D&D 5E Sorcerers and Primal Caster concepts

cbwjm

Legend
Yeah, i was looking at the archfey patron features earlier and thought you could probably just use it as a sorcerer bloodline wholesale, maybe swap out a few of the expanded spells as the sorcerer already gets alot of the archfey bonus spells in their natural spell list anyway.
I've considered doing that as well, the subclasses should swap over fairly easily. If making the expanded spell bonus spells for the sorcerer then you probably wouldn't need to swap any out, but you could follow the latest sorcerer subclasses that allow swapping out bonus spells for spells of specific schools, I'd probably follow the fey touched feat and allow them to swap out spells for divination and enchantment, though I tend to associated enchantment and illusion with fey so I might use those instead.
 

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CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I've considered doing that as well, the subclasses should swap over fairly easily. If making the expanded spell bonus spells for the sorcerer then you probably wouldn't need to swap any out, but you could follow the latest sorcerer subclasses that allow swapping out bonus spells for spells of specific schools, I'd probably follow the fey touched feat and allow them to swap out spells for divination and enchantment, though I tend to associated enchantment and illusion with fey so I might use those instead.
Yeah, with some themes being harder to find a tight mechanical through-line sometimes it’s easier to just make a curated spell list and be done with it, or you could just let them pick from the druid, maybe ranger spell list instead.
 
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SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I'm a little surprised at that as well, I kind of feel like both fey and fiendish types should have shown up by now. I wonder if wotc think it might be too close to the warlock subclasses so they haven't done then.
I have done many things like that since the sorcerer class appeared. I am entirely onboard with the OP.

Race that has a heritage of natural illusionists? "Sorcerer" with modified spell list.
Divine Soul before they did Divine Soul? "Sorcerer" with divine spell list.
Firestarter girl? "Sorcerer" with fire spells.
Spellfire from FR? "Sorcerer" with some fire and some divine.
Shaman? "Sorcerer" with druid and cleric spells.

However, I did rename the core class from "Sorcerer" to "Adept". Sorcery in my campaign has a long history of studied devil/demonology.

Of course, now that I think about it....a hell cursed/spawn could be a Sorcerer, a "Sorcerer" with a fiendish/summoning wizard/cleric spell list. Hmmmmmmm.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I can see the sorcerer as a more primal caster. They are literal fonts of magic born with magic in their blood and suffusing their soul. It would be the "first" type of magic in a way.

Personally? The RAW sorcerer is mechanically a no for me. I've reworked them into a new class that seems to work. And I have added some spiritual type subclasses to them, but... I'm not sure about some of the concepts you have in mind fitting into the sorcerer.

For example, I'd think the Shaman would be far more tied to the druid. I like the Dream druid or Shepherd druid for a quick and dirty shaman character.

Oracles... are a bad idea for a subclass, IMO. Most Oracles and profits weren't fighting, they would find a prophecy and foretell it, and that was their role in the story. Additionally, I feel like the mechanical space for oracles is occupied pretty heavily. You have the Divination's portents and the Star Druid's multiple auguries per day. Thematically, as servants of the gods, you could use any divine class. And then you have the Hermit Background and the Oracle "Divine Gift" from Theros, which make it more of a background thing. And I think "Oracle as Background" makes the most sense, because that gives the freedom to make the prophecies impactful plot points, instead of making them like portent or Augury.

Witches. Honestly, I never know what a witch is which makes it hard to define them. In some media they are just female spellcasters. No need for a special class for that, since they are depicted as female wizards. Then some versions show them as masters of herbs and potions, which would fit for me in a more artificer alchemist (after fixing it) vibe, and a focus on potioncraft. Still other versions show them as servants of dark powers and makers of dark pacts, which are either directly hags or warlocks. And then you have the issue that some witches are followers of a religion, which would put them closer to druids or clerics. I'm not against making a witch class, I just feel like they are so undefined, I wouldn't know where to begin to make them.


Then on the "suddenly bards" part of the thread. Well, I do think bards could work. A spirit's bard does channel some shaman and witch vibes. However, I also agree that Bard's need a HEAVY re-working in the lore. As written... they just don't fit.

Now, this is just my own opinion, but it is fairly easy to break most of the magical classes into three categories.

  • Divine Magic comes from the Gods and Faith in the Gods
  • Primal Magic comes from the power of Nature and Nature Spirits (with this divide, I refuse Gods of Nature, so Druids do not worship gods and clerics of nature do not exist)
  • Arcane Magic is like physics, and can be studied like science.

Sorcerers cheat, but sorcerers and warlocks both dip toes into all three concepts. Then... there are bards. Bards aren't like wizards, sorcerers or Warlocks, because Bards can heal. They supposedly study like wizards, but they use their magic in a completely different way and can break a lot of established rules via Magical Secrets.

So... what is bardic magic? I struggled with that question for years, and then... I figured it out thanks to some Eberron Lore and writing a discussion between a Goblin bard and a Human paladin. Let me see if I can find it....

AHA, bit long, but, you know I'll spoil it.

“They are your Gods too.” Liikaana gives a sharp glare to Sister Jacqueline, who looks confused, “They are. The Primal Mother does not favor humanity over Goblins or Gnolls, she desires the preservation of all life. The Glimmer Coin provides trade and goods to all people. The Blooded Blade strives to improve all of us through war and conflict.”

“And the Crowned Light supports the Human Empire.” James interrupts.

Sister Jacqueline shakes her head, “No, well, yes, but the Crowned Light wishes to unify us. All people under a single banner, a single ruler. The Empire is the first step, but the goal is to unite all of us against the threat of the demons. And we will support you in fighting off the Xoriat as well.”

“Perhaps,” Liikaana says, pulling her hand away, “But regardless of what you believe, my magic is not from the Gods. I worship no one, I simply honor those that came before me. And that is what gives me strength.”

“We also-”

“No, you are misunderstanding… think for a moment about it like this. When you swung your mace during the battle, you called upon your god. And, for a single swing, you swung not with your own might, but also with a fraction of his power. Correct?”

“Yes?”

“A similar power for us would be to swing in the exact same manner as our mother, and her father, and his grandfather and his great-grandmother. All reaching through time to swing with the might of not one arm, but thousands of arms throughout history. We remember our fallen, we honor their sacrifice for the Dar. However, they are not done giving us strength. They reach back to us, and as we fulfill our duty, we dig deeper, and let their strength flow into us. I do not call upon a god or goddess to lend me the energy to heal wounds, I call to the lives lived by my ancestors, to those who won great battles by fighting on despite their wounds, to those who pulled themselves from the filth of battle to rise once more to face our foe.”

Sister Jacqueline sits back, thinking, “I don’t… how does that even work? You can’t access the realm of the dead without the help of the Gods.”

“I do not know.” Liikaana says simply, “I simply know how we do what we do, what I was taught. To understand the full magical theory, one would have to speak to an elder Ogre. And most of them are on the front lines.”

“Proud.” Lesh says into the encroaching silence, “We are proud.”

“Yes, we are. While there would be times that I imagine accepting the help of some being like a God would be preferable, we are also proud of what we have accomplished. We did not fight with the aid of anyone. Everything we have done was us, no one and nothing else aided us. We find strength and solace in that…”


I included more context in the part up above, but this was what I settled on for describing bardic magic "A similar power for us would be to swing in the exact same manner as our mother, and her father, and his grandfather and his great-grandmother. All reaching through time to swing with the might of not one arm, but thousands of arms throughout history. We remember our fallen, we honor their sacrifice for the Dar. However, they are not done giving us strength. They reach back to us, and as we fulfill our duty, we dig deeper, and let their strength flow into us. I do not call upon a god or goddess to lend me the energy to heal wounds, I call to the lives lived by my ancestors, to those who won great battles by fighting on despite their wounds, to those who pulled themselves from the filth of battle to rise once more to face our foe"

It ends up being like a memory, engraved upon the bedrock of reality by repetition and remembrance. And I think that speaks more clearly to the essence of what bardic magic is, because the original use for songs? Songs were poems and stories, put to music to remember them, and sang to recall those memories and histories. We've got the image in our head of the Troubador, and we focus on the silly foppish person singing and dancing, but we tend to forget that the songs the Troubador sung were histories. Were poems composed to recall great deeds. We focus on the music of the bard, but really, I think we should focus more on the bard as magical historian. Wizards push us forward, looking for new ways to use the energies of the cosmos. The bard looks back, and urges us to remember those who made the path we walked til now. And that magic, fits really well into the world, IMO.
 


Einlanzer0

Explorer
I'm a little surprised at that as well, I kind of feel like both fey and fiendish types should have shown up by now. I wonder if wotc think it might be too close to the warlock subclasses so they haven't done then.

Probably, but it's kind of similar to not giving rogues a psionic subclass because fighters have one. If it's truly the reason, it isn't a good one. The sorcerer and warlock are entirely different both in terms of theme and in the mechanics they utilize, so having some overlap in concepts like this is perfectly fine.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I have done many things like that since the sorcerer class appeared. I am entirely onboard with the OP.

Race that has a heritage of natural illusionists? "Sorcerer" with modified spell list.
Divine Soul before they did Divine Soul? "Sorcerer" with divine spell list.
Firestarter girl? "Sorcerer" with fire spells.
Spellfire from FR? "Sorcerer" with some fire and some divine.
Shaman? "Sorcerer" with druid and cleric spells.

However, I did rename the core class from "Sorcerer" to "Adept". Sorcery in my campaign has a long history of studied devil/demonology.

Of course, now that I think about it....a hell cursed/spawn could be a Sorcerer, a "Sorcerer" with a fiendish/summoning wizard/cleric spell list. Hmmmmmmm.

Really I think the name "mystic" works best for a primal caster class, but sorcerer isn't bad. It invokes images of sword & sworcery - i.e. dark/old fantasy full of barbarians and such.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
When you say Star Druid's multiple auguries, what do you mean?

I mostly meant that I forgot we were still using the UA version where they got Augury on their spell list, and then mentally confused that with their level six ability Cosmic Omen where they get a prof number of weals or woes.

I'd still say that consulting the stars and getting prof number of "I foresaw this" and affecting the dice is still a very "oracle" style ability.
 

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