I’m a DM for a fifth edition D&D campaign. After discovering Pathfinder 2e earlier this year, I’ve been eager to give it a try with my regular group of players. I like the action economy and critical success/failure mechanics baked into the system. We started on 4e several years ago, and when 5e came out I was the one who proposed migrating.
I’ll be running a dungeon crawl, with a few social elements to give everyone a feel for how different aspects of the game work. I’ve used the pre-gen characters from Paizo’s official 2e demo adventure as a base for the party. However, I’ve levelled everyone up to 5 (the party is lvl 4 in 5e), to give them all a little more versatility and options.
One of the players will be playing the pre-gen universalist wizard, Ezren. This player is usually the most outspoken of the party when it comes to 5e game mechanics, having done a fair amount of DMing himself. “I don’t think this makes sense, we should try…” sort of stuff. I’ve been open to a lot of it.
When I explained how the wizard works, using Vancian magic and spells at specfic levels prepared into specific slots, his response was to the effect of “that sounds stupid and restrictive.”
Are there any counters to this argument of restrictiveness I can give him to alleviate the negative bias that I’m sure he now has towards this upcoming playtest? So far I’ve told him that cantrips seem more potent than in 5e, as they’re auto-heightened to be the same level as your highest level spell slot. I’ve also said that wizards in 2e get more spell slots in 5e, and I’ve given him the spell substitution thesis (which I had done before this interaction) for extra versatility.
But I can’t shake the feeling that he’s right. Sorcerers in 2e get more spell slots of each level, can choose what they cast using what slots (unless I misunderstand their mechanics), automatically regain focus points without actively doing anything… 5e wizards could choose to cast the Fireball they’d prepared at level 5 instead of level 3, to give it a bit more oomph. His argument here was, in a clutch moment in a combat encounter, the wizard can’t ‘save the day’ by doing so, if he hasn’t prepared that spell in that slot. Wizards also don’t get an equivalent to 5e’s Arcane Recovery, to give them more slots than the 5e sorcerer.
What arguments can I provide to counter his complaints about this restrictiveness?