Top 10 5E D&D Homebrew Sorcerous Origins by a Factor of Three
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted take a look at the top rated fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons homebrew Bard Colleges from D&D Beyond. We have a lot of fun checking out the 5E D&D content folks come up with and sharing their homebrew creations. (There’s lots of these posts whether for homebrew subclasses, magic items, spells, feats and more floating around for the curious.) I’m not choosing sorcery for a closer look this week — the power chose me to check out the most magical class in 5E D&D — the sorcerer — and checking out the Top 10 homebrew Sorcerous Origins. There’s currently over 1,720 homebrew of them so let’s get into it.
Sorcerous Origins at D&D Beyond
Before getting started it’s important to note you can create homebrew content for private use and share your homebrew content publicly at DDB at no cost — there’s no subscription required to access these services. However if you want to add any of the homebrew Sorcerous Origins mentioned below or any other homebrew content you come across to your 5E D&D collection you must subscribe at the Hero Tier or above. There’s a lot you can do at DDB for free. Check out what you can do here.
The DDB homebrew collection uses several statistics to track entries. Views shows how many eyeballs any particular homebrew creation received, Adds shows the number of times a creation was added to someone’s collection and Rating is an upvote/downvote system. Since there are over 1,720 Sorcerous Origins in the collection I’m going to share the top 10 highest rated, most viewed and most added selections and to see what’s out there along with any crossover between these three lists.
Top 10 highest rating Sorcerous Origins
- Blue Mage. To ensure victory over even the most savage foes, these implacable men and women have spent long years researching a monastic tradition with unlimited potential—the art of blue magic. I like this very much! Blue Magic from the Final Fantasy franchise intrigued me immensely as well and my very first attempt to homebrew a 5E D&D subclass began with a Blue Magic Sorcerous Origin but ended up in a much different place.
- Stand Power. Your magical power was not granted by any outside force — rather, it stems from your very personality. I’m gonna guess this is a reference to something like an anime or manga. If I’m honest I don’t get it and the features are rather kludgy, which makes it more difficult to grasp. A capstone mucking with time stop to remove all the restrictions smacks of too much power though.
- Teleporter. Teleporters have a natural affinity for instant travel. I felt wary heading into this one but it starts off wonderfully. Then it quickly takes a turn towards the absurd. Excellent concept and some revision would make it solid.
- Winter Sorcery. Your origin is one that few people could only try to guess at the best of their abilities by the patches of ices around your body and the your glowing blue eyes. Pretty cool overall. There’s some things I might tone down but for an elemental themed sorcerer it succeeds as you might imagine.
- Abyssal/Infernal Sorcery. The magic of the abyss courses through you. Basically transforms a sorcerer into a fiery fiend as they gain levels. This isn’t very interesting to me thematically or mechanically but it’s executed well.
- Chronomancer. The spark of magic that flows within you is tied to the ebb and flow of time itself. I love concepts related to things like this — time, space, cosmic energy and so forth. There’s some terrific ideas in here, most specifically the early features that cleverly play with game mechanics and create new Metamagic Options. But it starts to fall apart with haste and slow spellcasting for Sorcery Points without using a spell slot an unlimited number of times and turning back time to literally replay past turns.
- Archfey Bloodline. The Archfey are the kings, queens, princes, and princesses of the realm known as the Feywild. Great direction for a sorcerer adding a no-brainer Sorcerous Origin to the mix. I like how it draws on faerie mythology. This one also incorporates revisions to the sorcerer class itself, which gets a bit messy and confusing.
- Ooze-Touched. Your power draws from the magic properties that animates oozes. Best one I’ve come across yet. Fun theme, concise, doesn’t get too complicated or overly powerful and best of all it’s not a collection of features where every one boils down to “I’m better in combat on my own!”
- Pureblood Vampire. To be a pureblood Vampire is to be a true Vampire. There’s way better and easier ways to play a vampire in 5E D&D. Put a stake in this one.
- Pyromancer. Pyromancer subclass from PSK. No clue what PSK means and searching for it only leads to this subclass at various sites. I’ll keep this short and succinct like the features — boring, one note and benefits only the individual in combat.
Top 10 most viewed Sorcerous Origins
- Blue Mage.
- Winter Sorcery.
- Stand Power.
- Abyssal/Infernal Sorcery.
- Daughter of the Hag. Most Hags have children by consuming the life force of a human infant or fetus, and give birth a week later to a hag child that looks human for 13 years. Really terrific idea and I love how there’s an initial choice similar to The Genie Otherworldly Patron to select a type of hag, which informs other features. Forming a coven with other spellcasters is very cool although I might tone down the power of such gatherings. The capstone is weird. I like the idea of the sorcerer initiating their own pacts with mortals but the feature seems too far beyond the scope of 5E D&D mechanics and power.
- Archfey Bloodline.
- Arcanist. All Sorcerers are born with magic in their blood, but some forsake the development of their bloodline to seek a knowledge of the arcane that defies the limits of the magical world. This one threw me for a loop. The concept, theme and flavor are top notch. Bespoke features deliver on the promise of the description…and then it dives into a noodly subsystem menu similar to Eldritch Invocations and goes off the rails.
Top 10 most added Sorcerous Origins
- Blue Mage.
- Winter Sorcery.
- Archfey Bloodline.
- Stand Power.
- Pureblood Vampire.
- Abyssal/Infernal Sorcery.
- Beholder Bloodline. These sorcerers can trace their origin to the aberrations known as beholders, and are capable of using some amount of power from it. Here’s my issue with this Sorcerous Origin — it has nothing to do with being a sorcerer (or a spellcaster of any sort). Basically this character slowly transforms into a beholder with eye rays and whatnot except there’s no interaction with the actual core class.
Sorcerous Origins rising to the top
The homebrew Sorcerous Origins came as a welcome relief this week. After the Roguish Archetypes and Monastic Traditions left me so disappointed it was nice to see more thoughtful creations for sorcerers. This homebrew preview began with a bang with someone’s vision of Final Fantasy style Blue Magic for 5E D&D. I’m a big time FF nerd and these concepts brought into D&D always bring a smile. I also very much enjoyed the Ooze-Touched sorcerer.
As to the rest of these Sorcerous Origins they mostly fall into one of two traps. The worst trap for any 5E D&D subclass is a selection of features relevant only to combat and only to the individual. This is poor design and very boring. The other trap is a slippery slope of noodly mechanics taking a subclass option so far beyond the core class it loses the point. Neither word count nor kludgy subsystems contribute to creating a great piece of homebrew content whether it’s a subclass, magic item, spell or anything else. Sorcerers already have their own special subsystem (Sorcery Points) and tinkering with this aspect more often than not yields better results.
Overall I am happy to see Blue Mage topped all three lists. Acquiring monster abilities is not only very different and very fun but speaks to the lifelong Final Fantasy enthusiast in me. I still think it works better as a barbarian Primal Path though.
5E D&D sorcerer resources
I mention our own forays into homebrew content creation for 5E D&D several times to plant the seed in your mind. Now you’re wondering, “What kind of homebrew content do you create, Nerdarchy? I’m extremely interested!” In addition to the monthly rewards our Patreon supporters receive we’ve presented tons of material in our videos and right here at Nerdarchy the Website ready to drop right into your games too. Another place we frequently create new content for Dungeon Masters and players to drop right into games is Nerdarchy the Newsletter and you’ll also get several gifts including $9.99 in store credit so you can add whatever you like there to your own collection when you sign up. We’ve explored the cleric class many times already. Here’s some resources to check out if you dig 5E D&D clerics.
- Shaggy Soul
- D&D Prismatic Light Sorcerer – A Bright Idea for a Sorcerous Origin
- Elemental Mutation | New Sorcerous Origin for 5E D&D
- Epic Destiny — Legendary Warrior Sorcerer Subclass for 5th Edition
- Aberrant Bloodline
- Blood Mage
- D&D Party Composition — Playing an All Sorcerer Party
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Aberrant Mind Sorcerer is Psion Successor
- Cyborgs and Robots Take Over 5E D&D through Clockwork Soul Sorcerer
- Play Your Next 5E D&D Game with New Sorcerer Metamagic Options
- A Group of Sorcerers is Called a Cabal
*Featured image — Different sorcerers claim different origins for their innate magic. Although many variations exist, most of these origins fall into two categories: a draconic bloodline and wild magic. Choose the draconic bloodline below or one from another source.