Sorcerous Origin: Dream Conduit

Sorcerers whose power arises from dreams are rare and as varied as the dreamscapes that empower them. Such sorcerers are often known as "Dream Conduits" due to their ability to reach from the waking world into the dream world and to bring the stuff of the dream world back.

Artist of Sleep

1st-level Dream Conduit feature

You are attuned to the magic of the sleeping mind. Neither magic nor poisons can force you asleep against your will, and you learn an expanded list of spells given in the Dream Spells list, below. These spells count as Sorcerer spells for you and become known for you at the associated levels, but they do not count against your number of spells known.

When you cast the sleep spell using a spell slot, you may optionally spend a number of sorcery points no greater than your level in this class divided by three, rounded up, to add 2d8 per spent point to the sleep spell's roll.

Dream Spells

Dream Sight

6th-level Dream Conduit feature

You are so practiced in the crafts of dreams that you can observe the dreams of others that sleep. You may spend your action and 2 sorcery points to force an unconscious creature you touch to make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. If the creature fails the saving throw, you may give it a single question or prompt and witness its dreams about this prompt. The information gained from this feature should be approximately equivalent to that gained from a failed saving throw against the detect thoughts spell. Additionally, if the creature fails this save, you may optionally spend 1 additional sorcery point to cause it to be either charmed or frightened by you (your choice) for 1 minute, starting when it awakens.

Once you have targeted a creature using this feature, you may not target the same creature with it again until you have completed a short or long rest. Creatures that are incapable of dreaming, such as oozes, are immune to this feature, but creatures that can dream (but do not necessarily need to sleep or dream), such as elves, are not.

Dream Step

14th-level Dream Conduit feature

Your knowledge of dreams has grown such that you can now reach across the Dream and use it as a path between dreamers. When you begin a long rest, you may choose a number of willing creatures no greater than your charisma modifier (minimum of 1) who are on the same plane of existence as you. Creatures incapable of dreaming cannot be targeted by this spell. You and all targets fall into a deep slumber and appear to each other in a shared dream, which you control. Dreamers leave the shared dream and awaken if they are awaked normally, if they choose to leave, or if they take damage, and if you awaken the dream ends. If 8 hours pass, the dream ends, and you may choose one creature who is still in the dream (including yourself); all willing creatures still in the dream are transported to the locations nearest the chosen creature and awaken there.

The use of this feature does not prevent you or any target from gaining the benefits of a long rest during the shared dream, but every creature transported using this feature, including yourself, gains one level of exhaustion upon waking.

Additionally, you cannot be targeted by the Dream spell against your will.

Rending the Veil

18th-level Dream Conduit feature

Your explorations of dreams have given you the ability to tear apart the boundary between it and the waking world. As an action, you may spend 6 sorcery points in order to fall into a deep slumber for one minute from which you can only be awakened by taking damage or by choosing to awaken at the beginning of your turn. You become unconscious, and until you awaken, your dreams reach out from you to fill a sphere with a radius of 60 feet centered on you. This area becomes difficult terrain for any creature of your choice, and whenever a creature except you begins its turn in this area, you may optionally choose one of the following:

  • You may immediately grant the effects of the sanctuary spell to the creature.
  • You may immediately allow the creature to move up to 10 feet without spending its movement and without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • You may give the creature up to three of your sorcery points and allow it to use any meta-magic you know when casting spells on its turn. At the end of its turn, any excess sorcery points that the creature cannot normally hold are lost.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do not understand this line: "If 8 hours pass, the dream ends, and you may choose one creature who is still in the dream (including yourself);..." in the Drean Step feature. What happens to the chosen creature? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 17:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott Nothing; you choose a creature, then "all willing creatures still in the dream are transported to the locations nearest the chosen creature and awaken there." \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 18:00

3 Answers 3


This subclass is a bit weak for practical play

Most play happens in tier one and two, a little in tier three, and next to nothing in tier four. So unless you have a very unusual campaign, your level 1 and 6 power will matter a lot, your level 14 power will a little, and your level 18 power is something that looks cool in a rulebook, but rarely sees the light of day and does matter less for the subclasses strength. Here the first feature seems to be balanced in tier one play, but loses steam later, and the second feature is relatively weak.

1: Dream Spells: This part is balanced -- there are several sorcerer classes in Tasha's that have a comparable feature with more selection on it, typically you can pick from two options at each level, so selection is slightly weaker. Sleep early is great, but already is a sorcerer spell. The list also does not make up in power for the more narrow options, for example bestow curse is a subpar spell. Dream is a great thematic fit, of course. You could copy the general language part from Tasha's to be closer to the published variants in wording how the feature works. The extra hp on sleep help to even this out - typical early opponents tend to have no more than a dozen hp, so this adds a little punch early on, and there is no save. The hp grow quickly by tier two, an ogre e.g. has nearly 60 and would need 13d8 to put to sleep.

6: Dream Sight. This seems pretty weak to me. In normal play, by the time a creature is unconscious it is often because you opted to knock it out instead of killing it, so little combat applications, and the number of adventures where you would sneak up on a sleeping creature to gain some intel this way seems rare. So it might help as a interrogation tool. Detect Thoughts is also on the sorcerer list, and creating a spell slot for it would only cost 1 more Sorcery point, at no feature cost than a known spell. So this for the most part is like one more known spell that can only be used very situationally.

14: Dream Step By now you can expect your Charisma modifier to be +5, so this will affect five creatures. Since the other creatures can leave any time, this has no offensive capability. I think it is kind of useful for planning purposes, but at the same time, the party normally can just talk to each other, and whichever NPCs is off remote, you could contact with dream already to achieve the same thing. The teleport aspect can be useful to transport your group to a known NPC, so I think this is OK -- it will not get you out of a sticky situtation like Teleport would which is available at the same level. You also need a way to protect the team, if all of you are sleeping, or you may never live to see the day.

18: Rending the Veil This one seems to be powerful to me, even if it costs a third of your sorcery points. I can see this leading to all kinds of Shenanigans by giving sorcery points and metamagic to classes that normally do not have them, and creating difficult terrain and giving all your allies Sanctuary and increased speed and mobility each round is good. At the same time, the cost of not having any actions yourself and being vulnerable because you are asleep is still pretty steep, so I don't think it is broken. And, as I mentioned in the intro, this power is the least relevant.

You did a good job at not falling into the much more common trap of creating an overpowered munchkin fantasy. I would rework this to have a bit more oomph, though.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! This is very useful! Re:Dream Sight (L6), I think I had some shenanigans in mind when coming up with this (high-powered sleep spell at low levels followed by an easy charm/fear and mind-read), but I can see how this is too situational and not as powerful as I imagined. I am wondering if removing the creature's ability to save would make this too powerful. Also, not sure from your wording if this was clear, but my intention was that the Dream Spells be given to the player for free like Cleric Domain Spells, not that they be options for the player to choose like Warlock Patron spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 18:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think what this needs is analysis of how artist of sleep keeps the sleep spell relevant into higher levels, which seems to be the intention. If it succeeds then it might be powerful, if it fails it will be a useless feature. But good call on the level 6 ability. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Yes!—I'd love to see an example of how to think through that analysis. I don't have a good sense for what the total enemy hp in a typical encounter across PC levels / play tiers is like, so 2d8 per sorcery point is a stab in the dark. Across levels it typically allows you to roll about 50-66% more hp on average on the sleep spell if you spend the sorcery points for it (the lowest bump it allows you to reach is an approx. 29% increased roll at level 3 and the biggest bump it allows you is an approx. 67% increased roll at levels 19 and 20). \$\endgroup\$
    – nben
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well said about the higher level powers - I didn’t even read them because they are practically irrelevant \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 13:15

This subclass is pretty weak.

It charges sorcery points for the kind of abilities other sorcerer subclasses get for free. Charging 2 sorcery points (a 2nd level spell slot) for part of the ability Detect Thoughts when Detect Thoughts is a 2nd level spell is kinda case in point. If a sorcerer had this subclass, and didn't talk about which one they picked at the table, it would be incredibly hard for any other person to even notice it doing anything at all.

If you want to bring it up to par, there's a pretty simple fix.

Just remove all the sorcery point costs. Make Artist of Sleep +2d8 to Sleep (a stealth Sleep fix, as it's a terrible spell the vast majority of the time) proficiency bonus times per day, increasing to 4d8 at level 3, and 6d8 at level 5.

Dream Vision is a 6th level ability. By the time the Sleep Sorcerer gets it, they've had access to area save-or-loses and massive area damage spells for an entire level. They can Fly into the sky and rain down firebolts, even, or give the barbarian an extra attack if they aren't into personally getting their hands dirty. Just let them reach into the thoughts of a sleeping person once per day and gain an unguarded (honest/truthful) answer to a single question if that person fails a wisdom saving throw.

Add a chaser in there - that person (the sleeping one) on a failed saving throw is strangely off-guard vs the sleep sorcerer, and suffers Disadvantage on any Insight, Deception, Intimidation or Persuasion checks they make against the sorcerer for the next day, but if they make the save instead their psyche infiltrates the sorcerer, and the sorcerer has Disadvantage against them. That's suitably eldritch.

Dream Step is a 14th level ability. It should not grant exhaustion. Further, the Dream Sorcerer should be able to identify sleeping people in a location he wishes to travel to and draw them into the dream (which he can do anyway with Scry or various other means), and they shouldn't generally try to save unless they hold personal antipathy against the sorcerer (or have been warned against him). This is not a meaningfully stronger ability than Teleport, which the Sorcerer already has access to at this level. I'd even allow it to bypass wards against teleportation, as you've already got some provisos in there to let a prepared enemy avoid it being used. The idea that you have to stop your orc guards from sleeping on duty or the party will sneak into your villain lair using their dreams is super epic.

Rending the Veil is effectively only useful for some kind of metamagic based shenanigans currently. Like some kind of create simulacrum who quickens an etc sort of thing. An 18th level character being able to move someone 10' or make something difficult terrain is just not exciting at all. An 18th level sorcerer can use 9th, 8th, 7th level spells on their turn, or fire off quite a huge number of 5th level spells. They can trivially reproduce stronger effects than this ability. A divine soul sorcerer can heal half their hp as a bonus action as their 18th level ability, storm sorcerers make the entire party permanently fly on top of immunity to two types of damage, draconic is one of the weakest - every turn, save or lose to all enemies in a 60' globe.. aberrant mind kinda sucks.. but like, the better subclasses all vastly outclass what you have currently.

I'd keep the fluff, but rename it, and vastly rework the effect. Call it Dreamscape. Increase the range to 120'. It's paralyzing the caster, so it has to be actually better than all other subclass abilities. Ergo, base it off Mirage Arcana, but give it more explicit teeth. Illusions fill this sphere and the location of the caster (and of anyone inside) is obscured. Anyone trying to move through the area has to make a wisdom save or they get lost and can't find what they are looking for, and instead wander in circles. Meanwhile the dream sorcerer can spend spend his action on his turn to guide any creature inside the dreamscape to either one edge or to a specific other creature. Truesight can see through the dreamscape, but even creatures that cannot dream can become lost in the dreams of the dream sorcerer. Add a bit of fluff text about it being a dangerous ability, as legends tell of dream sorcerers who lost themselves in their dreamscapes and never woke up.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have anything to back up any of your suggestions? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 7:00

You could likely grant the ability to pick up some enhanced version of phantasmal force as well, since while it is a sorcerer spell already, it would be nice if it were one of the options that you have always prepared, as it seems to naturally fit within a theme of daydreams effecting creatures. Perhaps allow it to effect a number of creatures within range equal to your proficiency bonus? That would be a potent ability that would help disable creatures somewhat while not being the stomp that a sleep spell that scaled well would be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a good comment, but it doesn't really help answer the "is this balanced" question. Welcome to the site, but what we focus on here is full answers rather than comments as you would find on a normal forum. You will probably notice this gets heavily downvoted because of that. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack, take the tour when you have a moment. This is not a traditional discussion forum, so things work a bit different here. We require that answer posts address the question that was asked, so while your suggestion is a cool idea for adding to the class, I think the post as a whole is a bit incomplete to really be an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 19:00

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