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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Sorcerer Archetype - Shadow Caster



BulletMagnet
2015-09-23, 05:04 PM
Hello everyone. I was hoping you guys could provide some constructive feedback for an archetype I am working on for our local D&D 5e game. I wanted to create a class that essentially majored in magic, but minored in rogue-like feel. I missed the old shadow-caster types and thought maybe I could come up with something that had a unique playstyle to it. Please tell me what you think, and where maybe it could use some balance.

I tried my best to use abilities that already existed in the book at a similar level, sort of like what Unearthed Arcana was suggesting. I will only be posting the item unique to the class, since I am not modifying base sorcerer abilities. So here it goes:


Sorcerer Origin

Shadow

Lvl 1 - Shadow Magic
You have learned how to connect with the shadows and darkness around you and use them for your own gain. When casting a spell from your list of sorcerer spells known, you can change the location from which the spell originates to the shadow of an ally. You can choose any point within 5 feet of an ally you can see as the origin for the spell. This may give you the ability to see or touch targets that are not visible, or reachable, from your current location.

Reasoning: I think this gives a very-trickster like feel to a sorcerer without being game breaking. It definitely sets the stage for how the shadow sorcerer is supposed to be played, casting from different angles/etc. I want to limit it to sorcerer spell list only, so people don't take a level of this to benefit in multi-class scenarios.

Lvl 1 - Shadow Sight
The Shadow energy pulsing through the Sorcerer enable her to see in all variety of darkness. The Shadow Sorcerer can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet.

Reasoning: This is akin to the Devil's Sight invocation from Warlock, if something is determined to impact that ability, it should impact this as well. Granted Warlocks can get this as 1 of 2 invocations at level 2.

Lvl 6 - Intervention from Beyond
Starting at level 6, you can use the shadow of your allies and enemies to hinder or help them. When another creature you can see makes an attack roll, an ability check, or saving throw, you can use your reaction and spend 2 sorcery points to roll 1d4 and apply the number rolled as a bonus or penalty (your choice) to the creature's roll. You can do so after the creature rolls, but before any effects of the roll occur.

Reasoning: This is akin to the Bend Luck ability of the Wild Magic Sorcerer, if something is determined to impact that ability, it should impact this as well.

I am torn between this ability, or something similar, which may be more rogue-like. Spend 2 sorcery point when you cast a spell and the target of your spell includes allies or enemies within 5 feet of an ally. Roll 1d4 and use it as a bonus or penalty to AC / Saving throw. Selecting if its a bonus or penalty individually for each target. The fluff being that you maneuver shadows around to try and benefit your allies and surprise you enemies from new attack vectors.


Lvl 14 - Shadow Manifestation
At 14th level, you have become very in tune with the shadow plane, and have gained the ability to blink back and forth between the planes. As a bonus action on your turn, you can become under the effects of Blink, but with the Shadow plane instead of the Ethereal plane. This effect lasts until you dismiss it as a bonus action on your turn.

Reasoning: Level 14 ability for Dragon Sorc is Fly as a bonus action indefinitely. Both Fly and Blink are level 3 spells, and Blink doesn't even need concentration! I thought it was both fluffy, but also met a similar need as an alternative form of transportation

Lvl 18 - Shadow Form
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 5 sorcery points to become a shadow. You are invisible in dimly lit and dark areas and have no physical form. You are able to slip through the smallest cracks and climb incredible heights with ease. You ignore difficult terrain and have fly speed equal to your movement speed. This last for 1 minute or until you use your action to perform an attack.

Reasoning: I tried merging the Monk Level 18 ability and the Dragon Sorc ability in a way. Where the Dragon sorc gets a powerful aspect of a dragon, I thought that becoming a Shadow is much more fluffy for this. I would like thoughts on it's balance though.

BulletMagnet
2015-09-25, 03:57 PM
Hey guys, I got some feedback from friends and the DM. Here is my most updated version of the Shadow Sorcerer Origin. I have added some more of the fluff and made it more rogue-like. As the objective was to mix full casting and melee.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Sorcerer Origin: Shadow

Level 1 Shadow Magic
The chaotic nature of the Shadow Plane, which imbues you with magical power, hinders you from casting spells that manipulate the threads other planes. When you have any levels in this class, you are unable to learn and cast spells from the evocation school of magic. You immediately forget evocation spells that you knew before gaining a level in this class and may replace them with other non-evocation spells from the Sorcerer spell list. However, as you progress in experience in this class, you will learn how to weave the shadow energy from the plane of shadow to emulate evocation effects.

Your origin in the shadow plane changes the way you interact with the world in the following ways:
Shadow Spells: Shadow spell replicate the effects and damage of evocation spells on the Sorcerer spell list that do not require concentration. Shadow Spells cannot be cast by themselves, they are woven into the abilities of this origin. Shadow spells cannot benefit from Metamagic.
Shadow Weaving: You learn how to weave energy from the plane of shadow into your physical attacks. When you use your action to perform a melee or ranged attack and hit, you may expend an unused spell slot and sorcerery points equal to half of the spell slot level (cantrips cost 1 sorcery point or one spell slot) to weave a Shadow Spell of equal level into your attack. The target of the physical attack is considered the origin of the spell. Targets of the Shadow spell are allowed saving throws as normal as defined in the spell description. If the shadow spell requires a spell attack, use the physical attack roll as the result for the first spell attack. If multiple spell attacks are required, Use the target of the physical attack as the origin of the spell to identify additional targets, rolling remaining spell attacks as normal. Only damage from spells requiring a spell attack may crit as a result of the physical attack roll. You may only use this ability once per turn.
Vision of the Shrouded Plane: The Shadow energy pulsing through your veins enable you to see in all variety of darkness. You can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet.

Level 1 Shadow Manifestation
Starting at 1st level, you may sacrifice some of your magical power to give life to your shadow. As a bonus action on your turn, you may spend a first level spell slot or 1 sorcery point to infuse consciousness into your shadow. While active, your shadow has 1 hp and occupies the same space as you, using your defenses as its own. Your shadow lasts until destroyed or dismissed as bonus action on your turn. The shadow can only be destroyed by an attack that hits it directly and does at least 1 damage, otherwise it ignores all other damage and effects. When your shadow is destroyed, it reappears connected to you as a normal shadow. It may be summoned again using this ability on your turn.

While your shadow is active you gain the following abilities:
Shadow Strike: Advantage on melee and ranged attacks when your shadow is within 5 feet of your enemy
Silent Protector: While your shadow is within 5 feet of you and you are targeted by an attack, roll a d20. On a roll of a 11 or higher, your shadow intercepts the incoming attack and becomes the target. Your shadow is destroyed if there was damage as part of the attack. If you are under the effects of the Mirror Image spell, your shadow will not attempt to intercept attacks until the spell has ended.

Level 6 Shadow Casting
Upon reaching 6th level, the Sorcerer has come to understand how shadows behave in other planes and use them for her gain. When casting a spell, the Sorcerer can use an ally she can see as the origin for a spell that targets something other than "self." This may give the sorcerer the ability to see or touch targets that are not visible, or reachable, from her current location.

Level 14 Shadow Double
Upon reaching level 14, your shadow is strong enough to separate from you. Your shadow no longer has to occupy the same space as you. Your shadow has your senses and skills and fly speed equal to your movement speed. Your shadow takes its own turn on your initiative, but it may only perform move actions. You may communicate telepathically with your shadow and perceive through your shadow's sense as long as you are on the same plane of existence. You may also speak through your shadow in your own voice. On your turn, you may use your shadow as the origin of actions. For example, you may perform attacks, cast spells, or interact with objects through the shadow.

Level 18 Shadow Form
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 5 sorcery points to become a shadow. You are invisible in dimly lit and dark areas and have no physical form. You are able to slip through the smallest cracks and climb incredible heights with ease. You have fly and swim speed equal to your movement speed. You may occupy the same space as other creatures and remain unnoticed, taking on the form of their shadow. This last for 1 minute or until you use your action to perform an attack.

Princess
2015-10-08, 12:16 PM
Losing other class' spells when you multi-class is pretty limiting, and doesn't really fit with what Shadow casters were. They had more skills than Sorcerer did in 3.5 - why not give Stealth and/or Sleight of Hand as a free proficiency at level 1? Also, some of the out of combat perks from 3.5's SC are worth considering, like having to sleep less.

Otherwise both the first draft and second look like they're worth testing out.