The Dragonlance Nexus

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Primal Sorcerer

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Valharic


The oldest known form of the arcane arts, primal sorcery, also known as wild magic or elemental magic, taps the natural and elemental energies that helped formed the world. Tapping these powers can be a dangerous, even catastrophic form of spellcasting. The dangers of this magic come from the taint of chaos within these energies and drawing from this power can cause unknown and unexpected results that can be beneficial or disastrous to the sorcerer. This is evident in history including the end of the Second Dragon War where elven sorcerers joined with a Scion and summoned magic that swallowed the dragons whole thus ending the war. Yet they lost control of this power and a tremendous wild magical storm ensued that was catastrophic to those caught in it and a great many lives were lost as a result. This was the moment that the gods of magic stepped in and taught the foundations of magic thus forming the Wizards of High Sorcery and subsequently the outlawing of primal sorcery. This now taboo form of magic was looked upon this way during certain eras of Krynn, most notably since the incarnation of the Wizards of High Sorcery during the Age of Dreams till the Age of Mortals where the Wizards of High Sorcery became dissolved and rediscovery of Primal Sorcery became prevalent again. Now, both Primal Sorcery and Wizardry exist in the world and it is unknown what the implications of this will be now that the newly reformed Wizards of High Sorcery are established again.

Game Rule Information

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d4.

Class Skills

The primal sorcerer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a Primal Sorcerer's gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: A primal sorcerer casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must. To learn or cast a spell, a Primal Sorcerer must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Primal Sorcerer's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Primal Sorcerer's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Primal Sorcerer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1: The Primal Sorcerer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

A Primal Sorcerer's selection of spells is extremely limited. A Primal Sorcerer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new sorcerer level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 2: Primal Sorcerer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table 2: Primal Sorcerer Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the sorcerer has gained some understanding of by study. The Primal Sorcerer can't use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Primal Sorcerer level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Primal Sorcerer "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level sorcerer spell the Primal Sorcerer can cast. A Primal Sorcerer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a Primal Sorcerer need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he'll cast.

Primal Sorcery Student: You are able to cause Sorcerous surges in your arcane spells. You gain one Primal Sorcerer Magic Point, which may be spent to cause a Sorcerous surge in an arcane spell you cast. You recover the Primal Sorcerer Magic Point when you prepare your daily spells.

If you have spent all of your Primal Sorcerer Magic Points, you may still cause a Sorcerous surge in a spell you cast by accepting a -2 nonmagical penalty to Wisdom (these penalties stack). This penalty goes away at a rate of 1 point per day. If the Wisdom penalty ever equals or exceeds your Wisdom, you become helpless and are stricken with nightmares until the penalty is less than your Wisdom.

Primal Sorcerer Magic Skill: At 3rd level, the Primal Sorcerer gains a +2 bonus to Spellcraft checks regarding known Sorcerous magic effects.

Primal Sorcerer Magic Point (Su): At 3rd, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th, and 19th levels, the Primal Sorcerer gains another Primal Sorcerer Magic Point.

Primal Sorcerer Counterspell (Su): When counterspelling, instead of using the exact spell he is trying to counter, the Primal Sorcerer may spend a Primal Sorcerer Magic Point and use a spell that is one or more levels higher than the target spell.

Modify Surge Modifier (Su): At 9th level, the Primal Sorcerer gains better control over the Sorcerous surges he creates. He adds +1 to all of his surge modifiers. At 13th level, this increases to +2.

Force Greater Surge (Su): When the Primal Sorcerer casts a spell with a Sorcerous surge, he may cause the spell to have a greater surge, even if the surge modifier is an odd number. He does not need to make a Will saving throw to cause the spell to have a greater surge.

Control Greater Surge (Su): At 10th level, the Primal Sorcerer may adjust the result of a greater surge roll by one row up or down on the table. The Primal Sorcerer knows what the result of either shift would be before making the choice. He can shift the result an additional step in either direction for each Sorcerous surge point he spends for this purpose.

Sorcerous Surges

Sorcerous surges are fluctuations in a spell caused by randomization or chaos in the source of the spell energy. These randomizations can make the spell weaker or stronger, or even cause it to have a totally different effect or backfire upon the caster.

When a spellcaster casts a spell with a Sorcerous surge, the player rolls 4d6, disregards the lowest number, and compares the result to Table 1-1: Ability Modifers and Bonus Spells in the Player's Handbook. The result is the surge modifier. The surge modifier is added to the caster level of the spell. A spell's caster level cannot be modified below 1, although the caster level can be modified below the minimum level to cast a spell. If the modified caster level means that the spell's range cannot reach the target, the spell activates at the end point of the spell's new maximum range along the line of effect to the original target. A spell with a caster level of 0 or less does not function (as if the spellcasting had been disrupted).

Example: Marlee at 5th level spends a Primal Sorcerer Magic Point to cause a Sorcerous surge in her fireball spell. She rolls 4d6 and gets 1, 1, 1, 4. Disregarding the lowest die gets her a 6, which according to Table 1-1: Ability Modifers and Bonus Spells gives her a surge modifier of -2. Adding the surge modifier to her caster level gets her a final caster level of 3 (5 + -2). Her fireball acts as if cast by a 3rd-level caster (it has a 520 ft. range and deals 3d6 fire damage).

Greater Surges

If the surge modifier is an even number or 0, the spell may have a greater surge. The caster attempts a Will saving throw (DC 15 + spell level). Like all saving throws, the caster can voluntarily fail this saving throw. If failed, there is no greater surge. If successful, the caster rolls d% and consults Table 3: Primal Sorcerer Greater Surge Results. Higher results are generally more beneficial to the caster, lower results are generally less beneficial. All greater surge effects based on spells take effect at the caster's normal caster level. Any surge effect that is inappropriate for the spell (such as "Spell changes energy type" for a spell that doesn't do energy damage) means the greater surge has no effect.

NOTES: First off thanks to Sean K Reynolds for permission to use his Wild Mage PrC class from his website. The Primal Sorcery base class is borrowed heavily from this prestige class and modified to a 20 level base class and given a Dragonlance flavor.

I created this class based on the old Dragonlance philosophy that sorcery is a dangerous practice of magic that can incur tragic results. This is something I haven't seen in any sorcery classes. Expanding it, I decided that the use of the point system begins at 3rd level. This is a along the lines of the Wizards of High Sorcery classes, where they take note of characters around the 3rd-4th levels of spell casting and decide to test them at this point. I like to think that the choice to test students at this point comes from the experiences of sorcerers in history.

I hope you enjoy this. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Table 1: The Primal Sorcerer
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0   1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Iron Will 5 3 - - - - - - - -
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 6 4 - - - - - - - -
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Sorcerous Magic Skill, Surge Magic Point 6 5 - - - - - - - -
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 6 6 3 - - - - - - -
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Primal Sorcery Student, Surge Magic Point 6 6 4 - - - - - - -
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 6 6 5 3 - - - - - -
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Sorcerous Counterspell 6 6 6 4 - - - - - -
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 6 6 6 5 3 - - - - -
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Modify Surge Modifier, Surge Magic Point 6 6 6 6 4 - - - - -
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - - -
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Force Greater Surge 6 6 6 6 6 4 - - - -
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - -
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Modify Surge Modifier +2, Surge Magic Point 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 - - -
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - -
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Control Greater Surge 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 - -
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 -
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Sorcerous Magic Point 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Sorcerous Magic Point 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Table 2: Primal Sorcerer Spells Known
Level 0   1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 4 2 - - - - - - - -
2nd 5 2 - - - - - - - -
3rd 5 3 - - - - - - - -
4th 6 3 1 - - - - - - -
5th 6 4 2 - - - - - - -
6th 7 4 2 1 - - - - - -
7th 7 5 3 2 - - - - - -
8th 8 5 3 2 1 - - - - -
9th 8 5 4 3 2 - - - - -
10th 9 5 4 3 2 1 - - - -
11th 9 5 5 4 3 2 - - - -
12th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1 - - -
13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 - - -
14th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 - -
15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 - -
16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 -
18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3

Table 3: Primal Sorcerer Greater Surge Results
All effects requiring a caster level use the caster's caster level, modified by the surge modifier.
d% Greater Surge Result
1 Mage Storm. A chaotic storm devastates the area centered on the Primal Socerer. The mage storm is the equivalent of the simultaneous enacting of the spells Earthquake and Meteor Storm.
2 Reroll, ignoring results above 50. Surge effect lasts twice as long.
3 Caster is polymorphed randomly into a Greygem race. The DM makes a percentile roll and determines was race the caster becomes based on the following choices. Kender (%1-16), Minotaur (%17-32), Gnome (%33-48), Goblin (%49-64), Dwarf (%65-80), Hobgoblin (%81-96), Unchanged (%97-00)
4-5 Spell affects a random target or area (roll 1d8 on the Grenadelike Weapons diagram in the Player's Handbook. For direction, roll 3d6 and multiply the result by 5 feet for short range spells, 20 feet for medium range spells, or by 80 feet for long range spells). The point of origin cannot exceed its range; if the result generated would do that, adjust the point of origin to the limit of the range in the randomly generated direction.
6 Caster stunned 1 round.
7-8 Caster exudes a carrion stench as if under the effects of a ghoul touch spell.
9-10 Caster blinded (50%) or deafened (50%) with blindness/deafness.
11-12 Caster dazed 1 round.
13 Random magic item on the caster is subject to Mordenkainen's disjunction.
14-15 Area greater dispelling centered on caster.
16-20 Area dispel magic centered on caster.
21-23 Spell targets an ally (if an enemy was the target) or an enemy (if an ally was the target).
24-27 Nothing happens. The spell does not function. Any material components are used up. The spell or spell slot is used up.
28-29 The spell functions, but shimmering colors swirl around the caster (treat as glitterdust targeted on the caster's square).
30-31 Casting time increases to one full round.
32 Caster sickened for 1d6 rounds.
33 Target ages 5 years (Str, Dex, and Con are affected if the target changes age categories, but Int, Wis, and Cha are not).
34 Caster's base speed reduced by 10 feet for 1d4 hours.
35-37 Caster suffers 1d6 points of ability damage to a random ability score.
38 Caster and random target of the spell change places after the spell takes effect.
39-40 Spell's effects delayed for d4 rounds (if a targeted spell, the delayed spell affects the original target unless the target has moved out of range, in which case the spell has no effect).
41-45 Spell is accompanied by harmless visual effects, such as mist, ghostly flames, color changes, illusory snakes, and so on. These effects remain for the spell's duration.
46-49 Spell is accompanied by harmless auditory effects, such as howls, hissing, thunder, keening, and so on. These effects remain for the spell's duration.
50-51 Spell changes energy type (equal chances: acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, sonic).
52-55 All creatures within a 20 ft burst of the caster (50%) or target (50%) gain the ability to feather fall.
56-57 All creatures within a 20 ft burst of the caster (50%) or target (50%) gain the ability to levitate.
58-59 All creatures within a 20 ft burst of the caster (50%) or target (50%) gain the ability to fly.
60 All creatures within a 20 ft burst of the caster (50%) or target (50%) are the target of light spells.
61-65 Random metamagic feat takes effect on the spell: Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Heighten Spell (1 Level), Silent Spell, Still Spell, or any other "+1 level" metamagic feat used in your campaign.
66 Caster's appearance alters with change self each round of the duration of the spell to resemble a random creature within 100 ft. If the spell has an instantaneous effect, the caster's appearance changes momentarily and then reverts to her previous appearance.
67 Invisibility sphere centered on the caster.
68 Invisibility purge centered on the caster.
69 Faerie fire centered on caster.
70-72 Area dispel magic centered on target.
73 Area greater dispelling centered on target.
74 Random magic item on the target is subject to Mordenkainen's disjunction.
75-78 Random metamagic feat takes effect on the spell: Empower Spell, Heighten Spell (2 levels).
79-82 The spell functions normally, but any material components are not consumed. The spell is also not expended from the caster's mind. (Thus, a spell slot or prepared spell can be used again.)
83-85 Random metamagic feat takes effect on the spell: Heighten Spell (3 levels), Maximize Spell, or any other "+3 levels" metamagic feat used in your campaign.
86-88 Target stunned 1 round.
89-92 Caster affected by darkvision or low-light vision (duration as darkvision).
93-95 Target dazed 1 round.
96-97 Random metamagic feat takes effect on the spell: Heighten Spell (4 Levels), Quicken Spell, or any other "+4 levels" metamagic feat used in your campaign.
98-00 Reroll, ignoring results below 50. Surge effect lasts twice as long.

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