Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes new subclasses for DMs and players to explore! They include the following:
- Sorcerer Subclasses: Aberrant Mind & Clockwork Sorcerer
- Warlock Subclasses: Fathomless Deep & Genie
- Wizard Subclasses: Bladesong & Scribe
Each of these has features, spells and abilities that set them part. Here is what players and DMs need to understand about these subclasses BEFORE you start playing!
This is an extensive commentary on each subclass, if you want to skip to a specific part of the article, just use the links below!
Aberrant Mind Sorcerers are the mutants and gifted children of the D&D world, able to bend the minds of others to their will.
At 1st level, the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains Psionic Spells and Telepathic Speech.
The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains additional spells that don’t count against their spell limit and are counted as Sorcerer spells. All are gained at the following levels on the left and are as follows:
1st Arms of Hadar, dissonant whispers, mind sliver
3rd Calm emotions, detect thoughts
5th Hunger of Hadar, sending
7th Evard’s black tentacles, summon aberration
9th Rary’s telepathic bond, telekinesis
When the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains another level in Sorcerer, it can replace one spell from the Psionic Spells with another spell of the same level so long as it is a divination or enchantment spell from Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard.
Telepathic speech allows the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer can link its mind with another. The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer chooses one creature within 30 ft. as a bonus action and the two of them can speak telepathically with each other while the two are within a number of miles of each other equal to the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer’s Charisma Modifier. They must share a language to understand one another.
The telepathic connection lasts for a number of minutes equal to the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer’s level. It ends early if the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer is incapacitated, dies, or if the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer uses this ability to connect to another creature.
At 6th level, the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains Psionic Sorcery and Psychic Defenses.
Psionic Sorcery means that when the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer casts a spell of 1st or higher from the Psionic Spells feature, it can cast it by using the spell slot as normal or by spending sorcery points equal to the spell’s level. When casting the spell this way, the spell requires no verbal components, somatic components, or non-consumable material components.
Psychic Defenses gives the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer resistance to psychic damage and advantage on saving throws against charmed or frightened.
Revelation in Flesh
At 14th level, the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains Revelation in Flesh. This feature allows the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer to spend Sorcery points as a bonus action to gain otherworldly enhancements to their body for 10 minutes. For each point the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer spends, they may choose a benefit below.
- The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer can see all invisible creatures within 60 ft. so long as they aren’t behind total cover
- The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains flying speed equal to its walking speed as well as the ability to hover.
- The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains a swimming speed twice that of their walking speed and can breathe underwater
- The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer, as well as everything it is carrying and wearing, becomes amorphous and can squeeze through any space as narrow as 1 inch without squeezing and spend 5 ft. to escape any non-magical restraints or grappling
At 18th level, the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer gains Warping Implosion. The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer can take an action to teleport to an unoccupied space within 120 ft. and force every creature within 30 ft. of its original location to make a Strength saving throw.
On a failure, each creature takes 3d10 force damage and is pulled straight towards the original space, ending as close to the space as possible. On a success, they take half damage and do not move. This ability can be used once per long rest unless reactivated at the cost of 5 sorcery points.
Understanding the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer
The Psionic Spells feature goes a long way to expand the generally narrow Sorcerer spell list with 10 extra spells and allows it to swap into certain schools of Warlock and Wizard. Limiting to Divination and Enchantment solidly defines this class by its ability to gather hidden knowledge and manipulate others. The Sorcerer is particularly good at this since it can use Metamagic to significantly boost its chances of succeeding on important saves.
Telepathic Speech is a situational ability that is best used when trying to play keep-away with information. Planning ambushes in broad daylight by covertly communicating with teammates is a boon as well as allowing the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer to harass an individual across a distance without using a spell. Talk about living in someone’s head rent-free.
It can be used in situations when the party plans to split up, perhaps to pursue different side quests in town, but still need to coordinate with each other. This can also be used if the Rogue wants to scout ahead, but isn’t sure it will be able to sneak back and can instead radio back with the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer.
Psionic Sorcery is a much cheaper and action efficient way to use the Psionic spells. The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer does not even have to convert the Sorcery Points into spell slots, saving or two points per casting vs a converted slot. It isn’t the same as at-will casting, but it does make sorcery points another well to draw from rather than a nebulous mass of energy that always needs to be converted or used for very specific abilities.
The lack of components allows the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer to use their spells even within a Silence spell effect or if their hands are bound. This also de facto allows them to cast spells in public situations without being detected unless someone is specifically looking for spells, like with Detect Magic.
Psychic Defenses is a simple ability that emphasizes the theme of the subclass. Resistance to Psychic damage will not come up often, but it is much more likely against otherworldly threats. The advantage against charmed/frightened saving throws will definitely come up intermittently, but largely allows the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer to feel like they are a master of mind powers who has little to fear from other manipulators.
Revelation in Flesh is a mass of often glossed over features. The mobility options for flying and swimming are helpful and the most likely to get used. Seeing invisible things is one of those abilities that Arcane casters normally think about taking, but it doesn’t come up enough often to warrant a place on a spell list.
The gaining amorphous anatomy is the most unsettling out of the bunch, being able to turn into something like Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man and ooze through restraints and barriers. While situational, Revelation in Flesh provides a weirdness factor this subclass needed.
Warping Implosion is a bailout option with some zoning effects and damage attached. This pairs well with a quickened spell, allowing the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer to pull everyone into a clump and cast Evard’s Black Tentacles at a safe distance on one turn.
The default list of spells for the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer focuses a lot on battlefield control. Arms of Hadar, Hunger of Hadar, and Evard’s Black Tentacles all section off parts of the battlefield as no-go zones. Sending and Rary’s Telepathic bond are more about team coordination. Calm Emotions and Detect Thoughts are for roleplay and conflict resolution. Dissonant Whispers and Telekinesis are about moving the enemy into a dangerous position. Summon Aberration is a thematic punching machine, dealing damage in a few different ways depending on the summon.
When an Aberrant Mind Sorcerer joins a DMs table, the DM should prepare for a Sorcerer keyed into information gathering and making a mess of the battlefield. There will be a lot of AoE effects in play with the default spell list, let alone if they take spells like Fireball.
The party will have access to much better communication methods than players normally think to build and will be able to share urgent information quickly. In terms of combat, the best way to prepare for this subclass is to consider what kind of saving throws the creatures the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer will be facing. Many of their subclass spells are dependent on Wisdom and Strength saving throws. Not many creatures have both, so that should help the DM determine the likelihood of successful actions the Sorcerer may take over the course of the combat.
Clockwork Soul Sorcerer
Clockwork Soul Sorcerers are perfect for steampunk enthusiasts and players who think their teammate should always have a fair chance at succeeding.
At 1st level, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gains Clockwork Magic and Restore Balance.
Clockwork Magic means that the Clockwork Sorcerer gains additional spells that don’t count against their spell limit and are counted as Sorcerer spells. All are gained at the following levels on the left and are as follows:
1st alarm, protection from evil and good
3rd aid, lesser restoration
5th dispel magic, protection from energy
7th freedom of movement, summon construct
9th greater restoration, wall of force
When the Clockwork Sorcerer gains another level in Sorcerer, it can replace one spell from the Clockwork Spells table with another spell of the same level so long as it is an abjuration or transmutation spell from Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard.
Restore Balance allows the Clockwork Sorcerer to use its reaction on a creature within 60 ft. who is rolling a d20 and negate advantage or disadvantage on the roll. The Clockwork Sorcerer can use this feature a number of times equal to its proficiency bonus every long rest.
Bastion of Law
At 6th level, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gains Bastion of Law. As an action, the Clockwork Sorcerer can use 1-5 Sorcery points to create a magical ward that protects either itself or another creature it can see within 30 ft. that lasts until a long rest or until this feature is used again.
This ward provides a number of d8s equal to the number of Sorcery Points used to create it. When the creature affected by the ward takes damage, it can expend a number of those dice, roll them, and reduce the total damage done by the total.
Trance of Order
At 14th level, the Clockwork Sorcerer gains Trance of Order. This allows the Clockwork Sorcerer to enter a state of prediction and calculation for 1 minute as a bonus action. For that duration, attacks against the Clockwork Sorcerer cannot have advantage and any time the Clockwork Sorcerer makes an attack roll, ability, check, or saving throw, a d20 roll under 9 counts as a 10 before modifiers. This state can only be used once per long rest unless reactivated with 5 Sorcery Points.
At 18th level, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer gains Clockwork Cavalcade. As an action, the Clockwork Sorcerer can create a magical 30 ft. cube around them with spirits of law from Mechanus. The following effects activate during this action:
- The spirits supply 100 hit points of healing that the Clockwork Sorcerer can divide up among any of the creatures within the cube
- Any damaged objects totally inside the cube are completely repaired instantly
- The Clockwork Sorcerer can choose any number of creatures and objects then every spell of 6th level or lower affecting them
This ability can be used once per long rest unless reactivated using 7 sorcery points.
Understanding the Clockwork Sorcerer
Clockwork Sorcerers like predictable, replicable methods. The Restore Order feature allows them to eliminate an enemy’s advantage on attack rolls and remove a disadvantage from an ally. If the Clockwork Sorcerer shares this ability with the party, they are sure to become a favorite quickly.
When an ally gets Poisoned or Blinded, the Clockwork Sorcerer makes that much more manageable by giving them at least one attack roll free of penalty. At later levels, this is especially important as the Clockwork Sorcerer can undercut an enemy’s frustrating Magic Resist and flatten their chances of succeeding on a saving throw.
Bastion of Law needs some time to ramp up since, at 6th level, it can feel like choosing between having Sorcery points and having an extra layer of protection. It does not require a reaction to use, fortunately, so it will not interrupt the Restore Balance feature. This feature is going to be best used as either an additional layer of protection for the Clockwork Sorcerer when going into an unknown situation or to armor another player character when everyone knows they are about to get hit hard.
Trance of Order is a solid feature that can be deployed during the most serious combat of the day. It makes the Clockwork Sorcerer run, while a little on the nose, like clockwork. Its chances of success are much higher when many of the negative possibilities are just taken out wholesale. For the Clockwork Sorcerer to get the most mileage out of this ability, it would be prudent to take an attack roll spell and gauge the enemy’s AC by watching allies attack it or by feeling it out with a cantrip.
Clockwork Cavalcade is for when combat has gone off the rails against the party and they need a powerplay to get them competitive again. It isn’t a full reset for the party, but it goes to great lengths to put everyone back into service. Restoring health en masse allows the Clockwork Sorcerer to put everyone in range back on their feet and give extra health to those getting hit the hardest.
Restoring broken structures is mostly thematic, but could potentially fix armor and repair buildings to provide cover. Ending the spells of the Sorcerer’s choice is where they can turn off an enemy’s game-changing spells like Dominate Person, Mass Suggestion, Eyebite, and Greater Invisibility. This ability is a rallying maneuver the whole party will need to take advantage of.
The Clockwork Magic base spell list is a lot of debuff treatments and defensive spells. Alarm, Aid, Protection from Energy, and Protection from Evil and Good are preventative measures usually deployed before combat or on the first round. Greater/Lesser Restoration, Dispel Magic, and Freedom of Movement work to put people back in fighting form. Summon Construct is an ally to beat enemies and Wall of Force is effectively a combat pause button when given the right placement.
These spells are able to be swapped out for other Abjuration and Transmutation spells (including Wizard and Warlock) which squarely places them in either defense or buff/debuff territory. Excellent choices for these include Shield, Enlarge/Reduce, Counterspell, Haste, Slow, Banishment, Animate Objects, and Telekinesis.
DMs should prepare for a Clockwork Sorcerer by considering the conditions different creatures use against a D&D party. Some DMs feel guilty when poisoning a player character or paralyzing them to get crit on. The Clockwork Sorcerer is a gift to DMs in some ways, freeing up more damaging conditions to be used on players who are guaranteed to be able to counterplay them.
DMs would also do well to be patient when the player uses its Restore Order feature at seeming inopportune times and consider how that might change story moments if they involve rolling a d20 or results (to resist mind control or thwart an assassination attempt, for example). Trance of Order will also be a big moment for the player, meaning that when an enemy has a low AC or low saving throws, they effectively have no fear of missing or failing. However, with the exception of Paladins and Monks, no class is good at every saving throw. There are bound to be chinks in that armor.
More Cthulhu-man than Aquaman, the Fathomless Warlock brings the power of the cold, eldritch trench to every session!
At 1st level, the Fathomless Warlock gains an Expanded Spell List, Tentacle of the Deep, and Gift of the Sea.
Per the Expanded Spell List, the following spells are added to the Warlock’s spell list and can be chosen at the appropriate Warlock level. The spell level is on the left and the spells are on the right:
1st create or destroy water, thunderwave
2nd gust of wind, silence
3rd lightning bolt, sleet storm
4th control water, summon elemental (water only)
5th Bigby’s hand (which appears as a tentacle), cone of cold
Tentacle of the Deeps
Tentacle of the Deeps allows the Fathomless to summon a spectral tentacle that is 10 ft. long at a point they can see within 60 ft. as a bonus action. The tentacle lasts for a minute or until the Fathomless Warlock summons one in a different location.
Once created, it can immediately make a melee spell attack against one creature within 10 ft. If it hits, the target takes 1d8 cold damage and its speed is reduced by 10 ft. until the start of the Fathomless warlock’s next turn. The tentacle’s damage increases by another d8 at 10th level.
This tentacle can move 30 ft. and repeat the attack as a bonus action for the duration. The number of times the Fathomless Warlock can summon these tentacles is equal to its proficiency bonus every long rest.
Gift of the Sea
Gift of the Sea provides the Fathomelss Warlock a swimming speed of 40 ft. and the ability to breathe underwater.
At 6th level, the Fathomless Warlock gains Oceanic Soul and Guardian Coil.
Oceanic Soul provides resistance to cold damage and while the Fathomless Warlock and any other creature are fully submerged in water they can communicate through any speech and fully understand one another.
Guardian Coil means that when the Fathomless Warlock sees one creature take damage while within 10 ft. of the tentacle (self-included), it can use its reaction to reduce the damage by 1d8. This ability can reduce the damage by 2d8 at 10th level.
At 10th level, the Fathomless Warlock gains Grasping Tentacles. The Warlock now knows the spell Evard’s Black Tentacles. It counts as a Warlock spell, but not against the Warlock’s spell limit. It can be cast without a spell slot once per short or long rest.
Whenever the Fathomless Warlock casts this spell, its patron modifies the spell’s casting so that damage cannot break the Fathomless Warlock’s concentration and the Fathomless Warlock also gains temporary hit points equal to its Warlock level.
At 14th level, the Fathomless Warlock gains Fathomless Plunge. As an action, the Fathomless Warlock can teleport itself and five other willing creatures it can see within 30 ft. In a mess of tentacles, all of the selected targets vanish and reappear 1 mile away in or around a 30 ft. radius of a body of water (the size of a pond or bigger) that the Fathomless Warlock has seen before. This ability can be used once per short or long rest.
Understanding the Fathomless Warlock
The Fathomless Warlock takes some time to spin up in terms of damage dealing but has utility the whole way.
The Tentacle of the Deep, by 6th level, ensures that the Fathomless Warlock will always have something to do with its bonus action and reaction.
Because of the restrictions on spell slots the Warlock has, the Eldritch Blast is the beginning and end of the average Warlock’s turn. The Fathomless Warlock may not be dealing a ton of damage or reducing a lot of damage with its Tentacle of the Deep, but it also has very few restrictions about how many times it can deal damage or reduce damage.
Gift of the Sea and Oceanic soul are mostly thematic extensions of the Fathomless Warlock but are absolutely essential for a seafaring campaign like Ghosts of Saltmarsh. Oceanic Soul in particular provides some utility benefit, allowing the Warlock the powers of Comprehend Languages without a spell slot.
Grasping Tentacles provides bonus temporary hit points and a free but limited spell slot for the Fathomless Warlock which all Warlocks covet. Given that it comes back on a short rest like the rest of the Warlock spell slots, there is no reason not to use this every combat.
Fathomless Plunge is an escape-hatch ability for a party that is running for their lives or is desperately tired of a dungeon they’ve been exploring. This ability will work better for Fathomless Warlocks that have explored the area they are adventuring in and allowing them to do so will be foundational to them as a subclass.
For DMs, the Fathomless Warlock’s tactics should be fairly predictable. In the average combat, they will likely cast an area of effect control spell, like Arms of Hadar or Evard’s Black Tentacles, then summon their Tentacle of the Deep. From there, they will likely use the Tentacle of the Deep and Eldritch Blast (possibly paired with Repelling Blast or Grasp of Hadar invocations) to work single targets, only using spell slots for Thunderwave/Lighting Bolt/Cone of Cold for enemies that will take too long to wear down using the normal methods.
Opportunities for the Fathomless Warlock to shine will include sea travel and exploration. Their ability to communicate with any submerged creature makes it ideal as a translator for fish or aquatic hostile creatures.
Making maps available to the Fathomless Warlock by 14th level is essential for its Fathomless Plunge, so methods of navigation should be built into any campaign that will include the Fathomless Warlock.
Geni Warlocks have a stronger connection to their Patron than any other Warlock and can do more than cast spells; they can make wishes come true!
At 1st level, the Genie Warlock gains an Expanded Spell List and Genie’s Vessel.
Per the Expanded Spell List, the following spells are added to the Warlock’s spell list and can be chosen at the appropriate Warlock level. In the Genie Warlock’s case specifically, they receive spells for choosing the Genie as their patron as well as optional spells for their specific Genie type detailed below.
|detect evil and good
|gust of wind
|create food and water
|meld into stone
|wall of stone
|cone of cold
Genie’s Vessel is a feature that provides a small vessel of the Genie’s power such as a bottle, lamp, or an urn. This item must be tiny and can be used as a spellcasting focus for Warlock spells. It’s AC is equal to the Genie Warlock’s DC and it’s hit points are equal to the Warlock’s proficiency bonus + levels in Warlock. It is immune to poison and psychic damage. If it is destroyed, the Genie Warlock can perform a one-hour ceremony to receive a replacement from the patron and can be performed as part of a short or long rest. The vessel disappears if the Genie Warlock dies.
While holding it, the Genie Warlock gains two sub-features: Bottled Respite and Genie’s Wrath.
Bottled Respite allows the Genie Warlock to disappear and enter the vessel which remains in the space the Genie Warlock left. The interior of the vessel is an extradimensional location in the shape of a 20-foot-radius cylinder, 20 feet high, and resembles the Genie Warlock’s vessel’s design. The interior does include comfortable furnishings and temperature.
While inside the vessel, the Genie Warlock can hear everything outside it as if it was still in the space it left. The Genie Warlock can remain in the vessel a number of hours equal to twice its proficiency bonus. It can use a bonus action to leave the vessel early and is forcibly ejected if the vessel is destroyed or if the Genie Warlock dies.
When exiting, the Genie Warlock appears in the unoccupied space closest to the vessel. Objects can be left inside the vessel and can be brought out by breaking the vessel where they will appear harmlessly around the space the vessel was broken. Once the Genie Warlock has entered the vessel, it can’t enter it again until it finishes a long rest.
Genie’s Wrath allows the Genie Warlock to deal extra damage when it hits with an attack roll equal to its proficiency bonus. The damage type for this bonus is determined by the Genie type the Warlock is working with.
|Geni’s Wrath Damage Type
At 6th level, the Genie Warlock gains Elemental Gift. At this level, the Genie Warlock becomes resistant to damage of a type based on their Genie Type. This damage resistance is the same type they deal with their Genie’s Wrath feature.
Also, the Genie Warlock can use a bonus action to give itself a flying speed of 30 ft. for 10 minutes which includes the ability to hover. This ability can be used a number of times equal to the Genie Warlock’s proficiency bonus every long rest.
At 10th level, the Genie Warlock gains Sanctuary Vessel. When the Genie Warlock enters its vessel via Bottled Respite, it can choose up to 5 willing creatures within 30 ft. to come inside with it.
All residents of the vessel (Genie Warlock included) who stay inside for 10 minutes receive the benefits of a short rest and can add the Genie Warlock’s proficiency bonus to all Hit Dice rolled to restore health as part of the short rest.
The Genie Warlock can also use a bonus action to eject any number of creatures from the vessel. All occupants are ejected if the Genie Warlock dies or the vessel is destroyed.
At 14th level, the Genie Warlock gains Limited Wish. As an action, the Genie Warlock can speak its desire to the Genie’s Vessel and call upon the power of its patron to request the effect of one spell that is 6th level or lower and can be cast as 1 action. The spell can be from any player class and the Genie Warlock doesn’t need to meet the requirements of the spell including components that require a gold cost.
Understanding the Genie Warlock
Complications on the Genie Warlock are front-loaded. Once the Genie subtype is chosen and the correct version of the spell lists are added, we start to see general trends. The standard Genie spells are focused on illusions and short-term provisions, with the exception of Wish which can do almost anything and Detect Evil and Good which is a simple detection ability. The rest will be faster to explain in a bulleted list.
- Dao: lots of defense, with some environment shaping abilities
- Djinni: three crowd control spells with Greater Invisibility for safety and a destructive capstone of Flame Strike
- Eferetti: damage spells, with Fire Shield being the closest thing to defense (it’s kind of like Fiend Warlock 2.0)
- Marid: two smoke screens, one defense, one environmental control spell, and the destructive capstone Cone of Cold
How the subclass feels will depend largely on the Genie subtype because of the wild differences in supplementary spell lists. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the Genie Warlock’s main features so as to not try to examine each possible permutation.
The Genie’s Wrath is a pinch of extra damage with one damage roll that scales. Bottled Respite and its upgraded version Sanctuary Vessel are the meat and potatoes of this subclass. Being able to take a short rest inside abject safety at 1st level is mighty helpful. It also works as a safe storage space for anything the party may need so long as it can be worn or carried.
For evil parties, sorry, you’ll need to really work to get a dead body into the vessel. This ability will likely lead to some of the hijinks that DMs may experience if they add a bag of holding to the party’s inventory. It’s a great infiltration ability. If the players need to get into a castle, they can sneak the Genie Warlock inside easily the vessel as part of a visiting noble’s possessions. Alternatively, if the Genie Warlock needs a place to hide, they can mostly bury the vessel in the ground and slip inside while the enemies aren’t looking. It is an ability that straddles roleplay focus and utility focus, but should always be entertaining to watch.
The resistances from Elemental Gift range from ok (like the Efritti’s and the Marid’s) to good (like the Djinni’s) to great (like the Dao’s). The interesting balancing here is the more helpful the element is on Genie’s Wrath, the less helpful it is to have as a resistance on the player character and vice versa (with the exception of the Dao, it’s just awesome like that). The flight provided by the Elemental Gift is excellent and provides the Genie Warlock a degree of safety it would normally have to cast a spell to achieve.
Limited Wish is where the line between Warlock and Patron starts to blurr a little bit. Being able to pull a Patron’s power into a fight without any material cost or bargaining is a solid power. No spell list requirement means that resurrection, warping minds, party teleportation, capturing souls, and hundreds of different ways to deal damage are now available. Its recharge time is notable as there only one exactly like in the Scribe Wizard subclass. With a max cap of four days and a minimum of one, this is an ability well suited to long-running campaigns or one-shots.
DMs preparing for a Genie Warlock should carefully think through the relationship between Patron and Warlock. Understanding how the Warlock interacts with the Patron allows the player to work its way up to ordering wishes a la carte and should be built up over a long period of time.
At lower levels, the Genie Warlock will likely focus on roleplay and using the vessel to its fullest. At the mid-level, they will be able to float and will need either another flying creature or ranged attackers to counter them. At high levels, they will most likely have a solid damage spell of some kind and will always have a wild card in their back pocket with their Limited Wish.
The Bladesinging Wizard joins the selective “full casters who gets to hit things with a melee attacks effectively” club.
At 2nd level, the Bladesinging Wizard gains Training in War and Song and Bladesong. Training in War and Song provides proficiency with light armor, the Performance skill, and one type of one-handed melee weapon of the Bladesinging Wizard’s choice.
Bladesong allows the Bladesinging Wizard to invoke a special magical technique so long as they aren’t wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield. This can be activated as a bonus action and ends after one minute or if the Bladesinging Wizard puts on medium/heavy armor, uses two hands to make an attack with a weapon, or ends decides to end it with no action required.
Bladesong provides the following benefits:
- Their AC increases by their Intelligence modifier
- Walking speed increases by 10 ft.
- Advantage on acrobatics checks
- Bonus to concentration checks equal to intelligence modifier
This feature can be used a number of times equal to the Bladesinging Wizard’s proficiency modifier every long rest.
At 6th level, the Bladesinging Wizard gains Extra Attack. When taking the attack action, the Bladesinging Wizard can make two attacks or one attack and cast one cantrip.
Song of Defense
At 10th level, the Bladesinging Wizard gains Song of Defense. When the Bladesinging Wizard is in Bladesong and takes damage, it can use its reaction to expend a spell slot and reduce the damage by an amount equal to x5 the spell slot’s level.
At 14th level, the Bladesinging Wizard gains Song of Victory. The Bladesinging Wizard now adds its Intelligence modifier to melee weapon damage rolls while in Bladesong.
Understanding the Bladesong Wizard
Originally introduced in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Bladesinging is one of the most simple Wizard classes. Based on its extremely specific weapon and armor requirements, the Wizards of the coast have a definite playstyle in mind.
It will function best when using spells like Blur, Shield, and Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade in conjunction to boost the generally diminutive melee fighting capability of a Wizard to something like that of a Fighter. It has light armor and the requirement of a one-handed melee weapon means this subclass heavily favors dexterity.
Skirmishing is the name of the game, plain and simple. The Bladesinger should skirmish a lot. It gets in, hits solidly with two hits at 6th level, then either uses its extraordinarily high AC to escape an attack of opportunity or teleports out with something like Misty Step.
DMs should prepare for a Bladesinging Wizard by considering what spells they might take and what scrolls will be present in the campaign for them to find. In addition to the spells already mentioned, Haste and much later Tenser’s Transformation would be gargantuan boosts in power to a Bladesinger.
In terms of limits, the Bladesinger Wizard will have incredible AC, but will still have weaknesses when clashing with saving throws and they will always only have one reaction no matter their level. In terms of flavor, the Bladesinger lends itself to music and leitmotifs to DMs should always ask their players what the Bladesong sounds like. From a soft falsetto to guttural death metal, players always have interesting ideas.
Order of Scribes
One of the most reading-intensive Wizard subclasses for both player and character, this is for Wizards who thought every spell in D&D looked good and couldn’t commit to just one school.
At 2nd level, the Scribe Wizard gains Wizardly Quill and Awakened Spellbook.
Wizardly Quill lets the Scribe Wizard summon a tiny quill in a free hand as a bonus action with the following properties.
- It does not require ink and produces whatever color the Scribe Wizard wishes
- The time needed to copy a spell into the Scribe Wizard’s spellbook equals 2 minutes per spell level if the quill is used in the transcription
- Anything written by the quill can be erased as a bonus action by waving the feather of the quill over it as a bonus action as long as the text is within 5 ft.
The quill disappears if the Scribe Wizard creates another one or if the Scribe Wizard dies.
Awakened Spellbook provides the Scribe Wizard’s spellbook a measure of intelligence and consciousness. While holding being held, the Awakened Spellbook provides the Scribe Wizard the following benefits.
- It can be used as a spellcasting focus for Wizard spells
- When casting a Wizard spell with a spell slot, the Scribe Wizard can temporarily replace the spell’s damage type with a type that appears in another spell in the spellbook, which alters the spell for this casting only. The spell the damage type comes from must be of the same level as the spell slot being used.
- When ritual casting, the Wizard can use the spell’s normal casting time rather than add 10 minutes to qualify it as a ritual once per long rest.
If destroyed or separated from the Scribe Wizard, the Awakened Spellbook can be replaced over the course of a short rest using the Wizardly Quill to inscribe arcane sigils in a blank book or a magic spellbook to which the Scribe Wizard is attuned. Once the rest ends, the spellbook transforms into an Awakened spellbook with all its original spells included. The previous Awakened Spellbook has all the spells stripped away from it in this process, leaving it blank.
At 6th level, the Scribe Wizard gains Manifest Mind. As a bonus action while the Awakened Spellbook is on the Scribe Wizard’s person, it can cause the mind of its spellbook to manifest as a Tiny spectral object hovering in an unoccupied space within 60 ft. as chosen by the Scribe Wizard. The manifested mind is intangible, doesn’t occupy space, and sheds dim-light in a 10 ft. radius. The Scribe Wizard chooses its appearance, but it frequently appears as a spectral book, a wall of text, or an expert from the Scribe Wizard’s past.
The manifested mind can hear, see, and has darkvision out to 60 ft. The manifested mind can share what it sees with the Scribe Wizard no action required.
The Scribe Wizard can cast spells through the manifested mind’s space using its senses a number of times equal to its proficiency bonus every long rest.
The Scribe Wizard can move the manifested mind 30 ft. a bonus action through creatures but not objects to an unoccupied space.
The manifested mind dissipates if it is further than 300 ft. from the Scribe Wizard, is affected by Dispel Magic, if the Awakened Spellbook is destroyed, if the Scribe Wizard dies, or if the Scribe Wizard dismisses it as a bonus action.
This ability can be used once per long rest unless reactivated with a spell slot of any level.
At 10th level, the Scribe Wizard gains Master Scrivener. Using this ability, the Scribe Wizard can create one magic scroll of a spell from its Awakened spellbook by inscribing runes with its Wizardly Quill to a blank piece of paper once per long rest. The Awakened Spellbook must be within 5 ft. of the Scribe Wizard to do this.
The spell must be 1st or 2nd level and have a casting time of 1 action. When made into a scroll by this feature, the spell counts as one level higher than its base level and can be cast as an action. The scroll is only readable/usable by the Scribe Wizard and vanishes when cast or on the next long rest.
Also, the amount of time required to craft a spell scroll (see DMG pg. 284) is halved for the Scribe Wizard so long as they use their Wizardly Quill.
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One with the Word
At 14th level, the Scribe Wizard gains One with the Word. While the Awakened Spellbook is on the Scribe Wizard’s person, the Scribe Wizard has advantage on Arcana checks.
Also, when the Scribe Wizard takes damage while the manifest mind ability is active, the Scribe Wizard can use its reaction to dismiss the manifested mind and use the leftover magic to block the damage. When this is done, the Scribe Wizard must roll 3d6 and the Awakened Spellbook temporarily loses spells of the Scribe Wizard’s choice that have a combined spell level equal to or higher than the result of the 3d6. For instance, if the Wizard rolls a 15, it could sacrifice three 5th level spells, a 7th level spell and an 8th level spell, or any other combination. If there aren’t enough spells in the Awakened Spellbook to cover the cost, the Scribe Wizard drops to 0 hit points. This damage mitigation ability can be once per long rest.
This loss of spells is a lasting but not completely permanent consequence. The Scribe Wizard must wait 1d6 long rests before it can cast the lost spells even if it finds them in another scroll or spellbook. At the end of those rests, the spells reappear in the Awakened Spellbook.
Understanding the Scribe Wizard
DMs need to brace for this one as it one of the most logistically complicated subclasses in the game. Simply put, this subclass tries to take everything the Wizard does and takes it to the next level.
Wizardly Quill and Awakened Spellbook together mean that the Wizard has a much easier time learning new spells of any kind, can cast any ritual quickly once a day, and they have effectively cannot lose their spellbook with all their knowledge permanently, and swap out the damage type of a spell they are casting with another so long as they another spell in their spellbook with that damage type. That last one is probably the signature feature of this subclass and will require the most policing.
It might seem like micromanaging, but the player must understand they must have a matching spell level to swap out damage on a spell. It is the balancing mechanic. Otherwise, the Scribe Wizard is essentially doing full damage to everything it fights for the entire campaign and won’t struggle alongside the other players. It is not fun when one player character is leaps and bounds stronger than the others.
Manifest Mind acts as a sort of upgraded familiar that extends the range of the Scribe Wizard’s spells. Master Scrivener in effect provides the Scribe Wizard an extra 2nd or 3rd level slot of a 1st or 2nd level spell. This effectively saves them a spell slot and allows them to double up on spells they might not generally, like Invisibility or Hold Person, or damage boost a minor spell.
One with the Word is where things get complicated again. The basic math behind this one is to sacrifice a number of written spells equal to a random chance in order to cancel damage. That idea is a pinch odd because there is a random probability thrown in because the designers of the game were fully aware how hard it is to be a Wizard that doesn’t know any spells and this is their way of avoiding crippling the Scribe Wizard.
However, there is a further complication if this ability is used a few days in a row and the number of spells known goes down significantly. Should the previously mentioned condition be met, if the Scribe Wizard tries to use this ability without enough spells to meet the requirement, the Scribe Wizard drops to 0 hit points. This is a strange, foreign penalty nowhere else in D&D.
Normally, when a player doesn’t have enough resources to use a feature, it simply fails and doesn’t punish the player for trying. Read as written, that is how this ability works though. However, brutalizing a Scribe Wizard until their One with Word fails is a challenge even hard core DMs would have to actively be trying for. At 14th, going only by the two spells Wizards gain by leveling up each time, they will have 56 combined spell levels that the 3d6 has to run through. That will require high rolls on both the 3d6 and on the long rest spell book recovery time in order to exhaust this ability.
In addition to the previously mentioned concern for DMs, they should also ask their players keep a list of all the spells lost and be sure to track days in the campaign on a calendar when One with the Word activates. Also, make sure any player at your table is fully aware of how that impacts their character. This might backfire spectacularly if the player deletes spells they have prepared mid-combat and are left without the spells they desperately need.
Navigating New Resources
New resources are always fun to browse! Players and DMs alike get excited for new possibilities. However, understanding all the nuanises of these subclasses can be tricky.
Be sure to check out all our articles on Tasha’s Subclasses to give you the guidance you need to use these resources with confidence!
Until next time, my friends,
May your game have advantage!