Is this homebrew Legend of Zelda Rito race balanced?

I recently made a homebrew race based on the Legend of Zelda Rito for Dungeons and Dragons 5E, and I was wondering how balanced it is. The Rito are bird like creatures, similar to the Aarakocra but a little less powerful. I made this build for a Legend of Zelda campaign I am planning (Breath of the Wild setting if it matters).

Ability Score Increase: Your dexterity score increases by 2.

Speed: 30 ft.

Flight: You have a flying speed of 30 feet while you are not wearing medium or heavy armor.

Rito Weapon Training: You are proficient in the longbow, shortbow, and hand crossbow.

Languages: Common and Rito.

Size: Your size is medium.

Is this Enhanced Eyebite balanced vs other spells of comparable level and utility?

Motivation: Many, me included consider Eyebite be cool, but mechanically very underwhelming spell for its level. So, let’s make it a balanced choice. Still, this question does not depend on if original version really is weak or not, this is only about this homebrew version.

The classes to consider as users of the spell: Bard, Sorcerer and especially Warlock, who needs to choose it as an Arcanum, the only and unchangeable 6th level spell they’ll have.

The other spells to consider as comparison points specially: Hold Monster (similar effect on target at 5th level already, for Bard and Sorcerer up-castable to 6th level for 2 targets) and then as actual 6th level aternatives, Mass Suggestion and Mental Prison (in XGtE so paywalled link), which also can be used to take enemies out of a fight, and for which Mass Suggestion has great utility use as well. There doesn’t need to be comparison against the original version of Eyebite. You can also compare to other spells up to level 6, if you think they’re relevant for the same role.

Goal of the homebrew: Eyebite should be an equal contender, when the character reaches the point where they can choose these spells.

Does this Enhanced Eyebite, description below, meet the above goal?


Enhanced Eyebite

Level: 6th
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range/Area: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, 1 hour
School: Necromancy
Attack/Save: WIS Save

For the spell’s duration, your eyes become an inky void imbued with dread power. One creature of your choice within 90 feet of you that you can see must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be affected by one of the following effects of your choice for the duration. On each of your turns until the spell ends, you can use your action to target another creature. If you target a creature again after it has succeeded on a saving throw against this casting of Eyebite, the creature has advantage on its saving throws.

Asleep. The target falls unconscious. It wakes up if it takes any damage or if another creature uses its action to shake the sleeper awake.

Panicked. The target is frightened of you. On each of its turns, the frightened creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest and shortest available route, unless there is nowhere to move. If the target moves to a place at least 90 feet away from you where it can no longer see you, this effect ends.

Sickened. The target has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks. At the end of each of its turns, it can make another Wisdom saving throw. If it succeeds, the effect ends. If it fails, it takes 2d8 points of necrotic damage.

When cast at higher levels: The distance needed for Panicked effect to end increases by 10 feet for each level above 6th. The damage done by Sickened effect increases by 1d8 for each level above 6th.


Notes: Changes to original are highlighted for the benefit of those who know the original spell, even though comparison to original is not what I’m asking. The duration is increased to give this spell more utility, and ability to last for several encounters. The range is increased to match Hold Monster. The damage is added to Sickened effect, so it wouldn’t be strictly inferior to Panicked, which also gives the same disadvantages with different and arguable much stronger condition to end the effect. Scaling with level is added to keep the spell competitive at higher character levels. The ability to target same creature again is given so the spell doesn’t become useless if all enemies succeed at their saving throw, but disadvantage is given so that in most situation it’d still be better to do something else than keep spamming Eyebite at disadvantage.

Is this Tracker ranger subclass balanced?

I have recently created a ranger subclass called the tracker, which is made for a group of rangers focused on purging threats (natural and unnatural) from their home. I updated the tracker from the previous question found at Is this homebrew ranger subclass balanced? (thanks ValhallaGH for the tips).

First Strike: When you choose this subclass, you can quickly get the jump on your enemies. On your first turn in combat, your weapons deal an extra 1D8 damage. This damage increases to 2D8 at 11th level.

Defensive Tactics: At 7th level, your favored enemies have disadvantage on attack rolls against you.

Master of thy Enemy: At 11th level, you have a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls against your favored enemies. You also gain an additional favored enemy, learning an associated language as normal.

Retaliation: At 15th level, you have learned to punish those who harm you with uncanny speed. When you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to make an attack against the creature who harmed you. You have advantage on the attack roll and deal an extra 2D8 damage on a hit.

Is this homebrew rogue subclass balanced?

This is my first attempt at a homebrew subclass, and I am doing my best to follow all best practices. I first started to think of designing a rogue subclass when I was looking for multiclass options for my barbarian. The traditional barbarian did not seem to synergize with any of the other classes fully, and the best option seemed to be the rogue. However, all the synergy came from the base class and none of the official subclasses seemed to offer anything of value to the traditional dumb-smashy barbarian. I began to consider what I might want from a subclass for the purposes of this multiclass.

Then I realized that it was dumb to try to create a subclass for the sole purpose of multiclassing and began to think of what the identity of this class of rogue would be, how I would expect it to be played, and what unfilled niche would it fill.

Flavor and Concept: When I think of rogues in the fantasy setting, I think of the various members of a rogue guild. The thieves, assassins, scouts, masterminds, etc. have all already been accounted for with subclasses. However, in addition to the sneaky, highly skilled roles, an effective rogue guild would have some bashers to do the dirty work. They would shake down merchants for protection money, intimidate politicians, protect smuggled goods, or start bar fights so that the pickpockets or assassins could work in the ensuing chaos.

I have developed the subclass abilities with the idea of a rough, cheap-shoting, honor-less thug in mind. It is a class that is intended to have more battlefield control and survivability than some other subclasses, but no direct subclass damage increases. Socially it is intended to rely more on intimidation than deception. It also does not emphasize intelligence as much as other subclasses but instead likely wants a higher constitution.

I am not sure that I am happy with the name of the subclass (I didn’t even have one in mind while I was writing it), and suggestions would be appreciated if there is an appropriate term for this type of rogue that I cannot think of. The current working title is Enforcer

Balance: In developing this subclass I have looked at the rogue subclasses that I felt were consistent in complexity to this class. I have primarily used Assassin, Mastermind, Scout and Thief. To a lesser extent I have used Inquisitive and Swashbuckler. Arcane Trickster, Phantom and Soulknife did not factor significantly into my development.

Can this be accomplished with another class? In my opinion the rogue class is more defined by its core attributes than its subclasses. Some subclasses rely more heavily on subclass customization than others. Most of what makes a rogue a rogue comes from the base class, and no other class offers the combination of thieving skills, damage avoidance, sneak attack, expertise, and flavor that the rogue does. I do not think that this concept could be better filled by a heavy-armor wearing fighter, a raging barbarian, or a reflavored monk. While this class nudges the rogue towards “tougher” classes like barbarian, it does it in ways that do not change core of the class. A celestial patron warlock is not invalid just because it pushes into cleric territory, and I think that the same could be said here.

3rd Level Bonus Proficiencies When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with improvised weapons. In addition, when you make an attack with an improvised weapon it gains the finesse property.

Instigator
Starting at third level, you can use the bonus action granted to you by your Cunning Action to make a Charisma (Intimidation) check contested by a target’s Wisdom (Insight) check. You must be within 10 feet of your target and the target must be able to understand you. If you succeed, you may choose one of the following:

• Until the start of your next turn, that target has disadvantage on any attack roll against you
• Until the start of your next turn, that target has disadvantage on any attack roll that isn’t against you

Justification

Bonus proficiencies are not usual for 3rd level rogue archetypes (assassin, mastermind, scout). These proficiencies tread on the feet of Tavern Brawler a little, but the archetype is intended to have some tavern brawling baked in. Additionally, Tavern Brawler is a half-feat and this is only half of the features of the feet, so it feels like a quarter-feet is reasonable. This proficiency is almost entirely flavor in most combats – finesse on an improvised weapon does not make it hit any harder than a dagger. However, the idea of a rogue that can do serious damage by cheap-shotting you with furniture to get sneak attack is incredibly flavorful. Additionally, it could be extremely useful in situations such as escaping from confinement – another situation where I imagine one of these characters finds himself periodically.

Several rogue archetypes give additional uses for cunning action (mastermind, thief) or opportunities to use a skill check for a specific outcome (inquisitive, thief) in combat. The idea is that the rogue issues a series of threats and profanity that is intended either to provoke attack (“Your mama’s so….”) or scare them away from attacking you (“If I get my hands on you I’ll…”). It is based somewhat on the Ancestral Guardians subclass from barbarian but does not grant resistance to anyone and is a contested check that might fail rather than automatic on a hit. I kept the distance to 10 feet because I don’t want it to be too easy to kite around, although I do love the idea of an enraged duergar chasing a foul-mouthed rogue around the room, ignoring all of the battle chaos around him because his insult hit home. I based the insight check on the wisdom saving throw that is granted by the frightful presence of a dragon. A possible change would be to reduce this from 2 options to 1, though I hope it is not too overpowered offering a choice.

Shakedown At 9th level you have perfected the art of forceful coercion. You have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks made to bargain for a more favorable price on goods and services. Additionally, you have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks made for the purpose of gathering information.

Most of the subclasses that I reviewed did not have the 9th level ability add a specific combat improvement (thief, mastermind, assassin). I decided to make this a social improvement consistent with the flavor of the class. Initially I had only planned to make this apply to ways to make additional gold, but gold in 5e is not a big deal after a certain point and so I wanted it to have another use. Rogues are masters of skills and many subclasses (mastermind, inquisitive, scout) grant improvements on methods of intelligence gathering. Keeping with the idea of this class shifting away from intelligence and towards thuggery, I thought improving intimidation for the purposes of information gathering would be appropriate. I did not want to grant advantage for all intimidation checks due to the Instigator ability. The language is vague because I want it to apply to the following situations, as well as substantially similar ones, but I would prefer to keep the ability description shorter:

  • Selling specialty goods to a shopkeeper
  • Buying specialty good from a merchant
  • Negotiating a price for quest or job
  • Hiring someone to do a job

Pocket Sand

At 13th level you have learned a variety of ways to gain an edge in a fight. When you are targeted by a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to make a Dexterity saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier). If the save fails, the target is blinded until the end of its next turn. It may use an action to remove the blinded condition.

You may use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain any expended uses when you finish a long rest.

13th level abilities tend to run the spectrum in power, but they are all very flavorful. I had trouble figuring out a power level for this because some 13th level abilities seem very strong (Inquisitive, thief) very weak (Mastermind, Swashbuckler) or very situational (Assassin). I had some trouble with the language here as I could not find a good template in other subclasses and advice would be appreciated, if necessary. The goal is to have an ability that improves survivability without simply tacking on AC. It also is consistent with the idea of this subclass as an unscrupulous brawler, hurling sand in the eyes of a foe. As a reaction this competes with uncanny dodge and opportunity attacks, which are both very useful, and therefore needs to be powerful enough to consider. I set the DC based on the Soulknife’s “rend mind” feature. Additional considerations:

  • I considered requiring the rogue to see the target, but at 14th level the rogue gets blindsense so it did not seem necessary.
  • I am not sure if I should require a free hand.
  • The one round seems short as a duration and I had considered 1 minute since it can be easily removed with an action. However I supposed that the target can ignore the disadvantage and take its attacks anyway if it does not want to use its action and this was a consideration to lower the power level.
  • I could have the uses restore on a short rest instead of long rest. Or, you know, however long it takes to fill your pockets back up with sand.

Comfortably Numb

At 17th level you have learned how to separate your mind from your body, making yourself numb to pain. As a bonus action you can enter a state of mental disconnect for 1 minute (10 rounds). During this time, you gain resistance to magical and nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. In addition, while you are in this state you have immunity to the charmed condition. If you were charmed when you entered this state, the effects are suppressed until the state ends.

Once you use this feature, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

At this level many of the rogue classes can put out huge damage. The assassin and thief can essentially double their opening round damage. Scout and Inquisitive have a significant and consistent increase. This subclass is less focused on raising the rogue’s overall damage output beyond the base class and instead is focused on increases survivability and battlefield control. That is why I landed on an ability that grants resistance to damage for a period of time. The flavor of the idea is that the rogue gets so drunk that he cannot feel normal amounts of pain, but not so drunk that it affects his fighting. I predict the most balance issues with this ability. I have never played a campaign up to this tier and therefore only have research on which to base my concept of balance. Additional considerations:

  • My first draft had him preparing a ‘potion’ on a short rest and then drinking it with a bonus action. My instinct is to keep the ability simple and not require the potion, so I reflavored it (but the intent is still there)
  • My first draft also included a period (10 minutes) of gaining the poisoned condition after the effect wore off, to simulate a quick hangover.
  • I am not sure if once per short rest is the reasonable recharge
  • I do not know how much magical bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage there is
  • The charm immunity was a tack-on, and I am not sure whether it is necessary

Advice is appreciated. Please be kind. Thank you.

Is my Chaos Genasi subrace balanced?

I recently created a Chaos Genasi subrace that has origins in the elemental chaos. They are meant to have a small amount of power from each of the elemental planes. I made them to be flexible and able to play as most classes.

Chaos Genasi:

Where other Genasi are from one of the Elemental planes, you are from the Elemental Chaos, where all elements mingle.

Ability Score Increase: One of your ability scores (other than Constitution) increases by 1

Elemental Absorber: Your exposure to the Elemental Chaos has given you a limited ability to absorb elements. You can cast the Absorb Elements spell once, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Survivor in the Chaos: Your time in the elemental chaos has made you skilled at adapting to any climate. You are naturally adapted to hot and cold climates, and have proficiency in the Survival skill.

Is this homebrew ranger subclass balanced?

I have recently made a homebrew ranger subclass called the tracker, and I was wondering if it is balanced.

Tracker

First Strike

When you choose this subclass, you can quickly get the jump on your enemies. On your first turn in combat, your weapons deal an extra 1D8 damage.

Defensive Tactics

At 7th level, you gain a +2 bonus to AC against your favored enemies.

Favored Enemy Bonus

At 11th level, you gain an additional favored enemy, learning an associated language as normal. You also gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls against your favored enemies.

Master of thy Enemy

At 15th level, you have a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls against your favored enemies.

It was made for a group of rangers who focus on removing threats from their forest. It is made specifically for that group of rangers, and to expand on the favored enemy feature.

Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced? (second version)

Thanks everyone for the insightful advice you offered for the first iteration of this unique artifact for one of my players. If you’d like to read the background and initial considerations on this item, please refer to the previous question: Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced?

Changes and considerations

  • Reduced the amount of active abilities in favor of passive ones;
  • Reduced the flat +1/+2/+3 bonus to hit and damage for a lower +0/+1/+2;
  • Reworded and clarified the teleport ability, and made it a bit more "dangerous" to use;
  • Clarified the Freedom of Movement aura ability, and made it shorter-ranged as well so that there’s more risk in jumping in the fray to help out a restrained ally;
  • Changed damage type from force to radiant to stay closer to the theme;
  • The line attack changed from a creature within 120 feet to a point within 80 feet, both to match the range of the weapon and to make it both more versatile to use. Not sure if it’s really relevant or recommended;
  • spread the damage increase across the levels and capped it to 1d10;
  • Fly became passive and permanent instead of limited to 1h;
  • Added a passive ability that would protect the user from conditions that could reduce their agency against manipulative monsters.

Item levels reference points

  • The item is going to be awarded somewhere around character level 6, and it’ll start from Dormant
  • The item is going to be Awakened around level 10 or 11, depending on the roleplay of the user
  • The item is going to be Exalted around level 15, with the same caveat as before.

Eleutheria, The Chainbreaker

Simple weapon, ranged weapon, artifact (requires attunement) 1d6 radiant (80/320 ft.), two-handed

The shortbow is made of an extremely light wood with colors that vary between walnut and cherry. When exposed to dawn or dusk light, it shines with golden reflections. The grip is wrapped in soft, white leather that seems impervious to dust and grime. All along the upper and lower limbs of the bow, there’s a number of empty, unusually shaped grooves and slots.

Sentience: Eleutheria is a sentient Chaotic Good weapon with an Intelligence of 15, a Wisdom of 19 and a Charisma of 16. It has hearing and blindsight out to a range of 80 feet. The weapon communicates telepathically with its wielder and can speak, read, and understand Celestial and Sylvan.

Personality: A Curious, incautious and excitable Fey spirit lives within Eleutheria. It has an insatiable appetite for adventure, bold actions, and a very personal sense of justice and hatred for tyrants and bullies. The spirit wishes to learn more about the world and its inhabitants.

Dormant: The shortbow grants the following benefits in its dormant state:

  • You can speak, read, and write Celestial and Sylvan.
  • The attacks of this weapon are considered magical.
  • The shortbow doesn’t need physical arrows when attacking. Translucent arrows of pure energy magically appear as soon as you draw the bow’s string.
  • When you make an attack against an hostile creature using Eleutheria, you can use a bonus action to magically teleport to a space you can see within 15 feet of the target of that attack. You can’t use this property again until you take a short or long rest.
  • While Eleutheria is on your person, you have Advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made for detecting traps and Dexterity checks for attempting to pick locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints in order to free a trapped creature. If you aren’t proficient with Thieves’ Tools, you become proficient when picking locks on cages, manacles, or other restraints.

Awakened: When the shortbow reaches an awakened state, it gains the following properties:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
  • Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d8.
  • While holding the shortbow, you can use a bonus action to evoke a gentle, warm (or cool, your choice) breeze to flow around you for the duration. For 1 hour, you and any creature of your choice will benefit from the effects of Freedom of Movement while they’re within 5 feet of you. You can’t use this property again until the next dawn.
  • When you speak its command word, your arrow transforms into a beam of pure radiant energy, forming a line 5 feet wide that extends out from you to a point you can see within 80 feet of you. Each creature in the line, excluding you, must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d12 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Exalted: When the shortbow reaches an exalted state, it gains the following properties:

  • The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +2.
  • Your walking speed increases by an additional 10 feet.
  • The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d10.
  • You can channel the winds around you to support you in your movement. You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
  • While attuned to the shortbow, you can’t be charmed, frightened, petrified, or forced to be prone.

Is this improved Grease spell balanced?

Grease is a very underwhelming spell as it currently stands due to its size and shape (10 ft square) and because the effect is easily overcome. I think this could be a great low level control spell that would still be useful even at higher levels, but it needs some changing. Control spells at 1st level that effect multiple targets typically have an additional or stronger effect: Earth Tremor deals damage, Entangle restrains the target instead of keeping them prone, among other spells having similar improved effects. See below for my alternative Grease spell.

Grease
1st level conjuration

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V S M (A bit of pork rind or butter)
Duration: 1 minute
Classes: Wizard

Slick grease covers the ground in and turns it into difficult terrain for the duration. You make a line up to 5 feet wide, and 30 feet long; alternatively, you can make a square up to 15 feet across.
When the grease appears, each creature standing in its area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature that enters the area, stands up from prone while in the area, or ends its turn there must also succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.

The first change her is the spells area of effect. By changing the spell to be a line, this gives the caster the option to force enemies to cross its area; they may not be in the grease for as long, but they are much more likely to spend time in it. Increasing the size of the spell to 15 feet makes it to a creature moving through the terrain with average movement (30 feet) will have to spend all there movement to get from one side to the other.
The second change adds standing up from prone requiring a dexterity saving throw. This makes it much more difficult to overcome the prone feature of the spell, and may mean the effected creature needs to crawl out of the area in order to end its effect.

An additional change I considered, but probably would be too powerful for the spell being 1st level, was the grease being flammable. this is something that a lot of players ask for and DMs I’ve played with typically allow. Here’s my interpretation of how the effects would look:

A creature that falls prone in the spells area is soaked in grease: this makes the creature vulnerable to the next fire damage they take before the spell ends, unless they are already resistant or immune, in which case this has no effect. Any fire damage that is dealt to the grease area or a creature soaked in grease while still within the area causes the entire area to erupt in flame, cancelling out the prone effects of the spell. Any creature in the area must make a dexterity saving throw, taking 1d6 fire damage on a failure. The grease is completely burned up in 1 round.

I think this addition is a bit more complex than most things in 5e, and likely too strong for 1st level. The vulnerability to fire damage would be close to everyone in the area of the spell, which is why the damage is so small. I think boosting the spell to 2nd level be appropriate, and adding concentration to the spells duration.

Is this homebrew shortbow unique item balanced?


Background

One of my players would like a magical bow, but I want something more than simply giving flat bonuses or extra damage/effects. Ideally it should be something that I can tie into her story/background/path, and that evolves and grows with her. I would like it to feel special, and flexible, but not overpowered. I’m fine with this to be a unique object and the center of her upcoming quests.

For who’s familiar with the world of Wildemount, this items follows loosely the format of Vestiges of Divergence, which are artifacts that "level up" with the wielder over time after key events (controlled by the DM) happen in game.

I’m looking for feedback about the power and viability of this item. I’m fine if the item has many cool uses outside of combat, but I want to avoid for it to be exceedingly effective in dealing damage or protecting the wearer compared to what the rest of the party can do. Unfortunately this item has to be a weapon, and has to give at least some basic bonus of combat capabilities, so it’s quite a fine line to walk.

The Item:

Chainbreaker

Simple weapon, ranged weapon, artifact (requires attunement) 1d6 piercing – ammunition (80/320 ft.), two-handed

The shortbow is made of an extremely light wood with a deep brown color which shines golden reflections when exposed to the dawn and dusk light. The grip is wrapped in soft, white leather that seems impervious to dust and grime. All along the upper and lower limbs of the bow, there’s a number of empty nooks and crannies.

Sentience: Chainbreaker is a sentient Chaotic Good weapon with an Intelligence of 15, a Wisdom of 19 and a Charisma of 16. It has hearing and blindsight out to a range of 120 feet. The weapon communicates telepathically with its wielder and can speak, read, and understand Celestial and Sylvan.

Personality: A Curious, incautious and excitable Fey spirit lives within Chainbreaker. It has an insatiable appetite for adventure, bold actions, and a very personal sense of justice and hatred for tyrants and bullies. The spirit wishes to learn more about the world and its inhabitants.

Dormant: The shortbow grants the following benefits in its dormant state:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
  • You can speak, read, and write Celestial and Sylvan.
  • While holding the shortbow, you can use a bonus action to speak its Celestial command word, causing a flash of bright light to spark from the bow’s handle. The flash reveals for 1 minute all hidden traps within 120 ft. You can’t use this property again until you take a short or long rest.
  • While holding the shortbow, after you complete an Attack action, you can use a bonus action to magically teleport within 30 feet of the target of your previous attack.

Awakened: When the shortbow reaches an awakened state, it gains the following properties:

  • The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +2.
  • Your movement speed increases by 10 feet.
  • While holding the shortbow, you can use a bonus action to speak its Sylvan command word, causing a gentle, warm (or cool, your choice) breeze to flow around you for the duration. For 1 hour, you and any creature of your choice within 20 feet of you will benefit from the effects of Freedom of Movement.
  • When you fire an arrow and speak a command word, it transforms into a bolt of pure force, forming a line 5 feet wide that extends out from you to a creature you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature in the line, excluding you, must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d12 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Exalted: When the shortbow reaches an exalted state, it gains the following properties:

  • The weapon’s bonus to attack and damage rolls increases to +3.
  • You can channel the winds around you to support you in your movement. For 1 hour you gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.
  • If you target a creature that is grappling or restraining one of your allies, you have advantage on all your attack rolls against that creature.
  • The shortbow doesn’t need physical arrows when attacking. Translucent arrows of pure force magically appear as soon as you draw the bow’s string. The base damage die of this weapon becomes 1d12, and the damage type becomes force.

The theme

This item is an artifact dedicated to a Goddess which values freedom, exploration, open spaces and hates injustice, bindings, and tyrants. I tried to keep it in the theme of the item with abilities for tactical teleport and bonuses when helping out people that are restrained by others. I’m fine with changing anything as long as it can be traced back to the theme.

Possible problem areas

I’m wary of giving out items that increase the effectiveness in combat for a character. I’m aware of the bounded accuracy concept in D&D 5th edition. I would be fine with re-tuning the +1/+2/+3 fixed bonus.

This item has probably too many things going on for a player to actively keep in mind.

Is my Wild Magic rewrite balanced?

I despise the Player’s Handbook version of the Wild Magic sorcerous origin—I think it’s poor, lazy design that causes entirely unnecessary strife at the table. There are ways to capture the feeling of chaos and “wild magic” without resorting to shoving an extra responsibility in the DM’s lap. I think Wizards of the Coast can do better—because they have in the past. And taking cues from those better-designed examples, I think I can do better too. But I don’t know D&D 5e as well, so I need help making sure I’ve got the balance right, and I’d also appreciate knowing if any of my verbiage or formatting betrays my stronger familiarity with D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder.

So this is my take on the Wild Magic sorcerous origin. I’ve written it up in what is meant to be the “official” style, and stylistic/formatting/wording critiques are welcome if I’ve missed the mark on that. And anything found to be confusing or ambiguous definitely needs sorting out. But the larger question, of course, is whether the result is balanced and playable. Balancing should be in line with other sorcerous origins, ideally among the better of them (from my understanding, Divine Soul, Draconic, and Shadow are seen as better than Storm or the original Wild Magic).

Sorcerous Origin

At 1st level, a sorcerer gains the Sorcerous Origin feature. The following wild magic option is available to a sorcerer, instead of the wild magic origin offered in the Player’s Handbook.

Wild Magic

None can tell where your magic comes from; it is fickle, inconstant, and unique. Some might associate it with the forces of chaos, whether Limbo or demons or the fey, or those places in the multiverse where reality is frayed and all magic takes on some of the volatility that yours exhibits everywhere. But none of these is a perfect match; there is no perfect match to be found anywhere else—your magic is yours.

Wild Magic Surge

Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, whenever you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st-level or higher, its casting time is increased by 1 round. Sorcerer spells ordinarily cast as a bonus action or reaction are not affected.

After each short rest, choose a number of different sorcerer cantrips and/or spells you know equal to 3 + your proficiency bonus. These spells are your “Deck.” You can begin a Wild Magic Surge on any of your turns to randomly draw a number of spells from your Deck equal to your proficiency bonus. Drawn spells form your “Hand.” You may “Play” a spell from your Hand in order to cast it without extending the casting time (it still consumes its usual spell slot). Once Played, a spell is no longer in your Hand and cannot be Played again for the rest of the Wild Magic Surge. On each of your turns after beginning a Wild Magic Surge, you draw one more spell at random from the Deck. If there are no spells left in the Deck at the start of your turn, the Wild Magic Surge ends.

At the end of a Wild Magic Surge, roll a d20. If you roll a number lower than the number of spells you drew but did not cast during the Wild Magic Surge, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a random magical effect.

Starting a Wild Magic Surge is not an action, it’s simply something you can do on your turn. Very few conditions can prevent you from starting a Wild Magic Surge: being petrified, unconscious, or dead, being already in a Wild Magic Surge, or having recently been Overdrawn (see below), each prevent you from starting a surge. A charm effect could convince or compel you to choose not to. But you can begin a Wild Magic Surge in any other condition. You do not need any rest between Wild Magic Surges; you can start a new Wild Magic Surge the moment a previous one ends, if you wish (after rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table, if necessary).

This is what makes a Wild Magic sorcerer all about Wild Magic. They have a hard time forcing exactly the spell they want at any given time, but if they go with the flow, they can cast spells without difficulty. Surging like this can draw upon dangerous energies, though the risks remain low.

This design is based on that of the crusader from 3.5e’s Tome of Battle, which used the same kind of deck (readied maneuvers) that you draw (granted maneuvers) and play (initiating them). That design worked phenomenally for the crusader (seriously, one of my favorite classes in D&D history), but there is a distinct difference between maneuvers and spells in this case: the crusader’s maneuvers were almost all about attacking. It didn’t necessarily matter all that much if you drew fancy attack 3 instead of fancy attack 4. Sorcerer spells are a lot more niche and varied, where drawing Protection from Energy when you really need Dispel Magic is a big problem. What I’d kind of like to do is come up with some appropriate cost you could pay (/risk you could take) to allow you to just cast any spell you know. Fitting such a feature in is tricky, though—this feature is already massive. And I’m not quite sure what the cost/risk should be. It would have to be enough that you would generally prefer not to and prefer to go with what you drew.

Anyway, note that this feature is, entirely, downside. That is relevant to the next feature. Also, in case there was any doubt, the Wild Magic Surge table referenced here is the same as the one in the Player’s Handbook version of the Wild Magic sorcerous origin. I don’t love this—that table has serious problems even if it’s not being thrust into the DM’s lap—but as a risk/cost, something to avoid, it might work, plus I gather some people like it and it’s a bunch of work I don’t have to do. I’d consider an alternative cost if anyone’s got any great ideas, though.

Surge of Power

Starting at 1st level, when casting a spell during a Wild Magic Surge, you may choose to play another spell. The second spell is not cast; instead, the first spell is improved. Choose one of the following improvements:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to any spell attacks made as part of the first spell.
  • The saving throw DC of the first spell increases by +1.
  • The duration of the first spell is increased by 1 round for every minute in its original duration.
  • The first spell is treated as if it had been cast from a spell slot one level higher than it actually was. You may only choose this improvement if the second spell was higher level than the first.

And here is why you might consider bothering with the whole Wild Magic thing—that wild magic can power up your spells. Originally I had just gone with +1 spell slot level, as in the last bullet, without requiring that the sacrificed spell be higher level, but it seemed too strong for something you could theoretically do every round. Still, I do want this to be good, because as discussed, Wild Magic Surge is purely downside.

Note that Surge of Power plays a spell without casting it—since it was played, you can’t cast it. That means it will necessarily count against you at the end of the Wild Magic Surge, increasing the risk of random magical side-effects.

Metasurge

Starting at 6th level, when casting a spell during a Wild Magic Surge, you may choose to play another spell. The second spell is not cast; instead, the first spell gains the benefit of any Metamagic ability you know without spending sorcery points. The level of the second spell must meet or exceed twice the regular sorcery point cost of the Metamagic, however.

Sort of obvious (I think?) extension of Surge of Power. Unsure if the ratio of sorcery points to sacrificed spell level is right, but it feels right looking at the sorcery point costs of the the Metamagic effects in Player’s Handbook. (Does any other source include more Metamagic options?)

Overdrawn

At 14th level, when you reach the end of your Wild Magic Surge, you may choose to become Overdrawn. If you do, you draw your entire deck (even those spells already played during the wild magic surge) and extend your Wild Magic Surge until the end of your turn. At the end of your Overdrawn turn, you gain a level of exhaustion, and you cannot begin another Wild Magic Surge for 1 minute.

This requires surging for three rounds before you can activate it, which means it’s probably only an option in big boss fights—which is kind of the idea! But if you can’t finish things with this power, you’re also kind of taking yourself out of the fight, since for a whole minute you are stuck with extended casting times.

Cataclysm

Beginning at 18th level, if you would die, you can interrupt whatever event is killing you in order to take an immediate extra turn. For the extra turn, you recover any features you ordinarily would with a short rest, you become Overdrawn, and you gain a temporary 9th-level sorcerer spell slot. At the end of this turn, your own magic tears you apart, as if you had been killed by Disintegrate. (Any creature whose action was interrupted does not get the opportunity to choose to do something else with their action as a result of you being disintegrated.)

I love this feature, it seems narratively appropriate, like just the kind of thing you’d expect a Wild Magic sorcerer to do, and the considerable power on offer seems appropriately balanced by the huge and obvious downside—you have to die! Ultimately, though, as much as I love this, I’m not sure it’s such a great idea to dedicate an entire class feature to something you really want to never use. Best case scenario, this becomes a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the end of a campaign, but is it a good idea to have a feature that, in the best case, is only ever used once?