Revised Phoenix Sorcerer

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
So the recent UA with the Circle of Fire Druid inspired me to reconsider the Phoenix Sorcerer, which was presented in a previous UA. This is a first draft, so it may need some tweaking. Let me know your thoughts.

Phoenix Sorcerer

Ignite
Editor's Note:
When I run games, I give sorcerers bonus spells similar to domain spells. All the sorcerer archetypes have their own version. If this isn't your thing, feel free to ignore or discard it.

At 1st level, you gain the Control Flames and Produce Flame cantrips. These cantrips count as sorcerer cantrips and do not count towards your normal number of cantrips known.

In addition, you gain the following spells at the listed sorcerer level. These spells do not count against the number of sorcerer spells you know.

Phoenix Sorcerer Bonus Spells
Sorcerer Level
Spells
1stHellish Rebuke, Nystul’s Flash
3rdFlame Blade, Scorching Ray
5thDaylight, Revivify
7thFire Shield, Wall of Fire
9thFlame Strike, Immolation

Mantle of Flame
Starting at 1st level, you can unleash the phoenix fire that blazes within you. As a bonus action, you magically wreathe yourself in swirling fire, as your eyes glow like hot coals. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

• You shed bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet.
• Whenever an attacker hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to deal 2 fire damage to that attacker.
• Anytime you deal fire damage with a spell or cantrip, you deal an additional 2 fire damage to the total damage rolled.

When you activate Mantle of Flame, you can spend sorcery points to increase the damage dealt for 1 minute. For every 2 sorcery points spent, you can increase the damage by 1.

You can end this effect early by using another bonus action.

Nourishing Flame
Starting at 6th level, you gain resistance to fire damage. In addition, if an effect would cause you to take fire damage, until the end of your next turn you can apply one metamagic effect to a spell without paying the normal sorcery point cost.

Phoenix Spark
Starting at 14th level, the fiery energy within you grows restless and vengeful. In the face of defeat, it surges outward to preserve you in a fiery roar. If you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to draw on the spark of the phoenix. You are instead reduced to 1 hit point, and you can spend hit dice to recover additional hit points similar to when you take a short rest.

In addition, all enemies within 20 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw. Those that fail take fire damage equal to the amount that you healed, or half as much if they succeed.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest. Hit dice spent using this ability recover as normal.

Editor's Note: I was trying to express that hit dice recover the same as always, getting back a number equal to half your level (rounded down) per long rest. Let me know if there might be a better way to express this. Also I get that using Hit Dice as a resource also is not everyone's cup of tea. If you have other ideas, let me know.

Form of the Phoenix
At 18th level, you finally master the spark of fire that dances within you. You gain immunity to fire damage. In addition, your spells ignore fire resistance and fire immunity.
 
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gyor

Adventurer
This reminds me, does anyone else find it weird that the end Phoenix, Stone, and Sea Sorcerer's never got published even though they were more popular then the Shadow Sorcerer in feedback as I understand it?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
This reminds me, does anyone else find it weird that the end Phoenix, Stone, and Sea Sorcerer's never got published even though they were more popular then the Shadow Sorcerer in feedback as I understand it?
Not terribly weird. If I had to postulate a theory, I'd say they decided they didn't want to use up all the book space to include all four elemental subclasses, but likewise did not want to only release two or three of them, leaving the others out. So they went Divine Soul / Shadow and re-released Storm.

Just a guess.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
So the recent UA with the Circle of Fire Druid inspired me to reconsider the Phoenix Sorcerer, which was presented in a previous UA. This is a first draft, so it may need some tweaking. Let me know your thoughts.

Phoenix Sorcerer

Ignite
Editor's Note:
When I run games, I give sorcerers bonus spells similar to domain spells. All the sorcerer archetypes have their own version. If this isn't your thing, feel free to ignore or discard it.

At 1st level, you gain the Control Flames and Produce Flame cantrips. These cantrips count as sorcerer cantrips and do not count towards your normal number of cantrips known.

In addition, you gain the following spells at the listed sorcerer level. These spells do not count against the number of sorcerer spells you know.

Phoenix Sorcerer Bonus Spells
Sorcerer Level
Spells
1stHellish Rebuke, Nystul’s Flash
3rdFlame Blade, Scorching Ray
5thDaylight, Revivify
7thFire Shield, Wall of Fire
9thFlame Strike, Immolation

Mantle of Flame

Starting at 1st level, you can unleash the phoenix fire that blazes within you.
As a bonus action, you magically wreathe yourself in swirling fire, as your eyes glow like hot coals. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

• You shed bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet.
• Whenever an attacker hits you with a melee attack, that attacker takes 2 fire damage.
• Anytime you deal fire damage, you deal an additional 2 fire damage.

The damage dealt by this ability increases to 3 when you reach 6th level in this class, 4 at 14th level, and 5 at 18th level.

Nourishing Flame
Starting at 6th level, you gain resistance to fire damage. In addition, if an effect would cause you to take fire damage, until the end of your next turn you can apply one metamagic effect that you know to one spell without paying the normal sorcery point cost.

Finally, when a creature you can see within 30 feet would take fire damage, you can use your reaction to redirect all the fire damage to you.

Phoenix Spark
Starting at 14th level, the fiery energy within you grows restless and vengeful. In the face of defeat, it surges outward to preserve you in a fiery roar. If you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to draw on the spark of the phoenix. You are instead reduced to 1 hit point, and you can spend hit dice to recover additional hit points similar to when you take a short rest.

In addition, all enemies within 20 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw. Those that fail take fire damage equal to the amount that you healed, or half as much if they succeed.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest. Hit dice spent using this ability recover as normal.

Editor's Note: I was trying to express that hit dice recover the same as always, getting back a number equal to half your level (rounded down) per long rest. Let me know if there might be a better way to express this. Also I get that using Hit Dice as a resource also is not everyone's cup of tea. If you have other ideas, let me know.

Form of the Phoenix
At 18th level, you finally master the spark of fire that dances within you. You gain immunity to fire damage. In addition, your spells ignore fire resistance and fire immunity.
Cantrips - I like it, though Control Flames is already on the Sorcerer list. Are there any other fire themed cantrips besides produce flames which aren’t on the list you could give in addition to produce flames?

Bonus spells - I do that though I make them choose one of the two at each spell level, not 2 free known.

Question - where is Nystul’s Flash from?

Mantle of Flame - I’d consolidate the wording at the end. “Whenever you gain a new Sorcerer Origin feature your damage for this feature increases by 1.”

Nourishing Flame - I’d say let the damage instead recharge Sorcery Points for every 10 pts of damage received rounded up, or something like that. Otherwise you get the odd potential of getting hit with a 1d10 firebolt and then twinning a 9th level spell for free ( if there are any eligible) which should cost 9 sorcery points. Even worse would be sticking their hand in a fire for 1d6 divided by 2 because of resistance and then twinning a high level spell for free.

My way you take 12 fire damage, get 2 sorcery points. Limits it a bit. Also caps it so that you can’t get more benefit than you have missing sorcery points. Otherwise it’s a bit OP as an unlimited thing.

Also the redirect fire attacks as a reaction seems like it’s too much, let alone with the other abilities at that level.

If you’re determined to keep it, it needs to be limited to uses per long rest probably.

Phoenix Spark - I like this...very thematic. You could simplify a bit by just saying they heal half their HP max, but I like that you’re burning their HD resource to do it. The other way would be to burn sorcery points. Maybe 5 hp healed per sorcery points or something.

Form of the Phoenix - I like it a lot. To me ignoring Immunity is a bit much, for me I’d probably set it to “immunity counts as resistance for you” or something. But it is a capstone that almost no one would see in real play so... go for it if you want.

Heck Arcana Clerics get Wish as their 17th level capstone, so whatever. :)

Also... I just thought about this. If you become immune to Fire then the Nourishing Flame would no longer fuel anything regardless of if you went with my suggestions or not because you no longer take Fire damage.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Cantrips - I like it, though Control Flames is already on the Sorcerer list. Are there any other fire themed cantrips besides produce flames which aren’t on the list you could give in addition to produce flames?
Not that I'm aware of outside of Firebolt. Well, there's also green-flame blade.

Question - where is Nystul’s Flash from?
Shoot, that's a homebrew spell I think. Basically a one turn blindness effect.

Mantle of Flame - I’d consolidate the wording at the end. “Whenever you gain a new Sorcerer Origin feature your damage for this feature increases by 1.”
Good call.

Nourishing Flame - I’d say let the damage instead recharge Sorcery Points for every 10 pts of damage received rounded up, or something like that. Otherwise you get the odd potential of getting hit with a 1d10 firebolt and then twinning a 9th level spell for free ( if there are any eligible) which should cost 9 sorcery points. Even worse would be sticking their hand in a fire for 1d6 divided by 2 because of resistance and then twinning a high level spell for free.

My way you take 12 fire damage, get 2 sorcery points. Limits it a bit. Also caps it so that you can’t get more benefit than you have missing sorcery points. Otherwise it’s a bit OP as an unlimited thing.
My problem is that what's to stop the sorcerer from hitting themselves with produce flame, or having an ally doing that outside of combat to just recharge lost sorcery points?

Also the redirect fire attacks as a reaction seems like it’s too much, let alone with the other abilities at that level.

If you’re determined to keep it, it needs to be limited to uses per long rest probably.
My ressoning is that all these abilities depend on encountering a creature that uses fire. If this sorcerer doesn't ever get hit with fire, it doesn't activate, so I felt the increase in power was justified.

Also... I just thought about this. If you become immune to Fire then the Nourishing Flame would no longer fuel anything regardless of if you went with my suggestions or not because you no longer take Fire damage.
Right, but I tried to word it so that it was "if an effect would deal fire damage. It doesn't have to deal the damage, just if it would otherwise. So I tried to keep the intent as anytime fire is used, it acts as an empowering force rather than damaging.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
My problem is that what's to stop the sorcerer from hitting themselves with produce flame, or having an ally doing that outside of combat to just recharge lost sorcery points?



My ressoning is that all these abilities depend on encountering a creature that uses fire. If this sorcerer doesn't ever get hit with fire, it doesn't activate, so I felt the increase in power was justified.



Right, but I tried to word it so that it was "if an effect would deal fire damage. It doesn't have to deal the damage, just if it would otherwise. So I tried to keep the intent as anytime fire is used, it acts as an empowering force rather than damaging.

Thanks for the feedback!
Welcome.

On the Nourishing Flame thing... I still think letting them fuel a metamagic for free with no limit on what that metamagic would have normally cost in sp is a bit powerful.

If you want a limiter, make it Con Mod times per day?

I guess the way I read “it it would deal damage” is that it has to deal damage. Maybe rephrase so that it says if the Phoenix Sorcerer is hit with Fire damage? Then it doesn’t matter if it deals it or not.
 

Quartz

Explorer
Phoenix Sorcerer
Have you considered recasting the Phoenix as a patron for a Warlock? It seems more appropriate than a sorcerous origin.

Mantle of Flame is an at-will Light spell combined with an at will Barbarian Rage and an at will damage shield. That's totally OP. The damage shield seems a bit too good for 1st level. At the very least attacks against you should have advantage (q.v. Faerie Fire) and it should be limited usage, perhaps once per short rest.

Nourishing Flame is far too OP especially with the redirect damage and cast a spell combo. It's far more than a Feat. Again perhaps once per short rest?

your spells ignore fire resistance and fire immunity.
That's a bit good: how about making it ignore resistance but immunity turns to resistance? Or how about making Fire spells also Radiant?
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Have you considered recasting the Phoenix as a patron for a Warlock? It seems more appropriate than a sorcerous origin.
There's already one in XGtE. Besides, what this is at heart is a fire sorcerer. You can rework the flavor however you like, maybe an efreeti or fire genasi bloodline, but I think the mechanics are worth considering.

Mantle of Flame is an at-will Light spell combined with an at will Barbarian Rage and an at will damage shield. That's totally OP. The damage shield seems a bit too good for 1st level. At the very least attacks against you should have advantage (q.v. Faerie Fire) and it should be limited usage, perhaps once per short rest.
I was thinking about the comparison to rage as well, but there are a few reason that I am ok with this being at will and designed like this.

First of all, rage is way stronger. It gives you a damage bonus on any melee weapon attack, advantage on strength saves and checks, and resistance on the 3 most commonly used damage types in the game.

On the other hand, mantle of flame gives a small damage bonus to fire spells (the most resisted damage type in the game). Also, unlike barbarians, sorcerers are very squishy. If they are taking damage from melee attackers, they probably aren't doing it because they are the party's frontline fighter and want to soak up that damage to deal a couple extra points of damage. And once again, it is the most resisted damage type in the game.

The one place where there may be concern is with a sorcerer dip for mantle of flame. And that should be considered, but I am also of the mind that it shouldn't necessarily be a dealbeaker for a cool mechanic.

But perhaps this ability should be limited. I don't think it warrants being limited as much as rage. I'd say either recharge on a short rest, or a number of uses equal to spellcasting modifier per long rest.

Nourishing Flame is far too OP especially with the redirect damage and cast a spell combo. It's far more than a Feat. Again perhaps once per short rest?
Is it though? Until level 18, it still requires the sorcerer to take damage to use the ability. It's also situational, since it only works with fire damage. While fire damage is the most common energy damage type of monsters, this ability still requires a character to encounter others that use fire damage against them, so there may be long stretches of time when it isn't even relevant.

Now I wanna be clear, I'm not discarding your feedback. I'm definitely considering and hearing your concerns. I'm just providing my thought process as I was designing these abilities, as well as my rationale as I hear your thoughts. Not saying that rationale is right, just providing some context that may be helpful.

That's a bit good: how about making it ignore resistance but immunity turns to resistance? Or how about making Fire spells also Radiant?
Sorry, but this is where i completely but respectfully disagree. However, I recognize that this is my personal style of play and that may not be everyone's can of Monster (not a fan of tea or coffee). From my perspective this is a level 18 capstone ability. By this level, class powers and abilities should be OP. As to your suggestion with the radiant damage, how is that not functionally the same as overcoming fire immunity?
 

Quartz

Explorer
I was thinking about the comparison to rage as well, but there are a few reason that I am ok with this being at will and designed like this.
Each one individually is one thing, though I'm not sure about the damage shield, but the three together is completely overpowered. The damage shield is particularly problematic in that it provides complete immunity from insects.

Is it though? Until level 18, it still requires the sorcerer to take damage to use the ability.
Actually, that makes it worse. But your taking damage is not a limitation. And at 14th level you have Phoenix Spark anyway.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Each one individually is one thing, though I'm not sure about the damage shield, but the three together is completely overpowered. The damage shield is particularly problematic in that it provides complete immunity from insects.
But how? Light is a cantrip. It's a ribbon ability at best, and under certain circumstances can make the character or party a target, since it would hinder stealth. The damage extra damage is neglible until higher levels, and again is a highly resisted damage type. And I don't get the point about insects. How does it make the sorcerer immune to them? And again, the minor fire shield effect is not really ideal, because sorcerers typically don't wanna be anywhere near melee range.

Is this really more powerful than the at will advantage of a wild mage sorcerer? Or a darkness sorcerer's 120ft division, which effectively makes them invisible while in darkness for any creature that relies on sight (as well as making them ideal scouts to warn the party of oncoming danger in the dark before the danger can spot them)?

Actually, that makes it worse. But your taking damage is not a limitation. And at 14th level you have Phoenix Spark anyway.
How is taking damage not a limitation? And why is it bad if the abilities have synergy? Additionally, Phoenix Spark requires additional resource expenditure. Hit dice don't automatically fully recharge on a long rest, meaning it does require determining if you wanna spend it all and have fewer hit dice the next day, or just enough to recover them all or have some left for a particularly difficult adventuring day. Without spending hit dice, this is no different than a half-orc's relentless endurance or shadow sorcerer's strength of the grave, except those examples get the ability at level 1 versus level 14 for the Phoenix Sorcerer.

I do like @Salthorae's suggestion, though maybe instead I'd limit Nourishing Flame to maybe reducing the cost of the metamagic used by 2.
 

Quartz

Explorer
The damage extra damage is neglible until higher levels, and again is a highly resisted damage type.
Actually, no the damage is not negligible. Circumstantially it's very powerful. It's enough to completely negate a (3.xE) Creeping Doom spell, for instance, right from the get-go.

It's your game, so try them out and report back. My view is that the power set is hugely overpowered.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Actually, no the damage is not negligible. Circumstantially it's very powerful. It's enough to completely negate a (3.xE) Creeping Doom spell, for instance, right from the get-go.

It's your game, so try them out and report back. My view is that the power set is hugely overpowered.
Actually, that's fair. It's not neglible. But it's also meant to be the main aspect of the ability. The light effect is a ribbon in my view, and the minor fire shield is a slight defensive measure for the rare occasion the sorcerer gets into melee range.

But I don't understand the comparison of a 3.5 mechanic with a 5e mechanic. Outside of rage, which has already been mentioned, are there other 5e mechanics that can serve as points of comparison? I typically find it helpful to find similar mechanics elsewhere in 5e that can serve as guides to determine appropriate balance points.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I’d say the biggest point would be this Sorcerer with their 1st level ability to deal retributive Fire damage and bonus fire damage would solo a swarm in under 3 rounds.

That seems pretty good vs a melee character would take probably 4-5 rounds with average damage. That is a big difference with 1st level hit points.

Dunno. It’s not a huge thing but it is a point of comparison.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Ok, I adjusted Mantle of Flame to require a reaction to deal the fire damage. I also added that using sorcery points could increase the damage dealt for 1 minute, rather than an automatic increase.

I also took out the protection factor of nourishing flame, but decided to keep the next metamagic effect free, rather than reducing the cost by 2.
 
Actually, no the damage is not negligible. Circumstantially it's very powerful. It's enough to completely negate a (3.xE) Creeping Doom spell, for instance, right from the get-go.

It's your game, so try them out and report back. My view is that the power set is hugely overpowered.
Why in the world would you use a 3.xE EDITION SPELL to judge the balance of a 5E sub-class??
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I disagree with needing a reaction to use the mantle of flame damage and think you could keep it like fire shield and have it deal damage to anyone who hits you if they are within 5ft of you, or make it act similar to the Scourge (I think) aasimar that deals damage in a radius at the start of your turn. How many uses does the sorcerer get of mantle of flame? That might be the better balance point of the ability. Perhaps 1 free use/SR and then when they gain sorcery points the ability to expend them for additional uses. Otherwise the standard 2/SR would be how I would limit it. That way, it amps up the sorcerer but makes them consider if/when they should use it.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
That's a much higher level ability - Fire Shield is a 4th level spell.
While Fire Shield is an apt comparison to the Mantle of Flame ability, it is also unfair to state it is in the same level of power as that spell. Firstly, when you use the spell you can choose whether it is based around fire or cold. It grants resistance to the chosen energy type (something Mantle of Flame does not grant), and it deals 2d8 damage anytime the caster is struck by melee damage. That's an average of 9 damage with a range of 2-16 damage.

Are there similarities? Sure. But just because there are similarities does not mean that Mantle of Flame is equivalent to a 4th level spell.

Besides, let's compare official content, shall we?

A shadow sorcerer from XGtE gets 120' darkvision at first level. That is a permanent darkvision effect (2nd level spell) but at double the range. That would mean at 1st level, the shadow sorcerer gets a permanent 3-4th level spell, in addition to their Strength of the Grave ability. In fact, in darkness against enemies more than 60' away, it is circumstantially equivalent to greater invisibility, which is a 4th level spell.

Spells can be fantastic means for comparing new mechanics of a given level. But when creating mechanics for new classes or ararchetypes in my experience it is more helpful in general to compare to other class or archetype mechanics.
 
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Quartz

Explorer
Are there similarities? Sure. But just because there are similarities does not mean that Mantle of Flame is equivalent to a 4th level spell.
Oh I agree. That's why I pointed out the high level of Fire Shield.

A shadow sorcerer from XGtE gets 120' darkvision at first level.
Aggressive powers like Mantle of Flame need a much more careful watch than non-aggressive powers like Darkvision.
 

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