I realize that this might be dependent on my DM, and it might be op in some cases, but like my post on Vicious Mockery, I realize that this might be a case of me misinterpreting what I read.

The Sorcerer is defined as:

Raw Magic: Magic is a part of every sorcerer, suffusing body, mind, and spirit with a latent power that waits to be tapped. [. . . ] The appearance of sorcerous powers is wildly unpredictable. Some draconic bloodlines produce exactly one sorcerer in every generation, but in other lines of descent every individual is a sorcerer. [. . . ]Some sorcerers can’t name the origin of their power, while others trace it to strange events in their own lives. [. . .]

Draconic Bloodline: Your innate magic comes from draconic magic that was mingled with your blood or that of your ancestors. Most often, sorcerers with this origin trace their descent back to a mighty sorcerer of ancient times who made a bargain with a dragon or who might even have claimed a dragon parent. Some of these bloodlines are well established in the world, but most are obscure. Any given sorcerer could be the first of a new bloodline, as a result of a pact or some other exceptional circumstance.

Much like a Tiefling's infernal ancestry Dragonborn's draconic ancestry, the inherited trait of draconic bloodline sorcerer sounds more like something you're born with rather than something you develop. Though I understand that this is mere potential you need to hone to make effective, a couple of the features listed sound more like physical bonuses than magical properties:

  • Draconic Resilience: As magic flows through your body, it causes physical traits of your dragon ancestors to emerge. At 1st level, [...]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.
  • Dragon Wings: 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.

Since these traits aren't manifested using sorcerer points but sound more like physical changes (the wings created at will), I can't help but wonder what would happen if this type of gifted spellcaster chose another path from the start? Since adventurers start at level one and the draconic resilience states that at level 1, "parts of your skin are covered by a sheen of dragon-like scales" and not "become covered" would that still happen regardless if the character chooses to follow this path or become a barbarian instead? Or would the scales he was born with just fall off?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close as unclear. It kind of seems like you're asking "can I play a character with a draconic bloodline that isn't a sorcerer", but maybe you're asking "what does a character with a draconic bloodline look like if they aren't a sorcerer", or maybe some other question? You have a lot of text here, and most of it seems to be trying to support an argument of some kind, but I can't tell what that argument is. You could improve this question by using the Bottom Line Up Top principle: start your post with the actual problem you're trying to solve, and explain further afterwards. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Mar 23, 2019 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was more of the second part... asking about the looks and inherited pact's features if unused. Like I said, I was confused because the wording sounds like that of a racial trait than a class background, being something you're born with rather than you work for. Given that, I chose to ask for simple clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 23, 2019 at 17:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DuckTapeAl I agree the question has way more words than it needs (including in the block quotes). I think the two questions you pose are connected enough to be in one question/answer. Mostly because if only the second question were asked (what does it look like), then the first question (can it be done) would still need to be addressed by any respondent. I voted to leave open, though an edit certainly wouldn't hurt. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Mar 23, 2019 at 19:03

3 Answers 3


You need to get sorcerer levels to advance the Draconic Bloodline features

The Multiclassing rules explain (emphasis mine):

When you gain a new level in a class, you get its features for that level.

Since the Sorcererous Origin is tied to your Sorcerer level, you would not progress in the Draconic Bloodline unless you gain more Sorcerer levels.

Narrative explanation

If you need a narrative explanation for this phenomena, consider this analogy:

Any animal with particular genetics (that which demonstrates as sufficiently dexterous lips) in the real world is capable of whistling. This does not mean that these animals are automatically able to whistle. It is a learned ability.

In the same way, the ability to manifest wings is a learned ability of Draconic Bloodline sorcerers. As they explore that aspect of their origin, they gain more powerful abilities from that aspect of their person.

  • \$\begingroup\$ sorry to sidetrack but I've been seeing a lot of "emphasis mine" posted on the site lately... what's that about? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 23, 2019 at 17:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB The bolded portion of my quote is not bolded in the original. It's just there to show that I'm bolding part of the quote. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2019 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB That's a good Meta Question. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Mar 23, 2019 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6537 \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Mar 23, 2019 at 19:45

This kind of fluff is up to the DM. A player could potentially, if the DM was on board, play a character with their ancestry clearly displayed via some vestigial trait, but it would be nothing but fluff.

Mechanically, these traits don’t exist until you take the sorcerer level that grants them. If you never do, they never matter, so might as well not exist.

Speaking from experience, I had one character who did this, a bard who later multiclassed into sorcerer. The draconic features went previously unexpressed until he did, leading to growing scales overnight.


It actually doesn't matter

The piece you have quoted supposes both options:

sorcerers with this origin trace their descent back to a mighty sorcerer of ancient times who made a bargain with a dragon or who might even have claimed a dragon parent

So, there are at least two ways for a human to get draconic blood - either they have draconic ancestors, or they made a bargain with a dragon. There might be other options, depending on the setting. However, unless the DM states otherwise, as a player, you can't play this creature - the same way you can't play, say, a Bandit Captain or a Commoner.

Classes and levels are abstractions - there is no "1 level Fighter" in the game world (at least if we're talking about 5e). Classes themselves are based on common fantasy tropes, they intended to be used by players and don't cover all the possibilities in the world.

If you want a barbarian-like player character covered in dragon scales, the closest thing is to create a 1 level Sorcerer and multiclass him/her to Barbarian.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Though I used barbarian as the furthest trope to a sorcerer that I could think of. Though. if you did multiclass, would that still open up the wings option when you reach a lvl 1 sorcerer/lvl13 barbarian as your total level would be 14? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 23, 2019 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB no, you need sorcerer 14 for the wings. Total character level 14 wouldn’t be enough. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2019 at 17:41

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