View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Vermin Lord as Sorcerer

2015-05-16, 09:22 PM
Was wondering if you guys wouldn't mind providing some feedback on this homebrew I've been working on. The goal is to recreate the Vermin Lord prestige class as a 5e class option for the sorcerer. I've thrown in the greater majority of the original prestige class' abilities so there is room to cut. About the only thing missing is the Vermin servant, but figured since I'm stemming from the sorcerer which is a low-conjuration class I would keep it that way. Any advice/feedback on this would be appreciated.

Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f764w0xqykekdoo/Vermin%20Lord.txt?dl=0

2015-05-16, 09:28 PM
As a note, you could always give them Find Familiar as a class feature, but it has to take the form of a rodent or other pest (like a centipede or something). Also, I'm unfamiliar with the original prestige, so bear that in mind.

For Aspect of the Vermin, I'd suggest going from a 10-foot cube to a 15-foot cube, centered on you (plays more smoothly with a grid).

All in all I dig the flavor but I feel several of the features are just too similar to the Dragon bloodline, specifically the first bloodline ability and the 14th-level ability.

What might be a more interesting take is to polymorph yourself into some sort of insectile abomination, instead of just sprouting wings, which could give you other benefits as well.

2015-05-17, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I agree that it feels a bit like the dragonborn part of that is that I used it as a template for the timing of the abilities, but the other part is the similarities between the abilities the original prestige class got and the dragonborn ones.

I'll definitely keep the 15ft. cube centered on self in mind, though if I do that I may have to bump the number of sorcery points as it begins to get within the "sizable" area denial category.

Re the insectile abomination bit, I was debating it as a possibility at first, but then I realized that has been the point of bloodline so far. If I look at the progression for the subclass in the end the PC all but becomes a vermin, and although I many not like the duplication of lvl 1 and 14 abilities, they seemed like necessary evils when viewed this way. To some degree I've been toying with the idea of maybe using sorcery points more as currency, and allowing the PC to interchange from a list of "metamorphoses" he can keep. Specifically the concept would allow the PC to either take an hour each long rest to develop one or two of these traits (e.g. flight, greater chitin, stronger claws, etc.) or spend some sizable amount of sorcery points if instead he does it on the fly. This way it becomes a happy medium, i.e. not a full transformation, but neither too divergent from the original concept.

2015-06-01, 06:50 PM
Alright, went back and did some reworking, ended up giving the class a more "necromantic" feel and took a page from the new unearthed arcana stormborn adding some spells to effectively give some of the 3e vermin lord functionality. Feed back welcomed and always appreciated.


2015-06-01, 11:51 PM
Very cool. Living hive should be limited to either once per short rest or cha/day- as it is, it gives way too much at-will defense. Hivemind is a bit underwhelming- you're spending a quarter of your main resource and your all-important concentration slot for a pretty minor bonus.

2015-06-02, 01:29 AM
Also, I'm unfamiliar with the original prestige, so bear that in mind.

If you're curious, I recommend that you you could watch the movie, Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness. Barry Aird plays a vermin lord in it, and his performance is so good that it singlehandedly raises the film up to 'almost watchable'.

Ok, got the link open.

Spell list is perfect. Chitinous Visage looks ok. The AC is similar to draconic sorcerers, but I think that's ok - as long as you change the level 14 feature. So. Wings of the Vermin. It would be fine, if it wasn't so similar to the pre-existing origin. How about an ability that functions like and at-will, bonus action Gaseous Form, except you turn into a swarm of flies instead of smoke. It's equivalent in power, but totally different in function. And it fits the fluff.

I agree that Hivemind is underpowered. It's basically Rary's Telepathic Bond, which is only 5th-level. Not sure how I'd change it at this point.

2015-06-02, 09:28 AM
Thank you all for the great feedback!

So a couple of thoughts on my reasoning and questions about the abilities pointed out:

Living Hive - I know it seems much at first but keep in mind that this is effectively a "Deflect Missiles" from the Monk class with the random (i.e. when the damage is fully reduced) attack replaced with random limited mobility and the trigger effect changed from ranged weapon attacks to melee weapon attacks. It still takes a reaction, which means I can only ever reduce one attack per turn. As far as the flight effect I figured two things, 1) as a sorcerer if I'm getting trapped in melee I'm not doing a good job, and 2) with the current rules allowing you to move between attacks those random 10 ft. of movement are not as impactful as previous editions.

At least this was my reasoning behind the ability not having a /day limiter, if the random flight effect still seems much, it can be toned down. One alternative I was considering was to keep it within the spirit of the monk effect. So effectively the flight would be replaced by something like:

"if the damage is reduced to 0 you can further incite your phoronts into retaliating, you may spend a sorcery point to make a melee spell attack against the attacker. If the attack hits the attacker takes 1d4+your Charisma modifier piercing damage"

Does this replacement seem more in line?

Wings of the Vermin - I know this subject has come up before, and I agree that indeed it duplicates the Dragonborn and Favored Soul flavor, but this is one of those things that 1) really fits the original incarnation of the (then prestige) class, and 2) I utterly find the mental image exceedingly cool ;).

Hivemind - So this one is a bit tricky, because although the consistent feedback here has been that it is a bit weak, in house feedback has been mixed. I think some of it is in understanding the wording. So principally the first bit of the ability is a Rary's Telepathic Bond as pointed out, and yes this in itself would not warrant a concentration slot. However the secondary bits of the ability is what made me up the ante to include sorcery points and concentration. Namely, 1) members of the hivemind cannot be surprised, and 2) if a member of the hivemind is within melee range of a target, all other members gain advantage against that target, NOTE: this advantage is only restricted to attack rolls, i.e. no ability checks, but it applies to all attack rolls (i.e. melee and range weapon, and melee and ranged spell).

With this in mind, would you guys consider it weak still? If so I would really appreciate any further suggestions, as this is one of those abilities that stomps me in terms of modification.

2015-06-03, 05:43 PM
OK, so went back to tweaking, and made an executive decided to use the living hive fix so that it is now:

Living Hive
As you increase in power so does the mark of your bloodline. At 6th level your transformation turns you into a living hive for the vermin inhabiting you. When you take damage from a melee weapon attack you can spend your reaction to rally your phoronts to your defense. When you do, the swarming cloud that inhabits you swirls around you harassing your foe, this reduces the incoming damage by 1d10 + your Charisma modifier + your sorcerer level. if the damage is reduced to 0 you can further incite your phoronts into retaliating, you may spend a sorcery point to make a melee spell attack against the attacker. If the attack hits, the attacker takes 1d4 + your Charisma modifier piercing damage.

This fix should put it in line with the level 3 Monk "Deflect Missiles" ability.

As for Hivemind (my apparent perpetual pain in the backside), I have arrived at the crux of:

At 18th level you reach the ultimate level of communion with your bloodline and develop the impetus to create a hivemind. As an action, you can spend 5 sorcery points so that you and up to 6 other creatures within 60 feet of you join minds. For a number of hours equal to your Charisma score (minimum 1) while you maintain concentration (as if concentrating on a spell). Once established, a hivemind allows members to communicate freely telepathically regardless of distance as long as individual members remain within the same plane of existence. In combat, being part of the hivemind grants advantage on melee attack rolls against a target if another member is within 5 feet of it. The hivemind also forges a magical link, so that if a member casts a spell with a range of touch he can designate any one other member which may use its reaction to deliver it.

This version effectively costs 1/4 of the sorcerer resource + a concentration slot and in exchange your chosen few get:

1) Rary's Telepathic Bond
2) Pack Tactics
3) Your chosen few can act as familiars for the purpose of delivering touch spells.

As always any feedback would be exceedingly appreciated!

2015-06-04, 01:15 AM
The touch spell thing is pretty cool. I'd be happy with that.

2015-06-06, 03:25 AM
Living Hive: random flight is meh, 5e lets you continue moving and attacking so it's only useful if you were already at the end of their movement. Melee attacks are more common and more threatening than ranged attacks, especially among monsters that aren't Beholders, so this ability is decidedly more powerful than Deflect Arrows.

Hivemind: delivering touch spells is useful but I'm pretty sure by that level the only offensive touch spell worth using is Blight, and spell transference isn't very vermin to me. I'd work on nailing down the actual Hivemind part: telepathy, no member is surprised unless they all are, no creature is flanked (affected by Pack Tactics) unless they all are. The improved "Pack Tactics" you have there which works with ranged attacks fills it out nicely, otherwise I'd take the awareness angle further and say that the group all uses the highest initiative roll (an extension of "no one is surprised unless they all are"). Most importantly, I'd remove the concentration clause since it's a significant limiter blocking a number of good spells. Hivemind should be a strong, passive, long duration buff, like Foresight, when it's not just an always-on ability.