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Submortimer
2016-03-28, 08:48 AM
So, someone posted a "Hexblade as alternatve EK" somewhere here on the forums, so I thought I'd take a crack at the idea myself. once the stuff get's ironed out, this'll be available on the MFoV website, complete with PDF, I Just need to run some of this by a few other eyes first. Of particular concern is what would happen when this guy multiclasses with a warlock. I feel like I've balanced that out fairly well, but it still seems...broken, somehow.

Hexblade

Much like a Eldritch Knight, a Hexblade mixes extreme martial prowess with arcane powers; unlike an Eldritch knight, those powers come not from study, but from a pact made with a shadowy, eldritch entity. Originally, the Hexblades were formed from an order of monster hunters as a means to hunt down wayward, dangerous spellcasters; they used the pact with the shadow creature to gird themselves against the magic of their enemies, while enhancing their own deadly skills. Now, they exist as a mere remnant of that storied order, shadowy hunters giving any mage with a bad name reason to look over their shoulder.

Pact magic
When you reach 3rd level, you forge a pact with an eldritch being, augmenting your martial
prowess with the ability to cast spells.

Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the warlock spell list. You learn an additional warlock cantrip of your choice at 10th level.

Spell Slots. The Hexblade table shows how many spell slots you have. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your Hexblade spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended spell slots when you
finish a short or long rest.

Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level warlock spells of your choice.The Spells Known column of the Hexblade Spellcasting table shows when you learn more warlock spells of 1st level or higher.

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the warlock spells you know with another spell of your choice from the warlock spell list. A spell you choose must be of a level no higher than whatís shown in the table's Slot Level column for your level.

Spellcasting Ability. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your Hexblade spells, so you use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Hexblade spell you cast and when making an attack
roll with one.


Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Hexblade Spellcasting


Level
Known
Slots
Slot Level


3rd
3
1
1


4th
4
1
1


5th
4
1
1


6th
4
1
1


7th
5
1
2


8th
6
1
2


9th
6
1
2


10th
7
2
2


11th
8
2
2


12th
8
2
2


13th
9
2
3


14th
10
2
3


15th
10
2
3


16th
11
2
3


17th
11
2
3


18th
11
3
3


19th
12
3
4


20th
13
3
4




Pact Weapon
At 3rd level, your new patron grants you a Pact Weapon. You can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to non-magical attacks and damage.

Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die.You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. You canít affect an artifact or a sentient weapon in this way. The weapon ceases being your pact weapon if you die, if you perform the 1-hour ritual on a different weapon, or if you use a 1-hour ritual to break your bond to it. The weapon appears at your feet if it is in the extradimensional space when the bond breaks.

Hexblade's Curse
Starting at 7th level, you may channel your patron's power into a wretched curse. As an action, select a creature you can see within 30 feet: that creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be Cursed. Select one option from the list below:


Choose one ability score. While cursed, the target has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws made with that ability score.
While cursed, the target has disadvantage on attack rolls against you.
While cursed, the target has disadvantage on attack rolls against your allies.
While cursed, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of its turns. If it fails, it wastes its action that turn doing nothing.
While cursed, the target cannot take reactions.
While the target is cursed, your attacks and spells deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to the target.

A remove curse spell ends this effect. This curse lasts for 1 minute; this duration increases to 10 minutes at 10th level, 8 hours at 15th level, and 24 hours at 18th level.
Once a creature has either saved against or been affected by your curse, it cannot be affected by your curse again for 24 hours. If the cursed creature dies before the curse duration expires, the curse immediately ends.
Once you use this ability, you must take a short or long rest before you can do so again. At 15th level, you may use this ability an additional time between rests.

Mettle
Starting at 10th level, you learn to use your patron's power to shield you from other spellcasters. You add your charisma bonus on all saving throws against spells.

Entropic Ward
At 15th level, you learn to use ambient magical energy to wrap yourself in a distorting field, making you harder to hit in combat. As a bonus action, you can activate or dismiss your ward. While active, it grants you constant half-cover against all ranged attacks.
While your Ward is active, you may use an action to boost it's power for a short time: doing so imposes disadvantage on all ranged attack rolls against you for 1 minute, after which your ward is dispelled. Once you use this ability, you may not summon your ward again until you take a short or long rest, and you may not boost it's power again until you take a long rest.

Dire Curse
At 18th level, the power of your curse increases. When a creature fails it's Wisdom save against your curse, you may select two options from the curse list; when it succeeds, its is still affected by one curse of your choice, though only for half the duration.


Sidebar: Pact magic
This class uses the alternate form of spellcasting shared by the Warlock, Pact Magic. Should a Hexblade wish to multiclass as a warlock, his Pact Magic is altered in the following ways:




Number of Pact Magic slots stack, to a maximum of 4.
Level of pact magic slots is the higher of either his Hexblade or his Warlock levels.
Number of spells known may not go higher than 15


Edit: Mettle now grants Cha Bonus to Saving throws Vs. Spells, Entropic ward grants Half cover vs ranged attacks and can be boosted 1/long rest.

zeek0
2016-03-29, 11:44 PM
On the whole I like it. It gives a short-rest warlocky feel to the EK. I especially like the curses.

My only issue is the the mettle feature. A 10th level Hexblade is rather hard to damage with saving throw spells.

Consider a Hexblade who is in the area of a fireball spell. He gains advantage on the Dexterity saving throw. If he succeeds he takes 1/4 damage. If he fails he takes 1/2 damage.

I would make Mettle simply give resistance to spell damage, or advantage on saving throws against spells. One or the other is certainly powerful enough to make a feature. I would suggest the latter - most spells that require a saving throw save for 1/2 damage in any case.

Cheers.

JNAProductions
2016-03-30, 10:45 AM
Just skimmed it, but this is damn near as powerful as a full Warlock. 3 slots at level 4 is too much, coming to 9 slots a day. I'd scale it back to two slots at level 3, to better match an Eldritch Knight.

Now, for the rest...

Pact Weapon is fine.

Hexblade's Curse feels a little powerful, but it is an action to cast. So okay.

Mettle is too much. Make it one or the other, but not both.

HOLY CRAP! Entropic Ward is +5 AC against all ranged attacks. That is WAY TOO MUCH.

Dire Curse is too much. It's an auto-succeed. Half duration means jack when your duration is 24 hours.

Overall, Entropic Ward, Mettle, and Dire Curse need nerfs.

Gastronomie
2016-03-30, 12:28 PM
3 slots at level 4 is too much, coming to 9 slots a day. I'd scale it back to two slots at level 3, to better match an Eldritch Knight.I think you're mistaking "Spells Known" for the number of spells. In fact it's currently 1 slot per short rest.

I believe Mettle is damn overpowered as a Level 10 ability - even if it was something like "once per short rest, use an reaction to gain advantage on a spell saving throw or reduce a spell's damage to half" or something like that, it will be useful and strong enough.

Also agree with JNA on Entropic Ward - if the effect is to stay, IMO it should use up an action, be once per long rest and rest only for a minute, or something like that. That's how the Paladin's Capstone Aura works, and given this is a level 15 ability it shouldn't go better than that. And even with that this is still pretty damn "interesting", a fun ability to have.

I don't think Dire Curse needs balancing TBH.

I do like the concept and how you did the spellcasting progress tho'.

Submortimer
2016-03-30, 04:31 PM
I think you're mistaking "Spells Known" for the number of spells. In fact it's currently 1 slot per short rest.

I believe Mettle is damn overpowered as a Level 10 ability - even if it was something like "once per short rest, use an reaction to gain advantage on a spell saving throw or reduce a spell's damage to half" or something like that, it will be useful and strong enough.

Also agree with JNA on Entropic Ward - if the effect is to stay, IMO it should use up an action, be once per long rest and rest only for a minute, or something like that. That's how the Paladin's Capstone Aura works, and given this is a level 15 ability it shouldn't go better than that. And even with that this is still pretty damn "interesting", a fun ability to have.

I don't think Dire Curse needs balancing TBH.

I do like the concept and how you did the spellcasting progress tho'.


You know, for mettle, I thought I just aped the Ancient's paladin 7th level ability, but i completely added in the "Saving throws against spells" bit. Yeah, I think he's going to go the saving throw route.

Edit's incoming!

Kane0
2016-03-30, 09:07 PM
Noice.

Not sure about how the casting should interact with the warlock's when multiclassing though. Maybe just count 1 per 3 Hexblade levels like the EK does on regular casting, doesn't need to be more complex than that eh?

Submortimer
2016-03-31, 01:09 AM
Noice.

Not sure about how the casting should interact with the warlock's when multiclassing though. Maybe just count 1 per 3 Hexblade levels like the EK does on regular casting, doesn't need to be more complex than that eh?

That what makes it weird to balance, since the warlocks spellcasting (with the exception of slots) tops out at 5th level.

T.G. Oskar
2016-03-31, 02:10 AM
As a straight-up translation of the Hexblade, this is a very nice job. Sure, it lacks arcane spellcasting, but Pact Magic feels a lot more like what the Hexblade deserves, and since Bladelocks are already pretty close to Hexblades, it hits it right on the spot.

If anything, my concerns are minor. The amount of spells known seems a tad high, but after watching the Sorcerer's known spells and what the Arcane Trickster gets, the amount of spells known are fine. The amount of spell slots overall also seems pretty fine. The level progression, on the other hand, feels a bit too strained: you get 4th level spell slots by 20th level, and while that fits with the Eldritch Knight and the Arcane Trickster in terms of spell slots, in the case of the Hexblade it seems a bit tough. I'd leave it as-is and just playtest it to see if it works, because going by theorycrafting alone can be dangerous.

As for "Mettle", I'd prefer a name change. The original was "Arcane Resistance", so you could go for "Arcane Grace" to give the hint that it mimics, but doesn't exactly copies, the Paladin's Aura of Grace (as it's personal AND only works for spells).

Perhaps my biggest issue is Eldritch Ward's permanent effect where you get half-cover against all ranged attacks - IMO, even a +2 to AC at all times against ranged attacks might seem a bit too much on bounded accuracy numbers. Just the second ability (forcing disadvantage on ranged attacks 1/short rest), boosted to also apply to melee attacks (as what you gained with Aura of Unluck) is fine, since it becomes a "panic button" for a tough encounter (and given the way Advantage/Disadvantage works, any source of Advantage is negated, which is good). I don't feel the Cover benefit vs. ranged attacks is warranted - the Martial Archetype is already quite good on its own (even without Invocations!), and that just pushes it a notch into "must-enter" territory.

Love the idea of the Curse. It's better than the original, but that's the point - the Curse was good, but didn't offer the full extent of Bestow Curse, of which it was obviously based upon. I'd make it a Charisma save rather than a Wisdom save if only because it makes it unique, but I understand why you gave it that save (Bestow Curse IS resisted by a Wisdom save). One thing I CAN recommend is to move the strongest of the curses ("While cursed, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of its turns. If it fails, it wastes its action that turn doing nothing. ") as part of the Dire Curse, and make it so that it consumes both of your possible curse options. This is doubly worse as the Hexblade's Curse requires no Concentration, which allows you to use the Hex spell (thus getting a slightly nerfed version of Dire Curse, but with fixed choices) - a Dire Curse that imposes Disadvantage on Wisdom saves AND negates actions just about every turn, coupled with a bonus-action Hex on the same turn is overkill, particularly at level 20 when you get 4 attacks per turn. I mean - use Hexblade's Curse, then Hex, then Action Surge and the Attack action, and you get to debuff and attack (and possibly kill the target) on the same turn. Note that you can actually do this twice per combat, every combat as long as you take a short rest. Other than that little nasty combo, the Hexblade has nice tricks. Even if the target fails the save, it gets a nasty surprise (I mean, 5 minutes is overkill for any battle - disadvantage on Wisdom checks & saves -> Hex -> Attack via Action Surge 2/combat is a pretty solid trick if you think about it). Just so you think, because the combo seems too powerful, but I really like the execution.

Maybe, as a small nod, I'd consider allowing the Hexblade to choose between a Pact Weapon or a Familiar. Really, it's no biggie, but it'd be a nice nod to the original. Sure, its HP and stats will suck (it's not like it gains the huge boost that the old Hexblade familiar got), but you get special familiars anyways and you can trade one of your many attacks to let them attack (taken straight from the Pact of the Chain).

Other than that, it seems like a very interesting Archetype to play - it feels like it's very strong because you're slapping a fraction of the Warlock's Pact Magic feature into a full warrior chassis and make the Bladelock cry in a corner, but you lack some of the invocations (and of course, Mystic Arcana) that the Warlock can use to become a solid blaster anyways. Certainly it'd make me play one, that's for sure.

Submortimer
2016-03-31, 10:55 PM
If anything, my concerns are minor. The amount of spells known seems a tad high, but after watching the Sorcerer's known spells and what the Arcane Trickster gets, the amount of spells known are fine. The amount of spell slots overall also seems pretty fine. The level progression, on the other hand, feels a bit too strained: you get 4th level spell slots by 20th level, and while that fits with the Eldritch Knight and the Arcane Trickster in terms of spell slots, in the case of the Hexblade it seems a bit tough. I'd leave it as-is and just playtest it to see if it works, because going by theorycrafting alone can be dangerous.


Spells known, Cantrips known, and spell level known are pulled directly from the Eldritch Knight table, so that shouldn't really end up being too big a deal. Really, I see this guy spending his few slots on Hex and Armor of Agathys, not higher level stuff.



As for "Mettle", I'd prefer a name change. The original was "Arcane Resistance", so you could go for "Arcane Grace" to give the hint that it mimics, but doesn't exactly copies, the Paladin's Aura of Grace (as it's personal AND only works for spells).


name is changed, or at least it will be on the PDF.



Perhaps my biggest issue is Eldritch Ward's permanent effect where you get half-cover against all ranged attacks - IMO, even a +2 to AC at all times against ranged attacks might seem a bit too much on bounded accuracy numbers. Just the second ability (forcing disadvantage on ranged attacks 1/short rest), boosted to also apply to melee attacks (as what you gained with Aura of Unluck) is fine, since it becomes a "panic button" for a tough encounter (and given the way Advantage/Disadvantage works, any source of Advantage is negated, which is good). I don't feel the Cover benefit vs. ranged attacks is warranted - the Martial Archetype is already quite good on its own (even without Invocations!), and that just pushes it a notch into "must-enter" territory.


Ehhh...I really want a low level persistant effect. For one, he's supposed to be dangerous to spellcasters, and this helps to pull them into melee. For another, Spell Sniper and Sharpshooter negate the benefit entirely, so it wont effect the dedicated enemy characters (provided a DM uses feats to build NPCs, that is).



Love the idea of the Curse. It's better than the original, but that's the point - the Curse was good, but didn't offer the full extent of Bestow Curse, of which it was obviously based upon. I'd make it a Charisma save rather than a Wisdom save if only because it makes it unique, but I understand why you gave it that save (Bestow Curse IS resisted by a Wisdom save). One thing I CAN recommend is to move the strongest of the curses ("While cursed, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the start of each of its turns. If it fails, it wastes its action that turn doing nothing. ") as part of the Dire Curse, and make it so that it consumes both of your possible curse options. This is doubly worse as the Hexblade's Curse requires no Concentration, which allows you to use the Hex spell (thus getting a slightly nerfed version of Dire Curse, but with fixed choices) - a Dire Curse that imposes Disadvantage on Wisdom saves AND negates actions just about every turn, coupled with a bonus-action Hex on the same turn is overkill, particularly at level 20 when you get 4 attacks per turn. I mean - use Hexblade's Curse, then Hex, then Action Surge and the Attack action, and you get to debuff and attack (and possibly kill the target) on the same turn. Note that you can actually do this twice per combat, every combat as long as you take a short rest. Other than that little nasty combo, the Hexblade has nice tricks. Even if the target fails the save, it gets a nasty surprise (I mean, 5 minutes is overkill for any battle - disadvantage on Wisdom checks & saves -> Hex -> Attack via Action Surge 2/combat is a pretty solid trick if you think about it). Just so you think, because the combo seems too powerful, but I really like the execution.


I adjusted the ability: Now, the affected target must choose between moving or an action, which hampers but does not render them entirely worthless for the duration.



Maybe, as a small nod, I'd consider allowing the Hexblade to choose between a Pact Weapon or a Familiar. Really, it's no biggie, but it'd be a nice nod to the original. Sure, its HP and stats will suck (it's not like it gains the huge boost that the old Hexblade familiar got), but you get special familiars anyways and you can trade one of your many attacks to let them attack (taken straight from the Pact of the Chain).


I thought about that, but i figured it would make him a bit more complicated than I really want him to be.



Other than that, it seems like a very interesting Archetype to play - it feels like it's very strong because you're slapping a fraction of the Warlock's Pact Magic feature into a full warrior chassis and make the Bladelock cry in a corner, but you lack some of the invocations (and of course, Mystic Arcana) that the Warlock can use to become a solid blaster anyways. Certainly it'd make me play one, that's for sure.

Exactly. I specifically did not give him invocations for this reason. this guy is NOT a blaster, he's a melee fighter through and through