In a recent interview, Dungeons & Dragons designer Jeremy Crawford mentioned how the Lunar Magic subclass that appeared in the previous Heroes of Krynn article scored so well that it is moving forward in the development process and doesn’t appear in the Heroes of Krynn Revisited document.
Let’s have a look at the Lunar Magic subclass and talk about sorcerers in Dragonlance.
Lunar Magic Sorcerer
The Lunar Magic sorcerer represents someone who has gained power either directly or from an ancestor from one of the moons. Suggestions include your ancestor being involved in a druidic ritual, or perhaps a mystical fragment of the moon crashing down near you.
The article continues on with a chart on how your lunar magic might manifest.
MANIFESTATIONS OF LUNAR MAGIC– Heroes of Krynn Playtest Document
1 You glow with faint light that matches the color of a moon from your world.
2 Your pupils shift in shape, matching the current phase of a moon from your world.
3 Spectral manifestations of the moon (or moons) of your world orbit you.
4 Your shadow is limned in faint light, as if it were a lunar body during a solar eclipse.
At 1st level, the sorcerer gets the Moon Fire ability. Sorcerers gain the sacred flame cantrip, which doesn’t count against the number of cantrips they know. You can target one or two creatures with this ability.
Sorcerers gain another feature at 1st level called Lunar Embodiment. After a long rest, you choose which moon phase is manifesting through you (Full Moon, New Moon, or Crescent Moon). You then add the spells from that phase to your spell list until you take another long rest.
The lunar phase you are associated with continues throughout the rest of this subclass. At 6th level, the sorcerer gains an ability called Lunar Boons, which affects your metamagic. When you use a spell from the lunar phase you are in or from one of its associated schools, the metamagic sorcery point cost is reduced by 1. You can do this for a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus until you take a long rest.
Also at 6th level, the sorcerer gains an ability called Waxing and Waning, which allows them to spend 1 sorcery point to change their moon phase.
At 14th level, sorcerers gain an ability called Lunar Empowerment, which gives you an added ability based on the phase you are in. At 18th level, the sorcerer gains the Lunar Phenomenon ability, which gives you additional abilities based on your moon phase.
Lunar Magic (5e) vs. Moon Magic (1e, 2e, and 3e)
The Lunar Magic abilities are quite different from the Moon Magic ability the Wizards of High Sorcery had in editions past. In prior editions, you tracked the movements of the moons to see what phase of the moon you followed was in. If the moon was waxing or waning, there would be little to no effect. You got a bonus during high sanction, but negatives at low sanction.
So why the change?
There are a number of possibilities, from minimizing resource management to creating something for the sorcerer that would tie them into the newly-renamed Mages of High Sorcery. It also avoids the pitfall of having negatives applied to your character for several days of a month.
In comparison, Lunar Magic is quite flavorful, giving the player bonuses no matter which phase of the moon he associates with and allowing the player to have some choice.
What About the Fifth Age Sorcerer?
There are a number of possibilities as to why Wizards of the Coast went this direction with the sorcerer.
Wizards of the Coast’s focus is on the War of the Lance. This is the most well-known era of Dragonlance and the one with the least buy-in Wizards likely wants to avoid limitations during this era. Limiting classes doesn’t work towards that goal.
With the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition rules, having the divide between focused (godly) magic and the ambient magic of Krynn does not make as much sense. D&D 3rd edition was the first time that all four types of magic (High Sorcery, Wild Sorcery, the divine magic of the gods, and Mysticism) were all together. This was a way to allow both Fourth Age and Fifth Age magic to exist at once. In the 3rd edition era, the mechanic of prepared spells vs. spontaneous spells worked in favor of this difference. With 5th edition, the lines are more blurred with all the new options and revised mechanics.
For Wizards of the Coast, Fifth Age spellcasters are a footnote of the past. However, a dungeon master can utilize the sorcerer however he wants in his or her game.
The Lunar Magic sorcerer is quite flavorful and a worthy successor to the Moon Magic of old. The newly-rechristened Mages of High Sorcery now feel more consistent, keeping tabs on all forms of arcane magic and making certain magic is used responsibly.
Despite the change in continuity, the addition of the Lunar Magic sorcerer cements the sorcerer class into the tapestry of the lore of Krynn.