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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Spellsword Fix (Because that picture is too cool to go to waste.)



Auramis
2014-06-30, 02:27 AM
After a bit of collaboration with my brother and dad, and after going through a few variations that needed a bit of tuning, we think we came up with a well-balanced fix for the spellsword (http://dndtools.eu/classes/spellsword/), so I figured I'd see what your guys and gals think about our fix. If you like the changes, I encourage people to go ahead and use it!



THE SPELLSWORD


http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130704140614/sfery/images/thumb/c/c3/Czarownik_miecza.jpg/203px-Czarownik_miecza.jpg
Illus. by B. Snoddy
(Seriously, how cool is that picture?)

Requirements:


Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks
Spells: Able to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.
Special: Must have defeated a foe through force of arms alone, without recourse to spellcasting.
Feats: Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light).



HD: d10


Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special
Spells


1st
+1
+2
+0
+2
Armored mage (Light)
-


2nd
+2
+3
+0
+3
Channel spell 2/day
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


3rd
+3
+3
+1
+3
Bonus feat
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


4th
+4
+4
+1
+4
Channel spell 3/day
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


5th
+5
+4
+1
+4
Armored mage (Medium)
-


6th
+6
+5
+2
+5
Channel spell 4/day
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


7th
+7
+5
+2
+5
Bonus feat
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


8th
+8
+6
+2
+6
Channel spell 5/day
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


9th
+9
+6
+3
+6
Armored mage (Heavy)
-


10th
+10
+7
+3
+7
Multiple channel spell
+1 level of existing arcane spellcastering class


Class Skills (2 + Int modifer per level): Climb, Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Jump, Profession, Ride, Spellcraft

Class Features:

Spellcasting: At every level except 1st, 5th, and 9th, a spell sword gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before becoming a spellsword. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on), save for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a spellsword, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Armored Mage (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster's gestures, which can cause spells to fail if those spells have a somatic component. A spellsword's limited focus and specialized training, however, allows you to avoid arcane spell failure so long as you wear light armor. This training does not extend to medium or heavy armors, nor to any shields. This ability applies only to the spellcasting class that you are increasing the spellcasting of through spellsword.
At 5th level, you learn to use medium armor with no chance of arcane spell failure.
At 9th level, you learn to use heavy armor with no chance of arcane spell failure.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd and 7th levels, a spellsword advances his art, gaining a bonus feat. This bonus feat must be either a metamagic feat or one drawn from the list of bonus feats allowed to a fighter (see Table 51 on page 90 of the Player's Handbook). Your levels in Spellsword stack with your Fighter levels for the purpose of determining Fighter bonus feats available to you.

Channel Spell (Sp): At 2nd level, as a swift action, a spellsword can channel one of his spells with a cast time of one standard action or less into his melee weapon. The channeled spell affects the next target that the spell sword successfully attacks with his weapon (saving throws and spell resistance still apply). Even if the spell normally affects an area or is a ray, it affects only the target. The spell is discharged from the weapon, which can then hold another spell. A spellsword can channel his spells into only one weapon at a time. Spells channeled into a weapon are lost if not used in 8 hours.

Multiple Channel Spell (Sp): A 10th-level spellsword can channel two spells into his melee weapon, using a move action to channel both spells at once. Both channeled spells affect the next target the spellsword successfully attacks with his weapon. The effects of each spell are resolved one at a time in a order that is determined by the spellsword. As with the channel spell class feature, saving throws and spell resistance apply normally. Each time a spellsword uses multiple channel spell, two of his five channel spell uses per day are expended.

What's new?

Changes were made to the arcane spell failure ignorance, a minor skill edit, the hit-dice, spellcasting progression, and very minor tweaks to ability progression, though the abilities themselves remain the same as they were in the Complete Warrior (aside from armored mage).

ASF and Armor: We decided that ignorance of ASF was pointless when compared to classes that get the ability to ignore armor categories (like duskblade, battle sorcerer, hexblade, the armored mage warrior variant (http://www.reactiongifs.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/its_a_trap_star_wars.gif), etc.), so we decided to give it the armored mage ability that duskblade gets, though we decided to exclude shields, because we felt the spellsword was more oriented to being a striker than a defender.

Skills: The skills from the spellsword were pitiful. It didn't even get ride and handle animal, which are token skills for anyone in heavy armor and meant a sword. We also decided to limit its knowledge skill to simply knowledge (arcana), since it was the only one it really needed. It seemed odd to us that the original skill list had just "knowledge" as a class skill, given bards, wizards, and other classes have "knowledge (all skills, taken individually)". We decided that it was probably just a typo because of that.

Hit-dice: Pretty straight forward change here. We felt like d8 was too low for a full-plate wearer. I'm not 100% on this change, since the duskblade has a d8 hit-dice and relatively similar abilities, but we feel like the duskblade's abilities vary enough that it might be fair, especially considering there are requirements to enter this class (minor as they are).

Channeling and spell progression: With the changes to arcane spell failure and armor scaling, that left 2 levels where nothing was gained under the special abilities. That's not necessarily bad, but the spellsword itself doesn't offer anything aside from armored mage, channeling, and spell progression. Because of that, we felt it was fair to give it better spell progression (but not full, because we felt that'd be too much), sooner channeling, and another bonus feat. The channeling itself remains unchanged in how it functions.

Valluman
2014-06-30, 09:54 AM
I recommend a per-encounter setup. Max out at 3 or 4 I'd say.

I like this suggestion; it sounds kind of like the Spellsword would be given pseudo-maneuvers.

As a guy who likes gishing to get 9s and good babs, I'm okay with the 7/10 casting; the only reason I feel like people are suggesting upping the casting progression is because they are hungry for 9s. With this fix, you could still be a 2 Fighter/4 Wizard/10 Spellsword/4 Abjurant Champion and still get 8s, which isn't bad. Granted, I think upping the CL once may be alright because, as is, it's not that appealing for traditional sorcerers and sort of forces sorcerers to go Battle Sorcerer to still get 8s like their intellect counterparts while, at the same time, not giving the wizards a higher level of spells achievable (assuming neither of them goes straight wizard or sorcerer to get into Spellsword... Which would still give sorcerers one less level of spells anyway).

EDIT: Maybe add in some gish feats into the Bonus Feat list as well?
EDIT 2: Transferred this comment from the 3.5 forums, since you flagged the original thread for deletion.

Business Scrub
2014-06-30, 04:13 PM
I like this: it makes the class much more viable than before IMO. A couple of things that come to mind:

Bonus Feats: I feel like spellsword levels should stack with fighter levels for feat purposes.

Channel Spell: How does channel spell work with more than one attack in a round? It seems intuitive that only the first attack carries the spell effect, but the description leaves it a bit ambiguous.

How does channel spell work with spells with long casting times? Move action is fine for spells that normally take standard actions, but it also allows for a way to get off a quick break enchantment or Symbol of X. I wouldn't say broken, but it is a really nice cheap-and-dirty quicken spell in some cases.

Auramis
2014-06-30, 06:24 PM
I like this: it makes the class much more viable than before IMO. A couple of things that come to mind:

Bonus Feats: I feel like spellsword levels should stack with fighter levels for feat purposes.

Channel Spell: How does channel spell work with more than one attack in a round? It seems intuitive that only the first attack carries the spell effect, but the description leaves it a bit ambiguous.

How does channel spell work with spells with long casting times? Move action is fine for spells that normally take standard actions, but it also allows for a way to get off a quick break enchantment or Symbol of X. I wouldn't say broken, but it is a really nice cheap-and-dirty quicken spell in some cases.

I might look into letting SS stack with fighter for weapon feats. Good idea. We'll play with it first before seeing if it needs it, though.

As for the channeling ambiguity, that's not my wording there. I left the ability unchanged from the CW, so that wording is all on Wizards of the Coast. I don't know if they ever clarified what it means for long cast time spells.

That said, I think it's implied that you spend a move action in order to channel the spell. I'd treat it as if you had moved and, therefore, would only be able to attack once in that round. If there is some cheese way to get around it in some rules somewhere (you never know in 3.5), the spell would only work in the initial strike. I feel like, since you can channel ANY spell into your sword strike, it's fair to only make it one strike. Making it affect a full attack would actually detract from the duskblade a little too much for my tastes.

Auramis
2014-06-30, 08:56 PM
I DO WANT TO NOTE, while the wording is terrible in the CW and in my reposting of it, I'm working on trying to reword it in a more clear and appropriate way. I'm trying to decide the cast time of spells that may be used (either 1 standard action or 1 round), as well as trying to think of a way to clear up confusion in how some spells work with channel. I can easily say that area spells and wall affects are isolated to only the target, as the ability describes, but how would that work with spells with long durations? Should I put a cap on the duration of a spell you channeled? That might work with some spells, like a channeled Prismatic Wall (the thought is madness), but things like Blindness/Deafness are meant to be permanent if they get off.

Any suggestions on how to clarify what spells can and can't be used in channel? Should I note spells need to be a ray, cone, touch, and/or targeted?

Valluman
2014-06-30, 10:10 PM
Limiting the channel spells to those types forces them into the evocation school, for the most part. The question becomes "why play a Spellsword when I can just use the ray/cone/etc at higher level sooner". Evokers are arguably one of the least useful of the mages, since they throw away all of their utility to go pew pew.

One thought I had was give the Spellsword a need to use a concentration check to maintain certain effects, though that once again raises the question of things like Bestow Curse and Blindness/Deafness.

Larkas
2014-06-30, 11:10 PM
Hmmm, I like this. A LOT. Specially the spell progression. It makes sense from a class design perspective, as it makes the class quite playable from 1-10 and discourages dips. Furthermore, if you really want 10 levels with your 9ths, you can cheese out the entry with pure Wizard (lesser aasimar, feats for armor proficiency). A Wizard 8/ Spellsword 10/ Abjurant Champion 2 nets you 9th level spells and +16 BAB. If you don't care about taking the class wholecloth, you can do something like the core Pathfinder gish (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17297014&postcount=2); seeing as this is 3.5, you can of course do better with Fighter 1/ Wizard 6/ Spellsword 8/ Abjurant Champion 5, which nets you 9ths and +17 BAB. With a Sorcerer base, you can go Fighter 1/ Sorcerer 6/ Spellsword 4/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Sacred Exorcist 4, which ends up with 9ths and +16 BAB.

On the flipside, the change breaks lots of builds that rely on that critical 1-level dip, like my favorite, the Sorcadin. Is the change worth it? Ultimately, it's up to each DM. Myself, I'd embrace this homebrew substitute, but probably allow that "one level class" that the original was for some specific builds, maybe even as a straight out one level class (we do have three level classes, after all). Gishes aren't breaking the game any more than regular full casters, after all. They can even be allowed to coexist: rename this homebrew alternative to "Swordmage" if need be, and go to town.

Well, this simple, yet elegant reworking certainly has my seal of approval. :smallsmile: Not that it's worth anything, but...

Auramis
2014-06-30, 11:37 PM
Thanks, Larkas! I actually did intend to kill the one level dip with the rework. It really made me sad seeing people jump into what I thought was an awesome class (poorly made, but good concept) just so they could hop-skip-jump into other classes. I understand that kind of treatment to be shown to the fighter, but the spellsword is a prestige class. In our house, we'll probably keep using this version of spellsword.

As for the problems with the wording for channel spell, after trying our damnedest to come up with good wording for what spells do and don't work with channel spell, we've decided that that's something best left between the players and the dungeon master and should be filed under "common sense" rules. Everyone has a good idea of what spells are intended for channel spell (evocations, rays, debuffs, etc.) and which ones shouldn't be used (walls, spheres, marks, symbols, wishes (wtf?), etc.). I will, however, edit it to only use spells with a casting time of, at most, 1 round... we don't need 10 minute spells suddenly being thrown into a sword. I like to think that'd go under the rules of "common sense", but there are people who nitpick when it comes to RAW.

While we're at it, concerning stacking with Fighter levels (@Business Scrub), we'll say yes to stacking!

Auramis
2014-07-25, 04:39 AM
How does channel spell work with spells with long casting times? Move action is fine for spells that normally take standard actions, but it also allows for a way to get off a quick break enchantment or Symbol of X. I wouldn't say broken, but it is a really nice cheap-and-dirty quicken spell in some cases.

I had an epiphany on how this works! ... at least, it's one interpretation.

By the original wording of the Channel Spell feature, the Spellsword uses up a spell "as if he had cast the spell." After thinking about the duration of 8 hours for a channeled spell to be used, it suddenly made sense to me: You actually have to cast the spell to do it. This means that a high cast time spell (10 minutes or more) could be channeled long before combat occurs, then, after a few hours and once combat begins, you would have to go to a high priority target, THEN attack them with the channeled weapon (which you could have sheathed while using a different weapon for anyone else, or it could even be put into an allies weapon). That's why it costs a move action as well: it's as if you're sitting down and ritualistically imbuing the weapon.

... while that sounds like an awesome storybook moment, it's entirely useless for an in combat situation that you didn't have time to prepare for. It basically makes the Spellsword a "cheap-and-dirty quicken spell" for one (two at level ten) spells. After that, you're just a wizard in heavy armor who can't use his prestige class's primary feature without turning into a sitting duck. Because of that, I've edited the wording so that it fits the idea of the Spellsword we were discussing (giving up a move action and then using the channel spell in the same round for a single attack with the spell effect in addition to his attack). I also cleaned up Multiple Channel Spell's wording a bit to be in line with the updated Channel Spell. I've also pulled the Channeled Spell's cast time down to 1 standard action at the cost of a swift action.