On page 288-289 of the DMG, there is an optional rule: Variant: Spell Points.

I frequently use this optional rule at my table. I'm interested in streamlining resource-management even further, by merging the Sorcerer's Sorcery Points and Spell Points into a single pool of Spell Points that replace Sorcery Points altogether, which I plan to playtest in a coming one-shot.

What is the effective conversion rate for Sorcery points to Spell Points, utilising the Creating Spell Slots (PHB 101) table and the Spell Point Cost (DMG 288) table?

I'm not interested in answers concerning game balance or any other ramifications for the game.


Sorcery Points and Spell Points are 1:1 Exchangeable; but be careful with this change

Up through 5th level spells, the Flexible Casting table and the Spell Points tables list identical costs for converting [] Points to Spells:

\begin{array}{r|l|l} \text{Spell Level} & \text{Spell Points} & \text{Sorcery Points} \\ \hline \text{1st} & 2 & 2 \\ \text{2nd} & 3 & 3 \\ \text{3rd} & 5 & 5 \\ \text{4th} & 6 & 6 \\ \text{5th} & 7 & 7 \\ \text{6th} & 9 & - \\ \text{7th} & 10 & - \\ \text{8th} & 11 & - \\ \text{9th} & 13 & - \\ \end{array}

So it is clear that when they exist as a free-standing pool of points, Sorcery Points are more-or-less equivalent to Spell Points.

... Except when they aren't. Sorcerers don't use Sorcery Points solely to cast spells; they also use them to fuel Metamagics and Origin features. I'm going to use the Shadow Origin Sorcerer as an example, but many of these issues apply to other Sorcerers as well.

At level 3, Shadow Origin Sorcerers gain the ability to cast Darkness by directly spending Sorcery Points instead of a spell slot:

Eyes of the Dark

Starting at 1st level, you have darkvision with a range of 120 feet.

When you reach 3rd level in this class, you learn the darkness spell, which doesn't count against your number of sorcerer spells known. In addition, you can cast it by spending 2 sorcery points or by expending a spell slot. If you cast it with sorcery points, you can see through the darkness created by the spell.

Shadow Origin, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pg. 51

Under the normal rules, a Sorcerer has 2 2nd Level spell slots, 4 1st Level spell slots, and 3 Sorcery Points. This means, if they converted all their spell slots into Sorcery Points, they'd be able to cast Darkness using this feature 5 times per Long Rest (2 * 2 + 4 * 1 + 3 == 11; 11 / 2 == 5). Under your rules, they'd have 17 "Spell + Sorcery" points (14 Spell Points + 3 Sorcery Points) enabling them to cast the same spell 8 times per Long rest. So already, we're seeing that this feature greatly empowers certain kinds of Sorcery Point-powered features.

Not that this should be terribly shocking; the Spell Point rules as-is permit the same caster to cast up to 4 2nd level spells per long rest, up from the normal limit of 2, so some degree of empowerment of these features is expected. But what about features that aren't normally spells?

At level 6, they gain the ability to, at the cost of 3 Sorcery points, summon a Dire Wolf with special properties. Normally, a Shadow Sorcerer could do that 8 times in a single long rest (3*3 + 3*2 + 4*1 + 6 == 25, 25/3 == 8); but also note that they couldn't do that 8 times in a row, because summoning a wolf is a Bonus Action, which their Flexible Casting feature also requires, meaning they'd have to summon 2 wolves in 2 turns, skip a turn to burn off a spell slot, then summon one, then skip a turn, then summon one, and they'd have to skip multiple turns once they got to their lower level spell slots.

Conversely, with your rules, they'd have a pool of 38 Points (32 Spell Points + 6 Sorcery Points), meaning they could summon 12 wolves with this feature, and they would be able to summon those 12 wolves in 12 turns, no need to skip rounds.

I know you mentioned in your post that you're not concerned with Balance implications, so I'm not going to spend time judging whether this is a good or bad thing for the relative power level of Sorcerers, but I do think understanding the implications of this change on a Sorcerer's non-spell-slot abilities is important. This change will give all Sorcerers greatly expanded access to their non-spell features, which could have significant impacts on play. A Divine Soul Sorcerer, for example, would be able to far more liberally use their Empowered Healing feature, bolstering not only their own spells but also any effects their allies put out. It would also allow all Sorcerers to more freely use their Metamagic effects.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think you might have missed the point slightly; it costs the same to create a spell slot from sorcery points or spell points, but you do not get the same number of sorcery points back when you create sorcery points from a spell slot. A level 5 spell slot costs 7 spell points to create but only becomes 5 sorcery points when converted. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer May 15 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or maybe I am. Hm. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer May 15 at 16:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Yes; that was how I calculated the number of uses of Darkness and Hound of Ill Omen under the normal rules. Under the OP's variant, however, Spell Points (which is a table found in the DMG) and Sorcery Points would be combined together, meaning a Sorcerer would get the full Spell point value of a spell instead of the depreciated cost of manually converting a spell slot to Sorcery Points. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema May 15 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it is fair to accept this right away. (You also gave me good pointers on implications that I would want to check during playtesting, unrelated to my question) \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 15 at 16:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Just sayin...with this rule, I'd definitely always play a sorcerer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 15 at 16:47

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