5E [GUIDE] Playing Dice with the Universe: A Slant Guide to Wild-Magic Sorcerer

Thanks Cognomen for the guide, and for further advice! Just bought the tabletop and my friends and I are enjoying it a lot more than we initially thought we would :D
 
I...... Hate...... Wild..... Magic...... Sorcerers...... Hence I have one in each in the 2 parties I DM for.... They are actually too powerful imho, the table looks bad but it isn't, particularly if you have a player with the proverbial 'luck of the irish' on his rolls, always seems to get his spell slots back!
 
I...... Hate...... Wild..... Magic...... Sorcerers...... Hence I have one in each in the 2 parties I DM for.... They are actually too powerful imho, the table looks bad but it isn't, particularly if you have a player with the proverbial 'luck of the irish' on his rolls, always seems to get his spell slots back!
Easy fix: Deny them all surges.

If that doesn't make them miserable enough, add more encounters per day.
 

Zene

Visitor
An interesting question came up at my table, and after searching Sage Advice / errata, I'm not sure this has been addressed. Thought this thread would be a good place to ask.

-Wild surge roll can trigger "after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher". Say a wild sorcerer picked up a magic item that allowed him to cast a spell that was also on the sorcerer list -- for example wand of magic missiles. Could his casting of Magic Missile --fueled by the item instead of his own spell slots-- trigger a surge? Wording seems to indicate yes.
-Would it matter whether the sorcerer had selected Magic Missile as one of his sorcerer spells known or not?

Personally, I'm inclined to say that based on the wording, it could in fact trigger a surge. It does open a bit of a can of worms with a potential 1st-level sorcerer getting, say, a ring of jumping (allows at-will casting of Jump as a bonus action) and surging every turn. But since surge rolls are at DM discretion anyway, that could easily be controlled.
 

mellored

Explorer
An interesting question came up at my table, and after searching Sage Advice / errata, I'm not sure this has been addressed. Thought this thread would be a good place to ask.

-Wild surge roll can trigger "after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher". Say a wild sorcerer picked up a magic item that allowed him to cast a spell that was also on the sorcerer list -- for example wand of magic missiles. Could his casting of Magic Missile --fueled by the item instead of his own spell slots-- trigger a surge? Wording seems to indicate yes.
-Would it matter whether the sorcerer had selected Magic Missile as one of his sorcerer spells known or not?

Personally, I'm inclined to say that based on the wording, it could in fact trigger a surge. It does open a bit of a can of worms with a potential 1st-level sorcerer getting, say, a ring of jumping (allows at-will casting of Jump as a bonus action) and surging every turn. But since surge rolls are at DM discretion anyway, that could easily be controlled.
Magic missile from a wand does not counts as a sorcerer spell.
 

Zene

Visitor
Magic missile from a wand does not counts as a sorcerer spell.
Well it's definitely on Phb p 209 under the heading "Sorcerer Spells" -- are you saying it's not considered a sorcerer spell just because it's cast from an item instead of a person?
 

mellored

Explorer
Well it's definitely on Phb p 209 under the heading "Sorcerer Spells" -- are you saying it's not considered a sorcerer spell just because it's cast from an item instead of a person?
It's also under "wizard spells" and "bard spells". For it to be sorcerer spell, you need to get it from the sorcerer list, not from the wizard list, or an item. (It would also use Cha as your casting stat, not Int, or a flat bonus).

Though I really like the idea of a jumping wild magic that just hops around causing random effects. I'll add that to my campaign, as a monster.
 

Zene

Visitor
It's also under "wizard spells" and "bard spells". For it to be sorcerer spell, you need to get it from the sorcerer list, not from the wizard list, or an item. (It would also use Cha as your casting stat, not Int, or a flat bonus).
Ah, that makes sense. (I'm curious, is it actually documented that way somewhere that I just missed?)
 

mellored

Explorer
Ah, that makes sense. (I'm curious, is it actually documented that way somewhere that I just missed?)
Hmm.... possibly in the multiclassing section. Though it's certainly heavily implied in each of the casting sections, as well as bards magic secrets.

Also note that spell slots are universal. So there is no "paladin spell slot". This was clarified in the errata.
 

Zene

Visitor
Hmm.... possibly in the multiclassing section. Though it's certainly heavily implied in each of the casting sections, as well as bards magic secrets.

Also note that spell slots are universal. So there is no "paladin spell slot". This was clarified in the errata.
Good point, those references to "for you, this is considered a bard spell" points toward that interpretation.

Yeah I get that spell slots are universal, not sure what your paladin spell slot comment is referring to.
 

mellored

Explorer
Yeah I get that spell slots are universal, not sure what your paladin spell slot comment is referring to.
The original print said that paladins could use smite with "paladin spell slots". It caused some confusion. It was clarified.
 

Undrhil

Explorer
It isn't pointed out in the guide (or I missed it if it is) but Wild Surges can only happen when you cast Sorcerer spells. This means that multiclassing any other spellcasting class will take away from your chance to trigger a wild surge.

I have a "Wild Mage" in AL that is a Sorc 1 | Wiz 14. I started Sorcerer for the CON save prof and because I wanted to have a wild mage. I took Shield and Magic Missile as my two Sorc spells. My primary casting is from Wizard, obviously, but if I use Shield or MM, it can trigger a surge. I'm very specific about mentioning this to DMs and I keep a "Tides of Chaos" little stand-up sign so I can indicate when I have used that feature, so when I use Shield or MM, the DM knows whether I am rolling to see if a surge happens or to see what surge happens.

Usually, I use Tides of Chaos on my Initiative roll so I can have that table roll immediately in combat, but once I got into higher levels of Wizard, I find that I use Shield less and less. If I get surrounded, I sometimes provoke an OA specifically to try to trigger Shield, but this has been bad for my character's health on more than one occasion! Throwing a Magic Missile in someone's face at point-blank range is more effective, especially since I have so much potential to block attacks with Portent and the Lucky feat. Also, Shield spell :D
 
Just wanted to jump in and say that even turning into a potted plant isn't irredeemably bad. One of my players, a Wild Magic sorcerer, overextended himself and got attacked by a bunch of will-o'-wisps. He cast a spell, got a Wild Magic Surge, and turned into a potted plant. Well, they're will-o'-wisps. They're not interested in inanimate objects, so they drifted away. It saved his ass.
 

Ruenruotel

Visitor
Wonderful combo !

Many feats sound pretty fun and generally useful, but you have to consider them in light of the cost to your ability scores. I will color them for direct comparison, so that any feat worth giving up two Cha points for will be gold. Only don't hold your breath for one of those.

Ritual Caster – Gets you more spells, particularly the helpful travel and RP kinds of things that you passed over because sorcerer gets so few picks.
Sir! Good sir! Hear me out please. Just like you, I am passionate about the Wild Magic Sorcerer subclass, and I find that yur guide is marvelously made. However, I believe there is one thing that deserves correction : your rating on the Ritual Caster feat.
Now, for any other Sorcerer, this feat would be no big deal. But for a Wild Mage.....
By choosing "Sorcerer" in the feat's list of classes to get rituals from, you gain access to two L1 Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells. Good thing that there are exactly two existing L1 Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells : Comprehend Languages & Detect Magic, it makes it easy to choose when gaining the feat. And two other Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells exist : Water Breathing & Water Walk, both L3 spells.

Now here's where it gets INTERESTING : the Wild Magic may activate when you cast a sorcerer spell. But with this feat, you can cast the four spells mentionned above WITHOUT USING A SPELL SLOT, and it STILL can activate a Surge.
See where I'm going ? INFINITE SURGES ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Please consider this positive feedback, good sir, and update your Ritual Caster's rating accordingly.
Good day !
 
Sir! Good sir! Hear me out please. Just like you, I am passionate about the Wild Magic Sorcerer subclass, and I find that yur guide is marvelously made. However, I believe there is one thing that deserves correction : your rating on the Ritual Caster feat.
Now, for any other Sorcerer, this feat would be no big deal. But for a Wild Mage.....
By choosing "Sorcerer" in the feat's list of classes to get rituals from, you gain access to two L1 Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells. Good thing that there are exactly two existing L1 Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells : Comprehend Languages & Detect Magic, it makes it easy to choose when gaining the feat. And two other Sorcerer ritual-tagged spells exist : Water Breathing & Water Walk, both L3 spells.

Now here's where it gets INTERESTING : the Wild Magic may activate when you cast a sorcerer spell. But with this feat, you can cast the four spells mentionned above WITHOUT USING A SPELL SLOT, and it STILL can activate a Surge.
See where I'm going ? INFINITE SURGES ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Please consider this positive feedback, good sir, and update your Ritual Caster's rating accordingly.
Good day !
I . . . I say, my man! This is nothing short of genius! I shall update my guide posthaste, but I shall have to invent a new color for this particular feat. Um um um . . . gold plus. No, sounds like a retirement plan. Double gold? Getting closer. Sky gold! As in gold that fell out of the sky and hit you on the head because it was so obvious that you have to take this feat!
 

FieserMoep

Visitor
As a Wild Magic Sorcerer you are already dependent on the good will of your DM, to 'cheese' more Spells may make your Surges go "poof".
Thus this is not an auto pick.
 
As a Wild Magic Sorcerer you are already dependent on the good will of your DM, to 'cheese' more Spells may make your Surges go "poof".
Thus this is not an auto pick.
I was speaking facetiously, and I believe that Ruenruotel was as well. The value of unlimited surges outside of combat is dubious, and the Int or Wis requirement of the feat makes it onerous for most sorcerers to obtain anyway.
 

Ruenruotel

Visitor
I can understand that with my gentleman-styled comment, you may have believed I was fooling around, but i was not !
In fact, when I found this out yesterday afternoon, I was super-duper thrilled, because I've been interested in the subclass for years, but I thought that with limited spell slots (especially at low levels), there wouldn't be enough surges for my liking.

Granted, this technique requires 2 "OKs" from your DM :
1. About the optional rules on feats (and, if you wish, about the Variant Human option, if you want to start out with the "a-surge-every-10-minutes")
2. About letting you roll on the Surge table whenever you are able to (every 10 minutes in that case).

But, it's not that hard to find the right DM for these two OK's. In fact, I know two DMs (with whom I play) who absolutely love a chaotic taste in their games, and letting more random funny moments happen is, for them, all the better.

Now let's go through the "out-of-combat-surge" utility : first, no matter what you get on the table, it's fun, so having fun is always useful.
Second, think about it : you have a chance to get effect #50 (get back sorcery points) every 10 minutes for free ! (so if you play smart and already have all your points converted into slots, eyyyy!)
Other effects that can be beneficial in out-of-combat situations :
-Roll on table for next minute (cause you can get the other goodies)
-See invisible (if a sneaky baddy is sneaking on your group, eyyyy!)
-HP regen (if you were scratched before, eyyyy!)
-Third eye (if you're searching for something, which would make sense if the ritual you just casted is Detect Magic, eyyyy!)
-Ninja teleport (if there's a platform up there you can't quite reach, eyyyy!)
-Self-heal (see HP regen)
-Ninja teleports for the next minute (see Ninja teleport)
-Levitate on self (see Ninja teleport)
-Immunity to alcohol intoxication (if you're in a drinking competition, eyyyy!)
-Fire-starter (if you want to intimidate some thuggies, eyyyy!)
-Spell-slot recharge (same as when you get back sorcery points, just less powerful at high levels, but still, eyyyy!)
-Resistance to everything (if you wanna show that you're a tough guy and jump off a cliff or something, eyyyy!)
-Extra action (if you wanna do many many things, eyyyy!)
-Free mirror image (if you're a sneaky baddy, eyyyy!)
-Personal invisibility and inaudibility (see mirror image)
-Free reincarnation (if you're feeling like dying... hahahahaha)

Of course, there's also things that will be detrimental to you, but if you like playing the lottery, the Ritual Caster feat will please you ! (sorry for all the eyyyys, I just find that it sounds cool to write it, hehee)

Edit: I forgot to adress the 13 Int/Wis dip in order to fet the feat. Well, if you intend on being a pure wild mage up to level 20, it's not optimal. However, if you plan on doing a 1-2 levels dip on a wis or int based class (like a diviner wizard 2 for the extra portent luck), then it's good !
 
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mellored

Explorer
Second, think about it : you have a chance to get effect #50 (get back sorcery points) every 10 minutes for free ! (so if you play smart and already have all your points converted into slots, eyyyy!)
On average, it would take take about 6 hours of rituals to get all your SP back. (Of course, you can get lucky and get it early, or unlucky and spend much longer).

I suppose if the rest of your party was taking a short rest, you could be rolling on the table. For a 11.5% chance to regain your SP.
 
Well, I won't deny that it could be fun, but I think you are overstating the case in a few ways.

1. Each casting only gives you a chance at a surge, unless you have a place to dump tides of chaos. Granted, that can be handled by fire bolting a sparrow every ten minutes, but that's the sort of behavior that brings a person a reputation.
2. Casting a ritual requires your concentration and your action every turn, meaning that your ability to do this in a dungeon or other hazardous environment is reduced significantly ("Longer Casting Times" PHB 202).
3. Many of the possible gains, such as detect invisibility and levitate, are very situational. The only ones that are likely to have value broadly are healing and long-rest-resource restoration.
4. You are as likely to get a healing surge as you are to fireball or life drain your party. The odds are still pretty low, and in the time it takes to attempt a heal this way six times, you could just take a short rest.
5. That leaves the spell-slot and sorcery-point restoration possibilities. As you say, the spell-slot recharge has less relative value at high levels. There is no way to offset that, since flexible casting allows us to create new slots, not to restore expended ones. It is still a good result at any level.
6. Total sorcery-point recharge looks like the big target. If, however, you convert all your sorcery points to slots and then don't get that result, you have stuffed yourself when combat starts.
7. Feats come at a cost: an ASI, other racial features, or even another feat.
8. In selecting sorcerer for ritual magic, you are taking an absolutely awful option. Taking the ritual magic feat and picking wizard would probably be more useful (though not more fun) than trying to surge every ten minutes.
9. If you are dipping into another Int- or Wis-based class, you will probably be getting ritual casting anyway. That means that you would be taking the feat solely for the surges.
10. If you do multiclass, it costs you sorcerous restoration at twentieth, which is a much more reliable way to regain sorcery points.
11. Probably most importantly, this is asking a lot from the DM and the other players. Not just variant human and feats and letting you roll on the surge table, but also the concession that rituals can trigger surges--not a given, since they do not use spell slots and thus might not be considered first level or higher--other PCs tolerating a character who is constantly lost in a spellcasting ritual and randomly spewing bubbles or floating off the ground in the middle of social interactions or exploring treacherous ruins, and the table-level RP/narratorial consideration of pausing whatever is going on because you say, "Has it been ten minutes? Okay . . . [roll] I'm a sheep now."

With all of that said, if your table is cool with it and it makes for fun, by all means do it. I don't think that it raises the feat above a blue, though it improves once you have got controlled chaos. I will add a note about it in the guide.
 
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