the Sorcerer Class Revisited

Recently I started running a 5e game after taking a long break from DM’ing and sticking purely to the player side of the table. As I put together notes about what new content I wanted to include from the Sterling Vermin in my campaign I recalled how much I felt like a few of the options in the Player’s Handbook hadn’t aged very well and could do with some tweaking. I decided that rather than include lackluster content from the Player’s Handbook in my own game I’d try my hand at revising them starting with what I thought would be the simplest fix – the Sorcerer class.

There are a lot more widely disparaged player options in the Player’s Handbook than the Sorcerer class (Ranger, Berserker Barbarian, Circle of the Land Druid, Way of the Four Elements Monk, I’m looking at all of you) but the Sorcerer class is the one I felt I knew intuitively what I would do differently with it. Presented here is a alternate take on the Sorcerer class that includes a take on the Spell Point variant first described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. As well as the full class revision I’ve also updated our Greenheart sorcerous origin and included an entirely new sorcerous origin, the Arcane Prodigy.

I hope you like this new version of the Sorcerer but, more importantly, I hope you let me know how you think I can improve it further. Within the next couple months I’ll take another crack at this revision adding in feedback from readers and at least one more sorcerous origin.

the Sorcerer Class Revisited

13 thoughts on “the Sorcerer Class Revisited

  1. “Arcane Prodigy” needs to be added to the list of options in the “Sorcerous Origin” paragraph on pg 3.

    I’d also suggest following the example of Feats in the Metamagic list, and change “You must have the Arcane Prodigy sorcerous origin to take this option” to “Prerequisite: Arcane Prodigy sorcerous origin”.

    Overall, this looks incredibly fun and I can’t see anything glaringly unbalanced. More than happy to include this at my table.

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    1. A comma before “their” in the Arcane Prodigy section would help. Was a tad confusing to read.

      The spellbook does concern me a bit, it allows the sorcerer to outshine the Wizard at his own game. I recommend that the sorcerer be able to prepare a number of spells = 1/2 sorcerer level + charisma modifier. This would help impose some limit on the sheer versatility presented as well as prevent a scenario of “I have this spell always, because I wrote it is a book once.”

      The 6th level feature does feel a bit lackluster, I get that it is 8 levels before the rogue receives their extra save proficiency. But it is Intelligence, a very uncommon save. Even if it was a ribbon feature as an additive, or being able to 1/2 time + price a school of magic for their book would be nice.

      Overall, I do enjoy the direction this is coming from. How would multi-classing be handled?

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  2. This honestly looks fantastic, I’m excited to introduce my players to this content.

    The Arcane Prodigy description has a spelling mistake, methodicall.

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  3. I really like the idea of what you’ve done, and the Arcane Prodigy is brilliant. I’m just a bit worried about regaining *all* your sorcery points once per day. At third level you could cast 8 1st-level or even 6 2nd-level spells! Is that not a bit much?

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    1. I have similar issues with this. The arcane prodigy especially makes me wonder why I’d ever want to be a wizard over a sorcerer if this was legal. Level 9 having 75 points available to me in a day is a ton of spells.

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      1. If you use the spell point system, provided in the DMG, you get waaaay more spell points at later levels. This version gives you 49, if you get them back twice that’s only 98.
        The DMG version gives you 133 at the same level. The spell conversions are the same as well, so I don’t see a big issue with it.

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      2. Actually, Rinsaku is right: the sorcery/spell points in this version are severely limited compared to what you’d get if you simply took the DMG table + PHB sorcerer points.
        At third level using the DMG table, you’d get 14 points, +3 from sorcery points, so 17. This version gives you 9, but you can get them all back on a short rest. So you might get 18, but you might also not wait until you’d spent all of them before you get a short rest, so effectively get less.

        Basically: I was wrong, this version is great.

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      3. First, this version doesn’t require a rest to get sorc points back. Just an action: “At 3rd level, you can use an action to regain all of your spent sorcery points. You can use this feature again after you complete a long rest. Starting at 9th level, you can use this feature twice
        between long rests.” Whatever remainder of points you have, quicken something out, then use your actual action to replenish, I don’t think it’s reasonable to have the idea that you’ll not be able to spend all your points as a balancing act.

        I agree that the DMG one is ridiculous, but if I’m reading this right, at level 9 this sorcerer could use his 25 points to cast a level 5 spell, then a level 4, two level 3s, and a level 1. As an action, he replenishes all 25 points, and can do this again twice (replenishing all spent points twice from font of magic as an action.) So at the end of his day, the sorc cast 3 level 5 and 4 spells, 6 level 3s, and 3 level 1s. Two more level 5 spells, I traded up all my level 2 slots for level 3 slots and I’m short a level 1 spell. That’s 15 spells, about the same number a wizard can cast (14 plus the 4 total level spell slots they get from arcane recovery) at mostly higher levels, plus the flexibility of using some of the points for metamagic.

        At level 8, the sorc gets 23 x 2 points to play with, which allows for two level 4 slots, a level 3 slot, then two level 2 slots. You can do that twice per day for 14 spells cast compared to a wizard’s 12 + 4 spell levels of slots. So we about break even if all we did was cast spells, but ours are mostly at a higher level.

        So, why would I pick a wizard over playing this sorcerer unless I *really* want ritual magic? About the same number of spells/day, often at higher spell levels, plus the metamagic features for customizing spells and a whole heap of flexibility.

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  4. I like a lot theses changes both the new origins seem really good and I would love to play a sorc using this sheet. However I have to agree with Mark that the Font of Magic change seems a but much. However I don’t think the ability is bad thematically I think its great, tap into your “natural” talent and burst till you drop from exhaustion. So with that in mind I like to suggest two changes

    1. Move “Sorcerous Restoration” to be the “Font of magic” ability
    It is the same vein as the Arcane Recovery from wizard but doesn’t scale and still not as powerful as the short rest spell recovery of the warlock.
    2. Move your “Font of magic” ability to be the new “Sorcerous Restoration” With one change, instead of reading “At 3rd level, you can use an action to regain all of your spent sorcery points. You can use this feature again after you complete a long rest. Starting at 9th level, you can use this feature twice between long rests” change its to “At 20th level, you can use an action to regain all of your spent sorcery points every time you do so take 1 points of exhaustion.” That way there is still a limit you have on the ability (max 5 before death), a price (all the exhaustion you gain) and the long rest restriction from trying to recover.

    I think those two would make Sorcerers more appealing to go straight and not dip into. Tell me what you think.

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    1. Hi mrnatas (Mr. Natas?)!

      Your suggestions are definitely interesting. The general feedback this revision got was, 1.) people were either skeptical of or very enthusiastic about the arcane savant, 2.) people liked all the class changes not related to spell slots changing to spell points, 3.) most people liked the change to spell points but about half of the people who liked it expressed some concerns about how it would balance out (sometimes due to not understanding how it worked). The idea of adding exhaustion in would do a lot to balance out the class but 5e generally stays away from the mechanical concept of “power at a cost”. That said, I’m going to be looking at what could work differently and I’ll be taking your suggestions into consideration when I do!

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