Sorcerers are rare on Oerth, but not completely unknown. More often than not, those with innate sorcerous ability will hone their skills with more traditional wizardly study, becoming truly formidable spellcasters combining the learned magic of a wizard with the intuitive understanding of a sorcerer (in game terms, this means that single-class sorcerers are exceedingly rare, and more often those who begin as sorcerers will switch classes to gain levels as a wizard).
Sorcerers in the World of Greyhawk may choose the following alternate origins if they wish.
BITTEN BY THE SERPENT
The Serpent, known as Mok’slyk to the ancient Ur-Flan, is a creature whose origins are obscured in the mists of time, and whose very existence is doubted by many sages. Some sorcerers, though, know the truth. Mok’slyk does exist, and on very rare occasions, it will come to someone and instruct him or her in ancient and terrible ways of magic.
Some say that the Serpent is the very personification of magic, while others believe it to be one of the so-called “Ancient Bretheren” who predated the gods themselves. Still others believe the Serpent to be an aspect of Asmodeus, the Arch-Fiend. It is whispered that the arch-lich Vecna was one so Bitten in ages past, and some believe the Serpent to be nothing more than a figment of his twisted imagination, brought to life. Its true nature may never be known.
Mok’slyk is possessed of all the knowledge of those sorcerers in the past whom it has touched in this way, and with good reason. Once someone who has been Bitten by the Serpent dies, the Serpent consumes his or her soul, gaining the knowledge and life experience of that person, and using it to help the next person to be so touched. Still, those who are Bitten deem it a worthy trade in exchange for all the power and knowledge that the Serpent can bring. While not all those who are Bitten by the Serpent begin their sorcerous careers as evil, none who are, can escape that eventual fate.
Starting at 1st level, you have better than normal powers of persuasion. Whenever you are making a Charisma check to persuade an NPC of something, you may add your proficiency bonus to the roll. However, if you fail the roll, the NPC has a “bad feeling” about you, and you may never use your proficiency bonus when attempting to persuade that same NPC again.
Coils of the Serpent
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action and expend one Sorcery Point to attempt to wrap an enemy in the coils of the serpent. The target must be within line of sight and no more than 30’ away. He must make a Wisdom saving throw. Failure means he becomes incapacitated for the remainder of the round. If he succeeds in the saving throw, the intended target cannot be affected by the coils of the serpent for the next 24 hours.
Starting at 6th level, you can spend sorcery points to spit venom from your mouth like a snake as your action. The venom will have a range of 5’, and you must make a successful “to hit” roll. If you successfully hit with your venom, the victim will take 2 points of poison damage for every sorcery point you spent. You must declare how many sorcery points you wish to spend prior to either the “to hit” or saving throw rolls being made.
In addition, anyone of good alignment will by this time be moved to a neutral alignment if they have not already. Thus, lawful good turns to lawful neutral, and chaotic good turns to chaotic neutral.
At 14th level, you can imbue a part of your body with special magical power. Select exactly 18 spell levels’ worth of spells known to you. As long as that body part is available to you (i.e., a hand is not chained, an eye is not covered, an ear is not removed, etc.), you may cast the selected spells without preparing them, as long as you have sufficient spell slots available. Casting the spell expends the slot.
In addition, anyone of neutral alignment will by this time be moved to an evil alignment if they have not already. Thus, neutral turns to neutral evil, and lawful neutral turns to lawful evil.
Summon the Serpent
Beginning at 18th level, you are able to summon the Serpent to manifest within you directly; those with true sight will see the semi-transparent form of the Serpent wrapped around your body, glowing with a dark radiance. Doing so costs a number of sorcery points as listed below and counts as your action. Doing so allows you to select one of the following effects:
- You radiate fear in a 60’ radius until you lose concentration. All non-friendly creatures within the radius of the effect must make a Wisdom check or be frightened until the effect ends. Those creatures who make a successful Wisdom check cannot be effected by any Commune with the Serpent effect for 24 hours. This effect costs 5 sorcery points.
- You may cast the equivalent of a commune spell and ask the Serpent for its wisdom directly. This effect does not use up any spell slots, and only you will hear the Serpent speaking in response to your questions. This effect costs 3 sorcery points.
In addition, the alignment of the sorcerer will change to neutral evil, the purest form of evil, and will not deviate therefrom for any reason, short of the intervention of a deity or the effect of an artifact.
TOUCHED BY THE WIND DUKES
The Wind Dukes of Aaqa are the stuff of legend. Ancient champions of Law native to the Elemental Plane of Air, they battled Miska the Wolf Spider, and it was only through their use of the Rod of Law (now shattered into the Rod of Seven Parts and scattered to the far corners of the multiverse) that Chaos was stopped from conquering all of reality. Since the battle of Pesh, which took place north of what is now known as the Nyr Dyv, the weird energies released by the shattering of the Staff of Law still manifest themselves in strange ways that are unpredictable to mortals (there are suggestions that these manifestations follow some incredibly intricate, if unfathomable, regular pattern).
While those who are Touched by the Wind Dukes are more likely to hail from the lands north of the Nyr Dyv (particularly the Shield Lands/Bandit Kingdoms), they could conceivably come from anywhere except its most remote regions, as long as an ancestor may have lived, or even passed through, the region. They will all be of Lawful alignment, however, whether they be Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, or Lawful Evil.
Starting at 1st level, you may choose to avoid random chance when casting any spell that normally requires a die roll to determine damage, duration, etc. Rather than rolling, you use the average possible value, rounding down. For example, if casting the spell magic missile, you would not roll 1d4 and add 1 to determine damage. You would take the average roll (1+4=5, divided by 2 = 2) and add 1, for a consistent damage of 3 with each missile. The average of a d4 is 2, a d6 is 3, a d8 is 4, a d10 is 5, a d12 is 6, and a d20 is 10.
Light as a Feather
Also at 1st level, you have a natural ability to float slowly down through the air instead of falling. Functionally, this is the same effect as the spell feather fall (the ability will not have any effect on others). You must have a short rest between uses of this ability. No metamagic effects can be used on this ability, as you are not actually casting a spell.
Shield of Law
Starting at 6th level, you have resistance against Wild Magic surge effects and all magical attacks from extra-planar creatures of chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, and chaotic good alignment. You can apply this resistance to a number of attacks equal to your level. Once you have used up this power, it is restored after you have taken a long rest.
Lifted by the Wind Dukes
At 14th level, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
Hammer of Law
Beginning at 18th level, you may spend 1 sorcery point to gain advantage on any single attack roll, or to get a bonus of +5 to damage on an attack. You may choose to spend 2 sorcery points to get both advantage and the +5 damage bonus. You may not spend more than 2 sorcery points per attack.