Many people will argue, convincingly I think, that the ranger as outlined in the PHB is one of the weakest and least effective classes in 5e Dungeons and Dragons. Second to the ranger, however, I would argue is the sorcerer. For a class which is meant to represent a person born with overwhelming magical power, a natural mage that has no need for study or magical theory, the sorcerer in many ways ends up just feeling like a worse wizard. Much of this comes down to the too few spells that they get in comparison to almost every other class, even half-casters like paladins.
For your consideration, I present a revised version of the PHB sorcerer. At its core the class remains the same; metamagic, subclass features at the same levels, and sorcery points. But those sorcery points have been expanded; now, instead of receiving spell slots, sorcerers get to play with the spell point system available in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. For the revised sorcerer, sorcery points and spell points have been combined into one system; sorcery points, which you can spend freely to not only power metamagics and other class features, but also to spontaneously create spell slots for casting spells. For simplicity and to allow for more freedom, the cost of a spell slot has been reduced from the DMG spell point system; one spell slot costs one sorcery point per level of the spell slot being created, and thus the spell being cast.
This vastly changes the way sorcerers can play; their natural flexibility allows a sorcerer character to cast a significant number of weak spells, or a small number of more powerful spells (with spell levels still appropriately limited by the character’s level). As a bit of a compensation for this vastly increased flexibility, until hitting lvl 20 that is, a sorcerer can only cast one spell of level 6, 7, 8, and 9 each (when you get to those levels, of course).
The change to the base class also includes a few altered core features, such as altering Font of Magic into a one-per-day ability to regain a few sorcery points, and the new capstone feature for the class lets them cast multiple powerful spells at the cost of needing to pay more sorcery points and potential exhaustion. In addition to the core class revision, the Dragon Bloodline origin and Wild Magic origin have been given a few minor tweaks, and subclass spells. The three subclasses that are found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything similarly are also given subclass spells.
Consider allowing the Revised Sorcerer in your game, to properly convey the wellspring of magic that a sorcerer should be defined by. I’m most interested in hearing opinions regarding the sorcery point cost for spell slots; though I simplified it to 1 point-per-level, that may allow for too many spells, even if they are of a lower level. Feedback always appreciated!
Version 1.1 29Jul2021
- After some consideration and number-crunching, I’ve reduced the number of sorcery points at all levels, ultimately caping out at 75 at lvl 20 instead of 100.
- The previous number of sorcery points were intended too assume a sorcerer would cast the typical number of spells slots as a normal caster of their level, plus the sorcery points they would gain as a sorcerer tacked on for extra spells. Ultimately, this seems to be far too powerful; the spell point system in the DMG, which is the basis for the sorcery point spell system here, gives a spellcaster more spells than a full PHB spellcaster while simultaneously givng them increased flexibility. At max, a typical 20th level PHB spellcaster can cast 22 spells a day using their provided spell slots (these of varous levels). DMG spell point casters can cast a maximum of 66, though those would all be 1st level spells.
- Even providing for sorcery points, 100 potential spells a day, even if only lvl 1, is far too many. Reducing the number to ultimately cap out at 75 brings the feature more in line with the DMG spell point system, while adding a few extra points for the sorcerer’s normal allotment of sorcery points. 75 sorcery points technically means that, if you tried to stick to the PHB spell slots, you wouldn’t be able to cast all of them. But I believe the added extreme flexibility makes up for this difference.
- Merging the spell points and sorcery points system also provides more fuel for metamagic and other subclass features. And all subclasses now get the added power boost of free spells. The sorcerer definitely needs a power boost, but too many at once overtunes it.
Version 1.0 06May2021
- Uploaded to DMsGuild