Sorcerer Classs Guide
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Sorcerer Class Guide
**** Not Just A Pretty Face! ****
A sorcerer is not just a pretty face, they are very very strong casters, limited only by what they can learn. They gain spells not through study like a wizard but through focus, and cast not by careful memorization but instead through sheer force of "personality". They are Charisma based casters and as such resemble bards in a way, but choose from the spell listings of a wizard, and so resemble a wizard in a way.
Usually the back story given for sorcerers involve a dragon somewhere far enough back in the family line that perpetuates and manifests as magical powers. CHA here is being used more as presence then beauty, and the best way of describing how a sorcerer works is to think of someone who makes a splash entering the room. They just seem to draw the eye. The light seems to touch them different, everything seems to go their way, people listen and give their words more weight then others, etc. A sorcerer's spells in many ways perpetuate this idea rather then remove it. You could also in some ways think of it in the unflattering way of a brat who always gets their way.
In NWN implementation, the dragon idea is given a little more weight with the Red Dragon Disciple PrC being limited to bards or sorcerers, almost as a direct relation to those who wish to give over to their blood. No way around it though, the sorcerer is a hard class to RP, even though it is given over with so much potential. The hardest part being how to role play a very high charismatic caster (especially how others relate to such a highly charismatic caster). This tends to manifest as suddenly unearthly beautific creatures that should strike everyone they see dumb upon even viewing them and unable to form coherent speech as they practically drool over such beauty.
**** RP Difficulties ****
Since this is almost impossible to make work (keeping in mind that Ronan is one of the highest level sorcerer's on the server, followed by Bel'mar, and no one wants to RP drooling over those two…), the question that comes to mind is how else exactly do you RP a Sorcerer and make the class "work"? It all ties to the ability and the RP that comes with it. CHA is more then just physical beauty, it's force of personality. You can have a high charisma paladin that has been in so many fights that his face is scarred to all hells and back, but he's still highly charismatic. Why? Because those scars show he has been very hands on in a battle. The way he handles his sword, the shine of his armor, even his voice just sways hearts and minds every time he steps on to a battlefield. When the very flip of his cloak can raise the morale of those around him, THAT is charisma.
**** Backstory Idea ****
It is no different for a sorcerer, and I usually use a fictional story to explain the concept of how a sorcerer becomes powerful over time. I also like to term it the "Trick" story, since it also covers how the basics of spell gaining for a sorcerer works. Farlay was a young boy born on a farm, and his only chore was to tend the sheep. Every day, he'd sit on a hillside and watch the sheep as they wandered back and forth like overgrown cotton balls, and daydreamed since there was little else to do. Most of his daydreams revolved of course around some heroic deed or another that won him away from tending sheep. Like a noble's daughter of exceptional beauty that became lost and he found her, and was rewarded by marrying her and together they'd go off and... well. He always drew a blank at that point, since he wasn't that creative, or picky. Just getting off the farm was all he really wanted.
One day, he heard one of the sheep baa'ing in protest at something, and he came running down the hill to find out what was the matter. Brandishing his shepards crook and expecting a wolf he was more then surprised when he rounded a rock and found a goblin eating his sheep instead of a wolf! Not only was he more then surprised, he was terrified! He tripped, stumbled and dropped his stick. The goblin saw him and came running, and he raised his hand up and felt a flash of something as he screamed in terror (casts Daze), and the goblin stumbled, fell down, and the boy cracks him over the head with his quickly recovered stick (25 XP! Yay!). After being sick for awhile, he searches the goblin (loots 4gp!) then drags it to the village.
A wandering wizard who happens to be in the inn, stops to listen to the tale of this young child hero and wonders to himself how the boy could have handled a goblin so easily with just a staff. He asks Farlay to repeat the story to him, and Farlay does so, going over every detail as much as possible. At first he feels somewhat intimidated, because he recognizes that this is someone who may be able to help him get away from the farm, but as he keeps talking and telling the story (casts Charm Person), he just feels that the wizard is eating from the palm of his hand. Eventually, the wizard agrees to help the villagers hunt for other goblins in case there are more in the area. As they head in to the hills, Farlay begins to feel threatened and doesn't want to be hit since he doesn't have armor, though neither does the wizard. With every small noise his nerves become more frayed until he finally feels something click in his head (casts Mage Armor) and he finally feels somewhat safer. The wizard having seen the last casting, finally begins to catch on to how the first goblin might have been defeated and offers to teach the boy. They live happily ever after till a dragon eats Farlay at level 9.
**** The Weave ****
It was also once explained to me that the difference between wizards and sorcerers when it came to manipulating the weave is internal versus external. A wizard learns from outside (scrolls, books, research) and memorizes. They have more versatility for any given challenge. A sorcerer learns nothing, but instead takes those internal tricks and forces them outside (spontaneously casting with no preparation). They have less versatility, instead approaching every challenge with the same bag of tricks.
**** Some RP Ideas ****
I don't do builds. I do ideas, everything else builds off that. Sorcerers have a LOT of potential when it comes to RP, though it becomes very difficult to keep them seperate from wizards in the long run of things. To the outside eye, someone wearing robes and casting spells is a mage. All mages are the same. Therefore, when you come across an evil glowing barrier of some kind you are likely to say the same thing to a sorcerer/wizard "Mage, get rid of this!"
There they split in tangent. A wizard will approach and study, compare to what they have seen in past research, make adjustments, suggest, test, and dispel.
A sorcerer, is likely as not to just fireball it. ESPECIALLY if fireballing got rid of the last one they came across. Why? Because a sorcerer doesn't manipulate the weave in the same fashion as the wizard. There are no late night candle light sessions across a scroll of untold origin. It either works, or doesn't work. And as vain as many of them become, they are likely as not to want to test their power against some other power.
A sorcerer is again, a bag of tricks, and tend to fall under the old adage of "If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail."
The true fun of a sorcerer isn't in the flamboyant attitude that most attain, it's in the true source of where their magic comes from. Elves make good sorcerers when it comes to RP since they are racially more attuned to the weave already it makes sense they have a source to pull from. But equally up there are products of a polymorphed dragon/race relations, mage experiments gone wrong, celestial/fiendish intervention (which in later versions of DnD came out as Favored Souls and Warlocks), or my personal favorite, the sorcerer with a block.
The block meaning they don't know what they are. I know of at least one that was played this way, where the PC had a decent INT score, carried a spellbook, worked with scrolls, etc. Some spells he just got right off the bat, others he never could get the knack for. He was played quite well as a star student, breezing through magical studies (we all know the "gifted" types from high school) with hardly a concern for his actual studies. The same concept has played out in a number of books over time.
Some of these can lead to angst (imagine a sorcerer who can cast because of fiendish liason four generations back, who ends up with an imp as a familar which is SOOOOOO not what he wanted, favoring pixies himself, that he spends all of his time trying to figure out enough control to get rid of the damn evil thing) or acceptance, but almost all RP becomes central to discovering what makes them what they are, how willing they are to accept what they are, and how hard they work towards controlling what some would consider a curse, and others would insist is a natural gift.
They are the ultimate in Emo class potential.
**** Tips and Suggestions ****
Sorcerers are Charisma based casters. Though spell preparation is not necessary, armor based chances of spell failure are NOT ignored.
Charisma is the single most important ability for a Sorcerer. It controls the DC of all your spells, the amount of spells you can cast, and the amount of bonus spells you receive. You have to have a natural Charisma score equal to spell circle minus ten to be able to have those spells available to you.
Sorcerers are d4 hit die. They die easily enough, you may want to give thought to upping your CON, or taking the toughness feat.
Sorcerers do get a familar as wizards do. The familars are NOT PnP based sadly, but instead NWN implementations. If your familar dies you will lose 100XP sheet (3ed) and have to come up with a 100gp before being able to summon your familar again. Pay extra attention to your familar when you choose one. Most come with abilities that offset the combat effectiveness. Pixies for instance get a castings of improved invisibility and some rogue skills.
Sorcerers gain spells slower then wizards do, but get more castings per rest then a wizard does. I've seen a high level sorcerer magic missile for fifteen minutes straight in real life.
Every two levels, Sorcerers can "trade" a spell they already have learned for a different spell. I've personally always found this very difficult to remember, and instead try and build based off taking the spell I find most appropriate at the level I would normally gain it. Do NOT take a spell you will NOT use. It's an absolute waste as a sorcerer.
Sorcerers have a few more weapon choices then a wizard. No, it doesn't make that much more of a difference.
Because they are not quite as versatile as a wizard, but get the same spell list, you will usually find a sorcerer spamming damage spells like crazy. However, they work even better as buffers (since they never forget a buff and can cover the entire party usually), and against enemy mages? They always have a dispell handy to counter with if you take dispell.
Even though they can not inscribe from scrolls, they can cast from arcane scrolls. If you want versatility, stock up on those scrolls.
Low skill points, and a tendency not to sink points into INT usually means that you have to be very careful where you put your skill points as you level. Concentration is important even if you don't mean to get hit, and spellcraft is important. Especially if you mean to counterspell anything. No spellcraft means no identifying spells as they are being cast, which means no countering.
Even more so then the wizard, metafeats for spells are important to the sorcerer. It increases versatility by upping the amount of spells that can be cast at different levels. (i.e. Out of fireballs? start empowering them next, then maximizing!). Since no spell preparation is required, you can meta your spells on the fly.
At the risk of pushing a concept on someone, if you find yourself tanking as the Sorcerer, stop and do the math. Your AB and HP would normally dictate being behind someone. That doesn't mean don't do it, that just means don't make it your core concept.
NWN Wiki Sorcerer Entry
Narfell Spell Modifications