View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Duskblade variant, is it balanced?

2016-08-24, 09:30 AM
Hello, guys. I've found this duskblade variant posted on DnD wiki -> sadly, I can't post a link because I'm still new to the forums but if you type "Duskblade variant" in google, it's the first one to pop up (it has alternative forms and grand reach). Now I was wondering if this variant is balanced and also what kind of special abilities would you give to the different alternative forms. Bonus dmg on fire and acid, bonus to attack on armored enemies with lightning? Overall, I love the concept of him, being able to do ranged slash attacks and that's what got me hooked on duskblades overall - going after some Ichigo style characters. Kinda hard with the original duskblade class thou :D Open for all kinds of suggestions before I present it to my DM.

2016-08-24, 06:27 PM
First off posting a link is easy. There's a button for it, but without it you just put or [url=https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Duskblade,_Variant_(3.5e_Class)]I assume this is the class (] insert the url after the = but before the close brackets and then insert text between[/url).

So let's look at it. Though really the big question is balanced against what?

Medium BAB, ouch but ok.

Spells Known is... I assume when it says get access to a new spell list from its example it means spell level. The poor wording of this which should be mostly c/p from official books is not a good starting sign. They also have the best spell-list in the game by which I mean even without shenanigans that some people on the forum would suggest using with one described this way they can learn any sor/wiz spell, those duskblade spells that are learned at earlier levels, and bard spells many of which are learned at earlier levels.

Alternate Form: Ethereal and Eldritch aren't elements or energy types at all. My guess is Force and Untyped Magical damage are meant here. Theoretically positive energy allows at-will healing at full attack level speed which is actually rather crazy. For the core 5 energy types I'd just have it change your weapon damage to that energy and thus negate DR, very few creatures (slaad and obyriths) are resistant to all 5 so it'd mean by 5th level you ignore DR. The higher... well positive/negative would heal living creatures and undead respectively but that is getting to full attack healing and ends up not working the best. Assuming ethereal is force and eldritch is eldritch blast... one hits ethereal and incorporeal, the other is literally just untyped. All in all while the low level ones are worth while unless the DM makes stuff for the higher level ones the Pos/Neg are OP and by the time you get Ethereal/Eldritch they're inconsequential.

Grand Reach: As written lacks an attack roll or saving throw, or any real interaction. I'd make it an attack on everything in the line which allows PA and ultimately makes it a little stronger (even Medium BAB usually always hits with 1st attack by high levels at least). It's of questionable utility, however.

Except for the vagueness in Alternate Form I'd not actually say they get anything worth giving up Inspire Courage and 4 skills/level. Yes I'm comparing them to bard (casting is closer to bard than duskblade, and BAB is the same) not duskblade. I might cut their spells per day down to bard level instead of skipping from 0 to 3.

Personally my take on long ranged sword slashes would be...

You have learned to send your ki out before your blade shortening the distance between it and the world.
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Knowledge (the Planes) 2 ranks.
Benefit: On your first attack as part of an attack or full attack action you may treat your reach as 5 ft longer than it actually is per point of BAB you possess. This feat does not apply for charges, or when making attacks of opportunity, only for attack and full attack actions you take, and only on the first attack made as part of one.

Voidslice, Greater
You have learned to send your ki out from your blade in a destructive wave.
Prerequisites: BAB +8, Knowledge (the Planes) 5 ranks.
Benefit: As a full round action you may make a single melee attack and apply it to all targets within a line 5-ft long per point of BAB you possess. Miss chances and AC apply as normal, using the same roll against each target. Any benefits which apply to a single attack such as Smite Evil or a Channeled Spell apply only to the first target; any that apply to each attack you make or to each made as part of a full attack (such as the higher level version of channel spell) apply against all targets.

And of course these feats would need to be tagged Su.

2016-08-27, 11:14 AM
Let's see...

The chassis is alright, though the spells/day progression is mighty odd-- 0 spells/day to 3/day?
The armor/shield proficiency is odd-- why do you get armor proficiencies you can't use? What does "even the Bastard sword" mean-- it's an exotic weapon that can be wielded two-handed as a martial, so can you do that, or do you get the EWP?
Pulling from any spell list is, as Zaydos mentioned, A Bad Idea. You should just stick to the Sorcerer/Wizard list.
I don't understand the spells known bit at all. At 1, 3, 7, 9, 12, and 15 he learns one spell of the highest level he can cast, and at every other level he learns one spell of each level he can cast? That's terrible. Way too many. Way, waaaay too many. It should perhaps be one spell of each level when you first get access to it, plus one spell/class level of your choice.
Alternate Form does nothing. It literally says "ask your GM what this does." If it's just turning it from slashing to [element], that's... mostly fine, although you can arguably get at-will healing with positive energy, until 10th level when he makes up elements. Perhaps that's meant to be "force" and "untyped magic"?
Grand Reach needs more rules, and either an attack roll or, preferably, a Reflex save (10+1/2 level+Int).
Channel Spell comes weirdly late in the game, and never upgrades to the full attack like the original Duskblade, which is odd.
Why do you get a first level feat at 17th, long after it ceased to matter for anything?
Why do you get the capstone (such as it is) at 19th, not 20th?

You also have a ton of dead levels, which isn't unusual but is sloppy. Overall, I wouldn't allow this without a near-total rewrite, and I wouldn't show it to a GM. Zaydos' feats are a much better way of doing the ranged slash thing.

2016-08-29, 09:53 AM
Thank you both for the full answers! I'll consider how to blend them into a well-balanced variant and after testing it, I'll post the successful results.

For the alternate forms, I was thinking of some bonus effects on the different elements:

Fire: chance to set target on fire for some turns?
Lightning: As with shocking grasp, bonus to attack rolls on targets, covered with metal?
Acid: The attack deals dmg on shields, armor, and weapons?
Sonic: The attack screeches, making targets near the path of the attack to roll a Fort save for deafening?

As for Positive and Negative attacks, I was thinking they can deal bonus dmg to opposite living/undead creatures, rather than healing matching ones.

2016-08-31, 07:22 AM
First off posting a link is easy.

Not if you have fewer than 10 posts, in which case it's impossible. It was a measure that had to be taken even though they really, really didn't want to.