For the month of June, Unearthed Arcana brings us a new Sorcerous Origin.
The Giant Soul flavor tells us that the Giant come from a fabled realm called Ostoria. Once that realm fell and the Giants were scattered, they shared their power with some of the other races. The Giant Soul Sorcerers are the descendants of these people.
- Jotun Resilience. This is a nice bonus for Sorcerers because of they can be squishy. It increases their survivability a bit and also fits the flavor of the subclass quite well.
- Mark of the Ordning. This feature reminds me of the Dragon Ancestor feature of the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer. You get to pick your Giant heritage out of the six known Giant types(cloud, fire, frost, hill, stone, storm). Depending on which one you choose you are granted different extra spells at levels 1 and 3. Some of these spells already belong to the Sorcerer spell list but others don’t. The fact that you get to pick a heritage adds a lot of variety to the subclass, since the spells are quite different. I like this idea.
- Soul of Lost Ostoria. This feature turns the subclass from interesting to awesome. Depending on the heritage you’ve picked in the Mark of the Ordning feature, whenever you cast one of the heritage’s spells you get an extra bonus.
- Cloud Giant. This one gives the ability to teleport. The issue here is that the distance is 10 + your Constitution modifier, which doesn’t translate well on a board if you’re using 5′ squares. Other than that I have no issue with it.
- Fire Giant. Your Mark spells get buffed, dealing extra damage equal to your Constitution modifier. Well, all three spells you get from your Mark are damaging spells so that’s not bad at all.
- Frost Giant. Getting temporary hit points, especially by casting a cantrip, is really nice. Extra points for taking into consideration that Armor of Agathys is one of the Mark spells so this feature increases the amount of temporary hit points the spell grants.
- Hill Giant. Based on the spells the Mark gives, this ability feels a bit weak. It’s fun to have pretty much a damage-less Thunderwave that can also affect your teammates if they want. However, the only way I see that you can use this kinda consistently is by casting Shillelagh, which falls short compared to other Mark spells.
- Stone Giant. While the bonus to AC is nice, again I see spells that don’t help with activating this ability. In order to solve this I’d either change the spells granted by this Mark (or at least one of them with something that is worth casting often) or change the ability’s duration.
- Storm Giant. Guaranteed lightning damage (or any type of damage to be honest) is nice. Make that an area of effect ability and that’s awesome. The Mark spells fit the flavor of this ability quite nicely too.
- Rage of Fallen Ostoria. Once per short rest, when you cast a spell using a spell slot you can increase your size by one. This size change affects your hit points, speed, and reach. You also have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws and gain a bonus to the damage rolls of your weapon attacks. This ability lasts for 1 minutes. The fact that there’s no cost other than casting a spell to activate this feature is good. Also the flavor of the ability is spot on. My only concern is how much the extra damage part is going to be used by a Sorcerer? This is a 14th level feature and by now a Sorcerer can turn pretty much into an orbital laser.
- Blessing of the All Father. First of all, this feature boosts your Constitution a bit which is good. Apart from being used in this subclass’ features, Constitution is an ability score that’s worth it, since it increases the survivability. The second part of this feature boosts the Rage of Fallen Ostoria. It gives a second use between short rests and if you use it while the feature is already active the bonuses are accumulative. That’s actually pretty nice and the extra melee damage possibly becomes worth it.
Overall, I found this subclass really interesting. I like that you get to choose a type of Giant and get different abilities from them. The flavor, also, is very enjoyable. However, it isn’t perfect and could use some more work. The spells from the Mark of the Ordning feature could be improved. That can be seen very well when you take the abilities granted by the Soul of Lost Ostoria into consideration. Also, the melee parts of the features don’t go that well with the playstyle of the Sorcerer.
I definitely want to see this subclass featured in a future Unearthed Arcana installment because I think there’s something here that’s worth working on. But what do you think? Would you play this? Which parts do you like and which parts do you think could be better?
And until next time, have fun!