerers are?
C: Quick question from the floor, though: your sorcerer in the one-shot was pretending to not be a sorcerer, and was also designed to be as un-sorcerer-y as is possible. Any thoughts on that, Angela?
A: Well, firstly, I think one of the most interesting ways to play a character is not to make them fit the class mould.
A: But also, I think we spoke before about the dichotomy between sorcerers and wizards. We’ve seen how wizards operate and it seemed like that was never going to work for sorcerers. And I still think that’s probably true. But there are a couple of things that sorcerers are really great at—such as the spell Windy Escape, which lets you avoid some melee damage. If you’re a prepping spellcaster, like a wizard, it’s rubbish, because you have to work out how many times to prep it. If you’re a known spellcaster, you can just pick when you want to use it, which is great.
C: True. Your character, Knoss, definitely wasn’t afraid to get into melee.
A: Right. We were playing at Level 4, which meant the when she got hit, she could Windy Escape and avoid basically all damage. So she could get up close and personal, and operate more like a fighter than a 'traditional' (wizard) spellcaster.
C: You make a really interesting point. It almost sounds like before we’d been comparing wizards and sorcerers within the context of ‘who’s better at being a wizard’—and of course wizards are going to be better at being a wizard.
C: Now having played a sorcerer, you have a new appreciation of stuff that sorcerers can do better than wizards, which has expanded your understanding of the class.
A: Right. I still think that bloodline powers are perhaps too few and far between, but they are cool. We’ve seen our wizard, who’s of the Transmutation school, get really excited about getting Change Shape at Level 8. I now have that with Knoss and Thunderbolt, which is her Level 9 Stormborn bloodline power. I want it so badly.
C: Yeah, everyone got way too attached to their one-shot characters.
A: We really did. But to return to your earlier question about Knoss being un-sorcerer-like, I must admit, I did dump all her mental stats in favour of physical ones. Like so many of my characters, she has such low Intelligence, and also Wisdom.
C: You didn’t try to make a very DC-orientated sorcerer. You went for spells that allowed you to work really well without having a super juicy Charisma.
A: Yeah. And, as I mentioned, she has the Stormborn bloodline, and one of their powers is to make their weapon stronger. She got to have a Thor-aesthetic, imbuing her weapon with lightning. But, one thing that didn’t really come up in the one-shot was enemy magic-users. Since she has terrible Wisdom, she has a terrible Will save, so even with Sorcerer saves she would instantly fail if someone cast Hold Person or the like on her. Sorcerers are still a fallible class.
C: All characters need at least one weakness so that they can get mad when the DM uses it against them. It helps the party bond.
A: True. Also, because I didn’t get to tell my joke last time, I have to do it now. What do spellcasters drink tea out of?
C: A cup and sorcerer?
C: Yes! I foiled you! I foiled your scheme!
A: No! I’ve been sitting on that joke since last time we spoke on sorcerers. You ruined it!