The Sorcerer subclass below is a home-brew sub-class for a campaign setting that's not related to traditional settings such as Forgotten Realms. The subclass is intentionally supposed to be good at aspects of spy-craft and information gathering--whispers. They may not be as good at other things, and that's okay as long as they aren't underpowered across the board or overpowered.
I'm concerned primarily about balance, but also about other things I might have missed, like if there's some clear reason that a feature of this class would be very hard for the DM to keep track of.
A few notes and preemptive comments:
- Concentration. The class has one feature that changes how concentration works in a very restricted case; I know this is controversial, but I disagree that all possible changes to concentration are necessarily unbalanced (for example: Arcane Abeyance and Artificer's Homunculus Servant do much more powerful things with concentration already; Matt Mercer's home-brew Cleric Moon Domain has a more flexible concentration feature than the one here). If there's a specific balance problem with the concentration feature in this class, however, I would love to know.
- Air. I know the concept of "Air" in this class is not identical to the traditional 5e concept of "Air". This sub-class is for a non-traditional setting.
- Domain Spells. A common problem people cite for Sorcerers is a lack of domain spells. I've added domain spells to this class, like with the Aberrant Mind sub-class. However, as with clerics, I don't allow Whisperers to swap these domain spells out at higher levels. This class is supposed to be good at specific things, not at divination and transmutation (or whatever) generally. Players are of course not restricted in terms of the other Sorcerer spells they take.
- Homebrew Spell. There is one home-brew spell included in this class's domain list, Whisper Sense. It has a duration of 10 minutes, and many of the class's features require that the whisperer be concentrating on it.
Whisperer of Word and Air
The Whisperer of Word and Air sorcerer is attuned to the primal concept of Air. They gain powers over sound, light, communication, and the air itself.
The primal concept of Air is associated not only with the mundane air. Rather, it encapsulates the space between entities in the universe and thus is largely concerned with the transfer of information and with perception. Whisperers are often sought out to provide assistance with communication and information gathering as opposed to help with the local weather. Whisperers often have a knack for picking up rumors and stray information, and stories tell of Whisperers who knew everything about a town after spending a night there. In myth, the Whisperers of Word and Air tend toward solitary and remote contemplation, but, being Whisperers, no mere distance from others could make them truly isolated.
Child of the Breeze
1st-level Whisperer feature
You gain proficiency in the Perception skill. Additionally, you no longer need to breathe, and you can speak without breathing or moving your mouth.
You automatically learn the spells in the Air Spells list, below, at the associated levels in this class. These spells count as Sorcerer spells for you, but they do not count against your number of spells known.
- Level 1. Whisper Sense, Sanctuary, Message (cantrip)
- Level 3. Darkness, Silence
- Level 5. Call Lightning, Sending
- Level 7. Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility
- Level 9. Commune with Nature, Telekinesis
Voice of the Wind
When you cast the Message cantrip or the Sending spell while concentrating on the Whisper Sense spell, you may choose any number of locations within the area-of-effect of the Whisper Sense spell to also receive the communication. Any creatures at these locations receive the identical message or sending and may respond according to the respective spell's normal rules. You may choose whether the responses of all targets of the spell are carried back only to you or whether they are carried to all other recipients as well. Locations that are underwater or that do not contain air cannot be targeted.
Closeness of Air
6th-level Whisperer feature
You have developed an attunement to the concept of Air, and have learned to send your magic along its whispering currents. While you are concentrating on the Whisper Sense spell you gain blindsight with a radius of 30 feet, and, when you cast the Sanctuary, Freedom of Movement, or Greater Invisibility spells, you may target any creature in the area of effect of the Whisper Sense spell as long as you know the creature's location. When targeting a creature in this way, you do not need to be able to see the creature, to have a direct line-of-sight to it, or to be within the spell's normal range of it.
You may cast the Sending spell without spending a spell slot or providing components by instead spending 2 sorcery points.
Agent of Diffraction
14th-level Whisperer feature
When you cast either the Darkness or the Silence spell, the spell does not require concentration as long as its center is located inside of the area-of-effect of a Whisper Sense spell on which you are concentrating. When cast in this way, the spell's radius is 20 feet, and the spell ends when your concentration ends. For that duration, you may not use this feature again, but you may use a bonus action either to move the spell to another valid location within the area-of-effect of the Whisper Sense spell or to toggle the spell's effect from silence to darkness or from darkness to silence.
Charmer of Winds
18th-level Whisperer feature
You are so attuned to the concept of Air that you can traverse it with ease. You may spend an action and 5 sorcery points to grant a flying speed of 60 feet to a number of willing creatures including yourself no greater than your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). The creatures must each be inside the area-of-effect of a Whisper Sense spell on which you are concentrating, and the flying speed of each creature ends when either the Whisper Sense spell ends or that creature is no longer within the spell's area-of-effect.