This is a follow-up to How do I determine appropriate Sorcery Point costs for homebrew Metamagics?, which I asked in preparation for this question.

I'm working on a homebrew version of the Sorcerer class that includes a bunch of new Metamagic options. Most of them I've pulled from homebrew reworks I've seen here and there, but I haven't playtested any of them yet. A lot of the Sorcery Point costs for the Metamagics I pulled from here and there seemed bonkers to me, so I asked the above question in order to be able to value them more appropriately. @IronWilliam gave an excellent answer, so I tried to go by the guidelines he proposed.

Here's what I'd love folks' opinions on (though of course if people have opinions on other aspects of what I've posted I'd love to hear them):

  1. Are any of these too overpowered or underpowered to be in the game?
  2. Are any of these too overpowered or underpowered at their current cost but would be okay if they cost more/fewer Sorcery Points?

Bouncing Spell
When a creature succeeds at a saving throw against a single-target spell you cast, you can spend 2 Sorcery Points to cast the spell again, targeting another creature of your choice within 30 ft. of the original target. This expends neither a spell slot nor an action. (EDIT TO MAKE THE INTENTION CLEARER: When a creature succeeds at a saving throw against a single-target spell you cast, you can spend 2 Sorcery Points for the spell to "bounce" and target another creature of your choice within 30 feet of the original target, without consuming another spell slot.)

Efficient Spell
When you cast a spell of 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th level, you can spend 1 Sorcery Point to cast it using a spell slot one level lower than the spell's normal level, without changing the effects of the spell.

Imparted Spell
When you use a spell slot to cast a spell with a range of self, you can spend 1 Sorcery Point to change the spell’s casting range to touch.

Maximized Spell
(This one seems overpowered to me, but I’m including it just in case the huge cost balances that out.)
When you roll damage for a leveled spell, you can spend a number of Sorcery Points equal to twice the spell’s level to deal maximum damage to one target of the spell.

Potent Spell
When one or more creatures would take no damage following a successful saving throw against a spell you cast, you can spend 1 Sorcery Point to deal half the spell’s damage to one of those creatures. The creature suffers no additional effect from the spell.

Precise Spell
When you cast a spell which requires an attack roll, you can spend 2 Sorcery Points to gain advantage on the first attack roll of the spell.

Reactive Spell
As a reaction on another creature’s turn, you can spend 2 Sorcery Points to cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action. That spell’s casting time becomes 1 reaction for this casting.

Reverberating Spell
When you cast a spell with an area of effect and a duration of instantaneous, you can expend Sorcery Points equal to the spell’s level to have the spell (at its lowest level) target the same area at the beginning of your next turn.

Shifted Spell
When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects and has a duration of instantaneous, you can spend 3 Sorcery Points to change the saving throw to another ability score. If the original saving throw uses a physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution), the new saving throw must be chosen from between the other two physical ability scores. Similarly, if the original saving throw uses a mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), the new saving throw must be chosen between the other two mental ability scores.

Widened Spell
When you cast an AOE spell, you can spend 1 Sorcery Points (1 Sorcery Point for cantrips) to increase each of the area’s dimensions by half, rounded down to the nearest 5 feet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you comparing these to the existing options? Or to what they do to the sorcerer class as a whole? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Oct 9 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri The homebrew is a buff of the class in general, because I agree with you that it's the weakest of the spellcasting classes, but I did try to keep the options in line with what's there. (The Metamagics aren't the only thing I'm buffing.) So I guess overall it's about what they do to the class as a whole? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri (Continued from my other comment) Without breaking the game? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, one question per question is a hard rule here. these are 10. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Oct 10 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I see 10 feats, and just some of them are related. If you can put them under one hat with a good question-starter like "I have thought about altering the area or shape of spells. This is what I came up with. Do these (metamagics that affect the share and area of a spell) appear to be balanced in their costs? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Oct 11 at 10:31

Rating this the only way I know how, by comparing these to existing Metamagic options (in terms of overall power vs cost):

Bouncing Spell Seems OK. Under most circumstances this is basically just a worse Heightened Spell, but in exchange it's slightly cheaper so you get to do it more often. However, only with a caveat - I'd assume the actual intent was to not give you the option to actually cast another spell, but rather to basically just pick another target for the existing one and let the sorcerer try hitting that instead? Because if you leave it as actually casting the spell again, this'd mean you can use Bouncing Spell on that target as well if it fails, which for high level save-or-suck spells means you can all but guarantee they'll connect for (by then) relatively minor cost. If that is the intended reading this is OP and should be changed.

Efficient Spell Extremely overpowered, should be removed. This makes Flexible Casting look like a joke in comparison. Even if you changed the (laughable) cost to a more reasonable number, that'd still overlap too much with Flexible Casting for me to consider it a "good" feature; Features should complement each other, not fight.

Imparted Spell I can't think of a spell on the Sorcerer spell list this would be really particularly good with, but this is an easy option to pick for other spellcasters with the Metamagic Adept feat, and there are some spells like Guardian Of Nature that have the potential to be a bit broken if applied to other people than the spellcaster. I think it's probably alright even then, but this might be more powerful than you had in mind.

Maximized Spell Fine. Sorcery points are somewhat scarce, a sorcerer going heavy on this is going to burn through their resources very quickly. Main concern is that this somewhat pidgeonholes sorcerers into the fireball-blasting role more so than they already are, because this makes them much better at being that but forces them to give up being good in other areas in exchange. (caveat: I'm writing this from the perspective of a spaced-out adventuring "day" with multiple combat and non-combat encounters between rests; If you do run a 5 minute adventuring day game like this answer assumes then I'd agree its too powerful; But if we assume that we might as well ignore resource costs entirely because they'll barely come up)

Potent Spell This doesn't actually do anything under most circumstances, and when it does it's bad. Not worth spending sorcery points on, let alone spending one of your limited metamagic slots on.

Precise Spell This is basically a strictly worse version of Seeking Spell from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Not worth taking over that, not different enough to warrant this to exist.

Reactive Spell Overpowered. Effectively gives you something close to an Action Surge for barely any resource investment. Don't think this can be fixed, the effect is broken enough that a fair sorcery point cost would make this too costly to be used. A somewhat more balanced version going in this direction would be to spend 1-2 sorcery points to be able to ready the Cast A Spell action without actually having to ready a spell, but that might be too niche for most players.

Reverberating Spell This one might be OK? It's basically very powerful in some circumstances, while being basically useless in others. Much more situational than you'd think, because most spells that fit this description don't allow you to choose your targets, and if you don't have allies in the area it's kinda hard to prevent your enemies from just leaving the area in the meantime. I think this one can be left as-is to be honest.

Shifted Spell IMHO steps on the territory of Heightened Spell too much. There also aren't actually that many spells that can can make use of this, as most really dangerous effects that target saving throws require concentration. Spells like Feeblemind are kind of the exception, but this already targets a rather uncommon save so it's not really all that helpful with that. Overall I think this one is pretty weird and I'm not sure I'd recommend anyone to take it, but it does make me a bit uncomfortable because there could easily be a handful of applicable spells that may be broken by retargeting their saves, whereas for most other spells this barely makes a difference on average.

Widened Spell This is completely fine. Very situational effect, appropriately low cost.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks so much for such a thoughtful and thorough answer. I have a couple questions, but I'm on my way out so for now I'll just say that I edited my question so that the two questions are 1) are these OP? and 2) are these OP at their current cost but would be okay if they cost more/fewer points. If that changes any of your answer I'd love to know. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 22:23

I have conflicting opinions about these options.

They are much better than the existing options (in the majority) and in the hands of someone with the metamagic feat would be too powerful.

However I actually think the sorcerer is the weakest class in the game and these options despite me thinking 'wow' still don't make me want to play a sorcerer, so I can't actually use the word overpowered with a straight face.

For what it is worth, if you do want to balance a sorcerer by way of metamagic, consider something that adds to AC or saves for every spell cast.

Bouncing Spell: Too good - increase the cost to match twin spell

Compared to twin spell, which is very similar the point cost is much less, and there needs to be a restriction on how many times you can use it on a single spell (or maybe not).

Efficient Spell: Way too good - forget this every existed

I am not going to do maths on this, but I would immediately take the metamagic adept feat on my wizard. Immediately. This is possibly the most powerful magic related thing I have seen. 3 more walls of force a day? Yes please!

Imparted Spell: Meh - I have no experience if this is good or bad

Honestly I have never seen a DM enforce self only spells in the first place.

Maximized Spell: Too good - If you have the right playstyle, then playtest it, otherwise there is no saving it

Huge cost isn't a balancing factor because most of the time you only need to drop 1 nuke to win the battle. The 5 minute working day which most groups play to kills this as a concept, but if you run with 8 encounters a day then this is probably ok. I just don't know (m)any groups that do.

Potent Spell: Different issues

The theme of this makes me cry. If someone used this against my player character that I had put effort into building a save for I would be vary annoyed. Even without balance concerns I would not allow this to exist.

Precise Spell: Ok - probably could be cheaper

Probably fine, this would need playtesting, but my gut says 1sp would be enough.

Reactive Spell: Different issues

This just opens up too many options and questions such as what is the trigger for a reaction that doesn't have a trigger condition? Can you banish someone about to cast a spell? Do you have to wait for the spell to go off? The mechanics on this alone make it too much to deal with, but I would think the power is too much as well. Reactions are almost certainly intentionally limited.

Reverberating Spell: Too good - could be balanced, would need maths to do so

Compare this to using SP to gain more slots. This is better. Miles better. You would get a fireball and save 2sp plus your action.

Shifted Spell: Different issues

I don't know about balance, but this really would upset my verisimilitude.

Widened Spell: Possibly ok

I think this would need playtesting. It sounds powerful, but in play probably won't come up that much as usually battles are on a small enough area.

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    \$\begingroup\$ “ Honestly I have never seen a DM enforce self only spells in the first place.” What? Every DM you’ve ever played with just let you cast self spells on others? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Yup. I have never seen players try to abuse it, but it just always made sense. Same as we allow targeting of objects even if the spell says creatures. I have played under about 10 different DM's so far, so not the most worldly player or DM, but this has been my experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Oct 9 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ As someone who uses gritty realism rules frequently which make adventuring days by the book much more feasible in non-dungeon crawl settings, I would also think that Maximized Spell is too good, even when running 8 encounters between long rests. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Oct 9 at 21:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Hmm. Never even heard of that. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LessPop_MoreFizz I would definitely say that of the full casters the sorcerer is exceptionally underwhelming, regardless of subclass. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 9 at 22:07

This is a lot of different metamagic abilities to go over in one question, but let's take a crack at it.

Bouncing Spell

This ability needs some workshopping on the wording, but I think the idea is fun! It can only be applied once to a given spell by the default metamagic rules, so this is is similar to Heighten. You may or may not want successful saves that still inflict half damage to have an effect - possibly use wording along the lines of "the original target suffers no effects, and a new creature within 30ft becomes the target of the spell."

I feel confident in saying this should be a 3 point ability. It's very similar to Heighten, by giving a saving throw spell a second chance to be useful. It's not as powerful as twin, as it cannot double cast a spell.

Efficient Spell

Overpowered. Limiting this to spell slots below 5th level was a good attempt, but this is far too powerful. Flexible Casting already allows creating extra spell slots up to this level with sorcery points, and this is drastically cheaper. The game has a purposeful power spike at 5th level, and so 3rd level damage spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt represent a massive power increase over 2nd level effects.

I don't think this ability works as it at any cost below what Flexible Casting already allows. If you're looking for an alternative, allowing a sorcerer to spend sorcery points to increase the level a spell is being cast at, that could be a more balanceable option.

Imparted Spell

I like this one! Throwing spells like Disguise Self or the Investiture spells around on other characters seems fun.
1 Point feels fair. It doesn't inherently increase damage, conserver resources, or mess with action economy.

Maximized Spell

This one seems highly dependent on the game, and there's nothing really good to compare it too. I guess the 'maximum' damage is close to double the average, which puts it in the realm of twinning a spell? But this can be applied to a greater variety of spells, and be used to concentrate damage on a single target to take them out of the fight faster. In my experience, abilities that concentrate resources to this degree don't lead to good gameplay. It's a big single-use nuke button.

If this is going to be included in a game, I think it's current cost is more than enough, but it still won't be very fun. In the five minute adventuring day, this is overpowered, and in a dungeon crawl this leads to anticlimaxes as a sorcerer is underpowered for most of the dungeon until they wipe the floor with the boss instantly.

Potent Spell

This is a weird one. Very few monsters have abilities that specifically cause them to take no damage from a spell because they succeeded on the save, and I don't think the intent of this is to bypass damage immunities.

On the whole, I don't think this does anything useful enough to justify being an option, and on the rare occasions it does do something it feels like it's trivially bypassing something significant.

Precise Spell

Close to Seeking Spell but minorly worse, since one has to use it before they know the results of the die roll, rather than only using it when it might help. I guess a rogue could use it to trigger sneak attack on a melee attack cantrip?
2 points is fine, but I don't think this is different enough to justify existing alongside Seeking Spell.

Reactive Spell

Overpowered. This is superficially similar to Quicken Spell, reducing the time taken to cast a lower action spell. But it entirely bypasses the rule of being able to only cast one leveled spell per turn, which is a huge boost to a casters spellcasting output.
Any attempt to bring the cost of this ability in line will lead to similar problems as Maximize Spell - it can only be balanced by being prohibitively expensive, making it overpowered in games with few combat rounds per day, and bad for gameplay in grindier games.

Reverberating Spell

Huh! Like an AoE twin! I like how this encourages some interesting positioning tricks and takes effect over multiple turns. On the flip side, AoE spells already tend to be pretty powerful, and doubling them up is very efficient. There's also an unstated factor that makes it harder to judge - can other creatures tell that a second AoE will happen in a turn, and react, or is it a surprise? RAW, this does not say it creates any signal, so if it's intended to be obvious it may need some descriptive text talking about a perceivable effect. Personally I could go either way on if it should be obvious.

I like the cost as is, but definitely think this is one to playtest and keep an eye on.

Shifted Spell

I think this one might be a little overpowered. I think it's an interesting effect that could be mechanically useful, similar to Heighten spell by trying to reduce a targets save. I don't like that this allows a player to potentially spam the same spell every combat, instead of being forced to try and prepare a more varied selection of spells for interesting and unique combat.

I would say 3 points is okay for this, but I would want to see how this feels during playtesting before I gave it a stamp of approval.

Widened Spell

I like big spells and I cannot lie. Straightforward, I like it. Especially good on aura spells that last for multiple turns.
1 point is in line with the existing metamagic, and I don't think there's any major issues with this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so, so much! I really appreciate your insight. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10 at 11:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ "This one seems highly dependent on the game, and there's nothing really good to compare it too." - FWIW, this is exactly the Overchannel ability of Evocation Wizards. Evocation Wizards can spam this more freely assuming there's an abundant source of healing available (which I'd normally guess to be the case by the time you get it), and other than the damage you take from it it's basically "free". So that's my comparison. In a 5 minute adventuring day it's way better than overchannel, in a long adventuring day it's probably a bit worse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 10 at 13:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Overchannel also maximizes, but the fact that it's only available at level 14 and only works on spells up to 5th level makes it less impactful - by the time you get it, it can't be used on the highest level spells you have, so it has less nuke potential. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10 at 21:52

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