Wizards has put up their preview of the first three levels of sorcerer and it seems pretty neat.
I was always split on my feelings about the sorcerer in 3.x. In some ways I really liked them, mainly because they were these misunderstood magic users that had this power born into them, which seemed really cool thematically. On the other hand I disliked the fact that they got to choose their spells when they cast them which just made them feel a lot more powerful than wizards. Sure, the wizard had a giant spell book with all sorts of utility-type spells that the sorcerer didn’t have but he never knew he was going to need them the next day so he never prepared and just ended up going with fireball again for the 20th day in a row. In other words, the utility felt theoretical instead of practical to me.
I also never liked the fact that the spells were exactly the same. It just seemed odd to me that the two cast the same spells with the same effects when wizard spells were meant to be designed. I guess you could just say that all wizard spells were “discovered” but it still didn’t sit right with me.
Now, the new sorcerer has a much more explosive and uncontrolled feel. They must choose either the Dragon Magic path or the Wild Magic path and each has a very different feel.
The Dragon Magic path indicates draconic blood and seems to have spawned from the old “Sorcerers might have dragon blood” line from 3.x. In fact in 3.x there was a prestige class that basically turned you into part dragon after a while and while I can’t remember if it was only open to sorcerers, it probably wasn’t, it seemed geared toward them.
The Wild Magic path is more like the old wild mages. It has random powers that trigger off of certain rolls and such. This build will probably be fairly popular for the more chaotic members of your group.
I like what I’ve seen of the sorcerer though some of their powers, especially those caused by the Wild Magic path, seem a bit annoying to keep track of. For example this one, “Chaos Burst: Your first attack roll during each of your turns determines a benefit you gain in that round. If you roll an even number, you gain a +1 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn. If you roll an odd number, you make a saving throw.” could lead to a lot of, “Oh wait, you missed me, after all I forgot I had the plus one from Chaos Burst” situations.
I particularly find it interesting that the sorcerer has strength as one of its top three stats. I can certainly understand why, especially with Wizards new mentality of mixing up the stats more and not just making the physical stats the only important ones for your traditionally physical character, and the opposite for traditionally mental characters. Another interesting thing is that sorcerers use daggers as an implement.
So go and check out the preview if you’re an Insider member and as always feel free to leave a comment below regarding your opinions.