[RPG] Will allowing a wizard to cast spell without preparation be unbalanced


A wizard complained that preparing spells every long rest seems a very tedious task, and asked me if he could trade his ability to copy new spells with the ability to cast any spells he knows without preparation.

I suggested him to become a sorcerer instead, but he does not like the metamagic class feature and wants a simpler one.

I don't think this is going to break anything, but is there anything that I should be careful or modify, before allowing this? Is this modification going to unbalance or to be unfair to other class, especially since it will be very similar to sorcerer?

Update: I talked to him again and figured the primary thing he wanted is to have the versatility of a wizard, two spells gained per level, instead of one. This player is new to playing pure spellcaster.

Best Answer

Yes, this is overpowered

Your instinct to suggest the Sorcerer Class was a good one. This ability is going to give the Wizard so much versatility there will be almost no situation he cannot solve through magic.

Let's compare the Wizard to a Sorcerer in terms of spells known. The Wizard would have 6 at first level + 2 spells/level after that. In contrast the sorcerer starts with 2 spells known and gains 1 per level to 11th level and then slower after that.

At 20th level the Wizard would know a whopping 46 spells and would have them all prepared. While the poor Sorcerer only has 15.

This rule is so strong it makes an entire class redundant. Forcing Wizards to prepare Level + Intelligence Mod spells per day limits their versatility without a long rest. This is one of the only limitations on the Wizard class and should be left in place. Remember Wizards still get Ritual Casting to cast ritual spells they don't have prepared, if they have enough time.

Alternatively you could allow him to be a Wizard but use the Sorcerer spell progression and spontaneous casting but at this point he is a Sorcerer.

WARNING Untested Homebrew suggestion

If he really doesn't like meta-magic perhaps you could homebrew a Sorcerer that swaps the meta-magic abilities for the abilities of one of the Wizard Schools. I'm not sure how this would work in practice but may be the easiest solution.

There is now a question on this homebrew. See Sorcerous Study for balance discussions.