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Genie Origin Sorcerer Pay What You Want
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Michael W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2016 14:39:06

I tend to feature the elemental planes and their denizens pretty prominently in my campaigns, so I was excited to see this product. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to my expectations.

The structure of the Sorcerous Origin is actually pretty confusing to me still. It seems to be a single Origin, with four different archetypes within it. While there might be some times that such a setup makes sense, this isn't one of them--the only thing that the four genie bloodlines have in common is a handful of bonus spells. Frankly, they should be four separate sorcerous origins, rather than the weird structure they currently have.

Let's talk about the bonus spells. Every class archetype in the game that adds spells to your spell list does so in the same way: Two spells of each spell level from 1st to 5th. The "Universal" Genie list consists of one 1st-level spell, one 2nd-level spell, two 3rd-level spells, zero 4th-level spells, one 5th-level spell, and one 7th-level spell. Dao descendents get an additional one 1st-level spell, zero 2nd-level spells, zero 3rd-level spells, two 4th-level spells, two 5th-level spells, and one 6th-level spell. Djinn descendents get two 1st-level spells, zero 2nd-level spells, three 3rd-level spells, zero 4th-level spells, and one 5th-level spell. Efreet descendents get one cantrip, zero 1st-level spells, one 2nd-level spell, one 3rd-level spell, and one 4th-level spell. Marid descendents get four 1st-level spells, zero 2nd-level spells, zero 3rd-level spells, and one 4th-level spell. The totals are:

Dao Cantrips: 0 1st: 2 2nd: 1 3rd: 2 4th: 2 5th: 3 6th: 1 7th: 1

Djinn Cantrips: 0 1st: 3 2nd: 1 3rd: 5 4th: 0 5th: 2 6th: 0 7th: 1

Efreet Cantrips: 1 1st: 1 2nd: 2 3rd: 3 4th: 1 5th: 1 6th: 0 7th: 1

Marid Cantrips: 0 1st: 5 2nd: 1 3rd: 2 4th: 1 5th: 1 6th: 0 7th: 1

I'm not even going to go too deep into what the actual spells are--I don't think I need to. That sheer range of variance, with spells outside of the levels normally granted by expanded spell lists, is simply ridiculous.

Every single one of the Genie bloodlines also grants a fly speed at 14th level. Remember how the only "universal" trait was the spell list? Seems odd that the fly speed wouldn't have been another one. Same thing with the across-the-board 18th level feature that lets you apply metamagic you don't have to spells from your expanded spell list. Again, could have been made a universal trait, justifying the single-origin structure...but no.

That kind of oversight, sadly, is pretty typical of the work as a whole. There's no attempt at internal balance, which is always a red flag, and abilities seem to be stuck on without much thought going into them. At 1st level, Dao descendents get an unarmored AC of 11+Dexterity...while Djinn descendents get to create a 20-foot whirlwind that restrains anyone that enters it. Oh, and the descendent can take an action move the whirlwind--and the creatures in it--up to 60 feet. Efreet descendents? They learn the firebolt cantrip--for free! (And, yes, you may note that it's still counted in the expanded spell list for some reason, despite none of the other class options that grant bonus cantrips including them in their expanded spell list tables.)

The product is also riddled with poor formatting and typos, including several features without listed levels. I always try to find something about a product that I like, but, in this case, I can't think of a single one. The concept is good--a sorcerous origin being the result of a character's bloodline is a good vein to mine, and elemental crossbreeds are a standard part of D&D by this point--but no part of the product lives up to that potential.

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Genie Origin Sorcerer
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