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Rogem
2015-09-08, 05:53 PM
I got a class I wrote here, and I'd really like some criticism.



Level
Features
Maximum Momentum


1
Fighting Style, Fluid Combat
-


2
Momentum
2


3
Order
2


4
Ability Score Improvement
2


5
Extra Attack
2


6
Dance of Death
3


7
Order Feature
3


8
Ability Score Improvement
3


9
Unhindered Movement
3


10
Order Feature
4


11
Improved Footwork
4


12
Ability Score Improvement
4


13
Evasion
4


14
Order Feature
5


15
Improved Fighting Style
5


16
Ability Score Improvement
5


17
Unhindered Movement (2)
5


18
Order Feature
6


19
Ability Score Improvement
6


20
Untiring Dancer
6


Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per blade dancer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per blade dancer level after 1st.

Proficiencies
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Dagger, sickle, longsword, rapier, scimitar, shortsword
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Performance and Sleight of Hand

Equipment
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

Any one blade dancer melee weapon
(a) two daggers, (b) one shortsword or (c) any one light weapon that you are proficient with
Leather armor, and an explorer's pack


Fighting Style
You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
Defense
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
Dueling
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
Fluid Combat
You have understood that raw power isn't enough when it comes to defeating an opponent stronger than oneself. As such, you may choose whether you want to use your Strength or Dexterity ability modifier for attack and damage rolls made with a blade dancer weapon.
Momentum
Beginning at 2nd level, you can gain momentum points when you land a melee hit on your opponent.
Momentum points are gained by taking the Attack action on your turn. If at least one of your attacks connects, you gain one momentum point and an additional one for each critical hit you scored. You lose all of your momentum points at the end of the combat or when you become blinded, grappled, restrained or incapacitated. You may not have more momentum points than the amount shown for your blade dancer level in the corresponding column in the table above.
You may expend momentum points in the following ways:

Counter. At any time that you are being attacked, you may, as a reaction, expend one momentum point to make one weapon attack against the attacker.
Double Step. At any time you take an action or a bonus action, you may expend one momentum point to gain an additional 10 feet of movement until the start of your next turn.
Sidestep. At any time that you are being attacked, you may, as a reaction, expend one momentum point to impose Disadvantage on that Attack roll. You can only do so if you aren't wearing heavy armor.

I don't think I need to explain what Order, Ability Score Improvement and Extra Attack are, so let's skip those...
Dance of Death
After 6th level, you have become able to dance with everything on the line, dealing swiftly with any opponents but also closing in on your own death at the same time. On your turn, you may take an action to spend one momentum point to start dancing. During the dance, you lose one momentum point at the beginning of each of your turns and are unable to gain any momentum points. The dance ends if you have no more momentum points remaining at the start of your turn. Dancing requires concentration.

While dancing, you are able to take an additional reaction and use one momentum action without expending a momentum point on each of your turns. You can use this feature only once between long rests.
Unhindered Movement
When you reach the 9th level, you are no longer hindered by difficult terrain of any kind, including magical, as long as you are not wearing heavy armor. At 17th level, you can also climb surfaces at normal speed.
Improved Footwork
Beginning at 11th level, whenever you use your momentum to make a sidestep, your movement does not provoke opportunity attacks from enemies until the end of your turn
Improved Fighting Style
At 13th level, you gain an additional feature based on the Fighting Style you chose, as listed below.
Improved Defense
While wearing a light or medium armor, you now gain one momentum point when an attack that was affected by sidestep misses you.
Improved Dueling
If you're wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, your next attack after countering will be considered a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
After double stepping, your next off-hand weapon attack will be made with an Advantage.
Evasion
After 15th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a blue dragon's lightning breath or a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
Untiring Dancer
When you reach the 20th level, you can use the Dance of Death feature twice between long rests.
Orders
Different blade dancers choose to favor different approaches to combat. Some choose honest martial combat while others prefer enhancing their skills by imbuing their weapon with magic some even prefer sneaky tricks.
Order of Steel
Face off against your enemies in an honest combat, dealing with them one at a time.
Shifting Stance
At 3rd level, when you choose this order, you become versed in the advantages of shifting your stance as the battle progresses. At the start of each of your turns, you may choose one of the stances listed below. All stances last until the start of your next turn.

Force. Your strike with more power; main-hand attacks will deal one point of additional damage.
Precision. Your attacks are more accurate; you gain a +1 bonus to Attack rolls.
Defense. You focus on defending; you gain +1 AC.
Exposure
Upon attaining the 7th level, you learn the finer parts of countering enemy attacks, forcing them to leave openings for you. When you counter an attack, your following attacks will deal your Wisdom ability modifier as additional damage against that enemy until the end of your next turn.
Eyes and Ears
Upon reaching the 10th level, you can instinctively tell how your opponents are moving. You have blindsight (10 feet) and no longer lose your momentum when blinded.
Stance Master.
From 14th level onward, you refine your stances, gaining the following benefits in addition to the previous effects:

Force. Your critical hits impair enemy movement, halving their speed until the end of their turn.
Precision. After scoring a critical hit, you can re-roll one Attack Roll before the end of combat.
Defense. When you counter, you can spend an additional momentum point to activate sidestep as well.
Unstoppable Momentum
Beginning on the 18th level, if you would lose momentum due to being grappled, restrained or incapacitated, you can make a DC 15 Dexterity check. If successful, you will retain all your momentum.
Order of the Shadows
You haven't ever fought an honest duel, and are quick to result to various dishonest means to get what you want.
Dirty Tricks
When you choose this Order at the 3rd level, you become able to distract an enemy. Whenever you use the Attack action against an enemy, you may expend one momentum point and forfeit one weapon attack. If you do, the enemy must succeed in a Dexterity save, or be blinded until the end of your next turn. You may not use this feature more than once per turn. The Save DC is determined as:
Save DC = 8 + Your Intelligence modifier + Your Proficiency Bonus
Blindside
Beginning on the 7th level, whenever you land a melee hit on an enemy that can't see you, you deal your Intelligence ability modifier as additional damage.
Shadow Walker
Upon reaching the 10th level, you become able to stride faster and further in the shadows. While standing in dim light or darkness, your speed increases by 10 feet.
Go for the Throat
When you reach the 14th level, you become able to silence an opponent instead of blinding them whenever you use the Dirty Tricks feature. Furthermore, you can now use Dirty Tricks twice per turn, instead of once.
Cloak of Shadows
After reaching the 18th level, you can wrap your body in shadows. When in dim light or darkness, any critical hits scored against you are no longer considered critical.
Order of the Elements
Calling the powers of nature to your aid, you burn, electrocute and freeze your enemies all the while striking at them.
Elemental Blade
Beginning on the 3rd level when you choose this order, you may choose to make your physical weapon attack have an elemental property. When you roll for damage, you may choose to have half of the damage of the roll be converted to either cold, fire or lightning damage.
Elemental Affinity
After reaching the 7th level, you deal additional damage equal to your Charisma modifier whenever you deal cold, fire or lightning damage.
Attuned to the Elements
When you reach the 10th level, the elements seem to ignore your presence you do not suffer from hot or cold weather, and non-magical lightning will never strike you. You will also receive 2 points of damage less when you take cold, fire or lightning damage.
Extending Elements
Beginning on the 14th level, your attacks reach the enemy even if your blade normally wouldn't. Your reach increases by 5 feet.
Armor of the Elements
Upon reaching the 18th level, you become able to counter attacks with elemental surges. Whenever an enemy within 5 feet hits you, the elements lash out and deal damage equal to your Charisma modifier as either cold, fire or lightning damage.

I expect that this fellow needs some nerfing lovehammer. Or loving nerfhammer, if that's your thing. Couldn't bear to do anything myself, because I've always been of the opinion that better a little bit OP than a little bit UP... Oh yeah, and them names sound a little... well, could use some ideas for better names. Looking forward to your replies!

Kryx
2015-09-08, 06:03 PM
Dex build + parry = never get hit. There is a feat that simulates this well without being incredibly op.

Flashy
2015-09-08, 06:10 PM
This class actually reads as pretty well balanced to me, and I dig the flavor.

My only criticism of the base progression is that It doesn't need the Parry feature. It front loads first and second level just a bit too hard, especially as a rogue or dex fighter dip. It's flavorful, but I genuinely think the defensive part of the whole lightning swordsman vibe is covered well enough by the dodge-as-bonus-action feature.

Will review the subclasses when I'm not on my phone.

Aetol
2015-09-08, 06:44 PM
The Parry feature is a bit underwhelming : the decision to use up your reaction shouldn't be made before knowing whether it's needed. Compare most of the Battle Master's maneuver, which are only applied after the attack hits.

Also, you should find another name for the "momentum counters", because the name could be confused with the Counter maneuver. How about simply "momentum points" ?

Rogem
2015-09-08, 06:48 PM
The Parry feature is a bit underwhelming : the decision to use up your reaction shouldn't be made before knowing whether it's needed. Compare most of the Battle Master's maneuver, which are only applied after the attack hits.

Point taken, but it seems that it might be a good idea to cut this feature entirely so that my players don't parry the crap outta everything I throw at them.


How about simply "momentum points" ?

I... Have no excuse.

Edit: Also did some errata and threw in the general statistics that I accidentally left out. Oops?

Daws2727
2015-09-08, 09:50 PM
I think this a pretty nice class and can see myself using it well, but it doesn't have many non-combat features (which is okay).
I agree that you should cut parry, and I like the momentum feature. Overall, it's some fine homebrew.:smallbiggrin:

Flashy
2015-09-09, 12:25 AM
Okay, order review.


Skilled Swordsman: A solid feature but essentially a ribbon. Only a handful of creatures treat these damage types as at all different from one another. Useful against skeletons, oozes and I'm not sure what else. I like it, but unlike the other archetypes it doesn't contribute much to combat power.
Precision: This and Extra Attack (2) combine to make this my least favorite of the three archetypes. It's not just that they're champion fighter features, it's that I think you could come up with something much more imaginative. Honestly it should probably be changed to int modifier to damage so that this level is standardized between the three archetypes.
Weapon Handling: Good, but largely another ribbon. Very few monsters have disarming abilities. That's fine theoretically, but this archetype really falls behind the others.
Extra Attack (2): See Precision. This might be a personal taste thing? If you've made the int to damage change on precision perhaps something about making a knowledge check for advantage against enemies?
Defensive Maneuver: If you're pulling Parry this needs replacing. That's fine, because this doesn't really feel like an archetype capstone anyway.

Overall this is definitely the weakest of the three. The base class carries a lot of the power, but Order of Steel just doesn't match up with the others from a power perspective. It's also less focused thematically than the others.

Dirty Tricks: Love it!
Blindside: This archetpye is way more combat effective than the others. Double dex bonus to damage is substantially better than adding charisma to damage for a variety of reasons. Make it wisdom so it lines up with Order of the Elements, and so that you have each archetype using one of the three mental stats.
Shadow Walker: Also seems fine as is.
Go For the Throat: Again, quite like it. Silence doesn't come in handy all THAT often, but it's pretty solid.
Cloak of Shadows: Solid capstone.

Overall definitely the most powerful of the subclasses. Could maybe stand to be brought down a hair, but is likely fine as is. This is the standard the others should be held to.

Elemental Strike: The wording on this confuses me. Can you opt for half the total damage you eventually roll to be dealt as the elemental type or can you opt to deal your roll's average damage as elemental instead of rolling? Also why is necrotic on this list? It isn't traditionally considered one of the elements and you're leaving out old standbys like acid and cold.
Elemental Affinity: Solid.
Attuned to the Elements: This is also totally a ribbon. If that's what this level is supposed to be Shadow Walker needs a serious nerf.
Elemental Blade: Also solid, glad it comes online as late as it does.
Armor of the Elements: This is another one I basically like as is.


TLDR: The archetypes are mostly good, Order of Steel needs some work, what the abilities do at each particular level should be more standardized.

Aetol
2015-09-09, 07:04 AM
About Dance of Death...


At the end of the dance, you gain one level of Exhaustion for every two momentum points spent, rounded up. You can't use this feature again until after your next long rest.

This is overkill. The Barbarian/Berserker's Frenzy only gives one level of exhaustion, and it's generally considered not worth it. And the once-per-long-rest restriction is redundant -- nobody in their right mind would use this again before taking a long rest or three (you die at 6 exhaustion!). Exhaustion can be removed by magical means too, but like Frenzy, the feature arrives too early : the Cleric won't get Greater Restoration before level 9.

Rogem
2015-09-09, 08:11 AM
This is overkill. The Barbarian/Berserker's Frenzy only gives one level of exhaustion, and it's generally considered not worth it. And the once-per-long-rest restriction is redundant -- nobody in their right mind would use this again before taking a long rest or three (you die at 6 exhaustion!). Exhaustion can be removed by magical means too, but like Frenzy, the feature arrives too early : the Cleric won't get Greater Restoration before level 9.
The long rest restriction is there because of the level 20 feature. However, I am fully aware that it might be a slight overkill - it is intended as a major increase in combat power la ultimates in MOBAs (you even get it on level 6, now that I notice) with severe drawbacks and a long downtime in between uses. Did you notice that it essentially allows you 18 additional momentum points (and ramps up even heavier with the Order of Steel), which means +10 feet of movement, two additional reactions (Order of Steel) and one additional bonus action on each turn? Total of +60 feet of movement, +12 reactions and +6 bonus actions at level 18+.

In any case, I feel that some kind of drawback is necessary. What would you suggest to replace it with?

Also, Flashy, what do you think of the Orders now?

Aetol
2015-09-09, 08:33 AM
The long rest restriction is there because of the level 20 feature. However, I am fully aware that it might be a slight overkill - it is intended as a major increase in combat power la ultimates in MOBAs (you even get it on level 6, now that I notice) with severe drawbacks and a long downtime in between uses. Did you notice that it essentially allows you 18 additional momentum points (and ramps up even heavier with the Order of Steel), which means +10 feet of movement, two additional reactions (Order of Steel) and one additional bonus action on each turn? Total of +60 feet of movement, +12 reactions and +6 bonus actions at level 18+.

In any case, I feel that some kind of drawback is necessary. What would you suggest to replace it with?

It does give very significant benefits. In fact, it seems too powerful -- it's almost a capstone at level 6.

I'd recommend toning it down -- maybe only one free momentum action per turn, in addition to the bonus bonus action. Since once-per-long-rest and the need to "charge it up" already restricts its use, you could drop the exhaustion entirely. Then the capstone brings the Dance to full power : use each momentum action once per turn, as in the current design.

Something else : you might want to think twice before making all Bladedancer weapons into finesse weapons. I'm not sure what game-breaking consequences it could have, but I do know the game designers made a point of clarifying that monk weapons are not finesse weapons even though they use DEX, so apparently it's not something you do lightly.

Rogem
2015-09-10, 02:17 PM
It does give very significant benefits. In fact, it seems too powerful -- it's almost a capstone at level 6.

I'd recommend toning it down -- maybe only one free momentum action per turn, in addition to the bonus bonus action. Since once-per-long-rest and the need to "charge it up" already restricts its use, you could drop the exhaustion entirely. Then the capstone brings the Dance to full power : use each momentum action once per turn, as in the current design.

Something else : you might want to think twice before making all Bladedancer weapons into finesse weapons. I'm not sure what game-breaking consequences it could have, but I do know the game designers made a point of clarifying that monk weapons are not finesse weapons even though they use DEX, so apparently it's not something you do lightly.

About the finesse, I think it's due to versatile and finesse being exclusive. So, I'll have to change it since I wanna keep the longsword as an option.

And I did some math. As is, the Dance of Death is completely broken mostly due to Counter (and goes for Improved Dueling - might need to change around with the ITWF). I will probably have to introduce limits to the counters. Otherwise, Dance of Death is pretty solid at what it does - I will probably change it to just give you +10 feet of movement, one extra bonus action and a free Sidestep. Remove the exhaustion, and make the capstone increase the number of uses to 2 between long rests.

Rogem
2015-09-11, 07:08 AM
So, I decided to double-post since this is gonna get long, as I will detail all the changes I have done.

Major changes: Order of Steel, Counter, Sidestep, Dance of Death, Improved Fighting Style.
Minor changes: Fluid Combat, Untiring Dancer, Dirty Tricks, Elemental Strike, Elemental Blade

Changes:
Order of Steel - Redone entirely, and still partially under progress. Less "hit things hard" and more "master of dueling" kind of action going on here.
Counter - Severe nerfing here by the ways of limiting to 1 counter/turn.
Sidestep - No longer a full Dodge. This would allow too easy splashing for beefier classes to obtain permanent dodge. Instead, imposes DA on the first attack against you. Disallows heavy armor. Is no longer a bonus action - instead, I am considering making this a reaction, but might put the bonus action back in.
Dance of Death - Refitted. Essentially, the same thing, but now requires concentration (oops?) and is no longer interrupted by not moving at least 5 feet, since being unable to move already causes you to lose all of your momentum points. Now allows only one free Momentum action on top of an extra bonus action, without any additional penalties after the dance is over.
Improved Fighting Style - I changed around the effects, limiting the effects of Defense to only attacks affected by Sidestep. Dueling now gives you a better chance for a critical on the next attack after a Counter, "opening up" the enemy, and making dueling a mix between offensive and defensive. Might still make it 19-20 instead of 18-20, though. ITWF was changed as well, to make it an Advantage for the next attack on off-hand after you Double Step.

Fluid Combat - Changed wording to match those of monk weapons. Reason: stacking versatile and finesse (which has some feats, I believe)
Untiring Dancer - Two uses of Dance of Death between LRs. No biggie.
Dirty Tricks - Changed to be available instead of an attack, rather than damage. More usable now, since there's no AC+Save to overcome.
Elemental Strike - Renamed to Elemental Blade, the description was clarified (again).
Elemental Blade - Renamed to Extended Elements.

Aetol
2015-09-11, 09:24 AM
I reread the class description, here's what I think (may include stuff that was already there but I missed) :

Counter and Sidestep : why don't they just use reaction ? As is, Counter gives you a second reaction, and Sidestep don't let you chose what attack you want to avoid. Also, I assume Counter doesn't block the incoming attack (it would make Sidestep useless), you should clarify that.

Dance of Death : requiring Concentration is a good idea and makes sense. However, a) I don't think Concentration is ever used for anything other than spells in the PHB, so that's a bit weird (even if, again, it makes perfect sense) and b) as a melee class, you will get hit a lot, so Resilient (CON) becomes a feat tax.

Improved Dueling : is the "next attack after countering" different from the attack Counter grants you ? Should be clarified.

Untiring Dancer : I don't quite realize how powerful a second Dance of Death per day would be, but at first glance it seems a bit weak for a capstone. I suggest granting a second free momentum action per turn (might be a problem if Counter and Sidestep become reactions, though).

Rogem
2015-09-11, 01:34 PM
I reread the class description, here's what I think (may include stuff that was already there but I missed) :

Counter and Sidestep : why don't they just use reaction ? As is, Counter gives you a second reaction, and Sidestep don't let you chose what attack you want to avoid. Also, I assume Counter doesn't block the incoming attack (it would make Sidestep useless), you should clarify that.

Dance of Death : requiring Concentration is a good idea and makes sense. However, a) I don't think Concentration is ever used for anything other than spells in the PHB, so that's a bit weird (even if, again, it makes perfect sense) and b) as a melee class, you will get hit a lot, so Resilient (CON) becomes a feat tax.

Improved Dueling : is the "next attack after countering" different from the attack Counter grants you ? Should be clarified.

Untiring Dancer : I don't quite realize how powerful a second Dance of Death per day would be, but at first glance it seems a bit weak for a capstone. I suggest granting a second free momentum action per turn (might be a problem if Counter and Sidestep become reactions, though).

I'll clarify the Counter, and while I'm at it, I'll clarify all references to the momentum action set. The capstone is a bit lacking in "oomph" compared to most classes, I can admit that much. But I can't really think of anything big enough that wouldn't cause the game to break. I'll think about it during the weekend.

Sidestep: I am starting to feel more and more like it should be a reaction. And same would go for Counter, I believe. An additional reaction from the dance, instead of a bonus action, would be in order - and would allow for choosing between defensive/offensive.

Aetol
2015-09-11, 04:03 PM
I'm just realizing that a second bonus action doesn't do much good when there are no feature in the class that ask for one. That makes TWF mandatory to make full use of that.

A bonus reaction instead is indeed a good way around that.

Rogem
2015-09-13, 02:21 PM
I have changed Shadow/Steel so that Shadow now uses Intelligence (instead of Wisdom), and Steel uses Wisdom (instead of Intelligence). I believe this reflects the perceptive and reactive abilities of the Order of Steel better, as well as the cunning schemes of Shadow. I made one lose all momentum if they become blinded, grappled, restrained or incapacitated. Counter and Sidestep are now reactions - DoD provides an additional reaction instead of bonus action.

Order of Steel, other changes:

Stances now last until you choose another stance at the start of your turn.
Force stance: +2 damage to main-hand -> +1 damage to main-hand.
Level 10 feat, Eyes and Ears, now gives you immunity to blindness-induced loss of momentum. It also gives a 10-feet blindsight.
The level 14 feat has been named "Stance Master" and the improved stances have been modified somewhat.
Sub-class capstone gives a chance to prevent loss of momentum when you are grappled, restrained or incapacitated.


Still undecided about buffing the level 20 capstone. If even heavier buff is required, I guess allowing DoD once per SR wouldn't be too broken at that point.

sogold
2015-10-12, 11:11 PM
My only criticism of the base progression is that It doesn't need the Parry feature. It front loads first and second level just a bit too hard, especially as a rogue or dex fighter dip. It's flavorful, but I genuinely think the defensive part of the whole lightning swordsman vibe is covered well enough by the dodge-as-bonus-action feature.

bloodshed343
2015-10-14, 04:46 PM
Is this based on the Bladedancer soul from RIFT?

Rogem
2015-10-21, 05:01 AM
Is this based on the Bladedancer soul from RIFT?

Nope, if I had to say, this is based on Kirito from Sword Art Online to some extent. In any case, I didn't try to constrain some specific already existing "class" to the 5E, but rather got an idea and worked with that.