Most people who play Dungeons & Dragons consider the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer at least once in their lives. You came here for dragons, didn’t you? And what better way to incorporate those dragons than to physically embody them in your character? Sure, you’re not a full-blown dragon, but you’ve got some pretty special draconic features.
When you’re coming up with your Draconic Bloodline character, think about how they learned of their magical powers. Did they manifest when you were a child? Did they come with the onset of puberty? Or are they something you’ve discovered as an adult? How did these powers change your life for the better or worse?
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Draconic Bloodline Subclass Features
Like all subclasses, the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer gives you additional features at levels 1, 6, 14, and 18. These complement the base Sorcerer features and expand upon core aspects of how the Sorcerer works. Let’s dive into those features and see what they can do for your character.
At 1st level, you choose one type of dragon as your ancestor. The damage type associated with each dragon is used by features you gain later.
You can speak, read, and write Draconic. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with dragons, your proficiency bonus is doubled if it applies to the check.
This is a fun, flavorful Draconic Bloodline feature that may or may not ever apply to actual gameplay. The likelihood of a player character interacting with a dragon is surprisingly low, considering the name of the game. Dragons usually consider themselves above the whole adventuring schtick and think of adventurers as silly mortals or tasty snacks. But, if you do need to persuade, intimidate, or deceive a dragon, having twice your proficiency bonus applied is never a bad thing.
As magic flows through your body, it causes the physical traits of your dragon ancestors to emerge. At 1st level, your hit point maximum increases by 1 and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class. Additionally, parts of your skin are covered by a thin sheen of dragon-like scales. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
This Draconic Bloodline feature is great because it focuses on two renowned areas where Sorcerers are especially weak: AC and hit points. Everyone knows that Sorcerers have no armor or shield proficiencies which means that you either need to invest a lot of time and money into training (and then buy the armor) or you have to spend a spell slot (and a known spell) on mage armor.
At higher levels, you might be able to find magical items that boost your AC without requiring armor proficiency, but other than multiclassing, you don’t have too many options at low levels that don’t consume considerable resources. Draconic Resilience neatly fixes that by giving you a higher AC to begin with and letting you add your Dexterity modifier.
Most Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers don’t invest much in Dexterity, but even a +1 brings you up to AC 14, and this feature provides the same amount of protection as mage armor. The other part, concerning hit points, is another fabulous boon. At d6, the Sorcerer is tied with the Wizard for the smallest hit dice in the game. On average, a level 10 Sorcerer will only have rolled 30 hit points. Of course, you add your Constitution modifier, and that’s the second most important ability score for Sorcerers, not just Draconic Bloodlines, so presumably, you’d also be adding an additional 20 or 30 hit points (depending on your modifier).
The extra 1 hit point per level might not seem like a lot, but they definitely add up over time. We promise that you’d rather be sitting pretty at 70 hit points than languishing at 60.
Starting at 6th level, when you cast a spell that deals damage of the type associated with your draconic ancestry, you can add your Charisma modifier to one damage roll of that spell. At the same time, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain resistance to that damage type for 1 hour.
This is a nice feature that ties in well with your initial Draconic Bloodline choice about your draconic lineage. Although it would have been nice to see permanent resistance to the damage type, opting in for an hour with a single sorcery point without using your concentration is a good second choice. This won’t work if you’re planning to travel through harsh environments, but it is a good way to begin combat.
Plus, you can always add your Charisma modifier to one of your damage rolls. That doesn’t cost anything, and it’s not even restricted to once per round or turn. If you’re of brass, gold, or red lineage and you cast scorching ray as your bonus action (with the Quickened Spell Metamagic) and firebolt as your action, you can add your Charisma modifier to both damage rolls since they’re separate spells.
At 14th level, you gain the ability to sprout a pair of dragon wings from your back, gaining a flying speed equal to your current speed. You can create these wings as a bonus action on your turn. They last until you dismiss them as a bonus action on your turn. You can’t manifest your wings while wearing armor unless the armor is made to accommodate them, and clothing not made to accommodate your wings might be destroyed when you manifest them.
Like the Divine Soul Sorcerer, this is the Draconic Bloodline’s best feature. Permanent flying that uses neither spell slots nor concentration is very hard to beat. Note that the text specifies that armor can be made to accommodate your wings. This won’t usually be a problem since Sorcerers have no armor proficiencies, and your Draconic Resilience trait relies on you staying unarmored, but if you want to gain proficiency with armor you don’t have to give up your signature wings.
Beginning at 18th level, you can channel the dread presence of your dragon ancestor, causing those around you to become awestruck or frightened. As an action, you can spend 5 sorcery points to draw on this power and exude an aura of awe or fear (your choice) to a distance of 60 feet.
For 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were casting a concentration spell), each hostile creature that starts its turn in this aura must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed (if you chose awe) or frightened (if you chose fear) until the aura ends. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to your aura for 24 hours.
For a capstone feature that comes so late in the game, you can’t help but be disappointed with Draconic Presence. All subclasses have at least one feature that’s suboptimal, but it’s a shame that it has to be the final for Draconic Bloodlines. Spending 5 sorcery points is very doable at 18th level, but this effect only really comes into play if you’re facing a bunch of low Wisdom enemies; something that doesn’t happen too often by now.
Maybe at lower levels this would have been a good idea, but by this point your adventuring party is nearing godlike status, and the likelihood of facing off against a horde or swarm of things is pretty slim. Most DMs prefer to use between one and three extremely powerful enemies once you pass 15th level.
Not to mention the fact that this uses your concentration so you can say goodbye to your better spells. It doesn’t specify whether hostile creatures continue making saving throws during their subsequent turns (most DMs would assume not), but the aura only extends 60 feet. Anyone outside of that range can attack you with impunity, to say nothing of area-of-effect spells.
As the text notes, most Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers gained their magic through an ancestor’s great pact or service performed for a dragon or even having a dragon somewhere in their lineage. However you happened to come by it, you have the blood of dragons running through your veins. That would have affected you growing up.
Perhaps you turned these powers to good and helped keep law and order in your town. Maybe you decided your role was to shock and delight audiences from around the world. Or, it could be that people with dragon blood are the ruling class, and you’re part of the aristocracy.
Some possible backgrounds that might work for a Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer are:
- City Watch/Investigator
How Powerful Is Draconic Bloodline Compared to Other Subclasses?
When it was first released, this subclass was a great complement to the Sorcerer class and offered plenty of powerful features. Gaining resistance to a damage type without spending a spell slot, access to permanent flying, better AC, and additional hit points are all valuable assets. The only lackluster feature was Draconic Presence.
However, with the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and its two new subclasses, the relative power of Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer was suddenly and sharply diminished.
The two new subclasses give 10 or 11 extra known spells that Sorcerers can add to their lists. They also have the option to switch those spells out as they level up. Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers get no extra spells, in comparison. The new subclass features equal the power of Draconic Bloodline, but it’s hard to overcome the massive advantage inherent in nearly doubling the number of known Sorcerer spells (going from 15 known spells to 25-26 known spells).