First Look At The Divine Soul Sorcerer In Xanathar's Guide To Everything
Todd Kenreck: The divine soul sorcerer can get their magic for several reasons; either because they are the chosen one or they're actually related to one of the gods themselves. I talk to Mike Mearls about this new subclass in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
Mike Mearls: Yeah, so originally it was the favored soul, and then we changed it to the divine soul. That was what ... we found that the favored soul, the original concept was the three-five character class. That had a strong enough identity that when we said,"Hey, this is the favored soul." people had very specific expectations of they wanted out of it. They wanted something that was essentially cleric with the sorcerer spell casting mechanic. What we found was, when we tried implementing that based on the feedback we saw from a play test, it didn't really work because the clerics, the way we've changed core casting in fifth compared to three-five, we had already made the divine soul, I guess, or the favored soul that the cleric, you know you're not ... you are preparing spells, but you're preparing spells that are your list of available spells and you have a lot of the flexibility that the favored soul had in three-five now baked into the cleric.
We didn't feel that that alone was interesting enough to warrant essentially taking the cleric and just using more sorcerer-like spell casting with it. So, we decided to change the name. We felt like,"Okay, this is still interesting concept. The sorcerer whose origin, the source of their magic is some sort of divine influence." It seemed really iconic. It seemed pretty straightforward, but we wanted to change the name to make it ... to distance it a bit from that original character class while still being inspired by it in some ways.
The biggest change you'll see now if you look at the final version compared to the play test version, beyond the name changes, you pick now what type of a divine figure that use a sense of free magic. So, originally it had a lot of healing, had the cure wound spell was baked into it. But, now cure wounds is attached to if he was a good divine figure and then there is law, chaos, and evil as other options. That gives you a little more flexibility in making your character feel more of a tie to whatever divine figure in the campaign you want to link your character to.
For the warlocks are going to age into the celestial figure. The divine soul, I see as like the prophesied one. Like, the person who's born under as a blessed sign, someone who is gifted these divine abilities without having necessarily earned them and almost like an avatar. I think it's ... at one point I think we were thinking of actually calling the subclass the avatar. You know, the idea that it's like you are a shard of divine energy that's been put inside of you. But, that felt like it was going a little bit further the field and then I think the using it of the mystic made a little bit more sense.
Yeah, it's someone who is just ... you could think of Greek mythology. Someone like, not necessarily Hercules is necessarily a good example because he is more of a warrior, but someone like that; the blast of the gods, the chosen by the gods, the one who ... somebody who might be more of profit, who when you think of a religion and you have a profit, they might be able to conflict there where this profit might be someone who wasn't a cleric, maybe someone who comes in from the wild or someone who's born amongst the people, but then is displaying the ability to weave miracles, essentially use divine magic and has insight from the gods. A heretic, or someone like that who's challenging the accepted order.
So, for me, that's what I was, when thinking about the designers who were working on it, from my point of view on it, that's who I saw as like the iconic person. Like, I could imagine playing one of these characters with like the folk hero background and saying,"Yeah, I am the one ..." like a very classic thing; like you have a good align church, it's gotten away from its roots. It's not necessarily helping the poor anymore or the downtrodden. So, you're like the other person rising up for the people. You've been chosen by Tier himself and given gifts and go forth. You're not going to receive training from the clerics, because they've lost their way. So, now I've chosen you or there is a bloodline or something like that in your being called. That's how I think of it, where you're being called to your divine abilities. Or again, or you could have just someone who is like,"Yes." Like from Greek myth, my ... one of my parents was a deity, or something like that.
I think it's a fun thing to a sorcerer as really I think of them as almost like wild cards in the deity universe. Like they kind of exist outside of the order of magic because it is innate and to them it's just a ... it's like it's a natural ability. They haven't really had to focus on it and train it, it's been given to them.
So, I think that would be a fun character to play; the iconic last, because in D&D you have this idea that if you're a cleric, that gods in theory could speak to you. They don't speak clearly, they maybe speak cryptically and you have to use a spell, but how do you square two priests of Torm who may disagree when you could just cast the spell and ask Torm. I think that's where your fun thing where this character can come in as someone who is a disruptive force in this. I think it would be really fun to play a good aligned one whose seen as a heretic or an outcast by this established good guy pantheon of gods.
Todd Kenreck: There is also something very Muad'dib versus the Bene Gesserit in dune.
Mike Mearls: Yeah. Yeah, we have Paul Atreides these, can be some good inspiration.
Todd Kenreck: The divine soul sorcerer appears in the Xanathar's Guide to Everything. You can purchase that book on dndbeyond.com and also earn pre-order bonuses as well. I'm Todd Kenreck, thank you for watching.