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Is there a cross wizard and sorcerer type class or a way of achieving the following. Some of the spells selection are limited like a sorcerer and other slots can be prepared like wizard? I am not looking for multiclassing but for an actual class, prestige class, or feat that achieves this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bucket would a prestige class that advanced both sides of a wiz/sorc multiclass be good for you, or is it necessary that the mix of prepared/spontaneous casting be within the same class's spells per day pool? How about options that would let a prepared caster spontaneously convert spells they had prepared into different spells? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Mar 26, 2022 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ What problem are you actually trying to solve here? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Mar 27, 2022 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ A player has wanted to do this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bucket
    Mar 27, 2022 at 16:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Right. What is it that they actually want to do? This stinks of being an x—y problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Mar 27, 2022 at 21:19

3 Answers 3

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Multiclassing sorcerer/wizard

You can, of course, just take levels in both sorcerer and wizard and have the spellcasting of both. But there is a better option:

Ultimate magus is the closest to exactly what you’re looking for

Ultimate magus is a prestige class from Complete Mage that advances the spellcasting of a class that prepares arcane spells from a book and the spellcasting of another class that casts arcane spells without preparation. So a 4th-level wizard/1st-level sorcerer or 4th-level sorcerer/1st-level wizard could take ultimate magus to advance both types of spellcasting.

In the ten levels of the class, seven advance both classes. At 1st, 4th, and 7th, it advances only one, specifically the class with the lower caster level. Using Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane) and/or the illumian krau sigil (Races of Destiny) to add a caster level bonus to your lower-level class so that you get 10/10 spellcasting in your higher class and 7/10 spellcasting in your lower class. Using both, it’s possible to have, for example, a 4th-level wizard/1st-level sorcerer/10th-level ultimate magus with the spellcasting of a 14th-level wizard and an 8th-level sorcerer as a 15th-level character—i.e. 8 levels of sorcery spellcasting at the cost of only one missed wizard level.

Because wizards use Intelligence and sorcerers use Charisma, the Intelligence-based beguiler (Player’s Handbook II) is often preferred over sorcerer, since a beguiler/wizard uses Intelligence for both types of spells.

Single-classed options

Of course, multiclassing or ultimate magus might not be what you had in mind. You might have been wondering if there were specific classes that do both. And the answer is... sort of.

Sha’ir

The sha’ir (Dragon Compendium) does a weird pseudo-prepared spellcasting thing where you send you mini genie familiar to the Elemental Planes to collect spells for you, which works somehow. Anyway, retrieving the spell takes a few rounds or minutes, so it isn’t quite spontaneous, but it is also not the same as preparing for the whole day.

Erudite

There is a variant psion called erudite (Complete Psionic) that manifests powers spontaneously from the full psion/wilder list. To prevent that from getting out of hand, it also has a limited number of “unique powers per day.” So after you’ve used that up, the only powers you can manifest for the rest of the day are the ones you’ve already manifested.

Unfortunately, this is a variant printed at the back of a rather terrible book, and the editing is shoddy. It’s unclear if the unique powers per day are per power level, or total. If the former, the erudite is incredibly overpowered. If the latter, it’s extremely weak.

If psionic powers don’t work for you, there is a Mind’s Eye web enhancement that discusses a “spell to power” variant that allows a psion to turn arcane spells into psionic powers so they can manifest those. This is pretty much busted in itself, and if combined with per-level unique powers per day, makes for hands-down the most game breaking class in the system.

Spirit Shaman

The spirit shaman (Complete Divine) is similar to a spontaneous druid (without the animal companion or wild shape), except uniquely, it gets to change its spells known every day. This is like spell preparation in D&D 5e, if you’re familiar with that. It’s also similar to the erudite, except you have to pick your unique spells at the start of the day. Unlike the erudite, spirit shaman is reasonably well-edited and balanced, though it is a little painful to consider just because the druid is so much stronger in basically every way.

Beholder Mage

As seen in nijineko’s answer, the beholder mage (Lords of Madness) casts spontaneously off of the entire sorcerer/wizard list. There’s no preparation involved at all, but there’s also no need to.

It’s also flat-out broken and should be banned at every table ever.

Without a fancy class

Maybe you want to add a bit of spontaneity to your wizard, or have your sorcerer go into things a bit prepared. There are options for those.

Feats

As A_S00’s fine answer points out, Arcane Preparation (Complete Arcane) allows a spontaneous spellcaster to prepare spells, and Uncanny Foresight (Exemplars of Evil) allows a prepared spellcaster to cast a few spontaneously.

Just by using the default preparation mechanics

It’s a little-known fact that prepared spellcasters don’t have to prepare all their spells at the beginning of the day:

When preparing spells for the day, a wizard can leave some of these spell slots open. Later during that day, she can repeat the preparation process as often as she likes, time and circumstances permitting. During these extra sessions of preparation, the wizard can fill these unused spell slots. She cannot, however, abandon a previously prepared spell to replace it with another one or fill a slot that is empty because she has cast a spell in the meantime. That sort of preparation requires a mind fresh from rest. Like the first session of the day, this preparation takes at least 15 minutes, and it takes longer if the wizard prepares more than one-quarter of her spells.

(Wizard Spell Selection & Preparation—note that at the time wizards were the only prepared arcane spellcasters)

A divine spellcaster does not have to prepare all his spells at once. However, the character’s mind is considered fresh only during his or her first daily spell preparation, so a divine spellcaster cannot fill a slot that is empty because he or she has cast a spell or abandoned a previously prepared spell.

(Divine Spell Selection & Preparation—note that at the time there were no spontaneous divine spellcasters)

Like the sha’ir, this isn’t properly spontaneous—you need 15 minutes to prepare spells you left unprepared—but it’s rather different from preparing all of your spells at the beginning of the day.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it actually written "unique powers power day" in the book? Ugh. You might want a "[sic]" in there, but that definitely shows the the quality of the editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Mar 28, 2022 at 16:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bobson It is labeled "Unique Powers per Day", both in a table and the heading of the ability description. The full text then says "unique psionic powers of each level per day". \$\endgroup\$
    – Douglas
    Mar 28, 2022 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Douglas - Good to know. I suspect the wrong "per" got turned into "power" - I've edited the post accordingly. Thanks for confirming that.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Mar 28, 2022 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great answer. I think the spell point variant from the DMG is also worthwhile to add to this answer d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm \$\endgroup\$
    – Vlad Long
    Apr 10, 2022 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VladLong I don’t, because 1. it’s a campaign variant not something player-chosen, and can’t be mixed with the default (same reason for avoiding generic spellcasters), and 2. it’s horribly designed and not something I want to recommend to anyone for any purpose. Though I suppose this answer’s already got spell-to-power erudite and beholder mage in it, so that point is a bit moot... \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 10, 2022 at 20:20
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There's no base class in the game that just straightforwardly gives you the abilities of both a Wizard and a Sorcerer. However, there are plenty of options that sorta-kinda fit:

Classes

  • Ultimate Magus (Complete Mage, p. 77): A prestige class that requires you to be able to cast both spontaneous and prepared arcane spells, and progresses both. It offers 10/10 spellcasting progression for one of your spellcasting classes, and 7/10 for the other. Because of the way its Spellcasting class feature works, there are some clever tricks involving caster level you can use to influence which of your classes ends up getting progressed at each level. You can check out this old handbook (archive link) for details on how to best build a character around this class.

Feats

  • Arcane Preparation (Complete Arcane, p. 73): A feat that allows a spontaneous caster to use some of their spell slots for prepared casting (like a Wizard) instead of their normal spontaneous casting. This lets them take advantage of stuff that requires prepared casting, or works better on prepared spells (like using metamagic without increasing the casting time of the spell like a Sorcerer usually would).
  • Uncanny Forethought (Exemplars of Evil, p. 26): A feat that allows a Wizard to reserve a small number of their spell slots and use them to spontaneously cast any spell they know. This lets a Wizard do a limited amount of casting like a Sorcerer (though the number of spells you can cast this way each day is limited to your Int bonus).

Other

  • Spontaneous Divination (Complete Champion, p. 52): An alternate class feature for Wizard that allows them to sacrifice any prepared spell to spontaneously cast any Divination spell (the same way Clerics can sacrifice spells to spontaneously cast Cure/Inflict Wounds spells). This isn't restricted to spells you know, which is very powerful, although of course being restricted to Divination spells puts a limit on what you can do with this ability.
  • Gestalt variant rules: This is a set of variant rules from Unearthed Arcana, the core of which is to allow player characters to choose two classes at each character level. You could use these rules to play a Wizard 20 // Sorcerer 20 without issue. However, these rules are not intended to be generally available to players in a normal game — gestalt is a variant ruleset explicitly designed to result in characters that are much more powerful than normal, and you should only expect it to be allowed if your DM is giving everyone the option to play gestalt.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ But there is a prestige class.... \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Mar 27, 2022 at 15:00
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The Beholder Mage prestige from Lords of Madness is your class for the ultimate combining of wizard and sorcerer advantages. (Pun intended)

Pros:

  • learn all arcane spells as a wizard but without any spellbook required.
  • cast any arcane spells you know as a sorcerer.

Cons:

  • have to qualify race-wise as a Beholder to take the class.
  • have to put out your central anti-magic eye as part of the qualifications.

Due to the cons of this prestige, most people choose not to consider it.


Just as a side note, if you are instead trying to combine the advantages of prepared casting and spontaneous casting, but are willing to put up with having a few levels of divine classes, then you could also consider the Geomancer prestige.

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    \$\begingroup\$ “Due to the cons of this prestige, most people choose not to consider it,” is an inaccurate statement. Most people don’t consider it because they’re unaware of it—you might mention the source here, Lords of Madness. Among people who do know it, there isn’t much concern that the cons are too great—rather, it’s the pros that stop people. Beholder mage is one of the most blatantly game-breaking classes in the game, and it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere. Still, a great answer to this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 27, 2022 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan It's not so broken when you consider it's basically an NPC-only class. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Mar 27, 2022 at 20:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 There is nothing preventing a PC from taking it, and it’s trivial to cheese around the requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 27, 2022 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan The method I've seen revolves around using Polymorph Any Object twice in an attempt to make the change permanent. But the rules regarding magical effect stacking would seem to nix that. That said, the argument regarding the rules on Prestige Class requirements still stands. Might still have to PAO at each level up to continue to have the Eye Rays ability via Assume Su Ability in order to poke out an eye to gain the ability to cast a spell level. Unless advancing casting via another PrC bypasses that requiem too somehow... So perhaps somewhat trivial depending on rules interactions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Mar 27, 2022 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus Polymorph any object is the most thorough approach, but it is not the only one if you find fault with it. Not about to argue the case for it here in comments. If nothing else, an overlapping pair of persistent polymorph spells with Assume Supernatural Ability can assure you qualify at the time of a level-up. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 27, 2022 at 23:13

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