View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next 3 Sorcerous Origins

2015-10-24, 06:20 PM
Comment and criticism are welcome.

Origin: Dreamer

Your innate magic comes from dreaming your spells into being. The plane of dreams is littered with the private kingdoms of powerful dreamers, every one the living expression of the will and imagination of a creature that has learned to shape its own dreams. However, where most such dreamers lose interest in each day’s dreary interlude between rising and returning gratefully to bed, you have found a way to replicate some small aspect of the world-shaping power you experience in your sleep. Or perhaps you fell asleep on the plane of dreams, dreaming yourself a new material existence as a sorcerer. In either case, a peculiar kind of magic user is the result – one for whom the boundary between dream and reality is a feeble barrier, easily breached in your favour.

Your consciousness flits freely between the dream world and waking world, and can import magical power from one to the other. This often expresses itself in illusions, or contagious dreams as you might think of them, in which some half-real fragment of your whimsy intrudes into the material plane and imposes itself on the creatures there.

Waking Dream (Level 1)

You have instinctive control over the occasion, course, and content of your own sleep and dreams, since you must spend time on the plane of dreams to renew and expand your sorcerous abilities.

You are immune to effects that would put you to sleep or alter your dreams, unless you choose otherwise. At any time, you can choose to go to sleep as an action. While asleep, you can use senses except sight (and senses like it) within a range of 30 feet, but you do so with disadvantage. You can choose to wake up as an action, and you can use the Font of Magic feature or take actions provided by this archetype while asleep, but you may take no other kind of action, bonus action, or reaction and you count as unconscious for all other purposes.

Races that are incapable of sleep may instead fall into a trance, or any altered state of consciousness that leaves them incapacitated and allows them to access the plane of dreams.

Dream Spells (Level 1)

You learn the following spells as Dream Spells at the level listed. They do not automatically count as spells known, but you can also choose them as spells known if you so wish. You may cast these spells while asleep without material components. You cannot cast them while awake unless you add them to your spells known.

Level 1: Silent Image, Unseen Servant
Level 3: Alter Self, Augury
Level 5: Clairvoyance, Major Image
Level 7: Arcane Eye, Hallucinatory Terrain
Level 9: Dream, Legend Lore

Blurred Reality (Level 6)

The boundary between dream and reality grows increasingly thin. When you cast an Illusion spell of level at most 5, either normally or as a Dream Spell, you may do so by spending a number of sorcery points equal to its level instead of a spell slot. As a bonus action, you may also spend 1 sorcery point to allow any illusion you are concentrating on to alter itself according to your mental commands for up to 1 minute.

Closed Eye Vision (Level 14)

As your mind is so wrapped up in its own illusions, it is less easily drawn into those created by others. You have advantage on checks to detect illusions and disguises, and also on saves against Illusion spells.

Sorcerous Fantasy (Level 18)

By spending a number of spell points equal to its level, you can form an illusion of any Evocation or Conjuration spell you know of at most 5th level.

You cast the spell as normal, including with any kind of metamagic you choose, except that you do not use a spell slot and the effects are purely illusory. Those creatures that do not disbelieve it seem to experience the effects and rationalise any discrepancies as necessary, but creatures that do disbelieve experience them only as a faint image overlaid on the real world. A creature that experiences itself taking damage takes half the usual damage of the spell, and its type is changed to psychic, but the creature cannot be reduced below 1 HP. You and creatures you let on beforehand automatically disbelieve the effects; others make an intelligence check against your spell save DC to disbelieve any time they interact with the illusion, or with a real thing that should not be there according to the illusion.

Material components are not consumed, though they may appear to be. If the spell has a duration greater than instantaneous, maintaining the illusion requires your concentration.

Origin: Spirit Summoner

While adventurers might know supernatural creatures like celestials, fey, and fiends as dangerous adversaries, simpler folk are more familiar with the innumerable minor spirits that are attracted to the material plane, and have a somewhat practical attitude towards them. Minor spirits are often willing to trade favours – a saucer of milk to clean your chimney, a few pieces of silver to predict the happiness of your marriage – and in remote settlements and wilder regions it is not uncommon to take advantage of them.

Your innate magic comes from exposure to these minor spirits, allowing you to communicate with, cajole, and command them. Perhaps you were stolen away to live with the spirits as a child and still retain their loyalty, or perhaps you learned to subjugate them through dangerous experiments. Regardless, you can summon them and rely on their obedience, and with greater effort you can extend this control to more powerful and dangerous unnatural creatures.

Spirit Channelling (Level 1)

You cast spells using your innate sorcerous influence over spirits.

Add the following to the list of spells you can learn: Detect Evil and Good, Find Familiar; Beast Sense, Find Steed; Conjure Animals, Magic Circle; Arcane Eye, Conjure Woodland Beings; Dispel Evil and Good, Geas

You learn two of these languages: Celestial, Sylvan, Abyssal, and Infernal

Each of your spells is delivered and personified by a tiny spirit (celestial, fey, or fiend; you may choose any whose language you know). For instance, Prestidigitation may take the form of a tiny brownie with a stove to warm food for you, and Confusion may take the form of a celestial woodpecker that hammers on the temples of those afflicted. You may decide how each spirit acts when it delivers or performs the spell, but besides its appearance it has no effects beyond those the spell normally has.

The spirit exists for the duration of the spell. It cannot be targeted or damaged and it will take no actions except to deliver the spell, but it may communicate with you. It is friendly and obedient, and exists until the spell ends, at which time it is banished to its native plane.

Spirit Summons (Level 1)

You may cast a spell of at most 5th level with a casting time of 1 action or bonus action, even if there is no valid target in range, and have the summoned spirit wait around to deliver it on a future occasion. The effort requires your concentration. You may command it to cast the spell when there is a valid target within 5 feet of it; the spell is then cast with that target, and you cease concentrating. The spirit enacts the spell as normal and is banished when it ends. If the spell normally requires your concentration, it still does so after the spirit casts it.

The spirit has HP equal to 10 times the spell’s level, can be targeted and damaged before it casts the spell, and can be banished early if you lose concentration or if it is reduced to 0 HP. Its ability scores are all equal to twice the level of the spell (minimum 4) and it has a fly speed equal to the range of the spell (maximum 120ft, minimum 30ft) and the ability to hover. It has its own initiative count, understands and obeys your commands as long as it is within 60 feet of you and can hear you, and attempts to return to you if lost.

Greater Summons (Level 6)

By spending 1 minute in preparation, you may summon up to 4 celestial, fey, or fiendish creatures of your choice, or celestial, fey, or fiendish spirits in the form of beasts, in unoccupied space within 30ft of you. You must expend sorcery points equal to their combined CR (rounded up). You may only summon those types of creature whose language you know. Their combined CR may not exceed 2 (increasing to 3 at level 11 and 4 at level 17) and the effort requires your concentration.

They are friendly and obedient and remain for up to 1 hour, or until you lose concentration or they are banished or destroyed. They are immediately banished once the hour ends. After you have used this ability, you may not use it again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Watchful Spirits (Level 14)

Spirits immediately appear to guard you whenever you fall unconscious. You are affected until you wake up as if by the spell Spirit Guardians. The form of the creatures is one of those whose language you speak. When the effect begins, you may choose for some creatures to be unaffected as if you had cast the spell yourself.

Altruistic Summons (Level 18)

As a bonus action, you may destroy one creature you summoned with the Greater Summons feature. You regain a number of sorcery points equal to half its CR (rounded up). You may immediately spend these sorcery points to either regain d8 HP per sorcery point or deal 2d8 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice) per sorcery point to each creature that was within 10ft of the summoned creature when it was destroyed.

Origin: Interplanar

Your innate magic comes from having been born outside the material plane, or from having been trapped between planes for extended periods and exposed to the ethereal storms. In any case, your body is not entirely material and your mind has a natural affinity for the paths between planes. You can slip into the ethereal plane more easily than other mortal magic users and you have a talent for other kinds of magical transportation.

Planar Exploration(Level 1)

Either instinctively or through hard experience, you have exceptional knowledge of the planes and how to break the boundaries between them.

Add the following to the list of spells you can learn: Arms of Hadar, Detect Evil and Good; Nystul’s Magic Aura, Rope Trick; Hunger of Hadar, Sending; Divination, Leomund’s Secret Chest; Contact Other Plane, Dispel Evil and Good

You have advantage on checks to recall information about other planes and the creatures native to them, and you have advantage on saves against the environmental effects of other planes.

Extraplanar Escape (Level 1)

You can use ambient magical energies to weaken the boundary with the ethereal plane enough to slip through. When you cast or are targeted by a spell of 1st level or higher, you may move to the ethereal plane until the end of your next turn (all details being as per the spell Blink), at which time you automatically return to the space in the plane you left from corresponding to your current space in the ethereal plane. If this would leave you inside a physical object, you take 2d6 force damage and are pushed to the closest unoccupied space.

Using this ability occupies your concentration for as long as you remain on the ethereal plane. You have a number of uses equal to your charisma modifier, which recharge at the end of a long rest.

Planar Traversal (Level 6)

You are an expert in magical travel and can pursue it with relative ease. When you cast a spell of at least 2nd level that teleports you or moves you to another plane, you may regain a spell slot of a lower level, to a maximum of 5th level.

When you end your turn on the ethereal plane, you may spend a sorcery point to remain there until the end of your next turn.

Ethereal Flight (Level 14)

While on the ethereal plane, you can ride the ethereal winds. You have a fly speed of 60ft there.

Planar Navigation (Level 18)

You have explored the multiverse of planes and mastered the use of the rifts and warrens among them. You always know what plane you are on and you are immune to being involuntarily moved to another plane, though effects that move you away for a limited time (like your Ethereal Escape) still move you back when they expire.

When you target a creature that is not native to the plane you are on with a spell, after resolving the effects, you may spend 4 sorcery points to attempt to banish it to its native plane. It must succeed on a charisma save against your spell save DC or be banished. Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again until you have completed a long rest.

EDIT: Significantly changed the CR allowed for Greater Summons. Clarified interaction of Ethereal Escape with concentration.

2015-11-02, 02:25 PM
After the most recent Unearthed Arcana, sorcerous origins without traits suddenly seem thin and unfinished, so here are traits for the above. For each origin, you can either choose a trait or roll a d6 and take the one listed against that number (perhaps altering it to suit you).


1 - You frequently yawn and stretch, no matter how long you have been awake.
2 - You carry a pillow with you everywhere you go, and you feel permanently on edge while separated from it.
3 - While your eyes are open, unless you are actively examining something by sight, your gaze constantly flits about in an unnerving manner.
4 - You occasionally forget that you cannot get through the door simply by imagining it opened.
5 - You talk to people while they are asleep, and expect them to recall the conversation afterwards.
6 - You carry around a couple of small pins, with which you sometimes prick yourself to check whether or not you are on the plane of dreams.

Spirit Summoner

1 - You thank the teapot after pouring, and rebuke the comb when it catches in your hair, in case they are currently inhabited by minor spirits.
2 - You collect attractive buttons, seashells, thimbles, and the like, since minor fey will sometimes accept one as payment if they take a fancy to it.
3 - The spirit who enacts your Prestidigitation cantrip is named Sweet-Fingered Jack.
4 - You swear in Celestial.
5 - You insist that troublesome outsiders be humanely banished rather than fought, no matter how difficult that might be to accomplish.
6 - People you insult are subjected to several seconds of faint infernal sniggering from the minor fiends that accompany you.


1 - You have a hundred anecdotes about your extraplanar travels, yet your companions have seemingly heard each of them a hundred times.
2 - You engage in ineffectual shadowboxing against enemies or creatures you dislike while you observe them from the ethereal plane.
3 - You refuse to be teleported by another magic user, insisting on doing it yourself.
4 - On still days, the air around you is sometimes seemingly disturbed by slight breezes carrying exotic scents.
5 - Food from the material plane tastes bland to you, and you seek out produce from other planes when able.
6 - You flinch at any mention of the name 'Hadar' outside of the context of a spell.

2015-11-03, 10:54 PM
I like the idea behind Dreamer.

2015-11-05, 05:02 PM
Interplanar feels a bit off, but I can't put my finger on why; it's definitely a good idea for an origin, but it feels almost incomplete. Spirit Summoner feels like it would be better off as a separate class (like Binder or something); Dreamer is dead-on, though. Maybe I'll try and playtest it later on...

2015-11-05, 05:26 PM
I like these, you don't seem to have fallen into the OP homebrew trap.

2015-11-05, 06:47 PM
Thanks for the appreciation, everyone.

Interplanar feels a bit off, but I can't put my finger on why; it's definitely a good idea for an origin, but it feels almost incomplete... Dreamer is dead-on, though. Maybe I'll try and playtest it later on...

Perhaps it's because Dreamer is very focused (all illusions, all the time) and its area of focus will be useful very often and allows for a lot of creativity. Whereas teleportation doesn't come up at all at lower levels and is still uncommon at higher ones. I put in the only kind of plane-shifting ability I thought appropriate for low levels, but because it is so useful to be able to just disappear for a round I had to keep it very limited. So the Interplanar Sorcerer is also very focused, but part of its area of focus doesn't come up much (teleportation spells) and the other part doesn't appear as ripe for creative uses.

Though being able to pass through walls (and floors? - probably up to the DM, that one) via the ethereal plane could get pretty zany. And the level 6 ability lets you cast Dimension Door, get a slot back, use it for Blink, get a slot back, use it for Misty Step, get a slot back, and finally burn that for one more round on the ethereal plane next time you hop over. (Or just cast Dimension Door and then cast Fireball from a more advantageous location with the slot you get back.) So a player who can think of lots of uses for mobility can have a good time with it.

Spirit Summoner feels like it would be better off as a separate class (like Binder or something)

Quite possibly, but part of the fun of homebrewing in this edition is trying to capture lots of different ideas using just subclasses, even if you have to stretch things a bit. Maybe it would suit a Warlock better, though? A 'patron' that's actually a chaotic mob of minor spirits?

2015-11-05, 06:59 PM
Quite possibly, but part of the fun of homebrewing in this edition is trying to capture lots of different ideas using just subclasses, even if you have to stretch things a bit. Maybe it would suit a Warlock better, though? A 'patron' that's actually a chaotic mob of minor spirits?

You could do that with fluff too, though. Like, if I was trying to create a character whose mechanics felt like "aided by spirits", I'd probably build a Bard and just refluff their inspiration (maybe make them a Dirge Singer petitioning the spirits or something).

If you're a Sorcerer, you're all about your innate connection to the world, where your magic is like your fingers, it's just a part of you. The ability to manipulate spirits makes sense as a Sorcerer power, but not as a Sorcerer origin, because the Sorcerer's power isn't coming from the spirits themselves. For homebrewing a sub-class, Warlock is probably better, like the way you've suggested.

Like I said, it's not like it's a terrible fit, it just feels a bit off.

2015-11-06, 10:57 AM
If I where you I would drop the extra baggage and focus on your awesome dreamer Archetype and come back to the other two later.