Elemental Mutation | New Sorcerous Origin for 5E D&D

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Confession time: I’m a sucker for elementally themed subclasses and I just can’t stop designing them! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the Way of Four Elements Reborn for the fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons monk! This week, we’re getting magical. If you’re familiar with characters from comic books then you’ve likely already got a grasp of what this new subclass is all about. Whether it’s Iceman or Magma from the X-Men series, the Human Torch, Fire or Clayface, all of these characters embody examples that could be codified into the Elemental Mutation Sorcerous Origin.

d&d sorcerer mutant xmen
I don’t know how fitting this image is but D&D sorcerers evoke a strong X-Men vibe and when I think of mutants in D&D it’s all about Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 No. 191. Chris Claremont: writer, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green: artists, Tom Orzechowski: letterer, Glynis Wein: colorist, Ann Nocenti: editor and Jim Shooter: editor in chief.

Sorcerous Origin

Elemental Mutation

The half-elf unleashes a wave of frigid magic, his clothes melding into him as his body itself transmutes to crystalline ice. Wiping the blood trickling from her nose, the tiefling offers her assailant a sinister grin, as purple lightning dances over her blue skin. With a clap of their hands, the warforged blasts a wave of thunder in all directions, sending their opponents flying backward.

Sorcerers infused with the elements are able to transmute their own bodies into living manifestations of elemental power. However, these powers come from myriad sources. When you create your Elemental Mutation sorcerer, consider giving them one of the origins listed below:

d8 Elemental Mutation Source
1 I was bathed in an enchanted, toxic chemical that should have killed me. Instead, I morphed.
2 My lineage includes a powerful elemental.
3 I was created by a mad wizard who tortured me with experiments for months.
4 I’ve always sensed a connection with the elemental planes.
5 I blacked out when my life was in danger. Afterward, I found myself with these powers.
6 My blood was tainted by a magical rift.
7 I found an artifact that infused me with these powers.
8 My magic is a curse bestowed on me by a creature far more powerful than myself.

 

Elemental Form

Beginning when you choose this Sorcerous Origin at 1st level, you can use a bonus action to transmute your very body to manifest the elements. Your Elemental Form is a single alternate form that mostly resembles your normal form but with elemental features, such as fiery hair or earthen skin.

You can remain in your Elemental Form for a number of hours equal to half your sorcerer level (rounded down), and you can assume it twice. You regain expended uses of this feature when you finish a short or long rest. While in your Elemental Form, you benefit from special traits, called Elemental Manifestations.

At 1st level, you gain three Elemental Manifestations from the Elemental Manifestations list.

Alteration

When you reach 6th level, you gain one additional Elemental Manifestation from the Elemental Manifestations list.

Additionally, when you have no more uses of your Elemental Form feature remaining, you can spend 4 sorcery points to assume your Elemental Form.

Transformation

At 14th level, you gain two additional Elemental Manifestations from the Elemental Manifestations list.

Additionally, when you have no more uses of your Elemental Form feature remaining, you can spend 2 sorcery points (instead of 4) to assume your Elemental Form.

Adaptation

Beginning at 18th level, when you finish a long rest, you can switch what Elemental Manifestations your Elemental Form gains.

Evolution

Also at 18th level, you gain one additional Elemental Manifestations from the Elemental Manifestations list.

Additionally, you can assume your Elemental Form an unlimited number of times.

Elemental Manifestations

Elemental Manifestations are permanent changes made to your Elemental Form. Once you choose an Elemental Manifestation, you gain its bonus, as long as you are in Elemental Form.

Elemental Manifestations are often wild and unpredictable, disappearing or emerging as the sorcerer grows and evolves. Whenever you gain a sorcerer level, you can choose to lose one of your Elemental Manifestations and gain another available to you. This is in addition to those you gain as a result of your class features.

Below is a list of Elemental Manifestations:

Attuned Element. Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, poison or thunder. Anytime you deal damage of the chosen type you can add your Charisma modifier to the damage roll, if the damage doesn’t already include you Charisma modifier.

You can choose this feature multiple times, but you must choose a different damage type each time.

Backlash (Requires 18th Level). Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. Anytime you take damage from a creature within 10 feet of you, you can use your reaction to deal 2d10 of the chosen damage type to the creature.

You can choose this feature multiple times, but you must choose a different damage type each time, and you must choose which damage type applies to each die rolled.

Consume Element (Requires 6th Level). Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. When you take damage of the chosen type from an external source, you can use your reaction to spend 3 sorcery points to regain a number of hit points equal to the damage roll, instead of suffering any damage.

Crystal Skin. Your AC equals 10 + your Constitution modifier + your Charisma modifier.

Elemental Recharge (Requires 18th Level). Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. When you take damage of the chosen type from an external source, you regain a number of sorcery points equal to your Charisma modifier.

Elemental Resilience (Requires 6th level). Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. You gain resistance to the chosen damage type, if you don’t already have it. If you already resist your chosen damage type, you gain immunity to it instead.

You can choose this feature multiple times, but you can only choose damage types to which you are not already resistant until you reach 14th level. After 14th level, you can only choose damage types to which you are not already immune.

Elemental Ferocity (Requires 6th Level). Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. When you deal damage of the chosen type with a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery points to roll the damage twice and take either result.

Alternatively, when you cast a spell that deals the chosen damage type and causes one or more creatures to make a saving throw, you can spend 2 sorcery points to impose disadvantage to the saving throw made.

Forceful. Choose from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison or thunder. Anytime you deal damage of the chosen type, you can knock the creature up to 10 feet backward.

You can choose this feature multiple times, but you must choose a different damage type each time, and you must choose which damage type applies to each die rolled.

Innate Element (Requires 18th Level). Choose one 1st level sorcerer spell you know that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning poison, or thunder damage. Alternatively, you may choose the shield spell. You can cast this spell at its lowest level without expending a spell slot.

Liquid Motion. You gain a swimming speed equal to your current speed.

Magical Variance (Requires 6th Level). You learn one cantrip or spell from another class’s spell list. This spell is a sorcerer spell for you and does not count against the number of spells you know.

Molded Disguise (Requires 6th Level). You can use a bonus action on your turn to transform your appearance into a humanoid of up to one size larger or smaller than you. You can use this feature to change your voice, color, and/or general build, and you can also alter the number of limbs you possess.

Multi Limbs (Requires 10th Level). You can use a bonus action to manifest an extra pair of arms. Your set of arms grants you temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. As long as you have temporary hit points remaining, the arms remain active, unless you dismiss them (no action required). While your arms are active, you can take any action once as a bonus action on each of your turns.

Reconstitution (Requires 14th Level). You can use a bonus action on your turn to roll a number of d6’s up to half your sorcerer level (rounded down). You regain a number of hit points equal to the result. You can do this a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain all uses of this feature when you finish a short or long rest.

Soaring flight (Requires 14th Level). You gain a flying speed equal to your current speed.

Transmuted Movement (Requires 14th Level). You spend 1 sorcery point to transmute your body into amorphous elemental power and move up to your speed. During this movement, you are unhindered by difficult terrain. During this movement, you can fit through areas as small as a 1-inch cube, and you do not provoke opportunity attacks.

Tunneler (Requires 6th Level). You gain a burrowing speed equal to your current speed.

What do you think?

Do you like the Elemental Mutation Sorcerous Origin? How would you incorporate this into your own D&D games? Got thoughts on balance or opinions on flavor? We want to hear from you in the comments!

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Steven Partridge is an aspiring author and experienced tabletop gamer. As a child, he dreamed of growing up to be a dinosaur, but as with many children, his childhood dreams were dashed when the rules of reality set in. However, our valiant Steven never allowed this to sway his ambition. He simply... adjusted it to fit more realistic aspirations. Thus, he blossomed into a full-fledged nerd with a passion for the fantasy genre. When he's not writing or working on videos for his YouTube channel, Steven can be found lap swimming or playing D&D with his friends. He works in the mental health field and enjoys sharing conversations about diversity, especially as it relates to his own place within the Queer community.

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