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Demolicious
2015-08-06, 05:28 PM
Author's note

This is my first attempt at homebrewing, so figured I'd toss this here to get some extra feedback. I've run this through couple of my DMs, but I'd like to get opinion from larger audience.
Shadowcaster from 3.5 Tome of Magic was one of my favorite classes, despite the fact that it was often seen as weak and unoptimized. So I decided to make an attempt at porting it from 3.5 to 5e.

For basis of the class, I used sorcerer. This is because I felt converting original shadowcaster's spell system would make it far more powerful than existing caster classes, thanks to sheer amount of spell slots they would be able to get, in addition to getting access to significantly more spells than current sorcerer, while original shadowcaster was known for having even less spells than sorcerer did. Saving throws intelligence and constitution were picked based on original shadowcaster's high Fort and Will saves.

Most of you will probably notice that my shadowcaster doesn't provide any ways to regain spell slots outside of resting like wizard and sorcerer can. This is intentional in comparison to archetypes I gave for the class, which give it added utility instead of boosting its spellcasting. Shadowcaster is limited when it comes to blasting spells, majority of low level damage spells being either short range or single target. While it's possible to build class as blaster, I see it more as utility caster. 3 Archetypes are based on existing prestige classes from Tome of Magic and are focused on improving shadowcaster's utility in certain areas, instead of focusing on spellcasting. Spell list included is my attempt to convert original shadowcaster spell list from 3.5 into 5e.

Constructive critique is welcome and if something makes you wonder, feel free to ask for my reasoning on specific aspects of the class or give your own suggestions. Class has not been playtested yet, but I have a campaign coming up where DM has agreed to allow me playtest it.

Public shadowcaster document (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pFZJ-21_HC5VrAZMzQprMxh7obUoOdQSfxTO89l5MwM/edit?usp=sharing)

Michael7123
2015-08-06, 05:58 PM
Never got a chance to play one, but I've always loved the shadowcaster. You have my interest.

Impressions as I read:

1. Might want to add a note on umbral sight allowing creatures who already have darkvison to expand it by the amount granted by umbral sight.

2. Shadowcrafter is AWESOME. I want that badly. Only differences is that I might change the cold damage to necrotic damage, or maybe allow the player to choose if they want the weapon to deal necrotic or cold damage upon item creation. I'm not sure if I read the rules right, but I think you said that the enchantment bonuses only lasted for a limited amount of time? I think they should last until you take a short or long rest.

3. Maybe you could grant players the ability to infuse shadows into a preexisting magic weapon you possess, that way the class features don't become useless when you finally stumble across an amazing weapon that you're already proficient in.

4. On the topic of weapons, I don't think scythes are in the PHB (sadly). You'll have to design them yourself.

5. I don't see any stats for the shadow familiar, I'll assume they be shown later in the document. Unless you don't want them to have stats in the first place.

6. Cold resistance/immunity is nice.

7. Medium shadow elemental seems fine.

8. You probably want to have using the bidding be a bonus action, as free actions aren't a thing in 5e

9. Child of shadow seems fine and really balanced. Kodous.

I'll take a look at the spells later, but you've done a great job with this from what I can tell.

Demolicious
2015-08-07, 04:58 AM
Thanks for the input. Let's take a look at your listing.

1. Umbral sight already has sentence that specifies that it increases existing darkvision.

2. I didn't want to make the shadowsmith ability too versatile, it already has more versatility than pact weapon from warlock, being able to create armor and small objects in addition to weapons. That being said, making enchantment bonuses last until object was dismissed (which always happens at start of rest) was originally considered. However, shadowcaster is is still full caster, and I wasn't sure if allowing them to boost their created shadow items too much would make archetype too powerful. I don't intend shadowcaster to become main melee power, more to give shadowcaster more survivability in melee, but not make them on par with other melee classes. I will likely test your suggestion on my playtest to see how it works out. As the enchantment bonus effect is, it's more powerful than magic weapon spell on which it was based.

3. I considered this, but I feel it would overshadow blade warlock too much in this case. As stated, shadowcaster is still full caster and can maintain effectiveness longer than warlock without going into straight combat. At the moment, lvl 15 shadowcaster can still have [chosen melee weapon] +3 EB +1d8 cold for an hour. Comparing that to most of magic weapons in DMG makes it one of the better magic weapons you can have. I may change duration of EB effect, but I don't believe allowing people to multiclass into paladin just to make shadow Holy Avenger is a good idea. (little excessive example, but I think you get the point I'm going for)

4. Scythes are never mentioned in the entire document. Weapon proficiencies list "sickle".

5. Please re-read the Shadow Servant page, if you're referring to Master of Shadows feature. They gain "small shadow elemental", not shadow familiar. If you're referring to general familiar available to all shadowcasters, there isn't one. Only way for shadowcaster to get a familiar is multiclass or ritual caster feat. This is intentional.

6. Thank you. I tried to base progression of different archetypes as closely to original PRCs as possible.

7. I was slightly concerned how shadow elementals would work out. We'll just have to see.

8. possibly, I'll look into that.

9. heh, I was originally worried Child of Night would be found most "OP". Admittably I removed couple things from original draft of it.

Demolicious
2015-08-08, 05:31 AM
I've added alternate feature for shadowsmith that can be used (with DM's approval) to shore up shadowsmith's inability to effectively use magical weapons and armor. This alternate feature is based on giving shadowsmith a pool of points they can spend to enhance their shadow equipment, which scales up to allow shadowsmith to keep up with suggested magic item rarities per level in DMG.
This system restricts shadowsmith's ability to keep multiple items with magical bonuses at cost of spell slots in return for being able to maintain either 1 item on suggested level/rarity, or 2 items with lower level/rarity.
I also adjusted original effects to last longer, but restricting increase in AC that can be given with the effect closer to magical armor rarity/level.