Psions, Wizards And Sorcerers

Part 1: Wizards and Sorcerers

Are sorcerers redundant? What does a sorcerer bring to the game a wizard doesn't, and vice versa?

Theoretically, sorcerers are focused spellcasters, whereas wizards are jacks-of-all-trades. For example, in a given party, a sorcerer could be the artillery, whereas the wizard plans out their spell selection based on the challenges of the day. This makes several assumptions:

  1. The party wizard has a wide selection of spells to choose from (that is, they have been picking up spellbooks and scrolls in their adventures, and have a substantial repertoire to draw from);
  2. The party plans what (and why) it's doing each morning, rather than run half-assed into stuff :D
  3. The types of challenges ahead can be predicted with a certain level of accuracy (eg. urban vs rural, outdoor vs indoor, combat vs skill-based);
  4. The party prepares to enter combat, hence selecting appropriate buffs, rather than run half-assed into stuff :D

Consequently…

  1. Are sorcerers and wizards so similar that they - for all intents and purposes - can't be told apart?
  2. Is it appropriate for both wizards and sorcerers to have access to all Arcane spells (finding them notwithstanding)?
  3. Are there ways to make sorcerers distinct from wizards in some way? Role-playing issue? A game mechanic?

Part 1a: Divine Spellcasters

What goes for wizards <-> sorcerers probably goes for clerics <-> mystics & favoured souls too.

Part 2: Psionics and Psions


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