I'm trying to tweak/balance the Wizard (and to a lesser extent the Cleric) class(es) in Pathfinder.

The two things that really irritate me are:

  • Spell components. Tongue of frog and Eye of newt may be nice for color, but after casting the spell (wiht the Eye of Newt), it just becomes too much book keeping for little real immersion/gain from my perspective
  • Memorizing spells. I've read the argument that you have to push alien formulae into your head to be able to cast spells (and the casting is just "firing" the spell), but again, it strikes me as bookkeeping for the sake of bookkeeping

I realize the Sorcerer class is an attempt to get rid of these gripes, but from what I read Sorcerers can't use/make Scrolls and other magic items (at least from my read of the rules). I want to create a class that is about halfway between sorcerer and wizard, but don't know how to tinker and make sure it's balanced. Help?

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Couple of corrections to your assumptions. Spell components - Buy a spell component pouch and as long as it doesn't have a gold value listed, you're set and don't have to keep track of them. Sorcerer - They can make/use magic items just as well as anyone else, they just don't get Scribe Scroll as a free feat. They can't use scrolls to up the number of spells they know, if that's what you're getting at though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ From the rules: Unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible. Don't bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch. (d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Components) \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Aug 5, 2011 at 3:06
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I thought of one other thing that doesn't answer your core question. Spell memorization is more for Balance rather than book keeping. Who's going to be better if a room is flooded with water, the Wizard who forgot to memorize Freedom of Movement, or the Sorcerer who can cast it 5x a day on a whim? (The Wizard however is far more versatile if he/she manages to plan ahead...) \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Aug 5, 2011 at 15:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @c ross yes, I have actually. Being totally immune to grapples is incredibly useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Aug 7, 2011 at 3:19
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Way late of a response, but you really shouldn't be trying to balance classes unless you have a good handle on them. As other commentaters have said, spell components are already not tracked, and sorcerers can be just as effective as wizards at creating magic items (they just have to spend a feat to be able to make scrolls). Trying to rebalance to "fix" things that aren't broken in the first place is a disaster waiting to happen. ---- That being said, if you did work something up, I'd love to see it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Apr 24, 2012 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Look online to see if someone else has already balanced the classes. If you're lucky, they'll have already done this and have playtested for you.

In my experience with 3.5, we ignore cheap components. Not worth the bookkeeping. I also made a blog post a while back brainstorming some ideas for components. These changes would take some effort and I've never playtested them though.

Memorization is bookkeeping, but it's worthwhile too. The wizard knows more spells than the sorcerer. In theory he can do more. But can his planning overcome the sorcerer's ability to use exactly the right spell at the time? Having played both, I think this is an interesting difference. I think that if players don't want to track their spells like that they shouldn't play wizards. The sorcerer is a good alternative. You could give them the craft scrolls feat, but it isn't as valuable since sorcerers use fewer spells. Hand out some scrolls as loot instead and your sorcerer will be happy without relying on system changes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Our adventuring group also typically assumes that any spell components of a non-significant value are just assumed to be in the spellcaster's possession. We have never tracked the eye of newt or spider eyeballs kind of components. It is just assumed that the spellcaster gathers these implements as they go along adventuring and stocking up in towns and cities they pass through. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Aug 5, 2011 at 2:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ The components are required, however, because they introduce ways to block a wizard from casting, namely disarming him of his components pouch and blocking him from picking components from the pouch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Nov 30, 2012 at 23:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, from what I've been reading the whole element of spell components just means that a thief stealing your component pouch is a potential sidequest hook. Pretty much the only time the components themselves really matter are when you want to use a spell with a costly component or if you're using the alternate rules for metamagic/enhanced spell components. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Feb 20, 2014 at 2:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .