Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dark Sun 4e: Athasian Sorcerer Build

In my discussion of the classes for Dark Sun 4e, I stated that the Sorcerer class is a bit of a problem mainly from the fact that fluff text and neither of the builds are a good match for the setting. Here is a slightly modified class build that fits better with the magic source on Athas.

Athasian Sorcerer:

You have always been able to feel the vitality of the material around you but now you have learned to harness it and bend it to your will for spectacular affect.

Vitality Pull: Your feel for the lifeforce around you allows you to better harness it for arcane affects. You gain bonus to the damage of your arcane powers equal to your Wisdom modifier. This bonus increases by +2 at 11th level and +4 at 21st level.

Vitality Sense: Your feel for the lifeforce around you allows you to anticipate attacks. While not wearing heavy armor you can use your wisdom modifier in place of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier to determine your AC.

Protect Vitality: You innate feel for vitality allows you to protect yours from attack. You gain resist 5 to Necrotic damage. The resistance increases 10 at 11th level and 15 at 21st level. This resistance works against damage caused by defiling magic.

Absorb Vitality: Sometimes you pull in to much lifeforce to drive for your arcane power. You have learned how to absorb this into yourself. While you cannot hold it forever it can add a boost to your vitality. When you roll a natural 20 for an arcane attack you immediately gain Wisdom modifier temporary hit points.

Find Hidden Vitality: Your natural sense allows you to find hidden sources of lifeforce to power your magic. The first encounter power you use in any encounter does not count against its use for the encounter(ie the first encounter power you use can be used again in the same encounter).

Design Notes: These are mainly based on the existing Sorcerer build features with the Find Hidden Vitality to compensate for the fact that I was not interested in writing powers for every level which give a bonus like you get with Dragon Magic and Wild Magic Class feature. The necrotic damage protection makes this class good for defilers working in groups or people hunting defilers if you use a more rational defiler/preserving rule.


  1. This seems pretty balanced with one major exception: Find Hidden Vitality. The find hidden vitality seems pretty overpowered, having an extra encounter power per encounter is incredibly powerful. I could look over the sorcerer builds to try to find something, but honestly, the first several things work just fine alone.
    The Dragon Sorcerer could EASILY fit as an elemental theme sorcerer instead with only tweaking of flavor text. The arcane power source is practically elemental anyway.
    The two builds from Arcane Power, the Storm Sorcerer and Cosmic Sorcerer feel fine to me. You can imagine Athas having powerful storms, and with two moons and a strong sun, you can imagine having a cosmic effect as well. Perhaps without oceans to balance the tidal pull of the moons, people feel the moons much more there, but that is beyond my area of expertise.

  2. I was thinking of just granting a bonus feat at 1st, 11th, and 21st levels but it appears in 4e you get more feats than in 3 so I was not sure if it would be helpful.

    Since I do not have any of the expanded power books I have be trying to concentrate on the core rules. I was trying to avoid an elemental sorcerer since hopefully the shamans will take the elemental path.

  3. I do not have any experience with 4e yet so I am just sort of going by guess. I ordered a copy of Castle Ravenloft since I thought I might be able to get a game of that in at the Ferndale house boardgame days.

  4. Another option might be to give them an additional at will attack power to they can cover more different types of attacks.