Playing with DnD5 Characters – 6th Level Tiefling Draconic Sorcerer

Call him Mutt.

The Sorcerer is one of the spellcasting classes in D&D5 whose spell lists goes all the way up to 9th level. That is, they can be totally nasty with the right circumstances. And the spell lists are broad enough that you can specialize within types to make for a well thought out roleplaying or character schtick if you wish.

I’m actually going to take that route a bit, in that my particular choices of race and magical origin really point in a particular direction. Also, the point of this series is a bit of the munchkin “do lots of damage” quest, just to see what’s possible. 

But even at 6th level, you have a lot to choose from, and could be a buff-monster, an illusionist/sneak, or a spellslinger that controls the battlefield environment rather than dishing out HP of damage.

Still: I’m going the damage route, with some very special extras.

Race and Class and Stats

Obviously going for Sorcerer here, and that means CHA as the spellcasting stat. I could easily pump this to 20 given my array of (16, 15, 14, 13, 13, 11), but I’m not going to. The d6 hit die for Sorcerers means that some care will be taken to not be a glass cannon, as well as keeping INT and WIS high for some decent but not great skill rolls. 

For Race, the CHA-boosting races are the Half-Elf and the Tiefling. Hmm. From a stats point of view, Half-Elf could eat the +2 and then hit up with a +1 in CON and something else. Maybe DEX for the AC bonus (and you’ll need the help, since you’re not proficient in any kind of armor to start with).

Tiefling, however. Hmm. Darkvision, which is nice. Hellish resistance gives half-damage to fire. Oooga-oooga. And I can cast Hellish Rebuke and Darkness once per day, each as a 2nd level spell. 

Perhaps it’s just me, but half fire damage is appealing.


For the sorcerous background, I’m going to go with Draconic, and just for fun pick Green dragon – so I also can invoke resistance to poison, have AC 15 thanks to dragon scales, and add my CHA bonus to poison-based damaging spells. Plus: HP maximum increases, important for a sorcerer.

So I hit CHA, CON, and DEX, in that order, for 16, 15, and 14. Then STR for 11. That leaves WIS and INT at 13 base. The INT and CHA are boosted by race; the CON and WIS will be boosted by my stat advance at level 4.

STR 11 (+0); DEX 14 (+2); CON 16 (+3); INT 14 (+2); WIS 14 (+2); CHA 18 (+4)

Saving throws are boosted to CON +6 and CHA at +7; the low-ish DEX throw may be a problem when dodging out of the way of spells from foes.

Powers and Abilities (Race/Class)


The mix of Tiefling and Green dragon is just odd. Cool and odd. And it gives him some interesting stuff. Going to repeat myself here a bit, but:

Tiefling

  • Darkvision 60′
  • Hellish rebuke (2nd level) once per day
  • Darkness (2nd level) one per day
  • Resistance to fire damage
Draconic Bloodline (Green)
  • HP maximum increases 1 per level (6 HP at 6th level)
  • Can speak, read, write draconic, and CHA checks get double the proficiency bonus with dragons
  • Can add +4 to damage with spells I cast with poison damage type 
  • Can spend a sorcery point and get resistance to poison for an hour
Skills

You are not a skill monkey. I hit up Arcana, History, Intimidation, and Insight. Intimidation is CHA-based, so +7. Insight, Arcana, and History are +5, the other CHA skills +4, and more or less +2 to everything else but Athletics. 

Combat

Yeah, whatever.  ğŸ™‚
OK, more seriously, you can certainly bring along some mundane weaponry, and maybe you should as a just-in-case. The stock light crossbow you get as starting equipment is your best bet, and a quarterstaff is the best of a set of poor choices for melee weapons if you must wield one.
AC 15 thanks to the draconic bloodline. That’s not great, but not bad. If you roll really well and can afford to pump your DEX a bit, this could be up to AC 18 if you can eke out DEX 20, but AC 15 is really not that much worse than many starting ACs for the Ranger . . . and he’s a fighter.
Melee Combat 
Light Crossbow: 1d20+5; 1d8+2 damage
Quaterstaff: 1d20+3 to hit; 1d6 damage
Forget these, though, unless you’re in a no-magic zone. Use your cantrips instead. Some are mighty.
Spellcasting
This is the meat of it. You get a lot of cantrips – 6 when you include the free Thaumaturgy you get with your race. You only know 7 spells total, but can cast 4 1st level, 3 2nd level, and 3 3rd level spells per long rest.
I’m going to be a bit different than the rest of the characters I’ve done, and pick spells somewhat thematically. I’ve got fire thanks to tiefling, and poison-flavor thanks to dragon. So I’ll focus on spells with poison and fire damage types.
Cantrips
  • Thaumaturgy: cheap tricks with magic. I have this because it’s free.
  • Fire Bolt: 2d10 fire damage to 120′ on a ranged spell attack (1d20+7). Credible but not great. Better than a rogue denied sneak attack by quite a bit (shorbow is only 1d6+4)
  • Poison Spray: 2d12+4 to 10′, so if you’re literally in the second rank, 17 HP per turn is actually only two points lower than a rapier sneak attack from a 6th level rogue, and longer ranged.
  • Blade Ward: this gives resistance to melee damage types (bludgeoning, slashing, piercing) one turn at a time. So you can take half damage all you want, at the cost of doing nothing else . . . unless you spend the sorcery point to cast this as a bonus action instead with Quickened Spell
  • Light: always useful for others; not always for you with darkvision
  • Player to be named later: probably another utility spell, like mending or message
Spells

I only get seven choices, and notionally they could be at any level. That’s dumb, though, since I get 4/3/3 for slots. So roughly balancing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells.
Interestingly, though, the 2nd level guys are a lot of buffing spells, which wasn’t what I was going for. Still, I tossed some in there. I get +4 damage to poison-based spells from my bloodline.
  • Chromatic Orb (1st) – I love this spell. 3d8 if it hits (1d20+7) of any energy damage type, and I can cast it with higher spell slots for up to 5d8 damage (5d8+4 if it’s poison). 90′.
  • Fireball (3rd) – the crowd-pleaser, and with the the careful spell metamagic exception, I can exempt four friends from the blast. 8d6 fire damage, 20′ radius.
  • Invisibility (2nd) – good for not getting pummeled in melee, but switches off a bit easily.
  • Ray of Sickness (1st) – 2d8+4 poison damage, creature poisoned until next turn on a failed CON save vs DC 15. Can buff it to up to 4d8+4. 60′
  • Scorching Ray (2nd) – three rays, 2d6 fire each, with a 3rd level slot giving another ray for 8d6 total to 120′. 
  • Stinking Cloud (3rd) – picked this one for thematics; no damage, but failed poison save makes you “retch and reel” which presumably has some mechanical effect.
  • Witch Bolt (1st) – 1d12 lightning damage (2d12 or 3d12 with higher slots) if you successfully hit . . . but once you do, you get a free 1d12 damage as long as you keep your force-lightning on the hapless Jedi-wannabe unless he can flee outside the spell’s range or duck behind total cover. You can’t do anything else, though, and while 1d12 100% of the time seems like a lot off hand, it’s only really impressive if you can keep the pressure on for a long time (max 10 rounds, the spell’s 1-min duration)
  • Darkness (2nd) – once per day, thanks to Tiefling
  • Hellish Rebuke (2nd) – once per day, thanks to Tiefling, can hit a foe with 3d10 damage if he fails a DEX save (half damage if he makes it). 
Metamagic
Two metamagic abilities are given at each of 3rd, 10th, and 17th levels. My choices are 
  • Careful Spell – exempt up to 4 friends from a spell’s effect for 1 sorcery point. Good for casting area-effect spells like fireball into a frantic melee
  • Quickened Spell – spend 1 sorcery point and cast a spell as a bonus action instead of an action. Good for casting two spells on your turn (I think), and this is especially handy if you want to do something offensive and something defensive, like Blade Ward, on your turn. Pointed out by +Eric Henson that you can only use a Cantrip as an action if you cast a “real” spell as a Bonus Action, so no double fireballs.
You get one sorcery point per level, so this guy has 6. Sorcery points recover on a long rest, so careful, careful. You can also spend sorcery points to create a spell slot, or turn a spell slot into sorcery points equal to the slot level by spending a bonus action. 
Parting Shot
Each level, you pick what spells you know, and you can know but seven of them at 6th level. So you’ve got a limited amount of stuff to fling, and you don’t rejigger them each night. So if you (for example) choose the spells above, you’re stuck with them and can’t swap out Invisibility for Sleep or Hold Person until you gain a level. In which case you can swap out one spell. So you better like what you have.
The metamagic schticks are pretty cool, but the limits on how often you can swap out spells – and how few you can know (20th level sorcerer knows 15 spells total) seem like you had better like what you do and be prepared to do it a lot. 
The character I created above is good for some very bursty damage. 8d6 three times with fireball or scorching ray, 6d6 three times more with scorching ray again, and if you can keep Witch Bolt on your foe, 10d12 (!) up to four times per day. Plus unlimited cantrip damage, which at least makes him about equal to a rogue in a straight-up fight (at 6th level, anyway). 
This is another time that focusing on a damage dealer might not be the right way to go. Illusion and mobility would make a good focus, or a limited damage capability mixed with some other more subtle magics. 
I chose the poison dragon/fire tiefling thing, but there are really infinite possibilities.

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