Last Updated: January 31, 2022
Recent subclasses introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced a new mechanic: free spells known as part of your subclass. This adds 10 additional spells to the Sorcerer’s meager 15 spells known at 15th level. This addition dramatically expands the versatility of those subclasses compared to other subclasses, leaving room for the Sorcerer to learn more situational spells rather than sticking to reliable staples selected by nearly every other sorcerer.
Opinions on this addition have been mixed: while many applaud the expansion to the Sorcerer’s capabilities and the new-found tolerance for non-optimal spell choices, other find that this was an unneeded addition which robs the Sorcerer of their unique spellcasting capabilities (using a small set of spells and modifying them with Metamagic).
As a compromise, I propose meeting somewhere in the middle. For Tasha’s subclasses (Aberrant Mind and Clockwork Soul), allow the player to select just one of the two free spells at each spell level. For other subclasses, I suggest that the DM should generate a list of 10 spells (two at each spell level from 1 to 5) which fit the theme of the spell list, and allow the player to learn one of those spells for free at each spell level. This doesn’t touch on the retraining mechanic enjoyed by the Aberrant Mind and the Clockwork Soul, but I think that’s fine. They did it first, let them keep something unique.
But generating those spells lists is hard, and when you’re doing it for your own players it’s easy for players to feel cheated or to feel like you’re giving them intentionally poor options. Having the authority of a published book to blame is convenient because it feels impartial and it feels like whoever wrote it is authoritative enough that it feels more “fair”.
Well, I’m not a book, but I’m here and I’ve got this weird blog, so here we go:
Expanded Sorcerer Subclass Spell Lists
Below are presented 5 tables of spells for each of the 5 sorcerer subclasses presented in source books prior to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. At the DM’s discretion, sorcerers may learn one or both of the spells at each of the 5 spell levels detailed in the table for that subclass.
|Spell Level||Spell 1||Spell 2|
|2||Lesser Restoration||Prayer of Healing|
|4||Divination||Guardian of Faith|
|5||Flame Strike||Greater Restoration|
The Divine Soul Sorcerer does not receive a free spell at level 1. Instead, they gain an additional spell known from the Divine Magic feature. If you want the player to learn two spells at each spell level, grant them a second spell from Divine Magic based on the other component of their alignment. If the player’s alignment is true neutral, allow them to pick for themselves.
The intent of many of these spell choices is to offer access to iconic cleric options, including more “situational” options which may no be useful on a daily basis, such as Lesser Restoration and Divination. Divine Soul
|Spell Level||Spell 1||Spell 2|
|2||Alter Self||Dragon’s Breath|
|5||Immolation||Summon Draconic Spirit (UA)|
Sorcerers get a lot of blasting options and it’s very easy to just make all of the Draconic Bloodline’s spells “here’s the fire option at this level”, but dragons are much more interesting than their breath weapons. Dragons are greedy, they’re scary, they like treasure, and some of them can change shape. I tried to lean into those concepts here. If this doesn’t work for you, grab Burning Hands, Dragon’s Breath, Fireball, Wall of Fire, and Cone of Cold, and make them match the damage type of your draconic ancestor.
I had some trouble picking good options at 5th level. If you have better ideas, leave them in the comments below.
|Spell Level||Spell 1||Spell 2|
|1||Cause Fear||Ray of Sickness|
|2||Darkness (See Below)||Blindness/Deafness|
Shadow sorcerers already learn Darkness for free at 3rd level, so that is included in the spell list above.
Shadow Magic is a very strong subclass, so I tried to avoid adding anything that’s going to be super powerful. I focused on some options that are spooky and fit the shadow-based nature of the subclass. There are very few “shadow” and “darkness” spells, so I did what I could.
|Spell Level||Spell 1||Spell 2|
|2||Gust of Wind||Shatter|
Conjure Minor Elementals
|5||Control Winds||Destructive Wave|
As of writing this blog post, Storm Sorcery is the worst sorcerer subclass. Among the subclass’s other problems, they don’t get any spells for free that work with Tempestuous Magic, so you’re obligated to learn a few spells that qualify just to reach the baseline expectation of how the subclass should function.
The spells here are intentionally skewed toward powerful go-to options where possible in order to make Storm Sorcery more appealing. Thematically suitable spells are hard to find without simply duplicating Tempest Domain’s spell list (except at level 3, where there are numerous options).
This spell list notably includes a cantrip at first level rather than another 1st-level spell. It seems silly that a storm sorcerer wouldn’t know Thunderclap (even though Sword Burst is objectively better).
|Spell Level||Spell 1||Spell 2|
|1||Chaos Bolt||Magic Missile|
Wild Magic is all about randomness and unpredictability, and I tried to lean into that as much as possible. I ran out of spells almost instantly, so I starting stealing from the Wild Magic table.
For Draconic bloodline- maybe to make it less fire-centric, instead of Burning Hands have Cause Fear at level one (for dragons’ Frightful Presence)? Level 5 is definitely tricky, but Legend Lore struck me as a draconic option without an elemental tag?
So I very recently wrote a little thing on reddit about this subject, because I thought it was unfair for these new-fangled sorcerers to get this cool expanded spell list with the bonus retraining mechanic. I think we had similar ideas in terms of flavorful spells to grant each sorcerer at every level.
One suggestion someone floated to me was the idea that Divine Soul sorcerers should be allowed to pick a cleric domain’s spell list, with the downside that it wouldn’t come with the retraining aspect. So basically trading that long-term versatility for the short term variety you get from each domain. Ofc, I also see that they have access to the cleric spell list anyway- They’re not dying for options, snrk.
Either way, would love to hear your thoughts on my own spell list options. I’m particularly proud of the Wild Magic spell list and the weird retraining mechanic I incorporated. It’s fun, if a little more intensive on the bookkeeping.
Cheers and keep up the good work!
PS: Recently got into Pathfinder 2e and it was a joy to have so much to catch up on in your writing!
Forgot to leave the link, ah x3
Good iniciative, my thoughs:
Draconic and Divine soul has more less the same problem: focusing only in one aspect of the subclass: too much good/lwfull options in Divine Soul and too much fire options in the dragon one. I think Elemental bane,cause fear and legend lore are interesting options to the draconic one. Levitate and fly too. Divine Soul i think the simplest way is give acess to a domain spell list and make a day.
Shadow sorcery i think ray of sickness does’t fit well..even if it’s a necromancy spell. I think Disguise self or Hex would fit better. Shadow of Moil and Summon Shadowspawn i think are interesting options too.
I dont think fireball or reincarnate are intesting options to wild magic, Mislead and enemies around could work better . I like the ideia of Fortune’s Favor, maybe i will change my version to use it, i have chosen Mirror/Image and enlarge/reduce initially
I’m doing the same in my table, i basically used the Nerd Immersion video as a base
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ish69wz4NQc), but ignoring his sugesiton to change all 6th level features., but used the ideia of they also can change the spell later, choosing 2 schools to each subclasse
I also not changed the extra spell in shadow and divine soul subclasses. They are supposed to know more spells from start, so they still receive one more spell beyound the origin list.
I’d go along with something like the Genie Warlock’s choices for the Draconic Bloodline sorcerer, with a static spell list on the left which all DB sorcerers get and then a righthand list which is determined by which colour your sorcerer chooses. So something akin to the Cause Fear, Draconic Breath, etc. as static, and then some choice elemental spells as determined by bloodline.
While the Cleric domain list is a good idea, the Cleric choices tend to tap other classes’ spell lists which the basic sorcerer may already have access to. This makes it a bit less appealing to my mind, because A: I had that already, B: it doesn’t necessarily diversify the playing experience. I think as an alternative, you’d create six lists from which your Divine Soul would pick two. One would be chosen from Good, Neutral, and Evil, with appropriate spells. The second would be chosen from Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic. This does, however, open itself up to some meta choices with a viable ‘best’ option. You could either put up the ‘tax’ spells which a Divine Soul was going to choose anyway, but that’s not necessarily going to be fun for you if your party already has a cleric who has those spells on lock. I’d also consider something along the lines of individualising the school limits for switching for each list, such as Good being able to switch to spells from Abjuration or Divination only whereas an Evil list can switch to Necromancy or Conjuration. This would have the side effect of making the Divine Soul a lot more complex, however.
These are great, but what is the reasoning behind Vitriolic Sphere for the Storm Sorcerer? I cannot figure out how it is supposed to fit.
I honestly can’t remember what I was thinking there.
I’d do Draconic Bloodline like Land Druid, with 1 spell per spell level that is generic to the subclass and then one from the element you choose at 1st level.
For Draconic Sorcerer at 5th level, I did Circle of Power.
I really like the juice you gave Storm Sorcerer, I leaned more into the water aspects of a storm and came up with this list. Alternate Spells are in Parentheses:
Thunderwave, Create/Destroy Water (Ice Knife)
Shatter, Gust of Wind (Misty Step)
Call Lightning, Tidal Wave (Fly)
Storm Sphere, Control Water (Conjure Minor Elementals, Watery Sphere)
Maelstrom, Cone of Cold (Conjure Elemental)
Regarding Storm Sorcerer, give them thunderclap for free. (Aberrant Mind gives 2 1st level and a cantrip, so there’s precedent there) As for what other 1st level spell to give as an option, I really like Thunderous Smite for them. It’s not on the sorcerer list in the first place. It does compete for that bonus action, so it’s not a perfect fit.
Something I did for my party’s wild mage is set up a system where, every time they gain a spell level, they roll 2d8 to determine which classes they can draw spells from, and 2d8 again to determine what schools. I personally find that it adds a fun element of randomness that the Wild Mage sadly lacks outside of its namesake feature Wild Magic Surge, which barely ever comes up with standard rules (we use the Mulligan method for Wild Magic surges at my table, where the DC goes up by 1 for every successful save, and reduces to 1 on a surge), and can be very easily circumvented at later levels.
I’m late to this party, sorry about that. But I would say for Draconic Bloodline, considering the base idea that dragons are naturally dominating individuals, that Dominate Person would be a suitable subclass spell over Immolation?
I did something fairly similar recently before I saw your post! I made an expanded list for the Draconic, Shadow and Storm sorcerers, along with rules for retraining. I think it can be argued that the Draconic and Shadow sorcs are strong enough that they don’t really need the extras, though Storm definitely does. I’d additionally give Shatter to the Storm sorc as a free additional (and castable with sorc points, like Darkness for the Shadow sorc, for expanded range & AoE), so they’ll have plenty of options that works with Heart of the Storm.
Draconic: The new spell must be an evocation or a transmutation spell from the druid, sorcerer, or wizard spell list.
1st- Absorb Elements, Primal Savagery, Chromatic Orb
3rd- Dragon’s Breath, Protection from Poison
5th- Fear, Protection from Energy
7th- Elemental Bane, Polymorph
9th- Hold Monster, Summon Draconic Spirit
Shadow: The new spell must be an abjuration or a necromancy spell from the druid, warlock, or wizard spell list.
1st- Cause Fear, False Life, Toll the Dead
3rd- Pass Without Trace, Ray of Enfeeblement
5th- Nondetection, Summon Shadowspawn
7th- Phantasmal Killer, Shadow of Moil
9th- Antilife Shell, Enervation
Storm: The new spell must be a conjuration or an evocation spell from the druid, sorcerer, or wizard spell list.
1st- Fog Cloud, Gust, Thunderwave
3rd- Gust of Wind, Warding Wind
5th- Thunder Step, Wind Wall
7th- Ice Storm, Storm Sphere
9th- Control Winds, Maelstrom
I didn’t make one for the Wild sorc, since their whole point is ‘anything goes’, nor did I expand the options for Divine Soul. I do like that they trade diversity in numbers of spells for versatility in having more choices. Instead, I’d let Wild sorcs pick from the sorcerer, warlock or wizard spell list when choosing spells, giving them a truly massive selection, and giving them Chaos Bolt as a free additional, castable with sorc points for an extra attack roll as if two 8s were rolled.
In description of Draconic Bloodline additional spells, at first level written “Cause Feat”, instead of, I presume “Cause Fear”.
I don’t think the wild magic one really captures the flavour, it’s all about chaos and random stuff happening; rolling more dice!
For level 2 especially, Fortune’s Favour which has a 100gp consumable cost is just unfair to give them and levitate is kinda boring. I would go for something like Mirror Image (copies of yourself appearing and having to roll extra dice to see if they get hit) and Nathair’s Mischief (again, very very random shit happening)
Obvs there are a lot of cases to be made but I would go for these, they all seem to fit in the randomness, chaos and bright flashes and loud bangs that go with the subclass.
Chaos bolt, Hideous laughter
Mirror image, Nathair’s Mischief
Blink, Tiny Servant
Animate Objects, Mislead
Do you think you could add something for the Psionic Soul sorcerer subclass? I think it needs some expansion. I know it’s not a base sorcerer subclass, but I just think it’s neat. 🙂
I think that subclass was reworked into Aberrant Mind. WotC got feedback that having psionic dice on top of sorcery points and spell slots was a bad design (Crawford used the phrase “a hat on a hat on a hat” if I remember right). Thematically, they’re the same subclass. So I would just steal the spell list from Aberrant Mind.