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Sorcerer 5e DnD Class Guide

The Sorcerer is a powerful spellcaster and one of 3 dedicated spellcaster classes in Dungeons & Dragons. Today, we’re looking at where the Sorcerer’s magic comes from and their role in the party with our detailed guide to DnD Sorcerer 5e Class.


We had an interesting day on the Watch. The Harpers sent out a representative to help us recover a criminal. The criminal had already been sentenced to death but had escaped the dungeons. He was apparently some Necromancer, so we needed a spellcaster to help out. 

The Harpers rep was not what I expected… apparently he was some Sorcerer. All pointy hats typically looked the same but this one just looked like a human in a big coat. As soon as we tracked down the Necromancer, he took off the coat and unfurled dragon wings. Honest to Tiamat, dragon wings. Never seen anything like it. 

The Necromancer and the Sorcerer shot a ton of spells at each other, the cocky punk told us to stay back. It was quite the spectacle. Every color of the rainbow was coming out of them as they shot spell after spell at each other. Eventually, a stray fireball took down the Necromancer. 

The cocky fool didn’t even see the zombie shambling behind him. To be fair, after he took out a Necromancer we figured a lone zombie would be fine. It hit him in the back of the head and he went down like a sack of potatoes. 

We had to rush in quickly to save him afterward. All pointy hats are the same, I guess. Can’t take a punch to save their lives, but stay clear of the blast radius.

—From the journal of Captain Vyes 3rd precinct, city watch, 17th of Hammer, 1383

Read our detailed class guide to DnD Sorcerer 5e below.

MORE CLASS GUIDES: ARTIFICER | BARBARIAN | BARD | CLERIC | DRUID | FIGHTER | MONK | PALADIN | RANGER | ROGUE | SORCERER | WARLOCK | WIZARD

D&D 5e Sorcerer Class

Overview of Sorcerer 5e

The sorcerer’s source of magic comes from within. Their magical talents may be granted due to circumstance at birth, ancestry, or blessings from gods or demons, but the difference between the other magic users and the sorcerer is the power is all theirs. 

A sorcerer’s magic is innately their own and can never be taken away. It can manifest in odd ways, but the displeasure of a god or misplacing their spellbook isn’t an issue. Their magic is always within them and ready to be used as long as they can learn to harness and master it. 

Notable Sorcerers in DnD

Delina 

Delina was a Wild Magic Sorcerer. Her powers came from her huge capacity for empathy and emotions. The volatile nature of her spells fluctuated depending on her emotional state. She traveled to Baldur’s Gate to find her brother who became obsessed with stealing her powers. Eventually, she defeated her brother in the tragic story… but saved many lives in the process. 

5e Sorcerer Class Features & Abilities

Hit Dice: d6

Sorcerers have an immense wealth of magical powers and versatility in their spell casting. Their major class feature is Sorcery Points, which give them bonuses and allow them to shuffle spells depending upon the situation. 

GameCows Ranking System

There are a lot of abilities and class features, and it can get rather confusing. Here at GameCows, we’re going to use a simple ranking system. 

  • GameCows Ranking: 1  
    • This ability or feature is extremely useful and a must-have ability. 
  • GameCows Ranking: 2
    • This ability is ok and generally useful in most situations.
  • GameCows Ranking: 3
    • This ability is only going to be useful in certain situations. You’d only get it or use it if you personally think it’s cool. 

Spellcasting & Sorcerous Origins

Sorcerers get their magic somehow from within. Whether it’s through a life-changing event or genetic ancestry, something gives the Sorcerer their magical powers and it becomes a part of them.

Spellcasting Modifier: Charisma

Part of the fun of the Sorcerer is creating that backstory and coming up with what happened. The Player’s Handbook lays out the rules for 2 such Sorcerous Origins which act as the Sorcerer’s Subclass. They are Wild Magic or Draconic Bloodlines.

Font of Magic & Sorcery Points

D&D 5e Sorcerer Class

Sorcerers at level 2 are able to channel and draw out their power from within. They receive 2 Sorcery Points that allow them to spend points to use powerful abilities. As the Sorcerer levels up, they get more Sorcery Points, and after each long rest, their points are refilled. 

Flexible Casting 

Flexible Casting allows the Sorcerer to either gain more Spell Slots in exchange for Sorcery Points, or vice versa, exchange Sorcery Points for Spell Slots.

It’s more expensive to buy Spell Slots. Typically, it costs Sorcery Points equal to the Spell Slot +1 or 2 more.

If using a Spell Slot to gain Sorcery Points, the Sorcerer simply regains points equal to the Spell Slot. This stops the Sorcerer from simply exchanging points back and forth to have an infinite number of spell slots. 

Metamagic

At level 3, the Sorcerer can alter the way their spells are cast by empowering them. At level 3, the Sorcerer can pick 2 different Metamagics, and choose an additional one at both levels 10 and 17. 

The Metamagics that can be chosen are described below. (*)

*Careful Spell

GameCows Ranking: 2

Cost: 1 Sorcery Point | On AOE spells and those that require a saving throw, the Sorcerer can choose creatures (up to Charisma Modifier) to automatically succeed on the Save. This lets the Sorcerer be a little reckless by not worrying about allies and friendly fire during combat.

*Distant Spell

GameCows Ranking: 3

Cost: 1 Sorcery Point | This gives spells extra range. If the spell is already a ranged spell, it gains an additional 5 feet. The better and more useful option is to use Distant Spell with touch range. Instead of having to be in melee range for 1 Sorcery Point, the touch spell gains a range of 30 ft. That makes some powerful close-range spells range further and can be devastating to your enemies. 

*Empowered Spell

GameCows Ranking: 1

Cost: 1 Sorcery Point | This is an always useful ability. If you don’t like the rolls on your damage dice for a spell you’ve cast, then you can reroll dice up to the Sorcerers’ Charms modifier and reroll the damage die. The 2nd roll must be used though. 

*Extended Spell 

GameCows Ranking: 3

Cost: 1 Sorcery Point | For 1 Sorcery Point, any duration spell that lasts for at least a minute can be extended by the Sorcerer. Extended Spell doubles the duration of the spell, but there is a limit. The max that it can be extended is 24 hours.  

*Heightened Spell

GameCows Ranking: 2

Cost: 3 Sorcery Points | This is a little more expensive than some of the other abilities but it forces one of the targets of a spell to have disadvantage when it comes to their first saving throw against the spell. 

*Quickened Spell

GameCows Ranking: 1

Cost: 2 Sorcery Points | This is a handy ability. For 2 Sorcery Points instead of using an action to cast a spell, it becomes a bonus action instead, allowing the Sorcerer to still perform another action on their turn. 

D&D 5e Sorcerer Class

*Subtle Spell

GameCows Ranking: 3

Cost: 1 Spell Point | This allows the Sorcerer to forgo any verbal or somatic components giving it a stealthy quality. 

*Twinned Spell

Cost: Equal to the Spell Level

GameCows Ranking: 1

What’s better than hitting your target? Hitting 2 targets. Twinned Spell takes a spell that would normally only hit 1 target and hits an additional target. It costs Sorcery Points Equal to the Spell Level and 1 for Cantrips. 

Ability Scores

Like most other classes, Sorcerers get 2 ability points to spend any way they like at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th levels. No ability scores can go beyond 20 using these bonuses. 

Sorcerous Restoration

GameCows Ranking: 1

Since Sorcery Points are the biggest boost it’s only natural that at level 20, you get more ways to recover them. Now when taking a short rest, the Sorcerer gains an extra 4 Sorcery Points. 

Sorcerer 5e Subclasses

The Sorcerer Subclass called Sorcerous Origins kicks into effect as soon as the character is created. Upon character creation, the player needs to work with the DM to decide on what subclasses they have available to choose from, and from there pick how the Sorcerer got their powers. Unlike a lot of the other subclasses within 5e, the Sorcerer must choose this at character creation.

Player’s Handbook

Draconic Bloodline: The Sorcerer’s power comes from their bloodline lineage with a dragon either gained through actual blood or a pact. This gives them dragon resistances associated with the chromatic dragon and even usable dragon wings.  

Wild Magic: This is a fun subclass, especially for those who like to gamble or inject a little bit of chaos into the mix. When casting spells there’s always a chance that the spell gets a surge of wild magic and does something completely unpredictable. Whether it’s good or bad is all up to chance. 

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09/23/2022 08:30 pm GMT

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Divine Soul: The Divine Soul Sorcerer gains power from some divine being. Typically, this manifests itself in similar ways to the Cleric Class. It gives the Sorcerer access to a wide variety of healing spells and abilities. 

Shadow Magic: A Shadow Magic Sorcerer gains their power from the plane of Shadowfell, a land of misery and decay. Shadow Magic Sorcererers have some connection to the dark plane and their magical abilities reflect it. They’ve become allies to the shadow and are able to control a bit of the land’s fell magic. 

Storm Sorcery: Storm Sorcerers tap into the primal powers of nature. They gain their mastery over the storm in a variety of different ways. Maybe it was at their birth during a magical storm, djinn ancestry, or just being one with nature. Either way, they’ll have control over one of the most primal powers in any world, fantasy or not. 

Xanathar's Guide to Everything (D&D 5e)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wizards RPG Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Aberrant Mind: Some kind of monstrous creature has left its mark on the Sorcerer. It could be a lasting scar from surviving an aboleth attack, close proximity to some creature from a different plane, or anything in between. Aberrant Mind Sorcerers gain access to a host of powerful psionic abilities.

Clockwork Soul: The Sorcerer becomes a being of Mechanus, a land of true order and rules. Just as all the gears in a clockwork figurine must be maintained in perfect working order, so too does the Sorcerer strive to spread this philosophy to all that they encounter. The Sorcerer gains abilities that return things back to their natural order. They can manipulate advantage/disadvantage roles, and have an affinity with abjuration and transmutation spells. 

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (D&D 5e)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wizards RPG Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Playing as a Sorcerer in 5e

Sorcerers are strong. They really bring the firepower in combat, and their metamagic skills along with Sorcery Points to regain Spell Slots can have them slinging all kinds of spells and causing a ton of damage. 

Their major Ability Score is Charisma which affects their casting ability, so unless there’s a bard in the party, they usually become the party face. It’ll be a lot easier for a Charisma-buffed character to talk to nobles, shopkeepers, or any other NPC that requires a delicate touch and convincing. If that fails, there’s always a fireball. 

Just like the Wild Magic subclass they have, there’s always a downside. Their hit die is only a d6. That’s not particularly great for soaking up hits and damage, so the Sorcerer is often considered a glass cannon. They can do a lot of damage, but push it over and it shatters. 

We hope you enjoyed this Sorcerer 5e Class Guide, why not check out our Monk 5e Guide or our full DnD Races List.

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