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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oreofox

Explorer
I am not really a fan of this subclass for sorcerers. I just don't feel it. I like the idea of a giant origin sorcerer, and have seen quite a few homebrews on the internet in various places. None have really meshed with me.

As for the sorcerer not making sense: It does to me. Not every creature with a celestial or fiend or genie/elemental creature or dragon in their ancestry is an aasimar/tiefling/genasi/half-dragon. If that was the case, the world would be overrun with them instead of them being super rare. It's just like the X-Men example: Mutants don't always pass on the mutant genes, or else the world would be overrun with them. Honestly, you really only need 2 classes: "fighting man" and "magic user", where every non-caster would be a subclass of fighting man, and all the casters would be subclasses of magic user (yes, even cleric and wizards would be a subclass of magic user).

I personally like the sorcerer more than the warlock, and don't have the warlock as a class in my game world.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
The 5e Sorcerer's biggest conceptual "problem" is that, of all the classes, it's the most like the Fighter in that it's become the "catch-all" Arcane spellcaster. Wizards gets their power through study, Warlock specifically through pacts with powerful patrons, and Bards have enough flavor going on elsewhere in their concept that nobody seems to care exactly where they get their arcane power from. As for Sorcerers, they were supposed to be literal "Bloodlines" but that idea never really caught on, as demonstrated by how far new archetypes are deviating from that. It has gone from "this power has always been inside of you because of the blood that flows through your veins" to "this power is inside of you because reasons", which is certainly less conceptually satisfying and neat.

But to be honest? <shrug> It's enough for me.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Honestly, you really only need 2 classes: "fighting man" and "magic user", where every non-caster would be a subclass of fighting man, and all the casters would be subclasses of magic user (yes, even cleric and wizards would be a subclass of magic user).

I personally like the sorcerer more than the warlock, and don't have the warlock as a class in my game world.

Don't forget the Elf class.

Then later we can add in Thief to change things up.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I find myself in the minority...again. (maybe its the way I approach things...i don't know...)

I like 5e's sorcerer. It perfectly fits the role I needed it for in my campaign. I did change the name to adept however.

Wizards? They learn, they study. Take the time, find the right teacher, be smart enough, and you can be a wizard. (Campaign fluff says that it takes a very long time, hence why there are not so many NPC wizards). Wizards have Imperial Academies, and Guilds, etc.

Sorcerers/Adepts are born with it or have it thrust upon them. How so? Well here are examples of sorcerers I have in my world (be aware I made a generic sorcerer base)

Seers and prophets (mostly divination spells)

Healing Mystics (mostly healing spells)

Pyromancers (al la Firestarter, obvioiusly fire spells)

Blue Star Adepts (combat and curse spells, granted I could change them to warlocks in 5e.)

Beguilers, i.e. Adepts of the 3rd Eye (charm/dominate spells)

Blood Magic Sorcerers

--------

So SOME have distinct creature based bloodlines, while others are touched by a type of magic.
 

oreofox

Explorer
As for Sorcerers, they were supposed to be literal "Bloodlines" but that idea never really caught on, as demonstrated by how far new archetypes are deviating from that. It has gone from "this power has always been inside of you because of the blood that flows through your veins" to "this power is inside of you because reasons", which is certainly less conceptually satisfying and neat.

That's one thing I liked about Pathfinder's sorcerer. Their "subclasses" are actual bloodlines (and named as such). I have changed the name of the 5e sorcerer's subclasses in my setting to be actual bloodlines, and changed the opening flavor text of the subclasses to reflect this. Draconic basically remains the same; I believe I changed Wild Magic to be fey bloodline (I'll have to check later); Shadow is an elemental plane, and there are shadow elemental creatures, so that's how that became a bloodline; Divine Soul is celestial bloodline; Storm Sorcery is air elemental/genie bloodline; the other UA sorcerer origins (phoenix, stone, and water) became elemental/genie bloodlines; and I've gone through some homebrew/DMGuild subclasses and repurposed them into bloodlines. Not sure how I would go about a giant bloodline, since all giants are Huge size with only 2 types having magical abilities. I can't remember if ogres are considered giants or humanoids in 5e... Still, would need to find one that I liked, first
 

Li Shenron

Legend
So even having a "bloodline" to create a new class seems kind of off. The story doesn't sit right with me when the story in all other cases is to produce new races, not new classes. I kind of sigh and say okay when it comes to dragons because the game *is* Dungeons & Dragons after all, so having you be a dragonblooded person who gets magic I can kind of accept. But all the other sorcerer subclasses? To me they all should be Warlock patrons.

The Warlock's story makes so much more sense and to me is so much more compelling than the sorcerer. Warlocks are the people who sit between the clerics and the wizards. Warlocks are people who have not been blessed by a god to be granted magical ability, and were not smart enough or capable enough to hack the magical system (or Weave) to pull it out themselves. So instead they go to an intermediary and make deals for it. And it is THAT class for which having 20 different types of entities granting magical power makes much more sense, and makes the stories much more compelling to my mind. A "giant soul"? It means you were in touch with a giant and were gifted a part of its power, which makes you a warlock. Not a "sorcerer". A "divine soul"? It means you were selected by a divine being who doesn't have the power and esteem of a god but still were able to grant some of your essence to a mortal, which makes the mortal a warlock, not a "sorcerer".

Good thoughts, but here's some sparse counter points...

1. It's not so much a problem of Sorcerers being superflous but perhaps of having too many stories in the game for explaining someone's spellcasting powers.

2. I don't know the final, printed versions of Shadow/Storm/Divine sorcerers, but when they were presented in UA their narrative was purposefully left vague: all of them could be a bloodline, but they could also be something else... unlike Draconic sorcerers, the bloodline interpretation is not mandatory.

3. Not sure but it sounds like your idea of Warlock is someone granted spellcasting powers by the patron. At least the PHB talks a lot about knowledge, not "granted powers" in the same sense as a Cleric. But the lines are always blurred (including for the Cleric), between whether the spells depend on the constant approval of an external being or only on the character.

4. Bloodline is more like those genes that can manifest after a gap of many generations. It's a lot lighter than race/species. They are of course a bit overlapping, but both concepts can coexist.

That said, as I mentioned previously, the narrative of Giants as a source of sorcery powers just doesn't cut it at all for me. All other sources are fine... dragons are magical creatures (even tho spellcasting dragons are marked as a "variant", all dragons are explicitly presented as "magical" in the MM), "chaos" is nuts, the shadowfell is obviously supernatural, "storm" actually stands for elemental air, and divinity doesn't need discussing. But Giants are not magical creatures by default, they have nothing magical, except a two of them who have (small) innate spellcasting. Obviously I am not against someone wanting them magical in their own homebrew, or a specific published setting presenting them as magical, but the problem for me is that the Giant Sorcerer changes the default narrative of a major category of monsters in the game.
 

gyor

Legend
Good thoughts, but here's some sparse counter points...

1. It's not so much a problem of Sorcerers being superflous but perhaps of having too many stories in the game for explaining someone's spellcasting powers.

2. I don't know the final, printed versions of Shadow/Storm/Divine sorcerers, but when they were presented in UA their narrative was purposefully left vague: all of them could be a bloodline, but they could also be something else... unlike Draconic sorcerers, the bloodline interpretation is not mandatory.

3. Not sure but it sounds like your idea of Warlock is someone granted spellcasting powers by the patron. At least the PHB talks a lot about knowledge, not "granted powers" in the same sense as a Cleric. But the lines are always blurred (including for the Cleric), between whether the spells depend on the constant approval of an external being or only on the character.

4. Bloodline is more like those genes that can manifest after a gap of many generations. It's a lot lighter than race/species. They are of course a bit overlapping, but both concepts can coexist.

That said, as I mentioned previously, the narrative of Giants as a source of sorcery powers just doesn't cut it at all for me. All other sources are fine... dragons are magical creatures (even tho spellcasting dragons are marked as a "variant", all dragons are explicitly presented as "magical" in the MM), "chaos" is nuts, the shadowfell is obviously supernatural, "storm" actually stands for elemental air, and divinity doesn't need discussing. But Giants are not magical creatures by default, they have nothing magical, except a two of them who have (small) innate spellcasting. Obviously I am not against someone wanting them magical in their own homebrew, or a specific published setting presenting them as magical, but the problem for me is that the Giant Sorcerer changes the default narrative of a major category of monsters in the game.

All Giants are magical. Almost all have some kind of magic, fire or frost damage, or innate spells and so on. Plus without magic they could never survive being so big, they'd face sever health problems in a earth like gravity.
 


Sorcerers where first added to D&D for the benefit of players who didn't like having to memorise individual spells. As such they have always cast pretty much the same spells as wizards. One can easily argue that, 5e having dropped spell memorisation, there really isn't any reason for them to continue to exist.

"Draconic ancestry" was assumed to be the default method of gaining sorcerer abilities, but it came with no specifically draconic abilities unless you choose to take a specific prestige class. It was Pathfinder that drastically expanded on the "ancestry" idea, introducing many different flavours of sorcerer with different ancestors.


I've felt that 5e tries to leave it as much up to the player as possible to fluff-explain their character, with the descriptions only intended to give a basic idea. Thus a Samurai does not have to come from Japan. I feel that sorcerers are the superheroes of D&D. If anyone has ever played a superhero themed RPG, they will be familiar with the idea of the "Origin Story" being a key part of character creation. Pretty much anything is allowed, provided it explains the character's powers. I think that is the best way to view 5e sorcerers. Thus you might create a goliath or firbolg giant-soul sorcerer who literally had an ancestor who was a different type of giant. Or you may go with the suggested "blessed by giants" origin. Or you might have been infused with giant blood by an evil wizard (see "created in a vat" in Xanthar's) or you might be a legendary giant hero reincarnated in the wrong body, etc.

The point is, choosing to play a sorcerer is a chance for the player to get creative.
 

The issue with sorcerers as superheroes is that there isn't a lot of built in incentive for leveling up (other than "everyone else is doing it"). Presumably a wizard wants to know more, a paladin wants to fulfill his/her oath, the warlock wants to get the most out of his/her deal before the patron turns him/her into a deadlock, the rogue wants to be a master thief\assassin, etc.

(Captain Kirk Voice): Must. Not. Make. Getting. Luckier. Joke.
 

I've never fell characters needed an "incentive" to level up. They adventure, for reasons that usually have nothing to do with their class. "levelling up" is a by-product.
 

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