Monday, January 26, 2009

What manner of sorcery is this?

Thanks to Crwth I got a look at the Sorcerer class coming in the PHB2. It’s a class that’s been near and dear to me since the early days of 3rd Edition for a variety of reasons.

For starters I’ve always liked the Charismatic hero. More importantly I love the open ended spell selection that allowed (encouraged) a customized theme and spared me the tedious book keeping of the Wizard. Plus there was the challenge of picking those spells knowing that they’d be locked in (at least until WotC introduced the swap rule). Whether it was my Graz’zt worshipping thrall or my greatsword wielding dwarf I loved mixing the sorcerer class in new and weird ways.

So it was that when the 4E PHB was released my biggest initial disappointment was in the omission of the sorcerer class. The fact that the Warlock was there taking up the pages that rightfully belonged to my Sorcerer was just a kick in the junk. But I more or less shrugged it off and settled for a Wizard.

In the early days I was pleasantly surprised by the Wizard. The powers reduced the book keeping so it wasn’t all that bad. In fact I was starting to think that the 4E Wizard was just a Sorcerer by another name. Of course it didn’t take me long to realize that thanks to the powers every class is another class by another name.

Anyways, the preview of the 4E Sorcerer looks promising. But, that said, I'm not sure why they plugged the Sorcerer into the Arcane Striker role. First the Warlock steals the Sorcerer's pages in the PHB, and now the Sorcerer has to share a role with the upstart? Especially when the Elemental source seemed like such a natural fit. So, WTF?

As an aside, am I the only one feeling like WotC has us on a cycle of “hey, this is new and cool” to “blah blah blah” to “yay another power source book” to “blah”?

The “Spell Source” is interesting. The Dragon Magic source is reminiscent of the 3.5 version of the Sorcerer, with it’s Draconic blood in the veins thing. The details are more of the usual bonus to this, gain this when bloodied, schlock that I’ve seen everywhere before.

However the Wild Magic is refreshingly novel. The Chaos Burst is fun in that it gives you a round to round benefit depending on what you roll to attack. Then again, I thought we weren’t going to have to keep track of that sort of thing anymore. And what happens in a round where I don’t roll an attack?

The Unfettered Power is another perk to Wild Magic and this one is without flaw. The natural 20 result is all well and good, but I’m practically giddy with the result of a natural 1. Pushing every creature (enemy or ally) within twenty five feet is hilarious. I can foresee times where I’ll actually want to roll a 1.

The rest of the article is the usual drivel of powers ad nauseum. Some interesting stuff but nothing that stands out as truly unique or class defining.

All in all, I’ve actually got a little something to look forward to.

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