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xyianth
2015-03-24, 03:49 PM
This class has evolved quite a bit from where it initially started. Although it began as a rogue archetype to sneak attack with spells, it now has become an archetype for rogues to better deal with groups of enemies. I really like what this class has become, and I hope you do as well. As always, I welcome any comments or criticism you would like to provide.

Phantom Blade
Some rogues choose to focus their training on ways to blend magical talent with their rogue talents. Over time, this training gave way to a group of rogues that learned how to create and use a personal extradimensional space to support their talents. At first, this space was used to stash useful and important items from prying eyes and wandering hands. As these rogues developed greater and more fine-tuned ability to manipulate this space, a new form of attack took shape. Because of the peculiar and distinctive nature of this attack, these rogues came to be known as phantom blades.

Phantom Techniques
At 3rd level, you learn the phantom stash ritual, the phantom recall cantrip, and the phantom blade ability. You also learn one augmentation of your choice. You learn additional augmentations when you reach 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th level in this class. Use your Charisma as your spellcasting ability.


Phantom Stash: This ritual can be used by any Phantom Blade Rogue to store a held object in their personal extradimensional space. The ritual takes 1 minute to perform, and the object must remain held for the entire duration or the ritual fails. Your extradimensional space can hold any number of objects, but its maximum capacity is equal to 5lbs per character level. If you attempt to perform this ritual with an object that would cause you to exceed this weight limit, the ritual fails. Once the ritual succeeds, the object is stored safely within your extradimensional space. If you are attuned to the object, you remain attuned to it even if it is stored in your extradimensional space.

Phantom Recall
Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: self
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Select one object stored within your personal extradimensional storage space. This object is summoned to your hand. If you have no hands free, this cantrip fails. The object is removed from your extradimensional storage space once it appears in your hand.

Phantom Blade: As an action, you can make a melee spell attack against any target within 30'. Select an object from within your personal extradimensional space to use as the weapon for this attack. The base damage of that weapon is changed to force damage. If the weapon has any magical properties, they are unchanged. If you hit your target with this attack, the target is subject to any magical enhancements on the selected weapon as if the attack was made with it. The weapon is not summoned as part of this attack. It remains within the extradimensional space, only the force and effects of the attack are inflicted upon the target. If the selected weapon is a light or finesse weapon, you can make sneak attacks using this ability. Additionally, you can use this ability as a reaction as an opportunity attack. (credit to Submortimer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19008391&postcount=13) for inspiration)

Manifest Blade
At 9th level, whenever you hit a creature with your phantom blade ability, you can choose to manifest a ghostly image of the weapon you used to make the attack with. This manifested blade must appear adjacent to the creature you hit. If your attack hit multiple creatures, you can choose to which of those creatures your manifested blade appears adjacent. The manifested blade lasts for 1 round, has an AC equal to 10 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier, and has 1 hp. It uses your saves and if your manifested blade is subjected to an effect that allows a Dexterity save for half damage, it instead takes no damage on a successful save. It also benefits from all feats you possess. Your manifested blade counts as an ally for all purposes while it lasts. If an enemy would provoke an opportunity attack from your manifested blade, you can use your reaction to attack that enemy with your phantom blade ability. Using this ability does not require any additional action, but it does occupy your concentration while active. If you attempt to use this ability while it is already active, all currently manifested blades vanish before any new manifested blades appear.

Minor Magic
At 13th level, you learn 3 cantrips from any list. You use your Charisma as your spellcasting ability for these cantrips.

Phantom Ambush
At 17th level, your manifest blade ability improves. If your attack hits multiple creatures, you can now manifest a ghostly image of your weapon adjacent to each of them. If any enemy provokes an opportunity attack from a manifested blade, you can use your reaction to attack each enemy adjacent to one of your manifested blades with your phantom blade ability. For this attack, roll the attack once and use the result against each target individually. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19008391&postcount=28) for this clarification)


Augmentations
These augmentations are learned by Phantom Blade Rogues to enhance their abilities. When a Phantom Blade Rogue gains a level, she can choose to swap out any previously learned augmentation for another augmentation of her choice. A Phantom Blade Rogue learns 1 augmentation at 3rd level, and learns an additional augmentation at 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th levels.


Practiced Aim
You can use your Dexterity instead of your Charisma when making attack rolls with your phantom blade ability.

Precise Strike
You can add your Dexterity modifier to the damage dealt by your phantom blade ability.

Extended Range
Your phantom blade ability's range is doubled.

Master of Elements
You can change the base damage type of attacks made with your phantom blade ability to fire, cold, acid, lightning, or thunder. You can make this choice each time you make an attack.

Penetrating Blow
When you use your phantom blade ability, you can choose to have it affect all creatures in a line. You roll the attack once and use the result against each creature separately. If your attack has any additional effects, each creature resolves them independently. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19008391&postcount=28) for this clarification) The range of the ability is unchanged.

Phantom Wave
When you use your phantom blade ability, you can choose to have it affect all creatures in a cone. You roll the attack once and use the result against each creature separately. If your attack has any additional effects, each creature resolves them independently. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19008391&postcount=28) for this clarification) The range of the ability is halved. (round down to the nearest 5')

Envenomed Blade
You can use a bonus action to apply a dose of poison to all attacks made with your phantom blade ability. The dose is consumed as normal. Treat each attack with your phantom blade ability as a melee weapon attack for the purposes of determining how long the poison remains active. The dose of poison must either be held or stored in your personal extradimensional space to use this ability.

Alchemic Injection
You can use a bonus action to infuse the next attack made with your phantom blade ability with the effects of an alchemical item. The alchemical item is consumed as normal. The alchemical item must either be held or stored in your personal extradimensional space to use this ability.

Hobbling Strike
Any creature that is hit by one or more attacks from your phantom blade ability has its move speed reduced by 10' for 1 round.

Devastating Critical
Whenever you score a critical hit with your phantom blade ability, you can roll the damage of the critical hit twice and use either result.

Dimensional Pull
Whenever you use your manifest blade ability, you can choose to make a 5' radius area centered on a manifested blade cost 10' of movement per 5' traveled. This effect persists as long as the manifested blade does. If you can manifest more than one blade, you can choose to use this ability on each blade individually.

Phantom Rift
As a bonus action on your turn, you can choose to teleport to any location that you are currently manifesting a blade with your manifest blade ability. The manifested blade vanishes as you appear.

Sundering Strike
You can choose to target an object or a solid surface with your phantom blade ability. You can also choose any object or surface you hit as if it were a creature for the purposes of your manifest blade ability.

Dual Strike
You can use your phantom blade ability as a bonus action in the same turn whenever you use it as an action. Additionally, you can store up to 2 objects in your personal extradimensional storage space with each use of your phantom stash ritual. You can summon up to 2 objects with each use of your phantom recall cantrip.


Class Progression Chart (this isn't really needed anymore, but I left it here just in case)



Rogue
Level
Augmentations
Known


3rd
1


4th
2


5th
2


6th
3


7th
3


8th
3


9th
3


10th
4


11th
4


12th
4


13th
4


14th
5


15th
5


16th
5


17th
5


18th
6


19th
6


20th
7




Due to the changes, I have placed the older version of the class inside a spoiler. Feel free to use this as inspiration for going a different way than I have taken it. It also serves as a good source for comparing the changes.

I loved the concept behind the spell sniper prestige class in 3.5. I, and many others judging by these forums, was disappointed when I learned that 5e removed the ability to sneak attack with spells. I understand why it was removed, the scaling cantrip damage on top of the scaling sneak attack damage would have probably been too much. That said, I don't see any reason why the concept can't work within the confines of 5e. As a result, I have sketched out a new rogue archetype that specializes in making sneak attacks with unique, non-scaling cantrips. As I was designing it, I also realized that this would be a great platform to bring back the 'ambush feat' abilities of 3.5 and blend them with inspiration taken from the blast shapes/essences of the 3.5 warlock. Here is what I have so far, I'd greatly appreciate any comments or criticism you may wish to provide.

New Cantrips:

Phantom Blade
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 5 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Make a melee spell attack that deals 1d6 force damage.

Shadow Bolt
Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous
Make a ranged spell attack that deals 1d6 necrotic damage.


Deadeye Spellslinger (name is pending, still open to suggestions)
Some rogues hone their precise techniques and blend them with a small amount of magic. These rogues sacrifice the training required to use more powerful spells to better focus on using their magic to supplement their natural rogue talents.

Spellslinger Training
At 3rd level, you learn the phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips. You can make sneak attacks with these cantrips as if they were finesse weapons. You also learn one augmentation of your choice. You learn additional augmentations when you reach 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th level in this class. Use your Charisma as your spellcasting ability.

Targeted Strike
At 9th level, you gain the ability to trade sneak attack dice for special effects when making a sneak attack:

Blinding Strike: The target must make a Constitution save or be blinded for 1 round. You trade 2d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
Forceful Blow: The target must make a Dexterity save or be knocked prone. You trade 2d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
Menacing Assault: The target must make a Wisdom save or be frightened of you for 1 round. You trade 3d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
Entangling Strike: The target must make a Strength save or be restrained for 1 round. You trade 3d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
Disorienting Blow: The target must make a Charisma save or be incapacitated for 1 round. You trade 4d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
Befuddling Assault: The target must make an Intelligence save or be confused (see the confusion spell) for 1 round. You trade 4d6 sneak attack dice for this effect.
You must still hit with a sneak attack to deliver these effects. You can apply more than one of these effects with a single attack, but you are limited by your sneak attack dice. If your attack hits more than one creature, you must trade the appropriate sneak attack dice again for each creature beyond the first that you want to apply the effects to. (credit to Giant2005 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19008391&postcount=2) for this suggestion)

Minor Magic
At 13th level, you learn 3 cantrips from any list. These cantrips can not deal damage. You use your Charisma as your spellcasting ability for these cantrips.

Critical Strike
At 17th level, you can choose to take a -10 penalty on attack when making an attack roll. If you hit, the hit is automatically a critical hit. You can choose to use this ability after making your attack roll, but before the DM has determined if it results in a hit.


Augmentations
These augmentations are learned by Deadeye Spellslinger Rogues to enhance their basic cantrip abilities. When a Deadeye Spellslinger Rogue gains a level, she can choose to swap out any previously learned augmentation for another augmentation of her choice. A Deadeye Spellslinger Rogue learns 1 augmentation at 3rd level, and learns an additional augmentation at 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th levels.


Practiced Aim
You can use your Dexterity instead of your Charisma when making attack rolls with the phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips.

Precise Strike
You can add your Dexterity modifier to the damage dealt by your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips.

Extended Range
Your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips have double their normal range.

Master of Elements
You can change the damage type of your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips to fire, cold, acid, lightning, or thunder. You can make this choice each time you make an attack.

Penetrating Blow
When you use your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips, they affect all creatures in a line. You roll the attack once and use the result against each creature separately. If your cantrip has any additional effects, each creature resolves them independently. The range of the cantrip is unchanged.

Envenomed Spell
You can use a bonus action to apply a dose of poison to all attacks made with your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips. The dose is consumed as normal. Treat each attack with your phantom blade cantrip as a melee weapon attack, and each attack with your shadow bolt cantrip as a piece of ammunition, for the purposes of determining how long the poison remains active.

Alchemic Injection
You can use a bonus action to infuse the next attack made with your phantom blade or shadow bolt cantrips with the effects of an alchemical item. The alchemical item is consumed as normal.

Debilitating Blow
Your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips cause the target to suffer disadvantage on its next attack for 1 round on a hit.

Lasting Effect
The duration of any effects from your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips becomes 1d4 rounds. (save ends) Affected creatures can make a new save (same DC and type as the initial save) at the end of each of their turns. This includes any effects that result from your Targeted Strikes ability.

Devastating Critical
Whenever you score a critical hit with your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips, the target automatically fails any initial save(s) offered. Saves against ongoing effects are unaffected by this ability. Additionally, you can roll the damage of the critical hit twice and use either result.

Dual Strike
You can use your phantom blade or shadow bolt cantrips as a bonus action in the same turn whenever you use either of them as an action.

Deadly Gambit
You can choose to attempt a death blow using your phantom blade and shadow bolt cantrips. Roll the attack normally. On a hit, determine the maximum possible damage of the attack. If the targetís hp is less than or equal to the maximum possible damage of your attack, the target dies. Otherwise, the attack does no damage.

Giant2005
2015-03-24, 04:09 PM
This is actually really quite awesome.
I only have three real concerns, namely the augmentations. If there is a limit of only 1 augment per attack, it really needs to be mentioned somewhere. If there is no such limit then those cantrips would end up being immensely powerful and you should at least lower the rate of gain of Augmentations or something.
Penetrating Blow is a little powerful too - if the attack hits 2 or more targets, you should make the Rogue pay the sneak attack cost for each target hit rather than just paying it once for the entire attack.
The final concern is also probably the biggest. IMO. the name is terrible. It conflicts with an established class (from previous editions) and consequently other people's homebrew. You should give it a new name that doesn't carry baggage from previous editions or at least carried baggage which is actually related to the class you have designed.

xyianth
2015-03-24, 04:39 PM
This is actually really quite awesome.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll go through each point you raised individually.


I only have three real concerns, namely the augmentations. If there is a limit of only 1 augment per attack, it really needs to be mentioned somewhere. If there is no such limit then those cantrips would end up being immensely powerful and you should at least lower the rate of gain of Augmentations or something.

The intent is that they are all applied at the same time. Some, like master of elements, can be used at the player's option. Now, yes this does result in pretty powerful cantrips once you gain most of the augmentations. However, I would point out that it takes 3 augmentations just to bring them up to equal what rogues can already do with mundane weapons: practiced aim, precise strike, and dual strike. I'm hesitant to reduce the number of augmentations too much to avoid punishing the dual wielding style. Maybe changing the points that you gain new augmentations to: 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 18 would be better? That would limit you to getting only 6 of the 12 augmentations listed instead of the 10 of 12 the initial progression granted.


Penetrating Blow is a little powerful too - if the attack hits 2 or more targets, you should make the Rogue pay the sneak attack cost for each target hit rather than just paying it once for the entire attack.

This is a good suggestion, I'll update the initial post and give you credit.


The final concern is also probably the biggest. IMO. the name is terrible. It conflicts with an established class (from previous editions) and consequently other people's homebrew. You should give it a new name that doesn't carry baggage from previous editions or at least carried baggage which is actually related to the class you have designed.

I know, I dislike the name too. Unfortunately, I have no idea what else to call it. Any suggestions? I toyed with the idea of Cantrip Assassin, but that steps too much on the toes of the Assassin archetype.
Edit: what do you think about the name: Deadeye Bandit?

Giant2005
2015-03-24, 05:04 PM
I know, I dislike the name too. Unfortunately, I have no idea what else to call it. Any suggestions? I toyed with the idea of Cantrip Assassin, but that steps too much on the toes of the Assassin archetype.
Edit: what do you think about the name: Deadeye Bandit?
The word Bandit has negative connotations that might deter people that don't want to be actual bandits. There is nothing wrong with Deadeye on its own though.

xyianth
2015-03-24, 05:21 PM
I've updated the name to Deadeye Spellslinger and changed the augmentation progression to 3, 4, 6, 10, 14, 18, 20. This results in 7 augmentations by 20th level, and room for all three augmentations needed for the dex based dual wielding style by 6th level. I'm still open to suggestions regarding the name, but I think this is at least a better fit to the class abilities.

MrStabby
2015-03-24, 07:37 PM
I love this. It is basically the class I wanted to play when we first picked up 5th. I think I Almost managed to hide my sulk from everyone else when I couldn't play it.

Whilst a lot of this is not what I would have done, I mean this as a compliment. I really like it. In terms of balance I need to take a while to think more deeply about it but I have a few thoughts.

First the name.

Eldritch Stalker
Phantom Hunter
Shadow-weaver

Secondly Interactions
Some things with criticals - intended to stack with Champion ability?
Phantom blade reads as a ranged attack but with a 5 ft range will always give disadvantage - change to touch?

Deadly gambit seems a bit good. It sidesteps resistance, protections, temporary hitpoints and so on... Also the maths suggests its awesome. With a cantrip attack there is no damage bonus from spellcasting modifier so roughly speaking max damage is equivalent to 2*average damage. This means that you are basically getting a free action to finish off every enemy you hit. It is like getting multiple action surges per encounter.

But loving it!

xyianth
2015-03-25, 02:31 AM
I love this. It is basically the class I wanted to play when we first picked up 5th. I think I Almost managed to hide my sulk from everyone else when I couldn't play it.

Whilst a lot of this is not what I would have done, I mean this as a compliment. I really like it. In terms of balance I need to take a while to think more deeply about it but I have a few thoughts.

Thank you for the compliments. I am thrilled that others are taking an interest in it. I'll go through each thought you raised one by one.


First the name.

Eldritch Stalker
Phantom Hunter
Shadow-weaver

I considered using Eldritch <something>, but 5e has done a pretty good job of associating eldritch <blank> with warlock. One of my main concerns was that I might be stepping a little too much on the warlock class as is, and I wanted to limit that. I like the Phantom Hunter name, though I wonder if that might make it sound like a class that specializes in hunting ghosts? I think the Shadow-weaver name might be better suited for a class that focuses much more on spells, since 5e's default setting is forgotten realms and magic is based on the weave.


Secondly Interactions
Some things with criticals - intended to stack with Champion ability?

I see no reason to disallow it. It might be a little strong early on if your build is fighter 3/rogue 3 and you use your augmentation on the devastating critical ability, but criticals are supposed to be pretty flashy and I am decidedly in the camp that says champions could use a bit of extra power. I am definitely open to opinion on this one however, as I have not yet playtested this class. It is entirely possible that it is too strong.


Phantom blade reads as a ranged attack but with a 5 ft range will always give disadvantage - change to touch?
I don't think touch is a thing anymore in 5e. I worded phantom blade as a melee spell attack so you would not have disadvantage in melee range. This is the same wording used in the shocking grasp and thorn whip cantrips. The intent is that phantom blade is your melee cantrip (equivalent range to non-reach weapons) and shadow bolt is your ranged cantrip. The extended range augmentation then changes phantom blade into an effective reach weapon and shadow bolt's range becomes as long as most other cantrips.


Deadly gambit seems a bit good. It sidesteps resistance, protections, temporary hitpoints and so on... Also the maths suggests its awesome. With a cantrip attack there is no damage bonus from spellcasting modifier so roughly speaking max damage is equivalent to 2*average damage. This means that you are basically getting a free action to finish off every enemy you hit. It is like getting multiple action surges per encounter.

This is true, but only if you know for a fact that it will work. (taking the gambit aspect out of the name) The intent is to make it a gamble, if you think you could theoretically one-shot the creature, you can try to. If you were correct, you succeed. If you were wrong, your action is wasted. If I make it do statistically average damage, then there would be much less of a reason to use it. (if an average hit can kill the creature, just attack normally...) I did not however consider that it bypasses temp hp and resistances. When I did the quick math check for this ability, I used a level 19+ rogue character with 20 dex making a sneak attack with the precise strike augmentation as the measuring baseline: max(1d6(cantrip)+10d6(sneak attack)+5(dex)) = 71. This seemed fine for level 19+ characters, but perhaps it is too strong for an essentially at-will ability. Would it be better to just remove the maximum damage aspect and let it be used solely as a method to bypass resistances/protections/temp hp? You could roll well and still have a high hp value, but it would average out much lower. (the previous baseline would become ~43.5 instead of 71) The other option to consider is applying an attack penalty to the attempt, maybe -5? This would make the ability much riskier to use, but still keep the potentially large benefits.

MrStabby
2015-03-25, 05:39 AM
I agree on the champion stacking.

Thinking a bit more deeply about balance I would raise the cost of menacing assault in terms of sneak attack dice. Frightened is a major effect which takes threats out of combat even if you only do minimal damage. This is pretty much as effective as fear spells also kicking in at level 5 but doesn't require spell slots and does additional damage. Maybe enable a blow to the windpipe to inflict silence on the target?

Regarding cantrip range - looking in the players handbook spells like shocking grasp do have a range of "touch", rather than 5ft. Not big deal but it is potentially a RAI vs RAW issuse if people use this sub-class.

I think I would also remove dual strike. Dual strike combined with debilitating blow is pretty near permanent disadvantage for an opponent and potentially two opponents. Rogues then get to couple this with arguably the best defensive buff in the game from level 5. This turns the class into a close-combat monster which I feel is not its aim (at least not in the sense of something really tough).


I feel I could enjoy this, possibly with a couple of levels of conjurer to conjure up poisons or similar tools to fit the situation at hand.

Submortimer
2015-03-25, 11:56 AM
So, all damaging cantrips have some sort of scaling progression, and the two proposed here are quite weak on their own. if you don't wanna step on the Warlocks toes, then they should increase like most others, otherwise these are both good candidates for Multi-attack progression.

The closest thing to Phantom blade is Shocking Grasp, which has a bigger Damage die AND has a rider effect. The only other thing that does straight force damage is Eldritch Blast, and thats a flat d10. My recommendation in this case is to make it a melee clone of Eldritch blast: d10 damage, multiple swings per casting.

The Closest thing to Shadow Bolt is, obviously, Chill touch: Ranged Necrotic damage. That being said, CT is longer range, does more damage, and has at least one and potentially TWO riders per casting; Strictly better than Shadow bolt. My suggestion would be to either make it a necrotic clone of EB, or a necrotic clone of flame bolt.

I know that the class allows you to add lots of riders to your attack, but so does warlock and they certainly didn't shy away from the d10 damage to their main attack spell.

xyianth
2015-03-25, 11:58 AM
I agree on the champion stacking.

Thinking a bit more deeply about balance I would raise the cost of menacing assault in terms of sneak attack dice. Frightened is a major effect which takes threats out of combat even if you only do minimal damage. This is pretty much as effective as fear spells also kicking in at level 5 but doesn't require spell slots and does additional damage. Maybe enable a blow to the windpipe to inflict silence on the target?

Regarding cantrip range - looking in the players handbook spells like shocking grasp do have a range of "touch", rather than 5ft. Not big deal but it is potentially a RAI vs RAW issuse if people use this sub-class.

I think I would also remove dual strike. Dual strike combined with debilitating blow is pretty near permanent disadvantage for an opponent and potentially two opponents. Rogues then get to couple this with arguably the best defensive buff in the game from level 5. This turns the class into a close-combat monster which I feel is not its aim (at least not in the sense of something really tough).


I feel I could enjoy this, possibly with a couple of levels of conjurer to conjure up poisons or similar tools to fit the situation at hand.

As far as being the same as fear spells, the fear spell has a much longer duration and is an AoE. I think a better comparison is to the battlemaster's menacing attack maneuver. This is a maneuver that is available at level 3, and usable 4-7/rest. It has the same duration but does extra damage. Compared this to the menacing assault tactical strike which costs the rogue damage, comes online at level 9, but is potentially at-will. Both still allow wisdom saves to ignore. Add to this the commonly discussed homebrew rule that allows a battlemaster fighter to trade an attack to regain a superiority die, and I think the 3d6 cost is fine. I'll see if I can do some quick playtest simulations and determine if the cost should go up.

I think the silencing strike idea is a good one, though I don't want to expand the list of tactical strikes too much. (it's already a fantastically good feature) Would you recommend a constitution save vs silence for 1 round at a cost of 2d6? I'll add it to the OP and give you credit.

As far as cantrip range goes, you are right about shocking grasp. Thorn whip however is a 30' melee spell attack. If I change the range to touch, it screws up the interaction with the extended range and penetrating blow augmentations. I will think about ways to reword these to get the same intended interaction, but for now I will leave it as is.

I really, really don't want to get rid of dual strike. However, you do raise a good point in that uncanny dodge + debilitating blow = melee monster. What if I remove debilitating blow and replace it with hamstring strike: any target hit by one or more attacks from your phantom blade or shadow bolt cantrips has their move speed reduced by 10' for 1 round. This would reinforce the hit and run style of combat that rogues seem designed for. Would this be an acceptable solution?

Thank you for all the feedback, I really do appreciate it.

xyianth
2015-03-25, 12:09 PM
So, all damaging cantrips have some sort of scaling progression, and the two proposed here are quite weak on their own. if you don't wanna step on the Warlocks toes, then they should increase like most others, otherwise these are both good candidates for Multi-attack progression.

The closest thing to Phantom blade is Shocking Grasp, which has a bigger Damage die AND has a rider effect. The only other thing that does straight force damage is Eldritch Blast, and thats a flat d10. My recommendation in this case is to make it a melee clone of Eldritch blast: d10 damage, multiple swings per casting.

The Closest thing to Shadow Bolt is, obviously, Chill touch: Ranged Necrotic damage. That being said, CT is longer range, does more damage, and has at least one and potentially TWO riders per casting; Strictly better than Shadow bolt. My suggestion would be to either make it a necrotic clone of EB, or a necrotic clone of flame bolt.

I know that the class allows you to add lots of riders to your attack, but so does warlock and they certainly didn't shy away from the d10 damage to their main attack spell.

While true, the weakness of the cantrips is intentional. If I were to scale them, other classes might want to poach them for use with the magic initiate feat. (or any feat that grants a cantrip) If the phantom blade cantrip gave multiple swings, it would provide anyone with 4 attacks per action at 17th level which is unfair to fighters. The 'scaling' of these cantrips is actually your sneak attack dice. This forces a character to invest heavily into this class to get these cantrip attacks up to full power. This is also why I limited the ability to make sneak attacks with cantrips to just these. Adding sneak attack dice to a scaling cantrip like eldritch blast or firebolt would be extremely high amounts of at-will DPR.

To compare with warlock riders: the best a warlock is capable of on eldritch blast is 4x 1d10+1d6+5. The best this class can do is 1d6+10d6+5 with a potential second attack of 1d6+5. This results in an average DPR(without taking accuracy into account) of warlock: 56; this class: 52.

MrStabby
2015-03-25, 01:40 PM
Personally I see the risk with cantrips with multiple attacks to be down to reliability not so much damage scaling. If you can reliably land a sneak attack and exchange the dice from that for an effect you can have a very powerful impact. This could be somewhat mitigated by a save and as I think the save DC is one thing that never moves from being based on Charisma I think this could be ok (if you max Charisma you probably deserve the benefits as that's your emphasis but it weakens your other abilities). With a single cantrip attack roll and bounded accuracy you have a modest chance to not land your sneak attack. With an attack cantrip that scales in damage this persists. If you start to give multiple attacks in a round the probability that you will not be able to use debilitating blow, or deadly gambit quickly go to zero.

I think there could also be some other interactions to worry about with multi-attack cantrips. Imagine a champion + this class or critical strike.

Champion gets 4 attacks 10% chance of crit on each. Probability of getting at least one crit is 34%. Not certain but not unusual. Then you chose for the crit to be your sneak attack and get to do double sneak attack damage (minus a few dice from losing a sneak attack level). Add in dual strike and your probability of a crit goes up to 60%. Add in deadly gambit and you are instakilling anything that has less than 4 times your normal sneak attack damage. This is pretty much at will.

Alternatively with critical strike it could be even worse in some encounters. If a natural 7 would hit then you have a 73% chance of getting a critical. Sure it means on a few turns you do nothing, but if you do nothing one in 4 turns and 4 times damage on the other 3 in 4 turns then you are still doing 3 times normal damage. Obviously this is at maximum efficiency but I am sure you get the picture.

This is why I think the cantrip should scale but you should never get multiple attack rolls.

Submortimer
2015-03-25, 03:43 PM
While true, the weakness of the cantrips is intentional. If I were to scale them, other classes might want to poach them for use with the magic initiate feat. (or any feat that grants a cantrip) If the phantom blade cantrip gave multiple swings, it would provide anyone with 4 attacks per action at 17th level which is unfair to fighters. The 'scaling' of these cantrips is actually your sneak attack dice. This forces a character to invest heavily into this class to get these cantrip attacks up to full power. This is also why I limited the ability to make sneak attacks with cantrips to just these. Adding sneak attack dice to a scaling cantrip like eldritch blast or firebolt would be extremely high amounts of at-will DPR.

To compare with warlock riders: the best a warlock is capable of on eldritch blast is 4x 1d10+1d6+5. The best this class can do is 1d6+10d6+5 with a potential second attack of 1d6+5. This results in an average DPR(without taking accuracy into account) of warlock: 56; this class: 52.

To make a point, You can't poach these via feats. Both Spell Sniper and Magic Initiate specify Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard.

I also see your point. I'd either go one of two routes with it: A) Make it a class ability instead of a cantrip; or B) Change the wording around so that you're actually summoning a weapon made of force or necrotic energy.

It just seems weird that, for a class who's stated ability is to deal sneak attack damage with cantrips, they can only do that with two custom cantrips that are vastly weaker than their peers.


Edit: So, I think I have a great idea.

Make phantom blade functionally similar to Pact blade. You can summon a weapon made of force. You are proficient with that weapon. The weapon my be thrown with a range of 60', and you can summon it at will.

add necrotic to the list of elements you can change the damage into, change Dual Strike to mimic Thirsting blade, and you're spot on. Now it's a class ability, still does everything it did before, AND you don't have to worry about jerks like me pestering you about cantrip design philosophy :)

xyianth
2015-03-25, 10:33 PM
Just as a quick update to all interested parties, I am currently running a few playtests at different levels with the class. I have read all of the recent comments and suggestions (Thanks everyone!) and am currently working on some changes that I think are needed. I'll update the OP with the new stuff as I compile them all. I promise to address every comment and sugestion within the next few days. Feel free to continue to provide feedback if you wish.

A quick preview of pending changes:

The cantrips are being reconsidered. This is not only to simplify mechanics but also to address a gap relating to which magic items are viable with the class.
Deadly gambit is being rewritten. It is currently far too powerful when used in conjunction with other abilities.
Debilitating blow is being rewritten. It goes against the intended fighting style of rogues. It might be renamed as a result of changes.
New augmentations are incoming.
New tactical strikes are being considered. I may be adding a learning progression to allow a larger possible list of strikes, while still limiting the number each player has access to. I may draw up a chart to visually depict the progressions of new tactical strikes and new augmentations.

Stay tuned!

MrStabby
2015-03-26, 05:23 AM
Sounds exciting, please keep us informed.

How does the class feel stylistically? In reality it is much less magic focussed than the Arcane Trickster as it has no spells other than cantrips. Moreover the cantrips don't scale and cantrips are available as racial abilities or through feats.

It feels to me like it will play much more like the battlemaster in that you are using a resource (sneak attack dice) to find the best way to hit people and the cantrips are just fluff rather than being mechanically embedded in the class.

I would be tempted to allow the class any single target melee touch attack spell - the list is limited and it allows people to be themeatic in how they develop their characters and opens more multiclass progressions.

Giant2005
2015-03-26, 06:40 AM
I'm looking forward to the changes too. I'm not ashamed to say that this is one of only a handful of homebrew classes that I am actually excited to play - usually they are either way too powerful or far too bland to bother with; but for once I actually have hope that I will play a Rogue which is a class I have always wanted to play but never found as interesting as other options. Thank you for making this.
A couple more things though, it is pretty easy to figure out what the casting stat is due to the Minor Magic level 13 ability but that really should be mentioned earlier in the level 3 or 9 abilities.
Also, although I think the number of Augmentations available are now pretty much right where they should be, I think they need to be a little more frontloaded. At level 3 they should get at least two so you can emulate what a Rogue could do with weapons if they chose to. It would also divide a lot easier that way: 2 at level 3, +1 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.

MrStabby
2015-03-26, 07:42 AM
Under spellsinger training at 3rd level it says charisma for DC class.

I think that this looks fun as it seems to have meaningful choices about how to play it at just about every level. Not just how to build the character but also which abilities to select when.

Giant2005
2015-03-26, 09:08 AM
Under spellsinger training at 3rd level it says charisma for DC class.
So it does...
I swear I read that thing three times to ensure I wasn't missing it somehow. It turns out I might be a touch blind or something.

MrStabby
2015-03-26, 09:18 AM
I have just realised Menacing assault could be a bit broken.

Hit them, they run away, you get attack of opportunity in their turn to inflict damage, your turn you close with them again and hit them once more... A lot of monsters don't have good wisdom saves so this could cause problems on some encounters. Forcing an enemy to give you attacks of opportunity is huge for a Rogue and fear is pretty awesome anyway. At least you need 9th Level for this.

An oddity seems to be blinding strike vs forceful blow. I think blind is a much more severe condition than prone yet both require the same number of dice.

Giant2005
2015-03-26, 09:13 PM
I have just realised Menacing assault could be a bit broken.

Hit them, they run away, you get attack of opportunity in their turn to inflict damage, your turn you close with them again and hit them once more... A lot of monsters don't have good wisdom saves so this could cause problems on some encounters. Forcing an enemy to give you attacks of opportunity is huge for a Rogue and fear is pretty awesome anyway. At least you need 9th Level for this.

An oddity seems to be blinding strike vs forceful blow. I think blind is a much more severe condition than prone yet both require the same number of dice.

The Frightened condition doesn't force a creature to run, it just prevents them from willingly coming closer to you.

xyianth
2015-03-27, 02:11 AM
Ok, the changes and revisions are posted. I'll follow up with rationale and responses to all the comments and feedback I missed tonight.

Giant2005
2015-03-27, 03:00 AM
I gotta say... The changes are imo. a pretty big step in the wrong direction. So much so that I think it has tainted my opinion of the original...
These changes not only bring the subclass quite firmly into the realm of OP but it has highlighted issues with the original that make me believe it too was a little bit OP (Being able to spam seriously debilitating effects every round is seriously powerful). Some of the more powerful Tactical Strike riders (Frightened, Restrained, Paralyzed, Incapactitated, Confused) need to be far more limited. I'd take some inspiration from the Warlock's Invocations in that regard - Invocations that cast spell effects are infinite in use if they are weak enough but the more powerful options have limited uses per day.
Bolstering Maneuver however should just be thrown to the curb, it is obscenely powerful and it alone is enough to ernder many classes completely obsolete (Pretty much anything that focuses on healing). That ability allows you to give every ally an extreme amount of temp HP and renew those HP (As long as not more than one person is damaged) every single turn. With that ability, it isn't likely that any player's actual HP will ever be touched again.

As for Phantom Blade... I am unsure what I think of it. The way I originally read the ability made it seem far too powerful but after I got to the Augmentations, I was no longer convicned I was even reading it right. I think it needs some more work in the description to clarify exactly what you want it to be doing. This line" If you hit your target with this attack, treat it as a hit using the selected weapon." suggests to me that you would be adding your ability mod damage as normal but there is also an Augmentation that adds your ability mod to the damage which mae me unsure if I should be adding the ability mod to the damage at all without the Augmentation. Basically, the problem created by the spell that emulates a weapon + a bunch of Augmentations that make it better than a weapon... Is that it is better than a weapon. If something is undeniably better than the option, there isn't any possible way at all that it could be considered balanced with that option. It needs fixing - the original cantrips weren't necessarily better nor necessarily worse than the standard options. Their superiority or inferiority depended entirely on what Augmentations you had and by circumstance. That is no longer true with the Phantom Blade, the Phantom Blade is the superior option in every circumstance regardless of any mitigating factors.

xyianth
2015-03-27, 04:11 AM
I gotta say... The changes are imo. a pretty big step in the wrong direction. So much so that I think it has tainted my opinion of the original...
These changes not only bring the subclass quite firmly into the realm of OP but it has highlighted issues with the original that make me believe it too was a little bit OP (Being able to spam seriously debilitating effects every round is seriously powerful). Some of the more powerful Tactical Strike riders (Frightened, Restrained, Paralyzed, Incapactitated, Confused) need to be far more limited. I'd take some inspiration from the Warlock's Invocations in that regard - Invocations that cast spell effects are infinite in use if they are weak enough but the more powerful options have limited uses per day.
Bolstering Maneuver however should just be thrown to the curb, it is obscenely powerful and it alone is enough to ernder many classes completely obsolete (Pretty much anything that focuses on healing). That ability allows you to give every ally an extreme amount of temp HP and renew those HP (As long as not more than one person is damaged) every single turn. With that ability, it isn't likely that any player's actual HP will ever be touched again.

As for Phantom Blade... I am unsure what I think of it. The way I originally read the ability made it seem far too powerful but after I got to the Augmentations, I was no longer convicned I was even reading it right. I think it needs some more work in the description to clarify exactly what you want it to be doing. This line" If you hit your target with this attack, treat it as a hit using the selected weapon." suggests to me that you would be adding your ability mod damage as normal but there is also an Augmentation that adds your ability mod to the damage which mae me unsure if I should be adding the ability mod to the damage at all without the Augmentation. Basically, the problem created by the spell that emulates a weapon + a bunch of Augmentations that make it better than a weapon... Is that it is better than a weapon. If something is undeniably better than the option, there isn't any possible way at all that it could be considered balanced with that option. It needs fixing - the original cantrips weren't necessarily better nor necessarily worse than the standard options. Their superiority or inferiority depended entirely on what Augmentations you had and by circumstance. That is no longer true with the Phantom Blade, the Phantom Blade is the superior option in every circumstance regardless of any mitigating factors.

I have to admit, I was not expecting this response. I'll try and address each point you raised:

Rogues do not have combat abilities to otherwise hamper/debuff enemies or buff allies as most spellcasters do. They also don't have additional attacks per round as most martial characters do. Their one and only means of keeping up with martial characters for damage is by sneak attacking. To use any tactical strike, you are giving up (or severely reducing) this one mechanic which leaves you doing little to no damage. This cost should grant you a pretty significant effect, or it is basically just rendering you obsolete. That said, I would be open to the idea of granting each creature that saves against a tactical strike effect 24 hour immunity to that effect, thereby preventing you from spamming the same tactical strike over and over against a solo threat.

As for bolstering maneuver being OP and used to completely replace healing, I am a little confused as to how you got to that conclusion. If you spend each and every turn trading all your sneak attack damage for this strike, you are doing at most 2d8+2*dex damage while doing so. (this assumes every attack hits while using a rapier phantom blade and using dual strike and precise strike augmentations) When you first gain this maneuver, you could trade 5d6 dice of sneak attack damage to apply 5d6/2 temp hp to 1 ally per turn. This is a range of 2-15 temp hp. (average of 8) At maximum level, trading all 10d6 sneak attack dice to apply 10d6/2 temp hp to 1 ally per turn yields a range of 5-30 temp hp. (average 17) In both cases, you are acting as a class that devotes itself to healing, and you are managing to stave off a single hit (maybe) per turn. Temp hp does not stack, and you are limited to 1 sneak attack per turn. Tactical strikes also can't be used outside combat, since you have to perform a sneak attack to use them. And temp hp can only ever prevent damage, it can't heal up from sustained wounds.

As for phantom blade, I apparently need help in wording it clearly as I am pretty sure you are not reading it as I intended. I'll demonstrate my intent with a few examples. You use phantom stash on a mundane rapier, storing it. As an action, you use phantom blade selecting the rapier. You make a melee spell attack using your Charisma modifier against a target within 30' that does 1d8 force damage. You can extend the range to 60' if you have the extended range augmentation. You can add your Dexterity modifier to damage if (and only if) you have the precise aim augmentation. You can use your Dexterity modifier as your attack stat if you have the practiced aim augmentation. etc... Same situation, except you use your phantom stash ritual to store a magic rapier that deals 1d6 extra fire damage on a hit. You make a melee spell attack using your Charisma modifier against a target within 30' that does 1d8 force damage and 1d6 fire damage. This is the point of the line "treat it as a hit with the selected weapon." The purpose is to allow members of this class to benefit from the same magic weapons that other rogues do.

Now to address the at-will nature of all these abilities. First, I will state that I don't believe at-will abilities are fundamentally unbalancing unless they can be spammed outside combat for useful effects. The only such ability this class has is the extra 15-100lbs of random items that can be carried around/summoned. If this unbalances your campaign, we play a very different style of game and I don't think this class is for you. My reasoning for this stance is that placing limits on abilities just leads to shorter adventuring days. At 9th level, when you first gain access to tactical strikes, spellcasters have 14 spells per day plus cantrips. Most days are about 6 combat encounters at most. Most encounters last between 3 and 5 rounds. This allows spellcasters to effectively cast a spell nearly every round throughout the day. Since the number of slots just continue to go up, but the number and duration of encounters remain unchanged, this situation continues from 9th level on. This class allows the rogue to trade sneak attacks for useful effects. Sneak attacks don't affect every creature, and don't always hit. The effects simulate spells, but are inherently weaker due to shorter duration and the fact that they require both a successful attack and a failed save to function. If you are in the habit of forcing spellcasters to adventure long after they run low on spells, than you may want to add limits to how often these strikes can be used. Second, almost without exception rogue abilities do not have use limitations. I wanted to try and avoid changing this trend. I vehemently dislike the superiority dice mechanic that battlemasters use, and strongly agree with the homebrew rule someone proposed that allows battlemasters to sacrifice an attack to regain a superiority die. This rule changes those maneuvers into effectively at-will as well.

I don't know if these points will change your opinion at all. I do hope that you continue to challenge me where you think I am wrong or proposing OP options. One thing to keep in mind is that you only have so many tactical strikes and augmentations known. This class would be OP if it got them all, but the limit means that some of the powerful combos require a significant amount of character investment to pull off.

Finally, you may not like adding in the leader role abilities. If so, you absolutely could remove them as options and the class would still feel 'complete.' It would just reduce the number of possible characters that this class can produce. The leader role abilities are: augmentations: Inspirational Figure; tactical strikes: Bolstering Maneuver, Flanking Maneuver, Combined Effort, Turn the Tide, Forced Opportunity, Coordinated Assault.

Submortimer
2015-03-27, 11:05 AM
I, for one, really like the new changes. The Phantom Blade ability feels better for sure, and is still different enough from what I proposed. I really like the "Melee Spell Attack against anyone within 30'". Great way to add range without needing a throwing mechanic.

Also, I'm pretty sure that, while the ability to use debilitating effects at will is pretty strong, it's not going to be game unbalancing. by the time you can reliably paralyze people at will, other guys are doing hundreds of points of damage a round. same basic effect: dead bad guys.

All in all, good changes! I'd play this for sure next game I'm in.

MrStabby
2015-03-27, 12:11 PM
I do share some of the concerns but I also think there are a lot of good changes. Certainly, if this is to be the final output I think it is considerably worse than the last iteration. On the other hand if it is an interim step to showcase abilities and themes and flavour I think it is a hugely useful step forwards. Balance can come later.

The things I like.

I love the idea that the class has become. A rogue sniping with spells was very cool but it seemed like the class got caught halfway between that idea and a battlefield control character. I think losing the magic side of things is a big step but the right one. I now see this new archetype as being much more like a scout - tactically aware, part of a team even whilst working alone and aware of the big picture more than doing damage.

I like the high level mechanic of extra flexibility of sneak attack dice. The way you grow in power by getting more options instead of just doing more damage is good. I cautiously like the augmentations as well.

The things I don't like are generally the details.
Magic I feel no longer really fits the class and three cantrips at 13th level just seems to be really weird there.

Speaking of such think I think that Charisma as a casting/DC stat is not so good for both flavour and balance reasons. I much prefer intelligence. Cha easily stacks with Paladin, Warlock, Sorcerer Bard - which is nice and opens up multiclass options but it means that in a final balanced version you may have to slightly tone down the abilities of the class a bit more (especially if there are some particularly attractive to multiclasses). Intelligence (to me anyway) more closely matches the idea of a tactical fighter who knows exactly what type of blow to which organ will render a specific enemy unable to undertake a certain action. I also thing that as Int is a dump stat for a lot of characters providing a use for Int will make this more accessible for people who want to perform well but also to play a smart character. Even most builds of the arcane trickster seem to want to dump Int pretty hard and just abandon those spells that have attack rolls or saving throws. Having a sub-class with a real incentive to take this stat would be nice (+ a chance to have great synergy with all those forgery skills or role-playing reading the documents in the safe and then memorising them instead of stealing them).

I would be tempted to make the phantom blade simply be the weapon of the characters choosing, summoned as a bonus action. Replace the damage with force damage and you already have a pretty powerful ability in some encounters that circumvents almost all resistances.

Tactical Strikes:

I think these are a great concept and I think they are well worth getting right but balancing them is really pretty difficult. I think with things like bolstering manoeuvre you have gone off theme (how would it even work anyway?). I think that the fact that a lot of games are low level and that these only come on-line at level 9 is a problem - especially for what I see as the iconic ability of the class.

On the other hand sacrificing 2d6 damage at low level to put an effect on an enemy is a huge cost. At level 18 you kind of just shrug about doing 7 less damage (especially if it means advantage on your next attack which will give you +9d6 sneak attack damage. The value of the effects of the tactical strikes rises through the game as the costs fall.

With this in mind I might be tempted to restrict their use but make them available from a lower level. Make one available at 3rd level, a second at 9th and finally a third one at 15th level? You can not use a tactical strike if you have used one since the beginning of your previous turn. With this you may even be able to lower the D6 cost of the abilities (and putting something in there that uses 1 d6 so you can get a decent ability in your lower levels could be good). This should still give a lot of options, a decent amount of damage and some variability between turns. The problem is that there are a limited number of status effects to chose from.

I don't like the ability to use a tactical strike to directly help an ally. I could see it maybe imposing a sentinal or compelled duel status on a target but healing and coordinated attacks don't seem like they really work for a rogue.

Augmentations

I like the augmentations as both a concept and as a mechanic to play with but I think the individual ones could be refined. As it is these give the rogue a lot of flexibility to do things in combat that even front-line fighters can't always do. The ones I like are:

Envenomed blade/alchemic injection: I would be tempted to even supply a weak poison with the ability or free elemental damage. A weak poison will begin strong but get weaker, in contrast to the tactical strike abilities. This could be a tool to provide a more even progression. Maybe if this ability lets you chose another plain for your extradimensional space: put it in the elemental plane of fire and your weapon strike comes out being able to do fire damage...

Hobbling Strike. Seems very thematic for a rogue. It fits and seems to have just about the right power. Maybe specify walking speed?

Lasting effect. At the moment this seems like a bit of a mandatory first pick. 3/4 of the time it is at least doubling the effect of a tactical strike. If vs an opponent you considered an effect to be worth 2d6 damage per turn then this would give you approximately 5d6 damage worth of benefit. 10 levels worth of sneak attack in one ability seems good. I think a buff of some-kind would be good but I think lasting effect is maybe too strong. Possibly an ability that gives disadvantage on saves or something? Possibly an additional nice touch to any envenom/alchemic strikes that have saves or effects per turn as well.

Dual strike seems generally fine but thematically it does seem like you should have a free hand to use..

Deadly Gambit/Vital strike - I think only one of these should make it through to the final. I think that Deadly Gambit (if balanced properly) would be a good strong thematic option. I would think that it would be better as a tactical strike though. Whichever way it goes I don't think it should be usable every turn. Be aware that there is a lot of scope for abuse with this if people were to say take Paladin as another class and smite (both casting a spell and expending a spell slot). I like the fact that it really plays to the theme of a more battlefield aware character - only someone with good judgement/knowledge of his enemies can really make the most of this.

I think the class is starting to come together - it is changing quite a bit but that isn't bad and I am really liking the concept.

I think that there is a risk of having too many options that can be taken by once character - it could be worth outlining the roles that you want the class to be very strong at, strong at, ok at and so on down to the things it is weak at. Some of these roles are fixed already from the core rogue attributes (so you can't chose to be bad at skills, or less than OK at damage). On the other hand it becomes a little imbalanced if you say you want the class to have nova damage equal to the Paladin or Sorcerer or at will damage equal to a well built fighter (or Assassin, given that the assassin's good abilities are about extra damage) or to be harder to kill than a barbarian.

xyianth
2015-03-28, 12:32 AM
I was going to go through point by point explaining my rationale for the changes. However, as I was going through this, it occurred to me that the confusion seems to stem from the fact that I have a very different concept in mind for this class. I believe the concept you are looking for is the completely non-magical, intelligence based rogue that uses tactical strikes to control the enemies. In this concept, the tactical strikes are the signature ability. While this is not the concept that I had in mind for this class, I think it is a perfectly valid concept to go with. As such, I have created a new thread where I made my first attempt at fleshing it out here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?406243-Strategist-The-Intelligent-Rogue).

Normally, I don't like working on two different homebrew projects at once, but since these both arose from the same initial concept it should be fine. My concept for this class is to have the phantom blade ability be the signature ability, the tactical strikes were enabled by the phantom blade ability to strike with pinpoint precision using an invisible weapon. I now realize that the tactical strikes feature detracts from the phantom blade ability as the signature ability of this class. I don't know yet what I am going to replace them with, though I am leaning toward the idea of making the phantom blade rogue specialize in having the right weapon for the right situation and being better able to deal with groups. This should also help simplify this class a bit and bring them back in line with other rogues.

I may end up making a third rogue archetype to fulfill the leader role that I tried to graft into this class as well. I don't believe that the abilities are as overpowering as is being claimed, and I have no trouble explaining how the abilities work. (remember hp is not meat, granting temp hp can be equivalent to things like morale boosts) For now though, I am going to focus on replacing tactical strikes within this class with something else. Since I know they were the best part of this class for some of you, please feel free to shift your critique/review over to the strategist class thread. I feel that I can do a better job of showcasing the tactical strike system in that archetype than I can here.

xyianth
2015-03-30, 03:31 AM
I've removed tactical strikes and the critical strike ability from this class. I added replacement abilities to focus more on the phantom blade signature ability. I've added additional augmentation options as well. I also reworded the phantom blade ability slightly in an effort to clarify how it works.

MrStabby
2015-03-30, 09:41 AM
Maybe a slight problem with phantom wave/penetrating blow that I dodn't spot before.... how does it work if you have advantage against some targets but not others? At best this means that you have a better chance of hitting a target by aiming at their friend next to them!

Roughly how may people are you expecting in this cone (given cunning action you should be able get into a great position). At lvl11 this is then still potentially 6d6 damage per target - not quite a free fireball but not bad( no book with me at the moment but I think you can only make one sneak attack per turn, not that you can only hit one person with a sneak attack). Dual strike only makes this better - if you rolled poorly and wouldn't hit may creatures then you get to try again.

I would suggest that you make it clear that sneak attack dice can only effect one target per turn when used with Phantom Blade to resolve this.

xyianth
2015-03-30, 12:15 PM
Maybe a slight problem with phantom wave/penetrating blow that I dodn't spot before.... how does it work if you have advantage against some targets but not others? At best this means that you have a better chance of hitting a target by aiming at their friend next to them!

Roughly how may people are you expecting in this cone (given cunning action you should be able get into a great position). At lvl11 this is then still potentially 6d6 damage per target - not quite a free fireball but not bad( no book with me at the moment but I think you can only make one sneak attack per turn, not that you can only hit one person with a sneak attack). Dual strike only makes this better - if you rolled poorly and wouldn't hit may creatures then you get to try again.

I would suggest that you make it clear that sneak attack dice can only effect one target per turn when used with Phantom Blade to resolve this.

Doesn't the Sneak Attack description already make that clear though? It specifically states: "Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack ..." (PHB 96) emphasis added. I can add a clarifying note to the OP if it is really important, but I think the Sneak Attack feature is pretty clear that it is limited to 1 creature per turn.

Regarding advantage, I'll add an additional note to state: If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. I'll update the OP and give you credit.

MrStabby
2015-03-31, 07:44 AM
Doesn't the Sneak Attack description already make that clear though? It specifically states: "Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack ..." (PHB 96) emphasis added. .

No need! My mistake - I should have checked the book before posting.

Regarding advantage - that seems to work.

I realise I am just being picky about the wording now! Concept, I think is sound though. It will be good to see how this works out in testing.

eleazzaar
2015-04-02, 09:47 AM
I must say, this looks like a very fun class to play. :)

Motivated by a desire to help the player feel that his power is growing, Since Phantom Blade is the key ability, i think it would be good if the range of the phantom blade ability grew as the PC leveled. It increases the drama.

Modnar
2016-02-26, 07:15 PM
Phantom Ambush
At 17th level, your manifest blade ability improves. If your attack hits multiple creatures, you can now manifest a ghostly image of your weapon adjacent to each of them. If any enemy provokes an opportunity attack from a manifested blade, you can use your reaction to attack each enemy adjacent to one of your manifested blades with your phantom blade ability. For this attack, roll the attack once and use the result against each target individually. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby for this clarification)

So if one enemy provokes an attack of opportunity all the creatures effected are attacked?

With the following...



Augmentations
These augmentations are learned by Phantom Blade Rogues to enhance their abilities. When a Phantom Blade Rogue gains a level, she can choose to swap out any previously learned augmentation for another augmentation of her choice. A Phantom Blade Rogue learns 1 augmentation at 3rd level, and learns an additional augmentation at 4th, 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th levels.

Extended Range
Your phantom blade ability's range is doubled.

Penetrating Blow
When you use your phantom blade ability, you can choose to have it affect all creatures in a line. You roll the attack once and use the result against each creature separately. If your attack has any additional effects, each creature resolves them independently. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby for this clarification) The range of the ability is unchanged.

Phantom Wave
When you use your phantom blade ability, you can choose to have it affect all creatures in a cone. You roll the attack once and use the result against each creature separately. If your attack has any additional effects, each creature resolves them independently. If you have advantage or disadvantage against one or more targets, roll your attack twice. Use the first result against all targets you don't have advantage/disadvantage against. Use the better result against targets you have advantage against. Use the worse result against targets you have disadvantage against. (credit to MrStabby for this clarification) The range of the ability is halved. (round down to the nearest 5')

Hobbling Strike
Any creature that is hit by one or more attacks from your phantom blade ability has its move speed reduced by 10' for 1 round.

Dimensional Pull
Whenever you use your manifest blade ability, you can choose to make a 5' radius area centered on a manifested blade cost 10' of movement per 5' traveled. This effect persists as long as the manifested blade does. If you can manifest more than one blade, you can choose to use this ability on each blade individually.

Phantom Rift
As a bonus action on your turn, you can choose to teleport to any location that you are currently manifesting a blade with your manifest blade ability. The manifested blade vanishes as you appear.

Sundering Strike
You can choose to target an object or a solid surface with your phantom blade ability. You can also choose any object or surface you hit as if it were a creature for the purposes of your manifest blade ability.


All abilities stack you've said, and with the abilities above - you could do a 30ft cone AoE EACH round which places a possible reaction atttack against all of those involved.
Is there no limit to the number of uses of Augmentations?

The ones that have significant ramifications in this (as they have spells like them, or other archetype's parallels - Phantom Rift, Phantom Wave, and Penetrating Blow.

Phantom Wave and Envenomed - I could buy poisons and do AoE 8d6 Poison + Weapon Damage each round for creatures up to 30ft feet away, (while putting all struck at risk of triggering an attack against all of them (another 8d6 Poison + Weapon Damage?), and limiting their movment (Hobbling Strike and/or Dimensional Pull))