Brewing Up Sorcerer Origins


Steeliest of the dragons
There's been a LOT of talk/threads about the options, or lack thereof, of the Sorcerer class subclass choices. They seem to me, often, simple or unfounded requiring minimal refluffing and/or minor mechanical tweaks to achieve what folks are looking for/say they want.

So, I figured I have a quiet day ahead and would set up this thread to knock out a few homebrew Origins for folks to grab, tweak, use (or ignore :p). I've done a few of these and sketched out a few others in different/other threads. So it makes sense [to me] to just throw them all in the same place for easy access/reference.

I will grant, the two options: Draconic Origin or Wild Magic, are limited. But they give us the base/foundation for a wide breadth of archetypes.
1) Those that are "sorcerers" due to an "Something Ancestry".
and 2) Those that are "sorcerers" due to an undefined "Raw Talent/Affinity" for magical effects/powers.

If there's something specific you want, please feel free to ask/bring them up. There are 3, at least, that I see brought up over and over, so know I'll be tackling those.

We'll start with, probably, the simplest refluffing-wise...and cuz I'm a sucker for Storm from the X-Men.

Sorcerer Class Features all function as written/normal.

Sorcerous Origin: Storm Sorcerer [based off the Draconic Sorcerer. Stripping all dragon fluff and minor reflavoring of spells]
Whether from a djinn ancestor, bathed (or having an ancestor bathed) in [magical] nature forces, a blessing/curse of a weather-related entity, a setting-specific tradition of "weather magic" or membership in an organization of "weather witches", or any other reason you can come up with, your magic is geared toward and limited to the power and forces of weather. The winds and rain, blasting lightning and gentle fog, hail and hurricane, the blizzard and the sirocco are yours to command.

Weather Magic [at 1st level]
Your magic is geared specifically to those things that effect, generate or can be expained via some effect of the weather. Spells are chosen from the Storm Sorcerer's spell list [see below]. You have different options than the normal sorcerer's list within the following parameters:
  • Spells that are not immediately recognized as "weather-related" are all refluffed to result from some power of the weather. e.g. A Storm Sorcerer casts "Jump". The spell works precisely as written, but is described as resulting from a surge of winds bolstering your jump for the extra/"magical" height/distance.
  • Spells that deal fire damage may be used and function as written except have their damage-type changed to one of the following: lightning, thunder or cold (whether due to sleet/snow or arctic winds) damage. Obviously, spells that already have/deal electrical or cold effects need not be altered.

Weather Resilience [at 1st level]
You have an innate, almost sub-conscious command of atmospheric conditions that you use to protect yourself from attack. At first level, you reduce damage from lightning, ice/cold or heat/fire by 1 hit point. This defense increases by 1 hit point whenever you gain a level in this class.

Additionally, you charge the air around you (sudden breezes, static sparks dancing around you, etc...) that may help misdirect attacks. When not wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dex. mod.

You are unaffected/suffer no detrimental by natural temperatures of heat or cold from 0-100 degrees Fahrenheit [-17 to 37 Celsius].
Magically altered or created heat or cold effect you normally, deducting damage as detailed above.

Weather Affinity [at 6th level]
When you cast a spell that deals lightning or cold damage, add your Cha. mod. to that damage. At the same time, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain [full] resistance to that damage type for 1 hour.

Winging on the Wind [at 14th]
Functions exactly as "Dragon Wings" but instead of creating wings that allow you to fly, you manifest/control winds that allow it. These winds do not require your concentration and function normally in light armor.

Storm's Fury [at 18th]
You reveal your command of the atmosphere around you, producing an aura of awe or fear to all those who can see you [within 60'] A manifestation of brewing storm clouds, booming thunder, gusting winds, etc... that instills the fear or producing gentle breezes, clearing rain, making the temperature pleasant, etc... that instill "awe". Otherwise the effect is the same as Draconic Presence.

Storm Sorcerer List:
Blade Ward [refluff: you "beef up" your Weather Resilience for the resistance]
Dancing Lights [refluff: static charges, producing colors and shapes through cloud/fog formations, etc...]
Detect Weather: [accurately predict/know natural weather/coming temperatures for the following 24 hours. Must be in the open/outdoor air to function.]
[ball of lightning]
Mage Hand [refluff: wind-control to carry/grab items]
Minor Fog [refluff: Minor Illusion, creates vision blocking fog only]
Prestidigitation [refluff: limited as can be explained with a weather effect]
Ray of Frost
[mechanic: to saves against heat, cold, or lightning damage only]
Shocking Grasp
"Sleet Spray" [refluff: Poison Spray, cold damage],"Static Bolt" [refluffed Fire Bolt, lightning damage]
Vicious Sky [refluff: Vicious Mockery, a crashing boom of thunder instead of viscious words, damage is thunder instead of psychic, but rest of the spell/disadvantage is the same]

Create/Destroy Water [produced by rain/evaporation]
Freezing Hands [refluff: Burning Hands, cold damage]
Detect Magic (You're still a sorcerer. Working with magic is in your blood. ;) )
Expeditious Retreat [wind rushes you along]
Featherfall [winds cushion your landing/land you safely]
Fog Cloud
Jump [winds give you the boost]
Shield [swirling/"hardening" & charging the air]
Witch Bolt

[via lightning flash or thunder boom]
Darkness [intensified/concentrated dark clouds]
Gust of Wind
Hold Person [encase in swirling winds or "iced up"]
Levitate [via winds]
Misty Step
Pass without Trace [weather covers your tracks/washes away your trail]
See Invisibility [producing clouds or rain to produce the outline/reveal location of the invisible object]
Shatter [via thunder boom]
Slashing Shield [refluff: Cloud of Daggers, slashing damage from whirling rains/sleet, razoring winds, etc...]

Call Lightning
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Lightning Bolt
Protection from Energy
[fire, cold, lightning or thunder only]
Sleet Storm

Arcane Eye
[refluff: via winds, rain, making the spell effect area difficult to see and hear because of a localized storm.]
Conjure Minor Elementals [mechanic: air only]
Dimension Door
Freedom of Movement
Grasping Gust:
[refluff: Grasping Vine, but conjured winds not a vine]
Ice Storm

That's a good enough place to stop. You all get the idea, I hope.

Next up, the Elemental Sorcerer.
Still to come: the Psychic Powers/Psionic Sorcerer, et al.

Now, lunch.
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Steeliest of the dragons
I'll throw this up again since I had it done already in another thread and I don't really see anything wrong with it.

Elemental Bloodline [at 1st]
bladdity blah blah you have an elemental ancestor/elemental power in your veins. However you want to flavor that.
"At 1st level, you choose one type of elemental as your ancestor. Once chosen you can not change it. The damage type associated with each elemental is used by features you gain later. Also, any spell which deals an energy type damage, deals your elemental type energy damage instead. e.g. A Fire Elemental Sorcerer can cast "Cone of Cold", following all of the casting mechanic/spell details for duration, damage, range, etc... but it is a "Cone of Fire [damage]" instead.

Elemental Energy Type
Air : Lightning or Force (from concussive winds), player can choose depending on spell.
Earth : Bludgeoning (from actual stone/earth striking your foes) or Thunder (concussive waves of sound/force: stomping on the ground, slapping fists/clapping hands, slamming rocks together, etc...), player can choose depending on spell.
Fire: Fire/Heat [duh]
Water : Cold/Ice or Bludgeoning (slamming foes with waves/spouts of water), player can choose depending on spell.

Elemental Affinity [at 2nd]
As written for the Draconic Sorcerer, but applies the above options depending on your origin and moves up to a 2nd level perk.

In Your Native Element [at 6th]
At 6th level, you can spend 3 sorcery points to assume a semi-elemental form to move in and through your element up to a speed of 60': flying speed for air/fire ["heat/hot air rises"] or swim and/or surface speed [riding over waves of] for water/earth. While doing so, you are not damaged by your element (a fire sorcerer moving through a Wall of Fire, for example). The sorcerer is not impeded by difficult terrain of their element type and spells or other magical effects of the sorcerer's native element can neither reduce movement speed nor cause the sorcerer to be paralyzed or restrained. The sorcerer's movement or attacks are not impeded while in their element. This form/freedom of movement can be maintained up to one hour. You must complete a short rest before using this power again.

Elemental Storm [at 14th]
At 14th level, as a bonus action and with 5 sorcery points, you can invoke a surging maelstrom of your element type that conforms to the parameters of the Ice Storm spell, except it deals 5d10+Cha. mod. of damage type appropriate to your element: air: lightning and [wind] force; earth: bludegoning [rocks] and thunder; fire: fire; water: cold and bludgeoning [ice chunks, sleet or liquid water].

Energy Immunity [at 18th]
At 18th level, you can no longer be harmed by elemental damage of a type matching your element, as follows:
Air: Lightning immunity, resistance to Thunder.
Fire: Fire immunity, resistance to Cold.
Water: Cold immunity, resistance to Fire.
Earth: Thunder immunity, resistance to Lightning.


Steeliest of the dragons
The Psychic/Psion Sorcerer

[Introducing Psionics as a Sorcerer Origin, which I am not entirely sure is the best way to handle them. But some folks can try it out if they like and let us know how it works.]

Sorcerer Class Features stay as is.

Option 1: Sorcerous Origin: Psionic Magic
This option is to just use the Sorcerer spell list, as is, but making the effects invisible and requiring no components. Basically, the Psionic Sorcerer "manifests" Sleep, Featherfall, etc..., as is. e.g. The Psionic Sorcerer "casts" Burning Hands. The spell follows the range and area of effect, targets burst into flames and take fire damage. But that happens from your mind, not spellcasting. Your action (or bonus, reaction, whatever time you would normally need to create the spell) is concentrating to bring the spell effect into being...with your mind.

This option utilizes/follows the Wild Magic features, as is. Surges, Bend Luck, Controlled Chaos, etc... all as written, just reflavoring the magic/effects to meet the "Psionic Magic" fluff.

I, personally, am not in love with this concept since I'm of that camp that says Psionics are powers of the mind, fueled by the psychic's own mental energies, and not just "another kind/way of casting magic." But it's a concept I've seen hereabouts and figure, it's suuuper simple and may be enough for the "psionics is just another form of magic" crowd. So there ya go.

Option 2: Sorcerous Origin: Psychic Power
This option is for those who want a sorcerer who is, basically, a psychic. Someone with mental powers that are not "casting spells" so much as intensely directing their own mental energies or altering/effecting the mental energies of others. For these purposes, you are basically looking at what would be called a Telepath with some minor Telekinetic ability. Those who think a psionic guy is supposed to be a shapeshifter or a jedi/psychic warrior or japanese Psylocke, you will need to wait for those via some different medium or a different sorcerous origin that allows for that "physical/bodily/martial psionics" sort of concepts. This is for the "Mental psionics" kind of concepts.

Mental Talents [at 1st]
These follow the same parameters as "Psionic Magic." Listed spell visual effects are, largely, invisible. If the DM wants they might allow a Perception roll to notice a ripple of the air or ionization effect around the eyes or head of the psychic. By and large, however, the cause of the Psychic Sorcerer's powers are unseen, the effects just happen. Some refluffing/flavor may be required, mostly changing the damage type to psychic [for telepathic assaults] or force/bludgeoning [for telekinetic attacks]. But by and large, the sorcerer's "spell" options are not sorely altered. The Psychic Sorcerer chooses from the Psychic Sorcerer Talents list which offers different options than the standard Sorcerer list, see below.

Also, the Psychic's powers, insofar as effecting other creatures, are dependent on that creature having an individual functioning mind/will or, at least, be self-aware/have an "instinctual intelligence" [such as animals, some oozes, etc...]. e.g., "Mindless" undead, like skeletons and zombies, and most constructs [unless infused with an independent consciousness, a call for the DM] can not be effected by a psychic's powers.

Mental Power Surge [at 1st]
The functions the same as Wild Magic Surge. But, on a d20 roll of 1, you roll on the Mental Power Surge Table, below.

Roll d6
1-2: Everyone (including allies) except the sorcerer in a 20' radius is rendered unconscious unless a DC10 +Int./Wis/Cha [whichever is highest] mod. save is made.
3-5: The psychic is rendered unconscious.
6: A random sapient creature (including allies) within a 20' radius must make a DC10 +Int. mod. or have their memory completely wiped out. All spells known, lore skills and other intelligence dependent abilities are all removed as is knowledge of their name, identity, anyone they know, etc... Their memories slowly return to normal, bit by bit starting with a name and going from there, over the next 5 days. Spells known are regained not before day 3.

Bolstered Mind [at 1st]
The Psychic Sorcerer has advantage on rolls to save against charms, illusions, or psychic damage.

Meta-Manifestation [at 6th]
The Psychic Sorcerer can "burn" points of Constitution to replenish "[Psychic] Sorcery Points" at a 1-to-1 ratio, pushing themselves to maintain or push their powers via the use of Meta[Psychic]magic. If the Psychic's Constitution is reduced to 0, they die as normal regardless of hit points remaining. The Psychic can't use this power again until they complete a long rest.

Fortified Mind [at 14th]
The Psychic Sorcerer now has immunity to being charmed and resistance to all psychic damage.

Mental Bombardment [at 18th]
This functions the same as the Spell Bombardment feature.

Psychic Sorcerer Mental Talents
Blade Ward [low grade telekinetic sheathe]
Chill Touch [refluffed to psychic damage instead of necrotic]
Mage Hand
Minor Illusion
[minor mental illusions and telekinetic effects]
Psychic Bolt [refluffed Ray of Frost, psychic damage instead of cold, the "slowing" effect is a residual "daze" from the brain-smack]
Stunning Grasp [refluffed Shocking Grasp, psychic damage instead of lightning]
True Strike

Charm Person
Comprehend Languages
Detect Magic
Detect Psychic
[functions identically to Detect Magic but senstitive to psychic energies, items, creatures]
Psychic Spray [refluffed Color Spray without the color, dazzling and blinding those in the area of effect]
Disguise Self [telepathic illusion]
Magic Missile [a bolt of telepathic & telekinetic force instead of "arcane energy", otherwise functions as normal]
Ray of Sickness [same effect, without the "Ray"]

Blindness/Deafness [mentally turning "off" the target's senses]
Blur [telepathic screwing with the vision of the targets]
Crown of Madness
Detect Thoughts
Enhance Ability
[limited to Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma.]
Hold Person [either telepathically paralyze them or telekinetically "holding" ]
Invisibility [telepathically hiding you from other's visual perception]
See Invisible

Dispel Magic
[self only, by slowing down everyone else's perception]
Hypnotic Pattern [without the Pattern]
Major Image
Psychic Blast [refluffed Lightning Bolt, psychic damage instead of lightning]
Slow [by slowing down the target's perceptions]

Arcane Eye
Dimension Door
Dominate Beast
Greater Invisibility
Locate Creature
Phantasmal Killer
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Part of the problem I've had is that right now, there are some lacking spells to make certain archetypes viable for any caster.

The first two bloodlines I considered were Shadow and Summoner. Shadow would focus on darkness, illusion, and shadow-magic. Problem is, there are few of those type spells in the PHB. You have your bog-standard illusions (minor image, etc), darkness, and that's about it. No shadow conjuration/evocation, no shadow walk, etc. Similarly, the only things a wizard/sorcerer can summon are elementals; they need a regular "summon monster" type spells.

And that doesn't even begin to account for the lack of spells on the sorcerer spell list. A fey bloodline needs charms, mostly lacking on the sorcerer list. A cosmic sorcerer needs sunburst, moonbeam, and minute meteors. Perhaps further bloodlines should open up additional spells, like cleric domains or druidic land circles.

Something to consider for those working on sorcerer bloodlines.


Steeliest of the dragons
Ok. Let me give this a shot...not having any real experience with this type of sorcerer myself. So if I miss the mark, apologies.

The Shadow Sorcerer
bladdity blah blah you have some connection to the plane of shadow, an ancestor, a curse, baked in an oven of evil, shadow power in your veins, however you want to flavor that.

Shadow Magic[at 1st]
The magic you command/that is a part of you is directly siphoned from the plane of shadow to fuel it and/or composed entirely of shadow-stuff, itself. Your magic adheres to the following parameters:
  • All spells cast by you have a shadowy form or feel. Burning hands is black or dark violet flames, Shield produces a dull grey swirl of energy, Hold Person ensnares the target in smoke-like wisps of shadow, etc...
  • When you cast a spell that deals damage, instead of dealing the full damage of the type specified by the spell, the damage dealt is only considered half of that damage type, the other half of the damage is necrotic energy. e.g. A Shadow Sorcerer can cast Burning Hands, half the damage is fire, half necrotic/negative energy/"shadow fire".
  • You can not cast spells that create bright light. A spell that would normally produce Bright Light only produces Dim Light when cast by you. You can not learn or cast spells that deal radiant energy damage.

Made in the Shade [at 3rd]
You force disadvantage on targets to save against your magic if you cast from within or the targets are in Darkness or Dim Light. Targets in Bright Light have advantage to save against your spells.

Dancing in the Dark [at 6th]
As a bonus action, spending 2 sorcery points, you can step into an area of existing shadows and disappear. You exit from other existing shadows, into an unoccupied space, up to 100' away at the beginning of your next turn [another bonus action/does not take your normal action]. This ability otherwise functions as the Dimension Door spell for the purposes of carried objects or another individual.

Shadow Storm [at 14th]
As a bonus action and with 5 sorcery points, you can summon d4 + Cha. mod. Shadows into being. They remain in existence until slain or a bonus action is used to dismiss them, up to 1 round per level. These shades are under the Shadow Sorcerer's control for their duration.

Shadow Step[at 18th]
You can move through shadows, as the 6th level ability, as a reaction instead of a bonus action, and can emerge in the same round, if you so choose. Otherwise, you can "hide/stay" in the shadow plane for 1 +Cha. mod. rounds before emerging. The range of the shadow step is also extended to 500'.
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It's a very interesting situation in terms of sorcerous bloodlines, because I know for me I feel like we already have fey bloodlines and shadow bloodlines and elemental bloodlines in the game. But they're called Races rather than Sorcerous Origins. Whenever folks mention wanting to have the blood of the fey in their ancestry, my first thought is always-- of course! You can already have that. They're called 'elves'. Likewise, someone with elemental ancestry in their blood are 'genasi', infernal blood are 'tieflings', celestial blood are 'aasimar', shadow blood are 'shadar-kai' and 'shades', etc. etc. And the only reason 'draconic' doesn't go along with this pattern (IE a person with draconic blood is a 'dragonborn') is because the fact that the dragon have polymorphed into the humanoid race they are introducing the blood into the line... so it's not *really* dragon blood, but it kinda is.

Thus I've never felt like Sorcerous Origins have been the right avenue from which to exemplify this. And that's what I especially like about the sorcerer and warlock distinction-- someone outside of a planar bloodline can still acquire magic from them... they just need to make a pact with that planar being, rather than have a microscopic sliver of blood that somehow manifests magical talent.

That's part of the reason why the two origins we currently have not seemed to be that lacking to me personally. Because I'm coming at it from the storyline position of "how many different ways would someone manifest magical energy (whether you call it The Weave, ley lines, or whatever) without needing to learn how to manipulate it? If it happens just spontaneously without explanation, that's wild magic. If one of your human ancestors (or dwarf or halfling or whatever) was actually a polymorphed dragon at the time, you get a sliver of dragon/not dragon magic in your blood. I personally would also put psionics into this pot too myself, and I'd have to think about whether I'd throw it storm or cosmic sorcery in there too (in terms of the story of storm or cosmic magical manifestation, I've not be that crazy about them.) Most other things though? Magical "acquisition" from other planar beings I would tend to default to with "those are the Races" if its in the blood, or "those are Pacts" if it's been given.

Personal picadillies and preferences only of course. :)
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First Post
At one point I created the Arcane Origin. The idea was to give the Sorcerer more options, and some more arcane points to use those options, rather than adding some random class features.

Arcane Origin
Your innate abilities comes from a deep connection with the fabric of magic. You may have descended from some magical being, or you may have developed your abilities after close contact with the raw essence of magic.

Magical Secrets
At the 1st level, you learn two spells of your choice from any class. A spell you choose must be of a level you can cast, as shown on the Sorcerer table, or a cantrip. The chosen spells count as sorcerer spells for you but don't count against the number of sorcerer spells you know.

When you gain a level in this class, you can choose one spell gained from this ability and replace it with another spell from any class, which must also be of a level for which you have spell slots or a cantrip.

You learn two additional spells from any class at the 6th, 14th, and 18th level.

(At level 20, this Sorcerer has 23 spells known: 1 more than a College of Valor Bard and 1 less than a College of Lore Bard)

Extra Sorcery Points
At the 1st level, you gain 2 additional Sorcery points and you can use the Flexible Casting ability to create spell slots.

You gain 2 additional Sorcery points at the 6th, 14th, and 18th level.

Extra Metamagic
You learn one additional Metamagic option at the 6th, 14th, and 18th level.

(At level 18, this Sorcerer will learn 6 out of the 8 available Metamagic options)


Abyssal origin

Here's my take on an Abyssal Bloodline. The Hellfire feature was stolen from a post by Afrodyte in another thread, so I won't take credit for that.

Abyssal Bloodline
Demonic Ancestor. Your demon blood strengthens your body and grants you resistance to cold, fire and lightning damage. You can speak, read and write Abyssal.

Demonic Claws. As a bonus action, you can cause claws to grow on both or either of your hands. They will persist until you choose to withdraw them. Once each round, as a bonus action, you may make a claw attack. The claws count as natural finesse weapons with a base damage of 1d4.

Hellfire. Starting at 6th level, when casting a spell that does fire damage, you can spend 1 sorcery point to add your Charisma modifier to that damage. At the same time, you can spend 2 sorcery points to force the creature hit by the spell to make a Constitution save or gain the Incapacitated condition for 1 round from the pain inflicted by intense heat of the flames.

Demonic senses. At 14th level, you can spend 5 sorcery points to gain the ability to see 120 ft. in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saving throws against them, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or a creature that is transformed by magic. You can also see into the Ethereal Plain at the same range as the above. This ability has a duration of 1 minute.

Demonic Form. At 18th level, you gain the ability to take on your true demonic shape. Changing to demonic form counts as an action and costs 10 sorcery points.
In demonic form, your size changes to large, and any worn equipment will be destroyed (except your underwear, of course) unless removed prior to the transformation. Your stats change as follows (your demonic form stats can exceed the normal 20 point limit): STR:+10 DEX:+5 CON:+10 INT:- WIS:- CHA+5. Your hit points equals 1d12 (7)+ your constitiution bonus per sorcerer level, and your armor class is 19 (natural armor). You gain resistance to bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage from nonmagical weapons, and are immune to fire and poison damage. Your demonic wings give you a flying speed of 80 ft.
As part of your demonic form, you manifest two magical weapons – a lightning sword doing 2d8+strength slashing damage plus 2d8 lightning damage, and a flaming whip doing 2d6+strength slashing damage plus 2d6 fire damage. While in demonic form, you may make one attack with each of these weapons each round, and you are considered proficient with both weapons. You cannot cast spells while in demonic form.
Your demonic form is unstable and lasts for 1 minute, after which time you revert to human form. If you wish to change back to demonic form, you must spend 10 more sorcery points.

EDIT: Changed some of the more overpowered features of Demonic Form.
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