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A friend of mine is about to start his own 4e campaign, and I'll be playing a Sorcerer. We're starting from scratch at level 1. I need your advice on how to build him the way I want him, though:

I want my Sorcerer to focus on debuffing enemies or placing debilitating conditions. He should do stuff like lowering their defences, knocking them prone, or making them dazed or immobilised. I don't mind not being able to deal high amounts of damage.

I would strongly prefer to play a Human, Tiefling or Half-Elf, and to use the Arcane Wellspring Paragon Path.

How can I build this Sorcerer? What race, powers and so on should I use?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Does it need to mechanically be a Sorcerer?

Sorcerers are strikers; they're not intended to debuff, they're intended to deal damage (and they're not even amazing at that). Sorcerers don't have very many debuffing powers, and the ones they do have aren't especially good.

You've sort of asked, "Can I make a fighter who only casts spells on people?" Yes, you can, but they won't be very good; why not just make a spellcaster and describe them as being a fighter? In short, you should generally pick your class to reflect the mechanics you want your character to have, not the fluff you want them to have.

Would you be willing to make a character who is mechanically a wizard or warlock and just describe them as a sorcerer? Warlocks are also (technically) strikers but lean much more heavily toward control than other strikers, especially certain builds, and wizards are excellent controllers. Note that humans & tieflings make very good wizards, and all three of your preferred races make great warlocks.

(If this approach interests you, leave me a comment and I'll put together a basic build for you when I get a chance.)

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Great answer, so many people focus on the fluff when 4e's separation of fluff and crunch fully supports reskinning. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Feb 24 at 0:47
I strongly endorse fluff/crunch separation. I'm of the opinion that crunch shouldn't even have names that imply fluff, much less flavor text. –  Oblivious Sage Feb 24 at 2:25
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