A half-elf with divine magic flowing through her blood, as capable of healing and helping as she is harming. A tiefling with the soul of a phoenix, wreathed in flames that protect him and burn his enemies. A halfling with the strength of the sea, who sits at the heart of a storm and literally flows away from danger. A dwarf with skin of stone, with magic in the metal of her weapons that lets her bring sorcery into melee. The onslaught of Unearthed Arcana material for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition has continued, and Meet the Party continues to provide ready-to-play characters. This time out the gate we have four new options for the sorcerer class, so let’s meet a homogeneous party that only needs one section of the book, but provides lots of sorcerous variety!
Both of the last two Meet the Party articles have provided an entire party’s worth of ready to play characters using the new material coming out of Unearthed Arcana. First we had the barbarian, bard, cleric, and druid. Then we had the paladin, monk, fighter, and rogue. While the ranger still lurks in the same UA article as the rogue (the new ranger options can be used for more than one version of the ranger, and frankly there might be an entire article there by itself), new articles continue to be released, and one of the latest is for the sorcerer. I was quite surprised to see that there were four new builds, the exact number of PCs I usually create for Meet the Party, but I was also excited at the prospect of getting to make characters using everything an article had to offer. The challenge of making an entire party using only one class also struck me as an interesting one. We have the divine Favored Soul, the fiery Phoenix, the stormy Sea, and the stalwart Stone to check out, so let’s Meet the Party!
Sariel Sepret, Half-Elf – Level 18 Favored Soul Sorcerer
HP: 162 AC: 13
Str: 8 Con: 18 Dex: 16 Int: 10 Wis: 12 Cha: 20
Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, Skill Versatility (Medicine, Perception), Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin: Favored Soul, Divine Magic, Supernatural Resilience, Favored by the Gods, Font of Magic, Metamagic (Distant, Empowered, Quickened, Twinned) Blessed Countenance, Divine Purity, Unearthly Recovery, Background Acolyte, Extra Two Languages, Shelter of the Faithful
Gear: Daggers x3, Arcane Focus, Dungeoneer’s Pack, Holy Symbol, Prayer Book, Sticks of Incense x5, Vestments, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 15 GP
Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Perception, Arcana, Persuasion, Insight, Religion
Tool Proficiencies: N/A
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Cantrips: Resistance, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying, Mage Hand, Blade Ward, Shocking Grasp
Spells: Cure Wounds, Healing Word, Color Spray, Prayer of Healing, Shatter, Revivify, Haste, Confusion, Divination, Raise Dead, Greater Restoration, Heal, Prismatic Spray, Holy Aura, Power Word Kill
Sariel Sepret brings the magic of both a sorcerer and a cleric to the party. Divine Magic is the single most dramatic aspect of Favored Soul sorcery, adding the entire cleric spell list to Sariel’s arsenal. Not only does this provide Sariel with an entirely new type of sorcerer utility, but some of the Metamagic uses – Twinned healing spells, for instance – are particularly interesting. Supernatural Resilience increases her hit points, while Favored by the Gods gives her 2d4 she can add to a failed saving throw or a missed attack roll (once per rest). Blessed Countenance gives her an otherworldly appearance that doubles her proficiency bonus for Charisma checks. Divine Purity makes Sariel immune to disease, poison damage, and the poisoned condition. Finally, Unearthly Recovery grants her a bonus action ability that once per long rest, when she has less than half her total hit points, lets her regain half of her total hit points.
Iados, Tiefling – Level 18 Phoenix Sorcerer
HP: 127 AC: 13
Str: 8 Con: 16 Dex: 16 Int: 13 Wis: 10 Cha: 20
Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Hellish Resistance, Infernal Legacy, Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin: Phoenix, Ignite, Mantle of Flame, Font of Magic, Metamagic (Careful, Empowered, Distant, Twinned), Phoenix Spark, Nourishing Fire, Form of the Phoenix, Background: Urchin, City Secrets
Gear: Light Crossbow and 20 Bolts, Arcane Focus, Explorer’s Pack, Daggers x2, Small Knife, Map of Home City, Pet Mouse, Token to Remember Parents By, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 10 GP
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Deception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Thieves’ Tools
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Cantrips: Fire Bolt, Light, Friends, Mending, Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation
Spells: Burning Hands, Feather Fall, Detect Magic, Scorching Ray, Suggestion, Counterspell, Fireball, Wall of Fire, Polymorph, Dominate Person, Seeming, Sunbeam, Fire Storm, Incendiary Cloud, Meteor Swarm
Iados brings the flames of the Phoenix to the battlefield, and there are few things that he can’t consume with them. Ignite grants him the ability to start fires with a touch. Mantle of Flame lets Iados wreathe himself in swirling fire that has a number of effects: it provides light, it deals fire damage to anyone who melee attacks or touches him, and it boosts his own fire damage by his Charisma modifier. Phoenix Spark gives him a reaction that kicks in when he is reduced to 0 hit points, once per long rest. He will instead be reduced to 1 HP, and every creature within 10′ suddenly takes fire damage; if Phoenix Spark is used while the Mantle is active the Mantle ends but the Spark’s damage is increased. Nourishing Fire heals Iados whenever he expends a spell slot that includes fire damage. Form of the Phoenix gives the sorcerer a big power boost for the Mantle, granting him a flying speed plus hover, resistance to all damage, and a big increase in Spark damage.
Lyle Goodbarrel, Lightfoot Halfling – Level 18 Sea Sorcerer
HP: 109 AC: 14
Str: 10 Con: 15 Dex: 18 Int: 8 Wis: 12 Cha: 20
Racial/Class/Background Features: Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Naturally Stealthy, Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin: Sea, Soul of the Sea, Curse of the Sea, Font of Magic, Metamagic (Distant, Empowered, Quickened, Twinned), Watery Defense, Shifting Form, Water Soul, Background: Sailor
Gear: Light Crossbow with 20 Bolts, Arcane Focus, Explorer’s Pack, Daggers x2, Belaying Pin, 50′ of Silk Rope, Lucky Charm, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 10 GP
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion, Athletics, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: Navigator’s Tools, Vehicles (Water)
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Cantrips: Chill Touch, Ray of Frost, Shocking Grasp, Minor Illusion, Dancing Lights, Light
Spells: Witch Bolt, Thunderwave, Fog Cloud, Gust of Wind, Blur, Sleet Storm, Lightning Bolt, Ice Storm, Greater Invisibility, Cone of Col, Teleportation Circle, Chain Lightning, Teleport, Power Word Stun, Time Stop
Lyle Goodbarrel is one with the power of the sea, hard to control and surprisingly dangerous. Soul of the Sea lets the Halfling breathe underwater, and he receives a swimming speed equal to his walking speed. Curse of the Sea lets him place a curse upon a target he hits with a cantrip, and can trigger the curse for a variety of effects when he next hits with a spell: reduced speed if he hits with cold damage, increased damage if he uses lightning, and increased distance if he causes forced movement. The curse ends if the spell in question isn’t a cantrip. Watery Defense grants resistance to fire damage, and a reaction that can reduce damage against a hit and send Lyle literally flowing away from his attacker. Shifting Form lets Lyle turn to water while moving which halves damage from opportunity attacks, allows him to move through enemy spaces, and lets him move through any space with at least 3″ of room. Water Soul alters Lyle at a fundamental level: he no longer needs to eat, drink, or sleep, he gains resistance to bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage, and critical hits against him become normal hits.
Mardred Rumnaheim, Mountain Dwarf – Level 18 Stone Sorcerer
HP: 162 AC: 13 (20)
Str: 18 Con: 18 Dex: 12 Int: 10 Wis: 8 Cha: 18
Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Dwarven Resilience, Dwarven Combat Training, Stonecunning, Dwarven Armor Training, Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin: Stone, Bonus Proficiencies, Metal Magic, Stone’s Durability, Font of Magic, Metamagic (Empowered, Quickened, Extended, Heightened), Stone Aegis, Stone’s Edge, Earth Master’s Aegis, Background: Soldier, Military Rank
Gear: Warhammer, Handaxe x2, Shield, Arcane Focus, Dungeoneer’s Pack, Insignia of Rank, Trophy Taken from Fallen Enemy, Three-Dragon Ante set, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 10 GP
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Insight, Athletics, Intimidation,
Tool Proficiencies: Mason’s Tools, Three-Dragon Ante set, Vehicles (Land)
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Cantrips: Blade Ward, True Strike, Fire Bolt, Message, Friends, Light
Spells: Compelling Duel, Thunderous Smite, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Branding Smite, Blinding Smite, Elemental Weapon, Staggering Smite, Stoneskin, Wall of Stone, Animate Objects, Move Earth, Reverse Gravity, Earthquake, Meteor Swarm
Mardred Rumnaheim brings her sorcery up close and personal, and anyone who thinks she’ll be an easy hit because she’s a magic user will be in for a rude awakening. She is proficient with shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons. Metal Magic adds a number of spells to her options, including the various smite spells, that turn a sorcerer from a mostly-ranged combatant to a deadly melee fighter. Stone’s Durability boosts her HP, and gives her an action that turns her skin to stone and gives her a base AC of 13 + Constitution modifier (represented in parentheses above). Stone Aegis allows Mardred to place an aura on an ally that reduces bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage that ally takes. In addition, when that ally is struck by a melee attack, Mardred can teleport up to 60′ to get next to the enemy and make a melee attack, with extra force damage. Stone’s Edge adds some additional force damage to all of Mardred’s damage-dealing spells, and Earth Master’s Aegis allows her to use Stone’s Aegis upon three allies at once.
There’s a lot going on here with these new additions to the sorcerer’s options, and I think there’s a lot to be excited about. To slip into a bit of a review mode, Favored Soul’s Divine Magic roughly doubles the number of spell options that a sorcerer can choose from, and more to the point lets that sorcerer do some truly unique – and life-saving – things. Phoenix Sorcery is quite powerful, very cool, and quite flavorful – the Phoenix Soul quirks included in the article add some fun personality bits to the build, and I almost wish the others had something similar. Sea Sorcery makes a sorcerer surprisingly hardy, what with its various resistances, ability to reduce damage, and movement tricks, and Curse of the Sea can rack up the effects/extra damage quickly. I don’t think it’s quite as thematically strong as the others, though, and I feel it could’ve used some watery spells added to its options. Tsunami, for example, would be a great spell for it to have. Finally, Stone Sorcery seems like a lot of fun, an in-your-face style that’s got very cool flavor with nothing but useful features. It can be a little multiple-attribute-dependent early on, though, since you’re going to want Constitution, Charisma, and a melee stat (Strength or Dexterity) in order to take advantage of everything. That may be partly because I use the 15-14-13-12-10-8 array for Meet the Party, though; someone with lucky dice might never notice the issue.
Overall, my most important impression of these options is the variety: none of them feel or will play like any of the others, and honestly I think this makes for a pretty darn viable 4-members-1-class party of adventurers. While I can see a number of things that could and probably should be tweaked, I think this is a pretty successful Unearthed Arcana.
Figuring out what level to bring everyone to was easy enough, since sorcerer builds wrap up at 18 and everyone’s a sorcerer. I did break Meet the Party tradition and choose their spells and cantrips, partially to make it easier to play them right away and partially to see how varied I could make them with the sorcerer’s (relatively) limited spell list. I also gave Mardred her weapons and her shield so that she could show off what a Stone Sorcerer can do in melee.
The play-testing continues! The survey for the sorcerer article is already up for input, so read over the UA article, take these characters out for a spin, and let them know what you think! I’ve said it before, but at this point I’d be shocked if all these UA articles weren’t the build-up to a new book, so take advantage of the chance to influence the game!
Do you have feedback after using this batch of characters? How about a system you’d like to Meet the Party for? Speak up in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter @HungryHalfling. If you want to support Cannibal Halfling Gaming, please let your friends know about us and/or become a Patron!