August 31, 2016

Mailman

Sorcerous Origin
Comments from the Finger: Here's another awesome entry from Kane0! A little less serious, the Mailman reflects a build of sorcerer from the good 'ole 3.5 days, when sorcerers could save-or-die just about anyone.

Mailman

The world was forged when the primeval gods spoke the Words of Creation and it will be undone when they speak the Last Word. The Words are infinitely powerful and incomprehensible to mortals, because they define the universe itself. No mortal can truly understand a Word of Creation for the same reason an eye cannot examine itself.
     But glancing a Word of Creation, even through a dream, can leave a lasting magical imprint. Sorcerers who have seen a Word are often known as Mailmen, devastating experts of arcana that can twist their magic into a single, devastating blast. The name, of course, is a joke -- mailmen hand out death, one letter at a time.

Deliverance
Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, the energy of your spells twists and forms into arcane runes when you cast them. Any spell of 1st level or higher you cast which requires a spell attack roll against a single target is treated as if it were one spell slot higher than normal.

Accurate Dispatch
At 6th level, your spell attack rolls ignore half cover and three-quarters cover.

Loaded Shipment
A 14th level, when casting a spell of 1st level or higher that requires a single attack roll against a single target, you can use the Empowered Spell metamagic on it without spending sorcery points.

Lethal Distribution
Starting at 18th level, when you cast a spell that requires a single attack roll against a single target, you can expend between 2 and 5 sorcery points to deal an additional 1d12 force damage for each sorcery point expended.



Changelog: 9/1/16: Fluff: Rewritten. (I'm not sure people got the joke.)
Accurate Dispatch: No longer gives expanded critical
Loaded Shipment: Double metamagic replaced with free Empower
Lethal Distribution: Cap is now at 5 sorcery points at a time, and it now only gives 1d12 for each point.

21 comments:

  1. I am not a fan of this one. It is a very crunchy, tongue-in-cheek Sorcerer that has as much (or less) flavor as the Champion Fighter. The only connection to what fluff it does have are the puns in the ability names.

    It doesn't really fill any thematic niche not represented by Wild Magic, Draconic, Shadow, or Storm.

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    1. This isn't a normal post, per-se (which is why I released it on Wednesday in place of a DM article.) The intent here is to provide a very simple pick-up-and-go sorcerer that would be familiar to players of 3.5. So, yeah. Like the Champion fighter.

      Try not to get hung up on the theme; it's more of a mechanical exercise anyway. Just for context, I considered releasing this without /any/ description text. I basically included it as a courtesy thing.

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    2. In retrospect, that sounds harsher than I intended; what I mean to say is that this archetype /sorely/ needs some 'ribbons' related to being a postmaster.

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    3. want to play one of these in a post apocalyptic setting. Name him Costin Kevner. His backstory is he found a sack of pre apocalypse mail and he's trying to deliver it.

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    4. Okay, I mentioned this below, but I think I might need to rename this thing, and tweak the description I have here. 'Mailman' comes from the single-target elimination gimmick - it's like you're handing out death notices to people. (The name isn't mine, either; it was basically THE 3.5 sorcerer build.)

      I think literally making this type of character a postman is too much. It's either too tongue-in-cheek, or too absurd, and I don't know which XD

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    5. Actually, here's a thought: what if I go with another 'enchanted runes' theme, like I did with the tattoo mage and the Calligraphy Bard? I could make the spells appear as directed runes of energy, and I could explain the origin as coming from an encounter with a Word of Creation one of the powerful sigils which forged reality itself.

      How does that sound?

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    6. I like the changes. However, before you go calling something absurd, remember the Cluckromancer :)

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    7. Touche. 'Absurd' might not have been the right word; 'Disjointed' might be better. Anyway, fluff already fixed, so it's a little easier to anchor this to something concrete, like a postman :P

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  2. I think before looking at flavor, mechanics and balance are an important thing to consider, to me this seems very unbalanced. It seems far too powerful when you line it up with any other sorcerous origin and really any archetype. Also the mechanics of the 18 lvl feature are a bit unclear. Is it supposed to be 2 sorcery points for an additional 3d12 damage, if so, why just simply write that, if not, and the intent is to be able to spend more sorcery points then it needs to be reworded and should definitely have a cap similar to divine smite.

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    1. I think you might be right about some rewording on the last feature: in particular, I forgot to include the sorcery point cap.

      Care to elaborate more as to why you think this is too powerful? I can trim things or polish things, but I need some more details as to which features you think are suffering.

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    2. Normally sorcerous origins only give a damage boost for the level 18 feature, everything else is normally defensive or has some sort of utility. Every feature is for plus damage and not only that but some of the features stack. Being able to cast a spell, for 1 spellslot higher is insanely powerful, at lvl 17 you could technically cast a 10th level spell with a 9th level spellslot, no other class or homebrew I've seen can do that. On top of that the spells can crit on a 19 and ignore 1/2 and 3/4 cover.

      Stacking metamagic is also very powerful. With these features, you can cast a spell, 1 spell slot higher, twin it, empower it, ignore 3/4 and 1/2 cover and it will crit on a 19. Thats insanely powerful.

      5e has a more linear progression than previous editions, unlike earlier editions, 50 kobolds could still be dangerous in 5e to a level 20 character. Where as in previous editions at the higher levels a single character can slaughter entire armies. This makes it difficult to convert from earlier editions to 5e especially when balance is a concern.

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    3. Even if the intent of the design for this origin is strictly to with all features, increase the combat prowess, it is still way too powerful. Also features that imitate parts of feats are generally discouraged, ex. ignoring 3/4 and 1/2 cover is a part of the spell sniper feat.

      Some suggestions I would make that are still combat oriented but not as powerful are for the first level feature decrease the cost of converting of all spell slots from sorcery points by 1 to a minimum of 1. Same basic concept but less powerful and more sorcery oriented.

      6th level, just increase crit, no cover bonuses, still very powerful.

      I'm not sure about the 14th level feature, i'd probably exclude twin or quicken. Because if you quicken and twin a spell, i think technically that would allow you to cast 2 spells as a bonus action and leave room for a full action which could be used to then cast a cantrip or attack, very powerful.

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    4. I agree with you here on some points, but not really others. In fact, I think it's very funny that you chose to talk about characters that can take down armies, when this class is focused on single-target elimination. A group would /massacre/ one of these sorcerers.

      I think you're right that it might need an interaction feature here somewhere in place of one of the current features, probably at 6th level.

      That being said, I don't think you've been using the word 'insanely' appropriately. After all, a lot of these features, like getting to ignore cover, are available via feats or dips elsewhere. Adding one spell level to something gives you a linear damage increase, even if you use it on a 9th level spell slot (which it begs mentioning, will only scale with lower level spells -- no 9th level spell has an At Higher Levels paragraph.)

      I'll do some tweaking here and there (but I'm mostly going to focus on a change with the metamagic thing.)

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    5. While you were leaving your second comment, I did some editing. I think I'm a lot happier with the current draft.

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  3. How justify a character getting this origin? From a roleplay/backstory standpoint. I only ask because I would like to make a character with this origin sometime.

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    1. You obviously interact with Hermes mail sack and find a strong ability to deliver anything to its intended target.

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    2. Wow, I /really/ need to reconsider the fluff text I have here.

      The Mailman name comes from the mechanical gimmick the old sorcerer in 3.5 used: every time you cast a spell, you can have it metamagic'd enough to destroy one creature a round. It's like you're just handing out death notices to people. Thus, the name.

      I went with the original name because of how tongue in cheek it is, but I guess I should double-down and give this some related flavor text.

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  4. Flavor always justifies insane crunch at my table. If something is cool enough you don't even have to roll.

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  5. From what little I know about the mailman build from 3.5e, it seems like a feature that allows the caster to ignore Magic Resistance and Limited Magic Immunity would fit quite well, to simulate spells such as *orb* spells that ignore Spell Resistance. The ability to bypass SR was a pretty big part of the mailman build that could do with being preserved.

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    1. I had a DM in 3.5 that hated me for playing a Warmage who used the Orb spells.

      DM: Behold my magic resistant massive Creature BWahahaha-
      Me: Orb of (appropriate element)

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  6. You know I just noticed there's pretty much no valid mailman spells:
    - Chromatic Orb (1st)
    - Ray of Sickness (1st)
    - Witch Bolt (1st)
    - Ice Knife (1st)

    Melf's Acid Arrow and Vampiric Touch would qualify, but they aren't on the Sorc list.

    There's not many (any?) mid to high level single target spells that use attack rolls instead of saves. Prismatic Ray didn't even make it in.
    Gonna have to brew some up.

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