Time Bender Sorcerous Origin | New Player Options for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

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Playtest Content

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game.

Constructive feedback is welcome and appreciated in either comments or social media. If you can give me a valid reason with examples why something is off, 9/10 I’m likely to make changes to the content and credit you for doing so. Otherwise, feedback without anything to back it up gets ignored (or at most a smile emoji like this 🙂 ) Thanks!

Design Notes

Here are my notes for this build.

Before the Build

Originally, I was going to do a sea sorcerer. But then I discovered that there already is a sea sorcerer. So with the last minute change, I picked time. But how on earth do you create time mechanics for Dungeons & Dragons?

Time stop, for example, is a freakin’ 9th level spell. Haste and slow are both 3rd-level spells.

Let’s see what we have to work with mathematically by looking at the “neater” sorcerous origins (ie, not Wild Magic since it’s totally wack-a-doodle).

  • Divine Soul gives a sorcerer the power to cast cleric spells and also add 2d4 to a failed roll, basically, (after the fact advantage) once per day at 1st level. At 6th, their healing spells get bumped. At 14th you get flight. Like… forever. And then at 18th, you can recover a number of hit points equal to half your hit points once per day. Jeez, and people call my stuff OP!
  • Draconic Bloodline gets a bunch of crazy boons at 1st: draconic, double prof bonus when chatting with dragons, natural armor, and extra hp. At 6th, you add a bonus to spells of the same type of dragon you’re related to. At 14th you get to fly. And at 18th, you get dragon’s frightening presence (powered by sorc points). Compared to some of the Xanathar’s SOs, this one is a little flimsy in comparison.
  • Shadow Magic can see in the dark and see through magical darkness if you spend sorcery points and Undead Fortitude (using Cha instead of Con) that’s usable once per day. At 6th, you can call up a shadow hound (BADASS) which lasts for 5 minutes. At 14th, you get 120-foot misty step as a bonus action (what… the… hell) and at 18th you can turn into a freakin’ shadow and you’re like, impervious to everything in the world.
  • Storm Sorcerers can speak Primordial (meh…), and you can fly 10 feet (ehhh…). At 6th, when you cast a lightning/thunder spell, you zap folks standing near you and you can stop weather around you (okay, getting better). At 14th, you get to retaliate with lightning damage and push creatures away with no limit (what the hell is up with these 14th level sorcerer powers!) and at 18th you can fly 60 feet! Gah!

So we’ve got a pretty good idea of how the sorcerer’s powers work. Now I need to just figure out how to make it “time bendery.”

Here are a few things I want to accomplish:

  • Time stop “lite” as a capstone power. This’ll take some finesse, but I have some ideas.
  • I think I can get away with either haste or slow powers somewhere around 14th to 18th.
  • At lower levels, I think it’d be cool to have sort of a “look back in time” feature that gives you the ability to see through time. Kinda like Dr. Strange did in Infinity War.
  • Some kinda “see into the future” power, but one that works differently than the Diviners. This’ll probably take the majority of my brain power to figure out.

After the Build

Man, what a fun build. Like many sorcerers, it’s got tons of goofy, flavorful powers, but I love it.

First up are your 1st level powers. You get History expertise. Nothing crazy there. And then you get time sight, which lets you meditate to see into the past. Originally, the Temporal Connection power was here, but I thought it was cooler as a 6th level ability a la the Barbarian’s Feral Instinct. The two powers are essentially weaker versions of commune and the Knowledge cleric’s Visions of the Past feature.

At 6th level, you get a version of the Barbarian’s feral instinct. It seems in line with most of the powers at 6th for sorcerers and other classes so it should be fine.

14th is the first “crazy” feature that lets you turn back time a la Dr. Strange to change a single event. In addition to allowing the roll in question to be remade, you can warn one of the creatures involved so it can make the roll again with advantage or get a bonus to its AC.

Finally, at 18th, you can really F up the world by creating an aura of temporal insanity that slows down every creature (note I said every) within 30 feet of you. Yes, this is like a suped-up slow spell that doesn’t allow for a front end save–and yes, you get haste on top of it–but for the cost of 6 sorcery points and measuring this power against other capstone powers (dude, you get unlimited 60 feet of flying if you’re a Storm Sorcerer and you can Peter Pan all your friends on top of it)–I think it’s fair. Also, it’s usable only once per day and you age a year each time you use it.

Go ahead. Fight me on it.

No, don’t really. I’m weak.

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Sorcerous Origin

At 1st level, a sorcerer gains the Sorcerous Origin feature. The following Time Bender option is available to a sorcerer in addition to those normally offered.

Time Bender

Magic isn’t the only thing that affects the fabric of reality. Time, the mysterious fourth dimension, equally twists and bends the multiverse, creating life where there once was none and destroying it just as quickly.

You were born out of time, either the result of chronomancy gone wrong or born in a pocket of alien time. Whatever your origin, it has changed you, giving you the power to bend time to your will.

Your magic is drawn from this temporal connection. Instead of crafting spells from the arcane might of the gods or drawing on the power of the weave, you replace present instances with future or past ones. For example, if a door is locked, you might access a time when it wasn’t (wizards call this “knock”). If enemies are charging at you, you might stop them with a fireball pulled from a long forgotten primordial era.

Time Benders live outside of time. You might look ancient, but have the mind of a young child. Or you may look like a teenager with the logic and wisdom of a great sage. Things can sometimes seem or feel slow to you one minute when the next everything’s moving too fast for you to keep up.

Alpha and Omega

Your disconnection to the normal flow of time imbues with a greater knowledge of the past. You are proficient with the History skill and your proficiency bonus is doubled when you make ability checks using it.

Timesight

At 1st level, you can take a mental trip into the past to see events outside of your current timeline. You must spend 1 minute in a trance-like state while your consciousness steps back into the past or forwards into the future. Choose one of the following benefits:

  • Historical Echo. You can ask the GM a single yes or no question concerning a specific event that has occurred in the past within a number of centuries equal to your level in this class. The GM must offer a truthful reply in the form of “yes”, “no”, or “maybe.”
  • Vision of the Past. You see a vision of recent events in your immediate vicinity (a room, street, tunnel, clearing, or the like, up to a 20-foot cube), going back a number of hours equal to your Charisma score. You learn about one significant event, beginning with the most recent. Significant events typically involve powerful emotions, such as battles, betrayals, theft, murder, love, or joy. There is a chance that nothing significant occurred, as well.

Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until after you finish a long rest.

Temporal Connection

At 6th level, your connection to the fourth dimension prepares you against foreseen dangers. You have advantage on initiative rolls. Additionally, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren’t incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn. However, you can use either an action or a bonus action, not both.

Turn Back the Clock

Starting at 14th level, you can bend time to alter a single event. After you or a creature makes an attack roll, ability check, or Dexterity saving throw, you can use your reaction to reverse time to the moment just before the roll was made. After the reversal, the target must roll again and keep the new roll.

In addition, before the target rerolls, you can warn the same creature or another that you can see within 30 feet of you that can hear you as part of the same reaction. The creature gains one of the following benefits of your choice until the start of its next turn:

  • Advantage on its next attack roll, ability check, or Dexterity saving throw.
  • A +2 bonus to its AC.

Only you remember the original events that transpired before you reversed time.

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

Chronodisruption

At 18th level, you possess the ability to bend time to your will, a rare ability known as chronodisruption. You can spend 6 sorcery points as your bonus action to create an aura of altered time around you, affecting each creature within 30 feet of you. An affected target’s speed is halved, it takes a -2 penalty to AC and Dexterity saving throws, and it can’t use reactions. On its turn, it can use either an action or a bonus action, not both. Regardless of the creature’s abilities or magic items, it can’t make more than one melee or ranged attack during its turn.

If the creature attempts to cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action, roll a d20. On an 11 or higher, the spell doesn’t take effect until the creature’s next turn, and the creature must use its action on that turn to complete the spell. If it can’t, the spell is wasted.

The slowing effect ends for a creature if it moves more than 30 feet away from you. Also, an affected creature can attempt to break the effect of your chronodisruption while it is within the area of effect. At the start of its turn, the target can make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. If successful, the effect ends for it. A creature that succeeds on its saving throw against your chronodisruption is immune to its slowing effect for 24 hours.

Until the chronodisruption ends, you are also under the effects of the haste spell.

The chronodisruption’s effects end completely after 1 minute. When the effect ends, you can’t move or take actions until your next turn, as a wave of lethargy sweeps over you. In addition, you age by 1 year. The aging effect can only be reversed with a wish spell or similar magic.

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