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In D&D 3.x, spontaneous full casters (like the Sorcerer or Oracle) gain their higher level spells a level later than the equivalent prepared caster classes (like Wizard and Cleric). For example, a Sorcerer gets 2nd level spells at Sorcerer level 4, where a Wizard gets 2nd level spells at Wizard level 3.

Why is this? Broadly, I know that the answer is 'game balance', but is there a more specific explanation provided by the game's developers themselves? Are there interviews with D&D or Pathfinder devs where they explain this discrepancy? I've heard the idea tossed around that it was because Monte Cook hates Sorcerers, but I haven't seen any sources to back this up.

This question is not looking for balance analysis of Wizard vs Sorcerer. Multiple such answers have already arrived and been deleted. This question is looking exclusively for developer commentary, the developer's reasons, in their words, not player analysis.

In answering, please make sure that you have sources to back up your claims. The simple answer might be "game balance", but I'm looking for the answer from the horse's mouth, preferably with as much detail about the decision as possible.

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This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from DuckTapeAl ending in 6 days.

Looking for an answer drawing from credible and/or official sources.

It's been about 6 months since I first posted this question, and I'd like to see if anyone newly looking at this question can find a citation on it.

A reminder that answers here should back up their statements with citations. Unsubstantiated speculation, opinions, or guesswork about why this might possibly be the case does not make for a useful and reliable answer. –  doppelgreener Jun 17 at 22:48
As is, this question may be unanswerable. Game designers often never explain things like this in public. It's a perfectly legitimate question, though. –  Tridus Jun 17 at 22:54
@Tridus There was a lot of public discussion of 3e from the developers at the time. Lots of it has been lost (because WotC redesigns their site and incompetently destroys swathes of content when they do, every couple of years), but it's likely to have been discussed. And it's OK for a question to go without answers for an indefinite amount of time, because we serve the long tail here. –  SevenSidedDie Jun 17 at 23:01
Also, please don't answer in comments. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 18 at 0:50

1 Answer 1

It is often said that Skip Williams hated Sorcerers and that was the reason. The best I can come up with, however, is this posting on the SA forums:


Whether you believe the poster or not is a different question. If you hunt around you can find similar claims that Williams was more explicit about this on some WotC forum thread which has been deleted. If you could find out more about that then perhaps archive.org could dig it out.

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-1: While this is the closest that an answer to this question has come to a good source, Something Awful isn't a isn't a really reliable source for quotes. I especially feel that the post you link is likely misrepresenting Skip Williams' words, and has a tone that conveys a lot of disrespect towards him, making it more likely that the poster is overemphasizing the negativity in the statement. –  DuckTapeAl Aug 18 at 22:07
I can't access the post behind that link. Mind quoting it? –  doppelgreener Oct 3 at 2:00

protected by C. Ross Oct 2 at 19:51

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