RPGBOT site logo RPG BOT{{(konamiCodeMode)?' - KONAMI CODE GO':''}}

{{ subtitle }}

DnD 5e - The Sorcerer Handbook

Last Updated: February 15th, 2019


I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can't assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won't cover Unearthed Arcana content because it's not finalized, and I can't guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

Temporary Note: I am currently waiting to include content from the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron. According to Dragontalk (the official D&D podcast), it's in a semi-finished state and is still subject to change, which could mean that character options in the book will see major changes before final publication. Once the book is complete, physical copies will be released and I will update to address the new content.


Sorcerers are a challenge. They lack the versatility of a Wizard, but share many of the same capabilities, and almost all of the same spells. Where the Wizard is powerful because they own a tool for every problem, the Sorcerer is powerful because they own a few good tools and can use them to fix any problem. Sorcerers also make one of the best Face's in the game due to their skill list and dependence on Charisma. The Sorcerer's spell list allows them to serve as a Blaster, Controller, Striker, and Utility Caster.

Sorcerer Class Features

Hit Points: d6 hit points is the lowest in the game, so be sure to take enough Constitution to compensate.

Saves: Constitution and Charisma are two excellent saves, since things which effect either of them frequently incapacitate you in some fashion.

Proficiencies: No armor or shields, and only the most basic weapons, but the Sorcerer skill list contains all of the Face skills, including Insight.

Spellcasting: The Sorcerer casts spells the same way a Bard does: You get a set number of spells known, and can cast any spell from that list so long as you have the slots to do so. This means that Sorcerers always have fewer options available to them than a Wizard who can change their spell list daily, but Sorcerers make up for this lack of versatility by being able to augment their spells with Metamagic. The Sorcerer spell list is a subset of the Wizard's spell list (with a handful of additions like Dominate Beast and Earthquake), but you still have plenty of options to choose from.

Sorcerous Origin: See "Subclasses - Sorcerous Origin", below.

Font of Magic: Font of Magic is a definitive feature of the Sorcerer, especially Sorcery Points.

Metamagic: Metamagic allows you to stretch the effects of your limited number of spells known, allowing you to easily capitalize on existing spells instead of constantly needing to find and learn new ones.

Sorcerous Restoration: Four free Sorcery Points gives you a lot of options.

Subclasses - Sorcerous Origins


Sorcerers are all about Charisma, and you can forego everything else.

Str: Dump.

Dex: Take a bit for AC.

Con: Take some to compensate for your d6 hit points.

Int: A bit for knowledge skills might be nice.

Wis: Wisdom saves are common, and Insight is helpful for a Face.

Cha: Commands almost everything you do..

Point Buy Standard Array
  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 15
  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 13
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 15


Charisma bonuses are absolutely essential. Since you don't need ability score increases for other abilities, a +1 bonus can be just as good as a +2, which opens up options beyond the Half-Elf.

AarakocraEEPC: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

AasimarVGTM: +2 Charisma is obviously fantastic for sorcerers. Healing hands provides a healing mechanic very rarely available to arcane spellcastins, and you get resistance to both necrotic and radiant damage, neither of which can be gained from spells like Resist Energy.

BugbearVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Dwarf: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

DragonbornPHB: The Strength bonus is wasted, but the Charisma bonus is great, you get permanent resistance to an energy type, and you get a breath weapon.

ElfPHB: Dexterity and free Perception are nice, but the only option for a Charisma increase is Drow.

FirbolgVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GenasiEEPC: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Gith: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Gnome: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GoblinVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GoliathEEPC: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Half-Elf: The biggest charisma bonus, plus some free skills.

Half-OrcPHB: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

HalflingPHB: A bit of Dexterity is nice, but Lucky is largely wasted on spellcasters since most of your spells require other people to roll saves instead of requiring you to attack.

HobgoblinVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

HumanPHB: Versatile and fantastic at everything.

KenkuVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

KoboldVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

LizardfolkVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

OrcVGTM: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

TabaxiVGTM: A small Charisma bump, and increased Dexterity provides a helpful boost your AC.

Tiefling: Bonus Charisma, fire resistance, and some free spells. With the addition of variants and subraces, you have a ton of room to customize your sorcerer.

TortleTP: 17 natural armor is nice, but that's really all that you get. Sorcerers don't cater well to melee combat.

TritonVGTM: Constitution and Charisma re both great on a sorcerer, but the innate spellcasting complements your class spellcasting very well.

Yuan-Ti PurebloodVGTM: An excellent Charisma increase, and the comibation of Magic Resistance and Poison Immunity make you very durable.

Races of Ravnica

CentaurGGTR: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GoblinGGTR: See above.

LoxodonGGTR: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

MinotaurGGTR: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Simic HybridGGTR: The flexible ability increase can go into Charisma, and Animal Enhancement can help fill some functions which would normally require magic, thereby opening up space for you to learn other spells.

VedalkenGGTR: Bad ability spread.



You only get two skills from your class and Sorcerers are built to make excellent Faces, so look to pick up more Face skills from your background. If you're a Half-Elf or Variant Human, you can pick up your missing Face skills from your racial bonus proficiencies, which opens up a lot of other options. Bonus languages are also helpful; if you can get enough of them you may not need to learn Tongues.




Cast Mage Armor and learn Shield. At low levels that will be enough to keep you safe, but at high levels you'll likely dump mage armor because enemies' attack bonuses will be so high that it will stop being helpful. You might keep shield around for those rare times when it would deflect an attack, but you're better served by other spells like Blur or Blink.


Multiclassing is hard for a full caster like the Sorcerer. Each level considerably expands you abilities, you don't really need anything from other classes.