September 9, 2016

Ultimate Magus

Sorcerous Origin
Comments from the Finger: This is a long awaited adaption from 3.5 brought to us by Idanbhk! We might even have a wizardly counterpart to this one on the horizon.

Ultimate Magus

Sorcerers channel unknowable powers, and wizards are expert in ancient lore, but few individuals have as thorough an understanding and mastery of arcane magic as the ultimate magus. By combining both sorcerous and wizardly abilities into a unified whole, the magus empowers herself in ways even the greatest archmage can't duplicate.

Tome of Knowledge
Starting at 1st level, you have a spellbook within which you inscribe deep arcane knowledge. The book begins inscribed with two 1st-level spells of your choice that have the ritual tag from the wizard spell list. Spells copied into this spellbook don’t count against the number of spells you know.
     With your spellbook in hand, you can cast the chosen spells as rituals. You can’t cast the spells except as rituals, unless you’ve learned them by some other means. You can also cast any sorcerer spell you know as a ritual if it has the ritual tag.
     On your adventures, you can add other ritual spells to your spellbook. When you find such a spell, you can add it to the book if the spell’s level is equal to or less than half your sorcerer level (rounded up), if it is on the wizard spell list, and if you can spare the time to transcribe the spell. For each level of the spell, the transcription process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp for the rare inks needed to inscribe it.

Arcane Recovery
At 1st level, once per day when you finish a short rest, you can regain one expended spell slot of 1st level, or, at 2nd level, regain a number of expended sorcery points up to half your sorcerer level, rounded up.

Augmented Casting
Starting at 6th level, your studies of the arcane allow you to improve and intensify your spells. When you cast a sorcerer spell of 5th level or lower using a spell slot, you can spend up to 6 sorcery points, and cast the spell at one level higher for every 2 sorcery points spent.

Arcane Spell Power
When you reach 14th level, you have become expert in the wizardly arts. When you roll damage for a spell you cast, you can treat any 1 on a damage die as a 2.

Metamagic Mastery
At 18th level, your deep understanding of magic allows you to alter some spells more fluidly than other sorcerers. Choose a 1st-level and a 2nd-level sorcerer spell that you know. When you cast these spells, you can apply a metamagic option to them without expending any sorcery points. By spending 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of the spells you chose for different spells of the same levels.



Changelog: 9/9/16: Tome of Knowledge: wizard rituals only
Arcane Recovery: You can recover a 1st level spell
Augmented Casting: Cost is 3 sorcery points per higher level
9/11/16: Cost is 2 sorcery points per higher level

18 comments:

  1. The 'Once per Day' on the 6th level feature should read "You cannot do this again until you finish a long rest" or something to the same effect, maintaining consistency with the rest of this edition.

    Also, what happened to Wendsday's post?

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    1. Good note. I'll reword it.

      The Palm was going to release another Buried Treasures that updated and fixed more of the Warlord, but his schedule got borked. Hopefully, he'll get it out soon.

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    2. Actually, I looked at my notes, and I basically copied the 1st level feature's from the Wizard feature of the same name.

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    3. They've clarrified in one of the errata that any instance of once per day that isn't tied to a specific time (as some magic items are) is meant to be long rest.

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  2. So you could copy any spell tagged with ritual? This makes it hugely more useful than the ritual caster feat, which limits you to a single class. And this comes at a single level dip as well.

    This would give you a lot more versatility with things like a Cleric's Augury or a Druid's Animal Messenger spells.

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    1. Actually, that's a pretty good point. I based this off of the warlock book of shadows, but that's 2nd level, minimum. It makes more sense to base this off the ritual caster feat, and relegate your early spells to wizard spells.

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    2. Yes, I just come back after remembering and looking up that invocation.

      Another option would be to make it stronger and move it to the 6th level, such as giving more spells at the start and reducing the transcription to 1 hour and 25gp.

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    3. Actually the Tome lock comes online at 3rd level. The Book of Ancient Secrets invocation requires you to have the Pact of the Tome, which you gain at 3rd level.

      But I digress. It has been changed to wizard spells only.

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  3. This (well the Augmented Casting. Rest is pretty par the course) seems very powerful compared to other Sorceror archetypes. Being able to cast two spells at sixth level at level six seems way out of proportion. I'd suggest switching 6 and 14th level abilities as then it would at least take a lot more investment to get that level of power. Alternately it may need winding down from 5th Level or increasing the Sorcery Point Cost, as 8th Level Spell slots for 3 points seems a bit much.

    That said, I feel it deserves this level of power, just needs a higher cost for it.

    Another way I suggest to balance it would be a flavor tie in, since this is the Studious Sorceror, have it also require the Wizard Multiclass Pre-Req for choosing this archetype. Not very 5e, but neither was the racial pre-req of Battlerager or Bladesinger.

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    1. I would agree with Augmented Casting being a tad overpowered, however it is rare for a level 6 caster to be able to get up that high in levels. They could, however they would have to sacrifice one of their level 3 slots and then use up all of their Sorcery points to do so, which is almost not worth it since you can often achieve a similar effect just casting a level 3 spell twice, and if twinned you would need just 3 sorcery points to cast it like that in one turn.

      Comparing it to other origins is difficult though to determine its relative power however.

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    2. Oh, I forgot to comment down here when I edited this feature. Since M Franks left his comment, I increased the point cost of this feature, so it's a little more reasonable now.

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    3. I also read the handbook and it is impossible with basic rules to attain level 6 spellcasting with a level 6 character since a sorcerer can never have more SP than their level.

      I do think this change was a good idea and very balanced for what it does now.

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    4. Well, for most spells an additional level just means 1 more damage die. Spending 3 sorcery points for 1d6 damage (when empowering costs 1) seems like nobody will ever use it. Even for more powerful higher-level effects, like Hold Person, this is just a fixed-cost twin. I think 2 Sorcery Points per level (or 1/level and only 1/short rest) would be more fair solutions.

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    5. I upped the cost to three until I could sit down and do the math. The trick here is to make sure that the sorcery point cost for this effect is roughly the same cost/benefit ratio as other abilities that cost sorcery points, like metamagics.

      One sorcery point was probably too powerful, since it allowed you to nova damage on an otherwise low spell slot rather cheaply, especially at low levels. Scorching ray is a prime low-level example. Being able to add 6d6 to the damage is considerable, especially since it adds additional attack rolls to the casting. Mind you, the cost ratio wasn't totally off, if you compare to something like Empower Spell, but since it could be stacked with metamagic effects, I opted for caution.

      That said, 2 sorcery points per level might be the right plan of action. It's basically the same cost as a quicken, but has a lot more utility, since it can improve more than just damage per round. (Think about using this with invisibility to make sure you can cover more of your party, rather than actually blowing a higher level spell.)

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  4. Agreed, everything here looks good apart from augmented casting, there should probably be a steeper cost attached

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  5. I love this origin a lot, as it gives the Sorcerer a lot more flexibility and spell longevity, which at times I have felt that it is lacking.

    The level 9, Augmented Casting is particularly interesting, as after looking at the guidebook, I have determined that it never allows a caster to go more than 2 levels above what they would normally be able to cast, barring magic items or homebrew of course. (at level 6 you can cast level 3 spells, and you can only go up to level 5 using your 6 SP) It is powerful, but since you are limited by your SP, it is in effect a decision of sacrificing your longevity to blast more, or to have a once per day blast but lose your flexibility until you take a rest (at which point you only regain half of your flexibility) At later levels this choice isn't AS prominent as level 6, but an SP sink of 9 points is rather hefty for what you can gain.

    I initially had a concern with the level 18, Metamagic Mastery, but upon thinking on it, even with Chromatic Orb, the scaling of it at level 9 (twinned, 22d8) wouldn't be that much more useful than just casting something like Meteor Swarm for it's potential 40d6 (20 fire and 20 bludgeoning) to a large group.

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  6. I'm already a big fan of this archetype, I'd been trying to figure out how to do it myself. I'd suggest an add on in Tome of Knowledge that if you have levels in Wizard, you can metamagic your spells from Wizard. Just as an extra nod to the days of yore.

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