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View Full Version : Spontaneous casting and material components



Kris Strife
2009-03-25, 02:32 AM
Do spontaneous casters even need spell components and focuses? To me, it seems like it goes against the general feel. "I'm able to alter reality by my sheer force of personality, but I some how know I need to go grab some bat poo to light you on fire."

I can understand prepared casters needing them. "I'm so smart/wise I've learned that if I have three bird feathers and concentrate real hard, I can slow a fall."

I dunno, maybe its just me.

Satyr
2009-03-25, 03:00 AM
By RAW, they need them. For the reasons you named (and the fact that the sorcerer is inferior to the wizard) it is a popular fix to gave Sorcerers Eschew Materials as a free Bonus feat on 1st level.

Thanatos 51-50
2009-03-25, 04:35 AM
(and the fact that the sorcerer is inferior to the wizard)

This always bothered me. How, exactly, is a sorceror inferior to a wizard? It seems to me the flexibility provided with Spontaneous Casting and more spells per day trumps the poor wizard having to guess when he prepares spells in the morning.

Satyr
2009-03-25, 04:43 AM
How, exactly, is a sorceror inferior to a wizard?

Even if the spontaneous spllcasting is as powerful as the nigh unlimited number of spells the wizard can learn, which i actually doubt, it is certainly not powerful enough to be en par with the wizard's spellcasting and the bonus feats a wizard gains and a sorcerer does not.

Kris Strife
2009-03-25, 04:55 AM
A sorcerer, bard or favored soul has only a limited number of spells they can learn period.

A wizard can have every spell in every splatbook written in his spell book and divine casters can choose from their entire list every day.

Zherog
2009-03-25, 07:12 AM
The other problem that weakens the sorcerer is the delayed levels at which he gains access to new spell levels. For example, he doesn't gain second level spells until 4th level, while the wizard (and cleric and druid) has been casting them since 3rd level.

jcsw
2009-03-25, 07:32 AM
Try thinking of it this way...

Focuses are just that... focuses.
Spellcasters of all kinds need some method of focusing their magical ability to achieve certain effects.

So while it might be difficult to cast a spell that allows you to fly, level 6 sorcerers can achieve it by concentrating their energy into something related to flight.

Now think of material components as focuses which get used up in the process of the spell.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-03-25, 10:01 AM
Material components are bad jokes. You aren't casting Fireball, you're making gunpowder and throwing it at someone. Lightning Bolt involves building a charge on a glass rod. Are you laughing yet? No? Then nix components completely, because they fail.

Heliomance
2009-03-25, 10:22 AM
Material components are bad jokes. You aren't casting Fireball, you're making gunpowder and throwing it at someone. Lightning Bolt involves building a charge on a glass rod. Are you laughing yet? No? Then nix components completely, because they fail.

Very well, show me how to make gunpowder from those components in approximately four seconds, and I will believe you. Similarly, show me how - in four seconds, mind you - you can build up sufficient charge on a glass rod to do significant damage to someone; further, how you can make that charge jump 120ft when there are far shorter routes it can take to earth.

JoshuaZ
2009-03-25, 10:29 AM
Material components are bad jokes. You aren't casting Fireball, you're making gunpowder and throwing it at someone. Lightning Bolt involves building a charge on a glass rod. Are you laughing yet? No? Then nix components completely, because they fail.


You aren't making gunpowder or charging the glass rod, they are symbolic components. Magic in many universes (in real life too for that matter) often uses symbolic components. This is closely related to the idea of sympathetic magic (magic that works by affecting something similar to the thing you actually want to influence. e.g. voodoo dolls).

Edit:Fixed quote so that reply is going to correct person. See below.

Heliomance
2009-03-25, 10:45 AM
I know that. That's not what Sstoopidtallkid said though.


You aren't casting Fireball, you're making gunpowder and throwing it at someone.

JoshuaZ
2009-03-25, 10:53 AM
I know that. That's not what Sstoopidtallkid said though.

Oops. Was supposed to be quoting Sstoopidtallkid not you. Meant that reply to him. Sorrry.

VelvetThunder
2009-03-26, 05:04 AM
This always bothered me. How, exactly, is a sorceror inferior to a wizard? It seems to me the flexibility provided with Spontaneous Casting and more spells per day trumps the poor wizard having to guess when he prepares spells in the morning.

Another example is that when a Sorceror uses a metamagic feat it's a full round action. As far as Taste goes though, I agree with you, I'd much rather be able to cast what I want when I want. It's nice to have a lot more Potential as a wizard..... but That does you no good in the middle of combat when you run out of spells.

Mark Hall
2009-03-26, 09:54 AM
This always bothered me. How, exactly, is a sorceror inferior to a wizard? It seems to me the flexibility provided with Spontaneous Casting and more spells per day trumps the poor wizard having to guess when he prepares spells in the morning.

Pre 3rd edition, you'd be right. Several things changed in 3e that made this untrue.

1) Unlimited spellbook size. In 2e, most wizards were going to have between 9 and 18 spells of a given spell level... that's still a large number, especially on the high end, but it's nothing like the tomes that a 3e wizard can wield.

2) Easier spell learning. Once learning a spell became a Spellcraft check, they were very easy to learn. Assuming only a +1 intelligence modifier, learning a spell at 1st level is a 55% chance. If you have a +3 modifier, you're at 65%. Starting at 2nd level, this can get as high as 70% and 80%, respectively, assuming you've put a minimum of 5 ranks in K:Arcana. It doesn't get much lower than 65% as you increase in levels because spell levels increase at half the rate of levels... and that's with ONLY a +1 intelligence modifier. For reference, a 12 Intelligence wizard in 2e had a 50% chance to learn a spell... ever. At 90th level, he'd have a 50% chance to learn a 1st level spell.

3) Ease of scroll creation. This is the big one. In 2nd edition, you couldn't create scrolls until 9th level (IIRC; it might have been 7th), and it was a difficult, expensive, process. In 3rd, wizards can start creating scrolls at 1st level, with relatively small costs. While this is something I love about 3rd edition, it very much favors the wizard. A wizard who learns a spell can make a scroll of it. They don't need to memorize Knock; it's on a scroll in their pack. Identify might come up later; let's put it on a scroll, rather than waste a "live" slot on a spell that I might not need today.
Sorcerers benefit far less from scrolls. They can only make scrolls of spells they know, meaning it's only additional slots for them, instead of increased flexibility. Thus, while sorcerers have more spells per day as a class feature, wizards can cast more spells per day by using scrolls... and they can cast a far wider variety than wizards.

Wizards really dropped the ball on sorcerers.

lsfreak
2009-03-26, 11:25 AM
Back to components:
I view them primarily as a combination of fluff and a limitation. It's fluff because it's based on what the spell does; feather fall needs feathers, while dominate and related need only verbal components. The limitation comes into play when a character is grappled, gagged, has their stuff stolen, whatever, or when there's an expensive component to try and limit the spell.

I really see no problem in allowing sorcerers to eliminate all zero-cost components and foci. Gives them another advantage if all their stuff gets stolen, and lets them cast more easily while grappled.

On scrolls:
And even if most DM's don't include non-core scrolls in loot, a wizard can drop a thousand gold on a scroll the next time they're in town and they now know another spell.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-03-26, 01:42 PM
On scrolls:
And even if most DM's don't include non-core scrolls in loot, a wizard can drop a thousand gold on a scroll the next time they're in town and they now know another spell.Why spend the gold? Copying a spell out of a Wizard's book costs him nothing. Think back to the file trading of the late 90s. That's what it's like when Wizards meet. Every NPC Wizard is a nearly free source of new spells.