D&D: Tal’Dorei Blood Magic– A Wizard So Creepy Everyone Will Think You’re A Warlock
Tal’Dorei Blood Magic is a new Wizard Subclass all about using your life force to deplete the life force of others.
Blood magic is a tried and true staple of fantasy fiction. And there’s something intensely fascinating about it. We all have blood. And when you start calling it “life essence” or “vitality” then the world takes on a dark new twist. There’s something inherently foreboding about it in a visceral way. Which is the point.
Blood Magic’s been around since before the days when Conan walked the jeweled shores of Aquilonia. But even his villains, like Xaltotun knew that blood fuels sorcery. In some fantasy stories, having someone use another’s blood to fuel their own power is a quick way to convey “this person is evil.” In Tal’Dorei, however, things are a little bit more grey.
Wizards who learn the tradition of blood magic aren’t inherently evil. But the practice is considered taboo in many societies. Though, if they knew what the class actually did, they might have another story altogether. Because Blood Magic in Tal’dorei isn’t about using someone else’s blood. It’s about using your own. We’re taking a look at the Blood Magic Wizard out of Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn to find out why.
The New Subclass in a Nutshell
If you are a Wizard who practices Blood Magic in Tal’Dorei, then you will be losing a lot of hit points. That’s just how it goes. But you want to, because whenever you’re below your maximum hit points, you can use your own body as an arcane focus.
Finally, an answer to having your hands full. This will of course be fantastic for Wizards who manage to learn to use Heavy Armor and Shields, as they can now wield a weapon in the other hand (if they’re hurt). Blood mages gain this power from a feature called Blood Channeling which is the 2nd level class feature.
However, the real nuts and bolts of Blood Channeling is that it lets you compensate for expensive material components with a much more renewable resource than gold. Hit points.
Specifically you can forego a costly material component by taking 1d10 points of necrotic damage per 50gp (minimum of 1d10). Which is great because now you can start to use those expensive spells a little more often.
At 2nd level you also get an ability called Sanguine Burst which lets you intensify a spell. That is, you can reroll a number of the damage dice on a spell (up to your intelligence modifier) but you’ll take damage equal to the spell’s level if you do so.
Lots Of Magic, Loss Of Blood
And that’s about what you’ll be doing for most of your career as a Wizard using Blood Magic. At higher levels, you get features that let you do more things with your own blood. When you hit 6th level, you get Bond of Mutual Suffering which allows you to use your reaction (and blood) to damage an attacker. This is probably one of the better abilities of the subclass.
When you’re hit, you can use your reaction to force your attacker to suffer the damage they’ve caused to you. However, the ability is specific in that it’s “the damage you took” which implies it’s after any resistances. So you’ll want to stock up on temporary hit points.
At 10th level you gain the Glyph of Hemorrhaging which lets you pretend like you’re a Warlock or Ranger. This one’s interesting, in that it’s an effect you can layer on whenever you damage a creature with a spell. You curse your target for 1 minute, and they take extra necrotic damage whenever they’re hit by an attack.
It’s basically Hex or Hunter’s Mark or any of those other features. But the target gets a save against it at the end of each of its turns. If you managed to get Hex or Hunter’s Mark, it’s another d6 you can stack on, though.
Blood is thicker than Magic
At 14th level, Blood Magic reveals the secrets to empowering your own blood. With Thicker than Water you learn to empower your blood with arcane vigor–which lets you regain extra hit points whenever you would be healed via a magical effect or spell. And while concentrating you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
All in all, this one feels like the features are a little out of order. Glyph of Hemorrhaging sounds exciting, but you have to wait until 10th level to get it. And it’s not as good as features you could gain by taking a level of Warlock, Ranger, or by taking Magic Initiate.
Similarly, Thicker than Water feels great, but by the time you have it, you’re a 14th level Wizard. Still, it does feel like it’d be fun to play. And these make for fantastic NPC abilities too.
What do you think of the Blood Magic Wizard?