Metamagic Rods - Sorc / Wiz Discrepancy. Why?


Rules Questions


So my friend just pointed out to me that Sorcerers take a full round action to cast using a metamagic rod while Wizards don't take that increase in casting time.

This doesn't make any sense to me mechanically.

I understand why with metamagic feats taken by the player the wizard gets the advantage in casting time because they have to decide at the start of the day they want that "maximized fireball", but why when using a rod of maximize does that make a difference. either class is spontaneously adding a metamagic feat to the spell they are using, so either all rods should cause the spell to be full round casting time, or both should get it as a standard action there is no logic for the discrepancy because the mechanics of how the metamagic is being added is exactly the same.

If someone could explain the difference and why it is this way i would appreciate it because honestly it makes no sense to me.

(Also if this is the wrong section I apologize)


Technically, "why?" isn't a rules question.

But the answer is probably as simple as this:

Sorcerers take extra time adding metamagic to spontaneous spells. Period. This applies to known feats for the reasons you noted in your OP, and it applies to rods just because the simple rule is sorcerer + metamagic = full round.

For PFS, you're stuck. At home, this can be house-ruled as much as you like.


i hear what you are saying, but what is the difference between what the sorc is doing and what the wizard is doing for the situation of a rod? they are both spontaneously adding the metamagic to their spell

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's no good reason. The "spontaneous casters suck at metamagic" rule has been in the game since D&D 3.5, and unfortunately Paizo didn't fix it when they made Pathfinder.

It's one of the quickest house-ruled fixes I make when running home games - Wizards are superior to Sorcerers anyway. They don't need even more advantages to stay relevant, and thematically it's atrocious. Who is more likely to be able to customize their spells on the fly - the academic who studied rigid, unflinching arcane rituals through rote practice, or the kid who is so innately talented at channeling magic that he can cast a fireball without even learning how?

Grand Lodge

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The difference is because the designers behind 3.X didn't like the concept of spontaneous casters and felt they'd be the most broken things ever, so they stuck on a whole heap of extra restrictions on them.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Koshimo wrote:
they are both spontaneously adding the metamagic to their spell

If you didn't penalize Sorcerers, far more would pick the during the day versatility over day to day versatility.


James Risner wrote:
Koshimo wrote:
they are both spontaneously adding the metamagic to their spell
If you didn't penalize Sorcerers, far more would pick the during the day versatility over day to day versatility.

While that argument has some merit when it comes to the feats, which prepared casters need to apply beforehand, it's not really applicable to the rods as the wizards can apply them spontaneously. In fact, the reverse would seem more reasonable; that wizards would take a longer time applying the metamagic effects of rods since they're not very good at spontaneity.

I get that the reason it is the way it is is to have the same rules for spontaneous casters across the system, I just wish they had the same rules for the wizards as well (ie they need to use it when preparing).

Grand Lodge

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The Morphling wrote:
The "spontaneous casters suck at metamagic" rule

Save that they don't. Yes, they require a one round casting time. (save for Quicken), but they apply metamagic with far more flexibility than wizards do, even with rods. because in the latter they still pick their spells at the time of casting instead of having to prepare then beforehand.


You know why people in those fix martial threads suggested upping cast times from standard action? Because it makes casters way weaker. You know who has higher-than-standard-action casting times?

Sorcerers using metamagic.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If Sorcerers had standard action casting times using metamagic, they'd be overpowering wizards six ways from sunday.


LazarX wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
The "spontaneous casters suck at metamagic" rule
Save that they don't. Yes, they require a one round casting time. (save for Quicken), but they apply metamagic with far more flexibility than wizards do, even with rods. because in the latter they still pick their spells at the time of casting instead of having to prepare then beforehand.

If I understand what you're saying I believe you're incorrect. Wizards do not need to apply the rods to spell at the beginning of days, rather when they cast the spells. If you have a different interpretation of this I would love to see the rule that demonstrates this. If have misunderstood, carry on.

Grand Lodge

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LazarX wrote:
If Sorcerers had standard action casting times using metamagic, they'd be overpowering wizards six ways from sunday.

Yeah, no.

Edit: To expand a bit, Wizards already have so many advantages over the Sorcerer that letting the Sorcerer use metamagic better (or at least metamagic rods better) won't suddenly make them stronger than the Wizard. It'll be taking an already strong class and making it stronger, but they won't suddenly supplant the Wizard.


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Jeff Merola wrote:
LazarX wrote:
If Sorcerers had standard action casting times using metamagic, they'd be overpowering wizards six ways from sunday.

Yeah, no.

Edit: To expand a bit, Wizards already have so many advantages over the Sorcerer that letting the Sorcerer use metamagic better (or at least metamagic rods better) won't suddenly make them stronger than the Wizard. It'll be taking an already strong class and making it stronger, but they won't suddenly supplant the Wizard.

In 3rd edition, prepared casting was simply superior to spontaneous casting. The spontaneous casters simply didn't get enough spells known to really leverage that effectively, and Wizards got so may spell slots that they could cover all their bases. Thanks to the addition of bloodline spells and human favored class bonus in Pathfinder, I feel the spontaneous versus prepared caster comparison is much more equitable. Sorcerers also get a nicer suite of class features in general. However, so long as Sorcerers have reduced progression they're always going to trail wizards (noticably at odd-numbered levels) and the additional limitations are just unnecessary. When Wizards are given the ability to use spontaneous metamagic - whether by feat or item - it just adds insult to injury.

That's not to say you can't play or enjoy the Sorcerer; it's still one of the most powerful classes in the game and my personal favorite. However, fact is that Wizards have just had it better ever since 3rd edition was released and despite some excellent strides towards closing the gap it still exists. Nothing short of something incredibly cheesy (paragon surge) or changing Sorcerer progression to have parity with the Wizard is going to change that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
The "spontaneous casters suck at metamagic" rule
Save that they don't. Yes, they require a one round casting time. (save for Quicken), but they apply metamagic with far more flexibility than wizards do, even with rods. because in the latter they still pick their spells at the time of casting instead of having to prepare then beforehand.
If I understand what you're saying I believe you're incorrect. Wizards do not need to apply the rods to spell at the beginning of days, rather when they cast the spells. If you have a different interpretation of this I would love to see the rule that demonstrates this. If have misunderstood, carry on.

That's not what I said. Wizards DO have to prepare their spells in advance, they can't choose them on the fly the way a sorcerer can.


LazarX wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
The "spontaneous casters suck at metamagic" rule
Save that they don't. Yes, they require a one round casting time. (save for Quicken), but they apply metamagic with far more flexibility than wizards do, even with rods. because in the latter they still pick their spells at the time of casting instead of having to prepare then beforehand.
If I understand what you're saying I believe you're incorrect. Wizards do not need to apply the rods to spell at the beginning of days, rather when they cast the spells. If you have a different interpretation of this I would love to see the rule that demonstrates this. If have misunderstood, carry on.
That's not what I said. Wizards DO have to prepare their spells in advance, they can't choose them on the fly the way a sorcerer can.

Wizards have to prepare their spells a few hours in advance (if even that, considering bonded objects). Sorcerers have to prepare them levels in advance.

Wizards always have access to more different spells than sorcerers, if they prepare for versatility. At 10th level, a sorcerer will have 6 different spells of level 3+. A wizard will have 14 different. At 11th level, the sorcerer has 9 different, the wizard has 18. Now, the sorcerer can spam more of the same spell the same day, but that's hardly where rods shine.

Also, metamagics are _generally_ mostly useful when focusing on just a few spells, so spontainity is even less good there. The exception would be, say, Persistant spell which is useful over a wide variety of spells and where it's useful to have access to both a Persistant Suggestion and a Persistant Stinking Cloud.
But again, a wizard will if they buy the rod.


The rod grants the use of the feat at the time of casting.

Sorcerers using metamagic cast slower.

That is all.


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alexd1976 wrote:

The rod grants the use of the feat at the time of casting.

Sorcerers using metamagic cast slower.

That is all.

Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it? If it granted the usage of the feat, it'd take them 15 minutes minimum (unless they had Fast Study) before they could actually cast the spell.

But yeah, for sorcerers, it provides usage of the feat with no extra levels, for wizards it provides the benefits of using the feat without needing to use it.


Gaberlunzie wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

The rod grants the use of the feat at the time of casting.

Sorcerers using metamagic cast slower.

That is all.

Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it? If it granted the usage of the feat, it'd take them 15 minutes minimum (unless they had Fast Study) before they could actually cast the spell.

But yeah, for sorcerers, it provides usage of the feat with no extra levels, for wizards it provides the benefits of using the feat without needing to use it.

"at the time of casting"

Nothing about that implies 15 minutes to use.

Dark Archive

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But you said it grants the feat. The feat does nothing for a Wizard unless they prepare the spell using that feat. So by your definition that it only grants the feat (as opposed to dynamically applying it to a spell you're casting, which should benefit sorcerers in the same way), it would do nothing for wizards unless they were using the rod during preparation in the morning or used it to ready open slots (which takes 15 minutes).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Gaberlunzie wrote:
Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it?

Explain, because a Wizard can't use a rod to memorize spells with the rod's metamagic.


James Risner wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it?
Explain, because a Wizard can't use a rod to memorize spells with the rod's metamagic.

Well, yeah. The 'feat' from a rod is far superior for a wizard then the normal feat since he doesn't have to prepare his spell using the metamagic before he decides to cast it.

Thus the rod is BETTER than the feat for the wizard, but the rod is the same as the feat for the sorcerer.

This is the discrepancy in favor of the wizard.


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To expand a bit, if the rod merely 'acted as the feat' 3 times a day, then it would let the wizard prepare 3 spells with that particular metamagic. It would not spontaneously let them add metamagic during the casting of a prepared spell, because that's not what the feat allows.


Akari Sayuri "Tiger Lily" wrote:
But you said it grants the feat. The feat does nothing for a Wizard unless they prepare the spell using that feat. So by your definition that it only grants the feat (as opposed to dynamically applying it to a spell you're casting, which should benefit sorcerers in the same way), it would do nothing for wizards unless they were using the rod during preparation in the morning or used it to ready open slots (which takes 15 minutes).

Wow.

I'm flattered that you are treating my paraphrasing as if it were a rules source subject to discussion, thank you.

Obviously, the rod grants the benefits of the feat, not the feat itself, with limitations as per Sorcerers and increased casting time.

But since Sorcerers treat it differently than Wizards, I wrote it the way I did.

If I were to go back in time and re-write my original post, it would look something more like this:

"The rod allows the caster to cast the spell as if it had been prepared or cast with the caster having prepared or cast it as if they had the feat, so for example a wizard can enlarge a spell without having actually prepared the spell that way, and a sorcerer can enlarge the spell without having the feat (taking longer to cast the spell as per usual)."

A much clumsier way of saying what I had earlier. I didn't see any need to re-type existing rules.

Hopefully that is clearer?


_Ozy_ wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it?
Explain, because a Wizard can't use a rod to memorize spells with the rod's metamagic.

Well, yeah. The 'feat' from a rod is far superior for a wizard then the normal feat since he doesn't have to prepare his spell using the metamagic before he decides to cast it.

Thus the rod is BETTER than the feat for the wizard, but the rod is the same as the feat for the sorcerer.

This is the discrepancy in favor of the wizard.

Agreed, but it still grants the use of a feat the sorcerer wouldn't otherwise have, making the item totally worth getting.


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James Risner wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Well, it grants more than the usage of the feat for wizards, don't it?
Explain, because a Wizard can't use a rod to memorize spells with the rod's metamagic.

I think you misunderstood what I meant with "more". I did not mean "the same thing, and others" but simply "it gives benefits that the feat doesn't", in the ability to skip the application time (for wizards only) and the ability to skip the slot level increase (for wizards and sorcerers both).

The feat gives some benefit the rod doesn't too, but we're discussing rod benefits for the wizard vs rod benefits for the sorcerer, and alexd1976 said that it simply granted the feat when casting, which is incorrect as it gives benefits that the feat doesn't. One of those benefits it only grants to prepared casters (the lesser time needed to apply the feat, which goes from 15+ minutes to nothing for the wizard, but stays at full-round action for the sorcerer).


_Ozy_ wrote:

The 'feat' from a rod is far superior for a wizard then the normal feat since he doesn't have to prepare his spell using the metamagic before he decides to cast it.

Thus the rod is BETTER than the feat for the wizard, but the rod is the same as the feat for the sorcerer.

Except that it's way better than the feat for the sorcerer too, because it doesn't increase caster level.


Matthew Downie wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

The 'feat' from a rod is far superior for a wizard then the normal feat since he doesn't have to prepare his spell using the metamagic before he decides to cast it.

Thus the rod is BETTER than the feat for the wizard, but the rod is the same as the feat for the sorcerer.

Except that it's way better than the feat for the sorcerer too, because it doesn't increase caster level.

It does that for both wizard and sorcerer.

Additionally, the wizard gets to add it to any spell on the fly, something the feat DOES NOT let them do.

However, the sorcerer is still penalized by the increased casting time.

Surely it isn't difficult to see that the rod is better for the wizard than the sorcerer? Nobody is saying that it is worthless for the sorcerer, just that the 'power increase', or however you want to measure the value of the rod is higher for the wizard. A class that already outstrips the sorcerer.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

The 'feat' from a rod is far superior for a wizard then the normal feat since he doesn't have to prepare his spell using the metamagic before he decides to cast it.

Thus the rod is BETTER than the feat for the wizard, but the rod is the same as the feat for the sorcerer.

Except that it's way better than the feat for the sorcerer too, because it doesn't increase caster level.

It does that for both wizard and sorcerer.

Additionally, the wizard gets to add it to any spell on the fly, something the feat DOES NOT let them do.

However, the sorcerer is still penalized by the increased casting time.

Surely it isn't difficult to see that the rod is better for the wizard than the sorcerer? Nobody is saying that it is worthless for the sorcerer, just that the 'power increase', or however you want to measure the value of the rod is higher for the wizard. A class that already outstrips the sorcerer.

Oddly enough, my group thinks the Sorcerer is WAY better than the Wizard.

Spontaneously choosing what you need, and being able to cast it more often... very nice. The rods don't get much play at our table though...


Obviously people can have whatever opinion they want, and it is somewhat situationally dependent. However, I think the general consensus is that a wizard is Tier 1, and a sorcerer is Tier 2, if you put any stock in those sorts of ratings.

For a sorcerer, many times what you need is a spell you don't know. For a wizard, that spell is often just 15 minutes of study time away.


Sorcers simply come online even later than wizard, and thank to the PFS paradigm of capping PC at level 12 no one gets to play sorc when they really shine. The second issue with sorc is that most people don't know how to build a socer spell list and simply try using a wizard one for the job. People forget that, as long as a sorc has a single slot open, he has access to his whole spell list.

Anyway, I don't think rods eating your move is enaugh of a big deal. Most of the positioning it's made at the start of the fight and, if things get so hairy that you need to move, you'r just better DDing.


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Whether a prepared or a spontaneous caster is better is highly campaign dependent. Does the party usually have a way to know the night before what sort of challenges they will be facing? If so, then a prepared caster is better; otherwise, the flexibility of a spontaneous caster is better.


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Night before? A wizard can leave slots open and fill a bunch with 15 minutes of study.

Yeah, if your GM is constantly ambushing you with different monsters every encounter, a sorcerer might work better, but a wizard can often prep exactly the right spell for the job with only a little bit of scouting or foreknowledge.


The problem with prepared spellcasting is when you need the same spell multiple time in a row. For example, if you need a DD to pass over a chasm, for a sorc the aswer is "ok whatever", while the wizard will say "hold on, I only have one DD and i'm saving it for when thing gets hairy, either we find one other way or we come back tomorrow".

Honestly, wizard usually only contribute to one or two fight in a day with their IWIN buttons, while sorc are usually more helpfull during the entire adventure since, once again, as long as they have 1 or 2 high level slot open, they have their entire arsenal at disposal.

Besides, i've killed countless wizard that thought a 15 minute nap in a dungeon was fine.

Lastly, no one seems to appreciate the fact that sorc have both no spellbook and no component pouch to be sundered. Never have that happened to you? Than the argument is pretty moot if all your experience come from playing with a DM that constantly avoids exploiting your weaknesses and tailors their adventure to wizards.

Bottom line, I think sorcs are more than fine.


_Ozy_ wrote:
To expand a bit, if the rod merely 'acted as the feat' 3 times a day, then it would let the wizard prepare 3 spells with that particular metamagic. It would not spontaneously let them add metamagic during the casting of a prepared spell, because that's not what the feat allows.

Not too shabby of a house rule, the rod grants three daily normal uses of the feat.

Wizards prepare, Sorcerers spontaneously cast as a full round action.

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