Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Giant Soul Sorcerer

I like the bonus spells and all the different things that vary by giant (dragon sorcerers and circle of the land druids should have this kind of variety), but it seems like it is trying to make the melee sorcerer without a lot of things that are good for melee. It is a strange day when the hill giant origin makes for a "better" fit than many other types. I might have given the fire giant flame blade, the storm giant thunderous smite, and ensnaring strike for the stone giant. Not sure what I would give the cloud giant.
 


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Li Shenron

Legend
Well, this archetype certainly raises a lot of questions...

1) Bonus known spells... again? Didn't they go quite far into explaining why it was such a bad idea that they had to remove bonus known spells from the Storm Sorcerer? I am all in favor of increasing the known Sorcerer spells, but I'd like WotC to take a clear stand about it.

2) Why exactly having a Giant ancestor would be a "sorcerous origin" i.e. the source/reason of your innate spellcasting? Only cloud and storm giants can cast some spells! All other giants are just big brutes with nothing magical. By that reasoning, we could have a "human soul sorcerer" too.

3) Assuming it's now become officially ok to grant bonus known spells, and that it's acceptable that a non-magic ancestor causes magic descendants... at least the bonus spells could be the same spells that such ancestors can cast, not something else like invisibility.

4) Clearly, this archetype is all about investing in a high Constitution score. That's interesting, but a bit odd... are they trying to create subclasses that have a higher ability score cost in exchange for more power over the baseline? Like, we give you bonus known spells which are normally unavailable to sorcerer subclasses (and NONE of your subclass features will cost sorcery points, yay!) but we make you pay by making you more MAD?

5) The ability to increase size is cool. But it sounds like something you'd want to do when you're out of spells, and thus decide it's time to wade into battle! So it makes no sense at all that this ability is triggered by casting spells. It could be more simply an action or bonus action of its own.

And on a more general tone... again with more subclasses?? When are they going to work on something else? :/
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Giants: Because it has been far too long without someone implying some implications about PC parentage proclivities.

(Yes, I know they are doing a cop-out by implying it's "Bestowed" power instead of a true bloodline, but that joke was just hanging there)

Jotun Resilience:
More hps are more good. Better than a Buff to AC? Debatable, especially considering this is now a gish, sometimes anyway.
Is it "Large and in Charge?" I suppose it's large, but it leaves much to desire for being in charge.
Thoughts: Where is the "Counts as one size bigger for carrying capacity and STR checks" power they love throwing around? This is the perfect spot to put it.

Mark of the Ordning
That's a lot of bonus spells! Actual bonus spells, in addition to the 15~ or so that a normal sorcerer would get.
Also some spells that aren't normally available to Sorcerers.

Thoughts: I mean, wow. That's basically a 5.5/essentials caliber of change to the class. And I get the feeling that this subclass should have some Elemental Evil spells. A downfall of the PHB+1 rule to be sure.

Soul of Lost Ostoria
So, at level 6, you start using your CON for stuff. On the one hand, yes, CON doing more is a design space that should be explored. On the other hand, level 6 is really late for that kind of thing to come online. I guess it's to prevent multi-classing shenanigans, but really, CON is a tertiary stat for nearly everything other than Hexblades, which are cut off from this class by default thanks to that PHB+1 rule.
Now to get nit-picky:
Teleporting for 10+x feet, where X is a number that is going to be between 1 and 5, is just the most useless variable in the game. Seriously, WotC, you play the game with 5' squares or with Theater of the Mind. If the difference isn't more than one square, don't even bother. Outside of that meaningless math: Teleportation while leaving behind an illusion is perhaps the best thing out of this option.
Extra damage! It's just a worse variation on the Dragon Sorcerers power.
Temp Hp, it's OK.
Extra AC: If you want to lay down a spike growth and run away through a bunch of enemies, it could save your life. Outside of that narrow band of situations, meh.
Pushing: Now this is going to be abused all the time. But that's because it triggers off of Shillelagh
Other Extra Damage: I mean, it's more damage than the other option, but it still has all the same problems of being stuck on less than a handful of spells.

Thoughts: I was expecting a Gish, only one out of 6 options delivers. And where is the rock-throwing? Giants throw rocks all the time! It's what they do to distinguish themselves from ogres and other generically Bigger-than-you humanoid shaped monsters.

Rage of Fallen Ostoria
Finally, after 14 levels, some real Gish-ness.
Too bad it comes in at level 14. At the end of Tier Three of play. And only once per rest. It's too little too late.

Blessing of the All Father
Your Con Breaks the stat cap now.
Also another rage per rest, which can stack, to a point.
It's a bit underwhelming at this point.


Final Thoughts:
I am disappointed with this subclass. It's not that it isn't powerful (three extra spells on a sorcerer, including exclusives is really damn good) but rather that it fails in it's goal: Being a large Muscle-mage. Only 1/6th of the class is meant to be a gish. And only because they get the most poached(hah) spell from PHB exclusive games. The melee-component comes online way to late in the game to be practical. But then again, this subclass might have been doomed from the start. It's a smashy-themed subclass on a class that's supposed to explode with magical power. The two styles of play don't reconcile that well.

How do you even begin to fix this? You need to smash people with big weapons at level 1. I am reminded of the Mighty Wallop spell line from 3.5. It's basically what Shillelagh does already. With a minor fluff change (your weapon looks big!) and proliferating that out throughout the subclass, we would be the ideal start. But after that? I dunno, it's late. Maybe I will have something after I rest for a day or two.
 

Aguirre Melchiors

Banned
Banned
Giants: Because it has been far too long without someone implying some implications about PC parentage proclivities.

(Yes, I know they are doing a cop-out by implying it's "Bestowed" power instead of a true bloodline, but that joke was just hanging there)

Jotun Resilience:
More hps are more good. Better than a Buff to AC? Debatable, especially considering this is now a gish, sometimes anyway.
Is it "Large and in Charge?" I suppose it's large, but it leaves much to desire for being in charge.
Thoughts: Where is the "Counts as one size bigger for carrying capacity and STR checks" power they love throwing around? This is the perfect spot to put it.

Mark of the Ordning
That's a lot of bonus spells! Actual bonus spells, in addition to the 15~ or so that a normal sorcerer would get.
Also some spells that aren't normally available to Sorcerers.

Thoughts: I mean, wow. That's basically a 5.5/essentials caliber of change to the class. And I get the feeling that this subclass should have some Elemental Evil spells. A downfall of the PHB+1 rule to be sure.

Soul of Lost Ostoria
So, at level 6, you start using your CON for stuff. On the one hand, yes, CON doing more is a design space that should be explored. On the other hand, level 6 is really late for that kind of thing to come online. I guess it's to prevent multi-classing shenanigans, but really, CON is a tertiary stat for nearly everything other than Hexblades, which are cut off from this class by default thanks to that PHB+1 rule.
Now to get nit-picky:
Teleporting for 10+x feet, where X is a number that is going to be between 1 and 5, is just the most useless variable in the game. Seriously, WotC, you play the game with 5' squares or with Theater of the Mind. If the difference isn't more than one square, don't even bother. Outside of that meaningless math: Teleportation while leaving behind an illusion is perhaps the best thing out of this option.
Extra damage! It's just a worse variation on the Dragon Sorcerers power.
Temp Hp, it's OK.
Extra AC: If you want to lay down a spike growth and run away through a bunch of enemies, it could save your life. Outside of that narrow band of situations, meh.
Pushing: Now this is going to be abused all the time. But that's because it triggers off of Shillelagh
Other Extra Damage: I mean, it's more damage than the other option, but it still has all the same problems of being stuck on less than a handful of spells.

Thoughts: I was expecting a Gish, only one out of 6 options delivers. And where is the rock-throwing? Giants throw rocks all the time! It's what they do to distinguish themselves from ogres and other generically Bigger-than-you humanoid shaped monsters.

Rage of Fallen Ostoria
Finally, after 14 levels, some real Gish-ness.
Too bad it comes in at level 14. At the end of Tier Three of play. And only once per rest. It's too little too late.

Blessing of the All Father
Your Con Breaks the stat cap now.
Also another rage per rest, which can stack, to a point.
It's a bit underwhelming at this point.


Final Thoughts:
I am disappointed with this subclass. It's not that it isn't powerful (three extra spells on a sorcerer, including exclusives is really damn good) but rather that it fails in it's goal: Being a large Muscle-mage. Only 1/6th of the class is meant to be a gish. And only because they get the most poached(hah) spell from PHB exclusive games. The melee-component comes online way to late in the game to be practical. But then again, this subclass might have been doomed from the start. It's a smashy-themed subclass on a class that's supposed to explode with magical power. The two styles of play don't reconcile that well.

How do you even begin to fix this? You need to smash people with big weapons at level 1. I am reminded of the Mighty Wallop spell line from 3.5. It's basically what Shillelagh does already. With a minor fluff change (your weapon looks big!) and proliferating that out throughout the subclass, we would be the ideal start. But after that? I dunno, it's late. Maybe I will have something after I rest for a day or two.

i really think that the theme giant is kinda Dull, this mechanics could be used better in a Djini or Efreet soul.
 

Coroc

Hero
Ahm can any one give a hint where the idea of this is from?

Is this some Eberron Thing? What is this Ostrerria world and how does this fit into the multiverse?

as [MENTION=1465]Li Shenron[/MENTION] correctly states normally in D&D only Storm and Cloud giants got a Little sorcery.

Tbh a hill giant being some Kind of mage to me Looks even more stupid than a dwarven wizard. A hill giant can compete with Trolls and Ogres for being dumb and stupid, what innate spellcasting or arcane bloodline should evolve out of them? At least the (eastern originated) Ogre Magus makes sense but it still does not make Standard ogres look more intelligent.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Watch the video for it, from memory this came from just being a fun idea. Likely someone suggested it and Mearls thought "that sounds fun!" and so this subclass was born. So many people seem to require a great reason for a subclass, I just require it to be fun.
 

Coroc

Hero
[MENTION=6788732]cbwjm[/MENTION] Thank you, might be fun, i'd wish though their creative energy would concentrate on other things, but that is just me.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
Teleporting for 10+x feet, where X is a number that is going to be between 1 and 5, is just the most useless variable in the game. Seriously, WotC, you play the game with 5' squares or with Theater of the Mind. If the difference isn't more than one square, don't even bother.

Good catch! Indeed, there are too many fiddly bits in these abilities, but this one is really too pathetic not to be an oversight. They must have meant +5ft per point of Con bonus!
 

The Hill Giant option is the one I'm immediately drawn to. Shillelagh allows Charisma to be used for melee weapon attacks (previously allowed only by Bards and Magical Secrets?).It is sort of funny that Hill Giant blood enables the high-charisma combat option.

Tomelocks can also get it.

Hill and Frost Giant options do look most interesting, with their access to non-sorc spells.

Stone looks particularly rubbish!
 
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Tallifer

Hero
I'm also really enjoying this UA. It has a lot of flavor and I think it fits even better in Eberron than it does in FR.

Forsooth. I immediately posted this class to the Facebook Group for my Eberron campaign. Moreover, my players happen to be exploring the lost city of the giants and the giantish temple to the currently asleep Living Mountain.

View attachment 98371
 

Sorcerers should habe light armor proficiency and spear proficiency like in 3e. That would help. At least that should be added to that subclass. The rest is conceptually nice
 

Barantor

Explorer
The more I've looked into Sorc for 5E, the more I think they should've changed it's prime casting ability to Constitution instead of Charisma. I rarely have players that pick it over warlock or bard and wizards step on it's toes a lot more now too.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Sorcerers should habe light armor proficiency and spear proficiency like in 3e.

Spear proficiency would probably change very little, so adding it would have definitely been ok. Even having full simple weapon proficiencies like Warlock wouldn't really change much.

The armor proficiency is a bit different. In my opinion the Sorcerer was designed (again) with the Wizard as a starting point, and in fact it has the same weapons & armor proficiencies. The Warlock has a slight bent on combat, hence the light armor and simple weapon prof, but also notice that both Wizard and Sorcerer have Mage Armor while Warlock does not. This is actually a problem for the Sorcerer, because Mage Armor is a long-duration spell that in most cases requires one spell slot to cover the whole day (and this cost is identical to both classes), but it actually also 'costs' one spell known, and that's a much bigger cost for the Sorcerer that the Wizard.

In fact, the PHB Dragon Sorcerer offers a natural armor bonus, that basically frees up one known spell that the Sorcerer can choose to be something else. But other Sorcerer subclasses AFAIK are stuck with a low AC of basically 10+Dex, while Dragon Sorcerer and Wizard (the latter for a cost of a daily slot) have 13+Dex, and the Warlock has up to 12+Dex.

The more I've looked into Sorc for 5E, the more I think they should've changed it's prime casting ability to Constitution instead of Charisma. I rarely have players that pick it over warlock or bard and wizards step on it's toes a lot more now too.

It would have been an interesting design choice... probably the majority of the gamer's base is too attached to the idea of a charismatic Sorcerer, but if we think about it, this prevents the possibility of having an antisocial or introverted Sorcerer, which frankly isn't an inappropriate concept for someone who was born with weird powers! I know that the original idea was "Sorcerer needs have high Cha because she controls her magic power with her force of personality", but it could have been as well "Sorcerer needs have high Con because she controls her magic power with her force of concentration".
 


SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
2) Why exactly having a Giant ancestor would be a "sorcerous origin" i.e. the source/reason of your innate spellcasting? Only cloud and storm giants can cast some spells! All other giants are just big brutes with nothing magical. By that reasoning, we could have a "human soul sorcerer" too.

/

Works for me...all my "true" giants are a lot less populous and basically immortal until slain. So they may not cast spells, but they are magical, legendary creatures.
 


Well, this archetype certainly raises a lot of questions...

1) Bonus known spells... again? Didn't they go quite far into explaining why it was such a bad idea that they had to remove bonus known spells from the Storm Sorcerer? I am all in favor of increasing the known Sorcerer spells, but I'd like WotC to take a clear stand about it.

2) Why exactly having a Giant ancestor would be a "sorcerous origin" i.e. the source/reason of your innate spellcasting? Only cloud and storm giants can cast some spells! All other giants are just big brutes with nothing magical. By that reasoning, we could have a "human soul sorcerer" too.

3) Assuming it's now become officially ok to grant bonus known spells, and that it's acceptable that a non-magic ancestor causes magic descendants... at least the bonus spells could be the same spells that such ancestors can cast, not something else like invisibility.

4) Clearly, this archetype is all about investing in a high Constitution score. That's interesting, but a bit odd... are they trying to create subclasses that have a higher ability score cost in exchange for more power over the baseline? Like, we give you bonus known spells which are normally unavailable to sorcerer subclasses (and NONE of your subclass features will cost sorcery points, yay!) but we make you pay by making you more MAD?

5) The ability to increase size is cool. But it sounds like something you'd want to do when you're out of spells, and thus decide it's time to wade into battle! So it makes no sense at all that this ability is triggered by casting spells. It could be more simply an action or bonus action of its own.

And on a more general tone... again with more subclasses?? When are they going to work on something else? :/

For the bonus spells, MM said they wanted to give sorcerers levels 1-2 bonus spells, but not the levels 1-5 that classes like cleric and warlock got. To be fair, there would have been endless whining and moaning had the PHB sorcerer only had bonus spells for levels 1-2. Maybe they think sorcerer players will be grateful--poor deluded fools.
 

Dausuul

Legend
First thing: This subclass needs an ability that gives you advantage on Charisma skill checks to interact with giants. That sort of ability is a "ribbon" and won't significantly affect class balance, but it would have a big impact on the feel of the class. Any time the party interacts with giants, the giant-soul will be reminded, "Hey, these guys are your distant kin."

Now, to the actual abilities: The focus on Constitution fits very well with the giant theme. And it's very flavorful. However, the subclass suffers the same problem as a lot of warlock abilities (for non-bladelocks): It's loaded down with tanky defensive abilities, but until it reaches the mid-teens, it doesn't have any reason to get in melee where those abilities would see regular use.

I think the giant-soul would be a splendid opportunity to create a melee sorcerer subclass, like a sorcerer version of the hexblade. (In fact, using the giant-soul as it stands, a one-level dip in hexblade would do wonders.) However, this is not that subclass.
 
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