Author Topic: A few questions about Sorcerer (newbie thread) D&D 3.5e/5e  (Read 509 times)

Offline Gingernut

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A few questions about Sorcerer (newbie thread) D&D 3.5e/5e
« on: April 18, 2024, 02:57:30 PM »
Hello. I'm new to D&D and I'm about to have my first game session where I want to play a Sorcerer. My DM has given me permission to rethink this class a little bit, so that I can play more comfortably and everyone else can have more fun with me. As such, I am asking for your help. This is a very important question for me, so please answer it in as much detail as possible, with examples from lore and in a way that is understandable to a newbie. Thank you.

In D&D, a Sorcerer creates magic due to two mandatory conditions: innate power and access to the Weave. I would like to clarify, what does this "innate power" mean if isolated from the Weave? From your point of view, is it possible to rethink a Sorcerer as a mystic who will not have access to the Weave (and, as a result, unable to cast spells), and who will channel his innate power in some other way? For example, instead of casting spells, will he be able to create various non-magical effects (like Ki or Psionics) that do not require from him touching the Weave?

I'd like to play a Sorcerer who (like any Sorcerer) has an inner power, but because of an ancestral curse he doesn't have access to the Weave. Instead of spells, he transforms his inner power to materialize sort of "Spiritual Guardian" (like Soulbound Summoner in Pathfinder), and can weaken enemies by slightly lowering their combat stats. I know my DM doesn't mind introducing a storyline about a character who goes on adventures to break a curse and gain access to magic. But at the end, when he does find a way to get rid of the curse, because of a moral dilemma and the benefit to his allies he decides to deliberately give up his dream of becoming a powerful mage in favor of the powers he's used to.

Offline Skyrock

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Re: A few questions about Sorcerer (newbie thread) D&D 3.5e/5e
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2024, 08:06:33 PM »
Most commonly (but not exclusively), being a Sorcerer means you have a dragon somewhere in your family line. 5e and PF have a number of subclasses who build on different lineages of sorcerers, and outside of the PHB, 3.5 also has a lot of Alternative Class Features building on Sorcerers of a different background: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthread.php?444354

D&D 3.5 has a psionic version of the Sorcerer in the form of the Wilder, found in the SRD: https://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/wilder.htm

There are two somewhat curse-based, spontaneous arcane spellcasting debuffing base classes in D&D 3.5, Hexblade from Complete Warrior from and Jester from Dragon Compendium. While they might serve as a foundation, they are both not very good and severely lacking, especially for a first time player.
Other classes that could carry the general idea:


Of all those options, I consider Dragonfire Adept as the most beginner-friendly - it was published for free by WotC (class, breath effects), is an at-will blaster with built-in debuffing rider effects, favours Constitution (so it is more forgiving of beginner mistakes by having a lot of HP and a good Fort save) - and the fluff makes it easy to segue in dragon-bloodline-based sorcery, if that is your thing, and like Sorcerers it benefits from Charisma as it sets the save DCs.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2024, 08:29:39 PM by Skyrock »

Offline nijineko

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Re: A few questions about Sorcerer (newbie thread) D&D 3.5e/5e
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2024, 11:17:40 AM »
In D&D, a Sorcerer creates magic due to two mandatory conditions: innate power and access to the Weave. I would like to clarify, what does this "innate power" mean if isolated from the Weave? From your point of view, is it possible to rethink a Sorcerer as a mystic who will not have access to the Weave (and, as a result, unable to cast spells), and who will channel his innate power in some other way? For example, instead of casting spells, will he be able to create various non-magical effects (like Ki or Psionics) that do not require from him touching the Weave?

I will answer to your lore question, which is an irony only those who know me well could appreciate.

Since you mention the Weave, it appears you are somewhere in the Forgotten Realms (FR) twin-worlds of Aber or Toril. (Probably Toril.)

Mechanically speaking, all magic MUST go through the Weave in Forgotten Realms. The God(s) of Magic have decreed it to be so and enforce it upon the local Prime... which is why the Shadow Weave is such a big deal and ongoing conflict. The "innate power" means that the character has been born with a natural connection to the Weave, rather than a learned or otherwise acquired one.

I'd like to play a Sorcerer who (like any Sorcerer) has an inner power, but because of an ancestral curse he doesn't have access to the Weave. Instead of spells, he transforms his inner power to materialize sort of "Spiritual Guardian" (like Soulbound Summoner in Pathfinder), and can weaken enemies by slightly lowering their combat stats.

The only in-lore example of non-Weave creatures that have powers are psionics. Psionic creatures are completely separate from the Weave. Even the God of Magic cannot stop a psionic creature from using their powers (though there are wild psionic and null psionic zones in FR, and a savvy Greater Power can absolutely manipulate that to their advantage, and the psionic creature's disadvantage, just so your DM knows).

Mechanically speaking, any psionic creature is considered to contain their own independent internal mini-Weave that is under their absolute control and has no connection with the Weave of magic.

Lore wise, psionics are so rare in FR, that almost everyone except for the very learned and a few specific types of monsters, will simply treat you as a magic user with all the pros and cons based on which region of the world you are in. Some love magic users, some hate magic users, and some have jealous magic users who dislike any apparent threat or challenge to their power and local authority.

Yuan-ti in the South and the Illithid, Grey dwarves, Aboleths and so forth of the Underdark are the two main sources of psionics in FR - and anywhere in the vicinity of their communities, the general psionic emanations can cause other species to give birth to psionic offspring. These could serve as your regions of origin: The South or any place with a known access to the Underdark, or even the Underdark itself.



In order to play a "Sorcerer" type character, picking a Psion (INT based) or Wilder (CHA based) works. A psion has access to a greater number of powers and is considered more meditative/intellectual, while the Wilder has access to fewer powers, is considered more emotional/passionate, but has a Wild Surge ability that can boost certain powers above normal limits - at a small risk of losing control and wasting the attempt to manifest the power with some exhaustion on top as a limitation. The psion is usually compared to the wizard, and a wilder to a sorcerer, but in reality either can serve as a sorcerer-type - just depends on which mechanics you feel fit your character better.

Psionics (in 3rd ed) no longer have access to summon creature type effects generally speaking - it was replaced by the Astral Construct power which allows you to pull ectoplasm from the astral or ethereal and build a temporary and customized construct on the fly (full round action) each time you call it forth. There is also an Astral Tasker power chain from 3.0 that allows for more options. It is not unreasonable to ask the DM to allow you to make a skill check to shape the construct into a creature of choice (but just use the standard default stats and options to keep things easy). As a bonus, Astral Constructs are translucent which would give it the appearance of a spirit guardian, though it is solid. Make it glow, and you sort of have the Patronus from Harry Potter.

Furthermore, there are debuff powers available to psionics, so you could pretty much build a character as you described in all respects by carefully selecting which powers your character can use - except if you wanted your 'spirit guardians' to be non-physical, though there may be a way around that with enough research.



Thus lore-wise (and mechanically speaking), psionics provide around a 90% match to what you have described as desired for your character. Here is a link with more details: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Psionics
« Last Edit: April 19, 2024, 11:33:41 AM by nijineko »