Posted by : David Guyll January 26, 2009

I've always been a fan of the concept of sorcerers. Shitty skill points, lack of class features, and limited ability to efficiently use Metamagic feats kind of ruined it for me. 4th Edition did a lot in the way of change, pretty much all of which was for the better, and I dont see any of those limitations here.

The role is actually a striker, which is somewhat different from the controller role that basically everywhere thought it was going to be. Instead of comparing this guy to the wizard, I'll be looking at the warlock as well as what I know about the stiker role (ie, mechanic to deal bonus damage).
Most of everything else about this class is what I expected, except for Strength as a key ability. Apparently it affects the dragon Spell Source, which I'll talk about in just a moment. Sorcerers only get one class feature that we know about so far, and thats Spell Source. Spell Source is the new term for bloodline, ifin you played 3rd Edition. Out of the gate we only get two--dragon and chaos--though I'm sure Arcane Powers will add one or more to the melting pot (and I'm guessing there are more than a few of you who have your own ideas, recycled or not).

The article goes into more detail than the old class did about the origins of your powers, going so far as to provide a few examples about how you might have "acquired" them. For example, you might have been bathed in dragon's blood, or born in a place where energies from the Elemental Chaos converged.
The common theme here is that both Spell Sources provide a flat damage bonus equal to another ability score (Strength or Dexterity), and it increases as you level up. This is their striker mechanic, much different than the extra d6 or d8 damage die that we are used to seeing. Thats where the similarities end, however.
Dragon Magic is very defensive in nature. You can get a bonus to your AC, energy resistance, and add your Strength mod to your AC instead of Dex or Int. Wild Magic gives you randomized benefits at the start of each round and short/extended rest, in addition to pushing creatures around when you get a natural 20 or 1.

Sorcerers can use daggers as implements. Since they dont have any kind of Implement Mastery, this is basically cosmetic in nature. It is, however, cool.

After that, its on to powers. Acid orb is like an acid-damage variant of magic missile, except that strictly speaking the average damage is 0.5 higher, and I'm sure one or more people are already on the forums bitching about how the sorcerer is overpowered. There are a total of five at-wills mentioned, and they all seem to be about on par with what I would expect from the warlock. Storm walk is neat in that you can shift before or after the attack (which is similar to one of the ranger at-wills).
One major theme I see with the Wild Magic powers are that it grants you an extra benefit if you roll a even number on your attack rolls. You can slide instead of push, make a secondary attack, target takes an attack penalty, etc.

The class looks very solid. I like that its different from all other arcane classes we've seen thus far. People had an identity crisis about the warden and druid, and I was afraid that even I would do the same when I read the sorcerer. Its definitely not a wizard, or even a warlock. Its got its own theme going on, and I just wish that we had more Spell Sources to pick from. If I had a complaint, it would be that I was really hoping for the "bleeding magic" sorcerer that we read about in Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, in that you would get some lingering aura effect after casting spells. Thats not to say that I dislike this class: I think this is going to be the class I first play when Player's Handbook II comes out (instead of the druid).

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