Tuesday Tweak: Pathfinder Sorcerer

Today we’re tweaking the Pathfinder sorcerer.

This tweak is for the bloodlines:

Lose the bonus feats.

Bump all the bonus spells known up to the wizard progression (3rd level at 1st level, 5th at 3rd, and so on). Instead of just being bonus spells known, make ’em spell-like abilities useable 1/day at each level, outside the normal sorcerer progression. Then, sorcerer gets those same spells as bonus spells known as soon as he can cast them normally.

Other bloodline abilities are unchanged.

Bam! A viable sorcerer! Thanks Paizo!


Basically, Paizo did a great job upgrading the classes–except that sorcerer still sucks compared with Wizard. A sorcerer is supposed to have a slower progression in return for greater flexibility and more spells per day.

However, sorcerers fail on both counts. Because the sorcerer’s “spells known” are so severely limited, he utterly fails to be more flexible compared to a wizard who does just a little planning. Then the sorcerer fails to really have that many more spells per day. A specialized wizard of first level who takes a bonded object has the same number of spells per day as a sorcerer. As levels go up, the sorcerer pulls ahead just a little–not nearly enough to hold up in comparison.

Then, when you add the way Intelligence interacts with skills, plus the way Wizard gets all Knowledge skills while the sorcerer gets Bluff and Use Magic Device (virtually useless for a caster), sorcerer begins to really fall behind. Sure, the bloodlines mitigate these differences a teensy bit–except when you take into account the way spells known work. the bonus bloodline spells occur even slower than the normal sorcerer progression. He has to wait until third level to get a bonus 1st-level spell! Amazingly, the flavor is all wrong, because a low-level sorcerer actually has to avoid his bloodline spells in order to get maximum benefit later. This simply makes no sense.

Thus, this tweak lets sorcerers actually be better at something than wizards, plus actually tapping into the flavor created for them.

I created this concept with suggestions from my pal Chris Buckley.



3 responses to “Tuesday Tweak: Pathfinder Sorcerer

  1. I’ve forgotten all my thoughts on buffing sorcerers to viability but I do remember 2 of them. Take away scribe scroll from wizards and give it to sorcerer. Allow their charisma stat to improve will saves.

    Possibly allow a UMD check to emulate casting a spell on the spell list that isn’t known for the purposes of creating a scroll.

  2. Rarzor,
    Those are interesting ideas that make sorcerer a bit more versatile, but don’t get at the core of the problem. You can hand sorcerer all sorts of interesting things (like bloodlines) but the fact still remains: they are spellcasters. And if they lag behind in spellcasting, no one wants them.

  3. Pingback: Theme Thursday: Planning a Party | Gaming Mage

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