New: D&D Faerie-Kin Sorcerer
Welcome back to the Zurn blog! Today we're looking at a new sorcerer subclass, with a lineage that descends from a fey creature. While a warlock may serve an archfey the faerie-kin sorcerer inherits traits from their ancestor, dependent on the nature of the fey creature.
Much like the Totem Warrior Barbarian, Skinshifter Alpha, etc., this subclass offers a wide range of ways to play, giving you different experiences with repeat playing. If you want a wide range of options that create unique playstyles for your sorcerer, this is the subclass for you.
I. Faerie-Kin Sorcerer: Theme and Inspiration
Sorcerers do not gain their magic from study (wizards), old songs (bards), divine aid (clerics), attunement to nature (druids), or oath to a powerful entity (warlocks). The sorcerer gains magic through their ancestry, and that magic gives them their unique special abilities and powers.
To date there is no fey-inspired sorcerer subclass, and I confess: I'm a bit surprised that Wild Beyond the Witchlight didn't give us a new subclass, which I expected them to release. But that's fine - we'll make do. The trick to fey-inspired subclasses is how radically different so many fey creatures are: if you are related to a hag you might gain different traits from, say, an eladrin elf lord.
So this led to the fundamental question at the outset: which fey creatures do we want to include, and are they different enough to merit being different subclass options. And as the list started growing, boy howdy did the options grow more and more diverse.
The trick to these subclasses is to give varied yet equal options - my critique of the Totem Warrior Barbarian is that there's a clear frontrunner (Bear) and then a few other options that people take if they don't want to be "that guy" (which, statistically, is not a lot of D&D players in the world). So when designing these we tried to make them different and unique without a clear frontrunner.
And then, once the options were designed, we made sure that they are all compliant with the Open Gaming License, because lawyers! :P So a weekend worth of work later, we finally finished this one, and we're very proud of it.
II. Faerie-Kin Sorcerer: Mechanics
You can find the details of the subclass here, easily printable for your game master to consider if desired thanks to the team at Homebrewery. Any spells referenced there that you don't recognize can be found in our homebrewed spells here. At 1st level you get two abilities: Fey Ancestry (which is the advantage against being charmed and unable to be put to sleep, which becomes immunity if you already have this ability) and your first ancestral trait. This ancestral trait determines what you get at higher levels as well, so this is a critical choice for you in determining what abilities you will have. There are seven options:
Dryad: You descend from a dryad, enhancing your connection to nature. You gain druid spells which count as sorcerer spells, and at higher levels you can cast Barkskin as a bonus action without expending a spell slot (so no need to prepare Mage Armor or a similar spell), inflict disadvantage on Wisdom and Charisma saves against your abilities, and you gain increased Constitution and sensory abilities.
So dryads mix enhanced spellcasting with increased resilience.
Eladrin: You descend from an ancient elvish house from the Feywild. You gain both a wizard cantrip which counts as a sorcerer spell, and you gain proficiency with a select number of martial swords and bows. At higher levels you gain enhanced speed, the ability to perform two attacks with the Attack action, a fighting style, bonuses based on your seasonal mood for the day, and the ability to become ethereal.
So if you want to play a more martial sorcerer, the eladrin is a great choice.
Hag: One of your ancestors is very ugly, and we don't want to know the story of how their descendants came to be, but here we are - your ancestor was a hag. You gain access to an array of warlock spells that count as sorcerer spells. At higher levels you gain the ability to escape to the ethereal plane as a reaction to suffering damage, the ability to deal retributive damage when damaged up close or grappled, and penalize saving throws against your spells.
So if you want more debilitating magic and useful support options, choose a hag.
Red Cap: Red caps are homicidal creatures, and one of them is your ancestor. You start by increasing the damage die of your melee weapons by 1 size (so a quarterstaff would deal a d8 normally and a d10 when versatile, a sickle would deal a d6, etc.), and you can grapple as a bonus action. At higher levels you gain a second attack when attacking, the ability to capture spirits of those you kill to replenish your hit dice, may perform Grapple checks at advantage and against larger creatures, and may perform three attacks instead of one (including turning a one attack cantrip into a three attack cantrip).
So if you want to play a melee-focused, high Strength sorcerer who also has the sorcerer spell suite, this is your choice.
Satyr: Satyrs are known to, um, "hang out" with humanoids, and the result could be a satyr ancestor in your family tree. Satyrs start slow but gain in abilities quickly, starting with advantage on stealth checks (so you get more chances of surprising your foes) and cannot be intoxicated by non-magical alcohol. At higher levels you gain the effects of the Disengage action without having to take the action, advantage on Dexterity saving throws, added melee damage when charging, advantage on select Charisma ability checks, immunity to the Frightened condition, and can end a Grappled, Restrained, or Paralyzed effect using a bonus action (even if the effect would prevent you from taking a bonus action).
So if you want to play more of a rogue-style sorcerer with access to sorcerer spells, this is your best choice.
Sprite: One of your ancestors was very, very small, but their influence on your future is quite large. You gain access to druid and wizard spells which count as sorcerer spells. At higher levels you gain a bonus to your Armor Class, the ability to take the Disengage and Dodge action as a bonus action, access to a fly speed, and can turn invisible (as if under the effects of Greater Invisibility) at will as an action.
So if you want a more support-focused sorcerer with greater mobility, go with the sprite.
Troll: Your ancestor has magical blood renowned for its healing properties, and that ability has passed down to you. You start by recovering your sorcerer level in hit points at the start of any turn when you are conscious, and if you are not conscious you can perform a DC13 CON save to recover your proficiency modifier in hit points. At higher levels you gain resistance to non-magical weapon damage (and later resistance to all weapon damage), increased speed, the ability to perform an enhanced unarmed attack as a bonus action (either two attacks with claws or one attack that can recover hit points with a bite), and the ability to recover hit points after resolving non-fire damage that does not reduce you to 0 hit points.
So if you want to be darn hard to kill with a decent Strength score (or Dexterity if you don't care about biting people), select a troll.
This is a radically different sorcerer: it doesn't just have, "your magic spells are better" abilities like many of them have, nor does it just give you more spells. It does a bit of everything, depending on what you'd like to play. So if you like using Witch Bolt but are afraid of being upfront, play a hag as you can punish melee characters wailing on you, or play an eladrin and be better at melee combat. Or if you like sniping people with Fire Bolt while being invisible, play a sprite.
There are so many options for you to choose from, which encourages you to take the subclass multiple times for different campaigns. If that appeals to you, consider playing a faerie-kin sorcerer.
Until next time,