3.5 D&D Newb: Sorcerer Help?

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Hey guys. I've always been interested in playing D&D, but could never find a group of people who seemed interested or dedicated enough to start. Just recently, I found out a bunch of guys who I'm pretty close friends with at my University play almost weekly, so naturally I asked if I join them. The first session I would be involved in should be next Sunday, so I'd like to have a good idea of my character before I go charging in blindly.

I reviewed all of their characters, and the main thing they are lacking is a Spellcaster with damage potential (they only have a Cleric). I did some research, and decided that rolling Sorcerer seemed to be the most appealing to me. I like the idea of having spontaneity and freedom in casting, and I like how Charismatic the class is Roleplay-perspective wise.

To get a better idea of what I was doing, I read up on some of the very well-reviewed Sorcerer articles online (Solo's, for example). The problem is they sort of require a knowledge or understanding of some of the game mechanics I've yet to grasp yet.

Basically, I'm just going to show you guys the rough idea of the build and spells that I think would be fitting for my character... and I'm hoping you guys can give me some insight on whether or not they suck or what sort of Feats I should be focused on using (since I have no idea).

Feel free to suggest a change in any of the spells in any of the categories, but sections marked with "(??)" are the areas I feel need particular attention.

Class: Sorcerer
Race: Human
Familiar: Snake (For the +Bluff)


0-Level Spells:
Detect Magic
Read Magic
Detect Poison
Mending
Arcane Mark
Message
Light
Acid Splash
Mage Hand
 
1st-Level Spells:
Mage Armor
True Strike
Charm Person
Sleep
Magic Missile
 
2nd-Level Spells:
Summon Swarm
Detect Thoughts
Scorching Ray
Web
Resist Energy
 
3rd-Level Spells:
Blacklight / Slow (?)
Vampiric Touch / Glitterdust (?) ~I think Vamp. Touch fits the character more.
Haste
Fireball
 
4th-Level Spells:
Enervation
Black Tentacles
Invisibility, Greater
Bestow Curse
 
5th-Level Spells:
Overland Flight
Teleport
Telekinesis
Baleful Polymoprh
 
6th-Level Spells:
Dispel Magic, Greater
Eyebite (??)
Disintegrate
 
7th-Level Spells:
Spell Turning (??)
Forcecage / Waves of Exhaustion / Insanity (??)
Finger of Death
 
8th-Level Spells:
Horrid Wilting / Shadow Evocation, Greater / Incendiary Cloud / Shout, Greater (??) 
Mind Blank
Horrid Wilting / Shadow Evocation, Greater / Incendiary Cloud / Shout, Greater (??)
 
9th-Level Spells:
Time Stop
Shades
Shapechange


As you can see, I chose (what I think) is a healthy mix of Damage Spells and Crowd Control/Debuff Spells... which is basically what I think this party needs. I think we're mostly working from the Core Rulebook here, as well. I also wanted to try and not select too many spells with expensive Material Componenents, or at least ones that could be done away with the Eschew Materials Feat. (This is another reason why I'm so iffy about Forcecage)...

Also... just a question: if a Familiar has the ability to transfer "Touch" Spells, could I potentially use my Snake Familiar as a carrier for Vampiric Touch/Finger of Death and then use Telekinetic Burst to fire him at enemies like some Unholy Snake-Cannon? Because if so; that'd be awesome. 

P.S. If it matters to anyone, I chose Darkness/Fire/Debuff Spells mainly because of my characters backstory. In a nutshell, he was born into a Noble House, but when he began to exhibit magical capabilities his "Father" knew that my character was not truly his son, but the offspring of another man and his wife. So the Count slays my characters mother in a fit of rage and attempts to do the same to my character, but he ends up running away to the forest where he runs into a Coven of Witches. There is reason to believe his true Father might have originated from this group of spellcasters, so he stays with them for 5-6 years to hone his skills to claim revenge on the tyrannical noblemen. So yeah... curses and fire and darkness because he is a Half-Witch.

P.P.S. Also, say I find myself in a hypothetical situation where I an enemy casts a spell at me, in which point my Spell Turning Reflects it, and then their Spell Turning counter-reflects it; making a Resonance Field. If we are both teleported to a different Plane because of this, would I be stuck there forever (seeing as I have no Interplanar Transportation Spells)? Because that would suck If I ended up trapped in a void somewhere and got nixed out of the game.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated you guys. Thank you in advance. 

I think you're going off the deep end your first time out.

I mean you've got spells layed out for a Sorcerer 20 and while it is fine to have some idea where you want to get you need to get your feet wet first.  You should start playing at a MUCH lower level and see how things evolve.

Now if you are jumping it as a high level spellcaster then Sorcerer is the way to go but it is hard and you really should have more input from your play group and DM.  One thing about a Sorcerer is that you should try to vary to spells known a bit and not stick too strongly to any single themes as it can cripple you.   
I think you're going off the deep end your first time out.

I mean you've got spells layed out for a Sorcerer 20 and while it is fine to have some idea where you want to get you need to get your feet wet first.  You should start playing at a MUCH lower level and see how things evolve.

Now if you are jumping it as a high level spellcaster then Sorcerer is the way to go but it is hard and you really should have more input from your play group and DM.  One thing about a Sorcerer is that you should try to vary to spells known a bit and not stick too strongly to any single themes as it can cripple you.   

Well, obviously I'm not jumping into the game as a High-Level character. Everyone else in the party is (presumably) around level 3-5 and I'll be appropriately leveled as such. I'm just the kind of guy who likes to look ahead and have a gameplan, so I started looking at Spells I thought would be worthwhile so I didn't end up investing in crappy ones that I would have to rework at a later point in time.

In terms of varying the spells; do you not think this list is mixed up enough? Is it the abundance of Fire-based damage?

Also, how important is Presitge Classing and what kind of Presitge Classes should a character of my style aim for?

EDIT: To be specific, I will be joining the game as 7th Level Character. 
Playing a sorcerer is definitely not for the meek.  They're certainly one of my favorites, preceded by warmage and bard.  frankly, I'd suggest one of them first as they're both much easier to play.

that being said, a sorc can be loads of fun.  Here are a few great questions to ask.

First, of the other spellcasters in the party, do they prefer save vs. die, save vs. suck, or direct damage?  If they like direct damage, do they prefer area attacks or targeted attacks?

Next, how are they at the utility spells?  Do they have any illusions?  Do they like to use spells that allow rearranging things (such as stone shape, disintegrate, and the such)?  If they are weak on these, consider taking a few that are perfect for your type of adventure.  Don't underestimate walls, but then again, don't get too many of them.

Escape spells!  Due to your general weakness in melee, you should consider how you'd like to leave combat should it become too much.  I love invisibility and teleport options.  You can also use polymorph spells to escape easily.

Now, since your main goal is to become the heavy damage dealer, what kind do you prefer?  Getting up and dirty, staying far away, or hitting as many as you can (even if it hits your own people too)?  Lines are far easier to control for avoiding friendly fire than other area spells, but they're just as non-discriminating. 

Protection:  Don't forget to get some easy to use spells that will stop fire, acid, blah blah blah.  On the other hand, you can also invest your money in it.  Dispel Magic is also very useful. 

If you've been lurking on these forums for a while, you'll have read some very interesting discussions on what you can do with various spells.  Sometimes you might not think of them on the fly, so I'd strongly advise going back over a few of them.

Fun things like stacking wall of fire to deal extra damage.  Each will deal damage individually, so they dont' do squat against fire resistant foes, or those with high saves, but all the same, lots of damage.
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Even before I read Groveborn's comprehensive response I was going to suggest you DEFINITELY learn Dispel Magic.  A sorcerer in my game didn't take this spell at first and he really suffered.  As you get higher in level, magic effects become more and more important, and you will notice that Dispel Magic is usable by priests, wizards and sorcerers.  When it is REALLY needed, the sorcerer's ability to draw on a reserve of Dispel Magic capability can be really useful to the party.

I also agree with Groveborn's "escape clause" advice.  Apart from spells, you might want to invest in an item that confers Haste.  (It won't give you extra spells but will allow extra movement, which might come in handy at crucial moments.)

twigs  Smile 

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Take the feat Rapid Metamagic from Complete Arcane.  Preferably at level 3 or 6.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
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