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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next The Variant Sorcerer - No spell slots, just cantrips and metamagic (PEACH)



Doccit
2018-07-29, 10:50 PM
The Variant Sorcerer (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/S1IF5ma4X) <--- Click here to view the class.

Ok, so a few days ago I made The Variant Wizard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?564814-The-Variant-Wizard), which was basically a moderately modified version of the Warlock. This is much more ambitious, as I don't think the variant sorcerer closely resembles any other class. The Variant Sorcerer doubles-down on the things that make Sorcerers different, giving them no spell slots or spells known. This class runs off cantrips and metamagic.

Here is a quick rundown of the features:
- You get sorcery points equal to 2+1/2 your level (rounded down) and they recharge on short rests. You can only use one metamagic per spell, and you start with empower spell (0 sorcery points) and twin spell (1 sorcery point).
- 1/day you can enter an Arcane Erruption (2/day at level 11). Its like a magic version of the barbarian's rage. While you are in an arcane eruption and you cast a cantrip with metamagic, you deal extra damage equal to your charisma modifier plus one of the cantrip's dice (eg +1d10 for fire bolt, +1d8 for chill touch)
- You get Arcane Powers, which are a lot like eldrich invocations. This is the way you gain new types of metamagic.
- You get a Sorcerous Origin; a subclass that gives you an always-on fighting bonus at the first level, and an extra effect bonus while you're in arcane eruption at level 6.
- You get a Sorcerer's path; a subclass that gives you utility abilities with maybe some niche combat uses at level 3, 10, and 13, and at level 17 gives you an extra bonus effect while you're in arcane eruption.
- You get complex magic at level 14, which lets you apply 2 metamagic to the same cantrip.
- You get font of magic: it lets you cast a cantrip which doesn't target a creature or any creature it to make a saving throw on the turn that its cast as a bonus action. This is mostly a ribbon, but I like it because it encourages creative play with things like minor illusion, mage hand, and etc.
- The capstone lets you cast two cantrips with a standard action, and you can metamagic them both if you like.

The variant sorcerer is supposed to specialize in multi-target damage and single-target debuffs.

Why a Variant Sorcerer?
The sorcerer's got a cool concept but according to survey results is on-average the least satisfying class to play (http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?4403-2017-D-D-5E-Class-Satisfaction-Survey-Results). I know what I like in a class: customizability, and creative options in combat. I tried to make a version of the class that emphasized that.

HELP! Is it balanced? What works and what doesn't?
I'm sure I've screwed plenty of things up and I'd love some help and advice. How does it stack up against other classes? Does anything look like a trap option, or mandatory?

Doccit
2018-07-30, 11:47 AM
Here's my analysis of the class in terms of balance. I'd love to get an opinion on it:


SINGLE TARGET DAMAGE ~ EMPOWERED FIRE BOLT VS AGONIZING BLAST + HEX
Empowered Fire bolt does exactly the same amount of damage as agonizing blast. Warlocks can make their blast stronger with Hex, which adds 1d6 damage at level 1 and 4d6 damage at level 17. Sorcerer's can't improve their single target damage like warlock's can using a short rest resource.

However, when the sorcerer burns their 1/day resource and enters an arcane erruption, Empowered Firebolt deals an extra 1d10+Cha damage, out-stripping agonizing blast + hex significantly at early levels. But its only one fight per day. The gap closes over time, as the damage added by the daily resource doesn't scale and hex's bonus damage does. (This is intended because at level 6 and 17 the sorcerer gets an aditional effect that applies only during arcane eruption. These effects increase the sorcerer's survivability and mobility however, not their damage).

I'd say the Sorcerer does not outshine the Warlock in terms of single target damage on balance. At early levels the sorcerer can out-do the warlock in one fight per day, but its also worth noting that Eldrich Blast has a number of other advantages over fire bolt. It deals force damage, and it is a multi-hit attack which can be split between multiple targets. With fire bolt, the damage is all or nothing.

MULTI-TARGET DAMAGE ~ ENLARGED FIRE BOLT VS FIREBALL
The enlarged spell metamagic allows the sorcerer to target a 20 foot radius sphere instead of a single target for 2 sorcery points. They get this ability at level 4 (the same level the wizard gets fireball) and at that level they can cast expanded firebolt twice per short rest, whereas the wizard can cast fireball twice per long rest.

Expanded firebolt does 1d10 damage to each target at level 4 (dex save for half), whereas Fireball does 8d6 damage to each target (dex save for half)

While in arcane eruption (the sorcererís version of rage, which they can enter once per day), expanded firebolt does 2d10+Cha mod. At level 4 fireballís average damage on hit is 26, whereas expanded fireboatís is 15 in arcane eruption. More quantity less quality. At level 5 firebolt gets an extra 1d10 damage, bumping the average damage in eruption up to 20.5, whereas fireballís damage is unchanged.

That means the level five sorcerer can sling two 20.5-damage fireballs per day, plus two 11-damage fireballs per short rest (if theyíre spending all their sorcery points on expanded spell).
Iím not sure if expanded firebolt is overpowered or underpowered. Something else to keep in mind is that the Wizard learns 2 spells per level which can include fireball, whereas the sorcerer at level 5 has to spend one of their 3 invocations known to get access to the expanded spell metamagic. The opportunity cost for sorcerers is potentially much greater.

Another thing to note is that expanded firebolt gets more cost-effective as you level up. At level 14 the sorcerer gets access to complex magic, allowing them to use two metamagic abilities on the same spell. At level 17, firebolt deals 4d10 damage. So at level 17, a sorcerer expand firebolt for 2 points, and empower it for 0 points (spending 2/10 of their sorcery points). This would deal 4d10+4*Cha(5) damage to each target (avg 44), and they could do it five times per short rest. In an Arcane Erruption (which they can do twice per day starting level 11) that damage goes up to 5d10+5*Cha(5) damage to each target (avg 52.5) However at that level the wizard and warlock have 9th level spells, which the sorcerer never gets.

For comparison, a warlock at level 17 can cast vitriolic sphere 3 times per short rest, dealing 42 average damage to a 20-foot radius sphere, which is basically comparable to the non-arcane erruption version. And I can't stress enough that instead of arcane erruption 2/day, the warlock gets mystic arcanum for a 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level slot once per day.

DEBUFF COMPARISON
Debuffs are where I think the variant sorcerer really shines, and unfortunately it is hard to compare debuffing capacity between classes. Iíll try to keep this analysis general.

Sorcerer debuffs are applied when their spells hit, and the target gets to save to end the effect at the start of each of their turns. This means that between the time when the sorcerer casts their spell and the enemy takes there turn, there is an advantage to be seized upon by allies. Sorcererís always get something for spending sorcery points on a debuff, even if it only lasts for a fraction of a round.

This has the interesting effect of pseudo-bypassing legendary resistance. Lets say the sorcerer is fighting a dragon, and casts poison spray on the dragon. The dragon fails their con save, and decides it isnít worth blowing legendary resistance on it. The sorcerer rolls for damage, and decides to apply the paralyzing spell metamagic (3 sorcery points). The dragon is now paralyzed until it next starts its turn, during which time rogues and fighters can go hog wild if they happen to be in the right part of the initiative order. Once it starts its next turn and makes the save, its free to use legendary resistance to end the effect. So sorcerers donít get to deny the dragon actions, but they do get something useful for their sorcery points. A niche but notable advantage over other debuffing classes.

The main advantage that sorcerers get over other classes in debuffing is that their debuffs are always mixed with damage. It is as though a wizard had an ability that let them cast a cantrip as part of the same action where they cast a spell that dealt no damage. One disadvantage is that until they get to high levels (level 14 complex magic) they canít debuff more than one target with an action unless they're casting acid splash. The main disadvantage is the variety of debuffs. Every "spell" the sorcerer learns comes at the cost of one of its eight arcane powers (at level 20).

OVER ALL?
I think the sorcerer is overall balanced. Its got some unique tricks, and it fits in with the damage curve of optimized single-classed characters. It can't out-nova a wizard or paladin, and it can't out-sustained-damage a warlock. I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Sir Brett Nortj
2018-07-30, 01:34 PM
The Variant Sorcerer (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/rJBu9k9sVX)

Ok, so a few days ago I made The Variant Wizard (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?564814-The-Variant-Wizard), which was basically a moderately modified version of the Warlock. This is much more ambitious, as I don't think the variant sorcerer closely resembles any other class. The Variant Sorcerer doubles-down on the things that make Sorcerers different, giving them no spell slots or spells known. This class runs off cantrips and metamagic.

Here is a quick rundown of the features:
- You get sorcery points equal to your level that recharge on a short rest. You can spend up to 1/2 your points in a given round. You start with the empower spell and twin spell metamagics.
- 1/day you can enter an Arcane Erruption (2/day at level 11). Its like a magic version of the barbarian's rage. While you are in an arcane eruption and you cast a cantrip with metamagic, you deal extra damage equal to your charisma modifier plus Xd6, where X is the number of sorcery points spent on the metamagic.*
- You get Arcane Powers, which are a lot like eldrich invocations. This is the way you gain new types of metamagic.
- You get a Sorcerous Origin; a subclass that gives you an always-on fighting bonus at the first level, and an extra effect bonus while you're in arcane eruption at level 6.
- You get a Sorcerer's path; a subclass that gives you utility abilities with maybe some niche combat uses at level 3, 10, and 13, and at level 17 gives you an extra bonus effect while you're in arcane eruption.
- You get complex magic at level 14, which lets you apply 2 metamagic to the same cantrip. (But you still can't break the 1/2 your level in points per round restriction)
- You get font of magic: it lets you cast a cantrip which doesn't target a creature or any creature it to make a saving throw on the turn that its cast as a bonus action. This is mostly a ribbon, but I like it because it encourages creative play with things like minor illusion, mage hand, and etc.
- The capstone lets you cast two cantrips with a standard action, and you can metamagic them both if you like. (But you still can't break the 1/2 your level in points per round restriction).

The variant sorcerer is supposed to specialize in multi-target damage and single-target debuffs.

*I've run the numbers, and using Firebolt the damage is pretty much on par with Eldrich Blast+Agonizing Blast+Hex. The edge is you've also got the other metamagic effect, which could be a strong debuff or make the spell multi-target. The downside is it costs 1/2 your short rest resource.

Why a Variant Sorcerer?
The sorcerer's got a cool concept but according to survey results is on-average the least satisfying class to play (http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?4403-2017-D-D-5E-Class-Satisfaction-Survey-Results). I know what I like in a class: customizability, and creative options in combat. I tried to make a version of the class that emphasized that.

HELP! Is it balanced? What works and what doesn't?
I'm sure I've screwed plenty of things up and I'd love some help and advice.

It sound very 'combat oriented.' Like to fight rats and stuff?

Really nice concept. If you ask me, and I don't see anybody else commenting yet, this s something I would like to try! Weeny man! Would like a variant where htey get even more magician stuff and less warlock stuff? Would be nice...

Doccit
2018-07-30, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the feedback! Good observation, but I wouldn't say it is completely combat oriented. You can take cantrips and arcane powers that do fun utility things (like Minor Illusion, Mage Hand, and Minor Conjuration) and the Sorcerer's Path you choose gives you some non-combat spells to play with.

In this post I mostly focused on the battle-aspects of the class because that is what people typically worry about when deciding whether or not the class is balanced.

Doccit
2018-07-31, 07:43 AM
I've updated the class. I've overhauled how many sorcery points you get at each level and the sorcery point cost of every ability. Furthermore the empower spell metamagic now costs 0 to use and doesn't the damage of spells as much. So the cost of empowering a spell is now that you can't apply another metamagic to it (such as twin).

Doccit
2018-08-02, 10:19 AM
Class updated. I've re-done the metamagic. I've also changed the blurb at the begining of the PDF and improved the art.

Crisis21
2018-08-02, 12:21 PM
Okay, I took a quick look and noticed that for a class that supposedly focuses on cantrips, it doesn't learn any more than the standard sorcerer.

Seriously, if I was going to play a cantrip-focused class, I'd want to (eventually) have a base list of cantrips that most other spell casters would need to invest several feats into getting.

After all, spell casting is about options, and this class is looking very limited on that front.

Maybe start with 4 cantrips and learn a new cantrip every odd level (this will result in 13 known cantrips at levels 19 & 20).

Doccit
2018-08-03, 09:13 AM
Good point! I think 13 might be a bit excessive, but in the next version I'll up the number of cantrips they learn. Maybe 10 by level 20.

Crisis21
2018-08-03, 03:32 PM
I read Empower Spell, and it needs to be scaled back a fair bit. 4xCharisma bonus is, quite frankly, nuts even at level 20. I'd say let it add your Charisma bonus *once* and reroll any number of damage dice once, taking the higher number.

Doccit
2018-08-04, 05:25 PM
I'm not sure I agree. It is the exact amount of damage added by the Agonizing Blast incovation that Warlocks get, and warlocks get an additional 1d6 damage per teir above what the Variant Sorcerer gets from Hex.

Crisis21
2018-08-04, 09:06 PM
Warlocks are their own beast, as is Eldritch Blast and its enhancements. And the only reason it works like that is because EB is multi-hit. Adding an ability score modifier to a hit more than once doesn't happen anywhere in RAW.

Quickened Spell and Twinned Spell alone more than makes up for any shortcomings versus Warlock EB. Seriously, with the way this class is currently written, it is entirely possible to blast four full-power cantrips at level 14+ provided you have at least two targets. And two of those can have Empowered Spell added. Or you could do three cantrips all with Empowered Spell.

What's more, Warlocks don't get that much potential bonus damage until 17th level, where you're giving it to this new Sorcerer right out of the gate.

Seriously, being able to add 4x CHA modifier to damage for free makes this ridiculously overpowered.

MoleMage
2018-08-04, 10:55 PM
What's more, Warlocks don't get that much potential bonus damage until 17th level, where you're giving it to this new Sorcerer right out of the gate.

Seriously, being able to add 4x CHA modifier to damage for free makes this ridiculously overpowered.

What? You add 1x Cha per tier. Literally exactly the same as agonizing blast minus the multi-hit.

Plus if you do this you can't use other metamagic on that cantrip, meaning it is purely for your "out of resource" stage and doesn't stack with any other cool stuff you can do.

Edit: missed the level 14 feature allowing two metamagics. Still seems alright to me since all other metamagics cost points and it isn't more than two. If you twin a spell, you can quicken OR empower but not both.

EDIT EDIT: I would take eruption from +Cha to a static bonus.

Crisis21
2018-08-05, 12:12 AM
What? You add 1x Cha per tier. Literally exactly the same as agonizing blast minus the multi-hit.

Plus if you do this you can't use other metamagic on that cantrip, meaning it is purely for your "out of resource" stage and doesn't stack with any other cool stuff you can do.

Edit: missed the level 14 feature allowing two metamagics. Still seems alright to me since all other metamagics cost points and it isn't more than two. If you twin a spell, you can quicken OR empower but not both.


Okay, I'll freely admit I misremembered the wording of Empower Spell on my post.

That said, I still feel it is too much. Warlocks need to spend an Invocation on their power-up, which means not every Warlock will have it (just most). This is being handed out for free as a standard class ability.

In addition, Warlocks do not get Metamagic or any other ability to cast Eldritch Blast more than once a turn. The fact that Sorcerers can do this with their cantrips while getting the full bonus damage on each one, in any capacity, makes it very overpowered.

Plus you also missed the capstone that allows you to select a second metamagic to have cost nothing.

I'm sorry, but trying to match the Warlock's Eldritch Blast boosts on top of Sorcerer metamagic is just too broken to be balanced. Just give them the CHA bonus to damage once per cantrip and the power to reroll low damage dice with no scaling. That's already more than enough for this class.


Other metamagics I've noticed that are overpowered:

Distant Spell & Subtle Spell: Right off the bat, combining these two options as the same metamagic is a no-no in my opinion. Subtle Spell alone is awesome simply for the fact that it allows the sorcerer to cast while silenced, bound, or both. That's an amazing ability for any spellcaster, hands down. It doesn't need to be buffed in any shape, form, or fashion. Plus, Distant Spell allowing you to hit a target from a mile away? No. No, no, no, no, no, a thousand times no. Double range is already more than enough for this option, especially if you're making it cost no sorcerer points. Plus, making touch range spells increase to 120 feet? That's broken as heck. This shouldn't give Touch-range spells anything more than 30 feet, and that's pushing it in my opinion. 15 feet would be better if you asked me.

Enlarged Spell: Good as-is, but yet another reason to de-buff Empowered Spell hard and fast. Same with Lingering Spell.

Hallucinogenic Spell: This needs to grant the target a saving throw. Any spell that imposes a debuff or other detrimental effect on the target should always give the target a saving throw.

Doccit
2018-08-05, 07:03 PM
Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

On the invocation thing: Yes, but Warlocks can make their spells deal more damage with Hex, which adds an additional 1d6 per teir. Sorcerers have no such option, so Warlocks are still king in terms of cantrip damage. Relatedly, Warlocks get spell slots and sorcerers don't.

On the two cantrips a turn thing: Variant Sorcerers can't do that. You can't cast more than one damaging cantrip per turn. There is no Quicken metamagic any more. (You might be thinking of the font of magic ability, but you can't cast a cantrip that does damage or even targets a creature with that)

On Distant and Subtle Spell: I buffed these up because they seemd a bit underpowered to me given that the sorcerer can now only use them with cantrip spells. But I'm really open to your argument that they're OP! I'm just not sure I understand it. I might be overlooking something. Could you give me of some examples of where the ability to cast a cantrip from a mile away would be really really useful (bearing in mind that you still have to be able to see your target)? And there aren't many touch-only cantrips. I can think of guidance and shocking grasp being better if you could cast them at 120ft, but not like drastically better. You wouldn't really want to use your action on guidance in combat anyway.

On Hallucinogenic Spell: I'm very interested in your perspective on this. Every condition-imposing metamagic works like this: you get a chance to save against the cantrip, and if you fail that save, the sorcerer can spend points to impose an additional effect of getting hit by the spell. So there is a save: against the cantrip itself. Also, unlike Wizard spells and the like, you get a chance to save against the metamagic conditions at the start of every turn. So in order to be subject to the metamagic on their turn, they have to fail the save against the initial cantrip, and fail the save at the start of their turn. This doesn't seem overpowered to me, but I am really interested in your argument that it is.

Crisis21
2018-08-05, 08:35 PM
Thanks a bunch for the feedback!

On the invocation thing: Yes, but Warlocks can make their spells deal more damage with Hex, which adds an additional 1d6 per teir. Sorcerers have no such option, so Warlocks are still king in terms of cantrip damage. Relatedly, Warlocks get spell slots and sorcerers don't.

The very fact that you're trying to buff your sorcerer back up to compete with something that requires spell slots after removing spell slots from the class just makes me face-palm.

Look, I get where you're coming from, but Warlocks still have to spend Invocations to become the kings of cantrip damage. And it still doesn't address my point that NOTHING in the Rules As Written (RAW) allows for stacking ability score modifiers more than once on any given Attack. This applies to all classes, and in all honesty a caster getting to add their ability score modifier to any spell damage is a big deal to begin with. It's not something they typically get. The ONLY reason Eldritch Blast gets it more than once is that it makes multiple attacks.

Ergo, so long as each sorcerer cantrip is a single Attack, it should not be getting their Charisma bonus added more than once.

If you really want Empowered Spell to be dealing more damage, you might take a page from the Paladin and make it cost more in order to add more damage (say 2 sorcerer points to add +1 damage die to the spell and an additional damage die per extra sorcerer point to a maximum of five extra damage die). Otherwise I really do think it should only be doing +CHA modifier and allowing reroll of damage dice.

How about this? Just give your variant Sorcerer the ability to add their Charisma modifier to cantrip damage as a class feature. Then make Empowered Spell do something like this:

For zero sorcerer points, you can reroll any number of damage dice for the spell once, taking the higher result. If you spend two or more sorcerer points, you may also add an extra 1(d6?) to the spell's damage plus an additional 1(d6?) for every sorcerer point over two spent on this metamagic to a maximum of 5(d6?).

Maybe buff up the number of sorcerer points the class gets if you go this route. I have kind of been questioning the decision to reduce the overall number of sorcerer points the class gets. Especially given that you are supposedly making metamagic more important for them.




On the two cantrips a turn thing: Variant Sorcerers can't do that. You can't cast more than one damaging cantrip per turn. There is no Quicken metamagic any more. (You might be thinking of the font of magic ability, but you can't cast a cantrip that does damage or even targets a creature with that)

Yeah, I saw you didn't convert several metamagic options. I can only ask why considering that Quicken Spell in particular is one of the most useful metamagics a sorcerer can learn and one of the key points to their nova ability. I honestly feel that you should make some effort to convert existing metamagic before adding new options to this.



On Distant and Subtle Spell: I buffed these up because they seemd a bit underpowered to me given that the sorcerer can now only use them with cantrip spells. But I'm really open to your argument that they're OP! I'm just not sure I understand it. I might be overlooking something. Could you give me of some examples of where the ability to cast a cantrip from a mile away would be really really useful (bearing in mind that you still have to be able to see your target)? And there aren't many touch-only cantrips. I can think of guidance and shocking grasp being better if you could cast them at 120ft, but not like drastically better. You wouldn't really want to use your action on guidance in combat anyway.

For one, Subtle Spell needs no buff. The power to cast while silent and bound is already beyond amazing for a caster, limited to cantrips or not. Seriously, the ability to remain a viable spellcaster under conditions meant to render spellcasters useless is not to be underestimated.

For another, if you honestly can't see the problem with allowing your variant sorcerer to shell enemies from a mile away - which is WAY outside the range of any other class - then you really need to rethink everything about this class because I can't trust your ability to balance.
To put a point on it, Eldritch Blast has a base range of 120 feet. With the Eldritch Spear Invocation, that increases to 300 feet. With the Spell Sniper Feat, that doubles to 600 feet.
You are talking about allowing your Sorcerers to shoot from 5280 feet away, almost nine times the distance a range-buffed Warlock can cast Eldritch Blast from. And with the Spell Sniper Feat, they could double that. That's beyond unfair.

Also, remember that 120 feet is the highest base range for a cantrip, so no, a touch-range cantrip should not be extended out that far so easily.

No, double range on spells with range is plenty for Distant Spell and I can't really accept adding more than 20 feet to touch-range spells.




On Hallucinogenic Spell: I'm very interested in your perspective on this. Every condition-imposing metamagic works like this: you get a chance to save against the cantrip, and if you fail that save, the sorcerer can spend points to impose an additional effect of getting hit by the spell. So there is a save: against the cantrip itself. Also, unlike Wizard spells and the like, you get a chance to save against the metamagic conditions at the start of every turn. So in order to be subject to the metamagic on their turn, they have to fail the save against the initial cantrip, and fail the save at the start of their turn. This doesn't seem overpowered to me, but I am really interested in your argument that it is.
Except that some cantrips don't use saves, they use attack rolls. Imposing an additional effect on anything requiring an attack roll will typically prompt a saving throw against the additional effect.

In all honesty, I'm kind of wary about the whole 'add an effect to the cantrip' thing in the first place. There's a bunch of cantrips with interesting effects and I thought one of the purposes of this variant sorcerer was to find creative ways to use those.

If it's something that shouldn't be used with an attack cantrip then that should be specified (I apologize if it was and I somehow missed that).

Doccit
2018-08-05, 10:26 PM
Look, I get where you're coming from, but Warlocks still have to spend Invocations to become the kings of cantrip damage. And it still doesn't address my point that NOTHING in the Rules As Written (RAW) allows for stacking ability score modifiers more than once on any given Attack. This applies to all classes, and in all honesty a caster getting to add their ability score modifier to any spell damage is a big deal to begin with. It's not something they typically get. The ONLY reason Eldritch Blast gets it more than once is that it makes multiple attacks. I think I see something that we're disagreeing about on this that hasn't yet come up. Generally speaking, people consider the fact that Eldrich Blast makes multiple attacks to be an advantage it has over other cantrips. This is for two reasons (1) Each round you have multiple chances to hit with it, so rather htan dealing 4d10+4xcha (which is what agonizing blast would deal if every attack hit) one round and nothing the next, you'll usually be doing at least some damage each round, and (2) you don't have to shoot all the beams at the same target, so if you kill a target with the first beam, the rest of the damage isn't wasted.

Here it seems like you're saying that the fact that a sorcerer cantrip either hits or misses is an edge it has over eldrich blast. If empower said something like "treat your cantrip as though you were casting it at level one for the purposes of determining how much damage it does and instead make a number of attacks according to your level: one at the first level, two at the fifth level (etc). You may add your charisma modifier to each damage roll when you hit." it would be identical to agonizing blast, but that would actually be a huge buff to empower spell.


Yeah, I saw you didn't convert several metamagic options. I can only ask why considering that Quicken Spell in particular is one of the most useful metamagics a sorcerer can learn and one of the key points to their nova ability. I honestly feel that you should make some effort to convert existing metamagic before adding new options to this. I didn't convert it because it seemed too good, espsecially past level 14 when you can combine it with other metamagic.


For one, Subtle Spell needs no buff. The power to cast while silent and bound is already beyond amazing for a caster, limited to cantrips or not. Seriously, the ability to remain a viable spellcaster under conditions meant to render spellcasters useless is not to be underestimated.

For another, if you honestly can't see the problem with allowing your variant sorcerer to shell enemies from a mile away - which is WAY outside the range of any other class - then you really need to rethink everything about this class because I can't trust your ability to balance. I completely agree that this extends a spell's range by a lot, and a lot more than things in the PHB will let you. I don't really have a problem with limiting the added range to what the PHB allows, and I plan to do that, but I still don't understand the problem. Here are my two spesific questions:

1. I think you've siad that it is a buff to subtle spell to be able to combine it with extended range. Do these abilities synergise in some way I'm not seeing? How does extending the range of a subtle spell make it more effective?
2. Is there a commen scenario where being able to cast a cantrip from a mile away is significantly better than being able to cast a cantrip at double the range?

I guess the thing is that both of these abilities (subtle and distant) seem to have extreemly niche uses to me, so I thought they could use a buff. Maybe you run into scenarios all the time where the aiblity to combine silent/distant or cast cantrips at extreme range would be really useful? I am having a hard time imagining scenarios like this.



Except that some cantrips don't use saves, they use attack rolls. Imposing an additional effect on anything requiring an attack roll will typically prompt a saving throw against the additional effect.

In all honesty, I'm kind of wary about the whole 'add an effect to the cantrip' thing in the first place. There's a bunch of cantrips with interesting effects and I thought one of the purposes of this variant sorcerer was to find creative ways to use those.

If it's something that shouldn't be used with an attack cantrip then that should be specified (I apologize if it was and I somehow missed that).Great point about the attack roll thing. I don't see an important mechanical distinction between an attack roll and a saving throw but you're right that whenever you're imposing a lasting effect a saving throw is required in the PHB. Even if it isn't unbalancing, its certainly an important break with tradition to have effects attatched to getting hit with an attack roll. I'll think about what to do about that.

You're right that they're meant to be used with attack cantrips. I've heard other people say that it feels like I'm just stapling other spells onto cantrips rather than 'enhancing' the cantrips themselves, and that's definitely something I ought to think about.

Crisis21
2018-08-05, 11:36 PM
I think I see something that we're disagreeing about on this that hasn't yet come up. Generally speaking, people consider the fact that Eldrich Blast makes multiple attacks to be an advantage it has over other cantrips. This is for two reasons (1) Each round you have multiple chances to hit with it, so rather htan dealing 4d10+4xcha (which is what agonizing blast would deal if every attack hit) one round and nothing the next, you'll usually be doing at least some damage each round, and (2) you don't have to shoot all the beams at the same target, so if you kill a target with the first beam, the rest of the damage isn't wasted.

Here it seems like you're saying that the fact that a sorcerer cantrip either hits or misses is an edge it has over eldrich blast. If empower said something like "treat your cantrip as though you were casting it at level one for the purposes of determining how much damage it does and instead make a number of attacks according to your level: one at the first level, two at the fifth level (etc). You may add your charisma modifier to each damage roll when you hit." it would be identical to agonizing blast, but that would actually be a huge buff to empower spell.

That's not what I'm saying. I'm trying to point out that normally spellcasters don't even get to add their ability score modifier to damage like martial classes do with their weapons. Just letting them add it once is a big deal, and you're talking about letting this class do it multiple times. It's honestly a big break from how the rules are written.

I get that you want to up their DPS, but trying to copy how the Warlock does this is really not the way to go in my opinion. You need to figure out a different method that works more thematically for this new sorcerer - like, say, giving them back Quickened Spell. Because Quickened Spell is how normal sorcerers go to town on enemies. Right now it feels like you're trying to make Empowered Spell pull double-duty to make up for the fact that you took away Quickened Spell when you really just need to be giving the Sorcerer back their Quickened Spell metamagic.



I didn't convert it because it seemed too good, espsecially past level 14 when you can combine it with other metamagic.
Well, yeah. That's exactly what I'd have expected. Seriously, Quickened Spell is the go-to metamagic for Sorcerers in much the same way Eldritch Blast is the go-to cantrip for Warlocks. You don't have to be using it, but what possible reason do you have not to?

Honestly, half my argument above revolves around the fact that any sorcerer class using metamagic SHOULD have Quickened Spell as an option.

Plus, to be frank, the whole thing of waiting until 14th level to allow multiple metamagics is actually a debuff from normal sorcerer who could stack as many metamagics as they knew and could afford on a spell from the start. Rather than declare Quickened Spell too powerful, you should be balancing the class around it in a similar way to how the Warlock is balanced around Eldritch Blast.

Seriously, this is what Sorcerers DO. Just let them do it.



I completely agree that this extends a spell's range by a lot, and a lot more than things in the PHB will let you. I don't really have a problem with limiting the added range to what the PHB allows, and I plan to do that, but I still don't understand the problem. Here are my two spesific questions:

1. I think you've siad that it is a buff to subtle spell to be able to combine it with extended range. Do these abilities synergise in some way I'm not seeing? How does extending the range of a subtle spell make it more effective?
2. Is there a commen scenario where being able to cast a cantrip from a mile away is significantly better than being able to cast a cantrip at double the range?

I guess the thing is that both of these abilities (subtle and distant) seem to have extreemly niche uses to me, so I thought they could use a buff. Maybe you run into scenarios all the time where the aiblity to combine silent/distant or cast cantrips at extreme range would be really useful? I am having a hard time imagining scenarios like this.

Subtle Spell literally synergizes with everything. Again, ability to cast while silent and restrained is nothing to underestimate. It's practically the holy grail of spellcasting.

Yes, there is a common scenario where being able to cast a cantrip from a mile out would be extremely useful. It's called being able to hit your opponent while remaining several thousand feet outside their own range. The entire point of ranged combat is being able to hit your opponent while they can't hit you back, and you are giving your class here a LOT of extra range to abuse.

Yes, they are niche. Half of what any spellcasting class is potentially capable of is going to be niche by design. It may only be good in particular situations, but in those situations it's REALLY good.



Great point about the attack roll thing. I don't see an important mechanical distinction between an attack roll and a saving throw but you're right that whenever you're imposing a lasting effect a saving throw is required in the PHB. Even if it isn't unbalancing, its certainly an important break with tradition to have effects attatched to getting hit with an attack roll. I'll think about what to do about that.

You're right that they're meant to be used with attack cantrips. I've heard other people say that it feels like I'm just stapling other spells onto cantrips rather than 'enhancing' the cantrips themselves, and that's definitely something I ought to think about.
It really is an important distinction.

Look at it this way: The attack roll is to see whether the rogue successfully stabs the fighter with their dagger. The saving throw is to see if the fighter is affected by the poison on the dagger.

And, yeah, it does look like you're trying to staple on other spells to cantrips with some of these. Again, look to existing metamagic. Like Heightened Spell which imposes disadvantage on a target's saving throw.

You also might include a link to the following which gives evolving abilities to all non-attack cantrips: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PHpOenx-jkwEuHLblDCB7WdSnF1C89xS/view