D&D 5E Companion thread to 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part X: Sorcerers)

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
What, I have to start it?

Fine.

YOU BETTER BELIEVE I HAVE SORCERER HOMEBREW I LIKE! :)

So, the Sorcerer felt okay in the PHB, but in play it fell short. The extremely limited spell selection meant many sorcerers had to guess what sort of adventures they were going to do next level, every time they leveled up. The campaign suddenly goes underwater? Sucks to be you, guess you should have gotten water breathing! Several sorcerer subclasses were introduced that had bonus spells kind of like domain spells; those helped a lot, but the two otherwise-flavorful options in the PHB haven't been updated.

Officially.

I really, really like /u/SwordMeow's Tweaked Sorcerer class. It fiddles with very few elements, but the result is solid. If you have felt that sorcerer players in your game felt a little flat compared to the other spellcasters, give it a try, it's been extensively playtested.

In addition, I liked Brandes Stoddard's Royal Bloodline sorcerer subclass, so my own homebrew uses elements from Brandes' Royal Sorcerer and CaelReader's Imperial Birthright, which can be found in the Tweaked Sorcerer document. I also like /u/natethehoser's Arcane Lineage.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The most fun I've ever had playing a sorcerer was pretty much straight-out-of-the-box, but with one small adjustment: my DM allowed me to choose his spells from the Druid spell list. That's it...just one simple substitution.

I chose Wood Elf for the race, a custom background (I don't remember what we called it), and the Draconic (bronze dragon) bloodline. It remains one of my favorite 5E characters of all time...metamagic druids for the win.
 
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RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
Sorcerer is a cool class that exemplifies the "Magical Childe" trope -- a person inherits or acquires powers they haven't earned, can they learn to wield them with wisdom and restraint? The various sorcerer subclasses usually fit into what source of power the Magical Childe received -- from draconic parentage, from a surge of Wild Magic at birth, etc. Those are the area where you can do interesting tweaking. The Tweaked Sorcerer has the following subclasses:
  • Draconic Bloodline [Draconic Bloodline variant]: you inherited power from a draconic ancestor.
    Raw Magic [Wild Magic variant]: you were infused at birth by raw magical power (this divides Magic Surges into Positive and Negative Surges, and you roll on both tables when you trigger a surge).
  • Godtouched [Divine Soul variant]: you were infused with power by the gods.
  • Imperial Birthright [Homebrew]: you have magical power due to your descent from an ancient royal figure. I really like this one, it's sort of the "fightery" subclass.
  • Storm Sorcery [variant]: you were granted power by the elemental air.
  • Wintry Ascendant [Homebrew]: you have gained power that used to belong to an ancient Ice Queen.
  • Vampiric Blood [Homebrew]: you survived a vampire attack, or perhaps you were a thrall for a time, or inherited the power from your ancestors, but regardless, your blood has power.
  • Infernal Heritage [Homebrew]: your power comes from Hell.
  • Abyssal Legacy [Homebrew]: your power comes from the Abyss.
  • Ysgardian Ancestry [Homebrew]: your power comes from Ysgard, the plane of combat and revelry. This is also a "fightery" subclass, but different in flavor to the Imperial Birthright.
  • Phoenix Soul [Phoenix Sorcery variant]: you power comes from immortal flame.
  • Aberrant [Aberrant Mind variant]: your mind was touched by aberrations, and as a result you have psionic powers.
  • Astral Ghost [Homebrew]: your spirit is cyclical, spending time on the Astral Plane before inhabiting a new body on the Prime Material Plane and having a new life.
To me, these are really flavorful options. I also add Brandes Stoddard's Tidal Sorcery for an elemental water/sea-going campaign variant.
 
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Undrave

Hero
Is there any UA subclasses you guys think deserve another round of testing? I think the Stone Sorcerer is an interesting melee idea.

I feel like the Phoenix Sorcerer is ALMOST there but the ‘Ressurection’ power at level 6 is really weak. It doesn’t save you (brings you up to 1 HP only), can inflict damage to your allies because the subclass does a bad job of making you WANT to be in melee despite the ability to damage people who hit you, and it’s committing the sin of not letting you control your own abilities (you need someone to attack you, after all).

What, I have to start it?

Fine.

YOU BETTER BELIEVE I HAVE SORCERER HOMEBREW I LIKE! :)

So, the Sorcerer felt okay in the PHB, but in play it fell short. The extremely limited spell selection meant many sorcerers had to guess what sort of adventures they were going to do next level, every time they leveled up. The campaign suddenly goes underwater? Sucks to be you, guess you should have gotten water breathing! Several sorcerer subclasses were introduced that had bonus spells kind of like domain spells; those helped a lot, but the two otherwise-flavorful options in the PHB haven't been updated.

Officially.

I really, really like /u/SwordMeow's Tweaked Sorcerer class. It fiddles with very few elements, but the result is solid. If you have felt that sorcerer players in your game felt a little flat compared to the other spellcasters, give it a try, it's been extensively playtested.

In addition, I liked Brandes Stoddard's Royal Bloodline sorcerer subclass, so my own homebrew uses elements from Brandes' Royal Sorcerer and CaelReader's Imperial Birthright, which can be found in the Tweaked Sorcerer document. I also like /u/natethehoser's Arcane Lineage.

Thank you for sharing interesting homebrewed subclasses! (And starting the thread this go around). That Royal Sorcerer is an interesting Leader-ish concept!
 


Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Why do people even LIKE the Wild Magic Sorcerer? Itsonly feature is basically controlled by the DM!
If you're a DM with a Wild Mage PC and you're not having them constantly roll for wild surges then that's on you, not the subclass.

You've been given the greatest gift you can give and what do you do?
mad billy madison GIF
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
Why do people even LIKE the Wild Magic Sorcerer? Itsonly feature is basically controlled by the DM!
I kind of agree, which is why I like the Raw Magic take in the class I posted. It provides many more opportunities to roll surges, and each time you roll both a positive and negative effect, so that it's not all bad, and sometimes has strange synergy that can make for interesting encounters.
 

Lycurgon

Adventurer
Is there any UA subclasses you guys think deserve another round of testing? I think the Stone Sorcerer is an interesting melee idea.

I feel like the Phoenix Sorcerer is ALMOST there but the ‘Ressurection’ power at level 6 is really weak. It doesn’t save you (brings you up to 1 HP only), can inflict damage to your allies because the subclass does a bad job of making you WANT to be in melee despite the ability to damage people who hit you, and it’s committing the sin of not letting you control your own abilities (you need someone to attack you, after all).



Thank you for sharing interesting homebrewed subclasses! (And starting the thread this go around). That Royal Sorcerer is an interesting Leader-ish concept!
The Sorcerer really should get a melee/martial version. Bards get Valor and Sword, Wizards get Bladesinger, and Warlocks get Hexblade. Meanwhile Sorcerer gets.... *crickets chirping *

The Stone Sorcerer was a good start, with a bit of tweaking it could do the job. I think the 6th level power should be something to boost the Sorcerer themselves, rather than damage reduction for an an allie. Being a Melee caster will mean they need to be MAD, so they need boosting to help them survive where the class normally frees to tread.
And I would rather they saved the Aegis teleport attack for an actual Swordmage class but that is unlikely to happen. If there is never to be a Swordmage then giving to a Sorcerer is a reasonable choice. But I think the Sorcerer should get a personal melee/protection boost at 6th and open the teleport attack to work on any allie attacked that they can see within range.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
The Sorcerer really should get a melee/martial version.
You're not the only one who thinks that way. The homebrew posted has two.

The Imperial Birthright sorcerer gets abilities that kind of make them look like a magically-flavored Warden; they get armor proficiency, can inspire allies, and their magic focuses on military or strategic factors.

The Ysgardian Ancestry sorcerer gets armor proficiency, and their abilities make them seem like Action Heroes, and their magic focuses on that sort of showy combat.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The Sorcerer really should get a melee/martial version. Bards get Valor and Sword, Wizards get Bladesinger, and Warlocks get Hexblade. Meanwhile Sorcerer gets.... *crickets chirping *

The Stone Sorcerer was a good start, with a bit of tweaking it could do the job. I think the 6th level power should be something to boost the Sorcerer themselves, rather than damage reduction for an an allie. Being a Melee caster will mean they need to be MAD, so they need boosting to help them survive where the class normally frees to tread.
And I would rather they saved the Aegis teleport attack for an actual Swordmage class but that is unlikely to happen. If there is never to be a Swordmage then giving to a Sorcerer is a reasonable choice. But I think the Sorcerer should get a personal melee/protection boost at 6th and open the teleport attack to work on any allie attacked that they can see within range.
You're not the only one who thinks that way. The homebrew posted has two.
I agree that the Stone Sorcerer in this Unearthed Arcana looks like a decent attempt. For example:

The Stone Sorcerer gets proficiency with shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons at 1st level. They also get the "Metal Magic" ability, which adds a lot of weapon-focused spells like Compelled Duel, Searing Smite, Elemental Weapon, and so forth to the Sorcerer spell list. And last but not least, they get the Stone's Durability ability. This gives them +1 hit point at 1st level, and +1 hit point per level-up. They can also use an Action to boost their AC when they're not wearing armor.

All that, at 1st level.

Then at 6th level, they get the Stone Aegis ability--an earth-based protection aura for one creature. The target takes less damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and you can teleport to the warded creature as a reaction. It's an incredibly useful buff AND movement trick. (Useful, but I wouldn't say "powerful.")

The 14th and 18th level abilities look pretty excellent, but I haven't had a chance to test them out yet. One lets you deal extra force damage equal to your sorcerer level, and the top ability lets you expand your Stone Aegis to up to 3 creatures.

The only thing missing, IMO, is the Extra Attack ability that other martial characters get. But the Stone Aegis and Metal Magic abilities maybe make up for it.

TL;DR: folks who want a "martial Sorcerer" should check out Stone Sorcery, in Unearthed Arcana, as a starting point. As far as UA content goes, it's one of the better attempts, and all it needs IMO is a bit of polish to fit your campaign. Add Extra Attack at 6th level, and give them an ASI at 10th level, maybe?
 
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Undrave

Hero
I agree that the Stone Sorcerer in this Unearthed Arcana looks like a decent attempt. For example:

The Stone Sorcerer gets proficiency with shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons at 1st level. They also get the "Metal Magic" ability, which adds a lot of weapon-focused spells like Compelled Duel, Searing Smite, Elemental Weapon, and so forth to the Sorcerer spell list. And last but not least, they get the Stone's Durability ability. This gives them +1 hit point at 1st level, and +1 hit point per level-up. They can also use an Action to boost their AC when they're not wearing armor.

All that, at 1st level.

Then at 6th level, they get the Stone Aegis ability--an earth-based protection aura for one creature. The target takes less damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, and you can teleport to the warded creature as a reaction. It's an incredibly useful buff AND movement trick. (Useful, but I wouldn't say "powerful.")

The 14th and 18th level abilities look pretty excellent, but I haven't had a chance to test them out yet. One lets you deal extra force damage equal to your sorcerer level, and the top ability lets you expand your Stone Aegis to up to 3 creatures.

The only thing missing, IMO, is the Extra Attack ability that other martial characters get. But the Stone Aegis and Metal Magic abilities maybe make up for it.

TL;DR: folks who want a "martial Sorcerer" should check out Stone Sorcery, in Unearthed Arcana, as a starting point. As far as UA content goes, it's one of the better attempts, and all it needs IMO is a bit of polish to fit your campaign. Add Extra Attack at 6th level, and give them an ASI at 10th level, maybe?
Maybe a melee attack cantrip? What's the Druid one... Savage something or other?
 




CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Primal Savagery (from Xanathar) is the one I was thinking of. I think it would be cool to have one where your limbs become stone and you strike enemy with them. Really thematic for a Stone Sorcerer and it would scale better.
And adding a druid cantrip to the list of spells already being added seems like a very easy, low-impact change.
 





niklinna

Legend
I just finished reading. There's a lot of really juicy stuff in there, makes most of the official subclasses look pretty bland. Some of it seems a bit powerful on first read, but not horribly so, and considering some of the subclasses in Tasha's, well!
 

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