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D&D 5E Pure Blaster Sorcerer?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What if the Sorcerer had an ability to directly convert spell slots to damage? Like, just, pick from XYZ damage type, deal damage based on the table (basically the damage table from the DMG), pick a single target, a 15ft cone, 30ft line, or a 20ft burst within 120ft, single target does d10s, AoE does d6s.

Could be a subclass ability bonus action boost to cantrip 1/round, could be a metamagic you do as an action, could be something else. Obviously the actual damage numbers could change based on hat method is chosen. Bonus action on top of a cantrip will be less damage than an action spell attack.

Any ideas?
 

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Is this in addition to spellcasting or replacing spellcasting?

If it's added: should be fine. You've basically given them a few extra spells known, which cover the most basic effects you'd want in combat - which in turn frees up Spells Known for more fun/interesting/thematic stuff.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I imagine the time they spent writing like 100 specific combinations of "convert a spell slot to damage" in the spells section meant they didn't feel like a generic version was warranted. :)

I don't think a class feature or a metamagic option to allow it would be a bad idea, but the designers were pretty parsimonious with damage increases in the game's release, which is probably why it doesn't exist already.
 



Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Like a smite added to cantrips? That could be interesting. I'd even play with it on the Warlock for a simple "fighter caster" type character.
Ohh... Now -you're- on to something, here...

Make a few more cantrips to cover different areas at fairly small sizes (10ft cone, 5ft radius burst at range, 15ft line). Still typed damage, of course. Give them some secondary effects as well, have them target different saves and give them some single-target options...

And then let them use their Sorcery Points to empower their cantrips in various ways. Like adding smiting damage to a cantrip, or increasing the radius or size by 1 square, or the range by 15ft per Sorcery Point spent.

Want a Fireball? Take your fire-blast cantrip (5ft radius burst that deals 1d6 at 60 feet) slap 1 Sorcery Point for a 15ft range increase, slap 3 more points down to make it a 20ft radius, and then slap more Sorcery Points into it to increase the damage by 1d6 per point. Level 11 so you're already doing 3d6 it'll take 5 points to make it do 8. So that's 9 points... You'd need to completely revamp their sorcery-point economy but... wow.

Would go a -long- way to making Sorcerers stand out from Wizards since they'd be able to scale their spells. They could make a 5ft radius 10d6 Fireball by sacrificing some Sorcery Points and Spell Slots so they don't hit their allies but absolutely roast the baddies in those 4 squares. Or make a massive ice effect that deals very little damage but creates a big patch of ice on the water.

They'd need a Sorcery Point limit per turn... Could call it "Channel Casting" instead of true Spellcasting? 'Cause they're channeling tons of pure raw power into a teeny tiny magical framework!
 

Quickleaf

Legend
What if the Sorcerer had an ability to directly convert spell slots to damage? Like, just, pick from XYZ damage type, deal damage based on the table (basically the damage table from the DMG), pick a single target, a 15ft cone, 30ft line, or a 20ft burst within 120ft, single target does d10s, AoE does d6s.

Could be a subclass ability bonus action boost to cantrip 1/round, could be a metamagic you do as an action, could be something else. Obviously the actual damage numbers could change based on hat method is chosen. Bonus action on top of a cantrip will be less damage than an action spell attack.

Any ideas?
Absolutely, I actually wish the sorcerer had been designed more as the "simple caster" focused on cantrips which could be upgraded. But that's really leaning into class redesign territory which I've already posted about.

Being able to choose damage type on the fly can be quite potent.

And not all damage types are equal. Lots of monsters have fire immunity/resistance, or poison immunity/ resistance, but nearly no monsters have resistance or immunity to force damage. Therefor, an effect that deals fire damage should deal more damage than a similarly leveled effect dealing force damage, because force damage is "more valuable." You can see a breakdown of immunity/resistance by damage type of MM monsters over here.
 

King Babar

Adventurer
This really reminds me of a Skyrim-inspired system I had for spellcrafting. Basically allowing a spellcaster to choose the Element, Form, and Potency instead of choosing a normal spell.

Really, it's basically the transmuted Spell Metamagic option from Tasha's, but more systematic.

I never developed it beyond the initial idea.
 

Xeviat

Community Supporter
Supporter
The spell slot scale is solid, and the expected damage per spell level tracks reasonably with the SP costs of spell levels that you could probably do a 1 for 1 for spell smiles on cantrips. Then, yeah, build cantrips of different sizes and shapes and elemental effects, then have them have different scaling effects based on how many points you put into then.

Should be an easy structure to build. They could then have limited spells known so they can do more utility things, but if you want to just be a blaster you could.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Is this in addition to spellcasting or replacing spellcasting?
Since I don’t want to rewrite, probably addition, as a metamagic option or as a new feature.
If it's added: should be fine. You've basically given them a few extra spells known, which cover the most basic effects you'd want in combat - which in turn frees up Spells Known for more fun/interesting/thematic stuff.
That’s about what I’m thinking.
Ohh... Now -you're- on to something, here...

Make a few more cantrips to cover different areas at fairly small sizes (10ft cone, 5ft radius burst at range, 15ft line). Still typed damage, of course. Give them some secondary effects as well, have them target different saves and give them some single-target options...

And then let them use their Sorcery Points to empower their cantrips in various ways. Like adding smiting damage to a cantrip, or increasing the radius or size by 1 square, or the range by 15ft per Sorcery Point spent.

Want a Fireball? Take your fire-blast cantrip (5ft radius burst that deals 1d6 at 60 feet) slap 1 Sorcery Point for a 15ft range increase, slap 3 more points down to make it a 20ft radius, and then slap more Sorcery Points into it to increase the damage by 1d6 per point. Level 11 so you're already doing 3d6 it'll take 5 points to make it do 8. So that's 9 points... You'd need to completely revamp their sorcery-point economy but... wow.
Hell yeah. Give the sorcerer more cantrips than anyone else, or some automatic variable cantrips Like “Elemental Evocation, choose either range 120ft single target, range 60ft 5ft radius, 15ft cone centered on you, or 20ft line from you. If you target one creature, deal 1d10 damage on a hit. If you target 2 or more, you deal 1d8 damage on a hit. Reduce damage by one step if you add one of the following effects; [list of basic effects by element].
Would go a -long- way to making Sorcerers stand out from Wizards since they'd be able to scale their spells. They could make a 5ft radius 10d6 Fireball by sacrificing some Sorcery Points and Spell Slots so they don't hit their allies but absolutely roast the baddies in those 4 squares. Or make a massive ice effect that deals very little damage but creates a big patch of ice on the water.

They'd need a Sorcery Point limit per turn... Could call it "Channel Casting" instead of true Spellcasting? 'Cause they're channeling tons of pure raw power into a teeny tiny magical framework!
Honestly I’d love that. That is basically how physical magic works in my own TTRPG, though a bit looser than that even. I’ve referred to it as “Gary’s Mod Casting” or “Portal Gun Casting”. You’ve a simple framework for how the skill works, and freedom to do whatever you want with that, extrapolating and improvising as you like. Skill checks are either to determine if you do the thing, or to increase some factor of the working, like range, area, intensity, etc, or to do soemthing especially odd or complex.

So, a Portal or Warp skill would say basically, “you make an In portal and an Out portal, each within range, at an angle and orientation you choose. What goes in the In portal comes out the Out portal, losing no momentum from the transfer, and then acts as normal.”
Absolutely, I actually wish the sorcerer had been designed more as the "simple caster" focused on cantrips which could be upgraded. But that's really leaning into class redesign territory which I've already posted about.
Yeah I’d like to work out a fairly simple feature that gets some of what I’d do if rewriting the sorcerer. At most a “variant optional feature”.
Being able to choose damage type on the fly can be quite potent.

And not all damage types are equal. Lots of monsters have fire immunity/resistance, or poison immunity/ resistance, but nearly no monsters have resistance or immunity to force damage. Therefor, an effect that deals fire damage should deal more damage than a similarly leveled effect dealing force damage, because force damage is "more valuable." You can see a breakdown of immunity/resistance by damage type of MM monsters over here.
I’d definitely either restrict damage type to a short list, or a “the same damage type as the cantrip” is doing the “cantrip smite” route.
This really reminds me of a Skyrim-inspired system I had for spellcrafting. Basically allowing a spellcaster to choose the Element, Form, and Potency instead of choosing a normal spell.

Really, it's basically the transmuted Spell Metamagic option from Tasha's, but more systematic.

I never developed it beyond the initial idea.
Yeah? Did you use “single target d10s based on the dmg table” as the default, and then lose die sizes, range, or number of dice to add other effects?
The spell slot scale is solid, and the expected damage per spell level tracks reasonably with the SP costs of spell levels that you could probably do a 1 for 1 for spell smiles on cantrips. Then, yeah, build cantrips of different sizes and shapes and elemental effects, then have them have different scaling effects based on how many points you put into then.

Should be an easy structure to build. They could then have limited spells known so they can do more utility things, but if you want to just be a blaster you could.
Yeah I think that you and @Steampunkette totally get the direction I’m seeing for this, and are running with it beautifully. I’m off work tomorrow, might write something up.
 

King Babar

Adventurer
Yeah? Did you use “single target d10s based on the dmg table” as the default, and then lose die sizes, range, or number of dice to add other effects?
Damage was primarily restricted to just cold, fire, and lightning. I thought about adding acid, poison, and thunder but they didn't really feel right. Same with necrotic and radiant, which probably could operate under their own spellcrafting rules.

For additional effects depending on damage type, I was thinking fire would just be raw damage, cold would slow (10 or 15 feet), and lightning would prevent the use of reactions. Obviously the additional effects would come at the cost of damage, maybe a dice size.

FormInitial Spell LevelDamageRange/Effect
BoltCantrip1d8120 feet
TouchCantrip1d10Touch
Cone1st2d615-foot cone
Beam2nd4d660 foot line
Ball3rd6d620 foot radius sphere
Wall4th6d10Standard magic wall*
Storm5th8d640 foot radius sphere, 1 minute duration

I based the damage on what is presented in the DMG, each form is based on the destruction spells in Skyrim crossed with the basic spells in 5e. So ideally it would end up as a generic system. Full upcasting support, even for cantrips, because this system would probably work well with a spell point system.

Obviously none of this was tested, I haven't really thought about it for over a month.
 

Horwath

Hero
D6 per spell slot for AoE and d10 for single target per spell level is beyond bad.

3d6/level single target and 2d6/level for 30ft radius is worth a spell slot.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Damage was primarily restricted to just cold, fire, and lightning. I thought about adding acid, poison, and thunder but they didn't really feel right. Same with necrotic and radiant, which probably could operate under their own spellcrafting rules.

For additional effects depending on damage type, I was thinking fire would just be raw damage, cold would slow (10 or 15 feet), and lightning would prevent the use of reactions. Obviously the additional effects would come at the cost of damage, maybe a dice size.

FormInitial Spell LevelDamageRange/Effect
BoltCantrip1d8120 feet
TouchCantrip1d10Touch
Cone1st2d615-foot cone
Beam2nd4d660 foot line
Ball3rd6d620 foot radius sphere
Wall4th6d10Standard magic wall*
Storm5th8d640 foot radius sphere, 1 minute duration

I based the damage on what is presented in the DMG, each form is based on the destruction spells in Skyrim crossed with the basic spells in 5e. So ideally it would end up as a generic system. Full upcasting support, even for cantrips, because this system would probably work well with a spell point system.

Obviously none of this was tested, I haven't really thought about it for over a month.
Sounds good.
D6 per spell slot for AoE and d10 for single target per spell level is beyond bad.

3d6/level single target and 2d6/level for 30ft radius is worth a spell slot.
You may be unfamiliar with the DMG table. It isn’t 1d10 per spell level, it’s d10s for single target, d6s for AoE. Level one, IIRC, is 2 dice.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Plus it jumps at a few points, similar to the Spell Point jumps. If you put this on top of normal cantrip scaling, you'd get some nice damage efficiency at high levels.
Oh yeah. And honestly, pure damage isn't worth as much as a lot of the other stuff spells do (boggles the mind that some people only use spell slots to smite with paladins), so that amount of damage wouldn't even challenge the game's balance. It'd be a good option, but you'd still often choose to cast a normal spell instead.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
There is no point to it. Just make it a spell.
This is entirely correct. It requires no rewrite greater than "The sorcerer gets X as bonus spell(s)" and adding a new spell. We have upcasting to make the higher level slots do more.

All the cantrip talk is interesting for a new class, but since 5e rules can already deal with this nicely it's a needlessly complicated one for this particular instance.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This is entirely correct. It requires no rewrite greater than "The sorcerer gets X as bonus spell(s)" and adding a new spell. We have upcasting to make the higher level slots do more.

All the cantrip talk is interesting for a new class, but since 5e rules can already deal with this nicely it's a needlessly complicated one for this particular instance.
Okay. Feel free to not participate, then.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, this is the framework that makes sense to me:

Cantrip-smite: This is a really easy metamagic option. Costs 1 SP per spell damage level. This is the simpler option, but I would also add 1-2 elemental blast cantrips to the class that does a 15 cone of elemental damage.

Your extra damage is the same as the damage of the cantrip, and you can add damage by the spell level damage table. Each of the following drop damage by one step. (d10-d8-d6-d4)

Increase range, increase are of effect, add a secondary effect, change damage type.

Secondary effects: Fire sets creatures and objects on fire, cold drops speed by 10ft, lightning takes your reaction away, thunder pushes you 10ft back.

Can be used with other Metamagic. So, you could Lightning Lure 2 people, and hit them with 2d8 extra lightning and they can't take reactions until the start of your next turn, using Twin and Smite, for 2 SP.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Okay. Feel free to not participate, then.
Your original message doesn't require anything to be a Cantrip, it asks for various options. But discuss doing it in a less intrusive way that has already been mentioned on the thread and you are dis-inviting me? For pointing out that it can be done in a more seemless way?

Okay, you've got your One True Way to solve this, please make sure everyone knows you're not looking for any workable solutions that might be better if they don't match.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Your original message doesn't require anything to be a Cantrip, it asks for various options. But discuss doing it in a less intrusive way that has already been mentioned on the thread and you are dis-inviting me? For pointing out that it can be done in a more seemless way?

Okay, you've got your One True Way to solve this, please make sure everyone knows you're not looking for any workable solutions that might be better if they don't match.
No, your comment came across as “this isn’t worth doing”, not “here is another way to do this”.
 

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