Exclusive: The Table of Contents and Sorcerer From the D&D Player's Handbook

Exclusive: The Table of Contents and Sorcerer From the D&D Player's Handbook

Wizards of the Coast has given The Escapist an exclusive look inside the new Player's Handbook

Over the past week, shots of the interior art from the Player's Handbook for the new Dungeons & Dragons have been slowly making their way out into the wild. Wizards of the Coast has given us a few exclusive looks to share with you: The table of contents and the Sorcerer's class page.

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The table of contents has a few surprises, like entire appendices on the Gods and Planes of the Multiverse. The extended section in the rules chapter on how to use ability and skill checks during the game will be very useful for newer players.

Now, the Sorcerer:

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Featuring beautiful art and a bunch of nice story description, we can expect to have a good time reading the Player's Handbook classes chapter. Given the descriptions, it looks like Sorcerers will come in Dragon and Wild Magic varieties - with, perhaps, a third flavor if that second descriptive paragraph is meant to connote a flavor of magic.

Looks like the book's going to be beautful. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.

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I wonder what is in Appendix E...

castlewise:
I wonder what is in Appendix E...

Probably a list of all the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Legend of Drizzt books.

That should fill up an entire page in 6pt font.

It looks like... D&D. I mean, I know what to expect, I was involved in the playtests from almost the very beginning. It's just... well, as you can see, it's basically the same old thing. The information is presented differently, and there's some tweaks, but there's no surprises in there. I know it's trying to appeal to the 1st-3rd edition people, but I dunno... if you already bought all those books I'm not sure I'm convinced it's worth it to buy a whole new set that does almost exactly the same thing again.

castlewise:
I wonder what is in Appendix E...

Have you accepted Pelor into your heart?

Sidmen:

castlewise:
I wonder what is in Appendix E...

Probably a list of all the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Legend of Drizzt books.

That should fill up an entire page in 6pt font.

My god, if they fill that with their own books I'll make Jim do a Jimquisition on it.

*drool* Oh sorry, let me clean up a bit here.

I so wish to have a gaming crew again, preferably fresh meat to grind... er... new players to introduce the wonderful sensation that is (the Tomb of Horrors) a wonderful and fulfilling campaign. I want these for no other reason than to have them, my tabletop avarice knows no bounds (as does my hunger for the souls contained within character sheets).

I'm greatly disappointed that we don't have the next few pages. We're lacking much of the meat of the class description... I was hoping to get a better idea of the sorcerer's mechanics.

JarinArenos:
I'm greatly disappointed that we don't have the next few pages. We're lacking much of the meat of the class description... I was hoping to get a better idea of the sorcerer's mechanics.

Yeah, not really much to see here. In fact, if you've played 3.5 or Pathfinder, nothing at all to see here. One more page would have gone a long way towards getting my interested in picking up 5th. As it is... eh?

Mortuorum:

JarinArenos:
I'm greatly disappointed that we don't have the next few pages. We're lacking much of the meat of the class description... I was hoping to get a better idea of the sorcerer's mechanics.

Yeah, not really much to see here. In fact, if you've played 3.5 or Pathfinder, nothing at all to see here. One more page would have gone a long way towards getting my interested in picking up 5th. As it is... eh?

It does confirm the Races and Classes - and that there aren't any beasties in the Players Handbook - so you'll have to wait or draw on other sources for your games for a few months.

Unless they've drastically changed things from the last playtest packet, I'm rather interested in 5th edition myself. It seems like it's 3.5 without the horrible Feat bloat and actually interesting mundane warriors.

Sidmen:

Unless they've drastically changed things from the last playtest packet, I'm rather interested in 5th edition myself. It seems like it's 3.5 without the horrible Feat bloat and actually interesting mundane warriors.

Pretty much precisely how we should all feel about 5th Edition right now. Seems like the track we're going down.

Well that sorcerer looks like he feels just absolutely fabulous.

Fasckira:
Well that sorcerer looks like he feels just absolutely fabulous.

Well, wouldn't you? He's absolutely sparkling with magic, just downright dazzling!

It might be just me, but the "Sorcerous Origin feature" sounds like a generic version of the Sorcerer Bloodlines from the Pathfinder system. Granted, it's two groups playing off the same core system, but you'd think they'd try something different.

Great scoop here! Appendix E was definitely what jumped out at me the most.

Everything else seems to be in order.

79 pages of Spells?!? Awesome.

Definitely a big fan of 5e already.

Berling's Beard:

79 pages of Spells?!? Awesome.

Definitely a big fan of 5e already.

I knew I'd find you drooling over that number. It seems ridiculous to me, but then again I'm wondering if 6 pages of feats is enough.

OT: A lot of fluff that seems pretty much the same as previous editions. It looks nice, but it doesn't say a lot about how it plays. I'm a bit concerned about metamagic popping up so frequently on the advancement table, as that has lead to some of the worst excesses of "solve every problem with magic", but I'll wait until I hear how they actually implement it in 5E.

Also, interesting in that they don't mention the Realms as such, but call it 'the world'. I'm wondering if they are backing off of putting the Realms up front all the time. Similarly, "Gods of the Multiverse" sounds like it might include more than one pantheon.

Charisma based saving throw seems interesting. This suggests plausible realism is downgraded even further in favour of "cos he's awesome", which is what high magic fantasy needs. Does this mean WotC have solved the Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard problem?

Thunderous Cacophony:

Berling's Beard:

79 pages of Spells?!? Awesome.

Definitely a big fan of 5e already.

I knew I'd find you drooling over that number. It seems ridiculous to me, but then again I'm wondering if 6 pages of feats is enough.

OT: A lot of fluff that seems pretty much the same as previous editions. It looks nice, but it doesn't say a lot about how it plays. I'm a bit concerned about metamagic popping up so frequently on the advancement table, as that has lead to some of the worst excesses of "solve every problem with magic", but I'll wait until I hear how they actually implement it in 5E.

Also, interesting in that they don't mention the Realms as such, but call it 'the world'. I'm wondering if they are backing off of putting the Realms up front all the time. Similarly, "Gods of the Multiverse" sounds like it might include more than one pantheon.

Mortuorum:

JarinArenos:
I'm greatly disappointed that we don't have the next few pages. We're lacking much of the meat of the class description... I was hoping to get a better idea of the sorcerer's mechanics.

Yeah, not really much to see here. In fact, if you've played 3.5 or Pathfinder, nothing at all to see here. One more page would have gone a long way towards getting my interested in picking up 5th. As it is... eh?

If you want to see more meat you might want to look at the Basic pdf. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/basicrules It doesn't have Sorcerer, only Wizard, Fighter, Cleric and Rogue, but everything there is supposed to be taken straight out of the PHB.

There is a list of feats at http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140721 which I pasted below.

Alert
Athlete
Actor
Charger
Crossbow Expert
Defensive Duelist
Dual Wielder
Dungeon Delver
Durable
Elemental Adept
Grappler
Great Weapon Master
Healer
Heavily Armored
Heavy Armor Master
Inspiring Leader
Keen Mind
Lightly Armored
Linguist
Lucky
Mage Slayer
Magic Initiate
Martial Adept
Medium Armor Master
Mobile
Moderately Armored
Mounted Combatant
Observant
Polearm Master
Resilient
Ritual Caster
Savage Attacker
Sentinel
Sharpshooter
Shield Master
Skilled
Skulker
Spell Sniper
Tavern Brawler
Tough
War Caster
Weapon Master

The Feat selection seems geared more toward providing new options for characters, as opposed to having linear right/wrong builds for classes.

Can't wait. (even though I have too)

Roganzar:
The Feat selection seems geared more toward providing new options for characters, as opposed to having linear right/wrong builds for classes.

Can't wait. (even though I have too)

I think the new feat paradigm is good. Feats optionally replacing ability score increases means that you don't have to wade through lists and lists of feats if you don't want to, and replacing whole feat paths with one larger feat means you get to feel the impact on your character right away. My group uses the Basic Rules with the feats from the last version of the playtest packet. If you haven't seen that, and want to get a feel for what the feats will probably look like, its not too hard to track down.

"Cantrips"! Lovely. A return to form. I just need to find some local people whose interest in D&D survived the 4th Edition era.

So, looking at my basic information, it looks like sorcerers cast the same number of spells as wizards, and get features at roughly the same rate as well. Except that sorcerers also get these weird sorcery points and a few feats. So that's neat... except the Wizard also gets to fucking swap out his spells whenever he sleeps, while the sorcerer is limited to fucking 15 spells known. Oh, and if I'm reading this right, the Wizard should be able to prepare a greater variety of spells each cay than the sorcerer even knows, because fuck spontaneous casters, amiright? Great job making sorcerer a shitty Wizard again Wizards. Unless his unique mechanics are just outright stupid, but really, why should I believe that with their track record.

Listen, I just want to play the flavorful class that isn't tied to the ridiculousness that is Vancian magic. I will do it anyway, I know. But it just always irritates me that there is never a real trade off for choosing between the two, Wizards are just better at casting every time.

i cant wait! I just need to work it into my busy ass schedule

Thunderous Cacophony:

Berling's Beard:

79 pages of Spells?!? Awesome.

Definitely a big fan of 5e already.

I knew I'd find you drooling over that number. It seems ridiculous to me, but then again I'm wondering if 6 pages of feats is enough.

OT: A lot of fluff that seems pretty much the same as previous editions. It looks nice, but it doesn't say a lot about how it plays. I'm a bit concerned about metamagic popping up so frequently on the advancement table, as that has lead to some of the worst excesses of "solve every problem with magic", but I'll wait until I hear how they actually implement it in 5E.

Also, interesting in that they don't mention the Realms as such, but call it 'the world'. I'm wondering if they are backing off of putting the Realms up front all the time. Similarly, "Gods of the Multiverse" sounds like it might include more than one pantheon.

Re: Metamagic - Word on the street is that metamagic is a special ability sorcerers get, nobody else.

Re: Pantheons - PHB and Basic Rules reference dragonlance, eberron, the real world, other fiction, the cthulhu mythos, etc - the actual core books don't assume Forgotten Realms, just the adventures.

warmachine:
Charisma based saving throw seems interesting. This suggests plausible realism is downgraded even further in favour of "cos he's awesome", which is what high magic fantasy needs. Does this mean WotC have solved the Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard problem?

In the last playtest every ability has a tied in saving throw. So, instead of rolling your Fortitude Saving throw, you'd just roll your Constitution saving throw. I don't quite recall what a Charisma saving throw would be used against - I suspect something that changes your identity, or resisting social influences or something.

Can someone explain to me the difference between a Wizard, and a Sorcerer and why they need separate classes? I've always preferred Rogue/Fighter/Cleric/Mage and if you want to be specific just make a sub class because Theif/Bard/Pirate/Assassin are all just Rogues, while Sorcerers/Warlocks/Necromancers are all just Mages (or Wizards or whatever the hell you want to call them).

Revnak:
So, looking at my basic information, it looks like sorcerers cast the same number of spells as wizards, and get features at roughly the same rate as well. Except that sorcerers also get these weird sorcery points and a few feats. So that's neat... except the Wizard also gets to fucking swap out his spells whenever he sleeps, while the sorcerer is limited to fucking 15 spells known. Oh, and if I'm reading this right, the Wizard should be able to prepare a greater variety of spells each cay than the sorcerer even knows, because fuck spontaneous casters, amiright? Great job making sorcerer a shitty Wizard again Wizards. Unless his unique mechanics are just outright stupid, but really, why should I believe that with their track record.

Listen, I just want to play the flavorful class that isn't tied to the ridiculousness that is Vancian magic. I will do it anyway, I know. But it just always irritates me that there is never a real trade off for choosing between the two, Wizards are just better at casting every time.

The wizard isn't really Vancian anymore, since you don't have to prepare each "slot". E.G. If you prepare fireball and sleep and have 2 slots, you can cast any combination of fireball and sleep you want. (All casters work this way.) In older editions you would have to decide before hand if you wanted to have, say, two copies of fireball available. Mike Mearls played a Sorcerer during the 24 hour live stream and had some pretty sweet abilities. He regained spells faster and could use points to make his spells better. This is just a guess on my part but I bet in terms of pure dps the Sorcerer outperforms the Wizard. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140224

Rabidkitten:
Can someone explain to me the difference between a Wizard, and a Sorcerer and why they need separate classes? I've always preferred Rogue/Fighter/Cleric/Mage and if you want to be specific just make a sub class because Theif/Bard/Pirate/Assassin are all just Rogues, while Sorcerers/Warlocks/Necromancers are all just Mages (or Wizards or whatever the hell you want to call them).

Its a little bit a matter of preference. They did switch to that exact same setup in an earlier playtest packet. (There was only a Mage class and the casters were subclasses of that.) People didn't seem to like it though and there is precedent for having them as separate classes. In the end Necromancer is a subclass of Wizard, and Sorcerer and Warlock are separate classes. The justification is that Necromancer is a particular flavor of Wizard, but Sorcerer and Warlock both have class features that Wizards dont have (points and pacts, respectively). It is a little arbitrary though and, like a lot of stuff in this edition, a reasonable answer is "because its been done that way before".

castlewise:

Revnak:
So, looking at my basic information, it looks like sorcerers cast the same number of spells as wizards, and get features at roughly the same rate as well. Except that sorcerers also get these weird sorcery points and a few feats. So that's neat... except the Wizard also gets to fucking swap out his spells whenever he sleeps, while the sorcerer is limited to fucking 15 spells known. Oh, and if I'm reading this right, the Wizard should be able to prepare a greater variety of spells each cay than the sorcerer even knows, because fuck spontaneous casters, amiright? Great job making sorcerer a shitty Wizard again Wizards. Unless his unique mechanics are just outright stupid, but really, why should I believe that with their track record.

Listen, I just want to play the flavorful class that isn't tied to the ridiculousness that is Vancian magic. I will do it anyway, I know. But it just always irritates me that there is never a real trade off for choosing between the two, Wizards are just better at casting every time.

The wizard isn't really Vancian anymore, since you don't have to prepare each "slot". E.G. If you prepare fireball and sleep and have 2 slots, you can cast any combination of fireball and sleep you want. (All casters work this way.) In older editions you would have to decide before hand if you wanted to have, say, two copies of fireball available. Mike Mearls played a Sorcerer during the 24 hour live stream and had some pretty sweet abilities. He regained spells faster and could use points to make his spells better. This is just a guess on my part but I bet in terms of pure dps the Sorcerer outperforms the Wizard. http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140224

I read that, and it is still vaguely Vancian and still really boring compared to the whole "conduit of magical energy born with the blood of dragons" thing. Then again, I just really like Charisma classes. So, the power points are being used to combine the idea that sorcerers should be able to cast their spells more flexibly, and cast more, and have bloodline related abilities. I guess that works, but it does depend on how much those modulations cost to use. I still think their number of spells known is abysmal though, considering that the Wizard should be able to always have a larger pool of spells prepared, let alone all the spells in their spell book. I suppose this has always been an issue, but the new system where Wizards cast from a pool of prepared spells kinda highlights it.

On a side note, pure DPS is (hopefully) not what mages are meant to do in dnd, but I think I get what you mean. A sorcerer will ideally be able to do things better than a Wizard, but not as many things, which I think is what they've always aimed for, but have always been really bad at accomplishing due to the way that they had metamagic and spellcasting work.

JonB:
Re: Metamagic - Word on the street is that metamagic is a special ability sorcerers get, nobody else.

Re: Pantheons - PHB and Basic Rules reference dragonlance, eberron, the real world, other fiction, the cthulhu mythos, etc - the actual core books don't assume Forgotten Realms, just the adventures.

I'm glad to hear about metamagic being limited to sorcerers, because that means the changes will be limited in scope and power. No more Locate City Bombs.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the reference to Tika Waylan in the Basic Rules, but now I'm confused about the assumptions WOTC is making.

Are they saying they don't plan to write adventures for non-FR settings? That wouldn't make business sense. If they do plan on doing so, do they intend to differentiate them with a stamp or a sticker saying, "Written for use with the Eberron setting"? Why then would they not also signal that their other adventures are Realms-based right on the product, and entice the FR fans they assume are a big market (if I recall their reasons for doing so as explained on their site months ago) directly, rather than hoping that the fans know these products are designed for them.

Rabidkitten:
Can someone explain to me the difference between a Wizard, and a Sorcerer and why they need separate classes? I've always preferred Rogue/Fighter/Cleric/Mage and if you want to be specific just make a sub class because Theif/Bard/Pirate/Assassin are all just Rogues, while Sorcerers/Warlocks/Necromancers are all just Mages (or Wizards or whatever the hell you want to call them).

I've always divided magic users based on how they get their magic. There are Scientific mages, like Wizards and Archivists, who systematically study and employ magic as a tool. There are Contracted mages, like Warlocks and Clerics, who are gifted with power by a certain force or individual in return for a certain payment (worship, souls, spreading the church, etc.) Finally, there are Inherent mages, like Sorcerers and Bards, who use magic as an extension of themselves.

Personally I like that they are divided into multiple classes due to different relationships with magic, rather than having a massive bloat of classes that could fall Mage or Fighting Man or what have you. Restricting classes and introducing sub-classes blurs the definition of what a class is to me: A Thief and a Bard are so far apart that I can't see the common trait that would link them under the Rogue heading, other than not (generally) standing in the front lines or casting spells out of a book.

I would totally get into this if I hadn't got into rpgs the last year and spent a lot on Pathfinder, which I do love. If a friend of mine runs a game though, I may jump in, never been a player.

Revnak:
[quote="castlewise" post="7.856286.21213716"]
On a side note, pure DPS is (hopefully) not what mages are meant to do in dnd, but I think I get what you mean. A sorcerer will ideally be able to do things better than a Wizard, but not as many things, which I think is what they've always aimed for, but have always been really bad at accomplishing due to the way that they had metamagic and spellcasting work.

That will be especially true if Metamagic is a feat, or something the Wizard can otherwise access. It would really cut the legs out of the Sorcerer. That seems like it might not be the case. We are on the same page, overall, though. I think that you are on to something in that it seems tough for effects added on to existing spells to compete with just knowing an additional spell. Its also tough when one class has the flavor you want, but another has the mechanics. I think its why some people are still upset about the Warlord not being a proper class. In any case, the real winners are the wis based casters who get a large pool of prepared spells and immediate access to all their spells out the gate.

Yep....that's D&D. Sigh glad to see innovation means taking steps backwards. Outside of some power creep adjustments (feats and magic) and giving magic classes free damaging Cantrips this looks like just another iteration of 3e. Sad to see we're back to recycling old ideas. Sure they worked sort of, but for the most part to me this looks like 3.75 and that just doesn't interest me.

Hate it if you will, but 4e at least tried to do something interesting. People will piss and moan about it making all the classes function the same and making it "WoW" but at least it was something new. 4e is mechanically sound, all the classes are interesting to play right out of the gate (don't get me started on 5e Fighters...) and they all contribute something to the party. I'd take those inherently interesting mechanics over a recycled and slightly tweaked system any day.

So it appears D&D is getting back to basics. Me likey!

QUESTION ONE I HAVE: Will this be a return to something similar to 3.5?
QUESTION TWO I HAVE: Will I be able to convert this I am working on into something for this system?

CAPTCHA: spoilers

Great...River Song's in the Library, and now she's become the Captcha as a result.

 

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