Thoughts on the LevelUp 5e Playtest VI – Sorcerer

Due to my various commitments during November (check my adventure out, on half-price sale now!), this one is a bit late, and the next playtest packet, the Ranger, is out as well. I’ll have my review of that up shortly.

So what’s going on with the Sorcerer?

Things that stay the same up to level 10:
Sorcerous Origin and Spellcasting at level 1 (and all spell slots thereafter), Font of Magic at level 2 (now renamed to Conduit), Metamagic at levels 3 and 10 (now pluralised as Metamagics), ASI at levels 4 and 8, Sorcerous Origin feature at level 6.
Things that are gone:
Dead Levels! .

So what new stuff are we getting instead?
At level 2 we get Manifestation, at level 3 we get Latent Power, level 4 gives us out first Exploration Knack (later than the other classes so far) and we get another at level 8, level 5 gives us minor Metamagic, Arcane Refinement at level 6, Rapturous Presence kicks in at level 7, and Improved Conduit at level 9.

What does it all do?

Manifestation is a way to flavour our sorcerer based on damage type. Cast a fire spell, spend a sorcery point, and as long as damage occurs that target is now on fire for 2d4 fire damage until it uses an action to put itself out. With acid damage, it lowers Armour Class by an amount equal to spell level. Poison damage overcomes immunity and resistance. Seems fun.

Latent Power gives the sorcerer expertise dice (see previous playtest reviews for more on them). Sorcery points can also be used for bonuses based on the ability selected. I think I like Daunting Energy the most – expertise dice on Intimidation checks, and the die size increases if the target knows magic because… well, they know a scary magic user when they see one!

Metamagic, and minor Metamagic, are sort of the same thing. When you get a Metamagic boost at level 3 and 10, you also get minor boosts as well. Metamagic features like Careful Spell and Twinned Spell are there as ‘moderate Metamagic’ options, minor options has stuff like Distant Spell (only turns touch spells into 20 feet range) and Subtle Spell.

The Exploration Knacks for sorcerers focus on the weirdness of being natural magical creatures. The ability to walk up walls and floating to take less fall damage, or being able to reroll knowledge-based checks but failing again causes disadvantage on all Intelligence rolls. I like these a lot.

Arcane Refinement gives us some interesting abilities, such spending hit dice to recover sorcery points or bonus cantrips – from any class list!

Rapturous Presence is my favourite new sorcerer ability by far. Spend a sorcery point to create a demi-zone of truth where Deception checks are at disadvantage and failures cause truths to come out, or spend two sorcery points and a minute of meditation to change your creature type for an hour – to aberration, celestial, dragon, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead. YES PLEASE!

Evolving manifestation either gives you a second pick from the list at level 2 or an improvement on what you picked before. Spend a sorcery point with acid damage to create a 10-foot radius of difficult terrain around a target or the origin, and the traain deals 2d6 acid damage. Poison damage deals an additional 2d6 poison damage per turn until a successful Medicine check is made. Fire damage leaves a little bit stored in the sorcerer’s hand that can be thrown to deal 1d6 fire damage per spell level of the trigger spell (I guess it’s a bit like a nasty produce flame?)

Some good picks in there. Let’s look forward to the Ranger now!

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