Sorcerers with wizard spells

We had a high elf sorcerer with a magic user background. Totally reasonable combination that evokes a great image of an elf studying magic as elves are wont to do but who manifested sorcerous powers.

So we now have a sorcerer in chainmail who casts his sorcerer powers in armor, but his wizard spells (1 for race and 2 from background) can't be cast because he's in armor. Seems kinda dumb.

Suggest that the rules state some thing to the effect that 1st level and above wizard spells are sufficiently complex that they can not be cast in armor. However cantrips are so simple that a mere word or gesture allows them to be cast and thus are not affected by the armor issue.

The sorcerer having his 3 wizard cantrips and being able to cast in armor won't break things. I mean cantrips like light, mage hand, ghost sound aren't going to break the game. Similarly a high elf fighter who has a cantrip would be able to cast his spell even in armor.

This allows the racial or background ability to be used by all classes.

However with the rule that 1st level and above spells cannot be in armor will prevent folks taking advantage when presumably we can create multi class characters and someone doesn't go crazy with sorcerer/wizards who can cast wizard spells while in armor.
Just change "You cannot cast wizard spells while wearing armor." to "You cannot cast wizard spells while wearing armor you are not proficient in using."

Problem solved.
Based on the different versions of the game over the years there's a precedent for mages casting spells in armor. In 1e there was no restriction on multiclassed magic users and illusionists casting while wearing armor. 

In 2e the no armor for wizards was expanded to multiclassed wizards but they could still cast in elven chainmail.

In 3e mages were allowed to cast in armor but the armor incurred a penalty. I'm thinking there was a feat that lessened or eliminated the armor check penalty for armor.

By this evidence I think that although the mage isn't trained in the use of armor they shouldn't be denied the ability to cast in armor. 

I also think that if your class or race backgroung or specialty gives you the ability to use cantrips then there would be no restriction any way since the spells are no longer wizard spells. 
Er, there's no restriction at all on anyone casting in armor except for a Wizard.

The restriction on casting Wizard spells in armor is a part of the Wizard class.  

A High Elf or Magic User Fighter can cast their cantrips in Full Plate if they like. 
and on that penalty, i changed it to be this


when casting a spell in armour, you must succeed on a dex check DC = base AC of armour + spell level

If successful the spell is cast normally, on a fail the spell fails to cast, teh action is used up but the spell slot is not
Er, there's no restriction at all on anyone casting in armor except for a Wizard.

The restriction on casting Wizard spells in armor is a part of the Wizard class.  

A High Elf or Magic User Fighter can cast their cantrips in Full Plate if they like. 



That would mean that every class can be better at casting arcane cantrips than wizards are, and those are supposed to be the spells most intimately familiar to wizards. That is absurd.

It is true that in the "Wizard" section of the "Classes" pdf, if says, "You cannot cast wizard spells while wearing armor." This wording is ambiguous, and could mean either "You [wizard characters] cannot ... ," or "You [characters] cannot ... ." Since the first interpretation results in the absurdity of wizards being the worst class at casting some wizard spells, I think it's much more likely that the designers intended it to have the second possible meaning: that no one can cast arcane spells while wearing armor.
That would mean that every class can be better at casting arcane cantrips than wizards are, and those are supposed to be the spells most intimately familiar to wizards. That is absurd.

It's only absurd if you think about it the way you just did, instead of from a game balance perspective.

It is true that in the "Wizard" section of the "Classes" pdf, if says, "You cannot cast wizard spells while wearing armor." This wording is ambiguous, and could mean either "You [wizard characters] cannot ... ," or "You [characters] cannot ... ." Since the first interpretation results in the absurdity of wizards being the worst class at casting some wizard spells, I think it's much more likely that the designers intended it to have the second possible meaning: that no one can cast arcane spells while wearing armor.

It is totally not more likely at all.  The restriction is not just in the wizard class description, it is literally a benefit that the wizard class gives you.  It's under the casting a spell section in the benefit entry for Arcane Magic.  There is no way they intended it to be a general restriction, as they would have put it in the Spells or How to Play section if that were the case.

It would also make the Magic User specialty and the High Elf race totally worthless for every class except the Wizard, which I highly doubt is the intention. 
Depends on DM's reason for the armor restriction. The problem isn't just are wizards better at casting the spells than others, it is also are wizards used to using armor with their spells. I would argue that wizards could still use spells in light armor. The case is that Wizards are not use to the restrictiveness of armor, but being unrestricted they can cast higher level spells that novices can't.

One could say that freedom of movement is required to cast Acid Arrow. 

I could imagine that a Wizard Sub-Class that could cast while in armor, maybe a Battlemage. 
Ant Farm
 It's under the casting a spell section in the benefit entry for Arcane Magic.  There is no way they intended it to be a general restriction, as they would have put it in the Spells or How to Play section if that were the case.



This is a good point, and imo the best argument that the armor/spell restriction was only intended to apply to wizards. My personal guess is that the restrictive language is located in the Wizard casting section, and not in the more general rules, because of poor organization in this draft document. There's certainly a case to be made that it was deliberate.

For now I guess I'll play that a character can't cast arcane spells when wearing an armor without proficiency, which seems more intutive. 

I also hate that, according to the rules as written, even divine spell require a free hand to case, so that the caster can do the silly finger motions or whatever. This means that a sword/shield cleric has to drop or sheathe something to cast, which seems unnecessarily tedious even if you rule that it doesn't require an action.


I also hate that, according to the rules as written, even divine spell require a free hand to case, so that the caster can do the silly finger motions or whatever. This means that a sword/shield cleric has to drop or sheathe something to cast, which seems unnecessarily tedious even if you rule that it doesn't require an action.


 
I know it's stated somewhere in the rules that drawing/sheathing is part of whatever action you are taking. The designers want that sort of thing in the background. Your cleric can cast one round, whack a skeleton with his mace the next, and not worry about the logistics of getting his weapon out each time.

If I were you, I would just houserule the arcane casting thing, it doesn't seem like something that would break the game, and now is the time to play around with that sort of thing.
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