Sorcerer to complicated for non-expert players

I tried to run a game tonight, and things were going pretty nicely until one of the players decided to make a sorcerer.

The options and termanology was overwhelming. It grinded the process to a halt, and we ended up learning about Shadowrun instead for the evening and attempting to understand it's combat system.

We did learn that we don't like games where people die very quickly, but we also learned that the way the sorcerer is descrbied is for experts only.  Even though the charachter concept sounded nice to the player at first glance. 
I tried to run a game tonight, and things were going pretty nicely until one of the players decided to make a sorcerer.

The options and termanology was overwhelming. It grinded the process to a halt, and we ended up learning about Shadowrun instead for the evening and attempting to understand it's combat system.

We did learn that we don't like games where people die very quickly, but we also learned that the way the sorcerer is descrbied is for experts only.  Even though the charachter concept sounded nice to the player at first glance. 



The devils in the details my friend.What percisely did the group have trouble with as far as the Sorceror went?

I find it......odd that it would be that cunfusing that you would switch games (Shadowrun is a far more complex game IMHO )
    

I tried to run a game tonight, and things were going pretty nicely until one of the players decided to make a sorcerer.

The options and termanology was overwhelming. It grinded the process to a halt, and we ended up learning about Shadowrun instead for the evening and attempting to understand it's combat system.

We did learn that we don't like games where people die very quickly, but we also learned that the way the sorcerer is descrbied is for experts only.  Even though the charachter concept sounded nice to the player at first glance. 



The devils in the details my friend.What percisely did the group have trouble with as far as the Sorceror went?

I find it......odd that it would be that cunfusing that you would switch games (Shadowrun is a far more complex game IMHO )
    


We could not decide if we were going to try shadowrun or DDNext tonight.  

The confusion came from the difference between spells and powers.  Also, the way the class kept defering information from the class to the bloodline.  

One such example that was easy to miss, was writing down a +2 for weapon attacks, and then later changing that to a plus 3.  Everything combined just kept adding another layer of "I'm to tired for this, it's too complicated" coming from the player's mouth.  Then there were questions of what the ramifications of chosing a copper dragon with acid, or a black dragon with acid were. They thought maybe there was something they were missing. Or even which damage type to choose at all.  They seemed to have been overwhelemed with choices and changes.
I will admit, it is currently the most complicated class in the packet. However, I found the options weren't overwhemling to me. In fact, it felt like I was making a standard pathfinder character lol. Complicated? Yes, too complicated? No.
My two copper.
I didn't think it was too complicated either, but the new player did.
I thought the warlock was a little more harder to figure out.  But if Shadowrun is easier to learn than DnDnext sorcerer, play shadowrun.  IMO, shadowrun is dreadfully complicated and difficult.  The only game harder to figure out is the horribly and lazily edited rifts.  But yeah play something else if its to complicated. 

I would guess the new player is not really feeling dndnext and would rather play something else. 


 We could not decide if we were going to try shadowrun or DDNext tonight.  

The confusion came from the difference between spells and powers.  Also, the way the class kept defering information from the class to the bloodline.  

One such example that was easy to miss, was writing down a +2 for weapon attacks, and then later changing that to a plus 3.  Everything combined just kept adding another layer of "I'm to tired for this, it's too complicated" coming from the player's mouth.  Then there were questions of what the ramifications of chosing a copper dragon with acid, or a black dragon with acid were. They thought maybe there was something they were missing. Or even which damage type to choose at all.  They seemed to have been overwhelemed with choices and changes.



The Color and Damage type is just so a player could choose any Color dragon. There is crossover between Metalic and Chromatic Dragon types, ie Blue and Bronze Dragons use Lightning attacks.

They mention Spells vs Abilities under the Sorcerous Powers under Dragon Heritage. When each ability is unlocked and how many willpower points they cost. I do like that when you use up all your will power points you gain Dragon qualities.

Its simple if you just read it all. But I guess learning a new system can be pretty difficult.
Ant Farm
I guess suggesting an easier class to figure out wasn't as good an idea as changing games entirely. 

I played shadow run once, once.  
I read it and it seems simple enough, the closest example seems to be Pisonics.

You can cast as many spells as you can spend will points on, and after so much willpoints has been spent you manifest dragon traits that influences you depending on what colour was chosen.

Funnily enough, this latest version of the Sorc reminds me much of a Cleric only with more overtly offensive spells. Adds a interesting diamention, though his spell progression seems slower then that of the wizard.
Ok, something in the way I reported this feedback got lost.

I did not say or try to suggest that shadowrun is an easier game to play or to understand.

Our group got together, and we decided we were either going to try to understand combat in Shadowrun, or try out DnDNext.  We voted, and decided to start with DnD Next charachter creation.

I helped the players make their charachters. The one who thought the Sorcerer sounded good, got confused by it in the end, and was unwilling to continue making a character. That is, they were unwilling to continue to make any character.  Likely they assumed the other options didn't sound as nice or interesting, or they were going to be just as complicated with too many choices to make, unaware of the ramification of those choices.

This to me seems like a bad place for the game to have players.  Players should not respond to the charachter creation rules by saying "This is too much, let's try another game instead."

It really doesn't matter what that other game was.


edit: One more point to add.  Reading a class and actually going through the motions of charachter creation, I discovered are two really different things. Sure you can grasp some ideas when you are reading through, but when you have to make a single charachter you are then confronted with making final choices.   This really does change things.
The character design rules are badly laid out right now in general. The information is divided between several PDFs without much explanation. If your not familiar with D&D already, making a character right now would probably be quite hard. Sorcerer (and probably Warlock though I have not tried one yet) are the worst because your getting a prototype subset of a complex class. When I was building a Fighter I was able to mostly work through things in order and write numbers as I went. Doing a Sorcerer required a lot of back and forth reading and finding rules in other PDFs.

Hopefully the final PHB is more clear. I don't want to see them simply the classes further, and I want there to be some fairly complex classes, but if the game is going to be generally popular the rules for building characters have to be clear and it needs to be easy to sit down and quickly draft up a standard character.

I thought the warlock was a little more harder to figure out.  But if Shadowrun is easier to learn than DnDnext sorcerer, play shadowrun.  IMO, shadowrun is dreadfully complicated and difficult.  The only game harder to figure out is the horribly and lazily edited rifts.  But yeah play something else if its to complicated. 

I would guess the new player is not really feeling dndnext and would rather play something else. 






This would be my guess.I just dont see the Sor as being any more diffcult then any of the other classes.   

1. There have always been harder classes in D&D. Sorcerer is the hardest in D&D Next, in my opinion.
2. Remeber, this is still a playtest and not a published book. Formatting of the pdfs is not a concern of theirs. Nor the delivery of the pdfs.
3. I hope the next time you give the playtest a try it goes smoother.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
I'm kind of thinking the OP might just as well have not posted this thread in the first place. The issue isn't with the class, it's with his players being luke warm about trying next and deciding in the middle of character creation that they had no desire to learn how to play it. 

None of these classes are anywhere near the headache to create as the OP has stated I made up a group of six characters in fifteen minutes, and that includes a warlock and a sorcerer. There just isn't anything world shatteringly difficult about any of these classes. The problem with them is that some are much better at what they do than the others. 

Who's going to play a wizard when the clear choice is the sorcerer. I can use armor, use martial weapons, get a huge HD and when my spells are gone I can do more damage on a hit. Damn throw a decent number in your strength and you're as good as a rogue or a healing cleric. Make it a human and you're nearly a god. 
I must admit that the Sorcerer and the Warlock appear to be the most complicated classes. I didn't notice because my players and I where so inspired by the uniqueness of the possibilitys for characters that we only had one player in over a dozen make a stock Sorceror. The way that the class is writen is not that clear, but I broke down the options for people in a handout so they could come up with ideas for powers, boons, bloodline abilitys and the like. That might be a good thing to include with the classes. I flowchart for making the class and a list of what changes at each level that is easier to read than the chart. I think that they sorceror and the warlock are not the options for the people who want to play easy characters or are new to game. Although, a number of new players to the playtest (one to roleplaying in general) played a great Warlock.
I'm kind of thinking the OP might just as well have not posted this thread in the first place. The issue isn't with the class, it's with his players being luke warm about trying next and deciding in the middle of character creation that they had no desire to learn how to play it. 

None of these classes are anywhere near the headache to create as the OP has stated I made up a group of six characters in fifteen minutes, and that includes a warlock and a sorcerer. There just isn't anything world shatteringly difficult about any of these classes. The problem with them is that some are much better at what they do than the others. 

Who's going to play a wizard when the clear choice is the sorcerer. I can use armor, use martial weapons, get a huge HD and when my spells are gone I can do more damage on a hit. Damn throw a decent number in your strength and you're as good as a rogue or a healing cleric. Make it a human and you're nearly a god. 

The player who had a hard time with the sorcerer really liked the first playtest packet, and was excited to play before they got confused by the sorcerer.  That is why I bothered posting.

As someone mentioned earlier, I think the back and forther between the various PDFs added to the confusion.

Perhaps a different layout of the options is all that's needed, or maybe the ramifications of choices need to be better explained. 
I can understand how that could be an issue. I keep everything on my computer and work from there so I don't have a thousand pieces of loose paper getting lost. Happens all the time when I'm playing regardless, but it helps with organization. 

It is a shame that the playtest docs are so poorly put together. I've been reading and using these kinds of rules for so long I don't have a problem rolling charactrers. I should know by now that new players need a lot of guidance. They usually do better with a simpler character but they gotta learn sometime.

I'd put the character together for her and go over the sheet with her afterwards to make sure she knows everything she needs to know before sitting down to play. Too bad there wasn't a pregen character for her to use.

Well good luck the next time you feel like playing next.

I hope the next packet is a little better organized and they actually give us complete rules. I also hope I'm wrong about the sorcerer. I've always had problems with the warlock as a class so I have little to say about the class in the packet.
I keep on wondering if they are doing this on purpose.  Things that are harder to read result in better retention after the fact: so by using convoluted language, readers (once they grasp it) are going to retain more.

But more likely, it is that they are putting out only lightly edited content, rather than delaying the content for another editing pass, and doing rapid revisions rather than polishing everything.  Polish can be as expensive as you make it, and quite often polish (like reformatting the sorcerer to be easier to understand) can wait.

Part of the design might be that Sorcerers of different types might end up being radically different from each other, one a d8-HD melee character, and another a d4 HD support character?

Having read this, I decided to create some sorcerers and see how I liked the process.  I too found the text a little confusing - I particularly found the Level 1: Sorcerous Origin section difficult.  It's long and not all that methodical.  I found myself jumping around, losing track of what a power was all about, when I needed willpower and when not, and other similar problems.  I don't think the text is lacking in content, though it would probably be helpful to present it in a more step-by-step format.

However, I do think that because it's different from conventional character creation, it is really worth the DM getting to grips with it before asking players to do so (this was a big part of my motivation for doing it).  Of course it probably depends on your players.  Mine often need guidance and I get bored fast if they're stuck, so it's in all our best interests for me to understand the classes before they have to.

It also sounds as the the person described by the OP is someone who really doesn't like being confused.  Maybe it makes them feel inferior, or just embarassed.  Anyway, the I-don't-wanna-play thing is pretty common in the emotionally young - and as the OP said, it had nothing to do with what the alternative game was - it could just as well have been Twister.  The point was that the unhappy player needed to flee the situation, which had got beyond their powers of coping.  So it goes - if a player is annoying enough they may not be invited back, but there are sometimes people you have to accept in a group (because they're your spouse, or someone's little brother, or whatever), and as DM you just need to come up with ways to defuse their reactions.  All part of the responsibility you take on as DM, imo.
An interesting situation. We can agree that the format for almost everything in the packet needs a little work, but I wonder: were all the players new to D&D? If so, then perhaps the core of the problem is that the base game, the 'kernel' should be reduced even more for new players. For example, when starting new characters for new players don't take backgrounds/specialties (already optional), and don't take a sub races or sub class (domain, origin, pact, fighting style, ect). I'm saying for new players the "recomended" starting outline is still overly complex.
I'll be running the playtest with all new players.  Considering what I've read here, I'm not even going to give them the sorceror or warlock options.